The ongoing fight for justice in the Notorious BIG murder case has taken a new twist thanks to a hard-hitting article in US music magazine Rolling Stone.

Randall Sullivan, who wrote the book LABYRINTH about the rapper's 1997 murder, contends the Los Angeles Police Department failed in its investigation to link BIG's slaying to one officer and an ex-officer's ties to the heavyweight star's rival Marion 'Suge' Knight.

In his lengthy article, Sullivan maintains LAPD officers and staff at the Los Angeles Times newspaper conspired to "protect an LAPD officer" involved in the killing of the rapper, real name Christopher Wallace.

Sullivan also maintains that high-profile police officials buried an investigation into an alleged 'cops-for-hire' programme, in which officers carried out 'favours' and worked as minders for rap moguls because they didn't want to face another scandal amid the Rampart Police Station controversies.

In that scandal, Rampart police officers were accused of stealing cocaine, bank robbery and over-zealous investigations. One officer was also shot by another in an apparent road rage incident.

The new allegations have fired up Perry Sanders, who is representing the rapper's family in an ongoing civil trial against the police.

He says, "We have never focused on the Rampart aspect. Now, in hindsight - now that we've seen how things unfolded, that theory could make complete sense."

An ongoing fight to seek compensation from Los Angeles City by Wallace's family ended with a mistrial verdict earlier this year (05) and the estate is now seeking $1.5 million (GBP833,300) from city officials.