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Full Hearings

Hearing: 30th September 2008, day 55

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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 Tuesday, 30 September 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 55

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Tuesday, 30 September 2008

2 (10.15 am)

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

4 with you, please, before the witness comes in? Is the

5 public area screen fully in place, locked and the key

6 secured?

7 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

9 screen closed?

10 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

12 and securely fastened?

13 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

15 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

16 of this chamber?

17 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

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

19 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

20 shrouded?

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

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

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

24 Housekeeping

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Before witness P146 comes in, I have this

 

 

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1 announcement to make.

2 Tomorrow afternoon, after the scheduled witness has

3 completed his evidence, we shall hear any oral

4 submissions which any Full Participant may wish to make

5 on the issue of closed hearings. All written

6 submissions which we have received will be circulated to

7 all Full Participants this morning, hopefully during the

8 first mid-morning break.

9 Bring the witness in, please.

10 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

11 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

12 switched back on.

13 Please will the witness take the oath.

14 P146 (sworn)

15 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please, sit down.

17 Yes, Mr Phillips?

18 MR PHILLIPS: Can I ask you, do you have in front of you the

19 statement that you have made to the Inquiry?

20 A. I do, yes.

21 Q. Can we have on it on the screen, please, at RNI-840-001

22 (displayed)? Do we see at the end of the statement your

23 ciphered signature at RNI-840-050 (displayed), and the

24 date there of 14 September last year?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. Now, before I begin my questions, you have

2 been granted anonymity and a cipher of P146 and, I hope,

3 now provided with a lists of other relevant ciphers.

4 Please consult the list as and when you wish to make

5 reference to another individual, just to check. If you

6 are in any doubt about that, please say so to avoid

7 difficulty.

8 Looking back at the second page of your statement

9 and paragraph 2 at RNI-840-002 (displayed), we can see

10 that you were appointed to the Complaints and Discipline

11 branch of the RUC in September 1995. Is that right?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And I would like to show you straight away, please,

14 a chart we have of the structure of that department and

15 see if you can help to fill in the details as to how it

16 worked.

17 So my understanding is that the senior officer

18 responsible, delegated to him by the Chief Constable

19 himself, is the Deputy Chief Constable. Is that right?

20 A. That's right.

21 Q. The head of the branch is an assistant chief constable

22 and beneath him a head of department, and then a large

23 number of superintendents for various parts of the

24 branch?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

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1 Q. Your part was right at the extreme right of the chart,

2 based at Gough. Is that correct?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. G. And we see there beneath the superintendent in blue,

5 the various more junior ranks of whom you were one of

6 the chief inspectors?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, just by way of introduction, can you

9 help me by explaining for us all the usual process by

10 which a complaint would have been allocated to you?

11 A. Well, from my recollection it would have been sent down

12 the line, down to the Superintendent at Gough, and I

13 understand he is the one who would generally make the

14 decision as to which officer would deal with the

15 complaint.

16 Q. So it would have been a decision made by your line

17 manager, by the Superintendent?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. And it would then have been his decision, would it, as

20 to which of the relevant investigating officers should

21 take on a particular case?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, you may remember that in one of the

24 cases with which the Inquiry is concerned -- that is the

25 LAJI matter, the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in

 

 

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1 Ireland -- there was something of a dispute right at the

2 outset as to the proper classification of the complaint.

3 I think the issue was whether it was an Article 2

4 complaint. This is very, very early in the history,

5 before you became the investigating officer. Are you

6 aware of that issue?

7 A. I am aware of that now. I wasn't at the time.

8 Q. But taking that as an example, is that sort of issue

9 something that would have been dealt with in our chart

10 here at headquarters, as it were, at the head of the

11 department, rather than at your part of it, which is in

12 G at Gough?

13 A. Yes, I believe it would.

14 Q. Yes. So far as the process is concerned, you set out

15 the usual course in your statement at paragraphs 6 to

16 paragraph 9 and that's at RNI-840-002, if we could have

17 that on the screen, please (displayed).

18 Do you see you begin by talking about what an

19 investigating officer would generally do, and it

20 continues over the page to RNI-840-003 (displayed) -- I

21 am afraid with the screen we normally see one page at

22 a time. Do you see at the top of the page?

23 A. I can see that, yes.

24 Q. Thank you. Can I assume that what you set out there in

25 terms of the conduct of the investigation would

 

 

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1 generally be the position whether or not the complaint

2 was supervised?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Thank you. I would like to focus on a particular aspect

5 of this, which you deal with at the top of the page in

6 this paragraph 6, where, as I understand it, what you

7 say by way of general practice is that the complainant

8 is given a period in which to respond and then

9 essentially one more chance. And if you still didn't

10 get a response and, as you put it, if it appeared the

11 complaint was incapable of investigation on the limited

12 information, you would apply for dispensation?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. When you set that out for us, is that your general

15 practice or the standard practice in the department?

16 A. That's the standard practice.

17 Q. So in crude terms, this looks like a "two strikes and

18 you're out" system. Is that fair?

19 A. It is more or less fair, although there was a certain

20 flexibility within it. If circumstances were brought to

21 your attention, you could stretch the period.

22 Q. But in the usual run of cases then, two opportunities

23 were given and if, at that point, other things being

24 equal it looked as though the investigation was going

25 nowhere, you would apply for dispensation?

 

 

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1 A. That's correct and that wasn't unusual.

2 Q. Thank you. Can you, looking back on it now and thinking

3 of your time in the branch, which lasted until the early

4 part of 1998 full-time when you were transferred

5 elsewhere, over that period of two years or so, can you

6 say how regularly it was that you found yourself

7 applying for dispensation?

8 A. It is difficult to be accurate, although I could look

9 back at the book for that. But I had roughly 300 files

10 and I would say during that period maybe a dozen,

11 possibly 20, would have been dealt with as per reg. 17.

12 Q. So in fact that is a very small minority of your total

13 case load of some 300 files?

14 A. Yes, I would say that would be at the most, the maximum.

15 Q. Does that suggest that in the vast majority of cases --

16 in other words, the other cases -- there was a level of

17 cooperation from complainants in the cases?

18 A. In my cases, yes, that would be so.

19 Q. And again, based on discussions with colleagues and

20 their experiences, do you think that sort of level of

21 dispensation was general throughout your part of the

22 branch?

23 A. Well, that's quite difficult to say because you could

24 have a situation where there would be a lot of

25 complaints come in, maybe from a public order situation

 

 

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1 or a riot or there has been a lot of injuries, and the

2 same officer might get most of those because it all

3 happened in the one general incident. So he could have

4 a disproportionate number of reg. 17s if clients did not

5 come in for interview.

6 Q. And that would skew the statistics, as it were?

7 A. That would skew the statistics.

8 Q. Yes. Thank you. Later on in this section at

9 paragraph 9 at the top of RNI-840-004 (displayed), you

10 say that:

11 "Many complainants would not pursue their complaint,

12 or were advised not to by their legal advisers, until

13 after the criminal case against them had been dealt

14 with."

15 So I have understood this then, they would register

16 their complaint and then effectively try to hold it in

17 abeyance pending the resolution of criminal proceedings.

18 Is that what you mean?

19 A. That is what I mean, but to clarify, the complaint quite

20 often would not say that they were assaulted; it would

21 say they received injuries. So that could be a civil

22 cases or a criminal case, and until you saw the client

23 for clarification, you really didn't know for sure.

24 Q. What about the point you are making here, which is the

25 criminal case against "them"? Presumably you mean the

 

 

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1 complainant here. What would happen in cases of that

2 kind? Would the complaint simply be put on hold while

3 the criminal proceedings were being resolved?

4 A. If they didn't come in to cooperate, yes, it would be

5 put on hold.

6 Q. So in cases that of kind, then, where nothing was

7 happening, you would not apply for an Article 17

8 dispensation?

9 A. I'm trying to think back, but yes, that's correct. No,

10 we wouldn't apply for that.

11 Q. Are you aware of the view, certainly held by some, that

12 complaints were sometimes made as a tactic in either

13 criminal or civil proceedings?

14 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.

15 Q. In other words, that complainants or their lawyers felt

16 the need to register the complaint at the outset in

17 order to preserve their position or to take advantage in

18 some way or another in civil or criminal proceedings?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. Now, presumably you came across cases of that kind

21 during your time in G?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Is it "G Department", by the way?

24 A. Yes, G Department.

25 Q. Complaints and Discipline branch, G Department?

 

 

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1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Thank you very much. Presumably those were the sorts of

3 case where there would tend not to be cooperation

4 because the whole point of the exercise was simply to

5 register the complaint, not actually to pursue it?

6 A. That was always a possibility you had a consider.

7 Q. As an investigating officer, what was the impact of

8 cases like that on the effectiveness of your work?

9 A. Well, clearly it would be difficult to clarify whether

10 the complaint in the first place was criminal or

11 disciplinary in nature or whether it was just civil so

12 you couldn't proceed, or the investigation would be

13 stalled until criminal proceedings took place. It was

14 quite often the case that criminal proceedings would

15 eventually take place, and at that time complainants did

16 provide assistance. Equally, there were quite a few

17 cases where they didn't.

18 Q. So to be clear on that, once the other proceedings,

19 whatever they were, had been resolved, the complaint was

20 simply abandoned?

21 A. Yes, there was quite a few cases where that would --

22 abandoned by the complainant.

23 Q. Yes, thank you. So far as cases of this kind and other

24 cases where there was non-cooperation on the part of the

25 claimant, which is obviously a theme in your statement,

 

 

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1 that, again, must have been a cause of difficulty in

2 your work as an investigating officer?

3 A. Well, I think, as an investigating officer, you want to

4 get to the bottom of allegations as soon as possible and

5 take whatever action is necessary to deal with those,

6 whether that is criminal, disciplinary or advice and

7 guidance, or none of those.

8 Q. So it must on occasions have been frustrating to find

9 that your attempts to progress an investigation were

10 being thwarted by non-cooperation?

11 A. Well, I don't think it was particularly frustrating.

12 I mean, that's just part of the job.

13 Q. What tactics did you have at your disposal and use to

14 encourage cooperation?

15 A. Well, primarily just the sending out of letters, and

16 sometimes I would have adjusted the wording of the

17 letters just to set out the particular difficulties

18 I have, but that would be unusual, to stray from the

19 script, so to speak.

20 Q. So there were standard letters to send out?

21 A. There were standard letters, yes.

22 Q. And occasionally you would adjust the wording to suit

23 the particular case?

24 A. Very, very occasionally. The Nelson case was one such

25 case.

 

 

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1 Q. So most of the time the correspondence, which we see in

2 great profusion in the files, which goes out from you is

3 standard form correspondence?

4 A. Yes, standard format. We have pro formas in the

5 Complaints and Discipline Department which obviously

6 assist the standard format for investigating officers

7 sending out letters.

8 Q. Would you ever pick up the telephone and speak to, for

9 instance, the complainant's lawyer?

10 A. No, that was not recommended procedure.

11 Q. Do you know why that was?

12 A. Well, I think basically it was not our job to try and

13 encourage people to come in in relation to the

14 complaints other than by way of the letters.

15 I think you get into a very complex area there if

16 you do things for one complaint and not for another.

17 But it depended on the nature of the complaint and there

18 was a certain flexibility. I would normally discuss

19 instances like that with the line manager.

20 Q. So before you made an exceptional telephone call like

21 that, you would have to talk to your line manager, would

22 you?

23 A. Generally speaking, yes.

24 Q. Wasn't that all part of just making sure your

25 investigation was a thorough one?

 

 

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1 A. Can you repeat the question?

2 Q. The business of picking up the telephone, doing what you

3 could to persuade people to cooperate, wasn't that just

4 part of your work to make it an effective investigation?

5 A. Yes, and generally speaking there wasn't any problems.

6 Again, in this particular case, I think the evidence

7 shows I did lift the telephone on a few occasions.

8 Q. Can I just look at the question of the nature of the

9 complaints and their motivation? You deal with this in

10 your statement at RNI-840-007 in paragraph 19

11 (displayed). You say that you had been asked if there

12 was a view held within the branch that complaints were

13 made to discredit the police. And you say first that

14 you can't speak for the branch, but you then say:

15 "As regards my personal views and experience, I can

16 say that some may have been."

17 Do I take it from that that you mean some of the

18 complaints that you dealt with may have been intended to

19 discredit the police?

20 A. Yes, a few out of that 300 that I dealt with.

21 Q. But the vast majority were genuine, you say?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. In other words, they were not fabricated with the

24 intention of discrediting the police, but

25 straightforward, presumably honest, statements of

 

 

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1 complaint?

2 A. That was my experience with my files, yes.

3 Q. Yes, thank you.

4 And then can I just ask you, please, about the last

5 two sentences because I think there may be a rogue full

6 stop in here. Do you see, it says:

7 "Regardless of the possible motivation for making

8 the complaint ..."

9 Should that be a comma, in fact?

10 A. That should be a comma, yes.

11 Q. Can I take it then that what you are saying to us there

12 is whatever the motivation your approach was the same,

13 i.e. that you dealt with it in what in your view was

14 a professional manner?

15 A. That's correct, and I should add that the complaints I'm

16 referring to were from both Loyalists and Republicans as

17 well as a vast amount in between.

18 Q. Thank you. As an investigating officer, in a sense you

19 were not concerned, were you, with motivation; you were

20 concerned in getting to the bottom of the allegations

21 made?

22 A. That's absolutely correct, yes.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, just looking back at the earlier

24 comments in this paragraph which you have made, first of

25 all, when you were asked about this general view held

 

 

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1 within the branch and you say, "I can't speak for

2 Complaints and Discipline", can I ask you this: was it

3 a view you heard expressed by your colleagues?

4 A. Well, occasionally with individual cases they might say,

5 you know, "I'm wondering is this genuine, is there some

6 agenda behind it."

7 Q. That was something you heard?

8 A. Yes, it would be part of the options for people to

9 consider that. It wouldn't mean to say they had come to

10 a definite conclusion, but you had to look at all the

11 possibilities when weighing the evidence.

12 Q. What about the complaints that you deal with in your

13 statement: the LAJI complaint, the

14 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaint? Did they in your

15 view come into the vast majority that were genuine?

16 A. This is the 941/97? It was just very difficult to say

17 because the clients never came in for interview at any

18 time during my investigation, so it was hard for me to

19 make any judgment call on that.

20 Q. What about the Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaints

21 arising out of his detention in June 1997?

22 A. Can you ask the question again?

23 Q. It is the same question: did those complaints come under

24 the heading of being genuine; in other words, were they

25 in the vast majority that you describe in this

 

 

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1 paragraph?

2 A. They appeared to be submitted in a genuine manner.

3 There were all sorts of factors to be considered as the

4 investigation went on.

5 Q. You interviewed Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy in

6 relation to those complaints, didn't you?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. And you had an opportunity to form a view about the

9 complaints based on those interviews?

10 A. Yes. And when I interviewed both persons, I considered

11 their evidence as forthright and appeared to be genuine.

12 Q. Indeed, and you say so, don't you, in your statement in

13 paragraphs 53 and 54?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. If we look at that, please, RNI-840-019 (displayed).

16 Here you are dealing with the interview of Colin Duffy

17 and you give your view of the way he came across in the

18 interview in paragraph 54, don't you?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. So far as your workload is concerned, can I take you

21 back to paragraph 4, please, which is at RNI-840-002

22 (displayed).

23 You have told us about the 300 complaints as being

24 your total workload. We have just been discussing that.

25 I now want to focus on the amount you had going at any

 

 

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1 one time, and there you say, I think, that it is

2 about 30. Is that right?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Can I ask you this question -- and it may be that you

5 are not able to give an accurate answer, but perhaps you

6 can give an estimate: of the total of 300 or so that you

7 investigated, can you remember how many resulted in

8 either prosecution or disciplinary proceedings?

9 A. I can't recall, but it wouldn't be a very large number.

10 Q. 10, five?

11 A. I really can't recall it. I would be guessing at this

12 stage.

13 Q. Do you remember in relation to the question of how many

14 cases were dispensed under Article 17, you offered

15 a figure of the 300 when I asked you? Are you not able

16 to do the same in relation to the question of

17 prosecutions and disciplinary proceedings? Have a rough

18 guess?

19 A. I haven't really researched that, but a rough guess,

20 20/30, possibly.

21 Q. So again, a small minority, perhaps a slightly larger

22 number than the dispensations?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Can I ask you another couple of questions about

25 dispensations because here we are going to be looking at

 

 

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1 a case where an application for dispensation was refused

2 in relation to the LAJI cases, and you deal with this in

3 some detail in your statement. But in general, was it

4 your experience that your applications for dispensation,

5 the small minority mentioned earlier, were granted?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Yes. Can you remember another case when an application

8 made by you for dispensation was refused?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Thank you. Can we look in a little more detail at the

11 procedure which you have set out in your statement --

12 and now I'm back in paragraph 7 at RNI-840-003

13 (displayed) -- because there you talk about the

14 form 17/3.

15 In your own words, what was the purpose of the 17/3

16 form?

17 A. Well, the 17/3 form was there to notify officers that

18 a complaint had been made against them and pretty much

19 what the complaint was about. It had to be served as

20 soon as possible was best practice, and certainly within

21 a month normally.

22 Q. Why was that? Why was that the best practice, to serve

23 it as soon as possible?

24 A. I think officers were entitled -- officers were entitled

25 to know that complaints had been made against them and

 

 

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1 I really wouldn't want to elaborate on that any further.

2 I think you would need to look at the regulations, where

3 this came from.

4 I know whenever I came into Complaints and

5 Discipline branch, there was some concerns about the

6 amount of information that you put in a 17/3 --

7 Q. Namely that -- sorry to interrupt you.

8 A. But that was normal procedure and practice. That

9 was what was recommended.

10 Q. What was the concern about: that there was too much, too

11 little? What was the concern?

12 A. Occasionally the concern was that perhaps this gave the

13 officers too much.

14 Q. That it gave them too much information?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. We see in some of the files that you handled that some

17 of these 17/3 forms are very long. They run to a number

18 of pages?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. So there was some concern when you arrived in the

21 department, was there, that too much was given away in

22 the 17/3 form?

23 A. There was concern in the ICPC because you have an

24 introductory meeting with the ICPC and they in

25 particular expressed some concerns about that. But

 

 

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1 nevertheless, the procedure continued. The ICPC didn't

2 raise any issues about it to my knowledge; certainly in

3 my investigations prior to this case.

4 Q. So you continued -- is this right, then? -- to give

5 a substantial amount of detail about the complaint in

6 those forms?

7 A. Well, if we are talking about this specific case and the

8 Lawyers Alliance case, I checked that with my supervisor

9 and with Miss McNally.

10 Q. The terms of the 17/3?

11 A. Yes, the information that I was going to put in the

12 17/3.

13 Q. Can we just look at an example together, please? It is

14 at RNI-203-131 (displayed).

15 Now, this is one of the LAJI 17/3 forms because we

16 can see the reference to the typed statement, which, as

17 you tell us in your statement, emerged some time later

18 in the course of your long investigation. I would just

19 like to go through various parts of the form with you,

20 if I may.

21 The first thing to clarify for my own benefit,

22 because it is going to help me later, is do you see in

23 the first box under "notice of report", where somebody

24 has filled in the rank in handwriting? Do you see that,

25 "detective sergeant"?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Is that your handwriting?

3 A. No.

4 Q. It is not? Right, thank you very much.

5 Looking down in the form, halfway down, there is

6 a paragraph under paragraph 2 -- could we enlarge that,

7 please:

8 "You don't have to say anything, but I must caution

9 you that if you don't mention when questioned something

10 which you later rely on in any subsequent disciplinary

11 proceedings, it may harm your defence."

12 Then this sentence:

13 "You may, if you so desire, make a written or oral

14 statement to the investigating officer or the

15 Chief Constable or the police authority as appropriate.

16 Anything you mention when questioned or any written or

17 oral statement you make may be given in evidence at such

18 disciplinary proceedings."

19 So as far as we can tell then, this 17/3 form offers

20 the opportunity to make both a written and/or an oral

21 statement to the investigating officer?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. Now, you know that one of the issues that became

24 contentious much later on in the history, much later on

25 than this form, which we see is from late October 1997,

 

 

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1 was about the question of pre-prepared statements.

2 As far as you were concerned as an investigating

3 officer, what was that sentence, which we had on the

4 screen before it disappeared, getting at? What was it

5 offering the officer an opportunity to do when it said:

6 "You may, if you desire, make a written or oral

7 statement"?

8 A. I think at the very least it was informing the officer

9 of his rights, and at the time that form was served, he

10 could make a verbal comment which would have been

11 recorded on the back of it by the person that was

12 serving it on him, which was sometimes me or sometimes

13 somebody at the station of a senior rank. And he could

14 also at that time, or at a later date, make a written

15 statement in answer to the allegations.

16 Q. If we take those two stages, the first at RNI-203-134

17 (displayed) -- this is your statement and it is the

18 statement which records the handing over of the 17/3

19 form, and records in the box in the middle of the page,

20 doesn't it, any response from the officer? Is that

21 right?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. Is this in your handwriting?

24 A. That's all in my handwriting, yes.

25 Q. Thank you. But in relation to the second stage you have

 

 

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1 mentioned, the provision of a written statement, was it

2 common in your experience for officers against whom

3 complaints were being made to hand over a written

4 statement to you?

5 A. I wouldn't say it is common; it doesn't happen in every

6 case or anything like it, but it would quite often

7 happen in complicated cases.

8 Q. And in such cases, would that be something that they or

9 their adviser, if any, would decide to do?

10 A. Well, it would be their decision or their adviser, as

11 you say.

12 Q. In general, was it something that you suggested to

13 officers against whom complaints were being made?

14 A. No, I didn't suggest it apart from the wording on the

15 form, or I would confirm if they said, well, you know,

16 what's that, after caution or witness statement. I

17 would say, "Well, it is a witness statement until you

18 are caution by a senior officer, and if you hand it in,

19 you would still be questioned by me after caution."

20 I'm talking about general cases here; I'm not

21 talking about this specific case.

22 Q. We will come to look at the terms of the dispute about

23 this later, but as I understand it, your position on

24 this is that there was nothing in principle

25 objectionable about the putting in of a prepared

 

 

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1 statement, your approach being nevertheless to carry on

2 and conduct the interview, ask all the relevant

3 questions in any event. Is that a fair summary?

4 A. Absolutely, and I would add that I would use that

5 procedure quite often myself in protracted

6 investigations.

7 Q. What do you mean by that, sorry?

8 A. If I was the subject of a complaint or investigation, I

9 would on occasions, not every occasion by any means, but

10 on occasions where I thought it appropriate, I would

11 have prepared a statement.

12 Q. So you would prepare your own statement?

13 A. Yes, we are not talking about Complaints and Discipline

14 here; we are talking about whenever I was operational.

15 Q. Yes. Now, can we turn to look at the role of the ICPC?

16 You deal with this in your statement at RNI-840-004

17 (displayed). You say there in paragraph 10 that:

18 "It was generally only the very serious complaints

19 or politically sensitive cases which the ICPC chose to

20 supervise."

21 And that, reading your statement, would appear to be

22 your impression based on your experience. Is that fair?

23 A. That was based on my experience.

24 Q. Yes. And again, you are working alongside colleagues --

25 they are doing the same work as you were -- do you think

 

 

25

 

1 that was a generally held view?

2 A. Yes, I think it would have been. That was an experience

3 with files coming into Gough at that time.

4 Q. Did you ever have a case where a decision was taken to

5 supervise which you didn't accept or agree with?

6 A. Never.

7 Q. No. And how in general would the business of

8 supervision work out in practice? Would you begin by

9 having a meeting with the supervising member, for

10 example?

11 A. I would attempt to do so, yes.

12 Q. And would it be your responsibility to ensure that the

13 supervising member was provided with the necessary

14 information and documents, briefing, et cetera?

15 A. Yes, I would do that personally or get some of the

16 assistants in the office to send material out.

17 Q. So part of your work then was to ensure that the

18 supervising member was fully informed and had whatever

19 material they needed to do the supervision?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And to what extent did you discuss with the supervising

22 member your approach to the investigation?

23 A. Well, I always tried to be very open in relation to that

24 and say, "Well, here are the allegations. Here is the

25 evidence we have." I would discuss what my proposals

 

 

26

 

1 were at that stage, see if there was agreement, and we

2 would proceed from there.

3 So if there was some disagreement, which usually

4 there wasn't that I can recall, we would talk it through

5 and come to some solution on it.

6 Q. And presumably conversations in the general run of cases

7 would continue as the investigation proceeded, you would

8 decide what to do next and talk to the supervising

9 member about it?

10 A. That's correct. You would be building the case as you

11 went along.

12 Q. Where in all of this was the constructive tension which

13 you refer to in paragraph 12 of your statement?

14 A. I think that's just something you have when you have an

15 organisation that is supervising complaints. It is not

16 negative tension; it is constructive tension.

17 Q. How did it manifest itself?

18 A. Well, on occasions perhaps you would be asked, "Why are

19 you doing this, would you not do that?" and you would

20 possibly have a discussion in relation to that. And it

21 may have been the case that my interpretation was

22 correct or the other person's interpretation was correct

23 or there was some compromise in between. So I think

24 that was a healthy thing to have.

25 We certainly didn't have a situation where ICPC

 

 

27

 

1 members were coming down and just letting you get on

2 with things, you know.

3 Q. So in general then, when the relationship worked, it was

4 of benefit to the investigation?

5 A. I think it was very good. It was good to have that sort

6 of supervision on big investigations.

7 Q. Now, we know that the particular complaints with which

8 the Inquiry is concerned, there was the same supervising

9 member, Geralyn McNally. Presumably in the course of

10 your career in the department you worked with other

11 supervising members?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. Did ever encounter difficulties in your working

14 relationship with any of them?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Can I take it from your statement that as between you

17 and Geralyn McNally, there was something other than, as

18 you put it, the normal constructive tension?

19 A. I don't really understand the question.

20 Q. Well, as I understand it, you say that in general your

21 experience was that there would be this constructive

22 tension between your side and the ICPC, and you have

23 also said that you didn't have difficulties with other

24 supervising members, haven't you?

25 A. That's correct, yes.

 

 

28

 

1 Q. So can I take it, therefore, that what happened with

2 Geralyn McNally went beyond what is set out in your

3 statement as being normal, constructive tension?

4 A. I don't feel it did. I mean, there certainly was

5 constructive tension in that investigation and I was

6 challenged from time to time and some points were

7 questioned -- maybe "challenged" is not the best word;

8 certainly questioned on why certain things were

9 happening and so forth.

10 But I just accepted that as Miss McNally's way of

11 managing her supervision of the investigation. And it

12 really, to be absolutely honest, was not until March,

13 which was the final month I was involved in the

14 investigation, the year after the LAJI complaints, that

15 these very serious issues came to light, and I'm still

16 not clear entirely what was going on during that period.

17 Q. Well, the chronology is rather important here. Just to

18 be clear, when you say it wasn't until March, do you

19 mean March 1998?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. That's when the formal letter went out to your line

22 manager, the Superintendent?

23 A. That's correct. There had been a few questions asked

24 before then about various things, which no doubt we will

25 cover. They are covered in my statement anyway. But

 

 

29

 

1 there was nothing that led me to believe there was any

2 serious issue.

3 Q. So we will most certainly come back to this, but are you

4 saying then that until that point in March 1998 you

5 would have characterised it as a normal relationship

6 between you as the investigating officer and

7 Geralyn McNally as the supervising member?

8 A. Well, normal is a difficult word. As the investigation

9 progressed, there were requests to extend timelines in

10 the investigation beyond what you would normally do, and

11 I accepted that okay.

12 I was asked to delay interviews on detectives,

13 particularly in relation to the LAJI complaints, which

14 I agreed to do, but I was concerned as things progressed

15 at that stage that it was starting to drift,

16 particularly from December to February. There really

17 wasn't any progress.

18 Q. You deal with this in your statement and we will turn to

19 it, but there was clearly a period where you felt,

20 between the end of 1997 and I think it was February

21 and March 1998, where you were effectively being asked,

22 in your view anyway, to hold off the interviews of the

23 officers in the LAJI complaint?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Yes. Can I ask you a couple of questions about the ICPC

 

 

30

 

1 more generally because in this same paragraph, 12 -- it

2 is at the very bottom of the screen now -- you say:

3 "There was of course pressure on the ICPC to get

4 results, whilst we always based our investigations on

5 the evidence before us."

6 I would like to ask you, please, about the pressure

7 that you refer to there. What sort of pressure do you

8 mean?

9 A. Well, I personally am not in a great position to talk

10 about that, but it was in the -- in the papers at the

11 time that the ICPC were likely to be replaced by the

12 Ombudsman. There was questions about their role.

13 It goes back to what I said about all the cases I

14 had and only 30 discipline conclusions to them where

15 action was taken in relation to officers. That was the

16 general picture being painted. I think it generally is

17 against organisations that are trying to manage

18 investigations of police, but there was particular

19 pressure on ICPC that they weren't -- the perception was

20 they weren't getting the results they should get as

21 regards numbers of complaints coming in and numbers of

22 officers that were being subjected to criminal and

23 disciplinary successes.

24 Q. So this was a reference then, was it, to the comment and

25 concern expressed certainly in 1997, 1998 about the

 

 

31

 

1 relatively small number of cases that were brought home

2 under the disciplinary system, either in criminal

3 prosecutions or disciplinary findings?

4 A. That's correct. I think it pre-dated that. I joined in

5 1995 and that was certainly the subject of some

6 conversations at that stage.

7 Q. And by the time with which we are particularly

8 concerned, 1997, 1998, and indeed afterwards, of course

9 the decision had been taken as a result of the Hayes

10 Report to reform the system and to set up the

11 Ombudsman's office?

12 A. I believe that's right.

13 Q. So the pressure there, which you yourself refer to in

14 your statement, is the pressure then of perception that

15 the system wasn't working effectively. Is that a fair

16 summary?

17 A. Yes, that's a fair summary of the perception, yes.

18 Q. And how would it be experienced? How would you feel the

19 pressure on the ICPC to get results?

20 A. Well, I can remember in particular one meeting that I

21 had shortly after I joined Complaints and Discipline,

22 and there were a few other officers who were joining at

23 that stage as well. And we received a talk, I think it

24 was at the ICPC offices, and the main gist of the

25 address that we got was that we needed to get results,

 

 

32

 

1 that it really wasn't good enough that there weren't

2 enough successful prosecutions against police officers.

3 We needed to do better, and I think the consensus coming

4 back from the officers attending that meeting was we

5 absolutely agree, but you understand that a lot of these

6 complaints are very difficult because -- for various

7 reason: non-cooperation being one; officers knowing

8 their rights being another. We can talk about that for

9 ages, but it is a difficult process at the best of

10 times. We have to come to our decisions based on the

11 evidence available.

12 So there was a bit of a debate going around that,

13 but the conclusion would have been, "Yes, we agree, you

14 have to reach a conclusion on the basis of evidence."

15 Q. So in a sense, it was pressure on both parts of the

16 system, whether or not it was possible to do anything

17 about it? It was pressure on your part as much as on

18 the ICPC?

19 A. Yes, I would say so.

20 Q. Yes. Was there a sense that you had at the time that

21 perhaps because of the Ombudsman changes which were in

22 the offing, this was, if I can put it this way,

23 political pressure, i.e. that there was pressure in the

24 wider political arena, on the Complaints and Discipline

25 system?

 

 

33

 

1 A. No, I can honestly say I wasn't very conscious of that

2 at all until October 1997, whenever there was

3 a resurgence of stories briefly in the press; the

4 Belfast Telegraph, for example, and so on. Whenever

5 Mr Cumaraswamy was in the country.

6 Q. Coinciding with the visit of the Special Rapporteur?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. You said earlier, if you look in paragraph 10, that the

9 decision to supervise as far as you could see was

10 generally only taken with very serious complaints or

11 politically sensitive cases. Did you feel this pressure

12 especially in those times of politically sensitive,

13 supervised cases?

14 A. Not really. I knew it was an issue, but I cannot say

15 I felt under any undue pressure myself.

16 I knew from the outset of the LAJI complaints that

17 there was a political element almost straight away, in

18 that in the two initial letters they suggested that the

19 RUC should not be investigating the RUC. So that is an

20 objective comment, I think, by myself, that there was

21 a political issue there, whether the RUC or the police

22 should be investigating the police in that case.

23 Q. So you saw the LAJI complaint from the outset, or from

24 the time you started to deal with it anyway, did you, as

25 having a wider political context?

 

 

34

 

1 A. Well, again, that was a possibility. It was

2 certainly -- if there was an issue at the end of my

3 investigation, that, well, whatever the result, maybe if

4 the result was a good one that might have been okay, but

5 I suspected that whatever the result might be, my

6 investigation would still be subject to pretty close

7 scrutiny.

8 Q. In paragraph 13 of your statement at RNI-840-003

9 (displayed), you touch on the question of how your

10 branch was regarded by other colleagues. You say

11 somewhat opaquely, if you don't mind me saying so:

12 "There were many different perceptions of the

13 branch."

14 Then:

15 "Most just saw that we had a job to do and

16 cooperated with us on that."

17 Can you be a little more detailed for me, please?

18 What were the points of view that colleagues had about

19 the branch?

20 A. Well, I don't think I can be. You are asking me for

21 a very general comment. You could say perceptions right

22 across the range.

23 Q. Well, you were investigating the work of police officers

24 who were often working under very difficult conditions,

25 weren't you?

 

 

35

 

1 A. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. And presumably the last thing they wanted in the middle

3 of that difficult work was to have another member of the

4 same police force bowling along and subjecting them to

5 an interview at the instance of a complainant?

6 A. Well, that might apply to some officers; very few in my

7 experience. As I say, most just saw we had a job to do

8 and cooperated with it.

9 Q. But you do not have to be a police officer to know that

10 internal investigation branches of any organisation are

11 not always the most popular branches of the

12 organisation. That must be a fair comment, surely?

13 A. It comes with the territory, you are disliked by some.

14 Q. Indeed. Amongst the different perceptions, presumably

15 there must have been some RUC officers who resented your

16 arrival on the scene and, indeed, presumably had

17 a pretty jaundiced view about the branch as a whole?

18 A. Certainly they might have resented it or appeared to

19 resent our appearance, but only some officers.

20 Q. But that was one of the difficulties surely that you and

21 your colleagues within the branch had to deal with

22 day-to-day in your work?

23 A. Yes, it was always a possibility. You never knew what

24 reception you would get whenever you went out to

25 interview an officer.

 

 

36

 

1 Q. That must have been a form or a source of pressure on

2 you, surely, because you would be weighing up the fate,

3 sometimes, at least potentially, the career of a fellow

4 officer in doing your work and in writing reports?

5 A. It wasn't really an issue for me. Obviously that is

6 a possible outcome of a complaint, but I have no problem

7 if there were any bad apples, any officers who were

8 committing criminal or disciplinary offences, I would

9 have prosecuted, and have done in the past.

10 Q. Did you come across colleagues whose reaction to

11 complaints was that they were fabricated and really just

12 a waste of their time?

13 A. Yes, occasionally you came across that.

14 Q. So, again, as the person who was charged -- it was your

15 job -- to investigate complaints in those circumstances,

16 it must have made things rather difficult for you?

17 A. Not necessarily, no.

18 Q. And you didn't have a choice, but the very fact that you

19 were putting them through an investigation can't have

20 made you very popular?

21 A. You know, it was a question of -- whether we are talking

22 about hypothetical or specific. I would not have

23 considered complaints to be fabricated. Certainly in

24 relation to this investigation, I considered all

25 options. So that might have been their opinion, but it

 

 

37

 

1 didn't make things difficult for me because I would say,

2 "I'm here to investigate the facts."

3 Q. But am I right in taking it from your last sentence of

4 paragraph 13 that the majority, perhaps the substantial

5 majority, of people you had to deal with -- in other

6 words, the people you had to investigate -- just let you

7 get on with it and saw it as your job just as they were

8 doing their job?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Can I ask you briefly about Rosemary Nelson? As I

11 understand it -- this is your paragraph 14 at

12 RNI-840-005 (displayed) -- you had no particular

13 knowledge of or dealings with her before you started to

14 deal with the LAJI complaints. Do you see that?

15 A. Yes, I have got it now.

16 Q. You hadn't come across her in your earlier work?

17 A. I didn't come across her personally, no.

18 Q. No.

19 A. I knew about her, but my knowledge was limited, as I say

20 there.

21 Q. What had you picked up, as you put it, from the media

22 and through your job?

23 A. Just, as I say, she was a solicitor working in Lurgan

24 and a good advocate for her clients. That was it at the

25 time.

 

 

38

 

1 Q. You didn't have a perception of the sort of client base

2 she had?

3 A. No, not at all.

4 Q. Did you hear any views expressed about her by your

5 colleagues?

6 A. On occasions when files were coming through. To go back

7 to your previous question, the area she was in, her

8 client base would have been primarily from the Catholic,

9 Nationalist community, if you like, but not exclusively

10 so. And if her name did come up during any

11 investigations, it was just in relation to maybe

12 complaints coming in where there was or there wasn't

13 very much cooperation.

14 Q. But did they tend, those sort of comments, to be about

15 the fact that there wasn't very much cooperation rather

16 than there was?

17 A. No, not really. Some of her files, there was full

18 cooperation and others there weren't.

19 Q. So you remember colleagues, do you, coming in to tell

20 you that there had been cooperation in a Rosemary Nelson

21 case?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Right. Now, in terms of your perception of her profile,

24 you deal with this in paragraph 72 of your statement at

25 RNI-840-024 (displayed), and what you say there at the

 

 

39

 

1 bottom of the page is that:

2 "Her profile increased significantly

3 between October 1997 and her death in March 1999", you

4 say.

5 Presumably that was something you were aware of

6 apart from your dealing with these complaint files?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. Yes. So that whereas you say at various points in your

9 statement that, you know, outside interest was coming in

10 and there was a great deal of correspondence that made

11 you aware, presumably, of the increase in profile, you

12 were also hearing from other sources, perhaps from the

13 media, more and more about her?

14 A. That's correct, and particularly so after March 1998.

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. And from that time onwards, I really had no dealings

17 with Mrs Nelson or the investigations. But in my new

18 post, I suppose you could say I watched with some alarm

19 the increasing publicity on TV and in the papers,

20 internationally, on the Internet and I was just

21 concerned about such a big profile.

22 Q. What made you concerned?

23 A. Well, the same way that I would be concerned about

24 anybody who had a high profile role in Northern Ireland,

25 certainly at the time, and was involved in contentious

 

 

40

 

1 issues.

2 There is a threat to those people, a general threat.

3 I'm not saying there is a specific threat. The same has

4 applied to me from time to time. I'm not comparing

5 myself to Mrs Nelson in any way, but there are certain

6 times whenever there has been publicity that you

7 wouldn't particularly welcome because it brings you to

8 notice.

9 Q. You remember, do you, believing or feeling at the time,

10 after March 1998, you said, concern at her increasing

11 profile?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Because in general terms -- not specific terms -- you

14 would have regarded that as putting her at greater risk?

15 A. In my opinion, my professional opinion, yes.

16 Q. Because she was involved in contentious and

17 controversial issues?

18 A. That's correct. I mean, I'm not being critical of what

19 she was involved in in any way whatever. I think she

20 was very courageous, but it was dangerous.

21 Q. And she was working, wasn't she, in a volatile and

22 dangerous part of Northern Ireland?

23 A. Very much so, yes.

24 Q. Where sectarian tensions were, if anything, even more

25 heightened than in other parts of Northern Ireland?

 

 

41

 

1 A. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. Now, just to ask you about this: you gave your final

3 reports on the two big complaints -- the LAJI complaint

4 and the Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaint, which you

5 did with other senior officers, I know -- in April 1998,

6 didn't you?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. By that stage your actual post was elsewhere?

9 A. And had been since January.

10 Q. Indeed. And as you explain in your statement, your

11 involvement in these matters over the next year,

12 until March 1999, was slight and intermittent. Other

13 things were going on that you weren't being involved in?

14 A. That's correct. At the very most it was slight and

15 intermittent.

16 Q. Yes. So can I take it then that what you knew, what you

17 learnt about Rosemary Nelson and her profile during that

18 period of about a year, just under a year, must have

19 come from sources other than these complaints files?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And I would like to find out what the sources were in

22 a little more detail.

23 You have mentioned the media coverage. Would that

24 be one of them?

25 A. Yes, that's correct.

 

 

42

 

1 Q. As I understand it, you didn't have any other direct

2 dealings with Rosemary Nelson in your other post?

3 A. No, none at all.

4 Q. So we can rule out that. Would it have been

5 conversations and discussions with colleagues?

6 A. No.

7 Q. So are you saying it was based entirely on media

8 coverage?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you very much.

11 Now, before we look at the individual complaints,

12 can I ask you to look, please, at paragraph 16 of your

13 statement at RNI-840-005 (displayed), because here you

14 make a comment about documents and you say that you have

15 been provided with a list of files. If you look at the

16 end of this paragraph, which is on the next page, rather

17 confusingly just above another paragraph numbered 16 you

18 say:

19 "I have not been provided with the complete reports

20 for each investigation and related correspondence. This

21 has hindered my ability to comment fully on matters.

22 The complete complaint investigation files, which

23 I prepared and signed, should be looked at in their

24 entirety. They contain a large volume of

25 documentation."

 

 

43

 

1 It is right, isn't it, that since this statement you

2 have been provided with a good deal of further material?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And you have also been afforded the opportunity, if you

5 wish to take it, to inspect the complete files here at

6 the Inquiry?

7 A. I believe so, yes.

8 Q. Yes. Thank you very much.

9 Do you have the table of complaints that we have

10 prepared? It looks like that (indicates).

11 A. Yes, I do.

12 Could I bring you back to the previous question,

13 just very briefly?

14 Q. Yes, absolutely.

15 A. The point that I was making there wasn't in relation to

16 facilities the Inquiry team have given me, but just in

17 relation to those files, you will have seen that some of

18 them are very large, quite complex, with four sections

19 of various categories, and they probably reach the

20 height of this roof.

21 It was just meant in relation to a lot of comments

22 that have come from various people about my

23 investigations and just to point out that my files are

24 there. They are available to be looked at through

25 yourselves and there is absolutely nothing to hide in

 

 

44

 

1 them, but they are very detailed and they are very

2 complex.

3 Q. Thank you very much.

4 Now, looking at the complaints with which we are

5 concerned, and this table in particular, what we have

6 tried to do in order to limit at least some of the paper

7 we need to look at today, is to set out the various

8 matters that you investigated and the relevant

9 references, the date of the original complaint, a column

10 about Rosemary Nelson's role, which we will come back

11 to, the nature of the complaint, the identity and

12 including some ciphers, as you see, of the investigating

13 officers -- clearly, the point of this is that you are

14 the investigating officer in common -- as to whether the

15 complaint was supervised -- the next column -- and

16 finally as to whether it was investigated, as it were,

17 for the second time, by Commander Mulvihill.

18 Now, looking at this, we can see that of these

19 files, there are nine on this table, and Rosemary Nelson

20 appears in one capacity or another in, I think, five of

21 them, and some six of them were supervised.

22 I think in each case they were supervised by

23 Geralyn McNally; is that right?

24 A. Yes, I believe that's right.

25 Q. Can I ask you this question: we have talked about your

 

 

45

 

1 working relationship with her, we have talked about your

2 working relationship with other supervising members of

3 the ICPC. The first complaint supervised by her which

4 you dealt with, in time is the LAJI complainant. Do you

5 see, the second one on this table?

6 A. Yes, I see that.

7 Q. Can I ask you this question: had you worked on

8 a complaint with her before?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You had? Can you remember how many times you had done

11 that?

12 A. Well, she hadn't been with the ICPC very long, so I can

13 only recall one. There may have been a second. It

14 doesn't stand out in my mind.

15 Q. Can I take it from your previous answer that there had

16 been no difficulties in that relationship in the course

17 of the investigation of that complaint?

18 A. No significant difficulties, no.

19 Q. While we have this on the table in front of us, can I

20 return to something I mentioned earlier in relation to

21 the Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaint. That is the

22 third on the table on the first page.

23 Do you see, under the heading "Investigating

24 Officers", there are in fact three listed? Now, in

25 order, P155 was your line manager, I think. Is that

 

 

46

 

1 right?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. He is a superintendent?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And ACC Stewart, was he the head of the branch at that

6 point?

7 A. I don't think so, no.

8 Q. You don't think he was?

9 A. No.

10 Q. So he was an assistant chief constable from somewhere

11 else in the RUC?

12 A. Yes, I think he had a headquarters post in Belfast.

13 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you to help as to why in that

14 case there were two senior officers involved alongside

15 you?

16 A. Well, simply because there were senior officers who had

17 to be questioned in relation to these complaints as

18 regards PACE procedures, et cetera, and PACE procedures

19 need authorisations from senior officers as people go

20 through custody. So there were chief inspectors who had

21 to be interviewed by a senior rank, so that would be

22 a superintendent, and for superintendents and chief

23 superintendents, the Assistant Chief Constable would

24 have had to interview them.

25 Q. So this is part of the system whereby a certain space in

 

 

47

 

1 terms of rank was required between the interviewing

2 officer and the officer being interviewed?

3 A. That's correct. It wouldn't be appropriate for a chief

4 inspector like myself to be interviewing a chief

5 superintendent.

6 Q. Indeed. Thank you very much.

7 Now, so far as the nine complaints on the table are

8 concerned, in terms of threats to life, it looks as

9 though it was the LAJI complaint -- we have seen

10 a massive amount of detail about this in the files --

11 which contained that particular element, and obviously

12 the life alleged to be concerned there was

13 Rosemary Nelson's, wasn't it?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. So far as the questions I would now like to put to you

16 are concerned, they are going to focus, so you are

17 aware, on the LAJI matter and on the

18 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson matter.

19 Looking at LAJI first, can we look together, please,

20 at the letter from that organisation which kicked the

21 whole thing off, and that is at RNI-202-002 (displayed)?

22 If we look at the letter together, you see the point

23 comes up very quickly in the second paragraph that:

24 "Rosemary Nelson has been subject to death threats

25 emanating from an RUC detective. These threats have

 

 

48

 

1 been communicated to her through several clients."

2 And then two paragraphs on:

3 "She initially considered the threats to be attempts

4 at intimidation. However ..."

5 In the last sentence:

6 "... these threats have become more insistent and

7 ominous of late."

8 Can I ask you this question, please: we know you

9 came to investigate this complaint as the second

10 investigating officer after Chief Inspector Gamble, in,

11 I think, May or June 1997. Is that right?

12 A. I think it was May.

13 Q. Thank you very much. When were you first aware, do you

14 think, of this letter?

15 A. I think I was aware of it in late April.

16 Q. It looks from your statement as though you were

17 certainly aware of it before you took over the reins as

18 investigating officer?

19 A. Yes. I mean, the set-up in the Complaints and

20 Disciplines office where I was, you had four desks, four

21 chief inspectors. So you were really working on files

22 and you would be aware of files coming up.

23 Q. So you would be discussing issues in your cases as they

24 came up with your colleagues?

25 A. Yes, from time to time.

 

 

49

 

1 Q. So it looks then, does it, as though that officer,

2 Chief Inspector Gamble, would have told you about this

3 particular complaint and you think it is at that point

4 you were aware of this letter?

5 A. Yes, yes.

6 Q. This was a very unusual route for a complaint to come

7 into your branch, wasn't it?

8 A. Unusual, yes, but I think it came down from

9 headquarters. It was unusual coming into Complaints and

10 Discipline branch at headquarters.

11 Q. Indeed. It came from an organisation based in

12 New Jersey and came to Complaints and Discipline from

13 Command Secretariat?

14 A. Correct, yes.

15 Q. You say in paragraph 21 of your statement that it was

16 a very serious and politically sensitive complaint.

17 That is at RNI-840-008 (displayed). Do you see that?

18 A. Yes, I see that.

19 Q. Because of the nature of the allegations. Can I just

20 ask you about that, please? Was that something that was

21 well understood by you and, indeed, by

22 Chief Inspector Gamble when you were discussing the

23 letter?

24 A. Yes, absolutely.

25 Q. It was obvious, as it were, from the outset?

 

 

50

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You say it was politically sensitive because of the

3 nature of the allegations. Is that because they were

4 allegations of threats against a lawyer?

5 A. Yes, yes, primarily that.

6 Q. Was it also because of the source of the allegations,

7 namely this American group with an obvious interest in

8 political affairs in Northern Ireland?

9 A. Well, not necessarily, although obviously that was

10 a factor. But I had been on the job for quite a long

11 time and I can remember all the material about

12 interrogations in the late 70s, the Bennett Report,

13 et cetera. So there were issues there about the

14 interrogation centres at Gough, and that was potentially

15 very politically sensitive.

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

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), before the witness leaves, would

18 you please confirm that all the cameras have been

19 switched off?

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

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

22 We will have a break of a quarter of an hour.

23 (11.30 am)

24 (Short break)

25 (11.45 am)

 

 

51

 

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

2 with you, please, before the witness comes in?

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

4 the key secured?

5 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than the Inquiry personnel

13 and Participants' legal representatives seated in the

14 body of the chamber?

15 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr (name redacted), can you confirm that the witness

17 cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

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

19 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras switched off?

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

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Bring the witness in, please.

22 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

23 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

24 switched back on.

25 Yes, Mr Phillips?

 

 

52

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Before we return to look at the LAJI complaint

2 in a little more detail, can I just ask you to have

3 another look at this table, the one with the light blue

4 on the top?

5 A. Yes, I've got it.

6 Q. Are you able to help with this? Can you remember

7 whether any of these nine cases resulted in either

8 criminal or disciplinary proceedings?

9 A. To the best of my knowledge, none of them did, although,

10 as I say, I left those files in 1998.

11 Q. Indeed, thank you very much.

12 Now, returning to this specific LAJI complaint, can

13 I ask you, please, to look at paragraph 21 of your

14 statement at RNI-840-008 (displayed)? We looked at this

15 paragraph a little earlier, and the section of it I

16 would now like to look at with you comes a little

17 earlier than the sentence we were focusing on before.

18 You say, five lines down:

19 "It was the first time that I had come across

20 a complaint of threats against a solicitor."

21 And it was also the only case of that kind that you

22 dealt with during your time in the branch, wasn't it?

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. A little later on in your statement, at paragraph 28 at

25 RNI-840-011 (displayed), you say that even before all of

 

 

53

 

1 this arose -- this is in the context of a later stage in

2 the investigation, when you are dealing with alerting

3 the other officers, the Subdivisional Commander in

4 Lurgan. I think your memorandum is in July, but you

5 see:

6 "Even before all of this arose, it was apparent that

7 some defence lawyers were particularly vulnerable, just

8 as police officers and Army personnel were. This was

9 especially so for some lawyers with a high profile

10 representing controversial clients in cases relating to

11 the Troubles. However, there was no evidence of

12 a specific threat against Mrs Nelson."

13 Just going back to the beginning of that passage,

14 can I take it then that by the time you started your

15 work on the LAJI complaint in May 1997, you were aware

16 that some defence lawyers were particularly vulnerable?

17 A. That would be correct, yes.

18 Q. And she fell into that category, didn't she, because she

19 had a high profile and she represented controversial

20 clients in cases relating to the Troubles?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. So from the moment you took on the investigation

23 in May 1997, you knew, didn't you, that she fell into

24 that particular category?

25 A. That's correct, and I took the allegations very

 

 

54

 

1 seriously.

2 Q. Indeed. That was my next question. That was one of the

3 things that contributed to this being a serious and

4 sensitive case, wasn't it?

5 A. That's right, yes.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask you about a similar letter,

7 similar to the LAJI letter, that you also refer to in

8 your statement, and this is the letter from

9 Senator Torricelli. That is paragraph 22 of your

10 statement at RNI-840-008. (displayed).

11 You deal with it in this paragraph. Do you see?

12 You say a similar letter was sent to the British Embassy

13 in Washington, and we can see the letter at RNI-202-040

14 (displayed). Can I ask you, when were you, do you

15 think, first aware of this letter?

16 A. I really can't say at this stage. Possibly June of

17 1997, but that is when I would have had all the file

18 documents handed over to me by Chief Inspector Gamble.

19 Q. If we have your statement on the right-hand side of the

20 screen, please, at RNI-840-008 (displayed), we will see

21 in paragraph 22, you say that:

22 "A copy of this letter was forwarded to me by my

23 authorities."

24 Do you see that?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

55

 

1 Q. What do you mean by that?

2 A. It came down from headquarters in Belfast to the

3 superintendent in charge of the team, and to me,

4 possibly to me via Chief Gamble.

5 Q. Looking back at the letter on the left-hand side, we saw

6 on the LAJI letters references to threats against

7 Rosemary Nelson's life, and very, very similar language

8 was used, wasn't it, about the threats becoming more

9 insistent and ominous in this letter from the

10 United States senator as had been used in the LAJI

11 letter?

12 A. Yes, that's correct.

13 Q. It is a point you make in your paragraph here, where you

14 say:

15 "There is another similar sentence about not relying

16 upon the RUC to investigate it."

17 Do you see that?

18 A. I do, yes.

19 Q. This letter on the left did not become the subject of

20 a complaints investigation, did it?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Do you know why that was?

23 A. Well, I think it was because it was seen to be part of

24 the LAJI complaints. I can't be any clearer than that

25 at the moment.

 

 

56

 

1 Q. Would you have been responsible for that decision one

2 way or the other?

3 A. What decision was that again?

4 Q. The decision to treat it or not as a complaint?

5 A. No, I wouldn't be responsible for that.

6 Q. No. Can I just ask you to focus on the quoted sentence,

7 quoted by you in paragraph 22, because you say:

8 "This ..."

9 And I think you mean the sentence:

10 "... may go some way to indicate why it took so long

11 for people to cooperate with the RUC in the

12 investigation of this complaint. As will be seen,

13 a number of key witnesses never met with me during my

14 investigation of these most serious investigations."

15 What is it about the sentence that you have quoted

16 that leads you to that suggestion?

17 A. Well, I think I was referring to both this letter and

18 Lynch's letter.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. And it was the -- the sentence which says:

21 "It may not be appropriate to rely upon the RUC to

22 investigate one of its own members."

23 Q. So can I take it then that what you are suggesting is

24 that because the investigation on the LAJI case that did

25 take place was an RUC investigation, Complaints and

 

 

57

 

1 Discipline, those who were making the complaint would

2 not be content with that and, therefore, would not

3 cooperate? Is that what you are saying?

4 A. Well, what I'm saying is that if people were aware of

5 these comments, they would think maybe we shouldn't

6 cooperate with the RUC in this investigation.

7 Q. Now, the people who failed to cooperate, as we will see,

8 were a number of clients of Rosemary Nelson who said

9 that comments had been made to them.

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And Rosemary Nelson herself?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did you at any stage believe that those clients, for

14 example, had seen this or the Lynch letter?

15 A. No, as I say, I never interviewed the clients.

16 Q. No. But the comment made about not relying upon the RUC

17 to investigate one of its own members, did that suggest

18 a wider political agenda or perspective to you?

19 A. Not necessarily. I mean, it suggested a perspective

20 that the RUC perhaps should not investigate one of its

21 own members in this case. That's a legitimate enough

22 view, I suppose, in certain circumstances.

23 Q. But it wasn't anything that you were able to do anything

24 about?

25 A. Absolutely not. The fact of the matter was I had to

 

 

58

 

1 investigate the complaint and I did so to the best of my

2 ability.

3 Q. Now, just returning to the LAJI letter, please, at

4 RNI-202-002 (displayed), you, as you say, took over the

5 investigation in May 1997. Can I ask you, please, who

6 was the complainant?

7 A. Well, there is some difficulty in deciding that.

8 I suppose the complainant would have been Mr Lynch, who

9 sent the letter, who was doing it on behalf of

10 Rosemary Nelson, who was doing it on behalf of her

11 clients. Perhaps. But at that stage, we didn't know if

12 Mrs Nelson had in fact spoken to Mr Lynch.

13 Q. Indeed, it is a point you make in paragraph 21 on the

14 right-hand side of the screen, isn't it, that it was not

15 even clear, you say, that Mrs Nelson wanted the

16 complaint to be made on her behalf? The letter doesn't

17 say so, does it?

18 A. That's correct, yes.

19 Q. So you had the task from May 1997 of progressing the

20 investigation. Did you treat Rosemary Nelson as

21 a complainant or as a witness?

22 A. I guess both, if it is possible for me to say that. I

23 had to keep the options open.

24 Q. There is a procedural problem here, isn't there? Is it

25 one that you confronted at the time and thought about?

 

 

59

 

1 A. Yes, I thought about what I would put at the head of the

2 complaint, but that was pretty much what I got given to

3 me anyway whenever the 17/3 came down.

4 Q. Let's see how this follows through. Do you remember you

5 told me a little earlier about the "two strikes and

6 you're out" policy in relation to complaints?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Two opportunities given a to complainant to cooperate?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And if not, an application made under Article 17 for

11 dispensation. Do you remember that?

12 A. I do, yes.

13 Q. Now, in this case the complainant, as you say, was the

14 Lawyers Alliance for Justice through Mr Lynch. He had

15 no direct evidence to give you, did he?

16 A. It would appear not.

17 Q. No. And you didn't seek to interview him about the

18 incidents which had apparently occurred of threats being

19 made?

20 A. He was in the United States.

21 Q. Indeed. So the first problem of non-cooperation you had

22 was with Rosemary Nelson. You set it all out for us in

23 your statement.

24 Was she, under your system of two strikes, held to

25 be a complainant?

 

 

60

 

1 A. I think that would probably appear to be the case. I,

2 as you know, took it on from Chief Inspector Gamble. He

3 had already sent some letters to her.

4 Q. Indeed.

5 A. So the assumption at that stage was that she was

6 a complainant and a potential witness.

7 Q. How did you approach non-cooperation on the part of

8 witnesses? Was there a similar system for that?

9 A. There was, yes.

10 Q. Did it follow the same pattern, i.e. they got two chances

11 and then you didn't pursue them any longer?

12 A. That was pretty much it, yes.

13 Q. In this case, leaping forward, we know that far more

14 than two chances were afforded to Rosemary Nelson?

15 A. That's correct, yes.

16 Q. And we will look at the detail in a minute, but why was

17 it that the "two strikes and you're out" policy was not

18 followed in this case?

19 A. Well, I put in my report, setting out the facts, that

20 there hadn't been cooperation at the end of July and

21 requesting that the reg. 17, two strikes and you're out,

22 situation be granted. That was held up with ICPC --

23 I mean, they were informed obviously. Miss McNally was

24 informed about this, but it was held for several

25 months -- usually you get a turnaround in a month, but

 

 

61

 

1 it was held for several months until other options had

2 been explored as regards cooperation by Mrs Nelson and

3 her clients.

4 Q. But as you say, by the time you took over the complaint,

5 attempts had already been made unsuccessfully to

6 interview Rosemary Nelson.

7 Was it explained to you by the Chief Inspector,

8 Chief Inspector Gamble, that the normal rules were not

9 being applied?

10 A. Yes, of course it was. When I came in, we were actually

11 in a straddled situation where he had sent letters, and

12 I took the decision -- again, in consultation with my

13 team leader -- that we would pretty much start that

14 procedure again or at least give Mrs Nelson ample

15 opportunity to cooperate.

16 Q. In terms of your other experience of other cases in your

17 two and a bit years in the branch, were more

18 opportunities given in this case than in any other?

19 A. I think there were. I think at one stage in August

20 a line of communication may have been opened up between

21 ICPC and Mrs Nelson or her office staff. That's

22 perfectly okay, in my view. In a case of this type, you

23 go the extra mile to try and get cooperation.

24 Q. But in a normal case where the complaint letter

25 here, March -- presumably on the basis of what you have

 

 

62

 

1 told us, by August the application for dispensation

2 would have been put in and a decision on it made long

3 before?

4 A. In a normal case, that's right. The application was put

5 in by me and we awaited a decision.

6 Q. So this was a case that was receiving extraordinary, out

7 of the ordinary treatment, wasn't it?

8 A. Yes, that's correct.

9 Q. Okay. Can we just look briefly, to give some context to

10 the comments you have been making, at the relevant

11 stages?

12 First of all, can I ask you to look, please, at

13 RNI-202-033 (displayed). This is the letter from

14 Chief Inspector Gamble to Rosemary Nelson before you

15 became the investigating officer. So it would have been

16 on the file, presumably, when you took over?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And it asks for an interview on 13 May. There was then

19 a follow-up, because that didn't work out, on 21 May;

20 RNI-202-041 (displayed). Thank you.

21 Again, he must at this point still have been in

22 charge. So it looks as though you must have taken on

23 the case at the end of May; is that right?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. And as far as one can tell, the first response from

 

 

63

 

1 Mrs Nelson comes on 13 June, RNI-202-045 (displayed).

2 Can I take it that by this stage, therefore, you would

3 have been the officer receiving and dealing with this

4 communication?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. We see your response on 20 June, the next page,

7 RNI-202-046 (displayed), and you set up your appointment

8 on 25 June and Mrs Nelson didn't attend on that

9 appointment, did she?

10 A. No, she didn't.

11 Q. You say in your statement that you subsequently became

12 aware that at that point she was representing

13 Colin Duffy in the course of his detention for the

14 murder of the two policemen in Lurgan, but that that

15 wasn't something you were made aware of at the time. Is

16 that right?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Thank you. And on the next day you write again,

19 RNI-202-051 (displayed), 26 June, setting up another

20 appointment on the 30th, and I think it is right, isn't

21 it, that she didn't attend on that occasion?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. And that led, didn't it, to, as it were, your warning

24 letter, 3 July, RNI-202-058 (displayed), in which you

25 say that unless contact is made by 24 July -- do you see

 

 

64

 

1 the last paragraph? -- you will apply for dispensation?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. Thank you. That, then, is the chronology, very quickly.

4 Can I just ask you a couple of questions about ways

5 of approaching this question of cooperation? The first

6 is a question arising out of the very first letter we

7 looked at at RNI-202-033 (displayed), because here your

8 colleague is writing, as I say, to set up an

9 interview -- and we can see the time given, 13 May --

10 but do you see the penultimate paragraph here? He says:

11 "If you do not agree to such a meeting, please

12 provide me with the details of witnesses and other

13 relevant evidence which you would wish to be considered

14 in support of this complaint."

15 Do you see that?

16 A. Yes, do you.

17 Q. So that suggests, doesn't it, that certainly at this

18 stage Rosemary Nelson was being dealt with as the

19 complainant?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And as I understand it, what the Chief Inspector is

22 doing is to say, "If you don't want to meet, please, as

23 it were, put me in touch with other evidence." Do you

24 see that?

25 A. That's correct, yes. I see it.

 

 

65

 

1 Q. Was it a possibility, therefore, that you could progress

2 an investigation by saying, "Well, if you do not want to

3 come along on the day and time I'm suggesting, will you

4 at least tell me about other evidence and other people

5 who might?"

6 A. Yes, that's one way to proceed.

7 Q. And is it a technique or way to proceed that you used at

8 any stage?

9 A. Do you mean in relation to this investigation?

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. Yes, I did.

12 Q. So you sought, did you, to say, "Look, if you are not

13 prepared to come and meet me, will you please point me

14 in the direction of people who will so that I can gather

15 some evidence together?"

16 A. I didn't do that prior to meeting with Rosemary Nelson.

17 Q. Right. That's the question really.

18 We know you eventually met her. She was interviewed

19 on 16 September. We will come to that in a minute, but

20 in the correspondence after this, after April and after

21 you take over at the end of May, were you looking around

22 for other evidence or were you concentrating solely on

23 arranging an interview with Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. No, I was looking around for other evidence and it was

25 already on the file, in the correspondence to her, that

 

 

66

 

1 if she knew of witnesses she should let us know who they

2 were.

3 Q. Did you ever hear from her before September as to the

4 identity of other witnesses?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, the letter of Rosemary Nelson, which we

7 looked at -- 13 June, RNI-202-045 (displayed) --

8 includes a request by her -- and this is another aspect

9 of this process:

10 "Would it be possible for Inspector Gamble to attend

11 at this office in order to discuss the matter on

12 a preliminary basis?"

13 As I understand it from your statement, you say that

14 that wasn't something that was appropriate?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. Can you explain that for us? Why was that not

17 appropriate?

18 A. Well, I mean, I think that was a step too far. There

19 were various allowances made in this investigation, but

20 the policy was that police officers would not go to

21 solicitors' offices. And the primary concern would be

22 a security concern, but also, I suppose, she wouldn't

23 consider that to be a neutral environment in the context

24 of our investigations. Again, simply going by policy,

25 the policy was you would invite people into the police

 

 

67

 

1 stations.

2 Q. So that was the policy, was it, that you would not go to

3 a solicitor's office or somewhere else, but that all the

4 interviews would take place at police stations?

5 A. That's correct. Occasionally they may take place at

6 ICPC offices or whatever, but that was only something

7 that was starting to come in at that stage.

8 This particular issue was discussed with the ICPC

9 and with the Superintendent, and their view was that it

10 would be inappropriate to attend at Rosemary Nelson's

11 offices.

12 Q. So I'm clear about this, this question of the possible

13 visit was discussed between you and the ICPC and the

14 Superintendent?

15 A. That's correct, yes. I believe there was phone calls

16 made and the policy was just confirmed; in other words,

17 it wasn't my decision alone.

18 Q. Can we look, in fairness to you, at paragraph 24 of your

19 statement, RNI-840-009 (displayed). Is that what you

20 mean then by the expression:

21 "I was guided by the ICPC on this"?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. By that, do you mean specifically Geralyn McNally?

24 A. I can't recall now, but she would have been aware of

25 this.

 

 

68

 

1 Q. She was the supervising member?

2 A. She was the supervising member, yes.

3 Q. She was the obvious person to speak to?

4 A. If I didn't speak to her there would be a note put on

5 the file, but she was the obvious person.

6 Q. Thank you. By the end of June, therefore, the run-up to

7 your warning letter at RNI-202-058 (displayed), nothing

8 had happened of any significance in the investigation.

9 Is that fair?

10 A. That's correct yes.

11 Q. As I understand it, your approach to it is that there

12 was very little detail in the LAJI letter, that you knew

13 the identities of no witnesses other than

14 Rosemary Nelson, that you had no interviews with

15 anybody, and whatever attempts you had made to find any

16 evidence had failed?

17 A. That's correct, and the only real evidence at that stage

18 was Mr Lynch's letter. And if you go through it

19 forensically, that really didn't give you any

20 opportunities to investigate possible circumstances.

21 Q. As I said a little earlier, in June, towards the end

22 of June, Colin Duffy was arrested for the murder of the

23 two police officers and Rosemary Nelson represented him.

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. And you said, I think, that you learned subsequently

 

 

69

 

1 that she hadn't turned up to one of your arranged

2 interviews because she was involved in representing him?

3 A. As I said, that was a possibility.

4 Q. It wasn't something that you were told at the time?

5 A. It wasn't something I was told.

6 Q. No, thank you. Did you see any connection at the time

7 between her representation of Colin Duffy in that case

8 and the LAJI complaint?

9 A. No.

10 Q. There was no connection at all, was there?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Thank you. Following the arrest, however, you received

13 another letter, this time addressed direct to you, from

14 the Lawyers Alliance, didn't you, at the end

15 of June 1997?

16 A. I did, yes.

17 Q. We see that, please, at RNI-202-068 (displayed), and in

18 the third paragraph, a reference to intimidation and

19 threats and a suggestion of disparaging comments

20 implying she was in some way associated with the IRA:

21 "More recently the situation has become more

22 sinister."

23 And then three lines from the bottom:

24 "In the meanwhile, it is reported that the

25 interrogators of Colin Duffy referred to Mrs Nelson as

 

 

70

 

1 a person 'who condones murder and is a front for the

2 IRA' or words to that effect. Such language encourages

3 individuals to carry out assassination as witnessed by

4 the case of Pat Finucane, which remains unsolved."

5 Now, presumably you received this, what, in

6 early July that year?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. The connection being made in that letter between the

9 allegations in this case and in the Pat Finucane case

10 was one that you had already identified and were aware

11 of, wasn't it?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. And you say that for us in paragraph 21 of your

14 statement.

15 So what and how was this follow-up letter from the

16 Lawyers Alliance dealt with by you when you received it?

17 A. I presume it would be on the file, but I would have

18 checked to see if there were any related file matters

19 and seen which file it married up with.

20 Certainly it seemed to be an overlap with the

21 earlier file, although the information was very vague.

22 At that stage I did not have the

23 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson file.

24 Q. No. Well, you deal with this in paragraph 34 of your

25 statement at RNI-840-013 (displayed). In summary, can

 

 

71

 

1 I take it that the decision as to how to deal with this

2 letter was one which would have been taken at a higher

3 level than yours?

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. It wasn't your job to decide how to categorise it, to

6 whom it should be allocated and matters of that kind?

7 A. No, as I say, I forwarded it to my authorities for their

8 decision.

9 Q. But what you tell us in this paragraph, on the

10 right-hand side of the screen, is that the various

11 complaints arising out of Colin Duffy's detention were

12 dealt with as separate complaint, separate from the LAJI

13 complaint?

14 A. Yes. I think it is important at this stage just to say

15 what, if you want to call it my mindset was at this

16 stage.

17 My mindset was that the LAJI complaint referred

18 specifically to threats or, as it turned out, one

19 particular threat and that was my main concern. But

20 obviously there were other matters of concern, but that

21 was the threats file.

22 The Duffy/Nelson one, as it progressed, it was clear

23 it was to do with custody and perhaps inappropriate

24 things being said, but threats weren't apparent.

25 Q. So it was, in that sense, of a different order?

 

 

72

 

1 A. That's correct, yes.

2 Q. So far as the LAJI case is concerned, we looked at the

3 letter of 3 July and we know that by that stage -- this

4 is RNI-202-058 (displayed) -- a number of unsuccessful

5 attempts had been made by you and by your predecessor to

6 get an interview or a meeting with Rosemary Nelson.

7 When you wrote that letter of 3 July, did you think

8 there was any prospect of cooperation in the case?

9 A. I always had an open mind, but I thought it appeared

10 unlikely at that stage.

11 Q. History was against it?

12 A. History of some files, yes.

13 Q. And did you form a view at this stage as to why there

14 hadn't been cooperation in this particular case?

15 A. No, not at that stage.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, can we look at the penultimate

17 paragraph of this letter, please? This is the LAJI

18 warning letter. You say:

19 "I must inform you that it may not be possible for

20 me to carry out a satisfactory investigation until I

21 have had the opportunity of discussing the complaint

22 with you and ..."

23 Then underlined:

24 "... with your agreement, your client Colin Duffy."

25 Given the answers you have given earlier, what

 

 

73

 

1 evidence of any relevance at all did Colin Duffy have to

2 give in relation to the LAJI complaint?

3 A. Well, again, looking back at the evidence we have just

4 seen, the letter from LAJI contained inferences that

5 perhaps Mr Duffy was having things said to him that

6 might have verged on threats, if not actually threats.

7 Again, it goes back to me keeping an open mind on these

8 matters.

9 Q. Let us have that on the right-hand side of the screen,

10 please, RNI-202-068 (displayed). Do you see in the

11 third paragraph there is a reference to intimidation and

12 threats, on the right-hand side? Do you see that?

13 A. Hm-mm, yes.

14 Q. And that's very much an echo, isn't it, of what LAJI had

15 said in March, isn't it, in their letter of 13 March?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. What I wanted to find out from you, as you look at the

18 rest of this letter, is where it deals specifically with

19 Colin Duffy, in the paragraph beginning:

20 "As I'm sure you are aware ..."

21 And following on, what it is about that statement,

22 or those statements, that suggests that there is

23 a threat, a LAJI-type threat, if I can put it that way,

24 involved in this complaint?

25 A. Well, it mentions at that previous paragraph you are

 

 

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1 talking about, about Gough Barracks. And from my

2 recollection, I think Colin Duffy was also being

3 interviewed at Gough Barracks. Just looking through it

4 here -- is there another page to that?

5 Q. Yes, there is, I'm so sorry. It is RNI-202-069

6 (displayed). Do you see the penultimate paragraph?

7 A. Yes:

8 "You can be assured if harm comes to Mrs Nelson ...

9 interested individuals shall seek appropriate legal

10 redress against the Royal Ulster Constabulary."

11 It is a long time ago now, but I think the attitude

12 I took to that letter was that because he had mentioned

13 the earlier stuff, he is making a connection with the

14 later stuff, and it was better to err on the side of

15 caution, if you like, and cover all the angles and keep

16 an open mind.

17 Q. Well, it was coming from the same source, wasn't it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And it repeated the same sort of material that you had

20 heard or read in March?

21 A. That's correct, yes.

22 Q. In fact, the Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaints were

23 the subject of correspondence direct from Mrs Nelson,

24 weren't they? Do you remember -- you no doubt saw these

25 eventually -- letters sent by her to Gough at the very

 

 

75

 

1 time of the detention?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. And, indeed, complaints were made at the time he was

4 held in custody and interviews took place, as it were,

5 on site during the time of detention.

6 But just taking this forward, is it fair to say that

7 at this stage, July 1997, you were considering

8 Colin Duffy as a potential witness in the LAJI case?

9 A. I thought it highly unlikely from what I read, but

10 I left the opportunity there. If there was a situation

11 where threats had been made to Colin Duffy, I would have

12 wanted Rosemary to let me know about that under the

13 LAJI file.

14 Q. Thank you. Now, there was no contact and so you prepared

15 your report on 28 July that year, didn't you? We can

16 see that together at RNI-206-041 (displayed). Thank you

17 very much.

18 This is obviously a format extremely familiar to you

19 and there are various passages in this I want to take

20 you to, but on this very point we are looking at, can

21 you look, please, at RNI-206-045 (displayed) because

22 here you say:

23 "Mr Lynch has made several references to

24 Colin Duffy, who is a client of Rosemary Nelson's and

25 may be in a position to elaborate on the allegations.

 

 

76

 

1 However, Mrs Nelson has not given permission for the

2 investigating officer to approach her client. The

3 investigating officer's letter to Mrs Nelson dated

4 3 July 1997 refers."

5 Certainly in your report on the LAJI case, at this

6 stage, the end of July, you regarded him as being

7 possibly in a position to elaborate on the LAJI

8 allegations, didn't you?

9 A. That would be correct, yes.

10 Q. Thank you. So although they turned out to be separate

11 matters and dealt with separately, it looks as though at

12 this stage you thought there was at least a possible

13 connection between the LAJI complaint and Colin Duffy?

14 A. It was certainly an angle to look at, yes.

15 Q. Now, as things turned out, as you say, your application

16 for dispensation, which went in, I think, through your

17 superintendent at the beginning of August, wasn't dealt

18 with until the middle of October. Is that correct?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And before then, in the middle of September,

21 Rosemary Nelson had attended an interview in relation to

22 the Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaints?

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. And it was in the course of that interview, wasn't it,

25 that she -- and we will see the text in a minute --

 

 

77

 

1 referred to the statements which had been taken by the

2 CAJ, which turned out to be statements which genuinely

3 were relevant to the LAJI case?

4 A. That's correct, although I specifically referred her to

5 this issue during the interview. The main interview was

6 concerned with the Duffy/Nelson custodial case.

7 Q. Yes, but as a result of that?

8 A. As a result, yes.

9 Q. And you say you brought it up. In fact, the first

10 leads, as it were, in the LAJI case and what became the

11 evidence in statement form -- statements provided to the

12 CAJ -- came to your attention?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Thank you. So far as the report we are looking at is

15 concerned, based on your experience as at this point,

16 the end of July 1997, was this an application for

17 dispensation that you expected to succeed?

18 A. Not necessarily. You just don't know with these things.

19 I certainly hoped that it would maybe stimulate some

20 activity, but it was routine procedure. If it hadn't

21 stimulated activity -- that was what was required of me

22 anyway, in fact -- it was overdue.

23 Q. What sort of activity did you think this report would

24 stimulate?

25 A. I hoped that Rosemary might know that really this

 

 

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1 complaint was going nowhere unless I got some

2 cooperation, and it was in everybody's interest that

3 cooperation was provided.

4 Q. So far as Geralyn McNally and the ICPC is concerned, did

5 you discuss your plan to apply or ask for an application

6 for dispensation with her?

7 A. Absolutely, yes.

8 Q. And did she express a view as to the likely result of

9 that application?

10 A. No, she expressed no view at all. She seemed to take on

11 board my reasons, that there had been no cooperation to

12 date.

13 Q. But she didn't offer a view as to whether it was likely

14 to succeed or not?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Now, we can see the application going forward through

17 your line manager at RNI-202-086 (displayed), 6 August,

18 and the response coming in the middle of October, as

19 I have said, at RNI-202-097 (displayed). And I would

20 like to you look at that, please, with me now.

21 Here, the answer to your request some two and a bit

22 months later is in the second paragraph, that:

23 "On 16 September, Rosemary Nelson attended for

24 interview in respect of other complaints and at that

25 time provided sufficient information on which to base an

 

 

79

 

1 investigation into the subject matter of this

2 complaint."

3 Presumably by this stage, the middle of October, you

4 realised that your application for dispensation would

5 not succeed because of the further leads that you had

6 been given in the interview?

7 A. That's correct. I hadn't really thought about it in the

8 intervening period.

9 Q. Not least, presumably, because such a long time had

10 elapsed?

11 A. Yes, indeed.

12 Q. Can I take it that in the normal run of cases, when you

13 put in an application for dispensation, it is dealt with

14 a lot more promptly than this?

15 A. It is usually turned around within a month.

16 Q. Did you seek to find out from Geralyn McNally why it was

17 taking so long?

18 A. No, I didn't.

19 Q. Any particular reason?

20 A. Well, a month would have been the end of August. By the

21 end of August, there were signs that perhaps Mrs Nelson

22 was going to come in for interview. So I had -- in

23 fact, I welcomed this letter coming in. The

24 investigation was a challenge and I wanted to get to the

25 bottom of things.

 

 

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1 Q. Were you ever aware of why it was that between the time

2 you prepared your report at the end of July and those

3 indications that you have mentioned in August of what

4 had changed, what had led to the shift?

5 A. It appeared to me that ICPC may have opened up a channel

6 of communication with Mrs Nelson. At this stage, I

7 can't say, but I mean, there would be nothing wrong or

8 irregular in that. I would have been quite happy for

9 them to do that and see if they could get some sort of

10 cooperation if they felt that was appropriate.

11 Q. But presumably, as far as you were aware, the agreement

12 to be interviewed, as it turned out, in the middle

13 of September was not on this case, the LAJI complaint,

14 but on the Colin Duffy case?

15 A. Yes, that would be right, although we took the opinion

16 that we could touch on the other case during that

17 interview and it would perhaps be a leverage to get

18 a statement on the other file.

19 Q. As things have turned out, there was far more

20 cooperation in terms of interviews, statements, evidence

21 from the complainant's side in the Colin Duffy complaint

22 than there ever was, for you, on the LAJI case. That's

23 correct, isn't it?

24 A. That's absolutely correct, yes.

25 Q. In paragraph 37 of your statement, in relation to the

 

 

81

 

1 LAJI matter, you talk about what was going on at this

2 period, in the summer of 1997, and that's at RNI-840-014

3 (displayed). You say in particular that there were

4 discussions, regular discussions between you, your line

5 manager and Geralyn McNally about both the complaints,

6 the LAJI and the Colin Duffy complaints:

7 "Mr Lynch was putting pressure on us for results in

8 relation to that."

9 How was he doing that?

10 A. I'm not entirely sure even at this stage. I think there

11 was correspondence with headquarters, the

12 Command Secretariat maybe -- I just don't know. He was

13 raising it at a higher level and I was getting phone

14 calls from headquarters, various departments.

15 Q. So senior officers, people from outside your department

16 would be ringing you up to say, "This chap from

17 New Jersey is putting a lot of pressure on in relation

18 to this complaint"?

19 A. Yes, and I would have to say, "Well, people haven't

20 cooperated at the moment". I'd give them a full account

21 of where we were with the file.

22 Q. Were you given an impression in phone calls at that time

23 that other types of pressure were being put on;

24 political pressure, for example?

25 A. Put on whom?

 

 

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1 Q. Put on the branch to get results in relation to the

2 complaint?

3 A. I'm not sure if you would call it pressure. I suppose

4 there were people who were genuinely interested in this

5 high profile complaint and they were making

6 representations, and you would expect them to do that.

7 Q. It was attracting a good deal more interest and

8 attention than your average complaint?

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

10 Q. On that topic, you also tell us that about this time --

11 and this is now paragraph 39 and following of your

12 statement on the next page, RNI-840-015 (displayed) --

13 the complaint of Rosemary Nelson in relation to her

14 alleged assault on the Garvaghy Road in July that year

15 was received. And you say -- and if we could go back to

16 the page, that would help, please -- in paragraph 41 at

17 the bottom of page, RNI-840-015, if you could enlarge

18 that, please:

19 "The letter from Mrs Nelson ..."

20 That is the letter where she makes this complaint,

21 15 September:

22 "... added to the national and international

23 pressure that was starting to build."

24 So that was something you were aware of certainly

25 by September 1997?

 

 

83

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So far as your particular role in this was concerned,

3 that was manifesting itself, was it, by people ringing

4 you up, senior people, letting you know that there was

5 a good deal of interest and attention on this complaint?

6 A. Yes, but there weren't many phone calls, but certainly

7 there were phone calls came down. They got their answer

8 and, you know, there wouldn't be another phone call for

9 quite a while until the next letter came in.

10 Q. That can sometimes be rather uncomfortable when you are

11 trying to get on with your own work. Did you find it

12 something of a hindrance in this case?

13 A. No, not at all. It was part of the rough and tumble.

14 Q. Did you ever deal with another case like it in your two

15 and a bit years in the department?

16 A. Not like it insofar as a solicitor was involved, but

17 there were other very high profile cases where sometimes

18 you get calls saying, "We have to answer questions in

19 the House or to such and such representative", but

20 nothing of this scale, no.

21 Q. No. If we go back to our table, we can see that you

22 were allocated -- it is the penultimate complaint on the

23 table actually, the second page. You were allocated

24 this case as well -- that is the Garvaghy Road case --

25 and you tell us in your statement your involvement with

 

 

84

 

1 that before your departure from the branch. And,

2 indeed, when one looks back at the scale of the

3 complaints in this two-page table, as 1997 wore on, you

4 were being allocated more and more complaints with this

5 in common, weren't you, that there was some involvement

6 of Rosemary Nelson?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. And presumably that was significantly adding to your

9 workload?

10 A. No, I would disagree in that other officers had

11 a similar workload. At that time it was certainly

12 manageable, primarily because there wasn't very much

13 information coming in. In fact, it got to be a very

14 complicated file and I found I was under pressure. I

15 would have looked for assistance perhaps, but it never

16 ever reached that stage even with all these cases

17 coming in.

18 Q. Now, in this sort of context, you say in paragraph 33 of

19 your statement in relation to this question of

20 dispensation, which was pending at this moment -- at the

21 bottom of the page, RNI-840-012 (displayed) -- that your

22 application for dispensation did not come as a surprise.

23 Do you see the penultimate sentence there:

24 "However, the ICPC rejected my application. They

25 decided they wanted me to go the extra mile."

 

 

85

 

1 And that's how you characterise, I think, isn't it,

2 the decision not to allow dispensation in the LAJI case?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. So this was another example, wasn't it, at this slightly

5 later stage where the LAJI case was getting treatment

6 that was out of the ordinary?

7 A. Yes, that would appear to be the case.

8 Q. It must follow, surely, mustn't it, that that treatment

9 was being given precisely because it was the object of

10 such attention and wider interest?

11 A. I imagine that was the case, yes.

12 Q. Now, so far as these two investigations that I wanted to

13 focus on are concerned, we know from your very detailed

14 statement and from the documents that there were

15 a number of issues or contentious moments and, indeed,

16 criticisms which, at a later stage, were made in

17 relation to your investigation. I would like to deal

18 with them briefly with you now.

19 But so far as the chronology of all of this is

20 concerned, we have talked about Rosemary Nelson's

21 interview, and that's 16 September 1997, isn't it?

22 A. That's correct, yes.

23 Q. So far as that is concerned, we can see the statement

24 that you took very briefly in file 213 at

25 page RNI-213-023 (displayed).

 

 

86

 

1 To pick up the point that you made, it looks as

2 though the first nearly three pages concerned the

3 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaints, and then at the

4 bottom of the third page, which is RNI-213-025

5 (displayed) -- if we can have that on the screen,

6 please -- having dealt with the specific allegation in

7 that case made against a detective that a remark had

8 been made that "I'm sure Rosemary is proud of you",

9 et cetera, she says -- do you see three lines from the

10 bottom:

11 "This appears to be part of an ongoing pattern

12 during the course of this year."

13 And it is from that point on, isn't it, in the

14 statement that she gets to talk about the LAJI material?

15 A. That's correct, yes.

16 Q. Are you saying, picking up the answer you gave me

17 earlier, that it was you who initiated this part of the

18 discussion?

19 A. Yes, I was guiding her towards talking about the earlier

20 LAJI.

21 Q. So you were guiding her by your questions, presumably?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. So this statement, as in so many statements, is the

24 result of a question and answer discussion; is that

25 right?

 

 

87

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And it is at that time, on the top of the next page,

3 RNI-213-026 (displayed), that she refers to the CAJ

4 taking statements?

5 A. That's correct. I mean, I think she was coming to this

6 herself anyway. I mean, I don't think she felt under

7 any pressure to move on to this.

8 Q. No, you clearly wanted to use the interview, as you said

9 to us earlier, to see what progress you can make on the

10 other complaint. But what was it, do you think, that at

11 this point led her to tell you where some evidence was

12 to be found?

13 A. Well, I mean, I think I said something to her along the

14 lines of, "Have there been any other incidents of this

15 type, any other inappropriate comments?"

16 Q. And that is when she gave the answers that we see in the

17 statement?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. The next interview in relation to the Colin Duffy matter

20 that took place was his own interview on 15 October,

21 some month later, and I think we can see that at

22 RNI-210-137 (displayed). Now, did Rosemary Nelson

23 attend this interview?

24 A. Yes, I believe she did, yes.

25 Q. And apart from yourself, presumably Geralyn McNally was

 

 

88

 

1 also present?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. As I understand the situation in relation to the

4 Colin Duffy complaint, Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson, she

5 attended the interviews of both of those individuals and

6 of the relevant officers. Is that right --

7 Geralyn McNally, I mean?

8 A. She largely did -- I don't think she attended all the

9 interviews of the relevant officers, but the vast

10 majority, yes.

11 Q. Is there a contrast there between the

12 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson case and the LAJI case,

13 where I think it is right to say that she didn't

14 generally attend the officer interviews; is that right?

15 A. Very much so. She didn't attend any of the officer

16 interviews.

17 Q. Thank you. Right. So the supervising member was

18 present for all, or most perhaps, of the

19 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson interviews but for none of

20 the officer interviews in the LAJI case?

21 A. That's correct, and I understand she says that she

22 normally would attend as many interviews as she possibly

23 could.

24 Q. Indeed. But further distinction, can I suggest to you,

25 is that of course in the LAJI case none of the relevant

 

 

89

 

1 clients attended your interviews?

2 A. That's correct, that's fair to say.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as this interview with

4 Colin Duffy is concerned -- we have looked already at

5 the relevant paragraphs in your statement where you

6 describe how you viewed the way he was behaving in the

7 interview and the answers he was giving to you -- can

8 I just pick up a couple of points about it?

9 It is right, isn't it, that neither he nor

10 Rosemary Nelson accepted the account of the matter that

11 had been given to you by Mr Lynch?

12 A. I'm not with you on that one. Could you clarify,

13 please?

14 Q. It's definitely my fault. Let's have a look at

15 paragraph 54 of your statement, RNI-840-019 (displayed).

16 Could we enlarge the paragraph, please?

17 Now, we have seen the letter of 30 June from

18 Mr Lynch and the way it expressed the comments allegedly

19 made by officers, i.e. that:

20 "... Rosemary Nelson was a person who condones

21 murder or somebody who is a front for the IRA."

22 That was not something said in his interview by

23 Colin Duffy, was it?

24 A. No, I mean, Colin Duffy basically didn't support the

25 allegations, inferences, that were put into Mr Lynch's

 

 

90

 

1 letter of June.

2 Q. No. And nor, in fact, did Rosemary Nelson in her

3 interview on 16 September?

4 A. No.

5 Q. And we can see that at RNI-213-026 (displayed), where

6 she says, for example, at the bottom of the page -- she

7 deals with, in the middle of the page, the letter and

8 then sets out where she disagrees with it, and in

9 particular at the bottom of the page:

10 "I'm unaware of any comments made by police that I

11 was acting as a front for the IRA or words to that

12 effect ..."

13 Reading over the page:

14 "... as far as I am aware, the words 'condone

15 murder' were not used."

16 So again, she was, in that sense, disassociating

17 herself, wasn't she, with the way the matter had been

18 put by Mr Lynch?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Thank you. So far as the clients are concerned, you

21 received, to cut a long story short, as a result of the

22 interview with Rosemary Nelson, two statements from

23 Barry and Colm Toman, didn't you?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. And in later months, I think both in November, you

 

 

91

 

1 received a statement from Anthony Simmons and one from

2 a ciphered client, C138, if we just look at the list,

3 please?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. And you have expressed in your statement and, indeed, in

6 your reports, various concerns that you had about those

7 statements and the ways in which they were deficient.

8 Can you just summarise the deficiencies in the

9 statements as you saw them, please?

10 A. Can you show me the statements, please?

11 Q. Yes. There are four of them, but the first one -- I'll

12 show you -- is at RNI-202-120 (displayed). That is

13 C138. Do you see?

14 A. Hm-mm.

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. Well, it is a question of where you start with these. I

17 can go into great detail about --

18 Q. I don't think there is any need for that.

19 A. Well, it is a typed statement. It is not certified

20 a true copy of the original. The date on it was

21 27 October. The offence was alleged to have taken place

22 in February 1997. All of these things aren't a problem

23 in themselves. The statement is very general.

24 What I would have liked to have done was, first of

25 all, see the person face-to-face or at least have

 

 

92

 

1 a certified copy of the statement, and preferably see

2 them face-to-face, ask exactly how the complaint was

3 made, to whom, what was the procedure for taking the

4 complaint, why are there gaps -- that's just a technical

5 matter -- and what the specifics of the complaint are.

6 There is no threats there against Rosemary Nelson, for

7 example, and I would like to ask if there was. There

8 are other pretty obnoxious things alleged, but not

9 threats.

10 So at a very basic level, I would want to know the

11 circumstances of how the statement was made: Was it

12 made on that date in October or was it made closer to

13 the time? Recollection issues.

14 Q. In relation to the two CAJ statements, you did of course

15 interview Mr Mageean, didn't you?

16 A. I did, yes.

17 Q. So in terms of how those were taken and how those

18 statements had come to be made, you had that

19 information, didn't you?

20 A. I had very basic information in relation to that. I

21 didn't feel that I could explore those issues in great

22 detail at that particular time with him.

23 Q. But in relation to the other two, Anthony Simmons and

24 this one, C138, I think I am right in saying that you

25 didn't interview anybody who had prepared those

 

 

93

 

1 statements --

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. -- and get the opportunity to ask the questions about --

4 A. That's correct in both cases.

5 Q. So far as the course of your own career is concerned, as

6 I said, these statements came in, the later two,

7 in November: Anthony Simmons and C138.

8 You tell us in your statement that you were

9 transferred elsewhere, out of the Complaints and

10 Discipline branch, in January 1998, I think. Is that

11 right?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. How did it come about that you continued your work on

14 the complaints?

15 A. Well, I suppose in simple terms I had a good grasp as

16 far as I was the officer most heavily involved with

17 them, and I think the Superintendent and Miss McNally

18 were happy for me to continue with the complaints. And

19 certainly the Superintendent asked could I continue with

20 them and I said I would.

21 We are jumping quite a bit here. The information I

22 had in January wasn't much more -- at the end of January

23 wasn't much more than I had at the end of October, as it

24 turned out, and I felt I could combine that

25 investigation with my new operational duties.

 

 

94

 

1 Q. As at that point, January 1998, picking up the point you

2 just made, you hadn't interviewed any of the officers,

3 had you?

4 A. I hadn't interviewed any of the officers in relation to

5 the LAJI complaint.

6 Q. Exactly. Was that situation something with which you

7 were happy as at that stage in January 1998?

8 A. No, I wasn't happy with that at all. I think in

9 fairness to everyone concerned -- and that includes the

10 police officers -- very serious allegations were made.

11 Documents had been served on them, the form 17/3, some

12 of them as far back as October and there was all of this

13 stuff going on in the media as well, and I thought that

14 they should have been interviewed preferably -- before

15 I left Complaints and Discipline basically.

16 Q. The events in question, i.e. the interviews in which it

17 was alleged that these remarks had been made, had taken

18 place in February 1997?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. You tell us in your statement -- I think it is

21 paragraph 89 at RNI-840-030 (displayed) -- that you held

22 back interviewing the officers in the LAJI complaint.

23 Then you say:

24 "Miss McNally asked me to further delay interviewing

25 the key officers until the end of January."

 

 

95

 

1 So we have got the chronology. You were asked to

2 delay presumably in late 1997 and then to delay again to

3 the end of January the following year?

4 A. That's correct, yes.

5 Q. Was any explanation or reasoning for that request given

6 to you?

7 A. Well, there was two explanations. One was that once

8 again we weren't receiving cooperation from Mrs Nelson

9 insofar as interviewing these clients was concerned, and

10 there is the evidence that she sent me a note saying

11 that due to the pressure of a busy practice she couldn't

12 see me until after Christmas, but didn't say when. It

13 was very vague.

14 Q. This was Rosemary Nelson or Geralyn McNally, so we are

15 clear?

16 A. Rosemary Nelson, but there were also pressures on

17 Miss McNally's diary as well.

18 Q. So far as you are concerned, if you had had your way on

19 this investigation, you would, before the end of the

20 year, have been interviewing the officers. Is that

21 fair?

22 A. I would say, again going the extra mile, probably

23 towards the end of January at the latest.

24 Q. Yes. Now, it was at this point presumably, end of

25 1997/beginning of 1998, that the question of whether you

 

 

96

 

1 would carry on with the complaints came up, and you have

2 mentioned the request made of you by the Superintendent,

3 your line manager.

4 Did you discuss the issue of carrying on your work

5 with Geralyn McNally?

6 A. Yes. I mean, it wasn't a big discussion -- I can't

7 recall any big discussion. Obviously she was my

8 supervisor and I told her what had happened. She had

9 been away for a couple of weeks, in fairness to her, at

10 least two or three weeks, and when she came back -- I

11 think it was towards the end of January -- I said what

12 the situation was and she -- as far as I'm concerned --

13 asked me to continue with the investigations. She

14 certainly didn't say not to.

15 It wasn't a big issue. It was almost assumed that I

16 would be carrying on with the investigations.

17 Q. Did you simply say, "I have been asked to carry on and

18 I have agreed. Is that all right with you?"

19 A. Yes, particularly the latter bit, "is that all right

20 with you" because --

21 Q. And what was her answer?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. She certainly didn't raise any objection with you at

24 that stage?

25 A. No, it wasn't a big issue. It was a conversation in

 

 

97

 

1 passing, as far as I can recall.

2 Q. Trying the best you can in relation to the working

3 relationship with her, as at that stage, let's say late

4 1997/early 1998, how would you characterise this?

5 A. I thought it was going okay. There had been a couple of

6 incidents, which you are aware of with, the Doran case

7 and with my request for a written authorisation for

8 a file to be released.

9 Again, I consider that part of the rough and tumble

10 of a supervisor doing her job. At the time I didn't

11 think too much of it. I thought afterwards that it was

12 a very disproportionate angle being taken on those two

13 things, because the bottom line was I was continuing

14 with the investigation we met, and that happened right

15 up until even after March 1998 despite the strong letter

16 that she put in there. But certainly in January I

17 wasn't aware of any big problems, and if there had been

18 any and she had expressed them, I would have stepped

19 aside if it would have been an opportunity for both of

20 us, without any reflection on myself. I was transferred

21 to operational duties at my own request after serving my

22 time in Complaints and Discipline, and that would have

23 been the time to move to another officer.

24 Q. That is exactly what I was going to suggest to you.

25 Presumably if an objection had been made at that stage,

 

 

98

 

1 because you were transferring out anyway it would have

2 been relatively simple to stand aside and, as

3 Chief Inspector Gamble had done, hand on to somebody

4 else?

5 A. Absolutely, yes.

6 Q. Going forward in the chronology, you submitted your

7 final report in relation to the LAJI case in April 1998,

8 I think. Is that right?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. And at about the same time -- I think it was 23 April --

11 you and the two senior officers submitted your report in

12 relation to the Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaints?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Can I just look at that briefly with you, please,

15 RNI-213-003 (displayed)? You explain why the senior

16 officers became involved, i.e. because some of those being

17 interviewed were very senior officers, but if you look

18 at this title page, it describes the report as being the

19 report of the Assistant Chief Constable. Is it fair to

20 say that you made a substantial contribution to the

21 drafting of it?

22 A. That's fair to say, yes.

23 Q. But it became his report?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And was your line manager, the Superintendent, also

 

 

99

 

1 involved in the drafting?

2 A. Yes, insofar as we consulted on the matter obviously.

3 Q. Now, after this point in April 1998, you tell us in your

4 statement that you heard nothing about these cases. Was

5 that right?

6 A. After April 1998?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Yes, I heard nothing at all until June of 1998.

9 Q. And then you received a telephone call, I think, in

10 about late May/early June asking you how the

11 investigation had gone?

12 A. Yes, from my senior officer, not my previous line

13 manager.

14 Q. And presumably that was a very clear indication to you

15 of trouble ahead?

16 A. It was an indication, but I didn't realise the

17 significance of it at the time. I thought it was very

18 strange, the way it was broached.

19 Q. It came out of the blue?

20 A. It came out of the blue.

21 Q. To you in your new post out of this branch?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You say in paragraph 118 of your statement, where you

24 deal with this part of the history, at RNI-840-039

25 (displayed), that when you put in your reports -- and

 

 

100

 

1 I quote -- you:

2 "... didn't consider this to be the end of the

3 complaint process."

4 So was it a common experience then for either the

5 supervisors or others at the ICPC to come back and say,

6 "We need you to do more work on X or answer a question

7 or two about Y"?

8 A. That wasn't my personal experience with previous files,

9 and there were quite a few. But I do understand it did

10 happen with some files.

11 Q. Yes. But with these two reports in which you were

12 involved, the first you heard then was the telephone

13 call from HQ, as you put it, in late May/early June?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. There was no follow-up from Geralyn McNally at all?

16 A. Absolutely none.

17 Q. No. Now --

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Would that be a convenient moment?

19 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. We will break off until five

21 past two.

22 Before we do that, Mr (name redacted), before the witness

23 leaves, would you please confirm that all the cameras

24 have been switched off?

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

 

 

101

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Could you please escort the witness out.

2 Right, five past two.

3 (1.04 pm)

4 (The short adjournment)

5 (2.00 pm)

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

7 with you, please, before the witness comes in?

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

9 the key secured?

10 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

12 closed?

13 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

15 and securely fastened?

16 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

18 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

19 of the chamber?

20 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

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

22 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

23 shrouded?

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

25 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras been switched off?

 

 

102

 

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

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Bring the witness in, please.

3 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

4 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

5 switched back on.

6 Yes, Mr Phillips?

7 MR PHILLIPS: Now, before lunch we were looking at what

8 happened after you had put in your reports

9 in April 1998, and your simple answer to that was

10 nothing very much until you heard by telephone from

11 a senior officer from HQ, who was asking you how the

12 investigations had gone.

13 I wanted to move on in this phase, please, and ask

14 you to look at a document at RNI-209-301 (displayed).

15 This is a press release from, I think, the ICPC, as you

16 can see at the top in the fax header, the date is

17 10 July, and quoting there a spokesman for the

18 Commission in the third paragraph, referring to:

19 "... serious concerns relating to the investigation

20 to date and indicating that further investigative steps

21 are going to be taken under the continued supervision

22 and direction of the ICPC."

23 Now, did you see this press release at the time?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Thank you. Did you come to learn that

 

 

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1 Commander Mulvihill from the Metropolitan Police had

2 been invited to reinvestigate these matters?

3 A. I did.

4 Q. How did you learn that?

5 A. I think I saw press coverage in relation to that.

6 Q. So that wasn't explained to you, for example, by your

7 line manager?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Was he, do you think, informed about the steps that were

10 being taken?

11 A. Not to my knowledge.

12 Q. So, so far as you and your immediate superior were

13 concerned, you were essentially presented with a fait

14 accompli?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. You were afforded no right of comment or reply?

17 A. Absolutely not.

18 Q. And I hope you will forgive me for putting it this way,

19 but in the summer of 1998 then, you were left in the

20 dark?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, before we move on to look at a later

23 stage in March 1999, when there was another great stir

24 of interest in these matters, I would like briefly,

25 please, with you to look back at the substance of the

 

 

104

 

1 case, i.e. the criticisms that were being made. You have

2 very helpfully addressed them in your statement.

3 So far as I'm concerned, I want to focus on matters

4 dealt with in a letter sent by the Chairman of the ICPC

5 at about this time, and to deal with the issues under

6 various headings as explained by him in that letter.

7 So could we look together, please, at RNI-106-211

8 (displayed) first of all? This is his letter to the

9 Secretary of State dated 19 June 1998, and again, can

10 I take it, please, that you didn't see this letter at

11 the time?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Are you able to tell me when you first saw this letter?

14 A. That's the first time I believe I have seen this letter.

15 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, is there a problem?

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Somebody has played with my machine during

17 lunch. Could someone put it in order?

18 MR PHILLIPS: We will just fix that. (Pause)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Sorry about that.

20 MR PHILLIPS: No. I was showing this letter, 19 June, and I

21 think you said that you didn't see it at the time?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Are you able to tell me when you think you first saw

24 a copy of this letter?

25 A. I think it was possibly this morning.

 

 

105

 

1 Q. Thank you very much. It is dated 19 June, as I say --

2 so a few weeks before the press release we just looked

3 at -- addressed to the Secretary of State, marked "in

4 confidence", and the text continues over the next three

5 pages. I would like to ask you first of all about this,

6 please. Do you see in the second paragraph, where it

7 says that:

8 "Death threats and sinister innuendos have been made

9 towards Rosemary Nelson, a solicitor. It is claimed

10 that these were communicated to Mr Duffy while under

11 arrest as a suspect in the murder of two police officers

12 ..."

13 Was that your understanding of the nature of the

14 Duffy complaint?

15 A. Absolutely not. That is an incorrect interpretation.

16 Q. Yes. The death threats, as we saw earlier, related to

17 the LAJI matter, didn't they?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, this letter and the criticisms and

20 comments that are made in it were in due course

21 considered in very considerable detail in the review

22 that was conducted eventually by the Commander,

23 Commander Mulvihill, in 1998 and, I think, early 1999.

24 So these comments made by the Chairman about the

25 nature of the investigation you had conducted, as it

 

 

106

 

1 were, became part of the agenda of criticism over the

2 next year and a half.

3 Can I ask you to look, please, just at the position

4 of Mr Donnelly, first of all? Did you have, during the

5 course of your investigation, any contact with him

6 whatsoever?

7 A. None at all.

8 Q. So far as the specific points are concerned, I would

9 like to focus on just four of them, which in a sense

10 bring together all of the criticisms that were made.

11 The first is in the third paragraph of this page and

12 it begins about six lines down with the words "The

13 demeanour". Do you see that?

14 A. Yes, I do.

15 Q. "The demeanour, behaviour and investigative approach of

16 the interviewing police officer, together with the

17 responses of those officers under question, combined to

18 fundamentally undermine the investigative process."

19 I would like to look at that with you first, please.

20 How would you describe your demeanour and behaviour in

21 the course of this investigation, or these

22 investigations?

23 A. Hopefully professional, courteous, helpful.

24 Q. Are you conscious of having behaved in this or these

25 investigations in a way different to your usual

 

 

107

 

1 behaviour in such investigations?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Is there any reason why your behaviour might have

4 changed, do you think, looking back on it, in these

5 investigations?

6 A. No, my behaviour was the same as for any other

7 investigation, I believe.

8 Q. Now, so far as the officers and their behaviour or

9 attitude is concerned -- you see that is the next point

10 that is made here, about the responses of the officers

11 under question -- you deal with this topic in general

12 terms in paragraph 104 of your statement, RNI-840-035

13 (displayed), and you say that, perhaps unsurprisingly,

14 they responded in different ways?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. So some presumably were more accommodating and helpful

17 than others?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. And you have helpfully dealt with some examples of that

20 in your statement -- and we can see it in the files --

21 that there were some officers at any rate who did not

22 talk freely in the interviews?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. But there were others, however, who responded to each

25 and every question and set out what they had to say

 

 

108

 

1 about it?

2 A. Yes, and variations in between.

3 Q. Now, is it possible for you to say whether you noted any

4 difference in the behaviour of the interviewed officers

5 between, say, the Colin Duffy complaint on the one hand,

6 and the LAJI complaint on the other?

7 A. Are you talking about timescales here or ...

8 Q. No, the nature of the behaviour. Was there any notable

9 difference in the behaviour of the officers in the two

10 different complaints?

11 A. I wouldn't necessarily say so. I can go through all the

12 officers if you want, but I think in both investigations

13 there were a few examples of officers with questionable

14 attitudes. I don't want to put it any higher or lower

15 than that, but I can look at them individually.

16 And those were identified through my interviewing

17 style, and I considered that to be, if you like,

18 a result in the investigation and that, you know, some

19 attitudes had been revealed which might give some cause

20 for questions to be asked.

21 Q. It is right, isn't it, that there were some officers who

22 were interviewed in relation to both complaints?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. As we have agreed earlier, in the LAJI case there were

25 no clients who cooperated and came to interviews; you

 

 

109

 

1 just had their statements?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. But in other case, you had interviews with both Mr Duffy

4 and Rosemary Nelson?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. In the Duffy case, you have told us that Geralyn McNally

7 was present for most of the officer interviews. Is that

8 right?

9 A. That's correct, yes.

10 Q. But again, you have explained that she wasn't present

11 for the officer interviews in the other LAJI case. Do

12 you think that had any effect on the way those

13 investigations proceeded?

14 A. Not necessarily. I mean, in the discussion -- and we

15 did have discussions about this -- it was mutually

16 agreed by myself, Miss McNally and

17 Superintendent P155 that there was very little to be

18 put to the officers in the LAJI case and what there was

19 to put to them was in the form of the 17/3s.

20 I should add that in quite a few of those cases it

21 is pretty clear that officers weren't actually involved

22 with any of the clients, during the contested time, in

23 the LAJI case. So that is a separate matter we might

24 come on to, but basically there was very little to put

25 to them, so the nature of the interviews were different,

 

 

110

 

1 yes.

2 Q. Does it follow by contrast that in the Duffy/Nelson

3 cases you had the advantage of two interviews and the

4 statements made, so you knew more or less exactly what

5 the case was?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. And that was the case you obviously had the opportunity

8 to put to the officers in their interviews?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the remainder of this part of the

11 Chairman's letter is concerned, if we can just get that

12 on the screen again, please, at RNI-106-211 (displayed),

13 what is said here is that:

14 "The demeanour, behaviour and investigative approach

15 of the interviewing police officer together with the

16 responses, combined to undermine the investigative

17 process."

18 Do you think that the way those investigations

19 proceeded meant that they were flawed in that way?

20 A. Absolutely not.

21 Q. Even in relation to the LAJI case, where there was no

22 input from those who were alleging that comments had

23 been made, you believe that the investigation was not

24 flawed?

25 A. That's my belief. I could have had a situation where

 

 

111


1 the police officers weren't interviewed. That would

2 have been quite incorrect. But the vague and general

3 allegations that there were put to them and where

4 I thought they may -- and I emphasise may -- refer to

5 a particular officer, I probed a little bit further.

6 Again, as I say, I can go through each individual

7 interview, but I know that Mr Donnelly made this

8 statement now and I am more aware that he made

9 a statement after Rosemary Nelson's death, which was

10 leaked to the Irish News, and there were also questions

11 asked in the House.

12 Q. That is the review he did, the commentary he prepared --

13 A. That's correct, and I only thing I want to say about

14 that is that any evidence coming from Mr Donnelly is

15 really hearsay or what he read in the reports. He never

16 asked me about my technique, anything about the files

17 whatsoever. In fact, to this day I'm not sure that

18 I have ever met Mr Donnelly, let alone discussed these

19 specific files with him. I did give him the

20 opportunity.

21 Q. There is no detail given, is there, there in this

22 passage about what flaws were perceived in your

23 investigative approach?

24 A. No, there are not.

25 Q. So far as the police officers are concerned, just going

 

 

112

 

1 back to that briefly, if you encountered an officer who

2 was being uncooperative in an interview, what were the

3 range of options or responses available to you?

4 A. Well, I could explain to him why the investigation was

5 taking place and try and find out why he was responding

6 in the way that he was.

7 But as regards the questions, if I had a lot of

8 information to go on, I could probe a bit more. If I

9 did not have a lot of information, the officer could

10 quite rightly say, "I have nothing further to say.

11 I have denied the allegations and that is it." I can

12 persist, but sometimes that is appropriate, sometimes it

13 isn't and you make a judgment call.

14 Q. But in the context of this sort of interview, if he

15 decided that he didn't wish to add anything to his

16 response to the 17/3 form, for example, was there in

17 practice anything you could do about it?

18 A. No, if he stuck strictly to his rights, no.

19 Q. For example, that couldn't possibly be treated, could

20 it, as a disciplinary matter?

21 A. No.

22 Q. There was no question of referring an attitude like that

23 to his line manager, for example?

24 A. No, the police officers have the same rights as any

25 other suspect.

 

 

113

 

1 Q. Indeed. Now, you talked a little earlier about the

2 later stages of all of this and there is an aspect of it

3 I would like to clear up with you, if I may, because in

4 1999, after the murder of Rosemary Nelson, when there

5 was a further outbreak of controversy about this

6 investigation, you wrote a letter to the

7 Chief Constable. I would like to show you that, please,

8 at RNI-228-104 (displayed).

9 This version of the letter is dated 2 April and it

10 has two pages. If you just flick on the screen, please,

11 to RNI-228-105 (displayed). There you have your

12 ciphered signature. Do you see that?

13 A. I do, yes.

14 Q. Can we turn to RNI-228-236, please (displayed)? Now,

15 this, certainly on a casual reading, appears to be

16 a very, very similar letter, and I will show you that by

17 putting the first one on the screen next to it, please,

18 RNI-228-104 (displayed). Thank you. You see on the

19 right-hand side:

20 "I wish to thank you for your support and openness

21 following the grossly irresponsible leak of

22 Miss McNally's inaccurate ICPC statement."

23 That is the stage we have reached by this point.

24 Then do you see a paragraph beginning "As you will

25 appreciate ..."?

 

 

114

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Now, that bears a very close similarity, doesn't it, to

3 the paragraph beginning "As you will appreciate ..." on

4 the left-hand side?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can I just ask you, to be clear -- because we have

7 encountered problems in this Inquiry before with letters

8 that appear to have been sent and then, in fact, were

9 revised and sent later -- were both of these letters

10 sent?

11 A. I believe they were, yes.

12 Q. Because if you follow down the particulars, there are

13 also -- well, to put it mildly, very considerable

14 similarities between the rest of the prose on these two

15 pages, aren't there?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And then if we can do the technical trick, please, of

18 turning both pages over, so that is RNI-228-237 and

19 RNI-228-105 (displayed), there are four numbered

20 paragraphs and then a paragraph beginning "It is

21 abundantly clear that ..." Do you see that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And then a paragraph beginning "The ICPC chairman never

24 [underlined] spoke --

25 A. Yes.

 

 

115

 

1 Q. -- from an organisational point of view."

2 Then the difference would appear to be in the last

3 paragraph where on the left-hand side, the later letter,

4 it is rather more detailed, including a request on your

5 part for a meeting with both Mr Donnelly and

6 Geralyn McNally and your lawyer. Do you see that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can you explain why you ended up sending two letters

9 which were broadly the same a month apart?

10 A. I can't explain at this stage. I mean, the situation

11 was changing week on week.

12 Q. Indeed.

13 A. I was receiving legal advice.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. It could be that the additional bits were added in

16 response to the more information I was getting, but I do

17 believe both these letters were sent.

18 Q. You do?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. One of the points you make in this letter --

21 and perhaps we could go back to the earlier one at

22 RNI-228-104, paragraph 1 (displayed), numbered

23 paragraph 1 on the right-hand side -- is the point which

24 we see elsewhere that apart from the one formal occasion

25 when concerns were raised by Geralyn McNally, there was

 

 

116

 

1 no other occasion on which criticisms, complaints,

2 concern, however you want to put it, were raised with

3 you?

4 A. No, I think the key word there is "formal".

5 Q. Exactly. So with the exception of that formal letter --

6 20 March it was, I think, wasn't it, 1998?

7 A. Yes, about that time.

8 Q. Yes. And despite the fact that you met her on several

9 occasions between then and the beginning of April, as

10 far as you were concerned, these matters were not raised

11 with you?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Now, do you remember earlier I tried to ask you

14 a question about the chronology and the nature of the

15 relationship between the two of you as of January 1998,

16 the moment when you were transferred out of Complaints

17 and Discipline? Would you agree in the light of this

18 that the relationship continued reasonable until the

19 time of the formal raising of her concerns in March that

20 year?

21 A. Yes, although I would say, from my perception, it

22 continued after that. Obviously that was a concern, but

23 we did meet on several occasions after that and in

24 a very tight time period, and I do recall her asking if

25 I would attend an interview with the Chief Inspector,

 

 

117

 

1 which Superintendent P155 was doing. I had various

2 notes which would help P155 with his interview --

3 sorry, the Superintendent with his interview.

4 So she was still seeking my cooperation after that

5 and didn't make reference to this letter. I wouldn't

6 necessarily have expected her to.

7 Q. Are you saying then that with the exception of that

8 letter, which you thought had been satisfactorily

9 addressed, when you got the telephone call in late

10 May/June from HQ, it was the first inkling that

11 criticisms of this kind were going to be made?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So far as the day-to-day working during the

14 investigation is concerned, you are aware, I know, that

15 one of the points you made to -- I think it was to

16 Commander Mulvihill actually because you were

17 interviewed by him, weren't you? -- was that she had

18 a tendency to interrupt during interviews?

19 A. Well, you know, I wasn't making an issue about that.

20 I just said that she did interrupt during some

21 interviews.

22 Q. But you told the Commander that, didn't you?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. I mean, we can see it recorded in his report at

25 RNI-226-019, if we just look at that quickly

 

 

118

 

1 (displayed). It is the third paragraph under issue 9.

2 He is referring to you, and he says:

3 "He says that Miss McNally would initially

4 frequently interrupt and sometimes even ask questions

5 during interviews. Later, it appears that they agreed

6 that Miss McNally would mention to him any areas of

7 concern."

8 Then he says what Miss McNally's position was, that

9 she disputed interrupting.

10 That is a point I wanted to ask you about: doesn't

11 that suggest that there were some difficulties or

12 tensions between the two of you at a much earlier stage

13 in the course of the investigation?

14 A. I don't think so. No, I actually was being flexible in

15 my approach. Strictly speaking, ICPC members are not

16 supposed to interrupt during interviews, but -- I did

17 not have any difficulty with that happening as long as

18 it was done in a proper way, and it was, generally

19 speaking. I don't think we had any arguments about

20 interruptions, to my recollection.

21 Q. Again, was this a case where a point came up, you

22 expressed your view about it, you had a discussion about

23 it and, as far as you were concerned, matters then

24 proceeded satisfactorily?

25 A. It was a case where sometimes we were interviewing one

 

 

119

 

1 of the witnesses and Miss McNally would say, "Could you

2 ask him about such and such?" It didn't happen that

3 often and when it did, well, I would ask the question if

4 it was appropriate, which generally was no problem.

5 Sometimes I thought it was relevant, sometimes I didn't

6 but I included it. It did not seem to be an issue. It

7 was never raised formally.

8 Q. Would it be fair to say in relation to the other moments

9 where there may have been what you described earlier as

10 creative or constructive tension between you, that as

11 far as you were aware and concerned, those matters were

12 satisfactorily resolved and the working relationship

13 continued?

14 A. Yes, I believe so.

15 Q. So you must have been surprised, to put it mildly, when

16 you began to learn about this great list of criticisms

17 at the way you had conducted this investigation?

18 A. Extremely surprised.

19 Q. Yes. I would like to just follow this through to the

20 end of Commander Mulvihill's review of it because we can

21 see that at RNI-226-008 (displayed).

22 Here in his report, if you remember, what he has

23 done is to take quotations, including the one we looked

24 at earlier in Mr Donnelly's -- that is the wrong page,

25 sorry. It is RNI-226-008 (displayed). It was probably

 

 

120

 

1 my fault. Do you see at (a):

2 "As regards the 'demeanour, behaviour and

3 investigative approach of the interviewing police

4 officer' ..."

5 Do you see that?

6 A. I do.

7 Q. Which is a phrase from Mr Donnelly's letter of

8 19 June 1998. It is obviously something he went over

9 with you. He expresses his view about that. You did

10 your best:

11 "... worked industriously and that any perception

12 [you] might somehow have failed is wholly unintentional

13 on his part. It was his impression that his

14 relationship with the ICPC and with Miss McNally, with

15 whom he had worked satisfactorily on a number of other

16 cases, was based on mutual respect with each recognising

17 that in any relationship there will not always be

18 complete agreement."

19 That, as I understand it, was your take on matters

20 in 1998?

21 A. Quite.

22 Q. Now, he then goes on, if we look at the last paragraph

23 of the page, please, and says this about you. That:

24 "[You] are clearly a strong-minded and principled

25 man imbued with a strong sense of duty. His desire to

 

 

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1 keep on top of a heavy workload coupled with the

2 inevitable frustrations which occur if potential

3 witnesses do not come forward might well have led to an

4 impression being created which caused some concern to

5 the ICPC supervisor."

6 Just pausing there, do you think that is a fair

7 comment by Commander Mulvihill?

8 A. I think it's a fair comment, but I think the latter part

9 primarily refers to the incident in March.

10 Q. In March 1998?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is this the interview of P121?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. We will come back to that, if we may.

15 Do you think in fairness that that assessment by the

16 Commander, that may be taking us to the heart of problem

17 between you and Geralyn McNally?

18 A. Well, it would appear there was a problem. I still

19 don't feel there was a problem during the major course

20 of my investigation.

21 Q. Standing back from it and looking at the individual

22 incidents about which complaint was made, it is

23 possible, isn't it, to view this as a series of

24 relatively unimportant incidents, much aggravated by a

25 very considerable clash of personalities; isn't that

 

 

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1 a fair comment?

2 A. Well, on my side there wasn't a considerable clash of

3 personalities and a lot of these incidents that are

4 touched on now -- and, again, I can go through them but

5 I have covered them on my witness statement -- they

6 really did not seem to be big issues at the time.

7 Miss McNally gave her view of things. Generally

8 speaking, I conceded to her view, but not always and

9 that is maybe where I may be a strong-minded person or a

10 strong sense you duty. But as regards tendering

11 statements, et cetera, I had a view on things, what was

12 legitimate and what wasn't.

13 I think in any areas of dispute that we did have --

14 and as I say, there didn't seem to be a clear dispute at

15 the time -- a lot of the report comes down on my

16 interpretation of the law.

17 Q. But it was also the Commander's view, wasn't it, that

18 the tensions between you magnified the problems in a way

19 that was disproportionate to the actual situation?

20 A. Well, again, I would say Miss McNally, in retrospect or

21 hindsight, does seem to have a lot of problems with

22 me. But I have yet to see detailed evidence of what

23 I did which would have given her reasonable cause to

24 have those concerns.

25 Q. Can you look with me, please, at one of the concluding

 

 

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1 paragraphs of Commander Mulvihill's report, and that is

2 at RNI-226-023 (displayed)?

3 It is on the right-hand side of the page. Do you

4 see, just above "Recommendations" where he is, as it

5 were, looking to the future? This is the last paragraph

6 where he is analysing what happened in the past:

7 "It is my view that a breakdown of communication

8 coupled with a series of unrelated administrative and

9 organisational problems combined to create an air of

10 concern which was wholly at odds with and

11 disproportionate to the actual situation. Whilst

12 acknowledging that the various complaint investigations

13 might not have been conducted in a truly outstanding

14 fashion, they were adequate, but adversely complicated

15 by the various issues outlined."

16 Again, can I ask you now, standing back from the

17 matter, is that, do you think a fair summary of the

18 situation?

19 A. It is a good in-between summary, but --

20 Q. Does that make it a fair summary, an "in-between

21 summary"?

22 A. In my opinion, Miss McNally was not interviewed by

23 Mr Mulvihill. I would have liked to have seen specific

24 points looked into, and I think that was a problem that

25 Mr Donnelly raised as well, but possibly with a view to

 

 

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1 presenting the ICPC case. Had it been looked into in

2 detail, I think the evidence would show that I did my

3 best to ensure there was good communication between us

4 and I believe there was good communication.

5 Miss McNally, throughout the investigation, at

6 various times seemed to have a difficulty between

7 becoming more engaged in the investigation than perhaps

8 she might want to and, on the other hand, having a very

9 hands-off attitude. And it was quite difficult for me

10 to engage her in conversation. So --

11 Q. And that was a difficulty you had -- sorry.

12 A. -- that is a long-winded answer, but I'm focussing on

13 this breakdown of communication. I made every effort to

14 have good communication with Miss McNally, including

15 discussing interviews and so on before and after

16 interviews, the tactics. But on quite a few occasions

17 that didn't happen.

18 Q. You have focused on a particular part about breakdown of

19 the communication, but as far as the paragraph is

20 concerned, you do not accept then that that was a fair

21 summary what had happened here?

22 A. I would expect -- I will have to say that that is a fair

23 general summary. It doesn't look at each individual

24 case. Some I think I investigated very well; others

25 were adequate. And primarily the threats file, LAJI

 

 

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1 file, I would say anyone would say that was adequate

2 because clients did not come forward. It was hardly

3 going to be outstanding or anything like that.

4 Q. Do you accept in particular that what happened here was

5 disproportionate to the nature of the problems, ie the

6 actual situations?

7 A. Yes, I think Miss McNally's position was

8 disproportionate and at odds with the actual situation.

9 Q. But you don't accept that in relation to yourself?

10 A. Absolutely not. I don't say that I am without fault,

11 but I would like specific cases to be put to me that I

12 can answer if I am to accept that explanation.

13 Q. Now, this conclusion obviously followed a detailed

14 investigation by Commander Mulvihill in which he went

15 into all the various cases and examples, didn't he?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. I mean, this is the end of a 230-odd page report. It

18 followed months of investigations and interviews,

19 didn't it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. Can we look back to the Donnelly letter at

22 RNI-106-211 (displayed) because the next point that he

23 makes is that, at the bottom of this page, RNI-106-211:

24 "In spite of numerous efforts on the part of the

25 Commission representatives to challenge and redress the

 

 

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1 situation, the investigation has been obstructed and

2 obscured to an extent that leads us to conclude the

3 final outcome is irretrievably flawed."

4 I would like to look with you, please, in this

5 context at the Julie Doran interview that you've already

6 mentioned in your evidence. You deal with it in your

7 statement at paragraphs 56 to 59, and that is

8 RNI-840-020 (displayed). This interview I think took

9 place on the same day as the Colin Duffy interview,

10 namely 15 October.

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Can I just ask you a general question first of all: did

13 you consider this interview to be a successful one?

14 A. Ultimately, yes.

15 Q. What do you mean by that qualification word

16 "ultimately"?

17 A. In that at the end of the interview I had got a witness

18 statement which had lots of detail which I could put to

19 the detectives, against whom accusations were made.

20 I should also clarify at the very outset as regards

21 the Doran complaint that Mrs Doran's allegations had

22 absolutely nothing to do with any threats against

23 Mrs Nelson by police officers. Absolutely nothing to do

24 with any allegations of inappropriate comments in

25 relation to Mrs Nelson.

 

 

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1 Q. This is the point you make at the end of your dealing

2 with this, which is essentially the complaint turned out

3 to be in relation to insensitivity shown by the relevant

4 officers?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Thank you. Looking at paragraph 58 and turning the page

7 to RNI-840-021, please, the controversial part of this

8 interview is when you suggested that her complaint might

9 be resolved under the informal resolution procedure?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Now, the way you treat it in your statement rather

12 suggests that this suggestion came at least halfway

13 through the interview. Is that how you recall it?

14 A. That is how I recall it, yes.

15 Q. Right. If we have a look at Geralyn McNally's note,

16 which is at RNI-209-031 (displayed) -- actually, it is

17 Jennifer Mitchell's note, her assistant, on the file --

18 do you see the second paragraph?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. "At the outset, [you] sought to informally resolve the

21 matter and pointed out to the complainant that this

22 process could be completed within a few weeks."

23 In other words, that this was really how the

24 interview kicked off. Your opening comment then being

25 a suggestion that the matter could be informally

 

 

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1 resolved.

2 Do you think that may have been the way it happened?

3 A. No, that is really an incorrect recollection by the

4 assistant.

5 Q. So you are sure, are you, that it happened after the

6 initial questioning and that you made the suggestion

7 halfway through the interview?

8 A. I'm absolutely sure because when I went into an

9 interview, I was open minded. I had limited

10 information. It took me quite a bit of time -- five,

11 ten minutes, certainly, into the interview -- before

12 I realised that this really seems to be something more

13 related to informal resolution than serious matters of

14 conspiracy, et cetera.

15 Q. Indeed, not only serious matters of conspiracy, but part

16 of an investigation which was being supervised by the

17 ICPC?

18 A. Well, of course, yes.

19 Q. And the point of difference between you and

20 Geralyn McNally was whether it was appropriate to offer

21 informal resolution in the context of a supervised

22 complaint, wasn't it?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. And she made that point to you in the interview,

25 didn't she?

 

 

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1 A. She did. And if I can help you with this, I said

2 earlier I'm not without my faults and that particular

3 case was the first time I had been involved in

4 a supervised interview where I seemed to have

5 a complaint that would be more suited to informal

6 resolution. And I was almost on automatic pilot,

7 I suppose. I was engaged in the interview and it seemed

8 to me that that procedure would be the most appropriate

9 for Mrs Doran to bring a quick resolution to her

10 concerns.

11 Q. As I understand it, once the point had been made and

12 explained to you, you did indeed accept that it wasn't

13 appropriate?

14 A. I did. I obviously wanted to check whenever I went

15 back, but I accepted that that was the procedure for

16 supervised files.

17 Q. Were you rather embarrassed to have been brought up in

18 this way by Geralyn McNally?

19 A. Not at all. I was slightly nonplussed, but -- slightly

20 nonplussed, thinking is this right or whatever. If that

21 give the impression of embarrassment, all I can say is I

22 wasn't embarrassed.

23 Q. And you didn't perceive the way she dealt with you in

24 that interview with being something akin to a public

25 rebuke?

 

 

130

 

1 A. I think it was helpful. It would have been worse if I

2 had continued to persevere with this approach to an

3 informal resolution if that wasn't appropriate.

4 Q. What happened thereafter we will trace in a moment, but

5 would it be right to say that this interview,

6 15 October 1997, was the first occasion on which there

7 was some sort of friction between you and

8 Geralyn McNally?

9 A. Yes, that would probably be right.

10 Q. The incident was followed up, wasn't it, by the ICPC

11 with your line manager?

12 A. Yes, that's correct.

13 Q. And we can see a note of the conversation that then took

14 place, RNI-209-033 (displayed). And it seems that by

15 this stage you had already spoken to your line manager.

16 Do you remember that?

17 A. Yes, I do.

18 Q. So that he was, as it were, briefed when the call came

19 in from the ICPC?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And do you see in the third paragraph:

22 "I ..."

23 That is the ICPC official:

24 "... proceeded to raise with the Superintendent

25 concern about the attitude displayed by [you] towards

 

 

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1 others at the interview, stating that it was my

2 information that the investigating officer had been

3 dismissive and, indeed, rude to persons present. And

4 the Superintendent enquired did the Commission wish him

5 to specifically speak to you regarding the matter. To

6 which I replied [the official] in the negative."

7 So can I just ask you: were you spoken to by the

8 Superintendent following this in relation to your

9 attitude and behaviour?

10 A. I'm not sure that I was. As I have stated, I briefed

11 him beforehand. I knew that Miss McNally was quite

12 exacting as regards other supervised investigations.

13 Q. So you had heard that about her already, had you?

14 A. Yes, there is nothing wrong with that. So where there

15 was a situation like this, where definitely there were

16 some difficulties in the interview, I wouldn't put it

17 any higher than that --

18 Q. It looks from your own statement as though whatever was

19 said in this conversation, you were spoken to by the

20 Superintendent, and we can see that in your statement at

21 RNI-840-023 (displayed) because you tell us there that:

22 "He [the Superintendent] told me that Miss McNally

23 had complained of difficult dynamics between me,

24 Mrs Doran and her husband at the interview."

25 Do you see that?

 

 

132

 

1 A. Yes, that's the indication then.

2 Q. It looks as though there were two points taken up with

3 you: not just this informal resolution, but the

4 difficult dynamics.

5 Was the point that she was accusing you of being

6 rather high handed with Mrs Doran and her husband during

7 the course of the interview?

8 A. I certainly think she thought I was a bit tough with

9 Mr Doran, but I would contest that.

10 Q. This was the interview in which you felt that he was

11 interrupting?

12 A. Yes, I have read the notes for that particular interview

13 and they don't really reflect the sequence, in that the

14 interview is taking place, Mr Doran started to

15 interrupt. I said to him, in a friendly way to begin

16 with, at least once, probably twice, that he shouldn't

17 interrupt the process because it might contaminate the

18 evidence, or words to that effect. It had to be

19 Mrs Doran's words. I kept it in as simple language as

20 such. I do that on two occasions. The third time that

21 he interrupted I was a bit firmer with him, but he

22 continued to do so. I wasn't getting any assistance

23 from Mrs Doran's legal representative in relation to

24 this and so I was quite firm with him at that stage.

25 And I said that unfortunately, if he persisted in these

 

 

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1 interruptions, I would have to ask him to leave the room

2 because it really was affecting the flow of the

3 interview and perhaps the actual facts of the interview,

4 and after that it stopped.

5 I could see some looks being given to me at that

6 time, but I wasn't told not to say that. But after the

7 interview, I think it was mentioned to me that I was

8 a bit hard on him. But it wasn't a big issue. So,

9 again, I was surprised that such an emphasis was put

10 on it.

11 Quite a few months down the line it was raised with

12 Mr P155, of course.

13 Q. Now, so far as your superintendent is concerned -- that

14 is P155 on your sheet -- as I understand it then, he

15 spoke to you, as you tell us in your statement.

16 Did you have any subsequent conversations about

17 these incidents with Geralyn McNally herself that you

18 can recall?

19 A. No, none at all.

20 Q. Looking back on it now, do you think this is the moment

21 at which the difficulties with Geralyn McNally began?

22 A. It would appear so, from her point of view.

23 Q. Well, you say something to that effect in your statement

24 at RNI-840-024, the end of paragraph 68 (displayed)

25 because you say in the last sentence of that paragraph:

 

 

134

 

1 "It seemed to me ..."

2 This is just after this incident:

3 "... that Miss McNally was beginning to see problems

4 where there were none and that her view of this issue

5 was disproportionate."

6 Now, is that something that you were conscious of at

7 the time?

8 A. Erm, clearly I was conscious that she had some

9 difficulties with how the interview was carried out.

10 But I wouldn't put it any higher than I have put it

11 there. She seemed to see some problems in relation to

12 that specific interview.

13 Q. Was there a moment from which the relationship became

14 more formal in the sense that she would communicate with

15 you in writing, for example?

16 A. Yes, a few days later.

17 Q. And that marked another shift in the relationship, did

18 it not?

19 A. I think it probably did. October was a very busy month.

20 So there were lots of issues floating around more

21 generally as well as specifically at that time.

22 Q. But is it fair to say, looking back on it, that this was

23 a moment which marked some sort of change in the

24 relationship between you?

25 A. That's probably fair to say, although it wasn't apparent

 

 

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1 in subsequent interviews that I took in November.

2 Q. What I'm getting at, you see, is this: we are

3 in October 1997. The formal complaint letter, which we

4 will come on to, is March 1998, which is some six

5 months. Are you really saying that between those two

6 moments there was no other difficulty, no other problems

7 in your relationship with Geralyn McNally?

8 A. None that I can think of, no. I mean, sometimes she

9 could be quite distant, but that was her way of managing

10 investigations. I didn't see that any more, any less.

11 You have mentioned this request that things be put in

12 writing. I can elaborate on that for you, if that will

13 be useful for the Inquiry.

14 Q. Please do.

15 A. I think the sequence on that that you may have from

16 Miss McNally is an incorrect sequence, in that there was

17 a request made for a file, the Colin Duffy murder file,

18 through Mr P155 and that was made -- sorry,

19 Superintendent. That was made verbally. It is in the

20 evidence that this was brought to my attention and when

21 I saw it, I only had a note. I did not have this

22 directly from the Superintendent. But I thought that

23 a file of that nature, with a lot of intelligence

24 information on it, everything -- it was a pretty big ask

25 that everything be submitted to the ICPC. But if that

 

 

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1 was okay, that was fine. But as a routine basic

2 procedure, in my view, I asked that that request be

3 confirmed in writing because it was quite unusual to

4 see -- get access to the full file including

5 intelligence information.

6 I subsequently discussed this with

7 Superintendent P155. We both agreed that it would

8 be better to get it in writing. That request was made.

9 Miss McNally agreed then to ask for it in writing, but

10 her letter came after mine confirming her request in

11 writing, and I think you will see in her letter she says

12 that in future all requests should be in writing.

13 So in some ways that could be seen as Miss McNally

14 being on the back foot and reacting to a request by me

15 that things be put in writing.

16 Again, where I was concerned, it wasn't a big issue

17 and at the time it didn't seem to be a big issue, but

18 retrospectively in the light of material coming out in

19 1999, after Rosemary's death, it appears to have been an

20 issue for her.

21 Q. But so far as the end product of all of this is

22 concerned, the communications thereafter were

23 communications from her in writing and from you to her

24 in writing?

25 A. Not always.

 

 

137

 

1 Q. Not always?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Now, so far as the formalities go, can we look briefly,

4 please, at the letter of 20 March because this is the

5 formal complaint which followed the interview of P121

6 and, as I understand it from you then, there was no

7 prior formal or informal complaint other than the one we

8 have looked at following the Julie Doran interview. Is

9 that correct?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And she sets out her complaints and concerns there.

12 Were you expecting her to take formal issue as

13 a result of that interview?

14 A. Could you put the question again, please?

15 Q. Were you expecting her to make a formal complaint

16 following the interview on 18 March?

17 A. No. I wouldn't have been surprised if she had raised

18 some concerns informally with Superintendent P155,

19 but I wasn't expecting a formal complaint.

20 Q. We can see on the next page, RNI-202-146 (displayed),

21 that you are copied into the letter and we know from

22 your statement that you responded to the complaints

23 being made in a memorandum to your line manager, P155,

24 on 2 April. That is RNI-202-147 (displayed).

25 The formal response, however, that went back from

 

 

138

 

1 him came in April and I would like to show you that,

2 please, to ask you what input you had into it. That is

3 at RNI-209-266 (displayed):

4 "Thank you for your letter of 20 March. I have

5 forwarded a copy of your letter to the Chief Inspector

6 and asked for his observations on the matters set out."

7 And he then deals in various ways with the

8 complaints that have been made.

9 Can I ask you to look at the question of

10 pre-prepared statements because, as you know, the

11 Inquiry has heard evidence about this from Miss McNally

12 but also from the officer himself.

13 What I think the Superintendent is saying here is

14 that you were wrong to confirm to P121 that he could and

15 should put in a written statement. Do you see that?

16 A. I see that.

17 Q. Do you agree with that?

18 A. No, I don't.

19 Q. It is certainly contrary to what you said to me this

20 morning, isn't it?

21 A. In relation to?

22 Q. Pre-prepared statements.

23 A. Oh, yes. No, I think the Superintendent was wrong in

24 that.

25 Q. He was wrong effectively in his criticism of you on this

 

 

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1 point, was he?

2 A. In your question you are talking about "could" and

3 "should" provide a statement. I believe that if an

4 officer says to me, "Can I put in a statement?" I can

5 confirm that, yes, he can, because that is stated on the

6 17/3 --

7 Q. Indeed --

8 A. -- I certainly wouldn't say to him, "You should put in

9 a statement."

10 Q. Okay, let's leave it at "could". He is saying you are

11 wrong to tell him that?

12 A. He is wrong in saying that. I think Mr Mulvihill

13 supports my interpretation.

14 Q. Was he wrong also to tell the G team that if there was

15 a practice of eliciting statements in advance, that

16 should cease forthwith?

17 A. No, he's right in saying that because the key word is

18 "eliciting statements in advance". I have never

19 elicited statements in advance. I have never actively

20 sought them in advance of a formal interview. I think

21 the difference is subtle, but it is important.

22 Q. So your position, as I understand it, is there is

23 nothing wrong with an officer putting in a statement of

24 that kind, but it would have been wrong had you asked

25 him to do so. Is that right?

 

 

140

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Now, the third point that's made, and which has been

3 covered in the evidence of Miss McNally, arising out of

4 Mr Donnelly's letter, we can see at RNI-106-212

5 (displayed), and that, in the middle of the page, is the

6 paragraph beginning, "Throughout ... ":

7 "... the Commission representatives had extreme

8 difficulty in exercising their statutory duty to direct

9 and supervise the Inquiry."

10 We have dealt with the question of whether

11 Geralyn McNally raised concerns with you and we have

12 looked at the example of the case where a Commission

13 member or Commission employee raised matters with your

14 superintendent.

15 Did anybody else from the Commission to your

16 knowledge raise concerns about the investigation with

17 you during the course of the investigation?

18 A. To my knowledge, no, no.

19 Q. So when it talks about exercising statutory duty to

20 direct and supervise the Inquiry, so far as you are

21 aware, the only person who would have been involved in

22 that is Geralyn McNally?

23 A. That would appear to be the case.

24 Q. And also when the suggestion is made that you had

25 a problem in accepting the authority of the Commission,

 

 

141

 

1 so far as you were concerned, the representative of the

2 Commission with whom you were dealing was

3 Geralyn McNally?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. And no one else?

6 A. And no one else.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, there are essentially examples given of

8 that over the next page or so, and the example I'm going

9 to focus on is at the bottom of the page, RNI-106-212

10 (displayed), and it is in fact the interview of P121

11 that we have touched on a little earlier. The

12 suggestion there that:

13 "One officer arrived for interview 45 minutes late

14 without explanation and smelling of alcohol."

15 And you have read, I know, the material about all of

16 that because it was the same officer who produced the

17 pre-prepared statement. But focussing on the question

18 of the alcohol for a moment, as I understand it, no

19 reference to this whatsoever was made by Geralyn McNally

20 at the time?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And as far as one can tell, no reference to it that you

23 are aware of was made until presumably a considerable

24 time after the interview in March 1998?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

142

 

1 Q. So far as the question of being drunk or under the

2 influence of alcohol is concerned, you deal with it in

3 your statement.

4 As I understand it, it would have been

5 a disciplinary matter for an officer to turn up to an

6 interview the worse for alcohol?

7 A. Yes, drunk on duty.

8 Q. Yes, because this was as much part of his duty as any

9 other work he was doing during the day?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Thank you. You deal with this as the other two

12 witnesses have in your statement, and it is at

13 paragraph 130, on page RNI-840-043 (displayed) and you

14 say that you have a limited sense of smell but that you

15 didn't observe any other signs that this officer had

16 been drinking?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. What would you have done had you observed such signs?

19 A. Well, I would have challenged him, asked him had he been

20 drinking and probably have suspended the interview at

21 that stage, and probably -- in fact almost certainly --

22 commenced a separate disciplinary file in relation to

23 appearing at an interview smelling strongly of drink.

24 Q. Because it was a serious matter?

25 A. Particularly if he was drunk. There is no evidence at

 

 

143

 

1 all that this officer was drunk either in his behaviour

2 or his speech, and in fairness to Miss McNally she never

3 suggested that he was drunk, although the newspapers

4 took up inferences to that effect.

5 Q. But it was something you observed and it wasn't

6 something that was remarked upon during or after the

7 interview by her?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Looking at how this developed, if we look, please, for

10 the first time at the statement of satisfaction which

11 was issued in March 1999 and the appendix, there was

12 also a criticism at RNI-223-329 (displayed) that there

13 was observable general hostility, evasiveness and

14 disinterest on the part of the police officers involved

15 in this investigation.

16 Did you note behaviour of that kind on the part of

17 that officer during the interview on 18 March?

18 A. I would haven't have interpreted it along any of those

19 lines. Possibly evasive in places, but ...

20 Q. It wasn't an easy interview?

21 A. It wasn't an easy interview, but I don't think he was

22 hostile. That is an interesting word. Disinterested?

23 Again, what does that mean? He seemed interested to me.

24 He was concerned.

25 Q. This is the interview in which, on a number of

 

 

144

 

1 occasions, the officer simply said:

2 "I refer to my statement"?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Because he had put in the pre-prepared statement?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And it is also the interview, isn't it, in which he said

7 that legal action had not ceased in relation to the

8 alleged responsibility of Colin Duffy for the murder of

9 the two police officers?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Although by that stage the Director of Public

12 Prosecutions had made his decision about that?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. And he was challenged on that point just to make sure he

16 meant what he said. He repeated that. So I didn't

17 pursue that particular issue.

18 Q. Did you get the impression from that officer of

19 hostility in relation in particular to Colin Duffy?

20 A. He certainly didn't like Colin Duffy.

21 Q. Was that a general view amongst officers in Lurgan at

22 that time?

23 A. It is difficult to say. I wouldn't like to say every

24 officer was hostile to Colin Duffy.

25 Q. But had you heard similar expressions of view and

 

 

145

 

1 opinion in the past?

2 A. I heard some officers say that they didn't particularly

3 like him.

4 Q. Did you detect in the interview -- which of course, was

5 an interview relating not just to Colin Duffy but to

6 Rosemary Nelson and the alleged remark made about her in

7 the interview by this same officer, P121 -- a hostility

8 to Rosemary Nelson on his part in that interview?

9 A. I don't recall that. I would need to see the interview

10 notes again. I certainly think he might have had some

11 difficulties with Mrs Nelson.

12 Q. Sorry, you think he might have had difficulties with

13 Mrs Nelson?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. What sort of difficulties do you mean?

16 A. Just she was a very active solicitor and quite

17 challenging, as is her right, and put detectives on

18 their metal.

19 Q. Do you think that riled this particular officer?

20 A. Well, I can't say. I just don't know.

21 Q. You have made a comment about difficulties. You must

22 have had something in mind. What did you have in mind?

23 A. I think during some other interviews, not necessarily

24 this one, but I can think generally those comments made

25 somewhere that showed he would have had some problems

 

 

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1 with Mrs Nelson.

2 Q. So that was something you encountered in other

3 interviews, was it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. In relation to the Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson

6 complaints or other complaints?

7 A. I think other complaints.

8 Q. I mean, the LAJI complaint, or are you not able to say?

9 A. I'm not able to say unless I look at the interview

10 notes.

11 Q. Might it have been in connection with other complaints

12 entirely, in other words nothing to do with the matters

13 we are looking at at the moment?

14 A. It could well have been.

15 Q. So these might have been expressions of view about

16 Rosemary Nelson in those other contexts?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Would you have been surprised to hear them?

19 A. Not necessarily.

20 Q. Was it a generally held view that she created

21 difficulties?

22 A. I don't think that was a generally held view. It was

23 generally recognised that she was a good solicitor who

24 was a good advocate for her clients. Some officers

25 would have had difficulty with that. Other officers

 

 

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1 would have said good luck to her, she is doing her job

2 well.

3 Q. And there was nothing more to it than that?

4 A. Not as far as I am aware, in this context anyway.

5 Q. Well, please look at the notes, if you would like to.

6 I have, as you have probably noticed by now, been rather

7 avoiding the notes because I find the handwritten

8 version quite difficult to read -- and we have done

9 pretty well so far. But it is RNI-211-069 (displayed).

10 There are the notes.

11 If you are using the screen, you are going to be

12 hampered, as I am, by the fact that you can only see one

13 page at a time. But they go on to RNI-211-072, and if

14 you look at the bottom of RNI-211-070 (displayed), you

15 will see -- I think this is all in your handwriting,

16 isn't it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And the penultimate line of this page:

19 "I refer to the statement I handed in."

20 Is the first such answer. If we go over the page to

21 RNI-211-071 (displayed), top of the page:

22 "I refer to the statement ..."

23 I can't read that, I am afraid.

24 A. If you like, I can read that to you.

25 Q. Thank you very much.

 

 

148

 

1 A. "I refer to the statement I handed in.

2 "Question: You seem to suggest that Mr Duffy was

3 lying about this. Is that a correct interpretation?

4 "Answer: I refer to the statement I handed in.

5 "Question: Would you accept that to make such

6 comments would amount to a serious breach of discipline

7 vis-a-vis irregularity in interview procedures?

8 "Answer: I refer to the statement I handed in. The

9 comments were not made."

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. Do you wish me to go on?

12 Q. No, unless you wish to. But so far as Colin Duffy is

13 concerned, just so show you -- I think it occurs on the

14 next page, RNI-211-072 (displayed). I think this is the

15 page, isn't it, in which the exchange takes place about

16 "legal action has not ceased"? That's about five lines

17 from the bottom. Do you see:

18 "I'm referring to Colin Duffy's murder of two

19 policemen. Legal action has not ceased"?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And it looks as though that was, I think, the second

22 time you had been over that ground, and at that point

23 you say:

24 "Anything else you wish to say?"

25 And that is the end of the interview?

 

 

149

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Thank you.

3 As I said to you before -- and I think you

4 accepted -- Miss McNally was present at this and most of

5 the other Colin Duffy complaint interviews, and one

6 assumes, therefore, that her assessment of whether

7 officers were hostile or not must have been based on her

8 experience in those interviews, rather than in the LAJI

9 ones where she wasn't present at all?

10 A. Yes, although it is possible that she read other files

11 which weren't related to these two complaints at

12 a subsequent date.

13 Q. But she certainly wouldn't have been personally present

14 in the other interviews?

15 A. No.

16 Q. And is it possible, do you think, with hindsight, that

17 the fact that the complainant was Colin Duffy did make

18 these interviews more difficult and the officers

19 involved more hostile than in other complaints?

20 A. Well, I think that's fair comment, but hostile -- again,

21 I have difficulty with that word. I know quite a lot of

22 detectives weren't particularly happy that the

23 complaints process had taken so long. They were quite

24 frustrated. They had had this mark hanging over them in

25 some cases since October when documents were served on

 

 

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1 them, and they just wanted to get the process over.

2 Q. I understand that. That is a point about timing and

3 delay. But I'm talking about the identity of the

4 complainant in the case.

5 Do you accept that that made a difference to the

6 attitude of the officers?

7 A. I accept that probably made a difference.

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

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, we will have a gap of a quarter of an

10 hour.

11 Mr [name redacted], before the witness leaves, would you

12 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

13 off?

14 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

16 Please escort the witness out. We will resume just

17 after half past.

18 (3.15 pm)

19 (Short break)

20 (3.30 pm)

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

22 with you before the witness comes in?

23 Is the public area screen fully if place, locked and

24 the key secured?

25 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

 

 

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

2 closed?

3 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

5 and securely fastened?

6 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

8 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

9 of the chamber?

10 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr [name redacted], can you confirm, please, that

12 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

13 shrouded?

14 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

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

16 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Bring the witness in, please.

18 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

19 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

20 switched back on.

21 Yes, Mr Phillips?

22 MR PHILLIPS: Can I now turn to the last of the points made

23 in this letter, RNI-106-213 (displayed), and with the

24 reminder again to you in fairness that the reason I'm

25 going through these matters with you is that they have

 

 

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1 been covered in the evidence of both Geralyn McNally

2 and, in most cases, P121. It is obviously right that

3 you have the opportunity to deal with them.

4 Pre-prepared statements is the next matter. It

5 comes at the top of this page where a specific example

6 is given. "One officer", do you see, four lines down:

7 "... who came to interview presented the

8 interviewing officer with a handwritten statement

9 saying, 'Here [name], this is the statement you asked

10 for.'"

11 We have touched on the issue before. You will be

12 aware that in the appendix and, indeed, subsequently in

13 this Inquiry, in the evidence of P121, the officer, the

14 suggestion was that you had asked for the statement,

15 rather than he proposing to put in a statement.

16 What is your response to that?

17 A. I definitely did not ask for the statement to be

18 prepared or handed in.

19 Q. Can you now remember, therefore, the circumstances in

20 which it did come to be handed in?

21 A. Well, my recollection is that I was trying to arrange

22 interviews with this officer and his colleague for that

23 date some days previously, you know, a week, maybe two

24 weeks before, and this particular officer expressed some

25 concern about the amount of information he had in 17/3s

 

 

153

 

1 and was he going to be interviewed about all the

2 offences set out in front of him, or what.

3 I think he was a bit surprised when he heard it was

4 only the Duffy 17/3, and he asked me could he tender

5 this statement because, well -- I mean, that had been

6 mentioned way back in October, so I don't know if it was

7 still in his mind or not, on the 17/3 form, his rights.

8 And I confirmed that he could, but I said that you will

9 be asked about that at the interview.

10 Q. So you think this was a conversation that took place

11 some time before the interview?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What he said to the Inquiry is that he wasn't expecting

14 to be interviewed on this day, that there had been

15 difficulties in setting up his interview before that and

16 he found himself going for interview, if I can put it

17 that way, on the 18th and decided to follow your

18 suggestion and run up a statement of his own, which he

19 handed in with the words as set out here:

20 "Here is the statement."

21 A. That's incorrect. I recall arranging that interview.

22 I mean, this was a problematic interview. I can

23 appreciate that Miss McNally had concerns.

24 For a variety of reasons, there were a lot of

25 interviews took place that month. These were important

 

 

154

 

1 interviews, but so were the others. On that particular

2 day, there was an Assistant Chief Constable's meeting in

3 Mahon Road in Portadown and I was attending that in my

4 capacity as an operational manager; a lot of terrorism

5 going on in the general southern area, both Republican

6 and Loyalist. Plus it was a review, a general review

7 and presentations had to be done.

8 The reason I mention all this is that this

9 particular meeting took place late. It was supposed to

10 start early in the morning. It took place later.

11 Events ran on. We pretty much had a working lunch. It

12 was agreed -- because I said, "Well, I've got an

13 important interview to attend". So it was agreed that

14 I'd give my presentation first.

15 But I already had been the subject of arrest

16 operations of Loyalists in relation to a couple of

17 serious murders at Poyntzpass. So there was a lot

18 to cover with me. And unfortunately, this meeting ran

19 on. I contacted Lurgan, asked them to tell the officers

20 that I was going to be late, asked them to tell

21 Miss McNally that I was going to be late, and I believe

22 this was done. And in fact whilst interviews would

23 start at 2 o'clock, I think it wasn't until about half

24 two or quarter to three that I arrived at Lurgan.

25 I apologised to Miss McNally, just to check that she

 

 

155

 

1 had received the explanation, but she clearly had

2 because she didn't express surprise that I was late.

3 The reason I give you this whole preamble is that

4 there is a knock-on effect with the interviews. But I

5 can tell you for definite that those two officers were

6 there waiting to be interviewed. I saw them. I said,

7 "We are a bit behind schedule, but if you can hang on,

8 the interviews will be commencing shortly once I have

9 had a quick word with Miss McNally." And that's what

10 happened.

11 Q. So as far as you were concerned, they were definitely

12 arranged for that day?

13 A. Definitely arranged for that day.

14 Q. Just looking at the pre-prepared statements issue more

15 generally, just one matter to deal with in your

16 statement at paragraph 101 at RNI-840-034 (displayed).

17 As I understand it, the way you dealt with these

18 statements if they emerged was to use them in what would

19 still be a full interview; is that correct?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. So that you were not, as I understand it, taking the

22 statement as an answer to all the questions, but asking

23 the questions anyway and possibly asking further

24 questions as a result of what you read in the statement?

25 A. Absolutely. It obviously depended what was in the

 

 

156

 

1 statement. I had no idea what was going to be in that

2 statement until I read it.

3 Q. So far as this interview and the formal letter that

4 followed it two days later, the 20 March letter we

5 looked at earlier, as I understand what you said to us

6 earlier, this was the last occasion on which there was

7 any indication to you from Geralyn McNally of

8 dissatisfaction or concern about your conduct of the

9 investigation before you prepared your reports?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Thank you.

12 Now, can I look with that answer in mind at the

13 final point taken in this letter from the Chairman of

14 the ICPC at RNI-106-213 (displayed), and that appears in

15 the penultimate paragraph:

16 "Throughout the investigation, the supervising

17 member and senior staff at the Commission consistently

18 reminded the interviewing officer of their expectations

19 and their displeasure at these not being fulfilled. In

20 spite of seven separate meetings, numerous telephone

21 contacts and informal conversations with the

22 interviewing officer and his superior there was no

23 improvement."

24 Now, as far as you were concerned, were there seven

25 meetings dealing with these concerns and with their

 

 

157

 

1 displeasure?

2 A. I'm tempted to say is this a different officer they are

3 talking about. There were not. It is not supported by

4 the facts. I'm unaware of it.

5 Q. What about the numerous telephone contacts and informal

6 conversations?

7 A. Well, I think they would need to say specifically what

8 they were. For example, in January I got a couple of

9 phone calls from Greg Mullan who was asking about

10 progress on the file, another one of these calls from

11 headquarters wondering who is talking to who. But he

12 obviously was responding to correspondence and I told

13 him the situation with the files. But that is

14 a telephone contact, it is not a critical telephone

15 contact.

16 I would like to see the specific evidence and

17 pattern of all this.

18 Q. Were you aware of being:

19 "... consistently reminded of the Commission's

20 expectations and their displeasure at these not being

21 fulfilled"?

22 A. No, I would have been very concerned if these points

23 were raised, particularly this word "displeasure". And

24 with it being such an important investigation, if there

25 were misunderstandings or even breakdowns of

 

 

158

 

1 communications that I was aware of, I would have been

2 quite happy to step aside if that increased the chances

3 of a different outcome.

4 Q. And other than the two examples we have looked at

5 together, one arising out of the Julie Doran interview

6 and one arising out of the P121 interview, did your

7 superior, your line manager, P155, speak to you, as far

8 as you were concerned, about the way you were conducting

9 this investigation?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Thank you. Now, the next thing I would like to do with

12 you, please -- and, again, it is a matter dealt with in

13 the other evidence, and it is important that you have an

14 opportunity to deal with it -- is to look at just one or

15 two aspects of your reports. And I mean by that the

16 reports which we looked at briefly earlier in relation

17 first to the LAJI case.

18 Here, we are treading familiar territory because we

19 are going to look at the topic of reliability. Do you

20 remember that?

21 A. Yes, I do.

22 Q. Thank you. There is a section in each standard form

23 report, isn't there, which invites comment on the

24 reliability of the complainant as a witness?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

159

 

1 Q. Can we look at one example, please, RNI-206-043

2 (displayed). Here, under that heading, it says:

3 "Rosemary Nelson is a well-known solicitor who

4 carries out a large volume of work from her offices in

5 Lurgan. There is no reason to doubt her reliability as

6 a witness, but to date she's not provided any evidence

7 to support the allegations."

8 That was the comment you made, wasn't it, at the end

9 of July?

10 A. That's correct, yes.

11 Q. So far as that was concerned, at this stage, in the

12 summer, nothing had in fact happened in terms of

13 Rosemary Nelson's attendance. But in relation to

14 reliability, you made a comment about that, namely that

15 she hadn't come to support the allegations which were

16 made on her behalf?

17 A. That's correct, yes.

18 Q. And you did that on the basis that she was the

19 complainant?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. If you look at the next part of the report, or the final

22 part of the report, which we see at RNI-206-047

23 (displayed) -- we have looked at this briefly before --

24 you deal with the problems of non-cooperation in the

25 first paragraph and you characterise the allegations

 

 

160

 

1 made by Mr Lynch in the last paragraph on this page.

2 Would it be fair to say that from this point on, in

3 other words from the summer of 1997 on, you became more

4 frustrated and irritated by what you saw as the way in

5 which Rosemary Nelson and her clients were simply not

6 cooperating with the investigation?

7 A. I think I remained quite optimistic until the end

8 of October 1997, and that was whenever the CAJ had

9 provided me with two statements. And I wanted to see

10 clients and I thought, "Yes, things are starting to move

11 now."

12 Q. But that hope was not, in the end, fulfilled, was it?

13 A. No, unfortunately not.

14 Q. And you found irritating also, didn't you, the fact that

15 statements would suddenly be sent to you, as two were

16 in November -- do you remember we talked about them

17 earlier? -- and you would again seek to follow them up

18 and find that it wasn't possible to explore them in

19 further interviews?

20 A. Yes, that's correct.

21 Q. Can we look at an example of that, please, and that is

22 your memorandum to your line manager on 27 November that

23 year. So we are now beyond the period you have just

24 mentioned. RNI 202-1223 (displayed). Thank you.

25 Here you are reporting up the line, and you say at

 

 

161

 

1 the bottom of the page:

2 "Mrs Nelson continues to ignore or delay

3 correspondence relating to interview of alleged

4 interviews. She frequently sends letters requesting

5 interviews to be arranged some days after an agreed

6 interview date has passed with her clients/witnesses

7 failing to turn up. In addition, I continue to receive a

8 dripfeed of new witnesses to be interviewed months after

9 the original complaints have been made.

10 "Naturally, all of this is being documented. It is

11 beginning to cause administrative difficulties

12 particularly in view of the latest correspondence which

13 introduces what I consider to be a new complaint from

14 Brian Loughran."

15 That is something you have dealt with in your

16 statement, isn't it, which came up in November of this

17 year, 1997?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. And although it looks, reading on here, as though the

20 arrival of that latest complaint was the immediate

21 prompt for this, would those earlier comments be a fair

22 summary of your position by this stage, at the end

23 of November, about the way in which Rosemary Nelson was

24 dealing with these complaints?

25 A. Yes, that would be fair comment.

 

 

162

 

1 Q. Thank you. And it was a view shared by your line

2 manager, wasn't it?

3 A. It was, yes.

4 Q. And we can see that in his response at RNI-209-238

5 (displayed), and he says in the second paragraph, having

6 said what should be done about the new matters, that:

7 "Her tactics at present seem to be for the purpose

8 of delay in the investigation of her initial complaints

9 concerning herself and Colin Duffy."

10 But what do you think he meant by that last

11 sentence?

12 A. Not really sure. It seems to be his view that these

13 were tactics at that particular time.

14 Q. Why should she want to delay that investigation?

15 A. I think you would have to ask Superintendent --

16 Q. Was it something you discussed with him?

17 A. I think it is something you would have to ask the

18 Superintendent about.

19 Q. Was it something you discussed with him?

20 A. We looked at all the options. So that is possibly

21 something we discussed, but I hadn't come to those

22 definite conclusions.

23 Q. Was the problem of her attitude to this and her

24 non-cooperation, as you saw it, with the complaints

25 something you discussed with him?

 

 

163

 

1 A. It was, but I think in relation to that sentence -- and,

2 again, it is quite common throughout a lot of the

3 material that you have seen throughout this

4 investigation, Inquiry -- the blurring of the line

5 between the threats investigations and the Duffy --

6 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson investigations. And I have

7 to say that at that stage the progress in relation to

8 the Nelson/Duffy allegations were proceeding quite well.

9 There was no delay or tactics of delay in that case.

10 Q. No. Can we look now at a letter from just a week after

11 this, RNI-214-297 (displayed). This is a connection

12 with another case, but as you see in the third

13 paragraph, you are uttering a protest. What you

14 describe as:

15 "The ongoing difficulties and delays in the

16 forwarding of information and the arrangement of

17 interviews emanating from your office. I fully

18 appreciate the pressures of a busy practice, et cetera,

19 but you will also appreciate that six months from the

20 original complaint I must progress my investigation."

21 That was a feeling that you had at this stage, the

22 end of the year, 1997, I assume, and it must have added

23 to the sense of irritation and frustration to be told by

24 Geralyn McNally to hold off from the interviews of the

25 officers?

 

 

164

 

1 A. Yes. Again, primarily the officers concerned with the

2 LAJI complaints.

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. When I look at the letter now -- just to clarify my

5 previous response -- the witnesses referred to here are

6 linked to the Duffy case but they are peripheral -- you

7 know who is referred to there.

8 Q. Absolutely.

9 A. But major players had been interviewed and we were

10 carrying on with interviews of detectives at that stage.

11 Q. But the comments you made in the third paragraph are

12 quite general, aren't they?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. To be fair?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Thank you. Anyway, that is the background, I would

17 suggest, to the second report you prepared in the LAJI

18 case, April 1998, and we can see that beginning at

19 RNI-206-049 (displayed). Here, in the same box,

20 "Reliability", RNI-206-050 (displayed) at the bottom of

21 the page, you make the point that:

22 "Since your last assessment, I have begun to have

23 doubts about Rosemary Nelson's reliability in this

24 matter. All attempts to interview her clients have come

25 to nothing. Correspondence with her office has

 

 

165

 

1 frequently not been replied to. I would also question

2 the circumstances in which client evidence was prepared

3 and forwarded."

4 THE CHAIRMAN: We haven't got that up on our screen.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Sorry, RNI-206-050 (displayed), I'm going too

6 fast. Thank you. It is the "Reliability" box at the

7 bottom of the page. Do you see?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. I have just read out the entire text.

10 Now, can I take it the sort of points we have seen

11 canvassed in the earlier correspondence contributed to

12 your change of view under this heading of "Reliability"?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. So that when you comment on the reliability here, what

15 you are doing in essence is to comment on cooperation?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. But using, if I can put it this way, the reliability box

18 to convey those comments?

19 A. Yes, although my interpretation of reliability is also

20 making the assessment about whether or not someone would

21 be prepared to follow through the whole way and attend

22 criminal or disciplinary hearings. That is just one

23 small part --

24 Q. When it says "reliability as a witness", it means, as it

25 were, willingness to turn up if required on the day at

 

 

166

 

1 some subsequent proceedings?

2 A. That's the ultimate hope, I guess.

3 Q. So far as the last sentence is concerned:

4 "I would also question the circumstances in which

5 client evidence was prepared and forwarded."

6 What did you have in mind there?

7 A. Well, I really didn't have anything unusual there. I

8 was simply pointing out that the issue as regards the

9 statements coming in was quite blurred. I knew the

10 first two had come into CAJ, Mr Mageean. I wasn't too

11 sure about the sequence of the other two. I just wanted

12 clarity on where they had come from and that sort of

13 stuff. I wasn't questioning the actual reliability of

14 whether those statements were actually made by clients

15 or not.

16 Q. I was going to say you weren't suggesting that these

17 were other than authentic statements, were you?

18 A. No, I was just questioning the circumstances. There

19 were a lot of questions to ask in relation to that and

20 I thought Mrs Nelson could have helped with that

21 whenever I was inviting her in with her clients.

22 Q. The criticism you make is that the clients failed to

23 attend, rather than Rosemary Nelson, wasn't it?

24 A. Well, she was invited to attend with her clients.

25 Q. But the purpose of the interview was not so that you

 

 

167

 

1 could interview her about their statements, but rather

2 so that you could interview them about the allegations

3 they were making?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. Thank you. Let's turn over the page to RNI-206-054

6 (displayed), where you expand on this in your

7 conclusions at paragraph 4 because there you say:

8 "Mrs Nelson's failure to cooperate in the early

9 stages of the investigation and the failure of her

10 clients to attend for interviews casts serious doubts on

11 their commitment to a thorough and searching

12 investigation."

13 That is the point you made earlier:

14 "At this stage, that evidence remains very much open

15 to question and the manner in which statements were

16 forwarded gives serious cause for concern."

17 That then, the cause for concern that you mention

18 there, is as you have just explained it; is that right?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. You weren't casting any aspersion as to the authenticity

21 of the evidence at that point?

22 A. No.

23 Q. What did you mean by:

24 "I would expect a solicitor to be more professional

25 in putting her case"?

 

 

168

 

1 A. It was a general sweeping statement, I suppose. But if

2 you take it back to the very beginning, if we were to do

3 anything in relation to these allegations of threats --

4 and, again, I emphasise there is evidence produced of

5 one possible threat, but in relation to any questionable

6 behaviour by police officers, we needed to identify

7 those police officers as soon as possible, particularly

8 as regards Mrs Nelson's safety, et cetera. And whether

9 or not the officers were guilty or whether or not they

10 admitted to things, at the very least, if you can find

11 out which interviews were concerned, which officers it

12 might possibly involve, you could bring matters to the

13 attention of line managers, et cetera.

14 So that is the very starting point. But as the

15 whole investigation progressed, the same things applied.

16 It was in my view important, in fact essential, that

17 there was cooperation, and it just seemed to be -- well,

18 at the very least a bit of a muddle as regards

19 correspondence and helping with this investigation.

20 Q. Well, indeed, but saying things were a bit of a muddle

21 doesn't surely merit a criticism that she should be more

22 professional "in putting her case", does it?

23 A. Is this page 15?

24 Q. Sorry? It is the last sentence of paragraph 4.

25 A. Yes.

 

 

169

 

1 Q. Because she didn't have a case to put, did she?

2 A. I think she had a case to put via her clients. That was

3 the view I took.

4 Q. She wasn't the complainant?

5 A. She was the subject, perhaps, of any threats or -- in

6 fact, no "perhaps" about any threats -- or remarks in

7 relation to her. So in that respect she would be the

8 complainant.

9 The witnesses were the first hand complainants

10 because anything that Mrs Nelson had would be hearsay.

11 But I think -- in very simple terms, what I'm trying to

12 say there is she is in a position to let me know whether

13 these clients are going to cooperate or not, and I'm

14 really getting no information: is it likely they are

15 going to come in? Is it not?

16 Again, I think you need to look at the letters I was

17 getting in November 1997 and the timing of them,

18 et cetera, which I refer to, which really does not

19 suggest an organised approach to presenting her clients'

20 evidence.

21 Q. Do you mean this is where the statements are simply sent

22 in to you?

23 A. Simply sent in, but there are follow-up letters by me

24 which are not responded to or are responded to after the

25 date I suggested for an interview, et cetera, et cetera.

 

 

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1 Q. Did you regard this complaint as being something where

2 she was putting a case to you?

3 A. In essence, yes, or if she wasn't, there were other

4 people on her behalf seemed to think that that was what

5 she was doing.

6 Q. If that were right, then obviously it wouldn't justify

7 a criticism of her, would it?

8 A. In respect of?

9 Q. If it was other people doing it supposedly on her

10 behalf, then you couldn't possibly criticise her for

11 what you say is her conduct of her own case?

12 A. Well, if you look at her statement that she made to me

13 on 16 September, I think she does make it clear in that

14 that there are threats, et cetera. And if there is any

15 threats, in my view threats would have fallen under my

16 investigation of the 941/97 complaint if they are above

17 and beyond these four clients.

18 If it is in relation to these clients, I think she

19 should have been doing everything in her power to assist

20 in getting her clients in, which she may well have been

21 doing, but if that was coming to nothing, explaining to

22 me what the problems were that she was encountering.

23 Q. As you know, this passage in your report became the

24 focus of criticism in the appendix to the ICPC

25 statement, and we can see the passage at RNI-223-330

 

 

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1 (displayed). It is the third bullet point:

2 "In the report of the investigation drafted by the

3 Chief Inspector, he makes a number of assertions which

4 constitute judgments on the moral character of

5 Mrs Nelson and others."

6 Were you expressing a moral judgment in the passages

7 we have just looked at from your report?

8 A. I absolutely, totally refute that, and I think it

9 stretched interpretation to say that.

10 Q. Going back to the same section of your report,

11 RNI-206-054 (displayed) in the conclusions, at an

12 earlier point in paragraph 2 you say in relation to the

13 alleged comments:

14 "It beggars belief that detectives would jeopardise

15 interviews by stating the outrageous things attributed

16 to them."

17 Do you see that?

18 A. I do, yes.

19 Q. That presumably was your view at the time in April 1998?

20 A. It doesn't mean to say that I didn't believe them. I

21 think it was stretching things to believe that police

22 officers would do that, but of course it is quite

23 possible that police officers would do that.

24 Q. You are putting it much more strongly than that. You

25 say:

 

 

172

 

1 "It beggars belief that detectives would jeopardise

2 interviews by stating the outrageous things attributed

3 to them."

4 That suggests, doesn't it, that from the beginning

5 you took the view that these comments could not have

6 been made?

7 A. No, I disagree with that entirely. I mean, I choose my

8 words very carefully. I said "beggars belief", but that

9 is not to say that it couldn't have happened.

10 I said at the very outset that these were serious

11 allegations and I considered all possibilities and still

12 do. I mean, I would also like to point out at this

13 stage that whilst various comments were made in these

14 forms, I am encouraged to make comments by the format of

15 the form under the heading "Reliability and

16 Conclusions".

17 If the Inquiry Panel want to look at any of my

18 statements in relation to these files, they will see

19 that there is none of these comments. That is not to

20 say that I retract any of those comments in any way.

21 I stand over them, although I think they have been

22 misinterpreted.

23 My understanding is that these files are

24 confidential files and that's what it states in the

25 complaints regulations: reports are to be considered

 

 

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1 confidential.

2 So I was annoyed that these files were basically

3 trawled for some comments which have, I think, been

4 taken out of context. And I am quite happy to explain

5 them now, but to take them out of context, well,

6 I disagree with that.

7 Q. But just so I'm clear about this, you were annoyed by

8 this Inquiry looking at your files?

9 A. No, no.

10 Q. Is that what you are saying?

11 A. No, absolutely not.

12 Q. What are you saying?

13 A. I was annoyed at the ICPC, Miss McNally in particular,

14 taking extracts from these reports and using them in the

15 way that she did, or if she was using them, that she

16 didn't put them in the full context.

17 Q. You say that the comments in these reports were

18 confidential, covered by the regime of confidentiality,

19 which, as you say, existed under the disciplinary

20 system. But presumably you were required to make your

21 comments careful and considered comments at the end of,

22 in this case, about a year's investigation?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. So it wasn't a licence to say the first thing that came

25 into your head?

 

 

174

 

1 A. Absolutely not, and they were carefully considered

2 comments. I chose my words very carefully and I stand

3 over them.

4 Q. You say that the sentence "it beggars belief" still left

5 open the possibility that these things might have

6 happened?

7 A. Of course, and if you look at how I go through various

8 points, I think it indicates that I was looking at all

9 the options.

10 Q. Now, in the beginning of this section, "Conclusions",

11 you refer to an upsurge in Provisional IRA activity in

12 this part of the Province. Do you see that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you include a reference to a specific event and name

15 the Toman brothers and the two other clients who

16 provided statements in relation to that, and say that

17 they were arrested and questioned about terrorist

18 activity in the area.

19 It is right, isn't it, that they were all released

20 without charge?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Is that something you record in your conclusions?

23 A. I don't believe it is there, no.

24 Q. No. Why did you make reference in the conclusions to

25 the upsurge in Provisional IRA activity in this part of

 

 

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1 the Province?

2 A. Because that was the context in which these clients were

3 arrested and interviewed. I wasn't making any

4 inferences about their guilt or otherwise.

5 Q. You didn't see these complaints themselves as being part

6 of a campaign by the Provisional IRA, for example?

7 A. No. I mean, that is obviously a possibility that any

8 investigating officer would consider, but you consider

9 the whole range, from one angle to the other.

10 Q. And you didn't think that that fact -- the fact of the

11 campaign, the increase in terrorist activity, the fact

12 that these individuals were arrested in that context --

13 might have been a spur to the officers to make just

14 exactly these sorts of comments?

15 A. As I say, anything is possible and I consider that --

16 that paragraph is just a statement of fact about what

17 was going on and why these people were in custody.

18 Q. In relation to the Colin Duffy report, in which you were

19 a party though not the senior officer, there is

20 a similar section in relation to Rosemary Nelson and

21 reliability, isn't there?

22 A. Can you show me the extract?

23 Q. It is RNI-213-006. You don't remember it?

24 A. I don't remember. I know --

25 Q. Here it is on the screen, RNI-213-006 (displayed).

 

 

176

 

1 (Pause)

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. To be clear, therefore, what, as I understand it, you

4 are saying here is that her reliability is in question

5 again because -- she says:

6 "Attempts to interview clients she has identified as

7 witnesses have come to nothing."

8 This is in the context of the

9 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson complaints. What attempts

10 were they?

11 A. That was in relation to the two witnesses I referred to

12 on 3 December.

13 Q. I see. The people, as you said, on the periphery?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Right. In this case of course, by contrast, she and

16 Colin Duffy had attended and given you statements,

17 hadn't they?

18 A. Yes, that's correct.

19 Q. But still it was felt, was it, that this merited

20 a comment on reliability in relation to her?

21 A. Yes, yes, I believe it did because to say those other

22 two witnesses now appear to be on the periphery; at that

23 time I didn't know if they were major players or not in

24 this investigation.

25 Q. So far as the context of all of that is concerned, you

 

 

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1 have referred at various points to interest from the

2 outside and, indeed, correspondence with the Lawyers

3 Alliance following its initial complaint in March 1997.

4 And you tell us in your statement about an aspect of

5 this, which is a report and press release. The report

6 at RNI-101-106 (displayed). This is Mr Lynch to you,

7 sending you the report about the parades. Do you see

8 that?

9 A. I can see that, yes.

10 Q. And you forwarded it to your supervisors or superior

11 officer, didn't you, later in October and we can see

12 that at RNI-101-137 (displayed). In the second

13 paragraph there, you make reference to Mr Lynch's wider

14 agenda and, again, that is something we touched on

15 earlier.

16 Now, can I get you to look back in this context, at

17 your report and the conclusion in the LAJI section

18 in April 2008 at RNI-206-054 (displayed)? It is

19 paragraph 5. Can we enlarge it, please:

20 "Leading on from the previous point ..."

21 Which was the point about the solicitor to be more

22 professional:

23 "... the volume and timing of the voluminous

24 correspondence from various international groups on

25 Mrs Nelson's behalf gives rise to the reasonable

 

 

178

 

1 suspicion that these complaints are more to do with

2 generating propaganda against the RUC than establishing

3 the truth."

4 When we touched on this earlier, we talked about

5 whether or not genuine complaints were being made. Did

6 you in fact believe the LAJI complaints to be no more

7 than a propaganda exercise?

8 A. No, absolutely not. I took them as being genuine, but

9 very general.

10 Q. But very?

11 A. General.

12 Q. Yes. So from what, then, did the reasonable suspicion

13 arise, namely that they were:

14 "... more to do with generating propaganda against

15 the RUC than establishing the truth"?

16 A. Well, the problem was the total absence of any follow-up

17 information from Mr Lynch, with the exception of course

18 of some statements in November which by then he would

19 have known had already been released to me.

20 But I am specifically referring to this large amount

21 of documentation that was sent to me in October,

22 whenever I was making it clear through whatever channels

23 I could that I really needed specific evidence on the

24 LAJI complaint. And I think that is the specific

25 document I am referring to, the most obvious document,

 

 

179

 

1 in that it provides absolutely no information at all in

2 relation to the complaints. It is a very wide sweeping

3 document which is critical of the RUC, et cetera, which

4 he is entitled to do, and I have no problem with him

5 doing it but what I wanted at that time was specific

6 evidence. I didn't want that sort of information. I

7 couldn't do anything with it.

8 Q. So you regarded him, did you -- Mr Lynch -- as being

9 involved in the propaganda campaign?

10 A. I believe he was.

11 Q. What about Rosemary Nelson? Did you believe her to be

12 involved in that campaign?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Why do you draw the distinction?

15 A. Because she wasn't sending me the sort of documents that

16 Mr Lynch was sending me. By that, I mean these

17 documents which weren't associated with the complaints;

18 it was to do with the wider issue of the RUC, and so on.

19 Q. How difficult was it for you as the investigating

20 officer to put the campaign out of your mind and

21 concentrate on trying to get to the truth?

22 A. It wasn't difficult at all.

23 Q. You were able to put all those things on one side, were

24 you?

25 A. Yes, it was an irritation that I wasn't getting specific

 

 

180

 

1 evidence, but, I mean, this has been going on for 30 or

2 40 years, you can say from the establishment of this

3 state, people forward material. That's fine, they are

4 entitled to their views.

5 When I use the word "propaganda", people can react

6 very strongly to that term. It is quite an innocuous

7 term if you look at the definition in the

8 Oxford Dictionary. If you think of it in terms of the

9 Nazis, et cetera, well, that's not what I was referring

10 to. I was referring to advancing a particular campaign

11 by sending information.

12 Q. But as I understand it, what you go on to say in this

13 part of your report is that the problem for you, an

14 investigating officer -- turning over the page to

15 RNI-206-055 (displayed) -- is that:

16 "Although much had been said by international bodies

17 and human rights groups on behalf of Rosemary Nelson,

18 very little has been produced by way of factual

19 evidence."

20 That is the proper focus of your attention, isn't

21 it, on whether or not there was factual evidence to

22 support the complaints?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. It was not your business to be speculating about

25 motivation, as you said before, nor whether this was or

 

 

181

 

1 wasn't part of a campaign?

2 A. I would -- it would be easy to say no, that wouldn't

3 have been my business. But I think I would have been

4 remiss not to bring that to the attention of people

5 reading the report, and that includes, I think, the

6 public, et cetera, that there were these documents

7 coming in.

8 They knew about it anyway. It wouldn't have been

9 a surprise, and I think the hope was that perhaps we

10 could get factual evidence because the complaint

11 investigation wasn't ended whenever I handed in my

12 files. There was an opportunity for people to forward

13 evidence after that.

14 Q. As you say, when you handed in this report in April, in

15 fact there was no come back until you got the telephone

16 call?

17 A. And that's very unfortunate because I think if you find

18 that there is no criminal offences that can be

19 sufficiently proved and, likewise, discipline offences,

20 you are at a situation where you say, "Is there anything

21 else that can be done in relation to this?" if there is

22 a suspicion maybe there is something going on under the

23 surface as regards attitudes and so on, and there are

24 ways of addressing that.

25 So I think it was a missed opportunity that people

 

 

182

 

1 didn't come back to me and say, "Well, you know, let's

2 look at some of these issues" or "What do you suggest we

3 do from here?"

4 Q. Who do you think should have come back, people further

5 up the line in Complaints and Discipline?

6 A. I think it got very complicated at that stage.

7 Certainly key people in the ICPC and in the RUC

8 complaints, and possibly some of these other interested

9 parties. You could bring them in at some stage and say,

10 "Here is the investigating officer, here are the facts

11 that were presented to him. If you can get anything

12 more, please do so." I think that is probably what

13 happened in the end anyway although under the auspices

14 of Mulvihill.

15 Q. Yes, eventually there was a review and an attempt was

16 made, it would seem, to learn the lessons of the whole

17 business?

18 A. Yes, that's correct.

19 Q. And that led to the recommendations we saw briefly

20 earlier on, didn't it?

21 A. That's right, and I'd have to say the Mulvihill

22 recommendations, a lot of that is about techniques by

23 investigating officers that we did daily. Some of it is

24 new and some of it isn't. But I have no problem with

25 those recommendations. I support them fully.

 

 

183

 

1 Q. Looking forward in our history, we saw the press release

2 announcing the Mulvihill investigation. We have

3 discussed already the fact that you were interviewed by

4 Commander Mulvihill. Now, I would now like to move

5 forward yet again to March 1999, and to track it through

6 in your statement we need to go to paragraph 121 and

7 that is at RNI-840-040 (displayed).

8 Can I ask you first, please, other than your

9 interview by the Commander, were you made aware in

10 advance of what we see here, which was the statement of

11 satisfaction issued on the 22nd?

12 A. No.

13 Q. So the first you knew of it then was when you were

14 telephoned on the 21st, the first line of the paragraph?

15 A. Yes, that would be correct.

16 Q. So you hadn't at that point been given any warning or

17 advance notice of what Mulvihill had concluded and what

18 was thereafter going to happen?

19 A. No.

20 Q. You didn't have any input or chance to comment on the

21 statement of satisfaction which was issued the next day,

22 the 22nd, obviously?

23 A. Absolutely not. I read that in the morning news.

24 Q. Well, that's something you say in your statement, that

25 this was one of a number of documents which appeared in

 

 

184

 

1 the press. And you, I imagine, don't know how it came

2 to be leaked to the media, this statement of

3 satisfaction?

4 A. No, I would be very interested to know how it became

5 leaked.

6 Q. Subsequently, there was a tripartite statement of the

7 three of them -- that is the Commander, the

8 Chief Constable and the Chairman of the ICPC -- which

9 you refer to in paragraph 137. That, in due course, as

10 you point out there -- that is RNI-840-045

11 (displayed) -- also found its way into the media and,

12 again, I assume you cannot help me as who how that

13 happened?

14 A. No. Again, I would be very curious to know how that

15 came about.

16 Q. This is now July 1999. Did you have any input or were

17 you invited to have any input into that joint statement?

18 A. No, none at all.

19 Q. Can I take it that you feel you should have been given

20 an opportunity to comment before the release of the

21 statement of satisfaction and then the three-party

22 statement?

23 A. I absolutely do. I think it was entirely reckless for

24 things to happen the way they did.

25 It was for a week that I was the subject to very

 

 

185

 

1 misleading, libellous, dangerous press reports until

2 Mr Mulvihill's report came out. For that particular

3 week, I felt very concerned for the safety of myself and

4 my family.

5 Q. There was something of a media frenzy about that, which

6 you deal with in your statement?

7 A. There certainly was.

8 Q. And you obviously regarded it as critical and damaging

9 to yourself?

10 A. Well, it took inferences that were made by ICPC,

11 Miss McNally or Mr Donnelly and added quite significant

12 spin to it. So it was very serious stuff and, again,

13 if people haven't read it, I think they should read it

14 and maybe put a proper perspective on it at this stage.

15 Q. Well, we can see an example. I think it is right, isn't

16 it, that you subject a summary at some point of your

17 answers to the more extreme forms of press coverage to

18 the Chief Constable?

19 A. That's correct, a very brief summary. Obviously there

20 is a lot more detail than that behind at the office.

21 Q. So looking back then briefly at the joint statement,

22 which is at RNI-228-085.500 (displayed), dated 30 March,

23 can you remember when you first came to see this

24 document?

25 A. I'm not sure. I think I saw the main extracts of the

 

 

186

 

1 document again in the media before I would have actually

2 got sight of the actual document.

3 Q. And the next document I want to ask you about -- just,

4 again, to get your confirmation that you were not aware

5 of it before it emerged in the media -- is the

6 commentary that you have mentioned before by the

7 Chairman of the ICPC, and we can see that at RNI-228-159

8 (displayed)?

9 A. Before I answer that, I should say I had notice that the

10 Mulvihill Report was coming out, which was different

11 from the ICPC statement, but I didn't know the full

12 content. But what I was told was that that should

13 address some of the fairly public concerns that were

14 being expressed --

15 Q. Can I ask who gave you notice of that?

16 A. I think it was somebody up in complaints department, you

17 know. I'm not sure. It could have been headquarters.

18 Q. Presumably what you wanted above all in this situation

19 was information, to be told, preferably in advance, of

20 what on earth was going on?

21 A. Yes, and I genuinely thought that this was not helpful

22 to the Nelson family. I mean, things were bad enough

23 with the murder of Rosemary Nelson, but to have all this

24 stuff coming out in the press, I'm sure they -- well,

25 they would have just wondered what was going on, as many

 

 

187

 

1 people did.

2 Q. Did you raise those comments and concerns of yours with

3 your superiors, with other senior officers in the RUC?

4 A. I raised it at the very top with Mr Flanagan, the

5 Chief Constable.

6 Q. What response did you get?

7 A. I got a meeting with the Chief Constable.

8 Q. But it looks as though, from the answers you have just

9 been giving me, the one thing you didn't get in these

10 months between March and July 1999 was what you wanted,

11 which was advance warning of matters and presumably,

12 preferably, a chance to put your side of the story?

13 A. I think you said July 1999.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. It was really just up to March 1999. At that stage

16 Mr Flanagan met with me. A legal adviser was present.

17 He discussed what he could discuss and I clarified some

18 matters for him because he was very concerned that he

19 may have the wrong impression. I hoped I could clarify

20 some of the concerns that were being expressed, although

21 I hoped that that had been dealt with through my own

22 complaints department and looking at the files.

23 Q. Can we look at the letter which encloses the document on

24 the screen? It is at RNI-228-158 (displayed). This is

25 the letter from the Chairman to the Chief Constable:

 

 

188

 

1 "Dear Ronnie ..."

2 30 April. The reason I'm showing it to you is

3 because of the penultimate paragraph:

4 "I would be grateful if you could copy my commentary

5 to the parties who have had access to

6 Commander Mulvihill's report."

7 Did you receive a copy of the Chairman's commentary?

8 A. Is this the commentary that appeared in The Irish News?

9 Q. It is the commentary that was leaked yes, but it is the

10 commentary of the Chairman of the ICPC. If you look at

11 RNI-228-159 (displayed), you see the heading. Do you

12 see?

13 A. Yes. Just to be clear, this isn't the certificate of

14 satisfaction document that came out.

15 Q. No.

16 A. I never saw that.

17 Q. You didn't?

18 A. No, I never saw that.

19 Q. No. So going back to the page, and I'm sorry it is so

20 cumbersome with this machine, but RNI-228-158

21 (displayed):

22 "I would be grateful if you could copy my commentary

23 to the parties who have had access to

24 Commander Mulvihill's report."

25 You presumably are one of those parties because you

 

 

189

 

1 say you were given notice of the report. Did you get

2 the report, the Mulvihill Report?

3 A. I don't think I did. I got the Mulvihill Report -- I

4 can't be sure it is the same report that Mr Donnelly had

5 access to; in other words, the full report. I got the

6 report that was given to -- I presume it was given to

7 the press and so on a week after Rosemary Nelson's

8 death.

9 Q. But you didn't get this document anyway, the commentary

10 by the Chairman of the ICPC?

11 A. No.

12 Q. And the first you knew about it is when it appeared in

13 the press?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 Now, finally can I ask you some questions about

17 Rosemary Nelson and her own security? In paragraph 28

18 of your statement, which we have looked at before, you

19 touch on the issue of the position of defence lawyers,

20 and we have looked at that before but it is at

21 RNI-840-011 (displayed).

22 So you said earlier, I think, that this was a matter

23 of which you were aware, to which you were alert at the

24 beginning of your investigation of the LAJI complaint.

25 That's correct, isn't it?

 

 

190

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And we can see later in the investigation that there

3 came a moment after you had received Mr Lynch's letter

4 of 30 June, which I'm not going to take you to again

5 because you have seen it so many times, that you sent

6 a memorandum to your line manager -- I think it is him

7 anyway, we can see that at RNI-202-063 (displayed) --

8 referring to the Lynch letter and saying this in the

9 final paragraph:

10 "In the meantime, I have appraised Sub-divisional

11 Commander, Lurgan of the ongoing correspondence for

12 whatever action he considers necessary vis-a-vis

13 Mrs Nelson's ongoing security."

14 And the response you get we can see at RNI 202-065

15 (displayed), having made a comment about the Lawyers

16 Alliance campaign. 3 says:

17 "Your action in relation to informing the

18 Subdivisional Commander, Lurgan was prudent."

19 At about the same time we have in your report of the

20 end of July 1997 a further reference to this at

21 RNI-206-048 (displayed). Do you remember, this is the

22 report for the dispensation? You talk about the alleged

23 threats:

24 "In all the circumstances ... considered that

25 a satisfactory investigation is not possible.

 

 

191

 

1 Nevertheless, senior officers in CID and the

2 Sub-divisional Commander, Lurgan have been informed of

3 the allegations."

4 Then these words:

5 "A threat assessment has been made and appropriate

6 action taken."

7 Can I just ask you, please, to tell us what you did

8 to alert any other officers outside Complaints and

9 Discipline of the allegations?

10 A. Well, as indicated on the report, I brought whatever

11 information I had to Sub-divisional Commander, Lurgan.

12 By that, I mean either him or his deputy. I believe it

13 was probably the deputy.

14 I should also say there is a small error on my

15 overall report in that I refer to the Superintendent by

16 name. I don't think he was there at that stage, but

17 I do remember speaking to him.

18 Q. We can use those names. I can see you are anxious about

19 it, but you refer to Superintendent Chapman. In fact,

20 it was his predecessor, Donnan?

21 A. Yes, that's correct.

22 Q. But you think you spoke to the deputy, you were saying?

23 A. I'm pretty sure it was the deputy.

24 Q. Whose name was?

25 A. Chief Inspector McMullen.

 

 

192

 

1 Q. Thank you.

2 A. But at that time, again, it is important to emphasise

3 that I didn't really have any specific information on

4 threats. There was just the general allegation. And

5 eventually at the end of my investigations, there was

6 maybe one threat as such. I'm just talking about the

7 factual information I could give throughout my

8 investigation.

9 But at this early stage, I said, "Look, I have got

10 these letters from LAJI. This is the situation for

11 whatever action you consider necessary", words to that

12 effect. It was pretty informal. And the same would

13 have happened probably in the late summer, and then

14 again when I was starting to serve these documents 17/3

15 I would have had occasion to be specifically on the

16 station and then I would have gone up the stairs and

17 said, "Here's the latest on these and we have a couple

18 of statements" --

19 Q. Sorry, just to be clear about this because you are

20 giving a long answer and it is not what is set out in

21 your statement. You think you may have raised this

22 matter on no less than three occasions; is that right?

23 A. Probably about three occasions.

24 Q. Right. What was the first of those occasions?

25 A. I think the first of the occasions was late June and all

 

 

193

 

1 I was doing was repeating what the Superintendent Magee,

2 I think, had sent down to the Chief Inspector.

3 Q. What would have prompted the first of those occasions?

4 A. Well, just the fact that I had taken over the file from

5 Chief Inspector Gamble.

6 Q. I think that was at the end of May?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Are you saying you waited until the end of June to do

9 this?

10 A. Well, I only had the file, really getting my teeth into

11 the file in the first two weeks of June, and around

12 about that time the information was coming in in

13 relation to the Duffy situation.

14 Q. Anyway, that is the first occasion. When was the next

15 occasion?

16 A. The next occasion for sure probably was at the end

17 of October, whenever I started to serve the 17/3

18 documents on some of the detectives.

19 Q. Right, and was there a subsequent occasion?

20 A. In November, I think round about mid November I had an

21 interview with Superintendent (name redacted) re a different

22 matter, who would have been the head in your

23 organisation chart, the head of Complaints and

24 Discipline up in Belfast. And I took that opportunity

25 to update him on the information I had on the threats.

 

 

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1 Again, there was just what you see yourselves -- not

2 very much -- but he got whatever I had.

3 Q. So you think there were three occasions: end of June,

4 late October and did you say end of November?

5 A. Around about the middle of November and then there was

6 a further meeting with Mr [name redacted] in December for the

7 purposes of staff appraisal and, again, it would have

8 been touched on there.

9 The concern would have been where is the specific

10 evidence for these threats. Do you have anything more

11 coming in, and I was just updating him on it.

12 Q. Now, you have made a statement of 50 pages and referred

13 in great detail to a vast number of documents, and yet I

14 think I'm right in saying that you haven't at any point

15 in that statement mentioned these other occasions on

16 which you say that you raised the question of threats to

17 Rosemary Nelson to senior officers; is that a fair

18 comment?

19 A. That's an accurate comment, a fair comment, yes.

20 Q. Can we look at the passage in which you did talk about

21 this, please? It is in paragraph 32 at RNI-840-012

22 (displayed) because here you pick up the passage in the

23 report.

24 Just to remind you, the report we are looking at was

25 signed by you on 28 July 1997, and you pick up the

 

 

195

 

1 reference I showed you in the report and although you

2 got the name of the superintendent wrong, which we have

3 dealt with already, you deal there with the action that

4 you had taken and specifically with the question of your

5 reference to a threat assessment, which we will come

6 back to. But you don't, anywhere else in your

7 statement, refer to the later occasions, do you?

8 A. No, because that specifically referred to the situation

9 at that stage and what I had said in recommendation to

10 that report.

11 Q. Indeed, but you were well aware in the course of your

12 interview, as indeed you were when you were

13 investigating these complaints, that this was a serious

14 matter?

15 A. Absolutely.

16 Q. And that the inquiry was interested to know about

17 threats and any action that had been taken about them.

18 So why is it, please, that you did not refer in your

19 statement to either of these subsequent occasions?

20 A. Well, because they aren't uppermost in my mind at that

21 time.

22 The difficulty I have is -- I mean, I was getting

23 calls from headquarters as well. You know, 1998 after

24 the April incident, people were I saying, "Who did you

25 inform of threats", et cetera, et cetera, and that was

 

 

196

 

1 in relation to having good information that you could

2 have your teeth in and that a formal threat assessment

3 could be made.

4 When I refer to "threat assessment" here -- and I

5 think you are going to come on to it -- I'm not talking

6 about the formal threat assessment insofar as I was

7 aware of whether it had taken place or not. The point

8 I'm trying to make is, each time I met these officers,

9 I updated them on the threats. But there wasn't really

10 anything that I was telling them that they didn't know

11 already. It wasn't a specific interview that I arranged

12 to discuss the threats.

13 Q. In relation to the report and the earlier memorandum

14 in July that we saw, we can see written evidence of what

15 you say you were about to do or had already done by way

16 of informing other officers. We haven't, as far as I am

17 aware, seen any such written material in your statement,

18 or indeed anywhere else, of you drawing the matter to

19 other senior officers' attention in October or November.

20 Is there any written record?

21 A. I have got entries in my journal that I met officers on

22 certain dates. I don't think there was detailed stuff

23 about the threats, for the very reason I gave you.

24 Q. I would like to ask you about the subsequent comments

25 you have just been making, namely the suggestion that in

 

 

197

 

1 the following year, in April, I think you said, you were

2 contacted. Do you mean in relation to threats to

3 Rosemary Nelson?

4 A. Yes, I presume so because those were the only threats

5 that I was aware of.

6 Q. Can I just ask you about that contact? Where did that

7 come from?

8 A. It was very strange, like everything else that was

9 happening that year. I would get a phone call from

10 headquarters or somebody come down personally saying,

11 "Do you know who you spoke to about threat assessment?"

12 Or "Can you tell us who you spoke to about threat

13 assessment?"

14 Q. So they were asking you, were they, people from

15 headquarters what you had done about threats at an

16 earlier stage?

17 A. Yes, it was a very brief conversation.

18 Q. Who were the people who contacted you?

19 A. I can't recall. I am sure it is in the minutes.

20 Q. When you say "from headquarters", do you mean from

21 Command Secretariat?

22 A. I'm not sure if it was them or Complaints and

23 Discipline.

24 Q. The head office of Complaints and Discipline; is that

25 what you mean?

 

 

198

 

1 A. Yes, it is so long ago now that I can't recall. But

2 what I would say is that it would be extremely unusual

3 that in the few contacts that I did have with senior

4 officers in Lurgan or by senior officers at my staff

5 appraisal up in Belfast and these investigations going

6 on that we wouldn't have talked about the threats, but

7 all I'm saying is it wasn't significant. It didn't

8 specifically stand out in my mind that we had gone into

9 a very formal threat assessment because you will be

10 aware by now what a formal threat assessment involves.

11 Q. Yes, and in your report and the paragraph we looked at,

12 which you refer to there, you are obviously keen to make

13 the point that whatever the difficulties with the

14 investigation, you have taken action, you have informed

15 senior officers in CID and the Sub-divisional Commander

16 and a threat assessment has been made and appropriate

17 action taken. This is something significant enough to

18 be recorded in this report?

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

20 Q. Is that right? So these conversations that you say took

21 place first in late October and November, was that the

22 same subject? In other words, you are saying you need

23 to be aware of these things and take whatever further

24 action you think is necessary?

25 A. Yes, I think that sums it up quite right.

 

 

199

 

1 Q. And can I take it, therefore, that things had happened,

2 events had taken place between the end of July and the

3 end of October and November 1997 which made you feel it

4 appropriate to make sure that senior officers outside

5 your department were assessing the threat to

6 Rosemary Nelson?

7 A. Yes, but I wouldn't want to put undue emphasis on that

8 because all that had happened is that we had received

9 the statements from the CAJ in relation to the Toman

10 brothers, and on those statements there was only one

11 line in relation to threats, and of course, as we know,

12 the clients hadn't come in for interview. So I was

13 saying here is all we have at the moment, but you should

14 know, if you don't know already, here it is. And when

15 the 17/3s were being served, the officers, the

16 supervisory officers who were to get the 17/3s, would be

17 serving that on their staff if I didn't serve it

18 personally. So they would have been aware of what was

19 there.

20 Q. As you pointed out to us, both the statements and the

21 17/3s were only in part concerned with threats to

22 Rosemary Nelson. Some of them were to do with

23 derogatory comments and behaviour of that kind.

24 What I'm trying to understand from you is what it

25 was about the developments in the investigation that led

 

 

200

 

1 you to raise this issue with officers outside your

2 branch?

3 A. Just simple courtesy and efficiency. If I hadn't

4 brought this -- you know, when I met these people, they

5 would say to me, "Well, is there anything more on those

6 complaints?" because they were taken quite seriously.

7 But people wanted to see specific evidence, and there is

8 nothing mysterious about this at all. I had very little

9 more to tell them but what little I had I give to them

10 in October/November.

11 Q. Just going back again to the question of subsequent

12 conversations, late October and November, can you

13 remember to whom you spoke?

14 A. Well, I'm pretty sure I spoke to Mr McMullen at that

15 stage.

16 Q. So that would be, as it were, a second time to him; yes?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And who else?

19 A. I think when you look at the statements on the 17/3, there

20 have been some officers in CID, supervisory rank. Certainly

21 that was the case even in January as these things came in.

22 And Mr [name redacted], Superintendent [name redacted].

23 Q. And, again, just so I'm clear because we are dealing

24 with this for the first time, you are not aware of who

25 spoke to you from headquarters, you think,

 

 

201

 

1 in April 1998?

2 A. No, and I'm not saying it was April 1998. I think it

3 was further on.

4 Q. You think it was further on?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Do you mean later the year?

7 A. Later in the year, and I think it happened twice over

8 the ensuing period, you know.

9 Q. You think one of the occasions might have been in the

10 summer of 1998?

11 A. No, no, I'm just not sure. But --

12 Q. Are you sure that the conversations took place?

13 A. I'm absolutely sure that the conversations took place.

14 Q. But you are not sure of the month?

15 A. No, I'm not sure of the month.

16 Q. Are you sure of the year, 1998?

17 A. I'm pretty sure there was one in 1998 and I'm pretty

18 sure there was another one in the intervening period

19 between it in 2000.

20 Q. Between it and 2000?

21 A. Hm-mm.

22 Q. Do you mean a conversation after the murder of

23 Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. No, these are people -- seemed to be ringing who were

25 basically reinvestigating the situation and wondering

 

 

202

 

1 what specifically was said in relation to the threats.

2 Q. Were they trying to find out what, if anything, had

3 actually been done in relation to threats?

4 A. That's it, yes.

5 Q. Now, coming back, please, to the paragraph on the screen

6 and the point about threat assessment -- and you have

7 anticipated this -- threat assessment, as you rightly

8 say, is, as it were, a term of art, isn't it? It is an

9 investigation or an assessment, normally undertaken by

10 Special Branch and takes a particular form. That's

11 correct, isn't it?

12 A. That would be a formal threat assessment.

13 Q. Yes. Now, what was the threat assessment you are

14 referring to in your report of 28 July 1997?

15 A. I think I clarified in my statement that, in my own

16 mind, a threat assessment had been done. I'm not saying

17 that was formal as per what is recognised as formal now,

18 for example, or possibly even at the time, but it was

19 formally brought to the attention of the Chief

20 Inspector, I believe.

21 Q. That is a rather different thing, isn't it?

22 A. Oh, yes, it is a different thing, but I certainly didn't

23 mean to mislead or anything. My understanding at the

24 time was that a threat assessment was brought to their

25 attention and that was formally raised. That's all

 

 

203

 

1 I mean by that.

2 Q. So far as this is concerned, you presumably weren't

3 involved yourself in undertaking a threat assessment?

4 A. No.

5 Q. So can I take it that when you said in your report:

6 "A threat assessment has been made and appropriate

7 action taken", that must have been based on something

8 that these other officers told you?

9 A. No, it is as vague as it says.

10 Q. It is not at all vague, if I may say so. If you look at

11 RNI-206-048 with me (displayed), the last sentence of

12 your report says:

13 "A threat assessment has been made and appropriate

14 action taken."

15 What was the basis on which you made that comment in

16 your report?

17 A. That I had spoken to the Subdivisional Commander Deputy

18 up in Lurgan, given them whatever information I had and

19 on the basis of that we considered there was a threat to

20 Rosemary Nelson. It was very informal, if you like.

21 Q. But presumably you knew that the reader of this report

22 would know that the threat assessment was a particular

23 thing, it was a term of art? You were saying one had

24 been made and, further, that appropriate action had been

25 taken. And what I'm getting at is what was all that

 

 

204

 

1 based on?

2 A. That was based on myself and that officer making his

3 assessment, and I assumed -- presumed that he would

4 carry out further enquiries, speak to Special Branch or

5 whoever to see if there was anything more that required

6 the threat to be assessed.

7 It would be useful if I had the General Order here,

8 but I can show you the various sequences where you have

9 certain information, what you do, et cetera, et cetera,

10 et cetera. This information, whilst now it looks like

11 this was extremely serious, and so it was, the specifics

12 of the threat weren't any higher than as stated in the

13 LAJI letter, and that is what the threat assessment was

14 made on.

15 Q. So it amounts to this, does it: you draw the LAJI

16 complaint letter to the attention of these officers, you

17 discuss the matter with them and that was it, as far as

18 you were concerned, and you assumed that they would take

19 appropriate action?

20 A. That is -- it is not just as simple as that because

21 obviously we had a very serious conversation between

22 ourselves as to what we assessed the threat to be, and

23 then that wouldn't be my bailiwick after that. After

24 that, the subdivisional authorities would consult with

25 various other people who would be part of the process.

 

 

205

 

1 Q. Is it right that by the time you wrote the report at the

2 end of July 1997, you wouldn't have been able to say

3 what appropriate action had been taken?

4 A. I wouldn't be able to say what the specifics were.

5 Q. Did you get the impression from your conversation that

6 they would be undertaking a proper threat assessment

7 with assistance from Special Branch?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did you get the impression from them that they would be

10 considering and taking appropriate action following

11 that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. But essentially those were matters you left for them?

14 A. Essentially, yes.

15 Q. Thank you. Would you have expected their view of the

16 matter to be altered depending on whether or not they

17 perceived there to be a specific threat about

18 Rosemary Nelson?

19 A. I think they would have to take all factors into

20 account, but I cannot speak for what was in their minds

21 at the time.

22 Q. Now, you said earlier that you raised this at the end

23 of June, so a month before this report. Was it or was

24 it not prompted by the LAJI letter of 30 June?

25 A. I don't think it was because it would have arrived about

 

 

206

 

1 a week or so later.

2 Q. So you think it was just something you undertook to do

3 when you took over the complaint, based on what you had

4 read in the file?

5 A. It was pretty much that, yes.

6 Q. And that would have been principally the 13 March letter

7 from LAJI, wouldn't it?

8 A. Yes, I think another factor -- I mean, it is ten years

9 ago, it is difficult to remember the exact things, but I

10 think another factor would have been that we were trying

11 to arrange interviews of Mrs Nelson in which we hoped we

12 would get the specific information on threats or who the

13 clients were, and that didn't happen. So, again, that

14 was an appropriate time for an update.

15 Q. And as far as you were aware, when you took over the

16 file at the end of May, Chief Inspector Gamble had not

17 taken any such action with the LAJI letter?

18 A. I just don't know whether he did or he didn't.

19 Q. Why did you decide to take action on the basis of it

20 then?

21 A. Well, because I would consider that to be the very basic

22 that I should do.

23 Q. Presumably something that, as far as you were aware, had

24 not already been done?

25 A. No, I wouldn't have said that, but as investigating

 

 

207

 

1 officer I would do it.

2 Q. Can I just turn finally to the interview --

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Phillips, how much longer --

4 MR PHILLIPS: Five minutes.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: We will have a break, but before we have

6 a break, there is just one thing I wanted to ask you.

7 You mentioned your journal and you said that the

8 meetings that you may have had or the discussions you

9 may have had in October and November and, as

10 I understood it, 1997, might have been mentioned in your

11 journal; is that right?

12 A. Yes, might have been mentioned.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Do you have your journal with you?

14 A. I can get it. I do not have it with me now, no.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: It hasn't been disclosed as yet to the

16 Inquiry; is that right?

17 A. That's probably right, yes.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

19 We will have a break of a quarter of an hour, but

20 before we do that, Mr [name redacted], could you please

21 confirm that all cameras have been switched off?

22 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

24 We will break for a quarter of an hour.

25 (4.54 pm)

 

 

208

 

1 (Short break)

2 (5.10 pm)

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

4 before the witness comes in?

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

6 the key secured?

7 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

9 screen closed?

10 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

12 and securely fastened?

13 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

15 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

16 of this chamber?

17 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr [name redacted], can you confirm, please, that

19 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

20 shrouded?

21 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

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

23 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Bring the witness in, please.

25 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

 

 

209

 

1 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

2 switched back on.

3 Yes, Mr Phillips?

4 MR PHILLIPS: Now, just before turning to the very final

5 topic in relation to safety, I want to go back just

6 a little bit on the answers you have just been giving in

7 relation to the subsequent occasions on which you say

8 you raised the question of threat to Rosemary Nelson.

9 You have told us in your statement -- and we looked

10 at this paragraph together -- that you were aware of

11 this risk, this vulnerability for some defence lawyers,

12 those involved in high profile, controversial cases.

13 And you have also explained to us that from the

14 beginning of your involvement of the LAJI and other

15 matters, you were conscious of their seriousness and

16 sensitivity?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Now, presumably that was very much the background to

19 your decision to raise this matter outside the confines

20 of your department, that it was a serious matter which,

21 on the face of it, on the face of the allegations,

22 involved a threat to a solicitor's life?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. You said in relation to the subsequent occasions

25 in October and November that they were prompted by

 

 

210

 

1 further statements coming in and by the service of the

2 17/3 forms in -- I think it was late October or some

3 time in November perhaps.

4 Now, presumably one of the things that occurred to

5 you when you were considering those forms and looking at

6 the new statements of allegations from CAJ and the other

7 clients, is that, if true, this presented a very

8 worrying situation, given the number of allegations

9 about derogatory remarks and, indeed, the allegations of

10 threats?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. So presumably that explains what you said to me just

13 a little earlier, which is that one of the things you

14 wished to do was not only to alert as to the possibility

15 of threat here, but also to make sure that the relevant

16 supervising officers were aware?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. So that you were dealing with the matter not just as

19 a complaint but, as it were, a management issue; you

20 were saying to the superiors in CID, "Look, you need to

21 be aware of this because you may have a big problem of

22 attitude amongst your officers"?

23 A. Yes, it was as simple as that.

24 Q. And that's part, then, is it, of why you were anxious to

25 draw these matters to their attention?

 

 

211

 

1 A. That's right. I mean, I wasn't talking about further

2 threat assessments per se. I was updating people on the

3 information I had which could help them in their

4 assessment of what was available to us and what they

5 should do.

6 Q. But to be clear then, based on your answers, what you

7 were doing was to draw those matters to their attention

8 with the threat in mind, but also to make sure that the

9 supervising officers were aware with questions of

10 management and discipline in mind?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just clarify something?

14 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That's at Lurgan police station.

16 A. Yes, that's Lurgan as regards the line managers or

17 supervisors of these officers. I also said that I spoke

18 to Superintendent [name redacted], but that was as part of

19 routine meetings with him, where the files could be

20 discussed.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Because the comments, if made, were, as you

23 put it in your report, outrageous.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And if those were good complaints, the conduct described

 

 

212

 

1 was itself outrageous?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask you finally about the

4 interview with Rosemary Nelson?

5 We know, because you have told us, that there was an

6 interview on 16 September, and I don't wish to go over

7 the detail of that again, but I think you are aware of

8 a suggestion made by Geralyn McNally that during the

9 course of that interview, or at least of an interview,

10 the question of Rosemary Nelson's safety was raised and

11 you took it up and offered assistance or help in that

12 regard.

13 Now, can you recall those events?

14 A. I can't recall it in any detail, but I think it would

15 have been quite normal for me to do that. I have done

16 it on other occasions where I have just given some

17 routine security advice and referred people to leaflets,

18 et cetera.

19 Q. Can we look at the statement together briefly? It

20 begins at RNI-213-023 (displayed) -- we have looked at

21 it already, as I say. But we looked also at the passage

22 at the bottom of RNI-213-025 (displayed). Yes, thank

23 you very much.

24 Do you see where she moves from talking about the

25 Duffy complaint to the more general comment:

 

 

213

 

1 "This appears to be part of an ongoing pattern."

2 Do you see that?

3 A. Yes, I do.

4 Q. "During the course of this year, I have had quite

5 a number of clients who have been taken to the police

6 office at Gough. Almost invariably ..."

7 Reading over the page, please:

8 "... there have been reports of derogatory comments

9 being made and sometimes threats that I was going to

10 die."

11 And that leads her to talk about the CAJ statements.

12 Can I suggest to you that it might have been at this

13 point of the interview that quite logically the issue of

14 Rosemary Nelson's safety would have arisen in your own

15 mind?

16 A. Yes, that's a reasonable assumption.

17 Q. And is it possible, therefore, that you made an offer of

18 police help and advice on that issue in the course of

19 that interview?

20 A. Yes, I would have done that.

21 Q. Now, what Geralyn McNally recalls is that

22 Rosemary Nelson's reaction to that offer made by you was

23 to say, "No, thank you. I don't want your help -- I

24 think she expressed that she didn't want assistance from

25 the police.

 

 

214

 

1 Can I take it from your answers so far that you have

2 no specific recollection of that?

3 A. No specific recollection. I can recall that she was

4 courteous throughout the interview and I obviously told

5 her what I told her and she said, "No, thank you".

6 Q. Do you have any recollection of that matter -- giving

7 advice and help to Rosemary Nelson or you making the

8 suggestion -- being taken any further?

9 A. No.

10 Q. So it is possible, is it, then, that (a) you made the

11 suggestion or offer, and (b) that she declined?

12 A. I think that is very possible, yes.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, in the months that followed that -- so

14 that's September -- can we take it that what you have

15 told us today, which is that you went again, the

16 following month, October, and again the month after

17 that, November, that is an indication of your own

18 increasing concern about her security?

19 A. No. I mean, I was always concerned about her security.

20 That was only an indication that I had some additional

21 information, sparse as it was, and I was passing that on

22 to the senior people that deserved to know it.

23 Q. Thank you. So the concern which you described to us

24 earlier remained constant. Indeed, it continued after

25 you left Complaints and Discipline, as you have

 

 

215

 

1 explained to us, and what prompted you, you think, is

2 the new information, the new developments in the

3 investigation?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. Can you remember any subsequent conversation yourself

6 with Rosemary Nelson about this issue?

7 A. No, I only met her the once personally and I don't

8 believe she spoke to me on the phone. After that, her

9 assistants would have spoken to me on the phone from

10 time to time.

11 Q. Did you ever enquire off your own bat as to whether

12 anything had been done in that regard, whether any

13 advice had been given, help offered, et cetera?

14 A. I would be surprised if I hadn't asked was there

15 anything new. Are you talking about a specific period?

16 Q. At any period between then, September 1997, and the time

17 you stopped working on these complaints in April 1998?

18 A. No, I don't recall it.

19 Q. No. Did you discuss this question of her safety and

20 security with colleagues in Complaints and Discipline?

21 A. Possibly in passing, but we never would have sat down

22 and had a specific conference on it. I mean, we would

23 have done the same thing in relation to similar

24 situations with other clients and have done, you know.

25 It is sort of in your own mind: what is the substance of

 

 

216

 

1 this? Have we made people aware who need to be aware?

2 Q. Yes. Unfortunately, at this time in Northern Ireland,

3 this must have been an issue which was regularly coming

4 up for the police. Presumably the difference in this

5 case, as you have pointed out to us, is that this was

6 the example -- the only example that you knew of and had

7 to deal with -- where threats were being made to

8 a defence lawyer?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Now, those are the questions I have for you. But as you

11 probably know, at the end of my questions, I always

12 offer the witness the opportunity to say anything that

13 they want to say, which we haven't covered so far, to

14 the members of the Inquiry Panel.

15 A. Well, I have got a very brief statement that I want to

16 make here and it is primarily with my concerns about

17 what happened after my investigation was complete. And

18 it is as follows.

19 I have provided ample evidence to the Inquiry of my

20 very significant concerns that Miss McNally had made

21 serious generalisations and inferences concerning my

22 investigation, my subsequent reports and, indeed, my

23 character.

24 "Her report which was released to the media

25 in March 1999 in the immediate aftermath of

 

 

217

 

1 Rosemary Nelson's murder refers, as does a subsequent

2 report by Chairman Donnelly of the ICPC, which was also

3 leaked by persons unknown. My rebuttal is contained in

4 my letters to government bodies, to the Chief Constable

5 and to Paul Donnelly in the following weeks and months.

6 The Inquiry team holds copies and exhibits.

7 Miss McNally's generalisations and inferences, taken

8 by the media as referring to me, had very little, if

9 any, specific and detailed evidence to back them up.

10 That is my opinion and that remains the case.

11 Nevertheless, her submissions appear to have been

12 accepted and in many cases repeated verbatim by both the

13 ICPC chairman, Mr Donnelly, and by Judge Cory.

14 Neither of these two men had any direct involvement

15 in my investigation. Neither of them ever asked me

16 about any aspects of the Nelson investigation and

17 reports. Neither of them ever met me.

18 The effect of the Cory Report was effectively to

19 repeat Miss McNally's allegations insofar as they are

20 related to me and to blur the parameters of what

21 I actually knew and what I was investigating. I'm sure

22 that wasn't his intention and I welcome the opportunity

23 provided by this public inquiry to hopefully set the

24 record straight.

25 I'm not saying my performance was perfect, but I did

 

 

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1 my best and I believe I produced reports as per set out

2 by Commander Mulvihill.

3 Obviously in all of this the most serious thing and

4 my most serious concern is the original allegations in

5 relation to Rosemary Nelson, the threats and the

6 allegations of abusive language to say the least.

7 I took a very serious view of that. I still do. But we

8 can only proceed where there is sufficiently convincing

9 evidence to do so.

10 At this stage, and finally, I just want to say that

11 I sincerely pass on my sympathies to the Nelson family.

12 It was a terrible thing that happened and I hope that

13 Mr Nelson and his family will get some clarity to some

14 of their questions from this Inquiry.

15 That is all I have to say.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

17 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just a very quick point: when you took

19 up your role with Complaints and Discipline, did you

20 receive any training in that role?

21 A. I did, yes, and I had refresher training in

22 investigative interview techniques in November 1996,

23 which was very appropriate with these investigations

24 coming within a few months of that.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You have mentioned the meeting with the

 

 

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1 ICPC, which I think was more of a discussion around the

2 fact that more officers should be -- factually proven

3 against more officers. At any time were you given

4 instruction about the role of the ICPC and in particular

5 a member's role in a supervised complaint?

6 A. Yes, absolutely, and it was in the information leaflet

7 which we give to clients or complainants every time

8 there is a supervised investigation.

9 It was the first thing I would have done even before

10 I joined the branch: I'd read up myself on that, and

11 I fully understood the role of the ICPC.

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you very much.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed for coming to give

14 evidence and helping us in our inquiry.

15 I would be very grateful if you would arrange for

16 the delivery to your solicitors of your journal so we

17 can just look at those, in particular, those entries --

18 I know you say there are no details --

19 in October/November 1997. So if you could arrange for

20 your solicitors to receive delivery of them so the

21 Inquiry can look at the relevant parts of the journal.

22 A. Yes, I can certainly do that. As I say, the reference

23 is to actually meeting these people.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

25 Before the witness leaves, Mr [name redacted], would you

 

 

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1 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

2 off?

3 MR [name redacted]: Yes, sir, they have.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please escort the witness out.

5 We shall adjourn until quarter past ten in the

6 morning.

7 (5.33 pm)

8 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

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Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN .............. 218
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