Thursday, June 09, 2011

There should be an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly

The attorney general has rejected calls for an inquest into the death in 2003 of government scientist Dr David Kelly, reports BBC News.

But there should be an inquest, for both reasons of principle and pragmatic reasons.

The principle is that all suspicious deaths should be the subject of an inquest. It is for those who oppose an inquiry to make their case. The argument that Kelly's death was touched upon by the Hutton Inquiry, which was concerned with much else besides, does not convince. And the precedent that inquests should not take place in deaths that are politically embarrassing to the government is not one that should be allowed to become established.

The pragmatic reason is that if you want to put an end to conspiracy theories, it is not a good idea to avoid holding an inquest in a case that has done more then most to inspire them.

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