1: The story that vanished
But the Report can tonight reveal that we’ve seen a copy of a witness statement
to the police suggesting that a week before Daniel Morgan died, he said he was taking a story to a newspaper exposing police corruption.
The witness believed the paper was the News of the World, and that Daniel’s contact there was Alex Marunchak. If Daniel ever had a story, it never appeared.
GOLDBERG: So, just how important was the News of the World to Southern Investigations.
BOOKKEEPER: Erm, the News of the World really was the biggest customer, we used to invoice out maybe five to six hundred invoices a month but all of the invoices were for only for 50 pounds or less. Generally when you generate invoices you actually send them to an accounts department and then somebody in the system
will give the OK that they are OK and they are not fraudulent and they are to be paid, whereas with the case with the News of the World all of the invoices were hand- delivered to a man at the News of the World, not to the accounts department, and he would release an invoice to be paid now and again, so that they didn’t all go through in one lump.
GOLDBERG: So who was the man that they were hand-delivered to at the News of the World?
BOOKKEEPER: Alex Marunchak
GOLDBERG: And what did you hear about the relationship between Southern Investigations and Alex Marunchak, what was said about that?
BOOKKEEPER: I think they were pretty good friends, I think it was just a case of he could help us and we could help him, that sort of thing. He did have his credit card paid off at one time and there was a little comment thrown in about the fact that they had paid his school fees, and they obviously didn’t go through the books and I can remember Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery talking about that before they went out
to lunch and joking and laughing and saying that this would be the first time in his life that Alex Marunchak had been out of debt.
3: A bit of Watson
WATSON: I know that Jonathan Rees and Alex Marunchak had a very close relationship over many years to the extent that they were even in contact whilst Rees was serving a prison sentence. That kind of relationship between a very senior Newspaper Exec and a private investigator with a criminal record deserves greater investigation.
It's mostly style-and-tone, but that's not unimportant. The inverse path is interesting - the fact that substantial amounts of money were flowing from the police back to Marunchak.
But I think the next topic for speculation should probably be what the hell that story was. A significant fraction of why we're all arguing about this now, 25 years on, is driven by the Morgan case.
Strange, really - yet another news/Stross crossover post. We surely need the Laundry's take on the News of the World affair...