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[casi] Richard Kelly

No conspiracy, just sadness

Body 'matches' Iraq expert

Police searching for the weapons expert suggested as the possible source for a BBC story on Iraq 
say the body they
have found matches Dr David Kelly's appearance.
The government says an independent judicial inquiry will be held into the circumstances of his 
death if the body is
confirmed to be that of Dr Kelly.

The body was found at 0920 BST by a member of the police team searching for Dr Kelly in a wooded 
area at Harrowdown
Hill, near Faringdon, Oxfordshire.

Government adviser Dr Kelly, 59, went missing from his home in Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, at 
about 1500 BST
on Thursday.

The body was found lying on the ground, around five miles from Dr Kelly's home, a police 
spokeswoman said.

Acting superintendent Dave Purnell confirmed that the body matched Dr Kelly's description in a 
brief news
conference at 1430 BST.

Formal identification would take place on Saturday, said Supt Purnell, and the case was being 
treated as an
"unexplained death".

"We will be awaiting the results of the post mortem and also waiting while the forensic examination 
continues at
the scene at Harrowdown Hill," he added.


The government announcement of an inquiry if the body is Dr Kelly's came from the prime minister's 
plane as he flew
for a visit to Tokyo.

Earlier this week, Dr Kelly denied being the BBC's main source for a story claiming Downing Street 
had "sexed up" a
dossier about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

He appeared before the Commons foreign affairs committee on Tuesday.

MPs on the committee reacted with shock and disbelief at news of Dr Kelly's disappearance.

1500 BST: Told wife going for a walk near their home
2345 BST: Police informed he is missing

His family had contacted the police when he failed to return home by 2345 BST on Thursday.
Tony Blair, who is heading to Japan after his speech to Congress in Washington, has been informed 
about the
discovery of the body.

Huge media attention has been on Dr Kelly since the Ministry of Defence said he had admitted 
meeting Andrew
Gilligan, the BBC correspondent behind the controversial Iraq story.

Mr Gilligan said a source had told him that the dossier on Iraq had been "sexed up" by Downing 

The BBC correspondent has refused to name his source, but the MoD said Dr Kelly had come forward to 
say it may have
been him.


Government ministers have said they believe he was the source for Mr Gilligan's story.

Superintendent Purnell said the official's family were aware that a body had been found. A police 
family liaison
officer is with them.

Harrowdown Hill, where the body is found, is an area popular with walkers but "quite off the beaten 
track", he

Ann Lewis, a neighbour of Dr Kelly, told BBC News Online she was "devastated" for his family, 
especially his

He is not used to the media glare, he is not used to the intense spotlight he has been put under
Richard Ottaway
Tory MP

She said: "He was a quiet man. He was a man who showed great care and concern for others."
Craig Foster, 36, landlord of the Blue Boar public house in nearby Longworth, said Dr Kelly was "a 
very well liked

Police say Dr Kelly is an avid walker and has good local knowledge of the many footpaths 
surrounding his home.

Initial searches of the house, outbuildings and grounds of the property were completed in the early 
hours of

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "We are aware that Dr David Kelly has gone missing and we 
are obviously

The ministry said Dr Kelly had at no point been threatened with suspension or dismissal for 
speaking to Mr

It was made clear to him that he had broken civil service rules by having unauthorised contact with 
a journalist,
but "that was the end of it", said a spokesman.

Downing Street says it is "very concerned about news that David Kelly has gone missing". A 
spokesman said thoughts
were with Dr Kelly's family.

Number 10 says "normal personnel procedures" were followed after Dr Kelly volunteered that he might 
have been the
source of Mr Gilligan's report.
It was made clear to Dr Kelly that his name was likely to become public knowledge because he was 
one of only a
small number of people it could have been about, the spokesman said.

After questioning Dr Kelly earlier this week, the Commons foreign affairs select committee said it 
was "most
unlikely" he was the main source for the BBC story.

And they said Dr Kelly, who has worked as a weapons inspector in Iraq, had been "poorly treated" by 
government - a charge strongly rejected by the MoD.

There must be more to this than we had thought. I do not know what that means, I just think there is
John Maples
Foreign affairs committee

Committee chairman Donald Anderson told the BBC his "heart went out" to Dr Kelly's family as the 
search for the
official went on.
Another member of the committee, Tory John Maples said he was "speechless" after hearing of the 
discovery of a

"If it is (Dr Kelly), it is just awful. What can you say? Nothing," he said.

"There must be more to this than we had thought. I do not know what that means, I just think there 

Tory MP Richard Ottaway, another committee member, said: "He is not used to the media glare, he is 
not used to the
intense spotlight he has been put under."

The BBC has rejected Mr Anderson's claim that Mr Gilligan was an "unreliable witness" who had 
changed his story
about the Iraq dossier claims when he met the committee in private on Thursday.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/07/18 14:31:22 GMT


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