"The mystery over the death of David Kelly took a further twist last night
after a former KGB officer said he had evidence that the scientist did
not commit suicide.
Boris Karpichkov, who worked as a Russian spy for 15 years before fleeing to Britain, has sent a dossier to
Attorney General Dominic Grieve in which he claims to relay information
from an ‘MI5 agent’ that Dr Kelly had been ‘exterminated’.
His move comes amid increasing calls from within the Coalition Government
for a full, independent investigation into Dr Kelly’s death.
Mr Grieve has indicated that he is ‘concerned’ by the growing scepticism among experts about the official version of events.
Dr Kelly was found dead in woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003,
after the Government exposed him as the source of a BBC report
questioning Tony Blair’s case for war in Iraq.
There was no full coroner’s inquest – instead, Lord Hutton chaired a public inquiry which
concluded Dr Kelly died from loss of blood after slashing his left
wrist with a blunt garden pruning knife.
A number of doctors have since come forward to say that the incision could not have caused his death.
Mr Karpichkov, who sought political asylum in the UK in 1998 and now has
British nationality, says he met the ‘agent’, Peter Everett, on dozens
of occasions while carrying out work for Mr Everett’s company Group
Global Intelligence Services, which hiredex-MI5 operatives for
corporate detective work and infiltration.
In the document sent to Mr Grieve, Mr Karpichkov says that during one of their meetings, two days after
Dr Kelly’s body was found, Mr Everett told him that Dr Kelly had been ‘exterminated’ for his ‘reckless behaviour’.
Mr Karpichkov, who says that Mr Everett indicated that he was an ‘active
field operative’ for MI5, writes: ‘He told me that it was extremely
uncomfortable, inconsistent and unusual for Dr Kelly to slash his arm
in the way he did. He would have lost some blood, but it would not have
‘He also claimed that it was not a coincidence that Special Branch officers were the ones who first appeared on the scene –
they moved Dr Kelly’s body to another location, changed the original
position of his corpse and took away incriminating evidence.
‘He added that the scene where Dr Kelly’s body was found was carefully
arranged and completely “washed out”, including the destruction of all
fingerprints. When I asked who was behind his death, he [Mr Everett]
answered indirectly, saying the “competing firm”, which I took to mean
Last night, Mr Everett – who is believed to be in his late 50s and whose former company was registered to his home address in
Dulwich, South-East London – admitted meeting Mr Karpichkov on a number
of occasions, and recalled discussing the manner of Dr Kelly’s death.
He said: ‘We had a general conversation about the David Kelly case, in
which I said that it was very unusual for him to have slashed his wrist
in that way.
'That is all I said. I do not have any particular inside knowledge on it.’
Asked whether he was a current, or former, MI5 operative, he said: ‘I am not commenting on that.’
Asked if he had carried out work on behalf of the agency, he said: ‘I have
spent a number of years working in the world of intelligence.’
Associates indicated that his work on behalf of security agencies was indirect, rather than as a paid operative.
Mr Karpichkov’s testimony reflects the continuing debate in the
intelligence community and associated agencies over Dr Kelly’s death.
He fled to Britain from Latvia with his wife and two sons after being
accused of stealing £310,000 from a failed bank, although he claims
that he was framed by the Russian mafia.
According to Latvian newspaper reports, he was recruited by the regional KGB in 1981,
trained at the Secret Services School and served as a special forces
operative during the war in Afghanistan.
After the Cold War, he was assigned to undercover work in Latvia.
Mr Everett’s former company, Group Global Intelligence Services, which was dissolved in 2006, normally operated in the shadows.
But in 2004, it was accused of placing six members of its staff at
Manchester United’s Annual General Meeting as ‘plants’ to ask
embarrassing questions about manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s transfer
At the time, Sir Alex’s business rival John Magnier was known to be hiring private eyes to investigate the United manager.
When confronted by journalists, Mr Everett said: ‘I was nothing to do with that side of the alleged operation.’
Ministers increasingly believe that the continuing speculation about Dr Kelly’s
death – fanned by the fact that he emailed a friend on the morning he
died to warn that there were ‘many dark actors playing games’ – will
not end until a proper inquest is held.
Earlier this month, one of Dr Kelly’s close female colleagues, Mai Pedersen, wrote to Mr Grieve
reiterating what she had first revealed in an interview in The Mail on
Sunday in August 2008, saying that Dr Kelly had been too weak to cut
his own wrist – because a hand and arm injury meant he even had trouble
‘cutting his own steak’, and he would have to have been a
‘contortionist’ to have killed himself.
She demanded a ‘formal, independent and complete’ review of the case.
Her claims are backed by 13 specialist doctors, who have compiled a dossier
rejecting the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that the cut to the
ulnar artery could not have caused death.
In addition, it was recently disclosed that Dr Kelly’s death certificate was not properly completed.
It was not signed by a doctor or coroner and does not state a place of
death, leaving open the possibility he died somewhere other than where
his body was found.
Furthermore, the pruning knife has been revealed to have had no fingerprints on it.
Campaigners are aggrieved by a mysterious decision to classify all evidence relating to the post-mortem for 70 years.
But they are encouraged by the fact that one of their most vocal
supporters, Lib Dem MP Norman Baker, who has written a book questioning
the Hutton verdict, is now a member of the Coalition as a Transport
A spokeswoman for Dominic Grieve said last night: ‘Mr Grieve expressed concerns about this issue when in opposition and has,
since taking office as Attorney General, been exploring with
ministerial colleagues any actions that may be taken.