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AMERICAN MORNING

British Scientist Believed to Have Been Found Dead Testified to Parliament Tuesday

Aired July 18, 2003 - 09:07   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Soledad, back to the story about police searching for a scientist missing in London missing yesterday, say the body they found matches the description of Dr. David Kelly. A British scientist named by the government as a possible source for a damaging BBC report about the intelligence dossier on Iraq's WMD.
For more on what's happening across the Atlantic, here's Jim Boulden again live in London. Jim, what are we learning now? Good afternoon, there.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Bill. Good morning.

Yes, police are saying that the body matches that of Dr. Kelly. The clothes on the body match that of what Dr. Kelly was wearing when he left his house yesterday.

That is not a formal identification. They still have to do that in the next few hours and we probably won't get a formal announcement that it is in fact Dr. Kelly until tomorrow.

But let me remind people who he is. He's a very private person who doesn't usually go before cameras. He's not a politician, he's an analyst. He's a bioterrorist expert. He was in Iraq for many years in the '90s because he's a bioterrorism expert for the U.N. And did a lot of weapons of mass destruction research there.

Now, he was working recently for the Ministry of Defense here in London. And they were using him as an analyst to try to explain to members of Parliament and to the members of the government what might be found in Iraq during this past war.

Now during this time he was briefing journalists and he was not given approval to brief journalists on what he knew about Iraq. And when journalists were coming back from the war, he asked them to brief him as well to keep him up to date. After all, he was a scientist, he was a bioterrorism expert and not a politician. So he wanted to get a lot of information on his expertise and what people found.

But then this whole issue came up about whether or not the UK government had, quote, "sexed up it's its dossier on weapons of mass destruction in order to justify going to war." And the Ministry of Defense announced his name and said that he might be the source for that information.

Now Dr. Kelly says he indeed was not the source for that information. But he went through a grilling at a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday. And in that some members of Parliament were quite strong with him. But others were saying that he was a scapegoat against the government. But everyone agreed that Dr. Kelly was very shaken by that hearing and by the information that he was asked to give -- Bill.

HEMMER: Jim, quickly here, underline this. Cause of death? Is that -- anywhere been reported yet?

BOULDEN: Not at all, not at all. And it would be too soon to speculate about that.

But, Bill, I wanted to read you a quote from him. He said, "When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, little did I realize that Saddam Hussein would dictate the next 10 years of my life." And, of course, that was made before this last war. And it seems that it's dictated his life right up until today -- Bill.

HEMMER: Jim Boulden, live in London, thanks.

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Testified to Parliament Tuesday>


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