Date set for Kelly funeral
Wednesday July 30, 2003
A date has been set for the funeral of David Kelly, the government scientist whose information led the BBC to claim that the government had "sexed up" its Iraqi dossier, Thames Valley police announced today.
The former weapons inspector - whose apparent suicide has sparked a judicial inquiry - will be buried next Wednesday, August 6 at St Mary's Church in Longworth, Oxfordshire.
Dr Kelly was a recent convert to the Bahai faith, although the service will be conducted by the local vicar, Rev Roy Woodhams.
The announcement of a date for the funeral frees up Lord Hutton to begin proceedings on his judicial inquiry, which formally opens this Friday, but was awaiting the burial of Dr Kelly before getting underway.
Tony Blair is expected to give evidence to the inquiry, which has a brief to "examine the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly". However, the prime minister again today ruled out any judicial inquiry into the build-up to the war in Iraq.
Two separate inquiries have so far been commissioned into the government's use of intelligence material in putting the case for a conflict. The foreign affairs select committee, to which Dr Kelly gave evidence, has already issued its report, while the intelligence and security committee - which answers only to the prime minister, not parliament - is expected to give its verdict in the autumn.
Dr Kelly was reported missing on Thursday July 17 - 48 hours after giving evidence to the FAC - and his body found on an Oxfordshire hillside close to his house the next morning.
He died of a slashed wrist.
A Thames Valley police spokesman said: "Dr Kelly's family wish the funeral to be a dignified and private affair but recognise the event will generate media interest.
"For those reasons, the family has asked that media attendance is limited and in order to facilitate this a pooled facility will be made available.
"A Sky News cameraman and a Press Association reporter and photographer will be permitted to cover certain aspects of the funeral, details of which will follow.
"Their coverage will be then be made available to all other media.
"Thames Valley police would ask the media to respect the wishes of the family and not to try and attend the funeral or obtain shots of the family on their journey to and from St Mary's Church whether from the roadside or from the air."
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