UK 'spy': Murder probe launched

2010-08-25 16:12

kalahari.com

London – Detectives searching for a missing British spy said on Wednesday they had launched a murder investigation after a body matching the man's description was discovered stuffed in a bag in his apartment near the headquarters of the MI6 spy agency.

British authorities who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation said the body of the man in his 30s was found in the bathroom on Monday.

Scotland Yard refused to say whether there were signs of a struggle or how the man may have been killed, but said suicide had been ruled out. An autopsy and formal identification was expected later on Wednesday.

The man had been working for MI6 on temporary assignment from GCHQ, Britain's eavesdropping agency, said several British officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

They all declined to say exactly what work the man was doing or how long he had been employed with the government, but officials said initial indications did not suggest his death was related to his job, or national security issues.

Neighbour Rob Mills, a 35-year-old who lives two doors away from where the body was found, said people in the expensive London neighbourhood of Pimlico knew little about the victim or his work.

"It's not like you'd tell your neighbours if you were a spy," he said.

Police cordoned off the area on Wednesday and were restricting access to residents, some of whom said they were told by investigators that the man could have been killed two weeks ago. Scotland Yard refused to confirm.

Windows always shut

"His windows were always shut and curtains were often closed," said neighbour Laura Houghton, 30. "I could never tell if anyone was in. It was strange that we never saw him come and go."

Houghton said the man was friendly and spoke with a Welsh accent.

Britain has been known as a den of spy activity since the Cold War. About 2 500 British intelligence specialists work for MI6, around 5 200 for GCHQ and 3 500 for the country's domestic security agency, MI5.

The Russians are thought to have hundreds of agents in London.

In 2006, the world was gripped by the story of the poisoning death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who wasted away in a London hospital after ingesting a radioactive substance. On his deathbed, Litvinenko blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning.

His death harkened back to the notorious 1978 killing of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov who died of blood poisoning after he was stabbed with an umbrella at a London bus stop. The tip of the umbrella was said to contain poison.

The largest spy swap since the Cold War made headlines last month when four people convicted of betraying Moscow for the West were pardoned in exchange for 10 Russian agents who had infiltrated suburban America. Two of them were flown to Britain.

Last month, a 21-year-old was arrested in connection with a parcel bomb being sent to MI6's fortress-like headquarters near the River Thames but authorities said on Wednesday it appeared that incident was unrelated to the discovery of the body.
- AP
Read more on:    uk  |  espionage
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be in the mood to philosophize and socialize and expand your mind on various discussions and group activities. You could...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.