UK police corruptly hid failings in Daniel Morgan case: Report

Independent inquiry into 1987 killing accuses London’s Metropolitan Police Service of ‘institutional corruption’.

No one has been brought to justice for Morgan's killing despite five police investigations and an inquest into his murder [Henry Nicholls/Reuters]

The United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service corruptly concealed failings in its investigation into the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan, an independent inquiry into the case has concluded.

Morgan, a private investigator, was found murdered in a pub car park in southeast London on March 10, 1987. No one has been brought to justice for the killing despite five subsequent police investigations and an inquest.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service (the MET) has previously admitted that internal corruption hampered the force’s original murder probe.

Tuesday’s report comes eight years after Theresa May, the then-home secretary, in 2013 launched a panel to study the circumstances of the murder, its background and the handling of the case.

While it found no fresh evidence of police involvement in the murder, panel chair Nuala O’Loan was scathing about how the case had been handled.

O’Loan said the MET’s first objective had been to “protect itself” and accused the force of “failing to acknowledge its many failings” in the 34 years since Morgan was killed.

“The family of Daniel Morgan has suffered grievously as a consequence of the failure to bring his murderer or murderers to justice: The unwarranted assurances which they were given, the misinformation which was put into the public domain, and the denial of failings in the investigation,” O’Loan said at a news conference.

“We believe that concealing or denying failings, for the sake of an organisation’s public image is dishonesty, on the part of the organisation, for reputational benefit. This constitutes a form of institutional corruption.”

‘Deeply alarming’

Addressing Parliament on Tuesday in the wake of the report’s publication, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she had asked the MET’s head, Cressida Dick, to provide a detailed response to the panel’s findings.

She described the panel’s report as “deeply alarming” and said the MET had “irreparably damaged the chances of successful prosecution” with its handling of the case to date.

“Daniel Morgan deserved far, far better than this, as did his family,” Patel said.

Morgan’s family issued a statement calling for the MET’s leadership to “take responsibility” for the force’s failings over his case.

“We welcome the recognition that we – and the public at large – have been failed over the decades by a culture of corruption and cover-up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day,” the statement said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies