Transcripts

Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 30th October 2008, day 68

Click here to download the LiveNote version

 

 

 

 

 

 


----------------------

 

 

ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

----------------------

 

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


on Thursday, 30 October 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Thursday, 30 October 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 MR KENNETH HASSAN (sworn)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

5 MR PHILLIPS: Could you give us your full names, please?

6 A. Kenneth Hassan.

7 Q. Could we have, please, on the screen, your witness

8 statement to the Inquiry at RNI-843-022 (displayed)? Do

9 we see your signature at RNI-843-036; is that correct?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And the date of 7 November last year?

12 A. That is correct.

13 Q. Can we go back to the first page of the statement,

14 please, in paragraph 1? You tell us that you retired

15 from the RUC in March 2001 after 30 years' service. Is

16 that correct?

17 A. That is correct.

18 Q. The vast bulk of that time having been spent in the CID?

19 A. Correct, 27 and a half years or so.

20 Q. Thank you very much. Now, I would like to ask you some

21 questions about your involvement in a particular part of

22 the Rosemary Nelson murder investigation, and you begin

23 to tell us about it in your statement in paragraph 2,

24 which we have on the screen.

25 It looks from that as though you were tasked at the

 

 

2

 

1 end of March, on, I think, 29 March, with some enquiries

2 concerning threat messages in relation to

3 Rosemary Nelson. Is that correct?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. I would like to show you the relevant action, please.

6 It is RNI-103-132 (displayed), and I think at the top of

7 the screen we see the task you were allocated:

8 "ID, whereabouts and forensically examine threat

9 letters. Refers to the whereabouts of any threatening

10 letters sent to Rosemary Nelson. If located, same

11 should be forensically examined."

12 So your task, then, was to find the originals of

13 these messages so that they could be forensically

14 examined. Is that correct?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you tell us in your statement

17 that you were given copies of the two relevant

18 documents, and the copies are, just to remind you, at

19 RNI-102-091 (displayed). There, the pamphlet; that was

20 the first of the documents, wasn't it?

21 A. That is correct, yes.

22 Q. And the second at RNI-102-093, which is impossible to

23 read so perhaps can I give you another copy at

24 RNI-115-351 (displayed). Was that the second?

25 A. That was the second, yes.

 

 

3

 

1 Q. Thank you very much indeed.

2 Now, as I understand it, if we go back to the action

3 document, which we looked at earlier, at RNI-102-132

4 (displayed), you were, in the course of this work, to

5 visit a number of different offices and individuals to

6 see whether they had in their possession the originals

7 of these documents. Is that correct?

8 A. That is correct, five different agencies.

9 Q. Thank you very much. So that we have all understood

10 this, because I'm not sure we have considered in the

11 evidence a document like this before, does it show at

12 the bottom of the page we have on the screen there the

13 various stages in what subsequently happened? First of

14 all, the allocations and then what is known, I think, as

15 the result; in other words, where you set out what you

16 have done in response to the action?

17 A. That is correct, yes.

18 Q. Thank you. So far as the individuals or offices to whom

19 you directed your enquiry is concerned, we are

20 particularly interested, as you know, in

21 Command Secretariat and the Superintendent there who has

22 a cipher, P136.

23 As I understand it, you visited Command Secretariat

24 on 29 March. Can I show you, please, RNI-843-033,

25 paragraph 5 of your statement (displayed)? Can I ask

 

 

4

 

1 you this, please: Can you remember why it was that your

2 enquiries for the originals of these documents took you

3 to Command Secretariat?

4 A. Other than that we were directed as one of the places we

5 should visit, and it was, as you said earlier -- our

6 task was to try and establish if the originals existed

7 or if copies were there, to see what state they were in,

8 if the copies ...

9 Q. So Command Secretariat was on your list of places to

10 visit, was it?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. Thank you. Would this officer, Superintendent P136,

13 have known before your visit took place why you wanted

14 to see her?

15 A. I did not make the phone calls to the department. It

16 was my colleague, Detective Constable Neville, but I

17 would be quite confident that, yes, they were made aware

18 of the reason for our visit.

19 Q. Were you aware before your visit of what explanation had

20 been given to Command Secretariat?

21 A. If they had any files in relation to Rosemary Nelson,

22 could they make it available for us to see and peruse it

23 to see what it contained.

24 Q. Now, taking the matter forward to your arrival at

25 Command Secretariat on that day, did you give any

 

 

5

 

1 further explanation as to the purpose of your visit?

2 A. Yes, to -- as I said earlier, to establish if there were

3 original threat letters on the file or, if not, if there

4 were good quality copies.

5 Q. Did you give that explanation to P136?

6 A. We would have done. I do not have a specific

7 recollection of that now, but we would have done so.

8 Q. And how did the meeting with P136 proceed from there?

9 A. As I say, my recollections of the incident now are

10 vague, but from my recollection that we were -- met and

11 she produced a file at her desk to us, which all three

12 of us had the opportunity to look through. While doing

13 that, David and I discovered that one of the items we

14 were looking for did not exist on the file.

15 Q. That was the threat note?

16 A. That was the letter, threat letter.

17 Q. Yes. So there was a single file?

18 A. A single file.

19 Q. And how did you examine it? Did she take you through

20 it? Did you take it to one side and look at it

21 yourselves?

22 A. No, we remained at the desk with her. The file was

23 given to us and, from my recollection, we looked

24 through it.

25 Q. Do you recall any discussion in that meeting with P136

 

 

6

 

1 about the fact that the note you were looking for didn't

2 appear to be on the file?

3 A. No, I do not have any recollection, but in my own mind

4 I have no doubt, having discovered that the file did not

5 contain that letter, it was pointed out to her.

6 Q. You think it was pointed out to her?

7 A. I would be quite happy that it was.

8 Q. If that is what you think about what happened, are you

9 able to assist us with what her reaction was?

10 A. No, I don't, to be quite honest. I can't recall now.

11 Q. So you can't recall how she responded to the revelation

12 that that document was not on her file?

13 A. Well, what I could say -- and at the best was what I

14 could say was there was no reaction of astoundment or

15 anything like that on her part.

16 Q. Now, so far as the rest of your time at

17 Command Secretariat was concerned, are you able to tell

18 us for how long you were with P136 on that occasion?

19 A. Thinking back now, I can't be specific, but I would have

20 thought it was not any more than 15 minutes.

21 Q. Thank you. And during the course of the meeting did you

22 consider any other files?

23 A. Not to my recollection, no.

24 Q. I would like to look with you at the notes that were

25 made in relation to these events. You made a note of

 

 

7

 

1 the visit in your notebook, your pocketbook, didn't you?

2 A. That is correct, yes.

3 Q. And I would like to look at those with you, please. I

4 think that we will find the relevant pages at

5 RNI-102-138 on the left-hand side of the screen, please,

6 and RNI-102-139 (displayed). These are the typescript

7 versions of the handwritten notes, I think, are they

8 not? Sorry, do you have them there?

9 A. I haven't found them yet.

10 Q. We have them on the screen, if that would help.

11 A. Yes, okay, thank you.

12 Q. Do you see on the left-hand side, on 30 March:

13 "Commenced duty 9 am at Lurgan incident room."

14 Do you see that?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. "Attended conference held by Detective

17 Superintendent Kincaid."

18 And it looks as though the enquiries begin at this

19 point:

20 "Also contacted ..."

21 Do you see:

22 "... Superintendent P136's office. She was

23 unavailable due to being at a meeting. To make contact

24 later."

25 Then:

 

 

8

 

1 "Contact made with the CAJ."

2 These were the other people you were due to visit,

3 were they not?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. "Request that we make contact following our meeting with

6 Superintendent [P136]."

7 Then turning to the right-hand side of the page,

8 these words:

9 "With D Con Neville to Belfast office, then to

10 Command Secretariat to office of Superintendent [P136].

11 Examined documents held by her in relation to threats to

12 Rosemary Nelson. Also requested Superintendent [P136]

13 make contact with NIO and ICPC."

14 So in terms of your notes of the meeting with the

15 Superintendent, what you wrote down about what had

16 happened consists of these words:

17 "Examined documents held by her in relation to

18 threats to Rosemary Nelson."

19 Is that correct?

20 A. That is correct, yes.

21 Q. Now, so far as the HOLMES system is concerned, we can

22 see the resulting action, as I think it is called, on

23 RNI-102-134 (displayed). Presumably you or your

24 colleague was responsible for the text which went into

25 this document; is that correct?

 

 

9

 

1 A. That would be correct, yes.

2 Q. Thank you. It is hard to spot it in all the capital

3 letters, but if you look into the middle of the second

4 paragraph, beginning:

5 "On 30 March 1999 ..."

6 You will see familiar words:

7 "Contact was made with Superintendent [P136],

8 Command Secretariat of RUC HQ. She was visited, and

9 files concerning Rosemary Nelson were perused. No

10 original threat messages were found. However, the files

11 did contain a copy of one of the two threats already in

12 the possession of the Inquiry team. Specifically the

13 copy was the flysheet referring to

14 Mac Cionnaith/Nelson."

15 Then you move on to the next stage. So in this

16 entry made, I think, on 2 April, what you recorded was

17 the visit, that files were perused. So that suggests

18 there was more than one?

19 A. I would suggest that was probably a slip. I would be

20 quite happy there was only the one file.

21 Q. That no original threat messages were found. That, of

22 course, was the reason you went there, to find the

23 originals, wasn't it?

24 A. That is correct.

25 Q. Then you add this comment:

 

 

10

 

1 "However, the files did contain a copy of one of the

2 two threats already in the possession of the Inquiry

3 team."

4 So from what you have told us about the way the

5 meeting went and from the notes we have seen that you

6 made at the time, it looks as though at this point the

7 significance of the fact that the other document wasn't

8 in the file had not registered with you?

9 A. It had registered with us, but it did not -- it was not

10 our -- what would I say -- it was not our role at that

11 time to take that matter any further.

12 Q. Exactly, because you were concerned above all to find

13 the originals?

14 A. That was correct, yes.

15 Q. So far as the later stages of this are concerned, you

16 and DC Neville came to prepare a report, didn't you,

17 in August 2000?

18 A. That is correct.

19 Q. And you refer to it in your statement, just to help you,

20 at RNI-843-034. If we could have that on the screen,

21 please (displayed). Do you see that? It begins at the

22 bottom of this page:

23 "I have been shown a copy of the report"?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. We will look at the report in a minute, but can I just

 

 

11

 

1 ask you this question: why was it that many, many months

2 after your visit to Command Secretariat, you came to

3 prepare this report with DC Neville?

4 A. This was at the request of Superintendent Provoost.

5 Q. And it is right, isn't it, that he made that request

6 having received the report from Superintendent Short and

7 having himself interviewed Superintendent P136?

8 A. We weren't aware -- I wasn't aware of what the reason

9 for the report was. He just asked myself and David to

10 prepare it.

11 Q. He didn't tell you why it was that the rather brief

12 notes you had made before needed to be expanded at this

13 stage?

14 A. He didn't go into any explanation on that.

15 Q. So we can see your report at RNI-102-169 (displayed).

16 It has got a number of pages which I am afraid is rather

17 difficult to show you all at once on the screen. So

18 this may be something, if you can find the hard copy,

19 worth looking for although I will only be taking you to

20 short passages of it.

21 A. I have it here.

22 Q. Thank you very much. You say on the very first page:

23 "This report is being compiled on the direction of

24 Detective Superintendent Provoost following a meeting

25 held at Lurgan between him and [the two of you] on

 

 

12

 

1 9 August."

2 So what were you asked to do?

3 A. He had asked -- I believe maybe some days -- some time

4 earlier he had asked me again of my visit with the

5 Superintendent at Command Secretariat. I would have

6 been aware that it had something to do with that, but

7 what it had to do with I wasn't told. So I just did as

8 I was asked.

9 Q. Now, so far as this report is concerned, as I say, it is

10 several pages long, it goes on to RNI-102-173 in our

11 file, and therefore it is much, much more extensive,

12 isn't it, than any of the notes that you have made

13 before?

14 A. That is correct, yes.

15 Q. So how did you and DC Neville go about producing this

16 much longer document?

17 A. From the best of my knowledge now, it would have been

18 prepared from our original notebooks plus the actions

19 that were returned to the system at the time plus

20 whatever memory we had of the incident.

21 Q. We have seen what was in the notebook and the original

22 action. There is not much on this at all. If you look

23 at RNI-102-170 at the bottom of the page (displayed), at

24 the very bottom, do you see there:

25 "During the afternoon of 30 March ..."?

 

 

13

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. If we have RNI-102-172 on the right-hand side, please

3 (displayed), we will see that the four lines in the

4 transcript of your notebook have now become quite

5 a substantial paragraph in the report. So presumably

6 you used the notes as a very basic starting point, and

7 with DC Neville, provided much more detail based on your

8 recollections of events?

9 A. That would be correct, yes.

10 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you see in the main paragraph

11 on this page on the right-hand side, about eight lines

12 up from the bottom you say:

13 "Superintendent [P136] acknowledged that the

14 correspondence was incomplete in that the second threat

15 message was missing."

16 So you told us a little earlier that you don't

17 recall any reaction from her, but this suggests that

18 in August 2000 at any rate you remembered her

19 acknowledging to you, presumably in the meeting, that

20 there was something missing from the file?

21 A. Yes, I would accept that. As I said, I don't recall any

22 startling reaction from her. When I say -- I would be

23 quite happy that she acknowledged the fact that we had

24 pointed out to her that it wasn't there at the time, but

25 as I say, I cannot recall and even then I don't think I

 

 

14

 

1 would have remembered it, what reaction, you know,

2 a startling reaction -- when I say "reaction", that is

3 why I would have assumed some reaction from her, rather

4 than just an acknowledgment that it was there or it

5 wasn't there.

6 Q. Indeed. You told us earlier that you had been shown the

7 two documents, and we looked at them on our screens?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And you tell us in your statement that you were given

10 copies of them. Did you take them with you to this

11 meeting?

12 A. We would have had those with us, yes.

13 Q. And so the question arises, did you show P136 a copy of

14 the missing threat note in order to make clear to her

15 what you were looking for and what was, therefore,

16 missing from the file?

17 A. I'm going to answer your question this way because

18 recollection I do not have at the moment. But from my

19 experience for the years that I was in CID, I have no

20 doubt that I would have shown her the copies that I had.

21 Q. What you said in August was:

22 "At this time it cannot be recalled if

23 Superintendent [P136] had sight of these ..."

24 That is the two documents:

25 "... although logic dictates that she would have

 

 

15

 

1 done"?

2 A. That would cover what I just said.

3 Q. There is a big difference, because this is August 2000,

4 just over a year after the meeting. We are now nine

5 years after the meeting?

6 A. I obviously couldn't recall it then either.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, as far as other enquiries are

8 concerned, I just want to ask you about your visit to

9 the NIO. Can we go back to your statement, please,

10 RNI-843-034 (displayed)?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Paragraph 6 at the top. You go from seeing the

13 Superintendent to the NIO. Again, you say you

14 introduced yourselves, outlined the purpose of the

15 visit. What did you discover there on that occasion in

16 relation to the NIO file and the two messages you were

17 looking for?

18 A. We discovered that she did in fact have copies of the

19 two documents that we had some interest in.

20 Q. But not the originals?

21 A. No originals.

22 Q. And you also say later on this page, in paragraph 7,

23 that she gave you access to other files. Now, what sort

24 of files were they?

25 A. I have not an idea now, to be quite honest with you. I

 

 

16

 

1 can't remember.

2 Q. No. You tell us how she described the files. Are you

3 able to give any further detail of that now?

4 A. Sorry, you are talking about Lesley Foster's colleague

5 or her?

6 Q. Exactly, her colleague, yes.

7 A. Yes, there were files, there were very varied files,

8 ranging from -- there was Mr Ingram's name appeared on

9 some of them and whatnot. We would have initially

10 perused the top of them to see what their contents or

11 what they referred to, and if it was quite obvious they

12 didn't have anything to do with the Nelson inquiry we

13 didn't go into them any further.

14 Q. To be clear, this examination that you undertook took

15 place on a subsequent day, is that right, or was it on

16 the same day?

17 A. It was on the same day.

18 Q. You were given access by a colleague of Lesley Foster?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And you were still, therefore, searching for the

21 originals?

22 A. That is when we hoped that we could find the originals

23 somewhere.

24 Q. In the course of your enquiries, following the action

25 that we looked at earlier, did you eventually find an

 

 

17

 

1 original of either document?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Thank you very much. Those are the only questions

4 I have for you, but as you have probably gathered,

5 I always give witness an opportunity to add anything

6 that they wish to say to the Tribunal if there is

7 something we haven't covered. Is there anything you

8 would like to add?

9 A. There is nothing that I can think of, thank you.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Hassan, thank you very much for coming

12 here to give evidence before us. We are grateful for

13 that. You may go now.

14 A. Thank you, sir.

15 MR DAVID NEVILLE (sworn)

16 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down.

18 A. Thank you.

19 Q. Now, Mr Neville, can you give us your full names,

20 please?

21 A. David Charles Neville.

22 Q. Can we have up on the screen your statement to the

23 Inquiry, RNI-843-072 (displayed)? Do we see your

24 signature and the date of 9 November last year on

25 RNI-843-077 (displayed)?

 

 

18

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you have the manifest

3 advantage of coming second, so I shall try not to cover

4 too much of the same ground.

5 First of all, can I ask you about your own career

6 within the RUC? You retired in 2002 after many years of

7 service. As I understand it, 21 years within the CID?

8 A. 24 years total, 21 years in the CID.

9 Q. Thank you very much. And you, like the previous

10 witness, joined the Murder Investigation Team.

11 Now, can I take it that you continued to work on the

12 team until your retirement in 2002?

13 A. That's right, sir, yes.

14 Q. Thank you. And as you know, we are considering today

15 just one part of your work and in particular that which

16 was prompted by the action at RNI-102-132 (displayed).

17 Can we just have that on the screen for you as well,

18 please?

19 So the task, as DC Hassan has told us, was to

20 locate, if you could, originals of these documents so

21 that they could be forensically examined. Is that

22 correct?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you, I think, were

25 responsible for initiating contact with

 

 

19

 

1 Command Secretariat. Is that right?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. And what can you tell us about the contact that you made

4 in order to set up your meeting?

5 A. May I refer to my notes?

6 Q. Absolutely. Well, I think probably the best thing to do

7 is to refer to your statement first of all, and can we

8 take you to RNI-843-073 and paragraph 7 (displayed)? Do

9 you see that?

10 A. I do, yes.

11 Q. Does that help you?

12 A. It does, thank you very much.

13 Q. So what attempts did you make to make contact?

14 A. On 29 March 1999, after receiving the action sheet, it

15 was me that actually contacted Command Secretariat and

16 I spoke to someone there with a view to seeing P136.

17 Q. And you were unsuccessful in that because P136 was

18 unavailable and you ended up going to see her the next

19 day. Is that correct?

20 A. In the late afternoon of the following day, yes.

21 Q. Now, during your initial telephone contact, do you

22 recall explaining why it was that you wished to see

23 P136?

24 A. Yes, it is because we were endeavouring to find or

25 locate, if possible, the originals of two threat

 

 

20

 

1 messages that we had in our possession. We had copies

2 in our possession, rather poor copies in our possession,

3 actually.

4 Q. Just so I'm clear about this, that was why, indeed, you

5 were going to meet P136, but to whom did you give that

6 explanation?

7 A. I think it was a male within the office. I think it was

8 a constable, if I'm not mistaken.

9 Q. So as far as you were concerned then, you had made

10 clear, not to P136, but to a male in the office, what

11 the purpose of your visit was?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your visit was concerned, can

14 you remember whether you had with you on visiting

15 Command Secretariat copies of the two documents?

16 A. Yes, we had two copies of the documents which emanated

17 from what we call the HOLMES room.

18 Q. Yes. So far as the meeting is concerned -- obviously

19 you have heard the evidence that DC Hassan has given

20 about it -- can you remember those two copy documents

21 being used by one or other of you to explain what you

22 were looking for during the course the meeting?

23 A. At this stage I don't recall actually showing the two

24 documents, but it is inconceivable to me that we did not

25 in fact refer to them and show them to P136.

 

 

21

 

1 Q. Do you think that would have been at the outset of the

2 meeting or later on when you were looking at the file?

3 A. It is difficult to say at this stage. I would have

4 thought we would -- we are likely to have shown them at

5 the beginning of the meeting, rather than at any other

6 stage.

7 Q. So at the beginning of the meeting then, you tell us in

8 your statement that you introduced yourselves and

9 explained the reason for your visit. Do you see that?

10 It is on the screen, paragraph 7?

11 A. Paragraph 7. Yes.

12 Q. And you think, therefore, do you, that you would have

13 used the documents at that point to explain what you

14 were looking for?

15 A. I believe we would have done, yes.

16 Q. Now, how did the meeting proceed as far as you can

17 recollect it?

18 A. We arrived, we introduced ourselves, we told her the

19 purpose of the meeting, which was to try and locate the

20 originals of the two threat messages that we had with

21 us.

22 My recollection is that P136 then opened up a file

23 cabinet. She produced -- my recollection is -- one

24 single file, which was perused. One of the two threat

25 messages was not there. The one that was there, from my

 

 

22

 

1 recollection, was what might be loosely called the

2 Mac Cionnaith flysheet. I believe there was actually

3 a letter or a fax, I think it was, that emanated from

4 the NIO which was on the file, which seemed to make it

5 clear that two threat messages had been forwarded to

6 Command Secretariat.

7 Q. Can I just show you what you may be referring to,

8 RNI-102-090 (displayed)? Thank you.

9 A. This may have been the fax, but at this stage I couldn't

10 be sure. But the date of it would seem to fit in and

11 the contents would seem to fit in.

12 Q. Yes. You see it refers both to the pamphlet, doesn't

13 it, and the threatening note?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So you think you may have seen that on the file?

16 A. I believe that was on the file. This was produced by

17 P136.

18 Q. And what can you recall in the meeting about the moment

19 when you, at any rate, realised that the threat note was

20 not on the file?

21 A. It is very difficult to say at this stage. I don't

22 think an awful lot was said, especially by P136, but it

23 is most -- it was apparent to all three of us that one

24 of the threat messages was not in fact in the file.

25 Q. Do you remember, for example, whether the pamphlet,

 

 

23

 

1 which was one of the two documents, the other one, was

2 next to this copy fax in the file?

3 A. I wouldn't be able to say at this stage.

4 Q. But as far as you are concerned then, although you don't

5 have a detailed recollection, it was clear to you, was

6 it, during the meeting that of the two documents you

7 were looking for there was only a copy of one on the

8 file?

9 A. The Mac Cionnaith flysheet was in the file. The other

10 threat message was not.

11 Q. Did you have a discussion at the end of the meeting with

12 P136 as to what was going to happen next with your

13 enquiries?

14 A. I don't believe we did, sir, no.

15 Q. Did you at any stage return to Command Secretariat as

16 part of your enquiries on this issue to have a further

17 look for the original of the threat note?

18 A. Not to Command Secretariat, no.

19 Q. No. Now, so far as the sequence of events and the notes

20 that you made are concerned, I would just like to show

21 you a transcript of your notes, which I think begin at

22 RNI-102-147 (displayed).

23 Presumably you made notes in your notebook in

24 handwriting at the time; is that correct?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

24

 

1 Q. These are the typed-up copies. I would like to show you

2 first, RNI-102-151 in the notes, please (displayed).

3 Here, you record what you did first of all in order to

4 set up the meeting:

5 "Spoke to Superintendent P136. Unavailable. Made

6 request for better copies of threat messages

7 re Rosemary Nelson and that they contact both NIO and

8 ICPC re any original threats re Rosemary Nelson."

9 Now, that suggests that at this initial stage -- and

10 this is a note made on the morning of 30 March, as we

11 can see from the previous page -- you were requesting

12 better copies from Command Secretariat. Is that right?

13 A. Yes, from one of P136's staff.

14 Q. Right. This is before you paid your visit, is it?

15 A. If you forgive me, I think earlier on I said that I told

16 one of the staff about the purpose of our visit. I

17 didn't mean to say that. I didn't tell the staff the

18 purpose of our visit. I only -- we only subsequently

19 told P136 the purpose of our visit. We told the

20 staff -- we requested of the staff, could they obtain

21 better copies for us. I'm sorry about that.

22 Q. Right. So you told the staff, did you, that your task

23 was to find better copies of two threat documents that

24 you already had. Is that right?

25 A. Yes, that would cover it.

 

 

25

 

1 Q. You didn't tell the staff that you were looking for

2 originals of those documents?

3 A. I don't believe we told them. We didn't go into any

4 great depth with the staff, no.

5 Q. So it follows, doesn't it, that the first time you will

6 have explained the real purpose, the actual purpose of

7 your visit, was when you explained it to P136 herself?

8 A. That is my recollection, yes.

9 Q. Right. So it also follows, clearly, that if the staff

10 had spoken to P136 before the meeting, they would have

11 simply told her, "These two officers are coming round

12 because they have been looking for better copies of the

13 threat material"?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Rather than, "They are coming round to find the

16 original"?

17 A. Yes, I think that is what we would have told the staff.

18 We didn't give too much detail to the staff, basically.

19 Q. No. Just taking you back through the evidence you have

20 given so far, that shows, doesn't it, that your own

21 recollection of the events now is not very clear?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Now, we move on then to the notes so far as they are set

24 out in your notebook.

25 At the time in this transcript, the next page,

 

 

26

 

1 RNI-102-152, please (displayed), there, about ten lines

2 down, you see:

3 "Then to RUC HQ. Spoke to Superintendent P136.

4 Examined documents held by her re threats to

5 Rosemary Nelson. She did not hold originals. Requested

6 her to contact NIO and ICPC."

7 Again, so far as the meeting is concerned, your

8 account of it, very much like DC Hassan's, is extremely

9 short at this stage, isn't it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And we know from the resulting action -- and I'm not

12 going to take you to that again -- that you added just

13 a little bit more detail, but the real detail in your

14 report came much later, didn't it, in August 2000?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, can you remember the circumstances in which you

17 were asked to produce that report in August 2000?

18 A. Mr Provoost called us into his office one day, the two

19 of us, and he simply asked us to produce a report on

20 this subject. I didn't ask him why he wanted it.

21 I just complied with his instructions.

22 I was the author of the report. Mr Hassan and

23 myself agreed with its contents. We got it typed,

24 submitted it and basically that was the end of the

25 matter from our point of view.

 

 

27

 

1 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the work you did on the report, do

2 you agree with DC Hassan that even at that

3 stage, August 2000, your recollection of events at the

4 meeting was not that clear; for example, you weren't

5 sure even then whether you had shown your copies of the

6 documents to her?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. Those are the only questions I have for you, thank you

9 very much. But again, as I said to DC Hassan, if there

10 is anything you would like to add, matters we should

11 have covered but haven't, this is your opportunity?

12 A. I have nothing to add, thank you.

13 Q. Thank you very much.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Neville, thank you very much for coming to

15 give evidence before us.

16 That completes the evidence for today. We will

17 adjourn until 1.00 pm in the afternoon of Monday,

18 3 November. However, before the end of today 's

19 hearing, I would like to make a short announcement about

20 the state of the evidence at this point.

21 Over the last weeks, my colleagues and I have been

22 considering the evidence which we have heard and

23 reviewing the list of witnesses still to be called in

24 the light of that evidence.

25 We have now heard a good deal of evidence on certain

 

 

28

 

1 topics. In a number of areas we have heard all of the

2 relevant evidence. We have, of course, also taken into

3 account the witness statements of witnesses who have not

4 been called. In the light of all of that evidence, we

5 have reviewed the list of further witnesses whose

6 statements touch on these topics but who have not yet

7 given evidence at the hearings. In some cases, we have

8 concluded that it is not necessary for them to be

9 called.

10 In our review, we have also considered the impact of

11 non-cooperation on the part of others in deciding

12 whether it was necessary for certain witnesses to attend

13 to give evidence.

14 Our solicitor will shortly be issuing a revised

15 timetable for the week beginning 10 November to Full

16 Participants, which will include changes made as

17 a result of our review. Further details of other

18 decisions made during our review will be provided in due

19 course.

20 During the remaining weeks of our hearings this

21 year, we will be hearing evidence from senior NIO

22 officials, from Security Service and Special Branch

23 officers and from other senior police officers. Their

24 evidence will take up the bulk of the time remaining

25 between now and our last hearing day on 18 December.

 

 

29

 

1 Work is now being done to finalise the timetable of

2 witnesses for these weeks and as soon as details are

3 available, we will of course provide them to the Full

4 Participants. Although on this basis we will have heard

5 from the vast majority of witnesses by the end of this

6 year, we will not have heard all of the evidence which

7 we wish to hear. We have, therefore, also been planning

8 ahead for next year. Our solicitor will be writing to

9 all Full Participants, setting out the weeks during

10 which the Panel will sit to hear the remaining evidence

11 in the first three months of next year and also setting

12 out a timetable for written and oral closing

13 submissions.

14 Those details will also be published on our website.

15 Finally, it may be helpful if I say that my

16 colleagues and I shall complete our work here in Belfast

17 by no later than June next year. We hope very much that

18 the Full Participants and others will continue to help

19 us in the remainder of our work.

20 We will adjourn now until 1.00 pm on Monday.

21 (11.04 am)

22 (The Inquiry adjourned until 1.00 pm on Monday,

23 3 November 2008)

24

25

 

 


 

1 I N D E X

2
MR KENNETH HASSAN (sworn) ........................ 1
3
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 1
4
MR DAVID NEVILLE (sworn) ......................... 17
5
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 17
6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25