Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leveson Inquiry: NoW Accused of Colluding With Murder Suspects - Daniel Morgan

This story has been around for a year or two, twenty five of them to be precise, and that which is alluded to in the story, goes far beyond a fleeting acquaintance between the cops, the News of the World and the murder of Daniel Morgan. Good to see the thing getting an airing via Leveson though.

Lots of information on the Morgan Murder here, Daniel Morgan Murder Cover-Up.

Leveson Inquiry: NoW Accused of Colluding With Murder Suspects

Former policewoman and Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames also claims Rebekah Brooks covered up why her family were targeted
John Plunkett
28 February 2012

Jacqui Hames Former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames broke down in tears as she gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry.

A former policewoman and Crimewatch presenter who was put under surveillance by the News of the World has accused the News International paper of "collusion" with suspects in a high-profile murder case at the Leveson inquiry.

Jacqui Hames, who broke down in tears as she gave evidence to the inquiry on Tuesday, accused the then News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks of covering up the real reason why her family were targeted.

Hames, a detective constable who appeared in uniform on Crimewatch and has since retired from the Metropolitan police, said the explanation Brooks offered was "pathetic" and questioned why the police did not do more to investigate the affair.

She and her then husband, senior police officer David Cook, were placed under surveillance by the paper after he was put in charge of a 2002 appeal for information regarding the murder of Daniel Morgan.

Morgan was found dead in the car park of a pub in south London in 1987. He had been hit in the head with an axe.

Private investigator Jonathan Rees, who allegedly earned £150,000 a year from the News of the World for supplying illegally obtained information, was cleared of Morgan's murder last March.

According to the witness statements Hames submitted to the inquiry, shortly after the new 2002 appeal, which was broadcast on Crimewatch, the police were told that one of the suspects intended to make life difficult for Cook, and the BBC1 programme received an email suggesting she was having an affair with a senior police detective.

The couple subsequently found themselves under surveillance by News International. Two vans parked outside their house were traced back to the News of the World causing them "great anxiety", said Hames.

Contacted by Met press chief Dick Fedorcio, Brooks said the paper was investigating suspicions that the couple were having an affair with each other, Hames said.

Hames told the inquiry this was "absolutely pathetic". "This was utterly nonsensical as we had by then been married for four years, had been together for 11 years and had two children," said Hames in her witness statement.

"Our marriage was common knowledge to the extent that we had even appeared together in Hello! magazine."

She said the News of the World had "never supplied a coherent explanation for why we were placed under surveillance".

In a meeting with her husband and his boss commander Andre Baker, she said Brooks "repeated the unconvincing explanation that the News of the World believed we were having an affair".

Hames said: "I believe that the real reason for the News of the World placing us under surveillance was that suspects in the Daniel Morgan murder inquiry were using their association with a powerful and well-resourced newspaper to try to intimidate us and so attempt to subvert the investigation.

"These events left me distressed, anxious and needing counselling and contributed to the breakdown of my marriage to David in 2010."

She added: "Given the impact of these events, I would like to know why the police did not investigate why we came to be placed under surveillance by a newspaper like this."

Hames told the inquiry that it was impossible not to conclude that there had been "collusion between people at the News of the World and people who were suspected of killing Daniel Morgan".

Asked by Lord Justice Leveson about the impact of the News of World surveillance on her personal life, Hames broke down in tears.

Leveson told her it was clearly very distressing and she did not have to continue.

But having recovered her composure, Hames told the court: "No one from any walk of life should have to put up with it. I would hate to think of anyone having to go through what we have had 10 years of."

Hames said private investigator Glenn Mulcaire's notebooks were later found to include her payroll number, her previous police accommodation, her address, telephone numbers, and details about her then husband.

Mulcaire worked for the News of the World for several years up to mid 2006 and was jailed for intercepting voicemail messages in January 2007.

She said the information showed the paper knew she was married to Cook and could not have been having an affair with him.

Hames, who was a presenter on Crimewatch between 1990 and 2006 and took early retirement from the police force in 2008, said this information could only have come from the Met's personnel file.

"When you learn that someone in your family, the police service, has sold you down the line it's very painful," she added. Gruniad

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