David Blunkett is likely to be served with a High Court writ within weeks
challenging his refusal to launch a public inquiry into the murder of a private
detective 17 years ago.
Daniel Morgan, 37, who grew up in Wales, was axed to death in the car park of a London pub. His family is convinced he had uncovered evidence of police corruption and that police officers were implicated in his murder.
There have been four separate police investigations into the killing. After the first, six people, including three serving police officers, were questioned and released without charge. Three people, including Mr Morgans business partner Jonathan Rees, were later charged with murder, but the case was discontinued before trial.
In June, Home Office Minister Hazel Blears wrote to the Morgan familys solicitor turning down a call for a public inquiry. Now solicitor Raju Bhatt is awaiting confirmation of public funding for a judicial review. In his original submission to the Home Secretary, Mr Bhatt wrote, The background to Daniels murder and the investigations into it is complex and murky. No one has been tried or convicted of the murder. The only form of public scrutiny that the murder has received was in the form of the inquest which culminated in a verdict of unlawful killing on April 18 1988. In the course of that inquest, serious allegations were made under oath of involvement by officers of the Metropolitan Police, first, in Daniels murder and, then, in covering up that police involvement in the course of subsequent investigations into the murder.
Those responsible for the Zinzan/Cook investigation - Det Chief Supt David Cook and Det Supt David Zinzan - have expressed to Daniels family their strong view that the evidence they obtained should have resulted in a prosecution of the primary actors in the murder. When they learnt that the Crown Prosecution Service had declined to prosecute, in September 2003, they insisted that they did not agree with the decision but had to accept it.
We say a public inquiry should be held under the same section of the Police Act 1996 that resulted in a public inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Mr Blunkett had misdirected himself on the facts, in law, and was in breach of obligations under the Human Rights Act, he claimed.