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Coroner unable to return 'unlawful killing' verdict in British spy inquest

The body of Gareth Williams, 31, was found stuffed into a gym bag in his London home.

Police at outside Gareth Williams's apartment in Pimlico.
Police at outside Gareth Williams's apartment in Pimlico.
Image: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

THE CORONER at an inquest into the death of an MI6 worker has said she cannot return a verdict of unlawful killing due to the lack of evidence to support that verdict.

Gareth Williams, 31, was a codes and cypher analyst who worked for MI6.

In August 2010, his naked body was discovered in a gym bag in the bath of his apartment in Pimlico, London. He had died days before his remains were discovered.

Earlier this week, his inquest heard that police detectives investigating the crime had not been aware of memory sticks or a holdall which were found among his possessions by Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service.

A counter-terrorism officer was appointed to act as a liaison between the SIS and Scotland Yard during the investigation. The Guardian reports that the coroner accused the officer of not being completely impartial to the SIS in deciding not to inform the police that SIS had discovered the memory sticks.

No one has been arrested in connection with the death, though police they believe that at least one other person was involved in the death.

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Coroner Fiona Wilcox said today that she plans to offer a “narrative verdict”, which is given in cases where there is no clear evidence of natural causes, suicide or unlawful killing.

BBC Correspondent Danny Shaw tweeted that Wilcox said an open verdict would not do justice to the case.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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