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Full Hearings

Hearing: 19th September 2008, day 53

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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 Friday, 19 September 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Friday, 19 September 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (10.29 am)

5 MISS ANNE COLVILLE (continued)

6 Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

8 MR PHILLIPS: Now, yesterday there was a good deal of to-ing

9 and fro-ing between us, as you will doubtless remember,

10 about the extent to which the question of threats to and

11 the personal protection of Rosemary Nelson on the one

12 hand, and the question of complaints on the other, was

13 addressed in the correspondence. Do you remember we

14 looked yesterday at your memo of 22 May? Do you

15 remember that?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. In which you had raised the question of personal

18 protection, and the memo you subsequently sent of 8 July

19 to your colleague in IPL under the heading of "Personal

20 protection". But also we looked at your letters where

21 you had only focused your attention on questions about

22 complaints. You sent them to the Commission and,

23 indeed, to the RUC to Command Secretariat. Do you

24 remember that?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. We also looked together, didn't we, at some

2 correspondence about the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in

3 Ireland complaints; complaints made by Colin Duffy and

4 Rosemary Nelson.

5 Do you remember that?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can I ask you this question: is it fair to say that

8 where you knew there was a complaints investigation

9 ongoing, you wouldn't generally ask the police to

10 comment on the substance of the allegations which formed

11 the basis of the complaint?

12 A. Well, I think that came through the ICPC and they would

13 tell us. And, you know, I have correspondence that

14 clearly shows what the nature of the complaint was, or

15 the complaints.

16 Q. You may have misunderstood my question. What I was

17 asking you is would you generally ask the police to

18 comment on the substance of the allegations, which

19 formed the basis of the complaints?

20 A. Well, I'm sure there would be discussion, but substance

21 in what context? The nature of the complaint? Or ...?

22 Q. On whether, for example, the RUC or the Commission

23 thought that the complaints were well founded?

24 A. No, no.

25 Q. So in relation to the Lawyers Alliance matters, and the

 

 

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1 Colin Duffy/Rosemary Nelson matters, can I take it that

2 you wouldn't expect to be saying, "By the way, are these

3 complaints any good? Are they good complaints? Are

4 they fair?"

5 A. No.

6 Q. Right.

7 A. I don't think so. I can't remember.

8 Q. No, you are not sure?

9 A. My automatic reaction to you is no, I don't think so.

10 Q. Now, of course the Senator's letter we have looked at,

11 the Senator Torricelli letter, was not something that

12 turned into a Commission complaint, was it? It was

13 a letter coming from a senator to the Ambassador raising

14 a question of threats?

15 A. I think it was established that the Lynch letter was the

16 primary --

17 Q. Yes, the letter you spent some time trying to get an

18 answer to, as we saw -- it took you some three months in

19 the end -- was the Torricelli letter, wasn't it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. That didn't form a complaint within the ICPC system,

22 did it?

23 A. Not that I -- I'm not aware of that.

24 Q. And your reaction to that letter, we saw, was to ask

25 a question about what steps to protect Rosemary Nelson

 

 

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1 were being taken, what advice had been given?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. And you explained to us -- again, just to

4 remind you of what we discussed yesterday -- how you and

5 your line manager took the substance, i.e. the question,

6 of threats to life extremely seriously?

7 A. Well, I think that is demonstrated by the fact that we

8 raised personal protection.

9 Q. Indeed. Again, looking back at the letters we

10 considered yesterday, you, towards the end of the day,

11 were saying, I think, that once you received the letter

12 of 6 June -- and perhaps we can have that on the screen,

13 please, RNI-105-035 (displayed). I'm not going to go

14 over whether or not it is in the letter, but you

15 regarded this as being, as it were, the answer in the

16 question of the threats. Do you remember we discussed

17 this yesterday?

18 A. Well, I'm sure I didn't -- I am sure it was a collective

19 decision that that was --

20 Q. You think it is something you discussed with your

21 colleagues, do you?

22 A. I have no recollection that we -- you know, that we

23 said, "Is this answering the question or not?" But

24 I could imagine that we probably did discuss that, yes.

25 Q. Yes. But is it fair to say that from this point on, the

 

 

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1 point you received this letter, your focus becomes

2 solely on the question of complaints?

3 A. I don't know if I'm missing something here, but, you

4 know, the complaints clearly involve the matter of

5 alleged misconduct by an RUC officer in making a threat

6 or an alleged threat against Mrs Nelson.

7 So the fact that the correspondence had come to

8 ourselves in police division, to SPOB, a separate

9 division, to me those are clearly the two divisions

10 within the NIO that that letter would rest with

11 correctly. And we -- we took it along the complaints

12 route, and that was correct, as well as raising the

13 matter of personal protection, which was, you know,

14 outside our remit. But we obviously did that.

15 Q. Yes, but that is what I'm trying to ask you about. We

16 saw yesterday at some length how you raised the question

17 of personal protection, but then we saw in subsequent

18 correspondence that your focus is entirely on the

19 complaints side because, as you said to me yesterday,

20 that was what your section or your division was

21 concerned with?

22 A. Absolutely. There is another division within the

23 Northern Ireland Office, the KPPS. And I was not

24 involved in any talk with members of the staff on the

25 KPPS.

 

 

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1 Q. About this issue?

2 A. About this issue.

3 Q. No.

4 A. But that also would have been another area within police

5 division that we could have raised that matter. I think

6 it was raised at some point later. I was not involved

7 in that. But, yes, there was another avenue that we

8 could have taken and we did take the matter of the

9 threat to life.

10 Q. But, again, coming back to where we left off yesterday,

11 it is for that reason, is it, that when you went through

12 the Amnesty International letter -- that is the letter

13 of 21 August -- we can see the last page at RNI-101-086

14 (displayed) -- the questions that you asked about this

15 letter did not include a question about the first

16 paragraph on this page, "What measures are being taken

17 to protect Rosemary Nelson," but they did include

18 a number of questions to the RUC about, as it were, the

19 complaints matters which were raised in the same letter,

20 three pages, from Amnesty International?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Because you didn't think it was your responsibility, as

23 I understood what you were saying yesterday, at this

24 stage to go beyond your remit, which was the question of

25 complaints?

 

 

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1 A. On the basis of, you know, what we had received already

2 from the police.

3 Q. Indeed.

4 A. And the fact that Rosemary Nelson was not cooperating

5 with the complaints procedure at that particular time.

6 On that basis -- and she hadn't -- nobody -- it is

7 very strange, I think, that these letters that raised

8 very important matters, in particular the threat to

9 life, alleged threat to life, you know, that nobody that

10 I'm aware of ever came back and said, "How despicable.

11 You never raced the most important issue in my letter.

12 What is happening?" And that would have raised another

13 direction for us. But it is strange, I think, that

14 nobody came back.

15 Q. But this is an example where they are coming back to

16 you, aren't they? This is an organisation saying, "What

17 are you doing about measures to protect

18 Rosemary Nelson?"

19 A. But when I responded and didn't reply directly, you

20 know, to all these letters, I'm not aware of anybody

21 coming back and saying, "This is an opt-out -- this is

22 a cop-out here. You haven't picked up on the most

23 important thing." It was -- you know, these were, if

24 you like -- it may be the wrong word to use -- but they

25 were campaign letters to get the whole Rosemary Nelson

 

 

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1 thing out -- you know publicly out there and it prompted

2 different areas of the Government to react and the

3 police obviously, as well.

4 Q. Now, can I just ask you to look, please, at a specific

5 aspect of the letter you sent to Command Secretariat for

6 responses to the Amnesty letter? We looked at it

7 yesterday, but it is at RNI-105-109 at the bottom of

8 that page (displayed). Because -- do you see in the

9 last paragraph, where you pick up comments made in -- I

10 think it says actually paragraphs 6 and 7. At the very

11 bottom, you say:

12 "It would be very helpful, however, to have a line

13 on the comment that officers who came to contact ..."

14 I think it must be:

15 "... came into contact with detainees should be told

16 that disparaging comments about a detainee's lawyer are

17 forbidden."

18 So it is the particular issue they raised about

19 disparaging comments. Do you see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In your statement at paragraph 28, where you refer to

22 this part of your letter -- thank you. This is in the

23 last of the paragraph -- you say:

24 "I have a vague recollection that the

25 Chief Constable had already picked up on this issue and

 

 

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1 had started to look at training for officers."

2 Can I ask you, please, what do you recall about the

3 question of the Chief Constable getting involved and

4 starting to look at training on this point about

5 disparaging comments?

6 A. Really absolutely nothing more than just, you know,

7 there was something out there. But I wasn't involved in

8 any of the conversation -- you know, there were

9 conversations in the office that maybe didn't involve me

10 at all, but you know, you would obviously pick up on

11 them.

12 But, you know -- I mean, I think I answered that in

13 response to a direct question, but there is nothing more

14 that I can -- I can't elaborate any more on it, I'm

15 sorry.

16 Q. Do you think -- can you help? -- that this question of

17 the Chief Constable getting involved may have happened

18 after this time, in other words after September 1997?

19 A. I'm sorry, I really genuinely don't know.

20 Q. Were you aware at this point, do you think,

21 in September 1997 that there was to be a visit by the UN

22 Special Rapporteur to Northern Ireland?

23 A. I imagine I would have been, yes.

24 Q. Is that an issue you had any personal involvement with?

25 A. Other than contacting the police and the ICPC, again, to

 

 

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1 get updates on where the complaints were and providing

2 that for Simon. Simon would have covered that.

3 Q. Did that visit, which happened at the end of October

4 that year, and the aftermath of it, did that, do you

5 think, serve to raise still further the profile of all

6 of these issues?

7 A. Oh, I'm pretty sure -- yes, I'm sure.

8 Q. Finally, in relation to this aspect of the Amnesty

9 letter, this was, as I understand it, a minister's case

10 letter; is that right?

11 A. Yes, I think it was.

12 Q. Because we see that from your letter of 1 September. If

13 we go back to the screen, please, at RNI-105-109

14 (displayed), what was it about this letter that led to

15 it being a minister's case, please?

16 A. It was -- because it was through the Secretary of State.

17 Q. It was because it was originally sent to her; is that

18 right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Yes, thank you. Now, in attempting to get together the

21 draft response, we know that you also had discussions on

22 these points with the ICPC, and we can see a note of

23 4 September, your note, at RNI-105-111.500 (displayed).

24 It looks as though you were speaking again to Jennifer

25 Mitchell and finding out some details of the latest

 

 

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1 progress or news in relation to the Colin Duffy and -- I

2 think somebody has inserted -- perhaps that is you --

3 Rosemary Nelson matters. Is that your handwriting?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Thank you. At 2, we see:

6 "Colin Duffy is due to be interviewed on 9 September

7 in the Maze Prison. Mrs Nelson will be interviewed on

8 11 September although she has not confirmed the

9 appointment to date."

10 Do you remember that this was a change in the

11 situation, wasn't it, because earlier you've been saying

12 that she hadn't cooperated and she was highly unlikely

13 to cooperate?

14 Now you were being told, weren't you, at the

15 beginning of September that interviews had been

16 scheduled both for her and for Colin Duffy?

17 A. Well, I think all along from May -- from, I think,

18 13 May, interviews had been arranged, but she hadn't --

19 you know, she hadn't cooperated even though the

20 interviews were arranged.

21 Q. So the proof of the pudding, as it were, would be what

22 happened on those days later in September, i.e. whether or

23 not they actually turned up?

24 A. Turned up.

25 Q. Yes. Now, so far as that is concerned, do you remember

 

 

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1 we looked at the letter that came -- and you had to deal

2 with -- from the New Jersey law firm? And we can see

3 your response to it at RNI-114-076.502 (displayed). Do

4 you remember it was a letter addressed to the

5 Home Secretary, which found its way to you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. It is on the same day as the conversation noted we just

8 looked at. You set out the position in relation to the

9 criminal proceedings and the complaints matters at the

10 bottom of the page, and turning over the page to

11 RNI-114-076.503 (displayed), we see further details, and

12 then at the bottom:

13 "Ms Nelson has also left unanswered a request for

14 permission to be given to interview her client

15 Colin Duffy and no other witnesses have been

16 identified."

17 As at this date, whether or not you had spoken to

18 Jennifer Mitchell at the time of this letter, it looked,

19 didn't it, as though things had moved on slightly from

20 that point, in the sense that a time for Colin Duffy had

21 been given for him to be interviewed in the Maze Prison.

22 We saw that just now. So things were moving on, as it

23 were?

24 A. Well, I think perhaps more of the same at that stage,

25 but there was a new dimension, I suppose.

 

 

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1 Q. Whether or not it came just before this letter or just

2 after the letter, the development was that the request

3 for permission to have an interview with Colin Duffy had

4 been answered and, indeed, a date had been given.

5 That's fair, isn't it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So far as the other correspondence we have been looking

8 at is concerned, namely the Amnesty International

9 letter, you received a response to that in the form of

10 a letter -- in fact, as it turned out, two letters -- of

11 10 September, from Command Secretariat.

12 Can we look at those, please, together at

13 RNI-101-074 first (displayed)? And it begins by

14 pointing out that the writer had received four letters,

15 of which this was one -- your one was one -- concerning

16 Rosemary Nelson and Colin Duffy.

17 Did you get the impression by this stage that the

18 officers in Command Secretariat were getting rather

19 weary of having to deal with all these questions passed

20 on by you and your colleagues about these cases?

21 A. No -- I mean, no, not personally. I mean, we have

22 a record of responses, so they -- you know -- but I'm

23 sure they were, but I wasn't aware of it.

24 Q. Presumably they were having to deal with the volume of

25 correspondence that you talked about yesterday because

 

 

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1 so often when it came to you, in order to answer it you

2 had to pass it on to them?

3 A. Yes, I can imagine they were, but they never said to me

4 that, you know, they were --

5 Q. Other than this sort of reference here?

6 A. Pardon?

7 Q. Other than in this sort of reference here?

8 A. No, other than in the letter, not that I can recall

9 anyway.

10 Q. No. This was intended, as I understand it, wasn't it,

11 to give you some lines to take, some answers to give to

12 the Amnesty International letter?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And we can see in the third paragraph, for example,

15 a quotation about disparaging comments, and there is no

16 reference certainly in this response, is there, to

17 training or the Chief Constable becoming involved at

18 this stage?

19 A. No, no, there is not.

20 Q. But a point is made, as we can see very clearly in the

21 second sentence, about Amnesty's own position on the

22 matter, and do you see in the penultimate paragraph the

23 writer says:

24 "I have also copied your letter and attachments to

25 Complaints and Discipline for their attention."

 

 

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1 Because, as we will see, you were also in contact

2 with them about these matters.

3 But can I ask you this: look next at the second

4 paragraph, which is where the writer says:

5 "The allegation that Colin Duffy was denied access

6 to his solicitor has been addressed in my response to

7 SPOB, this date, copy attached."

8 Because we can see that on the previous page of the

9 file at RNI-101-073 (displayed). And here, again, this

10 is a letter to a colleague in SPOB, the same date, and

11 again, the point is made that there were two letters to

12 be replied to, raising similar points, raising similar

13 matters. Do you see that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Before we look at the substance of this, can you note,

16 please:

17 "Independence of judges and lawyers, Rosemary

18 Nelson, matter raised by the Irish side."?

19 Were you aware at this time that in addition to

20 correspondence coming in from abroad and from NGOs, that

21 the NIO was having to deal with questions raised by the

22 Irish side of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat about these

23 matters?

24 A. I have been given copies of letters or notes to the

25 British side from the Irish, but -- I was surprised, you

 

 

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1 know, that I was given copies of these because

2 I certainly wasn't involved.

3 Q. It never fell to you, did it, to provide answers or part

4 answers for transmission back to the Irish side?

5 A. I never remember drafting anything for the Irish, but

6 again, you know, my work in contacting the police and

7 the ICPC would, I am sure, feed into responses. But no,

8 I have no responsibility for that.

9 Q. Looking down the letter, you can see it is about, first

10 of all, the case of the two policemen murders in Lurgan.

11 Then in the fourth paragraph, reference to the

12 complaints, and do you see the final sentence of the

13 penultimate paragraph:

14 "It will be noted that Mrs Nelson failed to

15 cooperate with that investigation"?

16 That, as we saw, is dated 10 September.

17 Now, of course, by this stage you knew from your

18 conversation with the ICPC, didn't you, that interviews

19 had been arranged, though I suspect at this stage you

20 didn't know, did you, whether or not the interviewees

21 had turned up?

22 A. I don't believe so, no.

23 Q. Very shortly after this, we see a fax in the bundle from

24 you back to Command Secretariat, and it is at

25 RNI-101-092.500 (displayed). That, again, is your

 

 

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1 writing on this cover sheet, isn't it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Before we look at what you have written, there are two

4 pages attached, and the first, just to show you at

5 RNI-101-092.501 (displayed), is indeed a note from the

6 Irish side to the British side within the Anglo-Irish

7 Secretariat. So it looks at this stage at least as

8 though you were having some involvement, doesn't it, in

9 those matters?

10 A. Well, again -- actually, when I got the papers, I hadn't

11 realised those were attachments to the fax, but as

12 I have said previously, my involvement was to ask both

13 the RUC and ICPC for information. But I'm pretty sure I

14 didn't draft anything to the Irish side. I would

15 imagine Simon did that, but I could be wrong.

16 Q. Well, if we go back to the covering sheet, do you see

17 what you say in the second line is:

18 "I would be most grateful if you could provide

19 anything in relation to the two questions: (i) when is

20 the preliminary hearing expected? (ii) when will the

21 file be forwarded to the DPP."

22 If you look over to RNI-101-092.503 at paragraphs 2

23 and 3, you will see that those are indeed the questions

24 posed by the Irish side, namely:

25 "We should be grateful to know whether there is an

 

 

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1 indication of when the preliminary hearing is likely to

2 be heard."

3 Then in paragraph 3:

4 "We would be grateful to know when the Director of

5 Public Prosecutions has considered the RUC evidence in

6 this case."

7 Going back to the cover sheet at RNI-101-092.500

8 (displayed), it looks as though you had been asked to

9 get an answer for the Irish side to those two questions,

10 doesn't it?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. The point I would like to ask you about next is what you

13 mean by the first sentence in your message to

14 Superintendent Maxwell:

15 "I very much appreciate the sentiments you

16 expressed."

17 Can you help about that?

18 A. I'm sure I can't remember at all.

19 Q. Is it possible that you rang him to warn him that this

20 was on its way and he expressed weariness that yet

21 another series of questions about these issues were

22 being put to Command Secretariat for answer?

23 A. I possibly wouldn't use the word "warn", I mean, to

24 advise him that something was on its way and that it was

25 urgent. But I have no idea what -- you know, what that

 

 

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1 was about, I'm sure.

2 Q. But a matter of this kind, where the Irish side were

3 asking, was something that had to be dealt with

4 urgently; is that right?

5 A. Yes. I mean, we -- that was -- I suppose we were always

6 putting other organisations under pressure for

7 responses. And, you know, whether it is the NIO or --

8 you are never popular and people always make remarks. I

9 would make remarks, "Oh no, not another ..." It's just

10 human nature.

11 Q. Indeed.

12 A. But I'm sorry, I can't remember.

13 Q. Well, as pressure came from more and more sources on

14 you, so it fell to you to put pressure on others to

15 provide the answers you needed?

16 A. Absolutely. We couldn't create anything in our office,

17 so we relied totally on others.

18 Q. Now, to follow through the US Voice correspondence, can

19 I just ask you to look briefly at RNI-113-032

20 (displayed), which comes at about the same time,

21 19 September.

22 Do you remember we looked at the two letters from

23 Jean Forest, and your first -- your holding response and

24 it looks as though you were making use in here of the

25 responses you had got from Command Secretariat in

 

 

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1 response to the Amnesty letter, doesn't it, because we

2 can see the comments about the case, Mr Duffy and then

3 the comments about the complaints? Then at RNI-113-033

4 at the bottom (displayed), please, in the penultimate

5 paragraph that:

6 "Ms Nelson has left unanswered a request for

7 permission to be given to interview her client."

8 It is the same comment you made to the New Jersey

9 lawyers. Then you added this:

10 "Unfortunately, due to Ms Nelson's non-cooperation,

11 it will not be possible to bring the investigation to

12 its conclusion. It is, therefore, highly likely that

13 the complaint will be dispensed with under the RUC

14 complaints regulations. This is a most unsatisfactory

15 outcome from everyone's point of view."

16 What do you think was the source of that

17 information?

18 A. I would imagine both the ICPC and the police -- I mean,

19 as I was saying before, you know, we relied on others

20 for information, so it wasn't created in our office. So

21 it was something I had obviously heard or seen written

22 from the police or the ICPC. I just can't --

23 Q. Because as you say, you were reliant on them to let you

24 know what was actually happening to these complaints on

25 the ground?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, I mean, in the letter from the police of 22 August,

2 in the paragraph:

3 "The investigating officer wrote to Ms Nelson."

4 So, you know, already it looked at if there was

5 a possibility. And the letter of 27 August.

6 Q. If we look at an undated, or rather without a specific

7 date letter from the ICPC at RNI-202-085.500

8 (displayed), we can see the position in August. This is

9 a very detailed run-down from the Commission in response

10 to an earlier letter from you. That is 29 July.

11 A great deal of information about the various

12 complaints and the history to that point of

13 non-cooperation. But this point you are making in the

14 letter to US Voice, Jean Forest, raises specifically the

15 prospect of the complaints being dispensed with. And

16 what I'm asking you is whether you are able to recall

17 now what the source of that suggestion was, that the

18 matter was --

19 MR BEER: I do hesitate to intervene. It is the next page,

20 RNI-202-085.501 (displayed), top of the page, and it

21 attaches at RNI-202-085.502 and RNI-202-085.503

22 (displayed) copies of the dispensation regulations. So

23 it is top of that page:

24 "The same was not forthcoming. The complaint will,

25 therefore, be dealt with in accordance with

 

 

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1 Regulation 17 of the RUC complaint regulations."

2 Then the regulations themselves are attached. I

3 think that helps.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you very much.

5 A. Sorry.

6 Q. So if you look at that page at the top, there is the

7 suggestion in August that the complaint will, therefore,

8 be dealt with. And that means Regulation 17

9 dispensation, doesn't it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Thank you. So, so far as you were concerned then, in

12 responding to the US Voice letter, is it likely that you

13 were relying upon this information in August 1997 from

14 the ICPC?

15 A. I believe so, yes.

16 Q. And you proceeded on the basis of that rather than the

17 more recent information given to you in the telephone

18 conversation with Jennifer Mitchell on 4 September about

19 the interviews being arranged?

20 A. It looks that way.

21 Q. Well, if we look through the file, we will see at

22 RNI-105-129.500 (displayed) a further update on

23 3 October.

24 Again, it looks as though you have been in touch

25 with the ICPC. It is your file note, isn't it?

 

 

23

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And there, you are given the information about the

3 interviews, namely that Rosemary Nelson had been

4 interviewed but at a later stage, and at that point it

5 is explained that the two complaints essentially have

6 been rolled into one; in other words, the Lawyers

7 Alliance complaint and the Colin Duffy complaints. Do

8 you see that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And do you think that was the first time you were made

11 aware of that information?

12 A. I think so. I'm not sure, but it would look that way.

13 Q. And we can see it confirmed in fact at RNI-105-133

14 (displayed) in another letter from Command Secretariat,

15 not prompted by you.

16 It looks as though it was simply an update sent

17 further to an earlier letter from Command Secretariat,

18 and the advice is given to you that both of them had

19 made themselves available. Do you see in the second

20 paragraph?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Statements had been recorded, investigation is being

23 carried out and upon completion the file will be

24 forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

25 So there, as it were, from the other side, the RUC

 

 

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1 side, was coming an update on 20 October?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I would like to move now to events in February 1998, and

4 you deal with this in your statement in paragraph 32 at

5 RNI-841-282 (displayed), because you say there that on

6 9 February you asked the Chief Superintendent for an

7 update on the cases. And in the interview with

8 Eversheds, you were obviously asked why you had done

9 that and you say that you can't now recall.

10 We can see your letter at RNI-106-007 (displayed),

11 and how the request is put:

12 "As Christine Collins is in need of an update on the

13 above police complaints cases for a briefing on

14 16 February, I should be grateful if you could supply me

15 with the latest state of play before that date. Sorry

16 for the short notice."

17 Doing the best you can with this letter, what sort

18 of briefing do you think that would have been involving

19 Christine Collins?

20 A. I'm sorry, I have no idea.

21 Q. Would it be her briefing somebody else?

22 A. I would imagine so, but I don't know. I don't know.

23 Q. You don't know?

24 A. Yes, I'm sorry.

25 Q. We know you got a response in due course because you

 

 

25

 

1 refer to it in your statement. I'm not going to take

2 you to that, but I would like you to look, please, at

3 RNI-101-196 (displayed).

4 This is a letter from your line manager to the Chief

5 Superintendent of a couple of weeks later, referring to

6 a meeting he had attended with Christine Collins and the

7 Lawyers Alliance, Mr Lynch's organisation. And you see

8 the content of it, the meeting: they recorded their deep

9 concerns over the safety of Rosemary Nelson, et cetera.

10 And he is asking, as you will see in the remainder of

11 the letter, about advice, whether or not advice has been

12 given about security to Rosemary Nelson:

13 "The question will continue to be asked and I should

14 like to be able to respond proactively."

15 Now, what recollection do you have of this issue

16 coming into your part of the NIO?

17 A. I have to say I only received a copy of the -- of

18 Simon's letter on Wednesday of this week. So I was

19 surprised really to have it in my papers. It was -- it

20 wasn't -- I mean, I haven't seen that letter before.

21 I mean, going back to -- I have no recollection of ever

22 seeing that letter. I was surprised that it was in my

23 papers.

24 Q. Do you think you saw it at the time?

25 A. No, I don't think so.

 

 

26

 

1 Q. Do you remember discussing this question -- that the

2 Lawyers Alliance had raised a concern about

3 Rosemary Nelson's safety in February 1998 -- with

4 Simon Rogers?

5 A. I remember Simon coming back from -- well, very

6 vaguely -- and it obviously had been quite a difficult

7 meeting. But I have no recollection of specifically the

8 whole thing over a threat to Rosemary Nelson's life

9 having been so major. And I have no recollection. I

10 was surprised at having that letter in -- amongst my

11 papers.

12 Q. You see, you have explained to us how in the previous

13 year, in May 1997 you were concerned within your

14 department with the question of whether she had been

15 offered advice about personal protection, the question

16 of security and we have been through all of that --

17 A. Could I just say -- I mean, you say that I was

18 concerned; it was a collective concern.

19 Q. Indeed.

20 A. Obviously I was asked to raise it.

21 Q. You wrote the memo of 22 May asking the question of the

22 RUC, didn't you? And you were concerned -- I'm not

23 suggesting on your own, but you were concerned, no doubt

24 with others, about that issue?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

27

 

1 Q. So here it is coming back again, and so the question

2 I put to you is whether, when it came back into your

3 part of the NIO again, you were involved in discussing

4 it on this occasion in February 1998?

5 A. I think I wouldn't agree with -- I mean, I was aware of

6 the discussion in the office, you know, but I wasn't --

7 I wasn't involved as such -- I heard the discussion.

8 I'm sure I made some comment, but it wasn't my meeting,

9 so I wasn't key to the discussion. I'll put it that

10 way.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Can you help me about this, Miss Colville?

12 When you talk about your office, did you have a room

13 of your own or did you share a room with Simon Rogers?

14 What was the layout?

15 A. Simon had a room of his own. I was in a larger office,

16 and my direct line manager, when she arrived, I think

17 in October 1997, Lesley Foster, was in that general

18 office with me. But there were other parts of police

19 division in the office as well.

20 So basically it was only Lesley and I in the main

21 office and then I think Walter Myles was at some point,

22 but I really had very little contact with him.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Was Christine Collins also in Massey House?

24 A. She had an office upstairs. And KPPS were a separate

25 office as well.

 

 

28

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

2 MR PHILLIPS: But other than what you see set out here in

3 the page, which is a letter, as you have said, that you

4 didn't see at the time, you have no recollection of

5 being involved in any discussions about this question

6 in February 1998; is that right?

7 A. I do remember, you know, there was talk in the office

8 after Simon had come back from the meeting. I mean, it

9 would be unusual, you know, if there wasn't. Was I part

10 of that? I'm sure, knowing my nature, I asked what had

11 happened. I can't imagine I had no knowledge of it

12 at all.

13 Q. Did you go and check the file to see what the current

14 state of play was following the correspondence in 1997?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Do you know whether the file was checked to see what the

17 current state of play was?

18 A. On the threats to Rosemary?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. I don't understand what file I would check.

21 Q. I don't understand your filing system. I'm simply using

22 a pretty general description.

23 We have discussed a great deal of correspondence

24 going backwards and forwards in 1997 on the question of

25 threats, security, complaints, protection advice,

 

 

29

 

1 et cetera. What I'm asking is when this issue came

2 up -- you say you were aware of the general

3 conversation -- did you or do you know whether anybody

4 else looked back to see what the situation was based on

5 the earlier correspondence?

6 A. There would be no need to.

7 Q. Why do you say that?

8 A. Because the issue of the threats to Rosemary Nelson in

9 our division were -- the complaints were about threats

10 to life and other things -- or alleged threats.

11 When we wrote -- when I wrote out on 22 May, we had

12 established then from the police that they didn't

13 consider there was a threat to Rosemary Nelson's life.

14 So that issue was out in the NIO system. It was out in

15 the police system.

16 I don't know if any other division, if it was

17 raised -- the only other division I think that was

18 involved was SPOB. Within police division, the only

19 other branch that would be involved was KPPS and

20 ourselves as complaints.

21 We were handling it as police complaints. It was

22 raised with KPPS at some time. I wasn't involved in

23 that. I can't comment. SPOB were well aware of it; I

24 don't know what their remit was. I don't know if it was

25 raised at a higher level.

 

 

30

 

1 There are mechanisms within the NIO for cross

2 fertilisation of divisions. I don't know if it was

3 raised at a higher level, but within our division --

4 could I put it this way: once we were told by the

5 police, "There isn't a threat to Rosemary Nelson", back

6 in May, for right up until, I think, October, Mrs Nelson

7 hadn't cooperated with the complaints process. She

8 hadn't raised the matter of a threat to her life

9 directly with us. But we had raised the matter of

10 personal protection. Even though it didn't lie in our

11 remit, we had raised it with the police.

12 So really -- and it was established now that the

13 complaints, you know -- we know what they are and the

14 matter of the threat to her life in our division at that

15 time -- I shouldn't say within the division. I don't

16 know what was happening in the KPPS -- within our

17 branch, within my area of responsibility, it was

18 a complaint -- it was under a complaints process.

19 But it was firmly out there in all -- you know, in

20 the systems with the police and within the NIO, and I

21 can't comment on what was happening in any other place

22 but my own branch.

23 Q. No, but this letter is written by your line manager,

24 isn't it?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

31

 

1 Q. And he is the line manager within what you describe as

2 the complaints branch?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. But the heading of letter is "Security", isn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And the letter does not deal at all with the question of

7 complaints, but rather with concerns over the safety of

8 Rosemary Nelson?

9 A. My understanding is -- I wasn't at the meeting. I can't

10 recall what we discussed in the office afterwards, but

11 my understanding is that, you know -- obviously from the

12 letter, the whole issue of the threat to Rosemary Nelson

13 was raised and, you know, obviously it -- so Simon came

14 back and raised it with the police because we had major

15 contact with the police.

16 But I just -- I'm trying to understand where you are

17 coming at through this. Everybody, I think, was

18 informed in the end -- the divisions who would have been

19 involved in the complaints side, in the threats side,

20 were informed in the NIO, as were the police.

21 Simon and Christine had a meeting with the Lawyers

22 Alliance. Obviously they were hot and heavy about the

23 issue of Rosemary Nelson -- the threat -- alleged threat

24 to Rosemary Nelson. So Simon has come back. You know,

25 I can't comment on this, this is not my letter, but

 

 

32

 

1 obviously he has come back and, you know, said to

2 Command Secretariat who we were dealing with, "If these

3 comments had not been made to the Chief Constable or

4 picked up by him elsewhere, I'm passing them on as a

5 result of her complaints about RUC threats."

6 So that is the context of the letter. If any other

7 area of the NIO were involved, I don't know. It doesn't

8 seem to be copied. I don't know if it was copied to

9 SPOB or whoever, but that was a very good call by Simon

10 to do that. It was the correct thing to do; again,

11 because of the meeting they had.

12 It wasn't his area, security wasn't his area, risk

13 assessment, threats weren't his area, but he -- you

14 know, he did absolutely the right thing. Rather than

15 fire it round the system and get so -- and wait for

16 replies and everything else, he wrote directly and said,

17 you know, "If this has not been raised with the

18 Chief Constable ..." But I'm talking about a letter I

19 wasn't involved with.

20 Q. But the point you are making, as I understand it, is he

21 did the right thing, in the sense that whether or not he

22 was just in the complaints part of the branch or

23 department or division, or whatever it was, when the

24 issue about threats or safety was raised, he acted on it

25 and he passed the issue to the people who could deal

 

 

33

 

1 with it, namely the RUC?

2 A. We had done that from 22 May.

3 Q. Indeed.

4 A. As I say, he could have come back, started the whole

5 process of contacting whoever. I don't know who else.

6 But he absolutely -- you know -- he met yesterday and

7 this letter went with out the following day. So it was

8 a very prudent and correct thing to do. So ...

9 Q. Now, can I just ask you one final question about this

10 moment based on something you said just a little

11 earlier?

12 You said you remember discussion happening after the

13 meeting and I think you said based on your character,

14 you think you would have taken part in the discussion in

15 the office.

16 What do you think you would have had to say when you

17 heard what had happened at this meeting?

18 A. Well, I just -- I would have been generally interested

19 to hear, you know, what had been raised at the meeting.

20 But I can't remember -- it is just my nature to be

21 interested and also, I mean, to become aware of what

22 else, you know, we might -- what other work would be

23 generated perhaps for our office.

24 I would also like to say that along with the matter

25 of the alleged threat to her life, we proactively in

 

 

34

 

1 correspondence raised, you know, what else -- with the

2 police what else can be done. If Mrs Nelson is not

3 cooperating, what can be done? We were proactive within

4 and beyond our remit. That's just about -- you know --

5 I do understand -- I presume you want to get at was this

6 correspondence handled correctly by the NIO, was it

7 taken seriously and were the right -- you know -- I'm

8 trying to establish what our role was and how we went

9 beyond what we really had to do.

10 Q. Can I just ask you about a later stage in 1998?

11 I suspect that you had no involvement in it, but I'm

12 going to ask you anyway: do you have any recollection of

13 a later request in August, about August 1998 for

14 a threat assessment in relation to Rosemary Nelson?

15 A. No, I don't.

16 Q. Can I just look, finally, at one more document with you?

17 It is at RNI-101-203.500 (displayed). It is another fax

18 in your handwriting, I think, the cover sheet; is that

19 right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Signed by you in the bottom right-hand corner?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Again, to the Chief Superintendent -- that is his

24 cipher -- and you are sending a memorandum, which we see

25 on the next page. Perhaps we can have it on the

 

 

35

 

1 right-hand side, please, RNI-101-203.501 (displayed).

2 Thank you.

3 That gives us the date, although the fax doesn't, of

4 5 March; so slightly after the February letter we looked

5 at. You see what you have noted there in your

6 memorandum to Simon Rogers, and it looks as though,

7 doesn't it, you were giving him another update on the

8 complaints?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Now, keeping that in mind, as it were, and looking back

11 to the bottom left-hand corner, you say to the Chief

12 Superintendent:

13 "Many thanks for providing information

14 re Rosemary Nelson. Sorry for the hassle."

15 Presumably you were, again, pressing for

16 information. Is that a fair presumption?

17 A. Yes, I mean -- I think the way I operate is the best way

18 to get information from people that you are relying on

19 is to be polite and -- yes.

20 Q. "This is what I had put together from speaking to ICPC

21 and passed to Simon for the Secretary of State"?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. So presumably somebody, whether it is Simon Rogers or

24 somebody else, was being required to brief the Secretary

25 of State?

 

 

36

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. "We just needed some specifics re her non-cooperation on

3 the alleged assault."

4 Is that what it says?

5 A. Yes, I think so.

6 Q. So you think somebody had asked you, had they, to give

7 them more information on her non-cooperation on the

8 Garvaghy Road assault complaint?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can you remember any more about the circumstances in

11 which you were asked to give that information?

12 A. I'm sorry, I honestly can't remember now.

13 Q. Right. Well, those are all the questions I have for

14 you, Miss Colville, but if there is anything that we

15 haven't covered, which you would like to say to the

16 Tribunal, this is your opportunity.

17 A. I know I'm going to repeat myself, but I think -- it is

18 important to understand that -- and I'm sure you will

19 have from other people, you know, who would be far

20 better at demonstrating this, but we, within my branch,

21 we were dealing with, in the context of complaints,

22 alleged complaints against the RUC at the time. And

23 I know -- as I said before, you are trying to establish

24 how all this correspondence was dealt with within the

25 NIO. Was it treated with the seriousness that it should

 

 

37

 

1 have been? And I have to say that I have asked myself

2 that, and I think if we hadn't, the evidence on file

3 that we raised -- sorry.

4 We raised personal protection at an early stage, and

5 you can ask why we didn't pick up on it, but it was in

6 the system and I don't know what other areas within the

7 NIO were doing with it, but it was in the system from

8 our office. And all this kind of -- you know, focus on

9 aspects of correspondence will not take away from that

10 fact: that we raised personal protection and -- with the

11 police. I can't comment on what happened from it from

12 their point of view, and it was also raised, I'm sure,

13 within -- but it was nothing I was involved in, if it

14 was raised with KPPS -- within the NIO.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Miss Colville, we appreciate very much you

16 coming to give evidence.

17 My colleagues want to ask you one or two more

18 questions. We understand how difficult it must have

19 been for you to go back over all these years on all the

20 details you have been asked and we are very grateful,

21 but my two colleagues have one or two questions to

22 ask you.

23 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

24 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Miss Colville, I fully appreciate

25 what you say about your role; you were in a particular

 

 

38

 

1 branch of the NIO, you had a limited remit. You did

2 take initiatives which were outside your remit. So that

3 is given and understood. No doubt we will be asking

4 some of your former colleagues about other aspects of

5 this.

6 What I did want to do, though, was just to get clear

7 in my mind how the correspondence machine worked within

8 your branch and within your particular bit of it.

9 You said in your statement that all your drafts of

10 correspondence and any submissions that went with them

11 would be reviewed and cleared by your line managers.

12 Was that invariably the case or was it just in the case

13 of the Rosemary Nelson correspondence, which obviously

14 acquired a great momentum and great sensitivity of its

15 own?

16 A. Well, I'm quite a cautious person so I'm pretty sure I

17 would clear most things.

18 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right. And did that apply not just

19 to correspondence going out, but to the kind of internal

20 dialogue that was going on -- if I can describe it as

21 "internal" -- with the RUC and with the ICPC and with,

22 say, IPL? Would you clear all of that before you sent

23 out a minute to those people?

24 A. I'm sure I would have discussed with Simon what we

25 wanted to get back from the police or the ICPC. I may

 

 

39

 

1 not have gone with the final letter and said, "Look, is

2 that everything?" but it is all in how you ask

3 questions, so I'm sure I would have said, "Is that

4 exactly what we need to -- but I can't be definite. But

5 knowing my nature, I would be pretty cautious.

6 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Yes, understood.

7 You mentioned also in your statement that you only

8 had 15 working days to respond to correspondence

9 received.

10 Now, I think you went on to say that when it had to

11 be referred to the police, that could slow things up

12 a bit. Did that deadline apply just to correspondence

13 to which ministers in the end were going to respond, or

14 did it also apply to "treat officially" correspondence?

15 A. I'm sure -- I'm pretty sure it applied to both, but --

16 yes, I'm pretty sure.

17 There was certainly, you know -- obviously, it would

18 be important, you know -- yes, I'm pretty sure it

19 applied to both. I'm sorry if I can't be more ...

20 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right, okay. Just to go back to

21 that famous Torricelli letter, where you sent it to

22 Command Secretariat on 22 May and you have got

23 a response from them on 6 June, which you have explained

24 to Mr Phillips that you took as responding to the actual

25 questions that had been asked. You then wrote to IPL on

 

 

40

 

1 8 July. So I'm just wondering what happened between the

2 6 June, when you got an answer from the

3 Command Secretariat, and 8 July, when you sent something

4 on to IPL.

5 I mean, from here it sounds like quite a long time,

6 but I just wondered why the length of time?

7 A. My recollection is I never actually heard anything via

8 telephone call or -- I never saw the letter that issued

9 by IPL for the Ambassador, so --

10 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Sorry to interrupt -- I may be

11 interrupting wrongly -- I'm not worrying about the

12 letter that IPL sent out. I was just thinking you had

13 had something from Command Secretariat, you thought you

14 needed to do something with it, albeit it was a long

15 time after the original event, but it was a month before

16 you actually sent it on to IPL and I wondered what had

17 happened during that month?

18 A. Possibly a explanation is that I hadn't -- you know, IPL

19 had never come back to me, so I had the information from

20 the police and perhaps -- perhaps I was waiting for IPL

21 to ring up and say, you know, "You said you would follow

22 up on that. Have you any response?"

23 So I don't know if that was the reason. And then

24 I must, perhaps, have thought, "Oh, I had better write

25 to them now and see what is happening here." So that's

 

 

41

 

1 the only explanation. I don't know if I have answered

2 your question.

3 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: But, again, you might have done some

4 discussing with Simon Rogers, I guess?

5 A. I might, yes.

6 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Finally from me, a very boring

7 question about the issue of filing.

8 We former civil servants are terribly interested in

9 filing and in my experience it has changed enormously

10 over the years. What sort of files would you have kept

11 in your branch? Would you, for example, have had a file

12 labelled "Rosemary Nelson" or would each of the letters

13 that came in about her be given a separate file, because

14 I think we are talking a bit before "computery" came fully

15 into play; how would that have worked?

16 A. I think the fact -- the filing system was in our admin

17 branch, which was separate to our rooms, so I would

18 imagine that I probably -- there would have been files

19 on complaints, there would have been files on

20 correspondence, on minister's cases. So I would imagine

21 I cross-referenced.

22 Was there a Rosemary Nelson file? I can't remember

23 if there was specifically a Rosemary Nelson file or

24 whether it was covered in complaints. I would imagine

25 there was, but I honestly -- I honestly can't remember.

 

 

42

 

1 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I was just wondering how would you

2 deal with, as you described it, a campaign of letters?

3 Whether you would kind of have them associated or

4 whether you were basically relying on your memory of the

5 fact that other people had written in on this subject?

6 A. Other people ...?

7 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: When you see a letter from the

8 Lawyers Alliance for the Administration of Justice in

9 Ireland, when you got that letter, did you, as it were,

10 rely on your memory to remember that there had been

11 something from Senator Torricelli, or was there

12 something that would bring the two things together in

13 your mind?

14 A. I possibly kept -- I mean, the way I work now is I would

15 keep a little folder myself so that I wouldn't have to

16 keep running into another room. So I possibly kept

17 copies and copies of replies, you know, and then got

18 those -- I can't remember the whole process, but

19 I imagine I kept a little folder on my desk with copies

20 of correspondence and then put some -- and put the

21 originals on the file, the proper files, which would

22 have been cross-referenced.

23 I mean, I can't remember if there was

24 a Rosemary Nelson file.

25 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

 

 

43

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed for coming. You

2 may go now, thank you.

3 We will rise now until Monday week at 1 o'clock.

4 Yes, Mr Griffin?

5 MR GRIFFIN: May I just say something relating to

6 timetabling?

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Would you like to leave? You probably would.

8 Yes, Mr Griffin?

9 Discussion re timetable

10 MR GRIFFIN: Sir, the Solicitor to the Inquiry yesterday

11 sent to the Full Participants a letter setting out

12 proposed procedures in relation to witnesses whose

13 evidence can't be given entirely in public. And I don't

14 wish to go into those procedures in any way now. What

15 I do want to touch on is timetabling.

16 The suggestion is that there should be written

17 submissions from the Full Participants about these

18 procedures by Thursday with you and your colleagues

19 ruling on Monday, the 29th, setting out the procedures

20 that will then be adopted.

21 Sir, bearing in mind the fundamental importance of

22 these procedures and, of course, that this is a public

23 enquiry, we think there may need to be a further level

24 of submissions at the oral level, and we suggest there

25 may, therefore, need to be oral submissions on Monday,

 

 

44

 

1 the 29th. I'm just raising that now because there may

2 need to be time set aside in the timetable on Monday,

3 the 29th for those submissions.

4 Bearing in mind, therefore, that the procedures may

5 still be under discussion on Monday, the 29th. It is

6 probably not appropriate, we would suggest, for

7 witnesses whose evidence in part may fall to be heard

8 under those procedures to be timetabled for that week.

9 So, sir, those are the two points I would wish to

10 raise as far as timetabling is concerned.

11 There is one other matter and it is a matter you

12 have raised on several occasions, and that is the need

13 for liaison between the Full Participants and Inquiry

14 Counsel and Solicitor. I can assure you, sir, and your

15 colleagues, that there will be appropriate liaison

16 during next week with them.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: As you know, our Inquiry Counsel are

18 available -- they are very busy, but they are available

19 for consultation with all Full Participants' counsel and

20 solicitors and any problems you have will be considered

21 by them. But we do expect Full Participants' counsel

22 and solicitors to be flexible because a number of these

23 witnesses are extremely busy people who have very

24 important roles to do in the national interest, and they

25 are very difficult -- some of them -- to slot in. For

 

 

45

 

1 that reason, sometimes it will not be possible to give

2 much forewarning with regard to a particular witness,

3 and if witnesses suddenly become unavailable, others

4 have to be put in their place and so forth.

5 But we will, of course, consider the written

6 submissions in relation to this matter and, if

7 necessary, we will have to hear oral submissions.

8 MR GRIFFIN: Thank you very much.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: When we fit them in will be a matter for us.

10 Yes?

11 MR PHILLIPS: Can I make an observation or two about

12 timetabling, which may help my learned friend because he

13 was kind enough to warn me yesterday evening about his

14 client's particular concerns both on the question of the

15 closed hearings and on the question of timetabling. And

16 in fact, the conversation we had is a very good

17 illustration of the very considerable difficulties that

18 the Inquiry is dealing with day in, day out, week in,

19 week out.

20 At the time, we, in an effort to give people as much

21 notice as possible, had warned the Full Participants --

22 I think this is only yesterday -- that during that week

23 of 29 September, a number of Part 2 witnesses, we hoped,

24 would be called, and they included three Special Branch,

25 ciphered witnesses. What I didn't know when I was

 

 

46

 

1 speaking to my learned friend is that the position had

2 already changed by then, so that as of this morning, as

3 I understand it, a timetable has had to go out without

4 any of those three Special Branch witnesses in it.

5 The result of that yet again is that, when we seek

6 to give advance warning, we face criticism because the

7 timetable changes, and of course, when we don't seek to

8 give advance warning, we face criticism for not giving

9 enough warning.

10 Now, the position, so that everybody is clear, is as

11 follows: that as things stand at the moment, on Thursday

12 afternoon and Friday morning of the week of the 29th,

13 there are, I think, two Part 2 witnesses. I'm going to

14 describe them as Army witnesses. And so far as the

15 Part 2 element of that week is concerned, that will be

16 that.

17 We will do what we can in the time now available to

18 fill the vacant day and a half in the timetable of that

19 week with as many non-Part 2 -- in other words,

20 Part 1 -- witnesses as we can. And as and when we know

21 whether any of those Part 2/Part 1 witnesses can come,

22 we will let the Full Participants know.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

24 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Phillips, can I just ask a point on

25 that, if I may? That is obviously your fall-back

 

 

47

 

1 position.

2 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Luckily you have one.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: In relation to the three Special Branch

6 officers that we wish to have before us, they are still

7 serving, are they, to the best of your knowledge?

8 MR PHILLIPS: I don't know.

9 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Any reason given as to why they won't

10 be attending?

11 MR PHILLIPS: As far as I am aware, it was simply said that

12 they were unavailable. It may be that there are points

13 about late notice, I don't know, and I am anxious not to

14 get into too much detail about that because I do not

15 have the letter or email in front of me.

16 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Donaldson, can you help us?

17 MR DONALDSON: I can't help the Panel on that. I have no

18 information whatsoever.

19 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: I would sincerely hope that there are

20 very good reasons why witnesses that we need to see

21 before us are not available.

22 MR DORAN: Sir, as I say, it is a matter on which I have no

23 introductions.

24 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, I should say that they are all

25 represented by Edwards & Co and not by Mr Doran and the

 

 

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1 PSNI, for the purpose, in the sense, of their witnesses.

2 MR DORAN: I am obliged to Mr Phillips for that indication.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: I don't think it is a satisfactory

4 indication.

5 This Inquiry is costing is million pounds a month

6 and, therefore, anything which stands in its path must

7 be justified.

8 So when we resume, from a personal viewpoint,

9 please, I would like some explanation as to why

10 witnesses we wish to have before us are not here. If

11 there are justified reasons, if they are ill, then that

12 is a justification, but I think the point must be

13 made -- again, a personal point -- that we are here to

14 do a job. That job will be done and no obstacles put in

15 our path will be acceptable unless there is real

16 justification.

17 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, sir, I will give you a full report on

18 this question at the beginning of the hearing on Monday,

19 29 September.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Phillips.

21 Yes, Mr Doran?

22 MR DORAN: Like my learned friend Mr Griffin, I too have

23 some reservations to express about the timetable in

24 respect of this matter.

25 Now, the correspondence in question has, I

 

 

49

 

1 understand, been sent to the PSNI. I haven't actually

2 received it formally, but I am aware of its contents and

3 I'm aware in particular of the deadline for written

4 submissions of the 25 September.

5 As my learned friends have indicated, this is

6 a matter of fundamental importance within the context of

7 this Inquiry. It is a matter in respect of which we are

8 going to have to take detailed instructions. I envisage

9 also that the proposal, the written proposal, as we now

10 have it, is going to have to be the subject of detailed

11 internal consideration by my clients before any fixed

12 view on the matter is committed to writing.

13 Now, sir, it may be that that consideration can take

14 place and those instructions can be taken in time for us

15 to make written submissions by the 25th. But I have

16 some reservations.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Doran, you have between now and, as I

18 understand it, Thursday of next week to make written

19 submissions. Isn't that right?

20 MR DORAN: Yes, sir.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: That is plenty of time.

22 MR DORAN: What I have said is that it is going to be

23 necessary for this matter to be subject to detailed

24 internal consideration by my clients. I'm simply

25 raising the point that it may not be necessary for that

 

 

50

 

1 task to be accomplished fully and properly prior to next

2 Thursday.

3 Obviously, we will endeavour to ensure that such

4 consideration is given to the matter in time and that

5 written submissions are furnished by next Thursday, but

6 I'm simply raising some concern as to whether that can

7 properly be achieved within the deadline fixed. And

8 sir, I would emphasise again, it is a matter of some

9 fundamental importance to this Inquiry.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Doran, would you tell your clients that

11 the Panel expect a definitive written submission from

12 your clients, delivered to the Inquiry by no later than

13 Thursday of next week.

14 MR DORAN: Sir, that message will be delivered and I have no

15 doubt that all attempts will be made to meet the

16 deadline.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

18 MR DORAN: But, sir, I feel obliged in the circumstances to

19 raise our potential difficulties and, again, to

20 emphasise the importance that this matter is given full

21 and proper internal consideration --

22 THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard our views.

23 MR DORAN: -- before any view is committed to writing.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes?

25 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, given that this has now been, as it were,

 

 

51

 

1 put on the record, I should say in fairness that this

2 matter was raised with the PSNI, I believe, in July and

3 discussions have since taken place.

4 At one stage, written representations were sought

5 from the PSNI on this question, but were not provided.

6 So, sir, it is quite wrong to take the view that this

7 has all been initiated by a letter sent yesterday.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Mr Doran?

9 MR DORAN: Sir, if I might say in response to that, it is

10 only now that the proposals have crystallised. It is

11 only now that there is a proposal on the table, so to

12 speak, that requires a detailed response.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: There was no initiative from your clients?

14 MR DORAN: I don't think that is fair comment, sir, in that

15 certain discussions have certainly taken place in

16 respect of the matter. But the Panel, I hope, will

17 appreciate that we wanted to wait for the written

18 proposals to be presented to us before we committed any

19 formal views in writing on this matter of significance.

20 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I can understand that you would want

21 to wait for the letter to come before you committed

22 formal views in writing. I'm finding it very hard to

23 understand why you wouldn't be doing some thinking, or

24 your clients wouldn't be doing some thinking about the

25 proposals in advance.

 

 

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1 I understand that you have to be very careful about

2 the submissions that you make in writing, but it is

3 urgent, and sometimes when things are urgent then the

4 detail has to be sorted out urgently.

5 MR DORAN: Once again, I can assure the Panel that my client

6 has engaged in detailed thinking on this matter and has

7 contributed fully to discussion on the matter. The

8 simple question is now whether or not the proper and

9 full consideration can be given in time to the proposals

10 that are now presented to us in writing.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Doran.

12 (11.50 am)

13 (The Inquiry adjourned until Monday, 29 September

14 at 1.00 pm)

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MISS ANNE COLVILLE (continued) ................... 1
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued) ......... 1
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Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 37
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Discussion re timetable .......................... 43
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