DR David Kelly did not commit suicide and is likely to have had his wrists slashed by another person, according to bombshell new claims by a medical expert.
John Scurr, a world-renowned consultant surgeon who specialises in surgery on veins and arteries, does not believe Dr Kelly died in the way an inquiry into his death concluded.
Dr Kelly was a weapons expert and inspector who worked for the Ministry of Defence and the United National Special Commission in Iraq.
He was found dead two days after a parliamentary grilling in which he was heavily criticised for speaking to a BBC journalist about the dossier of evidence that was used as a precursor for the Iraq war in 2003.
Scurr told the author Miles Goslett for the Mail On Sunday that Dr Kelly’s half-sister Sarah Pape OBE, who is a leading plastic surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle, called him after Lord Hutton published his conclusion in January 2004.
She reportedly told Scurr that Dr Kelly couldn’t have taken his own life and she wanted to find out if someone could die by slashing the ulnar artery.
He said: “I don’t believe it’s possible to die from simply cutting your ulnar artery. It is a very small artery and it is unlikely you could lose enough blood to cause cardiac arrest and death. It is much more likely he died from another cause. One possibility is a heart attack caused by whatever reason and this was an attempt to mask that.
“The relative absence of blood at the scene and the fact that a rather blunt knife was used are significant. If one were to cut the wrist holding the knife in the right hand, the artery that would be cut is not the ulnar artery, which is on the inside of the hand, but the radial artery on the outside of the hand.
“It seems more probable that somebody else took the knife and actually slashed the wrist, taking the stroke across the ulnar artery.”
Scurr said he believes it would be hard to cut the ulnar artery, which is under the little finger, with a blunt knife without really putting force into the radial artery first, which is under the thumb.
Dr Kelly’s death in July 2003 was shrouded in mystery.
He was outed as a source of information about the dossier that was produced when Dr Kelly was working for the Defence Intelligence Staff in 2002.
This dossier later made the case for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and included government influence on some of the contents from then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spin doctor Alastair Campbell.
Dr Kelly discussed the issues with then-BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan, who aired his concerns anonymously on the Today Programme on 29 May 2003.
It caused a political storm and he was named as the source of the information and was hauled in front of a committee of MPs for public hearing on July 15, 2003.
He was found dead days later and the Hutton Inquiry was immediately ordered to investigate.
In January 2004, it concluded he had committed suicide.
Legal action was launched in December 2009 to demand a formal inquest, but it emerged the following month that Lord Hutton had requested Dr Kelly’s postmortem files remain hidden for 70 years.
In October 2017 Dr Kelly’s family secretly exhumed his body and reportedly cremated it.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.