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Kelly Felt 'Betrayed by British Defense Department,' says Wife - 2003-09-01

Speaking publicly for the first time since the apparent suicide of her husband, leading weapons expert Dr. David Kelly, Janice Kelly has told a judicial inquiry in London that he felt betrayed by the British defense department. It was the Defense Department press office that fingered Dr. Kelly as the source of a news report that the British government exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Janice Kelly told the judicial inquiry that her husband of 36 years was extremely upset when it was revealed that his name had been leaked by the government.

She described the experience as a nightmare, and said she had never known her husband to be as unhappy as he was then.

Dr. Kelly was revealed as the source of information for a BBC report claiming that the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair had exaggerated the threat of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction to bolster its case for going to war against Iraq.

Mrs. Kelly, who testified before the judicial inquiry into her husband's death via a video link, said he had been given assurances by senior Defense officials that he would not be exposed, and was devastated when that promise was broken. He was found dead in a wooded area near his home on July 18.

Mr. Blair, who testified during the inquiry last week, denied his office had manipulated the intelligence information about the extent of Iraq's military capabilities.

Dr. Kelly was one of Britain's leading weapons experts who had made 40 trips to Iraq. He was highly regarded among his peers in the weapons field.