A weapons expert who worked with Dr David Kelly at the Governmentâ€™s secret chemical warfare laboratory has been found dead in an apparent suicide.
In circumstances strongly reminiscent of Dr Kellyâ€™s own mysterious death nine years ago, the body of Dr Richard Holmes was discovered in a field four miles from the Porton Down defence establishment in Wiltshire. It is not yet known how he died.
He resigned from Porton Down last month, although the centre yesterday refused to explain why.
Inevitably, the parallels between the two cases will arouse the suspicions of conspiracy theorists.
Despite Lord Huttonâ€™s ruling eight years ago that Dr Kelly committed suicide, many people â€“ among them a group of doctors â€“ believe his inquiry was insufficient and have demanded a full inquest.
Some believe Dr Kelly, who kept an office at Porton Down right up until his death, was murdered. He was outed as being the source of a BBC report that Downing Street â€˜sexed upâ€™ evidence of Iraqâ€™s weapons of mass destruction to justify going to war.