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Correspondence On The David Kelly Inquest

Correspondence On The David Kelly Inquest

From Rowena Thursby


Letter from Dr Michael Powers QC to The Times
Published: The Times - Letters to the Editor - March 12, 2004

Cause of death of Dr David Kelly

From Dr Michael J. Powers, QC


The Coroner for Oxfordshire is to hear representations from interested parties on March 16 as to whether or not there is an ''exceptional reason'' for resuming the inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.

The evidence called before Lord Hutton’s inquiry focused only to a minor extent on the medical cause of Dr Kelly’s death. That evidence was neither given on oath nor challenged in cross-examination. No expert evidence of any opposing view was called or presented.

Since the transcripts of the inquiry have been in the public domain, concern has been expressed by a significant number of medical experts that it is unlikely that Dr Kelly died either of haemorrhage or a Coproxamol overdose, as the Hutton report concluded.

Suicide cannot be presumed. Even evidence pointing to the likelihood that Dr Kelly took his own life is not sufficient. Suicide has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Whilst conspiracy theorists may believe otherwise, a failure to prove suicide does not mean that Dr Kelly was murdered.

The coroner should resume the inquest to hear the divergent expert evidence which has come to light. If, in consequence, suicide cannot be strictly proved, there should be no reluctance to enter an open verdict.

Yours faithfully,
March 9, 2004


Letter to Dr Michael Powers QC

Public Confidence May Decline In Absence Of A Full Inquest For Dr Kelly

A letter written by Janet Bayley and Paul Berkeley, two more British citizens concerned that without a full inquest into Dr Kelly's death, public confidence in the system of justice, may decline.....

Dear Dr Powers

Please forgive this direct approach to you but we were not aware of how else to contact you.

Further to the Channel 4 (Mar 9) coverage of this matter and your opinions expressed during the item we would be extremely grateful to be informed how your opinion could be brought to the attention of the Coroner when he sits to consider the re-opening of Dr Kelly's Inquest on 16 March 2004.

As reported during the item, Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist who examined Dr Kelly, is now of the view "that he would feel more comfortable if the Inquest was re-opened". This would appear to be a very significant development.

We have no representation at the hearing on the 16 March to raise either your views or those of Dr Hunt. Our involvement is purely that of concerned members of the public, who feel that the Inquiry should not stand as proxy for the due process of a formal Inquest, given the widespread disquiet and anxiety that has been expressed in this matter by members of the legal and medical professions and significant bodies of public opinion.

We do not have a view as to whether Dr Kelly committed suicide or not - our concern is that the cause of death has not been conclusively determined. As a consequence the level of public confidence in the process of the Hutton Inquiry is not as great as would pertain from following the due process of a formal Inquest. In the instance and circumstances of Dr Kelly's death we consider this is a very important principle.

We would be grateful for any guidance on this - or preferably - the assurance that the Coroner will have regard to the opinions you have expressed.

We attach our written submission to Nicholas Gardiner, the coroner, for your information, and apologise again for this direct approach.

Yours sincerely

Janet Bayley & Paul Berkeley
Siddington, Cirencester
Glos, UK

*** ENDS ***

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