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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Breaking Bad BBC – Taking the Corporatism out of the Corporation

English: James Murdoch, who is the son of Rupe...

English: James Murdoch, who is the son of Rupert Murdoch, speaking at Verge, the digital media event co-managed by Ogilvy and Unilever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crossposting this from Byline as the problems of the BBC are in some way related to the monopoly issues in the rest of the media….

During the phone hacking scandal that erupted in the summer of 2011, prompting Rupert and James Murdoch to close the News of the World and abandon their bid for the remaining shares of BSkyB, it rapidly became apparent that the political ramifications were more to do with over-concentrated ownership than press regulation. Owning then nearly 40% of the press, and on the verge of taking over Britain’s biggest broadcaster in terms of revenues, Rupert Murdoch was more powerful in media terms than Berlusconi (and the Italian media mogul is at least a citizen of the country he dominates). It was a glaring example of market failure and what Adam Smith calls the ‘special problem’ of monopoly. Continue reading

Some other reasons why Rupert Murdoch may be stepping down from 21st Century Fox

Please support help crowdfund my regular work on the Criminal Media Nexus by crowdfunding a regular column at Byline bylineident 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

Beyond Contempt Reprint: with new Martin Rowson Cover

 

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Some news from my Publisher, Martin Hickman at Canbury Press; Peter’s book. We did it!.

Some splendid news about Peter Jukes‘ gripping account of the phone hacking trial: we’ve taken delivery of a reprint.

When we published Beyond Contempt in the autumn, it was frankly a little risky – legally and commercially. Thankfully, hundreds of you who followed Peter’s tweets responded positively. Waterstones has been great too.

So, what’s new in the new edition? Well, we’ve torn through the book and had the text professionally typeset, redesigned the pages, and hunted down a few more typos and blitherings.

A little mischievously, we’ve also commissioned an illustration by Martin Rowson of Rebekah Brooks as Justice. It’s on the cover (right).

Get you copy from www.hackingtrial.com

Mazher Mahmood told Met Investigation back in 2005 his informants included “senior officers” and “bent police officers”

A small but telling detail about the proximity of News of the World’s star reporter Mazher Mahmood to the Metropolitan Police.

Over on Bellingcat, Joe Public has noticed that senior Met Officers never even asked about the provenance of the gun used in the Beckham Kidnap fiasco – which saw five people jailed on remand for months. A complaint about this led to Operation Canopus – into the Fake Sheik‘s activities 

 Then, on October 17th 2005 the Guardian ran a Roy Greenslade piece under the headline; “Police probe News of the World stories” – it was a report into the existence of Operation Canopus Two. For the first time a police investigation into Mahmood was out in the open.

But this investigation into Mahmood in 2005 apparently exonerated him, even though he told them:

“I’ve got bent police officers that are witnesses, that are informants.”

via bellingcat – Did Scotland Yard Cover-Up Beckham Kidnap Evidence So The Fake Sheikh Could Be Their Star Witness?.

Earlier during that interview on  26 October 2005 Mazher Mahmood also told investigators from Operation Canopus.

“I’ve got some senior officers in Britain who are also my informants”

This is a full SIX YEARS before the police launch Operation Elveden, into corrupt payments paid to police by News International journalists. Why the delay? And how can we trust the Fake Sheikh’s activities can be fully and appropriately investigated by the same police force he worked so closely with?

In his own words, some were bent. And he was also in contact with senior officers – probably way above the pay grade of those investigating him.

In his autobiography Mahmood boasts of meeting the former Met Commissioner Lord Stevens for drinks, with his then boss Andy Coulson. As the Press Gang notes this was in 2003.

It was shortly after the Crown Prosecution Service decision to abandon charges in the Beckham kidnap affair because one of Mahmood’s informants was considered an unreliable witness …

Continue reading

Mahmood investigation – more than uncanny echoes of the original limited Coulson hacking inquiries

Important piece from Bellingcat about Operation Silverhawk – the inquiry into Mazher Mahmood‘s alleged role in the Tulisa trial. It has more than uncanny echoes to the original limited phone hacking investigation in 2010.

Metropolitan police’s Operation Silverhawk, an investigation into Sunday on Sunday’s Fake Sheikh Mazher Mahmood is being led by Commander Martin Hewitt – who was one of the senior investigators in Operation Varec which was part of John Yates discredited investigation into phone hacking at Mahmood’s News of the World in 2010. Minutes from ‘Gold’ Group meeting which was chaired by Yates shows Commander Hewitt present as one the more senior investigators in the team at a meeting in September that year.

Operation Varec was criticised for interviewing whistleblower ex-News of the World showbiz reporter Sean Hoare under caution – effectively meaning that his statements could be used against him for prosecution. Hoare a former friend of Andy Coulson had given an interview to The New York Times weeks earlier claiming Coulson had “actively encouraged” him to hack phones but was left with no choice but to give No Comment answers in his police interview. This was at the time Andy Coulson was Director of Communications for the government at 10 Downing Street.

Read the whole piece bellingcat – Mazher Mahmood: Just Like Phone Hacking, the Met Narrows the Investigation.