Mystery behind death of British spy deepens
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 26, 2010, 20:40
  
London: British intelligence officers are investigating whether any state secrets were stolen by killer of a British spy, Gareth Williams, whose body was found in a sports bag in the bath of his flat.

Gareth Williams' decomposing remains were found by police stuffed inside a holdall on Monday.

His body may have lain undiscovered for up to a fortnight. He was a cipher and codes specialist on secondment to the Secret Intelligence Service from the British Intelligence Service's Headquarters listening station, and often took his work home.

He was on annual leave and scheduled to resume duty on September 3, police said. Security services fear that his murderer could have taken classified material - possibly held on a laptop or MP3 player - which could be sold on to Britain's enemies.

The partially decomposed body of the talented 31-year-old loner was discovered in his top-floor flat at a Georgian townhouse in Pimlico, central London.

Detectives yesterday spent a second day in the two-bedroom flat - believed to be one of several 'safe houses' in that area used by Mi6, the British Intelligence Agency, looking for clues and trying to check if anything was missing.

A security source told the Daily Mail "Whatever the motives for this killing, there is the strong likelihood that items will have been taken and that is potentially a real problem because it may be difficult identifying exactly what he had at home.

"With much of the focus of Mi6 on the terror posed by fanatics linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, one theory was that Williams had been targeted because of his work.

In the flat, a mobile telephone and a collection of SIM cards had been carefully laid out - in what was described as a bizarre ritualistic scene - and officers are researching each number called.

Police said the results of a post-mortem examination were inconclusive. Meanwhile toxicology tests have been ordered to see if Williams had been poisoned.

Another possibility is that he was smothered or strangled before being bundled into the bag.

But speculation that he had been stabbed or even dismembered was discounted by police sources.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, August 26, 2010, 20:40


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