Pakistan Observer : Poison not ruled out in MI6 spy death

Friday, April 27, 2012

Poison not ruled out in MI6 spy death

April 27, 2012

London—Forensic scientists cannot establish if a British spy was poisoned before being padlocked in a bag because it took his employers MI6 a week to realise he was missing, an inquest has heard. Forensic expert Denise Stanworth told the hearing in London that “we cannot rule out volatile agents” in the death of Gareth Williams two years ago as she was asked how reliable toxicology tests can be nine days after death. The decomposition of the body made it impossible to establish exactly which substances were present in the codebreaker’s body, she said.

Williams’ boss at MI6, Britain’s external intelligence agency, earlier apologised to the 31-year-old’s family for failing to raise the alarm about his disappearance and conceded the error may have hampered police inquiries. Speaking Thursday from behind a screen, the woman — identified only as Witness F — offered a full apology for MI6’s slow response to Williams’s disappearance in August 2010. ”We are profoundly sorry about what happened, she said. ”It shouldn’t have happened and we recognise that the delay in finding Gareth’s body has made it even harder for the family to come to terms with his dreadful death and we are truly sorry for that. ”I also appreciate the delay had some impact on the police investigation.

“Williams’ relatives left the hearing in tears after it was revealed MI6 had failed to realise he was missing. When police finally entered Williams’ flat in Pimlico, central London, they found his naked body padlocked in a red holdall placed in his bath. Police have been unable to establish a cause of death, though they have unearthed no proof that anyone was with him when he died.