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Full Hearings

Hearing: 15th December 2008, day 92

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Monday, 15 December 2008
commencing at 1.00 pm


Day 92

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Monday, 15 December 2008

2 (1.00 pm)

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: Thank you.

17 Mr (name redacted), can you please confirm that the two

18 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

19 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

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

21 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

23 Bring the witness in, please.

24 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

25 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

 

 

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1 switched back on.

2 Please take the oath.

3 P157 (sworn)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please sit down.

6 Yes, Mr Phillips?

7 MR PHILLIPS: I think it is right that you have made

8 a single statement to the Inquiry and I would like to

9 show it to you on the screen, RNI-842-121, please

10 (displayed), and your ciphered signature appears at

11 RNI-842-153 (displayed) and the date of 3 October this

12 year.

13 Now, you have been granted anonymity in the Inquiry

14 and your cipher is P157. I hope that you have with you

15 a list of other names and ciphers, and I would be

16 grateful if you would consult it during your evidence as

17 necessary so that the anonymity of those individuals may

18 also be preserved in the Inquiry.

19 What I would like to do is to start with just a few

20 questions about your career history. We have got

21 paragraph 1 on the screen, and you tell us that you

22 joined the force in 1970 and, as I understand it, after

23 various postings, came to Command Secretariat towards

24 the end of 1991. Is that correct?

25 A. That's correct, sir.

 

 

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1 Q. And you stayed there until your retirement?

2 A. I did, sir.

3 Q. Thank you. What I would like to do with you is just

4 look briefly at the chart we have of the RUC

5 organisation at this period. I think it is known as

6 slide 2. Yes, there it is.

7 So do we see Command Secretariat at one of the boxes

8 to the left underneath the Chief Constable's box?

9 A. Yes, sir.

10 Q. So as I understand it, you were reporting to and

11 responsible to the Chief Constable?

12 A. That's correct, sir, and -- we were the interface of the

13 organisation for those various departments, the

14 interface with the Chief Constable.

15 Q. So in other words, where we go down to the ACCs and the

16 great list from left to right there, is that you mean?

17 You were the interface with those parts of the

18 organisation?

19 A. I should make it clear: in relation to correspondence,

20 yes.

21 Q. Yes, exactly.

22 A. In relation to correspondence.

23 Q. And also, as I understand it, with the outside world, if

24 I can put it that way. Is that right?

25 A. That's correct, sir.

 

 

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1 Q. I think, if we just go back to your statement, the

2 period that you served there would have spanned, I

3 think, two Chief Constables. Is that right?

4 A. That's correct, sir.

5 Q. Now, can you compare and contrast their approach to

6 their work?

7 A. Well, Sir Hugh Annesley was -- how can I put it? --

8 a very methodical man who was well into protocol, and he

9 would very much use Command Secretariat and the staff

10 there as -- well, not as a buffer, but as a link between

11 both the organisation within and the various outside

12 bodies that we would have come in conduct with.

13 Sir Ronnie Flanagan, if I may say so, had a slightly

14 different approach.

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. He would have been much more hands-on. He would have

17 been a person who wouldn't hesitate to pick the phone up

18 and speak to anyone on any issue.

19 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 9 of your statement, if I can

20 just show you that -- RNI-842-124 (displayed) -- you use

21 exactly that expression there, four lines from the end:

22 "Sir Ronnie Flanagan was very hand-on. He did a lot

23 of this work."

24 That's really preparing for meetings, getting

25 himself briefed himself. If he wanted something, he

 

 

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1 would often go direct to the relevant department and ask

2 them for it rather than going through

3 Command Secretariat?

4 A. That's correct, sir. If I could slightly amplify on the

5 answer?

6 Q. Please do.

7 A. Just to give you an idea of the difference in style.

8 Sir Hugh Annesley -- the Chief Constable was called upon

9 to, as you will appreciate, make quite a few speeches,

10 and Sir Hugh -- there would have been several others

11 involved in the preparation of those speeches, ending up

12 in a fair number of drafts before it was approved.

13 Sir Ronnie tended to speak off the top of his

14 head -- I don't mean that in any derogatory sense.

15 I mean that was his style. That was the way he worked.

16 And only, I think, two or three months into his time in

17 as Chief Constable, we actually reduced the staff in

18 Command Secretariat by two full units, if I can put

19 that, because -- mainly because of this -- this style of

20 his of doing things himself.

21 Q. So in fact that difference in style then had an actual

22 impact on Command Secretariat itself?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the role of Command Secretariat is

25 concerned, again, you describe it in your statement and

 

 

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1 I would like to show you the paragraph again, please,

2 paragraph 12, RNI-842-125 (displayed). You say:

3 "Right at the start, part of Command Secretariat's

4 role was to deal with the Chief Constable's

5 correspondence."

6 Now, so far as that is concerned, can you help,

7 please: to what extent would the Chief Constable himself

8 be involved in dealing with correspondence?

9 A. Well, generally speaking, he would be -- become aware of

10 correspondence by it being brought to him by someone

11 from Command Secretariat. That invariably meant there

12 was probably a related file to the correspondence and

13 that would have been brought in, and it varied, the way

14 things happened. If it was a routine, quick matter, it

15 could be dealt with quite quickly. Obviously things

16 obviously took other lengths of time because of the

17 complexity of what was being involved, and at times

18 there would be a draft had been prepared beforehand.

19 A lot of the issues that arose, the information to

20 answer the issues lay without Command Secretariat, in

21 fact invariably that was the case. So there could have

22 been a dispatching of documents around the various

23 departments. They could have been brought back in.

24 There could have been a draft reply done that could have

25 been brought into Sir Ronnie for him to have a look at.

 

 

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1 He might look at it, take the pen to it, bin it and

2 rewrite it. It just varied as to what was required.

3 Q. Now, the point you made about getting input for answers

4 from the other parts of the organisation, that is very

5 much what you are saying at the end of this paragraph we

6 have on the screen, isn't it, I think?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Do you see what I mean?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Where you, within Command Secretariat, wouldn't

11 yourselves know the answer and you would need input from

12 one or more parts of the organisation to prepare the

13 reply?

14 A. Just to give you an idea of that system, if that reply

15 were approved, for instance, say, that might well go

16 back out again to the various people for them to have

17 another look at that to be sure.

18 Then also invariably, the force legal adviser would

19 be sent the documentation as well. So it was that

20 process of trying to get answers as accurate as

21 possible.

22 Q. Yes. Just looking at the point you have made about

23 sending out the draft, can I show you paragraph 15 of

24 your statement? That's RNI-842-126 (displayed).

25 Because here, as I understand it, you are saying that

 

 

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1 once you within Command Secretariat had a final draft,

2 you would then, as it were, send it out again to the

3 departments and to the legal adviser before it was

4 finally, finally approved, if I could put it that way,

5 and sent out?

6 A. Are we on paragraph 16?

7 Q. 15, sorry, Do you see that?

8 A. Sorry, yes.

9 Q. So this sounds like quite an elaborate process. Did it

10 make dealing with correspondence quite a slow business?

11 A. It could be a slow business at times, but I think it was

12 more important that anything that emanated from the

13 Chief Constable's office was accurate.

14 Q. Yes. Now, can I just ask you some questions about the

15 way things worked within Command Secretariat? We know

16 that there were more junior officers there in the period

17 with which we are concerned, and in particular, as I am

18 sure you know, the Inquiry has heard from P136 and from

19 Mr Maxwell, Superintendent Maxwell?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, the impression one has from their evidence is that

22 you, as the Chief Superintendent, were the main

23 gatekeeper, if I can put it that way, the main

24 gatekeeper to the Chief Constable. Is that right?

25 A. I think that would be fair, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. So that in the cases where you mentioned earlier, the

2 draft would go in to him with the file, would it

3 generally be you who would take the file and the draft

4 in to him?

5 A. Generally, yes.

6 Q. Yes. Did that apply even where one of the other

7 officers had been involved in preparing the drafts,

8 working on the particular issue? Nevertheless, at the

9 point of going into him you would generally be the

10 person to take the file?

11 A. I think that would be the case most of the time. It

12 wouldn't be to the absolute exclusion of that happening

13 on occasions.

14 Q. Yes. In relation to his input, we have seen various

15 documents, and you have talked about them in your

16 statement, which have annotations saying, for example,

17 "Chief Constable approved" or something like that. Was

18 there a standard way of noting -- for the file,

19 I mean -- material that he had given his approval to?

20 A. Yes. Yes, if it had been through the Chief, there would

21 have been something to indicate that that was the case.

22 Q. Thank you very much. Now, so far as dealing with

23 correspondence on particular matters is concerned,

24 again, the other two officers have given evidence about

25 that.

 

 

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1 The impression they have given is that there was

2 no -- there were no solid demarcations; in other words,

3 officer X to deal with these sorts of points, officer Y

4 to deal with the other. It was dealt with on a much

5 more ad hoc basic. Is that right?

6 A. Yes, it was very much, I would like to think, a team

7 approach. And because of the nature of it and the small

8 number of staff in it, there would have been occasions

9 when people could have been working on something and it

10 could have then passed to someone else. If they had

11 done the draft, you would undoubtedly have seen

12 signatures where someone's name has been crossed out and

13 my signature has gone on it, maybe the reverse, I don't

14 know. But that was just so that even when someone

15 wasn't there, the work was done and we could move it on.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. If I might just say something about the -- P136 and

18 Mr Maxwell, who were chief inspectors/superintendents,

19 and P136 became a superintendent. Command Secretariat

20 was this very small edifice, right? Where those

21 individuals out in subdivisions or divisions, they would

22 have had command of, well, in the RUC terms, then, maybe

23 anything up to 350 or 400 people, and half a battalion

24 of soldiers as well. So it was very much that they were

25 given their place, they were selected because they were

 

 

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1 good people and Command Secretariat was regarded as

2 a good stepping stone for someone to come into.

3 Q. Yes, I understand. Thank you.

4 Can I just ask you, you have told us about the way

5 in which correspondence was dealt with in a team and

6 that, indeed, if you see the screen, is the point you

7 are making in paragraph 16, isn't it, I think?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. In the evidence from the other two officers, certainly

10 Mr Maxwell suggested that in relation to Rosemary Nelson

11 and the many different issues which concerned her, his

12 memory anyway is that P136 became, if I can put it that

13 way, as it were, the in-house specialist. Is that how

14 you remember it?

15 A. I suppose that could have been the case, yes. It could

16 have been the case. It is not to say that there

17 wouldn't have been other people involved simply because,

18 from a very practical point of view, P136 may not have

19 been there all the time.

20 Q. Exactly. But in your recollection anyway, that may well

21 have been the case in relation to the Rosemary Nelson

22 correspondence?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the files that you maintain

25 are concerned -- I don't want to get into great detail

 

 

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1 on this because I don't think it is necessary -- but you

2 say in paragraph 20 -- to remind you, RNI-842-127

3 (displayed) -- that the business of opening files --

4 this is right at the end, five lines or so from the

5 bottom of the paragraph -- and then maintaining them was

6 not, unsurprisingly, your business, it was the business

7 of the administrative staff within the general office.

8 Is that correct?

9 A. That's correct, sir.

10 Q. And so far as the Rosemary Nelson issues are concerned,

11 we see various references, Command Secretariat

12 references, on documents. I think you say in your

13 statement there was at least one file on her or rather

14 on the issues concerning her at Command Secretariat. Is

15 that correct?

16 A. Yes, there was certainly at least one. I think that was

17 probably -- in answer to a question that was put to me.

18 Q. Yes. But that is the way you recall it, is it?

19 A. I would say that there could have been more than

20 one file --

21 Q. Yes, indeed.

22 A. -- you know.

23 Q. Would the files have been so structured that if, for

24 example, I had opened file A on an individual but there

25 was in fact a related or linked file B, there would be

 

 

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1 something on the file to show they me that there were

2 other files alongside it?

3 A. I would have thought that the office staff would have

4 made those linkages, yes.

5 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you some questions about your

6 liaison or your contact with outside organisations?

7 First of all, can I ask you about the NIO and

8 specifically the Police Division within it? Were you in

9 regular contact with the civil servants at Police

10 Division?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And in particular with the Head of Division, at one

13 stage Christine Collins and then Ken Lindsay?

14 A. Yes, I would have been in contact, regular contact with

15 both of them over time.

16 Q. Yes. By regular, do you mean once a week, once a day,

17 a few times a week?

18 A. It depends. It could have been daily. The thing I

19 think -- if I may say so, if you look at the

20 correspondence generated by the Rosemary Nelson

21 correspondence, there could have been emanating from

22 Police Division another eight to ten issues with --

23 generating equally as much, and that's only one

24 division.

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

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1 A. I think, if my memory serves me right, there was then

2 SPOB or SPOD, which would have been generating another

3 plethora of issues because -- and I won't for a second

4 try and remember all the issues that were ongoing at

5 that time, but there was substantial issues in policing

6 and in -- related to policing in Northern Ireland at

7 that stage.

8 Q. Yes, it was a time of great change for policing in

9 Northern Ireland apart from anything else, wasn't it?

10 A. It was and, again, there were hiccups in the change, as

11 you may -- and whether I would still have the chronology

12 in my head now, I would doubt, but there were enormous

13 issues going on, you know. The SPOB sort of issues

14 would be about the closure of police stations which

15 were, in Northern Ireland terms, enormous issues when it

16 came to the handling of them. And there was obviously

17 a huge political dimension to that as opposed to the

18 policing dimension as well.

19 Q. So I can take it then that -- just drawing some points

20 out of what you have been saying -- you had regular

21 contact not only with Police Division but also with SPOB

22 or SPOD?

23 A. Or whatever it was.

24 Q. Yes. And also the point you are making, which is

25 extremely important to the Inquiry, is that one should

 

 

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1 see the substantial amount of correspondence about

2 Rosemary Nelson in this much broader context?

3 A. Well, only in the sense that there were other issues.

4 Q. Yes. Because obviously the danger for the Inquiry is

5 that one looks all the time at the Rosemary Nelson

6 material and it is easy to forget that at one period you

7 and your colleagues would be dealing with all sorts of

8 other letters and issues on the same day in the same

9 week?

10 A. And if I may, you know, you have asked directly in

11 relation to the NIO and SPOB or SPOD, but the police

12 authority would have been another one.

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. Sometimes the Secretary of State's office direct,

15 although that would tend to come through the NIO.

16 Q. What about the ICPC? Any regular contact that you had

17 with that organisation?

18 A. Not regular because the ICPC was very much linking to

19 ACC G Department, the complaints and discipline end of

20 things. So it would have been limited. There could

21 well have been would be a file in Command Secretariat on

22 ICPC.

23 Q. Can I just go back to look in a little more detail at

24 your working relationship with the Chief Constable? You

25 make some comments about this in the context of

 

 

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1 correspondence in paragraphs 14 and 15 -- we were

2 looking at them before -- and that's at RNI-842-126

3 (displayed).

4 Just to be clear, were you in daily contact

5 with him?

6 A. Yes, there may have been occasions when he was rather

7 difficult to track down, in the sense he was just so

8 busy. But, like, I can remember when I had a particular

9 pile of correspondence that had to be done, engineering

10 a situation where I would go and meet him in a car, him

11 coming away from a meeting somewhere, or I could get him

12 in the car for 20 minutes to try and move some stuff on,

13 right?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. So it was -- but generally speaking, it would have been

16 daily.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 A. And, indeed, just on reflection, I think the -- and

19 I did -- I used to have this figure in my mind exactly,

20 but I am afraid time has taken that out. But at one

21 stage, Mr Flanagan, I think, went two years or something

22 without a day off. So even with that sort of

23 commitment, to get him some time because he was so busy

24 could be difficult.

25 Q. Even for the people in Command Secretariat such as

 

 

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1 yourself?

2 A. Yes. I don't mean he was running away from us or

3 anything like that, although he could probably see us

4 far enough when we come in with these piles of

5 correspondence, but at times he was so busy.

6 Q. Presumably that meant that you had to decide and think

7 about quite carefully what were the sort of points that

8 really needed his attention, as opposed to the points

9 that you could simply deal with?

10 A. Well, one -- when one is, if I may say so, staffing

11 a Chief Constable, the most important thing is accuracy.

12 The most important thing is that the Chief is not

13 caught, as it were, on the hop, not knowing about

14 something that someone mentions to him when he is out

15 and about. You know, that is part of the staffing role.

16 Now, as I have stressed, Sir Ronnie was very good at

17 looking after himself. I would stress that. But that

18 was part of the role, to keep him briefed, and whilst

19 there were these major issues, right -- obviously a very

20 major one here and other ones I have referred to --

21 there could have been an occasion when one letter from

22 one person in Northern Ireland needed the

23 Chief Constable's attention, which was a very important

24 thing. That could have been, for instance, a widow of

25 one of -- our former colleagues, who was bringing up an

 

 

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1 issue about something that it would be important that

2 the Chief Constable would know about because he spent

3 a lot of time with widows' association and the disabled

4 police officers' associations. So it was very

5 important -- and he would have expected, in other words,

6 as opposed to a standard reply going to someone, it

7 would be brought to his attention. And he, even as

8 Chief Constable, would deal with that himself.

9 Q. Now, so far as that's concerned, were there occasions

10 when you would get his attention, get some time with him

11 because you wanted to brief him about a particular

12 issue, only to discover that in fact he knew all about

13 it already?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Because he was so very hands-on?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. In other words, through his own direct contacts, through

18 getting out there, talking to various individuals, he

19 had informed himself of the very point that you had gone

20 to speak to him about?

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. So far as meetings and minutes of meetings are

23 concerned, can I just ask you some questions about that?

24 You tell us in your statement about various types of

25 meeting that you attended with him, and if we look at

 

 

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1 paragraph 3, for instance, RNI-842-122 (displayed), you

2 talk about the security policy meetings. And we will

3 come back to that.

4 But in paragraph 7, which is on the next page,

5 RNI-842-123 (displayed), you say in relation to

6 inter-governmental conference -- and that, as I

7 understand it, is a meeting between officials in

8 Northern Ireland and in the Irish Republic. Is that

9 right?

10 A. And politicians as well.

11 Q. Thank you. But you say there you didn't have

12 a contributing role:

13 "I just attended to take a note of what

14 Sir Ronnie Flanagan said. The meetings were formally

15 minuted and I checked the drafted minutes that were

16 circulated for approval against my notes."

17 In general, when you attended these meetings, this

18 type -- the other types you refer to in your

19 statement -- was your role to take a note of what he

20 said at the meeting?

21 A. More or less, yes. Obviously if some other issue arose

22 that was worthy of a note, I would have put a note down.

23 Q. That's what I obviously want to ask you because clearly,

24 in a meeting with various speakers, what you would be

25 left with, if that was the strict rule, would be

 

 

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1 a rather limited note of what had been said?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Was that the purpose of it --

4 A. He suppose the -- more than one purpose, but the main

5 purpose was because those meetings and the

6 inter-governmental conference was quite a high level

7 affair, if I may say so.

8 Q. Indeed.

9 A. And there was a security session and -- at which the

10 Chief Constable would have been in, and that was minuted

11 and then those minutes -- from memory anyway, those

12 minutes would have been circulated for checking. And it

13 was principally in that sense to check what was -- that

14 Sir Ronnie was being accurately recorded in those, and

15 if he wasn't, that we could amend that.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. And/or put it in as an amendment.

18 Q. So you weren't so much concerned as to whether whatever

19 people had said had been accurately minuted, but rather

20 what your own boss had said?

21 A. More or less, that was the main thing. But obviously,

22 something else could have been raised at the meeting,

23 and I'm not necessarily meaning the inter-governmental

24 conference now, that it would have been wrong not to

25 make a note of if, for instance -- follow-up action was

 

 

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1 another thing, that there could have been something that

2 needed additional action.

3 Q. Yes. I understand, thank you.

4 Now, when you went to see him, when you discussed

5 issues with him, you were obviously doing so as the most

6 senior officer in Command Secretariat?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Would he use you, if I can put it that way, as

9 a sounding board when issues came up? Would he seek

10 your view?

11 A. I would have thought that that would have been more

12 something he would have done with his ACCs, certainly on

13 operational matters. He might have asked me something

14 in relation -- for instance, you know, I mentioned

15 contacts with widows there. There were other

16 controversial issues at times about memorials that were

17 put up to fallen comrades again, and what should go on

18 them and how that should be played.

19 Now, he might have asked me something about that,

20 but when it came to, you know, an issue that clearly,

21 you know, was an ACC's responsibility, you know, I think

22 that he would have gone to them in that regard and I

23 would have had to be, in my position in

24 Command Secretariat, very careful not to encroach on

25 anyone's department.

 

 

22

 

1 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of his formal meetings with

2 those senior officers, we have on the screen -- do you

3 see? -- the beginning of paragraph 8, the COG meetings,

4 which you say were held monthly.

5 Would you, in your role at Command Secretariat, come

6 across the ACCs of one kind or another more regularly

7 than that; in other words, more often than once a month?

8 A. I'm just trying to think back. I think -- well, because

9 there would have been also a bit of movement in and out

10 of the Chief Constable's suite, as it were, even though

11 I was slightly out of it, I would have seen chief

12 officers on a fair amount of occasions. And then, of

13 course, there were other meetings; there were twice

14 weekly meetings at one stage, which I then think

15 Sir Ronnie reduced to once a week, where he would meet

16 not the full chief officers' group, but more the

17 operational ACCs, from memory. He would see them in

18 his office.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. I would attend that as well.

21 Q. You would attend that as well. Thank you very much.

22 So more often than the COG, the operational meeting,

23 you think, maybe once a week?

24 A. Certainly at one stage it was as frequent as that.

25 Q. Yes. Now, what about his meetings or discussions with

 

 

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1 the Head of Special Branch? Did they take place more

2 often than once a week?

3 A. I actually couldn't answer that because it was something

4 I had never -- anything to do with at all.

5 Q. So not even from your observation, as it were, of the

6 comings and goings into the Chief Constable's suite?

7 A. I did say I would be in and out of there. My office was

8 actually slightly down the corridor. He did have

9 personal staff alongside him there.

10 Q. Now, you say in your statement right at the front in

11 paragraph 2 in the last sentence, RNI-842-122:

12 "For the avoidance of any doubt, I never joined the

13 Chief Constable in meetings he had with Special Branch.

14 I was never DV cleared."

15 That, I can take, can I, was the position throughout

16 the period you were at Command Secretariat?

17 A. That's correct, except in those days it was actually

18 ‘PVed’, positively vetted.

19 Q. Indeed so. The years with which we are concerned, in

20 particular, let's say 1997 to 1999, whatever contact the

21 Chief Constable had with Special Branch did not

22 involve you?

23 A. Not at all.

24 Q. And there was no discussion between the two of you --

25 that's you and the Chief Constable -- about intelligence

 

 

24

 

1 issues, matters that had been raised by Special Branch

2 with him in briefings or meetings of that kind?

3 A. Not at all, sir.

4 Q. Are you able to assist as to whether the Chief Constable

5 had meetings or regular meetings with the regional heads

6 of Special Branch?

7 A. I couldn't say.

8 Q. Right. So this whole area of his briefings,

9 discussions, was something quite apart from you. Is

10 that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, on this topic, one other specific question. It has

13 been suggested in evidence that he, the Chief Constable,

14 was provided with a daily intelligence report. Now, was

15 that something at least of which you were aware?

16 A. I think I could say I was aware of it, but I wouldn't

17 have seen it.

18 Q. You had no responsibility for, for example, taking it in

19 to him or anything like that?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Do you think that was dealt with by Special Branch

22 officers?

23 A. I would imagine so, directly.

24 Q. Yes. And are you able to assist us with where such

25 reports would be kept, if they were kept?

 

 

25

 

1 A. I actually couldn't. I would presume -- once the Chief

2 has seen them they would be taken back to

3 Special Branch.

4 Q. Yes. Now, you said earlier that he was hands-on.

5 Indeed you have said it in your statement. It has been

6 suggested in the evidence that he was particularly

7 hands-on in relation to intelligence matters. Is that

8 something that you are able to comment on?

9 A. No, other than to say it would have been part of the

10 Chief Constable's role to be totally au fait with all

11 intelligence matters.

12 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you some questions about the SPMs,

13 the security policy meetings? And I will show, please,

14 your paragraph 3 at RNI-842-122 (displayed). We know

15 that one of the items on the agenda at such meetings,

16 because we have heard from a number of individuals who

17 were present, as you were, that that was always

18 intelligence and there was a briefing, usually, wasn't

19 there, from the DCI, the senior Security Service

20 officer?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Now, in terms of the material that was circulated before

23 the meetings, although you were present at the meeting

24 as a note-taker, are you saying you would not have seen

25 any of that material?

 

 

26

 

1 A. No, I would not have seen that material.

2 Q. So it would go direct to the Chief Constable, would it?

3 A. I would presume so. I would presume so, yes. We would

4 have got an agenda from the NIO.

5 Q. If there were any papers to go with the agenda, you

6 wouldn't have handled them if they related to

7 intelligence. Is that right?

8 A. No, that's correct.

9 Q. Thank you. And can I ask you, was there any discussion

10 on a regular basis, or at all, between you and your

11 boss, the Chief Constable, before or after the meetings

12 about what had been discussed in the meetings?

13 A. Again, I would have taken a note of what the Chief had

14 said, a rough note, expecting, as always happened, the

15 draft minutes to appear.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. Which I would look at, and then, if I was happy with

18 them, take them in to the Chief to ensure that he was

19 happy before it being put back up. And drafts were

20 amended occasionally.

21 Q. Yes. Now, so far as your presence at the meetings is

22 concerned, the impression you give in your statement is

23 that you and the Army note-taker and the NIO note-taker

24 would be in the corners. Is that right? While the big

25 cheeses sat round the table?

 

 

27

 

1 A. There was that element. We usually sat together, the

2 three of us.

3 Q. Right. Now, so far as the DCI is concerned, the senior

4 security officer -- Security Service officer -- the

5 evidence we have heard, indeed, from him is that he saw

6 the Chief Constable every month.

7 Now, can I take it that you were not present for

8 those meetings?

9 A. That's correct, I wasn't.

10 Q. So the same position as you described it with

11 Special Branch applied to him?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, what I would like to do now with you is

14 to look at just some of the matters that crossed your

15 desk in relation to Rosemary Nelson. You have commented

16 on a large number of documents in your statement, but

17 before we get into any of the detail, I would like to

18 ask you about your memory and your recollection of these

19 events.

20 We can see from your statement that you were

21 provided with a lot of material and you have commented

22 on it. What is your actual recollection of these events

23 in 1997, 1998 and early 1999?

24 A. I think my recollection is based mainly on the papers.

25 I think it is --

 

 

28

 

1 Q. So --

2 A. -- almost ten years ago now.

3 Q. Indeed. So if you hadn't been shown the documents, you

4 wouldn't have had much of a memory of what had happened?

5 A. My fear would be that there could be a document that

6 I said I hadn't seen that then you bring out and it has

7 my signature on it. But that's just the vagaries, I am

8 afraid, of memory over time.

9 Q. Yes. What I would like to do at the beginning is to

10 pick up one or two points in 1997 with you. What I want

11 to ask you first of all is can you remember now when you

12 first became aware of Rosemary Nelson?

13 A. Well, again, I suspect it would have been when the

14 initial complaint came in and it was sent to Complaints

15 and Discipline for investigation.

16 Q. This is the Lawyers Alliance complaint?

17 A. Well, yes, if that was the earliest one, yes.

18 Q. Yes. You comment in your statement -- for example,

19 paragraph 19, if we look at that. RNI-842-127

20 (displayed). You comment on the letter from

21 Senator Torricelli. So that's April 1997. Do you think

22 that's likely to have been the first time you became

23 aware of it?

24 A. It is possible, but again, I think I should say that

25 that is, in that statement, in answer probably to

 

 

29

 

1 a question, something that was put to me, as opposed to

2 coming out of my memory.

3 Q. That's really why I'm asking this question because what

4 I'm trying to ascertain from you is whether, when you

5 make comments such as this, what you are talking about

6 is something you were aware of at the time or really

7 just something that has been put in front of you and

8 that you have made comments on.

9 Let's do it this way: do you think you were aware of

10 her in the summer of 1997 when she alleged that she had

11 been assaulted on the Garvaghy Road?

12 A. Yes, to my knowledge, I remember -- I think that -- yes,

13 there was statements came in, I think, that I saw in

14 that regard.

15 Q. Yes. And slightly earlier than that in late June 1997,

16 there was a good deal of publicity about one of her

17 clients, Colin Duffy, she was representing in relation

18 to the murder of two police officers in Lurgan.

19 Do you think you would have heard about her and

20 become aware of her at that point, in June 1997?

21 A. Well, I daresay because I think -- to be -- when I saw

22 the documentation, I think with the photograph of

23 Colin Duffy on it, I will be honest, I thought that was

24 the first time I had seen that.

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

30

 

1 A. But I do remember there was an association between her

2 and Duffy.

3 Q. Yes. Let's have a look at some of the material on this,

4 please.

5 The first document I would like to remind you of is

6 RNI-110-025.509 (displayed) and this is just an example

7 of a lot of media coverage, which followed the arrest.

8 These murders had a substantial impact in

9 Northern Ireland, didn't they?

10 A. Sorry, which murders are these?

11 Q. The murders of the two police officers in Lurgan

12 in June 1997.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Yes. And we see that following the reports in the

15 paper -- you see there:

16 "Lawyers' fury at RUC over Duffy arrest"?

17 A. I'm having a bit of difficulty reading it.

18 Q. I'm not sure the detail is very important, but if we

19 enlarge the middle column, for example, you can see that

20 Rosemary Nelson was quoted at length there, making

21 comments about her client Colin Duffy. Do you see that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And following that, there was a good deal of

24 correspondence which came in, I think, to

25 Command Secretariat from NGOs and others, and do you

 

 

31

 

1 remember that?

2 A. Yes, I think I do. But, you know, the issues that are

3 raised in the newspaper article, you know, they are

4 germane to the case. That would have been a matter for

5 ACC Crime and, no doubt, the DPP, and investigating

6 officers and all sorts of things.

7 Q. Yes. But the thing about this case, which was unusual,

8 wasn't it, is that not only was all of that going on, as

9 you say, the DPP, the investigating officers, but also

10 and at the same time there was media coverage, there was

11 correspondence coming in to the Chief Constable, there

12 was correspondence coming in to Command Secretariat from

13 the NIO, which you had to deal with, didn't you?

14 A. Yes. But if I may say so, sir, that could have followed

15 on any number of incidents that happened in

16 Northern Ireland at that time.

17 Q. Right. Was that, therefore, something that was fairly

18 standard within Command Secretariat: that in the course

19 of criminal proceedings, you would be receiving letters

20 from NGOs, from people in the United States of America

21 about the case?

22 A. If we did, we would be putting them immediately to the

23 people with the knowledge to deal with it.

24 Q. Yes. But what I'm asking you is whether this was an

25 absolutely standard thing for Command Secretariat to

 

 

32

 

1 deal with.

2 A. It may not have been that the American angle was totally

3 standard.

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. But, you know, there would have been -- Northern Ireland

6 was a very high profile issue and, you know, all sorts

7 of correspondence would have come in to

8 Command Secretariat. What we tried to do was deal with

9 it all efficiently.

10 Q. Yes. But you are saying then that what we have seen

11 traced in the correspondence, the involvement of NGOs,

12 correspondence coming in to you from the NIO, there was

13 nothing particularly out of the ordinary about that in

14 Northern Ireland?

15 A. No, there was always a large amount of stuff coming in

16 about a plethora of issues.

17 Q. Right.

18 A. Maybe not always with the American angle.

19 Q. Yes. Now, so far as -- not the American angle so much

20 as the NGO angle was concerned, do you remember

21 receiving a substantial amount of correspondence from

22 this point on, the summer of 1997, from NGOs about

23 Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, was that in any sense unusual?

 

 

33

 

1 A. I don't quite know how to answer that. I don't think it

2 was unusual. It was -- well, the NGOs had an interest

3 and they wrote about their interest.

4 Q. Was the level of correspondence in relation to issues

5 concerning Rosemary Nelson higher than you would

6 normally expect?

7 A. I would have thought it probably was, yes.

8 Q. There were more letters on a wider range of issues. Is

9 that right?

10 A. In relation to Rosemary Nelson?

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Right. Did you take any view about that within

14 Command Secretariat, about what was going on with that

15 solicitor and all the NGOs who were writing about her?

16 A. It wasn't a question of us taking a view. It was

17 a question of dealing with the correspondence in

18 a proper and efficient way.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. And getting a reply back.

21 Q. Now, you mentioned earlier that you became aware of the

22 complaints that were being made, and we talked about the

23 Torricelli letter and the Lawyers Alliance complaints.

24 We have seen various letters over the years where

25 you were giving updates on the state of play in the

 

 

34

 

1 complaints, mostly to the NIO, but sometimes for the NIO

2 to pass on to other bodies. Can I just look at an

3 example of that with you, please? RNI-101-056

4 (displayed).

5 Here, you refer in the second paragraph -- this is

6 you to Anne Colville at the NIO, 22 August, and you

7 refer, as I say, in the second paragraph to Mr Lynch,

8 the Lawyers Alliance complaint, and you set out in the

9 fourth paragraph there that Rosemary Nelson was not

10 cooperating with the investigation?

11 A. And if I may say so, sir, I think it answers --

12 paragraph 1 answers your earlier question:

13 "He appears to be the instigator of complaint."

14 Q. Absolutely. So Mr Lynch was the complainant in this

15 case. He, as we know, came from the States; I think

16 from New Jersey, actually. Was that an unusual source

17 for a complaint about officers in the RUC?

18 A. Yes, that would have been, yes.

19 Q. Yes, indeed. So if nothing else singled these

20 complaints out, there was at least that?

21 A. But if I may say so, there was a complaint from a third

22 party in America that was then treated as a complaint

23 and investigated.

24 Q. Indeed.

25 A. Whereas I think I'm right in saying that would not have

 

 

35

 

1 been the case in other jurisdictions.

2 Q. No. Just looking at this letter with me, please, where

3 you report back -- and we go over the page to

4 RNI-101-057 (displayed) to see how the letter ends. You

5 say:

6 "Mr Lynch allegations largely consist of hearsay,

7 rumour and innuendo, mostly of a very general nature."

8 Now, what I wanted to ask you about in relation to

9 this letter -- so RNI-105-056 and 057 (displayed) -- is

10 before this letter went out, would you have expected to

11 have drawn the point about the complaints and what was

12 going on with these complaints, those matters, to the

13 attention of the Chief Constable?

14 A. I would have probably made him aware of that, yes.

15 Q. Yes. And can you explain why? What was it about the

16 particular issues, the particular complaints, that you

17 think would have made you draw them to his attention?

18 A. Because it was an important issue, you know. There was

19 a complaint that was saying that police officers are

20 threatening someone.

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. It was --

23 Q. It was sufficiently significant for you to draw to his

24 attention. Yes.

25 A. And it would have been right -- but, again, this is

 

 

36

 

1 maybe back to something you were saying earlier in

2 relation to his own contacts: I thought it was

3 important that probably he would be aware of the -- the

4 difficulties in investigating that particular complaint

5 at that stage.

6 Q. So you would have not only told him because of the

7 potential importance of the issue, but also so that he

8 was well aware of the problems in the investigation

9 itself?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Yes. Can I look at the section of your statement where

12 you deal with this, please? It is paragraph 24 at

13 RNI-842-129 (displayed). Here, you say:

14 "I have been asked if complaints of death threats by

15 members of the RUC against defence solicitors was

16 a significant issue then. The matter would have been

17 brought to the Chief Constable's attention."

18 Then you go on to talk about the letter that we were

19 looking at before.

20 Now, when you say there "the matter would have been

21 brought to the Chief Constable's attention", I think you

22 were referring to the specific issues in the letter. Is

23 that right?

24 A. I would have thought so, yes.

25 Q. But they came, didn't they, these allegations, against

 

 

37

 

1 a broader, a wider background of allegations of

2 harassment and intimidation against police officers made

3 in relation to other lawyers? Were you aware of that at

4 the time?

5 A. No, actually it was more Rosemary Nelson that I would

6 have been aware of.

7 Q. So you saw her, did you, then, as rather an isolated

8 example of somebody against whom it was said that

9 threats were being made?

10 A. Well, at that stage, yes.

11 Q. And did that change at any point before her murder? Did

12 you begin to see her as forming part of a wider picture?

13 A. I honestly can't recall, you know, knowing that there

14 was a wider -- forgive me, I know I have seen some

15 papers that indicate that there was a wider picture of

16 it, but I was never really aware of it and I don't

17 remember any complaints. I suppose the reason we were

18 aware of this was because there was a specific

19 complaint.

20 Q. Yes. Now, moving on, the NGO letters continue and,

21 indeed, it would appear gather some sort of pace, as

22 1997 carries on. If we look at RNI-101-063 (displayed),

23 we can see on 1 September, the NIO is writing to you

24 with -- attached to this letter -- correspondence they

25 had received from Amnesty International and asking for

 

 

38

 

1 specific comments on a number of matters raised within

2 that letter.

3 The Amnesty letter we can see at RNI-105-075

4 (displayed). 21 August, addressed to the Secretary of

5 State and it goes on in fact to RNI-105-077. Then, if

6 we look together at RNI-101-094 (displayed), we will see

7 what is in fact exactly the same letter -- more or less

8 exactly the same letter -- coming in direct to the

9 Chief Constable.

10 So I assume that this sort of material, not only the

11 NIO letter addressed directly to you but also this one

12 addressed to the Chief Constable himself making the same

13 points, would have been very much on your desk to deal

14 with within Command Secretariat?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Yes. Now, if we go on to the reply that goes out, we

17 will see at RNI-101-074 (displayed) a letter to

18 Anne Colville dated 10 September. Now, is it possible

19 for you to tell whether you had any input into this

20 letter?

21 A. Looking at it, I would have thought that Mr Maxwell had

22 composed that letter.

23 Q. Yes. Now --

24 A. He would have done the research and then composed the

25 letter.

 

 

39

 

1 Q. Now, although it doesn't say so in terms, we can tell

2 from the quotation in the third paragraph, which is

3 a quotation from the Amnesty letter and the reference,

4 do you see there, to Amnesty International, that it is

5 dealing with that letter amongst others. But you see

6 the opening paragraph is:

7 "I refer to your letter of 1 September, one of four

8 letters received recently concerning Miss R Nelson,

9 solicitor, and Mr C Duffy."

10 Do you remember the bulk, the number of

11 correspondence on this increasing at this time

12 in September 1997?

13 A. There was a lot of correspondence. Whether it would --

14 increased or not, you know ...

15 Q. Did it at any point become a matter of some exasperation

16 to you and your colleagues within Command Secretariat

17 that you were being bombarded in this way?

18 A. Certainly not.

19 Q. It did not?

20 A. No.

21 Q. In these NGO letters that we have looked at and that you

22 looked at when you were preparing your statement and,

23 indeed, since, what they were saying, to pick up the

24 word you used a little while ago, was that threats were

25 being made to this solicitor and being made by members

 

 

40

 

1 of the RUC.

2 Now, the correspondence -- and this is an example --

3 the replies that come back tend to focus rather more on

4 how the complaints were going and how the investigations

5 were proceeding rather than addressing the substantive

6 question of threats.

7 Now, did you or your colleagues at this stage, the

8 autumn of 1997, seek to find out what was being done

9 about the threats that were being made to

10 Rosemary Nelson?

11 A. I don't recall that happening.

12 Q. No. Now, we know that earlier in 1997 --

13 A. But if I may add there, of course the complaint which

14 was being investigated, right, would have been put down

15 to the regional ACC who would have territorial

16 responsibility and, I suppose, functional responsibility

17 as well for dealing with the issue.

18 Therefore, the right people to deal with the matter

19 operationally would have been aware of what was going

20 on, and that is where the operational authority, if you

21 like, would have lain in the organisation, in the

22 region.

23 Q. Indeed. Can you remember at this stage,

24 in September 1997, doing anything to check what the

25 regional commander was doing or had done about this?

 

 

41

 

1 A. I don't recall doing that, no.

2 Q. We know particularly, I think, Mr Maxwell was involved

3 at an earlier stage in May in raising questions of this

4 kind. We have been over that evidence with him.

5 When this sort of correspondence came in, would it

6 have been possible for you to check back in the file and

7 see what had happened or not happened earlier that year?

8 A. What you would normally do is you would be gleaning the

9 information on which to answer the query, as presented.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. And that's what you were putting the correspondence

12 round to do.

13 Q. Yes. But you don't recall going back to check what the

14 situation had been in the summer of 1997 or discussing

15 it with Mr Maxwell at this point?

16 A. Exactly what point, sorry?

17 Q. This is September 1997.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You don't recall doing that?

20 A. Discussing this -- sorry, I think I have lost you.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: -- little puzzled about, I think.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Do you recall going back to look at the file

23 to see whether there was any earlier history of this

24 matter, in 1997?

25 A. What matter? Specifically.

 

 

42

 

1 Q. The question of the threats which allegedly had been

2 made?

3 A. I knew there was threats that were being investigated.

4 Q. Yes. So you were content, were you, to find out what

5 was going on in the investigations?

6 A. Yes, because that's what we were charged to do in that

7 role. There were regional authorities who had direct

8 responsibility, territorial responsibility and

9 functional responsibility, for the issues.

10 Q. Yes. What I'm asking you is do you remember either

11 going back to check with those regional authorities or

12 asking one of your staff, including

13 Superintendent Maxwell, what he knew about what had been

14 done about that, the threat?

15 A. No, I'm sorry, I'm not sure I'm following you. What we

16 would -- we would have been interested -- we were aware

17 of the complaints.

18 Q. Yes. And that was your concern?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Yes. You want to know what was going on with the

21 investigation of the complaint?

22 A. Because that's what generally we were being asked about.

23 Q. But in the case of the Amnesty letter, which I showed

24 you, where they talk about the threats, not about

25 complaints but about the threat, you were still limited

 

 

43

 

1 in your concern, were you, to find out --

2 A. Could I see it again, please?

3 Q. Yes. If we look at that, it is RNI-101-105, I think.

4 The one to the Chief Constable is RNI-101-094 and it is

5 at RNI-101-096, I think (displayed). You see at the top

6 of the page somebody has put the letter "E" next to it.

7 Do you see that:

8 "Amnesty International is also disturbed ..."

9 Now, "reflect" presumably is somebody going through

10 the various letters, dividing up the points made in the

11 letters so that answers to them could have been

12 obtained?

13 A. That would seem to have gone to E Department.

14 Q. I don't think that can be right because if you look

15 back -- and it is very, very, very cumbersome doing this

16 on the screen, but there we go -- RNI-101-095

17 (displayed), it starts with A. It then goes to B, and

18 it then says C and D, and then if we go over the page to

19 RNI-101-091 (displayed), it says E, F, G and H?

20 A. Sorry, I thought that might have been E Department.

21 Q. Now you have seen it is A to H, these are just a list of

22 points to be dealt with. We don't see, in any of the

23 answers going back, material dealing with what was being

24 done about the threats, do we?

25 A. Again, I don't know what the timescale of this was, but

 

 

44

 

1 in some of the bundle that I saw, I did see that the

2 region did take some action in relation to ...

3 Q. That was in particular the following year, in February

4 and August 1998. Do you remember that? You talk about

5 it in your statement?

6 A. Right.

7 Q. I think we should move on from that.

8 So far as the way the matter was being taken up at

9 precisely this moment, the next document I want to show

10 you is at RNI-101-065 (displayed), exactly the same

11 month, 1997, September. This time the question comes in

12 from the Irish side of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat, and

13 do you remember questions being raised by the Irish from

14 time to time about Rosemary Nelson and questions

15 concerning her?

16 A. Well, yes, from the correspondence, yes.

17 Q. Yes. And if you look at that, it is again material

18 concerning her client, Colin Duffy, and asking for

19 questions in relation to it, and the NIO civil servant,

20 this time from SPOD, says:

21 "I'm under some pressure to respond on this matter

22 raised and would be grateful for your urgent advice as

23 to how to reply to the Irish side."

24 Did you find yourselves in Command Secretariat being

25 put under pressure by the NIO from time to time to

 

 

45

 

1 provide answers where they were getting, as it were,

2 political flak?

3 A. I don't know I would say we were under pressure, but it

4 was part of our role to try and assist them factually.

5 Q. There were a number of examples -- this is just one --

6 where we can see them chasing you for urgent or quick

7 responses so that they could give answers elsewhere.

8 Is that something you remember going on?

9 A. It could happen, if they needed something urgently from

10 time to time, yes.

11 Q. You have made some comments in your evidence about

12 whether or not you regarded Rosemary Nelson's case, the

13 points about her, as being unusual, and you pointed to

14 the American involvement as being an unusual thing.

15 What about the regular involvement of the Irish side

16 of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat? Did that make her case

17 an unusual one?

18 A. Well, I don't know that -- you use the term "regular".

19 I have seen one item of correspondence now. There might

20 be others as well.

21 Q. You see, what I'm trying to do, instead of taking you to

22 every single one, is to take some examples in the hope

23 that we can together talk about a general topic in order

24 to illustrate the position.

25 There are other examples -- please take it from

 

 

46

 

1 me -- of the Irish side of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat

2 raising issues. Is that something which in any way made

3 her case unusual, as far as you were concerned?

4 A. The Irish side would have raised various issues on

5 various matters.

6 Q. So the answer to the question is?

7 A. It was one issue that they were interested in amongst

8 others.

9 Q. Yes. And not just on this occasion, but on other

10 occasions, as far as you can remember?

11 A. Well, you have told me that that's the case. I accept

12 that.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the complaints which were

14 made, did you and your colleagues have a view as to

15 whether you thought they were genuine or not?

16 A. No.

17 Q. You did not?

18 A. No.

19 Q. You simply answered the questions using the information

20 provided to you?

21 A. They were sent for investigation.

22 Q. Yes. So is your point that this would have been

23 premature to come to any view?

24 A. Absolutely.

25 Q. Yes. Now, the final example of the correspondence that

 

 

47

 

1 was coming in at this point I want to show you is at

2 RNI-101-066 (displayed). It is a letter from Mr Mullin,

3 an MP, to the Secretary of State. It is about the same

4 topic, the arrest and detention of Colin Duffy, and you

5 will see on the next page, RNI-101-067 (displayed), that

6 a copy went to your Chief Constable. Do you see that?

7 A. Yes. They have spelt his name wrongly as well, I see.

8 Q. Yes, he has. Again, was that in any sense unusual, to

9 be getting, about a pending criminal prosecution,

10 a letter from an MP at Westminster complaining about the

11 way the police had conducted the prosecution?

12 A. Well, there would be quite a lot of correspondence from

13 MPs in general, and perhaps in relation to specific

14 cases as well if they had constituents that were

15 involved in it or something like that. So it wouldn't

16 have been way out of the ballpark.

17 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

19 Mr (name redacted), before the witness leaves, would you

20 please confirm that all the cameras have been

21 switched off?

22 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

24 There will be a quarter of an hour break. Half past

25 two.

 

 

48

 

1 (2.15 pm)

2 (Short break)

3 (2.31 pm)

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

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

6 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

8 screen closed?

9 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

11 and securely fastened?

12 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

14 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

15 of this chamber?

16 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

18 Mr (name redacted), can you please confirm that the two

19 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

20 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

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

22 MR SAVILL: Yes, sir, they have.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

24 Bring the witness in, please.

25 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

 

 

49

 

1 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

2 switched back on.

3 Yes, Mr Phillips?

4 MR PHILLIPS: Now, can I just look at a final document, I

5 think this one is drafted by you from this period

6 in September 1997. It is at RNI-101-075 (displayed).

7 And this is a memorandum where your signature, I think,

8 appears instead of, as it were, the standard form,

9 "RB Maxwell, Superintendent". Do you see that?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And looking at the first paragraph, it shows what, as

12 far as one can see, you had learnt at this stage about

13 the complaints. And you say in the third sentence:

14 "Chief Inspector [P146] investigating, and I'm told

15 that the nature of those earlier complaints are similar

16 in content to the hearsay raised herein."

17 Now, can I just ask you this question. In order to

18 find out what was going on, in other words, with these

19 complaints, would you be reliant upon information coming

20 back to you from the Complaints and Discipline

21 Department?

22 A. That's correct, sir, but if I may say so, the document

23 that I'm looking at at the minute I would say was

24 prepared by Mr Maxwell.

25 Q. But signed by you?

 

 

50

 

1 A. But signed by me, probably because he was away or

2 something, as I explained earlier.

3 Q. Yes. But it looks also, doesn't it, as though in

4 addition to finding out about those matters, whether it

5 was you or Mr Maxwell, you had also by this stage

6 received a letter from the UN Special Rapporteur,

7 Mr Cumaraswamy -- we will talk about him in more detail

8 in a minute -- in which he had said that she,

9 Rosemary Nelson, had been assaulted and abused by the

10 police during the parade, the Drumcree parade, 1997.

11 So certainly by this stage, September 1997, you were

12 aware of those allegations, weren't you?

13 A. I would have thought so, yes.

14 Q. Yes. Now, so far as that is concerned, there is one

15 more letter I want you to look at with me, please, and

16 this is not from you but from Rosemary Nelson, and we

17 can see it at RNI-101-093 (displayed), dated

18 15 September, just a few days after the memorandum we

19 were just looking at, addressed to the Chief Constable

20 and alleging that she had been assaulted on the

21 Garvaghy Road.

22 Now, so we've understood the position, when a letter

23 like that arrived, would it come to Command Secretariat

24 for you and your colleagues to deal with?

25 A. Yes, it could have, yes.

 

 

51

 

1 Q. And if a letter of that kind had come, in other words,

2 where somebody was alleging that she'd been assaulted

3 and abused by the police, would you draw it to the

4 attention of the Chief Constable?

5 A. I could well have done, but I think the essence of that

6 letter is a civil claim is coming, so it would have been

7 the legal adviser's bailiwick.

8 Q. Do you think you would have sent it to the legal adviser

9 and also have drawn it to the Chief Constable's

10 attention?

11 A. I could well have done so, yes. Hopefully the file

12 would tell you that.

13 Q. Yes. The reason I'm asking you these questions is

14 because what we have seen now is we have seen the way

15 she comes across your desk in relation to the

16 Colin Duffy case, and then all the NGOs, the Irish, the

17 MP writing about those issues and now she herself is

18 saying that she had been assaulted.

19 So you were presumably, in your files in

20 Command Secretariat, building up various items of

21 correspondence on all these issues relating to her?

22 A. The file would tell you that exactly, sir.

23 Q. Yes, thank you.

24 Now, so far as the history is concerned, I want to

25 look briefly with you at an episode in November, after

 

 

52

 

1 the release of Colin Duffy in relation to the two police

2 officers' murders. There was another incident for which

3 he was arrested and about which memoranda and

4 correspondence was exchanged. The documents I want to

5 look at with you begin at RNI-101-171.501 (displayed),

6 and this is a note from the then Head of South Region,

7 the ACC South, 21 November, enclosing some reports

8 concerning this incident on 17 November. Do you see in

9 the first paragraph?

10 A. Yes, sir.

11 Q. Now, this sort of material addressed to the

12 Chief Constable, would that also come to

13 Command Secretariat?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And so just as we looked at Rosemary Nelson's and all

16 the other letters coming in from outside, when there was

17 something that came internally, it would arrive in

18 Command Secretariat for you to deal with?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And --

21 A. That may well have been -- just looking at that one

22 page, that might have been in response to something that

23 we had sent out.

24 Q. Yes, indeed.

25 A. Right, okay.

 

 

53

 

1 Q. Well, I think the biggest clue we have on that is

2 probably the previous page -- if you would like to look

3 at that for completeness, RNI-101-171.500 (displayed) --

4 because here in fact there is request, yet another one,

5 from the Irish side --

6 A. Sorry, this isn't relevant to what I saw a second ago.

7 Q. You don't think it is?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Right. You don't think this prompted you to call for

10 a report from South Region, for example?

11 The NIO civil servant, Simon Rogers, is asking for

12 a response, isn't he?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. It is just a suggestion --

15 A. It could -- I suppose it is slightly strange that it is

16 addressed to the Chief Constable as opposed to someone

17 in Command Secretariat --

18 Q. Indeed.

19 A. -- in fairness.

20 Q. Indeed. Let's just go back to what we were looking at,

21 RNI-101-171.501 (displayed). Do you see in the third

22 paragraph, the Assistant Chief Constable says:

23 "Every effort is being made to maintain a balanced

24 security profile in the Lurgan area and counter

25 extensive propaganda against the security forces."

 

 

54

 

1 Now, one of the notes that came with it on the next

2 page, RNI-101-171.502 (displayed), addressed to the

3 Assistant Chief Constable from the Divisional Commander,

4 Superintendent Robinson, is on the next page, and it

5 says in the third paragraph:

6 "Since his recent release from custody ..."

7 I mentioned that earlier:

8 "... on murder charges involving our two colleagues

9 in Lurgan, he's been proactive, provocative and, indeed,

10 confrontational in both Lurgan and Portadown, ably

11 supported by a vociferous solicitor,

12 Mrs Rosemary Nelson."

13 And then turning the page to RNI-101-171.503

14 (displayed), after a substantially redacted passage, the

15 second paragraph down:

16 "Clearly there is a strategy by Colin Duffy and his

17 associates to counteract this and maintain a propaganda

18 war against the security forces."

19 I just want to ask you some questions about

20 Rosemary Nelson in all of this. That description of her

21 as a vociferous solicitor, is that a description you

22 remember being used of her at the time?

23 A. It has been used in that report, but --

24 Q. Indeed.

25 A. -- I'm not aware of it anywhere else.

 

 

55

 

1 Q. No. And you didn't hear people speak about her in

2 that way?

3 A. No.

4 Q. What about the idea that she was part of a propaganda,

5 war, she was one of the associates, part of the

6 propaganda war against the security forces? Did you

7 ever hear that suggestion made?

8 A. Other than in front of me here, no.

9 Q. If you look at the next memo down -- that is

10 RNI-101-170.504 (displayed) -- there is a very similar

11 comment made at the end of this one, which is from the

12 Subdivisional Commander to the Divisional Commander, at

13 RNI-101-171.507 (displayed) at the top, we see:

14 "Despite Rosemary Nelson's PR machine going in to

15 overdrive in relation to the ongoing harassment of Colin

16 Duffy, we must not lose sight of the fact that all

17 officers involved carried out sterling work in the face

18 of overwhelming odds."

19 Again, did you hear others or did you hear comment

20 at the time that she had a PR machine in relation to the

21 "ongoing harassment of Colin Duffy"?

22 A. Other than --

23 Q. Other than in these documents?

24 A. Which is in front of me at the moment.

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

56

 

1 A. No, I had no direct relationship with the region in

2 a sense, or knowledge of it. I never served in that

3 part of the country.

4 Q. No. Going back to where this all started,

5 RNI-101-171.501 (displayed) and the memo to the

6 Chief Constable, you said it would come in to

7 Command Secretariat. What would happen to it at that

8 point?

9 A. Well, it would be -- as to why it come in in the first

10 place, it looks to me as though it is in to give

11 background to a particular event.

12 Q. Yes. On 17 November?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. And can you refresh my memory, was the original thing

16 from Simon Rogers in the NIO, was that about this event?

17 Q. I believe it was, yes. Shall we have a look at the

18 detail. If we go back to the Simon Rogers memo, it is

19 at RNI-101-171.500 (displayed), and the note to the

20 British side from the Irish side is at RNI-111-030.491,

21 I think (displayed). There, do you see?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. There it is again, the reference to the incident on

24 17 November. So it may be -- do you agree with this? --

25 that a request had been made for a report to the

 

 

57

 

1 Chief Constable about this incident from the local

2 commanders?

3 A. Yes, it looks as though there was. As I say, if it came

4 out of Command Secretariat, the only surprising thing is

5 the way it is addressed coming back in.

6 Q. Indeed. You would normally expect it to be addressed to

7 you or one of your colleagues?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. Just getting back to the original question I asked, when

10 it did come back in, what would you do with it?

11 A. It would depend. There appears to be a lot of detail in

12 that. I think if it was replied to, if Simon Rogers --

13 if this is all correct and Simon Rogers was replied to,

14 there would be something on the file indicating what was

15 said. By the look of that rather detailed statement, I

16 wouldn't be sure that everything that was in that would

17 have gone up, but ...

18 Q. No. But just going back to the document I was actually

19 asking you about, which was RNI-101-171.501 (displayed),

20 what I was asking you about was what would have happened

21 to that document when it came in with its attachments to

22 Command Secretariat?

23 A. That would depend on what -- sorry, do you mean what

24 would happen to it physically?

25 Q. Yes. Would the Chief Constable be shown it?

 

 

58

 

1 A. Possibly if he was directly interested, yes, it is

2 possible. I'm just wondering now, with it being

3 addressed to him, is it one of the times he has rung

4 somebody up for a report.

5 Q. Is that possible?

6 A. It is possible.

7 Q. Yes. Now, moving on, I would like to look with you,

8 please, at the issue of Mr Cumaraswamy and his visit

9 in October 1997. So we looked together earlier at

10 a reference, which you made in one of your memos, to

11 a letter from him. I will just remind you of that. It

12 was dated, I think, 26 August, which came in to

13 Command Secretariat. That's RNI-101-058 (displayed).

14 This from SPOD again, addressed to the Superintendent

15 there, and enclosing at RNI-101-059 a letter from the

16 Rapporteur.

17 Do you see he has two points? The first at the

18 bottom of this page is an allegation that

19 Rosemary Nelson had been the victim of numerous death

20 threats, and then turning over the page at 2, the point

21 that you picked up in your memo that we looked at

22 together, that she alleged that she had been assaulted

23 on 6 July that year on the Garvaghy Road.

24 Now, you deal with Mr Cumaraswamy and his visit and,

25 indeed, the arrangements for it in your statement. So

 

 

59

 

1 far as that was concerned, we know that this is the

2 first visit that he had paid to the United Kingdom and,

3 of course, to Northern Ireland. Were you aware of that,

4 do you think, at the time?

5 A. That it was his first visit?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And when the question arose as to whether there should

9 be a meeting with the Chief Constable, i.e. between

10 Mr Cumaraswamy and the Chief Constable, it was

11 presumably pretty clear to you and to the

12 Chief Constable that if Mr Cumaraswamy wanted a meeting,

13 there would have to be a meeting?

14 A. Well, there would have been a request from the NIO,

15 would the Chief Constable see Mr Cumaraswamy, which the

16 Chief Constable acceded to.

17 Q. Indeed, but there wasn't really an option to say no, was

18 there?

19 A. A option to say no?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. It wasn't Mr Flanagan's style to say no to meetings.

22 Q. But this was an UN official of considerable importance

23 and it was important from the British Government's point

24 of view, wasn't it, that there should be access and

25 whatever meetings he required?

 

 

60

 

1 A. Yes, openness.

2 Q. Yes. Now, you tell us about that being set up in

3 paragraph 28 of your statement at RNI-842-131

4 (displayed) and you obviously think you must have been

5 involved in setting up the meeting.

6 Now, we know --

7 A. Involved in relaying the request to the Chief Constable

8 to have the meeting.

9 Q. Sorry?

10 A. Involved in the request to the Chief Constable to have

11 the meeting.

12 Q. Yes. But what I suggested to you is that you think you

13 were involved in setting it up, and that's what you say

14 in the last sentence of that paragraph, isn't it?

15 A. Yes, arranged by ringing the NIO back and saying yes.

16 Q. Yes, indeed. So far as the meeting is concerned, you

17 deal with it from paragraph 36 of your statement at

18 RNI-842-133 (displayed). Who was present at the

19 meeting, please?

20 A. Well, the Chief Constable was there, Mr Cumaraswamy was

21 there, his assistant, Mr Parra, and myself.

22 Q. Anyone else?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Now, in paragraph 36 you say that ACC White was present?

25 A. Forgive me, sir, yes, ACC White was there. Forgive me.

 

 

61

 

1 Q. What was your role in the meeting?

2 A. Well, I was there really, I suppose, along the lines of

3 the usual meetings with the Chief, to just take a note

4 of what the Chief said.

5 Q. Yes. Where did it take place?

6 A. In the Chief Constable's office.

7 Q. Thank you. And what was ACC White's role?

8 A. Well, he is -- was in charge of crime at the time.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. So he would have been au fait with the various issues

11 that Mr Cumaraswamy would have been interested in.

12 Q. Can you remember what they were?

13 A. Not all of them offhand, but access to solicitors and

14 questioning at holding centres and that sort of thing.

15 Q. Yes. Can you remember who briefed the Chief Constable

16 in advance of the meeting?

17 A. No, I can't. Again, I wouldn't be surprised that the

18 Chief Constable had a word with Mr White beforehand.

19 Q. You say at the very bottom of this page we have on the

20 screen:

21 "The information given by Sir Ronnie Flanagan at the

22 start of the meeting would have been ..."

23 Read be over please:

24 "... collated specifically for the meeting by either

25 Sir Ronnie Flanagan or me on his behalf. Alternatively,

 

 

62

 

1 it could have come from ACC White. I simply do not

2 recall."

3 A. Sorry, yes, that sums it.

4 Q. It sounds as though he had asked for materials,

5 statistics, information to be put together and what you

6 can't now remember is who went about that task?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 37 of your statement,

9 going back to the previous page, you say:

10 "I think I may have known --"

11 This is about six lines down:

12 "I think I may have known that Mr Cumaraswamy was

13 going to produce a report following his visit to

14 Northern Ireland, which is why I took a note of the

15 meeting."

16 So you knew that he had launched a mission to

17 investigate various issues in the United Kingdom,

18 presumably, didn't you?

19 A. Well, do you mean just in relation to Northern Ireland

20 or a wider remit, because I wasn't aware of that?

21 Q. Right. Why did you think he was coming to

22 Northern Ireland?

23 A. Well, to find out about lawyers and how they were

24 treated in Northern Ireland.

25 Q. The question of alleged harassment and intimidation of

 

 

63

 

1 lawyers?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Yes. And you expected him, presumably, to produce

4 a report to the United Nations at the end of his

5 mission?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Yes. So that must have been in all of your minds when

8 the meeting took place?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 A. I should also say that we would have also been expecting

12 to see a copy of his draft report with the option then

13 of dealing with any matters that arose in that.

14 Q. Yes. And is that why you took the notes?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. In order to check that what he said in the draft, as you

17 have explained you did with other meetings, coincided

18 with your note of what had been said at the meetings?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Right. Who were the main speakers during the meeting?

21 Can you recall?

22 A. The Chief Constable.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. And Mr White.

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

64

 

1 A. And occasionally Mr Cumaraswamy spoke.

2 Q. So you didn't speak?

3 A. Not to my recollection.

4 Q. And Mr Parra didn't speak, the assistant didn't speak?

5 A. Not to my recollection.

6 Q. No. Now, in paragraph 37 of your statement, which we

7 have on the screen, you say you took a very rough note

8 of what was said.

9 Now, can I ask you, did you make the notes at the

10 time, in the meeting?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did you go over them afterwards?

13 A. Did I read them afterwards? Myself?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. I suppose I would have done at some stage, yes.

16 Q. Yes. Can you remember making any amendments to them

17 afterwards?

18 A. No.

19 Q. No. I know you have had a chance to look at them and,

20 indeed, you have helpfully given us a transcription of

21 them, which we have in the bundle.

22 A. Could you just remind me what paragraph of my

23 statement --

24 Q. It is on the screen.

25 A. Yes, but I think I would like this in front of me as

 

 

65

 

1 well, if I may, in hard copy.

2 Q. Sorry, it is paragraph 37.

3 A. Thank you very much.

4 Q. Now, so far as the notes are concerned, presumably you

5 were trying to make an accurate record of what was said.

6 Would that be a fair assumption?

7 A. Well, it is a very rough note, as described.

8 Q. Is it a note solely of what the Chief Constable said?

9 A. There is a note of what -- some of the things the

10 Chief Constable said, some of the things Mr White said

11 and, very occasionally, things that Mr Cumaraswamy

12 alluded to.

13 Q. Right. Going back to what you told us earlier about the

14 way you noted some meetings where you only were

15 concerned to note down what the Chief Constable said, in

16 this case you think you made notes of what various

17 people said at the meeting?

18 A. I think earlier on I said if certain things were said

19 that required action or something like that, that I

20 would take a note if something important was mentioned.

21 Q. Okay. I would just like to look at one page to see what

22 sort of notes you were making. Can we have on the

23 left-hand side of the screen, please, RNI-101-159.502

24 (displayed), and on the right-hand side, RNI-105-159.510

25 (displayed)? Thank you.

 

 

66

 

1 Now, just by way of introducing the handwritten and

2 the transcript, I hope that everybody has large copies

3 of the handwritten. I hope you have been provided with

4 large copies, have you?

5 A. Large copies?

6 Q. It looks like that. I think you were given one. I hope

7 you were anyway. Yes, there you are. Thank you very

8 much. (Handed) It is simply a lot easier to read in

9 the large format.

10 Now, you have described how the notes went and that

11 you made notes of what various people were saying. Can

12 I ask you to look, please, at the box on the left-hand

13 side, which says:

14 "Check CAJ correspondence re lawyers."

15 Now, that looks to me -- tell me if I'm wrong -- to

16 be a note to yourself, is it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So in other words, when we go through, in addition to

19 making a note of what individuals said at the meeting,

20 there may be the occasional note which you were making

21 for yourself to deal with, an action point, after the

22 meeting?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Yes. Thank you very much. Now, you tell us in your

25 statement that after the meeting in, I think,

 

 

67

 

1 February 1998, the draft report came in and, as you put

2 it in your statement, Sir Ronnie had some concerns in

3 relation to it. That's right, isn't it?

4 A. That's correct, sir.

5 Q. And I would like to start actually not with the notes,

6 but by looking at the passage of the report that led to

7 the concerns. That, we can see in RNI-103 at

8 RNI-103-023 (displayed).

9 Now, here in paragraph 21 of the draft -- this is

10 the draft, not the final text -- about six or seven

11 lines from the bottom, the sentence, do you see,

12 beginning:

13 "However, the Chief Constable ..."?

14 A. Hm-mm.

15 Q. And although it has now been obscured because the

16 paragraph has been enlarged, but anyway somebody wrote

17 "no" in large letters on the left, and you say in your

18 statement that was you?

19 A. That's correct, sir.

20 Q. Can I take it, therefore, that the underlining and the

21 ticks are also yours?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. So we can see where you agreed on the one hand and

24 disagreed on the other?

25 A. Correct.

 

 

68

 

1 Q. Is that an exercise of reading through the draft that

2 you did shortly after its arrival in

3 Command Secretariat?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, one of the passages that caused the

6 Chief Constable what you have described as concerns was

7 the sentence beginning "however":

8 "However, the Chief Constable did express the view

9 that some solicitors may be working for the

10 paramilitaries. In this regard, he stated that this is

11 more than a suspicion."

12 Now, what I would like to do next, please, is to put

13 this on the left-hand side of the screen, RNI-103-023

14 (displayed), and to look at your handwritten notes on

15 the right-hand side, RNI-105-159.505 (displayed).

16 Now, what I would like to ask you, please, is

17 whether you can now remember how this part of the

18 discussion came about?

19 A. Well, to the best of my recollection, this is Mr White

20 speaking.

21 Q. Yes. And how did his intervention in the meeting come

22 about? Can you remember how the conversation went?

23 A. I can't remember the context. I think in absolute

24 fairness I would have to stick to the note in that

25 regard with the passage of time.

 

 

69

 

1 Q. That's the next general question I had for you. In

2 terms of your memory and the ability you have to assist

3 us today, is it really limited to what you wrote at the

4 time?

5 A. Yes, sir.

6 Q. Yes. Okay. On that basis, we know from your notes that

7 they begin with a page that has been marked "A", and

8 this page, as you can see at top left, is marked "F".

9 Do you see?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, can I take it from that that the meeting had been

12 underway for some little time by this stage?

13 A. Yes, sir.

14 Q. And can you remember now how long in all the meeting

15 took?

16 A. I can't really. Probably an hour, but I honestly

17 couldn't be sure.

18 Q. So at any rate, some way into the meeting then this part

19 of the discussion is recorded by you. What I would like

20 to do, for everybody's benefit, please, is to swap the

21 handwritten for your transcription on the right-hand

22 side. That's RNI-101-159.511 (displayed).

23 A. Could I just say something, sir?

24 Q. Please do.

25 A. If I may. I did that transcription, okay?

 

 

70

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. At no stage did I sit and go through that with somebody

3 and certify it a true copy of the original. I made this

4 point several times, but I just want to make it now.

5 Q. Presumably you were doing your best?

6 A. I was doing my utmost, yes.

7 Q. Thank you very much indeed. And it looks, if it is

8 worth anything -- and it probably isn't worth

9 anything -- from my examination as though you got it

10 right?

11 A. Yes, I just wanted to make that point but as well.

12 Q. Thank you very much. So at F there, which was the top

13 of the big sheet we looked at:

14 "Sir Louis BC -- some patently corrupt. A nucleus

15 worked to a paramilitary agenda. Stop people giving any

16 information. There must stop information being passed,

17 stifle any info -- great weight from -- holding centres.

18 Use legal people, an agenda item."

19 Then what you don't see from this transcription but

20 you see in the handwritten, is that "R White" is

21 underlined twice and appears in a box. Just flick to

22 RNI-101-159.505 again to show everybody that, please

23 (displayed)? Do you see?

24 So underneath the text that we have just been

25 through in the transcription, "R White" has a box and

 

 

71

 

1 the name is underlined. Just going back to

2 RNI-101-159.511 for all our benefit, please, (displayed)

3 are you able to say, by reference to the text under F,

4 how much of what you have written there you believe to

5 have been said by Mr White?

6 A. I think all that was said by Mr White.

7 Q. So from the top of F:

8 "Sir Louis BC -- some patently corrupt ..."

9 Down to "an agenda item"?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. What about the text immediately below it, "Cumara on to

12 it"?

13 A. That's a comment of mine.

14 Q. So this is you, is it?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Saying "Cumara on to it". Do you mean a comment that

17 you made to the meeting or to yourself in the notes?

18 A. In the notes.

19 Q. Right. Just going back to the handwritten at

20 RNI-101-159.505, please (displayed), is it possible to

21 enlarge the section below "R White":

22 "Cumaraswamy on to it. Not suggest any terrorist

23 involvement."

24 And you think all of this is your comment, do you?

25 A. Well, what I think happened there was that as a result

 

 

72

 

1 of something Mr White had said, Mr Cumaraswamy made

2 a comment.

3 Q. Ah.

4 A. Okay?

5 Q. Yes. Is that recorded?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Right.

8 A. But he said something, okay?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. And then Mr White come in, right?

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. And indicated that he was not suggesting any terrorist

13 involvement.

14 Q. Right. And what did he mean by that? What do you think

15 he meant?

16 A. That whatever Mr White had said previously --

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. -- led Mr Cumaraswamy to believe that there was some

19 angle in relation to solicitors, right?

20 Q. Yes. Well, you see --

21 A. When he made his comment, right?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. Mr White then answered it by saying, "no".

24 Q. Right. Let's go back to the transcription, please, at

25 RNI-101-159.511 (displayed). Using that because it is

 

 

73

 

1 obviously a lot easier to read:

2 "Cumara on to it. Not suggest any terrorist

3 involvement. Philosophically Nationalist tradition.

4 Discredit that large level of normal living."

5 Now, are you saying, therefore, that the section

6 beginning "Not suggest" to the end of the page, records

7 comments made by ACC White?

8 A. I would think that was the case, yes, sir.

9 Q. Right. Going back on to the full screen, please,

10 RNI-101-159.511 at F, under "some patently corrupt", it

11 says:

12 "A nucleus work to a paramilitary agenda."

13 Can we take that to be Mr White saying a nucleus of

14 solicitors worked to a paramilitary agenda?

15 A. Yes. But as I recall it, he was saying what

16 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper had said.

17 Q. So you believe, do you, that he was citing Sir Louis as

18 holding this view?

19 A. Yes, sir.

20 Q. And does that include the material that carries on:

21 "Stop people giving any information. Must stop

22 information being passed ..."

23 Et cetera? Are you saying that Mr White was citing

24 Sir Louis in those points as well?

25 A. That would be my recollection, sir.

 

 

74

 

1 Q. Right. And just to follow it through then, having said

2 those things, you think that Mr Cumaraswamy interrupted,

3 made some comment?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Can you give any idea of what you think he may have said

6 in response to that?

7 A. No, I can't unfortunately, but he said something that

8 made it appear, you know, that the paramilitary or the

9 solicitors were working with the paramilitaries.

10 Q. Yes. And to that, you think, the

11 Assistant Chief Constable came back to say:

12 "I'm not suggesting any terrorist involvement"?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. Right. Now, you see on the left-hand side -- we still

15 have it there -- what it says is:

16 "However, the Chief Constable did express the view

17 that some solicitors may in fact be working for the

18 paramilitaries. In this regard, he stated that this is

19 more than a suspicion ..."

20 Et cetera. Now, can you understand how what you would

21 obviously regard as an error came to be made, i.e. that

22 the comments were attributed there to the

23 Chief Constable?

24 A. I can't understand how it was attributed to the

25 Chief Constable at all, no.

 

 

75

 

1 Q. Your "no" in the left-hand margin, were you making the

2 point by disagreeing with this that the Chief Constable

3 had not been involved in this conversation at all,

4 in fact?

5 A. No, I was making the point that that was wrong.

6 Q. Right. Well, it was wrong in the sense that it said

7 what the Chief Constable had said in the meeting?

8 A. The Chief Constable had not said that at the meeting.

9 Q. Exactly. Somebody had said something like it in the

10 meeting -- the Assistant Chief Constable, on your

11 account -- because as I understand it, what you're

12 telling us is that when he made those comments, he was

13 attributing the views to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

14 A. Correct, sir.

15 Q. Now, you have described how you say that you recorded

16 Mr Cumaraswamy intervening. Can you remember in a more

17 general sense what his reaction and the reaction of his

18 assistant was when these remarks were made?

19 A. No, not really, sir. The meeting just continued.

20 Q. But you are sure, are you, using your notes obviously --

21 I appreciate what you are saying about your

22 recollection -- but using your notes, that those remarks

23 under F were not made by the Chief Constable?

24 A. Absolutely not, sir.

25 Q. Right. Now, in dealing with this in paragraph 48 of

 

 

76

 

1 your statement, which I would like to put on the

2 right-hand side of the screen, please -- RNI-842-137

3 (displayed) -- you talk about taking the draft report in

4 to the Chief Constable, and you say:

5 "Sir Ronnie Flanagan wrote to Mr Cumaraswamy

6 about it."

7 We will look at some of that in a minute:

8 "He knew that he had not said those things and would

9 not have said them. I did not get involved in them."

10 Now, I just want to ask you about this expression

11 you use, "would not have said them". Now, do you mean

12 the Chief Constable in your view wouldn't have said them

13 because he didn't believe it; in other words, he didn't

14 believe that some solicitors may in fact be working for

15 the paramilitaries?

16 A. That is exactly it, yes, sir, my understanding.

17 Q. And do you base that understanding on conversations that

18 you had with him at the time in which --

19 A. Yes, I would think so, yes.

20 Q. -- this sort of topic came up?

21 A. If it did, yes, I was aware.

22 Q. Yes. You see, there may have been another reason not to

23 make a comment of that kind, which is that it would have

24 been unwise to make it. Do you see the point?

25 A. Oh, I see, yes.

 

 

77

 

1 Q. In other words, even if it was true, he might have taken

2 the view that it wouldn't be sensible to make a comment

3 like that, particularly to somebody like this, the

4 UN Special Rapporteur. Do you think there was an

5 element of that --

6 A. No.

7 Q. No. Do you think there was an element here operating

8 that to this effect he may have thought these things

9 were happening, these things were going on, but he

10 didn't have the evidence to back it up?

11 A. I don't remember that being discussed either.

12 Q. Right. What I would like to do with you next, please,

13 is to compare your notes with the notes taken at the

14 time in the meeting by Mr Parra.

15 A. Okay, sir.

16 Q. Now, they, we can see at RNI-110-033 (displayed). Thank

17 you. Can we have RNI-101-159.511 on the right-hand

18 side, please (displayed)?

19 Now, the interesting thing about these two pages is

20 you will see, if you compare them, that there are many

21 similarities of detail at the start of the two pages.

22 Do you see, for example, various statistics are

23 recorded --

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. -- in both? And broadly speaking, I think the same

 

 

78

 

1 numbers appear, do you see? In 1996, he says 518 cases

2 in which there was request for access. You say:

3 "1996 requests for access, 518."

4 He says:

5 "Only 13 cases deferred."

6 And you say:

7 "505 allowed immediately."

8 Which is a sort of half full, half empty way of

9 dealings with things?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And then he talks about 1997. He gives some numbers and

12 says only 19 deferred, and you say:

13 "Deferred 19 to date."

14 Now, from there on things diverge rather, but you

15 see, when he says there is a political agenda and police

16 are thought to be one part of divide, it looks as though

17 he may be noting what you have done as political

18 dimension to all of this, portray us on one side. It is

19 similar, at least, isn't it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And then, moving on down, do you see he says:

22 "Legislation is under review. We have to justify

23 each section of Act and its usage."

24 And you just have there very, very briefly justify

25 each section. Do you see that?

 

 

79

 

1 A. Yes, sir.

2 Q. Then we come in your case to F, and in his case there

3 are a couple more lines, but then his dash says begins

4 with the word "Sir Louis":

5 "Sir Louis has commented upon corruption of

6 solicitors and there are those who working for

7 a paramilitary agenda. And part of that agenda ..."

8 Et cetera, et cetera.

9 Now, do you think that may be the way this was put

10 by Mr White, that Sir Louis has commented upon the

11 corruption of solicitors?

12 A. Well, that would be my recollection, slightly

13 differently phrased perhaps.

14 Q. Yes. But then the question is, so far as the rest of

15 the text -- your "a nucleus work" and Mr Parra's "and

16 there are those who working for a paramilitary

17 agenda" -- whether at that point the ACC was purporting

18 to quote Sir Louis or whether at that point he was

19 expressing his own view? Do you think it is possible

20 that at that point there are those working for

21 a paramilitary agenda or, in your note:

22 "A nucleus worked to a paramilitary agenda," do you

23 think he might at that point have been expressing his

24 own view?

25 A. No, sir.

 

 

80

 

1 Q. Why do you think there was a gap in your note between

2 Sir Louis BC "some patently corrupt", and the next

3 series of comments?

4 A. I can't say. Well, there may be a gap on the

5 typewritten bit, but there is no gap on the

6 handwritten bit.

7 Q. Let's have a look at the handwritten in fairness at

8 RNI-101-159.505 (displayed). What your handwritten

9 records is a dash and then:

10 "Sir Louis", do you see, "BC -- some patently

11 corrupt"?

12 And then:

13 "A nucleus work to a paramilitary agenda, stop

14 people giving any information, there must stop

15 information being passed."

16 Then there is another dash "stifle any info". Do

17 you see that?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What is the significance of the dashes, if any?

20 A. Nothing, sir. Just another point or something

21 like that.

22 Q. It doesn't show another speaker, for example?

23 A. No.

24 Q. No. But it looks, doesn't it, as though the word

25 "stifle" -- do you see "stifle any info", which is one

 

 

81

 

1 your one? -- is again reflected in Mr Parra's words

2 further down:

3 "Stifle any means of communicating info"?

4 A. Yes, sir.

5 Q. Right. Now, the next part of Mr Parra's note I want to

6 look at with you is right at the bottom of the page

7 because here he records these comments:

8 "More than a suspicion on role of lawyers."

9 Then the words "have turns" and he told us that that

10 should have said "have reams". Could we just go over to

11 the next page, please, RNI-110-034 (displayed):

12 "Reams of documented evidence from detainees where

13 that has come out."

14 Now, that records somebody -- and he and

15 Mr Cumaraswamy remembered it being the Chief Constable,

16 and I know you don't agree with that at all -- but it

17 records somebody saying:

18 "This is not just a suspicion, we have reams of

19 documented evidence from detainees where this has

20 come out."

21 In other words, about the role of lawyers. Now,

22 that creates a very different impression, doesn't it, to

23 your record, which is:

24 "Not suggest any terrorist involvement"?

25 Now, do you think that somebody in the meeting,

 

 

82

 

1 ACC White, whoever it was, might have said -- if we can

2 go back to RNI-110-033 (displayed), please:

3 "More than a suspicion on role of lawyers. Have

4 reams of documented evidence"?

5 A. I have no note of it and I don't recall it, sir.

6 Q. No, because that's a part of the notes where there

7 really is a significant variation, isn't there, between

8 your record, which seemed pretty close to Mr Parra's in

9 some ways, and his?

10 A. Well, yes. But two different people --

11 Q. Yes. But you don't recall a remark of that kind being

12 made?

13 A. No, sir.

14 Q. Because you see, far from suggesting that Mr Cumaraswamy

15 was told, well, we don't suggest there was any terrorist

16 involvement, this appears to suggest that he was being

17 told there was good evidence for the suspicion about the

18 role of lawyers?

19 A. No, sir.

20 Q. You don't recall that?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Now, if we just go back to the report on the left-hand

23 side, please, at RNI-103-023 (displayed), we have seen

24 already that one of the things that didn't work its way

25 into the draft text, paragraph 21, was the reference to

 

 

83

 

1 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper. Do you see that?

2 A. Yes, sir.

3 Q. Now, as a matter of interest, did you realise or did you

4 subsequently find out where it was or how it was that

5 Sir Louis had apparently made comment or expressed views

6 of this kind?

7 A. No, sir, that was Mr White's bailiwick, as it were.

8 Q. Yes. And you can't assist us with that?

9 A. No, sir.

10 Q. Certainly, when Sir Louis gave evidence to the Inquiry,

11 he denied having made remarks of that kind. As I

12 understand it, you are not able to shed any light on

13 that now?

14 A. No, sir.

15 Q. And you didn't seek to find out more with it at the

16 time?

17 A. No.

18 Q. No.

19 A. No. Although I do see that it is the one bit of --

20 a bit of convergence on the note by both me and

21 Mr Parra.

22 Q. Indeed. Well, that's why I'm asking you because, for

23 whatever reason -- and you no doubt would say you can't

24 help on this -- it doesn't, does it, find its way into

25 the text on the left?

 

 

84

 

1 A. No, sir.

2 Q. So, again, trying to be as neutral as we can about this,

3 it looks, doesn't it, as though Mr Cumaraswamy and

4 Mr Parra understood what was being said to be the view

5 of the speaker, in your case ACC White, your evidence,

6 and in theirs, Sir Ronnie himself?

7 A. Yes, but you know -- it does appear that they accepted,

8 if I may say so, that it was from Sir Louis Blom-Cooper

9 as well.

10 Q. Well --

11 A. But it didn't appear in the text.

12 Q. Exactly.

13 A. Right, okay.

14 Q. But it is in the note?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Let's have a look, please, at another aspect of the

17 notes -- and I mean by this your notes -- at

18 RNI-101-159.500 (displayed). Can we have that on the

19 right-hand side, please? Then on the left-hand side,

20 please, RNI-101-159.509 (displayed)?

21 Now, do you see right at the top of the page an "A":

22 "Independence of judges and lawyers."

23 Which we know in fact was, as it were, the title for

24 his mission -- it looks as though this came right at the

25 outset of the meeting:

 

 

85

 

1 "Any evidence passed to CC from Cumaraswamy, not

2 reluctant in other circumstances, wall created around

3 allegations. Allegations and ..."

4 I think it then says:

5 "No, not issues."

6 Is that right?

7 A. Sorry:

8 "No, not issues"?

9 Sorry, I see where you are now.

10 Q. Can you give any help to us about what was being said

11 here? First of all, do you think this records the

12 Chief Constable speaking at the outset of the meeting?

13 A. I think that that's -- that was the case, sir.

14 Q. So when he said:

15 "Any evidence, passed ..."

16 To me, I assume that means. Can you remember what

17 he was talking about? Evidence of what?

18 A. I honestly can't remember, sir, at this stage.

19 Q. Now, there's a final question in relation to the notes

20 and the meetings that I want to ask you, and that

21 relates to Mr Parra's notes at RNI-110-034, if we could

22 have that on the screen on the left, please (displayed).

23 Now, do you see about eight lines down there is

24 a line and then the next note says:

25 "1603 flight of earls."

 

 

86

 

1 Do you see that?

2 A. Yes, sir.

3 Q. Mr Parra's recollection is that after the main

4 discussion, there was, as it were, a presentation about

5 Northern Ireland, at which point the Chief Constable

6 left. I can't remember who gave the presentation, but

7 is that something you can recall?

8 A. No, sir.

9 Q. Do you think you would have left the meeting with the

10 Chief Constable?

11 A. Sorry, say that once more?

12 Q. Do you think you would have left the meeting with the

13 Chief Constable?

14 A. Yes, I think the meeting ended.

15 Q. Yes. You don't remember --

16 A. Sorry, there is one thing. I have a G and H, which I

17 think was the other issue that Mr White addressed in

18 relation to Pat Finucane.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Which doesn't seem to be here at all.

21 Q. No, these are only part of the notes that were

22 originally made, I think.

23 A. Oh.

24 Q. Let's have a look at that. If we go first to your F on

25 the right-hand side, please, RNI-101-159.505

 

 

87

 

1 (displayed). That's just a reminder of what you

2 recorded, which we have been over together.

3 Your next page, if we could have now G, which is

4 RNI-101-159.506 (displayed), is headed "Pat Finucane".

5 There are then, I think, two and a bit pages, two and

6 a half pages. If we flick through to H, please, which

7 is RNI-101-159.507 (displayed), and I, which is

8 RNI-101-159.508 (displayed). Then there are some boxes

9 in the middle of that page.

10 Do you think those are other reminders to yourself?

11 I am afraid they are very difficult to read. I think

12 they will be at probably RNI-101-159.511. If we can get

13 that up on the screen, you will be able to see what you

14 actually wrote there. Oh, no, I think you only

15 transcribed up to F.

16 A. Up to there, right.

17 Q. But anyway, so far as you are concerned, the

18 conversation about your page F, this one we have on the

19 screen, continued but it turned to the topic of

20 Pat Finucane?

21 A. The notes would appear to confirm that.

22 Q. Yes, and carried on for over two pages, as we have seen,

23 to your page I, which is RNI-101-159.508. That's how

24 you remember it?

25 A. That's my recollection, sir.

 

 

88

 

1 Q. Right. Thank you very much.

2 Now, can I just ask you a question about the sort of

3 comments that are recorded in the notes and in

4 particular in the draft report? You have no doubt heard

5 by now that various Special Branch officers, including

6 some very senior officers, have given evidence to the

7 Inquiry and said that in their view at the time

8 Rosemary Nelson was, in one case, a terrorist, and in

9 the case of the other person evidence, a person actively

10 engaged in criminal activity.

11 Now, were those views about Rosemary Nelson that you

12 heard in the years that we have been considering?

13 A. No, sir.

14 Q. Did you ever hear a suggestion that she was an active

15 supporter of terrorists?

16 A. No, sir.

17 Q. Right. Were you surprised to hear what ACC White said

18 or, indeed, what he was reporting Sir Louis Blom-Cooper

19 to have said about the idea of solicitors working for

20 paramilitaries?

21 A. Yes, sir.

22 Q. Did you ask him about it at any point after the meeting?

23 A. After the meeting, at some stage there was -- we had to

24 go to the police authority and I went over to see him

25 and showed him the note.

 

 

89

 

1 Q. Your note?

2 A. Hm-mm. Before we would go to the police authority.

3 Q. Yes, and what was his reaction?

4 A. I honestly can't recall. He just read it and handed it

5 back to me. I can't recall.

6 Q. Right. But he didn't dispute what you had noted down?

7 A. I don't recall him disputing it, sir.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Phillips, can I just come in? The

9 witness won't be able to help here, but perhaps you can.

10 In relation to the witness's page G and H and in

11 relation to Mr Parra's note, I'm trying desperately to

12 read it. Is there any reference in his notes,

13 Mr Parra's notes, to the discussions noted on page G and

14 H in relation to Pat Finucane, as far as you were aware?

15 MR PHILLIPS: I don't think there is. Let's flick back on

16 the left to RNI-110-033, please (displayed). I know we

17 had detailed evidence from Mr Parra, but I am afraid my

18 recollection of it is now rather dim. But I don't think

19 there is any reference in the parts of the notes that we

20 have to the Finucane discussion.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But there was some issue, I think, with

22 Mr Parra?

23 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, there was. These were not the complete

24 notes.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Not the complete notes. Right, okay.

 

 

90

 

1 Thank you.

2 MR PHILLIPS: As I remember it, he took them out of his

3 notebook when the first concerns arose and consulted

4 them and can't now find the remainder of the notebook.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So some may be missing?

6 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. I think the point in fairness -- now we

7 are opening up the discussion. The point that the

8 witness is making is the point that RNI-110-034, if we

9 go to that, please (displayed), suggests that the

10 discussion moved from more or less the key passage we

11 have been looking at straight into the flight of the

12 earls, whereas his notes record the long discussion

13 about the Finucane case.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Yes.

15 MR PHILLIPS: That is the point, isn't it?

16 A. That is the point, sir.

17 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Thank you very much.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you very much.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Could I ask one question about

20 RNI-101-159.505 where you have "R White" underlined

21 twice and in a box.

22 A. Yes, sir.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you underline "R White" and put it in

24 a box at some later date, after you wrote those notes?

25 A. I wouldn't like to say. I suspect I did it at the time,

 

 

91

 

1 sir, but I wouldn't like to go firm on that.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Because normally when you put things in

3 a box, it was a reminder to yourself or an action or

4 something of that kind, wasn't it? Was it after you got

5 the draft report?

6 A. Sorry, sir?

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Was it after you got the draft report from

8 Mr Cumaraswamy?

9 A. Oh, no, no, sir. I wouldn't have done that, no.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: I see. Thank you.

11 MR PHILLIPS: Now, what I wanted to, as it were, complete

12 with you is you have told us that you hadn't heard views

13 expressed, comments made, about Rosemary Nelson of the

14 kind that I have mentioned have been made in this

15 Inquiry. Both of the officers, the senior officers, who

16 made those remarks explained that their views were

17 formed on the basis of intelligence reporting and

18 Special Branch briefings, et cetera. Can I take it that

19 you would not have been privy to briefings of that kind?

20 A. You can take that, sir, I wouldn't be.

21 Q. And intelligence reporting of that kind?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. But it may well be that the Chief Constable received

24 briefings and intelligence reports, you just don't know?

25 A. Correct, sir.

 

 

92

 

1 Q. Thank you. Now, the next part of the draft report, as

2 we have heard from a number of witnesses, that caused

3 concern was the part in which Mr Cumaraswamy named

4 various solicitors. I just want to remind you of the

5 relevant passage. It is at RNI-103-020 (displayed).

6 Here, I hope we have paragraph 16. Yes, we do, at the

7 bottom of the page:

8 "There were three named, one of whom was

9 Rosemary Nelson."

10 Do you see then the third line:

11 "According to the source, it was alleged that

12 solicitor, Rosemary Nelson ..."

13 Et cetera.

14 A. Sorry, what am I looking at here, sir?

15 Q. Do you see paragraph 16?

16 A. Yes. It is about to be enlarged I think.

17 Q. Great. What I was suggesting to you was you remember,

18 do you, that there were three solicitors in the draft

19 report who were specifically named, of whom she was one?

20 A. This is the draft report, sir?

21 Q. It is, indeed.

22 A. Okay.

23 Q. And there was an issue, wasn't there, about whether or

24 not it was right to name the individual lawyers in the

25 report. Do you recall that?

 

 

93

 

1 A. No, I don't actually.

2 Q. Right. Now, in relation to the draft report, we have

3 looked together at the passage of your statement --

4 paragraph 48 at the top of the page, RNI-842-137

5 (displayed) -- where you say you remember taking the

6 draft in to the Chief Constable. Are you able to

7 remember now what his reaction was when he saw these

8 passages of the draft report?

9 A. Well, he had a reaction to the quote about lawyers

10 working for paramilitaries and he wrote a letter to

11 Mr Cumaraswamy indicating that.

12 Q. Yes. Now, did you discuss with him the point that one

13 of the things that Mr Cumaraswamy got wrong in your view

14 was ascribing these comments to the Chief Constable

15 himself?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Did you --

18 A. I would have known that.

19 Q. Indeed, because you had your notes presumably to hand?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And did you have them to hand as you were reading

22 through the draft text and making those marks on it?

23 A. I probably did, yes.

24 Q. And did you remind the Chief Constable at the time that

25 it had been ACC White who had made these comments in

 

 

94

 

1 ascribing the views to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

2 A. To the best of my recollection, yes.

3 Q. Now, when you went through the text, made the ticks,

4 wrote the "no", et cetera, were you doing that at the

5 request of the Chief Constable or was it just something

6 you did anyway?

7 A. That was something you did anyway, once it came in.

8 Q. Right. And did you show the Chief Constable your notes?

9 A. To be honest, I can't remember physically handing him

10 over the notes.

11 Q. Yes. But you remember at any rate discussing with him,

12 do you, who had made those comments and how it had

13 occurred during the course of the meeting?

14 A. To the best of my recollection, yes.

15 Q. Yes. Now, we have heard from Assistant

16 Chief Constable White and seen in our files that at

17 a later stage, a month later in March, he produced his

18 own commentary on the draft report. I would like to

19 remind you about that, please. It is at RNI-101-216

20 (displayed), a substantial document. That's just the

21 beginning of it. And just to show you the date of it,

22 it is actually, as I say, about a month later in March,

23 13 March, we can see from RNI-101-225.

24 Now, going back to RNI-101-216, can I ask you this

25 question: Are you able to recall whether you saw this

 

 

95

 

1 document at the time; in other words, in March 1998?

2 A. I may well have seen it.

3 Q. Can you recall the circumstances which led him to

4 produce this substantial commentary on the report?

5 A. Well, I can't -- at that stage because -- the initial

6 draft had come in and the Chief Constable had written

7 personally to Mr Cumaraswamy.

8 Q. Indeed.

9 A. And really, after that happened, everything was a matter

10 for the Chief Constable, if I may say so. Once that

11 happens, anything that follows up on that, obviously

12 is -- goes firmly into his bailiwick, if I can use that

13 expression.

14 Q. So he would deal with things personally from that

15 point on?

16 A. When it came to that, yes.

17 Q. I would just like to look at one passage with you then,

18 with that important qualification in mind. It is at

19 RNI-101-217 (displayed), and here in his comment on the

20 draft at paragraph 21, which is the important paragraph

21 we looked at together, he records here:

22 "Cites the Chief Constable as having expressed the

23 view that some solicitors may in fact be working for the

24 paramilitaries. I have no recall of this view being

25 expressed and neither, so I understand, does the

 

 

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1 Chief Constable. Even if such a view was expressed,

2 which I dispute, it would have been made within the

3 strictures of a discussion held in confidence and should

4 not have been repeated in a document for general

5 publication."

6 Now, presumably if you had seen this note and read

7 this part of it, you would have been in a position to

8 correct the Assistant Chief Constable because, as you

9 knew, those remarks had been made in the meeting and,

10 indeed, had been made by him?

11 A. Well, it says he cites the Chief Constable.

12 Q. Yes. Do you see:

13 "I have no recall of this view being expressed and

14 neither, so I understand, does the Chief Constable"?

15 A. I think he is talking about the line:

16 "Solicitors working for paramilitaries."

17 If I recall it correctly.

18 Q. But if you remember, your notes recall him expressing

19 that view, but as a view held by Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

20 A. Working to a paramilitary agenda --

21 Q. So you are drawing a distinction there, are you?

22 A. Well ...

23 Q. Was that an important distinction in the mind of the

24 Chief Constable at this stage, do you think?

25 A. Well, I think it was an important distinction in the

 

 

97

 

1 sense that what was being attributed to him was wrong.

2 Q. Yes. Well, let's just look at the relevant part of

3 paragraph 21 to see what it was that he thought was

4 wrong. RNI-103-023 (displayed), some seven lines up

5 from the bottom. Do you remember we have looked at it

6 before with your "no" against it:

7 "However, the Chief Constable did express the view

8 that some solicitors may in fact be working for the

9 paramilitaries"?

10 So just to list the things that were wrong in your

11 view, first of all he didn't express the view?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. We know you have explained ACC White did and attributed

14 it to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

15 A. Correct, sir.

16 Q. And then the next bit:

17 "Some solicitors may in fact be working for the

18 paramilitaries."

19 Am I right in thinking, therefore, that you regarded

20 that as also wrong because the words which you have

21 recorded use the expression "working to a paramilitary

22 agenda", I think?

23 A. As attributed to Sir Louis, yes.

24 Q. Exactly.

25 A. Yes.

 

 

98

 

1 Q. So you regarded that as also being incorrect because of

2 the failure to use the terms that you had yourself

3 recorded, namely working to a paramilitary agenda?

4 A. I think you had better take me through that again, sir.

5 Q. I'm just trying to work out which parts of this sentence

6 you thought were wrong. We have agreed about the

7 Chief Constable part, and in relation to Mr White's memo

8 you also said that there was inaccuracy here about "be

9 working for the paramilitaries". Your note says:

10 "A nucleus worked to a paramilitary agenda."

11 You thought there was a distinction between those

12 two, did you?

13 A. The distinction was that it was

14 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper's -- being reported that

15 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper held this view.

16 Q. We have passed over that. We are now on to the

17 substance of it. Are you saying that you thought there

18 was an error in the use of the phrase:

19 "Working for the paramilitaries."

20 As opposed to:

21 "Work to a paramilitary agenda"?

22 A. I think its' -- the sentence is about the

23 Chief Constable.

24 Q. Right.

25 A. That's the important thing.

 

 

99

 

1 Q. Okay, I understand. Now, you said that in relation to

2 the issue of dealing with the draft, the Chief Constable

3 corresponded direct with Mr Cumaraswamy and thereafter

4 everything was dealt with at his level.

5 A. Correct, sir.

6 Q. Is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. What involvement, if any, did you have from that point

9 on in, whenever it was, late February/early March 1998?

10 A. Well, it is hard to recall, sir, but -- I don't recall

11 anything direct, but there may be papers or something

12 which might contradict that, I don't know.

13 Q. You have said in your statement:

14 "I didn't get involved in it."

15 Much as you have just said:

16 "It went to the Chief Constable's level."

17 With you on the other hand, of course, you had been

18 present at the meeting?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And you are the person who had the notes that were made

21 in the meeting?

22 A. That's correct, sir.

23 Q. So when he was dealing with the issue and writing to

24 Mr Cumaraswamy, did he not consult you and consult your

25 notes to check that --

 

 

100

 

1 A. Well, as I said earlier, I would have certainly reminded

2 him when we were sitting. I don't actually recall

3 actually physically handing the notes over for him

4 to read.

5 Q. Right. So is it possible that he corresponded without

6 actually consulting or reading the handwritten notes?

7 A. It is.

8 Q. It is?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Now, can we look together at some other notes of

11 yours --

12 A. But I may say that the point he was making in that

13 regard was very short and to the point, if I recall the

14 letter correctly.

15 Q. Yes. Now, can we look at some other handwritten notes

16 of yours, please, at RNI-103-074 (displayed)? Now, here

17 these notes go on until RNI-103-077, and what I want to

18 ask you is can you recall the circumstances in which

19 these notes were made?

20 A. I can't, sir.

21 Q. No. They appear to record a chronological history of

22 all the various comings and goings about the draft

23 report, don't they?

24 A. Yes, and I would surmise in a conversation with Simon.

25 Q. Rogers?

 

 

101

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You can say his name.

3 A. At the NIO.

4 Q. And the first entry appears to be about the letter of

5 11 February, after -- does it say:

6 "20th circulation"?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Yes. And the next date is 26 February. Can you read it

9 for us? We don't have your written transcription.

10 A. No -- I take it these were on a file?

11 Q. I believe that they were, yes.

12 A. Yes. Shall I try and read it to you?

13 Q. That would be very, very helpful, thank you.

14 A. I'll do my best:

15 "Simon R, NIO letter of 11 February after 20th

16 circulation."

17 I'm not necessarily saying I follow all this now.

18 Q. No, no, no.

19 A. "26 February, NIO have fixed slots and concern

20 re mentioning names. NIO to FCO, required deletion,

21 names and CC's comments. Stressed grave danger of what

22 could happen. Said CC is concerned for safety of

23 individual. Could affect security of named person."

24 Q. Now, in the draft report -- if I could just ask you to

25 stop there -- as I said, three individual solicitors

 

 

102

 

1 were named. Here in your note you refer to safety of

2 "individual", singular and then:

3 "... could affect security of named person."

4 Again, it's singular, isn't it, not "persons"?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, was there particular concern, do you recall, at

7 this time about the position of Rosemary Nelson, about

8 her safety?

9 A. I do not recall that.

10 Q. But now I have suggested it to you, does it make sense?

11 A. Well, clearly it was in the system somewhere.

12 Q. Yes. But you can't shed any light on when you came to

13 make these notes and why?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Right.

16 A. And I don't know -- if they were found on a particular

17 file, was it, you know, in date or anything like that?

18 Q. I am afraid I don't know the answer to that question

19 either.

20 A. Okay.

21 Q. But moving on, "27th", is that what it says?

22 A. 27th, yes.

23 Q. What does "REL" mean, do you know that?

24 A. No.

25 Q. "... suggest earlier today that CC would do it, i.e. speak

 

 

103

 

1 to Mr C."

2 Now, was that a proposal that was being aired at the

3 time, that there would be direct contact between the

4 Chief Constable and the Rapporteur?

5 A. It must have been an issue.

6 Q. It looks like it, doesn't it?

7 A. Yes, but as I say, I wouldn't have been directly

8 involved in it. Somehow I have been speaking to Simon

9 and documented this for some reason.

10 Q. You can't assist us as to why it might have been?

11 A. Maybe when we get on to the next page.

12 Q. "But FCO feel they should do it"?

13 A. I think possibly that is Simon Rogers recounting to me

14 what was going on and the thought process in the NIO

15 perhaps.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. But I couldn't be 100 per cent sure.

18 Q. But the point was that the Foreign Office wanted to deal

19 with Mr Cumaraswamy rather than having direct --

20 A. Of course.

21 Q. Is that right?

22 A. Yes, that's possible.

23 Q. Then moving on:

24 "Tell ..."

25 The top of the next page:

 

 

104

 

1 "... CC FCO will do it."

2 So it looks as though that was something you were

3 noting that you had to do, to tell Sir Ronnie that the

4 Foreign Office would do it?

5 A. Would go and speak to him. It does seem like that, yes.

6 Q. 2 March:

7 "FCO read-out from Kuala Lumpur."

8 Can you help with the next word?

9 A. "FCO read-out from Kuala Lumpur Cumara. CC did say it,

10 but agreed to remove offending statements."

11 That would have been Mr Cumaraswamy's position, as I

12 understand it.

13 Q. Because what we see from the correspondence is he said:

14 "Okay, I will make these changes, but I still

15 maintain that the remarks were made"?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Then:

18 "Telegram, 2 March, Parra ..."

19 What does that say, please?

20 A. "secretary".

21 Q. "... delete all specific references to people and --

22 A. "Amend it", I think.

23 Q. -- amend it."

24 Then there is a section which I can't read?

25 A. "He and Mr C recalled him."

 

 

105

 

1 Q. Thank you. Then 4 March at the bottom of the page:

2 "Cumaraswamy agreed to remove 21 and adjust 22 ..."

3 What does the next word say, please?

4 A. I think it says "removed FCO good relations".

5 Q. Can you explain that?

6 A. No, other than it is maybe that the Foreign and

7 Commonwealth Office either had good relations that was

8 able to bring this about, or something.

9 Q. Then just finally at the top of the next page, please.

10 Can you read that?

11 A. I think it says:

12 "Government," that might be, "responsible,

13 beginning March. CC felt had been made even though

14 taken out. Important to set records ..."

15 I don't know the next word:

16 "... 13 and 27 March. All info points to CC not

17 having phoned."

18 Q. Right. So there was an issue, wasn't there?

19 A. There was, sir.

20 Q. As to whether he had telephoned and had had direct

21 contact?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. Is it possible, do you think, that these notes were made

24 at that point, some time after the event, when you were

25 going through the file trying to work out what had

 

 

106

 

1 happened?

2 A. It could have been, but I honestly cannot recall. But I

3 would be reasonably happy. It is a documented record of

4 a conversation I had with Simon.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Right. Thank you very much.

6 Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

8 Mr (name redacted), before the witness leaves, would you

9 please confirm that all the cameras have been

10 switched off?

11 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

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

13 We will break off until ten past four.

14 (3.55 pm)

15 (Short break)

16 (4.10 pm)

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

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

19 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

21 screen closed?

22 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

24 and securely fastened?

25 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

 

 

107

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

2 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

3 of this chamber?

4 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), can you please confirm that the

6 two witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

7 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

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

9 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

11 Bring the witness in, please.

12 The cameras on the Panel, the Inquiry personnel and

13 the Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

14 switched back on.

15 Yes, Mr Phillips?

16 MR PHILLIPS: Can we look together at the notes we were

17 going through with your help at RNI-103-374, please

18 (displayed). When we have made our way through to the

19 end, the point that you end up with was:

20 "All info points to CC not having phoned."

21 And we touched briefly on that as a question that

22 arose at a later stage. Do you remember?

23 A. Yes, sir.

24 Q. Now, can you remember, when that issue arose did you

25 speak about it to the Chief Constable? Did you ask him,

 

 

108

 

1 for example, whether he had been in direct contact

2 himself?

3 A. Well, I seem to recall -- well, discussing with him,

4 mentioning it. I also recall him saying he was going to

5 check with the technical people, the phones people. I

6 think the issue was a reply he made in the Panorama

7 programme.

8 Q. Yes. And the question was whether he had actually

9 telephoned. What was his view on that question?

10 A. In the programme?

11 Q. No, to you, when you discussed it with him?

12 A. Well, that he hadn't.

13 Q. Yes, exactly.

14 A. When he was asked the question in the Panorama

15 programme, he just wasn't as adamant as that.

16 Q. I think he said:

17 "I have no recollection"?

18 A. "I have no recollection."

19 Q. But certainly when you discussed it with him, his answer

20 was:

21 "No, I didn't"?

22 A. I presume he was aware at that point that it had been

23 checked and it hadn't happened.

24 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you this question: in terms of

25 dealing with this, you said that the Chief Constable was

 

 

109

 

1 dealing with the issue at his level. We saw together

2 the note, the long commentary on the draft, do you

3 remember --

4 A. From Mr White.

5 Q. Yes. Did he, Mr White, have any involvement in dealing

6 with the draft, other than that note we have looked at

7 together, that you can recall?

8 A. I couldn't say, sir.

9 Q. Right. Now, what I would look to do next, please, is to

10 look at a letter that came through to

11 Command Secretariat it seems at the Chief Constable's

12 request. I can show you the letter coming in or the

13 memo from the NIO coming in at RNI-101-246 (displayed),

14 not addressed to you but to Mr Maxwell. Do you see?

15 A. Yes, sir.

16 Q. What we have just missed by going to the enlarged thing

17 was the date on it, which was the end of March 1998. Do

18 you see that at the top left-hand corner, 27?

19 A. Yes, sir.

20 Q. And the letter is at the next page, RNI-101-247

21 (displayed), and I would like to have RNI-101-247 and

22 RNI-101-248 on the screen at the same time, please

23 (displayed).

24 It is a letter to the Secretary of State dated

25 10 March from Jane Winter, the Director of British Irish

 

 

110

 

1 Rights Watch. And you will see from the first

2 paragraphs that there has been earlier correspondence,

3 and I don't want to get into any of the detail of that

4 with you, you will be relieved to hear, but I do want to

5 look at the next paragraph, the third paragraph on the

6 left. Do you see it starts talking about the visit of

7 the Rapporteur?

8 A. Hm-mm.

9 Q. And then she says:

10 "During his visit, he met the Chief Constable of the

11 RUC and various other senior RUC officers. As is his

12 practice, the Special Rapporteur allowed all of those

13 quoted in his report to see a draft, and by those means,

14 we have become aware that when the Special Rapporteur

15 met the Chief Constable, a senior police officer,

16 possibly Assistant Chief Constable Raymond White

17 commented that some solicitors may in fact be working

18 for the paramilitaries.

19 "In his draft, the Special Rapporteur attributed

20 this remark to the Chief Constable who has since made it

21 clear that it was not he who made the remark. However,

22 the contemporaneous notes by the Rapporteur's assistant

23 during the meeting confirm that the remarks were indeed

24 made and the Chief Constable did not challenge them or

25 distance himself from them in any way."

 

 

111

 

1 Now, you presumably were made aware of this letter

2 when it came in at the end of March 1998?

3 A. Well, the file would indicate whether or not that was

4 the case, probably.

5 Q. Yes. And you deal with it in your statement -- so you

6 have this for your own reference if you want to look at

7 it in the hard copy -- at paragraph 54, RNI-842-138

8 (displayed).

9 Now, presumably if you had seen this letter, you

10 would have been intrigued to find out how it was that

11 Jane Winter had discovered that the relevant comments in

12 the meeting, which led to the section in the draft, had

13 been made by Mr White?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Because given all the distinctions that you have made --

16 I want you just to put them to one side -- about

17 Sir Louis, et cetera, she was much more accurate in

18 terms of your notes, who the relevant speaker was, than

19 Mr Cumaraswamy, wasn't she?

20 A. Except she uses the thing:

21 "... may in fact be working for paramilitaries."

22 Q. Absolutely. Well, that's the point we looked at before.

23 She doesn't use the expression "agenda"?

24 A. Agenda.

25 Q. No. But she is much closer to the mark in terms of the

 

 

112

 

1 speaker, isn't she?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, presumably this was a moment where your notes would

4 have been very useful to you in just showing and

5 checking to what extent this was an accurate comment?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Do you remember discussing this letter with the

8 Chief Constable and reminding him that your notes indeed

9 recorded Mr White being the speaker at this point?

10 A. No, I don't, sir.

11 Q. You don't. Was consideration given, can you recall, to

12 giving the NIO the full picture in relation to what had

13 been said at the meeting so that they could respond to

14 this letter?

15 A. Well, I honestly can't recall, but as I say, you know,

16 we were elevated here. You know, this is the Secretary

17 of State.

18 Q. Yes, indeed.

19 A. And as I said, the Chief was dealing with a lot of this

20 himself.

21 Q. Yes. But you were there, working in his office?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. On his staff, as you say?

24 A. Oh, yes.

25 Q. And in this case, you had something to contribute, did

 

 

113

 

1 you not, because you had been there and you had the

2 notes?

3 A. But I would have been through it all with the Chief up

4 to this stage.

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. I don't specifically remember this particular instance.

7 Q. No. But as far as you were concerned, then, having made

8 your point to him and had the discussion with him about

9 it, it didn't fall to you to get involved in dealing

10 with a letter such as this?

11 A. No. Again, subject to seeing the files.

12 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at another letter because there

13 was a fair old number at this stage making the same

14 point. This is from the Law Society this time,

15 13 March, RNI-103-068 (displayed), marked "urgent":

16 "Dear Chief Constable, the report of the Special

17 Rapporteur ... you may recall when we met at the end of

18 January and had a useful opportunity to discuss

19 complaints ..."

20 This comes from the President of the Law Society, I

21 should have said:

22 "... one of the points discussed was the potentially

23 dangerous effect of adverse comments made by the police

24 about solicitors either to that solicitor's own client

25 or to clients of other solicitors.

 

 

114

 

1 "In this connection, we are disturbed to learn of

2 some remarks attributed to you by the Special Rapporteur

3 which we understand will appear as part of his final

4 report.

5 "According to the Special Rapporteur, you expressed

6 a view that some solicitors may be working for

7 paramilitaries, but this is more than a suspicion and

8 that solicitors convey certain messages to detainees on

9 behalf of paramilitaries."

10 Then the letter continues and they express their

11 grave concern in the next paragraph and ask for

12 clarification.

13 Now, this, I think, you did get involved in dealing

14 with at the time, did you not?

15 A. If you can show me the papers, sir --

16 Q. Let's have a look, please, at RNI-103-070.500.pdf">RNI-103-070.500

17 (displayed). Do you see?

18 A. Yes, sir.

19 Q. So you were asking the Assistant Chief Constable,

20 Mr White, for the wording of a reply?

21 A. That's correct, sir.

22 Q. Presumably you were doing that on behalf of the

23 Chief Constable to whom the letter had been addressed?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And at the instruction of the Chief Constable, as far as

 

 

115

 

1 you can remember?

2 A. I would imagine a letter from the Head of the

3 Law Society would have been brought to his attention,

4 yes.

5 Q. Yes --

6 A. Well, in fact, if you look at the bottom, sometimes when

7 I sent a copy to Chief Superintendent in Com Sec, that

8 was -- that was actually -- I sometimes -- although that

9 is not my writing.

10 Q. No, it is not.

11 A. That is sometimes put on it, so that I would action the

12 thing and then a copy to me so that I could then brief.

13 Q. Yes. Why was the Assistant Chief Constable being asked

14 for his draft reply to this particular letter, do you

15 think?

16 A. Because he -- there must have been something in it.

17 Q. Yes. Presumably --

18 A. For his --

19 Q. Presumably it was because of the account in it given of

20 what had been said at the meeting at which he had been

21 present?

22 A. Could I see it again?

23 Q. Yes. Can we have that on the right-hand side, please,

24 RNI-103-068 (displayed)? Do you see?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

116

 

1 Q. Do you remember having a discussion with the

2 Assistant Chief Constable at this point about what had

3 actually been said in the meeting?

4 A. No, sir.

5 Q. Right. So the discussion with him or the reference to

6 him and the provision to him of your notes that you

7 mentioned, took place in the context of the police

8 authority meeting. Is that right?

9 A. That's the best of my recollection, yes.

10 Q. And it wasn't prompted by these sort of letters coming

11 in with accounts of what had been said in the meeting?

12 A. No, sir.

13 Q. Now, we can see the holding response that you referred

14 to, the interim reply, as you see at 1 there. We can

15 see that at RNI-103-069, if we have that on the

16 left-hand side, please (displayed). It is from you to

17 the President:

18 "Thank you for your letter of 13 March, which will

19 be brought to the attention of the Chief Constable. In

20 the interim, I thought you would be interested in the

21 content of the attached letter from the Chief Constable

22 to the Special Rapporteur."

23 Perhaps we can have that on the right-hand side,

24 RNI-103-070 (displayed)? So here is the direct

25 communication that you mentioned before from the

 

 

117

 

1 Chief Constable to the Rapporteur, 13 March:

2 "I have had sight of an advanced copy of your

3 report, which includes at paragraph 21 ..."

4 Then the relevant sentence is quoted:

5 "As at no time during the discussion did I make such

6 a statement, I am pleased to be informed that it has

7 been removed."

8 We can see, can't we, from this letter that by this

9 stage, as we saw from your handwritten notes,

10 Mr Cumaraswamy had agreed to amend his report?

11 A. Hm-mm. And just on reflection, I wouldn't have attached

12 that letter without asking -- getting the approval of

13 the Chief Constable.

14 Q. Indeed. Now, did you ever have a discussion in relation

15 to dealing with this issue with the Chief Constable

16 about whether it wouldn't be better to explain what had

17 actually happened in the meeting, namely that the

18 Assistant Chief Constable had made these comments but

19 had attributed them to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

20 A. Well, I don't recall doing it on that occasion, as

21 I said. I would be reasonably certain I did that on one

22 occasion, but not after that.

23 Q. Yes. Because what the Chief Constable seems to be

24 concerned to do in this letter is simply to say that he

25 didn't make that statement and, as it were, to leave it

 

 

118

 

1 at that. Do you see that?

2 A. Could you explain that, sir, please?

3 Q. In the sentence beginning:

4 "As at no time ..."

5 What Sir Ronnie is simply doing is to say:

6 "I didn't say it in the meeting."

7 Isn't he?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And that was the stance he was taking in relation --

10 A. Because that's what it said in the draft.

11 Q. Indeed. And that's the stance he was taking, wasn't it?

12 A. That's correct, sir.

13 Q. What he wasn't doing was to go on and say, "Actually,

14 somebody did make a remark rather like this, but it was

15 not me, and in any event, that person was attributing

16 those views to somebody else entirely,

17 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper"?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. There is no reference to that in this letter?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Nor, indeed, in any of the other letters that the

22 Chief Constable wrote at the time?

23 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.

24 Q. Do you remember discussing with him why he was taking

25 this particular line?

 

 

119

 

1 A. No, sir.

2 Q. No. Now, there was a meeting with the Law Society

3 officials, wasn't there, at the end of the month? Do

4 you remember that?

5 A. Can you --

6 Q. The end of March 1998?

7 A. Have you some correspondence?

8 Q. Oh, yes, I have some correspondence. It is RNI-103-091

9 (displayed). It is another letter from the

10 Chief Constable -- do you see that? -- which refers to:

11 "... a most useful meeting in your office on

12 21 March."

13 Do you see that?

14 A. Yes. This is, I presume, the Chief Constable's reply --

15 oh, no, it is not, sorry.

16 Q. Yes, it is a reply to the letter we looked at together

17 of 13 March.

18 A. Okay, right, okay.

19 Q. You sent out a request for Mr White to assist with

20 a draft. We don't have whatever he provided back to

21 you, but what we do have is the actual reply, and here

22 it is. You see, again, in this section he says:

23 "Thank you for your most useful meeting at your

24 office on 27 March."

25 Do you think you were present at that meeting?

 

 

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1 A. I don't think I was, no.

2 Q. No:

3 "As I reiterated at the meeting, at no stage did

4 I make comments to Mr Cumaraswamy that gave any ground

5 for a suggestion that I or the RUC associated lawyers

6 with their clients' causes. There can be no

7 misunderstanding of this. I did not say it because

8 I have no grounds for believing it to be the case."

9 That is the point you made to me earlier, isn't it?

10 That as far as you were aware, he, the Chief Constable,

11 didn't believe it to be true?

12 A. That's right, sir.

13 Q. But again, there is no reference in here, is there, to

14 the fact that a similar remark was made by the

15 Assistant Chief Constable and attributed to

16 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

17 A. That's correct, sir.

18 Q. No. Again, can I take it that the way this is put, the

19 precise points that are made, these were the decisions

20 and the choice of the Chief Constable, so far as you are

21 aware?

22 A. Yes, sir.

23 Q. Thank you. And can I just look finally with you in this

24 passage of correspondence at RNI-103-085 (displayed),

25 which is in fact a letter from the Chief Constable to

 

 

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1 Mr Cumaraswamy, because there was a separate line of

2 letters going on there? Do you see in the fourth

3 paragraph down:

4 "I reiterate that at no time during our discussion

5 did I make such a statement, and it is not, therefore,

6 a question of me not remembering. I did not make such

7 a statement because I have no grounds for believing it

8 to be true."

9 Again, can I take it, please, this is the

10 Chief Constable's drafting and his decision to write

11 about matters in this way, as far as you are aware?

12 A. Yes, to the best of my recollection, sir, yes.

13 Q. Thank you very much.

14 Now, so far as the final report is concerned, I just

15 want to ask you one question about that. It came at the

16 end of March. Again, you touch on this in your

17 statement, but the relevant passage in it is at

18 RNI-110-108 (displayed). It is the same paragraph,

19 number 21. And here -- I am afraid it is rather dense

20 text, this -- but about 12 lines down, the sentence

21 begins:

22 "The Chief Constable alluded ..."

23 Do you see that?

24 A. Hm-mm.

25 Q. "...to an agenda in which the paramilitary organisations

 

 

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1 ensured that detainees remained silent and alleged that

2 solicitors may be involved in conveying this message to

3 the detainees:"

4 Et cetera. Do you see there at the bottom of the

5 page there is a reference to the

6 Assistant Chief Constable?

7 A. Hm-mm.

8 Q. Now, can I take it that when the final version of the

9 report came in to Command Secretariat, you also checked

10 it in the way that you had with the draft?

11 A. Yes, probably. But I think we were more interested in

12 the changes that we had asked for and had been acceded

13 to, if I can put it like that.

14 Q. Indeed. The changes had been made. The simple question

15 I had for you was whether you regarded the way it was

16 now put in this paragraph, 21, as being an accurate

17 record of what had been said at the meeting?

18 A. Well -- well, the Chief Constable didn't say it.

19 Q. No.

20 A. And we have the issue of the reported speech of

21 Sir Louis by Mr White.

22 Q. Yes. So that's why I ask you the question. When you

23 saw the final version of the report, you were checking

24 it through, did you regard this as an accurate note of

25 the meeting?

 

 

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1 A. Well, there are no marks beside it and no "no"s beside

2 it and, again, it would have been a matter for the Chief

3 in that regard.

4 Q. Yes. So if you had recorded views at the time, we don't

5 have them now?

6 A. That's correct, sir.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Unless the file shows something, of course.

9 Q. Yes, indeed.

10 Now, can I just clear one point up about the

11 Law Society and ask you to look with me, please, at

12 paragraph 59 of your statement at RNI-842-140

13 (displayed)? You are referring to the correspondence

14 with the Law Society. You said you don't think you went

15 to that meeting at the end of March. Here, you are

16 dealing with later discussions and liaison with the

17 Law Society. Can I take it that you were not driving

18 this; it was the Chief Constable and you were simply

19 assisting the whole thing to happen?

20 A. That's correct, sir.

21 Q. Thank you. Just go to the top of the page and

22 paragraph 58. You say there in a very short paragraph,

23 that:

24 "I have been asked if I held the view that some

25 solicitors worked for paramilitaries or to

 

 

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1 a paramilitary agenda."

2 Now, earlier, if you remember, I asked you about

3 whether you had heard the views expressed and you said

4 that you had not, and I put to you the various comments

5 that had been made by witnesses in the Inquiry and,

6 again, you said you hadn't heard views of that kind.

7 What you say in the statement, when asked this

8 question directly, is:

9 "I had no view on it."

10 Now, that might be taken by some to be rather an

11 ambiguous answer to this question. Are you saying that

12 you did not hold those views?

13 A. That's correct, sir. It could have been better worded.

14 Q. Yes. Thank you.

15 Now, I would like to move on to a new topic, please,

16 which is the question of some evidence which we have

17 received from John Steele, who was, as you probably

18 remember, at that time in the NIO, a very senior

19 official, the Senior Director in Belfast. Because in

20 connection with this Cumaraswamy episode and the general

21 issue of the alleged harassment and intimidation of

22 defence lawyers, he told us about a meeting or

23 a discussion that he remembers having with Sir Ronnie on

24 this, in which he recalled saying to Sir Ronnie:

25 "You have got to get to the bottom of this. Find

 

 

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1 out whether it ..."

2 In other words the intimidation, harassment:

3 "... is happening, and if it is happening, get

4 a grip on it and tell your people to stop it."

5 Do you have any recollection of being at a meeting

6 of that kind between Sir Ronnie and Mr Steele?

7 A. No, sir.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the threat assessments which

9 were undertaken in relation to Rosemary Nelson are

10 concerned, you deal in your statement with the two

11 assessments in February and August 1998, and it is to

12 the February one that I would like to turn next.

13 If it assists you -- I hope it does -- you begin to

14 talk about this in paragraph 50 of your statement, which

15 is at RNI-842-137 (displayed).

16 Now, I just want to first of all get clear in

17 everybody's mind --

18 A. Forgive me, sir, I just cannot turn up paragraph 50.

19 Q. Paragraph 50: RNI-842-137.

20 A. It appears not to be here -- oh, no, sorry -- no, it is

21 not, I'm sorry.

22 Q. You don't have a hard copy page. I wonder if your

23 solicitor has one?

24 A. Not with 50 on it.

25 Q. I think we have got a spare copy of your statement we

 

 

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1 will give you.

2 A. Okay, thank you. (Handed)

3 Q. Do you see it there?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Because you start by talking about the letter from the

6 NIO, from Simon Rogers, who we were talking about

7 earlier, on 23 February 1998. Then if we can have 51 on

8 the screen as well, please (displayed) -- thank you --

9 you say:

10 "Roger Maxwell dealt with this correspondence and

11 forwarded the letter to ACC South."

12 Then two lines down from that, do you see you make

13 this comment:

14 "As far as I can recall, this is the first time

15 I have seen the letter from Simon Rogers addressed to me

16 dated 23 February."

17 I just wanted to be clear, therefore, before

18 I launch into a great series of questions about this

19 threat assessment, by saying:

20 "As far as I can recall, this is the first time ..."

21 Do you mean when you were making this statement?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Right. So as far as you can recall then, you don't

24 think you were involved in dealing with the February

25 correspondence at the time?

 

 

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1 A. When I made that --

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. -- that was my impression, but having seen papers since,

4 I see at the latter end of it, I think I was involved.

5 Q. Yes. That's extremely helpful, thank you.

6 So now you have seen, as it were, the full range of

7 the papers, is your evidence that Mr Maxwell dealt with

8 it when the request came in from the NIO and your

9 involvement came when the view came back in to

10 Command Secretariat, the threat assessment came back?

11 A. That's to the best of my recollection now.

12 Q. Thank you very much. Now, what I would like to focus on

13 just by way of a reminder then to you is to look at the

14 memo that comes back from ACC South, and I think we can

15 find that at RNI-101-209 (displayed).

16 This is in fact the memo to the

17 Assistant Chief Constable from his divisional commander,

18 and I think it continues to RNI-101-210; indeed, it may

19 continue beyond that. Can we just have RNI-101-210 on

20 the screen at the same time, please (displayed)? Yes.

21 In fact, it is just the two pages.

22 This report from the Divisional Commander, do you

23 see, in the very first paragraph also included a report

24 from his subdivision, i.e. the subdivision at Lurgan.

25 Again, you trace through the correspondence in your

 

 

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1 statement, but again, to remind you, that's at

2 RNI-101-208 (displayed). Could we have that on the

3 left-hand side, please?

4 A. I think, sir, if I may say, that that was inserted into

5 my statement. I'm not saying it wasn't the case, but it

6 was inserted.

7 Q. Yes. So in other words, you were shown all these

8 documents by Eversheds and -- oh, I see, the reference

9 to it was inserted. Is that what you mean?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. I see. Thank you. Then we can see the final part of

12 the chain at RNI-101-216 (displayed), which is from the

13 Assistant Chief Constable back to Command Secretariat.

14 Now, I want to keep that on the screen, please. Do

15 you think that your first involvement is the involvement

16 recorded by P136 there in handwriting, which refers to

17 you?

18 A. Again, sir, it would appear that that's the case, yes.

19 Q. Do you have any recollection of discussing this matter

20 and the threat assessment that had been produced with

21 the Chief Constable?

22 A. No. Well, not directly. You know, I don't recall the

23 specific conversation.

24 Q. But it looks, doesn't it, as though that indeed was what

25 occurred, if P136's statement note here is correct?

 

 

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1 A. Which I'm sure it would be.

2 Q. Absolutely. So it looks as though the discussion was on

3 1 April, and what's recorded there is:

4 "Nothing further can be done by police at this

5 time."

6 And it seems likely, doesn't it, that this message:

7 "Nothing further can be done by police at this

8 time", was what you passed back to P136 when you had had

9 your conversation with the Chief Constable?

10 A. That's correct, sir.

11 Q. Now, do you now have any recollection of the nature of

12 your discussion with the Chief Constable?

13 A. Well, not positive recollection, no, of what we actually

14 said or anything. No, I would have to say I wouldn't at

15 this stage.

16 Q. No. But based on your experience of such conversations

17 and the material you have now seen, is it likely you

18 would have taken him through the material and shown him?

19 A. It may well have read it, yes.

20 Q. Given him the file?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And the question presumably is what to say to the NIO in

23 response to Mr Rogers?

24 A. Exactly, sir.

25 Q. Can I take it from the note that the decision, which is

 

 

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1 "nothing further can be done by police at this time",

2 would have been the Chief Constable's?

3 A. That's correct, sir.

4 Q. It is now quarter to five --

5 A. In fairness, based on what he had read.

6 Q. Absolutely, but in the end it was his call?

7 A. Yes.

8 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

9 Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

11 Mr (name redacted), before the witness leaves, would you

12 please confirm that all the cameras have been

13 switched off?

14 MR (NAME REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out. We look

16 forward to seeing you tomorrow at 10.15.

17 A. Okay, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

19 (4.46 pm)

20 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

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