THE COMMISSIONER of the Metropolitan Police said the failed murder investigation into the death of Cwmbran private eye Daniel Morgan has been a “grave calumny” and that it was a "disgrace that [the murderers] got away with it.”
But Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he does not think the force should lead any investigation into potential police corruption and the alleged shredding of documents which are believed to relate to Mr Morgan’s brutal murder in a south-east London car park in March 1987
Mr Morgan, 37, was found in a car park with an axe in his head – and relatives believe he was murdered because he was investigating police corruption.
His family, who are originally from Cwmbran, believe there were documents that related to Mr Morgan's murder might have been shredded as part of Othona, an inquiry into anti-corruption in the police force.
At a meeting of the Home Affairs select committee today, and answering a question from Newport West MP Paul Flynn on the murder investigation, Sir Bernard said: “It is a grave calumny that the murderers of this man have not been brought to justice.
“At the end of the day, the disgrace is that they got away with it.”
And he said any possible investigation into possible shredding of documents was “certainly a problem now because we don’t know what was on the record.”
Sir Bernard said later it was possible the shredding of the documents could have been “malicious and dishonest”, although it could have also been because of chaotic organisation in the force.
But he said it was “unlikely” even now that someone of his seniority would be expected to sign off documents that would be shredded or deleted and that there would be delegated to other members of staff in the force.
He said he was unsure of the scale of documents’ shredding – although he said witnesses’ accounts suggested there had not been “lorry loads” of Metropolitan Police documents from investigations, like that into Mr Morgan’s murder, destroyed.
And he said the force is seeking information from an anonymous witness, a woman who served in the police who is now retired.
But he told the committee that collecting information from her on documents’ shredding was being made more difficult because the woman has a family member who is ill.
And the commissioner, who has been in post since September 2011, said he did not support any investigation into the force investigating itself and that he had “no problem with the IPCC carrying out the investigation.
“Anyone other than (the Metropolitan Police) would be a good idea.”
Mr Morgan’s brother, Alastair, attended the meeting.