FOR THE URGENT ATTENTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOMINIC GRIEVE
Dear Mr Parish and Mr McGinty,
I wish to make the following important points:
1) On several occasions, you have sought to reassure me that the Attorney General Dominic Grieve will make his decision re the Inquest regardless of any political pressures ie that his only concern is that due process of the law is followed. I met Mr Grieve in 2005 when, amongst other things discussed, he spent several minutes examining a copy of Dr David Kelly's death certificate which I had brought to show him. He seemed a decent man and I have no reason to doubt his integrity. However, very unfortunately, his two predecessors Lord Goldsmith over his twice changed Iraq War legal advice and Baroness Scotland over the twice cancelled Serious Fraud Office investigation of British Aerospace most certainly did seriously taint their legal decisions with political considerations, and thereby the Office of Attorney General. Both former Attorney Generals succeeded in ruining their reputations in legal circles, and certainly the former will never be forgiven by very many of our fellow British citizens for failing to resign instead of caving in to political pressures and changing his legal advice, re the legality or otherwise of the United Kingdom waging war on Iraq, for the second time under severe pressure ("pinned to the wall") from Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan at 10 Downing Street at what turned out to be an unminuted meeting (see Goldsmith's evidence at the Butler Inquiry) on 13 March 2003. So, I think it is reasonable that I seek a definitive reassurance that Dominic Grieve's decision on the Dr David Kelly Inquest will be based on the law alone. Will you kindly provide that reassurance?
2) If Dominic Grieve's decision is to be based on the law alone, why cloud a legal decision by announcing it in Parliament? Surely, the submission of the Memorial and the Addendum to the Memorial (and our other submissions) to the Attorney General constitute due process and that that due process demands that our lawyers be informed first of the Attorney General's decision? If the Attorney General then wishes to make a statement to Parliament that is entirely a matter for him but does not the law demand that he first answers us through our lawyers? I ask this question because once again there is very unfortunately precedent which gives cause for grave concern. In January 2010, our lawyers wrote to the Ministry of Justice of the preceding government asking for sight of ALL the medical and scientific documents relating to Dr David Kelly's death, all of which as you know had infamously been SECRETLY classified for 70 years at the request of Lord Hutton. The Ministry of Justice were unable to explain the precise legal basis under which Lord Hutton was able to classify those documents. Further, the Ministry of Justice was unable to explain the legal basis for continuing the classification of the documents and indeed to this day, and under the new and present government, those documents remain classified, the legal basis still unidentified. Perhaps most seriously, the new Minister of Justice, Kenneth Clarke QC, thought that publishing the post mortem report and toxicology report, while still claiming not to wish to cause the Kelly family unnecessary distress, and replying perfunctorily (on the very same day) to our lawyers in October 2010, was an adequate response to our lawyers request to see ALL the classified medical and scientific documents relating to Kelly's death. It was not only an inadequate response, it was also highly disingenuous for reasons which I am sure are apparent to all.
Further serious examples of the present government's disingenuousness are:
1) Dr Nicholas Hunt spoke at length to the Sunday Times in August 2010 and on the pages of that paper provided information which he had not provided to the Hutton Inquiry. This inappropriate journalistic intervention from arguably the most important witness at the Hutton Inquiry, in which he (Hunt) sought to convince the world that Kelly's was a "textbook suicide" and at the same time took the opportunity to sex up his Hutton evidence of coronary artery disease, surely constituted gross professional misconduct, but the silence from the General Medical Council was deafening. The only explanation for this extremely aberrant and unpunished behaviour of Dr Hunt could only be that he had permission, and possibly orders, from the Government to speak to the Sunday Times. In my view, the whole sordid Sunday Times story constituted blatant propaganda and one has to wonder why a supposedly respectable newspaper went along with the requirement. Please do correct me if you think I am mistaken.
2) Dr Michael Gaunt, a vascular surgeon, spoke at length on BBC Radio 4's PM programme in August 2010 (a transcript of the interview can be provided on request). Dr Gaunt stated that he had been asked by a national newspaper to review the post mortem report; this at a time when that report was still classified for 70 years. And, as if that were not enough, he caused further consternation by saying that bruising beneath Kelly's knees was consistent with him (Kelly) having knelt for a couple of hours, or similar. I believe that the national newspaper which asked Dr Gaunt for his opinion was none other than the Sunday Times. If that is true, it must be asked how the Sunday Times obtained the classified post mortem report and why they kept so quiet about being in possession of it?
Finally, but very importantly, our lawyers when they first wrote to you on our behalf asked to be informed of each and every person to whom our submissions were shown and it was my understanding that that was agreed to by you. The promise, if there was a promise, has not been kept. I may be naive, but I do not understand how it can be considered fair that all properly interested persons are permitted to see all our submissions but we are not permitted to see their responses, let alone their own submissions. Having submitted the Memorial and the Addendum to the Memorial (and other submissions) to the Attorney General it seems unreasonable and unfair to me that the process is so one-sided, not least because it would appear to me that we are being deprived of material evidence and in addition are not being given the chance to reply to criticisms of the evidence which we have provided by persons unknown to us. It should not be forgotten that the Coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, when asked by a journalist why, in a three line paragraph in a three page letter to our lawyers, he apparently in passing let slip that Lord Hutton had requested that all medical and scientific documents be classified for 70 years, he replied that he wanted to help the doctors in their legal case, or similar. Given the Coroner's wish to help us, I should be grateful if you would outline the precise reason(s) why we are presently at such a serious disadvantage as regards our formal legal application under Section 13 of the 1988 Coroners Act. Is this opaqueness and unfairness in the public interest or indeed in the interests of justice?
Please confirm that you have received this email and that its contents will be shown to the Attorney General.
(Dr) C Stephen Frost BSc MBChB Specialist in Diagnostic Radiology (Stockholm, Sweden)