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Full Hearings

Hearing: 8th January 2009, day 97

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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, 8 January 2009
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Thursday, 8 January 2009

2 (10.15 am)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist. Is the public

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

5 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR CURRANS: 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 CURRANS: 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: I can.

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

21 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, they are.

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

 

 

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1 switched back on.

2 B663 (sworn)

3 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please sit down.

5 Yes, Mr Phillips?

6 MR PHILLIPS: I think you have made just one statement to

7 the Inquiry, haven't you?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. It's at RNI-846-588 (displayed), and do we see your

10 ciphered signature and the date of 20 November last

11 year?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. You have been granted anonymity in the Inquiry and given

14 the cipher B663, and I hope you have in front of you

15 a list of other names and ciphers, do you?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. I would be grateful if you could consult that from time

18 to time as we go through so as to ensure that the

19 anonymity of those witnesses may also be preserved.

20 Sir, before we start the questioning of this

21 witness, may I make a short statement about the closed

22 hearing?

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

24 MR PHILLIPS: You have indicated in relation to this witness

25 that there will be a closed hearing in respect of part

 

 

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1 of his evidence and I hope it will be helpful for me to

2 say at this stage that the matters which will be covered

3 in the closed session are, first, the sensitive

4 operational details of Operation Fagotto, and secondly,

5 some sensitive operational matters in relation to

6 surveillance of Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy.

7 Now, can we look at the beginning of your statement,

8 please, at paragraph 1, where you tell us about your

9 earlier career. Am I right in thinking that you joined

10 Special Branch in 1997; is that right?

11 A. That's correct, yes.

12 Q. Before that you had had ten years as a uniformed

13 officer?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. As I understand it, you were never a member of CID. Is

16 that right?

17 A. No, not a permanent member, no.

18 Q. Were you temporarily attached --

19 A. Yes, I was.

20 Q. Thank you. You then go on to explain in your statement

21 how you applied to join E4A, the surveillance unit, and

22 if we turn over the page, we see that at a later stage

23 you became, in fact, a trainer --

24 A. That's right.

25 Q. -- of, no doubt, other applicants over the years?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. Thank you very much. Can I start by asking you, in

3 relation to the detail of your statement, something

4 about your recollection. Paragraph 3: you make

5 a general remark about that. How good is your memory of

6 the detail of events in 1999?

7 A. Some of the details I would have a better memory about

8 than others. Obviously there is instances where it will

9 be vague in my memory and certain detail, but overall

10 I feel I have a good recollection of events.

11 Q. Right. Now, so far as your work in E4A is concerned,

12 you have given us some details about that. The Inquiry

13 has already heard a certain amount of evidence about the

14 unit so I'm just going to pick up a few points with you

15 which you set out for us in your statement.

16 Can we look, please, together at RNI-846-590 and

17 paragraph 8 (displayed)? You say that you operated

18 mostly in South Region. Is that correct?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. That was your patch, if I can put it that way?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Thank you. And in paragraph 9 -- if we could have that

23 on the screen, please (displayed) -- you tell us that

24 typically it would take two to three years for an

25 officer to understand, as you put it, the key players on

 

 

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1 the patch?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Now, you joined this unit in February 1998, I think,

4 didn't you?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And so would it be fair to say then on that basis that

7 in March 1999, the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder, you

8 were still in the process of familiarisation?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of how that would work, you

11 tell us in paragraph 9 that as a new member of the team,

12 you were briefed. Can I take that that was by other

13 officers already in the unit?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. And would that take the form of formal briefs?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. But would there also be, as it were, learning on the

18 job?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And is that what you are talking about when you refer to

21 a familiarisation programme with another member of the

22 team?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. So you were allocated, as it were, somebody who would be

25 your trainer, if I can put it that way, on the job?

 

 

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1 A. Yes. All new people to the team would have a mentor

2 whom you would work closely with.

3 Q. Right. So in terms of what you learned about the

4 personalities, the individuals, who were operating on

5 your patch, it came from those sources; in other words,

6 the formal briefings and your mentor and what you

7 learned from him?

8 A. Yes, and there would also be other sources. Obviously

9 the intelligence officer, who is attached to the team --

10 each team has two -- they would also brief the members

11 prior to any deployment.

12 Q. Yes. Now, presumably in your discussions, informal

13 discussions, with other members of the team you were

14 able to draw on their knowledge --

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. -- of what they knew about the patch and about the

17 individuals who operated in it or on it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. And so can I take it in relation to

20 Portadown and Lurgan in particular that you would have

21 been given information, as it were, intelligence, the

22 low-down on the various local personalities?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And would they be people operating there on both sides,

25 if I can put it that way?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. Do you remember whether, in February 1998 or

3 shortly thereafter, after you joined the unit, you were

4 told about Rosemary Nelson as part of any of these

5 briefings and discussions?

6 A. No.

7 Q. You don't think you were?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Are you confident about that recollection?

10 A. I would be, yes.

11 Q. Yes. So does it follow from that that she first came

12 into your knowledge some time later, during 1998?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And in what circumstances?

15 A. It was through an association.

16 Q. Yes. Was that the association you talk about in your

17 statement, with Colin Duffy?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Thank you. So as far as you can recall, you weren't

20 told about her specifically; you learned about her

21 because of that association?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask you to look at paragraph 15

24 of your statement? That's at RNI-846-592 (displayed).

25 Here, you talk about access to the computer system.

 

 

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1 I think the CAISTER system was the one that eventually

2 became known as MACER. Is that right?

3 A. Possibly.

4 Q. It sounds from what you tell us in your statement as

5 though you weren't a great computer user. Is that

6 a fair statement?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. You tell us, I think, that you maybe used it twice in

9 your whole time in E4A?

10 A. Yes, that's correct. Primarily the CAISTER computer was

11 for the intelligence officers, so basically other

12 officers would have been trained on this to obviously

13 relieve the intelligence officers in times of annual

14 leave, to fill the slots. So my use of it was limited.

15 Q. Yes. So when we are looking at what you learned in

16 terms of intelligence and information about what was

17 going on locally, we can, for practical purposes, rule

18 out your use of the computer systems?

19 A. Yes, you could.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, can I look at specific intelligence

21 briefings with you and in particular briefings prior to

22 deployments, and this is dealt with in paragraph 13 of

23 your statement, RNI-846-591 (displayed). You say there:

24 "We were very much subject to the 'need to know'

25 principle."

 

 

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1 So just to be clear about that, as I understand it

2 what you are saying there is you were provided with that

3 intelligence, which it was felt you needed to know in

4 order to undertake the particular surveillance task?

5 A. That's exactly it, yes.

6 Q. Can I also take it that the responsibility for making

7 that decision, i.e. what you needed to know, was taken by

8 more senior officers?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Perhaps the sergeant, B651, for example?

11 A. No.

12 Q. It would be above him, would it? Is that what you are

13 saying?

14 A. Exactly, yes. That decision would have been made at the

15 level of the head of the department, the head of the

16 branch in South Region.

17 Q. Do you mean the Regional Head?

18 A. Yes, B629 would have made that decision.

19 Q. We will come back to him in just a minute, but you tell

20 us in an earlier paragraph -- and it is paragraph 12, if

21 we can have that enlarged, please -- that you were not

22 briefed on intelligence that a source, whether human or

23 other, provided. So, as I understand it, in most cases

24 you were not given source details. Is that correct?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. And looking at paragraph 13 and coming back

2 to the individual you have mentioned, you there describe

3 him in the second sentence as the Detective Chief

4 Superintendent in charge of TCG. In fact, he was the

5 Regional Head of Special Branch, B629, wasn't he?

6 A. He was, yes.

7 Q. Now, can I take it from what you are saying there that

8 he was a particularly jealous guardian of his own

9 intelligence?

10 A. Yes, you could say that.

11 Q. Is it fair, as far as you are aware, to say that he kept

12 a tighter control on his intelligence than, for example,

13 other regional heads in the rest of Northern Ireland?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. Now, B651 has told us, I think, that he allowed a more

16 restricted level of access to the MACER system, for

17 example, than was the case in other regions. Was that

18 something you were aware of?

19 A. I wasn't aware of that, no.

20 Q. But in general it was a pretty tight grip kept on his

21 intelligence?

22 A. Yes, all intelligence was closely guarded.

23 Q. Yes. Now, in paragraph 14, which we also have on the

24 screen, you make some comments about the relationship

25 between Special Branch and other parts of the RUC, and

 

 

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1 in particular CID.

2 Now, you said earlier that you were never a member

3 of CID, but it sounded as though you had a temporary

4 attachment at some point. Is that right?

5 A. That's correct. I had two temporary secondments

6 whenever I was in uniform.

7 Q. Thank you. So with the exception of those two temporary

8 secondments, can I take it that the views that you are

9 expressing in paragraph 14 are based on your experience

10 as a Special Branch officer rather than your experience

11 in CID?

12 A. No, them views would have been expressed as a member of

13 CID.

14 Q. Right. But do you mean that these were views that you

15 came to because of what you found when you were with

16 CID?

17 A. Them views I have come to from working for CID officers.

18 Q. I see. Those are views expressed to you by CID

19 officers?

20 A. Yes, that's correct.

21 Q. I understand. And as I understand it here, what you are

22 telling us is that Special Branch was the dominant part

23 of the organisation, dominant over CID and, as you put

24 it, they called the shots?

25 A. At that particular time, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Yes. And you say:

2 "Every single arrest by CID had to be cleared by

3 Special Branch"?

4 A. At that particular time, yes.

5 Q. When you say "at that particular time", you mean

6 1998/1999, the time with which the Inquiry is concerned?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. When you say "every single arrest", you mean

9 literally that, do you? Not just terrorist cases, but

10 all cases?

11 A. Primarily it would be the arrests of terrorists and

12 people involved in terrorism.

13 Q. Yes. But just looking, for example, at the case of

14 a local burglary or robbery, are you saying that there

15 would still have to be clearance by CID of their

16 intention to arrest a suspect?

17 A. No.

18 Q. So we are talking about what some people call schedule

19 offences, are we?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. Presumably the point here, so far as CID was

22 concerned, is that that requirement, to clear arrests

23 with Special Branch, gave some CID officers, at least,

24 the suspicion that Special Branch might use that

25 advanced information to perhaps tip off a future

 

 

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1 arrestee before he was actually arrested?

2 A. Sorry, could you repeat that question?

3 Q. It is my fault. You said that these views are based on

4 what the CID officers you encountered said to you?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And I'm just trying to explore with you why they might

7 have resented this dominance that Special Branch had?

8 A. From a CID officer's point of view, if you have someone

9 whom you suspect of committing an offence and you are

10 going to arrest that person and you have been told that

11 you can't for a particular reason, that's going to cause

12 frustration.

13 Q. Yes. Because the CID officer is concerned with the

14 course of his investigation?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Whereas Special Branch may be concerned about source

17 protection, for example?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Or they might, presumably, be concerned in some cases to

20 use the position of an arrested person as an opportunity

21 to attempt recruitment?

22 A. It is possible.

23 Q. Yes. So it was clear to you, was it, from your time in

24 CID, that this relationship was occasionally fractious?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. Were you aware also in your experience

2 within CID of the complaint that Special Branch would

3 not supply CID with the full intelligence picture which

4 might help in the course of an investigation?

5 A. No.

6 Q. You weren't?

7 A. No.

8 Q. That wasn't a complaint or concern you heard expressed?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Now, so far as your surveillance work is concerned, as I

11 understand it, what you are telling us at the top of

12 page RNI-846-591, paragraph 10 (displayed) is that the

13 decisions taken about what work should be done against

14 whom were taken by the TCG? That's the last sentence.

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. And you tell us at the top of the page that operations

17 were often not continuous; they would stop and start and

18 stop and start?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And it looks as though that was occasionally a source of

21 frustration to you?

22 A. It was, yes.

23 Q. And, no doubt, your colleagues?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. And in paragraph 11, you mention one or two

 

 

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1 other causes of frustration. The role that you were

2 playing was to observe and report, in essence,

3 wasn't it?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. And it was for others to bring all of that material

6 together to do the analysis and to decide what further

7 surveillance was required?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. You had no part in making those decisions?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Now, you also, in the next phase of your statement, talk

12 about various other limitations on your unit's work, and

13 I would like to look with you, please, at paragraph 16,

14 RNI-846-592 (displayed) because here you tell us that

15 you usually did not deploy against the Loyalists in

16 Portadown. And you make it clear why that was in the

17 next sentences: because you were co-located with UDR?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. And presumably the point there is that there were, as

20 you put it at the end of this paragraph, suspicions at

21 least that there might be collusion between the UDR or

22 members of the UDR, RIR and Loyalists?

23 A. That's possible. It was a process really of risk

24 management.

25 Q. Yes. But anyway, during the period with which you are

 

 

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1 concerned, as I understand it, you did not deploy in

2 general against Loyalists in Portadown or Lurgan. Is

3 that right?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Yes. Now, moving on to what you tell us in your

6 statement about surveillance in relation to

7 Rosemary Nelson, you begin to talk about that in

8 paragraph 21, which is at the bottom of RNI-846-593

9 (displayed) and that's where you say, as you just told

10 me, that Rosemary Nelson came across your radar and, you

11 say, across the unit's radar, through her association

12 with Colin Duffy. Is that correct?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Thank you. So just to come to the point here, as far as

15 you were concerned, was she a surveillance target in her

16 own right?

17 A. No, she wasn't.

18 Q. Did that remain the case during the period with which we

19 are concerned; in other words, from your starting time

20 in the unit in February 1998 to the time of her murder

21 just over a year later?

22 A. Rosemary Nelson was never a surveillance target.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, at this early part of your statement in

24 relation to this topic, you tell us at the top of the

25 next page -- the first full sentence -- that you would

 

 

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1 have been briefed by the sergeant, B651, that

2 Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson were having an affair:

3 "... though I cannot now put a precise date on when

4 this happened."

5 I would just like to explore that a little with you.

6 You have told us already that in your initial briefings

7 you weren't told about Rosemary Nelson. Now, so far as

8 the time when you think you were given this briefing by

9 B651 is concerned, can I take it, therefore, that it

10 would have been some months later during 1998?

11 A. That's correct, yes.

12 Q. Yes. We will look at rather more specific dates in

13 a moment.

14 Now, just turning on to a later paragraph of your

15 statement in this same section, paragraph 33 at

16 RNI-846-597 (displayed), you say in paragraph 33 -- if

17 we could enlarge that, please -- in the second sentence,

18 that:

19 "As far as I am aware, there was no surveillance on

20 her office or on her as a subject."

21 Which is very much what you have just told us:

22 "She would have simply been collateral intelligence.

23 We had no interest in Rosemary Nelson. She was just

24 another local solicitor in a local town. Other than

25 that, she was of no interest to the surveillance team."

 

 

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1 Now, later on in the statement you tell us that you

2 came to be aware of her car?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And were from time to time checking her registration

5 number. That's the next paragraph.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And you also tell us, towards the end of the

8 paragraph 34, that at some stage you think you would

9 have been briefed as to her home address?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And we also know from what you say earlier in this

12 paragraph that you were aware of her work address?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you talk about the car park in William Street, for

15 example?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you talk earlier about Colin Duffy visiting her

18 office for legal advice, at the end of paragraph 33?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So you would see him there, if I can put it that way?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Yes. Now, as you have probably been told, the Inquiry

23 has heard a great deal of evidence now about the way in

24 which she was regarded by some Special Branch officers,

25 including some very senior Special Branch officers, who

 

 

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1 have said in their evidence that they regarded her

2 variously as a supporter of the IRA and even, in one

3 case, as a terrorist. Is that the way in which you came

4 to regard her?

5 A. No, not at all.

6 Q. At no stage?

7 A. At no stage, no.

8 Q. So even when, as you tell us in your statement, you

9 observed her and you came to the view -- and we are

10 going to explore this together in a minute -- that she

11 was having a relationship with Colin Duffy, that didn't

12 change your view of her. Is that right?

13 A. It didn't, no.

14 Q. She didn't at that point become a more significant

15 person, so far as you and your unit was concerned?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Even though she was in a relationship with somebody who

18 was regarded as being a very prominent local

19 personality, a local player?

20 A. No.

21 Q. That didn't affect the way you regarded her?

22 A. We were never -- Rosemary Nelson was never

23 a surveillance target. It was through her association

24 that she became of interest to us.

25 Obviously from a starting point of view, from

 

 

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1 starting surveillance operations, that would have been

2 done from the office in Lurgan. But other than that,

3 Rosemary Nelson -- we were never tasked on

4 Rosemary Nelson and she was of no interest to us other

5 than her association with Colin Duffy.

6 Q. Yes. Did you ever hear the views that I have just been

7 referring to expressed about her by others?

8 A. Never, no.

9 Q. Never?

10 A. Never.

11 Q. Thank you.

12 A. Other than in the press, never, and that was obviously

13 after her murder.

14 Q. After her murder, you say?

15 A. Yes, that's correct.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, before we look at the detailed evidence

17 you have given about surveillance on one particular

18 occasion, can I just ask you some general questions

19 about surveillance work in this part of Lurgan, by which

20 I mean in and around the Kilwilke Estate?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, the Inquiry has received a great deal of evidence

23 to the effect that the estate was regarded as being

24 staunchly Republican. Is that how you regarded it?

25 A. That's correct, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. It has been suggested that some residents on the estate

2 were actively hostile to the security forces?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And indeed, that some of those residents were themselves

5 surveillance aware?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. It has also been suggested that some residents were

8 involved themselves in what you might call counter

9 surveillance; in other words, in looking out for

10 suspicious movements, unusual vehicles, unrecognised

11 individuals coming on to the estate?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Now, you tell us in paragraph 24 -- if we could have

14 that on the screen, please, RNI-846-594 (displayed) --

15 at the end of the paragraph -- there is very heavy

16 redaction, as you see:

17 "This was a hard area to work in and we had

18 previously been compromised. The Republicans tended to

19 be pretty surveillance savvy and they were constantly

20 looking out for police, Army and other terrorists."

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Thank you. So all in all, a tough place for you and

23 your colleagues to do your work?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, I'm going to return in the closed session to the

 

 

22

 

1 question of the particular location you are talking

2 about in this part of your statement, namely

3 Deeny Drive --

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, having done that, I would like to move to the

6 particular surveillance operation that you describe in

7 some detail in your statement in paragraphs 27 to 32.

8 So could we start at paragraph 27? Thank you. Could we

9 have that enlarged, please?

10 As I understand it, in the work that you did

11 between February 1998 and the time of her

12 murder, March 1999, you only saw Colin Duffy and

13 Rosemary Nelson together once?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Thank you. And what I would like to do is to compare,

16 if I can, this account you give of that particular

17 occasion with documents that you have now seen.

18 Just looking at the statement first of all, it

19 doesn't give a date. From your own memory, before you

20 look at the document, can you remember roughly when this

21 occurred?

22 A. When this particular surveillance --

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. I'm sorry, I can't recall.

25 Q. Okay. But your recollection is pretty detailed of the

 

 

23

 

1 various roads. Do you see in paragraph 27 and then 28?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And is that then just because you have a clear

4 recollection of this operation?

5 A. No, because in the context of the surveillance, I deemed

6 that pretty important, the route that was taken. So

7 that's why I can recall it and that's why I remember it.

8 Q. That's what I was asking you: you actually have

9 a particular memory --

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Can you think why, of all of the operations that you

12 have undertaken over a number of years, you are able

13 now, ten years later, to recall in such detail the

14 details of this one?

15 A. Yes, because it was significant. In the course of

16 events that followed, it was significant. And it was

17 certainly significant at the end of that surveillance

18 run because that was when I was first informed that

19 Rosemary Nelson was having an affair with Colin Duffy,

20 and that in itself shocked me.

21 Q. Why?

22 A. Well, in relation to a solicitor, a well respected

23 solicitor, having an affair with Colin Duffy.

24 Q. So you think that it was at the end of this operation,

25 do you, that you were briefed about the nature of the

 

 

24

 

1 relationship?

2 A. I know it was, yes.

3 Q. You see, in your statement you are rather more uncertain

4 about that. If you look at the third line of

5 paragraph 27, for example, when you begin to talk about

6 this operation, you say:

7 "I'm not sure at this time whether we had been told

8 that this ..."

9 That's that they were having an affair:

10 "... was believed to be the case or not."

11 A. That was prior to this surveillance deployment, yes.

12 Q. Yes. But what you were telling us -- do you see in your

13 statement? -- is you can't remember now whether you had

14 been told about it before you started the work that day,

15 or afterwards.

16 A. Yes, I can tell you that after that surveillance run, I

17 was informed by B651 that the assessment was that

18 Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy were having an affair.

19 Q. Let's have a look together at paragraph 30 of your

20 statement at RNI-846-596 (displayed) because there you

21 go back to this point in your statement:

22 "As I have said, I cannot recall whether we knew

23 prior to this ..."

24 That's the operation:

25 "... that they were having an affair, but from that

 

 

25

 

1 moment on we believed that they were having an affair."

2 A. That's correct. I had no knowledge prior to that that

3 they were having an affair.

4 Q. The point you are making in this sentence, which is the

5 second time you make it in your statement, is that

6 you can't actually remember now whether you were told

7 about the alleged relationship before this operation or

8 after?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So it sounds as though you may have changed your

11 position on this rather because you have just been

12 telling me rather firmly that you were first told about

13 it after this operation?

14 A. That's correct that I was.

15 Q. You are sure about that now?

16 A. I'm positive about that.

17 Q. Can you help me with why you weren't so sure

18 in November?

19 A. That might have been just the way the question was posed

20 to me, but I can assure you my first awareness of this

21 alleged affair was made after that particular

22 surveillance run.

23 Q. To be clear about this, it was in the circumstances that

24 you describe in your statement in the paragraph we have

25 on the screen here, 31, then, that you go back to base,

 

 

26

 

1 as it were, you have a debrief, you compare notes, if I

2 can put it that way, and what you say there, five lines

3 down:

4 "I recall our collective view was that this was an

5 elicit liaison between Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy"?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So what you are saying, as I understand it, is that it

8 was at that point that you were briefed by B651?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Right, okay. We will come back to this in a minute.

11 Thank you.

12 Now, what I would like to do, as I said a little

13 earlier, is to show you a surveillance log to see

14 whether it is indeed the same one. If we can have

15 RNI-542-213 on the screen, please (displayed), and I

16 think you have -- I hope you have a greyed out, as it

17 were, a semi-redacted copy of that with you. I hope you

18 do at any rate. Do you have a hard copy of it?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Don't worry about it. We will do what we can.

21 The reason I'm going to suggest that this may be the

22 same operation that you are describing in your statement

23 is as follows. Could you just go through the document

24 with me? First of all, we see who the target is --

25 Colin Duffy -- and the make and colour of his car. And

 

 

27

 

1 then down the left-hand side we have the times, and on

2 the right-hand side we have the observations. Is that

3 right?

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. And this is the sort of document that would have been

6 drawn up at the end of the operation, isn't it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your statement is concerned,

9 can we have on the right-hand side of the screen,

10 please, RNI-846-595 (displayed)? The key paragraph here

11 is paragraph 28, which is where you have this very

12 detailed description of the route. The BMW that you are

13 talking about there is Rosemary Nelson's car, isn't it?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, if we have on the left-hand side

16 RNI-542-215 (displayed), do we see there at the top of

17 the page, 21.32, a reference to exactly the same road

18 that you are talking about in your statement, which I'm

19 not going to try and pronounce because I'm sure I will

20 get it wrong? Do you see that?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So do you think that this is the log of the operation

23 that you describe in your statement?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. And we can see there that there were two

 

 

28

 

1 occupants of the car at this time, half past nine,

2 turning left from North Circular Road into that road.

3 The occupants were later confirmed as driver

4 Rosemary Nelson, passenger Colin Duffy, and they are in

5 the BMW. And then we see, don't we, various

6 observations of where they go from there:

7 Castor Bay Road. And, again, if you look across the

8 screen, you will see that's what you are referring to in

9 your statement, and then you are following them through

10 to Ardmore. Is that to the area you describe at the end

11 of this page here, "a secluded area"?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Thank you. And there is one other document I would like

14 you to look at with me, please. Could we have it on the

15 left-hand side of the screen, RNI-542-217 (displayed)?

16 Now, this seems to be a narrative of exactly what we

17 have been looking at together, because if you look, for

18 example, at the last paragraph, you will see all the

19 familiar road names and the route that you describe for

20 us in your statement.

21 Presumably this is the sort of document that was

22 drawn up after the operation had concluded?

23 A. Yes, that had been drawn up afterwards by the

24 intelligence officer attached to the team.

25 Q. Thank you very much. Now, on the right-hand side,

 

 

29

 

1 please, paragraph 31 of the statement at RNI-846-596

2 (displayed). If we could then enlarge that

3 paragraph 31, that would be great. Thank you.

4 You say there in the last sentence above the

5 redaction:

6 "Nobody had seen any physical contact between them."

7 So that's you and the various other surveillance

8 officers who were following them hadn't seen any

9 physical contact between them?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Yes. Now, when the sergeant -- your sergeant, if I can

12 put it that way -- B651, gave evidence to the Inquiry,

13 he made it clear that there would be interest in

14 associates of all prominent figures, such as you

15 believed Colin Duffy to be, and in trying to establish

16 what the nature of their relationship was.

17 Now, do you think that it is possible that this

18 operation was tasked to you and your colleagues in order

19 to establish the nature of the relationship between

20 Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson?

21 A. That's possible.

22 Q. Can you think of another operational reason for setting

23 up this sort of surveillance?

24 A. Initially, the tasking on this particular occasion was

25 to perform surveillance on Colin Duffy.

 

 

30

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. The result of that was the meeting with Rosemary Nelson.

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. And the circuitous route that was taken to Ardmore

5 Point, that was the result of the surveillance.

6 Q. And once you had concluded this operation and had the

7 discussion, which you have told us about, which you talk

8 about in this paragraph of your statement, was there

9 then an increased focus on the nature of the

10 relationship on the basis that it might well indeed be

11 an elicit one?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Yes. So it follows, doesn't it, as, again, your

14 sergeant suggested, that anything which you and your

15 colleagues observed which suggested the nature of the

16 relationship that was elicit, et cetera, would have been

17 recorded, noted and put in the logs?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And so we can see from the document you have looked at

20 before and we looked at together that there is no record

21 of physical, still less sexual, contact between them on

22 this occasion?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Yes. I would just like to ask you about a further

25 document which you have also just been shown. Could we

 

 

31

 

1 have that on the left-hand side, please, RNI-542-227

2 (displayed). It is a very similar document and it has

3 similar timings on the left and carries on until

4 RNI-542-231. If we could have that on the left-hand

5 side, please (displayed).

6 Again, it is signed by your sergeant as the other

7 one had been, and again, it contains observation of the

8 two individuals with the timings on the left.

9 Now, this is a different operation. Can I take it

10 from your evidence, which is that you only saw them

11 together once --

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. -- that you did not take part in this operation?

14 A. No, I don't believe I did, no.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, can I come back with you to the

16 question of when it was that you were first briefed to

17 the effect that they might be having an affair.

18 I have shown you the passages in your statement

19 where you seem to be uncertain about when that was.

20 What I wanted you to think about with me is this: if it

21 is at least possible that you were given that

22 information before the operation, the operation you were

23 involved in, took place, then it would follow that the

24 operation had as one of its aims to establish whether

25 that was correct; in other words, whether in truth they

 

 

32

 

1 were having such a relationship. Do you see that?

2 A. Yes, I see it, yes.

3 Q. And, therefore, in a sense, those of you who were on

4 that operation would have been seeing things with at the

5 back of your mind the idea, as you would have been told

6 by your sergeant, that this was the nature of their

7 relationship?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And that might, mightn't it, have affected the way in

10 which you regarded what you saw?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So I just want to come back to this question of whether

13 you are really so sure that you were first told about

14 the relationship after this operation had taken place.

15 Are you now sure, in the way that you weren't sure

16 when you made your statement, about that?

17 A. No, I'm adamant that I was made aware after that

18 surveillance serial that that was allegedly the case.

19 Q. And what can you remember about the circumstances in

20 which you were made aware?

21 A. It is quite vague, but I can recall going back to

22 Mahon Road, and in a debrief, or following the debrief,

23 that was the assessment.

24 Q. Right. Now, just looking at one or two of the points

25 you make about this in your statement -- and if we could

 

 

33

 

1 have paragraph 28 on the screen -- we can remove the

2 surveillance log, please. At the end of the paragraph,

3 which is RNI-846-595, at the bottom of the page

4 (displayed), you told us that they parked in a secluded

5 area:

6 "In my view, this was a circuitous route given that

7 they could have turned left ..."

8 Et cetera. Reading on to the next page, you

9 conclude, based on the nature of the route they took:

10 "The only reason you'd do this is that you did not

11 want to be seen."

12 In other words, one of the things that seems to have

13 had an impact on your view of what was going on was that

14 they took this roundabout route. Is that fair?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Yes. Now, would this not also be fair: that somebody

17 who was surveillance aware or, indeed, very surveillance

18 aware, might also go about getting to point A by a very

19 circuitous route rather than the most direct route

20 available?

21 A. Yes, very much so.

22 Q. So if one at least of the individuals in the car had

23 that awareness or sensitivity, but wanted to ensure that

24 the fact that the car had ended up at point A wasn't

25 known to many people, this would be a good way of doing

 

 

34

 

1 it, wouldn't it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. In other words, there might be other reasons, other than

4 the elicit relationship, for taking the roundabout

5 route?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. If you wanted to go somewhere and not be observed and

8 talk privately, for example --

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. -- that might be a reason?

11 A. That would be a good reason, yes.

12 Q. Thank you. Right, can I now move to ask you some

13 questions about Operation Fagotto? And you begin to talk

14 about that in paragraph 36 of your statement, which is

15 at RNI-846-598 at the top of the page (displayed).

16 Quite a lot of what you say about the operation is

17 redacted in this statement and we will have to come back

18 to it in the closed hearing, and as I hope you are aware

19 in any event, if at any point we are getting into

20 territory that you would prefer, or think should only be

21 explored in the closed hearing, please say so.

22 Now, so far as your particular role in the operation

23 is concerned, I would like to start, please, by looking

24 at the operation a little more generally. And you tell

25 us in 36 and 37 about the target in a heavily redacted

 

 

35

 

1 passage who was believed to be (redacted) in PIRA

2 in North Armagh. Is that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. (Redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Now, as I understand the next sentence, where you say:

10 "I can't recall whether I was briefed as to why this

11 happened. I think this happened in or around the

12 six months either side of Rosemary Nelson's murder."

13 So as I understand it, you don't know whether this

14 is, as it were, before March 1999 or after?

15 A. I can't recall.

16 Q. So does it follow that you can't help us as to whether

17 there was a connection between the briefing, the points

18 you are making there, and Operation Fagotto itself?

19 A. That's correct, I can't recall.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, the next paragraph begins unfortunately

21 with a mistake, I think, because this is where you start

22 to talk about the operation that took place on the eve

23 of Rosemary Nelson's murder, and it must be March 1999,

24 mustn't it?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

36

 

1 Q. Thank you. You were off duty. Is that right?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. And at home?

4 A. I was, yes.

5 Q. Not expecting to work that day?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Thank you. And you explain there that you were

8 telephoned by your boss, your sergeant, B651, and told

9 to get in to work?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Now, it is right, isn't it, that some two weeks after

12 Rosemary Nelson's murder you were interviewed by the

13 Murder Investigation Team and you made a statement?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. I think that was on 29 March. And what I would like to

16 do is to look at that with you, please, because

17 obviously that was two weeks after the event rather than

18 nearly ten years.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And that's at RNI-548-405 (displayed). Here, you were

21 described not with your cipher, the Rosemary Nelson

22 Inquiry cipher, but you were described as Officer K, and

23 you and your colleagues who had been involved in the

24 operation were all given letters, weren't you?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

37

 

1 Q. Thank you. And so just to help us to understand this,

2 where in the fourth line you refer to being briefed by

3 Officer F, that was B651, the sergeant, wasn't it?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Thank you. You tell us in your Inquiry statement that

6 you think, as far as you can tell, this was an accurate

7 statement so far as it gives detail. Is that right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Let's just go through it together, if we can. You say

10 there that you think you began your duty at 8 o'clock in

11 the evening?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And you were briefed at nine with five colleagues about

14 the task for the evening, which was to monitor the

15 movements of the individual we talked about a little

16 while ago?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And then you start to talk to us about the two

19 deployments and tell us that you and the others deployed

20 at about 10 pm?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You were in a car. Is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And got to Lurgan, you say, shortly after 10 o'clock?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

38

 

1 Q. And it is clear from the earlier part of your statement

2 that when you reported for duty, you were in Mahon Road

3 at Portadown?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Yes. And then you start to give us your route on this

6 first deployment. And what I would like to do is just

7 get you to look at it with me, North Street on to the

8 Antrim Road, turn left at North Circular Road, drove to

9 Lake Street, turned right, drove along there,

10 Castor Bay Road, et cetera. And you set it all out

11 for us.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, what I hope we are going to be able to do in this

14 open hearing is to get you to show it to us on a map.

15 So could we have on the screen, please, the new Lurgan

16 map (displayed)? Right. Okay.

17 Now, I don't know if you have a hard copy of your

18 original statement with the various street names on it

19 or whether you can just remember it, but what I would be

20 grateful if you could do -- and I think this may emerge

21 on the screen -- I think that's right -- I hope you have

22 been given a bit of training about this -- is just to

23 trace for us your route on that first outing?

24 A. Okay.

25 Q. I think I have got to ask for you to be given control,

 

 

39

 

1 I assume just to do the map.

2 A. Yes, here we go.

3 Q. Oh, yes, great. (Pause)

4 Excellent, right. So that gives us your route on

5 the first occasion, does it?

6 A. Yes, that's correct.

7 Q. Thank you very much. In your statement -- I don't think

8 we should have this on the screen; I don't want to lose

9 the map -- you tell us in paragraph 40 that you didn't

10 see anything out of the ordinary on that first trip?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. And that you were focusing on your route to ensure that

13 everything looked natural. Presumably that was

14 a general strategy in your work?

15 A. Yes, that's correct.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to this first outing, you

17 also say in your statement at paragraph 39 -- and for

18 everybody's note, that's RNI-846-599 -- about back-up.

19 You say:

20 "HMSU would have been supporting us on the ground.

21 They always did in an operation of this kind."

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. "We would rarely go out without HMSU back-up."

24 And in relation to communications -- again, we have

25 heard evidence about this and I don't want to go over

 

 

40

 

1 material we have heard -- but you were able to speak to

2 your other colleagues on the ground. Is that right?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. And also to communicate with B651 in the control room,

5 if I can put it that way?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Yes. In relation to HMSU, am I right in thinking that

8 what you have is a general memory of standard practice

9 rather than a particular memory about what happened that

10 night?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Yes. And in relation to the route that we see for this

13 first operation, which takes you, as it were, on the

14 perimeter of but at least in the close vicinity at

15 various points of the Kilwilke Estate, can I take it

16 that all of the considerations that we discussed earlier

17 in relation to operating in and around the Kilwilke

18 Estate would have applied that evening?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Now, in your murder investigation statement, you tell

21 us -- and perhaps we can now go back to that on the

22 screen, RNI-548-405 (displayed) -- that you arrived back

23 at half past 10. You see it is at the bottom of the

24 page. You then debriefed with B651, and you say at the

25 bottom of the page there, you had not sighted the suspect,

 

 

41

 

1 the house or the car during that time in Lurgan. And

2 just reading over the page:

3 "I made radio transmissions to report my presence in

4 Lurgan and that I was leaving Lurgan."

5 And B651 responded to these transmissions.

6 So is this correct: that while you were on the

7 ground, on this occasion and on the next occasion when

8 you went out you were being directed from the control

9 room by B651?

10 A. We would have been under the control of B651, but I

11 wasn't actually directed by him.

12 Q. No. So you had, as it were, a margin of discretion?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. But you were given tasks and objectives as you went

15 along by B651?

16 A. Yes. We would have set out from Mahon Road with an

17 objective.

18 Q. Yes. And how much calling in, as it were, would there

19 have been during the course of an operation of this

20 kind, some 20 minutes or so?

21 A. At least twice.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. And that was just basically to confirm your presence in

24 the area and to confirm that you were clear of the area,

25 and that was for the benefit of the HMSU.

 

 

42

 

1 Q. Thank you. So at the top of the page, for example,

2 which we have on the screen, you tell us there that you

3 would have radioed in to say you were leaving?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Thank you. You then go on in this same statement to

6 tell us that at a quarter to midnight you were directed

7 by this same officer, B651, to return to carry out duty

8 in Lurgan, and this time you got there at midnight.

9 Now, before we look at the map again to see your

10 route on this occasion, can we look, please, at your

11 statement to the Inquiry, which is RNI-846-600, and

12 paragraph 42 (displayed) where you deal with this rather

13 more briefly and in this redacted paragraph. And you

14 say you went out:

15 "... second time shortly after 23.45 with the plan

16 that one of the vehicles would drop somebody off close

17 to, to see whether they could ..."

18 And then there are various redactions. As I

19 understand it, you were the driver on this occasion. Is

20 that correct?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And if we have paragraph 43 on the screen, please, in

23 enlarged form, you tell us that another officer -- this

24 is the second line -- was dropped off and went on foot.

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

43

 

1 Q. Now, then in your Inquiry statement you start to explain

2 your route, you in your car, on this occasion. So I

3 would like to go back to the map now, please, the new

4 Lurgan map, in the hope that you can draw that for us.

5 (Pause)

6 Thank you very much. We can all see the differences

7 in the route this time from the last occasion, and there

8 is a circle which you have drawn for us at one point on,

9 as it were, the northern perimeter there and then the

10 box structure, whereby you took three roads, as I

11 understand it: Ashgrove Drive, Melrose Park and

12 Ashford Grange, the road where Rosemary Nelson lived?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Which brought you back out on to Lake Street?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Can I ask you, please, why did you execute that, as it

17 were, box manoeuvre?

18 A. I had a passenger in the vehicle with me who was dropped

19 off at the circle. He was on foot and this was my way

20 of providing natural cover for him in case he had to be

21 extracted quickly. So I was going -- rather than do a

22 U-turn in the road, this was my way of naturally using

23 the topography to come back round upon myself again.

24 Q. Just so it is absolutely clear and on the transcript,

25 why did you not want to do a U-turn in the road?

 

 

44

 

1 A. Because that would stand out.

2 Q. So this is all part of what you were talking about

3 earlier?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You just wanted to be as low-key and normal as possible?

6 A. Yes, I was trying to make the manoeuvre as natural as

7 possible by using the streets that were there.

8 Q. Yes. In terms of that route -- and obviously the part

9 the Inquiry is interested in is the part that took you

10 past Rosemary Nelson's house -- was that route something

11 that you took of your own initiative, or is it one

12 suggested to you by B651?

13 A. That was one I took on my own initiative.

14 Q. For the reasons you have just given?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, in relation to Ashford Grange, are you able to

17 estimate when you would have driven past the house that

18 night?

19 A. No, other than it was late at night.

20 Q. We know you deployed at quarter to 12?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Knowing what you do of the geography --

23 A. I would imagine, you know -- if I was in the area at

24 quarter to 12, it would probably be within ten minutes.

25 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Now, before we look in more detail at

 

 

45

 

1 what you saw or didn't see that evening, can I just ask

2 you -- sir, actually I think this might be a good moment

3 for a break because I'm about to move on to a completely

4 different topic.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Right, we will break off until quarter to 12.

6 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Before the witness leaves, can the video

8 engineer please confirm that all the cameras have been

9 switched off?

10 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, they are off.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

12 Please escort the witness out.

13 (11.29 am)

14 (Short break)

15 (11.49 am)

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Checklist. Is the public area screen fully

17 in place, locked and the key secured?

18 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

20 screen closed?

21 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

23 and securely fastened?

24 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

 

 

46

 

1 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

2 of this chamber?

3 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

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

5 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

6 off and shrouded?

7 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

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

9 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

11 Bring the witness in, please.

12 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

13 Participants' legal representatives may now be switched

14 back on.

15 MR PHILLIPS: Can we look together, please, at paragraph 47

16 of your statement, which is RNI-846-601 at the bottom of

17 the page (displayed), because here you start to talk

18 about a very different, although related, topic, which

19 is an out of bounds. And again, the Inquiry has heard

20 a certain amount of evidence about this already, but

21 I just want to check with you, as it were, the limits of

22 what you can recall on this.

23 You say you don't recall whether there was one that

24 particular evening?

25 A. That's correct. I can't recall the particular out of

 

 

47

 

1 bounds, if there was one in place.

2 Q. But what you go on to do, as I understand it, is to give

3 your view about it based, presumably, on your

4 experience?

5 A. That's correct, there was normally an out of bounds.

6 Q. Yes. So when you say there was normally an out of

7 bounds, you mean for an operation such as this?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Yes. And we have heard evidence about the way that was

10 arranged and I think that wouldn't have involved you,

11 would it?

12 A. No.

13 Q. But you say in your statement -- do you see the second

14 sentence there, which we have on the screen, the second

15 sentence of 47:

16 "Given the nature of the operation, I would not be

17 particularly surprised if there had not been an out of

18 bounds in place"?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Why do you say that?

21 A. Basically due to the area and the time of night that the

22 operation was happening.

23 Q. Right. Well, obviously I don't want you to say anything

24 in the open hearing that is going to cause difficulty,

25 but can you just expand on that answer and give us

 

 

48

 

1 a little more detail on those two points?

2 A. The out of bounds -- an out of bounds would have been

3 put in for many different reasons. The main reason

4 would have been in case call signs were actually impeded

5 in their objectives by uniformed police or military.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. And that's one reason why an out of bounds would be put

8 in: in case you had operators on foot who were maybe

9 seen by local uniformed police who didn't know, they

10 would stop and search. So that's one reason why an out

11 of bounds would be put in. So I wouldn't be surprised

12 if there was no out of bounds, but normally there is an

13 out of bounds.

14 Q. What we do know from the work done by the Murder

15 Investigation Team subsequently is that when they

16 checked the relevant book where the order, if there had

17 been one, would have been placed, there was no order for

18 that night. So it sounds as though you wouldn't have

19 been surprised to hear that?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Now, what you also say in your statement here is:

22 "If there had been one, I would probably have been

23 told about it."

24 In other words, as one of the surveillance

25 operators, you would probably have been told, "Look, we

 

 

49

 

1 have put the order in place and it is as follows"?

2 A. Normally on a pre-planned operation you would be made

3 aware of the out of bounds and you would know. But on

4 an operation like this particular one, which you could

5 deem as a fast ball -- it was a quick reaction, get call

6 signs in the area to do what they had to do -- you know,

7 I wasn't aware if there was an out of bounds. I can't

8 recall.

9 Q. But what we do know, because you tell us in your murder

10 investigation statement, is that you were stopped by

11 a patrol on your way out of the area on the second

12 occasion?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And does that help you -- because it is something you

15 mentioned earlier -- about the question of out of

16 bounds?

17 A. Not particularly, because where I was stopped by the RIR

18 patrol was in Church Place in Lurgan. There could well

19 have been an out of bounds for the Kilwilke Estate. I

20 don't know, I can't recall.

21 Q. So can I take it from that answer that you are not able

22 to assist us yourself with whether, if there had been an

23 out of bound perhaps at earlier stages of

24 Operation Fagotto, it would have included

25 Rosemary Nelson's house?

 

 

50

 

1 A. I'm sorry, I can't shed any light on that.

2 Q. No. Thank you. Now, can we go back to the events of

3 that night. Where we had left it, if I can put it that

4 way, is that you had driven past her house and you told

5 us what you could about your memory for when that might

6 have been.

7 Are you able to say based on your experience at what

8 speed you are likely to have been driving in Ashford

9 Grange that evening?

10 A. No, I can't recall, but it would have been in keeping

11 with driving on a road like that.

12 Q. For the same reasons you gave earlier?

13 A. Yes, very much so.

14 Q. And if we go to your murder investigation statement,

15 RNI-548-406 (displayed), and the middle of the page, you

16 say there -- excellent, thank you very much -- do you

17 see, about seven lines down:

18 "As I drove out of Ashford Grange, I noted

19 Rosemary Nelson's car parked in the driveway of her

20 home. It was parked with its nose in against the garage

21 door."

22 So on the driveway, facing the garage, yes?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you. And you say there was nothing unusual about

25 the car that you saw and you give a description of it.

 

 

51

 

1 And we know from what we have seen in the documents that

2 it is a car that you had seen before, indeed observed on

3 previous assignments?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as Ashford Grange itself is

6 concerned, did you see anybody around and about --

7 pedestrians, I mean -- in the vicinity of the house?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Did you see any vehicle movements that struck you as

10 being unusual or suspicious?

11 A. No.

12 Q. As far as you can recall, was yours the only car moving

13 down Ashford Grange at that point that night?

14 A. As far as I can recall, I was the only vehicle --

15 Q. Yes. And in the course of your second tour, if I can

16 put it that way, did you see anything or anybody out of

17 the ordinary in the wider area around Ashford Grange; in

18 other words, not just in the road but in that area?

19 A. No.

20 Q. You tell us in your statement in paragraph 43 -- this is

21 in your Inquiry statement -- I am afraid I'm jumping

22 around here -- that you radioed in the observation about

23 Rosemary Nelson. Is that correct?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Can you remember what details you would have radioed in

 

 

52

 

1 that evening?

2 A. It would have just been the fact that Rosemary Nelson's

3 car was parked in the driveway.

4 Q. Can you help us with the question why you would have

5 radioed in that observation?

6 A. Yes, that would have been impinging on another operation

7 that the team was currently undergoing.

8 Q. Right. Let's look together, if we may, at paragraph 43

9 of your statement on the screen, RNI-846-600

10 (displayed), because here you give us a more detailed

11 explanation. You say:

12 "The reason I radioed this in is that Colin Duffy

13 was a surveillance subject."

14 Is that the point you are making?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. "I was led to believe ..."

17 You say:

18 "... that he was out of the jurisdiction, as far as

19 I can recall, in the Republic, with Rosemary Nelson on

20 this night"?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Are you telling the Inquiry, therefore, that this was

23 a briefing or information given to you before you

24 undertook this operation?

25 A. No, it wasn't, not directly on that particular day. In

 

 

53

 

1 general terms there was another operation which was

2 being conducted other than Fagotto, which involved

3 Colin Duffy.

4 Q. Right.

5 A. This was the -- the vehicle -- Rosemary Nelson's vehicle

6 in light of her being away, out of the jurisdiction, was

7 relevant whenever it was parked in the driveway.

8 Q. Right. So this must then have been a surprise to you,

9 given that briefing, to find the car on the driveway?

10 A. I wouldn't say I was surprised, but obviously it was

11 significant, the fact that it was there and it could

12 infringe upon the other operation. So that is why

13 I communicated my findings.

14 Q. Can I ask you, please, how confident are you in your

15 recollection that you were given this information --

16 namely that she, Rosemary Nelson, was out of the

17 jurisdiction -- that night?

18 A. I'm confident -- given that information that night?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. No, it was in general terms. It was some time prior.

21 There had been occasions, numerous occasions, that we

22 were told that she was out of the jurisdiction with

23 Colin Duffy.

24 Q. And can you remember roughly when, in terms of weeks,

25 months, before this night, 14/15 March 1999, that you

 

 

54

 

1 were given that information?

2 A. There was at least three occasions that I can recall

3 being informed that she was out of the jurisdiction with

4 Colin Duffy. The exact timeframe of when I was told

5 that prior to this deployment, I can't recall. But

6 there was three instances where I was told that she was

7 out of the jurisdiction.

8 Q. You are saying, are you, that it was for that reason

9 that you radioed the fact that her car was at the house?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Presumably because it indicated to you that she was, in

12 fact, at home?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Right.

15 A. It also indicated the fact that Colin Duffy was back in

16 the Lurgan area, which was significant.

17 Q. So can I take it from these answers that, as far as you

18 were concerned, at this point in the middle

19 of March 1999, the relationship between them, which you

20 had formed your view about in the summer of 1998, was

21 still ongoing?

22 A. Yes, that's correct.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, I would just like to put to you various

24 points on this that B651 has made to us in his evidence.

25 His suggestion was that it was the practice of you

 

 

55

 

1 and your colleagues within the unit to radio in if

2 significant vehicles or significant individuals were

3 seen during the course of operations. Is that --

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. And he suggested that that was the reason why you on

6 this particular occasion radioed to the effect that

7 Rosemary Nelson's car was at home?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Sorry?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. So that's a much more general reason, isn't it, rather

12 than the rather specific point that you have just been

13 making for us?

14 A. I don't tend to agree with you on that. The reason why

15 that communication was made, the fact that the car was

16 in the driveway, was the fact that there was a relevance

17 to another operation which we were involved in, centring

18 around Colin Duffy.

19 Q. Right. Now, if you look down in the same part of your

20 statement, the same paragraph, when you talk about who

21 gave you, and when, the information about them being out

22 of the jurisdiction, you suggest it was probably the

23 sergeant. Do you see that three lines up?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you say there that it took place:

 

 

56

 

1 "... just before this operation ..."

2 i.e. the one on 14/15 March 1999. Does that help you

3 with any more specific detail as to when you might have

4 been given that information?

5 A. No, it doesn't.

6 Q. Okay. Now, so far as other unusual things that you may

7 or may not have observed is concerned, can I ask you

8 about aircraft or helicopter noise.

9 Do you remember hearing the noise of a helicopter

10 overhead at about this time; in other words, at about

11 midnight, 14/15 March 1999?

12 A. No, I can't recall that.

13 Q. Is it the sort of thing that you think you would have

14 noted to yourself as you went about your work?

15 A. Certainly if a plane or a helicopter had have been

16 deployed in the area, it would have been checked by one

17 of the ground signs as to the level of noise.

18 Q. Right.

19 A. I can't recall a plane being deployed or a helicopter

20 being deployed.

21 Q. So let's keep it general for the moment. If there had

22 been a deployment of that kind during one of your

23 operations, it is likely that you or one of your

24 colleagues would have checked to see what was going on?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

57

 

1 Q. So it would in that sense have been operationally

2 significant?

3 A. If aerial support had have been there, yes, it would

4 have been, yes.

5 Q. Now, so far as this particular observation that you

6 radioed in about Rosemary Nelson is concerned, the final

7 point arises in your final sentence in this

8 paragraph 43:

9 "By my putting it on the radio, everyone on the

10 operation would have known about it and the log keeper

11 would have entered it into the log if he thought it

12 relevant."

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Now, we know that the log contains no such note?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Can I take it from what you are saying there that it was

17 up to the log keeper to decide what to record?

18 A. Yes, his interpretation of what he was hearing on the

19 air, whether or not he decided to put that into the log.

20 If he thought it wasn't relevant, it was a different

21 operation, he may not put it on the log, on that

22 particular log.

23 Q. And so far as that's concerned, on this particular

24 occasion all we know is that there isn't any reference

25 to it in the log?

 

 

58

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Just looking at the log and your comments about it,

3 please, at paragraph 46, RNI-846-601 (displayed) -- I'm

4 not even going to ask you to look at the document

5 because it looks to me as though you found it peculiarly

6 unhelpful when you were shown it.

7 A. Yes, the log was particularly unhelpful because

8 I thought it would give not only information in relation

9 to timings, but also call signs and others involved in

10 the operation.

11 Q. And it gives neither?

12 A. It gives -- from my memory of having seen the log, it

13 gives information in relation to timings and the call

14 signs, but I was surprised to see that I wasn't included

15 in the log.

16 Q. Yes. So it is, to put it as neutrally as I can,

17 partial, a partial record of what was going on?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Now, just returning to your murder investigation

20 statement at RNI-548-406 (displayed), at the bottom of

21 the page, to complete this part of the story, you told

22 the officers in that statement that you returned to

23 Portadown via Craigavon. Do you see this a few lines

24 up:

25 "I returned at roughly 25 past midnight."

 

 

59

 

1 Then you go on to explain about being stopped by the

2 RIR patrol?

3 A. Hm-mm.

4 Q. Thank you. Now, I know that you became aware the next

5 day of the murder of Rosemary Nelson and you tell us in

6 your statement to the Inquiry that you realised that you

7 were likely to be interviewed in relation to the murder?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Why was that, please?

10 A. It was because I was deployed the evening before in the

11 area with the surveillance team. So it was only natural

12 that I was expecting to be interviewed.

13 Q. Yes. And, indeed, you were interviewed -- and we have

14 seen the results in the statement we have on the

15 screen -- along with your colleagues and gave the

16 statement that we have?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now, you were also aware, presumably, from a very early

19 stage that allegations of collusion about the murder

20 were being made?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And no doubt knew that it was the job of the Murder

23 Investigation Team to investigate them?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And in particular the possibility that there might be

 

 

60

 

1 a connection between the operation which had been going

2 on involving you and your colleagues the night before,

3 and the murder itself?

4 A. Yes, I'm sure that had to be investigated, yes.

5 Q. Exactly. Now, one of the points they had to get to the

6 bottom of was the possibility that the device used to

7 murder her had been transported to the scene, to the

8 driveway, in one of your cars. That was one of the

9 things they had to investigate, wasn't it?

10 A. Are you telling me that?

11 Q. I'm suggesting that you knew that that was one of the

12 matters they were investigating?

13 A. No, I didn't know that that was one of the matters they

14 were investigating.

15 Q. But if you had been told that, you presumably would have

16 accepted that the presence or absence of traces of

17 explosive in your car which matched those in the device

18 would have been or might have been significant?

19 A. I would say it would be relevant, yes.

20 Q. Yes. Now, we know that your and the other vehicles were

21 required to be subjected to forensic examination?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you take exception or make objection to that?

24 A. No. I mean, I believed that it was just part of the

25 Inquiry, and obviously, you know, if it was deemed

 

 

61

 

1 necessary to be done, I had no problem with that, no.

2 Q. And just to complete that, we also know -- and I'm sure

3 you do know this -- that after the examination had been

4 conducted, there was no connection established with the

5 murder device?

6 A. Yes, I was aware of that.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, I just want to ask you finally in this

8 open session one or two questions about

9 Rosemary Nelson's house and its particular location. So

10 I'm going to ask for the new Lurgan map to come back on

11 to the screen, please (displayed).

12 There it is in the top left-hand corner of the map.

13 I wonder if you can seize control of the pencil or pen

14 and help me with this, just so that we have it on the

15 map. Can you indicate with the pencil where the

16 Kilwilke Estate is? Thank you very much indeed.

17 We see, then, from that circle that her house lies

18 outside those boundaries?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Can I ask you this question: you have told us about the

21 particular risks and dangers of operating within the

22 Kilwilke Estate area?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Did those points apply, in your view and based on your

25 experience, to this road, Ashford Grange?

 

 

62

 

1 A. Yes. I mean, it is good practice for that mentality to

2 exist no matter where you are working, no matter where

3 you are deployed in. And certainly that would exist

4 wherever.

5 Q. That's a general point about, as it were, good practice

6 in your particular line of work?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. What I'm asking you is whether the specific points about

9 the Kilwilke Estate area, the stance of the residents

10 about the security forces, the surveillance awareness,

11 the counter surveillance, et cetera, the points you

12 agreed with me earlier, whether they applied with equal

13 force in your view with this area in Ashford Grange?

14 A. We had no surveillance targets in Ashford Grange. There

15 was numerous targets within the Kilwilke Estate, but

16 there was none in Ashgrove.

17 Q. Yes. That's not quite what I'm asking you about. What

18 I'm trying to ask you about is when you thought about

19 operating in the estate area, you told us you were very

20 conscious that there were people on the lookout for the

21 security forces. You had to be particularly careful,

22 et cetera. What I'm asking you is whether you had

23 exactly the same view about operating in the Ashford

24 Grange area?

25 A. I do.

 

 

63

 

1 Q. You do?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And therefore, looking at, as it were, access on the map

4 to Ashford Grange and looking at where it is positioned

5 in relation to Castor Bay Road, what becomes

6 Lake Street, when you in your work were entering a road

7 such as that outside but close to the area, you would be

8 deploying the same techniques and skills, would you, as

9 within the estate area itself?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And can I take it from that that you would be presuming

12 that anybody entering that road unexpectedly or

13 unusually would be likely to be observed?

14 A. It is possible.

15 Q. It is possible. But it is not based on any particular

16 experience you have of working in that road?

17 A. No.

18 Q. No. Those are the only questions I have for you in the

19 open session.

20 Now, what I should add, however, which is something

21 I say to all witnesses, or should do at any rate, is

22 that if we haven't covered something and there is

23 something you want to add, to say to the Inquiry Panel,

24 this is your chance.

25 A. Not at this time, no.

 

 

64

 

1 Q. Thank you.

2 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: May I just pursue the point that

4 Mr Phillips raised with you concerning the road in which

5 Rosemary Nelson's house is situated and the comments you

6 have made about the Kilwilke Estate, about counter

7 surveillance, people on lookout and the come-ons being

8 a possibility?

9 A. Yes.

10 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That small estate enclosing

11 Rosemary Nelson's house, are you suggesting that that

12 also may be an area where, if the police were called

13 there, it would be likely to be a come-on situation?

14 A. That's possible, that's possible.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But are you saying that that's possible

16 because of your general training, that that may apply

17 anywhere?

18 A. Yes.

19 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Anywhere you are deployed?

20 A. Yes.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Not specifically about that --

22 A. Not specifically about Ashford Grange or anywhere.

23 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just as a general --

24 A. A generalisation, yes.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: We will now break and later go into closed

 

 

65

 

1 session.

2 Anyone in the public area and any legal

3 representative not entitled to be in the closed session

4 must leave the chamber. The chamber, including the

5 public area, will be closed to those people for the

6 closed hearing. Those legal representatives entitled to

7 be in the closed hearing should return here at quarter

8 past 1.

9 Before the witness leaves, would the video engineer

10 please confirm that all cameras have been switched off?

11 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please escort the witness out.

13 (12.17 pm)

14 (The short adjournment)

15 (1.15 pm)

16 (Closed session)

17 (1.55 pm)

18 (Short adjournment)

19 (2.30 pm)

20 (Private session)

21 THE CHAIRMAN: We are now in private session. I have been

22 handed a written checklist, duly signed.

23 Bring the witness in, please.

24 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

25 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

 

 

66

 

1 switched back on.

2 O675 (SWORN)

3 Questions by MR SAVILL

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Please sit down.

5 Yes, Mr Savill?

6 MR SAVILL: Thank you very much, sir.

7 I'm just going to ask you one or two questions, if

8 I may, about the day of the death of Rosemary Nelson.

9 Before I do, I would like to just call up on to the

10 screen, please, a document, which is the statement that

11 you made to this Inquiry, RNI-840-224 (displayed).

12 Just have a look at the screen in front of you.

13 Hopefully you will become used to that in due course.

14 That's the first page of the statement you made to the

15 Inquiry, and we have got your cipher there, as opposed

16 to your name, "witness statement of". Can you see that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. If we go to RNI-840-250 (displayed), then we can see the

19 final page of your statement dated 25 June 2007; yes?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, I understand that you have got a little bit of a

22 tickle in your throat. Don't worry too much about that.

23 Either come forward or adjust the microphone and just

24 speak into that and we should be able to hear what you

25 are saying.

 

 

67

 

1 A. Okay.

2 Q. All right?

3 A. Yes, thank you.

4 Q. On the day concerned, 15 March, I think I'm right in

5 saying that you dropped your wife off at a friend's

6 house on Melrose Grove?

7 A. Yes, that's right.

8 Q. That is just around the corner from Mrs Nelson's home in

9 Ashford Grange?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. Approximately about 100 yards from where the explosion

12 in fact took place?

13 A. Yes, that's right.

14 Q. We are going it use a map that you were shown when you

15 gave your statement and, if necessary, I have got

16 a cleaner and, if you like, better copy of the area that

17 we can use. But let's just call up on to the screen,

18 please, RNI-832-069 (displayed) and I hope we can

19 highlight the map. There we are.

20 Now, just take a moment, please, just to have a look

21 at that and I hope very quickly you will familiarise

22 yourself with the roads and landmarks. You can see the

23 railway line running across the page, Lake Street

24 bisecting that?

25 A. Yes, I can see all that, Ashgrove --

 

 

68

 

1 Q. Yes, you are a local person so obviously you are

2 familiar with that area?

3 A. Yes, very.

4 Q. Now, to get to your wife's friend's house, you travelled

5 down the North Circular Road from the Antrim Road. Is

6 that right?

7 A. Yes, that's right. That is actually -- sorry, it is the

8 Cornakinnegar Road, it should have been. It is just

9 a continuation of the Antrim Road.

10 Q. But we can see the North Circular Road?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And we are going to come to some crosses that you have

13 marked on there in a moment, but are you saying you were

14 coming down the North Circular Road towards those

15 crosses?

16 A. Yes, that's right.

17 Q. When you were coming down that road, what is it that you

18 saw that you have, I think, indicated with crosses on

19 the map?

20 A. Well, where the crosses are on the map -- that would be

21 the back of the school, Tannaghmore School -- there was

22 a line of security force Land Rovers where the Xs are

23 marked at the bottom of the North Circular Road sign

24 there. And there was Land Rovers as well parked in the

25 entrance to the football field.

 

 

69

 

1 Q. We will come to that in a moment, but what you are

2 saying is that the crosses represent Army Land Rovers?

3 A. I think they were a mixture of both. All's I know is

4 they were green.

5 Q. So they were green Land Rovers?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And were there any people either in or around them?

8 A. Yes, there was soldiers and a few police milling about

9 them.

10 Q. And then I think you turned into Lake Street, which we

11 can see marked?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And you have helpfully put some more crosses by the side

14 of Lake Street.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. What do those represent?

17 A. Again, they would be the same Land Rovers, but I think

18 there was a couple more police Land Rovers there.

19 Q. So what are you saying: green Land Rovers or green

20 and --

21 A. Green and police, grey.

22 Q. So green on North Circular Road, green and grey on

23 Lake Street?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. How many Land Rovers were on North Circular Road

 

 

70

 

1 roughly, can you remember?

2 A. About eight or ten.

3 Q. You say ten in your statement, just to assist you?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. How many were there parked up on Lake Street?

6 A. I think there was four or five because there is

7 a shorter footpath up there.

8 Q. So something in the region of 15 in total. Is that

9 about right?

10 A. Yes, that's about right.

11 Q. I can't show it to you at the same time as the map, but

12 you say in your statement that you think there were

13 over 20 vehicles in all. Are you now saying it was more

14 like 15?

15 A. I didn't at the time count them because I was driving,

16 but I remember there was a lot. There was two actually

17 parked in -- two, possibly three, in the gateway of the

18 school, the rear entrance to the school, and one on the

19 right-hand side there. So there was -- as well as the

20 ones parked on the left-hand side, there was a couple

21 parked on the right and one or two parked on the

22 pavement there as well.

23 Q. So can we settle on between 15 and 20 in total; is that

24 fair?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

71

 

1 Q. Did you notice some soldiers walking around on

2 Lake Street?

3 A. On Lake Street, as I came down -- the police -- sorry,

4 the soldiers were in and around the Land Rovers. The

5 second time, when I came to pick up my wife, I saw

6 a line of them walking up towards where the bomb

7 actually went off. Am I jumping too fast, sorry?

8 Q. No, no. I'm just asking you at this stage on this trip

9 whether you saw any soldiers walking up the road?

10 A. Not going up towards Rosemary's, no. More just around

11 the school, front and back.

12 Q. But you say that the time you saw them was when you were

13 coming back to collect your wife?

14 A. Yes, at 12 o'clock.

15 Q. Perhaps I can just show you your statement in this

16 regard, which is RNI-840-244 (displayed). Just for

17 absolute clarity, we can see here what you say, which

18 is, middle of the second paragraph:

19 "There are about ten ..."

20 Talking about the Land Rovers:

21 "... with a lot of soldiers walking about them and

22 into the football pitch alongside the school. When we

23 turned into Lake Street, there were more Army vehicles

24 parked up the road and going the full way up from the

25 junction to the school. I think there were over 20

 

 

72

 

1 vehicles in all. I have marked ..."

2 That is the map we are looking at:

3 "... with crosses to show where they were parked.

4 There were also a lot of ..."

5 And we go over the page -- highlight that top

6 paragraph, please:

7 "... soldiers walking up the road towards Rosemary's

8 house around the area where the car bomb went off. At

9 the time, I asked my wife if she knew what was

10 going on."

11 So that suggests that your wife was in fact with you

12 when you saw these soldiers walking up the road?

13 A. Sorry, sorry, yes.

14 Q. I'm not trying to catch you out. I am just trying to

15 assist you.

16 A. It was school time. There were a lot of parents going

17 to and from school and I was concentrating more on the

18 traffic.

19 Q. But what you are saying is that you stand by the content

20 of your statement?

21 A. Oh, yes, yes.

22 Q. Yes. After you dropped your wife off at her friend's

23 house, where did you go?

24 A. I went round to my mother-in-law's house in

25 Kilmaine Street.

 

 

73

 

1 Q. Right. Did you go shopping or did you go to your

2 mother-in-law's, can you recall?

3 A. I think I went to my mother-in-law's.

4 Q. Because that's what you say in your statement in

5 paragraph 3:

6 "After I dropped my wife off at her friend's house,

7 I went to my mother-in-law's house."

8 Yes?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Could we just call up RNI-833-045, please (displayed)?

11 This is a statement that's dated 24 March 1999, I hope

12 you will accept that from me -- we can look at the page

13 if necessary -- that you made to the Pat Finucane

14 Centre?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And if we could just highlight the first two paragraphs,

17 please, if we look at the first line, it talks of the

18 morning of the murder and that you drove to drop your

19 wife off at her friend's house and that you passed

20 several Army and police patrols and Land Rovers; yes?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And then in the second paragraph, you say:

23 "I then went up the town to do some shopping and

24 I went home."

25 Two things out of that. Again, I'm only showing

 

 

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1 this to you to you give you a picture of the accounts

2 you have given. I would suggest to you that the

3 quantity of Army and police that you talk about in the

4 statement given on 24 March is rather less than you do

5 in the statement to the Inquiry at this stage. Would

6 you accept that?

7 A. The two statements differ, I think, more because of the

8 time difference. The second statement that I made to

9 the Inquiry seems to be more graphic -- I said this, he

10 said that, he said the other -- whereas the first

11 statement made to the Pat Finucane Centre would have

12 been more, "I went here, this is what happened". It

13 wouldn't have been in as much detail.

14 Q. Well, would you accept from me that a statement made on

15 24 March 1999 is more likely to be accurate than one

16 made some considerable time after the event?

17 A. Yes, definitely, yes.

18 Q. Right. So just going back to the question I asked you,

19 in the Pat Finucane Centre statement you say you passed

20 several Army and police patrols and Land Rovers; yes?

21 Whereas you have told us in your statement to this

22 Inquiry that it was considerably more than that?

23 A. Oh, yes.

24 Q. So you are going with the account you have given the

25 Inquiry?

 

 

75

 

1 A. Yes, on that occasion.

2 Q. Right. And also in this statement, you say that you

3 went up to do some shopping and there is no mention of

4 going to your mother-in-law's?

5 A. What I actually did was really a routine: go to me

6 mother-in-law's, have a cup of tea, go and do a bit of

7 shopping, go home, pick my wife up later on.

8 Q. Okay, thank you. As I say, this is just to give you

9 a picture of what you've said on both occasions?

10 A. Oh, yes.

11 Q. If we go back to your statement to the Inquiry,

12 RNI-840-245 (displayed), paragraph 3 highlighted,

13 please, you say that when you had dropped your wife off,

14 you saw two soldiers standing on the railway crossing

15 bridge and they were laughing and joking. They were

16 looking through the sights of their rifles and were

17 looking in the direction of the Kilwilke area at the top

18 of Levin Road.

19 Is that the railway bridge that is Lake Street over

20 the railway line that you are talking about?

21 A. It is not actually in Lake Street, it is in

22 Brownlow Terrace and it crosses over to Victoria Street.

23 Q. Is it on the map that we have just seen?

24 A. It is actually a foot pedestrian bridge.

25 Q. I see. So if I call up the map of RNI-832-069

 

 

76

 

1 (displayed), can you say where that footbridge is?

2 THE CHAIRMAN: You can see Brownlow Terrace, can you?

3 A. Pardon?

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Do you see Brownlow Terrace?

5 A. I didn't bring my reading glasses, I'm sorry.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: It is marked just below Victoria Street.

7 MR SAVILL: It is below the railway line.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: It may be there is a footbridge where the

9 letter T is of "Terrace".

10 A. No, what you are looking at in Lake Street, that is

11 actually a road crossing. Further down, if you go down

12 the railway track --

13 MR SAVILL: I'm sorry to be difficult, do you mean left on

14 the screen?

15 A. Yes, sorry, left. Down the railway track, left.

16 Q. You cross the main road?

17 A. Where the V of "Victoria Street" is.

18 Q. So just to the right of the black main road? There?

19 A. No, further up.

20 Q. Sorry, could you talk in terms of left and right, not up

21 and down?

22 A. Sorry, right, keeping going right, keep going right.

23 That's it there. I think -- there is no name on that

24 street. That should be Kilmaine Street.

25 Q. So that's the crossing?

 

 

77

 

1 A. Yes, that's the crossing. It is a raised crossing. It

2 goes up two levels.

3 Q. Thank you. And there you say that you saw some

4 soldiers; yes?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Laughing and joking, looking through their rifles?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Forgive me, is there anything particularly unusual about

9 that sight?

10 A. Normally, when they are in north Lurgan and especially

11 around that area, they would be very nervous and wary.

12 Soldiers would be looking forwards and backwards to make

13 sure they aren't under attack from anyone. This morning

14 they just seemed carefree, looking through the sights,

15 laughing and joking. They were loud whereas normally

16 they wouldn't have wanted anyone to know they were

17 there.

18 Q. Obviously you weren't privy to their thoughts and

19 conversations so you can't say what they may or may not

20 have been laughing and joking about?

21 A. But their general demeanour, I thought, "They aren't

22 very worried".

23 Q. That's what struck you as odd?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. If we could call back RNI-833-045 (displayed), could we

 

 

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1 just highlight, please, the first paragraph again. I

2 will just read it to you:

3 "The soldiers were looking through their sight

4 towards the Kilwilke Estate. They have a good view

5 overlooking the whole estate and Victoria Street."

6 No mention there of laughing and joking. Again, the

7 same question from me, I am afraid: do you stand by the

8 statement that you made subsequently to the Inquiry?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. That they were?

11 A. Yes, they definitely were.

12 Q. And, again, a similar question: why isn't this mentioned

13 in your statement there?

14 A. At the time -- sorry, is this one the original --

15 Q. There is the Pat Finucane statement.

16 A. The time I gave that statement was in the north Lurgan

17 community centre and there was about 100 people there,

18 and it was more or less standing line, say your bit

19 and go.

20 Q. Perhaps if I could use words you might not want to, are

21 you saying that perhaps not as much attention was spent

22 on taking your statement as you might like it to have

23 been?

24 A. No, I wouldn't put it that way. I would say it wasn't

25 done at a leisurely pace because of the amount of people

 

 

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1 who had gathered there to give statements, and the lack

2 of privacy as well.

3 Q. But you did sign the statement?

4 A. Oh, yes, I did.

5 Q. And presumably you signed it being happy as to its

6 content?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Now, I do apologise that we are flicking between

9 documents here. You then went to collect your wife from

10 where you had dropped her off, did you not?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And if we can highlight paragraph 4 of your statement at

13 RNI-840-245 (displayed), about four lines down, this is

14 the journey to collect your wife:

15 "As I turned to go down Melrose Grove, I could see

16 there were a number of soldiers, about 10, going down the

17 road towards Rosemary Nelson's house where the explosion

18 took place."

19 Yes?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, help me with this. Going down the road. Is that

22 what we have seen on the previous map where you have

23 marked the crosses of Lake Street. Do you remember?

24 A. They would be slightly beyond that.

25 Q. In that case let's have a look at the map, RNI-842-069

 

 

80

 

1 (displayed). So you are saying that that was above

2 where you had put the crosses on Lake Street?

3 A. Where the fourth cross on the left-hand side --

4 immediately after that is the turning to Ashgrove Drive

5 where I would have went.

6 Q. Grange, if I can interrupt you. Ashford Grange is the

7 last road on the left above the crosses, do you see?

8 A. Would that be where Rosemary lived?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. The one before that was where I went down, up at the top

11 of the crosses -- up, up, up, that's it. On the left

12 there. As I was turning left, the soldiers were walking

13 up the road towards Fox's Green.

14 Q. Thank you. Obviously you weren't going for lunch or

15 anything like that; you were collecting your wife. So

16 you went and picked her up at the house and said your

17 goodbyes, and then I think you heard the explosion?

18 A. Yes, it was actually as I was saying goodbye. We stood

19 at the front door -- I didn't go into the house. We

20 stood at the front door speaking to my wife's friend, me

21 wife came out and then bang, we heard the bomb go off.

22 Q. Thank you. RNI-833-045, please, your statement to the

23 Pat Finucane Centre, highlighting the first three

24 paragraphs. Third paragraph, first line:

25 "I came back to Melrose Grove to pick up my wife."

 

 

81

 

1 Reading on, third line of that paragraph:

2 "Myself, my wife and her friend were standing at the

3 front door when the explosion happened."

4 Yes?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, what I just want to ask you again -- I'm sorry to

7 do so -- is that between you saying, I came back to

8 Melrose Grove and collecting your wife, we have got two

9 lines describing the location in that paragraph, but

10 again, there is no mention of soldiers walking up the

11 road or anything like that. Why is that?

12 A. Sorry, this statement is from who -- this is the

13 Pat Finucane --

14 Q. This is 24 March. Can I just tell you, to assist you --

15 it is probably my fault for not saying so -- if there

16 are no paragraph numbers on the page, it is your

17 Pat Finucane statement. If there are paragraph numbers,

18 it is your statement to the Inquiry.

19 A. Yes, sorry. Why I didn't mention it?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. I don't know. I can only imagine it was lost in the

22 translation, if you don't mind me saying so.

23 Q. No, no.

24 A. I was saying a lot of things and people were writing

25 them in long hand, and other people were asking me other

 

 

82

 

1 things, people were questioning me, and the more I was

2 telling them, the more people were coming in to listen

3 to what I was saying. And it was all over the place.

4 It wasn't the best -- I actually -- I didn't give it,

5 you know, in the likes of the solicitor's office or

6 anything. It was in a very public police.

7 Q. Dare I say it, you were, or you felt, able to give

8 a fuller account in the context of being interviewed by

9 the Inquiry. Is that what you are saying?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Because you understand why I'm asking you: there are

12 omissions in a statement made much, much nearer to the

13 time?

14 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Before you leave that, I would find

15 is very helpful if you could just say a bit more about

16 the statement-taking process at the Pat Finucane Centre.

17 A. Well, at the time, I heard -- I think it was just

18 generally on the grapevine -- that the Pat Finucane

19 Centre was holding some kind of meeting up in the north

20 Lurgan community centre. I went up there just more or

21 less to, you know, see what was happening. Somebody

22 asked me was I there -- did I have anything to say, and

23 I says, "Well, I was actually there and I saw quite

24 a bit". When I told them, they went and got somebody

25 else. Somebody else.

 

 

83

 

1 But it was a very large room, similar to the size of

2 this room with maybe 100 people in it talking and girls

3 running about and them running about taking statements

4 with bits of paper trying to gets desks organised,

5 chairs even. I was just in the middle of it all and,

6 you know, as I was giving my statement, people walking

7 past going "all right" and "what about ye", you know.

8 It wasn't mayhem, but it wasn't, you know -- the amount

9 of work I suppose they had to do, it wasn't great

10 circumstances for them to be in either, but it was just

11 I told them briefly what had happened. That was it.

12 I didn't go into too much detail about anything

13 because, you know, it wasn't anything legal, it was

14 just, you know, somebody wanting to know roughly what

15 happened. That's the way I took it to be.

16 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you very much. That's very

17 helpful.

18 MR SAVILL: Yes, thank you. Could we just call up now

19 RNI-840-246, please, your statement to the Inquiry

20 (displayed)? Thank you. Could we highlight

21 paragraph 5? This is just you, as it were, coming back

22 with your wife, and you say:

23 "We drove up to the junction of Ashgrove Lane and

24 Lake Street and [blank]. The school headmaster was

25 walking slowly in the road. My wife opened the window

 

 

84

 

1 and I asked him what was wrong. I have to say that five

2 minutes earlier there were five or six Army vehicles in

3 that position and a foot patrol going in that direction,

4 but when the bomb went off, none of them were there,

5 which amazed me."

6 Just help me with that if you wouldn't mind.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. I have just been told we can have the map on the screen

9 at the same time, I think. RNI-832-069 (displayed).

10 A. I don't need the map, if that's any help.

11 Q. I hate to tell you, but I do.

12 We have had a look at it already so I think we might

13 be able to enlarge it. Good. That's very helpful.

14 Now, we have got the crosses on Lake Street; yes?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, as I understand your statement, paragraph 5, I

17 think what you are saying is that when you refer to

18 "earlier" and "that position" and "that direction", you

19 are talking about those crosses on Lake Street and

20 slightly above them as well, as you have just told us.

21 Is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 A. Actually as I came up to the T-junction by the school

25 coming out of Melrose Grove, is it?

 

 

85

 

1 Q. Let's just be careful because you say in your statement

2 you drove up to the junction of Ashgrove Lane and

3 Lake Street. Look at your statement. That's what you

4 say.

5 A. Yes, but I mightn't have got the names right. It's

6 Lake Street --

7 Q. That's what I'm asking you to be careful about.

8 A. Yes, and the continuation -- it becomes Tannaghmore Road

9 North, I think.

10 Q. Show us on the map. We can see Ashgrove Drive.

11 A. Yes, I can see it, yes. That's Ashgrove Drive, is it,

12 where the marker is? Yes. As I came up -- sorry, as I

13 was going down, there was Land Rovers parked on that

14 piece of footpath going up there. It would be about

15 60 yards long.

16 Q. Just pause. Just slowly, please. You are saying "as I

17 was going down there". Just hold on. We are talking

18 about your statement. You drove up to the junction of

19 Ashgrove Lane and Lake Street. You have shown us where

20 that is, I think, Ashgrove Lane, where the marker is on

21 the screen?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And when you are then referring to the absence of

24 vehicles in a patrol, you are talking about the vehicles

25 and soldiers you had seen on the way up Lake Street

 

 

86

 

1 where the crosses are, and just above?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Right. So, again, what, to use your expression, amazed

4 you? That they aren't there?

5 A. Because of the short spans of time that had taken me to

6 drive down to my friend's house, which was only maybe 60

7 or 80 yards, 100 yards, knock at the door, she came out,

8 boom. It was unbelievable. I actually laughed, I hate

9 to say -- and I said, "They must have found something"

10 and my friend's wife said to me, "What do you mean?"

11 And I says, "Well, as I was coming down, there was lines

12 of soldiers" and then I thought, "Well, they wouldn't

13 have detonated anything that quick". So I says, "Well,

14 it must be a booby trap or something". I said to my

15 wife, "Come out, get out of here quick" because we

16 didn't want to be involved in anything like that. So we

17 jumped in the car, drove up to the main road again and

18 that's when we saw the headmaster crossing the road.

19 Q. Right. I'm not going to labour you with seeing your

20 Pat Finucane Centre statement again, but same

21 question -- and I suspect you may say the same answers:

22 you don't make mention of this absence and amazement at

23 the quickness of their departure in your Pat Finucane

24 Centre statement. So you would rely on the same

25 reasons, would you, that you have given us already for

 

 

87

 

1 that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Right. Before I move on to a slightly different topic,

4 can I just ask you this: we have talked about Land

5 Rovers and soldiers and so on and so forth. You have

6 given us your reasons for feeling that perhaps their

7 behaviour or their positioning may have been strange.

8 Was there actually anything that they were doing that

9 was in particular suspicious? I know you have your own

10 views, but when you recollect what they were doing, was

11 there anything on the face of it that was suspicious?

12 A. No, they appeared to be carrying out a search for arms

13 because having lived in that area for about 12 years,

14 what I have seen -- a lot of searches and things.

15 Q. Just to assist us with that, why would you say they were

16 carrying out a search for arms as opposed, for example,

17 to looking for somebody in person?

18 A. When they are searching for arms, what they normally

19 would do, the security forces, would turn up in maybe

20 four, six Land Rovers. They would position themselves

21 obviously at a road leading into the Kilwilke Estate.

22 Then they would be in force when they come searching,

23 whereas, as opposed to when they are coming searching

24 for somebody, normally it was two Land Rovers or even

25 a Land Rover and an ordinary car, you know, that type of

 

 

88

 

1 thing. It was the quantity of soldiers and Land Rovers

2 and police that was there that led me to think that they

3 were looking for arms.

4 Q. And I had better just --

5 A. And of course -- sorry -- the area that they were in.

6 Q. I had better just ask you this question: are you saying

7 that you saw any police or military personnel going into

8 Ashford Grange at any stage?

9 A. No.

10 Q. No. I would just like to move on to a slightly

11 different topic. I'm not, if you will forgive me, going

12 to go over the explosion -- it is a distressing picture

13 that's painted -- so we will just touch on it. I want

14 to ask you about a bag that was at the scene. I'm

15 advisedly not using the expression "handbag", so can you

16 tell me, please, did you yourself have any contact with

17 a bag at the scene of the explosion?

18 A. Yes, I did.

19 Q. And what was that?

20 A. When we had been looking at Rosemary and trying to help

21 her, doing whatever we can for her, I noticed out of the

22 corner of my eye somebody had directed a car and it was

23 very close -- because of the position of the car, it was

24 coming very close to us and Rosemary's car, and I turned

25 and said, "Don't let any more cars through because that

 

 

89

 

1 will all be forensic evidence", and I looked and

2 Rosemary's handbag -- I take it to be Rosemary's -- was

3 sitting on the floor.

4 Q. Just pausing there. Are you saying it was a handbag as

5 opposed to anything bigger?

6 A. Yes, it was a handbag, dark blue.

7 Q. If you are positioned now, as you sit there, at the rear

8 of the BMW -- so you have got the boot right in front of

9 you and the bonnet would be nearest to me -- just

10 indicate, please, to us where this handbag was in

11 relation to you and the car?

12 A. If that was the boot there, the bag was sitting here on

13 the floor, two and a half/three feet away.

14 Q. So to put it another way, it was between you and the

15 boot of the car?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What did you do, if anything, with the handbag?

20 A. I lifted -- a couple of personal effects came out. I

21 think it was a make-up powder thing or something.

22 I lifted that, set it in the bag, set the handbag into

23 the boot of the car along with a book, which was a

24 report into Bloody Sunday or something. I lifted that

25 and set that in the boot as well.

 

 

90

 

1 Q. So the bag, things that were probably from the bag?

2 A. Fell out of it, yes.

3 Q. And a document, you yourself picked up and put in the

4 boot?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. You didn't have any worry about doing that?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Because you just mentioned contamination of the scene

9 and so on?

10 A. Yes, but I thought with cars going round, people

11 backwards and forwards, I just instinctively lifted it

12 and put it into a safe place.

13 Q. Right. Could we just call up RNI-840-247, please

14 (displayed), paragraph 12 and see what you say to the

15 Inquiry in your statement:

16 "The bomb had blown every door open and her bag,

17 which had obviously been on the back seat, had been

18 blown out of the back door and was lying in the road.

19 The windows of the car were not broken. A copy of the

20 Widgery Report into the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was also

21 on the road having been blown off the back seat. I put

22 it and Rosemary's handbag back in the car."

23 Yes?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Just let me ask you, why was it obvious that the handbag

 

 

91

 

1 had been on the back seat?

2 A. It might have been on the front seat, I don't know -- I

3 don't know. It wouldn't have hardly been in the boot.

4 It just struck me that it was on the back seat.

5 Q. Okay. Could we now call up RNI-833-046, please, your

6 statement to the Pat Finucane Centre (displayed)? Could

7 we highlight the paragraph in the middle of the page

8 that begins:

9 "I went back ..."

10 Forgive me, I'm just going to read this to you:

11 "I went back over to the car to see was the nurse

12 and then the other woman coping okay. I then checked

13 around to see if any of Rosemary's personal belongings

14 were lying scattered on the road. In fact, a lot of her

15 personal effects, such as handbag, driving licence,

16 et cetera, were lying behind the car. The explosion had

17 blown everything out of the car and then the car had

18 rolled forward into the wall. There were also papers

19 and files and a copy of the Widgery Report lying in the

20 road about 10 to 15 feet behind the car. I didn't touch

21 anything because I judged none of this was private and

22 personal things."

23 I suspect "none" is an incorrect word there:

24 "But I judged [something] this was private and

25 personal things."

 

 

92

 

1 So I'm sorry to be a nuisance to you this afternoon,

2 but again, we have got two slightly different versions

3 of events?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And before I ask you to comment, previously you said the

6 Pat Finucane Centre was busy, things may have been

7 missed and so on. Well, this isn't a situation where

8 something was missed, is it? It is a completely

9 different version of events?

10 A. No, I don't think so. This 10 or 15 feet, I suppose,

11 was --

12 Q. But you say you didn't touch anything? That's what I'm

13 driving at.

14 A. I may have gone like this (indicates) and scooped them

15 up with my sleeve. I might have done, I don't know.

16 Q. It is my fault for perhaps not being clear. Do you

17 agree that the last sentence of that paragraph indicates

18 that you did not touch the handbag?

19 A. It does indicate that, yes, and it is wrong.

20 Q. But it is wrong?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And what you told the Inquiry is right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Again, I apologise, can you tell me why it might be that

25 there is this difference?

 

 

93

 

1 A. I don't know, honestly. I didn't study the statement to

2 the Pat Finucane Centre. I took it more or less for

3 granted that what I was telling them, they were writing

4 this down. When they had finished writing it all down,

5 I signed it. I didn't stand and go over it word by

6 word, and I didn't -- I don't think I have read that

7 statement from the day I made it. You know, it is not

8 something I wanted to go over again and again.

9 Q. Well, it was and is exhibited to your statement to the

10 Inquiry, so I think you have seen it?

11 A. Yes. I have seen it, sorry, recently.

12 Q. Anyway perhaps I can just move on a little further into

13 the events. We have got you attending the scene; yes?

14 And obviously, as I say, I'm not going to go into it,

15 but it came about that an ambulance eventually arrived

16 with the emergency services; yes?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now, you and your wife then left the scene and drove off

19 up the North Circular Road, yes?

20 A. A few minutes after it arrived. We waited to see -- we

21 stayed well back.

22 Q. But what I'm driving at is there came a point shortly

23 after the emergency services arrived that you left?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can you tell me what sort of frame of mind you were in,

 

 

94

 

1 what sort of state you were in at the time you left the

2 scene?

3 A. I would say I was in mild shock because of what I had

4 just witnessed. I was also fuming at what I'd seen: the

5 police turning up literally 20/30 mile an hour,

6 strolling up, no blazing sirens, no nothing. When

7 I drove down straight along Lake Street to the bottom,

8 an Army Land Rover came round --

9 Q. Hold on.

10 A. Sorry, sorry.

11 Q. Cast your mind back. What was the question I was asked:

12 what state was I in?

13 A. State I was in: shock.

14 Q. Right. And you were annoyed, I think?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Stop there because I'm just now going, I think -- in

17 fairness, I hope -- to quote to you some words from your

18 Pat Finucane Centre statement and I think they accord

19 with what you are telling us.

20 You say -- this is you describing your actions --

21 that you yelled, you were furious, you used the words:

22 "For God's sake, will you hurry up ... you're a bit

23 frigging late."

24 And you were very angry?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

95

 

1 Q. So you stand by those descriptions?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You left the scene and drove up the North Circular Road.

4 So let's call on to the screen again RNI-832-069, please

5 (displayed). Thank you. And you have mentioned some

6 Land Rovers, so help me with that.

7 A. After the bomb, is this?

8 Q. Yes. I just stopped you telling us and now I would like

9 you to go on.

10 A. Sorry. I actually left. I didn't go back round the

11 North Circular Road. I went to the bottom of

12 Lake Street where it connects with North Street and the

13 Antrim Road, and just before I got to the junction, the

14 T-junction there -- it's now a mini roundabout --

15 Q. Sorry, that's just beneath the railway line, isn't it?

16 A. No, it is just over the railway line.

17 Q. I'm talking about on the screen. Just beneath the

18 railway line.

19 A. Yes, yes, it would be. The Army Land Rover came round

20 the corner, two soldiers -- two or three soldiers, their

21 heads out the top, laughing and joking, which again was

22 just unseen in that area.

23 Q. So which corner did they come round, sorry?

24 A. They came from the left.

25 Q. Sorry, are we talking about Antrim Road?

 

 

96

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So you are coming down Lake Street to the T-junction?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Did you stop at the T-junction?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I hope you did.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And the Land Rover went across in front of you?

9 A. No, no, the Land Rover just turned left before -- just

10 before I got to the junction.

11 Q. So you were coming to the T-junction and the Land Rover

12 was coming from the bottom middle of this map and turned

13 left into Lake Street?

14 A. Yes, it was coming from the Lurgan direction.

15 Q. Right, and it went past you?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. How many Land Rovers were there?

18 A. It was just one at this stage.

19 Q. And how many soldiers were sticking their heads out?

20 A. There were two or three. I saw two.

21 Q. Now again I'm just going to put it in this way to you,

22 if I may -- please don't think I'm being facetious, but

23 it may have been that one of the soldiers had made an

24 extremely amusing joke to another soldier?

25 A. Hm-mm.

 

 

97

 

1 Q. You don't know why they were laughing, do you?

2 A. No, no, no.

3 Q. No.

4 A. But it seemed disrespectful knowing what had just

5 happened and them knowing what had just happened.

6 Q. But what you are saying is that it was unusual for them

7 to be laughing and joking in that area performing their

8 job?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Right. Can we just have a look, please, at RNI-840-208,

11 statement to the Inquiry, paragraph 16 (displayed)?

12 Now, I think there is a small typo in this first

13 sentence, but:

14 "As we left the scene and drove up the North

15 Circular Road, two Army Land Rovers and two Army Land

16 Rovers came round the corner."

17 That's the typo I think:

18 "The soldiers were laughing and joking. This was in

19 stark contrast to how they normally were, with their

20 heads down, fearful of attack."

21 Could we just quickly call up RNI-833-048

22 (displayed), which is your statement to the Finucane

23 Centre. Second paragraph highlighted, please:

24 "I drove down Lake Street. Just before we reached

25 the Antrim Road junction, two Army Land Rovers came

 

 

98

 

1 round the corner into Lake Street. The soldiers had

2 their heads sticking out of the top and they were

3 grinning from ear to ear and laughing. I was never as

4 disgusted in all my life."

5 A. I know, yes.

6 Q. You anticipate my question: two, one?

7 A. The first Land Rover -- it is the only Land Rover I'm

8 referring to -- had two soldiers, their heads out of it

9 and I commented something to my wife, "Would you believe

10 it". That was it.

11 Q. I rather missed that.

12 A. The first Land Rover had the soldiers, their heads out

13 the top laughing and joking and that's what I was

14 referring to, sorry.

15 Q. So back to basics, there were two Land Rovers in total

16 that came round the corner. Is that what you are

17 saying?

18 A. I would say from my Pat Finucane statement that would be

19 more correct rather than my memory of events this late

20 in the day.

21 Q. Well, the Pat Finucane Centre statement and the

22 statement to the Inquiry says two.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You said to me a moment ago just one?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

99

 

1 Q. But I think what you are saying now is one only had

2 soldiers with their heads out laughing and joking, the

3 other one didn't. Is that what you are saying?

4 A. Exactly, yes.

5 Q. Now, if we could just call up RNI-840-249 (displayed),

6 statement to the Inquiry, paragraph 20:

7 "No one, including the police, asked me about what I

8 had seen ... I only saw two policemen when we made our

9 way down Lake Street."

10 The next sentence is what I'm asking about:

11 "That's when we came across the Army Land Rovers and

12 the soldiers were roaring with laughter, which seemed to

13 me to be exaggerated."

14 I just want to be clear, you are referring to the

15 incident we have just discussed -- there weren't two

16 incidents -- with people laughing out of Land Rovers?

17 A. Just the one.

18 Q. Thank you. Could we just highlight on the same page

19 paragraph 19, please. Now, you use the word "site"

20 there, you mean of the explosion:

21 "As we left the site, I recall seeing that there

22 were two police officers standing on the footpath by

23 Tannaghmore School talking together and two women

24 approached them and asked them to show some respect. I

25 don't know what the police officer had said."

 

 

100

 

1 Just to deal with that in a little bit more detail,

2 did you see or hear any inappropriate behaviour by these

3 officers, these police officers?

4 A. They were standing, laughing and joking amongst

5 themselves because when the ambulance arrived, I moved

6 down the hill slightly back down towards the North

7 Circular Road, about 20 or 30 feet. Two soldiers were

8 standing there. So I moved further down from them and

9 they were talking and laughing and joking, and then I

10 watched a few of them going up -- they would have been

11 about 15/20 feet from me, something like that.

12 Q. Yes. And again, two points coming out of that, please:

13 first of all the understanding, I think it would be fair

14 to say, that comes from paragraph 19 is that you don't

15 know what they had done to upset the two women?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Looking at that statement?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. All you knew in that statement was that the women said:

20 "Show some respect."

21 Or words to that effect. But now you are saying you

22 did witness these police officers doing what?

23 A. They were just laughing -- not laughing hilariously,

24 just sniggering more or less, covering their faces,

25 mumbling.

 

 

101

 

1 Q. And after that, or very soon after that, the women said

2 what they said to them?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Was there a response from the police officers?

5 A. No, totally stonewalled them, blanked them.

6 Q. Again, I hope you would accept from that -- and I will

7 be corrected, I'm sure, if I'm wrong -- that there is no

8 mention of this little vignette, this little incident in

9 your statement to the Pat Finucane Centre?

10 A. That's right, yes.

11 Q. Same reasons that you have given us before?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Just excuse me.

14 A. Okay. (Pause)

15 Q. Now, just before I finish, I just want to, in fairness

16 to you, put a sentence in your Patrick Finucane Centre

17 statement, and if we could just call up RNI-833-047

18 (displayed) and highlight the bottom few lines, you will

19 see why I'm showing this to you:

20 "I was very angry that it had taken them so long

21 considering that ..."

22 And then we go on:

23 "... I had witnessed such a heavy police presence in

24 the area throughout the whole morning."

25 Now, I'm not being critical of you, but that's

 

 

102

 

1 a very general statement which talks of a heavy police

2 presence; yes?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Let me ask you: did you mean by that to encompass all

5 the military and police activity you had been talking

6 about?

7 A. In relation to the area where the bomb went off?

8 Q. Well, what I'm saying to you is in your Pat Finucane

9 Centre statement you use the expression, "considering I

10 had witnessed such a heavy police presence". I have put

11 to you that you have, in your statement to the Inquiry

12 and to us today, increased, if you like, the Army and

13 perhaps as well police activity -- yes? -- from your

14 Pat Finucane Centre statement?

15 A. I don't know if that's a fair comment because I knew

16 there was a fairly -- an awful lot of security forces in

17 the area, Land Rovers and personnel.

18 Q. That's why I'm showing you this, to say that you have

19 made this comment to the Pat Finucane Centre, that in

20 your view there was a heavy police presence in the area?

21 A. There was, yes.

22 Q. Did you mean that to just designate the police or did

23 you mean that also to include the Army?

24 A. Both.

25 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much.

 

 

103

 

1 Now, at this stage in a witness's evidence, the

2 Inquiry asks them if there is anything that they don't

3 feel has been explored sufficiently by me with them or

4 anything they would like to add to their evidence. So

5 that's what I'm going to do. Is there anything you

6 would like to tell the Inquiry now before the evidence

7 comes to a conclusion?

8 A. There is a few things that I thought would have been

9 gone into more and that was the fact that I saw Army and

10 I think it was one or two police walking up towards

11 Rosemary's house at about one, maximum two minutes

12 before the bomb went off. That would have been where

13 I turned in to go and collect my wife. I actually saw

14 the police going up there and the Army foot patrol.

15 Q. Let me just pause you there.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You are talking about seeing them going up that way

18 before you dropped your wife off?

19 A. No, no, when I went to pick my wife up.

20 Q. With your wife in the car on the way back?

21 A. No, no.

22 Q. Or you on your own?

23 A. No, when I went to pick my wife up.

24 Q. You on your own?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

104

 

1 Q. What is it that you would like to say in addition to

2 that which you have already said about that?

3 A. Mainly that it was impossible, practically impossible

4 for anybody to get into the area and to get out of the

5 area without the police or Army having seen them.

6 Q. At what time?

7 A. At the time when I drove to go down Ashgrove Grove, is

8 it? As I turned to go down there, I literally saw them

9 only the length of this room away from me, walking up

10 towards Rosemary's. It took me a maximum 30 seconds

11 driving to my friend's house, knocking at the door, she

12 come out a minute, two minutes absolutely maximum.

13 Where did all the soldiers and police go in that short

14 space of time that the bomb went off?

15 Q. Thank you.

16 A. That was the main point to me which I couldn't think of

17 any reason to explain that.

18 Q. If I may say so, this is why I have given you this

19 opportunity. So don't feel restrained. If there is

20 anything you would like to add to that, now is your

21 opportunity because you have helpfully expanded on it.

22 A. Yes. I'll just say that my statements -- the statement

23 I gave to the Pat Finucane Centre wasn't perfect. It

24 didn't tell the whole story because of the time limit,

25 the pressure that people -- the amount of fuss and chaos

 

 

105

 

1 that was going on. Had somebody told me to write it

2 down, to include everything, I would have included

3 everything. Then, when it came to give this statement

4 to Eversheds, I had the statement returned to me at

5 least eight or ten times for amendments and amendments

6 and amendments. And at the end of the day, I was so fed

7 up I would have signed anything. I would have signed

8 the ingredients for fairy cakes, "There you go" because

9 I was sick of having to go through all these pages, make

10 all the amendments, check them, double-check them, send

11 it back and every time I got it back none of the changes

12 had been made, and there could be discrepancies caused

13 by that at the end.

14 Basically, I just told what happened, but there was

15 a lot more I could have added to it, and as well as that

16 I never compared the two statements to see what I said,

17 what I didn't say on any other statements.

18 Q. Yes. You mention I could have added any more, so as

19 I say, now is your opportunity and I hope you feel today

20 that you have had the opportunity to add or tell us

21 anything that has been missed or is inaccurate in those

22 statements?

23 A. That's fine, no.

24 Q. You are happy with that?

25 A. Yes, thank you.

 

 

106

 

1 MR SAVILL: Thank you. I do not have any more questions for

2 you, but I don't know whether any of the members of the

3 Panel do?

4 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

5 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I just wanted to make sure that I

6 had got the picture clear. First of all, let me say

7 that the Panel appreciates that we are talking ten years

8 after the event. A lot has happened since then.

9 Everybody's memories have no doubt faded, including

10 mine. So that is understood. But you obviously were

11 very concerned about seeing a line of security forces

12 walking towards Rosemary Nelson's house and then not

13 seeing them a very short time afterwards?

14 A. Yes, a maximum of two minutes.

15 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Okay. Just so that I can focus my

16 own mind, can you tell me what you think might have

17 happened, what you are worried might have happened?

18 A. I am afraid to say because of what might happen to me.

19 I mean, at the end of the day, I live out in the country

20 and, you know, things happen. I mean, I don't know how

21 anybody could have got in there to do anything because

22 they had the area sealed off, and what I have since

23 learned, it was sealed off three days before Rosemary

24 returned from -- before she returned from holiday. And

25 within minutes, maximum of two minutes of her -- of the

 

 

107

 

1 police and Army being there in massive numbers, the bomb

2 went off and she was killed.

3 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right.

4 A. It is more shocking to me that there could have been

5 security force involvement.

6 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Obviously that's what this Inquiry

7 is set up to try to establish, but I wanted to be quite

8 clear what exactly you were concerned about, but I think

9 I'm now clearer. Thank you very much.

10 A. Okay, thank you.

11 MR SAVILL: Perhaps I can just interrupt and try and assist.

12 I don't want to muddy the waters. To be absolutely

13 clear, this is an inquiry set up to investigate various

14 allegations, including collusion in Mrs Nelson's death.

15 You have indicated a reluctance to express your view.

16 Perhaps I can help. You are not saying that you know

17 about any individual's involvement?

18 A. No.

19 MR SAVILL: But you might have wanted -- and I will say

20 it -- to have expressed concern at the very least about

21 the involvement of the security forces?

22 A. Definitely.

23 MR SAVILL: On the basis simply of the evidence that you

24 have told us today?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

108

 

1 MR SAVILL: Thank you.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming to give

3 evidence before us.

4 A. Thank you.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Before the witness leaves, would the video

6 engineer please confirm that all the cameras have been

7 switched off?

8 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please escort the witness out.

10 We will adjourn until Monday week, I think.

11 (3.30 pm)

12 (The Inquiry adjourned until Monday, 19 January 2009 at

13 1.00 pm)

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Questions by MR SAVILL ....................... 66
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Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 106
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