MoD defends its actions over Dr David Kelly

The director of personnel at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has defended his
department’s treatment of Dr David Kelly, describing the support offered to the
weapons expert as "outstanding".

Richard Hatfield told the Hutton Inquiry that the ministry had handled the
affair properly, despite Kelly’s suicide after being identified as the source
of a BBC story.

Hatfield said there was no reason why he should have told Kelly that the MoD
was planning to confirm his name to journalists.

Kelly was named as the source for Andrew Gilligan’s controversial story,
which accused the Government of ‘sexing-up’ the dossier used to justify the
Iraq war.

Hatfield told the inquiry he would probably have suspended Kelly when asked
whether he would have handled the situation any differently with hindsight.

He went on to play down the levels of stress that Kelly was under, and added
that he was enduring similar pressure in his current position.

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