The remains of David Kelly, the Iraq weapons inspector, have been exhumed by his family after a sign was placed next to his grave by conspiracy theorists.
It is understood that the body has now been cremated after campaigners threatened to exhume his remains themselves amid speculation that he did not commit suicide.
The Welsh scientist had been employed by the British Ministry of Defence and had formerly been a weapons inspector for the United Nations in Iraq.
He died days after he was exposed as the source of a BBC report in 2003 which referred the government’s dossier on weapons of mass destruction as ‘sexed up’.
The remains of David Kelly (pictured), the Iraq weapons inspector, have been exhumed by his family after a sign was placed next to his grave by conspiracy theorists
The grave and headstone, in Longworth, Oxfordshire, (pictured before he was exhumed) was dug up in the middle of the night
The Justice for Kelly group, which reject the Hutton inquiry’s findings that the scientist killed himself, placed a sign next to his grave calling for an inquest.
A family source told The Sunday Times: ‘They did the placard; they used to leave notes on the grave and they would have vigils.
‘Janice [Kelly’s widow] hated it, she felt it was a desecration, and asked the police to get them to stop.’
A member of Justice for Kelly told the newspaper that the grave and headstone, in Longworth, Oxfordshire, was dug up in the middle of the night.
David Kelly died days after he was exposed as the source of a BBC report by Andrew Gilligan (left). An inquiry into his death was ordered by then-serving Prime Minister Tony Blair (right)
Dr Kelly came to public prominence after he was revealed as the source of an off-the-record chat with BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan.
The Hutton Report later found that Dr Kelly, a member of a UN inspection team sent to Iraq to unearth weapons of mass destruction, had committed suicide.
However, many still believe the 59-year-old scientist may have been murdered by the security services.
Successive governments have refused to hold a full coroner’s inquest, making him the only person in modern English legal history to be denied a proper inquest.
Lord Hutton’s 2004 report, commissioned by Prime Minister Tony Blair, concluded that Dr Kelly killed himself by cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife.
However conspiracy theorists argue that the conclusion that Dr Kelly killed himself by severing the ulnar artery in his left wrist after taking an overdose of prescription painkillers is untenable because the artery is small and difficult to access, and severing it could not have caused death.
The Hutton Report later found that Dr Kelly (pictured), a member of a UN inspection team sent to Iraq to unearth weapons of mass destruction, had committed suicide