Nearly 25 years ago, Daniel Morgan was murdered in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in London. His skull was split open by an axe. The crime remains unsolved.
Daniel Morgan was a private investigator. A week before he died he had told his business partner, Jonathan Rees, that he had evidence of serious police corruption and he was taking the story to Alex Marunchak of the News of the World. Allegedly, Marunchak had offered him £40,000. Marunchak denies having met Morgan or having anything to do with him. Evidence is now emerging that Mr Muranchak may have been more than a little economical with the truth.
Jonathan Rees, Morgan’s partner, was subsequently engaged as a private investigator by the News of the World, which has remained the source of a large proportion of his income ever since. Despite having been convicted for planting evidence, and serving 7 years for perverting the course of justice, Rees was re-engaged by Marunchak on his release from prison. Prior to this in 1988, he along with several police officers, including ones involved in the original Morgan murder investigation, had been arrested on suspicion of the murder of Daniel Morgan, but were released without charge.
Later, when yet another attempt was made to investigate Morgan’s murder, the detective in charge, Detective Superintendent Cook, had his personal details blagged by Glenn Mulcaire and was then watched and followed by the News of the World. Someone at the paper, or even the paper itself, was clearly worried what Cook’s new inquiry might reveal. At a meeting with the Met in January 2006, confronted by the paper’s behaviour over Cook, Rebekah Brooks denied all knowledge. When later questioned by the Parliamentary inquiry into phone hacking, she had convenient amnesia about what actually went on in the meeting.
Tom Watson has written to David Cameron to ask that the Daniel Morgan case be ‘scrutinised’ by the Leveson inquiry. It should be. The family of Daniel Morgan deserve no less.
Did the Met snuff Daniel Morgan? Did the News of the World – or was it a ‘joint effort’? Whether the real truth surfaces or not, a lot of people could be facing charges of perverting the course of justice – which caries a maximum term of life.
Adrian Goldberg’s Radio 4 programme on the Morgan case is a fascinating listen. Listen to’ The Report’