Now then, let’s see. An internationally respected scientist dies after being exposed as a journalistic source. An inquest is opened and adjourned pending the outcome of a top-level inquiry. The inquiry – not an inquest, and led by a judge not a coroner – determines that the scientist committed suicide. The inquiry did not take proper forensic evidence, nobody was under oath, and there was no cross-examination in this area. Many reputable people, including coroners, forensic experts and (of course) lawyers, dispute the idea that the scientist killed himself. They say there are a number of unanswered questions. What to do?
It’s obvious, isn’t it? You have a proper inquest, as you would have done had there been no inquiry. As you would have done after any death like this, whether or not the person was in the public eye. After all, an inquest is the One True Way
to determine cause of death, especially where there is doubt.
So naturally, the coroner says he believes there are no “exceptional reasons” that would necessitate the opening of an inquest.
I don’t know whether Kelly killed himself or not; he probably did. I am sure that Hutton was not qualified to determine cause of death, and that the Hutton Inquiry did not follow the due process of an inquest.
I should be staggered that the Oxfordshire coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, decided a full inquest was not necessary.
But sadly I’m not.