Bahai News -- Ireland Online - Inquiry to hear of Kelly's last known moments

Inquiry to hear of Kelly's last known moments

02/09/2003 - 06:50:54


Details of Dr David Kelly’s final movements and state of mind before he took his own life were being revealed at the Hutton Inquiry today.

The last people to see the British Iraq weapons expert alive and police officers involved in the search for his body were among witnesses due to appear before the inquiry at Britain's Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Lord Hutton was being assisted by an expert on suicide and a leader of the Baha’I faith, of which Dr Kelly was a member, to gain an insight into his mind and beliefs.

Yesterday the inquiry heard poignant evidence from those who knew Dr Kelly best – his widow Janice, daughter Rachel and sister Sarah Pape.

Mrs Kelly told a packed court 73 how her husband felt “totally let down and betrayed” by Britain's Ministry of Defence for allowing his name to be made public.

She attacked the way he had been unmasked as the source for BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan’s dossier story, despite receiving assurances from his MoD bosses that he would remain anonymous.

Today the inquiry was due to learn more about what was going through Dr Kelly’s mind when he chose to take his own life.

Giving evidence were Barney Leith, a personal friend and secretary of the UK National Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is, and Professor Keith Hawton, a psychiatrist.

The Baha’i faith, which Dr Kelly discovered in 1999 while working for the UN in New York, has 6,000 followers across the UK and five million adherents worldwide.

The religion preaches universal peace and emphasises truthfulness.

Baha’is do not believe in heaven or hell, staying that everyone has an opportunity for redemption, which has led to the mistaken assumption that they are proponents of suicide.

Professor Hawton, director of the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford University’s department of psychiatry, was expected to give Lord Hutton expert advice on the minds of those who take their own lives.

Elderly neighbour Ruth Absalom, who spoke to Dr Kelly on his final walk to woods near his home near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on July 18 was among those giving evidence.

She was being joined on the witness stand by Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman, volunteers with the search team, and by Dr Kelly’s local GP, Dr Malcolm Warner.

British police officers Pc Martyn Sawyer, Pc Andrew Franklin, Dc Peter Coe and Sergeant Geoffrey Webb, who were also involved in the search, were amongst those helping Lord Hutton to piece together the weapons expert’s final movements.

Ambulance staff David Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt were also due to appear.

©Copyright 2003, Ireland Online (Ireland)

Following is the URL to the original story. The site may have removed or archived this story. URL: http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=58718100&p=587y86z5


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