UKPA : MI6 accused over spy case evidence

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

MI6 accused over spy case evidence

May 1, 2012

MI6 was accused of failing to disclose evidence during the 21-month police inquiry into the death riddle of spy Gareth Williams whose body was found in a central London flat.

A detective faced claims he offered information as "helpful as London pea souper" after it emerged secret services held on to nine computer memory sticks and a black bag.

As a coroner ordered police to bring the missed evidence into the inquest of Mr Williams' death, family barrister Anthony O'Toole told police they had not taken the incident seriously enough.

The North Face bag - similar to the one which Mr Williams was found dead in at his flat - was discovered by officers under the spy's desk at MI6's HQ.

But the lead detective on the case was only told about it on Monday after officers were stopped from seizing it in August 2010.

MI6 also examined computer equipment belonging to Mr Williams without telling police, the inquest heard.

Family members of Mr Williams shook their heads as Detective Constable Colin Hall, of the force's counter-terror SO15 branch, said his search of the agent's Vauxhall HQ was called off shortly after the spy was found dead.

Mr Hall said "there was stuff in there of a sensitive nature" in the bag but, when asked what, he said he could not remember.

Mr O'Toole added: "That's about as helpful as London pea souper."

The 31-year-old fitness enthusiast was found naked, curled up in a padlocked holdall in the bath of his flat in Pimlico on August 23 2010, with pathologists saying poisoning and asphyxiation are the "foremost contenders" in solving the death riddle.

Copyright © 2012 The Press Association. All rights reserved.