23:40 GMT +322 July 2017
Live
    A protester wearing a Rupert Murdoch mask is photographed by media outside parliament in London, Tuesday, July 19, 2011.

    No Sign of Justice Thirty Years After Axe Murder Linked to Disgraced Newspaper

    © AP Photo/ Kirsty Wigglesworth
    Europe
    Get short URL
    234445

    A new book is published on Thursday, May 18, about a notorious murder in London in 1987, which eventually exposed police corruption and links to law-breaking journalists on Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper. Will Daniel Morgan's murder ever be solved?

    On the night of March 10, 1987 private investigator Daniel Morgan, 37, was found dead in the car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south east London. The murder weapon — an axe — was still buried in his head.

    Thirty years on no-one has been convicted of his murder and the case remains one of the most notorious in British criminal history because of the links which emerged over the years to corrupt police officers and journalists.

    Rees' company, Southern Investigations, would later become deeply involved in murky journalistic practices at the News of the World, which closed down in 2011 after details emerged of widespread phone hacking by journalists.

    The News of the World also commissioned its own surveillance of Dave Cook, the detective in charge of the fourth inquiry into the murder in 2002, along with his partner Jacqui Hames.

    The paper claimed they were investigating an affair between Cook and Hames, despite the fact they were already married.

    The Leveson Inquiry was unable to unearth the real reason for the surveillance.

    The hacking scandal led to the suspension of Rupert Murdoch's bid to take over Sky, the company which he had founded but lost control of after a share flotation.

    But that bid is now back on the table.

    In April, the European Commission cleared Murdoch's company, 21st Century Fox, to buy the 61 percent of Sky that it does not own in a deal estimated at US$24 billion. 

    In 2014, Murdoch appointed his son Lachlan to be co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, which also owns Fox News and has been mired in allegations of sexual harassment against former Fox CEO Roger Ailes.

    Britain's Culture and Media Secretary, Karen Bradley, has asked regulators to investigate the deal.

    Earlier this year Morgan's brother Alastair called on the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to launch the second part of the Leveson inquiry into links between police, private investigators and journalists.

    Morgan and journalist Peter Jukes collaborated on a podcast, Untold, about Daniel's murder. Untold  was crowdfunded and broadcast last year, recording over four million downloads.

    Now he has turned it into a book, also called Untold, which is published on Thursday May 18.

    Morgan recently spoke to the UK Press Gazette's Journalism Matters podcast and said: "My mother is 89 years old and in some way the book is a memorial to my brother.

    "I also wanted it as part of the debate on the Sky bid and the outstanding issue of Leveson Two."

    His partner, Kirsten Knight, said: "Southern Investigations became a hub of ex bent police officers serving bent police officers and an interface between the underworld and a huge business in illegal information selling, much of which was sold to newspapers."

    In March 2011, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped murder charges against Morgan's former business partner Jonathan Rees, 56, Garry Vian, 50, and his brother Glenn, 52. Charges against former detective sergeant Sid Fillery, 63, and another man, James Cook, had been dropped in February 2010.

    All five men have always strenuously denied any involvement in Morgan's murder.

    In February this year, Rees and the Vian brothers lost a High Court lawsuit after claiming they had been maliciously prosecuted.

    "There is no doubt that some senior journalists at the News of the World and other Fleet Street titles had a deeply corrupt relationship with Southern Investigations and some of the deeply corrupt detectives who were linked to it. The big unanswered question is whether Daniel Morgan was murdered because one of those senior journalists betrayed him by revealing that he was trying to place a story about the corrupt detectives. It is one of the very important questions which Leveson Part Two might help to answer, if only the government had the guts to allow it to happen," investigative journalist Nick Davies, author of Hack Attack, told Sputnik.

    Peter Jukes, co-author of Untold, told Sputnik he did not believe anyone would ever be convicted of Daniel's murder, because the first two inquiries had been so "thoroughly corrupted."

    "What the family want is a public inquiry to find out about what happened between police officers, private investigators and journalists at the News of the World," Mr. Jukes said.

    Mr. Jukes said the government had put off a decision on whether to hold a "Leveson Two" inquiry until after the General Election. He also told Sputnik: "We have submitted documents to Ofcom in relation to the Sky bid, which we say proves that senior executives, including James Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch, are not fit and proper persons to be in power of Sky News."  

    The case remains open and the Metropolitan Police's Assistant Commissioner, Martin Hewitt, said: "Thirty years ago Daniel Morgan was brutally murdered. No one has ever been convicted of his murder, nor have they stood trial. Daniel and his family have not had justice.

    "The investigation into Daniel's murder remains open, and I would directly appeal to anyone who may have information or be able to help the investigation to get in touch with us or to call Crimestoppers. We are determined to pursue every possible lead and piece of information.

    "Over the last three decades Daniel's family have fought tirelessly to seek answers and justice."

    Related:

    Rebekah Brooks to Return to News Corp UK Division With Charges Cleared
    Former News of the World Editor Got Eight Months in Jail Over Phone-Hacking
    Tags:
    mysterious death, crime, axe, journalism, murder, News of the World, Metropolitan Police, Daniel Morgan, Rupert Murdoch, Britain, United Kingdom, London
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment