Gloucestershire Echo : GCHQ codebreaker Gareth Williams was 'murdered', believes author and MI6 operative Frederick Forsyth

Friday, September 25, 2015

GCHQ codebreaker Gareth Williams was 'murdered', believes author and MI6 operative Frederick Forsyth

By Corrie Bond-French | September 25, 2015

Internationally best-selling author and former MI6 operative Frederick Forsyth has revealed that he believes former GCHQ worker Gareth Williams' death was 'clearly murder'.

The author, famous for thrillers including The Day of The Jackal, The Odessa Files and Dogs of War, spoke to the Gloucestershire Echo's GL magazine in an exclusive interview ahead of his appearance at Cheltenham Literature Festival next Friday.

The death of Gareth Williams divided opinion after conflicting conclusions were drawn by the coroner and Scotland Yard.

The naked body of the 31-year-old codes and ciphers expert was found in a padlocked holdall in the bath of his top-floor flat in Pimlico, central London, on August, 23, 2010.

Agreeing that the unresolved case bore similarities to a fictional plot, Frederick Forsyth said: "It might have been, because obviously it was weird, and inexplicable, and I don't think we ever got to the bottom of it properly and we never will now.

"And occasionally murders, and it was clearly murder I think, but there are murders of course that are never ever solved and this may well be one."

Gareth, who was on secondment to MI6 from GCHQ, was due to return to Cheltenham the week after he died.

A coroner concluded that Williams was probably unlawfully killed and his death the result of a criminal act following an eight-day inquest in 2012,

Westminster coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox, said he was probably either suffocated or poisoned, before a third party locked and placed the bag in the bath.

But Scotland Yard's three-year inquiry concluding in 2013 stated that Williams was 'most probably' alone when he died.

The author and former journalist also spoke about his recent admission that he was an agent for the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, in the past.

"Well, it's called asset or agent but really it's errand runner. I just ran a few errands, that's all."

The author will make a rare appearance at Cheltenham Literature Festival on Friday, October 2. Read the full interview in this weekend's new GL magazine, free exclusively with the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen.