Gareth Williams

MI6 warned it is not above the law

Britain's top police officer has warned MI6 that it is not above the law as they continue to investigate the death of Gareth Williams.

Gareth William's flat

Gareth Williams case: new investigation

A fresh investigation is to be launched into the death of Welsh MI6 officer Gareth Williams after an inquest raised new lines of inquiry.

Gareth William's flat

Spy inquest due to end

The coroner at the inquest into the death of a Welsh MI6 spy is expected to record a verdict later today.

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Gareth Williams case 'will remain under review'

by Megan Boot

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'

by Megan Boot

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."

National

Police: MI6 spy death remains a mystery

by - Former UK Editor

Reconsidering all the original evidence and following new lines of inquiry, police say there is still insufficient evidence to be definitive on the circumstances of Gareth Williams' death.

They say it is theoretically possible for a person to lock themselves in a bag with the sort of lock used.

They outlined:

There is no evidence to support the theory there was a forensic clean of fingerprints

There is no evidence of a third person in the flat

No evidence of forced entry

MI6 spy Gareth Williams was found dead in the bath at his home in London in 2010. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Police say they have had full support from security services and there is nothing to support the theory that Mr Williams' death was related to his work.

His interest in womens' clothes fuelled much speculation, they say, but the clothing had no bearing on the circumstances of his death.

Officers say Mr Williams was a very private person, who was close to his family and had few close friends. He was concientious and was a decent man with hobbies.

Police explained no evidence has been identified that could establish the full circumstances of Mr Williams' death beyond reasonable doubt.

They say, on balance, their probable conclusion is that no person was present when he died and there is insuffient new evidence to re-open an inquest.

There are no more active lines of inquiry but police say the case will remain under review.

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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.

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
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