It's almost six weeks since the start of this blog, over 70 posts and I feel as if I'm only just getting into my stride! There is an individual though who has made oblique references and criticisms of this blog in another forum on the internet and the purpose of this post is to respond.
Although he writes in somewhat convoluted terms it seems as if my critic is primarily concerned that this is yet another blog examining the forensic evidence relating to Dr Kelly's death and the fact that there is some comment on it about the Kelly family, particularly Mrs Kelly. He also seems to be content with Hutton's conclusion that David Kelly committed suicide and he seems intent too on persuading folk that there shouldn't now be an inquest.
It is because the proper legal process was, outrageously, bypassed that I and other writers have been blogging about the death. Hutton wrote to the Attorney General on 3 September 2010 and in an attached report stated: 'Under section 17A of the Coroner's Act 1988 the public inquiry took the place of an inquest and carried out the functions of an inquest'. My expectation (and surely that of most people) would be an inquiry carried out to full coronial standards but in fact it definitely wasn't carried out to those standards.
Hutton repeatedly failed to resolve conflicts in evidence and didn't explore issues that he certainly should have done. He accepted the forensic evidence without question when it was found wanting. At the time he seemed intent on hiding the fact that the Inquiry was effectively replacing the inquest. The whole process was just about as bad as it could be. I shall continue to flag up his failings as the relevant posts are made, certainly they are too many and varied to list here.
My critic, I think, believes that I shouldn't be saying anything about Mrs Kelly. All I have done is compiled examples of where her testimony on 1 September 2003 didn't fit in with what other witnesses were saying. These weren't details in the margins but very fundamental differences. As the spouse of the deceased it is fairly obvious I would think that her testimony is relevant. I have endeavoured to present my concerns about her testimony using a moderate tone. As much as anything it's my disgust at Hutton in not resolving the problems that I wanted to emphasise. In the case of Mrs Kelly as elsewhere I have quoted text or given links so that the reader can come to his or her own conclusion. Although it's entailed a lot of work I've thought generally in this blog that it was right to quote plenty of text from witnesses and reports, and this also helps to see the context. Put in another way I think it is more honest to do this than try and paraphrase everything that was said or written.
If there had been a proper inquest in front of an honest and diligent coroner then I, and hopefully most people, would accept the process whatever the verdict. The Hutton Inquiry is in stark contrast with that of the recent inquest into the death of GCHQ employee Gareth Williams. There was a narrative verdict by the coroner Dr Wilcox, and the investigation into the death is still live. The coroner did what she was mandated to do but having completed that process we now have forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd causing even further distress for Gareth's family by reopening the question of how Gareth came to be in that sports bag. Shame on him!
A final point: I wanted to make this blog a useful resource, now and in the future, for those concerned about Dr Kelly's mysterious death, a death not yet subjected to the proper legal process.