By Ray Fleming

BRITAIN'S Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has given the House of Commons an impressive account of the reasons for his decision not to propose a fresh inquiry into the death of the government scientist Dr David Kelly in 2003. The call for such an inquiry came from a group of doctors who do not accept the validity of evidence that Dr Kelly committed suicide and also from a number of conspiracy theorists who believe he may have been murdered because of what he knew about the government's intelligence on Sadam Hussein's “weapons of mass destruction”.

Mr Grieve said there was “overwhelmingly strong” evidence that Mr Kelly took his own life -- yet he also acknowledged that there was a conflict of evidence over whether Dr Kelly's body had been moved. Some witnesses said he had been lying down, others that his head was resting against a tree trunk. “But why? By whom? And to what purpose?” asked Mr Grieve rhetorically. But surely it is the whole point that neither the death certificate nor Lord Hutton's opinion, given as part of his quite different inquiry into the events leading up to the death, could be considered a substitute for a full inquest. Why was such an inquest sidelined and the task given to Lord Hutton who was not qualified to make an informed judgement? That is the question Mr Grieve should have addressed and answered.