Doctors campaigning for a full inquest for weapons expert Dr David Kelly claim there has been a Hillsborough-style cover-up in the case as they push for a fresh investigation on the 10th anniversary of his death.
The group, led by radiologist Stephen Frost, said it would be “shameful if the truth about the suspicious death” was suppressed in a similar way to details about the footballing tragedy that left 96 Liverpool FC fans dead.
Alastair Hay, a close friend of Dr Kelly’s, however insisted blood tests carried out on the scientist had “kicked into touch” claims he was murdered.
Dr Kelly, who is believed to have died on July 17 2003 or in the early hours of the following day, was found near his Oxfordshire home shortly after he was identified as the source of a BBC report about the Government’s dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The Hutton Inquiry, which effectively superseded the work of the Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner, found the government weapons inspector committed suicide.
But the group, which includes Andrew Watt, David Halpin and Christopher Burns-Cox and has long campaigned for a full investigation, claims the inquiry was inadequate and failed to examine a number of questions over the circumstances surrounding the discovery of Dr Kelly’s body.
“This week it is 10 years since the suspicious death of the biological weapons scientist, Dr David Kelly,” the group said in a statement. “His death is a matter of continuing public and professional concern.
“Ten years after the Hillsborough disaster the truth of the matter was still deeply concealed. Only recently, with the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, has the extent of police dishonesty and cover-up become officially recognised.
“Ten years after Dr Kelly’s death the truth is similarly concealed.
“As doctors, we have multiple serious concerns about the medical, forensic and other evidence supporting the official story that Dr Kelly committed suicide. We believe that there are serious deficiencies in the investigation of Dr Kelly’s death by Thames Valley Police.
“In the interests of justice, both an inquest into Dr Kelly’s death and an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into what we consider to be a deficient and dishonest investigation by Thames Valley Police are required.
“The British public had to wait 23 years for the truth about the Hillsborough disaster to emerge. It would be shameful if the truth about the suspicious death of Dr David Kelly were concealed for a similar length of time.”
Prof Hay, a chemical weapons expert, criticised the Hutton Inquiry but said there has “never been an issue about any sort of conspiracy”.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “I didn’t feel that [Hutton] did a really good job at all.
“He left so many openings for conspiracy theorists. It’s right that people question evidence if they think there hasn’t been a proper hearing, and it’s important that these things are done properly. Unfortunately, Hutton didn’t do that.”
“A proper inquest would have helped lay to rest the issue about the cut on his wrist, the tablets he had taken, and so on,” he added. “I have many contacts in the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office and there has never been an issue about any sort of conspiracy or anybody else having been involved.
“I don’t know what was going through David’s head at the time, but when I saw him giving evidence to the parliamentary foreign affairs select committee he was extremely distressed and not in control, which was unusual for him. I’m sure it must have been traumatic.”
“He was in a position to rubbish the Government’s line and they need to quell that,” he added. “David had great integrity – he was interested in the truth.
“I feel that he was hounded. He was playing a very dangerous game because of the position he was in.”