THERE WAS one final piece of information Leveson was not prepared to consider.
This involved Mahmood’s links with a firm of private detectives called Southern Investigations.
One of the partners was a former Metropolitan Police detective sergeant, Sid Fillery.
Fillery had retired and joined Southern Investigations, taking the place of Daniel Morgan, a private detective brutally murdered in 1987.
The other partner was Jonathan Rees, who was arrested several times on suspicion of being involved in the murder.
He was never convicted
However, Rees was gaoled for 7 years in 2000 after he was caught planning a conspiracy with corrupt police detectives to plant drugs on an innocent woman to prove she was an unfit mother.
Fillery was convicted in 2003 of making fifteen indecent images of children.
His computer included photographs of two naked boys engaged in oral sex and another showing the anal penetration of a young girl.
Southern Investigations acted as brokers between corrupt police officers who wanted to sell sensitive information to newspapers, including the News of the World.
In his evidence to Leveson, Mahmood doesn’t name the firm but it appears to be Southern Investigations.He told the Inquiry:
” … I stopped working with them at the end of 1992 or early 1993 …”
However, in our statement we told the Leveson Inquiry we had seen documents seized during anti-corruption inquiries which suggested this also wasn’t true.
These documents revealed that in 1999 Rees and Fillery carried out “confidential inquiries” into “illegal immigration” after receiving a “request” from “Maz Mahmood”.
The invoice for this work, submitted in July 1999, was for £1,488.72 — one of the largest the firm raised in that year.