was David Kelly murdered?

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was David Kelly murdered?

Postby zealseeker9 » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:17 am

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Postby Jonah » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:07 am

This is a very important topic, I think, but not one that I want discussed here. The above links are good places to start, and below I've pasted my own collection of some of the earlier coverage of the incident, for archival purposes. Then I'm going to lock this thread. Thanks, -Jonah


<i>the following articles (see next three posts) are in roughly chronological order.</i>


from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/pa ... teid=50143

A man whose brain could boil water

Jul 19 2003

By Chris Hughes


DAVID Kelly was so bright his "brain could boil water", a close friend said in a tribute last night.

TV journalist Tom Mangold added that the razor-sharp adviser used words with tremendous precision.

Low-key in appearance, Dr Kelly looked a run-of-the-mill staffer at the MoD. But with his death went one of the few minds that came close to the truth about Saddam and weapons of mass destruction.

He made nearly 40 inspections for biological weapons in Iraq between 1991 and 1998.

It was Dr Kelly who eight years ago discovered Saddam's radioactive arsenal, forcing Baghdad to admit in part its planned WMD programme.

He was so good at his job Saddam is said to have told his aides several times that he should be thrown out of the country.

Dr Kelly had a series of scientific jobs until his appointment in 1994 as senior adviser on biological warfare to the UN.

He practised the Baha'i religion, founded in Iran and which teaches that humanity is a single race. He also loved to walk the many tracks near his home.


 from http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/politics.cfm?id=788752003

Kelly family come to terms with suicide

Mon 21 Jul 2003

David Kelly had converted to the Baha’i faith, which rejects suicide, while in the US.


THE acknowledgement that Dr David Kelly was the BBC mole and Andrew Gilligan’s claim that he did not misquote or misrepresent his words leaves awkward questions for the weapons expert’s grieving family.

His wife, Janice, and three daughters were yesterday being comforted at a service at Southmoor Methodist Church in Oxfordshire, close to the Kelly family home.

The awkward questions may wait, but in time they will be asked. If Dr Kelly was the source, and was not misrepresented, then it is possible that he may have held back some information when he appeared before the foreign affairs select committee. Did he tell Mr Gilligan too much, then regret it? Did he mention Alastair Campbell or not? Did his words, even if not used directly, lead Mr Gilligan to conclude he was being told the dossier was "sexed up"?

A weapons expert educated at Oxford, Dr Kelly was a religious man who followed the Baha’i faith, which rejects suicide in any circumstances. Yesterday, Barnabas Leith, the secretary of the national assembly of the Baha’is in the UK, said the religion condemned suicide but that God was "merciful" to those who had suffered.

Dr Kelly, who took painkillers and slashed his left wrist at a beauty-spot close to his home in Southmoor on Friday after telling his family he was going for a walk, converted to the pacifist faith - which has 6,000 adherents in the UK - four years ago while in the US. He regularly attended local gatherings in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

Mr Leith said: "The true position is that the Baha’i teachings strongly condemn suicide. Baha’is believe that the soul of the individual comes ever closer to God in the life after death. Those who take their own lives risk damaging their soul in the life hereafter.

"But this does not mean they cease to be Baha’is. And Baha’is believe that God is always merciful to those who have suffered in this life. Baha’is throughout the world are praying for the progress of David Kelly’s soul."

Mr Leith said Baha’is did not have a regular weekly meeting but members would be praying for Dr Kelly, his wife, eldest daughter Sian, 32, and twins Ellen and Rachel, 30.

Residents were also praying for Dr Kelly at St Mary’s Church in his neighbouring village of Longworth, near the site where his body was found on Harrowdown Hill. The Rev Joe Cotterill, said Mrs Kelly attended occasional services at the 13th century church.

In his sermon, Mr Cotterill asked the congregation of 18 people to pray for the family and all those involved with the tragedy, and to ask God to give them "courage and hope". He said after the service: "I’m not sure people here are coming to terms with Dr Kelly’s death. It’s more a matter of asking why, why, why?

"There is grief and sadness, for Janice Kelly and the children but particularly for Mrs Kelly who is afflicted with arthritis."

He said he mentioned the Kellys in his sermon because it was the church’s duty to deal with events in the "outside world" and to help the community. "It’s part of the church’s purpose to go out and express sympathy and love for those who are suffering," he said.

This article:

Iraq dossier row:

  Hutton Inquiry transcripts & documents

  10 Downing Street

  Foreign Affairs Committee



from http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/ ... 99,00.html

'Suicide is always a tragedy'

:The little-known Bahai religion has been catapulted to national attention by the Kelly affair. But followers fear their religion could be misrepresented as a pro-suicide cult. So what do they really believe?

Ben Whitford
Sunday July 27, 2003

Dr Kelly's conversion to the Bahai faith four years before his suicide has catapulted a previously obscure religion into the media spotlight. Now some adherents, frustrated by speculation that the religion's stance on suicide might have played a part in Kelly's death, argue that their beliefs are being misrepresented.

"Dr Kelly was very active in Bahai at the local level," recalled Barney Leith, the Secretary of the Bahai National Spiritual Assembly. "What he found in the Bahai faith was spiritual sustenance from praying with others."

Kelly discovered the Bahai faith in 1999 while working for the UN in New York, and on his return to Oxfordshire was welcomed into a small but active Bahai community. Dr Kelly became treasurer of the Abingdon branch, which was involved in a number of educational and charity projects, including fundraising for an orphanage in Honduras.

"We as Bahai will always love and respect Dr Kelly," Mr Leith said. "I knew him, although not very well, and I always found him to be an honourable man and a man of integrity."

According to Bahai scriptures, a man who takes his own life "will be immersed in the ocean of pardon and forgiveness and will become the recipient of bounty and favour." The phrase has been widely quoted in the past week as evidence that the religion supports suicide, but Bahai followers are keen to point to other passages that, they say, make it clear "the soul is a precious gift for us from God".

Mr Leith called claims in the tabloid press that their faith supports suicide "off the wall" and "really extraordinary", saying: "We do not in any way, shape or form condone suicide. Suicide is always a tragedy, and there's no doubt about that," he said. But, he explained, the texts must be taken in the context of the Bahai view of the afterlife. Bahais do not believe in hell, and say everyone has the opportunity for redemption. In any case, Mr Leith insisted: "We still don't know for sure whether Dr Kelly did kill himself."

He confirmed that Bahais were discussing funeral plans with Dr Kelly's family. "Bahais locally are in touch with the family and are offering whatever support they can to Mrs Kelly," he said. However, he denied that the family, who are members of the Church of England, would come under any pressure to give Dr Kelly a Bahai funeral. "We're working very closely with the family to have a funeral in accordance with the family's needs and Dr Kelly's life," he said.

The beginnings of Bahai

The Bahai faith is one of the youngest world religions, established in Persia in the mid-19th century. Mirza Ali Mohammed, a young Persian businessman, declared himself the Bab ('gate'), a link to God equal to the prophet Mohammed.

Neither violent clashes with the Persian Shah's Islamic government, nor the Bab's eventual execution by firing squad, could crush the new religion. His successor took the title Baha'u'llah ('Glory to God') and spent the next 40 years in exile in Israel, where the religion is now based.

Despite his exile he developed a strong following, and his supporters became the first Bahais. It is from his teachings, as interpreted by his son Abdu'l-Baha, that the modern Bahai faith derives.

Bahai has faced a century and a half of persecution, notably in Iran, where hundreds of thousands of Bahais have been martyred and where Bahais are still considered "unprotected infidels" and denied legal, property or employment rights. Of the 6000 Bahais in the UK, up to two-fifths are of Iranian descent.

The religion flourished during the civil rights boom of the 1960s and 1970s, and now claims up to five million followers, although some independent researchers set the figure somewhat lower.

Bahai beliefs

Bahais believe that people receive only the spiritual guidance they are ready for. Other prophets, from Buddha to Christ, are seen as messengers from God, but are overshadowed by the message of Baha'u'llah.

Bahai's principles are strikingly liberal, considering they date from the Victorian era and have not been updated since, promoting racial and gender equality, redistribution of wealth, universal democracy and education for all. But alcohol and drugs are banned. And like other religions it struggles with modern attitudes to sexuality. Physical intimacy (including kissing) before marriage, active homosexuality and adultery are all banned.

Modern followers maintain close ties with the United Nations and work for world peace and unity. "The key value we work for is that humankind is a single race with a single destiny," said Mr Leith. Nonetheless, Mr Leith said, "Baha'u'llah strongly promoted the idea of collective security. We're not pacifists - you have to work for justice."

The Bahai scriptures even seem to condone pre-emptive war in places, saying that "a conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and there are times when war becomes the powerful basis of peace". However, Bahais shy away from expressing direct opinions on the conflict in Iraq. "We are political with a small p," a spokeswoman explained. "We vote and participate in government, but we don't get involved in partisan politics. We find it very divisive."

How to be Bahai

Although Bahais elect national leaders they have no official priesthood. Services are usually held in followers' homes, although local groups join together to rent halls for special occasions.

The main festival is a feast held every 19 days. Services, led by members of the congregation, begin with prayer, music and song, progress to a discussion of community affairs and finish with a party or social gathering. As important as the services are the followers' charity activities. "Work and service are equivalent to worship," Mr Leith said. "Our faith has to bear some fruit and do some good in the world."

British followers make voluntary donations to fund the national organisation's three salaried officials, and also pay a "Right of God" charity tithe of 19% on their surplus earnings "as a way of cleansing their wealth".

"It's done without anybody coming round rapping on the door," said Mr Leith. "It's a matter of personal conscience, but we regard it as a very important thing."

British Bahais help to fund and manage local and global educational initiatives, including schools and grassroots campaigns in Nepal and India. "The Bahai are running projects all over the world, open to everybody, empowering people to run their own lives," said Mr Leith.

"The world is full of differences, and we believe the world needs people to work to bring others together," he said.

Not a cult

Paradoxically, despite their liberal scriptures, Bahai has been accused of fundamentalism and extremism, especially in the US, where ex-Bahai Karen Bacquet claims the belief in unity led to "severe limits" being placed on followers' freedom of expression. "It would be wrong to regard the Bahai faith entirely as a cult," she writes, but it "can perhaps be called cult-like".

A spokeswoman for the Bahais of the UK strongly rejected such claims, saying: "We are nothing like a cult... We are recognised as one of the nine major religions in the UK; there is nobody of legitimacy who would call us a cult."

Despite their efforts to avoid dissent, Bahai has been troubled by a number of splinter groups, mostly American. Members of the largest recently said the September 11 attacks were divine punishment for the sins of mainstream Bahais and that war in Iraq marked the beginning of the Apocalypse.


from http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/ ... 05,00.html
Revealed: Kelly told church of dossier fears

:Scientist briefed Hoon days before attack on Iraq

Jason Burke and Kamal Ahmed
Sunday July 27, 2003
The Observer

David Kelly spoke openly to fellow members of a religious sect about his concerns over the 'interpretation' of intelligence material in the Government's September dossier on whether Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

As the dead scientists' family yesterday met the senior law lord appointed to head the judicial inquiry into the affair, remarkable new details emerged of Kelly's views on the dossier during a discussion with worshippers of the Bahai faith, a Persian religion that promotes global peace, inter-racial harmony and self-discipline.

The disclosure of new evidence about his 'unhappiness' with the dossier came as it was revealed last night that Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, had a private lunch with the weapons scientist shortly before the Iraq conflict, undermining government claims that Kelly was a middle-ranking official with little access to intelligence.

Hoon met Kelly to discuss Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction. Although it is not clear whether Kelly raised his concerns about the use of intelligence to make the case for war, it is unusual for a member of the Cabinet to meet officials unless they have high levels of information unlikely to be known by the Minister.

Kelly, who joined the 5000-strong British followers of the Bahai faith in 1999, made his comments at the home of Geeta and Roger Kingdon, two fellow worshippers, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on 5 October last year. Also present were around 30 other invited Bahai guests.

Kelly gave a 40-minute talk, which was accompanied with a slide show, about his work as a weapons inspector in Iraq. He ended with a question-and-answer session on the intelligence dossier, which had been made public 10 days earlier as part of what opponents claim was a government attempt to swing public opinion behind war on Iraq.

Roger Kingdon told The Observer last night that Kelly expressed his unhappiness with how the document was being interpreted, saying the intelligence information supplied was accurate, but indicating that he was uncomfortable about how it was being represented.

At the time of the discussion, newspapers and broadcasters were reporting, with government guidance, that the document proved that the Iraqi military could deploy chemical and biological weapons at 45 minutes' notice; that there had been recent attempts by the Iraqis to acquire 'significant quantities of uranium from Africa'; and that Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon in 'between one and two years' if Saddam's Hussein's agents obtained bomb-grade uranium and other components.

The Sun reacted with the headline: 'He's got 'em... Let's get him.'

Critically, however, Kingdon said it was unclear whether Kelly was saying that he was unhappy at the way the document had been presented by the government, or at the way it had been interpreted by the media, or both.

'I asked him what he thought of [the dossier]. It was clear that he was happy with the factual content but less happy... and felt frustrated... by the way it had been interpreted... But he did not say who by.'

Kingdon said Kelly was 'ambiguous' about exactly who he blamed for the misrepresentation of the dossier. '[He] expressed frustration at how it was interpreted but did not say by whom,' he said.

The news that he talked so openly will be seized on by those who have been trying to paint the scientist as a maverick with an inappropriate taste for talking about his work.

However, Kelly's friends attribute it to his personal determination to ensure that the problems of weapons proliferation was properly understood by the public and the media.

The disclosures last night added fresh intrigue to the crisis that has engulfed the government and the BBC since the Ministry of Defence scientist's body was found two miles from his home in Southmoor, Oxfordshire, on 18 July. Kelly, 59, bled to death after slashing his left wrist.

Lord Hutton, who was appointed by Tony Blair to carry out a judicial inquiry into the events surrounding Kelly's death, yesterday visited his widow, Janice, and her three daughters before starting to hear evidence in a case that is likely to last six weeks. Friends of the family indicated last night that they were unlikely to make any public comment until the inquiry was completed.

Kelly, who was employed by the Ministry, though he had frequent contact with the security services, appears to have often briefed journalists on the hunt for WMD programmes in Iraq and elsewhere. It was one such discussion, with Andrew Gilligan of the BBC in a hotel in London earlier this year, which eventually led to the disclosure of his name to the media and his suicide.

The Observer has also learned that Kelly was vetted by the Ministry of Defence and MI5 in the months before his death. As a senior official at the top secret chemical and biological weapons research centre at Porton Down, Kelly was subject to so-called 'developed vetting'.

This enhanced level of checks tests for which involve comprehensive interviews with colleagues, superiors and other associates, is usually only reviewed every three years. A more cursory check, of police and financial records, is carried out every year. It is unclear which vet ting procedure was carried out on Kelly earlier this year.

There have been reports - denied by his family - that Kelly had been suffering from depression for some time. Ministry of Defence officials said last night that vetting, conducted by a special section in York, is largely focused on security issues and that a medical problem, unless entered on medical records, might not be detected. However, one former colleague of Kelly told The Observer that the scientist would have been subject to a high degree of scrutiny. 'This is someone with access to the highest levels of intelligence and who, through his work at Porton Down, worked closely with extremely dangerous substances,' he said. 'They would have been, or should have been, watching him closely.'

Kingdon said that Kelly was a strong admirer of Hans Blix, the Swedish head of the United Nations weapons inspection programme who was criticised by American hawks for being too moderate. Blix is known to be committed to the idea that inspections offer a better alternative to international disputes over weapons of mass destruction than war.

Bahai officials said they are discussing funeral plans with Dr Kelly's family. 'Bahais locally are in touch with the family and are offering whatever support they can to Mrs Kelly,' one said.

'We're working very closely with the family to have a funeral in accordance with the family's needs and Dr Kelly's life,' he said.

Meanwhile, Sky News and ITN are making legal representations to Lord Hutton in a bid to have television cameras admitted to the inquiry hearings, a Sky spokeswoman said yesterday.

The secretary to the inquiry, Lee Hughes, announced last Thursday that the judge had decided TV and radio broadcasts would be limited to the opening and closing statements.


from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/pa ... teid=50143


Aug 2 2003

By Lorraine Davidson and James Hardy


Defence chiefs were preparing to burn paperwork with Dr David Kelly’s name on it three days after his death, it emerged last night.

MoD security guards who found the papers labelled “media plan” called the police.

The news came after the inquiry opened into the eminent scientist’s suicide – which heard he was suffering from heart disease when he died.

It is the probe which will see Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Geoff Hoon and BBC bosses quizzed over their role in the affair.

An MoD spokesman said: “There was a security breach when a ‘burn bag’ which should have been locked away was left uncovered.

“We are treating it as an internal breach of security and no further action is anticipated.

“I do not know what the documents were.”

At the preliminary hearing into Dr Kelly’s death inquiry chief Lord Hutton said his body was found with heart monitoring electrodes attached to his chest.

The judge read extracts from a post mortem report.

It said: “It is noted Dr Kelly has a significant degree of coronary artery disease.

“This may have played some small part in the rapidity of death but not the major part in the cause.”

And a heart

specialist said the electrodes showed Dr Kelly probably had ECG tests in hospital before his death.

He added: “In someone of his age that could have been routine. It doesn’t mean he was seriously ill but there was clearly cause for concern.”

The post mortem revealed Dr Kelly died from a slashed wrist.

He had taken off his watch and glasses before killing himself in a field near his home at Southmoor, Oxon, on July 17.

He had been outed as the mole who told BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan the Government “sexed up” Iraqi weapons claims.

Before yesterday’s hearing began in the High Court, London, Lord Hutton held a minute’s silence in memory of Dr Kelly.

Details of a letter from the scientist to his bosses at the Ministry of Defence three weeks before he died were later read out.

In it he admitted meeting Mr Gilligan. He wrote: “I did not even consider that I was the source of Gilligan’s information until a friend said I should look at the oral evidence provided to the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“She recognised some of the comments were the sort I would make about Iraq’s chemical and biological capacity.

“I can only conclude one of three things. Gilligan has considerably embellished my meeting with him, he has met with other individuals who were intimately associated with the dossier or he has assembled comments from multiple, direct and indirect sources for his articles.”

Lord Hutton said he would calling a member of the Baha’i faith practised by Dr Kelly to

explain how its beliefs may have influenced him.

Baha’i writings say: “The

individual must be educated to such a high degree that he would rather have his throat cut than tell a lie, and would think it

easier to be slashed by a sword or pierced with a spear than to utter calumny or be carried away by wrath.”

Lord Hutton made it clear details of government meetings in which Dr Kelly was discussed must be handed over.

As expected, the judge said he would quiz the PM, spin doctor Mr Campbell and Defence Secretary Mr Hoon.

Andrew Gilligan and two other BBC journalists will also give evidence along with their bosses.

Lord Hutton stressed the probe would not be a “trial” between the warring parties in the case.

There will be two separate stages to the probe.

The first will focus on an account of events from those who took part.

They will later be invited back to answer criticisms. The probe is to resume on August 11.


from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 49,00.html

Kelly to be buried today

:'Of all forms of death, suicide is probably the hardest for a family to cope with, as it leaves so many unanswered questions' said David Kelly's friend and colleague Professor Alistair Hay today

Chris Tryhorn
Wednesday August 6, 2003

The family of David Kelly is holding a private funeral for the government weapons expert today at a church overlooking the spot where he apparently committed suicide.

His wife Janice, 58, eldest daughter Sian, 32, and twins Ellen and Rachel, 30, will be joined by up to 160 mourners for the service at St Mary's Church in the Oxfordshire village of Longworth.

John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, will be representing the government at the service in the absence of Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, who decided to go ahead with his family holiday in America.

Dr Kelly's friend Tom Mangold, a journalist who is making a film about the events that led to the scientist's death, said: "I think we will be sending to his destiny a man who did so much for peace and who did so much to counteract evil and, ironically, one of the few people who would have discovered the evidence of the programme of weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq]."

Police are setting up a cordon to keep the media out of Longworth and nearby Southmoor, where Dr Kelly lived, as the family seek to preserve the "privacy and dignity" of the occasion.

Under the auspices of Thames Valley police, the Press Association and Sky News in the UK are providing a pooled report of the funeral.

Other media have been asked not to intend in respect of the family's request for privacy.

In a statement yesterday the police said they were aware of the "vast" media interest in the funeral but said no other media should enter Longworth or Southmoor today.

The funeral should mark a temporary suspension in the war of words that continues in relation to the apparent suicide of Dr Kelly.

Yesterday Mr Prescott was forced to apologise to the Kelly family after the prime minister's official spokesman, Tom Kelly, branded him a "Walter Mitty" type character who may have exaggerated his own importance.

The remarks, made in an off-the-record briefing to journalists, were initially denied by Downing Street but Mr Kelly later admitted he made the comment and also apologised "unreservedly" to the scientist's family.

Tony Blair, who appealed for restraint following the discovery of Dr Kelly's body in an Oxfordshire wood on July 18, is still facing calls for his spokesman to be sacked.

Labour MP Glenda Jackson yesterday said the remarks were "obscene" and Mr Kelly should not have the luxury of resigning.

Dr Kelly's former colleague Professor Alistair Hay also said Mr Kelly should "consider his position".

Prof Hay revealed in an article in today's Daily Mail he understood what the family was going through because his own wife of 32 years had committed suicide after suffering depression.

"Of all forms of death, suicide is probably the hardest for a family to cope with as it leaves so many unanswered questions. The gaping sense of loss is compounded by bewilderment," said the professor of environmental toxicology at Leeds University.

"It is bitterly ironic that a government saw fit to employ Dr Kelly at the highest level, which trumpeted his expertise and praised his work for the United Nations, should now turn on him so monstrously," he said.

"Downing Street, unlike David Kelly, has not shown any respect for the truth. It appears interested only in bullying and abuse to back up its own propaganda," he added.

Prof Hay will not be attending today's funeral because he has an inquest to attend in Leeds.

In the Mail today he also described how discreet Dr Kelly had been through his professional life and that, if he had voiced scepticism about the government's Iraq dossier to BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan, it would have been because his concerns were deeply felt.

"In the past, he had always been completely trustworthy and would never divulge any government secrets; in fact, in our talks, I often longed for him to do so, but I knew he never would," wrote Prof Hay.

The vicar of St Mary's, the Rev Roy Woodhams, said Dr Kelly's relatives wanted few details of the 2pm service to be revealed in advance.

He added: "Dr Kelly's wife and daughters have had an awful lot of media attention in the past few weeks and there will be more with Lord Hutton's inquiry.

"I think they just wanted to keep this one occasion private and for themselves."

The tiny 13th century church is flying the union flag at half mast for the service, which will last for about 40 minutes.

Dr Kelly will be laid to rest in the churchyard in the shadow of the north side of the building.

Visible just over a mile away is Harrowdown Hill, where Dr Kelly's body was found with a slashed left wrist and an open packet of painkillers.

The order of service is expected to feature elements of the Baha'i religion, to which the 59-year-old Dr Kelly converted four years ago while studying in the US.

His family is said to have chosen Baha'i prayers from a selection made by followers at his local Baha'i centre in Abingdon.

The Baha'i faith dates back to 1844 and has five million followers across the world, with about 6,000 in the UK.

They believe "the earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens" but do not advocate suicide.


from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 04,00.html

Bell tolls for Kelly

Ciar Byrne
Wednesday August 6, 2003

Prescott: the deputy prime minister, representing the government, arrived at the church at around 1.30pm
A lone mourning bell tolled as David Kelly's coffin was carried into the 13th century church in the Oxfordshire village of Longworth where his funeral took place today.

There were 59 bell tolls, one for every year of the scientist's life.

Dr Kelly's coffin, decked with a wreath of white flowers and a blue cushion wrapped in a red ribbon, arrived at the church in a hearse about eight minutes before the start of the service at 2pm.

The cortege, led by a single undertaker, comprised a hearse carrying the coffin and two Daimler limousines.

The family were greeted with handshakes by the vicar of St Mary's, the Rev Roy Woodhams.

Dr Kelly's widow, Janice, who was wearing a black hat, was helped from the car by her daughters, Sian, 32, Ellen and Rachel, 30, who all wore black suits and were bareheaded.

Six pallbearers carried Dr Kelly's coffin into the church past the flagpole in the churchyard, where the flag had been flying at half mast since noon.

Rev Woodhams said the pallbearers were all family members although they were not blood relations.

About 40 wreaths were laid to the right of the pathway near the church gate with message cards from well-wishers.

A number of villagers, who were not invited to the funeral, stood outside the church porch in the blazing sunshine, holding order of service sheets as the church organ played.

Up to 160 mourners were expected to join Dr Kelly's family at the service.

Lord Hutton, who will lead the inquiry into the weapons inspector's death, arrived at the church at 1.15pm.

Dressed in a dark grey suit, white shirt and black tie, with his hands clasped behind his back, the law lord walked from the car park to the church accompanied by a fellow mourner.

He then took his place in the line of mourners being greeted at the church gate by Rev Roy Woodhams.

The deputy prime minister John Prescott, who was representing the government, arrived shortly afterwards around 1.35pm and exchanged a few words with the vicar before making his way into the church.

Only yesterday Mr Prescott telephoned Mrs Kelly to apologise for comments made by the prime minister's spokesman, Tom Kelly, comparing her late husband to the fictional fantasist Walter Mitty.

Broadcaster Tom Mangold, a senior investigative journalist with the BBC's Panorama programme for nearly 30 years and a close friend of 59-year-old Dr Kelly, was driven to the church in a silver Jaguar at 12.45pm.

He paused briefly at the gates of the churchyard before making his way into the chapel.

Mangold collaborated with Dr Kelly while writing a book and making a documentary about chemical and biological weapons.

The funeral was a Christian service but was expected to include elements of prayer from the Baha'i religion that Dr Kelly practised.

Following the service Dr Kelly was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Mary's in the shadow of the north side of the medieval building.

Visible just over a mile away is Harrowdown Hill, where the body of Dr Kelly was found with his left wrist slashed and an open packet of painkillers by his side.

The funeral was given added poignancy by the fact the scientist's daughter Rachel was married at St Mary's by Rev Woodhams only a few months ago.

Dr Kelly's death came after he was named as the source for BBC claims that intelligence on Iraq was "sexed up".

Mrs Kelly met Lord Hutton before a preliminary sitting of his inquiry last week. She requested today's service should be private.

The church was sealed off to allow the family some peace after they requested media attention be kept to a minimum.

The Press Association and Sky News covered the event on behalf of press and TV broadcasters around the world in an arrangement struck with Thames Valley police.

Even those cameras present maintained a respectful distance from the mourners in the churchyard, showing footage only of the backs of the heads of the family and pall bearers.

The Sky News correspondent reporting on the funeral was stationed a mile away from the church.

The entire village of Longworth and the road outside Dr Kelly's house in the village of Southmoor, about two miles away, were also sealed off by police.

Mounted police patrolled fields surrounding St Mary's while a sniffer dog was brought in to carry out a sweep of the church itself.

The Conservative shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Airey Neave, who was killed by a car bomb as he left the House of Commons car park in 1979, also had his funeral service at St Mary's, although he is buried at nearby Hinton Waldrist.


from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 68,00.html

Friends bid farewell to 'gentle' Kelly

Ciar Byrne
Wednesday August 6, 2003

Kelly funeral: Police guard church entrance
David Kelly's funeral was marked by "lots of tears and lots of reflection" and focused heavily on his Welsh roots according to his close friend the former BBC journalist Tom Mangold.

"It was quiet, it was gentle and in every kind of way it reflected the man," he said.

It was, he added a "beautiful service" with the first hymn, bread of Heaven, which originates from the Rhondda Valley, reflecting his roots.

Speaking after the service at St Mary's Church in Longworth, Oxfordshire, Mr Mangold said the vicar, Rev Roy Woodhams, reminded the 160 mourners that Dr Kelly had always been proud of being Welsh.

"He reminded us how proud David was of his background and how much he loved rugby, how proud he was of his Rhondda roots," Mr Mangold said.

"He preferred to be called Dai. Friends called him Dai," he added.

Mr Mangold said Dr Kelly had also loved the area of Oxfordshire where he lived and died, and said the service included a "wonderful poem" by Wilfred Hawe-Nurse, who used to live at Dr Kelly's cottage in Southmoor, near the beauty spot where the scientist apparently committed suicide last month.

"That reflected David's love for this particular area," Mr Mangold said.

There was also a reading from the Bible which included the verse "How blessed are those of a gentle spirit who shall have the earth for their possession. How blessed are the peacemakers, God shall call them his sons."

Mr Mangold said "These are the things with which I can identify David very easily."

He also said the vicar told the mourning congregation that "We are here beacuse of the tragedy that has taken place. We are not here for the media or to make a political statement - or to apportion blame."

Mr Mangold, who is making a documentary about the circumstances surrounding his friend's death for Channel 4, said it was "not his call" as to whether the programme is shown before or after Lord Hutton has concluded his official inquiry into the matter.

"I hope I can be objective. I have been all my life. We will be looking at David's background and the tragic events that led to his apparent suicide. We'll try and answer all the major questions which is what I think independent documentaries should do," Mr Mangold said.

"We hope to find out the truth, That's all one can do. Investigative journalists are there to find out the truth."

Mr Mangold, who got to know Dr Kelly while he was covering Iraq for Panorama and later became a family friend, reiterated his earlier criticism of Tom Kelly, the prime minister's spokesman who was yesterday forced to apologise for calling the weapons inspector a "Walter Mitty character".

"If Tom Kelly knew David Kelly, then I bow to his judgement. Then he should have come out from under the rock and said "I knew David Kelly - he was a Walter Mitty figure". If he did not know him, then it can only be a pointless smear.

"It's totally, totally untrue. If you knew Dave Kelly for a day, you'd know he wasn't a Walter Mitty figure. He didn't talk like one, he didn't think like one, he didn't dress like one.

"This was a guy who went around in Clark's shoes and National Health Service spectacles and clothes from Barbour which weren't terribly fashionable. He had no illusions about himself at all. It is completely untrue."

"He didn't just know the book on biological warfare, he practically wrote it. He was very generous with his time. You could call him wherever he was, New York or California, and wherever I called him he would stop what he was doing and he would give me five minutes of his time and explain all the complexities and intricacies of biological warfare. He was superb like that."

Mr Mangold was one of around 160 mourners who joined Dr Kelly's wife, Janice, and three daughters - Sian, 32, and twins Ellen and Rachel, 30.

The service - which started at 2pm and lasted around 45 minutes - was also attended by Lord Hutton, who is leading the official inquiry into the circumstances leading to Dr Kelly's death, and by the deputy prime minister, John Prescott.

Mr Prescott yesterday telephoned Mrs Kelly to apologise for Tom Kelly's comments.

The service was predominantly Christian, although there was a reading of one prayer from the Ba'hai faith to which Dr Kelly had recently converted, selected by members from a nearby Ba'hai group in Abingdon.

At the request of his family, the service was private and the only journalists in the vicinity - from Sky News and the Press Association - provided material to other media organisations on a pooled basis.


from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3128109.stm

Baha'i followers pay tribute to Kelly

Elements of the Baha'i faith will feature in the funeral service

The funeral of weapons expert Dr David Kelly is likely to feature elements of the Baha'i faith to which he converted four years ago.

The religion follows the teachings of Baha'u'llah - an Iranian nobleman whose name translates as "the Glory of God" - and seeks to eliminate conflicts between faiths.

Barney Leith, secretary of the UK National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is, described Dr Kelly as a friend who was a "warm and witty man".

The Baha'i community, which has 6,000 followers across the UK, was greatly saddened by Dr Kelly's death and has been praying for the progress of his soul, Mr Leith said.

Barney Leith
National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the UK

Mr Leith said: "I very much liked him. He was a very warm person, an honourable man and a witty man.

"Conversations with Dr Kelly were always fun and interesting."

Dr Kelly is believed to have adopted the 159-year-old Baha'i faith during his travels in connection with his work.


While its followers are not pacifists, they take no sides in the political controversies of the day and believe that there will be lasting world peace only when major injustices such as racism, gender inequality and poverty are resolved.

"We see the life after death as continuing the process that begins in this life, that the soul develops qualities and values which it needs in the next life on its journey to come ever closer to God," said Mr Leith.

"What life is about here is about developing those spiritual qualities which then become part of us and which we take over into the next life.

"We don't believe in heaven and hell as places - we believe in life after death. Like an athlete training for a race, if we take care of our spiritual bodies in this life, we have a better start in the next life."

The faith, which has five million followers worldwide, has no clergy or leaders and Baha'i services can be led by any believer, said Mr Leith.


from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 07,00.html

Kelly funeral brings calm in the storm

:Service remembers happy family man with pride in Welsh roots while media kept at arm's length

Steven Morris
Thursday August 7, 2003
The Guardian

His death has caused a political storm but yesterday mourners gathered at a small church in Oxfordshire to pay tribute not to a public figure but to a gentle family man.

Relatives and friends of the weapons inspector David Kelly were reminded not of his professional life, which has caused so much controversy, but of his happy private life.

Music and readings at "Dai" Kelly's funeral drew on his Welsh roots, his love of rugby, his love of the countryside and his hopes for world peace.

Mourners began arriving at St Mary's church, Longworth - within sight of Harrowdown Hill, where Dr Kelly's body was found last month - just after noon.

Among the first was Tom Mangold, a former Panorama reporter and close friend of Dr Kelly, who is to make a film of the events surrounding the scientist's death and has been critical of the government and the BBC.

Lord Hutton, who is heading an inquiry into the tragedy, was driven up to the 13th century church 45 minutes before the service was due to start. He was followed by the deputy prime minister, John Prescott, who was representing the government and who apologised this week to Dr Kelly's widow, Janice, after it emerged that a No 10 spokesman had described her late husband as a "Walter Mitty" figure.

Police threw a cordon around Longworth and Southmoor, the Kellys' home village. Mounted police patrolled near the church. The family had asked that only one agency reporter, one photographer and one film crew - Sky rather than the BBC - record the events. They hoped the service would provide a brief respite from the political furore.

At 1.55pm the church bells began to toll as a hearse bearing Dr Kelly's coffin stopped at the gates, which were guarded by six police officers.

Mrs Kelly, 58, was helped from a car by her daughters, Sian, 32, and twins Ellen and Rachel, 30. They watched as six pallbearers, all family members, carried the coffin, decked with a white roses and lilies, into the church.

The vicar of St Mary's, the Rev Roy Woodhams told the mourners: "We are here because of the tragedy that has taken place. We are not here for the media or to make a political statement or to apportion blame."

The opening hymn, Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah, reflected Dr Kelly's pride in his place of birth, the Rhondda Valley. A poem by Wilfred Hawe-Nurse, who used to live in the Kellys' house in Southmoor recalled Dr Kelly's love of hiking in Oxfordshire.

There was a reading from Matthew Chapter 5, which included the line: "How blessed are the peacemakers, God shall call them his sons" and a prayer from the Baha'i faith, to which Dr Kelly converted four years ago while working in the US. The faith believes "the earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens".

Following the hour-long service, Dr Kelly's body was buried in the shadow of the north side of the church.

Mr Mangold said Dr Kelly's family remained "pale and stoic" throughout. "It was a very dignified service. It was quiet, it was gentle and in every way reflected the man."


from http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politi ... ory=432525

A call to arms, a troubled scientist and the unravelling of a mysterious death

By Paul Vallely
11 August 2003

Almost a year has passed since Tony Blair's Government issued its first fateful dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. This was not what became known as the "dodgy dossier". That came later. But, as it happened, the controversy surrounding the first dossier on the threat from Saddam Hussein was far more grave.

Dr David Kelly, a former Porton Down scientist and UN weapons inspector in Iraq, was among those involved in compiling it. He had worked for the Ministry of Defence as an expert on biological warfare for the past four years. The dossier was published on 24 September 2002. It contained the portentous warning that Saddam Hussein had chemical or biological weapons ready to use within 45 minutes of the order being given.

We now know, that David Kelly was expressing reservations about this core claim. We know this - even before the Hutton Inquiry takes its first evidence today - because since Dr Kelly's body was found near his Oxfordshire home on 18 July a stream of intriguing new details have emerged.

In October 2002, Dr Kelly gave a slide show and lecture about his experiences as a weapons inspector in Iraq to a small almost private gathering of the Baha'i faith, which aims to unite the teachings of all the prophets. Dr Kelly had converted to the religion three years earlier, while in New York on attachment to the UN. When he returned to England he became treasurer of the small but influential Baha'i branch in Abingdon near his home.

Roger Kingdon, a member, recalls: "He had no doubt that [the Iraqis] had biological and chemical weapons. It was clear that David Kelly was largely happy with the material in the dossier, but he was not so happy with how the material had been interpreted."

Several months later - the date is unclear - Dr Kelly bumped into Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State and confronted him, a meeting which the politician later claimed to forget. Exactly what was said will probably never be known. But conversations between Dr Kelly and his friend, Tom Mangold, the television journalist, suggest that while he was broadly supportive of the document's content he was sceptical of the "45-minutes" claim.

"We laughed about that," Mr Mangold said later. "He reminded me it would take the most efficient handlers at least 45 minutes just to pour the chemicals or load the biological agents into the warheads." A precise man, Dr Kelly was irritated by inaccuracy; he believed the dossier exaggerated intelligence for effect.

He said as much on 7 May when he spoke by telephone to Susan Watts, the science editor of BBC2's Newsnight - a conversation which, though he did not know it, she wasrecording. And Dr Kelly voiced the same reservations, it is claimed, when the pivotal meeting in the whole sorry affair occurred - with Andrew Gilligan, the defence correspondent of the Today programme, two weeks later on 22 May.

Seven days after that, on 29 May, Mr Gilligan told the Radio 4 audience, "one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the September dossier said the Government probably knew the 45-minute figure was wrong even before it decided to put it in". He quoted him as saying: "Downing Street, a week before publication, ordered it to be sexed-up, to be made more exciting and ordered more facts to be discovered". The intelligence services were unhappy because the end product did not reflect their considered view.

Later that day another reporter became involved. Gavin Hewitt, working for BBC1's News at Ten O'Clock, rang Dr Kelly in an attempt to substantiate Mr Gilligan's story. He did not realise he was speaking to Mr Gilligan's source.

Mr Hewitt that night broadcast: "In the final week before publication some material was taken out and some put in. Some spin from No 10 did come into play." But he also added: "Even so the intelligence community remains convinced weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq."

Two days later Susan Watts phoned Dr Kelly again and discussed the "45-minutes" claim. That Sunday, 1 June, Mr Gilligan wrote a piece in The Mail on Sunday in which he went further than on radio. He said the man responsible for the exaggeration was Alastair Campbell, the Government's director of communications and strategy.

The next night Susan Watts was on Newsnight again. She told viewers she had spoken to a senior official intimately involved with the process of pulling together the dossier. She said: "Our source made clear that in the run-up to publishing the dossier the Government was obsessed with finding intelligence on immediate Iraq threats, and the Government's insistence that the Iraqi threat was 'imminent' was a Downing Street interpretation of intelligence conclusions."

She quoted the source as saying: "While we were agreed on the potential Iraqi threat in the future there was less agreement about the threat the Iraqis posed at the moment. That was the real concern, not so much what they had now but what they would have in the future, but that unfortunately was not expressed strongly in the dossier because that takes the case away for war to a certain extent."

Of the "45-minute" claim, the source added: "It was a statement that was made and it just got out of all proportion. They were desperate for information, they were pushing hard for information that could be released. That was one that popped up and it was seized on, and it is unfortunate that it was. That is why there is the argument between the Intelligence Services and No 10, because they picked up on it, and once they had picked up on it you cannot pull it back from them."

Looking back there is an interesting additional element. Though the Government issued a rebuttal to Mr Gilligan's original report, that was all. About a week later Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell had dinner with BBC executives, including the editor of Today. They discussed various things, but not the Gilligan affair. The Government, it appeared, became angry in retrospect - on the day of Alastair Campbell's appearance before the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

A fortnight later, on 19 June, Andrew Gilligan gave evidence to the foreign affairs committee. He maintained his line and refused to name his source. The next week, on 25 June, Mr Campbell appeared before the same MPs. He admitted he had been intimately involved in the dossier's presentation, suggesting amendments to the Joint Intelligence Committee - he had even chaired some meetings. But he denied adding material to the dossier. He upped the stakes by demanding an apology from the BBC.

It was now that Dr Kelly began to feel uncomfortable. Back in the office the following Monday, 30 June, Dr Kelly's colleagues were talking about the foreign affairs committee hearings. The turning point came when a colleague pointed to Mr Gilligan's claim that his source had said it was "30 per cent likely" that Iraq had a chemical weapons programme in the six months before the war, and that though it was "more likely" there were biological weapons, it would have been reduced "because you could not conceal a larger programme. The sanctions were actually quite effective; they did limit the programme." These were, the colleague noted, the precise phrases used by Dr Kelly in discussions with colleagues.

David Kelly realised the game was up. He confessed to his bosses that he might be the source for some of the information - but not all of it. And not the damaging detail on the "45-minute" claim. It was a high risk strategy, but being accused by someone else would have been worse. He might have been charged with violating the Official Secrets Act. His career was at risk. And so, possibly, a year from retirement, was his pension. They might prevent him from going to Iraq that weekend to join the Iraq Survey Group which was hunting for evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

Dr Kelly wrote that day, 30 June, to his immediate boss, and said he thought he might have been the source of some, but crucially not all, of the Gilligan story. His letter said he had met the BBC reporter whose description of his meeting with his source "in small part matches my interaction with him, especially my personal evaluation of Iraq's capability". But that was all.

He wrote: "I can only conclude one of three things. Gilligan has considerably embellished my meeting with him; he has met with other individuals who truly were intimately associated with the dossier; or he has assembled comments from both multiple direct and indirect sources for his articles."

Almost as soon as the letter was received government ministers were briefed. Detailed discussions took place. On 4 July Dr Kelly was interviewed by his line manager and by Richard Hatfield, the personnel director of the MoD. According to the MoD, Dr Kelly was told to go away for the weekend and "think over his options". He returned to work on 7 July, to more questioning. That day, the foreign affairs committee pronounced that Alastair Campbell was not guilty of "sexing-up" the dossier.

Dr Kelly was told he would have to appear before the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee to discuss his meeting with Mr Gilligan. The meeting would be in camera and Dr Kelly was promised anonymity. But the MoD broke that understanding. Exactly who did is unclear. Lord Hutton will be quizzing, on that subject, Alastair Campbell, Geoff Hoon, Sir Kevin Tebbit, the MoD's most senior civil servant, Richard Hatfield, its personnel chief, and Pam Teare, its head of news. But whoever made the decision, what is clear is that the MoD fixed on a highly unusual strategy of agreeing to "confirm or deny" any guesses put to it by journalists.

On 8 July, Geoff Hoon wrote to Gavyn Davies, the chairman of the BBC, enclosing a statement which the MoD were going to issue that day saying that Mr Gilligan's mole had come forward. He was not to be named, but he was not a senior intelligence source nor was he involved in the preparation of the dossier, as the BBC had claimed. Mr Hoon offered to tell Mr Davies the name "in confidence, on the basis that you would then immediately confirm or deny that this is indeed Mr Gilligan's source". The BBC refused. The MoD issued the statement citing an anonymous official who believed he was Mr Gilligan's source for some of his report. The inference was that the rest was made up.

The emotional temperature rose higher. Tony Blair justified Downing Street's ferocious pursuit of the BBC on the grounds that Andrew Gilligan's allegations were just about "the most serious charge" anyone could level against a Prime Minister. On 9 July, Guto Harri, the BBC political correspondent, spoke of Tony Blair doing "some BBC-bashing."

That day the MoD personnel director wrote to Dr Kelly stating that his "behaviour had fallen well short of the standard he expected from a civil servant of his standing and experience", but that "it would not be appropriate to initiate formal disciplinary proceedings".

His punishment was to be different. The same day Downing Street and MoD officials began leaking details of Dr Kelly's career, designed to assist journalists to identify him. Twowere told Dr Kelly's name.

The pressure on Dr Kelly was growing. He was asked if he wanted to take his wife to Jersey, where a Foreign Office house would be made available. Dr Kelly declined.

On 10 July a number of newspapers named Dr David Kelly as the official behind the Gilligan story. They quoted government sources triumphantly insisting Dr Kelly was a middle-ranking official, not a "senior and credible source", and that he had no access to intelligence briefings - both claims are untrue. They said he had only provided some input for a background section on UN weapons inspections for the dossier, that he was not a member of the intelligence services, had not seen the key material relating to the "45-minute" claim, and was not in a position to know if Downing Street had wanted to "sex-up" the document.

The BBC countered that Dr Kelly was an "intelligence source" in the broadest sense because he knew a lot about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and would have seen secret material. But the BBC still refused to confirm Dr Kelly as its source. That day Dr Kelly, who was holidaying in Cornwall, received a summons to appear before the foreign affairs and the intelligence and security select committees on 15 July.

His appearance at the foreign affairs committee was televised. There, he was read a transcript of the Susan Watts Newsnight interview and said: "I do not recognise those comments." Asked if he had had any conversations with Gavin Hewitt, he replied: "Not that I am aware of, no. I am pretty sure I have not." Questioned on whether he had been critical of Mr Campbell to Mr Gilligan he shifted uncomfortably in his seat and closed his eyes before saying: "I cannot recall using the name Campbell in that context, it does not sound like a thing that I would say."

At the end of the 176-question grilling the Labour-dominated committee concluded that Dr Kelly could not have been the BBC's main source. To many commentators Dr Kelly came across as uneasy and evasive; and we now know at least one of his answers was untrue.

The next day, 16 July, Dr Kelly gave evidence in private to the intelligence and security committee and then, friends and family have since revealed, went home to Oxfordshire, deeply upset and unhappy. Some reports said he felt he had been humiliated by the committee, others that he felt his MoD bosses had put him in an impossible position, others that he was uncomfortable at discrepancies in his testimony.

Something now seems to have snapped for David Kelly. Had he felt - or been told - his performance hadn't been good enough? Did he fear losing his job, or calculate that his family would do better financially if he died in service? Did he fear what Mr Gilligan might say when he reappeared before the foreign affairs committee that day? Might he have learned that the BBC had a tape of his conversation with Susan Watts?

Or might he have felt he had compromised his integrity? The Baha'i faith is strong on veracity; one of its scriptures says: "The individual must be educated to such a high degree that he would rather have his throat cut than tell a lie, or think it easier to be slashed with a sword or pierced with a spear than to utter calumny."

On the face of it everything seemed normal the next morning, 17 July. Dr Kelly, finished a report for the Foreign Office. And though he e-mailed a journalist on The New York Times and wrote of "dark actors" at work around him he sent up-beat e-mails to Alistair Hay, a fellow scientist, and Roger Kingdon. "Hopefully it will soon pass and I can get to Baghdad and get on with the real job," he wrote to Mr Hay. To Mr Kingdon, his co-religionist, he wrote: "I'm hopeful things will be calming down in a week or so and I'll be going back to Baghdad."

He never did. That afternoon at 3pm - almost the exact time Mr Gilligan was again before the foreign affairs committee - David Kelly left home, telling his wife he was going for a walk. He did not return.

Just before midnight his wife alerted the police, and the next morning, 18 July, at 9.20, police found his body at Harrowdown Hill, a few miles away from his home. A post-mortem found the cause of death was bleeding from wounds to his left wrist. The fact that several incisions had been made - and that his watch appeared to have been removed whilst blood was already flowing, together with the removal of his spectacles - suggested suicide, experts said.

Not everyone agreed. Some doctors pointed out that slashing one wrist was an unreliable method of suicide. The fact that four electrocardiogram electrode pads were found on his chest aroused some people to suggestions of murder, though cardiologists said, most likely, Dr Kelly had earlier been wearing a portable monitor to diagnose a possible heart problem.

Two days later, on 20 July, the story took a new twist. The BBC acknowledged that Dr Kelly had been the primary source of its reportr. Andrew Gilligan came under renewed fire. Even if it was true, as seemed clear from the supporting evidence of Susan Watts and Gavin Hewitt that Dr Kelly had strong views about the "45-minute" claim, Mr Gilligan had gone further. He had quoted his source as asserting that "the Government probably knew that the 45 minute figure was wrong even before it decided to put it in". Critics pronounced that "sexed-up" was a phrase more to the taste of Andrew Gilligan than David Kelly.

Mr Gilligan was further damned a week later by a leak of the unpublished transcript of evidence he had given to the foreign affairs committee on his second appearance, after which he had been publicly criticised by Donald Anderson, the chairman. It purported to show that Mr Gilligan had admitted that Dr Kelly had not actually said Mr Campbell had inserted the "45-minutes" claim, but that Mr Gilligan had "inferred" it from their conversation. Mr Gilligan denied this was what he had meant, but it seemed the pressure had now shifted primarily onto the BBC.

Yet the twists were not over. News then broke that Susan Watts' conversation with Dr Kelly had been recorded. Richard Sambrook, the corporation's director of news, was said to have smiled broadly after listening to it. Some insiders said Dr Kelly mentioned Mr Campbell there too. The BBC has refused to say, but has passed the tape to Lord Hutton. Then came an admission from the Ministry of Defence that documents relating to the Government's media strategy on Dr Kelly had almost been incinerated. Unofficial reports suggested the MoD police had been called by a security guard after a senior official was discovered hurriedly shredding material. To cap it all, on the eve of David Kelly's funeral, came the tasteless and preposterous attempt by a senior No 10 official, to suggest that Dr Kelly, the Government's foremost expert on chemical and biological weapons, was a "Walter Mitty" style fantasist.

Yesterday there was yet another turn. It was reported that a two weeks ago, before Dr Kelly's apparent suicide - Sir Kevin Tebbit, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence, described the man as "eccentric and unreliable."

He even went so far as to circle the side of his head, a gesture suggesting madness. And he did so at a private dinner with James Robbins, the BBC's diplomatic editor.

The Hutton inquiry takes its first evidence today. Though the story of Dr David Kelly's final days is already a lot clearer there are still plenty of questions for Lord Hutton to ask.


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Postby Jonah » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:10 am


from http://politics.guardian.co.uk/kelly/st ... 16,00.html

'A private tragedy'

Ros Taylor
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
10 faiths.
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

1 scriptures.
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
23 level?
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,
19 California.
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
10 it:
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.


from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3201149.stm

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.

Ruth Absalom
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

Malcolm Warner

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

Louise Holmes

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"

Paul Chapman

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"

Barney Leith

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


from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3201803.stm

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."

Death prediction?

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".

Gilligan mystery

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


from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3201133.stm

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.

'Man's intelligence'

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".

'Extremely discreet'

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".


from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3200189.stm

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."

'Absolute honesty'

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."

'Unknown strain'

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 Guardian

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

Vikram Dodd

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".


from http://www.timesonline.co.uk

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."



from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,172,00.html

September 3

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
Baha'i religion.

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
California coastline.

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."


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Postby Jonah » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:13 am


from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFrien ... 37,00.html

September 06, 2003

Into the shadow: the secret lives of David Kelly


The inquiry may want to question the Arab-American woman linguist who was close enough to Kelly to convert him to the Baha’i faith

MORE than 4,000 miles from Lord Hutton’s courtroom, behind the locked door and tightly drawn blinds of a small, red-brick house in America’s Deep South, lives a woman who could shed intriguing new light on the darkest episode of the Blair era.

Mai Pederson has rarely been seen in public since Dr Kelly’s apparent suicide seven weeks ago, when she phoned friends to give warning, cryptically: “Don’t believe what you read in the papers.”

A diminutive, energetic and, by all accounts, highly intelligent Arab-American, who speaks four languages and serves as a senior master sergeant in the US Air Force, Ms Pederson was such an enormous influence over Dr Kelly that she was able to convert him to the Baha’i faith.

They met during two UN arms inspection missions to Iraq five years ago, when Dr Kelly was rooting out details of Saddam’s illicit biological weapons programmes, and Ms Pederson, a 43-year-old divorcée, was his translator. The following year she was instrumental in his religious conversion, and became his close friend and spiritual mentor during his many trips to the US. Among his journeys was one to Monterey, California, where Ms Pederson was then living.

Many of those most concerned with the tragedy of Dr Kelly’s death are well aware that this woman played an important role in his life: they appear, however, unable to fathom exactly what that role was.

For the past three weeks at Courtroom 73 at the High Court in London, the most microscopic details of Dr Kelly’s academic background, work and family life have been painstakingly examined by the Hutton inquiry.

While the body politic lies anaesthetised on the operating table, to be slowly dissected by James Dingemans, QC, counsel to the inquiry, so, too, is the life of Dr Kelly.

Forensic scientists have even been able to tell Lord Hutton that Dr Kelly skipped a meal a day or two before his death, but had time to sip some coffee before his final walk into the woods.

Yet the more we discover about Dr Kelly, the more new questions spring up, begging for answers.

The scientist’s widow, Janice, 58, acknowledged when giving evidence to the inquiry that Ms Pederson had indeed been “quite influential” over her husband, but added that she did not know when he had changed his religion; Lord Hutton is also said by his aides to be aware that Ms Pederson may be able to assist him in his attempts to delve into Dr Kelly’s state of mind before his apparent suicide, and is considering whether to call her as a witness. There were no answers to be found yesterday at the red-brick house, which stands at the end of a winding suburban street on the east side of Montgomery, Alabama.

Ms Pederson’s neighbours said she had not been seen there for days. Her brother Reda al-Sadat, 46, said from his home in Arlington, Texas: “She is not interested in talking to the press.” Their father Moheb, 68, added at his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “I am not interested. We have no comment.” Ms Pederson’s colleagues at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama said she was away from her office, although a spokesman there said: “This is a very private matter. She is co-operating with the authorities in Britain. She will not be speaking to the press; we would not have her do that.”

Closer to home, amid a tangle of wires, screwdrivers and technical manuals in an office in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, lies yet further evidence of the depth of the mystery that still surrounds Dr Kelly.

Technicians of the high-tech crime unit of Thames Valley police have spent weeks poring over the memories of the eight computers that were retrieved from the study of the scientist’s home, and from his three offices in London, but admit that they may have done little more than scratch the surface. So much information was stored on the computers, according to Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page, the officer leading the police inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death, that “if we were to print it out, it would produce a pile of paper twice as high as Big Ben”.

The technicians resorted to employing key-word programmes to interrogate the computers’ hard drives, using terms such as “suicide” or “Iraq” and “despair” to locate material of interest. Much of the data remains a secret, and may never be revealed.

The apparent disappearance of Ms Pederson, and the difficulties encountered by police technicians at Kidlington, demonstrate that vast gaps remain in our understanding of this man. When Keith Hawton, a consultant psychiatrist and director of the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University, was asked to give the inquiry his assessment of Dr Kelly, and the reasons for his death, he used the word “private” no fewer than five times.

The fact that Dr Kelly’s name was about to emerge in public, said Professor Hawton, “seemed to be extremely painful for him . . . being a very private person”.

He added: “I have used the term ‘intensely private man’ . . . I think that does describe him . . . he clearly did not like talking about feelings that he had and difficulties that he was experiencing: he was a very private man who kept things to himself in that respect ... he was intensely private with regard to expressions and feelings and this was conveyed to other people, so that they did not intrude into how he was thinking or feeling ... being such a private man, I think this was anathema to him, to be exposed publicly in this way . . . in a sense, I think he would have seen it as being publicly disgraced.”

In other words, it is the view of Professor Hawton, a man who has dedicated 30 years to the study of suicides, that Dr Kelly protected his privacy so zealously that the intense public scrutiny, the appearance of the press on the doorstep and the televised grilling by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, were among the factors that led to his suicide.

It is that same carefully cultivated reserve that makes Dr Kelly so difficult to comprehend, and leaves many wondering whether there could be other factors that drove him to his death.

Dr Kelly’s father, Thomas, an RAF officer, married his mother, Margaret, a schoolteacher, in Pontypridd in 1940. Thomas went away to war six months later, and their son David appears to have been conceived during a brief period of home leave in 1943. The marriage collapsed shortly after Dr Kelly’s father returned home in 1945, and the boy was raised by his grandmother while his mother worked.

Dr Kelly’s mother died when he was a 19-year-old undergraduate at Leeds University, after suffering a stroke, and although he often spoke warmly of his grandmother, he rarely mentioned his mother.

Nothing has been heard, either, of Dr Kelly’s work at Porton Down, the secretive chemical and biological warfare research establishment in Wiltshire, where he worked full-time for several years from 1984 before serving as a UN weapons inspector in the former Soviet Union.

Mrs Kelly told the inquiry on Monday that she knew precious little about her husband’s work. Asked about what he was doing at one stage in the 1970s, she replied: “He was doing a great deal of science . . . terribly sorry, I don’t know the details of what he was doing, but he was involved in a lot of laboratory work.” Once her husband began working for the Government, “it was always a bit unclear as to who he was working for”. She added that whenever he travelled abroad, for the UN or the Government, she could never be sure when she was going to see him again.

The greatest mystery is about who said what when Dr Kelly met Andrew Gilligan at the Charing Cross Hotel on May 22. Mr Gilligan has always insisted that it was Dr Kelly who pointed the finger at Alastair Campbell, the Downing Street communications chief, accusing him of “sexing up” the dossier that was published last September to present the Government’s case against Saddam.

Not so, Dr Kelly told his friends: it was Gilligan who first uttered what he described as the C word, trying to play a “name game” to elicit information. Dr Kelly says that he replied “maybe” when Mr Campbell’s name was put to him, but only to bring the game to an end. Dr Kelly also told friends that Mr Gilligan had taken notes in a notebook: the reporter insists that he used the highly unorthodox method of tapping out notes on a personal organiser, and no notebook has ever been produced at the Hutton inquiry.

Critically, Dr Kelly said he did not mention his role in the dossier, and that he had not said that the dossier had been embellished or exaggerated.

Alongside the puzzle that is Dr Kelly, there remain many other unanswered questions about the way in which the Ministry of Defence, Downing Street, the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and the BBC behaved once he had come forward to admit that he had met Mr Gilligan. It is still uncertain, for example, whose idea it was that the press should be told that Dr Kelly’s name would be confirmed to any journalist who put it to the MoD press office.

Nor is it known who decided to play down Dr Kelly’s importance, and undermine Mr Gilligan’s report, by continually emphasising he could not have been involved in the dossier and was not a senior player. It is also unclear why the deep concerns of analysts at the Defence Intelligence Staff, the intelligence wing of the MoD, were ignored when the dossier was being “strengthened”. Finally, it is still not entirely clear whether the JIC, which had responsibility for preparing the dossier, ever approved the final draft.

When the inquiry resumes on September 15 Lord Hutton may wish to call new witnesses, such as Mai Pederson, although he cannot compel her to give evidence. Friends of Ms Pederson have confirmed that she and Dr Kelly were close, and one, Gil Muro, a Baha’i who works for NBC News in New York, confirmed that the translator had introduced the scientist to the faith. “She was responsible for teaching him about it to help him understand what the religion is about,” Ms Muro said.

“He became very passionate about it. You become very attached to your teacher and want to find out more about it.”

Amid growing suspicion that Ms Pederson is now under the protection of the US Air Force, her former husband James Earl Pederson told The Times: “You will not be able to find her.” He then referred all calls to the Pentagon.

The five key questions for Lord Hutton

1. Was it someone in Downing Street or the MoD who came up with the “unprecedented” strategy of confirming David Kelly’s name if it was put by journalists to the MoD, and why was Dr Kelly apparently not told of this strategy? Did Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, really act to protect his anonymity “at all stages”?

2. Was the Iraq intelligence dossier of September 2002 “sexed up” at the behest of Downing Street, given that suggested toughening of language from Alastair Campbell was accepted by John Scarlett, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, who said that he was in charge of the dossier?

3 .Were concerns from the BBC Governors and Today programme editor overlooked in the BBC’s desire to present a “robust” defence against government complaints? Did Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter, embellish what Dr Kelly told him, and why did he not tell Lord Hutton that he planted questions to MPs questioning Dr Kelly at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee?

4. Could the MoD have taken better care of Dr Kelly when the media descended on him and by giving his status better recognition with pay rises? Was he threatened with loss of pension or security clearance as a colleague has claimed?

5. Why did complaints about the draft Iraq dossier from within the Defence Intelligence Service apparently not reach the Joint Intelligence Committee before the dossier came out, especially since Air Marshal Joe French, then head of the DIS, had a seat on the JIC?


from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFrien ... 96,00.html

September 10, 2003

Kelly's spiritual mentor to tell of relationship

By Laura Peek and James Bone

THE American woman who became David Kelly’s spiritual mentor and introduced him to the Baha’i faith will tomorrow issue a statement about her friendship with the scientist.

Mai Pederson, 43, has hired a leading lawyer in Washington following reports she may be called to give evidence at the Hutton inquiry.

Mark Zaid, a partner in the law firm Krieger and Zaid, told The Times said last night: “I will be issuing a statement from Ms Pederson and I’m minded to do it on Thursday.

“I was hired 48 hours ago to serve as an intermediary between Sgt Pederson, the media and the authorities.”

Mr Zaid, 36, whose current clients include the Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, last night gave a cryptic preview of the statement.

He denied claims that Ms Pederson was a US spy and said she was likely to talk about whether she had her own theory about Dr Kelly’s death. After the scientist’s death Ms Pederson allegedly told a friend: “Do not believe what you read in the newspapers.” Mr Zaid said: “I know that is being raised and why there would be a great interest in it. I will probably have her address what she does or does not believe about whether there was foul play involved in Dr Kelly’s death.”

Mr Zaid said his client would also characterise the nature of her friendship with Dr Kelly. He denied reports that she forged a friendship with the scientist to gather intelligence. “I do not think it would be at all accurate to say she was a spy,” he said.

Ms Pederson, an Arab-American military linguist, first met Dr Kelly five years ago while working as his translator during a United Nations arms inspection mission to Iraq.

The Hutton inquiry has cast little light on her friendship with the 59-year-old scientist, although his widow, Janice, has described Ms Pederson as “quite influential” at the time of his religious conversion, and has said that she became a friend of the Kelly family.

Mr Zaid said: “The aim of the statement is to try and answer some of the concerns and questions that have been raised in the UK. People have heard about the mysterious Mai Pederson who has not shown up yet. There has been a lot of speculation about who she might be. I want to try and satiate some of that appetite.

“I am here to be a go-between to manage the issues and get to the truth. This has crossover between private and public. She was a friend of the Kelly family which is private but her work was involved with Dr Kelly which is public.” He did not believe Ms Pederson had yet been asked by the inquiry to provide testimony or a written statement.

Lord Hutton will this week decide who else could provide insights into the reasons for Dr Kelly’s apparent suicide when the inquiry resumes on September 15.

Ms Pederson has not been available for comment since she was first contacted by The Times through an intermediary more than a week ago. The US Air Force base where she serves as a senior master sergeant was last night referring all media questions to Mr Zaid.

His clients include families of victims of the Lockerbie bombing. He represents Mr Al Fayed in a suit seeking alleged US documents said to relate to the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed.

He is also executive director of the James Madison Project, a US group dedicated to reducing government secrecy. His biography on the project’s website says: “Mr Zaid often represents former/current federal employees, intelligence officers, whistleblowers and others who have grievances or have been wronged by agencies of the United States Government or foreign governments.”

A colleague of Dr Kelly from his time at the Porton Down chemical defence establishment had advice for the weapons expert in the week before his death, according to a letter passed to the Hutton inquiry by Thames Valley Police (Michael Evans writes).

Frank Beswick, now retired, wrote to him on July 10 about pressures that Mr Beswick and his colleagues had been under because of a police inquiry into allegations about experiments on human volunteers at Porton Down. He wrote: “I write to wish you well with your problem and advice (sic) that you should stick to your guns. Best of luck. Frank.”

Dr Kelly, who had worked at Porton Down from 1984 to 1996, was not involved in the police inquiry into the experiments. He worked in a different department.


from http://www.timesonline.co.uk

September 21, 2003

Seven steps of despair that led to Kelly death
David Leppard and Jonathon Carr-Brown
A CONFIDENTIAL report by detectives investigating the death of Dr David Kelly has identified the “chain of events” that led to the government scientist’s apparent suicide.

:The report, due to be handed to Lord Hutton this week, is understood to identify key incidents as the row between the BBC and the government over Kelly’s secret briefing to Andrew Gilligan, the reporter on the Today programme, spiralled out of control.

:The Thames Valley police report is being submitted to Hutton in his additional role as coroner investigating the immediate causes of Kelly’s death.

:More than 30 detectives have spent the past two months trawling over every detail of Kelly’s final weeks. They have scrutinised all his personal papers, including the contents of seven computers on which he kept documents and thousands of e-mails. Sources say the police report reflects the account given by his wife Janice in her public evidence to Hutton.

:Janice Kelly told Hutton how her husband’s demeanour had changed towards the end of June and highlighted key events:
* June 30: Kelly wrote to his manager confessing to meeting Gilligan, the BBC Radio 4 reporter who broadcast the allegation about the government dossier. He told his wife at the time he was worried about “something professional”.
* July 8: While watching a Channel 4 news report about how an unnamed Ministry of Defence (MoD) official had admitted speaking to Gilligan, he said that he was Gilligan’s source. “He was desperately unhappy about possibly being named,” she said.
* July 9: Nicholas Rufford, a senior reporter at The Sunday Times, called at the scientist’s Oxfordshire home. After he left, Kelly told his wife he felt “totally let down” by the MoD.
* July 10: While hiding from the media in Cornwall after being named in that morning’s daily newspapers, Kelly went “totally ballistic” when the MoD said he was to appear before the foreign affairs select committee.
* July 14: The scientist’s mood became blacker when he was told that Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, had described him as a junior official. Kelly reacted with “hysterical laughter”. He was deeply hurt, according to his wife.
* July 15: His appearance before the foreign affairs select committee turned into “a total nightmare”. Kelly was forced to run a media gauntlet and faced aggressive questioning.
* July 17: He was forced by the MoD to admit his contacts with Susan Watts, another BBC correspondent. Janice Kelly said it “appeared he had a broken heart”. She added: “He looked as though he had shrunk. He couldn’t put two sentences together.” That afternoon he went for his last walk.

:Police have already told the inquiry that they are satisfied there is no evidence that any third party was involved in his death. They also found no foundation for suggestions that any close friendships he may have had with female colleagues contributed in any way to his death.

:The report comes as Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, is preparing to admit that he did play a role in exposing Kelly to the media. In evidence earlier this month, Hoon said that he had played “no part” in drawing up the strategy.

:Asked specifically by James Dingemans, counsel to the inquiry, if he had any knowledge of question-and-answer papers telling press officers how to confirm Kelly’s identity to the media, Hoon replied: “Can I make it clear that I did not see either of these documents. They were not submitted to my office. That would not be something I would normally deal with.”

:However, last week Pam Teare, director of news at the MoD, told Hutton that she thought Hoon “may have already seen” the material. Richard Taylor, Hoon’s special adviser, earlier claimed that Hoon did attend a meeting which discussed confirming Kelly’s name to the media.

:Hoon will be at his most vulnerable when he is cross-examined by barristers acting for the Kelly family, which believes that the MoD betrayed Kelly by placing him in the spotlight.

:However, last week MoD officials took a harder line when quizzed on this issue, saying they had done everything by the book and that Kelly had put himself in the spotlight by briefing the BBC without authorisation in the first place.

:Two other central figures in the drama will also be exposed to cross-examination this week. Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former director of communications, is likely to be asked whether he exaggerated the presentation of intelligence in the dossier.

:Brian Jones, a former senior member of the defence intelligence staff, has testified that in recommending changes to the dossier’s language, Campbell acted no differently from intelligence officials.

:This point is also likely to be raised with John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee. Scarlett has insisted that he — rather than Campbell and the Downing Street spin machine — had “ownership” of the Iraq dossier.

:New details have also emerged of Dr Kelly’s friendship with Mai Pederson, a US military linguist who served with him as a United Nations weapons inspector in 1998 and later introduced him to the Baha’i religion.

:Pederson was his mentor when he converted to the faith in Monterey, California, in September 1999. This weekend Lee Steinmetz, chairman of the Baha’i chapter in Monterey, recalled conversations that he had held with the couple when he hiked with them in 1999 to Point Lobos, a beauty spot on the Pacific coast.

:Steinmetz dismissed suggestions that Pederson’s faith was simply a pretext to extract intelligence from Kelly. He said that he saw nothing which suggested that they were involved in a romantic relationship.

:Gilligan told friends this weekend that reports that he had been abandoned by the BBC were wrong. He is said to have received personal messages of support from the corporation’s senior management and he has no intention of resigning, although one source said: “He understands that if it is a choice between him and the renewal of the BBC charter, he will be thrown overboard.”

:© Copyright 2003, Times (UK)


from http://www.news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=927492003

September 23

Scientist's suicide ran against Baha'i beliefs, Hutton inquiry is told


DR DAVID Kelly would have found nothing in his Baha’i religion to suggest suicide was morally acceptable, Lord Hutton will be told when he takes evidence next month.

:Barney Leith, the head of the UK Baha’i community’s governing council, is expected to tell the inquiry that his religion - to which Dr Kelly converted - explicitly condemns suicide as it curtails the chance for spiritual improvement.

:Writing exclusively for The Scotsman, Mr Leith suggests that the Baha’i faith would, if anything, have provided a religious dimension for Dr Kelly’s continued work for the United Nations as a means of promoting international community.

:Mr Leith, the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the UK, said his faith’s key goal is for the people of the world to unite in a social, humanitarian order - a goal reflected in the ideals of the UN.

:The faith is centred around Baha’u’llah, born in Persia in 1817. He is regarded by his followers as God’s latest, but not last, prophet - following a line which includes Abraham, Moses, the Budda, Jesus and Muhammad.

:The central message of Baha’u’llah is that personal prejudices and international discord should be conquered - and that work towards this goal can be regarded as the moral equivalent of prayer.

:Work for the UN - whether humanitarian or helping to disarm Iraq in the name of the international community - could be regarded by Baha’is as the an act which brings its followers "closer to God".

:Mr Leith, himself a convert to the faith, says in his article that Baha’is see life as a vital opportunity for self-improvement - and the longer it is lived, the greater the chances of coming closer to God in the afterlife.

:Suicide, he says, is inimical to the entire Baha’i teaching. "The gift of life is sacred: the act of suicide is condemned in the Baha’i teachings, as in other faiths," he said. "We firmly believe that life should be lived to its full extent - and cutting it short does not allow the spiritual development which we consider to be the purpose of this life.

:"However, Baha’is do not condemn those who commit suicide. A Baha’i would take his or her own life only if he or she had been overwhelmed by pressure of some kind."

:Baha’is also believe that employment which furthers the goals of the Baha’i teaching is in itself a form of religious service - and another means of self-improvement.

:"Work done in the spirit of service is equivalent to worship," Mr Leith says. "Our duty is to engage with life; being of service to our fellow human beings. And this practical expression of the Baha’i faith takes many forms."

:Lord Hutton may focus on whether working for the UN - which Dr Kelly did as a weapons inspector - would be seen as work in furthering the religious goal.

:Mr Leith said the vision which inspired the UN does have a religious significance for Baha’is. "The ideals of the UN are important as they represent what we see as an ever-strengthening theme: globalisation bringing a new era of co-operation and communication among peoples who were previously at war," he said.

:Mr Leith will give evidence to Lord Hutton on 2 September - and is expected to be the last witness to the inquiry before the evidence-taking stage is drawn to a close.


from http://www.news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1058392003

September 24

Kelly-death conspiracy theories laid to rest


A BRIEF and unexpected contribution from a police witness yesterday will have come as a blow to Hutton Inquiry conspiracy theorists everywhere.

:Numerous colourful and often fanciful explanations for the death of Dr David Kelly have sprung up on the internet.

:But yesterday the police officer who co-ordinated the hunt for Dr Kelly after he went missing declared there had been no foul play, no blackmail - and quite definitely no Mata Hari figure involved in the weapons expert’s final days.

:Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page, of Thames Valley Police, said murder and criminal activity had been ruled out as causes of Dr Kelly’s death.

:He added: "One is left with the fact that Dr Kelly killed himself."

:However, Mr Page did disclose a series of fascinating and mysterious investigations his officers had followed up during their inquiries.

:He said two women - Mai Pederson and Gabrielle Kraatz-Wadsack - were contacted. They have both been linked to the Kelly inquiry in recent newspaper articles.

:Mr Page said: "The conversation with Mai Pederson added nothing that was of relevance to the inquiry at all."

:The link between Dr Kelly and Ms Pederson had provoked widespread interest in a Sunday newspaper which predicted she could hold the key to his death.

:Ms Pederson, 43, struck up a close friendship with Dr Kelly when they were both serving with a UN weapons inspection team in Iraq.

:She is a veteran of United States military intelligence and also a devotee of the Baha’i religious sect. She converted Dr Kelly to the faith in 1999.

:Mr Page was next asked about Lieutenant Colonel Kraatz-Wadsack, an officer in the German army who worked with Dr Kelly in Iraq and was in contact with him in the days before his death.

:Mr Page was asked if she had added anything to his inquiries. "Nothing that furthered my inquiries at all," he replied.

:However, the policeman did reveal a line of inquiry that concluded with a bizarre twist. Mr Page said he had been contacted by a person who had spotted three men dressed in black in the area where Dr Kelly’s body was found.

:But after intensive interviews with police officers, Mr Page said the men in black were his own constables and ruled out foul play.

:Mr Page then told the inquiry how Dr Kelly’s dentist contacted the police after his death. Mysteriously, the scientists dental records had gone missing.

:Mr Page said that a full examination of the surgery was carried out but nothing untoward was found.

:The dentist had rung again to say that the records had reappeared in the filing cabinet on the Sunday but no suspicious fingerprints had been found on the file.

:Mr Page said that because he was an "inherently suspicious" police officer and because dental records were a means of identification, he had DNA checks carried out on Dr Kelly’s body although he had been identified by his family.

:The DNA checks confirmed that it was indeed the body of Dr Kelly.


from http://www.timesonline.co.uk

September 24, 2003

:Kelly's mentor refused to give statement
:By David Charter and Laura Peek
:Evidence: The Police

:MAI PEDERSON, the American linguist who introduced David Kelly to the Baha’i faith, refused to make a statement to police about their friendship, the Hutton inquiry was told yesterday.

:Ms Pederson, 43, who has denied a romantic link with Dr Kelly, was one of 12 close contacts contacted by police.

:“She declined to give a statement as such but I have a record of the interviews that took place,” Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page, of Thames Valley Police, told the inquiry. “The conversation added nothing that was of relevance to my inquiry.”

:Ms Pederson, an Arab-American military linguist, met Dr Kelly five years ago while working as his trans-lator on a mission to Iraq.

:Police took 300 statements, seized more than 700 documents and found nothing of relevance in Dr Kelly’s phone and e-mail records.

Dr Kelly’s fingerprints were not on a letter from Richard Hatfield, the MoD personnel director, found unopened in his study. It warned that disciplinary action could follow if new material came to light.

:© Copyright 2003, Times (UK


from http://www.news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1070192003

September 27

The last desperate days of Dr David Kelly

THE Charing Cross hotel in London is unusually opulent for a railway station stopover. Yet it is not on the circuit of media haunts - when David Kelly made his way there to meet one of the many journalists he’d befriended, they were unlikely to be spotted.

:The imbroglio started with a Coke and Appletise at the hotel bar - it ended with Dr Kelly’s death and the reputations of Downing Street and the BBC both savaged. Only now that the Hutton Inquiry has finished, is it possible to see the event from the perspective of the man himself.

:The meeting in the hotel started the last week that Dr Kelly would consider normal. Briefing a BBC journalist such as Andrew Gilligan was by no means unusual - as Britain’s leading expert on Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons who had been deployed in Iraq and to the United Nations, he was used to being courted.

:The Ministry of Defence had given him a written licence for such contact, as no-one else on its staff could hope to explain the intricacies of the work that Dr Kelly knew backwards. He was the main source for Britain’s government and its media.

:The power of this position was not lost on Dr Kelly. "He was quite proud that he had many press contacts, from diverse backgrounds," said Wing Commander John Clark, a Scot with whom he occasionally shared an office in the MoD.

:Yet no-one, even in the MoD, seemed to know how large his role was. He worked from home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, choosing from a pile of seven laptops - sometimes working for the Foreign Office, other times for the MoD.

:His unrivalled expertise made him wanted by not just rival Whitehall departments, but the United Nations and the UK weapons inspectorate. The problem - one that played heavily on his mind - was which of his many bosses would pay his pension in his coming retirement.

:He had recently learned that he would have to retire at 60, not 65 - and that his pension was dependent on his final salary which was not fixed. For perhaps the first time in his meteoric career as a world-renowned microbiologist, he was having anxieties about his job.

:Outside work, he had little hinterland. He played cribbage at the Hind’s Head, the local village pub, and met friends there - but he did not drink, having converted to the Baha’i faith while in the US. However, his confidantes were mostly those with whom he worked.

:His friends had begun to include the journalists he so frequently spoke to. Tom Mangold, a veteran documentary maker and author, was perhaps the closest. Dr Kelly had spoken to Mr Gilligan in the latter’s days at the Sunday Telegraph, but their relationship had not developed into friendship.

:Mr Gilligan has just returned from post-war Iraq. Dr Kelly was interested to compare notes, and - unusually - made the two-hour journey so they could meet up.

:Their liaison lasted 45 minutes - a figure which was to recur time and again, and its contents remained one of the most hotly-contested parts of the affair. Mr Gilligan said he found a quietly outraged Dr Kelly who said the Iraq dossier had been "transformed" in the days leading up to its publication - and, when asked how, gave a one-word answer: "Campbell".

:An alternative version of events, from Olivia Bosch, a friend of Dr Kelly’s and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, says he returned rather disturbed saying that Mr Gilligan had tried to play a "name game" and had himself brought up Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair’s communications director.

:Whatever the truth, Dr Kelly made little attempt to cover up the meeting. Then, it was not contentious - Mr Gilligan’s story would not be broadcast for a week. He told not only Ms Bosch but Patrick Lamb, a Foreign Office official.

:This was not a man who was afraid of being lambasted for briefing against the government. But his frankness bordered on the brazen - we now know that he was contradicting Tony Blair’s version of events to Susan Watts, the science editor of BBC Newsnight.

:Her tape recordings and notes show that Dr Kelly was far more forthcoming than he would later lead the MoD to believe. While not a "a member of the intelligence community," he told her, he was indeed "a user of intelligence". That is to say, an intelligence source.

:"Of course, I’m very familiar with a lot of it. That’s why I’m asked to comment on it," he told her.

:As for the dossier, Dr Kelly said: "I reviewed the whole thing. I was involved in the whole process."

:This, it is now clear, exaggerates his importance. These inconsistencies were pulling Dr Kelly into dangerous waters. Soon, his every word was to be scrutinised - and used to adjudicate an almighty battle between Downing Street and the BBC.

:On Thursday, 29 May, the Prime Minister was flying to Kuwait to deliver a victory speech to troops which was to be entirely overshadowed by Mr Gilligan’s news story - based on an "intelligence source" now known to be Dr Kelly.

:The next day, Ms Watts rang Dr Kelly and asked him "did I miss a trick?" It was an understatement - when they spoke earlier, he had mentioned Mr Campbell’s name and also told her that a well-known US journalist was in league with an Iraqi opposition party.

:This, too, was an excellent story which went on to become front-page news in the New York Times.

:WORD of Dr Kelly’s involvement was passing around MoD officials - who, as the Hutton Inquiry has shown, gossip like fishwives. Dr Kelly was approached by a friend at the Royal United Services Institute asking if he was the source.

:There was a telltale sign. Dr Kelly had said there was a 35 per cent chance of Saddam Hussein owning weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war - a figure which had been repeated by journalists. It had Dr Kelly’s fingerprints all over it.

:That weekend, Dr Kelly decided to go public - writing a carefully worded letter to Bryan Wells, his MoD line manager, saying he spoke to Mr Gilligan but denying much of the report’s claims.

:"I most certainly have never attempted to undermine government policy in any way," he said. This was not strictly true.

:On the Friday, he was called back in for questioning and warned that it could be a matter for disciplinary action - but no threats were made. He was warned that the MoD might say that an unnamed official may have to come forward but, crucially, not that he would be named.

:None of this was discussed with his wife. "He would never tell me the nature of his meetings," Janice Kelly told Lord Hutton.

:She did not expect to know more. His sister told the inquiry how, a decade ago, she was reading the obituary of a Russian microbiologist who had defected and asked Dr Kelly if he had heard of him. Yes, he replied, he spent weeks in a hotel interrogating him.

:The Kelly family were used to his work being a separate world. All they knew that weekend was that he was due in RAF Honington, in Suffolk in preparation for the dispatch of a team of weapons inspectors to Iraq.

:HE HAD bid goodbye to his wife, who expected not to see him for another couple of days.

:Instead, he was intercepted by the MoD and asked to come to London for a briefing.

:Although he didn’t know it, this was at the Prime Minister’s request. "He rang me. He was on a train going to London for an interview. He did not say what that interview was about... I did not pick up any kind of stress factor from him at all," she said.

:In London, on the Monday, he was shown the press statement they intended to release. He was an "unnamed official" - his identity was not to be confirmed. Dr Kelly was about to enter the most bitter struggle in the history of tension between the BBC and 10 Downing Street - but he simply returned to RAF Honington and completed the course.

:At 6pm the next day, he returned home to Abingdon. His wife thought he seemed "quiet" - she suggested they watch television.

:"He seemed a bit reluctant to watch the news," she said. That was because he already knew what it would be: that Mr Gilligan’s source had identified himself.

:"Immediately David said to me, ‘It’s me’. My reaction was total dismay. My heart sank … I knew then he was aware his name would be in the public domain quite soon. He confirmed that feeling of course."

:In the only insight into his state of mind so far, she said he seemed "desperately unhappy about it, really really unhappy about it. Totally dismayed." The MoD, he told her, had "not been unsupportive" - but he said it could mean a pension problem, or his dismissal.

:As the television news continued its coverage, Dr Kelly told his wife that he could lose the job he devoted so much of his life to - or that he may, indeed, have his pension reduced. He was 59 and due to retire at 60 on a pension linked to his final salary: this was a deep worry.

:From then on, he knew a storm was about to engulf him. But he stayed at home and worked on his vegetable patch. In the few times he spoke to his wife, he told her he felt "totally let down and betrayed" by the MoD. He was digging, she said, in "a rather lacklustre way".

:She added that he "did receive and make some phone calls as well".

:OF THESE, we now know that 12 were to Brian Wells, at the MoD, who was on a train with patchy reception. His message, delivered in a curt 46 seconds, was that the press had, indeed, managed to deduce his name.

:This was not news to Dr Kelly. He was having tea with his wife in his garden, went to return some tools to his shed and suddenly found Nick Rufford, a journalist at the Sunday Times, who had turned up uninvited in Abingdon.

:Their six-minute conversation was to be portrayed as a sit-down interview in that Sunday’s newspaper. In fact, it was a terse meeting where Mr Rufford tried to cut a deal with Dr Kelly - he would find a hotel for him and his wife in return for a newspaper article.

:To enforce his point, Mr Rufford warned that the press pack was on their way "in droves", to quote Mrs Kelly. Their conversation grew tense; she heard Dr Kelly say "please leave now". He returned to tell her that things were getting nasty.

:Around 8pm, the MoD called to advise him to leave his house. There were no preparations, nothing organised - just a blunt message that the press would soon be on their way. The effect of this message was immediate.

:Within ten minutes, Dr Kelly and his wife had packed and were driving down the M4 - his mobile phone ringing all the time, and her pleading with him not to answer. By the time the reached the hotel, at 9:30pm, Dr Kelly’s name could be seen in the first edition of the Times.

:The same newspaper was delivered to the Kellys’ room the next day - and with it, the start of the character assassination coming from Whitehall. Dr Kelly was described as a lowly official, whose importance was obviously exaggerated by Mr Gilligan.

:IT IS now clear that these jibes hurt the most. No10 wanted to belittle Mr Gilligan by portraying Dr Kelly as a junior source who could not have possibly known what was going on. To a man of such personal pride, this was crushing.

:He spoke little as he drove his wife to Cornwall. She was speaking of their trip as a holiday; they decided to visit the Eden Project. A biologist and gardener like Dr Kelly would normally have been interested; his thoughts were elsewhere.

:He called Ms Bosch, who confirmed that officials were naming him - and that, by all accounts, the knives were out. Downing Street was about to belittle him further: to a mere "technician."

:The next day in Cornwall, Dr Kelly spent the morning on the phone and was told that the MoD were explaining that he would have to appear in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee the next week.

:Mr Wells called to confirm the worst: the hearing would be televised. "He went ballistic. He just did not like that idea at all. He felt it -- he did not say this in so many words but he felt it would be a kind of continuation of a kind of reprimand into the public domain," said his wife. Dr Kelly could see he was being hung out to dry.

:His instinct was not to confide in his wife, but to retreat into himself. "He was in a world of his own. He was really quite stressed, very strained, and conversation was extremely difficult," she said.

:On the Saturday, when they visited the Eden Project, Dr Kelly seemed inconsolable. "In all the Russian visits, all the difficulties he had in Iraq, where he had lots of discomforts, lots of horrors, guns pointing at him, munitions left lying around, I had never known him to be as unhappy as he was then," his wife told Lord Hutton.

:He was then summoned to London to be briefed - or "schooled" as Mr Campbell’s diary put it - and decided to stay with his daughter in the city of Oxford, not the London hotel offered by the MoD.

:The foreign affairs committee itself was every bit as bad as he could imagine. His voice was so soft that officials had to turn off the air-conditioning to make him out. The worst punches were from Andrew Mackinlay, who suggested he was "chaff" and the "fall guy".

:Politicians know to shrug off these insults but they cut Dr Kelly to the bone. In his study lay a letter suggesting he was being considered for a knighthood - yet when he did come to the public eye, it was to be vilified. He was too intelligent not to realise that worse was on the way. His had been less than frank during the MoD interrogation - he had, indeed, undermined the government’s line on Iraq. And some journalists had him doing so on tape.

:The next day, a Wednesday, the Prime Minister himself joined in the fray - mentioning Dr Kelly by name and demanding that the BBC confirm that he was Mr Gilligan’s source. If that happened, his conversations with all journalists would be compared to his MMC evidence.

:Back in Abingdon, Dr Kelly would have realised that his every word was being used to adjudicate between No10 and the BBC - and he knew he had been economical with the truth. There was every chance that he might also be denounced as a liar.

:At 9am the next morning, he started work preparing a list of journalists he had spoken to, in response to the MP. By mid-morning he sat in the living room in silence. To his wife, he looked distracted and dejected.

:She showed him photographs from her historical society meetings but could not cheer him up. Feeling sudden fatigue, often brought on by her arthritis, she went to lie down.

Dr Kelly said he would go for a walk - he didn’t leave until 3:20pm. After half an hour, his wife began to worry: his traditional walk, a remedy for his bad back, normally took 15 minutes.

:He had not walked far. He had left his mobile at home - something he never normally did - and had taken his Scout knife. He stopped under a tree, rolled up his left sleeve and tried to cut his wrist. At first, he only scratched - but on his fifth attempt, he hit an artery and began to lose blood fast.

:The police filled in the last few details. His corpse was found the next evening at 6pm, with all the hallmarks of a suicide. Except the note.

:In a way, it fitted the character of this intensely private man to leave without explaining himself. He had never done so when alive - and seemed unable to break this pattern when choosing death.

:He occupied twin worlds: one of desert, dictatorship, biological warfare and interrogation which was entirely his own -and the other the English village life of pub lunches, cribbage, and walks in the Oxfordshire wood.

:It was a balancing act which ended in the worst possible way this summer. With his self-esteem crushed, the torture which had consumed his private world proved too much to bear.


from http://cherwell.ospl.org/viewarticle.php?ID=581

A peaceful visionary

by Alison Lock


ALISON LOCK speaks to Barney Leith, chief executive of the Baha’i faith about David Kelly and the impact of his death on the community

When you used to say the word Baha'i, people used to say, “uh?” The girl shrugs at me. “And you’d say, “yes, its a really new religion from Iran. It’d be hard to explain really quickly but people would only be asking because they didn’t know, not because they wanted to find out about it”. She smiles. “But now all you have to do is say it and people click, and say ‘ooh! David Kelly!”.

She’s right. The Baha’i have been catapulted into the international limelight since a single reporter noticed the fact that the weapons inspector David Kelly had committed to the faith four years before his death. And this change has hit nobody harder than Barney Leith, the secretary of the Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly – the effective chief executive of the Bahai community and the nearest they have to a spokesman.

He has been the first in line to answer the demands of the media, and over the last months has faced intense scrutiny culminating in his appearance before the Hutton inquiry on 2 September. The results are instantly recognisable as he sits down with me: he explains his faith gently and with the deliberate air of someone practised at teaching a novice an unfamiliar idea. His tone is warm though, and he is still clearly highly entertained by this move from obscurity to being very prominent as a faith “in about two days flat!”

He admits that the challenge was a huge one. There were the allegations that the Baha’i were a cult who led Kelly to his suicide, and the endless explanations of their beliefs about afterlife and acceptance of suicide victims. The ferocity of the media interest astounded him, and his face clouds as he remembers the headlines; “we had to deal with some really rather inaccurate, foolish reporting”. The relief is now that after approximately 111 tagged printed news articles and up to 16 broadcast interviews a day at the height of the controversy, the media is finally showing itself to be more sympathetic.

For the Baha’i teachings need sensitivity to make sense of them, and express concepts of peace and unity that seem strange to the cynical modern outlook. They start their beliefs with the idea that all human beings occupy the same earth, and all share the same basic claims on this world by virtue of their humanity.

Now, statements like this have been made before, and dismissed as hippyish or fantastical, but the Baha’i possess a conviction that this human unity not only exists but will inevitably triumph if people work at it. They see a final vision of a universal civilisation and peace across the world, and are determined to destroy the current divisions and barriers among the races to achieve it.

To the Baha’i this vision is not simply a hope or a potential action plan. Their understanding is not that the earth may move towards an ultimate state of global unity and peace, but teaches that it is a reality already set in motion by God. Humans, then, must work to allow God’s will to have the full effect on the world.

The idea is mind boggling enough, but the faith of these people that it will inevitably come about is more so. The idea seems at first blind and naïve: how can they claim humans are this rational, clear sighted and generous? They make me feel bitter for my instinctive reaction that they show a delusional lack of realism about basic human nature. And what of all the evidence pointing to the ever increasing corruption, intolerance and destruction in the modern world?

Leith chuckles deeply at these dismal questions. Yes, he acknowledges, the Baha’i are of an optimistic turn, but surely it is better to talk of global peace and world unity than to give up, turn our backs on the world and opt to live from day to day with no hope for the future. And while he recognises the bad way the present world is in, “it’s a collective dark night of the soul; a very bad time” the words of the Baha’i prophet sustain him. “There will come a time when peace will arrive” he tells me, and it depends on the hard work of humanity now.

And the Baha’i are committed entirely to working for humanity. Leith talks of education as the crucial element in moving forward – the “collective action” of the world community is to spread knowledge. To know what we are and why we are here as human beings is central to Baha’i thought, and he describes seriously the need for all people of the world to be made conscious not only of their own existence, but of their place within the wider world community. My cynicism returns once again, though, as I think about real people; surely the very problem with humans is that most don’t want to know about the wider world or their place within it – human nature is far too perverse for that unified view.

And yet, why not try a little of the optimism of these people? Leith speaks of the Bahai faith giving a fresh relevance to religion – the twentieth century, he says, was a disaster for the established faiths and saw many people alienated from them, with secular groups trying to prove faith had no place in modern life. Baha’i brings religion back closer to people’s experiences: the revelations of their prophet, Baha’ullah were made in the 1860s and so understand modern issues. They include an outline of social considerations that the ancient religious texts cannot hope to convey, like the equality of men and women, economic responsibility and justice, and the idea that science can help religion to further man’s experience.

This very modern view also leads the Bahai to work on a political and public level, and here, Leith says, lies the focus of his work: the “absolutely huge emphasis” of his faith on social cohesion. The regret of past years, he explains, is that “religion had become a rather private issue, out of the public square”, and he has now been appointed to the Government committee set up to “open the door between government and religion”; to make it useful again.

Leith is proud of the results this work is getting, telling enthusiastically of how the faith communities are responding: “they are being seen as part of the public square – seen as having something to contribute, seen as being worthy partners”. He wants the Government to go further, to work on the grassroots these faiths have established, and with the ever growing need to penetrate into those most hidden and sensitive communities he admits “it will give the Government access to areas of society that are potentially troublesome”. In a world where religious fanaticism is inducing hysteria, the calm rational voice of the Baha’i should be heeded.

Maybe the unqualified optimism of these people is our way out. Leith has many close friends drawn from other world religions, and stresses the “equality of regard” that forms a central theme of Baha’i. Perhaps the faith does understand something which our modern world, so absorbed in the violence caused by gulfs between the religions, doesn’t seem to know.

Cherwell Online 2003

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