Police refuse to comment on suspicions surrounding spy's death

Police today refused to comment on a report that a spy found dead in a holdall could not have died alone.



Gareth Williams, 31, was on secondment at the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, from GCHQ in Cheltenham, when he was found dead last month.



His naked body was discovered in a padlocked North Face holdall placed in the bath of his flat in Pimlico, London.



Mystery surrounds his death and police continue to investigate. They regard the case as "suspicious and unexplained".



Today's Daily Mail said police were certain he was padlocked into the large holdall by someone else.



It said he was alive when he got into, or was forced into, the bag, and died from suffocation.



There have previously also been reports elsewhere that Mr Williams died alone.



Scotland Yard declined to comment on the new claim, or a suggestion in the same story that the outer door of Mr Williams' Government flat in Pimlico, central London, had been locked from the outside.



The Yard has previously announced that it wants to identify a man and woman, both of Mediterranean appearance and aged between 20 and 30, who were let into the communal entrance of his flat late one evening in June or July.



The Mail reported that they are understood to have had a set of keys to the flat, though again the Yard had no comment.



The report comes a day after Mr Williams' funeral in North Wales.



The head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, made the journey from London to the small Bethel Methodist Chapel in Anglesey to support Mr Williams' family and represent the maths genius's colleagues who could not attend.



Outside church, when asked if the investigation would ever get to the bottom of what happened to Mr Williams, Sir John said it was not for him to say.



He insisted it was a police matter and said: "It has been a desperately sad period for the family since Gareth died.



"It has been very difficult for them and I wanted to be here today as the only public face of the Secret Intelligence Service.



"My deepest sympathies go to the family.



"Gareth was a hugely talented person and he was very modest and generous as well.



"He did really valuable work with us in the cause of national security."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before