Bahai News -- Guardian - Widow to give evidence by video link Hutton inquiry

Widow to give evidence by video link

Vikram Dodd and Richard Norton-Taylor
Saturday August 30, 2003
The Guardian

The widow of Dr David Kelly will speak in public on Monday for the first time since the loss of her husband last month.

Janice Kelly heads the list of witnesses testifying before the Hutton inquiry, which will also hear from other members of the weapons expert's family.

Next week also sees the surprise calling of a close aide to Geoff Hoon, and evidence from members of the defence intelligence staff, some of whom raised concerns about the September dossier.

It is expected that Mrs Kelly will testify by video link from her Oxfordshire home, to spare her any added distress caused by having to travel to the inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.

Dr Kelly's daughter Rachel, who is due to marry in October, will give evidence, as will his sister Sarah Pape, and other friends. All the family members have asked to testify by video link.

Mrs Kelly's evidence will be closely watched to see if she blames the government, individual ministers or officials for her husband's treatment in the weeks leading up to his death.

Lord Hutton has summoned a special adviser to the defence secretary, Mr Hoon, whose job is on the line following his testimony on Wednesday.

Richard Taylor was called after the inquiry learned he had confirmed to a journalist that Dr Kelly was the individual who had met BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan. Mr Taylor spoke to the reporter on July 9, the day after the Ministry of Defence released a statement saying that an unnamed official had admitted meeting Gilligan.

The responsibility for the naming of Dr Kelly by the government is a key issue Lord Hutton is examining. The revelation about the part Mr Hoon's aide played in "outing" Dr Kelly came in a second witness statement sent to the inquiry by Pam Teare, the MoD's head of news.

The inquiry will also hear from police officers involved in the search for Dr Kelly after he went missing from his home on July 17, as well as from paramedics who found his body. A psychiatrist will also testify, as will a leading member of the Baha'i faith, to which Dr Kelly had converted.

The inquiry will also sit on Thursday, one more day than scheduled.

©Copyright 2003, The Guardian (UK)

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