Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Dominic Grieve - now it's over to you

Sometime in the near future we expect the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, to make one of his most significant decisions: whether to set in train the events that will lead to an inquest into the death in July 2003 of Dr David Kelly.

The group of doctors who had presented a legal document, a "memorial" as it's known to Mr Grieve some months ago subsequently made it available for viewing on the internet.  The Memorial can be read here.  In the Memorial they robustly present their case as to why the Hutton Inquiry process was woefully inadequate and hence why an inquest is now necessary.  They also, and this is important, point out that another coroner should be used not the Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner.  Mr Gardiner it will be remembered had the opportunity to reopen the adjourned inquest into Dr Kelly's death but declined to do so and cannot now be considered in any way a suitable candidate to oversee a new inquest.  Furthermore whilst the Hutton Inquiry was under way a final death certificate was issued, a certificate that was deficient and was not signed by a coroner or doctor as it has to be.  In my opinion by not being signed it was not a legal document and the Registrar of Deaths had absolutely no business to accept it onto the register.  Another thing: as flagged up in the Memorial Mr Gardiner gave an interview to a newspaper after the Hutton Report was published but before he announced that he would not reopen the adjourned inquest in which he stated he was seeking closure.  Without doubt this is a gross abuse of his position and for that reason alone is not a fit person to oversee a new inquest.

To perhaps stiffen Mr Grieve's resolve the doctors pointed out yesterday that the case for a new inquest is unanswerable.  It should be mentioned that although the arguments in the Memorial are more than enough to trigger a new inquest others have also made their depositions to the Attorney General.  It is worth going over to  where Dr Andrew Watt has produced well reasoned letters to the Attorney General which clearly show why a further investigative process is now essential.  I too have written to Mr Grieve as can be read here.

I've read comments on various internet sites that the immediate family of the late Dr David Kelly don't want an inquest and therefore there shouldn't be one.  They are 100% wrong about this, it is not for the family to decide, it is a legal matter - the Hutton inquiry subverted the law as to the procedure to be followed after an unusual and unexplained death.

Should Mr Grieve shy away from a new inquest under a new coroner then I can see all hell being let loose.  The politicians must never again be allowed to overrule the judicial system to pursue their own agenda.

1 comment:

  1. I, like Brian and many more, have written to the Attorney General in relation to Dr kelly's death. I was keen to establish why a murder investigation had not been performed and was it even possible for a murder investigation to take place at all? As, if it were murder, then Thames Valley Police were up to there necks in it, presumably acting on intructions from their political masters.

    I recieved a reply saying he was in the process of looking at the evidence and would make a decision regarding whether there should be an inquest or not.

    I replied and told him it was not his job to decide whether there should be an inquest, that was the job of the High Court. Mr Grieve's job is to send a request to the High Court to look into the facts.

    The Attorney General wrote back and asked me to be patient.

    I can see why Mr Grieve is being reticent. If an inquest goes ahead this could signal the start of a witch hunt of those guilty of all manner of things during the Blair years.

    I believe that the order for an inquest is inevitable but it may be the first domino in a very long line to topple. Let's hope so!