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Full Hearings

Hearing: 1st May 2009, day 124

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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held at:
The Interpoint Centre
20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ


on Friday, 1 May 2009
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 124

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1 Friday, 1 May 2009

2 (10.15 am)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr McCollum?

4 MR McCOLLUM: Thank you, sir.

5 Closing submissions by MR MCCOLLUM

6 MR McCOLLUM: The first point I might make is that I intend

7 to be very brief, and that is not to be taken to be any

8 disrespect to the Inquiry or the Panel, but it is just

9 the way I see matters in respect of Sir Ronnie as we

10 have already made, I hope, very detailed written

11 submissions.

12 In terms of oral submissions, I intend to deal with

13 those in three stages, three brief stages. First of

14 all, I'm going to make some general points and then I'm

15 going to address some specific points that have been

16 raised in what I might call the Myers letter, and then

17 the family submissions. And then finally, I will deal

18 with any questions that the Panel may have. Of course

19 the Panel may have questions as we proceed and I will

20 hopefully deal with those as we go along.

21 The first general point that I think I should raise

22 is the consideration of the status of

23 Sir Ronnie Flanagan within these proceedings because he

24 is not, of course, a Full Participant. He is a witness

25 to the Inquiry, albeit a witness who has had significant

 

 

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1 representation. The exact parameters of his involvement

2 remain, I suggest, a little unclear, but in our written

3 submissions we hope that we have identified to the

4 Inquiry the matters which will have been of most

5 interest to the Inquiry through the course of the

6 proceedings, as far as they reflect on or concern

7 Sir Ronnie Flanagan. Obviously if there are other

8 matters which the Panel feel we can assist upon, we will

9 be only too pleased to do so.

10 But the point that we would make at this stage is

11 that the Panel must remember that Sir Ronnie Flanagan

12 and his legal team have not had full access to the

13 papers and have not been present throughout the entirety

14 of the proceedings and have not have full access, for

15 example, to all the witness statements, not had full

16 access to all the documents and have not heard all the

17 evidence. So we are in a somewhat different position to

18 the Full Participants from that point of view.

19 The second general point that I would make is that

20 in considering Sir Ronnie Flanagan, it is our submission

21 that in terms of giving evidence and the evidence which

22 he gave, he did so in a forthright and an honest and

23 a fair manner to the Panel. We say that he had clearly

24 researched the issues involved and did his best to be as

25 helpful to the Inquiry as was possible. Furthermore, no

 

 

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1 new issue or revelation emerged from his evidence which

2 had not been fully aired or debated with other witnesses

3 in the Inquiry before he gave his evidence. In other

4 words, there was no fresh source of criticism emerged by

5 virtue of the evidence which he gave.

6 The third general point that I want to raise relates

7 to the Panel's approach to some of the evidence that has

8 been given before it. The general point deals with

9 three specific issues. First of all, throughout the

10 course of these proceedings, the Panel has received

11 evidence about the views or opinions of quite a number

12 of people, and it has been received in different ways:

13 First of all, from the witnesses themselves points of

14 view or opinions may have been canvassed; secondly,

15 there has been evidence about what people may have said

16 in certain circumstances, which might have reflected

17 a certain point of view; and thirdly, there has been

18 evidence from people about perceptions of people's point

19 of view, and the general point I want to make about that

20 is that it would be very dangerous if the Panel

21 condemned anyone for having any particular point of view

22 or any perceived point of view because the issue for the

23 Panel in an inquiry such as this is to determine and to

24 make judgments about people and organisations on their

25 actions or their inactions, not on their points of view.

 

 

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1 And it can be very easy sometimes to assume

2 a perception, a viewpoint or a point of view of someone

3 and then leap to a conclusion about a fact which might

4 not be justified on the evidence simply because of the

5 point of view.

6 Now, I know the Panel will be very careful to avoid

7 that, but sometimes opinion and viewpoints can be merged

8 and assume the status of facts when they are not, they

9 are simply view points.

10 The second point -- and I know the Panel have

11 continually voiced this concern throughout the course of

12 the evidence -- is that an inquiry such as this should

13 be careful about coming to conclusions in hindsight in

14 relation to matters which, by necessity, demanded the

15 exercise of judgment and discretion during the course of

16 the events that unfolded and which unfolded quite

17 clearly in very difficult times in Northern Ireland.

18 The third part of this general point is that the

19 Panel should be careful not to come to conclusions or

20 make findings of fact outside the remit of its Terms of

21 Reference, and in particular when the appropriate

22 evidential, factual basis for such a finding is not

23 available because there have been a lot of issues which

24 have been aired before the Panel but on subsidiary

25 issues, as it were, but which have not been fully

 

 

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1 investigated by the Inquiry because they do not touch

2 entirely on the Terms of Reference. And that point,

3 I think, will emerge in more detail in the first

4 specific point which I'm going to address.

5 So that's the general background against which these

6 oral submissions should be received, and in terms of

7 specific points what I intend to do is I will refer you

8 back to our written submissions -- I'm not going to

9 repeat any of those at this stage, but clearly if there

10 are questions about them I will be only too glad to deal

11 with those -- but I want to deal with two specific

12 points which are raised in the Myers letter and which

13 are a reflection of some of the submissions made by some

14 of the other participants.

15 The first matter is the question of whether, as

16 alleged by the family submissions and raised in the

17 Myers letter, there was a widespread and systemic

18 denegration of solicitors to clients in holding centres

19 and what steps, if any, did the Chief Constable take to

20 address these issues. These are matters also raised,

21 obviously, in the Myers letter.

22 In relation to the first part of this area of

23 interest, I make the following points. First of all,

24 there is virtually no evidence of direct harassment of

25 solicitors. I use the word "direct" with a degree of

 

 

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1 caution. There is, of course, evidence that solicitors

2 were maligned by police who were interviewing their

3 clients, and that evidence comes from the clients, some

4 of whom have given evidence, although that was evidence

5 in respect of which Sir Ronnie was not present and was

6 not represented. There is not, however, as far as we

7 can judge, direct evidence of abuse of solicitors; in

8 other words, that police directly engaged in the abuse

9 or mistreatment of solicitors on a one-to-one basis.

10 The difficulty is that this concept continued in the

11 course of the evidence took on the mantle of being

12 referred to as being direct harassment or abuse, and the

13 point about that is to make any assessment of this

14 aspect of the case requires a consideration of whether

15 or not the allegations were in fact true. I'll come

16 back to that in due course.

17 The second point I would make is that there were

18 reasons why those clients who made those allegations

19 would have been motivated to invent them, and that is

20 a matter that has been debated at some length through

21 the Panel and the witnesses and no doubt will be

22 addressed in much greater detail by the family's

23 submissions and the submissions on behalf of the PSNI.

24 The third point, which is maybe of more

25 significance, is that what I say is that in the absence

 

 

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1 of a much more substantial body of evidence which would

2 consider a significantly greater number of issues, the

3 Panel is not in any position to make any finding of fact

4 about whether there was a widespread and systemic

5 denegration of defence solicitors. That substantial

6 body of evidence would have had to address such matters

7 as the number of holding centres and police stations in

8 which interviews took place, the actual number of

9 suspected terrorists interviewed on a daily basis during

10 the relevant period, the number of police officers who

11 would have been involved in conducting interviews of

12 terrorist suspects, the number of actual interviews

13 which took place, the number of suspects who made

14 complaints as a percentage figure of the overall number

15 of terrorist suspects who were interviewed during the

16 entire period, the number of actual complaints made,

17 ie how many were made by each individual suspect, how

18 many of those complaints emanated from exactly the same

19 source -- because we know some of the people who were

20 interviewed made a number of different complaints -- and

21 ultimately, whether each complaint was true or borne out

22 because it was only if one could come to conclusions

23 about all those issues that one would conclude whether

24 or not there was a widespread and systemic denegration

25 of solicitors.

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: But Mr McCollum, if you see the tip of an

2 iceberg, you can find, can't you, that there is an

3 iceberg below the tip?

4 MR McCOLLUM: That is a possibility, but not until one

5 carries out a thorough enquiry and investigation into

6 what lies below the tip of iceberg, and that's the point

7 I make. It does not mean that it was not something that

8 needed to be investigated and looked into because that

9 is entirely different matter. What I'm saying is that

10 the Panel is not equipped with the necessary information

11 to come to a factual conclusion that there was in fact

12 a widespread campaign. The Panel is quite entitled to

13 say, well, there were certainly allegations that there

14 was a widespread campaign because there were a number of

15 people making these allegations, but it is not -- and it

16 should not, indeed, entertain the prospect of coming to

17 a factual conclusion about the matter because there

18 simply has not been the material placed before it to

19 equip it with the means for making such a conclusion.

20 And that really brings me on to the second part of

21 this issue which is raised because I do, of course,

22 accept that the Panel is justified and, indeed, required

23 to consider the second limb of the issue, if I could

24 call it that. Because even if the Panel cannot come to

25 any conclusion about whether there was in fact

 

 

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1 widespread and systemic mistreatment of inmates,

2 terrorist suspects, about their solicitors, it still has

3 to consider the police reaction to the complaints that

4 were made. And the more relevant issue for the Panel,

5 when one go goes back to the Terms of Reference, is what

6 was the police reaction to the complaints that were

7 made, not whether or not in fact the complaints were

8 true.

9 And of course, as I understand it, although it is

10 a matter upon which Sir Ronnie Flanagan has not been

11 directly involved, the Panel has made it clear that it

12 doesn't intend to go down the line of saying whether any

13 particular individual complaint was true or not and is

14 not entering the arena of, in such and such a situation,

15 was the suspected terrorist's allegation that there was

16 an allegation made in the sense of a solicitor true or

17 was the policeman's version correct, because it doesn't

18 really, at the end of the day, assist the Panel in

19 relation to the Terms of Reference, which the Panel must

20 always come back to.

21 But insofar as Sir Ronnie Flanagan is concerned,

22 clearly the Panel has to enter into a consideration of

23 what his response was to the situation, and in

24 particular his involvement then with the ICPC comes into

25 the picture. And there are a number of brief points

 

 

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1 that I'll just make about that.

2 The first one is, because it immediately brings the

3 ICPC into the framework, as it were, that insofar as the

4 ICPC were concerned, the evidence, I suggest, clearly

5 demonstrated that Sir Ronnie Flanagan in fact advocated

6 change to this system and had done even before these

7 issues came to light. And the change which he advocated

8 was that there should be a change first of all to the

9 civil standard of proof, that there should be an

10 encouragement that if there was any problem encountered

11 by either a solicitor or his client that there should be

12 reporting, and that he advocated the introduction of

13 a Police Ombudsman and also the idea of audio and visual

14 recording.

15 He, of course, maintained the position that this was

16 not because he had an issue with the ICPC or he felt

17 that they were not doing their job correctly or that

18 there was a problem with it, but he recognised that

19 there was a large issue in relation to confidence in the

20 system, and that he advocated change in an effort to

21 increase confidence in the system.

22 I might just remind the Panel that there is

23 assistance to be found on this issue not only in the

24 written submissions, but also Sir Ronnie Flanagan's

25 evidence and in his statement at paragraphs 77, 79, 80,

 

 

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1 81 and 85. And in a general sense, what we say insofar

2 as Sir Ronnie Flanagan is concerned, is that this was

3 a perfectly proportionate response to the prevailing

4 series of complaints at the time.

5 There is a discrete issue which arises against this

6 background and that is a direct allegation made in the

7 Army submissions, and that is that Sir Ronnie Flanagan

8 would not accept the ICPC suggestion when he did not

9 agree with them. We say that's not actually correct

10 factually. What in fact happened was that the Mulvihill

11 investigation was brought about because of a breakdown

12 in the relationship between Geralyn McNally and the

13 investigating officer.

14 One must remember that there were a whole lot of

15 different viewpoints at play in relation to this part of

16 the case and, indeed, it would appear from reading other

17 submissions that all the ICPC members -- a large number

18 of them except for Paul Donnelly -- in fact disagreed

19 with the way Geralyn McNally went about this matter.

20 That is not to that she was wrong or they were wrong,

21 they just had different viewpoints. But

22 Sir Ronnie Flanagan did quite a number of things: He

23 involved Mulvihill and instigated that investigation; he

24 contacted the Law Society; he encouraged

25 an advertisement in The Writ, which is the magazine

 

 

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1 which is circulated to solicitors in the Law Society,

2 asking people to come forward if they had any experience

3 such as those that the Panel had heard about; and he

4 requested assistance from the Law Society in relation to

5 training. And this, we say, all demonstrates his

6 determination to deal with the issues as efficiently and

7 effectively as they could be dealt with within the

8 system that existed at the time. Because while he had

9 advocated change, it was not his remit to act as

10 a legislator, he could not legally change the system, he

11 could only try and make it work in a better way as long

12 as it existed and encourage change in the way that he

13 did, and which inevitably did take place.

14 There is another very discrete factual point which

15 arose, and that is there has been a suggestion that he

16 didn't do enough to remind his officers of the need not

17 to harass solicitors or the need not to harass

18 solicitors through the clients, as it were. Well,

19 rhetorically I would ask the question: was that

20 something that he really should have needed to remind

21 his officers of? Surely as a police officer, they would

22 have known that that was something they shouldn't do.

23 And I suppose it is a bit like saying to a shoplifter,

24 "You shouldn't steal". Of course, he knows he shouldn't

25 steal, but that doesn't mean to say that saying it will

 

 

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1 stop them doing so.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: But if in the public mind there is

3 a potential risk or possibility or problem about the

4 matter, wouldn't it have been at least wise of

5 Sir Ronnie to issue either a general force order or

6 instruction to have these allegations made? It is

7 important that every officer realises the great

8 importance, not only from the point of view of the

9 reputation of the force, but of proper policing, that on

10 no occasion whatsoever are disparaging remarks ever to

11 be made to the client or solicitor during interviews.

12 It would have been an easy instruction to have broadcast

13 without making any positive allegations against any

14 officers whatever.

15 MR McCOLLUM: I think there are two points about that.

16 First of all, my recollection of the evidence was that

17 in fact he did do something in that he did ask that this

18 should be reinforced in the training of officers.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

20 MR McCOLLUM: That this should not occur, which was

21 obviously at a level that was, if one likes, not in the

22 public arena. The second point is that like any head of

23 any organisation, he would have had a balance to strike

24 between maintaining the confidence of his own police

25 force and not saying something that might be interpreted

 

 

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1 as an acceptance that the allegations were true because

2 police officers, like anybody else, were sensitive to

3 these issues that were going on and allaying public

4 concerns about the system.

5 So there was a balancing act to be held, one might

6 say. He could have made a public statement, but on the

7 other hand one could say that might have damaged the

8 morale of his own police force, or whatever. So it was

9 a judgment decision to be made.

10 Maybe in hindsight it might have been better to have

11 done that, but who is to say it was the wrong judgment

12 at the time.

13 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Can I just clarify this, please,

14 because my recollection -- which may be wrong -- is that

15 when he was giving oral evidence, Sir Ronnie explained

16 to us the steps that he had taken in relation to

17 training and in relation to the Law Society. And

18 I rather remember asking him did he put something in

19 writing within the force and he said he rather thought

20 he had.

21 Now, that doesn't quite square with what you have

22 been saying, should he have done so?

23 MR McCOLLUM: No, no, I think that's a slightly different

24 point. I do think he did something in writing to the

25 force. I'm saying he didn't put it in the public arena.

 

 

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1 He didn't make a grand statement to everybody for the

2 public, "I'm telling all police officers they must

3 behave themselves in the interview situation". I don't

4 think it went that far. But I do think there is

5 something about something going to writing, I do recall

6 that.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't think, Mr McCollum, we have seen any

8 document that indicates that some sort of warning note

9 or instruction or guidance was given other than the

10 mention of training. If there is such a document, we

11 would obviously like to see it, that was circulated

12 generally through force and in particular, of course, to

13 holding centres.

14 MR McCOLLUM: I think that we have never been able to locate

15 any such document, but we did -- and my instructing

16 solicitor did write to Inquiry at one stage giving the

17 name of the officer who Sir Ronnie had indicated he had

18 spoken to about arranging this circular and suggesting

19 a statement should be taken from him. That's as far as

20 I can take it at the moment.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Of course it is a matter not for Sir Ronnie,

22 but for the PSNI to disclose any document, and as far as

23 I know, we haven't seen any document.

24 MR McCOLLUM: But of course, the absence of a document now

25 does not mean it might not have existed at the time.

 

 

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1 That's another issue, and I know an issue that has been

2 present in the proceedings on a number of different

3 issues.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: In a sense, speaking for myself, I can

5 understand Sir Ronnie saying publicly that the

6 allegations are unfounded, but certainly within the

7 management of the PSNI and the RUC and with regard to

8 himself, he must have had at least misgivings because,

9 of course, as you said, he advocated changing the

10 standard of proof.

11 I mean, one of the difficulties was the standard of

12 proof, that really no allegation had any chance of being

13 proved on the old standard of the criminal standard of

14 proof because it was the word of one suspect against two

15 police officers.

16 MR McCOLLUM: Yes.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Maybe there was 100 per cent all the police

18 officers may have been right, but the chance of that

19 occurring is remote.

20 MR McCOLLUM: Yes. Well, all I would say with that is that

21 Sir Ronnie obviously did not close his mind to the fact

22 that there could have been some officers who didn't act

23 in the appropriate fashion and that he didn't

24 necessarily feel that the system was appropriate in

25 dealing with complaints because the standard of proof

 

 

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1 was too high, and that's why he advocated change.

2 But what I say in relation to these proceedings, or

3 this Inquiry, is that the response that he made to this

4 difficulty was a perfectly proportionate and responsible

5 response and that in hindsight one can say there could

6 have been other things he could have done and that, of

7 course, is right. But at the time, in his judgment at

8 that particular time there, is he to be criticised for

9 it? I suggest that would be very unfair because he made

10 a response which was in the overall scheme of things

11 and, taking into account all of the issues he had to

12 deal with, one that was a reasonable one and that is all

13 that would have been required of him.

14 Just in relation to Dame Valerie's exchange with

15 Sir Ronnie, we have actually identified the position and

16 maybe I can just remind us what exactly was said. We

17 have just lost it again. We will maybe come back to it

18 in a moment. It is Day 99 at paragraph 118, I think.

19 I'll come back to that.

20 The next specific point I wish to deal with is

21 another issue raised in the letter of 28 April from

22 Mr Myers, and it is towards the end of the letter under

23 the heading of "Due diligence and obstruction". The

24 issue which is specifically addressed is whether

25 Colin Port waited too long before involving

 

 

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1 Sir Ronnie Flanagan in the issue of his request for

2 access to CHIS identities and did Sir Ronnie allow the

3 issue to remain unresolved for too long.

4 So this is a matter which Sir Ronnie Flanagan

5 touches on in his statement at paragraphs 183 to 186.

6 It is not, however, a matter which he was asked about

7 when he gave his evidence; that is, he wasn't asked

8 about the reasons for the delay or anything about the

9 delay. So it is difficult to know precisely the reasons

10 he might have given in support of the gap between the

11 initial request to him and the final resolution of the

12 issue.

13 What I would say is that if there was to be any

14 criticism of Sir Ronnie in relation to this issue, one

15 would, I suggest, expected it to have come from the

16 Murder Inquiry Team because they were the people

17 requesting the information. And of course, no such

18 criticism has been made by the Murder Inquiry Team

19 either during the course the events as they unfolded or,

20 indeed, at the present time.

21 One imagines this is because this was recognised and

22 still should be recognised as having been a very

23 volatile topic. In many respects, Sir Ronnie was caught

24 between the devil and the deep blue sea. On the one

25 hand he wanted to ensure that there was an open and

 

 

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1 transparent investigation and one in which no stone was

2 left unturned and in respect of which the Murder Inquiry

3 Team had access to all information. On the other hand,

4 he had to manage his police force and deal with the

5 genuine concerns which Special Branch had both in

6 relation to the safety of CHISs and their own misgivings

7 that they were in fact the target of the investigation.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: You see, I think the problem that concerns us

9 is that the agreement with Mr Port was drafted by

10 Mr Port, in particular paragraph 7. And the question is

11 should Sir Ronnie have realised that he was going to be

12 caught between the devil and the deep blue sea at that

13 stage and, at that stage, brought in some protocol for

14 dealing with it because there clearly was -- or might

15 well be a conflict of obligation between national

16 security, preservation of life of CHISs on the one hand,

17 the free flow of future intelligence and the need, so

18 far as possible, to provide intelligence to be exploited

19 into evidence for the purposes of Mr Port's

20 investigation. The matters really weren't resolved

21 until after Christmas of 2000.

22 MR McCOLLUM: Yes. Well --

23 THE CHAIRMAN: I'm not saying necessarily there is

24 a criticism of it, but that's the problem that occurred

25 and it is really should it have been foreseen, when it

 

 

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1 occurred should it have been dealt with earlier.

2 MR McCOLLUM: I can see exactly the way in which the matter

3 is being considered by the Panel, but the point I would

4 make is, first of all, the issue as to whether or not it

5 could have been foreseen in advance of the protocol

6 being drawn up was never raised with Sir Ronnie, as

7 I recollect it, and it is difficult for me to say what

8 his response to that might have been. One imagines

9 that --

10 THE CHAIRMAN: It never occurred, I don't suppose, either to

11 Mr Port or Sir Ronnie Flanagan. I think the question is

12 should it have occurred to either of them, looking at it

13 objectively and without too much hindsight --

14 MR McCOLLUM: I take the point absolutely.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: -- in March or April 1999.

16 MR McCOLLUM: Yes, but the point I make is that I don't know

17 that I can answer that question.

18 Sir Ronnie might be able to answer that question,

19 but it wasn't a question he was asked and that maybe is

20 the answer to the question because perhaps no one in

21 fact thought of it at the time he was giving evidence,

22 which might suggest that it isn't something that would

23 immediately have come to mind when the protocol was

24 being drawn up, perhaps.

25 To have foresight to see such a specific falling

 

 

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1 out, as it were, arising would have taken, I suggest,

2 very considerable foresight by both Sir Ronnie and

3 Mr Port at that time because one has to remember that

4 the focus of their attention was to get a murder

5 investigation up and running and to try as best they

6 could to ensure that the culprits were apprehended, as

7 it were. So minutiae of detail like that I suggest

8 would not have been at the forefront of their mind.

9 And in relation to what happened when it did happen,

10 I suggest that this was a very difficult situation, that

11 Sir Ronnie had to walk the proverbial tightrope between

12 two conflicting situations and really a negotiating

13 process had to be undertaken. And he, in my submission,

14 managed to walk that tightrope very successfully and

15 secure information for the MIT in the end, albeit it

16 took a little bit of time.

17 So, unfortunately, that's as far as I can really

18 take that issue because of the way in which the evidence

19 unfolded.

20 In terms of oral submissions I would have very

21 little to add. I have a short conclusion, but it may be

22 that the Panel might have questions for me before I do

23 conclude. And, therefore, I would invite any questions

24 or any issues that the Panel might like me to assist on

25 in relation to the written submissions.

 

 

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1 Questions from THE PANEL

2 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I deal with what I would term the

3 Cumaraswamy issue, please?

4 MR McCOLLUM: Yes, certainly.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I firstly put this into context?

6 This is one of several issues where there is conflict

7 over what the Chief Constable allegedly said or did not

8 say, but the overall issue, of course, is: is this one

9 contributory factor which suggests an attitude or

10 a culture within the RUC in relation to defence lawyers.

11 And you have already, in your opening, addressed part of

12 that.

13 But in relation to Mr Cumaraswamy and what he, and

14 Mr Parra, his assistant, secretary, alleged that

15 Sir Ronnie said in relation to lawyers in

16 Northern Ireland -- working for paramilitaries -- the

17 issue that I am not completely confident that I have

18 a full understanding over is this. Sir Ronnie saw fit,

19 probably quite properly, as Chief Constable to become

20 personally involved once the draft report had been

21 produced and he saw this as a significant issue where he

22 should step in. Having done so, listening to his

23 evidence in relation, for example, to the notes that

24 were taken at the time of the meetings with

25 Mr Cumaraswamy, Sir Ronnie suggested that he did not

 

 

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1 have any subsequent conversations with those note

2 takers, Mr White and P157, for example, and he didn't

3 appear to take any interest in coming to any personal

4 conclusion satisfying himself as to the records of the

5 conversations as recorded. And I find that rather

6 unusual having, as I said, taken such a personal

7 interest at the outset to ensure that, as he tells us,

8 the record was put straight.

9 Would you like to make any submission as to why that

10 was so?

11 MR McCOLLUM: First of all, I don't think he was actually

12 asked directly that question when he gave evidence. He

13 was certainly asked questions concerning this issue, but

14 I don't know whether he was directly asked that

15 question.

16 Be that as it may, the answer to it may be this:

17 what his evidence was that, first of all, he didn't make

18 the remark, and secondly, it wasn't made in his

19 presence. So, therefore, when it appeared in a report,

20 his reaction was, "That is completely wrong. I did not

21 say that." And his concern was to have the record put

22 straight in that respect. And the ultimate result of

23 the communication between him and perhaps the NIO and

24 Mr Cumaraswamy was that the allegation, the comment that

25 had been made, was withdrawn.

 

 

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1 Now, it wasn't then suggested by anyone that someone

2 else might have made the remark. So the matter, as far

3 as Sir Ronnie was concerned at that stage, was therefore

4 closed, and that might be the answer. Because it

5 wasn't -- one would need to go back and check notes,

6 because so far as Sir Ronnie was concerned the

7 allegation he had made the remark was removed and,

8 therefore, there was no need to check any notes. That

9 might be the answer because, as I say, I don't think he

10 was asked directly.

11 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Can I just ask a fourth question?

12 He told us -- and this was the first time we had heard

13 such a thing -- that he was in and out of the meeting,

14 taking phone calls.

15 Prior to that, I think my understanding was that he

16 was in the meeting and then eventually left, and

17 Mr White took over and gave a little presentation about

18 the history of all of this. So that was, as it were,

19 news, at any rate to me, when he said that he had been

20 in and out of the meeting.

21 But given that he was in and out of the meeting and

22 that this remark appeared obviously to his great

23 surprise in the draft report, wouldn't it have been

24 prudent to check with Mr White, who undoubtedly was

25 there throughout the meeting, about whether possibly,

 

 

25


1 whilst he was not there, Mr White had said something?

2 MR McCOLLUM: I think that might be right if there was some

3 suggestion by Mr Cumaraswamy and Mr Parra that they

4 weren't sure who had made the remark, but they weren't.

5 They were saying it was definitely the Chief Constable

6 and he was saying, "Well, I definitely didn't make it".

7 So why would you enquire whether somebody else might

8 have made it in those circumstances?

9 I'm only thinking this through on my feet but that

10 might be the answer to it. As I say, Sir Ronnie was

11 asked about this so I'm second guessing this, so far as

12 I recall.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: He would have been aware that a note was

14 being taken by P157 -- that is the Superintendent in the

15 Secretariat who he would be in daily contact with.

16 Isn't it very surprising that he wouldn't have discussed

17 it with him, mentioned it to him?

18 MR McCOLLUM: I think there is some record from my mind that

19 there was a discussion with P157, or P157 brought it to

20 his attention or something of that nature. Whether he

21 should or shouldn't have discussed the notes with him,

22 I'm not sure.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: You see, somebody made a telephone call to

24 Geneva and spoke to, I think, Mr Wells in the Foreign

25 Office, and is it conceivable that somebody would make

 

 

26


1 a call about this matter to Geneva without discussing it

2 and researching the matter and getting the authority of

3 the Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie, to make the telephone

4 call, assuming Sir Ronnie himself didn't make it?

5 MR McCOLLUM: Well, there obviously were discussions about

6 the matter, that's absolutely clear, because the NIO

7 were involved and P157 was involved and other people no

8 doubt within Command Secretariat were involved. There

9 were discussions, there is no doubt about that.

10 Whether that would inevitably have led to

11 consideration of the notes is really second guessing

12 because Sir Ronnie's evidence is he didn't see the

13 notes, or doesn't recall seeing the notes. But why that

14 was was never really fully investigated.

15 The only point I would make is that from

16 Sir Ronnie Flanagan's point of view, he is saying it was

17 a stark allegation he had made the comment, he said he

18 didn't make the comment. From his point of view there

19 couldn't possibly be a note of it because he didn't make

20 it, so how could there be a note of it.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: There is an air of unreality in the evidence

22 as it stands. We have got Mr White's briefing paper, we

23 have got Mr White's trenchant criticism of the

24 Cumaraswamy Report and I would have thought that because

25 the Chief Constable took it upon himself to treat the

 

 

27


1 matter as a matter of seriousness, so far as he was

2 concerned, that some enquiries would have been made to

3 him and to people who might have answered how did this

4 arise, particularly bearing in mind Mr Cumaraswamy was

5 persisting in saying it was said.

6 MR McCOLLUM: Possibly, and I suggest that there is a strong

7 inference for this. Sir Ronnie's major concern about

8 this was first of all that it was not a belief that he

9 ever held and, therefore, it completely misrepresented

10 his position and, therefore, the police's position

11 overall. And secondly, that to have it published in

12 a major report was a highly dangerous thing, not just

13 for the police and its reputation, but also for the

14 individuals concerned. And the goal for him from both

15 a political and practical point of view was to have the

16 remark removed. After that, it ceased to have the

17 importance that it has subsequently now reassumed within

18 these proceedings, as it were, and that is possibly the

19 answer to it.

20 Just leading on from that, I would suggest that

21 a counsel of caution has to be used in the approach to

22 this issue because one is looking back to something that

23 happened now 12 years ago to comments that were made by

24 someone, which may or may not have been comments that

25 were his, the speaker's, actual point of view, which

 

 

28


1 might have been the speaker saying this might be someone

2 else's point of view which might have been taken out of

3 context, which is very difficult to contextualise now.

4 And in a sense, my general submission about it would be

5 that it is a matter which really is of very limited

6 assistance to the Panel in determining whether or not it

7 was a reflection of some overall police attitude.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That's an issue that, at this stage in

9 the Inquiry, having heard now the totality of the

10 evidence and read evidence which has not been given

11 before us orally, where had it been said at the meeting,

12 regardless of who said it, if you add the allegations

13 that have been made before us about the attitude of

14 police officers in holding centres, then it might

15 suggest that this was an attitude held by one of the

16 senior managers present at the meeting, which was in

17 fact being interpreted in an operational context when

18 police officers were actually dealing with suspect

19 terrorists. And that's the dilemma for me and for the

20 Panel and why it takes on, contrary to your submission,

21 some importance. And why, if Sir Ronnie hadn't said it

22 personally -- and I hear clearly what you are saying on

23 that point and what Sir Ronnie has said himself -- that

24 if there was any suspicion that one of his senior

25 officers held that view and had been responsible for

 

 

29


1 transmitting that to Mr Cumaraswamy, that that was an

2 issue that couldn't, as you are suggesting to us, have

3 been finalised by getting the point taken out of the

4 report. There was a bigger issue relating to possible

5 culture within his organisation and it needed to be

6 sorted.

7 MR McCOLLUM: Yes, but I think the point I'm making is that

8 there was nothing at the time to suggest to

9 Sir Ronnie Flanagan that someone else had said it. The

10 issue was did he say it. Once it was removed, then it

11 hadn't been said. That would have been his mindset.

12 No one had suggested to him that there was someone else.

13 Therefore, it is alleged that he said it, he says, "I

14 didn't say it. You have now removed it." That was the

15 end of the issue.

16 He is and was a very direct man and that was the way

17 he dealt with issues. He dealt with them in a very

18 direct manner and sometimes he probably didn't look

19 under the tip of the iceberg, as it were. But that was

20 because that was the way in which he went about his

21 operational business. That was his personality, as it

22 were.

23 But also just in relation to the point that

24 Sir Anthony has raised, in my submission it would be

25 very dangerous of the Panel to come to the conclusion

 

 

30


1 that even if something was said by Mr White, for

2 example, that that actually represented a viewpoint of

3 senior police. Because it is far from clear, if it was

4 said, that it was being said as the viewpoint of the

5 police. In fact, I think Mr White said that he might

6 have been offering it as a suggestion that there are

7 some people who hold that view, not that it necessarily

8 was his view.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: What Mr White said in his written statement

10 was that if Sir Ronnie Flanagan was saying that, he was

11 saying it could be a public perception?

12 MR McCOLLUM: That was a theme he repeated in his evidence,

13 from memory, when it was put to him: that it might have

14 been him that said it. It is the sort of thing that is

15 open to quite a number of different interpretations and

16 that's why, looking back over 12 years after the event,

17 it becomes very difficult to attach any huge

18 significance to it, if I can put it that way.

19 It is something that is there that the Panel has to

20 deal with, but it is not the most important issue that

21 they will have to deal with. It might inform the Panel

22 to some degree, but it should be very cautious as to the

23 degree to which it is informed.

24 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I think we will probably need to

25 pick up the story when the PSNI give their closing

 

 

31


1 submissions.

2 MR McCOLLUM: Absolutely.

3 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Just to help on that, can I check on

4 a really small point, which is in paragraph 13 of your

5 submission at the top of the next page. It says:

6 "It is of note that ACC White did not admit of the

7 possibility that he had said the remarks."

8 I wondered if the "not" was extra?

9 MR McCOLLUM: Oh, yes, it is. Thank you.

10 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Just for clarity.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Still on this point, we have heard a lot of

12 evidence from senior Special Branch officers that they

13 held the view -- and it was a clear view expressed by

14 many of them -- that Rosemary Nelson had crossed the

15 line and was a supporter of PIRA terrorism. On the face

16 of it, it would be surprising if Sir Ronnie Flanagan,

17 who was open and was in frequent contact with his senior

18 management, that the views of his senior management

19 hadn't reached him.

20 MR McCOLLUM: Well, I think this is something Sir Ronnie

21 dealt with in his evidence and it opens up quite

22 a number of different points. I'm trying to remember

23 just from the evidence that Sir Ronnie was represented

24 at, how many senior Special Branch officers expressed at

25 that view. Two are coming to mind immediately. There

 

 

32


1 may have been more, but it is two that are coming to

2 mind. And when they were being asked about this, they

3 were being asked, of course, about their views looking

4 at the intelligence that was before them when they were

5 giving their evidence to the Inquiry, and there is the

6 danger that the views expressed now become blurred with

7 the views that might have been held and expressed at the

8 time.

9 Now, I do accept that at least one of them said that

10 that was his view at the time as well and I don't try to

11 resile from that, but that doesn't necessarily show

12 a widespread view held by the senior management. It

13 represents a view held by some of the officers. It

14 clearly was not a view held by Sir Ronnie Flanagan. We

15 know that he had a very robust nature in terms of his

16 handling of issues and, as he says, this type of

17 intelligence was a very, very small detail and not the

18 sort of thing that he would have been made aware of.

19 And I would suggest there is nothing surprising in the

20 fact that these officers who might have held that view

21 would not have shared it with Sir Ronnie Flanagan, and

22 one reason for that might be that they would have

23 realised they would have faced very severe criticism

24 from Sir Ronnie Flanagan if they had expressed those

25 views.

 

 

33


1 So in my submission, there is nothing surprising --

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Moving on to a slightly different topic, but

3 in a sense it follows on, the terrible murder of

4 Constables Johnston and Graham, the Church Walk murders

5 in Lurgan, were obviously murders that Sir Ronnie took,

6 rightly, some personal interest in.

7 MR McCOLLUM: Yes.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: I mean, to me it would be surprising that he

9 wasn't briefed in relation to that in general terms, and

10 wasn't briefed in general terms about the intelligence

11 making allegations -- I emphasise that word --

12 allegations of a very, very serious kind against the

13 solicitor acting for the man charged with those murders.

14 It just doesn't seem a real world that he wouldn't

15 be told at least in general terms of the allegations

16 contained in the intelligence about the solicitor.

17 MR McCOLLUM: Well, all I can say is that his evidence is

18 that he wasn't aware of it, and of course these were, in

19 the overall scheme of things, in the overall

20 intelligence picture, an extremely small piece of

21 minutiae because one wasn't just dealing with one

22 intelligence issue, there were so many different

23 intelligence issues going on within Northern Ireland at

24 the time.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: But we are dealing here with the murder of

 

 

34


1 two of these officers, murdered in cold blood, in

2 terrible circumstances, when it had been expected that

3 that sort of thing was over.

4 MR McCOLLUM: Yes, but the focus in relation to that would

5 naturally have been on the person suspected of the

6 murders and on his movements, which might be relevant to

7 the carrying out of the murders, which might not

8 necessarily have involved any of his associations or

9 alleged associations with Rosemary Nelson.

10 So one doesn't know without actually going through

11 all of the material -- one really has to go through each

12 and every piece of intelligence, for example, that was

13 held on [redacted] and anybody else who might have been

14 suspected in relation to those terrible murders and any

15 other piece of intelligence that was considered relevant

16 to those murders and then look at any pieces that

17 involved Rosemary Nelson to come to any real conclusion

18 about whether it was likely or not that that would have

19 been brought to Sir Ronnie's attention.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: The Head of Special Branch was seeing

21 Sir Ronnie Flanagan daily probably many times a day, not

22 every day of every week but he was in constant contact.

23 MR McCOLLUM: Yes, but whether or not information about

24 Rosemary Nelson would be passed depends on quite

25 a number of different levels of dissemination, as it

 

 

35


1 were, because first of all there is the person who

2 receives the information. What importance did they

3 attach to it? The person who passed it on, what

4 importance did they attach to it and was any importance

5 attached to to it when it was given to them and so on as

6 it goes up the line. By the time it goes to the Head of

7 Special Branch, he might be saying to

8 Sir Ronnie Flanagan, "We know such and such about

9 [redacted] and nothing more" because he doesn't

10 consider anything else to be important.

11 It is very easy to say such and such should have

12 happened because that's the way we see it from the

13 little window that we are now looking at it from, but

14 the real world may well have been very different at the

15 time. And that's the way I would urge the Panel to look

16 at that when considering Sir Ronnie Flanagan's position.

17 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I wanted to pick up the points in

18 your submission relating to the ICPC and specifically to

19 Miss McNally.

20 You started in your comments today by saying that

21 the situation that faced Sir Ronnie, if I remember

22 rightly, was that there was a personality clash. I

23 don't think that that could have been evident at the

24 point where he, as it were, came into the picture. That

25 is certainly what Mr Mulvihill found, but I think at

 

 

36


1 that stage, what he was faced with was an investigation

2 which Mr Donnelly had told him was fatally flawed. So

3 just to be clear, I don't think the clash of

4 personalities issue had surfaced at that point.

5 Secondly, you say in paragraph 48 that the

6 investigation was clearly not at an end. As

7 I understood it, actually the investigation was at an

8 end; it had been signed off by the investigating officer

9 and his superior officer.

10 Could you comment, please, on my perception at any

11 rate, that actually the situation was an unprecedented

12 one where a certificate of dissatisfaction was going to

13 be issued and he had a real problem to manage in terms

14 of reputational risk to the force, which really needed

15 to be tackled?

16 MR McCOLLUM: I think that is probably right and I think

17 that was the evidence which Sir Ronnie gave, that he saw

18 this as a really difficult problem and one that he

19 wasn't best pleased about, as any head of an

20 organisation faced with this sort of situation would

21 have reacted.

22 In terms of the investigation clearly not being at

23 an end, I think the point he was making, that was

24 because the certificate of dissatisfaction had not been

25 issued, the investigation was not at an end. Now, there

 

 

37


1 are different interpretations of this and it was

2 different people seeing it from different points of view

3 and that was the way he saw it and the way he dealt with

4 it. But I don't think he has ever tried to suggest that

5 there was anything other than a very serious issue and

6 a very serious problem.

7 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right, okay. I did have a lot of

8 trouble with paragraph 49 of your submission and I was

9 very unclear what I was supposed to be inferring from

10 it. If I can help you a little bit on this, whatever

11 other members of the ICPC might have thought or not

12 thought -- and Geralyn McNally explained what was going

13 on, very helpfully -- the fact is that on any particular

14 investigation there is one member of the ICPC who

15 supervises the case and on whom the decision rests.

16 MR McCOLLUM: Yes, I think the only point that we are making

17 is that there clearly, even at the end of the process,

18 was a difference of opinion between Miss McNally and the

19 Chief Constable. I think that is clear, and the only

20 point we are making is that the Panel should not, for

21 example, say that Miss McNally's viewpoint was correct

22 as against Sir Ronnie Flanagan's because there is a lot

23 of evidence from other people who didn't think that

24 Miss McNally's viewpoint was correct. In fact, it is

25 not necessary for the Panel to decide who was right.

 

 

38


1 That's the point.

2 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I think what concerns me at any rate

3 is the treatment that was meted out to Geralyn McNally

4 as a consequence of this controversy, and I'm concerned

5 that an internal discussion amongst the ICPC which

6 doesn't actually add to my knowledge of the situation is

7 brought in here.

8 MR McCOLLUM: They are completely different contexts, with

9 all due respect. I'm not in any way taking away from

10 the very real and genuine concern that anyone would have

11 had about the way in which Geralyn McNally was treated.

12 I remember at the time myself as a barrister that we

13 were all acutely aware of it and very concerned by it.

14 The only point I'm making is that there was

15 a difference of opinion between her and the

16 Chief Constable. She wasn't necessarily right, he

17 wasn't necessarily right. That is not what the Panel

18 has to decide. There is a lot of evidence which might

19 have been pertinent to that issue which has not been

20 received. That is the only point I'm making.

21 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I'm not sure the last sentence of

22 that paragraph is actually right. Other members, apart

23 from Mr Donnelly, didn't give oral evidence, but I think

24 we do have a statement at least from one other member,

25 Suzanne Bryson. I don't know whether that was

 

 

39


1 distributed to Sir Ronnie -- you made the point at the

2 outset --

3 MR McCOLLUM: No, I don't think we have seen that statement.

4 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: She doesn't throw, I think, any

5 additional light on this question. What she does say

6 is:

7 "I knew her ..."

8 That's Geralyn McNally:

9 "... to be a conscientious commissioner and

10 extremely dedicated to human rights. She was young but

11 mature for her age."

12 A fairly bland statement.

13 MR McCOLLUM: I did pick up something about her statement

14 from some of the other submissions. I'll just see

15 whether I have noted it. Yes, I picked up from, I think

16 it was some of the submissions from the family that they

17 were suggesting Sue Bryson -- as I say, we don't have

18 the statement -- regarded Miss McNally's behaviour as

19 part of a personal and political agenda, but maybe

20 I picked up wrong their submission. Because, as I say,

21 not having access to the material, it is a little

22 difficult to know exactly what to draw from it.

23 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Perhaps the family could pick up the

24 point when the closing submission comes.

25 I think that's all I wanted to ask about the ICPC

 

 

40


1 incident.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: I think we might have an adjournment for

3 a short time now.

4 We will adjourn until quarter to 12.

5 (11.29 am)

6 (Short break)

7 (11.46 am)

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr McCollum, we heard evidence from

9 Sir Joseph Pilling, Mr Watkins and Miss Geralyn McNally

10 that Sir Ronnie, according to them, made remarks

11 suggesting sexual immorality on the part of

12 Rosemary Nelson.

13 If such remarks were made, they could be made in the

14 sense of merely passing on rumour or gossip. On the

15 other hand, it might be said or might be inferred that

16 they were deliberately said by Sir Ronnie in order to

17 tell the recipient of those remarks that, in his view,

18 they should realise that Rosemary Nelson wasn't what she

19 may have appeared to be. Have you anything to say about

20 those hypothetical suggestions?

21 MR McCOLLUM: I think all three cases are very different in

22 terms of the evidence and the context in which the

23 remarks may have been made.

24 Sir Ronnie's evidence was that he didn't remember

25 making the remarks, but he might well have. But he says

 

 

41


1 it would very much have been that this was a rumour he

2 had heard, not that he was in any way suggesting it was

3 true.

4 In terms of Mr Watkins, Sir Ronnie says he would not

5 have said it in the way in which Mr Watkins says he

6 remembers him saying, and there was nothing about that

7 in Mr Watkins's statement and it only emerged in his

8 evidence and very late on in his evidence. Sir Ronnie's

9 explanation was that the only way he might explain it

10 was that it was around the time that the

11 Geralyn McNally/ICPC issue had arisen and that there was

12 an issue that he remembered being raised by

13 Geralyn McNally about Rosemary Nelson's moral integrity

14 being undermined, and that he may have made some comment

15 in a meeting of the sort that this was an issue that had

16 arisen, that someone was wrongly, in the context of

17 interviews, maligning the moral integrity of

18 Rosemary Nelson.

19 So in my submission, looking at all the evidence,

20 that was probably -- if one was to ask on the balance of

21 probabilities what might have been said at that meeting,

22 that is probably the context in which that was said.

23 In terms of Geralyn McNally, they were having

24 a discussion about this ICPC issue and of course this

25 issue, as to whether or not the moral integrity of

 

 

42


1 Rosemary Nelson had been maligned. And what Sir Ronnie,

2 I think, said was that in that context he may have said,

3 "I have since learned that there is a rumour of this

4 affair" and that might have been what motivated that

5 comment if it was made. That might have been the

6 context in which that was said.

7 And so far as Sir Joe Pilling is concerned, I think

8 his evidence was that Sir Ronnie wasn't saying it in any

9 condemnatory fashion or trying in any way himself to

10 undermine Rosemary Nelson's position. It was merely

11 a remark he made in the context of some very private

12 conversation they were having, I think he sad over

13 dinner.

14 So it would be, in my submission, quite wrong for

15 the Panel to suggest that Sir Ronnie was in any way

16 trying to undermine Rosemary Nelson or to create some

17 campaign against her, even if he did make the remarks.

18 I hope answers the query.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: So what Sir Joe Pilling did say was, as well,

20 that it was made as a factual statement.

21 MR McCOLLUM: I think he might have said that, but I'm

22 trying to remember what Sir Ronnie said about it in his

23 evidence or even if he did make any suggestion. But my

24 memory certainly is that Sir Joe Pilling wasn't saying

25 that it was Sir Ronnie's view himself.

 

 

43


1 THE CHAIRMAN: It strikes me that it was somewhat surprising

2 that Sir Ronnie should have learnt of the rumour or the

3 allegation of the alleged affair and not have been

4 alerted by anyone in his staff even his senior chief

5 officers of the very, very much graver allegations that

6 Rosemary Nelson, according to the views of these

7 officers and according to the intelligence, had crossed

8 the line and committed very serious criminal offences

9 undermining the administration of justice and

10 undermining criminal investigations, lessening the

11 chances of bringing alleged terrorists to trial, that

12 none of those were brought to him whereas this rumour or

13 allegation of affair was.

14 MR McCOLLUM: With all due respect, in my submission

15 Sir Ronnie answered that very clearly in his evidence

16 when he said that the reason he learned of the

17 allegation of the affair was that when the issue of

18 moral integrity was raised he made enquiries directly as

19 to what could be behind it, what was the reason for it.

20 And in that context someone said there was some

21 suggestion, and it wasn't by looking at intelligence or

22 going down some direct investigation, it was simply by

23 some casual conversation with some other police officer,

24 and that's the context in which he learned about it.

25 So it doesn't follow that he would necessarily have

 

 

44


1 been told about all this other intelligence, which of

2 course had been assembled over a very long period of

3 time and in isolated situations.

4 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Could I probe another aspect of this

5 and it is actually dealt with in almost identical terms

6 in two difference places in the submission, but perhaps

7 we could look at paragraph 54 which says that the rumour

8 that Rosemary Nelson was engaged in an affair with

9 [redacted] did not make her any more vulnerable or

10 increase the likelihood of being targeted.

11 I have to say I found that personally quite

12 a surprising statement and there were various reasons

13 that she could be targeted. One was she had become

14 a very prominent figure in the media. But, two, if she

15 was thought to be having an affair with someone that she

16 had successfully defended, who was himself

17 a controversial character, if one can put it that way, I

18 would have thought that that did increase the risk.

19 MR McCOLLUM: One is in danger of getting into debates as to

20 the philosophical thinking of Loyalist terrorists if one

21 goes into this sort of situation, because very

22 unfortunately the history of Northern Ireland has taught

23 us that there was very little philosophy about the way

24 in which they embarked upon their attacks upon the

25 Catholic community as a whole. The only reason that

 

 

45


1 most people were targeted was because they were

2 Catholics, not because of any association with any

3 terrorist or terrorist organisation. And the vast

4 majority of Catholics were killed completely randomly.

5 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Are you suggesting that this was

6 a random killing?

7 MR McCOLLUM: What I'm suggesting is that she could just as

8 easily have been killed because she was a Catholic.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: That was a targeted killing.

10 MR McCOLLUM: It was of course, I accept that. The point

11 I'm making is that the position of her as being alleged

12 to have had an affair with [redacted] would not of

13 itself necessarily have raised her profile as a target.

14 It might have, but it might not have. So the truth is

15 there were very few targeted killings of Catholics by

16 the -- there were some, but in the overall percentage

17 would one say they were very few.

18 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: But this one was targeted.

19 MR McCOLLUM: Absolutely. There is absolutely no doubt

20 about that.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr McCollum, thank you for your help.

22 MR McCOLLUM: Not at all.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Is there anything else you want to say,

24 bearing in mind the various questions that we have

25 raised, which --

 

 

46


1 MR McCOLLUM: Simply there was a request in the letter to

2 indicate were there any recommendations that would be

3 suggested, and what I would suggest is that time has

4 marched on so much since the times we are talking about

5 that I would have thought there was very little that

6 could be usefully recommended at this stage, bearing in

7 mind the extent of the changes which have taken place.

8 And of course I would suggest that Sir Ronnie Flanagan

9 deserves considerable credit in relation to a lot of the

10 changes.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. We certainly accept that.

12 MR McCOLLUM: Thank you.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: We will adjourn until 1 o'clock on Tuesday.

14 (11.57 am)

15 (The Inquiry adjourned until Tuesday, 5 May at 2009

16 at 1.00 pm)

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