Metro : Test delays add to mystery of spy Gareth Williams' death

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Test delays add to mystery of spy Gareth Williams' death

By Tariq Tahir | April 26, 2012

An expert witness could not rule out the possibility a spy found dead in a locked bag was poisoned – as it took MI6 a week to realise he was missing.

Forensic specialist Denise Stanworth said although no ‘volatile agents’ were found in Gareth Williams’ system, the finding was inconclusive as he was not examined until nine days after he died.

She told an inquest it was also possible he had taken party drug GHB, as traces of it were found in his system. But as GHB – the chemical gamma-hydroxybutyrate – occurs naturally in blood and urine, the delay examining the body made it difficult to tell if he had taken it or not.

‘If someone had taken GHB close to the time of death you would expect the urine level to be much higher,’ she said.

MI6 has previously apologised at the inquest for the delay in noticing the disappearance of Mr Williams, 31, who was found in the bathtub of his home in Pimlico, central London, in August 2010.

The lack of forensic evidence adds to the mystery surrounding his death.
M16 admits his secret intelligence work could have brought him into contact with a ‘hostile party’, but there is also a suspicion he got inside the locked bag for a thrill.

He visited websites about claustrophilia – the love of enclosure – and his landlady once found him tied to his bed. The hearing at Westminster coroner’s court continues.