Transcripts

Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 10th December 2008, day 89

Click here to download the LiveNote version

 


1

2

3

4

5

6

7 ----------------------

8

9

10 ROSEMARY NELSON

11 PUBLIC INQUIRY

12

13

14 ----------------------

15

16 held at:
The Interpoint Centre
17 20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ
18

19 on Wednesday, 10 December 2008
commencing at 10.15 am
20

21 Day 89

22

23

24

25

 

 

1

 

1 Wednesday, 10 December 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 MR IAN MONTEITH (sworn)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down.

6 A. Detective Inspector Ian Monteith, sir.

7 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Monteith, can you give us your full names,

8 please?

9 A. That's Ian Linley Monteith.

10 Q. I think it is right that you have made some witness

11 statements to the Inquiry. Is that correct?

12 A. That's correct, sir.

13 Q. I would like to look at the first one with you on the

14 screen at RNI-813-649 (displayed) and I think we see

15 your signature at RNI-813-674 (displayed) and the date

16 there of 13 December last year. Then next at

17 RNI-813-861 (displayed) -- thank you -- if we see your

18 signature at RNI-813-868 (displayed) and the date there

19 of 8 December at the bottom of the page. And I think it

20 is right, isn't it, that you exhibit to this statement

21 a further statement that you produced to the Inquiry,

22 which we can look at together at RNI-834-029

23 (displayed), and your signature there at RNI-838-037

24 (displayed) and the date of 1 May?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

2

 

1 Q. Thank you very much. I would like to start, if I may,

2 at the very beginning of your first statement at

3 RNI-813-649 in paragraph 1 (displayed). You tell us

4 there that you served as a detective inspector in Lurgan

5 for seven years from January 1997. Is that right?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Can I ask you just one question about your earlier

8 career? When did you join CID?

9 A. Either 1981 or 1982.

10 Q. Thank you. So you had already had a substantial number

11 of years of service before joining the police at Lurgan

12 in 1997?

13 A. I would describe myself as a career detective.

14 Q. Thank you very much. Now, can you tell us briefly,

15 please, what your role and responsibilities were as the

16 Detective Inspector at Lurgan?

17 A. Basically, I was the crime manager. That's a phrase

18 that is well used today, but in those days it wasn't as

19 formally described. But I was responsible for the

20 investigation of crime in the Lurgan subdivision area.

21 I had joint reporting authority to the Subdivisional

22 Commander, which was the uniformed side, and to my own

23 detective authorities who were based in Portadown and

24 Armagh. I would manage the investigation of the crime,

25 I would direct on who were the appropriate people to

 

 

3

 

1 deal with that crime and I would manage all prosecution

2 files, which were for the attention of either the local

3 courts or for the DPP as it was then.

4 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to your superior officers

5 within CID, are those the senior officers based at Gough

6 that you refer to in your statement?

7 A. For the majority of my time in Lurgan there was

8 a detective chief inspector who was in charge of

9 J Division.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. That would have been my immediate line -- line manager.

12 CID was slightly unique in that we were on loan to each

13 subdivision. While the Subdivisional Commander did have

14 control of us, our authorities were based in

15 Headquarters in Belfast and in Gough Barracks in Armagh.

16 Q. Yes. Can we just look at paragraph 2 of your statement

17 on the next page, RNI-813-650, please (displayed)? The

18 point you have just made about effectively being on

19 loan, that's what you are telling the Inquiry, isn't it,

20 that paragraph?

21 A. I felt that the Subdivisional Commander would feel that

22 we were his resources, but that wouldn't necessarily be

23 my feeling.

24 Q. So far as the structures are concerned, can we look,

25 please, at the RUC uniformed chart, please? I think it

 

 

4

 

1 has at some point been described as slide 3. It is

2 entitled "Uniformed police, late 1990s" (displayed).

3 Thank you very much.

4 Now, I appreciate this is on the uniform side, but

5 so far as the Subdivisional Commander and his view of

6 the matter was concerned, you came within J Division --

7 do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. -- on the left-hand side, and you were one of the

10 offices in J Division and in particular Lurgan. Was

11 there, as far as you can remember, a Craigavon station

12 as well?

13 A. Yes, there was.

14 Q. So in fact we should see four boxes underneath

15 J Division. Is that a fair point?

16 A. I would have Banbridge under Portadown and I would have

17 Craigavon under Lurgan.

18 Q. I see. So effectively two more substantial ones with,

19 as it were, subdivisions?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you made a comment right at

22 the outset of your answer about your roles and

23 responsibilities, where you referred to the term "crime

24 manager" and you said that things had moved on since the

25 days we are now talking about, which are 10/12 years

 

 

5

 

1 ago, and you make the same point just at this stage of

2 your statement -- if we go back, please -- at

3 RNI-813-650 (displayed), about the expression "senior

4 investigating officer". Can I just look at that with

5 you, please? Paragraph 4, if we could enlarge that.

6 So is that another term that wasn't in its current

7 use in those days, 1997?

8 A. It would have been in use. Senior investigating officer

9 was a term that was used, but it wouldn't be defined as

10 it is now. I think, as everything has progressed in

11 life, everything is now structured and there has to be

12 written down guidance on what everybody is supposed to

13 do and every aspect of their employment, and the police

14 is no different.

15 So, yes, there were senior investigating officers,

16 but their individual roles were not defined as they are

17 today.

18 Q. Thank you very much. Now, in relation to your

19 responsibilities and your position at Lurgan, how many

20 officers were under your command?

21 A. From recollection -- I would estimate between 15 and 20.

22 I can't remember what I put in my statement, and that

23 was also a guess, I have to say. I can't be specific.

24 Q. Let's have a look together at paragraph 6. Now, it

25 looks as though what you are saying here is that -- this

 

 

6

 

1 is in relation to murder investigations themselves, the

2 start of the paragraph, but do you see in the fourth

3 line you say:

4 "There were four detective sergeants and 15

5 detective constables in my team."

6 So that was perhaps a guess, but that was your

7 recollection?

8 A. That is as accurate as I can be then and now, yes.

9 Q. Thank you very much. Now, in relation to in the

10 investigations that you were involved in -- and I'm now

11 thinking, please, about the two and a bit years with

12 which we are concerned, from when you joined as

13 a detective inspector in January 1997 to March 1999 --

14 what proportion of those investigations were in relation

15 to terrorist crime?

16 A. It is an extremely difficult question to answer because

17 we were constantly engaged in investigation of

18 terrorism. I don't think I could put a division as

19 to -- separate it into a percentage.

20 The Mid Ulster area, which included Lurgan and

21 Portadown, if I could describe it as a microcosm of the

22 rest of the Province. You had every terrorist

23 organisation extremely active in those areas, which was

24 probably unique, I would say, for Northern Ireland, and

25 that was both on the Republican and the Loyalist side.

 

 

7

 

1 So constantly we were engaged to investigate those

2 crimes that were ongoing and very prevalent. Equally,

3 there were -- what could be described as ordinary decent

4 crime by criminals who had no terrorist involvement and

5 were committing burglaries. And every morning those

6 crimes had to be investigated. So I am afraid I

7 couldn't put a percentage.

8 Q. Would you be able to say whether the majority of your

9 work was on terrorist crime?

10 A. I would say a significant proportion.

11 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you some questions about

12 the topic of briefings, which you deal with at various

13 parts of your statement, including this paragraph we are

14 looking at together now, paragraph 6.

15 Now, here you are talking, I think, aren't you,

16 about daily briefings, the briefings that you gave every

17 morning to your team? Is that right?

18 A. Yes, we had a very structured format within the

19 subdivision, within my own office and within the

20 subdivision.

21 Q. As I understand it, you would give a briefing every

22 morning on the latest events overnight. Is that right?

23 A. Initially what would happen is I would come in, review

24 the night's events, I would speak to my own officers and

25 then we had a formalised meeting with the Subdivisional

 

 

8

 

1 Commander or his deputy and we would discuss

2 investigations that were ongoing and what had happened

3 in the previous 24 hours.

4 Q. And, again, those were daily?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Thank you very much.

7 A. Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

8 Q. Now, I would like to come back to the briefings question

9 on other topics in a moment, but can I just ask you to

10 go through to the end of this first statement and

11 paragraph 71 at RNI-813-673 (displayed)? Because here you

12 refer to subdivisional action committee meetings. Can

13 I ask you, please, what was your role at those meetings?

14 A. Again, my role was as I described at the start, as the

15 crime manager, to give an overview of the

16 investigations, what our difficulties were within CID

17 and what we potentially had proposed to do in the

18 forthcoming period.

19 Q. Thank you. And you say they took place every fortnight.

20 Was there, as it were, a regular agenda of topics that

21 were discussed?

22 A. I think, yes, there would have been an agenda. There

23 would have been a structure to those meetings and they

24 would have been chaired by the Subdivisional Commander

25 and his deputy.

 

 

9

 

1 Q. And would Special Branch officers attend them?

2 A. My memory is yes.

3 Q. Yes. At what level in terms of rank, please?

4 A. If I can put it this way, normally I wouldn't attend on

5 behalf of the CID, but if I wasn't available or one of

6 my detective sergeants wasn't available,

7 a detective constable could have attended. And

8 Special Branch would have been no different to that.

9 Q. So it might have been an inspector, but it might have

10 been a more junior officer. Is that right?

11 A. It depended on circumstances, yes.

12 Q. Yes. And in the course of the meetings, therefore, did

13 that officer brief the meeting on intelligence issues?

14 A. I would describe it more that threat assessments were

15 given.

16 Q. So an assessment of the position within the subdivision

17 in terms of terrorist threat?

18 A. And perhaps the wider Province as well.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the question of

20 investigations is concerned, can we go back together,

21 please, to paragraph 6, RNI-813-651 (displayed)?

22 Now, here, I think, in the second part of the

23 paragraph what you are talking about in the sentence

24 beginning "how the team was structured and who would be

25 responsible for supervision ..." I think there you are

 

 

10

 

1 talking about the team involved in the investigation of

2 a particular crime. Is that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Thank you. And you say right at the end of this

5 paragraph, do you see:

6 "It was possible that people could be called in from

7 other areas as well"?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So there would be occasions, would there, where officers

10 would be drafted in for particular investigations from

11 outside Lurgan?

12 A. Yes, from other neighbouring subdivisions. Detective

13 resources were precious and there were multiple

14 terrorist atrocities ongoing. At any time in the

15 Southern Region structure there could have been three or

16 four terrorist investigations and my detectives could

17 have been elsewhere involved in those investigations,

18 and I needed support.

19 Q. Thank you. Was it ever the case that Special Branch

20 officers would be drafted in to assist in

21 investigations?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 A. Sorry, other than to support it from an intelligence

25 perspective.

 

 

11

 

1 Q. Right. Now, in terms of the support that you as CID

2 officers were given by the Special Branch officers, we

3 know that there were Special Branch officers based in

4 Lurgan. That's correct, isn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And did you look to them to support your CID

7 investigations on a regular basis?

8 A. I did not have to. We had a professional relationship

9 and they did support our investigations. Likewise, we

10 supported their intelligence investigations.

11 Q. Yes. So you were able to contact them, your colleagues,

12 and ask for any relevant information that they had to

13 assist you in your own work?

14 A. Absolutely. The Detective Inspector in Special Branch's

15 office was perhaps two doors away from mine, so it

16 wouldn't be unusual for us to have daily contact.

17 Q. Yes. And would the same apply, so far as you are aware,

18 to your more junior officers and to his more junior

19 officers based in Lurgan?

20 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that. The Special Branch

21 office for a start was sited on a different floor to the

22 CID office. The security measures in the station for

23 that particular area prohibited normal Special Branch

24 officers from being there. So the engagement wouldn't

25 have been as frequent as I had with the Detective

 

 

12

 

1 Inspector and the Detective Sergeant. So, yes, we did

2 work in unison. We were one organisation and we worked

3 together.

4 Q. So when you felt you needed assistance from them, you

5 were able to ask for it and expect, based on your

6 experience, to receive it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as other kinds of briefing are

9 concerned, the next type I would like to look at with

10 you, please, which you deal with in your statement, is

11 the briefing which took place, as you tell us, in

12 relation to interviews. That, you deal with in

13 paragraph 9 at RNI-813-652 (displayed).

14 You say at the beginning of that paragraph that

15 where you directed arrests, you would normally conduct

16 the briefing for the interviewing officers. Now, just

17 can you help with this, please: what was the purpose of

18 that briefing, the briefing of the interviewing

19 officers?

20 A. For a specific arrest, that is the ...

21 Q. Do you see what you say in that first sentence there?

22 A. Well, in any arrest, it is important that the structures

23 are in place, the interviews can be conducted as

24 professionally as possible and that the interviewing

25 officers have as much information about the particular

 

 

13

 

1 investigation as possible.

2 The officers who were conducting the interviews may

3 not have had previous knowledge of what the person had

4 been arrested for. For example, a terrorist incident

5 occurs to which the police have had no knowledge and

6 suspects have been arrested. Automatically, as a senior

7 investigating officer, which we talked about earlier,

8 I could have been at the scene, I would have had much

9 more detailed information than the interviewing officers

10 who may have not been to the scene and have just been

11 directed to go to Gough Barracks, for example, to

12 conduct an interview. They had to have that knowledge.

13 Q. Yes, and it was the aim of these briefings, then, the

14 ones that you conducted, to ensure that they had the

15 knowledge in order to conduct effective interviews?

16 A. Yes, that would have been the initial thrust of that

17 briefing.

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. When anybody is detained, those briefings then would

20 continue, and I think I go on to outline the structures

21 in relation to that.

22 Q. As I understand it, once the interviews are underway,

23 there would be further briefings from time to time?

24 A. Regular briefings.

25 Q. Regular briefings.

 

 

14

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. During the course of the interviews?

3 A. Yes. And as the investigation progressed, there would

4 be other briefings to the officers who were conducting

5 the investigation.

6 Q. Indeed. Just concentrating though for the moment on the

7 interviews, you tell us in the second sentence here that

8 in the briefings, the officers would then be given time,

9 as I understand it, to read into the background of the

10 suspect, the details of the incident that had occurred

11 and any other relevant information such as intelligence

12 that might be available.

13 Is it right to say, therefore, that there would be,

14 as it were, a voluntarily briefing, presentation, by you

15 in this investigation and then they would be given

16 material to look at?

17 A. I feel it is important to understand some arrests were

18 not pre-planned, some arrests were pre-planned and there

19 is a great distinction there in relation to the material

20 that you are trying to describe to me.

21 If they were pre-planned, the material for their

22 preparation, it may have been non-existent apart from

23 what I could say to them. Had the arrest been

24 pre-planned, there could have been -- wealth is probably

25 a wrong description, but there would have been material

 

 

15

 

1 available and I would ensure that that material was

2 available to the interviewers for them to prepare

3 themselves for the interview.

4 Q. Yes. But in relation to the passing on of intelligence

5 information, which you say here, can I take it,

6 therefore, from your answer that sometimes that would be

7 passed on verbally and sometimes it would be in the form

8 of written material?

9 A. Again, if you take it back to the two scenarios that

10 I have just described, that would be exactly right.

11 Q. Exactly. And where the circumstances were such that it

12 had to be passed on verbally, i.e. in the first of the two

13 cases you mentioned, you, as the briefing officer in

14 those cases, would be responsible for passing it on?

15 A. No, not necessarily. A Special Branch officer may have

16 been in attendance if available, and that information

17 could have been disclosed by him. I accept equally he

18 could have briefed me personally and I would have passed

19 on the information that was given to me.

20 Q. Thank you. But in the second type of case, where there

21 was more time or where some preparation had been able to

22 be done, was it the case that intelligence reporting in

23 written form would be made available for the

24 interviewing officers?

25 A. Yes, potentially, it could have been. Again, you are --

 

 

16

 

1 police investigations today are no different from when

2 they were then. I'm -- my particular role at the moment

3 is I'm intelligence-led investigations and in those days

4 there were intelligence-led investigations.

5 Intelligence in the written format would have been

6 supplied to CID and we would have initiated

7 investigations on the basis of that intelligence.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. The issue about intelligence is that it is not evidence

10 and it is the CID's role to try and develop that

11 intelligence into evidence.

12 Q. Absolutely. So far as the intelligence reporting in

13 written form is concerned, though, that would have

14 originated in Special Branch. Is that right?

15 A. Special Branch intelligence, yes, initiated with them.

16 Q. Yes. And what role did you play in deciding whether to

17 share that intelligence with the interviewing officers

18 in the course of the briefings?

19 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand your question.

20 Q. What role did you play in deciding whether to tell the

21 interviewing officers about the intelligence?

22 A. As a role -- if I had written material from -- or verbal

23 material from a Special Branch officer?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. If I felt it was relevant to tell the detectives, I

 

 

17

 

1 would pass it to them. It was a thought process. I had

2 to make up my mind.

3 I can think of occasions when I didn't give

4 intelligence immediately to CID officers. It was given

5 to them subsequently. I can think of occasions when

6 I never gave the intelligence to the interviewing

7 officers. It is a thought process that an investigator

8 must go through or a manager must go through as to how

9 it is best dealt with.

10 Q. In summary then, you acted as some sort of filter in

11 relation to this intelligence?

12 A. On occasions. On occasions that filter may have been

13 the Special Branch officers themselves.

14 Q. That was my next question. Presumably from time to time

15 you would discuss that sort of issue with your opposite

16 number in Special Branch?

17 A. Discuss whether he would tell me the intelligence?

18 Q. No, whether it should be further disseminated to the

19 interviewing officers?

20 A. No, that would be my sole decision. If I had the

21 intelligence, that would have been my decision and my

22 decision -- we might have had a discussion about it,

23 yes, but the decision whether the intelligence was to be

24 passed on to interviewers or to anybody else within CID

25 would have been my decision.

 

 

18

 

1 Q. Thank you. So far as this question of intelligence is

2 concerned, you return to this, in the context of

3 investigations rather than interviewing, at a later

4 point in this statement at paragraph 25 at RNI-813-658

5 (displayed).

6 Now, here when you are talking about briefings in

7 the context of investigations, you say, do you see,

8 about eight lines down that Special Branch would have

9 been at the briefings and would have had an input into

10 the enquiry:

11 "I would imagine a full note of the briefings would

12 have been kept on the HOLMES system."

13 This is all in the context of your discussion of the

14 investigation of the murder of the two police officers,

15 do you see, in June 1997? Then you say:

16 "The senior officers from Gough would have had much

17 greater access to intelligence than me. My access was

18 limited to what they told me and what Special Branch

19 officers told me. They would also have much more

20 contact with senior Special Branch officers than I did."

21 So there was, as it were, a further filter above

22 your level, as I understand it, where, as far as you

23 knew, your bosses, based at Gough, would have access to

24 more from the Special Branch officers than you did?

25 A. Yes. Unfortunately -- and this is -- issue is perhaps

 

 

19

 

1 too strong a word. This statement is not prepared by

2 myself. It is prepared from a discussion which I had

3 with a third party and then it is written up. That

4 wording is not just the way -- I outlined what the

5 processes were and that is not the way I would have

6 written it down for a statement --

7 Q. Can you give it in your own words now?

8 A. Yes, that's probably a long-winded answer.

9 Q. No, no, no.

10 A. Again formalised structures were in place. There were

11 management meetings, which initially happened in Belfast

12 at Headquarters level. The discussions -- the

13 structures and the priorities of the organisation would

14 have been fed down to the regional level. The regional

15 level would have fed them down to the divisional level

16 and then on down to the subdivisional level. That was

17 the structures that were in place.

18 I would imagine that at a Headquarters level, the

19 terrorist discussions would have been on a much higher

20 level than they referred to me at the subdivisional

21 level. And those discussions would be filtered as you

22 go down through the meetings.

23 So what I was trying to say is that it would not

24 surprise me that issues were discussed with my chief

25 inspector, for example, in Portadown, which never came

 

 

20

 

1 down to my level, and with my regional heads in Armagh,

2 with their counterparts in Special Branch, and that's

3 a very understandable situation. If I didn't need to

4 know something, I didn't need to know it because they

5 had a hugely responsible (inaudible) that we had at the

6 middle management rank. That's simply what I'm trying

7 to say there.

8 Q. Thank you. So far as trying to gauge the sort of

9 material that would have been shown to you in the course

10 of your briefing by Special Branch officers in all the

11 various contexts we have been discussing, can I just get

12 you to look at one of the documents that you have been

13 sent on this topic? It is at RNI-541-164 (displayed).

14 Now, this is a Special Branch document. It is

15 dated September 1997, as you can see from the fourth

16 line on the left, and the substance of it is at

17 RNI-541-165 (displayed). Although it is redacted, you

18 can see that this is a document -- and you can obviously

19 see it from its date also, September 1997 -- that

20 consists of a report made during the course of the

21 investigation of the two police officers' murders. So

22 that puts it in context for you.

23 But using it just as an example for the moment,

24 would you have seen reports in this form?

25 A. Can I take you back one step first of all, please,

 

 

21

 

1 because you formulated the question about formalised

2 briefings?

3 We had a very close working relationship with our

4 Special Branch colleagues and we did not sit down and

5 have a formalised briefing on a regular basis. We

6 worked daily, hourly and, indeed, minutely depending on

7 what's going on. So the flow of information, our

8 interaction, was constant, okay? So I just want to make

9 clear that we just didn't decide because a piece of

10 intelligence came in that we had a formalised meeting or

11 that we waited for a week until all material was there

12 and was discussed.

13 Q. So you would be updating them on your major

14 investigations and, as it were, vice versa?

15 A. We were working together on a daily basis in a very

16 difficult environment, so we were constantly engaging.

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Returning to your question, the format that of document

19 is not familiar to me. I believe we got it on what may

20 have been headed as an action sheet, and it would have

21 identified that it was Special Branch intelligence and

22 it would have had a grading process. If I could just

23 read the particular content here? (Pause)

24 I believe I have a recollection of seeing that

25 intelligence before. I can't be totally specific and

 

 

22

 

1 confirm that I did, but I don't think it is unusual to

2 me. But the general layout of the last page there,

3 without the number that is going diagonally across, I

4 would have seen, yes.

5 Q. So it may not have been precisely in this form, but this

6 is the sort of report you would have seen. And

7 presumably, from what you were saying about the regular

8 contact, in addition to the documents you would be

9 having discussions and having information of this

10 kind passed on to you on a much more regular, less

11 formal basis?

12 A. Yes, we would have regular discussions. Those

13 discussions may not have been without tensions at times.

14 It wasn't always friendly. CID and Special Branch had

15 different priorities and I can understand those. But

16 those had to be managed.

17 Q. Now, that was actually another topic I wanted to ask you

18 about because you have, of course, been telling us very

19 helpfully about the level of cooperation. Presumably

20 there were occasions when you wanted more and they, for

21 their own, no doubt, good reasons were not prepared to

22 give it?

23 A. I couldn't put it as strong as that. I may have had

24 a view that they had more intelligence. Whether I was

25 right or wrong, I can't say. It did -- I did feel

 

 

23

 

1 frustrated perhaps at times at that, but I could have

2 been wrongly frustrated. I didn't know whether they had

3 the intelligence or not.

4 Q. Yes. Let's look at a paragraph of your statement. In

5 fact it is paragraph 25 that we were looking at before,

6 which may touch on this issue. RNI-813-658, please

7 (displayed). Do you see you say at the bottom of the

8 paragraph, the last sentence, in fact:

9 "The local Special Branch officer might have let me

10 evaluate some information and pass it on, but there

11 could have been some additional information that I would

12 not have received and that would only have gone to the

13 senior officers from Gough."

14 A. Can I refer you back to what I said earlier? That

15 is not my wording, and I think I have explained it the

16 way it actually was.

17 Q. Yes, but there were obviously times when you thought

18 that they probably had more to tell you, but for

19 whatever reason they aren't telling you?

20 A. Yes, I wouldn't disagree with that. Whether I was right

21 or wrong, I really can't give an answer, and I think at

22 times we felt Special Branch had more information than

23 they actually ever did have, and that's back to an

24 evaluation of relationships that we had together. And

25 perhaps it was a scenario that they almost created, that

 

 

24

 

1 Special Branch had this intelligence. That could be

2 a reason and I just mention it.

3 Q. When you refer in that sentence there to the local

4 Special Branch officer, do you mean the sergeant or the

5 inspector whom you mentioned earlier?

6 A. It could have been anybody from the department.

7 Q. It could be anybody?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of the detail into which they

10 were prepared to go, however you were given the

11 information, whether it was on paper or verbally, did

12 they ever give you an assessment as to the reliability

13 of the source of intelligence?

14 A. I think I identified earlier to you that the

15 intelligence documents that I got had a five by five by

16 five grading. I understood that -- what that -- the

17 code of that grading. So I would make my own

18 evaluation. Equally, I may have asked for the

19 Special Branch officer evaluation and he would have

20 vouched for what the grading was to the document.

21 Q. Right. So you were able to, as it were, ask further

22 questions about the reliability in this particular

23 context?

24 A. I think it would be a very natural thing to do, and ask

25 could it be developed. Again, if we go into today 's

 

 

25

 

1 structures, we have investigative requirements which are

2 written down, again, formalised. In those days, we

3 didn't have time to be as formalised as we are today,

4 but we were conducting the same processes.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the interviewing process is

6 concerned, I would just like to go back to that question

7 with you because you said, didn't you, that the briefing

8 or the briefings took place both before the interviews

9 began and then regularly throughout the course of the

10 interviewing. Is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And can I take it, therefore, that there were occasions

13 during the interviewing that intelligence would be

14 passed on to the interviewing officers?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Thank you. And is it also correct that that would be as

17 part of the general purpose that you mentioned earlier,

18 namely to make sure that in the interviewing they had

19 the fullest possible picture?

20 A. When we felt that the time was right for that picture to

21 be developed. Let me perhaps explain that.

22 Today -- in today 's environment, we have what we

23 call interview coordinators who structure interviews

24 from A to Z and what questions should be put during

25 a particular part or a particular time of an interview.

 

 

26

 

1 Again, that was done 10/12 years ago, but not in the

2 formalised way it was. It was managed by both myself

3 and the senior investigating officer and, to a lesser

4 extent, by the detectives who were doing the interviews

5 because a lot of trust was put on their own professional

6 capabilities and they could decide when the appropriate

7 time was to put a particular piece of intelligence. And

8 we were talking about intelligence -- evidence is

9 intelligence as well.

10 From a CID perspective, I would say all intelligence

11 is potential evidence. I'm sure from a Special Branch

12 perspective, they would say all evidence is potential

13 intelligence. So intelligence incorporates the evidence

14 and information that was given.

15 Q. Yes. That's something I should have asked you about

16 before because, of course, as you say, I think, in your

17 evidence, there was CID intelligence as well as

18 Special Branch intelligence?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And I can take it, presumably, that when you were

21 considering whether intelligence needed to be passed on

22 to the interviewers, that would include CID

23 intelligence?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, looking at the question of the

 

 

27

 

1 interviews and the new-style coordinator role, can we

2 just go together to your paragraph 11, RNI-813-653

3 (displayed), because this, I think, is very much

4 evidence about the situation as it was then, which is

5 obviously the situation the Inquiry is interested in.

6 You didn't direct specific questions of your

7 interviewers, did you?

8 A. No, and to is certain extent today that isn't done.

9 They are told what topics they should cover, and the

10 methodology of their questions is a matter for

11 themselves.

12 Q. In giving an answer on the this topic earlier, I think

13 you gave the impression -- please tell me if this is

14 wrong -- that where the interviewers had been given

15 intelligence in the briefings, it was anticipated that

16 they might use it in the course of the interviews. Is

17 that right?

18 A. Sorry, that they might use or they might not use it?

19 Q. Either. But it was a matter for them to decide whether

20 to use it, to deploy it in the course of their

21 interviewing?

22 A. I would be amazed if it wasn't used, to tell you the

23 truth, unless there was some specific reason which

24 probably they would have discussed with me, if that

25 answers your question.

 

 

28

 

1 Q. But were there cases where you passed on information but

2 with the specific injunction that they were not allowed

3 to use it in the course of the interviews?

4 A. I can't remember an occasion, but it is a reasonable

5 prospect that that did occur, yes.

6 Q. Now, finally, so far as the pre-interview briefings are

7 concerned, am I right in thinking that you would cover

8 the question of representation; in other words, who was

9 acting for the defendant or defendants being

10 interviewed?

11 A. No, not necessarily.

12 Q. Right. But did it on occasion happen that reference was

13 made to the relevant lawyers?

14 A. What, during a briefing?

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. I don't see for what purpose. The interviewing officers

17 would probably have known who the identity of the

18 representing solicitor was and there were many occasions

19 when interviews had to be delayed, postponed because

20 suspects had asked for their solicitors, consultation

21 was ongoing between a solicitor.

22 So there was no formalised way as to why we would

23 even mention a solicitor. We would have discussions

24 because in certain circumstances I might have to have

25 considered getting authorities of senior officers for

 

 

29

 

1 interviews to continue.

2 Q. Yes. Can I ask you to look at a paragraph of your

3 statement on this? It is paragraph 53, RNI-813-668 at

4 the top (displayed). Because here, in the context of

5 a complaint made by one of Rosemary Nelson's clients,

6 Gary Marshall, you say:

7 "The interviewing detectives would have been aware

8 that Mrs Nelson was Mr Marshall's solicitor, either

9 through the custody record, the custody sergeant's white

10 board ..."

11 So presumably that's a board up in, as it were, the

12 custody sergeant's area of the holding centre?

13 A. It is what we call the detention time, so it went --

14 Q. Exactly.

15 A. -- hundreds of times.

16 Q. Then you say:

17 "... pre-interview briefings or prior knowledge."

18 So it looks as though you included the possibility

19 there that a reference to the fact she was representing

20 this client, Gary Marshall, might have been made in the

21 briefing?

22 A. No, I think we are back into one of these unfortunate

23 ways that the statement is worded. I would return you

24 to the point I just made. It would be -- I would be

25 amazed if any of the interviewing officers were not

 

 

30

 

1 already aware of who was representing a particular

2 suspect, because when the suspect or when the

3 interviewers -- even pre-briefing they would be trying

4 to found out when interviews were right to commence,

5 what the situation with the prisoner was: had he been

6 medically examined? Had he had his legal consultation?

7 Had he made any complaints? The topic of the solicitor

8 who was representing the particular individual would

9 have come up, but there was no formalised way and no

10 reason for a formalised way while you were there of

11 discussing who was representing a particular client.

12 Q. Can I just ask you some questions about Rosemary Nelson

13 at this point? What was your perception at this stage,

14 1997/1998, of the sort of clients she represented?

15 A. Mrs Nelson represented members of Republican

16 organisations. In the main, I would say PIRA, the

17 Provisional IRA -- not on all occasions -- for terrorist

18 investigations. She was, if I can put it this way to

19 you -- organisations tended to select particular

20 solicitors and they would -- on many occasions, they

21 would use those solicitors for two or three years and

22 switch to another solicitor. And it was -- whether it

23 was a formalised decision by those organisations -- and

24 it wasn't just on the Republican side, it was on the

25 Loyalist side as well. So you tended to see the same

 

 

31

 

1 solicitors representing the various organisations.

2 Q. Yes. So as far as you perceived it then, she had

3 a number of clients in that area, in other words, in the

4 Republican area, presumably including a number who would

5 appear at Gough Barracks and be interviewed in relation

6 to alleged terrorist offences?

7 A. Yes, Mrs Nelson represented a number of Republicans whom

8 I had been involved in the arrest and interviews of.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, what I would like to do next, please,

10 with you is to look at another defendant with whom you

11 had dealings, where Rosemary Nelson was not the acting

12 solicitor. That's the case of C284, that you deal with

13 in your evidence.

14 Before looking at what C284 said about that and,

15 indeed, what you said about it when the matter was first

16 investigated, I would like to ask you some questions

17 about intelligence and material that the Inquiry has

18 come into possession of during the course of its work.

19 A. Could I just ask, C284, I don't know who we are talking

20 about or what --

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Has he not got the cipher list?

22 MR PHILLIPS: Have you not been provided --

23 A. I do not have a cipher ...

24 Q. I think you should have.

25 A. Oh, yes, sorry.

 

 

32

 

1 Q. Okay?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I should have issued a reminder to you about that. It

4 is very important --

5 A. It wasn't explained to me.

6 Q. Right. Do keep it by your side, please.

7 Now, you can see, I hope, who C284 is?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Thank you very much. Now, what I was about to ask about

10 was the evidence, indeed the intelligence reporting, the

11 Inquiry has considered and heard about the alleged

12 relationship between Colin Duffy, one of

13 Rosemary Nelson's clients, and Rosemary Nelson.

14 Now, were you aware at any time before her murder

15 that allegations about their relationship were being

16 made?

17 A. Did I have personal knowledge?

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. The answer is no. Had I heard there was an alleged

20 relationship? The answer to that is yes.

21 Q. Indeed.

22 A. Sorry, could you remind me of the period that you are

23 asking me when I knew this?

24 Q. At any time before her murder.

25 A. Sorry. Let me retract it. The answer is no to

 

 

33

 

1 that then.

2 Q. Right. If we just look at an example of the

3 intelligence material that the Inquiry has seen at

4 RNI-542-121 (displayed), and I should make it clear

5 immediately that I'm not suggesting for a moment that

6 you would have seen this document; I'm simply using it

7 as an example. I do so because the Special Branch

8 office is the Lurgan office and the ciphers you see

9 there are the ciphers, under the box "SB Members", of

10 the local sergeant and one of the detective constables.

11 If you check their ciphers on the list you will see what

12 I mean.

13 You will see at the bottom under "Intelligence

14 Case", it simply says:

15 "Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson are having an

16 extramarital affair ..."

17 Et cetera. Now, you have talked about your close

18 liaison with Special Branch officers locally. Are you

19 telling the Inquiry that you were not informed by those

20 officers at any time before her murder that this was how

21 they regarded the relationship between Colin Duffy and

22 Rosemary Nelson?

23 A. I never was aware that there was intelligence that

24 Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy were having an affair.

25 The information has come into the public domain in this

 

 

34

 

1 Inquiry. I would have perceived that they were friends,

2 and close friends, but my thoughts never went beyond

3 that, I have to say.

4 Q. Are you surprised, now you have become aware of it, that

5 you were not given this information by your colleagues

6 in Special Branch before her murder?

7 A. No, not at all. Perhaps they had a specific reason for

8 it. I don't know. Only a Special Branch officer or --

9 why that information was not relayed to CID. Having

10 said all that, if they were having an affair,

11 Rosemary Nelson wouldn't be the first solicitor to have

12 an affair. Police officers have affairs. Everybody in

13 general society has affairs. So am I surprised?

14 Perhaps not.

15 You know, we live in the real world. Special Branch

16 probably had their own reasons for protecting that

17 information and I couldn't even possibly comment on what

18 those would be.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Are you saying you never heard any gossip or

20 rumour that they were having an affair?

21 A. No. Prior to her murder?

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

23 A. Absolutely not.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

25 MR PHILLIPS: You see, we have heard evidence from some

 

 

35

 

1 Special Branch witnesses that this was well-known in the

2 local community. The expression "talk of the town" was

3 used. But you are saying you didn't pick it up. Is

4 that right?

5 A. We are talking 10/11 years ago. If that is

6 a Special Branch officer's view, that's their view. My

7 view is that an alleged relationship, if I put it that

8 way -- and I still don't know whether they were having

9 a relationship. Only Mr Duffy can perhaps answer that

10 question now.

11 There was a lot of speculation after her death that

12 they were having an extramarital affair and it was

13 reported in the newspapers. My clear recollection is

14 that until after her murder, I did not know or ever

15 consider that she was having an affair with Colin Duffy.

16 Q. And you didn't regard it as in any sense relevant to the

17 work that you were doing?

18 A. Well, I go back to my point that, okay, we had

19 a solicitor/client relationship here, but we live in the

20 real world and people have affairs. Police officers

21 have affairs. Perhaps I should have included that there

22 when I mentioned about lawyers. Affairs go on, it is

23 a fact of life. If she had an affair with Colin Duffy,

24 yes, from my point of view I would like to have known

25 it, but I didn't know it.

 

 

36

 

1 Q. Just looking at the paragraph of your statement where

2 you deal with this, it is at RNI-813-659 (displayed),

3 you say in paragraph 28:

4 "I have no knowledge of any relationship between

5 Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson other than

6 solicitor/client. I can confirm now they lived in the

7 same area, but was unaware of this until Mrs Nelson was

8 murdered."

9 Just to be clear, as I understand it, what you are

10 saying today to the Inquiry is that you did know about

11 the relationship or hear about it, but it was after

12 Rosemary Nelson's murder. Is that right?

13 A. Absolutely, and I need to explain this paragraph and,

14 again, we are back into that this is not my authorship.

15 Immediately after my first interview, the following

16 day, I felt it necessary to write to Eversheds about the

17 manner in which I had been questioned into the knowledge

18 of this relationship. We had a very lengthy discussion

19 about it in which I explained why I was upset in

20 relation to the way the questions had been framed, and

21 I went on and explained exactly what I have just said

22 now: that after Mrs Nelson's murder, there was media

23 speculation, there was talk within the community that

24 there was a sexual relationship between her and

25 Colin Duffy. And I said to the interviewers that the

 

 

37

 

1 only people I knew, the only person that I knew who

2 could answer that question is Colin Duffy himself.

3 Now, whether this speculation is true, whether it is

4 rumour, I am afraid I don't know. I have no facts in

5 relation to that.

6 I would go back to the point in relation to the

7 intelligence and what Special Branch have seen.

8 Intelligence is intelligence, it is not evidence and

9 that point has been made very clear in the local press

10 in Northern Ireland as a result of comments that were

11 made in relation to that intelligence.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, I asked you those questions by way of

13 introduction to the case of C284.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And what I think emerges from your most recent statement

16 is that you now accept, having been shown the material,

17 that you were one of the officers who visited him in

18 Maghaberry Prison in the middle of December 1998.

19 That's correct, isn't it?

20 A. I accept -- I never denied that I wasn't. I said I had

21 no recollection without some further information to

22 confirm whether I had spoke with him.

23 Q. Yes. Now, I would like to look at the passage of your

24 evidence in which you now deal with this matter, and at

25 paragraph 20 at RNI-183-865 (displayed), you say:

 

 

38

 

1 "Without any documentary material, I had no

2 recollection, and still have no recollection, of the

3 [C284] complaint."

4 Do you see that?

5 A. Yes, but you are taking a paragraph in isolation. There

6 is two pages within that statement which outline the

7 reasons and the steps which I had taken to try and

8 identify whether I had been involved in that interview.

9 Q. Indeed. Now, what I'm trying to do, though,

10 Mr Monteith, is to understand what your evidence about

11 these issues is now today, and that's why I have taken

12 you to this paragraph, to be fair to you because, as I

13 understand it, you are telling us that you have no

14 recollection of this matter at all?

15 A. I have --

16 Q. Is that right?

17 A. I have still no recollection of a prison visit. I have

18 no recollection of the actual investigation other than

19 C284 was arrested (redacted)

20 (redacted).

21 I wrote on the prosecution file. I have had to go

22 and get the prosecution file myself to remind myself of

23 the details. It hasn't overly helped, apart from the

24 information that is contained within that file and

25 letters and from representing solicitors and from

 

 

39

 

1 myself.

2 Q. And you go on to say in paragraph 22 on the next page,

3 RNI-813-866 (displayed), having seen the complaint

4 material, and your own statement indeed:

5 "At the time, I recall absolutely nothing about the

6 prison visit or ever speaking to [C284] or his alleged

7 involvement being in possession of a rifle or membership

8 of the Continuity IRA."

9 That, as I understand it, is your position today?

10 A. I still have no recollection of speaking to C284 -- and

11 I apologise for an error there -- in Maghaberry Prison.

12 I fully accept that I was there and I was there for

13 a period.

14 Q. Now, let's have a look, please, at the statement that

15 you made at the time, and that's at RNI-235-082

16 (displayed).

17 This was made in the course of the investigation, do

18 you see, 14 December 1999? Now, the suggestion was that

19 you went to see him -- and you have told us very fairly

20 that you accept this -- with another officer, a

21 Special Branch officer whose cipher you see there, B148.

22 You can check his name if you wish to on the list that

23 you have been provided with.

24 Now, the relevance of this to the Inquiry is this:

25 C284 has suggested that attempts were being made to get

 

 

40

 

1 him to provide information on local -- that's Lurgan --

2 Republicans. You know that that was the allegation he

3 was making, don't you?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And in particular, he says that Mr Duffy's name was

6 mentioned, and in that context the discussion included

7 comments made, he believes, by the Special Branch

8 officer -- not you, the Special Branch officer --

9 concerning the alleged affair, the fact that

10 Rosemary Nelson was said to have given Colin Duffy money

11 and that they had been away on holiday.

12 Can I take it from your evidence, having read all

13 this material, that you have no recollection of that

14 discussion taking place?

15 A. No, I have no recollection. Sorry, that discussion did

16 not take place, let me put it that way, in my presence.

17 Q. That's a rather different point, isn't it? If you have

18 a positive recollection that no such conversation took

19 place, that suggests that you do remember something

20 about the visit, doesn't it?

21 A. I think we are playing on words here. I have no

22 recollection. What perhaps I should have said is that

23 discussion would not have taken place in my presence.

24 Q. Why do you say that?

25 A. Let me go back into the chronological order of events in

 

 

41

 

1 relation to C284 to get a better understanding of what

2 was happening.

3 As I said earlier on, he was arrested (redacted)

4 (redacted).

5 He was taken to Gough Barracks, he was interviewed.

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted).

9 (Redacted)

10 (redacted). A letter -- as a result, he

11 was subsequently charged and remanded in custody.

12 (Redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted). All facts were reported to the

16 DPP.

17 At one stage, a letter from his representing

18 solicitors, who were Madden & Finucane, came in to me to

19 ask if police had went to visit C284 in prison. That

20 was responded to, confirmed in the positive, that the

21 police did go and spoke to him about matters unrelated

22 to the current investigation -- on his current

23 prosecution.

24 Mr C284 was subsequently prosecuted for five

25 offences of possession of firearms with intent.

 

 

42

 

1 (Redacted)

2 (redacted). No mention was made of any complaint at

3 that stage to the trial judge, and he received

4 a three-year prison sentence. Based on all that

5 information and my own professional standards, I can

6 assure you that no conversation of that kind would have

7 taken place in my presence.

8 Q. That's a very, very long answer and it contains a lot of

9 information which is controversial, as between you and

10 C284. But what I want to ask you --

11 A. The answer I give is a factual answer. C284 pleaded

12 guilty to the offences, for which he was arrested and

13 charged, at the first opportunity. And regardless of

14 what C284 says, no mention of any such complaint or any

15 misbehaviour by officers was ever indicated at his

16 trial, and I would have thought that would have been the

17 place for it to be mentioned.

18 Q. We know from the file, for example, that the complaint

19 was made in February 1999. And you have seen the file,

20 haven't you? You have seen the documents?

21 A. I have, yes.

22 Q. Now, so far as my question and the Inquiry's concerns

23 go, what I was asking you about was your recollection of

24 what had happened on 16 December, not what may have

25 happened before that, what happened subsequent to that.

 

 

43

 

1 What I want to know from you, please, is whether you

2 are telling this Tribunal that you specifically recall

3 the conversation and that no reference to Colin Duffy

4 and Rosemary Nelson was made?

5 A. Well, sir, with all due respect, I have answered your

6 question. I have said it would not happen. I do not

7 recollect the meeting. I do not recollect going to the

8 prison. So, therefore, I can recollect no conversation.

9 But I'm assuring the Inquiry that that conversation

10 did not take place. Again, if I go back to the

11 prosecution papers, Madden & Finucane solicitors wrote

12 in and enquired about the prison visits. That was

13 responded to in the terms which I have just said, and

14 the issue was not taken any further with the police --

15 I accept a complaint was made -- with the police or

16 subsequent to C284's trial.

17 So some 12/13 years later, to ask me if I have

18 a recollection of the discussion is unfair. I can only

19 base it on the facts that are available to me today.

20 Q. So you are saying --

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Excuse me. If you had been present at the

22 interview, with the Special Branch officer, of C284 and

23 it had been said that Rosemary Nelson had given money to

24 Colin Duffy and had been away on holiday, surely that is

25 something, if it had taken place, you couldn't possibly

 

 

44

 

1 have forgotten?

2 A. Equally, sir, I accept what you are saying. Going to

3 a prison with a Special Branch officer, I may have not

4 done that before in my career. I cannot remember. To

5 go into the particular circumstances of that at that

6 time -- and I've checked my journal as to what's going

7 on because I would like to remember; I'm disappointed

8 that I can't remember -- I was involved in two other

9 very high profile murder investigations. Perhaps that

10 has hindered my recollection of events.

11 From my statement, I was there for 20 minutes.

12 I believe -- again, I have no recollection. (Redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted), but I do not recollect it at all.

15 I cannot help the Inquiry with events that went on.

16 Equally, I have no doubt -- and I have identified

17 this earlier -- if we go in to a prison visit, there is

18 an onus on the police to keep an interview record, which

19 would have been signed out beforehand with the custody

20 sergeant in Lurgan, and I would have ensured that has

21 been done. I'm told that that cannot now be found, so I

22 cannot assist the Inquiry with what the actual content

23 of the discussions were.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

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

 

 

45

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. We will break off for a quarter of an

2 hour.

3 (11.25 am)

4 (Short break)

5 (11.45 am)

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

7 MR PHILLIPS: Now, we were discussing the complaint C284,

8 and you have explained to the Panel how you don't have

9 any recollection of it today but that based on your

10 experience and on the other matters you have mentioned,

11 you don't believe that the conversation as alleged took

12 place.

13 A. It didn't take place.

14 Q. Thank you. Now, let's look at your original statement,

15 RNI-235-082 (displayed), because it looks certainly

16 in December 1999 as though you had a clear recollection

17 about it. Obviously that was much nearer the time, just

18 a year after the events, and you said in that statement:

19 "We did not speak about Rosemary Nelson or about

20 Colin Duffy ..."

21 Et cetera. So can we take it that certainly at that

22 point, you did have a recollection and the recollection

23 was that the conversation did not take place?

24 A. I accept what is stated in the statement, sir. Again,

25 I have no recollection of the content or even of making

 

 

46

 

1 that particular statement, but I accept what's in it.

2 Q. Now, so far as this is concerned, in your most recent

3 statement you touch on it at RNI-813-866 (displayed),

4 and you say at the bottom of that page:

5 "However, I would say in general terms ..."

6 Moving over the page, if we could have the other

7 page, please:

8 "... that I have never been personally involved or

9 had any experience of a police officer offering any

10 inducement in the manner suggested in C284's complaint.

11 Any such offer would have been fatal to any pending

12 prosecution."

13 Now, the Inquiry has heard evidence from

14 Special Branch officers that one of the tactics they

15 used in order to recruit informants was, as I think one

16 of them put it, by getting people out of difficulties.

17 Were you aware that evidence of that kind had been

18 given?

19 A. No.

20 Q. No. Were there not cases, in your experience, in which

21 Special Branch came to you in the context of your

22 investigations and said that they wished to recruit

23 somebody and would need to, as it were, offer him an

24 incentive by doing a deal with him in relation to

25 a pending prosecution?

 

 

47

 

1 A. I'm sorry, you have about two or three questions there.

2 Q. I think there was only one -- it was a long one,

3 I accept -- but perhaps I will have another go at it.

4 Were you aware of cases, in your experience, where

5 Special Branch officers came to you in the course of

6 investigation and said, "We think we may be able to

7 recruit someone, but we would need to do a deal in

8 relation to the pending prosecution"?

9 A. No one -- C284 perhaps is an example that there are

10 procedures in place of how matters to which you are

11 suggesting could be dealt with. I have no recollection

12 of a Special Branch officer ever coming to me enquiring

13 about how a deal could be done. I have recollections

14 where individuals who may have had potential to provide

15 intelligence to Special Branch and I had discussions

16 about such individuals.

17 Q. Now, just going back to an earlier passage in your

18 statement, paragraph 24 at RNI-813-866 (displayed), you

19 say there:

20 "CID and Special Branch sometimes worked together.

21 On this particular occasion, I obviously decided, having

22 made an assessment, for whatever reason that it would be

23 appropriate for a Special Branch officer to accompany

24 me. I have no recollection of the specific reason in

25 this instance."

 

 

48

 

1 So as I understand it, what you are saying is you

2 can't remember the visit, but if, as you accept, you

3 were accompanied by a Special Branch officer, it is

4 likely that there would have been an assessment by you

5 that in that case it was an appropriate thing to do; in

6 other words, for you to be accompanied by such an

7 officer. Is that what you are saying?

8 A. I think it was appropriate, and again, if I deal with

9 the facts in the prosecution file, (redacted)

10 (redacted).

11 Q. I would like to move on to a completely different topic,

12 please, and that's the question of complaints generally.

13 Now, in your statement at RNI-813-656 and paragraph 20

14 (displayed), you say:

15 "Complaints were widespread throughout the

16 Troubles."

17 Do you see that in the third line?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. "They were at times used to potentially hinder an

20 investigation."

21 So was it your view at the time that complaints were

22 often used as a tactic rather than in order to bring up

23 genuine concerns?

24 A. I am afraid that's a two-sided coin there. Complaints

25 were used as a tactic, but equally complaints were

 

 

49

 

1 processed to deal with appropriate matters which

2 warranted a complaint, if I can put it that way.

3 For example, when a terrorist was brought to

4 Gough Barracks in Armagh and interviewed, to prevent

5 interviews, on many occasions suspects, as soon as they

6 were brought to the interview room, would say that they

7 wanted to make a complaint. The interview then had to

8 be immediately suspended, the complaint dealt with and

9 authority from a senior officer to be obtained by myself

10 to get permission for the officers who were going to

11 conduct that interview to be allowed to continue with

12 it, or to replace those officers. And that was a tactic

13 which was widely used in Gough Barracks.

14 Q. So in other words, as I understand it, in your view some

15 were genuine but others were used as a tactic?

16 A. That's right. I have no doubt that some complaints were

17 absolutely genuine.

18 Q. In your view, were the tactical complaints made by

19 defendants on both sides of the divide, if I can put it

20 that way, Republican and Loyalist?

21 A. Absolutely.

22 Q. Yes. Was there a view at the time, that you were aware

23 of, that complaints were part of a wider campaign to

24 discredit the police?

25 A. I have a very strong view in relation to that, yes.

 

 

50

 

1 Q. You had that view?

2 A. I did and I still do have a strong view that that was

3 the case.

4 Q. But in terms of the tactical use of complaints, did you

5 perceive them to be put forward in order to assist the

6 case in criminal proceedings?

7 A. I have no experience of where a complaint was made that

8 did hinder criminal proceedings. I would put it down to

9 hinder more investigative proceedings to tie up

10 resources. In those days, as I am sure the Inquiry is

11 aware, the police dealt with those complaints, so we had

12 a whole complaints and discipline section which had --

13 their sole role was to deal with multiple complaints

14 across Northern Ireland.

15 Q. Yes. Can I ask you about a specific kind of complaint,

16 because clearly they came in all sorts of guises? But

17 how frequently did you hear of complaints involving

18 derogatory remarks being made about a lawyer?

19 A. My recollection is difficult. I know in this particular

20 Inquiry it is a central issue in respect of Mrs Nelson.

21 I believe I'm aware of other solicitors and their

22 clients making some of their complaints. I cannot give

23 you an example, but I believe -- there would have been

24 few, perhaps, if that answers your question, but it

25 didn't solely -- complaints about derogatory comments

 

 

51

 

1 did not solely relate to Mrs Nelson.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to one of them I would just

3 like to ask you a question about what processes you

4 followed when a complaint was made. The example is the

5 Gary Marshall example I mentioned earlier and

6 RNI-217-016 is the relevant document (displayed). The

7 suggestion here being made by Rosemary Nelson,

8 addressed, it may be, to you -- you certainly deal with

9 it in your statement -- is that derogatory comments

10 about her had been made in an interview.

11 Now, just taking that as an example, please, when an

12 allegation like that came in about the conduct of an

13 interview, and it concerns an interview where you were

14 the lead officer on the investigation, what processes

15 would you follow? How would you deal with a letter such

16 as this?

17 A. Initially, I would have acknowledged receipt of the

18 letter.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. I would have -- I would have made my own initial

21 enquiries. The letter would have been referred to --

22 either copied or given to -- the officer in charge of

23 what was -- what we call today the custody suite, or the

24 holding centre in those days. And I would have referred

25 it to Complaints and Discipline Branch.

 

 

52

 

1 Q. Right.

2 A. In this particular instance, I did acknowledge that

3 letter. Mr Marshall had been released. When I received

4 that letter, was he still in custody when that letter

5 was sent, I am afraid I don't know and I can't help.

6 Q. Just to complete the picture, RNI-217-018 (displayed) is

7 the response that you made and it is dated the same day,

8 27 February. And you see you are pointing out to

9 Rosemary Nelson that in fact by this stage that client,

10 Gary Marshall, had been released?

11 A. That's correct, and there is also a further response

12 which I have seen where that complaint was referred to

13 my authorities.

14 Q. Yes, indeed, and that was one of a number of complaints

15 that were investigated subsequently by the Complaints

16 and Discipline and ICPC, wasn't it?

17 A. I'm not sure if -- I think this specific complaint might

18 have been dealt with separately.

19 Q. Right.

20 A. It was not one of the cluster or the grouping of --

21 Q. The Mulvihill ones, you mean?

22 A. Yes, I don't think this formed part of the Mulvihill,

23 although I could be corrected.

24 Q. Now, that's the topic I want to move on briefly to next,

25 and you have talked about those investigations in your

 

 

53

 

1 evidence and in particular about the supervising member

2 of the ICPC, Geralyn McNally. I know that you have seen

3 the certificate of satisfaction that she issued with her

4 appendix that contained criticisms in RNI-228-022

5 (displayed), and in particular the appendix with her

6 criticisms at RNI-228-027 (displayed).

7 Now, are you able to help us with this? Were there

8 discussions at the time, by which I mean

9 1997/19989/1999, between you and your colleagues in

10 Lurgan about the way these investigations were being

11 conducted?

12 A. I am afraid I don't understand the question, but yes, it

13 would be very natural that there were discussions.

14 Q. Sorry, you didn't understand the question?

15 A. I don't understand what sort of discussions are you

16 talking about. It is a very open question you are

17 asking.

18 Q. It was intended to be an open question. Can you

19 remember any discussions taking place with your

20 colleagues in Lurgan about the way in which these

21 investigations were being conducted?

22 A. Several discussions. Discussions would have ranged from

23 that complaints had been made to ourselves, discussions

24 that we were about to be interviewed. Perhaps not

25 a discussion about the Complaints and Discipline and the

 

 

54

 

1 supervised investigation, but certainly discussions once

2 Commander Mulvihill had been brought in and, in fact,

3 the Chief Constable came down and spoke to us and

4 advised us as to his decision. Discussions about the

5 Mulvihill process, discussions about a second

6 investigation, discussions about the release of

7 sensitive information in respect of the content and

8 structure of some of the interviews into the public

9 domain. Subsequent discussions about the position of

10 Miss McNally and her independence to the Inquiry. So an

11 open question, it is as best as I can answer it, I am

12 afraid, but yes, absolutely.

13 Q. What was your view in particular about the way she was

14 supervising these investigations?

15 A. From the outset -- and still, I would say -- she was

16 extremely professional. I welcomed her involvement.

17 Absolutely no difficulty with her presence and with her

18 input into the investigation, and in fact in my own

19 interview the procedure was that she was not permitted

20 to ask questions. Rather than her leave the interview

21 room to have the interviewing officer -- or ask the

22 interviewing officer to ask specific questions,

23 I facilitated and invited her to ask me the questions.

24 I had no difficulty with it.

25 From there, from what I can describe as the high

 

 

55

 

1 point, to disappointment that she didn't declare that

2 she was a member of Amnesty International, extreme

3 disappointment about the comments that I have now seen,

4 or only recently seen, that she said in relation to my

5 officers and myself.

6 Q. These are the comments in the appendix?

7 A. Absolutely.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. And disappointment that information was released into

10 the public domain, which I would suggest can only have

11 come from one source.

12 Q. Do you mean from her?

13 A. From her or from somebody with whom she was associating

14 or working for.

15 Q. Is there any particular basis for that suggestion?

16 A. As to where the comments had come from?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Let's be reasonable about this. It wouldn't have been

19 in the interests of the Complaints and Discipline

20 officer to release that information. It certainly would

21 not have been in the interests of the officers being

22 interviewed. I don't think it was in the interests of

23 anybody else. But it only leaves one other source where

24 that open information could have come from.

25 Q. Let's look at the letter you wrote on that specific

 

 

56

 

1 topic in February 2000, RNI-223-364 (displayed). This

2 is a letter, I think, to a representative of the Police

3 Federation. Is that right? His name has been redacted,

4 but you can see it is addressed to the Federation

5 offices?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. And it is from you, and it came, didn't it,

8 after the moment when the Director of Public

9 Prosecutions had decided that no prosecution should

10 ensue for any police officer in relation to these

11 complaints. Is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. And you talk there about the way in which

14 that had been handled and you make various adverse

15 comments about that. But if we read on to RNI-223-365

16 (displayed), there is a particular paragraph, three from

17 the end, that I want to look at with you, please. You

18 say:

19 "While I wished to see a speedy end to a process

20 which I believe was politically motivated and an attempt

21 to discredit the RUC, I feel it is important to

22 highlight to those involved in the complaints procedure

23 that police officers have the same entitlements, rights

24 and status which is due to any member of the public."

25 Now, the passage I want to ask you about, please, is

 

 

57

 

1 the comment you make that the process was politically

2 motivated and an attempt to discredit the RUC.

3 Are you referring there to the initial complaints

4 themselves?

5 A. Yes. I have to structure my answer in such a way as to

6 to identify some of the information that had been in the

7 public domain prior to this, and probably at the same

8 time when Commander Mulvihill was informed.

9 Allegations had been made that officers were turning

10 up late, were evasive and, in particular, one officer

11 turned up smelling of alcohol. And up until extremely

12 recently, that information has remained in the public

13 domain unchallenged. It now appears that there is

14 absolutely no note whatsoever of an officer turning up

15 with drink on his breath. There is no note of an

16 officer -- well, sorry, there is a note of myself

17 turning up late for an interview. A full explanation

18 for the reasons for that was given.

19 So my report to the Federation was dealing with the

20 processes which had taken place prior to

21 Commander Mulvihill's investigation, and I had

22 maintained my silence until then. The majority of that

23 comment, going to the question that you specifically

24 asked me, is to the -- the basis of the complaints that

25 were made, that two investigations had taken place, the

 

 

58

 

1 complaints had been unfounded, they had no evidential

2 basis whatsoever. And they remained unchallenged with

3 the comments that I have just described to you in the

4 public domain.

5 Unfortunately, nothing ever happened because, as

6 I say, until this Inquiry was instigated, those comments

7 still remained there and remained with the detectives

8 for whom I was responsible.

9 Q. But did you regard Geralyn McNally's work on the

10 complaints and her supervision of the investigation as

11 being politically motivated?

12 A. Her personally? No. Having said that, Geralyn McNally

13 was extremely aware that one of the interested parties

14 who were complaining about the police investigation into

15 the murder of the two police officers and the subsequent

16 charging of Colin Duffy, that Amnesty International was

17 one of those concerned agencies. She had not declared

18 to anyone, as far as I'm aware, that she was a member of

19 Amnesty International.

20 Her position was that of an independent adviser or

21 manager or monitor. I am afraid that if I had known

22 that Geralyn McNally was a member of

23 Amnesty International, I wouldn't have objected to her

24 presence, but I would have sought perhaps legal advice,

25 legal assistance to be there during the interviews. So

 

 

59

 

1 I am afraid that Geralyn McNally's independence has to

2 be tainted in that respect.

3 Q. But was there anything, based on the way you saw her

4 conduct herself during the investigation, that made you

5 suspect her of having political motivation?

6 A. No, I think I have answered that. She was very

7 professional. I welcomed her presence. I had no

8 difficulty with her being there. Why she didn't declare

9 the fact that she was a member of Amnesty International

10 only she can answer.

11 Q. And if we look at paragraph 61 of your statement,

12 RNI-813-675 (displayed), at the end of the paragraph, as

13 I understand it, what you are saying in relation to the

14 question of her political motivation -- this is the last

15 two sentences -- is that only she can answer whether her

16 involvement in the investigation was politically

17 motivated. Is that right?

18 A. Yes, I'm saying that -- which statement is that? The

19 first statement, is it?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. Again, I'm back to the point where this statement was

22 not prepared by myself and it is somebody else's words.

23 Q. Did you sign it?

24 A. Yes, I signed it.

25 Q. On 13 December last year?

 

 

60

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you.

3 A. Sorry, I have to go on and qualify that. I got my first

4 statement. I made perhaps 20 pages of amendments to it.

5 A second appointment was made with Eversheds. The

6 solicitor who was completing that process had an

7 aeroplane flight booked for 2 o'clock. The process was

8 not complete, I would say, to my satisfaction. I agreed

9 to sign my statement, but I informed him I would be

10 submitting a second statement, which was in fact done.

11 When you are going through a process, it is

12 extremely difficult to pick up on every individual word

13 and try to correct it. I'm sure you are well aware

14 of that.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Monteith, you have described

16 yourself to us as a seasoned detective; yes?

17 A. Yes.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You signed a statement; yes?

19 A. Yes.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You signed that that statement was

21 correct. That's what you would say to people that you

22 are dealing with? Yes or no?

23 A. I agree with the point you are saying.

24 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That's fine. Thank you very much

25 indeed.

 

 

61

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Now, I would like to deal with you, please,

2 with the question of Rosemary Nelson's involvement as

3 solicitor for Colin Duffy in relation to the two police

4 officer murders. Here, I would like to start, please,

5 with the question of briefings because we have looked

6 together at paragraph 25 of your statement, RNI-813-658

7 (displayed), which comes in this context.

8 You go on to deal in your statement -- again, so you

9 have the context for this -- with what you saw of the

10 way in which she conducted herself and conducted the

11 defence in relation to that matter. This is a section

12 of your first statement which begins at paragraph 40 at

13 RNI-813-662 (displayed).

14 Now, as I understand it, by the time this arrest for

15 these murders had taken place, you were already aware of

16 Rosemary Nelson and already aware of the sort of client

17 base that she had, as you described earlier. Is that

18 right?

19 A. No, I think I would have been aware of

20 Rosemary Nelson -- I had been in Lurgan for six months.

21 I don't think I had any dealings with her prior to this

22 murder investigation.

23 Q. Right. That's a very important answer. Thank you very

24 much.

25 So was it, as far as you can recall then, the first

 

 

62

 

1 time you had dealt with her professionally since

2 arriving in Lurgan?

3 A. I think that is true, yes.

4 Q. Yes. Just to check that with you, in your interview

5 with Commander Mulvihill, which took place

6 in November 1998, RNI-223-249 (displayed), these are the

7 notes which I know you have seen of Geralyn McNally. If

8 we look at the top of the page, this is the end of her

9 notes. They begin on RNI-223-248, if we could get that

10 on the screen as well, please (displayed), the interview

11 of Detective Inspector Monteith. You have already

12 referred to this interview and her presence at it.

13 Thank you.

14 That's the beginning of interview. Can we have the

15 second page, please, RNI-223-249?

16 MR (NAME REDACTED): It is not coming up at the moment.

17 MR PHILLIPS: Okay. There is a note there that he further

18 commented that he had previous dealings with Mrs Nelson

19 in dozens of cases. This, as I say, is November 1998.

20 So just to understand the extent to which you dealt

21 with her, you think the first dealing was in June 1997,

22 but by the time of November 1998, when you are being

23 interviewed as part of the Mulvihill investigation, you

24 have obviously had considerable experience of her. Is

25 that right?

 

 

63

 

1 A. Yes, I think that would be. I think there is perhaps

2 a slight portion more where -- in relation to actual

3 charging where I say it was one or two occasions. I

4 would have met Mrs Nelson on several occasions when she

5 was representing clients in the holding centres in Gough

6 or Castlereagh, where we were having pre-interview

7 discussions or pre-consultation, consultation where she

8 had asked to speak to me.

9 Q. Yes. Now, can I ask you in relation to that to look

10 with me, please, at paragraph 27 of your statement at

11 RNI-813-459 (displayed)? Because here you deal with the

12 question of how she was regarded by the police force.

13 What I would like to ask you about a bit more

14 specifically is how she was regarded locally; in other

15 words, by the officers with whom you worked in Lurgan.

16 What was her reputation amongst your fellow officers?

17 A. She was a solicitor, an officer of the court, who was

18 performing a role of representing clients, and she

19 was -- she was robust and professional in how she dealt

20 with that. That's my opinion.

21 Q. Was it an opinion you heard expressed by others within

22 the station?

23 A. I really don't recall police officers' discussions about

24 any solicitors, other than to say that a certain

25 solicitor was representing a particular client. If you

 

 

64

 

1 are asking me whether derogatory comments about her or

2 any other solicitor -- my answer to that is no.

3 Q. No. You don't remember anybody saying anything negative

4 about her?

5 A. Again, police officers can get frustrated by the

6 appropriate actions of solicitors, and equally, I'm

7 sure, solicitors get frustrated by the actions of police

8 officers. Those may have been discussions that would

9 have taken place, but I wouldn't regard those as

10 derogatory.

11 Q. And that remained the case, did it, after the complaints

12 about local police officers had been made by her clients

13 and, indeed, by her about their behaviour?

14 A. What, derogatory towards her, whatever?

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. Again, I think we are back into the frustration end and

17 complaints that we, as police officers, felt were untrue

18 and unwarranted.

19 Q. And was no irritation about that and about her role in

20 it ever expressed?

21 A. Irritation, frustration, do they have the same meaning?

22 It wasn't a huge issue for police officers, as I think

23 we talked about earlier on about how busy Lurgan was.

24 We didn't have time to sit down and have idle chit chat

25 about a particular person or individual. And

 

 

65

 

1 I certainly -- my answer to your question is no.

2 Q. Did you and your colleagues believe that the complaints

3 with which she was involved, she and her clients, were

4 being used tactically?

5 A. My own personal opinion is that yes, they were tactical

6 complaints, and the offices of Mrs Nelson were being

7 used because she was at that time the solicitor of

8 choice for a certain organisation.

9 Q. What about the complaints, for instance, that she made

10 herself? Did you regard them as being tactical?

11 A. Which complaint?

12 Q. She made her own complaints at various points, including

13 in the context of the Duffy case; in other words, not

14 a complaint on behalf of anybody but in her own name.

15 Did you regard those complaints as being tactical?

16 A. This is the complaint in relation to the charging of

17 Colin Duffy?

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. That's the only complaint that I can think of that

20 Mrs Nelson specifically made.

21 Q. How did you regard it?

22 A. I think I have identified in one of my statements

23 somewhere it was a complaint that she made personally,

24 but I am afraid I can't answer for Mrs Nelson. But

25 personally, I believe she wanted to be present during

 

 

66

 

1 the charging of Colin Duffy. I had absolutely no issues

2 about that. For whatever reasons, she wasn't present

3 and maybe it was part of her own frustrations at the

4 process that she wasn't there, that I sort of

5 highlighted earlier.

6 Q. Just going back to my question, do you think she was

7 making that complaint for tactical reasons?

8 A. I can't answer why Mrs Nelson made that complaint. My

9 answer to you is that the complaint was totally

10 unfounded. Everything was down to have her present

11 during the charging of Colin Duffy. For whatever

12 reason, she wasn't there and I cannot give you that

13 reason.

14 Q. You have told us that you hadn't heard any rumour or

15 allegation about the nature of her relationship with

16 Colin Duffy. You will be aware, I assume, that the

17 Inquiry has received a good deal of material and

18 evidence now in which it was suggested that she was

19 acting improperly as a lawyer and actively assisting

20 PIRA members in going about their work.

21 A. I heard that, yes.

22 Q. Yes. Now, were those suggestions or allegations that

23 you were aware of at the time, by which I mean before

24 her murder?

25 A. I have no information or no knowledge that -- personally

 

 

67

 

1 that Rosemary Nelson was involved in the manner in which

2 you describe.

3 Q. Yes. But did you hear suggestions of that kind being

4 made before her murder?

5 A. No.

6 Q. You did not?

7 A. I think we have discussed this point earlier. With the

8 passage of time there has been a lot of allegations made

9 in respect of Mrs Nelson in the media and, you know, in

10 local communities. When those remarks were made, I am

11 afraid I can't be specific.

12 Q. No. Let's just look at a specific example, and it is

13 the one we looked at briefly earlier at RNI-541-164

14 (displayed), and the substance of it is at RNI-541-165

15 (displayed).

16 Here, as I said to you earlier when we looked at it,

17 is some intelligence reporting dated September 1997,

18 while this police officer murder investigation was going

19 on. And I had the impression from you earlier that you

20 thought you had been made aware of this intelligence?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Is that correct?

23 A. Yes, I believe I have seen it.

24 Q. And the suggestion here that she was pressurising

25 somebody into making a statement, making threats,

 

 

68

 

1 et cetera?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. That was behaviour which, at least on its face, might

4 have taken her beyond the line in terms of proper

5 conduct for a solicitor?

6 A. Yes. If I go to my -- the report I submitted to the

7 DPP, I highlight all that.

8 Q. We will come to that in a moment.

9 A. I'm very open about my own personal feelings in relation

10 to that.

11 Q. But that suggests, doesn't it, that you were aware, at

12 least in this particular case, of information, this from

13 Special Branch, which suggested that she wasn't just, as

14 it were, an ordinary solicitor doing her job?

15 A. Can you please refer me as to where I would make that

16 assumption? I believe -- I believe personally that

17 Mrs Nelson had taken on a remit which wasn't proper for

18 a solicitor.

19 Q. Right.

20 A. The topic that we are on really is that -- and perhaps

21 I'm misunderstanding you -- is that she was facilitating

22 a terrorist organisation to go about their business.

23 That's not your words, that's the way I have understood

24 the line of questioning. But I don't see anything there

25 or anything that I ever identified in my report which

 

 

69

 

1 would suggest that.

2 Q. And you didn't have that view at the time?

3 A. I was frustrated with Mrs Nelson's actions, yes, and I

4 think I have said that.

5 Q. Where something like this is reported to Special Branch

6 and it concerns the conduct of the case that you were in

7 charge of, you would have been surprised, wouldn't you,

8 if you hadn't been made aware of a report of this kind?

9 A. No, I don't think I'd be surprised. We have had the

10 discussion about Special Branch. They make an

11 assessment on what intelligence should be made

12 available. That's not a decision -- if I do not have

13 that intelligence, I can't comment on it. Equally,

14 I have accepted that I would be frustrated that I didn't

15 get that intelligence.

16 Q. Yes. In relation to a later murder, the Kevin Conway

17 murder the next year, were you the investigating officer

18 in relation to that matter?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Can I just show you another document that I know you

21 have seen recently, RNI-542-063 (displayed), and the

22 substance at RNI-542-064 (displayed), the date of

23 February 1998:

24 "Rosemary Nelson continues to have a close

25 association with Lurgan PIRA, in particular

 

 

70

 

1 Colin Duffy."

2 Then two lines down:

3 "She regularly briefs Colin Duffy on the CID

4 investigation and actively assists him in creating

5 alibis for PIRA members."

6 Do you think you were made aware of this

7 intelligence during the course of your work on the

8 Conway case?

9 A. I think the first time I'd seen that was on Monday of

10 this week.

11 Q. Right. Are you surprised to discover that

12 Special Branch had this report and didn't pass it on to

13 to you at CID?

14 A. No, for the reasons I have outlined before: that was

15 a decision for Special Branch.

16 Q. Right. Do you wish you had been made aware of it?

17 A. I certainly do because we were conducting interviews and

18 putting certain questions to suspects, and if -- and we

19 are back into what is intelligence and what is

20 evidence -- if that intelligence was true, that would

21 have given me concerns.

22 Q. Yes. Would it have given you concerns to learn that

23 reporting was coming in to suggest that Rosemary Nelson

24 had a close association with Lurgan PIRA and was

25 actively assisting Colin Duffy in creating alibis?

 

 

71

 

1 A. Absolutely it would, and a thought process would have

2 been, "Should I be conducting a criminal investigation

3 into Mrs Nelson?"

4 Q. Yes, and you are saying, therefore, are you, that you

5 weren't aware of either of those matters at any time

6 before her murder?

7 A. Of the specific intelligence?

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. I don't think so, no.

10 Q. And of the suggestion in general terms that she had

11 a close association with Lurgan PIRA and was actively

12 assisting in creating alibis?

13 A. Well, she had a close professional association, as far

14 as I was aware, yes.

15 Q. But this obviously suggests something beyond that:

16 creating alibis. Were you aware of that suggestion at

17 any time before her murder?

18 A. No.

19 Q. No. Now, in dealing with the way she conducted the

20 defence in this case of the two police officers in 1997,

21 you tell us in your first statement that there was an

22 involvement in it of various NGOs. That's right,

23 isn't it?

24 A. Sorry, NGOs?

25 Q. Non-governmental organisations; human rights agencies?

 

 

72

 

1 A. Oh, yes.

2 Q. Thank you. That's correct, isn't it, they were

3 involved?

4 A. Yes, there was numerous letters coming from

5 Amnesty International, CAJ, British Irish Rights Watch

6 copied to Government, Northern Ireland Office, DPP and

7 the police.

8 Q. And also from Rosemary Nelson herself?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Yes. Now, did you regard her at the time as

11 orchestrating this correspondence?

12 A. I believe that was my opinion, yes, it was coming from

13 her and perhaps a wider campaign supporting Mr Duffy.

14 Q. Yes. Now, you say in your evidence that:

15 "Never before or since am I involved in a similar

16 case such as this where correspondence was sent in this

17 manner."

18 That remains the case today, does it?

19 A. Absolutely.

20 Q. Yes. So you go on to say -- and I would like to look at

21 this paragraph with you, please, paragraph 45,

22 RNI-813-664 (displayed), at the bottom of the page:

23 "With the experience I have now, I'm aware that some

24 solicitors are much more robust in challenging police.

25 Perhaps, looking back, I'm able to say that Mrs Nelson

 

 

73

 

1 was starting this process of solicitors becoming more

2 proactive."

3 So in your experience then, the way she conducted

4 the defence was new; you had never come across it

5 before?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, so far as other aspects of the conduct of the

8 defence are concerned, you highlight two. At the bottom

9 of paragraph 47 on RNI-813-665 (displayed), you say that

10 she employed a barrister at a very early stage, at the

11 initial hearing. Never before or since have you been

12 involved in a case where a barrister has been involved.

13 I think there were barristers on both sides in those

14 early hearings, weren't there?

15 A. The police may have had a barrister. I'm not sure. It

16 is extremely rare, if not unique, for a barrister to be

17 at a remand hearing.

18 Q. This is in your experience?

19 A. No, I have had a number of discussion with my

20 colleagues. I'm not aware of any other investigation.

21 Q. Would it surprise you to hear that in England, certainly

22 in London, at this time, and long before that, counsel

23 were regularly appearing in substantial cases in the

24 first appearance?

25 A. I will accept your word in relation to that. I'm

 

 

74

 

1 talking about Northern Ireland.

2 Q. But it was new for you?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And the third aspect which appears to have been new for

5 you is something you touch on in relation to another

6 individual being investigated, at the top of page

7 RNI-813-667 (displayed), where you say that:

8 "For particular reasons, Mrs Nelson was allowed to

9 sit in during the interviews."

10 And you think that was the first time that

11 a solicitor was allowed to sit in on terrorist

12 interviews. Do you see that?

13 A. Absolutely, and the comments you are making, I think,

14 are reflecting her professional capabilities, which

15 I have accepted from the outset.

16 Q. Yes. So what you were encountering in your work as the

17 investigating officer on this case was a lawyer who was

18 acting in ways that were new, so far as you were

19 concerned?

20 A. In the circumstances that you have described. But there

21 were a number of other events that were equally ongoing

22 from our office which could not be any way associated

23 with what you have just went through.

24 Q. Now, do you think that your view of the way she was

25 conducting the defence was to some degree shaped by the

 

 

75

 

1 fact that it was new, that you had never experienced

2 this before?

3 A. I would accept that would be part of my rationale, but

4 as I have said, there were a number of other matters

5 which were equally ongoing, which were alarming and

6 concerning.

7 Q. Yes. And you accept also in your statement, as I

8 understand it, that you were under considerable stress

9 and pressure in investigating the murders. Is

10 that fair?

11 A. I think in hindsight I would have to accept that, yes --

12 Q. They were very high profile crimes committed right

13 outside the police station, weren't they? You heard the

14 shots?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And they involved the murder of two of your colleagues?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. At a time when it seemed that things were getting rather

19 better in Northern Ireland?

20 A. We were in the middle of the first peace process.

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. And it was totally unexpected?

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. By the public, I think by the politicians and I think,

25 in hindsight, by a lot of the terrorist organisations.

 

 

76

 

1 Q. And they were very high profile cases to investigate as

2 a result, weren't they?

3 A. Absolutely.

4 Q. Now, I would like to look at your report to the DPP,

5 which you have referred to in your evidence already. It

6 begins at RNI-834-168 (displayed), and the particular

7 passage which you talk about in your evidence that I

8 would like to look at with you is under the heading

9 "Other Observations" towards the end of the report at

10 RNI-834-195 (displayed).

11 Here, you see in the second paragraph, you talk

12 about:

13 "A campaign of considerable pressure and lobbying of

14 human rights agencies has been engaged on Duffy's behalf

15 by Mrs Nelson ..."

16 That's the point you and I discussed earlier:

17 "... including the constant submission of letters of

18 complaint to the RUC."

19 So those are the complaints being made about his

20 detention and the charging. Is that what you mean

21 by that?

22 A. Yes, that lobbying and complaints went to the highest

23 level. It actually went to the Prime Minister.

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. Who met with me in relation to it. The two paragraphs

 

 

77

 

1 flow on from each other.

2 Q. Are you saying you met the Prime Minister in relation to

3 these complaints?

4 A. Mr Blair had a meeting with me in Portadown and asked

5 for a briefing in relation to the investigation. He was

6 surprised that -- he had been briefed that the evidence

7 against Colin Duffy was identification, when in fact it

8 was recognition. And he expressed his concerns in the

9 manner in which that had been done.

10 Q. This meeting, where did it take place? You said in

11 Portadown?

12 A. In Mahon Road in Portadown.

13 Q. Can you remember the date?

14 A. I am afraid I can't remember the date, but I am sure I

15 would be able to get it for you.

16 Q. Would it have been during the course of the

17 investigation; in other words, in the summer or

18 thereabouts of 1997?

19 A. No, it was shortly after the release of Colin Duffy.

20 Q. So later in the year in, perhaps, the autumn. Is that

21 right?

22 A. All I can say is shortly after the release of

23 Colin Duffy.

24 Q. Which we know, I think, the direction from the Director

25 came at the beginning of October?

 

 

78

 

1 A. End of September/October, yes.

2 Q. Yes. And were you called to that meeting by your senior

3 officers?

4 A. I was -- Mr Blair had asked to meet with members of the

5 investigating team.

6 Q. Can you remember who else was present? Were there

7 officials from the NIO?

8 A. I'm sure there was. There were a number of people

9 present.

10 Q. Yes. Can you remember whether any police officers were

11 present?

12 A. I believe there was another senior officer present.

13 Q. Does his name appear on the --

14 A. No, it doesn't.

15 Q. Can I ask you, please, to write it down on this piece of

16 paper?

17 A. I would have to write two senior officers down. The

18 first one is the one I believe was present.

19 Q. Thank you. (Pause)

20 (Handed)

21 I should say that those are names of non-witnesses

22 whose names would, in accordance with the Inquiry's

23 policy, be redacted. So thank you very much for writing

24 them down.

25 Now, what you go on to say in this part of your

 

 

79

 

1 report is:

2 "In my opinion, Mrs Nelson's behaviour has been

3 questionable and is not consistent with that which one

4 would associate with a member of the legal profession."

5 Now, what behaviour were you referring to there, do

6 you think?

7 A. You have set out a number of examples and I accept the

8 reasons and the professional capabilities of Mrs Nelson.

9 There were a number of instances where witnesses

10 were produced. For example, a solicitor appeared at

11 Lurgan police station with four juveniles, I think the

12 oldest of whom was 15, and basically demanded that

13 witness statements, alibi statements be recorded from

14 them in support of Mr Duffy. I spoke to that solicitor.

15 I said, without their parents' authority -- once he

16 confirmed that their parents had not been discussed or

17 that the situation had not been discussed with their

18 parents -- that it was necessary for us to contact the

19 parents in order to seek their permission to take the

20 statements in the presence of the particular solicitor,

21 or for them to also attend. I think that was a very

22 reasonable request.

23 That resulted in a complaint. I think the whole

24 procedure of bringing four juveniles to a police station

25 to make statements was flawed. That's one example.

 

 

80

 

1 Statements were submitted to the investigation,

2 which I -- purporting to come from certain witnesses,

3 which were contradictory in their evidence,

4 contradictory to what the witnesses had said before and

5 what they had told police before. Mrs Nelson had

6 complained that police had went to Scotland to interview

7 a witness who was a client of hers. She made

8 allegations that that client had been arrested and was

9 detained somewhere, which was never the case, and

10 demanding that she be released forthwith.

11 Those are some examples which I would say

12 counterbalance what we have just discussed.

13 Q. So in other words, we discussed the aspects of the way

14 she conducted the case which were new?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And what you are, I think, saying, is that in expressing

17 your view about her behaviour, you would have been

18 thinking both about those, but also these other points

19 that you have just mentioned?

20 A. Yes. I think at the start I mentioned that with the

21 benefit of hindsight you see these things. At the time,

22 perhaps, with the new procedures, which I am well aware

23 of now, I can accept that I perhaps had a muddled view

24 in relation to those as well. But there were the other

25 issues which are separate, and still to this day remain

 

 

81

 

1 separate.

2 Q. Yes. But so far as you were concerned, writing this

3 report, you believed, did you, that her conduct had made

4 a very difficult job even more difficult?

5 A. Yes, I would have to accept that.

6 Q. Yes. And in that sense had aggravated, no doubt, the

7 stress and pressure that you felt yourself under?

8 A. No, I don't think so. The situations were all dealt

9 with professionally. You know, multiple letters were

10 coming in. It was taking time. I'm back to this word:

11 it was frustrating.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. Did it diminish my view of Mrs Nelson as a solicitor? I

14 would have to say no to that. I have used the word

15 "questionable" there. Had it been any more than that, I

16 would have considered a criminal investigation in

17 respect of the actions.

18 Q. Let's have a look at that. RNI-834-171 (displayed),

19 paragraph 4. This is at the beginning, or a much

20 earlier stage of the report. You say there in this

21 paragraph 4 in the fifth line:

22 "There has also been a campaign of intimidation and

23 disinformation waged by associates of Duffy in an

24 attempt to gain support for his early release."

25 Can I take it that you regarded Rosemary Nelson as

 

 

82

 

1 playing a role in that campaign?

2 A. There was a group which set itself up under the name of

3 basically the "Free Colin Duffy Campaign" and Mrs Nelson

4 was associated to that.

5 Q. And you were aware of that at the time, were you?

6 A. I think I became -- I probably would have assumed that

7 she was associated with it because of the interactions

8 that we were having. But I believe I remember there was

9 a news report, a television news report where she was

10 present, and I think she may have done an interview with

11 other members of that organisation.

12 Q. Yes. Do you think those views were shared by your

13 colleagues who were working on the investigation with

14 you?

15 A. I believe so, yes.

16 Q. And what about other offices based at Lurgan but who may

17 not have been involved in this particular investigation?

18 Do you think they would have had the same view of the

19 way she was conducting the defence?

20 A. I'm sure they did, and I think I would even go further

21 than that, that, without knowing the full circumstances,

22 their frustrations might have been somewhat greater.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, the Free Colin Duffy campaign, I would

24 like to show you a piece of intelligence reporting,

25 please, at exactly this time, June 1997. RNI-541-102 is

 

 

83

 

1 the substance of it (displayed). You will see there

2 a reference to it. First of all, it suggests that

3 attempts were being made to fabricate evidence to

4 strengthen the alibi. Then it says:

5 "The Free Colin Duffy Committee will be regrouping

6 to campaign for his release."

7 Then underneath it, do you see the comment:

8 "CID informed."

9 Do you think it is likely that you would have been

10 made aware of this intelligence at the time; in other

11 words, in June 1997?

12 A. I believe I have seen that information. Whether it is

13 in that sanitised version or -- you know, in a more

14 sanitised version, I'm not sure. But yes, I think I did

15 see it.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 A. Not in that document, again. I have to say I have never

18 seen the background format to ...

19 Q. Yes, but in the form you mentioned earlier, the action

20 sheet perhaps?

21 A. When I was shown this again on Monday, I have

22 a recollection of seeing that similar information.

23 Q. Yes. And to what extent do you think that these events

24 in the summer of 1997 shaped your perception, as it was

25 at the time, of Rosemary Nelson?

 

 

84

 

1 A. I am afraid it didn't really impact on it at all. We

2 had relationships with solicitors and solicitors had

3 relationships with police officers. As far as I'm

4 concerned, they were always very professional. We were

5 busy people, as I'm sure were the solicitors, and you

6 know, if the question is did I have an opinion in

7 relation to her and did it influence my views and have

8 discussions about it, the answer to that is no.

9 Q. Now, I would like to turn finally, please, to the

10 question of the murder investigation itself, by which

11 I mean the Rosemary Nelson murder investigation.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And I would like to look with you at RNI-813-671

14 (displayed). You say in paragraph 65 there that you

15 were devastated to be taken off the investigation.

16 Now, so that we are clear about this, you were taken

17 off the investigation along with a number of other

18 officers, weren't you, because you had been named in the

19 various complaints?

20 A. The local office basically in its entirety was removed

21 from the enquiry.

22 Q. Yes, and you express your feelings about that very, very

23 clearly in this paragraph of your statement and you say

24 that you explained your position to the Chief Constable?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

85

 

1 Q. And that was at the time, was it, in March 1999?

2 A. I believe it was the night after Mrs Nelson's murder.

3 Q. Was he in the station that night?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, the question I wanted to go on to ask you is this:

6 perhaps not at the time, but do you now understand and

7 appreciate the reasons behind that, given the

8 allegations of collusion that were circulating in the

9 immediate aftermath of the murder?

10 A. Yes, and I understand -- I understood the thought

11 process at the time as well.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. And I can accept the decision that was made. Having

14 said all that, my personal view is that removing any

15 local involvement into a murder investigation could have

16 potentially, and may still, have had fatal consequences

17 to bring to justice those persons responsible for

18 Mrs Nelson's murder.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Because local officers are known in the community and

21 people are perhaps more willing to speak to them. By

22 removing the local officers, you are already creating

23 an air of suspicion in relation to the police. That was

24 my view at the time. It remains my view today.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the period just after that is

 

 

86

 

1 concerned, after this decision had been made, you deal

2 in your statement with the question of the security of

3 various local officers and you exhibit a letter at

4 RNI-228-088 (displayed) to the Subdivisional Commander

5 about that, 31 March 1999. This was a letter in which

6 you were expressing your concern, weren't you, about the

7 potential security implications for those various

8 officers?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, what I wanted to ask you about is the

11 very first sentence:

12 "The past two weeks has obviously been an extremely

13 difficult time for the Royal Ulster Constabulary."

14 Now, presumably you mean the two weeks following the

15 murder. Is that right?

16 A. I believe -- sorry, it has been --

17 Q. 31 March is the date.

18 A. Yes, two weeks following the murder. I think -- and

19 also the release of the ICPC report.

20 Q. Yes. So it was obvious to you even by this stage, was

21 it, two weeks after the murder, that the murder itself

22 was having an impact, had had an impact, on the RUC?

23 A. The murder had an impact across Northern Ireland.

24 Q. Right.

25 A. The murder of anybody is a deplorable action. The

 

 

87

 

1 murder of a high profile solicitor had immense media

2 coverage, obviously, and all sorts of allegations,

3 untruths, misconceptions were being flaunted within the

4 media and within the general public. It was a ghastly

5 action for anybody to kill Mrs Nelson.

6 Q. But it led to what you describe there as an extremely

7 difficult time for the police?

8 A. Yes, I think there was widespread rioting, for example,

9 widespread innuendo about collusion, Loyalist collusion

10 with security forces. All these sorts of issues were

11 being discussed openly.

12 Q. What I wanted to ask you was this: if somebody had asked

13 you before the murder what would be the impact of

14 murdering Rosemary Nelson, do you think it would have

15 been obvious to you immediately that there would be

16 these sort of difficulties, these sort of allegations

17 being made?

18 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. You know,

19 Mrs Nelson -- any individual in Northern Ireland who has

20 a high profile or raises their head above the parapet of

21 normal society, unfortunately, in our community at that

22 time, became a legitimate target for people with warped

23 minds. Unfortunately it happened to Mrs Nelson and she

24 became such a legitimate target and was murdered.

25 Had you posed that question to me before she was

 

 

88

 

1 killed, I would say yes, it would have been a huge

2 political impact within this country at probably

3 sensitive times; the same as the murder of the two

4 police officers.

5 Q. Yes. So that anybody who wished ill for the RUC would

6 have realised that the murder of this individual might

7 well lead to criticism, allegations being made against

8 the RUC?

9 A. Potentially. But, you know, I don't think the thinking

10 would have come into anybody's mind that this was going

11 to impact adversely on the RUC. That's my opinion.

12 Q. Yes. Now, I would just like to ask you one final

13 question about a rather earlier phase, about a year

14 before this; in other words, in March/April 1998.

15 The suggestion has been made by one Lurgan

16 Special Branch officer that at that point,

17 so March/April 1998, he remembers threat assessments

18 being undertaken, security measures and further security

19 measures being put in place on, he said, all Lurgan

20 Special Branch officers and CID officers as a result of

21 intelligence relating to Rosemary Nelson allegedly

22 giving access to confidential case files to the local

23 members of PIRA.

24 Now, I appreciate it is a very long time ago, but do

25 you have any recollection of that?

 

 

89

 

1 A. No, I don't. I can't speak for myself that I had no

2 security measures prior to the instigation of this

3 report.

4 Q. Those are all the questions I have for you, Mr Monteith.

5 But as I'm sure you have gathered by now, I always say

6 at the end of my questions that if the witness wishes to

7 add anything, then this is the opportunity to say it to

8 the Panel.

9 A. There is a couple of things which I would like to

10 mention, some of which we have covered during the --

11 your questioning.

12 I would ask the Inquiry in their search for the

13 truth to consider all the facts and present their

14 findings in respect of all the evidence which has been

15 identified at these proceedings. I would specifically

16 ask that consideration be given to the allegations,

17 which I suggest are wholly unfounded, in relation to the

18 detectives whom I had responsibility for in Lurgan.

19 And I would specifically mention P121 and

20 Stephen Walker. They were extremely highly professional

21 officers, who were very competent in the duties which

22 they performed, and very serious, unfounded allegations

23 have been made against them.

24 These officers have now been the subject of three

25 separate investigations into what essentially are

 

 

90

 

1 unsubstantiated complaints, many of which were made

2 historically without explanation and include wholly

3 inaccurate allegations which, in my opinion, were

4 maliciously conceived in an effort to discredit these

5 officers' personal conduct.

6 Mrs Nelson's murder was a travesty and my heartfelt

7 sympathy has, and continues to go out to her and her

8 family. Sight should not be lost of the fact, however,

9 that the murders of Constables Graham and Johnston are

10 equally central to this Inquiry, as are the

11 life-changing experience of witness D, who has not even

12 been mentioned today. The suffering of their families

13 is no less than that of the Nelsons.

14 The available evidence supported by the

15 intelligence -- and I do make a distinction on the

16 values of same -- clearly identifies that a central

17 figure in this Inquiry murdered both officers in what

18 can only be described as the most callous of

19 circumstances.

20 The identification and publication of the evidence

21 in this Inquiry can only compound the grief of the

22 officers' families, and that's Constable Graham and

23 Johnston.

24 And I welcome the opportunity to say what I've said.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Monteith.

 

 

91

 

1 We will adjourn now until 2 o'clock.

2 (12.54 pm)

3 (The short adjournment)

4 (2.10 pm)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist.

6 Is the public area screen fully in place, locked and

7 the key secured?

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

10 screen closed?

11 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

13 and securely fastened?

14 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

16 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

17 of this chamber?

18 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

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

21 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

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

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

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

 

 

92

 

1 Bring the witness in, please.

2 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

3 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

4 switched back on.

5 Please take the oath.

6 B576 (sworn)

7 Questions by MR SKELTON

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank You. Please sit down.

9 MR SKELTON: Now, for the purpose of this Inquiry, you are

10 known as witness B576 and your statement we will find on

11 the screen in a moment at RNI-846-501, please

12 (displayed).

13 If we scroll through to the final page, your name

14 has been replaced with your cipher number and your

15 signature is under that and that's the date of

16 14 October 2008?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Thank you. May I start just by some background

19 questions. I think you say in your statement that you

20 joined the RUC, as it then was, in 1979?

21 A. That's correct, sir, yes.

22 Q. And you joined Special Branch in about 1992/1993?

23 A. That's correct, sir, yes.

24 Q. And your first posting, I think, was to Lurgan. Is that

25 right?

 

 

93

 

1 A. It was. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. How long did you stay in Lurgan for?

3 A. I was in Lurgan from then until 2000. I left and then

4 transferred in 2000.

5 Q. When you transferred, did you remain in Special Branch?

6 A. I did, sir, yes.

7 Q. Are you still in Special Branch?

8 A. I am, yes.

9 Q. What is your rank at present?

10 A. I am Detective Constable.

11 Q. Thank you. When you were working as a DC in Lurgan, I

12 think you were managed on a day-to-day basis by a single

13 sergeant and a single inspector. Is that correct?

14 A. That's correct, sir, yes.

15 Q. Was it the case that in general you, as one of a group

16 of constables, would have known your colleagues, i.e. your

17 Lurgan colleagues' intelligence on a day-to-day basis?

18 A. Pretty much so, sir, yes. That would be correct.

19 Q. Was that in order for you to keep abreast of what was

20 happening within your area?

21 A. Within the office there was a requirement for us all to

22 know what was happening in the area, whether it involved

23 ourselves and -- you had to know what was happening so

24 that, first of all, for organising meets in particular

25 areas, for briefings and just you needed to know in the

 

 

94

 

1 office.

2 Q. What was your general day-to-day liaison like with your

3 other colleagues, the ones who were working in CID or

4 uniform?

5 A. It was another job of Special Branch to get to know the

6 station party, regularly have contact with all of the

7 departments within the station, within your station

8 party, i.e. CID, your care, your community affairs, you

9 had uniformed branch. It was important for them to know

10 who you were and for them to feel that they could

11 contact you, and vice versa.

12 So quite often, in particular with CID, they would

13 have been in our office and we would have been in theirs

14 regularly.

15 Q. And obviously there is a particular issue about the

16 sensitivity of your sources, both human and technical,

17 which Special Branch was keen not to divulge outside of

18 itself?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Aside from that, would it be the case that, for example,

21 a CID officer could come to you and say, "Look, who is

22 Mr Bloggs? Do you know if he is a member of CIRA, RIRA,

23 PIRA? Can you tell me anything about him because I

24 think I'm going to arrest him for a crime we are

25 investigating?"

 

 

95

 

1 A. There was very regular contact with CID and the other

2 departments, as said. However, we were always

3 continually aware that what we dealt with was

4 intelligence. We had to be very careful -- and you were

5 trained to be very careful -- as to what intelligence

6 was given to whom it was given. And the management then

7 at our office were very strict in relation to the

8 channels that we should go through.

9 CID likewise, on many occasions, if they had

10 a request, they put that through their authorities and

11 it went to our authorities. Rarely would you have been

12 posed a question like that, where they would have

13 expected that answer. You certainly would have got, in

14 relation to arrests or clearances for arrests, that

15 regularly would have been put to you, and that then, by

16 us, was put to our authorities as to whether that

17 could -- the arrest could be carried out, the search

18 could be done, et cetera.

19 Q. Because there could be a risk that an operation of yours

20 could be compromised --

21 A. Exactly.

22 Q. -- or, indeed, a source?

23 A. Exactly.

24 Q. Really what I was trying to establish was whether there

25 was a degree of information sharing which wouldn't

 

 

96

 

1 really be called intelligence sharing, but just sort of

2 low grade information about people in the area which one

3 might share with your colleagues without compromising in

4 any way either your operations or your sources?

5 A. Well, there would have been regular briefings to the

6 station party in relation to a flavour of what was

7 happening in the area, who was who within the terrorist

8 organisations. That would have been done regularly,

9 both the CID and the uniformed parties, by ourselves.

10 Q. I would like to show you a few documents, if I may, to

11 do with Rosemary Nelson and the first one is at

12 RNI-541-001 (displayed). Just for your own reference,

13 you refer to this in paragraphs 70 and 71 of your

14 statement, which is on page RNI-846-525 (displayed).

15 This is a PRISM document and you can see it originates

16 from Lurgan Special Branch, and the two originating

17 officers there are two of your colleagues?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You yourself are not one of originating officers of this

20 intelligence?

21 A. No.

22 Q. If we go overleaf, we can see the content of it and

23 there you can see that the date is December 1994 and it

24 is to do, it says:

25 "A leading IRA member and Rosemary Nelson,

 

 

97

 

1 solicitor, are attempting to construct a false alibi for

2 Collie Duffy, who is presently remanded in custody for

3 the murder of John Lyness."

4 Which had occurred on 24 June 1993. It says:

5 "[blank] They intend to use [again, a redacted

6 name] as Duffy's alibi to cover the relevant time."

7 Now, can you recollect that report or this

8 information being something that came to your attention

9 back in late 1994?

10 A. I don't recall the intelligence. It is something with

11 the document I probably would have seen at that time,

12 but I don't recall it. I do recall the murder.

13 Q. Is it likely that this sort of thing would have been

14 shared, given the answers you have previously given

15 about the fact that generally information was given to

16 other people in the office?

17 A. Shared within the office?

18 Q. Indeed.

19 A. Yes, yes.

20 Q. When you read something like that about

21 Rosemary Nelson -- and as far as we are aware, I think

22 this is probably one of the earliest reports that

23 mention her -- and she doesn't at this stage have an SB

24 number on the system -- what conclusions do you draw or

25 start to draw about her?

 

 

98

 

1 A. Looking at the intelligence, it is something that really

2 you would say -- she is attempting to assist -- if

3 that's a leading member of PIRA she is attempting at

4 that stage to assist him in evading subsequent

5 conviction.

6 Q. Now, I think one of the points you make in your

7 statement in relation to this document is that you would

8 consider her to be a supporter of the Republican

9 movement, based on something like that?

10 A. Yes. Yes, sir.

11 Q. First of all, "Republican movement" is one of those

12 phrases which is used quite a lot but isn't always

13 defined. Could you define it for us in the context in

14 which you are using it?

15 A. I think in relation to the Republican movement, the PIRA

16 never really referred to themselves as the PIRA.

17 Generally, if one was talking to another, they would

18 have considered themselves or talked to themselves as in

19 the movement. The Republican movement to me would have

20 been the IRA, sir.

21 Q. And you are specifically saying supporter of the IRA, as

22 opposed to supporter of Sinn Fein?

23 A. Supporter of the aims of the IRA, sir, yes.

24 Q. And what was the IRA's attitude towards the RUC? That

25 may sound a very trite question, but from your

 

 

99

 

1 perspective in this period, how did you perceive their

2 relationship with the RUC officers?

3 A. They were doing their best to kill us at the time, and

4 that continued for some time and had been in the past.

5 We were considered to be siding with the State and they

6 would have considered themselves to be sworn enemies of

7 the State.

8 Q. So in fact in relation to someone like Rosemary Nelson,

9 if she is a supporter of that movement, she is

10 a supporter of terrorism, is she?

11 A. She would have been a supporter of the Republican

12 movement and, ergo, of the IRA in my assessment, sir,

13 yes.

14 Q. It is worth at least pointing out for your comfort that

15 many other people who have given evidence have drawn

16 that conclusion, including some people who are Head of

17 the IMG within Special Branch, which is the Intelligence

18 Management Group. But were you aware that that view was

19 shared within the higher echelons of Special Branch at

20 least?

21 A. I wouldn't have been aware at that time, sir, no.

22 Q. Why would you not have known that?

23 A. Really, when there was intelligence like that in the

24 local office, I think that the date was 1994, where I

25 would have been not terribly long into the office. So

 

 

100

 

1 really at that stage, it was still a learning curve for

2 me. I wouldn't have been considered -- I would still

3 have been learning my job in relation to Headquarters,

4 and how Headquarters viewed intelligence and what

5 assessments were made and how they made the assessment.

6 I think I was still young in service in Special Branch

7 to realise that, sir.

8 Q. This piece of intelligence happens to relate to

9 a prosecution which proceeded, in fact, against

10 Mr Duffy?

11 A. Yes, sir.

12 Q. And therefore, you can see its relevance to potentially

13 your colleagues in CID?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Would you have expected this to have been something that

16 would be discussed on some level with CID, even if they

17 weren't given precisely the kind of information that

18 would be contained in this report?

19 A. I wouldn't have been able to say that. It was always

20 a matter of my authorities and CID authorities. If

21 there was anything to pass and as to whether it should

22 be passed or not was a matter for our authorities to

23 decide.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: What do you mean by your authorities?

25 A. My authorities, sir. I mean, my management, being DI,

 

 

101

 

1 DCI, Detective Superintendent. At that kind of level, I

2 would have expected that to have been possibly shared,

3 sir.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

5 MR SKELTON: Now, this intelligence report contains details

6 with various names that Rosemary Nelson has come into

7 contact with, but would it not have been the case that

8 the view of her which you have expressed about her being

9 a Republican supporter would have been communicated to

10 uniform and CID as something which they should have

11 known about because they were coming into probably more

12 regular contact with her than Special Branch?

13 A. Whether or not that was the view at that stage, sir, I

14 can't recall.

15 Q. In other words, you didn't pick up from your colleagues

16 at this point that they shared the view which

17 Special Branch may have formed subsequent to this in

18 relation to her?

19 A. Sorry, sir, I'm not --

20 Q. I think the answer you gave is that you couldn't

21 remember if they had that view?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And --

24 A. No, sorry. What I meant was I couldn't exactly say

25 whether that specific piece of intelligence would have

 

 

102

 

1 been shared with CID at a senior level -- by my own

2 authorities at senior level. As to what view they had

3 at that time, I wouldn't have been sure of, sir, no.

4 Q. Let's look at another document, if we may, please, and

5 this is at RNI-548-0012 (displayed). For your

6 reference, again, you talk about this in your statement

7 at paragraph 71 onwards.

8 Now, this is one where we can see your cipher number

9 there, B576, as one of the originating officers?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So this was a piece of intelligence which you had some

12 personal involvement with. The date is April 1996 and

13 this is a SIR from a different computer system. Can we

14 look overleaf, please, at the content of it?

15 Now, can you remember the provenance of this

16 intelligence? I don't want you to say in any way what

17 sort of intelligence it was or how you may have come

18 about it, but do you remember the provenance?

19 A. Not exactly, sir, no.

20 Q. Would it be helpful if you saw what we call the grey

21 document which shows it?

22 A. If possible, yes, sir.

23 Q. Which I think you did see shortly before the hearing.

24 Do you want to go back to the cover sheet again?

25 A. Yes, sir, if I could, please.

 

 

103

 

1 Q. If you look at your statement, it may assist you as

2 well, if you have got a copy of that in front of you.

3 A. Sorry, what was --

4 Q. The reference I have is paragraph 17 on page RNI-846-525

5 (displayed). (Pause)

6 Is that assisting you in remembering where this

7 intelligence may have originated from?

8 A. Is there a possibility the source mnemonic would assist

9 if that was --

10 Q. My colleague will pass you the grey document and I think

11 that should help. (Handed)

12 A. Yes, sir.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, as I say, I don't want you to describe

14 how this intelligence may have come to your attention in

15 any detail, but what I am interested in is whether or

16 not you considered it to be credible?

17 A. Yes, sir, I did. The source of that intelligence would

18 have been the supplier of regular intelligence. Really

19 the previous intelligence would have been proved to have

20 been correct. So, therefore, his grading would have

21 been --

22 Q. Again --

23 A. -- reasonably high.

24 Q. So there had been previous intelligence originating from

25 this type of source?

 

 

104

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And this was a -- I'm sorry, I'm trying to put words in

3 your mouth in order to preserve the sensitivity.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. When you receive intelligence like this, specifically

6 about Rosemary Nelson, how do you corroborate whether or

7 not it is true?

8 A. Well, you would always attempt to get collateral

9 intelligence because that proved, if you had

10 intelligence from one source and you were getting the

11 same intelligence from a completely different source,

12 that was what we called collateral intelligence, which

13 really went towards proving that the first piece of

14 intelligence was correct.

15 The other way of doing it was, with a source,

16 depending on the length of time that source was in

17 operation, previous intelligence and previous

18 intelligence having been proved to be correct then stood

19 towards the veracity of future intelligence from that

20 same source.

21 Q. And in relation to this -- can we go back to the second

22 page, please, where we can see the context of it, the

23 substance of it? Why was that of interest to

24 Special Branch?

25 A. Well, it was really to let us know -- Rosemary Nelson

 

 

105

 

1 and Sinn Fein would have been in parallel. It shows us

2 that she was taking an interest in Sinn Fein and vice

3 versa, and there was some liaison again towards the

4 Republican movement. So it would have tied -- for us it

5 would have tied -- if we are getting that from a source,

6 it is tying the Sinn Fein movement and Rosemary Nelson

7 both together. So we would have submitted that as an

8 intelligence document.

9 Q. And what actual value is that to you, as far as your

10 future work goes?

11 A. [ redacted ]

12 [ redacted ]

13 [ redacted ]

14 [ redacted ]

15 [ redacted ]

16 [ redacted ]

17 [ redacted ]

18 [ redacted ]

19 Q. And as far as you were concerned, did you receive any

20 more intelligence either originating from this kind of

21 source or from your other sources that may have

22 corroborated this view of Rosemary Nelson's relationship

23 with Sinn Fein?

24 A. There would have been other intelligence got, sir, yes.

25 But to specifically corroborate this piece of

 

 

106

 

1 intelligence, I'm unaware of, sir.

2 Q. Would you have reported all such information about

3 Rosemary Nelson?

4 A. If I received intelligence, as a rule that would have

5 been submitted, sir, yes.

6 Q. And when you say you would have done, presumably each

7 time you received such information, you are making

8 a judgement about whether or not it is significant?

9 A. Well, if we got information from a source, it was

10 a matter of we brought that information or that

11 intelligence back to the office and my immediate

12 superiors would have been debriefed fully on that.

13 Intelligence documents then would have been produced

14 from that debrief. But what we got from a source on our

15 return to the station was then immediately debriefed

16 verbally.

17 Q. Again, going back to the point I mentioned earlier about

18 the view of Rosemary Nelson more widely outside

19 Special Branch, would you have been aware that

20 a perception would start to be held towards her amongst

21 CID or uniformed officers?

22 A. I think there was -- there would have been a perception

23 in Lurgan because really it is a very small market town,

24 and I think generally speaking Republicans or

25 Nationalists would have tended to go to Rosemary Nelson.

 

 

107

 

1 Likewise, you would have had other solicitors that

2 Loyalists or the Loyalist community then would have went

3 on to have, or a number of them. And it was just --

4 I mean, the town was very much divided fairly equally

5 between Loyalists and Nationalists and I think that came

6 down to the solicitors, if you required advice or

7 anything.

8 I think a lot of the station party would have

9 realised that certainly if they had difficulties or if

10 they required legal advice, they certainly wouldn't have

11 gone to Rosemary Nelson, sir.

12 Q. Now, it may have been the case that she had at some

13 point more Nationalist clients, as you put it that way,

14 but the intelligence that you have is a bit more than

15 that, isn't? It shows on your explanation that she was

16 supporting the IRA?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now, do you think that view would have been held by

19 others?

20 A. I don't think that that view would have been generally

21 held by the station party. I mean, certainly these were

22 items of intelligence that were submitted through our

23 authorities to Headquarters, but as to having them

24 briefed out generally to the station party I wouldn't

25 have imagined was the case, sir, no.

 

 

108

 

1 Q. Another document I would like to show you is at

2 RNI-541-147 (displayed). This is a SIR again. It is

3 dated August 1997 and it originates from Special Branch.

4 You are not, again, one of the originating officers of

5 this, but I would like to ask you a question or two

6 about it anyway. And you refer to it in your statement

7 at paragraph 78, if you want to check that.

8 If you go to the text overleaf, please. Now, this

9 is a piece of intelligence, again, about

10 Rosemary Nelson, appearing to make contact with

11 a witness for the prosecution of Mr Duffy, again, in

12 relation to a different murder, the murders of the two

13 police constables which had occurred in June 1997. And

14 she is said to be trying to make contact with the

15 witness, but being concerned that she may get found out

16 about it. And you can see there that it says that the

17 witness was in the witness protection scheme at the

18 time.

19 Can you remember this intelligence coming to your

20 attention back in 1997?

21 A. I can, sir, yes.

22 Q. In what context?

23 A. Certainly I recall the murder of the two RUC officers

24 and the follow-up, and really that intelligence -- that

25 was not my intelligence. I certainly was aware of that

 

 

109

 

1 at the time. The whole office would have been aware of

2 that, sir.

3 Q. Again, it would be helpful if you could put this piece

4 of intelligence into context. I have obviously only

5 shown you a few documents prior to this date from late

6 1994 onwards in relation to Rosemary Nelson, but what

7 opinion would you have had about her as a result of this

8 intelligence in the context of the previous reporting?

9 A. Certainly in relation to this one, it convinced me that

10 she was actively involved in assisting the IRA, ergo

11 members of the IRA, certainly.

12 Q. Now, again, the same line of questioning. This relates

13 to a prosecution which was active throughout this period

14 in relation to two murders which were highly publicised

15 and controversial at the time. Do you think CID would

16 have been aware that intelligence had been received to

17 this effect?

18 A. It is difficult for me to say either yes or no. My

19 assessment would be that in relation to this

20 intelligence, I would have thought that they would be

21 made, at a senior level, aware of this, sir, yes.

22 Q. And the decision to do that would not have been that of

23 the originating officers; it would have been a more

24 senior officer, would it?

25 A. I imagine so, sir, yes.

 

 

110

 

1 Q. And from your contacts with CID during this period or,

2 indeed, with uniform who had lost a colleague, were you

3 aware of a view that Rosemary Nelson was sort of up to

4 no good trying to defend Mr Duffy again?

5 A. I don't think -- within the station party, I don't

6 think -- you have got to try and separate the station

7 party and what they knew from the intelligence that we

8 were getting at the time.

9 Certainly I think the station party, because of her

10 defence of Colin Duffy both in the Lyness murder and in

11 subsequent other incidents -- the station party's view

12 would have been that she was assisting him and doing her

13 best for him. Whether or not that was the duty of a

14 solicitor or they saw that as something more, I would be

15 unaware of, but intelligence like that would certainly

16 not have been given per se to the station party as

17 a matter of course.

18 Q. Do you remember this being in the media, these murders

19 and the arrest of Mr Duffy?

20 A. Yes, sir.

21 Q. And was there an element in the media that his arrest

22 was being portrayed as harassment of him?

23 A. I think that was part of an ongoing, as such, propaganda

24 move, if you like, towards the RUC. I think that was

25 always the case with Mr Duffy in particular because he

 

 

111

 

1 had been arrested, especially in relation to what

2 followed with the Lyness murder, and then subsequently

3 being arrested again. And I think it was -- it did seem

4 to be a propaganda move on behalf of the Republican

5 movement and Sinn Fein in relation to him.

6 Q. Do you think that those who took that view of the

7 publicity surrounding this would have connected

8 Mrs Nelson with that?

9 A. I think it would have been viewed -- Mrs Nelson would

10 have been viewed as guilty by association, sir, yes.

11 Q. By whom?

12 A. By the wider Loyalist community in the Lurgan and

13 Mid Ulster area.

14 Q. I started off asking you about colleagues, your police

15 officer colleagues, and I appreciate the distinction you

16 are making about specific intelligence, but this is open

17 source, isn't it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you think they would have formed the view that here

20 we go again, this is more anti-RUC propaganda, fomented

21 by her?

22 A. I think certainly that would have been the case. The

23 station party would have seen that as a continuation of

24 the propaganda machine of the Republican movement, sir,

25 yes.

 

 

112

 

1 Q. In your statement, you mention that you were aware or

2 became aware at some point of the rumour, if I may put

3 it that way, that she was having a relationship, a

4 personal relationship with Mr Duffy?

5 A. I was aware of a relationship between them both, sir,

6 yes.

7 Q. And was it a well-known rumour within Special Branch?

8 A. I saw intelligence, numerous items of intelligence that

9 stated an affair had started and was ongoing between

10 Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy. I don't think rumour

11 is -- would be correct. I mean, this was intelligence

12 based and -- based on intelligence that we saw in Lurgan

13 office. So certainly in relation to Lurgan SB office,

14 we would have been well aware of a relationship between

15 them both, sir, yes.

16 Q. From various sources?

17 A. From an absolute wealth of intelligence, sir.

18 Q. And you yourself, I think, as far as I am aware, didn't

19 handle, or aren't the originating officer for that kind

20 of intelligence?

21 A. No, sir.

22 Q. So it would have come in to some of your colleagues?

23 A. It was intelligence that arrived in the office, sir. We

24 all would have had access to it -- have seen the

25 intelligence product, if you like.

 

 

113

 

1 Q. Did you consider that to be reliable intelligence?

2 Would you have gone back and said, "Are you sure that's

3 right about her?"

4 A. Much of that intelligence would have been of the highest

5 category. (Redacted) , sir, which would be

6 the highest intelligence that could be got.

7 Q. Now, again, when you talk about intelligence to do with

8 the relationship between Colin Duffy and

9 Rosemary Nelson, is it at the crossroads between

10 intelligence and just information about them? It is not

11 intelligence in the same sense as intelligence of

12 movement of arms or someone's membership of an illegal

13 terrorist organisation; it is more at the level of

14 gossip, isn't it?

15 A. No, sir. The intelligence -- certainly some of the

16 intelligence that I got to see on a regular basis and,

17 as I say, an absolute wealth of intelligence, left then

18 no doubt that they were both having an affair with each

19 other, sir.

20 Q. The point -- perhaps I'm not articulating very well --

21 is that this isn't something which one necessarily needs

22 to protect as a piece of information?

23 A. The protection of it would have been based on the caveat

24 of the information and that in turn would have been

25 based on the source of that information. So the source

 

 

114

 

1 was really the level of protection. The caveat of the

2 information gave that the level of protection. One

3 really followed on from the other.

4 So, yes, whilst I understand what you are saying

5 that it wouldn't have been in relation to movements of

6 weapons or murders or predictive murders, but it was

7 certainly intelligence based. It was on so high a level

8 that that intelligence had to be protected and it had to

9 be protected by so high a caveat.

10 Q. Now, as we discussed in relation to the sort of open

11 sources, in relation to the prosecution of Mr Duffy, do

12 you think there was open source reporting about the

13 relationship as well?

14 A. Yes, I think separately from the office, yes, I think it

15 did begin to circulate, general rumours, yes.

16 Q. How?

17 A. Whether that was started by the media, really it is like

18 rumours generally in a community. It is almost

19 impossible to say how those rumours begin. I think

20 nobody can say that they actually started a rumour; it

21 is just -- it is the way rumours go. I can't answer

22 that. How the rumours actually started, I would have no

23 idea, but I'm certainly aware that there were rumours

24 within the Lurgan area at that time, sir, yes.

25 Q. The difficulty is that this Inquiry is looking into this

 

 

115

 

1 issue, so the origin of the rumour is in fact of

2 significance?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And what we have seen is that there are a number of

5 reports about Rosemary Nelson's relationship with

6 Mr Duffy, and unless one can see another line of

7 reporting outside of the Special Branch, one may draw

8 the conclusion that it was Special Branch that started

9 the rumour. Can you see that?

10 A. Yes, I can understand that, but at the time in Lurgan it

11 was Lurgan SB office were charged with getting

12 information, potentially from sources, anywhere really

13 that we could extract information in relation to what

14 was happening in the area, what was happening with the

15 personalities, what was happening with the different

16 organisations. It was really -- we were charged with

17 doing that.

18 So to say that it would be handy if that information

19 came from somewhere else, yes, it probably would be, but

20 there was nobody down there outside of our ourselves

21 were charged with getting that information. So of

22 course we are going to get that information.

23 Q. But do you think there would have been other open

24 sources of the information; in other words, if this

25 relationship was going on, hypothetically, that people

 

 

116

 

1 may have seen them together publicly, for example, and

2 drawn a inference about them meeting out of office

3 hours, if I may put it that way? Were you aware of that

4 kind of reporting?

5 A. Yes. I myself, to my knowledge -- I don't think this

6 was specific reporting that I got in relation to that.

7 But I know there would have been rumours within the

8 Lurgan area in relation to it. I think there may have

9 been various sightings by members of the security forces

10 in relation to them, but I wouldn't specifically be

11 aware of those or aware of those details, that I can

12 recollect anyway, sir.

13 Q. Looking for sources of this intelligence, would you have

14 gone to members of the uniform branch or CID and asked

15 specifically whether there were any rumours our

16 intelligence that this relationship was happening? So

17 the approach would have been proactive from you to

18 uniform or CID requesting any information?

19 A. Well, generally, sir, what would have happened is we did

20 carry out weekly briefings for the station party in

21 relation to updates of what was happening in the area

22 and the personalities involved.

23 Generally speaking, that log sheet would have been

24 the job of the collator in the station, that we did

25 liaise very closely with and was forever in our office.

 

 

117

 

1 And he would have been briefed by my immediate superior,

2 but really his job was to brief out the suspects, if you

3 like, and it was him that did that for the station

4 party. We would have been down quite often with him in

5 relation to, as I say, a flavour of the area, some of

6 the suspects, and we would have invited questions in

7 relation to doing those briefings.

8 But I think for myself, it was almost like two

9 strands. Certainly the intelligence that we were

10 getting into the office was separate to the rumour and

11 what was happening within the party and within the wider

12 Lurgan community. I mean, that intelligence, I don't

13 think, because, again, as I said, it was at so high

14 a level that that to my knowledge wouldn't have been

15 briefed down.

16 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Is there any possibility, do you think,

17 that in trying to obtain information, intelligence,

18 about Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson, that the collator

19 may have been tasked during his briefings of uniformed

20 department, CID Department, that he may have been tasked

21 to seek out any information from those two sources?

22 A. I think I would well imagine, in relation to the

23 collator's briefings, that Colin Duffy would have been

24 our number one priority. Anything relating to Colin Duffy

25 and his associations would have been of the utmost

 

 

118

 

1 importance, first of all to the collator and then to us.

2 So specifically Rosemary Nelson, I can't say -- I

3 don't know, I can't say. Certainly Colin Duffy would

4 have been the number 1 and every member of the station

5 party would have known Colin Duffy, would have been on

6 the lookout for any sightings of him, any information in

7 relation to him. Every aspect of the police machine in

8 Lurgan, if you like, anything relating to Colin Duffy

9 would have been fed back into us, either directly back

10 into us or via the collator by way of sighting reports.

11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you very much.

12 MR SKELTON: In terms of sightings, would that include VCP

13 sightings?

14 A. It would sir, yes.

15 Q. In which he may have been stopped by checkpoints run by

16 the military, with Mrs Nelson, for example?

17 A. Both the police and the military and the military with

18 the police. There were many joint -- but, yes, VCPs, we

19 regularly would have got sightings back, yes.

20 Q. Did you run Loyalist sources?

21 A. I did, sir, yes.

22 Q. And did you pick up from the Loyalist sources that there

23 was a perceived connection between Colin Duffy and

24 Mrs Nelson?

25 A. Well, certainly I think by association because

 

 

119

 

1 Mrs Nelson started to appear -- I remember on one

2 occasion she had appeared on television, the two of them

3 standing side by side, and the perception with the

4 Loyalist community would have been one of guilty of

5 association, sir.

6 Q. How do you know that?

7 A. It was very much the viewpoint following those media --

8 on the news, that kind of thing, in relation to those

9 court cases where -- it would -- it was mentioned -- the

10 Loyalist community, the general community on the

11 Loyalist side in the Lurgan area, if you like, it was

12 a held viewpoint that because she was standing beside

13 him, because she represented him and she had represented

14 him in the past, that it was simply a guilty by

15 association.

16 And how I would know it, it really would have

17 been -- you would have picked it up in general

18 conversation throughout the Lurgan community. So it

19 wasn't something that was -- it wouldn't have been an

20 intelligence thing. I mean, you would have heard

21 this -- you were talking about shops, you were talking

22 about going -- I mean, it was very common conversation

23 following every time she would have appeared with him on

24 television or on the media or in the news. It would

25 have been very common conversation, sir.

 

 

120

 

1 Q. And when you have your meets with your Loyalist sources,

2 do you tend to discuss matters of tittle-tattle, what's

3 going on in the area, the type of things you have just

4 talked about, the things that might be on the latest

5 news?

6 A. It depends on the type of meet. Normally, when you went

7 out to meet a source, that source would have had quite

8 a lot of information in their heads and were really

9 busting to tell you. So once you met them, you just let

10 them spill out everything that they had.

11 What I did was made bullet points while -- you could

12 never interrupt them because -- and they often were in

13 a rush to try and get as much information out and park

14 that responsibility on to someone else. I would have

15 noted bullet points, and once they had finished, gone

16 back and questioned on those particular bullet points.

17 It all depended on -- many of these meets were -- you

18 had a time problem. They only had possibly X amount of

19 time that you had to get as much as you could. So,

20 sometimes, yes, welfare issues, sometimes there would

21 have been general chat, but more often than not, there

22 probably wouldn't have been.

23 Q. Taking it in two steps: First of all, do you think your

24 Loyalist CHIS would have told you or spoken about

25 Rosemary Nelson? And I don't necessarily mean about

 

 

121

 

1 targeting her, but just about her generally and her

2 association with Mr Duffy?

3 A. If there was an opportunity for conversation, possibly

4 that would have arose. I can't remember specifically,

5 but especially if -- I would imagine, if she had been on

6 television with him the previous evening, it might have

7 been mentioned, but there was never specific

8 intelligence and I don't remember any of those

9 conversations. But I can understand that, yes, possibly

10 there may have been in relation to general chat.

11 Q. Would it be something in which you would take a role in?

12 If the relationship, for example, were just a matter of

13 tittle-tattle in the town, can it be possible that you

14 may have discussed it with a Loyalist source?

15 A. No, I'd never -- really, you needed to be very careful

16 when you were talking to a source. Our job was to go

17 out and meet the source and extract information. What

18 you are nearly saying there is you are engaging in an

19 interchange of information. That really wouldn't have

20 been the case. You had to very careful when you were

21 dealing with sources because obviously if a source was

22 telling me something, I may well have known that wider

23 picture. But you had to very careful not, even in

24 conversation, letting them know something that

25 previously they hadn't known and they are then going to

 

 

122

 

1 go back to their organisation, and that could be picked

2 up on.

3 You were talking about their life. You had to be

4 very, very careful, only getting what they told you and

5 questioning them on that. If there was anything that

6 you expanded on, you were really moving into a real

7 danger for them.

8 Q. I do understand the point you are making, but I think in

9 relation to Mrs Nelson and Mr Duffy this wouldn't

10 necessarily be something which could lead to the source

11 being compromised, would it?

12 A. No, but what I'm trying to say is you tended to -- as

13 part of our training, you really tended to deal with

14 them themselves in relation to their welfare officer if

15 it was outside of the intelligence. But you did need to

16 be very careful, and I think it was just a matter of the

17 way we were trained, but really me personally I wouldn't

18 have done that, sir.

19 Q. May I turn now to some of the intelligence in relation

20 to the Loyalists, and the first document I would like to

21 show you is at RNI-541-567, please (displayed).

22 Now, this is one which has your cipher number on as

23 one of the originating officers, and the date

24 is February 1997 and it is a SIR. May we go overleaf,

25 please? Now, it says that:

 

 

123

 

1 "'Swinger' Fulton ..."

2 I.e. Mark Fulton, had some form of connection with a

3 bomb maker from Belfast who had expressed his full

4 support for the LVF. And it goes on to say:

5 "This person will be making an incendiary device and

6 another form of explosive for the LVF."

7 Now, this presumably was a piece of significant

8 intelligence for you?

9 A. Yes, sir.

10 Q. Could you describe, again without in any way implicitly

11 or otherwise saying the provenance of the intelligence,

12 what further steps you would have taken to have got to

13 the bottom of this?

14 A. That item of intelligence, the source would have been

15 questioned as to as much information in relation to that

16 item. If there was no more, well then, as much

17 information as we had immediately would have been

18 debriefed to my detective sergeant or detective

19 inspector.

20 As a requirement -- the difficulty with that was you

21 could not then subsequently brief your source to say,

22 "Could you ask and see if you can get more in relation

23 to that" because the difficulty then is a good source

24 will tell you what they have gleaned in a conversation

25 or what they have gleaned from whatever set of

 

 

124

 

1 circumstances. They will never question because, in

2 particular the UVF, the IRA, they have been around

3 a long time. They are aware of how we work.

4 If you have got someone that then went and asked

5 questions on really what would be considered by them

6 a juicy piece of intelligence, you would certainly be

7 starting -- "Why do you want to know that? What are you

8 asking me that for?" So a good source will not question

9 what he is told. He will get it. He will tell it to

10 you. If he can get any more, he will, but he will never

11 go back and question where that has come from.

12 In due course, we would have submitted that

13 initially. Hopefully, it would have went to Belfast and

14 probably debriefed in relation to Belfast to see if that

15 person could be identified. But we would have, as

16 a requirement, in due course with the source, gone back

17 and, "Did you ever get any more in relation to that?"

18 You had to be very careful, much as we really would

19 have been very anxious to find out who that was, of

20 putting your source under pressure to try and get that

21 at a detriment possibly to his life or his health.

22 Q. I presume from what you have just said that you did in

23 fact try and get some more information?

24 A. Yes, sir.

25 Q. We haven't seen, at least from the documents that we

 

 

125

 

1 have looked at in relation to your report and your

2 colleagues' reports, any follow-up in this period in

3 relation to that issue. Is it right that you didn't in

4 fact identify the bomb maker?

5 A. No, sir, that was as much as we got in relation to that.

6 Q. Can you remember that being one of the sort of loose

7 ends of your work in this period?

8 A. Unfortunately, the source intelligence is quite often

9 like that. You will get -- and there is an awful lot of

10 time, sir, that you are left in mid air because you just

11 cannot get corroborative intelligence in relation to it.

12 I have no idea in relation to it what work would

13 have been done by Belfast, what Belfast would have

14 known, if there was corroborative intelligence from

15 Belfast that would have identified this person. But as

16 far as we were concerned in Lurgan, it was very much the

17 case when you submitted that, had there been

18 corroborative intelligence from Belfast or that person

19 subsequently identified, there wouldn't have been

20 a requirement for Belfast in turn to have let me know.

21 That was just the intelligence. Really intelligence

22 from all of the officers, all of the areas was collected

23 centrally into Headquarters who then were in a position

24 to know exactly what was happening. But there was no

25 requirement to feed out that intelligence to ourselves

 

 

126

 

1 outside of specific requirements of them wanting to know

2 more.

3 But, as a general rule of thumb, we would have got

4 briefings, general briefings, but an item of

5 intelligence like that, Belfast wouldn't then have

6 contacted me to say, "Right, we have got this, we have

7 got that, we have got the other". I wouldn't have known

8 whether that was got or not.

9 Q. So in fact it might have been bottomed out, but you

10 wouldn't know about it?

11 A. I wouldn't have known about it, but to my knowledge,

12 certainly in Lurgan that was as much as was got from our

13 side, sir.

14 Q. Just one final point, really a point of context, can you

15 give us an idea of how many sort of bits of intelligence

16 like this, which would indicate Loyalist activity,

17 contacts with Belfast, possibly the transportation of

18 munitions, you were having to deal with which you didn't

19 get to the bottom of?

20 A. There would have been quite a lot, sir, yes.

21 Q. When you say "quite a lot", can you give us an idea of

22 the frequency with which this issue would have arisen?

23 A. In relation to contact with Belfast and other areas, do

24 you mean?

25 Q. This kind of intelligence about Loyalist activity, which

 

 

127

 

1 may or may not --

2 A. Sorry, I misunderstood. In relation to that kind of

3 intelligence, not often, but in relation to possibly

4 personalities from our area travelling to Belfast or

5 travelling to other parts of the Province for possible

6 meetings or for whatever reason, we would have had that

7 right and regular which, again, just would have been

8 reported. But in relation to specific items of

9 intelligence like this for another area, no, that

10 wouldn't have been regular, sir, no.

11 Q. The next report I would like to show you, we can find at

12 RNI-542-146 (displayed). This is not a report which is

13 exhibited to your statement, but nevertheless I would

14 like, if I may, just to ask you a couple of questions

15 about it. This is a report which, again, I think

16 originates from Lurgan. You can see the "JL"

17 abbreviation there. The date is June 1998. You are not

18 one of the originating officers, but your colleagues

19 are, you can see from the ciphers there. The title is

20 "LVF Mid Ulster re Drumcree" and it starts in the bottom

21 of the page:

22 "The LVF have had contact with the Republic of

23 Ireland ..."

24 Can we go overleaf, please:

25 "... Government in the past six weeks and discussed

 

 

128

 

1 a number of issues. They are to make further contact in

2 the near future to deliver an ultimatum to exert

3 pressure on Breandan Mac Cionnaith and the GRRC".

4 Then it lists the type of pressure they are going to

5 put on him. Then paragraph 2 says:

6 "The LVF are aware that the recent rioting in the

7 Garvaghy Road area was orchestrated and organised by

8 Mr Mac Cionnaith and the GRRC."

9 What I would like to ask you about really is whether

10 you picked up that the Loyalists would have had

11 a specific interest in the GRRC and what their

12 perception of the GRRC would have been at this time?

13 A. The LVF -- surrounding the Drumcree parade as such,

14 which was difficult for the Government, prevented the

15 Orange Order walking down the Garvaghy Road. It was

16 simply a matter of -- like everything in the country --

17 two separate sides: the LVF were on one side and sided

18 with the Orange Order and the Garvaghy Road Residents

19 Association would have been seen on the side of

20 Sinn Fein, preventing that parade going down the road

21 and, therefore, preventing what the Unionists would have

22 considered was a legal lawful parade.

23 So, again, it was -- I think really is simply --

24 a simple -- excuse me, a simple matter of Loyalists on

25 one side and the Republican movement on the other. Is

 

 

129

 

1 how -- there would have been that perception.

2 Q. And what do you think the significance of that final

3 paragraph is in relation to Mr Mac Cionnaith's role, or

4 alleged role in the rioting on the Garvaghy Road?

5 A. I think, again, in relation to the GRRC,

6 Breandan Mac Cionnaith was really the spokesperson in

7 relation to the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition. He

8 was the one that was continually on television, so he

9 would have been the one that was known, again, by the

10 Loyalists and by the Loyalists -- the wider Loyalist

11 community in Lurgan and Portadown.

12 Q. Do you think Rosemary Nelson would have been associated

13 with the GRRC in the minds of the LVF as a legitimate

14 target?

15 A. I think she was certainly part of the GRRC in relation

16 to the legal representation of it, as far as I am aware.

17 As to whether or not at that time there were media

18 reports of her being associated to it, but I would well

19 imagine if there were, that would have been enough for

20 Loyalists to, again, as I said earlier in relation to

21 her and Colin Duffy, guilty by association.

22 Q. Was this something that you picked up from your sources?

23 A. Not specifically in relation to Rosemary Nelson, no.

24 Q. You can't recall any occasion on which your sources may

25 have mentioned her the context of either Mr Duffy or the

 

 

130

 

1 GRRC?

2 A. Certainly not in relation to the GRRC. I can't recall

3 whether there was media exposure at the time in relation

4 to her with that group.

5 Q. Another document I would like to show you is at

6 RNI-544-025 (displayed) and this is not long before

7 Rosemary Nelson's death. It is February 1999. And you

8 are not one of the originating officers there, but

9 again, it is a piece of Lurgan intelligence so I'm

10 working on the presumption that you may have been aware

11 of it. If we go overleaf, please, it is a short report

12 and it says:

13 "Loyalist militants intend to attack a number of

14 unknown Catholic targets within the Mid Ulster area.

15 These attacks are likely to take place in isolated areas

16 outside the main towns."

17 Now, the problem with this report, which I think you

18 identify in your statement, is the detail issue. Could

19 you just indicate to us who you would have assumed the

20 Loyalist militants were, who were being referred to

21 there?

22 A. The Loyalist militants at the time, it would have struck

23 me as odd because there is no specific organisation

24 given. But in the context in Mid Ulster at that time

25 of -- the Loyalist community was very difficult to deal

 

 

131

 

1 with because there was a lot of fracturing of groups.

2 We were having great difficulty trying to find which

3 personalities were aligned to which group, which

4 hierarchy. There was splitting and sub-splitting of all

5 of the organisations, and depending -- very similar on

6 occasions with the Republican movement as well.

7 Depending on what you wanted to do, although you

8 were a member of one organisation, it was very

9 convenient to use a flag of convenience of another

10 organisation, indeed, possibly a made-up organisation,

11 to carry out a particular act if you didn't want to draw

12 the responsibility to your own organisation.

13 So "Loyalist militants", unfortunately, could have

14 meant really any of the volunteers of any of the

15 mainstream Loyalist organisations down there at that

16 time.

17 Q. And likewise the phrase "unknown Catholic targets" --

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. -- renders it presumably difficult for you to pinpoint

20 it?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you remember this issue being something that was

23 followed up during this period?

24 A. Again, whilst that was not my intelligence, what would

25 have happened was, as much intelligence in relation to

 

 

132

 

1 that would have been extract from the source. But

2 again, it was back to this difficulty we had of you

3 would never have been in a position to be able to send

4 the source back to question or expand on the

5 intelligence that they had been given. So that

6 intelligence, whether it was ever corroborated, I am

7 unaware of. But that intelligence being on the document

8 would have been the extent of the intelligence that was

9 gained, sir.

10 Q. Can you remember whether you received, or your office

11 received intelligence about militant Loyalists mounting

12 a UCBT attack in this period, February/March 1999?

13 A. I can't recall, sir.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Sorry to interrupt you, can I just ask

15 in relation to this, obviously in the cold light of this

16 public inquiry it takes on a significance, but when

17 received at this time, this type of intelligence, which

18 is not specific, how much of the intelligence that you

19 had was of this non-specific type and what basically

20 were you capable of doing with it?

21 A. With intelligence like that, which was often the case --

22 say, in relation to the IRA, if we had received

23 intelligence to say that the IRA were in the process of

24 planning a terrorist operation, which may have been the

25 case quite regular, the way that was dealt with -- and

 

 

133

 

1 again, it was a decision of my authorities, but that

2 subsequently would have been put out in action sheet to

3 possibly the whole Province, or if it was tied down to

4 specifically South Region or North Region or Belfast.

5 And it was putting the action sheet out that briefed the

6 uniform branch, all of the other branches, in relation

7 to, "There is something being planned". Quite obviously

8 we don't know what it is, but we had a duty to give

9 everybody a heads-up of as much as we knew.

10 But sadly with intelligence, sir, it is very often

11 the case that in the perfect world it would be lovely

12 just to be given a whole story and these are the

13 personalities involved, this is when it is going to

14 happen. That was rarely the case. You were always

15 left -- it was very frustrating, I think, is the best

16 way to describe it because there was always something

17 that you just could not get.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So you just did, then, the best that

19 possibly could?

20 A. The best that you could, sir, yes.

21 MR SKELTON: To follow up on that point, the next document

22 is at RNI-544-033 (displayed) which I think builds on

23 this particular report.

24 You can see there that this is dated February 1999,

25 so the same date, and it is, again, from Lurgan. But

 

 

134

 

1 the destination there, you can see, is across your

2 division.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And if we go overleaf, you can see there it says:

5 "Loyalist paramilitaries, general threat."

6 And this appears to be building upon the

7 intelligence that we have seen in the report previously.

8 It says:

9 "Loyalist paramilitaries have plans to carry out

10 further attacks on Roman Catholic 'targets' in the

11 Mid Ulster area. The unpredictability of these

12 groupings makes it impossible to identify any such

13 targets. However, indications are that attacks are

14 likely to take place in isolated areas outside of the

15 main towns."

16 So this is a threat warning?

17 A. Yes, sir.

18 Q. And what I would like you to do is to sort of explain

19 how that would have come about as a result of the

20 intelligence that came in and possibly the limitations

21 of what advice you could give to the receiving officers?

22 A. That's obviously the action sheet based on the back of

23 that intelligence. When that intelligence was got,

24 generally whilst it would have been put on SIR, on to

25 the intelligence database, often intelligence like this

 

 

135

 

1 that was time critical, it was telephoned direct to the

2 source unit in Mahon Road. Generally speaking, all

3 items of intelligence were.

4 They then -- that would have been dealt with by the

5 various unit command and a decision would have been made

6 by them to issue an action sheet. That action sheet,

7 the words would have then been formulated from the

8 source unit and relayed to an officer in each particular

9 Special Branch office of the area. Say it was in South

10 Region, then the source unit would have given the exact

11 wording of the action sheet to one officer in every

12 SB office. That officer then had to go to the senior

13 officer in command of the station.

14 Q. That in fact is what happened here. You can see the

15 list of officers there?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. That's helpful. Thank you. There is one other document

18 I would like to show you in relation to Loyalists and

19 bomb making, if I may, please and this is at RNI-544-154

20 (displayed). Thank you.

21 Now, this is after the Rosemary Nelson murder. It

22 is dated March 1999, and you can see the title is to do

23 with the murder, and you can see that this intelligence

24 appears to have been shared with CID and a number of

25 other departments, as you can see from the action note

 

 

136

 

1 there.

2 You are, again, not the originating officer of this,

3 but it is a Lurgan document. May we look at the text,

4 please? It is to do with a piece of intelligence to the

5 effect that the murder of "blank" was in some way

6 connected with the murder of Rosemary Nelson, and this

7 appears to have been gleaned from Loyalist circles

8 (redacted).

9 What I would like to ask you really is whether you

10 can assist us in relation to this piece of intelligence,

11 as to whether or not it is credible or not. And I think

12 you may have seen the unredacted version, so you have an

13 idea of who the person is who is being referred to

14 there. And you comment upon this in paragraph 105 of

15 your statement, which is on page RNI-846-536

16 (displayed).

17 A. Yes, sir.

18 Q. Now, I think what you say in your statement is that this

19 is a credible theory, and I wanted to know really why

20 you thought that might be the case, without naming the

21 particular person referred to?

22 A. Yes. Probably the -- the way the information

23 originated, again, the caveat of the source of that

24 information would have been well in a position to know,

25 and I think probably based on that.

 

 

137

 

1 Q. So the reliability effectively of the source --

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. -- is the issue here?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And the person whose name is redacted, are you familiar

6 with that person? I appreciate it is difficult because

7 they have been removed from the document on the screen.

8 Can you remember the name --

9 A. I think I do recall the name, sir, yes.

10 Q. Was that person a bomb maker?

11 A. If it is the name I recall, sir, I don't think so.

12 Q. In order to give you a chance, to give you a more

13 definitive answer, I'm going to show your statement in

14 a grey form so you can see the name written there.

15 (Handed)

16 A. Thank you, sir.

17 Q. Was that person, to your mind, a bomb maker?

18 A. To my knowledge, I don't think that person was a bomb

19 maker, sir, no.

20 Q. Thank you. As I showed you at the start, this was

21 intelligence which appears to have been passed to the

22 CID investigation into Rosemary Nelson's murder. Can

23 you give reasons why information about Rosemary Nelson's

24 murder may not have been passed to CID?

25 A. I think the decision to pass intelligence, whilst that

 

 

138

 

1 would have been a matter for our senior -- our own

2 authorities, if you like, the sensitivity of the source

3 and where that came from, I could see that there would

4 be circumstances where that could pose problems.

5 Our prime concern was always, as we got the

6 intelligence, protection of that source. So depending

7 on where high level intelligence would come from, there

8 would be a need to protect that. But if that was the

9 case, well, then, I couldn't imagine that intelligence

10 could not be passed, but it may have been the case where

11 a more sanitised version of that intelligence would be

12 passed to try and protect the source.

13 Q. Were you aware of any of your intelligence, i.e. the

14 intelligence that you had picked up from your sources,

15 not being passed on that could have been relevant?

16 A. Not that I recall, sir, no.

17 Q. After Rosemary Nelson was killed, was there a sense

18 within your office that this was a sort of missed

19 opportunity by Special Branch, not to have found out

20 about it beforehand and prevented it?

21 A. It was -- unfortunately, like many of the incidents in

22 Lurgan that sadly we didn't have a handle on, it was an

23 absolute surprise. An opportunity missed? I would say

24 stronger than that. It was deemed -- anything like that

25 was deemed by the office as having failed.

 

 

139

 

1 Our job when we were down there was to prevent

2 terrorist attacks. You always like to think you have

3 got a bit of a handle on what's happening in your

4 particular area. So an absolute failure of our

5 intelligence network to have thrown up any sort of

6 indication, as far as I was aware, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Would that be a convenient moment for

8 a break?

9 MR SKELTON: Sir, if that's necessary. We started a bit

10 late, but I'm happy to have one.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Right. We will have a break of a

12 quarter of an hour.

13 Before the witness leaves, Mr (name redacted), would you

14 please confirm the cameras have been switched off?

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

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

17 We will have a break to 25 to.

18 (3.19 pm)

19 (Short break)

20 (3.35 pm)

21 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist, Mr Currans.

22 Is the public area screen fully in place, locked and

23 the key secured?

24 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

 

 

140

 

1 screen closed?

2 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

4 and securely fastened?

5 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

7 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

8 of this chamber?

9 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), can you please confirm that the

11 two witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

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

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

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

16 Bring the witness in, please.

17 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

18 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

19 switched on.

20 MR SKELTON: May we have on the screen document RNI-545-035

21 (displayed)?

22 Now, this is a document after Rosemary Nelson's

23 death. It is dated May 1999, and you can see you are

24 one of the originating officers there, with a couple of

25 colleagues from Lurgan. And the text we can find

 

 

141

 

1 overleaf, please. It is to do the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis

2 in May 1999, and you can see that one of the issues that

3 appears to have been discussed is:

4 "A determination to capitalise on the recent murder

5 of Rosemary Nelson through calling for independent

6 inquiries into the murder along with the murder of

7 Pat Finucane. In calling for these inquiries [it says]

8 Sinn Fein would continue in their campaign of attempting

9 to discredit the RUC at every possible opportunity."

10 Now, that intelligence obviously resonates with this

11 Inquiry, given that this Inquiry is indeed an inquiry

12 into the collusion allegations.

13 When you received this intelligence from its source,

14 what was your response to it?

15 A. Sorry, sir, my response?

16 Q. Given that Rosemary Nelson had been murdered in Lurgan

17 and you received intelligence about Sinn Fein's attitude

18 towards the murder of Rosemary Nelson and in particular

19 allegations of collusion, what was your reaction to that

20 intelligence?

21 A. It was always a feeling -- it seemed very much to be the

22 case that there was a continual rolling propaganda

23 machine to discredit the RUC, discredit the police

24 force, discredit the security forces at every possible

25 turn and every possible opportunity, largely driven by

 

 

142

 

1 Sinn Fein.

2 This certainly wouldn't have been the first example

3 of that. It has been talked about for certainly as long

4 as I have served. Every opportunity that they could put

5 together for possible collusion, that the RUC were doing

6 this, the RUC were doing that. To my mind, whilst that

7 was intelligence and I submitted it on getting it, it

8 certainly wasn't a surprise to me because it was just

9 a continuation of that rolling propaganda machine.

10 There just simply seemed to be another strand of

11 attacking the State, if you like, and State forces.

12 Q. And did you receive any intelligence or information

13 about the actual allegations that would be made in

14 relation to Rosemary Nelson's murder and collusion?

15 A. No, sir.

16 Q. From your perspective then, did you see this as being

17 entirely concocted?

18 A. I think, as -- to my mind, as they all were, I think it

19 was just another strand of that fight by the Republican

20 movement to try and discredit the force, discredit the

21 security forces at every juncture.

22 Q. Is that view, do you think, shared amongst your

23 colleagues?

24 A. I would certainly believe that that is a reasonably held

25 view by all members of the security forces, and a view

 

 

143

 

1 rightly held in my mind, sir.

2 Q. Another report which is on the same sort of lines can be

3 found at RNI-548-124 (displayed). This is, again,

4 a report which you had some involvement in at the time

5 and the date is a similar date of May 1999. May we see

6 the content of it, please? It is to do with

7 Mitchell McLaughlin. Could you, first of all, explain,

8 although it may be obvious, who Mitchell McLaughlin was?

9 A. He was a senior member of Sinn Fein, and is. He would

10 currently appear on the news media and coverage

11 throughout the peace process and subsequent governments

12 here.

13 Q. This is to do with comments he made about

14 Rosemary Nelson's murder and you can see it states:

15 "McLaughlin stated that Sinn Fein would make the

16 most of alleged collusion between the security forces

17 and Loyalist paramilitaries."

18 In receiving this intelligence, why are you noting

19 it and what is its effect?

20 A. It is -- again, on getting that intelligence -- and,

21 again, I would have immediately submitted that -- it was

22 really to give my authorities the best idea that I could

23 of what was currently happening. But, again, to my mind

24 it was just that rolling process of propaganda against

25 the security forces, but it was an attempt -- getting

 

 

144

 

1 that intelligence to let the authorities know what was

2 happening and quite possibly what was coming, sir.

3 Q. Leaving aside the Rosemary Nelson murder, if we may, for

4 a moment, just the issue of collusion generally. You

5 have mentioned that obviously it was part of a Sinn Fein

6 propaganda to raise such allegations, but were there

7 occasions to your mind where, even on a low level, those

8 sorts of allegations could be substantiated, for

9 example, that intelligence was leaking from

10 Special Branch to the outside world?

11 A. From RUC Special Branch, certainly during my membership

12 from it, and in the RUC generally, as far as I was

13 aware, that was never, ever the case. I think that has

14 always been commented on. I think it takes away from

15 the professionalism of both the RUC in general and

16 Special Branch in particular. That was not the case.

17 Q. Trying to be more specific about potential examples,

18 obviously some of the people that you came into contact

19 with were not Special Branch officers; they were sort of

20 administrative people?

21 A. Yes, sir.

22 Q. Did you have concerns that they might not be quite so

23 careful with the intelligence that you were passing to

24 them or as part of their routine tasks and may speak to

25 people outside the community?

 

 

145

 

1 A. I think for Special Branch in particular there were

2 certain vetting procedures before you could become

3 a member of Special Branch or work within

4 a Special Branch office because of the often high level

5 of intelligence that was passing through that office.

6 So there were certain vetting procedures that were in

7 force that you had to achieve, and a certificate was

8 issued in relation to you. And that's the way it was.

9 Once you were into the office and you did have access to

10 that intelligence --

11 THE CHAIRMAN: So the vetting procedures would cover not

12 only Special Branch officers, but administrative,

13 civilian officers working either with or close by

14 Special Branch officers?

15 A. It would, sir, yes.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

17 MR SKELTON: Now, early in your evidence I showed you an

18 example of where an action sheet was produced based on,

19 or what appears to be based on, intelligence that your

20 office had received which was then sent to other

21 officers?

22 A. Yes, sir.

23 Q. But also sent to the military. Evidence has been given

24 to this Inquiry, not necessarily with specific examples,

25 that there were some concerns at least about the local

 

 

146

 

1 military, the part-time people's connections with the

2 Loyalist community. Was that a concern which you were

3 aware of?

4 A. It certainly would have been a concern, but I think the

5 way Special Branch officers worked and the way

6 individuals within those Special Branch offices worked

7 was the information gained by those offices, it was then

8 forwarded via the authorities and it was a decision made

9 by the authorities who should share in that information,

10 who should get what, whether they should get the

11 sanitised version, whether there should be action sheets

12 released and whatever.

13 Generally speaking, the intelligence we got was not

14 discussed, or could not be discussed outside of that

15 office or outside of my colleagues within that office

16 other than your immediate superiors, sir.

17 Q. So in the report we saw -- which actually, because it

18 wasn't particularly specific, wasn't especially

19 sanitised, or at least it appears on the action sheet --

20 presumably there was a balancing exercise for whoever

21 sends it outside Special Branch to try and work out --

22 we need to stop the threat from materialising, but not

23 to give them sufficient information to know who the

24 source was.

25 A. Yes.

 

 

147

 

1 Q. Now, were you aware of occasions where information might

2 be given to someone -- the military, for example --

3 where they would try and find out who the source was or

4 they would pass it to people who may have had a more

5 sinister interest in it?

6 A. I think, sir, in relation to intelligence, yes, I think

7 there is a natural curiosity. I think it is really part

8 of the human character to find out and to want to know.

9 That unfortunately, I think, always would have been

10 the case. On many occasions you would have had police

11 officers who would have liked to have known more, but we

12 were trained to gain intelligence and submit that

13 intelligence and you just did not enter into discussions

14 with anyone else.

15 There may well have been occasions, or there may

16 well have been people that tried to expand on that

17 action sheet, expand on the intelligence with an effort

18 to find out and identify the sources. We were trained

19 in such a way that that would not -- we could cover that

20 well enough, and that should have been, and was, part of

21 our training. You would not speak willy-nilly to other

22 people. You always were extremely guarded in what you

23 said, and that was to anyone outside of the office, sir.

24 Q. Now, earlier in your answers, a short while ago, you

25 said that the collusion didn't come to your notice as

 

 

148

 

1 anything that had occurred during your time in the RUC?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. But was it one of Special Branch's roles to see if

4 collusion was occurring in other parts of the RUC in

5 connection to the community?

6 A. I certainly don't think that was one of our specific

7 duties. Had it ever been the case and if I ever came

8 across that, that would be intelligence I gained and, as

9 such, I would have immediately submitted that to my

10 authorities. But it never was the case, to my

11 recollection, that I came across that, sir. I don't

12 think it was a specific part of our duties.

13 But really as far as Special Branch was concerned,

14 my view of Special Branch and the aims of Special Branch

15 was defence of the nation's borders. Any aspects of

16 collusion certainly would have been a big requirement to

17 have reported, sir.

18 Q. So if, for example, you had seen intelligence that

19 a member of a Loyalist paramilitary group had had

20 contact with a uniformed police officer outside of that

21 officer's duties, you would have expected Special Branch

22 to have reported that and for it to have been followed

23 up, would you?

24 A. Absolutely, I certainly would have, sir.

25 Q. And as far as you are aware, did that ever occur?

 

 

149

 

1 A. Not to my knowledge, sir.

2 Q. After Rosemary Nelson's death, the investigation was

3 headed up by Colin Port and, as we understand it, he was

4 given what may have been unprecedented access to South

5 Region Special Branch's intelligence?

6 A. Yes, sir.

7 Q. Were you aware that Mr Port's access was at a greater

8 level than had previously been given to murder

9 investigations?

10 A. I wouldn't have been specifically aware of that. I was

11 aware that some very senior officers from my department

12 did have occasion to call at Lurgan and to meet with

13 Mr Port. By very senior officers, I mean, outside of

14 the remit of the investigation. So really I think, as

15 detective constables in the office, we knew there was

16 something, but we weren't aware of what was that was.

17 But on a few, occasions I can recall senior officers

18 having to arrive at Lurgan and meet with Mr Port and the

19 Port Inquiry, sir.

20 Q. Did it concern you and your fellow handlers because one

21 of the aspects of your training which you have

22 emphasised today is source protection, in that you spend

23 a lot of your time making sure that the intelligence you

24 gain from the people you have contact with doesn't lead

25 to their death?

 

 

150

 

1 A. Yes, sir.

2 Q. You are protecting your assets and protecting them as

3 people. Now, did you worry that access by Mr Port to

4 your intelligence could compromise your assets?

5 A. That certainly would have been a grave concern. The

6 problem, I think, in relation to the Port Inquiry, as an

7 office we were effectively barred from any involvement

8 in their investigation, which was a surprise. So we had

9 no idea -- first of all, my personal view is we then

10 didn't get the opportunity where we could have to assist

11 them. I think they lost a lot from this. As to why

12 they did that, I don't know. I felt that it was calling

13 into question my duty, my integrity as an officer. And

14 really we were left very high and dry, not knowing what

15 was happening. I think it caused a lot of confusion.

16 Quite honestly, it was a terrible time in the office,

17 sir.

18 Q. Can I ask you a few questions about a number of things

19 you have just said?

20 First of all, given what you knew about the

21 allegations of collusion, that may have emanated from

22 outside and were politically based, did you not think

23 they have got to do their job? If these have been

24 raised as allegations, they need to do their job and

25 investigate whether or not we are involved, and we know

 

 

151

 

1 we are in the clear, so we are best not to take it

2 personally?

3 A. Yes, that's a point, sir. But if that was the question,

4 then the Port Inquiry really should have been

5 investigating us. The Port Inquiry wasn't investigating

6 us. The Port Inquiry, they were looking towards the

7 murder investigation.

8 So there really, at that time -- had there been

9 a need to investigate us, then certainly have someone to

10 investigate that, and that wouldn't have been a problem

11 for us. It was really this feeling of being totally

12 excluded and nobody really saying anything to you that

13 left the confusion.

14 I can understand, if there were matters arising in

15 relation to collusion, that certainly I wouldn't have

16 had a problem with that being looked at. It was the way

17 in which this was -- we were effectively barred from the

18 investigation completely.

19 Q. What do you think Mr Port's investigation lost as

20 a result of that?

21 A. I think they lost the expertise of our office as such,

22 who knew the area, knew a lot of personalities and could

23 have assisted. I think, yes, whether or not they had

24 trained intelligence officers themselves, they may well

25 have had, but that would be like me going to another

 

 

152

 

1 area where I have never worked and just told, "Do your

2 business". You can't do it. I would feel personally

3 the police lost a terrible lot from not speaking to us,

4 sir.

5 Q. They did in fact, I think, have a liaison officer in the

6 phenomenon of your Detective Inspector, didn't they?

7 A. Yes, sir.

8 Q. In that sense, do you think they lost anything if he was

9 in a position to pass on relevant intelligence to him?

10 A. That may have been the case, but I think when I get

11 right down to it and the specific actions as such, when

12 the CID investigation is carrying on, actions are thrown

13 out either to Special Branch or to various departments

14 to deal with those actions. It got to the stage that

15 there was a detective constable moved in to our office

16 to deal specifically with these actions, a person that

17 had never worked in our area. Albeit he was an

18 intelligence officer, he was from another Special Branch

19 office, not only outside our office, outside our

20 division, but also outside our region. So to expect

21 that person to be able to work effectively with the

22 access he was given I think was asking a terrible lot of

23 him.

24 Q. Can you give us some examples of where you think Mr Port

25 may have benefited from your knowledge?

 

 

153

 

1 A. I feel personalities for one thing because I think you

2 can read about someone and you can read about someone

3 for hours, but within ten minutes of meeting them or

4 ten minutes of speaking to someone who can actually tell

5 you about someone, cuts all of that reading. And I just

6 feel that there was -- I think we had a lot to offer

7 that wasn't -- I think we were -- we had a lot to offer

8 that wasn't accepted and wasn't wanted, I think is the

9 best way of putting it, sir.

10 Q. As you may be aware, Mr Port investigated the LVF in

11 relation to the murder?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Do you think their position as the prime suspects may

14 not have occurred had you had an opportunity to speak to

15 them?

16 A. I think their investigation certainly would have been

17 helped. I think their investigation would have been

18 helped in relation to suspects, in relation to the

19 context of the area, what was happening in the area at

20 the time, what had gone before, to lead up to the

21 context of that situation. I think they lost all that

22 or they didn't want that, and I think we would have been

23 helpful to them, sir.

24 Q. Do you think, given the sort of demoralisation that you

25 explained, that there was a sense in which your local

 

 

154

 

1 SB office didn't really want to help them beyond what

2 was absolutely necessary?

3 A. I think, sir, with all due respect, that is taking away

4 from the professionalism that we had in the office.

5 Much as we ostracised as such from that

6 investigation, I think personally myself, and I know the

7 other officers in Lurgan SB office, had a job to do. We

8 continued to do that job. Even if it got to the

9 stage -- which it did -- of me walking down the corridor

10 in the station and Mr Port walking the other way, not

11 even not speaking to me but not even able to look at me,

12 that would demoralise anyone. But that was not going to

13 prevent me going out to do my job on a day-to-day basis.

14 Q. Why do you think Mr Port would not have given you the

15 time of day, as it were?

16 A. Sir, I have absolutely no idea.

17 Q. Was this feeling shared, do you think, within your

18 office, with the other DCs?

19 A. I think there was that demoralisation, but certainly

20 that happened to me and I was -- you just felt

21 absolutely ostracised. It was a terrible time in the

22 station, a terrible time for the office. And I don't

23 know why. I just continually felt that certainly my

24 integrity as an officer was severely being called into

25 question and there was not one thing I could do

 

 

155

 

1 about it.

2 Q. Did your DI try and address that problem?

3 A. I think he did his best. I think at the time he was --

4 I would imagine -- under a terrible lot of pressure

5 himself, sir. I think he did the best in a very bad set

6 of circumstances.

7 Q. What do you mean by "the terrible pressure"?

8 A. I think there was a pressure from the Inquiry. That was

9 a pressure from the authorities to really leave him as

10 a detective inspector in the middle of a situation where

11 the Port Inquiry had descended on the station. He was

12 there as our head locally in that station. I think

13 there would have been a lot of pressure on him, sir.

14 Q. Sir, I do not have any further questions. I will ask

15 the witness if he has anything to add before allowing

16 the Panel to complete the evidence.

17 Is there anything else you would like to say?

18 A. There is only one thing, sir, which seems to be I had

19 taken the opportunity to read on the Internet the

20 opening remarks of Mr Phillips in relation to what they

21 would be looking for from the intelligence point of view

22 and specifically from Special Branch. I got the feeling

23 that it was almost being suggested that we had generated

24 intelligence, we had crafted intelligence to fit

25 a particular agenda.

 

 

156

 

1 That was never the case. Certainly not the case

2 from me and not the case from my fellow officers in

3 Lurgan Special Branch office. We were charged with

4 going out, doing our best to recruit sources and the

5 information that they passed to us we passed as quickly

6 as we could to our authorities.

7 It leaves one very angered to think that people

8 would make that suggestion. Again, it calls into

9 question my integrity, the integrity of members of my

10 office who I would hold in a very high regard, doing

11 a very hard job in very difficult circumstances. And

12 really I think I feel personally quiet satisfaction for

13 the duties I did down there, and I think many officers

14 do as well. And I think an inquiry like this tends to

15 call -- especially if that's what is being looked for,

16 calls a lot of those officers' integrity and what they

17 gave into question. And really, sir, that's what I

18 would like to say.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

20 We are very grateful for the evidence you have given

21 to us and thank you very much for coming.

22 Before the witness leaves, Mr (name redacted), would you

23 please confirm the cameras have been switched off?

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

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

 

 

157

 

1 Please escort the witness out.

2 We will break off until tomorrow.

3 (4.02 pm)

4 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

 

 


 

1 I N D E X

2
MR IAN MONTEITH (sworn) .......................... 1
3
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 1
4
B576 (sworn) ..................................... 92
5
Questions by MR SKELTON ...................... 92
6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25