David Christopher Kelly, an expert on biological warfare, died on July 18 of blood loss. He was 59.
Kelly, who testified before the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee in Britain on Tuesday, allegedly slit his left wrist and committed suicide. The death is still under investigation.
British newspapers claimed Kelly had met with a BBC journalist and told him the government dossier on Iraq’s ability to deploy weapons of mass destruction had been “sexed up.” While he admitted to meeting with the reporter, Kelly denied the rest of this charge.
Kelly received a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from Leeds and a masters in virology from Birmingham. He joined the insect pathology unit at Oxford in 1968, and completed his doctorate on the large iridoviruses of insects three years later.
In 1984, Kelly became the head of microbiology at the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down. His years there gave him the background and experience he would need to identify weapons of mass destruction in Russia and Iraq. He was then promoted to chief scientific officer at the Ministry of Defence, and senior adviser to the proliferation and arms control secretariat.
After the Gulf War ended, Kelly led the first team of investigators into Iraq, where he confirmed the presence of a chemical weapons plant in Salman Pak, and a biological weapons site in Al Hakam. As the senior adviser on biological warfare for the United Nations, Kelly visited the country more than 35 times until Saddam Hussein personally ordered that he be ejected in 1998.