Page last updated at 01:47 GMT, Friday, 16 February 2007

Doubts over Kelly death says poll

David Kelly
Dr Kelly was found dead in July 2003

More than a fifth of people believe government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly did not commit suicide, a BBC poll suggests.

Some 22.7% of 1,000 adults questioned for BBC Two series The Conspiracy Files said they thought the scientist had not killed himself.

Dr Kelly's body was found on Harrowdown Hill, Oxfordshire, in July 2003.

This followed his being named as the possible source of a BBC story on the government's Iraq dossier.

Hutton Inquiry

Dr Kelly had been a leading expert on biological weapons and a key UN Inspector in the hunt for Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned in July 2003.

The task of investigating the "circumstances surrounding the death" of Dr Kelly was then handed to Lord Hutton who, following a two month inquiry, concluded the scientist had taken his own life.

Oxford coroner Nicholas Gardiner looked into the possibility of reopening the inquest into Dr Kelly's death.

'Unanswered questions'

However after reviewing the evidence with the Lord Chancellor, including material that had not been presented to the Hutton inquiry, he concluded, in a March 2004 hearing, there was no case for reopening the inquest.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker has been calling for details of a meeting between government officials and the coroner ahead of the decision to be made public.

Mr Baker, who quit his frontbench role last May to investigate "unanswered questions" about the death of the weapons scientist has been promised a meeting with the officials.

The MP claims the Hutton inquiry had "blatantly failed to get to the bottom of matters".

According to the Conspiracy Files, 38.8% of people believe Dr Kelly committed suicide and 38.5% said they did not know how he died.

The Conspiracy Files carried out its research last October.

Another subject raised was the attacks on the US by terrorists on 11 September 2001.

Its findings suggest 16% of people believe the US government was involved in a wider conspiracy surrounding the events.

But 64% thought there was no wider conspiracy. The rest said they did not know.

The opinion poll was carried out by the market research company GfK NOP.

The new series of The Conspiracy Files starts on Sunday, 18 February, at 2100 GMT on BBC Two, with the Dr David Kelly episode broadcast the following week.


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