P.O.W Christmas Appeal 18:43 Nov 25 0 comments
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Italy 1976: Seveso, Italy, saw one of Europe's worst environmental disasters 00:01 Aug 25 0 comments
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For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
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A recollection of the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid picket line 12:36 Wed Dec 11, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
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The tyranny of working life 13:15 Tue Dec 10, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
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Wilt thou not chase the white whale! Art not game for Moby Dick? 12:01 Wed Dec 04, 2013
Solidarity Books Launch: Sins of the Father 2nd Ed. by Dr Conor McCabe 09:24 Fri Nov 29, 2013
Using ?Legal Obstacles? like Barricades in the Class War 11:23 Mon Nov 25, 2013
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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South Africa?s Unfinished Democratic Revolution Mon Dec 09, 2013 13:06 | Daniel Finn
December Issue of Socialist Voice Out Now Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:41 | Communist Party of Ireland
On the Death of Nelson Mandela Fri Dec 06, 2013 09:15 | Communist Party of Ireland
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
A shot at bias in the media
Separating the News from the Noise Thu Apr 04, 2013 21:14
Blessed with nothing but good intentions Fri Feb 22, 2013 18:04
The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48
The web's political rainbow Wed Dec 07, 2011 09:47
The Forgotten Constituency: The Majority and The Irish Economic Crisis Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:49
Alex Marunchak - Presumed Innocent
One name has come up again and again during Hackgate is Alex Marunchak, who worked at the News of the World between 1981 and 2006, and who has yet to be arrested or charged in relation to any of the Hackgate police operations (Tuleta, Elvedon, et al). Marunchak rose through the ranks at the News of the World under editors including Piers Morgan, Phil Hall, Rebekah Brooks, and Andy Coulson.
Marunchak name first came up in the hacking scandal when BBC's Panorama claimed that while working as editor for the Irish edition of the News of the World in 2006 he was sent the private emails of ex-British Intelligent officer Ian Hurst , who wrote a book about the alleged spy who infiltrated the Provisional Irish Republican Army, Stakeknife, under the pseudonym Martin Ingram. The BBC programme alleged that Alex Marunchak had hired the hacker to target Hurst, and the e-mails were allegedly obtained from Ian Hurst's computer using a Trojan virus contained in an e-mail, with copies of the emails being faxed to the News of the World's Dublin office. Marunchak told the BBC he had
never met with a private investigator whom I asked to hack into computers
It is absolutely untrue any unlawfully obtained material was ever received by me at the News of the World's offices in Dublin
Beyond the claims of e-mail hacking at his direction the BBC also claimed they had evidence that he had paid Southern Investigations for access to stories based on confidential police materials while he was working in London for the News of the World.
Marunchak is alleged to have had a long relationship with Southern Investigations, and it's owner Jonathan Rees, which included using photographers and vans leased to the paper to run surveillance on behalf of Jonathan Rees and his partner, Sid Fillery, on Detective Chief Superintendent David Cook. The Guardian investigation suggested that the surveillance included, among other things, the alleged use of Trojan viruses attached to emails in an attempt to steal information from his computer. What triggered this was Cook's appearance on BBC Crimewatch, where he appealed for information to help solve the murder of Daniel Morgan, a crime for which both Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery were among the suspects. Cook was warned by Scotland Yard that they had picked up intelligence that Marunchak had been contacted by Fillery, and had promised to "sort Cook out".
The relationship between Marunchak and Southern Investigations goes way back, far enough for some of the conversations between Marunchak and Rees to be picked up by police bugs as part of Operation Nigeria in 1999, including these snippets reported in the Guardian in 2002
Alex Marunchak, of the News of the World, is identified by the transcripts as a lucrative customer of the agency. In a bugged telephone call in July 1999, Rees said Mr Marunchak owed the agency £7,555. The transcript says that the money would be paid in the name Media Investigations. Rees added that the account would be "back within the agreed limit" by the following week.
It's unclear when the relationship between Marunchak and Jonathan Rees began, but in a strange co-incidence the BBC reported that they had seen a witness report that claimed that Daniel Morgan had said one week before his murder that he was taking a story to a newspaper exposing police corruption, and the witness believed his contact at the News of the World was Alex Marunchak. Sadly for Daniel Morgan the only story that made it to the papers was the one of his brutal murder in the car park of the Golden Lion pub, shortly after meeting Jonathan Rees.
In July 2011 it came to light that Alex Marunchak had found time in between working for the News of the World and setting up businesses with his friends to work as a Ukranian translator for the Metropolitan Police
Between 1980 and 2000 Alex Marunchak was on the Metropolitan Police list of interpreters who provide interpretation and translation services for victims,witnesses and suspects of crime who do not speak English.
It may have been after one of these grueling translation sessions, while relaxing in a bar near the police station, that a Metropolitan Police offices alleges he heard Marunchak boast that he had relatives of the officers from the Soham murders police investigation on his payroll, a claim repeated by Tom Watson MP in Parliament
I believe the Metropolitan Police are sitting on an intelligence report from late 2002 that claims a police contact overheard Marunchak claim he was paying the relatives of police officers in Cambridgeshire for information about the Soham murders. These are allegations that as far as we know have not been investigated. I don't whether these intelligence reports are accurate, but I do know Alex Marunchak was involved in writing stories about how the Manchester United shirts of those young girls were found.
This wouldn't be the only time Marunchak was brought up by Tom Watson in Parliament, who made a series of serious allegations about Alex Marunchak and others about the murder of Daniel Morgan under parliamentary privilege, to which Marunchak responded to by denying all the allegations made.
So the question remains, if all these allegations are true, if there's so much money being put into the police investigations into computer hacking through Operation Tuleta, why has Marunchak not been arrested?