MI6 officers could face DNA screening

Scotland Yard has ordered a forensic review and raised the possibility of a mass DNA screening of MI6 officers in a renewed effort to discover how the body of the codebreaker Gareth Williams was found padlocked inside a bag in his bath in 2010.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said yesterday that an independent forensic science expert would be brought in to examine the evidence. The private forensics company that is still working on the case had to apologise for a blunder that led investigators down the wrong path for more than a year.

Mr Hogan-Howe also said that the force would change the way it interviewed secret service officials after a senior policeman who acted as a go-between with MI6 failed to pass on key information. Nine memory sticks belonging to Mr Williams, 31, and a bag of the same make in which he was found were handed to police only last week.

Mr Hogan-Howe said it was "unacceptable" that the senior investigating officer (SIO) had not been told about the evidence. "In the future, I expect the SIO to have direct access to all witnesses and evidence without the counter-terrorist squad being in between them."