I was recently sent an article and am trying to evaluate some of the claims.  The claim of interest here is this one:
In light of new evidence that has emerged clearing Dr Wakefield of the allegations that he fabricated study data involving MMR vaccines and symptoms of autism, Dr Wakefield is now publicly demanding a retraction from the British Medical Journal and author Brian Deer. Documents just made public reveal that another medical research team which included a senior pathologist independently documented evidence of a possible MMR vaccine - autism link 14 months before Dr Wakefield's paper first appears in The Lancet -- based on several of the same children appearing in Dr Wakefield's study.
Essentially, the Lancet retracted Wakefield's original 1998 paper after finding that he had altered data.  The British Medical Journal discussed this fraud in detail.  The article above claims that Wakefield didn't tamper with the diagnoses because he couldn't have -- due to a researcher named Walker-Smith having discussed 7 of the 12 children's diagnoses 14 mos. prior to the publishing of the 1998 Lancet paper.  Since these "new documents" have been uncovered, Wakefield has demanded a retraction. 
My questions are:
- Even if this is true, does it change the implications of the BMJ allegations? In other words, the BMJ accusation is that of incorrectly reporting various facts. For example, the 1998 paper reports children having contracted autism-like symptoms days after vaccination, while follow up investigation by journalist Brian Deer found that in many cases, it was actually months before the onset of symptoms. Thus, while perhaps it wasn't fraud, am I correct that the core content is unchanged -- the 1998 paper still featured incorrect data and thus its conclusions were ill-founded?
- What conclusions, if any, can be drawn by the fact that Walker-Smith is a co-author of the 1998 paper? In other words, I find that Natural News is treating this as though an independent research team unconnected with Wakefield verified what he wrote in his paper... but the very person who is being used to show that Wakefield didn't make up these findings was actually a co-author.
- Is anyone familiar enough to offer a cited summary of where this all stands? It's been difficult to track down exactly how this has played out. How many of the 12 children actually ended up with autism diagnoses or bowel disorders? Is there a summary of their symptoms and time until onset after vaccination? This is a very he-said she-said topic, I'm finding.