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Full Hearings

Hearing: 3rd November 2008, day 69

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Monday, 3 November 2008
commencing at 1.00 pm


Day 69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Monday, 3 November 2008

2 (1.00 pm)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist, please.

4 Is the public area screen fully in place, locked and

5 the key secured?

6 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

8 screen closed?

9 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

11 and securely fastened?

12 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

14 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

15 of this chamber?

16 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr [name redacted], can you confirm, please, that

18 the witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

19 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

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

21 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

23 Bring the witness in, please.

24 Can the witness affirm, please?

25

 

 

2

 

1 S519 (affirmed)

2 Questions by MR SKELTON

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down.

4 Yes, Mr Skelton?

5 MR SKELTON: For the purpose of this Inquiry, you are known

6 as witness B519. May we have on the screen a copy of

7 your redacted statement, please, which can be found at

8 RNI-844-086 (displayed)? And if we scroll through to

9 page RNI-844-094 (displayed), we can see there your

10 signature has in fact been redacted but the date is in

11 fact 26 February this year. Do you remember making that

12 statement?

13 A. I do, yes. May I clarify, you said B519. I understand

14 I am S519.

15 Q. Thank you. May I start by asking when you joined the

16 Security Service?

17 A. I joined the Security Service in November 1992.

18 Q. You worked, I know, as a desk officer in the Service's

19 Assessments Group from July 1995 until

20 about August 1997. Is that correct?

21 A. Yes, that is correct.

22 Q. And after that, you worked in the RUC's Intelligence

23 Management Group from August 1997 until

24 about August 1999.

25 A. That's also correct.

 

 

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1 Q. When did you leave the service?

2 A. I left the service in January 2000.

3 Q. Thank you. I'll start, if I may, by asking you a bit

4 about the Assessments Group generally. This is, for

5 your reference, starting in paragraph 2 of your

6 statement, which begins on page RNI-844-086 (displayed).

7 I think you say that you worked in a team of six people,

8 managed by a person known as the Head of the Assessments

9 Group or HAG?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And albeit that we have a number of redactions within

12 paragraph 3 of your statement, I think it is fair to

13 say, is it, that you had a manager or senior colleague

14 who you reported to and he then reported upwards towards

15 the Head of the Assessments Group. Is that correct?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. How many of you were working on Loyalist issues?

18 A. Myself and the person I reported to.

19 Q. With oversight from the head of the group?

20 A. Indeed, but that person had other roles, so I was the

21 only one solely focused on Loyalist issues.

22 Q. And as you say, did you have any other focus at all

23 beyond simply Loyalist issues?

24 A. No, I didn't.

25 Q. Would you have been aware of reporting on non-Loyalist

 

 

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1 issues, i.e. Republican reporting?

2 A. I would have had sight of some of it. I was working

3 closely with colleagues who were doing a similar job on

4 the Republican side, but I did not have any role in

5 developing the intelligence.

6 Q. Were you in the same room as the desk officers?

7 A. Adjoining rooms.

8 Q. Did you often meet to discuss the latest developments

9 across Northern Ireland before going back to your

10 individual desks and rooms?

11 A. Frequently. Many times a day we would discuss things,

12 and more formal meetings on a less regular basis.

13 Q. What are the sort of documents which you would have

14 produced in your day-to-day work?

15 A. Mostly the documents I produced were NIIRs,

16 Northern Ireland intelligence reports, that stands for,

17 NIIR, and these comprised raw intelligence which we had

18 received and which we would reproduce verbatim almost

19 exclusively, as appropriate. We would then add any

20 comments that we could to qualify the intelligence and

21 to add value for our customers who were political

22 Northern Ireland Office's customers.

23 Q. You also mentioned that you did what you call assessment

24 papers. Did they also take the form of a NIIR which

25 covers a wider range of issues and analysis?

 

 

5

 

1 A. They do, and they took into account a large number of

2 disparate pieces of intelligence which may or may not

3 have been referenced individually within the paper, but

4 they then developed a theme. And we identified the

5 themes that needed to be developed and produced papers

6 as necessary to support the political customers.

7 Q. And how often were you producing that more analytical

8 piece of work?

9 A. Of the order of one a month, typically.

10 Q. And were they done to order or were they part of your

11 ordinary work?

12 A. It could have been either. We might have had a specific

13 request or we might have identified within our own group

14 the need for such a paper and produced it off our own

15 initiative.

16 Q. Who were your customers?

17 A. Again, it was Northern Ireland Office officials and

18 ministers.

19 Q. And in setting your requirements, was that done through

20 the means of the Intelligence Review Committee or did

21 you have more direct personal contact with people at the

22 NIO?

23 A. Very little. The contact came down through our local

24 management, through Head of Assessments Group, who was

25 the person who would have liaised directly with the

 

 

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1 officials and ministers.

2 Q. And when you sent the kind of NIIRs which you talked

3 about initially, which were the more specific type of

4 NIIR, what determined your wish to send that to the

5 customers in Whitehall?

6 A. It was -- we would receive a piece of incoming

7 intelligence and if we considered it to be of interest

8 to a particular official or minister, we would have

9 produced the NIIR and included that person on the

10 distribution list.

11 Q. And how were they sent?

12 A. Can you say that again, sorry?

13 Q. How were they sent to the NIO?

14 A. In terms of the actual mechanism, I don't recall, I'm

15 sorry. We produced them --

16 Q. May I help you? As we understand it, I think they were

17 sent a copy of it on a read and return basis so that

18 they didn't themselves keep the NIIRs within their

19 department. Does that chime in with your recollection?

20 A. Yes, that does seem correct. Certainly copies were

21 returned with their comments and graded in terms of

22 usefulness.

23 Q. And your work on the Loyalist side of things, did that

24 cover the broad range of Loyalist paramilitary activity

25 in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain, or did you

 

 

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1 have a particular speciality?

2 A. The former, although there was very, very little --

3 unlike the Republican side of things, the Loyalists'

4 activity was almost exclusively confined to

5 Northern Ireland.

6 Q. And were there any particular sort of sub-issues or

7 specialities which you focused on in your period in the

8 Assessments Group?

9 A. No, the whole of the Loyalist domain.

10 Q. We will look as we go through your evidence at specific

11 NIIRs and we will talk about the distribution list on

12 them, but can you tell us just as matter of general

13 point, who determined the distribution? Who made that

14 decision?

15 A. I, as the author of the NIIR, would make the -- what

16 I considered to be the distribution. Everything that

17 went out of the group went up through the management

18 chain up through my supervisor and then Head of

19 Assessments Group, and they may have had a different

20 view, so they may have added or subtracted some of the

21 addressees from the NIIR.

22 Q. So was every report that you produced reviewed and

23 edited or subedited by your supervisor and also seen and

24 similarly looked at by the Head of the Assessments

25 Group?

 

 

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1 A. To a greater or lesser degree, yes. Certainly they had

2 responsibility for them and so would have had the

3 opportunity to look at them all. There may have been

4 times when that process wasn't followed through as

5 rigorously, if it was a very scant NIIR which didn't

6 need a lot of scrutiny or if workloads were such that an

7 awful lot was passing through, possibly.

8 Q. As far as the reporting you received from your

9 organisation itself, that was primarily source reports,

10 was it?

11 A. Primarily, yes.

12 Q. And when you say primarily, I receive an implication

13 that there were other things you received?

14 A. Yes, there is a small amount of reporting might have

15 come from secret operations.

16 Q. Conducted by the Security Service?

17 A. Conducted by the Security Service, yes.

18 Q. Did you also receive reporting from Special Branch?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And how would that occur?

21 A. That would normally come to us in a heavily sanitised

22 version through our counterparts in the RUC

23 headquarters.

24 Q. And was that done by telephone or did you receive

25 a paper copy?

 

 

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1 A. A paper copy. We would have discussed it -- we might

2 have had prior notice by telephone but there would

3 always have been a paper copy.

4 Q. We have seen over the course of the last few months very

5 different types of documents from Special Branch, one of

6 which was debriefs. We have also seen secret

7 intelligence reports or SIRs, and SIDDs, dissemination

8 documents. Are those the sorts of documents that you

9 saw?

10 A. I don't recall those acronyms and what they related to,

11 I'm sorry. It is a long time ago.

12 Q. Did you have access to a particular computer system, for

13 example, from which you could download particular

14 reports which Special Branch thought you should see?

15 A. While we were in Assessments Group, we did not have any

16 access to the Special Branch information systems.

17 Q. So no access to Prism or --

18 A. No, it would have been a hard copy piece of paper at the

19 time I was there.

20 Q. How often did these reports get sent through to you?

21 Were you receiving a steady stream of reporting from

22 Special Branch?

23 A. No, possibly of the order of one or two a month, I would

24 say.

25 Q. One or two single pieces of reporting?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, we would discuss our reporting with the

2 Special Branch colleagues and there would be a frequent

3 discussion and they would tell us often how they

4 considered sort of the general trend of things to be

5 going. But in terms of the specific reports, they were

6 very circumspect in terms of what they gave out, and

7 only when they considered it necessary to give something

8 to us on paper would they do so.

9 Q. How did you know that they determined that exercise

10 properly, that they'd assessed exactly what you should

11 see and what you shouldn't see?

12 A. I'm not sure that we did know. They had primacy. We

13 were -- we received from them what they were gracious

14 enough to give us.

15 Q. You mention you also had discussions with them. Would

16 you discuss reporting over the telephone, over a secure

17 telephone, for example, that you might not necessarily

18 have seen in writing?

19 A. I think we -- in terms of the channels, just if I can

20 clarify that point first, I probably wouldn't have

21 discussed with them over a secure telephone because we

22 were geographically close enough for them to come and

23 visit us or vice versa. So we would have had

24 discussions face-to-face.

25 They were, in terms of the content -- as I mentioned

 

 

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1 before, they were quite circumspect in terms of the

2 material that was provided to us. The only reason when

3 they would see fit to provide materials to us was when

4 they specifically intended it to go to our customers.

5 We were the conduit to ministers and officials.

6 Much of the RUC's material was concerned with

7 operational activities on the ground and they considered

8 that we were -- that wasn't relevant to the line of

9 intelligence that we were developing.

10 Q. Did Assessments Group task Special Branch to obtain

11 reporting on particular issues which you were interested

12 in, just as you would have tasked your own agent

13 handlers?

14 A. I certainly didn't. I would have discussed with them my

15 intelligence. I might have asked their opinions on

16 things I wasn't in a position to task. At a higher

17 level, my supervisors may or may not have had some

18 influence to request that specific intelligence was

19 sought.

20 Q. So we will come on in due course to issues about the

21 Red Hand Defenders and the Orange Volunteers, and it

22 appears that quite a lot of that intelligence is drawn

23 from the RUC Special Branch reporting.

24 How would they have known how to send it to you?

25 Would they have received an instruction that you were

 

 

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1 interested in that kind of reporting so that you could

2 do some kind of assessment of it for your Whitehall

3 customers?

4 A. They would have known what our interest was anyway. As

5 I said, we met and spoke frequently, daily. They knew

6 where our interests lie and, for instance, in the

7 examples you have cited, the emergence of new

8 organisations, they would have considered it

9 self-evident that the officials and ministers would have

10 wanted to be aware of that.

11 Q. And you discussed the conversations you had. You

12 mentioned in your statement that there was a detective

13 inspector who was in E3B in Special Branch. Is that the

14 person you are talking about specifically in terms of

15 discussions?

16 A. Yes, that would have been my counterpart.

17 Q. Were there other people that you had discussions with in

18 particular about Loyalist issues in Special Branch

19 reporting?

20 A. Yes, there was a structure within the RUC Headquarters.

21 The Detective Inspector would have had one or two

22 detective sergeants and detective constables working

23 with him, all of whom I was well acquainted with and

24 could discuss matters with, and additionally a detective

25 chief inspector above him. Again, you had

 

 

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1 responsibility for their work and I could -- I would

2 have discussed with him matters as appropriate as well.

3 Q. And these are all officers within E3B are they?

4 A. They were, yes.

5 Q. Did you have any contact with officers that would have

6 been in the individual regions where the reporting may

7 have originated from?

8 A. Almost zero. Again, there are the RUC structures. My

9 liaison was only with the Headquarters people who were

10 more concerned with sort of the more strategic use,

11 deployment, employment of intelligence.

12 Q. Did the traffic go the other way? In other words, did

13 you give them, your counterpart in particular, the

14 inspector that we discussed, a copy of a source report

15 for him to think about issues for his own purposes?

16 A. He would have received -- the RUC would have received it

17 through their operational channels because, as

18 I mentioned before, the RUC had primacy. So all of our

19 intelligence within the Province was developed in

20 conjunction with them.

21 All of our agent operations were developed in

22 conjunction with the RUC. So every agent -- piece of

23 agency intelligence we had, the RUC would also have had

24 through their operational channels, and so that would

25 have come to my counterpart through the RUC channels.

 

 

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1 So I would have been confident that any intelligence we

2 had, they would have been aware of through their own

3 processes.

4 So I did discuss our material with them. I didn't

5 need to pass the source reports to them as such

6 because -- for that reason.

7 Q. So just to follow through the process: a handler meets

8 an agent, produces a source report which then has

9 a distribution to the relevant Assessments Group

10 officer. In the case of a Loyalist one, that would

11 probably be you in the first instance?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Is it the handler or the handler's manager that is

14 taking a decision about feeding it into the RUC or is

15 the Assessments Group taking that decision?

16 A. It is the handler. Within the handler's organisation, I

17 am not aware whether it is the handler himself or his

18 group who would have fed through to the RUC, but that

19 was independent of my part of the organisation.

20 Q. But you are certain that they would have had access to

21 all source reporting by Security Service handlers, are

22 you?

23 A. I believe that could be the case. Obviously -- you say

24 certain -- I don't know if -- there were slips and

25 omissions, but I believe that to be the case.

 

 

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1 Q. And I appreciate we may be going into territory which

2 you are not certain about, but would that have been done

3 through the RUC Headquarters or would the handler unit

4 have had a relationship with the regions?

5 A. I don't know what the channels would have been.

6 Q. Turning to your specific work in the Assessments Group

7 in the period which -- I explained we are looking at

8 is July 1995 to August 1997. In your statement, you

9 mention at paragraph 23, which we can find on

10 page RNI-844-092 (displayed), that the Loyalist groups

11 were geographically based. What do you mean by that?

12 A. The disposition of the Loyalist organisations wasn't

13 uniform across the Province. As I have mentioned, the

14 UDA had six brigades. Four of them were in Belfast

15 itself, and one which was centred on the Londonderry

16 area. So that is the two main centres of population had

17 five sixths of the UDA brigade.

18 The UVF, their provenance was more rural, as

19 I understood it, the nature of the people who comprised

20 it. That's not to say that they didn't have a presence

21 in the urban areas, but it was not to the extent that

22 the UDA were there.

23 Q. Are you making an implicit contrast with the Provisional

24 IRA when you make that comment? You are identifying the

25 Loyalists as being more specific to areas in contrast to

 

 

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1 the Republicans who had operations, as it were, across

2 the Province?

3 A. The contrast I was making, if anything, was between the

4 UDA and the UVF. I think I'm less well qualified to

5 comment on the Republican organisations than other

6 witnesses, though I did have some knowledge. But it is

7 possibly straying from my area of expertise.

8 Q. Before we look at some of the individual reports, both

9 source reports and NIIRs, can you give us an overview

10 perhaps of the groups who you were aware of operating

11 out of North Armagh at the time that we are particularly

12 interested in, which is around the mid to late 1990s and

13 specifically the LVF?

14 A. The LVF, as I understand it -- sorry, referring to my

15 statement here -- have I developed this in the

16 statement?

17 Q. You talk first of all about the groupings in

18 paragraph 23, and I think you come on specifically to

19 the LVF later the statement.

20 A. Okay. The LVF emerged from a dissident faction of the

21 UVF, led by Billy Wright. Billy Wright was something of

22 a law unto himself. He had a very, very strong

23 following locally and he had a difficult relationship

24 with the UVF hierarchy within the Province because he

25 was such a strong figure that he was leading his

 

 

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1 followers in a direction which was at odds with the

2 leadership. So they had a difficult line to tread

3 because if they threw him out, they basically lost

4 control of that section of their following, which

5 eventually is what happened, which is how the LVF

6 formed.

7 Q. This is about 1996, is it?

8 A. 1996/1997, I can't remember exactly.

9 Q. Was the LVF the dominant group within North Armagh,

10 around the Portadown region?

11 A. Yes, I would say it was.

12 Q. Would they have retained links with the groupings around

13 the rest of Northern Ireland, for instance, individuals

14 that were still operating within Belfast or Antrim and

15 so on?

16 A. Yes, I believe so, but not on an organisational basis,

17 more on an individual basis.

18 Q. So was there individual contact generally between LVF

19 members and, for example, the leadership of

20 organisations in Belfast or elsewhere, or was it more at

21 a grass roots level?

22 A. I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure I am grasping your

23 question.

24 Q. Well, Billy Wright in particular, would he have retained

25 links with senior members of other organisations outside

 

 

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1 of the North Armagh region, or is it more of the lower

2 operatives that would have maintained such individual

3 contact?

4 A. Both, I would say. It is possibly worth clarifying,

5 these groups were quite small. You are talking about

6 barely into double figures in some cases for some of

7 these little groupings. So there is not a huge

8 organisational hierarchy where you can imagine sort of

9 communications happening at sort of management levels,

10 as opposed to grass roots level. It is basically all

11 grass roots.

12 Q. What particular issues were you interested in in this

13 period?

14 A. We were -- on behalf of the ministers and officials whom

15 we reported to, we were interested in the --

16 particularly the evolution of the

17 Loyalist Volunteer Force and the threat it posed to the

18 stability of the Loyalist ceasefire, I suppose.

19 The reason the LVF formed was because Billy Wright

20 was more militant than the parent UVF. The parent UVF

21 were trying to hold together sort of a delicate line in

22 terms of managing the ceasefire, and the more violent

23 members didn't agree with this and obviously that was of

24 interest to our political customers.

25 Q. What was their interest? On one level one can see that

 

 

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1 there might be an interest in the peace process, which

2 is gearing up in the mid to late 1990s, but also an

3 interest in maintaining the safety generally of the

4 population in that attacks weren't being carried out.

5 Are those in very simple terms the kind of interests

6 that you were aware of?

7 A. Indeed, and the different dispositions, the different

8 organisations, obviously they would have wanted to know

9 who the LVF were because if, for instance, an attack

10 were carried out and was claimed by the LVF and they

11 aren't aware of the existence of that new organisation

12 or where this organisation fitted into the overall

13 scheme of things, that would have been an omission.

14 So it was a question of managing the knowledge of

15 the overall -- the overall system of people, of

16 organisations to best effect.

17 Q. May we look, please, at a particular source report,

18 which we can find at RNI-531-001 (displayed). For your

19 reference, in the statement it starts in paragraph 10,

20 where you discuss this, which is on page RNI-844-088.

21 Now, given that we have not looked at one of these

22 documents in the context of a witness giving evidence, I

23 would like you, if you would, just to describe what we

24 are looking at. First of all, it is entitled "Source

25 Report" and it comes to you?

 

 

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1 A. Indeed.

2 Q. And obviously we have had to black out the originator of

3 the report, but that would presumably have been the

4 handler of the source?

5 A. Yes, it would.

6 Q. The typing date we have, which is 17 August 1996, and we

7 can see it is also copied to another Security Service

8 witness and possibly others behind the redactions.

9 We then have a section entitled "The Source

10 Details", which have been redacted for sensitivity, and

11 then it jumps into the body of the intelligence.

12 Now, this is written presumably by the handler?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And the handler knows that you are the person who is

15 interested in this issue?

16 A. He does.

17 Q. Before this arrives, do you know it is coming or does it

18 come out of the blue?

19 A. I may not know it is coming. I had fairly frequent

20 conversations with handlers. They were obviously

21 colleagues within the service based a few miles from

22 where we were located and there was fairly frequent sort

23 of traffic between us in terms of meetings, discussions

24 phone calls. So I might have been notified in advance

25 that something were coming or possibly the first that

 

 

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1 I knew of it would be when it landed with me. So either

2 way.

3 Q. And it would come in exactly this form, would it?

4 A. It would.

5 Q. Does it come by electronic means or do you get a hard

6 copy of it?

7 A. I believe, certainly when I first arrived there, I think

8 it was all hard copy. I can't remember if that had

9 changed by the time I left because our systems were

10 changing at the time.

11 Q. The title of it is "Loyalist improvised explosives

12 device, IED, in Dublin" and the substance of it relates

13 in very simple terms to Billy Wright's intentions in

14 relation to these IEDs.

15 When you receive something like this -- and we can

16 see it says -- and admittedly the redactions slightly

17 hamper the understanding of it, but in broad terms it is

18 about his access to IEDs and his intentions in that

19 regard. How do you go through the process of

20 assessment? You presumably have a lot of other reports

21 which you piece together with this. What do you

22 then do?

23 A. Most of what I had in terms of other reports is

24 information in my head. And obviously from day 1 in

25 that role that information is fairly scant, and as the

 

 

22

 

1 time goes on, you become more proficient and have

2 a deeper understanding of the issues and the sort of

3 prime movers and their capabilities, et cetera.

4 I would read the report, develop my own comment, for

5 which I may look out earlier reporting, it may be

6 material that I know from my head, and I would write my

7 comment which would then be part of the NIIR.

8 I'm sorry, taking it back a stage, this intelligence

9 would go to create a NIIR. This would form the basis of

10 a NIIR. The intelligence would be reproduced verbatim.

11 Any comments which came in the initial intelligence

12 would have been reproduced verbatim. Those could be

13 comments from the source and/or comments from the

14 handler. Those would go into the NIIR as they stand and

15 I would then add my own comment, which -- obviously

16 I may have a broader perspective or a different

17 perspective and I may be more aware of what the

18 customers for the NIIRs would be interested in. And

19 that then completes the NIIR, which would then be issued

20 through the process we spoke of earlier.

21 Q. We don't, I think, have a NIIR that I can show you that

22 is associated with this report, but you do mention in

23 your statement that one of your judgments was that

24 Loyalists tend to exaggerate their capabilities and

25 intentions?

 

 

23

 

1 A. Indeed.

2 Q. Could you elaborate on that, please?

3 A. I think over a period of time we became aware that much

4 of the material -- some of the material that was

5 reported to us -- possibly much of the material -- in

6 terms of Loyalist paramilitaries bragging about their

7 capabilities and intentions was nothing more than

8 bragging. And you could envisage a scenario where you

9 had a group of chaps maybe sitting in a pub talking

10 about what they were going to do, this is how it

11 happened, or one of their sitting rooms, and they were

12 as much trying to impress each other as develop any real

13 plans.

14 Obviously those conversations would have been

15 reported, but as we developed knowledge of the

16 individuals concerned, and with the way they conducted

17 themselves, it was apparent that that was very often the

18 case.

19 Q. So would you take this sort of intelligence reporting,

20 as it were, with a pinch of salt when it came to

21 determining whether or not in fact he had access to

22 these sorts of devices and was intending to use them?

23 A. I wouldn't say take it with a pinch of salt, but qualify

24 it with the understanding that it is likely to be

25 overstated.

 

 

24

 

1 Q. Would they similarly overstate, for example, a wish to

2 see someone killed or a wish to kill someone directly

3 themselves?

4 A. Possibly, yes. But that's not to say that you -- you

5 ignore the possibility that it may be correct.

6 Obviously -- and anything that is a specific threat

7 needs to be acted on as a specific threat. So in no

8 instance -- if there were any information which spoke of

9 a specific threat to an individual, that necessarily had

10 to be acted upon as such. That wasn't something that I

11 would have been involved with because my role was

12 passing assessments up to, as I said, to ministers and

13 officials. That is more the RUC's domain.

14 Q. Can you comment generally on the Loyalists' ability to

15 make bombs?

16 A. That was something which they did overstate. They

17 talked about having large quantities of explosives, I

18 think in this -- I believe this report is one such.

19 They possibly had small quantities of explosives. They

20 didn't have the capability that the Republican

21 terrorists had to make bombs. That's not to say they

22 couldn't make bombs because it is not a terribly

23 difficult thing to do, but they didn't have the

24 sophistication that PIRA had.

25 Q. Is that because they weren't particularly sophisticated

 

 

25

 

1 individuals or because they hadn't bothered to train

2 themselves to do it, or both?

3 A. I'm not sure I can actually answer that actually, not

4 because I am being circumspect. I don't know. It is

5 possibility a bit of everything really.

6 Q. Well, other witnesses have told us both in the chamber

7 and in their statements that Loyalists, for example,

8 were more used to determining in a pub that they were

9 going to shoot someone and going out and doing it

10 off-the-cuff rather than planning a complicated attack

11 that might involve the planting of a bomb. Is that your

12 general understanding of the modus operandi?

13 A. I think that would be correct in terms of, as I said,

14 sophisticated highly developed plans weren't their way

15 of doing things.

16 Q. The fact that they didn't have a general capability, did

17 that mean that there were actually only very few people

18 who were Loyalist bomb makers whose skills were

19 available for use by the various groups?

20 A. That was our understanding, yes.

21 Q. Were those particular bomb makers, as it were, for hire

22 or accessible to each group or did they have particular

23 affiliations that they stuck to?

24 A. I understood that one or two that I was aware of were

25 affiliated with the UVF rather than the UDA. When the

 

 

26

 

1 UVF splintered and when the LVF was formed, I don't

2 remember or may not have known whether those

3 individuals' affiliations would have been such that

4 Billy Wright and the LVF would have had access to them

5 at that time.

6 Q. In paragraph 4, you can see that there is reference to

7 "blank" pledging support and expertise to Billy Wright,

8 and it goes on to say:

9 "[Blank] has told Wright that he was taught his IED

10 skills by [such and such a person]."

11 So it appears that there is somebody at least that

12 the LVF appear to have access to who may have those

13 skills?

14 A. Yes. Although that is an individual telling another

15 individual that he has skills which he had been taught

16 by somebody else, and obviously, as I said, that may

17 have been overstated.

18 Q. Was this issue -- the Loyalist capability and access to

19 explosives -- something which you were looking at, the

20 Security Service was looking at during this period?

21 A. Yes, it was something we were interested in, certainly.

22 Q. And therefore your reporting, or at least an aspect of

23 your reporting, was geared towards finding out who was

24 making bombs, what the intentions were in relation to

25 their use and so on?

 

 

27

 

1 A. Yes, although, as I said earlier, my interest was more

2 on the strategic area of what ministers and officials

3 would want to know, i.e. what the impact on the peace

4 process, the threat to the population. In terms of

5 knowing the who, what, where, when, that is more

6 operational and that would have been more the RUC's area

7 of interest.

8 Q. Is there not a tension there between, sort of, it is

9 a tactical plan which has a strategic consequence and,

10 therefore, it is quite difficult to look at strategy

11 without looking at the plan and the individual's

12 activities?

13 A. Yes, I agree. And obviously there is an overlap, but I

14 wouldn't say a tension, but an overlap certainly. But

15 my emphasis was slightly different from the emphasis of

16 the RUC with whom we worked.

17 Q. Were you more reliant for reporting on this sort of

18 issue to the RUC and their access to intelligence than

19 you were to your own sources?

20 A. No, I would say most of the material which we dealt with

21 actually came in on paper from our own sources through

22 the Security Service channels.

23 As I said earlier, when the RUC felt they had

24 something important to add, they would specifically

25 develop a sanitised report which would be given to me.

 

 

28

 

1 Otherwise we would have verbal discussions and they

2 would help with my understanding, but probably most the

3 formal reporting would have been from the service.

4 Q. May we look at a second source report, which we can find

5 at page RNI-531-004 (displayed), and for your reference,

6 you comment upon this in paragraph 16 and 17 of your

7 statement, which is on page RNI-844-090 of that

8 (displayed).

9 First of all, the cover sheet again. The date is

10 30 December 1996 and it is sent to you, S519, and the

11 title of it is:

12 "Billy Wright claims to be targeting Irish

13 Republican activists."

14 As we can see from the body of the redacted report,

15 it states that Wright had had a meeting with a UVF

16 member and, broadly speaking, although it is difficult

17 to describe the sense with the redactions, it is to

18 discuss the targeting of a Republican politician. He

19 then goes on to state -- this is the handler in

20 paragraph 2 of the report -- that:

21 "One of the targets might be Colin Duffy."

22 This is a target for Billy Wright. And that he is:

23 "... collating intelligence on Irish Republican

24 activists who would make quality targets should the

25 Loyalist ceasefire break down."

 

 

29

 

1 When you received a report like this, would you know

2 who Colin Duffy was?

3 A. Yes. If I didn't, I would ask my colleagues who were

4 working in the next room a few feet away.

5 Q. Can you remember in 1996 -- this is late 1996 -- whether

6 you would have known without going to ask? Whether he

7 had already come to your attention, in other words?

8 A. Colin Duffy was a prominent member of the Provisional

9 Irish Republican Army, very prominent, and he was

10 someone whom I would have known about.

11 Q. That would be from general discussion with your

12 counterparts, would it?

13 A. Yes, and we would have meetings weekly to discuss what

14 had come in and what was going out of the group, and

15 things like this would have become second nature to all

16 of us.

17 Q. You mentioned that you knew he was a prominent member of

18 the IRA. Would you also have known about his alleged

19 involvement in various murders of security force

20 members?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. For example, John Lyness who had been killed a few years

23 earlier?

24 A. In terms of the specifics, I may have done. The name

25 John Lyness, certainly, I wasn't -- isn't familiar to me

 

 

30

 

1 currently but it was a long time ago.

2 Q. Was Colin Duffy a person of interest to the service, to

3 your knowledge?

4 A. As a prominent member of the Irish Republican Army,

5 certainly, yes.

6 Q. And when you received this report, which appears to

7 relate to targeting by Billy Wright of him, what would

8 you do with that intelligence in terms of passing it on?

9 A. From my point of view, I would access it in terms of the

10 interest it would have for political customers and

11 produce a NIIR with the appropriate comments.

12 In terms of the operational response to the specific

13 threat, that wasn't a matter for the Security Service.

14 Q. If we just turn a couple of pages on to page 6, we can

15 see, I think, a manuscript comment you have put on

16 there. That's your writing there we can see?

17 A. Indeed.

18 Q. What you say there is:

19 "Thanks. I have seen collateral for Wright's

20 discussing Duffy as a target. The upshot would be that

21 it would a highly risky, one shot only."

22 First of all, who are you saying thanks to there?

23 A. That would be to the agent handler who has produced this

24 report. That comment sheet is my opportunity to respond

25 to the handler, to ask for more information if necessary

 

 

31

 

1 or to -- well, as you can see, there is a grading scale

2 for the usefulness of the intelligence and I can use

3 that box to expand on that, should I wish.

4 Q. And you have circled the C category there, "useful".

5 Why was that?

6 A. Possibly because it is something which I hadn't seen

7 before. In many instances, we received reporting maybe

8 from a variety of sources which told the same story.

9 And obviously the more you hear the same story, the less

10 it adds.

11 Certainly -- I mean, it maybe helps reinforce the

12 veracity of a report, but by the time something is

13 absolutely well entrenched in all our minds, it becomes

14 little use to hear it again, for instance. So that's an

15 instance where something may be less useful, but if it

16 tells you something you didn't know already which you

17 believe may be of interest, obviously, "useful",

18 "valuable" or "extremely valuable" depending on the

19 material.

20 Q. Again, I would like to analyse the distinction between

21 the tactical and the strategic side of things. But from

22 your perspective, did this have a strategic impact, that

23 there is a plan to possibly kill an individual

24 Republican by an individual Loyalist?

25 A. Yes, I think the report -- the first paragraph of the

 

 

32

 

1 report talked about targeting a Republican politician,

2 I seem to remember.

3 Q. It does.

4 A. So that in itself is of interest and that's something

5 which the political people would have wanted to know

6 about. Similarly, the targeting of Duffy, because he is

7 prominent, it would have caused ripples in the community

8 if he had been attacked, and reprisals. And obviously

9 that's something which our customers would have wanted

10 to know about.

11 Q. Just turning back to the manuscript comment, how did you

12 come to the conclusion that it would be a risky thing to

13 do and a one-shot operation if it were to take place?

14 A. What I have done there is I have basically reproduced

15 what I had heard from the collateral reporting. The

16 collateral reporting would have come from a different

17 agent runner. So the agent runner -- the agent handler

18 who produced this intelligence would have been unaware

19 of the additional comment which I had heard from one of

20 his colleagues.

21 So I was effectively closing the loop to add to the

22 material he had given me, which may or may not have been

23 of value to him if he is having further discussions with

24 the agents in the future.

25 Q. Was it the agent handler's responsibility to give this

 

 

33

 

1 to the RUC with a view to them taking whatever steps

2 were necessary?

3 A. Yes. Well -- I say yes. I'm not sure to what extent

4 the RUC was directly involved anyway. As I have

5 mentioned before, all of these operations took place in

6 conjunction with the RUC and it may be that at the point

7 of actually meeting the agent, the RUC were present

8 anyway. I don't know, but I do know that all of our

9 operations took place in conjunction with the RUC.

10 So if it was a Security Service agent handler who

11 met single-handedly with the agent, he would have been

12 required to give verbatim the report to the RUC as he

13 had to me. If he met in conjunction with the RUC,

14 obviously their own person would take away their own

15 report from the meeting and our person would have

16 developed his report within the service.

17 Q. So you think the agent handler would have somehow

18 communicated this intelligence to RUC Headquarters, the

19 Special Branch at RUC Headquarters, so they could take

20 appropriate action in relation to the possible threat to

21 Colin Duffy?

22 A. You say RUC Headquarters, I don't know if it would be

23 Headquarters or not. The RUC, as you know, had an

24 organisation with headquarters and regional

25 organisations under the headquarters. And the

 

 

34

 

1 operational activities all took place, I believe, from

2 the regional offices. So I don't know whether it would

3 be the headquarters or the regions who actually would

4 have been directly involved with our people in

5 developing the agent reporting.

6 Q. Would you yourself, as an analyst in the Assessments

7 Group, have taken any action to have drawn this to the

8 RUC's attention or would you have considered it implicit

9 that they would already know about it?

10 A. Very much the latter.

11 Q. What about any follow-up to check that anything had been

12 done? Would you see that as anything for you to follow

13 up on?

14 A. No. And if I can expand on that, I am aware that one

15 thing that was done fastidiously was that victims of

16 reported alleged threats were warned of the alleged

17 threat.

18 Q. And this would be done by the RUC?

19 A. This would done by the RUC, not by the headquarters

20 people I liaised with, but by the people on the ground.

21 Q. Would this occur despite the fact that there may be

22 a risk to the source of the intelligence?

23 A. I think they were required to do it and they would do it

24 in such a way that protected the source as best they

25 could.

 

 

35

 

1 Q. May I move on, please, to the first of the NIIRs that I

2 would like to look at? This can be found at RNI-534-001

3 (displayed).

4 Now, again, because this is the first NIIR that we

5 have seen in the chamber, I would like you to help us to

6 understand it a little. First of all, it says

7 "priority". Is that a particular marking that means

8 that the recipient has to look at it as a matter of

9 priority or is that on all of the NIIRs that get

10 reported?

11 A. I must say I don't remember. I can't remember if they

12 all went out with "priority" at the top or how we -- if

13 they didn't, how we assigned the precedence,

14 effectively, of the report.

15 Q. Were there some NIIRs that you thought needed to be

16 fast-tracked to your customers and others that you took

17 your time with?

18 A. Again, I don't remember. They were all produced very

19 quickly and turned round quickly, and within a day they

20 were on the desk of our customers. So they all happened

21 very quickly.

22 In terms of -- as I said, the word "priority" at the

23 top, I'm sorry, I can't remember whether they all went

24 out with "priority" as a matter of routine or whether

25 that is something which we looked at the material and

 

 

36

 

1 sort of allocated a precedence as appropriate.

2 Q. We can see after the word "NIIR" there is the date, I

3 think, of 28 February 1997?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. The contact point which is redacted and has been

6 replaced with your cipher for the purpose of this

7 hearing, S519. Does that mean that you are the author?

8 A. It does, yes.

9 Q. And the title is "UVF intention to mount retaliatory

10 attack". Then we go into a passage which is a sort of

11 generic passage about handling instructions, and towards

12 the bottom of that we can see emboldened this:

13 "Subject to the usual caveats, this may be

14 incorporated into RUC records and likewise into Army

15 records."

16 Can you remember what the usual caveats were?

17 A. I imagine it is words along the lines of:

18 "May not be disseminated further without reference

19 to the originator."

20 Q. As simple as that?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. At the end we can see quite a long distribution list

23 which includes the NIO and various private secretaries

24 to civil servants, senior civil servants, and then we

25 can see a list of RUC officers, superintendents in

 

 

37

 

1 particular, within E3. You are determining who gets to

2 see all of this, are you?

3 A. Yes. As I have said earlier, the only thing that the

4 RUC would get from this additionally to what they had

5 received from their own channels would have been our

6 comment. But, yes, I would decide who from that whole

7 distribution list, including the RUC addressees, may be

8 interested.

9 But as I said earlier, this NIIR, before it went

10 out, would have been checked by my supervisor, possibly,

11 and certainly Head of Assessments Group would have

12 a look at it and they may say, "I think we should

13 additionally send it to another as appropriate".

14 Q. If we look overleaf, please, we can see that the

15 originator of the text is in fact the RUC. So this

16 would have been based on a form of report which you

17 would have been passed by your Loyalist counterpart,

18 would it?

19 A. Yes, I think it would have been, yes.

20 Q. In other words, the detail on which you are providing

21 analysis was based on RUC intelligence?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And we can see from the text of it that it relates in

24 part to the UVF and its access to commercial explosives?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

38

 

1 Q. Could you just perhaps, if you can, comment upon

2 paragraphs A and B? First of all, are they based on the

3 RUC reporting directly or is this more of a comment by

4 you?

5 A. I think A and B are the RUC's comment. That's my

6 recollection.

7 Q. We can see below that there is a section entitled

8 "Security Service Belfast comment"?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Everything above that would be from the RUC, would it?

11 A. Yes, indeed.

12 Q. Could you talk us through your reaction to this kind of

13 intelligence, which, as I say, is to do with the

14 availability of explosives to the UVF?

15 A. Well, I think, at least equally important is -- in terms

16 of our reaction to the report is the paragraph 1:

17 "The UVF intending to mount a retaliatory attack."

18 The attack they are retaliating to is a very

19 significant event in the political landscape. It was

20 the first breach of the IRA ceasefire in

21 Northern Ireland. So it was a landmark event, the

22 murder of Lance Bombardier Restorick, and as such

23 political eyes were all on this event and how the

24 communities might respond and what might of sort of

25 happen as a result.

 

 

39

 

1 So at least as important would have been the fact

2 that the UVF were intending to actually conduct -- carry

3 out a response.

4 Obviously the explosives issue is a separate issue

5 and is also important, but I didn't want to diminish the

6 first paragraph.

7 Q. So the points that you are interested in are, firstly,

8 the leadership's attitude towards the ceasefire?

9 A. Indeed.

10 Q. And then there is also an element of their capability --

11 A. Indeed.

12 Q. Those are really the two issues, are they?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And that's why you are making the comment and why this

15 gets distributed as a NIIR?

16 A. Yes, and I think possibly, as I said before, there has

17 been previous discussions about their capabilities.

18 That wasn't anything terribly new possibly, but what was

19 new was the intelligence that they wanted to escalate

20 this Republican breach of ceasefire.

21 Q. Would you then have gone back to the RUC, whoever passed

22 you this report, and said, "These are the issues I'm

23 interested in. I would like some more on this"?

24 A. Yes, I could have done. In terms of asking for more,

25 the channels were quite delicate and we very much felt

 

 

40

 

1 that we could discuss -- we couldn't demand intelligence

2 and we had to be somewhat circumspect in how sort of

3 forceful we asked for things.

4 If the organisation felt that it strongly needed

5 something, then my management in the person of Head of

6 Assessments Group would have had discussions with his

7 counterpart in the RUC at a higher level, and from that

8 level of discussion maybe the impetus to actually -- to

9 direct the targeting of intelligence would have come

10 about.

11 Q. May I turn, please, to another source report? We can

12 find this at RNI-531-011 (displayed). For your

13 reference, you talk about this in paragraphs 20 and 21

14 of your statement.

15 Now, this is another source report to do with the

16 potential attack on Colin Duffy and the date of this is

17 8 April 1997. Again, it comes directly to you from the

18 agent handler. The title is "Mid-Ulster UVF to mount

19 lethal attack against Colin Duffy". We then, in the

20 body of the report, get references to Mark Fulton in

21 particular and his Loyalist Volunteer Force, the LVF,

22 and their continued targeting of Colin Duffy.

23 Do you think the reference to "Mid-Ulster UVF" is

24 a mistake or is it deliberate, to refer to a slightly

25 different organisation from the one discussed in the

 

 

41

 

1 body of that comment, the context of the report we have

2 seen?

3 A. It is possibly a slight slip. The only distinction

4 between the two is where they sit on a timeline, really.

5 Because Mid-Ulster UVF was Billy Wright's faction which

6 effectively in its entirety became the LVF.

7 So you could say the two are synonymous except for

8 the fact that up to a certain point in time they call

9 themselves one thing, and after that point they call

10 themselves something else. But in terms of the

11 organisation, the people, they are the same people.

12 Q. And it is very specific, this time, about what clearly

13 appears to have been intelligence gathering by the LVF

14 in relation to Colin Duffy and his activities or his

15 whereabouts and their plan based upon that to attack

16 him.

17 Can we go to the next page, please (displayed)? And

18 the one following, please (displayed)? In fact, it is

19 the one following that (displayed). Thank you.

20 This is the final page of the document which

21 contains consumer comments, which are the comments by

22 you about this piece of intelligence. And again, you

23 have ticked the box, "C, useful". Why would this have

24 been of use for you?

25 A. Well, this is something specific. I think -- it is

 

 

42

 

1 a long time ago, but I believe I recollect there were

2 a number of strands of reporting saying that those

3 individuals were considering targeting Duffy. But here

4 we had something which was very specific, which

5 indicated a degree more of -- more rigorous planning.

6 And, as I said in the context of an earlier report,

7 Duffy is a prominent individual. So if he were to be

8 targeted, there could be ripples in the local area or

9 more widespread, of which the political customers would

10 want to be aware.

11 Q. In your manuscript comment, first of all you say

12 "thanks" as you do on the previous report we saw:

13 "As discussed, we are unable to do anything with

14 this except watch from the sidelines."

15 Why is that?

16 A. Simply because the action to warn Duffy and to ensure

17 that he sort of -- he takes action to ensure that he

18 isn't attacked rests with the RUC only, and the RUC had

19 access to this information in parallel with my

20 receiving it.

21 Q. Do you recollect having a discussion with the agent

22 handler about this?

23 A. No, I don't. However, I infer from my comment that

24 I certainly must have done.

25 Q. And you go on to say:

 

 

43

 

1 "It would be sad if the RUC were unable to warn

2 Duffy in time ..."

3 Now, looked at objectively, it may be said you were

4 being ironic there, in that you are not really saying

5 that it would be sad in fact?

6 A. I think as I have written in my statement, it was

7 possibly a slightly glib comment and, as such, not

8 appropriate really to have written on a document such as

9 this and -- but nonetheless, sort of the fact that we

10 are -- we were a sort of -- not empowered to do anything

11 from, my point of view, in the Security Service, that sort

12 of remains the fact.

13 Q. I would imagine when you were writing this, you weren't

14 expecting a public inquiry to be poring over it ten

15 years on?

16 A. Indeed. This was direct feedback to a colleague

17 following a discussion, a telephone discussion with that

18 same colleague. So I would have been referring,

19 I imagine, to the sort of sentiments of the telephone

20 conversation, which obviously isn't recorded. And as

21 you said, at the time the possibility that this might

22 find itself here in these circumstances was completely

23 inconceivable.

24 Q. Even if that were the case, though, isn't there an

25 unfortunate implication here that for a Republican to be

 

 

44

 

1 targeted by a Loyalist and killed would not be a sad

2 event for a Government agency who is working to counter

3 terrorism?

4 A. I think we have to look at it objectively, from the

5 perspective that, as I said, from -- where I sat within

6 the service, I was aware that the channels existed to

7 warn Duffy, and those channels would be followed

8 through. They were on every occasion followed through,

9 I understand. I know that from my dealings with my

10 police counterparts. So the appropriate action would

11 have been taken.

12 Q. And the point that you are mentioning here really is the

13 timing of it. If this intelligence comes in, was there

14 a fast-track to get this actioned; in other words, for

15 a warning to be given very quickly after the

16 intelligence came in to ensure that in fact he was

17 warned in time?

18 A. I wasn't aware of the channels, but I was aware and am

19 aware that the RUC, because of the nature of their

20 organisational structures, were able to respond very

21 quickly when needed to intelligence coming in of

22 a tactical nature. Intelligence would come in and could

23 be acted upon as quickly as needed, and that was

24 evidenced on numerous occasions throughout that period.

25 Q. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

 

 

45

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, it would. We will have a 20-minute

2 break.

3 Before we do that, Mr [name redacted], before the witness

4 leaves, would you please confirm that all the cameras

5 have been switched off?

6 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

8 Please escort the witness out.

9 (2.04 pm)

10 (Short break)

11 (2.29 pm)

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist? Is the public

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

14 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: The fire doors on either side of the screen

16 closed?

17 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: The technical support screens in place and

19 securely fastened?

20 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

22 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

23 of this chamber?

24 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Would you repeat that answer, please?

 

 

46

 

1 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr [name redacted], can you, confirm, please, that

3 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

4 shrouded?

5 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

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

7 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

9 Bring the witness in, please.

10 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

11 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

12 switched back on.

13 Yes, Mr Skelton?

14 MR SKELTON: May we have the document back on screen that we

15 were looking at just before the break, which is

16 RNI-531-014 (displayed)?

17 Now, I would like, if I may, just to go back to your

18 comments and clarify a few things, please. One of the

19 things this Inquiry is concerned with is the attitude of

20 the security forces towards Rosemary Nelson, and more

21 generally, one of the reasons we are looking at

22 documents such as this is to establish the attitude

23 towards people who were perceived to be on the

24 Republican side of the divide.

25 One such person is Colin Duffy, who was a client of

 

 

47

 

1 Mrs Nelson.

2 Now, it may appear from this -- the wording of your

3 comment on this document -- that you were at best

4 indifferent to Colin Duffy's death and, at worst, were

5 saying it would not be sad; in other words, there may be

6 some cause for being happy that Colin Duffy, a prominent

7 Republican, had been killed. What do you say to that?

8 A. I would say, as I said earlier, obviously I do recognise

9 that this isn't an appropriate comment and, as you

10 suggested, at the time of writing, it was inconceivable

11 that it might find itself in a forum such as this.

12 I'm not able to speak for the attitudes of other

13 individuals within the security forces. I think it is

14 probably true to say that Duffy was not considered a

15 friend to the security forces. I'm not sure --

16 obviously I can't speak for others. For myself, as

17 I said, it was an inappropriate comment and obviously

18 regrettable that it is there, looking at it from the

19 perspective of where we are now.

20 Q. You are a member of the Assessments Group?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Charged with assessing intelligence, including

23 assessments like this, which are to do with specific

24 targeting of individuals. Do you not think it would be

25 unfortunate if a member of an assessments group were to,

 

 

48

 

1 in effect, celebrate the death of a particular

2 paramilitary?

3 A. I think it would be highly unfortunate.

4 Q. Is there not an implication here that you would be less

5 than sad -- the opposite of sad -- that that would be

6 the case?

7 A. Erm, I don't think this is an implication that anybody's

8 death would be celebrated.

9 Q. What does the "..." mean?

10 A. It was a long time ago that it was written, ten years or

11 more. It is difficult to say, and as I said earlier,

12 this is with reference to a telephone conversation which

13 I clearly had had, but I don't recall and have got no

14 recording of at the time -- from the time.

15 Q. Would the view which you express in this comment have

16 been shared by the person that you had the conversation

17 with; in other words, the agent handler?

18 A. I can't say for certain. Obviously it is a possibility

19 and that may have been what the gist of our phone

20 conversation is that I had referred to.

21 Q. Reporting on similar such targeting, would that have

22 attracted a similar comment from you in relation to

23 other Republicans, for example? Was this an attitude

24 which we can say, well, you may have had it in relation

25 to Colin Duffy, you may also have had it in relation to

 

 

49

 

1 other Republicans?

2 A. No, I'm not sure, and there have been no other instances

3 of any documents from the time which have come to light

4 which have illustrated -- a sort of similar train of

5 thought.

6 Q. I think that's correct. The Inquiry hasn't seen any

7 comment to this effect in any other documents, but what

8 we are concerned about really is whether this document

9 indicates a general culture within the Security Service,

10 for example, of indifference towards the death of

11 paramilitaries?

12 A. I don't think we were indifferent towards the death of

13 anybody. It would have been no surprise to anybody that

14 Duffy wasn't a friend to anybody in the security forces

15 for the reason that you mentioned earlier: he was

16 believed responsible for at least one murder of a police

17 officer. I don't know how many -- what the information

18 is. But I'm not aware of any of my colleagues

19 celebrating anybody's death at any point. I would go as

20 far as to say that it didn't happen.

21 Q. And you have described in detail that it was the RUC's

22 primary responsibility to warn Duffy. In fact, we can

23 see this, albeit that the specific date is redacted, but

24 it does say specifically this intelligence was passed to

25 the Royal Ulster Constabulary in April. So we can

 

 

50

 

1 presume this was actioned from your perspective to the

2 RUC. But from your knowledge, did anyone in the RUC

3 have an attitude similar to this; in other words, that

4 they were less than keen to provide expeditious warnings

5 in such circumstances?

6 A. All I can say, as I said before, is that I am aware that

7 the RUC were fastidious in giving these warnings. It

8 wasn't the RUC people I dealt with, who were

9 Headquarters staff and who were more concerned, as I

10 was, the more strategic use of intelligence; it would

11 have been the people who staffed the regional

12 organisations who carried this out.

13 So it was one step removed even from my

14 interlocutors within the RUC, but I am aware that it was

15 an action which was carried out by the RUC. So

16 obviously I can't speak for their feelings about doing

17 it, but what I can speak for is the fact that I was

18 aware -- I am aware that due warnings were given on

19 every occasion that they needed to be given.

20 Q. So you can be certain, can you, in looking at this

21 specific piece of intelligence that the warning was

22 given by the RUC to Colin Duffy?

23 A. In terms of being certain, I can be certain that that

24 was the procedure which took place habitually. Whether

25 there was a slip on this occasion particularly,

 

 

51

 

1 obviously I have no knowledge. If I had asked my RUC

2 counterpart, his response would be of course it would

3 have been done because that is what was always done, if

4 that makes sense. It was a given that it happened.

5 Q. Would you have discussed with him -- this is the DI in

6 E3B again, is it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you discuss with him whether in fact it did happen

9 on this occasion, albeit I appreciate you can't remember

10 now?

11 A. Probably not because it was understood that it happened

12 on every occasion. It was a fact of life for the RUC

13 that part of what they had to do was to give warnings to

14 people, some of whom they may not have been personally

15 well disposed towards, but they carried out this duty

16 nonetheless.

17 Q. Were there any instances, to your recollection, where

18 terrorists or any other individuals were not warned in

19 time by the RUC, which led to their death, that you were

20 aware of?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Thank you. I'll move on to another topic very briefly

23 just before we leave the Assessments Group issues, and

24 that is the issue of warranty. I appreciate you weren't

25 directly involved in the warranty process and that was,

 

 

52

 

1 I think, something for the DCI and the DCI's

2 representative. But when the DCI was advising the

3 Secretary of State or the Permanent Undersecretary about

4 warranty issues, would he or his representatives speak

5 to the Assessments Group to find out more about the

6 people that were mentioned within the application?

7 A. He would have had sight of our reporting anyway. So

8 possibly if he needed clarification or expansion on any

9 points, quite possibly. Having said that, I don't

10 recall any specific instances when that took place.

11 Q. We will, later in the week, be dealing with evidence to

12 do with an operation to target a property owned by

13 Rosemary Nelson, and that contains a lot of references

14 to Colin Duffy, it contains a number of references to

15 Rosemary Nelson.

16 What I'm interested in understanding is whether,

17 when the Secretary of State receives such an application

18 and has to sign off on the warrant, she is receiving

19 a briefing from the Security Service about those

20 individuals which must be based on the Service's

21 intelligence or the Service's intelligence on any

22 particular person. Can you help us with that?

23 A. I have a recollection of providing brief reports to the

24 DCI Rep -- DCI Rep's assistant, who put these

25 submissions together. What I don't recollect is whether

 

 

53

 

1 that was from during my time at Assessments Group or the

2 subsequent two years, when I was doing a similar job

3 within the police headquarters, or possibly even both.

4 So I am aware of, on occasions, providing

5 a paragraph or two to the assistant to the DCI Rep, as

6 I said, which would have formed part of these

7 submissions.

8 Q. And the purpose of that would be what?

9 A. To provide -- to support -- to provide the information

10 needed to support the case for the request for

11 a warrant.

12 Q. The example that I'm trying to think of really is where

13 the Secretary of State says to the DCI when discussing

14 the warrant, "Who is Rosemary Nelson? Who is

15 Colin Duffy?" And the DCI needs to be in a position to

16 answer that, and I appreciate that is not the role which

17 you undertook and the DCI will be giving evidence on

18 Wednesday, but in order to have that answer, presumably

19 they needed to have some knowledge of the surrounding

20 territory and individuals. Would Assessments Group

21 assist on that sort of thing specifically; in other

22 words, an oral briefing about the personalities that

23 come up in warranty?

24 A. I am aware -- I recollect now, as we are speaking of

25 providing a paragraph or two which would have been

 

 

54

 

1 incorporated into these submissions. So some written

2 background information on the individuals concerned.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 May we turn then to your role in the IMG, which you

5 just mentioned a moment ago? First of all, I think, as

6 I understand it, the IMG came out of the recommendations

7 in the Warner Report, in the 1990s?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And its purpose, I think, is to add a sort of strategic

10 element to the reporting structure from the RUC. Is

11 that correct?

12 A. Yes, as I understand it, there was a perceived shortfall

13 in that area within the RUC and that came about when the

14 PIRA campaign on the British mainland resumed with

15 a bomb in Manchester and one in London, and there was

16 very little, if no, knowledge that this was about to

17 happen.

18 So there were questions asked about why -- why the

19 shortfall of intelligence, of strategic intelligence

20 from the RUC. And resulting from that, there was

21 a programme to incorporate within the RUC a similar

22 reporting cell to that which we had in Assessments

23 Group.

24 Q. If the Assessments Group is already up and running, as

25 it was at this stage, and is reporting on strategic

 

 

55

 

1 issues, then why was it necessary, do you think, to add

2 a strategic element to the RUC's reporting?

3 A. Because not all of the RUC's intelligence made as far as

4 Assessments Group, for the reason that the RUC officers

5 traditionally approached the intelligence with an eye to

6 responding tactically to the intelligence, which is what

7 they were there for and what they did very well.

8 But the strategic aspect was something which

9 wouldn't have been foremost in their minds. So there is

10 an idea, which I think was probably wholly appropriate,

11 that if we inserted some of our culture into their

12 organisation, it may help the strategic thinking.

13 Q. And presumably the intelligence that you are talking

14 about, which they had reviewed and only recognised the

15 tactical element of, was things that you hadn't

16 necessarily seen yourself, otherwise you probably would

17 have reported on it?

18 A. In some instances, yes.

19 Q. Were you one of the first secondees?

20 A. I was.

21 Q. And did you focus on Loyalist issues?

22 A. I did. The structure replicated very closely the

23 structure which we had in Assessments Group. I went

24 from the Loyalist desk in the Assessments Group to the

25 Loyalist desk in the RUC.

 

 

56

 

1 Q. Was there another officer in the Security Service who

2 went into the Republican desk?

3 A. There were another four, I believe. Obviously the

4 Republican area was a very much bigger area of interest,

5 just by virtue of the amount of actions taking place in

6 the Province at the time and the amount of reporting

7 coming in and the relative structures of both the RUC

8 and the Security Service had the Loyalist side as a very

9 much smaller sort of area of operations.

10 Q. So you were the only Loyalist secondee, were you?

11 A. I was, yes.

12 Q. How many people were there in your Loyalist subgroup?

13 A. I sat within a room which comprised, I believe, two

14 detective inspectors, one detective sergeant and two

15 detective constables and myself.

16 Q. How did the IMG interrelate with E3B? Did it amalgamate

17 E3B into itself?

18 A. No. As I understand it, the IMG was the name given to

19 the small number of Security Services secondees within

20 E3, one of whom was me within E3B. And so I was working

21 within their structures rather than subsuming their

22 organisation into our structures. We -- for line

23 manager responsibility, we all were accountable to

24 DCI Rep Knock, whom I believe you are hearing from at

25 a later point.

 

 

57

 

1 Q. Did you say that the IMG consisted of a small number of

2 Security Service personnel; in other words, it was

3 entirely Security Service personnel?

4 A. I believe -- and, again, this is going back a long time

5 and I may not be correct, but my understanding from

6 where I'm sitting at the moment, at some years' distance

7 and having left the service some years ago, is that the

8 name IMG related to the Security Service individuals

9 seconded into the RUC.

10 So I don't believe -- I think the name IMG was

11 coined at the time we were seconded in and I don't

12 believe it encompassed the RUC staff whom we worked

13 with.

14 Q. In other words, those DIs and DCIs that you mentioned?

15 A. Indeed. I may be wrong. It is a distant memory and it

16 is something which I had not been asked to think about

17 until just now.

18 Q. Did you just produce IMAGIRs?

19 A. In terms of my output? Yes, just that I probably had

20 other sort of little roles within the organisation, sort

21 of processing work as necessary. I wasn't -- IMAGIRs

22 came out maybe once or twice a month, but I certainly

23 wasn't sitting idle for all that time.

24 Q. So were you solely responsible for the Loyalist IMAGIRs

25 during this period?

 

 

58

 

1 A. In conjunction with the RUC colleagues. Obviously from

2 within the RUC these came out as RUC documents. I

3 wasn't a member of the RUC and they wouldn't have wanted

4 something from my words alone to go out without their

5 scrutiny. So I would develop the line of thinking with

6 them and possibly draft the report and they may then

7 have another look and amend it as necessary. Or, if

8 I said words which were my thoughts but which weren't

9 consistent with their own way of thinking, they might

10 have been removed.

11 Q. Were you answerable to the head of IMG or did you still

12 have a managerial link back to the Security Service?

13 A. Two lines of accountability: one up through E3B to the

14 detective chief inspector who was accountable for the

15 Loyalist desk, and one to the Security Service person,

16 DCI Rep, who was employed within the RUC Headquarters.

17 Q. And who were your customers? Were they the same sort of

18 customers that we saw on the NIIRs that we looked at

19 earlier?

20 A. Yes, I believe so. I think there was more emphasis on

21 dispute within the RUC. The customers included

22 Assessments Group and I think anything which needed to

23 go up strategically then needed to be turned around by

24 Assessments Group to form a NIIR, which went on up to

25 Government.

 

 

59

 

1 I'm not aware that we actually sent things directly

2 to ministers or officials.

3 Q. So when you produce an IMAGIR, one of the recipients

4 could be the person who occupied your former post?

5 A. Indeed.

6 Q. And he could convert it into a NIIR?

7 A. Yes, and I think that the aspiration was that he would

8 be able to do so with relatively little effort because I

9 had put in the effort which would otherwise have been

10 his.

11 Q. Was this seen as an efficient process, given that one

12 would have expected it possibly to be shortcutted by

13 giving you direct access from the Security Service to

14 this sort of reporting in order to make those sorts of

15 judgments immediately into a NIIR?

16 A. Well, in terms of efficiency, it is difficult to say.

17 It was certainly an improvement on what went before,

18 which was that there was a failure of reporting, which

19 is why we were created. The Assessments Group staff,

20 bear in mind, were actually part of the

21 Northern Ireland Office organisation, so they were our

22 conduit into Northern Ireland Office effectively.

23 So if you regard them as a portal rather than as an

24 obstacle, possibly you could say that it is

25 an inefficient process.

 

 

60

 

1 Q. When you drafted an IMAGIR, did you have full and

2 direct access to the RUC's reporting?

3 A. No, I don't think I did. Again, as I said before, the

4 RUC were very circumspect about the management of their

5 intelligence. I had access to some of their information

6 systems, but not all. And in some instances, many

7 instances, I wouldn't have been aware of raw information

8 in the way that other parts of the RUC might have done.

9 I think that wasn't just me. I think RUC

10 Headquarters staff often themselves -- again, because of

11 their careful practices -- weren't necessarily aware of

12 the raw intelligence which was coming from the regional

13 operators.

14 Q. Who determined what the IMG saw?

15 A. I would presume -- again, this is supposition because I

16 wasn't part of the process -- the intelligence as it was

17 developed from the regions would be given

18 a distribution, which means that a sanitised form of it

19 would go to Headquarters. There may be other material

20 which, at a more senior level, people would be aware of

21 and would be discussed between the senior people in the

22 regional tactical areas of the RUC and their

23 counterparts in the headquarters.

24 So if there was -- if somebody in Headquarters

25 became aware that there was more that we needed to know,

 

 

61

 

1 that decision may have been taken at that level and the

2 instruction given that a form of report would come

3 to us.

4 Q. You mentioned terminals. Did you have access to the

5 MACER system, which used to be called CAISTER, I think,

6 before it developed a bit further?

7 A. I don't remember, I am afraid.

8 Q. Do you remember having access to a particular type of

9 database which had security limits on it?

10 A. I remember -- yes, I remember having access to,

11 I believe, one of the RUC's information systems which

12 had a terminal in their office. I don't recollect what

13 it was called, but it was an intelligence database which

14 provided information on areas of interest.

15 Q. Was it searchable?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. So you were in fact allowed access, free access, to

18 search it, were you?

19 A. I don't know how free. Again, I don't recollect. I had

20 enough information to do the job that was asked of me.

21 I did not have access to all of their systems by any

22 means and I don't recollect whether my particular

23 permissions were -- gave me more limited access than

24 those of RUC colleagues.

25 Q. When you were writing an IMAGIR, did you go and use the

 

 

62

 

1 computer system to research it or did you use it as the

2 basis for receiving intelligence which you then

3 determined whether or not to turn into an IMAGIR?

4 A. I think I wouldn't -- the nature of the sort of things I

5 was writing, I wouldn't have needed to research to check

6 up on the minutiae of information because, as with the

7 assessment papers, when I was in the Assessments Group,

8 it was more of a general feel for how the respective

9 organisations are sort of moving and mutating and

10 interoperating.

11 Now, I might have had to check small bits, which

12 I probably would have done. Again, this is all going

13 back a long time and it is not close to the forefront of

14 my memory.

15 Q. You mentioned when you were discussing the Assessments

16 Group that you had access to and regular discussion with

17 your colleagues on the Republican desks?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did you have similar access when you were in the IMG to

20 your counterparts?

21 A. Less so. More probably because it was a bigger

22 organisation and so the people I was surrounded with

23 were exclusively concerned with Loyalists.

24 In Assessments Group, it is a very small

25 organisation and I think probably our channels of

 

 

63

 

1 communication were better developed between us as well.

2 Q. And in terms of when you were writing your Loyalist

3 reports, presumably you needed to understand the

4 context, which may have been a Republican context, if it

5 were, for example, a plan to attack different people?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So how would you go about getting to know that context

8 or keeping abreast of it?

9 A. Well, as in IMG you are asking?

10 Q. Yes, sorry, focussing entirely on the IMG now, yes.

11 A. Okay. Well, I would have had visibility of some of the

12 intelligence and I would have had the ability to ask the

13 individuals concerned. Bear in mind I had obviously

14 a Security Service colleague, an IMG counterpart,

15 sitting within each of the RUC assessments areas

16 concerned. So my -- probably my best port of call would

17 be to talk to my immediate colleague.

18 We were more sort of widely dispersed within the

19 geography of the building, whereas we were in adjoining

20 rooms previously in the Security Service, within the RUC

21 Headquarters. We were on different floors of the

22 building and, as I said, we weren't working so closely

23 with each other, but for all that we were accessible to

24 each other and I popped along and picked up the phone to

25 my counterpart.

 

 

64

 

1 Q. What sort of issues were to the forefront of your work

2 during this period, which is, as I say, 1997 to 1999, in

3 terms of the analysis of what the Loyalists were doing?

4 A. I think possibly the area most of interest was the

5 organisational structures, actually the organisations

6 themselves: The emergence of splinter factions and

7 whether they actually represented real factions or were

8 just a flag of convenience for a specific attack so as

9 to take blame away from another organisation or from

10 possibly the organisation that carried it out even.

11 Names crept up -- names of organisations crept up

12 and disappeared, it seemed, from time to time and it was

13 understanding whether these actually represented real

14 new factions, where they came from, why they were

15 formed, or whether in fact it was just a name that

16 somebody had pulled out of the air, if they were

17 claiming an attack, in order to give it a name,

18 effectively.

19 Q. And in doing this work, presumably you had to delve

20 quite far into the detail of who the individuals were

21 who formed these particular groups or who were hiving

22 themselves off to form a new group?

23 A. Yes. Bear in mind by the time I was in the IMG I had

24 been doing a similar role in the Security Service, the

25 Assessments Group, for two years already, so the

 

 

65

 

1 individuals didn't change. So over that time, I had

2 become quite familiar with who was who.

3 I also had regular dialogue with my Security Service

4 counterpart in Assessments Group and we would sort of

5 confirm our shared understanding of these things. So

6 the -- the individuals making up the organisation I was

7 quite familiar with, and the sort of organisational

8 shape, organisational changes, were not sort of several

9 a week. I mean, I could follow, as the whole thing

10 evolved, and have a reasonable understanding of the

11 evolution of it and the whys and wherefores, and how the

12 different personalities, for instance, had come into

13 play in terms of one group splitting into factions and

14 others being formed.

15 Q. Were the Red Hand Defenders and Orange Volunteers of

16 particular interest in this period?

17 A. Red Hand Defenders and Orange Volunteers were both names

18 that suddenly emerged, associated with people who had

19 been previously known under other guises. And

20 obviously, yes, of interest, in that they were names

21 which had appeared associated with statements claiming

22 attribution for attacks.

23 Our job was to say who are these people really,

24 where have they come from. And in the instance of the

25 Red Hand Defenders, for instance, as I understand it, it

 

 

66

 

1 was sort of an amalgam of people from the Red Hand

2 Commando, whom we had known going way back, and the LVF,

3 who were a more recent splinter faction of the UVF. It

4 was this sort of understanding which was what I was

5 specifically interested in.

6 Q. Geographically, where are these groups focused on?

7 A. Red Hand Commando tended to be out to the northeast of

8 the Province, the Ards Peninsula and North Down, which

9 isn't far out of Belfast but with sort of links going

10 into East Belfast.

11 The name Orange Volunteers, I couldn't say. I don't

12 know if they were one and the same. Mid-Ulster UVF,

13 obviously Mid-Ulster where Billy Wright and his cohorts

14 had existed for as long as they had, and the

15 Red Hand Defenders, which, as I said, was an amalgam of

16 some personalities from these groups, would have

17 effectively been between these two areas.

18 Q. Was this evolving quite rapidly at this time? You've

19 talked about the formation of splinter groups and

20 dissidents. How quickly did this process occur?

21 A. No, I wouldn't say at all rapidly. The most significant

22 factionalisation, if that's is a word, was the formation

23 of the LVF and we watched that happening over a period

24 of months effectively, with tensions growing between

25 Billy Wright from Mid-Ulster UVF, and the UVF leadership

 

 

67

 

1 and came to a head when he defied them and murdered

2 somebody in association with one of the parades in the

3 parades season and was then effectively disowned, and

4 that was the start of LVF.

5 But we saw this whole process happening over

6 a period of months. Similarly over a period of months

7 or years, we would have seen links between these

8 individuals and individuals within the group calling

9 themselves Red Hand Commando. A name can appear at the

10 drop of a hat. The name Red Hand Defenders, you first

11 become aware of it when it is used in association with

12 a statement claiming attribution for an attack.

13 But it is the individuals who are the most important

14 thing and understanding where they have come from. And

15 as I said, we monitored over a period of time and

16 understood fairly well, I think, where they had come

17 from.

18 Q. An issue we talked about earlier on was these groups'

19 capability, and we looked specifically at the period

20 1995 to 1997 when you were back in Assessments Group,

21 but this presumably was still an issue which was live

22 for you in 1997 to 1999?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. I think you mention in your statement -- this is

25 paragraph 11 on page RNI-844-099 (displayed) -- it is

 

 

68

 

1 typical for those sorts of groups just to shoot an

2 unsuspecting victim at close range and that was their

3 way of doing things?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you start to see a developing sophistication in

6 their capability during this period?

7 A. No, I'm not sure we did. Obviously the use of

8 improvised explosive devices is a step more

9 sophisticated than shooting somebody in the back of the

10 head, and this whole inquiry is about the use of a such

11 a device. So that was a more sophisticated effort, but

12 it still -- in terms of overall sophistication on the

13 grand scheme of things, it is not a difficult thing to

14 do nonetheless, as I understand it, to carry out an

15 attack like that, compared with, say, the sophistication

16 of the Republican side. And that was the yardstick

17 which we had.

18 Q. In carrying out these sorts of attacks -- if it is

19 a random shooting like that on an unsuspecting victim,

20 as you put it, in your statement -- was that the kind of

21 thing that was sanctioned by the leader of a mainstream

22 group but was carried out under a flag of convenience by

23 one of these splinter groups? Was that how it worked?

24 A. It could have been or not. For instance, the formation

25 of the LVF was triggered when Billy Wright did exactly

 

 

69

 

1 that, and it was a Catholic taxi driver who just

2 happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

3 Somebody got in a taxi behind him and shot him in the

4 head.

5 That was unsanctioned, and led to Billy Wright being

6 effectively thrown out of the UVF and forming the LVF.

7 So they may or may not have been sanctioned.

8 At other times, I believe we saw reporting which

9 said -- gave the blanket go-ahead to possibly carry out

10 an attack such as this in previous times, not connected

11 with this particular incident.

12 Q. Just focusing on the LVF, roughly how many people were

13 members of the LVF around this time, 1997?

14 A. It is difficult to quantify because there may be --

15 Billy Wright was a very charismatic man and may have had

16 a lot of people who would claimed they were supporters

17 and therefore may have claimed they were LVF -- or LVF

18 supporters or LVF affiliates.

19 In terms of those who actually carried out terrorist

20 acts or were closely associated with terrorist acts, the

21 numbers were very much smaller, and I think you are

22 probably looking at less than 20. From the recesses of

23 my memory -- and it is a long time ago, but that's the

24 sort of numbers which I think of of actually true

25 dangerous individuals.

 

 

70

 

1 Q. Now, Rosemary Nelson, we know, was killed by an undercar

2 booby trap. Did you have any involvement with analysing

3 the intelligence that came in to do with the murder?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Did the IMG have any involvement with that at all?

6 A. I don't recollect. I do recollect that there was no

7 prior intelligence, and as I have mentioned before,

8 intelligence of a tactical nature was handled sort of in

9 the regional offices of the RUC rather than coming to

10 Headquarters.

11 Q. So IMG would not, in other words, have a role analysing

12 post-murder intelligence at all?

13 A. The role -- well, in terms of if there were material of

14 interest to the IMG's customers, the customers that

15 formerly we would have had in Assessments Group, then

16 yes.

17 Q. I know your colleague, who will be coming tomorrow, who

18 took over your role in the Assessments Group did do some

19 analytical work, as did some others on behalf of the

20 Assessments Group about the capability and the effect of

21 the Rosemary Nelson murder. But I'm talking more

22 specifically about the attribution of responsibility

23 really in relation to the IMG in this period and trying

24 to work out if they had any role in that.

25 A. I remember the morning of -- or the morning after the

 

 

71

 

1 attack when first we were aware of it and there was

2 a statement which claimed to be, I believe, in the name

3 of the Red Hand Defenders. And obviously that is

4 something which we would have discussed and I imagine

5 issued reports on the basis of.

6 I am afraid my recollection of exactly what material

7 came in to us and the analysis which was carried out at

8 about that time is very scant and not having had sight

9 of it in the meantime.

10 Q. Would it follow from that, just as a matter of general

11 procedure, that the IMG wouldn't engage with tasking

12 sources about murders which had already occurred? That

13 wasn't part of their role, as far as you were concerned?

14 A. I think in terms of tasking sources within the RUC,

15 those are questions which we would have wanted to have

16 had answers to certainly. As a Security Service

17 secondee to the IMG within the RUC, I had no role in

18 tasking sources. I would have had discussions with my

19 RUC colleague in the same room, who would have had some

20 form of relationship, I would presume, with his RUC

21 colleagues, who were closer to the gaining of the

22 intelligence, to -- maybe to suggest that this is an

23 area where we wanted further intelligence.

24 I imagine the RUC handlers would have known anyway.

25 They wouldn't have needed to be told that an attack such

 

 

72

 

1 as this happens, people will want to know who did it and

2 the whys and wherefores. So the actual tasking to some

3 extent is a sort of unnecessary process in that respect

4 because it is a question that would automatically be

5 asked of the agents by the handlers.

6 Q. Some of the IMAGIRs that the Inquiry has seen relate to

7 the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition, which I presume

8 would have been produced by one of your Republican

9 officer counterparts?

10 A. Yes, I presume so.

11 Q. Would you have been aware or have had sight of those

12 IMAGIRs when they were produced?

13 A. They would have been copied to the Loyalist cell, E3B,

14 so I would have had sight of them. I would imagine

15 a paper copy would have come in to the room and we would

16 all have had a look at it.

17 Q. How much interest did you have on the Loyalist side on

18 the issue of Drumcree and the parade?

19 A. Quite a lot. Obviously the parades have always been

20 a potential flashpoint on both sides, and in terms of

21 the Loyalist side obviously we were interested in

22 alerting the political customers to issues which might

23 arise in connection with the parades and to give as much

24 warning as possible. So knowledge of all matters

25 connected with the parades was of importance to us.

 

 

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1 Q. Does it follow from that then that you would have known

2 a fair bit about the Coalition and its objectives in

3 order to understand the wider strategic impact of the

4 parade?

5 A. No, I wouldn't have known a fair bit about it. I would

6 have been aware of it. To a greater extent possibly

7 than a resident of Northern Ireland necessarily would be

8 aware, but not to the same extent that the -- my

9 Republican counterparts or my counterparts dealing with

10 Republican intelligence would have been aware.

11 Q. Two of the IMAGIRs that the inquiry has seen relate to

12 the contact, possibly discreet contact, between

13 Sinn Fein and the GRRC and possibly between dissident

14 Republican groups and the GRRC. Was that something

15 which you were aware of?

16 A. In terms of the dissident side of things, I would say

17 not at all. In terms of the contact between Sinn Fein

18 and the GRRC, that was a matter of public record to

19 everybody in Northern Ireland. It is on our TV screens.

20 We would see the GRRC and Sinn Fein representatives

21 standing side by side at the lines.

22 Q. Did you have a perception then that the GRRC was

23 associated with more mainstream Nationalist politics?

24 A. No, I think it is exactly as its name suggested.

25 Garvaghy Road is a very local thing, but it was an issue

 

 

74

 

1 which was of importance to Republicans throughout

2 Northern Ireland in terms of what they believed their

3 cause was. And it was an issue of interest for

4 everybody about Northern Ireland because it was -- that

5 particular geographical location was the epicentre for

6 the -- all of the news on our TV screens at that time.

7 Q. Were you aware that Rosemary Nelson represented them?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And how did you come by that information?

10 A. As I said, it was on our television screens. There was

11 blanket coverage. It was universally known and you

12 would see Rosemary Nelson there at the frontlines, where

13 they were -- the parades were -- or the protesters were

14 held back by the police. She would be the one who would

15 be negotiating with the police, to say these people have

16 a free right of expression.

17 Q. Were you also aware that she represented Colin Duffy?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And again, would that have been from press reporting or

20 from work within the RUC?

21 A. I think that would have been more from my time in

22 Assessments Group, when I knew more about what the

23 Republican intelligence was dealing with because I was

24 more closely integrated with my counterparts on the

25 Republican desks, and obviously Duffy was a target of

 

 

75

 

1 interest.

2 Q. So far as you were aware, was she a person of interest

3 to the Security Service herself?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Why not?

6 A. Well, her interests -- she was known to us through --

7 well, the two channels I have just spoken of. She was

8 known to us because of her association with Duffy and

9 she was known to us because she was a prominent figure

10 anyway, but I wasn't aware of any interest in her in her

11 own right.

12 Q. Now, one of the things that the officers from the RUC

13 have told us is that their perception was that she was

14 personally very sympathetic towards the Republican

15 cause.

16 I appreciate, again, you were working within the

17 Loyalist side of things even within the IMG, but was

18 that something you would have picked up, that

19 perception?

20 A. Yes. And I think, again, this comes back to what was

21 actually widespread knowledge throughout the whole of

22 Northern Ireland, bearing in mind the communities were

23 particularly polarised at that point and she was

24 performing her role very vocally and effectively in

25 support of a Republican cause. You could only draw that

 

 

76

 

1 inference.

2 Q. Well, from one perspective what she was doing was her

3 job as a lawyer, which was representing her client, who

4 was a suspected Republican paramilitary?

5 A. Indeed.

6 Q. So the other side of it, in relation to the GRRC, she

7 was representing an organisation which explicitly

8 rejected any associations with militant Republicanism.

9 So why was it that you drew a slightly different

10 inference?

11 A. I'm not sure I did draw a different inference. The

12 GRRC -- I mean, you inserted the ward "militant" there.

13 The GRRC, I agree, was a peaceable organisation and she

14 was associated with that. But it was still strongly on

15 the Republican side of the divide, if you could use that

16 expression. And she was performing her function in

17 respect of the GRRC as effectively as you could imagine.

18 I think any of us would have drawn the inference

19 that she shared those ideals, and that was an inference,

20 again, which I think would have been taken across the

21 whole Province.

22 Q. Now, again with the caveat that you weren't directly

23 involved with the Republican side of the analysis within

24 the IMG, were you aware of intelligence that connected

25 her more closely with, for example, Colin Duffy,

 

 

77

 

1 a sexual relationship?

2 A. I was aware, yes.

3 Q. And how did you come by that sort of information?

4 A. Again, as I said before, from my time in Assessments

5 Group, I worked very closely with my colleagues on the

6 Republican desks and Duffy was one of the foremost

7 figures of interest. So it was through the interest in

8 Duffy, rather than anything else.

9 Q. And do you know the source of that piece of information;

10 in other words, did it come from the RUC or from

11 Security Service itself?

12 A. I don't know.

13 Q. But it was generally something well-known?

14 A. Certainly well-known within -- or believed -- possibly

15 rather than known -- within my immediate colleagues, and

16 that was the only frame of reference I had.

17 Q. And the other sort of intelligence or information that

18 we have received is that Special Branch had reporting

19 that she was providing false alibis or putting pressure

20 on a prosecution witness in relation to the Colin Duffy

21 trial for the murder of the two police officers. Was

22 that sort of thing discussed as well?

23 A. I wasn't aware of that until you said it just now.

24 Q. Was there overall a perception that she had become, as

25 it were, too close to those who were suspected of being

 

 

78

 

1 senior Republicans in the North Armagh region?

2 A. I don't know of anything beyond, as I said, what I'm

3 aware of about her and Duffy personally. So in terms of

4 other senior Republicans, I'm not and was not,

5 I believe, aware of any further -- any further

6 information.

7 Q. Were you aware of any particular Special Branch interest

8 in her and her associates and activities?

9 A. No, none, other than that obviously with the

10 relationship with Duffy and knowing Duffy to be a figure

11 of interest for ourselves and Special Branch. Obviously

12 I would infer that they were aware of her in that

13 capacity, at least as much as we were.

14 Q. When you were working at the IMG, was the RUC still

15 using paper files to store information on individuals?

16 A. I believe so, yes.

17 Q. Did you have access to such files, if you needed them?

18 A. I don't recollect. I would probably have had -- again,

19 this is conjecture -- distant memory. I would probably

20 have had to request them through my RUC colleagues and I

21 would have had to justify to my RUC colleagues why

22 I wanted them, and I may have then been limited in terms

23 of what I was given access to.

24 This is all conjecture and it is conjecture based on

25 my recollection of how closely protected RUC

 

 

79

 

1 intelligence was even within the RUC itself.

2 Q. Turning back to Rosemary Nelson, to your knowledge did

3 you, either when you were in the IMG or previously in

4 the Assessments Group, receive any intelligence that

5 Rosemary Nelson was being targeted by anyone from a

6 Loyalist group?

7 A. No. Well, not that I recall, certainly. I have got no

8 recollection of that.

9 Q. While you were in the IMG, the issue of her safety was

10 raised by various people and it came sometimes from the

11 NGOs and sometimes from herself because she herself made

12 complaints about alleged threats by police officers.

13 Were you aware that the issue of her safety had been

14 raised within the RUC?

15 A. I believe -- I had some recollection of hearing that the

16 RUC had had to give her warnings in the same way as,

17 what I mentioned earlier, they required to give threat

18 warnings to any individual under threat. I don't recall

19 the context or the -- of those -- of that threat

20 information or where it had come from, any more about

21 it. But as I said, it is a vague recollection that

22 amongst the people the RUC had had to warn,

23 Rosemary Nelson was included.

24 Q. I think you are referring to paragraph 26 of your

25 statement, which we can find on page RNI-844-093

 

 

80

 

1 (displayed), if we just look briefly at that, and it is

2 the last sentence there. You say:

3 "I recall that I became aware of the suggestion that

4 she had been warned by the police of a threat to her at

5 some stage, but I think this was during my secondment to

6 the RUC Special Branch."

7 So your recollection is that at some point

8 between August 1997 and, well, March 1999, she received

9 a warning from the RUC about a possible threat to her?

10 A. I believe so. As I have said, this is all sort of

11 vague -- vaguely distant memories, but it is something

12 which I'm fairly was the case.

13 Q. Beyond that, were there any discussions about the

14 circumstances of that warning or the circumstances of

15 any threats made against her?

16 A. Not that I have any memory of at all.

17 Q. She was killed on 15 March in 1999. Did you consider

18 from your expert perspective that the claim of

19 responsibilities by the Red Hand Defenders was probably

20 correct and that they had in fact killed her?

21 A. That depends on what you consider the Red Hand Defenders

22 to actually mean. As I said, these names came up as

23 a flag of convenience for people whom we had known in

24 the context of other organisations, and I believe the

25 Red Hand Defenders to be an association between some

 

 

81

 

1 individuals in the LVF and some individuals in the Red

2 Hand Commando. And, yes, I believe in that context,

3 yes, that was correct.

4 Q. So from your perspective, the LVF may well have been

5 responsible for her death?

6 A. Yes, or individuals -- again, given that they had chosen

7 to call themselves Red Hand Defenders rather than LVF,

8 either they wanted to distance themselves from what the

9 LVF was understood to be or some individuals within the

10 LVF, as we were aware of it, weren't involved in or were

11 opposed to the decision. So the use of another name

12 suggested it wasn't LVF organisationally, but some of

13 the individuals, as I said, in association with

14 individuals from Red Hand Commando, whom we knew they

15 were in contact with, yes, the claim -- there was no

16 reason to dispute it.

17 Q. And that would be even though it looked like a possible

18 increase in their capabilities and ability to deploy

19 a UCBT?

20 A. Yes. But again, as I said previously, it is not --

21 whilst it is a step up in terms of sophistication, it is

22 still not a desperately sophisticated attack.

23 Q. Would you have expected there to have been some advance

24 intelligence in relation to the attack?

25 A. No. Intelligence may have been received, but the nature

 

 

82

 

1 of intelligence is such that it is necessarily patchy.

2 You have coverage where you have coverage and for

3 whatever reason sometimes you don't receive intelligence

4 of something that takes place, either because you don't

5 have an individual in the right place at the right time

6 to give you that information, or for whatever reason

7 that individual doesn't feel able to give that

8 information.

9 Q. Sir, for the moment, I have no further questions.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Would that be a convenient moment to have

11 a break?

12 MR SKELTON: Certainly.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: We will have a break of 10 minutes.

14 Before we do so, Mr [name redacted], before the witness

15 temporarily leaves, would you please confirm that all

16 the cameras have been switched off?

17 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

19 Please escort the witness out.

20 (3.23 pm)

21 (Short break)

22 (3.43 pm)

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist? Is the public

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

25 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

 

 

83

 

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

2 screen door closed?

3 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

5 and securely fastened?

6 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

8 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

9 of this chamber?

10 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

12 Mr [name redacted], can you confirm, please, that the two

13 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

14 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

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

16 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

18 Bring the witness in, please.

19 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

20 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

21 switched back on.

22 Yes, Mr Skelton?

23 MR SKELTON: In your evidence earlier, you mentioned that

24 Rosemary Nelson was fairly well-known within the

25 security forces, and I think specifically you said the

 

 

84

 

1 Assessments Group and specifically within the RUC

2 central headquarters, Special Branch. Is that correct?

3 A. I'm not sure I recollect saying that, but if I did, she

4 was well-known, as I said earlier -- well-known anyway,

5 she was a well-known personality in Northern Ireland

6 because of her role in connection with the GRRC, which

7 was a significant group, which appeared at a significant

8 time in the Province's calendar. So she was a name that

9 everybody would have been aware of.

10 Q. Do you think the Loyalist paramilitary groups which you

11 were looking at would have seen her as someone that was

12 more than usually close to the clients that she

13 represented or the causes that she represented?

14 A. No, I think, if you can -- take it back -- at that

15 time -- I don't know how it is now -- the community was

16 quite polarised and you couldn't be more than

17 significantly close to a part of it. You were part of

18 it or weren't. You were on one side or the other, and

19 she was a prominent member on one side of that divide.

20 So she was part of it rather than being more than

21 significantly close to it.

22 Q. If she represented Colin Duffy, and was, as we

23 understand it, well-known for representing him, and he

24 was considered generally to have been the local hard

25 paramilitary, the leader - would that fact have been

 

 

85

 

1 known to the local Loyalists? They would know who

2 Colin Duffy was, for example?

3 A. They would know who Colin Duffy was. I think it is

4 highly likely they would have known who his solicitor

5 was, and as such she would have been possibly of

6 interest to them. They would have been more aware of

7 her though, for the reason I said earlier, because she

8 was a prominent figure in the way that we were all aware

9 of her.

10 Q. And the Drumcree issue in particular, at particular

11 moments in the late 1990s, attracted very considerable

12 attention from the Loyalist groups. Indeed, it was a

13 focus for some of the specific groups, such as the LVF,

14 that had a particular interest in the parade. Is that

15 correct?

16 A. Again, they had an interest -- I don't -- specific

17 interest, that the interest in Drumcree was universal,

18 international even. So in terms of the interest for the

19 Loyalists, I don't know if this is specifically

20 attributed to the Loyalists that they had an interest

21 there.

22 Q. Were you concerned that, from your perspective when you

23 were in the IMG, that Drumcree could become a flashpoint

24 for Loyalist violence?

25 A. Absolutely, and in Assessment Group beforehand, yes.

 

 

86

 

1 Q. What sort of violence would you anticipate around that?

2 A. There was a mixture between the threat of civil unrest

3 and possibly developing from it or starting under the

4 guise of the civil unrest, paramilitary attacks. And,

5 indeed, that was how, as I said earlier, the LVF came

6 into being: One night a Catholic taxi driver was shot

7 dead.

8 At the time of Drumcree, the reporting all came as

9 part of the general reporting on the Drumcree trouble,

10 but that is when the divide was crossed between civil

11 unrest and paramilitary activity. That's the sort of

12 thing which we were concerned about.

13 Q. Earlier in your evidence, going back to your period in

14 the Assessments Group, we saw a couple of source reports

15 relating to the targeting of Colin Duffy. Do you think

16 that during the continuing years there was continuing

17 targeting or not, and I appreciate we haven't seen any

18 specific evidence of it, but do you think it likely that

19 the LVF and other organisations within the region would

20 be looking at targeting someone like him?

21 A. Sorry, do you mean continuing years from ...?

22 Q. From your period in the Assessments Group. We are

23 talking 1997 onwards now.

24 A. Yes, I think it is highly probable. There is no

25 reporting here, but that's -- I mean, the same

 

 

87

 

1 individuals in the LVF and related organisations had the

2 same interests. They were still carrying out attacks.

3 There is no reason why Duffy would be any less of

4 interest to them than he was earlier.

5 Q. Do you think they would also have an interest in those

6 prominent members possibly of the GRRC who were seen as

7 associated with the Drumcree problem?

8 A. No, not in general. The GRRC, you saw a lot of -- the

9 coverage we used to see was usually a lot of females who

10 were struggling to get through police cordons vocally

11 protesting their cause, and I don't think that those

12 individuals would have been targeted by the Loyalists

13 typically.

14 Q. One of the more prominent individuals was

15 Breandan Mac Cionnaith, who was the spokesperson during

16 this period who is mentioned in a few of the IMAGIRs who

17 had a Republican history.

18 Did you not think that he may have been, similarly

19 to Colin Duffy, seen as a prominent Republican in the

20 locality, and therefore fair game for targeting?

21 A. His name isn't one that I'm aware of. So I couldn't

22 comment.

23 Q. Rosemary Nelson, as you have described her, would have

24 been well-known for her role not simply in the

25 Portadown/Lurgan region, but more widely across

 

 

88

 

1 Northern Ireland. Does that mean that those who may

2 have wanted to kill her wouldn't necessarily have come

3 from the locality? They could have been Loyalists, for

4 example, from some of the groups that you mentioned in

5 Down or Antrim, that could have had an animus towards

6 her and carried out an attack out of their geographical

7 region?

8 A. Certainly it is possible. They tend to operate in

9 a very parochial way, but it is possible that they might

10 not have done. I think -- I'm not sure if you are

11 asking if there is a possibility that the suggestion it

12 was -- the Mid-Ulster people weren't responsible ...

13 Q. Very early on in your evidence we talked about the links

14 between individuals that may have been maintained after

15 the formation of splinter groups, that there could have

16 been individual links across quite a wide geographical

17 range even if the groups --

18 A. We were aware particularly of links between the

19 Mid-Ulster UVF/LVF and these links emerged, I suppose,

20 during the later part of my time there, and the people

21 who had called themselves Red Hand Commando formerly who

22 were, as I said, in the North Down and East Belfast

23 area. So there were affiliations there and it wouldn't

24 be too surprising to learn that those individuals may

25 have been involved in this attack.

 

 

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1 Q. Now, there is one particular bomb maker whose name is

2 associated with the Rosemary Nelson bomb. I won't say

3 his name for the purposes of asking you these questions,

4 but are you aware of the person who I'm talking about?

5 A. I believe so. Again -- I think I am, but I wouldn't

6 want to be absolutely certain.

7 Q. What I'll do is ask my colleague to write it down just

8 on a piece of paper so you have it in front of you.

9 What I would like you to tell me is whether or not this

10 person is associated with the Red Hand Commando and

11 thereby possibly had an association which you recognised

12 with Mid-Ulster UVF (Handed)?

13 A. I don't believe this individual was associated with the

14 Red Hand Commando.

15 Q. I appreciate you haven't seen the intelligence, for the

16 purposes of giving your witness statement, about this

17 issue -- to some extent we are entering uncharted

18 territory -- but it would be helpful, given your

19 expertise, to ask you these questions because that

20 particular individual is associated in reporting from

21 the RUC with the bomb which killed Rosemary Nelson and

22 thereby is associated with the local paramilitary, the

23 LVF, in the region.

24 Is that a connection which you would have been aware

25 of at the time?

 

 

90

 

1 A. I would have, yes, placed him before the formation of

2 the LVF, when Billy Wright's group was Mid-Ulster UVF --

3 I would have placed that individual in association with

4 that group, from my recollection.

5 Q. But he wasn't an individual who was a member of that

6 group in fact?

7 A. His name came up -- emerged in the context of reporting

8 of that group. I wouldn't want to say. Again,

9 membership of these groups is a -- it is not as cut and

10 dried as one might associate it as being. They aren't

11 necessarily card-carrying members in the way that we

12 might imagine individuals to be associated with groups.

13 The affiliations were sort of a spectrum of loose

14 affiliation to absolutely pivotal involvement. But

15 there is a line at some point where you might say

16 somebody is a member or not, and he certainly was on

17 that spectrum, but I wouldn't want to say where.

18 Q. Was he someone that you continued to maintain an

19 interest in, or the IMG continued to maintain an

20 interest in during this period?

21 A. My recollection -- and, again, it is -- this is going

22 a little further back -- is that he is somebody whose

23 name appeared earlier in my time more so, less so later.

24 So when I started this area of work in 1995, his

25 name cropped up in connection with Loyalists in

 

 

91

 

1 mid-Ulster and I saw less of him as time went on.

2 That's not to say he wasn't so closely involved.

3 Again, as I said before, the nature of intelligence is

4 that your coverage is patchy and moves around. So it is

5 possible that he was as involved throughout, but I just

6 wasn't aware of it.

7 Q. If you had received intelligence that connected that

8 particular person with the bomb that killed

9 Rosemary Nelson, would you have assessed that as being

10 plausible based on your prior knowledge?

11 A. Plausible certainly in respect that he was one of the

12 few individuals whose names had been associated with any

13 degree of competence at assembling devices. It would

14 have been possibly a slight surprise in respect of the

15 fact that I hadn't associated him with the Red Hand

16 Commando/LVF axis. It is more from the earlier days

17 when that link wasn't there or we weren't aware of it or

18 it wasn't so strong.

19 Q. Maybe I just need to clarify this, but I thought you

20 would have associated him possibly with the LVF in your

21 answers earlier, but now --

22 A. Yes, but as time went on, we saw a more -- a stronger

23 linkage between the LVF and the people who had called

24 themselves Red Hand Commando in the North Down area and

25 East Belfast. And that's away from the geographical

 

 

92

 

1 location and the sort of organisational part where this

2 chap used to sit, from my recollection.

3 Q. And it is not impossible that a bomb found its way from

4 outside of the locality, through quite a circuitous

5 route --

6 A. No, not at all impossible, and it is a small place.

7 I talk about these geographical areas; the whole

8 Province is quite small. You do not need to travel far

9 to get from one place to another. This is just the way

10 we saw the organisational groupings shaping up.

11 So it is -- from the area of mid-Ulster, where

12 I believe this chap hailed, it is not inconceivable that

13 he was involved even though it was something I wasn't

14 aware of.

15 Q. Why do you think she was killed?

16 A. I think that that comes down to the nature of terrorism,

17 which is just to strike fear into the hearts of members

18 of communities.

19 It is because she was a target that was available,

20 high profile and identifiably with the opposing

21 community, rather than anything else. I mean, terrorist

22 acts aren't carried out because the target has

23 a specific function necessarily; it is just to cause

24 outrage.

25 Q. Are targets sometimes set because of a strategic plan,

 

 

93

 

1 for example, to derail the peace process, to break down

2 the Loyalist ceasefire and the Republican ceasefire and

3 re-engage with that sort of tit for tat?

4 A. I think that is wholly consistent with my answer.

5 Q. One thing that struck those investigating the murder was

6 the sophistication of the device. I think you mentioned

7 earlier that it appeared to be a bit more sophisticated

8 than one would ordinarily expect from such groupings.

9 Can you see any basis for arguing that this may have not

10 been a Loyalist bomb at all and it could have been

11 a Republican one?

12 A. No, it is not -- well, it is not a thought that had

13 occurred to me. It is not one that I had heard, and

14 I have no idea how a Republican device might find itself

15 in Loyalist hands.

16 Q. I think the suggestion might be that those, in fact, who

17 stood to gain more from Rosemary Nelson's death were not

18 the Loyalist groups, but the Republican groups, in that

19 she was a martyr, as it were.

20 This is simply a theory which I'm asking you to

21 comment upon -- not that the Loyalists planted it, but

22 it may have been planted and made, indeed, by

23 a Republican group. What would you say to that?

24 A. I'm not sure that I can comment. It is not a theory I

25 had heard. It is one which I would find surprising.

 

 

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1 I can understand the chain of argument which you

2 have developed, which is such that the martyrdom would

3 benefit the Republican cause, but again, from -- my

4 knowledge of matters Republican was slightly more

5 distant to my knowledge to matters Loyalist. But I

6 wasn't aware at any point that they had engaged in such

7 tortuous chains of thought in order to achieve their

8 ends.

9 Q. That sort of thing has never happened before?

10 A. Not to my knowledge, and I'd find it very, very

11 surprising if that were the case.

12 MR SKELTON: Sir, I do not have any further questions. It

13 may be that the witness would like to add anything.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

15 A. I don't think there is anything I should like to add,

16 thank you.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Well, thank you very much for

18 coming along to give evidence before us.

19 Mr [name redacted], before the witness leaves, would you

20 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

21 off?

22 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

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

24 10.15 in the morning.

25 (4.02 pm)

 

 

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1 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

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