Ken is a man of total integrity who will undertake his duties without fear or favour.”Mr Kelly adds: “The cheap attempts to question his suitability are everything to do with the fact that he happens to practise in the same chambers as the Prime Minister’s wife; he is therefore seen as yet another way of ‘having a go’ at the Blairs. “Ken is nothing short of a superb appointment as the Director of Public Prosecutions,” he says.”It is good news for the Crown Prosecution Service that someone of his energy and vision has been appointed to lead this vital public service organisation at such a crucial time for the justice system. His background in defence gives him an intimate understanding of the CJS and excellent insight into the problems facing the prosecution.” She added: “Of course, in the past he has put forward the views of his association, now as a civil servant he is absolutely committed to effectively implementing legislative changes once government has taken a decision.”Bar chairman Matthias Kelly QC has already given his backing to the appointment of Ken Macdonald. The collapsed cases against TV presenter John Leslie and royal butler Paul Burrell illustrate the wisdom of adopting more careful and considered prosecution strategies.Yesterday’s report that Macdonald told MPs in July that he believed part of the Home Secretary’s plans for penal reform were “grotesque” stirred up some predictable right-wing rhetoric. Ann Widdecombe, a former Home Office minister, responded: “It is extraordinary that someone who is criticising the Home Secretary in this way has accepted an appointment and will have to implement the policies.”The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, who has ministerial responsibility for the DPP, was quick to point out that Macdonald made these comments before being appointed to the new post and gave them on behalf of the Criminal Bar Association, of which he was chairman.Lord Goldsmith’s spokesman said: “Ken Macdonald is a strong advocate of reform of the criminal justice system (CJS) to ensure better service in public and that the system does what it is there for – to bring guilty defendants to justice.
The DPP, like all the lawyers working at the CPS, must follow strictly the CPS code that stipulates cases can only be brought if there is sufficient evidence and that they are in the public interest.It is also perhaps worth noting that many of the CPS’s most recent woes can be attributed to over-vigorous prosecution rather than a softly-softly approach. The implication being that only reactionaries who believe in the “hang ‘em high” philosophy of criminal justice make good prosecutors. But there has been nothing to suggest that any of Macdonald’s predecessors subscribed to this point of view. Instead it seems that certain sections of Westminster and the conservative Bar resent the prospect of a lawyer with liberal credentials from having responsibility for all prosecutions in England and Wales. But so far no one has spelt out how any of this makes Macdonald a bad prosecutor. Ken Macdonald QC must have known that in giving up a lucrative criminal-defence practice at the Bar for the post of Director of Public Prosecutions, he could expect a very bad press if he failed to deliver in his new job.
A knife and a bottle of painkillers were found by police near Dr Kelly’s body.The scientist’s family doctor Malcolm Warner told the inquiry he had not prescribed any painkillers for Dr Kelly and had last treated him in 1999 for “a minor complaint” and had never treated him for any serious condition.Dr Warner said nothing significant was found in a medical check Dr Kelly had received through his work on 8 July.. And that was it, we parted.”Asked how the scientist had seemed, she said: “Just his normal self, no different to any other time when I met him.”She said she did not remember if he was carrying any items. I said ‘Hello David, how are things?’”He said ‘Not too bad’.”We stood there for a few moments and then Buster, my dog, was pulling on the lead, he wanted to get going I said ‘I will have to go, David’ He said ‘See you again, then, Ruth’. I heard it had occurred in an isolated spot on Harrowdown Hill.