[THS] Doctors take battle for inquest into Dr Kelly's death to the High Court
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Mon Sep 6 14:21:51 CEST 2010
Doctors take battle for inquest into Dr Kelly's death to the High Court
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:30 AM on 4th September 2010
Six reputed doctors are due to go to the High Court next week as they battle to force
an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.
The group is arguing that there is insufficient medical evidence to prove the
Government weapons inspector committed suicide.
They want Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, to open a new inquest, claiming the
files into his death have not been discussed publicly and that it is an unusual step not
to have one.
It comes just days after Mr Grieve, QC, made a dramatic U-turn and ordered the
secret files containing medical reports and post mortem notes over Dr Kellys death.
However, Mr Grieve - the only person with the authority to ask the High Court to
order a new inquest - has said he could not order a probe without sufficient evidence
to justify holding a fresh investigation.
Campaigners say Dr Kelly could not have taken his life by cutting a small artery in his
wrist, which was the verdict reached by the Hutton Inquiry set up by then prime
minister Tony Blair in 2003.
Unusually, no inquest was held - it was opened then adjourned but never resumed -
because the then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer ruled the public inquiry would
Dr Kellys body was found in a wood near his Oxfordshire home shortly after he had
been exposed as the source of a BBC report which said the Government had
exaggerated the grounds for going to war in Iraq.
Frances Swaine, the solicitor acting for the doctors - all experts in trauma and
vascular surgery told Time Times they were acting on a basis of professional
integrity that the evidence did not support the finding that Dr Kelly killed himself.
They think it outrageous that this view has simply been accepted without
examination, she said.
The doctors are also requesting permission to study medical files relating to Dr Kellys
Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, is expected to give the doctors an answer next
If successful, the request would need to go before a High Court judge for approval.
Ms Swaine, a partner at the London law firm Leigh Day who is representing five of
the doctors, said: We have not seen any evidence that Dr Kelly bled to death in the
way Lord Hutton thought likely.
We have a death certificate which has the name of the deceased, but neither where
nor when he died.'
In the Hutton Inquiry, Lord Hutton ordered medical reports into Dr Kelly's death to
remain hidden for 70 years to protect his family.
Ms Swaine added: 'The Hutton Inquiry did not really address the medical causes of
'It was more to do with the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death and leading
up to it.'
The doctors appealing for an inquest are Dr Stephen Frost; Dr Martin Birnstingl; Dr
David Halpin; Dr Andrew Rouse; Dr Christopher Burns-Cox; and Dr Michael Powers
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