Friday, 29 June 2012

The mobile phone - John Clark evidence

After Dr Kelly left his home on the afternoon of 17 July his colleague Wing Commander John Clark repeatedly tried to contact him on his mobile phone:

Q. At what time did you attempt to ring Dr Kelly?  
A. It was -- I have since been told by the police -- I thought it was close to 3 o'clock but it was about 3.20, and I was told by his wife who answered the telephone that Dr Kelly had gone for a walk at 3 o'clock.  
Q. Can you recall what the last telephone conversation you actually had with Dr Kelly was before that attempt to get hold of him? 
A. Yes, I had a call with him which was just before 3 o'clock. Again I thought it was earlier but we have been able to track that down from investigating my log of e-mails and the telephone log that the police were able to provide. So about 6 or 7 minutes before 3 o'clock was the last conversation. That was the one where we discussed Susan Watts and the business cards.
Q. When you say Susan Watts, i.e. appearing in the body of the text?  

A. Absolutely right. So that had been agreed. 
Q. And after you had not been able to get hold of Dr Kelly, what did you do?  
A. I was surprised that I could not get two-way with him because he was always very proud of his ability to be contacted. He took his mobile phone everywhere. I do not mean to be light-hearted but an example of that was that one day I rang him up and I could hardly hear what  he was saying because he was on his lawnmower cutting his grass. But that is the sort of man he was; he was always contactable. So on this occasion when I rang him I asked his wife in the first instance when she said he went for a walk, did he have his mobile, and she did not  know. I rang and it was switched off and I was very surprised that it had been switched off.  
Q. When you say it was switched off, did you get any message?
A. Yes, I got an electronic voice saying: the number you have rung is not reacting. Which is the normal one that one would associate if the telephone itself had been switched off.
Q. After you had not been able to get hold of Dr Kelly on the mobile then, did you try again?
A. I rang his wife because clearly I needed to get the staff work taken forward and I needed to speak to Dr Kelly. I spoke to her and said I had not been able to contact Dr Kelly on his mobile and I thought she might say something but she was quite matter of fact and said, you know -- did not really record the fact. 
I then said: could you ask Dr Kelly when he returns, could he give me a ring. That is how the message was left with his wife.  
Q. Did you try to get hold of Dr Kelly again? 
A. Yes, I did. I hoped that he would perhaps switch on his mobile so I probably tried about every 15 minutes for the remainder of the time. I left the Ministry of Defence at about 10 to 5 because I had an optician's appointment and then handed over responsibility to my  colleague, James Harrison.  
Q. Did you get the same message every time you rang the mobile? 
A. Yes. It was never switched on. 

Journalist Tom Mangold argues that the repeated attempts by John Clark to contact Dr Kelly is evidence of Kelly's intention to commit suicide.  Discussion of this will have to wait though.

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