LONDON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The 2003 death of weapons inspector David Kelly, who accused London of sexing up weapons of mass destruction allegations to invade Iraq, was a suicide, previously classified documents released Friday indicate.
The 14-page pathologist's report, released by the British Justice Ministry, concluded that Kelly hadn't only slashed his own wrist but also taken an overdose of painkillers that could have accelerated his death.
In 2003, Kelly, a U.N. weapons inspector, was identified as the source behind a BBC report that accused the British government led by Prime Minister Tony Blair of adjusting evidence suggesting Iraq could attack Europe with weapons of mass destruction it was hiding.
Kelly's body was found shortly afterward in the woods close to his Oxfordshire home.
Blair launched an official investigation headed by James Hutton, a former chief justice of Northern Ireland, which concluded that Kelly had committed suicide. However, Hutton, arguing he wanted to protect the privacy of the Kelly family, requested the details of the postmortem examination and toxicology tests kept classified for 70 years.
Conspiracy theories have bloomed ever since, with one lawmaker suggesting Kelly was killed by Iraqi spies to avenge his work for the United Nations.
The report released Friday by the British Justice Ministry seems to be a bid to debase these theories.
"While I firmly believe that the publication of these documents is in the public interest, I am mindful that the contents may be distressing," Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said. "I hope that the privacy of Dr. Kelly's family will be respected at this difficult time."
The documents back Hutton's conclusion that Kelly killed himself.
The wounds that led to his death were "typical of self-inflicted injury," Home Office pathologist Dr. Nicholas Hunt said in the report, adding that there was no "pathological evidence that this man had been subjected to a sustained, violent assault prior to his death."
Forensic scientist Alexander Allan, who wrote the toxicology part of the report, said while the amount of painkillers in his blood couldn't have killed Kelly, they might have hastened his death in combination with low blood pressure as a result of the bleeding.
A group of legal and medical experts in a recent letter to The Times newspaper in London questioned the official version of events, calling for another inquiry into Kelly's death.
One of those experts, Michael Powers, told the BBC that the new report didn't convince him.
"There is a need still to address many of issues which have already been raised and which these reports do not answer," he told the BBC.
Julian Bion, an intensive care specialist at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, another one of the signatories to the letter, however, told the BBC the new report "certainly satisfied" him that the cause of death given was the correct one.
"I find Dr. Hunt's contemporaneous report convincing," he said.