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Full Hearings

Hearing: 6th October 2008, day 59

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

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


on Monday, 6 October 2008
commencing at 1 pm


Day 59


1 Monday, 6 October 2008

2 (1.00 pm)

3 MR SIMON ROGERS (affirmed)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Please sit down.

6 Yes, Mr Phillips?

7 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Rogers, would you give us your full names,

8 please?

9 A. Simon Thomas Alan Rogers.

10 Q. Thank you. I think it is right that you have made

11 a single statement to the Inquiry, and we can see it on

12 the screen at RNI-842-421 (displayed), and your

13 signature is at RNI-841-455 (displayed) and the date of

14 30 January this year?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Now, I would like to start by asking you some questions

17 about your career, if I may, and that takes us back to

18 the front of your statement, if I can put it that way.

19 So far as the Inquiry is concerned, the important

20 thing is that you joined the Police Division of the NIO

21 in 1995. Is that right?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. And remained there, I think, until September 1999?

24 A. That's also correct.

25 Q. Thank you. And we will look at the various matters that

2

1 you dealt with in that period in a moment, but what I

2 would like to do very much at the outset is to ask you

3 to look, please, at some charts of the NIO structure

4 that the Inquiry has prepared. So can we have those on

5 the screen, please (displayed)?

6 Now, so far as this first chart is concerned, I

7 think it shows things at a pretty exulted level, and if

8 we go on to the next chart, we will, I hope -- yes --

9 see where you fitted into the structure.

10 If you look on the left-hand side, in the light,

11 bright blue, more or less in the middle, it says "Head

12 of Police Division". Do you see that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. So far as your evidence is concerned, that was first

15 Christine Collins and then Kenneth Lindsay. Is that

16 right?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. Where do you fit into the structure beneath that?

19 A. The part of the chart referring to Head of Police

20 Complaints Division, I suppose that was me although I

21 wouldn't have seen that as my title. We didn't have

22 a deputy principal in the division, but otherwise the

23 chart reflects the structure.

24 Q. So you are reporting to Christine Collins?

25 A. Head of Police Division.

3

1 Q. Thank you. And then beneath you in the structure would

2 be Anne Colville; is that right?

3 A. Correct, at the executive officer level.

4 Q. What about Lesley Foster; where did she fit in?

5 A. They was the staff officer post.

6 Q. Thank you very much. So if we forget about the one

7 saying "Deputy Principal", those are the four relevant

8 individual posts with which we are particularly

9 concerned. Then also in the Police Division, the KPPS

10 branch, and we will look at that in a minute.

11 But can I ask you to look up, as it were, rather

12 than down, and look at the Undersecretary, Associate

13 Director, et cetera, those levels. Presumably these

14 were people to whom principally your boss,

15 Christine Collins and then Kenneth Lindsay, would be

16 reporting?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. Thank you very much indeed. Now, you set out for us in

19 your statement, very helpfully, if I may say so, your

20 involvement over a number of years with the issue of

21 complaints against the police and I would like you to

22 look, please, paragraphs 3 and following. It begins on

23 the screen at RNI-841-422 (displayed).

24 So far as the system was concerned, we have heard

25 a good deal about it already, so I would like to come to

4

1 the point, if I may, and the system I'm talking about

2 now is the one that was in place when you joined the

3 division in 1995.

4 There were various concerns expressed about it and

5 its effectiveness at the time when you joined the

6 division, weren't there?

7 A. There were, yes. Those concerns led to the appointment

8 of Maurice Hayes to conduct a review of the police

9 complaints system, which I highlight in paragraph 3.

10 Q. Yes, and you worked with Dr Hayes, as I understand it,

11 on his review and, indeed, drafted his report; is that

12 right?

13 A. I hope he doesn't mind me saying that. In fact, I know

14 he won't, and if you look at the report itself, it will

15 confirm that I did have a major engagement. And

16 although this is buried on page 93 of his report, there

17 is recognition of the contribution I made to it.

18 Q. So on page 93 there is an acknowledgment of your work?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. Can I just suggest to you at least some of

21 the concerns being expressed. The first and perhaps

22 most obvious is that the system involved the police

23 investigating the police. That was one of the concerns,

24 wasn't it?

25 A. That's correct.

5

1 Q. The second centred on the question of relevant standard

2 of proof required, namely the criminal standard?

3 A. That was only relevant in respect of disciplinary

4 matters. Obviously if the investigation was a criminal

5 matter, then the criminal standard was regarded by

6 Maurice Hayes and others as the appropriate --

7 Q. But in relation to disciplinary matters it was the

8 criminal standard which pertained?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. And this was the focus of a good deal of attention in

11 the report?

12 A. It was indeed.

13 Q. There was some concern also expressed, wasn't there,

14 about the ability or not of the Commission, the ICPC, to

15 call in matters for a supervised investigation?

16 A. There was concern about that. Legislation provided that

17 either the Chief Constable or the Secretary of State

18 could call in the Commission, but not -- the Commission

19 had no power itself to call itself in.

20 Q. Yes. And that was one of the changes in the new

21 Ombudsman system, wasn't it, whereby the Ombudsman was

22 able to initiate an investigation of its own?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Thank you.

25 Finally, one of the problems with the system was

6

1 that there was a reluctance on the part of many to use

2 it, on account of what were perceived to be inadequacies

3 and no doubt other reasons by complainants or indeed

4 their lawyers. That was a concern also, wasn't it?

5 A. It was a concern that people didn't pursue this system,

6 yes.

7 Q. And that people didn't have a sufficient level of

8 confidence in it?

9 A. One of the things Maurice Hayes identified was a lack of

10 confidence in the system, yes.

11 Q. It was also felt by some that the system was being used

12 or possibly even abused by some who were putting in

13 complaints, registering complaints for other reasons; in

14 other words, as part of a tactic in relation to other

15 proceedings, civil or criminal, for example?

16 A. Yes, that was certainly a point made to Maurice Hayes,

17 including by certain solicitors that he met during the

18 course of his review.

19 Q. Yes, and then finally there was a concern also, wasn't

20 there, that there was a low or, indeed, very low

21 substantiation rate in relation to complaints?

22 A. Yes. Again, there is a fairly lengthy section on that

23 in the report setting out the different rates of

24 substantiation and comparing them in Northern Ireland

25 with elsewhere. The truth was that the substantiation

7

1 rates in complaints investigations are low in most

2 jurisdictions in fact, but the figures in

3 Northern Ireland were certainly regarded as low as well.

4 Q. They were particularly low? I'm not going to take you

5 through all the numbers --

6 A. They were, yes.

7 Q. -- but if there was a generally low number, these were

8 even lower than that?

9 A. I can't recall if they were the lowest figures, but they

10 were certainly low and Maurice Hayes made a point of

11 highlighting that.

12 Q. Thank you. Just to look forward a little, the report,

13 as you tell us in paragraph 6 -- that is RNI-841-423

14 (displayed) -- was published in January 1997, and the

15 principal recommendation was the establishment of the

16 Ombudsman's office. And, as I understand it, you

17 then -- this is paragraph 8 -- came to work on the

18 establishment of the new regime because, as I understand

19 it, the recommendations were accepted and endorsed by

20 the incoming Labour Government, which came in, I think,

21 in May 1997, didn't it?

22 A. That is right, yes. The Government accepted the

23 recommendations.

24 Q. And so the new Secretary of State and ministers were

25 committed to that reform and you became involved in

8

1 working towards the Ombudsman's office, although I think

2 that didn't come into working function until 2000; is

3 that right?

4 A. That is correct, yes.

5 Q. Thank you. By then you had moved, hadn't you, to

6 another substantial area of change, namely that related

7 relating to the Patten Commission?

8 A. That's correct. Once the Patten Commission reported, I

9 was effectively moved from Police Division, although

10 I retained, as you will see from the papers,

11 responsibility for some of the residual work on the

12 Rosemary Nelson case.

13 Q. Thank you very much. So if follows, doesn't it, that in

14 this period from the middle of 1997, so far as the

15 Inquiry is concerned, until the time of

16 Rosemary Nelson's murder in March 1999 -- it was

17 a transitional period in relation to complaints. The

18 old system was still running, but very considerable

19 amounts of work were going into the legislation and then

20 the practical establishment of the new office?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. Thank you. It was a transitional phase also, wasn't it,

23 in the broader context of policing?

24 A. It was indeed, yes.

25 Q. There were many reviews, many changes taking place and

9

1 being delivered during these same years, the mid 1990s

2 through to the time of the Good Friday Agreement?

3 A. That's correct. Indeed, the police legislation, the

4 Police Act that brought in the Police Ombudsman, also

5 addressed a number of reforms or changes to the police

6 service ahead of the Patten Commission's work.

7 Q. And policing was itself a major focus of the

8 Good Friday Agreement, the work that went up to it and,

9 indeed, of the document itself?

10 A. It was a major focus of the parties up to the

11 Good Friday Agreement.

12 The effect of the Good Friday Agreement was the

13 establishment of the Patten Commission. However, not

14 everything -- or in fact, nothing on policing

15 particularly was dealt with prior to the

16 Good Friday Agreement. Patten was the sort of creation

17 of the agreement.

18 Q. Yes. And it was recognised, wasn't it, that policing

19 was a key part of the considerable changes which were

20 underway in Northern Ireland?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, policing was itself and had been

23 historically a sensitive topic, not least of course

24 because for so many years there was little, if any,

25 cooperation with the police by some within the community

10

1 in Northern Ireland?

2 A. Yes, I think that's fair comment.

3 Q. Yes. The police themselves were operating at the limits

4 of their resources due to the continuing and substantial

5 problem of terrorism in the mid 1990s?

6 A. Are you asking me to confirm that, sorry?

7 Q. Do you agree with that?

8 A. I think that is a very broad expression of policing

9 and -- I'm not sure it would be possible to agree with

10 it. You know, it is just a very general statement. I'm

11 not sure what particular aspect of it that I would be

12 agreeing with.

13 Q. Well, they were still working, weren't they, despite all

14 the political movement that was going on, under hugely

15 demanding conditions?

16 A. I can certainly agree with that, yes.

17 Q. And in the past, in order to deal with the particular

18 difficulties of the terrorist problem, legislation had

19 been brought in, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and

20 under that legislation powers had been given to the

21 police to assist them in this very difficult work,

22 hadn't they?

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. But those powers were themselves controversial over the

25 years and had been the cause of further friction in

11

1 relation to policing, hadn't they?

2 A. Yes, I think that's correct.

3 Q. In particular, the regime that existed at the holding

4 centres, the rules about non-access to lawyers, et

5 cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

6 A. That's certainly the case, yes.

7 Q. So taking that aspect of policing forward a little,

8 clearly with the ceasefires, 1997 in particular, and

9 then the Good Friday Agreement, there were signs of

10 hope. But would you agree that the security and

11 policing situation was not, as it were, changed at

12 a stroke as a result of the agreement of parties to the

13 Good Friday Agreement?

14 A. Yes, I think, as I have explained, the

15 Good Friday Agreement set up the mechanism for policing

16 to be considered, which was the Patten Commission,

17 rather than setting out the structures that might be

18 appropriate or acceptable to the community as a whole.

19 Q. It was not certain, for example, was it, that the

20 ceasefires would hold?

21 A. No.

22 Q. And there continued to be areas of conflict, in

23 particular in the public order field -- the marches from

24 1995, up to and including 1998 -- at which there was at

25 least the potential for very serious conflict?

12

1 A. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to the position of

3 Government while all of these changes were concerned,

4 presumably your division, the Police Division at the

5 NIO, was in a sense at the front line on many of the

6 issues that we have just been discussing together?

7 A. It would have dealt with a number of them. Certain of

8 them, for example, issues around the prevention of

9 terrorism legislation, would have been dealt with in the

10 Security Policy and Operations Division.

11 Q. SPOB?

12 A. SPOB, indeed, and other issues would have been dealt

13 with. Like rights would have been dealt with from

14 a division in London, in terms of quality issues,

15 et cetera. But Police Division certainly had more than

16 its fair share of issues to take hold of.

17 Q. Yes. Now, again, in general terms, so far as changing

18 institutions are concerned, and taking the police

19 complaints case in particular, presumably the Government

20 stance was, "We are addressing perceived problems, we

21 have accepted the Hayes recommendations, but in the

22 meanwhile we support the existing system and we

23 encourage people to use it". In very crude terms was

24 that the position?

25 A. In general terms, yes.

13

1 Q. Can we just have a look together at the example of that

2 and look at the first of the many documents you deal

3 with in your statement.

4 It is a letter from the Secretary of State of

5 14 July and it is at RNI-106-251 (displayed). This

6 comes in the middle of a rather long and complicated

7 history, some of which we will look at. But the passage

8 I wanted to show you is on a the next page, RNI-106-252

9 (displayed), and at the bottom of the page, where the

10 Secretary of State deals with the present system, in

11 other words the ICPC system, she says:

12 "I recognise, as does Adam Ingram ..."

13 Who was the relevant minister, wasn't he?

14 A. He was, yes.

15 Q. "... that the public do not have as much confidence in

16 the current system as we'd like. Until the new police

17 ombudsman arrangement is set in place, however, this is

18 the system and we hope people will use it. Certainly we

19 encourage them to do so. Mr Cumaraswamy also encourages

20 solicitors to use it."

21 So just putting Mr Cumaraswamy on one side for the

22 moment, this was the position then, wasn't it: we are

23 trying to put in the new system, but for the moment

24 please use the existing system, and Government would

25 encourage people to make use of what was already in

14

1 place rather than, as it were, waiting for the new

2 system to come along?

3 A. Yes, I think that is largely true. There were other

4 changes going on, which one needs to keep in account.

5 For example, you mentioned again holding centres.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. And there were changes, certainly by July 1998, in the

8 holding centres with the introduction of silent video

9 recording.

10 Q. Can I just ask you -- sorry to interrupt you -- am

11 I right in thinking that that came at about the

12 beginning of March 1998, silent video?

13 A. It did, yes.

14 Q. And audio recording. What about that?

15 A. Well, audio recording was being legislated for probably

16 just prior to this letter in fact, and came in the next

17 year, as I recall.

18 Q. The very beginning of 1999, wasn't it?

19 A. Yes. Although those weren't issues for Police Division,

20 obviously this issue -- as you said, there were a number

21 of issues which are interlinked, and obviously those are

22 relevant to the broader picture.

23 Q. It had a bearing on complaints in particular, didn't it?

24 A. It did.

25 Q. Because one of the points the solicitors were making to

15

1 Dr Hayes and on other occasions is, well, this is

2 a hopeless system because where there is a complaint

3 that comes out of an interview, there is no record other

4 than what the police officers themselves make. There is

5 no independent verifiable way of checking whether or not

6 something was said.

7 That was one of their points, wasn't it?

8 A. Yes, there were concerns and what I'm trying to get

9 across is that it wasn't the question of the Government

10 only saying, "Look, we are bringing the Police Ombudsman

11 in". There were other things happening in the

12 background and there were other safeguards as well, such

13 as in the holding centres, again, the commissioner, et

14 cetera, who existed in that respect.

15 Q. This is Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And whose remit was to check and, as it were, keep an

18 eye on what was going on in the holding centres?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. He was one of the early people who called for an

21 introduction of the PACE system in interviews,

22 wasn't he?

23 A. He was, yes.

24 Q. And that would have involved audio recording presumably

25 as in England?

16

1 A. Yes, and I think it is probably as a result of his

2 recommendations that the Security Policy and Operations

3 Division were taking forward that work.

4 Q. So one would see all of these changes as being linked.

5 It is not possible, is it, to look at, as it were, what

6 was going on in complaints and then, separately, what

7 was going with the regime for interviews and,

8 separately, what Sir Louis was doing in on the holding

9 centres; one has to see the connections between all of

10 these changes?

11 A. Certainly that's how I viewed it.

12 Q. Thank you very much.

13 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Before you leave that, Mr Phillips,

14 could I just ask, was there any particular reason why

15 audio recording came in later than silent video?

16 A. I am afraid I can't answer that. It wasn't my area of

17 the office. It was the Security Policy and Operations

18 Division that were dealing with it. I know that they

19 had a legislative vehicle in place for the video

20 recording and an additional change to the emergency

21 legislation needed to be made to facilitate audio

22 recording, but I wasn't involved in the policy

23 development in that area.

24 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Okay, thank you.

25 MR PHILLIPS: Can you help with this on this very point: one

17

1 gets the impression from the documents -- and we will

2 come to one in a moment -- that there was greater

3 resistance at the RUC to the introduction of audio

4 recording than there had been to silent video recording.

5 Does that accord with your recollection?

6 A. Again, it wasn't my field, I am afraid, so I'm not

7 qualified or able to comment on it.

8 Q. Thank you very much. Can I just ask you about your

9 contacts with organisations outside the NIO?

10 So far as your statement is concerned, it looks as

11 though your principal point of contact was the

12 Command Secretariat?

13 A. Yes, in dealing with the police service it certainly

14 would have been, yes.

15 Q. Yes. And in terms of the individuals there, we see

16 references to two ciphered officers, P157, the Chief

17 Superintendent, and P136, the Superintendent, and also I

18 think Superintendent Maxwell was somebody with whom you

19 dealt; is that right?

20 A. That's correct, yes.

21 Q. Thank you. Was that, as far as you were concerned, the

22 limit of it in terms of rank? Did you ever speak

23 directly to the Chief Constable, for example?

24 A. I would have had occasional contact with the

25 Chief Constable if there was no one else to do it. And

18

1 I would certainly have had contact with other officers

2 in Complaints and Discipline, obviously working on the

3 Hayes Report and otherwise, contacts were developed in

4 there. And, indeed, I was quite happy to talk to others

5 in Command Secretariat as well: a number of support

6 staff who we would have had contact with as well.

7 Q. Indeed. Is it possible for you to say, how often would

8 you be in contact with officers at Command Secretariat?

9 Once a week? More than that?

10 A. That's an extremely difficult question to answer. There

11 may be occasions where it would be several times in a

12 day and then on other occasions much less than that.

13 Another aspect of this would be obviously in taking

14 the Police Bill through Parliament. That played in. In

15 other words, there was a lot of contact with them on

16 Rosemary Nelson, but there were other things we were

17 dealing with in Police Division and I was dealing with,

18 which would have brought us into contact with them as

19 well. So it was a whole array of things, but I couldn't

20 really say anything more on the frequency.

21 Q. That's very helpful, thank you, because in your

22 statement you focus inevitably on the Rosemary Nelson

23 points. But can I take it from your answer that week by

24 week, month by month, there would have been a range of

25 other issues on which you would have to speak to

19

1 Command Secretariat, get input, get advice on matters,

2 which of course we don't see because we are only

3 focussing on this particular range?

4 A. Speak to or write to, yes.

5 Q. Yes, thank you. So far as that is concerned, the

6 question of the nature of communication, we have seen

7 a good deal of correspondence going backwards and

8 forwards. Presumably there was telephone contact as

9 well?

10 A. There was, yes.

11 Q. In general was it your practice to make notes of

12 telephone conversations?

13 A. I think my answer to that is I would like to think

14 I usually did, but I didn't always. I suspect you are

15 going to show me some examples that of later, but

16 certainly there were phone calls that would happen

17 between colleagues where you have a discussion which

18 doesn't require to be put down in a minute necessarily

19 on one side of the conversation's view. And I think

20 certainly if I felt something significant had happened,

21 I would have sought to get it down on paper, but not

22 every conversation would be recorded, no.

23 Q. So far as the ICPC were concerned, were you in regular

24 contact with them?

25 A. I mean, it was a similar situation, I would suggest,

20

1 that there were occasions where we would be in fairly

2 frequent contact, whether over the Hayes Report or then

3 leading into drafting of the Police Bill on the

4 Ombudsman. And certainly in respect of the Nelson case,

5 again, we periodically were in contact with them about

6 that and the frequency of that was at times dictated by

7 the number or the frequency of the correspondence coming

8 to us.

9 Q. Now, in that particular case, presumably the

10 Rosemary Nelson complaints, if I can put it that way,

11 caused particularly regular contact between you?

12 A. They did, yes. And when -- when you say "between you",

13 obviously we worked as a unit, so it could have been

14 between me and them, but more likely would have been

15 between them and Anne or Lesley or, indeed, later on,

16 [redacted].

17 Q. That was my next question really: who was the principal

18 point of contact in this case? It wasn't you, but your

19 slightly junior colleagues. Is that fair?

20 A. It would have depended on the nature of the contact,

21 again, and the context. I mean, there are issues we are

22 going to come to where the contact would have been made

23 by me. Then if it was for a routine update, for example

24 on a set of complaints -- and we weren't only dealing

25 with complaints such as we are looking at today, then --

21

1 Q. Yes, if you were initiating a contact with the ICPC,

2 would it be with the Chief Executive, Mr McClelland?

3 A. Not always, no. The Chief Executive wouldn't, generally

4 speaking, have had hands-on involvement in the cases and

5 it may be that we would go to the Deputy Chief Executive

6 or, indeed, if one knew who the caseworker was, to the

7 caseworker.

8 Q. I see.

9 A. It also depended on the issue because obviously in

10 a relationship between a non-departmental public body

11 and a Government department, technically, I suppose, any

12 official contact should be between the Head of Division

13 and the Chief Executive.

14 So the more serious, if I can put that way, the

15 latter, the more likely you would go with the higher

16 level. But for the organisation to operate effectively,

17 obviously there had to be contact at a lower level.

18 Q. In that example you have just given of contact at

19 a higher level, would that have been or could it have

20 been Christine Collins?

21 A. It could have been either.

22 Q. So far as this sort of contact is concerned between you

23 and the ICPC, there are various examples of

24 conversations and correspondence in the files, but can

25 I just ask you this: was it a relationship between the

22

1 two organisations where you would give them a briefing,

2 or I think sometimes people use the expression

3 a "heads-up" on issues as they were arising; in other

4 words, telephone somebody, one of your colleagues, to

5 say "Look, you should know that X or Y is happening or

6 about to happen." Was it that sort of relationship?

7 A. Yes, I think we had a good working relationship and I

8 think heads-ups, if that's a correct term, are part of

9 that sort of relationship, yes.

10 Q. Presumably you would expect the same in return, if I can

11 put it that way?

12 A. Yes, you would always expect the same in return, yes.

13 Q. So you would have expected them to give you warning,

14 advance notice, of problems as they arose as far as they

15 were concerned?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. The next thing I wanted to ask you about is something

18 which Anne Colville talked about in her evidence, and it

19 takes us back to the question of the nature of the work

20 in your division, your policing division.

21 She said that because policing was seen to be

22 a sensitive area, correspondence, which she prepared in

23 draft, would in general be pushed up the line for her

24 line manager to consider and approve before its issue.

25 Was that what happened so far as you were concerned?

23

1 A. I did read Anne's evidence and I know that she said it

2 was one of the things that frustrated her was the fact

3 that I tampered with her drafting. And certainly for

4 letters going out or something like that, I would try

5 and look at them and certainly try and add value to

6 them.

7 Q. But was it an invariable rule?

8 A. The nature of the work and the office was such that I

9 wasn't always there. So, for example, if I was in

10 London doing a committee stage of the Police Bill or

11 something like that, which lasted over a very prolonged

12 period, then the work had to go on, hopefully or in

13 theory, and in that situation possibly more would be

14 issued. But if I was around, yes, I would expect if

15 there were letters issuing from a minister, for example,

16 I would certainly expect to see them before they went to

17 the minister's office.

18 Q. Can I just test the limitation of this? Did the same

19 apply to your correspondence? Were you, as a matter of

20 practice, expected to show your letters in draft to

21 Christine Collins, for example?

22 A. I think depending on the nature of the letter, yes,

23 I probably would show some of them in draft to her.

24 There is -- it would depend on the letter and it is

25 difficult to talk in the abstract.

24

1 Q. Indeed.

2 A. But also the nature of correspondence in government --

3 there is quite often an extensive copy list on

4 something, and if someone reads a draft or something and

5 feels that it is not up to -- or doesn't cover all the

6 points they would want, et cetera, then it would be

7 quite possible for them to step in and adjust it. And

8 that on occasion happened, not frequently.

9 Q. Yes. But so far as you were concerned then, in a sense

10 you would exercise your own judgment in relation to your

11 line manager about perhaps particularly important issues

12 or letters that needed -- or you thought should be put

13 past her for her input?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Can I just ask you about the whole question of

16 recollection and the written material? Most of the

17 events you talk about in your statement took place

18 a very long time ago, and there are various parts of the

19 statement where it appears to be clear that without

20 a document you were rather struggling in terms of

21 recollection. Is that a fair comment?

22 A. That is a fair comment, yes.

23 Q. Can I ask you this: in relation to these issues, most of

24 which took place in 1997 to 1999, without the documents

25 to prompt your recollection, would you have much actual

25

1 memory of the relevant events?

2 A. I think I have -- not "I think". I have memory of some

3 of the more significant events. I do not have complete

4 recall of every letter on every occasion, and as we go

5 through this, I will tell you on those occasions, if

6 possible, where something came back to me because of the

7 correspondence or because of recollection through

8 memory.

9 Q. Thank you very much.

10 Now, can we just start with what may be a good

11 example of that by looking at paragraph 14, which is at

12 RNI-841-425 (displayed)? Here, you say in the first

13 sentence:

14 "I think I first became aware of Rosemary Nelson in

15 1997, for example, from Ed Lynch's letter to the

16 Home Secretary, which was passed to me for reply."

17 Now, that letter of his to the Home Secretary we can

18 see at RNI-114-070 (displayed), and it is dated 17 July.

19 And it obviously came to the NIO via the Home Office

20 from the look of it; would that be right? Do you see?

21 It is on the screen.

22 A. I do, yes, sorry.

23 Q. And it is in fact one of a number of letters from

24 Mr Lynch that we have been looking at. And he has all

25 sorts of points to make, in particular in the

26

1 penultimate paragraph of this page:

2 "My immediate concern is the safety of Mrs Nelson."

3 So this is the middle of July 1997 and the letter

4 that you prepared and, indeed, sent -- if you look at

5 paragraph 16 of your statement at RNI-841-426

6 (displayed) -- wasn't until 9 September that year. Do

7 you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Now, the truth is that questions relating to

10 Rosemary Nelson's safety had in fact come into your

11 division considerably earlier than that in 1997, hadn't

12 they?

13 A. They had, yes.

14 Q. And you have now, I think, been shown various copies of

15 earlier documents. We can see one at RNI-105-019

16 (displayed), for example. Thank you. 30 April, signed

17 by you, and it seeks from the Chief Superintendent at

18 Command Secretariat his consideration to a couple of

19 letters, including one from Senator Torricelli. And we

20 can see that, I believe, at RNI-105-020 (displayed).

21 This was a letter obviously that you saw at the time

22 in April 1997. It is now very familiar to everybody in

23 the Inquiry, but it deals with a suggestion that threats

24 had been made to Rosemary Nelson and that -- in the

25 third paragraph -- the threats had recently become more

27

1 insistent and ominous, causing her to fear for her

2 safety.

3 Now, Anne Colville told us, when she was looking at

4 this material with me, that you took the issue of

5 threats to individuals very seriously. Would that be

6 a fair statement?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. And so presumably when this letter came in and you

9 passed it on to the RUC and, indeed, I think, the ICPC

10 for their comment, you were concerned to obtain from

11 them whatever information or help they could give you to

12 deal with this serious matter raised by the Senator?

13 A. Well, in fact in respect of this particular letter, our

14 initial note to the police service, to the RUC was

15 rather brief and it was only on reflection on the

16 letter, I think in this instance, that Anne wrote

17 a subsequent note to the police service.

18 Q. Shall we look at that now?

19 A. By all means.

20 Q. It is at 22 May 1997 and it is at RNI-105-034

21 (displayed). So this is some three weeks or so later,

22 isn't it?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Can you remember the circumstances then in which this

25 memo to Command Secretariat came to be written?

28

1 A. I have thought about that. I can't be precise about

2 this, but I think that it was in the context of

3 providing the holding reply to -- or the part input to

4 the reply that was going to the letter which we have

5 looked at it more closely and realised it was an issue

6 we hadn't addressed in sending it to the police.

7 Q. What was that?

8 A. The threat aspect.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. And, therefore, we had picked that up and felt it was

11 something we did need to raise, notwithstanding we had

12 written once and, therefore, Anne wrote again on 22 May

13 asking for them to consider that issue.

14 Q. Would it be fair to say that your first communication,

15 the short one of 30 April, was, if I can put it that

16 way, more of a complaints question, which is why you

17 sent it, for example, to the ICPC and, on reflection,

18 you decided you needed to focus more on the threats side

19 of things?

20 A. Could I see Senator Torricelli's letter again, please?

21 Q. Yes. That is at RNI-105-020 (displayed). I was going

22 to say we could have it at the same time, but it is too

23 late.

24 A. Yes, the content of it is about threats, about the RUC.

25 So I think at the time it was certainly logical to send

29

1 it to the police and ICPC, but we also then picked up on

2 the point that there was something arguably more serious

3 about it. That is maybe not the best way to phrase

4 that, but there was a threat aspect to it, and as you

5 can see from Anne's note, we then raised that with

6 Command Secretariat.

7 Q. Now, so far as the points that the Senator was raising

8 with you -- you obviously got it by the end

9 of April 1997 -- was this the first time you had

10 encountered the suggestion that Rosemary Nelson was

11 under threat, that you can recall?

12 A. It is, yes.

13 Q. And in the course of your work to this

14 point, April 1997, had you encountered a case of a death

15 threat or death threats against a solicitor before?

16 A. Do you mean directly coming into Police Division?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. No.

19 Q. Had you ever at this point in Police Division

20 encountered an allegation that a police officer was

21 making a death threat of this kind before?

22 A. Not a direct threat of this nature, no.

23 Q. All of that presumably added to the seriousness with

24 which you regarded what the Senator was saying?

25 A. It did, yes.

30

1 Q. So far as the specific matter that was raised by

2 Anne Colville, did that follow discussion with you? Can

3 I infer that from your earlier answer?

4 A. That's my recollection, that we would have reviewed that

5 and done that, yes.

6 Q. So far as the response which came back is concerned, we

7 can see that at RNI-105-035 (displayed), 6 June. Again,

8 it is addressed to Anne Colville. So the first question

9 I ask obviously is: did you see this letter when it

10 arrived in the division?

11 A. Yes, I would have seen it.

12 Q. Yes. Now, there is no note, as it were, of your

13 particular action or reaction to it. So can I just ask

14 you: did you think that this letter answered the

15 question you had raised about Rosemary Nelson's personal

16 protection?

17 A. Well, looking at the letter, it refers to the original

18 30 April contact, and although it doesn't mention

19 22 May, it does quote directly from it about the

20 consistent ominous threats.

21 Q. That's a quote from the letter as well, isn't it, the

22 Torricelli letter?

23 A. Yes, but I think -- I would argue that because it is

24 exactly the same as the quotation that Anne Colville has

25 presented to them, we certainly regarded it as being

31

1 a response to the 22 May communication as well as the

2 30 April letter.

3 Q. Although it doesn't refer to the 22 May communication,

4 for example?

5 A. It doesn't, no.

6 Q. No. And the quotation you have put is put in the second

7 paragraph as a quotation on the letter, isn't it, which

8 is referred to?

9 A. Sorry, could you say that again?

10 Q. Well, the quotation you have relied upon is in fact

11 a quotation from the Senator's letter as appears in the

12 second paragraph?

13 A. Absolutely, yes.

14 Q. And, indeed, the focus of the letter on the left-hand

15 side of the screen is on the Senator's letter, isn't it?

16 A. I think, if you choose to interpret it as saying it

17 didn't reply to the 22 May, I wouldn't agree with you,

18 but certainly it may be a view you hold.

19 Q. I do not have views in this. But do you accept at least

20 that it makes no explicit reference to the 22 May

21 memorandum?

22 A. I have accepted that, yes.

23 Q. Thank you. And focuses in the second paragraph on what

24 was going on with the complaints? Do you see that, the

25 first sentence?

32

1 A. Yes, in terms of the interview.

2 Q. Now, the Senator Torricelli letter was is not itself the

3 subject of a complaint within the system, was it?

4 A. No.

5 Q. That complaint had been initiated by the Lawyers

6 Alliance for Justice in Ireland, hadn't in?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. What did you know of that complaint at this stage, can

9 you remember?

10 A. I don't think we were aware of that complaint at this

11 stage.

12 Q. So did you go back to the Command Secretariat and ask

13 for further information?

14 A. We did not, no.

15 Q. Did you ask them to tell you what their specific answer

16 was to the question you had raised about personal

17 protection?

18 A. I have dealt with the relationship between

19 Command Secretariat and the NIO in my statement on this,

20 and the relationship we had was that the police would

21 give us the very minimum or minimal answer to a question

22 that we put to them.

23 When we received this response, we took it to say

24 that the police had no evidence of -- substantiated

25 evidence of threats and, therefore, there was no need to

33

1 be assuming that there was a threat to Mrs Nelson. In

2 addition to that, it was evident that the matters were

3 being investigated by the police service under the

4 supervision of the ICPC, and clearly they would have

5 a function as well if something was identified in the

6 course of those investigations in taking action,

7 et cetera. But that was my view of the response.

8 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you about the general comment you

9 have made about the nature of your relationship with the

10 RUC because, as you say, you deal with this in your

11 statement in other contexts?

12 So, am I right in thinking that your approach, when

13 you received answers of this kind, was not to contact

14 Command Secretariat and seek further information or

15 clarification, but rather to do what you could with the

16 information you were given?

17 A. I think the term "do what you could with the

18 information" is slightly loaded, if I may say so.

19 I mean, we took -- if we felt we had had a clear

20 response, albeit very brief, we would act upon that. I

21 think if we felt we had had a response which clearly

22 didn't answer a question, then we would be obliged to go

23 back to them.

24 Q. So can I take it in this case that you felt you had an

25 answer to the specific question about personal

34

1 protection?

2 A. We felt we had had an answer about threats, yes.

3 Q. It is not quite the same point, is it?

4 A. It is not the same point because personal protection

5 wouldn't arise if there isn't a threat.

6 Q. So the answer, as you interpret it, then, was that this

7 wasn't an appropriate case because, as it were, the

8 threshold was not made out?

9 A. This wasn't an appropriate case -- I'm not sure --

10 Q. Because the threshold, i.e. in relation to threat, was not

11 made out?

12 A. This wasn't an appropriate case to what, sorry? I don't

13 understand the question.

14 Q. To pursue the question of advice on personal protection?

15 A. Yes, sorry. It was not a case of personal protection

16 because there was no threat triggering that

17 consideration, yes.

18 Q. And that's what you derive from that letter?

19 A. Yes, I do.

20 Q. And you are confident, are you, that that is the way you

21 saw it at the time, rather than something that you have

22 thought about much more recently?

23 A. No, I believe that's what I would have regarded it as

24 saying at the time.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the later history --

35

1 before September 1997, where you pick it up in your

2 statement -- is concerned, do you remember that there

3 was a further burst of correspondence following the

4 arrest of Colin Duffy for the murder of the two police

5 officers at the end of June 1997?

6 A. Yes, I do.

7 Q. Now, so far as that is concerned, can I just ask you to

8 look, please, at RNI-105-053.506 (displayed) because

9 this is a note from Anne Colville, copied to you and to

10 Mrs Collins, in relation to that matter because there

11 were complaints arising out of his detention, weren't

12 there?

13 A. There were, yes.

14 Q. And the ICPC's involvement. And she refers in

15 paragraph 2 to the ICPC having received a letter from

16 the Lawyers Alliance in relation to alleged threats to

17 the life of Rosemary Nelson?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And then sets out various other details in the note of

20 what the latest was in each case.

21 Can I ask you this: the annotations on the

22 right-hand side in handwriting are Christine Collins's

23 aren't they?

24 A. They are, yes.

25 Q. Did you see them at the time?

36

1 A. I didn't recall them, but I am sure they are from her.

2 Q. Indeed. What I'm asking, though, is they are addressed

3 on the face of it to Anne. Were they in fact directed

4 to you as well?

5 A. I don't know and I don't recall seeing them until

6 I reviewed the papers -- went through the papers.

7 Q. Well, there is a specific aspect of them that I wanted

8 to ask you about. She says:

9 "Good, this might be a good case, because relatively

10 recent and well documented, to follow up the threat

11 allegations and try to nail them. Are SPOB doing so or

12 the ICPC or even the RUC?"

13 Are you able to help us with what she had in mind?

14 Was that something you discussed with her at the time?

15 A. No, it wasn't.

16 Q. It wasn't? Thank you.

17 Now, during this summer, the summer of 1997, your

18 division received an increasing volume of correspondence

19 from various bodies in relation to the Duffy case,

20 didn't it?

21 A. It did, yes.

22 Q. They included correspondence from NGOs?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. From international bodies of various kinds? And from

25 the Irish side of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat?

37

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. Now, then, of course, Rosemary Nelson was involved in

3 the confrontation at Drumcree in July and that in due

4 course led to further complaints and further

5 correspondence, didn't it?

6 A. It did, yes.

7 Q. So presumably, during these months of the summer of

8 1997, you sensed a building up of correspondence and of,

9 as it were, pressure as a result all of these events

10 coming together. Is that a fair way of assessing it?

11 A. It is hard to recall quite what we thought at the time,

12 but certainly it is evident that we were under a good

13 deal of pressure of correspondence coming in.

14 Q. Indeed.

15 A. But largely on a similar theme.

16 Q. Yes. And that led you in turn, didn't it, to seek help,

17 support, briefings, information, from, for example,

18 Command Secretariat?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. So far as that is concerned, that takes us to the period

21 where you begin your narrative, which is, as

22 I said, September 1997. So looking at that passage

23 again in your statement, paragraph 14, which is at

24 RNI-841-425 (displayed), it is clear, isn't it, that in

25 fact the issue of Rosemary Nelson and concerns being

38

1 expressed, allegations made in relation to threats and

2 her safety had been in Police Division on your table, as

3 it were, for a number of months before this,

4 before September 1997?

5 A. Yes, indeed.

6 Q. Thank you. Looking at your answer, or rather the letter

7 that you did send, you say in the context of dealing

8 with Mr Lynch and your reply to his letter to the

9 Home Secretary -- paragraph 17 on the next page,

10 RNI-841-426 (displayed) -- you think you went into more

11 detail on this complaint --

12 A. Sorry, could I just interrupt? I was just going to say,

13 when I was re-reading my statement -- and before you

14 take me to this, to show that I spotted it myself, I

15 think there is a "not" missing in the sentence --

16 Q. That was exactly my next question.

17 A. Which I should have spotted, and I'm sorry I didn't,

18 before this.

19 Q. So there were all sorts of other people in the mix?

20 A. Exactly, yes. Not just Mr Lynch.

21 Q. Thank you very much. And in addition to all of the

22 organisations who were writing about it, you were also

23 aware at the time of the particular point about the

24 previous murder of another defence lawyer, namely

25 Pat Finucane?

39

1 A. I was aware of that, yes.

2 Q. And that also added, didn't it, to the potential

3 significance and importance of the issue?

4 A. It did, yes.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 So far as the letter that you sent out is concerned,

7 we can see that at RNI-105-117 (displayed), and here you

8 explain in the first paragraph, 9 September, that it had

9 fallen to you to answer the letter to Jack Straw. You

10 make the point that the allegations are extremely

11 serious ones:

12 "Indeed, as soon as we were made aware of them we

13 wrote to the police and the Independent Commission of

14 Police Complaints to seek confirmation that they were

15 being investigated."

16 This is something you did, was it, when you received

17 his letter of the middle of July?

18 A. No, I think what I am referring to there is dealing with

19 earlier correspondence, we sought information on it.

20 Q. Yes, it looks as though the passing-on took place

21 several months before?

22 A. Yes, absolutely.

23 Q. Thank you. Then you say:

24 "The current position, however, is that Mrs Nelson's

25 complaint is likely to be dispensed with. In other

40

1 words, it is being closed down, because of her failure

2 to cooperate."

3 Presumably in order to write that, you must have

4 sought information from the ICPC?

5 A. Yes, I think we had accounts from both the ICPC and the

6 police.

7 Q. But so far as the ICPC is concerned, you knew by this

8 stage, 9 September, that an interview with

9 Rosemary Nelson had been arranged, didn't you?

10 A. I'm not quite sure what date we knew that.

11 Q. Have a look at RNI-105-111.500, please (displayed).

12 This is a note for the file made by Anne Colville,

13 copied to you, 4 September, a few days before your

14 letter to Mr Lynch. It says in the second paragraph:

15 "She'll be interviewed on 11 September although she

16 has not confirmed the appointment to date."

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You also knew that in the past, arrangements had been

19 made to interview her and she had not turned up?

20 A. I think that is the point. At this stage she had not

21 actually been interviewed nor had confirmed attendance

22 at interview, and in the past where arrangements had

23 been made, they had fallen by.

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. So ...

41

1 Q. So far as your letter is concerned, though, just

2 returning to that, RNI-105-117 (displayed), what you say

3 in the third paragraph is:

4 "It is likely to be dispensed with."

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. What did you know about the status of the complaint at

7 that stage?

8 A. I think that the report we had received from the ICPC

9 had set out the background and, indeed, had enclosed

10 a copy of regulations which set out the grounds on which

11 a case may be dispensed with, and indicated that that

12 was in prospect.

13 Part of our -- part of the thinking behind the

14 letter to Mr Lynch was that it would be preferable, if

15 it wasn't, to my mind, better, for it not to be closed

16 down. And any encouragement we could give him, who

17 appeared to be in contact with her, to come forward and

18 participate in the complaints system would be better

19 than the thing being dispensed with.

20 Q. So at this point the information you had was that no

21 decision had been made on the application for

22 dispensation, and I think what you are saying is you

23 were hoping by this letter to encourage him to encourage

24 her, if I can put it that way, so that the complaint

25 could continue?

42

1 A. Certainly that was a theme of some of the letters that

2 we sent thereafter, where we thought there might be

3 a chance that the person would be able to influence her

4 into cooperating.

5 Q. In fact we know that she did attend for interview about

6 a week after this and the investigations did continue,

7 didn't they?

8 A. That's correct.

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

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

11 break.

12 (2.10 pm)

13 (Short break)

14 (2.25 pm)

15 MR PHILLIPS: Now, Mr Rogers, the next topic I would like to

16 look at with you, please, is the visit of the Special

17 Rapporteur and in particular the preparation for the

18 visit, which you tell us about in paragraph 18 of your

19 statement, and in particular at the top of page 427, so

20 RNI-841-427 (displayed).

21 There you refer to a briefing document, which we can

22 see at RNI-105-134 (displayed), and you tell us in your

23 statement that your section would have been engaged in

24 the process of putting the briefing together.

25 Were you personally involved in that, as far as you

43

1 can recall?

2 A. I don't recall precisely, but if it came from my office,

3 it is my office's work. It is under my responsibility.

4 Q. Yes. Well, if we look at that, please, RNI-105-134

5 (displayed), we will see it comes from SPOD and it is

6 a long list of recipients. I don't think you are

7 actually on the list, although your line manager,

8 Mrs Collins, is. Do you see that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. There are just a few points arising out of it that I

11 would like to pick up with you. The first is to talk

12 about the visit in general terms.

13 This was the first time, wasn't it, that the Special

14 Rapporteur had visited the United Kingdom?

15 A. Yes, I believe so, yes.

16 Q. And part of his focus, as you all knew, was to be

17 specifically on policing and other issues in

18 Northern Ireland?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. And although there was, as we looked at together, a good

21 deal of interest around the world in those issues at the

22 moment, this was a very important visit, wasn't it?

23 A. It was, yes.

24 Q. It was important from the view of Government, for

25 example, that United Kingdom officials and bodies should

44

1 be seen to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur?

2 A. Yes, indeed.

3 Q. That was vital, and it was a consideration going beyond

4 your department and was a particular concern, wasn't it,

5 of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?

6 A. I mean, I wasn't aware of correspondence saying that,

7 but obviously one would expect --

8 Q. It is pretty obvious, isn't it?

9 A. That's the point, yes.

10 Q. Yes, exactly. And he had considerable power and clout,

11 if I can put it that way. At RNI-105-135 (displayed),

12 we see that the civil servant is reminding his readers

13 as to what he was entitled to in his missions. Do you

14 see that?

15 A. Indeed, yes.

16 Q. And I would like to look with you at the bottom of this

17 same page, "Background":

18 "We believe that Mr Cumaraswamy's visit to

19 Northern Ireland may have been precipitated by a report

20 he received from the British Irish Rights Watch group.

21 They ..."

22 Turning the page:

23 "... allege that defence lawyers in Northern Ireland

24 who provide legal assistance to detainees are often

25 subject to abuse by the RUC."

45

1 Then a reference to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, whom we

2 talked about earlier, and the suggestion -- last

3 sentence of this paragraph, 3 -- that Sir Louis may have

4 had a hand in prompting the visit?

5 A. Yes, I see that.

6 Q. Moving on, you see the principal concerns, the defence

7 lawyers complaints, are referred to in paragraph 4 and

8 then it is suggested that the readers should look at the

9 lines on all sorts of other topics, including that one,

10 which are set out in the various annexes and appendices.

11 Can I just ask you to look with me at RNI-105-148

12 (displayed)? These are the line in relation to the

13 subject of particular interest, as explained in the

14 memorandum; that is the interests of the Rapporteur.

15 Lines to take:

16 "The alleged systematic abuse of defence lawyers is

17 a serious and grave allegation. Those who claim to have

18 evidence should put it to the appropriate authorities in

19 a form capable of investigation. Unsubstantiated

20 allegations serve no useful purpose."

21 There, under "Background" there is a specific

22 reference, isn't there, to Rosemary Nelson?

23 A. There is, yes.

24 Q. This point raised by the lines to take about the

25 difference between evidence on the one hand and

46

1 allegations on the other, was a theme at the time,

2 wasn't it, and it is something we see in items of

3 correspondence from your department and from others at

4 the NIO?

5 A. Yes, you mean in respect of the term "evidence"?

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. Yes, that certainly does become an issue. And, for

8 example, in exchange with the Committee of the

9 Administration of Justice, there is a particular

10 exchange on the very -- the use of that very word.

11 Q. Yes. Now, you were aware, presumably, of a feeling or

12 sense on the part of the police, or some in the police,

13 at any rate, that these sorts of allegations were

14 without foundation and were part of a more general

15 campaign to undermine the RUC?

16 A. Yes, that's right.

17 Q. Yes. And presumably you were also aware in your

18 position in Police Division that on the other side, and

19 particularly the solicitors' side, there was a sense

20 that there wasn't any point in raising these allegations

21 in the complaints system because, of course, they didn't

22 expect it to yield any result. You were aware of that

23 feeling, weren't you?

24 A. Yes, I was aware that defence lawyers had a reticence

25 about coming forward, yes.

47

1 Q. And also presumably the sense expressed by some that

2 this sort of treatment that they said they were

3 receiving was par for the course, i.e. it was just part of

4 the experience of working as a lawyer in these types of

5 cases in Northern Ireland?

6 A. That was the message coming from some of the NGO

7 correspondents.

8 Q. Yes. In a sense, would it be fair to see your

9 department as being sort of caught in the middle of the

10 police attitude on the one hand, which we have looked at

11 together, and, as it were, the solicitors in this case

12 on the other, and trying to find a way forward for both

13 sides, both of whom being part of the overall justice

14 system?

15 A. Yes, I think that's one way to look at it.

16 I think the position was we were trying to get

17 Police Ombudsman into place, which we thought would be

18 a solution to most of the concerns that were being put

19 to us, as I have mentioned, along with the other changes

20 that the department as a whole was bringing forward.

21 And in the interim, we were trying to find a way of

22 addressing concerns where they were raised, yes. And in

23 addition, some of those other changes were taking place

24 to address some of the points.

25 Q. Such as the silent videoing and the audio recording?

48

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Because presumably it was seen by you and your

3 colleagues that that independent record would remove, on

4 the one hand, the cause of the complaints in the first

5 place and, on the other hand, the potential for false

6 allegations to be made?

7 A. Yes, indeed. That is a point that the Special

8 Rapporteur made about it himself.

9 Q. Indeed. When he came to produce his report, one of the

10 things he did, of course, was to encourage all of these

11 changes and, in the meanwhile, for solicitors to make

12 use of the complaints system?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Because otherwise, as it were, they were talking to

15 themselves rather than registering their complaints

16 through the existing system?

17 A. Yes. I mean, it wasn't in our desire for solicitors not

18 to make complaints. We had no interest in discouraging

19 them. Our interest was in trying to encourage them, but

20 against a backdrop where the system was going to change,

21 and we were trying to bring that in as well, the change.

22 Q. Now, so far as the chronology is concerned, we know that

23 in the early part of this same month, October, Mr Duffy

24 was released from prison because the Director of Public

25 Prosecutions directed no further proceedings in the case

49

1 of the two policemen who had been murdered in Lurgan

2 in June. But he and another case, an assault case, in

3 relation to him came to your division to be dealt with

4 in November 1997, didn't it? Shall I remind you?

5 A. Yes, please.

6 Q. Thank you. It was a matter raised by the Irish side of

7 the Secretariat in November. If we look at

8 RNI-105-175.501 (displayed), this is the note which came

9 to your colleagues on the British side of the

10 Secretariat, and you will see the suggestions being made

11 about what had happened, various questions posed in

12 paragraph 4, and then a statement at the bottom:

13 "As the British side will be aware, we are concerned

14 at the strong evidence of a pattern of harassment by the

15 police against Mr Duffy. This is the third time in five

16 months that Duffy has been arrested."

17 Then over the page at 6, a comment about reports of

18 more general harassment in this area; in other words, in

19 Lurgan and Portadown.

20 And this is, again, a constant backdrop to the

21 events with which you deal in your statement, isn't it?

22 The close interest of the Irish Government as expressed

23 by their civil servants in the Anglo-Irish Secretariat

24 in all of these issues?

25 A. Yes, they certainly had an interest. I'm not sure that

50

1 we had a weekly correspondence from them, but we

2 certainly knew in the background they had an interest in

3 it. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. But presumably it wasn't a surprise to you, even by this

5 stage, November 1997, when the latest arrest of

6 Colin Duffy was followed by a point being raised in the

7 Anglo-Irish Secretariat?

8 A. No.

9 Q. No. It fell to you, as we see, to deal with this and we

10 can see the way you dealt with it at RNI-105-175.505

11 (displayed). You are referring it on to the

12 Secretariat, in this case Superintendent Maxwell, and

13 you, in the message, refer to the note and you ask, do

14 you see, three lines from the bottom:

15 "It would be helpful, however ..."

16 And at the bottom, the crunch, which is of course

17 the question of timing?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Again, you are going to them under some pressure of time

20 to ask for their input so you could give a proper

21 answer?

22 A. Yes, that's correct.

23 Q. Can I just take you to one further document from this

24 time to show how and at what level the matter was being

25 dealt with at this stage? That's on 4 December,

51

1 RNI-150-179.502 (displayed), when you write this time,

2 not a fax cover sheet but a letter, to the same officer

3 under the heading "Colin Duffy", and you begin with the

4 nub of it, i.e.:

5 "We spoke yesterday about the Secretary of State's

6 interest in the Colin Duffy case."

7 So at this point then, December 1997, these issues

8 were of interest to the Secretary of State herself?

9 A. That's correct, yes.

10 Q. And it looks as though she had asked the Chief Constable

11 for a report, and one way or another it hadn't been

12 forthcoming?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. So here you are chasing for it?

15 A. That's right, yes.

16 Q. Can you remember anything about the circumstances in

17 which the Secretary of State made that request for

18 a report on this particular case?

19 A. The original request?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. I can't remember now. Obviously the Secretary of State

22 would have meetings with the Chief Constable which I, at

23 my level, wouldn't have been present at. I suspect it

24 was during the course of one of those.

25 Q. Can I just ask you in general terms, was this a feature

52

1 of your life in Police Division, that occasionally

2 something would come down from on high -- in this case

3 from the very highest point -- and it would have to be

4 dealt with very urgently because the Secretary of State

5 had expressed an interest and wanted information

6 about it?

7 A. Yes, the Secretary of State or a minister, et cetera.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can we move on to February the next year and the

11 question of your meeting with the Lawyers Alliance for

12 Justice. In your statement you deal with this in

13 paragraphs 21 and following at RNI-841-428 (displayed).

14 Here, you set out for us in these paragraphs that

15 you and Christine Collins and a colleague attended

16 a meeting which had been called for by Mr Lynch of the

17 Lawyers Alliance for Justice. Is that correct?

18 A. Yes, Mr Lynch had organised a visit to Northern Ireland

19 and it was a group of largely American lawyers and it

20 was at his request, although I know subsequently he was

21 given a lot of assistance in organising the visit by

22 local NGOs, but I wasn't aware of that at the time.

23 Q. Thank you. And so, as you describe it for us in

24 paragraph 22, there were three of you from your

25 department and 20 or more from the LAJI delegation. Do

53

1 you see that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. It looks as though you don't have a hugely detailed

4 recollection of the meeting, i.e. of what was said in

5 detail?

6 A. The only bit of the meeting that mattered to me in

7 a sense was the bits about which I wrote to the police

8 service, but I accept I do not have a recall of the rest

9 of it. Most of the meeting wasn't about issues that I

10 was involved in, so there was no reason for me to

11 have --

12 Q. Would a note of the meeting have been made?

13 A. Instead of a note of the -- erm, I don't recall a note

14 being made, but, again, from my perspective the bit of

15 the meeting I was interested in was the issue of --

16 concerning Rosemary Nelson --

17 Q. Which was sorry?

18 A. Rather than do a note, I effected some action by

19 a letter.

20 Q. Let's have a look at that now, please, RNI-106-078

21 (displayed) because this is a letter written the next

22 day.

23 So the meeting on the 22nd and the letter on the

24 23rd, and can I take it from what you have said,

25 therefore, that so far as the Rosemary Nelson questions,

54

1 which had been raised, are concerned, this gives us the

2 gist of what emerged from the meeting and that you were

3 anxious to pass on to Command Secretariat, to the RUC?

4 A. That's correct, yes. I think -- the group had met,

5 I believe, Mrs Nelson the night before and I knew that

6 they were due to meet the Chief Constable. But

7 notwithstanding that, I felt it was incumbent on me to

8 write.

9 Q. Yes. Sorry, just to pick that up: so presumably what

10 you had in mind is that they might well make the same

11 points to him, but just to be certain --

12 A. Yes, correct.

13 Q. -- you were going to make them anyway and pass them on?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. And do so in writing?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. Thank you. It looks from your description in your

18 statement as though Mr Lynch was the main speaker from

19 the Lawyers Alliance side at the meeting; is that

20 correct?

21 A. I didn't intend to give that impression. If I do, my

22 recollection was that a number of the lawyers actually

23 arrived on time and a number arrived later, and I recall

24 that Mr Lynch was one of the latter group.

25 Q. I see.

55

1 A. But certainly he had a status among his colleagues that

2 led him to lead often on certain points, and certainly

3 I recall him contributing.

4 Q. In your statement at paragraph 23, RNI-841-428

5 (displayed), you deal in particular in that paragraph

6 with your complaints areas, you say, "which was my

7 area". Do you see that in the second line?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So presumably a number of other points were discussed

10 during the meeting?

11 A. Yes, they were indeed, yes.

12 Q. Yes. But the part that you set out for us and --

13 I assume from what you said earlier -- the part that you

14 particularly recall is that which concerned yourself,

15 i.e. concerned the complaints?

16 A. That's correct, yes.

17 Q. What you say there is that he, Mr Lynch, stated that

18 threats had been made against her, Mrs Nelson, and

19 wanted to know what was being done about it by the NIO.

20 And was it at that point that you started to explain to

21 him what was happening with the complaints?

22 A. My recall of the meeting isn't that good.

23 Q. No.

24 A. It was in the context of the complaints generally that

25 this came up.

56

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. But I can't recall the sequence or the order or who said

3 what first.

4 Q. No.

5 A. But I do recall leaving the meeting thinking that was

6 something that he --

7 Q. Yes. You also tell us here, you see in the same

8 paragraph, that you are conscious that your response to

9 complaints wasn't satisfying him and the others?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Was that because he was more concerned about what was

12 being done about threats than your report, which was

13 about complaints?

14 A. No, I don't think that was the case. I think it was an

15 exchange on how do complaints about these issues get

16 addressed.

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. I explained how they were addressed similar to as I have

19 discussed this morning: about the context, about moving

20 forwards, but at the moment we have to deal with issues

21 on the system we have, but that wasn't the answer that

22 he found acceptable to him.

23 Q. Was he making the point to you that any system which

24 involved the RUC investigating themselves was

25 unacceptable?

57

1 A. I can't recall if he was that precise.

2 Q. But does it sound right? Was it the sort of thing that

3 was being said in that meeting?

4 A. I don't recall and I would rather not speculate.

5 Q. No. But anyway, from whatever reaction you were getting

6 you could see in the meeting that they weren't satisfied

7 with your answers?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. What were you able to tell them, you or your colleagues,

10 about what had been done, what steps had been taken in

11 relation to the threats by the NIO?

12 A. I wouldn't have told them anything about that because,

13 as you will see, a consistent line we have taken in all

14 the correspondence was this dilemma that we had that

15 people were raising a threat with us, and yet it was

16 inappropriate for us to be dealing with a third party

17 about someone's personal safety, whether or not there

18 was any evidence of that.

19 Q. Do you think that was something, that sort of response

20 in the meeting, that they might have found less than

21 satisfactory?

22 A. I am sure they would have found that less than

23 satisfactory.

24 Q. Yes, whether justifiably or not, that might have been

25 a bone of contention as well?

58

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. It looks as though at some point the mood of the meeting

3 became rather less than cordial. Indeed, you say it

4 became quite heated. Can you remember the circumstances

5 in which that happened?

6 A. I can't remember them precisely and, indeed, I've read

7 Mr Lynch's evidence to the Inquiry where he didn't seem

8 to make any issue of heat or otherwise. But I think

9 that the lawyers felt that they weren't getting any

10 answers that satisfied their concerns, and I think

11 that -- on Christine Collins's side she felt that we are

12 telling you the position as far as the Government see it

13 is. That is the position and if they don't accept it,

14 then they would come back and that is where the heat, I

15 think, was caused.

16 Q. Yes, and was it at that point that she left the meeting?

17 A. Yes, I think the meeting was drawing to a close, but

18 yes, it was at that point.

19 Q. Leaving you and your colleague to wrap it up, yes?

20 A. Yes, I think --

21 Q. As more junior officials, yes.

22 Now --

23 A. The other person -- sorry, I should correct you on that.

24 The other person there was not a more junior official,

25 and in fact was at an equivalent level to

59

1 Christine Collins and worked in the criminal justice

2 side of the office.

3 Q. Thank you very much. That is very helpful.

4 So far as your position after the meeting was

5 concerned, you tell us in paragraph 25, RNI-841-429

6 (displayed) that you felt it incumbent upon you to write

7 to the police letting them know of the Lawyers Alliance

8 people's concerns over Rosemary Nelson's safety. Do you

9 see that?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Was this something you discussed with Christine Collins?

12 A. I can't recall whether I did or I didn't, but I would be

13 surprised if I hadn't discussed it with her or at least

14 told her that I was writing.

15 Q. So can I take it, therefore, that she either agreed or

16 didn't disagree with the course you were intending to

17 take?

18 A. I am sure that's right.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, you give in a later paragraph of your

20 statement, paragraph 28, various reasons why you wrote

21 the letter. You say first of all that you wanted to get

22 on record the concerns, and that's presumably picking up

23 what you said to me a little earlier, that you wanted to

24 put in writing to the related body, namely the RUC, the

25 concerns that had been expressed?

60

1 A. Yes, that was part of it.

2 Q. Yes. But you also wanted to have her security looked

3 at, as you put it at the bottom of page RNI-841-429, by

4 the police?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. So it wasn't just a question of keeping your file tidy?

7 A. No, absolutely.

8 Q. And of course, this was, as we have now seen together,

9 merely the latest of a number of expressions of concern

10 on this very topic that had come into your division?

11 A. That's correct, yes.

12 Q. Now, you mention some of those at the top of the next

13 page, RNI-841-430 (displayed), and of course we have

14 seen earlier examples together today; in other words, by

15 this stage the issue had been on the Police Division

16 radar, if I can put it that way, for a number of months?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. So far as that is concerned, you also say that it was

19 a serious matter and the fact that the Rapporteur had

20 raised the issue, of course, added or contributed to

21 that, didn't it?

22 A. It did.

23 Q. And you say to us that you expected the police to treat

24 the matter seriously?

25 A. Naturally, yes.

61

1 Q. And one assumes that that was something you would expect

2 in any case, which you referred to them, where there was

3 a threat or potential threat to someone's life?

4 A. Absolutely, yes.

5 Q. And this wasn't an exceptional case. That would be or

6 should be the rule?

7 A. That should be the rule, yes.

8 Q. Indeed. And then finally you say obviously there was

9 also human concern for Mrs Nelson. Presumably you are

10 putting there -- it is like you are putting your

11 official's hat to one side --

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. -- and it was your personal concern for the safety of

14 another human being?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, in relation to the drafting of this

17 letter, you tell us in paragraph 26 that you made

18 reference in your letter to Christine Collins because,

19 as I understand it, she was at the same level within the

20 NIO as the Chief Superintendent was within the RUC?

21 A. The background to that is that from a civil servant's

22 perspective, the police service was very

23 grade-orientated and certainly they take a view that if

24 you are dealing with someone, you ought to deal with

25 them at a similar level.

62

1 So what I was seeking to do there was to show the

2 police service that this has the weight of the head of

3 this division behind it, not just a lesser civil servant

4 or a lower level civil servant, i.e. me. So I was just

5 trying to make it clear to them that there was the added

6 weight of Christine Collins behind the approach.

7 Q. But that sounds as though you were doing what you could

8 to ensure that this request would be taken seriously?

9 A. I anticipated that they would treat it seriously, but I

10 was putting every fastening belt, piece of string on it

11 that I could to make sure that every alarm bell,

12 whenever they received it, rang.

13 Q. Yes. Now, I understand entirely that answer, if I may

14 say so, but what I'm concerned to establish is whether

15 you thought at some level that there was a risk that if

16 you didn't do all of that, that it would not be taken

17 seriously?

18 A. I don't think I would have regarded that as the

19 position, no. I was just making sure it was at the top

20 end of the serious scale, not at the middle or bottom

21 end of it?

22 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you to look at the letter in this

23 context, please, RNI-106-078 (displayed)? You have told

24 us why you put in the reference to Christine Collins.

25 You describe the concerns in the next sentence as being

63

1 deep concerns, and then you say in the next sentence:

2 "We have also heard these concerns voiced by other

3 organisations and individuals over recent months."

4 Can I ask you: was the way you put matters in those

5 two sentences also part of the attempt you were making

6 to make sure this went in and was appreciated at the

7 right level of seriousness?

8 A. That is indeed the case, yes.

9 Q. Thank you very much. Did you consider making reference

10 to the earlier events, the events of April/May 1997?

11 A. I don't think I felt it necessary to refer to those, and

12 also I think it was relevant that I was trying to get

13 a letter out extremely quickly.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. In fact -- I should draw your attention to the

16 circumstances -- the meeting I think was probably on the

17 19th or something, and I have obviously dictated the

18 letter immediately but not sent it until it has come

19 back from typing --

20 Q. Thank you very much. It clears up a mystery.

21 A. Right. But I am not sure that would have added anything

22 to refer back to previous police assessments that they

23 have provided to us or police responses they have

24 provided to us.

25 Q. So it wasn't a decision deliberately to omit reference

64

1 to that?

2 A. No, I don't think it was a deliberate decision to omit

3 it. I don't know that it would have added anything.

4 Q. Were you concerned at all that because of the volume of

5 correspondence that you had sent to Command Secretariat

6 over the preceding months, there was a somewhat

7 jaundiced view of these points and the fact that they

8 were being made repeatedly and they were repeatedly

9 being asked for their comment or contribution on them?

10 A. I'm not sure if that was my thought process, but I can

11 see that -- I was trying to make this letter very direct

12 on a very specific point. A lot of correspondence we

13 had had before was repetitious of nature, and the

14 complaints that are concerned were in the system that

15 were being dealt with, they weren't new points in the

16 other correspondence. And what I was trying to do here

17 was to say, you know, notwithstanding everything else,

18 I want you, please, to take a look at this.

19 Q. And you go to the extent, don't you, in the second

20 paragraph of, as it were, suggesting or pushing in

21 a direction, a particular direction, i.e.:

22 "It might be prudent to consider whether or not she

23 needs to be approached and given advice on her

24 security."

25 Again, this is a reasonably direct way of putting

65

1 it, isn't it?

2 A. It is, yes.

3 Q. Thank you. Did you have in mind in drafting that that

4 there had been no response to your earlier specific

5 request about advice on personal protection?

6 A. No, I don't think I did. I think what I was trying to

7 say is that this issue strikes me as needing particular

8 attention, and here, for example, is how you might go

9 about it.

10 In a way, I didn't need to put that in because

11 that's the police's business, not mine. But I was

12 trying to encourage them to take a fairly constructive

13 approach to the letter.

14 Q. And the very fact that you didn't need to but you chose

15 to put it in, it is another part, isn't it, of making

16 this a very focused and particular letter?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Yes. You then refer in the final paragraph on this same

19 point -- you say:

20 "I would be grateful if you would let me know if

21 and, if so, when Mrs Nelson has been given such advice.

22 The question will continue to be asked and I would like

23 to be able to respond proactively."

24 So, again, you were setting them various questions

25 to which you were asking for specific replies, Weren't

66

1 you?

2 A. Yes. I'm not sure what you mean by "specific

3 questions". I'm asking them to let me know what they

4 did with it.

5 Q. You want them to tell you if she had been given the

6 advice and, if so, when?

7 A. Yes. Yes, I accept that.

8 Q. Now --

9 A. Sorry, again, the whole letter was an attempt to stress

10 to the police the need to do something to assess this in

11 my view. And that paragraph, again, is an attempt to

12 sort of make the same point again.

13 Q. Yes. What did you expect them to do?

14 A. Well, I would expect them to conduct an assessment on

15 the security of Mrs Nelson.

16 Q. And how would they go about that?

17 A. I'm hesitating in answering this because in a way this

18 was their business how they went about it. The fact

19 that I had an idea how they would have gone about it

20 wasn't strictly relevant to my letter, but I would have

21 expected them certainly to have engaged the

22 Special Branch, possibly local police in assessing the

23 nature of the threat.

24 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Sorry, the system seems to have

25 stopped temporarily.

67

1 MR PHILLIPS: I'm so sorry. You mean the rolling

2 transcript?

3 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: The rolling transcript. I think it

4 said something about the server. (Pause)

5 MR PHILLIPS: Would it be better to have a short break? It

6 looks as though it is a more serious problem --

7 THE CHAIRMAN: We will have a break now.

8 MR PHILLIPS: -- if it is not working.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: We will resume when we can.

10 (3.07 pm)

11 (Break to resolve technical difficulty)

12 (3.15 pm)

13 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Rogers, before the hitch, I was asking you

14 about what you were wanting or asking the RUC to do

15 here, and I think what you were saying is that obviously

16 it is their business, but you would expect them to do an

17 assessment of security.

18 Were you expecting them, in short, to conduct

19 a threat assessment about her?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. So although that's not a specific request or

22 suggestion you make, that's what you were expecting to

23 happen?

24 A. Yes, I mean, I didn't use those words, but certainly

25 what I'm requesting is that.

68

1 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the question of advice is

2 concerned, presumably, again, that was a matter for them

3 to consider, whether or not she needs to be approached,

4 as you put it, and given advice on her security.

5 Was that something that, as the way you saw it,

6 would follow on from the assessment?

7 A. No, not necessarily. It would follow on -- I mean, if

8 you could put the letter back on just for one moment?

9 Q. Yes, RNI-106-078 (displayed).

10 A. Thank you. Yes, it the last paragraph I say:

11 "I should be grateful if you could let me know if

12 she has been given advice."

13 Now, the reason for that obviously is if they

14 determined there was no threat -- and that's a word that

15 is defined in different ways by different people, as we

16 see in a lot of the correspondence. But if they defined

17 there was no threat in a police sense, then there

18 wouldn't be a need to talk to her. And, indeed, you

19 could see a situation where talking to her might be

20 counterproductive in that if someone approaches a person

21 who is not subject to threat and says to them, "We are

22 just coming to talk to you about your security", you

23 might perceive it in a different way.

24 Q. Yes. Getting to my question, as far as you were

25 concerned, logically the first thing to do was to

69

1 conduct the --

2 A. Assessment.

3 Q. -- and only then, depending on the result of that, did

4 the question of advice arise in your view?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Yes, thank you.

7 At this stage, February 1998, were you aware of any

8 reluctance on Rosemary Nelson's part to accept advice of

9 this kind, i.e. advice on security?

10 A. I don't think I was aware of that. There was no direct

11 contact --

12 Q. No.

13 A. -- as you are aware, with Rosemary Nelson. I don't

14 think I was aware of that. I'm aware from other

15 materials that have come to the Inquiry that that was

16 the case, but I don't think I would have been aware at

17 the time.

18 Q. No. Now, just looking at this time, February 1998, you

19 say in your statement, paragraph 29, RNI-841-430

20 (displayed), that the draft report of the Rapporteur was

21 circulated in about February/March. You also tell us

22 later in paragraph 30, as you see -- it is also on the

23 screen -- that Christine Collins was -- I think you used

24 the expression elsewhere -- "in the lead" on this issue.

25 Is that right?

70

1 A. On the lead on -- she was on the lead in the issue which

2 I highlight in paragraph 29.

3 Q. Exactly.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Are you able to assist there -- I appreciate you weren't

8 leading this -- as to when the draft actually came into

9 your department?

10 A. Of the report?

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. I'm not certain of the date, no.

13 Q. Because as far as we can see, you see, it definitely was

14 there on the table in the Police Division in about

15 mid February 1998. Are you able to help one way or the

16 other on that?

17 A. I'm not disputing that. I mean, my statement says some

18 time about February/March. I'm not saying it wasn't.

19 Q. Right. Now, the concerns which you go on to talk about

20 in your statement, so far as Police Division were

21 concerned, were twofold: the alleged statement that the

22 Chief Constable had made -- this is paragraph 29 I'm

23 looking at -- and the naming of individual defence

24 lawyers, including Rosemary Nelson.

25 A. Those were the two immediate issues that arose from the

71

1 draft report, yes.

2 Q. Yes. And you make the point in this same paragraph in

3 relation to the Chief Constable's remark -- you make the

4 connection, don't you, between an earlier case in which

5 in Parliament the Minister Douglas Hogg had made

6 comments about defence lawyers and their links to

7 paramilitaries?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. Was that something -- that point, that connection --

10 appreciated and understood in Police Division at the

11 time?

12 A. I think it was, yes.

13 Q. So I'm clear about this, therefore, you believe that it

14 was Christine Collins who raised the issue -- this is

15 your paragraph 30 -- with the Chief Superintendent; is

16 that right?

17 A. I know that from discussions I had with

18 Christine Collins at the time, which I recall, that she

19 was in contact with that individual, yes.

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. And I did have subsequent exchanges on the matter myself

22 and there was correspondence between me and the police.

23 Q. Was that later in perhaps the end of March?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Yes. But so far as this period is concerned, earlier

72

1 in February, are you aware of or do you know whether

2 Christine Collins spoke to the Chief Constable herself?

3 A. I don't recall that, but it could have happened and

4 I might not have been aware of it.

5 Q. Just dealing with this issue in general, the matters you

6 set out in your statement here in paragraph 30, are they

7 based on what you remember of discussions with

8 Christine Collins at the time, or is this you --

9 A. No, that was on the basis of conversations with

10 Christine at the time.

11 Q. It was? Thank you. So is it right, then, that your

12 understanding is that she took up these two points and

13 raised them with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in

14 order for them to address them with the Rapporteur?

15 A. Erm, initially she raised them with the

16 Chief Constable's office.

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. And there was an exchange, for example, about what

19 records had been kept of the conversations, et cetera.

20 I recall that.

21 I suspect, though I'm not certain of this, that this

22 was the NIO that raised it with the FCO because that

23 would have been the natural route, i.e. FCO to

24 Northern Ireland Office, rather than, for example,

25 police to FCO.

73

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. So you suspect it would have been the NIO route --

3 Q. Yes. And so far as asking Command Secretariat as to

4 whether there was a note, can you remember what the

5 answer was coming back from Command Secretariat as to

6 whether there was a note of the meeting?

7 A. My recollection of that -- and obviously

8 Christine Collins is much better placed than I am, but

9 my recollection was that no note was forthcoming.

10 Whether there was a note is not something I recall.

11 Q. Did you hear at the time -- this is February 1998 -- of

12 any direct contact between the police -- I'm using that

13 term advisedly -- and Mr Cumaraswamy direct?

14 A. I wasn't aware of any, no.

15 Q. Okay. Now, just moving on through the story to the part

16 you indicated a little earlier, the position was this,

17 wasn't it: that the Rapporteur agreed to make some

18 amendments to the text, but later -- and this is now

19 in March -- the fact that changes had been made became

20 known, for example, to British Irish Rights Watch?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. And you deal with this later in your statement in

23 paragraph 35 because you refer there to the letter from

24 Jane Winter to the Secretary of State, and you see that

25 paragraph --

74

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. -- on the screen.

3 If we look briefly at her letter, we will see the

4 issue that was raised. RNI-106-132, please (displayed)

5 because in the third paragraph she sets out the very

6 comment which was in issue in the earlier stage, i.e. at

7 the drafting stage of the report, and at a later

8 stage -- sorry, can I ask you before moving on: this

9 letter, would it have fallen to you or to your division

10 to produce a reply to this letter?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And I think you deal with that again later in your

13 statement?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. The reply, I think, didn't come until July; is that

16 correct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And came, I think, from Mr Ingram; is that correct?

19 A. I think so. I would need to check, but --

20 Q. I think I may be wrong about that --

21 A. The Secretary of State --

22 Q. Yes, it is RNI-106-251 (displayed), for everybody's

23 note.

24 A. The Secretary of State I think it was, in fact.

25 Q. Yes, thank you. But so far as knowledge of the matter

75

1 getting out is concerned, were you aware also that at

2 some point in March but before publication, the RUC

3 issued a press release in error which rebutted the

4 allegation the remark had been made thus revealing to

5 the world the contents of the original draft?

6 A. I was aware of that, yes.

7 Q. And you had some role, I think I'm right in saying, in

8 managing all of that at the end of March?

9 A. Yes. Certainly I contacted the police at the time to

10 say, "What has happened? Why has this gone out?"

11 because obviously we had gone -- people had gone to some

12 lengths to try and stop the information being released,

13 and it seemed a bit strange that it had then come out.

14 But the police explanation was that it had been prepared

15 on the draft and was being held and then was issued

16 accidentally, and I think probably they tried to recover

17 that situation but obviously it wasn't successful.

18 Q. But can I ask you: why was there such concern that the

19 allegation that this remark had been made should leak

20 into the public domain?

21 A. Well, I think it was because (a) it was disputed, (b)

22 because of a concern it might increase the risk to the

23 individual if they are named directly, and (c) because

24 of the aspect of it that -- the comment allegedly made

25 that Mrs Nelson was -- working for paramilitaries, so it

76

1 was all combined together.

2 I have noted, for example, others have commented on

3 this in the evidence and, for example, Paul Mageean said

4 that he, from his perspective, as someone who obviously

5 was close to Mrs Nelson could see the logic in taking

6 out the name. He said that in his evidence. I don't

7 think the NIO disagreed. Certainly in the NIO

8 discussions, Christine Collins batting this about, we

9 certainly felt it was better to take the names out than

10 to leave them in and, for example, take a risk of

11 increasing someone's security profile.

12 Q. Did you think of raising the issue specifically with the

13 named individuals?

14 A. No, we didn't think of that.

15 Q. With hindsight, is that something that it might have

16 been sensible to do?

17 A. Do you mean before or after, or both?

18 Q. Preferably before?

19 A. We didn't do it.

20 Q. No. Now, when the information began to emerge in March,

21 do you remember that it came also to the attention of

22 the Law Society whom you refer to in your statement in

23 various contexts, but they also were very concerned

24 about the suggestion that such remarks had been made.

25 Is that something you can remember?

77

1 A. I do not have a clear recollection of that, no, or any

2 recollection.

3 Q. Thank you. Can I look at a particular point you deal

4 with in your statement in this context at paragraph 36,

5 where you were obviously asked in your interview by

6 Eversheds whether there was any discussion with the

7 Chief Constable that he should instruct his officers to

8 stop intimidating defence lawyers, or for him to speak

9 to the defence lawyers directly about the matter. And

10 you say:

11 "I don't recall this happening."

12 Can I ask you, please: do you mean you don't recall

13 there being such a discussion?

14 A. We didn't have a discussion with the Chief Constable on

15 that point. We did write at one stage.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. Or at least Anne Colville wrote at one stage, the

18 beginning of September, 1 September, I think, to raise

19 it, but we didn't enter into discussions with them.

20 Q. Was this the letter that we looked at by mistake

21 a little earlier? I think it was RNI-105-119 possibly

22 or 109. Let's see if we can find that (Pause).

23 1 September, wasn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. It is very, very badly copied.

78

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. It is, indeed, RNI-105-109 (displayed). It is extremely

3 difficult to read. I am afraid I can't remember whether

4 there is a better copy of this in the bundle, but since

5 you have raised the point, this is Anne Colville's

6 letter, I think, isn't it? If we turn the page to see

7 the signature. I hope it is anyway.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Yes. This is dealing in fact with a letter from

10 Amnesty International and asking for various comments

11 upon it. If we go back to the previous page, is the

12 part you have got in mind at the very bottom, where she

13 says:

14 "It would be very helpful, however, to have a line

15 on the comment that officers who come into contact with

16 detainees should be told that disparaging comments about

17 a detainee's lawyer are forbidden."

18 Is that the point you've got in mind?

19 A. Yes, it is.

20 Q. Can you remember what the answer is to that?

21 A. Yes, the police replied, I think, on 10 September.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. It was a fairly dismissive response saying in effect

24 that if they were to speak to them, it would imply an

25 assumption of guilt on their part.

79

1 Q. Yes. Can we have a look at that together? I'm very

2 grateful that you have raised this point. It is

3 RNI-105-120 (displayed). This is the response on

4 10 September. I think you mean the third paragraph,

5 don't you?

6 A. I do, yes.

7 Q. What the officer is saying is that this passage from

8 Amnesty's letter:

9 "'... disparaging comments about a detainee's lawyer

10 ...(Reading to the words)... in the future' reveal an

11 assumption of guilt. This is in stark contrast to the

12 calls for justice and fairness so frequently voiced by

13 Amnesty International."

14 So your request for a line, saying it would be

15 helpful to have one, was given short shrift, wasn't it?

16 A. I think that's accurate, yes.

17 Q. Thank you. You nonetheless deal with the general point

18 in your statement at the top of page RNI-841-433

19 (displayed) by making a series of points, as it were,

20 going against the idea that there should be any such

21 general direction by the Chief Constable, and the

22 suggestion there is that until matters had been

23 established -- to quote you -- "it would arguably have

24 been premature". Do you see that?

25 A. Yes.

80

1 Q. In a sense, albeit expressed in a more moderate way,

2 that is exactly the answer that you got back from

3 Command Secretariat, isn't it?

4 A. It was the answer, yes.

5 Q. Yes. And you are just expressing it in a rather more

6 nuanced and subtle way, aren't you?

7 A. Yes, I am.

8 Q. Yes. Presumably it was in asking for -- effectively

9 saying we can't do anything without evidence, without

10 proof, you would, in your thinking at least, have come

11 hard up against this point, which we have talked about

12 before, namely that, of course, independent verification

13 one way or the other was very, very difficult at this

14 stage, 1998, because although you had silent video

15 recording, you didn't have any audio recording of the

16 interviews?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. So, therefore, asking the client complainants for proof

19 in circumstances where it was their word against the

20 word of two officers, was in reality asking for

21 something which was very unlikely ever to transpire?

22 A. I'm not sure that is correct as a statement because

23 Commander Mulvihill, for example, when he investigated

24 the complaints, didn't say at the end of them there was

25 no prospect of me ever having achieved an outcome to

81

1 these.

2 He watched, for example, the footage from the video,

3 and albeit that that didn't give you the audio, it gave

4 you demeanour and other things. He interviewed the

5 witnesses, he looked at phone records, he looked at

6 various other things. So I think the suggestion or

7 implication that there would be no prospect of the

8 complaint ever being successful arising from the holding

9 centres isn't one I would agree with.

10 Q. But as Dr Hayes pointed out in his report, no doubt with

11 your help, the rate of substantiation in relation to

12 holding centre complaints was, practically speaking,

13 zero, wasn't it?

14 A. Yes, but --

15 Q. Thank you.

16 A. No, I would like to go on to say the fact that there is

17 a zero substantiation doesn't mean that they could not

18 be substantiated.

19 Q. But in practice, at that point, they, broadly speaking,

20 hadn't been?

21 A. In practice at that point, that's correct.

22 Q. Yes, thank you very much.

23 Now, can I just ask you about the final sentence of

24 this paragraph 36, because there you say -- and this is

25 RNI-841-433 (displayed), at the bottom of the passage on

82

1 the screen:

2 "To say that intimidation of defence lawyers, if it

3 was occurring, could have been stopped by simply

4 instructing police officers to stop, is looking at the

5 matter too simplistically."

6 I would like to ask you some questions about that,

7 please.

8 Is the point that you are making here that it would

9 never have been enough for the Chief Constable simply to

10 issue an order to all the officers under his command if

11 you wanted actually to achieve an end to this?

12 A. Obviously an order from a Chief Constable would be

13 a significant thing, but what I'm trying to say is

14 really in a sense what you have said to me two minutes

15 ago: that there were other mechanisms more likely to

16 succeed, such as the changes we were trying to bring in

17 on audio recording and having an independent ombudsman,

18 not police investigating the police and wider issues.

19 So thought -- I may not have expressed this well,

20 but the thought of saying, "Send an email out telling

21 everyone to stop hitting so and so or abusing so and

22 so", I didn't think it, on its own, would be an entire

23 solution.

24 Q. Was a reason for that that you understood that the

25 problem here was likely to be cultural or a systemic

83

1 one?

2 A. I'm not sure I personally had reached that conclusion,

3 no.

4 Q. Was that a view that was held?

5 A. Certainly the correspondence we were receiving suggested

6 it was systemic, yes.

7 Q. So in other words, whatever orders were issued, the

8 difficulties you faced, which themselves arose out of

9 the situation in Northern Ireland, which had been in

10 place for decades at this point, was not something that

11 could be changed just by a fiat from on high?

12 A. I don't think that is what I'm saying at all. I'm not

13 suggesting that there was institutionalised or systemic

14 abuse going on. The point I'm making is some people who

15 wrote to us did suggest that, yes, but we were saying we

16 have no evidence of this. Now, we are trying to change

17 the system, we are trying to bring in these new

18 arrangements -- I'll not repeat them, but ...

19 Q. So the simplistic point you are making there is that it

20 required more than the Chief Constable's order; it

21 required the other measures that we have just been

22 discussing?

23 A. I didn't introduce the issue of a Chief Constable's

24 order as such, but what has happens in an interview for

25 the Tribunal is you are asked specific questions and you

84

1 give an answer to them. And in a way, you then are

2 caught by the word you have used in answer to a question

3 which isn't included. And what I'm trying to say is in

4 answer to the question, in effect, "Would a missive from

5 the Chief Constable have been sufficient?" I'm saying

6 investigation of complaints required a range of factors,

7 such as, as you say, audio coming in and -- et cetera.

8 I don't think a missive in itself would have been

9 a major part of a solution.

10 Q. Yes, thank you.

11 Now, moving on to some other of the NGO

12 correspondence you talk about in your statement I just

13 want to look at very briefly. You deal in paragraph 31

14 with correspondence with British Irish Rights Watch. We

15 have looked at a latter letter of theirs, a March

16 letter. Then in paragraph 34, the Paul Mageean letter

17 of 5 March, at RNI-106-114 (displayed).

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Could we have that on the screen, please? Thank you.

20 So far as this letter is concerned, it raised,

21 didn't it, further concerns or complaints in relation to

22 threats and gave an example of a particular client at

23 the bottom of the page -- you see, Mr Marshall -- and

24 allegations about what had been said to him during his

25 detention in February 1998.

85

1 Now, can I ask you to look with that in mind back at

2 your statement in paragraph 34 at RNI-841-432

3 (displayed) because there again a question is posed to

4 you and it is recited by you in your statement, in the

5 penultimate statement:

6 "I have been asked by those interviewing me if this

7 letter and the threats allegedly made about Mrs Nelson

8 to Gary Marshall were taken into account by the police

9 in their threat assessment of her at this time. I'm not

10 familiar with how police analyse threats as this was not

11 my branch's speciality."

12 Can I just ask you these questions, please: you

13 wrote on 23 February, we have seen, to

14 Command Secretariat after your LAJI meeting. By this

15 time, early March 1998, were you aware, as a matter of

16 fact rather than expectation, that they were conducting

17 a threat assessment of Rosemary Nelson?

18 A. I wasn't aware as a matter of fact, but I would have

19 assumed, having written to them, that they would be

20 doing that, yes.

21 Q. In that regard, when you received this sort of

22 correspondence which, on the face of the allegations

23 made in it, revealed further threats, further comments

24 made about her to another client, did you consider

25 whether to forward it to Command Secretariat in order

86

1 that their assessment would be as up-to-date as

2 possible?

3 A. I can't recall precisely what we did with this document,

4 nor do I know at the moment whether we did send it to

5 the police or ICPC, but ...

6 Q. We know that this is another document that got a reply

7 in July?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So I don't think that's going to help very much because

10 the police had responded to you at the beginning

11 of April.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. But are you able to assist with whether you forwarded

14 this letter in order to give them the up-to-date

15 information for the purposes of the threat assessment

16 which you expected them to be undertaking?

17 A. I'm not sure whether it was forwarded to them or not at

18 this stage. Obviously I can look back at the papers

19 that I have been provided by the Inquiry.

20 Q. There is certainly nothing that I have seen which

21 suggests that it was forwarded with, for example, a

22 letter saying, "By the way, you probably want to take

23 this into account". That suggests, doesn't it, that

24 whatever else happened, you didn't do that?

25 A. It might suggest that, yes. Our normal practice

87

1 obviously was to send letters, so I would be a little

2 surprised if we didn't, but ...

3 Q. Now, in that connection you say earlier in this

4 paragraph, about six lines down:

5 "This is why Lesley Foster advised the CAJ ..."

6 Because obviously Mr Mageean was with the CAJ:

7 "... to send the letters to the RUC and the ICPC and

8 why she would have telephoned the police immediately to

9 let them know that another letter on this issue had

10 arrived. She would have wanted to ensure that the

11 matter was dealt with properly."

12 Does that help you?

13 A. That does seem to suggest that the matters were

14 referred, but I have forgotten that, I confess.

15 Q. Again, it may be that we are both out of touch with what

16 the documents tell us, but there is certainly nothing

17 that I can recall pointing to that: that the telephone

18 was used to draw this new case to the attention of the

19 Command Secretariat. Perhaps we can't --

20 A. Isn't there a note, though, from Lesley Foster, which

21 said that while drafting some other document, contact

22 was made by the CAJ and she advised them to write in, or

23 something to that effect? I do not have my hands on it

24 at the moment.

25 Q. No. Perhaps we can have a look for that at our end.

88

1 Presumably, however -- just looking at, as it were,

2 what should have happened -- if you wanted them to

3 consider a further matter or further report in order to

4 inform their assessment of security, then for the same

5 reason that you had set in writing what was expressed to

6 you at the LAJI meeting on 22 February, you would have

7 wanted that to be recorded in writing also?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Yes. So far as that is concerned, what I would like to

10 do, if I may, is just to leap forward briefly to the

11 reply that you produced in July to this letter. And you

12 deal with that in paragraph 52 of your statement,

13 RNI-841-438 (displayed).

14 You have made a submission to the Minister for him

15 to deal with this, and it was, as I say, some four

16 months later, in July. If I can show you the

17 submission, perhaps this will help, RNI-106-226

18 (displayed). Do you see you set out the background,

19 including a summary of the letter, and if you turn over

20 the page to RNI-106-227 (displayed), it looks as though

21 you had certainly sought information from the ICPC about

22 the complaints. Do you see that in paragraph 5?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And you had been given the answers which we see there.

25 Now, so far as the letter is concerned, your draft

89

1 is at RNI-106-228 and the letter is at RNI-106-230

2 (displayed). Could we just put that to the left of the

3 screen, please, and put on the right, RNI-841-439

4 (displayed) because in your interview, you obviously

5 came back to this point about whether it had been the

6 CAJ letter -- the original CAJ letter had been sent to

7 the police. And you say in the second line of this

8 page:

9 "I have been asked by those interviewing me if

10 I knew whether the police had a copy of the CAJ letter.

11 I do not recall if they did or not. Most if not all of

12 the material in the letter would have been known to the

13 police from other correspondence, and the principal

14 complaint ..."

15 That presumably is the Marshall complaint?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. "... was being investigated."

18 So it looks, therefore, as though you can't remember

19 that; in other words, you can't remember that they were

20 sent on a copy of the letter and there wasn't, at least

21 in the interview, a document to prompt you one way or

22 the other?

23 A. No, that's correct.

24 Q. So far as the delay is concerned, it is obviously easy

25 to be critical about these things with hindsight, but it

90

1 is presumably longer than you would have wished for

2 a reply to a minister's case letter?

3 A. It is. I mean, I have thought about the delay in

4 anticipation of that question and there was a delay.

5 The letter arrived when we were in committee stage in

6 the Police Bill, which lasted for a number of weeks.

7 And my best explanation is that the letter was

8 overlooked at that stage and only revived when someone

9 reminded us about it. So I have no better explanation

10 than that.

11 Q. That is very frank, thank you.

12 Can I just take you back to the point that you made

13 because there are individuals here fortunately far

14 better versed in the files than either you or I, so I

15 think we have found the reference that you were talking

16 about and I hope it will help. It is RNI-106-080

17 (displayed) and it is a memorandum from Lesley Foster

18 dated 4 March. She is dealing in fact not with CAJ, but

19 British Irish.

20 But if we have the second page on the screen,

21 please, RNI-106-081 (displayed), we will see that this

22 is another of these documents that gets dated and then

23 is subsequently amended after the date because it

24 appears to deal with the CAJ letter of 5 March at the

25 bottom:

91

1 "Since drafting this advice, I have heard from the

2 Committee on the Administration of Justice that a client

3 of Mrs Nelson who has recently been questioned by the

4 police claims that threats were made against Mrs Nelson

5 ..."

6 Then there is a quotation:

7 "CAJ, who were getting a statement from the

8 individual, have been asked ..."

9 Presumably this is what you meant?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. "... to pass this as quickly as possible to the RUC and

12 the ICPC. We have spoken to the police to forewarn them

13 of this and to ask them to deal with the matter as

14 speedily and sensitively as possible."

15 So the "we" in that case would have been

16 Lesley Foster, would it?

17 A. Yes, that's a note on Lesley Foster's memo.

18 Q. Yes. But it looks then from this as though what wasn't

19 happening here was the bringing together of the two

20 issues, i.e. the pending threat assessment on the one hand

21 and the further information from the CAJ?

22 A. I mean, I take that point, but on the other hand --

23 I mean, it does appear the information did go to the

24 police and it is their responsibility to conduct threat

25 assessments. I'm not saying we shouldn't have drawn

92


1 attention to it, but the point you had me tripping over

2 earlier was that it hadn't in fact gone, whereas I did

3 think that there was some reference to it going and,

4 indeed, it does appear as though --

5 Q. Yes, it looks as though what happened was that the CAJ

6 were asked to send it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And meanwhile, a telephone call, I suspect, was made to

9 warn the police of its impending arrival?

10 A. That's right, yes.

11 Q. So far as that is concerned, can I just take you to one

12 final passage of your advice to the Minister in relation

13 to the original July reply? You deal with it at

14 paragraph 54 and this is at RNI-106-230 (displayed).

15 Yes.

16 This is the point about the Chief Constable's own

17 attitude to allegations of this kind because there, in

18 the third paragraph, the private secretary says in the

19 letter as issued:

20 "The Minister has asked me to say that the

21 Government regards all these complaints as extremely

22 serious and has made it clear, as indeed has the

23 Chief Constable, that it will not tolerate harassment or

24 intimidation of lawyers."

25 Just so we are clear about this, how had the

93

1 Chief Constable made his attitude clear at this point?

2 A. In the exchanges that we had with him and his office on

3 the Cumaraswamy Report, for example.

4 Q. Yes. So it was something, although, as you say in your

5 statement, you hadn't personally spoken to him about it,

6 that was sufficiently clear from reporting back that you

7 were able to make that statement in the letter?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the final part of the text is

10 concerned, RNI-106-231 (displayed), you deal in the last

11 paragraph with the alleged pattern of police harassment,

12 and then this expression:

13 "I have to say that the Government is not aware of

14 evidence of this."

15 And does that, can I just ask you, take us back to

16 the discussion we had earlier: the difference between

17 allegations on the one hand and evidence on the other?

18 A. It does.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 A. Also I noticed in the question to Commander Mulvihill,

21 something that he highlighted.

22 Q. Yes, the difference between allegations on the one hand

23 and proof on the other?

24 A. Yes, I think he used the term, or you gave him the term

25 "sufficiently persuasive evidence ..." or something.

94

1 That's what I was talking about.

2 Q. You mean the exchanges on the transcript?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Yes. Now, we have looked, therefore, at various

5 exchanges that were going on, including exchanges in the

6 period while you were waiting for the answer from

7 Command Secretariat, and that came on 1 April. And I

8 would like to look at that with you, please RNI-106-199

9 (displayed). You deal with it in your statement, for

10 your reference, at paragraph 38, which is RNI-841-433

11 (displayed).

12 A. Thank you.

13 Q. It is a short letter:

14 "Thank you for your letter of 23 February."

15 So, again, the only document referred to is the

16 single letter, the one that you sent, that we looked at

17 together:

18 "Whilst the police are aware of concerning having

19 been expressed over the safety of Rosemary Nelson,

20 police have received no threats in respect of

21 Mrs Nelson. If the US Lawyers Alliance has evidence of

22 a threat, such information should be provided to police

23 in order that it can be properly assessed. I trust this

24 information is of assistance to you."

25 Now, in your evidence to the Inquiry you have

95

1 suggested, haven't you, that the comment "have received

2 no threats in respect of Mrs Nelson" meant that the

3 police were not aware of any specific threats which had

4 substance against Mrs Nelson. That's what you have

5 said, isn't it?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. As you have said I think elsewhere in your statement, in

8 this area there are various terms which have particular

9 significance or not, and the expression you use here of

10 "specific threat" is one presumably that you were aware

11 of at the time?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. The time you were reading this letter. And it is not an

14 expression used in the letter, is it?

15 A. No, it isn't.

16 Q. No. So, again, in this case, as in June 1997, the

17 earlier letter, you were faced with a reasonably short

18 response which you regarded as being your role to

19 interpret. Is that a fair way of putting it?

20 A. I don't think I was interpreting it. I think after

21 years of experience in dealing with the police it was

22 evident to me, particularly in light of the letter I had

23 sent, the heading of the letters, the nature of the

24 letters and this was telling me that there was no threat

25 to Rosemary Nelson.

96

1 Q. But was it telling you that there was no specific threat

2 to Rosemary Nelson?

3 A. Yes. I mean, this was a point I made to you: a number

4 of people defining the term "threat" differently.

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. There was no threat such as would have triggered some

7 other action is what I'm trying to say. There were

8 threats in terms of letters saying the police are

9 threatening Mrs Nelson, but there was no substance

10 behind those -- is what this meant to me.

11 Q. So despite the familiar usage of this term "specific

12 threat" and its absence from this letter, you were happy

13 to read it in, in the circumstances of this particular

14 case?

15 A. In light of my experience of dealing with the police, in

16 light of the nature of the correspondence, the nature of

17 the letters, yes, I felt that that was a response on the

18 point I was asking.

19 Q. Perhaps we could have your letter up on the screen,

20 please. RNI-106-078, please, on the right-hand side of

21 the screen (displayed).

22 What information did the letter give you as to

23 whether the question of giving her advice on her

24 security had been considered?

25 A. Again, this takes us back to a discussion we have

97

1 already had, which is if there is no threat, no specific

2 threat, then the question of giving advice on protective

3 measures or otherwise wouldn't necessarily follow.

4 I mean, it was something the police might have done,

5 but they clearly chose not to do it, and I explained

6 some of the reasons earlier why they might choose not to

7 do it.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just come in there? The wording

9 of the response, are you saying that that wording

10 entirely satisfied you, as opposed to, say, a grudging

11 acceptance of what is being said to you?

12 A. I think it is in the latter category of acceptable

13 rather than satisfying, yes. I mean, one of the issues

14 in corresponding with the police, as you are

15 discovering, as we experienced, is that the responses

16 are extremely brief and give the bare minimum. But

17 I thought this achieved the minimum.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But your department were in receipt,

19 were you not, of correspondence and held meetings with

20 individuals, when in the usual interpretation of the

21 term "threat" it would be reasonable, wouldn't it, to

22 suggest that you were aware, or your department was

23 aware, of threats?

24 A. This comes back to how you define the word "threat".

25 And as you will see in later correspondence, for

98

1 example, with the Committee for the Administration of

2 Justice, we had this difficulty.

3 We had, if you like, a police view of the term,

4 whereas other people took a fairly literal view of it

5 and would have regarded a threat as being -- "I'm going

6 to hit you" would amount to a threat. In terms of what

7 was required for that to register on a police threat

8 scale, in terms of close protection or something like

9 that, the two don't marry up. They are two different

10 things.

11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Finally, having heard the answer you

12 have just given, in your judgment, what should have been

13 the interpretation of the term "threat"? Literal or

14 what you are suggesting is a more closely defined --

15 A. This was a letter coming from the police to the

16 Northern Ireland Office, and I felt in those

17 circumstances, bearing in mind the heading of the

18 letter, the nature of the letter that went to the

19 police, that this said there was no threat in a security

20 sense to Mrs Nelson.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you very much.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Now, the letter didn't tell you that a threat

23 assessment had been undertaken, did it?

24 A. No.

25 Q. It didn't tell you that in the light of the results of

99

1 the assessment it had been decided not to offer advice

2 on her security on Rosemary Nelson, did it?

3 A. It didn't.

4 Q. No. And it did not put you within a mile of being in

5 the position to respond proactively to questions which

6 you believed would continue to be asked on that topic,

7 did it?

8 A. I don't agree with that, no, because the letter -- it

9 dealt with the first aspect, which is: is there

10 a threat. And if there is a threat, then obviously

11 subsequent or consequent steps might be required.

12 Because they said there was no threat, that, in

13 a sense, meant other steps were not strictly necessary.

14 So in terms of responding to people -- and as I have

15 explained, we wouldn't respond to a third party, but in

16 terms of responding to Mrs Nelson, we would have been

17 able to say, "We have been told there is no threat."

18 Q. Were you content with a reply that didn't actually spell

19 that out?

20 A. I would have naturally preferred a fuller reply from the

21 police service, but I felt the reply, brief though it

22 was, addressed the central point, which was on the

23 threat.

24 Q. And to come back to something we discussed earlier and

25 your use just now of the expression "strictly

100

1 necessary", did you get the impression from this letter

2 that the police were proceeding in that way, namely that

3 unless they perceived and assessed the threat to reach

4 a certain level that you view as the term "specific",

5 then there was no question of approaching her in

6 relation to advice on security?

7 A. That is how the letter left me thinking, yes.

8 Q. And were you content with that position?

9 A. It was a position that, if the police chose to take it,

10 that was their view.

11 As you gather from my letter of 23 February, it

12 wasn't the position I would have liked them to have

13 taken, but I felt it was, shall we say, defensible in

14 their circumstances.

15 Q. But it wasn't a position you wanted them to take either

16 as an official or presumably as a human being?

17 A. I wouldn't have written the letter I had if I was

18 expecting such a brief response, but nonetheless I felt,

19 looking at the response that I received, that that was

20 the police word on the topic.

21 Q. Yes. Going back to your statement, paragraph 38, you

22 say you recall showing it, the letter, to

23 Christine Collins. Presumably you had a discussion

24 about it?

25 A. Yes.

101

1 Q. And the point that you make in this paragraph of your

2 statement, RNI-841-434 (displayed), is that you had

3 raised the concern with them, the police, about her

4 security:

5 "The police had reassured us."

6 It sounds from what you have said as though the

7 reassurance was rather limited?

8 A. No, I think the police had reassured us because they

9 dealt with the central point. They hadn't gone beyond

10 that and I think you also need to look at this letter in

11 the context of other letters and other exchanges we had

12 with the police service, with the RUC, for example,

13 in June the previous year, where they had come back.

14 So this wasn't a one-off event. It was a continuum

15 of correspondence. This was a particularly important

16 moment in that continuum, yes. But equally, the police

17 were saying to us there was no threat.

18 Q. Yes. We also discussed the question of whether it would

19 have been preferable for you to remind them that it had

20 happened before, there had been similar exchanges the

21 previous year, and you didn't for whatever reason?

22 A. I didn't feel it was necessary, as I told you before.

23 Q. Yes. Now, what you say in your statement is:

24 "I accept the response from the police might look

25 curt, but it covered the point. We only ever got from

102

1 the police the minimum of information ..."

2 Et cetera. As I understand it, your position was

3 that, however curt, they were the experts and the matter

4 had to rest there on the basis of their expert view?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. So you didn't go back with further questions or raise

7 further issues or request further information from them

8 in relation to this letter?

9 A. No, we didn't go back at this point, but as you know, we

10 did have further exchanges later, yes.

11 Q. So you say "we". You do not think that

12 Christine Collins went back at this point?

13 A. I have no recollection of her doing so.

14 Q. No. Thank you.

15 Now, where did this letter leave you in relation to

16 the concerns that have been raised by the Lawyers

17 Alliance and the question of what you might say by way

18 of follow-up to your meeting to them?

19 A. I think, as I say in my evidence, I wasn't responding to

20 Lawyers Alliance -- sorry, to rephrase that. Lawyers

21 Alliance weren't -- I had given no undertaking to

22 Lawyers Alliance to go back to them on this point.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. I was satisfying the Police Division and the NIO's

25 concern, if you like, that there was no threat and

103

1 that's where I had taken it to.

2 It also informed, obviously, the correspondence we

3 were entering into with other bodies as the trail of

4 this continues, but I didn't go directly back to Lawyers

5 Alliance on the point.

6 Q. No. Can I just go back to seeking further details from

7 the police because you have explained that this was the

8 way they communicated, in very brief letters.

9 Can you ever remember a case where you went back and

10 sought further information in relation to a letter such

11 as this, a threat letter?

12 A. Certainly not in respect of a threat letter, no, but

13 there would have been occasions in my career in dealing

14 with police where I would indeed have gone back.

15 Q. Yes. But presumably had such an event occurred, where

16 you effectively questioned or challenged what was being

17 set in relation to a threat, you would have been

18 concerned to make a note of it, a note of the

19 conversation and anything further on the topic that had

20 been said to you by the police?

21 A. I'm not suggesting I did go back on any threat.

22 Q. No. Nor am I. I'm asking a hypothetical question.

23 A. As we discussed right at the start, I would like to

24 think I would keep a note of a significant thing like

25 that, yes.

104

1 Q. Thank you. Now, can we move now to the question of the

2 ICPC because this is the next major topic you deal with

3 in your statement? It begins in the next paragraph. It

4 is still on the screen at paragraph 39.

5 You there start with the Chief Constable's letter of

6 24 June. Of course that was a letter in response,

7 wasn't it, to the letter from Mr Donnelly, the Chairman

8 of the ICPC, sent both to the Chief Constable and the

9 Secretary of State?

10 A. 19 June, yes, that's correct.

11 Q. Thank you very much. RNI-106-211 (displayed). This is

12 the copy of the letter to the Secretary of State, as you

13 see. As you explain in your statement at paragraph 43,

14 RNI-841-436 (displayed), what was heralded in this

15 letter, 19 June, was a very serious matter because it

16 had never happened before in the history of the ICPC?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And in that sense, it was serious for the organisation

19 itself, wasn't it, the ICPC, but also for the RUC? And

20 because of its likely and obvious political

21 significance, it was also a serious matter for your

22 department, wasn't it?

23 A. It was a very serious matter, not least because of the

24 nature of the complaints. It would have been a serious

25 matter if it had been a complaint about something much

105

1 lesser. The nature of the complaints made the focus all

2 the greater.

3 Q. Yes, because of the very fact that at the heart of it

4 was this alleged conduct and comment in relation to

5 a solicitor, Rosemary Nelson?

6 A. Absolutely, yes.

7 Q. And the fundamental points made in the chairman's letter

8 went to, in a sense, the complaints system itself,

9 didn't it? Because in a sense what he was saying is

10 that as a result of the way this particular

11 investigation had been conducted, it had been

12 effectively undermined? Do you want to see the rest of

13 the letter? It is at RNI-106-212. Could we have that

14 on the right-hand side, RNI-106-212. It is the second

15 page (displayed).

16 A. I haven't read the whole letter.

17 Q. I'm so sorry.

18 A. No, I haven't read it all now, but I didn't pick up the

19 letter saying this was fundamental to the operation of

20 the ICPC. It certainly says that it was exceptional and

21 grave --

22 Q. Yes, and that the investigation was irretrievably

23 flawed; do you see at the top of RNI-106-212?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And from your perspective, supporting a system which was

106

1 being transformed, which lacked support, which lacked

2 public confidence. This was obviously a very serious

3 matter indeed?

4 A. It was indeed.

5 Q. So far as you were concerned, before you were aware of

6 this letter, had you received any indication or warning

7 from the ICPC of their intention to issue a certificate

8 of dissatisfaction or, as some people would say, not to

9 issue a certificate of satisfaction?

10 A. I'm aware that were Paul Donnelly made that claim, if I

11 can call it that, in his evidence.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. So I had the opportunity to think about this carefully,

14 and I have no recollection at all of the Commission at

15 any level contacting the Northern Ireland Office --

16 contacting me or, indeed, nor was I aware of them

17 contacting anyone else from the Northern Ireland Office,

18 to be clear, on the fact that this might issue. And,

19 indeed, if I had been aware, there is no evidence or no

20 reaction from me which, as you have just described, the

21 momentous nature of this -- I would not have sat on that

22 information. I would have not waited for the crash to

23 happen. I would have acted upon it.

24 There is nothing in any of the papers provided to

25 me, nor in any of the notes, that suggests there was any

107

1 contact. And I have no recollection whatsoever.

2 Q. The suggestion he made -- and thank you very much for

3 focusing immediately on it -- is that there was what he

4 described as "signalling" from I think he said it was

5 about the middle of May -- 19 May was one of the dates

6 that came out -- whereby there would be, he described,

7 telephone contact between his officials -- not him, his

8 officials -- and the Police Division in order to warn

9 that this was in prospect. But you have no recollection

10 of that?

11 A. I have no recollection, and I must say that an issue of

12 this importance, which is described as exceptional and

13 irretrievable, it strikes me in hindsight as rather

14 strange that the Chairman himself wouldn't feel it an

15 issue he would wish to raise with the Police Division

16 rather than signalling it was coming from officials.

17 Q. Getting to the point, you were very surprised indeed

18 that you were not given any warning or advance notice of

19 this before it was sent to the Secretary of State?

20 A. Was I very surprised? Yes, I think we would have

21 expected contact before it arrived.

22 Q. You say in your statement in paragraph 40:

23 "The Chief Constable was surprised because he

24 claimed that he didn't know anything about it before

25 ..."

108

1 And you were "as astonished as him."

2 This is at the top of RNI-841-435.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, can I just ask you to look at a note in the file,

5 which shows a communication between you and the ICPC

6 because that may help? It is nothing to do with what

7 was going on at this stage, but if we could look at it,

8 RNI-106-278.500, "Note for the record, Rosemary Nelson

9 case" (displayed). This comes later the history,

10 7 August, but it records, doesn't it, a conversation

11 between you and Mr Donnelly?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Just picking up the point you made earlier, had you

14 received a telephone call signalling that the ICPC was

15 about to issue a certificate of dissatisfaction, do you

16 think you would have made a note of it in this way?

17 A. I think I would have, yes.

18 Q. Yes. You have dealt in your statement with the

19 Chief Constable's reaction and you have indicated the

20 various reasons why this was such a serious matter. So

21 the impression one gets from the material and the

22 evidence the Inquiry has received is that the letter

23 prompted a vast amount of scurrying around, briefing

24 notes and furious minuting as officials sought to manage

25 what was seen as being potentially a crisis moment.

109

1 Is that a fair, if perhaps slightly colourful

2 description of what happened?

3 A. Yes, probably more colourful than we described it. But,

4 yes, that is accurate, and not just the NIO but the

5 Chief Constable, as you will see from the various papers

6 as well, was exercised.

7 Q. Yes. And we can see at RNI-106-216 (displayed) that at

8 a relatively early stage, a senior official, Mr Steele,

9 went to a meeting with the Chief Constable. I think he

10 was in fact accompanied by Christine Collins, although

11 perhaps you can't help one way or the other on that, to

12 deal with the matter. And he continued, as we see from

13 the material, to be involved with the matter, as of

14 course did the Secretary of State, and that is an

15 indication of itself, isn't it, of how seriously this

16 matter was being dealt with?

17 A. Indeed, yes.

18 Q. It was being dealt with at several levels above you and

19 Christine Collins?

20 A. It was.

21 Q. Now, you have dealt in your statement with various

22 minutes that you prepared, and I just want to touch on

23 a couple of them briefly.

24 It looks as though it was your role to set out for

25 the senior officials a report on what had happened in

110

1 the fast moving events which were taking place, and also

2 to inform them particularly what their options were

3 under the disciplinary structure as it then existed?

4 A. Yes. In terms of how to handle the investigation going

5 forwards?

6 Q. Yes. We can look at your minute of 25 June, the next

7 day, i.e. the day after the meeting with the

8 Chief Constable and Mr Steele at RNI-106-217.504

9 (displayed). And here, you set it in context under the

10 heading "Background" because you don't just tell the

11 readers about the complaints, you put it in the context

12 of paragraph 2 of the wider correspondence, some of

13 which we have looked at together.

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. And you there refer to the Special Rapporteur as being

16 the most high profile of all. Moving over the page, you

17 attach an annex from his report, and then underlined:

18 "The line the Government has taken in response to

19 these concerns is that the allegations are taken

20 seriously, are under investigation under existing proper

21 procedures and that the procedures must be allowed to

22 take their course."

23 Then at 3, you give a very brief summary of what had

24 happened on the issue we were just looking at, don't

25 you?

111

1 A. Hm-mm.

2 Q. Namely:

3 "Officials wrote to the police asking them to

4 confirm they had considered the issue of her safety and

5 were doing everything they thought appropriate."

6 Then this sentence:

7 "The police replied saying there was no specific

8 threat."

9 Do you see that?

10 A. I do, yes.

11 Q. And, again, in this briefing note or paper, you have

12 added the word "specific" to the word actually used in

13 the letter from the police, haven't you?

14 A. I have.

15 Q. And presumably, I take it, for the same reasons?

16 A. Absolutely, yes. That is what I thought the police

17 meant.

18 Q. Yes. Now, one of the concerns at this point was that

19 the ICPC intended to inform the complainants, which

20 would include Rosemary Nelson, the Lawyers Alliance and

21 Colin Duffy himself, of what had happened, of their

22 dissatisfaction with the original -- at that stage the

23 only -- investigation. Is that right?

24 A. That's correct. The Chief Constable's intervention was

25 to try and stop that happening until he had met the

112

1 Chairman of the Commission.

2 Q. Because the fear was, presumably on your part as well as

3 on the Chief Constable's, that once the matter was made

4 known to those complainants, then it would inevitably

5 come into the public domain and there would be adverse

6 comment, publicity and further problems?

7 A. Partly that, yes, but also if there was to be any

8 alternative approach to be taken, a communication to the

9 complainant wouldn't assist in the finding of an

10 alternative route.

11 Q. Why do you say that?

12 A. Well, obviously the discussions about was the

13 investigation actually concluded or not were taking

14 place between the -- well, the Chief Constable wanted

15 them to take place with the Chairman, who was away at

16 the time, and if something had gone out to the

17 complainants that would have put a full stop under the

18 investigation as had been taking place.

19 So it was to try and give some space for discussions

20 to take place at that point.

21 Q. One of the things the Chief Constable was trying to

22 ensure by his proposal was that the complaint

23 investigation was not concluded. Is that correct?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. And he asked for a meeting, and you see you have made

113

1 reference to it, if we go back to the screen, at

2 RNI-217-506 (displayed), paragraph 7. And because the

3 Chairman was away, that couldn't take place, I think,

4 until 1 July. But the good news, as far as you, your

5 colleagues, were concerned was that the ICPC had agreed

6 to wait and not to release the notices until after that

7 meeting?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. The issue that you then turn to on the next page,

10 RNI-217-507 (displayed), under the heading "Government

11 handling", is where you consider, having considered, as

12 it were, the framework and the position of the two

13 bodies, the RUC and the ICPC -- here, you come to deal

14 with the NIO and the Government's position and you set

15 out what had happened and you, again, refer in that

16 first sentence to the numerous claims of harassment of

17 Mrs Nelson. So for Government that was a material

18 consideration?

19 A. Indeed, yes.

20 Q. And you set out various points that needed to be

21 considered and, indeed, gave a table at annex F, which

22 we needn't look at, with various permutations. I'm

23 sorry, it is not because I don't want to, it is just

24 that I want to keep our discussion together as economic

25 as I can. At annex F, where there is a column, isn't

114

1 there, heading "Wider Issues"?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And that was particularly an area which took you outside

4 what was necessary or appropriate, under the regime,

5 into the wider political sphere?

6 A. That's correct, yes.

7 Q. Now, looking at 12, we see what was being advised to the

8 Secretary of State -- that is the next page -- in three

9 bullet points:

10 "Leave the handling to the Chief Constable.

11 "Seek his comments on the letter.

12 "Leave any wider decisions ..."

13 That is your wider considerations point:

14 "... until those have been received and studied."

15 So is it fair to say that in all of this you and

16 your colleagues were not only assessing how things were

17 working out between the two organisations, but also --

18 and perhaps more importantly -- concerned above all with

19 the position of the department and of the Secretary of

20 State?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. Because the points in play had wider political

23 implications of particular importance in

24 Northern Ireland?

25 A. Yes, that would have been a concern.

115

1 Q. Yes. Now, what happened of course is that the

2 Chief Constable's proposal was put to the ICPC and in

3 particular to Geralyn McNally. It was accepted and we

4 then move into the Mulvihill phase of the investigation,

5 which we needn't look at together now.

6 But there was still on the table the suggestion,

7 wasn't there, that there might have to be an independent

8 element in the supervision of that Mulvihill

9 investigation to address the perceived point that the

10 ICPC themselves were, in a sense, complainants?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And that is something you deal with in your statement,

13 and we can see the concern reflected in a series of

14 minutes in the file, RNI-106-253.500 (displayed), this

15 one from Christine Collins. It contains some

16 considerable underlining, we see over the next few

17 pages, and comes to the point at paragraph 6 at

18 RNI-106-253.502 (displayed) in this context, where she

19 is talking about how to achieve this element of

20 independence, where she succinctly summarises the

21 issues.

22 Obviously this is her minute, Mr Steele is also

23 involved, but were you involved at this stage, middle

24 of July 1998, with these considerations and discussions?

25 A. I was, yes.

116

1 Q. So although we are seeing, as it were, slightly higher

2 level material, you were very much involved in the

3 discussions?

4 A. In the Northern Ireland Office?

5 Q. Sorry, yes, in the Northern Ireland Office.

6 A. Not necessarily outside.

7 Q. No. In the end, however, no independent element of

8 supervision was introduced?

9 A. I would like to just touch on that, if I could, for

10 a moment.

11 Q. Please do.

12 A. Because I don't think it is quite -- that one sentence,

13 which was a fairly frenetic period for a number of

14 officials and the Chief Constable and the ICPC. I mean,

15 the starting point was to establish whether or not the

16 ICPC were actually making a complaint or not, and you

17 will have seen from the papers that that was not the

18 case.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Which had caused difficult -- the dimensions of the

21 problem changed somewhat when they wouldn't make

22 a complaint because a lot of legal advice and things

23 that I had sought and considered was on the basis that

24 there was going to be a complaint, which they then

25 couldn't supervise. And you will see from Christine's

117

1 note but also from other notes, that Christine Collins,

2 John Steele and I were uniform in feeling that something

3 wider needed to be in place in respect of this because

4 the very body we'd been holding up as investigating the

5 complaints and we had been saying, "Work through the

6 system", was now saying, "The system in this case has

7 not worked".

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. So we had a concern there. There were a number of

10 exchanges -- and we will not go through them all, but

11 ultimately what happened was Commander Mulvihill was

12 given the task of reviewing the -- not only

13 reinvigorating, if you like, the original investigation

14 of the complaints, but the second task of reviewing the

15 conduct of the Complaints and Discipline personnel. And

16 the Secretary of State put great weight on what the ICPC

17 thought of that, and the ICPC accepted that that could

18 happen without supervision, and I noted the Secretary of

19 State wrote ultimately to the Chief Constable and said

20 that she accepted that proposal, but asked the

21 Chief Constable to impress on Commander Mulvihill the

22 importance of that part of his role and asked him to

23 give it a high priority and, if anything arose, there

24 would need to be a supervisor.

25 So, in other words, the Secretary of State at this

118

1 point had not let go of the possibility at some point of

2 bringing in some independent or outside supervision.

3 Q. Yes. Thank you very much indeed.

4 We can see actually a succinct summary of your views

5 and those of your colleagues on the next page,

6 RNI-106-253.503 (displayed), and this is Mr Steele's

7 minute in paragraph 3:

8 "Like Mrs Collins, I believe this is going to be

9 a very hot potato politically. Only an independent

10 investigation of the conduct of the investigation is

11 likely to meet the case and I believe the

12 Chief Constable would be wise to get in first before the

13 pressure builds up."

14 A. I should have referred you to that.

15 Q. Now, can we jump ahead, please, to 1999.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: We will have a quarter of an hour break.

17 (4.30 pm)

18 (Short break)

19 (4.45 pm)

20 MR PHILLIPS: Now, Mr Rogers, I was about to deal with the

21 end, or nearly the end, anyway, of the Mulvihill saga

22 and to turn to paragraph 48 of your report at

23 RNI-841-437 (displayed). You say in that paragraph, six

24 lines down:

25 "The ICPC subsequently expressed satisfaction with

119

1 Commander Mulvihill's investigation report."

2 And we have seen that; I don't want to take you to

3 that. But the point was that they also expressed their

4 dissatisfaction, didn't they, in relation to the earlier

5 investigation by P146?

6 A. Yes, there was an annex to their statement expressing

7 concerns.

8 Q. Yes. And you then very briefly set out the point that

9 the Commander produced his review and later, after that,

10 the Chairman -- over the page now -- produced his

11 critique of the review. Right.

12 Now, can I ask you a question on a rather more

13 fundamental point about all this? Do you remember in

14 about March 1999 being aware of coverage in the media

15 and, if I can put it this way, a sort of whispering

16 campaign in relation to Geralyn McNally?

17 A. Yes, I am aware of that. I think from hearing some of

18 the evidence, I wasn't maybe aware of all of it. In

19 fact, I know I wasn't aware of all of it, particularly

20 a reference to a police authority exchange which I was

21 not aware of. But I was aware and, indeed, had contact

22 with the Commission on her situation.

23 Q. Right. By this stage Mrs Collins had moved on and your

24 new boss was Mr Lindsay, wasn't he?

25 A. That's correct.

120

1 Q. Yes. Is that an issue in relation to the campaign, the

2 media coverage about her, that you discussed with

3 Mr Lindsay?

4 A. I don't recall discussing it with him, no.

5 Q. Can I ask you a specific question arising out of

6 Mr Donnelly's evidence because he gave an account of a

7 meeting which he said, I think, had taken place at the

8 end of March 1999 at Stormont.

9 He was present, the Chief Executive,

10 Geralyn McNally, I think, and the Secretary of State,

11 the Permanent Secretary, Mr Watkins, and he mentioned

12 your name. We haven't been able to find a note or

13 minute of such a meeting at the time at the end

14 of March. Do you have any recollection of such

15 a meeting?

16 A. I had assumed rightly or wrongly that he was referring

17 to a meeting in June, but I don't have a recollection of

18 another meeting.

19 Q. Do you think it is possible that there was an earlier

20 meeting, i.e. much more contemporaneous with the events,

21 in other words, the issue of the certificate of

22 satisfaction and dissatisfaction, if I can put it that

23 way?

24 A. Do you mean a meeting dealing with the issue of

25 whispering, as you have called it?

121

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. I don't recall being engaged in discussions at that

3 point about that. It may have been being dealt with at

4 a higher level in the office.

5 Q. Let's look at the note of the meeting in June, which has

6 emerged following that evidence, and it is at

7 RNI-463-291 (displayed). We certainly haven't looked at

8 this before.

9 It is a report to you from another official,

10 Mr Perry, and you will see the distribution list at the

11 top there, and it records that the Secretary of State

12 met -- and then the three individuals I have mentioned

13 from the ICPC. You -- that is you, Mr Rogers -- and

14 Mr Lindsay were also present.

15 It looks as though there was then a discussion about

16 the latest developments, contact with the family, the

17 follow-up to the Mulvihill recommendations -- I'm now

18 moving on to the next page, RNI-463-292 (displayed), and

19 it is on RNI-463-293 (displayed) that the question of

20 security is raised.

21 I don't want to ask you any detailed questions about

22 that, but Mr Donnelly is recorded as referring to

23 criticism of her following the publicity given to her

24 statement. And that presumably was a reference to this

25 coverage in the media and elsewhere about her at that

122

1 time?

2 A. Yes, that's what I took it to be.

3 Q. Thank you. Then an intervention or an observation, I

4 should say, by the Secretary of State is recorded:

5 "The Secretary of State observed that this was

6 a cultural issue which the RUC needed to address, but

7 that it went further than simply the police. I should

8 say the cultural issue is attitudes towards certain

9 sections of the community and towards women."

10 That being a point made by Miss McNally.

11 So the Secretary of State is recorded as saying

12 that:

13 "... this was a cultural issue which the RUC needed

14 to address, that it went further than simply the police.

15 The culture of dependency and blame and a willingness to

16 resort to devious tactics was widespread in

17 Northern Ireland within politics and beyond. At the

18 highest level, the implementation of the

19 Good Friday Agreement and the establishment of new

20 political institutions would eventually change

21 attitudes. And at lower levels, the introduction of

22 structures, complaints mechanisms, et cetera, would

23 enable problems in particular areas to be more easily

24 tackled, but the process would inevitably take time."

25 Now, was that a point of view that you had heard

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1 expressed by the Secretary of State before this meeting?

2 A. I think I had heard her express a similar point of view,

3 perhaps not addressed directly at the RUC, but about --

4 I mean, the observation she makes or comment she makes

5 is concerning the RUC and the community --

6 Q. Indeed.

7 A. -- and I think I had heard her say previously about the

8 community in Northern Ireland, based on her experience

9 of the political negotiations largely, I felt. But no,

10 I'm not sure that it was a constant refrain I had heard

11 from her about the RUC, although also I would say that I

12 didn't frequently end up in the company of the Secretary

13 of State when she was discussing things like this.

14 I did go to a lot of meetings, but not frequently.

15 Q. But the wider point she makes about, you know, the

16 difficulties of cultural change -- forget about the

17 RUC -- the wider point in society as a whole, that was

18 a view that you knew at this meeting that she held?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the topics I'm picking up in

21 your statement are concerned, I would like now to move

22 to the threat assessment which took place

23 in July, August and September 1998, about which you

24 speak in your statement. And the relevant document here

25 is a note from the Irish side, which we find on

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1 RNI-106-269 (displayed).

2 We know it came to your attention eventually, but it

3 brings to attention the "Man Without a Future" pamphlet,

4 as we call it. That's right, isn't it?

5 A. That's right. It went from the British side of the

6 Secretariat to the Police Division on 4 August.

7 Q. Yes, and we can see that at the next page, RNI-106-271

8 (displayed)?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Looking at the leaflet itself -- there are various

11 copies of it. Some of them are not very good, but can

12 we look together at RNI-106-276 (displayed).

13 In their note to the British side, the Irish side

14 described the overall tone of the leaflet as extremely

15 menacing and as making allegations about various named

16 individuals. But the part I would like to focus on with

17 you is the description, which you see a few lines from

18 the bottom, of Rosemary Nelson as a "former bomber". Do

19 you see that?

20 A. I do, yes.

21 Q. And the leaflet suggested, didn't it, that she was one

22 of a motley crew -- and, again, I'm quoting -- which

23 included Breandan Mac Cionnaith, the Duffys,

24 Bobby Storey and Spike Murray. Do you see that?

25 A. Yes.

125

1 Q. And so she was said to be in a crew in this leaflet,

2 wasn't she, with a number of individuals who were

3 alleged to be prominent members or former members of the

4 Provisional IRA?

5 A. I wouldn't have known whether all of those people's

6 backgrounds were, but yes, I understand the point you

7 are making.

8 Q. It might have been enough for you to read the words

9 "murdering scum", for instance, or to read the words in

10 connection with Mr Storey, "now IRA Chief of Staff".

11 That might have given a steer?

12 A. The point I am trying to make is that I had no knowledge

13 of whether any of these individuals had any paramilitary

14 association, but I understand the leaflet was suggesting

15 certainly that to be the case.

16 Q. Yes, thank you.

17 Now, the Irish Government or their officials made

18 clear to you that she was extremely distressed by the

19 leaflet, expressed serious concerns about the threat to

20 her personal security and that they fully shared those

21 concerns. That is RNI-106-272 (displayed). Can we see

22 that, please? Do you see?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And this note, together with the leaflet, came into

25 Police Division for your consideration and action,

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1 didn't it?

2 A. It did, yes.

3 Q. Let's look at the letter which you sent out. It is at

4 RNI-106-275 (displayed), dated 6 August, addressed

5 to not the Chief Superintendent this time but the

6 Superintendent, P136:

7 "Please see the attached fax, which is of appalling

8 quality, of a leaflet which is apparently being

9 distributed in Portadown.

10 "The leaflet has been sent to us by the Irish side

11 of the Secretariat having been brought to their

12 attention by Rosemary Nelson. We understand that

13 Mrs Nelson is extremely distressed by the leaflet and is

14 seriously concerned about the threat to her personal

15 security posed by the claims in the leaflet and by the

16 circulation of her address and telephone number."

17 Can I just pick up a couple of points with you about

18 this? You didn't convey to Command Secretariat the

19 Irish Government's concerns about it. Can you explain

20 why?

21 A. Well, I think it is self-evident that if the Irish have

22 raised it with us and we have raised it with the police,

23 that it is a matter of concern to them. I think if you

24 read on in what I'm asking them to do, it doesn't matter

25 who is raising the concerns, particularly there are

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1 concerns being raised.

2 Q. So you were doing sufficient in the rest of the letter

3 to make it clear that concerns were being raised? Is

4 that your answer?

5 A. I'm not sure about the use of the word "sufficient". I

6 was raising the concerns.

7 Q. And so far as the particular points made in the leaflet

8 are concerned, would it be fair to say that you left

9 them to speak for themselves?

10 A. That's correct, yes.

11 Q. So that you didn't highlight, as the Irish have done,

12 the fact that she was described there as being a "former

13 bomber"?

14 A. No, I didn't highlight that.

15 Q. And you didn't highlight the fact that she was described

16 as being a member of this "motley crew"?

17 A. I didn't obviously highlight those --

18 Q. No, you left the police to read it for themselves?

19 A. Yes, exactly.

20 Q. Presumably all those points were pretty obvious to you,

21 just from looking at it?

22 A. A fairly short pamphlet, I think anyone would have

23 picked up the points in it.

24 Q. Yes. So far as the third paragraph is concerned, can I

25 take it that this was another example -- we saw one in

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1 the 23 February letter -- where you were spelling out

2 very clearly the significance of this issue and giving

3 at least suggestions as to what might be appropriate

4 actions for them to consider taking?

5 A. Yes, that's correct and this is in the context, I think,

6 where mostly the threats coming to our office before or

7 communicated via correspondence were about death threats

8 by -- through interview, whereas this was a much more

9 direct situation. I felt it needed to be set out.

10 Q. Indeed, because the leaflet was, in truth, menacing in

11 its tone, was it not?

12 A. It was, yes.

13 Q. Yes. And you say specifically in the second sentence

14 that:

15 "If there is a threat, then the police will talk to

16 them about this."

17 That is a quite general comment, but beyond that you

18 say:

19 "In doing so, and while we could not pre-judge the

20 outcome, Mrs Nelson in particular could ..."

21 Then you make a suggestion effectively of what might

22 be said to her by way of reference to what was actually

23 the KPPS scheme, wasn't it?

24 A. It was, yes.

25 Q. Yes. Presumably your approach to this pamphlet took

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1 into account not only what it said, but also the

2 previous history of concerns, complaints, expressions of

3 anxiety about her security, which we have looked at

4 together during your evidence?

5 A. Yes, it is a continuous run of correspondence and issues

6 and concerns.

7 Q. Yes. And you were aware also of the way in which your

8 previous letter had been dealt with; in other words, the

9 short response of 1 April? And can I ask you whether

10 that influenced the very specific drafting of the third

11 paragraph?

12 A. I can't remember thinking that at the time, but I have

13 no doubt that it did.

14 Q. By this stage in August, the Mulvihill investigation was

15 either beginning or just about to begin and, therefore,

16 the issue of complaints and the original allegations

17 were still very much a live issue as a result of the

18 intervention of the Chief Constable. That was correct,

19 wasn't it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And you were, weren't you, in that third paragraph

22 giving the police a pretty broad hint as to what, in

23 your view, they ought to do in this particular case?

24 A. I was again, as with previous correspondence, trying to

25 to ensure some threat assessment was conducted and then,

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1 if that triggered further action, I wanted them to take

2 further action.

3 Q. And including not just this time the provision of crime

4 prevention or security advice, but a specific point

5 about the availability in certain circumstances of the

6 KPPS scheme?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. You were trying to avoid a repeat, weren't you, of the

9 earlier situation where your efforts resulted in

10 a rather curt response?

11 A. I'm not sure if that's right. I was trying to again get

12 them to do what I felt was appropriate in the

13 circumstances.

14 I mean, obviously in drafting this I was aware of

15 the response I got previously, but I'm not sure whether

16 I sort of -- I'm not sure that at the forefront of my

17 mind was a need to get a different response from last

18 time. What was at the forefront of my mind was dealing

19 with the information that we'd now received.

20 Q. Can we move on to look at the next stage of this -- you

21 deal with it in your statement RNI-841-444

22 (displayed) -- because here you record the arrival from

23 another source -- this is the CAJ -- of another copy of

24 the leaflet?

25 A. Yes.

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1 Q. And, of course, a copy of the handwritten threat note.

2 Do you see that?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You say in the third sentence here:

5 "We did not receive the original handwritten

6 threatening note."

7 Presumably the point you are making there is simply

8 that what you received was a copy?

9 A. A photocopy of the envelope, yes.

10 Q. Yes. Thank you very much.

11 We can see that at RNI-115-351, a better copy

12 (displayed):

13 "We have you in our sights, you Republican bastard.

14 We will teach you a lesson. RIP."

15 That had arrived with Mr Mageean's letter, again

16 raising issues about Rosemary Nelson's safety, of

17 10 August 1998. Could you just look at that, please,

18 RNI-106-287 (displayed)?

19 In the course of a reasonably long letter, the

20 general paragraph at the beginning, he drew attention in

21 the letter, didn't he, to these two documents? There

22 you see penultimate and antepenultimate paragraphs.

23 If we turn over the page, please, having set out his

24 view that these are very definite threats:

25 "He said it was incumbent on the Government to

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1 investigate these matters, but also to provide the

2 necessary protection for Mrs Nelson. We understand that

3 the Government has in the past" et cetera.

4 Here he was again referring, without using the

5 terminology, to the KPPS scheme, was he not?

6 A. He was, yes.

7 Q. Can I ask you, when you received in the Police Division

8 this second letter, with the second copy of the leaflet

9 and the threat note, what did you do with it?

10 A. Well, there is a fax from Lesley Foster to the RUC,

11 which might help on this, of 26 August, which sets out

12 that, unfortunately but factually, it was sent on the

13 26th because of what Lesley referred to, I think, as

14 annual leave or something.

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. And it obviously sat around before being forwarded.

17 Q. Yes. We can see that at RNI-106-307 (displayed).

18 26 August:

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

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

21 days."

22 Just to see how long it had sat around, if you go

23 back to RNI-106-286 (displayed), you will see that the

24 Minister's case comes into your department, Mrs Collins,

25 at the bottom, on 12 August. Do you see that?

133

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And the request there is for advice and a draft reply by

3 the end of August, the 31st. Do you see that?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So it looks as though it took two weeks for the matter

6 to be passed on to Command Secretariat on 26 August,

7 doesn't it?

8 A. Yes, I think that is explained in -- or at least there

9 is a reference to that in Lesley Foster's fax.

10 Q. And that rather gives the impression, doesn't it, that

11 the matter was not being approached or dealt with with

12 any particular urgency?

13 A. It may give that impression, but nonetheless Lesley is

14 upfront about the difficulty in transmitting it and then

15 asks for a reply as soon as possible.

16 Q. So far as you were concerned, am I right in thinking

17 that you had no personal involvement in handling the

18 letter and the attachments and passing it on to the

19 Command Secretariat?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. Yes. Let's look at the letter, RNI-106-308 (displayed),

22 that went out, and as you know, a good deal of

23 controversy later centred around whether or not the fax

24 here, or at any other stage, included both documents

25 because there was a dispute as to whether the threat

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1 note in particular had been received. I don't want to

2 get into any of that.

3 But to move rather to the response that came back

4 which is in fact addressed to you, RNI-106-314

5 (displayed). Now, that was their reply to your letter

6 of the 6th and hers of the 26th. Can I ask you this, do

7 you have any recollection of chasing up a response from

8 them at any point between the 6th and 3 September?

9 A. I do not have a recollection, no.

10 Q. So the pamphlet which on its face disclosed this

11 menacing, as some would see, anyway, threatening comment

12 about Rosemary Nelson received an assessment and

13 a response nearly a month later?

14 A. Yes, but the agent of the state which deals with threat

15 assessment and security is the police service.

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. And this pamphlet was passed on. I accept -- and we

18 have discussed it -- the envelope wasn't passed on as

19 expeditiously as it should have been, but the pamphlet

20 certainly was passed on immediately and into RUC hands

21 to those people who do the assessment and who undertake

22 the consideration of the matter.

23 Q. But we have heard from Anne Colville in her evidence

24 that on occasions she had to chase the police to hurry

25 them up for urgent responses. Wasn't this a case where

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1 a chasing-up would have been merited?

2 A. Given that we were expecting a response to both the 6th

3 and the 26th, I'm not so sure about that because

4 obviously they responded on the 3rd.

5 Q. In a sense you are then taking credit for your own delay

6 by allowing yourself two weeks to pass that on on the

7 26th?

8 A. I'm not taking credit for it. One would want the

9 response the next day.

10 Q. Indeed.

11 A. That's not realistic and the security threat assessment

12 is not something that happens overnight.

13 Q. That's my half an hour.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Right, we will adjourn until 9.15 in the

15 morning.

16 (5.15 pm)

17 (The Inquiry adjourned until 9.15 am the following day)

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