This Is Gloucestershire : GCHQ codebreaker death: Evidence may be heard in secret

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

GCHQ codebreaker death: Evidence may be heard in secret

January 31, 2012

AN inquest into the death of Cheltenham spy Gareth Williams will take place more than 18 months after his body was found locked in a bag in London.

The former GCHQ codebreaker, pictured, who was working for security service M16 while on secondment from the intelligence base, was found naked inside the bag on August 23, 2010, at his flat.

It is believed he had been dead for a week. Confirmation was given yesterday that a pre-inquest review will take place in London on March 29.

The Daily Mail has reported that a full inquest is expected to take place three weeks later.

The paper said the hearing is expected to call up to 40 of Mr Williams's colleagues from GCHQ and MI6 to give evidence, but it also reported that their testimony was likely to be heard in secret to protect their identities.

In February last year an inquiry into the 31-year-old's death was adjourned as Scotland Yard detectives waited for the results of a fresh round of forensic tests.

Counter-terrorism officers had interviewed in the region of 40 of the expert codebreaker's colleagues at GCHQ in Cheltenham as well as at MI6, Westminster Coroner's Court heard at the time.

They were said to have been passing on their findings to a team of investigators from the force's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, who are responsible for the inquiry.

The inquest heard that some or all of them could give evidence about Mr Williams.

He had been just days away from completing a one-year secondment from GCHQ to MI6 in the capital.

He had worked in Cheltenham for 10 years and rented a flat in Bouncers Lane.

A keen cyclist, he regularly rode with the Cheltenham and County Cycling Club.

Fellow club member Don Muir told the Echo people had an enormous amount of respect for Mr Williams as a cyclist.

Speaking to the paper shortly after the GCHQ worker's death, he said: "He has been involved with the club for around eight years, but only became a member in the past couple of years.

"He would turn up, take part in rides, and then go home.

"He didn't really get involved in the social side of the club.

"He took part in hill racing and time trials on the flat and he was good at both.

"It's really quite bizarre and shocking.

"A lot of people who ride with us work for GCHQ and as soon as we find out, we talk about something else because we know they can't speak about it."

There have been a number of conspiracy theories about Mr Williams's death.

Daily Post : Inquest into death of Anglesey MI6 spy Gareth Williams to take place in April

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Inquest into death of Anglesey MI6 spy Gareth Williams to take place in April

by Dan Beavan | DPW West | January 31, 2012

THE inquest into the death of MI6 spy Gareth Williams will take place in April.

Codebreaker Mr Williams, 31, from Valley, Anglesey, was found dead locked in a sports bag at his central London flat in August 2010.

A major investigation by the Metropolitan Police has failed to establish what led to his death.

Now Westminster Coroner’s Court has said that a pre-inquest review will take place on March 29, with a full inquest to follow three weeks later.

The inquest is expected to last four days.

It will be held by Westminster coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox at Horseferry Road Coroner’s Court in London.

The review will establish who will give evidence and also in what form, with some evidence given “in camera” to protect the identities of Mr Williams’ former colleagues at MI6.

Former Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern pupil Mr Williams was a gifted mathematician who attained a first class degree in maths aged just 17.

He began work at the Government Communications HQ in Cheltenham before being seconded to MI6 for a year.

His death attracted worldwide attention and huge speculation over how he died and if it was linked to his work as a spy with MI6 or his private life.