David Kelly: The belly-dancing spy whose secrets they just ignored

Bewitching: Mai Pederson

Uuncorrected to this day, the transcripts of the Hutton Inquiry still refer to a mysterious figure called Mike Peddison, mentioned in the testimony of David Kelly's wife Janice as a family friend.

In fact, the transcribers misheard the name.

Mrs Kelly was talking about Mai Pederson — a bellydancing US Army sergeant who, according to both her ex-husbands, is a spy with an astonishing ability to bewitch men.

Charismatic and exotic, Ms Pederson was an Arab-American linguist whom David Kelly met in Iraq in 1998.

Jim Pederson, her former husband, suggests getting to know Dr Kelly was part of an official assignment.

"She undoubtedly viewed him as an intelligence source," he said.

Whether or not this was her motive, the two became close.

She introduced Dr Kelly to the Baha'i faith, which teaches respect for life — and expressly forbids suicide.

On his frequent trips to the U.S., Dr Kelly crossed from New York to California, where Ms Pederson was stationed, whenever he could. It was a long way to go just to say hello.

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