AUG 15 - 31, 2003



B R E A K I N G    N E W S!


by Betsy R. Vasquez


AUGUST 21, 2003 - Testifying during the 7th day of British government’s inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of senior Blair weapons advisor David Kelly, UN employee David Broucher said today that:  “As Dr. Kelly was leaving, I said to him what will happen if Iraq is invaded.  And his reply was…’I will probably be found dead in the woods.”


David Kelly was found dead in the woods near his home on June 19, 2003, shortly after it was revealed that he was the source behind a damning BBC story that accused Prime Minister Blair of lying about WMD’s to justify attacking Iraq.  It has been judged an apparent suicide, but an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death is being undertaken by the British government, led by Lord Hutton.


David Broucher is a member of the UN Diplomatic Service and a Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.  He said today in testimony that he met with David Kelly on February 27 of this year, “to talk about the verification of compliance with the biological weapons convention and I was keen to pick his brains
because I knew that he was a considerable expert on these issues in relation to Iraq.”


Broucher said the two discussed Iraq’s weapons programs and compliance with weapons conventions.  He testified that David Kelly had told him that Iraq’s biological weapons were not an imminent threat.


“He felt that if the Iraqis had any biological weapons left it would not be very much,” Broucher told the inquiry panel.  “He also said that the -- I believe it is called the fill for the weapons would be kept separately from the munitions and that this meant that the weapons could not be used quickly.”


When the topic of Blair’s dossier of WMD’s came up, Broucher said, “(Kelly) said to me that there had been a lot of pressure to make the dossier as robust as possible; that every judgment in it had been closely fought over… I believe that it may have been in this connection that he then went on to explain the point about the readiness of Iraq's biological weapons, the fact they could not use them quickly, and that this was relevant to the point about 45 minutes.”


Then, “As Dr Kelly was leaving I said to him: what will happen if Iraq is invaded? And his reply was, which I took at the time to be a throw away remark -- he said: I will probably be found dead in the woods,” said Broucher.


He said he did not report it at the time because he considered it a throw away remark.  Later, when he saw that what Kelly had said had come to pass, he sent an e-mail to his colleague Patrick Lamb, which read: "Kelly said that his Iraqi contacts had pointed to out to him that revealing too much about their state of readiness might well heighten the risk that they would be attacked. To gain their trust he had been obliged to assure them that if they complied with the Weapons Inspectors' demands they would not be. The implication was that if an invasion now went ahead, that would make him a liar and he would have betrayed his contacts, some of whom might be killed as a direct result of his actions. I asked what would happen then, and he replied, in a throw away line, that he would probably be found dead in the woods.  I did not think much of this at the time, taking it to be a hint that the Iraqis might try to take revenge against him, something that did not seem at all fanciful then. I now see that he may have been thinking on rather different lines."


What that different line of thinking was he was not asked to elaborate on, and it is unclear whether he meant that he now thinks Mr. Kelly was thinking he would be found in the woods after he committed suicide, or that he would be found in the woods as the result of someone taking revenge, just not the Iraqis.  Broucher had taken the comment to be one that spoke of suffering a vendetta, not talk of suicide.


The inquiry continues.  The Moderate Independent will buck the American media trend and actually continue following this – perhaps the biggest story of our time – for you.


See also:

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