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Met to review daniel morgan murder over claims of news of the world link


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Scotland Yard is carrying out a full forensic review of the Daniel Morgan murder 25 years ago amid allegations that the News of the World under Rebekah Brooks attempted to subvert the inquiry into the killing.

The revelation came as Nick Herbert, the police minister, told MPs a judicial inquiry into the murder was under consideration. The death of Morgan, a private detective who was killed with an axe to the head, has for two decades been mired in allegations of police corruption involving a detective agency using officers to provide information to sell to tabloid newspapers.

Published in: News & Politics
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Met to review daniel morgan murder over claims of news of the world link

  1. 1. Bark & Co
  2. 2. Scotland Yard is carrying out a full forensicreview of the Daniel Morgan murder 25 yearsago amid allegations that the News of theWorld under Rebekah Brooks attempted tosubvert the inquiry into the killing.The revelation came as Nick Herbert, the policeminister, told MPs a judicial inquiry into themurder was under consideration. The death ofMorgan, a private detective who was killedwith an axe to the head, has for two decadesbeen mired in allegations of police corruptioninvolving a detective agency using officers toprovide information to sell to tabloidnewspapers.
  3. 3. Speaking at an adjournment debate brought bythe Labour MP Tom Watson, Herbert said it was aserious issue, and that the corruption and the lackof justice for the family needed to be addressed.He said the home secretary was considering ajudicial inquiry but another option of an outsideforce being brought in with the oversight of a QCwas also being considered by himself and thehome secretary."This is a matter of utmost seriousness … Itsimportant to consider what options are nowavailable to identify and address issues of policecorruption and bring those responsible to justice,"said Herbert.
  4. 4. He revealed that the Morgan murder – one of theMet polices most notorious unsolved killings – wasnow being overseen by the assistant commissionerCressida Dick, who would bring "fresh eyes" to acontroversy which has run through the stewardship offive Met police commissioners. He said the Metunder Bernard Hogan-Howe was carrying out a fullforensic review of the case – similar to the oneundertaken in the Stephen Lawrence murder whichled to the successful conviction of two men earlierthis year.Watson urged the minister and the home secretary togive Morgans family the judicial inquiry into themurder which they have requested, and which theMetropolitan Police Authority and the former actingcommissioner Tim Godwin have endorsed.
  5. 5. Watson said Morgans family had always believedhe was killed as he was about to expose a networkof police corruption involving his business partnerJonathan Rees, his friend the Met police detectiveSid Fillery and a network of corrupt police officers.Reess private detective agency worked for theNews of the World and other newspapers. One ofReess close associates was Alex Marunchak, whowas the News of the Worlds crime correspondent.The men were so close they shared a businessaddress for their companies. Watson also told MPsthat Southern Investigations settled Marunchaksdebts.
  6. 6. Surveillance footage filmed by the police in operations overthe years to investigate the murder showed Marunchak andRees were in frequent contact at his agency. "Jonathan Reesand Sid Fillery were at the corrupt nexus of privateinvestigators, police officers and journalists at the News of theWorld," said Watson. "Southern Investigations was the hub ofpolice and media contacts involving the illegal theft anddisclosure of information obtained thorugh Rees and Filleryscorrupt contacts."Rees has always been a suspect for the murder. But the firstinvestigation was corrupted – the Met police has sinceadmitted – by the presence of Fillery on the investigating team.Fillery interviewed Rees, but never disclosed to theinvestigation that the pair were close friends and businessassociates, MPs heard.
  7. 7. After Morgans death Fillery became Reess partner in SouthernInvestigations. Watson told MPs Morgan had been about to take hisstory about police corruption to the News of the World and itscrime reporter Marunchak at the time he was killed and had beenpromised £40,000 for the story.The Leveson inquiry heard this week that the News of the Worldunder Brooks put the senior officer who led the fourth and fifthinvestigations into the Morgan murder under surveillance. DetectiveChief Superintendent Dave Cook and his then wife Jacqui Hamesbelieved that the suspects in the Morgan murder had encouragedthe tabloid to watch them. Hames told the inquiry she believed theNews of the World had put them under surveillance because"suspects in the Daniel Morgan murder inquiry were using theirassociation with a powerful and well-resourced newspaper tointimidate us and try to attempt to subvert the investigation".
  8. 8. The fifth inquiry into the murder collapsed last yearand Rees and two other men were acquitted after thejudge ruled senior police had coached one of the mainsupergrasses in the case, and it was revealed that largeamounts of evidence had not been disclosed as a resultof the vast material gathered over so many years.But Watson said: "What the family didnt know duringthe investigation was the extent to which therelationship between News International, privateinvestigators and the police had such an impact …Southern Investigations sold information tonewspapers in the 90s … but I think exclusively to NewsInternational after Rees was released from jail in 2005[on another offence]. The main conduit was AlexMarunchak.
  9. 9. "Rees and Marunchak had a relationship that was so closethey both registered their companies at the same address.Reess confirmed links to Marunchak take the murder ofDaniel Morgan to a new level."Morgans brother Alastair, who was at the debate onWednesday, said afterwards: "The seeds of the hackingscandal that is unravelling at the Leveson inquiry were planteda quarter of a century ago in a car park in south-east Londonwhere my brother was murdered." He said he still wanted toknow the extent to which journalists interfered with the fivemurder investigations and the political response to allegationsof police involvement in the murder.• This article was amended on 6 March 2012. The original saidthat Marunchak and Rees were in frequent contact with Reesat his agency. This has been corrected.