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The BBC statement in full

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LONDON, England -- The following is the full statement read on Sunday by BBC head of news Richard Sambrook confirming that British scientist David Kelly was the source of its stories alleging that intelligence on Iraq's weapons had been exaggerated:

The BBC deeply regrets the death of Dr. David Kelly. We had the greatest respect for his achievements in Iraq and elsewhere over many years and wish once again to express our condolences to his family.

There has been much speculation about whether Dr. Kelly was the source for the Today programme report by Andrew Gilligan on May 29th.

Having now informed Dr. Kelly's family, we can confirm that Dr. Kelly was the principal source for both Andrew Gilligan's report and for Susan Watts reports on Newsnight on June 2nd and 4th.

The BBC believes we accurately interpreted and reported the factual information obtained by us during interviews with Dr. Kelly.

Over the past few weeks we have been at pains to protect Dr. Kelly being identified as the source of these reports. We clearly owed him a duty of confidentiality. Following his death, we now believe, in order to end the continuing speculation, it is important to release this information as swiftly as possible. We did not release it until this morning at the request of Dr. Kelly's family.

The BBC will fully co-operate with the Government's inquiry. We will make a full and frank submission to Lord Hutton and will provide full details of all the contacts between Dr. Kelly and the two BBC journalists including contemporaneous notes and other materials made by both journalists, independently.

We continue to believe we were right to place Dr. Kelly's views in the public domain.

However, the BBC is profoundly sorry that his involvement as our source has ended so tragically.

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