An MI6 employee who was found murdered in his London flat this week may have been killed up to two weeks ago, according to security sources investigating the case.
The body of Gareth Williams was found in a flat in Pimlico, in the centre of the capital, on Monday after he had been missing for at least 10 days. A Home Office post-mortem failed to find a cause of death, with news agencies reporting the examination showed no evidence he had been stabbed, contrary to earlier reports
Mr Williams, a Cambridge graduate and keen cyclist, had been employed by the GCHQ “listening post” in Cheltenham and was recently on secondment to MI6, whose headquarters are half a mile from where he was found dead.
As the Metropolitan police continued its investigation into the murder of Mr Williams, 30, detectives appeared to be following trails relating to his personal circumstances rather than his work at MI6 and GCHQ.
Security sources noted the investigation into his death was being conducted by the Homicide and Serious Crime Command of the Met, which routinely investigates murder.
They said a murder investigation following trails relating to Mr Williams’ secret work would probably have been conducted by the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command, which took over the work of Special Branch four years ago.
He is understood to have been relatively junior and there is not thought to have been any security breach related to his work.
It was reported that Land Registry documents show the block in which Mr Williams died is owned by a private company, New Rodina – “motherland” in Russian. Its details are hidden because the company is registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Mr Williams’ death is the first murder on British soil of someone linked to the secret services since the killing of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. The former KGB officer died after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210.