Watchdog clears police over Kelly pictures

First published in News

THE UK’s information watchdog has upheld Thames Valley Police’s decision not to release uncensored photographs relating to the death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said the release would cause “significant distress” to the family of the scientist, whose body was found in woods at Harrowdown Hill, near his Southmoor home in 2003.

A member of the public requested all “uncensored, un-redacted and complete” photographs relating to his death under the Freedom of Information Act.

The force said it would not release the images as the act exempts information used for investigations and information which would “endanger the physical or mental health of any individual”.

The unnamed woman who made the request branded this “preposterous” and demanded a “written statement from Dr Kelly’s brother that he does not want these photographs released to the public”. The force said there had “already been a very public examination of the circumstances surrounding Dr David Kelly’s death”. The 2003 Hutton Inquiry found the 59-year-old died from blood loss after cutting his wrist with a knife.

The Information Commissioner found that releasing the images would case “significant distress” and could not be outweighed by the public interest.

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1:38pm Sat 20 Oct 12

Peter Beswick says...

The photos will show if eyewitness reports are correct that the body and objects at the scene were repositioned between the body being found and the forensic team attending, the photos will also show if more blood was added to the scene.
Photos were taken in the morning when the ambulance crew were present; more were taken in the afternoon when the forensic team arrived.
Very different descriptions , of the scene, are given by the search team who found the body (body sat against a tree) and when the ambulance crew arrived (body lay flat on the ground, ambulance technician stood in gap between a tree and the head of the body when checking for signs of life.) More differing accounts are given by the forensic team and others.
Lord Hutton said he saw a photo showing the body with its head slumped against a tree. Dr Shepherd who assisted the Attorney General with his ad hoc investigation of Dr Kelly’s death said he saw a photo that showed the head of the body a “significant” distance from the tree.
If these two photographs exist it proves that there was third party activity at the scene which drives a coach and horses through the suicide conclusion.
The first police officer on the scene said at the Hutton inquiry that the body was lay flat when he first saw it, he has since admitted in a newspaper article that the body was slumped against a tree when he first saw it.
There is overwhelming evidence that the body was moved and other changes occurred at the scene between the morning and afternoon. The photos will prove this.
Thames Valley Police, Lord Hutton and the Attorney General could have shown the photos, during their investigations, to the witnesses that have given hugely varying accounts of what the saw, at different times and said “Was this the scene, was this the position of the body when you saw it?” All chose not to, all chose not to investigate the evidence. And then the photos were locked away for 70 years.
Until this matter is cleared up the Kelly family will gain no closure, the police, Lord Hutton and the Attorney General will, rightly, be suspected of cover up, the public’s confidence in the Justice System will remain tarnished.
There was then and remains now, no good reason why the morning and afternoon photos can’t be shown to eyewitnesses who actually saw the body and the very simple question asked “is this what you saw when you were present”.
The photos will show if eyewitness reports are correct that the body and objects at the scene were repositioned between the body being found and the forensic team attending, the photos will also show if more blood was added to the scene. Photos were taken in the morning when the ambulance crew were present; more were taken in the afternoon when the forensic team arrived. Very different descriptions , of the scene, are given by the search team who found the body (body sat against a tree) and when the ambulance crew arrived (body lay flat on the ground, ambulance technician stood in gap between a tree and the head of the body when checking for signs of life.) More differing accounts are given by the forensic team and others. Lord Hutton said he saw a photo showing the body with its head slumped against a tree. Dr Shepherd who assisted the Attorney General with his ad hoc investigation of Dr Kelly’s death said he saw a photo that showed the head of the body a “significant” distance from the tree. If these two photographs exist it proves that there was third party activity at the scene which drives a coach and horses through the suicide conclusion. The first police officer on the scene said at the Hutton inquiry that the body was lay flat when he first saw it, he has since admitted in a newspaper article that the body was slumped against a tree when he first saw it. There is overwhelming evidence that the body was moved and other changes occurred at the scene between the morning and afternoon. The photos will prove this. Thames Valley Police, Lord Hutton and the Attorney General could have shown the photos, during their investigations, to the witnesses that have given hugely varying accounts of what the saw, at different times and said “Was this the scene, was this the position of the body when you saw it?” All chose not to, all chose not to investigate the evidence. And then the photos were locked away for 70 years. Until this matter is cleared up the Kelly family will gain no closure, the police, Lord Hutton and the Attorney General will, rightly, be suspected of cover up, the public’s confidence in the Justice System will remain tarnished. There was then and remains now, no good reason why the morning and afternoon photos can’t be shown to eyewitnesses who actually saw the body and the very simple question asked “is this what you saw when you were present”. Peter Beswick
  • Score: 1

2:16pm Sat 20 Oct 12

benjamin says...

There is no doubt that any cover up could be to the benefit of Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell. They must have had some involvement in this..Why else should all proceedings be hushed up for 70 years?
There is no doubt that any cover up could be to the benefit of Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell. They must have had some involvement in this..Why else should all proceedings be hushed up for 70 years? benjamin
  • Score: 0

2:11am Sun 21 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

I well know how official reports deviate from the truth, I have witnessed many crimes during my years, and the official line always seems to deviate in whichever way the investigation is to go. The refusal to release the pictures just shows that we still have massive censorship, and crimes will be covered up if this carries on, the exemption to the FOI request that the police mention could be manipulated to stop anything that they or what the government tell them not being published in the public realm. It makes a mockery of FOI and the transparency of the law. It makes me laugh when I have people in the back of the cab banging on about countries like N Korea, china, etc being corrupt and people having no freedom, yet when I question them on our freedom, corruption and cover ups it is always, "nah none of that goi'n on over 'ere". Well sorry but it does. Hopefully the new police top man will sort it all out. By the way, I had Brian Gould in the back of me cab years ago, nice bloke, honest, and should have made Kinnock a winner.
I well know how official reports deviate from the truth, I have witnessed many crimes during my years, and the official line always seems to deviate in whichever way the investigation is to go. The refusal to release the pictures just shows that we still have massive censorship, and crimes will be covered up if this carries on, the exemption to the FOI request that the police mention could be manipulated to stop anything that they or what the government tell them not being published in the public realm. It makes a mockery of FOI and the transparency of the law. It makes me laugh when I have people in the back of the cab banging on about countries like N Korea, china, etc being corrupt and people having no freedom, yet when I question them on our freedom, corruption and cover ups it is always, "nah none of that goi'n on over 'ere". Well sorry but it does. Hopefully the new police top man will sort it all out. By the way, I had Brian Gould in the back of me cab years ago, nice bloke, honest, and should have made Kinnock a winner. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -51

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