Sunday, 24 January 2010

David Kelly's Medical Records Secretly Barred



Lord Hutton, the peer who chaired the Hutton Inquiry into the Dr Kelly scandal, has secretly barred the release of all medical records, including the results of the post-mortem and unpublished evidence. The records will be kept under wraps for up to 70 years.

Dr Michael Powers QC, a doctor campaigning to overturn the Hutton findings, said," What is it about David Kelly's death which is so secret as to justify these reports being kept out of the public domain for 70 years?"

The normal rules on post-mortems allow close relatives and 'properly interested persons' to apply to see a copy of the report and to 'inspect' other documents.

Lord Hutton's measure has overridden these rules, so the files will not be opened until all people are likely to be dead.

Last night the Ministry of Justice was unable to explain the legal basis for Lord Hutton's order. Unable to explain? The Prime Minister should be called to explain the reasons in the House of Commons. Then again, with a report like this published this weekend, it wouldn't surprise me if Gordon Brown has more 'urgent' matters which require his attention.


36 comments:

Quiet_Man said...

I love the stench of cover up in the morning. How on earth Hutton expected to keep the fact he was covering up the cover up a secret is beyond me.

God I hope that made sense ☺

Clarinda said...

The report may be hidden - but those who contributed to its factual evidence and content are still around - or have they all been silenced too?

Subrosa - I note that in your link to the Telegraph story - that there is special mention for the "tick-box" politicalised NHS. It would appear that whether reports are published, redacted or hidden - nothing seems to change for the better.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

The morons in charge of this cover-up still seem to think that D notices will cover their arses.
How wrong they are...

Oldrightie said...

They covered up Dunblane well enough. Now this. 'D' notices are never really about security just covering very bare arses!

Sue said...

I'd love to know what it says. Of course we all know he was directly or indirectly murdered. In 70 years time, the person or persons responsible will be dead.

I can't believe they are allowed to do this, its a blatant coverup!

Alec said...

Can the first person who says Kelly was undermining the case for war be reminded he supported the invasion?

Jess The Dog said...

I'm not ruling out a good reason - the intense public interest and the consideration of the privacy of the Kelly family.

However, this needs to be clear, and it also needs to be clear that the family have been allowed access to all information and are satisfied that this fulfils the purpose of an inquest.

I'm uncertain of the legality of any such order made by Hutton. Surely this could be overturned in the courts on in Parliament?

I doubt a widespread conspiracy theory, particularly any notion that Dr Kelly was purposefully assassinated by the UK government. However, I suspect there may be an awkward backdrop to this tragedy, such as ongoing surveillance that failed to prevent a suicide, or even an altercation with watchers.

Will a Conservative government shine a light into this - respecting the privacy of the family, of course.

Dunblane has been mentioned as a whitewash...I would agree to an extent, from what I have read, but one which covered up multiple failings rather than any conspiracy....this sort of thing does not work anymore in the age of the internet and whistleblower.

Alec said...

Jess woofs to my condition. Kelly's treatment was shameful, especially as a loyal servant of the Crown and supporter of the invasion.

That would push anyone to the edge.

The common factors in conspiracy theorists - either with this or Dunblane - is that they rely on all-encompassing networks which have conspired to make this one event possible.

Governments can be inept knitwits, you know.

subrosa said...

That does make sense QM. I notice both BBC and Sky have stopped reporting it now. It's not important enough or they've been warned off.

subrosa said...

More than their job's worth to speak out I expect Clarinda. In years to come some retired policeman or whatever will perhaps have a fit of conscience and speak out about it.

No our society is not improving, quite the contrary.

subrosa said...

Someone somewhere will blow the whistle Conan. Mind you, there are so many people involved they must have had considerable pressure put on them.

subrosa said...

Dunblane is seldome mentioned these days Oldrightie, but I'm sure you've noticed.

Rumours (some not without foundation I'm sure) still abound though.

Haven't heard rumours about Dr Kelly's death but then I'm far from the scene here.

subrosa said...

I wonder if Hutton would respond to a FOI Sue, asking him his reasons.

subrosa said...

He may have done Alec, he didn't suppose the reason for it.

subrosa said...

Jess, there was rather an extensive cover-up about Dunblane. I'll be dead when it comes to light but there were serious failings from start to finish. The D notice covers the backs of many people involved.

I would disagree with you. Dr Kelly didn't commit suicide imo.

Let's not forget some people may just be in fear of their own lives if they speak out. Even the internet and whistleblowing wouldn't save them.

subrosa said...

Yes indeed Alec and they can be utterly incompetent networks too as we read in the papers this morning from senior civil servants.

D notices are handy to hide their gross incompetences.

Alec said...

It would have made more sense to kill Gilligan and those warping Kelly's testimony to their own ends.

Apogee said...

Hi SR
I always thought that hiding, tampering with, or destroying evidence to hide a crime was against the law.
But it seems that if you are in government you are above the law.
So the system of laws is not applicable to government,or they can pick and choose.
Their choice.
Be very careful who you put in government above you.
Are they honest politicians, that is, will they stay bought with YOUR gold.

subrosa said...

There's something in that Alec but I think Dr Kelly was the easiest target, warning the others off.

subrosa said...

Hi Apogee. Yes this should make all of us think and question those who seek to represent us. Sadly once many enter through the hallowed portals they leave their promises behind.

scunnert said...

Wasn't the police investigation into his death called "Operation Mason"?

stewartcowan said...

I think that in his book, Norman Baker wrote that the most likely explanation is that a hit man from an Iraqi opposition group murdered Dr Kelly in case he persuaded the government not to go to war.

It still means a massive cover-up by British police and intelligence.

subrosa said...

Scunnert, you're far better informed than me, as usual. :)

subrosa said...

I haven't read the book Stewart but I did read some of the many previews.

Now I'm going to order the book from the library. You've got me intrigued.

Strathturret said...

And then we have the strange case of Willie McRae?

subrosa said...

Yes of course Strathturret. Two TV programmes and we're no further forward knowing what happened there.

It's amazing how quickly the powers that be can suddenly close ranks.

Jess The Dog said...

I'm keen to sift made-up conspiracies from actual cover-ups.

Don't believe there was any "D Notice" over Dunblane. Rumoured to have been one over Operation Ore, which is credible. Don't believe there is any direct link between the two. Can't see Hamilton using a credit card or the internet, particularly in 1996. D-notices ("DA notices" now)are largely unenforcable and require co-operation on behalf of the press anyway.

The Cullen inquiry caused concern because of the 100-year restriction order on release. The Lord Advocate lifted this in 2005, with some information (on the victims) still withheld. It is not too cynical to conclude that the original 100-year restriction would have also covered up disgraceful police incompetence and uncomfortable contacts between Hamilton and various political figures (not necessarily sinister as deranged people often rant to politicians) related to this devastating and unprecedented event. There hasn't been any 'noise' since the files were released to the National Archives of Scotland. Inquiry transcript is at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/158868/0043149.pdf


With the Kelly tragedy, there are unresolved issues and serious doubts, but murder is at the extreme end of possible scenarios. Other whistleblowers and resigners (Elizabeth Wilmshurst and Katharine Gun) have escaped unscathed and I like to think most people in the State's employment would stop short of murder (Wilmshurst and Gun are two examples of integrity).

There are a couple of genuine cover-ups out there relating to political and media figures and their families, which can be found by anyone with Google and imagination. These are sad rather than sinister and the stuff of National Enquirer at the very most.

Jess The Dog said...

There's the Hilda Murrell case as well. Rumour was she was murdered by MI5...for preparing to give evidence to a planning inquiry on nuclear power! Far easier ways for the State to deal with such a threat...ministers decide on planning applications anyway. A labourer was convicted following a cold case review in 2005.

subrosa said...

Jess I've had to drag my mind back a few years and I think you're right, there was no D notice over Dunblane but Operation Ore.

There was a 100 year order put upon police reports of Dunblane:

'The latest allegations came to light following a campaign to lift the secrecy on the Dunblane massacre. Large sections of the police report were banned from the public domain under a 100-year secrecy order. Lord Cullen, an establishment insider, also omitted and censored references to the documents in his final report.'

The parents were 'discouraged' from attempting to continue with the campaign.

Pedophilia is allegedly the link between the two - certain it was the core of Operation Ore.

The LA lifted the Cullen inquiry restrictions to a degree but the police reports are still secret. Thanks for the link btw. It doesn't hold the police evidence though.

You believe Kelly committed suicide with a blunt knife? That's fine. I tend to think he didn't, but I shall do some further research.

If there is nothing to hide why lock away information for 70 years? Dr Kelly's death surely wasn't a threat to national security.

You may well be right that these secrecy orders are only about the utter incompetence of our police services.

We'll come back to this sometime Jess.

subrosa said...

Now, I would agree with you about the Hilda Murrell case but I still have many questions about the Willie McRae one, as thousands do.

Jess The Dog said...

I agree that the Kelly scenario leaves many questions unanswererd, but can't make the long jump to conspiracy to commit (and cover up) murder. Most cover-ups are to cover backsides and any elaborate cover-up unravels very quickly. There's the cui bono question as well, and I can't see anyone benefitting from Dr Kelly's premature death.

Not sure about Willie McRae but my feeling is that knowledge of NATO activities in Scotland, or anti-NATO activism, is not the stuff of James Bond or worse. Certainly appears suspicious (apparent suicide by pistol invariably is) but it's a big jump to a government assassination. There's one man who has come forward to say he was surveilling McRae (a private eye) but without corroboration it is difficult to place much weight upon this.

We've had a SNP government for nearly three years, and nothing critical has been unveiled with regard to Dunblane or McRae. Revelations regarding either case would cause a schism between Holyrood and Westminster.

There are many thousands of tawdry conspiracies, cock-ups, covers-up and abuses of power, ranging from MPs' expenses, council brown envelopes, the misuse of "anti terror" powers agains the public and the Doncaster Council cover-up.

There are very few big conspiracies. Even the Iraq War is being unveiled now as a promise 'in blood' made by Blair, a desperate search for WMD or a resolution and Blair jumping to Bush's side when neither were found - rather than a amokescreen from the start.

Shakespeare was right - it is the small flaws and deceits which lie behind the greatest tragedies. We have enough trouble unveiling these, sadly often after the event.

subrosa said...

To admit to thinking Kelly was a conspiracy would be quite a leap of faith but I still believe it wasn't just incompetence behind it. Two and two aren't making four for me and especially with the eminent list of doctors who are asking questions, it does make me think.

The Dunblane affair isn't any conspiracy, it's as you say a coverup. Other than the police there must be some heid bummer(s) involved and that of course leads to people wondering.

I was never in much doubt about Blair's invasion of Iraq. It's panned out as I thought it would. He was determined, long before I even suspected, to get in there for our share of the oil. As I understand it we haven't had our share, just the dregs the Americans don't want. I don't have an ounce of sympathy for Blair and his cronies.

Stewart Cowan said...

The MP wrote in the Daily Mail a few times. This is the article I was thinking about:

Did Britain give a nod and a wink to the killers of Dr David Kelly?

Quote:

Things might be even more difficult if it was discovered that those responsible were 'friendly' Iraqis based in England.

It is not inconceivable then, that a high-level decision was taken to make Dr Kelly's murder look like suicide. This would have the bonus of discrediting him by suggesting his mind was unstable, something the Government was distastefully keen to do, both before and after his death.

If this scenario is correct, it is necessary to conclude that a small number of senior people knew about the assassination before Dr Kelly's body was officially found - and hastily began to contrive a cover-up.

This is not an unreasonable conclusion given that I have discovered that documents relating to Operation Mason, the police investigation into Dr Kelly's death, show it started at 2.30pm on the Thursday afternoon - half an hour before he left home that day.

subrosa said...

Thank you Stewart. A most intriguing addition to the debate.

Strathturret said...

I gather that Hutton is allowing the post mortem evidence to be available to group of doctors who have requested them.

subrosa said...

Yes I read that Strathturret. Hutton said he'd locked it away to save upset for the family but surely the family were entitled to read the information.

Dr Kelly's wife didn't appear to be a hysterical, ignorant woman to me - quite the contrary.

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