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Full Hearings

Hearing: 27th October 2008, day 65

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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, 27 October 2008
commencing at 1.00 pm


Day 65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Monday, 27 October 2008

2 (1.00 pm)

3 MISS LESLEY FOSTER (affirmed)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

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

7 A. Okay, Lesley Anne Foster.

8 Q. Thank you. I think it is right, isn't it, that you have

9 made a single statement to the Inquiry?

10 A. That's right.

11 Q. Do you have a hard copy of it in front of you?

12 A. I do, yes.

13 Q. Can we have on it the screen as well, please, at

14 RNI-841-096 (displayed)? Do we see your signature and

15 the date of 9 May last year on RNI-841-104 (displayed)?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. Thank you very much. Can I just take you back to the

18 very beginning of your statement? It is on the screen

19 again now at RNI-841-094 (displayed).

20 In your own words, please, can you tell us about

21 your career in the NIO up to the point in October 1997

22 when you joined the Police Division?

23 A. Okay. I joined the civil service in 1987 as part of

24 a graduate entrant scheme. I worked in London

25 until October 1997 when I was sent on secondment to

 

 

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1 Northern Ireland to work on the Police Bill. I had just

2 finished doing a part-time law degree and they thought

3 that that would be useful.

4 Q. So that was already, was it, with the Police Bill in

5 mind?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Can we just look at the chart to put you in

8 the right place in the structure. Now, this is the

9 revised NIO chart. I think we need the next page,

10 please (displayed). Thank you very much.

11 I am afraid the box at the top on the left isn't

12 very clear, but do you see to the left-hand side of that

13 left-hand box, the Police Division and then Complaints

14 Division?

15 A. Yes, I do.

16 Q. Now, where do you fit into this chart, please?

17 A. Okay. When I initially joined, there was someone

18 different who was grade 7, who moved on quite quickly.

19 Simon Rogers was a staff officer, B2, as was I, and then

20 Simon was promoted to the grade 7 post.

21 Q. So you remained as the staff officer at grade B2?

22 A. That's right, yes.

23 Q. As I understand it, the head of Police Division to start

24 off with was Christine Collins?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

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1 Q. And she was succeeded by Ken Lindsay?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Thank you very much. Was there anybody in the division

4 below you, in other words the executive officer slot?

5 A. Yes, Anne Colville.

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

7 statement -- if we could go back to that, please, at

8 RNI-841-094 (displayed) -- that while the bill was going

9 through Parliament, you were working both here in

10 Northern Ireland and in London?

11 A. That's correct. I would have been in London for the

12 Parliamentary aspects of the bill.

13 Q. Now, so far as that's concerned, when you refer to the

14 "Police Bill", this is the bill that became the Police

15 (Northern Ireland) Act 1998, isn't it?

16 A. That's correct. I was focusing on the police complaints

17 aspects of that and in particular setting up the Police

18 Ombudsman's office.

19 Q. Yes, because one of the things the Act did was to set up

20 the new Ombudsman's office?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. Thank you. In your statement on this question of your

23 role within the Police Division, you tell us about your

24 responsibility in relation to police complaints. This

25 is paragraph 3 on RNI-841-095, if we could have that on

 

 

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1 the screen, please? (displayed)

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. So, as I understand it, in addition to your specific

4 work with the bill, you within the Police Division would

5 be dealing with police complaints?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Did you have any responsibility for monitoring police

8 complaints?

9 A. I wouldn't say we monitored. Well, we would have

10 monitored the numbers in terms of whether they were

11 going up or down or whatever, and certainly we would

12 have been interested in the number of substantiated

13 complaints, for example, and the outcomes of those

14 complaints as would have been in the ICPC and police

15 report. But we didn't actually get involved in the

16 detail of the complaints. We weren't qualified to

17 do so.

18 Q. So the work you were doing was at a sort of general

19 level rather than to engage with any specific

20 investigation; is that right?

21 A. That's correct. We might have asked for an update, but

22 obviously we could not get involved in the depth of the

23 investigation.

24 Q. Yes. You tell us in your statement that at a later

25 stage in 1999, if we go back to paragraph 1 on the

 

 

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1 previous page, RNI-841-094 (displayed), in September,

2 you became part of the team within Police Division that

3 focused very much on setting up the new Ombudsman's

4 office. Do you see that?

5 A. That's correct, yes.

6 Q. So, so far as we are concerned, as you know, the period

7 of interest to the Inquiry ends substantially with the

8 murder of Rosemary Nelson in March 1999. So it follows,

9 does it, from your statement that throughout your time

10 at Police Division, up to that point you were dealing

11 with the bill -- I think it became law in the summer of

12 1998, didn't it?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And you continued to have responsibility in relation to

15 police complaints?

16 A. That's correct, yes.

17 Q. And throughout all of that period it was a transitional

18 phase; the new system hadn't yet been fully established

19 and you were part of the team working to set it up?

20 A. That's correct, yes.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your part of the Police

22 Division worked, we have talked about the various

23 individuals; did you tend to work as a team?

24 A. Very much so, yes. We were located quite closely.

25 Anne Colville sat opposite to me and Simon was in

 

 

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1 a small room just off our room.

2 Q. How would that manifest itself in practice? Would you,

3 for instance, be involved in drafting -- for instance,

4 drafting submissions, drafting advices, drafting

5 letters -- alongside junior and senior colleagues?

6 A. Very much so, yes.

7 Q. Anne Colville told us, for example, that most, if not

8 all, of her correspondence would be looked at, approved

9 and possibly amended by Simon Rogers. Was that your

10 experience?

11 A. Yes, Simon did tend to take a very hands-on approach to

12 monitoring our work.

13 Q. Yes. Would you ever send out a letter -- in other

14 words, outside NIO -- which hadn't been approved or

15 amended by Simon Rogers?

16 A. It would depend on the nature of the correspondence.

17 Anything going up as a minister's case, anything going

18 to a minister would have been very much approved by

19 Simon. However, there would be more day-to-day

20 correspondence with the police or ICPC or other

21 officials which I might have discussed with Simon, but

22 not necessarily got him to check it or approve it.

23 Q. So far as external correspondence was concerned, we have

24 seen the term used "treat official"?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

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1 Q. That was for correspondence which officials could deal

2 with themselves; is that right?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. And a lot of them I would send out without supervision

6 from Simon.

7 Q. Yes, thank you. Now, we have also heard about the

8 guidelines for responses; in other words, the time it

9 should take to turn round an answer to a letter coming

10 into the division. Can you remember whether there were

11 guidelines of that kind?

12 A. There were guidelines, certainly. Though I have to say

13 quite often they were breached by Police Division, not

14 least because quite often we could not provide a direct

15 answer ourselves; we had to get information from either

16 the police or the Independent Commission for Police

17 Complaints to be able to respond.

18 Q. We will see some examples of that in a minute.

19 What I would like to do to turn on to that topic is

20 to take you to paragraph 6, which is RNI-841-096

21 (displayed), where you deal with how letters going to

22 the private office -- so to a minister or the Secretary

23 of State's office -- would reach you.

24 As I understand it, in a case such as that, where

25 appropriate it would be directed down to the Police

 

 

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1 Division and you would often have to seek further advice

2 from external bodies, such as those you have just

3 mentioned, in order to produce or contribute to the

4 draft response?

5 A. That is correct. The majority of our correspondence we

6 would have needed input from the police or the ICPC.

7 Q. And for a minister's case letter, the file, as it were,

8 would come down, the minister's case itself, for you to

9 process. You would seek further information. It would

10 come back in and then it would go back to the private

11 office for their answer?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of how it reached Police

14 Division, the decisions on allocation would be initially

15 decisions taken in the private office; is that right?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And we can see here there is example, in fact in the

18 early part of 1998, where it went wrong?

19 A. That's correct. There was a division in -- Rights and

20 European division in London, and I had previously worked

21 in this post, and we would have coordinated responses to

22 NGOs, Amnesty reports, et cetera, where they dealt with

23 a range of issues; so maybe criminal justice, policing,

24 prisons, et cetera.

25 So where there was a coordination role, then it

 

 

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1 should have gone to REL. However, where it dealt with

2 only one division, it should go to that specific

3 division.

4 Q. That is an example, isn't it, that case -- you can look

5 back at paragraphs 5 and 7 if we go back to the full

6 page. That is an example of a case that took a little

7 longer than three weeks to deal with and it seems part

8 of the reason was because it went initially to the wrong

9 place?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Now, so far as outside bodies are concerned, you have

12 mentioned Command Secretariat, the RUC and the ICPC.

13 Can I ask you first of all in relation to the ICPC, how

14 regularly would you be in contact with officials there?

15 A. It varied, but generally quite a lot. But it would

16 normally have been quite informal, as in picking up the

17 phone and ringing them to ask what was happening on

18 a particular case. I tended to find it was -- I got

19 a quicker response if I was able to go to the ICPC. If

20 I went to Command Secretariat, by the time they had

21 contacted the relevant officials, it tended to take

22 longer. The ICPC, I normally got a response there and

23 then if they were involved in a case.

24 Q. Presumably the ICPC was a much smaller organisation?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

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1 Q. And they had usually the information at their

2 fingertips?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Whereas Command Secretariat would themselves have to

5 send out requests for information to a much bigger

6 organisation, the RUC?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. In terms of the ICPC, who were your points of contact,

9 please?

10 A. They varied -- Jennifer Mitchell would have been a key

11 contact and Greg Mullan.

12 Q. Yes. What about Command Secretariat? How regular,

13 first of all, was your contact with officers there?

14 A. Again, quite regular. I wouldn't say it was a daily

15 basis, but I would regularly ring in relation to either

16 treat officials or minister's cases or if I was asked

17 questions about -- for example, we had a lot of

18 correspondence at one point on David Adams, his

19 complaint, Hamill and obviously Rosemary Nelson. And

20 then we would have the letters from members of the

21 public.

22 So I would have been ringing to chase up responses

23 and to ask where we were on the high profile cases as

24 well.

25 Q. Now, I think you have been provided with a cipher list.

 

 

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1 I hope you have anyway.

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. And I'm drawing it to your attention just by way of

4 advanced warning here. Is there any name on that list

5 with whom you would have been in regular contact, and if

6 so, can you give the cipher, please?

7 A. Certainly. P136, I would have been in regular contact

8 with in Command Secretariat.

9 Q. And were there any other officers? Again, please don't

10 give their names at this stage.

11 A. Hm-mm, there were other officers, yes.

12 Q. So far as the statement that you have produced for the

13 Inquiry is concerned, what you do, starting in this

14 paragraph, paragraph 5, is to make comments on a whole

15 series of documents, starting then in January 1998.

16 Can I just ask you, please, about your actual

17 recollection? It is ten years ago or more now. Had you

18 not been shown these documents by Eversheds, would you

19 have had any actual recollection of these events, do you

20 think?

21 A. The British Irish Rights Watch -- I can't remember that

22 letter, although I do obviously remember that there was

23 a lot of communication from them and other NGOs who were

24 concerned. There was other documentation which I do

25 remember, and in particular the correspondence which

 

 

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1 I know we will come to, which I remember in relation to

2 the bad quality.

3 Q. Yes, this is the issue in August 1998?

4 A. Yes, that is correct, yes. The threatening note.

5 Q. Can I just ask you about that because it is sometimes

6 difficult to separate in your mind what you genuinely

7 can remember and what has come to seem part of your

8 memory because it has become rather important and people

9 have asked you a lot of questions about it.

10 Which category do you think this fits into,

11 the August 1998 event?

12 A. In terms of the threatening note, I'm very clear about

13 it and the reason why I'm so clear is because of the bad

14 quality. Otherwise I just wouldn't remember it.

15 Q. Thank you. Before we have a look at some of the

16 documents you have touched on in your evidence, can

17 I just ask you some questions about Rosemary Nelson and

18 the particular problem or issue she presented to you and

19 your colleagues?

20 First of all, as you know, one of the questions

21 raised by a number of the correspondents was the

22 question of her safety?

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. And looking back now to your time in Police Division,

25 can I ask you this: how often did a question like that,

 

 

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1 about an individual's safety, cross your desk?

2 A. That's the only one I can remember.

3 Q. Yes. Now, you deal with what you remember of her in

4 paragraph 4, and that's the previous page, RNI-841-095,

5 please (displayed), at the bottom of the page. And you

6 say you can't recall the first time you came across her

7 and that there was a lot of correspondence, as indeed

8 there was.

9 Can I just ask you a few more question general

10 questions -- forget about the correspondence. See what

11 you can remember. Can you remember how she was viewed

12 by you and your colleagues in Police Division at that

13 time?

14 A. She was viewed as a solicitor who had concerns.

15 Q. Did she have a profile? Did she have a reputation

16 within Police Division?

17 A. I wouldn't say within Police Division. Certainly she

18 had a high profile in the community as a whole, if you

19 like; in Northern Ireland as a whole. So I was

20 obviously very much aware of her, but ... she only had

21 a high profile to us to the extent that we were dealing

22 with a lot of correspondence and we were concerned.

23 Q. Again, looking back on it now, was there as much, if not

24 more, correspondence about her during your time there as

25 about any other individual?

 

 

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1 A. I would say so. At one point we had a lot of

2 correspondence on Hamill and on David Adams, as

3 I mentioned earlier. But I would say that the majority

4 of correspondence -- yes, the highest number would have

5 been Rosemary Nelson.

6 Q. And we have heard from a number of other witnesses about

7 the persistent letters coming in from NGOs and others.

8 Do you remember something of a groan factor attaching to

9 correspondence such as that within the division?

10 A. I wouldn't say that at all. I know at one stage there

11 were, I think, concerns that Rosemary Nelson was not

12 cooperating. And certainly, I mean, frustration was

13 expressed by both the police and the ICPC at one stage

14 about the lack of cooperation, although I know belatedly

15 that that changed.

16 Q. She seems, at any rate from the evidence in the

17 documents we have seen, to have become, if anything,

18 even more high profile during 1998 when there were all

19 the problems with the ICPC and matters of that kind. Do

20 you think that changed the way you and your colleagues

21 viewed her within Police Division?

22 A. No, I don't think our view ever changed.

23 Q. Now, so far as the correspondence and the volume of it,

24 as I say, if we look at paragraph 5, RNI-841-096

25 (displayed) at the top, you begin your narrative based

 

 

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1 on these documents in January 1998. Do you see that?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. You told us you joined the division in October 1998?

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. So presumably on joining the division, and when a letter

6 like this came in for you to deal with, you were able to

7 access the files setting out earlier correspondence on

8 this and related issues?

9 A. That's correct, yes.

10 Q. Because as I know you have seen, at any rate today, this

11 letter didn't come out of the blue; there had been

12 correspondence at the end of 1997?

13 A. Certainly, yes.

14 Q. To and from BIRW?

15 A. Yes, and I would have read that correspondence, the

16 previous correspondence, in drafting this response.

17 Q. So when you had to deal with a letter like that, even if

18 you hadn't personally dealt with previous

19 correspondence, the file would have shown you what had

20 happened earlier?

21 A. Absolutely. As I was quite new to the division, I was

22 having to learn the issues and what we had said

23 previously.

24 Q. And presumably you had found out that there were

25 a number of complaints concerning Rosemary Nelson and

 

 

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1 alleged threats to her made by police officers, which

2 were being investigated by the ICPC?

3 A. Well, investigated by the police under the supervision

4 of the ICPC.

5 Q. Absolutely right, yes. And also that she alleged she

6 had been assaulted on the Garvaghy Road the previous

7 summer, 1997?

8 A. Yes, I read that.

9 Q. And, although I think you hadn't yourself dealt

10 personally with the visit, that she had also been the

11 object of concern on the part of the UN Special

12 Rapporteur who visited Northern Ireland at the end

13 of October 1997?

14 A. That's correct, yes.

15 Q. As I understand it, you had no personal involvement in

16 the question of the terms of his draft report and the

17 alleged remarks made to him about solicitors and

18 paramilitaries; is that correct?

19 A. That's correct. I mean, I was aware that there was an

20 issue in relation to the police, disputed some of the

21 things that were said and there was that tension and

22 conflict at the time.

23 Q. You were aware, were you, from hearing discussions with

24 senior colleagues within the division?

25 A. That's correct, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Christine Collins and Simon Rogers?

2 A. Particularly Simon Rogers.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as this letter is concerned,

4 perhaps the best thing to do is to get it up on the

5 screen, RNI-106-009 (displayed).

6 We have been over the fact that it went to another

7 division before reaching you. Can I just ask you

8 please: the note in handwriting on it, do you recognise

9 the handwriting? Do you see -- sorry -- the one saying:

10 "Reply please. And answers why no reply sent to RN

11 on her complaint"?

12 A. I don't know.

13 Q. But if we just look at the text itself -- perhaps we

14 could have the other page, RNI-106-010, on the screen as

15 well, please (displayed). Thank you very much.

16 You see it comes in in the middle of correspondence.

17 There is a reference back to a letter of 18 December

18 and, indeed, 27 November. I know you have had a chance

19 to look at those earlier, but it appears to be bringing

20 up further concerns in relation to the behaviour of

21 police officers in relation to Rosemary Nelson. And do

22 you see in the third paragraph, Jane Winter says:

23 "In lengthy correspondence with various of your

24 predecessors over the years, I have explained why

25 solicitors have often found it difficult to make

 

 

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1 official complaints about abuse reported to them by

2 clients."

3 Then she sets out why. So presumably you, in

4 looking through your files, were able to see the history

5 of allegations of this kind?

6 A. That's correct, yes.

7 Q. And they were made, weren't they, over a number of years

8 and not, indeed, just by British Irish Rights Watch;

9 there were a number of other organisations making the

10 same points?

11 A. That's correct: The Committee on the Administration of

12 Justice, Amnesty, et cetera.

13 Q. Yes. Now, the point that Jane Winter was making here,

14 do you see in the fifth line of this paragraph, was that

15 at last a solicitor's had the courage to make an

16 official complaint and she doesn't receive any reply.

17 So that explains, doesn't it -- or appears to -- the

18 handwritten annotation where somebody is saying I need

19 to know what the answer is: has she really not received

20 a reply.

21 Just looking, however, at the penultimate paragraph

22 of the letter at RNI-106-010 (displayed), Jane Winter

23 puts it in a broader context, doesn't she? Because

24 there she says that it is not just Rosemary Nelson, and

25 she points out that there has recently been a letter

 

 

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1 signed by 32 other lawyers, in which:

2 "They deprecate abuse of themselves by RUC

3 officers"?

4 A. Yes, I can see that.

5 Q. When you were talking earlier in answer to another

6 question of mine about reading back and being aware that

7 this and other organisations were raising these issues,

8 this sort of general point was one of the issues being

9 raised, was it not?

10 A. That's correct, yes.

11 Q. There was a concern expressed over a number of years at

12 what was regarded as the harassment, intimidation or

13 abuse of some defence lawyers?

14 A. That's correct, yes.

15 Q. So that then gives us something of the context of the

16 letter, as you saw it.

17 Can we then see what you did about it in order to

18 produce an answer for the minister? First of all, if we

19 look at RNI-106-008 (displayed), this is a letter from

20 you, isn't it, dated 10 February?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. Sent to P136 at Command Secretariat, and asking for:

23 "... any input into a draft reply"?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. And then do you see the next sentence:

 

 

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1 "The minister has responded to the letter and he has

2 asked why Ms Nelson has not received a reply from the

3 RUC and the ICPC."

4 So it may be that it was his handwriting on the

5 letter?

6 A. It may be. It must be, yes.

7 Q. And you also say that you have copied the letter to

8 Greg Mullan whom you mentioned earlier as they might

9 also wish to comment as to why Ms Nelson has not

10 received a reply.

11 Now, just to take you to the response you

12 received -- that's at RNI-106-079 (displayed) -- here,

13 signed at the bottom, do you see the cipher, P136,

14 25 February:

15 "Thank you for your correspondence of the 10th."

16 And in the second paragraph, do you see the point is

17 made that actually there have been replies. But in the

18 third paragraph:

19 "I'm concerned in that we have no record of

20 Ms Nelson giving her consent for the British Irish

21 Rights Watch to act on her behalf in these matters and

22 am reluctant to divulge any information about the

23 investigations under such circumstances. In any reply,

24 it may be appropriate to indicate that we have

25 correspondence since 11 November 1997, but decline any

 

 

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1 further information to avoid any prejudice to

2 Ms Nelson's position while the investigations are

3 active."

4 So that's a letter dealing with the specific point:

5 had she received a reply? Answer: yes. But it is also

6 raising this point about the third party interest?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. Was that a point that had occurred to you at this stage?

9 A. It occurred to us to the extent that whilst we assumed

10 that the third parties -- we assumed that

11 Rosemary Nelson knew that the third parties were working

12 on her behalf, we couldn't be definite of that. And

13 certainly, we wouldn't have wanted to be too fulsome in

14 what we said in response just in case --

15 Q. Did you ever raise that question with the British Irish

16 Rights Watch? Did you ever ask them, "Are you

17 representing or acting on behalf of Rosemary Nelson in

18 this?"

19 A. No, we didn't.

20 Q. So you just decided, did you, in the light of this, to

21 be careful, to be cautious?

22 A. I think we would always be cautious about what we would

23 write on an individual to any third party.

24 Q. Now, if we have back on the screen RNI-106-009, which

25 was the BIRW letter (displayed), I put there just to

 

 

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1 remind you that in fact Jane Winter on that page and the

2 next page of her letter was raising much wider questions

3 about intimidation and the history of alleged

4 harassment.

5 So the police were not giving you, in the letter we

6 have just looked at, an answer to that, were they? They

7 were not giving you any comment on those parts of her

8 letter?

9 A. No.

10 Q. No. How were you going to address those parts of the

11 letter in your draft?

12 A. Well, we did get information from both the police and

13 the ICPC, but, you know, it has to be said at that stage

14 we were trying to encourage people to cooperate with the

15 complaints investigation, but, you know, these

16 complaints were unsubstantiated.

17 Q. That became a theme of the correspondence, didn't it?

18 A. That's correct, yes.

19 Q. You were asking for substantiation and Jane Winter was

20 saying, "Well, it is all very well, but do you know that

21 it is almost possible for complaints to be substantiated

22 because they arise from interviews where there is no

23 independent record of what was said"?

24 A. Certainly that was the message they were giving, but we

25 were still encouraging people to cooperate with the

 

 

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1 complaints process. We knew the complaints process

2 wasn't ideal. That was why we were setting up the

3 Police Ombudsman: to try and remedy some of those

4 defects.

5 Q. One of the reasons people thought the complaints process

6 wasn't ideal was because it had such a low rate of

7 substantiation, wasn't it?

8 A. That's correct, but also there was a low rate of

9 cooperation.

10 Q. There were a large number of people who wouldn't

11 cooperate with the investigation system?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Now, so far as our timing is concerned, we know, I

14 think, that the letter to Jane Winter, the reply, went

15 out at the beginning of March and we can see that at

16 RNI-106-112 (displayed), and we also have your advice to

17 the minister on this.

18 But before we look at that in a little more detail,

19 can I ask you, in the middle of this, while you were

20 gathering information, we know from other evidence that

21 an issue arose in a meeting between Simon Rogers and

22 Christine Collins and the Lawyers Alliance for Justice

23 in Ireland, which led to a threat assessment on

24 Rosemary Nelson being undertaken by the police. Can I

25 ask you, did you have any personal involvement in that

 

 

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1 issue?

2 A. No, although I'm sure I would have been made aware

3 of it.

4 Q. But beyond what you gathered from discussions with

5 colleagues, you weren't yourself responsible for dealing

6 with it?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, so far, therefore -- just returning to

9 what you did deal with -- as your advice is concerned,

10 we can see that at RNI-106-080 (displayed). Again,

11 perhaps we could have RNI-106-081 on the screen at the

12 same time, please (displayed). It is dated 4 March, so

13 we are comfortably outside the correspondence

14 guidelines, aren't we?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And it looks from the first -- where it says:

17 "1. Mr Rogers (as amended)."

18 As though it is an example, isn't it, of

19 Simon Rogers taking a hands-on role in dealing with your

20 work?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. So far as your statement is concerned, if you have got

23 it in hard copy, it might help for you to have it open

24 at paragraph 8, and that's at RNI-841-096 (displayed).

25 Let's keep this document on the screen, though, please?

 

 

25

 

1 A. Yes, I can see that.

2 Q. Now, the first question I would like to ask you about

3 these is in paragraph 4 at the top of RNI-106-081. Do

4 you see there you pass on what P136 had told you: that

5 indeed there had been correspondence?

6 A. That's correct, yes.

7 Q. And that the police were waiting for Rosemary Nelson to

8 reply. Then you say:

9 "It is also fair to say that Ms Nelson has not

10 proved particularly helpful in the past in assisting the

11 police with their investigations into the complaints she

12 has made."

13 Now, can you remember where that information came

14 from?

15 A. I was advised of that by both the police and the ICPC.

16 They both expressed frustration that appointments had

17 been made to interview Ms Nelson and clients and they

18 didn't take place or whatever.

19 Q. And so far as you were aware, therefore, in March 1998,

20 did you believe that she had not, to that point,

21 cooperated with the investigation?

22 A. As I say, that was the advice I was given from both the

23 police and the ICPC.

24 Q. Did you know, for example, that she had been interviewed

25 by the investigating officer in relation to some of the

 

 

26

 

1 complaints in September 1997?

2 A. I don't think so.

3 Q. No. So it may be that the information you had on what

4 had happened and how much she had cooperated, was not

5 particularly detailed at this stage?

6 A. That's correct, yes.

7 Q. Now, so far as the PS is concerned at the bottom of this

8 page, there you record the arrival of another letter --

9 and we will look at it briefly in a minute -- this time

10 not from British Irish Rights Watch, but from the CAJ,

11 raising another case of another client who was alleging

12 that threats had been made to him against

13 Rosemary Nelson?

14 A. That's correct, yes.

15 Q. And clearly you included it there, although it was from

16 a completely different organisation, because it was

17 disclosing a very similar pattern of behaviour?

18 A. That's correct, yes.

19 Q. And you understood a need for the minister to be aware

20 of it, didn't you, in considering the terms of your

21 draft?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. If we look at the letter that went again. That's at

24 RNI-106-112 (displayed), and it is substantially, if not

25 completely, in the terms of the draft which had been put

 

 

27

 

1 up to the minister. And can we have RNI-106-113,

2 please, on the screen at the same time (displayed)?

3 Now, so far as Rosemary Nelson is concerned, if we

4 look on the left, you deal with the state of play within

5 the investigation and the specific issue about whether

6 or not they had responded. Then on the right-hand side

7 there are two paragraphs, the first beginning:

8 "I want to deal with ..."

9 And you say:

10 "The first thing I would say is the intimidation of

11 anyone, but perhaps particularly of a solicitor, in the

12 way alleged is an extremely serious matter."

13 So I can take it then, can I, that that was your

14 view and the view of the officials, but it was also, as

15 it were, the Government's position as exemplified by

16 this letter from the minister?

17 A. Very much so, yes.

18 Q. The police are aware of this; in other words, that it

19 was an extremely serious matter and of the concerns.

20 Now, we know that you passed on the British Irish Rights

21 Watch letter. Had there been any specific discussion

22 between you and anybody at Command Secretariat about the

23 way such cases were regarded by Government?

24 A. I can't remember any specific conversation. However,

25 certainly we were forwarding the correspondence and

 

 

28

 

1 highlighting its significance.

2 Q. In the next paragraph in your draft, which was signed in

3 this final version by the minister, you deal with the

4 question of the system and you say -- or he says:

5 "I readily acknowledge, as does, indeed, the

6 Chairman of the ICPC, that the current system is not

7 perfect and does not inspire confidence. That's why we

8 are seeking to introduce, through the Police Bill which

9 is currently in Parliament, a new complaints regime.

10 For the time being, however, we must make the most of

11 the system we have."

12 That is the last paragraph. And that was, again,

13 the official line, wasn't it?

14 A. Again, we very much wanted people to cooperate with the

15 system.

16 Q. Yes, recognising its deficiencies and that people didn't

17 have as much confidence in it as you would like, you

18 wished them to continue to use it until the new system

19 could be put in place?

20 A. Very much so, yes.

21 Q. Can I just ask you to look, before we leave this topic

22 and move on to a later stage, at the CAJ letter which

23 you had referred to in your advice as the PS. That's at

24 RNI-106-114 (displayed). It is dated 5 March, so in

25 fact the date which appears on the minister's letter

 

 

29

 

1 back to British Irish Rights Watch. Could we have the

2 second page on the screen as well, please, (displayed)?

3 Thank you very much.

4 Again, just looking at this as briefly as we can,

5 when you deal with it in your PS, what you are dealing

6 with is firstly a letter which deals yet again with the

7 long history of organisations raising these concerns.

8 That's the first paragraph, isn't it?

9 A. That's correct, yes.

10 Q. And then the fact that complaints were being made, not

11 only about allegations made by the police in interview,

12 but also about the assault -- that's the second

13 paragraph -- and further information coming into CAJ and

14 the case of the further client that you referred to in

15 your PS. Then the final paragraph -- this is addressed

16 to the minister:

17 "We are sure you would agree that it would be

18 completely unacceptable for police officers to behave in

19 this way. We believe that the Government and you, as

20 the relevant minister, have an obligation to ensure that

21 behaviour of this nature is punished and not allowed to

22 recur.

23 "Unfortunately, it appears that while the

24 authorities have had notice of the problem for

25 a considerable number of years, little has been done to

 

 

30

 

1 prevent its repetition."

2 So it is a letter which deals, doesn't it, with the

3 general position and also with the new and specific case

4 involving Rosemary Nelson?

5 A. That's correct, yes.

6 Q. You, I think, were part of the team, or you were one of

7 the people involved in putting together a response to

8 this letter; is that correct?

9 A. I would presume so.

10 Q. It seems likely from the fact that you refer to it in

11 the PS. Do you know offhand, or can you remember, when

12 the response to this letter was issued?

13 A. I don't.

14 Q. Let's have a look at it together, please. RNI-106-226

15 (displayed). Here is Simon Rogers' advice with the

16 draft reply dated 6 July, some four months later, and we

17 can see the letter, which is in fact signed by the

18 Private Secretary to Mr Ingram at RNI-106-230

19 (displayed). That's 7 July.

20 Can we flick that on to the screen, please

21 (displayed). So that's some four months after the

22 letter was referred to by you in your PS?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. That really is way outside the guidelines, isn't it?

25 A. It is.

 

 

31

 

1 Q. Can you remember why it took four months to answer this

2 letter?

3 A. No, I do not know.

4 Q. Consistently in the files we see again and again

5 officials apologising to ministers at this time for the

6 failure to deal with matters or for the delay in dealing

7 with them. Looking back on it now, can you remember in

8 general what was going wrong so that ministers were

9 constantly sending out very delayed responses?

10 A. On some occasions we were awaiting advice from the

11 police as to the nature of the investigation or the

12 allegations which were being made. Although I can't

13 say -- I can't say that we were never to blame

14 ourselves, but I don't know on this one.

15 Q. But is it consistent with your recollection of this

16 time, the summer or the early part and then summer of

17 1998, that there was difficulty in turning things round

18 in accordance with the guidelines?

19 A. As I say, quite often we were awaiting information from

20 third parties which caused a delay, but for this

21 particular letter, given that it is from Simon Rogers

22 and not from me through him, I'm not quite sure what

23 involvement I had in this one, but I would accept that

24 we regularly breached the guidance.

25 Q. Of course there were many, many other things being dealt

 

 

32

 

1 with within your division at this time, weren't there?

2 A. Absolutely. I mean, you know, we were trying to deal

3 with the Police Ombudsman's office. In fact, the reason

4 why the decision was made to have a separate team was

5 that dealing with the police complaints generally was

6 holding us back and we were trying to do the Police

7 Ombudsman in terms of recruiting a Police Ombudsman and

8 getting the office into being.

9 Q. And in March 1998, presumably some effort at least was

10 being directed to the preparations for what eventually

11 became the Good Friday Agreement, and thereafter within

12 your division, work done in order to facilitate the

13 establishment of the Patten Commission in June?

14 A. Yes, I wouldn't have been involved in that, but

15 Christine Collins would.

16 Q. What I'm trying to do to help you is to try and put this

17 in context.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Because of course we are just looking at files with lots

20 of material about Rosemary Nelson, but presumably there

21 were many, many other very important issues coming

22 through Police Division every day, every week at this

23 time in 1998?

24 A. Yes. And, you know, we had a lot in on Hamill, as

25 I said before as well. David Adams again, after he got

 

 

33

 

1 compensation we were trying to see if he would cooperate

2 with the investigation.

3 Q. Just picking up one of the documents you tell us about

4 in your statement at paragraph 11, that's RNI-841-097

5 (displayed), moving on now to another topic, you tell us

6 that you wrote to P136 again -- it looks as though there

7 had been a promotion by this stage -- asking for an

8 update in relation to complaints regarding

9 Rosemary Nelson. Then do you see in paragraph 12, you

10 say you wrote a further letter to the Superintendent on

11 23 June asking for an update.

12 If we just have a look at that, please, RNI-106-214

13 (displayed) -- thank you very much -- here -- and you

14 are only a week after the previous letter -- you say:

15 "I would be grateful if you could provide me with an

16 urgent update on the complaints made by

17 Rosemary Nelson."

18 By this stage, it had become known, hadn't it, that

19 the ICPC was considering refusing to issue a certificate

20 of satisfaction with the Rosemary Nelson complaints?

21 A. That's right. The Chairman of the ICPC had wrote to

22 both the Secretary of State and Chief Constable advising

23 of the proposed action.

24 Q. And this was, as other witnesses have described to us,

25 a very important development?

 

 

34

 

1 A. Absolutely, yes.

2 Q. And it came as something of a bolt from the blue?

3 A. It did, that's right.

4 Q. And you have no recollection, do you, of any warning or

5 advanced notification that this was happening?

6 A. No, none at all.

7 Q. Now, can I take it in relation to how that issue was

8 resolved, leading to the appointment of

9 Commander Mulvihill and the second investigation, if I

10 can put it that way, that again was something primarily

11 dealt with by more senior officials within the division?

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. Thank you. So can we turn now to deal with the August

14 incident, which you have already mentioned and which is

15 really the main focus of your statement. You start to

16 deal with it in paragraph 13 at the bottom of this page

17 we have on the screen, RNI-841-097 (displayed).

18 Can I start by showing you the CAJ letter that you

19 refer to in that very paragraph? That's RNI-116-037

20 (displayed). So this is now another CAJ letter. We

21 looked at the one in March; this is 10 August. The same

22 recipient, Mr Ingram, the minister, and you will see in

23 the very first sentence a reference to the letter we

24 looked at together: the response of the March letter of

25 7 July from his private secretary?

 

 

35

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And he starts again, Mr Mageean of the CAJ, with the

3 general issues and refers to the Special Rapporteur's

4 observations. Then if we can put that page on the

5 left-hand side of the screen, please, and have the next

6 page, RNI-116-038, on the screen on the right, we can

7 see the whole text (displayed). Thank you.

8 He then refers, doesn't he, to two documents: the

9 note -- "we have you in our sights", et cetera -- do you

10 see that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And then the one-page pamphlet, the "Man Without

13 a Future" pamphlet?

14 A. That's correct, yes.

15 Q. He says:

16 "We believe these documents are very definite

17 threats against the personal safety of Rosemary Nelson.

18 She has received a number of such threats in the past.

19 It is incumbent on the Government to investigate these

20 matters, but also to provide the necessary protection

21 for Ms Nelson."

22 He goes on in the final paragraph, doesn't he, to

23 refer effectively to the KPPS scheme?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. Thank you. So, so far as you and your colleagues are

 

 

36

 

1 concerned then, this letter raises a general point but

2 it also raises two new developments in the long history

3 of reports of allegations of threats that we have been

4 through very briefly together?

5 A. That's correct, yes.

6 Q. You tell us in your statement -- and it would be, again,

7 helpful if we can keep this on the screen, please, and

8 if you could just look at it in your hard copy at the

9 bottom of page RNI-841-096, paragraph 13 still. You say

10 that it went to the head of your division,

11 Christine Collins. She gave it to Simon Rogers and he

12 then gave it to you on 20 August?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. So you were then handed the responsibility by your boss,

15 if I can put it that way, of dealing with it. Can

16 you remember what you did to answer this letter when it

17 arrived on your desk?

18 A. Okay. On the day that the letter arrived, I was going

19 to London that evening. As I mentioned earlier, I was

20 actually on detached duty from London at the time and

21 still had a flat back in London, and I was going back

22 for the long weekend. I remember it because I was going

23 to a musical -- a music festival for the weekend. So I

24 had a look at the letter and the attachments and then

25 I locked it away before I went to get my car to the

 

 

37

 

1 airport.

2 So it wasn't dealt with until -- that was on the

3 Thursday evening. It wasn't dealt with until my return

4 the following Tuesday.

5 Q. Can I just ask you in the light of that, what seems to

6 have been rather a brief encounter with the letter at

7 this stage, if I can put it that way, did you

8 immediately realise that you had seen the pamphlet

9 before?

10 A. Yes, I knew we had sent that down -- sorry, we had

11 received that from the Irish Government that week and

12 that had been faxed immediately to Command Secretariat.

13 Q. It had come in, hadn't it, from the Irish side of the

14 Anglo-Irish Secretariat?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. They had expressed their concerns about it?

17 A. That's right.

18 Q. And I think Simon Rogers had already passed it on to

19 Command Secretariat?

20 A. He had, yes, that's correct.

21 Q. So the new development here was the threat note?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. And presumably also you immediately realised that it did

24 indeed form part of this long history of reports from

25 this and other organisations about alleged threats to

 

 

38

 

1 Rosemary Nelson?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. And what CAJ were saying is that the Government should

4 investigate it -- top of RNI-116-038 (displayed) -- and

5 also provide the necessary protection. So this was

6 something that deserved to be dealt with expeditiously,

7 didn't it?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. But you didn't send it before departing; you sent it, as

10 I understand it, on your return?

11 A. That's correct, mainly because I had seen the pamphlet

12 and I knew the pamphlet was with them. It did cause me

13 concern, but I knew they were already aware of that.

14 Q. So in that case, the important thing presumably to draw

15 to their attention was the new development, namely the

16 threat note?

17 A. Yes, although I have to say I had just had a very

18 cursory look at the documentation of the minister's case

19 on the Thursday. As I say, I was on my way, basically

20 waiting on a car coming to take me to the airport.

21 Q. Perhaps we should have the documents on the screen so we

22 can look at them briefly. RNI-116-039 -- we will see if

23 that's the good copy. Can we try RNI-115-351 on the

24 left, please (displayed)? Oh, yes, it is rather better.

25 And then RNI-116040 on the right (displayed)?

 

 

39

 

1 I am afraid none of the copies of the pamphlet are

2 very good, as you know only too well?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. But we have got a better look then at the threat note on

5 the right.

6 Had you had the experience in your time at Police

7 Division of being asked to deal with a direct threat

8 like that sent to somebody?

9 A. No.

10 Q. No. Did you consult colleagues about what you should do

11 with it?

12 A. I initially sent it down to the police, as was routine.

13 But subsequent to that, Simon suggested we should also

14 circulate it internally to those who dealt with the KPPS

15 scheme.

16 Q. Is that how it came to the attention of G115?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. We will come on to that in a minute. But that was

19 subsequent to these events, was it?

20 A. That's right, yes.

21 Q. So presumably the obvious and first thing to do was to

22 get it into the hands of those who were responsible for

23 investigating things like that, namely the police?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. Now, just to be clear, you say you were sure the

 

 

40

 

1 pamphlet on the right had been sent to

2 Command Secretariat already. Were you equally clear

3 that you had never seen the threat note before?

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. And you had no reason to believe, therefore, that it had

6 worked its way through to the police?

7 A. No.

8 Q. No. Now, I think it is right that you have made

9 a number of other statements about these events over the

10 years, haven't you?

11 A. That's correct, yes.

12 Q. You were interviewed, for example, by

13 Superintendent Short and you talk about this in your

14 statement. But you were also interviewed, I think, by

15 the Police Ombudsman's office, weren't you, in their

16 investigation of these matters?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. What I would like to do, please, is to take you to

19 a passage or two of that statement and we can see it,

20 I hope, at RNI-107-278 (displayed).

21 The statement goes on for four pages, which creates

22 problems for us with our computer. Do you have a hard

23 copy there? It will certainly be quicker for you and

24 for me if you have. It doesn't matter if you haven't; I

25 can show you the pages on the screen.

 

 

41

 

1 A. No, I do have it.

2 Q. Okay. Can we have RNI-107-279 on the screen as well,

3 please (displayed)? Thank you.

4 Do you see first on the bottom of the left, this is

5 a statement you made on 23 August 2001? So many years

6 ago now and much nearer to the time. You say at the

7 bottom left that you:

8 "... discussed the pamphlet with Simon Rogers, in

9 that it was an identical copy to the one sent to the RUC

10 Command Secretariat."

11 We have been over that. Then you say at the top of

12 the next page:

13 "We discussed the threatening note ... "

14 That is the one we have just looked at:

15 "... as being something that we would also have to

16 send to the RUC."

17 So before you dispatched it, or wrote the letter

18 referring to it, I should say, you had a serious

19 discussion with Simon Rogers, did you?

20 A. It would have been a very quick discussion. It would

21 obviously just have been, "We have got more

22 correspondence in regard to Rosemary Nelson, you know,

23 processed". And the normal way to process that would be

24 to send it to the RUC.

25 Q. Well, so far as the question of what you did with it is

 

 

42

 

1 concerned, if we look next at your fax of 26 August --

2 we can see that, I think, at RNI-101-340.500 (displayed)

3 on the left-hand side of the page. Perhaps we could

4 have RNI-101-340.501 on the right-hand side (displayed).

5 These are documents I know with which you have had to

6 become very familiar and I have chosen them, as you, I

7 am sure, will know, because they give us the fax numbers

8 at the top right-hand side. Do you see?

9 A. Yes, that's correct, yes.

10 Q. And it shows, doesn't it, that on that day, 26 August,

11 you sent P136 first of all the fax header:

12 "Grateful for a response as soon as possible. I am

13 afraid with annual leave this has sat around for a few

14 days."

15 Presumably the point there was that the letter was

16 dated, I think, the early part of August. It was the

17 10 August, I'm sorry, and you were sending it over two

18 weeks later?

19 A. Well, I received it on the Thursday and passed it down

20 the following Tuesday.

21 Q. Indeed.

22 A. The Friday was bank holiday and, in fact, the Monday was

23 actually a public holiday.

24 Q. So annual leave was part of the reason, but there were

25 other things in play as well?

 

 

43

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Anyway, the letter you send to the Superintendent,

3 minister's case from CAJ:

4 "We have received a further letter from the

5 Committee on the Administration of Justice concerning

6 Rosemary Nelson. In particular, the letter expresses

7 concern about her safety in light of a pamphlet relating

8 to Breandan Mac Cionnaith which refers to

9 Rosemary Nelson, and a threatening note which was posted

10 to Rosemary Nelson, copies attached.

11 "Mr Rogers wrote to you on 6 August concerning the

12 pamphlet and I would be grateful for advice as to what

13 action has been taken."

14 Now, this is the point at which we have to deal with

15 the questions that you have answered, I know, on many,

16 many previous occasions. I think the best thing to do

17 is for you to have your statement in front of you --

18 RNI-841-098, paragraphs 14 and following -- because

19 there are various statements you have made over the

20 years. RNI-841-098, please (displayed).

21 It may be the best thing to do is for you to say now

22 what you think happened in relation to this fax?

23 A. Okay. I received a phone call from Command Secretariat

24 pointing out that I had only sent down one page of an

25 attachment, that there were --

 

 

44

 

1 Q. Can I just stop you there? Take it back to the very,

2 very beginning, if you would. What can you remember

3 about sending this fax of 26 August?

4 A. I remember drafting up the note. I have obviously done

5 a fax header, which just had one page to be attached.

6 Now, I would have gone down to support group, which

7 was two doors down, but whether I actually physically

8 faxed it myself or gave it to somebody else, I can't

9 recall at this stage. It would have varied.

10 Q. So that's the first stages. What can you remember as to

11 the next stage?

12 A. The next stage I remember is receiving the phone call

13 from Command Secretariat, from a male but I can't

14 remember who. There was a male police officer down

15 there and there were some male civilians, and I can't

16 remember who it was but it was brought to my attention

17 that there were documents mentioned in my covering

18 letter which they had not received.

19 Following that, I tried to fax the documentation

20 again. I then remember a phone call saying, "We can't

21 read this", and they said the threatening letter had

22 more or less come out as a black page. And I said that

23 I had a very bad copy, the quality was very poor and I

24 didn't really see the point in trying to fax it again;

25 it would be better sent down by hard copy. And I also

 

 

45

 

1 pointed out that the pamphlet was the same one that they

2 already had.

3 Q. Now, so that's, I think, a second call --

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. -- from them. Was it from another male at

6 Command Secretariat, can you remember?

7 A. I can't remember at this kind of removed date.

8 I thought at the time it might have been, but -- I spoke

9 to Command Secretariat on such a regular basis that, you

10 know, I can't remember in that respect who I spoke to

11 that time.

12 Q. Okay. Well, can I ask you this: you said that the

13 particular complaint or the particular concern expressed

14 by whoever it was was that the threat note had come out

15 as a black piece of paper?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. Was a similar point made about the pamphlet?

18 A. Yes, that it was quite illegible.

19 Q. Right. So was the concern being expressed then related

20 to both documents; is that right?

21 A. I think primarily the letter because they already had

22 the pamphlet.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. And I remember reading out what the letter said before

25 I sent it down in hard copy.

 

 

46

 

1 Q. Right. So was this on the second telephone

2 conversation, do you think?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. So when the complaint was made that the copy faxed

5 through was illegible, you think you read out the text?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Which is obviously very short?

8 A. Very short, yes.

9 Q. Now, in your statement at RNI-841-0989 -- this is the

10 next page, paragraph 17 (displayed) -- you talk about

11 your interview with the Superintendent,

12 Superintendent Short. I think mentioned him already.

13 And you say, as Simon Rogers did in his evidence, that

14 there wasn't a great deal of warning or preparation

15 before your meeting with the two police officers; is

16 that right?

17 A. That's correct. I got a phone call that morning and

18 they said they wanted to speak to me about

19 Rosemary Nelson. I explained I no longer worked on

20 Rosemary Nelson issues and they said they needed to

21 speak to me anyway.

22 So at this stage I had moved from Massey House, the

23 core of Police Division, down to a different office.

24 Just the Ombudsman team was down there. They came down

25 with about an hour's notice wanting to interview me.

 

 

47

 

1 Q. And as I understand your statement, you weren't warned

2 before the conversation began about the specific

3 question they wished to raise with you; is that right?

4 A. That's right.

5 Q. Now, if we just look at the notes that were made at

6 RNI-102-103 (displayed), and could we have RNI-102-104

7 up on the screen, please (displayed)? Am I right in

8 thinking that you hadn't seen these notes until you were

9 interviewed by the Inquiry?

10 A. That's right. And as I said, I was in a different

11 location at the time. It would have been quite a while

12 since I had actually seen that documentation.

13 Q. In your statement -- please look at it in hard copy if

14 you want to -- at paragraph 17, you say you think the

15 answers you gave in the interview were actually probably

16 longer than this and, therefore, that it is not

17 a verbatim record, as you put it, of what you said. Can

18 you help us with any particular examples of that within

19 these two pages?

20 A. I just thought, on reading it, it didn't quite flow very

21 well. Although, having said that, I'm not claiming to

22 be the most articulate person in the world, as you can

23 already have gathered. But it was not a document that I

24 was given to sign off as being a record of what had been

25 said.

 

 

48

 

1 Q. You see, one of the things that obviously comes out of

2 it, if you look on the left-hand side, is you say -- the

3 third answer:

4 "Someone else would have faxed it"?

5 A. Hm-mm.

6 Q. And so you give at least the impression of being rather

7 sure about that at this stage, March 2000. I think you

8 are rather less sure about that now; is that fair?

9 A. That's fair. But even then, having said that, I mean

10 the Short inquiry was quite a long time after the

11 incident, so I can't be clear on that.

12 Q. But is there any other part of the notes here or the

13 answers that you are recorded as giving which you think

14 isn't accurate or isn't full?

15 A. Nothing springs out. But, again, it is just the lapse

16 of time.

17 Q. Now, just finally in the history before we break off, so

18 I'm clear about this, after the second call from whoever

19 it was at Command Secretariat, what did you then do, if

20 anything, with these two documents, the note and the

21 pamphlet?

22 A. Okay. I photocopied them. I would have done

23 a compliments slip, but, again, I can't remember whether

24 I actually physically addressed the envelope or whether

25 I gave it to somebody in the support team to address the

 

 

49

 

1 envelope.

2 Q. So you would have, what, handwritten something on the

3 compliments slip and put it with the copies of the two

4 documents?

5 A. That's right, yes.

6 Q. And then what?

7 A. Then I either put it in an envelope myself or gave it to

8 somebody in the support team to send to

9 Command Secretariat.

10 Q. To send in the post?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. The normal Royal Mail, do you mean?

13 A. No, we had a courier service between

14 Command Secretariat.

15 Q. So you think it would have been using that courier

16 service, do you?

17 A. Yes. I mean, in the NIO most of our documentation would

18 go out through our courier service unless you physically

19 put a stamp on it.

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

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, we will have a quarter of an hour break.

22 (2.19 pm)

23 (Short break)

24 (2.35 pm)

25 MR PHILLIPS: Now, you were telling us in your own words all

 

 

50

 

1 the various stages of the process. I just wanted to ask

2 you a series of questions about record-keeping on this,

3 just to try and draw it all together. Again, can

4 I suggest you have RNI-841-100 (displayed) open in front

5 of you because that is the passage of your statement

6 that deals with all of this. You have covered a lot of

7 the points you make there, but I just wanted to check.

8 Can I take it from your answer that you didn't make

9 a note of the various conversations, the various stages

10 in the process that you have explained to us?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. And what you tell us in paragraph 20 -- if we could just

13 have that enlarged on the screen for you, please -- is

14 that when you had the second go, if I can put it that

15 way, you think you would have done a new cover sheet,

16 but that that wasn't a cover sheet you kept?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. So although we have got in the file your original cover

19 sheet, 26 August, the one we looked at?

20 A. Hm-mm.

21 Q. You think you would have got rid of the follow-up? Why

22 is that?

23 A. I don't -- even the covering fax sheet that was sent

24 down initially, I didn't keep a copy. It wasn't common

25 practice to keep the covering fax.

 

 

51

 

1 Q. So it may be that it has reached the Inquiry by another

2 route?

3 A. I assumed that had come from the police.

4 Q. Yes. And so far as your file is concerned -- or

5 files -- that you have told us you looked at when you

6 were doing correspondence, as I understand it you

7 wouldn't have kept any of this later material, the

8 further fax, the further documents which were faxed, on

9 the file?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. But, as it were, the originals, i.e. the first header and

12 the documents that you had, would have simply gone back

13 to the file; is that right?

14 A. That's right. They would have gone back to the --

15 Q. To the case, yes. Thank you very much.

16 What about the police? On this, your -- let's say

17 your third attempt, the final attempt which you describe

18 right at the end, of doing the compliments slip and

19 using the courier system, did you get a response at that

20 point from Command Secretariat saying, "Thank you, they

21 have now arrived and we can read them"?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Not at all?

24 A. Not at all.

25 Q. You are sure about that?

 

 

52

 

1 A. Definite, yes.

2 Q. Now, given the history, which you describe for us, and

3 the great difficulty you had had getting the material to

4 them, wouldn't it have been sensible to check with them

5 that they really had got the material at this point and

6 could read it?

7 A. Given that they had contacted me whenever they didn't

8 get the initial documentation, I would have expected

9 them to have been watching out for the documentation and

10 contacting me if they didn't get it.

11 Q. So you regarded it as being their job, as it were, to

12 complain yet again, if I can put it that way?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. By this stage a number of weeks had passed since the

15 original letter had come in, and we know you didn't get

16 a response from the police until 3 September. Did you

17 at any stage, do you think, chase them up for a response

18 to the letter that you and, indeed, before that,

19 Simon Rogers had sent?

20 A. I could well have done, but it would have been a phone

21 call.

22 Q. Again, nothing recorded?

23 A. Nothing recorded, yes. Quite frequently we would ring

24 Command Secretariat to remind them that we were waiting

25 for something. There did tend to be quite a delay, and

 

 

53

 

1 as I have said before, that is one of the reasons why,

2 if I could bring the ICPC in something, I would ring

3 them because I could get an instant response. The

4 Command Secretariat, given the complicated process they

5 had to go through, quite often had considerable delay.

6 Q. Of course, some time after these events you discovered,

7 didn't you, about the problem, the whole issue of what

8 had got to them, whether it had been considered or not

9 and, indeed, that was the sort of thing you were asked

10 about by the Superintendent and later by the Ombudsman's

11 office?

12 A. I was going to say the first time that this was brought

13 to my attention was whenever I was interviewed by Short.

14 Q. Yes. Now, do you think with hindsight that if you had

15 rung to check on that final occasion, it might have

16 averted the problems that eventually occurred?

17 A. Hindsight is wonderful.

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. Yes, with hindsight it would have done.

20 Q. Thank you. Just let's look briefly at the response that

21 came in, and we can see it at RNI-106-314 (displayed).

22 As I said, it is dated 3 September. We have looked at

23 it with various other witnesses and I'm just going to

24 focus on specific aspects of it with you in the light of

25 your particular evidence.

 

 

54

 

1 In your statement at paragraph 23 -- if you have got

2 that in the hard copy, it would help, RNI-841-101

3 (displayed) -- you say:

4 "I then received a response from

5 Superintendent P136, dated 3 September addressed to

6 Simon Rogers."

7 So the first question, and to clear this up for me:

8 although it is addressed to Mr Rogers, you think you

9 would have received it or at the very least have seen it

10 at the time?

11 A. Certainly I saw it at the time, yes.

12 Q. Thank you. And it refers, doesn't it, to his letter and

13 to your fax?

14 A. That's correct, yes.

15 Q. Not obviously to any subsequent faxes that you say you

16 sent?

17 A. No, that's correct.

18 Q. And it doesn't refer to any subsequent deliveries of

19 documents by courier or anything that of kind, does it?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Nor any telephone conversations about all the material

22 that you have mentioned to us?

23 A. No, it doesn't.

24 Q. The next thing obviously -- and you know this perfectly

25 well -- is it talks about the leaflet but not the threat

 

 

55

 

1 note?

2 A. That's correct, but then it does refer to my fax, which

3 did mention a threat note as well as the leaflet.

4 Q. But there is no specific reference in there, is there,

5 to the threat note itself?

6 A. No.

7 Q. There is a specific reference to leaflets and to the

8 specific content of the particular leaflet, the address,

9 the telephone number, et cetera, but no specific

10 reference to the threat note?

11 A. No.

12 Q. You tell us in your statement or, indeed, you have said

13 at earlier occasions, if we look at RNI-841-102 --

14 perhaps we could have that on the screen, please, at the

15 top of the page (displayed) -- that you remember

16 discussing it with Simon Rogers. Do you see that?

17 A. Yes, I see that, yes.

18 Q. And in the next paragraph in the second sentence, you

19 say you didn't think anything of this, i.e. that there was

20 no reference to the threat note at the time?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. Now, does that suggest that whatever consideration you

23 gave to the Command Secretariat's letter was relatively

24 brief?

25 A. It was really, because I was looking at it in the

 

 

56

 

1 context of the police were talking about the address

2 being in the Yellow Pages and, of course, the note had

3 been sent to that address. So I was taking it that that

4 was in a sense dealing with -- that issue, that the note

5 had been sent to her office address, which was publicly

6 available.

7 Q. So that's the point you make later in this paragraph,

8 isn't it: that you thought the second paragraph

9 reference to the address meant that whoever had

10 considered it had considered both?

11 A. Hm-mm, yes.

12 Q. Because of course it was addressed to Rosemary Nelson at

13 that very address?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Which was her work address?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And in fairness, it looks as though the fact that there

18 was no specific reference to a threat note had not been

19 spotted by Simon Rogers either?

20 A. No.

21 Q. And that's what you told us in your statement at the

22 very end of this paragraph:

23 "Simon Rogers didn't express any surprise or concern

24 to me that the letter from Superintendent P136 did not

25 specifically refer to the handwritten threatening note."

 

 

57

 

1 Do you think you even mentioned the threat note? Do

2 you think it was even mentioned in your discussion with

3 Simon Rogers?

4 A. The discussion would have been a very quick discussion

5 about what we were doing in relation to the

6 correspondence, but it would have been, you know, very

7 brief, along the lines of, "We have got a response now,

8 we need to draft a response to the minister".

9 Q. I know you have no expertise in this area, in assessing

10 threats, do you?

11 A. No.

12 Q. But presumably it would have been obvious to you at the

13 time that the difference between the pamphlet, which was

14 put round in Portadown and referred to all sorts of

15 other people, and the threat note was that the threat

16 note was addressed specifically to one individual,

17 Rosemary Nelson, to her office address?

18 A. Well, I obviously realised, yes, it was addressed to her

19 specifically.

20 Q. So it was a direct communication, rather than the

21 pamphlet or, indeed, all the allegations you knew about

22 of police officers telling things to her clients?

23 A. Yes, but I didn't realise at the time that the police

24 did not -- well, either receive or associate it.

25 Q. So you took their judgment expressed in that letter of

 

 

58

 

1 3 September, did you, as being a judgment based on both

2 documents?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Yes. Now, just look, please, at that letter once more,

5 RNI-106-314 (displayed). Do you see the third

6 paragraph? It says:

7 "Police are unaware of any specific threat against

8 Ms Nelson."

9 A. Yes, I see that.

10 Q. Thank you. In your statement you say that you didn't

11 know what precisely constituted a specific threat?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. That wasn't within your area of knowledge?

14 A. No.

15 Q. So if that was a special term or a police term or a term

16 of art, it was not one you knew anything about?

17 A. No. I mean, our Key Persons Protection Scheme would

18 have known what that meant, but I didn't. But I assumed

19 it would have meant there was some intelligence aspect.

20 Q. We will cover that in just a moment, if we may.

21 A. Okay.

22 Q. But while you have mentioned that, can you remember at

23 what stage it was decided to refer this to G115, to the

24 KPPS people?

25 A. No, I can't remember.

 

 

59

 

1 Q. We know, for example, that this comes in on the 3rd, but

2 the advice to the minister and the letter don't get

3 produced for a number of weeks after that.

4 Does that help you to recall when you think the

5 matter first went from you, as it were, across the

6 corridor to the KPPS people?

7 A. I can't remember. I remember I had sent the

8 documentation down to the police. I was waiting

9 a response for them. I think -- but, again, you know,

10 passage of time. I think I drafted a response which was

11 really just dealing with the complaints aspect, if you

12 like, and I remember Simon Rogers suggesting, given the

13 seriousness of the documentation, that I should give it

14 to KPPS.

15 Q. Do you think that might have been after you received

16 this response from Command Secretariat?

17 A. I think so, yes.

18 Q. So Simon Rogers wanted something more to be done?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Before the answer went back to the CAJ?

21 A. That's right, yes.

22 Q. You may not be able to remember this now, but was he

23 concerned that the police weren't really addressing the

24 particular issues raised by the CAJ about KPPS, about

25 dealing with Rosemary Nelson's protection?

 

 

60

 

1 A. I wouldn't say that. What I would say is that we had

2 asked for specific assessments to be taken previously

3 and he was asking for a further one in light of this

4 documentation.

5 Q. An assessment from whom, sorry?

6 A. From the KPPS, and they would get the assessment from

7 the police. But I think he wanted to make sure that the

8 threat aspect was being dealt with sufficiently as well

9 as the complaints aspects.

10 Q. So just to be clear -- it may be there is some confusion

11 entering the picture here --

12 A. Okay, sorry.

13 Q. -- do you think that the question of KPPS and

14 Rosemary Nelson had been considered earlier than this,

15 earlier than August 1998?

16 A. I know certainly there had been a threat assessment done

17 earlier.

18 Q. Yes, I asked you about that and you said you weren't

19 involved in that one.

20 A. I wasn't involved in it, but I did know from the

21 correspondence that there had been a previous threat

22 assessment.

23 Q. So far as we can tell that didn't involve a specific

24 KPPS question being considered?

25 A. That's right. But I think, given the fact that it had

 

 

61

 

1 been raised specifically -- I mean, I think we -- as you

2 know, a lot of people at that time -- I mean, even if

3 they were eligible for the KPPS scheme -- were reluctant

4 to accept the officer, given that it was managed, if you

5 like, by the police at that time.

6 Q. The position with this CAJ letter is that the question

7 had been raised, specifically, with the minister about

8 KPPS, and although this thing we have on the screen,

9 this response from Command Secretariat, addressed the

10 question of specific threat, it didn't deal with the

11 KPPS angle itself, did it?

12 A. No, it didn't.

13 Q. So presumably that was the extra part of the draft reply

14 that had to be put together?

15 A. That's correct, yes.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, as I say, we will have come to that

17 briefly in a minute, but can I just ask you about the

18 next stage of your involvement in the investigation of

19 all these matters because you told us about your

20 experience of being interviewed by Superintendent Short

21 in, I think, March 2000?

22 I would just like to show you a document at that

23 stage from Simon Rogers. That's RNI-107-225.500

24 (displayed). You will see it is 16 March, so now over

25 a year after Rosemary Nelson's murder and already

 

 

62

 

1 a considerable time since these events.

2 It is addressed by him to Mr Lindsay, but we can see

3 at RNI-107-225.504 -- if we just flick that on the

4 screen, please (displayed) -- that it also went to you?

5 A. That's correct, yes.

6 Q. By this stage -- we can go back to RNI-107-225.500,

7 please -- I know that both you and Simon Rogers had

8 moved on, as it were, within Police Division. But

9 I just wanted to ask you, this is a note in which

10 concern is expressed about the interviews and what had

11 happened. I know you have seen this document recently.

12 Did you discuss these concerns with Simon Rogers before

13 he produced this note, do you remember?

14 A. I did, yes.

15 Q. So they were concerns that you both shared about the way

16 you had been approached and then the meeting and

17 interview with the Superintendent had taken place?

18 A. Yes, I was concerned. As I have said earlier, you know,

19 I was given no advance notice of what they wanted to

20 interview me about. The interview actually took place

21 in the reception area of a public building. You know, I

22 had invited them up to a separate room and they said,

23 "No, we will just do the interview here." So I was

24 concerned about that and the fact that I had been given

25 no advance warning of what they wanted to speak to me

 

 

63

 

1 about. I hadn't seen the papers for a long time. It

2 was very much out of the blue.

3 Q. So can I take it -- I'm not going to take you through

4 all the points or comments that Simon Rogers made --

5 that if you had been asked at the time, you would have

6 agreed with them?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, just look, please, briefly at the

9 involvement of the KPPS part of your division. We saw

10 it on the screen -- I'm not going to show you again, but

11 it was another branch, was it, under the head of Police

12 Division? And I would like to take you straight away to

13 the document you received on 16 September, and that's

14 RNI-106-318 (displayed). Addressed to you, just

15 a single page from G115. You have the cipher list in

16 front of you, I hope?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Thank you. Can you remember what role he held within

19 this KPPS section?

20 A. From recollection, he was the grade A in charge of the

21 KPPS section of Police Division. So, if you like, he

22 was Simon Rogers' equivalent in KPPS terms.

23 Q. And geographically was his office close to your own?

24 A. Yes, basically up the corridor. There was an office

25 across the road that he was in.

 

 

64

 

1 Q. You have told us how you believe this issue came to go

2 across to KPPS. You describe your discussion with

3 Simon Rogers. This witness, G115, says that his first

4 awareness of all of this process was indeed when you

5 came across to his office and asked him for his advice,

6 his input, on the KPPS side and that's what led to this

7 memorandum to you of 16 September. Does that sound

8 right to you?

9 A. That's correct, yes.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, can you remember at this stage what

11 documents you took to G115 at that stage?

12 A. Not specifically, no, but certainly, you know, it

13 mentions here Paul Mageean's letter, the pamphlet. It

14 doesn't mention specifically the letter, although

15 Paul Mageean's letter specifically outlines what was in

16 the threatening note.

17 Q. Yes. I mean, it is clear, isn't it, from this that he

18 had considered Mr Mageean's letter because he refers

19 to it?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And also that he knew about the leaflets. It is also

22 clear, isn't it, that he was seeing it in a rather

23 broader context -- do you see in the second paragraph --

24 because he had had involvements in this question of

25 potential concerns for the GRRC in relation to the two

 

 

65

 

1 councillors? Do you see that?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. And he made a series of specific suggestions in the last

4 paragraph, didn't he, which you later adopted in the

5 draft that went to the minister?

6 A. That's correct: that Mrs Nelson might want to apply for

7 the scheme or get advice from the police.

8 Q. Or, indeed, apply for a personal protection weapon?

9 A. Yes, apply for the scheme, yes -- yes, sorry.

10 Q. Now, can you look, please, at the last sentence of this:

11 "However, I would be careful about raising false

12 hopes, as on the basis of the police advice you have

13 received, she would not [underlined] be eligible for

14 entry to the scheme."

15 Are you able to help us: what was the police advice

16 that he was referring to there?

17 A. The advice that there was no specific threat.

18 Q. You think it is the letter of 3 September, do you?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So is it --

21 A. I don't know whether he got a subsequent, you know,

22 separate assessment through his contacts.

23 Q. Did you ask him to have a yet further assessment

24 undertaken?

25 A. No.

 

 

66

 

1 Q. No.

2 A. Not that I recall.

3 Q. Does it seem likely that you gave him a copy of the

4 3 September letter from P136?

5 A. Yes, I would have done, I think.

6 Q. Would you simply have given him the minister's case to

7 look at?

8 A. I gave him the documentation because Simon asked me to

9 make sure that he was aware of them, because the issue

10 of the KPPS scheme had been raised specifically because

11 of the seriousness of the documentation.

12 Q. Yes. Now, again, there is no specific reference in here

13 to the threat note, is there?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Are you able to help with whether you showed him a copy

16 of the pamphlet or the threat note?

17 A. I would have thought if I gave him Paul Mageean's letter

18 they would have been attached.

19 Q. So do you think it is just a coincidence that he, like

20 P136, talks about the leaflet but doesn't specifically

21 address the contents of the threat note?

22 A. I think so, yes, because, as I say there, we do have

23 Paul Mageean's letter which specifically mentions the

24 threat note, but also quotes the actual words in the

25 threat note.

 

 

67

 

1 Q. Now, in relation to his advice, and particularly the

2 last paragraph, did that raise any further concerns in

3 your mind or, indeed, Simon Rogers' mind for

4 Rosemary Nelson's safety?

5 A. No.

6 Q. And can I take it that you didn't refer these

7 suggestions or what he was saying to you back to

8 Command Secretariat?

9 A. No, I didn't.

10 Q. As I understand it, you, as I said earlier, simply took

11 his suggestions and incorporated them into the drafting?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Yes. Now, finally on this, in relation to the two

14 councillors he mentions in the second paragraph, did you

15 have any knowledge of that issue and the matters he

16 refers to there?

17 A. No, I didn't. The KPPS -- the people there would have

18 been investigated to a higher level than me. I would

19 not have been privy to such discussions or

20 considerations.

21 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to the briefing document or

22 advice that you produced for the minister, which is at

23 RNI-106-320 (displayed), 22 September. Again, it has

24 a similar format to the earlier document:

25 "1. Mr Rogers ..."

 

 

68

 

1 It looks as though, again, he had signed this off

2 that day. Is that a fair interpretation?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And:

5 "2. To the Private Secretary to the Minister ..."

6 And it is by this stage, as I say, 22 September. So

7 it looks, doesn't it, as though, having had his note --

8 that's G115's note -- you put together your advice for

9 the minister's case on the basis of all the various bits

10 and pieces of advice you had received to this point?

11 A. That's correct, yes.

12 Q. Can I just ask you -- if we can have RNI-106-321 on the

13 screen as well, please (displayed) -- thank you -- the

14 copyees of this note are, if I can put it that way,

15 reasonably high level copyees within the NIO, are they

16 not?

17 A. Yes, they are all senior civil servants.

18 Q. Yes. Was there any particular reason for this advice

19 not to go to those individuals?

20 A. Well, certainly it would have gone to Mr Lindsay as head

21 of the division. I think just the seriousness of the

22 issue must have been why we have decided to pitch it at

23 a high level.

24 Q. Was it your decision or Simon Rogers', can you remember?

25 A. I really can't remember.

 

 

69

 

1 Q. But it reflected the seriousness with which the issue

2 was viewed?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Yes. Was there any input that you can remember from

5 higher levels, if I can put it that way, before this

6 advice was produced?

7 A. No, not that I can recall.

8 Q. Now, looking at it in turn, paragraph 2, you set out the

9 background and their general comments about the pattern

10 of intimidation of lawyers. Do you see that?

11 A. Hm-mm.

12 Q. And you suggest that that's not something worth getting

13 into the detail of. Paragraph 3, the concern expressed

14 about Rosemary Nelson's safety, the note you refer to

15 there and the pamphlet.

16 A. That's correct, yes.

17 Q. Do you see? And the fact that the pamphlet relates to

18 Breandan Mac Cionnaith, which refers to him as having

19 received advice from "Lurgan solicitor and former

20 bomber, Rosemary Nelson."

21 So it looks as though you, in drafting this, had

22 been back to the pamphlet, doesn't it, and you had

23 identified the particular points of importance, as you

24 saw them, in the pamphlet?

25 A. That's correct. I would have done that to bring to the

 

 

70

 

1 minister's attention what I'd seen as the most important

2 points.

3 Q. And you also refer on the next page to the Special

4 Rapporteur's recommendation that where there is

5 a threat -- sorry, it is still on RNI-106-321:

6 "Where there is a the threat to a solicitor or

7 barrister, the Government should provide necessary

8 protection."

9 Again, that is not something we have seen in any of

10 the documents we have been looking at to this point, so

11 presumably that's something you felt was relevant on the

12 basis of your own consideration of the file?

13 A. Yes, certainly. I mean, the CAJ letter took a different

14 approach to some of the previous correspondence. This

15 was looking at the threat issues as well as just

16 complaints issues.

17 Q. So did that distinguish that CAJ letter from the others,

18 in your view?

19 A. It was the fact that the CAJ actually put forward the

20 proposal of the KPPS scheme and asked about protection

21 measures, and as we knew that Rosemary Nelson was

22 a member of CAJ, on the executive of CAJ, we were -- via

23 that third party, if you like -- advising what the

24 schemes were.

25 Q. And you think, do you, that those were points -- I mean,

 

 

71

 

1 they specifically quoted that recommendation in their

2 letter of 10 August. You think that was something that

3 had an impact on you at the time, struck you as being

4 important, did you?

5 A. Yes, certainly. And, you know, as we have mentioned

6 before, quite often individuals would not apply to the

7 scheme or accept the scheme because of the police

8 involvement. There was a kind of suggestion there that

9 maybe she was considering the scheme and we wanted to

10 reinforce that.

11 Q. You wanted to encourage her to come forward?

12 A. Not to encourage her, but certainly to advise that the

13 scheme was there.

14 Q. Mrs Collins told us in her evidence that in some ways

15 she wanted there to be a direct threat, to be a dialogue

16 between Rosemary Nelson -- rather than these third

17 parties -- and Government, and that one way to achieve

18 that would have been for her to make an application

19 under the KPPS. Was that something, that view, that you

20 were aware of at this stage, do you think?

21 A. I wasn't. I was only aware of the view in G115's note,

22 that don't raise too many expectations that might not be

23 met.

24 Q. And that was because of the RUC's view on threat?

25 A. Hm-mm.

 

 

72

 

1 Q. As you say --

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. -- in the next passage of your advice.

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Because there was a threshold for admittance to the

6 scheme, threat level 3, I think it was, for those who

7 are covered by the discretionary part of the scheme?

8 A. As I said, you know, I was not security cleared to

9 a level to know in full detail of the KPPS scheme.

10 Q. But you clearly understood the point that G115 was

11 making to you, that she shouldn't have false hopes

12 raised because on the basis of the advice, the

13 3 September letter, she wouldn't make it into the

14 scheme?

15 A. Well, again, as I say, I do not know how the KPPS scheme

16 took the considerations.

17 Q. Now, if we then look at the draft that you prepared --

18 and this is at RNI-106-322 and RNI-106-323, I think,

19 (displayed).

20 Now, there is a series of points arising on this.

21 The first issued as drafted, we can see eventually that

22 the private secretary sent this out as we see it now.

23 But the first thing I would like to ask you about is at

24 the bottom of the first page, fourth paragraph:

25 "We passed the documents immediately to the

 

 

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1 Chief Constable's office for investigation."

2 Now, whatever the rights or wrongs of the history,

3 which is a complicated one, that was a bit of an

4 overstatement, wasn't it?

5 A. Yes, and I can't remember putting that in the document

6 myself. I think that might have been added in by Simon.

7 The pamphlet certainly we did pass immediately to

8 the Chief Constable's office on the day that we received

9 it from the Irish, but the others, yes, I accept that

10 there was delay there. But I can't remember that I put

11 that particular line into that letter.

12 Q. And so far as the reference there to the

13 Chief Constable's office, what you meant by that is

14 Command Secretariat?

15 A. That's correct, yes.

16 Q. Now, in the fourth paragraph, the same paragraph, the

17 second sentence, you say:

18 "They would obviously, given the nature of the

19 material, assess the security risk against Ms Nelson."

20 You don't actually say in this draft, do you, that

21 they had in fact assessed her security?

22 A. No, we don't.

23 Q. Can you explain why that was?

24 A. I don't think it would have been right to write to

25 Paul Mageean saying, "We have done an assessment and

 

 

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1 there is no specific threat". Again, though we were

2 writing to him very much aware that Rosemary Nelson was

3 on the Committee of the Administration of Justice, still

4 we would not have wrote something like that to a third

5 party.

6 Q. It was the third party element that was making you

7 somewhat oblique in your reference to what had happened;

8 is that right?

9 A. Yes. I mean, we are saying that they would have done

10 the assessment, but we would not say -- and here was the

11 outcome.

12 Q. Yes. Now, looking above that, we will see that your

13 draft suggests:

14 "The documents enclosed must be of concern to

15 Ms Nelson and the others mentioned. The Minister has

16 asked me to say he hopes that those who produced them

17 can be brought to justice for their threatening

18 behaviour."

19 No doubt the police would say that in order for

20 anybody to be brought to justice, the first thing that

21 had to happen was for them actually to receive the

22 documents so that they could consider them and do

23 something about them?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. What did you know at the stage you drafted this about

 

 

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1 what steps the police had taken actually to investigate

2 the documents? Not assess the threat; investigate the

3 documents?

4 A. I had no knowledge of what they had done with the

5 documents.

6 Q. So at the time you drafted it, you had no idea how far

7 the police had progressed along the path of -- to use

8 the expression here -- bringing people to justice, did

9 you?

10 A. No. It was what we would expect the police to be doing.

11 Q. Yes. It is presumption?

12 A. Hm-mm.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, in the next paragraph, the fifth

14 paragraph, which is at the top of the next page,

15 RNI-106-323 (displayed), here you set out in this

16 paragraph and the next two paragraphs the points made to

17 you by G115, but you do so in rather more detail than he

18 provided to you in the memo we have just been looking

19 at. Do you remember, the one of 16 September?

20 A. Hm-mm.

21 Q. Can you remember, where did all the extra information

22 and fine-tuning for these paragraphs come from? Would

23 you like to see his memo to compare them?

24 A. I think they might have been -- might have come from

25 Simon.

 

 

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1 Q. Certainly the first paragraph gives a good deal more

2 information to the reader, doesn't it, than was set out

3 in G115's memo to you?

4 A. Yes. I mean, certainly it gives the address, which I

5 don't think the memo had.

6 Q. And one of the things that it says in addition to the

7 address is -- do you see about six or seven lines down:

8 "Clearly a judgment has to be made about the

9 candidacy of any individual who applies to join the

10 scheme and of the level of threat which they might be

11 under."

12 Then it says:

13 "If she wishes to consider ..."

14 Then there is an address:

15 "... we can't give any assurance. Any application

16 will be dealt with on its merit."

17 Again, you didn't say anything at that point to CAJ

18 to the effect that an assessment had already been made

19 and, as G115 had pointed out, it was negative from the

20 point of view of the scheme. Can you explain that

21 for us?

22 A. Well, I would have thought that if there had been

23 a formal application, then there would have been a new

24 assessment, if you like.

25 Q. So in other words, the matter would have been considered

 

 

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1 afresh?

2 A. Yes. You know, the police were saying no specific

3 threat, but I wasn't quite sure what KPPS took into

4 account in concluding whether somebody should or should

5 not be admitted to the scheme.

6 Q. Do you think that was in Simon Rogers' mind as well when

7 you discussed this with him: that if there was an

8 application, it would be reconsidered and it might be

9 that there would be a different result?

10 A. I was aware on the periphery that there was some

11 consideration of KPPS and getting people on to the

12 scheme who genuinely would not be eligible and in the

13 context of the political process and the talks that were

14 going on at that time. So although there was no

15 specific threat, I knew there was other considerations

16 being taken.

17 Q. So you knew that there was flexibility in the

18 application of the scheme?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And at that particular moment, a politically important

21 moment when all these changes in Northern Ireland were

22 underway, that ways were being found to achieve the

23 right political solution even if the right test wasn't

24 met on the threat?

25 A. Yes, I didn't know the full detail, but I knew that

 

 

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1 there was political considerations as well as security

2 considerations.

3 Q. Yes. And do you remember that as being something you

4 were aware of and discussed with Simon Rogers at the

5 time?

6 A. I'm not sure if there was a specific discussion, but

7 certainly, you know, we did know in the office that

8 there was considerations.

9 Q. Yes. Thank you very much.

10 Now, finally on this, can I just ask you to look at

11 a document which is right at the end of all the history

12 at RNI-107-237.505 (displayed). And, again, I'm showing

13 it to you because if we see at RNI-107-237.507, you are

14 one of the copyees. If you just flick RNI-217-237.507

15 on the screen, please (displayed)? Do you see that?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. If we go back to RNI-217-237.505 (displayed), this is in

18 the context of the Ombudsman's investigation, do you

19 see, a long time after this now, December 2001? And the

20 passage of the note which is from Mr Lindsay, the new

21 Head of Police Division, if I can put it that way, to

22 Mr Watkins and the Secretary of State. The passage I

23 would like to direct your attention to is on the next

24 page, RNI-217-237.506 (displayed), and this, as I say,

25 is all in the context of the Ombudsman's work on this.

 

 

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1 At 3, various lines to take are referred to. We don't

2 have the attachment, I am afraid, but you see the three

3 points:

4 "In order to ensure that such material is handled

5 promptly ..."

6 That is the material we have been looking at:

7 "... we have introduced revised handling

8 arrangements so that threat material is dealt with in

9 a centralised office in the NIO."

10 That is the first thing. Second:

11 "The NIO are officially still convinced that the

12 papers were forwarded to the police in August."

13 That, I think, is you. Is that right?

14 A. Yes, that would be me, yes.

15 Q. "We do not agree that Mr Ingram misled the CAJ in his

16 reply."

17 That is another point and not for you. So can

18 I take it then that by this stage and in the light of

19 what had happened, new arrangements had been put in

20 place to ensure that this sort of thing didn't happen

21 again?

22 A. Obviously I wasn't there at the time, so I don't know

23 what those new arrangements would have been.

24 Q. But it looks as though they were put in place, does it

25 not?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And it looks as though at some point in this process you

3 were consulted because it says you are still convinced

4 in December 2001 that in fact the material had been

5 forwarded to the police all those years ago

6 in August 1998?

7 A. I have always been adamant that I did forward those

8 papers, and only because of the bad copy do I remember

9 it so vividly.

10 Q. Can I take it then that you have no knowledge of what

11 changes were made and why and when they were brought in?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Thank you very much.

14 Now, those are all the questions that I have for

15 you, but, as you know from reading the transcript, if

16 you wish to add anything, to cover any point we have not

17 dealt with, this is your opportunity?

18 A. The only point I would like to make is that on the day

19 of Rosemary Nelson's murder I had been in pay

20 negotiations. I was a part-time trade union official.

21 I come into the office quite pleased because the pay

22 negotiations were going very well and the sense of gloom

23 and despondency was apparent when I walked in the door.

24 That's all I have to say.

25 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you very much.

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Miss Foster, thank you very much indeed for

2 coming to give evidence before us. You can go now.

3 We will rise now until 10.15 in the morning.

4 (3.22 pm)

5 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

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