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Jul 19 2003
Chris Hughes

DR David Kelly "had a brain that could boil water," according to a close friend yesterday.

With his death went one of the few minds that came close to the truth about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction.

By his appearance he could be mistaken for another behind-the-scenes Ministry of Defence scientist.

But colleagues say the 59-year-old was a quiet genius who watched Iraq like a hawk between 1991 and 1998.

It was Dr Kelly who in 1995 discovered Saddam's radioactive arsenal, forcing Baghdad to admit in part their WMD programme.

He was so good at his job Saddam is said to have told his aides he should be thrown out of the country.

As well as being a scientist, he immersed himself in middle eastern culture and spiritual pursuits.

He was religious, a committed and practising member of the Baha'i Faith, which was founded 150 years ago in Iran.

It was his expertise that dragged him into media spotlight and the bitter row between the BBC and the Government.

Family friend Tom Mangold said: ""He was a man whose brain could boil water, he used words with tremendous precision, he used them as weapons.

"There was nothing he didn't know about biological warfare and there wasn't much he didn't know about WMD."

©Copyright 2003, The Daily Record (UK)

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