CNN BREAKING NEWS
Alleged 'Dodger' Dossier Official Missing in Britain
Aired July 18, 2003 - 06:32 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: This just in to CNN, a very strange story out of London. David Kelly, who was a former arms inspector, a former U.N. weapons inspector, has been missing. A body has now been found near his home in London.
On the phone right now we have CNN's Jim Boulden -- or we have him live actually.
Jim -- tell us about this. What happened? Do we know the identity of the body?
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Carol. Thames Valley police are telling us that a body was found near the home of 59-year-old David Kelly. They said it will take a few hours for them to formally identify that body. But David Kelly went missing yesterday afternoon. He did not come home to his house.
Now, let me explain to you exactly who David Kelly is. He is a bioterrorism expert who currently works for the Ministry of Defense here in London. Now, he has admitted that he briefed several journalists before the Iraqi war on the weapons of mass destruction that may have been in Iraq. He had been in Iraq himself in the '90s. He's a bioterrorism expert. So, he has admitted to the Ministry of Defense that he gave some information to journalists.
Now, the reason this is such a controversial story -- because the BBC says that the government here "sexed-up" their dossier on Iraq about weapons of mass destruction so that they could go to war and use that information. Now, of course, the government hotly denies that they sexed that up. The intelligence that they got, they said, they used. Some of it may or may not have been correct. But they say they did not purposely take information from certain sources of the intelligence community and sex it up to make it look like there was more of a possibility that Iraq could use their weapons in 45 minutes.
So, David Kelly got an official rap from the Ministry of Defense for talking to journalists.
And this week he went before a parliamentary committee, and he's a very quiet man, he's a very soft-spoken man, and they asked him several times to explain why he talked to journalists. And some of the observers said that he was bullied by the committee, that he was harassed by the committee. But others are saying, some of the members of the committee in fact, said that he was a fall guy, that the government has put him up as this source, this man who said all of these bad things about the government. And they put him up before the committee, and some people say that they claimed that he was the fall guy.
And so, it looks like we may have a personal tragedy out of all of those weapons of mass destruction unfolding here in the U.K. -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, but right now we don't know that the body is David Kelly's, but he has been missing for, what, one or two days?
BOULDEN: He's been missing since 3:00 local time yesterday.
COSTELLO: All right, many thanks -- live from London this morning.
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