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Spy's Belongings Were 'Held Back' By MI6
The police officer in charge of the investigation into Gareth Williams' death has revealed she was unaware nine memory sticks and a North Face holdall were found among the spy's belongings at MI6 headquarters.
Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire, appearing for the second time at Mr Williams' inquest, told the coroner she did not know about the memory sticks or their contents until this morning.
"Had I known about their existence, I would have expected them to be disclosed and any relavent information to be sent to my team," she said.
It's not clear what relevance if any the sticks and the bag have to the investigation into Mr Williams' death, but DCI Sebire said that MI6 should have told her about their existence.
The police investigation into Gareth Williams' death has always been somewhat restricted by issues of national security.
The investigating team did not get direct access to some aspects of Mr Williams' professional life.
Instead, the Metropolitan Police's counter terrorism command, SO15, which has specialist security clearance, acted as a conduit between MI6 and the investigation team.
They liaised with MI6 and passed relevant information on to the investigation team.
It's not been made clear whether or not SO15 were aware of the memory sticks and the bag or whether MI6 withheld information from them too.
Anthony O'Toole, the Williams' family lawyer, asked DCI Sebire if she should have been told about the belongings in 2010.
DCI Sebire told Westminster Coroner's Court: "I would have expected to have been told."
It was also disclosed that MI6 searched some of Mr Williams' "electronic media" without telling the police.
"What I knew was that Gareth's email accounts had been checked but I did not know that other media had been checked," DCI Sebire said.
The hearing also heard from a detective who searched Mr Williams' MI6 office.
He was accused of failing to take the job as seriously as he would have done if the case had involved the Kray twins rather than secret services by Mr O'Toole.
Detective Constable Colin Hall, of the force's counter-terror SO15 branch, said the visit to the agent's Vauxhall HQ was called short on the orders of senior officers.
He told of how he did not seize the black North Face bag found underneath Mr Williams' desk because "there was stuff in there of a sensitive nature".
Mr O'Toole said: "If this had not involved SIS and it was the Kray twins you were investigating, you would have gone into this in far more detail."
Meanwhile, a forensic scientist has been asked to appear again at the inquest, and a new MI6 witness has been asked to give evidence anonymously.
The inquest is due to conclude tomorrow, but there is a chance now it could continue for longer.
The painstaking investigation has drawn a 20-month blank for detectives.
On Monday, Ros Hammond, a police forensic scientist, expressed hope that tests on a green towel found in the kitchen of Mr Williams' Pimlico apartment could yield a breakthrough within a matter of weeks.
The inquest also heard from a forensic Scientist and from the pathologists who carried out three separate post-mortems on Mr Williams' body.
They told the court all their examinations had proved to be inconclusive, and spoke of the difficulties they encountered because Mr Williams' body was badly decomposed.
A period of up to 10 days passed between when they believe he died and when his body was first examined.
However Benjamin Swift, a Home Office pathologist, said that although the cause of death was "unascertained", he believed that poisoning or asphyxiation such as suffocation were "probably rather than possibly" to blame.
Tests on the Mr Williams body did not reveal signs of any poisons, but the experts said that they could not rule out the possibility that a poison could have disappeared as the body decomposed.