Session 1. Monday Morning, April 23, 2012

SESSION 1. Monday Morning, April 23, 2012
CORONER: Fiona Wilcox
9:27@skynewsgathererCoroner resumes inquest into death of MI6 code breaker Gareth Williams
9:28@skymartinbruntCoroner expresses sympathy to family and says they are still grieving
9:28@skynewsgathererCoroner Fiona Wilcox allows tweeting - just as long it doesn't cause distraction
9:30@skymartinbruntfamily lawyer says happy to have Mr Williams referred to as Gareth
9:31@skynewsgathererCoroner outlining her role and how evidence will be submitted and tested
9:31@skynewsgathererNo evidence will be taken in closed hearing says coroner
9:31@skymartinbruntCoroner says four questions to be answered....who died where when and how
9:32@skymartinbruntCoroner says it was highly controversial death
9:33@skymartinbruntCoroner says there will be no evidence in secret
9:33@skynewsgathererDue to nature of Gareth Williams work - some witnesses will be giving evidence anonymously
9:34@skymartinbruntsome identities will be hidden
9:36@skymartinbruntFamily don't oppose anonymity of some witnesses says coroner
9:36@skynewsgathererThree witnesses - named only as K, F and G, will give evidence from behind a screen
9:38@skymartinbruntCoroner giving judgement on application for anonymity of some witnesses
9:39@skymartinbruntApplication for witness anonymity signed by Foreign Secretary William Hague
9:40@skymartinbruntCoroner says she has to consider risks to national security
9:41@skymartinbruntAnonymity granted to three witnesses
9:42@skymartinbruntRisk of harm to national security outweighs public interest says coroner
9:45@skymartinbruntCoroner says some evidence will be excluded because of real risk to. national security and international relations
9:46@skymartinbruntExcluded evidence is of only marginal significance to inquest says coroner
9:48@skynewsgathererMedia lawyer now addressing the court. She represents main broadcasters and five newspapers
9:50@skymartinbruntMedia lawyer says death raises many issues about work of intel services
9:53@skymartinbruntMedia lawyer asking for release of exhibits and documents when they are shown to the inquest
9:55@skynewsgathererLawyer argues that exhibits must be released to media to allow information to be reported to wider public
10:24@skynewsgathererBarrister representing media at Gareth Williams inquest has finished her submission to allow release of exhibits
10:32@skymartinbruntMet Police barrister says the difficult and sensitive case may result in criminal proceedings as he argues over release of docs
10:43@skynewsgathererMet Police lawyer says there has to be a balance between open justice on one hand and active investigation on the other
10:47@skymartinbruntForensic scientist who demonstrated getting into a sports hold all does not want video released to media after shown in court
10:49@skymartinbruntCoroner says video was made to avoid live court demonstration which would be "ridiculous."
10:51@skymartinbruntThe bag expert does not want his identity shown in media
10:53@skynewsgathererDolce and Gabbana have objected to CCTV of Gareth Williams in their shop being released to the media
10:58@skynewsgathererOfficer who demonstrated how Gareth Williams could have locked himself into a hold all has asked for video not to be released
11:02@skymartinbruntFamily worried about public release of reconstruction video which would be upsetting
11:06@skymartinbruntFamily don't want anything published "to impede somebody hopefully being brought to account."
11:09@skymartinbruntFamily insist no images to be released of Mr Williams after his death and acknowledges media haven't asked for them
11:15@skymartinbruntCoroner says bag reconstruction is expert evidence of what might have happened if Me Williams was alone
11:21@skymartinbruntCoroner says in principle all video and docs will be released to media, but she will have final say in each case in disputes
11:23@skymartinbruntCoroner taking 5 min break to consider media release of exhibits. Evidence shld begin after that
11:38@skynewsgathererCoronor rules that exhibits can be released to the media providing there are no objections
11:38@skymartinbruntCoroner says all docs will be released unless disputed and she will make a decision
11:39@skynewsgathererInquest into death of Gareth Williams finally getting underway after lengthy legal proceedings
WITNESS: Barry May
11:41@skynewsgathererCoroner's office manager Barry May tells court Gareth Williams was found dead in padlocked hold all in the bath
11:43@skynewsgathererStatement from sister Ceri Subbe now being read to inquest. Gareth was cycling fan and a fell runner. He loved mountains
11:45@skynewsgathererInquest hearing how Gareth loved cinema and 'adored' music. He also liked fashion and had attended two courses
11:46@skynewsgathererSister describes Gareth as 'perfect big brother'. The family was very close and time together was 'cherished'
11:47@skynewsgathererHis sister thought Gareth was enjoying London but after a while he began to miss the countryside and requested a move back to Cheltenham
11:49@skynewsgathererGareth told his sister of 'friction' in the London office and that he was not enjoying the 'rat race'
11:51@skynewsgathererSister of Gareth Williams says in statement it is impossible to do justice to his wonderful character without having met him
11:53@skynewsgathererThe last time Ceri Subbe met her brother they had a great day out and tea at The Ritz. He seemed happy with life
11:54@skynewsgathererGareth Williams is described as a private person, who enjoyed the countryside rather than the city. He was single when he died
11:56@skynewsgathererThe last time Ceri Subbe spoke to her brother was on the phone on August 13 2010 - he was going to a comedy night
11:56@skymartinbruntSister Ceri Says family can't think why anybody wld harm him
11:58@skynewsgathererCeri Subbe says her brother was a very tidy person. He did not tell his family what he did for a job
12:00@skynewsgathererCeri Subbe is now giving evidence to the coroner in person about her brother Gareth Williams
12:01@skynewsgathererMrs Subbe says Gareth had spoken for sometime about wanting to move back to Cheltenham
12:02@skymartinbruntSister Ceri tells inquest Gareth wanted to leave London and go back to GCHQ
12:02@skynewsgathererMrs Subbe said the job was not what Gareth had expected. There was more red tape than he was happy with, court told
12:03@skynewsgathererThe family had no concerns about Gareth's state of mind. Sister describes him as 'upbeat'
12:04@skymartinbruntCeri says he was never worried about being followed or threatened
12:04@skynewsgathererSister says she had no knowledge that her brother had been threatened in any way
12:05@skynewsgathererSister says she did not know Gareth had 20k worth of women's clothes in his flat. But says she's not surprised. They could have been gifts
12:06@skymartinbruntCeri didn't know about extensive collection of women's clothes
12:08@skymartinbruntSister says his big collection of clothes mirrored big collections of bike and mountain climbing gear
12:10@skynewsgathererCourt hears that on 16 August Gareth missed a meeting he was due to chair. He was usually very reliable
12:11@skymartinbruntSister Ceri said women's clothes could have been for gifts. He was very generous
12:16@skynewsgathererInquest into death of Gareth Williams adjourned for lunch. Resumes at 1415
END OF SESSION 1. Monday Morning, April 23, 2012

[Link to source of April 23 coverage]