Friday 6 December 2019

Family of 'spy in bag' lashes out at investigators

Tom Morgan and Rosa Silverman in London

MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams was probably killed but the "spy in the bag" case might never be solved after mistakes by investigators, an inquest has heard.

Mr Williams's relatives attacked failures by secret services and police after a coroner ruled "many agencies fell short" in their investigation of the holdall death riddle.

The coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said she was sure a third party locked the 31-year-old 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. "I am therefore satisfied that on the balance of probabilities that Gareth was killed unlawfully."

As the eight-day hearing ended, relatives spoke out for the first time about their grief being "exacerbated" by MI6's "reluctance and failure" to assist the police inquiry.

Mr Williams, a fitness enthusiast originally from Anglesey, North Wales, was found naked, curled up in the padlocked holdall in the bath of his flat in London, on August 23, 2010.

His sister, Ceri Subbe, looked on as the coroner told Westminster Coroner's Court that it "remained a legitimate line of inquiry" that the secret services may have been involved in the death.

But, she said "there was no evidence to support" that he died at the hands of spies.

Irish Independent

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