I had made a Freedom of Information Request regarding the number of reports made by the Forensic Pathologist Dr Hunt to the Hutton Inquiry. There was clear evidence to me that at least two had been submitted because in addition to the one published on the internet last October Lord Hutton had referred to an earlier post-mortem report (dated 19th July 2003) in his Opening Statement. My FOI request then was to try and ascertain how many reports had been submitted to the Inquiry. There is nothing so far as I can see particularly earth shattering in the reply but for the sake of "completing the picture" this is what I received earlier this month:
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request, which was received at The National Archives on 13 December 2010:
For the dates of all of the reports made by Forensic Pathologist Dr Hunt into the death of Dr David Kelly in 2003 and lodged with the Hutton Inquiry.
Your request was transferred to The National Archives because the information you enquired about is no longer held by the Ministry of Justice. Following its conclusion, the Hutton Inquiry's records were transferred to the National Archives, and the intention to do so was recorded by the Inquiry on its website: www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/faq.htm.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you two rights of access when you write to us asking for information. You have the right to know whether we hold the information that you are looking for, and you have the right to have the information given to you. These rights may only be overridden if the information you are looking for is covered by an exemption in the Act.
Following a search of the paper and electronic records transferred to The National Archives at the conclusion of Lord Hutton's Inquiry, I have established that the information you asked for is held by The National Archives. Some of the information is exempt under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) because the information is accessible to you as it is already in the public domain.
The post mortem report in to the death of Dr David Kelly was written on 25 July 2003. The report was published on 22 October 2010, by the Secretary of State Kenneth Clarke QC, in the interests of maintaining public confidence in the Hutton Inquiry. Personal data such as names have been removed from the report where required in order to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. This report was logged with the Hutton inquiry on 20 August 2003. The report is still available on the Ministry of Justice website:
A preliminary post mortem report was also written by Dr Hunt on 19 July 2003 and was submitted to Inquiry on 24 July 2003.
I did not locate any other reports by Dr Hunt in the Hutton Inquiry papers.
Dr Hunt produced his original report for the Oxfordshire coroner on Saturday 19th July and five days later it was submitted to the Hutton Inquiry. In his 25th July (published) report Dr Hunt refers to the formal toxicology report written by Dr Allan dated 21st July. Rumours abound of Dr Hunt altering his conclusions between reports, the difference might just be the amendment due to the insertion of some toxicology information not available in the original report. If an inquest takes place I would hope that the coroner would make a line by line comparison between the reports of the 19th and 25th.
If the coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, was doing his job correctly then he would have made a copy of the 19th July report before its deposition with Hutton. As can be seen in the chronology it was released to the inquiry the day before Dr Hunt wrote his second report. Mr Gardiner it seems was responsible for Dr Kelly's death certificate in mid August and it would be incumbent on him to ensure unanimity of the two reports. It will be recalled that Dr Kelly's full death certificate wasn't signed by a doctor or coroner as it should be so Mr Gardiner is guilty of gross negligence; the certificate shouldn't have been submitted to the Registrar of Deaths nor should the latter have accepted it.
The fact that the 25th July report didn't go to Hutton until the 20th August would be due to its retention presumably for the death certificate to be issued.