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MI6 codebreaker 'probably killed'
MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams was probably killed but the "spy in the bag" case might never be solved after mistakes by investigators, an inquest has heard.
Mr Williams's relatives attacked failures by secret services and police after a coroner ruled "many agencies fell short" in their investigation of the holdall death riddle.
Fiona Wilcox said she was sure a third party locked the 31-year-old mathematics prodigy inside the red holdall, probably while he was still alive.
She criticised the 21-month investigation, saying it was unlikely the mystery "will ever be satisfactorily explained".
"The cause of his death was unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated," she said during a two-hour narrative verdict at Mr Williams's inquest.
"I am therefore satisfied that on the balance of probabilities that Gareth was killed unlawfully."
As the eight-day hearing ended, relatives spoke out for the first time about their grief being "exacerbated" by MI6's "reluctance and failure" to assist the police inquiry.
In a statement read out by their solicitor, they said they were "extremely disappointed" at "total inadequacies" in the inquiry.
Scotland Yard vowed to explore new evidence that has come to light, while Sir John Sawers, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, apologised "unreservedly" for delays in raising the alarm about the death.
Mr Williams, a fitness enthusiast originally from Anglesey, North Wales, was found naked, curled up in the padlocked holdall in the bath of his flat in Pimlico, central London, on August 23 2010.
Pathologists said he would have suffocated within three minutes if he was alive when he got inside the 32-inch by 19-inch bag.
The coroner agreed that Mr Williams was suffocated by carbon dioxide, possibly as an onset of a short-acting poison.
She dismissed speculation that Mr Williams died as a result of some kind of "auto-erotic activity", also denying there was any evidence to suggest claustrophilia - the love of enclosed spaces - was of any interest to him.
His sister, Ceri Subbe, looked on as Dr Wilcox told a packed Westminster Coroner's Court that it "remained a legitimate line of inquiry" that the secret services may have been involved in the death.
But she said "there was no evidence to support" that he died at the hands of spies.
Despite a 21-month police inquiry and seven days of evidence, "most of the fundamental questions in relation to how Gareth died remain unanswered", she said.
Dr Wilcox said several factors hampered inquiries, including breakdowns in communication by her own coroner's office, a DNA mix-up by forensics and the late submission of evidence by MI6 to police.
She went on to question why details of Mr Williams's private life were leaked to the press.
The coroner ruled out Mr Williams's interest in bondage and drag queens as having any bearing on the death, before adding: "I wonder if this was an attempt by some third party to manipulate the evidence."
The lack of hand and footprints in the bathroom was "significant", Dr Wilcox said, telling the court: "In relation to the prints found within the bathroom, in my view what was more significant was what was not found rather than what was found."
Dr Wilcox found it "highly unlikely" that Mr Williams died alone, saying: "If Gareth had been carrying out some kind of peculiar experiment, he wouldn't care if he left any foot or fingerprints."
She said the "highly unusual circumstances" of Mr Williams's death immediately raised the possibility of foul play, which had prompted "endless speculation".
But the coroner added that "taking all these shortfalls together, I am satisfied that the evidence is reliable and that we do not have to adjourn at this point".
Revelations that MI6 failed to raise the alarm about his disappearance for more than a week prompted elaborate conspiracy theories about his job and private life.
Several years before his death, Mr Williams tied himself to his bed and had to be cut free by his landlord and landlady.
It also emerged that the bachelor stored £20,000-worth of women's clothes in his immaculate flat and was fascinated by drag queens.
But Dr Wilcox said there was no evidence to suggest the spy was a transvestite "or interested in any such thing".
The make-up found in his flat was more likely to reflect his interest in fashion, she argued.
And the wigs that were found there were "far more consistent with dress-up such as attendance at a manga conference", she added.
There was some suggestion that his interest in female footwear could have been of a sexual nature, but this was not unusual, Dr Wilcox observed.
"Gareth was naked in a bag when he was found, not cross-dressed, not in high-heeled shoes," she said.
Mr Williams would have been unlikely to invite a third party who was not a family member into his home, Dr Wilcox said, adding: "If a third party was present at the time of his death, in my view that third party would have to have been someone he knew or someone who was there without an invitation."
If someone else was there without having been invited, "that raises the possibility of an illegitimate purpose on the third party's part", she said.
"Gareth may have worked out a technique how to get into the bag and lock it from inside but I find it extremely unlikely that he did so."
Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire, who is leading the investigation, said the inquest had raised "several new lines of inquiry and the investigation will now refocus and actively pursue all the evidence heard and all the new lines of inquiry".
what do you think?
OMG, is this a government cover up or what? The whole thing stinks to high heaven. The guy didnt murder himself then zip himself into a holdall, maybe in harry potter but not in real life. Has law and order been usurped by the secret service?. If so, we are getting closer to an authorative psuedo communist government. Too scarey to think of
Rest in peace Gareth and lets hope that the TRUTH will out, instead of this blatant coverup by government/police/secret service and the justice department.
I did see this program on TV some years ago, which stated, the kind of people who enlist to become spies are as this article would seem to describe. Perhaps, he deciphered something which somebody was unhappy about? There are normally a lot of foreign spies in London, most of the time, so far as newspapers go. I would guess he uncovered a code to do with some kind of modern news item. Oh? Well, it could even be to do with hacking newspapers??? But more likely something more important? Korean missiles? No. They wouldn't bother killing someone. Russia? Don't think so. A code? No idea. Can't imagine. It's hardly a standard burglary death, is it, really? I deduce: he deciphered a code to do with modern, international terrorism or online, internet, criminal gang hacking, etc. or ... his boyfriend killed him.
I would say its a foregone conclusion that this guy was killed/murdered.How else could he have ended up in a holdall FULLY ZIPPED UP PADLOCKED TIED WITH ROPE come on.
"probably killed" lol ffs, pretty obvious. the police are def sherlock holmes types. he climbed into the bag himself. it stinks, obvious the fco are worried about getting cutbacks and police getting terror lines instead. like shayler said. pathetic. if the fco goes so does the entire british political system. cameron has crossed murdoch and media empire, so the papers are hounding govt. it is american pie politics as i call it. the latest one out thurs is call pie reunion no doubt applicable to uk political scene.
probably another nutter about to say 9-1 was inside job. i mean every press showing after 9-11 showed bin laden in usa combat jacket, old cia footage from fighting soviets in afghanistan. then the real mastermind was in usa court recently, i thought bin laden was mastermind. the fact we go to wars on oil, when enderex water systems can be added to cars like japanese want. would sink usa oil, and uk banking elite overnight. ummmm no it is no conspiracy. oh an electric blood purifiers cure hiv, and malaria. my mate went from positive to negative on blood tests. then weather can be controlled against un laws supposedly hence russian t-90 swims. guess that proves climate change a hoax. all about stock markets getting propped up. lol. freaks in power lol.
Was the bag tied with a rope as well as padlocked? Do not remember reading that The guy had an interest in female clothing and BDSM Hazarding a wild guess this was a sex game that went horribly wrong. After willingly getting into the bag it was padlocked, poor guy quickly suffocated (a side effect not foreseen) and third party cleaned up and legged it. It would not be the first time this has happened (Michael Hutchence?) Very, very sad, I hope he rests in peace
How sad bless him, hope they find the murderers. But hopes he rests in peace
the geezr was killed as he was about to announce the hiv patent number to dr robert gallo. the cancer cures, chlorine dioxide, electro medicine, the fact blood purifiers cure malaria, the fact hho runs german submarines and can run cars. the fact that bin laden was not real 9-11 mastermind, the real one is in court. the fact that weather can be controlled see bernard eastlunds usa patent number... oh u can't under terror laws. this geezer had a bust up with someone in office, and 20k of womens shoes on govt salary.. is he working for chelsea council? stinks he was topped for being naughty.
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you would think media office would keep this out, shut up murdoch and keep stability. govt and murdoch are at risk of loss. elections back labour nationalisation. if i were murdoch i would keep quiet and leave this subject alone or risk losing everything. the corporate media is stupid lol all ordinary geezers and govt laughing to posts lol xxx so stupid corporate press they risk being bbc lol
Phylip de la Maziere
WOW arnt are security services great he is a MI6 agent found locked in a bag in a bath and they say he was probably murderd dont think he comitted suicide unless hes Houdinie, oh by the way Shergar shot himself, Bruce lee is runing a take away in Exeter, Elvis is working in a car wash in Wigan and I am going to Butlins on the Moon!. Cant wate to see the security they have got pland for the Olympics perhaps Mi should be changed from militery inteligence to most incompetent!