Bahai News -- Irish Examiner - Kelly 'being considered for New Year honours' 01/09/2003 - 11:22:59 AM

Kelly 'being considered for New Year honours'

UK weapons expert David Kelly was being considered for an honour in May this year, his widow Janice told the Hutton Inquiry today.

Mrs Kelly, 58, said she had found a document relating to the New Year’s Honours List for 2004 “a couple of weeks or so ago”.

She said it related to people to be put on the New Year’s Honours List for 2004 and that scribbled in the top right hand corner of the document was: “How about David Kelly? Iraq is topical.”

Mrs Kelly said that her husband did not discuss the document and that it was headed “Confidential”.

The expert’s widow was giving evidence to Court 73 at the Royal Courts of Justice by audio link, with a still picture of her visible to those in the room.

She was believed to be following proceedings at Lord Hutton’s inquiry from another room at the courts.

Mrs Kelly, 58, said her husband was a “workaholic” and dedicated to his profession: “I think he would have done the whole job for nothing, had he not had to support a wife and family.”

She described how she married Dr Kelly in 1967 after meeting while he was studying at Leeds University and she was at training college.

They both studied later at Birmingham University before he went on to study at Oxford.

Dr Kelly, who was 59 when he apparently committed suicide, went on to work for Porton Down, the UK’s biological and chemical weapons establishment, before working as a weapons inspector for the United Nations in Iraq.

Mrs Kelly said her husband was well used to briefing journalists and that she heard him speaking on the phone from home.

“He was never very long on the phone to these journalists,” she said.

The weapons expert’s widow said he felt there was unfinished business in Iraq after the UN’s weapons inspectors were thrown out of the country.

“He felt that his job there wasn’t finished. That Iraq did indeed have plenty of weapons…it was quite a frustrating time, I think, after 1998 when they were effectively thrown out of Iraq,” she said.

Counsel to the inquiry, James Dingemans QC, said that in January or February this year the family were preparing for their daughter’s wedding and asked what Dr Kelly’s mood was like.

Mrs Kelly said: “He was a bit more tired then he had been. But he was upbeat, looking forward to the wedding.

“There was some trepidation for the war. He believed in it but was sad that we seemed to be moving towards that position.”

Mrs Kelly also revealed that her husband had been thinking about retirement and was looking to perhaps 2005 although he was worried about pension requirements.

She was asked about Dr Kelly’s conversion to the Baha’I faith and said: “He kept it very private to himself.”

She said he converted five or six years ago, adding: “He was reading the Koran and perhaps becoming gentler in his ways. It really was a spiritual revelation for him.”

©Copyright 2003, The Irish Examiner (UK)

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