Inquest sees video of holdall with British spy's body
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Ceri Subbe, the sister of British MI6 agent Gareth Williams, leaves Westminster Coroner's Court with her husband Chris Subbe, in central London April 23, 2012. REUTERS photoAn inquest saw footage Tuesday of the locked red holdall containing the body of a British spy who was mysteriously found dead in his London home.
The coroner's court watched video of the flat where the naked and decomposing body of Gareth Williams, 31, was found in August 2010, leading to accusations from his family of a cover-up by someone versed in the "dark arts".
Williams was said to have been a brilliant codebreaker and was on secondment to Britain's external intelligence agency MI6 from GCHQ, the electronic "listening post" which monitors communications for intelligence purposes.
Video filmed by detectives showed an immaculately kept apartment with a woman's wig, lipstick and makeup visible, plus a cutting from the Observer newspaper headlined "Top five regrets of the dying".
After Williams' death, police found in the flat £20,000 (24,500 euros, $32,200) worth of women's clothes and shoes, many from designer labels, as well as a number of wigs.
The court also saw graphics recreating the position in which Williams was found, lying on his back with his knees drawn up to his chest inside the bag, which had been placed in a bathtub.
There were no signs of a struggle, police said.
Beneath Williams' body were two keys that could have opened the padlock with which the bag had been locked -- from the outside.
A dressing gown and quilt discarded on the bedroom floor were the only exceptions to the spotless tidiness of the flat, which bore no signs of a break-in.
Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire said these were "difficult to explain because of his general tidiness".
"In my opinion it was not something that was easily explainable," he added.
CCTV footage before his death showed Williams walking around upmarket areas of London, shopping in top department stores Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and looking relaxed.
The last clip of him alive dates from eight days before his body was found.
Williams's sister, Ceri Subbe, told the inquest Monday that Williams had spoken of "friction in the office" and had cut short his MI6 placement.
Scotland Yard detectives have found no evidence that anyone else was with Williams in the flat when he died, but have been stumped as to the cause of death.
A lawyer for the Williams family, Anthony O'Toole, said last month that they believe someone else was either present when he died, or broke into his home afterwards.
"The impression of the family is that the unknown third party was a member of some agency specialising in the dark arts of the secret services -- or evidence has been removed post-mortem by experts in the dark arts," he said.