Socialist Worker

Daniel Morgan: The stench of corruption underlies murder cover-up

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2266

The hacking scandal continues to mire the Metropolitan Police, News International and prime minister David Cameron in filth.

New evidence is emerging that links the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan in 1987 and News International.

It is now clear that Morgan was murdered a week after he revealed that he was taking allegations of police corruption to the News of the World (NotW).

A newly disclosed witness statement made to the police at the time said Morgan was going to sell a story to Alex Marunchak—then NotW crime editor. It appears that Morgan was offered £40,000 for the story.

But the claim was not investigated, and Marunchak denies ever meeting him.

Morgan carried out investigations for Southern Investigations, an agency that ran a number of dodgy information gathering activities for various newspapers—especially the NotW.

This new evidence links NotW to the agency from as early as 1987—far before previous revelations.

Tom Watson MP is now calling for the murder case—investigated five times by the Metropolitan Police—to form part of the government inquiry into phone hacking.

The unsolved killing is Britain’s most investigated murder. The evidence boxes in Scotland Yard emit a stench of police corruption reaching to the highest levels.

After the latest attempt to bring the case to court was dismissed, the Met admitted corruption and a cover-up in their ranks.

They said, “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. This was wholly unacceptable.”

Jonathan Rees—Morgan’s business partner at Southern Investigations at the time of his murder—was one of five suspects in his killing. Rees was acquitted when the trial collapsed earlier this year.

Serving

Despite having served a seven-year sentence for attempting to pervert the course of justice, Rees was rehired by Andy Coulson in 2005—while he was editor of NotW.

Coulson resigned as editor in 2007 and went on to become chief spin doctor for Tory prime minister David Cameron.

In January 2007 Clive Goodman, former NotW royal editor, was convicted in relation to illegal phone hacking.

Coulson has repeatedly argued that he knew nothing about the case.

It has also emerged in recent weeks that Marunchak was employed by the Metropolitan Police as an interpreter with access to highly sensitive police data between 1980 and 2000.

In March, BBC’s Panorama programme alleged Marunchak, who worked for the NotW in Ireland between 1996 and 2006, hired a specialist to plant spying software on the computer of military intelligence agent Ian Hurst.

Daniel Morgan’s brother, Alastair Morgan, said, “What I know is that Daniel was concerned about police corruption before he was murdered.”

He told Socialist Worker, “We’re delighted to have Tom Watson’s support. We’ve also sent in a submission to the home secretary calling for a judicial inquiry and we’re hoping to meet her fairly soon to discuss this.”

A number of questions remain regarding Daniel’s murder. Was there a witness statement to police in the original inquiry saying that Daniel was about to sell a story to Marunchak at NotW alleging police corruption?

And if so, why did the police not contact Marunchak?


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