Lawyer alleges MI6 withheld data in spy’s death

Gareth WilliamsBy IAN ALLEN | |
A lawyer representing the family of an MI6 employee found dead in his London apartment in 2010, has accused the British intelligence agency of deliberately withholding evidence from police investigating his death. The allegation was made on Tuesday morning at the Coroner’s Court in Westminster, London, during an official inquest into the death of Gareth Williams, a mathematician in the employment of Britain’s signals intelligence agency, GCHQ. A few years ago, Williams was seconded to MI6, Britain’s external intelligence agency, to help automate intelligence collection. He had also worked with several United States agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. But his career came to an abrupt end in 2010; on August 23, he was found dead in a padlocked sports bag at his home in Pimlico, London. The bizarre murder case, which has preoccupied British media for 21 months, took a new twist this week, after it was revealed in open court that MI6 had failed to share nine computer memory sticks with officers of the London Metropolitan Police, who were investigating Williams’ death. It was also revealed that MI6 did not allow the Met to handle the case, due to its alleged sensitivity. Instead, MI6 asked for the force’s Counter-Terrorism Command (also known as SO15 Branch), whose officers have security clearances, to act as a go-between linking MI6 with the police. Government witnesses also disclosed that MI6 had searched the memory sticks without telling the police, and that it had failed to share with detectives a detailed list of Williams’ possessions. Speaking during the inquest, London Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Jakcie Sebire, who is leading the investigation into Williams’ death, said she did not know about the MI6 infractions. She told the court that it was the first time she was hearing about the withheld digital storage media, and added that her office had been kept in the dark about several other pieces of evidence until last month. Responding to the revelations, Anthony O’Toole QC, who represents the dead man’s family, accused the Metropolitan Police of having failed to take Williams’ death seriously enough. In early April, the Metropolitan Police admitted that “administrative errors” led to the coroner in charge of the case being given three different names for a witness, and as a result “there had been some confusion” over the person’s identity. The inquest continues.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

4 Responses to Lawyer alleges MI6 withheld data in spy’s death

  1. Kidd says:

    16 didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag

  2. LenM says:

    I would assume the Police would realise some scrubbing would take place?
    AND I can understand that 6 wouldn’t trust CONFIDENTIAL data in a Police lock up?!

    Only thing that DOES surprise me is that there isn’t closer collaboration, AND that I’m reading about all of this… Surely a tighter lid should’ve been kept all of this?

  3. what makes me angry, is that mr williams family are going out of their way to attack MI6 !
    but have forgotten just what the role of a MI6 -agent involves ! lets face facts -it is not a employment that like mine has lots of health and safety warnings !
    we are going through very dangerous times -people who want to attack our country-MI6 are out there looking after our very lives – 24-7- it does not help our security services to protect our realm -with family-and media -going through every aspect of mr williams death,
    gareth knew what could happen -so should you ! james ferguson . A spooks watcher !

  4. Mel says:

    I agree Kidd, are they hiding something?

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