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CHAPTER 4

Requests by the FAC and the ISC that Dr Kelly should appear before them

  85.  On 10 July Mr Donald Anderson MP, the Chairman of the FAC, wrote to Mr Hoon stating:

The Decision to go to War in Iraq

The Foreign Affairs Committee wishes to receive an answer to the following question.

  • On what date, and at what time, did the meeting take place between Dr David Kelly and Mr Andrew Gilligan at which the conversation referred to in the MoD statement of 9 July (sic) took place?

You will wish to know that the Clerk is writing to Dr Kelly today, inviting him, to appear before the Committee to give oral evidence in public on Tuesday 15 July, on questions directly relevant to the Committee's Report published earlier this week, arising from the MoD statement of 9 July (sic).

I am copying this letter to Jack Straw and to Bruce George. I would be obliged if you were to reply to it not later than 4 o'clock tomorrow, 11 July.

On 10 July the Clerk of the FAC wrote to Dr Kelly stating:

The Decision to go to War in Iraq

The Foreign Affairs Committee wishes to hear oral evidence from you in public at 3 o'clock on Tuesday 15 July, to answer questions directly relevant to the Committee's Report published earlier this week, arising from the MoD statement of 9 July (sic).

I would be obliged if you were to reply to this letter not later than 4 o'clock tomorrow, 11 July.

  86.  On 10 July the Clerk of the ISC made an oral request to the MoD that Dr Kelly should give evidence before that Committee on 15 July.

  87.  On 10 July Sir Kevin Tebbit wrote to Mr Hoon stating:

DR KELLY

There have been requests to you for Dr Kelly to appear before both the FAC and the ISC (on the same day, 15 July).

2. We had already offered him to the ISC and I recommend that you agree to that request, although to avoid setting a precedent, you should stress that you only are content for such a relatively junior official to appear given the exceptional nature of the evidence that Dr Kelly could offer. As regards the FAC, however, I recommend that you resist, on grounds that the FAC inquiry is completed (their report was finalised on 3 July, before we had been able to talk to Kelly ourselves) and that a separate session to question Kelly would attach disproportionate importance to him in relation to the subject of their inquiry as a whole. The ISC, on the other hand, are only just beginning their work and are better placed to ensure that Kelly's views are placed in the proper context (he is, after all, not the Government's principal adviser on the subject, nor even a senior one). A further benefit of an ISC hearing is that they can more easily handle national security dimensions, should they wish to cover intelligence material with Kelly, although they might be prepared, given the public interest, to hold most of their hearing in open session, although this could be unprecedented.

3. A further reason for avoiding two hearings, back to back, is to show some regard for the man himself. He has come forward voluntarily, is not used to being thrust into the public eye, and is not on trial. It does not seem unreasonable to ask the FAC to show restraint and accept the FAC hearing as being sufficient for their purposes (eg testing the validity of Gilligan's evidence).

4. It will, of course, be important to ensure that views that Kelly may express are not necessarily taken to represent HMG's policy, or even the collective view of either our intelligence or military expert communities. The ISC will be suitably placed to deal with this through the further witnesses they already plan to call, eg John Scarlett. The FAC, with their hearing ended and report produced, would not be in that position.

5. This line may not be sustainable in strict institutional terms: the FAC report to Parliament, whereas the ISC, although drawn from Parliament, report formally to the Prime Minister. And I do not believe that the ISC have taken testimony in public before.

But I think it worth a try at least. The individual himself is, I understand, prepared to appear before both bodies.

  88.  On Friday 11 July Mr Hoon's Private Secretary wrote to Mr Straw's Private Secretary as follows:

FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: DR KELLY

As you know, the Defence Secretary received a letter yesterday afternoon from the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Donald Anderson, asking that Dr David Kelly should appear before the FAC on Tuesday 15 July at 1500. At about the same time, we received an oral request from the Clerk to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) asking for Dr Kelly to appear before them on the same day at 1230 for about 45 minutes. Donald Anderson has asked for a reply by 1600 today. The Government has already indicated, in the MOD press statement issued on Tuesday 8 July, that it would not object if the ISC asked to see Dr Kelly as part of their current inquiry.

The Defence Secretary has given the request from the FAC careful consideration. There are reasons for resisting this request:

  • The FAC have already completed their inquiry. (Indeed, their report was finalised on 3 July before MOD officials had interviewed Dr Kelly themselves.)
  • A separate session to question Dr Kelly would attach disproportionate importance to him in relation to the subject of the FAC's inquiry as a whole.
  • The ISC is better placed than the FAC to handle the national security dimensions should the question of intelligence material arise.
  • It is fairer on the man himself not to expect him to appear before two Parliamentary Committees within the space of 3 hours.

On the other hand:

  • It is not unreasonable for the FAC to feel that Dr Kelly's account may call into question the evidence that they were given by Andrew Gilligan and that they should therefore have an opportunity to see him themselves. (It is conceivable, that having done so, they may decide to recall Gilligan.)
  • Presentationally, it would be difficult to defend a position in which the Government had objected to Dr Kelly appearing before a Committee of the House which takes evidence in public in favour of an appointed Committee which meets in private. Although the ISC has considered taking evidence in public before and might decide to do so on this occasion, this could set an unwelcome precedent for both the Committee itself and for us.

The Defence Secretary has, therefore, concluded that on balance we should agree to the FAC's request. Given that Dr Kelly is a relatively junior official who played only a limited role in the preparation of the Dossier, we should invite Donald Anderson to agree that the Committee will confine its questioning to matters directly relevant to Andrew Gilligan's evidence. I understand that No.10 would be content with this approach.

Attached are drafts of the letters which the Defence Secretary proposes to send to Donald Anderson and Ann Taylor later today. I should be grateful for any comments that you may have by no later than 1430 today.

I am copying this letter to Jonathan Powell and Alastair Campbell (No.10) and to Sir David Omand and John Scarlett (Cabinet Office).

  89.  On 11 July Mr Hoon wrote to Mr Donald Anderson, the Chairman of the FAC, as follows:

Thank you for your letter of 10 July about Dr David Kelly.

I understand that Dr Kelly met Mr Gilligan on 22 May at about 1700 at the Charing Cross Hotel.

You also ask that Dr Kelly appears before the FAC on Tuesday 15 July at 1500. As you know, the Government has already suggested that the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) might wish to interview Dr Kelly as part of their continuing inquiry. (A copy of the MOD's press statement of 8 July is attached for convenience.) The Chairman of the ISC has now asked that Dr Kelly appears before them, also on next Tuesday, at 1230 for about 45 minutes. I am writing to Ann Taylor today agreeing to this request.

Although the FAC has now completed its own inquiry, I can understand why you also wish to see Dr Kelly. I am prepared to agree to this on the clear understanding that Dr Kelly will be questioned only on those mattes which are directly relevant to the evidence that you were given by Andrew Gilligan, and not on the wider issue of Iraqi WMD and the preparation of the Dossier. Dr Kelly was not involved in the process of drawing up the intelligence parts of the Dossier.

As I noted above, Dr Kelly will have appeared earlier the same day before the ISC. I hope that you will bear this in mind and not detain him for longer than about the same period of time indicated by the ISC. As he is not used to this degree of public exposure, Dr Kelly has asked if he could be accompanied by a colleague. MOD officials will discuss this further with the Clerk.

I should be grateful if you could confirm that you are content to proceed on this basis.

  90.  On 11 July Mr Hoon wrote to Mrs Ann Taylor, the Chairman of the ISC as follows:

I understand that the Clerk has asked whether I would be content for Dr David Kelly to appear before the ISC on Tuesday 15 July at 1230 for about 45 minutes to give evidence about his meeting with Andrew Gilligan on 22 May. As the Ministry of Defence indicated in the statement it issued on Tuesday 8 July, there are no objections to Dr Kelly appearing.

I should point out that it is unusual for an MOD official of Dr Kelly's grade to appear as principal witness before the ISC. Given the exceptional circumstances, I am content for Dr Kelly to appear but I would not regard this as setting a precedent. I presume that Dr Kelly will be questioned only on those matters which are directly relevant to the claims made by Andrew Gilligan, and not on the wider issue of Iraqi WMD and the preparation of the Dossier on which you have already arranged to take evidence from a range of more senior and qualified witnesses. Dr Kelly was not involved in the process of drawing up the intelligence parts of the Dossier.

  91.  Dr and Mrs Kelly spent the 11 and 12 July at the house of friends in Cornwall.

  92.  On 11 July Dr Wells and Dr Kelly had a telephone conversation in which Dr Wells told Dr Kelly of the request that he should appear before the FAC and the ISC and Dr Kelly stated that he would be prepared to appear before both Committees although he expressed concern about the publicity which would arise from appearing before the FAC. He also requested that he should be accompanied by a colleague who should give him guidance on procedures, should that be required.

  93.  On the afternoon of Sunday 13 July Dr Kelly drove to the house of his daughter, Miss Rachel Kelly, in Oxford, leaving Mrs Kelly at their friend's house in Cornwall. In her evidence Miss Kelly described her assessment of her father's appearance and feelings on the evening of 13 July and parts of her evidence were as follows:

[1 September, page 127, line 20]

And when I first looked at him there was a really strong expression on his face that really shocked me and I was actually quite distressed to see the hurt that I could see in his face. It was a particular look. There was a lot of distress and anxiety, perhaps a bit of humiliation … ….

[1 September, page 129, line 3]

By that time I knew, from Mum and from Dad, that he would have to face these two Committees the coming week. And I think both of us accepted he did not have any choice but to go in front of them. And Dad certainly saw it as his duty.

I mentioned earlier about his strong sense of duty as a civil servant. He would not have questioned that. He would have done what he had to do in order to fulfil that role for him.

Q. Did he talk about the Select Committees?

A. He did, yes. He seemed particularly - he really was quite distressed. He was composed on the outside but underneath I could see he was really very, very deeply traumatised by the fact that the second one would be televised live, and that did seem to be playing on his mind.

Q. What did he say about the second one?

A. Just he told me in very simple terms it would be televised live … ….

[1 September, page 130, line 4]

Q. Did you talk to him about the Ministry of Defence or the circumstances in which his name had come out?

A. A little. I think my question was along the lines of: was he getting much support from them? He replied he was getting support from friends and colleagues. He was not really able to articulate any actual support. I just remember feeling there was a lack of moral support for him because he could not tell me about it. He certainly said that people were recognising he had been through the mill. He just seemed very, very tired, very exhausted and under a lot of pressure.

  94.  On Monday 14 July Mr Donald Anderson wrote to Mr Hoon stating:

Thank you for your letter of Friday, confirming the attendance of Dr David Kelly before the Committee tomorrow and answering the Committee's questions about the meeting between Dr Kelly and Andrew Gilligan.

I share your clear understanding of the scope and duration of the questioning to which Dr Kelly will be subject, and will draw it to the attention of my colleagues on the Committee.

  95.  At breakfast on 14 July Miss Rachel Kelly described her father's state of mind:

[1 September, page 132, line 10]

He again seemed quite quiet, quite nervous, but composed on the outside. I just felt there was a huge amount of tension within him.

  96.  Later that morning Dr Kelly travelled from his daughter's home to London where he met Dr Wells in the MoD. Dr Wells told Dr Kelly that the MoD would arrange hotel accommodation for him in London that night so that he would not have to travel up the next day from Oxfordshire to give evidence before the two Committees but Dr Kelly said that he would prefer to stay with his daughter in Oxford and would again travel up to London on the next morning. In the course of this discussion Dr Wells gave Dr Kelly a letter which Mr Hatfield had written to him dated 9 July stating that he had breached departmental guidelines on contacts with journalists, but that formal disciplinary proceedings would not be initiated. Mr Hatfield had given this letter to Dr Wells for him to give to Dr Kelly. The letter was in the following terms:

DISCUSSIONS WITH THE MEDIA

1. I interviewed you with your line manager, Dr Bryan Wells on Friday 4 July, about your letter to him of 30 June in which you described your contacts with the media in general and Andrew Gilligan in particular. I explained that your letter had serious implications since, on the basis of your own account, you appeared to have broken departmental regulations in having unauthorised and unreported conversations with journalists. Your conversation with Andrew Gilligan also appeared to be relevant to the controversy surrounding allegations made by Gilligan about the Government's September 2002 dossier WMD. This letter is not concerned with those wider aspects, although we discussed them during the latter part of the interview on 4 July and at a subsequent meeting on 7 July.

2. During our interview you clarified and expanded on what you had said in your letter of 30 June and I asked you a number of follow-up questions. At the end, I concluded that you had indeed breached departmental instructions on numerous occasions by having conversations with journalists which had been neither authorised by nor reported to the MOD press office. I accepted your assurance that in general these were essentially background, technical briefings and that on many - but not all - occasions you had consulted the FCO press office informally. In the case of Gilligan, you had had two arranged meetings (in February and May 2003) subsequent to your initial contact in the margins of an IISS seminar last September. You had not sought permission or advice prior to either of these meetings and, until your letter of 30 June, had not thought to report them subsequently.

3. As I made clear, these are serious breaches of standard departmental procedure and you were unable to give me any satisfactory explanation for your behaviour. Your contact with Gilligan was particularly ill-judged. Your discussion with him in May has also had awkward consequences for both yourself and the department which could easily have been avoided. I accept your assurance that these consequences were unforeseen and unintended and, in particular, that as you state in your letter you did not make any allegations or accusations about the preparation of the September 2002 dossier. I also concluded on the basis of your account that you had not divulged any classified or otherwise privileged information. On this basis, I have concluded that although your behaviour fell well short of the standard that I would expect from a civil servant of your standing and experience, it would not be appropriate to initiate formal disciplinary proceedings. You should, however, understand that any further breach of departmental guidelines in dealing with the media would almost certainly result in disciplinary action, with potentially serious consequences.

4. You should be absolutely clear that while you are working in the MOD you are required to seek explicit authority from your line manager and the MOD press office before agreeing to talk to journalists, even if there may be occasions when there may be advantage, additionally, in consulting the FCO. I would also urge you to be very cautious in any comments you might make at or in the margins of public seminars and the like. There is always the dangers (sic) that such remarks may be taken out of context.

5. I should also remind you that the possibility of disciplinary action could be reopened if any facts were to come to light which appeared to call into question the account and assurances that you gave to me.

6. I am sending a copy of this letter to Dr Wells as your line manager and a copy to Richard Scott at Dstl which will be placed on your personal file.

This letter in its unopened envelope was found in Dr Kelly's study in his home in Oxfordshire after his death. The police examined the letter and found none of Dr Kelly's fingerprints on the letter. Therefore it appears that Dr Kelly had not opened the envelope and had not read the letter.

  97.  After his discussion with Dr Wells, Dr Kelly attended a meeting with Mr Martin Howard, Dr Wells and Ms Heather Smith, a personnel officer in the MoD, to discuss his appearance before the FAC and the ISC. Dr Wells made a typewritten record of the meeting on 22 July which was as follows:

NOTES OF A MEETING WITH DR KELLY - 14 JULY

Present

Mr Martin Howard, DCDI

Dr David Kelly

Dr Bryan Wells, DCPAC

Ms Heather Smith, DGCP CHRO Cond/AD

1. Howard started the meeting by saying that he wanted to ensure that Kelly understood the procedures that the FAC and ISC were likely to following during their evidence sessions, and that he was comfortable with what was required of him. There was no question of the MOD seeking to impose Departmental lines: Kelly was free to tell his own story. Howard outlined the different bases on which the FAC and ISC were constituted, and their current interests in the Government's policy towards Iraq and WMD.

2. Howard then outlined the areas that the two Committees might be free to question Kelly. These were:

(a) his role in Government, and relationship with the media;

(b) his role in drawing up the Government's September 2002 Dossier;

(c) his meeting with Gilligan: what transpired, and why he subsequently decided to inform his line management;

(d) (for the ISC) his access to intelligence in general;

(e) (for the ISC) his access to intelligence on the "45 minute claim".

Howard emphasised that the Committee's questioning in these areas would be eliciting essentially factual answers, and Kelly should feel free to give his own story. Kelly confirmed that he was happy about this.

3. Howard then outlined other areas where the Committees might probe, which were at the margins of what the Defence Secretary had defined when agreeing that the Committees could interview Kelly, but which were nevertheless hard to refuse. These areas were:

(a) what Kelly thought of Government Policy on Iraq. Kelly said that his was a matter for Ministers;

(b) whether Kelly thought he was Gilligan's source. Kelly asked if he could say "I don't believe I am"; Howard replied that Kelly was free to decide how to answer this to his own conscience: the Department was not telling him what to say;

(c) what disciplinary action was being taken against Kelly. Kelly said that this was a matter for MOD.

4. Kelly asked what he might say about the issue of Uranium imports from Niger. Howard noted that Kelly had already said that in his meeting with Gilligan he had confined himself to repeating the IAEA observations on the matter. Kelly should feel free to repeat the same line if that was his position.

5. Howard asked Kelly about his contacts with Susan Watts; Kelly said that they had not spoken about the September Iraq Dossier.

6. Wells asked Kelly how he wanted to take forward his wish to be accompanied by a colleague to the FAC. Kelly replied that, on the basis of this present meeting, he did not feel the need to have a colleague alongside him. He was aware that Wells would be accompanying him to the evidence sessions.

7. At the end of the meeting, Kelly said that he would welcome the chance to see Howard later in the week or early the following, to discuss Howard's recent visit to Iraq. He (Kelly) was looking forward to returning to theatre (sic). Howard said he would be pleased to see Kelly, to discuss Iraq and for a general discussion after the evidence sessions. Kelly concluded by saying that he appreciated Howard's giving up so much time to discuss his appearances before the Committees.

  98.  Dr Wells' typewritten record made on 22 July was based on a handwritten note which he had made at the meeting on 14 July and his handwritten note contained the words "tricky areas" which were not included in the typewritten record. A handwritten note made at the meeting by Dr Kelly also contained the words "tricky areas" as did a handwritten note made at the meeting by Ms Heather Smith. It appears that the "tricky areas" were the three areas set out in paragraph 3 of Dr Wells' typewritten record. The three handwritten notes of Dr Wells, Dr Kelly and Ms Smith respectively are set out in appendix 6.

  99.  After this meeting Dr Kelly returned to his daughter's home in Oxford on Monday afternoon. When she first saw him that evening she described him as follows:

[1 September, page 133, line 4]

He was as normal really, quite composed, quite relaxed.

But she said that later that evening:

[1 September, page 133, line 21]

Dad just seemed lost in his thoughts … … ….

[1 September, page 133, line 24]

He just seemed under an overwhelming amount of stress, that is the only I can describe it, that there was something on his mind. I would guess he was contemplating the day ahead of him the next day, but he also seemed to be finding it almost painful to think about it. He was just very withdrawn, and I was just very, very concerned about him.

  100.  On the afternoon of 14 July Mr Gilligan sent an e-mail to Mr Greg Simpson, an official of the Liberal Democratic Party, in relation to Dr Kelly's appearance before the FAC on the next day and later in the afternoon Mr Simpson sent on that e-mail to Mr David Chidgey MP, a member of that party and a member of the FAC. The e-mail was in the following terms:

We have been doing some research on David Kelly. Aside from the red herring of a source-hunt, he is an extremely interesting witness in his own right - probably, if he answers fully, the best you'll have had.

He is described in one of the standard reference works (Tom Mangold and Jeff Goldberg, Plague Wars) as "the senior adviser on biological warfare to the MoD … the West's leading biological warfare inspector" with "world-recognised expertise in every aspect of biological warfare [whose] knowledge cannot be overtrumped.

  • As has been reported, he was the chief field inspector of UNSCOM, the predecessor to UNMOVIC. He led the first and last BW inspections in Iraq carried out by UNSCOM.
  • He was one of three officials who accompanied Jack Straw when Straw gave evidence to the FAC about Iraq's WMD programmes on September 25 2002, one day after publication of the Blair dossier. He said hardly anything, however; Straw did all the talking.
  • We believe he is currently the chief British inspector on the Iraq Survey Group (the No.2 Brit in the Group under Brigadier John Deverell, the British contingent commander.)

Questions for Kelly

What is the current state of the Iraq Survey Group's knowledge about Iraq's BW programme? Have you found anything? Did you believe in September 2002 that Iraq was an immediate danger? Was everyone happy about the inclusion of the 45 minute point in the dossier in the light of what's been discovered since? Did you know the 45-minute point was single-source? Were there any arguments between the intelligence services and No 10 over the dossier?

Above all, he should be asked to say what kind of a threat Iraq was in September 2002 in his opinion. If he is able to answer frankly it should be devastating. Obviously he works for the Government and who pays the piper calls the tune. But if you could put some of these quotes (particularly the Watts) to him I think it would have some impact.

He is on record as saying that Iraq was NOT the greatest WMD threat. Leakage from the Russian programmes, he believed, was a greater threat.

For instance, CBC (Canadian TV), 23 October 2002: "Leakage from Russia is the greatest threat, because Russia had a dedicated programme and a great understanding of how you use smallpox as a volatile weapon."

On 18 Oct 2001, at the height of the US anthrax scare, Kelly told The Independent that if suspicion fell on any country as the source of the US anthrax "the obvious one is Russia, it's a league ahead of Iraq." He also said that Iraq had "too much at stake" to take part in any action against the West.

He also told my colleague Susan Watts, science editor of Newsnight (who described him as " a senior official intimately involved with the process of pulling together the dossier"):

"In the run-up to the dossier, the Government was obsessed with finding intelligence to justify an immediate Iraqi threat. While we were agreed on the potential Iraq threat in the future, there was less agreement about the threat the Iraqis posed at that moment.

That was the real concern - not so much what they had now, but what they would have in the future. But that unfortunately was not expressed strongly in the dossier, because that takes the case away for war to a certain extent ….

[The 45 minutes point] was a statement that was made and it got out of all proportion. They were desperate for information. They were pushing hard for information that could be released. That was one that popped up and it was seized on, and it's unfortunate that it was. That is why there is the argument between the intelligence services and No 10, because they picked up on it and once they'd picked up on it you can't pull it back from them …. So many people were saying 'well, we're not sure about that' …. because the word-smithing is actually quite important."

Does he still agree with this?

Is Kelly our source? We are not ruling anyone in or out as the source. I had many conversations with people inside and outside the intelligence community about the issue of Iraqi WMD and the dossier. We suspect the MoD of playing games to try to eliminate names.

However: if, as the MoD has said, Kelly's involvement in the dossier was only tangential, he cannot be our source. Two of my source's claims which have proved to be true - that the 45-minute point derived from a single informant, and that it came in late - have been shown to be true. Such facts could only have been known to someone closely involved in compiling the dossier until a late stage.

It is clear that Mr Chidgey made use of the quotation of what Dr Kelly said to Ms Susan Watts set out in the e-mail when he questioned Dr Kelly the next day when he appeared before the FAC.

  101.  After breakfast the next morning, Tuesday 15 July, Miss Kelly said that her father seemed:

[1 September, page 135, line 24]

… fine. We had coffee and normal breakfast. He was - I think he was just trying to enjoy his time with me possibly rather than think ahead to the day. He had done his thinking perhaps the night before.

  102.  After breakfast Dr Kelly travelled up to London from Oxford and met Dr Wells in the MoD in the mid morning. It had been arranged that Dr Kelly would give evidence before the ISC in the Cabinet Office in Whitehall at noon on Tuesday 15 July and would give evidence before the FAC at 2.30pm on that afternoon. In the course of the morning the clerk to the ISC informed Mr Hoon's office that Dr Kelly's appearance before that Committee had to be postponed to the next day, but there was a misunderstanding about which hearing by a Committee had been postponed and Dr Kelly, accompanied by Dr Wells and Wing Commander John Clark, who was a friend and colleague of Dr Kelly in the MoD, went to the Cabinet Office and then returned to the MoD on learning of the misunderstanding. In the afternoon Dr Kelly, accompanied by Dr Wells, Wing Commander Clark and Mrs Wilson, the chief press officer of the MoD went to the House of Commons and Dr Kelly gave evidence to the FAC.

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Dr Kelly's appearances before the FAC and the ISC

  103.  The 15 July was an extremely hot day in London, a bomb scare in Whitehall prevented Dr Kelly being driven to the House of Commons in a government car as had been arranged, and he had to walk there in a rush. In his appearance before the FAC Dr Kelly gave the following evidence:

Q15 Mr Hamilton: May I ask which drafts of the final September dossier did you see and were drafts sent back to you at every stage for your comment?

Dr Kelly: No, I was not involved in that process at all.

Q16 Mr Hamilton: So you made your contribution and that went into it subsequently?

Dr Kelly: Yes. My contribution was not to the intelligence dimension.

Q17 Mr Hamilton: Can I ask what meetings you attended at which the dossier was discussed?

Dr Kelly: I attended no meetings at all at which the dossier was discussed.

Q18 Mr Hamilton: So you were asked to prepare a section?

Dr Kelly: I was.

Q19 Mr Hamilton: You prepared that section, you had access to the relevant intelligence material and that was submitted to the person compiling the dossier?

Dr Kelly: The component that I wrote did not require intelligence information, let us get that straight. It was not the intelligence component of the dossier, it was the history of the inspections, the concealment and deception by Iraq, which is not intelligence information.

Q20 Mr Olner: Dr Kelly, could you speak up, please. The problem is these microphones do not amplify the noise.

Dr Kelly: I apologise. I have a soft voice, I know.

Q21 Chairman: One final question under this heading. Presumably you did discuss this with other colleagues who were involved themselves in the preparation of the dossier, so you knew what was going on?

Dr Kelly: I was familiar with some of it. Actually I was either on leave or working abroad in the August and earlier September of that time frame. That component, no, I really was not involved.

Q22 Mr Chidgey: I just want to move on to the section of our inquiry dealing with contacts with Andrew Gilligan and journalists, but before we talk about Andrew Gilligan can I just confirm that you have also met Susan Watts?

Dr Kelly: I have met her on one occasion.

Q23 Mr Chidgey: Thank you. I would just like to read out to you a statement in the notes that were made: "In the run-up to the dossier the Government was obsessed with finding intelligence to justify an immediate Iraqi threat. While we were agreed on the potential Iraqi threat in the future there was less agreement about the threat the Iraqis posed at the moment. That was the real concern, not so much what they had now but what they would have in the future, but that unfortunately was not expressed strongly in the dossier because that takes the case away for war to a certain extent". Finally, "The 45 minutes was a statement that was made and it got out of all proportion. They were desperate for information. They were pushing hard for information that could be released. That was one that popped up and it was seized on and it is unfortunate that it was. That is why there is an argument between the intelligence services and Number 10, because they had picked up on it and once they had picked up on it you cannot pull back from it, so many people will say 'Well, we are not sure about that' because the word smithing is actually quite important." I understand from Miss Watts that is the record of a meeting that you had with her. Do you still agree with those comments?

Dr Kelly: First of all, I do not recognise those comments, I have to say. The meeting I had with her was on November 5 last year and I remember that precisely because I gave a presentation in the Foreign Office on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. I cannot believe that on that occasion I made that statement.

Q24 Mr Chidgey: That is very helpful. Can I just be clear on this: I understand that these notes refer to meetings that took place shortly before the Newsnight broadcasts that would have been on 2 and 4 June.

Dr Kelly: I have only met Susan Watts on one occasion, which was not on a one-to-one basis, it was at the end of a public presentation.

..........

Q43 Ms Stuart: I may not have heard something you said in response to Mr Chidgey's question. You did confirm that you had a meeting and talked with Susan Watts?

Dr Kelly: I have met with her personally once at the end of a seminar I provided in the Foreign Office on November 5.

Q44 Ms Stuart: You have neither met nor talked to her since?

Dr Kelly: I have spoken to her on the telephone but I have not met her face-to-face.

Q45 Ms Stuart: When have you talked to her on the telephone?

Dr Kelly: I would have spoken to her about four or five times.

Q46 Ms Stuart: During May at all?

Dr Kelly: During May? I cannot precisely remember. I was abroad for a fair part of the time in May, but it is possible, yes.

Q47 Ms Stuart: Have you had any conversations or meetings with Gavin Hewitt?

Dr Kelly: Not that I am aware of, no. I am pretty sure I have not.

..........

Q56 Mr Olner: Really Mr Gilligan's story was basically about drafts of dossiers being changed, being "sexed-up". Did you infer to Mr Gilligan in any way, shape or form that he might have misrepresented what you said?

Dr Kelly: My conversation with him was primarily about Iraq, about his experiences in Iraq and the consequences of the war, which was the failure to use weapons of mass destruction during the war and the failure by May 22 to find such weapons. That was the primary conversation that I had with him.

Q57 Mr Olner: You certainly never mentioned the "C" word that he went on to explain in his column?

Dr Kelly: The "C" word?

Q58 Mr Olner: The Campbell word.

Dr Kelly: The Campbell word did come up, yes.

Q59 Mr Olner: From you? You suggested it?

Dr Kelly: No, it came up in the conversation. We had a conversation about Iraq, its weapons and the failure of them to be used.

Q60 Mr Olner: How did the word "Campbell" come to be mixed up with all of that? What led you to say that?

Dr Kelly: I did not say that. What I had a conversation about was the probability of a requirement to use such weapons. The question was then asked why, if weapons could be deployed at 45 minutes notice, were they not used, and I offered my reasons why they may not have been used.

Q61 Chairman: Again, I am finding it very difficult to hear. The fans have been turned off, could you do your very best to raise your voice, please.

Dr Kelly: It came in in that sense and then the significance of it was discussed and then why it might have been in the dossier. That is how it came up.

Q62 Mr Pope: Mr Gilligan said in his article in the Mail on Sunday of 1 June "I asked him", the source, "how this transformation happened. The answer was a single word. 'Campbell'." In your conversation with Mr Gilligan did you use the word "Campbell" in that context?

Dr Kelly: I cannot recall using the name Campbell in that context, it does not sound like a thing that I would say.

Q63 Mr Pope: Do you believe that the document was transformed, the September dossier, by Alastair Campbell?

Dr Kelly: I do not believe that at all.

Q64 Mr Pope: When you met Mr Gilligan on 22 May he says in his article that he met a source in a central London hotel on that day. Did you meet him in a central London hotel?

Dr Kelly: I did.

Q65 Chairman: Which hotel was that?

Dr Kelly: The Charing Cross Hotel.

Q66 Mr Pope. Did you begin your conversation with Mr Gilligan by discussing the poor state of Britain's railways?

Dr Kelly: No.

Q67 Mr Pope: The reason I ask is because he said "We started off by moaning about the railways" and what I am trying to get to the bottom of is whether or not you were the source, the main source, of Mr Gilligan or whether you were one of the other three minor sources which Mr Gilligan has told us he had. I am really trying to get to the bottom of that. Mr Gilligan will not answer this Committee's questions on those specific points. I just want to know, in your own opinion do you believe that you were the main source of Mr Gilligan's article on 1 June?

Dr Kelly: My believe is that I am not the main source.

Q68 Mr Pope: Do you know who the main source is?

Dr Kelly: No.

Andrew Mackinlay: Any idea?

Q69 Mr Pope: I want to be absolutely clear on this. You do not believe that you are the main source, that it is someone else?

Dr Kelly: From the conversation I had with him, I do not see how he could make the authoritative statement he was making from the comments that I made.

Q70 Mr Maples: Dr Kelly, just following on from what Mr Pope was saying. Mr Gilligan told us that he had four sources in this area and we are trying to find out whether you are the one or whether you are one of the other three. Did you know about this 45 minute claim before the dossier was published?

Dr Kelly: No, it became apparent to me on publication.

Q71 Mr Maples: So you did not know about it before you, like all of us, read the dossier?

Dr Kelly: No. I might have appreciated it 48 hours beforehand but not before that.

Q72 Mr Maples: You would not have known about it significantly in advance. You were never part of any discussions about whether this should or should not be included in the dossier?

Dr Kelly: No.

..........

Q101 Andrew Mackinlay: So you made no comments about the veracity of [the dossier] at all to Gilligan, you did not say it was exaggerated, embellished, probably over-egged?

Dr Kelly: No, I had no doubt that the veractiy of it was absolute.

Q102 Chairman: Sorry, I had no doubts?

Dr Kelly: On the veracity of the document.

Q103 Andrew Mackinlay: Did you express any view about that document at all to him which you can share with this Committee?

Dr Kelly: We are talking of a conversation we had six weeks ago and for me it is very difficult to recall that, so I cannot recall the comments that I made. All I can say is that the general tenet of that document is one that I am sympathetic to. I had access to an immense amount of information accumulated from the UN that complements that dossier quite well, remarkably so, and although the final assessment made by the United Nations was status of verification documentation, not a threat assessment, the UN did not make a threat assessment, put the two together and they match pretty well.

Q104 Andrew Mackinlay: Okay. Dr Kelly, a few moments ago I asked you for the names of other journalists you have had contact with in the timescale we were talking about and you said you have not got access to your home. We are going to write formally to the MoD and by that time you will have done your homework and sent it to us in an envelope, but this afternoon can you tell me those journalists who you do recall having met in the timescale? What are their names?

Dr Kelly: Having met?

Q105 Andrew Mackinlay: Yes.

Dr Kelly: I have met very few journalists.

Q106 Andrew Mackinlay: I heard "few", but who are the ones in your mind's eye at this moment? What are their names?

Dr Kelly: That will be provided to you by the Ministry of Defence.

Q107 Andrew Mackinlay: No, I am asking you now. This is the high court of Parliament and I want you to tell the Committee who you met.

Dr Kelly: On this occasion I think it is proper that the Ministry of Defence communicates that to you.

Chairman: But it is a proper question.

Andrew Mackinlay: You are under an obligation to reply.

Chairman: If you have met journalists there is nothing sinister in itself about meeting journalists, save in an unauthorised way.

Q108 Andrew Mackinlay: Who are they?

Dr Kelly: The only people that I can remember having spoken to in recent times about this particular issue - not about this particular issue - is Jane Corbin and Susan Watts.

..........

Q116 Richard Ottaway: Dr Kelly, you confirmed in response to questions from Mr Pope that in your opinion you do not think that you were the central source of Mr Gilligan's report?

Dr Kelly: That is my belief.

Q117 Richard Ottaway: In Mr Gilligan's report there were two fundamental assertions which have subsequently been proved correct. One is that the 45 minute assertion was entered late into the September dossier and, secondly, that the 45 minute assertion came from a single, uncorroborated source. I think we can safely say from what you have been saying that you were unaware of either of those two things?

Dr Kelly: Correct.

Q118 Richard Ottaway: Given that Mr Gilligan's source of the story has proved to be correct, do you think it is fair to say that you could not have been the source? It is not jut a question of your opinion, but you could not have been the source.

Dr Kelly: It is very difficult for me to be that strong. I do realise that in the conversation that I had there was reinforcement of some of the ideas he has put forward.

Q119 Richard Ottaway: Given that there were two assertions which have been proved correct, which you did not know about, you clearly were not the source of those assertions.

Dr Kelly: Correct.

Q120 Richard Ottaway: So, therefore, you could not have been the central source?

Dr Kelly: Correct.

Q121 Richard Ottaway: When it was announced that the MoD put out a statement that you had been in contact with the press, in the penultimate paragraph the MoD says: "We do not know whether this official is the single source quoted by Mr Gilligan". Given what you have said today, why did you allow that statement to be made?

Dr Kelly: Can you repeat the statement, please?

Q122 Richard Ottaway: "We do not know whether this official is the single source quoted by Mr Gilligan".

Dr Kelly: Because I think that is the MoD's assessment.

Q123 Richard Ottaway: Did you know that they were going to say that?

Dr Kelly: I did.

Q124 Richard Ottaway: Did you tell them that it was an incorrect statement?

Dr Kelly: No. The whole reason why this has come up and the reason why I wrote to my line management was because I had a concern that because I had met with Andrew Gilligan in fact I may have contributed to that story. When I reflected on my interaction with him and realised the balance between the general conversation and the very specific aspect we are now discussing today, which was a very, very minor part of it, I did not see how on earth I could have been the primary source. I did not see how the authority would emanate from me.

Q125 Richard Ottaway: I share your analysis, I do not see how you could have been the primary source. Why did you not complain to the MoD that this was an inaccurate statement they were making?

Dr Kelly: Because, as I have just explained, I did realise that in fact I may have inadvertently, if you like, contributed to that.

Q126 Richard Ottaway: You reached the conclusion that you were not the source?

Dr Kelly: I do not believe I am the source.

Q127 Richard Ottaway: You have just concurred with me that you could not have been the source.

Dr Kelly: Following the logic I agree with that, yes.

Q128 Richard Ottaway: In that, the MoD says they do not know of the source and it was knowingly said by you.

Dr Kelly: That is the situation.

Q129 Richard Ottaway: Do you think possibly the MoD knowingly got it wrong?

Dr Kelly: No, I am saying that the MoD cannot make the categorical statement that you want it to make based on my information provided to them.

Q130 Richard Ottaway: I have to say that there seems to be an inconsistency between your two statements. Would you agree that there is an inconsistency between your belief that you were not the single source and the MoD's statement?

Dr Kelly: There is an element of inconsistency there, I have to agree with you.

Q131 Richard Ottaway: In response to my colleague, David Chidgey, he gave you a quote which appeared on Newsnight in a programme introduced by Susan Watts. You have confirmed that you have spoken to Susan Watts. Can I take you through the quote again that was read out. You said you did not recognise it. Could you just concentrate on it. It is talking about the 45 minute point. It said: "The 45 minute point was a statement that was made and it got out of all proportion. They were desperate for information. They were pushing hard for information that could be released. That was the one that popped up and it was seized on and it is unfortunate that it was. That is why there is the argument between the intelligence services and Number 10, because they picked up on it and once they had picked up on it you cannot pull back from it, so many people will say 'Well, we are not sure about that' because the word smithing is actually quite important." There are many people who think that you were the source of that quote. What is your reaction to that suggestion?

Dr Kelly: I find it very difficult. It does not sound like my expression of words. It does not sound like a quote from me.

Q132 Richard Ottaway: You deny that those are your words?

Dr Kelly: Yes.

..........

Q155: Sir John Stanley: Who made the proposition to you, Dr Kelly, that you should be treated absolutely uniquely, in a way which I do not believe any civil servant has ever been treated before, in being made a public figure before being served up to the Intelligence and Security Committee?

Dr Kelly: I cannot answer that question. I do not know who made that decision. I think that is a question you have to ask the Ministry of Defence.

Q156 Sir John Stanley: So you did not make it yourself?

Dr Kelly: Certainly not.

Q157 Sir John Stanley: We have to assume therefore that your ministers then are responsible for treating you uniquely as a civil servant in highly publicising you before going to the Intelligence and Security Committee?

Dr Kelly: That is a conclusion you can draw.

Q158 Sir John Stanley: Why did you go along with it, Dr Kelly? You were being exploited, were you not?

Dr Kelly: I would not say I was being exploited.

Q159 Sir John Stanley: You had been before them to rubbish Mr Gilligan and his source, quite clearly?

Dr Kelly: I just found myself to be in this position out of my own honesty in acknowledging the fact that I had interacted with him. I felt obliged to make that statement once I realised that I may possibly be that source. Until then, I have to admit that I was out of the country for most of the time this debate was going on so I was not following the actual interactions that were going on. It was not until I was alerted to the transcript by a friend that I actually even considered that I might be the source.

Q160 Sir John Stanley: If I may say so, I think you have behaved in a very honourable and proper manner by going to your departmental line managers in the circumstances you describe. That does not get away from the key issue, which is why did you feel it was incumbent upon you to go along with the request that clearly had been made to you to be thrown to the wolves, not only to the media but, also, to this Committee?

Dr Kelly: I think that is a line of questioning you will have to ask the Ministry of Defence. I am sorry.

Sir John Stanley: I am grateful.

Q161 Chairman: Do you feel any concern at the way the Ministry of Defence responded after you volunteered your admission?

Dr Kelly: I accept what has happened.

Q162 Andrew Mackinlay: The feeling I have, and you might be able to help me with this, was that there was no serious attempt by the security or intelligence services or the Ministry of Defence Police to find out Gilligan's source. Did they come knocking at your door or that of your colleagues, to your knowledge at all, to discover that?

Dr Kelly: I have no knowledge of that whatsoever.

Q163 Andrew Mackinlay: Since you wrote to your superiors in the way you have done, have you met Geoff Hoon?

Dr Kelly: No.

Q164 Andrew Mackinlay: Any Ministers?

Dr Kelly: No.

Mr Pope: Any special advisers?

Q165 Andrew Mackinlay: Any special advisers?

Dr Kelly: No.

Q166 Andrew Mackinlay: Do you know of any other inquiries which have gone on in the department to seek the source - to clarify in addition to you or instead of you or apart from you?

None whatsoever?

Dr Kelly: No.

Q167 Andrew Mackinlay: I reckon you are chaff; you have been thrown up to divert our probing. Have you ever felt like a fall-guy? You have been set up, have you not?

Dr Kelly: That is not a question I can answer.

Q168 Andrew Mackinlay: But you feel that?

Dr Kelly: No, not at all. I accept the process that is going on.

Q169 Chairman: I am sorry. You accept...?

Dr Kelly: I accept the process that is happening.

Q170 Mr Hamilton: Dr Kelly, I am sorry to go back to something that I know you have already answered or partially answered, but I just want to clarify. My colleague, Mr Ottaway, did refer to this earlier. I just want to come back to this question of Alastair Campbell and Mr Gilligan. The MoD statement states that when Mr Gilligan asked about the role of Alastair Campbell with regard to the 45 minute issue "he made no comment and explained that he was not involved in the process of drawing up the intelligence parts of the dossier" - that is you, of course. Just for the record, can you tell me absolutely whether you named or otherwise identified Alastair Campbell or did you say anything which Mr Gilligan might reasonably have interpreted as identifying Mr Alastair Campbell as wanting to change the dossier or "sex it up" in any way or make undue reference to the 45 minute claim?

Dr Kelly: I cannot recall that. I find it very difficult to think back to a conversation I had six weeks ago. I cannot recall but that does not mean to say, of course, that such a statement was not made but I really cannot recall it. It does not sound like the sort of thing I would say.

..........

Q172 Sir John Stanley: How do you explain the reasons for the delay between the letter you wrote on 30 June and the release of the Ministry of Defence statement throwing you to the wolves?

Dr Kelly: I cannot explain the bureaucracy that went on in between. I think it went through the line management system and went through remarkably quickly.

Q173 Sir John Stanley: Did you get any impression that the statement was delayed by the Ministry of Defence in order to ensure that it went out only after our report was published?

Dr Kelly: I cannot answer that question. I really do not know.

Q174 Mr Olner: You work for the MoD, Dr Kelly, but work obviously very closely with the intelligence and security services. Did you suggest to anyone at all that the intelligence and security services were unhappy about the September dossier?

Dr Kelly: Unhappy? I do not think they were unhappy. I think they had confidence in the information that was provided in that dossier.

Q175 Mr Olner: So there was no, if you like, feeling within the security services that this was a piece of work that had been "sexed-up" and it was going to be rubbished at the end of the day?

Dr Kelly: I think there were people who worked extremely hard to achieve that document and the calibre of the document that was produced.

Q176 Mr Pope: When you met Mr Gilligan on 27 May did you feel at the time that you were doing anything untoward, that you were breaching the confidence that is expected of you within your job?

Dr Kelly: No. I think it has been agreed by the Ministry of Defence there was no security breach involved in the interactions I had.

Q177 Mr Pope: Do you think, in your experience, that there is a widespread culture in the MoD and, perhaps, in the intelligence and security services of people speaking in an unofficial capacity to journalists? Certainly the impression I got from Mr Gilligan was that that was a widespread culture that journalists would have a number of contacts in the MoD or in the security services. Is that your experience?

Dr Kelly: It is not my experience but I think you have to recognise that I have a strange background in the sense that I operated for ten years internationally interacting with international press and was well-known to the press and had quite a lot of contact. I think I am somewhat unusual in terms of the people who have an interest in that situation.

Q178 Mr Pope: Finally, were you aware of any widespread unease about the accuracy of the September dossier, at the time it was published, amongst people who were involved in providing information for it?

Dr Kelly: I do not believe there was any difficulty over the accuracy of that document.

  104.  In his evidence Wing Commander Clark was asked if Dr Kelly had said anything to him in the afternoon after he had given evidence to the FAC. Wing Commander Clark's evidence was:

[27 August, page 125, line 1]

Q. Did Dr Kelly comment on any of the questions that he had been asked?

A. Yes. He was totally thrown by the question or the quotation that was given to him from Susan Watts. He spoke about that when he came back to the office. He did say that threw him. He had not expected or anticipated that that would have come to the fore at that forum.

Q. When you say the question about Susan Watts, can you be a bit more precise about what that questions was?

A. I cannot remember exactly which member of the Committee, but a member of the Committee read out a very long quotation from Susan Watts - well, no, it was a quotation that had been reported on by Susan Watts which apparently David or Dr Kelly had said. Now, in response to that Dr Kelly said it was not his quote. That had come on quite early. That had really surprised him, that that quote had been tabled to him.

Q. So after the hearing he says to you: that really threw me?

A. Yes he did.

Q. Did he say why it really threw him?

A. No, I have no recollection of that.

  105.  On 15 July 2003, after the FAC had heard evidence from Dr Kelly, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Donald Anderson, wrote to Mr Jack Straw and stated:

The Decision to go to War in Iraq

As you know, the Committee heard oral evidence today from Dr David Kelly of the Ministry of Defence.

The Committee deliberated after hearing Dr Kelly's evidence, and asked me to write to you, expressing their view that it seems most unlikely that Dr Kelly was Andrew Gilligan's prime source for his allegations about the September dossier on Iraq. Colleagues have also asked me to pass on their view that Dr Kelly has been poorly treated by the Government since he wrote to his line manager, admitting that he had met Gilligan.

I am copying this letter to Geoff Hoon and to Bruce George.

This letter was released to the press.

  106.  In response to the letter from Mr Anderson the MoD issued the following statement on the evening of 15 July:

The Foreign Affairs Committee has said that it seems most unlikely that Dr David Kelly was Andrew Gilligan's "prime" source for his allegations.

As was made clear in our statement of 8 July, the MoD does not know whether Dr Kelly is the "single" source referred to by Andrew Gilligan before the FAC.

The FAC use the phrase "prime" source. Does this mean that the FAC doubt Mr Gilligan's story? If Dr Kelly is not the source, why does the BBC not say so now? The BBC has the opportunity to clear up this issue. Their silence is suspicious. Their appeal to the principle of source protection is clearly bogus in this case, as Dr Kelly came forward voluntarily.

We also note the FAC's view that Dr Kelly has been "poorly treated" by the Government. We do not accept this. Dr Kelly came forward voluntarily with information on a matter of public interest. He has been properly treated in accordance with Departmental procedures. He has expressed no complaint to us or the FAC, who took the initiative to call him as a witness.

  107.  In the late afternoon of 15 July Dr Kelly returned to his daughter's home in Oxford. She said in her evidence:

[1 September, page 136, line 19]

he just seemed utterly exhausted. He was really, really tired … …

[1 September, page 139, line 5]

He seemed relieved that it was over. I think he was still on some sort of adrenalin high almost. He was - it was - he was happy to be home and happy to receive phone calls from friends to express how it had gone.

Miss Kelly said that on that evening her father was eating well. She was asked whether he was sleeping well and she said:

[1 September, page 142, line 20]

Yes, I actually asked him directly because I was concerned that he might not be, and his reply to me was that he was so exhausted he was sleeping very well indeed.

  108.  Miss Kelly and her father had breakfast together on the morning of Wednesday 16 July. Her evidence was:

[1 September, page 145, line 1]

Q. And how was he feeling about the Select Committee that was going to take place on the 16th July?

A. On that day he did seem more relaxed, mainly because it was going to be behind closed doors. I think he thought it would be a lot more along technical lines, so he was more comfortable with what he would have to say to them.

  109.  On that morning Mr David Wilkins, Miss Rachel Kelly's fiancé had breakfast with Miss Kelly and Dr Kelly. His evidence was:

[1 September, page 158, line 25]

Q. And how did he seem in the morning?

A. My recollection is that again it was fairly normal.

Q. And did he comment about the support or absence of support he was getting?

A. Yes, he did. He said that his colleagues - he said that colleagues had been "tremendously supportive", that is a direct quote. I remember him saying that, that they had been tremendously supportive. I did get the impression that it was not all colleagues. I cannot remember his exact wording, but the implication and the impression I was left with was that it was some but not all.

Q. And did he mention anything at all about the Ministry of Defence or how his name had come out, at this stage?

A. I have to say he did not, no, not to me.

  110.  On 16 July the Clerk of the FAC wrote to the Private Secretary to Mr Hoon:

At his appearance yesterday before the Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr David Kelly was asked to supply a list of journalists with whom he has had contact. He pointed out that he will be unable to answer this question immediately, because he does not at present have access to his personal diaries. The Committee accepted that its question should be pursued through MoD.

I would be grateful to receive the information for which the Committee has asked as soon as you are able to supply it, accepting that it may be necessary to consult the transcript in order to confirm exactly what was sought. I will try to ensure you receive a copy of the transcript as soon as possible after it has been received in this office, which I expect to be either later today or early tomorrow.

  111.  On the morning of Wednesday 16 July Dr Kelly travelled up to London from Oxford and gave evidence before the ISC and he was accompanied by Dr Wells and Wing Commander Clark.

  112.  In his appearance before the ISC Dr Kelly gave (inter alia) the following evidence:

MICHAEL MATES: If you have a long history of dealing with the press and are an officer of the Ministry of Defence and understand that you are experienced in doing this and doing it on a regular basis what is then the difference to person like you to having an authorised meeting with him and an unauthorised meeting, surely in the olden days you didn't get authority every time you spoke to a person of the press?

DR KELLY: Yes. The situation is that in the very early days I only spoke to the press, either when they approached me in the Middle East when I had, I just had to react to it there and then, or if I was either in the United Kingdom or the United States at the behest of the United Nations, the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office. As time went by, of course, you have follow-up questions, you'd have clarification, individual reporters, individual companies, media companies would have my contact details and of course I would be contacted directly, and I'd use my discretion as to whether I responded to that or responded to which ever Ministry or Agency demanded and essentially that's what I've done ever since, I have used my discretion. Now as the years have gone by, of course, I've got 'cold calls' sometimes I've been asked about things which I haven't been dealing with before and again I used my judgment.

MICHAEL MATES: But specifically it has been, has it got this wrong, the MoD said that your contact with Andrew Gilligan was 'unauthorised'.

DR KELLY: That's correct.

MICHAEL MATES: But then doesn't the MoD expect you to use your judgment about these things or is there an absolute prohibition?

DR KELLY: I think in practice there's an absolute prohibition, but I also believe that of course there is an element of reality in all of this, and although there's an absolute prohibition, technically, in terms of the guidance that is provided one.

MICHAEL MATES: And on the occasions when you have spoken to the press, and it has been known you've spoken to the press, because for whatever reason have you been reprimanded?

DR KELLY: This is the first time I've ever got into any trouble.

ANN TAYLOR: Is it that the first, because it was the first time you've done something that is so clearly unauthorised, or is it because it's the first time it's been a problem?

DR KELLY: I think it's the first time it's been a problem! … ….

..........

DR KELLY: I was aware of the general debate that was going on between those who were supporting the war and those who were against the war and the justification for war and I saw this as being part of that debate. The reference was to a senior intelligence officer who'd been involved, primarily in drafting the dossier, that didn't match me, I'm not an intelligence officer, I was not involved, I mean I was involved in aspects of drafting the dossier but in the non-intelligence dimension but I certainly wasn't responsible for the final content of that dossier, so the alarm bells didn't start ringing. A friend of mine at RUSI suggested, and I don't think she suggested because she identified me, but she said I should read that, and when I read it there was one phrase in there that I read as being a 'Kelly' statement, which was a statement about the probability that Iraq had, the probability was that Iraq had chemical weapons and that probability was about 30%. That is something that I say and so I then re-read it and thought 'well is this what I've been saying all the way through' and I think there is a blend of what I have said and what someone may have said.

MICHAEL MATES: You've said always that the probability is 30% that they had chemical weapons?

DR KELLY: The probability is 100% that they had a programme and I think it's about 30% that they have chemical weapons.

MICHAEL MATES: And you said that too, to Gilligan?

DR KELLY: I said that to many people.

..........

MICHAEL MATES: And, just the last point, are you surprised at the public MoD reactions or was it that the statement made with your agreement?

DR KELLY: The official MoD press statement was made with my agreement, yes.

MICHAEL MATES: So you weren't surprised, okay.

ANN TAYLOR: Can I just ask before I move on to James, you mentioned the transcript of the FAC and you said that you weren't an intelligence officer and that whilst you were involved in drafting the dossier you weren't involved in the applying or editing or decisions on it, do you thinks that Andrew Gilligan regarded you as an intelligence officer and did you at any stage tell him that you'd been involved in the drafting or the writing about this document, or information for it?

DR KELLY: I've not acknowledged to anyone that I was involved in the drafting of the dossier, I meant, that essentially, my component which was the non-intelligence component which was done at the request of the Foreign Office so not even Brian Wells' predecessor as the Director of PAC was aware that I wrote that part … ….

..........

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: May I ask, the allegation that Andrew Gilligan made that someone had said that the forty-five minutes, that the issue of forty-five minutes was over-hyped in the document. That's not something that you recognised as having come from you?

DR KELLY: No I think I may well have said that the forty-five minute mention was there for impact, yes, because it came out of a conversation, not about the dossier, but about Iraq, 'why weapons had not been used and why they had not been found subsequently' and then the question was 'well if you have something that is available in forty-five minutes surely it would have been used' and then, I can't identify such a system that you could use within forty-five minutes and then the question was 'why would it be included' and I can't give an answer as to why it would be included?

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: So if you might have said that it was there for impact, you can't be firmer than that as to whether you did or did not say that it was there for impact?

DR KELLY: No I'm pretty sure I said it was there for impact, I've acknowledged that.

MICHAEL MATES: As opposed to being factually correct?

DR KELLY: It depends on how you interpret what I've said. I have said that I don't, I can't identify a weapons system that could be used within forty-five minutes of deployment.

MICHAEL MATES: To Gilligan?

DR KELLY: Yes, I've said it to many people, but to Gilligan, yes.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: So if that was a statement that was there for impact was it a statement that you think should not have been there?

DR KELLY: I think I'd like to quote Hans Blix who at the weekend said that he thought it was unwise to have it there, I think that's probably the correct statement to make. I can't, I really can't say that I thought it should not be there because I'm actually not aware of the intelligence behind it.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: But you did feel that it unwise to it there?

DR KELLY: Now I do, yes. At the time, when it came out, I really didn't make a judgment on it, it was there, it was a statement, I was puzzled but it by I didn't make a judgment on it.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: Did you think when you were speaking to Andrew Gilligan that you gave him the impression that you felt it was unwise for it to have been there?

DR KELLY: That's a possibility, I can't, really can't, because you are talking about a dynamic and I really can't recall … I have to admit it's a possibility, yes.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: Did you or he mention Alastair Campbell in your discussions in May?

DR KELLY: Alastair Campbell came up - because the question was then 'well why was it there?' and he asked that question, now I was not involved in the process of assembling the dossier, my contribution to the dossier was in May/June of last year, after that I had no involvement in the compilation of the dossier, the drafting of it, the synthesis of it, so I was not in a position to comment on that.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: So when he said 'why was it there?' what did you say, if you can remember?

DR KELLY: I can't recall accurately because, but, I mean essentially it would be words to the effect that I could not comment, I really cannot remember the exact phrase that I used because I was not in a position to comment.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: Might it have been that you said, you said Alastair Campbell came up in the context of 'why was it there?'; How did Alastair Campbell come up in the context of that?

DR KELLY: I'm having great difficulty to clearly remember this, but my feeling is the question was asked by Gilligan.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: What question?

DR KELLY: When you asked about 'why it was there' and then the successive question was about Campbell.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: So might Andrew Gilligan have said, did Andrew Gilligan say 'why was it there?' and then did he say 'was it Campbell who put it in'.

DR KELLY: I mean that's the sequence that occurred, I mean the exact phrasing I regret I cannot remember, on this occasion this was not something of deep significance to me, you have to remember and so ….

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: But if he had said 'was it Campbell who put it in' what do you think you would have said in reply?

DR KELLY: Well I would have no knowledge of that, I just did not have any knowledge about that, so I could not have responded positively or negatively for that matter.

GAVIN STRANG: Could I just ask you know, what is your view of that September dossier?

DR KELLY: My view of the dossier?

GAVIN STRANG: Yes, standing back a bit and giving a view based on your experience and knowledge of that subject.

DR KELLY: I think it is an accurate document, I think it is a fair reflection of the intelligence that was available and it's presented in a very sober and factual way. It's presented in a way that is not an intelligence document or a technical document, I think it is presented in a way that can be consumed by the public, it is well written.

GAVIN STRANG: And you think that precisely what's there will stand the test of time?

DR KELLY: Yes I think so and of course there are certain features that have been confirmed, the extended range missiles, UNMOVIC have found certain weapons albeit not many of them which were capable of dealing either chemical or biological materials so that, to a certain extent has been substantiated, but I'd have to admit that the substantiation is quite small at the moment.

ANN TAYLOR: Just as a follow-up to that, what level of understanding of the document did you think that Andrew Gilligan had when you were discussing these matters with him?

DR KELLY: We didn't really discuss the dossier, the conversation I had was about Iraq and many aspects of that, it came up in the context of weapons, whey they had not been used, why they'd not been found; and in the course of that discussion the question came up about why the forty-five minutes was there, when that came into the dossier, and for me, I mean it's very difficult now to know whether it was a fleeting moment, whether it was two minutes, three minutes, I really can't recall, it may be that he was focused on that issue, but I certainly wasn't I was more focused on acquiring information about Iraq immediately post-conflict which would be useful to my work in the future.

ALAN HOWARTH: You said to us that you thought that there was an absolute prohibition on a person in your position talking to the media, but you suggested that this more or less happens more as a notion than absolute prohibition. Were you in breach of normal practice in doing what you did?

DR KELLY: My understanding now is that I was in breach of normal practice.

ALAN HOWARTH: But you weren't aware at the time that you were in breach of normal practice?

DR KELLY: No, because essentially on this, I actually very rarely meet journalists although I do talk to them on the telephone and on this occasion, I must admit, I'd regarded it more as being more a private conversation than I had a briefing or in any way a disclosure at all.

ALAN HOWARTH: And you didn't report back to any colleagues on the fact of your conversation and what had been said.

DR KELLY: No.

ALAN HOWARTH: When you went to meet Andrew Gilligan, at the Charing Cross Hotel, did you enter the discussion with an agenda of your own, you've mentioned that you were anxious to learn what you could from him, but did you also go to meet him with a view to conveying any particular points to him.

DR KELLY: No, it was very much with the intention of being in receive mode - to understand his experience he had in Iraq.

ALAN HOWARTH: So did you feel justified in talking to him as you did at the time?

DR KELLY: I felt comfortable, I'm not sure what you mean by justified.

ALAN HOWARTH: Do you still feel comfortable about the fact that you did so?

DR KELLY: Had this not all have arisen then yes I would have, because I actually did derive information from him, which was useful. I of course deeply regret it, with hindsight, but yes, if this had not arisen it would have been a useful meeting for me.

ALAN HOWARTH: And you regard him as a reliable witness, you've derived information from him, are you satisfied as to the quality, reliability of what you learned from him?

DR KELLY: I am, the information that I derived from him which I found interesting was that he was actually accessing individuals who had not surrendered and he visited them at their homes, he did not physically gain access to them, which was surprising to me, first of all, was that he knew where they were and apparently the Security Services didn't, whether they did or not, and were eavesdropping, I just don't know, and that those individuals were being protected by the regime, or the residue of the regime and so I found that quite fascinating as to why particular individuals would be protected in such a way.

ALAN HOWARTH: And do you know how to take good advantage of such contacts?

DR KELLY: I don't know is the answer to that. They are people that he had apparently had spoken to before the war.

JOYCE QUIN: Can I ask you how you respond to the letter that the Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee has apparently written to the Foreign Secretary expressing the view that it seems most unlikely that you were Andrew Gilligan's prime source for his allegation about the September dossier on Iraq.

DR KELLY: Well that's what I believe myself, I mean I do not believe that I'm the prime source, regrettably I've discussed with him issues that are - now - controversial, but I did not do that, my instigation that I raised, it was not something that I felt particularly strongly about, and people who know me know that I feel quite strongly that Iraq had weapons programmes, that they had such weapons and my whole background working for both the Ministry of Defence and the United Nations really supports the position of the dossier, and one of the comments I made yesterday to the Foreign Affairs Committee was that in essence you take a report produced in 1999 by Richard Butler, which was a status of verification achieved by UNSCOM and put that alongside the dossier, they match quite well and the two together essentially comprise quite a reasonable definition of the problem, the threat presented by Iraq, and I also hasten to add that it was not of course the UN's job to do a threat assessment, it was very much a status of verification, but you can read that in another way, assess it as a threat.

JOYCE QUIN: When you volunteered the information to the MoD that you had met Andrew Gilligan did you at that time feel you might be the prime source, or again did you just come forward with that information because you felt it was better given that Andrew Gilligan's story was getting such prominence that you ought to make it clear that you had met him?

DR KELLY: I felt uncomfortable with the situation that I found myself in and so the only way of resolving that problem, because I thought, for three days before deciding to write, and my conscience dictated that I communicated what I had done in the best way that I could, and that's exactly what I did …..

..........

ANN TAYLOR: Do you think that the dossier was a sound document?

DR KELLY: Yes … …..

..........

ALAN BEITH: In the course of the discussion it was assumed you would have people of your level of technical knowledge of these things, were you conscious that there were other people who shared your very, very specific reservations, that is for example that you couldn't conceive a weapon system which could have fitted this description or who voiced other reservations about either the dossiers or the general drift of government statements about Iraq?

DR KELLY: Three very different questions. My discussions are primarily technical, I think in terms of the latter part, no, I didn't discuss that with anyone, it wouldn't be my remit or interest to do so. In terms of the forty-five minutes, yes that was very seriously discussed, particularly with people in the United Nations, in UNMOVIC who were desperately trying to think about what system is it they should be looking for when they went back into Iraq, because it doesn't fit any of the known Iraqi systems, so yes, that was talked about and discussed very seriously.

ALAN BEITH: And with that kind of discussion very understandably, particularly UNMOVIC or ex-inspector colleagues, was that, did that in any way fit the description of 'turbulence in the system' which for example Pauline Neville-Jones used although she was presumably talking primarily about intelligence work, that is, which I interpret to be a lot of people having a lot of discussions are saying 'oh, we've got serious doubts about this or that'.

DR KELLY: I wouldn't describe it as 'turbulence in the system' when the people that I talked to when one was seriously trying to think about what it can refer to, and of course it stimulated talk about the systems that we know about as well, it was a serious discussion, I wouldn't describe it as 'turbulence', it's the sort of vigour of discussion you'd have as a consequence of a statement that's not well understood.

ALAN BEITH: Seen as an 'unconcluded' discussion.

DR KELLY: So far, yes ….

..........

KEVIN BARRON: ….Did Gilligan have a pencil and paper with him, when you were chatting?

DR KELLY: He had a notebook with him, yes … … ….

..........

JOYCE QUIN: And in the transcript of Gilligan's - in the final segment he said the words of his source were that it was transformed in a week before it was published to make it 'sexier', that didn't come from you then?

DR KELLY: The word 'transformed' is not something that would have occurred to me in terms of the document, first of all I had not seen the earlier drafts of it, so I wouldn't know whether it had been transformed or not, the document itself is a very sober, well written, there is no emotive language in it, it's factual, I don't see it as being 'transformed'.

MICHAEL MATES: But you wouldn't describe it as 'sexy'?

DR KELLY: I think the 'forty-five minutes' for impact is the only, that's the only bit that that would be the case.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: But 'sexier' is that a word you would use?

DR KELLY: It is a word I would use, I use it on occasions.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: Is it a word you did use?

DR KELLY: I cannot recall on that occasion.

JAMES ARBUTHNOT: But you might have done?

DR KELLY: It's possible, yes … ….

..........

ANN TAYLOR: Can I ask, at the beginning you mentioned that you do see certain intelligence reports but you haven't been very specific about that, can you give us some idea of what you see by way of JIC papers, what you see from DIS, you mentioned that you did see some intelligence reporting could you give us a fuller picture please, of what they might be?

DR KELLY: Certainly. I see all the intelligence reporting concerned with both Iraq and ***, with regard to chemical and biological weapons, that arrives in the Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat and I have full access to that. Within the Defence Intelligence Services I liaise with the Rockingham cell which used to service UNMOVIC and UNSCOM and now will service the Iraq Survey Group and I don't go through all the information that they have but, almost on a weekly basis I'll sit down with the principal officer there and he will alert me to anything that he thinks is of relevance to my work. I also liaise with SIS, they call me in if they want to discuss any raw intelligence with me in if they want any assistance in interpreting intelligence. I see them every two months or so.

Back to Top

Dr Kelly's actions after he had given evidence to the ISC on 16 July 2003

  113.  After giving evidence to the ISC Dr Kelly returned to his daughter's home in Oxford where he was joined by Mrs Kelly who had travelled from Cornwall. In her evidence Miss Kelly said that when her father arrived back in Oxford he seemed:

[1 September, page 146, line 21]

Again just exhausted. The pressure seemed to have lifted a little bit when he met me at the station, he seemed more relaxed … …..

[1 September, page 148, line 5]

During the evening he had seemed more relaxed, but when he left - it is hard to describe, I think I recognised that the pressures seemed to be returning to him a little bit. He seemed to be looking ahead to the next day, and I again felt that that he was under this enormous stress and tension and I was a little bit concerned about him once again as he left.

Before Dr Kelly left his daughter's home he had arranged with her that she would meet him the next evening at his home to go for a walk to see a foal near his house.

  114.  Mrs Kelly said in her evidence that on Wednesday evening on the drive home from her daughter's house, Dr Kelly was very tense and very very tired. When they arrived back at their home Dr Kelly went into his study and switched on his computer and downloaded e-mails and then soon went to bed.

  115.  Prior to Dr Kelly's appearance before the FAC on 15 July Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP, a member of that Committee, had tabled two Parliamentary Questions for answer by the Secretary of State for Defence.

The first Parliamentary Question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when over the past two years Mr David Kelly has met Andrew Gilligan of the BBC.

The second Parliamentary Question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which journalists Mr David Kelly has met over the past two years; other than Andrew Gilligan of the BBC, (a) for what purpose each meeting was held, (b) when each meeting took place.

  116.  Dr Kelly was aware of these Parliamentary Questions before he went back to Oxford from London on the afternoon of 16 July and it had been arranged that on the next day, working from home, Dr Kelly would send the necessary details to the MoD before 10am on 17 July to enable answers to be prepared to those Questions. On Thursday 17 July at 9.22am Dr Kelly sent the following e-mail to Wing Commander Clark and Dr Wells:

John and Bryan,

I have compiled the information as best I can. The list of journalists is the most difficult because some may date before 2002 and some may have nothing to do with Iraq whatsoever! Attached is the information in Word.

Regards,

Attached to this e-mail was the following information:

IISS meeting was 12 to 14th September 2002

I have records of meeting:

Nick Rufford (Sunday Times) 14th March 2002 (discussing Al-Manal)

Alex Nicholl (Financial Times) 15th May 2002 (Iraqi WMD in general)

Phillip Sen (The Engineer) 3rd October 2002 (Inspection technology)

(Other than Andrew Gilligan I know that I have met Jane Corbin and Tom Mangold in the past year but have not recorded those meetings in my diary.)

Letter to Peter Watkins

I have contact with the following journalists:

Tamar Weinstein, CBC Radio Canada

Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC Radio Canada

Bernard Edinger, Reuters

Andrew Veitch, ITN

Mark Worthington, TBS News

Tetsuya Chikushi News, 23 TBS News

Koichiro Yoneda, TBS News

Paul Lashmar, The Independent

Susan Lambert, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Jeremy Webb, New Scientist

James Bone, The Times

Marilyn Chase, Wall Street Journal

Jeff Goldberg, Freelance journalist

Tom Mangold, BBC Panorama

Judith Miller, New York Times

Calum Lynch, Washington Post

Nick Rufford, Sunday Times

Helen Vyner, Simon Prentice Associates

Susan Wells, BBC[1]

Carolyn Hawley, BBC

Lynsey Hilsum, Channel Four News

Jane Corbin, BBC

Stephen Endelberg, New York Times

Sean O'Neill, Daily Telegraph

(note this is essentially a list of those journalists that I have business cards for or have recorded in my electronic contacts list, some may date from earlier than 2002; I will have had contact with others but I have no record).

  117.  On the morning of Thursday 17 July about 8.30am Dr Wells' office received four Parliamentary Questions tabled by Mr Bernard Jenkin MP.

The first Parliamentary Question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has complied with Dr David Kelly's terms and conditions of employment in handling the matter of his discussions with Andrew Gilligan.

The second Parliamentary Question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions Dr David Kelly spoke to BBC radio 4 defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan; and whether his line managers were aware of this.

The third Parliamentary Question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) civil service and (b) MoD rules and regulations may have been infringed by Dr David Kelly in talking to BBC radio 4 defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan.

The fourth Parliamentary Question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what disciplinary measures his Department will take against Dr David Kelly.

  118.  At 9.28am on 17 July Mr James Harrison, Dr Wells' deputy, sent these four Parliamentary Questions to Dr Kelly attached to an e-mail which stated:

David

more PQs! But plenty of time for reply. I expect that Bryan will deal tomorrow.

James

  119.  After receipt of Dr Kelly's e-mail sent at 9.22am, Wing Commander Clark helped to draft replies to the two Parliamentary Questions tabled by Mr Andrew Mackinlay and to the letter dated 15 July from the Clerk of the FAC requesting details of Dr Kelly's contacts with journalists. These replies were seen by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary's office which contacted Wing Commander Clark and suggested (inter alia) that as Ms Susan Watts had been referred to in the hearing when Dr Kelly appeared before the FAC, her name should be taken out of the general list of journalists to whom Dr Kelly had spoken and put into the paragraph which referred to the specific contacts that Dr Kelly had had with journalists. Accordingly Wing Commander Clark prepared a draft reply to the letter from the Clerk of the FAC dated 16 July which referred to a meeting with Ms Susan Watts on 5 November 2002. The draft was as follows:

Thank you for your letter of 16 July, asking for a list of journalists with whom Dr David Kelly has had contact.

As Dr Kelly explained in his evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee, the presence of the press outside his house has meant that he has not in recent days been able to gain access to the personal records he holds there. He was able to gain access to them last night. Mr Hoon wanted me to write to you as quickly as possible with this information, noting that it is drawn from a rapid analysis by Dr Kelly of his records.

Dr Kelly has records of having held one-to-one meetings with the following journalists over the past 2 years at their request:

Name DatePurpose
Nick Rufford14/03/02 Discussing Al-Manal (Sunday Times)
Alex Nicoll15/5/02Iraqi WMD in general (Financial Times)
Phillip Sen3/10/02Inspection technology (The Engineer)
Andrew GilliganFeb 2003 Iraqi WMD in general (BBC)
Andrew Gilligan22/05/03 Iraqi WMD in general (BBC

Dr Kelly has also had such meetings during the period with Jane Corbin (BBC) on general UN Inspections and Tom Mangold (BBC) on UNSCOM Inspections, but has no record of the dates.

In addition, Dr Kelly has spoken with journalists about Iraq at a range of seminars and similar events, and on the telephone. He has also discussed non-Iraq WMD matters, on which he is an acknowledged expert. For example, he had a conversation about Iraq WMD with Andrew Gilligan at the IISS seminar 12-14 September 2002 and, as mentioned at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee hearing, he met with Susan Watts (BBC), following his presentation at the Foreign Office Open Day on the 5 November 2002. Other than those noted above, Dr Kelly does not have records of contacts with journalists. However, those journalists whose business cards (or other contact details) Dr Kelly has in his possession are listed below: he believes that he has met them, either one-to-one or in the margins of seminars or other events, and in some cases possibly many years ago.

Tamar Weinstein, CBC Radio Canada

Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC Radio Canada

Bernard Edinger, Reuters

Andrew Veitch, ITN

Mark Worthington, TBS News

Tetsuya Chikushi News, 23 TBS News

Koichiro Yoneda, TBS News

Paul Lashmar, The Independent

Susan Lambert, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Jeremy Webb, New Scientist

James Bone, The Times

Marilyn Chase, Wall Street Journal

Jeff Goldberg, Freelance journalist

Judith Miller, New York Times

Calum Lynch, Washington Post

Helen Vyner, Simon Prentice Associates

Carolyn Hawley, BBC

Lynsey Hilsum, Channel Four News

Stephen Endelberg, New York Times

Sean O'Neill, Daily Telegraph

  120.  Wing Commander Clark gave the following evidence in respect of this change in the draft answer:

[27 August, page 137, line 9]

Q. Did Dr Kelly ever see this draft with Susan Watts' name in the body of the paragraph?

A. It was discussed with him, yes, but he would not have seen it, no; he did not physically see it.

  121.  Wing Commander Clark was asked what conversations he had had with Dr Kelly in the course of 17 July:

[27 August, page 137, line 18]

Q. Can you recall what conversations you had with Dr Kelly in the course of the 17th July apart from specifically on the e-mails?

A. Yes. We had a number of calls. The first one was obviously about 10 o'clock in the morning to say the information required is on the Internet machine. The reason he would make that call is the Internet machine is a stand alone machine in an office some 30 yards from where I work, so you had to know it was on there to go and find it.

We also had a general discussion of developments, how he was feeling. He was feeling still tired but in good spirits, although at that stage - and David Kelly was a very private man and very rarely mentioned his family - I mentioned he had come in later on the 16th because of a personal problem at home. That was because he had obviously come back from Cornwall and his wife had been left in Cornwall and he some way had to work out how to get his wife, who has arthritis, back from Cornwall. That is why he had been making arrangements on the 16th and that is why he was somewhat later in. On the 17th, when I asked him how he was going, he basically said he was holding up all right but it had all come to a head and his wife had taken it really very badly. Whether that was in association with the additional pressure of having to get back the day before under her own steam, I do not know, but he did say that his wife had been very upset on the morning of the 17th.

Q. Did you discuss going back to Iraq at all?

A. Yes, it was something we discussed regularly because Dr Kelly was very keen to get back to Iraq to support the ISG and on that morning, because we thought that really we were clearing the workload associated with PQs and with the Select Committees, we looked at a reasonable date for him going back. Having discussed it with Dr Wells, we came up with the date of the 25th which basically gave him just slightly over a week to get his personal effects sorted out and then he would fly out. So that - I spoke to him on the Thursday and it was going to be a week the following Friday that he would fly out.

Q. Did you book a flight for him?

A. Yes, I did. Having agreed that then he was booked on a flight.

LORD HUTTON: So that was a definite plan, Wing Commander, was it, that he would go out on the 25th?

A. It was my Lord.

LORD HUTTON: He knew that?

A. Provided basically we would seek authority from the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence that he was happy we had received it, it was a definite plan. He had agreed that Dr Kelly himself could easily make that date.

  122.  During the course of 17 July Wing Commander Clark was also contacted by the Private Secretary to Mr Hoon who referred to an article written by Mr Nick Rufford in the Sunday Times on 13 July referring to Dr Kelly. Dr Kelly had made no reference to that meeting with Mr Rufford in the details he had given of meetings with journalists and Wing Commander Clark was asked to check with Dr Kelly if that meeting had taken place and, if it had, to include it in the reply. Wing Commander Clark telephoned Dr Kelly to speak to him on this point about 3.20pm. His evidence was:

[27 August, page 140, line 17]

Q. At what time did you attempt to ring Dr Kelly?

A. It was - I have since been told by the police - I thought it was close to 3 o'clock but it was about 3.20, and I was told by his wife who answered the telephone that Dr Kelly had gone for a walk at 3 o'clock.

Q. Can you recall what the last telephone conversation you actually had with Dr Kelly was before that attempt to get hold of him?

A. Yes, I had a call with him which was just before 3 o'clock. Again I thought it was earlier but we have been able to track that down from investigating my log of e-mails and the telephone log that the police were able to provide. So about 6 or 7 minutes before 3 o'clock was the last conversation. That was the one where we discussed Susan Watts and the business cards.

Q. When you say Susan Watts, i.e. appearing in the body of the text?

A. Absolutely right. So that had been agreed.

  123.  On the morning of 17 July at 11.18am Dr Kelly sent a number of e-mails to friends and colleagues who had sent him, by e-mail, messages of support. The e-mails sent by Dr Kelly were as follows:

To Ron Manley:

Ron

Many thanks for your thoughts. It has been difficult. Hopefully it will all blow over by the end of the week and I can travel to Baghdad and get on with the real work.

Best wishes

David.

To Geeta Kingdon:

Geeta,

Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers. It has been a remarkably tough time. Should all blow over by early next week then I will travel to Baghdad a week Friday.

I have had to keep a low profile which meant leaving home for a week! Back now.

With best wishes and thanks for your support.

David

To Debra Krikorian:

Deb,

Many thanks for the email. GKW let me know that you had been trying to contact me but I have been keeping low on MOD advice. If all blows over by the beginning of next week I will get to Baghdad soon.

Regards,

David.

To Alastair Hay:

Dear Alastair,

Many thanks for your support. Hopefully it will soon pass and I can get to Baghdad and get on with the real job.

Best wishes,

David

To Philippe Michel:

Philippe,

Many thanks for your email. I know that I have a lot of good friends who are providing support at a difficult time.

Hope to see you soon.

Regards,

David

To Malfrid Braut:

Malfrid,

Thanks. It has been difficult. I hope to get to Baghdad soon to really work. I will then probably be out of email contact but send me whatever you wish and I will respond as soon as I can.

I am sure that Cairo remains absorbing.

Best wishes,

David

To Dick Foster:

Dick,

Quite a week. If all blows over I will be in Baghdad next Friday. Hope to see you shortly after that.

All the best,

David

  124.  On 16 July Judith Miller, a reporter on the New York Times had sent Dr Kelly the following e-mail:

David,

I heard from another member of your fan club that things went well for you today. Hope it's true. J.

  125.  On 17 July at 11.18am Dr Kelly sent Judith Miller the following e-mail:

Judy,

I will wait until the end of the week before judging - many dark actors playing games.

Thanks for your support. I appreciate your friendship at this time.

Best,

David

The e-mail was sent in the context of Judith Miller's reference to his appearance before the FAC but it is not possible to draw any clear inference as to whom Dr Kelly was referring in his reference to "many dark actors playing games".

  126.  In her evidence Mrs Kelly described Dr Kelly's state of mind and actions on the morning and early afternoon of 17 July as follows:

[1 September, page 43, line 16]

Q. 17th July is a Thursday. What time did you get up that day?

A. About half past 8. It is rather later than normal. We were both tired.

Q. How did he seem?

A. Tired, subdued, but not depressed. I have no idea. He had never seemed depressed in all of this, but he was very tired and very subdued.

Q. Did he have any work to do that day?

A. He said he had a report to write for the MoD. This is the one that somebody on the Foreign Affairs Committee referred to as his "homework" I think.

Q. Some Parliamentary Questions that were tabled?

A. That is right.

Q. How did he seem about that?

A. He just got on with it, basically.

Q. What time did he start work?

A. Probably about 9 o'clock, quarter to 9.

Q. Where physically did he work in the house?

A. In his study. It was a downstairs room to the left of the front door, one side of the dining room.

..........

[1 September, page 45, line 5]

Q. He went into his study I think you told us about 9 o'clock?

A. That is right.

Q. Did he come out of his study at all?

A. He came out for coffee. We had a quick word.

Q. What time was that?

A. That would be about 11 I think, something of that order.

Q. Do you know whether he made any telephone calls that day?

A. Yes, he was certainly on the phone quite a bit I think, not as much -

Q. Could you hear that?

A. Yes, I could hear the phone ringing from time to time, but he picked it up. We did not actually sit together to have coffee then and we did not really talk at that stage.

Q. So after his coffee at 11 o'clock he went back to carry on?

A. He went back to carry on. I left the house for a few minutes to meet somebody and pick up some photographs. I came back, went into his study to try and lighten the atmosphere a bit by showing him some photographs and some other data I had got for the History Society. He smiled, stood up and then said he had not quite finished. But a few minutes later he went to sit in the sitting room all by himself without saying anything, which was quite unusual for him, but he went and sat in the sitting room.

Q. And what time had you gone out to get the photographs?

A. Not absolutely certain, it was something like quarter to 12, I think.

Q. So if you were 10 minutes doing that, you must have been back just shortly before 12, is that right?

A. I was a bit longer than that. I was about half an hour.

Q. So about a quarter past 12. When was he sitting in the sitting room?

A. From about 12.30 I would think.

Q. Did he say anything?

A. No, he just sat and looked really very tired. By this time I had started with a huge headache and begun to feel sick. In fact I was physically sick several times at this stage because he looked so desperate.

Q. Did he have any lunch?

A. Yes, he did. I said to him - he did not want any but he did have some lunch. I made some sandwiches and he had a glass of water. We sat together at the table opposite each other. I tried to make conversation. I was feeling pretty wretched, so was he. He looked distracted and dejected.

Q. How would you describe him at this time?

A. Oh, I just thought he had a broken heart. He really was very, very - he had shrunk into himself. He looked as though he had shrunk, but I had no idea at that stage of what he might do later, absolutely no idea at all.

Q. And that was how he was looking and seeming to you. Did you talk much at lunch?

A. No, no. He could not put two sentences together. He could not talk at all.

Q. You said, I think, you were feeling unwell that day?

A. That is right.

Q. What did you do?

A. I went to go and have a lie down after lunch, which is something I quite often did just to cope with my arthritis. I said to him, "What are you going to do?" He said, "I will probably go for my walk".

Q. I think you told us you heard the phone ringing during the day. Had you seen his reaction to any phone calls during the day?

A. No, no.

Q. You had only seen his reaction when he had gone into the sitting room?

A. That is right.

Q. And then at lunchtime?

A. That is right.

Q. What time do you think you went upstairs, so far as you can remember?

A. It would be about half past 1, quarter to 2 perhaps.

Q. Where was he at that time?

A. He went into his study. Then shortly after I had laid down he came to ask me if I was okay. I said: yes, I will be fine. And then he went to change into his jeans. He would be around the house in a tracksuit or tracksuit bottoms during the day. So he went to change and put on his shoes. Then I assumed he had left the house.

Q. Because he was going for a walk?

A. That is right. He had intended to go for this regular walk of his. He had a bad back so that was the strategy for that.

Q. And did he, in fact, go straight off for his walk?

A. Well, the phone rang a little bit later on and I assumed he had left so I suddenly realised I had not got a cordless phone and I thought it might be an important call for him, perhaps from the MoD. So I went downstairs to find the telephone in the dining room. By this time the ringing had stopped and I was aware of David talking quietly on a phone. I said something like: I thought you had gone out for a walk. He did not respond of course because he was talking on the phone.

Q. Where was he at this time?

A. In his study.

Q. Do you know what time this was?

A. Not exactly, no. Getting on for 3, I would think.

Q. Do you know who the caller was?

A. I assumed it was the MoD, I am not sure.

Q. And did Dr Kelly go out for his walk?

A. Well, the phone rang again at about 3.20, after which - it was a call for me - a return call for me, and I could not settle in bed so I got up at that stage and I was aware that definitely David had left by this time.

Q. So he had gone?

A. He had gone by 3.20.

Q. So between 3 and 3.20 he had gone for a walk?

A. That is right, yes.

It appears to be clear that the telephone call which Dr Kelly answered just before 3pm was from Wing Commander Clark (see para 122).

  127.  After leaving his house to go for a walk Dr Kelly met an elderly neighbour whom he knew, Mrs Ruth Absalom who had taken her dog out for a walk. She said that she met Dr Kelly around 3pm on a lane about a mile away from his home. She described their meeting as follows:

[2 September, page 2, line 14]

Q. What did you say to him?

A. He said, "Hello Ruth" and I said, "Oh hello David, how are things?" He said, "Not too bad". We stood there for a few minutes then Buster, my dog, was pulling on the lead, he wanted to get going. I said "I will have to go, David". He said, "See you again then, Ruth" and that was it, we parted.

Q. How did he seem to you?

A. Just his normal self, no different to any other time when I have met him.


1   The reference to "Susan Wells, BBC" was very probably intended as a reference to Susan Watts, BBC. Back

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