LONDON (AFP) – Attorney General Dominic Grieve on Thursday ruled out asking the High Court to order an inquest into the death of weapons inspector David Kelly.
In a House of Commons announcement Grieve said there was “overwhelming” evidence that Kelly took his own life and none to support claims he was murdered”.
The scientist’s body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home in 2003, shortly after he was revealed as the source of a BBC report questioning the accuracy of a government dossier arguing the case for war in Iraq.
An inquest was initially opened into Kelly’s death, but it was suspended before the start of an inquiry.
The 2004 probe, carried out by Brian Hutton, a former head of the Northern Irish judiciary, concluded that Kelly had committed suicide.
The then lord chancellor Charles Falconer, head of the English judiciary, declared himself satisfied with the inquiry and the inquest was never completed.
But a group of campaigning doctors, led by Stephen Frost, denounced the Hutton report as “a whitewash” and said it failed to address the causes of Kelly’s death.
The doctors on Thursday said they would seek a judicial review of Grieve’s decision and accused the British government of being complicit in a “determined and concerted cover-up”.
Frost said: “It is very surprising and perplexing that the Attorney General today supports those who wish to deny Dr Kelly a proper inquest.
“This is clearly a political decision when it should have been a decision based solely on the law.”
Prime Minister David Cameron appeared to rule out a full inquest last month, saying the Hutton report had been “fairly clear”.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to take that case forward,” he said.
Frost on Thursday claimed four successive governments had sought to “obscure the truth of what happened” and called for Grieve’s resignation.
“The cover-up could not be more obvious,” he added.
Announcing his decision, Grieve, the government’s chief legal adviser, told MPs: “Having given all the material that’s been sent to me the most careful consideration, I’ve concluded that the evidence that Dr Kelly took his own life is overwhelmingly strong.
“Further, there is nothing I’ve seen that supports any allegation that Dr Kelly was murdered or that his death was the subject of any kind of conspiracy or cover up.”
Kelly was the most experienced British expert involved in United Nations inspections in Iraq intended to prevent dictator Saddam Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. He had cast doubt on the government’s claim that Iraq had WMD capable of being fired within 45 minutes.
The Hutton report said that Kelly killed himself by cutting an artery in his wrist.
Frost and others dismissed the findings however, arguing that Hutton only spent half a day of a 24-day inquiry considering the cause of death.