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CHAPTER 13

Final observations

  468.  I wish to record my gratitude and thanks to Mrs Kelly and her daughters for the great assistance which they have given to the Inquiry in a time of great sorrow and stress for them.

  469.  The work of the Inquiry was greatly assisted by its counsel, Mr James Dingemans QC and Mr Peter Knox, and by its solicitor, Mr Martin Smith, and I am very indebted to them. It is a tribute to their skill and industry that after the announcement of the establishment of the Inquiry on 18 July 2003 their preparation and analysis of the very large volume of written material received by the Inquiry enabled 74 witnesses to be examined between 11 August and 24 September (evidence being taken from one witness, who had been ill, on 13 October). I am also very indebted to counsel and solicitors who appeared for those parties to whom leave was given to be represented; their well prepared examination and cross-examination of witnesses and their final statements were of great assistance to me in coming to my conclusions. I also wish to thank the Government and the BBC and the other parties and their legal advisers for the very large volume of documents which were provided to the Inquiry and which cast much light on the decisions and actions taken during the relevant periods.

  470.  I was greatly assisted in conducting the Inquiry by the very thorough investigations which had been carried out by the Thames Valley Police into the circumstances surrounding Dr Kelly's death and I was very fortunate to have had the benefit of the assistance of Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page and Detective Chief Inspector Alan Young.

  471.  I also wish to record the admiration and appreciation I feel for the excellent and dedicated work of Mr Lee Hughes, the Secretary to the Inquiry, and the two other members of the administrative staff, Miss Helen Smith and Miss Vanessa Watling. The unfailing assistance which they have given me has been of inestimable value and I am most grateful to them. I also wish to express my admiration and appreciation for the immensely skilful work of Mrs Kathy Knox who has typed, with great care, the entirety of this lengthy report.

  472.  The circumstances leading up to Dr Kelly's death were wholly exceptional and I have decided that it is unnecessary for me to make any express recommendations because I have no doubt that the BBC and the Government will take note of the criticisms which I have made in this report.

  473.  Dr Kelly was a devoted husband and father and a public servant who served his country and the international community with great distinction both in the United Kingdom and in very difficult and testing conditions in Russia and Iraq. The evidence at this Inquiry has concentrated largely on the last two months of Dr Kelly's life, and therefore it is fitting that I should end this report with some words written in Dr Kelly's obituary in The Independent on 31 July by Mr Terence Taylor, the President and Executive Director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Washington DC and a former colleague of Dr Kelly:

"It is most important that the extraordinary public attention and political fallout arising from the events of the past month do not mask the extraordinary achievements of a scientist who loyally served not only his Government but also the international community at large."

Brian Hutton

28 January 2004

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