- Murdered spook Gareth Williams could have helped to nail Russian spy beauty Anna Chapman. Detectives are looking into claims the MI6 code breaker was in the US when Chapman was uncovered in June…. However, investigators are meeting “resistance” from US and UK intelligence agencies….. a high-level source told the Daily Star Sunday: “Mr Williams’ work in America is forming part of the inquiry.
On August 23, 2010, Metro Police entered a well-appointed flat at 36 Alderney Street, in the heart of London. In the flat they found an ensuite bathroom, in the bathtub they found a padlocked bag, and in the bag they found the body of Gareth Wyn Williams.
Williams, a brilliant mathematician from Anglesey, Wales, worked in Cheltenham for GQHC, Britain’s domestic eavesdropping agency. He was living in London on a one-year secondment to MI6, Britiain’s Secret Intelligence Service, and the block of flats in which his body was discovered was an MI6 “safe house”.
A complete coverage of the mystery murder can be found on this blog!
(Guardian) Nov 11, 2010 – A contract killer has been dispatched to assassinate the Russian double agent who betrayed Anna Chapman and nine other spies in the United States this spring, according to reports in Moscow.
“We know who he is and where he is,” a high-ranking Kremlin source told the reputable Kommersant newspaper. “You can have no doubt – a Mercader has already been sent after him.” Ramón Mercader was the KGB-hired Spanish communist who was sent to kill Leon Trotsky with an icepick in Mexico in 1940.
The traitor was reportedly identified as a Colonel Shcherbakov, an officer of the SVR (foreign intelligence service) who headed the S directorate of the service’s US department, which controlled the ring of sleeper agents, including Chapman.
Shcherbakov is thought to have fled Russia three days before the president, Dmitry Medvedev, visited Barack Obama on 24 June, when the two leaders ate hamburgers together at a diner in Virginia.
“After that, the Americans, worried that we would suspect a betrayal and start pulling our agents from the US, began to arrest them,” said the Kremlin source.
The agents, who had been living apparently innocent suburban lives in New York, Arlington and elsewhere, were detained by the FBI in late June and convicted of conducting long-term “deep-cover” surveillance on behalf of Russia.
LONDON (NY Times) — Britain, home to the MI6 spy agency that inspired the James Bond stories and the billion-dollar film franchise, has been wrestling this week with one of the country’s strangest real-life spy mysteries in a generation.
An inquest held just across the Thames from MI6’s headquarters here has brought forth details of the bizarre and lonely death in August 2010 of Gareth Williams, a 31-year-old rising star in supersecret counterterrorism work. He was found in a fetal position, arms crossed on his chest, locked inside a duffel bag resting in an unfilled bathtub at the government flat assigned to him in the upscale Pimlico district of London.
His naked body had been in the bag for a week before it was discovered, so badly decomposed that the police and pathologists have been unable to determine whether he was murdered.
The Home Office pathologist Richard Shepherd said it was “more likely than not” that Williams was alive when he entered the bag, but it was “an extremely difficult call”.
The flat was owned by a company called New Rodina, registered in the British Virgin Islands, but the tenancy had been taken over by the secretary of state in 2003, the inquest heard.
The documents show the owner operated through a law firm called Park Nelson which occupied a rented office in Bell Yard, off Fleet Street, but no longer appears to exist.
New Rodina, which means “new home” or “new homeland” in Russian, is a familiar one for Russian speakers, and may have been part of an in-joke among GCHQ employees relocated to London. Typically, Russians who live abroad refer to their adopted country as a “new rodina”. “There is an element of joke in it. Russians like this kind of wordplay,” one Russian said.
(Independent) – All over the country, there are offices, schools, workshops, banks, pharmacies, IT departments and factories where the failure of a colleague to arrive at work and thus miss a scheduled meeting would arouse some immediate questions. Such as: “Where is he?”
But not at MI6, apparently. When Gareth Williams didn’t turn up at the office on 16 August 2010, there was not so much, initially, as an attempt to track him down, an inquiry of his family, or even a casual: “Strange, not like old Gareth to go Awol.”
Instead, within the Vauxhall Cross headquarters of these guardians of national security, there was a bewildering lack of curiosity about the whereabouts of this super-fit, “world-class” code-breaking mathematician who had been seconded to the service from GCHQ, Cheltenham, had just completed a course enabling him to carry out covert operations, was hardly ever late, never had a day off sick, and had a journey to work that was but 1.7 miles.
(Daily Mail) – Police chiefs apologised yesterday for `administrative errors’ during investigations into the mysterious death of an MI6 spy found in a holdall. Scotland Yard said it was responsible for giving a coroner three names for the same witness ahead of the inquest into the death of Gareth Williams.
When the hearing gets under way, Elizabeth Guthrie is expected to be questioned about her contact with Mr Williams in the months before his death in August 2010. Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox had told a pre-inquest review last week that `there has been some confusion’ over her identity.
The force had already revealed that a key line of its inquiries had been an 18-month DNA mix-up. Forensic teams mistakenly flagged up a spot of DNA on Mr Williams’s hand in 2010, before realising two weeks ago that it matched a scientist on the crime scene, the force told the review.