Recent Presentations: “Dr. David Kelly – Suicide or Assassination?” – Dr. David Halpin

Dr. David Kelly – Suicide or Assassination? – Dr. David Halpin

Bishopsteignton Probus Club had a controversial presentation about the suicide of Dr David Kelly, a UN weapons inspector in Iraq.  He came to public attention in 2003 when his off the record discussion with a BBC journalist led the media to challenge the government’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)” dossier which supported Britain’s involvement in the Iraqi war.   He faced intense government questioning and media pressure which according to the Lord Hutton Enquiry led to his suicide.

Dr David Halpin, a retired surgeon, put forwards a long list of concerns about the verdict to the Probus Club.   He found it difficult to believe that Dr Kelly could have died from the combination of swallowing 29 copraxamol tablets and slashing his wrist with a knife.    Dr Halpin said, “I thought it was impossible that one could bleed to death via this matchstick thin artery.”   At the time, many other people had suspicions and suggested that because of damage to the Government by media criticism of the WMD dossier, Kelly’s death might have been assassination.  Others accepted it was suicide but David Halpin raised many concerns.

David suggested that as a germ warfare expert, Kelly could have chosen a more certain method of killing himself.  He asked why it took nine hours before the family alerted the police and why there were no fingerprints on the knife.  He also thought there was an MI5 presence when the police first went to the site where Kelly had died.  Much of his criticism focused on the judicial process and government reports.


Dr David Halpin (above) is thanked by Probus Club member Rod Stone.