Daily Mail : Was MI6 spy victim of the perfect murder?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Was MI6 spy victim of the perfect murder?

By Charlotte Gill and Emily Andrews | August 31, 2010

Pathologists are investigating whether MI6 spy Gareth Williams could have been the victim of the ‘perfect murder’.

There are no signs of a violent struggle on the body of the cipher and codes specialist and it is possible that the cause of his death will never be fully discovered.

Doctors examining the body of the 31-year-old for clues are focusing on any evidence which would suggest a professional hit and are scrutinising the area around his neck, sources said.

A seasoned assassin may be able to inflict a ‘discreet’ neck wound that could kill even though it would not look as obvious as a snapped neck.

Detectives are keenly awaiting the results of toxicology tests in the hope they will reveal some clues as to how Mr Williams died.

They could indicate whether the cycling fanatic was smothered or if he was drugged.

One theory is that he could have been injected with a deadly toxin which is not immediately identifiable by toxicologists.

In the 2006 poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvenenko, it took weeks for investigators to discover that the killer substance was polonium 210.

Using high-tech ‘cell site analysis’, police are also trawling through hundreds of numbers for mobile phones which were used in the close vicinity of Mr Williams’s flat at the time he is thought to have died to see if any names registered to the phones throw up clues.

The technique will also help detectives piece together his last movements by tracking his mobile phone.

Such analysis can pinpoint where a phone was used to ‘cells’, an area which can be as precise as 200 square yards.

Police are also sifting through Mr Williams’s SIM card records to trace every call that he made.

Officers on the case have yet to discover a motive for his murder.

There is no evidence so far to suggest that he was gay and Scotland Yard has denied speculation that gay paraphernalia was discovered in the flat where his body was found or that there is any link to a male escort.

His family and friends reacted furiously to ‘untruths’ that he led a colourful homosexual lifestyle, claiming the rumours could be government smears aimed at discrediting him.

They have told police that Mr Williams was a private, reserved man who was close to his family and loved his job.

He was found dead last Monday at his £400,000 flat in Pimlico, central London, just half a mile from the headquarters of MI6. His body was discovered in the bath stuffed into a sports holdall.

One line of inquiry is that Mr Williams could have died in an accident and that his body was later moved for some reason.

Although it is highly likely that he was murdered, the Metropolitan Police continue to describe his death as ‘suspicious and unexplained’.

Mr Williams is said to have played an important role in the development of a highly sensitive and secret electronic intelligence gathering system called Echelon and was helping with a new system to monitor internet phone calls such as Skype.

There have been no arrests in the case so far.

On Friday Scotland Yard issued an appeal to anyone who knew Mr Williams or may have seen him in the eight days before his body was found to come forward.