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If officers of the Metropolitan Police have found documents relating to the murder of Daniel Morgan, that should have been disclosed to the inquiry into the way the police handled that murder, then the inquiry should be reopened, shouldn’t it?
The whole business is extremely suspicious.
If you’re not aware of the circumstances of the UK’s most-investigated murder: Mr Morgan’s body was found in a south London car park in 1987, an axe buried in his head. He had been investigating police corruption.
To date, no fewer than five investigations have been conducted into the murder. Nobody has been convicted.
In 2013, then-Home Secretary Theresa May launched an independent inquiry to examine “police involvement in Daniel Morgan’s murder, the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice, and the failure to confront that corruption”.
It also looked into “the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media, and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them”.
When the inquiry panel tried to publish its report in May 2021, then-Home Secretary Priti Patel tried to interfere, saying she needed to see it and may need to censor any part of it that she could claim might affect national security or human rights obligations.
She had no right to do so. The panel objected in the strongest possible terms and Patel had to back down. The report was published in full on June 15 that year.
And now it seems its findings may be false.
In January this year, 60 documents, comprising 166 pages of material, were found in a filing cabinet at New Scotland Yard, that the Met is asking us to believe has been locked for many years. Is that credible?
An assessment into the significance of the documents and any potential impact they may have was started in February and, it seems, concluded this week.
It found that 95 pages of material (37 documents) have been initially identified that would have been disclosed under a protocol agreed with the panel – and a further 71 pages (23 documents) that would have been provided to a subsequent inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
The Met’s press release is very specific about the meaning of the discovery: “Our assessment is that there are no evidential documents that relate to criminal investigations into the murder.”
What about documents that relate to “police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder”? What about any relating to police connections with private investigators and journalists, and corruption between them?
What about documents relating to other wrong-doing, that has not been suggested previously?
The Met’s press release says it will make any material that should have been disclosed to the Panel available to the family of Daniel Morgan and to Baroness Nuala O’Loan, who chaired the independent inquiry.
But shouldn’t it make all the new material available, so the family and Baroness O’Loan can make up their own minds?
You see, that report, published in June 2021, may have been incomplete or based on false information, but it did make several points very clearly:
The Met’s first objective in its approach to the inquiry was to “protect itself” for failing to acknowledge its many failings since Daniel Morgan’s murder in 1987.
Its handling of the investigation into Morgan’s death was “institutionally corrupt” and placed concerns about its reputation above its duty to investigate the murder properly.
The Met deliberately misled the public and Morgan’s grieving family.
It delayed handing over vital documents to the inquiry panel, thereby hindering its own work. An investigation that was not expected to take long ended up being stretched out over eight years.
Then-Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick – along with her successors after she was promoted – was responsible for refusing to provide access to this information and never provided a reasonable explanation.
So you can see that the Metropolitan Police are not to be trusted in this matter – under any circumstances.
Nor is any politician after Priti Patel’s attempt to interfere.
So let’s have all – and I mean all – the new information handed over to the family and the inquiry which should be reconvened to allow full reconsideration of all the evidence in the light of this discovery.
And one more thing:
Are there any more filing cabinets sitting around Scotland Yard that have been locked since time immemorial? You never know – we may yet find out what happened to Lord Lucan, or learn the identity of Jack the Ripper.</strong
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