Guardian reporter who specialised in covering miscarriages of justice, official secrets, the arms trade and corruption in big business
David Pallister, the former Guardian reporter, who has died aged 76 following complications after a lung cancer operation, was involved in many of the paper’s most spectacular investigations. He was a member of the team that exposed the former Conservative politicians Jonathan Aitken and Neil Hamilton, both of whom unsuccessfully sued the paper for libel and he played a major part in the coverage of the wrongful convictions of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six.
It was his provocative article on the Guardian’s front page in 1995 about Aitken’s connections with the Saudis that prompted the latter’s famous press conference in which he promised that the “sword of truth” would root out “the cancer of bent and twisted journalism” supposedly represented by the work of Pallister and his colleague, David Leigh. This led to the libel action against the Guardian and Aitken’s eventual conviction for perjury in 1999.