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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 March 2019

Iraq WMD inspector David Kelly's body removed from graveyard

It is believed the action was taken after the grave was “desecrated” by conspiracy theorists and campaigners who believe the scientist did not commit suicide but was murdered

Saddam Hussein turned down the UAE's offer of asylum and went into hiding after the US invasion in March 2003. He was later caught, convicted of war crimes and executed in December 2006. AFP
Saddam Hussein turned down the UAE's offer of asylum and went into hiding after the US invasion in March 2003. He was later caught, convicted of war crimes and executed in December 2006. AFP

The grave of David Kelly, the Iraq WMD inspector, has been dug up and the body removed by his family after a placard was placed by it and threats to exhume his remains were made.

Police confirmed his remains have been moved from a churchyard near his home and the headstone taken down, according to a report from UK newspaper The Sun.

A source told the paper: “It was removed in secret. One day his headstone was there. The next it was gone and the plot had been dug up and then covered in fresh turf.”

It is believed the action was taken after the grave was “desecrated” by conspiracy theorists and campaigners who believe the scientist did not commit suicide.

The body was moved elsewhere and is understood to have been cremated.

Kelly died in 2003 aged 53 after he was exposed as the source of a BBC report that an official dossier on Saddam Hussein and Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had been “sexed up”.

Although his death led to the Hutton inquiry which found he had committed suicide, an inquest has never been held.

British newspaper The Sunday Times reports that the Justice for Kelly group placed a placard next to Kelly’s grave which called for an inquest to be held. They had left notes on the grave and held vigils in the past.

Gerrard Jonas, of Justice for Kelly, told the paper: “Dr Kelly’s body was . . . removed in the last week of July, headstone and all. They dug it up overnight. It was all done in haste. What looked like pieces of the coffin were left behind, he said. Jonas, who lives nearby, continued: “We have been at this for 4½ years. We did put placards, one placard, asking for a coroner’s inquest. There has been no desecration. About three years ago Mrs Kelly sent the police round to me one Saturday night. They started questioning me.”

Kelly was found dead near after swallowing tablets and self-harming. Some have questioned whether the cuts could have caused enough blood loss to be fatal.

However, the pathologist’s report said there was a lot of blood, the wounds were “typical of self-inflicted injury” and there was no evidence of foul play.

Updated: October 29, 2017 09:45 AM

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