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Full Hearings

Hearing: 19th February 2009, day 110

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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 Thursday, 19 February 2009
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 110


1 Thursday, 19 February 2009

2 (10.15 am)

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

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

5 MR MYERS: It is.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

13 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

14 of this chamber?

15 MR MYERS: No, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer confirm, please, that

17 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

18 shrouded?

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

20 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras switched off?

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

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

23 Bring the witness in, please.

24 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

25 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

2

1 switched back on.

2 Would you please take the oath.

3 B542 (sworn)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please sit down.

6 Yes, Mr Phillips?

7 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, at the outset, before asking any

8 questions, I should say for the benefit of the Full

9 Participants that you have decided that there will be

10 a closed hearing in relation part of this witness's

11 evidence. It is likely to take place at the end of the

12 evidence tomorrow morning and the matters to be

13 canvassed concern sensitive questions relating to

14 sources of intelligence.

15 I think you have made just one statement to the

16 Inquiry; is that correct?

17 A. That's correct, Mr Chairman.

18 Q. We can see that at RNI-846-689 (displayed). And if we

19 turn over, please, to RNI-846-774 (displayed), do we see

20 your ciphered signature there and the date of 5 February

21 this year?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Now, you have been granted anonymity and given the

24 cipher B542. I hope you have also been provided with

25 a cipher list. I would be grateful if, as your evidence

3

1 proceeds, you consult the list before naming individuals

2 so that the anonymity of those individuals may also be

3 preserved.

4 Now, can we start at the beginning, and you tell us

5 at the very outset of your statement that you served in

6 the RUC for some 32 years, [redacted]. Is

7 that correct?

8 A. That's correct, my Lord.

9 Q. And so far as the details of the various positions that

10 you held over the years are concerned, we see in the

11 second and third lines of your paragraph we have on the

12 screen that in [redacted]

13 [redacted]. That some 20 years into your

14 police service. Is that right?

15 A. Just one minor amendment. It should read [redacted]

16 [redacted]. I'm sorry for that.

17 Q. Not at all. Thank you very much. That's very helpful.

18 In the 20 years before that time, had you been

19 mostly in uniform?

20 A. That's correct. I have also spent a period in charge of

21 what was called operational training, which included

22 counter terrorism, public order and search awareness

23 techniques.

24 Q. Thank you. Then you tell us that after [redacted]

25 [redacted], you were promoted to [redacted]

4

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]. Is that right?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And moved on at the start of [redacted].

5 Now, I would like to move to the next stage of your

6 career, please, and you deal with it in paragraph 2 on

7 the next page, please. That's RNI-846-690. (displayed).

8 Thank you very much.

9 There you tell us that between, as I understand

10 it, April 1995 and January 1998, you worked in the South

11 Region. Is that right?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And in [redacted] you became the ACC in charge of

14 E Department or, as it is sometimes known, the Head of

15 Special Branch?

16 A. That's correct, other than to say it was Head of

17 E Department -- of which Special Branch was one part.

18 My portfolio, given the size and nature of our

19 organisation and the circumstances in Northern Ireland,

20 meant that I had a much, much wider role than what it

21 has been referred to historically as Head of

22 Special Branch and what would be referred to in mainland

23 Britain as HSB, where such branches were relatively

24 small as part of a bigger department.

25 I'm quite willing to describe my wider strategic

5

1 responsibilities. I think that might be helpful to the

2 Inquiry.

3 Q. Please do.

4 A. I see the acronym HSB has been used quite a bit and I

5 have explained that that's a comparator with Great

6 Britain and something of a throwback in history when it

7 was a much smaller organisation in Northern Ireland.

8 So in addition to intelligence, which has been

9 broadly referred to as Special Branch, I had a strategic

10 leadership responsibility for the Specialist Operations

11 Branch or E4, as it was called then, which, as the term

12 implies, was the operations side of specialist

13 operations, similar to London and other parts of the

14 world, and provided a force-wide response in that

15 regard. And I can describe some of those functions if

16 necessary, but it is probably not necessary at this

17 moment.

18 That was one limb of the operations side. Two was

19 the intelligence limb or Special Branches, as we have

20 referred to. And there was a very clear demarcation in

21 terms of that by way of explanation of my role because

22 individual officers could not transfer from specialist

23 operations to the intelligence wing without going

24 through separate selection procedures.

25 The third limb was my force-wide responsibility for

6

1 portal security which, again, set under the broader

2 aegis of the Home Office and UK-wide Portal policing and

3 I had many responsibilities there.

4 The fourth limb was responsibility for technical

5 support -- force-wide again -- and in the various facets

6 of that, including ground and air and technical and

7 other ways and related to specialist operations, and

8 extending through to, for example, hostage situations or

9 whatever.

10 The other limb of my strategic portfolio was

11 specialist training. So I think it is important to

12 understand that the intelligence/Special Branch was but

13 one of those limbs of the portfolio.

14 Q. Thank you very much.

15 A. On top of that I was a member of many national

16 committees to do with counter terrorism and intelligence

17 and operations and interfacing with various other

18 organisations, dare I say worldwide.

19 Q. Some of which you mention in your statement. I think

20 that's right, isn't it?

21 A. That's right. Thank you.

22 Q. So far as what you have just been saying very helpfully

23 about E Department it concerned, I'm going to try and

24 get on to the screen, if I may, the diagram of

25 E Department or, I think, as we have called it in the

7

1 title, Special Branch (Post Warner). Is there any

2 chance of getting that on the screen (displayed)?

3 Excellent, thank you very much indeed.

4 Now, as I understand it, what you have been very

5 helpfully explaining to us is that when we look at you

6 as ACC E Department, the first thing is that's the way

7 we should be looking at you rather than, as it says

8 there, ACC Special Branch. Is that correct?

9 A. That's appreciated, and correct.

10 Q. Thank you. Presumably also, your deputy, who we glibly

11 have referred to as Deputy Head of Special Branch,

12 should in fact be the Deputy ACC of E Department?

13 A. Deputy head of department is correct.

14 Q. Thank you. And the other functions within E Department

15 that you have been mentioning, as I understand it, we

16 can see represented in the various boxes there on the

17 screen. Is that right?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. You have mentioned E4, for example, and you have

20 mentioned E2, training?

21 A. That's right. I'm sorry if I was a little bit ahead of

22 you there in my --

23 Q. Not at all, it is extremely helpful. Thank you very

24 much indeed.

25 Now, what I would like to do next, please, is to

8

1 look at paragraph 4 of your statement, RNI-846-690

2 (displayed), because there you explain to us that you

3 transferred to head up E Department in January 1998, as

4 we have just confirmed. And next you say that you had

5 no background in Special Branch, but it was not unusual

6 for the ACC and/or their deputies to be from outside

7 E Department.

8 Now, can I just ask you a question about that? Am

9 I right in thinking that your deputy at the time with

10 which we are concerned was also an officer whose

11 experience had been outside E Department before becoming

12 the deputy?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. He had been in CID, I think, had he not?

15 A. He would have been what many would refer to as a career

16 CID officer.

17 Q. Thank you very much. When you say it was not unusual,

18 was there a deliberate policy of putting in place very

19 senior officers at the head and deputy head of

20 department level who came from outside the department?

21 A. That's correct, and it applied across the -- I mean, we

22 had a policy of cross fertilisation of various ranks

23 across the departments and it was very much pursued in

24 that regard.

25 Additionally, at assistant chief constable level,

9

1 all the departmental heads were obviously part of the

2 corporate -- Chief Constable's corporate policy team.

3 Appointments at that level were made, as the Panel will

4 be familiar with, by the police authority to start with,

5 consequent upon an UK three-day assessment procedure and

6 consequent upon successful completion of the strategic

7 command course. Thereafter, allocations of portfolios,

8 as it were, within the force were a matter for the

9 Chief Constable.

10 Q. Thank you. Now --

11 A. If I can say also, uniquely and tragically because of

12 the Chinook helicopter crash in June 1994 when I high

13 percentage of senior officers within Special Branch were

14 tragically killed, that of necessity meant a lot of new

15 people coming in from other departments and disciplines

16 of the force.

17 Q. We have heard evidence from other witnesses about that.

18 Indeed, in at least one case about how that led to their

19 transfer to E Department?

20 A. It was five years earlier, yes.

21 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you about this policy of cross

22 fertilisation, moving people around. Obviously it was

23 in place, you say, in January 1998. Was it a policy

24 introduced by Sir Ronnie Flanagan?

25 A. It was part of a much wider UK -- I mean, the whole

10

1 business of tenure, as the Panel will understand, was

2 something that was a little bit on and off the agenda in

3 terms of UK policing over many years. It was the

4 subject of various of Her Majesty's Inspector of

5 Constabulary reports and examinations, and the RUC

6 policy would have been to work within those parameters.

7 Q. What was the rationale behind that policy of cross

8 fertilisation?

9 A. The rationale UK-wide was to develop experience on

10 behalf of individual officers, to complement skills and

11 abilities across departments and also to reinforce

12 integrity so as to ensure that individuals weren't

13 necessarily in the same job or alongside the same people

14 forever, so to speak.

15 Q. Was it particularly important in your view in relation

16 to E Department, as you say there, to avoid any

17 suggestions of it being a force within a force?

18 A. Yes, well, that's something of a catchphrase that was

19 maybe used by other people subsequently. The overriding

20 objective was a professional service that would give the

21 best (a) protection to the community, and (b) overall

22 results in terms of our strategic goals. And part of my

23 job as head of the department was to monitor the

24 implementation of those plans, to attribute to the

25 drafting of them at the outset and to monitor the

11

1 outcomes.

2 So the cross fertilisation was very important in

3 terms of complementing. That has to be balanced against

4 saying that many jobs require very considerable

5 experience. So it was always a case of blend, and the

6 cross fertilisation was probably more important at

7 supervisory level than it was at perhaps the street or

8 front end, sharp level because there are some aspects of

9 policing and intelligence, and investigations probably

10 too, where there can be no substitute for experience.

11 Q. At your level, the level we are talking about, which is

12 the top management level in the department, was it

13 difficult for you as an outsider to the department to

14 adjust to the way in which the department and

15 Special Branch in particular operated?

16 A. No, not at all, not at all.

17 Q. Why do you say that?

18 A. Well, in all my previous command responsibilities, which

19 took me to most parts of the Province, I would have

20 worked and been privy to Special Branch outcomes and

21 operations and certainly holding senior positions

22 elsewhere immediately before this department. I would

23 have been briefed of necessity before any executive

24 action could be taken, for example, by the Specialist

25 Operations or E4 consequent upon intelligence. So I was

12

1 fairly familiar with working practices, the parameters

2 and the accountability limits that were in place as

3 regards Special Branch.

4 In my area of life as well, I had the privilege of

5 being attached to police departments both in the US and

6 Great Britain. I had a privilege of being on a course

7 at the FBI Academy for a number of months. So I had the

8 opportunity to look at how quite a lot of others did

9 their business as well in terms of intelligence and

10 operations and so forth.

11 But particularly here in Northern Ireland, I would

12 have been privy and aware and consulted on some of the

13 most sensitive and difficult and high-risk operations

14 imaginable during the -- my career.

15 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you, please, to look at another

16 part of your statement, where you touch on this. It is

17 paragraph 34, RNI-846-701 (displayed).

18 There you talk about your transfer to the

19 department, E Department. You say of course you were

20 briefed by the people already there, but there was no

21 overlap, you explain, with your predecessor because he

22 had retired.

23 The impression you give in the next few lines is

24 that because of the level at which you were working,

25 i.e. at the top management of the department, in the sense

13

1 the fact that you were an outsider wasn't so significant

2 as it might have been if you had been lower down the

3 chain of command. Is that a fair way of putting it?

4 A. Yes, I think that assessment could be applied, yes.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as Special Branch itself was

6 concerned, on taking up your post as Head of

7 E Department, were you aware of any difference between

8 the culture of Special Branch, if I can put it that way,

9 and that of the rest of the organisation, the RUC?

10 A. Well, as I said, as Head of E Department, the

11 intelligence section was but one limb.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. So I had to get to grips, or form my more detailed

14 understanding of all the other elements of my portfolio

15 as well. I was well aware and versed, as I said, from

16 previous experience, of the contribution that had been

17 made by Special Branch in terms of protecting the

18 community and saving lives. And, indeed, I felt

19 privileged to be a part of it, so to speak.

20 In terms of culture, I have studied that on many

21 occasions in other fora, and it is quite a big subject.

22 One talks about shifting the paradigm and things like

23 this, but it has to be understood that in the context of

24 Northern Ireland, where we were dealing with

25 intelligence, we were working in terms of the national

14

1 security model. That was unique in terms of UK

2 policing.

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. And indeed it is unique in terms of many other parts of

5 the world where an organisation on the one hand has to

6 contribute to and be a critical part of the national

7 security model and, on the other hand, be the lead on

8 investigations. And that, as the Panel members will

9 recognise, has to be a complex balancing act in terms of

10 meeting the criteria that apply in both directions, so

11 to speak.

12 Some people may have referred to, as I said, you

13 know, this subsequent reference by one report, a force

14 within a force, or a culture.

15 Q. That was the term used in the Patten Report, wasn't it?

16 A. That's right. The Patten report, of course, goes on to

17 acknowledge the very considerable achievements by

18 E Department and by Special Branch in particular and,

19 indeed, it reflects submissions made by the FBI, the

20 London Metropolitan Police and one or two others in

21 relation to the way -- the views that they held in

22 relation to the efficiency and importance of what they

23 referred to as Special Branch.

24 In terms of the culture, yes, there were certain

25 matters that were -- if you like, had to be and were

15

1 ingrained for the very best of reasons; the main one

2 being that they dealt with secret intelligence. And

3 secret intelligence is afforded special protection

4 everywhere in the world that I'm aware of -- or it ought

5 to be -- and, therefore, some people perhaps confused,

6 on the outside, maybe the need to know principle with

7 the want to know principle.

8 Now, they are very different things and wanting to

9 know is fine until the transfer of responsibilities go

10 with it, and then perhaps it reinforces the need for

11 special measures to be taken in terms of the protection

12 of secret intelligence and the protection of everyone

13 dealing with it, including the Special Branch officers,

14 the handlers, the agents -- and I don't need to

15 elaborate on that in this forum, but suffice to say

16 that's how I would describe a little bit. If culture is

17 the term to be applied to it, those would have been some

18 of the underlying reasons and explanations.

19 Q. Thank you. Well, we will come back to a number of the

20 points that you have touched on there later in the

21 questioning. But what I would like to do now is to

22 shift the focus back to the time you spent in South

23 Region, which you have told us about, between 1995 and

24 1998.

25 What I would like to do first with you, please, is

16

1 to ask you to describe for us the main issues, the main

2 challenges, in South Region for the police during that

3 period, from 1995 to 1998.

4 A. The main challenges for policing South Region in

5 particular at that particular time were public order,

6 counter terrorism and community affairs, public

7 relations. Shall I elaborate?

8 Q. No, I think that's a very good start.

9 What I would like to do now is to focus in on one or

10 two of those, with particular reference to the comments

11 you make in your statement about Rosemary Nelson. And

12 here we are going to be looking at the passage in your

13 statement which takes us from paragraph 9 at RNI-846-691

14 at the bottom, to paragraph 32 (displayed).

15 Now, before we look at some specific aspects of

16 this, can I ask you, please, during your time there in

17 that region, 1995 to 1998, to what extent did you have

18 any personal contact with Rosemary Nelson?

19 A. I never met or spoke to Mrs Nelson.

20 Q. Now, so far as the first specific item you deal with

21 there, which is Drumcree, is concerned, obviously you

22 talked about public order as one of your main

23 challenges, and presumably Drumcree was a big issue for

24 the region during the whole of that period from 1995 to

25 1998. Is that correct?

17

1 A. That's correct. There had been a history of problems

2 with public order or public processions in Portadown

3 going back to 1985/1986, and there were what is referred

4 to as stand-offs during those years as well.

5 Q. In the particular years we are looking at, and

6 particularly the summers of 1995, 1996 and 1997, there

7 was tension and violence, was there not, in and around

8 Drumcree during those years?

9 A. Extreme, in my opinion.

10 Q. Presenting for the police acute problems in relation to

11 the maintenance of good order?

12 A. Yes. 1995 was difficult but probably achieved the best

13 result in that there was some involvement by mediation

14 people and there was an agreed solution found after

15 a couple of days of stand-off. There was no deployment

16 of the military bearing in mind that we were meant to be

17 in a ceasefire situation at that time, and so it was

18 handled by the police as a massive operation with an

19 acceptable result for all sides.

20 Regrettably, that wasn't to be repeated in

21 subsequent years for a variety of external reasons, and

22 subsequently years saw extreme violence and regrettably

23 some people killed and murdered in parts of the

24 Province. There was a taxi driver murdered during the

25 1996 situation, there were threats to many, many others,

18

1 the homes of police officers were attacked, officers

2 were subjected to extreme intimidation, 1996, 1997 and

3 1998, and perhaps subsequently, as they were in

4 1985/1986.

5 Additionally, as the Panel is aware, two police

6 officers were murdered in Lurgan in June 1997.

7 Q. Yes, we will come to that specifically in a minute. I

8 should say immediately.

9 A. There was a civilian killed in Portadown in April 1997

10 and there was a police officer killed in Portadown

11 in October 1998, which was some four or five months

12 before the death of Mrs Nelson.

13 Q. Yes. And, indeed, some months after the

14 Good Friday Agreement?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Can we just focus in on Rosemary Nelson now briefly.

17 You have told us you didn't meet her. Did you know

18 that she was the legal adviser to the Garvaghy Road

19 Residents Coalition?

20 A. Yes, I did.

21 Q. And although, as you tell us in paragraph 15, there were

22 discussions going on -- and this is at RNI-846-694 --

23 I take it that those discussions would have included

24 representatives of the GRRC. You don't recall her

25 involvement in any of that? Sorry, it is paragraph 15

19

1 at RNI-846-693, please (displayed). Thank you. It goes

2 over the page to RNI-846-694 (displayed).

3 Do you see? You say at the end:

4 "I can say with certainty that she was never at any

5 meeting at which I was present"?

6 A. That's correct. There were many, many meetings at all

7 levels of command, but I personally never met

8 Mrs Nelson.

9 Q. Can we draw any conclusion about that in relation to the

10 significance of her role in the events surrounding

11 Drumcree during these years; in other words, from 1995

12 to the beginning of 1998?

13 A. I don't think anything particular can be drawn from

14 that. I mean, there were phases of, for example,

15 judicial review, which required the involvement of

16 advocates or representatives, various other issues to do

17 with statutory notices, parades, counter parades.

18 I might add that in terms of my knowledge of the

19 parading issue in Portadown from 1985 onwards, that 1995

20 was the first year in which what would have been

21 described as a counter parade was actually organised by

22 the Garvaghy Road residents. So that was an additional

23 policing issue: not just the Orange parade, but also the

24 counter parade. And then there would have been many

25 situations from there involving various statutory

20

1 notices and legal implications. And as I understand it,

2 Mrs Nelson would have been contributing to those.

3 Q. Now, you mention in this same paragraph -- we have it on

4 the screen -- her high media profile. What, as far as

5 you were aware, was the context in which she had media

6 attention?

7 A. Well, I recall seeing her on the television at or near

8 various events. I couldn't recall or describe which

9 ones. I think I also saw her on television attending

10 some events at or near the Congress in Washington.

11 Perhaps some other matters of that general type.

12 I certainly can't be specific now, ten years on.

13 Q. But that was the general area in which you were aware of

14 her from the media?

15 A. Yes, and perhaps I recall one or two occasions where she

16 perhaps gave media interviews outside courts of law,

17 post trials or remands or hearings or whatever.

18 Q. Now, so far as the next topic in your statement is

19 concerned, which is "Complaints", that begins at

20 paragraph 19, RNI-846-695 (displayed). You tell us in

21 this section when you became an ACC you sat on the

22 Complaints and Discipline Panel. Do you see that, the

23 last sentence of the paragraph?

24 A. Yes, indeed.

25 Q. Now, so far as Rosemary Nelson and her complaint, which

21

1 you refer to at the beginning of the paragraph, that she

2 had sustained injury on the Garvaghy Road in the summer

3 of 1997, you explain that your role in that sense would

4 simply have been to process or pass on the complaint.

5 Were you aware of the fact that this complaint was

6 being made by Rosemary Nelson at the time, do you think?

7 A. I shouldn't think so. It would have been one of many

8 complaints arising out of those events.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. These were situations where there was considerable

11 damage to property, there were considerable and serious

12 injuries to police officers, there were injuries perhaps

13 to other civilians. So special investigation teams were

14 set up to investigate all possible criminal activity

15 emanating from those events.

16 Complaints against police officers would have been

17 handled specifically by the Complaints and Discipline

18 Department. I, in my role -- which I'm not describing

19 further -- would have been to monitor and be aware of

20 patterns and standards. It would have been ethically

21 and organisationally wrong for me to have been involved

22 in any way with the independent nature of those

23 investigations, which would have been under the

24 supervision of the Independent Commission for Police

25 Complaints and ultimately the subject of reports to the

22

1 Director of Public Prosecutions.

2 Q. Now, can I just ask you about complaints and

3 Rosemary Nelson more generally because you touch on this

4 point in paragraph 22 on the next page, RNI-846-696

5 (displayed). And there, albeit somewhat warily, I think

6 you are suggesting that you were aware at the time that

7 Rosemary Nelson had made a significant number of

8 complaints about the RUC.

9 Now, were you aware, do you think, of the nature of

10 these complaints?

11 A. I would have had an overview position. It was very much

12 corporate force policy to try and reduce, minimise, the

13 number of complaints, to learn from complaints, where

14 that was appropriate and possible, and to improve the

15 quality of our service to the community.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. So, therefore, we had a very clear policy of monitoring

18 the types of complaints, the nature and type -- areas in

19 which they were occurring and most particularly looking

20 at any possible remedial measures. So in that

21 broader context, in terms of patterns and standards, I

22 would have had an overview and understanding.

23 Q. Yes, as it were, from the management perspective?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Yes. In the course of that monitoring did you become

23

1 aware that some of these complaints concerned

2 threatening or insulting remarks which had allegedly

3 been made by officers about Rosemary Nelson to her

4 clients?

5 A. It is probable that I did but -- I don't recall specific

6 detail, but it is probable, yes.

7 Q. And were these allegations allegations unique to her or

8 were you aware of other allegations being made in

9 relation to other solicitors at this time?

10 A. I'm not sure that I can say that in terms of the wider

11 force area. Ten years later I don't think I would be

12 able to say that.

13 Q. Right. Can you recall whether you took any steps, as

14 a matter of management, to deal with the allegations

15 that were being made?

16 A. Those specific ones, if you like, which you may be

17 referring to, and the circumstances in which they were

18 occurring would not have fallen directly under my line

19 management responsibility.

20 Q. So the short answer is no?

21 A. I wouldn't have been in a position.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Now, you say in the last sentence of the paragraph we

25 have on the screen, 22, that you were aware of a view

24

1 that Mrs Nelson might have had more involvement in terms

2 of lodging complaints on behalf of her clients and other

3 solicitors. Was it a view that you shared?

4 A. Well, I would have seen that from the summaries and from

5 the analysis.

6 I think it is right to say that -- and this is

7 common to society -- different professionals attract or,

8 in some cases, specialise in particular bits of business

9 and that can be brought about by their own expertise,

10 can be brought about by circumstances, location or

11 whatever.

12 So I think the Panel may be aware that -- you would

13 be aware -- that probably analysis of the complaints

14 records show that quite high percentages could well have

15 been lodged by a variety of solicitors on behalf of

16 clients in whatever area. And insofar as that

17 territorial area would have been concerned, yes,

18 Mr Nelson would have been well up that table.

19 Q. And it follows, does it, that she would have been

20 regarded by you and colleagues who were aware of this

21 analysis as a specialist, to use the term you have in

22 this same paragraph, in that regard?

23 A. Sorry?

24 Q. You use the term "specialist", do you see --

25 A. Oh, yes, in quotes.

25

1 Q. Yes. She was one of the specialists in making

2 complaints against the police. Is that right?

3 A. Yes. That is what my statement says, but I think it is

4 important to explain when I say "specialist", I mean

5 through volume of business.

6 Q. Yes. And with that, did there also come a perception

7 that she was a Republican solicitor?

8 A. I think that would not be a proper description. I think

9 a Republican solicitor would infer that she herself was

10 a Republican. We could have many discussions about

11 that, I'm sure, but she represented quite a number of

12 clients who would have been seen as Republicans.

13 Q. But are you saying to the Panel that you never heard the

14 view expressed by colleagues that she was not just

15 a representative of Republicans but herself a Republican

16 solicitor?

17 A. No, that's not a term that would have been used in my

18 kind of fora and, you know, you mentioned earlier about

19 the complaints by clients during interviews or whatever,

20 and I said that that didn't fall under my line

21 management.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. That was very much handled by others in another

24 department. So from my perspective -- and it's

25 repeating -- number 1, I never met the lady, number 2,

26

1 it would not have been language used with the people --

2 by the people with whom I worked, i.e. "a Republican

3 solicitor". That would have been an inaccurate and

4 unfair descriptor.

5 Q. Now, can we have the paragraph at the bottom of page 23

6 on the screen, please, and also the continuation of it

7 at RNI-846-697 on the right-hand side (displayed).

8 Now, here you were asked a question at the beginning

9 of the paragraph -- you set it out -- whether police

10 officers would have any particular perception of

11 Rosemary Nelson because of her involvement in the

12 complaints process. And you explain later in the

13 paragraph that if an officer became the subject of

14 a complaint, it could have a detrimental effect on his

15 career because it would be taken into account at, as you

16 say there, any terms of any promotion or transfer

17 application. And you go on to say -- and I'm now

18 quoting what you say five lines down:

19 "For this reason alone I cannot see that any police

20 officers would want to put themselves in a position

21 where they were criticising a solicitor who was carrying

22 out any professional duty."

23 Do you see that?

24 A. That's right.

25 Q. Now, just standing back from that comment for a moment

27

1 and looking at it from perhaps a slightly different

2 perspective, given the serious or potentially serious

3 consequences of a complaint for the police officer or

4 officers concerned, couldn't that equally result in

5 a police officer holding a grudge against the lawyer who

6 was apparently making a good deal of complaints against

7 him and, no doubt, against his colleagues?

8 A. In the context of this question, well, it was addressed

9 to me and presumably now related to the allegations by

10 clients of Mrs Nelson during interview by CID officers.

11 Those CID officers, in the context of the situation in

12 Northern Ireland, would have been highly trained and

13 experienced in terms of investigative interviewing.

14 They would have been very aware of the rules and

15 limitations on such interviews and on the gathering of

16 evidence. As I said there, the force adopted a very

17 rigorous approach in that regard to the extent that, as

18 I've mentioned, where complaints were lodged,

19 interviewers found themselves being taken off

20 interviews, and indeed in some cases their careers being

21 put on hold until the investigation was completed.

22 Interviewing detectives, by their nature, had met

23 a lot of people and handled a lot of situations. They

24 were experienced. For the most part they had

25 a considerable period of service in whatever parts of

28

1 the force, and particularly in CID, and it just seems to

2 me that being aware of all those constraints and, one

3 could almost say, sanctions for them, it would seem

4 contrary to sense and nature to involve them in --

5 themselves in something like what was being alleged.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. I'm giving that by way of explanation and on the basis

8 that I wasn't investigating the allegations.

9 Q. Indeed. What you are doing, as I understand it, is to

10 explain why you think it very unlikely that any

11 behaviour of this kind could ever happen.

12 What I'm asking you is something really quite

13 different. I'm asking to you focus on the situation

14 when the complaints have in fact already been made with

15 the consequences that you have just been outlining for

16 us, potentially serious consequences for the officers.

17 Isn't it at least possible in those circumstances that

18 there would be a feeling of some resentment in relation

19 to a lawyer who was seen to be making a large number of

20 these complaints against them and their colleagues?

21 A. One can never account for or rule out human frailties,

22 if you like, and we have all very different

23 personalities and experiences. But I think if any forum

24 of group or class thinking -- I don't think that would

25 happen.

29

1 Q. But it is obvious, isn't it, at the very least that

2 there would be little love lost between those officers

3 implicated in what they may have regarded as quite

4 unfounded complaints and the lawyer who was seen to be

5 driving them?

6 A. No, I don't think that would be so. As I say again,

7 experienced CID officers were very experienced in

8 dealing with not only prisoners but also legal

9 representatives, well trained and versed in the rules

10 applying to what they were doing and they would also be

11 equally aware in many situations of the propaganda value

12 sometimes extracted by others in terms of complaints.

13 So I can't see how they would wish to immerse themselves

14 in that. In fact, most of them would also have been so

15 busy with murder investigations and serious crime

16 investigations and wondering where the next event --

17 that I don't think they would have been reflecting too

18 much on the -- what a particular representative had

19 said, done or otherwise or allegedly not done.

20 Q. So you don't think it would have had any impact on the

21 way they regarded the lawyer or on any of their future

22 dealings with him or her?

23 A. Well, as I say again, these were people experienced in

24 the business that they were carrying out. They would

25 have been well versed and alert to all the constraints,

30

1 but it has to be recognised on the wider front -- one

2 has to understand also that the prisoners, as I would

3 believe it, who were making these allegations or are

4 alleged to have made them, were themselves being

5 interviewed about very serious terrorist crimes. And

6 the Panel and others will be well aware of the

7 propaganda value extracted by godfathers in various

8 organisations and their efforts to discredit the forces

9 of the State and to avoid their own misdeeds being taken

10 to court.

11 Q. Now, if, as you are suggesting there, some at least of

12 these complaints were not genuine but simply part of

13 a propaganda campaign, and there was a lawyer closely

14 involved in advancing them, putting them forward,

15 wouldn't that in itself have had an impact on the

16 officers' perception of that lawyer?

17 A. I think a much bigger picture than that, but I'm sure

18 the Panel will have -- will be aware of or will hear

19 from in relation to the Complaints and Discipline

20 Department and other procedures.

21 On many, many occasions complaints were lodged, but

22 they weren't pursued at that time because at the same

23 time a civil action for damages would have been lodged,

24 and some lawyers took the view that their clients should

25 not be interviewed or offer up any further evidence to

31

1 the independent investigation of the complaint until

2 such times as the civil litigation process had been

3 exhausted. So perhaps that describes something of the

4 pattern to the complaints and to the management of them.

5 Q. Can I turn to a different topic, and it is one you have

6 mentioned already. This is the murder of the two police

7 officers in Lurgan in 1997, in June that year, and this

8 you talk about in paragraphs 28, 29 and 30 in

9 particular, at RNI-846-698 and RNI-846-699 (displayed).

10 Thank you.

11 First of all, can I ask you this, please: what

12 impact did these particular murders have on the police

13 in South Region and in Lurgan in particular, in your

14 view?

15 A. The loss of a police officer, in this case two, is first

16 and foremost a family tragedy, like all other murders

17 and deaths that have occurred in the Province. It is

18 impactive on the colleagues who work or had worked

19 closely with the deceased, given that they were servants

20 of the Crown going about their duties, in this case on

21 neighbourhood policing work, endeavouring to protect the

22 wider community and enhance community relations and

23 affairs and to prevent crime. So there is an immediate

24 and human and personal impact on those who are nearest

25 and dearest, including work colleagues.

32

1 Equally, it reinforces a determination by the

2 organisation to protect others and to try to ensure that

3 such callous murders in daylight on the street, the open

4 street, are not repeated.

5 Q. Now, so far as the timing of this is concerned, it came

6 at a time, did it not, when it was hoped there might be

7 a resumption of ceasefire, of the Provisional IRA

8 ceasefire. And that, in fact, we know took place the

9 next month in July 1997. That's right, isn't it?

10 A. That's correct, yes.

11 Q. During your interview with Eversheds on behalf of the

12 Inquiry, you were shown, weren't you, various

13 intelligence reports about Rosemary Nelson's conduct of

14 Colin Duffy's defence in this case and you refer to

15 a huge list of documents in paragraph 29; do you see

16 that?

17 A. Could we have it enlarged just a little?

18 Q. Yes, could we enlarge paragraph 29. There, do you see?

19 A. Yes, thank you.

20 Q. Just to be clear about a couple of general points. You

21 say that you didn't see any of these reports at the time

22 and, indeed, that you wouldn't have normally seen

23 individual pieces of intelligence reporting of this

24 kind. Is that correct?

25 A. That's correct. I wasn't in E Department then.

33

1 Q. No. Now, so far as the matters that are touched on

2 then -- and you describe or you characterise it as

3 unprofessional conduct, using a general description

4 there -- were you made aware of the content, i.e. of what

5 was alleged there, namely the unprofessional conduct, at

6 the time?

7 A. I don't recall the detail. I was very much aware of

8 Mr Duffy being on remand, charged with the murder of

9 Constables Graham and Johnston in Lurgan. I was aware

10 of the critical importance of a particular witness, the

11 evidence of a particular witnesses.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. I would have been aware in a broad sense that there was

14 perhaps a campaign to have Mr Duffy released and to, as

15 I recall it, discredit that witness. That, I think,

16 from memory, extended to members -- or was applied to,

17 rather, members of that witness's family and perhaps

18 other associates, I don't recall the detail.

19 As I said in my statement, I don't recall being made

20 aware, and it is unlikely that I needed to be or was,

21 about the suggestion of how the alibis were being

22 created. That's something that would clearly have been

23 handled by the, if I may use the term, hierarchy of CID,

24 the investigating detectives, but more particularly by

25 the prosecuting authority.

34

1 Q. Can I just ask you a specific question about that? Do

2 you think that sort of intelligence reporting, for

3 example, in relation to the allegation that alibis were

4 being created unprofessionally -- do you think that sort

5 of intelligence reporting would have been shared with

6 the SIO of the murder investigation?

7 A. It is difficult to say. It might, it might not. It

8 would depend on the source of the intelligence, the

9 reliability of the intelligence, the relevance of the

10 intelligence and whether or not there was anything at

11 that particular time the SIO could do about it. So the

12 answer is --

13 Q. You don't know?

14 A. I don't know the precise answer.

15 Q. No. Now, you have already mentioned the focus on the

16 witness and the campaign, and you say, correctly, that:

17 "In due course ..."

18 I think at about the beginning of October 1997:

19 "... Colin Duffy was released from prison and no

20 further proceedings against him came after that in

21 relation to these murders on the direction of the

22 Director of Public Prosecutions"?

23 A. Yes, indeed.

24 Q. Can you remember what the reaction amongst your officers

25 was to the news that no further proceedings were going

35

1 to be taken against him?

2 A. Well, I don't recall any particular reaction. I'm not

3 sure which officers or group of officers you are

4 referring to, but put it like this: in 30-odd years of

5 seeing serious terrorist crimes and murders being

6 investigated, it wasn't the first time where somebody

7 had been released from custody or acquitted, and police

8 officers are very well trained from day 1 that their job

9 is to gather the evidence and present it through the

10 prosecuting authorities to the courts, and they have to

11 accept the outcome, whatever that may be. That's

12 a basic tenet of the criminal justice system.

13 Many other commentators and observers can write

14 commentaries and statements and subsequent analyses.

15 Police officers, from a professional viewpoint, are not

16 permitted to get themselves involved in that, and as

17 I said again before, in terms of the sheer volume of

18 work going on here in those days, they had to move on.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. The organisation had a responsibility, other parts of

21 it, to look after the care and welfare of those who were

22 left to grieve and worry.

23 Q. Now, those comments you have made are very much general

24 comments about the way the criminal justice system

25 operates and, indeed, the way in which the police's role

36

1 is perceived by you within that system.

2 Here, as you have already told us, there was

3 something perhaps slightly less usual, namely the

4 campaign that you have already mentioned. And

5 Rosemary Nelson was seen, wasn't she, as being very much

6 involved in that campaign?

7 A. It is difficult for me to recall and say that

8 categorically. It is certainly probable. But one has

9 to bear in mind that she was the legal representative of

10 the accused.

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. So I'm not for a moment enlarging it from that role or

13 transferring it from that role into what we have

14 described as the campaign. The campaign was being led

15 and perhaps taken forward by various others. So I'm not

16 in a position to say, certainly now and not being

17 closely involved with the hands-on of the investigation

18 or the intelligence end -- I'm not able to say in

19 relation to that precise matter where Rosemary Nelson's

20 involvement began and ended.

21 Q. Now, so far as the impact of this -- we talked about the

22 question of whether there was an impact on local

23 officers as a result of her involvement in complaints.

24 Are you saying that as far as you were aware, her

25 involvement in this particular case and in the release

37

1 of Colin Duffy, alleged to be responsible for the murder

2 of two of their colleagues, had no impact, so far as you

3 were aware, on local officers' views of Rosemary Nelson?

4 A. I would be surprised -- and I'm sure the Inquiry has

5 heard from local police commanders who would have been

6 much closer to the ground, as it were, in that regard

7 than I would have been, but I would be surprised. And

8 as I said before, I couldn't see the -- any benefit that

9 they would derive from such an attitude, view or belief.

10 In fact, it would be the opposite, as I mentioned. It

11 would be more to do with risks and difficulties.

12 Q. What if the local officers, or any of them, had been

13 made aware of the suggestions which you have now seen in

14 the intelligence reporting at the time, that she was

15 behaving unprofessionally in her representation of

16 Colin Duffy and, presumably, that this might have in

17 some way contributed to his release? Do you think that

18 would have affected their view of her role in the

19 matter?

20 A. Well, I mean, as I now know and have been shown, that

21 was secret intelligence. So I don't believe for one

22 moment that that kind of secret intelligence would have

23 been shared with the wider -- as you referred to --

24 colleagues in the force.

25 Q. And is that conviction on your part based on your own

38

1 experience?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. And are you drawing there particularly on your

4 experience once you had become the Head of E Department,

5 in other words, the department responsible for producing

6 this secret intelligence, or are you drawing on your

7 earlier experience as an RUC officer before that time?

8 A. It is a combination. It is clearly reinforced by my

9 later experience, but as I mentioned earlier, in my

10 various command roles in most parts of the Province or

11 different parts of the Province and working very closely

12 with CID, Special Branch and others, I can draw that

13 conclusion that I have just mentioned. That's the basis

14 on which I would draw that conclusion, sorry.

15 Q. So in your view, at any rate, it is unlikely or very

16 unlikely that reporting of this kind would have, if I

17 can put it this way, leaked out from local

18 Special Branch or CID or uniformed officers locally?

19 A. Yes, because, I mean, it would be basic common sense in

20 terms of, 1, secret intelligence as I now know it. Part

21 of intelligence, the national security model is to build

22 up a picture. This is what I mentioned earlier, the

23 balancing act between building up a picture of

24 intelligence for the protection of the community and of

25 the State, and the investigative role of investigators.

39

1 So it would have been most unlikely and unwise that

2 somebody would have been talking about that kind of

3 intelligence when they would be hoping to develop it,

4 and perhaps development ultimately to investigative

5 levels.

6 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you.

7 Sir, we are about to move on to another topic.

8 Would that be a convenient moment?

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, thank you. We will have a quarter of an

10 hour break. That's until quarter to.

11 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

12 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

13 off?

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

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

16 (11.30 am)

17 (Short break)

18 (11.47 am)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Myers, may we go through the checklist.

20 MR MYERS: Sir, Mr Harvey isn't in the chamber. I just

21 wonder whether he is going to come back. May I just

22 check? (Pause).

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr O'Hare have you any news of either

24 Mr Harvey?

25 MR O'HARE: No.

40

1 MR MYERS: He is out.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Let's carry on. Mr Myers, the checklist. Is

3 the public area screen fully in place, locked and the

4 key secured?

5 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

13 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

14 of this chamber?

15 MR MYERS: No, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

17 Can the video engineer please confirm that the two

18 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

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

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

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

23 Bring the witness in, please.

24 The cameras on the Panel, the Inquiry personnel and

25 the Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

41

1 switched back on.

2 Yes, Mr Phillips?

3 MR PHILLIPS: Do sit down. You have told us how you became

4 the Head of E Department in January 1998 and you have

5 told us about your range of responsibilities there. Can

6 I just ask you a couple of questions about

7 Special Branch. The first relates to the regional heads

8 of Special Branch.

9 To what extent were the regional heads able to set

10 policy and procedures within their own regions?

11 A. Well, policy, as the title implies, was

12 a departmental-wide application. Procedures, obviously,

13 flow from policy, and different segments, branches or

14 sub branches would have had different responsibilities in

15 terms of the application of those procedures. The Panel

16 will be aware from other graphics and documentation that

17 one of the key -- one of the significant

18 responsibilities of regions, or regional, was the

19 question of regional heads -- or regions?

20 Q. Regional heads.

21 A. Was to do with the running of counter terrorism

22 operations and the running of agents.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: In ordinary language were they sort of

24 private fiefdoms of the regional heads, or not?

25 A. No, some might infer that, but -- someone on the outside

42

1 might infer that, but that was not so. I had the

2 privilege and the experience of working in both

3 disciplines, various disciplines, of the organisation.

4 They had a dual -- in fact, rather than being

5 individual chiefs, they had a dual line of

6 responsibility because they had a significant

7 responsibility to the head of department in terms of

8 strategic requirements and the monitoring of performance

9 and a whole range of other things that would have

10 been -- controls that would have been applied and

11 leadership application given to them.

12 The other part of the dual responsibility was

13 obviously to the territorial Assistant Chief Constable,

14 where they had the responsibility of providing timely

15 intelligence to the regional authorities for the

16 protection of the community in that region, and equally

17 so for the protection of the police and military staff

18 in the region.

19 So they had a dual responsibility. And as

20 I mentioned earlier, in terms of -- when they were

21 running counter terrorism operations in terms of

22 executive action, they required the approval of the

23 territorial Assistant Chief Constable before that could

24 be applied or taken forward, and similarly before they

25 deployed other specialists, which perhaps I'll not

43

1 expand on in this open forum. They equally required the

2 approval of the territorial Assistant Chief Constable as

3 well as the Head of E Department and, in certain well

4 defined situations, the Chief Constable.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Could I just then perhaps try and draw

6 that together. In relation to satisfying the strategic

7 policy direction, they were answerable to you, but on

8 a day-to-day operational basis, they were answerable to

9 the territorial Assistant Chief Constable?

10 A. That's a fair assessment.

11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

12 MR PHILLIPS: We will come back to this in a moment when we

13 look at the various reports and changes that were in

14 train at this period. Can I just ask you another very

15 general question about Special Branch because, as you

16 know, Sir Ronnie Flanagan has given evidence to the

17 Inquiry. And in talking about the perception that

18 Special Branch had a particular culture or ethos when he

19 was Head in the mid 1990s, he explained to the Inquiry

20 that he tried to address that, for example, by holding

21 public meetings, talking to the media, et cetera, in an

22 attempt to introduce as much transparency in his role of

23 Head of Special Branch as possible.

24 Now, did you, when you became Head of E Department,

25 take a similar approach?

44

1 A. Certainly not in addressing the media. That would not

2 have been perceived to be a key element of my portfolio

3 in terms of secret intelligence. Sir Ronnie Flanagan

4 was Head of E Department for a relatively short time, we

5 might say, and I haven't read his evidence in that

6 regard, but put it this way: I wouldn't have been

7 visible to the media because that's quite difficult to

8 manage as the head of a department dealing with secret

9 intelligence.

10 Q. So your approach was different to his?

11 A. I wouldn't say that. I was very much part of the

12 corporate team and I think we could -- I think we can

13 enlarge or expand either way here. I don't say it was

14 different from his. I'm not sure how far he described

15 that and whether or not he was talking more particularly

16 about his subsequent time as Deputy Chief Constable or

17 Chief Constable. As I said, he was Head of E Department

18 for a relatively short time and I think we have to view

19 it in that context.

20 I'm not privy to his evidence in that regard, but

21 suffice to say that I had a very proactive role in

22 relation to many other organisations and interfacing

23 with them. Some of our work was explained in reports.

24 E Department was subjected to very considerable

25 oversight. I go back to the perception of some, or the

45

1 suggestion by some of a force within a force. I found,

2 when I moved in there, that in fact it was one of the

3 most regulated and supervised, if I may use the term,

4 bits of the business in terms of scrutiny by outside,

5 independent commissioners drawn from the judiciary by

6 ministerial warrantry, et cetera, et cetera.

7 So I sometimes think that some of the pictures are

8 maybe painted by people on the outside, that come from

9 a lack of information in that regard.

10 Now, my role, involvement, as I mentioned, many

11 other corporate responsibilities -- I have described

12 them in terms of the department. They also spread out

13 across the rest of the organisation, for example, in

14 terms of policy papers for the whole of the

15 organisation, in terms of our corporate policy meetings,

16 in terms of sitting on selection panels, promotion

17 assessments, disciplinary panels, representing the

18 Chief Constable at other meetings and events, sitting on

19 committees nationally.

20 For example, we, in my department, helped to pilot

21 the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act codes of

22 practice. I was a lead person on that nationally in

23 terms of ACPO TAM, which means terrorism and allied

24 matters. My head of intelligence chaired the working

25 group and much of what's in those codes of practice,

46

1 which are public documents, was drawn from best -- what

2 was perceived to be practice. I don't say that in any

3 pompous sense, I say it in a way that it was practice

4 that was developed often with bitter experience and in

5 traumatic circumstances over the previous 30 years.

6 So I was proactive and visible in all those arenas.

7 I was also the -- what was titled the accountable

8 officer for the implementation of the RIPA procedures

9 force-wide, which involved almost every discipline of

10 the force one way or the other, in terms of codes,

11 practice training, operational commanders, et cetera,

12 et cetera.

13 If you are asking me did I give media interviews as

14 head of that department, no, I didn't. If you are

15 asking me did I have to attend what you might call

16 community meetings, it certainly wasn't a requirement

17 expected of me either by the Chief Constable or by the

18 wider force.

19 Q. Right. Now, what I would like to do is just touch on

20 a couple of points in terms of the changes that were

21 underway in the RUC, and indeed for Special Branch, at

22 this period and to take it as briefly as I can.

23 We have heard in evidence already about the

24 fundamental review of policing which came in the

25 mid 1990s, very much driven by Sir Ronnie Flanagan. We

47

1 have heard about the Warner Report in 1996/1997. You

2 have referred in your statement to the Patten Commission

3 set up in June 1998 and reporting in September 1999. So

4 all of that was in play at or around the time that we

5 are concerned with.

6 What I would now like to do is look at two specific

7 points that you raise in your statement on this. The

8 first is at RNI-846-709 (displayed) and I would like

9 RNI-846-710 on the screen as well, please (displayed).

10 Here you are talking about the dissemination of

11 intelligence by Special Branch to CID and related

12 issues, and you see you say there in paragraph 58 that:

13 "They have been the subject of various expert

14 reports over the years ..."

15 And you mention two more, Walker and McLaughlin;

16 Walker coming in the early 1980s. Then you say:

17 "A report was also commissioned by the RUC from an

18 intelligence professional ..."

19 And his name has been redacted. You go on to say:

20 "I think that this [person's] investigation started

21 in autumn 1999 and lasted until spring 2000. His report

22 updated and revalidated policy and procedure in terms of

23 the dissemination of intelligence."

24 We are going to come and look in a little while at

25 that, the work that went on between autumn 1999 and the

48

1 spring of 2000. But what I wanted to ask you about is

2 a specific point you make at a slightly earlier stage of

3 your statement in paragraph 52, RNI-846-707 (displayed),

4 where you say that:

5 "On 1 October 2000, there was a complete review in

6 terms of the collection, review and analysis of

7 intelligence."

8 And you say it became known as policy number 1/2000.

9 Do you see that?

10 A. Yes, thank you.

11 Q. That came, as we can see, I think, about six months,

12 didn't it, after the report of the intelligence

13 professional whose name we mustn't use, in

14 about April 2000. That's correct, isn't it?

15 A. That's right, yes.

16 Q. Did that complete review and the policy number 1/2000

17 follow on from the recommendations that were made in

18 that intelligence professional's report?

19 A. The outworking of it did, but the genesis of it had

20 begun well before the professional's report. I was

21 extremely proactive in seeking quality improvement in

22 relation to everything that we did and a core area of

23 that, a core aspect of that was the overall handling of

24 information from collection right through analysis,

25 dissemination, filing or whatever.

49

1 As a result of that, I and my then colleague in

2 Crime Department had commissioned what was known as

3 a C and E working group --

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. -- to examine and to seek improvement to the -- those

6 practices. That report was to some degree in draft form

7 when the intelligence professional was brought along at

8 my suggestion.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. I felt we wanted to bring some external, again,

11 experience from that professional's organisation, and he

12 was assisted by another person with a very broad

13 anti-terrorist policing experience. So we had a blend

14 of intelligence and management experience and

15 anti-terrorist investigatory experience.

16 At the same time, we had a lot going on in those

17 days -- at the same time we were bringing in a new

18 information management strategy, computerisation was

19 being developed in a way that it ought to have been

20 developed a number of years earlier but, because of

21 pressure on the policing budget due to terrorism and

22 public disorder, like so many organisations these days,

23 support services, and such budgets were the ones that

24 tended to get pruned a little bit in order to maintain

25 the effort at the frontline.

50

1 So apart from the C and E working group, which was

2 at that strategic level with ourselves, I also had put

3 in place what was known as the RIWPG, the review of

4 intelligence working procedures group. That is also

5 referred to in the intelligence professional's report

6 quite extensively.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. So we provided quite a basis of information, material

9 and action for him on which he was able to build, and

10 I'm well aware of the outcome of his report and the

11 implementation of it and his references to those

12 reports.

13 So those were key building blocks, if you like. You

14 mentioned the fundamental review in 1994.

15 Q. I thought it was 1995; you may be right.

16 A. 1995. I'm aware of other documents perhaps to come.

17 Can I say that the suggestion for such a review was

18 actually made by me to the then Chief Constable,

19 Sir Hugh Annesley. Sir Ronnie Flanagan then led on the

20 review as Deputy -- one of the then two Deputy

21 Chief Constables. So I just want to give that

22 background.

23 So we were moving through from the fundamental

24 review in the first ceasefire when it was recognised

25 organisationally that we were going to have to

51

1 reorganise, reshape and indeed downsize. Regrettably

2 that was to some degree interrupted, knocked off course

3 as a result of the breakdown of the ceasefire with the

4 Canary Wharf bombing. And as an aside, one of the

5 Canary Wharf bombers was arrested in South Armagh and

6 ultimately convicted at the Old Bailey. So we were

7 moving through that transition of organisational change,

8 hopefully. The fundamental review had to be put on hold

9 as well but in the meantime we had Patten on stream.

10 So we were getting on, as it were, with all this

11 other work in terms of improving efficiency and

12 effectiveness and, as I said earlier, quality

13 improvement.

14 Is that the --

15 Q. Thank you very much, yes.

16 Now, I would like to move briskly to a very

17 different topic which we are able to deal with in

18 a paragraph on the screen, 61 at RNI-846-710

19 (displayed), which is to do with your regular briefings.

20 It looks as though -- again, please just say whether

21 I'm right or wrong about this -- you received a report

22 each morning from each of your regional heads; is that

23 correct?

24 A. Well, each morning that I could be in the office --

25 I mentioned my very wide departmental responsibilities.

52

1 But as far as humanly possible, yes, either myself or my

2 deputy.

3 Q. Yes, I mean, that's what you say in the first sentence

4 of 61, isn't it?

5 A. Yes, that's right.

6 Q. "I would also receive a report each morning from the

7 RSSB"?

8 A. That's right.

9 Q. What about the head of IMBG? As I understand it, you

10 would also speak to him every day, subject of course to

11 your other commitments?

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. What about the Head of E4, that you refer to next?

14 Would that be a daily briefing?

15 A. Yes, as far as possible.

16 Q. As I understand it, you then drew on what you were told

17 by those senior officers in preparing your own briefing

18 to the Chief Constable. Is that correct?

19 A. Yes, shall I elaborate a little bit? Is that okay?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. The briefing from the IMG, the Head of IMG, the Head of

22 the Intelligence Section, would have been in relation to

23 current trends and patterns and strategic intelligence

24 largely.

25 There is quite a difference, as the Panel will be

53

1 well aware, between strategic intelligence and certainly

2 what it meant in those days and what it means for other

3 organisations today and, if you like, operational

4 intelligence.

5 Q. Yes, the distinction we have heard drawn is between

6 strategic and tactical. Does tactical equal

7 operational?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 A. Some might refer to it as live intelligence requiring

11 urgent action and that's, again, where the regional

12 heads came in. There is also a classification sometimes

13 used in intelligence between active and passive. What

14 is active? It means as important and urgent and it is

15 likely to lead to something happening very quickly.

16 Passive, as the term implies, is much more long-term.

17 So I was getting the strategic intelligence update as

18 far as possible.

19 The purpose of the briefings from the regional heads

20 and from E4 was to be aware of pre-emptive and reactive

21 operations. I mentioned the importance of the regional

22 head having to brief up the territorial

23 Assistant Chief Constable, et cetera, et cetera.

24 Equally, I needed to be briefed up in those regards in

25 terms of my briefings to the Chief Constable and to

54

1 others. So hence the reason I would have been wanting

2 to maintain an awareness of significant preventive and

3 reactive operations.

4 Q. Now, the briefings we have been talking about, the

5 regional heads, E4 and IMG, were they oral or did you

6 receive something in writing every day?

7 A. No, to my recollection the daily one would have been

8 oral. There may have been occasions when I asked for

9 a prcis or a report on something that was critically

10 significant at that particular time. But those meetings

11 were more, as the term implies, a briefing update,

12 information briefing update.

13 I was provided -- and you may be coming on to

14 that -- on other occasions with summaries and analyses.

15 My job was to be aware of patterns, of the bigger

16 picture. So, therefore, there were other situations for

17 producing analyses and briefing documents.

18 Q. Would they generally come from the IMG?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Yes. So far as your briefing of the Chief Constable is

21 concerned, that would also be face-to-face, would it,

22 rather than something you put in writing?

23 A. Yes, well, the daily one, where possible, either myself

24 or my deputy, depending on availability. And it wasn't

25 always the Chief Constable either; sometimes it was the

55

1 Deputy Chief Constable, depending on commitments.

2 Q. And what you tell us in paragraph 60, which we have on

3 the screen there, is that the briefing with the

4 Chief Constable would be face-to-face and no minutes

5 would be kept; in other words, no written records either

6 before or after those meetings. Is that correct?

7 A. Yes, that's correct because, as I have described, there

8 would be briefing documents prepared for other, for

9 example, meetings. If the Chief Constable was going to

10 a security policy meeting with other outside external

11 people, he would have been provided with a written

12 brief. Similarly, if I was going to a national meeting

13 I would have been provided with a written brief.

14 Q. And again, those, you tell us in your statement

15 elsewhere -- you needn't look at it -- would be provided

16 by the IMG?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And then you would provide the written brief for the

19 Chief Constable for the big meetings, such as the SPM?

20 A. That's right. It is also important to understand that I

21 would have been provided with a written brief for what

22 was in those days called COG, the chief officers' group

23 meeting, the corporate policy meeting --

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. -- where I would have been giving an update and

56

1 assessing the threat and all that kind of thing. So I

2 would have been provided with a briefing document.

3 Q. And in that meeting, the chief officers' group meeting,

4 you would have been briefing the other senior officers

5 about intelligence matters?

6 A. At least one per week.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, Sir Ronnie Flanagan in his evidence

8 mentioned that he received a written daily intelligence

9 report. Were you involved in the production of that

10 report or was that done by IMG?

11 A. I'm not sure as to the extent of his recollection on

12 that in terms of a precise report.

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. What happened was that there were a number of

15 intelligence reports produced, released, if you like,

16 every day.

17 Q. By IMG?

18 A. By the IMG.

19 Q. Are these the IMAGIRs?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. To a number of external customers. And it was a matter

23 of convenience, facilitation, for reading -- if the

24 Chief Constable was provided with those. So I think

25 that's perhaps -- rather than a daily specific written

57

1 brief, there may have been occasions, as I said, when

2 that was done when there was a particular need to do it,

3 but I don't think the Chief Constable would have been

4 suggesting that he personally saw or got such a document

5 every day.

6 Q. Now, in evidence given to the Inquiry, senior

7 Special Branch officers have described

8 Sir Ronnie Flanagan as being hands-on particularly in

9 relation to intelligence matters. Was that your

10 experience?

11 A. That would be a fair comment, yes.

12 Q. So that he would be very well informed and very

13 interested in the intelligence issues about which you

14 briefed him on a daily basis?

15 A. I think it is a common case in policing that

16 intelligence is the life blood of policing, whether it

17 to be counter terrorism, whether it be international and

18 operations, whether it be crime. So, therefore, the

19 Chief Constable and his team and those outside, there

20 was always a thirst for high grade intelligence,

21 particularly at the strategic level and particularly in

22 the era that we were working through at that time, which

23 I've not enlarged upon.

24 Q. Where there was a great deal of change both within the

25 force but also more generally in Northern Ireland in the

58

1 political developments about which we have heard a great

2 deal?

3 A. Yes. Well, the thirst for intelligence -- I mean, the

4 internal force reorganisations, that wouldn't have been

5 the principal link in terms of the thirst for

6 intelligence.

7 The thirst for intelligence would be that I just

8 moved through -- I had the privilege of being there

9 before and during the Good Friday Agreement and

10 everything that happened subsequently, and as those who

11 follow these things will realise, there were many times

12 of difficulty with that process and the contribution of

13 intelligence to that as well was very, very important.

14 Q. Now, can I just ask you about the liaison you had, such

15 as it was, with other organisations in Northern Ireland;

16 the first about the Northern Ireland Office. Did you,

17 as Head of E Department, Head of Special Branch, have

18 any regular liaison with any civil servants at the NIO?

19 A. Can you just qualify? Are we moving now into DCI, when

20 you mean civil servant?

21 Q. No.

22 A. Departmental civil servants?

23 Q. Yes, let's stick with them.

24 A. Generally, no. Generally, no. I can qualify that.

25 I mean, there would have been circumstances and

59

1 situations where, as a chief officer wearing whatever

2 hat, I quite clearly had. If you are talking about

3 direct contact with some civil servant on, if you like,

4 intelligence matters, then no, other than through the

5 recognised structure, which we are presumably going to

6 talk about.

7 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the military is concerned, did you

8 have regular contact with senior Army officers?

9 A. Yes, indeed.

10 Q. And how was that structured? Was it within the sort of

11 meetings that you have told us about in your statement,

12 namely, for example, the Province Executive Committee,

13 et cetera?

14 A. Yes, the IRC and the Province Executive Committee, yes.

15 Q. Can I just ask you a question or two about a particular

16 aspect of this that the Inquiry that has received

17 evidence on, and that's the Special Military

18 Intelligence Unit which, as we understand it, was based

19 at Knock.

20 The Inquiry has heard evidence from the Major who

21 was in charge of that unit in the late 1990s, the period

22 we are talking about, and he said that he was officially

23 accredited to the Head of Special Branch in this case:

24 "My day-to-day responsibilities for the work that

25 I undertook were at his behest. Day-to-day I would be

60

1 doing a job for the Head of Special Branch but I would

2 be representing the military interests in a great deal

3 of cases."

4 Could you please briefly explain the work which this

5 unit was doing at your behest?

6 A. I couldn't go into detail all these years later and I

7 think, again, it is fairly loose wording or

8 interpretation of the Head of Special Branch on his

9 part.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. He certainly was based at force headquarters, but his

12 day-to-day business clearly was with other officers and

13 sections within my department, and particularly with the

14 IMG. But he was there in a senior liaison role to

15 respond to questions, issues being raised by our

16 department that required exploration within the military

17 or by the military. So he had an important liaison

18 function in that regard.

19 I made it my business, shortly after my appointment,

20 to speak with him and have a briefing from him and to

21 talk with him about his roles and aspirations and the

22 parameters of what he was doing. It is right to say

23 that he did that job as an individual for a -- quite

24 a few years. He was regarded as competent and reliable

25 and was in a position of trust in terms of handling

61

1 sensitive enquiries. For example, there may have been

2 occasions when certain intelligence matters needed to be

3 checked out militarily; there may have been times when

4 he was required to facilitate liaison with the Royal

5 Military Police or the SEB, Special Investigation

6 Branch. So he probably has spoken for himself, but he

7 had kind of many functions in a liaison capacity.

8 He also clearly had some responsibility in reporting

9 back to his own hierarchy. But he was not the chief

10 channel, if you like, for the day-to-day strategy or

11 management of the intelligence effort that was done in

12 another forum, which we will probably talk about, where

13 the military had a different representative.

14 Q. Now, is this the IRC?

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. And, again, it is a matter you deal with in your

17 statement. I don't think we need to go into any more

18 detail about it now, but that was, as it were, the

19 principal forum, was it, for liaison between

20 Special Branch on the one hand and military intelligence

21 on the other?

22 A. And other services.

23 Q. Of course other services, but we are focusing on the

24 military at the moment.

25 A. Yes.

62

1 Q. Moving to the other service, and particularly the

2 Security Service and using, as it were, titles rather

3 than names, obviously, in terms of your principal point

4 of contact within the Security Service, would that have

5 been the DCI?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you a question about the

8 relationship between the RUC and the Security Service in

9 intelligence matters.

10 The Inquiry has heard evidence and seen material

11 suggesting that, in theory at least, or by convention,

12 as some put it, the RUC had primacy in intelligence

13 matters in Northern Ireland at the time. Can you please

14 give your view as to how that actually operated in

15 practice?

16 A. Yes. First of all, in legislative terms the Security

17 Service had overall responsibility for national security

18 within the United Kingdom on the basis of the

19 Intelligence Services Acts as amended.

20 By convention, as you described, from the earliest

21 days the RUC had the lead and primacy. In terms of

22 counter terrorism in Northern Ireland, there have been

23 some changes and variations of this in mainland Britain,

24 as the Panel will know, over the years and more recently

25 in Northern Ireland. So if you like, in the broadest

63

1 sense of national security, the Security Service had

2 that overriding responsibility.

3 The resourcing effort, for obvious reasons, was

4 provided and had to be and needed to be provided by the

5 RUC Special Branch, and that's how it evolved and

6 developed. So from my perspective, it was a common goal

7 with a very close collaborative working relationship.

8 The strategic intelligence requirements were set by

9 HMG via the Service. Operationally -- and I mentioned

10 earlier the operational tactical intelligence active.

11 The Security Service did not have the -- if you like,

12 the licence or ability to carry out any executive

13 action. So, again, in terms of the internal justice

14 process, that fell to the police.

15 Q. But to give an example here of another way in which the

16 organisations worked together -- we have it still on the

17 screen, so let's have a look at it: paragraph 53 at the

18 bottom of the page on the left. You say that the DCI

19 was obviously involved in setting these performance

20 indicators, and the performance indicators you were

21 talking about were performance indicators in relation to

22 intelligence gathering in your department. Is that

23 correct?

24 A. Well, it was more than that. It was actually the use of

25 intelligence, the value of the intelligence, those

64

1 performance indicators, which, again, we developed

2 jointly and which were very important to me in terms of

3 value for money, and outcomes were both quantitative and

4 qualitative.

5 People in most organisations will know that the

6 quantitative ones are the easiest ones to count; the

7 qualitative ones are much more difficult to measure.

8 I put in place, if you like, a loop system whereby the

9 recipients of our intelligence -- when I say

10 "recipients", I mean those who received disseminated

11 intelligence.

12 Q. Customers, as some people call them?

13 A. Customers, but particularly operational police

14 commanders, military, other services. They provided an

15 assessment on that intelligence.

16 Q. Feedback?

17 A. Feedback, as to the value and relevance and use of it.

18 So we were working both quantitatively and

19 qualitatively.

20 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you about another assessment --

21 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Sorry, just on performance

22 indicators, if I may, a subject very dear to my heart

23 from my past career, you mentioned that they were

24 involved in the setting of performance indicators. If

25 there was an agreement between you about what was the

65

1 appropriate indicator and, indeed, how much of it in any

2 given time, were there occasions when you firmly

3 overruled the DCI or did it work the other way round, or

4 what? Who had the last word?

5 A. I don't think, on the subject of performance indicators,

6 that it will ever have come to a last word.

7 As you rightly say, there has been much work done by

8 many professionals on the whole business of performance

9 management over many years and in many organisations.

10 Once we had, if you like, the formula agreed or the

11 process agreed, I can't think of it being in the context

12 of a last word on performance indicators. What we would

13 have been wanting to look at was obviously -- well, the

14 quantitative ones speak for themselves in terms of

15 resourcing and benefits and all the rest. The

16 qualitative ones we would be wanting to discuss and

17 share in terms of learning from them, in terms of where

18 there were gaps in the delivery or gaps in what we were

19 disseminating or providing, was it or was it not in

20 a format that people could either value or understand,

21 that kind of qualitative approach.

22 And, again, the DCI had someone on his staff who

23 helped manage that and looked after, if you like, the

24 mechanical/management aspects of it. So I can't think

25 of a situation where that would have come to, you know,

66

1 a last word by any stretch of the imagination.

2 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: No. Just reverting for a moment to

3 the easy ones, the quantitative ones, would the practice

4 be to say, "This is what we are proposing. Do you

5 agree?"

6 A. That would have been more to do with setting the

7 requirements and the objectives, rather than the

8 monitoring of the performance.

9 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Yes.

10 A. So, you know, we would have had seminars from time to

11 time. I mean, this wasn't done in isolation by two

12 people at the top. This was bottom-up, as well as

13 top-down. So frequently we would have had seminars to

14 bring order, keep people together, regional heads,

15 intelligence management, DCI staff, to look at the

16 bigger picture, as I said, to look at the changing scene

17 both nationally and locally, to look at the

18 requirements, because, as the Panel will understand, the

19 requirements by HMG sometimes changed as well.

20 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: But in the end, somebody signs it

21 off, as it were, says, "This is what we are going for"?

22 A. Yes.

23 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Who was that?

24 A. The strategic intelligence requirements were signed off

25 by the DCI on behalf of HMG. We had -- and the

67

1 Chief Constable, it is important to understand, had the

2 ability and capacity to contribute as well in terms of

3 operational intelligence, not least public order, for

4 example, and other aspects. So they were complementary

5 and they were, I hope, cohesive. But at the strategic

6 intelligence requirements -- and those were reviewed, as

7 I mentioned, weekly and, indeed, in other fora, monthly.

8 To answer your question, in terms the strategic

9 intelligence on behalf of HMG, those were signed off by

10 the DCI, I suspect with the endorsement of his DG or his

11 hierarchy back in London.

12 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

13 MR PHILLIPS: Can I just ask you to think about another

14 aspect of how the relationship between the two

15 organisations worked, and this is something which is

16 touched on by you in paragraph 51, which we also have on

17 the screen, namely the issue of ownership of

18 intelligence. And what you are telling us there is that

19 ownership of intelligence rested with the originating

20 organisation. Then you proceed to talk about

21 dissemination.

22 Can I ask you this question: what access did the RUC

23 through Special Branch have to intelligence gathered by

24 the Security Service?

25 A. As you rightly say here, the ownership of intelligence

68

1 rests with the collecting agency.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. And it is a well established principle that the

4 subsequent use or dissemination of that intelligence or

5 a particular use of it, is subject to any caveats or

6 clearance by the originating agency. Intelligence that

7 was relevant, deemed relevant by the Security Service,

8 was quite clearly passed to us in terms of operations,

9 preventing loss of life, protecting the community, that

10 kind of thing.

11 Q. So that would be done, as it were, on a case-by-case,

12 individual basis; is that correct?

13 A. Well, it would have been done within the framework of

14 intelligence dissemination and the rules and regulations

15 for drawing up dissemination documents.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. It is not for me to say or suggest. The Security

18 Service had, as I mentioned earlier, a somewhat, if you

19 like, broader role in terms of strategic intelligence

20 and providing assessments. Bearing in mind that we

21 always aimed, in the interests of effectiveness, for one

22 shared assessment. I think that's quite important, and

23 we see examples of it -- well, perhaps, elsewhere in the

24 world and one can comment -- but not here -- as to how

25 that perhaps is done or not done in theatres where

69

1 conflicts are occurring subsequently and in terms of

2 tragedies that have occurred elsewhere.

3 But our goal and agreement and strategic arrangement

4 was one shared product or opinion, in terms of the

5 various elements of intelligence coming in from whoever.

6 Hence the purpose of the IMG and the Assessments Group.

7 They worked very closely together. If the Security

8 Service obtained strategic intelligence that they didn't

9 deem relevant or that we needed to know -- we are back

10 to the need to know principle -- there is also the issue

11 of not being snowed under with irrelevant material --

12 So as I mentioned, if there was some aspect of

13 strategic intelligence that we didn't need to know -- to

14 answer your question precisely -- I'm sure we didn't see

15 it. If we did need to know, I'm confident we did

16 see it.

17 Q. They remained the judges, in relation to your need to

18 know it, both on a strategic level and in relation to

19 tactical or operational intelligence. Is that right?

20 A. I differentiate between the two things.

21 Q. Right.

22 A. Because I described earlier about active and passive.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. And, you know, strategic and tactical. Strategic takes

25 you into a different level, a different plane,

70

1 a different fora, as the Panel will be well aware.

2 Operational, active intelligence would be coming to the

3 centre of where people were either likely to be or

4 required to do something about it, in most cases quite

5 urgently.

6 Q. But if intelligence of that kind came into the Security

7 Service, presumably it was for them to decide in the

8 first instance whether it was something of an

9 operational, tactical nature that the RUC, the

10 Special Branch needed to see?

11 A. That would be basic common sense with anybody, almost.

12 If you get it, you have to decide what you are going to

13 do with it.

14 Q. Exactly. What I'm getting at is there wasn't any RUC

15 Special Branch officers sitting there seeing all of the

16 Security Service intelligence as it came in and taking

17 a role in deciding whether some of it needed to be

18 shared with Special Branch. That remained the province

19 of the Security Service itself?

20 A. I think that was the situation, yes.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as this distinction between

22 strategic and tactical or operational intelligence is

23 concerned, again, the evidence that the Inquiry has

24 received, particularly from Security Service witnesses,

25 is that their interests were very much on the strategic

71

1 side and that in general terms the focus of

2 Special Branch was more on the tactical side.

3 Now, does that accord with your understanding of

4 matters as they were at the time when you were Head of

5 E Department?

6 A. Well, it is not an unreasonable summary, but it is not

7 just as precise or as specific as that by any stretch of

8 the imagination, particularly in relation to strategic

9 intelligence. That was very much a combined effort.

10 But in terms of -- what you are describing, I think,

11 is the division of labour, then clearly some elements of

12 some organisations were more suited for that than

13 others. And the same applied to the military even in

14 relation to counter terrorism, horses for courses

15 sometimes.

16 But bearing in mind that we were key contributors to

17 the strategic intelligence requirements as well, which

18 were regularly updated, and one of the key guiding

19 requirements or principles for Special Branch as well,

20 you have got to understand the resourcing balance as

21 well or what our resourcing numbers were and what theirs

22 were. So I would describe it, again, as a collaborative

23 partnership arrangement and the balance and the

24 priorities would have shifted from time to time as well

25 depending on the political climate.

72

1 Q. Could I ask you to look at paragraph 36 of your

2 statement, RNI-846-702, please (displayed).

3 Here, where you are talking about another aspect of

4 the Security Service's role, namely control of the

5 relevant budget, which we will come to in a minute, you

6 also talk about the infrastructure, as you put it,

7 behind the DCI and the Assessment Group, about which we

8 have heard a great deal already. Then you say right at

9 the end:

10 "It is important to appreciate that technical and

11 operational intelligence had an impact on strategic and

12 political matters, and vice versa."

13 In other words, I think this is very much what you

14 have just been saying, isn't it: that it is actually

15 quite difficult in practice to draw a very clear line

16 between the two types of intelligence?

17 A. That's right. I mentioned the political climate,

18 I mentioned the timeframe, Situational matters and

19 sometimes a particular -- let's say, for example,

20 a particular incident were to occur, that could have

21 a disproportionate effect on the strategic situation in

22 the context of Northern Ireland.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. So consequently it was always, as I said, top-down and

25 bottom-up. So one needed to be balancing and, indeed,

73

1 challenging the other and, indeed, informing the other.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, looking at another aspect of this --

3 paragraph 46, RNI-846-706 (displayed) -- you there tell

4 us that the Security Service would have known

5 a significant number of CHIS identities, particularly in

6 the Loyalist organisations, as I understand it, and that

7 they would have had their own agents as well.

8 Can I ask you this: would the RUC in general have

9 known the identity of the Security Service's agents?

10 A. The whole issue of CHIS is obviously quite a big subject

11 and I'm not sure if it is one that we would wish to

12 pursue in closed session, if there is one, or if one

13 wants to be more general now. And I say that in the

14 context of, number 1, from what I see and I'm told, the

15 threat from dissident Republicans in the Province is at

16 an all-time high in relation to media interviews being

17 given and threat warnings from the Chief Constable, and

18 secondly, Loyalist paramilitaries have still not

19 decommissioned. So consequently the business of

20 intelligence gathering, secret counter terrorism,

21 counter terrorist intelligence, no doubt the importance

22 of CHIS is high on the agenda.

23 So if you wish me to say something about that in

24 more general terms, I'm happy. I'm equally happy to

25 pursue it in depth in a closed session.

74

1 THE CHAIRMAN: If you would be happier doing it in closed

2 session, we would understand why.

3 A. Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Perhaps it would be useful for me to say this:

5 this statement has been processed in the normal way for

6 all Inquiry statements and a lot of it, as you see, has

7 been redacted. And obviously we won't be going in this

8 open session into anything that has been redacted.

9 However, you see that the relevant paragraphs here

10 in your statement are general and they are unredacted,

11 and it is on that basis that I'm asking you questions.

12 Now, you also say that there were a significant

13 number of CHIS -- this is what you say in the statement

14 which is there on the screen -- which were jointly

15 handled. Is that right?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. That, can I take it, applied during the time when you

18 were Head of E Department between 1998 and 2001?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to that issue, of the DCI

21 in particular and Special Branch CHIS, you deal next

22 with his responsibility in relation to finance. And

23 what you say there is that he was responsible for

24 reviewing payments made and, as I understand it from

25 evidence the Inquiry has already heard, he did so in

75

1 order to advise the Permanent Secretary at the NIO, who

2 was the accounting officer for those purposes. Is that

3 correct?

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. Now, in terms of the review that he needed to undertake

6 in that role, how did he go about it?

7 A. In the review? Well -- yes, I understand the term. How

8 he managed it --

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. -- basically is what you are saying? Well, there was

11 a structured process for the review of CHIS. Again, I'm

12 not sure how far I should go into the mechanics or ...

13 of that, but there was a regular and structured process

14 insofar as E Department was concerned.

15 My deputy led on that with the regional heads.

16 There was a process of assessment, evaluation and,

17 indeed, inspection. Requests to do with finance had to

18 be supported in terms of intelligence product. That had

19 to be evaluated at several tiers, at least two in my

20 organisation, and then subsequently by the DCI with

21 advice and support from his rep at our location, and

22 also by his own financial and accounting arrangements

23 coupled with his own very considerable experience and

24 judgment as a senior intelligence professional.

25 So it was a combination of structured examination,

76

1 exceptional case review, dip sampling, those kind of

2 processes.

3 Q. Now, so far as this is concerned, and the involvement

4 in, and the control, indeed, of the DCI of these

5 financial matters, did that give him a degree of control

6 or at the very least influence over Special Branch's

7 intelligence gathering activities?

8 A. Well, of course it is reasonable to say that. In most

9 organisations, you know, it is often said that the

10 person who holds the purse strings is quite influential.

11 And I don't say that in any glib sense, but in the

12 context of this it had to be managed within certain

13 objectives, certain budgets. And he, in turn -- hence,

14 again, our reference to the qualitative performance

15 management processes and indicators -- he had in turn1

16 had to justify that to the accounting officer and to his

17 own directors as well. So it is fair comment, yes.

18 Q. Thank you. Looking at the matter slightly more widely

19 and going back to paragraph 36, RNI-846-702 (displayed),

20 there you talk about the budget -- well, as you put it

21 at the beginning:

22 "... a specific pot of money set aside for secret

23 operations in Northern Ireland."

24 You say in the fourth line that it was managed by

25 the DCI, and then you explain -- which we already

77

1 know -- that he is a senior member of the management

2 board at Thames House and that he operated at director

3 level.

4 Now, in his evidence to the Inquiry, the DCI at the

5 time of Rosemary Nelson's murder said that he was not

6 responsible for the financing of the intelligence

7 operations in Northern Ireland, and then he said that

8 Special Branch would have been:

9 "... independently answerable to their own

10 accounting officer."

11 Now, is he correct to say that or are you correct to

12 say that the pot of money and the budget overall was in

13 fact managed by the DCI?

14 A. I have never ever heard that. There is a clear

15 misunderstanding here.

16 Q. So you don't agree with him?

17 A. I always hesitate -- it is not in my kind of nature to

18 say agree or disagree, but I will be precise when I need

19 to be, and some of this is redacted as well.

20 Q. It is.

21 A. So I have got to be careful. But suffice to say that

22 that budget for those purposes -- there may be that

23 there is a misunderstanding here between the resourcing

24 and the payment and the accountability of my staff,

25 human resources --

78

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. -- vis--vis agent sources. So pardon me if there is

3 a misunderstanding here, but in terms of their

4 remuneration -- and, again, we can develop this in

5 closed session -- for the CHIS -- do we want to progress

6 this?

7 Q. I think you have said it in the statement, haven't you,

8 that the budget for secret operations was managed by

9 him?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. I would like to ask you about another aspect.

12 A. I can be quite categoric that I had no other budget for

13 those purposes.

14 Q. That's as clear as can be, thank you.

15 A. I had a budget for many other things: equipment, people

16 vehicles, overtime, et cetera, et cetera. This secret

17 bit of the budget, if you like, I did not have --

18 Q. Was his province?

19 A. That's not to say that there weren't certainly delegated

20 authorities and delegated approvals, but I think the

21 point you are getting at is where did the overall

22 provision and responsibility for it lie. Is that

23 correct?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. Yes.

79

1 Q. And it lay with him?

2 A. Ultimately. Of course, we all had to fulfil our

3 responsibilities, as I have described, in relation to

4 the spending of it and the use of it. There is a clear

5 misunderstanding there, which I'm sure the Inquiry has

6 cleared up, or can clear up.

7 Q. Thank you.

8 Can I turn to one final aspect, specific aspect of

9 the relationship and that concerns legal advice. At the

10 time we are looking at, 1998/1999/2000, before you

11 retired, early 2001, am I right to say that

12 Special Branch did not have its known, as it were,

13 in-house legal adviser?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. And in relation to legal questions and particularly

16 questions concerning source protection, agents,

17 et cetera, is it also right to say that if you felt that

18 legal advice was needed, you would in general take it

19 from the Security Service's legal advisers?

20 A. Absolutely. There was no other -- I mean, I don't mind

21 saying I was very surprised on my arrival to find that

22 the department didn't have its own in-house legal

23 adviser --

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. -- vis--vis the legal resourcing that was available to

80

1 the Security Service. And, again, that's quite clearly

2 how it evolved as part of the national security model

3 over many years, where that legal service and back-up

4 provision was offered and provided and delivered by the

5 Security Service within the constraints of the national

6 security model and the secret intelligence.

7 Q. But what I'm really getting at is that if you needed

8 legal advice on those issues, you did not consult the

9 RUC's legal advisers, you went to the Security Services?

10 A. That's absolutely -- yes. And that's how it was.

11 I succeeded in getting that improved -- I'm sorry,

12 improved would be the wrong word -- added to by the

13 intelligence professional's report when we subsequently

14 got an in-house --

15 Q. Yes. That was one of the recommendations that he made?

16 A. Yes, at our urging.

17 Q. Yes. So far as all of these specific points are

18 concerned, can we come back to this general question of

19 primacy.

20 In relation to that, the Inquiry heard evidence very

21 recently from an assistant director in T Department of

22 the Security Service at the time, S224, and when he was

23 asked about primacy it prompted a rather lengthy answer

24 in which he said that primacy was a fluid concept that

25 developed over time, and suggested that it very much

81

1 depended on the particular relationships between, as he

2 put it:

3 "... the key participants, whether it be the head of

4 my section, the DCI, the Head of Special Branch and the

5 various regional heads."

6 Then he said this:

7 "It all depended on the relationships between these

8 people. Some heads of Special Branch sought to be very

9 territorial and aggressive and wanted to see themselves

10 as the Head of the Security Service in Northern Ireland.

11 Others were far more open, far more pragmatic. It

12 depended on the circumstances."

13 Can I just ask you, please, in terms of that scale,

14 from very territorial and aggressive to far more open

15 and far more pragmatic, where would you have placed

16 yourself?

17 A. I would have placed myself at the top end.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Which is the top end?

19 A. Of being pragmatic and open.

20 MR PHILLIPS: As opposed to territorial and aggressive?

21 A. And visionary and looking at the bigger picture, which

22 is what I was trained to do in terms of strategic

23 leadership.

24 Q. As far as that was concerned in practice, you believed

25 that that was the way you carried out the role, was it,

82

1 while you were in post, from your early days as

2 a newcomer to the department in January 1998 through to

3 your retirement in March 2001?

4 A. Well, I think I have given you some examples already of

5 change management and areas in which I commissioned

6 special work and where I was progressive and visionary.

7 And I could go on with quite a lot more, but I guess you

8 don't really need me to.

9 Q. I think probably not at this precise moment. I would

10 like to move on to a very different topic now.

11 We have talked about the knowledge that you had of

12 Rosemary Nelson in the period of your service before you

13 became the Head of Special Branch at the beginning of

14 1998. Now, I would like to look at what you knew about

15 her in the year, or just a little bit more than a year

16 between starting your job as Head of E Department and

17 her murder in March 1999.

18 As far as your statement is concerned, I should say

19 that this is a topic you deal with, so you have got it

20 there with you, as it were, at RNI-846-713 (displayed),

21 beginning at paragraph 72 and continuing really to

22 RNI-846-786 at RNI-846-715 (displayed).

23 Now, during this period and, again, as far as you

24 can recall, did you ever see intelligence reporting

25 referring to Rosemary Nelson?

83

1 A. Sorry, is this from January 1998 until ...?

2 Q. Her murder in March 1999; in other words, what you knew

3 before she was killed?

4 A. I wouldn't have seen individual intelligence reports, as

5 I described earlier, because of the system for managing

6 and disseminating intelligence. What did bring her to

7 my attention was events in or around September

8 or October 1998.

9 Q. Are you referring there to the Indus application?

10 A. Exactly.

11 Q. We will come to that in a minute. But in terms of other

12 circumstances in which her name might have come to your

13 attention, do you think her name was ever mentioned in

14 briefings, for example, the briefings that you talked

15 about from the regional heads or the Head of IMG?

16 A. I mean, I don't recall that, and it is unlikely. I had

17 a new and wide portfolio, we had a lot of things

18 happening, including the Patten Commission running --

19 sorry, the Good Friday Agreement first and then

20 subsequently the Patten Review of policing. We had many

21 other high profile incidents happening, as I said, not

22 least the murder of Constable O'Reilly in October 1998.

23 The murder of the late Mrs Nelson was in March 1999;

24 yes? So I don't recall any specifics about that.

25 Q. So, again, just looking at it generally and appreciating

84

1 it is a very long time ago, you think, do you, that the

2 first time you were made aware of intelligence in

3 relation to Rosemary Nelson was at or about the time

4 that you became aware of the Indus application

5 in September, I think it was, of 1998?

6 A. Yes. Obviously I can't be categoric about anything

7 else, but that one certainly sticks in my mind. Again,

8 at my level I would have been, as I said, briefed and

9 made aware of what's known in policing terms as

10 exceptional reporting. A lot of the normal volume of

11 business would go ahead on a detailed basis by the

12 people responsible for it. Clearly areas of difficulty,

13 sensitivity or, on the other hand, high risk or

14 exceptional achievement would come to me. And that's

15 one that certainly triggers the mind that I had

16 discussions about.

17 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. We will break off until 2 o'clock.

19 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

20 please confirm that all the cameras have been

21 switched off?

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

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

24 Please escort the witness out.

25 (1.00 pm)

85

1 (The short adjournment)

2 (2.00 pm)

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

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

5 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

13 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

14 of this chamber?

15 MR MYERS: No, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

17 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

18 shrouded?

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

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

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

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

23 Bring the witness in, please. Do sit down.

24 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

25 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

86

1 switched back on.

2 Yes, Mr Phillips?

3 MR PHILLIPS: Before lunch you told us that you as the head

4 of the department --

5 A. Just one moment, please. (Pause)

6 Thank you.

7 Q. Great. Now, before lunch, you told us that you, as the

8 Head of E Department would only have been made aware of

9 what you called exceptional reporting, and you went on

10 to explain what that meant. What I would like to do,

11 please, with you, is to find out whether any of the

12 reporting that the Inquiry has now found in relation to

13 Rosemary Nelson came to your attention; in other words,

14 was in that category of exceptional reporting.

15 So can we look, please, at paragraph 72 of your

16 statement, RNI-846-713 (displayed), where, again, as we

17 saw in an earlier part of the statement, you were shown

18 a number of intelligence reports in the course of your

19 interviewing from the period October 1997 up

20 to March 1999, when Rosemary Nelson was murdered. And

21 as you say, in those reports she features.

22 Now, what is not apparent from the next paragraphs

23 of your statement is whether the answer to the question,

24 "Did you see any of this reporting" was yes or no. What

25 is the answer?

87

1 A. I do not have all the kind of exhibits in front of me,

2 but I think I explained before lunch that the one that

3 triggers the mind and came to me was Indus.

4 Q. Yes. So if anything pre-dated that phase, is that what

5 you were saying, you don't think you would have been

6 made aware of this?

7 A. I think I explained that I had arrived in the

8 department --

9 Q. Okay. Can we just take some of the examples, please.

10 And the one I'm going to show you first of all is at

11 RNI-542-064 (displayed), the reporting here. If we go

12 to RNI-542-063, we will see the date of it. That will

13 be probably help. That's the cover sheet at RNI-542-063

14 (displayed). Thank you. February 1998. And then going

15 back to RNI-542-063 quickly, please:

16 "Rosemary Nelson continues to have a close

17 association with Lurgan PIRA, in particular Colin Duffy.

18 Then following [blank] arrest and detention for the

19 murder of Kevin Conway, she regularly briefs Colin Duffy

20 on the CID investigation and actively assists him in

21 creating alibis for PIRA members."

22 To be clear then, you do not think you would have

23 been made aware of that intelligence at that time?

24 A. As I said, I would not have been viewing individual

25 intelligence reports, as I said, out here at my level.

88

1 That would have been part of the intelligence management

2 process. I would have been briefed on trends, patterns,

3 significant incidents or occurrences, and I don't recall

4 seeing these.

5 Q. No. Putting the specific reports to one side and

6 focussing on the content, you don't think you would have

7 been briefed of this alleged close relationship between

8 Rosemary Nelson, local solicitor in Lurgan, and PIRA and

9 in particular Colin Duffy?

10 A. I can't recall being briefed in that sense.

11 Q. Right. Then the next one I'm going to show you is

12 RNI-542-072 (displayed). Again, the date there is

13 March, so just a month later, the same year 1998.

14 RNI-542-073 (displayed) is the text:

15 "... Lurgan solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, is aware she

16 is known by certain politicians and solicitors and also

17 the security forces to be a close associate of members

18 of Lurgan PIRA and wonders how long she can continue to

19 be in this position and not be reprimanded by the

20 Law Society."

21 So putting aside the specific report, because you

22 have made it clear you didn't see those, were you made

23 aware of the allegations or suggestions in this report?

24 A. Again, I can't link an awareness to the specific

25 reports. You know, if we fast forward to September

89

1 or October 1998, then I can.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: With regard to the two reports you have seen,

3 you may or may not have learnt of the gist of them

4 although you would not have seen the actual reports?

5 A. That's fair, Chairman. I may have been aware of the

6 gist of them, I may not.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

8 A. What triggers the memory is the Indus documentation

9 which obviously provided a summary and an overview of

10 some of what had gone before. So that fits with my role

11 in the organisation and my responsibilities.

12 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Now, one of the reasons I'm asking you

13 these questions is, as I'm sure you know, that

14 Mr Albiston, who was the Head of IMG until May 1998,

15 said in his evidence to the Inquiry:

16 "[He] would be pretty certain that the Head of

17 Special Branch would know about this intelligence."

18 The intelligence we have just been looking at and

19 the intelligence you were shown in the course of your

20 interviewing. And his successor in the post, B597, also

21 said that he would have expected the Head of

22 Special Branch to know about the information contained

23 in these reports.

24 Now, can I take it from the evidence you have just

25 been giving, that you do not agree with the officers and

90

1 that they were incorrect in their assumptions about what

2 you knew?

3 A. Not for a moment am I suggesting that. I'm in agreement

4 with the Chairman of the Panel that I would have been

5 aware of the gist, perhaps even before my time in

6 E Department.

7 What I'm saying is I would not have seen these

8 specific intelligence documents; an awareness of what

9 was being reported and alleged and the gist of it. So

10 the other two officers would not be wrong.

11 Q. Right. So the idea that she had a close association

12 with PIRA, that she was creating false alibis, all that

13 sort of material, you would have been aware of even

14 though you didn't see the specific reports?

15 A. I think I said earlier, not necessarily the alibis which

16 were reported before my time handling secret

17 intelligence. What I had a working awareness of was the

18 alleged relationship with Mr Duffy.

19 Q. But these go beyond that, don't they, because they deal

20 with the general association with PIRA and active

21 intervention in the creation of false alibis on behalf

22 of PIRA members? Are you saying you weren't aware of

23 that?

24 A. I can't be specific or definitive. I mean, we are back

25 again into what sometimes would be categorised as

91

1 passive activities and some which may or may not become

2 active.

3 Q. If true, these reports disclosed a very serious state of

4 affairs, did they not?

5 A. That would appear to be so.

6 Q. And in the evidence of the same two witnesses they

7 stress the view that to them it showed prima facie that

8 criminal behaviour, or as one of them put it, terrorist

9 activity was taking place.

10 Isn't that the sort of extraordinary reporting that

11 should have come to you as the Head of Special Branch?

12 A. Not necessarily in the detail that perhaps you suggest.

13 I have indicated an awareness of the gist of it. I have

14 indicated my thorough awareness around September

15 or October 1998.

16 I go back to my wider responsibilities as head of

17 a department and the fact that intelligence management

18 was being done by some of the officers to whom you have

19 just referred. So what I'm saying is in accordance with

20 the Chairman's question, that I had a working awareness

21 but I didn't necessarily have the detailed ingredients.

22 Q. These were extraordinary suggestions, weren't they, that

23 a prominent local lawyer in Lurgan was not in fact just

24 doing her job as a solicitor, but was actively

25 supporting the Provisional IRA and, certainly in the

92

1 view of B957, was behaving like a terrorist. That was

2 something that you should have been told, wasn't it, by

3 your more junior officers?

4 A. Well, with respect, I'm not saying that I wasn't told in

5 the generalities of it. It is important to understand

6 that I probably would have been satisfied that other

7 work was being done to develop the intelligence, to

8 develop the picture, and that moved forward quite a bit,

9 so to speak, come September, October of that year.

10 That was a period of time when there were a lot of

11 other things to be addressed in the context of my

12 department and in the context of Northern Ireland post

13 the Good Friday Agreement, Patten, et cetera, et cetera,

14 we could go on. But the precise answer to your question

15 is that I had a sufficient awareness.

16 Q. Now, moving on to the question of the alleged affair --

17 and this you deal with at RNI-846-714 (displayed) -- in

18 the same paragraph, 72, you make the point, an important

19 point, if I may say so, that you need to distinguish

20 between what you knew at the time and what you have

21 learned after the event. But you then suggest that you

22 are fairly sure that you were aware of the alleged

23 relationship between the two individuals at the time and

24 that you became aware of it in the context of the Indus

25 application. Is that right?

93

1 A. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. Now, was this a matter that you discussed with senior

3 colleagues at Special Branch; for example, with the Head

4 of the IMG?

5 A. Yes. I mean, again, I couldn't be specific but I would

6 have discussed it with senior colleagues and with the

7 DCI.

8 Q. And did you regard this intelligence, as to the alleged

9 relationship, as being of significance in intelligence

10 terms?

11 A. Yes, of course.

12 Q. Why do you say that, please?

13 A. Because of the desire to collect intelligence in

14 relation to Mr Duffy.

15 Q. Now, if we go on and look at 73 of your statement, which

16 is the next paragraph, there I think you are making the

17 point that I think you have just been hinting at, namely

18 that you were interested in Rosemary Nelson because of

19 your interest in and her connection with Colin Duffy.

20 Is that right?

21 A. Well, when you say, "you", you mean my department?

22 Q. Yes, I do.

23 A. In that sense.

24 Q. I mean within your department, Special Branch?

25 A. Yes, they had a clear and specific interest in relation

94

1 to Mr Duffy.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Now, one of their interests was because of their

5 interest in associates of Mr Duffy?

6 A. Absolutely, yes.

7 Q. And you say there that it wasn't uncommon to look at

8 associates to consider their lifestyle and what

9 investigative opportunities there could be.

10 Can I ask this question, please: did you consider

11 with senior colleagues the possibility of trying to

12 recruit Rosemary Nelson as a source?

13 A. That was not discussed with me and, in any event, I

14 would have considered it totally inappropriate.

15 Q. Why do you say that, please?

16 A. In terms of a professional working in a small town

17 business dealing with a large cross-section of society,

18 it would not have been appropriate to have considered

19 that, in my opinion, and I don't recall it being

20 discussed.

21 Q. Can you just explain what you mean by the comments you

22 made "in terms of a professional working in a small town

23 business dealing with a large cross-section of society"?

24 Why did that make her an inappropriate person?

25 A. Well, I'm not an expert on agent handling, but there are

95

1 many legislative imperatives in terms of

2 solicitor/client relationships, ethical thresholds,

3 et cetera, et cetera.

4 Q. I see. You are focusing here on the privilege issue,

5 amongst others?

6 A. Amongst others. But I repeat, it was never considered

7 in my presence, the question of recruiting this lady as

8 a CHIS.

9 Q. You say it wasn't considered in your presence; was it

10 considered by others?

11 A. I'm not aware.

12 Q. You are not aware of that. Can I move on to another

13 aspect of Special Branch's focus on Rosemary Nelson and

14 ask you to look, please, at paragraph 158 of your

15 statement, RNI-846-740 (displayed). This is the first

16 occasion that we are going to look at your journal and,

17 before we do so, can I just ask you to confirm, as it

18 were, what we are looking at. As I understand it, you

19 had a handwritten journal at the time; is that right?

20 A. I had an official force journal.

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. Handwritten.

23 Q. Which you wrote yourself?

24 A. Oh, yes.

25 Q. Did you have a system in terms of making entries in the

96

1 journal? Would you do so at the time of meetings or

2 shortly thereafter?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. So far as what we are about to see on the screen is

5 concerned, as I understand it, those manuscript notes,

6 handwritten notes that you have made, have now been

7 transcribed and we have them in typewritten form. Is

8 that correct?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. And you have had a chance to look at the typewritten

11 form. Is that right?

12 A. Fairly quickly.

13 Q. Yes. And in terms of the redactions with a black pen,

14 which appeared on the original manuscript copies, were

15 those redactions which you made?

16 A. Well, not all of them.

17 Q. Not all of them?

18 A. The process of the Inquiry invoked quite a number of

19 them.

20 Q. Yes. But you did some and the Inquiry's process --

21 A. I had the opportunity of checking them, yes.

22 Q. Great. So far as your recollection of events referred

23 to in your journal is concerned, can I take it, given

24 the lapse of time, that you are very much dependent on

25 what you have written there to jog your memory of what

97

1 was going on?

2 A. That would be fair comment.

3 Q. Good. Right. With that rather elaborate introduction,

4 can I ask you to look, please, at RNI-549-170

5 (displayed), and can we put that to the right-hand side

6 of the screen, please, and can we have on the other

7 side -- whichever is thought to be appropriate --

8 RNI-846-740 (displayed). And you will see on the

9 right-hand side that the entry referred to for

10 22 April 1999 is on the left-hand side of the screen and

11 you simply quote it, or rather those parts which are

12 unredacted in paragraph 158. And the key part I would

13 like to ask you about now is this:

14 "He ..."

15 That's Mr Port because your meeting was with him,

16 wasn't it?

17 A. That's right, yes.

18 Q. "... asked if SB held a file on the late R Nelson.

19 I confirmed no 'target' file but various

20 cross-references ..."

21 That's what it says in the statement, but in fact if

22 you look over to the left it says "but numerous

23 cross-references". Do you see that?

24 A. Yes, indeed.

25 Q. Then, again, I am afraid there is a discrepancy on -- it

98

1 looks as though it is "database"?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. "... and undertook to provide these for scrutiny."

4 Now, can I just ask you first of all, please, what

5 do you mean in this context by a "target file"?

6 A. Yes, indeed, I'll try and help the Inquiry as much as I

7 can. That means that the late Mrs Nelson was not

8 a target for Special Branch intelligence gathering.

9 There can be some -- well, Mr Port -- this was his

10 first discussion about this kind of thing; he had only

11 arrived a short time -- and a very important and

12 relevant question from him was was there

13 a Special Branch file on the deceased.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. And my answer is quite, in my opinion, explicit. There

16 are some typos, as you mentioned, in the typed copy but

17 I explained that there was no target file on the

18 deceased, but that there were various cross-references

19 on the database.

20 Q. In other words -- just to try and interpret this for

21 us -- there was no target file on her, but there were

22 numerous references to her in the Special Branch

23 computer database. Is that right?

24 A. That was the briefing given to me by my staff.

25 Q. Yes. Well, that was my next question. Presumably this

99

1 information you were giving Mr Port was in turn based on

2 what you had been told by your staff. Is that correct?

3 A. In the IMG?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. That's right.

6 Q. Thank you.

7 A. You will note that I undertook to make that -- I think

8 we need to move from the language of a file to

9 a computer record.

10 Q. Yes. We are going to do that together in a minute?

11 A. And I undertook to make that available for scrutiny.

12 Q. We will look at that in just a moment, but in terms of

13 type of file, you had been told -- and that's what you

14 told him -- there was no target file.

15 The Inquiry has heard a great deal of evidence from

16 various Special Branch officers about this, and there

17 have been references to personal files and general

18 files. Were there, to your knowledge, or was there

19 a personal or general file on Rosemary Nelson?

20 A. Well, I hope this has been explained by others in the

21 way that it was explained to me. Given I, as you can

22 understand, didn't have hands-on in relation to the

23 running of a registry, as it was referred to, and also I

24 think the context which hopefully the Inquiry has heard,

25 that it was a transitional time in terms of moving from

100

1 paper files to computer records. Do you wish me to

2 describe, as I understand it, how a file was developed?

3 Q. Yes, I think that would be helpful.

4 A. Or recorded, or is that something for tomorrow?

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. It is a historical matter now. The Inquiry may be aware

7 that when someone's name came into the Special Branch

8 system in a sort of collateral sense or as a result of a

9 reference in an intelligence report relating to someone

10 else, that meant that that person or that report got put

11 in the registry under that person's name and would have

12 been given an SB number. And it would appear there is

13 maybe a little misunderstanding about that.

14 An SB number was a reference number, as any

15 organisation or department might have it in terms of

16 their registry. The initial reports, whatever small

17 number, would have been appended to or had

18 a frontispiece in the form of a slip, as it was

19 explained to me, as I broadly understand it.

20 There are others, who may or may not have given

21 evidence from the IMG, who would have a much more

22 detailed understanding of this than I have. But to help

23 the Inquiry, my understanding of it is the initial

24 things that have gone onto what is described as a

25 slip -- it's called a card index, something of that

101

1 nature. And if there were only a relatively small

2 number of reports referring to that person -- in most

3 cases probably at that early stage in any file there

4 would have been simply cross-references from some other

5 report -- they would have remained appended to the slip.

6 If and when the slip capacity, so to speak, was

7 exhausted and the volume of intelligence was clearly

8 growing, then it would have been developed into a file

9 in what the ordinary person might regard as a file,

10 a paper file.

11 Q. Yes. Now, was that sort of file called the "target

12 file"?

13 A. No.

14 Q. What was its name; did it have one?

15 A. Some people would have called it a personal file.

16 Q. If Mr Port had asked you, "Does Rosemary Nelson have

17 a personal file?" Would you have answered, "Yes, she

18 does"?

19 A. That's a little -- let me understand that. He asked me

20 was there a file on the deceased. So what we called it

21 really to me wasn't going to matter. My objective was

22 to provide him with whatever we had, and by that time

23 the slip and the supporting documents, as I was briefed

24 and understood it, they may well have still existed as

25 a back-up because we would have been in the throes of

102

1 back record conversion and we would have been in the

2 throes of developing the computerisation, and the

3 historical archive in paper terms I suspect exists to

4 this day, as it does in other organisations. Some do,

5 some don't.

6 But national security requirements require special

7 measures. So I gave him the honest and purposeful and

8 truthful explanation as it was given to me.

9 Q. The reason I'm asking these questions is because, on the

10 system you have explained to us, where, once you get to

11 a certain volume of reporting a file is created, the

12 Inquiry has seen a very substantial volume of reporting

13 about Rosemary Nelson, and other witnesses have said

14 that given the volume of reporting on her a paper file

15 would have been created for her. In accordance with

16 your understanding of the system, does that sound

17 likely?

18 A. Well, without seeing all the mechanics of it, and

19 bearing in mind the transitional arrangements where we

20 were moving to computerisation and back records and in

21 the throes of that, it is very difficult for me to give

22 a yes or no answer.

23 Q. Can I ask you this question, where you might be able to

24 give a yes or no answer: if your officers had said,

25 "Yes, sir, there is a paper file on Rosemary Nelson" and

103

1 Mr Port had asked, as he did in this meeting, "Is there

2 a file on Rosemary Nelson?" You would have said, "Yes,

3 there is"?

4 A. Of course.

5 Q. So can I take it from that that before this meeting you

6 were not informed by your junior officers, whether in

7 IMG or anywhere else, that there was a paper file on

8 Rosemary Nelson?

9 A. That has got to be correct.

10 Q. It must be logical at least.

11 A. I had made this specific inquiry, do we have a file,

12 what is it, and the explanation is it is a computer

13 record, which I readily referred Mr Port to.

14 Q. Now, let's pick up that point that you have made and

15 look together at paragraph 165. Now, here you are

16 talking about computerised records and in particular

17 giving access to Mr Port, as you put it there, about ten

18 lines there:

19 "... for him to come and see any reports that

20 referred to Rosemary Nelson."

21 And, again, if we have on the left-hand side of the

22 screen, please, RNI-549-177 (displayed), which is the

23 passage of your journal that you say refers to this, it

24 expresses it in rather a pithier way. Do you see about

25 ten lines down, you say:

104

1 "I briefed him ..."

2 Again, it is you speaking to Mr Port in a meeting:

3 "... on SB computer file (R/N) and made arrangements

4 for him to view on ..."

5 Then you give the date of the next day. Is that

6 correct?

7 A. Yes, that seems logical to me, yes.

8 Q. So in terms of Special Branch reporting or

9 Special Branch data on Rosemary Nelson, as I understand

10 it what you are telling us in your evidence, backed up

11 by this journal note is that you briefed him on your

12 systems and made arrangements for him to view it?

13 A. To the best of my ability, yes.

14 Q. And when you say there:

15 "I briefed him on SB computer file ..."

16 Are we to take it that what you mean is that there

17 was a computerised file of intelligence relating to

18 Rosemary Nelson?

19 A. We are talking about the same thing as interchangeable

20 words?

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. As I tried to outline earlier?

23 Q. Good. Thank you very much. So just completing this, by

24 this stage, therefore, 6 May at the very latest, you had

25 been made aware by your junior officers that there was

105

1 a computer file on Rosemary Nelson?

2 A. Oh, yes, but I mean, I wouldn't have been waiting until

3 22 or 6 May to make that enquiry. I would have been

4 having that enquiry looked at from day 1 --

5 Q. We will come to that in a moment.

6 A. -- and the earlier investigators, et cetera.

7 Q. But just to bring these two things together, then, the

8 briefing you received from below, if I can put it that

9 way, was, "No, sir, there is no paper file but there is

10 a computerised file on her"?

11 A. Again, one isn't going to be pedantic or recall these

12 things ten years on. The issue was there was no target

13 file. The late Mrs Nelson was not a target for

14 Special Branch operations. Whatever information or

15 reporting that existed on her, it was either going to be

16 in that registry in whatever format, whether it was on

17 a slip or in a transitional stage to computer, but as it

18 was briefed to me, by the time of her death, it had

19 moved to the computer record and that was the up-to-date

20 and valid one. If there were other peripheral documents

21 or paper retained or whatever, then that's -- sometimes

22 can be.

23 Q. Right. Now, we have looked briefly at the views some

24 senior officers in Special Branch held of

25 Rosemary Nelson at this time. I would like to ask you

106

1 a question or two on that topic, please, and start with

2 you at paragraph 75 at RNI-846-714 (displayed).

3 There you address the question of whether you had an

4 exceptional view as to whether Rosemary Nelson was

5 a member or a close associate of PIRA, and you give this

6 answer:

7 "Rosemary Nelson had a professional job to do but in

8 addition she associated with those who had a role in

9 PIRA."

10 Then you go on to say:

11 "As I have said, to my knowledge there were no

12 operations against her."

13 And move on. Now, looking at the answer you give:

14 "Rosemary Nelson had a professional job to do, but

15 in addition she associated with those who had a role in

16 PIRA," can you explain to us what exactly you mean by

17 "associated with those who had a role in PIRA"?

18 A. Well, the paperwork in connection with Indus,

19 Operation Indus, underpinned my belief there.

20 Q. So in other words, the relationship between her in your

21 view and her client was not just that of solicitor and

22 client, it was closer than that. Is that right?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. And did you hold the view, which I have already

25 mentioned to you, as expressed to the Inquiry by

107

1 Mr Albiston and by B597, that she had crossed the line

2 and was herself committing criminal acts or, indeed,

3 acting as a terrorist?

4 A. Well, I was brought up not to speak ill of the dead but

5 on the basis of what I have been shown and what I knew,

6 it was clear to me that she certainly had crossed the

7 line in relation to the solicitor/client relationship in

8 at least one prominent case.

9 Q. Do you mean in relation to Mr Duffy?

10 A. That's correct, who held a senior position in the

11 Provisional IRA.

12 I would not have been saying that I had evidence

13 that she was a member of a proscribed organisation, but

14 it appeared to me that she was associating with and

15 working closely with those who were, in at least that

16 one high profile case. No doubt the Inquiry will hear

17 from other witnesses, including her staff and family,

18 et cetera, et cetera, but on the basis of what came

19 before me, regrettably I cannot draw any other

20 conclusion than the one I have just described.

21 Q. And that was a conclusion that you drew at the time; is

22 that right? At the latest in September 1998?

23 A. I am afraid so, yes.

24 Q. Yes. Now, was this a matter that you discussed with

25 senior colleagues within Special Branch?

108

1 A. That would be correct on the basis of Operation Indus

2 and subsequent operations in relation to Mr Duffy.

3 Q. But was there not a reason to discuss it simply because

4 what was disclosed, on the face of it, by this reporting

5 was itself so serious; in other words, the relationship

6 between this high profile lawyer and that terrorist

7 organisation?

8 A. I mean, that could well have been, yes. That would

9 sound logical.

10 Q. And the views that you have told us that you held and

11 the conclusions that you have told us you reached, as

12 far as you were aware, were they views and conclusions

13 held and reached by other senior officers in

14 Special Branch at the time?

15 A. Well, I think it is not so much a question of views; I

16 think it is a question of fact. We had to deal in fact

17 based on solid intelligence. Quite clearly we would

18 have had considerable concerns about it and there was

19 the continuing issue of Mr Duffy's activities and the

20 operations against him, and the type of the reporting as

21 regards the relationship with the deceased.

22 Q. But what I was asking you about is not so much about

23 whether what you were looking at was fact or assertion

24 but rather about whether the view and conclusion that

25 you have mentioned, which you came to, was, as far as

109

1 you are aware, also shared by other senior officers in

2 Special Branch?

3 A. I come back to saying the view shared. First of all,

4 intelligence even within the Special Branch was on

5 a need to know basis, so the officers managing this

6 issue or dealing -- investigating this issue, gathering

7 intelligence on this problem in, for example, Lurgan,

8 there would be no need why a Special Branch officer in

9 Ballymena or Belfast ought to know or need to know. So

10 there were quite strict, if you like, Chinese walls or

11 protocols in terms of that as well, coupled with the

12 fact that people were busy with their own normal

13 business.

14 So there wouldn't have been, you know, time to have

15 a cabinet meeting, so to speak, about one particular

16 application or one particular bit of business.

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. I mean that in the --

19 Q. I'm not talking about --

20 A. -- practical sense.

21 Q. I'm not talking about a particular application, I'm

22 talking about a sense that you and the other two

23 witnesses I mentioned held clearly that something very

24 unusual and, indeed, criminal was going on in this case.

25 You can't be suggesting to the Inquiry, can you, that

110

1 you were too busy to discuss that or even think

2 about it?

3 A. With respect, I didn't say I was too busy. I said

4 others might not necessarily need to know. What I said

5 was senior officers, senior Branch officers in other

6 regions or other areas, wouldn't necessarily need to

7 know. We were going to be going forward with a very

8 sensitive Indus operation.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. Those were top secret. So consequently the circle of

11 knowledge was severely restricted. So, therefore, you

12 know, we wouldn't be engaging in loose talk with others

13 who didn't need to know.

14 Q. Yes. Now, what about -- putting Indus on one side, and

15 we will return to it in a moment -- the role of

16 Rosemary Nelson herself in all this? Did you do

17 anything to investigate or validate the intelligence

18 reporting that was coming in to you about her?

19 A. Well, I wouldn't have been doing that personally. I

20 would have been relying on the experience and

21 capabilities and assessment of others.

22 Q. Yes. But you were the head of the department?

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. If you had felt that more needed to be done in that or,

25 indeed, in any other respect of the work of

111

1 Special Branch, no doubt it was open for you to ask

2 for it?

3 A. Yes. For example, if you are suggesting direct

4 a criminal investigation?

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did you take such steps at this time?

8 A. No, no.

9 Q. Why is that, please?

10 A. No, no. No, no, There are many valid reasons and

11 difficulties associated with converting intelligence

12 into usable evidence in a court of law. I mentioned

13 earlier the balancing between the national security

14 model and the law enforcement model. It is very easy at

15 face value or with hindsight to say that something might

16 be investigated or should be investigated. At the end

17 of the day, policing, investigative experience, comes

18 down to three or four methods of proving a case in

19 a court, whether that be witness testimony, forensic or

20 otherwise. And, therefore, judgments have to be made on

21 national security intelligence as to when or if there is

22 a trigger for that that investigators can take forward

23 without giving away perhaps their only chance at such an

24 investigation: The role and work and nature of the

25 individual, the substance of the intelligence, above all

112

1 the sensitivity of it, most importantly of all, but

2 equally the starting point of any for an investigator --

3 and that's common case with all intelligence agencies.

4 Q. So just coming to the point on this, are you saying that

5 no consideration was given to launching a CID

6 investigation or passing it to CID for a criminal

7 investigation to take place, or that consideration was

8 given and the idea was rejected?

9 A. Not to my knowledge. I don't recall any discussion

10 along those lines.

11 Q. You don't think that consideration was given?

12 A. Well, not at my level. If it was given by others at

13 some other level and discarded, fine, I can't speak for

14 other people in that regard. But it never was tabled

15 with me as a critical issue.

16 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you about the extent to which this

17 intelligence was passed on, firstly, within the RUC at

18 your level in the context of the chief officer group,

19 which, as you say, you briefed on intelligence matters.

20 Did this intelligence in the context of the Indus

21 application form part of your briefing to your senior

22 colleagues?

23 A. Highly unlikely.

24 Q. Highly unlikely. Why do you say that?

25 A. Well, just going back to what I said a few moments ago,

113

1 we were moving forward with a top secret operation.

2 Q. Yes, but the intelligence reporting that we have been

3 talking about is not in fact directly concerned with

4 Operation Indus. It is intelligence reporting about the

5 alleged relationship between this individual lawyer and

6 PIRA and a particular individual within PIRA. Was that

7 something, the views that you have expressed about it,

8 that you passed on to your senior colleagues?

9 A. No, I wouldn't be doing that.

10 Q. Did you discuss --

11 A. My briefings related to threat assessments, threats to

12 life, overall picture. We would not have been going

13 into personalities in a large forum.

14 Q. Can I take it from that answer that you would not have

15 mentioned it, and did not mention it, in any of the

16 other regular meetings that you had, such as, for

17 example, the IRC or the PEC meetings?

18 A. I mean, I would recall about IRC because IRC was

19 involved with the review of secret intelligence

20 operations. So it is quite problem.

21 Q. It is quite probable that it would have come up in that

22 context?

23 A. In terms of Indus, of course.

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. PEC, no.

114

1 Q. Okay. Now, in terms of colleagues within

2 Special Branch, is it a matter that you would have

3 discussed with the Regional Head of Special Branch for

4 the South Region?

5 A. Oh, absolutely.

6 Q. This is B629.

7 A. Yes. I mean, the impetus for Indus, the impetus for

8 Operation Indus had to come from that quarter, so,

9 naturally.

10 Q. And as far as you are aware, did he share your view and

11 conclusion in relation to Rosemary Nelson?

12 A. Well, I'm not sure what we mean by "view" again. He

13 would have shared my awareness and understanding of the

14 relationship. We are not talking about any extramarital

15 situations: that's ancillary. The issue was Mr Duffy.

16 Q. Yes. But the view and conclusion, what I meant by that,

17 was that which you described very clearly to us just

18 a little while ago about the sense that you had, albeit

19 you said you reached it, I think, with regret, that she

20 had crossed the line and, as far as you are aware, was

21 that a view shared by Regional Head of Special Branch

22 for the South Region?

23 A. I think that would be reasonable to assume, that he

24 would have been privy to this, perhaps more, much more

25 information in that regard than I might have been.

115

1 Q. Now, you told us about your daily briefings of the

2 Chief Constable. Did you mention these matters to him

3 in the course of your briefings?

4 A. I honestly have no recollection of whether I did or did

5 not.

6 Q. Well, are you able to assist us with this: is it likely

7 that something of this kind would have been mentioned by

8 you in the course of one of your briefings, let's say

9 in September 1998?

10 A. Well, I mean, I wouldn't want to speculate. We were

11 dealing with a lot of sensitive and complicated business

12 at that time across the whole portfolio. The

13 Chief Constable was a very busy man for a whole range of

14 reasons, which have been explained. For me to say hand

15 on heart that I told him X or didn't tell him Y, I just

16 couldn't do that on oath.

17 Q. Now, in the course of his evidence about this,

18 Sir Ronnie Flanagan said various things, particularly in

19 relation to whether and how he became aware about the

20 alleged affair. But one of the suggestions he made was

21 that he thought he may have been told about it by you in

22 fact not in the context of Indus, but in the context of

23 the row which broke out, which, again, I'm sure you are

24 aware of now even if you weren't then, with the ICPC and

25 the issue to do with the supervising member,

116

1 Miss McNally, that came also in the summer of 1998.

2 Does that sound likely or even possible, that you

3 would have briefed him about the alleged affair at that

4 stage?

5 A. As I say again, I can't recall. I see from other

6 exhibits made available to me that he was briefed on

7 Operation Indus, for example. So what conclusions the

8 Chief Constable drew from that or anything else that

9 someone may or may not have said to him, I can't

10 honestly say. And I could not say hand on heart I told

11 him X or didn't tell him Y in this regard.

12 Q. Can we look at Operation Indus itself now. Before

13 turning to the specifics of it, can I ask you a couple

14 of questions about the warrantry process in general.

15 As I understand it, applications would originate in

16 Special Branch but would then pass to the Security

17 Service, whose job it was to present them to the

18 Secretary of State. Is that correct?

19 A. That's spot on, yes.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of your involvement as Head of

21 E Department, Head of Special Branch in this, would

22 warrant applications come to you to be, as it were,

23 signed off before being passed over to the Security

24 Service?

25 A. Not normally.

117

1 Q. Now, if that wasn't the system, can you briefly tell us

2 what the system was?

3 A. Yes. Well, the case papers would have to be processed

4 from the sponsoring office -- officer up through the --

5 it would have to have the support of the Regional Head

6 of Special Branch. Those papers would then get referred

7 to Headquarters. There was probably again a historical

8 precedent of addressing them to HSB or HSCE, but it

9 would have been a delegated responsibility in terms of

10 process. Normally, in most cases, it was done by my

11 deputy or, in his absence, by an officer from IMG.

12 That's in the initial processing before passing to the

13 DCI's representative, who was quite expert in the

14 legislation and protocols and processing and preparation

15 of cases.

16 Q. Yes. Can I just ask, were there any cases that you

17 personally were involved in before the transmission to

18 the Security Service?

19 A. Yes, I would have thought so because when the paperwork

20 was validated and completed -- and there were very

21 stringent rules and regulations applying to such

22 applications -- they weren't undertaken lightly. My

23 recollection is that the final draft, so to speak, would

24 have come for signature, again perhaps by myself or my

25 deputy, and then it moved to the next phase, which was

118

1 the DCI's office. What I really needed to know

2 ultimately, of course, in conjunction with the DCI was

3 if and when it was approved.

4 Q. Exactly, because then and only then would there be an

5 operational consequence?

6 A. Well, the criteria and the thresholds leading up to it

7 were equally important, as I've described, and went

8 through a very rigorous process. And the final draft

9 was signed off, by recollection, by myself or my deputy

10 or, failing that, the Head of IMG. We were the three

11 senior people on that floor and thereafter it became

12 a matter for the DCI to take forward in accordance with

13 the legislative programmes.

14 Q. Can I take it from the answers you have been giving so

15 far that the Chief Constable himself would not usually

16 be involved in, as it were, the drafting up and

17 processing of the warrantry applications?

18 A. He would not.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to Indus itself, you begin

20 to refer to it in paragraph 74, which we have on the

21 screen. And you say there that you recall being aware

22 of a probable operation at the address in Deeny Drive.

23 But then you say this:

24 "But these papers would certainly not have crossed

25 my desk and I do not think it went ahead."

119

1 Now, just looking at the first of those comments,

2 "these papers would certainly not have crossed my desk,"

3 can I ask, how can you be sure, given what you have been

4 telling us about the way the system worked, that the

5 papers for this particular application did not cross

6 your desk?

7 A. I think that's how they were exhibited to me, if

8 I recall, when I viewed them; that they were signed off

9 by someone else.

10 We could place undue emphasis on the word

11 "certainly". If that conveys another meaning then

12 I apologise, but what I'm saying is that in the normal

13 course of events, the preparatory papers and processing

14 of them would not have crossed my desk. If there was

15 a requirement to sign off something ultimately, as

16 I have described, then that may or may not have happened

17 in particular cases, from my perspective.

18 Q. If an application for whatever reason did not cross your

19 desk -- and you think this is one such -- how would you

20 then have become aware that it was in train?

21 A. Well, I would have been -- it is highly probable that I

22 would have been briefed, either by whoever was signing

23 it off or had signed it off or, in many cases, who was

24 sponsoring it in the first place because sometimes --

25 I mean, we didn't operate in silos. Sometimes critical

120

1 issues needed some discussion and that's what

2 supervision and accountability is about, sometimes

3 a second opinion is helpful and a bit of quality

4 assurance.

5 Q. Let's have a look at one or two of the papers that were

6 generated, the first at RNI-543-010 (displayed). This

7 is a memorandum to you from the Regional Head in the

8 South Region, B629, and it is very short. It just says:

9 "I fully support this application and have no doubt

10 that a successful technical attack on this target would

11 glean excellent high grade intelligence."

12 And behind that are a very considerable number, in

13 fact, of supporting papers in, no doubt, what was

14 a standard form. So on the face of it, it is coming to

15 you in accordance with the system that you described?

16 A. Yes, it is coming to the department at 1headquarters,

17 yes.

18 Q. Indeed. Let's look on, please, at the final property

19 warrant application, and that's dated, I think,

20 9 September 1998 and it is at RNI-531-031 (displayed). I

21 think the document goes on to RNI-531-033, if we look

22 over to that, please, on the right-hand side,

23 RNI-531-033 (displayed).

24 Now, we can see that in fact over your title, or one

25 of your titles, anyway, the Head of Special Branch,

121

1 somebody else's signature, which has become a cipher in

2 our documents, B503 -- I don't know if you have got the

3 list there in front of you to check. So you see who

4 that is. It looks as though it was signed by that

5 individual and that he is doing so on your behalf.

6 Now, was he one of the senior officers who could

7 step into your shoes, as it were, and sign off material

8 of this kind?

9 A. That's right, because we had -- in addition to the DCI's

10 representative, we had people who were well versed and

11 experienced in preparing these type of cases as well.

12 Q. Now, what I'm going to do now is to show you

13 a revalidation document at RNI-531-116 and RNI-531-117

14 (displayed), where there is a request being made -- if

15 we have 117 as well -- thank you -- for the continuation

16 of the warrant in relation to the same operation.

17 Do you see "case for revalidation" on the left

18 there, heavily redacted? And it is the same officer on

19 the right at the bottom who is signing this off.

20 Now, is there any significance in this, that in fact

21 your signature, your involvement, indeed, is not

22 evidenced in this case either on the original

23 application in September or in the revalidation

24 in February the following year?

25 A. No significance whatever.

122

1 Q. Just a coincidence?

2 A. No significance. I'm sure any analysis of such things

3 would show that different individuals may have signed

4 depending on availability and circumstance, bearing in

5 mind that this is again subject to the overriding

6 quality assurance and presentation by the DCI.

7 Q. Yes. Well, you have mentioned the fact that if you

8 weren't involved in signing it, you think you would have

9 been briefed about it. We can see from one of DCI's own

10 documents, this one at RNI-531-028 (displayed), that you

11 had a discussion with him as well about it. If we have

12 RNI-531-029 on the right-hand side as well, thank you.

13 (displayed).

14 You can see this is a loose minute to another very

15 senior officer within the Security Service by the DCI,

16 dated 4 September, and it sets out what happened in the

17 meeting between the DCI and the then Secretary of State,

18 at which he was asking her to sign and approve the

19 warrant in this case. And you see at paragraph 4 on the

20 second page:

21 "The Secretary of State asked who in the RUC had

22 been consulted on the application."

23 And he records that he says:

24 "I had spoken personally to the Head of

25 Special Branch and intended to mention it to the

123

1 Chief Constable in recognition of the sensitivities."

2 So it looks as though you had, by this stage,

3 4 September, had a discussion about it with the DCI?

4 A. I'm sure that would be correct, yes.

5 Q. And what, as far as you can recall, were the

6 sensitivities?

7 A. Well, I would have difficulty recalling precise

8 sensitivities on a specific operation now vis--vis the

9 many others of whatever nature, but clearly in her

10 mind -- and that's not for me to speculate, but I'm sure

11 political sensitivities would have figured in her

12 thinking. But that's not something that I can

13 necessarily state categorically, needless to say, now.

14 Q. Do you mean by that the potential fallout if there was

15 a compromise?

16 A. That would be my reasons, arguments -- reasoned view,

17 yes, and we and the DCI would have been equally

18 concerned about compromise.

19 Q. Yes. And what about the issue of legal privilege which

20 was also referred to in paragraph 3 on the left there?

21 A. Oh, yes, that would have been very fully considered and

22 discussed and examined.

23 Q. And discussed between you and the DCI, you think?

24 A. Yes, there were well established legal and other

25 protocols within the Security Service for handling that

124

1 type of situation. But bearing in mind this wasn't an

2 attack on the late Mrs Nelson or whatever, this was

3 a warrant directed against a leading member of the

4 Provisional IRA. But any aspect of collateral intrusion

5 or privilege would have been very closely examined, and

6 there were legislative and procedural arrangements for

7 handling that should it have arisen.

8 Q. Did you brief the Chief Constable in relation to this

9 application?

10 A. Again, I can't say if I did or did not. I just --

11 I just don't know.

12 Q. Given that the DCI himself is recording here that he

13 intended to mention it to the Chief Constable, it seems

14 very unlikely, doesn't it, that you wouldn't have spoken

15 to your boss about a very sensitive matter such as this?

16 A. That's fair comment., it is just a question of timing

17 with some of theses things; you know, at the process

18 stage or at the approval stage or whatever. As I said,

19 the Chief Constable is a busy man as well.

20 Q. But isn't this the sort of thing he would most certainly

21 have wanted to know about?

22 A. Well, technical operations -- I won't expound in this

23 forum, but technical intelligence was pursued in many

24 ways and intelligence gathering was involved in many

25 ways. I just need to remind ourselves that we were

125

1 a big organisation dealing with a big problem and most

2 certainly the Chief Constable needed to be informed on

3 strategic issues, as he was, and he was always very

4 willing to listen and support and enable.

5 My attitude was somewhat similar. So the answer to

6 your question is yes, but if you ask me did I tell him

7 what, when, that's obviously impossible to explain now.

8 Q. To what extent in your discussions with DCI and other

9 colleagues, whether or not they include the

10 Chief Constable, was the background information, if I

11 can put it that way, intelligence about Rosemary Nelson,

12 her relationship with Colin Duffy, relationship with the

13 Provisional IRA -- to what extent was that part of the

14 discussions which you have mentioned?

15 A. Again, I couldn't recall the detail, but I mean, it has

16 got to be along the lines of what is reflected in the

17 documentation and some of the supporting documentation.

18 So, you know, when a decision is reached that the

19 threshold is met -- and that was quite high in terms of

20 national security operations and legislative

21 provision -- none of these things were undertaken

22 lightly for very, very good reasons in terms of

23 operational security, political sensitivity, experience,

24 compromise of methodology. I could go on, which I don't

25 want to do, but to say which ingredient was discussed,

126

1 not discussed, would be totally impossible for me.

2 Q. But in looking at the background material, as you say,

3 having to review it carefully in considering how to deal

4 with this application, can I take it that you proceeded

5 on the basis that the intelligence, the information that

6 was coming to you about Rosemary Nelson, was reliable?

7 A. Sorry, can I remind the Inquiry this wasn't an operation

8 about Rosemary Nelson. This was an operation about

9 Colin Duffy, and I think we must remember that here.

10 Operation Indus, as is quite clear, was directed

11 against a leading member of the Provisional IRA, not for

12 one moment was it directed against the late Mrs Nelson.

13 Q. Can I just go back to the question I was asking you: we

14 know, as part of the background, there was intelligence

15 and information about the person who owned the house,

16 Rosemary Nelson?

17 A. Yes, yes.

18 Q. It was her house?

19 A. Oh, yes.

20 Q. And her alleged connection with the Provisional IRA and

21 with this individual, Colin Duffy, in particular. And

22 can I take it that in your discussions about that

23 intelligence, that information, you proceeded on the

24 basis that the information was itself reliable?

25 A. Oh, well, yes, of course.

127

1 Q. Yes, and you have told us already that you didn't take

2 any step, as you didn't think it was your role, to test

3 or validate that intelligence or information. Is that

4 correct?

5 A. I'm not sure which intelligence you are referring to.

6 Q. The intelligence we have now been talking about for some

7 considerable time in relation to Rosemary Nelson.

8 A. I don't think I said that I didn't take any steps to

9 test it or validate it. Sorry, I think I'm being

10 confused in relation to the validation of this

11 application vis--vis what we referred to earlier as

12 certain intelligence relating to Rosemary Nelson. So

13 I'm not quite sure which element you are asking me to

14 address.

15 Q. You put all this in the context you heard this

16 information, gathered this information about

17 Rosemary Nelson in the context of the Indus application.

18 That's where you say it first came to your attention.

19 That's right, isn't it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Right. And it is that intelligence, that information

22 that I'm asking you about and I asked you before whether

23 you took any steps to test it, its reliability or to

24 validate it and you said no, that wasn't a matter for

25 you.

128

1 So all I'm saying, at the end of all of this in your

2 discussions with the DCI and the consideration you gave

3 it in the course of the application that then followed,

4 were you proceeding on the basis that that intelligence

5 was itself reliable?

6 A. Yes. This intelligence for this operation?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Against Colin Duffy?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. Which is quite distinct from the earlier intelligence

11 you were referring me to in relation to the deceased.

12 Pardon me if it is not clear.

13 Q. Well, you are the person who made the connection, you

14 are the person who has told the Inquiry that you first

15 heard about the intelligence to do with Rosemary Nelson

16 and the alleged connection between her and PIRA in the

17 context of the Indus application. That's correct,

18 isn't it?

19 A. I think I told you that I became aware of it in some

20 more depth at that time. My evidence was that -- in

21 answer to the Chairman, that I would have had an

22 awareness of the gist of it going back some time before

23 that. But I became aware of it in some more detail as

24 a result of Indus and some of the background to that.

25 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this: at whatever stage you heard

129

1 about it or became aware about it, whether in-depth or

2 in detail or not, did you take any steps to investigate

3 its reliability or did you just proceed on the basis

4 that it was, as you said earlier, fact and reliable?

5 A. I'm sorry, are we talking about the validation of this

6 application?

7 Q. No, we are talking about the same thing we have now been

8 talking about for some time.

9 A. Well, the intelligence on Colin Duffy would have been

10 quite distinct and separate in many instances from the

11 intelligence on the late Mrs Nelson. So this

12 application is quite clearly predicated on the

13 intelligence relating to Colin Duffy.

14 So if you are asking me that question, was

15 I satisfied with the strength and weight of that

16 application, then I was. If you are asking me

17 a separate question about the nature and weight and type

18 of the intelligence in relation to Mrs Nelson, and

19 whether or not it ought to have been investigated at

20 that point in time as criminal activity, I have already

21 given that answer. So is that helpful to the Inquiry?

22 Q. Well, the truth is in the application material, the two

23 individuals were closely linked, weren't they? And I'll

24 show you the references, if you would like me to.

25 Let's have a look at RNI-543-020 (displayed).

130

1 That's just one of the links that was in the Indus

2 application material made by the detective sergeant,

3 wasn't it? So that's the sort of background to Indus

4 that we are talking about in this particular case. And

5 if you have another look earlier in the same

6 application, RNI-543-016 (displayed), under the comment:

7 "Those Republicans closest to Duffy who would appear

8 to be (redacted) include ..."

9 Then there is a huge number of redacted names,

10 rosemary Nelson is one of them and she has her own

11 appendix relating to intelligence relating to her.

12 So the two things were wrapped up together in the

13 application itself, weren't they?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Right.

16 A. If it helps, in any such application coming before one

17 on the desk, one would be looking to see, to use modern

18 day parlance, that the boxes were ticked in relation to

19 sufficiency of evidence, legislative provision,

20 methodology, protocols, accountability. Those would

21 have been the factors that would have been examined and

22 scrutinised, dare I say four times over in our

23 organisation before it would finally leave as a case

24 complete.

25 So if that's helpful in terms of answering your

131

1 broader question or your more focused question,

2 whichever way one comes at it now, that's how it would

3 have been done.

4 So when you talk about validation, not for a moment

5 do I accept that I did not validate things. It is

6 a question of definition and degree and judgment and

7 balance in all these type of situations. What I'm

8 saying is there were statutory requirements. We weren't

9 in the business of, "This is a good idea". There were

10 statutory requirements, laid down statutory provisions,

11 overseen by the DCI, subject to ministerial warrant. So

12 my part in that was important, yes, but it was subject

13 to much more detailed scrutiny and approval by the

14 Security Service again, taking legal advice because I

15 did not have that, in terms of any difficulty or

16 perceived difficulty in the application or the drafting

17 of it. I think the Inquiry needs to understand that

18 that is the context.

19 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Can I just say, I think I do

20 understand the context. We have heard quite a lot about

21 Operation Indus and it doesn't take too much imagination

22 to realise that a great deal of work would have gone

23 into such a thing, including all the things you have

24 mentioned.

25 I think, if I understood Mr Phillips correctly, that

132

1 the question he was asking was a very simple one: that

2 in the context of all of that, did you proceed on the

3 assumption that what was said about Mrs Nelson was

4 correct?

5 A. Of course. I had to. But I'm still saying that it

6 wasn't central to this application.

7 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I understand that.

8 A. It was peripheral.

9 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I think you were asking that

10 question?

11 MR PHILLIPS: I was trying to, obviously very ineffectively.

12 A. Excuse me. Does that answer the question?

13 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Yes, it does. Thank you.

14 A. You asked me, for example, did I discuss it with the

15 regional head. Of course I did. But it would have been

16 validated, it would have been examined, take it from me,

17 it would have been done. The intelligence on Mrs Nelson

18 was collateral, it was peripheral to some degree to this

19 albeit that, yes, she was the owner of the house. But

20 in terms of the product from the operation, it was aimed

21 at Mr Duffy.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Now, I would like to move on, please, to the

23 immediate aftermath of the murder, which you deal with

24 at paragraphs 99 and 100 of your statement at

25 RNI-846-722 (displayed). And it would help, I think, to

133

1 have RNI-846-723 on the screen as well (displayed).

2 So to what extent was there surprise within

3 Special Branch that such an attack had occurred without

4 any apparent prior warning?

5 A. I suppose one word: exceptional. Or considerable

6 perhaps.

7 Q. Considerable surprise?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Because given the prominence of the victim and the

10 nature of the attack, no doubt the time, in other

11 words March 1999, when politically a lot of things had

12 moved on, you must have been surprised that there had

13 been no intelligence warning of the attack?

14 A. One could say on one hand surprise that there had been

15 no intelligence warning; on the other hand, one could

16 say surprise that the attack had taken place --

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. -- against her in the context of everything else at that

19 given time.

20 So I think the surprise has to be qualified and

21 defined in that way, given, to use your own words, the

22 environment at the time.

23 Q. Now, what was your role, please, in the immediate

24 aftermath of the murder, and I mean within literally

25 hours of the murder? What was your role?

134

1 A. I remember well being in Headquarters, having just come

2 out of a chief officer's group meeting, I think, on

3 a Monday morning when the report came in about the

4 terrible murder in Lurgan. And my immediate role was

5 to, as it would have been in any murder, immediately, if

6 you like, activate all our systems to try and establish

7 if there was any snippet of intelligence anywhere in the

8 system that could be examined and made available in

9 terms of trying to identify the culprits.

10 That would have been -- I would have been, for want

11 of a better term, driving and urging that and enabling

12 the staff over at Headquarters and in the regions to

13 ensure that every jot of information was revisited,

14 re-examined, to see if any other assessments or

15 conclusions or snippets of wisdom could be drawn

16 from it.

17 Equally, we would have been checking and

18 double-checking with other agencies through the

19 Intelligence Management Group at Headquarters. I would

20 have been in immediate contact with other regional

21 heads, asking them to do likewise in terms of their

22 systems. We would have been asking them -- and

23 I qualify this by saying they didn't need to be asked or

24 reminded because they were extremely conscientious in

25 doing these things and having, if you like,

135

1 implementation of their plan right away. But a key

2 element of that would have been the regions having any

3 possible sources -- human, technical or otherwise --

4 tasked, retasked, revisited and, as I said, any piece of

5 information viewed and analysed to see if anything

6 further could be drawn from it.

7 Q. Now, one of the points you make in this connection in

8 a different part of your statement, paragraph 77 -- if I

9 could show that you briefly, please, RNI-846-715

10 (displayed), where you say six lines in:

11 "When any crime occurs, you always look back at

12 intelligence to see if anything has been missed or if it

13 could be reinterpreted in a different way with

14 hindsight."

15 So that was an absolutely standard thing to do in

16 the case of any crime, was it, and it was something that

17 you directed and expected to be done in this case?

18 A. Yes, as I said, I probably didn't need to direct it, but

19 I would have been expecting it and supervising it and

20 ensuring it.

21 Q. But as far as you were aware, nothing emerged, before

22 the murder I mean, pre-murder intelligence, which even,

23 reinterpreted with hindsight in the light of the murder,

24 gave you any inkling of a warning; is that correct?

25 A. Unfortunately not, unfortunately not.

136

1 Q. Now, this we have been looking at is obviously in the

2 immediate aftermath of the murder, and at

3 paragraph 100 -- if we have that back on the screen on

4 the left, please, RNI-846-722 (displayed) -- you refer

5 there to a concept familiar now to us, the golden hour.

6 Do you see that at the bottom of the page?

7 A. Absolutely, yes.

8 Q. And in terms of investigation, the importance to make as

9 much you could of those early moments after the crime.

10 That deals with the immediate aftermath.

11 What about a longer term more detailed search or

12 trawl of Special Branch records? Did you have charge of

13 making sure that that was undertaken by your staff?

14 A. Well, you can say I had charge of it. I would have been

15 ensuring that it was being done and being continued. As

16 I said, our people were well versed and experienced in

17 that type of thing.

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. Regrettably, we had far too many murders in

20 Northern Ireland. So, you know, the systems were in

21 place to pursue this.

22 Q. Now, in the aftermath of the murder, were you being

23 asked, either by the Chief Constable or by, if I can put

24 it this way, customers in the NIO or elsewhere, how it

25 had been that such an attack had taken place without

137

1 apparently any warning?

2 A. Well, that would always be an area, if you like, to be

3 examined and an area of key interest for us. Was there

4 anything that anybody missed anywhere, either in terms

5 of human or technical error or was there something that

6 could have been interpreted differently? It is very

7 easy for analysts or whatever post the event to draw

8 different interpretations from something and to

9 consider -- but we have got to look at that in the

10 context as well and in the continuum of work, in that

11 everyone -- the Panel members will know that

12 intelligence is not a precise science. It is a jigsaw

13 and it is a very good organisation that has all the

14 pieces.

15 When you get most of them you can have a successful

16 or preventive or reactive operation. If you don't have

17 any of the pieces at that particular moment, then

18 clearly, it is impossible. So, yes, of course we would

19 have been examining that.

20 Q. And were you concerned to learn lessons from the fact

21 that no trace of this, no warning, had been picked up;

22 in other words, lessons about the extent of your

23 coverage, lessons for the future?

24 A. Of course, we were always looking to do better. Whether

25 you call it a lesson or a learning experience, we were

138

1 always looking to improve the quality. I mean, I think

2 the context here is important as well -- and we will

3 come on to this, I'm sure, about the perpetrators and

4 the organisation from which they came, so I will not

5 expand now.

6 But you have got to bear in mind that we had

7 a police officer murdered four or five months earlier in

8 Portadown by Loyalists. So there would have been

9 a significant enquiry already running in relation to the

10 murder of the late Constable O'Reilly, who was murdered

11 in October 1998. It is only four or five months

12 earlier.

13 No doubt you will want to talk to me about the

14 formation of certain groupings in that area, et cetera,

15 and I can talk about that today or tomorrow, no problem.

16 But what I'm trying to explain to you is it just didn't

17 begin on 15 or 16 March in terms of our efforts against

18 those people.

19 Q. Against the dissident Loyalists?

20 A. That's a good working title.

21 Q. Yes. Because they had become a bigger and bigger

22 problem over the course of the second half of 1998, had

23 they not?

24 A. Yes. Well, and for some time before it, yes.

25 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

139

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, we will have a break until quarter to

2 four.

3 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

4 please confirm that all the cameras have been

5 switched off?

6 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, they have.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

8 Please escort the witness out.

9 Quarter to four.

10 (3.29 pm)

11 (Short break)

12 (3.49 pm)

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Checklist. Is the public area screen fully

14 in place, locked and the key secured?

15 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

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

17 screen closed?

18 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

20 and securely fastened?

21 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

23 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

24 of this chamber?

25 MR MYERS: No, sir.

140

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

2 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

3 shrouded?

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

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

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

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Bring the witness in, please.

8 Please sit down.

9 MR PHILLIPS: Can we turn to the murder investigation

10 itself. In paragraph 103 of your statement, RNI-846-723

11 (displayed), you say in the second sentence:

12 "In my 32 years in the RUC, the commitment of

13 resources to this murder investigation, both locally and

14 externally was unprecedented."

15 Can I ask you this: was that commitment of

16 resources, at least to some extent, driven by the

17 collusion allegations that were being made?

18 A. Not necessarily. It was driven by the overall context

19 at the time in relation to the -- in the murder, in the

20 environment, but centrally the tragic murder of

21 a professional, practising solicitor and the associated

22 allegations, if you like, in the wider -- coming from

23 pressure groups and obviously disseminated through the

24 wider media. So unprecedented in terms of commitment

25 and external resourcing, yes.

141

1 Q. And did you and your senior colleagues, with whom it is

2 clear from your statement you discussed various issues

3 about the way the murder investigation was to be run --

4 were you concerned to ensure that it was not only

5 thorough but also seen to be thorough and as transparent

6 as possible?

7 A. Absolutely right.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, in this context you say that the

9 decision to invite external investigators in was

10 a collective decision; in other words, as I understand

11 it, one taken by the senior officers within the force.

12 Is that right?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. And as I understand it from the statement, it was

15 a decision which you were very much in favour of. Is

16 that right?

17 A. That's quite right, yes.

18 Q. Now, in terms of the involvement of external officers in

19 the investigation, was that view of it, the positive

20 view that you have just expressed, shared, as far as you

21 were aware, by colleagues in Special Branch?

22 A. That would have been so, to my knowledge.

23 Q. Did you at the outset of the investigation have

24 discussions with other Special Branch officers about how

25 the allegations of collusion that were being made should

142

1 be approached by your department?

2 A. Well, I'm not sure about the term "approached by my

3 department", but no doubt I would have been explaining

4 and taking forward the overall context of the

5 investigation, the relevance, the importance, and

6 equally the opportunity to, as it were, dispel the

7 allegation of so-called collusion and, I suppose,

8 jumping to one of the other ends, it is perhaps

9 regrettable that the MIT didn't bring people to justice

10 for the murder, but at another level it is comforting

11 that they dispelled the allegations.

12 Q. Did you become involved in discussions or briefings

13 concerning the way in which Special Branch and

14 Special Branch officers should interact with the MIT?

15 A. Well, again, I wouldn't be giving chapter and verse, so

16 to speak, in relation to that, but the context and the

17 kind of structures -- you know, you have got to

18 understand that this wasn't the first time that

19 experienced RUC officers had worked with, if you like,

20 external officers or external agencies. Many of them

21 had been on joint training programmes, many of them had

22 done attachments elsewhere. But most particularly they

23 had worked along side the military at all levels for

24 30-odd years and they had worked alongside the Security

25 Service for 30-odd years. So working in close

143

1 collaboration with another group investigating what was

2 then a high profile murder situation wasn't anything to

3 be feared or resisted or anything of that nature.

4 Conversely, the people coming to conduct this murder

5 investigation were invited by us; they aren't imposed,

6 they were invited. Indeed, we were paying for them out

7 of our budget, et cetera, et cetera. So there was

8 a common and immediate goal, as there would have been on

9 the part of Special Branch consistently, to get high

10 grade intelligence that might assist that and to bring

11 the offenders to justice as quickly as possible.

12 I think in that context my department and my key

13 decision makers would have been totally with me.

14 Q. Now, of course, another recent example, recent as at

15 this point, of investigation involving external

16 investigators, was the Stevens enquiry, wasn't it?

17 A. Yes, that was another thing that had to be serviced at

18 the same time when we talk about workloads and issues.

19 Stevens 3 was running.

20 Q. At exactly this time?

21 A. That's right, yes.

22 Q. And in paragraph 66 of your statement at RNI-846-712

23 (displayed), you tell us that your deputy and you agreed

24 that one of you would be responsible for dealing with

25 the Port investigation, Mr Port being appointed

144

1 in April 1999, and the other with Stevens.

2 In terms of your role, working with Colin Port's

3 team, as you put it there, is it right to say that on

4 occasions you became involved at what I'm going to call

5 an operational level with the Murder Investigation Team?

6 A. I think that's a question of degree. He was the officer

7 in overall charge of the enquiry. He was reporting to

8 the Chief Constable, not to me. I was a resource

9 available to him, as was my department. We agreed

10 certain principles that he and I would deal with at

11 a strategic level if and when that was necessary, and it

12 was from time to time.

13 Again, one doesn't want to sound too legalistic or

14 bureaucratic but sometimes there is a blurred line

15 between what's operational and what's strategic. The

16 Panel will be well aware of that and one doesn't want to

17 labour that point. The answer to your question is that

18 together we wanted to do what it was necessary to do to

19 achieve the result.

20 Q. In terms of liaison, more regular liaison, if I can put

21 it that way, with the Murder Investigation Team, you

22 explain in paragraphs 107 to 109 of your statement that

23 various Special Branch officers were involved in dealing

24 with the team. And from, as it were, the bottom up you

25 had B567, the DI in Lurgan, then you had at a more

145

1 senior level, B503, and finally, as you say in

2 paragraph 107, B629, the regional head, was also made

3 available to the Port team right from the start in case

4 they required more senior assistance. Do you see that?

5 A. Yes, I do.

6 Q. Now, at the time, at the time they were working with the

7 Murder Investigation Team, all of those officers were

8 from the South Region, weren't they?

9 A. No, there was a stage before that, of course.

10 Q. Yes, indeed. B503 became transferred into the South

11 Region, did he not?

12 A. 503 was transferred and appointed on my say so. The

13 stage before that, which the Inquiry has no doubt

14 covered, was immediately post murder with

15 Sir David Phillips and his team.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. At that time, 503 was attached to force Headquarters and

18 I had made him available even then as a resource to

19 Sir David Phillips's team and I was involved with

20 a number of issues and briefings and strategic matters

21 there.

22 As -- consequent to Mr Port's appointment, I then

23 took the initiative of having 503 appointed down to

24 South Region to be a second and principal liaison

25 officer with the team and to act as the conduit and

146

1 provide the direction and advice from a Special Branch

2 point of view.

3 The Inquiry will be aware of course that we had an

4 FBI officer for a period of time, quality assuring the

5 initial set-up and the arrangement and that officer

6 returned to the United States when he was satisfied that

7 everything was up and running to a very acceptable

8 standard. It may be that the Inquiry will hear from

9 him, I don't know.

10 Q. Did you appoint any officers from other regions and in

11 particular from Belfast Region to liaise specifically

12 with the Murder Investigation Team?

13 A. Well, that was probably not necessary and maybe to some

14 degree unwise in the initial stages because what we

15 wanted to avoid was any element of confusion on the part

16 of the external investigators.

17 So the sensible thing was to have two key people on

18 the spot, so to speak, adjacent with the investigation,

19 the MIT as it is now called -- it wasn't then, but it

20 now is -- and with 629 being an additional layer of

21 command and advice and experience available in the

22 region as well.

23 Now, we therefore didn't need to go through -- you

24 know, to extend that to having liaison officers kind of

25 all over the place. I did, as time progressed, make

147

1 certain arrangements and adjustments for the Regional

2 Head in Belfast to personally handle certain sensitive

3 issues and to act as the conduit, the channel, for the

4 transferring of some of that product to the enquiry team

5 and to work in close tandem with the South Region

6 arrangements.

7 Q. Yes. What I'm really seeking to understand from you is

8 whether you put a mechanism in place in the early stages

9 to ensure that relevant intelligence from across

10 Northern Ireland, not just from South Region, was

11 considered and, if appropriate, passed on to the MIT.

12 A. Hm-mm. Of course that was the objective from 1 and the

13 system and the structures involving the IMG should have

14 been capable of delivering that.

15 Q. In other words, it was a matter dealt with from the

16 central point, from Headquarters; is that right?

17 A. Well, no, we don't work in silos. That's the structure

18 and the system and the process and the communication

19 mechanisms. But I think the records will show that I

20 was equally having, if you want to call it extraordinary

21 senior management meetings to make sure that that was

22 being understood and that everybody was fulfilling their

23 piece, so to speak, and recognising the importance of

24 the investigation and of producing the best possible

25 intelligence. And we can go on into that in terms of

148

1 IOCA and other things where I made special systems and

2 provisions as well.

3 Q. Can I just ask you about the original SIO of the murder

4 investigation, Mr Kinkaid. Was he is an officer you had

5 come across before?

6 A. Well, I never worked with him or alongside him. He

7 never was under my command. But I did know him, yes.

8 Q. Did he, as far as you are aware, have a reputation as

9 someone with a grudge against or an agenda against

10 Special Branch?

11 A. It would be difficult for me to say that on

12 a personality basis about someone with whom I had never

13 worked, managed, led or commanded or had the opportunity

14 of assessing closely.

15 Q. I wasn't asking you about that; I was asking you about

16 whether you were aware of him having a reputation of

17 that kind?

18 A. I think a grudge is a very emotive and very strong word.

19 Individuals in any organisation may have certain

20 priorities. They may have certain likes. They may have

21 certain dislikes. One has got to be sensible and

22 balanced and fully aware of your question. It is

23 probably reasonable to say that some others may have

24 held that perception but I can't quantify or consolidate

25 that.

149

1 Q. Was his appointment welcomed by Special Branch officers,

2 as far as you are aware?

3 A. There was no problem. He had been the SIO on many

4 investigations. There was no reason for the

5 Special Branch to have concerns about a particular SIO,

6 from my perspective. What we wanted was capability to

7 get the job done.

8 Q. Yes. Now, you tell us in your statement about the

9 initial phase of the investigation when

10 Sir David Phillips came over with some colleagues from

11 Kent, and I would like to show you a passage from your

12 journal about an early meeting which you had with them

13 on 18 March, RNI-549-1250 (displayed). And here you can

14 see you have set out the attendees at the top of the

15 page, including a redacted name of an agent from the

16 FBI, picking up the point you made just a little

17 earlier. And there was a discussion in this meeting,

18 wasn't there, about setting up a system whereby the

19 Murder Investigation Team should get access to

20 intelligence?

21 A. Oh, yes, yes, yes, that's fine, yes.

22 Q. And we see there that there is a record made by you of

23 Mr Humphreys explaining that there should be

24 a separate -- and, in fact, it was known as a secret

25 policy book established by the investigation and that

150

1 was, again, a new feature of a murder investigation in

2 Northern Ireland, wasn't it?

3 A. I think that was a professional investigator's

4 experience or a benefit that he brought to Mr Kinkaid.

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. That's right, yes.

7 Q. And that was one -- there are others that you mention in

8 your statement -- of a number of ways in which this

9 murder investigation was, if I can put it this way,

10 breaking new ground. You have talked about the

11 resources. Here we have the policy file. Another was

12 the establishment of the very substantial intelligence

13 cell, wasn't it?

14 A. That's right, yes.

15 Q. Nothing quite like that had ever been seen in

16 Northern Ireland before, had it?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Now, in your statement, when you talk about the Kent

19 officers, you single out the individual whose name and

20 rank appears in the middle of this page, Detective Chief

21 Inspector Gutsell, in particular for mention and you

22 say, for example, in paragraph 121 of your statement

23 that he was exceptionally valuable.

24 Now, is that because of his own experience in

25 Special Branch in England?

151

1 A. Absolutely right.

2 Q. And can I pick up a comment you make in that connection?

3 It is in paragraph 119 of your statement at RNI-846-728

4 (displayed).

5 Here, where you are dealing in your statement with

6 the question of access to CHIS identities, you say that

7 it wasn't just a question of experience, as in the case

8 of Sir David Phillips or Colin Port, nor was it just

9 a question of vetting, as in the case of DCI Gutsell,

10 who was a member of Special Branch and was vetted; it

11 was a question, as you put it later, of need to know,

12 necessity of access and the relevance of information.

13 Do you see that there?

14 A. Yes, indeed, yes, thank you.

15 Q. But before that, you make this comment:

16 "DCI Gutsell would know not to ask me or any members

17 of my team for such information."

18 Now, do you mean by that that he would know that if

19 he was to make a request of that kind, he would have to

20 back it up with a reasoning which explained just why it

21 was necessary and relevant?

22 A. Yes, indeed. And, I mean, obviously the question of

23 CHIS identities and so forth was indeed on the agenda at

24 that stage. But, I mean, I have explained that in

25 answer to a question put to me by the Eversheds

152

1 interviewer, but quite logically and sensibly explained

2 that DCI Gutsell was trained in Special Branch and

3 operational trade craft, et cetera, et cetera, and would

4 have understood the national security imperatives and

5 would have understood the systems and the risks. And

6 you mentioned relevance and need and proportionality.

7 But that wasn't really an agenda item at that stage.

8 And the word, again, "source" is used a little

9 interchangeably with classifications of intelligence or

10 origins of intelligence, not to be confused necessarily

11 with human sources. So I think that's an important

12 clarification to be shared with the Inquiry at that

13 stage. Language sometimes can be important or

14 a misunderstanding of language can be even more

15 important.

16 Q. Indeed. Now, in terms of questions and whether or not

17 they were the sort of questions that should be asked,

18 can I just ask you this much more general question:

19 presumably you would have realised right from the outset

20 that in order to make this a thorough and transparent

21 investigation, particularly with the allegations of

22 collusion in mind, the MIT was going to have to ask

23 questions of the kind that you wouldn't normally be used

24 to and be rather more robust with you as an organisation

25 than, again, you had come to expect in ordinary murder

153

1 investigations in Northern Ireland?

2 A. Well, of course, if that was shared, we wanted it to be

3 as rigorous and as robust as it conceivably could be.

4 And I go back to the point that we invited these people

5 to help us do the job.

6 Q. And presumably you did so knowing that for them to do

7 their job, they would have to be very demanding of you

8 and of your assets?

9 A. Yes, but it was nothing new to me in terms of people

10 being demanding in relation to difficult and sensitive

11 situations.

12 Q. Did you anticipate from the beginning that that list of

13 demands from the MIT might well include at some point

14 a request for access to CHIS identities?

15 A. Well, that's always a question of degree. There are

16 longstanding -- we obviously are going to discuss this

17 tomorrow, but there are -- there is longstanding common

18 and case law and other things, and we were in the in

19 an era of Human Rights Act, RIPA, et cetera, et cetera,

20 so I don't need to go into that now. But there is

21 longstanding police and judicial precedent, et cetera,

22 et cetera, about involvement and revealing and

23 disclosure of CHIS. And there are well established

24 circumstances subject to judgment when it may or may not

25 be necessary and appropriate, to use your own point,

154

1 relevant and necessary on a well argued case as to when

2 that might be, bearing in mind the duty of care and all

3 the other things which we may talk about tomorrow.

4 So when I talk about degree, I mean in terms of in

5 a specific and individual and well researched and

6 clearly defined case and situation. That would not be

7 new, this would not be new. In other circumstances,

8 well above and beyond, that is something that you may

9 wish to discuss in the closed session.

10 Q. Just looking at the fact that the investigators who came

11 over -- not only the Kent officers but then, in due

12 course, Mr Port and Mr Provoost -- came from outside

13 Northern Ireland, did you take it upon yourself to

14 ensure that they had a full briefing from you --

15 A. Oh, absolutely.

16 Q. -- as to the sort of intelligence that you gathered, the

17 sort of material you had, how it could be accessed and

18 stored and matters of that kind?

19 A. Absolutely. Mr Phillips was very alert to that, having

20 been the Chairman of ACPO Crime and a vastly experienced

21 officer, as was his SIO. And he was also very aware of

22 the need to have with him a Special Branch officer who

23 could advise him in his own capacity as well.

24 So there were no issues or difficulties. Those

25 briefings are a matter of record and, in my opinion,

155

1 they were done to the satisfaction and complete

2 partnership and harmony with those people.

3 Q. And as far as you are aware, was a similar briefing put

4 together for the MIT in relation to Rosemary Nelson; in

5 other words, drawing together all the various pieces of

6 intelligence on her so as to give the Murder

7 Investigation Team an idea of what Special Branch had in

8 terms of reporting on her?

9 A. Oh, yes, indeed, yes.

10 Q. Can you remember when that briefing took place?

11 A. Well, there was a series of briefings, as I said,

12 beginning with Mr Phillips, that the MIT was running

13 obviously from day 1. The briefings were at various

14 levels. I mean, I can't pretend to give you chapter and

15 verse now, short of going through all the journals and

16 all the records which would be available to the Inquiry,

17 but certainly when it came to Mr Port's arrival, the

18 records will show that I was in meetings and

19 consultation with him from almost the second day.

20 Q. The 8 April, we know there was a meeting then.

21 A. I think there was probably one before that, if I wanted

22 to check the books. I think there was one on 8 April

23 involved with other people. Is it important that

24 I check these things.

25 Q. No, I simply want to get from you an idea of the stage

156

1 of proceedings at which this had taken place and you are

2 saying, I think, that it was early on after Mr Port's

3 arrival?

4 A. Yes, I think Mr Port will have explained that he came

5 from an environment where heavy involvement and national

6 security type matters was relatively new to him, or it

7 was quite considerably different anyway in terms of the

8 context in mainland Britain at that time. And he was,

9 as it were, picking up from Sir David Phillips and what

10 the other oversight people had done.

11 But the answer to your question was there was

12 a series of briefings and I was personally present at

13 one in particular I can think of where major overview

14 briefings were given to him. And there were a series of

15 these profiling organisations, profiling individuals,

16 presenting the context and presenting anything that we

17 could to try to enable Mr Port and his team, in terms of

18 focusing on this terrible crime.

19 Q. That I understand, profiling individuals and

20 organisations. Presumably that was very much in the

21 context of those individuals, organisations, who might

22 have been responsible for the murder. What about

23 Rosemary Nelson herself and the intelligence which we

24 know was held on her? Was there a briefing dealing

25 specifically with that topic, as far as you can recall?

157

1 A. I don't recall it personally and I may not have been

2 privy to it, but I'm sure that the investigators would

3 have been looking -- I mean, I go back to my meeting

4 where I met Mr Port. I would be aware of the computer

5 records available for scrutiny, et cetera. So I don't

6 recall, you know, a specific briefing, as it were, about

7 the deceased alone. But I'm sure it was part and parcel

8 of many wider briefs, both written and oral.

9 Q. Now, so far as a particular undercover operation, which

10 caused some concern at the very outset of the

11 investigation, is concerned, I would like to ask you

12 just a few questions please about Operation Fagotto.

13 Now, you told us before the break about the steps

14 you took as soon as you heard of the murder in order to

15 search the records, see what was there, see if there was

16 anything there that might shed any light on what had

17 happened.

18 Did you, as part of that, require details to be

19 given to you of any undercover operations which had been

20 in existence and in the area of the murder at the time

21 of the murder?

22 A. No, I wasn't aware of that until some days later, or at

23 least updated in relation to it, yes.

24 Q. Let's have a look at 129 of your statement, at

25 RNI-846-731 (displayed). And am I right in thinking

158

1 that what you are telling us there is that you first

2 knew about the existence of Operation Fagotto on

3 18 March, some three days after the murder. Is that

4 right?

5 A. Can I just have a moment to read it?

6 Q. Please do.

7 A. Thank you. (Pause)

8 Yes, that's my recollection and understanding.

9 Q. And if we look at the relevant part of your note again

10 in the transcript at RNI-549-152 (displayed) and

11 RNI-549-153, and possibly RNI-549-152 is a rather small

12 section of text -- it looks as though on that same

13 day -- because this is all part of your 18 March

14 entry -- you telephoned or you advised the

15 Chief Constable about the operation; is that right?

16 A. It looks like that, yes.

17 Q. And presumably that's because you appreciated that it

18 might be of some significance?

19 A. Of course, yes, indeed.

20 Q. Now, in your statement at 125, where you are explaining

21 this -- that's RNI-846-730 (displayed) -- you say that

22 you wanted to ensure -- this is the last sentence:

23 "... that everybody knew from day one that this

24 operation had taken place the night before, particularly

25 given the cries of collusion."

159

1 Now, presumably the operation, going on overnight

2 and into the very early morning of the day on which

3 Rosemary Nelson was murdered, was relevant anyway,

4 wasn't it, not least because the undercover officers

5 involved might have been material witnesses to either

6 the preparation for or the carrying out of the attack?

7 A. Well, as circumstances evolved and information became

8 available to me, that was the assessment, of course.

9 Q. Because, as I understand it, you were told about the

10 operation and then you were told that there was activity

11 in and around Rosemary Nelson's house on the night

12 before she was killed. Is that right?

13 A. I'm sure that would have been the chronology, yes.

14 Q. Yes. Now, when you heard about the matter on 18 March,

15 did you, in addition to speaking to the Chief Constable,

16 also speak to your Regional Head about it, the South

17 Region?

18 A. Well, I suspect it was the other way round: it was the

19 Regional Head who informed me.

20 Q. Who told you in the first place?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. What discussion did you have about the need to disclose

23 this to the Murder Investigation Team?

24 A. It was a mutual agreement, that it ought to be disclosed

25 to the investigation team.

160

1 Q. And as far as you are concerned, was that done as

2 speedily as possible?

3 A. Yes, it was. There are those who might wish to comment

4 on that, but you have got to bear in mind that in the

5 context of Northern Ireland, the 17 March was actually

6 a public holiday and quite a lot of both operators and

7 administrators were off in accordance with Civil Service

8 rules.

9 So, therefore, you could argue that, you know, there

10 was a delay of a day because of that and that's best

11 explained, I think, by B629. But as far as the

12 situation was clarified and crystallised, the

13 arrangements were made.

14 Q. So in your mind there was never any doubt, was there,

15 that the Murder Investigation Team would be told about

16 it, once you knew about it?

17 A. Certainly not in my mind.

18 Q. No consideration was given to the possibility of

19 withholding the information from them?

20 A. Absolutely not. For the very reasons that you have

21 already articulated.

22 Q. Precisely because of the collusion allegation?

23 A. And the possibility that they might have some witness or

24 other evidence, or they might have seen or spotted or

25 done something. It is highly unusual to invite

161

1 undercover officers to make statements and so forth, but

2 this was exceptional circumstances and it was certainly

3 the only thing to do.

4 Q. So, again, here we have another exceptional aspect of

5 the investigation.

6 A. Thank you.

7 Q. Now, so far as pre-murder intelligence is concerned, the

8 next topic, paragraph 77, where you are talking about

9 the immediate aftermath of the murder and what you

10 believed was then done -- we have touched on this

11 together -- you say in 77 at RNI-846-715 (displayed) --

12 in the fourth line, that:

13 "All intelligence gathered pre-murder would have

14 been revisited post-murder and, even when the

15 intelligence was revisited with the benefit of

16 hindsight, I don't believe that any intelligence came to

17 light in relation to the murder."

18 We have looked at that together. Now, I want to

19 look at the first part of this sentence because on the

20 face of it it is extremely wide. You say:

21 "All intelligence gathered pre-murder would have

22 been revisited post-murder ..."

23 Now, presumably some form of guidance or some form

24 of parameter must have been set for those doing the

25 searching, and that presumably must have been based on

162

1 somebody's idea of what was relevant. Isn't that

2 correct?

3 A. Well, you have got to understand that the Intelligence

4 Management Group and the desk officers, which was

5 a combination of Special Branch and Security Service on

6 the desks, were experienced in revisiting, analysing and

7 had parameters and guidance. So they -- there were many

8 factors that they would have been taking into account,

9 which I'm not competent ten years on to articulate. But

10 that could have been in relation to organisations, it

11 could have been in relation to individuals, it could

12 have been in relation to territory, et cetera,

13 et cetera.

14 Q. But do you remember setting any parameters yourself? In

15 other words, saying! By the way, what we are interested

16 in is X, Y and Z"?

17 A. It is reasonable to assume that one would be doing that

18 sort of thing, but it is also unreasonable to assume

19 that I, at my level, would have been writing down that

20 chapter and verse-type situation to people who already

21 would know what they were doing in that regard to people

22 who had already been working in consultation with the

23 MIT, bearing in mind -- and I repeat, we had the murder

24 of Constable O'Reilly by Loyalist paramilitaries in the

25 same area, four or five months earlier.

163

1 So I go back to my point: we weren't starting cold

2 on the morning of 15 March. So, therefore, there would

3 have been many pre-existing systems, briefings,

4 profiles, research, you know, not least what had

5 emanated from the investigation into the late

6 Constable O'Reilly's murder, for example.

7 Q. So you think that the IMG, the people in the central

8 part of Special Branch, would have been looking in the

9 Loyalist direction and looking at the sort of

10 organisations and individuals that had been responsible

11 for the O'Reilly murder?

12 A. Yes, and the Head of IMG, bearing in mind we had two

13 very experienced officers there, superintendent and

14 chief superintendent, they would have been looking

15 across all the desks -- Loyalist, Republican,

16 whatever -- in conjunction with the relevant region

17 where the crime had occurred. And I go back to saying

18 we can't look at it in isolation. We are looking at it

19 in terms of territory and time and context and what had

20 been going on in terms of other activities.

21 Q. But would it have been, in these circumstances, left to

22 the desk officers and the officers at IMG to decide, for

23 example, whether to look at Loyalist individuals,

24 organisations, bomb makers, outside the region where the

25 murder took place and looking, for instance, to Belfast

164

1 or to Antrim? Would that have been a matter for them to

2 decide?

3 A. Of course, that was part of their job: to take the

4 overview and look at the bigger picture. And, I mean,

5 again, they had their own systems supported by

6 technology, as I said, in terms of key words, in terms

7 of individuals, in terms of organisations. So they had

8 many, many support systems and protocols and guidance

9 available to them. And one doesn't start to dabble in

10 the middle when somebody is doing something

11 professionally in accordance with what ought to be done.

12 What I was making sure was that these things were

13 being done and that the staffing and resourcing was

14 applied to it and that I was in close liaison with

15 the -- at a strategic level with the senior people on

16 the enquiry in relation to anything else that they might

17 have wanted done because, you know, nobody can ever

18 pretend to know everything or manage everything and

19 every case is different.

20 So sometimes, with fresh eyes or external eyes or

21 with a different perspective, things get challenged,

22 questions get asked and you need the resource and the

23 experience to respond to that as well. So it has got to

24 be a reciprocal, two-way thing.

25 Q. So far as you are aware, did they in IMG direct their

165

1 attention to Republican paramilitary activity in the

2 immediate weeks and months before the murder?

3 A. I don't recall that, but I do recall that any likely

4 Republican involvement would have been eliminated very

5 early on. I don't think we would have been talking

6 about months, although you mentioned the months before

7 the murder as well.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. But, yes, I mean, clearly they would make the necessary

10 checks in that regard both in terms of expertise,

11 technical situations, intelligence -- again, I don't

12 want to give away too many trade secrets, but I'm quite

13 satisfied that from a Special Branch perspective, the

14 experience and the capability was there to have that

15 done.

16 Q. Let's have a look at a specific example of this at

17 paragraph 86 of your statement, RNI-846-718 (displayed).

18 Here you are referring to Special Branch action sheets

19 from January 1999 and you see the document reference

20 there. Perhaps it would be useful just to flick to

21 that, which is RNI-548-386 (displayed). Dissident

22 Republicans are still very much -- I think it should

23 say:

24 "... interested in mounting some form of terrorist

25 attack. It is believed that this may take the form of

166

1 a UVIED."

2 Now, going back to your statement where you comment

3 on this, in paragraph 86, RNI-846-718 (displayed), you

4 say:

5 "I cannot see how this would be of any relevance

6 other than another factor for us to deal with at the

7 time. In terms of whether there was any Republican

8 involvement in Mr Nelson's murder, this was something

9 that I do not believe there was any suggestion of at the

10 time. I do not think that it was something that was

11 even considered."

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So could it be that in fact very early on this idea

14 wasn't even on the table and that the IMG staff who were

15 doing the searching at your behest didn't in fact

16 explore the Republican angle?

17 A. It is difficult for me to say yes or no. The

18 special Branch position would have been that we would

19 have been looking for any relevant intelligence.

20 Investigators perhaps look at enquiry leads or

21 investigative leads. They might have hypotheses and so

22 forth.

23 Special Branch are dependent upon getting

24 intelligence and reviewing and examining it from

25 whatever source that may indicate or help form a line of

167

1 enquiry. The supervisors in IMG in consultation with

2 the region would have been very alert. I go back to the

3 point that this was the umpteenth in a long line of

4 bombings as well as shootings, and there are other

5 factors quite often as well that circumstantially -- and

6 things that might indicate type of organisation, type of

7 device, whatever. We can talk more about that tomorrow

8 if we want to as well. I can also tell you tomorrow

9 approximately how many action sheets, that you refer to

10 here, were issued in the year 1998, and it was very

11 substantial.

12 This was a time of major dissident Republican

13 activity, as you know. We unfortunately had the Omagh

14 bombing on 15 August 1998. Post this murder, we had the

15 murder of Mr Currie in Belfast, a leading Loyalist, two

16 or three nights later. So I think the context of how we

17 were moving and how we were doing things here was very

18 important.

19 Q. Now, on the question of who may or may not have been

20 responsible for this particular attack, you offer some

21 general comments about Loyalist groups, contrasting them

22 with the Provisional IRA, at 79 of your statement,

23 RNI-846-716 (displayed). And you are making these

24 comments in the general area of coverage; in other

25 words, how easy it was to obtain intelligence. You say

168

1 in the second sentence:

2 "The Loyalist groups were notoriously unpredictable.

3 They would just meet in a pub one day and decide to

4 attack an individual."

5 You go on to explain that, of course, that made

6 gathering in intelligence very difficult. What I wanted

7 to ask you about is this: this particular attack wasn't

8 like that, was it? It bore all the hallmarks of some

9 detailed planning, did it not?

10 A. Well, on one analysis, yes. On another, if you have got

11 the device, it doesn't take an awful lot of planning or

12 courage to go and place it under an unattended car in

13 the middle of the night, presumably. So it is a little

14 bit of a yes and no answer, but the planning or the

15 sophistication, if you like, is probably in the

16 preparation of the device, which isn't necessarily all

17 that major an issue either.

18 But in terms of, as I said, the implementation of

19 it, it doesn't take a lot of resourcing or, indeed,

20 courage to go along in the dark and do something like

21 this.

22 Q. But what about the device itself? Is it fair to say

23 that it was more sophisticated than the sort of devices

24 that had been used to this point by the Loyalist groups

25 which we were talking about a little earlier? Their

169

1 normal method was either shooting or pipe bombs,

2 wasn't it?

3 A. That's generally right. I can't recall too much about

4 the sophistication of the device all these years without

5 confusing it with perhaps other Loyalist organisations

6 and so forth. But, yes, I think in general what you are

7 suggesting would be correct.

8 Q. Now, so far as getting information, getting leads, based

9 on intelligence, the MIT were, at least principally,

10 dependent on assistance given to them by Special Branch,

11 weren't they?

12 A. Principally dependent would be a very complimentary

13 term, yes, but it needs qualification again.

14 Investigation is a complex business ultimately,

15 albeit that it is still dependent upon three or four

16 well tried or tested strands or methods. But

17 experienced investigators with the relevant support, not

18 least of all technology, would have other -- various

19 other means of getting information. And I'm not

20 confusing that with intelligence, but getting

21 information that might assist or be relevant to forming

22 lines of enquiry and to perhaps supporting or otherwise

23 any Special Branch information.

24 So as time progresses, investigators -- what I'm

25 saying is -- glean information from various other

170

1 quarters, if they are lucky and if it is going well. Is

2 that --

3 Q. I'm going to ask you this question now: one of the

4 themes that has emerged from the evidence of the MIT

5 witnesses, indeed some other witnesses the Inquiry has

6 heard, is that one of the difficulties for

7 investigators, whether it is in this case external

8 investigators or local CID offices, is that in the

9 provision of intelligence from Special Branch,

10 Special Branch were the ones who decided what was

11 relevant to the investigation. Presumably you were at

12 least aware of that concern being expressed from time to

13 time?

14 A. Of course, yes.

15 Q. And it must have been -- no doubt you can understand

16 this -- from time to time a cause of frustration that

17 the people running the investigation were not the people

18 determining what intelligence was relevant to it. You

19 understand that?

20 A. Yes, I was quite close to a considerable number of major

21 investigations in my service and I readily understand

22 the interface and the issues between intelligence and

23 the evidence and the sharing of it and, as I mentioned

24 earlier, the national security considerations vis--vis

25 investigative considerations.

171

1 The relevance of material, I don't have to tell you

2 as a lawyer, even today in most situations in the

3 criminal justice process has to begin with the

4 collectors of the intelligence and somebody making

5 a judgment on what's deemed relevant at that point in

6 time. And I see from the SIO -- we've always got to

7 look at this from both sides -- I see that the SIO --

8 that's quite an admirable principle that is for the

9 investigators to decide.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. But there is a stage before when hopefully -- other

12 judgments have been to be made. From our perspective,

13 Special Branch in this Inquiry, the general message from

14 the top was anything that's considered in any way

15 relevant goes to the team.

16 Q. That was the message that you gave to your officers,

17 was it?

18 A. Of course. You have got to balance that against -- and

19 I notice the SIO's evidence, where he said that if he

20 was given everything that was irrelevant, he would have

21 drowned in paper. So, you know, that's the balance that

22 has to be achieved.

23 So you can, you know, retrospectively in a kind of

24 forensic audit sense argue about this or argue about

25 that, but trained professionals have to make judgments

172

1 on these situations.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. And they have to complement and quality assure each

4 other and you have got to look at where it starts and

5 where it ends.

6 Q. And we can see from your own statement at paragraph 258,

7 RNI-846-772 (displayed), the last sentence that it was

8 and remains your -- 258 at the top of the page,

9 RNI-846-772, please -- it remains your view that those

10 who hold the intelligence have to decide on relevance.

11 That's one of points you have just been making.

12 Do you not understand, though, the other point being

13 made by the SIO and others in this context, which is how

14 on earth can Special Branch officers determine that

15 issue when they are not familiar with the details of the

16 investigation itself?

17 A. Hm-mm, I have just --

18 Q. It is a difficulty, isn't it?

19 A. I think I have just explained that, and in this case,

20 you know, we would have always been erring on the side

21 of, if you like, safety, as it were. The message from

22 the top -- and that was very much supported by B629 and

23 503 -- anything that looks to people examining it and

24 analysing it as in any way relevant was to go across.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Your message didn't get across to everybody

173

1 in Special Branch, did it, because it number of clearly

2 relevant pieces of intelligence were not handed over to

3 Mr Port?

4 A. Chairman, I can say quite a lot about that, either now

5 or tomorrow, if it is helpful to the Inquiry.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

7 MR PHILLIPS: I think it would be helpful. That's the

8 issue: whether or not obviously relevant items of

9 intelligence were withheld from the murder

10 investigation.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And what is the answer, so far as you are concerned?

13 A. It may take me some time to help the Inquiry in relation

14 to this because, like so many other things, there can't

15 always be a simple yes or no answer. There are factors

16 that may surround it and that may need to be considered.

17 First of all, I would be confident in the extreme

18 that no intelligence would have been deliberately

19 withheld, suppressed or concealed from the investigation

20 team. I have no difficulty in saying that to this

21 Inquiry in terms of my knowledge and my experience and

22 my confidence of the staff under my command.

23 I would, of course, be disturbed, perturbed, if any

24 highly relevant or critical pieces of intelligence were

25 overlooked or in any way missed in the process which

174

1 went on over a considerable number of years, which

2 involved hundreds, I see, of documents. Now, I think

3 that's important.

4 I would also caution against what I call the rigid

5 forensic audit trail in relation to individual three-,

6 four- or five-line messages. And as I said, I preface

7 that by saying that I would be both perturbed and

8 disturbed if either human or technical error caused that

9 to happen. But it has to be seen in the context of the

10 volume of documents, the nature of the enquiry.

11 I am comforted by the fact that the SIO has recorded

12 that any of those documents -- his words --

13 reinforced -- would have reinforced what he already had,

14 but there were no lost lines of enquiry.

15 Q. Yes. Can I just pick up a point you have made --

16 A. Can I finish on this?

17 Q. Please do.

18 A. I mentioned the word "caution" in relation to the rigid,

19 strict, forensic audit of documents. You have got to

20 understand that on top of that there were numerous

21 profiles and assessments and briefing documents

22 prepared, which may have drawn material from some or any

23 or all or none of those documents, depending on their

24 timing and their availability. And where they were in

25 the, if you like, the intelligence chain at that time in

175

1 terms of desks, analysts, registries, computer -- I'm

2 explaining this by way of context.

3 So in terms of those -- I mean, the commitment of my

4 staff at Headquarters in terms of preparing those

5 briefs, those profiles, those summaries, went on

6 endlessly in conjunction with servicing Stevens 3, with

7 the intelligence professional's review, with the Currie

8 murder in Belfast, with the Portadown murder of

9 Constable O'Reilly and, of course, on the other side,

10 post the Omagh bombing. So one has got to understand

11 the resourcing and the effort and the commitment.

12 As I said, it would be unfortunate, or perhaps on

13 the law of averages, not exceptional that a small number

14 of things deemed relevant or significant two, three,

15 four, five years later may not have got flagged up, so

16 to speak, top of the list in the early days.

17 I am confident to repeat that no lines of enquiry

18 were lost and that it was reinforcing other briefs and

19 other documents. I note the SIO's evidence in recent

20 days of paragraph 135, that indeed he may have received

21 some of that verbally. Hence my word of caution.

22 There is also the question for all of us, to help

23 the Inquiry and for the sake of completeness and

24 objectivity, of the bookkeeping, as it were, at the

25 other end. I note from the evidence -- and it was

176

1 publicly -- his name was in the public, Mr Provoost --

2 that I think, subject to checking, paragraph 100, where

3 the Ayling review in assisting the Inquiry identified

4 initially something like 11 documents that may have been

5 not shared or overlooked or misplaced or whatever word

6 we want to offer. But when Mr Provoost delved a little

7 deeper back at base, he found two of them. So we

8 just -- I want to be totally objective and commonplace

9 about this.

10 The other thing is this -- and it was a sense of

11 some frustration for Mr Port in particular -- was the

12 high turnover of his staff from Great Britain in the

13 early days of the enquiry; quite a high turnover of

14 people who came and stayed a short time and found it

15 wasn't for them. There were issues around vettings,

16 there were a number of logistical and resourcing issues,

17 both human and technical, which it took some time to

18 refine and for Mr Port to get to his satisfaction.

19 So, again, in that regard a word of caution in

20 relation to information that may have been shared,

21 absorbed, discarded or considered not relevant by

22 whoever. Again, there was a weekly intelligence -- in

23 fact, sometimes daily intelligence meetings where many

24 of these both central and perhaps more marginal issues

25 would have been examined, clarified, assessed in

177

1 relation to intelligence developments and core documents

2 and complementary documents.

3 I have described to you the nature and volume of

4 work within the department and within the organisation.

5 I have touch upon the number of action sheets, which we

6 can come back to tomorrow. I can also describe to you,

7 if you wish, either today or tomorrow -- and this is

8 fact in the intelligence professional's report -- as to

9 the number of pieces of primary information, primary

10 information, being handled within E Department on

11 a daily basis at that time. I would be aware that the

12 Inquiry may or may not have seen that. I'm happy to

13 give those statistics now from that report or

14 alternatively tomorrow morning.

15 I don't say any of this by way of mitigation or

16 excuse; I'm not being asked to do that. I'm explaining

17 a number of factors and the context of them. Would it

18 be helpful for the Inquiry to know the volume of pieces

19 of information being processed each day?

20 MR PHILLIPS: I think it probably would.

21 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Yes, but separately perhaps.

22 MR PHILLIPS: I'm not sure we need to take up any more

23 time now.

24 A. Could we return to that tomorrow?

25 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I think I would rather get it in

178

1 writing.

2 MR PHILLIPS: I am sure we can get it from your solicitor.

3 A. You can get it from the intelligence professional's

4 report.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Even better. In terms of our own life and

6 business, sir, the witness has very kindly indicated

7 that he is able to stay to half past five today, but I'm

8 very conscious that we are now going way beyond our

9 normal time with the stenographer.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: We will have a seven-minute break now.

11 A. Chairman, if it's helpful I can go seven minutes beyond

12 half five.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, then we will make the break longer and

14 say until five past five, which is 12 minutes. Thank

15 you.

16 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

17 please confirm that all the cameras have been

18 switched off?

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

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please escort the witness out.

21 (4.53 pm)

22 (Short break)

23 (5.05 pm)

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

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

179

1 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

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

3 screen closed?

4 MR MYERS: Yes, sir.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

6 and securely fastened?

7 MR MYERS: Yes.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

9 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

10 of this chamber?

11 MR MYERS: No, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

13 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

14 shrouded?

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

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

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

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Bring the witness in, please.

19 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

20 Participants' legal representatives may now be switched

21 back on.

22 MR PHILLIPS: I'm sorry, you can sit down.

23 A. Thank you.

24 Q. Now, I'm just going to ask you one or two questions

25 about this issue that we were talking about as to

180

1 intelligence which may or may not have been disclosed to

2 the Murder Investigation Team. And just to pick up a

3 couple of points with you: in your statement you make

4 the point that it is unwise to focus on individual

5 documents because information may have been passed

6 across to the investigation team by Special Branch in

7 other ways: in briefing meetings, in discussions,

8 et cetera. That's one of the points you are making,

9 isn't it?

10 A. I'm saying those are all facts of life, so to speak.

11 But by the very nature of assessments and summaries, and

12 profiles, they draw from core documents.

13 Q. Absolutely.

14 A. That's where they get their core information.

15 Q. Absolutely. Now, the point that you then went on to

16 make is that it looked from the evidence he had given as

17 though the MIT system for recording what they'd received

18 wasn't all it might have been because, as you say,

19 Mr Provoost said one thing initially and then said

20 something else later on. Do you remember saying that?

21 A. Yes, but I said it in the context that I wasn't applying

22 a professional criticism; I was explaining as a fact and

23 factor in relation to all these type of situations.

24 Q. Yes. Now, what system did Special Branch have in place

25 to record all intelligence passed on to them by the MIT?

181

1 A. I couldn't give the specifics of that. That would not

2 have been, as someone would say, on my radar.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Can we infer there was no system of recording

4 when and which pieces of intelligence were passed on to

5 the MIT?

6 A. I'm not sure that I can help the Inquiry with that

7 answer, Mr Chairman, as to whether or not the people

8 heading up desks or regions or the liaison officer would

9 have had precise chapter and verse records. As I said,

10 it was susceptible as well to the bigger documents, to

11 bigger assessments.

12 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, but have you ever seen any such records

13 yourself?

14 A. I did not have occasion to see them.

15 Q. No, did you ever see any at the time.

16 A. I don't recall. That was an ongoing process that would

17 have been supervised at middle management level.

18 Q. So far as the --

19 A. I do want to make one point supplementary in relation to

20 that when I talked about briefings and handover of

21 documents and particularly the turnover of staff which

22 was problematic for Mr Port and for the MIT. And not at

23 least amongst that was the Head of the Intelligence

24 Cell, Detective Chief Inspector [blank], who moved back,

25 who left after X number of weeks or a couple of -- a few

182

1 months, I seem to recall. So I'm just flagging up the

2 bigger context and the factors and the human elements --

3 THE CHAIRMAN: It was long after the golden hour that that

4 detective inspector returned to the mainland. It was

5 something like a year, wasn't it?

6 A. Oh, no, I'm referring to the DCI who was heading up the

7 Intelligence Cell as an example of turnover. There were

8 many others.

9 MR PHILLIPS: Can I ask you this question: you referred to

10 an instruction you gave to Special Branch officers to

11 take a wide view of relevance in selecting materials to

12 be patched on to the murder investigation. Was that

13 instruction recorded in writing?

14 A. I would have no idea.

15 Q. Well, it was your instruction, so you told us?

16 A. I would have no idea.

17 Q. Did you write it down? Did you make sure it was

18 disseminated in written form to all of the various desks

19 and regions of Special Branch?

20 A. I mean, I can't recall or admit or deny that, as it

21 were. It may well have been in the minutes of my senior

22 management team meetings.

23 Q. Did you write it down yourself?

24 A. Well, I don't recall seeing it in my personal journal.

25 Q. We have certainly never seen it. Did you write it down,

183

1 as far as you can remember?

2 A. As far as I can remember. I can't see it in my journal,

3 but that's not to say that it wasn't recorded in the

4 minutes of my senior management team meetings. And

5 I have pointed out that I held additional meetings.

6 I convened meetings also with -- involving the ACC Crime

7 and all the new people. So whether it was written down

8 by me or someone else, I can assure this Inquiry that

9 that was the message and the understanding and nobody

10 would have had any difficulty with that in the context

11 of what they were being asked to do.

12 Q. Now, so far as the intelligence, specific intelligence,

13 that the MIT say they weren't provided with, you deal

14 with that in a section of your statement right at the

15 end from paragraph 258 and following. That's at

16 RNI-846-771 (displayed), and we have looked at a little

17 bit of that earlier in discussing the question of who

18 was to determine relevance.

19 Now, what I would like to do, if I may, is to look

20 at an example of intelligence that they say they didn't

21 get and that they should have seen, and it is an example

22 which you deal with earlier in your statement at 151.

23 And here you refer to a PRISM report dated April 1999;

24 that's at RNI-846-738 (displayed). And the reference of

25 the report is RNI-544-249 to RNI-544-260, so could we

184

1 have the paragraph on the left-hand side, please --

2 RNI-846-738, paragraph 151 -- and the document or the

3 substance of it on the right -- RNI-544-260 -- that

4 would be very helpful (displayed). Thank you very much.

5 This came in in April. It is headed "Red Hand

6 Defenders" and then even allowing for the redactions

7 which the Inquiry has put on to it, it says:

8 "... believes that the phone call by the Red Hand

9 Defenders claiming responsibility for the death of

10 Rosemary Nelson was made from a public phone box

11 [redacted ]."

12 Now, you are not suggesting, are you, that that

13 information was irrelevant to the Rosemary Nelson murder

14 investigation?

15 A. Not for one moment.

16 Q. As I understand it from your evidence, what you are

17 saying in relation to this material is that it was

18 obviously relevant and you believe and hope that it

19 would have made its way in one form or another to the

20 Murder Investigation Team?

21 A. Yes, indeed. And other witnesses perhaps still to come

22 who may have been quite close to the source of that

23 intelligence may be able to help the Inquiry in relation

24 to it being passed on or explained or whatever.

25 Q. Yes. But would you also accept that if this

185

1 information, whether in this form or some other form,

2 was withheld from the murder investigation team, that

3 indicated at the very least a failure on the part of

4 Special Branch in their systems to make sure that

5 relevant material reached the investigators?

6 A. Well, failure is a very explicit word.

7 Q. It is a very simple word. Do you agree with my

8 suggestion or not?

9 A. In this here? Well, you are saying if it wasn't passed

10 on -- and we have to be -- obviously the Inquiry will

11 wish to be satisfied about that. I'm giving my answer

12 in the context that other witnesses who may know much

13 more about the source and relevance of this piece of

14 intelligence may be able to comment on it in subsequent

15 days.

16 But in the generality of it, in terms of the

17 relevance of it being passed on, in looking at it, of

18 course, yes, I do have a recollection of -- to do with

19 the investigation and the issue about the claim of

20 responsibility, and that was obviously an investigative

21 line for the MIT.

22 Now, there were various other historical and

23 intelligence aspects to that, to which they quite

24 clearly were referred and to which they carried out some

25 very considerable investigation. And back to my point

186

1 again, that investigators do have other ways and means

2 to complement and supplement intelligence reports.

3 And as I said earlier, I would be perturbed if

4 anything was accidentally or administratively

5 overlooked, delayed or missed, but I'm comforted by the

6 fact that the SIO doesn't regard it as any lost line of

7 enquiry.

8 Q. You tell us rather carefully in your statement that you

9 were not consulted as to whether or not any specific

10 piece of intelligence should be disclosed to the MIT.

11 That's paragraph 258. We are not going to look at it

12 now.

13 But this is very clear, isn't it: that if you had

14 been shown this piece of reporting at the time, you

15 would have advised whoever it was who was asking you the

16 question that of course it should be disclosed to the

17 MIT?

18 A. I would assume that --

19 Q. That must be right?

20 A. -- that's the situation and, again, I don't see the bits

21 that are redacted, et cetera, et cetera, but on the

22 balance and on the face of it, of course, yes.

23 Q. Now, I would like to broaden this discussion out

24 a little, please, by asking you to look at paragraph 589

25 of your statement, RNI-846-710 (displayed), where you

187

1 deal with the general question of dissemination of

2 intelligence from Special Branch to CID. And you say in

3 the fourth line:

4 "Intelligence was not a science, it was really a big

5 jigsaw."

6 A comment you made earlier:

7 "We would have been lucky if we had all of the

8 relevant bits at the relevant time. So it was crucial

9 for us not to risk our sources."

10 So can I take it that there were cases where source

11 protection could, in Special Branch's view, justify

12 a decision not to disclose relevant intelligence?

13 A. Well, that's a judgment that has to be made in each

14 individual case.

15 Q. But what you are saying there suggests that there were

16 such cases?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Is that correct?

19 A. No, I'm not saying that and I think that's not the

20 thrust of my -- can I have a moment to read

21 paragraph 59? (Pause)

22 What I'm saying is:

23 "It was part of their daily business for Special

24 Branch to pass intelligence on to CID in a way that the

25 identity of the source was protected."

188

1 That's very different from saying it wouldn't be

2 shared at all.

3 Q. But are you not aware of individual cases where

4 a decision was taken not to disclose intelligence to

5 a CID officer in order to protect your sources?

6 A. Not in relation to the protection of life or the

7 investigation of murder, in my experience.

8 What we are saying here is that it has to be done --

9 I referred earlier and in relation to some of the

10 statistics that you may pick up -- the Inquiry will wish

11 to perhaps visit tomorrow, about primary intelligence.

12 We didn't go on to discuss secondary intelligence.

13 The dissemination of national security intelligence,

14 it has to be understood here, that all -- we may want to

15 come to this tomorrow. The gathering, if you like, and

16 the processing and ultimately the dissemination of

17 intelligence in this regard from a Special Branch

18 perspective was in the national security, if you like,

19 arena.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: I think it is time for the next question.

21 MR PHILLIPS: Can I ask you to consider this issue now in

22 the light of Mr Port's terms of reference, which we can

23 see at RNI-831-083 and RNI-831-084. Could we have both

24 of those on the screen together, please (displayed),

25 because one of the other unusual or possibly

189

1 unprecedented features of this investigation was that

2 Mr Port's terms of reference included, at paragraph 7,

3 the assurance from the Chief Constable:

4 "You will have unlimited access to all intelligence

5 and information available to you, and all files held by,

6 the RUC."

7 Do you see that?

8 A. Oh, yes, yes.

9 Q. So presumably in the case of this investigation there

10 was no place for withholding relevant intelligence on

11 the grounds of source protection or any other grounds?

12 A. Yes, I just said not in my experience in terms of the

13 protection of life or the investigation of murder.

14 Q. Do you accept in this particular case that Mr Port was

15 given an assurance by your Chief Constable that he had

16 unlimited access to your intelligence and information

17 and files so that no question of making a decision to

18 withhold relevant material could have arisen in this

19 case?

20 A. That's right. I do not have any difficulty with that.

21 Consistent with Article 2 and Article 8 of the

22 regulations, et cetera, et cetera, and the need to

23 discuss sensitive protection of life in appropriate

24 cases, and all experienced investigators are well aware

25 of that responsibility. So it wasn't on the head or

190

1 shoulders of any individual; this was a collaborative

2 understanding, which was common to other murder

3 investigations, as well as this one.

4 We had a common goal and that was to solve -- to

5 bring to justice the perpetrators of the murder.

6 Q. Now, did you in your own mind impose any limitations on

7 that paragraph 7 assurance; for example, did you think

8 that it should be read in the light of your stress on

9 the need to know, even in relation to relevant

10 intelligence?

11 A. I'm not sure that those would have been issues or

12 implications or particular difficulties that manifest

13 themselves at my level. I had a very solid,

14 constructive, purposeful and professional working

15 relationship with Mr Port on either sensitive or

16 strategic issues, and he in turn had access to the

17 Chief Constable in that regard and access to the DCI.

18 He had to be aware, obviously, of the wider

19 implications -- and I mentioned particularly Article 2

20 and Article 8 and many other things we can refer to --

21 and the context of ongoing operations, the context of

22 sensitive methodology on the part of the Security

23 Service and of ourselves, but none of those things would

24 have been presented as impediments. They may have been

25 things to be managed, managed within legislation,

191

1 managed within protocols and managed sensibly.

2 Q. But no RUC investigator operated under terms of

3 reference, including something like paragraph 7, did

4 they?

5 A. Well --

6 Q. I mean, if a CID officer had walked into Special Branch

7 office and said, "By the way, I want unlimited access to

8 all your intelligence that I deem to be relevant to my

9 murder", he would have been told to leave very promptly,

10 wouldn't he?

11 A. I don't think so.

12 Q. You think he would have been afforded unlimited access

13 to all information and intelligence available and all

14 files held by Special Branch in relation to his

15 investigation, do you?

16 A. Well, one doesn't want to sound pedantic, but you know,

17 unlimited -- again, you have got to look at the context,

18 you have got to look at the volume.

19 Everybody in -- any investigator has to have

20 priorities. Presumably we had to have priorities. It

21 had to be seen in the context of other enquiries --

22 I repeat, given, for example, Constable O'Reilly's,

23 which was ongoing, committed by Loyalist groupings. The

24 sharing and the passage and the interface with

25 investigators and the transferring of national security

192

1 intelligence --

2 THE CHAIRMAN: I think you have made that point before, yes.

3 A. -- has been the subject of many reviews over many years.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Did the Chief Constable discuss with you the

5 fact that he had given terms of reference, including

6 this paragraph, to Mr Port?

7 A. I'm sure he did.

8 Q. Wasn't it obvious to you when you read this paragraph,

9 or became aware of it, that it was likely to take you

10 and your Special Branch into new territory?

11 A. Not really.

12 Q. You are saying it wasn't an unprecedented assurance?

13 A. I mean, from our perspective we would have been

14 honouring our professional obligations to the nth degree

15 possible in terms of finding and providing intelligence

16 that might have helped solve this crime. And, indeed,

17 that would -- I mean, the ultimate was to have people

18 charged, to also dispel the allegations of so-called

19 collusion.

20 So from my perspective there was no issue. I mean,

21 we can debate pedantically some words, but in practice

22 people did what they needed to do and did it honourably

23 and professionally.

24 Q. Now, from an early point of Colin Port's involvement, it

25 must have been obvious to you that he was going to be

193

1 asking questions and demanding access to information of

2 a kind that you were simply not used to dealing with in

3 your department?

4 A. No, not at all.

5 Q. Isn't that correct?

6 A. No, no, no. We had many, many, many major enquiries,

7 not least, tragically, the Omagh bombing, 29 people

8 killed, X number of months earlier, and many others. We

9 have had many external reviews, investigations and

10 examinations.

11 So from my perspective, this was no -- I'm not sure

12 of the words you used there. It was unprecedented in

13 terms of time and commitment and resourcing. As we

14 emerged through it, there were some additional

15 techniques and experience and professionalism brought to

16 it which we really wanted. That's why we were paying

17 people to come in and help us.

18 I go back to the context again: this wasn't

19 something imposed on us, so why would we want to be in

20 any way, to use your suggestion, defensive? The

21 opposite was the case. We wanted it to be seen to be

22 open, transparent and to bring a result. The balance

23 had to be in terms of methodology and our efforts, in

24 terms of other murders and ongoing operations.

25 Mr Provoost, I think, described it and used the

194

1 analogy of a sprint versus a marathon. So I think

2 hopefully that's helpful to the Inquiry in terms of

3 context. But in terms of what you are suggesting to me

4 about major concerns, if I had have had those major

5 concerns I would have been expressing it to the

6 Chief Constable at day 1, not at day 1001.

7 Q. And you weren't?

8 A. No, no.

9 Q. So the terms of reference didn't take you into new

10 territory, there was nothing unusual about what

11 happened, nothing usual about his requests.

12 Can I ask you, given that evidence you've just

13 provided, why you think it was that within a couple of

14 months relations between the MIT and Special Branch

15 officers were very poor and described in that way by a

16 Security Service witness who the Inquiry has heard and

17 whose report you read?

18 A. Yes, yes.

19 Q. So what was it about what was apparently entirely normal

20 business for you and your colleagues that led to these

21 tensions?

22 A. Yes. I'm sorry, but one doesn't want to just exaggerate

23 the normal business. This was a very high profile

24 enquiry, one which we wanted done to the nth degree

25 possible, one in which of course there were additional

195

1 factors, additional resourcing, additional liaison

2 issues, all kinds of things; two, I mentioned earlier,

3 were language procedures, culture, manuals, et cetera,

4 et cetera.

5 What I'm saying is in terms of the supply and the

6 effort to supply relevant and timely intelligence, that

7 wasn't new. The management and the processes may have

8 varied.

9 In terms of -- and I have been referred to that

10 little file note that was written by a relatively junior

11 Security Service officer, you will see -- I don't know

12 if we want to discuss this today or tomorrow, but

13 perhaps we carry on? One of the things was about what's

14 referred to as raw intelligence. Do we want to go into

15 that today, and OIOC and other things?

16 Q. If you have got a comment about it which is relevant to

17 the question I'm asking you, please make it.

18 A. I believe given recent arguments and explanations to

19 help the Inquiry understand the broader context -- and I

20 think that's very important -- suffice to say that --

21 I mentioned earlier the turnover of staff, the people

22 needing to come to terms with language and common

23 understandings and that type of thing, and the

24 processing in some cases of raw intelligence, which was

25 subject to national security and Security Service

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1 protocols and legislation, not just at my whim or the

2 whim of any individual Special Branch officer. That was

3 well decreed in national security protocols and

4 legislation.

5 So naturally it took some time for people to come to

6 mutual understandings and to balance out that.

7 You will see in another exhibit where Mr Port and

8 myself had largely resolved that prior to the arrival of

9 that junior Security Service officer, where I had drawn

10 up specific protocols to enable Mr Port's team to

11 process raw intelligence in certain situations when he

12 had the people DV'd to handle that.

13 There were very stringent rules about the handling

14 of national security information -- let's forget about

15 intelligence for the moment -- national security

16 information. Those protocols -- people in my staff who

17 were quite experienced in the handling of that sort of

18 thing, we drew up specific protocols to facilitate and

19 enable Mr Port's team. We had some difficulties, as you

20 would imagine, with turnover of staff with getting

21 people DV'd. I don't want to go into all that to take

22 up the time of the Inquiry. Suffice to say that that

23 junior Security Service officer was brought over with my

24 agreement and my involvement in conjunction with the DCI

25 and Mr Port based on the Security Service experience in

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1 Great Britain of having protocols with mainland forces,

2 et cetera, et cetera.

3 So we brought him over to scope and to assist and,

4 if you like, to quality assure what we had pretty well

5 done anyway. He seemed to have got himself involved a

6 little bit in discussing personality issues. Those did

7 not affect or impede or upset the balance of the

8 Inquiry, and both Mr Port and myself were quite clear on

9 that.

10 MR PHILLIPS: Right. Sir, I'm conscious that it has now

11 gone 25 to six. So, on any view, we have passed our

12 limit.

13 Now, I'm not making quite as much progress as I had

14 hoped to, and I am afraid that in order to complete the

15 questioning and to allow for a closed hearing, albeit

16 perhaps a relatively short one, I think we will have to

17 start just a little earlier tomorrow morning, and I'm

18 going to propose that we start at half past nine.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. We will start at half past nine

20 tomorrow and I hope that both questions and answers will

21 be succinct.

22 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

23 please confirm that all the cameras have been

24 switched off?

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

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please escort the witness out.

2 Half past nine.

3 (5.37 pm)

4 (The Inquiry adjourned until 9.30 am the following day)

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