UKPA : MI6 spy 'used another name'

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MI6 spy 'used another name'

April 25, 2012

The MI6 spy whose body was found in a padlocked hold-all in his bathtub in London sometimes went by a name other than Gareth Williams, his inquest has heard.

But his mystery second identity was not revealed as the coroner cut short the line of questioning to a friend of the 31-year-old.

Elizabeth Guthrie was asked by Mr Williams's family lawyer Anthony O'Toole whether the spy had told her he "sometimes used another name", to which she replied "yes". She also revealed that Mr Williams had used a number of different phones to call her. "He wouldn't always call me from one number and he had brought various phones around," she said. "It was different numbers coming in and calling me that turned out to be Gareth's voice."

Mr Williams's body was found in his Pimlico flat in London in August 2010 but, 20 months on, the circumstances of his death remain a riddle.

When police entered his home, they found some £20,000-worth of expensive women's clothing and shoes, the inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court has heard. Ms Guthrie said she and Mr Williams had been planning to attend a fancy dress ball together, dressed as luridly-coloured Manga characters.

Asked if her friend had ever expressed an interest in cross-dressing, Ms Guthrie said: "Nothing of a sexual bent but we were going to a fancy dress ball together. He was going as a ninja, not as a queen." Asked about his sexuality, she said: "I have a personal view that he was straight."

Questions were also raised about whether Mr Williams's work computer could have been tampered with by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) after the spy's body was discovered. The electronic equipment was handed to Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, SO15, on August 27 - four days after his death came to light, the inquest heard.

But Mr O'Toole noted there was not "any statement from any person at GCHQ to say that equipment was not tampered with" in the interim period.

Superintendent Michael Broster, who was responsible for SO15's involvement in the investigation, said Mr Williams's workplace had been "sealed and taped". He went on: "I can't testify absolutely it wasn't interfered with. However I've no reason to suspect that it was." He told the court he had not established any link between Mr Williams's work and his death. "There's no link between his work and his death that I've been privy to," he said.

He was asked how it could have been leaked to the press that Mr Williams's home computer showed he had visited websites about claustrophilia - the love of enclosure - and bondage and sadomasochism. Mr Broster said he did not know how this had happened.

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