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More rot exposed as hacking scandal widens

This article is over 12 years, 11 months old
Lawyers acting for the family of a murdered private detective have called for a new public inquiry which could shed more light on corrupt relationships between the police and the media.
Issue 2264

Lawyers acting for the family of a murdered private detective have called for a new public inquiry which could shed more light on corrupt relationships between the police and the media.

Daniel Morgan was murdered with an axe in 1987. But despite five police investigations no one has ever been convicted of his murder.

In March this year Morgan’s former business partner, Jonathan Rees, was one of three men acquitted of his murder when the trial collapsed after 20 months of pre-trial hearings.

Rees and his company, Southern Investigations, was widely used by journalists to find out secret information. Rees was used by the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror to probe bank accounts.

Rees was also used by the News of the World and rehired by the paper after his release from prison in 2005 following a conviction for another crime.

Lawyers acting for the Morgan family have sent the home secretary a detailed submission for a judicial inquiry.

Daniel Morgan’s brother Alastair said, “For almost a quarter of a century, my family has done everything possible to secure justice for Daniel and to expose police corruption.

“For much of this time, we have encountered stubborn obstruction and worse at the highest levels of the Metropolitan Police.

“We have found an impotent police complaints system and met with inertia or worse on the part of successive governments.

“We have been failed utterly by all of the institutions designed to protect us.

“We find real significance in recent and continuing revelations around the News of the World affair in relation to the close relationships between NoW journalists, corrupt police officers and some of those charged with Daniel’s murder.”

Andy Coulson was cleared to be Cameron’s spin doctor last year. He was vetted by an investigator who had also done work for News International (NI).

Coulson, who resigned in January, was scrutinised by an experienced investigator with links to both the Security Services and to NI.

In fact he underwent a total of three vetting procedures—yet none uncovered serious concerns about the extent of phone hacking during his time as News of the World editor.

At the time of his initial appointment in 2007 with Cameron, Coulson was given a low form of clearance. This was handled by a branch of Control Risks, a private security company with connections to the Conservative Party.

The investigator who carried out the later checks carried out work for both the spooks and News International including phone hacking.

Former News of the World and Sunday Mirror editor Piers Morgans’ denials of phone hacking get a little hollower by the week.

Morgan admitted in 2006 that he had heard a message left by singer Paul McCartney on the phone of Heather Mills, his then girlfriend.

The disclosure has prompted Mills to claim the message could have been heard only by hacking into her phone.

Former Mirror business journalist James Hipwell alleges phone hacking happened regularly under Morgan.

At an awards ceremony in 2002 for showbiz reporters, Dominic Mohan of the Sun’s Bizarre column, now the paper’s editor, openly joked that “Vodafone’s lack of security” was responsible for the showbusiness exclusives of his rivals on the Mirror.

Rebekah Brooks, who resigned as chief executive of News International last month, is still on the payroll.

She was told by Rupert Murdoch to go travelling for a year until the phone-hacking scandal dies down.

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