blair's mafia at work

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    Paramedics throw doubt on cause of Kelly's death
    By Peter Fray
    December 13, 2004
    The paramedics who attended at the death of British Iraqi weapons expert David Kelly have openly questioned the official verdict that he killed himself by slashing his wrist and bleeding to death.

    Dr Kelly, whose apparent suicide was at the centre of the Hutton inquiry into the Blair Government's pre-war dossier, died in woods near his home in Oxfordshire in July last year.

    The exhaustive inquiry, which largely cleared the Government of "sexing up" its Iraq dossier, found he had killed himself after cutting his left wrist with a pocket knife.

    But Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt, the ambulance officers who attended Dr Kelly and were among the first to see him, say the lack of blood at the scene make it extremely unlikely that the scientist died from cuts to his wrist alone.

    Mr Bartlett, a paramedic for more than 15 years, told The Observer newspaper in the presence of his solicitor that "had it been a member of my family I wouldn't have accepted what they (the Hutton Inquiry) came out with".

    The Oxfordshire County Coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, decided against a full inquiry into Dr Kelly's death after Lord Hutton, a now retired British senior judge, had made his ruling. Both decisions were accepted by the Kelly family.

    But the comments by the paramedics are likely to revive questions around the Kelly affair that plunged the Blair Government into a political crisis over its now largely discredited Iraq weapons dossier.

    Ms Hunt said it was "incredibly unlikely" Dr Kelly had died from the wrist wound he saw. "There just wasn't a lot of blood. When somebody cuts an artery, whether accidentally or intentionally, the blood pumps everywhere," she said.

    Dr Kelly was exposed as the source of allegations made by then BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan that the Government had sexed up the dossier that made the case for the Iraqi invasion. The central claims in the dossier have since been proven by the Butler inquiry to be based on inaccurate or faulty intelligence information.

    The Ministry of Defence scientist, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq and a world leader in the field, put himself under intense pressure after coming forward as Gilligan's source, although he initially denied he had suggested the dossier had been sexed up.

    Ms Hunt, who also has more than 15 years' experience, said the only blood they had seen around Dr Kelly was a small stain on his trousers, some dried blood at his wrist and some on the plants near his left arm.

    "There was no gaping wound . . . there wasn't a puddle of blood around," she said.

    Dr Kelly is known to have swallowed almost 30 painkillers before he died, but a toxicology report found that he had taken only about a third of a lethal dose.

    Neither paramedic offered an alternative explanation for Dr Kelly's death and said they were not speaking out to fuel conspiracy theories.

    Mr Bartlett said he would accept the finding of the Hutton inquiry if "they showed me photos showing lots of blood and said he had massive amounts of drugs or another substance in his body and that killed him, (then) I would accept it".

    "But until then there has to be some doubt," he said.
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