Gareth Williams Death: Bernard Hogan-Howe Warns MI6 Officers 'They Are Not Above The Law'

08/05/2012 13:52 | Updated 08 May 2012

Britain's top police officer has warned MI6 they are not above the law as he revealed proposals for mass DNA screenings in the long-running Gareth Williams investigation.

Bernard Hogan-Howe has also told detectives to deal directly with the intelligence agency in a break with tradition at the Metropolitan Police.

Homicide detectives were previously forced to involve counter-terror colleagues in a bid to obtain statements and evidence from MI6.

But Mr Hogan-Howe was angered by the "unacceptable" breakdown in communication which saw evidence fail to come to the senior investigating officer until last week at an inquest.

When asked what powers he had to ensure MI6 co-operated, he told reporters: "It's the law."

He said mass screening in the case would be carried out on a "voluntary" basis.

Mr Hogan-Howe said forensics firm LGC, which was responsible for a mix-up early in the investigation, would not be in charge of the review.

But he said: "This is not about criticising the forensic system."

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire, who has led the investigation since the body was found in August 2010, is likely to pass on the case to a colleague as she is being promoted.

But inquiries have yet to yield a culprit, with forensic experts still hoping for a breakthrough from DNA tests on a green towel discovered in his kitchen.

Mr Williams, a fitness enthusiast originally from Anglesey, North Wales, was found in the bag in his flat in Pimlico, central London.

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