By Sue Reid
The day Dr David Kelly took a short walk to his death in the Oxfordshire countryside, an unopened letter lay on the desk of his book-lined study.
Sent from the heart of the British Government, the pages were marked 'personal' and threatened the world-renowned microbiologist with the sack if he ever publicly opened his mouth again.
The letter remained unopened for the seven days during the drama that would pitch Dr Kelly into the spotlight and end in his death at just 59.
No one has ever explained why the eminent scientist and UN weapons inspector did not open the letter, but everyone close to him is convinced he knew its contents.
It was designed to silence him because his Ministry of Defence bosses had discovered that not only was he secretly talking to journalists, but was also preparing to write an explosive book about his work.
It was six years ago , on July 17, 2003, that Dr Kelly was found dead under a tree on Harrowdown Hill half a mile from his family home in Southmoor. His fate has become one of the most contentious issues of recent political history and has raised profound questions about the moral integrity of the New Labour government.
The questions of why and how he died - and if he was murdered - have never gone away.
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