TVNZ : Spy's death still a mystery

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spy's death still a mystery

Reuters | October 29, 2010

Police probing the death of man who worked for Britain's Secret Intelligence Service MI6 said toxicology tests had found no traces of drugs or poisons, and the cause of his death remained a mystery.

Gareth Williams, 30, was found by police on August 23 at his top floor flat in Pimlico, central London, not far from the spy agency's headquarters, after he was reported missing.

Officers found his naked body in a zipped and padlocked holdall bag in an empty bath. Nothing was believed to have been stolen from the flat and there was no sign of any forced entry or disturbance inside.

Comprehensive tests had now been completed and had found no traces of any drugs, alcohol, poison or any other substances which would explain his death, detectives said.

"Mr Williams' death remains suspicious and unexplained and enquiries into the circumstances continue," London police said in a statement.

Detectives also repeated their appeal to trace a couple, both of Mediterranean appearance, aged between 20 and 30, who had paid a visit to Williams's flat about a month before he was found dead.

The mysterious nature of the death has led some to question whether he was targeted because of his work. However, the police inquiry is being carried out by its homicide unit, indicating they believe it is not related to terrorism or spy matters.

Williams was working for MI6, which deals with foreign espionage matters, on secondment from the Government Communications Headquarters, the government's eavesdropping service.

The Foreign Office has made no comment on the death, saying it did not make statements about anyone who might work for the intelligence agencies.

MI6 chief John Sawers said in the first ever public speech by the head of his spy organisation on Thursday that details of his staff and their work had to remain secret.