British police probe death of 'spy' in London

26th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

British police were investigating Wednesday the suspicious death of a man in London who was reportedly a spy working for the foreign intelligence agency MI6.

Detectives said the body of the Gareth Williams, 30, was found on Monday in the top-floor flat of an upmarket building within walking distance of the MI6 headquarters on the River Thames.

His decomposing remains were found stuffed in a bag in the bath of the property, where they were thought to have lain for up to a fortnight, reports said.

A post-mortem examination late Wednesday failed to establish a cause of death and further tests will now take place, police said. News media reported there was no evidence he had been stabbed, contradicting earlier reports.

According to The Sun newspaper, Williams had worked for GCHQ, the government's communication monitoring centre, but was on secondment with MI6. The report said his body was found in a suitcase in the bathroom.

The victim's mobile phone and a number of SIM cards were carefully laid out elsewhere in the flat, according to a separate report in the Daily Mail.

"Officers from the homicide and serious crime command are investigating, and are treating this as a suspicious and unexplained death," said a statement from London's Metropolitan Police.

Police said they visited the flat in Westminster after reports that the occupant had not been seen for some time.

The road remained cordoned off Wednesday and curtains were drawn in the flat where the body was believed to have been found.

Eileen Booth, 73, who lives opposite the building where the body was found, said detectives had been visiting neighbours as part of their investigation, adding: "They said this probably happened two weeks ago."

© 2010 AFP

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