ITN : Mass DNA screenings planned for MI6

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mass DNA screenings planned for MI6

© REUTERS | May 8, 2012

Britain's top police officer has warned MI6 it is not above the law as he revealed proposals for mass DNA screenings in the long-running investigation into the death of spy Gareth Williams.

Scotland Yard's Commissioner said an independent forensics review will form a central part of fresh efforts to solve the 21-month inquiry into how the codebreaker's body ended up in a holdall.

Bernard Hogan-How has been angered by the "unacceptable" breakdown in communication between the security services and the police, which saw evidence fail to come to the senior investigating officer until last week at an inquest.

He said mass screening in the case would be carried out on a "voluntary" basis.

Following the inquest into Gareth Williams' death, members of the secret services have come under fresh scrutiny.

Giving her verdict at the inquest last week, coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said the 31-year-old was probably killed and it "remained a legitimate line of inquiry" that the secret services may have been involved in the death.

But inquiries have yet to yield a culprit, with forensic experts still hoping for a breakthrough from DNA tests on a green towel discovered in his kitchen.