Daily Mail : A secret stalker. Witnesses who won't talk... but the most tantalising question of all is... Who's got the spy-in-the-bag's missing laptop?

Friday, September 03, 2010

A secret stalker. Witnesses who won't talk... but the most tantalising question of all is... Who's got the spy-in-the-bag's missing laptop?

By Sue Reid | September 3, 2010

Number 36 Alderney Street stands in a terrace of tall white houses with gleaming door knockers at the heart of a London enclave the posh estate agents call ‘alpha territory’.

The Queen’s cousin lives down the road of million-pound homes and for 30 years Mimmo d’Ischia, a nearby Italian eaterie, has been a favourite of the Duchess of Cornwall and film stars Joan Collins and Anthony Hopkins.

Even this week, after the strange murder at Number 36 of young British spy Gareth Williams, there is little to show much has changed.

Nothing, that is, apart from the frantic comings and goings by men in suits from the British secret service, MI6, and detectives from Scotland Yard.

The house is where the decomposing body of Mr Williams, padlocked into a sports holdall and thrown into the bath of his top-floor flat, was discovered by police at 6.30 on the evening of Monday, August 23.

The maths genius, loner and cycling fanatic had not turned up for work as a cipher and codes expert at the headquarters of MI6, half a mile from Alderney Street, on the banks of the Thames at Vauxhall.

Today, the mystery over his death is deepening. Was he killed because of his professional life or his private one? Was it an impromptu killing or one that was planned?

Did he die in the top-floor flat after letting in his own killer? Or was he murdered elsewhere by someone who stole his flat keys, before carrying him back and dumping him?

Is it possible that despite his reputation for clean living, an aspect of his private life has led the young spy into danger? Scotland Yard has not ruled out that a woman, or indeed a man, may have been at his flat in the hours before his death. Was she or he invited there to play a sex game that went wrong?

It is, of course, just another question that needs to be answered about the spy who was ‘on loan’ to MI6 from UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the country’s top-secret listening post in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

When Mr Williams’s gruesome death first became public knowledge, there were lurid and unproven rumours about his private affairs.

Speculation that ‘bondage equipment and gay paraphernalia’ had been found at the flat was later dismissed as ‘garbage’ by Scotland Yard.

His parents, Ian and Ellen, who live in a bungalow in Holyhead, Anglesey, were horrified at the unsavoury claims about their bachelor son’s supposedly wild homosexual lifestyle.

The family insist he lived an exemplary existence and was not gay. A friend of Mr Williams said that the spy was ‘asexual’, and showed little interest in having a relationship with a man or a woman.

A first post-mortem failed to find the cause of his death. A second examination of his body took place a few days ago to unravel if he was drugged, poisoned or smothered. The results of this are still being analysed.

Yet, in a worrying twist, the Mail understands that a turf war has broken out between the police and MI6, with some police officers ­complaining that the spooks are ­hindering their investigation into the spy’s death.

The Mail has learned from sources close to the investigation that Mr Williams informed MI6 that he believed he was being followed in the months before his death, though murder squad detectives say they have not been told this.

This suggests that every aspect of his life at work and at home should be put under the microscope. However, there is frustration at Scotland Yard that the ‘security concerns’ of MI6 are stopping this wide-sweep inquiry happening.

Police attempts to quiz two spies still working at GCHQ who knew Mr Williams well have been unsuccessful and some detectives suspect they have been ‘blocked’ by both MI6 and GCHQ. It is also understood the murder squad was unable to get to one of his closest friends, a former GCHQ spy.

The man lived at the Alderney Street safe house in 2005 and visited there earlier this year. ‘He knows the day-to-day movements of Mr Williams and that is why he is important,’ added our source.

Scotland Yard murder detectives were this week also waiting to quiz another former GCHQ employee, who suddenly moved to America from Cheltenham six weeks ago and is said to be a ‘best friend’ of the dead codebreaker.

There is also friction between MI6 and GCHQ over the level of protection given to Mr Williams while on his London secondment. ‘Some people feel that he was sent to MI6 on secondment as a goodwill gesture and the intelligence service then “lost” GCHQ’s man,’ said a source.

It is a troubling backdrop to any major murder investigation, especially one into an expert codebreaker who was playing a significant role in protecting Britain.

Meanwhile, the Mail has learned of intriguing riddles about his death. The spy’s brain showed no signs of bruising, indicating he was not knocked unconscious before he died.

This has led to speculation that he may have been killed with a tiny injection of poison, possibly through his inner ear. If so, the needle mark would be almost invisible to the naked eye.

Another riddle is that Mr Williams’s personal computer is thought to be missing. He had designed the small machine to his own specifications and it ‘cannot be found’, the Mail has been told.

The laptop, which Scotland Yard refuses to officially confirm is missing, is crucial to the investigation. It could be a vital window on Mr Williams’s private life, his innermost thoughts, any transfers to and from his online bank account and would reveal if he had money problems.

Importantly, it will help trace his movements between the time he was last seen alive, on August 15, and the discovery of his body eight days later in his flat, where there was no sign of a break-in.

This will help pinpoint the time of his death, which is essential to finding a killer. Mr Williams’s bank and credit cards were used during these crucial eight days.

Troublingly, because it is not known when he died, it has been impossible to discover if they were used by him, or someone who had stolen them from him and was involved in his murder.

In a further conundrum, one of the first police officers who entered the flat after Mr Williams was ­discovered dead saw some white powder on several surfaces in the kitchen and living room. Although this could prove innocent, the ­powder is being tested in case it is cocaine or another drug.

In particular, some Scotland Yard detectives believe a public appeal for sightings of Mr Williams in the missing days before his death is essential to solve the murder mystery.

It would involve the release of more photographs and details about his lifestyle, but it is understood to have been ruled out by MI6, which is worried that terrorists might use the information to identify other British spies and their own secrets.

It all sounds disturbingly similar to the case of 28-year-old journalist Jonathan Moyle, another British intelligence agent, whose body was found hanging inside a hotel wardrobe in the Chilean capital Santiago in 1990 with a padded noose around his neck.

He had been investigating a company — ostensibly for his British defence magazine — which was modifying helicopters, possibly to carry nuclear weapons, to sell to the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

But his friends and family believe security sources planted the ­suggestion that he had died while engaged in an auto-erotic act and tried to stand in the way of the family’s own inquiries.

It took his outraged father to expose the cover-up — and find out that his son had been drugged, ­suffocated, injected with a lethal substance and then strung up in the wardrobe, a view supported by the British coroner, who returned a verdict of unlawful killing at his inquest eight years later.

This week, the Mail traced Mr Moyle’s former fiancée Annette Kissenbeck to her home in Germany, where she said the latest death of a British ‘spy in a bag’ brings back painful memories.

‘The British intelligence services tried to smear Jonathan by suggesting he was sexually deviant,’ she said. ‘I felt so helpless and alone trying to stand up to what was untrue against such powerful and shadowy forces.’.

The rumour that Moyle indulged in auto-erotic experiences first ­surfaced at a British embassy cocktail party attended by journalists in Santiago, adding weight to the Chilean claim that he had died by his own hand.

Annette says both were smears to cover up the truth about the murder and the illicit trade with Iraq. ‘Jonathan had everything to live for. We were totally in love with each other and about to get ­married,’ said Annette this week at her home in Essen, where she works as one of Germany’s leading child doctors.

A year after his death, a Chilean judicial investigation concluded that Moyle had been murdered. But two years later, in 1993, the murder investigation was wrapped up without a single suspect being arrested.

‘Jonathan just wasn’t the type to be depressed. And never in all the time we were together was there any hint that he was into auto-erotic sex,’ said Annette this week.

Even today, she is convinced that the spread of false information was deliberately orchestrated by shadowy figures in British secret services to cover up their own knowledge of the helicopter sales and to protect the UK’s relationship with Chile.

So could the extraordinary story of Jonathan Moyle shed any light on the death of Gareth Williams?

Williams played a key role in the world’s most sensitive and ­secretive electronic intelligence-gathering system.

He was helping to oversee a network called Echelon. It links ­satellites and super computers in Britain and the nations of our Western allies, including the U.S.

Set up to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Echelon now eavesdrops on terrorists, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, threatening British security.

In particular, it listens for key words and phrases that might ­suggest that an attack on this country is being planned by overseas terrorist cells or home-grown subversives.

He was signed up by GCHQ at 21 while studying for a post-graduate maths certificate at Cambridge, a favourite recruiting ground for the secret services.

His career path was meteoric. Williams had two passports, which allowed him to travel incognito if necessary. Soon he was working for long spells in Afghanistan for our secret services.

Four times a year, he paid visits to America to liaise with the powerful National Security Agency in Fort Meade in Maryland.

When he died, he was living rent-free at Alderney Street, which was bought by MI6 as a ‘safe house’ ten years ago.

It is one of many owned by MI6 dotted around Pimlico, which have been swept for listening devices and kept under surveillance. They are used to put up visiting operatives or to conduct de-briefings in total secrecy.

Mr Williams was due to return to his former flat, rented from a landlady, in Cheltenham yesterday and start back at work at GCHQ later this month.

An associate of Mr Williams told the Mail this week: ‘Gareth really didn’t like London, although he was sent on secondment to MI6 more than once.

‘He suffered it because he had to for his career. He did make a few friends, mainly others sent from GCHQ in Cheltenham who also lived at this MI6 place in Alderney Street.

‘They are the people that know the most about how he spent his spare time over the past few months and MI6 must let the police murder squad speak to them.’

So will the truth about death of the young spy Gareth Williams ever come to light amid the smears and secrecy of the murky world of espionage?

Today, almost a fortnight after the tragic discovery at 36 Alderney Street, you wouldn’t be wise to put money on it. Even if your name was James Bond or George Smiley.

This Is London : Is the death of spy Gareth Williams the perfect murder?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Is the death of spy Gareth Williams the perfect murder?

Justin Davenport, Crime Editor | September 3, 2010

IT is nearly two weeks since the body of MI6 code-breaker Gareth Williams was found padlocked in a sports bag in his flat, and normally by now police would be hoping to make an announcement of an arrest.

Scotland Yard detectives have been working closely with MI6 agents to uncover the truth about how the maths genius and cipher expert was found dead, apparently without a single mark on his body.

Yet, far from nearing a breakthrough in the inquiry, the Standard understands that detectives are increasingly frustrated at the course the investigation is taking.

In a twist that could come from the plot of a Sherlock Holmes story, it is understood that officers can find no obvious sign that anyone else was in the flat at the time of his death.

The conclusion, if proved, raises the possibility that Williams died alone or, alternatively, his killer was so skilful that he left no clues; he — or possibly even they — may have committed the perfect murder.

One highly respected pathologist told the Standard today it was possible that the cause of his death may never be fully known.

Police officers were first called to Williams's home — the top-floor flat of a MI6 “safe house” in Alderney Street, Pimlico — at approximately 6.30pm on Monday, August 23, when his MI6 employers became concerned for his “welfare” after he failed to turn up for work. In the large en-suite bathroom off the master bedroom, officers found a large red hold-all in the bath, containing William's curled-up body. The bag, believed to be from the North Face adventure company, had been padlocked from the outside and placed in the bath tub.

Yet what puzzled detectives was that nothing else seemed out of place in the £400,000 flat which Mr Williams had rented for a year while on secondment to M16 from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). There was no sign of a struggle, forced entry or theft; everything was “spotless” and in order, according to one officer who has been inside.

Personal possessions — including two iPhones and Sim cards — had been laid out neatly on a table. There were laptops, one an expensive Apple Mac.
Some details about what detectives found in Williams's flat are being kept secret. They will not, for instance, say whether the body was naked or even whether there was — or had been — any water in the bath.

So far pathologists have carried out two post-mortems, but both have failed to establish how Williams died, though the examination was complicated by the fact that the body was said to be in an “advanced state of decay”.

What is known, however, is that Williams, a 31-year-old cycling fanatic, had not been shot or stabbed and did not appear to have been strangled. Detectives must now wait for the results of numerous toxicology tests to find out whether he was drugged, poisoned or even smothered.

Detectives and specialists working on the case know that asphyxiation is sometimes difficult to trace and privately fear the possibility that an exact cause of death may never be found and thereby denying them one of the most important clues for solving any murder investigation.

Dr Stuart Hamilton, one of 36 Home Office pathologists covering England and Wales, said that some more subtle forms of asphyxiation left few marks and therefore sometimes could not be discovered.

The Scotland Yard inquiry into Williams's death has focused on several main strands, including the scene at his flat when officers first arrived, and tracing the code-breaker's movements in the days before he is thought to have died.

In suspicious cases such as these, the police will also look into the dead person's background, but, it is understood, Williams's preference for keeping his personal life a secret from colleagues, family and friends has made this task incredibly difficult.

Detectives hold out hope that someone will come forward with information to help them piece together Williams's “four mystery days” between Wednesday, August 11, when he was in London and spoke to his sister Ceri Subbe on the phone, and Sunday, August 15 — the last time he was seen alive.

Ceri, a physiotherapist in Wrexham, raised the alarm after her brother failed to return her calls and has since travelled to London to help police.

Officers, extremely sensitive to the Williams family grief, nonetheless are of the view that the riddle of how Williams died most probably lies with his private life — even though there are no firm leads in that direction nearly two weeks after his death. His parents, who live in Anglesey, describe their son as extremely reserved but they are adamant he was not gay.

Rumours that bondage gear and gay escort agency numbers were found at Williams's flat have been flatly denied by his family, who say these more lurid claims may be smears, intended to discredit him.

There are reports that he frequented a gay bar near the MI6 headquarters in Vauxhall, but detectives can find no trace of a boyfriend, or girlfriend, and there is nothing to suggest he was a secret drinker or drug taker.

In fact, the opposite is true: Williams lived for his job and his cycling, regularly riding with his father around Anglesey and in local competitions with his club.

One line of inquiry is that Mr Williams died in an accident, a sex game that went wrong perhaps. But police say that if this was so why is it taking so long to find the “suspect”, who, if he panicked and fled the scene, should have left clues to his identity.

Police have combed the flat for fingerprints and DNA and searched CCTV in the area, but they are not believed to have identified a prime suspect. They are also sifting through his Sim cards to trace every call he made, but still have not found a motive.

One detective said: “The fact that no one has come forward could mean that no one was there. It could mean someone is frightened or it could be more sinister.”

Police have spoken to colleagues in MI6 and examined Williams's bank accounts for details of extraordinary payments, but again they have found nothing suspicious.

Williams's skills as a cipher expert and code-breaker were so highly valued that he regularly travelled — it is rumoured to Afghanistan to monitor codes between the Taliban, and to America, where he liaised with the National Security Agency and the CIA.

Of course, the possibility remains that he was the target of a foreign espionage agency, and murdered with a deadly toxin or even gas unidentifiable by toxicologists, but two weeks on, Scotland Yard is not even classifying Williams's death as murder. And if it is murder, it is one executed without trace.

Three experts look at the next stage

Nigel McCrery, Ex-policeman

A former murder squad detective who devised the BBC1 drama Silent Witness, McCrery said the pathologist would be vital in solving the mystery surrounding the death of Gareth Williams. “That's the only person who can really give an indication to police in cases like this,” he said. “If the case isn't solved within 48 hours, the chance of it being solved goes down by 70 per cent. After that it's foot-slogging and good old-fashioned detective work.

“The first thing is to establish where he died. If he is naked, where are his clothes? Has anything disappeared from his flat? There is a famous adage that every contact leaves a trace. I think there is a very good chance it will get solved. I don't think it's anything to do with the Russians or spies — perhaps it was a sexual encounter that got out of hand (Williams's family has denied he led a homosexual lifestyle). People are fascinated by other people's lives. It's also a puzzle — we are great puzzle-solvers. That is why Agatha Christie was so successful. It is a bit like an episode of Silent Witness meets Spooks.”

Dr Stuart Hamilton, Home Office pathologist

One of 36 Home Office pathologists covering England and Wales, Dr Hamilton said a key factor would be the state of the decomposition of the body.

“The worse the state of the body, the less likely it is that the post-mortem will be conclusive,” said Dr Hamilton. “We will tend to get all of the trappings' — the clothes and any possessions — that were found with the body. All of these things can help you work through to what the police are asking: is this a homicide or not? But a body in a bag is suspicious. Sometimes you just have to conclude that you can't identify a cause of death. Figures show that one case in 20 will not yield a cause of death at autopsy, although my experience is that it's considerably lower than that.”

Is there the perfect crime? “I have no doubt that they happen. I suspect that people are poisoned subtly, but that won't be picked up if there is an autopsy without a toxicology report. People could be getting smothered without others ever knowing about it. I try to frighten my trainees by telling them I have done 2,500 to 3,000 autopsies and there is probably a homicide I have missed. But you have to be pretty smart to get one past us.”

David Black, Novelist

The writer who based his book The Great Satan on his 11 years in the SAS said that nerve gas should be counted among the possible causes of death.

“I know for a fact that one of the security services around the world made inquiries to see if they could get hold of paintballs filled with nerve gas,” he said. “If you were going to assassinate somebody, there are a couple of options. The guy could just disappear. The next one is to make it look like an accident. If you push a guy down the stairs and break his neck, when he hits the ground, the chances are it will look like an accident.

“We don't know yet how Gareth Williams died. They didn't find any blows to his head. He must have been dead when they put him in the bag — but why put him in there? If it is some bizarre poison that some secret service in the world has developed, that will be a big clue to why he was killed. That is if he was killed at all. Secret services will kill to defend their own secrets — we will and so will everybody else. Was it our own people that did it? Who knows? If there was such a thing as a perfect crime, we would never know. If it's a matter of national security, nothing is beyond being swept under the carpet.”

Ross Lydall

Le Monde [translated] : The mystery of the spy who was healthy in all respects

Friday, September 03, 2010

The mystery of the spy who was healthy in all respects

Marc Roche | London correspondent | September 2, 2010

The body of a young man, healthy in all respects, is discovered in a gym bag sealed with a padlock in the bathroom of his apartment. The corpse, in a state of decomposition, shows no traces of blows or bullets. Neighbors claim to be unaware of the existence of the victim, a lonely 31-year-old avid cyclist with a PhD in mathematics. Enough ingredients for a decent detective story? Except that the person concerned, Gareth Williams, was a high-flying spy in the service of Her Majesty.

The native of Wales was one of the star code-breakers of GCHQ, the secretive British intelligence agency in charge of wiretapping and monitoring communications. For the past year, Williams was assigned to MI6, the Secret Service outside the kingdom. In September, he should have been promoted to the safety of "figure" at GCHQ. The home where the officer was found dead on August 25 was actually a safe house of the "Six", located close to the organization's headquarters on the banks of the Thames. The lack of conclusion of the second autopsy, performed on September 1, has thickened the mystery. The police are exploring the possibilities of action by Islamic terrorists, Russian spies and dissident Irish Republican Army (IRA) members.


For its part, the popular press is suggesting a sex scandal. It would be a sexual game, a break from a monotonous and painstaking existence, a game gone wrong. The sleuths of the tabloids have discovered that, unbeknownst to his employer and his parents, Gareth Williams frequented sadomasochistic homosexual bars in Vauxhall, near the headquarters of MI6. The right-wing dailies remind us of the stories of gay spies who made criminal headlines. The specter of a "pink" column who had infiltrated the intelligence establishment sends shivers down the spines of its devotees.

In the meantime, it's a hands-down battle among thugs. U.S. investigators have arrived in London to sift the computer and mobile phone of the deceased. His expertise in the reconstruction of a puzzle from scattered or hidden pieces, his persistence and his methodical mind had led to his being sent for month-long sessions at Fort Mead in Maryland, headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA). The Brits were exchanging information with their American "cousins".

The incredible response to Gareth Williams' strange death reveals the deception that always lies behind the scenes in the country that invented the secret agents of film, dilettantes and masterful seducers wielding great checkbooks and deadly gadgets.

George Smiley, the grand old guardian of the jewels of spying, would think, "this is not very proper". He was a gentleman.

Washington Post (blog) : U.S. officials: Gareth Williams death not spy-related

Friday, September 03, 2010

U.S. officials: Gareth Williams death not spy-related

By Jeff Stein | September 2, 2010

British media reports suggesting a spy-world connection to the gruesome death of U.K. code-breaker Gareth Williams are groundless, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

While refusing to comment publicly about the death of Williams, whose decomposing remains were discovered stuffed in a duffel bag in the bathtub of his London apartment on Aug. 23, the officials advised treating the British reports with great skepticism.

Williams, 30 or 31 at the time of his death, depending on reports, was said to be a "math genius" at Britain's code-breaking agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. He was on temporary assignment with the U.K. foreign intelligence service MI6. Williams's work decoding terrorist communications caused him to consult frequently with the U.S. National Security Agency at Ft. Meade, Md., according to British news reports.

But James Bamford, author of three authoritative books on the NSA, scoffed at hints of a terrorist or other intelligence-related murder conspiracy.

“There’s been a lot of hyped-up coverage in the U.K., but even codebreakers die from unrelated violence occasionally,” Bamford told SpyTalk. “Hundreds of NSA and GCHQ personnel travel back and forth between agencies every year, and leaving a body in a canvas bag sounds more like a jealous lover or drug deal gone bad than a political assassination.”

Bamford, who has developed scores of NSA sources over the years, added, “I haven’t heard anything of concern from my people on this.”

"Strange story," said a former top CIA official in London, "but I would be very surprised if it involves espionage foul play."

An NSA spokesperson, Vanee Vines, declined to comment on any relationship Williams may have had with the agency, or whether agency officials had been quizzed by British police. The CIA likewise declined to comment.

“I can tell you that we do not confirm or deny agency affiliation,” Vines said by e-mail. “I don't have any information to share with you.”

In a typical British report, the Telegraph of London reported Monday that “murder detectives say they are still looking at whether Gareth Williams may have been killed by a foreign intelligence agency seeking to stop his work on intercepting messages and code-breaking.”

“Interviews with friends and family of Mr. Williams, 30, have so far offered no clear leads as to how or why he died,” the paper said.

Still, after two autopsies, according to reports, police are treating the death of Williams as "suspicious and unexplained."

Le Monde : Le mystère de l'espion bien sous tout rapport

Friday, September 03, 2010

Le mystère de l'espion bien sous tout rapport

Marc Roche | Londres, correspondant | September 2, 2010

Le corps d'un jeune homme, bien sous tout rapport, est découvert dans un sac de sport fermé par un cadenas, dans la salle de bains de son appartement. Le cadavre, en état de décomposition, ne porte aucune trace de coups ou de balles. Les voisins affirment tout ignorer de l'existence de la victime, un solitaire de 31 ans, passionné de cyclisme et titulaire d'un doctorat en mathématiques. Autant d'ingrédients pour un honnête roman policier ? Sauf que l'intéressé, Gareth Williams, était un espion de haut vol au service de Sa Majesté.

Le natif du pays de Galles était l'un des décodeurs stars du GCHQ, la très secrète agence de renseignement britannique chargée des écoutes et du contrôle des communications. Depuis un an, Williams était détaché au MI6, les services secrets extérieurs du royaume. A la rentrée, il aurait dû être promu à la sécurité du "chiffre" au GCHQ. Le logement où l'agent a été découvert mort le 25 août était en fait une planque du "Six", située à deux pas du siège de l'organisation, sur les berges de la Tamise. L'absence de conclusion de la deuxième autopsie, pratiquée le 1er septembre, a épaissi le mystère. La police explore les pistes d'une action de terroristes islamistes, de l'espionnage russe et des dissidents de l'Armée républicaine irlandaise (IRA).


Pour sa part, la presse populaire évoque une affaire de mœurs. Il s'agirait d'un jeu sexuel destiné à agrémenter une existence monotone et minutieuse, un jeu qui aurait mal tourné. Les limiers des journaux à sensation ont découvert qu'à l'insu de son employeur et de ses parents, Gareth Williams fréquentait les bars homosexuels sadomasochistes de Vauxhall, proche du QG du MI6. Les quotidiens de droite en profitent pour rappeler les histoires d'espions gays qui ont défrayé la chronique criminelle. Le spectre d'une filière "rose" ayant infiltré le monde du renseignement donne le frisson à ses thuriféraires.

En attendant, c'est le branle-le-bas de combat chez les barbouzes. Les enquêteurs américains ont débarqué à Londres pour passer au crible l'ordinateur et le téléphone portable du défunt. Son savoir-faire dans la reconstitution d'un puzzle à partir de morceaux épars ou dissimulés, son acharnement et son esprit méthodique lui avaient valu d'être dépêché une fois par mois à Fort Mead au Maryland, au siège de la National Security Agency (NSA). Le fonctionnaire échangeait ses informations avec les "cousins" américains.

L'incroyable écho rencontré par cet étrange mort est révélateur de l'espionnite toujours sous-jacente dans le pays qui a inventé les agents secrets de cinéma, dilettantes et grands séducteurs maniant avec virtuosité carnet de chèques et gadgets meurtriers.

"Tout cela n'est pas bien convenable", penserait George Smiley, le grand ancien gardien des joyaux de l'espionnage. Lui n'était qu'un gentleman.

Chester Chronicle : Chester-based sister of dead MI6 spy helping Scotland Yard investigation

Friday, September 03, 2010

Chester-based sister of dead MI6 spy helping Scotland Yard investigation

by David Holmes | September 2, 2010

THE Chester-based sister of MI6 spy Gareth Williams has been helping Scotland Yard detectives investigating his mysterious death.

Ceri Subbe, who lives with husband Chris in Brook Lane, Chester, has been to the capital to help officers piece together the final movements of Mr Williams, whose body was found in a holdall in a bath at his London flat.

The News of World reports it was Mrs Subbe, a physiotherapist at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, where her husband is a doctor, who raised the alarm after her brother failed to return calls.

Her evidence has undermined claims his body lay undiscovered for a fortnight until its discovery on Monday of last week – she spoke to him on the phone the previous Wednesday.

Pathologists have been unable to explain how the 31-year-old code-breaker, who worked at GCHQ and was seconded to MI6, died. There were no obvious injuries on his body and further tests are being carried out.

Although detectives are working on the assumption that he was murdered, they have not ruled out the possibility that Mr Williams died in an accident, from an overdose or even suicide.

One theory is that someone who was present at the time panicked and put his body in the bag but failed to remove it.

The deceased’s family, who live in Anglesey, are said to be ‘furious’ about tabloid claims that he had a secret double life, including suggestions he was gay or a transvestite.

A keen cyclist, Mr Williams was a maths genius who gained a first class degree in maths from Bangor University at just 17 before gaining a postgraduate certificate from Cambridge University.

There was nobody at home when The Chronicle called at Mrs Subbe’s home, which is on the market for £240,000.