Daily Mail : Spy's family demand the truth: Relatives of dead MI6 man demand body for independent tests

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spy's family demand the truth: Relatives of dead MI6 man demand body for independent tests

By Sam Greenhill and Charlotte Gill | September 10, 2010

The family of murdered MI6 spy Gareth Williams have demanded his body back, it emerged last night.

They would like to commission their own post-mortem examination, it is understood.

It is a clear sign they are rapidly running out of patience with the police investigation into his death.

The coroner in charge of the case has consistently refused to release the codebreaker's body because detectives have still to discover exactly how he died.

But this delay is infuriating the brilliant mathematician's relatives in North Wales.

They have not been able to hold a funeral and are equally unhappy about the apparent lack of progress into explaining what happened to the 31-year-old.

Yesterday a source close to the family said: 'It is becoming very frustrating trying to get to the bottom of whatever has happened. 'There are just so many things we still don't know.

'We have made it clear to the police that we want the body back as soon as possible.'

It is more than three weeks since detectives began investigating the murder.

Mr Williams's naked body was found in a sports bag in the bath of his top-floor London flat near MI6 headquarters on August 23.

There were no obvious signs of an intruder or clues to how he died and it was later revealed the bag had been padlocked.

Police have announced that the first postmortem examination, carried out two days after Mr Williams's body was found, and toxicology tests were inconclusive.

There was no outward sign that he met a violent death and there was no trace of drugs or alcohol in his blood.

Intriguingly, a further 'examination of the body' was undertaken last week but investigators have refused to reveal why the procedure was carried out or what it revealed.

Pathologists have been searching for signs of whether a rare drug or poison was used.

Last Monday, in their first public appeal, police announced they were seeking a man and a woman, both of Mediterranean appearance, who called at No. 36 Alderney Street in June or July, late one evening, and were let into the communal front door.

Yesterday police renewed their appeal, saying: 'They are yet to contact police and officers are still keen for this couple to come forward.'

On Wednesday the coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, and detectives met behind closed doors to discuss the progress of the case.

Mystery surrounds what was discussed and no announcement has been made for when the next hearing will take place.

But it is known a decision was taken not to release the body to the family. A security source revealed: 'The family are not happy with the way it was going. All their questions are basically being met with one of two answers: that the information is unknown or not disclosable.

'Eventually, they said that if they were not going to be given answers, then they wanted to have his body back.

'They wanted to have their own tests carried out.'

The source said the family was considering paying for an independent pathologist to conduct an examination.

Detectives are struggling to piece together what happened to Mr Williams between the last time he was seen, captured on CCTV on August 15 shopping at Harrods, and eight days later when he was found.

Uniformed officers discovered his body that afternoon after being alerted by friends, family and MI6 that he was missing and not responding to calls.

Mr Williams worked for the Government's eavesdropping service GCHQ. He was an expert on ciphers and had been on a secondment to MI6 in London.

He had just returned from the U.S, where police said he had been on holiday, coming back to Britain on August 11.

Mr Williams lived for his job and was a cycling fanatic, regularly riding with his father around Anglesey and in local competitions with his club.

His parents, Ian, an engineer at Wylfa power station, and Ellen, who worked in education, live in a bungalow in Holyhead, Anglesey.

They have been horrified at unsavoury claims about their bachelor son's supposedly wild homosexual lifestyle.

They feared lurid allegations surrounding his private life, since denied, were planted as part of a 'dirty tricks' campaign.

Last night Scotland Yard said: 'We have got a family liaison officer working very closely with the family.'