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Body in the bag MI6 spy Gareth Williams and his mystery links to Kazakh oligarch
Gareth Williams 'in contact with Furkat Ibragimov, son of Kazakh billionaire'Ibragimov's father involved in oil and mining and in world's top 400 richest
Police 'probing claims Williams could have been asked to befriend Ibragimov'
Codebreaker mysteriously found dead in central London flat in August 2010
17:50 GMT, 30 December 2012
The 31-year-old MI6 spy found dead inside a locked bag in his flat was in contact with a Kazakh oligarch’s son before his mysterious death, it was claimed today.
Gareth Williams – whose naked and decomposing body was found in August 2010 in Pimlico, central London – was allegedly in touch with Furkat Ibragimov, 25, the son of a billionaire from Kazakhstan.
Police are said to be probing their relationship amid claims that Mr Williams could have been encouraged by British intelligence forces to befriend Mr Ibragimov in the months before he died.
Links: Furkat Ibragimov, who invests in oil, had a mutual friend with Gareth Williams (left) of Missa Elizabeth Guthrie (right), daughter of a US tycoon
Officers have re-questioned Mr
Williams’s friends and family, reported The Sunday Telegraph. It was
also revealed today that the spy was engaged in more MI6 field work than
Tycoon: Alijan Ibragimoy of Kazakhstan is one of the world's 400 richest people
There is no suggestion Mr Ibragimov –
whose father Alijan is one of the world’s 400 richest people – played a
part in the death. But it’s not known whether detectives have yet spoken
to father or son.
Alijan Ibragimov is known in
Kazakhstan as part of the ‘Trio’, along with business partners Alexander
Mashkevich and Patokh Chodiev, who are behind an empire of oil, gas,
mining and banking.
His London-based son Furkat Ibragimov,
who invests in oil, had a mutual friend with Mr Williams of Missa
Elizabeth Guthrie, daughter of a US tycoon. She befriended the spy in
the year before he died.
Miss Guthrie had shared a flat with Mr Williams’s school friend Sian Lloyd-Jones, a fashion stylist.
Secret court papers revealed that
Furkat Ibragimov and Miss Guthrie were friends and business partners –
and that she allegedly asked Mr Williams if he could make a fake
Locked: Mr Williams's body was found inside a red North Face holdall similar to this one
But she told the inquest into Mr
William’s death that he had ‘never mentioned’ Mr Ibragimov,
reported The Sunday Telegraph. Last week police claimed the spy probably locked himself inside the bag.
The inquest found he
could have been the victim of foul play, as the coroner expressed doubts
that he could have locked the bag himself.
However, investigators discovered that it is possible to lock the type
of holdall he was found in from the inside, and now say it is likely
that no one else was involved in Mr Williams' death.
Coroner Fiona Wilcox ruled earlier
this year that it was unlikely Mr Williams could have locked himself
into the holdall which contained his body and whose keys were also
locked inside the bag.
Experts testified that they had tried
to lock themselves inside the bag more than 400 times, and said even
famed escapologist Harry Houdini would have had difficulty doing so.
But just a few days after Dr Wilcox
delivered her verdict, a retired sergeant revealed that the feat was
possible, casting doubt on the assertion that someone else must
have been involved in the death.
Investigation: Police have denied that foul play was responsible for the codebreaker's death
Police refined the experiment to
mirror the exact way the bag had been locked – and agreed that Mr
Williams could have secured the holdall himself, reported the Daily
The mysterious circumstances
surrounding Mr Williams's death sparked speculation that he could have
been assassinated by the security services.
His MI6 colleagues did not report him
missing for a week, and failed to hand over key evidence from their
office, which raised concerns that there could have been a cover-up.
However, others pointed to an apparent interest in bondage and cross-dressing as a more likely explanation for his death.
Mr Williams was once found by his
landlord tied to his own bed wearing only underwear, while he apparently
kept 20,000 worth of women's clothes in his flat.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘This
remains an active investigation and officers continue to explore a
number of lines of inquiry.
'Officers retain an open mind in relation to
the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Williams.'
Mr Ibragimov was abroad and could not be reached. Miss Guthrie was unavailable for comment.