Spy Death Explanation 'Unlikely'

Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox has said it is "unlikely" the death of MI6 spy Gareth Williams will ever be satisfactorily explained. She is delivering a narrative verdict at the end of the inquest into his death.

Latest ITV News reports

MI6 spy was '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 heard.

Mr Williams's relatives attacked failures by secret services & police after a coroner ruled "many agencies fell short" in their investigation.

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."

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Family attack MI6 failures

The family of MI6 spy Gareth Williams have hit out at the failures of MI6 to raise the alarm after the spy went missing, saying their "grief is exacerbated" by it.

In a statement read out by their solicitor after the inquest into his death concluded, they said they were "extremely disappointed" at the secret services' "reluctance and failure" to make relevant information available to the death inquiry.

They also attacked the "total inadequacies" of the inquiry by Metropolitan Police counter-terror branch SO15 into MI6 and called on Scotland Yard's chief to look into how the investigation would proceed in light of this.

MI6 chief apologies to family of Gareth Williams

One of Britain's most senior spies apologised to Gareth Williams' family today for the mix-up which saw MI6 fail to report his disappearance for a week.

Sir John Sawers, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, expressed the "deepest condolences" of MI6 and GCHQ for the death.

In a statement delivered by MI6 lawyer Andrew O'Connor, Sir John said the service should have acted more swiftly when Mr Williams failed to turn up to work in August 2010.

Mr O'Connor said: "On behalf of the whole organisation, Sir John regrets this deeply and apologises unreservedly."

Coroner concludes her verdict at spy death inquest

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On balance of probabilities, coroner agrees with family that Gareth was unlawfully killed - though that's not the actual verdict #spook

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Coroner thanks DCI Jackie Sebire who is leading police inquiry and gives her sympathies to Gareth's family #spook

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MI6 barrister on his feet says chief John Sawers recognises "anguish" delay in finding Gareth causes his family an apologies "unreservedly"

Coroner: 'beyond belief' spy could have locked himself in the bag

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Coroner says "beyond belief" Gareth could have arranged the lock and zips so neatly from the inside #spook

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Coroner thinks whoever was in flat either knew Gareth v well or was uninvited #spook

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On balance of prob bag was locked by a 3 rd party - coroner suggesting the wiped iPhone could have been used to arrange the meeting #spook

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Coroner: Spy died from 'unnatural causes'

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Coroner says on balance of prob Gareth entered the bag alive and died from hypercapnia or unknown poison #spook

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Coroner also says she 's satisfied bag was placed in bath by a third party prob to conceal decay of body and leakage #spook

Coroner: no evidence spy was gay or transvestite

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Coroner says women's clothes too small for Gareth to wear, could have been presents, lack of underwear 'inconsistent' with transvestitism

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No evidence to support idea Gareth was a transvestite or gay - friends evidence goes against that completely #spook

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His interest in drag acts more likely to be interest in comedy #spook

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