Wednesday, 29 February 2012



Daniel Morgan (private investigator)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daniel Morgan was a private investigator who was murdered in Sydenham, south east London, in March 1987. He was said to have been close to exposing important police corruption. His death was the subject of several failed police inquiries and in 2011 was at the centre of allegations concerning the suspect conduct of News of the World journalists. Morgan's unsolved murder has been described as a reminder of the old London police culture of corruption and unaccountability.

Daniel Morgan was born in Singapore,[1] the son of an army officer.[2] He grew up with an elder brother and younger sister in Monmouthshire, where he attended agricultural college in Usk before spending time in Denmark gaining experience of farming.[1] He married in his late twenties and moved to London where he and his wife settled and had two children.[1]

Daniel Morgan had an exceptional memory for small details, such as car registration numbers[1] and in 1984 he set up a detective agency, Southern Investigations, in Thornton Heath, South London.[2]

[edit] Murder

On 10 March 1987 after having a drink with Jonathan Rees, his partner in Southern Investigations, at the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, Morgan was found dead in the pub car park[3] next to his car, with an axe wound to the back of his head.[4] Although a watch had been stolen his wallet had been left and a large sum of money was still in his jacket pocket. The pocket of his trousers had been torn open and notes he had earlier been seen writing were missing. Subsequently a match to the DNA sample found on Morgan's trouser pocket was allegedly made.[5] Morgan was alleged to have been investigating drug-related police corruption in south London before his death.[5]

Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery, stationed at Catford police station, was assigned to the case but did not reveal to superiors that he had been working unofficially for Southern Investigations.[4] In April 1987 six individuals including Sid Fillery and Jonathan Rees, the brothers Glenn and Garry Vian and two Metropolitan police officers were arrested on suspicion of murder but all were eventually released without charge.[4]

At the inquest into Morgan's death in April 1988 it was alleged that Jonathan Rees, who had had disagreements with Morgan, told Kevin Lennon, an accountant at Southern Investigations, that police officers at Catford police station who were friends of his were either going to murder Danny Morgan or would arrange it, and Sid Fillery would replace Morgan as Rees's partner. When asked, Rees denied murdering Daniel Morgan.[6] Sid Fillery, who had retired from the Metropolitan Police on medical grounds and joined Southern Investigations as Rees's business partner, was alleged by witnesses to have tampered with evidence and attempted to interfere with witnesses during the inquiry.[7]

[edit] Inquiries

In the twenty years following Morgan's death five police inquiries were conducted. There were allegations of police corruption, drug trafficking and robbery.[3]

During an initial Metropolitan Police inquiry Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery were questioned but both denied involvement in the murder.[2][3]

After an inquiry by Hampshire police in 1988, Jonathan Rees and another man were charged with the murder, but charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence.[4] The Hampshire inquiry's 1989 report to the Police Complaints Authority stated that "no evidence whatsoever" had been found of police involvement in the murder.[2]

Sid Fillery retired from the Metropolitan Police on medical grounds and took over Daniel Morgan's position as Jonathan Rees's partner at Southern Investigations.[4] In 1998 Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Roy Clark conducted a third, secret, inquiry into the murder during which Southern Investigations's office was bugged.[4] In December 2000, Jonathan Rees was found guilty of conspiring to plant cocaine on an innocent woman in order to discredit her in a child custody battle and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for attempting to pervert the course of justice.[2][4] When the Morgan family called for disclosure of the 1989 Hampshire police report, DAC Clark imposed very restrictive conditions.[2]

In the fourth inquiry in 2002-2003 a suspect's car and Glenn Vian's house were bugged and conversations recorded.[4] Although as a result of the inquiry the Metropolitan Police obtained evidence that linked a number of individuals to the murder,[4] the Crown Prosecution Service decided that the evidence was insufficient to prosecute anyone.[2]

After the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair declared that the first police inquiry (involving Fillery) was "compromised", a secret fifth inquiry, began.[4]

Detective Superintendent David Cook was appointed to head an inquiry to review the evidence. Because of concerns over connections between Masonic Lodge members and the murder, the 36 police officers appointed to the inquiry team were required to state that they had never been Freemasons.[5] Cook described the murder as "one of the worst-kept secrets in south-east London," claiming that "a whole cabal of people" knew the identity of at least some of those involved. He said that efforts had been made to blacken Morgan's character and dismissed claims that Morgan might have been killed after an affair with a client or because of an involvement with Colombian drug dealers. He identified the main suspects as "white Anglo-Saxons".[2]

Daniel Morgan's brother Alastair who had been critical of police inaction and incompetence expressed confidence in Cook.[2]

In 2006 Jennette Arnold, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority and Alastair Morgan's London Assembly constituency representative, described the unsolved murder as "a reminder of the old police culture of corruption and unaccountability" in London.[2]

Bugs were installed at Glenn Vian's home. Police arrested Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery once again, along with Glenn and Garry Vian and a builder James Cook, all on suspicion of murder, as well as a serving police officer suspected of leaking information.[3] Fillery was arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.[4]

[edit] Collapse of the 2011 Old Bailey trial

In 2009 the trial of Rees, Fillery, the Vian brothers and Cook began at the Old Bailey. In February 2010 the trial judge dismissed a key supergrass witness and a stay of prosecution was ordered in Fillery's case. In November 2010 a second supergrass witness was dismissed and James Cook was discharged, and in January 2011 yet another supergrass witness was dismissed after accusations that police had failed to disclose that he was a registered police informant.

In March 2011 the Director of Public Prosecutions abandoned the case and Jonathan Rees and his former brothers-in-law were acquitted because the prosecution were unable to guarantee that the defendants' right to a fair trial could be guaranteed. Charges against Fillery and another had already been dropped.[8] The case had not reached the stage of considering whether the defendants had murdered Daniel Morgan, but was still dealing with preliminary issues.[6] The judge, Mr Justice Maddison, noted the case's vastness and complexity,[6] involving some of the longest legal argument submitted in a trial in the English criminal courts.[8] While he considered that the prosecution had been "principled" and "right" to drop the case, the judge observed that the police had had "ample grounds to justify the arrest and prosecution of the defendants".[6]

In the course of the five inquiries some 750,000 documents associated with the case, most of them uncomputerised, had been assembled. Some of these related to evidence provided by the criminal "supergrasses" that the defence claimed was too unreliable to be put to a jury. In March 2011 four additional crates of material not previously disclosed to the defence were found. This followed earlier problems with crates of documents being mislaid and discovered by chance. Nicholas Hilliard QC, appearing for the CPS, acknowledged the police could not be relied upon to ensure access to documents that the defence might require and the prosecution was fatally undermined as a result.[6]

The Metropolitan Police's senior homicide officer, Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, apologised to the family, acknowledging the impact on the case of police corruption in the past. "This current investigation has identified, ever more clearly, how the initial inquiry failed the family and wider public. It is quite apparent that police corruption was a debilitating factor in that investigation."[6]

While indicating a satisfactory relationship with the police officers present, Daniel Morgan's family condemned the way police and the Crown Prosecution Service had investigated the case and their failure to bring anyone to trial. For much of the family's 24-year-long campaign for justice they had encountered "stubborn obstruction and worse at the highest levels of the Metropolitan Police", an impotent police complaints system and "inertia or worse" on the part of successive governments.[6]

[edit] 2011 News of the World "investigative journalism" scandal

See also: News International phone hacking scandal and Jonathan Rees

After the collapse of the Old Bailey trial in March 2011 it was revealed that Jonathan Rees had earned £150,000 a year from the News of the World for supplying illegally obtained information about people in the public eye.[8][9]

After Rees completed his prison sentence for perverting the course of justice, he had been hired again by the News of the World, at the time edited by Andy Coulson.[8] Rees worked regularly on behalf of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror as well as the News of the World, investigating the bank accounts of the royal family and obtaining information on public figures. He had a network of contacts with corrupt police officers who obtained confidential records for him. He claimed that his extensive contacts provided him with confidential information from banks and government organisations and he was routinely able to obtain confidential data from bank accounts, telephone records, car registration details and computers. He was also alleged to have commissioned burglaries on behalf of journalists.[8]

Despite detailed evidence, the Metropolitan Police failed to pursue effective in-depth investigations into Rees's corrupt relationship with the News of the World over more than a decade. In 2006 the Metropolitan Police accepted the News of the World's disclaimer that the paper's royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who had been sent to prison in 2007 for intercepting the voicemail of the British royal family, had been operating as alone. They did not interview any other News of the World journalists or executives and did not seek a court order allowing them access to News of the World internal records.[8]

In June 2011 The Guardian newspaper, calling for a public inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, focused its criticism of the parent company News Corporation's handling of accusations of criminality within the organisation on the newspaper's use of Jonathan Rees's investigative services. Rees's activities were described as a "devastating pattern of illegal behaviour" and far exceeding those of any of the other investigators commissioned by News Corporation who used illicit means to target prominent figures. They included unauthorised access to computer data and bank accounts, corruption of police officers and alleged commissioning of burglaries in pursuit of information about targets at the highest level of state and government, including the royal family and the Cabinet, police chief commissioners, governors of the Bank of England, and the intelligence services. The Guardian queried why the Metropolitan Police had chosen to exclude a very large quantity of Rees material from investigation by its Operation Weeting inquiry into phone hacking.[10]

The Guardian had published extensively on Rees’s involvement with corrupt police officers and the procurement of confidential information for what Guardian journalist Nick Davies described as Rees's one "golden source" of income in particular, commissions from the News of the World. Davies has reported at length on what he described as the "empire of corruption" that Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery built in the years following Daniel Morgan's murder, after Fillery replaced Morgan as Rees's partner.[4]


Zoompad said...

Police confronted Rebekah Brooks with evidence of crime

Published July 2011 No comments... »

Published by the Guardian
July 6 2011

As editor of the News of the World Rebekah Brooks was personally confronted with evidence that her paper’s resources had been used on behalf of two murder suspects to spy on the senior detective who was investigating their alleged crime.

Brooks was summoned to a meeting at Scotland Yard where she was told that one of her most senior journalists, Alex Marunchak, had apparently agreed to use photographers and vans leased to the paper to run surveillance on behalf of Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery, two notorious private investigators who were suspected of murdering their former partner, Daniel Morgan. The Yard saw this as a possible attempt to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks was also told of evidence that Marunchak had a corrupt relationship with Jonathan Rees, who had been earning up to £150,000 a year selling confidential data to the News of the World. Police told her that a former employee of Rees had given them a statement alleging that some of these payments were diverted to Marunchak who had been able to pay off his credit card and pay for his child’s private school fees.

A Guardian investigation suggests that the surveillance of the senior murder squad officer, Detective Chief Superintendent David Cook, involved the News of the World in physically following him and his young children, ‘blagging’ his personal details from confidential police databases, attempting to access his voicemail and that of his wife, and possibly sending a ‘Trojan horse’ email in an attempt to steal information from his computer.

The targeting of DCS Cook began following his appearance on BBC Crimewatch on June 26 2002, when he appealed for information to solve the murder of Daniel Morgan, who had been found dead in south London five years earlier. Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery were among the suspects.

The following day, Cook was warned by Scotland Yard that they had picked up intelligence that Fillery had been in touch with Alex Marunchak and that Marunchak had agreed to ’sort Cook out’.

A few days later, Cook was contacted by Surrey police, where he had worked as a senior detective from 1996 to 2001, and was told that somebody claiming to work for the Inland Revenue had contacted their finance department, asking for Cook’s home address so that they could send him a cheque with a tax refund. The finance department had been suspicious and refused to give out the information.


Zoompad said...

However, it is now known that at that time, the News of the World’s fulltime investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, succeeded in obtaining Cook’s home address, his internal payroll number at the Metropolitan police, his date of birth and figures for the amount that he and his wife were paying for their mortgage. All of this appears to have been ‘blagged’ by Mulcaire from various confidential databases, apparently including the Met’s own records.

In addition, Mulcaire obtained the mobile phone number for Cook’s wife and the password she used for her mobile phone account, strongly suggesting that he was intent on hacking her voicemail, the offence for which he was jailed in January 2007.

Paperwork in the possession of Scotland Yard’s Operation Weeting is believed to show that Mulcaire did this on the instructions of Greg Miskiw, then the paper’s assistant editor for news and a close friend of Alex Marunchak.

About a week later, a van was seen parked outside Cook’s home. The following day, two vans were seen there. Both of them attempted to follow Cook as he took his two-year-old son to nursery. Cook alerted Scotland Yard, who sent a uniformed officer to stop one of the vans on the grounds that its rear break light was broken. The driver proved to be a photo journalist working for the News of the World. Both vans were leased to the paper. During the same week, there were signs of an attempt to open letters which had been left in Cook’s external postbox.

Zoompad said...

Confronted with evidence that their senior detective was being targeted by a newspaper acting on behalf of murder suspects, Scotland Yard chose not to mount a formal inquiry. Instead, the Guardian understands, a senior press officer contacted Rebekah Brooks to ask for an explanation. She is understood to have told them that they were investigating a report that Cook was having an affair with another officer, Jacqui Hames, the presenter of BBC Crimewatch. Yard sources say they rejected this explanation, because Cook had been married to Jacqui Hames for some years; the couple had two children, then aged two and five; and they had previously appeared together as a married couple in published stories. “The story was complete rubbish,” according to one source.

For four months, the Yard took no action, raising questions about whether they were willing to pursue what appeared to be an attempt to interfere with a murder inquiry. However, in November 2002, at a press social event at Scotland Yard, Rebekah Brooks was asked to come into a side room for a meeting.

There she was confronted by DCS Cook, his boss Commander Andre Baker and Dick Fedorcio, the head of media relations. According to a Yard source, Cook described to her in detail the surveillance on his home and the apparent involvement of Alex Marunchak, and also summarised the evidence of Marunchak’s suspect financial relationship with Jonathan Rees. Brooks is said to have defended Marunchak on the grounds that he did his job well.

Scotland Yard took no further action, apparently reflecting the desire of Dick Fedorcio, who has had a close working relationship with Brooks, to avoid unnecessary friction with the News of the World.

Cook subsequently suspected that ‘Trojan horse’ emails may have been sent to his computer and to that of Daniel Morgan’s brother, Alastair, although no confirmation was ever found. In March Alex Marunchak was named by BBC Panorama as the News of the World executive who hired a specialist to plan a Trojan on the computer of a former British intelligence officer, Ian Hurst.

Rees and Fillery were eventually arrested and charged in relation to the murder of Daniel Morgan. Charges against both men were later dropped, although Rees was convicted of plotting to plant cocaine on a woman so that her ex husband would get custody of their children; and Fillery was convicted of possessing indecent images of children.

DCS Cook and his wife are believed to be preparing a legal action against the News of the World, Alex Marunchek, Greg Miskiw and Glenn Mulcaire. Scotland Yard’s Operation Weeting are also understood to be investigating

Zoompad said...

Sydenham Town
the community website for London SE26

Are we finally going to hear the full story behind the Metropolitan Police's most notoriously unsuccessful murder investigation of Daniel Morgan?

Were members of Catford Police really involved in the murder?
How did an associate of the prime suspect become part of the murder squad?
Was vital evidence tampered with and lost?

Last week 3 men were charged.

James Cook, 53, and Garry Vian, 47 have been charged with Daniel Morgan's murder.

Former Detective Seargant Sid Fillery, 61, has been charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the murder he investigated 21 years ago. He later took the place of Daniel Morgan as a Director of Southern Investigations alongside Jonathon Rees.

Jonathon Rees, 53, and Garry Vian's brother Glenn, 49 were also arrested and held in custody.

The story so far ...

Jim Dowd MP, Len Duvall of the MPA, this website and many others have campaigned to find out the truth of what really happened 21 years ago. It is a story of corruption, cover-ups and procrastination by people responsible for fighting crime and protecting our liberties.

When we started the allegations seemed too far fetched to believe. We were careful not to print anything that we couldn't ourselves verify. But just over a year ago the MPA finally published a devasting document which publicly revealed:


Zoompad said...

There was a robbery at a car auction at which Morgan's company Southern Investigations was providing security. Morgan's partner Jonathan Rees was the prime suspect. Rees had employed three serving police officers including DS Sidney Fillery to provide the security. This caused a break between Morgan and Rees and was believed to be the motive behind the murder.

The first investigation was undertaken by Catford Police. DS Sidney Fillery became part of that investigation without revealing his association with Rees and car auction robbery. In addition he undertook a search of the offices of Southern Investigations, allegedly removing a file relating to the car auctions work that was never seen by the investigation team.

DS Fillery and two other officers were subsequently arrested with involvement in the murder but released without charge. DS Fillery was later discharged on medical grounds and took the place of Daniel Morgan at Southern Investigations.

Had the trail gone cold after four collapsed investigations mired in police corruption allegations?

Yates of the Yard (the same man doggedly pursuiing the 'Cash for Peerages' investigation) has taken responsibility and things are beginning to happen. WoS reported that the investigating officer Det Chief Superintendant Dave Cook said in 2007:

"I've got five suspects in total, three of whom have been arrested and are on bail. The others will be invited in when the time is right. We are just pulling all the evidence together and then it'll be down to the Crown Prosecution Service to determine if it is sufficient. I'm pretty confident it will go to trial. We've got some really good evidence."

"We have in excess of 2,500 witness statements but only a small proportion of those have given us relevant evidence. And we have 16,500 exhibits, some of which will form part of our submissions to the CPS. When this investigation started in 1987 this was a hundred-piece jigsaw that had a lot of lost pieces. "Now we've a million-piece jigsaw. And we still have pieces missing."

The BBC and our local 'NewsShopper' has taken up the story and add:

"One of the motives that we are investigating is that Daniel was killed because he was about to expose a drugs conspiracy which was potentially linked into police corruption."

"Two men, aged in their late 40s, were arrested on August 4 in connection with the murder and a third man, also aged in his 40s, was arrested on September 7 last year."

There is a reward of £50,000 for anyone who has any information that will directly assist in bringing charges to those responsible for Daniel Morgan's murder. Anyone with information about the murder should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

Zoompad said...


6 Jul 2004 : Column 230WH

Daniel Morgan
3.30 pm
Mr. Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire) (LD): With your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if the right hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith), who is anxious to participate in this debate, should catch your eye, he does so with my full agreement and that of the Minister.

I am grateful to have obtained this debate on an issue of crucial public interest and concern. The Minster understands that today I will criticise the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police Service, other police authorities and the whole criminal justice system, which has failed my constituent Mrs. Isobel Hulsmann and failed to root out incompetence and corruption. The Minister will also know that the criticism is not directed towards her, because she has only recently taken up her post. Today, however, she has the opportunity to make a name for herself, to right an injustice and to reinforce the Government's reputation for standing up for the victims of crime and for prosecuting offenders.

Daniel Morgan was murdered 17 years ago. He was found with an axe embedded in his face in the car park of a south London pub shortly after his murder. Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery conducted the first four so-called "golden days" of the murder inquiry but was removed from the murder squad when his relationship with Jonathan Rees, Daniel Morgan's partner in Southern Investigations, was revealed. Sid Fillery went on to take up joint ownership of Southern Investigations, and therefore benefited from Daniel Morgan's death.

The circumstances surrounding Daniel Morgan's death in March 1987 are complex and far-reaching, yet my constituent Isobel Hulsmann, the deceased's mother, is left with not only the immeasurable grief of having lost a son in the most brutal of murders but the spectacle of the criminal justice system's having failed again and again to bring those responsible for that murder to answer for their actions.

Zoompad said...

Why did our criminal justice system fail? The answer is unknown to my constituent, but during the past 17 years she has sought to place her confidence in four separate police investigations, only to find that each one has come to nothing. On the conclusion of the fourth and final investigation last year, the senior officers in charge expressed their strong view that the evidence that they had gathered called out for a prosecution of the primary actors in the murder. Nevertheless, the Crown Prosecution Service declined to bring any such prosecution, forcing the officers to accept that decision, while insisting that they disagreed with it.

In the event, the officers, like the Crown Prosecution Service, have confirmed to my constituent that she has reached the end of the road as far as the criminal justice system is concerned and that she cannot look for any further progress in that direction. They also explained to her their view that the case represented

"the worst mess they had ever seen";

that the real mischief in the case lay in the initial investigation of 1987–88; that the role of ex-Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery in that investigation lay at the heart of the mischief; that a number of other police officers around him had sought to protect him; and that their

6 Jul 2004 : Column 231WH

reinvestigation had therefore been an endeavour to build on what they had inherited from previous investigations, understandably focusing on the immediate actors in the murder, within the parameters set by the damage that had already been done. Those officers sought in vain to respond to suspicions about the mischief that had taken place in the initial investigation, particularly with regard to the roles and identities of the police officers who may have had a lot to gain from protecting Sid Fillery.

Zoompad said...

In other words, my constituent has heard from the Metropolitan Police Service confirmation of her long-held suspicion that the apparent unwillingness or inability of the criminal justice system to deal with the case may have a lot to do with Sid Fillery and other officers, serving or retired, who may have much to gain from protecting him. In that light, I am asking the Minister today to make use of her parliamentary prerogative to institute a full judicial inquiry under section 49 of the Police Act 1996, which is the only way of obtaining fresh and independent scrutiny of the murder and of the circumstances in which successive investigations into it have come to nothing.

The only form of public scrutiny that the murder has received in the past 17 years has been at an inquest in April 1988, which culminated in a verdict of unlawful killing. In the course of evidence at that inquest, allegations were made on oath of involvement by Metropolitan police officers in the murder and in covering up that involvement. It emerged that Jonathan Rees, Daniel Morgan's business partner in their private detective company, Southern Investigations Ltd., had talked about having Daniel killed and arranging for police officers at Catford CID to be involved in the murder and its subsequent cover-up. That was according to the company bookkeeper, Kevin Lennon.

It also emerged that not only was Sid Fillery among those officers but he played a key role in the initial murder inquiry during the so-called first four "golden days" before he was required to withdraw from the murder squad for reasons of personal involvement with the primary suspect, Jonathan Rees. During those four days, Fillery was given the opportunity to manage the first interview under caution with Rees, and to take possession of key incriminating files from the premises of Southern Investigations Ltd., including Daniel's diary, which has never since been found. Kevin Lennon also spoke of Fillery's intentions to retire from the Metropolitan police force on grounds of ill health and take up the vacant seat in Southern Investigations Ltd. left by Daniel's death. That is exactly what happened, and to this day Fillery and Rees remain business partners in what was Daniel's private detective company.

More than 17 years after the murder, my constituent, Mrs. Hulsmann, is confronted with the plain fact that she, like her son, has been failed by the system. Despite her best efforts, those who committed this gruesome act have never been brought to justice and she has had to accept that they may never be brought to justice. She should not be burdened with the responsibility of ascertaining the reasons behind the criminal justice system's failure to bring her son's murderers to book. That is the responsibility of the Government on behalf of us all. That is why she now seeks a full judicial inquiry into the murder and the subsequent police

Zoompad said...

6 Jul 2004 : Column 232WH

investigations. Like many other Members of this House and the other place, I strongly support her case, together with that of Alastair Morgan, the brother of the deceased, who has devoted his life to this campaign.

It seems to me and my constituent that the Government have a particular duty to bring public scrutiny to bear on the case. The refusal with which we have been met is not becoming of a Government who pride themselves in looking after the interests of victims of crime. This is not a case of the Government being unable to help, but of their being unwilling to accept their responsibility, and we are compelled to seek answers for this apparent lack of will. Is it because they have something to hide, or is it because the implications of bringing the matter to a head are so far-reaching that they may make life uncomfortable for many in the Metropolitan police and the Home Office? The Government's attitude towards the murder of Daniel Morgan so far has been one not of openness, collaboration and firm fair action, but of sustained damage limitation.

Public inquiries serve the cause of public accountability. They also serve to eliminate in the public's mind any doubt about the possible involvement of the person or Department that institutes them. Unfortunately, the Home Office does not have an entirely innocent record. The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 commanded several structural changes to the constitutional arrangements of our police forces, not least with respect to the independent police authorities to which forces are accountable.

Zoompad said...

For the record, the Metropolitan Police Service was directly accountable to the Home Office at the time of the murder and of all police investigations into the case except the fourth and final one. Similarly, the Home Office was also responsible for the Police Complaints Authority, which supervised a 1988–89 investigation into the case by Hampshire police, which is said to have looked into and eliminated the possibility of police involvement in the murder or its aftermath. Therefore, it was on the watch of the Home Office that the terms of reference of that Hampshire investigation were changed, secretly and without the knowledge of the family, midway through the inquiry. Having started out

"to investigate allegations that the police were involved in the murder of Daniel Morgan and matters arising there from",

the inquiry was required after the change to proceed

"in the furtherance of prosecuting the suspects Rees, Goodridge (an associate of Rees), Wisden (Goodridge's girlfriend) and anyone else for the murder of Daniel Morgan",

without any reference to police involvement.

The very fact that the terms of reference of a so-called independent inquiry carried out by an outside police force were changed during the course of that inquiry is cause for great concern, and almost of itself warrants a judicial inquiry. However, it is also inconceivable that those changes would have been allowed without the consent of the Home Office at a senior level, to which the all concerned were answerable at the time. It therefore lies particularly ill in the mouth of the Home Office to seek to rely on that very investigation in order to refute the continuing suspicions of police involvement in the murder.

We have called for a public judicial inquiry under section 49 of the Police Act 1996, and we point to the moral and legal obligations of the Government to hold

6 Jul 2004 : Column 233WH

such an inquiry. It is not open to the Government to hide behind some obscure case law in their attempt to evade those obligations, as they appear to do in the letter of 10 June from the Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing and Community Safety. It is unbecoming of the Government to suggest that they have no obligations because of a mere accident of timing—the fact that the murder took place before the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the incorporation of the European convention on human rights into domestic law.

Zoompad said...

It is significant that support for that dishonourable proposition is sought from the recent judgment in the House of Lords in the case of McKerr, which arose out of the shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland. Apart from any legal considerations, that is clearly a unique political situation. Instead, we invite the Government to look at other decisions of the House of Lords in cases where the political context has been less inhibiting, which serve to establish the obligations of the Government to ensure an effective official inquiry with the benefit of public scrutiny and participation.

As for the purpose of such an inquiry, we can do no better than to point to the words of Lord Bingham of Cornhill in the case of Amin last year:

"The purposes . . . are clear: to ensure so far as possible that the full facts are brought to light; that culpable and discreditable conduct is exposed and brought to public notice; that suspicion of deliberate wrongdoing (if unjustified) is allayed; that dangerous practices and procedures are rectified; and that those who have lost their relative may at least have the satisfaction of knowing that lessons learned from his death may save the lives of others."

On behalf of my constituent and her family, I am calling for a full public judicial inquiry.

3.42 pm
Mr. Chris Smith (Islington, South and Finsbury) (Lab): I am very grateful to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Williams) for enabling me to contribute to this debate. The case is one that I have pursued for well over 10 years on behalf of my constituent, who is Daniel Morgan's brother, Alastair.

The facts of the case are indisputable. Daniel Morgan was murdered more than 17 years ago. It was a particularly hideous and brutal murder, for which no one has yet been convicted. There have been four police inquiries into what happened, into the murder and the issues surrounding it, and those inquiries have yielded no prosecutions. The Morgan family have lived through more than 17 years of anguish, distress and considerable frustration in their attempts to get the case properly investigated, and to secure information and sight of the investigations that have taken place.

I support the call that has been made by the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire. Two things are required, and I ask my hon. Friend the Minister to consider them carefully. First, in the letter from the Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing and Community Safety to myself and others on 10 June, she stated that she would be willing to consider meeting the family, myself, the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire and Lord Livsey—who has also been pursuing the case—once the family had seen the conclusions of the fourth inquiry. The family have now

6 Jul 2004 : Column 234WH

seen those conclusions. They are as distressing as the conclusions of the three previous inquiries. The family would welcome the opportunity to meet the Minister of State, and I hope that the Minister will, on her behalf, agree in principle to such a meeting.

Zoompad said...

The second thing that is required is a proper judicial inquiry. When the Minister of State wrote to me on 10 June, she explained that judicial inquiries are established only in the most exceptional circumstances. She explained that, where there has been a public disorder or general issues need to be considered, a public inquiry is, on rare occasions, contemplated as a way to resolve that issue.

Partly because of the case's longevity, partly because of the number of failed investigations that have led nowhere, and particularly because there have been serious question marks right from the word go about the possible involvement of police officers in either the murder or the frustration of subsequent investigations—those serious question marks reflect not just on the particularities of the case but on the good name and standing of the Metropolitan Police Service as a whole—I argue that a public inquiry is the right way to try to resolve the issues surrounding the murder once and for all.

Notwithstanding the Minister of State's suggestion in her letter to me and to others that she was not prepared to contemplate holding an inquiry at this stage, I hope that she will listen carefully to the points that have been made by the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire. The central point about the remaining questions that hang in the air over the murder, and that will continue to hang in the air over the murder if it remains unresolved, is that an inquiry is the right way to proceed.

The brutal murder has remained unsolved for far too long. The police investigation route appears to have been thoroughly exhausted. It is important to find new ways of ensuring that the case can be resolved, because simply to wash our hands of it and say that nothing more can be done is not an adequate response.

3.48 pm
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Caroline Flint) : I commend the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Williams) and, in support, my right hon. Friend the Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) for bringing the issue to our attention. As they both rightly said, Mr. Morgan's death was particularly horrific and it remains troubling to them, as Members of Parliament, and to the family of Daniel Morgan. To be honest, I cannot imagine the trauma and frustration of not having an answer about who killed Mr. Morgan 17 years ago.

As my right hon. Friend said, my hon. Friend the Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing and Community Safety has written to him and to others about the case. She said in her letter of response to him that if, after receiving the information from the Metropolitan Police Service, people felt it was appropriate to seek a meeting, she was open to that. I will pass that back to her today, and I apologise that she cannot be here to respond to the debate herself.

I think that it will be helpful if I set out the role of the Home Office in cases such as this. The Secretary of State is rightly accountable to Parliament for questions

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relating to the police. However, it is often not appropriate to offer comment or make a judgment on the professional decisions taken by the police, the Crown Prosecution Service or the Police Complaints Authority.

As in the past, the issue of a judicial inquiry has been raised. I want to be clear that the Government's reason for not holding an inquiry is not a legal technicality. There is no legal obligation to hold an inquiry, but that is not the reason for the decision. The primary considerations, as my hon. Friend the Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing and Community Safety said, were whether an inquiry would be useful, proportionate or in the wider public interest. In coming to our decision, we had to consider the investigations that have taken place over the past 17 years and the level of independent scrutiny.

I would like to set out the reasons for not pursuing an inquiry. First, inquiries have been used when there has been serious public disorder or similar circumstances in which wide-ranging and serious disquiet is felt about an event or issue affecting a large proportion of a police force. Successive Home Secretaries have reserved that power for such matters, and at this stage it is not appropriate to go beyond that. I appreciate that Daniel Morgan's family are frustrated, disappointed and angry that no one has been prosecuted for his murder, and that there are lingering concerns about police officer involvement in the killing. Nevertheless, the Government do not consider that that in itself is sufficient to warrant an inquiry.

The second reason for the decision is that, after four investigations and a coroner's inquest, the Government do not consider there to be a realistic prospect of uncovering new evidence. I believe that the efforts of the Metropolitan police to pursue the case to a successful conclusion, despite not having done so, have been extraordinary, and to their credit they have been prepared to look again and again at what happened 17 years ago. As my right hon. and hon. Friends know, following the initial investigation to find the perpetrator of the terrible crime against Daniel Morgan and the coroner's inquest into his killing, the Metropolitan police set up an independent investigation into their handling of the initial investigation. That second investigation was carried out by Hampshire police and supervised by the Police Complaints Authority. Although I recognise that there were concerns about the first Metropolitan police investigation, they have undertaken subsequent investigations in an effort to conclude the case.

A third police investigation was carried out as an intelligence-led, covert investigation for the purpose of gathering evidence about the murder of Daniel Morgan as well as allegations of police corruption. However, no charges were brought against any person for an offence in connection with the murder, although charges were brought against individuals for unrelated matters. That was not the end, however. Nine months later, the Metropolitan police murder review group considered afresh whether all reasonable investigative leads had been exhausted, and considered the possibility of uncovering new evidence because of the existence of new investigative techniques. The review identified a number of overt and covert investigative opportunities that were available, and the fourth investigation was launched.

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At the end of the fourth investigation, the Metropolitan police made recommendations about a number of individuals in respect of offences relating to the murder. However, after reviewing the available evidence, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to bring any charges against those individuals for the murder of Daniel Morgan. I am afraid that it is not for me to offer a judgment on the decisions taken by the Metropolitan police or the CPS in this case. Because of the four investigations and the coroner's inquest, we remain of the opinion that a further inquiry would be highly unlikely to uncover any further evidence that would lead to a different outcome.

The third reason for the decision is that, although we understand the lingering suspicion of the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire and the family about the involvement of a police officer or police officers in the killing, that cannot of itself warrant an inquiry. There have been two independent scrutinies of the incident, and in coming to our decision we could not ignore the fact that there was nothing to suggest police involvement in the murder. The first instance of scrutiny was the coroner's inquest. When delivering his verdict of unlawful killing, he remarked that there was

"no evidence whatsoever in this inquest to point to any police involvement in this killing".

The second instance followed the Hampshire investigation on behalf of the Metropolitan police into the allegations of police involvement in the killing. The independent Police Complaints Authority supervised that investigation. The PCA said that it was satisfied with how the investigation was conducted and it concluded that there was no evidence of any involvement by a police officer in the murder, or evidence to suggest that a member of the murder investigation team had taken deliberate action to prevent the murder from being properly detected.

I know that the family are not happy with the PCA's conclusion, but the PCA has confirmed to the Home Office that it considered the case rigorously and was satisfied with the conduct of the investigation and the findings. The family believes that the call for an inquiry is strengthened by the views, which have been mentioned today, that were expressed to them by the police officers who led the fourth investigation. I cannot comment on the circumstances in which those views were expressed, but I am aware that the Metropolitan police do not view the account of the conversation in the same way as the family and their solicitors. I am informed that the Metropolitan police accept that the original investigation falls below current investigative standards, but that it was consistent with the standards of the day. However, I am also informed that the Metropolitan police's official view is that its fourth investigation found no evidence to support the assertion that any police officer had been protected, or that any corruption existed.

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I understand that the Crown Prosecution Service has offered a meeting, but that it unfortunately had to be postponed. I would encourage the family to take up the opportunity if possible to discuss further the outstanding questions that they have with the CPS, and in particular its refusal to pursue charges and take the matter to court.

Mr. Williams : I thank the Minister for the fullness of her replies, which we shall obviously consider. However,

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would she consider why the terms of reference of the first inquiry were changed? Presumably, that prejudiced the decision as to whether police were involved, as its terms were changed from the consideration of the police's involvement to that of other people who were accused of the murder.

Caroline Flint : My understanding is that the terms of reference of the second investigation were to investigate allegations that police were involved in the murder of Daniel Morgan, and matters arising. That investigation was carried out under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority. I understood that that was the point of the second investigation, and that the PCA considered the matter and came to conclusions. I cannot comment any more on changes to the terms of reference; those were the terms of reference and that was the basis on which Hampshire police and the PCA carried out their investigation.

In terms of the Home Office's specific responsibility, the Met was accountable to the Home Secretary and Parliament. However, the force's operational decisions, and those of the PCA, are independent of Government, and it is not for Ministers or the Home Office to interfere with them. Parliament has not given such powers to Ministers.

Finally, for what it is worth, I should like to offer my sincere sympathy to Daniel Morgan's family. It is clear that Daniel was tragically murdered, and the family's searches for answers over the years have been, I am sure, traumatic, and continue to be frustrating. I know that my response today may be a disappointment to the family; I am sure that it will be, based on the representations of my two colleagues who are here on their behalf today. Of course, the case is still considered by the Met to be open. There seem to be many instances where Members of Parliament and the family have views that are opposed to those of the Metropolitan police, the Police Complaints Authority and the Crown Prosecution Service.

As I said at the outset, I shall tell my hon. Friend, the Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing and Community Safety that a meeting would be beneficial to the family and colleagues here, and I hope that they will take up the opportunity to meet the Crown Prosecution Service as well. I hope that the recent openness shown by the Metropolitan police and the CPS in seeking to provide an open explanation to the family has helped in some way. If it is felt that that provides the basis for a meeting with the Minister, I shall relay that to her, and I am sure that she will listen sympathetically.

bill said...

this case has been dragging on for over twenty years now. and that is for one reason only most of the people involved are police officers and freemasons, if the people involved had been ordinary criminals they would have been locked up years ago, it's only thanks to the internet that we are finding this out now their was more villains in the police in the nineteen eighty's than there were villains on the streets, it would be very interesting to know just how many more murders they have covered up bill