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Full Hearings

Hearing: 23rd February 2009, day 112

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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 Monday, 23 February 2009
commencing at 10.00 am


Day 112

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1 Monday, 23 February 2009

2 (10.00 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (10.39 am)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Myers, the checklist. Is the public area

6 screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

7 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

9 screen closed?

10 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

12 and securely fastened?

13 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

15 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

16 of this chamber?

17 MR MYERS: No, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

19 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

20 shrouded?

21 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

23 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

25 Bring the witness in, please.

 

 

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1 The cameras on the Panel, the Inquiry personnel and

2 the Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

3 switched back on.

4 Would you please take the oath?

5 B567 (sworn)

6 Questions by MR SKELTON

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Please, sit down.

8 Yes, Mr Skelton?

9 MR SKELTON: For the purpose of this Inquiry, you are known

10 as witness B567 and your statement may be found at

11 RNI-846-775, please (displayed).

12 If we go through to the final page of that document,

13 which is at RNI-846-864 (displayed), your signature has

14 been replaced by your cipher, but do you recall signing

15 that statement last week?

16 A. I do.

17 Q. Is that statement true to the best of your knowledge and

18 belief?

19 A. It is.

20 Q. I will start, if I may, with just a couple of questions

21 about your background. We can see it says you joined

22 the RUC in 1971 and we can see in the second paragraph

23 you applied to join Special Branch some years later in

24 1979?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

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1 Q. I don't want to ask you much about the detail of that

2 previous period because, as you can see, it has been

3 redacted, but can you tell us in the broadest outline

4 whether your duties entailed working with CID or with

5 uniform?

6 A. Prior to 1979, I was uniform -- a uniformed constable

7 and uniformed sergeant.

8 Q. So you joined straight from uniform into Special Branch?

9 A. That's correct, as a sergeant.

10 Q. You were posted, I think, to Newcastle. Is that

11 correct?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. You also, it says in your statement overleaf on

14 page RNI-846-776 (displayed), had a period in which you

15 worked in E9?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. What were you doing there?

18 A. E9 was a unit which had been set up at Headquarters to

19 look at and study the strategic roles of terrorist

20 organisations operating in Northern Ireland.

21 Q. And was that an automatic part of a DS's role, to go and

22 work in Headquarters on such things before being posted

23 back out to the regions again?

24 A. Not necessarily. I was selected for a specific region

25 because I was subjected to a serious threat and I had to

 

 

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1 be moved urgently out of Newcastle. And as a result of

2 that, this post was available and I was appointed to

3 that post.

4 Q. And after a period of time you went back out from

5 Headquarters to Londonderry, I think, on promotion as

6 a DI?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. And thereafter it appears from your statement that you

9 had a number of postings in a variety of regions until

10 about 1996 when you arrive in Lurgan?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Is it correct also that you remained in Lurgan until

13 your retirement in 2001?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. In the position of detective inspector?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. Thank you. Could you summarise for us your

18 responsibilities as the Detective Inspector in Lurgan,

19 and I think it covered not simply Lurgan but Craigavon,

20 Banbridge and Portadown as well, didn't it?

21 A. That's right. I had responsibility as more or less the

22 Special Branch manager, probably is the best way to

23 describe it, for J Division at that time, which

24 initially incorporated Banbridge and then subsequently

25 Banbridge was moved into a different division. So that

 

 

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1 changed.

2 My role was -- I had many roles, really. Firstly, I

3 would have been looking after my own staff, which

4 initially, as I say, I had three officers. I had

5 a sergeant and three in Banbridge.

6 Q. There is probably no need to describe the exact number

7 of people in the offices if that's all right.

8 A. Okay.

9 Q. Just generally your duties would be helpful.

10 A. The main thrust was obviously to look at the

11 intelligence coming into the division and comparing that

12 to the level of terrorist threat and the terrorist

13 activity operating in the division, and looking then to

14 try and improve our intelligence picture overall,

15 looking for gaps in the intelligence. I would be

16 responsible to manage that and direct that.

17 As a secondary role, I would have been responsible

18 to -- I had a responsibility to the uniformed Divisional

19 Commander and the subdivisional commanders, where I

20 would have given them advice on what was happening on

21 the terrorist side and terrorist activity within the

22 division. I would give advice at various meetings like

23 DAC meetings and things like that, as to perhaps the

24 best way to deploy the troops, really, or the military

25 or the police to thwart the threat. That was a major

 

 

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1 part of my work as well.

2 I then had a responsibility for liaison with

3 military intelligence. I would have been working very

4 closely along with my CID colleagues, the Head of CID

5 and there would be sergeants also in each of the

6 subdivisions and I would have been working with them,

7 liaising with them, giving them whatever advice I could

8 in relation to the investigations and things like that.

9 That was a major part of my role as well.

10 Q. I will come in a moment to CID in particular, but first

11 of all I would like to clarify the chain of command from

12 your position.

13 I think you reported up to a detective chief

14 inspector and up to a superintendent and detective chief

15 superintendent who was the head of region?

16 A. That's right. The region was split into two and my side

17 of the region was K Division and J Division. I would

18 have had directly above me a chief inspector, a

19 detective chief inspector and then above that there

20 would have been a detective superintendent who -- they

21 would have responsibility for both divisions, whereas I

22 was -- just had responsibility for the one division.

23 Q. In what circumstances might you inform the Regional Head

24 directly about a piece of intelligence?

25 A. If there was some intelligence come in in relation to

 

 

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1 a possible threat or some -- we could picked up some

2 type of intelligence which indicated terrorist activity,

3 we may go along to him and advise him that we were

4 getting indications that there was something happening

5 at a certain location --

6 Q. Sorry to interrupt you. Could I ask you just to slow

7 down a little on your answers. It may be my fault

8 because I'm allowing you to speak for too long. If you

9 could keep them a little bit slower.

10 A. That's the type of thing, or delivering action sheets to

11 the Divisional Commander, things like that. But

12 generally I would have had a discussion with the

13 commander once a week and we would have discussed the

14 overall situation within the division, and he would have

15 been -- we had a discussion as to how best to deal with

16 the problems.

17 Q. Did you have a good relationship with your regional head

18 personally?

19 A. With my regional head of Special Branch?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. I got on reasonably well with him, I think.

22 Q. Would you say your relationship with him was better

23 perhaps than your other managers who were in the middle?

24 A. Oh, no, it would have been no different. I am not quite

25 clear what you mean by that.

 

 

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1 Q. There has been a suggestion from another witness that

2 there would be -- on occasions where you would

3 fast-track information to the Head of Special Branch and

4 make decisions on the ground directly with him without

5 necessarily wanting to consult with the DCI or the

6 detective superintendent, and that appears to be based

7 on a good working relationship with your very senior

8 colleague?

9 A. No, it wouldn't be fair to say -- it would be very

10 unusual for me to go directly to the Regional Head

11 direct because you to abide by the chain of command. I

12 would normally have spoken with my chief or

13 superintendent before I would have went directly to the

14 Regional Head.

15 Yes, I had a good relationship with him and there

16 were things that he would of -- perhaps would have been

17 learnt from outside the division and he would have said

18 to me in confidence about matters which he felt I should

19 know about, but that wouldn't be disseminated to any

20 more than myself. But those things could be coming from

21 sensitive sources outside the division or from outside

22 the country even. But they wouldn't be -- the rule

23 would not be -- I wouldn't have worked directly with him

24 unless there was some very serious issue and I couldn't

25 get in touch with my other two colleagues.

 

 

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1 Q. So far as CID is concerned, if a murder occurs, for

2 example, a paramilitary murder in Portadown, how early

3 would you expect to be liaising with your CID

4 counterparts?

5 A. Normally what would happen in the event of a murder, I,

6 myself, or my sergeants, one of my sergeants responsible

7 for that particular area, would go straight to the CID

8 and we would have a discussion as to what had happened.

9 And if we had any what we would have called a steer --

10 if we could steer them in a certain direction for

11 a quick follow-up, that is the type of thing we would

12 discuss at that very early stage. Then it would move

13 into set conferences, which I would attend. Initially,

14 I attended all the set conferences.

15 Q. That term "steer", do you mean by that had you received

16 any reporting that bore upon the murder?

17 A. Yes, but what you would have in the division, I would

18 have a good handle on the intelligence picture for the

19 complete division and I would go along to my CID

20 colleagues and it may not be intelligence, but you would

21 have suspicions of a murder being conducted. If there

22 was a Protestant who had been killed or a Loyalist had

23 been killed, there would reasonably be a suspicion that

24 it may well be a sectarian murder -- and you would be

25 pointed in that direction if that was the case -- or

 

 

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1 maybe an internal feud.

2 We may -- not necessarily would have had any prior

3 knowledge of that, but we would have an indication, we

4 would be able to give an indication as to where or who

5 may be responsible for that.

6 Q. Would that cover, for example, the capabilities of

7 people? So if you looked at a certain type of murder,

8 you thought, well, that doesn't look like X because he

9 is not able to do that but it could be Y because he has

10 started to show an ability to create a certain device

11 and so on?

12 A. Absolutely. I would take my knowledge and give an

13 assessment. Really what you are talking about is an

14 assessment in the absence of specific intelligence.

15 Q. And what about specific intelligence? Were there

16 circumstances where you would pass on the specific

17 intelligence and make it clear that this had come in

18 from one of our sources, whether technical or human, in

19 relation to the murder?

20 A. Yes, that would be passed across by way of action sheet

21 or a briefing sheet -- mainly an action sheet. It would

22 have been passed to the murder inquiry team, the MIT.

23 Q. Was there always a formal written audit of that process

24 or were there cases where you would liaise with the SIO

25 and say, "Look, this is a very sensitive report. It

 

 

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1 says that X may have been involved with the murder. We

2 are not going to show it to you because of the

3 sensitivity of the source but you ought to know it so

4 that you can focus your enquiries in this particular

5 direction"?

6 A. It is fair to say you would put in writing a very broad

7 outline of the intelligence and that would be sanitised

8 in order to give protection to the source.

9 But my relationship, that I would have built up, and

10 I have always believed this was very important no matter

11 what area I served in, where there's two or three people

12 who were sensitive to my operation and to the protection

13 of the police operating in the area, and those were the

14 divisional commanders, the Subdivisional Commander and

15 the people in charge of CID. If you had that good

16 relationship, then it was easy then to work.

17 So in the case that you are talking about, I would

18 have taken my action sheet and I would have went along

19 after the meeting and had a private discussion with the

20 SIO. And I would have said, "Listen, this is what we

21 are saying", but there is a wee bit more meat on the

22 bones for them, to give them better direction as to what

23 our belief was.

24 Q. In your statement on page RNI-846-777 at paragraph 8

25 (displayed), you make the point:

 

 

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1 "We would pass over any intelligence which impacted

2 on a murder (albeit sometimes in a sanitised format to

3 protect the identity of the source)."

4 Now, that appears to indicate that every bit of

5 relevant intelligence about the murder would be passed

6 over in all circumstances. Is that in fact the case?

7 A. That would be the case, yes.

8 Q. So there weren't, for example, circumstances where you

9 thought your source was so sensitive that it really

10 wasn't appropriate?

11 A. If there was very, very sensitive intelligence, which

12 possibly could not be disseminated just as clearly, it

13 may well have been handled at a more senior level than

14 myself or by regional head or even ACC level would have

15 liaised with his counterpart within the CID. But it was

16 always, in some shape or fashion or by some method, that

17 would have been passed across.

18 Q. What about in those circumstances where the source may

19 have been involved in the murder in some way?

20 A. As soon as -- if that became evident to us, it would be

21 passed straight across to the CID, normally by the

22 Regional Head to his counterpart, the Regional Head of

23 CID.

24 Q. Did that in fact occur on any instance that you can

25 recall?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, I do recall, yes.

2 Q. Were you involved in informing the SIO, through your

3 superiors, about such intelligence?

4 A. Yes, in the past I have done that, yes.

5 Q. Thereafter, after the initial chats, you say in your

6 statement that your junior officers, the DS or possibly

7 the constables, would continue to be present during the

8 meetings of the murder investigation?

9 A. Absolutely.

10 Q. That, in a sense, was to keep them in touch with where

11 the enquiries were going so that if anything came up

12 which they could assist on, they would be able to do so

13 immediately?

14 A. Absolutely. And there were things came out of those

15 enquiries that we may have been able to use ourselves

16 and we would have taken those on board and discussed it

17 with the SIO and seen if there is anything in it for us

18 as an intelligence gathering organisation.

19 Q. Did you think there was still a perception back in the

20 late 1990s that Special Branch may have held back

21 intelligence from investigative officers in CID?

22 A. There was always that myth and the people that mattered

23 realised that that wasn't the case. You would have had

24 to have -- because of the way we had to operate in

25 secrecy, there was that air of secrecy about stuff and

 

 

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1 there is always the jibes and the jokes about it and --

2 but the people that really counted, the SIOs and things,

3 they were always pretty confident that we were giving

4 them everything that we could possibly give them.

5 Q. And you made it a particular point, did you, to ensure

6 that that was the case? You mentioned that you had

7 a particularly good relationship with the divisional

8 head of CID?

9 A. Yes, but, you know, no matter what division I was in

10 I made a point of having that relationship. In

11 particular in J Division I had a very good relationship

12 both with the Head of CID and his two subordinates. And

13 you know, our aim was -- as is the number one principle

14 of a police officer -- and that is the protection of

15 life and that was our aim and if we couldn't protect

16 life, we would try and solve it, solve these murders and

17 get the people responsible behind bars. So it was in

18 our interests as much as everybody else's.

19 Q. When intelligence came in to one of your detective

20 constables from a source, would you expect that

21 constable to speak to you initially before the

22 intelligence found its way into the computer systems?

23 A. Not necessarily, no. Normally -- the normal course of

24 events would be that they would contact the source unit

25 before going, let them know that they had a meet on with

 

 

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1 a certain individual, come back in and then they would

2 write up their debriefs and debrief it across to the

3 source unit.

4 The only time I have become involved at such an

5 early stage as that would be if it was a matter of life

6 and death really as to how they would deal with the

7 intelligence.

8 Q. Would you, in any event, at some point be aware of any

9 piece of intelligence that came --

10 A. Yes, that would have come across my desk probably within

11 24 hours.

12 Q. In what form?

13 A. Initially it used to be a paper form, what we called

14 SB50s. Towards the end of my career, it was a SIR, I

15 think they called it, on the computer and I would -- I

16 would have had the -- that would have come to me from

17 each of the officers and I, on the computer, would have

18 read the intelligence and if I was happy with that, I

19 would have sent that on to Mahon Road to my next in

20 line, or if I wasn't happy, there was a facility on it

21 where I could return it to the author to have it amended

22 or changed or whatever if there was something missing

23 that I thought should be in it.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Could I interpose there. You say towards the

25 end of your career, the SIRs came through and that was

 

 

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1 through the computer system.

2 A. That's right.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Was that round about 2000, after

4 Rosemary Nelson's murder?

5 A. From memory, I think we started to change across to

6 computerisation in about 2000, or possibly could have

7 started even in 1999. I don't -- I'm not clear just on

8 exact dates, but it was in or about that period that we

9 were moving from paper to computerisation.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. With regard to SB50s, when

11 Rosemary Nelson was murdered, was any order given by

12 Headquarters that all SB50s were to be secured and

13 retained?

14 A. All SB50s -- there were five copies of each piece of

15 intelligence. One would have been retained by us, there

16 were the four went up the line, where one would have

17 probably stayed at Mahon Road, and the rest went to

18 Headquarters. So Headquarters would have had

19 everything. We just didn't keep everything ourselves.

20 There was five copies and this was all distributed up

21 the line.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: But no order came down the line that all

23 SB50s were to be secure and retained?

24 A. Not that I recall, sir, to be honest.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

 

 

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1 While I'm on that, what about the product of

2 technical devices? Was any order made that all that

3 should be stored and retained following

4 Rosemary Nelson's murder, or not?

5 A. I couldn't really answer that. At my level we would

6 have had only access to the file. As to what happened

7 to the product, that would have been a Headquarters

8 decision, because Headquarters controlled all that.

9 I presumed that it was kept.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

11 A. But I couldn't really give you a definitive answer on

12 that.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

14 Yes, Mr Skelton?

15 MR SKELTON: Did you make it a point of your work to ensure

16 that you knew everything that was going on in your

17 region?

18 A. Well, I liked to know everything that was going on but

19 sometimes it wasn't always feasible. Yes, it was a part

20 of my role to coordinate with the intelligence from each

21 of the different officers and to look at it and analyse

22 it and see where -- if there was any connections or

23 whatever across the division and also then work along

24 with my sergeants and talk to them as to what was

25 happening. And, if it was necessary, I would confide

 

 

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1 that intelligence from one part of the division to the

2 other.

3 Q. Did you then have a gatekeeper role in relation to the

4 intelligence coming in from your DCs; in other words, it

5 was you who determined who might get to see it outside

6 of the office?

7 A. Not really as simple as that, no. The intelligence went

8 on the system -- went into the system, and towards the

9 end it was CAISTER, and that would have been controlled

10 by the levels of access. That was outside.

11 But as far as myself within the division, I would

12 have spoke with my other staff -- everybody didn't know

13 everything, if you understand what I mean. We believed

14 that there had to be cut-offs across the division for

15 the security of the sources and to make sure that people

16 didn't become aware of whose sources were operating

17 where because that wasn't healthy for everybody to know

18 exactly everything that was going on.

19 Q. Were there occasions when you received an oral briefing,

20 possibly, from a DC or your DS and you thought, although

21 it may be significant, it wasn't appropriate, for

22 whatever reason, to put it on the system?

23 A. No, everything went on to the system. It may well have

24 been sanitised to some extent in order to disguise the

25 source of the intelligence or to protect the source of

 

 

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1 the intelligence, but everything would have been

2 recorded in some shape or fashion.

3 Q. Once it was on the system, so far as you were

4 concerned -- when I say "the system", I think we can

5 talk, at least first of all, about CAISTER or MACER as

6 it is known, which is the system that produced the

7 SIRs -- were you able to amend the report or, in some

8 cases, delete it?

9 A. No, once it came to me, from what I can recall from

10 that, the only thing I could do was send it back to the

11 author. The only reasons I would have been doing that

12 was to -- if I was unhappy with the way the wording and

13 if it was going to cause, or possible potential cause

14 problem for the source that I may ask him to go back and

15 change the wording in some shape or fashion. But once

16 it was created there was no way that I could delete it.

17 Q. What if it turned out the that report was wrong, the

18 intelligence subsequently appeared to be completely

19 mistaken? It would stay on the system with its old

20 reliability marking?

21 A. It would, but you would submit another report saying

22 there was a problem with it, it wasn't authentic.

23 Q. So, for example, if you had a CHIS who became

24 unreliable, there may be a period where his reporting

25 was suspect, for whatever reason. Could you then flag

 

 

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1 that up within the reports?

2 A. In a case like that, what I would do is discuss it with

3 my superintendent and see what is the best thing to do

4 in a case like that.

5 Q. In your statement you talk a lot about source

6 protection, which is clearly of paramount importance to

7 Special Branch. There is obviously a tension, using

8 source intelligence in relation to murder

9 investigations, that your sources could potentially be

10 exposed, either because they end up under suspicion from

11 their own paramilitary counterparts or because, for

12 whatever reason, they end up becoming witnesses in

13 a criminal prosecution. How did you deal with that?

14 A. Deal with?

15 Q. The potential exposure of sources through criminal

16 investigations.

17 A. Well, there, again, I think it came down to the

18 relationships that I would have had with the SIO. And

19 if there was going to be a problem looming on the

20 horizon I'd have had a discussion with him. I would be

21 confident going forward and speaking with him.

22 Q. But what would you do? Can you give -- not a specific

23 example, but if, for example, it became clear that if

24 the murder investigation wanted to use the intelligence

25 effectively, it would lead to a source being exposed,

 

 

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1 would you allow that exposure to happen even if it led

2 to relocation and the loss of that person's intelligence

3 for the future?

4 A. Yes, it has happened in the past. That is the line we

5 would have taken.

6 If there was a murder investigation and it was

7 justified -- you would look at it, and if it was

8 justified, then we would go forward and give whatever it

9 is and allow them to take whatever action was required.

10 Q. And I presume there was a degree of proportionality

11 involved, in that you have mentioned murder

12 investigations. Is it only murder investigations that

13 could lead to a source being, to put it colloquially,

14 burned in that way?

15 A. Not necessarily, it could be attempted murders, it could

16 be robberies or things like that, tied into the

17 terrorist organisation. You would have to discuss --

18 what we would do is we would discuss it at a senior

19 level with the SIO or his superior and -- but in serious

20 cases we would take the risk. You would try and build

21 in some form of cover for the source, some -- for

22 instance, (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

 

 

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1 (redacted)

2 (redacted).

3 Q. Where advanced intelligence came in about targeting of

4 an individual from a source and it appeared that that

5 intelligence could only have come from a small group of

6 people, in other words, if it was exposed, it would be

7 obvious to those involved potentially who the source

8 was. How did you go about a using that intelligence?

9 A. If this intelligence was accurate enough, clear enough,

10 we would have went for mounting a covert operation to

11 try and arrest the culprits. But you would combine that

12 probably with issuing an action sheet as well saying

13 that there is a threat in the area, so that the

14 uniformed police -- we would have had a discussion with

15 the Chief Superintendent, the Divisional Commander in

16 relation to it and we would have -- he would have been

17 briefed as to what we were thinking of doing and we

18 would have got his agreement on that as well.

19 Q. Would it be your preference operationally to try and

20 stop an operation through some means, whether it is

21 checkpoints or something else, rather than warning the

22 target themselves?

23 A. It is difficult to give a general an answer to that.

24 Each specific piece of intelligence had to be analysed

25 and looked at on its own merit, and the decision would

 

 

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1 have to be taken as to what the chances of success were.

2 Obviously the most ideal thing was to try and arrest

3 the people en route to the scene of the -- wherever they

4 were intending to do the attack, and that would be the

5 most ideal. If that wasn't always available, we may

6 take steps to abort the operation and we certainly would

7 have to brief the target as well or give him that he is

8 under threat in some shape or form.

9 Q. And did that commonly occur, that you would allow your

10 intelligence to lead to a target being warned?

11 A. Oh, yes, regularly.

12 Q. Your requirements for intelligence gathering, I think,

13 were set annually at the highest level but obviously led

14 to more local discussions on a more regular basis

15 through the divisional committees and so on.

16 From one perspective it would be obvious that you

17 have to continue assessing and developing intelligence

18 on the capabilities and intelligence of the paramilitary

19 groups and to stop them from carrying out their

20 operations. In what way did the strategic requirements

21 sit on top of those perpetual requirements?

22 A. The strategic requirements would have been delivered to

23 us via the Regional Head and come down in relation to

24 that, and he would have had meetings with us. And then,

25 likewise, I would have delivered that down to my staff,

 

 

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1 what the requirements were.

2 Can you recap on your question again?

3 Q. I was really trying to understand how the requirements

4 were set, and I was trying to say that the requirements

5 for ongoing intelligence on paramilitary intentions are

6 clearly never-ending, from your perspective?

7 A. Mostly always driven by the level of activity as well --

8 of terrorist activity within the division. It would

9 have been dictating very much where you need to be,

10 focusing your attention. You know, this is -- this was

11 a very busy division, where I had, you know, every --

12 probably every conceivable type of terrorist

13 organisation operating within the division. Right up

14 until the ceasefire, this was one of the most difficult

15 divided areas that you could ever want to work in. That

16 basically set what your strategic requirements were and,

17 you know, you were required to produce intelligence to

18 save life. Number 1 was to save the life.

19 Q. Within those strategic requirements, did you have

20 discretion as the DI in charge of those three or four

21 officers, to deploy your assets in which way you wanted

22 to; in other words, to direct your particular DCs

23 towards particular organisations which needed more

24 coverage, to request for technical operations in

25 relation to particular individuals that you thought

 

 

25


1 needed to be looked at?

2 A. Yes, but I would have done that, you know, in

3 consultation with my sergeants, that I would have

4 consulted with my DCI or detective superintendent. You

5 wouldn't -- you couldn't just operate on your own. And

6 certainly, yes, a level of terrorist activity within the

7 division dictated to how much resource you would get

8 from a regional level to assist you with the

9 investigation of these things.

10 Q. Now, you arrived in Lurgan, I think, in 1994, as we said

11 at the start of your evidence, and the first report that

12 we have seen in relation to Rosemary Nelson is in 1994.

13 And I would like to show that you, if I may, and then

14 take you through some other reporting in relation to

15 her.

16 It can be found at RNI-541-001 (displayed) and you

17 can see that this is a PRISM report. It is

18 dated December 1994 and its origin is Lurgan

19 Special Branch. I'm presuming you were in post in the

20 last month that of year, so you would have seen this

21 reported at the time: is that correct?

22 A. I can't recall seeing it, to be honest. But I'm sure

23 I did see it at the time.

24 Q. If we look overleaf you can see the text. It is

25 a report about a leading PIRA member and Rosemary Nelson

 

 

26


1 attempting to construct a false alibi for Colin Duffy,

2 who is on remand for the murder of John Lyness?

3 A. I come in very much at the tail end of that

4 investigation. Yes, I do recall seeing -- whenever you

5 shown it, I remember seeing the actual intelligence.

6 I have read that before, okay.

7 Q. When this intelligence comes in about Rosemary Nelson,

8 what is your initial response?

9 A. How would you deal with that? The -- I probably would

10 have -- I don't think I actually dealt with this piece

11 of intelligence. I think probably I came in -- it was

12 possibly dealt with by my sergeant but I don't recall.

13 But what you would normally do in an case like that,

14 I would indicate to the -- probably indicate to the SIO

15 that there is a possibility that they are creating

16 a false alibi.

17 Q. Could we just go back on to the first page for the

18 moment.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. You can see originating officers are B621, your

21 colleague, and B567, who is you. So I think that

22 implies that you did have a connection to it.

23 A. I can't really remember, to be honest: I'm just

24 trying -- yes, okay. It is hard to say if I had seen

25 where the source of the intelligence -- I don't know.

 

 

27


1 Q. Well, we can't discuss that in this forum. What

2 I wanted really to ascertain from you was whether, first

3 of all, you would have received any intelligence about

4 Rosemary Nelson prior to this point, anything had come

5 in from sources, whether technical or human, about her

6 to Special Branch?

7 A. Prior to this?

8 Q. Prior to this.

9 A. I'm not sure.

10 Q. Can you remember thinking, "I have never seen her name

11 come up in any intelligence reports"? So this is the

12 first time we have seen that she may be doing something

13 untoward?

14 A. I would only have been in through the door there in the

15 division, and anything in relation to Rosemary Nelson

16 would have been all new to me and I would have been

17 learning as I was going along. I'm trying to build up

18 my depth of knowledge of the division.

19 I have to confess I don't really remember that.

20 I remember when I read it, but I don't really remember

21 getting it. Until I see where it came from, it would be

22 hard for me to comment in any great depth.

23 Q. With that caveat, trying to put yourself back in the

24 shoes of 16 years ago, would you have thought, for

25 example, that it is something we need to keep an eye on?

 

 

28


1 We ought to be checking that Rosemary Nelson's

2 relationship is professional, that there isn't anything

3 that we ought to be informing our CID colleagues about?

4 A. It's a piece of intelligence which, you know, you would

5 keep in the back of your mind and it would be reported.

6 But other than that -- I probably would have said to the

7 CID -- I may have give them heads-up that they are

8 trying to create an alibi, I can't really remember.

9 Q. You probably would have done?

10 A. I think probably I may have done. Certainly -- I was in

11 through the door then and -- I'm sorry if I'm being

12 vague, but I'm trying to remember back.

13 My relationship with the CID at that stage would

14 only have been developing. If that had been three years

15 later or whatever, I would have no problems in going to

16 CID and saying, "Listen, there is a possibility that

17 they are trying to create -- I probably wouldn't have

18 said the name of the solicitor, but I would have said

19 Duffy -- they are -- the Republicans are trying to

20 create an alibi to get him out.

21 Q. Just on the substance of the report -- and, again, if

22 you are in difficulty that you cannot remember this,

23 please do say -- but on one level, if Special Branch had

24 received intelligence about this murder to the effect

25 that Mr Duffy had committed it, then you would assume,

 

 

29


1 wouldn't you, that any alibi that then materialised in

2 relation this to this defence was false? I think that

3 follows, doesn't it?

4 A. Well, you would be suspicious. You would be looking to

5 to the veracity of it and you would be looking for

6 evidence to support it.

7 Q. So if intelligence is received that alibi evidence is

8 being produced, you may immediately think that anyone

9 involved in that production would be acting untowardly,

10 and thereby come to the conclusion that we can see on

11 this report, that the solicitor herself in this case was

12 assisting the IRA?

13 A. She was assisting her client anyhow to try obviously and

14 get him out of prison, whether she was doing that or

15 they were presenting facts to her, which could be the

16 case also, that his comrades could be producing the

17 alibi. But from what we are saying there, Rosemary

18 obviously would have had knowledge of it.

19 Q. It does look that way from the report. It is not

20 ambivalent; it is constructing a false alibi. Are you

21 saying now with the benefit of hindsight that that may

22 not be the case; it may be that she was finding an alibi

23 for Mr Duffy which was in fact false, and not to her

24 knowledge?

25 A. I would -- my view would be that, yes, she would be

 

 

30


1 aware that this was being a manufactured alibi. But, if

2 you understand what I am saying, she wouldn't have went

3 out herself and manufactured that; others would have

4 presented the fait accompli to her. But from what we

5 are seeing, what we are picking up, the indications

6 would be that she would be aware of that.

7 Q. At this point do you think you would have drawn that

8 conclusion, that she knew it was false, with prove no

9 prior intelligence about Rosemary Nelson's connection

10 with the IRA?

11 A. Yes. Well, we drew that assumption but I would be

12 taking advice from B621 as well on that, for his

13 knowledge would have been greater than mine at that

14 stage.

15 Q. You say in your statement that it wasn't the policy to

16 use intelligence for evidential use so you wouldn't

17 necessarily have followed this up with CID. Are you now

18 saying that possibly you might have done?

19 A. I was -- I meant, again, on the steer. As I talk about

20 the steer, I'd maybe give them an indication any alibis

21 produced may be false and they would need to be looking

22 at them very closely.

23 Q. The next report that I would like to show you is in the

24 next section at RNI-541-014 (displayed). It starts at

25 RNI-541-013 (displayed) so you can see the cover sheet.

 

 

31


1 The origin there you can see JD, which covers your area.

2 You are not one of the originating officers, but it is

3 information which I think would have come to your

4 attention as the DI in charge of the Lurgan office.

5 The date is April 1996. The subject says

6 "Rosemary Nelson gathers information for PIRA Lurgan"

7 and then we can see overleaf the content of it. It

8 says:

9 "Rosemary Nelson is using her position as

10 a solicitor to gather information for the IRA in Lurgan,

11 including details of RUC members who she comes into

12 contact with."

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Do you remember this intelligence?

15 A. When I read it, when I was going through making my

16 statement I read it, you know, it did come back to me.

17 I can vaguely remember an order coming in. There again,

18 until I would actually see the source of the

19 intelligence, it is hard to put a -- give you a full and

20 frank -- my thinking on it.

21 Q. Just looking at the report at face value, because we

22 can't explore the provenance in detail in this hearing,

23 you say in your statement, I think, that it wouldn't

24 have caused you great alarm to see this kind of

25 intelligence. Why is that?

 

 

32


1 A. Well, it is a piece of stand-alone intelligence and it

2 is a lot stronger than the previous piece of

3 intelligence, what you are saying. And I'm not sure

4 that we ever got any other confirmation than that. It

5 was the interpretation obviously of the source and I'm

6 not sure what circumstances he would have got that in,

7 if you understand what you mean.

8 There is those things you have got to look at as

9 well. This is a stand-alone piece of intelligence and

10 it may or may not be right, but we would keep it, it

11 would be kept on record, that that -- that he produced

12 that.

13 Q. As I understand it, other witnesses commenting on this

14 type of report have drawn the conclusion that she may

15 have provided such information in order for the IRA to

16 target police officers, which was a very real issue

17 still in the mid to late 1990s. Would be that an

18 inference which you may have started to draw at this

19 stage?

20 A. You would think about it, but I would not draw a firm

21 inference on it. Whenever you see one piece of

22 intelligence on its own, it may -- as I said before, it

23 may or may not be right and you have got to keep it in

24 the back of your mind.

25 In the case of a solicitor doing that sort of

 

 

33


1 work -- we are saying that there -- I would want more

2 than that. I would want corroborative intelligence on

3 that for it -- to make my mind up firmly.

4 Q. Did you try and find such corroborative evidence? Did

5 you task your sources --

6 A. You would have to very careful, tasking sources

7 specifically in that type of information.

8 As I say, I don't know the circumstances that the

9 source got the information, and that's very relevant.

10 It is very hard to make a comment unless you know that.

11 That's the piece -- that piece of intelligence stands

12 alone. It just states a fact, which may or may not have

13 been right. I wouldn't have been going along and

14 recommending to anybody that she should be arrested for

15 assisting offenders or getting information or anything

16 like that on the strength of that.

17 Q. What about telling your colleagues in uniform or CID

18 that they ought to be careful?

19 A. We wouldn't discuss that type of information with

20 anybody, either uniform or CID.

21 Q. Why not?

22 A. Because as I said before, it may or may not be true.

23 They don't need to know it unless there was other

24 evidence or something coming to light. I wouldn't

25 discuss that with anybody.

 

 

34


1 Q. Now, as you have said, it is not entirely clear exactly

2 what is happening in relation to this gathering of

3 information. May I again put to you the hypothesis that

4 there is nothing untoward going on, that possibly

5 Rosemary Nelson is gathering information in order to

6 bring complaints, which we know she did around this

7 period of time, and the assumption is being made here

8 that she is assisting the IRA, possibly incorrectly?

9 A. I hate to come back to this but, you know, I can't

10 recall the source of that. I would have to look at the

11 source. It was obviously a Republican source, I would

12 suspect, if he knows that. I would have to look at the

13 circumstances in which he gets that.

14 That's the type of thing I would be asking my source

15 handlers. If the source handler came in with that to

16 me, I would say how did he get this or what were the

17 circumstances in which the source came about this

18 intelligence. How true do you think it is? What did

19 the source think it was? All those questions would have

20 to be asked, and this is why I -- I would simply look at

21 that piece of intelligence, like any other piece of

22 intelligence, stand-alone, and I would have looked and

23 seen if we can gather further intelligence or whatever,

24 before we would take it any further.

25 Q. We will pick this up, if we may, tomorrow in the closed

 

 

35


1 session, when I hope you can discuss those in some more

2 detail.

3 I'll move on to another report, please, at

4 RNI-544-147 (displayed), which is dated August 1997.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Whilst that is coming up, could I just

6 ask you on this issue, and ask your comments about the

7 general principle of using one piece of intelligence of

8 this nature to corroborate other pieces. Is that

9 a principle that you feel would be legitimate?

10 A. Yes. You know, many times I have seen one snippet of

11 information turn out to be 100 per cent correct. On

12 many other times -- like this one here, it may or may

13 not be correct. I wouldn't feel confident in going

14 forward to say to anybody on the strength of one piece

15 of information, you know, unless I could find some other

16 corroboration for that.

17 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Yes. But as this picture builds that

18 Mr Skelton is displaying for us, we have got several

19 pieces of uncorroborated intelligence. Would it be

20 legitimate to build a picture of uncorroborated

21 intelligence to sort of corroborate as a group?

22 A. Yes, you would start to do that, yes.

23 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You would start to do that?

24 A. You would start to pull it together and say -- yes, in

25 relation to Rosemary Nelson and this activity of which

 

 

36


1 she did -- and I think she became very much caught up in

2 the whole thing with the IRA, and I think that

3 unwittingly even she became -- I think she became -- was

4 quite naive with the level of the likes of Collie Duffy

5 and the way he was able to manipulate people. And I

6 don't think she really -- I'm quite confident that she

7 never was involved in any terrorist activity as such.

8 She wasn't -- I don't believe she was a member of any

9 Republican organisation, illegal organisation. And I

10 think just by the fact she just was doing the work for

11 that particular organisation, that she became embroiled

12 in the whole thing.

13 I have seen it happen on the other side in relation

14 to Loyalists, and I know of at least two other Loyalist

15 solicitors, very similar, very similar circumstances and

16 over just -- and perhaps maybe there was more solicitors

17 than some of those than there was with Rosemary Nelson.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you. We can return to that

19 in closed session.

20 MR SKELTON: I think we will come back to the general themes

21 about Rosemary Nelson in this session when we have

22 looked at more of the reporting to see if you have

23 started to draw some general conclusions about her, and

24 particularly whether she knew or didn't know what she

25 was supporting in effect.

 

 

37


1 Just looking at this report on August 1997, we can't

2 see on the face of it the originating officers, but its

3 origin is Lurgan, as you can see from the top of

4 print-off. Can we go overleaf. We can see the text

5 itself states that:

6 "Rosemary Nelson is using [someone] as an

7 intermediary to contact a witness for the prosecution of

8 Mr Duffy for the murder of the two police constables

9 ..."

10 And that she is very discreet about this and is

11 concerned she may be found out trying to contact the

12 witness.

13 Now, this is another report about Rosemary Nelson's

14 legal activities in relation to Colin Duffy. When you

15 received this report, did you start to join the dots, as

16 it were, with what had occurred previously and the

17 intelligence you had had back in 1994 in relation to the

18 John Lyness murder?

19 A. Yes, I would have been starting to become a lot more

20 conscious of the fact probably that Rosemary was very

21 much getting involved and helping Collie in particular

22 in relation to trying to keep him out of prison.

23 Q. Well, these murders in particular became a cause celebre

24 in the Province at this time because they were late on

25 in the 1990s as the peace process was gearing up, and

 

 

38


1 they were particularly brutal in the way they were

2 carried out. As we understand it, Special Branch took

3 the view based on intelligence that Mr Duffy had been

4 involved with the murders?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Do you recall that?

7 A. I do, yes.

8 Q. We have seen on the previous report that Rosemary Nelson

9 had gathered information about police officers and now

10 we can see that she is assisting him in relation to the

11 prosecution in a way which appears, at least on the face

12 of this document, to be untoward. Did you form the view

13 that she was --

14 A. I have to say I wouldn't form the view that these two

15 pieces of intelligence are directly connected. I would

16 have -- I would never have considered Rosemary Nelson to

17 be providing the intelligence for the murder of these

18 two policemen.

19 Q. Even unwittingly?

20 A. I don't think she would have to. These were two beat

21 officers that were on the beat, and it wouldn't have

22 required any sophisticated level of intelligence

23 gathering on behalf of the organisation to carry out

24 that murder.

25 Q. I don't mean to overplay the connection between those

 

 

39


1 two pieces of intelligence in relation to the murder

2 specifically, but they are about Rosemary Nelson and

3 they are about the local IRA, ie Colin Duffy. Did you

4 start to put them together in relation to the

5 understanding of her relationship with the local IRA

6 members?

7 A. There is no doubt she was starting to become more higher

8 profile in intelligence through her defence of Collie and

9 that was becoming more evident. Even publicly she

10 was -- if I recall correctly, there was some media

11 coverage perhaps at that particular time. As you

12 rightly say, this was a major incident in

13 Northern Ireland and -- sort of the middle of the

14 ceasefire, at a difficult time in the ceasefire.

15 Q. I think his imprisonment and arrest on remand caused

16 considerable media attention?

17 A. I recall that she gave some statements to the media at

18 that time, if I can remember correctly, but that's

19 working from my memory.

20 Q. So looking back at this kind of report, you are not

21 saying that you may necessarily have thought that she

22 was acting in support of the IRA? She may well have --

23 A. She was acting in support of her client, but I think she

24 was perhaps being overzealous. I believe this is where

25 the relationship really started to form, at this stage

 

 

40


1 here, which perhaps maybe encouraged her to work a bit

2 harder for them.

3 Q. While Mr Duffy was on remand?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. What makes you think that?

6 A. This is where -- you know, she was regularly meeting

7 with him in prison and going to see him, and it is only

8 my opinion, it is only my perception, looking at the

9 timing of the pieces of intelligence and subsequent

10 intelligence. I think it is where the closeness started

11 to form.

12 Q. Well, Mr Duffy himself has acknowledged that he was

13 close to Mrs Nelson as a friend and, indeed, through his

14 contact with her as her client they developed

15 a friendship from working closely together, and that

16 lasted and he acknowledged that. But he doesn't

17 acknowledge that there was any relationship, a sexual

18 relationship. Is there anything that you can recall in

19 1997 to think that it was anything other than a close

20 friendship?

21 A. At that stage, no, but in looking back and having the

22 benefit of hindsight, I would have -- I would suspect

23 this is where they started to form a close -- it perhaps

24 was only friendship at that stage, but it was a close

25 friendship. I have no doubt about that.

 

 

41


1 Q. This sort of intelligence again bears upon a criminal

2 investigation that's going on. Do you recall mentioning

3 this to CID at the time?

4 A. I don't recall. No, I don't recall, no, I don't.

5 Q. So although you received intelligence that she may have

6 been making contact with a prosecution witness,

7 ie presumably a witness who the police had made contact

8 with themselves as part of their investigation, you

9 wouldn't necessarily have had a word with your CID

10 counterpart and said, "Look, you need to be a little bit

11 careful because the witness could be being knobbled"?

12 A. I may have spoken with the SIO off the record. I

13 wouldn't publicly have spoken to him directly. I would

14 have been concerned probably for the safety of that

15 witness and -- as well. So, yes, probably I would have,

16 off the record, had a conversation but not on the

17 record.

18 Q. When you would have spoken to the SIO about that, would

19 the SIO have sort of known about Mrs Nelson from his own

20 dealings with her?

21 A. Well, CID had a lot more contact with solicitors than we

22 would have had. In fact, we had no contact with

23 solicitors whatsoever.

24 I don't know whether they would have been aware of

25 the total ins and outs of Rosemary Nelson's dealings

 

 

42


1 with them, but they were -- they did a lot of interviews

2 and there were a lot of complaints coming through her

3 office. But this was a -- that was a tactic of the IRA

4 as well in order to slow down procedures and to disrupt

5 interviews as much as possible.

6 Q. Do you think she did that deliberately?

7 A. No, I think it was a policy of the IRA to do that. And

8 I think that they would make complaints, that she would

9 respond to them as a solicitor/client normally would.

10 Q. Is this, again, a point where --

11 A. This was normality. It wasn't just Rosemary Nelson did

12 this. It was throughout the whole of Northern Ireland

13 in the -- when they are investigating terrorist crime

14 over the years, it was a tactic used by the IRA and

15 other terrorist organisations as well.

16 Q. So she herself would be act properly by pursuing those

17 complaints even if the complaints themselves were

18 being --

19 A. Obviously as a solicitor/client she had to pursue them.

20 Q. Did the CID form that view as well? Did they think she

21 was acting properly?

22 A. I can't remember ever really having a conversation with

23 CID in that vein. I never heard anything to the

24 contrary, put it like that.

25 Q. Nothing to the effect that we have seen in some of the

 

 

43


1 reporting that she was considered to be sympathetic

2 toward Republicans?

3 A. Yes, but her profile started to rise at that stage and

4 it was quite obvious, without anybody having to speak

5 about it, that she was vigorously defending her clients

6 and most of those were from the Republican community.

7 I mean, where her office was and where she lived in the

8 Lurgan area.

9 Q. And was that common amongst other lawyers as well, that

10 you ended up with a lawyer that had a particular batch

11 of clients --

12 A. Yes, very much so, and that would be the same on the

13 Loyalist side as it would be on the Republican side.

14 Q. A further report which I would like to show you around

15 this time -- this is a month later in September 1997 --

16 is at RNI-544-167 (displayed) and that again emanates

17 from Lurgan. We can see overleaf the contents of the

18 report and it is to do with a comment made by

19 Rosemary Nelson in response to a comment by somebody

20 else. You can see that there:

21 "'Everybody thinks you are just an ordinary

22 solicitor.' Nelson laughed and replied, 'I am, sure',

23 giving the impression she was very close to the IRA."

24 A. Hm-mm.

25 Q. Now, why is this intelligence being reported, first of

 

 

44


1 all? What's its value?

2 A. Can I have a look at the front page again, please

3 (displayed)? No, it is just a piece of intelligence

4 which -- in relation to Colin Duffy. Sorry, can I go

5 back to the intelligence now? (displayed)

6 Any intelligence in relation to Collie Duffy would

7 have been recorded.

8 Q. So he is the trigger, is he, for this being recorded,

9 and yet the detail of it is actually about

10 Rosemary Nelson?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What value is the comment about Rosemary Nelson, though?

13 Why is it of assistance to Special Branch for a comment

14 about her and her relationship with the IRA to be

15 recorded in this way?

16 A. It gives us -- we had to gather intelligence on all

17 sorts of various things right across the board. And

18 things like that, if a comment has been made about

19 somebody close to the PIRA, then we would record that as

20 intelligence and keep it for future reference. It may

21 or may not ever come to light again but it gives you a

22 flavour of the way a person is thinking perhaps.

23 Q. And the handler comment that you can see below says:

24 "Rosemary Nelson is a solicitor who represents [I

25 think] most of the IRA members in the greater Craigavon

 

 

45


1 area and is known to be sympathetic to the Republican

2 cause."

3 The way you have previously described it in your

4 answers, it almost seemed the very fact of her

5 representation of a lot of these defendants or clients

6 from a particular persuasion, the Republican movement,

7 led to the conclusion she must be sympathetic. Is that

8 the way you saw it?

9 A. That was the way it was starting to appear. She was

10 successful in getting Collie Duffy off previously, she

11 was working towards trying to get him out of prison for

12 a second time. Other people -- but the organisation

13 themselves would encourage their members to go to

14 a particular solicitor simply because they would know

15 that she would do the job and do the work. That was not

16 uncommon.

17 Q. But that's a slightly different reason, isn't it? You

18 can see how an effective lawyer representing a high

19 profile client could lead to a snowballing of clients

20 who wanted to be represented effectively, and given that

21 Colin Duffy had a lot of contacts in the local

22 community, he will have referred his friends and

23 suddenly she may have found herself with a lot of

24 clients from the Republican movement wanting to be

25 effectively defended?

 

 

46


1 A. She would also have been seen as close to Collie Duffy

2 as well, friendly with him. She was representing him

3 regularly, but it was starting to emerge that once --

4 particularly once he got out of prison that there was

5 a closeness there.

6 Q. If I may say so again, that's a different issue. She is

7 representing lots of Republicans, she appears from

8 Special Branch's perspective to be having

9 a relationship, a personal relationship with Mr Duffy.

10 Why does that mean she is sympathetic towards the

11 Republican movement?

12 A. I think probably the fact that she was -- you know, she

13 was seen in other -- at that particular time she was

14 very much involved with the Garvaghy Road Residents

15 Coalition and that whole issue there, and she was very

16 much the voice for the Republican people and would have

17 appeared publicly, you know, particularly by Drumcree

18 and giving statements and things like that there. This

19 is where you are starting to form the opinion that she

20 does have sympathies lying in that direction. But we

21 never at any stage were saying she was a member of any

22 organisation, anything like that, but she certainly was

23 leaning towards that way.

24 Q. I appreciate you are saying she wasn't an active member

25 of the IRA, a volunteer, as it were, but in a place like

 

 

47


1 Northern Ireland where you have a large murderous group,

2 the Republican movement, who historically you have been

3 pitched against trying, to interdict their operations,

4 trying to penetrate their cells, she has, I think, been

5 bracketed with them, whether or not she was a volunteer,

6 hasn't she, by this stage?

7 A. Sorry.

8 Q. She has been bracketed with the terrorists?

9 A. Absolutely, not so much with the terrorists but with

10 Republicans.

11 Q. What's the difference?

12 A. Republicans aren't all terrorists. You would have

13 a Republican -- people with Republican views and they

14 would have supported the aims, but they are not involved

15 in any terrorism. That's quite common.

16 Q. So when it says "sympathetic to the Republican" cause,

17 it doesn't mean sympathetic towards the military

18 struggle?

19 A. No, not necessarily, no.

20 Q. What does it mean?

21 A. It means that she supported the Republican view and

22 aims.

23 Q. And Colin Duffy's role in that, if she is supportive of

24 Colin Duffy, does she not necessarily support terrorism

25 if he is indeed a terrorist?

 

 

48


1 A. She had a job to do as well and that was to defend her

2 clients in court, and that was part of her role.

3 Q. The next report I would like to show you is at

4 RNI-542-063 (displayed) and the date of this is a few

5 months later, February 1998. Again, it emanates from

6 Lurgan and it is an SIR on the MACER system. Could we

7 go overleaf, please, and look at the content. It says:

8 "Rosemary Nelson continues to have a close

9 association with Lurgan IRA, in particular Colin Duffy.

10 Following [someone's] arrest and detention for the

11 murder of Kevin Conway, she regularly briefs Colin Duffy

12 on the CID investigation and actively assists him in

13 creating alibis for PIRA members."

14 Could you comment on that report, please?

15 A. The Kevin Conway murder was one which sort of -- it

16 wasn't really a -- it wasn't a run-of-the-mill terrorist

17 murder as such. This was a guy that was involved in the

18 selling of contraband within the area and he obviously

19 then had a -- well, he did -- he had fallout with the

20 IRA and he was a problem for them. So they decided that

21 they had remove him and they took him away and dealt

22 with him. And they tried to do that anonymously by

23 using a shotgun.

24 Now, she would have been involved, and anybody who

25 has been interviewed about that particular murder if

 

 

49


1 they had been arrested, if the CID had arrested them and

2 bringing them in, and she would have been involved in

3 speaking to her clients. And she basically was

4 speaking -- we believe the indications there were that

5 she kept Colin Duffy up to speed on that investigation.

6 Q. Now, going back to the point we have touched upon

7 already about what she was doing in relation to the IRA,

8 do you think this report indicates that she is acting

9 beyond a simply professional solicitor and is, in

10 effect, supporting the IRA in the locality?

11 A. Yes, you could construe that, okay. But, you know, it

12 didn't really come as any great shock to us about that

13 piece of intelligence because, you know, we realised and

14 knew at that stage there was starting to be quite

15 a close relationship and this is where she may have had

16 misguided loyalties in many ways and in which she

17 passed on what she was learning from her interviews.

18 Now, while -- she is breaching the trust of a client

19 or what, but she certainly was, according to -- it

20 appeared to us that she was discussing these things with

21 Collie Duffy, and it could only be for one reason: to

22 keep him up to speed on everything, you know.

23 Q. Did you discuss with this CID?

24 A. I think I probably discussed the -- in relation to

25 alibis, possibly. I may have said that -- they were

 

 

50


1 possibly looking to try and get some alibis sorted out.

2 I can't really remember. I would suspect that I would

3 have had an off-the-record conversation with the SIO.

4 Q. So by early 1998 at the latest, they would have formed

5 the view that she was acting untowardly in relation to

6 her clients?

7 A. But, you know, you wouldn't have needed -- you wouldn't

8 really have needed intelligence to form that opinion.

9 It was -- you know, she was very high profile at that

10 particular time and at that stage, and she was, you

11 know, making public statements and things. It would not

12 have been any great shock.

13 Q. I think you say late in your statement that she didn't

14 hide her sympathies?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Could you expand on that?

17 A. Well, she would have been quite openly defending, you

18 know, the Garvaghy Road people and all that there in

19 relation to what was going on, and she would have quite

20 openly talked, you know -- I'm talking from an

21 intelligence point of view, where we were picking up

22 intelligence from very sensitive sources, where we were

23 picking up what her views were and what she was saying

24 and what she was thinking, you know.

25 Q. Do you think there was more intelligence which you

 

 

51


1 picked up about her which you wouldn't necessarily have

2 written down in any reports?

3 A. No, the intelligence gathering wasn't directed at her

4 per se; it had been gathered through other means (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted).

7 MR SKELTON: Thank you.

8 May we take a break, sir?

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, we will have a quarter of an hour break.

10 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

11 please confirm that all the cameras have been

12 switched off?

13 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

15 We will break off until five past 12.

16 (11.38 pm)

17 (Short break)

18 (12.07 pm)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist. Is the public area screen

20 fully in place, locked and the key secured?

21 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

23 screen closed?

24 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

 

 

52


1 and securely fastened?

2 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

4 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

5 of this chamber?

6 MR MYERS: No, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Can the video engineer please

8 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

9 off and shrouded?

10 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

12 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Bring the witness in, please.

14 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

15 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

16 switched back on.

17 Yes, Mr Skelton?

18 MR SKELTON: May we look at another intelligence report,

19 please, which we can find at RNI-542-116 (displayed).

20 This is a secret dissemination document,

21 dated April 1998, and the originating unit is HQ, E3A,

22 you can see there. If we go overleaf, you can see the

23 text of it. It has been heavily redacted, but the key

24 section is that final sentence there:

25 "PIRA have briefed Rosemary Nelson, who is acting as

 

 

53


1 their solicitor, to instruct [blank] to take

2 responsibility for weapons found at their home."

3 Then it says underneath -- it gives you an idea of

4 what it is about -- a number of weapons have been

5 recovered from the home of a particular individual or

6 individuals who had been arrested.

7 Now, in your statement you comment upon this at

8 paragraph 50 on page RNI-846-789 and say that such

9 intelligence was par for the course. This kind of thing

10 was par for the course. What do you mean by that?

11 A. It would be easier if I could discuss that in -- when we

12 can discuss the intelligence generally, you know, in

13 more depth, to talk about that.

14 Q. Of course you may, and we can deal with that issue

15 tomorrow.

16 A. It would be easier because the context of the

17 intelligence -- the par for the course would be

18 really -- what I'm saying is I expected that --

19 I expected that would happen, or something like that.

20 That is really what I'm saying.

21 Q. You expected --

22 A. Can I see my statement there?

23 Q. Yes, it should come up on the screen. It is

24 page RNI-846-789 (displayed), paragraph 50.

25 A. Yes.

 

 

54


1 Q. What you say there is that you don't think you would

2 have told CID about this particular piece of

3 intelligence. Do you think that's correct?

4 A. I think, from my recollection, I have said that in my

5 statement. I think I probably didn't tell them

6 specifically that.

7 I remember this operation -- I think I do now

8 anyway -- from memory. This was a planned operation as

9 a result of a planned operation.

10 Q. The recovery of the --

11 A. The weapons.

12 Q. The weapons yes.

13 A. There were specific reasons why the -- they decided to

14 take at that route, PIRA wanted to take that route.

15 Q. If that sort of thing was going on behind the scenes; in

16 other words, there was a decision being made by the IRA

17 for somebody else to take responsibility?

18 A. That sort of thing there wouldn't really be any

19 requirement or any much benefit to CID enquiry there.

20 Q. Might they not have arrested or prosecuted the wrong

21 person as a result of not knowing this?

22 A. Yes. But, you know, that's -- there again I could talk

23 about this better if we were talking about the context

24 of the intelligence.

25 Q. One thing I would like to ask just before we move on is

 

 

55


1 a little point which comes up in the Indus application

2 which, as I understood it, somebody had informed CID

3 about this information. I would like to show you that,

4 if I may, and then we will move on to other issues.

5 A. Okay.

6 Q. The reference I have is RNI-543-018 (displayed). Can

7 you see that?

8 Now, I appreciate I have taken it out of context and

9 that we haven't introduced the Indus document, but I'm

10 assuming that you are familiar with Indus and presuming

11 you are familiar with the report that was produced by

12 your detective sergeant in relation to it, of which this

13 is a section?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. It would appear from that that CID may have been

16 informed about this issue?

17 A. Not necessarily. You know, CID were briefed on the

18 direction of their enquiries. As I say, this operation

19 which led to the recovery of those weapons was

20 a specific are -- it was a planned operation and I'm not

21 quite sure -- I'm not quite sure that that comment means

22 that we would have told them about that specific piece

23 of intelligence. I would have given them background, we

24 would have been giving them some background as to the

25 circumstances in which the weapons and what have you

 

 

56


1 were recovered.

2 Q. So CID may not necessarily have known about

3 Rosemary Nelson's involvement in this issue after the

4 event?

5 A. Not necessarily, but it would become evident that she

6 was defending the client obviously as time went on.

7 Q. One of the comments that you make about Rosemary Nelson

8 in this context is that she appeared to be being dragged

9 more and more into PIRA dealings at this stage. Could

10 you assist us on expanding on that, please?

11 A. Well, as I said earlier this morning, I -- you know, her

12 relationship with Collie Duffy -- Collie Duffy was the

13 IRA in Lurgan at that particular time. He was the OC,

14 he was the man in charge. It was becoming evident not

15 just to us but obviously on the ground -- it was

16 becoming evident that there was anawareness of a closeness

17 developing there. So, you know -- there is no doubt

18 that that closeness led to the conversations between her

19 and Duffy, which were more than just a client/solicitor

20 relationship.

21 Q. The point I'm trying to focus on is her being dragged

22 into this sort of role, because the implication, I

23 think, is that she is an unwilling assistant in this

24 enterprise. Was that your impression? That she didn't

25 really want to be providing this kind of assistance, but

 

 

57


1 because of Colin Duffy, for whatever reason, she was?

2 A. I think if you look at overall -- you know, prior to the

3 relationship developing with Colin Duffy, we were seeing

4 no intelligence giving us such strong indications that

5 she was providing alibis or really assisting them. It

6 wasn't until this relationship started to develop that

7 this period took on a new life really as such. And I

8 think probably what was happening was that the personal

9 relationship was leading to other things and she was

10 keen, because of that personal relationship, to give him

11 whatever personal support she possibly could without

12 really stepping over the line.

13 Q. Does this report indicate to you that really at this

14 stage she was being instructed by the local IRA in

15 relation to matters such as the finding of weapons --

16 A. I think Collie was using her.

17 Q. Do you think she was an innocent party in that, in that

18 she didn't realise she was being necessarily used in

19 that way?

20 A. I don't think that she -- I think she would have been

21 conscious, all right, of what she was doing, but because

22 of her willingness to please, I think, probably she was

23 prepared to go that little bit further than what she had

24 been doing previously.

25 We didn't see -- it may well be we hadn't got the

 

 

58


1 lines of intelligence reporting to us; we didn't see

2 this type of activity two year previous; small snippets,

3 but not to the extent that we are seeing it now, as it

4 was coming into this phase.

5 Q. Given the alleged relationship that you had picked up on

6 and her association professionally with these local IRA

7 men, do you think she was aware of these activities to

8 the extent of knowing that they had been involved in

9 murders, for example?

10 A. She became aware subsequent to -- I think she would have

11 become aware of some. I don't believe that Collie would

12 have been the type of person to declare his innermost

13 secrets to her. I think she would have been aware or

14 gleaned some knowledge in the course of her role as

15 a solicitor and trying to help them, to keep them right,

16 so to speak.

17 Q. You may have to clarify that a little bit further,

18 please. Colin Duffy was alleged to have killed two

19 police officers in 1997.

20 A. Collie Duffy has got a long history of murder.

21 Q. Do you think --

22 A. He is notorious IRA killer.

23 Q. Indeed, and that's the impression that many witnesses

24 have given of him over the course of the whole of this

25 Inquiry. But the key point really is whether

 

 

59


1 Rosemary Nelson at this stage prior to her death knew

2 that Colin Duffy had murdered those police officers or

3 had murdered other people, such as John Lyness?

4 A. That's a difficult question to answer. You are asking

5 me to think what she -- was in her mind. I would put it

6 like this: I think that in the course of her discussions

7 about these murders, it would become apparent to her if

8 Collie Duffy had or had not been involved in them.

9 Q. Why?

10 A. Because he would have to say to her, you know, "I have

11 to get out of this or -- you are talking hypothetically

12 here, but that's my opinion.

13 I think she would have gleaned -- I don't think he

14 would have specifically set out to tell her that A, B, C

15 and D were involved in this murder, involved in that

16 incident. But in the course of the fact this she was

17 defending them and putting alibis together, she would

18 have become aware that he had to have an involvement in

19 it. That would be my belief.

20 Q. Do you have any intelligence to that effect?

21 A. That she became aware?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. I think there is one piece of intelligence.

24 Q. That comes in after her death?

25 A. It comes in after her death.

 

 

60


1 Q. Which we will come on to in due course.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you have any intelligence prior to her death to that

4 effect; in other words, that she was aware or allegedly

5 aware of those kind of activities?

6 A. I don't think there is anything as specific as that, but

7 there was pieces of evidence which are coming in and you

8 are piecing together as times go on. You know, you are

9 forming a picture, what we call an intelligence picture,

10 that she is -- it becomes sort of obvious that she

11 probably would be aware of certain specifics of IRA

12 activity.

13 Q. The relationship. We have seen a variety of reporting

14 and, indeed, you comment upon a variety of reporting in

15 your statement, and I don't want to take you through all

16 of those documents. One area of reporting in relation

17 to Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson is surveillance

18 operations and, as you say in your statement, there were

19 surveillance operations on him during this period as one

20 would expect?

21 A. Many.

22 Q. One of the witnesses who gave evidence was the Head of

23 the TCG who tasked some of the surveillance operations,

24 and under examination he said that at no stage did any

25 of his surveillance officers actually see them having

 

 

61


1 sexual contact together. They were seen -- and I think

2 you have seen some of the reports -- together late at

3 night and sometimes not in the city centre, but at, as

4 it were, remote locations. But they aren't seen having

5 physical contact together.

6 Is that your understanding or do you think there was

7 some surveillance at some point in relation to the two

8 of them?

9 A. Not that I'm aware of.

10 Q. So when it comes to understanding the significance of

11 the surveillance in the context of a relationship, what

12 inferences did you draw about the fact that they were

13 seen late at night and at these remote locations, albeit

14 not in physical proximity?

15 A. It would be very unusual for a solicitor to meet a

16 client in a very remote place in the middle of the

17 night, or late at night.

18 Q. From Mr Duffy's perspective, as I said earlier, he has

19 spoken a lot about Rosemary Nelson being a friend of

20 his, a developing a friendship, and it is clear from

21 what we have seen about him that he is

22 a security-conscious man, conscious that he is under

23 surveillance, conscious that he is being investigated by

24 Special Branch and, indeed, by CID. Might it not have

25 been the case that he wanted to find a remote location

 

 

62


1 in order to evade exactly the kind of surveillance which

2 was chasing after him and that if he wanted to have

3 a private conversation with Mrs Nelson, it couldn't be

4 in her office or it couldn't be in her home or on the

5 telephone, it had to be out somewhere?

6 A. I find that hard to accept because I would believe that

7 any normal client/solicitor relationship would be

8 conducted in her office and there would be no reason not

9 to.

10 Okay, I know what you are saying: there are security

11 implications. But at that particular time then, we were

12 in the middle of a ceasefire. He would have been astute

13 enough to move about and -- very carefully and change

14 his times and change his routines in order that he

15 wouldn't be setting a routine, going to the office at

16 certain times, on a certain day or whatever.

17 Q. But it is not unheard-off, is it -- and I'm not speaking

18 in any specifics in relation to this case -- for

19 lawyers' offices or telephones to be intercepted or for

20 their conversations to be of interest to the

21 intelligence services?

22 A. I certainly was never party to anything like that and

23 I'm not aware of it. We would not be doing it.

24 Q. So you are not aware of that ever occurring in South

25 Region?

 

 

63


1 A. A solicitor's office?

2 Q. A solicitor's conversation with his or her client being

3 intercepted?

4 A. Not specifically directed against the solicitor, no.

5 Q. Aside from the surveillance in relation to

6 Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy, can you give us

7 a idea -- again, I appreciate it is difficult because of

8 the provenance of the sources -- how much reporting you

9 were receiving in relation to the two of them and their

10 alleged relationship?

11 A. I don't think there was an awful lot other than -- you

12 have probably seen most of it -- seen it all in fact. I

13 don't think there is very much else, (redacted)

14 (redacted).

15 Q. And are you confident now, ten years on, that there was

16 indeed a relationship?

17 A. I have thought about this and I have to say from the

18 intelligence that we were aware of -- and I wasn't

19 always the gatherer of that intelligence; in fact

20 probably very little of it. That would have been the

21 role of my sergeant. But I'm of the opinion, yes, that

22 there was a relationship going on there over that short

23 period of time, that period of time.

24 Q. There is a suggestion in reporting we have seen that

25 they went on holiday together in 1998?

 

 

64


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Were you aware of that at the time?

3 A. I was aware of it -- aware of the intelligence that they

4 had, anyway, yes.

5 Q. Did you have it confirmed to your satisfaction that that

6 holiday did in fact take place?

7 A. From my recollection, yes. I think there was other

8 intelligence, I think came from Security Services

9 possibly, which -- which verified that.

10 Q. This may be something that we can take up in the closed

11 session tomorrow, but I think you say in your statement

12 that you had the impression that the relationship, if

13 such it was, started to break apart in late 1998.

14 Again --

15 A. After their return from holiday we would get indications

16 that there was a cooling.

17 Q. We can't talk about the sources of that intelligence in

18 the context of this hearing, but are you again clear

19 that by the time Rosemary Nelson was killed, the

20 relationship wasn't in fact in existence?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. That begs the question about whether Rosemary Nelson may

23 have been herself the subject of a Republican

24 assassination. If the suggestion is that she had left

25 the relationship unwillingly and was beginning to talk,

 

 

65


1 as we will see, to people about the activities of the

2 local IRA men, that therefore she herself became

3 a threat to those people. Did you think of that as

4 a theory when she was killed?

5 A. We had no intelligence at all to give any suggestion

6 that that was a possibility.

7 Q. I appreciate that, and it is absolutely fair to say that

8 there is no report to suggest that this was a Republican

9 bomb that killed Mrs Nelson.

10 But just as I have presented it in those simple

11 terms -- the relationship concluding, possibly

12 unwillingly -- it appears you did have intelligence that

13 she was talking about terrorist activities outside the

14 circle of her clients. Do you think now, looking back,

15 that was a legitimate suspicion that could have been

16 looked at?

17 A. Yes. As I say, you are talking purely hypothetically

18 here. Putting it the way that you have put it, one

19 could form that opinion but I didn't really think that

20 that was a possibility.

21 I don't think the IRA would have been a party to it

22 and I think for Duffy to have taken a chance to do the

23 like of that, I think he would have been in severe

24 difficulties. And I think he would never have been able

25 to keep it quiet. He could never have done it himself.

 

 

66


1 If he used a Republican or an IRA bomb, it would go

2 missing, and stuff like that. I don't believe it was

3 a possibility.

4 Q. I think you do say in your statement that the alleged

5 affair did cause him some difficulties within the IRA?

6 A. Absolutely, yes.

7 Q. And what has led you to draw that conclusion?

8 A. That it caused difficulty?

9 Q. Indeed.

10 A. Collie Duffy, he has had other affairs -- there is

11 other women he seemed to be -- because of his level of

12 activity and his role within the IRA organisation --

13 left him quite a character or quite a -- that young

14 girls looked up to and what have you.

15 He had other affairs. He was involved in the --

16 some racketeering at that particular time. He was

17 creating money from sales of tobacco, alcohol,

18 illegal -- in and around the estates. He then got

19 involved in the murder of Conway and he had a direct

20 involvement in that, we believe. These things did not

21 rest easy with the old style Republican and the IRA

22 leaders -- the leadership of the IRA, in so much that

23 they actually went higher -- went to a higher authority

24 in relation to his activities and they brought pressure

25 to bear to have him removed from his position. And the

 

 

67


1 fact that he was -- they would blame him, you know, to

2 this day for Rosemary Nelson being killed because his

3 closeness and his relationship would be, no doubt in

4 their mind, not the thing for an IRA man to do.

5 Q. Going back to the intelligence about the relationship

6 which you have seen, why was it of interest to

7 Special Branch that a relationship may have been --

8 A. Anything that Collie Duffy was doing was of interest to

9 Special Branch.

10 Q. Now, you deal with the issue of potential recruitment in

11 your statement. Do you think that it was --

12 A. Recruitment of?

13 Q. Of either Mr Duffy or Mrs Nelson. Could you discuss

14 those issues for us now?

15 A. In relation to Collie Duffy, to recruit someone of that

16 calibre would be very difficult even to do, and if you

17 were successful, to run. People -- we did not want to

18 recruit people who were involved in direct crime and

19 murder. We would not have had those people as a CHIS or

20 source.

21 Perhaps in his earlier career, as he was starting

22 off his career within the IRA, we may have looked at

23 him. He may have been a consideration. I don't know, I

24 wasn't there. As for Rosemary Nelson, she never, ever

25 was considered as a possible target for recruitment by

 

 

68


1 us. Solicitors, we wouldn't even consider it.

2 Q. Would intelligence in relation to the relationship have

3 value in terms of recruitment?

4 A. Not really, because it was quite widely known on the

5 street and although it maybe was not talked about

6 a lot -- but it would have been widely known and it

7 wouldn't really have been any sort of a lever for

8 either -- for recruiting Collie Duffy.

9 Q. What was the value of the relationship then?

10 A. What was the value of the knowledge?

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. As I say, anything that Collie Duffy was doing was

13 intelligence to us and his movements and where he was.

14 And that there, again, perhaps we could talk easier

15 about in a closed session, but certainly his movements

16 would have been a key note to us and where he was at

17 specific times and things.

18 Q. It was widely known, or at least widely thought, that

19 a relationship was occurring from your perspective

20 within Special Branch. The local officers would have

21 drawn that conclusion from what they knew of the

22 reporting?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. What about outside Special Branch, within the CID

25 grouping or within uniform? Would they have known as

 

 

69


1 well?

2 A. I think probably as time went on, they would have done.

3 I can recall the RIR putting reports -- sending reports

4 in of them together in various locations which tended to

5 indicate that they were having an affair.

6 So it was -- we probably saw it before it became

7 common knowledge in the street, but it started to become

8 quite a talking point amongst the public as well as --

9 I don't doubt the uniformed police. We wouldn't be

10 discussing our intelligence with the uniformed police

11 or with anybody.

12 Although we operated within a uniformed police

13 station, we were very insular. We had to operate with

14 secrecy really because we couldn't discuss our sources

15 with anybody, or the intelligence.

16 Q. But as you have presented it -- I mean, you used the

17 phrase "talking point" -- there was material that wasn't

18 source sensitive, from Army checkpoints, for example,

19 perhaps, just the very fact that they were seen together

20 in Lurgan outside of office hours. Was that something

21 that you remember discussing with non-Special Branch

22 colleagues?

23 A. Not off the top of my head, no. You know, intelligence

24 gatherers do not get involved in gossip. A lot of that

25 would be started to be gossip on the street and people

 

 

70


1 gossiping on the corners and one thing and another, and

2 we wouldn't get involved in that sort of thing.

3 Q. But gossip can be quite useful, can't it?

4 A. Yes, you would listen but you wouldn't pass comment or

5 get involved in gossiping.

6 Q. Just trying to draw that thread to a conclusion, do you

7 think it would be a fair assessment to say that CID

8 offices and uniformed officers in Lurgan would have

9 known about the alleged affair by the time

10 Rosemary Nelson died?

11 A. I would say it was a fair assumption, yes.

12 Q. And what about non-security force members, as in just

13 the local community?

14 A. Yes, I think that it would be widely known around

15 Kilwilke and around Lurgan. Kilwilke itself in

16 particular.

17 Q. And that presumably is from the Nationalist side of the

18 community?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Do you think the same applies with the Unionist and

21 Loyalist communities?

22 A. Yes. If I can recall correctly, I think there was

23 a newspaper article as well, someone in -- in relation

24 to -- which would have raised the awareness. And also,

25 you have got to remember that with RIR moving about

 

 

71


1 through the area, these people may well have discussed

2 it as well with their families or whatever.

3 Q. There was, I think, a News of the World article about

4 a local businesswoman?

5 A. Yes, there was something.

6 Q. When you give that answer about people in the locality

7 knowing, it is obviously not something that is based on

8 specific intelligence reporting; it is sort of under the

9 radar of that?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. But how would you have picked that up?

12 A. You would pick it up through conversations, you know,

13 and -- I can't really recall, but it was -- I am sure it

14 was talked about and perhaps I was asked by people if I

15 had any awareness of it. I can't remember, but I

16 wouldn't be confirming or denying that to anybody in

17 relation to any intelligence matters.

18 Q. I have taken you through a number of reports from 1994

19 onwards, which concern Rosemary Nelson, and it presents

20 a picture of someone that had some connections beyond

21 simply a solicitor/client relationship with her clients,

22 ie Mr Duffy in particular, in relation to alibis, in

23 relation to the finding of the weapons that we have seen

24 and also in relation to personal contact.

25 Could you summarise for me what your view of her was

 

 

72


1 by early 1999, ie prior to her death, in relation to her

2 position as a solicitor in the community and her

3 relationship with local Republicans?

4 A. Yes. It was quite simple: that Rosemary was simply

5 a solicitor and her main client base was from the

6 Republican and Nationalist communities.

7 We knew that -- obviously from the intelligence --

8 that she assisted them, and maybe as time went on, she

9 obviously overstepped -- was overzealous in her

10 representation of them. But as I said earlier, it

11 wasn't any great surprise or any great alarm to us. But

12 we have seen this on other occasions by other

13 solicitors. So, you know, it wouldn't -- I would be

14 getting overexercised about it.

15 At some stage you may ask why: why did we not report

16 this to the Law Society or whatever? But this is only

17 snippets of the intelligence, which is not evidence, and

18 as time went on, perhaps there would have been

19 sufficient intelligence there that we do make a case.

20 But, you know, other than that, to me she was no more

21 and no less than a solicitor representing her clients.

22 Okay, she was overzealous at times and maybe overstepped

23 the mark in protection of Duffy and his people at that

24 particular time, but I think she got caught up in all

25 that as a result of her closeness to Duffy.

 

 

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1 Q. She is presented as being a dedicated Republican in

2 a number of reports?

3 A. I think she was.

4 Q. What does that mean?

5 A. Just that she firmly believed in the Republican cause.

6 But as I said earlier, to be identified as a Republican

7 doesn't mean to say that you are involved in terrorism.

8 If you take an example on the Loyalist side: because you

9 are a strong Orangeman or whatever, on the Loyalist

10 side, does not mean to say you are involved in the UVF

11 or LVF. You have beliefs. And I believe that she had

12 strong Republican beliefs which she was quite willing to

13 express on occasions.

14 Q. I appreciate the point you are trying to make, but at

15 the same time, in your evidence you have told us that

16 she was probably aware of the murderous activities of

17 her clients prior to her death. She appeared to be

18 having a personal relationship with the local IRA

19 commander. And putting those together, it would appear

20 that it is not simply a solicitor/client relationship;

21 it is not an overzealous solicitor. It is actually

22 someone that is supporting militants at some level,

23 isn't it?

24 A. In the course of her work, yes, you know. I think you

25 think that I'm not surprised about this. For me, at

 

 

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1 this particular time -- and this was -- remember, this

2 was after a long campaign and this was day in, day out,

3 in those days. And, you know, it didn't shock me, it

4 didn't really shock me. Yes, I know what you are

5 saying, she overstepped the mark. But then you have got

6 to look at the relationship as well and perhaps, as

7 I said earlier, she had some misguided loyalties in that

8 area, you know. But then that's really what my thoughts

9 are on that.

10 Q. You may have heard about the issue of the paper file,

11 which has been the subject of some questioning in these

12 hearings. You, in your evidence earlier, mentioned

13 SB50s and you said that five copies were made of which

14 one was kept locally.

15 Now, if Rosemary Nelson appears in a number of

16 SB50s, would it not follow that those hard copies would

17 find their way into a file which bore her name?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Why not?

20 A. We only kept files on a local basis on active

21 terrorists.

22 Q. So, for example, taking a Sinn Fein politician who

23 wasn't considered to be an active terrorist, in the

24 sense of an IRA volunteer engaged in operation, you

25 wouldn't keep a file on a Sinn Fein councillor?

 

 

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1 A. Not unless he was actively on involved in terrorism.

2 I'm not saying that something like that wouldn't be kept

3 in Headquarters, but we had only limited space; we

4 couldn't keep files on everybody, the amount of

5 paperwork which would accumulate.

6 Q. May I ask you then where the paperwork on

7 Rosemary Nelson would have gone? We can see that

8 a number of the reports that have come in in relation to

9 her are really about her?

10 A. I think the majority of those were all on CAISTER.

11 Q. Some of them are on PRISM, some of them are on MACER,

12 indeed, but not all of them.

13 A. Anything locally. You know, we weren't gathering

14 intelligence specifically on Rosemary Nelson. We were

15 getting intelligence on terrorist suspects and the

16 majority of our intelligence -- it has all come in as

17 a result of intelligence we were gathering on the IRA

18 and those would be filed on the IRA suspects file, which

19 would be held locally. But once we started to

20 computerise, that would be -- I doubt even if any files

21 exist now.

22 Q. So if one wanted to know about Rosemary Nelson locally,

23 you would have to go through the local IRA suspect

24 files, would you, to find out about her?

25 A. Or you would maybe go down to Headquarters. I think she

 

 

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1 probably would have had a slip -- what we called a white

2 slip or pink slip, I can't remember which. She would

3 have had an SB number, but then I have an SB number. If

4 you are a subject of a threat or anything else, you were

5 given an SB number. That was recorded -- from what

6 I recall it went into the slip system first before it

7 went to registry, but that was all transferred across on

8 to the computers.

9 Q. Did you have cause ever to go to registry to look at her

10 personal file, if there was one?

11 A. No. You know, when you look at it, there is very, very

12 little -- you must remember here, you know, over the

13 period of time when I was in Lurgan, there was a massive

14 amount of work being done. And up until the murder of

15 Rosemary herself, I wasn't that overly interested in the

16 activities of Rosemary Nelson because I had so many

17 other things. There were terrorist incidents happening

18 and there was Drumcree, which was a major problem for us

19 every year.

20 So you can imagine the amount of intelligence that I

21 was dealing with at that particular time. So the

22 references that you are highlighting now today, we are

23 sitting here and looking at, would have been very --

24 would not have been of any great deal of importance to

25 me on a day-to-day basis in Lurgan. It would have been

 

 

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1 in the back of my mind that it was available and that it

2 was there and that what she was doing was there, you

3 know.

4 Q. We haven't dealt with, in great detail,

5 Rosemary Nelson's connection with the GRRC and many

6 other witnesses have discussed that --

7 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Sorry, before you go on to the GRRC,

8 could I ask just a little bit further about the extent

9 to which you were interested in Rosemary Nelson. And

10 you have said very firmly you weren't interested in her

11 except in the context of the alleged relationship with

12 Colin Duffy.

13 A. Yes.

14 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: What I find puzzling is why did we

15 see amongst the various bits of intelligence a wee

16 profile of her husband and another one of her father?

17 Why would anyone have wanted those, if she wasn't of

18 interest?

19 A. I don't think I have seen that. Is that in ...?

20 MR SKELTON: We can show the references over lunch, if that

21 would assist you. There is indeed another report to do

22 with someone that works in her office.

23 A. I'm sorry, I can't really comment. Her husband was of

24 no interest to me whatsoever and neither -- who was the

25 other person, sorry?

 

 

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1 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Her father.

2 A. No.

3 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Perhaps we can revert to it after

4 lunch --

5 A. I don't think I have seen it.

6 MR SKELTON: I think that's right. I don't think it is

7 referred to in your statement but we can find the

8 documents.

9 A. Did they originate with me?

10 Q. I believe so. You were covering the area. It would

11 either have been Portadown or Lurgan, yes.

12 A. Okay, I'll have a look at it.

13 Q. Sorry, the point I was asking really to build on the

14 GRRC issue, there is in the documents that we have seen

15 an application in relation to Rosemary Nelson's

16 telephone and I would like to show that you, if I may.

17 It is at RNI-542-259.500 (displayed). It is, I am

18 afraid, a difficult document to read because the

19 copying -- and you can see it -- fades away slightly at

20 the end of the page, but I think you have had the

21 opportunity to see this and, indeed, you comment upon it

22 in your statement.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. A first straightforward question: did you ever intercept

25 Rosemary Nelson's telephone?

 

 

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1 A. No.

2 Q. Neither her personal phone nor her office phone?

3 A. No.

4 Q. This application is, I think, addressed to you because

5 we can see "Detective Inspector, Special Branch, Lurgan"

6 at the top left, but would have been written, I think,

7 by your sergeant?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you remember receiving it?

10 A. I have to confess I didn't remember it at all until it

11 was put to me, but there is so much going on. Do you

12 want me to expand on it?

13 Q. Yes, please.

14 A. From what I can remember, this -- can we see the date?

15 Q. I think the date is July 1998, so it is in the heart of

16 the Drumcree season?

17 A. Yes. What would happen, we would have a planning

18 session well in advance of Drumcree and a part of that

19 planning session (redacted)

20 (redacted) over the Drumcree period. There is

21 a massive thirst for intelligence, as you can imagine.

22 Q. Just to stop you there. I'm sorry to stop you in the

23 middle of your answer, but we do not want to talk about

24 any other intelligence in relation to Drumcree other

25 than --

 

 

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1 A. I have to explain to you the background to this.

2 Q. You may, yes. I'm just highlighting sensitivity which

3 we can always get round if we go into a closed session.

4 A. Well, can I just simply put it then: this would have

5 been a part of planning, and I would have come back from

6 our planning and we would have various ideas of what we

7 would do over that period and how we would deal with it.

8 As a result of that, I would be pulling my three or four

9 sergeants together and saying, "Listen, guys, this is

10 what we are doing. We need to look at and get ahead of

11 the game and prepare a number of applications." I

12 wouldn't specifically tell them what to prepare and

13 that's why that would have been prepared, but it never

14 went anywhere and my sergeant would have presented it to

15 me as a possibility.

16 Q. Do you think then that you put a stop to it?

17 A. I don't believe -- I don't even believe that I even

18 wrote that. I think I just told him that it wasn't

19 a starter, it is not on and it wouldn't have left the

20 office.

21 Q. Was there some debate about it with other officers, for

22 example, the local superintendent or the chief

23 inspector, about whether or not it was proportionate and

24 necessary to do this?

25 A. I don't specifically recall that it had been left to

 

 

81


1 myself. I had autonomy myself to submit these things

2 and if it was something I felt that we should be doing,

3 I would refer it up. But I would have been quite firm

4 on that, that it is a non-starter. I can't remember

5 whether I discussed it or not, I may or may not have

6 done. But as soon as I read it, it was a non-starter

7 because of who she was and the difficulties with it and

8 (inaudible) intelligence.

9 Q. Just breaking down the concerns you may have had about

10 it, one of them presumably would have been the legal

11 privilege issue?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In the context of the Indus application, which we saw

14 did progress, which was in relation to a house that

15 Rosemary Nelson owned which Colin Duffy appeared to be

16 living in, that wasn't so much of a concern, or at least

17 on the face of the initial application. Why was that?

18 A. Well, Indus, that's a different type of thing. It was

19 a target against the IRA, against Collie Duffy.

20 Q. But it was a property owned by Mrs Nelson?

21 A. Yes, but she never looked at it. It was just somebody

22 renting a house to an individual who appeared to be

23 Collie Duffy.

24 Q. Now, the Security Service witnesses who have given

25 evidence have said that legal professional privilege was

 

 

82


1 a problem for them when it came to the Indus application

2 and, indeed, we have seen many documents that appear to

3 indicate that the Secretary of State herself became

4 involved in that problem, that aspect of it. Do you

5 remember the controversy about the legal privilege issue

6 in the context of Mrs Nelson's ownership?

7 A. I don't recall ever discussing it. Probably at the

8 highest level I would have discussed it with -- it would

9 have been my superintendent, the Indus one. And he

10 would have related to me that there may well be some

11 issues along that line because of the owner, but I can't

12 really remember.

13 But, you know, those type of thing that you are

14 talking about would have been much more senior level

15 than me.

16 Q. A sort of policy level discussion about legal

17 professional privilege and so on?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Just focusing back again on this application which you

20 have explained didn't in fact proceed, what other issues

21 would have determined you stopping this from going

22 ahead?

23 A. I would have took the view that really it was unethical

24 probably that you don't -- unless you had a -- it wasn't

25 proportionate. Unless you had a specific reason to

 

 

83


1 target a solicitor, I don't believe that we would

2 even -- I would never consider doing it unless there

3 was, as I say, a specific reason for that. But there

4 was no specific reason as such.

5 This was -- you know, we would have been looking

6 at -- to try and widen our coverage as much as we could

7 in relation to what activities were coming up in that

8 area, the Garvaghy Road.

9 Q. Aside from Indus, which we have briefly touched upon,

10 and this application, we haven't seen any applications

11 in which Rosemary Nelson is either directly or

12 indirectly a subject. Can you remember whether there

13 were any such applications against her properties or

14 telephones?

15 A. No, not that I'm aware of any. Other than the Indus,

16 which was directed against Collie Duffy, not against

17 Rosemary Nelson.

18 Q. And in terms of surveillance operations, we have again

19 touched upon those earlier in discussion of the alleged

20 relationship and you explain that they were surveillance

21 operations in relation to Mrs Duffy. Was Mrs Nelson

22 herself under surveillance as a target?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Not at any time?

25 A. No, not that I'm aware of anyway. No.

 

 

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1 Q. I would like to move now, if I may, to intelligence from

2 the Loyalist side of things prior to Rosemary Nelson's

3 murder.

4 A key question for this Inquiry is whether or not

5 there was any intelligence prior to Mrs Nelson's murder

6 that she was being targeted by any terrorist group. As

7 far as you were aware, was any such intelligence

8 received by any of your officers?

9 A. No, unfortunately not.

10 Q. Was any intelligence received that Loyalist

11 paramilitaries were interested in her?

12 A. No, not specifically, no.

13 Q. Did you receive any intelligence that Loyalist

14 paramilitaries were planning on killing a Nationalist

15 solicitor or other prominent Nationalist target prior

16 to March 1999?

17 A. Certainly not that I'm aware of, any Nationalist

18 solicitors or anything like that, no.

19 Q. Did you receive any intelligence as far as you can

20 recall now -- and we will look in a moment at some more

21 detailed reporting and surveillance, et cetera, but did

22 you receive any intelligence to the effect that

23 Loyalists were planning an undercar booby trap in the

24 beginning of 1999 against a Catholic target?

25 A. No, not that I can recall.

 

 

85


1 Q. Now, given the prominence of this murder, a high profile

2 target and a lawyer with an international reputation,

3 would you have expected to have received some reporting

4 from some source prior to it occurring?

5 A. Not -- you would hope to, but a lot of it would be

6 dependent on your coverage, your intelligence coverage

7 of the area and of the organisations involved, not

8 necessarily particularly the Loyalists. The

9 Loyalists were very spontaneous really. They could have

10 decided to do something tonight and have it done by

11 tomorrow morning. Those were the type of things that --

12 it was very difficult to get good intelligence in

13 relation to that.

14 Q. One of the Loyalist groupings were the LVF, who were

15 prominent in Portadown and that area, initially from

16 Billy Wright moving into the locality and, after his

17 demise, in relation to Mark Fulton and his cohorts. You

18 are familiar with an operation called Shubr which was

19 a surveillance operation that appears to have commenced

20 in 1998 in relation to the LVF?

21 A. I have to confess I didn't realise it was called that

22 until quite recently, but I knew that we had ongoing

23 operations against Loyalists because I had been

24 submitting tasks to the TCG for this.

25 Q. From what others have told us, it would appear that an

 

 

86


1 operation like that is set running over a long period of

2 time and gradually gathers information about its

3 subjects, but can also be triggered by specific

4 intelligence that they may be up to something which

5 needs to be monitored. Is that, in simple terms,

6 correct?

7 A. That's quite right, yes.

8 Q. May I show you a few documents that relate to Shubr and

9 ask you just to comment on them, and we may have to

10 continue after that because I appreciate we are heading

11 towards the break.

12 The first is RNI-546-057 (displayed). Now, you can

13 see there that this is March 1999 and it refers to

14 Operation Shubr and is being run by the TCG (South)

15 region, as you can see from the destination there. And

16 if we look at the text overleaf, please, with the caveat

17 that the redactions prevent us understanding what is

18 being talked about, but you can see in simple terms that

19 the subject matter is a meeting between Portadown LVF

20 and some other person or persons in Belfast, and that

21 they are being monitored by the surveillance unit in

22 relation to that meeting.

23 Would this have been a piece of surveillance work

24 which you, as the DI, would have triggered having

25 received intelligence about a meeting like that?

 

 

87


1 A. It is possible, yes. I would have to marry up the

2 intelligence and marry it up, look at the dates and

3 things. It is quite possible that it could have come --

4 the request or task could have come from within the

5 division.

6 Q. Well, if the intelligence emanated from Portadown in

7 relation to the LVF, would you have expected, as the DI

8 for that area, to have been the person receiving it and

9 then being the person asking TCG to action it? Would

10 that be the other course of things as the DI?

11 A. That would be the normal, yes.

12 Q. Do you remember in relation to this period, ie prior to

13 Rosemary Nelson's death, and indeed very close to

14 Rosemary Nelson's death -- do you remember Shubr taking

15 place and triggering its operation?

16 A. I didn't actually realise that that was the operational

17 name for it because TCG would allocate those names, but

18 yes, we did have -- we would have known as an ongoing

19 on-and-off operation against the main targets and if --

20 as you rightly say, if something specific had come in,

21 we would have asked for it. We may not always have got

22 it. It would depend on the resources and what was

23 happening in the region at the time. It was a very

24 limited resource.

25 Q. The meeting which appears to have been taking place --

 

 

88


1 it doesn't explain on the face of this request what it

2 was about, but can you remember whether it was to do

3 with, for example, drugs or to do with paramilitary

4 activity and --

5 A. I'll be honest, I would have to look at it in more

6 depth. I would have to see it before I could really

7 comment.

8 Q. Looking at your statement, if we may, at paragraph 1 on

9 RNI-846-802 (displayed), you make the point you have

10 just made now that you need to see this request in its

11 context. And I think you describe some of the context

12 there of a relationship developing between the local LVF

13 and between someone in Belfast?

14 A. Yes. I think I can -- I'm trying to fill in the blanks.

15 Q. You can't --

16 A. I'm trying to fill in the blanks --

17 Q. In relation to the names which are in your unredacted

18 statement?

19 A. Yes, yes.

20 Q. Well, that may be a good point at which to break and we

21 can have a look at it after lunch.

22 A. Yes, that's fine.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: We will break off until 2 o'clock.

24 Before the witness leaves, would the video engineer

25 please confirm that all the cameras have been

 

 

89


1 switched off?

2 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

4 Please escort the witness out.

5 (12.59 pm)

6 (The short adjournment)

7 (2.05 pm)

8 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist, Mr Myers. Is the public area

9 screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

10 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

12 screen closed?

13 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

15 and securely fastened?

16 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

18 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

19 of this chamber?

20 MR MYERS: No, sir.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

22 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

23 shrouded?

24 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

 

 

90


1 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

3 Bring the witness in, please.

4 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

5 Participants' legal representatives may be switched

6 back on.

7 Yes, Mr Skelton?

8 MR SKELTON: Sir, before the break there was a question from

9 Dame Valerie in relation to two bits of intelligence

10 relating to Rosemary Nelson's family, her husband in

11 particular and her father. I think during the break the

12 witness has had the opportunity to see the SIDDs in

13 relation to that intelligence. I think it is fair to

14 say, if we get them on the screen, that they don't

15 directly say that they came from the Lurgan area. I

16 will ask you some questions about it when we can see it.

17 RNI-542-055 (displayed). It is, as I say, a SIDD

18 dated February 1998 and the originating unit is PSHQ/E3A

19 Branch. And if we look at the text overleaf, please, it

20 says:

21 "Rosemary Nelson's husband, whose first name is

22 Paul, works for [blank] and is described as a stout man

23 with a baldy head. He [Nelson] would not be much of

24 a drinker/socialiser, but is know to frequent the

25 [name redacted] Hotel in Lurgan from time to time with

 

 

91


1 business contacts."

2 So some personal details about Rosemary Nelson's

3 husband recorded in a report which is not linked in with

4 Colin Duffy or other members of the IRA and, therefore,

5 doesn't fall into the same box that you previously

6 described intelligence about Rosemary Nelson. Why was

7 this being recorded?

8 A. I have to confess I don't recall ever seeing this

9 before. It is very, very low level. It would -- it

10 could have been submitted purely for record purposes

11 only. I have no idea where it came from or anything, but

12 it wouldn't be uncommon for low level intelligence like

13 that just to be noted and submitted.

14 Q. If we work on the assumption that it did originate in

15 its form from your area and it made its way to

16 Headquarters and then back through the MACER system as

17 a SIDD, what value was it to Special Branch to keep that

18 sort of information about someone's husband?

19 A. The only value would be if you are doing research or

20 something like that, to show that this was her husband.

21 It is not uncommon for this type of very low level stuff

22 to be held and it is purely really just for doing

23 research and that type of thing.

24 Q. Doesn't it imply that you're interested in

25 Rosemary Nelson?

 

 

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1 A. Not really, no. As such, it would probably be -- it

2 would be the wider Duffy scenario. It would be just on

3 the fringes of that type of intelligence coming in. But

4 I have to confess I don't know where it has come from.

5 But I have seen similar type of intelligence like that.

6 It is very low level intelligence. It is purely for

7 background information.

8 Q. There is no suggestion, I think, that Mr Nelson himself

9 had any connection --

10 A. Absolutely none whatever, and that's why it particularly

11 surprises me to see it. But I can, again -- I can

12 envisage a circumstance where in the wider circle these

13 wee snippets, bits of background stuff, would come to

14 hand and it would be just kept for record purposes only.

15 Q. One can perhaps see why one might know that she is

16 married and her husband's name is Paul, just so that one

17 can understand who she is. But why would one want to

18 recall where he goes for a drink?

19 A. It's just for common knowledge, for background

20 information.

21 Q. I'm struggling to understand why it was any use at all.

22 A. It could be perhaps if you were doing some other form of

23 operation and this person came into -- or was recognised

24 as being there on the edges -- had a record, you could

25 do research to find out who it was and things like that.

 

 

93


1 It is hard to explain, really.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: What does limited dissemination indicate to

3 you?

4 A. Limited means it would be -- unlimited, everybody sees

5 it. Limited is a small number of people that it has

6 been opened to. And then if no dissemination, then it

7 doesn't go any wider than that.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: It says "limited dissemination S". Is that

9 South, is it, or ...?

10 A. I really don't know -- that's Headquarters terminology,

11 I'm not sure -- I presume that's limited dissemination

12 to the South Region, perhaps, yes.

13 MR SKELTON: The next report is of a similar kind. We can

14 find that at RNI-542-053 (displayed). The

15 date, February, again, 1998, the location -- sorry, the

16 originating unit the same PSNI HQ, E3A, and it is

17 a SIDD. So it is the same level of distribution. If we

18 go overleaf in relation to that, again, the text is

19 similar both in format and the way it is recorded:

20 "Rosemary Nelson, née Magee, is originally from the

21 Shore Road area of Lurgan. Her father is Tommy Magee

22 who is currently residing at [blank]."

23 Then, in the same form that we have seen previously,

24 a small bit of biographical information about her

25 father, that he drives a minibus and collects OAPs.

 

 

94


1 Again, it is hard to see what conceivable interest

2 Mr Magee's occupation was at this time to anyone in

3 Special Branch?

4 A. Yes. It is the similar scenario as the previous

5 piece -- in fact, I think maybe they are both dated the

6 same. Am I right on that?

7 Q. They are both February 1998.

8 A. I presume they are coming from whatever the source was.

9 They're both pieces of intelligence coming from the same

10 source into Headquarters. It would be basically, again,

11 for research purposes if you were -- for instance,

12 a minibus seen in a scenario, you would be able to check

13 up and see who the minibus was. Other than that, I

14 can't see any reason for it.

15 Q. Is it likely then that you allowed this intelligence to

16 get recorded on the system at this time, given that most

17 of the intelligence reports that --

18 A. There would be low level recording, yes.

19 Q. And would you have occasion with this kind of

20 intelligence to go back and actually use it for

21 operations, or was it just --

22 A. It would vary at my level, but it would maybe come up in

23 research as a result of surveillance operations, for

24 instance, or something in relation to that. It may well

25 come up when they are doing research on it. Anything

 

 

95


1 like that could happen.

2 Q. Now, this is a long time -- over a year -- before

3 Rosemary Nelson is killed. Did, in fact, any of this

4 intelligence, this information about her husband or

5 about her father, have any use in relation to operations

6 at this time?

7 A. Not that I'm aware of. You know, I'm at a loss to

8 really give you more specifics. I don't know where the

9 intelligence has come from and what was the source of

10 the intelligence.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Could it be background information for use in

12 the threat assessment, which was being carried out at

13 that time?

14 A. It possibly could have been used in research in relation

15 to looking into the background. That's a possibility,

16 that's right, yes.

17 MR SKELTON: Another possibility could be in relation to the

18 Indus application. For example, there is a small,

19 single-page description of Mrs Nelson which includes

20 a little bit of biographical detail. Did you tend to

21 keep biographical details of people so that when it came

22 to operation applications like that, you could produce

23 a short précis of what you knew about them?

24 A. Normally those would be prepared as part and parcel of

25 the operational plan, operational submission. You

 

 

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1 wouldn't hold them on record, they would be prepared

2 specifically for that particular application.

3 Q. The striking thing, really, about these particular

4 reports is really their blandness, in that there is no

5 connection whatsoever between any of these individuals

6 and any paramilitary organisation. One could envisage a

7 situation where you might say, "They are in fact married

8 to someone and she is from a family that is associated

9 with the Republican movement", or with that kind of

10 thing?

11 A. I do think -- I think it is peripheral intelligence,

12 which -- background information about people which is

13 common through the overall intensive operation against

14 Colin Duffy and that whole organisation.

15 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: It does seem strange, I have to say,

16 that one is collecting information of the family

17 connections of somebody who is of no interest, as you

18 have described her. It is a very remote connection with

19 Collie Duffy. I don't know if you would like to comment

20 on that?

21 A. I definitely take your point and understand it. But to

22 be quite honest, if I was reporting on intelligence from

23 a source of mine, I would have -- likely wouldn't submit

24 that, but I don't know who -- where that has come from.

25 That type of information would maybe not even come

 

 

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1 across my desk. It is just low level -- and it is not

2 uncommon. You know, other wider circles of people --

3 these pieces of background information become available

4 and they are just recorded, put into the system.

5 MR SKELTON: I would like now, if I may, to go back to some

6 of Loyalist intelligence prior to Rosemary Nelson's

7 murder. And before we return to the issue particularly

8 of Shubr, I would like to show you a few reports about

9 the LVF in your area during the previous two years, the

10 prior two years to her murder.

11 The first is at RNI-541-056 (displayed), and this is

12 from Lurgan. It is a secret intelligence report, a SIR,

13 dated February 1997, dissemination level 19. So it is

14 a high level report. If we go overleaf, we can see the

15 text, please. Again, the redactions make it difficult

16 to understand exactly what is being said, but it relates

17 to a bomb maker from Belfast expressing his full support

18 for the Loyalist Volunteer Force. And it appears to

19 indicate that there is a plan to make an incendiary

20 device and another form of explosive device for the LVF.

21 And then there is, within the section below, reference

22 to an attempt to identify the bomb maker who is being

23 referred to.

24 Now, one can't see on the face of it all the various

25 characters that are being referred to in this report,

 

 

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1 but it is something which you talk about in your

2 statement. It may be worth just looking at the

3 paragraphs of your statement simultaneously so that we

4 can elucidate what is going on here. We can find those

5 at 105 on page RNI-846-803 (displayed).

6 Now, first of all, the LVF in 1997, as far as you

7 were concerned, were they capable of manufacturing their

8 own devices?

9 A. My view of the LVF's capability in and around that

10 particular time is that they wouldn't have had the

11 sophistication or the ability to put together a major

12 device and they would have had probably the ability in

13 the wider circle to make up pipe bombs, simple things

14 like that, which are very simple and they would use

15 those sort of things in Drumcree and places like that.

16 Q. Now, if it is possible, can we have both the statement

17 and that document on the screen simultaneously, please

18 (displayed). Thank you.

19 When you received this report, was it important to

20 you then to try and find out exactly what this

21 connection was and what possible munitions may have been

22 offered to the LVF?

23 A. Oh, yes, we would have tried to further that. All

24 intelligence you would try to get a step further and try

25 to establish, whether by briefing -- rebriefing the

 

 

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1 source or briefing another source, in a round about way,

2 or perhaps even using surveillance or something like

3 that to try and further your intelligence.

4 Q. What was the result of those attempts to find out the

5 identity of the bomb maker?

6 A. I don't believe we were successful.

7 Q. We have heard from other witnesses that there is

8 a relatively limited pool of people within the Loyalist

9 community who are capable of creating a UCBT, that there

10 would only be perhaps less than half a dozen people that

11 would be fulfilling that function. Did you liaise with

12 your Belfast counterparts to try and identify who it was

13 and narrow it down to one or two or three individuals?

14 A. I think what happened was that we -- in answer to that

15 question, yes, we would have spoken to -- went to

16 Headquarters. What we would have done, we would have

17 went through E3B, the Loyalist intelligence desk at

18 Headquarters, and we would ask them for assistance

19 because it would be very difficult to go along to

20 Headquarters and ask them to research all the

21 intelligence, whereas E3B desk, they would have the

22 overall picture from the whole of the Northern Ireland

23 and the organisations that were active at that

24 particular time. They would be looking at and doing

25 analysis on bomb makers and things like that as well.

 

 

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1 So it would be them that I would go to.

2 Secondly we would look at other ways to perhaps try

3 and establish who that was via surveillance and, as you

4 talked about, our overall surveillance operation. We

5 would task them to -- if they had the availability of

6 the resource available to us -- have a look at the

7 specific personalities and see whether or not there is

8 any associations forming or anything out of the

9 ordinary.

10 Q. In the next paragraph of your statement you can see the

11 first three lines there, you say:

12 "With the benefit of hindsight, the bomb maker from

13 Belfast may well have been ..."

14 And the name is redacted. It is fair to say that's

15 a person who has been of interest to the Inquiry --

16 A. The association became apparent about five or six months

17 before Rosemary Nelson's death. We would have -- in

18 hindsight looking at that now, may well have been the

19 bomb maker, yes.

20 Q. At the time was it clear to you that that bomb maker may

21 have been supplying a UCBT or other bomb device to the

22 LVF?

23 A. This, 1997?

24 Q. Any time really between 1997 and the intelligence which

25 we are going to come on to later.

 

 

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1 A. There was no -- from what I can recall, I don't think

2 there was any specific reference to undercar booby traps

3 that I can recall, that we would be -- our concerns here

4 would have been very much the Drumcree situation and

5 with the pipe bombs and coffee jar-type bombs and those

6 sort of things, which would have come out of Belfast.

7 Q. Picking up on that, from your perspective it may have

8 been more likely that the LVF would engage with those

9 sorts of terrorist activities, throwing pipe bombs and

10 blast bombs, et cetera, rather than an assassination or

11 a direct target against a high profile person?

12 A. That was the intelligence picture at that time, yes.

13 Q. Another issue which other witnesses have explained is

14 that because the LVF were engaged in a lot of drugs

15 activities and, indeed, were some people from Belfast

16 that they were connected with, such as this person, as

17 we understand it, that it was difficult for

18 Special Branch to ascertain when they were meeting

19 whether they were going to be talking about drugs or

20 talking about munitions because they were in constant

21 contact for different reasons.

22 Does that chime in with your perception of what was

23 going on at that time?

24 A. Yes, it would, at that particular time, particularly

25 when Billy Wright was no longer directly on the scene.

 

 

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1 They were heavily involved in drug dealing and, in fact,

2 we had a number of fairly successful operations against

3 them in relation to that. And there is no doubt that

4 there would have been a -- it could have masked other

5 activities.

6 Q. A little later in the year, in August 1997 there is

7 a report that does link the LVF directly with a UCBT

8 device and I would like to put that on the screen, if I

9 may, please. It is RNI-541-156 (displayed) and, as

10 I say, the date is August 1997.

11 If we go overleaf, we can see the substance of the

12 report and it is to do with Mark "Swinger" Fulton

13 concentrating his targeting to across the border in the

14 Republic and it connects him with (redacted) a

15 UCBT device (redacted) and

16 would intend to use to continue with the attacks in the

17 south, to carry out attacks in the south.

18 Now, I think in your statement your understanding of

19 this is that really this would be him boasting about

20 capability that he may not have had?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. What makes you say that?

23 A. Because it was totally out of step with all the rest of

24 the intelligence revolving round the LVF in Portadown at

25 that particular time, and as we spoke earlier about

 

 

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1 other corroborative intelligence, there was nothing

2 really to support that. Their MO was really gun attacks

3 and murders by use of guns as opposed to using bombs or

4 bomb making.

5 Q. Does it follow from that that you wouldn't have

6 necessarily tried to follow this piece of intelligence

7 up; you wouldn't have tasked your sources or your assets

8 to find out more about this apparent change of modus

9 operandi?

10 A. We would always keep a very open mind on that. You

11 know, you would task -- you would task source, had they

12 heard any talk about it or was there discussions

13 anywhere. You would have looked at all other sorts of

14 technical intelligence and bearing that in mind as well,

15 you would be trying to pick up on which may well be

16 a reference to such a thing.

17 Q. I may be corrected by others in the room, but as I

18 understand it, I don't think the LVF are linked with

19 a UCBT device again prior to Rosemary Nelson's death.

20 Does that accord with your recollection of this?

21 A. As far as I recall that was the case, yes.

22 Q. Another report that relates to Mark Fulton is at

23 RNI-542-113 (displayed), and this is April 1998. This

24 is one where we can see that you are one of the

25 originating officers there, as you can see, the bottom

 

 

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1 left. If we go overleaf, we can see the full text of it

2 and it says that Mark Fulton has contacts within the

3 security forces and it mentions the RIR and then the

4 police. And:

5 "The LVF had aborted an operation in Lurgan

6 in March 1998 due to increased security force activity,

7 and subsequently Fulton contacted the source to

8 establish the reason for the increased activity."

9 On the face of it, certainly for an inquiry that is

10 investigating the kind of issues that we are

11 investigating, this appears to be a very serious issue:

12 contact between a very dangerous militant terrorist and

13 members of the security forces, albeit unspecified. How

14 did you view it at the time?

15 A. Yes, it was a thorn in our flesh, to be quite honest,

16 over my period of time in that area. I wouldn't say it

17 was a serious problem, but the difficulty was that even,

18 say, for instance, you could -- we would issue an action

19 sheet about a specific threat or something in the area

20 or we would increase the activity as referred to there.

21 They would have probably been able to contact

22 a friendly RIR person who would have perhaps been able

23 to identify or -- why there had been an increase in

24 activity. The danger to us was that whenever you were

25 using source intelligence to direct people, that it sort

 

 

105


1 of highlighted that. This is where we would have had

2 concerns.

3 I don't believe -- we did, as you are probably

4 aware -- there was a member subsequently arrested some

5 time after Rosemary Nelson's murder who had a direct

6 involvement in it, but that was not -- probably was not

7 the norm. There was certainly one or two bad apples, as

8 there are in many organisations.

9 Q. In which organisation specifically?

10 A. How do you mean?

11 Q. You have referred to the RIR and, indeed, you do so in

12 your statement, but this seems to mention both the RIR

13 and the police. Do you think that Mark Fulton may have

14 had a police contact of which you were unaware?

15 A. There could well have been, but we had no intelligence

16 to indicate that. But we were never able to bottom out,

17 much as we tried, who they may have -- the contacts they

18 may have had. They were very careful to guard those.

19 Q. Did you try? Once you received a report like that,

20 which you are the originating officer for --

21 A. We would have went back and had a look at it to see if

22 we could identify who these people would be because

23 obviously it left our life difficult, particularly when

24 doing surveillance operations and stuff like that on the

25 ground.

 

 

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1 Q. Going back to Shubr, it was started in April 1998, as

2 I identified earlier, and was often implemented on spec,

3 as it were, when intelligence was received that needed

4 to be monitored because meetings were taking place,

5 et cetera.

6 May I show you RNI-544-085, please (displayed).

7 This is February 1999, so a matter of weeks before

8 Rosemary Nelson's murder. If we go overleaf, now, the

9 redactions aren't very helpful here for your

10 understanding, I appreciate. But I believe you have

11 seen the unredacted version at the time that you gave

12 your evidence in statement form.

13 You comment upon this in your statement at

14 paragraph 164 on page RNI-846-822 (displayed) and albeit

15 that it is unclear from the text here, it appears that

16 something is being passed between hands, between

17 Loyalist paramilitaries?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And you speculate in your statement that in retrospect

20 it may have been a bomb being given to the LVF?

21 A. It is possible, yes. With hindsight you could construe

22 that, yes.

23 Q. Did you have any intelligence at the time that a bomb

24 was being passed in this period?

25 A. No, there was some intelligence which indicated that

 

 

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1 they were -- there was some indication they were due to

2 receive some form of munitions, but we didn't really

3 know what that was.

4 Q. The munitions report is at RNI-548-023 (displayed) and

5 this originates from JL, so from your area, destination

6 TCG Belfast. So it looks like it is precipitating some

7 form of operation?

8 A. Yes, we tried to cover that, from what I can recall.

9 Q. It is February 1999. So if we just go overleaf and look

10 at the content:

11 "LVF members are in close contact with [blank] and

12 it is taking place in Belfast and one is to provide some

13 form of munitions which are to be moved into the

14 Portadown area in the near future."

15 I presume that is what you were referring to

16 a moment ago?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Can you recall that this precipitated a Shubr

19 surveillance operation on the LVF?

20 A. Yes, I think what we tried to do was -- we did do some

21 surveillance, (redacted)

22 (redacted).

23 Q. That doesn't sound like it is anything that we can

24 discuss much further in the context of this open

25 hearing.

 

 

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1 A. What I'm talking about is quite common. Surveillance

2 resources are very expensive and a very limited

3 resource to deploy and we hadn't the luxury, because of

4 the level of terrorist activity, to just have

5 a surveillance team at my disposal. So what you had to

6 do was then juggle it about with the specific

7 intelligence (redacted)

8 (redacted), which would allow you to then use the

9 resource economically.

10 Q. The surveillance officer who gave evidence who came from

11 the military in this case was clear that nothing in fact

12 untoward was found during these occasions prior to

13 Rosemary Nelson's murder, that munitions weren't seen to

14 be being passed across between anyone that they were

15 looking at?

16 A. That's correct, but we found with the Loyalists that

17 that was quite a common thing, that they were -- unlike

18 Republican terrorists. We found Republican terrorists

19 would have been much more specific and much more

20 efficient. The Loyalist ones were not like that at all

21 and they could say one day they were going to do

22 something and they might never ever do it, and then the

23 day that they did do it is the day we wouldn't be

24 available, you know.

25 Q. The word "munitions" could cover a multitude of types of

 

 

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1 weapons?

2 A. Absolutely.

3 Q. Did you ever find out what type of munitions were passed

4 over, if any?

5 A. No.

6 Q. The LVF were one of the larger of the two groups still

7 operating at this period of time, but there were other,

8 as it were, splinter or dissident Loyalist groups in

9 your area, for example, the Orange Volunteers and there

10 is another grouping called the Red Hand Defenders,

11 which -- we have heard a lot about -- may or may not be

12 a formal group, but appear more to be a flag of

13 convenience for those who do not want to claim

14 responsibility --

15 A. That's what I believe.

16 Q. One of the documents that relates to one of those sorts

17 of groups is at RNI-549-203 (displayed). That must be

18 my wrong references. Can we try RNI-548-273

19 (displayed). I will have one last attempt, if you would

20 bear with me. While I'm looking for the correct

21 document references, could you explain whether it was

22 something that you were attempting to monitor carefully

23 in late 1998/1999, these potential groups that were

24 splintering off from the main groups and could be

25 targeting individuals in your area?

 

 

110


1 A. Many times we felt that -- what the LVF were doing on

2 occasions would have been -- they would have used this

3 flag of convenience to claim some other activities. It

4 was also over a very sort of volatile period with the

5 Drumcree issues, right up to the murder of

6 Constable O'Reilly. You know, you had a lot of people

7 on the Loyalist side doing bits and pieces and maybe

8 throwing pipe bombs and stuff like that, and they would

9 have used that as a cover name really, as such. And I

10 don't believe any such organisation as the Red Hand

11 Defenders actually exists.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: But the Red Hand Defenders were formally

13 proscribed, weren't they, on 1 March 1999?

14 A. Yes, I think they were. But we never, ever -- I'm at

15 a loss there, but we didn't really ever see a structured

16 organisation as such. We had incidents where they would

17 have perhaps -- we suspected -- just members of the LVF

18 would have went out and carried out a sectarian attack

19 over the height of the Drumcree issues and the aftermath

20 of all that, perhaps through a -- take a drive out into

21 the country and throw a pipe bomb at a Nationalist home.

22 And they would -- that would then be claimed under the

23 umbrella of Red Hand Defenders.

24 But I have had many conversations with Headquarters

25 in relation to the Red Hand Defenders. I don't believe

 

 

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1 we ever had a structure or a type of a structure like

2 you would have had in the LVF or that type of thing.

3 They were fanatical people on the fringes who were

4 really fanatical right wing Loyalists, and they would

5 have been involved in this sort of -- as well and used

6 the name of the Red Hand Defenders as well as the flag

7 of convenience.

8 Q. May I put on the screen the paragraph of your statement

9 which dealt with the document I was attempting to find,

10 and I think it may be that there is some issue over the

11 redaction of the document which has held up it being

12 added to our system. But you do make some comments

13 which I would like to ask you to elucidate, if I may.

14 It is paragraph 137, RNI-846-813 (displayed). Now,

15 we will have just have to assume that the account of the

16 intelligence is just as it stands in your statement

17 here, that this is a SIR from December 1998, which

18 states that extreme Loyalists are currently targeting

19 Roman Catholics for assassination. And it goes on in

20 relation to those attacks:

21 "They may be claimed using the name of the Red Hand

22 Defenders."

23 A. Yes, this is exactly as I described previously where you

24 would have had people on the fringes of various sort of

25 Loyalist-type organisations, and some were fanatics and

 

 

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1 what have you, and even members of the LVF would have

2 done some of these spontaneous type things and come back

3 then and claim it as the Red Hand Defenders. It was all

4 part of raising the whole sectarian temperature within

5 the J Division at that particular time in North Armagh.

6 Q. I think what we have seen in the documents, which I

7 don't think there is any need to show you, is that these

8 sorts of reports led to action sheets across your

9 division --

10 A. Absolutely, because they could have resulted in the

11 murder, in somebody being killed. And that's why we

12 tried to direct the overt resources to try and prevent

13 and disrupt these type of things.

14 Q. Now, the word used there is assassination, which I think

15 is a word which you have picked up from the report

16 itself. In its ordinary meaning, the word

17 "assassination" would imply a higher level target than

18 an ordinary murder. Is that an inference which

19 you drew?

20 A. I think probably assassination is probably a bit strong

21 for that. Well, it is probably the terminology that the

22 source referred to as assassination, and really it was

23 terrorism at its worst. And I suppose, yes, it is

24 exactly what it says: assassination of Roman Catholics.

25 Q. So it wouldn't necessarily help to you narrow down the

 

 

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1 target range if you received a report like that. You

2 wouldn't think this has got to be a high profile member

3 of the Nationalist community?

4 A. Over this time there was maybe a period of a couple of

5 years where they actually would have went out and went

6 anywhere and took an opportunity and fired -- just

7 throwing a pipe bomb at a house and things like that.

8 This was just a great difficulty for us because we

9 had no specific intelligence where we could mount an

10 operation to stop them or to catch them. So we had to

11 then use direct overt resources to try and disrupt

12 whatever was going on. Many times we had only just got

13 flavours of these things or snippets which indicated

14 that they were something.

15 Q. At RNI-549-135, there is another report about this sort

16 of grouping or person -- I think, I am afraid, the

17 reference may be incorrect there. It is your statement

18 at paragraph 150 on page RNI-846-817. RNI-549-135, I

19 think is the correct reference in the document. Could

20 we have them both on the screen? I am afraid it looks

21 like the reference is wrong in your statement, which

22 doesn't assist any of us, I am afraid.

23 You can see from your statement at least that the

24 reference is to reporting about public montages obtained

25 from a member of security forces by a paramilitary. And

 

 

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1 I think what you -- as you explain here, there was

2 a problem with the military losing these types of

3 montages or losing -- I use the term loosely -- during

4 this period, and then those montages providing some form

5 of assistance albeit possibly minimal to terrorists.

6 Can you explain that a bit further?

7 A. I think that particular piece of intelligence is Belfast

8 related, a reference to a Belfast person. But that was

9 a major problem for a while, particularly around the

10 Belfast area, where you would have photographs of IRA

11 suspects, which were given out as a -- sort of a memo

12 and a means of quick identifying people while they were

13 out on patrol and I things like that. They were going

14 astray and for a period of time we had severe difficulty

15 with that.

16 There again, it was probably misguided loyalties

17 where people were handing them across or maybe

18 deliberately left them in certain locations where they

19 would be found and turn up in the wrong hands.

20 Q. What kind of information did the montages contain?

21 A. Simply photographs, and I can't remember if there was

22 names and addresses on them or not. But it was -- steps

23 were taken then to ensure that that wasn't happening,

24 that there was measures taken to get control of them so

25 they could easily be tracked and traced as to where they

 

 

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1 were and who had control of them.

2 Q. Who were the photographs of?

3 A. Suspects -- Republican suspects and also Loyalist

4 suspects, who would have been -- the military were into

5 it more than the police.

6 Q. They were for use, were they, by military personnel?

7 A. Yes, out on patrols, so they could easily identify

8 somebody.

9 Q. Now, we have seen a lot of reporting, not necessarily

10 surveillance reporting but things like VCP reporting and

11 so on in which Rosemary Nelson is a noted personality in

12 relation to those sort of reports. Does it follow that

13 she may have been a figure on a montage?

14 A. No. It was strictly for -- in fact, you would only have

15 got the main, the top terrorist suspects. It would only

16 be the top ten, or whatever they used to call the top

17 ten, of Republican suspects or IRA suspects, top ten

18 INLA or top ten Loyalists, strictly controlling them.

19 Q. But the military personnel who are noting her presence

20 in a car with Mr Duffy or other people, how would they

21 know who she was and what she looked like?

22 A. They would know Collie Duffy and it would be through her

23 that then -- it would be through him that they would

24 identify who it was. They would stop them and ask them

25 for their identifications.

 

 

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1 Q. I'm going to test out the referencing. I have been

2 kindly passed what I hope is the right reference, just

3 for the record, RNI-549-136 (displayed). I think that

4 does look like the correct one. You can see the title

5 is "Republican montages", and I will just show you the

6 text there overleaf, if I may. Then it does simply

7 reflect the wording in your statement in fact. Can we

8 go back overleaf quickly, please? It doesn't in fact

9 say where this -- there we are.

10 The origin is JL, in fact, there and the originating

11 officer is B631 who, I think you may find on your card,

12 is one of your detective constables. Do you want to

13 re-answer that question in relation to where this

14 intelligence may have originated from and how it may

15 have borne upon your own area?

16 A. Yes. What that intelligence is referring to -- it

17 refers to an individual who was from Belfast and was

18 temporarily living in Portadown.

19 Q. So --

20 A. That's how we came across that intelligence. This was

21 a guy who was an extreme right wing fanatic and who,

22 unfortunately, was living if Portadown for a period of

23 time.

24 Q. What was he doing in Portadown?

25 A. I can't really -- he may well have been -- there was

 

 

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1 a lot of friction amongst Loyalists factions in Belfast

2 at that particular time and he may well have been lying

3 low out of the area at that particular time.

4 Q. This particular person, who emanated from Belfast but

5 had an interest in your area, was his interest around

6 the Drumcree issue in particular?

7 A. He would have been featured very heavily in it, yes.

8 Q. Did you, from your perspective, feel that he had the

9 capability to carry out a UCBT attack at this period?

10 A. Whether or not he would have had the capability of doing

11 it, I'm not sure. He wouldn't have been high on our

12 radar. I believe that he was subsequently arrested

13 himself as a result of an operation.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Was he in Portadown on the occasion that

15 Constable O'Reilly was attacked?

16 A. I would have to check dates. I would have to check

17 dates. He would have been, but he was very prominent in

18 that whole -- particularly, that particular year,

19 Drumcree dragged right on into November time. I can't

20 remember the actual date when he was arrested. So I

21 would -- you would have to really look at that and see.

22 But anybody -- really anybody who is anybody in the

23 Loyalist scene at that particular time who were

24 fanatical and hot -- what we refer to as hot

25 Loyalists -- would have been at Drumcree and agitating

 

 

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1 and keeping the whole thing going.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Your conclusion was that the leakage of the

3 montages was by the RIR rather than the RUC. Is that

4 right?

5 A. I would -- my opinion would be, yes, that would be my --

6 a comment that I would make on that. I would suspect

7 that.

8 MR SKELTON: On the day of Rosemary Nelson's murder, members

9 of the LVF were seen travelling in the area and there

10 was indeed a report in the bundle we have, which records

11 that, which we can see at RNI-544-188 (displayed). In

12 fact, it is the same origin and originating officer. It

13 is dated March 1999 and it is clear from the text that

14 it relates to the day of Rosemary Nelson's death. If we

15 go overleaf, it says:

16 "(redacted) and (redacted) travelled through the Kilwilke

17 Estate of Lurgan in (redacted) shortly after the

18 murder of Rosemary Nelson."

19 Then one can see that the action has occurred for

20 sharing that intelligence onwards, with, for example,

21 CID. You talk about this particular piece of

22 intelligence in paragraph 213 of your statement on page

23 RNI-846-836 (displayed), and the first thing that you

24 say really is that it was unusual for them to be in the

25 area.

 

 

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1 Do you think they were snooping around having heard

2 the news or do you think it looks suspicious, as if they

3 had indeed been the perpetrators of the crime and were

4 still around?

5 A. I think that -- it was unusual, I thought, for them to

6 go into the area directly after the murder because it

7 would be a high profile policing and high profile

8 security forces in the area then and I thought it was

9 unusual. I wouldn't have been their normal MO.

10 Q. The point which you go on to make, which may be

11 a significant one, is that they don't appear to have

12 been stopped and searched, which you would have

13 expected?

14 A. Quite often, you know, in the past, we would have

15 incidents where suspects would be noted close to a scene

16 or in the vicinity of the scene and they would be held

17 and checked out at least, and people would have been

18 made aware of it. It's just a thought that I had: that

19 it was strange that it wasn't brought to our attention

20 until later on.

21 Q. The first thing you mention is the Army checkpoint.

22 Would you have expected the military automatically to

23 have stopped them and searched them?

24 A. Yes, but, you know, it could have been a case where it

25 was outside military. I'm not sure who was there but,

 

 

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1 you know, if it was military from outside who wouldn't

2 be familiar with the local terrain or the local

3 suspects, there is a possibility where they could just

4 slip through.

5 You must remember, probably at that stage things

6 were getting quite heated on the ground, and I can't

7 recall what time of the day that was but we would have

8 been concerned about a number of things with the cordons

9 being set up round the incident. You would have had

10 inner cordons and outer cordons and there would have

11 been concern, particularly around Kilwilke, of rioting

12 and things like that. So they could become diverted

13 away from exactly what they were doing at the time, but

14 in the normal course of events, if they were seen

15 passing through a VCP and were stopped, we would expect

16 to have been made aware of it and we would be suggesting

17 to CID that they should have a look at them, you know.

18 Q. From the perspective of this Inquiry, which is looking

19 at whether the murder may have been facilitated in some

20 way, what would you say to the suggestion that they were

21 allowed to be in the area and were allowed to leave the

22 area deliberately?

23 A. It would be a big jump to go to that really. As I say,

24 there would have been a lot of confusion. When you have

25 a serious incident like that, there is a lot of

 

 

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1 confusion, there are people moving about, they are

2 trying to get cordons into position, there's additional

3 police and additional military brought from surrounding

4 areas to assist. Kilwilke was notorious, a very

5 difficult area. If there was an incident like that

6 where police and military -- the cordons in themselves

7 could be attacked not only by petrol bombs and things

8 like that, but also shooting attacks. So their minds

9 would be focused on a lot of things. It doesn't

10 necessarily follow that that was a deliberate thing. It

11 was a comment I made, an observation, sorry, more than

12 a comment.

13 Q. You say in the final sentence:

14 "After I heard this, I would have asked questions as

15 to why they would not have been stopped."

16 Did you follow up?

17 A. I think I probably had a discussion with the SIO on

18 that.

19 Q. You have given a lot of reasons why in fact there may

20 have been a perfectly innocent reason why they might not

21 have been stopped?

22 A. I think it was something that -- either an absence of

23 intelligence -- that even after the event you would be

24 giving consideration as to why were they there, why

25 would they bring themselves into an environment. You

 

 

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1 could argue both ways: it was just pure nosiness, or you

2 could argue that they had wanted to have a look at their

3 handiwork.

4 Q. In your statement you talk about the assumption that it

5 was a Loyalist bomb that killed her and we talked

6 earlier in your evidence about the possibility that it

7 was a Republican bomb. Can you explain your initial

8 thoughts when you heard about the attack, given that you

9 have explained in relation to the Loyalists at least

10 that you wouldn't have expected the LVF, for example, to

11 have been capable of doing such a thing. What was your

12 initial reaction?

13 A. My initial reaction was that it was a Loyalist attack

14 and that really was my initial reaction. But that was

15 purely in the assessment at that stage. It wasn't until

16 we started to get bits and pieces of intelligence in,

17 which tended to strengthen that assessment.

18 Q. Now, from one perspective, the LVF weren't really in

19 a position to be making such an attack simply because of

20 the -- their particular circumstances at the time.

21 They'd had a, as you say, drugs haul, so they were

22 financially not doing very well. Their original leader

23 had been killed and their new leader was in prison and

24 not doing very well in prison, at least that's what it

25 said. And there were issues of prisoner releases, which

 

 

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1 must have been in the background of any paramilitary's

2 mind who was imprisoned at that time. The less one

3 carries out activities, the more likely one is to be

4 given freedom. Why, then, do you think the LVF may have

5 determined that this sort of assassination was

6 appropriate?

7 A. It is hard to -- you know, if you look at the

8 Billy Wright scenario, where Billy Wright was involved

9 very much in 1996/1997 in the Drumcree issues and he was

10 trying to use to his -- trying to use terrorism, his

11 brand of terrorism, to drive the parade down the

12 Garvaghy Road and he ultimately murdered a taxi driver

13 and it was that -- as a result of that really that

14 probably the parade went down. And it is only my

15 observation that it is a possibility that you have the

16 guy who was then in charge of the LVF may have had this

17 sort of thinking himself, where perhaps that maybe he

18 could -- he could do something along the same lines, and

19 that's really what my thinking was.

20 Q. Was there any need at this point for the LVF to prove

21 themselves within the community, that they were still

22 a capable group and should be taken notice of?

23 A. I think if you look at Swinger, Swinger is becoming more

24 and more unbalanced in prison at that particular time

25 and the indications we were getting was that he wanted

 

 

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1 out and he would have done anything to get out. And I

2 think he sort of tried to hold an olive leaf to the

3 Government of the day, trying to give them a reason to

4 get him out -- let him out.

5 I think he even made some type of decommissioning

6 and that type of thing, and that was all part and

7 parcel of what his thinking was at that particular time.

8 Q. So on that theory, he would be allowed out in order to

9 quell his unruly groups, would he?

10 A. Perhaps, yes. He started working with Billy Wright and

11 the Drumcree situation. He may have had this thinking

12 in his mind. That's only a hypothesis, as you

13 would say.

14 Q. Turning to the murder investigation itself, initially it

15 was run by Chief Constable Phillips and I think one of

16 the issues which you talk about in your statement is the

17 need for the investigators to have some form of

18 Special Branch experience or, at the very least, to have

19 developed vetting in order for them to be welcomed into

20 your intelligence world and given the intelligence that

21 you have. You don't put it quite like that; I'm

22 paraphrasing.

23 How much of an issue was it for you in the early

24 stages of the investigation that Mr Port's team didn't

25 appear to have the requisite experience and vetting?

 

 

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1 A. It did create some problems, and really what we had here

2 was an unprecedented thing within Northern Ireland. The

3 investigation was opening up very widely and we were --

4 had been asked for information and background stuff,

5 which would not normally have been made available to

6 an SIO. And it could have maybe been eased if there had

7 been a Special Branch member of staff attached to that

8 at that time, because initially, whenever the --

9 Chief Constable Phillips -- Deputy Chief Constable, was

10 he? -- came across, he brought with him a DCI from Kent

11 who we were very quickly and very easily able to talk to

12 him and discuss matters which were more difficult to

13 discuss with the Port team initially because of their

14 lack of vetting and the lack of confidence in them.

15 Q. You mentioned the unprecedented nature of it. One of

16 the things that we have heard that was unprecedented was

17 the degree to which access was offered within Mr Port's

18 terms of reference, that normally there would be --

19 well, it wouldn't necessarily have been spelt out at all

20 and if it was, it would have been a much more limited

21 form of access granted to an SIO. Did that cause some

22 consternation within your senior management?

23 A. It probably would have caused concern amongst us all and

24 even a wider reach than that, because what was being

25 asked of us was unprecedented in intelligence

 

 

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1 organisations throughout the world: to supply identities

2 of sources and things like that, which in itself has

3 problems due to the welfare and the security of the

4 sources themselves.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just take you back to a comment

6 you just made at 125. You said there:

7 "... more difficult to discuss with the Port team

8 initially because of their lack of vetting and the lack

9 of confidence in them."

10 Can I just ask you to explain that last comment, the

11 lack of confidence in them?

12 A. In the Port team itself? That's probably a wrong

13 terminology. What I mean is the lack of confidence in

14 their level of vetting. We didn't know -- these were

15 strange policemen coming in. I certainly wasn't aware

16 of what level they had been vetted to. We are talking

17 really about very sensitive material which, here, before

18 an SIO, would have depended on our assessment and that,

19 and they would have accepted what we were saying to

20 them. But here they wanted -- you know, the Port team

21 immediately wanted access to the product and to look at

22 stuff from very, very sensitive sources which, you know,

23 initially, was absolutely foreign to us.

24 But as time went on, we overcame those problems. We

25 weren't saying, "No, you can't have it", but, "We need

 

 

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1 to look at the protocols. We need to look at how we

2 can get ways round this."

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So the lack of confidence related

4 purely to the lack of vetting?

5 A. Yes.

6 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Were you aware of the terms of

7 reference of Mr Port at that time?

8 A. Yes, I would have been become aware. But I wouldn't --

9 over the first couple of weeks I would have been made

10 aware of what those terms of reference were, which were

11 very wide. It talked about all intelligence, but then

12 it was the interpretation of probably the terms of

13 reference then that started to even widen it further.

14 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: On the face of it, the terms of

15 reference were unlimited?

16 A. Absolutely, yes.

17 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: What was your reaction to that?

18 A. Concern.

19 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right.

20 MR SKELTON: Were those concerns shared by the Regional

21 Head?

22 A. We would all have had concerns, from the ACC down. As

23 I've said, this was totally, absolutely foreign to us as

24 an organisation. I can understand why this requirement

25 was, but probably we didn't realise at the initial

 

 

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1 stages how wide reaching it was going to be. And as

2 I say, it wasn't that we didn't want to assist, it was

3 to get ways round the whole problems so that we could

4 get a way round it and get them vetted, so they could

5 get access to whatever they required, which ultimately

6 happened.

7 Q. When we discussed your liaison with CID earlier, your

8 routine liaison pre-Nelson with CID officers, you make

9 the point in your evidence and in your statement that

10 you would give them any intelligence you had to offer

11 which was relevant to the murder?

12 A. Any murder enquiry.

13 Q. Yes. That would be routine procedure?

14 A. Yes. Either I would have had the confidence to talk

15 about -- in particular the -- I'm just looking for his

16 number here ...

17 Q. M540?

18 A. That's him, M540. I had a unique relationship with M540

19 and it wasn't one enjoyed by other people in my

20 position, but we had a good working understanding and we

21 had a confidence and we could discuss with each other,

22 and those confidences wouldn't be broken. But that was

23 invaluable to him as a CID SIO or a CID officer carrying

24 out investigations because it was -- gave him the steer,

25 as I talk about.

 

 

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1 Q. Given that relationship, which had been forged from

2 previous experiences, no doubt, at this stage, why was

3 it that you were less than confident with the Port team

4 at the start?

5 A. Well, initially I don't believe that M540 was -- he

6 wasn't the SIO and he was further down the chain in

7 there. He wouldn't have been privy to everything that

8 the Port team were doing at the start of that

9 investigation, I don't think.

10 Q. Your worries really were towards the senior management,

11 the SIO -- Mr Kinkaid is the figure that appears --

12 A. My worries really would have been as to how we could get

13 them what they required without exposing our sources,

14 without putting our sources in jeopardy, and that's

15 really what the problems were.

16 Q. You would normally get by that, would you, by trusting

17 the person you were speaking to and by giving them, as

18 you term it, a steer as opposed to access to the

19 original product?

20 A. Absolutely, yes.

21 Q. So the access to, firstly, a greater volume of material,

22 and secondly, a rawer form of material, required

23 different safeguards?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. The Inquiry has heard a good deal about the

 

 

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1 relationship, if I may put it that way, between

2 Mr Kinkaid and the Regional Head of Special Branch, and

3 there has been evidence given to us about a particular

4 comment made by Mr Kinkaid to one of your

5 detective constables or in front of one of your

6 detective constables, I should say, about the boys down

7 the corridor having something to worry about.

8 Now, you, I think, are a middleman in the transfer

9 of this comment from --

10 A. I wasn't present at the time, but I got a phone call to

11 tell me about it.

12 Q. Can you tell me exactly what your constable said to you

13 had been said and in what context?

14 A. What he said to me, he had attended the evening

15 conference and that Mr Kinkaid had passed that very

16 comment, and that the inference was that he drew from

17 it, and everybody else present drew from it, was that we

18 had something to hide and we were going to have a great

19 difficulty with this investigation. Now, that didn't

20 help with the initial relationship and I immediately was

21 concerned and I -- first of all, I didn't understand

22 what he meant by that, and secondly, I was concerned

23 about the morale of my staff who were working in Lurgan

24 at that particular time. And I relayed this to my

25 regional head, which I think I was quite right in

 

 

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1 doing so.

2 Q. What do you mean by "something to hide"?

3 A. What did he mean?

4 Q. You heard the comment from your DC and draw an inference

5 about what it meant?

6 A. The inference was we thought we had something to hide,

7 but we had nothing to hide. But this was an ongoing --

8 this used to be an ongoing joke within

9 CID/Special Branch and so on and so forth, but for

10 a senior officer to make a comment like that at

11 a meeting which there was probably about 30 or

12 40 detectives at, I thought it was not the right time

13 to do it.

14 Q. Now, sorry to go back to this, but the term "something

15 to hide", does that mean that you were -- I say you;

16 I mean Special Branch -- were under investigation for

17 possible involvement in Rosemary Nelson's murder or is

18 it referring to the intelligence which you may have had

19 about the murder which they were worried you were

20 reticent in disclosing?

21 A. It was the latter, really, would have been my

22 interpretation of it. They have something to hide, our

23 sources and our people and all that sort of thing, and

24 our intelligence.

25 Q. As I understand it, Mr Kinkaid's own recollection of

 

 

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1 this is that it was said in relation to disclosure as an

2 issue. There was a concern that the historical method

3 of Special Branch was to try and hold back as much as

4 they could and to guard, possibly for legitimate

5 reasons, their sources by giving only so much as is

6 necessary to SIOs and murder investigations.

7 To that extent the comment, bearing in mind the

8 context of the investigation where he was starting to

9 get frustrated from quite early on about the lack of

10 disclosure, was justified and should be taken with

11 a pinch of salt. What do you say to that?

12 A. No, I think Sam had this notion that we had some nugget

13 of intelligence or whatever -- we were sitting on a pile

14 of intelligence that we were not sharing with him or his

15 enquiry. And it was far from the case and that is not

16 the case, and we do deal with our stuff in the protocol,

17 set down in the protocols. And Sam had this notion that

18 that was the case.

19 And him and I have had discussions on this, you

20 know, since that and I think that it was an unfortunate

21 wording that he -- what he said that night. He said it

22 and it was -- rightly or wrongly, it was construed that

23 we had some problems, we had something to fear as

24 a result of this investigation. And as I say, that

25 didn't help with the relationship.

 

 

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1 I was concerned about my staff, and that's really

2 what it was. There is nothing to hide and I had to

3 convince -- not convince. I had to reassure the staff

4 that we had nothing to hide.

5 Q. Now, given the high profile nature of this investigation

6 and the unprecedented access that Mr Port had been

7 granted to intelligence related material, was there

8 a concern or were there discussions about the

9 possibility that it could have a really quite seriously

10 bad effect on your assets in local Special Branch;

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted), that they

15 would instantly be exposed to a high profile

16 investigation and potentially lost?

17 A. No, I don't think that -- we would have had concerns,

18 but we knew we could get round those concerns and we

19 would get round the problems, which we subsequently did,

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted), where you have to just try and work

22 as best you possibly could with that. (Redacted)

23 (redacted), we would have been reassuring them

24 there is no problems and continue to direct them to

25 gather intelligence.

 

 

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1 Q. Just to push that point a little bit further, were you

2 concerned as a controller of local CHIS that in this

3 case particularly you ought to give the SIO enough to

4 push them in the right direction, but nothing that would

5 potentially get near to the disclosure and exposure of

6 your sources?

7 A. Yes, that would always be your -- as a handler, as

8 a controller, that would be one of your main things that

9 you were continually thinking of: How can you

10 disseminate that intelligence without exposing where

11 your source is or who your source is? But there are

12 times when you must go forward and there is no point

13 sitting in a pile of intelligence if you don't use it.

14 So we find ways round these problems and we did find

15 ways round the problems.

16 Q. But one --

17 A. Sorry, I was going to finish there. The one thing I

18 would say is what was unprecedented wasn't handing over

19 intelligence because we did that all the time, it was

20 the fact that we now were being asked to look at the raw

21 product and to identify who our sources were and things

22 like that, and that immediately raises a lot of concern.

23 Q. (Redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted),

 

 

135


1 so that you give, again, as I said, (redacted)

2 (redacted) to push the SIO in the right

3 direction.

4 (Redacted)

5 (redacted), but was it the case that

6 you took a decision, either off your own bat or in

7 consultation with your colleagues, to keep back some

8 potentially relevant reporting because it just didn't

9 seem proportionate?

10 A. No, absolutely not. Not in this particular case or any

11 case, for that matter. If there was intelligence which

12 would have led to the -- a successful investigation, it

13 would be handed across. And I think if you speak to

14 Mr Port, I don't think that he has found anything that

15 we didn't pass to him and -- of any major relevance, any

16 important intelligence. It was all passed.

17 Q. On the issue of dissemination, what was your role in

18 terms of deciding what they should or shouldn't see?

19 A. My role would have been -- it wouldn't specifically have

20 been my role. It would have been in discussion with my

21 superintendent and my chief inspector as to how -- not

22 what, but how we would pass intelligence across to the

23 investigation team.

24 Q. Taking it in stages, first of all who determined the

25 relevance? Was it your job or was it the job of your

 

 

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1 superior officers?

2 A. We would have discussed it and I think probably the best

3 way to describe it is that anything that we believed in

4 any shape or fashion had anything to do with the murder,

5 we would have passed it to the team. We weren't privy

6 to what their lines of enquiry were. We presented what

7 we had to them and we left it to them to take from that

8 or deal with that in whatever way they possibility

9 could.

10 Q. Was that a problem, not being privy to the lines of

11 enquiry, because as you have described it earlier, it

12 would routinely be the case that you would have been

13 involved with earlier meetings and then your detective

14 sergeant or constable would have been present at a lot

15 of earlier meetings. So he would have been constantly

16 on the pulse of the murder investigation or its

17 direction. Whereas in this case, there appears to have

18 been something of an arm's length approach because of

19 the peculiar nature of this murder and the allegations

20 that were being made about collusion from the start.

21 Was that a problem?

22 A. Not really, because we believed that in fact -- I'm

23 confident that any relevant intelligence, any

24 intelligence that suggested had anything to do with

25 that, was coming from within the Loyalist circles and we

 

 

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1 were passing all that across. We weren't privy to what

2 Mr Port was doing. I would have had some insight via my

3 personal relationships, but there were things that were

4 going on that I wouldn't have been privy to. And it was

5 none of my concern, to be honest. Also, you have to

6 remember that although I was liaising, doing a liaising

7 role, I was also still very much running an active

8 division which was -- numerous sources of intelligence

9 were coming. So I was still juggling my normal

10 responsibilities with the liaison role of the team.

11 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Can I just ask, very roughly, what

12 proportion of your working day was spent working with

13 the Murder Investigation Team and what proportion was

14 spent doing the rest of the day job? I have no doubt it

15 varied, but just guess.

16 A. I would say initially, certainly, I would have been

17 devoting a considerable amount of time to the murder

18 investigation at the start. Probably you are talking

19 about maybe 50 to 60 per cent of my day would have been

20 going across that -- inevitably, what you had been

21 doing, you would be working on at night time to catch up

22 with what else was going on in the division, unless

23 there was some specific operations running where I would

24 simply have to go to deal with that as well, you know.

25 But initially -- as time wore on and the

 

 

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1 relationship became much more an ad hoc thing. I was

2 just across the corridor from the enquiry team and we

3 could easily have a conversation if required.

4 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right.

5 MR SKELTON: May I take some hypothetical examples of how

6 the process went about. If you learnt from your

7 conversations with the murder investigation that they

8 were interested, as they must have been, in Loyalist

9 bomb making, would that have led you to have gone back

10 to the CAISTER or MACER system and found out what you

11 knew about Loyalist bomb makers in a particular period

12 running up to Rosemary Nelson's murder, or six months,

13 a year, two years, and printed that off and handed it to

14 them? Or would you have waited, for example, for them

15 to give you a name that they had connected somehow with

16 the Nelson enquiry and then to have done that exercise?

17 A. No, I simply dealt with the live intelligence, and if

18 they required something specific I'd have had that done

19 for them. E3B and Headquarters were the people that did

20 the research, the background research, if that's what

21 you refer to.

22 Q. Sorry to stop you. Live intelligence is new

23 intelligence post murder?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And historical intelligence you didn't have any

 

 

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1 engagement with looking at?

2 A. I had a conversation perhaps with the desk officer

3 and -- but the request would have went up in a formal

4 way because of the nature of the enquiry. It would have

5 went up perhaps from myself -- my office; not

6 necessarily me -- to my bosses in Mahon Road and then up

7 to Headquarters. They would have then done the research

8 on the computer systems and also on any paper searches

9 that had to be done.

10 Q. Who was the conduit for that intelligence being given to

11 the MIT?

12 A. It probably would have been myself. Also, it would have

13 been B503 would have had some input into that and,

14 indeed, on occasions, as time wore on, where the desk

15 officer himself would have come down and we would have

16 passed the stuff across to the team.

17 Q. Sorry, I appreciate this is difficult to recollect in

18 great detail, but who told E3 what lines to investigate

19 and when they produced the results of their

20 investigation, did you in effect do another sift on the

21 results before you passed it back to Mr Port's team, or

22 were you simply the messenger?

23 A. Who specifically would have asked for it would have been

24 really coming from the Murder Investigation Team.

25 Q. Directly?

 

 

140


1 A. Directly -- it could have come through directly to me,

2 it could have gone to B503 or I had a couple of

3 constables who were also assisting who could have come.

4 Depending on the level and what was required, it may

5 have come in the form of a report to us or a request,

6 a written request, and that would have been formally

7 what went up through the chain of command up to

8 Headquarters.

9 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That suggests, both in relation to

10 historical and live intelligence, that you were acting

11 in a reactive mode: Mr Port asked; you responded. At

12 any stage, are you aware, did anybody type the name

13 Rosemary Nelson into the computer system to draw down

14 all the intelligence that related to her, so that that

15 could be considered?

16 A. I would be surprised if Headquarters wouldn't have done

17 that. We wouldn't have done it because our access to

18 the system would have been limited. It would have to be

19 done at a Headquarters level and by a sufficiently

20 senior rank; probably the desk officer himself would

21 have to do it, and I would expect that that would be the

22 norm. I would assume that will be the norm.

23 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Yes, okay.

24 MR SKELTON: To your knowledge, did the Headquarters sift

25 for intelligence look outside South Region, beyond into

 

 

141


1 Antrim and Belfast or, indeed, any other area that may

2 have had potential intelligence that was relevant?

3 A. Oh, yes, I think so, yes. It would have been

4 Province-wide, I would have thought.

5 MR SKELTON: Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

6 THE CHAIRMAN: But all requests for intelligence would be

7 routed through you or your staff below you. Is that

8 right?

9 A. At the initial stages I would say it was requested from

10 a more senior level. It would have been requested from

11 my regional head. Of course, at the start of the whole

12 enquiry, obviously it was a fairly senior level. You

13 had a deputy chief constable and I wasn't really

14 directly involved in some of those things at the start,

15 but as time wore on this relaxed and I was becoming more

16 involved in the day-to-day things like the request would

17 be. But some of those requests at the start, certainly,

18 I think would have been done by the Regional Head or his

19 superintendent.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will have a quarter of an hour

21 break until just after 25 to.

22 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

23 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

24 off?

25 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

2 (3.20 pm)

3 (Short break)

4 (3.38 pm)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Myers, the checklist. Is the public area

6 screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

7 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

9 screen closed?

10 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

12 and securely fastened?

13 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

15 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

16 of this chamber?

17 MR MYERS: No, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Can the video engineer please

19 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

20 off and shrouded?

21 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

23 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

25 Bring the witness in, please.

 

 

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1 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

2 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

3 switched back on.

4 Yes, Mr Skelton?

5 MR SKELTON: Before the break we were talking about the

6 intelligence being disseminated to Mr Port's team and

7 you were describing that in general you found yourself

8 in the position of being in the middle between Mr Port

9 and E3, who were doing the historical trawl for relevant

10 intelligence.

11 Did you feel you knew enough about the direction and

12 interests of the murder investigation to be able to

13 direct E3 to look appropriately?

14 A. Yes. I think, as I said prior to the break, that most

15 of the requests would have been specifically coming from

16 the team itself. They may have -- I probably would

17 have -- I can't really recall, but in the course of

18 events I probably would have had a conversation with the

19 desk officer and -- to make sure that he understood

20 clearly what was required.

21 Q. And when the intelligence came back from E3 and you had

22 passed it across to Mr Port's team, if it came from

23 South Region, would you be able speak to it and describe

24 or put a gloss on it which may be more helpful than the

25 bare contents of the document?

 

 

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1 A. I don't think that there was a scenario whereby I would

2 have sat down and went through page by page with him

3 what the intelligence was. It was given across to them

4 and they assessed it. If they required further

5 assistance, possibly if they came and asked me, I would

6 have enlightened them if I could, or I would have

7 attempted to find out for them if there was anything

8 they needed.

9 Q. Would that apply in relation to intelligence that didn't

10 emanate from your region, ie intelligence which you

11 wouldn't necessarily have had an immediate connection

12 with?

13 A. I think probably that as time wore on, that Mr Port

14 would have went himself directly to various different

15 regions, if necessary, to speak to them about specific

16 pieces of intelligence. I don't think it would have

17 been left down to me. I think probably he would have

18 asked some of his officers -- would have furthered that

19 themselves.

20 Q. In your statement in relation to fresh intelligence,

21 ie intelligence that is coming in post murder, you

22 describe yourself as being available to put the flesh on

23 the bones, as it were, if Mr Port or another senior

24 member of the investigation team wanted to ask you

25 about it.

 

 

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1 A. Absolutely. You know, as time went on, after we got the

2 initial period over and confidence grew, and it would

3 not have been out of the way for Mr Port or Mr Provoost

4 or -- to come and visit my office, just drop in for

5 a chat and they would ask me various -- my thoughts on

6 various lines of the intelligence and whatever they had

7 been given, that would have been -- that would be the

8 nature of the way it went as time wore on.

9 Q. Hypothetically then, would you have been available to

10 the senior investigators in relation to a particular

11 intelligence report to say, "Well, look, I'm not sure

12 that's actually that reliable. I know it says A1 or B2

13 or C3 or whatever it says on the face of it, but in fact

14 it is not a particularly good report. You may want to

15 think again about pursuing that line of enquiry"? Would

16 that be the type of thing, when you talk about putting

17 flesh on the bones, that you would have said?

18 A. No, he wouldn't have talked directly about lines of

19 enquiry with me as much, he probably would have been

20 looking for me to put some piece of intelligence in

21 context for me. He may have got one piece of

22 intelligence -- just one line, which is a piece of

23 intelligence, but he maybe would have asked me -- he

24 could have asked me what I thought of the source of

25 that: Was it a fairly good source or what. I would say

 

 

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1 can you give me some context as to where that came from

2 or whatever, you know. I would have attempted to do

3 that, to give him as much as I could, bearing in mind

4 that I was aware by that stage he would be DV'd and

5 things were -- the relationship was good and, you know,

6 there was a confidence -- a trust had been building up

7 there.

8 Q. Can you recall doing that form of exercise in relation

9 to the intelligence that linked the LVF with

10 Rosemary Nelson's murder; in other words, assisting on

11 its reliability and trying to validate it for Mr Port's

12 purposes?

13 A. Yes, I am quite sure that we had several conversations

14 about the overall intelligence and I recall not so much

15 with Mr Port, but certainly with Mr Provoost, I had

16 discussions on it. And that would have been not just

17 one discussion; this would have been maybe a number of

18 discussions over a period of time.

19 Q. And from your perspective now, do you think you gave

20 sufficient information for them to direct their

21 enquiries in the proper way?

22 A. I believe I did, yes. Sorry, I just -- I want to make

23 sure you are clear: I presented the intelligence. I

24 didn't tell them this was the line they should follow.

25 I presented whatever they had and whatever we regarded

 

 

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1 as relevant to the investigation, and that relevance was

2 very wide and that would have been passed on to them.

3 They made their own decision -- I was very conscious

4 that that's the nature of the thing. It was all give on

5 my part.

6 Q. I would like, if I may, to take you through a few pieces

7 of intelligence which may not have been passed to

8 Mr Port's team and ask you about that.

9 You have done a fuller exercise, in fact, in your

10 statement, which is very helpful and particularly the

11 boxed comments in response to the evidence we have

12 received from M540, from the MIT witness. The first

13 report I would like you to look at, please, is

14 RNI-548-387 (displayed), which is one we have talked

15 about briefly earlier. Could we have the full document

16 on the screen first of all, please?

17 This is dated April 1999 and it is a SIR, and if we

18 go overleaf and see its content and it -- it is to the

19 effect that Rosemary Nelson had confided in someone

20 before her death that Colin Duffy had murdered

21 Kevin Conway and the two RUC officers. And it goes on

22 to say that Duffy would have fully informed

23 Rosemary Nelson of his PIRA activities in Lurgan over

24 recent years.

25 Now, we have already touched upon, as I said

 

 

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1 earlier, on intelligence in the context of what

2 Mrs Nelson knew about Mr Duffy. But focusing on the

3 point we are looking at at the moment, would the murder

4 investigation have received this piece of intelligence

5 about Mrs Nelson shortly after the murder?

6 A. I'm not altogether sure, to be honest with you. I can't

7 remember. I can't recall whether it was or not.

8 Q. It is new intelligence, so in theory at least, it is

9 intelligence that you would have determined should or

10 shouldn't have been shown to them. Did they call, for

11 example, for intelligence about Rosemary Nelson's

12 association with the IRA?

13 A. I don't recall them asking me for that, no.

14 Q. So if there hadn't been a specific request, you may not

15 have necessarily shown this to them?

16 A. I'm trying to remember whether or not I would have

17 touched on it anyway. I don't believe -- I don't recall

18 it being handed across on a briefing sheet or anything

19 like that, but it could have been. But I could have

20 touched on it in a conversation, in a side conversation.

21 But I don't recall. But, no, I think it is fair to say

22 I don't recall them asking me specifically for any

23 context with the IRA.

24 Q. Do you think this might be relevant, this piece of

25 intelligence?

 

 

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1 A. To her murder?

2 Q. Well, a large component of the Inquiry's expert

3 assessment of the murder investigation focusing on what

4 is termed victimology; in other words, you need to know

5 your victim in order to know why they were killed and

6 who killed them. This is a classic piece of victimology

7 about who Mrs Nelson was at this time.

8 A. We had regular intelligence meetings with the team and

9 that was with -- normally would have been with the SIO

10 and with the Intelligence Cell. And in those meetings

11 we would discuss things like you are talking about, and

12 I'm sure -- I can't remember specifically, but I'm sure

13 we would have discussed her relationship and where she

14 stood and all that with the Port team, and I'm sure we

15 developed that. Whether we passed that specific one

16 over -- you think we didn't, I think -- I can't recall,

17 but I would not rule out the fact that I had some

18 conversation with them in relation to that piece of

19 intelligence.

20 Q. As far as the substance of this goes, it comes in after

21 Mrs Nelson has died?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Why was it being recorded?

24 A. Well, it was being recorded -- it probably was

25 corroborated very much what we suspected and had

 

 

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1 previous intelligence possibly on. It is being recorded

2 for that reason and that reason -- you know, as well.

3 Q. And the comment in the final section of that is quite

4 a sort of damning one, if I may say so, about

5 Mrs Nelson:

6 "Duffy would have fully informed Rosemary Nelson of

7 all PIRA activities in Lurgan over recent years."

8 In other words, after her death, it is being said

9 not simply that she engaged with her legal work -- in

10 other words, producing defences for people and advising

11 them in relation to claims or advising the GRRC -- but

12 she knew about the activities of the terrorists in her

13 locality and, it is clear, was complicit in them?

14 A. That piece of intelligence (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted), and it would have been -- (redacted)

17 (redacted). It

18 would be -- it is important because, as I say, it

19 confirmed in our mind that Colin Duffy had an

20 involvement in the murder of Kevin Conway and --

21 Q. Did you want to record this kind of intelligence about

22 Rosemary Nelson after she had died, almost for the

23 record?

24 A. It is not so much Rosemary Nelson, it is more confirming

25 Duffy's activity, and obviously she confided in other

 

 

151


1 stuff which we weren't privy to.

2 Q. Operation Shubr we have discussed already and the

3 surveillance that was ongoing from 1998 through to the

4 period of Rosemary Nelson's death and, indeed,

5 afterwards. It clear from the documents we have seen

6 from the MIT -- and, indeed, you have appended them to

7 your statement -- that they were interested in

8 surveillance on the LVF members who were the subject of

9 Operation Shubr. And their evidence to us is that it

10 wasn't disclosed to them, that specific operation and

11 particularly the timing of it, which was very close to

12 the murder.

13 Now, could you comment on that?

14 A. I would be very confident in my own mind -- and I have

15 recollection -- that we did discuss surveillance

16 operations with Colin Port and probably other members of

17 the team. It may not have been known Operation Shubr.

18 And, as I alluded to earlier, Operation Shubr was a TCG

19 code name which I actually had to ask, whenever I was

20 told what it was, myself to tell me what this referred

21 to.

22 It was a part and parcel of the overall enquiry as

23 to what we were doing, and looking at LVF suspects. So

24 what we were getting from that was important to the

25 enquiry team, and I have a firm recollections of

 

 

152


1 discussions taking place on that. It may not have been

2 under the umbrella Operation Shubr. There were things

3 that the Port team were asking for and assistance they

4 were asking for. We said we would incorporate that into

5 our provisions for them.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you specifically show them the product of

7 that surveillance?

8 A. Not personally myself, but I'm aware of occasions where

9 some of the team were -- who visited TCG at some stage

10 and had a look at some logs and things like that.

11 Whether it was specifically in relation to that or not,

12 I'm not sure. But you must -- you know, there were

13 things that were taking place at a higher level, which

14 I may not have always been privy to. But I certainly

15 have recollections of discussions in relation to this.

16 MR SKELTON: As you have explained Shubr today, it would

17 appear that the operation in relation to the so-called

18 munitions and links between Belfast and Portadown LVF

19 came to nothing; the surveillance didn't find the

20 activity or the transfer of weapons which it was hoping

21 to find?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Might it not, therefore, have been that you took a view

24 about it, that in fact you looked at it, it wasn't

25 relevant, no need to discuss?

 

 

153


1 A. No, I don't think so. In fact, I am quite sure had the

2 MIT asked me specifically what we did with that and how

3 we handled it, I would have said to them exactly what

4 I have said to the Inquiry here today: that we put the

5 surveillance on the suspects, (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted).

8 (Redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted), and that's what our operational plan would have

12 been.

13 Q. I'll move on, if I may, to another piece of intelligence

14 at RNI-544-259 (displayed). This is fresh intelligence

15 post murder, April 1999, origin JL; so your patch. And

16 overleaf, you can see the content of it and it says:

17 "[Blank] believes that the phone call by the Red

18 Hand Defenders claiming responsibility for the death of

19 Rosemary Nelson was made from a public phone box (redacted)

20 (redacted)."

21 It says there:

22 "Action: Share with E3B."

23 It doesn't, on the face of it, say it was shared

24 with the MET or the Port investigation, and as I

25 understand it, they don't recall seeing it even though

 

 

154


1 it is barn door relevant to the murder investigation.

2 What do you say about that?

3 A. I was asked about this last week. I thought that that

4 was handed over and my recollection is it was handed

5 across. I may be wrong.

6 If it wasn't handed across, it was purely overlooked

7 or mistaken. But I think it was. I have a recollection

8 in the back of my mind of having some discussions

9 because it was relevant, as you say. The phone box --

10 we knew there had been a phone call made and that was

11 relevant. And I don't see why we wouldn't have handed

12 that over, and I believe that we did. If there is no

13 record of it, then I still have at the back of my mind

14 a recollection that I had some discussions with them

15 on it.

16 Q. Might it not have fallen into that category which we

17 talked about earlier in your evidence in relation to

18 intelligence passed to murder investigations, where they

19 got enough, they knew the Red Hand Defenders had claimed

20 responsibility, they knew at least something connecting

21 the LVF with them and, indeed, something connecting

22 a certain bomb maker with the bomb, and they had had

23 enough to go on in effect and, therefore, this wasn't

24 really adding anything and, therefore, it was legitimate

25 to keep it back and preserve --

 

 

155


1 A. I would have had no reason to keep that back because it

2 was in the open domain that there had been a claim. And

3 I don't believe that it would have caused -- it would

4 have been different if that had talked about a specific

5 telephone box at a specific location, and it would be

6 followed up by the murder enquiry. (Redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted). And, therefore,

9 that's why I believe that we did hand it across. And as

10 I say, I have the recollection in the back of my mind of

11 having discussions with him at some of our meetings

12 about it.

13 Q. Another report which bears upon the Red Hand Defenders

14 is RNI-544-175 (displayed), and overleaf you can see

15 a number of bullet points, which I won't read out in

16 their entirety, about the Red Hand Defenders and it

17 explains their background, their capabilities, their

18 contacts with others that may have explosives and

19 detonators, et cetera, and their substantial intentions.

20 Then, finally, it says that they were:

21 "... responsible for the murder of Rosemary Nelson

22 believing her to be a member of the IRA who held an

23 important role as one of the legal brains of the

24 organisation."

25 A lot of interesting material in that report about

 

 

156


1 the organisation which the Murder Investigation Team

2 were looking at. Was this another falling between the

3 cracks issue or --

4 A. Can I see the front page again, please?

5 Q. You may, yes (displayed). You are one of the

6 originating officers, I think, of this intelligence

7 there, as you can see. So you had at least some

8 knowledge of it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Directly.

11 A. Yes -- it is either that or there, again, I can't recall

12 having discussions on that one, like, so it is something

13 which has been overlooked in the overall thing at the

14 time if it wasn't handed across.

15 Q. Looked at coldly in the present light of day, one could

16 see why there would be a reason not to provide this to

17 Mr Port, in that the sheer volume of information that it

18 contains (redacted)

19 (redacted)?

20 A. Yes, I was going to say, if I could see the -- (redacted)

21 (redacted), it would give me a better idea.

22 Q. We can't do that for the present purposes, but I think

23 that we can deal with that tomorrow. But broadly

24 speaking, if you look at that --

25 A. Can you go back to the material again?

 

 

157


1 Q. Pardon?

2 A. Can I go back to the intelligence again?

3 Q. You may. (displayed)

4 A. Yes. There would have been a lot of discussion, you

5 know, with the team on the Red Hand Defenders. If it

6 didn't go across, then it didn't go across, but until

7 I see the source of where it is, it might help me

8 a little to give you some of my thinking behind it.

9 MR SKELTON: As I say, we can deal with that tomorrow --

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Excuse me, am I right in thinking that you

11 kept no record of what intelligence reports you handed

12 over or showed to the MIT?

13 A. It was normally done by way of a briefing sheet, which

14 would have had a number, and a copy of that would have

15 been held at TCG -- not TCG, sorry, source unit.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: So the briefing sheets would indicate what

17 you did disclose; is that right?

18 A. Yes, the briefing sheet would actually -- if, for

19 instance, a particularly sensitive piece of

20 intelligence -- you may sanitise it slightly in order to

21 disguise the source of the intelligence and that would

22 go on to the briefing sheet. Then subsequent to that, I

23 would have probably discussed it with the SIO at some

24 stage, if they would ask me could I put more meat on it,

25 you know. But there would have been, and there was,

 

 

158


1 a lot of discussion about the Red Hand Defenders because

2 they were such a mythical group -- not a mythical group,

3 but they were such a group that -- some people said they

4 existed, some people said they didn't exist. There was

5 no real structure or organisation to it, and that

6 certainly would have been discussed, particularly the

7 fact that it was them, that they put in a claim for it.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

9 MR SKELTON: You have anticipated my next question, which

10 was: presumably Mr Port or Mr Provoost or M540 at some

11 point were speaking to you about the Red Hand Defenders

12 and asking you who they were, what their capabilities

13 were and what their intentions were, which is the kind

14 of intelligence that we see here. Do you think it might

15 be the case that you explained, in effect, the contents

16 of this intelligence without giving them the

17 intelligence document?

18 A. It is possible but, you know, I think there has been

19 shown that we have handed some things across that seem

20 to have got mislaid or whatever within the Inquiry. I

21 can't specifically remember this being handed over or

22 not. But I would be quite confident that I had in-depth

23 discussions about the Red Hand Defenders, about the

24 Orange Volunteers, because Mr Port and the team --

25 particularly Mr Provoost and Mr Port -- they would be

 

 

159


1 looking for my understanding, what I understood about

2 these organisations and who they were, because, you

3 know, they are police officers from the -- from England

4 and wouldn't have the same understanding of the nuances

5 of these organisations within Northern Ireland.

6 And I think that they would have come and ask me --

7 in fact there were many discussions I had with them in

8 relation to these type of things and the background --

9 how they were formed and what was the purpose of them

10 and all that sort of stuff -- and I would have believed

11 that I would have discussed the contents of that with

12 them.

13 Q. Another report which bears upon the Red Hand Defenders

14 can be found at RNI-545-016 (displayed), and you can see

15 the office of origin is Belfast. So it is not South

16 Region intelligence but it is, as you have termed it,

17 fresh intelligence, in that it is indicated April 1999.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. If we go overleaf, it is a short report and you can see

20 there it says:

21 "A number of RIR members in the Portadown area are

22 believed to be assisting the Red Hand Defenders. The

23 assistance may be in the form of passing details re RUC

24 searches, et cetera.

25 "Exact details not known."

 

 

160


1 Now, given Mr Port's interest in the Red Hand

2 Defenders and what they are up to, do you think this is

3 a report which would have been considered relevant by

4 you and should have been passed across?

5 A. Yes, and I would have been totally dependent on

6 Headquarters to alert me to these sort of reports coming

7 from outside the region. I wouldn't get those directly

8 or be aware of them unless they were drawn to my

9 attention.

10 Q. So if it hasn't been passed to Mr Port, it is because it

11 hasn't been seen to be relevant by Headquarters, as

12 opposed to by you?

13 A. I wouldn't say it hasn't been seen to be relevant. I

14 would say it has been -- in the sheer volume of

15 documents and research having to be done -- that it was

16 inevitable, I would say, the possibility of something

17 slipping through the cracks, as you describe it. It is

18 a mammoth task, the amount of paper and research to do

19 in that. I know you are going to say this is a live

20 piece of intelligence. It may have sat in Belfast or

21 whatever for a period of time. It is hard for me to

22 comment on that.

23 Q. And I appreciate that the number of intelligence reports

24 which are identified is relatively small. I think it is

25 17 reports that are identified, presumably out of

 

 

161


1 a volume of many hundreds, if not thousands, of reports

2 which I think makes good your point. But nevertheless,

3 I think it must be acknowledged that the ones I have

4 shown you so far were significant and probably would

5 have assisted, in some form or another, Mr Port?

6 A. I think it would have been assisted all right, if they

7 had had access to them. But I don't think it would have

8 detracted from their investigation.

9 Q. We discussed intelligence that linked the LVF with the

10 bomb maker in Belfast, and one of the pieces of

11 intelligence that relates to that issue again doesn't

12 appear to have been passed across for whatever reason,

13 and I would like to show you that, if I may. It is at

14 RNI-541-056 (displayed). It is one which I think we may

15 have seen earlier in your evidence. It is dated two

16 days prior to the murder in February 1997, and if we go

17 to the text, which is on the next page, you can see it

18 is to do with an incendiary device being passed over to

19 Swinger Fulton.

20 Now, I don't know whether this is at the limits of

21 what could be a legitimate piece of intelligence to pass

22 across in that it is quite old, it is over two years

23 before the murder, it doesn't relate to a UCBT, but it

24 does relate to capabilities of Mark Fulton and it does

25 relate to his links, at least, with a bomb maker from

 

 

162


1 Belfast. So on that basis it would appear to be

2 relevant. Again, can you assist us on why it might not

3 have been passed across?

4 A. There again, I would have been completely dependent on

5 E3, E3B, to come up with all that historical

6 intelligence. It wouldn't immediately ring a bell with

7 me. There is so much intelligence would have been going

8 through my mind over that period of time, I wouldn't

9 immediately recall that and -- but I would have expected

10 it to be -- come up in the trawl that they would have

11 done when they were doing the research for the team.

12 Q. Just generally, we have discussed in some detail the

13 capabilities of the LVF prior to Mrs Nelson's murder and

14 the fact that you were trying to keep an eye on that.

15 We discussed the fact that Mr Fulton (redacted)

16 about the UCBT, (redacted), and

17 that there was potential in the months before Mrs Nelson

18 for munitions to be passed between someone to members of

19 the LVF. Were those sorts of things discussed with the

20 MIT?

21 A. The -- yes, I would have discussed particularly the

22 recent -- the more recent one, which was close to the

23 time of the murder. That would have been discussed at

24 length with the MIT. I'm not sure whether I discussed

25 the historical -- but if there was historical

 

 

163


1 intelligence which was given to them, they undoubtedly

2 would have discussed it with me and asked my thoughts

3 on it.

4 Q. Did you say, for example, yes, a few years back we did

5 hear that he had interest or had possession of a UCBT,

6 but it didn't come to anything and we thought it was

7 just showing off. Frankly, he is the kind of guy who

8 just shoots people or his team shoot people. He is not

9 really capable of that kind of attack, so in fact

10 although we have this piece of intelligence that says he

11 was involved, it is really a long shot to think that

12 he was?

13 A. Involved in the murder?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. I think that what changed that was whenever we looked at

16 the association between the bomb maker, as you describe

17 him as, which are we were looking at and we were

18 observing more because of what we believe was drugs

19 dealing and drugs activity. But whenever you look at

20 that in hindsight or look at the overall picture, which

21 is easy in hindsight, we then took the opinion and

22 believed -- and we briefed the Port team accordingly on

23 that, or the Murder Investigation Team, not necessarily

24 the Port team, from an early stage.

25 Q. But with the caveats, which I have explained at length,

 

 

164


1 that previous intelligence over a number of years would

2 indicate that he wasn't, or at least his grouping

3 want --

4 A. Yes. I would have said that their MO was mainly

5 shooting, except for Drumcree where they would have had

6 access to blast bombs and pipe bombs and things like

7 that, which would have been -- a lot of those were made

8 locally. They are very easy to make. They are just

9 a piece of pipe crimped and black powder put in them.

10 Q. The final piece of intelligence that I would like to

11 show you relates to Colin Duffy again and comes in after

12 the murder, and it is at RNI-909-083 (displayed). The

13 date there is March 1999 and it is a secret intelligence

14 report with the title "LVF". Could we just go overleaf,

15 please. It has been, I am afraid, heavily redacted and

16 it may be something that we have to return to tomorrow,

17 but you can see the nub of it is in the first two lines:

18 "LVF members ... currently targeting Colin Duffy

19 ..."

20 Now, Colin Duffy was Rosemary Nelson's most

21 prominent client. Rosemary Nelson was alleged to have

22 been murdered by the Red Hand Defenders, which may have

23 comprised LVF members using a cover name. Would you

24 have thought this might have been relevant to them, the

25 Murder Investigation Team?

 

 

165


1 A. If I can recall correctly, I think an action sheet was

2 issued on that piece of intelligence and it would have

3 been passed to the investigation team as well. I think

4 this was actually -- if I'm correct, it was prior to the

5 arrival of the Port team and I am quite sure either

6 myself or the Regional Head would have had a discussion

7 with Mr Phillips or the DCI in relation to that.

8 I maybe stand corrected, but I think there is an action

9 sheet issued in relation to that, about this.

10 Q. I am afraid I can't give the answer to that on the hoof,

11 as it were, but I'm sure that is something that we can

12 bottom out.

13 A. If I'm correct on that it was just prior to when Mr Port

14 took over. There should, I would have thought, have

15 been some reference to it within the murder

16 investigation.

17 Q. So as far as you were concerned, he will have seen

18 intelligence to the effect that Colin Duffy was still

19 being targeted by the suspects to the murder?

20 A. Yes. An action sheet was a thing which was issued to

21 the divisional command and subdivisional command to make

22 them aware of the problem, and Mr Duffy would have

23 been -- if there was an action sheet issued -- I thought

24 there was -- would have been made aware of the threat as

25 well. And I think that that -- I am quite sure that

 

 

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1 would have been -- was passed to the Murder

2 Investigation Team at the time in the form of an action

3 sheet, not a briefing sheet.

4 Q. And picking that up, was there follow-up back from the

5 Murder Investigation Team to you to say what do you know

6 about this? Do you think it is the same people that

7 killed her?

8 A. I don't readily recall, but I am quite sure there was,

9 because a lot of conversations took place and I would be

10 surprised if there wasn't some discussion.

11 Q. What would you have said?

12 A. I would have said, yes, we believe it was the same

13 organisation.

14 Q. And I suppose another follow-up question would be, "If

15 you knew about this, why didn't you know about

16 Rosemary Nelson?"

17 A. Yes, but that's a -- very easy, you know, and

18 intelligence gathering sometimes is not just as specific

19 as that. Perhaps tomorrow I can speak about this as

20 well. (Redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted).

23 Q. The final issue I would like to deal with, if I may, is

24 the issue of identities and Mr Port's request for that.

25 I appreciate that given your position as the liaison

 

 

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1 officer and not a senior manager, ie you weren't in the

2 same position as B503 or B629 in relation to this, that

3 you didn't have a great deal of involvement in the

4 discussions about that at the highest level and you

5 certainly weren't involved with the discussions with the

6 Security Service, for example, that we have seen minuted

7 in various notes over this period. But may I ask you

8 these questions: did you understand that a particular

9 identity had been given to Mr Port early on in the

10 investigation, which he gave to his deputy, Mr Provoost,

11 in breach of trust, as far as you were concerned?

12 A. Yes, I became aware of that.

13 Q. And did that, from your perspective, lead to a loss of

14 confidence on your part in his ability to keep what is

15 of the utmost sensitivity?

16 A. I don't -- I think it would be unfair to say that it

17 really dented my confidence an awful lot. Mr Port was

18 a senior officer and Mr Provoost was a senior officer.

19 Okay, it probably disappointed, but as time wore on, my

20 confidence grew in them and they showed -- demonstrated

21 to me (redacted)

22 (redacted).

23 I would have been a lot more worried (redacted)

24 (redacted) or whatever,

25 then I would have been a lot more disappointed, a lot

 

 

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1 more concerned. But probably fair to say disappointed

2 more than concerned.

3 Q. You say that the confidence grew, but in fact from the

4 documents we have seen at least over the year that

5 passed after Rosemary Nelson died, the request grew in

6 its scope; in other words, it wasn't simply a focused

7 request on particular items of intelligence, but became,

8 more widely, in relation to particular groupings that

9 Mr Port was interested in and that led to considerable

10 consternation on the part of your senior management,

11 which led in turn to discussions with the Security

12 Service about what they should do. Do you remember that

13 occurring?

14 A. I wouldn't have been privy to those type of things at

15 that sort of level. But, yes, I can recall discussions,

16 talk about it at the time. This was so unprecedented,

17 as I have said before, but we had to get a way round it

18 and we did get a way round it and we worked our way

19 through it. And ultimately, I feel that we formed

20 a very good relationship with the investigation team,

21 and I certainly had no difficulty with them whatever.

22 Q. What about the issue of the so-called leak to the press?

23 Not a leak of any identities, but a leak of the request

24 itself for those identities. Did you assume that that

25 leak had occurred deliberately by Mr Port's team?

 

 

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1 A. It was very unhelpful and any of those sort of leaks

2 which we had been subjected to over the years creates

3 great difficulty with any sources that you are handling

4 and -- unhelpful. Did they think it was leaked by the

5 Port team? I would say yes, that crossed my mind.

6 For -- sometimes they may have been leaking it for their

7 own particular reasons.

8 Q. A comment which you make in your statement is that the

9 effect it had (redacted)?

10 A. Absolutely.

11 Q. How did you deal with that?

12 A. (Redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted).

15 Q. And presumably, as a controller of those CHIS over

16 quite a wide area, the loss of their confidence was

17 a potentially significant issue for you over the long

18 term?

19 A. We carefully manage those things and you do that by

20 continually talking to them and -- because it was an

21 isolated incident, albeit there was two of them. There

22 is another one three months later, a similar type of

23 thing, and you just have to manage and the handlers are

24 briefed accordingly to do that.

25 Q. Did you say in response to the request, when you spoke

 

 

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1 to your senior managers about -- and I'm thinking

2 particularly of B503 and B629, although there may be

3 others -- look, this request goes, I think, far beyond

4 what's necessary and I, as the controller of these CHIS,

5 wanting to protect them, knowing that they are scared

6 and jumpy about this and knowing, indeed, that exposure

7 is anathema to CHIS, I would prefer it if you could bat

8 that request back and narrow it down so that we don't

9 have to give these identities out?

10 A. Not only did it have repercussions for me in J Division,

11 it had worldwide repercussions. And yes, we would have

12 had a frank discussion on that to see whether or not we

13 could manage it or control it, but we are under no

14 illusion that ultimately we would have to probably hand

15 it over in some shape or form, maybe not just openly

16 hand across a list, but certainly some shape or form

17 that -- and I can see the reasons why the investigation

18 team would want to see that.

19 Q. Now, I appreciate that much of this is to some extent

20 water under the bridge since, as you say, the

21 relationship ultimately was a sound one, and I think it

22 was resolved, this issue, in due course. But one point

23 that you make in your statement is that the manner of

24 the request, which I think came in the form of a memo

25 that you were served with, as it were, from Mr Kinkaid,

 

 

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1 didn't help.

2 Now, is that because the way that one prefers to

3 deal with these sorts of things is to have a discussion

4 about it face-to-face, explore the reasons, the

5 justifications, the proportionality, explore the

6 safeguards and then to give identities, if at all, in

7 a much more controlled way?

8 A. Yes, absolutely. I'm not sure that I was given the

9 memo, was I? Are you not talking about another memo?

10 Q. I don't think you were, no. I think it may have gone to

11 the Regional Head of Special Branch.

12 A. Yes, I think it did.

13 Q. But presumably you would have been involved in --

14 A. I always found, in the course of my career, that it was

15 useful always to have good working relationships with

16 your opposite numbers in these things, and whenever it

17 came to difficult times the relationship then allowed

18 you to work through these matters, sensitive matters,

19 much easier, and I think that was the way forward. And

20 probably if Sam had of maybe approached it that way, we

21 may have been able to work through it easier.

22 Q. Did you keep journals or notebooks during your time as

23 the Detective Inspector in Lurgan?

24 A. I would have had a journal at the time, yes.

25 Q. Did you keep those after you left?

 

 

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1 A. No, I didn't, no.

2 Q. Why not?

3 A. They were destroyed. Well, at that time there was no

4 requirement for us to keep them. Secondly, I didn't

5 want them in my house. I was under severe threat at the

6 time when I left and the last thing I wanted was a

7 burglary at my house and these things recovered, stolen

8 or found out. It would really have blown me out of the

9 water.

10 Q. Anecdotally, we have heard that some Special Branch

11 officers, having left 30 years of service within the

12 intelligence communities, cannot quite let go of their

13 journals or notebooks and they do tend to wind up in an

14 attic or stuffed somewhere in the house. Are you saying

15 you are not one of those sorts of people?

16 A. If I had them I would bring them along and let you see

17 them. I have destroyed them and solely for that reason,

18 nothing else.

19 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Can I ask when you destroyed them

20 exactly?

21 A. Just a short time after I left. I left in 2001 and

22 a short time after that. But really there wasn't an

23 awful lot of detail in our journals. You tended to keep

24 it pretty bland. So there was nothing really of any

25 real significance in them.

 

 

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1 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right. You didn't consider handing

2 them in when you left?

3 A. No, I think I made some enquiries as to whether there

4 was an obligation for me to hand them in or not. At

5 that particular time I was told, no, there was no

6 requirement for me to do so. They had nowhere to store

7 them or didn't want them. So that's why I didn't keep

8 them.

9 MR SKELTON: Is there anything else you would like to add

10 before I ask the Panel if they have any final questions

11 for you?

12 A. Not really, other than -- I certainly appreciate the

13 fact that you afforded me anonymity. That means a lot

14 to myself and, you know, I still reside in the community

15 and that.

16 The other thing is that I hope that I can be as

17 helpful and open and frank as I possibly can throughout

18 this whole inquiry.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

20 We are adjourning until tomorrow, are we?

21 MR SKELTON: Sir, yes, that concludes the public aspect of

22 this witness's evidence. May I suggest that we adjourn

23 until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning, when it will be

24 a entirely closed session?

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Right. Well, if you could be at the

 

 

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1 building in plenty of time tomorrow.

2 A. Okay.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Before the witness leaves, can the video

4 engineer please confirm that all the cameras have been

5 switched off?

6 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, they have.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

8 Right, we adjourn until 10 o'clock to those entitled

9 to be present at the closed session.

10 (4.25 pm)

11 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)

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