Alistair Morgan with the Tribune’s Review section, redubbed the “Hacking Gazette”. Inset: Daniel Morgan
Published: 31 August, 2012
by ANDREW JOHNSON
THE Islington Tribune has been turned into an artwork to help draw attention to a man’s 25-year struggle to convict the murderers of his brother – and expose the police corruption that has failed to bring anyone to book.
An exhibition based on the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987 – he was killed by an axe blow to the head while sitting in his car in a pub car park in south London – is being held in a disused shop behind 133 Upper Street, near Angel.
As well as artwork by Mr Morgan’s brother, Alistair, it shows hundreds of newspaper cuttings about the notorious case, and letters to and from successive home secretaries, who all seem to be reluctant to give Mr Morgan a public inquiry.
There are also 50 doctored copies of the Tribune’s Review section, redubbed the “Hacking Gazette” to draw attention to alleged involvement by some newspapers in helping distort the case.
They have been created by artist Penelope Diaz, 26, who spent a night individually pasting new articles and headlines into the paper.
Daniel Morgan, a private detective, was killed shortly after saying he was going to expose police corruption.
Five separate court cases have failed to find anyone guilty because of police corruption which has led to evidence going missing. John Yates, the former Met assistant commissioner, described the case as “one of the most deplorable episodes in the entire history of the Metropolitan Police Service”.
The most recent trial collapsed in March 2011.
Equally disturbingly, one of the chief suspects, Daniel’s former business partner Jonathan Rees, was employed by David Cameron’s former spin doctor and News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, at the newspaper when he was freed from an unrelated prison sentence in 2007. He had previously carried out surveillance work for the newspaper after Mr Morgan’s killing.
Former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames, who worked for the television programme as a serving police officer, told the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics earlier this year that the News of the World put her and her then husband Detective Chief Superintendent David Cook under surveillance when DCS Cook became the “public face” of the investigation into Mr Morgan’s killing and appeared on Crimewatch to appeal for public help.
Ms Diaz, 26, said: “I heard about the case when I was studying journalism a few years ago. David [West, who organised the exhibition] and I thought that we should try and do something. We found a space and all the artists were really keen to do it.”
Speaking to an audience at the exhibition on Wednesday, Mr Morgan, who lives in Clerkenwell, said that he would never give up his fight for justice.
“I have no doubt that there was police involvement in my brother’s murder,” he said. “There have also been several cover-ups. Police officers have been involved in hiding the most serious criminality.
“If we want a police force that we can ever really rely on then we need to see the people responsible in the witness box.
“If I don’t do something about my brother’s murder – because it is left to me – and we collectively don’t do something and demand accountability then we don’t deserve a decent police force. We don’t deserve accountability.”