Spy Murder "Too Sensitive For Court"

ramonmercado

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Story updated.

MI6 spy Gareth Williams death 'probably an accident', police say
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24927078

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams's body was found in his flat in Pimlico in 2010

The death of MI6 spy Gareth Williams, whose body was found in a padlocked sports bag, was probably an accident, police have said.

Last year, a coroner said it was likely Mr Williams, 31, from Anglesey, had been unlawfully killed in August 2010.

But the Metropolitan Police said an evidence review had found "it was more probable" no other person was present when he died in his London flat.

Mr Williams's family said they stood by the coroner's findings.

In a statement, they said: "We 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.

"We consider that on the basis of the facts at present known, the coroner's verdict accurately reflects the circumstances of Gareth's death."

'Unlawfully killed'
Mr Williams's body was found naked at his flat in Pimlico on 23 August 2010 after colleagues raised concerns for his welfare.

He had been on a secondment with MI6 from his job as a communications officer at the GCHQ "listening post" in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Police discovered his body inside a zipped-up red sports holdall, in the empty bath of his bathroom.

It had taken a week for MI6 to investigate the code-breaker's disappearance, and a post-mortem examination carried out by a Home Office pathologist failed to determine the cause of death.

Continue reading the main story
image of Danny Shaw
Danny Shaw
Home affairs correspondent, BBC News
Scotland Yard's conclusion is not only different to that of the coroner - but also to that of Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire, who led the original inquiry.

After the inquest she said it was "highly likely" a third party was involved in Gareth Williams's death.

So what has changed? There doesn't appear to have been any stunning revelation or startling piece of new evidence.

What has happened is that a re-evaluation of the material and fresh interviews with the MI6 officer's colleagues have led detectives to make different "inferences" from those made before.

The police's new findings are likely to fuel theories of a successful cover up by the intelligence agencies - but DAC Hewitt said it was "beyond credibility" that he, as an experienced investigator, had had the wool pulled over his eyes.

During a seven-day inquest in May 2012, the question of whether Mr Williams could have padlocked himself into a bag in a bath was central.

Pathologists said he would have suffocated within three minutes if he had been alive when he got inside it.

None of his DNA was found on the lock attached to the bag and his palm prints were not found on the rim of the bath.

Coroner Fiona Wilcox concluded that "most of the fundamental questions in relation to how Gareth died remain unanswered".

But she said he was, "on the balance of probabilities", unlawfully killed.

At a briefing on Wednesday, the Met Police announced the conclusion of its three-year investigation into the incident.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said he was satisfied it was "theoretically possible" Mr Williams could have padlocked the bag from the inside, although "many questions remain unanswered" as to the circumstances of his death.

But he said there was no evidence that the MI6 officer had intended to take his own life or that his death was connected to his work.

And he insisted it was "beyond credibility" that he had been misled.

"I do not believe that I have had the wool pulled over my eyes. I believe that what we are dealing with is a tragic unexplained death," he said.

There were about 10 to 15 traces of DNA in the flat from which it had not been possible to gain full DNA profiles, but all other DNA profiles and fingerprints had been eliminated, said DAC Hewitt.

'Endless speculation'
DAC Hewitt also said there was no evidence that Mr Williams' flat had been forensically cleaned, adding it was a "fallacy" that it had been deep-cleaned in such a way that only certain DNA was left in the premises.


The Met Police said they were closing their investigation into the death
He acknowledged that the coroner, having studied "all the evidence available at that stage" had made "the logical inference that it was more likely someone else was involved in Gareth's death".

"However, she also recognised that there has been endless speculation but little real evidence and it was her view [that] 'it is unlikely that his death will ever be satisfactorily explained'," he said.

"Now at the end of our investigation, based on the evidence, or where we have been unable to find positive evidence, we believe that it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died.

"But the reality is that for both hypotheses, there exist evidential contradictions and gaps in our understanding."

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the police's new findings were likely to fuel theories of a successful cover up by the intelligence agencies - but that DAC Hewitt had said it was "beyond credibility" that he, as an experienced investigator, had had the wool pulled over his eyes.
 

Mythopoeika

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ramonmercado said:
...but that DAC Hewitt had said it was "beyond credibility" that he, as an experienced investigator, had had the wool pulled over his eyes.

Ah...the sin of pride.

This is an 'A' class cover-up.
 

JamesWhitehead

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Stills here from a police video

In the video, a volunteer demonstrates how Williams may have got into the bag. I doubt if anyone doubts he could have got into the bag unaided. How he locked the padlock remains unexplained.

"none of Williams' DNA was found on the lock on the bag and his palm prints were not found on the rim of the bath."

Hewitt might have had a sympathetic hearing if he had modestly declared himself baffled and of the opinion that the force might use their time more profitably on other cases. His snappish dimissal of doubters will only tend to fuel their speculations. :(
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Obviously, the chap was practising a variety act, a possible new career as a levitating contortionist.
 

Cochise

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Quake42 said:
Unbelievable.
Literally unbelievable.

The way the PTB's behave these days leads me to consider one of three alternatives:

a) There is a campaign to discredit our system of government and public bodies so we will welcome their replacement with EU federal bodies with open arms

b) Things are so desperately bad that they cannot avoid some of the stuff surfacing like the tip of an iceberg

c) They are coining so much money themselves and are so revelling in the amount of power that have appropriated that they don't give a damn what the public think.

Or maybe all of the above.
 

kamalktk

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ramonmercado said:
...but that DAC Hewitt had said it was "beyond credibility" that he, as an experienced investigator, had had the wool pulled over his eyes.
So bribery or blackmail then?


Edit: Missing question mark added. P_M
 

Heckler

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I would be very careful, you have just accused someone in the public eye as being corrupt, which would place both you and the board in the position of being sued for libel.
 

ramonmercado

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Alleging shoddy police work is one thing; but bribery and/or blackmail are serious allegations unless you have some evidence.
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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kamalktk said:
ramonmercado said:
...but that DAC Hewitt had said it was "beyond credibility" that he, as an experienced investigator, had had the wool pulled over his eyes.
So bribery or blackmail then?


Edit: Missing question mark added. P_M
There's absolutely no question, or indication of such a thing. Absolutely not.

P_M - A moderator.
 

rynner2

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Oh no he didn't! Oh yes he did! Oh no he didn't!

'Spy in bag' Gareth Williams did not get into holdall alone, say experts
Gareth Williams, the MI6 spy, was not alone when he was locked in a holdall in the bath of his Pimlico flat, claim experts who contradict police conclusions
By Hayley Dixon
11:50AM GMT 17 Nov 2013

Experts who tried and failed to recreate the method of death of spy Gareth Williams say they do not agree with the police finding that the MI6 man died by accident.
The codebreaker could not have got into the bag and locked it from the inside alone, witnesses who worked closely with the investigation have claimed after attempting the task more than 400 times. No one has ever come forward who has been able to recreate the scene.

When Mr Williams' naked, decomposing body was found in the bath of his flat in Pimlico, London, in August 2010, the handles of the holdall had been fastened with Velcro, there was no sign of him struggling to escape, and the eyelets on the locks had been perfectly aligned.
No finger, foot, palm prints or DNA belonging to Mr Williams was found on the rim of the bath, padlock or zipper and he was not wearing any gloves.

Despite the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death and an inquest finding that he had been unlawfully killed, the police have now concluded that Mr Williams most likely got into the bag by himself and died after failing to get out again.

However, William MacKay, a confined spaces expert who gave evidence at the inquest, said that he still believes that someone else was involved.
“Everything leads to that being the case,” he said. “When you put the forensic evidence together with the other evidence the likelihood that one person could do it is slim.
“Where is all the DNA that would have been around the bath? I would stay short of saying it was murder, because obviously it could have been an accident that someone else could have been involved in, the scenarios are many.”

For the inquest he and a yoga expert, who was of very similar stature to Mr Williams at 170cm tall and weighing 68 kilos, made hundreds of attempts to recreate the scenario in which Mr Williams' body was found. Although the expert could get into the bag, he was unable to lock it.

Peter Faulding, who also worked closely with the police and gave evidence at the inquest, agrees that Mr Williams was not alone when he was locked in the holdall.
He believes that the evidence points toward murder as the heating in the flat had been turned up despite it being midsummer, which would have speeded up decomposition, a doorknob which could have given forensic clues had been removed, and Mr William’s iPhone had been wiped.
Mr Faulding told the Sunday Express: “I believe the bag was placed in the bath to let bodily fluids run down the plughole."
He has always said that Mr Williams was dead or unconscious when he was placed in the bag, and believes it was then lifted into the bath.

Mr MacKay, a former Army officer, said: “As I told the coroner I have seen some amazing things being done in my career, and so I could not say beyond all reasonable doubt that nobody could do it.

“We got close, but close is still far away. With all the other demonstrations generally it showed damage to the bag when it was done. That was based upon hundreds and hundreds of attempts, maybe if we had tried it 2,000 times we would have done it, I don’t know, but there were two of us.
“One of the key things for me is that after we released all the evidence we waited for people who would come and show us how to do it.”

Days after the inquest, a retired Army sergeant did claim to demonstrate how it was possible to climb into a similar North Face bag and lock it from the inside.
However, Mr MacKay said: “One person did come forward, but the eyelets weren’t put together in the same way, we dispelled that method as it wasn’t the way that the bag was closed.
"Nobody else has come forward and for me that is very telling, people always want to show off and show us as experts how badly they think we have done.”

Despite their findings, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, who led the police investigation, last week concluded "it is a more probable conclusion that there was no other person present when Gareth died.”

Mr Williams’ family have rejected the results of the three and a half year police investigation and maintain that he was murdered.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... perts.html
 

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MI6 'body-in-bag': Spy Gareth Williams' London flat death reviewed (Source - BBC News)
The death of an MI6 agent whose naked body was found inside a locked holdall at his London flat is to be reviewed.
Metropolitan Police investigators said new information about Gareth Williams, who died in 2010, had come to light.
The body of Mr Williams, from Anglesey, was discovered at his Pimlico flat, and a coroner later concluded he was unlawfully killed.
A year later, in 2013, the Met concluded the 31-year-old had died as a result of an accident.
At the 2012 inquest into Mr Williams' death, coroner Fiona Wilcox reached her conclusion based "on the balance of probabilities".
"[However] most of the fundamental questions in relation to how Gareth died remain unanswered," she said.
It'll be interesting to see how this develops although I have doubts about the transparency of any investigation into his death.
 
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