Gareth Williams, the MI6 spy who was found dead in a padlocked holdall in his bath, was “exterminated” by Russia because he refused to become a double agent and knew the identity of a Russian spy working inside GCHQ, it has been claimed.
The codebreaker, who was found dead in his Pimlico, London, home in August 2010, had been a cipher expert at GCHQ but was on secondment to MI6 when he died.
A corner ruled in 2012 that Williams' death was likely a “criminally mediated” unlawful killing, though it was “unlikely” to be satisfactorily explained. Police suggested the death was accidental and said they found "little evidence of foul play", however, they acknowledged there had been a host of theories from assassination to sexual adventure gone awry.
The Mirror reports that defector Boris Karpichkov, 56, now claims intelligence sources in Russia have admitted the MI6 spy was killed by the SVR (formally known as the KGB).
Karpichkov, 56, told the newspaper that the SVR attempted to recruit Williams as a double agent, allegedly using details from the Briton’s private life as leverage.
At the time of his death Williams owned £20,000 worth of women’s designer clothing, a wig and make up. It had been suggested that the 31-year-old dressed as a woman in his private life, however, a forensics expert has since said they believe the spy likely worked undercover as a woman.
Karpichkov, who is ex-KGB, claims the SVR had threatened to expose Williams' fondness for cross-dressing, before Williams in turn revealed he knew the identity of the person who had “tipped the Russians off” about him.
The Mirror quotes Karpichkov as saying: "Williams did not break down when confronted.
"But he recklessly said he knew the person who had tipped the Russians off about him.
"The SVR then had no alternative but to exterminate him in order to protect their agent inside GCHQ."
Karpichkov, who also used to live in the Pimlico area, said he had seen Russian diplomatic cars in the area around the time of Williams’ death but had assumed they had been sent to monitor him.
Karpichkov further claimed in the report that Williams was killed by an untraceable poison which was pushed into his ear using a needleless syringe. He was then bundled into a bag because his murderers could not dispose of the body, he said.