MI6 'body-in-bag': Spy Gareth Williams' London flat death reviewed

Published
image captionGareth Williams was found dead in his London Flat in 2010

The death of an MI6 agent whose naked body was found inside a locked holdall at his London flat is to be reviewed.

Metropolitan Police investigators said new information about Gareth Williams, who died in 2010, had come to light.

The body of Mr Williams, from Anglesey, was discovered at his Pimlico flat, and a coroner later concluded he was unlawfully killed.

A year later, in 2013, the Met concluded the 31-year-old had died as a result of an accident.

At the 2012 inquest into Mr Williams' death, coroner Fiona Wilcox reached her conclusion based "on the balance of probabilities".

"[However] most of the fundamental questions in relation to how Gareth died remain unanswered," she said.

image captionDNA profiling of a hair found at Gareth Williams' flat might be key to explaining how he died

The Sunday Times has now reported a scientist believes DNA profiling advances meant it may now be possible to get fresh information from a single hair found at the flat where Mr Williams was discovered dead, on August 23, 2010.

"There is an established review process for investigations whereby new information and/or forensic opportunities are considered," a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

"At this stage no forensic review has been commissioned.

"However, the MPS is reviewing this new information and will assess whether there are any new investigative opportunities in this case."

In 2013, Mr Williams' family said they stood by the coroner's findings.

"We are naturally disappointed that it is still not possible to state with certainty how Gareth died and the fact that the circumstances of his death are still unknown adds to our grief," they said, in a statement at the time.

"We consider that on the basis of the facts at present known, the coroner's verdict accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth's death."

Later that year the Met concluded a three-year investigation into Mr Williams' death.

At that time, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said he was satisfied it was "theoretically possible" Mr Williams could have padlocked the bag from the inside, although "many questions remain unanswered" as to the circumstances of his death.

But he said there was no evidence the MI6 officer had intended to take his own life or his death was connected to his work.

There were 10 to 15 DNA traces in the flat from which it was not possible to gain full profiles, but all other DNA profiles and fingerprints had been eliminated, said DAC Hewitt.

'Gaps in understanding'

He acknowledged the coroner, having studied "all the evidence available at that stage", had made "the logical inference that it was more likely someone else was involved in Gareth's death".

"At the end of our investigation, based on the evidence, or where we have been unable to find positive evidence, we believe that it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died," Mr Hewitt said.

"But the reality is that for both hypotheses, there exist evidential contradictions and gaps in our understanding."

Hamish Campbell, the detective who led the initial inquiry, told the Sunday Times he suspects Mr Williams' death was linked to his private life and not connected to his work.

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