Daily Mail : Was it poison? Two weeks after murdered spy was found in his bath, baffled police release CCTV of victim as they probe radiation theory

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Was it poison? Two weeks after murdered spy was found in his bath, baffled police release CCTV of victim as they probe radiation theory

By Charlotte Gill | September 7, 2010

Tests to discover whether murdered MI6 spy Gareth Williams was poisoned are being carried out.

Yesterday, detectives revealed pictures of the last known moments of the 31-year-old codebreaking expert.

They also disclosed that his body was naked when found and initial toxicology tests show no traces of alcohol or recreational drugs in his system.

With no obvious cause of death, further tests are under way to determine whether a rare drug or poison can be found.

One possibility is that Mr Williams was killed by radiation poisoning, as happened when Polonium 210 was used to murder exiled Russian secret agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

CCTV images show him walking through some of London’s most affluent areas eight days before his body was found padlocked in a sports bag in his bath.

Detectives also appealed for help in identifying a young man and woman who called at his flat late one night.

The pair, both of Mediterranean appearance and aged between 20 and 30, were let in through the communal door to the Victorian house conversion weeks before he died. It is not known whether they went to his flat or indeed saw the spy – deepening the mystery over his murder.

Two weeks after the spy’s body was found police are still unable to say how he died.

The CCTV footage shows him shopping alone at Harrods on Sunday August 15 at about 2.30pm. He is in a red T-shirt, beige trousers and white trainers and is carrying a white plastic bag.

A day earlier he was caught on CCTV entering Holland Park Tube station in West London at a similar time, again by himself, wearing the same clothes and carrying a white bag.

Scotland Yard said there was no sign of forced entry to Mr Williams’s flat, suggesting he might have known his killer and had let them in.

Detectives will not go into detail about who let the mystery couple in through the front door of the house in Pimlico, Central London, ‘late one evening’ in June or July or why they were there.

But the incident is seen as a potentially significant line of inquiry in the increasingly puzzling case, with pathologists yet to determine how the cipher and codes specialist died.

Although there are no outward signs that the cycling enthusiast met a violent death, officers have not yet ruled out asphyxiation.

The revelation that his body was naked will fuel speculation that he could have been involved in a sex game which went wrong.

Another theory for the absence of clothes is that his killer was forensically aware and wanted to destroy any potentially incriminating contact with Mr Williams.

Sources close to the inquiry have admitted they are ‘baffled’ about the case.

Claims that Mr Williams had previously complained of being followed and that a laptop computer is missing from his home have been rejected by police.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire, who is leading the inquiry, said: ‘This remains a complex unexplained death inquiry.’

Investigators know that Mr Williams, who was a loner with few friends, returned from a ‘planned holiday’ in the U.S. on Wednesday August 11.

He was coming to the end of a year-long secondment at MI6, whose headquarters are half a mile from his flat, and was due to return to GCHQ, the Government’s listening post in Cheltenham.

Using his mobile phone to track his whereabouts, they have discovered by trawling through CCTV that he went shopping ‘on a number of occasions’ in the West End and Knightsbridge on August 14 and 15.

After visiting Harrods, he seen walking towards Sloane Street, near to the Dolce and Gabbana store, though he does not go in the shop. Police have refused to disclose what he was buying.

It is the last time he was seen and detectives are still desperate to find any further sightings.

Lurid speculation that Mr Williams was a gay transvestite and bondage gear was found in the flat has been dismissed as untrue by police.

A source close to the inquiry has also said there was ‘nothing out of place in his finances’ despite reports that unexplained money might have moved in and out of his account.