An Independent Panel, set up along similar lines to the Hillsborough inquiry, is to probe the extent to which corruption involving the News of the World was a factor in one of the UK’s most notorious unsolved murders.
Private investigator Daniel Morgan was murdered with an axe in a South London car park in 1987. Since then there have been five failed police investigations and a criminal prosecution which collapsed in 2011 after 18 months of pre-trial argument.
One of the defendants in that case, Morgan’s business partner Jonathan Rees, has worked extensively for the News of the World (as well as the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror).
Tom Watson MP claimed last year that Morgan went to a News of the World journalist with a story making allegations about police corruption a week before he was killed.
He claimed that two of the men arrested on suspicion of the Morgan murder were part of a “corrupt nexus of private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World”.
The journalist named by Watson, who Press Gazette is not naming for legal reasons, has denied that he was ever contacted by Morgan.
The Independent Panel is expected to look into the circumstances surrounding the murder, the failed police investigations and the relationships between police officers and the News of the World.