National Post : Unknown DNA found on bag containing British spy’s corpse

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Unknown DNA found on bag containing British spy’s corpse

Yeganeh Torbati, Reuters | April 25, 2012

Gareth Williams case: Unknown DNA found on bag containing MI6 agent's corpse

The bag in which a British MI6 agent’s corpse was found in his London home in 2010 had small bits of unknown DNA, a detective testified on Tuesday, fueling speculation about who may have been behind the mysterious death.

The nude body of Gareth Williams, 31, was found folded in the fetal position inside a padlocked bag in his bathtub at his Pimlico flat, not far from the headquarters of MI6, the British foreign spying service, where Williams worked.

Jackie Sebire, the detective handling Williams’s case, said on Tuesday police found blood believed to be that of Williams as well as “small components of another contributor’s DNA”.

One of the central questions of the case, she said, was whether Williams could have placed himself in the bag and locked the padlock or whether someone else was responsible.

“It is my opinion … that a third party was involved in that padlock being locked, and Gareth being placed in the bag,” Sebire said. “No stone has been unturned. I’ve tried to do everything I can to understand what’s happened.”

The bag in which Williams was found showed no signs of a struggle, such as torn netting or stitches, Sebire said, and keys that could have opened the padlock were found inside the bag with Williams, underneath his buttock.

Details revealed at the inquest have only added to the mystery surrounding the circumstances of the macabre death.

Inside Williams’s flat at the time of his death were about 20,000 pounds in women’s clothing. Some of the clothing included high-end shoes from Christian Louboutin, Chloe, Christian Dior, and Stella McCartney, including one pair of shoes worth about 1,000 pounds, Sebire said.

Police also found a woman’s wig and new makeup inside the home.

Williams’s close friend Sian Jones said she did not think the clothing was unusual, because Williams often gave her gifts of expensive clothing. Jones said she did not believe Williams was a transvestite or gay.

“He was truly such a generous person and through the gifts that he’s bought me in the past, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were gifts,” Jones said.

Jones said that although Williams did not have many other close friends, he was close to his colleagues at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the state eavesdropping service based in Cheltenham, northwest of London.

Williams was on a three-year secondment from GCHQ to MI6 at the time of his death, and on Monday his sister Ceri Subbe testified that he had complained of office tensions there.

Her comments added to speculation that the MI6 was somehow involved in Williams’s death, a theory stoked by a lawyer for Williams’s family when he said last month that “a member of some agency specializing in the dark arts of the secret services” might be responsible.

Jones said Williams had left her a voicemail before his death in which he sounded all right and said he was moving back to Cheltenham.

Inside Williams’s apartment, police found a newspaper clipping entitled “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” including not having the “courage to live the life true to myself” and working too hard.

© Thomson Reuters 2012