Wed 24 Sep 2003
Kelly-death conspiracy theories laid to rest
ALISON HARDIE POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
A BRIEF and unexpected contribution from a police witness yesterday will have come as a blow to Hutton Inquiry conspiracy theorists everywhere.
Numerous colourful and often fanciful explanations for the death of Dr David Kelly have sprung up on the internet.
But yesterday the police officer who co-ordinated the hunt for Dr Kelly after he went missing declared there had been no foul play, no blackmail - and quite definitely no Mata Hari figure involved in the weapons expert’s final days.
Assistant Chief Constable Michael Page, of Thames Valley Police, said murder and criminal activity had been ruled out as causes of Dr Kelly’s death.
He added: "One is left with the fact that Dr Kelly killed himself."
However, Mr Page did disclose a series of fascinating and mysterious investigations his officers had followed up during their inquiries.
He said two women - Mai Pederson and Gabrielle Kraatz-Wadsack - were contacted. They have both been linked to the Kelly inquiry in recent newspaper articles.
Mr Page said: "The conversation with Mai Pederson added nothing that was of relevance to the inquiry at all."
The link between Dr Kelly and Ms Pederson had provoked widespread interest in a Sunday newspaper which predicted she could hold the key to his death.
Ms Pederson, 43, struck up a close friendship with Dr Kelly when they were both serving with a UN weapons inspection team in Iraq.
She is a veteran of United States military intelligence and also a devotee of the Baha’i religious sect. She converted Dr Kelly to the faith in 1999.
Mr Page was next asked about Lieutenant Colonel Kraatz-Wadsack, an officer in the German army who worked with Dr Kelly in Iraq and was in contact with him in the days before his death.
Mr Page was asked if she had added anything to his inquiries. "Nothing that furthered my inquiries at all," he replied.
However, the policeman did reveal a line of inquiry that concluded with a bizarre twist. Mr Page said he had been contacted by a person who had spotted three men dressed in black in the area where Dr Kelly’s body was found.
But after intensive interviews with police officers, Mr Page said the men in black were his own constables and ruled out foul play.
Mr Page then told the inquiry how Dr Kelly’s dentist contacted the police after his death. Mysteriously, the scientists dental records had gone missing.
Mr Page said that a full examination of the surgery was carried out but nothing untoward was found.
The dentist had rung again to say that the records had reappeared in the filing cabinet on the Sunday but no suspicious fingerprints had been found on the file.
Mr Page said that because he was an "inherently suspicious" police officer and because dental records were a means of identification, he had DNA checks carried out on Dr Kelly’s body although he had been identified by his family.
The DNA checks confirmed that it was indeed the body of Dr Kelly.
©Copyright 2003, The Scotsman (UK)
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