Friday 13 September 2013

The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel - Profiles

On 11 September 2013, Home Secretary Theresa May announced the names of the Panel members who will work alongside Chair, Sir Stanley Burnton.  Written ministerial statement on new members for the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (here)
Further to my Statement of 10 May 2013 announcing the creation of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel, I can today announce that the Chair, Sir Stanley Burnton, will be joined on the panel by the following panel members:
Silvia Casale: criminologist and independent expert for the Council of Europe.
Michael Kellett: former police officer (Lancashire Constabulary).
Graham Smith: academic and senior researcher at the University of Manchester.
This followed the formal announcement of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel on May 10th 2013.  At that time, the family of Daniel Morgan said
In 2011, over 24 years after Daniel’s murder, the Metropolitan Police finally admitted that their first investigation of this crime was crippled by police corruption. As Daniel’s family, we were aware of that corruption within three weeks of the murder: we said so then, and we have been saying so ever since.  Through almost three decades of public protests, meetings with police officers at the highest ranks, lobbying of politicians and pleas to the media, we have found ourselves lied to, fobbed off, bullied, degraded and let down time and time again. What we have been required to endure has been nothing less than mental torture. It has changed our relationship with this country forever. 
In the meanwhile, the allegations and evidence of serious corruption within the Metropolitan Police – extending to recent history and the highest ranks – remained unaddressed through five police investigations and a prosecution aborted after 18 months of pre-trial argument.  Over most of this period, we witnessed a complete unwillingness by police and successive government to face up to what was occurring, and ultimately a complete failure by police leadership to deal effectively with serious police criminality. 
“We trust and hope that the Panel, through its examination and publication of all relevant material and information, will assist the authorities to confront and acknowledge this failure for once and for all, so that we may at last be able to get on with our lives. 
The remit of the Panel announced by Theresa May
will be to shine a light on the circumstances of Daniel Morgan’s murder, its background and the handling of the case over the period since 1987. In doing so, the Panel will seek to address the questions arising, including those relating to:
- police involvement in the murder;
- the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice and the failure to confront that corruption;
- the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them.
For more background on Daniel Morgan's murder see (here) and (here)


Sir Stanley BURNTON

Stanley Burnton was called to the Bar in 1965. He practised initially in general common law, and then from 1976 as a commercial lawyer at One Essex Court. He took silk in 1982. He acted both as advocate and arbitrator in international arbitrations.

Stanley Burnton sat as a deputy High Court judge in the Chancery Division from 1994 until he was appointed to the High Court Bench (Queen’s Bench Division) in July 2000. He was nominated to the Administrative Court shortly after his appointment. He was subsequently the Judge in charge of Modernisation, IT and the Court Estate and one of the original three judicial members of the Board of Her Majesty’s Court Service. He also served as a member of the Civil Justice Council.

In April 2008 he was promoted to the Court of Appeal, and sat in both the civil and criminal divisions of the Court of Appeal. He has given judgments in a number of arbitration-related cases,

He retired as a Judge of the Court of Appeal on 25 October 2012, when he reached the age of 70, and has returned to One Essex Court to sit as an arbitrator.  He is a trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and a member of its audit committee.  He is an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford and a Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, London.

Stanley Burnton is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) which is a non-profit making charitable trust building and operating an interactive database of full text primary legal materials available without charge on the Internet. (source: BAILLI in a Nutshell)


Dr Silvia Casale is a British criminologist who has lived and worked in the USA, Sweden and the UK (source):
She works as independent adviser to the Council of Europe on training Parliamentarians in immigration detention monitoring and on capacity-building programmes for national preventive mechanisms.  She was the member in respect of the United Kingdom of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment from 1997 to 2009, and its President from 2000 to 2007. In 2007, she became the first Chairperson of the newly established United Nations treaty body the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, serving as the member in respect of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2009.
From 1998 until July 2012, she worked as a Northern Ireland Sentence Review Commissioner (re: release and recall of terrorist prisoners under the Good Friday Agreement) and has been a member of the International Contact Group (peace initiative in the Basque Country) since 2009. Previously, she was a member of the Parole Board for England and Wales (1988-1990) and an independent consultant to HM Prisons Inspectorate, England and Wales (1991-2005).
She is a long-standing trustee of the Prison Reform Trust, and from 1991 to 2012 was a trustee of the Prisoners Advice and Care Trust. She is a patron of UNLOCK (the national association of reformed prisoners in the UK) and of the Writers in Prison Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Association for the Prevention of Torture in Geneva.

Michael Kellett retired from the police service in the United Kingdom in 2006 on completion of thirty years service. During that time he carried out a variety of roles, mainly as a criminal investigator. From 2001 to 2003 he was seconded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg where he acted as police advisor to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and also worked with the Police and Human Rights Programme.

He has extensive experience, both in his ‘human rights’ role and as an operational police officer, of working in Europe, throughout the former Soviet Union, in the Balkans and in Asia and North America and since leaving the police has worked as a consultant on behalf of the FCO, OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe), EU, Council of Europe, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and d the APT ( Association for the Prevention of Torture).  His a member of the FCO’s  Human Rights Sub-Group on Torture Prevention.  (here)

He has undertaken several human rights and prison visits for the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), including to Kosovo (here), the Russian Federation (here), and Turkey. (here)

Michael Kellett - by virtue of strange coincidence - also has other relevant experience.

'Operation Rectangle (Historical Child Abuse Enquiry) - review of the efficient and effective use of resources'

In March 2009 he was engaged by the Acting Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police to undertake a 
‘Review of the Efficient and Effective Use of Resources' (Operation Rectangle). Rectangle was the investigation into historic cases of alleged child abuse at Haut de la Garenne children's home.  The Review was into investigation resource management and was not an operational evaluation.  

Amongst financial issues was scrutiny of alleged excessive expenses claimed for consultations with Scotland Yard.  The Haut de la Garenne child abuse scandal in Jersey needed a mainland, ACPO-nominated authority to oversee the investigation. Former MET Homicide Commander, Andre Baker took up the role in addition to his Deputy Director of SOCA duties. This necessitated liaison with Jersey States police and several visits to Jersey.

The States of Jersey investigation team were criticised for the amount of expenses claimed for their London visits.  On one occasion (dinner at an expensive restaurant) it was said that Jersey SIO (Senior Investigating Officer) had "also invited a News of the World reporter as his guest.  Her presence clearly made some of the participants feel uncomfortable".  In addition, a draft of the Review report was leaked to the Mail on Sunday despite Mike Kellett having had absolutely no contact, formal or informal, with any journalist.  Kellett was able to ascertain that the leak to the MoS had in fact come from the replacement Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Rectangle.

Graham SMITH

Graham Smith is a Senior academic in the School of Law at the University of Manchester. (here)  This role demands balancing the needs of research, teaching, policy, quality assurance and administration. His principal research interests are a) Police misconduct and legal remedies, b) Police accountability . He has an extensive and influential publications profile in his field of expertise (here)

In 2011 he was commissioned to undertake a study of 'Disproportionality in Police Professional Standards' for Greater Manchester Police (GMP), West Midlands Police and British Transport Police.  It involved an investigation of internally raised misconduct proceedings in GMP and analyses of Counter-Corruption data in the three services. (Executive Summary here)

Sir Peter Fahey, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said the report would help GMP “understand some of the underlying causes, which are complex and wrapped up in a host of cultural issues”.  (here)


One crucial indicator of how the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel means to proceed is the explicit centrality of the family - the need for consultation, transparency and staying informed throughout.

A recent model will no doubt be the "Report of the Independent External Review of the IPCC Investigation into the death of Sean Rigg" (May 2013 here)

One of the Sean Rigg Review team was Silvia Casale who said, "...the perspective of the family must be recognised as important."
The Review considers that the family are fellow travellers in the search for the truth
The family of Daniel Morgan need and deserve no less.

Friday 6 September 2013

Blue Chips And The New SOCA Dossier - What The Media Missed

The latest from my regular contributor.

Yes, it is quite clear that getting information from SOCA is like pulling teeth.

So many questions and loose ends. Wouldn't it be interesting to know more about what offences are in dispute? have SOCA really been liaising with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) or not? Who's been sitting on what information, for how long, and why? Wouldn't some more clarity on Project Riverside (here) be informative? Who knew what when about Operation Millipede and the 'blue chip' list? What was the sequence of contacts between SOCA and Metropolitan Police Service (MET) about Millipede? And also Operation Tuleta? (For background on Millpede and Tuleta see here).

Considering the recent press 'revelations' and 'outrage' over blue chips, it is remarkable that there is so little interest in the detail of these key questions. Or, in many cases, bothering with accuracy.

What would help, presumably, is if SOCA were to release into the public domain its answers to these key questions. Say, a 14 page dossier of responses to criticisms with detailed timelines etc etc.

It has. You can read it (here).

But apparently there's no interest from the mainstream press, despite them calling for answers for weeks. Baffling, isn't it?


Firstly, SOCA reports there is NO blue chip 'hacking' scandal as yet uncovered. And the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) is at pains to agree. This flies in the face of what has been reported in the Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent, Daily Mirror etc - and even the Financial Times. Reasons for this lack of accuracy might be speculated upon - ranging from inaccurate research or wishful thinking to sheer bloody minded ideological obstinancy. A wilful assertion of blue chip 'hacking' doesn't make it fact, but does mobilise a narrative skewed towards journalists being picked on and victimised.

The SOCA report to HASC says:
There has been some confused reporting over these matters in the media over the past few weeks...the clients of the private investigators convicted as a result of Operation Millipede have been characterised by some sections of the media as 'blue chip hacking'. However, it is important to note that the main focus of Operation Millipede was around the use of 'blagging'. There are different legislative penalties available to investigators and a lack of particularly dissuasive penalties for 'blagging' under the Data Protection Act, as opposed to 'hacking'.
Offences to do with 'hacking' are different to those associated with 'blagging', and different to those convictions for Operation Millipede which were for 'fraud' - which is why accuracy is preferable to muddle.


SOCA denies Riverside has "suppressed" blue chip 'hacking' and provide a detailed timeline (Annex B) which includes the dates that the Riverside intelligence report was shared with The MET, Home Office ICO and Leveson Inquiry. Operations Flandria and Gloxinia were focused on intelligence other than 'blue chip', and it is fair to assume some sections of the press were already well aware of the associated trajectories of Operation Abelard II and Operation Caryatid (the original 06-07 News of the World phone-hacking investigation). Press characterising "suppression" must therefore emanate from Operation Millipede rather than Project Riverside?


Operation Millipede was widely reported at the time of convictions, including both identified blue chip names and further alleged links to News international - itself a blue chip corporate. Undoubtedly, where SOCA can be criticised is for its tardiness in collating a structured list of corporate Millipede clients. 

The ICO appear to have been formally involved and informed early in Millipede, even before arrests were made. There were consultations on offences to be prosecuted with both ICO and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) particularly bearing in mind lack of public interest defence and the history of paltry sentences for Data Protection Act offences per se. There seems to have been a formal understanding and division of labour on Millipede: SOCA would progress Private Investigators prosecutions then provide ICO with the Millipede evidence to follow up and evaluate potential CLIENT prosecutions. Client prosecutions have never been ruled out - this is confirmed by ICO evidence in the public domain (see here).

And, with the imminent publication of the blue chip list by HASC, the ICO may be best placed to use that precedent to release the Motorman Files too.


Where both SOCA and MET can be criticised is perhaps in their failures to be clear about their division of labour, and why Millipede evidence was not passed to the ICO sooner. SOCA's intentions to pass Millpede to the ICO were altered in light of the launch of Operation TULETA. Tuleta (and sub-operation Kalmyk) involve very serious alleged offences - these were perceived as having precedence over lesser DPA infringements. That should have been made explicit to ICO and indeed Home Affairs Select Committee. This understandable but badly communicated decision has led to perceptions of cover up.

  • Kick-started by HASC, SOCA has belatedly drawn up a structured list of Millipede clients.
  • The ICO has now received Millipede evidence and will begin evaluating whether or not there is sufficient evidence that Millipede private investigator corporate 'blue chip' clients were aware of illegalities used on their behalf.
  • The MET continues to investigate alleged email hacking and other offences under Operation Tuleta.
  • There were 107 corporate clients on the 'blue chip' Millipede list given to HASC. Keith Vaz (HASC Chair) proposes 102 of those corporate clients be publicly named
The discrepancy in the numbers? That is because 5 client company identities have been redacted and witheld at the insistence of the MET for operational reasons. Those 5 are currently under investigation by Operation Tuleta which may potentially lead to serious corporate prosecutions. Those are the 5 to watch.

The latest news is that SOCA is still refusing to publish the blue chip list, and is supported in that stance by the MET. SOCA and MET reiterate the potential damage to on-going operations in a fluid and changing context. For example, "since SOCA provided the lists of 102 clients to the Committee on 22 July 2013, the MPS have identified a further four crossovers with MPS operations other than Operation Tuleta." (here)

None of which excuses the press itself for failing to cover the 14 page public dossier already presented to HASC. Why the deafening silence? Like Ouroboros eating its own tail, will the mainstream press now accuse itself of "suppression" and cover-up?