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Hearing Transcript - 1 September 2003 Afternoon

Hearing Transcript - 1 September 2003 Afternoon

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Published by Bren-R

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Published by: Bren-R on Sep 15, 2010
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Hearing Transcripts
1191 Q. Then you found that?2 A. Yes, I did.3 Q. When did you make those arrangements, was that the4 Saturday or Sunday?5 A. I did go back and forth to my parents' home on the6 Saturday, just looking after the house and the cats and7 I did actually collect the clothes on that day, I think.8 I definitely did, yes. The next day I was working away9 so I would not have been able to do it on the Sunday.10 MR DINGEMANS: Which brings us to Sunday 13th and now might11 be a convenient time. I am sorry Rachel we are going to12 interrupt your evidence.13 LORD HUTTON: I will sit again at 2 o'clock.14 (1.10 pm)15 (The short adjournment)16 (2.00 pm)17 PROFESSOR ROGER AVERY (called)18 Examined by MR DINGEMANS19 LORD HUTTON: Good afternoon Professor Avery. I am very20 grateful to you for agreeing to give evidence to this21 Inquiry. Questions will be put to you now by22 Mr Dingemans, the Senior Counsel to the Inquiry.23 A. Thank you, my Lord.24 MR DINGEMANS: Can you tell his Lordship your full name.25 A. Roger John Avery.1201 Q. And what is your occupation?2 A. I am an administrator and scientist at Virginia Tech3 University in the United States.4 Q. Have you ever studied in England?5 A. Yes, I have. My formal education was in England.6 Q. And did you meet Dr Kelly while doing that?7 A. Yes, I did.8 Q. Where did you meet him?9 A. I met him at the University of Warwick when I took my10 first faculty position as a lecturer. It was either in11 1971 or 1972.12 Q. What was his position at the time?13 A. He was a post doctoral Fellow studying in another14 laboratory at the same university.15 Q. Did you see much of Dr Kelly?16 A. Yes. We did some joint research projects together and17 through that became close friends.18 Q. How long did you stay at Warwick University?19 A. Until 1983.20 Q. Did Dr Kelly stay there the whole time?21 A. No, he left the university before I did, as I recall to22 go to the Institute of Virology in Oxford. I do not23 recall the exact date that he left.24 Q. Did you keep in contact while he was at the Institute?25 A. Yes, we did. We visited back and forward and continued1211 our joint research together.2 Q. And we have heard he moved on to Porton Down. Did you3 know that?
4 A. Yes, I did.5 Q. Did you have any contact with him while he was at6 Porton Down?7 A. Yes, I did. We maintained contact throughout the last8 30 years; and we did have some contact while he was at9 Porton Down.10 Q. Did you know what work he was doing at Porton Down?11 A. Only in very general terms. I knew that he was working12 on defensive approaches, if you will, to biological13 weapons, but I have no knowledge of the detail.14 Q. Did you assist him in that work at all?15 A. "Assist" is probably too strong a word. He did ask me16 to be an adviser to him, but only asked my advice on one17 occasion, as I recall, and the matter was a scientific18 one; I did not understand the relationship of it to his19 work.20 Q. In order to help him or advise him in this way did you21 have to undergo any procedures?22 A. Yes, I had to be vetted to get some sort of security23 clearance. This would have been in about 1984.24 Q. Did you move to the United States?25 A. Yes.1221 Q. When was that?2 A. Well, I went backwards and forwards several times.3 I imagine you could say I moved permanently in 1986 when4 I took a position at Cornell University.5 Q. You continued your contact with Dr Kelly?6 A. Yes. David actually had a long-standing collaboration7 with an institute at Cornell University so he came to8 see me there maybe two or three times. I do not9 remember exactly.10 Q. How did you keep in contact with Dr Kelly?11 A. It was mostly by telephone calls and by the occasional12 visit and the very occasional e-mail.13 Q. At this stage had you talked at all about Dr Kelly's14 work?15 A. Sorry, have I talked about his work?16 Q. Did you talk to Dr Kelly about the work he was doing, at17 the time you were in the States?18 A. Never in any detail no.19 Q. Coming on to this year, did you have any contact with20 Dr Kelly from about May time onwards?21 A. Yes, I did. I am sure I spoke to him on the phone on22 occasions. I did not see him since May. And I know23 I spoke to him on the phone about a week before he died.24 Q. When you had spoken to him on the phone, leave aside the25 last phone call at the moment, if we may, how had he1231 seemed to you?2 A. His usual self.3 Q. And what had prompted the last phone call?4 A. The last phone call -- actually there were two of5 them -- was somewhat unusual in that I, on Thursday --6 I will just have to check the date to make sure I have7 the correct date -- Thursday 10th. Thursday 10th July,8 as I was about to leave my office at about 5.159 I received a phone call from the press telling me that
10 Dr Kelly was involved in the current dispute that was11 going on between the BBC and the British Government over12 the dossier and could I give them his telephone number.13 Of course I did not do that.14 Q. Which press was this, the American press or the English15 press?16 A. No, this was the English press -- a reporter for17 The Times.18 Q. And you did not hand over his phone number?19 A. No, I did not, but I did immediately call Dr Kelly on20 his mobile phone. I vaguely remembered that he told me21 he was hoping to go back to Iraq. So when he answered22 I said, "Where are you?" thinking he would say, "In23 Iraq", and he said, "I am at Weston-Super-Mare". Then24 I asked what he was doing in Weston-Super-Mare and he25 told me that he had had a phone call telling him he1241 should leave home within a few minutes because the press2 were about to descend on him; and so he and his wife,3 Janice, had actually done that.4 Q. Did he say who had told him that on the telephone?5 A. Do you know, I have been trying to remember that. I6 cannot remember whether he told me or whether I learned7 afterwards that it was the Ministry of Defence.8 Q. And how did he seem at that time?9 A. Well, it is very difficult to judge because it was an10 extremely short phone call, probably only lasted11 a couple of minutes. That in itself was a little bit12 unusual in that we usually talked for some time when we13 made contact. However, he did not seem unduly14 distressed and did say something like: I will give you15 the details later.16 Q. Did you speak to him again?17 A. Yes. The following morning I received more calls from18 the press and so called him again and, in fact, gave him19 a reporter's telephone number at that time and asked20 him -- obviously said to him, you know: here is the21 telephone number should you want to call the press. He22 sort of chuckled and said: no, I do not want to speak to23 the press.24 Q. Did he tell you how he felt about his name being in the25 press?1251 A. No. That phone call, as the one on the previous day,2 was extremely short and we really -- I have more or less3 covered the complete exchange in what I have said to4 you. So it did strike me as unusual that he did not5 want to talk more because, as I say, we usually did.6 But I did not at that time read any significance into7 that, other than that it was inconvenient for him to8 talk.9 Q. Had you at this time attempted to send him any e-mails10 or anything?11 A. Not at that timescale, as I -- during that particular12 time, as I recall, no.13 Q. Had you talked with Dr Kelly about his work as14 a United Nations inspector at all?15 A. In very general terms. He would talk about personal

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