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Full Hearings

Hearing: 3rd December 2008, day 85

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Wednesday, 3 December 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Wednesday, 3 December 2008

2 (10.15 am)

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

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

5 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

13 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

14 of this chamber?

15 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), can you please confirm that the

17 two witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

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

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

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Bring the witness in, please.

22 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

23 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

24 switched back on.

25 Would please take the oath?

 

 

2

 

1 B632 (sworn)

2 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

4 MR PHILLIPS: I think it's right that you have made two

5 witness statements to the Inquiry?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. I would like to look at the first, please, at

8 RNI-846-476 (displayed). We see your ciphered signature

9 at RNI-846-500 (displayed) and the date of 23 October

10 last year.

11 Now, so far as the second statement is concerned, we

12 can see that at RNI-846-550 (displayed) and your

13 signature at RNI-846-558 (displayed) and the date of

14 18 November this year.

15 Now, you have been granted anonymity in the Inquiry

16 and given the cipher B632. I think it is right that you

17 have also been provided with a list of other ciphered

18 names. Is that correct?

19 A. That is correct.

20 Q. And I would be obliged if you could consult that so that

21 the anonymity of other witnesses and individuals is

22 preserved.

23 Can we go back, please, to your first statement, the

24 beginning of it, and look at RNI-846-476 and paragraph 1

25 (displayed)? You tell us there that

 

 

3

 

1 between October 1996 and March 2004, you were based as

2 a detective constable in Lurgan. Is that right?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. You also tell us just a little bit later -- you can see

5 it beginning in paragraph 3 on the screen -- that on

6 joining Special Branch you received training. Can you

7 explain the sort of training you received?

8 A. The training was in relation to field craft skills,

9 which were used in relation to the operation of being an

10 officer within Special Branch.

11 Q. And who provided the training, please?

12 A. The training was -- came from two sides, which would be

13 within our own Special Branch department and also by the

14 Security Services.

15 Q. Yes. Now, just looking at the matter very generally and

16 your perception of your role as a Special Branch

17 officer, we have heard from a number of your colleagues,

18 or former colleagues, that they regarded their primary

19 role as to prevent the taking of life. Is that how you

20 saw it?

21 A. Without doubt.

22 Q. And can I look with you, please, at a couple of passages

23 in your statement on this, paragraph 36 first of all,

24 RNI-846-485 (displayed)? You say there at the end of

25 the paragraph, about five lines up from the end there,

 

 

4

 

1 do you see:

2 "Our main priority was saving lives and preventing

3 serious injury to persons and damage to property."

4 That is how you saw your priority while you were in

5 post, was it?

6 A. Sorry, I can't see it on the front there, but yes,

7 without doubt that was our role within the department.

8 Q. Yes. Thank you. Now, looking back to the time you

9 arrived in Lurgan -- this is now going back to

10 paragraph 2 of your statement at RNI-846-476

11 (displayed), so we are back to October 1996 -- are the

12 comments, the general comments that you make in

13 paragraph 2 there, are they applicable to Lurgan as you

14 found it when you joined?

15 A. Very much so. It was -- it was a microcosm of

16 Northern Ireland at the time, with very much a 50/50 of

17 the town or the surrounding areas being the different

18 sides, and within that area then, you -- that reflected

19 then on the paramilitary organisations within the town

20 and the area.

21 Q. Thank you. And as your statement proceeds, you talk

22 about the various paramilitary organisations and I would

23 like to look at some of the detail with you now, please.

24 At paragraph 6 on the next page, RNI-846-477

25 (displayed), you say that:

 

 

5

 

1 "The two organisations it was crucial to have

2 intelligence on as they were the most active in Lurgan,

3 were PIRA and the LVF".

4 Again, please, is that the position as you found it

5 in October 1996?

6 A. Yes, indeed, yes.

7 Q. Did it remain the position up until the murder of

8 Rosemary Nelson in March 1999?

9 A. It would have been the case although things had slightly

10 changed in relation to the Republican side, with the

11 emergence of dissident Republican organisations.

12 Q. And presumably also as a result of the ceasefire in

13 1997?

14 A. Absolutely, but then the ceasefire was broken by the

15 Provisionals after that.

16 Q. Yes. But so far as the Loyalists first of all are

17 concerned, as I understand it what you are saying there

18 is although those are the two main groups, there were,

19 for example, the Orange Volunteers on the Loyalist side

20 who you talk about, do you see, at the bottom of the

21 page there?

22 A. Hm-mm.

23 Q. Paragraph 8. And I would like to turn the page with

24 you, please, to RNI-846-478 (displayed) where you

25 continue to talk about them. And you say, do you see,

 

 

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1 four lines from the bottom of the paragraph:

2 "The Orange Volunteers were more a Portadown problem

3 than a Lurgan problem."

4 Am I right in thinking, therefore, that your focus

5 on these organisations was very much a Lurgan focus?

6 A. Very much so.

7 Q. Did you share information to any degree with your

8 colleagues in Portadown?

9 A. Any information or intelligence which was pertinent to

10 each other's areas was always shared.

11 Q. Yes. Although, for example, the Orange Volunteers were

12 primarily perhaps a Portadown problem, if appropriate

13 there would be intelligence passed to you and your

14 colleagues in Lurgan?

15 A. Absolutely.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as one of the points you talk

17 about here is concerned, Drumcree and the disputes

18 surrounding it, which were going on when you arrived and

19 continued, what effect did that have on paramilitary

20 activity in your area?

21 A. I think what it had was it strengthened the resolve on

22 both sides of the community and gave in their eyes

23 credence in what they believed and what they carried out

24 because it had a huge impact on both sides of the

25 community, depending on the differing years and the

 

 

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1 decisions which were made in relation to the parade.

2 Q. Did it polarise the various groupings?

3 A. In what way?

4 Q. Did it make people take up more entrenched or extreme

5 positions?

6 A. Yes, I would agree with that.

7 Q. What effect did it have on relations between the police

8 and the Unionist community, for example?

9 A. It made a lot of people who maybe would have been more

10 cooperative towards the police distance themselves from

11 giving support.

12 Q. And what about the effect on relations between the

13 police and the Nationalist community?

14 A. Depending on the decision that happened on the various

15 years and what actually occurred, if the police were

16 seen to be supporting or policing the Loyalist parade

17 through Drumcree, then within the Nationalist community,

18 the police were seen as supporting the Loyalists even

19 though we were just pawns in the middle of it.

20 Q. To put it very simply, it made policing more difficult

21 in relation to both sides?

22 A. Very much so.

23 Q. Yes. Can I just pick up a particular point on Drumcree

24 that you raise in your statement at paragraph 36,

25 RNI-846-485 (displayed)? It comes just after the point

 

 

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1 I was showing you earlier about the main priority. Do

2 you see some four or five lines from the end of the

3 paragraph?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you are talking in fact about a Channel 4 programme,

6 but you then say:

7 "I became very thick skinned after Drumcree. You

8 had to be. Following Drumcree, people in Loyalist

9 circles would not have anything to do with me. This is

10 how it was then."

11 So you noticed a particular impact on yourself, did

12 you, as a result of Drumcree?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And what were the particular incidents or examples of

15 that that made you comment as you do here?

16 A. Just people who I knew and who knew what my occupation

17 were, just weren't as friendly or would distance

18 themselves from me.

19 Q. So this is individuals outside the police force, is it?

20 A. Absolutely.

21 Q. Who would be aware that you were a local Special Branch

22 officer?

23 A. I wouldn't even say that they were -- because of the

24 type of work that is involved in Special Branch, not

25 a lot of people, even close people, know that that is

 

 

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1 a job that I carry out. So they would just be aware

2 that I was a police officer.

3 Q. So the problem that you experienced was because they

4 knew you were a police officer and their attitude to you

5 after Drumcree changed?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Do you mean by that, given the nature of your work, that

8 the information flow dried up?

9 A. If -- you are obviously making a differentiation between

10 my own personal life and then my police work.

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. Yes, there was difficulty there because people in the

13 Loyalist community were less enthusiastic or were more

14 resistant to approaches from ourselves.

15 Q. Yes. So in that sense also it caused trouble?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you very much. Now, we have touched already

18 together on the question of the IRA ceasefire and we

19 have heard a certain amount of evidence this about from

20 other Special Branch officers. But the impression the

21 enquiry has been given is that from the mid 1990s, and

22 increasingly after the ceasefires, more requirements

23 were put on Special Branch for what has been referred to

24 as political intelligence; in other words, intelligence

25 with a political dimension.

 

 

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1 Now, was that something of which you were aware as

2 a serving officer at that time?

3 A. Yes. Our aim was to gather intelligence in relation to

4 all aspects of terrorism, [ redacted ]

5 [ redacted ]

6 [ redacted ].

7 Q. Yes. But after the ceasefire and then particularly

8 after the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998, the

9 politicians were interested, weren't they, in finding

10 out much more about those elements who were holding out

11 against the peace process, for example, the dissident

12 Republicans?

13 A. Hm-mm.

14 Q. And that's something you were aware of in your tasking

15 week by week, month by month presumably?

16 A. In relation to -- I was only involved in concentrating

17 on the taskings that was given to me by my superior

18 officers, not by politicians.

19 Q. So you weren't aware of the bigger picture?

20 A. Obviously, in general life you aware of it, but I was

21 focused on my taskings from my superior officers.

22 Q. But was there not a focus in the autumn of 1998 and

23 following, for example, on these fringe groups, be it

24 the Orange Volunteers, the Red Hand Defenders, people of

25 that kind, on the Loyalist side?

 

 

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1 A. Any group that was a threat on either side of the

2 community in relation to life or injury was a focus for

3 ourselves.

4 Q. So far as the Republicans are concerned, you refer to

5 CIRA, the Continuity IRA, in your statement?

6 A. Hm-mm.

7 Q. And that was a group of interest in your area, was it?

8 A. Yes, it was at the time.

9 Q. At this point, yes?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, we have heard that there was some sort of rivalry

12 or really jostling for position between some of these

13 groupings on the Republican side. Again, was that

14 something you were aware of at this time?

15 A. Very much so. The Provisional IRA would have been seen

16 as obviously the strongest organisation there, but as

17 they moved towards ceasefire, then within dissident

18 Republican organisations, then they believed or jockeyed

19 for position to become the representation or the

20 stronger Republican organisation in the area.

21 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the Loyalists are concerned, can I

22 ask you to look, please, at RNI-846-494 (displayed)?

23 And that's paragraph 61.

24 We have moved forward in time now. You are talking

25 about the period of time when Rosemary Nelson was

 

 

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1 murdered, so March 1999, and you say:

2 "The LVF was probably the most deadly organisation

3 at the time as the UVF was on ceasefire then. The LVF

4 was an organisation based around mid Ulster."

5 Now, you go on to make various further comments

6 about it. Obviously some of them have been redacted,

7 you can see on the screen. But would it be fair to say

8 that the focus of LVF activity at this time, March 1999,

9 was not on your particular area, Lurgan, but rather more

10 in the other areas you refer to there: Belfast,

11 Portadown, et cetera?

12 A. That would be correct.

13 Q. Yes. Thank you. Now, looking at another Loyalist

14 grouping, on the next page in paragraph 65 (displayed),

15 you say here that:

16 "The Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility for

17 Rosemary Nelson's murder. However, this wasn't

18 conclusive though it was felt that this was a Loyalist

19 murder."

20 Then you talk about code words. Is it right that

21 the Red Hand Defenders was regarded as, as it were,

22 a cover name or a flag of convenience for various

23 Loyalist groupings at this point?

24 A. Yes, that would be correct.

25 Q. Yes. Now, just going back to this question of political

 

 

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1 intelligence, which we were discussing just a little

2 while ago, can I ask you to look at paragraph 41 of your

3 statement, and that's at RNI-846-486 (displayed)?

4 Again, this is part of your evidence in response to

5 a question, as you can see, right at the beginning of

6 the paragraph. And just to point out to you, you are at

7 this point dealing with an earlier stage, December 1997:

8 "Personalities didn't come into it. People's

9 political persuasions were of no significance or

10 interest to Special Branch."

11 And you talk about the murder of the two police

12 officers in Lurgan in June 1997. Do you see that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. "We were focused on getting intelligence on people who

15 committed murder. What people's thoughts or political

16 persuasions were of no relevance to us."

17 Now, it may be that this is a question of timing,

18 but there obviously did come a time before

19 Rosemary Nelson's murder when this issue of the

20 political importance of the various groupings was

21 something you were required to gather intelligence on,

22 wasn't it?

23 A. Yes, that would be correct.

24 Q. So at that point, at any rate -- we have discussed

25 autumn 1998 and following -- the question of where

 

 

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1 people's political allegiances lay became quite

2 important for Special Branch, did it not?

3 A. It did, yes.

4 Q. Thank you. And was an example of, as it were, political

5 intelligence gathering, the work that was done by

6 Special Branch in relation to Drumcree and the issues

7 surrounding that?

8 A. That would be correct.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you some questions about

10 sources? You talk about this in various parts of your

11 statement, and in paragraph 51 in particular on

12 RNI-846-490 (displayed), you talk about payment. You do

13 so in very general terms and that's the way I would like

14 to keep it in your evidence.

15 Presumably the financial motivation was only one of

16 a range of possible motivations for people to decide to

17 provide information to you?

18 A. Yes, that would be correct.

19 Q. What were the others, in your experience?

20 A. In many cases people felt opposed to the activities of

21 the people they were reporting on through their own

22 personal beliefs or through something that personally

23 had happened to them or been done to them by the people

24 they were reporting on.

25 Q. So a sense of grievance or even a grudge, perhaps, might

 

 

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1 be a motivation?

2 A. Possibly in some cases, people just -- other people just

3 thought they were doing the better thing and wanted a

4 peaceful resolve and felt that was the best way of doing

5 it was through assisting ourselves.

6 Q. Was there some who you came to believe were motivated by

7 some sort of wish to impress, to make an impact of some

8 kind?

9 A. Some of them may have been given a feeling of

10 self-importance --

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. -- through their activities, and that would have been

13 encouraged because we believe they were doing the right

14 thing by supplying the information to us.

15 Q. Yes. And then can I take it from the comments you make

16 here in paragraph 51, which we have on the screen, that

17 there were some where money was at least a part of the

18 motivation?

19 A. That would be correct.

20 Q. Yes. Now, whatever the various motivations in play in

21 the particular cases, presumably you in your role had to

22 factor those motivations into account in your assessment

23 of the reliability of the information?

24 A. We would always have to take that assessment. There was

25 no positive outcome to someone just giving us

 

 

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1 information for the sake of financial reward if there

2 was no truth or, you know, substance in the intelligence

3 they were passing us. We wanted accurate and correct

4 intelligence and that was always our aim.

5 Q. And how would you go about checking on accuracy and

6 reliability?

7 A. In certain cases you would have, things would be

8 reported to police which we would have supported. Other

9 intelligence would come in from other people which would

10 corroborate the intelligence.

11 Q. And to what extent were you and your colleagues at the

12 handler level responsible for the assessment of

13 reliability?

14 A. Well, we were at the frontline of it because it was our

15 personal interaction with the source, where you got to

16 know them and you built a relationship and you were able

17 to evaluate them better. But at the same time, you

18 would still sit down with your superior officers, and

19 obviously from intelligence they knew they would be able

20 to corroborate or discount sometimes the intelligence

21 that was being supplied to you.

22 Q. Was there a formal system in place which involved more

23 senior officers in the assessments of reliability?

24 A. Well, there was a system in relation to the matrix, in

25 relation to the assessment of intelligence and that was

 

 

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1 attached to intelligence that was forwarded on to the

2 regional source unit.

3 Q. Do you mean the grading system?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So far as the involvement of the sergeant who was in

6 charge of the office and then the inspector, and

7 possibility above that, what was the system for their

8 input into the question of reliability?

9 A. In relation to -- obviously in relation to the

10 dissemination of it, in relation to how it would be

11 disseminated and then forwarded on to who was seen --

12 the intelligence would be required by.

13 Q. Yes. That's the question of passing it on. Just

14 concentrating on the question of assessing whether it

15 was reliable, trustworthy material, was there a system

16 which involved these more senior officers in that

17 assessment?

18 A. The system of sitting down and discussing the

19 intelligence and then assessing it.

20 Q. So this is the business that we have heard about from

21 others, where you would return from your meets and have

22 a general conversation in the office with the other

23 officers present. So that question of assessment would

24 enter into that discussion, would it?

25 A. Absolutely.

 

 

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1 Q. Yes. Now, returning briefly to the question of

2 motivation, in paragraph 77 at RNI-846-498 (displayed),

3 you talk about difficulties first of all in recruiting

4 sources and make the perhaps obvious point that if you

5 perceive there to be a gap, you try to fill it by

6 recruiting. But then you go on to say this in the

7 fourth line, do you see:

8 "We couldn't always wait for people to get into

9 trouble ..."

10 Sorry:

11 "... by asking them if they would work for us. We

12 couldn't always wait for people to get into trouble

13 before trying to recruit them. Sometimes such an

14 approach worked. Other times it did not. If it didn't

15 work, then usually the matter ended in a complaint

16 against us."

17 Now, that suggests that although you didn't always

18 wait for people to get into trouble, people who were in

19 trouble were perceived as an obvious recruiting

20 opportunity?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Is that a fair way of putting it?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. When you say "trouble" here, I presume you included

25 being charged with criminal offences?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, that's one of the possibilities.

2 Q. Yes. Now, would you agree with one of your colleagues

3 who gave evidence at the beginning of this week, that

4 the difficulty with cases of that kind is of course once

5 you had got them out of trouble, their motivation, the

6 thing we were looking at earlier, might come to an end?

7 A. Certainly, yes, that was the case. But that is where we

8 would have to install a belief in them that they were

9 doing the correct thing and that they were doing

10 a better thing by assisting us and providing

11 intelligence.

12 Q. But there was obviously a risk with the people in

13 trouble, wasn't there, that they would tell you what

14 they thought was enough to get them out of their scrape,

15 only for you to discover that either they didn't want to

16 help you any more after that or that what they had told

17 you wasn't very good?

18 A. Yes, that is certainly a risk, but in my experience what

19 I found was that once the relationship was built up with

20 the person, they kind of made that step of speaking to

21 us and then cooperating with us then over a period of

22 time through a relationship getting built up. In the

23 vast majority of cases, these people then continued to

24 assist us.

25 Q. Yes. Now, you go on to say in the same paragraph that

 

 

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1 when an attempt to recruit in these circumstances didn't

2 work, then usually, as you put it, the matter ended in

3 a complaint. So do you mean by this somebody would

4 object to being approached in this way and register

5 a complaint against the relevant officers?

6 A. Yes. Some people, depending on their beliefs, took

7 great offence to being approached or being spoken to by

8 ourselves. And their natural recourse was then to go

9 through our Complaints and Discipline part of the force,

10 the service, and making complaints against the officers

11 who were involved in that.

12 Q. And that's obviously something you have direct

13 experience of?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, just turning to the question of

16 recording intelligence, we have heard a good deal of

17 evidence about this so I just want to pick up one or two

18 points with you.

19 I think the best thing is to look with you at

20 paragraphs 12 and 13 of your statement at RNI-846-479

21 (displayed). Now, we have heard evidence to the effect

22 that before meets with sources, there would often be

23 specific taskings of the handlers; in other words,

24 "Please get this information, if you can, out of the

25 meeting". Is that consistent with your experience?

 

 

21

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Thank you. And you have explained to us about the

3 discussions that would take place after the meets, when

4 you returned to the office.

5 Now, presumably in the course of many meets of this

6 kind, information would emerge not only concerning the

7 specific taskings, but information of other kinds?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. And some of it might be of some interest?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, as I understand it, what would then happen in terms

12 of recording the intelligence is that the full text, as

13 it were, of all the information passed over in the

14 meeting would then be broken down between the various

15 topics and split up into the various files, so that

16 information on the various different issues, as well as

17 on the specific tasked points, would be recorded in

18 various different places?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, before looking with you at some of the

21 material you have commented on in your statements about

22 Rosemary Nelson, I would just like to stand back a bit,

23 if I may. We have seen from your first statement that

24 you signed it in October last year. That's correct,

25 isn't it?

 

 

22

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And we can see a refrain throughout the statement that

3 you had been shown documents which didn't have your

4 handler number on it?

5 A. Hm-mm.

6 Q. And you were at that stage reluctant to say very much

7 about them for that reason?

8 A. Yes, that's correct.

9 Q. And presumably your concern there was that you couldn't

10 be sure that you had been involved in gathering in that

11 particular intelligence?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Thank you. And in fact, it comes to a point in the

14 statement where you say, in paragraph 47:

15 "I wish to make it clear at this point that I am not

16 trying to be evasive."

17 A. I didn't want it to be seen as misleading the Inquiry.

18 Q. What has happened since, as we can see from your second

19 statement, is that you have seen a number of those

20 documents, you have been able to see where your handler

21 details appear and you have been able to comment on some

22 of them, at any rate, in a little more detail?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Now, would this also be fair: it looks from some of the

25 comments in the second statement as though, as a result

 

 

23

 

1 of being able to be sure that you were involved in the

2 reporting, you have been able to be a little more open

3 about some of the issues you were asked about in your

4 interview?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, what I would like to do, therefore, is

7 to make sure with your help what your evidence is now,

8 now you have had an opportunity fully to consider this

9 material, about the various points you were asked about

10 during your interviews.

11 So I would like to start, please, at paragraph 23,

12 and that's at RNI-846-482 (displayed).

13 Now, here, you see, you are asked:

14 "Was Special Branch at all interested in

15 Rosemary Nelson and was she considered to be a person of

16 interest?"

17 And you say:

18 "I can confirm no to both of these."

19 And that's a theme you return to on a number of

20 occasions in your first statement.

21 But if we look together at paragraph 20 of your

22 second statement, and that's at RNI-846-555 (displayed),

23 you say there, now you have had an opportunity to look

24 at these documents in more detail:

25 "From the intelligence I was aware of at the time,

 

 

24

 

1 Rosemary Nelson had a close relationship with a number

2 of leading PIRA members in the Lurgan area, and as

3 a result she was of interest to us."

4 Can I take it, please, that that is the evidence

5 that you are giving to the Inquiry about the level of

6 local Special Branch's interest in Rosemary Nelson?

7 A. Yes, I think the context of the first thing was a person

8 of interest maybe would have been seen in another --

9 that way, whereas that's the evidence I would like to

10 put forward.

11 Q. And can I ask you, please, in terms of the matters you

12 mention there, close relationship with a number of

13 leading PIRA members and as a result she was of

14 interest, what are the particular points which emerged

15 from the documents -- which I appreciate are now ten

16 years or more old -- what are the particular points that

17 led you to that view?

18 A. In particular Rosemary Nelson's close relationship with

19 Colin Duffy.

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. Which seemed to go far and beyond purely just a legal --

22 Q. Yes. We have seen reporting -- again, you refer to it

23 in your second statement -- in which it was alleged, for

24 example, that she was putting pressure on witnesses in

25 cases?

 

 

25

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And it was said that she was creating false alibis for

3 members of the Provisional IRA and that she was

4 conscious of behaving, one way or another,

5 inappropriately as a lawyer.

6 Now, presumably those reports coming in to you,

7 either gathered in by you or from your colleagues, all

8 combined to create the view that you express there in

9 paragraph 20?

10 A. This was intelligence which was being brought to us by

11 people who were living in the community close to

12 Mrs Nelson, and so that's how that opinion was formed.

13 Q. And as far as you can recall now, and doing your best to

14 help the Inquiry, is that the view of her that you held

15 at the time; in other words, in the years before her

16 murder in March 1999?

17 A. That would be correct.

18 Q. That's correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And as far as you are aware, was that the view of your

21 colleagues alongside whom you worked in Lurgan at that

22 time?

23 A. That would be correct.

24 Q. Yes. Now, I just want to test the limits of this with

25 you, please. As you have probably gathered, there has

 

 

26

 

1 been a good deal of evidence from Special Branch

2 officers at various levels about the way in which she

3 was regarded in the years before her murder. As far as

4 you were concerned, did you regard her as somebody who

5 was closely associated with the Provisional IRA?

6 A. Yes, that's correct.

7 Q. Did you regard her as an active assistant of members of

8 the Provisional IRA in the local area?

9 A. I came to the opinion through intelligence that was put

10 to me, that she was -- her activities legally were far

11 and beyond -- her relationship with leading Provisional

12 IRA members was far and beyond her legal

13 responsibilities.

14 Q. So it was improper conduct, in your view, on her part as

15 a lawyer?

16 A. That's what the intelligence that was put before me

17 was --

18 Q. Yes. Did you regard her behaviour as criminal?

19 A. Well, if someone was going about, as it was put -- the

20 intelligence provided us was put forward that she was

21 creating alibis for people who were involved in acts of

22 terrorism. That would be deemed as criminal.

23 Q. And there is also intelligence reporting coming in, is

24 there not, suggesting that she was gathering information

25 on RUC officers? How would you class that sort of

 

 

27

 

1 behaviour?

2 A. Again, if that was forwarded and put in the hands of

3 terrorism, yes, that would be criminal.

4 Q. Did you regard her as being a terrorist?

5 A. I regarded her as a person who had a very, very close

6 associate -- I regarded terrorists as really someone who

7 probably goes out and carries out acts of terrorism. So

8 in that form, I wouldn't have termed her a terrorist,

9 but somebody who had a very, very close relationship

10 with terrorists.

11 Q. And a very active supporter of terrorists?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Yes. And in that sense, can I take it also that, as far

14 as you are aware, that was a view shared by your

15 colleagues in Lurgan?

16 A. That would be correct.

17 Q. And it seems pretty obvious, therefore, doesn't it, that

18 she must have been a person of considerable interest to

19 you and your colleagues in the years before her murder?

20 A. As I became more familiar with Lurgan and the area over

21 the period of time, yes, that would be correct.

22 Q. Yes. Now, if there is a local individual who is playing

23 a role of that kind, certainly, as you and your

24 colleagues perceived it, presumably the obvious thing

25 would be to seek to gather in more intelligence about

 

 

28

 

1 that individual?

2 A. With any person who we became aware of, we always liked

3 to create a picture of them in relation to who they are,

4 what they were and details in relation to them.

5 Q. And that explains, doesn't it, the family background

6 details which were gathered in about Rosemary Nelson,

7 which we see reference to in your statement?

8 A. Absolutely -- well, it could be the case of someone

9 whose name is provided to you, that if you find out

10 a bit about the background, they may have a family

11 relationship or a work relationship or a reason why they

12 would have a close relationship with someone. So it is

13 always good to explore other possibilities.

14 Q. So for somebody who was regarded in the way that you say

15 you regarded Rosemary Nelson, you needed to find out as

16 much as you could about them, their family, who they

17 associated with, to form a full picture of them?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, I just want to look with you at

20 a paragraph in your first statement in the light of

21 those answers. It is at RNI-846-489 (displayed). It is

22 the end of paragraph 48. You say there, two sentences

23 from the end, four lines from the end:

24 "I can't say I was involved in tasking anyone to

25 find this out, or anything about Rosemary Nelson."

 

 

29

 

1 Then you say:

2 "Until I know this document was mine ... I don't

3 think it is appropriate for me to comment further on

4 this."

5 Now, the document is one of those in which details

6 of the kind we have just been discussing are gathered

7 in. Do you think, on reflection, now having seen the

8 documents and feeling able to comment on them in more

9 detail, that you may well have tasked sources to find

10 out more about Rosemary Nelson?

11 A. It is the case that although my number is on a lot of

12 the documents, it might be the case that I actually was

13 not -- although I handled that person, I was not

14 actually out on the meet. It could have been the

15 case -- that information could have been provided to

16 someone during a meet that I wasn't on, or if I was

17 there, it still could have been provided. But doesn't

18 necessarily mean that I tasked them.

19 Q. So, so far as this is concerned, then, it may be that

20 you weren't there, and if you were there, it may be that

21 this information came up, as it were, incidentally?

22 A. Very much so.

23 Q. But it is likely, isn't it, that the information came,

24 as it were, in answer at the very least to questions

25 posed during the meet?

 

 

30

 

1 A. That's a possibility, yes.

2 Q. And once the information had been gathered in, it was

3 thought sufficiently relevant to be put on the relevant

4 file?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Now, so far as a particular aspect of the intelligence

7 reporting on Rosemary Nelson is concerned, you deal in

8 your statement with something you have already

9 mentioned, which is the nature of her relationship with

10 Colin Duffy. You do that in your first statement at

11 RNI-846-482 (displayed), paragraph 23.

12 Just looking at that, you can see in the sixth line

13 down -- this is your first statement, to remind you --

14 that you were saying at that point:

15 "As far as I was concerned, she was a member of the

16 legal community simply doing her job."

17 I think on the basis of what you have told us, it

18 would be hard to think of what you have said you

19 believed she was involved in as being consistent with an

20 ordinary lawyer's job?

21 A. No, it would not be.

22 Q. Yes. Now, just turning to the question of the

23 relationship with Colin Duffy, you say in this part of

24 your statement -- and moving on to the next page, you

25 see paragraph 24 begins, but it is heavily redacted.

 

 

31

 

1 You say:

2 "I personally did not see any evidence of

3 Rosemary Nelson's relationship with Colin Duffy."

4 Does that mean you didn't yourself observe anything

5 about the relationship between them?

6 A. Yes, I'm talking about physically observing.

7 Q. Exactly. So it follows, doesn't it, that the reporting

8 on which you formed your view was all at second-hand, if

9 I can put it that way?

10 A. That would be correct.

11 Q. You were relying on other origins of the observation,

12 other than yourself?

13 A. That would be correct.

14 Q. And can I take it that that applies to all of the

15 various conclusions that you have drawn about her on the

16 basis of the reporting, namely it is all information

17 which, for you at least, was second-hand?

18 A. It was information or intelligence that was provided by

19 sources that we were involved in.

20 Q. Yes. It wasn't direct observation on your part?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, in your first statement, we see at

23 paragraph 25 that you say there were a number of other

24 documents which you hadn't at that point been shown,

25 giving evidence of the relationship. Would it be right

 

 

32

 

1 to assume that now you have seen more material, you have

2 seen at least some of the further evidence that you then

3 remember?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Yes. Now, so far as this is concerned and knowledge of

6 this relationship, you have some comments to make about

7 this in paragraph 56 of your statement, and that's at

8 RNI-846-492 (displayed). Again, you make the point, six

9 lines in or so:

10 "The documents I have been referred to are only the

11 tip of the iceberg. In my opinion, the strength of the

12 evidence that I saw led to the inescapable conclusion

13 that Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy were in

14 a relationship."

15 Can I take it that that's -- the strength of the

16 evidence, that you are referring there to the number of

17 reports. Is that right?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Were you also relying in forming your view on what

20 people discussed within the office, for example?

21 A. When they discussed -- what was discussed was the

22 intelligence which was brought in by other people, which

23 would corroborate the intelligence that I had actually

24 been told to me.

25 Q. Do you think that any part of your view was formed by,

 

 

33

 

1 as it were, local talk, local gossip?

2 A. I didn't deal with local gossip. I dealt with

3 intelligence. Well, there was aspects of intelligence

4 which were provided by people.

5 Q. Indeed.

6 A. But it was also the fact that obviously it was coming in

7 that well-known within the local community.

8 Q. But local gossip can be very important as a resource for

9 somebody in your position, can't it?

10 A. That would maybe be an aspect of it, but it was more --

11 the vast majority of the intelligence provided was

12 accurate on specifics in relation to their relationship.

13 Q. But do you agree with the question I put to you, that

14 local gossip can be very important?

15 A. It has to be assessed.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. On that.

18 Q. But if people are not prepared to talk?

19 A. If there is something that's well-known in the

20 community, yes.

21 Q. Yes. That's what you are suggesting here, isn't it, in

22 this paragraph, because you refer to somebody telling

23 you that "even the dogs on the street" knew about the

24 relationship?

25 A. Well, that refers to the particular area where the house

 

 

34

 

1 which is being referred to in that statement was

2 purchased.

3 Q. Deeny Drive?

4 A. It is a very, very close community and it was -- became

5 well-known who had purchased the house and then who

6 lived in the house.

7 Q. So you are saying, are you, that the basis for the

8 comment "even the dogs on the street" is the purchase of

9 Deeny Drive?

10 A. Yes, that's correct.

11 Q. Right. Now, so far as the next comment you make:

12 "Their relationship was common knowledge ..."

13 What was the basis for that?

14 A. I would -- I think it was -- between aspects of the

15 Republican community, it became known that there was

16 a close relationship between the two of them. However,

17 depending on -- I don't know if -- it depends on how

18 closely people were in particular to Colin Duffy and how

19 well or familiar they would have been with the

20 relationship.

21 Q. And then you go on to say:

22 "The Kilwilke Estate was a very tight knit

23 community. The fact that Colin Duffy had split from his

24 wife and moved house was common knowledge."

25 So we have got the marital position, moving house to

 

 

35

 

1 the house in Deeny Drive. That's still some way away

2 from the evidence of the actual nature of the

3 relationship that you are referring to elsewhere in your

4 statement, isn't it?

5 A. I believe that there is intelligence documents which

6 deal specifically with the relationship.

7 Q. Now, so far as wider knowledge of this is concerned, you

8 refer in the next paragraph of your statement to media

9 coverage -- and this is paragraph 57 at the bottom of

10 the page. You say there -- by reference to a report, I

11 should say -- that there was a report in the

12 News of the World. Do you see that?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. About a month before the murder. I would like to look

15 at that with you, please. It is RNI-401-100

16 (displayed).

17 Now, it is not a very good copy. Could we enlarge

18 the text, please?

19 Was that an article that you were made aware of at

20 the time other than through the report you talk about in

21 your statement?

22 A. I'm sure I was aware of it at the time.

23 Q. Do you know what the source of the information contained

24 in the article is?

25 A. No.

 

 

36

 

1 Q. But do you think that at the time you drew the links or

2 connection between the relationship about which you have

3 been speaking and what's set out in this article?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So can I take it from what you are saying to us that for

6 the people living in the Kilwilke community, the

7 Kilwilke Estate, this, provided they had been able to

8 read between the lines of the article as you obviously

9 have done, would have come as no surprise?

10 A. Well, obviously this has just been thrown in front of

11 me, but there was an aspect or parts of the community

12 who would have been very familiar with the activities of

13 Colin Duffy and I am sure they would have seen aspects

14 of that which they would have been able to associate

15 with him.

16 Q. Now, the other aspect of this I just want to direct your

17 attention to is the passage at the bottom right-hand

18 corner, the bottom right-hand column. Do you see there

19 is a reference there to the Continuity IRA? Does that

20 pick up the point you and I discussed earlier about

21 tensions between the various Republican groupings in the

22 area and an attempt to use this as a way of recruiting

23 to CIRA?

24 A. It could have been -- you know, it could have been a way

25 of discrediting -- if this was aimed at Colin Duffy,

 

 

37

 

1 which was it was, a way of discrediting him to gain the

2 favour of Republicans in the area.

3 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

4 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Phillips, just whilst you have got

5 this on the screen, to see whether you can help us

6 further with the way that information reached the

7 community about the alleged affair between Colin Duffy

8 and Rosemary Nelson, possibly going on holiday together

9 and articles like this News of the World article. I

10 would be grateful if you could help us as to how you

11 feel these issues may have got out in the community

12 because, of course, one scenario might suggest that

13 having become aware of it in Special Branch, there was

14 a Special Branch leak into the community of such

15 intelligence.

16 So with your knowledge of the community and the two

17 factions here, could you just give us any assistance

18 that you can possibly give on how this sort of

19 information may have become general knowledge?

20 A. Loose talk is something that Special Branch has always

21 profited from and it is no different from what's in the

22 community of -- people who have their ear to the ground

23 can pick up certain aspects of the information and it

24 may be that they could just pick up pieces as they go

25 along in relation to seeing people going into a house,

 

 

38

 

1 seeing a close relationship with people, snippets of

2 certain people going away on holiday, or whatever these

3 are, and be able to create a picture of what they

4 believe is happening.

5 As I say, the Kilwilke Estate is a very close knit

6 community, so it is, with whatever number of houses it

7 is, everyone knowing everyone and, you know, lots of the

8 times knowing their business. It was a difficulty with

9 us. It was that close knit to try and gather

10 intelligence on that, but that's because the community

11 didn't want to speak out towards us to the police. But

12 they were very much focused on what happened in their

13 community.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just take that one stage further?

15 If Colin Duffy was concerned to keep an alleged affair

16 quiet, are you suggesting that in that type of community

17 that would have been very difficult?

18 A. I believe so.

19 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Why do you say that?

20 A. Because the problems that Colin Duffy had in the

21 community.

22 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: There is nothing else that you can add

23 to sort of support that statement?

24 A. I think he was well-known -- he was well noted by people

25 within the community and his activities were closely

 

 

39

 

1 watched either by people who supported him and respected

2 him or people who didn't agree with his activities.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, fine.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Can I just take you back to a paragraph we

5 have looked at before? Paragraph 23 of your statement,

6 RNI-846-482 (displayed) because here in the course of

7 your first statement you were obviously asked about

8 a file. You say, you see, about six lines from the end:

9 "I don't know of any file held on her. A file (in

10 paper initially, but thereafter on computer) would be

11 created for someone if their name kept coming up, for

12 example, if they defended a person of interest, simply

13 to house the information held on them. There must,

14 therefore, have been a file created for Rosemary Nelson

15 at some point, but not because she was a 'person of

16 interest' herself."

17 We have got past that last comment, haven't we,

18 because you have agreed that she indeed was a person of

19 interest? We know that she had a Special Branch number

20 by April 1996, so actually six months before you even

21 arrived in Lurgan. Your colleague, B509, has already

22 told us that there was a personal file on her at Lurgan.

23 So doesn't that sound likely to you?

24 A. It is a possibility there was a file on her. Certainly

25 there would have been a file retained in relation to the

 

 

40

 

1 intelligence that mentioned her, but that could have

2 been a general file, as in the paper system. The

3 intelligence was retained on a general theme within the

4 office.

5 Q. But, you see, in accordance with the system you

6 explained to us earlier, when you returned from meets,

7 there was intelligence on all sorts of different topics

8 and you split it up and you put it on the various files.

9 The material, for example, about her family background,

10 which we talked about earlier, that would have gone on

11 her file, wouldn't it?

12 A. If she had a personal file, but I'm not 100 per cent

13 sure she had a specific file --

14 Q. In cases where you were responsible for gathering

15 intelligence which was about her -- and in that case, it

16 was about no one else -- would you not have been

17 responsible for ensuring, or have wanted to ensure, that

18 it went on her file?

19 A. I never actually said that I went out to specifically

20 get intelligence on her.

21 Q. But where intelligence came in, whether you went out to

22 get it or not, presumably you would have expected it to

23 go on the right file, namely her file?

24 A. It could have gone into the general file. It is only

25 the people who there was a considerable amount of

 

 

41

 

1 intelligence on had a file, and it could have went in

2 the general file. She may have had a personal file, but

3 it could have just went into a general file.

4 Q. But are you telling us that in the course of your work

5 on these issues, in relation to the reporting we've seen

6 over these years, you never saw a file on her at Lurgan?

7 A. We were dealing with a huge amount of intelligence at

8 the time on a huge, as I have already stated --

9 a considerable amount of organisations and individuals

10 within these organisations.

11 So to say specifically that someone had a file, I'm

12 sorry, but I can't say for definite if that is the case

13 because there was a huge amount of intelligence coming

14 into the office at the time on a variety of people and

15 organisations.

16 Q. But in answer to my question, are you saying that you

17 never saw a file on her at Lurgan?

18 A. I can't recollect if I did or not. There would have

19 been a file -- say, a general file where intelligence

20 would have been retained on her, as it was.

21 Q. What do you mean "a general file", please? General as

22 to what?

23 A. A general file to the intelligence which was brought in.

24 Q. What, for all intelligence gathered in in Lurgan?

25 A. Files were put into separate organisations and

 

 

42

 

1 groupings, even down to just miscellaneous intelligence.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Are you talking about paper files at this

3 stage or electronic files?

4 A. That originally would have been the paper files, sir,

5 but -- and then after, obviously it would have been

6 changed into -- into a computer system. I believe that

7 on the intelligence documents that I submitted that

8 Mrs Nelson was put in -- referred to as Republican

9 general. So there would have been a Republican general

10 file and the intelligence would have been submit

11 into it.

12 MR PHILLIPS: But there are all sorts of titles of the

13 intelligence reporting. I'm not going to take you

14 through them all, but there are many, many different

15 titles, aren't there?

16 A. Absolutely.

17 Q. One of them I remember, for example, just says

18 Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson are having an affair.

19 Where would that have gone?

20 A. Well, that would have been a file on Colin Duffy. So

21 that intelligence would have went to the file on

22 Colin Duffy.

23 Q. But she was a person of interest?

24 A. Yes, we agreed on that, yes.

25 Q. And we have been told that there were personal files,

 

 

43

 

1 there were source files, there were target files.

2 Now, isn't it likely that there was a personal file

3 on which material of that kind would have been kept?

4 A. There may have been.

5 Q. In files of that kind -- and let's keep this general for

6 the moment -- would the file contain simply the

7 intelligence reporting that came in or would there be

8 other material as well?

9 A. Just the intelligence.

10 Q. Just the intelligence? Can I ask you in relation to her

11 position and her safety, were you ever aware of

12 intelligence reporting to show that Loyalists were

13 interested in her and in the possibility of targeting

14 her specifically?

15 A. I was aware that obviously there was a number of threats

16 which had come out against her over a period of time,

17 and I was aware of those.

18 In relation to specific threats from Loyalists, I'm

19 sure there was, but I can't recollect at this moment in

20 time. But I knew certainly there was a general threat

21 over a period of time against Mrs Nelson.

22 Q. What can you remember about that, please?

23 A. In what way?

24 Q. About the threat against Mrs Nelson that you have just

25 mentioned?

 

 

44

 

1 A. That through, obviously, her high profile in relation to

2 her representing the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition

3 and representing Colin Duffy, that she had come to the

4 notice of people who wouldn't -- some people wouldn't

5 agree with what she was doing and how she was being

6 perceived.

7 Q. Do you mean Loyalists?

8 A. Yes, members of the community, Loyalists, yes.

9 Q. Do you mean specifically Loyalist paramilitaries?

10 A. They would have seen the reports. I can't think of any

11 specific intelligence, but yes, that would have been

12 something they would have observed and would have noted.

13 Q. What is it about this that you can remember? Do you

14 remember a discussion about it? Do you remember an

15 action sheet coming out about the threat? What do you

16 remember?

17 A. As I referred to earlier, the intelligence that was

18 coming through on a daily basis was considerable, so it

19 was. So to say that there was -- there's a note back

20 ten years ago that there was a specific action sheet

21 saying that there was a threat to Rosemary Nelson, I

22 can't recollect that. But I was aware that there was

23 a general threat against Mrs Nelson.

24 Q. Was that something known in the office?

25 A. I'm sure it was, yes.

 

 

45

 

1 Q. Is it likely there was discussion about that with your

2 colleagues?

3 A. I can't recollect that.

4 Q. And are you able to put a date on it or a rough date on

5 when you think that might have happened?

6 A. No, I can't recollect that.

7 Q. But there was a general awareness, was there, then of

8 some form of threat against her as a result of the work

9 that she was doing?

10 A. I wouldn't say general awareness. There have been

11 threats which had come in over -- which have been

12 documented against her. Some of these threats had been

13 alleged they came from police officers, so they were.

14 So there was a general threat which was perceived --

15 that Mrs Nelson perceived against her.

16 Q. Yes. Let's have a look at your statement, where you

17 deal with this, please. It is paragraph 21 at

18 RNI-846-481 (displayed), where you are talking about

19 threat assessments and Special Branch's involvement in

20 them. It looks as though in general the requests came

21 down from E3, from Headquarters. Is that right?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Perhaps a telephone call?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And what they were really doing, as you put it on the

 

 

46

 

1 next page, RNI-846-482 (displayed) at the top, please,

2 as the paragraph continues, was "belt and braces". Do

3 you see that:

4 "I think the phone call would be very much a belt

5 and braces approach"?

6 A. Yes, because any intelligence would have been forwarded

7 to the process that got to E3, but they would have

8 contacted to see if there was intelligence from which --

9 which had just come in recently.

10 Q. They were looking for the very up-to-date information?

11 A. Very much so.

12 Q. But if the system had worked properly, other than that

13 very up-to-date information, they would have had all the

14 material that you had?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Yes. And what you say there, do you see, is:

17 "I wasn't involved in any threat assessment of

18 Rosemary Nelson"?

19 But do you think -- because you were aware that

20 there was threat assessment work going on about her --

21 that that's what prompted the comments you have been

22 making about being aware of a threat?

23 A. It was in relation to just the general activities in the

24 area and the fact that there had been investigations

25 ongoing through the -- allegations had been made against

 

 

47

 

1 police officers making threats against her, and that

2 general picture of things.

3 Q. Yes. Now, you have talked about her close relationship,

4 association, with Colin Duffy and you have talked about

5 the extent to which you believe it was known in the

6 local community. Do you think it would also have been

7 known in the local Loyalist community?

8 A. Of her close relationship with Colin Duffy?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. Up to that press report, I wouldn't know.

11 Q. No. Would it surprise you if it had been known?

12 A. That would be difficult to say.

13 Q. Presumably one of the things that you worked with all

14 the time was the extent to which information seeped out,

15 passed between various parts of your very divided

16 community in Lurgan, and based on that experience aren't

17 you able to give your view as to whether it is likely

18 that this sort of information had seeped out to the

19 Loyalist community?

20 A. Depending on what aspect of the relationship you are

21 describing. For some people, even the simple

22 relationship between Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy on

23 the television in relation to his case or in relation to

24 Breandan Mac Cionnaith and the Garvaghy Road Residents

25 Coalition would have been, in their warped eyes, you

 

 

48

 

1 know, enough for them to --

2 Q. Yes, it would have been enough for them to regard her,

3 if that's all they had known about it, as something of

4 a hate figure?

5 A. That would be correct.

6 Q. Yes. And presumably if the further information that you

7 are talking about of a yet closer association, a closer

8 relationship had be known, that would simply have added

9 fuel to the fire?

10 A. If they were aware of it, yes, it would be ...

11 Q. Yes. Presumably it follows from that that somebody

12 regarded in that way as having those close associations,

13 whether of a particular kind or the other more general

14 kind that you have mentioned, that person would have

15 been a likely target, as a hated figure, for Loyalists?

16 A. People who harboured the belief that -- of what

17 Colin Duffy was doing wrong or they had the belief over

18 the Drumcree situation and the Garvaghy Road Residents

19 Coalition would have made their own assessments in

20 relation to Rosemary Nelson, either correctly or

21 incorrectly.

22 Q. Yes. For example, if Loyalist paramilitaries had

23 regarded her in the way that you and your colleagues

24 regarded her, as a person of interest and, the way you

25 put it, in relation to her close support of the

 

 

49

 

1 Provisional IRA, then she would have been a legitimate

2 target in their eyes, would she not?

3 A. We looked at Rosemary Nelson in relation to our role as

4 Special Branch.

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. Their role in how they looked at Rosemary Nelson was

7 completely different. To say that she was a legitimate

8 target, I don't agree with that because no one is

9 a legitimate target.

10 Q. Of course not.

11 A. Special Branch was there to protect life.

12 Q. I'm only talking about the way they would regard her,

13 not whether she was a legitimate target. But anyone who

14 was a close supporter of PIRA would have been viewed by

15 them as a legitimate target?

16 A. They may decide on that.

17 Q. Yes. It is very likely, isn't it?

18 A. It is a possibility, yes.

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

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

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

22 please confirm that all the cameras have been

23 switched off?

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

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Would you, please, escort the

 

 

50

 

1 witness out.

2 We will have a break until quarter to 12.

3 (11.30 am)

4 (Short break)

5 (11.45 am)

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

7 area screen fully in place, locked and 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: Mr (name redacted), can you please confirm that the

20 two witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

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

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

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

25 Bring the witness in, please.

 

 

51

 

1 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

2 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

3 switched back on.

4 Yes, Mr Phillips?

5 MR PHILLIPS: Now, we were talking earlier about threats and

6 threat assessments. I wanted to ask you about

7 a particular aspect of this.

8 The Inquiry heard evidence at the beginning of this

9 week from one of your colleagues, B509, that

10 a particular piece of intelligence received in, I

11 think, April 1998 about Rosemary Nelson, and the

12 suggestion being that she was permitting members of

13 Lurgan PIRA to read confidential legal case notes at her

14 office, had prompted a threat assessment on

15 Special Branch officers working in Lurgan, and I think

16 he said also CID officers working in Lurgan. Do you

17 recall that?

18 A. Not specifically.

19 Q. Does that mean no?

20 A. It could well -- I don't specifically remember that

21 situation.

22 Q. Is it the sort of thing that might have stuck in your

23 mind if you had found yourself the subject of an

24 increased risk assessment in circumstances of that kind?

25 A. As I mentioned before in my previous evidence was that

 

 

52

 

1 there was considerable amount of threat assessments, as

2 you said yourself, accompanied by the amount of

3 intelligence that was being submitted and gathered at

4 the time. So to say the one specific threat assessment

5 is quite difficult, to say the least.

6 Q. But you don't recall anyway a threat assessment

7 on yourself and your colleagues being prompted by

8 intelligence about Rosemary Nelson's activities?

9 A. There was people who were involved, I think, in the

10 allegations made at police officers. I think there was

11 a threat assessment made against them.

12 Q. That was after the murder, wasn't it?

13 A. I can't recall. I just know that there was some people

14 that I worked with, they had a personal threat

15 assessment but I wasn't involved in that. I wasn't part

16 of that.

17 Q. Are you talking about the officers who had been involved

18 in the various complaints?

19 A. I believe so. I thought that's what you were

20 referring to.

21 Q. No. That the Inquiry has had documentation on, it took

22 place after the murder in either March or April, I

23 think, 1999.

24 A. Okay.

25 Q. What I'm talking about is a year earlier than that and

 

 

53

 

1 it's nothing to do the complaints.

2 A. Okay.

3 Q. It is the idea that this particular bit of intelligence,

4 the intelligence that I have mentioned to you, in

5 about April 1998, itself prompted threat assessments and

6 reviews of security?

7 A. I can't specifically remember that.

8 Q. No. Thank you.

9 Now, what I would like to turn to now is another

10 issue which comes up in your statement, which, so far as

11 the Inquiry is concerned, relates to information about

12 Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson moving outside the

13 intelligence context into another context. It arises in

14 the circumstances of a complaint which was made against

15 you, which you deal with in your first statement, and I

16 would like to look at that with you now, please.

17 Paragraph 80 of your statement at RNI-846-498 is

18 where it begins (displayed). There, you refer to the

19 complaint, and unfortunately, it looks as though the

20 name of the complainant has been redacted in this copy

21 of the statement, whereas it should, I think, have been

22 ciphered.

23 Now, I think you have seen today, if not before,

24 haven't you, the documents concerning this complaint?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

54

 

1 Q. And the name of the complainant -- and I apologise for

2 the fact that it does not appear in this version of your

3 statement -- is C284, and that's how I intend to refer

4 to him.

5 Now, so far as the complaint is concerned, as I say,

6 you deal with it in paragraphs 80 to 82 of the statement

7 and I just want to take you through the circumstances

8 before focusing on the one aspect of it which is of

9 interest to the Inquiry.

10 Now, this individual was arrested and held in

11 Maghaberry Prison in late 1998, wasn't he?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And he was charged, I think, with possession of firearms

14 and ammunition and, indeed, with membership of the

15 Continuity IRA?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. Now, we can see in some of the Inquiry documents,

18 a summary of the complaint which came to be made against

19 you, RNI-235-017 (displayed). Right.

20 Now, here I'm relieved to notice that you see his

21 cipher. Do you see at the top of the page there:

22 "Complaint by solicitors on behalf of C284"?

23 And it is a reference in a document from the ICPC

24 of November 1998 to a statement made by C284, which

25 again you have seen, I know, and we have in our files.

 

 

55

 

1 And the allegations he was making there were summarised.

2 In essence, his complaint that he was making at this

3 stage was that you and your colleagues were effectively

4 trying to recruit him as a source in exchange for

5 getting him out of the difficulties that he had --

6 a lighter sentence, easier time in gaol -- and offering

7 information.

8 You remember, or at least you do now, I assume,

9 having re-read the documents, the circumstances of this

10 complaint?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, in due course the complaint was

13 investigated and dismissed, wasn't it?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. No disciplinary proceedings followed?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And the Director of Public Prosecutions directed that no

18 criminal prosecution should ensue?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the basic circumstances are

21 concerned, it is right, isn't it, that you did indeed

22 visit him in Maghaberry Prison, I think, three times:

23 twice in December and once in January 1999?

24 A. I believe so.

25 Q. Yes. And he says that on the first occasion you were

 

 

56

 

1 accompanied by a more senior officer, and I think that

2 was Ian Monteith, wasn't it?

3 A. I believe so.

4 Q. Yes. Who was an officer from Lurgan, but not

5 a Special Branch officer?

6 A. That would be correct.

7 Q. Yes, thank you. Now, going back to your statement,

8 because I think it is important that you have it in

9 front of you, RNI-846-499 (displayed), there is

10 a dispute between you, if we look at paragraph 82, on

11 one point, which, so far as the Inquiry is concerned, is

12 a minor point.

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 A. (redacted)

17 Q. Thank you. Now, let's look together, if we may, at his

18 statement, the statement that he made in the complaint.

19 That's at RNI-235-076 (displayed). Again, to my relief,

20 I see that he has his cipher there.

21 He sets out the circumstances in which he was

22 remanded in custody and then he talks about the first

23 visit, which is the only one that I'm concerned with

24 today.

25 Do you see there he says that there were two police

 

 

57

 

1 officers, one was the detective inspector, Mr Monteith,

2 and the other one, as we now know, was you. He sets out

3 there -- and I'm not going it dwell on it -- how the

4 conversation began. But what I would like to pick up

5 with you is where it continues, five lines from the

6 bottom. Do you see:

7 "They asked me about several well-known Republicans

8 in Lurgan and if I knew what they were doing. These men

9 knew all about the ins and outs of my case, said how

10 easy it was to get me arrested. They suggested I inform

11 on them to get my own back on them. They mentioned

12 several names, one of which was Colin Duffy from Lurgan,

13 suggested that these people had set me up. They also

14 mentioned the relationship Colin Duffy had with his

15 solicitor and they were going through his character.

16 They were teasing about Colin Duffy having an affair

17 with his solicitor and about her giving him money and

18 taking him away on holidays. These police officers were

19 asking me to tell them things about Colin Duffy. I told

20 them that I couldn't tell them anything as I didn't know

21 anything."

22 If we could have these two pages on the screen at

23 the same time, please, RNI-235-076 and RNI-235-077

24 (displayed)? Thank you.

25 Now, just going through the various points that he

 

 

58

 

1 makes and testing your own recollection of these events,

2 is he right to recall that you discussed with him local

3 Republicans; in other words, local Republicans in

4 Lurgan?

5 A. That would make sense.

6 Q. It would make sense. Because if you were interested in

7 the possibility of recruiting him, it is obvious which

8 side of the community he came from and so it is in this

9 area that you would be looking to get information from

10 him?

11 A. That would be correct.

12 Q. Yes. Now, he then suggests that you suggested to him

13 that these people, one of whom was Colin Duffy, had set

14 him up. Is that something you think you would have done

15 in this conversation?

16 A. I don't believe so.

17 Q. Now, this individual was alleged to be a member of the

18 Continuity IRA, was he not?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And you have told us already about the rivalry and

21 jostling for prominence that was going on at this time

22 between them on the one hand and other Republicans

23 groupings. Is that right?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. So wasn't it an obvious tactic, in trying to get this

 

 

59

 

1 individual on your side, to play on what was likely to

2 be antagonism between him and Colin Duffy?

3 A. That's obviously how C284 perceived.

4 Q. Yes, but isn't that something that it is very likely

5 that you did in the particular context of this meeting?

6 A. I can't recollect that that actually occurred.

7 Q. You were trying to get him to help you, were you not,

8 and trying to get information on Colin Duffy? And in

9 order to do so, you were trying to suggest that

10 Colin Duffy, perhaps others, had got him where he was,

11 i.e. in prison?

12 A. I can't say I recollect that whatsoever. What I would

13 say is that my gut feeling now, I would concentrate more

14 on the person, or C284, in their situation and how we

15 could assist them in relation to that.

16 Q. But weren't you interested to explain what the sorts of

17 information you wanted were and who the individuals were

18 that you wanted to gather more on?

19 A. Yes, that would be correct. But as you have already

20 pointed out, this C284 was a member of a different

21 organisation.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. So if we were looking to recruit him, he would see have

24 been obviously tasked in relation to the organisation

25 that he was a member of, rather than Colin Duffy, who is

 

 

60

 

1 a member of another organisation.

2 Q. But it is likely, first of all, isn't it, that

3 Colin Duffy's name would have come up?

4 A. It may well have done, he was a prominent figure in the

5 area at the time.

6 Q. Exactly. He was a prominent figure in a close knit

7 Republican community?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. And therefore, whatever the precise distinctions --

10 PIRA, CIRA, et cetera -- it is likely, isn't it, that

11 a man of this kind, C284, would have known all

12 about him?

13 A. He would have. I believe that he at some stage was an

14 associate of his.

15 Q. Yes. So the fact that at this particular moment you

16 perceived them as having allegiances to particular

17 organisations wasn't a bar to the individual being able

18 to get useful information for you, was it?

19 A. No.

20 Q. No, and presumably in doing that, you, apart from

21 concentrating on what you could do for the potential

22 recruit, the other thing you could do is paint a black

23 picture, if you can, of the target or the targets.

24 Isn't it likely that in the course of that, comments

25 such as those he records here in relation to

 

 

61

 

1 Colin Duffy's alleged relationship with Rosemary Nelson,

2 the money, taking him away on holidays, that those sorts

3 of comments were made?

4 A. I wouldn't agree with that because at that time C284 --

5 C284 had had -- had an -- had been an associate of

6 Colin Duffy's, so there would have been no reason why

7 any of those comments would have been made.

8 Q. So are you suggesting that he would have been one of

9 those in the local community who would at least have

10 known about the relationship?

11 A. I would imagine, yes.

12 Q. But wasn't that, therefore, all the more obviously

13 a topic that you would have wanted to discuss with him?

14 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that because the main topic of

15 conversation that we would want to speak to him about

16 was in relation to the organisation that he was involved

17 in and was currently the reason why he was in Maghaberry

18 Prison.

19 Q. So far as the things that he sets out there -- having an

20 affair, giving him money, taking him away on holidays --

21 those were all things that you knew about as a result of

22 the intelligence reporting that we have discussed,

23 weren't they?

24 A. Yes, I believe I was aware of that at the time.

25 Q. Yes. So they were bits of information that had come to

 

 

62

 

1 you, and the suggestion here is that you were simply

2 making use of them in what, I've no doubt, would be

3 regarded by you and your colleagues as a legitimate way

4 in trying to recruit an informant. So how sure are you

5 that these points weren't made in this conversation with

6 C284?

7 A. I don't believe I made those comments. It is not the

8 way I work. I believe that the main reason I would have

9 been focusing on C284 and -- was the reason why they

10 were in prison and the organisation that they were

11 responsible for.

12 The -- C284 was in Maghaberry because he was in

13 possession of weapons which could cause injury or death,

14 and that was my main concentration of recruiting him; so

15 that he could then pass on intelligence in relation to

16 the organisation and the structure of the organisation

17 in the area.

18 Q. Yes. Now, if somebody had asked you at this time,

19 in December 1998, some of the things you knew about

20 Colin Duffy and his relationship with Rosemary Nelson,

21 it would have included presumably the sort of points

22 that he is making here?

23 A. I can't be specific in that, but it may have.

24 Q. Yes. Well, you say, or you have just said to me, that

25 you were certainly aware of them at this time?

 

 

63

 

1 A. Yes, I believe I probably was aware. I can't say

2 specifically what I was aware of at that particular

3 time, but I'm sure some of that I was aware of.

4 Q. Now, if it's right, of course, if what he is saying is

5 right, it shows a conversation in which you, as

6 a Special Branch officer, were disclosing information

7 which you had obtained through intelligence to somebody

8 you believed to be a paramilitary?

9 A. The main reason for my being there was to recruit the

10 person, C284, for them to provide intelligence, not for

11 me to provide them with information.

12 Q. And you don't think that in the course of the

13 conversation you would have wanted to show to the

14 potential recruit just how much you knew about him?

15 A. I don't believe you need to do that. That person was

16 already in a vulnerable situation, and how I would have

17 looked upon recruiting him was trying to assist him in

18 his vulnerable situation.

19 It is not for me to try and supply other people with

20 intelligence. It is for people -- sources to provide me

21 with intelligence.

22 Q. Now, just to complete the picture so far as you are

23 concerned, let's look together, please, at the statement

24 you made about this when you were interviewed in the

25 course of the complaint investigation at RNI-235-093

 

 

64

 

1 (displayed). Here, I am afraid I have got to do a bit

2 more explanation because for the purposes of this part

3 of the Inquiry files, the Part 1 files, you have another

4 cipher -- I think you have been told about this this

5 morning -- B148.

6 But this is the statement that you made on that

7 occasion, 14 December, and you say that you became aware

8 of C284 as a prisoner at Maghaberry:

9 "I was aware he was a member of the Continuity IRA

10 and had been arrested while in possession of a rifle.

11 I went to the prison and spoke to him on ..."

12 You see the three dates there:

13 "... 16 December, 21 and 27 January. He was always

14 free to go. At no time did I offer to arrange to get

15 his sentence reduced or make his time in prison any

16 easier."

17 That was the complaint we saw together, wasn't it?

18 "I would also like to add that at no time during

19 each of the three interviews did I mention

20 Rosemary Nelson or Colin Duffy to him. I had no reason

21 to do so because I was speaking to him about his

22 involvement in CIRA, not PIRA."

23 Now, by the time this statement was made

24 in December -- and, indeed, by the time C284's statement

25 was made in April -- of course it is right to point out

 

 

65

 

1 by this time that Rosemary Nelson had been murdered, so

2 this comes some nine months, doesn't it, after that

3 event?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Now, so far as your statement is concerned, I would like

6 to look at just one or two of the pieces of reporting

7 that you mention, and the first is RNI-541-056

8 (displayed). You can see the date there, February 1997.

9 The substance is on the next page, RNI-541-057

10 (displayed), and the question I have about this -- do

11 you see it is reporting about the LVF, and in particular

12 about the connection between Mark Fulton and a bomb

13 maker from Belfast? I think -- I don't know, I hope you

14 saw this on RNI-541-056 -- you are one of the three

15 handlers listed here.

16 The question I want to ask you is: are you able to

17 help us with what form of explosive device was being

18 talked about there in the last line of the first

19 paragraph?

20 A. No, I have got nothing I can add to that.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the murder itself is

22 concerned, did you receive any intelligence in advance

23 of the murder that an attack on Rosemary Nelson was

24 likely to take place?

25 A. No.

 

 

66

 

1 Q. Were you surprised by the lack of any such intelligence,

2 given what you describe in your statement about the

3 extent of the intelligence gathering that you and your

4 colleagues were involved in in the Lurgan area?

5 A. Gathering of intelligence is not foolproof. Just

6 because you have one particular source in an

7 organisation, that doesn't mean that they know

8 everything that goes on in that organisation. It could

9 be -- it has been well documented in relation to

10 terrorist organisations working on a cell basis and

11 a need to know basis. So you never felt complete that

12 you had enough intelligence coverage. That was the goal

13 for us: to continually go out and recruit people so we

14 could attempt to gather as much intelligence as

15 possible. But the nature of the way terrorist groups

16 work, it was virtually impossible to do that.

17 Q. So presumably there were a number of occasions, not just

18 this one, where you received, as it were, an unpleasant

19 surprise in relation to an attack or a murder?

20 A. Well, 16 June 1997 two police officers were murdered by

21 the Provisional IRA at the side of Lurgan police

22 station. So unfortunately, sadly, along with

23 Mrs Nelson, that shows the frailties of intelligence.

24 Q. Now, you refer to that in paragraph 60 of your

25 statement. Let's look at that together, RNI-846-493

 

 

67

 

1 (displayed). This is where you are talking about the

2 limitation of intelligence, and you say there:

3 "It is impossible, therefore, to have everything

4 covered."

5 And you give two examples, actually: the two police

6 officers and also the murder of Kevin Conway.

7 Presumably the simple point is it is simply impossible,

8 whatever your resources, to get advanced intelligence in

9 relation to every terrorist conspiracy?

10 A. Sadly, that is the job that we carry out. We -- and the

11 people -- myself and the people I work with -- have

12 always -- that has been our target: to attempt to gather

13 as much intelligence to save lives which, on numerous

14 occasions, we have been able to. But sadly, the

15 consequences when intelligence is -- you are not able to

16 gather -- is the example of the two police officers and

17 Kevin Conway and Mrs Nelson.

18 Q. Now, so far as your own reaction to the murder is

19 concerned, you touch on that in paragraph 63 at

20 RNI-846-494 (displayed) and you say that you were

21 surprised and shocked. Is that right?

22 A. That would be correct.

23 Q. Yes. And you go on to say:

24 "... and it happened to Rosemary Nelson,

25 a solicitor."

 

 

68

 

1 Now, of course, this is your first statement and

2 going back to the discussion we had a little earlier, it

3 is not quite as simple as that, is it?

4 A. No, it is not, but it is still the fact it was

5 Mrs Nelson had been murdered.

6 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the impact of the murder is

7 concerned, again, just picking up one or two points you

8 deal with in your statement -- and can I ask you to look

9 at RNI-846-496 (displayed) -- you talk there about the

10 impact of the murder on the Nationalist community, which

11 was obviously very considerable. Is that right?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Yes. And there was obviously disgust and anger. Were

14 you and your colleagues in Lurgan concerned about the

15 possibility of retaliatory violence?

16 A. Well, with the situation that there was in relation to

17 Republican organisations, I believe at the time the

18 Provisional IRA were in ceasefire, but as we have

19 already discussed, there was obviously other dissident

20 Republican groupings and they may have taken it upon

21 themselves, or our concern was they would take it upon

22 themselves to carry out attacks, I'm sure -- in their

23 eyes in revenge for Mrs Nelson.

24 Q. Yes. And did you task your intelligence assets to find

25 out whether that was a likely result?

 

 

69

 

1 A. I believe so.

2 Q. Yes. Now, what about the murder itself? Did you get

3 involved in gathering in intelligence about who was

4 responsible?

5 A. Yes, that would be correct.

6 Q. At the top of page RNI-846-495 (displayed), you say:

7 "I have no doubt that Special Branch, including

8 myself, went out after Rosemary Nelson's murder and

9 asked our sources for information. We did not have to

10 be told to do this."

11 So that was an obvious thing for you to do. Is that

12 right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Because it was a very significant and serious crime that

15 had happened right on your doorstep?

16 A. You can't get any more significant or important than

17 murder.

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. So it is an automatic reaction, irrespective of who the

20 person is or what they have been involved in or

21 whatever, to try and get intelligence that might assist

22 the murder team who were investigating that.

23 Q. In subsequent weeks and months, did you receive specific

24 taskings in your local office which originated from the

25 Murder Investigation Team?

 

 

70

 

1 A. That would be correct.

2 Q. Yes. Now, you say at the end of this paragraph:

3 "PIRA was not considered as a likely candidate to be

4 involved."

5 Was it a possibility that you and your colleagues

6 considered?

7 A. You consider all possibilities.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. But rationally, we didn't believe there was any

10 particular reason why they would be responsible, and so

11 we looked towards Loyalist organisations.

12 Q. Can you tell us what the reasons were that pointed

13 against that possibility, in your view?

14 A. Well, as you -- as has been discussed earlier,

15 Mrs Nelson was high profile within the Republican

16 community and was well supported within the Republican

17 community. Because of who she had been seen defending

18 or working alongside in relation to her job as

19 a solicitor, then the perception which had obviously --

20 would be perceived possibly by the Loyalist community or

21 people in the Loyalist paramilitaries as causing offence

22 to them. That was the reason why we decided to look on

23 the Loyalist side.

24 Q. Now, so far as that side is concerned, you talk in the

25 next paragraph about the claim of responsibility from

 

 

71

 

1 the Red Hand Defenders, and you say:

2 "This wasn't conclusive."

3 Now, do I gather from that that you and your

4 colleagues questioned the claim of responsibility in the

5 name of the Red Hand Defenders?

6 A. As we mentioned earlier on, the Red Hand Defenders is

7 a cover name which is used by a variety of Loyalist

8 organisations. So when I referred to that being

9 inconclusive, it wasn't conclusive as in whose

10 responsibility because it could have been one of

11 a number of Loyalist organisations who could have been

12 responsible for the murder.

13 Q. Who would have used that name as a flag of convenience?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Yes. Now, so far as intelligence gathered in after the

16 murder is concerned, can I move you on now to

17 paragraph 72 in RNI-846-497 (displayed). Here you talk

18 about a report at RNI-545-031. Perhaps we could have

19 a look at that, please, because I don't think it is

20 something we have had a look at before (displayed)?

21 We see your cipher there, as one of the originating

22 officers. Do you see that?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. At the bottom of the page, yes. Then the substance is

25 on the next page. It is May 1999 and the suggestion

 

 

72

 

1 there is that Sinn Fein would make the most of alleged

2 collusion between the security forces and the Loyalist

3 paramilitaries.

4 Was that intelligence reporting something that was

5 taken seriously by you and your colleagues?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Was it the only such report that you received along

8 these lines?

9 A. I believe there was other reporting at the time.

10 Q. And what would have happened to a piece of reporting

11 such as this?

12 A. It would have been submitted through our systems and

13 then processed and disseminated to whoever it was seen

14 to be relevant to.

15 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the Murder Investigation Team are

16 concerned, I think it is clear from your statement that

17 you had no direct contact with them. Is that right?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Now, something like this, which goes to the very

20 question that they were charged with investigating here,

21 the allegations of collusion, is this the sort of

22 reporting that would have reached them, do you think?

23 A. It may have. It would have been a decision made by our

24 superior officers.

25 Q. Yes, the liaison officer in particular?

 

 

73

 

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. Who was your inspector, wasn't he?

3 A. I believe so, yes.

4 Q. Now, the next piece of information I wanted to look at

5 with you is something you refer to in paragraph 75 of

6 your statement. Again, it is after the murder,

7 RNI-545-035 (displayed), May 1999. Again, you are one

8 of the handlers listed there, do you see, number 1? The

9 substance is on the next page, RNI-545-036 (displayed).

10 The relevant part, although I am afraid it is very

11 difficult to read because of the watermark. At (c) --

12 this is said to be intelligence -- you can just see at

13 the top of the page -- from a Sinn Fein meeting:

14 "A determination to capitalise on the recent murder

15 of Rosemary Nelson through calling for independent

16 inquiries into the murder along with the murder of

17 Pat Finucane. Calling for these inquiries, Sinn Fein

18 would continue their campaign of attempting to discredit

19 the RUC at every possible opportunity."

20 So was that the way that you regarded calls for

21 independent inquiries at this stage, as being part of a

22 campaign to discredit the RUC?

23 A. Sorry, could you repeat that, please?

24 Q. Sorry, it was a long question. What I wanted to ask you

25 is this: is that how you regarded the call for

 

 

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1 independent inquiries, namely as being part of

2 a campaign to discredit the RUC?

3 A. This is not what I regard this as intelligence which was

4 supplied to us by a source. This is how they were

5 reporting that Sinn Fein were looking to use the murder

6 of Mrs Nelson. So it wasn't how I regarded it, it was

7 how -- the intelligence that came from the source in

8 relation to Sinn Fein.

9 Q. Thank you very much. Those are all the questions I have

10 for you, but as I'm sure you will have heard by now, if

11 we haven't touched on something that you would like to

12 say to the Inquiry Panel, this is your opportunity.

13 A. No, I have nothing else to add.

14 Q. Thank you very much.

15 A. Thank you.

16 Questions by THE CHAIRMAN

17 THE CHAIRMAN: In your first statement at paragraph 19, if

18 it could go up on the screen -- that's RNI-846-481

19 (displayed), paragraph 19 -- you are talking there about

20 the analysis of intelligence. You say there:

21 "As far as I am aware, the analysis of intelligence

22 only came later on, about three or four years ago."

23 So are you saying that, certainly so far as you were

24 concerned, you were not aware of any analysis of

25 intelligence taking place until some time around

 

 

75

 

1 2002/2003?

2 A. I believe, sir, what I'm referring to there is there

3 was -- within the department, approximately three to

4 four years ago, there was a specific new rule created of

5 people who -- their specific job was to -- referred to

6 as analysts, so they are. But saying that, there was

7 people who were in our headquarters, who did analyse the

8 intelligence and that did take place at that time of the

9 murder and prior to -- but it is just a specific role

10 which was then created in a -- I think a civilian status

11 within the department that I'm referring to there.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: And in which department of the Special Branch

13 Headquarters was the analysis done by Special Branch

14 officers in 1999?

15 A. I wouldn't be 100 per cent sure. I believe it may be

16 E3, but I wouldn't be that familiar with it, Sir. I

17 could be wrong there.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Thank you very much for coming to

19 give evidence before us.

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

21 please confirm that all the cameras have been

22 switched off.

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

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

25 The time of resumption, is it really pointless to

 

 

76

 

1 have it earlier because probably the witness won't be

2 ready? What's the best --

3 MR PHILLIPS: From the body language at the end of the room,

4 I think that would be unwise.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. We will say 2 o'clock then.

6 MR ROBINSON: Very much obliged.

7 (12.30 pm)

8 (The short adjournment)

9 (2.00 pm)

10 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist, Mr Currans. Is the public

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

12 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

14 screen closed?

15 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

17 and securely fastened?

18 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

20 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

21 of this chamber?

22 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

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

25 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

 

 

77

 

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

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

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

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

5 Bring the witness in, please.

6 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

7 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

8 switched back on.

9 Would you please take the oath?

10 B508 (sworn)

11 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please sit down.

13 Yes, Mr Phillips?

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

15 the Inquiry, which we can see at RNI-846-313 (displayed)

16 and do we see your ciphered signature at RNI-846-356

17 (displayed) and the date of 22 August this year?

18 A. You do.

19 Q. Thank you very much. Now, going right back to the

20 beginning of this long statement, please, you tell us in

21 the very first paragraph about your early career in the

22 RUC. And you were, in 1995, if I can put it this way,

23 a late joiner of Special Branch, weren't you?

24 A. I was, yes. I had been a uniformed officer all my

25 career up until that date and I had been asked would you

 

 

78

 

1 like to join Special Branch, or I was invited to, and

2 I said yes.

3 Q. And as I understand it, the circumstances were that

4 after the Chinook disaster, there was a need to bring in

5 senior officers into the Special Branch, and at that

6 stage Sir Ronnie, who became the Chief Constable, was

7 the Head of Special Branch. Is that right?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Thank you. So presumably you were one of a number of

10 relatively senior officers joining Special Branch at

11 this time?

12 A. I was indeed.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, you make some interesting comments

14 about what happened when you joined on the next page,

15 RNI-846-314, and paragraph 3 (displayed). You say in

16 particular:

17 "It was not the big culture shock [you] had

18 expected."

19 Do I gather from that that you were expecting

20 a really substantial change on joining Special Branch?

21 A. I suppose in uniform there was always the suspicion that

22 maybe you weren't being told the whole story, and

23 whenever I went from a uniform commander to

24 Special Branch, I would then become privy to the

25 intelligence. And one of the things that I discovered

 

 

79

 

1 was that really what my DI in my subdivision had been

2 telling me really was -- he was giving me the full

3 story, bar maybe that required to protect the source.

4 So really I felt that there was very little being

5 held back from me, which reassured me as a uniformed

6 superintendent working in a difficult area, that at

7 least I was being given all the information required to

8 do my job.

9 In fairness, I had a very good relationship with the

10 SB in the subdivision and I think we got on well because

11 I think there was a fair degree of trust built up,

12 because there were certain things probably he would have

13 expected of me and, likewise, I expected of him.

14 Q. So that relationship worked very well as between you as

15 individuals?

16 A. Yes. But as I say, later on, whenever I moved into

17 Special Branch, I was able to confirm the information

18 and I felt reassured that there was nothing being held

19 back from me.

20 Q. You were reassured, but it sounds as though you were

21 also surprised?

22 A. Surprised is maybe a bit of an extreme, but yes -- there

23 always was a suspicion -- and I suppose the nature of

24 the work that Special Branch were doing -- that maybe

25 they were only giving you what they wanted you to know.

 

 

80

 

1 Whereas in reality, they were giving me damn near

2 everything they did know, bar the name of the source

3 where the intelligence had come from.

4 Q. So the view when you were in uniform was that there were

5 probably a lot of secrets kept from the uniformed

6 branch, other parts of the RUC. Is that right?

7 A. I think there may have been a suspicion. I worked in

8 a difficult area and I have to say that I never felt

9 that I was being short changed. I always felt that

10 I got as much of the story as I -- as they knew or as

11 I needed to know to help me do my job.

12 Q. Yes. Can we just look together at the charts the

13 Inquiry has prepared of the Special Branch structure?

14 Can we have the pre-Warner chart, please? You have got

15 it there in hard copy?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. I'm afraid the rest of us are waiting for it magically

18 to appear on the screen (displayed). There we go.

19 Right. On joining Special Branch in 1995, I think

20 in January, where did you find your place within the

21 structure we put on the screen here?

22 A. I would have been in E7 -- E8 South.

23 Q. Yes. And the way it has been set out here -- it may not

24 be very clear, but we have got the Regional Head, who

25 was, as I understand it, a detective chief

 

 

81

 

1 superintendent. Is that right?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. And his deputy, who I think was a superintendent. Is

4 that right?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. And then the two units: the TCG, which is joined on the

7 diagram by the regional source unit. Do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And as I understand it, your role was as one of two

10 superintendents -- is that right? -- you were South West

11 and your colleague was South East?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And you say that you were responsible -- if you look at

14 those little boxes underneath that -- for J and K. Is

15 that right?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. So does it follow that he was responsible for G, H

18 and L?

19 A. G and H. L Division wasn't there whenever I was there.

20 It was dropped later, but just even a short time before

21 I arrived.

22 Q. I see. So certainly as of the beginning of 1995 there

23 wasn't a L Division?

24 A. No.

25 Q. So we need to correct our chart. It looks like it,

 

 

82

 

1 doesn't it? Yet again.

2 In J Division we see the three local offices, if I

3 can put it that way: Lurgan, Portadown and Craigavon?

4 A. And Banbridge.

5 Q. And there was also Banbridge, a fourth one, in

6 J Division?

7 A. Hm-mm.

8 Q. It looks as though there are going to have to be further

9 amendments done. Thank you.

10 So far as the vast ranks of officers are concerned,

11 we have looked together at the Regional Head and the

12 Deputy and now you have confirmed your position as

13 a superintendent, one of two.

14 Now, how did the structure work beneath your level,

15 please?

16 A. I had a deputy who was a chief inspector and I had

17 a detective inspector, who was in charge of J Division,

18 Lurgan, Portadown, Banbridge and Craigavon.

19 Q. Now, using your cipher list, please, am I right in

20 thinking that your deputy was B627?

21 A. Yes, that's correct.

22 Q. And the inspector that you have just mentioned was B567?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Thank you very much. Now, so far as the upper ranks are

25 concerned, in your statement you explain that B629 took

 

 

83

 

1 over as the Regional Head of Special Branch during your

2 time. Is that right?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And he had a deputy, did he not, who was the officer at

5 superintendent level?

6 A. That's correct. In fact, he was his deputy, but he also

7 covered South East, Newry and Armagh. So he

8 dual-hatted, I suppose.

9 Q. I see. So there were three superintendents --

10 A. No, there was only the two -- well, sorry, there were

11 three superintendents insomuch as you had myself in

12 South West, the deputy in South East and the

13 Superintendent in charge of TCG.

14 Q. Thank you very much. Now, in your statement you explain

15 how you were kept up-to-date with information as it came

16 in, and I would like to look at the passage with you,

17 please, RNI-846-314 (displayed).

18 You tell us there in paragraph 4 of your statement

19 at the bottom of the page that every morning, first

20 thing, you were briefed by your detective inspectors --

21 that is you and your deputy -- on what had happened the

22 night before. Did that take place, as it were, in

23 a meeting or was that on the telephone?

24 A. It could have varied. More often than not it was done

25 over secure telephone, but occasionally if it was

 

 

84

 

1 something important, it would have been done in person.

2 Q. Yes. As I understand it, you also received, if we turn

3 over to RNI-846-315 (displayed), a printout of

4 intelligence reports from the regional source unit?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Now, can I just ask you about that? We have heard about

7 what happened to reporting at various stages after it was

8 first generated in the debriefs in the local offices.

9 These reports from the regional source unit, would they

10 already be, to some degree, sanitised?

11 A. Yes, they would have, yes.

12 Q. Yes. So as to disguise identities of sources,

13 et cetera?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Now, you say that at that same stage, early each

16 morning, you would discuss the possibility of mounting

17 operations. But then, as I understand it, it became

18 your responsibility to report up the chain to the, as

19 you say in the next paragraph, Head of the South Region?

20 A. Sorry, usually in the morning he would have had

21 a morning meeting, after, in other words, I had been

22 briefed by my detective inspectors, and he would have

23 had to call a meeting with myself and with the other

24 Superintendent in the TCG, and we would discuss the

25 intelligence with him. And we would have discussed the

 

 

85

 

1 options, how we could exploit the intelligence, how to

2 disseminate it to best value, and we all had an input to

3 it.

4 But, again, you were dealing with the intelligence

5 because my counterpart in South East wouldn't

6 necessarily have known my sources and vice versa, but we

7 would have discussed the intelligence and any ideas

8 would have revalued.

9 Q. But at those meetings are you saying that you would have

10 learnt details about South East's sources, for example?

11 A. No.

12 Q. No.

13 A. No, the intelligence would have been discussed.

14 Q. So the degree of protection that you mentioned earlier,

15 the sanitisation, would be preserved in these rather

16 high level meetings?

17 A. Yes, it would.

18 Q. Thank you. As I understand it, also present on these

19 daily meetings was somebody from the regional source

20 unit?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And at what level or rank within the force would that

23 person be?

24 A. Detective inspector or his deputy was a detective

25 sergeant.

 

 

86

 

1 Q. And then you say, as I understood it, both the

2 Superintendent for South East and the Head of the TCG?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Now, the account of the way Special Branch worked at

5 this time -- and by "this time", I mean really from the

6 mid 1990s when you joined up to the time of

7 Rosemary Nelson's murder, which we are concerned with --

8 suggests that the regional heads of Special Branch had

9 a very substantial degree of autonomy within the

10 organisation. Would you agree with that?

11 A. They had, but at the same time they would have been

12 reporting the intelligence. After the meeting, they

13 would have been talking to Headquarters. So, again, you

14 had the flow of intelligence and they had a fair degree

15 of -- I mean, they had a fair degree of autonomy, but it

16 wasn't completely autonomous in the sense that they

17 still had to report up. If they were planning

18 operations, those operations would have been discussed

19 at a higher level as well.

20 Q. But in many respects, is it not fair to say that the

21 Chief Superintendent, the Regional Head, was very much

22 in control of his own patch?

23 A. He was, but at the same time he still had to liaise with

24 his regional uniform assistant chief constable and his

25 own assistant chief constable at Headquarters, and in

 

 

87

 

1 Special Branch. So it wasn't a case of he had complete

2 autonomy. He didn't.

3 He was required to exploit the intelligence, either

4 covertly through his SEC in Headquarters, or overtly by

5 briefing his own uniform ACC at Mahon Road. And, again,

6 part of that would be discussing the intelligence and

7 how it should be exploited for best benefit.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. I'm not so sure it was just as autonomous as a wee

10 fiefdom.

11 Q. Now, so far as what you have just been talking about, as

12 I understand it then, it was his job to brief up the

13 chain and, in his case, presumably that would either the

14 Head of Special Branch or his deputy. Would that be

15 right?

16 A. That's correct, yes.

17 Q. Yes. Now, can I just ask you about your experience of

18 the organisation at a slightly lower level; in other

19 words, the inspectors and the local sergeants? They

20 presumably were the ones with the real grasp of what was

21 going on in their own particular areas?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. And for you, much higher up the chain, presumably what

24 you could do was, to take a broader view, to look at

25 material coming in from various local offices?

 

 

88

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Now, you make a comment or two about the detective

3 inspectors in your statement at paragraph 8, which is

4 RNI-846-316 (displayed), and there you say in the second

5 line there:

6 "The detective inspectors had a very close

7 relationship with the desks and they would be given

8 a heads-up on things by them."

9 Now, do you mean, as it were, the detective

10 inspectors within your region?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So that they would be speaking to the people on the

13 Loyalist and Republican desks in E3; is that what you

14 mean?

15 A. There was a fairly open relationship there as part of --

16 not so much checking the intelligence out, but at least

17 keeping up-to-date with intelligence. And it helped

18 them with their priorities as well and helped me with my

19 priorities.

20 So there was a -- even a fairly open contact there

21 and that helped -- went both ways.

22 Q. Now, so far as material coming down from, as it were,

23 the top, down to the local offices is concerned, if we

24 look back to paragraph 9, you tell us there that your

25 priorities were set from Headquarters. And as I

 

 

89

 

1 understand it, you and your deputy would have the role

2 of going out into the local areas, the local offices,

3 and passing on the requirements as they related to each

4 of the various offices. Is that right?

5 A. That's right, yes.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, one other question finally on this

7 business of information and in particular on the issue

8 of the regional heads' daily meeting.

9 Now, in paragraph 6 -- if we could go back to that,

10 please RNI-846-315 (displayed) -- you are referring

11 there to the Head of TCG at the bottom of the page. You

12 say:

13 "He was also present at these morning meetings with

14 the Head of South Region. He brought with him the

15 intelligence he had received from the other offices."

16 What do you mean by that, please? Which other

17 offices were these?

18 A. This is the TCG?

19 Q. Yes. Do you see in the second line?

20 A. What he would have brought was the -- usually a brief on

21 what -- intelligence that, for example, the surveillance

22 people picked up from the night before. He was dealing

23 with surveillance as opposed to intelligence itself. So

24 if there was any operations mounted the night before,

25 he -- or any operations we had tasked TCG or the

 

 

90

 

1 surveillance team to perform, he brought that

2 information to the meeting and would have briefed us on

3 it himself. So it wasn't really -- well, it was

4 intelligence, but it was intelligence gathered from

5 surveillance.

6 Q. I see. Thank you very much.

7 Now, just moving on through your statement and

8 picking up some of the many topics you cover as we go,

9 you start to, in paragraph 18 -- RNI 846-319

10 (displayed) -- give us your views about the paramilitary

11 groups that were active from the time you joined.

12 I should have got you to confirm this earlier, but of

13 course you left Special Branch, didn't you, I think it

14 was on 10 May 1998. Is that correct?

15 A. No, no, I was still within Special Branch, but I went --

16 Q. You left South Region?

17 A. Yes, and went on promotion as Head of E4.

18 Q. Exactly, yes. Thank you very much.

19 Now, so far as the groupings are concerned, the

20 first one I actually want to ask you about is on the

21 next page, paragraph 19, page RNI-846-320 (displayed),

22 and here, I suspect in answer to questions in the

23 interview, you talk about Portadown and Lurgan in

24 particular and say that Lurgan was seen as a Republican

25 stronghold. Is that right?

 

 

91

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And you mention Mr Duffy as the main focus. I can

3 assume then, can I, that he was a person of great

4 interest to you and your colleagues in South Region

5 throughout this period?

6 A. Yes, particularly so -- I mean, there are other people

7 in Lurgan, but he was the one who would have been

8 probably, from a terrorist point of view, the most

9 active in that area, addressing issues in that area, if

10 you are with me, terrorist issues. There were other

11 PIRA members there, but they might have been involved in

12 other issues.

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. But he was the focus of our attention, yes.

15 Q. In the penultimate sentence of this paragraph, three

16 lines from the bottom, you say:

17 "Colin Duffy also had contacts with the

18 Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition."

19 And that's a question I want to ask you about. What

20 sort of contacts do you mean, please?

21 A. Drumcree was always an emotive time of the year in

22 Portadown.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. And it always -- from a Republican point of view, they

25 wanted to make sure they kept the pressure on the likes

 

 

92

 

1 of Portadown to ensure that the Orange Order didn't

2 parade down the Garvaghy Road.

3 Even at that time, you can imagine, Duffy would have

4 wanted to impart his -- even as part of his kudos and

5 part of his position to make sure that there was no

6 weakening of the situation. And it kept him active as

7 well, and as well as that too, there was always

8 a heightening of tension in the area both from

9 a Loyalist point of view and from a Republican point of

10 view. And from a Republican point of view, he played a

11 part in keeping that tension high.

12 Q. So from your point of view, looking at this from the

13 South West Region perspective, this combination was

14 significant, was it, where you had somebody you regarded

15 as a main local PIRA player getting himself involved

16 with this significant political issue?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Right.

19 A. Because, I mean, you had in Portadown the likes of

20 Billy Wright, who was probably a similar role to Duffy

21 in Lurgan, and I suppose in a way it was a show of

22 strength on the part of Duffy to show his presence in

23 Portadown which helped to heighten the tension, helped

24 probably to -- it probably didn't help the situation in

25 relation to Wright.

 

 

93

 

1 Q. That is the next point I wanted to come on to.

2 Presumably you would have regarded both sides as seeking

3 to use and exploit the dispute at Drumcree for their own

4 ends, not only the Republicans on one side, but

5 Loyalists on the other?

6 A. Very much so. I mean, one of the things about Drumcree

7 was that there was -- people always think that there was

8 always a build-up to the Drumcree parade. There really

9 wasn't because there was a perception on the Loyalist

10 side that the parade would go down the Garvaghy Road and

11 there was a perception on the Republican side that it

12 won't go down the Garvaghy Road.

13 But it was only in actual fact on the morning of the

14 parade that it actually kicked off, and really there was

15 never any build-up before that. There was a lot of

16 pontificating about what's going to happen. But there

17 was never any planning as such before it happened, the

18 problem always started whenever the parade didn't get

19 down both sides. So I suppose there was a bit more

20 posturing on the side of Duffy before the parade to make

21 sure that there was no weakening of resolve.

22 Wright's side, the UVF or LVF, they were more

23 interested in seeing what was going on. But, again, it

24 was a funny -- the run-up to Drumcree was always a funny

25 period. It was always like a non-event in preparation

 

 

94

 

1 for the main event, but it was just a strange situation

2 because there was never any intelligence as such, but

3 you just knew there was a lot going on in the

4 background.

5 Q. You say there was never any intelligence as such, but

6 presumably you and those who were working lower down the

7 chain locally were interested, if you could, to gather

8 as much intelligence about what people were up to there

9 as you could?

10 A. It would have been one of our priorities, purely and

11 simply because our own headquarters, both the uniformed

12 people and Special Branch at Headquarters, would always

13 have been interested. What's happening? And of course

14 there was nothing happening, and that was sometimes a --

15 strange -- to explain to people that really there is

16 nothing happening until the parade either goes down or

17 doesn't go down.

18 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you to look on to paragraph 28 of

19 your statement, RNI-846-323 (displayed), because it is

20 in this very context that you mention coming across

21 Rosemary Nelson. And you say that it was in 1996 that

22 she started to become more high profile.

23 Am I right then to take it that you first became

24 aware of her profile in this very context, in the

25 context of her representation of the Garvaghy Road

 

 

95

 

1 Residents Coalition?

2 A. Yes. You mean, from my own point of view, that is

3 whenever her name started to emerge.

4 Q. Yes. Just briefly, so far as the LVF is concerned, at

5 paragraph 18, where we started, RNI-846-319 (displayed),

6 you talk about the various personalities -- there have

7 been some redactions there, as you see -- and you say:

8 "They were a strong Loyalist grouping. They

9 murdered a lot of Catholics. They took up most of our

10 attention in Portadown."

11 So would it be right, in your view, to describe this

12 group as one including members with extreme sectarian

13 views?

14 A. Yes, very much so.

15 Q. And was there a history with this particular group of

16 them choosing their targets or victims on the basis of

17 their religion and, indeed, in some cases the fact that

18 they were in premises used by Catholics or Nationalists?

19 A. Yes. I mean, I'm not so sure there would certainly have

20 been the same planning involved that would have been

21 suspected. Certainly whenever tensions were high, it

22 was maybe a case of, "Let's go out and shoot a Catholic"

23 and then they would have picked -- looked for somebody

24 who they thought was a Catholic and shot them or

25 murdered them and maybe got it wrong. They were just

 

 

96

 

1 killers.

2 Q. It sounds as though these were murders committed without

3 any particular degree of planning or forethought?

4 A. I would have said there wasn't a great deal of planning.

5 Certainly they would have liked to have thought there

6 was planning, but I'm not so sure there was.

7 Q. Did that create difficulties for you in seeking to

8 gather intelligence?

9 A. It did. It created quite a few difficulties insomuch

10 that -- number 1 is if, from a surveillance point of

11 view, you are working on a difficult area of Portadown

12 because they're very alert to strangers in the area and

13 it is a close knit community; and also for gathering

14 intelligence, you are dealing with a small number of

15 people. And in truth, there was a -- there was fear

16 within their own organisation of the likes of some of

17 the personalities, what justice they may exact and then

18 found to be passing on information.

19 Q. So that created difficulties in relation to

20 investigating crime?

21 A. It did indeed.

22 Q. In other words, not just for you in Special Branch, for

23 the CID and uniform in trying to solve it?

24 A. Indeed, very much so.

25 Q. Now, so far as this question of gathering intelligence

 

 

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1 on these two organisations are concerned, can we look

2 altogether at paragraph 21, which is page RNI-846-320

3 (displayed)? Here you say, in relation to the LVF at

4 the bottom of the page:

5 "They were a difficult group to infiltrate."

6 Then you say at the bottom:

7 "We got a lot of intelligence on Garvaghy Road, but

8 the problem with the intelligence was that it was not

9 timely. We did not get intelligence until after the

10 event."

11 What do you mean by that, please?

12 A. As I say, the build-up to the Garvaghy Road, there was

13 no intelligence because, as I say, on the Loyalist front

14 they aren't planning anything because, as far as they

15 were concerned, the parade was taking place, which meant

16 that whenever the parade was stopped from going down the

17 Garvaghy Road, it was then that the problems started.

18 It was then that the Loyalists would have kicked their

19 operation off. And that in itself -- there would have

20 been no planning to it and they would have little time

21 to plan and little time for us to gather intelligence

22 from whatever sources we had, and was almost a knee-jerk

23 reaction from them: we must do something now.

24 I mean, I know that there were quite a few occasions

25 when you would have had Billy Wright in the middle of

 

 

98

 

1 the Orangemen at Drumcree and, okay, certainly the

2 uniformed people would have seen this here and what's

3 going on here, what's the planning, we need to know?

4 But the timeliness of it was it may be or the day after

5 before we would have that intelligence. At that stage,

6 it was maybe too late to react on.

7 But at the same time, the fact that he was there was

8 almost him winding the people up, bolstering -- by being

9 seen there, it garners support for him. And in

10 fairness, I would say probably there was very little

11 discussed, but there was a perception there that there

12 was things discussed with the Orange Order or the

13 organisers of the Garvaghy Road, and uniformed people --

14 we were under pressure to try and get as much

15 information or intelligence as we could. And because of

16 the nature of it, intelligence just doesn't happen. It

17 comes in by degrees. You do not get it as often as when

18 you want it.

19 Q. As I say, you don't get it when you want it?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Or, indeed, when you need it in order to prevent things

22 happening?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. Yes. You then talk, later in this section of your

25 statement, about the other side, if I can put it that

 

 

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1 way, local Lurgan PIRA -- paragraph 22 at RNI-846-321

2 (displayed) -- and you say there were particular

3 difficulties infiltrating that organisation and you give

4 as an example the fact there was no intelligence on the

5 murder of the two police officers before it happened.

6 Can I just ask you this question: why, in your view,

7 was there no intelligence in advance of that killing?

8 A. I think it would be fair to say that Duffy ran a very

9 small team, a very close knit team, and he trusted

10 nobody. And he did most the killing himself, which

11 meant that he needed very little in the way of support.

12 And there was a certain fear within his own organisation

13 of him. So really intelligence was just difficult

14 to get.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, in the next pages of your statement,

16 you make a number of comments on intelligence reports

17 that were obviously put to you in the course of the

18 interview. That's right, isn't it?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Just so I have understood this, what we have heard from

21 a number of witnesses now is that the assessment of the

22 reliability of intelligence is something done by the

23 handlers, primarily at the local level. Is that right?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. We have heard something about the checks on that,

 

 

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1 involving slightly more senior officers. But would it

2 be fair to say that from your position as

3 a superintendent, you were not yourself in a position to

4 form a judgment about an individual source's

5 reliability?

6 A. Over a period of time you would have got to know the

7 sources, and some of them were more reliable than

8 others, but there were some that probably maybe were

9 just starting off as sources and before you would have

10 actually accepted everything they said, you would have

11 maybe looked for confirmation from another source, or

12 you would look for some means of checking the source

13 from the individual officer's point of view. They were

14 looking at it from -- well, from the office here, can we

15 confirm this information or can we not? From my point

16 of view, I might have been look at it from what is

17 coming from an adjoining office as collateral for the

18 source.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Some sources you would have trusted with being honest

21 and open; others there was a certain amount of --

22 I mean, you wanted confirmation. And then there were

23 other occasions whenever sources would have come in with

24 something that was very important but totally against --

25 I mean, maybe intelligence that was coming from other

 

 

101

 

1 areas. And it was always a question of mine: why has

2 that person come in and given us that? And that would

3 have caused a problem insomuch that we have to check

4 that. You can't discard the intelligence, you have

5 to -- it is intelligence, it has to be acted on, but you

6 have to gauge it and put it into context. And it may

7 well be -- and I've seen occasions where a single source

8 has put in intelligence that has been at variance to

9 what other sources have put in and that source has been

10 correct on hindsight.

11 So you have to be very careful with the intelligence

12 that -- you don't discard it, you don't disregard it,

13 but you have to put it into the system, but maybe with

14 a caveat on it that it is unchecked.

15 Q. But we have heard that it was the handlers who assigned

16 the various gradings to material as it came in. That's

17 right, isn't it?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. So for the vast majority of cases, presumably, you were

20 reliant on their work, their assessments, in your

21 consideration of the reports?

22 A. Very much so.

23 Q. Yes. Now, in relation to Rosemary Nelson herself -- and

24 beginning at paragraph 28 of your statement at

25 RNI-846-323, which we looked at earlier but could we

 

 

102

 

1 have enlarged on the screen, please (displayed) -- you

2 make a number of comments about how she was regarded in

3 the period when you were in South West by you, but also,

4 as you make clear in this paragraph, 28, by colleagues

5 in Special Branch.

6 Now, as you know, the Inquiry has been hearing

7 evidence about this question of the way she was regarded

8 within Special Branch from a number of different

9 witnesses. I'm not going to go over with you the

10 territory that has become familiar to all of us. I hope

11 you don't mind. But to come to the point on this, your

12 view of her was based on intelligence reporting,

13 presumably?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Presumably also on briefing of you by your more junior

16 officers?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Were there other sources of information about her that I

19 haven't listed which you had?

20 A. Well, you would have had the overt policing, the likes

21 of the Army, the RIR, and uniformed policing. They

22 would have been briefing as well and maybe picked them

23 up at road stops, and that would have been part of the

24 assessment as well.

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

103

 

1 A. So you had the covert and you had the overt reporting.

2 Q. Yes. But so far as all that information was concerned,

3 is it fair to say that in relation to you, none of it

4 was first hand?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. You were always relying on second/third-hand information

7 coming in from various different sources?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Thanks very much. You begin by saying in this

10 paragraph, 28, what you thought the Special Branch

11 perception of her was:

12 "She was perceived as Colin Duffy's girlfriend.

13 That was it, they were lovers. We had no interest in

14 her in her own right. Colin Duffy was out target. She

15 was seen as someone on the periphery. We never

16 considered her to be actively involved in anything.

17 Certainly we had no intelligence that she was."

18 Now, you then go on and look at various documents

19 and you break off from looking at them much later in

20 your statement at paragraph 43 -- and I would like to

21 take it up there, please, at RNI-846-328 (displayed).

22 Because here, having seen a particular document, you say

23 in the second line:

24 "She would have been seen as a PIRA personality

25 because of her association with Colin Duffy. She was

 

 

104

 

1 active on the legal side of things for PIRA, but not

2 operationally active. She would help PIRA on the

3 evidential side of things if PIRA was doing something

4 and provide them with legal advice. I believed

5 Mrs Nelson would do PIRA's bidding. She was a person

6 PIRA went to to represent them. That was my assessment

7 of it."

8 So can I take it, so far as your evidence to the

9 Inquiry today is concerned, that that is the way that

10 you regarded her at the time you were in the South West

11 Region?

12 A. It was. The initial paragraph there was more or less

13 whenever I first come into contact, and then as it

14 evolved, it became more evident that she was more

15 involved than initially perceived. And certainly she

16 would have been very much hand in glove with the IRA and

17 certainly pinned her colours to their mast very much,

18 and I don't think it was -- it was an open secret

19 almost.

20 Q. And so far as that view -- we have been together through

21 the various ways in which the information came to you,

22 but what were the particular aspects of the reporting to

23 you that convinced you that she would do PIRA's bidding?

24 A. Well, I wouldn't have been inclined to say that she

25 would have been involved in any operations, but

 

 

105

 

1 certainly from a legal point of view, I would have said

2 that she would have helped them whenever it came to

3 operations, if they're involved in, making sure that,

4 from an evidence point of view, they left nothing behind

5 at scenes, that type of thing.

6 Certainly she would have been associated with them.

7 Post-events, I certainly would have said that she was --

8 she would have helped them in providing alibis, that

9 type of thing. So she was maybe not a terrorist per se

10 in that she went out to commit murder, but by

11 association she was there and was very much part of

12 their -- the terrorist process.

13 Q. So did you see her as somebody who was active in her

14 support for PIRA?

15 A. Very much so.

16 Q. What about beyond that? Did you see her, based on the

17 reporting you saw, as somebody engaged in criminal

18 activity?

19 A. I would have questioned her integrity as a legal

20 adviser, whenever that was criminal or not. It probably

21 was. I would have difficulty reconciling the line that

22 she took with her role as a solicitor.

23 Q. That's the point, isn't it? If there was any truth in

24 the reporting that you were reading, it suggests that

25 she had crossed the line at the very least in relation

 

 

106

 

1 to proper conduct as a lawyer, doesn't it?

2 A. I have no doubt in my mind that she had crossed the line

3 in my mind, yes, very much so. But I would have

4 classified her -- I mean, an IRA -- a member of the IRA

5 in all but name.

6 Q. And that presumably made her a person of interest to you

7 in her own right?

8 A. It did, but more from association with Duffy.

9 Q. It was both, wasn't it?

10 A. It was both, but you mean, she was a solicitor, which

11 from an intelligence-gathering point of view presented

12 unique difficulties for me advising the officers or

13 guiding the officers, or the officers themselves seeking

14 to target her as -- for intelligence.

15 Q. What were the particular difficulties that were created

16 by the fact that she was a lawyer?

17 A. Well, it was the privilege. I mean, the

18 client/solicitor privilege aspect of things that would

19 have caused difficulty for me, because in considering

20 various lines of attack or even intelligence attack

21 against her, you were constrained from a technical point

22 of view. And that almost negated that -- made life very

23 difficult. And then, from an approach point of view,

24 because she had such a high profile.

25 If we had attempted to recruit her or attempted to

 

 

107

 

1 get intelligence on her, you were always presented with

2 the difficulty that as a legal adviser the -- you mean,

3 other clients that she may have had would have come into

4 the equation and was actually dealing with them and

5 making sure -- protecting their integrity.

6 Q. Can I just pick up a couple of points you have made in

7 that answer? The first is in relation to the question

8 of privilege. You say later your statement that had the

9 issue, the question, been raised with you about the

10 possibility of some form of technical operation in

11 relation to her, you would have knocked it back on the

12 grounds of privilege?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Is that right?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Now, just to confirm, you left the South West Region

17 in May 1998, didn't you?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. So can I take it that no such proposal came to you at

20 any time before then?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Now, so far as the question of recruitment is concerned,

23 that's something that you touch on in paragraph 29 of

24 your statement at RNI-846-323 (displayed), where you

25 say:

 

 

108

 

1 "We did not consider recruiting Mrs Nelson as

2 a CHIS. I'm not sure that from an intelligence point of

3 view Mrs Nelson could produce much for us."

4 Then you make this comment:

5 "Detective Chief Inspector [627] and I were never

6 convinced that she could give us quality intelligence."

7 Forgive me, that sounds as though you did indeed

8 consider the question with Detective Chief

9 Inspector 627?

10 A. The reason -- you mean, Duffy was kept -- I mean, he

11 didn't tell anybody anything and that was why he was

12 a successful terrorist. It would be wrong to say that

13 whenever her name cropped up as -- in intelligence that

14 there wasn't some discussion, but it was always

15 discounted purely and simply because we didn't believe

16 that he told her anything. There was nothing to suggest

17 that he did.

18 We knew that he played his cards very close to his

19 own chest and told very little within the organisation.

20 So, I mean, you are correct -- I'm correct in what

21 I have said there insomuch that we didn't -- she wasn't

22 considered, but it doesn't mean to say it didn't cross

23 our mind.

24 Q. No. And you didn't rule that possibility out on the

25 grounds of privilege, for example?

 

 

109

 

1 A. No, but -- no.

2 Q. You didn't?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Now, we have heard a certain amount of evidence about

5 the process of recruitment, and I think it is right that

6 one of the things you would tend to do if you were

7 giving consideration to potentially recruiting somebody

8 is to gather in as much information about them as you

9 could?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. So if you had been even considering the possibility of

12 recruitment in this case, you would have wanted to find

13 out as much as you could about her and her background

14 and associates. Is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. We have seen a good deal of reporting about her family

17 and about her personal background, a lot of intelligence

18 which appears to be just about her. Is it possible that

19 that intelligence was gathered in with a view to

20 possible recruitment?

21 A. Certainly not to my knowledge. As I say, I would never

22 have tasked the office to do so because, as I say, we

23 would have ruled it out. Having said that -- you mean,

24 the offices may have discussed it, but it was never

25 certainly presented to me as an option.

 

 

110

 

1 Q. Are you aware of having discussed it, or of anybody

2 having discussed it, other than you and the detective

3 chief inspector, 627?

4 A. No.

5 Q. No. Now, at various points in your statement, you make

6 reference to the relationship between Colin Duffy and

7 Rosemary Nelson. Again, this is something that we can,

8 I hope, deal with relatively briefly in terms of the

9 intelligence.

10 Can I assume that the basis on which you express the

11 views that you do at various points in your statement

12 about the nature of that relationship is the same; in

13 other words, all the forms of information and reporting

14 that we went over together?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Now, the question obviously arises in this context also,

17 the question of reliability. I would like to look at

18 that with you, please, and start by looking at

19 paragraph 44, which is at RNI-329 at the top

20 (displayed). Because here you deal with one of a number

21 of pieces of reporting and you say that there was

22 intelligence about what you describe as a "close

23 intimate relationship".

24 I don't think we need to look at the document, but

25 you then give the view in the penultimate sentence that

 

 

111

 

1 they were, as you put it:

2 "Most certainly an item at this stage. There was

3 not just the intelligence on them ..."

4 Then you go on to say:

5 "... but there was general talk about town regarding

6 it as well."

7 And we will look at that together in a moment.

8 But anyway, there you are putting forward an opinion

9 based on what you call intelligence?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Now, just a couple of paragraphs later, in the same

12 page, RNI-846-329 (displayed), at the bottom, you have

13 obviously been asked some questions about how far or how

14 widely you think knowledge of the relationship had gone,

15 and you say:

16 "Special Branch wouldn't have briefed uniform or the

17 military on the affair. I can't see why we would. We

18 would not go into briefings with rumour and speculation.

19 Your reputation was on the line."

20 Now, here you are talking about exactly the same

21 relationship. Why, if it was based on the reliable

22 intelligence that you have talked about in your

23 statement and in your evidence, do you describe it here

24 as something based on "rumour and speculation"?

25 A. Whenever you are doing briefings to the likes of the

 

 

112

 

1 military or to uniformed police, you stick to the facts

2 as you have them.

3 It was well-known within military and police circles

4 that they were having an affair, and really to get

5 involved in the rumour and speculation that may have

6 been around at the time really wasn't helpful to us or

7 helpful to them.

8 As far as we were concerned, Duffy was the target.

9 We were asking for sightings of Duffy and they would be

10 reporting sightings of Duffy and Mrs Nelson. The rumour

11 and speculation was something that we wouldn't have, as

12 I say, got involved in. We would have stuck to the

13 facts or the intelligence as we had it if we had been

14 asked.

15 Q. But if you are right about your view of the intelligence

16 supporting it, it was fact and, therefore, something you

17 could have properly passed on in these briefings,

18 wasn't it?

19 A. As I say, it was an open secret. So, therefore, there

20 was nothing to confirm or otherwise, and you mean, to go

21 to a briefing and tell uniformed people that they were

22 having an affair, you would have been laughed out of

23 town because you are telling them something they already

24 know.

25 Whenever you go to a briefing -- I mean, our

 

 

113

 

1 briefings were always carefully worded to make sure that

2 the information we were giving them was factually

3 correct as we had it and stuck to the facts, as opposed

4 to speculation, because it was our credibility.

5 It goes back to, as I say, whenever I moved from

6 uniform into Special Branch. Your credibility was on

7 the line and certainly the briefings that I had received

8 from my Special Branch DI was factual. He would never

9 have entered speculation. There might have been

10 discussion about various relationships, but from

11 a professional point of view there would have been no --

12 you just stuck to the facts, and in fact most of -- you

13 mean, information you get across was actually

14 documented.

15 So you were working to a script as such to make sure

16 that everybody understood what you were saying.

17 Q. Yes. But it sounds as though one of the reasons you

18 would think you would have held back from mentioning it

19 is that you believed you would be telling them something

20 they already knew?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Right. Now, that's the next matter I wanted to ask you

23 about because in your statement, and in particular in

24 the paragraph we have just looked at, 44, you say there

25 was general talk about town regarding it as well. If we

 

 

114

 

1 could have the whole page on the screen, please? Thank

2 you.

3 So how did you become aware there was talk about

4 town?

5 A. Well, I think it would have been an article in the paper

6 at some stage talking about it. So I mean, it was

7 generally known because there had been reports from both

8 uniform, military and police reporting sightings of

9 them. And it was -- I mean, the closeness of them,

10 there was a -- certainly a very strong assumption.

11 Q. Well, now, just trying to break down that answer. The

12 article in the paper, the only one we have seen at any

13 rate, came out a month before her murder, which in turn

14 was a year after the report you are referring to there

15 in February 1998. So I don't think the talk about town

16 could have been derived from that in February 1998,

17 could it?

18 A. No.

19 Q. So far as the military and police sightings, those thing

20 were presumably not generally talked about in the

21 butchers and the shoe shop, were they?

22 A. No, they weren't.

23 Q. No.

24 A. But certainly within policing circles, that was

25 well-known fact.

 

 

115

 

1 Q. Right. So it was something known, was it, to uniformed

2 colleagues as well as to your Special Branch officers?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Yes. And how far beyond that? You say it was known to

5 the Security Service, based on the intelligence you

6 provided them. Is that right?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. And would it be something that you would have expected

9 individuals within the Nationalist community to know

10 about, the Nationalist community in Lurgan?

11 A. I would imagine that associates within Republican family

12 would have been aware of it.

13 Q. Now, in your statement you go on to describe various

14 other groups that might have known about it, but the

15 comment you have just made about the Nationalist

16 community, what's that actually based on, please?

17 A. I think it is based on -- you mean, why is there an

18 assessment by myself?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Within a small knit community that Duffy run -- and he

21 did run a very tight unit, it would be reasonable to

22 assume that his cohorts knew what was happening there as

23 well.

24 Q. Now, if we then turn to the next passage of your

25 statement, RNI-846-330, paragraph 47 (displayed), you

 

 

116

 

1 turn your attention to Loyalist paramilitaries and you

2 deal with the question which has been put to you, and

3 you say in relation to them you doubt they would have

4 known about the relationship. There was no intelligence

5 that they did. Do you see that?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. And that's where you refer to the newspaper article,

8 isn't it?

9 A. Hm-mm.

10 Q. And you describe there in shorthand what it said in the

11 paper, which was a top IRA man who was having

12 a relationship with a wealthy businesswoman. In order

13 to work out from that that it was an article about the

14 two individuals that we are discussing, you would have

15 to have quite a lot of inside knowledge anyway, wouldn't

16 you, as a reader of the paper?

17 A. I would imagine -- in the Lurgan/Portadown area,

18 possibly I would have suspected or maybe confirmed,

19 maybe, suspicions. So certainly within the Loyalist

20 community, the likes of Billy Wright would have known

21 Colin Duffy. So it wouldn't have been hard to put two

22 and two together.

23 Q. Now, Billy Wright died in December 1997, didn't he?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. So he can't have gleaned whatever you think he knew

 

 

117

 

1 about this from the newspaper, can he?

2 A. No.

3 Q. What is the basis, please, of your suggestion that you

4 think he would probably have known about the

5 relationship?

6 A. Just it is the context of time. It is quite a while

7 since it was, I mean, reported -- I'm reporting it on

8 memory.

9 Q. Yes. I think that may be a problem here.

10 A. Yes, indeed.

11 Q. This is all a very long time ago now?

12 A. It is a long time ago insomuch that, I mean, I'm

13 familiar enough with the events to be able to generalise

14 as opposed to be specific. It is very difficult to go

15 back that length of time and be specific about dates.

16 Q. Indeed. But that's the danger of making very specific

17 comments, isn't it?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Such as the one you make at the end of this paragraph.

20 What is the basis for the suggestion, please, that you

21 think Billy Wright would probably have known about the

22 affair?

23 A. Billy Wright would have been -- I mean he had a network

24 insomuch that he would have been in Lurgan almost as

25 much as Colin Duffy would have been in Portadown.

 

 

118

 

1 There certainly were plenty of sightings of Wright

2 in Lurgan, and his cohorts in Lurgan. So there was --

3 I mean, at that time there was quite a bit of movement

4 between both of them and I suppose in different

5 communities they were of equal status. And certainly it

6 wouldn't have been hard to assume that certainly

7 Wright's LVF cohorts would have known or have had a fair

8 idea of what Duffy was up to.

9 Q. But that's an assumption, isn't it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. There is another aspect of this that I would like to

12 discuss with you. If Billy Wright had known about it,

13 it is extremely unlikely, isn't it, that he was the only

14 Loyalist paramilitary who did?

15 A. Oh, yes, there's no doubt about that. There certainly

16 would have been -- it would have -- it would have been

17 spread amongst the Loyalist community.

18 Q. Yes. You see, that's the oddity of this paragraph. You

19 begin by answering the question whether Loyalist

20 paramilitaries would have known about it, and you say:

21 "I doubt it."

22 Then by the end, you say you think that a single

23 Loyalist paramilitary would probably have known

24 about it?

25 A. I think on balance I'm probably wrong there and I would

 

 

119

 

1 be more inclined to say that, yes, the Loyalist

2 community would have known about it, would have been

3 able to work out who it was.

4 Q. But you can't point to a particular piece of

5 intelligence, at this particular document or piece of

6 information, that supports that suggestion?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Right. Can we move to a completely different topic now,

9 please, because in paragraph 57 you tell us that you

10 moved in May 1998 from the South West to take charge of

11 E4 within Special Branch?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And I have got very few questions to you about that, but

14 I wanted to ask you just a few about the relationship

15 between E4 and the Security Service, which is not

16 something you deal with in your statement.

17 In relation to the deployment of technical devices,

18 can you explain to us the respective roles of the

19 Security Service on the one hand and E4 on the other?

20 A. E4 would have been the element that would have deployed

21 the technical; in other words, we would have done --

22 carried out the research into if the deployment was, as

23 I say, for example, a house, we would have carried

24 out -- would have examined the area. We would then have

25 maybe covertly looked at the area, we would have tried

 

 

120

 

1 to get plans of the house; in other words, we would have

2 planned the attack on the house as such. And we would

3 have been assisted insomuch that -- by intelligence. In

4 other words, they would have provided us with plans of

5 the house.

6 So in other words, we were looking at it from point

7 of view how can we get into this property to deploy

8 a particular device. The intelligence really that the

9 Security Service worked on was done in isolation. So

10 really we were tasked with the job of coming up with

11 a plan whereby we could deploy the technical, and then

12 we would have presented our plans to Security Services

13 or -- and TCG. And they would have said "Yes", "No", or

14 "We are not happy doing it this way or that way, can you

15 tweak it?"

16 The plan would have been tweaked until it met

17 everyone’s needs because on the Security Service and on the

18 intelligence side, they might have said no, we are not

19 happy with coming at the house from that area [redacted]

20 because there is a family living in

21 a particular area that would have -- you mean -- so

22 there were a lot -- as I say, our task was to actually

23 come up with a plan to get into the house.

24 Q. And who was responsible then for liaising between the

25 two organisations, between E4 and the Security Service?

 

 

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1 A. That would have been done at TCG level, and at the very

2 early stages that would have been done at TCG (South),

3 for example. And then, whenever they had resolved all

4 the differences -- in other words, whenever they had

5 come up with their plan -- the plan was then presented

6 to me and I would have the final say on -- with the

7 Security Service on whether it went ahead or not.

8 Q. Joint operations between you, how were they managed?

9 A. Again, by TCG and the regions.

10 Q. Right. What about the product of the joint operations?

11 Who owned it?

12 A. The Security Services.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of getting the final go ahead

14 for whether a technical operation should proceed, is it

15 fair to say in the end it was the Security Service who

16 ultimately determined that question?

17 A. I would have said probably myself more than security

18 services insomuch that the final presentation for the

19 deployment of the device was always done in my office,

20 where I would have looked at the plan, the intelligence

21 would have been briefly presented to me -- in other

22 words, to justify the deployment -- and then would have

23 gone through the plan in detail with the Security

24 Services there. And if I wasn't happy about

25 a particular case -- there were cases where I had said

 

 

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1 no to -- it wouldn't go ahead. So I had the final say.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like to ask you about two

3 operations which you touch on in your statement, and the

4 first you begin to talk about in paragraph 72,

5 page RNI-846-338 (displayed). This is Operation Shubr.

6 Now, by the time this operation began, you were in

7 post as the Head of E4, weren't you?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Now, so far as that's concerned, as you explain in this

10 rather heavily redacted first paragraph, 72, it was

11 a surveillance operation against the LVF, wasn't it?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Now, so far as the frequency of surveillance in a long

14 running operation like this, who would determine,

15 please, how often the surveillance team was on the

16 ground?

17 A. TCGs. The TCGs -- you mean, the plan would have been

18 they would have been given a target; in other words, the

19 particular people -- and I would have approved the

20 operation. And from there, TCG would have selected the

21 times whenever they maybe wanted the surveillance team

22 to go out. Then following that, I would have received

23 a report back saying what -- just a brief outline of

24 what they had obtained from the surveillance.

25 So I would have approved the overall operation.

 

 

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1 Thereafter, TCG would have deployed them and I would

2 have just got feedback or obtained feedback in relation

3 to what they had seen or what the surveillance had

4 produced.

5 Q. That's important, obviously. So after you had approved

6 it, you were no longer, as it were, hands-on so far as

7 the operation was concerned?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Now, as far as one can tell from the material we have

10 seen here, and you, I think, confirm this at the top of

11 RNI-846-340, paragraph 76 (displayed), the surveillance

12 was intermittent.

13 Now, was that a regular feature of these

14 long-running operations, that they would be on and then

15 off for a bit and then on again?

16 A. Yes, because mostly they were intelligence-driven. So

17 if there is no activity or no intelligence of activity,

18 they could be -- you would maybe have different targets

19 ongoing for quite a period of time and maybe the

20 deployments were frequent/infrequent.

21 Q. Was the frequency ever determined by available

22 resources?

23 A. On occasions it was, yes, and then I would have been

24 involved in -- TCG may well have rang me and said,

25 "Look, we have a very important meetings or a very

 

 

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1 important deployment tonight. We haven't got the

2 resources here. Can you get us the additional

3 resources?" And if I would have considered it

4 appropriate, I would have tried to get the resources

5 from other areas. If I hadn't got the resources ...

6 Q. It didn't happen?

7 A. It didn't happen.

8 Q. Thank you. Going back to 72, RNI-846-338 (displayed),

9 you then refer to various bits of reporting arising from

10 the operation. And it looks as though, as far as one

11 can see, the relevant LVF individuals were not under

12 surveillance at the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder on

13 15 March 1999?

14 A. No, they aren't.

15 Q. Do you have any actual recollection of why that might

16 have been?

17 A. No, I don't.

18 Q. No. Now, we know that on the weekend before the murder,

19 one of the prominent LVF individuals, Mark Fulton, was

20 out on licence from prison. Is that something you were

21 aware of at the time?

22 A. I may have known, but I have no recollection of being

23 aware of -- I wouldn't have necessarily been briefed.

24 I might have become aware if there had been -- the

25 surveillance team had been tasked to -- for surveillance

 

 

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1 against him, but I have no recollection of it.

2 Q. But a decision to initiate surveillance based on

3 a development of that kind, that would have been taken,

4 would it, at the TCG?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. And not by you?

7 A. No.

8 Q. And would you even have known that a decision had been

9 taken to turn it back on again, if I can put it that

10 way, before it happened?

11 A. I probably would.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. I probably would. Because he got out again, it probably

14 come in as new tasking and it would have been a new task

15 for the teams to take on, and normally I would have been

16 briefed on it.

17 Q. But as far as you can recall, nothing happened?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Thank you. And in relation to Rosemary Nelson, you say

20 in paragraph 78 in relation to this operation,

21 RNI-846-340 (displayed), that as far as you are

22 concerned, there was no intelligence arising from the

23 operation that those individuals within the LVF were

24 targeting Rosemary Nelson?

25 A. No.

 

 

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1 Q. Is that right?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Now, in relation to the question of the intermittent

4 surveillance, one of the things you said to me earlier

5 was that a factor in determining whether or not the

6 operation would come on again in an operation of this

7 kind, would be resources?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Do you remember saying that?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Let's have a look together at the top of

12 page RNI-846-339, please, because here, where you are

13 talking about the Army element of this operation, which

14 you have already referred to in paragraph 72, you say

15 that:

16 "They were looking for more work to keep their

17 people busy. There was not enough work for them in

18 other areas."

19 Do you see that?

20 A. Hm-mm.

21 Q. So I can take it, can I, that at this time, March 1999,

22 they were looking for other work?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. So if there was a reason for this not to be on, if I can

25 put it that way, it can't have been that particular part

 

 

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1 of resourcing?

2 A. No. You mean, one of the things about it is the

3 surveillance resources don't go out just for the sake of

4 going out. They have to be tasked. So there has to be

5 a reason for them to be deployed. [ redacted ].

6 It was a specific

7 tasking, and if there is no specific tasking, they don't

8 go out.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. There is always the risk that you compromise a future

11 operation by them being out unnecessarily.

12 Q. Yes. Now, in the immediate aftermath of

13 Rosemary Nelson's murder, were you involved in

14 discussions within Special Branch as to whether the

15 Murder Investigation Team should be informed that the

16 LVF had been under surveillance at this time?

17 A. No.

18 Q. You were not?

19 A. Not that I can recollect anyway.

20 Q. Were you aware that discussions of that kind were going

21 on within Special Branch?

22 A. There could have been. I have no recollection because

23 even I was -- I wasn't part of the intelligence, so

24 therefore I wouldn't necessarily have been privy to the

25 discussions.

 

 

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1 Q. Yes. Who would have been the person involved in

2 decision-making of that kind then?

3 A. That would have been the Head of Special Branch in --

4 the Head of Special Branch and the Head of

5 Special Branch in South Region.

6 Q. So the Head of Special Branch --

7 A. And TCGs as well, and TCGs.

8 Q. Right. Well, as you have probably gathered, that

9 information was not disclosed to the Murder

10 Investigation Team and what I would like to do with you,

11 please, is just to think what information was coming out

12 of the surveillance work which might have been relevant.

13 Firstly, the surveillance was presumably gathering

14 sightings so as, for instance, if there had been

15 anything which suggested dry runs or scouting for what

16 became the attack, that might have been something to

17 emerge from the surveillance, mightn't it?

18 A. Yes, if there had been a tasking that, for example,

19 Fulton or whoever was involved in something, then yes,

20 there would have been surveillance, they would maybe

21 have been tasked to -- even if he was going to meeting,

22 for example, to find out who is he meeting.

23 One of the problems with surveillance is

24 surveillance is not an exact science insomuch that you

25 just can't send people out speculatively.

 

 

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1 [ redacted ]. The surveillance team have to know

2 where to go and have to have some sort of guidance as to

3 what they are looking for. To send a surveillance team

4 out speculatively runs the risk of compromising the

5 operation for later and potentially damages the

6 operation and wastes their time, and potentially blows

7 their cover as well. And Portadown and Lurgan, from

8 a surveillance point of view, are two difficult areas to

9 work in.

10 Q. Indeed.

11 A. Your time on the ground, it can be quite limited because

12 they are two tightly knit areas where a strange vehicle,

13 a strange car, strange movement, would draw attention.

14 And as I say, you run the risk of compromising your

15 operation later.

16 So any surveillance operations that we would have

17 mounted in those areas were always tightly controlled

18 and tightly managed.

19 Q. I want to come back to some of the things you have just

20 said then, but in relation to surveillance awareness, if

21 I can put it that way, are you saying that surveillance

22 in these communities was difficult because they were

23 close knit communities?

24 A. It was a mixture. You take a lot of the developments,

25 the estates in Portadown and Lurgan, there is maybe one

 

 

130

 

1 road in and one road out. A vehicle going in there, and

2 a strange vehicle -- and they are all tight knit

3 communities, Protestant communities or Catholic

4 communities -- and a strange vehicle would be picked up

5 very, very quickly, especially if you're parked up

6 somewhere and were seen. It's like the jungle drums

7 would work very quickly, so -- I mean -- surveillance is

8 quite a difficult feature in these areas and for a long

9 time we had difficulty even mounting them in the first

10 instance.

11 Q. And presumably there was the added problem, when looking

12 at individuals of this kind, that they themselves may

13 well be surveillance aware?

14 A. Very much so because -- it was almost a game for them to

15 go out at night if they were doing something and they

16 were very, very switched on to what was taking place.

17 As I say, you are dealing with tight knit

18 communities on both sides, both the Loyalist terrorists

19 and the Republican terrorists. They certainly were

20 alert to what was about.

21 Q. Going back to the issues you raised a little bit earlier

22 in relation to what might have emerged from the

23 Operation Shubr logs, if I can put it that way. What we

24 are talking about here is not decision-making before the

25 event. What we are talking about is what might have

 

 

131

 

1 been of interest and of use to the Murder Investigation

2 Team after the event.

3 Now, do you understand that of course the

4 surveillances at the time may not have been thinking

5 about Rosemary Nelson or targeting her, but the

6 movements that they observed, the contacts that they

7 recorded might have turned out to be significant after

8 the event for the Murder Investigation Team. Do you

9 accept that?

10 A. Yes, I accept that, yes.

11 Q. And so if there had been contacts with others, for

12 example, whether in this area or in Belfast or

13 elsewhere, or contacts with individuals who were

14 associated with the Red Hand Defenders, for example,

15 that might have been of significance for the Murder

16 Investigation Team?

17 A. Yes, indeed.

18 Q. And anything that Shubr and the observations that had

19 been logged there over the preceding weeks and months,

20 anything that that had revealed about backgrounds, about

21 lifestyles, about contacts, much more generally in

22 relation to these individuals, would have been of

23 interest, wouldn't it?

24 A. Oh, yes.

25 Q. So if you had been asked for your view, "Is this

 

 

132

 

1 material relevant to the Murder Investigation Team to

2 consider, to look at?" Can I take it that your answer

3 would have been yes?

4 A. I wouldn't have been responsible for saying the yes, but

5 certainly from -- I mean, the fact that if it had formed

6 part of the investigation, I would have supported the

7 fact that it should have been disseminated and I

8 wouldn't -- I certainly would not have been

9 disseminating it because it wouldn't have been -- the

10 intelligence wasn't mine to disseminate.

11 Q. I understand.

12 A. But, yes, I would have had no difficulty in

13 disseminating it.

14 Q. Just one further question in relation to this. We have

15 discussed already the involvement in the operation of

16 the military surveillance unit and you have told us that

17 you were not involved in the discussion as to whether to

18 disclose. But based on your knowledge of these

19 operations and the way things were set up in those days,

20 would you have expected the military to have been

21 consulted before any decision in relation to disclosure

22 to the Murder Investigation Team was made?

23 A. Yes, I would have.

24 Q. Yes. Thank you.

25 Now, I would like to turn to another operation you

 

 

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1 refer to in your statement, please, and that you begin

2 in paragraph 79. It is Operation Fagotto. That was,

3 again, a long-term operation, wasn't it, in relation to

4 a significant PIRA individual?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Thank you. And in relation to that, please, can I ask

7 you first, again, about the extent of your involvement?

8 Was it again at the high level, as opposed to hands-on

9 and day-to-day?

10 A. Very much so, yes.

11 Q. Yes. And the evidence which the Inquiry has heard is to

12 the effect that it was also an operation running at the

13 time of the murder. That's right, isn't it?

14 A. Yes, it was indeed, yes.

15 Q. And you deal in your statement with the specific events

16 on the weekend of the murder, and you say at the top of

17 page RNI-846-341, paragraph 80 (displayed), that you

18 weren't told about it before it happened. Is that

19 correct?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And you presumably, therefore, were simply briefed about

22 it in due course after it had occurred?

23 A. The next morning I would have been part of the briefing

24 for myself.

25 Q. Was it appreciated immediately that this was something

 

 

134

 

1 which might be regarded as of significance in connection

2 with the murder investigation?

3 A. I would have said not.

4 Q. You would have said not?

5 A. I would have said not.

6 Q. Why do you say that, please?

7 A. Because [ redacted

8 redacted

9 redacted ]. There was

10 significance to it. There was nothing reported back of

11 any significance, sightings or anything. It was a drive

12 past and home again, back to base.

13 So even certainly at that stage, there was nothing

14 in my mind that would have said, well, we need to report

15 this because it was -- and from -- I wouldn't have

16 argued with South Region if they had said, "No, we don't

17 need to disclose this" purely and simply because it was

18 nothing to do with the investigation and my staff had

19 reported nothing to concern them.

20 Q. Yes. So there was nothing in the briefing or reporting

21 you had received which was, in your view, out of the

22 ordinary?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Right. And do I take it, therefore, that you are making

25 a distinction in your evidence to the Tribunal between

 

 

135

 

1 Shubr on the one hand and Fagotto on the other?

2 A. I'm not so sure that I am. Again, you see, I'm not

3 privy to the intelligence that comes from it. All I'm

4 doing is getting a brief the next morning. So,

5 therefore, the assessment as to whether to disclose to

6 the Murder Investigation Team is not my decision. There

7 was nothing in either of them that would have caused me

8 concern.

9 Q. Now, you deal in your evidence at RNI-846-342,

10 paragraph 86 (displayed), with the concept of out of

11 bounds areas, about which the Tribunal has already heard

12 some evidence.

13 Is it right, as far as you are aware, that there was

14 no out of bounds order made at this time; in other

15 words, the night of 14 and 15 March?

16 A. I would be wrong to say that I would be certain, but I

17 don't think there was.

18 Q. Yes. Now, as I understand it, what you are saying here

19 in this paragraph is:

20 "The purpose of the out of bounds area ..."

21 This is four lines from the end of 86:

22 "... is to keep uniformed police and RIR out of the

23 area. As the operation that evening only involved

24 a drive through, there is a reasonable possibility that

25 an out of bounds area was not set up."

 

 

136

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Then you were asked to consider the point that it was

3 a bit more than that; in other words, what you describe

4 in the next paragraph as a "walk by". Do you see that?

5 A. Yes, I do indeed.

6 Q. Then you say:

7 "This still does not necessarily require an out of

8 bounds area."

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Can I infer from that that ordinarily it would?

11 A. For the likes of this job here, which was only

12 a two-minute drive past, [redacted], where we

13 weren't actually getting out of the vehicle, where we

14 weren't doing anything that would have caused us

15 concern, the requirement for an out of bounds would have

16 been considered unnecessarily.

17 I mean, it is one of the things -- it is different

18 if the operation was going on for an extended period of

19 time where you didn't want patrols in the area. But

20 really what we were doing, there was nothing untoward or

21 strange from a -- in a vehicle driving into an area and

22 driving out of it again.

23 Q. But just getting back to the question I asked you, you

24 posit in 87 the idea of a walk by. Would I be right in

25 suggesting to you that in the ordinary run of cases

 

 

137

 

1 where there is a walk by, there would be an out of

2 bounds area?

3 A. Yes, if there was a walk by, you would do, yes.

4 Q. So if there was a walk by in this case, it is unusual --

5 A. Yes, it would have been, yes.

6 Q. Now, the point about the out of bounds order, of course,

7 is that others outside the surveillance team have to be

8 informed what is going on, don't they?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Who gets informed?

11 A. The local police and the local Army --

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. -- are briefed and just told to stay out of the area.

14 Q. Exactly. So even though they don't know anything about

15 what is going on in the area, they know that something

16 is going on in the area?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And of course if they are not giving the out of bounds

19 order, they don't?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. Thank you. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

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

24 please confirm that all the cameras have been

25 switched off?

 

 

138

 

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

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

3 Please escort the witness out.

4 We will resume at quarter to four.

5 (3.30 pm)

6 (Short break)

7 (3.49 pm)

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, is the public area screen fully

9 in place, locked and the key secured?

10 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

12 screen closed?

13 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

15 and securely fastened?

16 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

18 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

19 of this chamber?

20 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), can you please confirm that the

22 two witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

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

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

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

2 Bring the witness in, please.

3 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

4 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

5 switched back on.

6 MR PHILLIPS: Just returning to the topic of Operation

7 Fagotto and the murder investigation, can I ask you to

8 look, please, at paragraph 85 of your statement,

9 RNI-846-342 (displayed), because there you tell us at

10 the beginning that Detective Superintendent Kinkaid

11 became the SIO of the murder investigation and he wanted

12 to find out more about Operation Fagotto.

13 Are you aware that the next day, 16 March, in the

14 morning, there was a meeting that took place in which

15 he, Superintendent Kinkaid, requested information from

16 Special Branch in relation to all undercover operations

17 in the Lurgan area in the days preceding the murder?

18 A. Certainly I remember at some stage the Head of

19 Special Branch South speaking to me about it, but I

20 can't -- just to keep me in the loop more than anything.

21 It was a matter of courtesy.

22 Q. When you say in your statement that you remember the

23 Head -- the Regional Head of Special Branch ringing you

24 as a matter of courtesy, does that suggest that by then

25 the decision had already been made?

 

 

140

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Now, were you aware that there was some delay, I think

3 about three days, in providing information about

4 Operation Fagotto to the Murder Investigation Team?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Were you involved in discussions as to whether

7 information concerning that operation should be released

8 to the Murder Investigation Team?

9 A. I was aware that there were discussions going on, but I

10 wasn't -- merely aware.

11 Q. Yes. Using your cipher list again, please, can you

12 identify those Special Branch officers involved in the

13 discussion?

14 A. B629 --

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. -- is the only one that I could -- I mean, that I'm

17 aware of because the conversation would have been

18 with him.

19 Q. Yes. Now, very early in the hours after the murder an

20 allegation of collusion was made, was it not?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And the suggestion was that RUC officers or other

23 personnel within the security forces may have been

24 involved in the murder?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

141

 

1 Q. Now, that surely made it vital, didn't it, that there

2 should be a full disclosure of any RUC presence in the

3 area on the night before the murder?

4 A. Yes, I have no difficulty with that.

5 Q. No.

6 A. And I'm not saying for one minute that there was any

7 intention to not give the information out. But it was

8 managing the information and the giving it out, insomuch

9 that probably they had to consider the implications for

10 sources in the area and for the target --

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. -- on that particular night to see how that could be

13 managed; in other words, how they could protect the

14 operation itself.

15 Q. But subject to those points of detail, there was no

16 reason in principle and every reason in practice why

17 this information should be handed over?

18 A. I don't see it was ever intended that it wouldn't be

19 handed over, but there was a managing of the process.

20 Q. And you were made aware of that consideration, that

21 managing of the process, were you, although you weren't

22 directly involved in the questions?

23 A. That's correct. If you have to look at it, it was their

24 intelligence, it was their information. So, therefore,

25 keeping me in the loop was just -- if the information,

 

 

142

 

1 once the decision had been made, was to make sure that I

2 didn't question handing over the information.

3 Q. When you say "their", you mean South Region?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to what happened after

6 that, officers involved in the operation were

7 questioned, were they not, by the Murder Investigation

8 Team?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. And you were present at least for some of those

11 interviews, weren't you?

12 A. I was, yes.

13 Q. Now, on the basis of what you learnt through those

14 interviews and the briefing and reporting to you, was

15 there anything that made you concerned as to whether

16 this had been a bona fide operation?

17 A. Oh, there was no doubt in my mind that there was a bona

18 fide operation and the tasking was appropriate. I have

19 absolutely no difficulty with it.

20 Q. Now, in relation to requests from the murder

21 investigation, you are aware, aren't you, I'm sure, that

22 Mr Port was appointed to head up the investigation as

23 the officer in overall command?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. In early April 1999?

 

 

143

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Do you recall attending a meeting with him on, I think,

3 8 April, when he asked for information, including access

4 to a log relating to surveillance on key suspects over

5 the previous six months?

6 A. I would be wrong to say that I remember specifically,

7 but --

8 Q. Does it ring a bell?

9 A. Yes, it rings a bell and I wouldn't discount it.

10 Q. Yes. Can you shed any light, as a result of what you

11 can remember now, as to why it was, after that request

12 and after the request made on the day after the murder,

13 that the information in relation to Operation Shubr was

14 not handed over?

15 A. No, I can't.

16 Q. No. And you are saying, as I think you said earlier,

17 that you were not privy to the discussions about handing

18 that material over. Is that right?

19 A. The intelligence wasn't mine to hand over.

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. I did not have ownership of it. My staff would have

22 obtained intelligence, it would have been passed over to

23 the people on the intelligence and it was up to them to

24 disclose it. As a matter of courtesy, they would

25 probably have let me know that they were doing so to

 

 

144

 

1 make sure that if I was asked to provide the logs that

2 my staff kept, that I didn't obstruct. Again, it was

3 part of managing the process.

4 Q. So that you didn't --

5 A. So that I didn't say no to it.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. Because I could have turned round and said, "Have you

8 cleared this with the intelligence people?" because I

9 would have asked the question.

10 Q. So your involvement was limited, was it, to making sure

11 you were, to that extent, on side and aware of the

12 decision that had been taken?

13 A. That's right, and to cooperate.

14 Q. But I can take it then from what you have been saying --

15 and from the fact that it was not disclosed -- that

16 there was no such discussion with you, "When they come

17 and ask for this, make sure you hand it over", in

18 relation to Operation Shubr?

19 A. No.

20 Q. And you didn't raise it yourself as a possibility?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did you see it as in any sense part of your role to give

23 active, as opposed to responsive, assistance to the

24 Murder Investigation Team?

25 A. I wasn't asked. Even if I had been asked, I would have

 

 

145

 

1 certainly -- certainly I would have referred it to --

2 because the intelligence wasn't mine. Yes, my staff

3 obtained the intelligence, my staff had the records

4 and -- but at the same time, it wasn't for me to

5 disclose the information that was contained.

6 So, therefore, I would have -- if I had been asked,

7 I would have had to refer to the intelligence people.

8 But even, as I say, the discussions up to then -- and in

9 fairness to probably the Port team, they were probably

10 aware of this so, therefore, I wasn't asked and my staff

11 weren't asked that I am aware of.

12 Q. You think they were aware of Shubr, do you?

13 A. The surveillance people, I assume they were.

14 Q. But anyway, you didn't raise it as a question with the

15 Regional Head?

16 A. No.

17 Q. You didn't say, "There was this operation going on, you

18 know, in relation to these people. Do you think we had

19 better consider disclosing details of surveillance to

20 the Port team?"

21 A. I personally, no.

22 Q. From paragraph 88 of your statement, which is at the top

23 of RNI-846-343 onwards (displayed), you make a number of

24 comments about your involvement with and the working

25 relationship you had with the murder investigation and

 

 

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1 the senior officers in charge of it. And you record,

2 don't you, various tensions and disagreements that took

3 place over the years?

4 A. I mean, generally speaking I had a good relationship

5 with the Port Inquiry, but there were one or two

6 occasions when they were seeking access to my resources.

7 And, again, the tensions and possibly the frustrations

8 on their part were the fact that I was unable to provide

9 them with -- I think they would have liked to have had,

10 for example, a surveillance team that they could deploy

11 at will.

12 The problem is that I didn't have the resource, and

13 I don't think there was an understanding within Port's

14 team how surveillance worked, how difficult it was to

15 work in the likes of the Portadown/Lurgan area, an

16 understanding or appreciation that you need a start

17 point, you need to have objectives. And me putting

18 forward that sort of reasoning was seen probably by them

19 to be obstructive and did cause tension, and was purely

20 and simply probably -- I think there was a certain --

21 maybe a perception within their team that -- it is like

22 television there, even surveillance in a small village

23 in Surrey. Whereas surveillance in a place like

24 Portadown or Lurgan is fraught with difficulties, and

25 you just cannot send a team out there and hope that they

 

 

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1 see [name redacted] meeting up with somebody else.

2 It doesn't work that way.

3 Q. Yes. That's obviously a particular example and we will

4 come back to some of the details. But can I start by

5 looking at the general picture so we have got an idea of

6 that.

7 In paragraph 113 of your statement at RNI-846-350

8 (displayed), you say, consistently with what you have

9 just been saying, that you believe you had a good

10 relationship with them. So overall that was the nature

11 of the relationship, you believe. Is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And so when we read in the other paragraphs of your

14 statement about the conflicts and stand-offs, if I can

15 put it that way, you see those in the overall context,

16 do you, of a good working relationship?

17 A. Oh, yes, because I would have been -- I mean, I used

18 to -- I would have called with Sam Kinkaid on regular

19 occasions to provide what support I could.

20 Q. Yes. What I would like to do, if I may, is to see

21 whether we can agree on some of the general points that

22 were in play here and the personalities involved.

23 Their principal point of contact at Special Branch

24 was the South Region, wasn't it?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

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1 Q. That's where the murder took place. Their liaison

2 officer from Special Branch was the inspector, was he

3 not?

4 A. I believe so.

5 Q. In Portadown and Lurgan?

6 A. I believe so, yes.

7 Q. Yes. And at that point, as you have already told us,

8 that region was under the control of your old boss,

9 B629?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And you had left South Region less than a year before

12 the murder. That's right, isn't it?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And having spent three years or more there. Can

15 I suggest first of all that it would be entirely

16 understandable if in any debates and discussions with

17 MIT about these sorts of issues, your instinctive

18 sympathies and loyalties would have been with your

19 former colleagues in the South Region?

20 A. I wouldn't necessarily subscribe to that. The Port team

21 were carrying out an investigation and it was up to me

22 to be helpful as I could, but realistic as to what I

23 could provide in helping them because some of the work

24 that I was doing in E4 was unique and required -- that

25 was probably unique to myself and my office, as opposed

 

 

149

 

1 to South Region, and really outside any decision-making

2 that South Region would have been involved in.

3 So I wouldn't subscribe to the fact that I had

4 loyalties to South Region. Yes, I had a relationship

5 with South Region, but at the same time I also was doing

6 my best to support the investigation in any way I can.

7 And as I say, I had several meetings with Sam Kinkaid

8 and with Port and Arthur Provoost in relation to

9 surveillance and in relation to applications they were

10 making, and I think I was more than helpful.

11 Q. Just to go back then to the point I put to you. You do

12 not think, as I understand it, that this was a factor in

13 the tensions which obviously did take place in the

14 working intelligence relationship between you on the one

15 hand and the MIT?

16 A. I would be disappointed if they thought that it did.

17 Q. Right. So far as the broader context is concerned, we

18 are looking at a period in the late 1990s where there

19 was a good deal of change in terms of the legislative

20 rules and regulations concerning technical operations.

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And you talk in your statement about your own

23 involvement on a working party for RIPA?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. And am I right in thinking that the Act, RIPA, came into

 

 

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1 force in 2000?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. So that the murder investigation, because we know it

4 went on considerably beyond then, straddled the pre-RIPA

5 regime and the post-RIPA regime?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. In your statement, you focus very much on the RIPA

8 regime and on the ways in which you believe that the

9 Port team perhaps didn't appreciate it and everything

10 that was required by that. Is that a fair summary?

11 A. I'm not necessarily saying it was the Port team. I

12 think the legislation arrived in and it was completely

13 new, and I think within any policing organisation it was

14 new and I had a unique knowledge. And there was,

15 certainly from Port's investigation -- they probably

16 relied heavily on me to assist them with their

17 investigation, to keep them right, to keep the

18 investigation on track.

19 Q. But presumably this adjustment was one that was going on

20 in every police force throughout the United Kingdom?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And in the RUC as much as in any other police force?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. And no doubt within the RUC because of your particular

25 expertise, you were responsible for assisting your own

 

 

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1 colleagues to adjust, to get used to the new landscape

2 so that they could act in compliance with the new law?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And that was a problem for your colleagues within the

5 RUC as much as it was for the Murder Investigation Team?

6 A. Yes, that's correct.

7 Q. Now, in relation, however, to operations before 2000, of

8 course, RIPA considerations did not apply, did they?

9 A. Not to the same extent.

10 Q. No. So that if we are going to judge those operations,

11 we have to judge them in a slightly different context,

12 do we not?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Yes. Now, so far as what the MIT wanted to do in terms

15 of their technical operations, of course, their focus

16 was on the gathering of evidence, wasn't it?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. As opposed to intelligence?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And in that sense, as you put it in your statement at

21 paragraph 120 -- if we could have that, please, at

22 RNI-846-352 (displayed) -- they were pushing the

23 boundaries, weren't they?

24 A. They’re investigators.

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

152

 

1 A. They are looking to gather evidence and probably they

2 would have seen the likes of my work as being

3 bureaucratic. No detective likes bureaucracy.

4 Q. No, but they were pushing the boundaries, as you put it

5 here, on gathering intelligence for evidential purposes,

6 weren't they?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So they weren't concerned, as Special Branch in

9 Northern Ireland had been traditionally concerned, about

10 intelligence gathering through these techniques; they

11 were seeking to use what they gathered from technical

12 operations in order to mount criminal prosecutions?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And was there a sense, do you think, that this pushing

15 the boundaries took certainly some of your colleagues in

16 Special Branch out of their comfort zone, if I can put

17 it that way?

18 A. It was certainly a very strong consideration. From my

19 point of view, I had no difficulty with it. My

20 responsibility was to make sure that they complied with

21 the legislation because I saw myself as protecting their

22 investigation, that if they did get that snippet of

23 evidence, that would help a conviction, to make sure

24 that it was properly gathered and within the

25 regulations.

 

 

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1 Q. Yes.

2 A. So, yes, I would be very surprised if there was

3 a subdiscussion because you are exposing technology and

4 something that, once it goes to court, potentially could

5 hamper future intelligence-gathering operations.

6 Q. Yes. And that was a concern presumably felt by you and

7 your colleagues in Special Branch at this time?

8 A. Well, it was part of the argument, but it wasn't part of

9 my argument because my argument -- as far as I was

10 concerned, if the organisation -- and it wasn't just

11 a South Region problem, it was an organisational problem

12 both within the Security Services and within the RUC as

13 a whole.

14 At the end of the day, if they were signed up to it,

15 it was my duty to make sure that the proper checks and

16 balances were in place and that they had the proper

17 signatures there to do what they wanted to do.

18 Q. Yes. But would you also agree, in terms of what they

19 wanted to do and the time they wanted to do it, that

20 these were early days for this sort of operation in

21 a CID context?

22 A. Very much so, yes.

23 Q. So it was novel, and that often takes people quite a lot

24 to adjust to?

25 A. It causes tensions, yes.

 

 

154

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. Because I think as well as that too, there was the

3 tensions associated with, "It is new", but there was

4 also within CID and investigators, there wasn't really

5 an appreciation of the implications that they had --

6 that for a product that could cause them problems. In

7 other words, it is not just a case of producing, "Listen

8 out for that piece of evidence", there are other

9 associated issues with it as well: the likes of if they

10 start talking about murdering somebody, what do they do?

11 So there was a lot of issues, not just for

12 Special Branch but also for the investigators to get

13 their head round. And I'm not so sure that that was

14 unique to Special Branch, but as I say, I don't think

15 CID -- because it was new to them and never having done

16 it before, I don't think they appreciated. And this is

17 where I was probably involved in a lot of the

18 discussions with them so that they understood where they

19 were going to and the implications to what they were

20 doing, to make sure that they had proper procedures in

21 place to manage the product.

22 Q. Yes. Is it fair to say, finally, that what they were

23 seeking to do at this stage, which, as you say, was new,

24 in the subsequent years became much more routine in the

25 CID context?

 

 

155

 

1 A. I think RIPA was new to the UK and I think probably it

2 had been done a few times on the mainland, so therefore,

3 the myth had been broken. So, therefore, there was more

4 of an acceptance here that it could and should be done.

5 And as an investigator, an investigator is not doing his

6 job if he doesn't look at every aspect of the

7 investigation and do everything he or she possibly can

8 to gather evidence by whatever means, so long as it is

9 within the law.

10 Q. And do you think that was something that was always

11 brought to mind and appreciated by you and your

12 colleagues in Special Branch at this time?

13 A. Well, for me, yes, it was. But I think Special Branch

14 come along and -- I mean, I think in fairness to them,

15 they probably saw that at the end of the day, if we end

16 up getting the person that murdered Rosemary Nelson, we

17 have succeeded in taking whoever did it off the streets,

18 so they are not going to murder any more.

19 So it wasn't a straightforward case of being

20 obstructive. It was a straightforward case of being

21 realistic and I think, okay, there might have been

22 a period of tension and discussion before -- and

23 a management of the realisation before we actually got

24 there. And I think as well, it all happened over

25 a period of time where there is new legislation and the

 

 

156

 

1 organisation, the UK policing organisation, was getting

2 to grips with new legislation because even for

3 Colin Port and his experience, even he didn't have

4 a full understanding of it and probably never had been

5 involved in this before. And probably he had to manage

6 it too. And, as I say, there were tensions, but at the

7 same time there was a lot of cooperation between us to

8 make sure that what they were doing was done right.

9 Q. And can I just ask you to look, please, at paragraph 126

10 of your statement because there you talk about a meeting

11 in the very early stages of the investigation with

12 Sir David Phillips and the FBI who were at that stage,

13 as it were, in place on the investigation, shortly

14 before Mr Port arrived on the scene.

15 The interviewers obviously told you there was

16 a discussion there about intelligence versus evidence,

17 disclosure versus source protection. And you say at the

18 end of the paragraph:

19 "My teams were trained to gather intelligence, not

20 evidence. Gathering evidence was a different thing."

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Looking back on it, do you think that was at the heart

23 of the problems that occurred between the Murder

24 Investigation Team and Special Branch?

25 A. I don't think it was an appreciation within the Port

 

 

157

 

1 team -- they didn't appreciation how surveillance worked

2 and I don't think there was an understanding -- I mean,

3 there was a big difference between sending a team out to

4 gather intelligence and sending a team out to gather

5 evidence.

6 I mean, to gather evidence you have to satisfy

7 R v Turnbull, which means that you have to -- I think

8 there are 12 or 13 different points that you have to

9 cover to satisfy a court that the evidence of what you

10 have seen is correct, whereas from an intelligence point

11 of view, you are starting off with a situation where you

12 may be sending a surveillance team out to cover

13 a meeting between two people. Covering that meeting

14 might be done from some distance away. You may not

15 necessarily have full control of the person. The

16 problem is in the likes of the Portadown/Lurgan area, to

17 get up close and personal to satisfy R v Turnbull, you

18 would compromise your operation very quickly. And once

19 you compromise an operation it is very difficult to go

20 back.

21 So there were constraints there that I don't think

22 that the Port team fully appreciated. They had this

23 perception that, "Oh, we will send a surveillance team

24 out and they'll come back with the golden nugget". It

25 never worked like that.

 

 

158

 

1 Q. Those were points that you were particularly concerned

2 about in relation to surveillance. I wanted to ask you

3 much more broadly about the position of Special Branch.

4 Was there a concern, do you think, that the steps

5 that the Port team wished to take might lead to

6 compromise to Special Branch's assets?

7 A. There may have been. I wasn't aware of it. I mean,

8 from my point of view I was purely aware of it from the

9 surveillance point of view, and for me it was

10 compromising my staff -- you mean, because -- you mean,

11 in the back of my mind -- if they asked me to gather

12 intelligence, my staff were trained actually in evidence

13 gathering. Having said that, there was a surveillance

14 team within CID who were trained to gather evidence, but

15 I wasn't aware -- now, they didn't come under my control

16 or command, so I wasn't aware whether they could be

17 tasked or not, but I would imagine even from their point

18 of view it would have been the same sort of activities

19 that they would have had.

20 Q. In relation to how this actually played out, you have

21 dealt with it in your statement in various parts of the

22 investigation. I would like to just look at a couple of

23 them.

24 Can we look first at paragraph 90, RNI-846-343

25 (displayed)? Here you have been shown entries from the

 

 

159

 

1 Head of Special Branch's diary, which is handwritten

2 and, I hope you will forgive me for saying, somewhat

3 difficult to read. This one is for 6 June and the

4 quotation is given there, which may not be entirely

5 accurate, but the key word, I think, in it is

6 "frustration". You are recorded as expressing your

7 frustration at meetings with the Port team as they

8 talked generalities. And he records you as saying that

9 you could not get priorities from them.

10 What was the point at issue here, please?

11 A. It goes back to the understanding of what my teams could

12 do. Even, for example, for them to come to me and say,

13 "I want a surveillance team", "Okay, you can have

14 a surveillance team, but what do you want them to do?

15 What are your objectives? Where is the start point?

16 Where is the control? Where is the management of these

17 people?"

18 Again, they were coming to me, whereas in actual

19 fact the tasking should have been done through TCG

20 because TCG would then manage the operation, because

21 again, where you are working in an environment like

22 Northern Ireland, you have to cope with the possibility

23 of a blue on blue. Again, I couldn't manage that in

24 Headquarters. I approved the operation on the basis of

25 the taskings submitted to me, but it wasn't for me to

 

 

160

 

1 task the people. I could ring TCG and say to them,

2 "I want you to give this a priority" but the management

3 was still -- so the frustration for me was getting the

4 Port team to understand that this is Northern Ireland,

5 not a small sleepy village in Surrey. There are an

6 awful lot of constraints out there, and I don't think

7 they understood or fully appreciated that you just can't

8 put a surveillance team in the likes of Portadown or

9 Lurgan and leave them in the best part of the day.

10 Q. That's the second time you have talked about Surrey. So

11 at this point I'm going to ask you some questions

12 about it.

13 Two of the very senior officers within the Murder

14 Investigation Team from the outset were RUC officers of

15 longstanding. Weren't they?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Detective Superintendent Kinkaid and M540, who was, I

18 think, at this point a chief inspector?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So you didn't need to tell them about conditions,

21 working conditions or policing conditions in

22 Northern Ireland, did you?

23 A. I did, yes.

24 Q. Why do you say that, please?

25 A. Because they were exactly the same. They didn't have

 

 

161

 

1 the understanding. They had the frustration that --

2 there just wasn't an appreciation as to what

3 surveillance could do.

4 Q. Is this the point that you make in your statement about

5 the contrasting, as it were, between CID's experience

6 and Special Branch's?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And is it that that caused you to be concerned about

9 disclosing details of Special Branch techniques and

10 operations to these CID officers?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, let's have a look at that in your statement,

13 please, paragraph 97, at page RNI-846-345 (displayed).

14 You say at the bottom of the page in dealing with these

15 sort of sensitivities:

16 "I couldn't explain it to DCC Port because it was

17 sensitive information/intelligence. The intelligence

18 got out into the public domain and everyone we were

19 trying it target ..."

20 Then there is a bit redacted. Then you refer to

21 Detective Chief Inspector M540 and you say:

22 "He might be working in DCC Port's team this week,

23 but after that he might join CID ..."

24 And then you say this:

25 "... and CID would then know our capabilities. The

 

 

162

 

1 less people who knew our capabilities, the better."

2 So you were concerned, were you, that this

3 experienced and senior officer within CID should not

4 know your capability?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Why was that?

7 A. Because they were sensitive. We were dealing with

8 a serious terrorist situation and to -- you mean, to

9 carry out an operation on behalf of the like of the Port

10 team, if -- to put it into perspective, if later on for

11 operations of a less -- you mean, you are disclosing

12 methodology, you are disclosing your resources, you are

13 disclosing your technology that at some later date they

14 come and ask you to use. The next thing, it ends up in

15 court, it ends up in an open forum. And that's a tactic

16 that we have to then look at finding another way of

17 doing something. In a situation like that out there,

18 there aren't that many options open to you.

19 So, yes, I had a serious concern that you were

20 effectively putting it into the public domain, not so

21 much from blaming it on CID, but once it goes to court,

22 it then becomes widely known. And I mean, there is no

23 doubt about it that the terrorists at that time, and

24 probably still, would love to know exactly how we

25 operated, how we worked, how we supported each other,

 

 

163

 

1 how the technical side supported the uniformed side --

2 sorry, the surveillance side and how the uniformed

3 supported the surveillance side. Those were all things

4 that would have caused us -- me serious difficulty in

5 mounting future operations.

6 Q. Yes. But it sounds all in all as though you didn't

7 actually trust the senior CID officers with your

8 information?

9 A. It wasn't so much that I didn't trust them. What my

10 concern was that, again, if they did get the evidence,

11 it ends up in court and they are -- even they have

12 an obligation to take it to court, and while I had

13 difficulty with that, how do you keep it out of court --

14 because I'm potentially exposing my staff to standing in

15 court. Okay, I can ask them for screening and whatever,

16 but I'm asking them to stand up and give evidence and

17 possibly identify themselves, identify methodology.

18 It is not so much that I didn't trust the CID, it

19 was the fact that I was concerned about the system.

20 Q. Now, you see, later on in your statement at

21 paragraph 99, RNI-846-346 (displayed), you say in

22 a slightly different context and referring to your

23 colleagues in South Region, that they were being open

24 and honest with the Murder Inquiry Team, but the Murder

25 Inquiry Team did not trust them.

 

 

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1 Again, can I just suggest to you it sounds from what

2 you have been saying just now as though if that's right,

3 there was a mutual lack of trust between you and your

4 colleagues in Special Branch on the one hand and the

5 MIT, as you would see it, and those senior officers on

6 the other?

7 A. I wouldn't disagree.

8 Q. You wouldn't disagree?

9 A. No, I think there was tensions there because we each had

10 our own objectives.

11 Q. Yes. They had, no doubt, working practices which were

12 different to those which you and your colleagues were

13 used to. Is that a fair way of putting it?

14 A. Their tactics were open and overt, whereas we were

15 looking at a long-term problem, and we were still

16 dealing with a terrorist organisation and we had still

17 had to -- had to service the objectives of Government,

18 of senior management.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. And we required the resources. And to expose them would

21 have caused us various difficulties, so there were

22 obvious tensions, yes.

23 Q. But their position was that they were trying to conduct

24 an investigation into a very high profile and major

25 crime, the murder of Rosemary Nelson, and against

 

 

165

 

1 a background where allegations of collusion had been

2 made?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. So presumably you would have been anxious to understand

5 that that made it important for them to take a very

6 particular line with you and your colleagues within

7 Special Branch and, in a sense, to be even more

8 demanding than would ordinarily be the case in a murder

9 investigation?

10 A. Yes, I can understand that.

11 Q. Precisely because it was so important that the

12 investigation itself should be seen to be free of any

13 possible taint of collusion?

14 A. But again, I think that's why it caused the tensions

15 because there was -- I mean, yes, on the Special Branch

16 side we were as concerned as they were, but we were

17 concerned with managing it and servicing their needs.

18 Q. Yes. In terms of priorities, which is something you

19 return to again and again in your statement, your need

20 to prioritise things, was the position for you this:

21 that their requests, the MIT requests, had to compete

22 with all the other calls on your resources by

23 Special Branch for national security operations?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And in that business of juggling priorities, whose final

 

 

166

 

1 decision was it as to where the resources should go?

2 A. Well, if the TCG -- if they had tasked TCG for a team,

3 for example, to perform a specific task, that would have

4 come to me. And if TCG had said to me, "Look, I do not

5 have the resources here", I would have looked round to

6 see what other resources there were available to

7 support.

8 I might have brought people from outside, the likes

9 of Portadown, to support. So, you mean -- and again,

10 whenever it come to priority, I probably would have been

11 the one who would have made the decision to support it,

12 and if I wasn't sure or would have had a difficulty with

13 it, then I would have spoken to my ACC and said, "I need

14 you to adjudicate in this matter. There is conflicting

15 demands here. I can't service them all. Which one do

16 you see as a priority?" And I would have turned round

17 and guided him as to what I saw as a priority.

18 Don't forget, in tasking me, I am working in

19 a environment that I have a piece of paper in front of

20 me that sets out the tasking. I do not have the

21 intelligence that tells me -- well, it tells me the

22 basis for it, but it doesn't actually go into the

23 specific of the -- how important it is. I have to work

24 that out. And sometimes I had to refer to my ACC, but

25 I mean, there wouldn't have been -- personally speaking,

 

 

167

 

1 even at that time, I don't think the teams, I remember

2 earlier, weren't that busy that we couldn't have

3 supported a request by the Port team.

4 Q. So that wasn't the problem. It wasn't a problem of

5 resource. What was the problem then?

6 A. I think it was an understanding of what we could and

7 could not do. They were non-specific. They had ideas

8 what they would like to do, but they weren't specific.

9 They didn't tell me -- they would want a surveillance

10 team, but they wouldn't tell me what they wanted the

11 surveillance team to do, to provide them with. It was,

12 [ redacted ], "Okay, what do

13 you want?" There were no objectives set.

14 So, therefore, whenever I come to brief my teams,

15 the difficulty I would have was actually telling them

16 what they were looking for. You cannot send

17 a surveillance team out there without asking them, "This

18 is what I want you to be on the look out for".

19 Q. Do you think that you did what you could to explain,

20 rather than simply saying no, exactly what it was that

21 you needed in order to go through your various processes

22 and the paperwork?

23 A. Yes, we had long protracted discussions about it, and it

24 was frustrating on both parts because they saw they me

25 as stonewalling them and I saw them -- the frustration

 

 

168

 

1 for me was that they weren't hearing what I was saying

2 and weren't able to provide me with -- I think they

3 probably would have liked me to hand over the

4 surveillance team to them for them to --

5 Q. Was there any reason why that couldn't have happened?

6 A. Yes, there were. There was reasons insomuch that there

7 were -- it had to be controlled because you are working

8 in a dangerous area with potential for blue on blue, you

9 had out of bounds areas, you had a whole myriad of

10 issues to deal with. There could have been other

11 operations in the area at a particular time that could

12 have been compromised.

13 Q. Can I just try to summarise what may be the feelings on

14 both sides between you on the one hand and your

15 colleagues and the MIT?

16 They clearly thought that you weren't doing enough

17 for them and you clearly thought that they were asking

18 too much?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, can we just move to paragraph 95, of

21 your statement, which is one, again, of the many points

22 in which you explain the perhaps frustrating nature of

23 the exchanges between you. And you say you would have

24 loved to help them -- do you see under the redaction

25 there? But you wanted to tell them why, "but I

 

 

169

 

1 couldn't." And at the end, it is clear that the basis

2 for that was that you would be giving away sensitive

3 intelligence information which could compromise future

4 relations?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Were you ever told in these discussions that Mr Port's

7 terms of reference gave him unlimited access to all

8 intelligence and information available and to all files

9 held by the RUC?

10 A. Yes, I was.

11 Q. You were. So what then, may I ask you, were the grounds

12 on which you refused to give him an explanation on the

13 basis that you would be giving away intelligence?

14 A. It would be fair to say that from my time in South

15 Region we had considered technical tasks that

16 he had suggested, but for logistical reasons

17 [ redacted ], they were ruled out. And Mr Port

18 and his team coming and asking me to do these, they were

19 ruled out at the time for various reasons and what

20 concern -- what my concern was that really telling them

21 why they were ruled out would not have advanced his

22 case, but [ redacted

23 redacted

24 redacted

25 redacted ].

 

 

170

 

1 Q. I'm not asking you to get into any of the detail, but

2 I'm asking you, please, to consider the principle with

3 me, which is somebody has a terms of reference given to

4 him by your boss, by the Chief Constable, which gives

5 him unfettered, unlimited access to all intelligence.

6 What is the basis -- I don't mean the detail -- on

7 which you, as a superintendent in charge of E4, decided

8 to withhold information from him?

9 A. I didn't believe I was withholding anything from him

10 other than to say that if we were to go into the actual

11 examples why and I felt that -- my view was that it

12 wasn't going to progress the operation.

13 At the end of the day, if they wanted to do it, the

14 tasking would have come through Special Branch South

15 Region and they would have been aware. So I'm not so

16 sure that I thought that I was being obstructive or

17 withholding anything from them. I was merely expressing

18 a general concern that was known to me whenever I was in

19 South Region, and circumstances may have changed that

20 would have allowed South Region to mount those technical

21 attacks.

22 So I was speaking historically. There may have been

23 new changes to those houses that would have allowed the

24 attack -- technical attacks to have been carried out.

25 So I was generalising as opposed to being obstructive,

 

 

171

 

1 trying to present him with a reasoned argument as to the

2 difficulties.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you suggest to him that he should go and

4 talk to the Head of South Region because conditions may

5 have changed?

6 A. Yes, I would most certainly have -- I mean, any --

7 whenever they were speaking to me in relation to the

8 exercise here, I would always have said, "Look, you

9 have to speak to the Head of South Region" or "You have

10 to speak to the ACC" because the decision was not mine

11 to make. I can -- the briefings that I had with Mr Port

12 and his team were general as opposed to specific.

13 MR PHILLIPS: Can I ask you a specific question about this

14 aspect of things which comes in just above this on the

15 page at the top of RNI-846-345 because, again, you are

16 talking about being in the position of saying no, if I

17 can summarise it in that way.

18 You are talking about the difficulty there of

19 providing a good explanation as to why we couldn't do

20 what they wanted without being seen as obstructive:

21 "I knew that if they had no success in getting what

22 they wanted, they would want someone to blame."

23 What do you mean by that, please?

24 A. They are investigating a very serious crime and if they

25 don't have a success, it is not unreasonable to assume

 

 

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1 that they would want to share the burden of not making

2 arrests and you -- and I certainly felt that under

3 pressure --

4 Q. So you were conscious at the time, were you, that if you

5 didn't give them what they wanted, they would be

6 prepared to blame you?

7 A. Yes, you know, it certainly was in the back of my mind

8 because even -- all along I was trying to be as helpful

9 to them as possible, but I was constrained as well and

10 I know that any discussions I had with them had to be

11 factually correct.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. And even whenever I was saying no to them, I still did

14 my best to explain the reasons why, because it is not

15 unreasonable to assume that if they don't get everything

16 they want that -- I mean, there is a reason why their

17 investigation may stumble.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you say to yourself, "Look, I'm having

19 problems getting my message across to Mr Port and his

20 team, I had better go and speak to my ACC, explain that

21 there seems to be a difficulty of communication between

22 me and Mr Port over the difficulties I have", so that

23 your ACC was brought into the loop and he could sort it

24 out with Mr Port?

25 A. Yes, I had several meetings with my ACC and I expressed

 

 

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1 my frustration at the fact that -- apart from the fact

2 that -- there were -- sometimes they were using me as

3 a means to see -- even I wasn't -- I wasn't a decision

4 maker in the process. In other words, the deployment of

5 resources come from South Region, they were my

6 resources. And the frustration for me was that they

7 were asking me about the use of the resources and I was

8 trying to explain to them as openly as possible why they

9 couldn't -- why they couldn't use the resources that

10 they wanted.

11 They would have got the same answer from South

12 Region, but the decision would have been made by them.

13 And certainly, yes, I had several conversations with my

14 ACC where we did discuss the frustrations, and

15 I certainly felt frustrated that I wasn't getting my

16 message across.

17 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Was one of the problems here that there

18 were difficulties in the relationship between

19 Mr Kinkaid, perhaps the other senior officers, and the

20 Head of South Region?

21 A. I was aware from meetings I was attending with my ACC

22 that there were tensions, but the specifics of the

23 tensions I'm not -- I wasn't aware -- I mean, I

24 wasn't -- I knew there were tensions, but exactly what

25 they were, I don't know.

 

 

174

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. I mean, I suspect the intentions for them were different

3 in that they were trying to protect sources and trying

4 to protect methodology. We are still trying to fight

5 a terrorist campaign. So even I can see why the

6 tensions were there and were reasonable.

7 Q. Now, you deal with this in your statement in

8 paragraph 99, the tensions between those two

9 individuals, and you say:

10 "I have been asked if they would have affected ..."

11 The tensions that is. And you say:

12 "I would have said that they would."

13 Then they say that:

14 "The South Region were being open and honest with

15 the Murder Inquiry Team, but the Murder Inquiry Team

16 didn't trust them back."

17 Back to trust?

18 A. That was my perception, yes.

19 Q. Then you say:

20 "The Murder Inquiry Team didn't see the good reasons

21 why we did or didn't do things."

22 Was one of the difficulties that, as you have been

23 explaining to us earlier, you didn't feel able in some

24 cases to give them any explanation at all?

25 A. No, I felt that I was giving a reasonable explanation.

 

 

175

 

1 I felt that my explanation was independent of the

2 constraints of South Region. And -- but possibly in

3 doing so, they probably interpreted it as exactly the

4 same constraints as the people -- the same argument as

5 South Region put forward.

6 But I was trying to be open and honest with them as

7 best I could from my perspective as being -- not

8 managing or not controlling the intelligence or what was

9 happening out there, but having this resource that they

10 wanted to use and me trying to explain to them that it

11 is available there, but there is a procedure to go

12 through to get it.

13 Q. When you tell us, as you did earlier, that you did go to

14 your ACC -- and we have seen the diary notes which

15 record some of those discussions -- were you given

16 guidance or instructions by him, the Head of

17 Special Branch, as to how to deal with the Port team as

18 to what should be disclosed to them?

19 A. In my conversation and the discussion I had with my ACC,

20 I certainly got the impression that he had no difficulty

21 with the line that I was taking and that he himself

22 would speak to Mr Port.

23 Q. To reinforce your refusal?

24 A. It wasn't so much my refusal. It was my perceived

25 refusal. It wasn't necessarily my refusal.

 

 

176

 

1 Q. To reinforce your position?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. There is a particular example of the tension

4 being worked out which you refer to, which is the

5 forensic examination of the surveillance vehicles used

6 in Operation Fagotto. And you start to talk about that

7 from paragraph 100 at page RNI-846-346 (displayed).

8 Can I assume that this issue, which involved you

9 because it was your personnel involved in the operation,

10 was the subject of a good deal of discussion between you

11 and your colleagues in Special Branch?

12 A. There was discussion, yes.

13 Q. Yes. Now, you talk about it in your statement. I don't

14 want to go over the detail, but can I just put various

15 points to you?

16 Is your position that it was actually just a waste

17 of time for these vehicles to be forensically examined

18 because at some point they would legitimately have

19 carried weapons and so might be, in that sense,

20 innocently contaminated? Is that your point?

21 A. It was, but there was no -- I did not have any

22 difficulty with it so long as there was a recognition

23 that -- you mean, they may well contain residue.

24 Q. Absolutely. But you presumably were also aware that one

25 of the possibilities being investigated by the Port team

 

 

177

 

1 was that one of these vehicles had been used to

2 transport the device which had actually murdered

3 Rosemary Nelson. That was why they were looking at it,

4 wasn't it?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Therefore, to establish forensically the presence or

7 absence of the type of explosive that was used in that

8 device was plainly something of great importance to the

9 murder investigation?

10 A. I don't think we had any difficulty with that. I think

11 what we were looking for was reassurance that -- and

12 a recognition that there was a possibility that there

13 may well be residue in the vehicles.

14 Q. But there was great tension about it, wasn't there?

15 A. There was certainly plenty of discussion about it before

16 it was resolved.

17 Q. And what happened in the end is that they were examined,

18 weren't they?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And on the basis of that forensic examination, the

21 Murder Investigation Team was satisfied that there was

22 no connection --

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. -- between what they found there and the explosive used

25 in the device?

 

 

178

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Now, in this section of your statement at paragraph 102,

3 in the context of the question of Operation Fagotto and

4 the forensic examination, you say -- we can enlarge it,

5 please:

6 "I had no faith that we could rely on the Murder

7 Inquiry Team to defend us if traces of explosives were

8 found. I had no concern that any of my officers were

9 rogue officers."

10 In what sense was it the role of the Murder Inquiry

11 Team to defend you?

12 A. Well, it was -- as I was saying earlier, my concern was

13 if they had found residue in the backs of the vehicles

14 that they would defend my team and protect them and

15 recognise the fact that they -- there may well be

16 residue there that would cause concern. That was my

17 concern.

18 Their focus was the investigation. I'm not so sure

19 that they cared who it was so long as they found

20 evidence to convict the murderer of Rosemary Nelson.

21 Q. But their job was to pursue quite dispassionately lines

22 of enquiry leading to whoever it was who had committed

23 this murder?

24 A. Yes, that's correct.

25 Q. And it couldn't, and didn't, matter to them whether that

 

 

179

 

1 was a police officer or any other type of individual.

2 They had to pursue their investigation, did they not?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And it was no part of their job in that sense to defend

5 you and your officers?

6 A. No, but it was my job to defend my officers.

7 Q. Yes. So you weren't, contrary to what you seem to be

8 suggesting here, relying on them to defend you?

9 A. Well, I was relying on them, but it was my job to

10 question what was happening and it was my officers that

11 I was protecting. It wasn't that -- I mean, I have --

12 you mean, it is my credibility, they are my staff,

13 I have to protect them. I am happy -- and they are all

14 investigated.

15 So I had no difficulty with their integrity. But as

16 their boss, I had to make sure that adequate protection

17 was there for them because I had no difficulty with

18 their credibility, and just to go in and do it without

19 questioning it because I had at the end of the day to

20 reassure them that what was happening, was being done

21 for the right reason. I had to convince my officers

22 that it was being done for the right reason, and

23 because, again, they were the ones that were going and

24 doing the work out there, the very dangerous and

25 difficult work they were doing.

 

 

180

 

1 Q. But in doing that, in seeking to support your officers,

2 you had to tread a very difficult line, didn't you?

3 A. I did, indeed.

4 Q. Because otherwise, if you went too far, the Murder

5 Investigation Team might indeed think that you were

6 protecting them or otherwise obstructing the

7 investigation?

8 A. Yes, indeed.

9 Q. And was that something that was expressed to you at the

10 time?

11 A. I can't remember that it was. I mean, all I saw was me

12 defending my team.

13 Q. Now, in your statement you make various criticisms about

14 specific -- the conduct by the team of specific

15 operations, and that starts at RNI-846-348,

16 paragraph 106 (displayed). You refer in particular to

17 the way they were dealing with a listening post, the way

18 they were behaving there and then a point about

19 warrants.

20 I don't want to get into the detail with you, but it

21 is right, isn't it, that they were, the Murder

22 Investigation Team, involved in a large number of

23 Police Act and RIPA applications over the years of the

24 investigation?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

181

 

1 Q. So isn't there a danger in singling out these two

2 examples of presenting a rather distorted picture of the

3 way they did in fact generally conduct their business?

4 A. No, indeed not. Do you mean -- what I was doing was

5 protecting their investigation because in reality the

6 responsibility for the RIPA applications was mine,

7 working with the Chief Constable.

8 So there was an expectation on my part, or on me,

9 that I visit the likes of the listening post, to make

10 sure that the conduct there -- that they were properly

11 managed because potentially the surveillance

12 commissioner could have gone there himself and could you

13 have found maybe certain aspects wanting and could have

14 called into question the probity of their investigation

15 and which could have compromised the application.

16 And could, from my Chief Constable's point of view, have

17 compromised him because he is responsible, he is the one

18 who actually signs it along with the surveillance

19 commissioner.

20 Q. In relation to the specific point you make about the

21 listening post, are you aware that the team had met and

22 briefed the surveillance commissioner and that he had

23 inspected this listening post and pronounced himself

24 happy with it?

25 A. I think that was after my visit.

 

 

182

 

1 Q. Right. You are saying it came after the discovery that

2 you made?

3 A. Yes, believe it was. Certainly I'm not aware that he

4 had been there before I had been.

5 Q. Did you draw your constructive criticisms to the

6 attention of the Port team?

7 A. I was accompanied by M540 throughout the investigation,

8 or throughout the inspection, and he noted what I had

9 seen.

10 Q. Yes. Now, it is in this context in paragraph 109 of

11 your statement at RNI-846-349 (displayed) that you

12 accuse the MIT of using "bully boy tactics" on the

13 Chief Constable. Do you see that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And as I understand it, that's a reference to them going

16 to him for a warrant late at night?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Do you think that this Chief Constable,

19 Sir Ronnie Flanagan, is the sort of man who would have

20 felt bullied by Mr Port or any of his senior officers?

21 A. No, I don't believe he was, but I think he was left in

22 the position where there wasn't an understanding of the

23 legislation.

24 I probably, within the RUC at that time, had

25 probably the most knowledge of -- more knowledge of RIPA

 

 

183

 

1 than any other person, and the Chief Constable relied on

2 me to make sure that the applications were properly

3 scrutinised and probably managed. I'm not so sure that

4 even I had briefed him certainly, but there were certain

5 aspects of the legislation that were difficult to get

6 your head round. And late at night in a situation like

7 this here, where they were left with -- I think it was

8 somebody who arrived in and they felt, oh, we need

9 another authority for this when in actual fact the

10 authority allowed them to carry on recording the

11 conversation without going for an emergency signing.

12 And by doing, so they undermined their own

13 credibility by trying to go for an emergency signing

14 because the first question that the surveillance

15 commissioner is could potentially ask is, "Do these

16 people not know what they are doing?" So I saw my role

17 in protecting both the Chief Constable and protecting

18 the Port Inquiry.

19 Q. Let me ask you again: do you think, on reflection, that

20 that term -- "the use of bully boy tactics" -- is

21 putting it a bit high?

22 A. No, I think I left the Chief Constable -- I mean, at

23 that time of night he wasn't fully -- they briefed him

24 and he understood that he was making the right decision.

25 I spoke to him the next morning and explained the

 

 

184

 

1 situation to him, and at that stage he realised that he

2 shouldn't have maybe spoken to myself. And I don't

3 think it ever happened after that because the

4 Chief Constable realised that in future anything like

5 this here be done through my office and then we would

6 then approach the Chief Constable on the basis of what

7 the requirement was to satisfy the legislation.

8 MR PHILLIPS: I think you are speeding up a bit.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Wouldn't a lot of time have been saved and

10 a lot of problems been avoided if you had suggested to

11 Mr Port, "Most people don't know anything about RIPA.

12 I happen to have been on the Home Office team before

13 RIPA came into force. What about senior officers in

14 your team attending a short seminar with me about RIPA?"

15 Wouldn't that have helped to sort of ease the path?

16 A. I'm not so sure it would, sir, because I met, on at

17 least two occasions, Superintendent Kinkaid and M540 and

18 briefed them on RIPA, both from the intrusive

19 surveillance and the low level of surveillance. So they

20 had a good knowledge of it.

21 I made the offer, like, if you need to speak to

22 anybody else, feel free to come and ask me, but I was

23 left with the belief that they understood the

24 legislation. In fairness to them, the legislation was

25 of course necessary and straightforward, but of course

 

 

185

 

1 my office and myself were available for contact at any

2 stage.

3 I felt that even -- as I say, they were briefed on

4 a number of occasions in relation to what they could and

5 could not do under RIPA and the completion of the forms.

6 In fact, some of -- their staff would have been in my

7 office on a fairly regular basis to fill in the forms,

8 and certainly at the start I had briefed them, most of

9 the senior officers on the Port Inquiry, sir.

10 MR PHILLIPS: Just two more points on your statement. If

11 you look at 117, please, RNI-846-351 (displayed), in

12 relation to another spat, you say:

13 "This caused a row with the Murder Inquiry Team.

14 They saw me as being obstructive. I haven't being

15 obstructive."

16 When you say, "They saw me as being obstructive,"

17 did they accuse you be obstructing them?

18 A. I'm not so sure they accused me directly, but certainly

19 they made it known that they aren't happy with the

20 decision.

21 Q. How did they make it known, please?

22 A. Through the Chief Constable. What had happened was that

23 the deployments had been in place for some time and

24 the -- whenever -- they required to be renewed every

25 three months and reviewed on a monthly basis to the

 

 

186

 

1 Chief Constable. If I remember right, something like

2 12 months/14 months had gone by, and I had spoken to the

3 Chief and had expressed concern to him that really they

4 didn't seem to be producing very much according to the

5 applications that they were submitting to me. And

6 I felt that the proportionality and the continued

7 justification for the deployments was in question, and

8 I felt that we needed to ask the question of the Port

9 team.

10 And on that basis, the Chief authorised -- he signed

11 a paragraph asking them to confirm to him that there was

12 a continued need for the deployment. And as part of the

13 conversation that I had with the Chief at the time was

14 that he is the person, the signatory, along with the

15 surveillance commissioner. It is his responsibility,

16 not the Port's responsibility to question the

17 deployment, and on that basis it was asked.

18 So it was -- because of that I was the one who was

19 asking the question, and certainly from the Chief,

20 I know they aren't --

21 Q. But that was something that he told you about?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, just finally in relation to 119, another of the

24 Head of Special Branch's diary entries, again you are

25 telling him about your frustration. I think the entry

 

 

187

 

1 says that you had talked about their refusing to listen

2 and mentioning your embarrassment at having to

3 frequently correct and advise them.

4 As far as you were aware, when you went to see the

5 Head of Special Branch and had these discussions with

6 him, which you have also mentioned, did he share your

7 views and concerns about the way the Port team were

8 operating?

9 A. Well, he appreciated what I was saying.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. I mean, you have to look at it from the point of view

12 that the Port team were conducting an investigation and

13 it was not within reason that they should not

14 progress -- or look at every avenue. And certainly they

15 were putting me under pressure and I felt frustrated

16 because I was trying to protect their investigation, but

17 they didn't necessarily see that as such. They probably

18 saw me as being bureaucratic, but the one thing about

19 the RIPA was that it might have been a bureaucratic

20 process, but what it did was it provided an awful lot of

21 protection for the Chief Constable and for the Port team

22 and for that reason it had to be properly documented.

23 And there certainly was quite a few discussions in

24 relation to the completion of forms, and on occasions

25 they would have asked me to help them. Now, I had

 

 

188

 

1 difficulty with that purely and simply because I was not

2 privy to the intelligence. The only people that could

3 complete the forms were them. Yes, I could guide them

4 in relation to the structure of their reporting and the

5 completion of the forms, but I could not create the

6 intelligence that justified it.

7 So that was a frustration that I had and

8 a frustration that possibly they had, and certainly my

9 ACC appreciated that.

10 Q. Thank you. Those are the questions that I have and that

11 means that if there is something you wish to add to the

12 evidence you have given to the Panel, this is your

13 opportunity.

14 A. I think -- the Head of E4 is probably a unique role

15 within the RUC and probably within policing. It is

16 probably -- it is a non-executive role in so much that

17 it controls an operation and has a right of veto over

18 operations. But in actual fact, the taskings for jobs

19 or for surveillance comes from the regions.

20 Throughout the whole investigation, Port

21 investigation, I was conscious of trying to provide them

22 with a service, but recognising that there is only so

23 much that I could do, but recognising that there were

24 frustrations on their side as well. I understood those

25 frustrations and understood the constraints that they

 

 

189

 

1 were placed under, and I knew that they were under

2 pressure for a result. And that was always in the back

3 of my mind, that I wanted to get the end result as best

4 I could. And I'm not so sure there was a full

5 understanding within the Port team of the organisation,

6 whether they wanted to understand it or whether they

7 didn't. But certainly from my point of view, I felt on

8 occasions that I was sitting in the middle trying to be

9 helpful, but not being able to -- only being able to do

10 so much.

11 It was a serious investigation and we all wanted

12 a result, none more than ourselves, because certainly

13 from my time in South Region, I had been working with my

14 operator or handlers against both the Loyalists and the

15 Republican terrorists and we had some success, and it

16 was an opportunity to take more people out of the

17 equation and put them in gaol. There would be nobody

18 happier to do so than myself or my staff.

19 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

20 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Could I ask a couple of questions,

21 one relating to the murder investigation, if I may?

22 I was puzzling over your comment about M540 that,

23 you know, next week he could be moving over to the CID

24 and then the information would be known to the CID.

25 Surely some people sometimes move out of

 

 

190

 

1 Special Branch into CID, or does that never happen?

2 A. It did happen, but not to a great extent. But at the

3 same time, they would have been understanding of the

4 work that we had done and while they may have -- even

5 certainly they would have a knowledge and could have

6 used it, but in fairness to any that did move out, they

7 would have known how to use it without compromising.

8 They were still aware of the big picture, of protecting

9 the methodology and protecting our work.

10 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: So you are making a statement

11 essentially about M540?

12 A. Yes. He even -- again, certainly some of the

13 discussions that I had with him, and even though he was

14 a long-term detective and I knew him personally, I'm

15 still not so sure that he had a mindset which was a CID

16 one, which was that the resources were not available to

17 them when the resources were available to them. But

18 there wasn't the understanding of how to use those

19 resources to the best advantage, and explaining the

20 constraints to them didn't necessarily -- they didn't

21 understand or appreciate.

22 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Okay. The other question arose from

23 something you said very much earlier. Everybody has

24 probably forgotten it, but much earlier in the

25 discussion you said about Rosemary Nelson that:

 

 

191

 

1 "I would have said that she helped PIRA."

2 And you mentioned as an example:

3 "... for example, make sure that they left nothing

4 behind at scenes, that type of thing."

5 Did you see any specific intelligence suggesting

6 that she did give that advice?

7 A. No, it would have formed part of my briefing and I can't

8 remember whether it would have come from even CID

9 briefings or from my own staff's briefings. But

10 certainly there was -- there is certainly something in

11 the back of my mind whenever I made this statement that

12 she would have helped Colin Duffy post events to --

13 even prepare him for forensic examinations, for example,

14 and I think there was intelligence about the John Lyness

15 murder, where she had helped to create an alibi. So she

16 had -- certainly the impression I had got was that she

17 had used her knowledge to help to further his cause.

18 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: We have certainly seen intelligence

19 suggesting that she helped prepare alibis. I think

20 everybody has seen that.

21 What I was asking was did you see any intelligence

22 indicating that she gave legal advice before a terrorist

23 incident?

24 A. I can't remember, ma'am, no.

25 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

 

 

192

 

1 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

2 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just a couple of points from me. The

3 comments in your statement about Rosemary Nelson in

4 terms of her non-professional conduct, et cetera, can

5 I take it that you were not personally responsible at

6 any stage for gathering in intelligence of that nature?

7 A. In South Region, as an intelligence gatherer, I was

8 aware of her being there, but I'm not aware of actually

9 gathering intelligence against her. I mean, any

10 intelligence that come in would have come in from

11 sources, would have been -- her name would have been

12 mentioned.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So any intelligence you saw would have

14 come from local stations, from officers handling

15 sources?

16 A. [ redacted ].

17 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: [ redacted ].

18 A. [ redacted ].

19 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Was there any other source, to your

20 knowledge, that corroborated that intelligence?

21 A. I think this all -- it was an amalgamation of all of

22 them, the different sources, that certainly give us

23 a feel for where she fitted into the organisation.

24 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So in terms of corroboration, you saw

25 the different pieces of intelligence as corroborating

 

 

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1 each other, did you?

2 A. Yes.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: I see, that's fair.

4 Can I just go back to this behaviour that you

5 describe on the part of Rosemary Nelson? In your senior

6 position and in your meetings with more senior

7 colleagues, bearing in mind you were dealing here with

8 a solicitor, a lawyer, allegedly misbehaving, acting in

9 a criminal way, possibly, were there ever any

10 discussions about tackling that issue in the way that

11 the police service would deal with any corrupt lawyer,

12 to resolve the situation?

13 A. I think we would have had difficulty because a lot of

14 what we had was intelligence, it wasn't evidence, and

15 there is a big difference between what -- intelligence

16 and evidence and I'm not so sure that the Law Society

17 would have been terribly comfortable with an

18 intelligence assessment that would justify taking action

19 against her. We didn't -- we just did not have the

20 evidence.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: I fully understand that, that position.

22 But there is an opportunity to move one step further,

23 and in many cases where the situation has been faced of

24 confronting lawyer/client confidentiality, those

25 difficulties have been overcome, if you are dealing with

 

 

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1 a corrupt lawyer.

2 So that in itself, I would suggest, is not

3 a barrier. But there is an opportunity, is there not,

4 to move from the intelligence stage to actually

5 attempting to gather evidence against her?

6 A. Yes, I wouldn't disagree with you. I think the

7 difficulty probably -- and I mean, I wasn't -- in the

8 early days of my -- briefings that I would receive in

9 relation to her, it wouldn't have occurred to me. And

10 the reason it wouldn't have occurred to me was because

11 of her -- the way she conducted herself in the likes

12 of -- as a representative in the likes of the holding

13 centre. I know she was very vociferous and I know that

14 if we hadn't got a very strong case against her that we

15 would have ended up with egg on our faces ourselves.

16 And I would say that from my point of view in the early

17 days of our contact with her, that would certainly be in

18 the back of my mind. In hindsight, would I have thought

19 differently? Possibly, yes.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Because the alternative would have been

21 had Rosemary Nelson not been murdered -- and we have

22 heard evidence from your colleagues or your

23 ex-colleagues that they felt she had been responsible

24 for the release of a person, Colin Duffy, who had killed

25 three people -- that that situation may have continued?

 

 

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1 A. Yes. You mean, I suppose on hindsight again, if there

2 had been -- you mean, if we had sat down with CID and

3 seen what they had, to see what we had, possibly there

4 might have been an avenue there. It is a possibility.

5 I don't know, sir. I can't -- as I say, all I can say

6 is there certainly -- it was a frustration to me, but

7 I suppose as well as that, from an intelligence

8 gathering point of view, the fact that she was so high

9 profile, there was also the -- I'm not saying an

10 opportunity for me, but it was maybe easier for me to

11 keep track of what was happening with Duffy whenever he

12 was associating with a high profile lawyer.

13 It sounds a bit perverse, but from a sightings point

14 of view and from controlling his activity, the likes of

15 RIR, the likes of uniformed police, would have been

16 stopping him. Whereas if he had been in a car on his

17 own, he might not have been as well known. So there are

18 different arguments for -- but I have to say that I

19 hadn't certainly considered it myself.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you very much.

21 Questions by THE CHAIRMAN

22 THE CHAIRMAN: You never had any discussions about this with

23 your detective superintendent, your line manager or the

24 Regional Head of CID? There were never any discussions

25 between the three of you about what should we do about

 

 

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1 the problem of Rosemary Nelson?

2 A. No. No, sir, I hadn't. Don't forget I was there for

3 the early stages, you mean -- for maybe a couple of

4 years whenever her activities started to become more and

5 more involved with Colin Duffy. So certainly we hadn't

6 had any discussion about it, and I can't remember any

7 discussion because in truth Colin Duffy was the focus

8 of our attention. He was the one that was causing us --

9 murdering people in the Lurgan area and he was the -- as

10 I say, our primary target in Lurgan.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

12 We will break off now until tomorrow morning.

13 Before the witness leaves, Mr (name redacted), would you,

14 please, confirm that all the cameras have been

15 switched off?

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

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

18 Please escort the witness out.

19 10.15 in the morning.

20 (5.11 pm)

21 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

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1 I N D E X

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B632 (sworn) ..................................... 2
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 2
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Questions by THE CHAIRMAN .................... 74
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B508 (sworn) ..................................... 77
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 77
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Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 189
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Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN .............. 192
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Questions by THE CHAIRMAN .................... 195
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