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Full Hearings

Hearing: 8th October 2008, day 61

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10 ROSEMARY NELSON

11 PUBLIC INQUIRY

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16 held at:
The Interpoint Centre
17 20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ
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19 on Wednesday, 8 October 2008
commencing at 9.30 am
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21 Day 61

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1 Wednesday, 8 October 2008

2 (9.30 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (9.40 am)

5 MRS CHRISTINE COLLINS (continued)

6 Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

7 MR PHILLIPS: Can I start by taking you back to a comment

8 you made yesterday, yesterday afternoon, shortly before

9 we adjourned?

10 At one point, if you remember, you were setting out

11 the possible reasons, going through your mind, as to why

12 Rosemary Nelson had not come forward, had not approached

13 you, and one of them, if you remember, which we

14 discussed briefly, was the suggestion that she really

15 did believe that it was the police and the British

16 state, as you put it, that were threatening her.

17 Can I just ask you a simple question about that? If

18 that was in your mind, did you consider it incumbent

19 upon you, your department, your division, to reassure

20 her that the Government did not actually pose a threat

21 to her?

22 A. It is very difficult to see -- I mean, you are asking me

23 now to look back that length of time and say was it

24 incumbent. It was something that we were, I suppose, as

25 an organisation and as a government, trying to do all

 

 

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1 the time with everyone from that -- well, everybody of

2 that opinion. That was one of the things -- we had a title

3 for it -- called "confidence issues", which did cover

4 precisely that.

5 So it was one of the things that at a strategic

6 level and permeating right down into things like the

7 political negotiations, which we were doing, which we

8 were endeavouring to do. I don't think it would have

9 occurred to me that it would have been a particularly

10 possible thing to do, to go directly to Mrs Nelson and

11 say, "Look, it is alright, we are not really -- you

12 know, in any way, shape or form, trying to damage you."

13 I think that was something that we were endeavouring and

14 had been endeavouring to communicate through all

15 channels and in all ways for a very, very long time

16 indeed.

17 If that sort of answers it. I don't know that it is

18 quite a full answer, but it is as close as I can come to

19 it. I don't think it would have been -- I suppose it

20 was something I would have thought quickly, you know, is

21 this likely -- is there anything more I can do over and

22 above the sorts of messages that we talked about

23 yesterday, trying to go through third parties and so on,

24 which were the channels she was using to communicate

25 with us; in a sense, going back through those channels.

 

 

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1 We were using all those. I don't think that it

2 would have been really appropriate to try and do

3 anything over and above that. I think it would have

4 been -- it would have been a bit naive. It would have

5 been seen as a bit naive at least, if not capable of

6 being taken then and turned into something more than

7 naive, but actually in itself harassing or threatening.

8 Q. That's a point you make in your statement, isn't it, at

9 paragraph 86 at the bottom of RNI-841-243 (displayed).

10 There you say in this context that one of the things

11 that you considered was that to make a direct approach,

12 which is I think what you are talking about here, might

13 have been seen by her as, as you put it, intimidation

14 and harassment?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And you refer there to the idea that if you had

17 approached direct, you would have been, or perhaps been

18 seen to be invading her privacy?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, presumably there is a question of fact and degree,

21 isn't there? I mean, presumably in the case such as

22 yesterday that we mentioned, of the direct imminent

23 threat, I mean, you do not sit around worrying

24 fastidiously about invasion of privacy; you simply act?

25 A. Precisely.

 

 

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1 Q. Can I take it, therefore, that in this consideration was

2 not just an exquisite sense of social courtesy, but

3 rather the whole picture, namely your understanding that

4 at that point you hadn't received anything concrete

5 direct to back up the allegations that had been made?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And that, of course, was what in a sense you were asking

8 the police to do for you in sending Simon Rogers' letter

9 of 23 February?

10 A. Yes, we were trying to double-check that there wasn't

11 anything new that we hadn't by some circumstance been

12 told of. You know, could they, please, look, think, do

13 another survey of the scene and tell us that that's what

14 we were at.

15 Q. If we look at your next paragraph, 87, at RNI-841-244

16 (displayed), you raise another aspect to all of this in

17 the sentence beginning "various organisations" in the

18 fifth line:

19 "Various organisations were telling us that they

20 believed Mrs Nelson was in danger."

21 We have touched on that:

22 "She was increasingly in the limelight and it was

23 becoming something of a political issue."

24 Then you talk about ceasefires and say:

25 "We needed to try and ensure that Mrs Nelson was

 

 

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1 offered proper advice about her security and we needed

2 to be in a position to provide ministers with informed

3 advice. Simon Rogers' letter prompted the police to

4 reassess the position."

5 So can I just pick up the reference there to her

6 becoming something of a political issue and, again, this

7 is a comment made at this point in the history

8 in February 1998.

9 In what sense was Rosemary Nelson on these points

10 becoming a political issue?

11 A. Well, in one sense they had been a political issue all

12 along.

13 Q. Indeed.

14 A. But at this point it was in the run-up to the -- what

15 became the Good Friday Agreement negotiations.

16 Q. Indeed.

17 A. There was an awful lot of -- I suppose the right word is

18 "traffic" on those negotiations. I have mentioned the

19 confidence issues. This was beginning to appear as sort

20 of a confidence issues-type issue. There was all that

21 buzz going on.

22 So it is in that sense that it was a political

23 issue; it was tied into the political, human rights,

24 confidence nexus, if you like, of issues.

25 Q. So to be clear from what you said a little earlier, in

 

 

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1 a sense it had always been a political issue, from the

2 first time these matters were raised?

3 A. Yes, I think that's fair to say.

4 Q. As a result of the increase in momentum and tempo which

5 we have looked at together in the intervening months, it

6 had become a more important political issue?

7 A. Yes, I mean, we had -- it was -- I don't know that it

8 ever had been a simple case of a person feeling under

9 threat; it had always been more than that. I think we

10 had discussed that and it wasn't a bargain basement

11 issue right from the beginning. We had had the history

12 of it, we had the American interest. Remember just how

13 closely the Americans were involved in the

14 Good Friday Agreement negotiations. Senator Mitchell

15 was there. There was all of that going on.

16 Q. And all of that bound up and raised by these particular

17 problems?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And so at this particular moment, getting back to your

20 comments about Good Friday, the potential political

21 impact of mishandling something like that was increased?

22 A. It was, and I think there was a premium on being able to

23 answer quickly and accurately concerns that were raised

24 with us by anybody, you know, whether it was -- you have

25 to understand that an awful lot of this stuff was not

 

 

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1 committed to paper. It was just "Senator Mitchell asked

2 today -- and you had to be in a position to very rapidly

3 go back and say, "Answer for Senator Mitchell is ..." or

4 "Answer to so and so from number 10 is ..." You just

5 needed to be aware, especially round issues like that

6 that were so much at the hub of it, really.

7 Q. Can I ask this question then as a result of all of those

8 answers: by this stage had the problem of

9 Rosemary Nelson become as much a problem of political

10 management as it was a problem relating to an

11 individual's safety?

12 A. I mean, there were the two separate standards to it.

13 You know, there was the political management of it, but

14 it was also -- well, there was three strands. It was

15 political management, it was individual safety -- is it

16 at risk or not -- and then there is an issue of the

17 complaints side of it, the sort of -- I want to say

18 straightforward complaints side of it, but I don't want

19 to lose sight of the fact that there was also that

20 issue. There was those three things going on in

21 parallel.

22 Q. Thank you. Can we just look at the next stage of this,

23 which is the response that comes back eventually, at the

24 beginning of April, to Simon Rogers' letter. That is

25 RNI-106-199 (displayed).

 

 

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1 It is a short letter. You no doubt have seen the

2 transcript of Mr Rogers' evidence in relation to it, but

3 essentially the meat of it comes in the second

4 paragraph:

5 "Whilst police are aware of concerns having been

6 expressed over the safety of Rosemary Nelson, police

7 have received no threats in respect of Mrs Nelson."

8 Then an invitation or a suggestion that the Lawyers

9 Alliance should provide evidence, if there is any, to

10 the police so that it can be assessed.

11 Now, in your interview, as appears from your

12 statement, paragraph 116, I think it is, and following,

13 you were provided by Eversheds with, as it were, the

14 underlying material, the police material disclosed to

15 the Inquiry, which, so far as the Inquiry knows anyway,

16 led to this letter?

17 A. Yes, that's right. That's material that I'm absolutely

18 certain I would not have seen at the time. We wouldn't

19 have got that.

20 Q. Thank you. You explain to us earlier that you have no

21 experience in assessing threats yourself. That's

22 correct, isn't it?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. And so what we come down to, as I discussed with

25 Mr Rogers, is a question of your experience and

 

 

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1 understanding of the sort of communication that used to

2 come from Command Secretariat on this particular sort of

3 issue. And there in your statement at paragraph 105,

4 RNI-841-251 (displayed), you describe this issue and

5 deal with the importance of understanding the nuances of

6 the information provided to you by the police. Do you

7 see that on the screen?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Can I take it from that that you, like Mr Rogers, often

10 had the experience with the police of reading in an

11 informed way what were very brief written

12 communications?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In your statement, you also -- and as, indeed, you did

15 yesterday -- refer to terms of art, if I can put it that

16 way; in other words, technical jargon. Do you see that

17 at the bottom of your page?

18 A. Hm-mm.

19 Q. And presumably those were matters with which you became

20 familiar in the course of considering communications of

21 this kind?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your evidence goes, you say

24 that you would on occasion telephone the police to seek

25 further information in relation to their communications?

 

 

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1 A. Indeed, yes.

2 Q. So far as this case is concerned, you tell us that you

3 believe that you followed it up on the telephone?

4 A. I'm absolutely sure, and I think it was probably this --

5 at this point and with this letter that I followed it

6 up. But without having my copy of that document, if you

7 see what I mean, my Police Division file, I can't be

8 categoric that it is that particular document.

9 Q. Let's get some things agreed between us, may we? The

10 first is that you didn't go back in relation to

11 the May 1997 letter. You have told us that already?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In your statement you tell us that you did go back in

14 relation to this one, 1 April, although we haven't been

15 able to find, and you haven't seen any evidence of,

16 that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You didn't go back to them, did you, in relation to the

19 next one, the August one or September one?

20 A. I wouldn't have gone back in relation to a September one

21 because by then I had left Police Division.

22 Q. I think in your statement you say that you did see the

23 letter of 3 September?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You checked something, you tell us, in the Yellow Pages

 

 

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1 about it, but you don't tell us that you followed it up

2 with a telephone conversation?

3 A. No, I think that was sort of in the -- more or less as I

4 was clearing the desk to leave that that 3 September one

5 came in.

6 Q. Can we look, please, at the document RNI-106-199

7 (displayed). What was it about this letter that

8 prompted you to go back to Command Secretariat?

9 A. I think I went back to Command Secretariat at that point

10 because I was -- I wanted to be sure what status they

11 were giving to the posters that had been circulated

12 around, and I think that that was the point at which we

13 had also got the handwritten --

14 Q. That was rather later.

15 A. Was that later?

16 Q. Yes. This is a document in -- let's have Simon Rogers'

17 23 February document on the screen, please?

18 A. The 23 February one was the one --

19 Q. After the Lawyers Alliance.

20 A. But this was coming in then in April.

21 Q. Indeed.

22 A. I think it was still that we were aware -- I'm pretty

23 certain we were aware of sort of there being things in

24 circulation that we hadn't ourselves seen and which the

25 police hadn't seen either, and I just wanted to be sure

 

 

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1 that what they meant when they said, back in the other

2 letter, "no threats" what was that based on.

3 Q. Can we just look at his letter? It is RNI-114-122

4 (displayed).

5 Just picking up what you have just been saying, do I

6 understand you to say that by this stage -- so the

7 beginning of April 1998 you are looking at their

8 letter -- you were aware of communications? What do you

9 mean by that?

10 A. I'm sorry, this is -- you know your questioning is

11 making -- is getting into my memory banks again and you

12 asked me yesterday did I have any recollection of what

13 the Lawyers Alliance for Justice had actually said in

14 the meeting.

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. One of the things that I think now that they may have

17 said in the meeting was something about threatening

18 letters or threatening telephone calls, or some such.

19 Q. Right.

20 A. And I think it was that that was probably in my mind.

21 But I mean, I don't want to sort of invent things

22 post -- post the case, if you see what I mean.

23 Q. No.

24 A. I think there was something like that said, which meant

25 that we knew there was something more concrete out there

 

 

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1 than mere bald assertion, if you see what I mean, though

2 we hadn't seen it, as far as we knew the police hadn't

3 seen it, but we didn't know and I just wanted to be

4 absolutely sure where we stood on that.

5 So I think I went back after the 1 April letter to

6 be clear in my own mind what we were actually talking

7 about and what they were basing their no threats

8 assessment on.

9 Q. Right. Now, as you say, this is something that is

10 obviously bubbled up out of the memory banks overnight,

11 very recently. It doesn't feature in your statement?

12 A. It doesn't feature in my statement. I think it is your

13 questions yesterday combined with thinking overnight

14 that has brought it back.

15 I hate saying things that could actually be pure

16 fiction because I know that memory does that, or your

17 mind does that.

18 Q. Yes. Can we look at the contemporaneous letter of

19 23 February because there is certainly no reference to

20 this point in the letter, is there? You do not say, "By

21 the way, one of the points they raised with us was that

22 there had been anonymous telephone calls or letters. We

23 weren't given any particular details." I assume that's

24 the position, "But could you please confirm that you are

25 aware of this, you have looked into it and assessed the

 

 

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1 situation." It doesn't say anything of that, does it?

2 A. No, it doesn't.

3 Q. How clear, then, are you that there were references at

4 this time made by the Lawyers Alliance delegation in the

5 meeting?

6 A. Not at all clear. That's why I'm saying please put this

7 with a very large, you know, caveat: not reliable

8 source, not verified independently anywhere else.

9 Q. Just putting that to one side for the moment, would

10 there have been any other reason for you to go back in

11 relation to the letter which you see on the side of the

12 screen?

13 A. Well, just, I think, because I wanted to be clear in my

14 own mind; I wanted to talk it over and to make sure that

15 my understanding of that letter was correct and that --

16 I suppose I was also looking to make sure they had

17 actually done something.

18 You know, as I say, we didn't get the backing papers

19 going with this letter. All we got was the letter.

20 What I wanted to do was just check that there was

21 something lying behind it and that it hadn't been

22 a bargain basement, "Oh, this is another of those

23 letters from the NIO, stick on our standard line, to

24 take"-type response. I wanted just to probe it a bit.

25 Q. So you weren't taking it for granted that they would

 

 

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1 have done a serious and thorough assessment; you wanted

2 to check that for yourself?

3 A. I wanted to be reassured, yes.

4 Q. Simon Rogers told us that he was trying in the drafting

5 of this letter to make sure that it was taken seriously

6 and understood to be important at the right levels?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. That was obviously a concern, by the sound of it, that

9 you shared?

10 A. Yes, we wanted to be sure, we wanted to make -- we

11 wanted there to be a genuine engagement between us and

12 the police on this issue. We didn't want it to be

13 a stock response. I mean, that's why Simon drafted that

14 letter the way that he did.

15 Q. Indeed.

16 A. That is why my recollection is when this came in

17 I followed it up.

18 Q. Because you feared -- sorry.

19 A. Not because I feared. I wanted just to reinforce the

20 message.

21 I think Simon in his letter says, "Christine Collins

22 and I ..." which sort of puts the -- this was

23 actually -- because I'm an SCS, or I was a member of the

24 senior civil service, this was the NIO as an

25 organisation engaging with these people. It wasn't at

 

 

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1 a lower level than that. It needed to be addressed in

2 in that way. And I wanted to make sure that had been

3 picked up, had been taken forward in that way. It was

4 just that sort of making sure.

5 Q. Presumably another issue you wanted to find out about is

6 what the answer or response was to the specific

7 questions that Simon Rogers had posed in his second

8 paragraph; in other words, whether they had considered

9 whether she needed to be approached and given advice on

10 her security?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Because you, in your approach to this matter, which is

13 rather different to Simon Rogers', as you have explained

14 to us, wanted above all to get a channel of

15 communication, some sort of interaction going, and of

16 course the second paragraph fitted very much into that

17 plan, didn't it?

18 A. Hm-mm.

19 Q. And there was absolutely not a word in response to that,

20 was there, to the letter of 1 April?

21 A. Precisely.

22 Q. So presumably you rang, amongst other things, to find

23 out what their actual consideration had been and what on

24 earth they had done about that question?

25 A. I mean, this is dreadful because I'm trying to

 

 

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1 recollect, you know, a conversation more than ten years

2 ago. But to the best of my recollection, that's all I

3 can say, is that, yes, we did have that sort of

4 discussion, you know, would it be possible to do that.

5 And I think I understood the reasons why they felt that

6 wouldn't be a terribly productive or sensible avenue,

7 which I think I outlined yesterday. You know, the sort

8 of discussion about, well, how do you go and tell

9 somebody you don't think they are under threat, but you

10 are coming to talk to them about their safety anyway. I

11 think that was the gist of it.

12 Q. Yes. Now, again, if we look at your statement,

13 RNI-841-253 (displayed), this aspect of your following

14 up with them does not feature, does it? You say at the

15 top of the page here:

16 "I simply went back to ask what the statement, 'the

17 police had received no threats in respect of her'

18 contained in the letter ... meant."

19 Then you go on at the bottom of the page, 110, to

20 explain that you had a conversation precisely about that

21 rather short phrase in the letter, and what I think you

22 are telling us is that by "no threat", they mean no

23 specific threat -- that's a term of art, I think -- in

24 relation to Rosemary Nelson?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. You then carry on to 111, the next page, RNI-841-254

2 (displayed), but we don't see any reference there, I

3 think, do we, to a discussion encompassing this issue of

4 whether it would have been appropriate for the reasons

5 you mentioned yesterday to approach her and advise her

6 about her security?

7 A. That's right. But I think, if you will remember, that

8 in drafting the statement, I was being -- I was trying

9 to answer the questions that I think Eversheds had asked

10 me. I don't think they specifically asked me about the

11 personal safety aspect of it.

12 Q. Presumably what you were doing in your interview was

13 attempting to assist the Inquiry?

14 A. I was attempting to assist the Inquiry. My memory of

15 the phone call is quite concrete and specific around the

16 threat bit of it. It is less concrete and specific

17 around the other bits of it, and as I say, I don't want

18 to sort of start manufacturing things that -- I think

19 that would be a dangerous thing for me to do. I have

20 a vaguer recollection of talking about that aspect, but

21 I am concretely sure we did talk about the threat

22 aspect.

23 Q. Turning back to RNI-841-253, paragraph 109 (displayed),

24 there you set out in bullet points various aspects of

25 the issue at this point, and this goes, doesn't it, to

 

 

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1 the importance of it, political and, indeed, other, that

2 you and I were discussing just a little while ago?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. So wrapped up in the issue of Rosemary Nelson and her

5 safety at this stage were all of these very significant

6 points?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, can we look at RNI-841-110 (displayed)

9 again, this time with an eye not to what it doesn't say,

10 but to what it does say?

11 This, then, is your recollection at the time of

12 making this statement, not supported by any notes or

13 documents, of their explanation of that phrase?

14 A. Yes. And, you know, that accords as well with my

15 understanding, which I have to say I built up over

16 a number of years of working in this area, of what those

17 words mean, what that phrase would mean.

18 Q. So the expression they use, which you quote there

19 "received no threats in respects of Mrs Nelson", was not

20 one of those terms of art which you knew immediately its

21 meaning, understood it fully; it was something you had

22 to ask questions about?

23 A. It was something I had a sort of pretty good inkling of

24 what I thought they would mean, but I wanted to probe

25 that and check that my understanding was right in this

 

 

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1 instance. And I wanted to double-check what was there.

2 I wanted to bounce it off -- I wanted to bounce my

3 understanding of what they meant off their professional

4 knowledge and skill and reinforce my own understanding,

5 if that makes sense.

6 Q. Can you remember who you spoke to at

7 Command Secretariat? Please remember the cipher list.

8 A. Sorry, thank you for reminding me of the cipher list.

9 It was, I think -- pretty certain -- P157. I'm nearly

10 100 per cent certain it was P157. If it wasn't, it

11 would have been P136.

12 Q. Yes. As I understand your evidence in your statement,

13 the result of that conversation or that discussion was

14 that you were satisfied that the matter had been dealt

15 with properly, and that meant, presumably, that the

16 issue had been considered, and although not referred to

17 in their statement, an assessment of threat had been

18 conducted and a decision made that it would not be

19 appropriate to approach her and offer her advice about

20 her security?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And so far as your position was concerned, in Police

23 Division, that was enough, was it, for you, with all

24 these political and other considerations also in mind?

25 A. I think so, because I think, you know, there is

 

 

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1 a question of balance in here, also a question of the

2 different constitutional positions and roles and

3 responsibilities.

4 You know, that was the police assessment, their

5 understanding. They had explained it to me, I was

6 content that they had done a thorough professional job

7 on it, they had actually attended to it in a serious

8 way, it wasn't a stock response -- it might have looked

9 like it, but it wasn't -- and that, therefore,

10 I understood that. I understood where they stood,

11 I understood where we stood. That was okay. You know,

12 there wasn't much else I felt we could have done.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Sorry, can I just --

14 MR PHILLIPS: Absolutely.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: I fully understand the constitutional

16 position, roles and responsibilities, but would you just

17 explain for me in terms of the specific relationship

18 between the NIO and the RUC, if an organisation such as

19 the RUC failed to respond in a way that you felt they

20 should, or in which the NIO felt it should, were there

21 avenues in which pressure could be applied, even if it

22 was subtle pressure?

23 A. Yes, obviously.

24 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Who would you have gone to --

25 A. I would have taken it further myself first.

 

 

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1 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You would have taken it further?

2 A. I would have taken it further.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Up through the rank structure above

4 157?

5 A. It would have depended. You know, it might have been

6 saying, "Right, I think we need maybe to have a meeting

7 on this, instead of just talking about it on the phone".

8 It might have been something that I would have gone back

9 inside the office within my own command structure and

10 talked to my colleagues about and put our heads together

11 and worked out, well, you know, what more can we do,

12 what more ought we to do in this particular

13 circumstance.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Yes.

15 A. I would have been reluctant -- I think rightly

16 reluctant -- to sort of go off on a wild goose chase

17 myself in case my judgment wasn't right or in case

18 somebody else somewhere else within the system knew more

19 than I did.

20 So I would have double-checked back into my own

21 organisation and then maybe agreed that, okay, it should

22 be elevated up the ranks and that I was the appropriate

23 person to do it, or that somebody else was the

24 appropriate person to do it or something. You know,

25 there would have been, as you say, different ways of

 

 

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1 bringing pressure. Different ways of continuing the

2 engagement, I think, is the way I would rather use it

3 than "bringing pressure".

4 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: It is just that listening to your

5 response to Mr Phillips, coming from the sort of risk

6 averse organisations that you and I come from, I can

7 understand what you are saying about a direct approach

8 to Mrs Nelson around issues of determining the threat,

9 personal contact. But it might be argued that

10 a minimalist approach at least would have been for

11 someone within the RUC to telephone Mrs Nelson and give

12 words of advice of, you know, a preventative nature.

13 A. This was one of the things we did consider and think

14 about. I think -- and I'm sorry, I hate getting into

15 this business of hazy recollections, but I think we also

16 thought about whether it would be possible for one of

17 our NIO local officials to have done something similar.

18 I mean, they didn't fall under my remit; they fell under

19 SPOB's remit. We did think of those sorts of things.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So I think, as Mr Rogers intimated from

21 his personal perspective, the concerns over the threat

22 never really went away.

23 A. No, they never really went away. And let's face the

24 fact that in Northern Ireland at that particular time

25 there was an awful lot of threat about, a lot of people

 

 

24

 

1 were very uneasy, a lot of people were very threatened.

2 You didn't just sort of shelve the notion there was

3 a threat.

4 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Again, I think it is obvious from the way you

6 have put it, but your reference you have just made to

7 hazy recollection is another reasonably delicate way of

8 saying that it is not a point you have dealt with in

9 your statement?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Thank you.

12 A. I could say a whole lot of things that are hazy

13 recollections, but I'm not sure it is terribly helpful

14 to the Inquiry for me to do that.

15 In the statement, I didn't think it was appropriate.

16 I'm bringing them out now when you question me, but I

17 don't want to sign something which says this is true to

18 the best of my knowledge and belief because I have

19 nothing to back it with, nothing, not a piece of paper,

20 not anything, and I don't know that that is terribly

21 useful. You tell me if it is or if it isn't, but ...

22 Q. I'll stick to the questions. I just wanted to ask you a

23 specific question about risk assessment, paragraph 113,

24 RNI-841-254 (displayed), thank you.

25 You were asked a question whether you discussed

 

 

25

 

1 a risk assessment with the police. Earlier in your

2 statement you go to some trouble to explain the

3 difference between risk on the one hand and threat, and

4 we touched on this yesterday.

5 Did you expect the police to conduct a risk

6 assessment following Simon Rogers' letter?

7 A. Not particularly, because you follow the threat

8 assessment with a risk assessment. There is not an

9 awful lot of sense in doing a risk assessment -- in

10 fact, it is quite difficult to do a risk assessment if

11 you have no threat to inform the risk, if you see what

12 I mean.

13 Q. Indeed. That's my understanding of what you said

14 yesterday. Yet you tell us in your statement, the same

15 paragraph, that you assessed questions of risk for

16 yourself?

17 A. Yes, but I think I did it as a sort of double-check.

18 You know, is there anything there that sticks out, is

19 blindingly obvious as making this potentially risky,

20 never mind whether there is a threat or not, if you see

21 what I mean. Somebody living in a very bad area,

22 somebody maybe -- I'm just trying to think what other

23 particular sorts of -- I mean, I'm not referring this to

24 Mrs Nelson at all, but I mean, sometimes you had people

25 who would insist on going to the same pub night in,

 

 

26

 

1 night out, which was known to be a not good place to go.

2 All those sorts of things would come into it, and as

3 far as I knew from my knowledge of Mrs Nelson and her

4 likely patterns of activity, she wasn't immediately

5 obvious to me as being a terribly high risk person,

6 apart from the fact that she had a public profile, she

7 was in Lurgan, which was, I think, notoriously a very

8 deeply divided community. I mean, I have set out there

9 what I would have seen as the risk factors.

10 Q. But you had no information, no detailed information

11 about her actual day to day patterns of life?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And you had no experience of conducting a risk

14 assessment in the professional sense?

15 A. In the professional sense as it, I think, has now

16 developed into, no, but it was an automatic run-through

17 of ...

18 Q. Can I turn to a completely different topic, which is the

19 draft report of the Special Rapporteur. Here in

20 paragraph 111 you begin to deal with the topic. That's

21 RNI-841-2350 (displayed).

22 As far as I'm concerned, you start at the end.

23 There are two stages of this process that I would like

24 to ask you about. The first took place, I think, didn't

25 it, in February, which is when your division, amongst

 

 

27

 

1 others, received a copy of the draft report from

2 Mr Cumaraswamy, and you were at that stage involved in

3 discussing the question of the alleged remark, which you

4 deal with later in your statement, and about solicitors

5 and paramilitaries and the question of the naming of the

6 lawyers?

7 A. That's right, yes.

8 Q. And then the second stage, which was in fact the one you

9 begin with, 27 March letter. It was on the very eve of

10 publication -- publication took place, I think, at the

11 very beginning of April -- where there was a great

12 kafuffle because information had leaked to the effect

13 that amendments to the draft had indeed been made. And

14 as a result, of course, the controversial comment got

15 into the public domain in any event.

16 Those are the two phases with which you were

17 concerned, weren't they?

18 A. Yes, they were.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as reading the draft in February

20 was concerned, you say in the middle of this paragraph

21 that you read it with care. That's about ten or so

22 lines down.

23 Was it the naming of the solicitors in the draft

24 that struck you as immediately significant when you

25 looked at it?

 

 

28

 

1 A. Yes, I mean, I think the things that leapt out at me and

2 which I focused on were the alleged remarks and the

3 naming of the solicitors because those -- well, I was

4 acutely concerned that naming solicitors was not a good

5 thing to do. Finucane was in my mind and the sort of --

6 that whole saga was quite -- still quite fresh in the

7 memory at that time. And the alleged remarks were

8 clearly quite controversial and we needed to

9 double-check that.

10 Q. Can you remember whether those concerns arose in your

11 mind before you were aware of the Chief Constable's

12 position on it?

13 A. I think -- and, I mean, this is again -- sorry, I'm

14 going to repeat it -- I do not have my documents

15 relating to this and I deeply regret that I haven't got

16 my documents relating to this because they would show us

17 what actually happened. Instead, we are going to have

18 to rely on my feeble memory.

19 I think that what happened was that we got -- when

20 I say "we", I got in Police Division a faxed copy of the

21 report. I don't know the exact date. I know that I sat

22 and read it, I suspect, probably late into the night or

23 at least well past the five o'clock theoretical closing

24 time for civil servants.

25 I highlighted for my own reading those two as the

 

 

29

 

1 critical points that needed to be addressed. I think

2 I then spoke to Command Secretariat about it and then,

3 you know, do you -- do you want to ask me another

4 question?

5 Q. That is a reasonably long answer. I would like to ask

6 you some questions about the earlier things you were

7 saying, please, and I think to help us all, it would be

8 good to look at the text of the draft. Look at

9 RNI-106-027, please (displayed). This in paragraph 16

10 is the reference in the draft to Rosemary Nelson. There

11 were references to two other solicitors by name, weren't

12 there?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. I'm not going to focus on them but, for obvious reasons,

15 focus on this paragraph. And it sets outs there that

16 she is an example of harassment and intimidation and in

17 brief outline sets out some of the allegations that were

18 made, which by this stage were the subject of

19 complaints, weren't they?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And over the page at RNI-106-028 (displayed), we see the

22 continuation of the paragraph. And in the next

23 paragraph, 17, a quotation from what I suspect is NIO

24 correspondence.

25 So in short -- and going back to 16 -- this was

 

 

30

 

1 a recitation of the matters which were in the complaints

2 system, about which you knew, and it simply made the

3 point that she was the person at the centre of the

4 allegations?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. What was it about naming her in that context that, in

7 your view, put her at risk?

8 A. I think it was not only that. It was also then the

9 later comments attributed to senior officers in the RUC.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. Which also then compounded the problem.

12 Q. And so you think, do you, that it was the -- I think the

13 word you use was "juxtaposition" --

14 A. Hm-mm.

15 Q. -- of these three solicitors being named? And what we

16 see on RNI-106-030, which is draft paragraph 21

17 (displayed), seven lines from the bottom of the page:

18 "However, the Chief Constable did express the view

19 that some solicitors may in fact be working for the

20 paramilitaries."

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. No connection is there made between that "some

23 solicitors" and the three named individuals, is it?

24 A. No, but remember that Mrs Nelson's public profile was

25 such that it was highly likely that if that report had

 

 

31

 

1 got out into the public, journalists and others might

2 well have made that connection.

3 Q. So you felt, did you, that by naming her and explaining

4 that she was the subject of alleged intimidation and

5 harassment, and mentioning her complaints in the context

6 of a reference, a general reference some paragraphs

7 later, that she would, to quote you, "come to the

8 attention of terrorist organisations"?

9 A. I think it would have been highly likely to -- yes,

10 bring them to her attention, reinforce perhaps views

11 they may already have held.

12 Q. As we heard, there was a good deal of media coverage

13 already by this stage about Rosemary Nelson and her

14 work. She had a high public profile, she was involved

15 in high profile cases. What, please, was this going to

16 do to add to her prominence and to public knowledge of

17 the context in which she worked?

18 A. I think it was the juxtaposition of the -- where is it?

19 I can't find the line. Down near the bottom --

20 Q. Yes:

21 "The Chief Constable did express ..."

22 Yes?

23 A. It is that taken with all the rest. I'm absolutely sure

24 that journalists would have linked those two.

25 Q. Do you think the same would have applied to the other

 

 

32

 

1 two individuals?

2 A. Probably not to quite the same extent because they

3 didn't have quite the same public profile as

4 Mrs Nelson did.

5 Q. Was the real concern here about the Chief Constable's

6 alleged comment?

7 A. I think that certainly didn't help, but I think even the

8 naming of Mrs Nelson, linking her so explicitly with the

9 Garvaghy Road residents, I know that this was something

10 that, you know, was in the newsprints at the time. It

11 was on the television and all the rest of it. But there

12 is something different, I think, about something that

13 is, you know, a five-second or even less newsflash on

14 the television to something appearing in a report by

15 a United Nations Special Rapporteur.

16 It just gives a different perspective to it, a

17 different slant to it, and I think there would still

18 have been a risk in naming names even if that remark,

19 the Chief Constable's alleged remark, was not there.

20 Q. I see. Now, so far as the remark, however, it was

21 perfectly obvious to you, presumably, on the very first

22 reading, that if this were published, published in

23 particular by the UN Special Rapporteur, it would have

24 very grave consequences?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

33

 

1 Q. Did you, therefore, discuss this with more senior

2 officials at the NIO?

3 A. I did, to the best of my recollection. I can't remember

4 the precise sequence of it. I said that when I got it,

5 I think I read it and it was fairly late at night. So I

6 don't know whether I discussed it that evening with --

7 Mr Steele isn't on my list, but I think I can mention

8 his name, can't I?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. I don't know whether I discussed it that evening with

11 Mr Steele or not, or whether we talked about it the next

12 day, but yes, there would have been discussion within

13 the NIO with our own people.

14 Q. And did you have those discussions before raising the

15 question with Command Secretariat?

16 A. I think I may have put in a quick phone call to

17 Command Secretariat first of all. Again, I can't

18 recollect whether we actually transmitted the report to

19 Command Secretariat or whether they had got a copy

20 separately from somewhere or other, or not. I can't

21 remember that. But I think I'd probably have had

22 a quick word with Command Secretariat that evening if

23 they had been there to make sure that they had read it,

24 that they were thinking about it, what their stance was

25 likely to be.

 

 

34

 

1 Q. Presumably the key question is whether or not he had

2 said it?

3 A. Yes, exactly.

4 Q. Now, you deal with this in your statement and it is,

5 again, as you have indicated earlier, an area where we

6 don't have, you don't have notes or documents to help

7 us. But you believe, as I understand it, that at some

8 point at any rate you spoke to the Chief Constable

9 himself?

10 A. I did.

11 Q. Presumably, therefore, you asked him direct whether he

12 had made the remark?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And he answered?

15 A. He answered that he hadn't.

16 Q. Yes. Was there any other discussion about who else

17 might have made such a remark?

18 A. No, because I think from my point of view the key thing

19 was that it was attributed to the Chief Constable. That

20 was the -- that was the important point.

21 Q. So you didn't discuss whether such a remark might have

22 been made at the meeting but by somebody else?

23 A. No.

24 Q. And what did you agree to do?

25 A. I think we agreed to speak to the Foreign Office and

 

 

35

 

1 express concern about this and see what could be done to

2 change these bits of the draft.

3 I should stress that this was a draft that was being

4 sent out for comment for factual accuracy and so forth.

5 So, you know, it was right that we were going back

6 through the FCO saying, "Here are things that we are

7 concerned about, can something be done about them,

8 please."

9 Q. But you also presumably knew, or if you didn't, the

10 Foreign Office would have told you, that this was not

11 just any old draft circulated within government; it was

12 a draft from the Special Rapporteur whose remit from the

13 UN in fact extended to every country within the UN and

14 who did not send out his draft on the expectation that

15 there would be lots and lots of comments and drafting

16 amendments?

17 A. No, but if you send out a report, even if you are the

18 Special Rapporteur, for, you know, comment and advice

19 and factual accuracy, then I think if there is something

20 that is factually inaccurate, you would want to be told

21 about it. First point.

22 Second point, there was an issue for us about

23 safety. There was our concern that this would increase

24 the risk. It could be very damaging to Mrs Nelson's

25 safety and, you know, in those circumstances I think it

 

 

36

 

1 would have been right to warn the Special Rapporteur

2 that that was our view.

3 Q. Just on the question of safety, I understand the point

4 you are making there, but at the moment you have

5 described a conversation with the Chief Constable

6 relating to the remark attributed to him?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. That remark was a quite general remark, wasn't it?

9 A. It was.

10 Q. And as a remark in its general terms, would it, if no

11 solicitor had individually been named, in your view have

12 raised safety issues?

13 A. It could have done. It still could have done. It was

14 obviously -- whether it would have raised safety issues

15 sufficiently acutely that we would have gone back to

16 the -- that it would have been justified to go back to

17 the Special Rapporteur and say, "Look, please take that

18 out because it may pose risks to the lives of defence

19 solicitors" is another matter.

20 I think it was the fact that there were specific

21 solicitors named tied in with that remark that did mean

22 it was just dangerous, and that was an issue that you

23 couldn't just sort of wash your hands of it and go, "Oh,

24 well, dear, dear, it will be the Special Rapporteur's

25 fault if anything happened." You had to do something

 

 

37

 

1 about it.

2 Q. Can I take it from that that in your discussion with the

3 Chief Constable, you also touched on the naming of

4 individuals?

5 A. Absolutely.

6 Q. Did you specifically discuss the position of

7 Rosemary Nelson?

8 A. I mean, we did, we recognised that she was the one who

9 was most likely to be regarded as falling into that sort

10 of category.

11 Q. What do you mean by that, sorry? What category?

12 A. She was most likely to be regarded as falling into the

13 category of being very closely allied with one

14 particular political or terrorist persuasion.

15 Q. So, so I'm clear about this, you in the discussion

16 regarded her, did you, as the one most likely to be

17 regarded as covered by his remark, i.e. that she may be

18 working for the paramilitaries?

19 A. Yes. As I say, that would have been the -- the public

20 perception would have been quite easy to make a linkage.

21 Q. So in your discussion, therefore, she had a particular

22 place, unlike the other two named lawyers, because you

23 believed, what, on the basis of the public view of the

24 matter, that the link would be made?

25 A. The link would be made, and that's linked to the public

 

 

38

 

1 profile.

2 Q. Was there any other basis for making that link, other

3 than the public profile?

4 A. The public profile was the one we were worried about

5 because that was the one that the terrorists would

6 act on.

7 Q. So as I understand it, following this conversation, you

8 made contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office;

9 is that right?

10 A. That's right.

11 Q. Again, did you discuss that matter with senior officials

12 before you did so?

13 A. Yes, I think so.

14 Q. Because although, as you point out, if there were issues

15 of safety, if there were inaccuracies you would want to

16 make them known, you would understand that it would have

17 to be handled delicately with an official such as the

18 Special Rapporteur?

19 A. Oh, yes. And I think -- you asked me did I go back to

20 the Foreign Office myself. I think I did or I tried to,

21 but I'm not sure whether I succeeded. I certainly

22 communicated as well to the London end of the office,

23 which was generally our link with the Foreign Office.

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. So that's the sort of path you were following.

 

 

39

 

1 Q. Yes. So that's the department which deals with

2 international relations?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Yes. And you say -- and this is now paragraph 103 of

5 your statement, RNI-841-251 (displayed) -- you don't

6 know whether the Chief Constable made his own contacts,

7 either with the Foreign Office or with the Special

8 Rapporteur. He might have done.

9 Is that something that he indicated he might do in

10 the course of your conversation?

11 A. To the best of my recollection, I think he asked me

12 whether that was something he could do or -- not quite

13 did I think he should, but sort of something along those

14 lines. I think my reply to him was, you know, well, it

15 was a matter for him, but normal channels were through

16 the Foreign Office and that was probably the best way of

17 dealing with it.

18 Q. So it was left, was it, that you would make these

19 concerns known through the proper channels?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And he was content for you to do that, was he?

22 A. Oh, yes.

23 Q. When you made your contact with the Foreign Office, how

24 was the suggested intervention received?

25 A. I think they were -- as you point out, you know, special

 

 

40

 

1 rapporteurs are UN people. I think they accepted that

2 there was a need to do something because of the concerns

3 I expressed to them about the safety aspect.

4 But obviously, I mean, they also have a separate

5 UK -- I mean, I was coming from the NIO and my concern

6 was the safety of people in Northern Ireland. Their

7 concern was more sort of the reputation of the UK as

8 supporting human rights generally and being very much in

9 favour of special rapporteurs and their remit and their

10 ability to make reports without being altered. But I

11 think they accepted that because of the risks, something

12 had to be tried at any rate.

13 Q. And presumably you later heard in March that the

14 Rapporteur had agreed to make amendments to his reports

15 and to delete the names?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Turning very briefly to the point you began with at

18 101 -- that's RNI-841-250 (displayed) -- the position

19 here was that British Irish Rights Watch became aware of

20 the alleged remark and that an amendment to the report

21 had been made. There was a letter to the Secretary of

22 State, wasn't there, 10 March? We can see at

23 RNI-106-132 (displayed), and can I take it that you were

24 involved in dealing with this and trying to manage the

25 situation, because at a subsequent point it leaked to

 

 

41

 

1 the press and there was a fear, wasn't there, that he

2 having made his amendment to remove the offending

3 passage, the comment would leak out into the public

4 domain in any event?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So precisely the consequences that you and he had been

7 working to avoid would come about anyway?

8 A. Anyway, yes.

9 Q. And presumably, therefore, it remained a matter of some

10 concern and significance at the end of March -- and we

11 can see that from RNI-106-165 (displayed), I think --

12 this is again the 27th, the same date as that letter you

13 mention in your statement -- where one of the officials

14 in your department is referring to a meeting with the

15 Chief Constable and expressing your view that the whole

16 Cumaraswamy issue is one which should be discussed then?

17 A. That's right.

18 Q. Sir, I'm about to turn to another topic. Would this be

19 a convenient moment?

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. We will have a quarter of an hour

21 break.

22 (10.44 am)

23 (Short break)

24 (11.05 am)

25 MR PHILLIPS: Mrs Collins, can we now look at the topic of

 

 

42

 

1 the ICPC and the dissatisfaction, or refusal to give

2 a certificate of satisfaction, and just look at one or

3 two points where you were concerned with dealing with

4 that.

5 From your statement, we can see you deal with it

6 from 123 onwards because there you refer to the ICPC

7 Chairman's letter. That's RNI-841-259 (displayed) of

8 19 June. I don't think it is necessary to look in any

9 detail at the letter because the point with which I'm

10 concerned is your next comment, which is that it was

11 a bit of a botch-up. And as I understand it, wrapped up

12 in that is (a) that you had no warning about it, and (b)

13 that it was a very significant development. Is that

14 right?

15 A. I think that is absolutely right.

16 Q. You would presumably have expected to be given fair

17 warning, advance notice, some signal, before such an

18 important step were taken?

19 A. I would have certainly expected some pretty firm signal.

20 I would actually have expected more than that.

21 I mean, if things had got to such a situation that

22 the Commission were considering taking this step, then I

23 would have expected them to have come at least to us to

24 say that they were, that they were experiencing

25 difficulties and why, to see whether there was anything

 

 

43

 

1 we could do to unblock it, to find out what the problem

2 was and unblock it, deal with it. I think I would have

3 expected as well that something similar would have been

4 done with the RUC.

5 I wouldn't necessarily have expected us to be

6 involved. You know, the RUC and the ICPC might have

7 been able to sort it out themselves without coming to

8 us, but I think when something gets to the state that

9 a body is going to take this kind of action, we would

10 have expected to be told about it in advance and in sort

11 of pretty explicit terms.

12 I don't really like the word "signal" because that

13 is a bit like sort of flag waving down a railway

14 platform or something. I think I would have expected

15 more constructive engagement in the issue than that.

16 Q. And you received none?

17 A. And we received none.

18 Q. Thank you. We have heard from Mr Rogers -- and I don't

19 want to go over it with you -- about the fallout and how

20 you and your colleagues, including him and Mr Steele,

21 sought to deal with it. I would just like to look at

22 some of the documents with which you were involved and

23 some of the points.

24 RNI-016-217.500. Can we have that on the screen

25 please? It is a memorandum early in the crisis from

 

 

44

 

1 Simon Rogers, copied to you, addressed to Mr Steele.

2 RNI-016-217.500, please (displayed). Thank you.

3 The only aspect of this I want to ask you about is

4 the ultimate bullet point just above paragraph 3, where

5 he says that there are three issues to consider in an

6 attached table:

7 "The need or otherwise to act on the cumulative

8 total of material suggesting problems in the RUC

9 handling of defence lawyers. The fact that the latest

10 piece of material is from our 'own' Independent

11 Commission for Police Complaints cannot be discounted

12 lightly."

13 So by this stage your division was aware then, was

14 it, of a cumulative total of material suggesting

15 problems with the police handling of defence lawyers?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And this was particularly serious in that regard

18 because, as he said, it came from within, as it were,

19 from the existing complaints structure, rather than

20 being based on allegations made by, for example, third

21 parties?

22 A. Yes, and I think the significance of that is that this

23 was a body that had actually itself been involved at

24 first hand in the process. It wasn't, you know, the

25 Lawyers Alliance for Justice or whatever from across the

 

 

45

 

1 pond; it was people who were here on the ground.

2 Q. Supervising the complaints?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Yes. In that bullet point in the first sentence -- this

5 is an internal minute of course -- there is no attempt

6 to distinguish between, for example, allegations and

7 evidence, is there? There is no reference to

8 substantiation or not; it simply says there is a:

9 "... cumulative total of material suggesting

10 problems in the RUC handling of defence lawyers"?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, if we turn on to slightly later in the

13 history. Again, I don't want to get into any of the

14 detail because it is set out in your statement, but we

15 see a memorandum from you at RNI-106-234 (displayed),

16 10 July.

17 By this stage, I think it is right to say that the

18 Mulvihill route had been accepted by the ICPC but there

19 were still concerns, particularly in your division,

20 about the question of whether there should be an

21 independent element of supervision -- I don't know if

22 you remember this -- in relation to the sense in which

23 the ICPC was itself a complainant in relation to the

24 original investigation?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

46

 

1 Q. Thank you. The passage of this I would like to show to

2 you, please, is at paragraph 5 on the next page,

3 RNI-106-235 (displayed). In my copy the 5 has been

4 removed, but it begins:

5 "The nature of the ICPC's concerns ..."

6 Do you see it on the screen?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. "... arguably amounting to an allegation of conspiracy

9 to pervert the course of justice. And the way the ICPC

10 expressed them makes it inevitable that extra impetus

11 will be given to the campaigns over allegations of

12 police ill-treatment of defence lawyers, originating

13 with the Pat Finucane case, and giving a high

14 international profile for the UN Special Rapporteur,

15 Mr Cumaraswamy's report as well as by the allegations

16 surrounding the treatment of Rosemary Nelson."

17 So you viewed those matters, did you, as being

18 campaigns?

19 A. I think by this stage it was quite clear there was an

20 element of campaigning about it and, you know, this

21 was -- on the one side there was quite clearly an

22 element of complaining about it. On the other hand,

23 clearly something was going very awry with the

24 ICPC-supervised investigation -- had gone very awry.

25 Q. Indeed, and that is one of the things that made this so

 

 

47

 

1 significant, wasn't it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. But you no longer could -- forgive me for using this

4 expression -- dismiss or put on one side what was being

5 said as part of a campaign because, lo and behold, the

6 supervisors themselves were raising these very grave

7 matters?

8 A. They were, and you referred earlier to the fact we had

9 accepted cumulative material. I think the significance

10 there is also because by that stage the investigations

11 into the various allegations had progressed, there had

12 been a beginning to bottom some of those out to actually

13 change them from being -- as I think I said in one of

14 the comments -- recycled complaints from NGOs into:

15 there is actually this series of specific complaints

16 relating to this time, this date, this place, this

17 person and so on.

18 It was beginning to bottom out. There was actually

19 now material you could talk about rather than, you know,

20 non-specific allegations.

21 Then there was -- whatever was going on, which we

22 didn't at that stage know, leading to the ICPC's

23 apparent refusal to issue a certificate of satisfaction.

24 Q. Yes. Now, just moving on again to the next stage of

25 this, there is a memorandum from you in the file,

 

 

48

 

1 RNI-106-253.500 (displayed), dated 16 July. This was

2 from the body of material generated in the file.

3 This was obviously a very busy time even by the

4 standards of your division. But in this memorandum you

5 are recording in clear terms your persistent concerns

6 about this element of independent supervision.

7 Remember, the thing I mentioned a little while ago?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And this, as I understand it, was something that you and

10 Mr Steele were particularly concerned about from the

11 point of view of the position of the Secretary of State

12 and Government?

13 A. Yes. I was very anxious about it. I think -- I don't

14 want to speak for Mr Steele, but I was very anxious

15 about it. I thought that then we needed to be in

16 a position to make sure that the Secretary of State was

17 adequately protected and, indeed, that in the interests

18 of fairness the police were also adequately protected as

19 well, and that the easiest way to achieve that was to

20 have independent oversight of that element of the new

21 investigation.

22 Q. The Mulvihill investigation?

23 A. The Mulvihill investigation.

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. Though it would have been technically difficult because

 

 

49

 

1 no existing member of the ICPC could have done it. You

2 would have had to bring in somebody from outside to do

3 that.

4 Q. But despite those technical difficulties, it remained

5 a concern and a theme in your writing at this time?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can we look, please, at the second page of the

8 memorandum, paragraph 4, the fourth line? Here you say:

9 "The allegations of threats and intimidation by

10 police officers against defence solicitors are

11 longstanding and have been the subject of repeated

12 expressions of concern both within Northern Ireland and

13 by various independent foreign bodies and organisations,

14 most notably perhaps by the UN Special Rapporteur whose

15 report and whose comments in the draft report on this

16 particular case have underlined the serious nature of

17 those concerns."

18 Then you set out the fact that it was continuing; in

19 other words, ministers' cases continued to flow in:

20 "Given the terms in which the ICPC have expressed

21 their concerns and the way in which they have done so,

22 it is difficult for the Secretary of State to accept

23 reassurances even from the Chief Constable and ICPC in

24 public consult as sufficient to overcome the need for

25 genuine independent, fresh supervision."

 

 

50

 

1 So that was the background to your concern, i.e. the

2 years of repeated expressions of concern building up

3 through the Special Rapporteur's report. It continuing,

4 so far as your division was concerned, with

5 correspondence and now culminating in the ICPC's

6 expression of their own concern, which meant that, in

7 your view, this independent element was essential?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And that leads you to a memorable passage in paragraph 6

10 where you pose a series of hypothetical questions, and

11 we can see -- I'm not going to read it all out -- that

12 you end up with some rather unsatisfactory hypothetical

13 responses:

14 "Well, Ronnie reassured me, but (a) nothing, (b)

15 none, (c) yes."

16 Now, Mr Steele endorsed your views on the next page,

17 RNI-106-253.503 (displayed), didn't he, and said that it

18 was going to be, in his view, a very hot potato

19 politically?

20 Now, in the end the issue was -- I was going to say

21 resolved. The matter proceeded, didn't it, and

22 Commander Mulvihill was instructed to review as well as

23 to do his report on the original allegations, and the

24 idea of having an independent element to the supervision

25 of his work went away, didn't it?

 

 

51

 

1 A. It did.

2 Q. Yes. Can I turn now briefly to look at another topic,

3 which is the question of KPPS, which you also deal with

4 at some length in your statement? Again, just

5 highlighting some of the points you make here.

6 Can I ask you to look at paragraph 64, where you are

7 dealing with general matters and the way the system

8 worked, RNI-841-235 (displayed)?

9 Here, you set out the difference between the

10 automatic category and the discretionary category, and

11 we can see that for ourselves. Later you were obviously

12 asked questions by the interviewers, whether defence

13 lawyers would be a group who might qualify for

14 protection. That is paragraph 74 at RNI-841-238

15 (displayed). Can we have that enlarged, please?

16 As far as we can see, at a later stage, after you

17 had left Police Division, in fact they did, as a group,

18 become added to the list under the probably rather

19 reformed KPPS system. Were you aware of that?

20 A. Not until I was sort of told about it in the context of

21 this, no.

22 Q. Yes. I can't remember offhand when that happened, but

23 certainly at the time with which you were concerned,

24 ending in September 1998, they weren't one of identified

25 groups, were they?

 

 

52

 

1 A. No, but I should stress that, you know, when the KPPS is

2 described as discretionary, that is what it was. It was

3 discretionary. It could have been changed at any time.

4 What I'm describing there is the sorts of criteria that

5 would have been met to make that change.

6 Q. Yes. And in the discretionary area, operation of the

7 scheme, presumably in the end matters fall for

8 ministers' decision?

9 A. Oh, absolutely. I mean -- I was going to say ministers

10 could decide anything, but obviously ministers would

11 then have to be prepared to justify what they had

12 decided and you would get into the whole area both of

13 justifying the money that is spent and also justifying

14 the basis of the decision.

15 I mean, a minister may be free to decide absolutely

16 anything, but they still have to be able to show that it

17 was a reasonable thing for them to have done.

18 Q. Indeed, thank you. Can I ask you some questions about

19 a specific case in relation to the KPPS, namely that of

20 Breandan Mac Cionnaith, and ask you in particular to

21 look at RNI-305-144 (displayed)?

22 This is a minute to you from Mr McCourt, who was, I

23 think, on the KPPS side of your division, wasn't he?

24 A. That's right, yes.

25 Q. It raises the question, under the heading there

 

 

53

 

1 "Drumcree", of protection for Breandan Mac Cionnaith.

2 The aspect of concern to the Inquiry is of course,

3 in part at least, in relation to Rosemary Nelson. Do

4 you see the reference in the last paragraph on the

5 screen to him raising personal security concerns in

6 respect of his other coalition partners?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And going over the page, you will see the official notes

9 that, as regards the Coalition partners, he, the

10 official:

11 "... advised that either he should encourage them to

12 write to us outlining their concerns, including

13 appropriate details on how they perceive they meet the

14 criteria for inclusion in the scheme, or alternatively

15 he should provide me with the details direct. Either

16 way, each application would be assessed on an individual

17 basis against the criteria for inclusion in the

18 discretionary category of the KPPS."

19 Just picking up a couple of things there: the system

20 operated on the basis of individual application?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. And in the discretionary case, that would involve

23 considering the form, conducting the assessments that

24 you describe in your statement and reaching a decision

25 as to whether it would be appropriate to extend

 

 

54

 

1 protection and, indeed, funding in that particular case?

2 A. That's right. Again, I would like to stress that, you

3 know, when you have a discretionary scheme, as the KPPS

4 discretionary bit was, it is a bit of a two-edged sword

5 because on the one hand it means that you can be

6 flexible and you can take into account all the

7 circumstances of that particular case. You must take

8 into account all the circumstances of a particular case.

9 On the other hand, the reverse of that is that you have

10 to be particularly careful because if you take

11 a decision sort of without thinking it through very

12 fully, it can have all sorts of unintended consequences.

13 So it is -- it is not something you can use

14 irresponsibly. You have to actually do the work on it

15 very carefully.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 A. But the starting point is that somebody has actually to

18 say, "Please can I be considered".

19 Q. When you received this memorandum from Mr McCourt, would

20 you have taken the concerns mentioned there about other

21 Coalition partners to include Rosemary Nelson?

22 A. I don't think I would have done automatically. My sense

23 of it was that they were actually talking about the --

24 what was essentially the negotiating team, who were

25 perhaps more -- I'm trying to think of the right way of

 

 

55

 

1 expressing it, but they were -- like Mr Mac Cionnaith,

2 they were at the political representative end of it.

3 Rosemary Nelson was not that and, in fact, you know,

4 part of the whole theme running through this is that

5 Rosemary Nelson was a solicitor, defence lawyer, not

6 a political, elected representative or anything like

7 that. So I wouldn't automatically have taken her to be

8 included as one of the Coalition partners.

9 Q. So they were the client and she was their lawyer?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as this story is concerned, we

12 can see the next minute at RNI-305-149 (displayed) and

13 this is another one from the same official to you, the

14 same topic. It sets out the next stages of the

15 discussions that had taken place, and you see that at

16 the end of the minute, at RNI-305-151 (displayed), where

17 it deals with the question of not the two councillors,

18 but the partners. Do you see the penultimate paragraph

19 of the note?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. "I advise that each application be treated on an

22 individual basis against the criteria for admission to

23 the scheme. He undertook to provide me with the details

24 that were required, namely the perceived threat to each

25 individual, their occupation and home address."

 

 

56

 

1 Presumably at this stage you in Police Division were

2 expecting a list or the details to come from him in

3 relation to the Coalition partners?

4 A. That's right, and -- I mean, I think at this stage we

5 didn't -- we didn't assume we knew who those Coalition

6 partners were, which was why we were asking for a list

7 of them.

8 I suspect that at that stage maybe Mr Mac Cionnaith

9 hadn't really thought through who he wanted -- who

10 wanted to be put forward on that list either, otherwise

11 I would have expected Steven McCourt to have got that

12 information from him at that meeting.

13 If there had been a list of people already in

14 existence or already formed up, I would have wanted that

15 brought back to us --

16 Q. Indeed.

17 A. -- immediately.

18 Q. So far as you were aware, were such details provided?

19 A. I'm not sure that we ever got anything quite as handy as

20 a nice list, as is described there.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So far as your were aware as head of Police Division,

23 was an application by Rosemary Nelson ever made for

24 admission to the KPPS scheme?

25 A. I don't believe it was.

 

 

57

 

1 Q. Can you think of the matter on a hypothetical basis? If

2 Rosemary Nelson had been included in the details for

3 Mr Mac Cionnaith or had otherwise applied, then from

4 what you know or knew of her, and from the material that

5 we have been looking at, do you think she would have

6 been likely to qualify under the discretionary scheme?

7 A. I think it is very probable.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Because I think it would have been in a sense something

10 of a breakthrough. We would have been perfectly happy

11 to get that application in through the door. I mean,

12 what decision ministers would have taken at the end of

13 the day, I don't know, but we would have been quite

14 content to have an application there and to do the

15 groundwork and put it up to ministers for their

16 decision. But I think our recommendation would probably

17 have been, you know, it seems to us this is a worthwhile

18 thing to do.

19 Q. Do you say that despite the fact that part of the

20 process involved an assessment of threat and, indeed,

21 risk?

22 A. Yes, that was one part of the assessment, but the other

23 part of the assessment was -- and, I mean, this became,

24 I think, very topical at this particular stage in the

25 evolution of the KPPS -- because the other part of it

 

 

58

 

1 was the need to provide reassurance, the need to provide

2 comfort for people to continue engaging in whatever it

3 was they were doing that was important to the good

4 governance of Northern Ireland. That was the underlying

5 purpose of the scheme.

6 Okay, it was Key Persons Protection Scheme. There

7 was certainly some security benefit to be had from it,

8 but being utterly pragmatic about it, if the terrorists

9 are determined to kill somebody, they are more than

10 likely to achieve that if they put their mind to it

11 whether or not that person has all the protection that

12 KPPS can provide.

13 So, you know, it is not as if KPPS is actually

14 a panacea, but it does provide reassurance, it does

15 provide comfort to people to keep engaged in whatever

16 they are doing. I think that would have been the sort

17 of political, if you like, benefit -- could have been

18 seen as the political benefit at that time.

19 Q. Do you think that that would have happened despite,

20 then, what the police had reported to you, certainly

21 earlier in the year, in relation to threat?

22 A. I think it is something we would have looked at and we

23 would have taken a balanced decision, I mean,

24 recognising that sometimes you get a very strong case on

25 one side and perhaps not an awful lot on the threat

 

 

59

 

1 side. Sometimes you get an awful lot on the threat side

2 and perhaps not a terrible amount on the -- for want of

3 a better word -- the political advantage side.

4 Sometimes you get cases that are strong on both

5 suits and then you are through. This one, I think, even

6 though it might still have been pretty low if not

7 non-existent on the threat side, the reassurance element

8 of it, the "political" -- as I say, putting "politics",

9 please, in quotes -- side of it would have been pretty

10 hefty.

11 Q. So the system at this stage, in the summer of 1998, was

12 sufficiently flexible to accommodate that situation and

13 allow for discretionary admission in such a case?

14 A. Yes. I mean, we got very, very skilled, I suppose, at

15 introducing concepts like "not really in the KPPS

16 discretionary scheme, but nevertheless protected under

17 it", if you see what I mean.

18 Q. Was an example of that what actually happened in the

19 cases of Mr Mac Cionnaith and Mr Duffy?

20 A. It was.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 A. But I think that was really more as a sort of device to

23 allow us to enter this new territory with caution,

24 rather than simply flinging open the floodgates to the

25 KPPS and saying, "Anybody that thinks they can put

 

 

60

 

1 forward this kind of case, trot along here and you will

2 get new doors, new windows, new driveway, new lights,

3 all at the public expense."

4 Q. But the new territory you mention was just part of the

5 adjustment that you described yesterday to the new and

6 changing political landscape?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can I take you straight to a letter which raised this

9 issue with your department at exactly this time, and it

10 is a letter from Paul Mageean of the CAJ at RNI-106-287

11 (displayed).

12 This letter -- which I would like to have both pages

13 on the screen, please, RNI-106-288 as well

14 (displayed) -- came just a few weeks after the memos we

15 have just been talking about in relation to Mr Mac

16 Cionnaith, and it is part of, as you know,

17 the August/September 1998 threat assessment history with

18 the pamphlet on the one hand and the threat note on the

19 other.

20 I'll ask you some questions about that in a minute,

21 but one of the things that Mr Mageean was raising in

22 this letter was precisely the issue of KPPS protection.

23 Do you see the last paragraph?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And that's the context of his assertion in the sentence

 

 

61

 

1 just above that paragraph:

2 "It is incumbent on the Government to investigate

3 these matters, but also to provide the necessary

4 protection for Mrs Nelson."

5 So here in August 1998, you have a third party

6 raising exactly the possibility that you and I have just

7 been discussing of her being offered protection under

8 the KPPS?

9 A. That's right, yes.

10 Q. And we know that in due course that led to a letter by

11 way of reply, in fact on 24 September, which we will

12 have look at in a minute. But can I just ask you this:

13 when this letter came in, given what you have just been

14 telling us, presumably it was regarded as presenting an

15 excellent opportunity to the NIO?

16 A. Well, yes and no, because, yes, it raised the issue of

17 Mrs Nelson and KPPS, but it wasn't from Mrs Nelson; it

18 was from a third party and it didn't have any indication

19 in it that they were speaking for Mrs Nelson or had

20 authority from Mrs Nelson to approach us, or anything of

21 that nature.

22 Q. Did you ask them that specific question? Did you ring

23 up Mr Mageean as you said you had rung up CAJ before and

24 asked him, "Listen, are you speaking for Rosemary Nelson

25 in this?"

 

 

62

 

1 A. I am afraid I can't at this distance remember that.

2 Q. There is no indication that anybody asked him that

3 question.

4 A. There is no indication, but again -- and this is where

5 I go back to the point -- we don't have the Police

6 Division file on the subject and I cannot -- I know this

7 is an important point. I can't recall whether or not

8 I spoke to Mr Mageean about this. I think it is likely

9 that I would have done, but I don't want to say that

10 categorically, sort of on oath or whatever because I

11 cannot honestly remember.

12 Q. Well, it puts forward concerns on her behalf and

13 specific documents, the two documents that became

14 important in the assessment. And can we at least agree

15 that it gives every sign of having been written very

16 much with her interests in mind and on her behalf?

17 A. It certainly is written very much with her interests in

18 mind, but there is nothing in this which says, "This is

19 us writing on her behalf". If there had been, I think

20 we would have, as I said, taken it forward rapidly. We

21 would still have needed -- I have to stress --

22 Mrs Nelson's personal involvement in it because you

23 simply can't take forward a KPPS application without

24 that individual actually prompting it.

25 Q. But given what you said earlier, it was very much

 

 

63

 

1 something you wanted to bring about, to receive such an

2 application, and presumably the quickest way to do that

3 was to pick up that specific point he had raised in some

4 detail and say, "Look, Mr Mageean, we appreciate the

5 point you are making, but we cannot act on what you say.

6 We need to hear from Rosemary Nelson" and do it rapidly?

7 A. I know, and I regret that I cannot remember. Because it

8 is important, I don't want to say to you, "Oh, yes,

9 I remember I did that" because I honestly don't

10 remember.

11 I think it is likely that I would have done, but I

12 am afraid I just can't say at this distance that I did.

13 And as I say, I haven't got my -- there aren't Police

14 Division files that would show "Spoke to Paul Mageean.

15 Unfortunately, no, this isn't to be regarded as him on

16 behalf of Rosemary Nelson."

17 I can't do that, I'm sorry.

18 Q. Well, the only written document on this front we have by

19 way of communication with him is at RNI-106-324,

20 24 September (displayed), which I think you would

21 accept, wouldn't you, was not a rapid response to the

22 letter of 10 August?

23 A. No, it wasn't. But remember also that this was a time

24 of some change. Quite a lot of people were off on

25 leave. Remember that we had just got the Police Bill

 

 

64

 

1 through Parliament, finishing in July. We had just set

2 up the Patten Commission. I was in the process of

3 leaving Police Division; I actually stayed on in point

4 of fact. I was supposed to go on leave middle of August

5 and I didn't because Mr Lindsay was leaving his previous

6 post in private office and needed to take leave, and I

7 wasn't prepared to leave Police Division without anybody

8 heading it. Mr Steele was also leaving. I don't think

9 Mr Watkins had arrived yet.

10 It was -- there was turbulence, if you like, in the

11 personnel involved and I'm not really surprised that it

12 took longer than it might ideally have done in all those

13 circumstances to get this reply out.

14 Q. Now, if we look at the second page, which is the

15 relevant page, at RNI-106-325 (displayed), it is there

16 that the detail of the KPPS system is set out, and also

17 a suggestion in relation to an application for personal

18 protection and, finally, contacting the local crime

19 prevention officer.

20 The reason I have taken you to these documents is

21 because, from your earlier answer about the

22 discretionary element of the KPPS, it is clear that you

23 did not have to wait for the police to form a view about

24 threat, did you, before raising the possibility of an

25 application for KPPS with Mr Mageean for him to pass on

 

 

65

 

1 to Rosemary Nelson?

2 A. No, I mean, it is a factor, but it is not the only

3 factor.

4 Q. There was no reason in responding to his letter to wait

5 to hear from Command Secretariat in relation to threat,

6 precisely for the reasons that you have just explained:

7 that this was a matter where the application could start

8 and, in any event, a negative threat assessment would

9 not be a final bar to admission to the discretionary

10 scheme?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 A. I mean, what we needed to have to start the process

14 going was an actual application from Rosemary Nelson and

15 then everything else flowed from that.

16 Q. Now, so far as this letter is concerned, and the

17 suggestion being made, did it, the 24 September letter,

18 issue after your departure from Police Division, can you

19 remember?

20 A. Yes, to the best of my recollection, it was about the

21 10 September, I think, that Ken Lindsay came back from

22 his leave and took up post, and I went off on my leave

23 before going to my new post.

24 I can't at this distance precisely remember whether

25 it was 5 September or 7 September or 10 September, but

 

 

66

 

1 it was around that time that that took place.

2 Q. But in the light of the answers you have given about

3 KPPS and the hypothetical position, can I take it that

4 you and your colleagues were in this letter making

5 a genuine suggestion, i.e. one which you thought had

6 a prospect at least of resulting in her admission to the

7 scheme?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. In other words, bluntly, there wouldn't have been any

10 point of writing in those terms, would there?

11 A. Absolutely not. It would have been a waste of effort.

12 Q. So you were not in a position to say at this stage for

13 the same reasons, that you were certain, sure,

14 convinced, for example, that Rosemary Nelson would not

15 cooperate, would not come forward to join the scheme?

16 A. No. And, again, this is one of the things where things

17 were changing.

18 Q. Indeed.

19 A. The ice was crackling, if you like. Whereas maybe two

20 years earlier I would have been pretty convinced that

21 she wouldn't have done, by this stage things were

22 changing. I mean, we had got the agreement, there was

23 political change in the air. It was very difficult to

24 judge quite how different individuals would react, which

25 way they would go.

 

 

67

 

1 Q. Indeed.

2 A. It was -- it was difficult to be sure of anything

3 actually.

4 Q. Yes. And in a sense, the CAJ letter was a sign, as you

5 saw it, presumably, that things may indeed be changing

6 and that a point was being raised with you, an

7 initiative was being taken in this specific regard?

8 A. Yes, and I think that's -- you know, that was part of

9 the sort of thawing process that we were going through.

10 You know, the CAJ felt able to write to us in the terms

11 that they had, they knew to make that specific request.

12 We replied -- were able to reply in the terms we did.

13 There was the Breandan Mac Cionnaith episode there.

14 It was all moving, perhaps unevenly and that some

15 areas were moving faster than others, but there was

16 movement.

17 Q. But so far as Rosemary Nelson and her safety was

18 concerned, you were also receiving further information

19 on that front at this time, weren't you, in the form of

20 the pamphlet and the threat note?

21 A. Yes, those things were beginning to come into, if I can

22 put it -- the actual physical reality, rather than

23 being, as they had been previously, something that had

24 been bowling around in the ether but we had never

25 actually laid hands on, if you like.

 

 

68

 

1 Q. So, again, in considering Mr Mageean's letter, you were

2 looking not only at this possible change in attitude and

3 initiative in relation to protection, but also -- if we

4 go back to RNI-106-287 (displayed) -- to two concrete

5 examples of threatening material: the pamphlet in which

6 she was described as former bomber, a member of a motley

7 crew of people who were said to be terrorists; and the

8 actual threat note?

9 A. Yes. Well, it wasn't the actual threat note because I

10 think it was -- to my recollection, it was an absolutely

11 appalling photocopy, which is in itself a significant

12 point actually.

13 Q. It is a significant point and it is one I know there is

14 a great deal of sensitivity about.

15 I didn't mean the original; I meant a threat note as

16 opposed to being told about it by a third party. There

17 it was.

18 A. It was an appalling -- if I recollect it right, it was

19 an appalling photocopy on a piece of paper about that

20 size (indicates), but it wasn't the original document.

21 It wasn't anything that we could have sent to the police

22 and said, "Here, look at this". You know, as a piece of

23 evidence, if you like, in that sense it wasn't anything,

24 but at least it was physical as a -- I don't know,

25 second or third generation copy of the original.

 

 

69

 

1 Q. Yes. Now, so far as this episode is concerned, the

2 impression I get from your statement, perhaps reinforced

3 by what you have just been saying about the pace of work

4 at this time, is that you were not so closely involved

5 in this episode as you had been, for example, in

6 the April one; is that fair?

7 A. I think that's fair. I mean, we have focused --

8 obviously rightly -- in this Inquiry on one single

9 strand, Rosemary Nelson and the sort of defence

10 solicitors point. But let's not forget that

11 simultaneously with this we were actually, as

12 a division -- my division was putting together the

13 Patten Commission with all that was involved in that,

14 getting the briefing material together.

15 I actually peeled off some of my staff to go down

16 and be the staff for the Patten Commission.

17 Q. Yes, including Mr Rogers, I think, at some stage?

18 A. Including Mr Rogers at some stage. You know, we were

19 extremely busy. And, as I said, some people were moving

20 on, other people, frankly, were absolutely exhausted and

21 had to go off and take leave. There was no two ways

22 about it.

23 So we were both thin on the ground and stretched in

24 all sorts of different directions. I think my personal

25 focus during this particular period of weeks would

 

 

70

 

1 probably have been on the Patten Commission rather than

2 on this.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 A. And this was being taken forward -- or I hoped it was

5 going to begin to be taken forward as a proper case

6 through the KPPS, where I had every confidence that the

7 staff there would be dealing with it properly both in

8 terms of the thoroughness of it, but also of the

9 sensitivity of it.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. I mean, they were staff who were hand-picked more or

12 less for their ability to deal with these kinds of

13 situations and these kind of issues.

14 Q. In terms of the detailed handling, Mr Rogers was in the

15 lead; is that right?

16 A. It was shifting at this point from Mr Rogers because of

17 the complaints side of it, if you like, but the KPPS

18 side was going in the directions of Mr McCourt.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And we know also that Lesley Foster had a role in the

21 exchanges?

22 A. In the campaigns, because the complaint aspect of

23 that -- the threat aspect of that would have gone to

24 Simon, but the issue of was Mrs Nelson making an

25 application under KPPS or not would have been

 

 

71

 

1 Mr McCourt's side of the house to deal with.

2 Q. Thank you. Can I just look at one paragraph of your

3 statement in this regard, RNI-841-270 (displayed)?

4 It is paragraph 154, where you are dealing with the

5 documents that Eversheds showed you, and in particular

6 with the leaflet, and you say in the last sentence that

7 you recall looking her up in the Yellow Pages?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you remember I mentioned that earlier?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Just to confirm then, in this case you didn't seek

12 clarification from Command Secretariat?

13 A. I think -- again, I have a hazy recollection that

14 I spoke to -- I think at that stage it was P136, but

15 that was simply to confirm that, oh, yes, I had looked

16 up in the Yellow Pages myself too and there was name and

17 address and telephone number, office name, address and

18 telephone number.

19 So the Irish side, appearing to lay great stress on

20 this new emerging danger, was a bit hard to understand.

21 It wasn't anything really truly significant in terms of

22 raised threat, if you see what I mean.

23 Q. When I asked you a specific question about this earlier,

24 you said that you hadn't followed up the August 1998

25 threat assessment and you haven't referred to any such

 

 

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1 follow-up in your statement, have you?

2 A. No, but that's, again, part of I don't want to go on

3 record as saying -- as I think I do when I signed this

4 statement -- that such and such did happen if I'm not

5 absolutely categorically sure of it. I have a hazy

6 recollection of it, I think I did, but it is not

7 something I want to sign my life away on.

8 Q. But anyway you think the discussion was about the Yellow

9 Pages reference?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. In the leaflet there were various other claims about

12 her, including that she was a former bomber and a member

13 of a motley crew with other alleged terrorists. That is

14 not something that the police commented on in their

15 reply to you, and it sounds as though it is not

16 something that you discussed with P136?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Thank you. Yes, those are all the questions I have, but

19 as you have doubtless seen from the transcript, at the

20 end of every witness's evidence I offer an opportunity,

21 if the witness wishes to take it, to make any further

22 points they wish to the Tribunal.

23 A. I don't think so, thank you very much. I hope I haven't

24 been too much of a trial as a witness.

25 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

 

 

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1 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Mrs Collins, I just wanted to follow

2 through this question of whether or not to approach

3 Mrs Nelson direct about her personal safety and what she

4 could do about it.

5 We have heard a fair bit about it. Do you think

6 that it is likely that the Lawyers Alliance for Justice,

7 that BIRW, that CAJ, would have written to you without

8 her knowing that they had written?

9 A. I don't think it is likely they would have written

10 without her knowing they had written, but that is

11 a different thing from what she wanted to come out of

12 that, if you take my meaning.

13 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Yes, I do. The limited point that

14 I wanted to try with you is that means that if she had

15 received an approach from Government, at whatever level,

16 about her personal safety, it wouldn't have come as

17 a complete shock to her: she knew that she was under

18 threat, she had been in touch with various organisations

19 saying that she was under threat? It wouldn't come as

20 a bombshell to her to know that Government was aware

21 that they thought she was under threat?

22 A. It wouldn't have come as a bombshell to her that she

23 thought she was under threat. She obviously thought she

24 was under threat. But there would still have been

25 a question for us as Government as to, "Well, what do we

 

 

74

 

1 do?" I mean, how do I open a conversation with

2 Mrs Nelson in these circumstances. That's supposing

3 that she would have actually answered the phone call, if

4 you see what I mean.

5 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Have you any reason to think that

6 she wouldn't have answered a phone call from the

7 Northern Ireland Office? I'm very puzzled about this

8 because I have seen nothing in any paper to suggest that

9 she had anything to say about the

10 Northern Ireland Office.

11 A. I had doubts about whether she would or she wouldn't. I

12 think she would have found a telephone call from the

13 Northern Ireland Office to be unexpected. That's why we

14 were trying to use the routes that she was using

15 reflecting back through those channels, why we

16 considered using local level contacts, either through

17 the crime prevention officer or the alternative would

18 have been our own civil representatives. People that

19 she would have been familiar with as a solicitor in

20 Lurgan. To make those sorts of contacts.

21 I think it would have been pretty unusual for an

22 official of my position, if you see what I mean --

23 I mean geographically and in other ways -- to have

24 phoned her in that way. I think she would have regarded

25 it as -- it is the sort of thing I am probably -- I

 

 

75

 

1 think somebody mentioned about being risk averse. It is

2 the sort of thing I am probably mad enough to have done

3 if I had thought it would have been a useful and

4 a sensible thing to do. But I didn't think that. So --

5 I mean, maybe I was wrong about that, but I think I

6 didn't think that and so I didn't do it.

7 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right. Can I ask you the same

8 question that I asked Simon Rogers yesterday: that you,

9 you know -- we now all have the wonderful benefit, if

10 that's the word, of hindsight and of knowing what

11 happened at the end.

12 At the time when you were deliberating this matter

13 in your mind and talking about it to other people, how

14 likely did you think it was that Rosemary Nelson would

15 indeed be murdered? You have talked about being very

16 concerned about her and you have also said that you

17 didn't think she was at a very high risk, and I'm trying

18 to work out where actually on that spectrum you were.

19 A. Well, we were concerned -- and, I mean, I'm worried

20 about this use of the word "concerned" because

21 "concerned" is a word that can translate into actually

22 worried specifically because of -- for some reason.

23 I think we didn't have a concrete reason to be

24 worried, but we were still concerned. I wasn't -- I

25 wasn't -- I wasn't unduly worried. I mean, I did not

 

 

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1 really think that she was at risk. Had I thought that,

2 then, you know, we would have done something. Had any

3 of us thought that, we would have done something. But

4 we didn't actually think that.

5 Yes, she did have a high profile. Yes, it emerged

6 in August that there were particular letters -- we began

7 to get examples of those in circulation -- that started

8 to add up, but there was nothing on the sort of police

9 information side that showed that she was at more than

10 a fairly general level of threat or risk. And take all

11 that together, what can you actually do?

12 That's -- you know, that's -- I mean, I have

13 searched my mind on this. Should we have done more?

14 Could we have done more? What more could we have done?

15 I don't think there is actually much that we could have

16 done in the circumstances. And those circumstances did

17 include things like the fact that we -- you know, we got

18 the threatening letter, the copy of it from the CAJ. It

19 was not something that Mrs Nelson took along and handed

20 into the police, which, if it had been -- I mean, she is

21 a defence solicitor, she is educated, she is

22 intelligent. She knows the fact that a letter like that

23 could have forensic material on it, forensic traces. If

24 it is actually a genuine threatening letter like that,

25 that's useful stuff to the police to investigate. The

 

 

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1 normal thing with something like that is to treat it

2 with kid gloves literally, take it to the police, say,

3 "Here, I have got this, I'm worried about it."

4 She did not do that. In those circumstances, what

5 are we to take out of it? It was very, very difficult

6 because it was shadow boxing, or something like that,

7 the whole time. That's what it was, and very, very

8 regrettable indeed that it ended -- the shadow boxing

9 ended as it did. Awful.

10 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

11 Questions by THE CHAIRMAN

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Mrs Collins, I appreciate the difficulty you

13 have had in giving evidence without having in front of

14 you the Police Division file with your own personal

15 annotations on it.

16 Now, when you moved from the Police Division

17 in September 1998, where was that file and how would it

18 have been kept, as you understood it?

19 A. At that particular stage, Police Division was in the

20 building we called Massey House. It was actually in

21 a sort of bubble built at the end of Massey House, an

22 extension to an extension. I had -- I'm just trying to

23 remember -- a couple of filing cabinets in my own room,

24 confidential filing cabinets with the stiles on them.

25 That's where the files that I was actually working on

 

 

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1 were kept.

2 My secretary had a similar range of filing cabinets

3 with further papers in, and then downstairs in actually

4 the Police Division registry was where the bulk storage,

5 if you like, of the files were. Virtually every file in

6 Police Division was confidential or above, so they would

7 all have been combination-locked or stile-locked filing

8 cabinets. All of those papers were in one of those, if

9 you like, three locations, one of those three rooms.

10 I should add there that Key Persons Protection had

11 their own room and their own filing cabinets because the

12 material they kept was obviously of a bigger degree of

13 sensitivity in some senses than anybody else's. So they

14 had their own premises nearly within the general Police

15 Division premises. But that's where those files were.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Was there any official procedure about how

17 long they should be kept, a file of this kind?

18 A. The normal government rules apply. I think material

19 should be reviewed, I think it is annually or some such.

20 I can't sort of rapidly remember what the Public Records

21 Act requirements are, but those are the requirements

22 that the NIO would have observed.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: So you would certainly have expected them to

24 be still in existence at the time of the murder of

25 Rosemary Nelson and for a considerable time thereafter?

 

 

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1 A. Well, absolutely. I mean, as a civil servant, it is

2 a rule that you don't ever destroy a file that may lead

3 to legal proceedings or something like that, and clearly

4 any file relating to Rosemary Nelson fell absolutely

5 into that category.

6 I don't understand what can have happened except

7 that, as I said, there was a lot of turbulence. I think

8 after I left Police Division, actually Police Division

9 split into several pieces and different people went off

10 to different locations taking with them files.

11 So it may be that at some stage in that movement

12 material went somewhere and we haven't discovered it

13 again yet. But I know --

14 THE CHAIRMAN: So it still may be in existence somewhere?

15 A. I cannot see how -- I can't very easily see how it can

16 have been destroyed. First of all, if anything was

17 officially destroyed there would be a schedule of

18 destruction, what had been destroyed, when and by whom

19 authorised.

20 Of course, accidents can happen. For example,

21 I know we had some files down in the basement in Massey

22 House; these weren't Rosemary Nelson ones, they were

23 just other -- I think dating actually from the 1930s to

24 do with firearms licensing. Some of those were

25 destroyed when the basement flooded. That can happen.

 

 

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1 You can have floods and papers get destroyed, but aside

2 from that, those files should still be there somewhere,

3 but I think we don't know where.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming to give

5 evidence before us.

6 Yes, Mr Donaldson?

7 Application by MR DONALDSON

8 MR DONALDSON: Sir, I have a short application to make and

9 without wishing to embarrass the witness, it might be

10 better perhaps if I made it in her absence.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: You would probably like a short break.

12 Hopefully we can release you, but would you like to go

13 out with [Name Redacted] there?

14 Yes, Mr Donaldson?

15 MR DONALDSON: I apologise to the Panel for taking up time

16 in respect of this witness whose time has overrun by

17 quite a bit, but the Panel has been furnished with

18 a list of questions that we sent in and you will see

19 that there were quite a few yes's and quite a few no's.

20 Out of a total of 24 questions we submitted, we had

21 a total of 10 no's.

22 Now, I would like the Panel -- I think you have seen

23 the list of questions -- to consider the questions to

24 which there is a response of no. In fact, it doesn't

25 apply to them all, so I will indicate just quickly the

 

 

81

 

1 ones we feel should be asked.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

3 MR DONALDSON: There are six questions altogether we would

4 like to have asked, and that is in respect of number 2,

5 3, 8, 10, 18 and 21.

6 Now, I haven't achieved much success in the past in

7 my applications, but I feel that I must try again and

8 ask the Panel to consider these.

9 This witness has been a very impressive witness.

10 She made a very lengthy statement running to some

11 56 pages, and there are a lot of issues have been raised

12 and, indeed, Counsel for the Tribunal has gone into some

13 matters in very great detail indeed. So we do not think

14 it is a great imposition that we should ask that some of

15 these questions we have submitted should also be asked

16 because we feel that they could well be of assistance to

17 the Tribunal.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: We will retire and consider your submissions,

19 Mr Donaldson.

20 We will retire for 15 minutes to give the

21 stenographer a break.

22 (12.10 pm)

23 (Short adjournment)

24 (12.26 pm)

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

 

 

82

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, you have indicated that you wish me to

2 ask some further questions: question 8 on the list put

3 forward by the PSNI. Of course I'm happy to do that.

4 Mrs Collins, I would like to take you, please, to

5 paragraph 40 of your statement and the comment that you

6 make there at RNI-481-227 (displayed) -- thank you -- to

7 the effect that one of the aims of the terrorist

8 campaigns was to undermine society's confidence in the

9 integrity of the whole criminal justice system.

10 The question I would like to ask you first, please,

11 is how and in what way or ways terrorist campaigns

12 sought to achieve that aim?

13 A. I'm sort of pausing, thinking I could write a book

14 probably on this subject.

15 Q. Indeed.

16 A. And some people have already undoubtedly written books

17 on the subject.

18 They tried in, I think, virtually every way that

19 they could conceive to do so. So there were, you know,

20 everything from the physical assaults on buildings,

21 blowing up of courthouses and so on, the intimidation.

22 And not just intimidation, but the murder of people

23 involved in those activities. That sort of disrupting

24 the process, delaying the process of justice in all

25 respects, because if you blow up a courthouse, it is not

 

 

83

 

1 just the courthouse that is blown up, but also that

2 court or those courts that function within it that stop

3 functioning.

4 So you get a dislocation of the system and if the

5 system is dislocated, people begin to lose faith in it

6 because everything slows down.

7 So that was one of the effects of something even as

8 physical as blowing up a courthouse. There is a effect

9 not just in terms of the physical damage, but also then

10 the knock-on of that because it takes years to repair.

11 It takes a long time for the court to be able to resume

12 functioning normally. That damages public confidence

13 both at the sort of primary level -- what sort of system

14 is it that can't protect its own courthouses -- but also

15 down at the level of you, know, "When is my case going

16 to be dealt with -- my ordinary, decent case, going to

17 be dealt with?" Not for another six months,

18 nine months, 12 months because there is no courthouse.

19 So there was that sort of physical attack side.

20 There was also the political attack, which is -- or

21 ought in ideal circumstances to be absolutely

22 legitimate, I have to say.

23 Q. Indeed.

24 A. If there is a political argument to be advanced, then

25 that's the right and proper way of doing it. But I

 

 

84

 

1 think our experience in Northern Ireland was that quite

2 often the political thrust drifted into areas of

3 propaganda, areas of taking -- I think we quoted an

4 example -- or I quoted an example with the complaints

5 statistics.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. You take something that is actually, you know, a set of

8 figures which actually mean one thing, you take out of

9 them certain aspects and you portray them in a different

10 way and then you build on that an edifice which is

11 actually untrue, but it is a matter of half truths and

12 so on.

13 So there was that aspect of it as well, and that

14 is -- can be very, very deeply damaging to confidence

15 and to people's trust in the integrity of a system.

16 I mean, if you produce figures that show that large

17 amounts of compensation are being paid out on behalf of

18 the police and you allege that this is being paid out

19 because of police brutality in holding centres, and you

20 spread this round the world, it is quite easy to see

21 that not only in Northern Ireland, but also across the

22 world, there then becomes a perception that this must be

23 true, because regardless of what is technically right,

24 but there had been no admission of liability and nothing

25 has been proven, the fact is the man in street, the

 

 

85

 

1 journalist in the paper says public authorities don't

2 lash out humungous sums of public money unless there is

3 a very good reason. So there is that perception left

4 then in the public mind.

5 It is all those sorts of things taken together, and

6 you could go on for a long time on that.

7 Q. Indeed. But picking up on that specific aspect of it,

8 in other words the way these matters are reported and

9 then get passed around, as you said, the world, to what

10 extent in your view did the NGOs, the media and no doubt

11 others either deliberately or inadvertently advance

12 those aims, the original aims you began to speak about,

13 namely the aims of the terrorist campaigns?

14 A. I think they were certainly part of the vehicle that was

15 used, and used -- I mean, sitting back from it and

16 looking at it just sort of objectively as a nice

17 detached objective observer -- with immense skill.

18 The message was delivered or the seed was planted

19 and then allowed to grow and carried further by the

20 NGOs. I'm not saying that the NGOs were doing this in

21 any shape or form in bad faith. They had been presented

22 with something which, on the face of it and to their

23 perspective, chimed in with their own natural feelings,

24 their own perhaps instincts that this was right and they

25 then pursued it and they spread it.

 

 

86

 

1 I don't think they were being necessarily, or at

2 all, mischievous in doing this. I think probably quite

3 the reverse. They thought they were being useful

4 critics and performing a very useful function. But you

5 have to look as well at the other side of the coin,

6 which is that when you have a chorus of people saying,

7 "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, this is evidence and this

8 proves and this shows", going on for a long, long time,

9 that is bound to add up. And people start saying no

10 smoke without fire, et cetera.

11 I'm not saying that they were deliberately

12 consciously supporting or promoting the undermining

13 efforts, but that was one of the side effects.

14 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you very much.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Mrs Collins, thank you very, very much. You

16 may leave now.

17 A. Thank you.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: We will move straight on to the next witness.

19 MR DONALDSON: Sir, may I just say, before you do, that the

20 next witness is a PSNI witness and he has been furnished

21 this morning with a large quantity of documents.

22 I haven't, because of my commitment here, had time

23 to deal with some points of importance which have

24 arisen, and I would ask you to rise for perhaps

25 20 minutes to give me an opportunity to consider these

 

 

87

 

1 matters.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: What we will do is we will start with this

3 witness and then rise from one until two o'clock, which

4 will give you ample time to look at the documents.

5 MR DONALDSON: With respect, sir, I don't think that is

6 satisfactory because we have other arrangements. We

7 have things to do. We have arranged our lunch hour to

8 work on other important matters, and I think we would be

9 grateful if you would allow us this time. (Pause)

10 THE CHAIRMAN: We will rise until 2 o'clock.

11 MR DONALDSON: That is very kind of you, sir. Thank you.

12 (12.36 pm)

13 (The short adjournment)

14 (2.00 pm)

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Skelton?

16 MR SKELTON: Sir, before we hear Mr Walker's evidence, may I

17 say a few words about the application that was made

18 before lunch on behalf of the PSNI?

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

20 MR SKELTON: Mr Donaldson adverted to what he termed a large

21 quantity of documents which were furnished to Mr Walker

22 this morning.

23 That is incorrect. Only seven new documents were

24 shown to Mr Walker this morning, comprising 19 pages in

25 total. Mr Walker is represented by the PSNI, as I think

 

 

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1 you, sir, are aware and the PSNI would have seen each of

2 those documents in June 2008 when they received the

3 Part 2 bundle.

4 Mr Walker arrived at Interpoint at 9.30 am this

5 morning with a view to giving evidence at 10.15 am. Due to

6 an overrunning of Mrs Collins's evidence, by the time

7 Mr Donaldson made his application, Mr Walker had been

8 waiting three hours to give evidence.

9 Sir, during that time, most of which Mr Walker spent

10 in PSNI's offices, he had read the documents, then

11 conferred with Mr Doran, the senior junior for the PSNI,

12 and was prepared to give evidence.

13 Sir, in my submission, the Inquiry must be cautious

14 in acceding to any application to delay or adjourn its

15 proceedings. The Inquiry must be fair to its witnesses

16 and to its Full Participants, but it must also require

17 the Full Participants and their counsel to be absolutely

18 clear about the basis for any adjournment.

19 It must also require legal representatives of Full

20 Participants and witnesses to respond expeditiously, as

21 do the Inquiry and its Counsel, to new documents,

22 particularly where they are small in number. Otherwise,

23 sir, there is a danger that the Inquiry will be unduly

24 delayed.

25 Sir, I'm sorry I did not have an opportunity to

 

 

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1 address you before lunch, but those are my submissions

2 on that point.

3 MR DONALDSON: May I respond to that, please?

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Donaldson.

5 MR DONALDSON: It seems to be a criticism of what we did.

6 We did this as senior counsel. I felt it necessary

7 to do what I did and make the application which I did.

8 I make no apology for it. We don't need a lecture from

9 junior Counsel for the Inquiry as to how we should

10 conduct our affairs.

11 The matter should be handled fairly. I think the

12 Tribunal did allow me the time that I required, and I'm

13 not complaining about that, but I really don't need this

14 kind of criticism. I wasn't given any notice of this

15 criticism that was directed at us. We did what was

16 necessary.

17 There was quite a bundle of documents. There was

18 a ring binder/folder, which I have seen and discussed

19 afterwards, and I was busy, as you will appreciate, all

20 morning. I did not have an opportunity of conferring in

21 sufficient detail about those matters.

22 I needed that time, you gave me that time and I'm

23 grateful for it, but I don't need the criticism.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Let's get on with the evidence.

25 MR DONALDSON: Indeed.

 

 

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1 MR STEPHEN WALKER (affirmed)

2 Questions by MR SKELTON

3 MR SKELTON: Now, Mr Walker you have provided a statement to

4 this Inquiry, it is dated 3 October 2008 and it can be

5 found at RNI-824-173, which should come up on the screen

6 in front of you (displayed). If we go to

7 page RNI-824-184 (displayed), we should see your

8 signature there and, as I say, dated the 3rd of this

9 month.

10 May I start by asking when you joined the RUC?

11 A. I joined in May 1976.

12 Q. I believe you transferred to CID in 1982?

13 A. That's corrected, yes.

14 Q. And when did you transfer into the Lurgan division of

15 CID?

16 A. I think it was May 1988.

17 Q. And you continued to work there, did you, until your

18 retirement four years ago?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. So you spent a total of 16 years in CID in Lurgan?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. I would like to ask you, if I may, a few questions about

23 policing generally in the Lurgan area.

24 I appreciate this may not be an easy question for

25 you, but as I understand it, the population of Lurgan is

 

 

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1 about 25,000 people. Is that roughly what you

2 recollect?

3 A. I'll take your word for that. I don't know.

4 Q. How many police officers then, can you help us with

5 that, were working in Lurgan at the time?

6 A. In Lurgan station at the time I would say there were

7 four uniform sections of approximately 20 officers to

8 a section.

9 Q. So that's about 80 uniformed officers?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. How many in CID?

12 A. At the time I think there was about 10 or 12. I really

13 can't remember. There would be five or six in

14 Special Branch and a few others in various -- Community

15 Relations, departments like that.

16 Q. You worked as a CID officer. Presumably you

17 investigated, as it were, ordinary crime such as

18 burglaries, robberies, assaults, et cetera?

19 A. Yes, we investigated everything criminal, from ordinary

20 crime to terrorism.

21 Q. And in what proportions were the terrorist and

22 non-terrorist crimes?

23 A. It is really totally impossible to answer that question.

24 Some days you could have been 100 per cent terrorist

25 crime. Other days it would be 100 per cent ordinary

 

 

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1 crime. Over 16 years, to give a proportion, I have no

2 idea.

3 Q. So in terms of the people who worked in CID, you didn't

4 have a particular subspeciality of terrorist or

5 non-terrorist crimes. You just did what came up?

6 A. No, you just did what came up, that's correct.

7 Q. Presumably as part of your job as a CID officer needed

8 to get to know the locality pretty well, who was

9 committing the crimes, how they were organised, et

10 cetera?

11 A. That's fair to say, yes.

12 Q. Were you familiar with the local paramilitary groups in

13 your area?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Within the CID group, which you said, I think, numbered

16 a dozen or so people, did you share information amongst

17 each other? Did you chat about your cases, about who

18 committed crimes, about criminal groupings, et cetera?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Which Loyalists were on your patch? Which groupings?

21 A. Well, there was the UVF, the UDA, latterly the LVF.

22 Q. We have heard from other witnesses that the LVF in the

23 Portadown area, which you were adjacent to, were the

24 principal group, and I'm talking about the period about

25 1997; is that correct?

 

 

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1 A. Well, the LVF were an offshoot from the UVF, but as to

2 when the LVF were actually formed, I can't remember.

3 Q. Billy Wright, I think, died in the late 1990s, so it was

4 in the years preceding his death that he formed the LVF;

5 is that correct?

6 A. That's correct, yes.

7 Q. They were based in and around the Portadown region?

8 A. Yes, Portadown, Craigavon, Lurgan. It was all part of,

9 at that stage, J division

10 Q. Would you know the individual members or suspected

11 members of the Loyalist groups?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Would you be able to recognise them by sight?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And --

16 A. I had interviewed numerous of them in Gough.

17 Q. And were you -- and this is a question which we will try

18 and ask most witnesses in this area -- ever at any time

19 socialising with any of these people?

20 A. Definitely not.

21 Q. And you mentioned prosecuting them. What kind of

22 prosecutions were you involved in?

23 A. I said I interviewed them.

24 Q. I'm sorry. Did you also prosecute them?

25 A. There were some prosecutions of periphery UVF/LVF.

 

 

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1 Q. So you were not involved in any prosecutions of, as it

2 were, mainstream LVF, paramilitary suspects?

3 A. Certainly at some stage -- I'm trying to think. Are you

4 referring specifically to the LVF in Portadown/Craigavon

5 or LVF or UVF generally?

6 Q. I'm referring more widely to Loyalist paramilitaries.

7 A. Yes, I have been involved in prosecutions of Loyalist

8 paramilitaries, yes.

9 Q. And what sort of prosecutions were they?

10 A. For terrorist offences.

11 Q. Such as?

12 A. More murder, possession of firearms.

13 Q. And you mentioned the UVF and we talked about the LVF.

14 In general, in the period 1997 to 1999, how active were

15 these groups in your area?

16 A. I assume -- 1997, I assume they would be very active.

17 It is hard to remember exactly when they became less

18 active, but certainly in my time in Lurgan they were

19 very active.

20 Q. What do you mean?

21 A. Routinely they were carrying out murders in the

22 Lurgan/Portadown area.

23 Q. Was this a characteristic of Loyalist groups across

24 Ulster at that time or was there a particular focus on

25 your area?

 

 

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1 A. No, it was a characteristic across the whole country.

2 Q. Turning then to the Republican groups, which were the

3 Republican groups on your patch that you had

4 a particular interest in?

5 A. The Provisional IRA and the INLA at that time.

6 Q. And is it right to say that the IRA, were they the more

7 serious of the groups in terms of their capability --

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. And did they have what is called a cell in the Lurgan

10 area?

11 A. They did, yes.

12 Q. Was it one cell or two?

13 A. I don't know.

14 Q. Was it based in the Kilwilke Estate, to your knowledge?

15 A. Certainly there was active members of the Provisional

16 IRA that lived in the Kilwilke Estate. They also lived

17 in other areas of Lurgan and the central Craigavon area.

18 Q. Would you have known, as you did with the Loyalists, who

19 the individuals were who were suspected to be in that

20 group?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Again, would you have known them by sight?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. To your knowledge, was Colin Duffy considered to be the

25 officer commanding one of cells in Lurgan?

 

 

96

 

1 A. He was certainly a high-ranking member of the

2 Provisional IRA.

3 Q. What do you mean by that?

4 A. I mean he was -- it may have been Colin Duffy was the

5 leading gunman of that cell in the Kilwilke area.

6 Q. Was the Kilwilke IRA considered to be part of the North

7 Armagh Brigade?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. When you say high-ranking, do you mean he had a rank

10 within the North Armagh Brigade or a rank within Lurgan,

11 in your view?

12 A. I don't know.

13 Q. Again, in 1997 did you consider that the Lurgan IRA

14 posed any particular threat to either civilians or

15 police officers in the locality, and obviously I'm

16 talking pre the murder of the two constables in June?

17 A. They always posed a threat, yes.

18 Q. Were you involved in any investigations of alleged IRA

19 members in your area?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And what sort of crimes were you investigating?

22 A. Murder, possession of firearms.

23 Q. Were you involved in the investigation into the murder

24 of John Lyness who was killed in June 1993?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

97

 

1 Q. And were you involved in the prosecution of Colin Duffy

2 for that offence?

3 A. How do you mean "involved in the prosecution"?

4 Q. Did you give evidence, for example?

5 A. I don't think so.

6 Q. What was your involvement in the investigation?

7 A. I would have been part of the enquiry team after the

8 murder.

9 Q. And did you interview him for that?

10 A. I can't honestly remember.

11 Q. Can you give us any idea of what your role would have

12 been?

13 A. It was part of the enquiry team. You would have been

14 carrying out house-to-house enquiries in the area of the

15 murder.

16 Q. Anything more than that?

17 A. I may have -- I can't remember how many people were

18 arrested for that murder. I may have interviewed. I

19 can't remember.

20 Q. May I turn now to the Special Branch? You mentioned

21 there was a small group of officers based in Lurgan?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. But more generally about Special Branch, is it a fair

24 a description to say that they were primarily involved

25 with gathering intelligence and undertaking operations

 

 

98

 

1 with a view to preventing or minimising the activities

2 of paramilitaries specifically?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And, again, please comment on this description: was CID

5 primarily involved in investigating and prosecuting

6 serious crimes committed by anyone, and that would

7 include paramilitaries and non-paramilitaries?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. But obviously it's trite to say that you were all on the

10 same side, as it were?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. Given the size of Special Branch in Northern Ireland and

13 its wide-ranging access to intelligence reporting both

14 from its own officers and from other agencies, was it

15 often the case that they were the better informed about

16 particular activities or particular individuals in the

17 paramilitary groups?

18 A. That would be fair to say, yes.

19 Q. Was it sometimes the case that they may be better

20 informed about who had committed a crime, for example?

21 A. As in a terrorist crime?

22 Q. A terrorist crime.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And was it sometimes the case that Special Branch were

25 the initiating factor on an investigation by CID; in

 

 

99

 

1 other words, they were the people that found the first

2 bit of information that sent you down a particular

3 track?

4 A. At times that could happen, yes.

5 Q. And presumably when they were giving you that sort of

6 information, they did so in what we term a sanitised

7 way; in other words, they aren't giving you the original

8 reporting, but they were giving you a gist of some

9 sort?

10 A. When you say they were giving me that information --

11 Q. I meant CID more generally.

12 A. Probably, yes.

13 Q. Well, to clarify, did you have access or did your CID

14 colleagues have access to Special Branch's files?

15 A. No.

16 Q. And did you have access to their computer systems?

17 A. No.

18 Q. So when Special Branch passed on some form of

19 intelligence to you that may relate to one of your

20 investigations, how was that done?

21 A. Are you talking about passing on intelligence to me

22 specifically or to CID?

23 Q. If you could talk from your own experience, that would

24 be helpful.

25 A. I don't think Special Branch ever passed on any specific

 

 

100

 

1 information to me personally. In relation to a specific

2 crime?

3 Q. Well, if Special Branch may have helped in the

4 initiation of a murder investigation, how did they do

5 so? Who did they speak to and how was that intelligence

6 passed down the chain?

7 A. I would say it probably went from the Head of

8 Special Branch to the Regional Head of CID, who would

9 have passed it to the senior investigating officer.

10 Q. And the SIO would have passed it down to -- if he felt

11 it appropriate -- the people who were doing the

12 investigation on the ground, would he?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. So it is a high level contact, is it, rather than

15 a contact between you and the more junior SB officers?

16 A. Certainly I would have regular contact with, as you call

17 it, junior SB officers. We were seeing them every day.

18 But as to the passing of intelligence, certainly no.

19 Q. You say you would have regular contact with them every

20 day. To discuss what?

21 A. Anything. You know, you could have met them in the

22 canteen and talked to them about football.

23 Q. For example, would you discuss informally or formally

24 what was going on with the local paramilitaries, who was

25 on the up, who had been killed, that sort of thing?

 

 

101

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. Never?

3 A. Not that I remember, no.

4 Q. So are you saying that the contact you had with the

5 Special Branch officers whom you worked alongside in

6 Lurgan was entirely about non-work-related matters?

7 A. No. Well, from time to time Special Branch may have

8 come in and you would have had a briefing in relation to

9 the level of the threat, but that was the only actual

10 briefing that I would ever have had with Special Branch.

11 Q. Your former colleague, P121, talked about speaking to

12 the guys, by which he meant Special Branch, on a fairly

13 regular basis. And as I understood it, it was in the

14 context of sharing information of some sort even if not

15 directly intelligence. Was that something which you

16 remember?

17 A. No.

18 Q. In terms of your respective understandings, by which

19 I mean CID and Special Branch, would you broadly have

20 the same level of knowledge of what was going on in the

21 locality; in other words, who was in the groups and what

22 sort of crimes they were thought to have committed?

23 A. Broadly speaking, yes.

24 Q. What would the differences have been?

25 A. Sorry?

 

 

102

 

1 Q. You said broadly. Would Special Branch have known more

2 about those things and you were always on the sort of

3 catch-up, as it were?

4 A. It was, how would you say, Special Branch's job to

5 collect intelligence in relation to terrorism. So I

6 would assume that they knew a lot more than what I did.

7 Q. Again, I'm using "you" as CID and I should clarify that,

8 but you were also gathering intelligence in the form of

9 sightings of suspects?

10 A. It is very low level intelligence.

11 Q. As I understand it, there was also some source or agent

12 running and some technical capability in CID as well. I

13 don't want you to talk about the specifics, but just

14 generally there was; is that right?

15 A. There should be no agent running in relation to

16 terrorism in CID.

17 Q. So CID would only be running human or technical sources

18 in relation to non-paramilitary groups, would it?

19 A. That's right, yes.

20 Q. Again, in terms of access to that sort of product, how

21 did that come to you?

22 A. Most -- all intelligence really was held within the

23 collator's office.

24 Q. Collator?

25 A. Collator's office, yes.

 

 

103

 

1 Q. I don't want the collator's name, but what was his role

2 in outline, please?

3 A. He basically collated all information which came in from

4 any source to him, uniformed constables on patrol or

5 from CID. Most of what he had was sighting reports,

6 family backgrounds, stuff like that. It was very, very

7 low level intelligence.

8 Q. And he processed it, and then how was it passed on to

9 you? In the form of oral briefings or did you have

10 access to a computer, for example?

11 A. I don't think it was, at that time, on computer.

12 I guess it later went on to computer. There was a card

13 index system and a number of files.

14 Q. Did you keep paper files on suspects?

15 A. The collator kept paper files on suspects, yes.

16 Q. Would that have included paper files on the associates

17 of suspects, by which I mean people that weren't

18 necessarily signed-up volunteers in the paramilitaries

19 but may have associated with them?

20 A. Yes, there were probably hundreds of files. There was

21 files on criminals, files on terrorists, files on

22 associates of criminals and terrorists, yes.

23 Q. Did you as a detective constable have access, if you

24 needed it, to those sort of files as a sort of reference

25 point?

 

 

104

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. How often would you go and look at those sorts of

3 things?

4 A. It is hard to say. It could be every day, it could be

5 once a week. It varied. You had access whenever you

6 wanted so long as the collator was there and you could

7 get in and have access to it.

8 Q. Turning to your role as an interviewing officer,

9 I presume you are part of the investigating team, are

10 you, if you are an interviewing officer?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And what kind of information would have been

13 available to you generally prior to an interview?

14 A. It varied. It varied a great deal. Sometimes you had

15 hard facts, sometimes you had evidence, sometimes you

16 had next to nothing.

17 Q. How did you come by that evidence? Did somebody prepare

18 a little file for you to read through or did you get

19 a briefing?

20 A. There was -- generally speaking, there was a briefing

21 before the interviews by usually the senior

22 investigating officer.

23 Q. And that might be a short briefing, might it?

24 A. It was as long as it needed to be. It could be short,

25 it could be long.

 

 

105

 

1 Q. Where would that occur?

2 A. Generally speaking, in Gough Barracks or Castlereagh,

3 depending where you were interviewing.

4 Q. And in terms of training, presumably, as a detective,

5 you must have undergone some training on how to conduct

6 an interview?

7 A. Certainly in the latter years I did, but if you go back

8 to the early years, I don't believe that the RUC had

9 a training programme for interviewing.

10 Q. Your training was really on the job?

11 A. On the job, yes.

12 Q. I presume you started as a aide, don't you?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. And as an aide, do you learn the tricks of the trade

15 from a full detective?

16 A. That's fair to say, yes.

17 Q. Did you yourself undergo any training for advanced

18 techniques?

19 A. A few years before I retired I did an interviewing

20 course. There's that many new ones now, I am not sure

21 why you would call it an advanced interviewing course.

22 I think at that time it was referred to as PACE

23 training.

24 Q. What, in simple terms, did that entail?

25 A. I think PACE stood for preparation, engagement,

 

 

106

 

1 challenging, evaluation. Basically it was an

2 interviewing course. I don't recall what it was.

3 Q. Did you get taught how to ask questions, what sort of

4 subjects to put, how to approach a difficult witness or

5 suspect, that kind of thing?

6 A. Not specifically, no.

7 Q. Well, how did you know how to go about your job then in

8 terms of the limitation of what you could properly ask

9 or lawfully ask?

10 A. I'm not really sure what you mean by that.

11 Q. Did anyone train you in what it was appropriate to ask

12 during an interview?

13 A. No.

14 Q. In other words, how far you could go?

15 A. No. You are talking about in the early 90s?

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. No.

18 Q. And the late 90s, in fact.

19 A. No.

20 Q. Were you allowed to get angry in interview?

21 A. It would really be quite pointless.

22 Q. It could assist, couldn't it, in terms of rattling

23 a suspect into giving some form of off-the-cuff answer,

24 which he might not if he felt intimidated?

25 A. I don't believe so.

 

 

107

 

1 Q. Were you allowed to raise your voice?

2 A. That would be a matter for an individual interviewer.

3 Q. As far as you were concerned, were you happy to raise

4 your voice when you interviewed somebody?

5 A. I wouldn't say it never happened, but it was unusual.

6 Q. Were you allowed to make non-polite or rude remarks to

7 a suspect, again in order to push them into answering

8 some questions?

9 A. I don't see how it would push them into answering

10 questions.

11 Q. What about when you had a non-cooperating suspect,

12 i.e. someone that doesn't want to answer any single

13 question at all, what was your general approach to get

14 them to start talking?

15 A. I don't think there was a general approach. You tried

16 to engage them in conversation. Depending if you had

17 evidence. If you had hard evidence that somebody had

18 done something or if you had a witness statement, I

19 would say you put the facts to them. If you had

20 nothing, it was just a question of trying to engage them

21 in conversation, trying to get them to talk.

22 Q. How would you do that?

23 A. By talking to them.

24 Q. I think in your statement, which may be worth looking at

25 at page RNI-824-175 and paragraph 9 in particular, which

 

 

108

 

1 we can see on the screen in a second (displayed), you

2 see in the final sentence there you say you attempt to

3 get someone to speak about various topics, including

4 things like holidays, sport, anything. Is that what you

5 mean by that?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Once they have started talking about these

8 non-crime-related topics, presumably you then tried and

9 introduce some more pertinent questions, did you?

10 A. It very seldom happened that they started talking, but

11 if they did start talking, you would, yes. Then try to

12 get them on to the subject for which they had been

13 arrested.

14 Q. Why didn't they talk?

15 A. I don't think I can answer that question. You would

16 have to ask the person themselves, but certainly most

17 members of the Provisional IRA, it would have been

18 accepted that they wouldn't talk. They were trained in

19 anti-interrogation techniques; they were told to say

20 nothing, expected to say nothing.

21 Q. From your perspective, did that lead to a sense of

22 pointlessness about the interview process?

23 A. Definitely not. I would say that every time you went

24 into an interview, you believed or you expected to get

25 a positive result. It may not have happened, but you

 

 

109

 

1 expected it.

2 Q. Even though, as you say, most of them didn't talk --

3 A. Yes, but you went in with a positive attitude.

4 Q. Would you at any point try and unsettle them a bit by

5 saying things like, "I know you did it, I know about

6 where you live, what your activities are, I know what

7 crimes you have previously committed", that sort of

8 thing?

9 A. Certainly, you would tell them. If you knew that he did

10 it, you would have no problem telling him that you knew

11 that he did it. As far as to where he lived, you were

12 probably there to arrest him, so he knew I knew where he

13 lived.

14 Q. What about knowledge about previous crimes, even if they

15 hadn't been convicted? Would you start to show your

16 authority and your knowledge about them in an interview

17 process?

18 A. It is possible.

19 Q. And at some point you had to put to them that they were

20 accused of the crime. That, presumably, is a necessary

21 part of the process?

22 A. Sorry, say that again?

23 Q. At some point you have to accuse them or ask them

24 whether they committed the crime itself?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

110

 

1 Q. Interviews were always conducted in pairs, were they?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Why was that?

4 A. It is the way it was.

5 Q. Generally, did a pair of officers have a sort of, as it

6 were, a long-term relationship, if I may term it that?

7 In other words, you interviewed as a pair regularly?

8 A. Generally speaking, yes.

9 Q. Why was that?

10 A. Again, I would say it was the way it was. I don't think

11 there was any particular reason.

12 Q. Did it assist, for example, in developing a rapport

13 between the pair of you as to how to approach witnesses?

14 A. It may have done, but I don't think it would be right to

15 say that is the reason that detectives regularly

16 interviewed together.

17 Q. In your statement at paragraph 4, which is on

18 page RNI-842-174 (displayed), you mention that

19 interviews were carried out in six two-hour sessions

20 during the day?

21 A. Generally speaking, that's correct, yes.

22 Q. And that's a very long period of time in which to be

23 interviewing?

24 A. It is, yes.

25 Q. And during that time, different pairs came and went, did

 

 

111

 

1 they?

2 A. Yes. Generally speaking, the first pair would do the

3 first interview; the second pair, the second interview.

4 Q. Did the pairs themselves discuss amongst each other how

5 to approach things, like one pair may approach the

6 matter slightly differently from the other, as a

7 deliberate strategy to use some initiative, et cetera?

8 A. No, I don't think so.

9 Q. Were you all briefed together before the day of

10 interviews?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, your regular interviewing partner, I think, was

13 P121; is that correct? You can see the cipher?

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

15 Q. Over what period did you two conduct interviews

16 together?

17 A. Over what period?

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. Years.

20 Q. I think you told us you were in CID in Lurgan for about

21 16 years. Was it the whole of that?

22 A. No, maybe ten of that. I can't remember exactly.

23 Q. Would it be fair to say that you knew each other pretty

24 well?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

112

 

1 Q. Are you friends?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you establish a particular working pattern with P121

4 as to how you went about your interviews?

5 A. Well, we never actually sat down and discussed it, but I

6 would -- it's fair to say that it happened.

7 Q. I appreciate this is simplistic and I have no experience

8 of this personally, but might you take a role in

9 interview where one of you was more friendly than the

10 other officer, for example?

11 A. No.

12 Q. You wouldn't do that?

13 A. No. You are going to go down the good cop, bad cop

14 routine.

15 Q. I was trying to avoid that cliché, but you have taken me

16 there anyway.

17 A. No.

18 Q. What sort of technique did you develop as a pair in

19 terms of how you approached things?

20 A. I don't think there was any specific technique. We just

21 went in and we interviewed.

22 Q. Did you take it in turn to write down what was said?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And did you share that role equally?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

113

 

1 Q. Was everything that was said by a suspect in interview

2 written down?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Why not?

5 A. Well, a lot of the time he never said anything. But if

6 he did talk, I mean, if you are talking about football

7 or his family or his holidays, stuff that is of no

8 evidential value, generally speaking wasn't written

9 down. It would be covered in a couple of lines of

10 general conversation.

11 Q. So non-crime-related topics wouldn't be noted?

12 A. Generally speaking.

13 Q. P121 stated in his evidence on 18 September that you

14 would occasionally raise your voice during interviews;

15 is that correct?

16 A. As I said earlier, occasionally, not very often.

17 Q. What sort of circumstances would lead you to do that?

18 A. It is hard to know. It has happened. I know I have

19 raised my voice in interview.

20 Q. Well, for example, would you, after, say, two hours of

21 a witness who refused to make a single comment, have

22 started to raise your voice at that point?

23 A. There's not much point to it.

24 Q. When is there some point to raising your voice?

25 A. It has happened. I'm not sure when, but it has

 

 

114

 

1 happened.

2 Q. You told us, I think, that the interviews of

3 paramilitaries would occur at Gough or Castlereagh?

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. Did you have access to the suspects' custody records?

6 A. If you wanted to. We didn't control it, it was with the

7 custody staff. But if you wanted to see the custody

8 record, you could see it.

9 Q. But you didn't have control over those records?

10 A. No, no, you would have no call to see it.

11 Q. Was it your job to ask at the end of an interview

12 whether the suspect had any complaint to make about the

13 interview?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Whose job was that?

16 A. I'm not sure if the custody staff would have asked that

17 question. I'm not sure. If a person had a complaint to

18 make, generally speaking he would make it to the custody

19 staff or to his solicitor or to his doctor, but I don't

20 know if the custody staff specifically asked him had he

21 a complaint to make in relation to an interview.

22 Q. I will turn now to the issue of Rosemary Nelson and your

23 knowledge of her by the late 1990s.

24 You told us earlier that you had been involved with

25 the investigation into the murder of John Lyness?

 

 

115

 

1 A. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. And obviously you will have known that Colin Duffy was

3 convicted of that and that Rosemary Nelson was his

4 solicitor?

5 A. That's correct, yes.

6 Q. Can I show you document RNI-541-001 (displayed) -- and

7 this is from the Part 2 bundle. You can see there that

8 this is a Special Branch document, so you would not have

9 seen this, I don't think, from what you have told us,

10 directly yourself, but I'm just going to ask you whether

11 you received the gist of this information.

12 The date of this is December 1994. Its title is

13 "Provisional IRA activity Lurgan" and its destination is

14 SB RUC HQ, its origin is Lurgan Special Branch. So it

15 came from the officers who worked alongside you in

16 Lurgan. May we turn overleaf to RNI-541-002, please

17 (displayed)?

18 Now, the text of it says that:

19 "A leading PIRA member and Rosemary Nelson,

20 solicitor, are attempting to construct a false alibi for

21 Colin Duffy, who is presently remanded in custody for

22 the murder of John Lyness. They intend to use [blank]

23 as Duffy's alibi to cover the relevant time."

24 Then it goes on to cover some details of who

25 Rosemary Nelson and Mr Duffy are.

 

 

116

 

1 Now, this intelligence that came to Special Branch

2 goes to the heart of the prosecution of John Lyness.

3 Were you aware of this at the time?

4 A. This document?

5 Q. No.

6 A. This information?

7 Q. This information.

8 A. No.

9 Q. Would your commander have been aware of this?

10 A. You would need to ask my commander.

11 Q. Is it the kind of information that you would expect

12 Special Branch would have passed to CID?

13 A. I don't know.

14 Q. Is this the first time you have heard of this

15 information?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And had you received it in 1994, what would your

18 response have been?

19 A. I would be surprised.

20 Q. Just surprised that Rosemary Nelson was attempting to

21 construct a false alibi according to this report?

22 A. Yes, surprised.

23 Q. It makes her complicit in the offence, doesn't it?

24 A. It is not a thing you would expect a solicitor to be

25 doing.

 

 

117

 

1 Q. Now, Mr Duffy was subsequently convicted, as I have

2 mentioned, and I think it is right to say that his

3 conviction garnered a considerable amount of publicity;

4 is that correct?

5 A. In the Lurgan area, yes.

6 Q. And do you remember Rosemary Nelson herself speaking to

7 the media or being reported on about this conviction?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Ultimately, it led to an appeal, which was successful,

10 and this was a couple of years later after Mr Duffy had

11 been in prison. Do you remember that?

12 A. I know he appealed, yes.

13 Q. Well, do you remember the appeal was successful?

14 A. Yes, yes.

15 Q. And one of the reasons that the appeal succeeded was

16 that one particular witness was exposed as having an

17 alleged paramilitary connection, and that came out and

18 the prosecution didn't rely on that witness's evidence

19 in appeal. Do you remember that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And that was Mr Lindsay Robb?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. And were you aware that there was criticism made in the

24 press of the RUC for the way in which that prosecution

25 had taken place and the fact that there hadn't been

 

 

118

 

1 disclosure about that information?

2 A. I don't know if that's correct.

3 Q. Well, could you elaborate on why it isn't correct? It

4 was just a question.

5 A. Because I think that, speaking from memory -- it is many

6 years ago -- I think Lindsay Robb was convicted of an

7 offence of gun running or smuggling ammunition after he

8 gave evidence in this trial.

9 Q. That's correct. To your knowledge then, was there no

10 criticism of the prosecution of Colin Duffy by his legal

11 team or by anyone else?

12 A. There may well have been, I can't remember.

13 Q. Rosemary Nelson also represented the Garvaghy Road

14 Residents Coalition. Were you aware of that?

15 A. I'm certainly aware of it now. When? Do you ask me was

16 I aware of it at what date?

17 Q. As we understand it, she started representing them for

18 free from 1996. So in the period 1997, which is where

19 we are going to be coming on to momentarily, she would

20 have been their legal adviser. Do you remember that?

21 A. I wouldn't argue. I can't remember.

22 Q. Other witnesses have told us that she was quite well

23 known in the region for her representation of the GRRC?

24 A. Certainly she appeared on TV with the Garvaghy Road

25 Residents Coalition, but when she started representing

 

 

119

 

1 them I have no idea.

2 Q. Would her representation of the Garvaghy Road Residents

3 Coalition have led to a perception, possibly wrongly,

4 that she herself was political and had a political

5 allegiance to a particular section of the community?

6 A. A perception by who?

7 Q. By anybody. By a police officer, by civilians in the

8 community.

9 A. I can only speak for myself.

10 Q. What is your perception?

11 A. No.

12 Q. May I show you a few other Special Branch reports? The

13 first is dated April 1997 and can be found at

14 RNI-541-009 (displayed). Again, this is in the part 2

15 bundle. This is called a SIDD, and if we go overleaf

16 you can see the substance of the report, and it says:

17 "No downward dissemination."

18 Which we understand to mean that it wouldn't

19 necessarily have got further than Special Branch.

20 But I would like to ask you some questions about it.

21 It says:

22 "Rosemary Nelson, Lurgan, is using her position as

23 a solicitor to gather information for the Provisional

24 IRA in Lurgan. This includes details of RUC members who

25 she comes into contact with."

 

 

120

 

1 Then there is a comment:

2 "Nelson is known to represent a number of Republican

3 activists in the Lurgan area."

4 Did this sort of information come to your attention

5 in 1997?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Again, would you have expected it to have done?

8 A. Probably, yes.

9 Q. Why?

10 A. Well, if you have somebody who is gathering information

11 in relation to myself and my colleagues, I think that

12 you would be told about it.

13 Q. Now, when we discussed the relationship between Special

14 Branch and CID earlier, we talked generally about the

15 fact that you generally were interested in the same

16 sorts of people, the members of the paramilitaries and

17 their associates, albeit that Special Branch's

18 intelligence may have been better than yours. Did you

19 yourself, through CID, receive this sort of information?

20 A. In relation to this document in front of me?

21 Q. Not necessarily the document, but its substance: that

22 Rosemary Nelson had a relationship with the Provisional

23 IRA locally. Did you receive any information to that

24 effect?

25 A. No, Rosemary Nelson was a solicitor who represented

 

 

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1 members of the Provisional IRA, but that was common

2 knowledge.

3 Q. This intelligence report says more than that.

4 A. It does, yes.

5 Q. Did CID receive information to that effect?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Can I show you another document, please, which is

8 RNI-541-092 (displayed)? This is a document, again,

9 from Special Branch. There is a lot to take in there,

10 I appreciate. It is called "Republican general, general

11 activity", it is dated June 1997. If we go overleaf to

12 RNI-541-093 (displayed), please, we can see the

13 substance of it. It is very short. It says:

14 "Rosemary Nelson, solicitor, Lurgan, was present in

15 a legal capacity for the GRRC at their meeting with the

16 Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, on 17 June 1997.

17 Comment: Nelson has firm Provisional IRA sympathies."

18 Now, again, this appears to be a Special Branch

19 document which demonstrates a view of Mrs Nelson, which

20 was that she was more than simply a solicitor in the

21 locality. Did this type of information come to your

22 attention?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Would you have expected it to have done?

25 A. Obviously somebody has put an opinion on that document.

 

 

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1 Q. So, again, throughout your briefings from Special Branch

2 in relation to crimes committed, for example, by

3 Colin Duffy, alleged crimes, it would never have come to

4 your attention that his solicitor, who was representing

5 him for those crimes, may have been acting untowardly?

6 A. No.

7 Q. The Inquiry has received a number of statements from

8 Special Branch officers at different ranks within the

9 South Region. One of those statements comes from

10 a witness who we term B597, who in 1997 was the Deputy

11 Head of Special Branch in Belfast and later became the

12 Head of the Intelligence Management Group.

13 Can I show you a section of his statement? We can

14 find this at RNI-846-161, paragraph 24. If you could

15 highlight that, please (displayed), because it is just

16 a short summary of a view about Mrs Nelson from a senior

17 officer.

18 Just take a few moments to read that. It is

19 actually the bit further down that I'm interested in,

20 not the first bit. But we will read the whole

21 paragraph. (Pause)

22 I will read the bit that I would like to focus on,

23 please. It says:

24 "Mrs Nelson's association with Colin Duffy brought

25 her to our attention [Special Branch] as Colin Duffy was

 

 

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1 a person of great interest to us. My perception of her

2 was that she was very sympathetic to the Provisional IRA

3 and would have compromised her responsibilities as

4 a solicitor to assist PIRA and especially Colin Duffy.

5 This perception was based on intelligence reports I had

6 read about her and briefings I had listened to from

7 South Region. These reports and conversations were both

8 pre and post her murder. There was a feeling within

9 Special Branch that Mrs Nelson abused her role as

10 a solicitor by assisting Provisional IRA members with

11 false alibis."

12 Now, that is a very strong view, I think you accept?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Are you telling this Inquiry that CID, in Lurgan, held

15 no such views of Mrs Nelson?

16 A. I'm telling this Inquiry that I held no such views.

17 Q. Could you expand on that, please? There is a possible

18 implication there that colleagues may have done?

19 A. There is not.

20 Q. I'm sorry?

21 A. I can't speak for colleagues. I never had any briefing

22 to that effect. This is a document written by an

23 officer in Special Branch. I can't speak for what they

24 have to say.

25 Q. I appreciate that, Mr Walker, you would not have been

 

 

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1 privy directly to Special Branch intelligence, as you

2 have clarified for us. Would you have heard rumours to

3 that effect informally?

4 A. No, Rosemary Nelson was a solicitor representing members

5 of the Provisional IRA, along with other ordinary

6 clients.

7 Q. Are you surprised to read that kind of evidence now?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Because your view of her was much more straightforward

10 than that?

11 A. It is hard to say I even had a view of her. She was

12 a solicitor in Lurgan, one of a number of solicitors who

13 appeared regularly at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

14 Q. Again, if she was appearing regularly and CID were,

15 therefore, regularly involved with her, would you have

16 expected to have received this kind of view from your

17 colleagues?

18 A. Sorry, I don't know what you mean.

19 Q. Well, CID had a lot of interface with Mrs Nelson because

20 of the work she was doing for her clients; is that

21 correct?

22 A. That's correct. Well, no more than any other solicitor,

23 but yes.

24 Q. And your colleagues in Lurgan, in Special Branch, appear

25 to have held a strong view about her, which I think you

 

 

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1 are telling us was never communicated in any form to

2 you?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. You interviewed Colin Duffy in 1997 after he was

5 arrested for the murders of the two police officers in

6 Lurgan, Constable John Graham and Reserve Constable

7 David Johnson. Is that correct?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. To put this into context, within the station at Lurgan,

10 these deaths must have led to enormous feelings of

11 sadness and anger at that time?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Did they also give rise to any fear on your part that

14 you were, as officers working in Lurgan, vulnerable to

15 attack such as that?

16 A. No more than what you expect from the previous 20-odd

17 years.

18 Q. Was it immediately that the killings had been carried

19 out by the Provisional IRA in Lurgan?

20 A. That would be fair to say, yes.

21 Q. Why was that?

22 A. They wouldn't be carried out by anybody else.

23 Q. Given his suspected status within the Provisional IRA,

24 would you then have assumed immediately that Colin Duffy

25 was a suspect in that murder?

 

 

126

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Is it correct that Special Branch assisted in some form

3 in starting the investigation to look towards Mr Duffy

4 as the culprit?

5 A. I can't remember. I don't know.

6 Q. May we look, please, at RNI-541-095, which is from the

7 part 2 bundle (displayed). Thank you. This document is

8 dated June 1997 and it is called "Provisional IRA,

9 paramilitary operations" and it is a secret intelligence

10 report which the Inquiry has redacted for use at these

11 hearings.

12 Could you go overleaf to RNI-541-096, please

13 (displayed)? The content of it is very short. It

14 states simply:

15 "Colin Duffy was one of the gunmen involved in the

16 murder of the two RUC members in Church Walk, Lurgan on

17 16 June 1997."

18 Obviously on the face of it, one doesn't know where

19 that intelligence came from and the only detail we have

20 is what is contained in that single sentence. Can you

21 recollect whether that would have been passed to you or

22 your senior officers by Special Branch in 1997?

23 A. No. I notice on the front page of it that the date of

24 that has been redacted.

25 Q. I am afraid the exact date has. Obviously we can assume

 

 

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1 it is after the 16 June and before the 30th, but no more

2 than that, I am afraid.

3 A. Certainly there was a witness statement taken from

4 a witness who identified Colin Duffy as the murderer.

5 So that may have went in after that statement was taken,

6 I don't know. But certainly I was aware that

7 Colin Duffy was the murderer.

8 Q. When you interviewed him, what were you told in advance

9 of that interview about his alleged involvement?

10 A. We had the contents of the witness statement, if

11 I remember correctly.

12 Q. I think you interviewed him a week after the offence had

13 occurred, didn't you?

14 A. I can't remember exactly when it was, but certainly he

15 wasn't -- to memory, he wasn't arrested until a week or

16 two after the murder.

17 Q. I think he was arrested on 23 June. Do you remember

18 that?

19 A. The exact date? No. But I accept it was a week or so

20 after the murder, yes.

21 Q. By which stage are you telling us you had a witness

22 statement from at least one eye-witness?

23 A. I believe so, yes.

24 Q. When you interviewed him, were you mindful of what had

25 happened in the Lyness prosecution; in other words, that

 

 

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1 this was going to be a difficult prosecution with

2 a strong defence from a loyal solicitor?

3 A. No more than any other interview or prosecution.

4 Q. So the fact that by this stage Mr Duffy's appeal had

5 succeeded and the previous conviction for the murder of

6 a service officer had been overturned didn't come into

7 your mind?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Were you aware at this stage that he was represented by

10 Mrs Nelson?

11 A. He had been represented by Mrs Nelson for a number of

12 years before this date, yes.

13 Q. When you interviewed him, what did you hope to achieve?

14 A. We hoped to gain an admission through questioning.

15 Q. Presumably you had interviewed him on previous

16 occasions?

17 A. I believe so, yes. I'm not 100 per cent sure, but

18 I believe so.

19 Q. Had he on any of those occasions answered any of your

20 questions?

21 A. No, I don't think so. I stand to be corrected, but I

22 don't think so.

23 Q. As you entered this interview, what sort of strategy did

24 you decide -- either consciously or unconsciously -- to

25 take in relation to getting him to talk?

 

 

129

 

1 A. I don't think there is any specific strategy. I can't

2 remember.

3 Q. P121 told the Inquiry that the purpose was to, as he put

4 it, break Mr Duffy in interview. How would you go about

5 doing that?

6 A. Obviously the facts were put to him and the fact that he

7 had been identified as being the murderer.

8 Q. Were you going to put it to him that you had information

9 that he committed the crime?

10 A. Isn't that what I just said?

11 Q. So in what sort of detail and how would you put it?

12 A. I don't understand what you mean. If you put the

13 contents of the witness statement to him.

14 Q. And say that he was seen by an eye-witness at the scene

15 of the crime?

16 A. Seen by an eye-witness doing the shooting, not at the

17 scene.

18 Q. Was there anything else you were going to put to him?

19 A. I can't remember.

20 Q. When you were interviewing him, did you raise your voice

21 at any point?

22 A. I don't think so.

23 Q. It would be understandable, wouldn't it, that given the

24 crime had been committed on your doorstep, against your

25 colleagues, that you may get angry with him?

 

 

130

 

1 A. There wasn't any point.

2 Q. That's a very rational response, but whether there was

3 any point or not, did you in fact get angry with him?

4 A. I don't believe so.

5 Q. Did you seek to try and make him feel guilty about the

6 crime he had allegedly committed?

7 A. He was guilty.

8 Q. You considered him to be guilty, but did you get him to

9 feel guilty, to express some sort of remorse?

10 A. You would need to ask him did he feel guilty.

11 Q. May I look at some of the interview notes, please. We

12 can find these back in the Part 1 bundle at RNI-221-229

13 (displayed). The page I'm looking for is a little bit

14 further on in the bundle at RNI-221-233, please

15 (displayed). This may be an incorrect reference, for

16 which I apologise. Can we try RNI-221-224 (displayed).

17 I think I'll move on, sir. I am afraid my reference

18 to this interview note is incorrect.

19 Did you ask Mr Duffy whether he was proud of himself

20 for committing the crime?

21 A. I would need to see the interview note.

22 Q. Sir, may we have a few moment's break? It may be this

23 is a convenient moment. We have been going an hour.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Fine. We will have a quarter of an hour

25 break.

 

 

131

 

1 (3.00 pm)

2 (Short break)

3 (3.15 pm)

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Skelton?

5 MR SKELTON: Sir, I'm grateful for the break. I have got my

6 papers in order and can I show Mr Walker RNI-212-118,

7 please (displayed).

8 Now, this is a note of the interview, Mr Walker. Do

9 you recognise it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And whose is that handwriting?

12 A. It is mine.

13 Q. And it says:

14 "Colin Francis Duffy."

15 And gives the date of interview, 23 June 1997, and I

16 think it occurred at Gough. Is that correct?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. It looks like it occurred first thing in the morning --

19 I apologise, 9.17 pm and finished an hour and a half

20 later at 10.59 pm. Is that correct?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. The passage I would like to show you specifically can be

23 found on page RNI-212-123 of this document (displayed).

24 And there is a series of questions and answers here,

25 which I'll read out to you and then we can discuss it in

 

 

132

 

1 more detail. The first question about a third of the

2 way down.

3 "Question: Did you watch the funeral of the

4 policemen on TV?

5 "Answer: [No reply].

6 "Question: Did you see the sorrow and distress of

7 the young children?

8 "Answer: [No reply].

9 "Question: Are you proud of yourself for being

10 involved in these killings?

11 "Answer: [No reply].

12 "Question: Can you not see that world opinion is

13 totally against you?

14 "Answer: [No reply]."

15 Now, given that no reply was being made, why were

16 you noting these questions?

17 A. The questions were asked.

18 Q. I think that is not in dispute that they were asked, but

19 I think you told us earlier that you only noted

20 questions which were --

21 A. I didn't say only.

22 Q. Could you clarify then why these questions were noted?

23 A. Because the questions were asked.

24 Q. Can it --

25 A. You can't specifically say that in one interview that if

 

 

133

 

1 questions are asked that they are all noted and then in

2 another interview some questions are asked that they are

3 not noted.

4 Q. Would you have taken a verbatim note of exactly what was

5 said, and presumably this was said by P121?

6 A. As in those questions you are talking about there?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. The questions are verbatim. Whether they are said by

9 P121 or myself, it could be either of us.

10 Q. So even though you were the scribe, as it were --

11 A. I could have asked the question, yes.

12 Q. Can you remember asking these questions?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Do you remember P121 asking these questions?

15 A. I don't remember the interview.

16 Q. Not at all?

17 A. Not the detail, no. The questions were asked. Who

18 asked them, I have no idea.

19 Q. It seems a small step, doesn't it, having said are you

20 proud of yourself for being involved in these killings,

21 to say, "Is your mother proud of you", doesn't it?

22 A. Does it say in that that the question was asked, "Is

23 your mother proud of you"?

24 Q. So the Inquiry can be certain, can they, by the fact

25 that it is not written down in those notes, that there

 

 

134

 

1 was no question of that nature asked?

2 A. Is his mother proud of him?

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. That's unlikely. Why would you ask what his mother

5 thought?

6 Q. Why were you asking what he thought --

7 A. Because we were interviewing him.

8 Q. What was that question designed to elicit from him?

9 A. It was designed to get an answer from him.

10 Q. And if he had said, "Yes, I'm proud" or, "No, I'm not",

11 you would presumably go, "That implies that you did it".

12 Is that how it worked?

13 A. That is a very simplistic view, but if he said, "Yes,

14 I'm proud", we would write down, "Yes, I'm proud" as an

15 answer to the question.

16 Q. Did you ask if Rosemary Nelson was proud of him?

17 A. No.

18 Q. If you can't remember the interview, how can you be

19 sure?

20 A. We were interviewing him about the murder of two police

21 officers. It serves absolutely no purpose to bring up

22 Rosemary Nelson's name during the course of the

23 interview.

24 Q. Well, you have mentioned the sorrow and distress of the

25 young children, presumably of the police officers who

 

 

135

 

1 were killed?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. What was that designed to do? Why were you mentioning

4 that?

5 A. To try and get him to react, to answer the question.

6 Q. Well, might you also have asked him whether he was proud

7 of himself and whether Rosemary Nelson was proud of him?

8 A. He was asked was he proud of himself.

9 Q. Might you also have asked whether Rosemary Nelson was

10 proud of him?

11 A. He was being interviewed about the murder of two police

12 officers. There was no way that Rosemary Nelson's name

13 was mentioned during that interview. It served

14 absolutely no purpose. It wasn't mentioned. It didn't

15 happen.

16 Q. Mr Duffy made a complaint about this interview, in which

17 he did say that she was mentioned. Do you remember that

18 complaint?

19 A. I'm aware that he made the complaint, yes.

20 Q. Have you read his statement to the Inquiry about it?

21 A. I don't think so.

22 Q. Well, are you aware that he appears to level his

23 complaint at your colleague, P121?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What was your response to that complaint?

 

 

136

 

1 A. At what stage?

2 Q. The stage you first became aware of it?

3 A. I don't even know when I first became aware of it.

4 Q. Did you subsequently become aware of intelligence or

5 information that Colin Duffy's associates were seeking

6 potential witnesses to fabricate alibi evidence for him?

7 A. I don't think so.

8 Q. You don't sound certain, Mr Walker.

9 A. I read it in one of those documents this morning, but

10 whether I heard that before that, I'm not sure. I can't

11 remember.

12 Q. Is it not the kind of thing that, as an investigating

13 officer, you would have remembered? It would have stuck

14 in your memory?

15 A. You are talking 11 or 12 years ago. I can't remember.

16 Q. May we look at the particular document, please. It is

17 RNI-541-101 in the Part 2 bundle. (displayed).

18 Again, the title, which we are familiar with, is

19 "Provisional IRA, general activity". The date

20 is July 1997 and it's called a SIR, a secret

21 intelligence report. If we go overleaf to RNI-541-102

22 (displayed), we can see there that there is reference to

23 somebody seeking potential witnesses in Kilwilke to

24 fabricate evidence to strengthen Colin Duffy's alibi.

25 And you can see there at the bottom there is a comment,

 

 

137

 

1 "CID informed."

2 Now, you, I think, were one of the CID officers

3 involved with the investigation. Were you informed of

4 this?

5 A. I can't remember. "CID informed" does not necessarily

6 mean that every member of CID was informed. The senior

7 investigating officer may have been informed. I can't

8 remember whether I was informed about it or not.

9 I see it says the Free Colin Duffy Committee.

10 I have never heard of the Free Colin Duffy Committee.

11 Q. It may be an ad hoc committee that had just formed.

12 A. I know I have never heard of that. I honestly can't

13 answer you. I don't know whether I heard that or not.

14 Q. Do you think fabrication of alibi evidence is the kind

15 of thing that is relevant to investigations?

16 A. Related to who?

17 Q. Well, the people investigating it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. So if you are going out, as presumably you did, to find

20 evidence to associate Colin Duffy or anyone else with

21 this crime, you would probably want to know, would you,

22 that there was alibi evidence being fabricated to

23 counter that?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And generally, would your SIO have informed you of this

 

 

138

 

1 kind of thing? If there was an allegation that there

2 was some pretend or fake evidence being put into the

3 investigation, would the DCs have been told?

4 A. Well, I don't think from memory that any of these fake

5 alibis was put into the investigation. I don't know. I

6 can't remember. But I don't think that anybody came

7 forward with a fake alibi.

8 Q. May we look, please, at RNI-541-147 (displayed)? Now,

9 this is a document dated August 1997. So we have gone

10 on a month. It is the same kind of document from

11 Special Branch, and if we go overleaf to RNI-541-148

12 (displayed) we can see the text.

13 It states that Rosemary Nelson is using an

14 intermediary to contact a witness in the prosecution for

15 Colin Duffy in the murder of the two constables and that

16 she is very discreet about it. And it is concerned she

17 may be found out trying to do this. And then it goes on

18 to make a few comments about why Colin Duffy is in

19 custody.

20 Were you aware of this information?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Would you have expected to have been aware of this

23 information?

24 A. Probably, yes.

25 Q. Would it have assisted you?

 

 

139

 

1 A. Depending on who -- well, obviously the witness is in

2 the witness protection scheme, so it certainly would be

3 difficult for her to contact the witness or an

4 intermediary to contact the witness, but if it was

5 happening, we would like to know.

6 Q. Would that be in itself something that you might

7 investigate, whether she is acting unprofessionally?

8 A. The decision to investigate that would be above my head.

9 Q. May we look at another document of a similar nature,

10 which is at RNI-541-164 (displayed)? Again, the title

11 is the same, the date of this is September 1997, so

12 Mr Duffy is still on remand at this stage for the

13 alleged offence.

14 If we go overleaf to RNI-541-165 (displayed), we can

15 see the text. Can you highlight that, please. It says

16 that:

17 "Rosemary Nelson took a statement discrediting the

18 character of the key witness to the murder of the two

19 RUC officers."

20 It goes on to express the comment that she

21 pressurised someone into making a statement by

22 threatening to put another person in the witness box

23 during the trial of Mr Duffy, who is on remand at that

24 stage. Then it says:

25 "Nelson also intends to fax the statement all over

 

 

140

 

1 the world to prominent politicians and including the

2 DPP's office, the Secretary of State and the press."

3 And finally:

4 "Nelson believes that this statement will eventually

5 secure the release of Colin Duffy."

6 Were you aware of any information to suggest that

7 Rosemary Nelson had pressurised someone into making

8 a statement?

9 A. Not that I remember, and I don't remember ever seeing

10 a statement discrediting a witness.

11 Q. Were you aware that she was garnering support at a high

12 level for the release of Colin Duffy?

13 A. No.

14 Q. So you weren't aware, for example, that she had

15 contacted Irish politicians and senior people within

16 Northern Ireland to help?

17 A. Not that I remember, no.

18 Q. Was there no sense in which there was a large focus or

19 publicity attaching to the investigation of those two

20 murders?

21 A. If Mrs Nelson was doing this, I didn't hear about it and

22 I don't think it was publicised if she was doing it.

23 Q. Again, would you have expected to have known about this?

24 A. Not necessarily, no.

25 Q. Why not in this case?

 

 

141

 

1 A. Are you saying that some of these people in high places

2 or Rosemary Nelson was telling the world that she was

3 doing this?

4 Q. I should clarify, I'm looking again at the document and

5 its contents about what Rosemary Nelson was alleged to

6 have been doing behind the scenes.

7 Would you have expected to know of this information

8 as you were investigating the crime?

9 A. Probably, yes.

10 Q. And looking at it now in retrospect, ten years on, are

11 you surprised that your colleagues in Special Branch

12 didn't in some form or another hint to you that

13 Mrs Nelson was acting untowardly, if that was their

14 view?

15 A. Not particularly, no.

16 Q. Did your work in the investigation of this offence

17 extend beyond these interviews?

18 A. Probably, yes.

19 Q. What might you have done?

20 A. I'm sure I was involved in the house-to-house enquiries

21 directly after the murder. I also believe I interviewed

22 other witnesses.

23 Q. I'm sorry, did you just answer that you interviewed some

24 of the witnesses?

25 A. I interviewed another witness. An eye-witness -- he

 

 

142

 

1 wasn't identifying anybody, but he was an eye-witness to

2 the murder.

3 Q. And the kind of reporting that we have seen from

4 Special Branch presumably could have had some bearing on

5 that. You would have wanted to know if it was that

6 particular witness presumably, wouldn't you?

7 A. That witness was -- he certainly wasn't going to give

8 any evidence which would convict anybody of anything.

9 So it certainly wasn't him.

10 Q. Is there anything you would like to say about Mr Duffy's

11 complaint against you and P121?

12 A. Anything I would like to say about it?

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. It is totally wrong. I would say it is a lie.

15 Q. May we move on to the complaint by C138, as he is known

16 for this Inquiry. I think you know who that person is

17 from the list --

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

19 Q. Did you have any knowledge of C138 before you

20 interviewed him?

21 A. Very, very limited, I think. I can't remember. He is

22 not somebody who immediately springs to mind.

23 Q. Well, when you talked earlier about the sort of the

24 principal players within the paramilitary groups, was he

25 one of those?

 

 

143

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. Was he on the outskirts of those groups?

3 A. I would say that's fair to say, yes.

4 Q. Which group in particular?

5 A. The Provisional IRA.

6 Q. In Lurgan?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And I think he was arrested in relation to the finding

9 of a mortar bomb. Is that correct?

10 A. I can't remember.

11 Q. In any event, he was arrested, I think, on

12 6 February 1997. Can you remember interviewing him at

13 this stage, 12 years on?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Were you aware that he made a complaint against you?

16 A. At what stage?

17 Q. After his interview, he made a complaint against you.

18 Can you recollect that?

19 A. I'm aware he made a complaint, yes.

20 Q. Presumably for the purposes of this Inquiry you have

21 refreshed your memory to some extent on these matters?

22 A. Yes, I'm aware he made a complaint. I would challenge

23 the fact that he made a complaint against me.

24 Q. On what basis?

25 A. What is the nature of his complaint?

 

 

144

 

1 Q. I think you interviewed him, as I understand it, only

2 one time?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And your interviewing partner, unusually, was P135, not

5 P121. Is that correct?

6 A. I would need to see the notes.

7 Q. Well, we can look at his complaint at RNI-1204-035

8 (displayed). That's a little bit difficult to read,

9 Mr Walker, but if you would like to have a look at that?

10 A. Yes. (Pause)

11 Q. Can you read that, Mr Walker?

12 A. I can read it, yes, but I don't think I was in this

13 interview.

14 Q. I am afraid, again, that my referencing is not perfect,

15 but can you remember at any stage during the single

16 interview you had with C138 that you or P135 called

17 Rosemary Nelson a money grabbing bitch?

18 A. Definitely not.

19 Q. There are other comments --

20 A. He was being interviewed about -- let's see, the find of

21 an M16 mortar. It serves absolutely no purpose to

22 introduce Mrs Nelson to this interview. It certainly

23 served no purpose to introduce her and to call her

24 names.

25 Q. And there are a number of other allegations which she

 

 

145

 

1 makes against you, such as --

2 A. Sorry, I would dispute that he made those allegations

3 against me.

4 Q. This is on the basis that you only interviewed him

5 a single time.

6 A. From memory, I believe that he said on his first day of

7 interview or second day of interview.

8 Q. Let's move on to another complaint. This is the one

9 brought by Mr Simmons.

10 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can you just hold, Mr Skelton? Just

11 looking at that reference, it does say interviewed by

12 135 and 162, doesn't it?

13 MR SKELTON: Yes, I think that's correct. As I said, I

14 think my reference to a particular document was

15 incorrect, but I cannot in fact find the correct

16 reference at this time.

17 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay.

18 MR SKELTON: It may help, sir, if we look at RNI-203-069

19 (displayed).

20 Now, this is named by Mr Walker there at the top

21 left and this is the detail of the complaint.

22 Mr Walker, can you remember that?

23 A. Remember what?

24 Q. This document?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

146

 

1 Q. Can you register the allegations that were made against

2 you, which you can see set out in the central paragraph?

3 A. I would still say it is not made against me. It is made

4 against the interviewers.

5 Q. You were one of the interviewers, weren't you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So it was a broad allegation that was against the

8 interviewers generally and may have been against you

9 because you were one of those. Do you not accept that?

10 A. Well, I tell you it wasn't me.

11 Q. That's a slightly different point, isn't it? This

12 suspect was making allegations against the people who

13 interviewed him and he --

14 A. I would like to see the interview notes that I did, of

15 the interview that I was in.

16 Q. In which you --

17 A. It says on Thursday, 2 February. I don't believe

18 I interviewed him on Thursday, 2 February. I may be

19 wrong.

20 Q. I think it is fair to say there are no notes of these

21 comments being made in any of the interview notes which

22 the Inquiry --

23 A. I don't believe that I interviewed him on Thursday,

24 2 February.

25 Q. Can we look at your statement in this regard? I think

 

 

147

 

1 you deal with this at paragraph 27 and 28, which we can

2 find on page RNI-824-179 (displayed).

3 I think you make the point there in paragraph 27, as

4 you are making now, that you did one interview and you

5 make the point that neither you nor DC135 have grey

6 hair. Is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And the grey hair which we have seen is described in the

9 complaint itself. There is one officer, P162, who is

10 neither of you two, and there is another officer with

11 grey hair on that other document. Do you remember that?

12 A. Sorry, say it again?

13 Q. On the complaint against the officers brought by C138,

14 he names one officer, 162, who has been redacted and

15 given a cipher and another grey-haired policeman?

16 A. Right.

17 Q. And in your statement here you can see in the middle

18 sentence, you say:

19 "I understand the interview records show that I only

20 interviewed him on one occasion and on that occasion I

21 was accompanied by DC P135, and neither I nor DC P135

22 have grey hair."

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. And I think on that basis you are saying it cannot have

25 been you?

 

 

148

 

1 A. On that basis in my statement, but I don't believe

2 I interviewed him on the date that he says these

3 comments were made.

4 Q. And that's correct, thank you.

5 May we move on to the Mr Simmons complaint. Again,

6 I will ask you the same questions: did you know

7 Mr Simmons beforehand, from your CID work?

8 A. No.

9 Q. You had no knowledge of his activities within your

10 locality?

11 A. I don't believe so, no.

12 Q. And can you remember what he was arrested for?

13 A. I think it was -- I think to do with a hide in his

14 garden, but I'm not 100 per cent sure.

15 Q. Do you remember interviewing him at this stage?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Now, if we look at RNI-204-221 (displayed), we should

18 see that he was interviewed for -- we can see there it

19 says -- a handwritten comment at the middle:

20 "A 'hide' ..."

21 In inverted commas:

22 "... for the use of proscribed organisations, which

23 was discovered in the back garden of the premises of

24 [blank]."

25 I think that was the reason why he was arrested; is

 

 

149

 

1 that correct?

2 A. I believe so, yes.

3 Q. And that's his name there at the top, can you see?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, he was arrested on 11 February 1997 and I think you

6 interviewed him once on the very first day of his

7 arrest. Is that correct?

8 A. I can't remember.

9 Q. Can you remember anything about this interview at all?

10 A. Without the notes, no.

11 Q. It may be worth me showing you your passage in the

12 statement in which you discuss this. It is on

13 paragraph 29, on page RNI-824-180 (displayed), and there

14 you refer to the form 17/3, which is the complaint

15 itself, which I'll turn to in a moment. Could we have

16 that on screen, please, the first reference,

17 RNI-203.088-090 (displayed).

18 Now, that's the nature of the complaint made by Tony

19 Simmons and you can see that it basically says:

20 "He was lifted by police and taken to

21 Gough Barracks, as was his girlfriend. At subsequent

22 interviews, Rosemary Nelson's name was brought up by CID

23 during the second day."

24 So I think this is not the day, in fact, that you

25 interviewed him; is that correct?

 

 

150

 

1 A. Without the notes, I can't remember.

2 Q. I will find a reference for you in a moment, but do you

3 remember the complaint being made against you subsequent

4 to the interview? Do you remember this document?

5 A. What, the 17/3? Yes.

6 Q. What was your response to that?

7 A. How do you mean?

8 Q. When the complaint was made against you, how did you

9 respond?

10 A. I don't understand what you mean.

11 Q. Well, it is making an allegation that during the second

12 day of the suspect's interview, allegations were made

13 that Rosemary Nelson was a terrorist with a deformed

14 face and that an insult was made about her features.

15 What was your response to that allegation?

16 A. My response to who?

17 Q. Mr Walker, in front of you is a report of an allegation

18 or complaint by Tony Simmons about an interview which

19 took place while he was under arrest, and I believe that

20 you were aware of this because you can see -- there is

21 a name there?

22 A. Yes, I was served with the 17/3, yes.

23 Q. What was your response to that?

24 A. When I was served with the 17/3?

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

151

 

1 A. I don't know. There is nothing on this to indicate any

2 response.

3 Q. Did you accept that the allegation had been made?

4 A. When I'm served with the 17/3? I don't do anything when

5 I'm served with the 17/3. I take the 17/3.

6 Q. I think it is correct -- and as I have stated, we are

7 finding the notes -- that you didn't in fact interview

8 him on the second day of his arrest; is that right?

9 A. I don't know.

10 Q. Well, you can take it from me that you didn't.

11 A. That's okay, yes. I accept that.

12 Q. Did you hear about the complaint made by Tony Simmons at

13 the time, whether or not you were involved it or not?

14 A. At the time of the complaint?

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. When was the complaint made?

17 Q. We can see the date of it there. It is on

18 19 January 1998. That's the day of the form.

19 So the interviews of him had taken place almost

20 a year before. Do you remember these complaints being

21 discussed?

22 A. You have lost me. I'm not really with you. What do you

23 mean? Do I remember them being discussed?

24 Q. Well, there is a complaint made by Mr Simmons that

25 officers made these comments while he was being

 

 

152

 

1 interviewed in February 1997. Do you remember these

2 complaints being made by Mr Simmons and by all the other

3 complainants?

4 A. You are saying that the complaint was made a year after

5 the interview?

6 Q. According to this form, yes. You were being contacted

7 then.

8 A. The date -- where is the date on the form?

9 Q. Bottom left.

10 A. That's the date that that was served on me. When the

11 complaint was made, I don't know.

12 Q. I take it from that that you don't recall anything about

13 this complaint?

14 A. I was aware that the complaint was made, yes, but when

15 it was made, I don't know.

16 MR DONALDSON: Sir, I want to just raise a point here about

17 a matter of fairness. To have some semblance of

18 fairness, I think the witness should be allowed to see

19 the notes of the interview because it is quite clear --

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. I agree with you.

21 MR DONALDSON: Thank you very much, sir, because I want to

22 make this point clear, though: according to this

23 complaint, this witness did not interview the

24 complainant on that day and yet he is being pressed

25 about it unfairly and unreasonably.

 

 

153

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: The witness said he was lost.

2 MR DONALDSON: I'm not surprised.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: I was lost also.

4 MR SKELTON: Sir, I apologise for any confusion. I think

5 I made it clear that Mr Walker did not interview

6 Mr Simmons on the second day, and in fact was only

7 interviewing on the first day and that this complaint,

8 which we can see in writing here, was about the second

9 day.

10 I was attempting to assist Mr Walker in that regard.

11 I apologise --

12 THE CHAIRMAN: What is the relevant question that you are

13 putting to the witness? Would you put it again, please?

14 MR SKELTON: Sir, there are a number of questions which we

15 have received from the Full Participants about these

16 complaints, not whether or not they were made against these

17 individual officers, but whether they heard about them.

18 And I'm asking this witness whether he heard about

19 complaints against Rosemary Nelson and, if he did, what

20 he knew about that.

21 A. I really don't understand the question. If I was served

22 with the 17/3, of course I heard about the complaints.

23 I don't understand the question other than that.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: The first you heard about it was on

25 19 January, was it, when you signed the acknowledgment

 

 

154

 

1 of this form?

2 A. Probably, yes. I may have heard about it before.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: I think you can move on to another matter.

4 MR SKELTON: We may. If the witness would be assisted, I

5 can take him all the way through his interview notes. I

6 didn't think that would assist him, but I'm happy to do

7 so.

8 Mr Walker, would you like me to show you --

9 THE CHAIRMAN: The Panel accepts that he was not

10 interviewing this complainant on the day when these

11 complaints were made or these allegations were said.

12 Yes?

13 MR SKELTON: Indeed. There was another complaint by

14 Mr Barry Toman.

15 Did you know who Mr Toman was?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. What did you know about him?

18 A. He was certainly involved with the Provisional IRA.

19 Q. What do you mean involved?

20 A. He was a member of the Provisional IRA.

21 Q. On what basis did you form that view?

22 A. He was a known member of the Provisional IRA.

23 Q. How did you know that?

24 A. Because he was. How did I know Colin Duffy was a member

25 of the IRA?

 

 

155

 

1 Q. We have described earlier on that you had briefings,

2 that you had documents available to you, that you had a

3 local collator in CID, that you had chats with

4 Special Branch, et cetera, et cetera. How did you come

5 by your knowledge that Mr Toman was a member of the IRA?

6 A. I don't know. I knew he was a member of the IRA.

7 Q. Now, if we look at RNI-205-002 (displayed), you can see

8 there this is the name of Mr Toman and he was arrested,

9 I think, in relation to a PRIG attack on a police patrol

10 on 6 February 1997 on the Levin Road, Lurgan. What does

11 "PRIG" mean?

12 A. From memory, it is a propelled recoilless improvised

13 grenade.

14 Q. Now, do you remember interviewing him for this offence?

15 A. I'm aware that I interviewed him, but I don't remember

16 the detail of the interview.

17 Q. Now, can I infer from that, as I can infer from the

18 other ones, that unless there was anything in the

19 interview notes in which you were alleged to have made

20 adverse comments against Mrs Nelson, you would not be

21 able to remember anything you said during that

22 interview?

23 A. Sorry, say that again?

24 Q. Can I infer from your response that unless we can find

25 in the interview notes a comment to the effect that you

 

 

156

 

1 made an adverse comment against Mrs Nelson, then you

2 will have no recollection of doing so?

3 A. I don't need to have a recollection of doing so. I know

4 that there was no adverse comments about Mrs Nelson made

5 during the interview. It would serve absolutely no

6 purpose. It is an absurd allegation.

7 Q. Now, Mr Toman did make a complaint against you and

8 against, I think, your partner, P121, and we can see

9 a statement which is produced by CAJ at RNI-114-112

10 (displayed).

11 There we are. This is a statement, I think, which

12 is taken for him by, as I say, the Committee for the

13 Action of Justice, or CAJ, and it is to do with Tuesday,

14 11 February 1997. Could you take a moment to read that

15 through, and I think you have already seen this, haven't

16 you, Mr Walker?

17 A. Yes. (Pause)

18 Q. Now, he makes a point that the two detectives who didn't

19 identify themselves made various comments about

20 Rosemary Nelson. First of all, would you have

21 identified yourself when you were conducting an

22 interview?

23 A. Certainly in the first interview, maybe the second

24 interview. It may have got to the stage where we

25 started the interview by saying that he was aware of our

 

 

157

 

1 identities, but yes, I would have identified myself

2 during the first interview.

3 Q. You would have said, "I'm DC Walker and I'm interviewing

4 you about X, Y and Z"?

5 A. It would say at the start of the notes, yes.

6 Q. After that you wouldn't have identified yourself at

7 future interviews?

8 A. I may have done, but it is quite possible at future

9 interviews -- the notes may have started with he was

10 already aware of our identities.

11 Q. It is correct to state that none of the interview notes,

12 which run to many pages, contain any such comment made

13 by you or by any other police officer?

14 A. That's correct. He was being interviewed about serious

15 crime. It is absurd to say that Mrs Nelson is brought

16 up during the interview. It serves absolutely no

17 purpose.

18 Q. Did you know that Mrs Nelson was representing Mr Toman?

19 A. Probably, yes.

20 Q. Why would you have known that?

21 A. Because we would have heard in the police office if

22 a solicitor was coming, who the solicitor was.

23 Q. Specifically in relation to him you would have heard.

24 Would it have been an assumption of yours that as

25 a suspect IRA member, she would have represented him?

 

 

158

 

1 A. It would have been reasonable to assume, yes. She

2 represented a number of members of the Provisional IRA

3 in Lurgan. Yes, it is reasonable to assume she would be

4 representing Toman, yes.

5 Q. Did she represent all of the alleged members?

6 A. Of the IRA?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. She represented all members of the IRA who were arrested

9 and brought to Gough, yes. I can't remember any members

10 of the IRA who were in Gough who were represented by

11 another solicitor.

12 Q. Did you make any assumptions about her from the fact

13 that all of the local IRA men went to see her?

14 A. What sort of assumptions?

15 Q. About whether or not she supported, for example, their

16 cause?

17 A. No, she was a solicitor, she represented her clients.

18 Q. In terms of the specific comments, I think you have told

19 us you don't recall making any of those and you would

20 not have needed to do so?

21 A. I didn't say I didn't recall making them. I said I

22 didn't make them. They weren't made.

23 Q. Did any of your colleagues, to your knowledge, make such

24 comments?

25 A. Not in my presence, no.

 

 

159

 

1 Q. So P121, for example, would not have mentioned --

2 A. Definitely not.

3 Q. I think it is correct to state that Mr Toman didn't

4 bring his complaint at the time to you, did he?

5 A. To me personally?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. I don't believe so, no.

8 Q. Nor on his prisoner complaint certificate, which we can

9 find at RNI-205-017 (displayed), and we can see there

10 that's a certificate which looks like it has been filled

11 in by the custody officer on his release from custody.

12 You can see it says "release without charge", and it

13 says:

14 "My reply ..."

15 I think it says "none" in relation to complaints?

16 A. He was asked by the custody officer if he had any

17 complaints to make against a police officer when

18 detained in police custody from such and such a date to

19 such and such a date. His reply is:

20 "No, none at all."

21 Q. And, therefore, do you draw any inferences from the fact

22 that he made no complaints at the time about whether or

23 not this complaint is a valid one?

24 A. It would seem to be the logical time to make a complaint

25 is at the time. He had ample opportunity. I'm sure he

 

 

160

 

1 saw a solicitor whilst he was in Gough. I am sure he

2 was examined by a doctor. I know he seen the custody

3 staff after every interview.

4 Q. Why do you think he brought this complaint?

5 A. You would need to ask him. It is a malicious complaint.

6 Q. He has given evidence to this Inquiry. In answer to the

7 issue about this form, he said that he didn't answer any

8 question in relation to the complaint because it would

9 have been a waste of time because he didn't trust the

10 police. Do you have any comments to make about that?

11 A. No.

12 Q. There is a final complaint I would like to discuss with

13 you, which is from a different sort of complainant.

14 This is Trevor McKeown. Are you familiar with that

15 complaint?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. He was arrested on 15 July 1997 on suspicion of

18 attempted murder, and I think during the period of his

19 arrest, Miss Bernadette Martin died, in fact, so it

20 turned into a full murder investigation. Do you

21 remember that?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. What was your role in that investigation?

24 A. I certainly interviewed Trevor McKeown.

25 Q. Did you do anything else?

 

 

161

 

1 A. From memory, I probably was involved in house-to-house

2 enquiries, again, in and around the scene.

3 Q. Now, I think it is right that he himself didn't bring

4 a complaint at the time either? I won't take you

5 through the notes because I can assure you that there is

6 no record of any complaints made in relation to comments

7 made about Rosemary Nelson throughout the notes.

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. But if we look at his statement at RNI-813-780

10 (displayed), and in particular paragraph 5, he names

11 P121 specifically as being one of the interviewing

12 officers and I think you were interviewing with P121,

13 weren't you?

14 A. That's correct, yes.

15 Q. And you can see what he says there. He recalls that

16 P121 said something like:

17 "Why the fuck didn't you shoot Rosemary Nelson

18 instead of an 18-year-old girl?"

19 And said:

20 "Would you shoot her, Trevor, would you?"

21 This is specifically against P121. Do you recall

22 those comments being made in the interview of

23 Trevor McKeown?

24 A. It is a totally absurd allegation. We were interviewing

25 Trevor McKeown about the murder of an 18-year-old girl.

 

 

162

 

1 Rosemary Nelson's name was never mentioned during that

2 interview.

3 Q. At this time you were still part of the investigating

4 team into the death of the two police constables,

5 weren't you? This is July 1997.

6 A. Probably, yes.

7 Q. Was P121 one of those officers as well that was

8 investigating those murders?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So it is fair to say that Rosemary Nelson may have been

11 in your mind at that time as the lawyer for Colin Duffy?

12 A. In relation to the interview of Trevor McKeown?

13 Q. No, just generally.

14 A. It is hard to believe that Rosemary Nelson is going to

15 be in your mind, and I didn't spend my time running

16 about thinking about Rosemary Nelson.

17 Q. Well, Mr McKeown remembers this distinctly in relation

18 to your colleague. Why do you think he has made this

19 up?

20 A. That's exactly right, he made it up. That's a lie.

21 There is nothing else to be said about that.

22 Q. Can you see any motivation for him doing this?

23 A. No.

24 Q. I think P121 said in his evidence that there was

25 something to do with the trial of Mr McKeown's brother.

 

 

163

 

1 Is that a theory which you subscribe to?

2 A. It is possible, but what purpose it would serve I do not

3 know.

4 Q. In relation to the four complaints which we have looked

5 at, and leaving aside the specifics in relation to your

6 recollection, but just in relation to the complaints,

7 they are all about Rosemary Nelson, I think you would

8 accept?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Remarks made about her?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And four of the complaints are made by people from the

13 Republican side, if I may put it that way. Is that --

14 A. Yes, that's right.

15 Q. They cover quite a range of alleged comments, from

16 threats to kill her to her physical appearance, and then

17 this last one, which appears to be some form of

18 incitement potentially to shoot her.

19 Quite a broad range of complaints. Would you accept

20 that? A broad range of comments?

21 A. It is not that overly broad, but I accept they are

22 all -- all these allegations are in relation to

23 Rosemary Nelson, yes.

24 Q. Well, in relation to the four of them, did you think

25 that they had a theme which you recognised?

 

 

164

 

1 A. I never gave it much consideration. You have to say

2 that all of these people are known to each other. They

3 are all involved with, to some degree or other, to the

4 Provisional IRA. They had plenty of time to collaborate

5 together, to come up with these ridiculous allegations.

6 Q. And do you think that's what they did?

7 A. I don't know what they did, but they are ridiculous

8 allegations.

9 Q. Now, in each case I think it is right to say

10 Rosemary Nelson was mentioned, obviously. But she was

11 also the solicitor involved with these people.

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Now, some witnesses -- and I'll show you Mr Duffy's

14 statement to give you an example -- indicate that it was

15 Mrs Nelson who was the driving force behind them

16 initiating a complaint. And we will look, please, at

17 RNI-804-106, which is Colin Duffy's statement to the

18 Inquiry (displayed).

19 You can see there at paragraph 32, it says there

20 that:

21 "Rosemary encouraged me to complain when I was

22 mistreated and to ensure I also asked to read my notes

23 at the end of interviews."

24 And you can read the rest of that paragraph. But he

25 begins to say at the end:

 

 

165

 

1 "Rosemary was very vocal and forceful when she

2 advised me that I had to complain when necessary and ask

3 for things that I was entitled to. She said that if,

4 God forbid, I was charged, there were issues that could

5 be brought in front of the European Court. If

6 I remained silent, it could be an adverse impact."

7 Now, did you get the impression that these

8 complainants were being sort of advised and pushed

9 forward to bring complaints or that they had done this

10 off their own bat?

11 A. I never gave it any consideration. I don't know whether

12 they had been advised or not. They made their

13 complaints, at times months or weeks or years after the

14 incident.

15 Q. So you drew no inference that Rosemary Nelson behind the

16 scenes was pushing for these complaints herself?

17 A. If you read that statement of Colin Duffy, all he is

18 saying there is legal advice. He is receiving advice

19 from his solicitor to complain if he's ill-treated.

20 Q. He is saying:

21 "Rosemary Nelson was very vocal and forceful when

22 she advised me that I had to complain when necessary."

23 A. There's nothing wrong with that, when necessary.

24 Q. Did you draw any conclusions about Rosemary Nelson

25 herself from the fact that several of her clients had

 

 

166

 

1 brought complaints against you and your colleagues?

2 A. No.

3 Q. None whatsoever?

4 A. None whatsoever. Rosemary Nelson was a solicitor

5 representing her clients, nothing more, nothing less.

6 Q. Now, Mr Walker, is there anything else you would like to

7 add to your evidence about today 's issues?

8 A. No, I would just like to say that I served for 28 years

9 in the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and latterly the PSNI.

10 It was a dangerous job, and for every day you were

11 a target for members of the Provisional IRA, for

12 28 years. The people who are making these complaints,

13 these malicious allegations, are the same people who

14 have been trying to kill me and my colleagues for

15 28 years. I would just like to think that this Inquiry

16 would exonerate me and my colleagues from totally

17 malicious allegations.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Walker, thank you very much for coming to

19 give evidence. I apologise that you were kept waiting

20 so long.

21 A. It is no problem.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming. We will adjourn now

23 until tomorrow morning at quarter past ten.

24 (4.05 pm)

25 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

 

 


 

1 I N D E X

2
MRS CHRISTINE COLLINS (continued) ................. 1
3
Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued) ......... 1
4
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 72
5
Questions by THE CHAIRMAN .................... 77
6
Application by MR DONALDSON .................. 80
7
MR STEPHEN WALKER (affirmed) ..................... 90
8
Questions by MR SKELTON ...................... 90
9

10

11

12

13

14

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