from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 16,00.html
'A private tragedy'
Tuesday September 2, 2003
"Not so much a public scandal as a private tragedy," says the Telegraph of Janice Kelly's evidence to the Hutton inquiry. Not so very private, now: most of the papers devote several pages to Mrs Kelly's recollections of her husband's final days. The word "tragedy" is scarcely more meaningful in the context of Dr Kelly's suicide. Probably what the Telegraph really means is that the knowledge of the manner of his death makes the Kellys' "torment" seem all the more poignant.
Dr Kelly had been "led to believe" that his name would not emerge, Mrs Kelly told the inquiry. He felt he had been "let down and betrayed" by the MoD. The thought of giving evidence to the foreign affairs committee - particularly televised evidence - sent him "ballistic". One of the MPs who questioned him (identified as Andrew Mackinlay by several of the papers) had behaved like an "utter bastard", Dr Kelly's daughter added. He did not understand how, if he were indeed Andrew Gilligan's source, the reporter could have drawn the conclusions he did.
When the MoD informed the Kellys that the press were on their way to their home in Oxfordshire, they decided to "cut and run" and headed for a friend's house in Cornwall. "I was trying to say to him how nice Cornwall was, we could visit places like the Eden project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan ... so I was trying to make conversation to relax him and try and turn this in some way into a holiday," Mrs Kelly said.
But she was unable to comfort him. "He seemed to withdraw into himself completely ... He did not see the gardens at all. He was in a world of his own ... There did not seem to be anything in the way of support [from the MoD]." By the day of his suicide, her husband "could not talk at all".
The Times is the most sympathetic towards Dr Kelly's plight. "There is little doubt that ... he should have been offered more and better official support than he received. A call from the ministry telling him he had minutes to pack his bags before the press descended is not the most sophisticated form of counselling."
But the Telegraph is harder-headed. "If David Kelly was of sound mind, how could he have abandoned a semi-invalid wife and a loving family? No rational answer here," writes Mary Kenny. "Perhaps it is, in a way, something of a comfort to be able to point the finger of blame at those who seem to have 'driven' a decent man to his death."
"His consciousness that he was in some way in the wrong" may also have preyed on Dr Kelly's mind, argues a careful leader in the paper. The Kelly family "deserve the greatest sympathy".
from http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/co ... rans27.htm
19 Q. Can you tell his Lordship your full name?
20 A. I am John Barnabus Leith.
21 Q. What is your occupation?
22 A. I am the Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of
23 the Baha'is of the United Kingdom.
24 Q. The Baha'i faith is a religion, is that right?
25 A. That is correct, yes.
1 Q. When did it start?
2 A. The Baha'i faith started in the middle of the 19th
3 Century in the country now known as Iran and was founded
4 by a figure we consider to be a prophet of God who had
5 the title of Baha'u'llah or Glory of God.
6 Q. What is the Baha'i attitude to other religions?
7 A. The Baha'i faith is that all the great religions come
8 from the same source, namely from God, so we are very
9 happy to work with and welcoming towards people of other
11 Q. Does that include every other religion, Christian,
12 Jewish, Muslim?
13 A. Yes, all the great religions, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist. We
14 believe they all come from the same source. We believe
15 there is a historical chain of religions and that
16 Baha'u'llah is the latest of the messengers of God.
17 Q. We have heard that Dr Kelly, after he converted to the
18 Baha'i religion, started reading the Koran. Would that
19 be something consistent with the Baha'i religion?
20 A. It would. I did not know that until I read Mrs Kelly's
21 evidence, but yes, it would be perfectly consistent.
22 I know Baha'is are in fact encouraged to read the Koran.
23 Q. And also other religious books, the Bible, the Koran?
24 A. Yes indeed, I know that Baha'is read the scriptures of
25 all the great religions in addition to our own Baha'i
2 Q. How many Baha'is are there in the world?
3 A. Somewhere between 5 and 6 million. It is difficult to
4 have an exact count because many of the Baha'is of the
5 world live in very poor countries and statistics are not
6 easily kept.
7 Q. Is there a formal structure if you are a Baha'i?
8 A. Yes, we have. The affairs of our faith are governed by
9 elected councils at local level, at national and
10 international level. We have no priests or ministers so
11 we are not, as has been referred to in some of the
12 press, a church. We do not consider ourselves to be
13 a church. We do not have an ecclesiastical structure.
14 Q. How do you get elected as a member of a local body?
15 A. Well, each year on 21st April the Baha'is in each
16 locality elect nine of their members to serve on what is
17 called the local Spiritual Assembly, which is the local
18 governing council for that locality, and their term of
19 office is for one year. Those who serve on these bodies
20 can be re-elected any number of times. But nobody
21 stands for election and there is no canvassing, there is
22 no nomination. It is a secret ballot.
23 Q. So you just vote for someone else who is in the same
24 community as you?
25 A. Yes, each person in the locality has nine votes, and so
1 they exercise those nine votes; and out of all -- the
2 nine people who receive the most votes out of all the
3 votes cast serve on the local assembly for that year.
4 Q. And why 21st April? Is that a significant day?
5 A. It is a significant day, yes, it marks a particular
6 historic occasion in the history of the Baha'i faith.
7 Q. Which is?
8 A. Which is the Baha'u'llah who had been exiled to Baghdad
9 in 1853 from his native Persia announced his mission in
10 1863, in other words 10 years after he had arrived in
11 Baghdad, he announced his mission to a number of his
12 very close followers and associates on that day in 1863.
13 Q. What mission did he announce?
14 A. That he had come to bring a message from God, that the
15 message that God wished the world to have at this
16 particular time is that all human beings of whatever
17 ethnic group, whatever creed, whatever language,
18 wherever they live in the world are all part of a single
19 human family and that the work of this time is to make
20 that a reality.
21 Q. And if you had been elected on the local level, how
22 would one then progress to a national and international
24 A. You use the word "progress", it is not really
25 a progression.
1 Q. Sorry.
2 A. Because there is no career structure, as it were.
3 Again, the national body is elected by delegates who
4 are, in turn, elected by Baha'is at local level. So it
5 is a two stage election for the national governing
6 council, so that the local Baha'is elect delegates, the
7 delegates go to our national convention and there the
8 delegates, of whom there are 95, each year vote for the
9 national assembly on the same principle as the voting
10 for the local Spiritual Assembly.
11 Q. And what do you know of Dr Kelly's conversion to the
12 Baha'i faith?
13 A. Our records show that he became a Baha'i in
14 September 1999 in the United States. At first we
15 thought that he had become a Baha'i in New York but
16 subsequently it became clear that he actually became
17 a Baha'i in California; and I understand from what
18 I read in The Times that there was a Baha'i in Monterey,
20 Q. If you do not know from your own knowledge ...
21 A. I do not know that.
22 Q. He became a Baha'i in the United States?
23 A. He certainly became a Baha'i in the United States, yes.
24 Q. Did he then follow the religion back in Oxfordshire?
25 A. Yes did, yes.
1 Q. How did he do that?
2 A. He attended meetings organised by the local Spiritual
3 Assembly of the Baha'is of the Vale of White Horse.
4 That local assembly, at that time, covered the whole
5 administrative district of the Vale of White Horse.
6 Q. Is that one of the 95 districts?
7 A. No, this is the local government district of the Vale of
8 White Horse. The local assembly covered that whole area
9 and they organised the usual range of Baha'i meetings
10 including regular prayer meetings and discussion
11 meetings and other such meetings which he attended.
12 Q. And did he have any -- was he elected on to the --
13 A. He was, yes. He was a member of the local Spiritual
14 Assembly of the Vale of White Horse for a time, less
15 than a year I think, I am not sure of the exact time.
16 Q. That is one of the nine?
17 A. He was one of the nine within that locality.
18 Q. Did he have any role in --
19 A. He served for a time as the treasurer of that local
20 Spiritual Assembly.
21 Q. How long did he do that for?
22 A. I could not tell you the exact length of time but I know
23 it was fairly brief.
24 Q. On the Baha'i faith website there is a little heading
25 relating to suicide. Has that always been there or was
1 that put up, as it were, after Dr Kelly's death?
2 A. May I ask which website?
3 Q. It is the baha'i.org.uk. It says this:
4 "Baha'i leave questions of forgiveness and judgment
5 to God."
6 A. That was put up subsequent to Dr Kelly's death.
7 Q. To explain the thing?
8 A. Correct, yes.
9 Q. If I can just read the extract and ask you to comment on
11 "Suicide is always tragic because it cuts life
12 short, but people who suffer hardship and distress
13 deserve compassion."
14 Can you just help his Lordship with the Baha'i
15 attitude to suicide?
16 A. Indeed. The act of suicide is condemned in the Baha'i
17 writings because it is an undue curtailment of the life
18 that should be lived to the full. However, Baha'is and
19 the Baha'i institutions do not and never would take
20 a condemnatory attitude to people who unfortunately
21 commit suicide. Quite the opposite. There would be
22 a great deal of sympathy, as indeed there has been in
23 the case of Dr Kelly, and Baha'is would pray for the
24 progress of the soul of that person as they have for the
25 soul of Dr Kelly.
1 Q. And do the Baha'is believe in an afterlife?
2 A. Indeed, yes. We see it as a continuation of a single
3 process that begins in this life of coming ever closer
4 to God, through our normal religious practices of prayer
5 and study of the Baha'i scriptures and meditation and
6 reflection, and really attempting to live according to
7 the Baha'i teachings to the best of our ability.
8 Q. I think you wanted to comment on an article in
9 a newspaper which claimed that Dr Kelly had spoken about
10 his work. Did Dr Kelly speak about his work, as far as
11 you knew?
12 A. He did not, or at least he did not ever in my hearing
13 and I understand from the Baha'is in Abingdon that he
14 did not at Baha'i meetings talk about his work. He was
15 extremely discreet. The particular press comment
16 claimed that he had spoken at a Baha'i meeting
17 critically about the September dossier. This was not in
18 fact the case. I was at that meeting. It was not
19 a meeting organised by the Baha'i local assembly, it was
20 privately organised and he was invited to speak to an
21 audience of Baha'is and non-Baha'is about his work as
22 a weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 until 1998; and he
23 did so with the aid of slides. He did not mention the
24 dossier. Nobody asked him about the dossier.
25 Q. Did you, yourself, know Dr Kelly?
1 A. I had met him perhaps three maybe four times. I do not
2 claim to have known him well. However, I certainly did
3 know him and he came to -- I have a house in Abingdon
4 and he came to that house and came to Baha'i meetings
5 there, and so to that extent I knew Dr Kelly and engaged
6 in conversation with him on those occasions.
7 Q. And is there anything else surrounding Dr Kelly's death
8 that you can assist his Lordship with?
9 A. I would like to say that the Baha'i community extends
10 the greatest sympathy to Mrs Kelly and to the Kelly
11 family. We do not in any way believe that there is
12 anything in the Baha'i teachings or in the life of the
13 Baha'i community that would have induced Dr Kelly to
14 commit suicide. There were allegations made that the
15 Baha'i faith condones or accepts suicide; this is not
16 the case, as I have explained, and so there is -- the
17 Baha'i community itself and the Baha'i teachings are
18 extremely positive in their ethos, very much to do with
19 the affirmation of life and the development of
20 qualities, and we do not believe that there is anything
21 in the experience that Dr Kelly would have had of the
22 community or his study of the Baha'i teachings that
23 would have led him to suppose that committing suicide
24 was a good act.
25 However, of course, as I said, we do extend the
1 greatest sympathy to his family and we are -- you know,
2 we are praying for the progress of his soul.
3 Q. And is there anything else you would like to say?
4 A. No. That is all. Thank you.
5 LORD HUTTON: Thank you very much indeed.
6 A. Thank you, my Lord.
Day 13: Key points
Here are the key points from evidence of witnesses on day 13 of the Hutton inquiry into the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly.
Ms Absalom, neighbour of Dr Kelly, met him at 1500 BST on 17 July at Harris' Lane, Longworth, about a mile from her home, as he went for his final walk
She said: "He said 'Hello Ruth' and I said ' Oh hello David how are things?' He said 'Not too bad.' He stood there for a few minutes then Buster my dog was pulling on the lead, he wanted to get going. I said 'I will have to go David', he said 'See you again then Ruth'. And that was it, we parted
Dr Kelly seemed his normal self, said Ms Absalom
Dr Warner, Dr Kelly's GP for 25 years, said the scientist had never been to see him showing any sign of depression
He had never prescribed coproxamol, the drug Dr Kelly took before his death
He had not been visited by Dr Kelly since 1999
Early on 18 July, search volunteer Ms Holmes, with her tracker dog Brock, helped look for Dr Kelly
The dog had become agitated as they went through woods and had signalled that he had found something
Ms Holmes said: "I could see a body slumped against the bottom of a tree - so I turned around and shouted to Paul to ring control and tell them that we had found something and then went closer just to see whether there was any first aid I needed to administer"
Describing the body, she said: "His legs were straight in front of him. His right arm was to the side of him. His left arm had a lot of blood on it and was bent back in a funny position"
A volunteer search leader, Mr Chapman said he had shown police to the spot where Dr Kelly's body lay
Pc Dean Franklin
Pc Franklin said a wrist watch had been lying away from Dr Kelly's body next to a lock knife. There was an open bottle of water. The blade of the knife was open, was 3-4 inches long and had blood on it
Paramedics had arrived, unbuttoned Dr Kelly's shirt and placed 4 sticky pads on the body, he said. They had pronounced Dr Kelly dead at 1007
There were no signs of a struggle, said Pc Franklin
Pc Martyn Sawyer
The day after searching the scene of Dr Kelly's home, he had looked inside the scientist's house, taking away documents and finding a photograph in his study
The photo pictured Dr Kelly outside the parliament buildings in Moscow in 1993 with a man bearing a striking resemblance to BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan - although police officers disagreed about whether it was him.
Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Webb
Det Sgt Webb said he had been sent to talk to Dr Kelly's wife about his disappearance
He spoke to Mrs Kelly and her daughters early on 18 July. They had been very hopeful "no harm had come to Dr Kelly. In fact they genuinely believed I think that perhaps he had become ill somewhere"
Searching the house after the scientist's body was found, Det Sgt Webb said he had found an unopened letter dated 9 July 2003 from Richard Hatfield, the Ministry of Defence personnel director headed "discussions with the media"
Among other documents found were: handwritten note titled "Gabriel's concerns" about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction; journalists' business cards'; more handwritten notes, including a list of journalists
There were also: MoD and Foreign Affairs Committee documents about a Dr Kelly's media contacts; and a letter dated 30th June 2003 from Dr Kelly to his line manager headed "Andrew Gilligan and his single anonymous source".
David Bartlett, ambulance paramedic
He and his colleague declared life extinct
Mr Bartlett said he had been surprised there was not more blood on Dr Kelly if it was an "arterial bleed"
Mr Leith is a member of the Baha'i faith, to which he said Dr Kelly had converted while in America in 1999
Dr Kelly was treasurer of the local Baha'i spiritual assembly
Mr Leith said suicide was condemned in Baha'i writings because "it is an undue curtailment of the life that should be lived to the full"
He said Baha'is did not take a condemnatory attitude to people who commit suicide. "Quite the opposite. There would be a great deal of sympathy as indeed there has been in the case of Dr Kelly"
Professor Keith Hawton
Prof Hawton is director of the centre for suicide research department of psychiatry at Oxford University
It was "well nigh certain" that Dr Kelly had taken his own life, he said
The scientist had chosen a peaceful spot on one of his favourite walks and his injuries were consistent with cutting himself
Toxicology reports suggested Dr Kelly had taken about 30 coproxamol tablets, which were dangerous in overdose, said Prof Hawton
Dr Kelly's "tiredness is a sort of theme running through the account from the family", he said
As a private person, Dr Kelly would have found it "extremely painful" to be named as the BBC's possible source and then to face questions from MPs on television
The scientist had given "the impression of having felt belittled by some of the questioning" from the Foreign Affairs Committee, said Prof Hawton
At 1118 BST on the day he went missing, Dr Kelly sent a series of emails to friends and colleagues. Prof Hawton said the striking thing in the messages were the difficulties he was facing, but also about how he had wanted to get back to Iraq.
Prof Hawton did not think Dr Kelly had been suffering from a severe psychiatric disorder
The scientist had been told on the day he went missing about more parliamentary questions about his media contacts. Prof Hawton said: "I think it is likely that he would have begun to perceive that the problem was escalating ... and that the prospects for an early resolution of his difficulties were diminishing"
Dr Kelly had largely kept things to himself
Prof Hawton said: "The importance about the problems he was facing shortly before his death was that these really challenged his identity of himself, his self esteem, his self worth, his image of himself as a valued and loyal employee and as a significant scientist"
He thought Dr Kelly's throwaway remark months before his death that he would probably be found "dead in the woods" if Iraq was invaded was "just a coincidence"
Prof Hawton thought Dr Kelly had begun to fear he would lose his job altogether. That would have filled him with a "profound sense of hopelessness"
Dr Kelly had probably decided to commit suicide during the day he went missing, said Prof Hawton
Psychiatrist says Kelly took own life
It is "well nigh certain" that Dr David Kelly committed suicide as he realised his difficulties were continuing to mount, a psychiatrist has told the Hutton inquiry.
As a private man, Dr Kelly would have found it "extremely painful" to be named as the possible source for the BBC story about the government's Iraq dossier, said suicide expert Professor Keith Hawton.
Taking a form more like a typical inquest, after two weeks dominated by politics, the inquiry also heard from the last person to see Dr Kelly alive and the search teams who found his body on 18 July.
Prof Hawton showed the inquiry some of the e-mails Dr Kelly sent in the hours before he went missing on 17 July, explaining his problems but also showing optimism.
In one message, he wrote: "It has been difficult. Hopefully it will all blow over by the end of the week and I can travel to Baghdad and get on with the real work."
Earlier that morning, a Ministry of Defence official had e-mailed him to say more parliamentary questions about his media contacts needed to be answered, but stressing there was plenty of time.
Prof Hawton, director of the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University's department of psychiatry, said: "It is likely that he would have begun to perceive that the problem was escalating, the difficulties for him were escalating and that the prospects for an early resolution of his difficulties were diminishing."
Dr Kelly was a perfectionist who might have tended to bottle things up, he suggested.
"The importance of the problems he was facing shortly before his death was that these really challenged his identity of himself, his self esteem, his self worth, his image of himself as a valued and loyal employee and as a significant scientist."
A lay person could not have predicted what eventually happened, he added.
The inquiry heard last month that Dr Kelly told a UK diplomat months before his apparent suicide in an Oxfordshire woodland that he would probably be found "dead in the woods" if Iraq was invaded.
Prof Hawton considered that just a throwaway remark, saying: "I think it is pure coincidence."
Explaining why he thought Dr Kelly had committed suicide, he said the scientist's injuries were consistent with somebody cutting themselves.
He also said he had taken about 30 coproxomol tablets - a number which it would be very difficult to force someone to take without a struggle of some sort.
Earlier on Tuesday, the last person to speak to Dr Kelly alive, neighbour Ruth Absalom, told the inquiry Dr Kelly had seemed his "normal self" when she met him on his final walk.
Ms Absalom said: "He said 'Hello Ruth' and I said 'Oh hello David how are things?' He said 'Not too bad.'
"He stood there for a few minutes then Buster my dog was pulling on the lead, he wanted to get going. I said 'I will have to go David', he said 'See you again then Ruth'. And that was it, we parted."
Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Webb said Dr Kelly's family thought he had become ill somewhere as police and volunteers searched for him.
Louise Holmes, who with her border collie dog Brock was part of search team, found Dr Kelly's body slumped against the bottom of a tree in woods on Harrowdown Hill.
Ms Holmes said there had been a lot of blood on his left arm, which was bent back "in a funny position".
But David Bartlett, one of the ambulance paramedics who pronounced Dr Kelly dead, said he was surprised there was not more blood if it was an "arterial bleed".
Pc Dean Franklin said near the body there was a lock knife with a 3-4 inch blade with blood on it. There was also an open bottle of water.
A search of the area had revealed no sign of a struggle, he said.
Among items found at Dr Kelly's home was a photo of Dr Kelly in Moscow in 1993 with a man bearing a "striking resemblance" to BBC Andrew Gilligan, the BBC journalist who sparked the Iraq dossier row.
Pc Martyn Sawyer said police officers had disagreed about whether it was Mr Gilligan. The photo will be presented to the inquiry on Wednesday.
The inquiry also heard from Barney Leith, a member of the Baha'i faith to which Dr Kelly converted in 1999.
Mr Leith said the faith condemned suicide as "an undue curtailment of the life that should be lived to the full" but would have great sympathy for somebody who had killed themselves.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/u ... 201803.stm
Published: 2003/09/02 16:07:26 GMT
Portrait of a peaceful religion
By Robert Pigott
BBC religious affairs correspondent
The leader of the Bahai faith in Britain has given the Hutton Inquiry greater insight into the character of Dr David Kelly, with a description of the religious beliefs that helped shape his life.
Barney Leith, secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom, said Dr Kelly had enjoyed praying with fellow Bahai believers at his home in Oxfordshire, and had even sent an e-mail to some of them on the day he took his "fateful" walk.
Dr Kelly seems to have been well suited to Bahai, which emphasises the unity of science and religion, and strongly supports the work of the United Nations. Dr Kelly's widow Janice has told the inquiry that Bahai "really was a spiritual revelation for him".
Bahai originated with a holy man known as The Bab in 19th Century Iran, and his most devoted follower, Baha u llah.
Bahais believe that people of all religions worship one god, and that Bah u llah was one in a succession of prophets including Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, serving the same god.
Their central mission is to bring peace to the world, and unite people of different religions and races.
The faith calls for full equality between the sexes, and an end to extremes of wealth and poverty.
Shortly after Baha u llah's death in 1892 Bahais travelled to the United States to spread their faith, which now claims some five million members in 188 countries.
It was while he was in the United States that David Kelly converted to Bahai in 1999, apparently after receiving instruction from an American colleague who had worked with him in the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
It's easy to see why Bahai might have appealed to a scientist such as David Kelly.
In a key text Baha u llah's son and successor, Abdul Baha, wrote that "religion and science are the two wings on which man's intelligence can soar into the heights".
Barney Leith, told the Hutton Inquiry that Dr Kelly had visited his house in Abingdon near Oxford.
He had spoken about his work as a weapons inspector in Iraq only at a privately organised meeting, and had never mentioned the dossier. Mr Leith said Dr Kelly "was extremely discreet".
Mr Leith was asked what the Bahai attitude to suicide was.
He said "we do not in any way believe that there is anything in the Bahai readings or in the life of the Bahai community that would have induced Dr Kelly to commit suicide".
Bahai writings condemn the act of suicide as an undue curtailment of a life that should be lived to the full.
Counsel for the inquiry, James Dingemans QC, asked Mr Leith whether Bahais believed in an afterlife.
Mr Leith replied "indeed, yes. We see it as a continuation of a single process that begins in this life, of coming ever closer to God through our normal religious practices of prayer and study of the Bahai scriptures, and meditation and reflection".
from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 40,00.html
Media exposure 'led to Kelly suicide'
Matthew Tempest, political correspondent
Tuesday September 2, 2003
David Kelly committed suicide at "his dismay at being exposed to the media", the director of the centre for suicide research at Oxford University told the Hutton inquiry today.
Professor Keith Hawton said that his conclusion - following a report into Dr Kelly's death - was that the Ministry of Defence scientist suffered "a severe loss of self-esteem".
"His feeling was that people had lost trust in him and he would have seen it as a public disgrace."
Professor Hawton said it was "well nigh certain" that Dr Kelly committed suicide and there were no third parties involved.
That damning testimony makes it more likely than ever that culprits will need to be found when Lord Hutton's report is finally published.
Professor Hawton said Dr Kelly on the last day of his life, as he prepared to furnish the foreign affairs committee with a full list of journalists he had spoken to, "must have begun to fear he would lose his job altogether".
He added: "That filled him with a profound sense of helplessness, and that in a sense his life's work ... had been totally undermined."
Professor Hawton said that risk factors for older suicide cases included people being "perfectionist" or "rigid", two factors which appeared to apply to Dr Kelly.
The professor, a consultant psychiatrist, speculated that Dr Kelly may have decided to kill himself on the morning of Thursday July 17 at the point when he got up and left his study in the middle of work, and went and slumped in an armchair in the family sitting room.
He added that it was "entirely consistent" with Dr Kelly's apparently normal demeanour when he met neighbour Ruth Absalom walking her dog on his fateful walk that he appeared to her to be normal. He said that in suicide cases "having already decided ... leads to a sense of peace and calm".
The professor dismissed Dr Kelly's infamous remark that an Iraq war would see him being found "dead in the woods" as "a pure coincidence and not relevant to understanding Kelly's death".
Earlier this afternoon confused details emerged of a photograph found in Dr Kelly's study.
PC Jonathan Sawyer revealed that one officer believed the photograph, showing Dr Kelly and another man outside the Russian parliament in Moscow in 1993, identified the man as Andrew Gilligan.
Despite gasps in the media marquee he went onto add that another police officer disagreed with the identification, he himself had no opinion, and the photograph will now be presented to the Hutton inquiry as evidence tomorrow.
The BBC today denied that Gilligan had ever been in Moscow.
Earlier the court heard testimony from Barnabus Leith, the secretary of the national spiritual assembly of the Baha'i faith, who denied media reports that Dr Kelly had addressed a Baha'i meeting on the September dossier.
Mr Leith said that the scientist was always "particularly discreet" and that although Dr Kelly did address a meeting in Oxfordshire about his work as a weapons inspector, it was not a Baha'i faith meeting and he neither mentioned the dossier nor was asked about it.
Mr Leith was also keen to rectify any impression that his religion condoned suicide, saying self harm was "an undue curtailment of life" and that the Baha'i was now "praying for the progress of his soul".
Mr Leith revealed that Dr Kelly joined the religion - founded by an Iranian prophet in the 19th century - while in California in September 1999.
After lunch there was puzzling evidence from the two paramedics, Vanessa Hunt and David Bartlett, who both expressed surprise at how little blood there was at the scene of death - in contradiction to police accounts.
Ms Hunt said the "amount of blood seemed relatively minimal" and Mr Bartlett said he was "surprised there wasn't more blood on the body".
However their accounts matched those of the police in terms of Dr Kelly's body position, and the finding of a wristwatch, knife and bottle of water.
But Professor Hawton expressed his confidence that as far as any third person involved in the death was concerned "circumstances suggest that was not the case".
Professor Hawton said there were no signs of violence on the body and no sign of trampled vegetation and he revealed that Dr Kelly had taken approximately 30 tablets of copraximol which would have been difficult for someone to administer to him without signs of violence.
Asked by James Dingemans QC whether a "lay person" could have predicted the outcome of Dr Kelly's stress, he said it was "certainly not an outcome one would have predicted".
Faith 'clue' to Kelly's death
The Bahai faith to which Dr David Kelly had converted could hold a clue to his frame of mind before he committed suicide, a friend believes.
The Hutton inquiry is to hear on Tuesday about the teachings of the faith and what effect it may have had on Dr Kelly.
Dr Kelly converted to the religion - which follows the teachings of 19th century Iranian nobleman Baha'u'llah, and seeks to eliminate conflicts between faiths - about four years ago.
Manoocher Samii, a friend of Dr Kelly's and member of the same community, believes the religion did shape the scientist's thoughts in some ways.
"The Bahai writings teach us to have a very world-embracing vision, if you like," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"In fact, Baha'u'llah said let your vision be world-embracing, and not confined to your own self.
"And I'm sure that David Kelly, somebody who obviously had an interest in the world, and tried to create a safer world, perhaps drew some consolation from this."
Mr Samii said the faith was "quite important" to Dr Kelly, who received an e-mail of its teachings once a day.
"He drew a lot of spiritual sustenance from the meetings that he came to, and he shared with me sometimes quotes he would read from the writings and how much they would mean to him.
"He told me once that he can't actually start his day without reading something, because that would then shape his day."
Mr Samii said the religion, like many others, stressed the importance of absolute honesty and truthfulness - but said Dr Kelly should not have been unduly affected by this.
"It is quite serious in a sense, the issue of back-biting, of lying, of always being honest, of having a trustworthy character.
"Having said that, we are taught as Bahais not to judge one another, because at the end of the day it's only God who can judge you.
"So I don't think David should have been particularly disturbed by the thought of having to be always honest or anything like that."
He also said Dr Kelly's faith was extremely unlikely to have encouraged the scientist to kill himself.
"The Bahai faith does not condone suicide. If anything, suicide is not allowed.
"However, we know from all religions that God is all-forgiving, God is all-merciful... we are not in place to judge other people's actions."
Mr Samii said nobody really knew how Dr Kelly was feeling, or the strain that he was under.
"We hear from other people the strain that he was under, but if we have not experienced that strain ourselves, if we have not been there ourselves, then we would not really know the frame of mind that he was in.
"And as a result it's not fair for us to judge him."
The inquiry will be told about the Bahai faith from Barney Leith, secretary of the UK National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais, and another friend of Dr Kelly.
A psychiatrist will also give evidence to the inquiry on Tuesday about Dr Kelly's state of mind.
Dr Kelly died after being named as the possible source for the BBC story about claims the government "sexed up" the intelligence case against Iraq in last September's dossier.
On Monday Dr Kelly's widow Janice told of his decline into despair as pressure mounted on him in the wake of the story.
from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 73,00.html
Kelly's chilling words: 'I'll be found dead in the woods'
Diplomat reveals inspector's pre-war doubts
Ewen MacAskill, Nicholas Watt and Vikram Dodd
Friday August 22, 2003
The weapons specialist, Dr David Kelly, said six months ago that he would "probably be found dead in the woods" if the American and British invasion of Iraq went ahead, Lord Hutton's inquiry was told yesterday.
His chilling prediction of his own death during a conversation with the British diplomat David Broucher in Geneva in February, throws new light on his state of mind about the row over Britain's role in the Iraq war.
In a startling string of revelations yesterday, Lord Hutton's inquiry was told that Dr Kelly:
·confirmed there had been a "robust" debate between Downing Street and the intelligence services about the September dossier on weapons of mass destruction
·expressed scepticism about British claims that Iraq's weapons capability could be deployed quickly
·had been in direct contact with senior Iraqi scientists and officials he knew, promising them the war could be avoided
·feared he had "betrayed" these contacts and that the invasion had left him in a "morally ambiguous" position.
The latest twists came as Lord Hutton announced that Tony Blair would give evidence on Thursday and the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, on Wednesday. Both will be pressed about the September dossier and about the way the government helped put Dr Kelly's name into the public domain.
The disclosure of Dr Kelly's unease about the Iraq war even before the invasion on March 20 undermines assumptions that his apparent suicide was tied to recent events, principally the pressure he came under last month over his conversations with the BBC reporter, Andrew Gilligan.
Dr Kelly's body was found in woods near his home last month.
Towards the end of Lord Hutton's inquiry yesterday, Mr Broucher, British ambassador to the disarmament conference in Geneva, made a surprise appearance.
He said he had sent an email to Patrick Lamb, his boss at the Foreign Office, on August 5, recalling a chance conversation with Dr Kelly at disarmament talks in February, in which he set out his concerns.
Elaborating on the email yesterday, Mr Broucher said that Dr Kelly had told him the government had pressured the intelligence community to make the September dossier as "robust as possible, that every judgment [in the dossier] had been robustly fought over".
Contrary to a claim in the dossier that biological and chemical weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes, Dr Kelly said he thought the weapons and the material to be placed inside them "would be kept separately from the munitions and that this meant that the weapons could not be used quickly".
It emerged this week that the MoD knew that Dr Kelly's views on Iraq could make uncomfortable reading for the government, and the conver sation with Mr Broucher bears out why the MoD - in particular, Mr Hoon - was so keen to prevent any disclosures.
A government memo published yesterday showed that Mr Hoon tried to stop Dr Kelly talking about weapons of mass destruction when he appeared before the Commons foreign affairs select committee.
Mr Broucher said that Dr Kelly thought that the UN weapons inspectors could gain a good idea of the state of the Iraqi arsenal because the Iraqis had learned during the British colonial days to keep full written records. That assessment runs counter to the US, which insisted inspectors were wasting their efforts.
A crucial point in the conversation with Mr Broucher was Dr Kelly's revelation about continued links with Iraqis after working in Iraq in the 90s as a UN weapons inspector. He had retained contacts with Iraqi scientists and officials, and told Mr Broucher he had tried to persuade them to comply with the inspectors in order to avoid invasion.
In his email, Mr Broucher said Dr Kelly's concern was that "if an invasion now went ahead, that would make him a liar and he would have betrayed his contacts, some of whom might be killed as a direct result of his actions".
Mr Broucher added: "I asked what would happen then, and he replied, in a throwaway line, that he would 'probably be found dead in the woods'."
His interpretation of this was Dr Kelly feared a personal attack by the Iraqis: "I did not think much of this at the time, taking it to be a hint that the Iraqis might try to take revenge against him, something that did not seem at all fanciful then. I now see that he may have been thinking on rather different lines."
Barney Leith, secretary of the National Spiritual assembly of Britain, who knew Dr Kelly and will testify before the Hutton inquiry about the impact of the Baha'i faith had on him, said he could not know whether the scientist might have taken his own life because of guilt. But he added: "The teachings of the Baha'i faith strongly emphasise the importance of ... keeping one's word."
from http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/re ... eg=MIDEAST
Dead UK scientist opens window on Baha'i faith
By Gideon Long
LONDON, Sept. 2 — With its emphasis on the unity of science and religion and its staunch support of the United Nations, the Baha'i faith fitted British weapons expert David Kelly like a glove.
: Kelly, whose suicide in July has thrown Prime Minister Tony Blair's government into crisis, converted to Baha'i in 1999 while in the United States.
: ''It really was a spiritual revelation for him,'' his widow Janice recalled this week at an inquiry into Kelly's death. ''He...was perhaps becoming gentler in his ways.''
: Baha'i describes itself as the youngest of the world's independent religions. Its world headquarters are on Mount Carmel in the city of Haifa, northern Israel.
: Founded in the late 19th century by a Persian nobleman, its central tenet is that humans should work for a global society.
: The world's five million Baha'is regard the faith's founder, Baha'u'llah, as the most recent in a line of prophets including Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ and Mohammad.
: The faith calls for an end to prejudice, full sexual equality and the eradication of extremes of poverty and wealth.
: Baha'i teaching condemns suicide but stops short of castigating those who, like Kelly, take their own lives.
: ''The act of suicide is strongly condemned but we in Baha'i do not take a condemnatory attitude to those that do it,'' Barney Leith, head of the Baha'i faith in Britain, told Reuters ahead of testifying to the inquiry on Tuesday.
: ''It's not for us to judge,'' said Leith, who knew Kelly personally. ''We would have great sympathy if people are overwhelmed by some pressure. As Baha'i our attitude would be one of great sympathy and to pray for the progress of his soul.''
: Leith said the scientist had enjoyed praying with fellow Baha'i in his Oxfordshire home and even sent an e-mail to them on the day he took his ''fateful'' walk and ended up dead.
: Baha'i would have appealed to Kelly's keen scientific mind.
: ''Religion and science are the two wings upon which man's intelligence can soar into the heights,'' Abdul Baha, Baha'u'llah's son and successor wrote in a key text.
: ''Should a man try to fly with the wing of religion alone he would quickly fall into the quagmire of superstition, while on the other hand, with the wing of science alone he would also make no progress, but fall into the despairing slough of materialism.''
: As a former UN weapons inspector, Kelly would also have appreciated Baha'i's support for the United Nations.
: ''Believing that the United Nations represents a major effort in the unification of the planet, Baha'is have supported its work in every possible way,'' according to the group's official website http://www.bahai.org
from http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolit ... 51,00.html
Suicide is condemned in the Baha'i writings
Wednesday September 3, 2003
A leader of the religion to which David Kelly converted said yesterday that the Baha'i faith did not condone suicide.
Barney Leith, secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the UK, said Dr Kelly had joined the faith in September 1999 while in the US.
Mr Leith told the Hutton inquiry that press reports after the scientist's death had led to the posting of a statement on a Baha'i website stressing that suicide was not acceptable.
He said: "The act of suicide is condemned in the Baha'i writings because it is an undue curtailment of the life that should be lived to the full. However, Baha'is and the Baha'i institutions never would take a condemnatory attitude to people who unfortunately commit suicide. Quite the opposite.
"There would begreat sympathy, as indeed there has been for Dr Kelly, and Baha'is would pray for the progress of the soul of that person as they have for the soul of Dr Kelly."
Dr Kelly was briefly the treasurer of his local Baha'i group in Oxfordshire and attended meetings at Mr Leith's home in Abingdon.
Mr Leith also said a newspaper report that said Dr Kelly had attacked the government's September 2002 dossier was wrong: "The particular press comment claimed that he had spoken at a Baha'i meeting critically about the September dossier. This was not the case. I was at that meeting."
Mr Leith said there were five to six million followers of the Baha'i faith globally. It had emerged in the mid 19th century in Persia.
Mr Leith said April 21 was an auspicious day for the religion because that was the date in 1863 when its founder, Baha'u'llah, announced a special mission - "that he had come to bring a message from God, that the message that God wished the world to have at this particular time is that all human beings of whatever ethnic group, whatever creed, whatever language, wherever they live in the world are all part of a single human family and that the work of this time is to make that a reality".
September 03, 2003
The woman who introduced Kelly to the Baha'i faith
MAI PEDERSON had just won a prized Joint Services Achievement Medal at the US military's highly guarded Defence Language Institute in the beautiful California beach town of Monterey when she was assigned in December 1998 to United Nations duty in Iraq.
It was to be the last UN mission to Baghdad before the collapse of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspectorate and an onslaught by British and American bombers against the recalcitrant regime of Saddam Hussein.
Pederson, said by friends to be in her early thirties at the time, spoke excellent Arabic as well as three other languages and was assigned to serve as the only translator on the seven-member team.
Although the inspectors visited several sites, their real purpose was to hunt down a lead through interviews — which Pederson helped to translate — with Iraqi scientists and officials. It was what the UN inspectors called a "conference-room inspection" because much of it took place not at a chemical weapons depot or a suspected dual-use biological facility, but in an office — usually at the inspectors' headquarters at the old Canal Hotel, the site of the UN headquarters bombed last month in Baghdad.
The chief of the inspection team was a mild-mannered, but determined, British scientist named David Kelly, one of the UN's two principal experts on Iraq's secret biological weapons programme.
It is not clear whether Pederson first met Dr Kelly on that trip, or whether he requested that she be seconded from the US Air Force to serve on his team. What is certain is that the two became friends, and it was she who introduced him to the Baha'i faith.
Friends from that time still have fond memories of Pederson, who then left the area to take up a new post as chief of enlisted skills management at the Pentagon on the outskirts of Washington — a post that would raise her to the rank of senior master sergeant.
Pederson bought a house in the middle of 2001 in Fairfax County, Virginia, just across the river from the American capital. On September 11 of that year, friends say, she was in the Pentagon building when it was hit by a hijacked airliner as part of the co-ordinated attacks that al-Qaeda carried out on America.
Marilyn VonBerg, the former Baha'i secretary in Monterey, says Pederson rang her to inform her of Dr Kelly's passing. "She was very upset," says VonBerg. "She is close to the family. She has visited them."
She now lives in a modest brick bungalow on a winding suburban street next to a park in Montgomery — the capital of Alabama — in a middle-class area populated by the families of men and women serving in the Air Force, fire brigade and police.
In the window of Pederson's bungalow sits a small American flag and a sign that reads: "Cats bring joy and love to your life . . . And you don't have to send them to college."
Faith, peace and tolerance in Monterey
By Chris Ayres and James Bone
Four years ago David Kelly made a personal odyssey to the
Californian resort of Monterey. He was there, not to visit its
military installations or its tourist boutiques but to convert
to the Baha'i faith
IT WOULD SEEM an unlikely place to find peace for the soul.
Monterey, an affluent city on California's central coast, about
an hour's flight north from Los Angeles, is known more for its
proximity to military installations and its role as retirement
city of choice for generals and one-time spies than for any
sense of spirituality. But it was to this beautiful seaside
resort, often shrouded in mist because of the hot air from the
Californian deserts hitting the cold Pacific, that David Kelly
came four years ago to make a declaration of faith to the
On September 25, 1999, he would have turned his back on the
postcard landscape of sand dunes and gleaming ocean that marks
California's Pacific Coast Highway, and taken the incongruously
named Bonny Doon Road up through the towns of Loch Lomond and
Bracken Brae, until he came to the first signpost to the Bosch
Baha'i School, one of only four such establishments in the
United States and an inspiration for the British scientist and
biological weapons expert. He was possibly accompanied by his
friend and spiritual mentor Mai Pederson, the American woman
thought to be responsible for introducing him to the Baha'i
Monterey, with its proximity to the Defence Language Institute
and other military installations, was a natural destination for
Dr Kelly; the Monterey Institute of International Studies,
which has its own Centre for Nonproliferation Studies, the
largest non-governmental organisation in the world devoted to
curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, would have
been an essential place for him to visit. The centre is thought
to have one of the largest databases of information on Saddam
Hussein's regime in the world. The city itself, an old fishing
town turned into a tourist mecca, with chi-chi boutiques and
restaurants that line the seafront — a kind of Covent
Garden-on-sea — is similar to other California coastal towns
such as Carmel and Santa Barbara that look out over the rolling
surf of the Pacific. But it is thought that Dr Kelly visited
Monterey not for the expertise offered by the city's
scientists, but for the consolation of the soul that he would
find in the Baha'i school high above the city, overlooking the
After reaching the series of wooden cabins that make up the
school's campus — passing, first, the four garden gnomes,
dressed in 19th-century peasant outfits, that wave cheerfully
to those curious or devoted enough to go further — he made his
simple declaration of faith. According to Joanne McClure, a
youthful 66-year-old who pays $65 (£41) a night for room and
board at the school, to an untrained eye this would have seemed
an almost casual affair, the kind of non-ritual ritual beloved
of the Baha'is, who pride themselves on having no formal
initiation ceremony, sacrament or clergy. "First we would make
sure initiates know who Baha'ullah is — the founder of the
faith — and that they really knew what they were doing," says
McClure. "Then they would sign a card saying that there are
certain laws they need to obey." These include abstaining from
drink, drugs and gambling; supporting the institution of
marriage; believing that God created the universe; and
encouraging the end of racial, class, and religious prejudices.
After Dr Kelly had signed the card, it would have been sent to
the Baha'i national headquarters in Wilmette, Illinois, where
the new believer would be put on the mailing list for the
American magazine The Baha'is. From then on, Dr Kelly would
have been encouraged to attend feasts held every 19 days, which
involve prayer-chants, administrative discussions with local
spiritual assemblies, and general socialising.
Dr Kelly would have been attracted to the peacefulness and
tolerance of the Baha'is, who believe that all religions are
essentially valid. As McClure says: "I could never understand
why God was going to send all these people to Hell just because
they didn't believe in the same things." As a scientist,
perhaps seeking spiritual succour within an intellectual
framework, he would also have been attracted to the faith's
openness to modernity and its lack of fundamentalist dogma.
Throughout 1999 Dr Kelly travelled to New York for six or seven
two-week trips to work with fellow experts at UN headquarters,
and he visited at least twice more for the regular six-monthly
meetings of the UN Special Commission's (UNSCOM's) college of
commissioners. During this year, he often appeared at Baha'i
meetings on the other side of the continent in Monterey, at the
group's traditional 19th-day feasts. Pederson, who was studying
at the Defence Language Institute, a heavily guarded military
facility that taught American soldiers how to speak Japanese
during the Second World War, was also at the feasts. The two
had met and become friends when she served under the scientist
on a UN mission to Iraq in 1998, the last inspection before the
withdrawal of UN inspectors.
John VonBerg, whose wife was the secretary of the local
Baha'is' spiritual assembly at the time, says: "He has been to
my home several times. We had special events on holy days,
representing various things. His principles were so close to
those of the Baha'i faith."
The last time Dr Kelly visited, VonBerg remembers the Baha'i
group going to gaze out over the bay.
Noreen Steinmetz, a friend of Dr Kelly and Pederson, recalls:
"He would pass through here every once in a while and we would
have the opportunity to sit down with him and go on hikes and
chat. I met him through Mai Pederson." She adds that Dr Kelly
always arrived at meetings by himself, and other Baha'is
assumed that he was working at the nearby Monterey Institute,
where several of his UN colleagues worked. But scientist
friends at the centre say he never visited them there.
A glance around the Bosch Baha'i School's bookshop reveals some
possible sources of tension for Dr Kelly. Several tomes focus
on the divine importance of the UN, which was eventually
ignored by the United States and Britain after it refused to
support a military campaign to remove the Iraqi regime.
With that in mind, it is hard to see how Dr Kelly could ever
have supported an Iraq war without UN approval.
Even more ominous, however, is a tract entitled Political
Non-Involvement and Obedience to Government, compiled by Peter
J. Khan. The book spells out the Baha'is' belief that they
should not become involved in any form of politics, because
politics can create divisions that could destroy the Baha'i
As part of this argument, Baha'is believe that they should
support their government, whether just or unjust (there are,
however, exceptions). On page 28, Khan poses a question that Dr
Kelly himself could have asked: What should we do when
controversies arise as a result of government policies?
The answer, provided by the Guardian of the Baha'i faith, the
late Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, is this: "In such controversies
they should assign no blame, take no side, further no design,
and identify themselves with no system prejudicial to the best
interests of that worldwide fellowship which it is their aim to
guard and foster."
Khan's book makes it clear that any Baha'i who does not follow
this advice is ultimately weakening the Baha'i religion. Given
this official position from the Guardian, it is not hard to
imagine Dr Kelly's horror when he was named as the alleged
source of a story blaming Britain's decision to go to war on a
press secretary who "sexed up" intelligence reports.
But would the Guardian have condoned suicide? "Let's just say,"
says Mrs VonBerg, "that it would not follow the teachings of
the Baha'i faith."