Saturday 25 March 2017

Man found with axe in head linked to hacking scandal

Oliver Wright in London

A MURDERED private investigator said he was taking a story exposing police corruption, for which he was promised a payment of £40,000 (€45,000), to 'The News of the World' a week before he died, it was claimed last night.

The BBC said it had evidence that Daniel Morgan had said he was to be given the money by Alex Marunchak, the former crime editor for the 'NOTW'. Mr Marunchak said last night he had never met Mr Morgan, who was found with an axe in his head in the car park of a south London pub in March 1987.

Trial

The revelation is significant because Mr Morgan's business partner, Jonathan Rees, is at the centre of allegations that he supplied stories to the 'NOTW' and other newspapers using sources including corrupt police officers. Mr Rees stood trial for Mr Morgan's murder but was acquitted when the trial collapsed.

Evidence gathered in a police investigation into Mr Rees's activities is now the subject of a separate inquiry by the Met's phone-hacking team. Last night, Tom Watson, the MP who has investigated the phone-hacking scandal at length, called for the murder to be re-examined as part of the Leveson hacking inquiry.

Mr Morgan, until his death, worked for Southern Investigations alongside Mr Rees, the private investigator whose company has been linked to alleged email hacking. Mr Rees has stated he did not commission or in any way incite or procure anyone "to hack" any computer.

Mr Rees was accused in 2008 of murdering Mr Morgan, but the case collapsed after three 'supergrass' witnesses were deemed to be unreliable. (© Independent News Service)

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