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SOL: Hutton Inquiry Update - Week 4 Day 1

From the Streets of London with William Moloney

Hutton Inquiry Update - Week 4 Day 1

This week in the Inquiry shifts away from the inner workings of the Government and back onto Dr. David Kelly. Today's main witness was Dr. Kelly's widow, Mrs. Janice Kelly.

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Mrs. Janice Kelly

Mrs. Kelly had requested to give her evidence via videolink and was testifing from another room within the Royal Courts of Justice.

The Couple had met whilst at Leeds University and had subsequently married in 1967.

In 1984 Dr. Kelly started work at the Top Secret MOD research facility at Porton Down.

In 1987, he transferred to a team monitoring WMD in the former USSR.

Mrs. Kelly said she was never "quite aware" who her husband worked for.

Mrs. Kelly said that she found some paper's in her husbands study that stated he was being considered for an honour in the up coming New Years honours list.

"It was probably a Knighthood, as David received a CBG in 1997"

She said that Dr. Kelly had some concerns about his work and career. He felt his job was in "a hole".

She said he also worried about his pension and their mortgage.

Mrs. Kelly said he was trying to put off retiring for as long as possible. Dr. Kelly had mooted a date sometime in 2005.

Mrs. Kelly said that her husband was "a little tired" in January but was looking forward to their daughter's wedding.

Dr. Kelly had travelled to the Middle East twice in May.

But by the end of June, "he became very much more taciturn. He became more difficult to talk to...he seemed under a bit of strain in terms of the travelling. He was tired and looking his age".

On the 8th of July he was strangely reluctant to watch the evening news Mrs. Kelly said.

The main story of the bulletin was about the MOD source coming forward.

Dr. Kelly said "It's me". "My reaction was total dismay. My heart sank," Mrs Kelly said.

He said, now that the MOD had made that statement, the "press would put two and two together."

Dr. Kelly mentioned that he had been reprimanded by the MOD.

Nick Rufford, of the Sunday Times, arrived at their house unannounced. They first time someone from the Media had ever done that.

Mrs. Kelly heard Dr. Kelly ask Mr. Rufford to, "please leave now".

Dr. Kelly later told her that Mr. Rufford had offered, on behalf of Sunday Times publisher Rupert Murdoch, hotel accommodation in exchange for his story.

Mr. Rufford also said that the, "gloves were now off", and that the press, "were headed here in droves".

Dr. Kelly had been led to believe by the MOD that his name would not reach the public domain, Mrs. Kelly said. He had received this assurance from his line manager , Bryan Wells, his superiors and the people that conducted his interviews.

Mrs. Kelly said, "He felt totally let down and betrayed".

The MOD called and told them it would be better if they left their house as Dr. Kelly's name would be coming out tomorrow.

They left for the West Country.

Next morning, they read the articles about Dr. Kelly in The Times.

"He was rather knocked back by the MOD sources referring to him as of lowly status," Mrs Kelly said.

Bryan Wells then called to say that his Foreign Affairs Committee appearance would be televised.

David, "was ballistic...he just did not like the idea at all", Mrs. Kelly said.

He, "was in dismay", as, "he had worked his socks off for years".

Dr. Kelly stayed with his daughter before and after his appearances at the two committees and said they went. "all right".

On the 17th July, the day of his disappearance, he was, "tired, subdued, but not depressed".

He sat in the lounge, alone, doing nothing which was very unusual.

"In fact I was physically sick several times at this stage as he looked so desperate...I just thought he had a broken heart. He had shrunk into himself."

"He could not talk at all"

Dr. Kelly mentioned that he was going for a walk. Mrs Kelly had taken herself to bed.

Mrs. Kelly heard Dr. Kelly on the phone at 3 o'clock and by the time it rang again for her, at 3.20, he was gone.

She became concerned for him in the early evening, and her and her family started to look for him.

They reported him missing to the Police at 11.30pm

She was told of his death the next morning by Police.

She never saw the knife but was shown a photocopy and it did resemble a knife that Dr. Kelly had owned since childhood, possibly from the Boy Scouts.

She was then asked about Number 10's statement describing Dr. Kelly as a "Walter Mitty character".

She said caused her and her family untold pain.

She finished her evidence by thanking Lord Hutton for the sensitive way in which he had conducted the Inquiry and asked that the press continue to respect her family's privacy.

ENDS

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