The family of murdered private detective Daniel Morgan have criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel after she delayed publication of a report into his death in 1987 on “national security” grounds.
Mr Morgan's family said it was a "kick in the teeth" and an “outrage.”
Nobody has ever been convicted of Mr Morgan’s 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 working for Rupert Murdoch’s now defunct News of the World newspaper.
We're now looking to the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel to defend their independence and fend off this unwarranted intervention from the home secretary.— Alastair Morgan (@AlastairMorgan) May 19, 2021
We're very hopeful that they will.
An independent investigation by a panel led by Baroness Nuala O’Loan - a former police ombudsman in Northern Ireland - was due to publish its report on Monday, 17 May, until Mrs Patel ordered a delay so it could be reviewed by Home Office lawyers.
Baroness O'Loan said the Home Office review of the report was "unnecessary and not consistent with the panel's independence."
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.
Morgan and Rees were partners in a private detective firm, Southern Investigations but after Morgan's death the firm would 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.
In 2017 Peter Jukes, co-author of the Untold podcast, 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."
The family's lawyer Raju Bhatt told the BBC the family had "every reason to be suspicious about the motives behind this very belated and completely unwarranted intervention."
He said: "There was every reason to believe that police corruption was at the heart of this ordeal the family have faced."
There’s a memorial stone in honour of Daniel at St Peter’s church. His mother’s funeral is about to take place there today. May both rest in peace pic.twitter.com/LfAXZkSKyN— Untold: the Daniel Morgan Murder (@UntoldMurder) December 8, 2017
The News of the World carried out surveillance of Dave Cook, the detective in charge of the fourth inquiry into the Daniel Morgan 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.
A Home Office spokesperson said the decision would not affect the report’s independence but the report had to be checked in light of "human rights and national security considerations."