Transcripts

Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 16th October 2008, day 64

Click here to download the LiveNote version


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

ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

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

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


on Thursday, 16 October 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 64


1 Thursday, 16 October 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (10.34 am)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, may we go through the checklist?

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

7 the key secured?

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

10 screen closed?

11 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

13 and securely fastened?

14 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

16 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

17 of this chamber?

18 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

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

20 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

21 shrouded?

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

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

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

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

2

1 Bring the witness in, please.

2 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

3 Participants' legal representatives may now be switched

4 back on.

5 May the witness take the oath.

6 B144 (sworn)

7 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Do sit down.

9 Yes, Mr Phillips?

10 MR PHILLIPS: I think you have made a statement to the

11 Inquiry, which we can see on the screen at RNI-840-058

12 (displayed), and your ciphered signature at RNI-840-064

13 (displayed) and the date -- I think it is 13 January

14 last year. Is that correct?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Thank you. You have been granted anonymity and given

17 a cipher, B144, and I hope you have also been provided

18 with a cipher list. Is that right?

19 A. I have seen the list.

20 Q. Right. You do not have it in front of you?

21 A. Oh, sorry. I have now got it.

22 Q. Thank you very much. Please consult it when it comes to

23 the naming of names, and if you are in any doubt or

24 uncertainty please let me know.

25 A. Thank you.

3

1 Q. Looking back to the beginning of your statement,

2 RNI-840-058, paragraph 1 (displayed), you tell us when

3 you joined the RUC, as it then was, in 1976. And it is

4 clear that you later joined Special Branch.

5 Can I ask you, in relation to the penultimate

6 sentence of the paragraph where you say that you were

7 the inspector responsible for the South Region, is that

8 within E3?

9 A. Yes, that's correct. That would be E3A.

10 Q. Thank you. I would like to show you, please, a slide

11 setting out the structure of Special Branch at the

12 relevant time. Can we have that on the screen, please?

13 (displayed) Thank you.

14 Now, so far as the role you have just told us about,

15 inspector responsible for the South Region, can you

16 help, please, where you would have fitted into E3 on

17 this chart?

18 A. E3A Republican on the extreme left-hand side.

19 Q. Thank you. And can you help us, please, by explaining

20 in your own words what the role of E3 was within

21 Special Branch?

22 A. E3 was the intelligence arm of Special Branch based at

23 Headquarters. There were no E3 personnel based outside

24 of Headquarters, and all intelligence relating to

25 terrorists, as you can see -- in my case it was just

4

1 E3A, it was just Republican intelligence. All substance

2 would have come up -- eventually come up through that

3 desk. So anything to do with Republican intelligence

4 would have eventually made its way across my desk.

5 Q. Now, our understanding is that some changes in this part

6 of Special Branch took place following the

7 Warner Report. Is that right?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. Thank you. But, certainly on the chart, what we see

10 then is the part you have mentioned, E3A. Then another

11 desk for Loyalists?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Then E3C. Can you help us as to what the focus of that

14 section was, please?

15 A. My recollection is that E3C was a small team which

16 looked after documentation, made things -- put things

17 away, made sure they were put into the correct files and

18 so on.

19 At the time, it is important to realise the scale of

20 the organisation and the scale of what was happening.

21 A huge number -- if we go just before computerisation

22 when we worked on a system called SB50s, with which no

23 doubt you are already familiar --

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. -- the volume of SB50s on occasion could be quite

5

1 considerable. On the E3A side, there were four

2 inspectors: one looked after South Region; one looked

3 after Belfast; one looked after North; and the fourth

4 one was known as the scribe, and his job was to write

5 the daily intelligence brief and to write the weekly

6 brief and to prepare various documents for the Security

7 Service and the Northern Ireland Office and other

8 people.

9 So in my particular case, when I was an inspector,

10 all Republican intelligence from the South Region would

11 come across my desk. Some of this would come very

12 quickly; some of it would be prepared in slow time

13 because the region might not release the intelligence

14 because they had further exploitation to do on the

15 intelligence and it wasn't important that Headquarters

16 would know about it. If it was important that

17 Headquarters would know about it, then it would come up

18 very quickly indeed. Even under the old paper system,

19 it would be received in a day.

20 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but looking at the chart,

21 what you are talking about in the example you have just

22 given is something coming up from the lighter blue

23 squares on the right-hand side and working its way up to

24 you on the left-hand side at Headquarters?

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

6

1 Q. Thank you.

2 A. It could happen very quickly even, as I say, under the

3 old paper system, in that somebody, say, in H Division,

4 an agent handler, would report into the source unit and

5 in an ideal world would do so personally.

6 That wasn't always possible. It was much easier to

7 achieve in Belfast, but in the regions it was obviously

8 impracticable to come from the far divisions into the

9 source unit. So a lot of it would be done over secure

10 telephone.

11 But they would follow up with a written debrief and

12 the debrief would go to the source unit, but from that

13 debrief would be constructed an SB50. Now, the SB50

14 already had a degree of sanitisation about it,

15 obviously. It would not identify the source, nor the

16 particular circumstances sometimes in which the source

17 obtained the intelligence.

18 And from there it would make its way through -- the

19 regional head may or may not sign it off, but certainly

20 he or she would already have been informed of what that

21 intelligence was, and that intelligence then would have

22 been posted directly up to E3A in my case.

23 Now, when the 50 arrived in, it would have gone

24 immediately to Special Branch registry.

25 Q. Can you help, where would that fit into our plan?

7

1 A. It is not on the chart, but it would have been -- it

2 would have been on the same line as E3A, E3B, E3C --

3 Q. Sorry to interrupt you. Can we think of it as

4 notionally between E3C and E4A in terms of its right

5 place?

6 A. Yes, that would be fair. And when it arrived into

7 registry, the people in registry would have gone through

8 the document and identified all the individuals named on

9 the document, and they would have marked the names with

10 little annotations which would have indicated the degree

11 of records that we had on that person. So if they

12 couldn't identify the person, if they just couldn't

13 identify it, they would put "UI" for unidentified. If

14 they could identify them from records but there was no

15 trace on them, they would put "NT". If there was

16 a slight trace on the person, they would put "WS", which

17 was a white slip, which meant the person had come to

18 Special Branch's notice but was not of particular

19 significance, or they would have put SB1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

20 7, which indicated there was a file on that person.

21 Q. So when they put "SB" and then a number, did this mean

22 that there was a file on that person?

23 A. Yes, it did.

24 Q. Thank you. Sorry, I interrupted you.

25 A. No, no. So by the time I got the 50, I could

8

1 immediately see that there was a file on this person.

2 The fact that there was a file on the person didn't mean

3 to say that it was a bad person, a terrorist or

4 whatever. As a rough rule of thumb -- and this would be

5 a rough rule of thumb which some might correct me on --

6 if a person achieved three or four white slips, white

7 slip entries, and these were little white slips in

8 a little booklet -- if they achieved three or four, then

9 probably a file would be started on them because it

10 meant that there was some interest. Whether they were

11 perhaps a target, a victim, whether they were simply an

12 associate of a known terrorist, but -- or if somebody

13 came up for the very first time, as the desk officer I

14 had the authority to immediately instigate a file, even

15 though it is the first time, because if I assess that

16 this person is of real interest even though it was the

17 first time they had come to notice.

18 Q. So in the case you have just given, first of all, the

19 registry is acting as a sort of filter?

20 A. It is a filter, but it was -- the register was the

21 repository, it was the heart of Special Branch.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. Later on, when we come on to MACER and so on,

24 effectively the computers become the heart of

25 Special Branch, if you like, but the old registry system

9

1 was very, very efficient. It was incredibly efficient.

2 The people in it were tremendous and it was an exact

3 replica of the Security Service registry in [name of place

4 redacted].

5 Q. So the position then on the setting up of a file -- and

6 at the moment we are talking about paper, aren't we?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. We are not yet talking about the computer system. As

9 you say, we will come on to it.

10 Was the general rule, as I understand it, that if

11 a person generated three or four white slips, that would

12 lead to the establishment of a paper file?

13 A. Yes, that's correct.

14 Q. And with that paper file would come the allocation of

15 the SB number that you mentioned earlier?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. But where there was a significant piece of intelligence

18 about an individual, even if that individual was

19 a newcomer, it was within your authority, I think you

20 said, to order the setting up of a file immediately for

21 that person?

22 A. Yes, that's correct.

23 Q. The authority you talked about then, was that your

24 authority as an inspector within E3A or at a later stage

25 in your career?

10

1 A. As the inspector, as the desk officer for Republican

2 intelligence for South Region.

3 Q. Thank you. Can I assume that from what you have said

4 the same system and the same authority at inspector

5 level would have applied in relation to E3B?

6 A. Yes, that would be correct, yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, that helps a great deal in relation to

8 the filing and the registry, if I may say so. Where,

9 however, does it leave E3C? What role was E3C playing

10 in the light of the system you have just described?

11 A. My recollection is that E3C consisted, when I was there,

12 of a sergeant and perhaps four constables who were not

13 actually designated detective constables or sergeants

14 because they were not, shall we say, full members of the

15 Special Branch. They had not applied to join

16 Special Branch in response to a force order. They would

17 not gone through the normal process of paper sift,

18 interview and some form, of course -- no doubt the

19 Inquiry is aware that the total strength of

20 Special Branch at that time was 850 -- this figure is in

21 the public domain now -- which was 10 per cent of the

22 force, which sounds pretty high but it shows the

23 importance of intelligence.

24 There were a number of -- everybody who came into

25 Special Branch came into some -- into a particular

11

1 department where they would have had to have undergone

2 a training course, and that training course in itself

3 would have been a selection process as well. They could

4 have been rejected as unsuitable.

5 The people in E3C had not gone through that system

6 at all. At least one of them I can recall was there

7 because he had been shot and very badly wounded. Quite

8 a number of us in -- I personally wasn't, but two of my

9 fellow desk officers of the four of us had been shot and

10 very badly wounded and hence were given office jobs.

11 The E3C personnel were, therefore, not on the

12 establishment of Special Branch in the full sense of the

13 word. But even after we became computerised, there

14 still is a huge amount of paper because a lot of stuff

15 would come in on paper and not everything was suitable

16 for scanning and, indeed, in the early days, the

17 scanners were incredibly inefficient. So a lot of stuff

18 still had to be put back into the paper files.

19 So my recollection is that E3C would have carried

20 out functions such as that to make sure -- when, for

21 example, if I had finished with a bunch of files, they

22 would have been collected and taken back. But E3C would

23 have ensured that bits of paper would have been placed

24 in the correct files, because when you are handling

25 something on the scale of SB registry, it would be quite

12

1 easy for an SB50, for example, or perhaps a newspaper

2 cutting or something like that, to end up in the wrong

3 file. And it was thought necessary at some stage to

4 introduce this E3C team to get a grip of it, and my

5 recollection is that they did a very good job.

6 Could I just give some idea of the scale?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. I can remember in one year from one particular type of

9 source examining almost 5,500 SB50s -- sorry, 5,500

10 pieces of intelligence, out of which I created

11 personally 1,300 plus SB50s, and that was only from one

12 particular source.

13 So there would be days when there could 30, 40,

14 50 SB50s coming on my desk. There may be days when

15 there would only be 10, but each one of those was

16 capable of generating a huge amount of work. So, for

17 example, if there was one mention of England or America

18 or whatever, the rules were that we had to tell the

19 liaison service, the appropriate service.

20 So it was a very, very busy place and quite intense.

21 So E3C were a real godsend to us when it came to keeping

22 things in the right place.

23 Q. But as I understand it then, they obviously had this

24 very important role in terms of administration, keeping

25 on top of all this material, but they were not, as it

13

1 were, full members of the Special Branch, if I can put

2 it that way. Is that correct?

3 A. That's correct, and they wouldn't have undergone any

4 particular training.

5 Q. And does it also follow that they wouldn't have been

6 investigated to the same levels?

7 A. I would think initially you would be correct, but I

8 think that if they stayed there any length of time, I

9 think the system in those days was the old positive

10 vetting as opposed to developed vetting nowadays. I

11 would be pretty confident that they would have been

12 nominated for a positive vetting check eventually.

13 Q. Can I ask you, just moving over briefly -- it's a

14 question of computers, but staying with E3C -- we know

15 that there were differing levels of access to the MACER

16 system that you refer to in your statement. Would it

17 follow from what you have said that E3C would have had

18 a lower level of access to MACER than, for example, you?

19 A. To be honest, I'm not sure that I can answer that

20 question because I don't know. My impression would be

21 that they would have the same level of access because --

22 I can't remember because when -- I was very familiar

23 with the paper system. The computerised system came in

24 and wasn't in very long before I was promoted out and

25 went to another role.

14

1 Q. Yes. But so far as their role then, they were not

2 analysts of an intelligence?

3 A. No, that's correct.

4 Q. There has been some suggestion that E3C perhaps at

5 a later stage became the Threat Assessment Unit. Are

6 you able to help with that?

7 A. I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as a threat

8 assessment unit, and I certainly wouldn't think that E3C

9 were a threat assessment unit. If it came to threat

10 assessments, it is a very -- threat assessments are --

11 caused us a lot of problems.

12 If I can give an example. The Security Branch at

13 Headquarters, which was not part of Special Branch, if

14 they requested a threat assessment on somebody, what

15 they called a threat assessment, basically to us was

16 simply -- it was almost an intelligence record: did we

17 have intelligence or not. It wasn't a threat

18 assessment. And yet this term was used a lot, and I can

19 recall specifically on a number of occasions trying to

20 hammer out some sort of definition with Security Branch

21 as to what we should call it because it was not a threat

22 assessment.

23 We simply reported on whether or not we had hard

24 intelligence that somebody was under threat. The fact

25 that we did not have intelligence did not mean that they

15

1 weren't under threat. It simply meant that we had no

2 coverage in that particular area.

3 Q. So where, for instance, we are looking at a case where

4 Security Branch initiate what they call an assessment or

5 a threat assessment, in your view what they were

6 actually asking for and what they got was an

7 intelligence report, or record?

8 A. Yes, it was -- more I would say an intelligence comment

9 because they didn't get the reporting as such, but they

10 would get a comment that, you know -- in our opinion

11 this person is under a considerable degree of threat or

12 whatever.

13 But if I could put it in context, at that time the

14 RUC would have been 8,500 strong, another 3,000

15 full-time reservists, almost 2,000 part-time reservists

16 and then there was the Royal Irish UDR and Prison

17 Service. All these people were under a great deal of

18 threat, but they didn't get -- no comment could be made

19 as to the degree of threat unless we had hard

20 intelligence.

21 And the reason for that in some ways, I think, was

22 probably economic. I think very early on the

23 Northern Ireland Office and other government agencies

24 had decided that we couldn't possibly defend everybody's

25 house. They couldn't possibly move people all the time.

16

1 So we simply -- we could only comment on what we had.

2 My opinion might be that a part-time police officer

3 living in Portadown might be under a huge amount of

4 threat, but that would only be an opinion. I would have

5 to have intelligence in order to state that.

6 Q. Yes. Can I ask you then just to conclude this in

7 relation to E3C: that the officers who worked within it

8 did not have training or experience in what you would

9 call a proper threat assessment; in other words, the

10 assessment of a whole range of factors and pieces of

11 intelligence in order to come to an expert view? They

12 weren't involved in that?

13 A. No, they would simply place or retrieve records for us

14 and comment as to whether or not their record existed or

15 not.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just before we leave this area, could

18 I just clarify one thing, if I may. You have very

19 helpfully described the paper system which existed prior

20 to MACER being introduced. Can you help us: once MACER

21 was introduced, was there any suggestion that the paper

22 records were destroyed?

23 A. No, not at all.

24 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Too valuable?

25 A. Too valuable and -- I don't know, because I'm long since

17

1 gone from there -- I don't know what happened to the

2 paper records, but I presume that they would have been

3 scanned on or summarised.

4 One system we had, which didn't replace the records

5 but would have been capable of replacing them, was at

6 one time we had a small team who wrote pen pictures on

7 individuals. And so if a piece of intelligence came

8 across my desk and said that Joe Bloggs was recently in

9 England, I had to report that to the Security Service

10 and to New Scotland Yard. But I knew that the next

11 question from them would be, "Please can we have your

12 traces on Joe Bloggs?" So before even telling them, I

13 would call down to the small team who could produce the

14 pen pictures and they would go through the entire paper

15 records of that person and do a summary.

16 Now, once you had that summary, you could have

17 shredded a huge amount of the records because some of

18 them were so old, some of them went back 20 or 25 years

19 and really there was nothing meaningful in them. It was

20 just a trace of where the person had lived or what his

21 relationships were or whatever.

22 So I have no idea what happened to the paper

23 records, but they could now safely be destroyed if you

24 summarised them.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But not obviously in this interim

18

1 period?

2 A. At that time they definitely all existed, yes.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Once allocated a Special Branch file

4 number, that number stayed with an individual? It was

5 never removed?

6 A. Never removed or altered.

7 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you very much indeed.

8 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Could I just pick up a point before

9 we move on. You referred, I think, to the fact that it

10 was not so much a threat assessment as an intelligence

11 record, the sort of limited nature and scope of what it

12 was that was being requested by Security Branch and what

13 they received.

14 Do you think that the limited scope was fully

15 understood throughout the service and in particular the

16 people up the chain to whom it went? Do you think they

17 realised how limited the scope was?

18 A. I honestly don't know. Certainly I know that Security

19 Branch were aware of it because we often had discussions

20 about it.

21 They were in a difficult post. They were being

22 asked to comment on whether or not they should -- they

23 should agree to securing the property of somebody, which

24 may cost several hundred thousand pounds or whether

25 somebody should be moved from their house.

19

1 If I could give an example, just the sorts of things

2 that could happen if somebody got a threat assessment

3 which said this person is under threat, people

4 certainly -- I don't know if anybody has spoken to the

5 Inquiry about the SPED scheme, the SPED system, special

6 purchase of evacuated buildings? This was

7 a government-financed scheme administered through the

8 Northern Ireland Executive and we would often be asked

9 to comment as to whether somebody was under threat.

10 If we said this department holds no intelligence,

11 they may not get moved. If we said that we held good

12 strong intelligence that they had a high degree of

13 threat, they would get moved.

14 Now, early on in the Troubles quite a lot of people

15 in certain areas just decided they would like to move

16 house, so they arranged for people to phone in on the

17 confidential phone and say they were under threat, or

18 they even arranged for people to fire the odd bullet

19 through their windows or throw a petrol bomb at the

20 front door, and then they would move house and they

21 would gather all the allowances which the various

22 government departments and welfare agencies would give

23 them.

24 So if we went down the route of accepting that any

25 sort of hearsay or anonymous letter or somebody's name

20

1 being daubed on a wall, if we regarded that as hard

2 intelligence or -- and as a threat, then very soon the

3 entire system would be clogged up with people just

4 wanting to move house or wanting to have their house

5 defended, or applying for firearms certificates for

6 personal protection weapons.

7 I have personal experience of a couple of drug

8 dealers who arranged to have bullets fired in their

9 direction because although we had lots of intelligence

10 on them, we had never convicted them and they wanted to

11 get guns and they wanted to have legal guns. So they

12 falsified attacks on themselves so that we would then

13 say, yes, they are under a high degree of threat and

14 issue them with a firearms certificate. So the system

15 was subject to abuse if it wasn't very tight.

16 To get back to your original question, I really

17 don't know and I think it might be a very good question

18 because some people perhaps outside of Security Branch

19 would not fully have understood the limitations of it.

20 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you very much. We were talking a little

21 earlier about the paper system and you have now very

22 helpfully given evidence in relation to the changeover

23 to the computer system. We will come back to that.

24 Can I, though, ask you to look back at the screen

25 and to another change that took place, again, I think,

21

1 after the Warner Report, because the Intelligence

2 Management Group was created, wasn't it?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. Again, doing the best you can, how did that affect the

5 structure that we see on the screen?

6 A. My recollection is that it didn't make that much

7 difference to me personally --

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. -- operating at E3A Republican. I remained as the desk

10 officer for South Region Republican intelligence.

11 Q. Yes. Can I just ask this then specifically: If I was

12 to put a box marked "IMG" upon the screen -- I'm just

13 making a suggestion -- would it, for example, be above

14 the box now saying "E3 Desks"?

15 A. Yes, it would because it would encompass a bit more than

16 the desks.

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Yes, I think -- I cannot recall now, but I think that

19 Warner realised the limitations that we were too insular

20 and we weren't -- we weren't broad enough in our

21 analysis, for example, and in drawing things together.

22 So, yes, I think that is fair, yes.

23 Q. Now, you said about your own role as an inspector. What

24 I wanted to ask you about was the structure within E3A

25 below that level; in other words, below inspector rank.

22

1 You told us about the four inspectors. How many other

2 officers were based within E3A?

3 A. I think my recollection is that there would have been

4 nine or ten in total. There were -- there was a chief

5 inspector, four inspectors, one for each of the regions,

6 and the scribe as I described. Each of the inspectors

7 had a sergeant and a constable with him.

8 Q. Right. So, again, to be clear -- because obviously at

9 a later stage you were promoted to detective chief

10 inspector -- there was within E3A then an officer at

11 that rank; is that correct?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. And can I take it, again, that the same would apply to

14 E3B?

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

16 Q. Thank you.

17 A. E3B on the Loyalist side had a slightly smaller

18 complement. There would have been a chief inspector and

19 I think my recollection is only two inspectors and

20 perhaps two sergeants and two or three constables. It

21 is smaller than E3A.

22 Q. Does it also follow from what you have said that the

23 inspectors, whether in A or B, would report up to the

24 detective inspector within both of those sections?

25 A. Yes, the two chief inspectors were autonomous, but they

23

1 in turn reported to a superintendent who was the Deputy

2 Head of Intelligence, and above him there was a chief

3 superintendent, who was the Head of Intelligence.

4 Q. Yes. And on our chart -- again, it may be that there is

5 a problem with the chart -- where would those two

6 officers fit in? Would they be the squares right in the

7 middle?

8 A. They would have been above the E3 desks and below the

9 deputy head. Special Branch, because it was so large,

10 it had been recognised by, again, an external review

11 conducted from England some years before that the ACC

12 Special Branch was so overwhelmed with work that he

13 needed a deputy. So at that time Special Branch was the

14 only -- the only ACC who had a deputy, who looked after

15 things like finance, welfare, training and so on.

16 But the ACC's right-hand man in many ways would have

17 been the Head of Intelligence, who was the Chief

18 Superintendent, who had below him the Superintendent and

19 below him were the two E3A and E3B chief inspectors.

20 Q. Thank you. So in other words, what the chart lacks is

21 those two middle layers, if I can put it that way,

22 between E3 Desks and the Deputy HSB?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you very much indeed.

25 Now, so far as the role of E3 is concerned, clearly

24

1 from what you have been telling us, and focusing on the

2 Republican desk that you worked in, your day-to-day work

3 included a vast range of intelligence-related work in

4 addition to the very particular things that the Inquiry

5 has been looking at, namely threat assessments?

6 A. Yes, that's correct.

7 Q. And it is obviously extremely important for the Inquiry

8 to get a sense of context and of reality because we are

9 focusing on these very, very particular questions.

10 You talked earlier about the number of SB50s coming

11 across your deck and, indeed, the number you were in

12 turn generating. As I understand it, what you are

13 saying is that in peak periods there might be dozens of

14 matters requiring your attention, dozens of SB50s

15 passing across your desk each day?

16 A. That would be correct. The vast majority of SB50s

17 passing across my desk would have required little or no

18 action from me. Simply having identified -- as I say,

19 they would have already been down to registry for

20 identifications. I could look at them and say, "Happy

21 enough with that" and it would go then for filing. And,

22 again, they would be taken away in the post and I'm not

23 sure, but I think if they weren't put into the proper

24 files at that stage by the people in registry, they

25 would have been put away by E3C or whatever.

25

1 But if something came across my desk and it, as

2 I say, mentioned America or Paris or London or whatever,

3 then something had to be -- a report had to be drafted

4 and I had to get in touch with that agency and let them

5 know. So we dealt -- E3 would have dealt directly with

6 a number of agencies and, indirectly, with the world.

7 The New Scotland Yard and the Security Service in

8 London acted as our post box to the outer world, with the

9 exception of -- the FBI would have dealt directly with

10 us, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation,

11 the Canadian, CSIS, would have dealt directly with us

12 and one or two others, but everybody else, we would have

13 gone through either Scotland Yard or the Security

14 Service or, indeed, both. We continued to copy

15 everything to both Scotland Yard and the Security

16 Service.

17 Q. Can I ask you specifically -- because we are now talking

18 about dissemination outside the organisation, which you

19 have helpfully mentioned -- the decision about

20 dissemination -- you said you saw a piece of paper and

21 it made a reference to London or whatever -- would that

22 be a decision taken at inspector level?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And would the relevant inspector -- let's use your desk

25 as the example -- then himself or herself be responsible

26

1 for ensuring that, in the appropriate form, that

2 intelligence passed out of the organisation to other

3 agencies?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. And were there guidelines or established rules for

6 inspectors to follow in relation to dissemination to

7 outside agencies?

8 A. Yes, my recollection is that there was a very firm rule

9 that if anything mentioned -- for example, anywhere in

10 Great Britain -- if it was a policing only matter, I

11 can't recall now whether we always copied it to the

12 Security Service, but I think we probably did. But

13 certainly we would send it to New Scotland Yard, to

14 Metropolitan Police Special Branch, and they had their

15 rules and they then had to tell the local force, whether

16 it was Yorkshire, whichever.

17 The rules were very, very firm. There was no

18 deviation from the rules. If the slightest mention was

19 made of something in England, we had to tell them

20 straight away. And if, in any way, it might be thought

21 time critical, then it was done verbally over a secure

22 telephone and then the paperwork followed.

23 Q. In relation to, as it were, your main recipients or

24 customers, presumably the Security Service was also one?

25 A. Yes, until -- I can't recall the date now, but in the

27

1 1990s the Security Service had always been responsible

2 for Loyalist terrorism on the mainland, but they weren't

3 the lead agency for Republican intelligence; that

4 function was held by New Scotland Yard, by

5 Metropolitan Police Special Branch.

6 That changed in the early 1990s, if I recall, but

7 thereafter we still drop copied things to

8 Metropolitan Police Special Branch.

9 Q. So I have understood then, if the information was to be

10 disseminated to the Security Service, how would that

11 actually happen?

12 A. Originally, when it was the paper system, then I would

13 have drawn up a -- I would have summarised. So I might

14 have -- I would have -- I might have several SB50s and I

15 would draw them together and give a verbal briefing over

16 the telephone to my opposite number in London in the

17 Security Service and then follow up with a written

18 debrief, which would have gone by a secure route; a

19 telex link as it was originally.

20 The system changed when computerisation came in, in

21 a way which I didn't agree with at the time because then

22 other people started to see not the original raw

23 intelligence, not the debriefs, but they started to

24 see -- they were copied -- the original Special Branch

25 intelligence reports, the SIRs.

28

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. I didn't agree with that because it led to a great deal

3 more work for us, because if you were a desk officer in

4 London and you saw something, you might hit the panic

5 button. But we being locals and with more knowledge,

6 and being career SB officers, we would realise that it

7 was insignificant. But they would then hit the panic

8 button and then request for us, say, traces on 20

9 enquiries, which were not going to advance the cause

10 against terrorism at all.

11 So I disagreed with that. To give an example, I can

12 recall there is here in Belfast, just down the road from

13 us, the old Gallaghers Tobacco factory has been turned

14 into the Yorkgate Centre, which is a shopping centre

15 with a cinema and so on and a Harry Ramsden's. We had

16 an intelligence report came in that the IRA had been

17 looking at the new Yorkgate Centre -- it was brand new

18 then -- with a view to bombing it. But when the guy in

19 London read it, he thought it was a the New York Gate

20 Centre, so he pressed the panic button and told the FBI,

21 and before you knew it, the Americans were up in arms

22 that there was going to be a bomb in New York.

23 This was one the many dangers of computerisation.

24 Q. Can I stick with computerisation. Did it remain the

25 case, when the MACER system came in, that decisions on

29

1 dissemination within the computer system or using the

2 computer system were still taken by the inspectors at

3 the desks.

4 A. No, I don't think that's correct, in that -- I can't

5 recall exactly now who would have been on the recipient

6 list, but as you will have seen on the -- on MACER,

7 there were a certain number of levels.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Now, simply because one was, say, level 19 didn't mean

10 to say that you would see everything at level 15. You

11 only saw what you were supposed to see. But certainly

12 nobody at level 3 or 15 could see what was on at

13 level 19.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. When computerisation came in, rules were drawn up as to

16 who else would see this material, but they were all

17 within either Special Branch or the Security Service or

18 the Army. They were the three agencies; Scotland Yard

19 did not have terminals.

20 So with the exception of Scotland Yard, the rules

21 would have meant that stuff would have come in which

22 previously I would have filtered before disseminating,

23 but now the Security Service or the Army could actually

24 read it raw.

25 Q. So they had their own access at whatever level?

30

1 A. Yes. Now, they wouldn't see everything of course, but

2 certain people within those organisations would see as

3 much as I would see.

4 Q. And presumably that was one of the things that you were

5 concerned about, as you indicated earlier?

6 A. Very much so, yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Can we try and follow that through with an

8 example, with a document that I know you have seen? It

9 begins at RNI-541-147 (displayed) and you see the title

10 "Republican General" in the third line. It is

11 a document from 1997, although that is rather obscured,

12 I am afraid. Dissemination DSL19: Can you help with

13 what that meant?

14 A. That was level 19. That was the working level that

15 Special Branch had, certainly at Headquarters. I can't

16 honestly say whether it was level 19 in the regions, but

17 at Headquarters that was the working level.

18 As I say, the lowest level was level 3 and at that

19 level I could see everything at level 3. But when it

20 started going up, for example, the Army had some levels

21 where I couldn't see -- maybe 11 and 15 -- where I could

22 see some but not all of what was on there.

23 Q. But you see the next entry in the page is:

24 "Text caveat ND [presumably no dissemination]

25 outside SB level ..." I think that says "19".

31

1 Now, who would be responsible for putting or

2 deciding on that caveat?

3 A. This, again, highlights another problem. My

4 recollection is that that document there would have been

5 put together by the handler or his sergeant or somebody

6 in the local office, and they would have decided that.

7 Now, the temptation of course is for them to put --

8 to overly caveat everything because the sources that

9 they had were so valuable and had taken so long to

10 achieve and to nurture that they would tend to heavily

11 caveat. And the beauty of having desk officers is that

12 the desk officers could look at it and say, "I have to

13 tell that to somebody else, but I will sanitise again or

14 I will speak to them and I will come to an agreement

15 with them as to what we can say."

16 Q. So under the paper system you would have been able to

17 simply deal with that at the desk?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Based on your perhaps wider understanding and

20 information and make any necessary adjustments, as you

21 have just described?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. But does it follow from what you were saying that once

24 it had been set in this way on the computer system, that

25 was it?

32

1 A. No, it doesn't -- it could still be changed, but because

2 there was now a wider dissemination, there were computer

3 terminals all over the place. And I'm not a luddite,

4 but at the same time I saw the dangers of this. But it

5 meant that the individuals who drew up the SIR had more

6 influence, shall we say.

7 Q. Can I just ask you to flick through -- we will be doing

8 it on the screen -- this same document. We get the

9 substance of it at RNI-541-148 (displayed), and I'm just

10 showing you that so you are seeing the whole document.

11 But the page I would like to look at with this topic in

12 mind is RNI-541-149 (displayed) because that says:

13 "Comment added by RUC HQ A3AS ..."

14 Et cetera. And then underneath:

15 "No SIDD."

16 Now, does this -- because it is receipted again and

17 again and again in all the documents, so this is just an

18 example -- show your desk's input?

19 A. It may well do, yes. I certainly don't recall seeing

20 this document or many of them, but, again, when the

21 computerisation system came in, my detective constable

22 would have dealt with these on a daily basis because

23 there were a huge number of them, and would have from

24 time to time asked me for my comment. And he -- I

25 think -- you know, it would be he who would have put

33

1 that on.

2 Q. Yes.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just looking at that reference number

4 there, if the intelligence relates to an individual who

5 is already on the system or who you feel requires

6 a Special Branch number, is there any part of that

7 reference or anything on these documents that actually

8 would refer to a Special Branch number?

9 A. There is nothing on the page that I'm looking at.

10 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: How would that be added to the report,

11 if at all?

12 A. I can't answer. It is a good question. I can't recall

13 how it was done, but only by typing on a comment, I

14 think. That would have been done by my

15 detective constable.

16 Q. But if it were a fresh piece of intelligence coming in

17 about a known Republican suspect?

18 A. If we could go back through the previous two, there may

19 well be an indication as to their -- as to their SB

20 number.

21 MR PHILLIPS: Let's look at the first page, RNI-541-147

22 (displayed), and perhaps we can have the other page up

23 at the same time, which is obviously RNI-541-148

24 (displayed).

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Could I put the question to you again?

34

1 Is there anything on either of those pages --

2 A. No.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: -- where there is a Special Branch

4 reference number?

5 A. No, I can see nothing that indicates a Special Branch

6 reference.

7 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

8 A. No, I can't.

9 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, there may be a problem in some of these

10 documents in relation to redaction because I think I'm

11 right in saying -- I have asked for confirmation of

12 this -- that the numbers have been redacted in any

13 event.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Is that something over the adjournment

15 you could help us with? Thank you.

16 MR PHILLIPS: Staying with these documents and the question

17 of how the computer system worked, if you were asked

18 to -- in this case, as we know, the issue is do some

19 work on Rosemary Nelson, how would you search the MACER

20 system? Would you simply key her name in?

21 A. Yes, I think that would be -- yes, there was a word

22 search facility, a very early word search facility, yes.

23 Q. And presumably that would bring up from the system all

24 references to her held by the system?

25 A. Held by the system, but not -- but, as I said earlier,

35

1 not the total references because some would still be

2 held in paper form in registry. And of course this --

3 the changeover period was obviously difficult because

4 a huge amount of information was held on both systems at

5 the same time.

6 Q. So presumably, using the paper system first, if you

7 asked for the material to be brought to you on an

8 individual, that would include obviously the file or

9 files on the individual?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. But presumably also the file or files on others

12 associated with him or her?

13 A. If I asked for those.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. You would have to ask for them because there would be so

16 many, but certainly it was a simple matter of phoning

17 down to registry, saying to the duty officer there,

18 [detail redacted], "Please can I have the file

19 on Rosemary Nelson". If it was somebody like

20 Rosemary Nelson, I'm sure -- she would be so distinctive

21 that they would know, but if you just said Joe Bloggs,

22 you would have to give some other identifying features:

23 who lives in Cappagh, County Tyrone or date of birth

24 such and such. They would look up through the paper

25 system, the slips I referred to, identify the individual

36

1 and then see their SB number and simply go to the file,

2 the racks, and pull it out. It would then be signed out

3 and brought up to me.

4 Q. But would the file on X, the individual who is the

5 subject of your request, also have, as it were, pointers

6 within it, saying, "see also file so and so on related

7 individuals Y, X and Z"?

8 A. Yes, that is correct. On the cover of the file would be

9 the most significant associates of that person.

10 Q. Yes. So far as the paper files are concerned, can

11 I take it from your statement and from what you have

12 been telling us that there was a paper file or files on

13 Rosemary Nelson?

14 A. I have no idea. I can't recall. I'm trying to think of

15 what date computerisation came in, but I think -- I

16 would imagine -- I would be very surprised if there

17 wasn't. I would be very surprised.

18 Q. If you were told, for example -- which is the case --

19 that she had an SB number, it must follow from what you

20 said that she had a file?

21 A. I'm not sure what way the SB number system continued

22 after computerisation came in, but if they had an SB

23 number, as far as I am concerned, she would have a file.

24 Q. Now, so far as the MACER system, the computer system, is

25 concerned, did that also allow you to see or to search

37

1 not only for references to the specific individual but

2 to the associates? So could you, for instance, search

3 using the two names on the sheet on the right here:

4 Rosemary Nelson, Colin Duffy?

5 A. Yes, that would be correct.

6 Q. And the same with any other associates?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And presumably you could also search by date

9 parameters -- Rosemary Nelson, May 1997 to May 1998 --

10 could you?

11 A. I don't recall that, but I'm sure that probably was the

12 case, yes. But the computers were not nearly as

13 sophisticated as they are now. Word search was

14 a problem with us for a long time.

15 Q. Were there thematic files either in paper or computer

16 form, for instance, Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition?

17 A. Yes, there would have been.

18 Q. Yes, and Drumcree?

19 A. Yes, indeed.

20 Q. And defence lawyers?

21 A. I don't think defence lawyers, no. No, there wouldn't

22 have been.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: At that moment I think we will have a break

24 for a quarter of an hour. It has been very detailed and

25 very helpful evidence, but hard work on the

38

1 stenographer.

2 MR PHILLIPS: Indeed. We will also, during the break, try

3 to get to the bottom of the question of the numbers.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: As I understand it, some of these documents

5 are not true copies, I have been informed, in that

6 things have been removed at various stages of redaction.

7 MR PHILLIPS: There, sir, you have taken me outside my range

8 of knowledge, I am afraid.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Right, quarter of an hour, quarter to.

10 MR CURRANS: Can we check the cameras have been switched

11 off?

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly, yes, very important.

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

14 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

15 off?

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

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Would you please escort the

18 witness out.

19 Right, a quarter to.

20 (11.29 am)

21 (Short break)

22 (11.45 am)

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist.

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

25 the key secured?

39

1 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

3 closed?

4 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: The technical support screens in place and

6 securely fastened?

7 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

9 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

10 of this chamber?

11 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), can you confirm that all the

13 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

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

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

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

18 Bring the witness in, please.

19 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

20 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

21 switched back on.

22 Yes, Mr Phillips?

23 MR PHILLIPS: I would like to pick up, if I may, on a number

24 of the points that came out before we broke off.

25 The first is the question of the SB numbers.

40

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. We have talked a good deal already about the MACER

3 system. Presumably you were also a user of the

4 [detail redacted] system?

5 A. There was -- when computerisation came in, yes, there

6 was one terminal in my office, yes, which was shared

7 between myself and the others.

8 Q. Yes. I mean, amongst the statements the Inquiry has

9 received is evidence, which I know you have seen, from

10 a former head of the IMG, who said it was the main tool,

11 the Prism system, used by the IMG?

12 A. It was, but I would -- my personal recollection of it is

13 not great because I was only there a short time before

14 being transferred out.

15 Q. The position was, I understand it -- and perhaps you can

16 confirm this -- that the MACER system did not have SB

17 numbers on it, whereas by contrast the Prism system --

18 and I'll show you an example now -- did have them?

19 A. Indeed.

20 Q. Can we look, please, at RNI-541-159 (displayed)? Now,

21 it is obvious from the heading that it is a different

22 type of document and there are similarities obviously in

23 the entries down the left-hand side, but of course what

24 we don't have is the access levels because, of course,

25 this was not a system, was it, which was open to outside

41

1 agencies?

2 A. That's correct. It was purely on the top floor of

3 Headquarters.

4 Q. Thank you. And then if we can metaphorically turn the

5 page, please, to RNI-541-160 (displayed), this is

6 another report, about Rosemary Nelson and, indeed, about

7 Colin Duffy. As you see, top right-hand corner, it

8 is August 1997 and then at the bottom there are heavily

9 redacted passages, but we see there, don't we, both her

10 name and her SB number?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. Now, so far as what you were saying a little earlier is

13 concerned in relation to your experience, we know that

14 you were working in E3A in 1998 because you dealt with

15 the assessment in August that year?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Can I take it from what you were saying earlier that by

18 that stage the computer systems were up and running?

19 A. Yes, that would be my recollection.

20 Q. But also from what you said earlier that the paper

21 system was still in existence and you would be using

22 both?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. And it sounded as though you would have had a personal

25 preference for the paper system?

42

1 A. It makes me sound a bit like a luddite, but the paper

2 system, we knew it and we knew the efficiencies of it

3 and we knew the deficiencies of it. But when the

4 computer system came in, it did bring certain advantages

5 such as word search and so on, but yes, this would be

6 quite correct. It was a difficult time because a large

7 amount of effort was being put into mastering the system

8 and not actually tackling the problem of terrorism.

9 Q. Yes. Now, can I ask you whether you were still in post,

10 in E3A, at the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder in March

11 the following year?

12 A. Yes, I was.

13 Q. Can I take it, again, from what you were saying that the

14 two tracks were still going at that time; in other

15 words, the computer system, perhaps a bit more

16 established, but the paper files as well?

17 A. That's correct. And I know -- because I know exactly

18 where I was when I heard that the device had detonated.

19 Q. Right. Thank you very much.

20 Can I ask you a question about SB numbers -- back to

21 that topic -- because certainly I took you to be saying

22 earlier that once allocated, that was it, an

23 individual's number remained the same. Is that correct?

24 A. That would be correct. That would be my experience,

25 yes.

43

1 Q. Was it ever the case that an individual would have two

2 SB numbers?

3 A. Not to my knowledge, no. I think that would defeat the

4 whole purpose.

5 Q. Indeed.

6 A. I have certainly never heard of anybody having two

7 numbers, although it theoretically might have happened

8 briefly whilst -- if there was some confusion as to the

9 identity of somebody, but I really don't think it ever

10 happened.

11 Q. What of the situation where an individual had a number

12 and then died and after the death there were events

13 which created the need for more filing or more records

14 to be kept? Would that be a situation in which there

15 would be, as it were, a number for the living and

16 a number for the same individual after he or she had

17 died?

18 A. No, I'm quite confident that the number would stay with

19 the person even if they were dead, and the file would

20 simply say "deceased" and would have the date of death

21 and so on on it.

22 Q. It may be entirely hypothetical: if there were two such

23 numbers, would the system ensure that somebody

24 consulting the files in relation to the first number

25 would be referred on to files under another number?

44

1 A. Yes, as I say, I don't think that any individual was

2 ever ascribed two numbers, but the system was -- I'm not

3 saying that it was foolproof, but it was very, very

4 good.

5 If you went to the white slips, if an individual

6 had, let's say for argument's sake, three Christian

7 names and a surname, they would be entered under the

8 system under -- if their initials were A, B, C, D, they

9 would be entered under A, B, C and then the surname.

10 They would be entered under B, C, D. They would are

11 entered under C and so on, so that you could always find

12 the person. Even if you only had a small amount of

13 information on the person, the people in the registry

14 would find them.

15 It was very difficult to miss somebody because it

16 was such a comprehensive system, and for that reason, I

17 don't think that -- I can't imagine any circumstances

18 under which somebody would be ascribed two different

19 numbers and two different files.

20 Q. Thank you very much. Can I return to the topic of

21 dissemination because you have helpfully set out the

22 various agencies, organisations outside the RUC

23 obviously to whom intelligence might need to be

24 disseminated. The organisation we didn't discuss or

25 touch on was the Army, i.e. military intelligence.

45

1 Can I take it, though, from your answers earlier

2 that, again, it would fall to the inspectors on the

3 desks to take a decision as to dissemination to military

4 intelligence?

5 A. Yes, that would be the case, but there was also

6 dissemination at a level below the desks, so that there

7 was -- there was a great deal of cooperation at the

8 regional level between the Army and the police. And

9 then when computerisation came in, a number of Army

10 officers were designated as users who could actually see

11 a lot of this material -- not the Prism, obviously the

12 MACER material -- and so a lot of them would conceivably

13 even see it before I saw it.

14 Q. Yes. That leads me on to the next question: in relation

15 to dissemination generally, does the same apply, the

16 same answer you have just given in relation to other

17 outside agencies, namely that there were mechanisms

18 where they might receive intelligence at another level;

19 in other words, at the local level, in region or at some

20 other local level?

21 A. I think the only other organisation would have been the

22 Security Service, who had a number of terminals in

23 London and also in the Province.

24 Q. Yes. So they might be recipients of disseminated

25 intelligence at a level, as it were -- I'm going to say

46

1 below, but I hope you understand what I mean -- below

2 the desk level and maybe, again, even before it reached

3 you?

4 A. It is a play on words really, but there were people in

5 the Army and the Security Service who saw the same

6 material -- when computerisation came in -- as I did.

7 They saw the SIRs. They also would have seen, whenever

8 they became disseminated documents, SIDDs. They would

9 also have seen those as well.

10 Q. The SIDDs were the slightly lower level --

11 A. Very often SIRs came in and went out without any

12 sanitisation as SIDDs, and the problem was the

13 overwhelming amount of them and people's inability to

14 handle computers in those day. And it was just easier

15 to let them go. So there were some people who saw both

16 the SIRs and SIDDs.

17 Q. In terms of the access levels on MACER, can you now

18 remember what levels military intelligence had

19 access to?

20 A. No, I can't, but I have a definite impression that there

21 were a small number of quite senior Army intelligence

22 officers who were given access levels which enabled them

23 to read material which normally would only have been

24 seen by SB officers.

25 Q. And would that be at level 19?

47

1 A. Yes, I would imagine it would be, yes.

2 Q. And does the same apply to Security Service officers as

3 well?

4 A. Yes, that would be the case. That would be my

5 recollection, yes.

6 Q. So they would have had access to the same SIR material

7 that Special Branch would?

8 A. I'm pretty certain that that would be the case. I can't

9 swear to it, but I'm pretty certain that there were

10 people in London, for example, who were reading the same

11 material that I was reading before it had become a SIDD.

12 They were reading it as SIRs. I may be wrong, but that

13 is my recollection.

14 Q. Could I just take you to a passage in your statement,

15 RNI-840-061 on the screen, please (displayed), where you

16 talk about the feeding in of intelligence to

17 Headquarters? And you say there, in connection with

18 agent handlers, that they would feed in the intelligence

19 they received to you, and we touched on that much

20 earlier in your evidence.

21 Can I just ask you about other sources of

22 intelligence coming to you at the desk? Presumably you

23 would be getting intelligence from technical sources?

24 A. Yes, that would be correct, yes.

25 Q. Yes. Now, were you a recipient of this sort of

48

1 intelligence from other agencies; in other words, from

2 the sort of agencies we have been talking about, the

3 Security Service, military intelligence? Were you

4 a recipient of material from them?

5 A. Of technical intelligence --

6 Q. Of whatever kind.

7 A. Yes, indeed, yes.

8 Q. You have described in relation to Special Branch how it

9 came to you, what form it took in paper and then on the

10 computer, how would intelligence from other agencies, in

11 what form would it have reached you?

12 A. I have no recollection of anything once computerisation

13 came in.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. But occasionally I would have had a phone call from

16 London and a telex would have followed perhaps

17 indicating that somebody from the Province had been

18 stopped at Heathrow Airport or had been observed coming

19 back from Eastern Europe or from Cuba or something like

20 that. A telex would have followed and I would have

21 taken that information, perhaps researched it a bit to

22 identify the person, informed the local SB office,

23 written a dissemination report down to the Regional Head

24 of Special Branch and perhaps asked him for further

25 enquiries to be made.

49

1 That was part -- part of my function was to make

2 requests of the Regional Head and his staff to flesh out

3 the bare bones of any intelligence we had.

4 Q. So that would be tasking, in effect; asking for things

5 to be done?

6 A. Yes, it would have been a task, yes.

7 Q. I would like to ask you some questions about that in

8 a minute, but there you are dealing, aren't you, as I

9 understand it, with dissemination by you within the

10 Special Branch structure?

11 A. Sorry, I don't understand that.

12 Q. When you said earlier that somebody might come in to you

13 and you would then take steps to make sure that region

14 or the local offices were aware of it, that was then,

15 with your desk, acting as a disseminator within

16 Special Branch?

17 A. Yes. If it was a request, for example, that could only

18 be met by the Army, we had a mechanism at Headquarters.

19 We had a liaison desk there who were in another part of

20 the building and we could ask the Army to research

21 something for us.

22 Q. So there was a military intelligence liaison desk at

23 Headquarters?

24 A. Yes, there was.

25 Q. And presumably also a Security Service desk?

50

1 A. There was a Security Service representative. I wouldn't

2 call it a desk as such. My definition of desk is not

3 simply one person at a desk; it is a team of people

4 working on things. But there was a representative

5 there.

6 Q. And when you said, therefore, in relation to the

7 military that there was a desk, that means more than one

8 person?

9 A. There was a major -- a sergeant major and several staff

10 there.

11 Q. Yes. Now, if we can go back to the chart again, please,

12 the Special Branch in the late 1990s diagram that we

13 began with, so far as your desk, E3A, was concerned, as

14 I understand it, the part of this diagram that is

15 missing, or one of them, the registry, was the vehicle

16 for ensuring that material that came into Headquarters

17 reached the right desk; is that correct?

18 A. Yes, that would be correct, yes.

19 Q. So you sitting in E3A would not simply receive the whole

20 bulk of no doubt enormous amounts of material coming in,

21 that material would have been allocated to you and to

22 E3B by the staff, the officers, who worked in the

23 registry?

24 A. It would -- the material, when we were still with SB50s

25 and so on, would have come in into the post room. It

51

1 would have been recorded in the post room and it would

2 have gone from the post room to the registry and

3 registry would have researched each, as I explained

4 earlier, and identified the people and marked against

5 them their SB number, their white slip number or

6 unidentified or no trace. Then registry would have put

7 it back into the internal post system who would have

8 brought it up to the desk and placed it on the desk.

9 And the post would have come through four or five times

10 a day.

11 Q. Thank you. So far as the difference between your

12 position at Headquarters sitting at the desk and the

13 position of the officers on the ground, if I can put it

14 that way, the regions, at the local level, did you

15 expect to see all intelligence gathered by the local

16 officers at some point; in other words, if not

17 immediately, at some point?

18 A. Yes, that would be correct, yes.

19 Q. So the system was not set up to allow local officers,

20 region, to withhold material from Headquarters?

21 A. They could do that.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. Because I wouldn't know any different.

24 Q. Exactly.

25 A. And we frequently would chastise people further down the

52

1 line for not putting enough detail into a thing because

2 you could read between the lines and say, "There must be

3 more than this". So we would get back to them and say,

4 "You have sent in a 50 which was only two paragraphs

5 long. Surely there must be a bit more" and sometimes

6 they would come back with a bit more.

7 In theory -- in fact, that is a failing of the

8 system. It is a trust system. You trust the people

9 below you to come back with the information.

10 Q. It sounds from your answer as though on frequent

11 occasions you didn't think you were getting enough from

12 the local offices?

13 A. I would say on occasions; it wasn't a daily occurrence.

14 But certainly it would happen once or twice a month at

15 least where I would have gone back and said, "Could you

16 not give me a bit more on this?" Because if I had to

17 explain that to somebody in London, I would need a bit

18 more background and perhaps the chaps on the ground, as

19 you put it, hadn't appreciated the work that it was

20 going to give me and the questions I had to answer

21 before they were asked from London, for example. So

22 very often the people on the ground didn't really

23 appreciate what it was that I was doing.

24 Q. Is that because your perspective was a different

25 perspective; you were taking a broader view than anybody

53

1 at the local or regional level?

2 A. Yes, that would be correct. And as a general rule, I

3 was not taking an operational view. If operations were

4 to be mounted against the Loyalist or Provisional IRA or

5 whatever, that would be a case of immediacy for the

6 local office and the Regional Head of Special Branch and

7 his TCG and the various agencies.

8 So sometimes I might not see them. The material

9 might not come in for a few days, but my focus was not

10 operational; it was on this broader view and making sure

11 that any enquiries that could be conducted only at my

12 level were conducted.

13 Q. Yes. But if it wasn't operational, would you describe

14 it as strategic?

15 A. Yes, quite a bit of it would have been strategic. If

16 we, you know -- we talk in terms of strategic,

17 operational and tactical, and Headquarters would have

18 been mainly concerned with the strategic and

19 operational, whereas the region would have been -- one

20 could say would have been concerned with operational and

21 tactical.

22 Q. Yes. Now, the way the diagram has been set up obviously

23 focuses in particular on South Region, on the right-hand

24 side, because that is the immediately relevant region

25 for the Inquiry. But just to be clear, can I take it

54

1 that if intelligence was gathered relevant to the

2 Republican desk at headquarters, E3A, and it was

3 gathered in E5 or E6, Belfast and North respectively,

4 that would also make its way to your desk?

5 A. Yes, that's correct. What would happen in that case is

6 that if something in Belfast was debriefed into the

7 source unit in Belfast, which affected South Region in

8 any way, then it was the responsibility of the source

9 unit in Belfast to inform the source unit in South

10 Region. And the SB50 would have made its way perhaps

11 twice -- it might have been duplicated because the

12 original one, which Belfast would have put in, would

13 also have made its way to me, as would the South one.

14 So there were pretty good rules as to sharing things

15 between the regions.

16 Q. That leads me to the next question. Were there systems

17 in place for sharing between regions?

18 A. Yes, there were.

19 Q. So they didn't have to go to Headquarters for you to

20 then do the sharing?

21 A. No.

22 Q. They could talk to each other and share information?

23 A. Yes. For a long time while I was at Headquarters, the

24 four inspectors shared an office. That was later

25 thought to be inefficient regionally and we then went

55

1 into individual offices where we had our sergeant and

2 constable with us and we worked as little -- as

3 individual officers.

4 But originally it was much easier for the inspector

5 from South Region to read something if he thought it

6 might impact on either of the other two regions to say,

7 "Guys, have you seen this?" and to copy it to them.

8 But if information came in in, say, South Region

9 which affected North Region, then it was the

10 responsibility of South Region to make sure that North

11 Region knew -- it was straight across, but it would also

12 come up and be shared up at Headquarter level.

13 Q. So far as the answers you were giving just a little

14 while ago about having to take up with local SB the fact

15 that they weren't giving you enough information, is it

16 possible for to tell us why, in any particular case,

17 they would not be giving you exactly the level of

18 information you wanted?

19 A. It might be a simple thing. I go again to a mention of

20 London. They may give me a paragraph and say that X

21 recently flew to Heathrow and holidayed in London, and

22 they would just leave it at that because they wouldn't

23 think -- they may have more information, but they

24 thought that is all Headquarters needed to know. But in

25 actual fact, when I told London, they would want to

56

1 know, well, when did he come in, when did he go out,

2 where did he say, where did he visit, who were his

3 associates. So I would then have to go back on to the

4 office and say, "Have you got anything more?" Sometimes

5 they didn't have anything more. Sometimes it just came

6 third-hand to them that X had gone to London two or thee

7 weeks ago and that was it. But other times they

8 actually did and they said, well, actually, yes, or we

9 can re-task the source to find out.

10 Q. So they were taking decisions themselves about what they

11 thought Headquarters needed to know?

12 A. Yes, that would be correct. It was a system of trust,

13 yes, and experience, of course.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. But it wasn't a daily occurrence. I would -- it is

16 difficult to remember now, but, you know, perhaps once

17 a week or something like that I would have been on to

18 a local office and I would have phoned the local office

19 direct. I wouldn't have gone through the Regional Head

20 or his deputy. I would have phoned in this case the

21 Lurgan office and said, "Can you give me any more on

22 this?" or "Can you, indeed, re-task the source? Can you

23 find out more for me the next time you are meeting this

24 person, more information?"

25 Q. Yes. Now, just briefly again on these computer systems,

57

1 can I take it from what you were saying earlier that

2 your desk access level to MACER was 19?

3 A. Yes, that's my recollection, yes.

4 Q. Yes. Now, in terms of, again --

5 A. I think I might also -- sorry to interrupt you. I have

6 a recollection there was a level 23 and I think I also

7 had access at that level as well.

8 Q. That was my next question.

9 A. I don't recall that as a desk officer -- I think I could

10 see virtually everything. There may well have been -- I

11 would imagine there was stuff which I couldn't see, but

12 it would have been at a very, very high and discreet

13 level.

14 Q. What was level 23 used for?

15 A. I can't recall, but there wasn't -- the levels looked

16 very -- I mean, I always wondered myself why they didn't

17 just call them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, but they went from --

18 Q. Prime numbers, I think.

19 A. Was that the reason?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. To be honest, I can't recall what the difference was,

22 but it may have been -- and I'm only speculating -- that

23 level 23 was purely SB and the Army couldn't see it.

24 That may be the reason.

25 Q. So far as putting in data into the system, and taking

58

1 MACER first of all, I think from what you were saying

2 earlier it was possible for information to be put into

3 the MACER system both locally and at region as well as

4 by you and your staff at Headquarters. Is that correct?

5 A. I think when MACER came in, I don't think that there was

6 a MACER terminal in the local SB offices. I would be

7 pretty certain that if they ever did get them, it must

8 have been maybe a year after the event. I don't think

9 that they would have got MACER straight away. I think

10 it would have been regional level and Headquarters

11 and -- I'm sure they did get something later on, but

12 whether it was MACER or not, I don't know.

13 Q. Thank you. What about Prism?

14 A. I don't know. My recollection is that Prism was

15 certainly on the top floor in Headquarters and I think

16 it was at regional level as well. I honestly don't

17 know. They may have put it into the local offices, but

18 it would have been some way down the line.

19 Q. Thank you. So far as the role of E3A and E3 in general

20 was concerned -- you have talked about the difference

21 between your perspective and the local perspective;

22 strategic, as opposed to operational, for example -- can

23 I take it, therefore, that the desks in E3 were

24 responsible for the analysis of intelligence?

25 A. Yes, that's correct.

59

1 Q. And did you and your colleagues produce documents which

2 I think by acronym are known as IMAGIRs?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Can we have a look at one of those, please, just so we

5 know what we are talking about, and that is at

6 RNI-542-200 (displayed). Is that something that your

7 desk was involved in the production of, documents of

8 this kind?

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

10 Q. And were these types of documents produced on a regular

11 basis?

12 A. Yes, when IMG was created, we started to produce a lot

13 more of these reports. This was, I think, Sir Gerry

14 Warner's report highlighted that we weren't doing enough

15 analysis and producing enough reports.

16 Q. So the reforms instituted after Warner, including the

17 IMG itself, were directed, were they, to focusing more

18 attention on analysis and presumably this type of report

19 was one of the consequences of that?

20 A. Yes, indeed.

21 Q. And would you be producing topic reports, pieces of

22 analysis on a regular basis?

23 A. Yes, the -- that would be the case. Initially we were

24 not very good at it and we had people -- we had

25 assistance from some Security Service people who had

60

1 more experience at it.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. So, yes --

4 Q. In terms of dates, are we talking 1997 when all this

5 began or can you not remember?

6 A. I can't remember exactly when IMG came into existence,

7 but, yes, it was around about 1997 or 1998 and we

8 immediately started to produce these.

9 Q. Yes. Were there other types of analytical documents

10 other than IMAGIRs?

11 A. I can't recall any other type, no, not once IMG had

12 started. No, I can't recall any other type.

13 Q. Where would the tasking or the instructions come from

14 for the production of reports of this kind?

15 A. From the desk. From the desk officer, and the sergeant

16 and constable would look at something and say, "Here is

17 a piece of intelligence, don't you remember that last

18 week there was something which complements that and

19 about three weeks before there was something else", and

20 put the three together and create an IMAGIR. And it was

21 felt that that wasn't being done before. So it was

22 a step forward; it was a step in the right direction.

23 Q. And we can see the distribution list, as it were, the

24 customer list. As I understand it, the first 20 are

25 within the RUC and mostly within Special Branch. Is

61

1 that correct?

2 A. Yes, they are all -- apart from the Chief Constable,

3 yes.

4 Q. Yes. On the right-hand side, there are obviously some

5 vacant addresses; in other words, cases where this

6 particular document didn't go. But other than within

7 RUC, who were the customers for this sort of report?

8 A. The Army would have got some, the Security Service and

9 the Assessments Group at the Northern Ireland Office who

10 produced the intelligence for the Secretary of State and

11 for the Joint Intelligence Committee in London, they

12 would have got it.

13 Q. So this material then would in turn form part of other

14 reports going into the intelligence machinery at

15 a higher level; is that correct?

16 A. Yes, it would, yes.

17 Q. Would that include what we call the NIIRs?

18 A. Yes, the NIIRs. My recollection was they were produced

19 by the Assessments Group, and in addition

20 the Assessments Group would have produced a monthly

21 summary of intelligence which they would consulted

22 myself and the other desk officers on. And that would

23 have gone across to London to the current intelligence

24 group and, in turn, would have made its way to the JIC

25 if it was strategic enough, and from the JIC to the

62

1 Prime Minister.

2 Q. Just to be clear, the Assessments Group you are

3 referring to was within the Security Service?

4 A. Within the Northern Ireland Office, manned by mainly

5 people from the Security Service.

6 Q. So far as the IMG itself is concerned, when that was set

7 up, were the desks -- which, as you say, you continued

8 to work on the desks unaffected, but were the desks then

9 regarded as being part of the IMG?

10 A. Yes, they would have been essentially the heart of the

11 IMG, yes.

12 Q. So the reporting structure that we went through earlier

13 was all within the IMG?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Now, can I turn to the question of tasking or asking for

16 certain works and further enquiries, et cetera, to be

17 undertaken because you have given various examples of

18 that?

19 So I can take it, can I, that the desk was able to

20 contact other parts of Special Branch at regional or

21 local level and ask for actions to be taken to fulfil

22 certain intelligence requirements?

23 A. Yes, but I wouldn't approach, for example, somebody in

24 North Region. I would go through the North Region desk

25 officer. But in South Region I had the liberty to

63

1 contact anybody directly myself, and they were always

2 incredibly helpful. I can't recall in the many years I

3 was there a single incident of somebody being

4 obstructive or not carrying out the tasks that I had

5 asked them -- the enquiry that I had asked them to do.

6 Q. Yes. Now, in terms of the way you dealt with and

7 considered intelligence, in paragraph 2 of your

8 statement -- can we have that on the screen, please,

9 RNI-840-059 (displayed) -- where you have been talking

10 about the nature of the Special Branch's work, you are

11 talking about in very general terms as part of your

12 statement. You say in the last sentence of the

13 paragraph:

14 "That's why it is standard procedure for

15 Special Branch officers to sit together and participate

16 in brainstorming sessions."

17 Actually, I think to help you it might be better to

18 have the previous page on the screen as well. Can we

19 have RNI-840-058, as well as RNI-840-059, please

20 (displayed)? Do you see how the paragraph begins? You

21 are drawing a distinction between CID work and

22 Special Branch work?

23 A. Yes, I see that.

24 Q. Thank you. What I wanted to ask you is this: in

25 relation to the brainstorming sessions which you say

64

1 were standard procedure, are you talking about sessions

2 involving desk officers or involving desk officers and

3 others maybe from region, maybe local Special Branch

4 officers?

5 A. I think what I meant by that was that throughout

6 Special Branch, whether it be in a local office, people

7 would sit round and brainstorm a problem, in the

8 regional offices they would sit and brainstorm, in the

9 TCG they would sit and brainstorm, and even at

10 Headquarters the desk officers would sit and talk things

11 through with their opposite numbers to see what their

12 interpretation, what their analysis, what their

13 assessment would be of it. And because a lot of what we

14 did was pretty subjective, it was very subjective.

15 Q. Intensely judgmental?

16 A. Yes, and you needed a lot of experience and that is why

17 the best desk officers continued to be people who had

18 already done a bit of time on the ground in some

19 respect. But that was not always necessarily the case,

20 but whereas -- and the comparison is that CID officers

21 tend to go in and be given a crime to go, and they just

22 have to go and do it, and they are under such pressure

23 that they rarely have the luxury of brainstorming.

24 I think that was the point that I was making.

25 Q. Thank you. So far as the question of tasking, asking

65

1 for things to be done, was concerned, was it possible

2 for you at your desk to ask TCG to take on, for

3 instance, a technical operation?

4 A. No.

5 Q. If you wanted to activate something like that, what was

6 the correct route?

7 A. There really wasn't one. If there was -- what type of

8 technical operation are we talking about here, please?

9 Q. Well, perhaps one involving a telephone; as simple as

10 that.

11 A. A telephone, yes. I could make a request at

12 Headquarters. That wouldn't be anything to do with TCG,

13 so I could make a request to put, for example, your

14 telephone on because there was intelligence indicating

15 that you were active as a terrorist. But I had to argue

16 the case well because [details redacted]

17 and I had to produce a -- the summary

18 of a report which would make for the -- which would

19 fulfil the requirements of the warrant because the

20 warrant would have to be taken up to Stormont to be

21 signed by the Secretary of State or the duty minister.

22 So it was -- you know, you just couldn't say, "I

23 think I will put this guy's phone on today." It was

24 quite a complex -- quite rightly -- and it was very,

25 very tightly controlled. You had to get a warrant, and

66

1 sometimes warrants -- you couldn't get one for a couple

2 of days because the ministers were too busy.

3 Q. But thinking about other cases, were there ever cases

4 where you would be in liaison direct from your desk with

5 TCG in relation to local operations?

6 A. No.

7 Q. No.

8 A. No, not at all.

9 Q. Now, can we turn to the question which --

10 A. Sorry, could I just go back to that?

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. There were a few occasions when there would have been

13 operations running which would have been managed by TCG,

14 in which there would have been an interest, let's say,

15 from London. So I would have been looking for

16 up-to-date briefings of what was happening, but I

17 wouldn't have done those directly with TCG. I would

18 have gone through the Regional Head of Special Branch or

19 his deputy or one of the superintendents or chief

20 inspectors and said, "Look, keep me informed because

21 I have got to keep London informed here."

22 Q. So the answers or the briefing or the update would come

23 back in the same indirect way?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you to look now on the

67

1 computer at the first of the documents which you talk

2 about in your statement in relation to the threat

3 assessment on Rosemary Nelson in August 1998. So we are

4 moving on to a completely different topic. That's at

5 RNI-102-079 (displayed), and here is the memorandum

6 coming down from Command Secretariat, 7 August,

7 addressed to two assistant chief constables, one with

8 the South Region and one the Head of Special Branch,

9 E Department, and referring there to the leaflet or

10 pamphlet which you talk about in your own statement.

11 What I would like to do is to show you, before we

12 get into any other documents, the chart that we have

13 prepared which shows the route of the information going

14 down the line. So can we have the August 1998 threat

15 assessment chart, please, on the screen (displayed)?

16 We can see your part of the chain on the left-hand

17 side, can't we? And you are the second box from the

18 bottom on the left-hand side, and that's the

19 E Department chain, isn't it?

20 A. Yes, that's correct.

21 Q. We are not going to be concerned at all with what

22 happens in the other chain, which is the South Region.

23 If we go back to the Command Secretariat memorandum,

24 please, RNI-102-079 (displayed), dated 7 August, and

25 asking for advice in relation to the pamphlet:

68

1 "I would appreciate whatever information you can

2 provide on this matter and an assessment of whether or

3 not you consider those names named to be the subject of

4 any threat."

5 Now, we have talked a little about threat

6 assessments already. Was it usual for you in your desk

7 to receive a request for a threat assessment coming from

8 Command Secretariat?

9 A. Yes, it wouldn't have come obviously directly to me, but

10 it would have come into, in the old days, the Head of

11 Intelligence or subsequently the Head of the IMG.

12 Q. Yes. But was that a regular source,

13 Command Secretariat, of requests for threat assessments?

14 A. No, I would say that it was quite rare.

15 Q. Yes. What we learn from the memorandum -- and we will

16 see how it reached you in a minute -- is that the

17 leaflet is being distributed in Portadown. And if you

18 look at the date given, it is obviously a few weeks

19 after the time for the marching. In this year, as in

20 previous years, the Drumcree situation was a focus for

21 a great deal of actual and potential conflict and

22 violence, wasn't it?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. And you were no doubt aware of Special Branch interest

25 in and around the events at Drumcree that year?

69

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You see that the leaflet was passed to the NIO -- this

3 is, again, in the second paragraph -- from Rosemary

4 Nelson via a third party, that she is said to be

5 extremely distressed about it and in particular the

6 threat to her personal security posed by the claims in

7 the leaflet and by the circulation of her address and

8 telephone number.

9 Now, can we look together at the leaflet? That's at

10 RNI-102-091 (displayed). I think that's a reasonable

11 copy.

12 You will see the various claims in relation to her.

13 First, a few lines from the bottom, that she was

14 a former bomber. Do you see that:

15 "... former bomber, Rosemary Nelson."

16 And that she was a part of a motley crew -- that is

17 the next line:

18 "... including the people named above,

19 Breandan Mac Cionnaith, Bobby Storey, now IRA

20 Chief of Staff [the leaflet says] and his secretary in

21 command, Spike Murray."

22 And then a reference to Mr Stack, a Jesuit priest.

23 And the suggestion made in the last lines is that they

24 were trying to destroy the religious rights and freedoms

25 of Protestants, and you see then also the reference to

70

1 the address and the telephone number.

2 By way of reminder, if we now look at the document

3 which came into E Department again, RNI-102-079

4 (displayed), as I said earlier, you see what is being

5 asked for here is whatever information you can provide,

6 one, and two, an assessment of whether you consider

7 those named to be the subject of any threat.

8 Can I just ask you, based on your experience of

9 these matters, was it surprising that this request went

10 both to your department, E Department, and also to South

11 Region?

12 A. No, I wouldn't be surprised at that time. I mean, I

13 don't recall ever seeing this document at the time, but

14 no, I think that would be Command Secretariat just

15 trying to maximise the potential from whom they may get

16 information.

17 Q. If we can look at the thing coming down to you, the next

18 document is RNI-102-086 (displayed), and you have to

19 read, as it were, from the bottom to the top, from the

20 ACC of E Department to the Detective Chief

21 Superintendent, who was the Head of IMG, for the report

22 as requested at A. If we look at RNI-102-085

23 (displayed), we see how it makes its way down from that

24 officer, the Head of IMG, down to you and from you down

25 to Sergeant 226?

71

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. We know from his statement that he was based in E3C, the

3 department or section we talked about a little earlier.

4 So can I take it from what you have said that by passing

5 the matter to E3C, the report, you were treating this as

6 though it was a request coming in from Security Branch,

7 the sort of request we talked about earlier?

8 A. It was dealt with in exactly the same way as any other

9 request would have been dealt with, yes.

10 Q. Yes. But you weren't expecting, were you, from what you

11 told us earlier, that E3C would be doing an expert

12 assessment of threat?

13 A. What they would be doing would be they would pull

14 together all the available intelligence and if it was

15 not immediately obvious as to what the answer should be,

16 then they would place it in front of the desk officer,

17 who would pull it together and -- so if E3C found

18 several big files and so on and thought, "This is way

19 beyond my level of training and experience", then the

20 desk officer would analyse the material.

21 Q. And which desk officer would it have been in this case?

22 A. Well, in South Region it obviously would have been the

23 South Region's, but it could actually have gone to the

24 Loyalist desk in this case. In this case, it had

25 obviously come down to the Republican desk, but it made

72

1 no matter because they had access to identical records.

2 There was no differentiation between the records.

3 I think that on occasions such a request actually

4 would have gone to the Chief Inspector of the Loyalist

5 desk because the threat would appear to emanate on the

6 Loyalist side, but that's purely, you know, a subjective

7 decision by whoever was above in the line.

8 Q. So it looks then as though the key decision here was the

9 decision taken by HIMG to send it down on the Republican

10 side to you, rather than on the Loyalist side to E3B?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. As far as we can tell -- and I know you have looked at

13 the documents yourself -- this particular question

14 didn't get at any point to E3B because it came back from

15 226, didn't it, to you at E3A?

16 A. Yes, I would imagine that was the case, yes. But I

17 would also imagine that -- I can't speak for 226, but my

18 recollection would be that 226 would have checked the

19 registry to see what there was --

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. -- spoken to the Loyalist desk, I would believe, and

22 phoned the local office, and only then would they have

23 come back to me.

24 Q. So you would have expected E3C then to have checked all

25 available sources of information or intelligence?

73

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. But, just to be clear again, not himself to apply the

3 analytical work or approach that you and your colleagues

4 on the desks were able to apply?

5 A. Had it been necessary. If there was, as I say,

6 a surfeit of information, then E3C would have simply

7 placed that in front of me. But in most cases they

8 would be able to say from consulting the local office

9 and the registry, yes, there would appear to be, and

10 they would highlight to the desk officer, in this case

11 to myself, that there is a problem here. There is hard

12 intelligence.

13 I wouldn't have just accepted that. I would have

14 had to have seen that intelligence before I would have

15 signed that and sent it on.

16 Q. Yes, but in that process, the point at which there was

17 going to be any analytical, any expert input would be

18 with you at the desk?

19 A. Yes, if it was necessary to analyse, yes.

20 Q. Now, E3C was, as we have seen on our chart, a separate

21 part of E3. To whom did the sergeant in E3C report?

22 A. I'm not sure -- I can't recall now, but there were -- in

23 addition to E3C there was an inspector who looked after

24 administration within E3 Department.

25 Q. Yes.

74

1 A. And possibly reported -- I can't remember who their line

2 manager was. I have no recollection of that.

3 Q. Yes, but you didn't have any supervisory role, for

4 example, in relation to the sergeant in E3C?

5 A. No, none whatever.

6 Q. Were there occasions when a request for a threat

7 assessment came in and your desk would keep hold of the

8 task using E3C as a sort of library or a check?

9 A. Yes, there would have been occasions when a request for

10 a threat assessment would have come in with which --

11 let's say not now acting as the Chief inspector, but

12 acting as the Inspector -- that I would immediately have

13 been aware of something and would have sent for the

14 files myself and made the telephone enquiries myself.

15 E3C would not necessarily have always been involved

16 in it.

17 Q. So given the way this one seems to have worked, can we

18 take it that this wasn't one of those cases?

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

20 Q. Now, just looking at this document on the screen,

21 please, you see the heading "Correspondence from NIO

22 re leaflet apparently being concentrated in Portadown".

23 Actually, if we go back to RNI-102-079 and have that on

24 the right-hand side of the screen, please (displayed),

25 we will see that it is the same subject; in other words,

75

1 that this is going down the chain under the same

2 heading.

3 In terms of what you would expect then, it seems

4 likely, doesn't it, that this memo on the right-hand

5 side, the one that originated the request, made its way,

6 with a copy of the leaflet obviously, down the chain to

7 you and then from you to P226?

8 A. Yes, that's correct.

9 Q. Thank you. So when you say in your statement at

10 paragraph 4 -- if we can just have that on the screen,

11 RNI-840-059, please (displayed) -- when you say there:

12 "From the paperwork ..."

13 I can take it, can I, that in addition to those

14 little memos going down, you would have those two pieces

15 of paper: the one from P226 we have on the screen and

16 the leaflet itself?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Thank you. Now, in the same paragraph, if we keep it on

19 the screen at paragraph 4, RNI-840-059 (displayed), you

20 say:

21 "From the paperwork, it would appear that in my

22 capacity as Acting Chief Inspector, I was asked to

23 request a check on what current intelligence might be

24 held in recommendation to threats against

25 Rosemary Nelson."

76

1 Do you see that?

2 A. Yes, indeed.

3 Q. And that was precisely the sort of thing that E3C could

4 provide, wasn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. If you look over to the other side, though, at

7 RNI-102-079 (displayed), that is a paraphrase, isn't it,

8 of the last paragraph:

9 "I would appreciate whatever information you can

10 provide on this matter and an assessment of whether or

11 not you consider those named ..."

12 That is in the leaflet:

13 "... to be the subject of any threat"?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. But can I take it from what you are saying in your

16 statement that what you said, or must have said in terms

17 of tasking to P226, is, "Can I have a check on what

18 current intelligence might be held in relation to

19 threats against Rosemary Nelson"?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. So far as the report that he provided to you is

22 concerned -- again, can we look, please, at RNI-102-084

23 (displayed) -- this came back to you some days later and

24 it is addressed to you from the sergeant:

25 "With reference to the attached papers ..."

77

1 Again, it is the same point:

2 "... this office holds no current intelligence to

3 indicate that a specific threat exists to

4 Rosemary Nelson from paramilitaries. Local

5 Special Branch at Portadown and Lurgan are of the

6 opinion that the leaflet was circulated by Loyalist

7 elements to heighten tension during the Drumcree period.

8 Research has shown that the address and telephone number

9 given on the leaflet relates to Rosemary Nelson's

10 offices at 8a William Street, Lurgan. This information

11 is listed in Yellow Pages and is, therefore, readily

12 accessible to anyone wishing to obtain the same."

13 Now, it looks, therefore, doesn't it, as though the

14 report you received from P226 was a report solely on

15 Rosemary Nelson, rather than on all the various

16 individuals referred to in the leaflet?

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

18 Q. From the paperwork, it is not entirely clear why the

19 report came back only dealing with one of the

20 individuals named. Is there anything that you can

21 actually recollect which would help us to understand why

22 that happened?

23 A. No. I think if we go back to the original request from

24 Command Secretariat --

25 Q. Let's do that. It is at RNI-102-079. Can we have that

78

1 on the left-hand side, please (displayed).

2 A. Yes, I see the point that you are making. It has

3 specifically been on Mrs Nelson.

4 Q. Yes. Well, there are two points on the left. The

5 second paragraph is absolutely directed to her, but the

6 request in the third refers to "those named".

7 Now, as far as we can tell, no other assessments

8 were undertaken.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Are you able to assist with why that was?

11 A. No, I'm not, but I do see the point that you are making

12 now, yes.

13 Q. Yes. So far as what P226 had done, it looks from the

14 second sentence of his report, doesn't it, as though the

15 first thing he did was to check his own records?

16 A. I would imagine that the first thing he would have

17 done -- obviously we will have to ask him, but I would

18 imagine he would have checked the records that were held

19 at Headquarters in registry.

20 Q. Yes. And then it looks from the second paragraph as

21 though he has spoken to the local offices, both

22 Portadown and Lurgan?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. Presumably that is how you would have understood it?

25 A. Yes, that looks obvious to me from that, yes.

79

1 Q. Indeed. Then thirdly, he has taken a specific look at

2 the address and telephone number and established that

3 they are in the public domain anyway because they are in

4 the Yellow Pages?

5 A. Yes, or he has been told by the local Lurgan office.

6 Q. Yes. In addition to those three types of search or

7 research that are referred to in his report, is there

8 anything else, any other kind of search, that you would

9 have expected P226 to undertake?

10 A. No, I don't think so, no. Because all intelligence

11 would either be held in headquarters or would not yet

12 have reached headquarters, or perhaps wouldn't have been

13 thought of as being important enough to go to

14 Headquarters and was taking its time.

15 Certainly during the Drumcree period and during the

16 summer period, these officers would have been under

17 tremendous pressure to produce Loyalist intelligence as

18 to what the Loyalists were doing, and they would have

19 been working around the clock. Sometimes there might

20 have been a slightly delay in stuff coming through, but

21 that was the purpose of telephone call check: is there

22 anything which we don't yet have? And I think in this

23 case he has obviously done that.

24 Q. If we have pamphlet on the left-hand side, please, and

25 that's RNI-102-091 (displayed), and go back to the

80

1 various claims. Remember, in the original memorandum

2 from Command Secretariat there was a reference to the

3 claims that were being made in the leaflet as a source

4 of concern to Rosemary Nelson. The report on the right

5 doesn't address, does it, the claim, for instance, that

6 she was a former bomber, she was a member of this motley

7 crew of alleged terrorists? It doesn't deal, does it,

8 specifically with any of those claims?

9 A. No, I think -- and this is the first time that I can

10 recall ever seeing this document. I don't remember it

11 originally, but --

12 Q. Sorry, do you mean the leaflet on the left?

13 A. Yes, the leaflet, yes.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. I recognise the names there, but, you know, my

16 assessment would be that whoever wrote this was

17 certainly not involved in the murder of Rosemary Nelson.

18 When people are talking about here, his plan was to

19 destroy the religious rights and freedoms of Hungarian

20 Protestants. That kind of sums up the quality of the

21 person who is putting this together. This document is

22 malicious, but it's not accurate. Bobby Storey was not

23 the chief of staff of the IRA and he's never been the

24 chief of staff of the IRA. He is a leading member of

25 the IRA, but he was not the chief of staff.

81

1 Spike Murray, they certainly have identified

2 a leading member of the IRA at the time, and obviously

3 Duffy. But -- I don't know Eamon Stack, but if he is

4 the Jesuit priest who was involved in the Garvaghy Road

5 Residents Coalition --

6 Q. Yes, he was.

7 A. -- my information is that he was an incredibly decent

8 man and was responsible for a lot of work to lower

9 tension in the area and, in fact, when he left that

10 committee things got far worse.

11 So whoever put this together is not really somebody

12 with their finger on the pulse. It is put together from

13 tittle-tattle. It is a malicious document, but I don't

14 think that it represents a threat in itself. I don't

15 think whoever did it would have been involved in any

16 sort of action.

17 Q. Can I just deal with the various comments you have made

18 in turn? The first is you say it is a malicious

19 document. It is a menacing document, isn't it?

20 A. Yes. Not one that would be altogether unfamiliar,

21 sadly, in our situation in Northern Ireland over that

22 period from 1970 to the late 1990s. These sorts of

23 things were produced on a very regular basis, I am

24 afraid.

25 Q. Yes. Was it likely that the sort of things that were

82

1 going on in Drumcree that year and perhaps previous

2 years, those are the conditions in which leaflets like

3 this would be handed out or publicised around the place?

4 A. Yes, that would be correct.

5 Q. In order on raise tension and create conflict?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. But certainly in relation to Rosemary Nelson and the

8 suggestion that she was a former bomber, you can

9 understand, can't you, why she found that intimidatory?

10 A. Yes, indeed, yes.

11 Q. Now, you also said right at the outset that you didn't

12 think -- I didn't ask you this question, but you

13 expressed the opinion, and I'm going to follow it

14 through with you: you didn't think that whoever produced

15 this leaflet had anything to do with the murder of

16 Rosemary Nelson?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is that based on its lack of coherence?

19 A. No, it would be -- well, it would be based on perhaps my

20 experience. Sadly, I have been involved in the

21 follow-ups to a large number of murders and I have

22 never, ever heard of anybody ever writing to somebody

23 beforehand or publicising -- publishing them or painting

24 their name on a wall and then going and killing them.

25 People just tend to go and kill you. They don't tend to

83

1 write something to warn you off beforehand. So the

2 warnings tend to be written by people who have basically

3 nothing better to do and think they're doing their bit

4 for one side or the other.

5 Q. What are they trying to do then by publicising leaflets

6 of this kind?

7 A. Whoever wrote this -- I would imagine that whoever wrote

8 this was trying to, as you described earlier, to raise

9 tension in the area at the time. I don't know --

10 obviously local SB in Portadown and Lurgan are saying

11 here that the leaflet was circulated by Loyalist

12 elements to heighten tension during the Drumcree period.

13 That sounds pretty logical to me, yes.

14 Q. But your assessment then is that this is the sort of

15 thing that would be produced by talkers rather than by

16 doers, if I can put it that way?

17 A. Yes, that would be a fair assessment.

18 Q. It is possible, of course, in this and no doubt other

19 cases that the talkers are in contact with the doers?

20 A. Yes, that would be the case. And in the case of the

21 Loyalists, I would say that is a fair assessment because

22 the Loyalist terrorists in that area at the time were

23 not -- they were very dangerous people, but they were

24 not what you could in any way describe as quality

25 people. They were people of low education, low IQ and

84

1 frequently on drink and drugs, and of course that was

2 one of the reasons why they were so dangerous, because

3 they would usually just get drunk or get high and say,

4 "Let's go and kill a Catholic" and that was incredibly

5 difficult to guard against.

6 Q. Therefore, presumably the impact of a leaflet like this

7 could nevertheless be very considerable. If it did

8 succeed in raising the blood pressure, raising the

9 temperature, it might be viewed as the perfect

10 opportunity to do something about it by individuals such

11 as you have described?

12 A. I wouldn't actually agree with that totally.

13 Q. Do you agree with it in part?

14 A. In part, yes, but it might be possible -- it might raise

15 the tension and the awareness level of somebody -- let's

16 say somebody had heard of Rosemary Nelson before they

17 saw this, they would say she is a bomber and some people

18 unfortunately will take that at face value, but I don't

19 think the people who would have killed her or who would

20 have been involved in any assassinations or anything

21 like that would have taken the cue from something as low

22 level as this.

23 It may have contributed perhaps to an overall

24 atmosphere and tension within the area, but whoever did

25 this act obviously didn't base it on this or -- I

85

1 wouldn't even say 1 per cent on that.

2 Q. Is that based on your own judgment of the sort of

3 operation, if I can put it that way, that led to the

4 murder of Rosemary Nelson?

5 A. No. I think at the time, if we go back to the profile

6 that Rosemary Nelson had at that time, she would have

7 been on television many, many nights of the week. So

8 the whole of the population, the Loyalist population of

9 Portadown, Lurgan, et cetera, everybody would have known

10 a great deal more about Rosemary Nelson than is

11 represented in this document.

12 My personal assessment of the document is that it

13 is -- its intelligence value is worthless and that it is

14 not -- if we stood to every time we got something of

15 this quality, then we would be running around chasing

16 our own tails.

17 Your point was that this perhaps raised the tension

18 and perhaps highlighted Mrs Nelson as a target. I would

19 say, no, what would have highlighted Mrs Nelson as

20 a target would have been her high profile on television,

21 her appearance at Garvaghy Road, her alleged

22 relationship with Colin Duffy, the person who had killed

23 a number of people to my certain knowledge. Those

24 things would have come a long way more important than

25 this document.

86

1 Q. And so far as your position in the desk thinking about

2 Rosemary Nelson in August 1998, you would have been

3 aware of all of those things you have just mentioned?

4 A. Yes.

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

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.

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

8 please confirm that all the cameras have been

9 switched off?

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

11 THE CHAIRMAN: We will adjourn until 2 o'clock. Please

12 escort the witness out.

13 (1.00 pm)

14 (The short adjournment)

15 (2.00 pm)

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

17 area screen fully in place, locked and the key secure?

18 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

20 closed?

21 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: The technical support screens in place and

23 securely fastened?

24 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than the Inquiry personnel

87

1 and Participants' local representatives seated in the

2 body of this chamber?

3 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), can you confirm that the two

5 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

7 THE CHAIRMAN: And all the other cameras have been

8 switched off?

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

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

11 Bring the witness in, please.

12 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

13 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

14 switched back on.

15 MR PHILLIPS: Can we have RNI-102-079 on the left-hand side

16 of the screen and RNI-102-084 on the right, please

17 (displayed)?

18 Now, returning to the specific case, the specific

19 report on Rosemary Nelson, which we see on the

20 right-hand side, P226's report, in terms of your

21 practice, would you have checked a response of this kind

22 against the original tasking or request to make sure

23 that the matters asked for had been dealt with?

24 A. Yes, but I actually don't know -- did this document come

25 back through me?

88

1 Q. Yes, it did.

2 A. In theory, yes, and if I was doing my job properly, I

3 would have addressed it. And very often what I did find

4 was when I asked others to report -- to write reports

5 for me -- I would to correct the reports and put them

6 into the format and, dare I say it, sometimes even

7 correct the grammar and so on before something would go

8 to an outside agency.

9 We would not want to send something up the hill, as

10 we called it, to Stormont or to the Security Service or

11 the FBI unless it read well.

12 Q. Did the same apply to Command Secretariat?

13 A. Yes, generally speaking the standard was reasonably

14 good, but the problem was on occasions simply the sheer

15 volume of work that we dealt with. Things would slip

16 through. Mistakes unquestionably were made.

17 Q. Do you think this is a case where, if you'd checked

18 carefully, you'd have seen that the specific points

19 raised on the left weren't all addressed on the right?

20 A. Yes, I think that is the case. That is a fair comment,

21 yes.

22 Q. If we go to your statement, paragraph 16, RNI-846-063

23 (displayed), and have that on the screen, you were

24 asked:

25 "I have been asked whether I would have discussed

89

1 the content of the report with the sergeant. I can't

2 recall whether I did on this particular occasion, but

3 typically I would not have done so."

4 So that suggests, doesn't it, that even if you

5 decided to make some corrections of the kind you

6 mentioned, you wouldn't ordinarily have had

7 a discussion?

8 A. Perhaps that is slightly misleading. If I had thought

9 that there were major corrections to be made, then I

10 would have had a discussion with whoever would have

11 prepared it for me, yes, because I might have instructed

12 them to readdress the issue rather than do it myself.

13 Q. Just looking at the text of the report on the right, we

14 went through this earlier, but you see it appears he has

15 checked the office records, he has checked with local

16 branches and he has done the research on the address and

17 telephone number. Are there any other steps that you

18 would have expected him to take in E3C?

19 A. No, I don't think so, no. If he had checked registry,

20 that would have given us the historical database, which

21 may have been up-to-date to within, perhaps, a week. If

22 he had then phoned the local office -- and in this case

23 he phoned both local offices, it would appear -- then

24 that's quite comprehensive, yes.

25 Q. This witness says in his statement that on some

90

1 occasions when he considered it necessary, he would

2 check with the desks; in other words, with you in A and

3 your colleagues, presumably, in B. There is nothing in

4 the report to suggest that he had done that before

5 writing the reports, is there?

6 A. No, there is not.

7 Q. Do you have any recollection of a checking process,

8 involving you at any rate, before this report was

9 compiled?

10 A. No, I do not.

11 Q. Do you think with hindsight that that would have been

12 a good idea in this case?

13 A. He may have done so, but I have no recollection of it.

14 At that point, my recollection would be that I was the

15 Acting Detective Chief Inspector for E3A, but I would

16 have also been fulfilling my role as the desk officer

17 for South Region at the same time.

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. I am afraid when you acted up, you didn't go and leave

20 that work behind; you had to do both.

21 Q. Effectively doing two jobs?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. So if somebody had wanted to check on the South

24 Republican side, it would still have been to you?

25 A. Yes.

91

1 Q. And you have no recollection that of happening?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Can I ask now for you to look at paragraph 10 of your

4 statement, which is at RNI-840-061 on the left-hand

5 side, please, RNI-840-061 (displayed), because there is

6 another comment you make about the text based, no doubt,

7 on your experience, and it is in the last two sentences

8 where you talk about his contact with local

9 Special Branch. You say in the penultimate sentence:

10 "It is not clear from his report whether or not

11 local Special Branch had contacted their sources

12 directly about this request. It looks like they may

13 have responded on the information they already had."

14 And that is something you derive, is it, from the

15 text on the right?

16 A. Yes, the position within the local Special Branch

17 offices was that they really did know a great deal about

18 what was happening in their areas. That was their

19 entire focus, their entire job. And on occasions they

20 would retask the source, we would seek the source to be

21 retasked.

22 I would be very surprised if the local

23 Special Branch office were not in a position to say,

24 "Look, that leaflet -- and I must emphasise that leaflet

25 may only have been one of 50 leaflets that were

92

1 published in the Portadown and Lurgan areas that year --

2 the place -- this is a great place. Northern Ireland,

3 you may not be aware, is a great place for publishing

4 leaflets, writing songs, coming up with proposals,

5 painting murals on gable walls and so on. So there may

6 have been a huge number of these. Indeed, there were

7 Loyalist newspapers; there were even -- I know from

8 personal experience because I subsequently volunteered

9 for duty at Drumcree for many years -- that there were

10 websites publishing this sort of material. I would be

11 very surprised if the local SB office did not already

12 know about this.

13 Q. Yes. Now, from the report itself there is no

14 indication, is there, that the sergeant was aware of all

15 of the matters that you mentioned just before the break,

16 the matters concerning Rosemary Nelson, her

17 representation of the Garvaghy Road, her television

18 appearances and the alleged relationship with

19 Colin Duffy?

20 A. There's no reference to that, no.

21 Q. But as you say, that was material of which you were

22 aware?

23 A. Yes, that is my recollection, yes.

24 Q. I know you have seen now some examples of Special Branch

25 reporting on those and other topics concerning

93

1 Rosemary Nelson, and that was coming across your desk in

2 1997 and 1998, wasn't it?

3 A. I would imagine so, yes.

4 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the next stage of this is

5 concerned, if we look at RNI-102-083 (displayed), we can

6 see that you pass the report on up to the Head of the

7 IMG without any further comment. And if we just follow

8 this logically, RNI-102-082 (displayed), we can see, I

9 think, the next stage -- yes -- up to the

10 Assistant Chief Constable, the Head of Special Branch.

11 Then finally RNI-102-081 (displayed), I think, it goes

12 back -- yes -- to Command Secretariat where the whole

13 thing had begun.

14 So far as your position is concerned, you say in

15 paragraph 16 of your statement -- if we could have that

16 on the left-hand side, please, RNI-840-063

17 (displayed) -- in the sentences just after the passage

18 we looked at:

19 "I believe on this occasion I might have bumped into

20 him in the corridor at Headquarters and raised a query

21 in relation to reports that he prepared from time to

22 time. But on the majority of occasions I would simply

23 have passed the information on."

24 Now, is that because the sort of reports that E3C

25 was preparing were the sort of Security Branch reports

94

1 we talked about earlier?

2 A. It wasn't the norm for E3C to prepare a great many

3 reports. Most of their day job was simply making

4 sure -- as I recall it, making sure that certain

5 documentation went into the correct files and so on.

6 And I do recall talking to the sergeant in this case.

7 I don't remember talking to him on this occasion, but

8 I do remember that often he would bump into in the

9 corridor and he would ask me a question about something,

10 and I would give him my answer or do my best to get an

11 answer for him.

12 Q. Yes. But as far as you were concerned, in this

13 particular case from the documents, it looks as though

14 he was setting out a report of what intelligence was

15 held --

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. -- from the various sources that we have been through,

18 and you saw your job as simply to pass it up the chain?

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

20 Q. And all of that suggests, doesn't it, that whatever was

21 going on here, it wasn't an expert, detailed threat

22 assessment of the kind that you and I were discussing

23 earlier?

24 A. We did not produce detailed threat assessments. The

25 term was used, but that's not the business we were in.

95

1 Q. No. Now, if you had been asked or tasked, as people

2 say, to produce a detailed threat assessment on

3 Rosemary Nelson, presumably you would have considered

4 all of the matters that you told us about before lunch

5 in addition to the specific point about pamphlet?

6 A. Yes, I would have considered those, yes -- if I had been

7 producing a threat assessment?

8 Q. Oh, yes.

9 A. Yes, I think that anybody who would be producing

10 a genuine threat assessment would look at all available

11 matters, yes, all available --

12 Q. But you said specifically before lunch that those

13 matters, the appearances on television, the appearance

14 on Garvaghy Road, the relationship with Colin Duffy,

15 those would come a long way more important than this

16 document in terms of any genuine threat assessment?

17 A. Yes, I believe that would be the case, but of course

18 Mrs Nelson and others were not unique in this. Half the

19 population of Northern Ireland, you know, was getting

20 publicity at the time.

21 Q. At this stage, August 1998, were you aware that

22 allegations were being made and investigated by the RUC

23 that threats to her had been made by police officers to

24 her clients in the holding centres?

25 A. No --

96

1 Q. You weren't aware of that?

2 A. I do not believe so, no.

3 Q. Were you aware that her safety by this stage had become

4 a matter of great concern to NGOs, the Irish Government,

5 in other words various outside bodies?

6 A. I was not aware of that at all, no.

7 Q. Did you know, do you think, by this stage in August 1998

8 that she alleged she had been assaulted at Drumcree on

9 the Garvaghy Road the previous year in 1997 by a police

10 officer?

11 A. No, I wasn't aware of that.

12 Q. Were you aware that in February 1998 another request for

13 a threat assessment had been made, again, this time

14 originating from the NIO, and a short report by way of

15 threat assessment produced by local Special Branch in

16 Lurgan?

17 A. I don't think I was aware of that, no. I have no

18 recollection of that.

19 Q. Again, presumably if that had been something considered,

20 there would have been reference back to the documents,

21 consideration of what view had then been reached and

22 whether anything had changed in the six months?

23 A. Yes, I have no recollection of either an earlier threat

24 assessment or -- no, I can't -- I have no recollection

25 of anything to do with that, no.

97

1 Q. Now, the final thing I wanted to ask you about we can

2 see at RNI-115-351 (displayed). There, you see this is

3 just a better copy of a document that I know you have

4 seen. This is a threat note addressed to her at the

5 office address we looked at earlier.

6 As I understand it, that was not something you saw

7 in the course of this episode in August 1998?

8 A. I have no recollection of seeing that, no.

9 Q. No. Just looking back, therefore, at the situation as

10 it actually was in August 1998, you have told us in

11 outline the sort of intelligence which was coming across

12 your desk in relation to her, but you have also told us

13 the things that you didn't know about, you think, at

14 this stage?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. In order to conduct a full assessment of her safety, the

17 threat to her at this stage, presumably the assessor

18 should have had in front of him all of these bits and

19 pieces of information because they are the things that

20 made up the total picture, aren't they?

21 A. I think it depends on who would be doing this threat

22 assessment.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. If we are talking about somebody outside Special Branch,

25 they would not see any Special Branch documentation.

98

1 Q. No.

2 A. So I find it difficult to follow the point really. If

3 it was -- in an ideal world, in a perfect world, if

4 somebody was doing a threat assessment on Mrs Nelson,

5 they would of course have access to every single piece

6 of intelligence there was, and not only intelligence but

7 open source material.

8 So if it were the likes of Security Branch perhaps

9 who had been perhaps requested to protect her home or

10 something like that, they would have looked at all of

11 the open source material that they could gather and then

12 they would have asked special Branch for anything they

13 had in secret or sensitive sources. But I can't think

14 of any one person who would be tasked with writing

15 a genuine threat assessment who would have had access to

16 all the intelligence.

17 Q. So, so far as the way the RUC worked at this stage, the

18 way Special Branch worked, is concerned, there wasn't

19 a system, was there, whereby one person within

20 Special Branch could consider all of this range of

21 intelligence and open source material in order to arrive

22 at a detailed threat assessment?

23 A. No, there was no requirement at the time for anybody in

24 Special Branch to be writing detailed threat

25 assessments. That was not our business.

99

1 Q. If this note we have got on the screen had been included

2 in the papers coming down to you and you had been told

3 that it had been delivered to the work address,

4 presumably that is something that you on your desk and,

5 no doubt, P226 on his, would have been wanted to

6 consider?

7 A. I don't see that it has any real relevance to a threat

8 to Mrs Nelson. I'm surprised that there is only one of

9 these on the screen. I'm surprised that she wasn't

10 getting them every day of the week.

11 Q. Why do you say that?

12 A. Because of the hostility that there was to her in the

13 Loyalist community in the period of Drumcree and the

14 very high profile that she had and the fact that the

15 office address was known. I would imagine there would

16 have been rarely a week go by without something -- the

17 mentality of people who write this sort of thing is not

18 great and many of them never leave their own homes.

19 They are not a threat to anybody. They are sad people.

20 Q. You would put this in the same category, would you, as

21 the pamphlet?

22 A. I would. In no way did the person or persons

23 responsible for that -- were they involved, in my

24 opinion and experience, in the murder or any other acts

25 of that nature and seriousness.

100

1 Q. So does this summarise the situation based on what you

2 have just been saying and what you said before lunch:

3 that in a sense her position was such that, as you say,

4 there were already a number of much more important

5 things which related to her threat, the risk that she

6 ran, and this sort of item or pamphlet really didn't add

7 anything and wasn't significant; is that a fair way of

8 putting it?

9 A. That would be my opinion, my individual opinion, yes.

10 Q. But that doesn't presumably in any way detract from the

11 things you describe as having importance and their at

12 least potential impact on her and the her own safety?

13 A. Yes, I think that it is important to remember -- put it

14 in context -- that there would have been in the

15 Portadown and Lurgan areas, in the Craigavon area,

16 a large number of other people who would have been in

17 exactly the same position. There were people such as

18 Breandan Mac Cionnaith, there would have been various

19 Loyalists, Billy Wright was down there, who was

20 subsequently assassinated, police officers -- there were

21 just a huge number of people who would have been targets

22 for one organisation or the other.

23 So, you know, the likes of this note that we see

24 here, to my mind, doesn't add any weight to a threat

25 against Mrs Nelson.

101

1 Q. Can I ask you specifically in relation to this

2 a question about the term "specific threat" because we

3 have seen that in various documents? The sort of

4 allegations I mentioned earlier to you are allegations

5 where it was said by her clients that threats were made,

6 or derogatory comments, to them --

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. -- by police officers. In other words, it was

9 second-hand or probably third-hand by the time it moved

10 on from Lurgan. This is rather more direct, isn't it,

11 because it is sent to her by somebody who says, "We have

12 got you in our sights, RIP"? Does this, in your view of

13 the matter, amount to specific threat?

14 A. No, one could say -- it is a play of words, of course --

15 it is a specific threat, but it is not a credible

16 threat.

17 Q. Exactly.

18 A. That's the difference.

19 Q. So the point you are making is not that it isn't

20 a specific one, but it is one that you didn't regard,

21 based on your experience, as being credible?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. It is a direct threat?

24 A. It is, yes.

25 Q. And in that sense, of course, it is different to the

102

1 cases of the clients who were told X by a police

2 officer. It comes straight to Rosemary Nelson,

3 doesn't it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So, again, can I ask you: on that basis alone it

6 presumably was something that should at least have been

7 considered in looking at her position in the summer of

8 1998?

9 A. If it had have been on the file, it would have been

10 considered, but I think -- I would hate to give the

11 impression that we became very blasť about these things,

12 but such was the volume of things you were dealing

13 with -- and I hope this doesn't sound arrogant -- but I

14 wouldn't give that any credibility at all.

15 These sorts of things have been received in their

16 thousands in this province over the past few years.

17 Q. You would have expected, I think you said earlier, that

18 somebody who was as hated as she was in the Loyalist

19 community to be receiving substantial amounts of this

20 sort of treatment?

21 A. I would have imagined that Mrs Nelson would have been

22 the subject of a great deal of verbal abuse, perhaps

23 people shouting at her as she drove past or walked past.

24 I have no knowledge that she was ever assaulted in the

25 street or verbally abused in the street, but I would

103

1 imagine that snide comments would be made and so on and

2 so forth, yes.

3 Q. Can I turn to the question of how she was regarded in

4 your department? At paragraph 17 of your statement --

5 and this is RNI-840-064 (displayed) -- I think in

6 fairness to you this is before you were reminded of the

7 reporting which was coming across your desk, which you

8 mentioned earlier -- you have asked what your general

9 aware of Rosemary Nelson was at that time:

10 "It is some years ago, so it's not easy to recall.

11 However, I do believe I was aware of her in a general

12 sense, but I did not have any direct or personal

13 knowledge of her. I certainly never saw or met

14 Mrs Nelson at any point."

15 As I say, since then you have obviously seen the

16 material showing certain things, at least, that you did

17 know as a result of intelligence. You then go on to say

18 that you knew a lot about Colin Duffy, and clearly there

19 would have been -- and we have seen it again in our

20 bundles -- a substantial amount of reporting about him?

21 A. Yes, indeed.

22 Q. And, as you have seen, reporting about him and her?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And that, presumably, was one of the ways in which she

25 was of interest to Special Branch, precisely because of

104

1 the perceived close connection between her and

2 Colin Duffy?

3 A. Yes, I would say that was the case. I would add that I

4 had long experience of Special Branch and long

5 experience as a desk officer and subsequently in CID

6 intelligence.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. And I can only recall perhaps two or thee other

9 solicitors ever having anything written on them. Most

10 solicitors most certainly didn't. I can recall at least

11 one on the Loyalist side and at least two I can remember

12 now who were very, very closely associated with the

13 Provisional IRA, and that is the only way that they

14 would have actually had a separate file on their own or

15 would have generated the amount of interest.

16 It was because of her close association with Duffy.

17 Had she not had the close association with Duffy or the

18 Garvaghy Road, in the normal course of her legal duties

19 in the courts and in a solicitors' office, she wouldn't

20 really have come to the attention a great deal of the

21 local office at all.

22 Q. Was she believed by you at this stage to be very

23 sympathetic to the Provisional IRA?

24 A. I don't really recall really having any opinion.

25 I probably would have thought that she was very

105

1 sympathetic to Colin Duffy. I don't know about the

2 Provisional IRA in general, but certainly to

3 Colin Duffy, yes. I don't recall having a definite

4 opinion.

5 I do remember actually that on the morning that she

6 was murdered, I can remember exactly where I was because

7 I was at a conference and somebody opened the door and

8 said a bomb had just gone off under her car. And at

9 that stage we thought she was only injured and we were

10 shocked and surprised because we wondered where the

11 Loyalists had got a viable device from because that was

12 not their form. They were normally too incompetent to

13 do that sort of thing, because we were used to hearing

14 about the Provisionals blowing people up with under car

15 booby traps, but not the Loyalists. And I can remember

16 us actually hoping that she was not too badly injured.

17 Then word came through that she was very seriously

18 injured and then word came through that she was actually

19 dead. Then I can remember people saying, "Wait 'till you

20 see now the allegations of collusion will start all over

21 again here." I can remember exactly that morning,

22 exactly what seat I was sitting in in the conference

23 room when it happened.

24 Q. Because the significance of the murder was obvious to

25 you and your colleagues immediately?

106

1 A. Obvious immediately, yes.

2 Q. Just going back then to the question of attitude, you

3 know, I think, from the statement of the former Head of

4 the IMG that he certainly believed there was a feeling

5 within Special Branch that she abused her role as

6 a solicitor by assisting the Provisional IRA and their

7 members with false alibis, for example?

8 A. I have seen a document today --

9 Q. Shall we look at that on the screen?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. It is RNI-846-161. (Pause)

12 Is there a problem with that document? I take

13 silence --

14 MR MCGIBNEY: There is an issue with this document.

15 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you. Do you have a hard copy of it?

16 A. If you refresh me, I will be happy enough.

17 Q. He deals with the question of the relationship between

18 Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson. This is paragraph 24,

19 and the statement goes on:

20 "I recall either reading some intelligence or was

21 told verbally that Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson had a

22 very close romantic relationship. I cannot remember if

23 I heard about this before or after the murder. It's

24 likely that I heard about this when I was Head of IMG

25 and was reading some of the reports that came through

107

1 the desks.

2 "I have been asked if this made Rosemary Nelson

3 a person of interest to Special Branch. Mrs Nelson's

4 association with Colin Duffy brought her to our

5 attention as Colin Duffy was a person of great interest

6 to us. My perception of her was that she was very

7 sympathetic to PIRA and would have compromised her

8 responsibilities as a solicitor to assist PIRA and

9 especially Colin Duffy.

10 "This perception was based on intelligence reports I

11 had read about her and briefings I had listened to from

12 South Region. These reports and conversations were both

13 pre and post her murder.

14 "There was a feeling within Special Branch that

15 Mrs Nelson abused her role as a solicitor by assisting

16 PIRA members with false alibis."

17 Was that a feeling that you yourself were aware of

18 at the time?

19 A. I can't -- I can say that I possess that feeling now, I

20 think, but I don't really recall at the time having it.

21 I don't recall -- I certainly, as I have said in my

22 statement, I certainly never ever met or saw Mrs Nelson

23 and she would not have been one of the people that

24 I personally would have been paying a great deal of

25 attention to as a desk officer. Colly Duffy, yes, and

108

1 her by association, but I was also looking at a large

2 number of other terrorists within South Region who at

3 that time were still very, very active indeed, and

4 although some of them were allegedly on ceasefire and so

5 on were very active. So I honestly can't remember what

6 opinion I would have had of her.

7 Q. You didn't think of her as being an IRA lawyer?

8 A. I didn't think of her as being an IRA member and she

9 most certainly was not. I can think of only one lawyer

10 in my experience that I could put my hand on my heart

11 and say that man was a sworn-in member of the IRA.

12 There were others who were sympathetic. There was one,

13 I think, who was a member of the UVF, but Mrs Nelson was

14 not a member of any proscribed organisation.

15 Q. But did you have the view, for instance, that she would

16 or might be prepared to compromise her responsibilities

17 as a solicitor to assist the IRA and, if not the IRA,

18 assist Colin Duffy?

19 A. I think that -- yes, I think that would be true to the

20 extent of within the legal field, if you like. But I

21 don't think for one minute that she would assist the IRA

22 in perhaps providing a get away or doing reconnaissance

23 or placing a device somewhere. I don't think that for

24 one moment.

25 Q. Is it possible that if an attitude of this kind was

109

1 held, these beliefs were held in E3, that that might

2 have affected the way in which a threat assessment,

3 intelligence assessment on that person, Rosemary Nelson,

4 was conducted?

5 A. No, that wouldn't have had any influence at all.

6 Q. None at all?

7 A. Not in my experience. I do know that over the years

8 that the -- that we actually warned many, many

9 Republicans who were active IRA killers, if you like,

10 that their names had been found on lists which had been

11 recovered from Loyalists and so on and so forth. So I

12 don't think that that would have made any difference to

13 the actual work that was done.

14 People may have held an opinion, but it wouldn't

15 have influenced what was written on paper or what

16 actually happened, no.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 A. Definitely not.

19 Q. Can I just briefly show you a couple of other

20 assessments at the same time, picking up a point you

21 made yourself actually in relation to others who were in

22 a similar position to Rosemary Nelson at this sort of

23 time.

24 The first is in relation to Joe Duffy. Can we have

25 on the left-hand side of the screen, please,

110

1 RNI-102-084, and on the right-hand side of the screen

2 RNI-101-321.503 (displayed)? Thank you.

3 Now, trying to make sense of this document on the

4 right-hand side, this appears to be a request at the end

5 of July 1998, so rather before the 7 August memo we have

6 been looking at in relation to Rosemary Nelson, and it

7 comes from Security Branch, doesn't it? We can see that

8 at the bottom of the page?

9 A. Yes, that's correct.

10 Q. And comes in to E3:

11 "Please provide me with a report of any known, past,

12 or current intelligence that would indicate a terrorist

13 threat to the following person."

14 Then Councillor Duffy's name appears. If we look at

15 the product or what was prepared in response, we see it

16 at -- and could we have this again on the right-hand

17 side of the screen, please -- RNI-101-325.500

18 (displayed). Thank you.

19 It is actually, I think, signed by you on behalf of

20 the Detective Superintendent; is that right?

21 A. Yes, that's correct.

22 Q. It is dated 6 August, so a week after the request, and

23 two weeks before the report on the left-hand side of the

24 screen. Do you see that?

25 A. Yes, I do.

111

1 Q. And can I take it then that this was a report that you

2 yourself made?

3 A. I cannot recall writing that and I may not have written

4 it. My sergeant may have written it or my constable may

5 have written it.

6 Q. But this then falls, does it, into the sort category of

7 the sort of reports we discussed this morning, namely

8 where the requests were coming in from Security Branch

9 with their own concerns in mind?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So is it likely that a request would have gone to

12 registry or E3C for their assistance in getting together

13 all the relevant material?

14 A. Yes, indeed. It could have been EC3 or somebody from

15 the desks may have done the research themselves.

16 Q. And it says:

17 "With reference to your request dated 29 July, this

18 office holds no intelligence to indicate any specific

19 threat exists against Councillor Duffy from

20 paramilitaries. We are aware, however, of his position

21 within the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition, and due to

22 heightened tensions in the aftermath of Drumcree, it is

23 considered that he would attract the attention of hard

24 line Loyalists. Despite the lack of specific

25 intelligence to indicate an enhanced threat to Mr Duffy,

112

1 it is assessed that there would be a significant level

2 of threat to the subject from Loyalist elements."

3 So it looks then as though your conclusion here is

4 that despite there being no specific intelligence to

5 indicate an enhanced threat, there nevertheless, on your

6 assessment, was a significant level of threat to him?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. And it must follow surely that that significant level of

9 threat arose as a result of his involvement in the GRRC?

10 A. Yes. I don't think -- I'm quite confident that

11 I personally -- I didn't write this, but I take

12 responsibility for it because I signed it.

13 Q. So what you are doing, as I understand it, is to say,

14 look, we do not have anything pointing in particular to

15 an enhanced threat for this individual, but because of

16 his known position we think that he is at a significant

17 level of threat in any event?

18 A. Yes, that's correct.

19 Q. Now, you know -- and you have told us you knew at the

20 time -- that Rosemary Nelson was the lawyer to the

21 Residents Coalition. The exercise on the left-hand side

22 took place at very much the same time, shortly after the

23 Drumcree episode of 1998. Why is it that her

24 involvement in that bitter conflict was not referred to,

25 do you think, on the left-hand side in the sergeant's

113

1 report?

2 A. I think it is obvious that the reports were written by

3 two different people at two different times, and there

4 is a lack of consistency, which is a result of the

5 position that Special Branch were put in in the requests

6 for these threat assessments, so-called threat

7 assessments, which I think I maybe mentioned earlier,

8 possibly mentioned earlier, was a source of continual

9 discussion between Security Branch and Special Branch,

10 in that -- I was quite surprised to see the document on

11 the right-hand side saying that despite the lack of

12 specific intelligence to indicate an enhanced threat, it

13 is assessed that there will be a significant level,

14 because that is possibly there because Security Branch

15 specifically came and saw us and asked for it.

16 I don't know because I can't remember this one, but

17 there was always a lack of consistency in these things,

18 I think.

19 Q. Because with hindsight it would have been possible to

20 arrive at exactly the same conclusions in relation to

21 Rosemary Nelson, wouldn't it?

22 A. Yes, indeed, and I think -- but to be fair also, I think

23 also several thousands of other people at the same time.

24 I would assess that the threat to, for example --

25 the threat to Councillor Duffy -- and I have no

114

1 recollection of even hearing of this man, to be honest,

2 I don't know anything about him -- but the threat to

3 Councillor Duffy would have been significantly less than

4 the threat to, say, the 12,000 police officers that were

5 in the Province at the time because throughout the

6 Troubles they were all targets for assassination at home

7 as well as on duty.

8 So in context, there were also a huge number of

9 other people -- prison officers, members of the Ulster

10 Defence Regiment, top civil servants, various other

11 people -- who were all under threat. So it could be

12 assessed that everybody who held those positions was at

13 a high level of threat.

14 Q. But you have to assume that whoever actually drafted

15 this was well aware of all of those points at the time

16 this document was drafted?

17 A. Yes, indeed, quite.

18 Q. And nevertheless concluded in his particular case that

19 there was a significant level of threat.

20 Now, as I say, with hindsight it would have been

21 possible, just on the Garvaghy Road point alone, to

22 arrive at the same conclusion for Rosemary Nelson,

23 wouldn't it?

24 A. Yes, I agree with you, yes.

25 Q. And that is without taking any account of the other

115

1 intelligence or information you had and the information

2 that I've mentioned to you which you didn't have?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Thank you. Can we just look, please, at the situation

5 of Mr Mac Cionnaith himself and put another document on

6 the right-hand side of the screen, and that's

7 RNI-101-331.500 (displayed)? Thank you.

8 Again, with hesitation I point out that it bears

9 your cipher and your signature, and you can tell us in

10 a minute whether you think you wrote it. 12 August, on

11 Councillor Mac Cionnaith, addressed to the same person

12 at Security Branch:

13 "With reference to the query dated 29 July ..."

14 That is the same date as the Joe Duffy request:

15 "... this office is aware that ... "

16 Then you give details of an anonymous letter being

17 received at the ITV newsroom. Do you see that?

18 A. Yes, indeed.

19 Q. "However, due to the anonymity of the letter, it is not

20 possible to assess its authenticity. And

21 Mr Mac Cionnaith, being a convicted IRA terrorist and

22 the principal Republican protagonist in the Drumcree

23 stand-off situation, is well-known throughout the

24 Province. His views would no doubt attract the

25 attentions of Loyalist elements. Therefore, insofar as

116

1 Special Branch are concerned, and in the absence of any

2 intelligence to the contrary, it is assessed that we

3 hold no intelligence to indicate a specific threat to

4 the subject."

5 A. I can say that I definitely did not write that because

6 I know my style of writing, but I take responsibility

7 for it because I obviously signed it when it came across

8 my desk.

9 Q. You can see that this report takes the same basic facts,

10 his involvement in the Garvaghy Road, has to consider on

11 top the direct threats, namely the anonymous letter, but

12 concludes that there is no specific threat, and that's

13 it.

14 It doesn't go on, as in the other case, to say

15 notwithstanding there is a significant level of threat

16 in this case because of his involvement in

17 Garvaghy Road.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. So there is a further example of inconsistency here,

20 isn't there?

21 A. Yes, indeed, yes.

22 Q. Can you explain it?

23 A. Only to say that different people wrote it at different

24 times, and it says there in the last paragraph:

25 "Insofar as -- and this is how I know I definitely

117

1 didn't write it because I wouldn't write in this way:

2 "Therefore, insofar as Special Branch are concerned,

3 and in the absence of intelligence to the contrary, it

4 is assessed that we hold no intelligence to indicate a

5 specific threat to the subject."

6 Now, basically what we are saying there is we don't

7 hold any intelligence.

8 Q. It doesn't really make sense, that sentence?

9 A. It doesn't, and I most certainly did not write it. But

10 I agree -- I concede your point. And I think it fair,

11 this inconsistency was -- there would be many, many more

12 examples of this if one looks at the threat to

13 policemen's lives.

14 I can remember a number of situations where police

15 officers believed that they were under threat, but

16 because we had no intelligence to say that they were

17 under threat at their homes, we were not able to give

18 Security Branch any guidance. We had to just simply

19 say, "We hold no intelligence" and, therefore, they were

20 not given the option of moving under the SPED scheme.

21 I have actually had police officers virtually in

22 tears because they have moved totally at their own

23 expense because they believed that they were under

24 threat, but we had no intelligence to back it up. And

25 sometimes we would say, "It is assessed that he may be

118

1 under some threat", but more often than not if we had no

2 intelligence, we just had to say, "Sorry, we have no

3 intelligence". So you are quite right, there was

4 a level of inconsistency there.

5 Q. But can I just put it slightly further. There was

6 inconsistency here, three documents within three weeks,

7 all of which came across your desk?

8 A. Yes, but what I would say is -- and I accept, because my

9 signature is on those things -- but that I might have

10 been dealing with 100 documents a day and my signature

11 would appear on literally thousands and thousands of

12 documents.

13 Q. So the truth is that, perhaps because of the volume of

14 material you were dealing with and the sheer volume of

15 work you had to do, you weren't able to take

16 a considered, careful look at this sort of material as

17 it crossed your desk?

18 A. I'm not sure -- I think that's a fair point, yes, in

19 that there might be inconsistencies due to the volume of

20 work, yes. I think that's a fair point.

21 Q. Those are the only questions I have for you. However,

22 I always say at this point that if there is anything you

23 would like to add to the matters you have already

24 raised, this is your opportunity to do so.

25 A. No. I think I have made the points that it was a very

119

1 busy office, everybody was treated straight down the

2 line and I think we did make mistakes, but generally

3 speaking E3 worked very efficiently as a general rule.

4 Nothing further to add, thank you.

5 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

6 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Could I just ask one further

7 question? You have talked several times about the

8 volume of work, which I fully understand, and the very

9 large number of people who were under threat at that

10 time in Northern Ireland.

11 Several times when you have given examples, it has

12 been of servants of the state, if I can put it that way,

13 who were under threat. Can you give me some idea, just

14 very, very roughly, what proportion of that huge volume

15 that was crossing your desk was of non-state servants?

16 A. Who were under threat?

17 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Whom you were being asked about.

18 A. The actual number of -- the actual number of threat

19 assessments, as they were called, that we were asked

20 for, I have no recollection now of how many there were

21 from -- most of them would have come from

22 Security Branch and I don't think it would be very

23 difficult to find out from Security Branch, from their

24 records, as to how many there would have been.

25 I honestly could not answer what the proportion

120

1 would have been whether they would have been civilians

2 or servants of the state. I am afraid I wouldn't have

3 the information to answer that, but there would have

4 been a lot of police officers, prison officers, Royal

5 Irish Regiments, top civil servants and so on, judges in

6 particular were virtually all threat -- I'm sorry

7 I couldn't be more specific on that.

8 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: We are very grateful for the very helpful and

10 frank way you have given your evidence.

11 Before the witness leaves, Mr (name redacted), would you

12 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

13 off?

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

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out. We shall

16 adjourn for 20 minutes.

17 (2.47 pm)

18 (Short break)

19 (3.10 pm)

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist.

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

22 the key secured?

23 MR CURRANS: Yes.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: And the fire doors on either side of the

25 screen closed?

121

1 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

3 and securely fastened?

4 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

6 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

7 of this chamber?

8 MR CURRANS: No.

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

10 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

11 shrouded?

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

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

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

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

16 Bring the witness in, please.

17 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

18 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

19 switched back on.

20 Please take the oath.

21 P226 (sworn)

22 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down. Yes, Mr Phillips?

24 MR PHILLIPS: I think you have made a single statement to

25 the Inquiry. Can we see it on the screen, please, at

122

1 RNI-840-051 (displayed)? I think we see your cipher and

2 the date of 14 March last year on RNI-840-057

3 (displayed).

4 Now, can I go back to the beginning of your

5 statement, please, paragraph 1 at RNI-840-051

6 (displayed). We have it on the screen. You tell us in

7 the second paragraph when you joined the RUC, in 1978

8 and your promotion to sergeant, and it is in that rank

9 that you were in 1998, wasn't it, when you undertook the

10 report, the intelligence report on Rosemary Nelson,

11 which you deal with in your statement?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Thank you. So far as your part of E3 is concerned, do

14 you see in the second sentence of paragraph 2, you say

15 you applied for a position in EC3. I think it was

16 actually E3C. Is that right?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. So can we look, please, together at the chart we have of

19 the structure of Special Branch in the late 1990s, to

20 see where you fitted in (displayed)?

21 We see E3C, don't we, there on the left-hand side

22 under the darker blue E3 desks. Do you see that?

23 A. Yes, indeed, yes.

24 Q. Thank you very much. Now, we have heard a good deal of

25 evidence already today about the structure of E3 and I'm

123

1 not going to go over that with you, but I would like to

2 ask you specifically about E3C itself?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. What was its role within E3?

5 A. Well, originally when I went there, the role was --

6 basically it was a fairly basic role in that I run the

7 Special Branch registry telephones at the time and that

8 included sort of evenings and night duty, to cover for

9 (inaudible) units calling in.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. We also dealt with intelligence documents that came in

12 that had to be filed in registry. They obviously -- the

13 registry obviously had to be told where these documents

14 were to be put, in what files. My team read them and

15 decided where they were put, in what files they were

16 put. That was their original task at the outset when

17 I went to the unit.

18 Q. How did it change and at what period?

19 A. It changed on the introduction of computerisation, and

20 on the introduction of the computerisation the documents

21 were then sent through the computer obviously from

22 regions and so on, source units. And our job then

23 changed in that as the SIR documents arrived at

24 Headquarters, we would have read them and directed their

25 dissemination as to where they should have gone to.

124

1 Q. Within E3?

2 A. No, within the whole security sort of -- the whole

3 intelligence network, if you like. The documents were

4 all -- they had different classifications, different

5 caveats. The caveat really was the dictator as to who

6 got the document.

7 Q. Yes. So you were responsible at this stage then, once

8 the computers had come in, were you, for making sure

9 that agencies outside the RUC received the right

10 information?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Were you also responsible for dissemination decisions

15 within Special Branch?

16 A. No.

17 Q. No. But essentially then your role was in the

18 collection originally of documents and then the correct

19 filing of documents, and then later the management of

20 the computer records and their dissemination. Is that

21 right?

22 A. Well, basically the management of the computer records

23 as the SIR documents came in, they were pre-determined,

24 in that the caveat dictated where this document went to

25 and who was going to be privileged to read it.

125

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. So, therefore, once we decided -- we read it and, say,

3 the caveat was NDD outside level 19, which meant that

4 document was going nowhere. Then another document was

5 produced off it, which was called a SIDD document.

6 The SIDD document then -- there was no SIDD made of that

7 and it just went into the file, if you like, of the

8 computer system.

9 Q. So in cases where some dissemination was allowed to

10 lower levels, to different access within MACER, you

11 would produce the SIDD which was, as it were, an edited

12 version?

13 A. At that stage, we didn't do the SIDDs.

14 Q. I see.

15 A. At a later date we eventually did to do that.

16 Q. In terms of dates for all of those changes that you have

17 described, are you able to help us with anything a bit

18 more specific?

19 A. Honestly I can't recall a timescale on it. To be

20 honest, I can't recall a timescale.

21 Q. Thank you. Just looking at the limitation then of what

22 E3C did, you weren't involved in the analysis of

23 intelligence?

24 A. No.

25 Q. And you weren't involved in the expert business of

126

1 assessing threats?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your work was concerned, you

4 tell us in paragraph 3 of your statement -- if we can

5 have that back on the screen, please, RNI-840-051

6 (displayed) -- that you eventually spent the majority of

7 your time writing intelligence reports. Do you see that

8 in the second line?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Again, is it possible for you to put a date on when your

11 work came mostly to be devoted to that?

12 A. I would say that that was towards the end of 1996,

13 roughly, I would imagine.

14 Q. Thank you. You, as I understand, were the head of

15 a small team with junior officers working for you. Is

16 that right?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. So far as the types of report you compiled are

19 concerned, again, you look at that in your evidence in

20 the next paragraph. 90 per cent of your work, you said,

21 came in from the Security Branch, D Branch?

22 A. That's right, yes.

23 Q. And you give us two examples of the sort of thing that

24 they would ask you to do:

25 "A general intelligence report setting out the

127

1 intelligence in relation to threats we hold on an

2 individual ..."

3 Or, turning the page:

4 "A specific report for the purposes of KPPS"?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So as I understand it, when a request from Security

7 Branch would come in, you would check all the available

8 sources of intelligence on the relevant individual, put

9 it together and pass it back to Security Branch?

10 A. Via my authorities, yes.

11 Q. Indeed, via the other more senior officers within E3?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. And just thinking then in general terms about the

14 sources of information you had available to you, you

15 have mentioned the computer system?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. MACER?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did you have access to the Prism system?

20 A. At that time, I don't believe so.

21 Q. No. You would also have had presumably the paper files?

22 A. That's right, yes.

23 Q. And at the time we are thinking, 1998, would you have

24 effectively had access to both, in other words MACER on

25 the computer front and the continuing paper files as

128

1 well?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. And you were also able to check with local

4 offices, in this case with the South Region local

5 Lurgan/Portadown SB offices? You would be able to speak

6 to them?

7 A. Yes, that was done as a matter of routine, yes.

8 Q. For what they had on the ground, as it were?

9 A. Well, as I say, when you are dealing with something like

10 this, you have to take it seriously and you have to look

11 at it from all angles. And I felt that in every case,

12 whether there was intelligence or not, when I directed

13 my people, whether we had intelligence or not, that we

14 did contact local offices to see if they could add

15 anything further to it.

16 Q. Presumably you also had available to you the expertise

17 of the analysts in the two desks; in other words, in 3A

18 and 3B?

19 A. Yes, I could go to them if I wished, yes.

20 Q. And on occasion you no doubt checked with them?

21 A. Oh, I did, yes.

22 Q. Can I just ask you, in relation to the computer system

23 and MACER in particular, can you remember now what level

24 of access you had to MACER?

25 A. I think I could see documents up to level 21, I believe

129

1 it was.

2 Q. 21?

3 A. I think it was, yes.

4 Q. So including, obviously, 19?

5 A. Including 19, yes.

6 Q. But not 23?

7 A. Not 23, no.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, in your statement at paragraph 7, when

9 you are talking about the paper files at RUC

10 Headquarters -- do you see that in the fourth line on

11 the screen?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Where would those files physically be held?

14 A. SB registry.

15 Q. So not in your specific bit of EC3, but in the registry?

16 A. That's right, yes.

17 Q. So when you were consulting those, you would go to

18 registry or ask them to supply what files they had?

19 A. There was a team in registry that I could lift

20 a telephone and ring them and ask them, tell them what

21 file I wanted. They brought it down and I signed for

22 it, and while it was in my custody I was responsible

23 for it.

24 Q. Do you have any specific recollection of whether there

25 was a paper file on Rosemary Nelson?

130

1 A. No, I don't.

2 Q. You do not?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Do you think it likely that there was?

5 A. Possibly, yes.

6 Q. If she had allocated an SB number, she would have had

7 a paper file?

8 A. Yes, indeed.

9 Q. Thank you. So I think one can be pretty clear about how

10 you would search the paper files. I needn't ask you

11 about that.

12 So far as the searches you did for your reports on

13 MACER, if you had a name given to you, "Please give me

14 an intelligence report on X", would you simply put X's

15 name in the MACER system and see what came back?

16 A. You could do that and it would obviously throw you up

17 every recorded name of the same. You could end up with

18 10 or 12. Then it would be a matter of elimination, and

19 by that I mean if you had a date of birth, obviously you

20 would work then from the date of birth. But where there

21 was a case of -- there was ambiguity, you couldn't

22 decide -- you obviously had to decide -- you couldn't

23 decide who the subject was, and this happened quite

24 often actually when you were doing border checks.

25 Reports would come on to the phone to you with a name

131

1 and once you put it into the computer, it would throw

2 you up 15 different people.

3 Q. With the same name?

4 A. The same name.

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. So you would ask, "Is there a date of birth?" "No", so,

7 therefore, you couldn't give a trace.

8 Q. And it was possible, was it, to search the computer for

9 X and his or her associates?

10 A. Yes, if you got a name and they would have associates

11 attached to their computer records.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Then you can then follow and look at the records on

15 those individuals as well?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And as we heard today, it seems that the paper files

18 worked in a similar way, so that you would be able to

19 see from the file itself where there were connected or

20 related files?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you a question about

23 paragraph 11 of your statement, and we can have that on

24 the screen at RNI-840-053 (displayed). You say there

25 what your practice was in relation to the searches you

132

1 did, and first of all you say even when you got a nil

2 return, you would still speak to the local offices, and

3 we have touched on that. But you also say you would

4 also speak to the source unit to check their knowledge

5 of the matter?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, did each Special Branch region have its own source

8 unit?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So presumably this was something you could only do when

11 you had identified the relevant region for the

12 individual?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And what was its function, the source unit?

15 A. Well, the intelligence would come into the source unit

16 and it was them that would release the documents to us

17 as in SIRs. They would have all the documents stored in

18 SIR form and they would release it to Headquarters, and

19 there is an officer who obviously done that job and

20 there was times that you would go on to the source unit

21 to ask him if they had anything further.

22 Q. So you would have, as it were, a regular liaison point

23 in each source unit, would you, whom you would contact

24 in a case like this?

25 A. Yes, we would definitely have contacted the source unit

133

1 in every case, yes.

2 Q. Did the same apply to the local Special Branch officers?

3 In other words, there was an officer whom you were used

4 to speaking to?

5 A. No, whoever was on duty at the time we would talk to.

6 Q. So when you rang the local office, as it were, whoever

7 picked up the phone, whatever rank, you would ask the

8 question and ask for their help?

9 A. Yes, indeed.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, can we just look at the particular

11 report in this case, and start by looking at the request

12 as it came down to you. We can see that at RNI-102-079

13 (displayed).

14 This made its way down through the ranks to you in

15 E Department. You see it went actually to both the

16 South Region and E Department. It came from

17 Command Secretariat, and what I would like to do to

18 avoid looking at too many documents is just to show you

19 the chart that we have got, the diagram which shows how

20 the request reached you. So can we have the August 1998

21 threat assessment chart, please (displayed)?

22 If we look at the left-hand column at the bottom, we

23 see you, your cipher, do we not, at the bottom of the

24 E Department chain?

25 A. That's right, yes.

134

1 Q. I'm not going to take you to all the documents, but we

2 have the memos which show how it goes, the

3 Command Secretariat memorandum I have just shown you,

4 down through the Head of Special Branch, down to the

5 Head of IMG, down to the Chief Inspector, B144, and then

6 to you, and back all the way up again to

7 Command Secretariat.

8 In your statement, as I say, you have told us that

9 90 per cent of your requests for reports came in from

10 Security Branch. Presumably to get a request for

11 a report from Command Secretariat then was rather

12 unusual?

13 A. It was unusual, yes, but not totally unusual. We had

14 dealt with others.

15 Q. But not unique?

16 A. Not unique, no.

17 Q. If we look back at the documents which originated

18 this -- the first is RNI-102-079 (displayed) -- you will

19 see the request which came down about the leaflet, and

20 you have talked about this in your statement obviously:

21 "It is being distributed in Portadown, passed to the

22 NIO from Rosemary Nelson and then the NIO informed me."

23 And then there is a long quotation about

24 Rosemary Nelson's concern and distress.

25 Then:

135

1 "I would appreciate whatever information you can

2 provide on this matter and any assessment of whether or

3 not you consider those named to be the subject of any

4 threat."

5 If we look at the stage at which this reaches you

6 and have that on the right-hand side, please,

7 RNI-102-085 (displayed), you will see what comes down to

8 you at the very bottom of the page from B144, the Chief

9 Inspector, is "For report, please".

10 Do you see that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So what did you think you were being asked to do?

13 A. I was asked to prepare an intelligence report.

14 Q. Indeed.

15 A. In respect of Mrs Nelson.

16 Q. Is this right, that you interpreted that request as

17 being for the sort of intelligence report that you were

18 very used to compiling for Security Branch?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And as I understand it, you went about your task in

21 exactly the same way as you would have done had the

22 request come in from Security Branch?

23 A. Exactly.

24 Q. And you believed that you would have checked the

25 computer; is that right?

136

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And you would have checked with the local offices?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Presumably you would also have checked, if there was

5 a file on Rosemary Nelson, the file?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Do you think you would have done anything else in this

8 particular case?

9 A. I may have visited the Loyalist desk.

10 Q. Yes. You are not sure?

11 A. But that I can't be sure of.

12 Q. No. If we look at the report, and we have that on the

13 right-hand side, RNI-102-084 (displayed), I think it is,

14 that you prepared, you say:

15 "This office holds no current intelligence to

16 indicate that a specific threat exists to

17 Rosemary Nelson from paramilitaries."

18 So can I take it then that you checked the computer

19 and paper records to see if there was specific

20 intelligence of a specific threat?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Then you explain what local Special Branch believed:

23 they are of the opinion about the leaflet that it was

24 circulated by Loyalist elements to heighten tension

25 during the Drumcree period?

137

1 A. Yes, that's right.

2 Q. Which was obviously just a few weeks before this report

3 was being done?

4 A. Right.

5 Q. Now, there is no reference in here to checking or

6 discussing the matter further with the desks, is there?

7 A. No.

8 Q. So doesn't that make it likely that you didn't take that

9 step in this case?

10 A. No, not necessarily. If the desks had nothing further

11 to add, I can't comment on something that is not there.

12 I was only commenting there on facts that I had been

13 told, or elicited from my enquiries.

14 Q. So you think it is possible, do you, that you would have

15 consulted one of the desks on this question?

16 A. It could be possible, yes.

17 Q. Which one?

18 A. I would say the Loyalist desk I would have gone to.

19 Q. And that was because of the perceived origin of the

20 pamphlet, was it?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. But, again, that's the sort of thing you would do from

23 time to time in relation to a Security Branch request

24 for an intelligence report?

25 A. Yes.

138

1 Q. So in fact what we can see is that this request, which

2 came down to you, was treated by you in the way that you

3 treated Security Branch requests for individuals in

4 other cases?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. It conformed with your absolutely standard approach?

7 A. Yes, I would say so, yes.

8 Q. Now, can I just ask you about the Chief inspector? Here

9 you address the issue in paragraph 14 of your statement,

10 RNI-840-054 (displayed). You talk about, I think,

11 again, the general position:

12 "Once [you] had ascertained the extent of the

13 intelligence in respect of the threat on a particular

14 subject, then I would prepare my report. I would always

15 include full details of the intelligence available."

16 Then this:

17 "The report would then be passed to the Chief

18 Inspector for approval. It was entirely possible that

19 the Chief Inspector would alter the report, particularly

20 if he did not like the terminology that I had used, or

21 add any further information or comments."

22 It looks as though no such changes were made in this

23 particular case?

24 A. It looks like that, yes.

25 Q. Now, you also go on to say in the next part of this

139

1 paragraph at the bottom of the page:

2 "There was also a procedure whereby Special Branch

3 and those with higher security clearance than my team

4 and I would also feed information to which my team did

5 not have access into the report before it was finalised.

6 This would be carried out by the Chief inspector."

7 That's something, is it, that if it happened,

8 happened, as it were, above your level?

9 A. Yes, that's what I was talking about there, that the

10 Chief would have knowledge of things that I wouldn't

11 have knowledge of, and inevitably if he could add

12 anything to it, he would do.

13 Q. Yes, and that was something that did happen from time to

14 time, did it?

15 A. Rarely, but it did happen, yes, it did happen.

16 Q. As a matter of interest, would you ever have seen the

17 result?

18 A. I remember at times the Chief would call me and as

19 a matter of courtesy tell me that he is altering it and

20 show me what is going on and let me see what he had

21 altered.

22 Q. But as far as we can see it didn't happen in this case?

23 A. I don't believe so, no.

24 Q. Can I just ask you to read on in your statement to

25 paragraph 19, RNI-840-056 (displayed), where you are

140

1 talking about the specific case, the request you were

2 asked:

3 "I don't recall any particular intelligence that

4 I may have considered or might have been gathered at

5 this time in relation to Rosemary Nelson."

6 And you say that the street rings a bell because of

7 your own middle name and you had never met Mrs Nelson or

8 Mr Mac Cionnaith, who was one of the other people

9 referred to in pamphlet, but you had seen them on

10 television:

11 "I can't remember any other reports that I may have

12 prepared in relation to Mrs Nelson, but it is possible

13 that there may have been others."

14 I just want to ask you about that: you think, do

15 you, that you may have compiled other intelligence

16 reports in relation to Rosemary Nelson?

17 A. No, that's not what I meant there. What I meant was I

18 wasn't ruling out the possibility of there being another

19 report somewhere because I can't remember. There was

20 thousands of these reports and our paths could have

21 crossed somewhere before. What I was trying to say

22 there was I'm not 100 per cent sure whether I did or

23 whether I didn't. So ...

24 Q. Now, in your statement you tell us at a much earlier

25 stage, paragraph 3, RNI-840-051 (displayed), that you

141

1 would be dealing with literally hundreds of requests. I

2 think that must be requests for reports?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Every year?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you would be working on four or five typically every

7 day?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. So, again, can you help me. For this type of report, on

10 average how long did it take to compile?

11 A. Well, there is a lot of factors that have to be taken

12 into consideration.

13 Q. Indeed.

14 A. Your research on the computer can be done fairly

15 quickly. On the other hand, as with computers, it can

16 be done very slowly. Your paper search files, it can be

17 done relatively quickly, but getting in contact with

18 regions and regional SB officers can sometimes delay

19 things in that they aren't always there.

20 Q. So is it possible, given those variables you have just

21 mentioned, to say on average how long a report like this

22 took?

23 A. On average you could do a report in an hour/two hours.

24 Q. Yes. Thank you. Those are all the questions I have for

25 you, but as I always say at the end of witnesses'

142

1 evidence, if there is anything which we haven't touched

2 on which you would like to mention or tell the Tribunal

3 at this stage, this is your opportunity.

4 A. No, no, there is nothing I want to say.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 Questions by THE CHAIRMAN

7 THE CHAIRMAN: If you had come across an intelligence report

8 suggesting that Mrs Nelson was a very close associate of

9 an alleged major terrorist, would you have noted that in

10 your report?

11 A. No. I don't believe I would have mentioned it in the

12 report.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Why not?

14 A. I don't think it was of any relevance to the fact of

15 what we were dealing with.

16 MR PHILLIPS: Just arising out of that, is that because in

17 your view it didn't constitute intelligence of

18 a specific threat against Rosemary Nelson?

19 A. That's the perspective I am covering from. In the

20 summary possibly I would mention it, but not -- it would

21 not alter the fact that there was no intelligence.

22 Q. So what you were looking in all these sources and what

23 you were asking for when you rang people up was do you

24 have specific intelligence or intelligence of a specific

25 threat against Rosemary Nelson?

143

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. Sir, is there anything else?

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming to give

4 evidence before us.

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

6 please, confirm that all the cameras have been switched

7 off?

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

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please escort the witness out.

10 Mr Phillips?

11 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, that completes the evidence for today and

12 we resume on Monday -- I think it is 27 October at 1 pm.

13 So, sir, so far as our progress is concerned, the

14 situation at the moment is that I think I'm right in

15 saying, the total -- and I'll correct this on Monday,

16 27th if I'm wrong -- I think 76 witnesses have been

17 called to give evidence before you and in addition I

18 think some 91 have had their evidence taken into account

19 on the various topics that we have so far covered.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Well, we will adjourn until 1 pm

21 on 27 October.

22 (3.45 pm)

23 (The Inquiry adjourned until 1 pm on Monday,

24 27 October 2008)

25


1 I N D E X

2
B144 (sworn) ..................................... 2
3
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 2
4
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 119
5
P226 (sworn) ..................................... 121
6
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 121
7
Questions by THE CHAIRMAN .................... 142
8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25