How Much Did Rebekah Brooks know about the Daniel Morgan Murder

Opening segment Crossposted from Byline – do chip in and support my column on the criminal media nexus there if you can

Rebekah Brooks worked at News of the World for all but two years from 1989 to 2003. How much did she know know Southern Investigations and police inquiries into their role in the murder of Daniel Morgan?

We can all make mistakes.

In my last piece I erroneously said there was only one mention of the Daniel Morgan murder in the News of the World. In 1989, soon after the CPS dropped charges  against him in a second murder investigation, the Sunday tabloid published an interview with Jonathan Rees, Daniel’s former partner.

The interviewer, News of the World’s crime editor Alex Marunchak, failed  to mention that he had by then formed a successful business relationship with Rees and his private detective agency, Southern Investigations.

Fast forward eleven years, and there’s one more mention of Daniel on April 16 2000 . Continue reading

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Summer of 87: Two Violent Deaths, Two Rising Murdoch Stars

Crossposted from Byline – do chip in and support my column on the criminal media nexus there if you can

Summer of 87: Two Violent Deaths, Two Rising Murdoch Stars
The 30 year cover-up of the Daniel Morgan murder is often portrayed as a murky morass. But revisiting the news coverage of the time, the outlines of the alleged conspiracy are clearer than you would imagine.

As the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel continues to sift through years of evidence on the most investigated  murder in British history,  four key characters emerge from the news coverage of the time.

DANIEL MORGAN

What is startling about the Daniel Morgan murder is that the key allegation of police conspiracy was made within weeks of the 37-year-old’s murder on 10 March 1987. The Times reported Daniel was “due to be interviewed by West Yorkshire police about a fraud he had uncovered.” Meanwhile, in the Daily Express:.. (CONTD) Continue reading

Phone Hacking at the Mirror in 1998: Read Paddy French’s Scoop and Pre-buy his Piers Morgan Biography

Over at Byline, veteran investigative reporter Paddy French has an exclusive which concludes the Mirror Group, and by implication Piers Morgan, knew about phone hacking well before it became standard practice by Glenn Mulcaire at News of the World.  Below is just an excerpt from the full damning in depth piece.

But this is just a taster. Paddy is pitching on Byline a full unauthorised biography of Piers Morgan:

Morgan is one of the most important members of the cast of the phone hacking scandal. He was the first of a long line of Murdoch editors forged in the crucible of the Sun’s show business column “Bizarre”. One of his proteges was Andy Coulson.

Morgan was singled out by Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie as a future editor and it was his patronage that led to his appointment as News of the World editor at the age of 29. There Morgan singled out a young reporter and promoted her to Features Editor: her name was Rebekah Brooks. Morgan was destined to edit the Sun but when Daily Mirror boss David Montgomery — a former News of the World editor — offered him the editorship of the Mirror, Morgan accepted.

By 2003, the troika of Morgan (Mirror), Coulson (News of the World) and Brooks (The Sun) had an iron grip on Britain’s tabloids. Morgan was at the Mirror for nearly ten years — a decade that saw the paper embrace the “dark arts” of illegal news-gathering.

The plan is to produce a readable, balanced picture of a talented but flawed individual.

I’m a retired television producer so I don’t need to be paid for my time.

But researching, writing and publishing a book as ambitious as this one does not come cheap, especially since it needs to be read for libel.

I hope you will support the venture.

For a taster of the article, more below

Continue reading

How the Guardian was Got At but the News of the World Got Away With It

Crossposted from Byline – the No 1 Journalist Crowdfunding site. Please chip in to support my work there.
15 years ago the Met’s Operation Two Bridges exposed a lucrative illegal trade between corrupt police officers, private investigators and Fleet Street. Nothing was done. But what happened to two Guardian journalists who were writing about police corruption at the same time?

As Joe Public has revealed on Bellingcat, ‘How The Metropolitan Police Covered-Up For Rupert Murdoch’s News International’ senior Metropolitan police officers knew back in 1999 that there was a phenomenal trade in illegal information atNews of the World which predated phone hacking.

A secret probe in the premises of Southern Investigations, ostensibly part of a third inquiry into the murder of former founder Daniel Morgan, caught many connections between the corrupt detective agency and senior Fleet Street journalists. Continue reading

The Political Aspect of Phone Hacking

Given the current febrile atmosphere of the election campaign here in the UK, this is worth revisiting. A comprehensive report by the Media Standards trust shows how politically targeted phone hacking at News of the World was – mainly under the editorship of Andy Coulson (the only surviving phone records to confirm hacking date from a year or so of his editorship

 A striking number of targets were people in positions important to national security. Four consecutive Home Secretaries from 1997 to 2007 are reported to have been hacked, as well as many senior officers from the Metropolitan police (including Sir Ian Blair, John Yates, Mike Fuller, Andy Hayman, Brian Paddick and Ali Dizaei).

And it turns out that the News of the World was seven times more likely to hack a Labour politician than a Conservative one.

But what emerges most clearly is that the great majority of those who were hacked were people most of us had never heard of. Many were connected to public figures, but often simply by being related to them, or working with them, or being their friends. You might be hacked because you were, for example, the partner or ex-partner of a public figure, or a work colleague or a friend or acquaintance or a parent or step-parent.

via Who was hacked? A New Report Investigates | Policy Wonkers. Continue reading

UPDATED@ Alastair Morgan to @RupertMurdoch “You are in a unique position to help us finally lay Daniel to rest.”

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With considerable speed and grace, on Monday 16 March, Rupert Murdoch replied to Alastair’s letter, promising to co-operate with the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel inquiry, and explaining how News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee have already complied with requests from the police and the IPCC.

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Questions about the role of News of the World and surveillance of chief investigating officer and his family were part of James Murdoch’s formal written submission to the Leveson Inquiry

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My original blog on the letter is below. 

Continue reading

Why the Mirror Group find it Hard to Investigate the Dark Arts and the Daniel Morgan Murder

It’s not widely realised that the first big investigation into corrupt private investigators, police officers and the press, was Operation Nigeria (which morphed into Operation Two Bridges) in 1999, seven years before the first phone hacking inquiry. That investigation specifically looked at two senior named News of the World Journalists.

But as Paddy French, who has indefatigably stood up details from this era in his Press Gang site reports today, it  wasn’t just the News of the World which was compromised by the ‘No 1 Corrupt Detectives Agency’. The Mirror Group were involved as well. This partly explains why – as Alastair Morgan was told by a Mirror journalist very recently – the story of his brother’s murder is ‘too political’ for the Mirror Group to cover.

Below are three extracts from Paddy French’s important second chapter on the murder. Please visit his site and real the whole in in full at  ROGUE JOURNALISTS & BENT COPPERS | PRESS GANG. Continue reading