Thornton Heath murder victim was to reveal Met corruption to News of the World
A parliamentary debate on Daniel Morgan's murder has claimed he was to sell the story of Met Police corruption to a News of the World journalist with close links to his partner Jonathan Rees.
Tom Watson MP led a call for a judicial inquiry into the murder of Mr Morgan, a private investigator from Thornton Heath, at an adjournment debate in parliament today after five police investigations have failed to find his killer.
Directing his request to minister for policing Nick Herbert, Mr Watson revealed the close ties between Morgan’s partner at Southern Investigation Mr Rees, a private investigator acquitted of his murder after the trial collapsed last year, and journalist Alex Marunchak.
He said: “Rees and Marunchak had a relationship so close they both registered companies at the same address in Thornton Heath.”
He claimed there was evidence Southern Investigations had paid off Marunchuk’s debts.
“Rees’s confirmed links with Marunchak take the murder of Daniel Morgan to a new level.”
Revealing evidence given to the police by Brian Madigan, who employed both Mr Morgan and Mr Rees as PI’s, Mr Watson said it was believed Mr Morgan had unearthed evidence of police corruption weeks before his murder.
Mr Madigan believed he planned to sell the story to Alex Marunchuk, then crime reporter of the News of the World, for £40,000.
Mr Watson described Southern Investigations, set up by Mr Morgan and Mr Rees, and later including former police sergeant Sid Fillery, as “The hub of a web of police and media contacts involving the illegal theft and disclosure of information obtained through Rees and Fillery’s corrupted contacts.
“Southern Investigations sold information to many newspapers during the 1990s but we think exclusively to News International after Rees was released from jail in 2005,” he added. “The main conduit was Alex Marunchak.”
Further links between the murder and News of the World were outlined by Mr Watson.
He claimed chief detective superintendent David Cook was placed under surveillance by Mr Maranchuk in 2002 after he was put in charge of the fourth investigation into the murder.
At the Leveson Inquiry on Tuesday February 28 his wife Jacqui Hames, a former police officer and Crimewatch presenter claimed this was intended to intimidate the pair.
Mr Watson said: “Rupert Murdoch claims News International takes a zero tolerance approach to wrongdoing. Far from launching an inquiry to investigate wrongdoing, Rebekah Brooks promoted Alex Marunchak to the editor’s job of News of the World in Ireland."
Outlining the police failings Mr Watson said Mr Fillery was appointed as part of initial investigations into the murder in 1987, but failed to report two crucial items outlining a breakdown in relations between Mr Morgan and Mr Rees.
Firstly an incident in 1986 when Rees was tasked with taking care of £18,000 cash from Belmont Car Auction but claimed it was taken from him by masked robbers outside his house.
This led to the company being sued.
Secondly he claimed Fillery failed to report Mr Rees and Mr Morgan met in the Golden Lion pub just hours before the 37-year-old father of two was found with an axe in his skull.
Mr Watson said: “Daniel Morgan will never see his murderers brought to justice, corruption at the Met has seen to that but the minister has it in his power an explanation of that failure.
Mr Herbert said a judicial inquiry had not been ruled out.
He argued the Met Police was capable of investigating itself, and the IPCC was a robust body, but understood the Morgan family’s position.
He said an investigation using an outside police force, or through appointing a QC to work with an outside police force were options available.
He added the report due on the failings of the fifth murder investigation due to be published on January 31 would be available very soon to the family.
He said: “The Home Secretary has taken a personal interest and she and I are committed to get, in one way or another, to the bottom of this matter.”