- [The letter reproduced below, signed by seven eminent
medical specialists, was at first accepted for publication by the Guardian
newspaper for publication but higher ups overruled and the letter was rejected.
These gentlemen are trying valiantly to force the government to conduct
a proper investigation starting with an inquest. - Jim Rarey]
- Mistrust in the present government is not exclusively
due to the lies, distortions and distractions surrounding the Iraq WMD
claims, and the legal advice about going to war with Iraq.
- Government deceit extends also to the clearly inadequate
investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly. Crucially, why did Lord
Falconer choose a method of inquiry which was specifically designed to
be invoked in multiple death scenarios, in order to avoid unnecessary duplication
of inquiry, as in a rail disaster? Dr Kelly's death was a solitary unnatural
death requiring rigorous investigation at a coroner's inquest. Invoking
Section 17a, as Lord Falconer did, was not appropriate.
- Lord Hutton judged that Dr Kelly had committed suicide.
There is a statutory legal requirement, pertaining to the investigation
of "sudden, unexpected, and violent" deaths occurring in this
country, which by definition must be observed. The requirement is that,
before a verdict of suicide can be returned, suicide must be proven beyond
reasonable doubt. Furthermore, intent to commit suicide must be proven,
again beyond reasonable doubt.
- It is not, perhaps, common knowledge, but proof "beyond
reasonable doubt" is a very high standard of proof. It is a fact
that Lord Hutton was not equipped to attain that level of proof since he
lacked the statutory powers necessary to achieve it. Those powers, which
are automatically available to the Coroner, are: power to subpoena witnesses,
power to hear evidence under oath, power to call a jury and power to have
- The British public assumed, and were encouraged to believe,
that the replacement of the Coroner's Inquest by the Hutton Inquiry would
lead to Dr Kelly's death being more thoroughly investigated, when the exact
opposite was the truth.
- Lord Falconer, Lord Hutton and the Coroner, Nicholas
Gardiner, may protest all they like. The fact is that due process has
not been followed in the investigation of one of the most important unnatural
deaths to occur in this country in our lifetimes, inextricably linked as
Dr Kelly's death was to Britain's highly dubious reasons for launching
illegal war on Iraq.
- Finally, if Lord Falconer, Lord Hutton and the Coroner
have so failed in their legal duties, as it appears they have, is it not
reasonable to ask why it was thought necessary to subvert due process in
the first place?
- The undersigned are medical specialists who have publicly
stated their view, in a series of six letters published by The Guardian
during 2004, that it is highly improbable that Dr Kelly could have died
by the method claimed by Lord Hutton.
- We note with mounting concern that the serious and legitimate
questions which we have raised remain unanswered, and that there have been
no demands from the media, MPs or others that they be answered. Why not?
- Yours faithfully
- Christopher Burns-Cox - Specialist in internal general
- C Stephen Frost - Specialist in diagnostic radiology
- David S Halpin - Specialist in trauma and orthopaedic
- William McQuillan - Specialist in trauma and orthopaedic
- Andrew Rouse - Specialist in public health
- John H Scurr - Specialist in vascular surgery
- Searle Sennett - Specialist in anaesthesiology
- Permission is granted to reproduce this article in its
- Past Medium Rare articles back to October 2001(including
a series of articles on the murder of Dr. Kelly are archived at:
- The author is a free lance writer based in Romulus, Michigan.
He is a former newspaper editor and investigative reporter, a retired customs
administrator and accountant, and a student of history and the U.S. Constitution.
- If you would like to receive Medium Rare articles directly,
please contact the author at email@example.com