M16 Officer Inquest Hears Claim of Third Party Role

The body of Mr. Williams, from Anglesey, London, was dead a week before he was found in his flat in 2010, padlocked inside a holdall duffel bag in his bathtub. His inquest is now weighing the evidence that a third party was involved in the death. The inquest was shown footage of two experts’ struggling unsuccessfully to lock themselves in a bag. Neither expert completely ruled out the possibility. These tests have addressed the crucial question of whether Mr. Williams, 31, could have locked himself in the holdall in his bath or if another person must have been involved.
Expert Peter Faulding told Mr. Williams’s inquest that he had tried and failed to lock the bag from inside 300 times. He told the court that Mr. Williams could not have gotten into the bag unaided without leaving marks and footprints, none of which were found at the scene. “I couldn’t say it’s impossible, but I think even Houdini would have struggled with this one,” he said. “My conclusion is that Mr. Williams was either placed in the bag unconscious, or he was dead before he was in the bag.”
Second expert William MacKay, who said his military career made him adept at working in confined spaces, told the inquest that locking the bag was a skill that would have required training but that once a person had done it, they could not get out. Mr. MacKay and an assistant failed 100 times to lock the bag from the inside and caused damage to the zip. Like Faulding, he did not claim that it was impossible, saying, “There are people around who can do amazing things and Mr. Williams may well have been one of those persons.”
Mr. Williams has been described as a “world class intelligence officer” by his former boss at the government listening agency GCHQ. It was stated at the inquest that at the time he was found dead he had been on a three-year secondment with MI6 in London and wanted to return to his role at GCHQ.

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