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Sunday 31 August 2003 06:55am


Aug 31 2003

Exclusive By Vincent Moss And Susie Boniface

THE grieving widow of weapons expert Dr David Kelly will seal the fate of embattled Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon tomorrow.

Janice Kelly is due to give her devastating testimony about her husband's final days to Lord Hutton's inquiry into his death.

She will reveal her fears that Dr Kelly was being investigated over his links with journalists "long before" the furious row which erupted between Downing Street and the BBC.

Ministers are sure Mrs Kelly will condemn the way the Ministry of Defence named him as the source of the BBC story which claimed Downing Street had "sexed up" a dossier on Iraqi weapons.

And they are convinced she will hit back at a spin doctor's comparison of her husband to the fictional fantasist Walter Mitty just days after his apparent suicide in July.

Ultimately, ministers admit she could end Mr Hoon's MoD career.

"If she lays the blame for her husband's death at the feet of Geoff Hoon, I don't think he will survive," said a senior Government source.

Mrs Kelly plans to speak to the inquiry by video from her Oxfordshire home to try and minimise her ordeal.

Dr Kelly's friend Barney Leith, a fellow member of the Baha'i faith, told the Sunday Mirror he would tell the inquiry the expert was "totally overwhelmed" by the political storm.

©Copyright 2003, Sunday Mirror (UK)

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