The Telegraph reports, however:
Police are now examining Gareth Williams’s relationship with Furkat Ibragimov, whose father is a billionaire from Kazakhstan, in the months before the spy’s body was found in an MI6-owned flat.
The disclosure raises fresh questions over the death of Williams and what he was doing in his work for British intelligence and whether he had been encouraged by MI6 to develop a connection with the oligarch’s son.
It is one of a series of key new facts uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph which include how:
• Williams was involved in field activities for the intelligence services and was more than just the computer analyst he had been portrayed as;
• One theory is that Williams may have been followed from secret meetings with undercover MI6 agents;
• MI6 is now fully co-operating with the police inquiry after criticism of its failure to do so initially;
• Police have re-interviewed every one of his friends and acquaintances in the hunt for clues to his bizarre death;
• The mystery couple seen near his flat, who were the subject of the police investigation for months, far from being an assassination squad, were, in fact, trying to find a pizza party in a neighbouring property.
The disclosure of the relationship with Mr Ibragimov, whose father is listed as among the 400 richest people in the world, comes after an exhaustive search by police for answers into how Mr Williams – a GCHQ computer expert on secondment to MI6 – came to die.
His naked body was found locked inside a red North Face bag in the bath of his flat in Pimlico, central London, in August 2010.
An inquest failed to uncover how he had died and left open the possibility that he had been murdered and that his death might have been connected to his intelligence role.
The coroner ruled that the cause of his death was “unnatural and likely to have been criminally mediated” and that she was “satisfied that on the balance of probabilities that Gareth was killed unlawfully”.
A fresh police investigation was ordered in the wake of the inquest, leading to the new leads. Detectives have not ruled out the possibility that the spy was murdered.
... Mr Ibragimov’s father and his partners are the major shareholders in the London-based Eurasian National Resources Corporation (ENRC), which controls mines in Kazakhstan, Africa, Eastern Europe and Africa. In 2009, ENRC reported profits of more than £900 million.
Mr Ibragimov senior was ranked at 382 on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, with an estimated worth of £1.73 billion, and has homes which include a secluded estate on Lake Zurich in Switzerland.
His son controls an investment portfolio called Glendesk Overseas based in the British Virgin Islands, and with his brothers Davron and Dostan, is also overseeing the construction of the first motor racing circuit in Kazakhstan, where they, and the country’s controversial ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, hope to stage Formula One racing.