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Mystery of unknown duo in dead MI6 spy Gareth Williams' flat

By Tom Morgan and Rosa Silverman

The MI6 spy Gareth Williams would have suffocated within three minutes after getting inside his sports holdall, the inquest into his death heard yesterday. Poisoning and asphyxiation are the “foremost contenders” for cause of death, pathologists said.

It also emerged that scientists found traces of “at least” two unknown people in his flat in Pimlico, central London, despite witness testimony that Mr Williams rarely invited people over.

Ros Hammond, a forensics expert, said there were hopes of a breakthrough “within a matter of weeks” from DNA tests on a green towel discovered in his kitchen. “There is certainly evidence of at least two people other than Mr Williams on the samples tested,” she told the Westminster Coroner's Court.

Mr Williams (31) was probably either suffocated or killed by a poison which disappeared in his system during decomposition, said the pathologist, Dr Benjamin Swift.

Dr Swift said his examination was hampered by levels of heat within the bag after radiators were mysteriously turned on in Mr Williams's top-floor apartment in the middle of summer.

Dr Swift said poisoning or asphyxiation such as suffocation were “probably rather than possibly” to blame.

Another pathologist, Richard Shepherd, said it was “more likely (Mr Williams) was alive when he entered the bag than that he was dead”.

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