Wednesday, 23 Jun 2021

Mystery of dead MI6 spy locked in sports bag gets review as new clues emerge

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The Met Police has launched a forensic review into the death of an MI6 spy found locked in a bag in 2010.

Detectives said the GCHQ codebreaker Gareth Williams's death was "probably an accident" and closed the case in 2013.

But after new clues were unearthed last week, a spokesman for Scotland Yard told Wales Online: "There is an established review process for investigations whereby new information and/or forensic opportunities are considered.

"The Met is currently undertaking a forensic review to assess whether there are any new investigative opportunities in this case.

"We remain in close contact with Gareth’s family to ensure they are fully supported."

Detectives will assess whether any new leads existed in the death of Gareth Williams, who was found in a red North Face holdall in his flat in Central London back in 2010.

The naked body of Mr Williams, 31, from Valley in Anglesey, was found inside the bag, with the zips padlocked on the outside, and the key inside with his body.

His family have long suspected that he was murdered and a coroner said he was probably unlawfully killed.

  • Family of MI6 spy say there is no way their son killed himself

The forensic review comes after the Sunday Times reported potential new forensic leads in the case had been raised.

Police told the newspaper that they would look at this new information and see if a "forensic review" should take place – which is now underway, the spokesman said.

At the time of his death, forensic scientists believed a strand of hair found on his hand belonged to someone else, but were unable to extract a DNA profile from it.

However, due to technical advances, a leading scientist, Professor Angela Gallop, who founded the laboratory that carried out the testing in the case, said that 2mm of hair could now be of use to investigators.

The detective who led the initial inquiry, Hamish Campbell, has also said that partial DNA found on the bag belonging to two unidentified people was worth reviewing.

Police also found DNA of an unknown person on a green towel in Williams’s flat.

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Speaking earlier this month, Mr Campbell told the Sunday Times he suspected the death was linked to Mr Williams' private life – which included an interest in bondage.

Detectives found a semen stain on the bathroom floor, leading them to suspect Mr Williams was involved in sexual activity shortly before his death, which is believed to have occurred on August 16, 2010.

Mr Campbell, in charge of the homicide and serious crime command at that time, said this led him to rule out a hit by the Russian state.

  • MET Police
  • In the News
  • Family
  • London

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