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UNMOVIC: Kelly earned respect

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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. agency that conducted weapons inspections in the months leading up to the Iraqi war has praised the late British scientist David Kelly for his work as a weapons inspector.

The U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission -- UNMOVIC -- said in a statement that Kelly was "known for his professionalism and for the respect that his colleagues had for him."

"We'd like to extend our deepest sympathies to the members of Dr. David Kelly's family," the agency said after British authorities confirmed the scientist's death Saturday.

Kelly, 59, was embroiled in a controversy over weapons of mass destruction intelligence. He went missing Thursday and he was found Friday near his home. His left wrist had been slashed and a knife and painkillers were found nearby.

The agency said Kelly "worked extensively" for the U.N. Special Commission, the precursor of UNMOVIC, from 1991 to 1998 and "served as chief inspector on many occasions."

The statement said Kelly led the fist UNSCOM bioweapons inspection team in August 1991.

"In that capacity, he inspected the Iraqi bioweapons facility Salman Pak. In 1999, he was asked to make an assessment of Iraq's biological weapons and to provide an overview."

Recently, Kelly was a lecturer and an instructor in UNMOVIC's bioweapons training courses from November 2000 to February 2003, helping "to train many of the commission's bioweapons inspectors."

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