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Gareth Williams case 'will remain under review'

Mystery continues to surround the death of an MI6 spy from Wales, whose body was found in a padlocked sports bag.

It follows a three-year investigation by the Metropolitan Police into the death of Gareth Williams, from Anglesey, which concluded that his death was probably an accident.

But Mr Williams' family say they are standing by the findings of an inquest last year - that he had been unlawfully killed.

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Gareth Williams' family: Mystery 'adds to our grief'

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt from Specialist Crime and Operations, which oversaw the investigation, said 'many questions remain unanswered' over Gareth Williams' death.

Speaking today, he said: "Despite all of the considerable effort, it is still the case that there is insufficient evidence to be definitive in the circumstances that led to Gareth's death."

The police believe it is theoretically possible for someone to have locked themselves into the holdall - and believe Gareth died after doing so.

Unlike the inquest, where the coroner suggested there could have been third party involvement, today the police say they can't see any evidence to suggest that someone was in Gareth's flat at the time of his death.

In addition, they say that having spoken to 27 Secret Intelligence Services and GCHQ staff, plus looking at Gareth's personnel file, there is no evidence that his death was related to his work.

Gareth's family have asked not to be contacted by media - or their legal representatives.

But in a statement they say they 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."

New inquiry launched after inquest into the death of MI6 spy

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt promises a new inquiry after the inquest verdict into the death of MI6 Spy Gareth Williams.

The coroner in the inquest into the death of Welsh MI6 officer Gareth Williams today delivered a narrative verdict.

Dr Fiona Wilcox had said open and narrative verdicts were the only options available to her upon hearing legal submissions.

But she said an open verdict “would not do justice to the positive findings I can make."

She had already ruled out a verdict of unlawful killing.

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Family of Gareth Williams "extremely disappointed" with M16

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.

Lawyer Robyn Williams read a statement on behalf of Gareth Williams' family

Family of Gareth Williams hit out MI6 "failures"

The family of Gareth Williams have hit out at the failures of MI6 to raise the alarm after the spy went missing.

In a statement they said they were "extremely disappointed" at the secret services' "reluctance and failure" to make relevant information available to the 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.

Reading the statement, lawyer Robyn Williams said:

To lose a son and a brother at any time is a tragedy.

To lose a son and brother in such circumstances as have been outlined during the course of this inquest only compounds the tragedy.

Our grief is exacerbated by the failure of his employers at MI6 to take even the most basic inquiries as to his whereabouts and welfare, which any reasonable employer would have taken.

– Family statement

"We are also extremely disappointed at the reluctance and failure of MI6 to make available relevant information.

"We would like to ask Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe to look into and review how this investigation will proceed in light of the total inadequacies of the SO15 investigation into MI6 during the course of this inquiry."

– Family statement

The family described the brilliant code-breaker as a "special and adored son and brother" who they missed "every single day".

They said: "(We) cannot describe the depth of the sorrow his absence leaves in our lives.

"We love you, Gareth, and will treasure your memory eternally.

"To live on in the hearts of those we love and leave behind is not to die."

– Family statement

Statement from MI6 after Spy inquest verdict

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.

On behalf of the whole organisation, Sir John regrets this deeply and apologises unreservedly. MI6 chief said lessons have been learned, in particular the responsibility of all staff to report unaccounted staff absences.

Mr Williams "was a man of remarkable talents, talents which he devoted to the public service", the statement added.

The work that Gareth undertook both at Cheltenham and in London made a real contribution to the security of this country and of its citizens, it said.

– Sir John Sawers, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service
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