Sunday, 5 June 2011

Third submission (of 12) by me to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve

From: STEPHEN FROST <stephen.frost@>
Subject: Dr David Kelly - further important information
To: privateoffice@attorneygeneral
Cc: grieved@parliament, "david halpin" <dsh@>, chris.burns-cox@,monafay@, birnstin@, "Michael Powers Q.C." <powers@>,fswaine@leighday
Date: Tuesday, 7 December, 2010, 23:44

Dear Attorney General,

Further to my two emails of 6 December 2010, I would like to draw to your attention four additional pieces of information which we feel are crucial in considering the death of Dr David Kelly and any future action regarding it. 

We are reinforced in our determination to pursue our plea as citizens by the statement of Dame Janet Smith at page 520 paragraph 19.126 of the Third Report of the Shipman Inquiry: 

"At present, all citizens are under a common law duty to report to the police or coroner any information likely to lead to an inquest.  The existence of this duty is not well known, although everyone knows that they should report suspicions of crime to the police.  I recommend that the Coroner Service should seek to educate the public about the functions of the Service and, at the same time, encourage members of the public to report any concerns about a death."

Further, the recommendation by Dame Smith at page 520 paragraph 19.128 of the Third Report of the Shipman Inquiry:

"In my view, there should be a statutory duty on any qualified or responsible person to report to the Coroner Service any concern relating to the cause or circumstances of a death of which s/he becomes aware in the course of his/her duties.  In the class of "qualified" persons, I include doctors, nurses, midwives and paramedics.  In the class of "responsible" persons, I include hospital and hospice managers, registrars, care home owners and managers, police officers, firefighters, funeral directors, embalmers and mortuary technicians.  The duty upon such a person should be to report to a coroner or coroner's investigator, as soon as practicable, any information relating to a death believed by that person to be true and which, if true, might amount to evidence of crime, malpractice or neglect".    

In the first instance it is your office, rather than Thames Valley Police or the Oxfordshire Coroner's office, with which I would like to discuss these matters:      

1. We have established that a former MP was given important information about a particular event involving Dr Kelly's corpse following its discovery on 18 July 2003.  Robert Jackson, who was Dr Kelly's MP, was given this information by Dr Kelly's GP Dr Malcolm Warner, who gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry on 2 September 2003.  At the Hutton Inquiry, Dr Warner was not asked for and did not reveal this information.  We would like to know if you would be interested to hear more about this because it suggests that a key witness who gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry concealed material evidence.  We would like to know with whom, in your office, we could discuss this matter.

2. In October, Kenneth Clarke published online a copy of Dr Kelly's post-mortem report and toxicology report.  In a written ministerial statement on 22 October Mr Clarke said: "I have today placed copies of the post-mortem examination report and the toxicology report relating to the death of Dr David Kelly in July 2003 in the libraries of both Houses and on the Ministry of Justice website.  I am publishing these reports in the interests of maintaining public confidence in the inquiry into how Dr Kelly came by his death.  While I firmly believe that the publication of these documents is in the public interest, I am mindful that the contents may be distressing.  I hope that the privacy of Dr Kelly's family will be respected at this difficult time."  We would ask how public confidence can be maintained when at least 10 names, including those of police officers and a mortuary attendant, have been redacted from the post-mortem report.  We also question the
Government's stance relating to the wider issue of publishing the post-mortem report.  On the one hand the Government says that it wishes to protect the feelings of the Kelly family.  On the other it publishes online the most intimate details about Dr Kelly's genitalia.  When we requested in January of this year to see this report, amongst many other medical and scientific documents, it was our intention that we would view it as a group in private and would not discuss publicly its contents unless called to do so.

3. We would urge you to watch in full the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing at which Dr Kelly gave evidence on 15 July 2003.  Contrary to media reports (which seem now to be accepted as fact), viewing the entire 50 minute session shows that Dr Kelly was in pretty good spirits that day.  At certain key points he laughed and joked along with some of the members of the committee, including the Chairman of the FAC Donald Anderson.  We would question whether his state of mind during that hearing was such a cause for concern as the public was led to believe.  Copies of this session are available on DVD from the Parliamentary Recording Unit, priced at £23 plus VAT.  In addition, on 16 July 2003, ie the day after he gave evidence to the FAC and the day before he went for his final walk, Dr Kelly gave evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee and the transcript of that evidence shows that Dr Kelly was once again in good spirits.

4. We know that Dr Kelly's widow, Janice Kelly, has requested that Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood state to the Government on her behalf her wishes regarding a future coroner's inquest taking place into her late husband's death.  At least one such meeting has already taken place between Ms Blackwood and Mr Clarke on 21 July this year.  While we recognise that it is important to respect the feelings of the Kelly family we are also aware that the feelings of relatives cannot prevent an inquest from taking place.  We would like to know your office's view of this.  Furthermore, in November 2010, the Ministry of Justice was asked if it had signed a legally binding agreement with any relatives of the late Dr. David Kelly and whether to the best of their knowledge any member of the Kelly family had signed an agreement of such a nature with any Government department.  We were concerned to hear of the following official response from the MoJ: "If there were any
such agreement it would be confidential between the parties and we would not confirm or deny its existence."   This wholly unsatisfactory answer raises important questions about the nature of the Kelly family's relationship with Government departments.  If a Government department is not prepared to answer such a straightforward question it surely means that public confidence cannot be and is not being maintained. 

I would appreciate your acknowledging receipt of this email and indicating when you might be free to address the points raised.

Yours faithfully,

(Dr) Stephen Frost

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