New inquiry into murder of Daniel Morgan ‘will expose Met cover-up’

Home Secretary to announce review into killing of private investigator 26 years ago

Political Correspondent

After five murder investigations spread over 25 years, and with no one yet brought to justice, the brutal 1987 killing of Daniel Morgan is once again set to be re-examined.

An independent review, which will be confirmed by the Home Secretary later this week, also threatens to expose an alleged "corrupt nexus" of private investigators, the police and journalists said to be involved in the stark failure convict the killer.

A lengthy campaign for a public inquiry by the family of Mr Morgan is expected to be told by Theresa May on Friday that the case will effectively be re-opened.

The campaign has included high-level political pressure to re-evaluate critical evidence which they believe holds the potential of severely damaging the already fragile post-Leveson reputation of the Metropolitan Police and leading tabloid newspapers.

Daniel Morgan, 37, was a partner in a London private investigations firm, Southern Investigations, when he was found dead in a south London pub car park. He had been struck in the head four times with an axe, the weapon found deeply embedded in the front of his skull. The killing has been described as a premeditated "execution" because Daniel was found with over £1,100 in cash still in his pockets.

The Labour MP Tom Watson, who has pressured the Home Office to re-visit the Morgan case, claimed the private investigator was murdered because he was about to expose corrupt Met officers.

The Home Office would only confirm that discussions with the Morgan family were continuing and that an announcement would follow.

However it is understood that Mrs May ordered the review after extensive submissions on all the police investigations, including the last two Scotland Yard probes in 1987 and 2006, had been examined by Home Office lawyers.

If the form of the independent review and its remit mirrors the Hillsborough investigation, a panel of experts appointed by a judge will be given powers to examine all aspects of the murder, including the potential influence of police corruption in preventing a conviction.

In a re-run of key elements of the Leveson Inquiry, the closeness of the relationship between Met officers and senior editors at the News of the World, and how this relationship could have affected the murder investigations, could also be examined.

Daniel's brother Alastair has remained silent on the Home Secretary's decision. However in his earlier submission to Mrs May, he said that for a quarter of a century his family had "done everything democratically and legally possible to secure justice for Daniel and to expose police corruption."

His blamed "obstruction and worse at the highest levels of the Metropolitan Police" and an "impotent police complaints system" which had resulted in "no public scrutiny of the evidence available in relation to Daniel's murder."

Murder inquiries took place in 1987, 1988-89, 1998-2000, 2002-03, with the last one beginning in 2008. Suspected have been arrested, released, re-arrested, charged and re-charged in connection with the case.

Mr Morgan's business partner at Southern Investigations, Jonathan Rees, along with three others, was charged with the murder in 2008. A Met detective sergeant was also charged with perverting the course of justice.

The case was halted in 2011 and the defendants cleared when the prosecution admitted defeat before the trial had officially started. Some 750,000 pages of material had been gathered by the prosecution lawyers.

Fall-out from murder, which took place in a Sydenham car park, has been felt inside Scotland Yard, and inside some national tabloid titles which have been accused of covering up the extensive use of dark practices which were touched on during the Leveson Inquiry.

During testimony heard by Lord Justice Leveson, it was claimed that the Morgan investigations had been influenced by the closeness of the relationship between News International's now-defunct Sunday tabloid, senior Scotland Yard detectives, and Southern Investigations.

Jacqui Hames - a former police officer and wife of the Met officer who led the last two investigations of the Morgan murder, detective chief superintendent Dave Cook - revealed to Leveson that she and her husband had been put under surveillance by an operation run by the News of the World.

The NOTW editor alleged to have ordered operation is said to have enjoyed a business relationship with Southern Investigations.

The Home Office review potentially adds another layer of legal complexity to the criminal trials scheduled for later this year on phone hacking and corruption. The publication of the Morgan review is therefore unlikely to be published before all the hacking and corruption-related cases have concluded.

The total bill for all the Morgan-related investigations over the last 25 years is reported to be around £30m.

In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
Retailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Arts and Entertainment
The first batch of coach and ticket packages has sold out for next year's Glastonbury
musicIt looks like you're going to have to be quick to get tickets this year
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?