David Kelly inquest ruled out

Attorney General Dominic Grieve has ruled out asking the High Court to order an inquest into the death of David Kelly.







David Cameron suggested a full inquest was unnecessary last month, saying the Hutton report into the Government weapons inspector's death had been "fairly clear".



But a group of campaigning doctors, led by Dr Stephen Frost, accused the Government of being "complicit in a determined and concerted cover-up", saying they would now seek a judicial review of Mr Grieve's decision.







Speaking in the Commons, Mr Grieve told MPs the evidence that Dr Kelly took his own life was "overwhelming".

There was no evidence to support claims he was murdered or "any kind of conspiracy theory", he said.



The scientist's body was found in woods close to his Oxfordshire home in 2003, shortly after he had been revealed as the source of a BBC report questioning the accuracy of a government dossier arguing the case for war in Iraq.



The Hutton Inquiry in 2004 found that Dr Kelly committed suicide, and then-justice secretary Lord Falconer ruled the inquiry could take the place of an inquest in the coroner's court.



But the doctors pointed out that Lord Hutton spent only half a day of his 24-day inquiry considering the cause of Dr Kelly's death.



They have denounced the Hutton report as a "whitewash" which "failed adequately to address the cause of death itself and the manner of death".



They argued: "No coroner in the land would have reached a suicide verdict on the evidence which Lord Hutton heard.



"The coroner is required to hear evidence which constitutes proof beyond reasonable doubt that the deceased killed himself and that he intended to kill himself, before he may return a verdict of suicide. Lord Hutton did not hear evidence which came near to satisfying that test."



Dr Frost said: "It is therefore very surprising and perplexing that the Attorney General today supports those who wish to deny Dr Kelly a proper inquest.



"This is clearly a political decision when it should have been a decision based solely on the law.



"This Government has now revealed itself to be complicit in a determined and concerted cover-up.



"Four successive governments have sought to obscure the truth of what happened. The cover-up could not be more obvious."



He condemned the "deeply flawed" decision, saying it had "no basis in law", and called for Mr Grieve to resign.



"As a lawyer, his position as Attorney General is now untenable and he will no doubt be subject to reasonable demands that he resign," Dr Frost said.



"The continuing cover-up of the truth of what happened is a national disgrace and should be of concern to all British citizens."



He went on: "We intend vigorously to contest the decision of the Attorney General at the High Court of Justice through judicial review of that decision.



"We need the public's support and a fund has been set up for the possibility that we will be required to pay the Government's legal costs were we to lose.



"The public interest of due process of the law being observed by the Government which serves the British people cannot be trumped by any other purported public interest."



Dr Frost added: "A proper inquest into the suspicious death of any British citizen is required by the laws of this country.



"Everyone now knows that the Hutton Inquiry, which purported to fulfil the coronial requirement, was a woefully inadequate instrument for investigating this most important death, especially given the highly controversial context of illegal war in which the death of this loyal and brilliant public servant took place.



"It is highly regrettable that Dominic Grieve has sought, as did the coroner Nicholas Gardiner before him, to rubber-stamp the clear subversion of due process of the law that the derailing of the inquest by Lord Falconer on August 13, 2003 constituted."



Earlier, former prime minister Tony Blair told the BBC Breakfast programme that as far as he knew the questions surrounding Dr Kelly's death had been answered by the Hutton report and that he "frankly" doubted that the Attorney General had different information.







A key focus of the doctors' concerns were the differing descriptions from witnesses as to how Dr Kelly's body was found, and whether it had been moved, Mr Grieve said.

"This issue has proven fertile ground for imaginative speculation to take over," he told MPs.



But he insisted all the evidence from the careful forensic examination of the scene and his own detailed review supports the view that "Dr Kelly died where he was found and from the causes determined".



"There is no evidence I've seen that would suggest any other explanation, or that would suggest any cover-up or conspiracy whatsoever," he said.



Stressing his findings were his own and his alone, Mr Grieve went on: "I've received no representations of any kind from the prime minister or any other ministerial colleague on this decision.



"The suggestion that Dr Kelly didn't take his own life is not based on positive evidence as such, but on the criticism of the findings of the investigation and inquiry."



He added that while the doctors were expert in their own areas, they were not qualified forensic pathologists.



Mr Grieve went on: "Having given all the material that's been sent to me the most careful consideration, I've concluded that the evidence that Dr Kelly took his own life is overwhelmingly strong.



"Further, there is nothing I've seen that supports any allegation that Dr Kelly was murdered or that his death was the subject of any kind of conspiracy or cover-up.



"In my view, no purpose would be served by my making an application to the High Court for an inquest, and indeed I have no reasonable basis for doing so.



"There is no possibility that at an inquest a verdict other than suicide would be returned."









Mr Grieve also offered his "sincere sympathy" to Dr Kelly's family, "not simply for their loss, great though that undoubtedly is, but for having to bear that loss in the glare of intrusive publicity over such a long period of time".

"While I realise that it will always be impossible to satisfy everyone, I would hope for their sakes that a line can now be drawn under this matter."



But in a further statement, the doctors, including Michael Powers QC, said they were "perplexed and outraged" with the decision.



"These matters are of such juridical and constitutional importance that the campaign will continue unabated," they said.

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 4 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 4 Primary Teachers needed for Se...

Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are currently recruitin...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teacher required with Early Years...

KS2 Teacher

£21588 - £31552 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Exceptional teacher ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor