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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 October 2005, 13:34 GMT
Private eye murder 'breakthrough'
Daniel Morgan
Daniel Morgan's family says the review decision is courageous
The brother of a private detective murdered 18 years ago has welcomed an independent review of the investigation of the unsolved case.

Alastair Morgan called it a breakthrough after the "disgraceful" handling of the killing of Daniel, 37.

His family believes he was killed by a professional hitman after uncovering evidence of police corruption.

Daniel, originally from Monmouthshire, was found with an axe in his head in a pub car park in Sydenham, south London.

This case is as bad as it gets. It is worse than (Stephen) Lawrence, worse than (Jean Charles) de Menezes
Alastair Morgan, brother of murder victim
A review of the case was agreed last Thursday by the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), which voted last week for a "comprehensive" reappraisal of the various inquiries.

The family's allegation that he had found corruption was never substantiated by the former Police Complaints Authority and a series of investigations failed to lead to any prosecutions.

As part of the review, Met commissioner Sir Ian Blair will be asked to produce a report on the case by January next year.

Isobel Hulsmann and Alastair Morgan lay flowers at the murder scene in March 2005
Mr Morgan's mother Isobel and brother Alastair at the murder scene
A barrister will then be appointed "to independently review all the case papers in relation to the murder and all subsequent investigations".

The Morgan family described the MPA's decision as "courageous and principled".

'A step forward'

Alastair Morgan, 56, from north London, said: "This is most definitely a step forward - it is a breakthrough.

"It will be the first time that anybody outside the police has seen the primary material (in the case) in 18 years."

He added: "This case is as bad as it gets. It is worse than (Stephen) Lawrence, worse than (Jean Charles) de Menezes.

"What we hope the review will uncover is the disgraceful way in which this case has been investigated".

The body of Mr Morgan, who was originally from the south Wales village of Llanfrechfa, was found near the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south London, in March 1987.

Daniel Morgan was the co-owner of a firm called Southern Investigations, which employed off-duty police officers.

During a series of police investigations since his death, a business partner of Mr Morgan was arrested and charged but the charge was dropped.

Several serving police officers were also arrested but at Mr Morgan's inquest they were exonerated by the coroner and later paid damages for false imprisonment.

There was a further series of arrests in London and Croydon in late 2002, followed by the arrest of a former Metropolitan Police officer in his 50s in January 2003 on suspicion of "misconduct in a public office" relating to the initial murder inquiry.

But in September 2003, the Crown Prosecution Service concluded there was insufficient evidence to mount a prosecution.

The review of the case is expected to be concluded next year.



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