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Inquiry to hear of Kelly's last hours

(Filed: 02/09/2003)

Details of Dr David Kelly's final movements and state of mind before he took his own life are expected to be revealed at the Hutton Inquiry.

The last people to see the Iraq weapons expert alive and police officers involved in the search for his body are amongst witnesses due to appear before the inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Lord Hutton will be assisted by an expert on suicide and a leader of the Baha'i faith, of which Dr Kelly was a member, to gain an insight into his mind and beliefs.

Yesterday, the inquiry heard evidence from those who knew Dr Kelly's widow Janice, daughter Rachel and sister Sarah Pape. Mrs Kelly told a packed court 73 how her husband felt "totally let down and betrayed" by the Ministry of Defence for allowing his name to be made public.

Today the inquiry was expected to learn more about what was going through Dr Kelly's mind when he chose to take his own life. Giving evidence is Barney Leith, a personal friend and secretary of the UK National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is, and Professor Keith Hawton, a psychiatrist.

The Baha'i faith, which Dr Kelly discovered in 1999 while working for the UN in New York, has 6,000 followers across the UK and five million adherents worldwide. The religion preaches universal peace and emphasises truthfulness.

Baha'is do not believe in heaven or hell, stating that everyone has an opportunity for redemption, which has led to the mistaken assumption that they are proponents of suicide.

©Copyright 2003, Telegraph (UK)

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