Perth Now : Spy in bag reportedly had mysterious links to Kazakh oil oligarch

Monday, December 31, 2012

Spy in bag reportedly had mysterious links to Kazakh oil oligarch

December 31, 2012

THE MI6 code breaker who was found dead inside a sport's bag in a London flat had reportedly been in contact with the son of a Kazakh oil oligarch.

Police in the UK are investigating Gareth Williams' contact with Furkat Ibragimov, the son of a Kazakh billionaire, in the months leading up to his death Britain's Daily Telegraph reports.

The 25 year old is one of four sons of oil baron Alijan Ibragimov, listed in the 400 richest people in the world, and lives in London where he has invested millions in oil and a health drink company. Just how they met and if Mr Ibragimov knew Mr Williams worked for MI6 is not known, though the pair are thought to have a mutual friend in Miss Elizabeth Guthrie.

Miss Guthrie met Mr Williams in the last year of his life and shared a flat with his old school friend, she is also said to be close with Mr Ibragimov and calls him 'Shark', The Telegraph reported.

News of a new police investigation into the 31-year-old's death comes just days after a Scotland Yard review of the case found he most likely locked himself in the bag where his body was found. A fresh investigation came after Westminster Coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, said earlier this year she could not rule out the involvement of the security services in the death.

Witnesses at the coronial inquest were questioned about any possible link between Mr Williams and Mr Ibragimov.

Miss Guthrie told the coroner that Mr Williams "never mentioned" Mr Ibragimov to her.

But a MI6 officer who gave evidence behind a screen and was identified only as F, refused to answer when asked if Mr Williams knew or was in contact with anyone from the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan where Mr Ibragimov's father was born. F said she was unable to provide answers to those questions on security grounds.

The Telegraph also reports that Williams was involved in field activities with MI6 and there are suggestions he may have been followed after meeting with undercover agents for the intelligence service.

MI6 is fully co-operating with this new investigation after it was criticised for failing to pass on vital information into previous probes and witnesses, friends and acquaintances have been re-interviewed.

Photographs, videos and outfits kept in the MI6-owned flat said to be related to Mr Williams' supposed interest in bondage are being re-examined to see if they were staged.

"This remains an active investigation and officers continue to explore a number of lines of inquiry. Officers retain an open mind in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Williams," a Scotland Yard spokesperson said.