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Kelly mentor: ignore the rumours

11th September 2003

An American who became David Kelly's spiritual mentor has urged the public to ignore the "rumours and innuendoes" surrounding his life and allow the investigation into his suicide to continue.

Mai Pederson, 43, said the weapons expert had been a man of impeccable honour who had been "totally devoted to his family".

Reports have suggested that Ms Pederson may be called to give evidence before the Hutton inquiry.

But in a statement, released by her lawyer in Washington, she said: "I cannot imagine that I have any information that is relevant or enlightening to these tragic circumstances."

Ms Pederson, who introduced Dr Kelly to the Baha'i faith, said she had been "shocked and saddened" to hear of his death.

"To me, he was a true humanitarian dedicated to the betterment of all humankind and peaceful resolution, one who sought the truth, and an individual totally devoted to his family.

"I truly hope that the public will permit the British authorities to investigate these events as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible, and not distract them with rumours and innuendoes.

Ms Pederson, an Arab-American military linguist, is said to have met Dr Kelly five years ago while working as his translator during a United Nations arms inspection mission to Iraq.

©Copyright 2003, femail (UK)

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