Transcripts

Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 10th September 2008, day 48

Click here to download the LiveNote version

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

 

ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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

 

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


on Wednesday, 10 September 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Wednesday, 10 September 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 MR HENRY MCMULLEN (continued)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

6 MR PHILLIPS: Before we resume with Mr McMullen, can I just

7 mention the fact that we have now handed out witness

8 lists in relation to threat assessments, the three

9 moments in 1997 and 1998, which shows in the usual way

10 which are to be called. There are a number where the

11 answer is still pending because the statements,

12 particularly of Special Branch officers, are being

13 processed, and there is one example which you see in

14 relation to both February 1998 and August 1998, where as

15 yet, I am afraid to say, a witness is not cooperating

16 with the Inquiry.

17 Mr McMullen, can I next look with you at events

18 in May 1997 and could we start, please, by looking

19 together at the document RNI-101-031 (displayed)?

20 Now, this is a document, you can see, dated 29 May

21 that year, addressed to the Subdivisional Commander,

22 your boss; is that right?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. And it is from a Superintendent Magee within the

25 Complaints and Discipline Department:

 

 

2

 

1 "I refer to my telephone conversation with your

2 deputy ..."

3 Then your name and rank is given:

4 "... yesterday. As agreed, I forward herewith copy

5 letters to enable you to consider what action, if any,

6 is required regarding the security or safety of

7 Ms Nelson. It would seem that the murder of

8 Pat Finucane, solicitor, has prompted others to

9 specifically raise the security aspect."

10 Then the memo continues with a reference to what was

11 going on on the complaints side and in particular to the

12 fact that Mrs Nelson had ignored correspondence, and

13 saying:

14 "The complaints department have no information over

15 and above that contained in the letters."

16 And that the investigating officer was first of all

17 seeking an interview with her on the 13th and then, do

18 you see in the final sentence, this:

19 "The investigating officer, Chief Superintendent

20 Gamble, is available to provide any information to

21 enable Special Branch or others to assess the threat."

22 Again, to put it in context for you, we can see the

23 relevant letters if we turn back a page to RNI-101-030

24 (displayed) because there, in a memorandum of the same

25 day, the same officer -- this going back to

 

 

3

 

1 Command Secretariat -- says that he forwarded the

2 attached report -- that is the one we have been looking

3 at -- together with copies of the following letters. Do

4 you see the three letters there?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And again, before I ask you any questions about this,

7 can I just remind you of them? The first is at

8 RNI-101-032 (displayed), the Lawyers Alliance for

9 Justice in Ireland letter, dated 13 March, and you see

10 in the second paragraph the writer comes to the point

11 saying that:

12 "Rosemary Nelson has been subject to death threats

13 emanating from an RUC detective."

14 Do you see that?

15 A. Not just yet. Yes, I see it now, yes.

16 Q. Right. Then:

17 "These threats have been communicated to Ms Nelson

18 through several clients during the course of their

19 interrogation."

20 If we read on in the letter, please, the paragraph

21 beginning:

22 "Initially Ms Nelson considered the threats to be

23 attempts at intimidation for her work on behalf of

24 various clients, including Colin Duffy of Lurgan. She

25 did not believe they would be acted upon. However, the

 

 

4

 

1 threats have become more insistent and ominous of late."

2 Now, the second letter, which you were sent is at

3 RNI-101-034 (displayed)?

4 A. Sorry, that I sent?

5 Q. Sorry?

6 A. Did you say the second letter that I sent?

7 Q. No, the second letter that was sent with the memoranda

8 we have looked at to the Subdivisional Commander -- do

9 you see? -- is at RNI-101-034 (displayed), it's a letter

10 from Senator Torricelli, which again refers to threats

11 in the second paragraph, and the suggestion is that the

12 threats:

13 "... have recently become more insistent and ominous

14 causing Mrs Nelson to fear for her safety."

15 Do you see at the end of the third paragraph?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you. Then the third piece of correspondence --

18 again, just to show you -- is RNI-101-035 (displayed),

19 a memorandum from the police division of the NIO, sent

20 to Command Secretariat and forwarded, as we have seen.

21 Please look at the second paragraph:

22 "Can you please let me know if the police have

23 discussed with Ms Nelson anything to do with her

24 personal protection in the light of what the Senator

25 refers to as threats, which have recently become more

 

 

5

 

1 insistent and ominous causing Mrs Nelson to fear for her

2 safety."

3 Can we return to the memo we first looked at at

4 RNI-101-131 (displayed). The first question I wanted to

5 ask you, Mr McMullen, is this: do you have any

6 recollection of being telephoned and spoken to by

7 Superintendent Magee at this time? It would be

8 28 May 1997.

9 A. Yes, I do.

10 Q. Can you remember what was discussed in the course of

11 that telephone conversation?

12 A. Yes. He told me the contents of the letters and

13 I remember asking him, "What does it say? What is this

14 specific threat?" And I recall, you know, it is really

15 making a report of a threat, but it is not saying what

16 the threat is. It wasn't specific. And saying, "What

17 can I do about that? What action can I take?" that was

18 the gist of the conversation I had with him.

19 Q. It looks as though you asked him to send you the letters

20 so that you could consider them?

21 A. It is a long time ago and it is hard to recall, but I

22 think he told me he was sending them down.

23 Q. If you look at the second sentence:

24 "As agreed, I forward herewith copy letters to

25 enable you to consider what action, if any, is required

 

 

6

 

1 regarding the security or safety of Ms Nelson."

2 Presumably that was what you agreed on the

3 telephone?

4 A. Yes, he said -- my recollection is that he said, "I will

5 be sending them down, but I'm telling you now that they

6 are coming and letting you know about them."

7 Q. When they arrived at the subdivisional command office in

8 Lurgan police station, did you consider them?

9 A. No, I don't think I -- I have no recollection of

10 actually seeing them. I would be reasonably confident

11 in saying that I didn't actually see them when they

12 arrived. It would have been the Subdivisional Commander

13 who dealt with them. But I certainly knew of the

14 contents of them.

15 Q. Yes. Well, you had had the conversation, you have told

16 us, the day before?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you knew that something was going to happen as

19 a result of it, didn't you, namely that the letters

20 would be forwarded?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. Now, presumably, if they were to be considered by the

23 Subdivisional Commander, you would have gone to speak to

24 him to tell him about them and to warn him that they

25 were on their way?

 

 

7

 

1 A. Yes, I would have.

2 Q. Because as you said to us yesterday, this was a unique

3 set of circumstances in your experience, namely where

4 a threat or a report of a threat came from the

5 United States, from a Senator Torricelli, from an NGO,

6 to you?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So this was a most unusual set of circumstances,

9 wasn't it?

10 A. It was unusual, yes.

11 Q. It was as far away from routine as you can possibly

12 imagine?

13 A. Well, that might be exaggerating it a bit. There are

14 surprises every day in policing and this was another

15 one. So a surprise is no surprise.

16 Q. But given the source of these particular --

17 A. It was unusual, yes, it was unusual.

18 Q. I think from your evidence yesterday, it was clear that

19 you had never encountered correspondence of this kind --

20 A. No, I hadn't, no.

21 Q. And never did after that?

22 A. No --

23 Q. Thank you. So if, then, what you are saying is right,

24 as I understand it, you would have regarded it, would

25 you, as the Subdivisional Commander's responsibility to

 

 

8

 

1 consider these matters?

2 A. You mean consider them in what light?

3 Q. To consider the memoranda, or consider the letters sent

4 as a result of your telephone conversation and in

5 particular to consider whether any action was required

6 regarding the security or safety of Mrs Nelson?

7 A. Yes, it would be his responsibility to consider is there

8 some action we should take to avert the threat. But to

9 do that, of course, we would need to know what the

10 threat was.

11 Q. So presumably the first step was to examine the letters?

12 A. Yes, to see what was in them, yes.

13 Q. Presumably the next step was to gather any further

14 information held locally to see what other information

15 you had to form a judgment about the issue of security

16 or safety?

17 A. Yes, that would be right.

18 Q. And that is why, isn't it, the Superintendent from

19 Complaints and Discipline makes reference at the end of

20 his memo to say that his officer, the investigating

21 officer, is available to provide any information to

22 enable Special Branch or others to assess the threat?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. Because they were the people in the business of

25 assessing threats, weren't they?

 

 

9

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Can I ask you, please, about incoming mail at the office

3 in Lurgan? As I understand it, there was an office

4 manager; is that correct?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Was it his or her responsibility to deal with the post?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. It was?

9 A. It was, yes.

10 Q. Thank you. And presumably to allocate it as he or she

11 thought appropriate?

12 A. Yes, that's right.

13 Q. And so when this memorandum and the accompanying letters

14 came in, they would come in in the first instance to

15 her; was that right?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. Is it right that at this time you did the post, if I can

18 put it that way, with the office manager?

19 A. Not with the office manager, no.

20 Q. You are absolutely sure about that?

21 A. Absolutely sure. The office manager's office was

22 a separate office with admin staff in it. The post came

23 in and they allocated it out to whoever should be

24 dealing with it.

25 Q. And you had no role in that process yourself?

 

 

10

 

1 A. Of allocating letters?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. No, no.

4 Q. So just thinking about this hypothetically first of all,

5 when this memorandum and its accompanying letters came

6 in, you would have expected, would you, that the office

7 manager would have allocated them to the Subdivisional

8 Commander himself?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. For his consideration?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. Now, you are aware, aren't you, that the Subdivisional

13 Commander at the time, Chief Superintendent Donnan, has

14 given the Inquiry a statement?

15 A. I am sure he has.

16 Q. And you have seen it, haven't you?

17 A. Yes, I saw it yesterday morning.

18 Q. Yes. You are aware, therefore, aren't you, that he

19 cannot recall seeing this memorandum or the accompanying

20 pieces of correspondence?

21 A. No, I didn't get reading his statement thoroughly.

22 I did flick through it.

23 Q. Shall we have a look at the relevant parts of it

24 together?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

11

 

1 Q. At RNI-804-123 (displayed), we see part of his statement

2 beginning in paragraph 14. Could you enlarge that,

3 please? Then turning over the page, please, to

4 RNI-804-124 (displayed), do you see in the very top of

5 the page he says:

6 "I have never seen any of these documents before.

7 I'm not surprised, though. As a subdivisional

8 commander, I would not have routinely processed the post

9 and routine correspondence. There was a civilian office

10 manager whose responsibility this was.

11 "Given the nature of the covering note, she should

12 have referred this correspondence to me, but clearly she

13 did not. I can be certain I haven't see this

14 correspondence before as it would have registered with

15 me, since it contained allegations of threats against

16 Rosemary Nelson. I can remember things that were much

17 less significant than this, so would certainly have

18 remembered something so serious."

19 Just looking at that for a moment, you will see what

20 he says about the nature of the memorandum and the

21 correspondence, namely that it was significant and

22 serious. Are those descriptions with which you would

23 agree?

24 A. Entirely.

25 Q. Moving on in his statement, please, to paragraph 15:

 

 

12

 

1 "I have not been shown a response to this note, but

2 there should be a paper record of any response in the

3 record system at Lurgan. There should also be a paper

4 record of any response in the complaints department at

5 the police headquarters. Chief Inspector McMullen dealt

6 with post and some routine correspondence together with

7 the office manager at that time, so I can only assume

8 that she referred the correspondence to him and that he

9 replied. It is curious that there is no response on

10 file. I would be surprised if Colin Port's team didn't

11 get hold of it."

12 Again, so far as the Inquiry has been able to

13 ascertain, there is no record of a response from the

14 Subdivisional Commander or his office on the file. Does

15 that surprise you?

16 A. It does surprise me and I did wonder where is the rest

17 of this correspondence when I saw it because I knew what

18 should be on it.

19 Q. What of the assumption that he makes in there that the

20 correspondence must have been referred to you and that

21 you dealt with it? Does that accord with your

22 recollection?

23 A. No, it doesn't accord with my recollection. I clearly

24 remember the discussion with Superintendent Magee and,

25 as you said, it was unusual. It was a serious matter.

 

 

13

 

1 It was something I took seriously. I would have

2 discussed it with him. I'm not sure if he was off on

3 that day. That probably --

4 Q. When you say "him", you would have discussed it with

5 "him", who do you mean?

6 A. The Subdivisional -- Mr Donnan. I would have discussed

7 it the next time I saw him.

8 Q. It is the sort of thing that should have been brought to

9 his attention?

10 A. Absolutely.

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. What he says in -- I just can't find it now, but where

13 he says that he would have remembered seeing a document

14 like that --

15 Q. Yes, it is paragraph 14. We can show that to you up at

16 the top of this page, RNI-804-124 (displayed). Do you

17 see -- there it is?

18 A. "I have never seen any of these documents before ..."

19 Yes. Well, when I was shown these documents first,

20 those were exactly my sentiments. I have never seen

21 them before. But I did know the contents of them, so

22 I assumed that it would be his minute would be on them

23 forwarding them to Special Branch for an assessment.

24 And that is what I wondered: why was that document not

25 on it.

 

 

14

 

1 Now, you might ask am I absolutely certain that I

2 didn't forward them on. Well, I am as sure as one can

3 possibly be. It is, what, over ten years ago now and

4 looking back. But I feel that if I had seen them, I

5 would still recall seeing them, just I clearly remember

6 being told about them. But the answer is to be found in

7 the documentation of, you know, the correspondence that

8 should be with them.

9 Q. Just so I am clear about this, you have a clear

10 recollection of discussing them in the conversation with

11 Superintendent Magee?

12 A. Absolutely, yes.

13 Q. But as I understand it, you don't think you ever saw

14 these documents that I am showing you?

15 A. I am as confident as one could possibly be that I

16 didn't.

17 Q. You see what the Subdivisional Commander himself is

18 saying: that he didn't see them. Is there anybody else

19 in the office who could properly have dealt with

20 correspondence of that kind?

21 A. It would be most unlikely.

22 Q. Do you have any recollection of dealing with the issues

23 raised in Superintendent Magee's memorandum?

24 A. Well, I have recollection of discussing it and asking

25 the question, "What is the threat? Is there a threat?

 

 

15

 

1 What do we know about it? Do Special Branch know

2 anything about it? What can they tell us? What should

3 we be doing?" So we were -- I was, we were, in

4 a quandary as to what to do about this.

5 Q. Presumably the first thing to do was to look at the

6 documents and yet you are saying they didn't come to you

7 and you have no recollection of ever seeing them. Am

8 I right?

9 A. That's correct. I have no recollection of seeing them.

10 I did know the contents of them and I did discuss it

11 with the Subdivisional Commander. I did discuss it with

12 some Special Branch officers and I did ask the

13 questions. Others asked the questions apart from me, of

14 course, "What should we be doing about this?"

15 Q. Can I just ask you a few questions about what you have

16 just said? You've said now -- this is the second time

17 you said it -- that you had a discussion with the

18 Subdivisional Commander about it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Can you remember where that took place?

21 A. No, I don't.

22 Q. Can you remember when it took place?

23 A. It would have taken place the first time I saw him after

24 the discussion.

25 Q. Can you remember whether any agreed action came out of

 

 

16

 

1 that discussion?

2 A. The action was to pay attention to her premises, and

3 I remember saying that will -- thinking or saying that

4 will be easy because her premises are close to the

5 police station and, in fact, the security of the police

6 station would be security for her.

7 Q. So you are saying, are you, that a decision was taken to

8 tell police officers to keep an eye on her premises?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you are saying that that decision was taken at the

11 end of May, are you, 1997?

12 A. I couldn't say when it was made, but it will be on

13 record when it was made.

14 Q. Presumably -- that is my next question -- if such

15 a decision was made, direction given, there would be

16 some written record of it?

17 A. That's right.

18 Q. Now, so far as the second thing you said in your earlier

19 answer, you said that you talked to some Special Branch

20 officers about that; is that right? It is not something

21 you have mentioned so far in your answers. Are you sure

22 that at this stage, end of May 1997, you raised this

23 issue with Special Branch officers?

24 A. I spoke to Special Branch officers probably every day.

25 Q. But that's not an answer to the question, if I may

 

 

17

 

1 say so?

2 A. I do not have any personal record of when I spoke to

3 them, what I said to them, but I know that I would have

4 done that. I did it about every security matter.

5 I sought their advice daily.

6 Q. And you are saying, are you, that you referred the

7 matters in this memorandum, or the discussion, rather,

8 you had with Mr Magee, you referred to those in

9 discussion with Special Branch officers?

10 A. I discussed it with them many times.

11 Q. Presumably what you wanted to know from them is whether

12 they held any information relevant to the question of

13 the threat?

14 A. That's right.

15 Q. Did you receive any report from them?

16 A. No, I didn't.

17 Q. It would be on the file, would it not?

18 A. It would be on the file. In fact there is a report on

19 the file from them.

20 Q. But that is in February the following year.

21 A. Is it?

22 Q. Yes. That is what I was also going to come on to ask

23 you: do you think you may now be confusing the events

24 of February/March 1998, where there was Special Branch

25 involvement -- and we will look at it in a minute --

 

 

18

 

1 with what happened or didn't happen in May 1997?

2 A. I don't know that confusing is the word to use. Ongoing

3 consultation, enquiry with Special Branch on a daily

4 basis about every conceivable security matter and I know

5 that it would have been discussed with them. Whether or

6 not I'm confusing what happened in one year and the next

7 year, I don't know. I could well be.

8 Q. You see, in the next year, the involvement of

9 Special Branch and their assessment of the threat is

10 recorded in the file, and we have it and you deal with

11 it in your statement and I'm going to ask you questions

12 about it?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. There is no such paper trail in relation to this period?

15 A. There should be.

16 Q. Isn't it possible that there isn't any because in fact

17 you didn't refer it on to Special Branch at this time?

18 A. Those documents are there. We have possession of them

19 now. Where are the other documents that should be with

20 them? Where were those documents found? There is other

21 documentation with them. Wherever those -- if those

22 documents were found in the subdivisional office, there

23 would be a record of them coming in. There would be

24 a record of who they went to. There would be

25 documentation of what was done about them.

 

 

19

 

1 Q. Can we take it, therefore, that if there is no such

2 documentation, no action was taken?

3 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that.

4 Q. Right.

5 A. That's an important, serious matter, and there was

6 action taken about it.

7 Q. And you would expect it, in accordance with the

8 procedure, to be recorded?

9 A. Absolutely.

10 Q. So, again, I ask you: if it wasn't recorded, does that

11 not suggest that the action wasn't taken?

12 A. No, it does not. I know -- I know -- in Lurgan -- was

13 a dangerous place, a very dangerous place. We had

14 16 police officers murdered in it. I have lost count of

15 the number of civilians murdered in it. It was our

16 earnest duty to keep the lives of everybody safe. We

17 worked ceaselessly to do that. There was no stone left

18 unturned that we possibly could do to keep people alive.

19 A matter of that seriousness would not have been just

20 left.

21 I agree that my mind and my recollection can be

22 defective, but there is one thing that I am absolutely

23 certain of: that nothing was left undone that could have

24 been done to save lives.

25 Q. But do you accept you haven't seen any record of what

 

 

20

 

1 was done?

2 A. I haven't seen a record of it, but I know there is

3 a record of it because it couldn't -- in my view, it

4 couldn't possibly happen that letters of that nature

5 would come in and nothing done about it.

6 Q. Because they were so serious?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. Can I just ask you to look, please, at the force order

9 which pertains to these matters? It is at RNI-101-001

10 (displayed), paragraph 1:

11 "When a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary

12 learns of a threat to the life of any person, details of

13 the threat will be passed forthwith to the local

14 Special Branch."

15 That is step number 1, isn't it?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. Turning over to the relevant passage in the force order

18 at RNI-101-004 (displayed), under "Other persons",

19 paragraph 7, you would expect to be informed in an

20 ordinary threat case, if I can put it that way, and it

21 then becomes up to the Subdivisional Commander -- again,

22 we looked at this -- to take whatever action he

23 considers necessary. Do you see that?

24 A. Yes, I'm just reading it at the moment. (Pause)

25 Yes.

 

 

21

 

1 Q. Then the other and final passage we looked at,

2 paragraph 5 at RNI-101-005 (displayed), "Threat log" and

3 the fact that there should be brief details of any

4 threat entered in the threat log. And we talked about

5 this yesterday afternoon, the book and what went in it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So just looking at this in order then, the obligation of

8 the member of the force who learned of a threat to the

9 life of a person to inform local Special Branch

10 forthwith?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Do you accept that, so far as you have seen anyway,

13 there is no record that that was done?

14 A. No record has been produced here that that was done.

15 Q. And you would expect there to be a record, wouldn't you?

16 A. Absolutely.

17 Q. Because of the importance of the issue that you

18 mentioned earlier?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. Now, so far as the question of the Subdivisional

21 Commander's action, again there is no evidence, is

22 there, that you have seen, no documents, evidencing what

23 action was taken by the Subdivisional Commander about

24 this?

25 A. There is no documentation produced here to show what was

 

 

22

 

1 done.

2 Q. And the Subdivisional Commander, as you know, says he

3 didn't know anything about it?

4 A. Well, I can't answer that.

5 Q. Well, you have seen the statement?

6 A. I have seen the statement.

7 Q. You say you didn't see the letters and he says he didn't

8 see them either?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. That's correct, isn't it?

11 A. That's correct, yes.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the threat log is concerned,

13 you would expect, wouldn't you, there to be an entry

14 made in relation to the details of the threat?

15 A. That's right.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Phillips, are you able to help us as to

17 where the particular documents that you have shown the

18 witness were originated from when they came to the

19 Inquiry? Sometimes documents have on the originals that

20 come to the Inquiry the origin?

21 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Sir, I think I'm right in saying that

22 RNI-101-031, which is the start of all of this, the

23 particular copy that I have -- there may, as you

24 understand, sir, be many, many copies of these documents

25 in the disclosure we have received. This particular

 

 

23

 

1 one, the annotation at the bottom of my page suggests it

2 comes from the Police Ombudsman. I don't know where

3 other copies may have come from. If you look at the

4 reference at the top of the page, it may well also have

5 been disclosed by Complaints and Discipline Department.

6 It may have appeared on the Command Secretariat's files,

7 which were disclosed to us, because you remember this

8 was copied to the Command Secretariat officer.

9 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just follow up on that?

10 Therefore, have we anything which indicates from records

11 held at Lurgan that the documents ever arrived and have

12 we managed to take possession of the originals from

13 Lurgan police station showing that they in fact reached

14 the station?

15 MR PHILLIPS: I don't know the answer to that and I don't

16 want to give evidence --

17 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: No.

18 MR PHILLIPS: -- about it. The issue hasn't arisen until

19 this point, but we can check and let you know the answer

20 and, indeed, let everybody else know the answer.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr McMullen, correspondence of this kind,

22 coming from G Department, involving threats, how would

23 it be delivered in the ordinary course of event? Would

24 it be by post or by secure delivery in some way?

25 A. At that time it would have been delivered by a police

 

 

24

 

1 courier, a police courier van going around.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: And it would have been accepted

4 practice that your subdivisional admin staff would

5 record all correspondence coming in?

6 A. Yes.

7 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: There would be a register of

8 correspondence?

9 A. I can't recall, you know, what it looked like and so on.

10 There was -- there were -- there was a secret or

11 confidential post register separate from the normal

12 incoming post. I'm not sure if I knew the full details

13 even at the time, but I know registers were kept there.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

15 A. What you say about Mr Donnan having no recollection of

16 it and me having no recollection of seeing those

17 documents, I would be confident that they arrived and

18 somebody did deal with them. You know, they probably

19 will turn up from somewhere yet, although there are many

20 places they could be and somebody's name will be on the

21 bottom of it. If it is my mine that is on the bottom of

22 it, forwarded them on, I will have to say I don't

23 remember seeing them. I don't remember seeing them.

24 But I do know that what was in them was dealt with.

25 There is no doubt about that.

 

 

25

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Can I ask you this question: after your

2 telephone conversation with Superintendent Magee, which

3 this memorandum mentions, presumably you, apart from,

4 you say, talking to the Subdivisional Commander, were

5 then awaiting the delivery, in accordance with what you

6 have said, by courier of the relevant material to

7 consider?

8 A. Yes, but I would have been considering it there and then

9 immediately.

10 Q. You would have been considering what he had been able to

11 tell you on the telephone, but, as you say, you were

12 waiting to look at the letters themselves; is that

13 right?

14 A. Yes, that would be right.

15 Q. So that you could assess them for yourself?

16 A. The way that it is phrased, it may suggest that there

17 would be more information in them than what I was

18 already aware of. I don't recall seeing it like that.

19 What I recall seeing it as -- asking him what was in it

20 to see if there was something I should be doing right

21 now, immediately.

22 Q. But presumably there was no substitute for looking at

23 the content and forming whatever view was appropriate on

24 the basis of them?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

26

 

1 Q. So, therefore, if they hadn't arrived, you would have

2 chased them up, wouldn't you?

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

4 Q. So that the Subdivisional Commander, to whom you had

5 spoken, could form a view about what action was

6 appropriate in relation to her security or safety in the

7 light of all the material? That must follow,

8 mustn't it?

9 A. Yes, that's right.

10 Q. Do you have any recollection of making arrangements for

11 the investigating officer, Chief Inspector Gamble, to

12 provide information to Special Branch to enable them to

13 assess the threat, as is mentioned at the end of this

14 memorandum?

15 A. No, I didn't. That would be -- that wouldn't be for me

16 to do, that would be for Special Branch to do.

17 Q. Do you have any recollection of raising that possibility

18 with Special Branch?

19 A. No. I don't remember what I said to Special Branch, but

20 I certainly would have discussed it with them and

21 I certainly would have, as it were, picked their brains

22 to give me an indication of what I should be doing.

23 Q. What about the specific suggestions set out in that

24 paragraph, that the investigating officer was available?

25 Do you have any recollection of taking any action in

 

 

27

 

1 relation to that?

2 A. No, I haven't, indeed.

3 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you about the question

4 of complaints, which you see is referred to in this

5 paragraph.

6 Do you think that at this stage, the end

7 of May 1997, you were already aware that complaints were

8 being made about allegations of this kind, that threats

9 were being made to Rosemary Nelson and that those

10 complaints were being investigated by Complaints and

11 Discipline?

12 A. Well, I probably was, but I just can't recall looking

13 back now. But from the look of that, I should have

14 been.

15 Q. Well, the system in relation to complaints ensured,

16 didn't it, that the Subdivisional Commander was made

17 aware of complaints made against all officers under his

18 command?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. So during the course of your many years in that position

21 in Lurgan and in Portadown, you would have received

22 notification, presumably, of whatever complaints had

23 been made against officers under your command?

24 A. Yes, under my command.

25 Q. So presumably you or your superior officer, the

 

 

28

 

1 Subdivisional Commander, would have received

2 notification, if the system was working properly, about

3 the complaints that are referred to here in paragraph 2?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Why is that?

6 A. Because those officers weren't under our command.

7 Q. Is that because of the fact that they were made in

8 relation to interviews taking place in the holding

9 centres?

10 A. That's right.

11 Q. So let me ask you this: if some of the interviewing

12 officers at the holding centres had been based at

13 Lurgan, would you not then have been notified of the

14 complaints?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Why is that?

17 A. Because they aren't under my command.

18 Q. So officers based at Lurgan were not under your command;

19 is that right?

20 A. The CID officers who are interviewing wouldn't have been

21 under my command.

22 Q. Why do you say that?

23 A. Because they were under the command of the CID Detective

24 Superintendent.

25 Q. So when you said yesterday that you were responsible for

 

 

29

 

1 everything that went on in policing terms, it didn't

2 extend -- are you saying this? -- to being notified of

3 complaints against officers who were based in Lurgan?

4 A. It did -- the CID who were interviewing were officers

5 under the command of a detective superintendent. CID

6 officers -- and changing from time to time, the system

7 changes from time to time, as to who was their line

8 managers.

9 At that time, I think I'm correct in saying even the

10 CID officers in Lurgan station who were dealing with the

11 ordinary crime in the station were under the direction

12 of the Detective Superintendent, although I think in

13 that case complaints against them would have been

14 referred to me.

15 Q. Yes, because the complaints system required the

16 Subdivisional Commander to have control over the

17 complaints register, didn't it? No?

18 A. No.

19 Q. So you are saying -- so I'm absolutely clear about

20 this -- if an officer based at Lurgan, whether he is CID

21 or anything else, had a complaint made against him, the

22 Subdivisional Commander for Lurgan would not be

23 notified?

24 A. Could you just say that again until I get it clear?

25 Q. The suggestion I put to you was that if a complaint was

 

 

30

 

1 made against an officer based at Lurgan, whether he was

2 CID or anything else, the Subdivisional Commander at

3 Lurgan would be notified as a matter of course that the

4 complaint had been made. Is that right or not?

5 A. Well, that would be right.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So whether he was CID or uniform or anything else, if he

9 was based at Lurgan, the Subdivisional Commander at

10 Lurgan would be notified of the fact of the complaint,

11 wouldn't he?

12 A. If it related to a Lurgan subdivision.

13 Q. Yes. And it didn't matter whether it was a CID officer

14 or a uniformed officer or any other type?

15 A. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think that is probably

16 correct.

17 Q. If that was correct, then the Subdivisional Commander,

18 if any of these officers were based at Lurgan, would

19 have been notified of these complaints?

20 A. No. My recollection is that if they were interviewing

21 in the holding centre and complaints were made against

22 them, I have no recollection of ever receiving -- in

23 fact, I would be satisfied that it wouldn't have come to

24 the attention -- it wouldn't have been sent, a record of

25 it, to the Subdivisional Commander.

 

 

31

 

1 Q. And why was that?

2 A. Because that wasn't something that was under his

3 control. He didn't have control of the interviewing

4 process.

5 Q. But presumably the reason for notification in these

6 circumstances is so that the man ultimately in command,

7 the local subdivision, is aware, as a matter of

8 management, that a complaint has been made against

9 somebody under his command, whether or not the relevant

10 events took place in Lurgan or at Gough or anywhere

11 else?

12 A. No.

13 Q. What then was the purpose, in your view, of this

14 notification?

15 A. What my recollection of it is is that notification came

16 to the Subdivisional Commander so that he could monitor

17 complaints made against police officers to see if there

18 was a pattern arising with any particular individual.

19 Q. And was it part of your role as the deputy to do that

20 monitoring or was that something left to your superior?

21 A. Yes, I did do that.

22 Q. And in the course of it, did you have cause, not in

23 relation to these complaints but in relation to any

24 complaints, to monitor what was going on to see if

25 management action had to be taken in relation to an

 

 

32

 

1 officer or a group of officers?

2 A. Yes, I did.

3 Q. So that in addition to what was happening, as it were,

4 on the complaints front, there was a management question

5 for you to consider?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. As to whether there were too many complaints or

8 complaints of a particular kind, and you as the

9 Commander had to take some action?

10 A. That's right.

11 Q. And you can remember examples of doing so, can you?

12 A. I can, yes.

13 Q. Now, can I just ask you a question or two about the

14 nature of the notification you received in May? And you

15 have told us there were various ways in which it was

16 unique because of the origin of the information from the

17 United States, the Senator, et cetera.

18 Can I ask you this question: so far as you can

19 recall, did you ever become aware of an alleged threat

20 against a solicitor during the course of your work as

21 Deputy Subdivisional Commander?

22 A. Other than --

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. Well, I do know of one solicitor that there were threats

25 against.

 

 

33

 

1 Q. That was something you were aware of at the time,

2 was it?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And it was something in your patch, as it were, in

5 Lurgan or Portadown?

6 A. Yes, I can't recall now the nature of the threat, but

7 I do know that it was a threat, and I do know other

8 things about it but I don't know if I should be speaking

9 about them.

10 Q. Can I ask you about another aspect of it? Had you ever

11 come across such a case in which the threats were

12 allegedly being made by RUC officers?

13 A. I have no personal knowledge of that, no.

14 Q. So that was another respect, wasn't it, in which the

15 allegations you were being faced with were unique?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you. So far as the memorandum is concerned -- we

18 still have it on the screen -- can I take it from the

19 answer you have given so far that you have no

20 recollection of any advice, crime prevention, protection

21 or advice of that kind, being given to Rosemary Nelson

22 as a result of this memo?

23 A. No, I have no recollection of any advice being given to

24 her and I'm sure there was no advice given to her.

25 Q. Why do you say that?

 

 

34

 

1 A. Because, as I said in my statement, it is a traumatic

2 experience for someone to be told there is a threat

3 against them. You cannot go to someone with

4 a half-baked story, something in the air; you have got

5 to know your facts and be sure of your facts.

6 We weren't sure of any facts. It seemed, you know,

7 perhaps on the face of it that she knew more about it

8 than we knew about it and, if so, why did she not come

9 and ask us about it.

10 Q. That was something I was going to ask you. Do you think

11 that your attitude to this would have been different had

12 she come to talk to you about it?

13 A. Well, I don't know what you mean by attitude to it, but

14 if she had come to talk, she certainly would have been

15 received and listened to.

16 Q. Do you think the alleged threats would have been dealt

17 with differently had she come to you to talk about it?

18 A. I don't know what you mean by "dealt with". It would be

19 established what the threat was, what she perceived the

20 threat to be, this question of what can we do about it.

21 Q. You see, when we were discussing this question

22 yesterday, you were drawing a distinction between people

23 who come to talk to you and tell you about their

24 concerns?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

35

 

1 Q. Come in to see you, ring you up?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And people such as Rosemary Nelson who only dealt with

4 you formally. Do you remember that?

5 A. Yes, I do.

6 Q. So what I am asking you, you see, is whether you think

7 matters would have turned out differently in May 1997

8 if, instead of hearing about it in this way, you had

9 heard about it by Rosemary Nelson coming into the police

10 station and telling you about it herself?

11 A. Well, yes, you could get to the bottom of it and you

12 could get a full understanding of it. You would know

13 the extent of it, her feelings of it and anything she

14 knew about it.

15 Q. Did you have any -- sorry?

16 A. You know, from reading those letters, they basically

17 say -- they tell you nothing really. You need something

18 concrete. Tell us about it.

19 Q. Have you any recollection of taking any steps to find

20 out more about it from her?

21 A. No, I didn't.

22 Q. Why was that?

23 A. Because it wouldn't be my duty to do that. The threat

24 assessment is made from Special Branch. Rosemary Nelson

25 never came to us seeking advice. Letters came in making

 

 

36

 

1 allegations, she was in the press making statements

2 about police behaviour, that type of thing. It had to

3 be dealt with cautiously to avoid making the situation

4 even worse.

5 Q. So are we now, looking at May 1997, in the same

6 situation that you described to us yesterday in relation

7 to February and March 1998, where your concern was that

8 anything you said to her might become the subject of

9 publicity as part of her cause?

10 A. Well, yes, that was always in my mind. That was a fear

11 in my mind.

12 Q. So did that influence the way you dealt with these

13 reported threats?

14 A. Influence me in what way?

15 Q. Did it affect the way you dealt with the threats that

16 were being reported to you?

17 A. No, it wouldn't have affected the way -- no.

18 Q. But we saw yesterday how it operated on your mind and

19 caused you to seek guidance --

20 A. That's right.

21 Q. -- in February and March. It clearly was something that

22 was concerning you then. Did it have the same effect on

23 you when you received this information in May 1997?

24 A. It certainly would.

25 Q. Would it have prevented you from trying to get in touch

 

 

37

 

1 with Rosemary Nelson yourself to try to find out more?

2 A. It is difficult to say looking back in hindsight, but

3 what I can say is that with the publicity surrounding

4 it, the newspaper things, I even recall there being

5 newspaper articles about her speaking in America, this

6 was all controversial and inflammatory.

7 At the time, my job and my determination was to keep

8 people alive. Things like that in newspapers, you know,

9 in Lurgan and the volatile situation in Lurgan, people

10 would get killed over it. I had to be careful what

11 I did and what I said to make sure that somebody didn't

12 get killed on it.

13 16 police officers were killed in Lurgan. Something

14 that I said taken out of the wrong context, you know, it

15 could have had serious consequences in motivating

16 somebody to murder someone.

17 Q. So I'm clear about this, are you saying now that you

18 specifically recall considering the possibility of

19 trying to find out more from her and then deciding to

20 reject it for those reasons, the reason you have just

21 given?

22 A. Looking back, I don't remember that, but in hindsight

23 that may well have been one -- that may have crossed my

24 mind. Many, many things crossed my mind.

25 Q. That suggests, doesn't it, that if the threats had come

 

 

38

 

1 in in relation to another person in different

2 circumstances, you might well have sought to find out

3 more from the person who said that he or she was being

4 threatened?

5 A. I wouldn't have done it personally, but I would have got

6 somebody perhaps to do it.

7 Q. Somebody in your station?

8 A. I wouldn't have done it without consulting

9 Special Branch about it.

10 Q. But anyway, that would have been a different approach to

11 the approach that you have just explained to us you

12 think you may have taken in this case?

13 A. It is looking back in hindsight and it is difficult to

14 remember exactly what was in my mind, but I can

15 certainly give you a gist of what was in my mind and

16 what was uppermost in my mind was that nobody would get

17 killed as a result of this and that everything that

18 I did would protect lives, protect the life of

19 Rosemary Nelson, protect the life of my own officers and

20 that nothing would be said or done by police to create

21 a danger or a potential danger.

22 Q. Right. Can I ask you about another memorandum later in

23 that year, which you refer to in your statement? We can

24 find it at RNI-101-160 (displayed).

25 It is dated 27 October and it concerns a completely

 

 

39

 

1 different incident, so we are clear about that. It

2 concerns not Rosemary Nelson herself, but rather

3 a client of hers. Do you see the client,

4 Christine McAuley? Her name appears in the third line?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. If we can move that page to the left-hand side, please

7 and put up RNI-101-161 on the right-hand side, we will

8 be able to see the whole document (displayed).

9 This is a memorandum from an inspector, addressed to

10 your boss, about this particular complaint. In fact, it

11 is a complaint involving not the police but the

12 Royal Irish Regiment. Do you see at the top of the

13 left-hand page?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And it is an account of what the Inspector had done to

16 get to the bottom of the complaint made, and can I ask

17 you to notice, please, at the very bottom of the

18 left-hand page, this comment:

19 "In relation to the matters raised by the

20 Northern Ireland Office that are attached to this

21 report, at no time did Mrs Nelson inform me that the

22 remarks made to her client were abusive and threatening,

23 nor did she state that the Army had 'carried out a very

24 aggressive interview of her client'. The complaint

25 recorded was as stated in Rosemary Nelson's letter dated

 

 

40

 

1 14 October."

2 So far as the NIO involvement is concerned, we can

3 get a flavour of that from another document. Of course,

4 at the moment I can't find it. Sorry about that. I

5 will have to come back to that, I am afraid.

6 So can I just ask you now, having looked at this

7 memorandum and what it deals with, to have a look,

8 please, at your statement and paragraph 3? That is at

9 RNI-841-134 (displayed). Yes, thank you very much.

10 Do you see in the first sentence of this you refer

11 to the fact that you passed on this memorandum to the

12 Divisional Commander, so that is above the subdivision,

13 that is the commander of the whole division, J Division,

14 the next day, 28 October. Could we just flash that on

15 the screen, please? That is RNI-101-162 on the

16 left-hand side (displayed). Do you see?

17 What you do is to forward the report from the

18 Inspector we have just looked at, and you provided also

19 a draft reply.

20 The point I wanted to ask you about comes in the

21 next sentence:

22 "I was forwarding this memo to my divisional

23 commander so that he could forward it on to

24 Security Branch and Special Branch. If I had known

25 anything about the substance of the memo that I was

 

 

41

 

1 forwarding, I would have commented upon it in my memo to

2 the Divisional Commander, but I did not know anything to

3 add in this case."

4 Then you very helpfully set us the background, what

5 the Inspector's memo concerned, which was the complaint

6 we have seen. You didn't have any recollection of it.

7 And you then talk about the Northern Ireland Office,

8 which it looks as though you didn't see at the time you

9 gave your statement, and that I can't find.

10 But going back to paragraph 3, what I want to ask

11 you about it this:

12 "I was forwarding this memo to my divisional

13 commander so that he could forward it on to

14 Security Branch and Special Branch."

15 Now, that presumably would be appropriate in the

16 case of an alleged threat?

17 A. Yes, that's right.

18 Q. And it is exactly the sort of thing that we were

19 discussing earlier should have been done in relation to

20 the May example that we looked at; in other words, they

21 are the specialists, they are the people who do threat

22 assessments, so you refer it to them?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. And that's no doubt the sort of thing that you would

25 have expected to have done, as you were discussing

 

 

42

 

1 earlier, in relation to the May 1997 memorandum?

2 A. That's the notes from?

3 Q. Mr Magee.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. The puzzling thing about it is that the original

6 memorandum from the Inspector just deals with the

7 complaint. We can have that back on the screen, please,

8 at RNI-101-160 and RNI-101-161 (displayed).

9 What I wanted to ask you about, because I suspect

10 this may be a problem as a result of your only seeing

11 part of the material, is what was it about this report

12 of a complaint with an incident with an RIR patrol that

13 you think would have prompted you to forward the memo to

14 your divisional commander for him to forward to

15 Security Branch and Special Branch?

16 A. Well, I will have to read it.

17 Q. Please do. (Pause)

18 A. Could it be made just a little bit bigger, please?

19 Q. Yes, could we enlarge, ideally, both pages, please?

20 A. If it was just a little bit, that will do.

21 Q. Thanks. (Pause)

22 A. Well, the very first thing -- that date and that

23 a number of members of the patrol had mentioned

24 Mrs Nelson's name in derogatory terms, that is the first

25 thing that would prompt me.

 

 

43

 

1 Q. You think that was the key, do you?

2 A. Well, that is the same sort of thing as previous.

3 Q. Let's look at that together:

4 "Derogatory remarks."

5 I mean, what you were looking at in May were alleged

6 death threats?

7 A. Death threats, derogatory remarks.

8 Q. There is a difference isn't there?

9 A. There is a difference, but taken in the context, you can

10 connect the two together --

11 Q. So -- sorry, I stopped you. You said you thought that

12 was the first thing that would have prompted you?

13 A. Yes. (Pause)

14 Well, I would like to see what the other thing from

15 the Northern Ireland Office was. There may well be

16 something in that.

17 Q. Can I show it to you because I'm sorry I did not have

18 the references before. I mean, coming to the point,

19 Chief Superintendent -- I'm sorry this is taking so

20 long, but the concern I have is that you have made these

21 comments in paragraph 3 on the basis of a limited amount

22 of material.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And I just want to be absolutely sure, when you have

25 seen more of the material, that you maintain the view

 

 

44

 

1 that you were forwarding it to Security Branch and

2 Special Branch. That is what this exchange is about.

3 Can I ask you to look, please, at RNI 105-130

4 (displayed)?

5 A. So is this the document that was attached to the

6 Inspector's report.

7 Q. We believe it is, yes. And again, I'm sorry to give

8 a bit more evidence, but to try and cut through this,

9 the Irish side of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat appear to

10 have raised this incident with the other side, the

11 British side, the Northern Ireland Office

12 representatives. The Northern Ireland Office wanted to

13 know what response to give, hence the reference in this

14 to "draft response".

15 This is, we believe, the essence of the

16 Northern Ireland Office's point and this is the document

17 you hadn't seen when you were interviewed. So please

18 take some time to look at that. (Pause)

19 Yes?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. So does that help you to recall why you may have been,

22 as you say in your statement, forwarding it to the

23 Divisional Commander so that he could forward it on to

24 Security Branch and Special Branch?

25 A. That is in essence the same gist of the complaint as

 

 

45

 

1 from Superintendent Magee earlier on.

2 Q. You are referring, are you, to the brief reference in

3 the first paragraph?

4 A. Well, the reference in the first paragraph of his

5 report, and you will see:

6 "Matters raised by the Northern Ireland Office:

7 Ms Rosemary Nelson. The Northern Ireland Office are in

8 receipt of reports that members of the security forces

9 in the Lurgan area have allegedly made threats about

10 Colin Duffy's solicitor, Rosemary Nelson."

11 So there it is. It is a complaint.

12 Q. Why refer it to the Divisional Commander, though?

13 A. I don't recall doing the letter, but I obviously did do

14 the letter and it is the type of thing -- but in

15 hindsight, the reason of sending it to the Divisional

16 Commander would be to keep him appraised of what was

17 going on. The publicity surrounding it, the danger

18 associated with it, he would need to know about it. And

19 also the draft reply, when I attached the a draft reply,

20 I wouldn't have been replying directly to the

21 Northern Ireland Office. I would have forwarded it to

22 him to reply to the Northern Ireland Office -- yes, I

23 would have referred it to him so that he could reply to

24 the Northern Ireland Office.

25 The letter probably was addressed in the first -- it

 

 

46

 

1 may well have been addressed in the first place to him.

2 It could have been addressed to the Chief Constable, in

3 which case it would have to go through the Divisional

4 Commander up to the Chief Constable.

5 Q. I won't show you all the documents, but it looks as

6 though that is what indeed was going on here: a request

7 for information in order to provide an answer to the

8 NIO. And if we look again at your memo, which is at

9 RNI-101-162, please (displayed), you just say:

10 "Forwarded with reference to the foregoing report

11 from Inspector Menary, draft reply."

12 And the draft reply we can see at 164 on the

13 right-hand side of the page, please, RNI-101-164

14 (displayed). You say in your statement you don't think

15 that was your work, the draft?

16 A. No, I don't think -- no.

17 Q. But -- and, again, take it from me --

18 A. Sorry to interrupt, that draft reply probably came from

19 the Inspector.

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. I don't know, it probably did.

22 Q. We can see in fact, I think, that he attaches it to his

23 original report?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. So I think you are right. But the point I wanted to

 

 

47

 

1 raise with you is this: in your note to the Divisional

2 Commander, there is no reference, is there, to referring

3 it or forwarding it to Security Branch or

4 Special Branch; you are simply sending the reply up the

5 chain of command so that it could eventually make its

6 way from Command Secretariat to the NIO?

7 A. Yes, that's right. If you go back to the document from

8 the Northern Ireland Office --

9 Q. Yes, I think that was RNI-105-130 (displayed).

10 A. Yes. Whoever got that would have done that.

11 Q. Sorry, so I'm clear about that?

12 A. The person who got -- who originally received that would

13 have done that. That would have gone into the system.

14 Q. Sorry, when you say "done that", what do you mean?

15 A. Would have brought it to the attention of

16 Special Branch.

17 Q. So you would have expected a note of this kind to be

18 immediately referred to Special Branch for their

19 attention?

20 A. I would, yes.

21 Q. And, again, that would be recorded in the files?

22 A. It would be recorded somewhere, but where -- you can see

23 at the top it says Command Secretariat it came to.

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. It would have been dealt with from there.

 

 

48

 

1 Q. So you would have expected Command Secretariat, would

2 you, on receipt of this information to refer it

3 immediately to Special Branch?

4 A. I would have, yes.

5 Q. On the basis of what is set out in that memorandum?

6 A. On the base of what is set out in that memorandum, I

7 would have done it. And I would have -- it would be my

8 view that they would have done it too.

9 Q. Now, so far as you were concerned, when you received the

10 report from the Inspector at the lower level, if I can

11 put it that way, presumably there was nothing to stop

12 you referring the matter direct to local Special Branch

13 or, indeed, to the Security Branch?

14 A. I wouldn't really have referred it to Security Branch,

15 but in all probability I did discuss it with

16 Special Branch.

17 Q. So you think this is another case, do you, where you had

18 a discussion with local Special Branch?

19 A. Yes, yes.

20 Q. And would you expect that sort of reference or

21 discussion to be recorded?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Would you have expected to receive a report or

24 assessment by Special Branch in response?

25 A. Not a written one, no.

 

 

49

 

1 Q. So what is the difference between this case and the case

2 we know we are coming on to in February 1998?

3 A. The one in February 1998 came to me in writing, or it

4 was supposed to come in writing, and I am sure it did

5 come in writing and would be dealt with in a certain

6 way.

7 This came to me in a different -- through

8 a different channel, in a different -- in different way.

9 It came as looking for a reply to a question from the

10 Northern Ireland Office. But what I'm saying is I am

11 satisfied that it would have been -- the person

12 receiving it would have sent it to -- into the proper

13 channels to Special Branch.

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

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly, we will have a break to

16 quarter to.

17 (11.30 am)

18 (Short break)

19 (11.47 am)

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

21 MR PHILLIPS: Can we have RNI-101-031 on the screen again,

22 please (displayed)?

23 I would like to ask you some more questions about

24 this incident, I am afraid. The first is this: we

25 looked at the force order together and in particular the

 

 

50

 

1 provisions about the threat log. Do you remember that?

2 A. Yes, I do.

3 Q. Is the position, so I have understood it, that once you

4 were told about these matters in the telephone call from

5 Superintendent Magee, an entry should have been made in

6 the threat log?

7 A. No, when I received this, it would have been -- it would

8 go to Special Branch who would make -- and

9 Security Branch who would make a threat assessment. As

10 a result of that, what they say then would be entered in

11 the threat log.

12 Q. Let us take a typical case, a more typical case, where

13 word reaches you of an anonymous call coming into

14 somebody saying you are going to be murdered. This is

15 a hypothetical case, obviously. You are informed about

16 that, who took the call, who is the subject of the

17 threat, when it happened, what the words were that were

18 used. Would you not make an entry in the threat log or

19 arrange that an entry be made in the threat log of those

20 details?

21 A. You mean immediately?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. Well, if I report came in like that, first of all you

24 would have to assess is it a prank, is it a drunk from

25 public house. But if you want to assume that it is

 

 

51

 

1 someone who comes in and says, "I am so and so and this

2 is what I have heard and this is what I saw," and it is

3 credible, then you would -- maybe even before you would

4 even consider making any entry in the threat register --

5 go and get the person and get him offside, so that every

6 situation could vary.

7 Q. Certainly in that case you wouldn't be seeking

8 a Special Branch threat assessment before making an

9 entry in the threat book?

10 A. You would be seeking Special Branch assessment before

11 making an entry.

12 Q. You would?

13 A. Absolutely.

14 Q. In all cases?

15 A. In all cases of -- I'm not following.

16 Q. I'm asking you whether in all cases, before you put an

17 entry in the threat log, you would have to have

18 a Special Branch threat assessment?

19 A. Oh, yes, absolutely.

20 Q. You would?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. In every single case?

23 A. Yes, that's right.

24 Q. Including the man that rings up and says somebody is

25 going to be murdered in an hour?

 

 

52

 

1 A. That's right, you would take action. You would take the

2 action.

3 In this -- things then are reversed, really, because

4 if there is an imminent threat, you would do something.

5 Then the process will work, the bureaucracy will work.

6 The report will go to Special Branch, it will be

7 assessed, wording will be constructed for it and it will

8 go into the threat log eventually, but patrols obviously

9 will be briefed and necessary action taken.

10 Q. So the key to all of this is the detail and the

11 substance of the threat rather than the form and the way

12 it arrives?

13 A. Yes, you could say that.

14 Q. Now, I would like to ask you also about the evidence you

15 have given in relation to what you think you would have

16 done on receipt of this, namely to have discussions with

17 Special Branch.

18 As you are well aware, there are a number of

19 witnesses to the Inquiry whose names are ciphered. So I

20 would like to ask you to be very, very careful in

21 answering my questions in relation to particular names

22 of particular officers.

23 So with that introduction, can I ask you: when you

24 say you would have spoken to Special Branch, do you mean

25 local Special Branch officers?

 

 

53

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Was there a particular officer or were there particular

3 officers with whom you regularly had discussions?

4 A. That's right.

5 Q. And would they be Special Branch officers based in

6 Lurgan?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. And so I have understood it, do you think that the

9 conversation you believe would have taken place at the

10 end of May 1997 would have been a conversation with one

11 of those officer or officers?

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. In other words, one of the individuals to whom you spoke

14 regularly, as you have described it?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. Can I ask you, please, to assist me in this? Are we

17 talking about one individual or more than one

18 individual?

19 A. We are talking about three individuals.

20 Q. Now, you have, as all relevant witnesses do, a cipher

21 sheet in front of you. Do you see the names and ciphers

22 of the relevant individuals?

23 A. I see one immediately. I see two.

24 I don't see a third one.

25 Q. Right.

 

 

54

 

1 A. I will just go down it again.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. I see two.

4 Q. Right. Can I ask you, please, to give the ciphers of

5 those two individuals?

6 A. The first one I see is P128.

7 Q. Thank you.

8 A. And the second one I see is B123.

9 Q. I think you said there were three such individuals; in

10 other words, another person in addition to those two.

11 Is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Do you include him in the list of people to whom you

14 think you may have spoken at this time?

15 A. There were three people in Special Branch that I spoke

16 to on a regular basis. The one who is missing off it

17 may not have been based in Lurgan at the time. That

18 might be the reason why he is not on it. I'm not sure.

19 I don't know and I don't -- but over the period, while I

20 was in Lurgan, there were three people and those three

21 people I spoke to on a regular basis.

22 Q. What I'm going to ask you to do -- do you have a pen and

23 paper there?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Could you very kindly write down the name of this third

 

 

55

 

1 individual and hand it to Mr (redacted), who will hand it

2 to the Panel? (Handed)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: The Panel has read it.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, can I ask you to hand it to me because

5 then we can check it against the cipher list. (Handed)

6 I'm sorry for that delay. So that everybody is

7 aware, the witness has identified the ciphered witness

8 B131. Thank you very much.

9 Can I move on to a completely different topic, you

10 will perhaps be relieved to hear --

11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Phillips, can I just -- perhaps not

12 quite so relieved to hear. I just want to pursue the

13 issue a little further, if I may, just so I have got

14 this clear in my own mind from the evidence you gave

15 yesterday and this morning.

16 We are still uncertain about the correspondence that

17 was sent by Mr Magee to Lurgan concerning the three

18 letters, but we have the evidence, the document from

19 Mr Magee, following the telephone conversation with you.

20 I have just heard what you have said to Mr Phillips

21 about completing the threat log. I think I'm correct in

22 my recall from yesterday: it was the threat log used by

23 your local criminal intelligence officer which

24 facilitated the briefing of patrol officers?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

56

 

1 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So --

2 A. Maybe if I could just add a little to that. That book

3 was kept in the CIO's office. It is my recollection

4 that it wouldn't be taken out of the office, but

5 anything in it would be copied in to or referred to the

6 briefing book when the briefing book then would be taken

7 down to the briefing room and the patrol is briefed.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

9 A. So there would be two records of it. Whether it would

10 be the exact same words or a reference to it, I'm not

11 absolutely sure.

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But the briefing of patrol officers

13 depended on the content of that book?

14 A. Oh, absolutely, yes.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So if there was no entry in that book,

16 quite simply what you had discussed with your

17 subdivisional commander about keeping a watch on -- my

18 word, not yours -- keeping a watch on Mrs Nelson's

19 business premises, which were close to the police

20 station, there was no way that that would have been

21 communicated to patrol officers?

22 A. Well, I know that it was communicated to them and I know

23 that they knew about it and I know that the cameras in

24 the police station scanned that area of William Street.

25 And I know they were aware of it.

 

 

57

 

1 If you want to look at a hypothetical, saying if

2 nobody ever mentioned it after the report from

3 Superintendent Magee, well, then, the answer to that

4 would be yes, but I know that is not the case.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So quite simply, this alleged threat

6 in May of 1997, what you are saying, as far as you can

7 recollect, is that that information that came from

8 Mr Magee was not only held in your hands, your

9 Subdivisional's hands and the SB officers that you spoke

10 with, but you are saying, as far as you are concerned,

11 patrol officers were made aware of that?

12 A. They were made aware that there was a report of a threat

13 that it was necessary to give attention to, absolutely.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay.

15 A. There has been confusion about this and I'm not

16 absolutely certain what I am being asked to enlighten

17 on, but what I would say in this is -- I would ask the

18 question: where is the documentation that should be with

19 this? I know it exists and what I was wondering is are

20 these photocopies of the original? Where is the

21 original?

22 Now, I feel absolutely confident that the

23 documentation that is not here today exists somewhere

24 and it will -- you know, is bound to turn up. I know

25 that Superintendent Donnan says he has no recollection

 

 

58

 

1 of seeing it. I know I have no recollection of seeing

2 it, but when that documentation turns up, somebody's

3 name will be on the bottom of it. My view now is that

4 it may well be his name, but it could turn out that it

5 is my name on the bottom, that I forwarded it to -- and

6 I would have to throw my hands up and say I have no

7 recollection of it. But what I do know is that

8 documentation would not be lost and the question I would

9 ask is where are the original documents where is the

10 original document of the report from the American

11 lawyers. It is somewhere.

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you.

13 MR PHILLIPS: Well, now, Mr McMullen, I would like to ask

14 you about another few documents in 1997, which may shed

15 some light on what you have just been talking about.

16 Let's see if they help you.

17 We talked a little earlier about the complaints

18 being made and investigated. You see on the screen

19 a reference there to some of them. We have in our files

20 a report in connection with one of them, compiled by an

21 investigating officer, and we can see it at RNI-206-002

22 (displayed).

23 Now, it is not the officer referred to on the

24 memorandum we have just been looking at, but his

25 successor who has a cipher, P146. The only part of this

 

 

59

 

1 report, which is a report into these complaints, or some

2 of them anyway, that I wanted to ask you about is at the

3 very end of his report under "Conclusions" at

4 RNI-206-010 (displayed). You see four or five lines up

5 from the bottom, he says:

6 "In all the circumstances, it is considered that

7 a satisfactory investigation is not possible."

8 Then this pair of sentences:

9 "Nevertheless, senior officers in CID and the

10 Subdivisional Commander, Lurgan have been informed of

11 the allegations. A threat assessment has been made and

12 appropriate action taken."

13 So that report is dated, if you look on the screen

14 at RNI-206-003 (displayed), 28 July 1997. Do you see

15 that?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. I would like to show you one other document from the

18 same author at the same sort of time and on the same

19 point, RNI-202-063 (displayed).

20 Again, you see his cipher at the bottom of the page.

21 Again, it is in the context of these complaints, the

22 Lawyers Alliance complaints. Do you see at the top of

23 the page?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And they were one of the people who wrote the letters we

 

 

60

 

1 were looking at a little earlier, as you see.

2 First, he refers to a further message from them, and

3 I'll show you that in a minute just to make sure you

4 have got it in your mind. But then the important thing,

5 as far as I am concerned, is to show you the last

6 paragraph, where he says:

7 "In the meantime, I have appraised Subdivisional

8 Commander, Lurgan of the ongoing correspondence for

9 whatever action he considers necessary vis--vis

10 Mrs Nelson's ongoing security."

11 So for completeness, RNI-101-051 (displayed) is the

12 letter he is referring to of 30 June from the Lawyers

13 Alliance, and there you see it takes up the theme we

14 looked at earlier. And in the fourth paragraph:

15 "More recently the situation has become more

16 sinister."

17 A. Is that the same document we saw earlier?

18 Q. No, this is a later letter, do you see -- if we can go

19 back to the screen, please?

20 A. No, I'm satisfied --

21 Q. Do you see 30 June, same people but three and a half

22 months later?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And it is the one that the investigating officer is

25 referring to?

 

 

61

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So you have seen a couple of references there made in

3 documents in July by the same investigating officer to

4 him appraising the Subdivisional Commander and senior

5 officers in CID, he says in his report, of the

6 allegations and, as he puts it:

7 "A threat assessment has been made and appropriate

8 action taken."

9 Can I ask you, please, have you any recollection of

10 being informed of these matters by that investigating

11 officer, P146?

12 A. No, I have no recollection of it, but that is not to say

13 that I didn't receive -- as the Deputy Subdivisional

14 Commander I would have known about it, but how I would

15 have received that information, whether it was the

16 Subdivisional Commander told me or -- I don't know, but

17 I'm aware of it but I have no recollection of seeing

18 that document.

19 Q. Whose responsibility would it have been to consider what

20 appropriate action should be taken?

21 A. Well, as I have said before, it would come from

22 Special Branch/Security Branch, the assessment, and

23 then, based on the assessment, then we would discuss

24 what action should be taken.

25 Q. To the best of your recollection, have you any memory of

 

 

62

 

1 being involved in considering such an assessment and

2 assessing what action should be taken?

3 A. I do recall -- the piece that I recall of it is what

4 more can we do than to give passing attention, and my

5 recollection is of me thinking we have no difficulty or

6 little difficulty -- there is always difficulty --

7 little difficulty in relation to her premises because

8 the protection that we were giving to the police station

9 should adequately cover that.

10 But the difficulty was at her own home. But she

11 wasn't living in an area, you know, that would be

12 hostile to her. It certainly was hostile to us and we

13 couldn't patrol that area on a regular basis. In fact,

14 whenever we received calls to that area, you know, even

15 if it is a road traffic accident, we would have to check

16 it out thoroughly that there was a road traffic

17 accident, perhaps ring somebody we knew, take a look to

18 see is there an accident. And they would come back and

19 say, "Yes, there is". Other times they would come back

20 and say, "No, I can't see anything" and we wouldn't go

21 there.

22 That was the nature of it. So the area of her home

23 wasn't patrolled on a regular basis. However, whenever

24 we were there for any reason, the patrols knew to look

25 around to see if there was anything suspicious.

 

 

63

 

1 Q. But are you saying now that these are thoughts,

2 considerations, that you had at this time, in the summer

3 of 1997?

4 A. Those are thoughts that I had in mind all the time in

5 relation to Rosemary Nelson.

6 Q. You don't think they are points that were in your mind,

7 for example, later, when you came to consider the threat

8 assessment in February 1998?

9 A. Well, they were there then too.

10 Q. Do you have any actual recollection of a threat

11 assessment being obtained in relation to Rosemary Nelson

12 at this time, in late July, or shortly after, 1997?

13 A. I can't recall specifically.

14 Q. If one had been obtained, would it have been like

15 the February one, a written assessment?

16 A. Oh, absolutely.

17 Q. And you would expect it to be on the files in the same

18 way as the February one has been?

19 A. Yes. I have just slipped my mind. Are you saying that

20 that is not in the threat register?

21 Q. Yes. Take it from me, we have received in discovery or

22 disclosure no written threat assessment

23 before February 1998.

24 A. What does it say in the book? You know, around that

25 time?

 

 

64

 

1 Q. About Rosemary Nelson?

2 A. About anybody?

3 Q. It is not really my job to answer the questions, but the

4 answer is nothing. It says nothing about her.

5 A. It is unbelievable to me if you look at the threat

6 register for that date that there is not something in

7 it. I'm totally and utterly baffled.

8 Q. You would expect there to have been an entry at this

9 time, at the end of July, would you, on the basis of

10 what is set out in these documents?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. Okay.

13 A. Was the briefing book -- look to see what it says in the

14 briefing book about it. I don't know.

15 Q. I understand, so you are aware, the briefing book has

16 been lost, the relevant one, apparently. What we have

17 are extracts, I think, from the threat log and they

18 contain no reference to Rosemary Nelson.

19 Right. Can we move now to the next stage of this

20 matter, which is February 1998? Again, to put your

21 evidence in context, can I take you through the relevant

22 material?

23 It is right to say that this is a matter which you

24 have dealt with in your witness statement and we can see

25 the passage dealing with it beginning at paragraph 10 on

 

 

65

 

1 RNI-841-136 (displayed).

2 Do you see that there? That is where you begin to

3 deal with this topic and your involvement with it. Now,

4 while we have your statement on the screen, I would like

5 to take you to paragraph 6 of it, if I may, which is at

6 RNI-841-134 (displayed), and paragraph 5 immediately

7 above it. So perhaps we could start with paragraph 5,

8 so that this is absolutely clear, in relation to the

9 evidence you were giving a little earlier about

10 the October 1997 report and your reaction.

11 At the time you were interviewed by Eversheds on

12 behalf of the Inquiry, you were not shown, were you, the

13 memorandum from the Northern Ireland Office or the

14 details of what the Northern Ireland Office were

15 concerned about?

16 A. I have no idea really.

17 Q. Exactly. So as I understand it, what you did was to

18 take the documents you had been shown by Eversheds and

19 try to reconstruct what had happened and what your

20 involvement had been. Is that fair?

21 A. That's probably fair, yes.

22 Q. By contrast, in relation to this matter, which, as

23 I say, begins at paragraph 10, you did, I think, see the

24 various documents and give your evidence about them in

25 paragraphs 10 to 20 of your statement at RNI-841-136 to

 

 

66

 

1 RNI-841-139 (displayed). But what I would like to do is

2 to start you off by looking at RNI-101-196 (displayed),

3 which is the origin of the whole of this incident,

4 a letter from the Northern Ireland Office to the

5 Command Secretariat, dated 23 February and referring to

6 that same organisation again, the Lawyers Alliance for

7 Justice. Do you see that? And a meeting that took

8 place on 22 February with them.

9 In the first paragraph?

10 A. Yes, I'll just read it. Yes.

11 Q. Do you see it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And then the next stage in the chain comes at

14 RNI-101-197 (displayed). This is Command Secretariat

15 sending to the Assistant Chief Constable for the South

16 Region the letter and describing it as the most recent

17 correspondence from the NIO concerning alleged death

18 threats against Rosemary Nelson. And then this:

19 "I am aware that the matter of death threats against

20 Ms Nelson was referred to the ..."

21 Is that "Deputy Subdivisional Commander"?

22 A. Yes, that's right.

23 Q. So in fact this is a reference to you?

24 A. That's right. It comes from the same office, you can

25 see on the top of it.

 

 

67

 

1 Q. I am sorry?

2 A. You can see on the top of the document,

3 Command Secretariat.

4 Q. It is the same reference, is that what you mean?

5 A. It is the same office.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. It's Command Secretariat, and it is the Superintendent

8 in command who at that stage was RB Maxwell. In the

9 year before, the officer doing the job was obviously

10 Superintendent Magee.

11 Q. Again, I don't want to get into the business of giving

12 evidence, but I think it is right that

13 Superintendent Magee was in fact at Complaints and

14 Discipline. Shall I show you the document to remind

15 you?

16 A. No, I'll take your word for it. I recall seeing

17 Command Secretariat on a document --

18 Q. Absolutely.

19 A. -- you showed me before.

20 Q. Superintendent Magee received notice of the May matter

21 from Command Secretariat?

22 A. Oh, yes.

23 Q. But he in fact was a complaints department

24 superintendent?

25 A. I see the chain of it now.

 

 

68

 

1 Q. Here we are anyway. It is going down the chain from

2 Command Secretariat, the office of the Chief Constable,

3 and it gets to the first level, the

4 Assistant Chief Constable for the South Region, within

5 which Lurgan was, wasn't it?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. There is a reference to you there?

8 A. That's right.

9 Q. And having had that question of death threats referred

10 to in May last year?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. Obviously taking us back to the correspondence we saw

13 a little earlier:

14 "However, I would appreciate your views/comments on

15 any further action that could be taken in this matter so

16 that I may respond to the further correspondence

17 appropriately."

18 We then see the memo going down further and coming

19 nearer to you at RNI-101-199 (displayed). This is from

20 the Deputy Divisional Commander. So by this stage it

21 has gone from the Assistant Chief Constable to the

22 Divisional Commander, his deputy. Now it is coming down

23 to your boss, who I think by this stage was Mr Chapman,

24 not Mr Donnan. Is that right? By March 1998?

25 A. That's probably right, yes.

 

 

69

 

1 Q. And the heading again is "Rosemary Nelson security", and

2 it says:

3 "For information, please let me have your

4 views/comments by 10 March 1998."

5 Then it comes down to you and we can see your note

6 at RNI-101-200 (displayed), signed by you, addressed to

7 the Detective Inspector, Special Branch, and you say:

8 "Please let me have your views and comments on any

9 threat there may be against Ms Rosemary Nelson for

10 a report by 6 March 1998."

11 It is dated 3 March and under the same heading

12 "Rosemary Nelson security". So this is an example, is

13 it, of you being informed of a threat or potential

14 threat and referring the matter to local Special Branch?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. For them to consider the threat and to produce an

17 assessment?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Is that correct?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. Is this also right: that this is the sort of memo that

22 you would have expected to have been generated at the

23 earlier stages we have looked at together, namely in May

24 and the summer of 1997?

25 A. That's correct. That's the point that I was making,

 

 

70

 

1 absolutely. And when that documentation is located,

2 there will be a name on it, either mine or

3 Superintendent Donnan's in all probability.

4 Now, one of us -- my view now is one of us is

5 mistaken. There is a remote possibility that somebody

6 else dealt with it on behalf of us, but I don't think --

7 I don't think that that is likely.

8 Q. But whoever dealt with it, whether it was you, Mr Donnan

9 or, however unlikely, another person, this is what you

10 would have expected to happen?

11 A. And what I'm saying in view of that is what did happen.

12 Q. What you were asking for was an assessment by local

13 Special Branch, which you would expect to receive by the

14 date you have set there, 6 March, in writing. Is that

15 right?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 A. When I say in writing, yes, in writing, but it might

19 not -- it wouldn't be unusual for them simply to come

20 down to me, speak to me about it. But, yes, even in

21 that case they would have the document, the assessment,

22 to put into the threat log.

23 Q. Remember the situation we are looking at, a chain of

24 memos is coming all the way down, it has got to you and

25 you are passing it now from your level, chief inspector,

 

 

71

 

1 to detective inspector level. Presumably what was

2 required was something in writing that would work its

3 way back up the chain. Is that right?

4 A. That's absolutely right.

5 Q. Can I ask you this question: why do you think it was you

6 who dealt with this particular matter, rather than your

7 boss?

8 A. Because he probably wasn't at work that day, or if he

9 was at work, he was engaged in something else. The

10 Subdivisional Commander and Deputy Subdivisional

11 Commander worked very closely together. It was two

12 people doing the same job.

13 Q. So there is no particular significance, is there, about

14 the fact that you, as the deputy, took on the task of

15 referring it to Special Branch?

16 A. None whatsoever.

17 Q. But can I take it that you have no actual recollection

18 of the reason in this particular case?

19 A. The reason for?

20 Q. You dealing with it and not your superintendent?

21 A. No, I haven't -- I don't recall the specific reason for

22 it, no.

23 Q. Now, when you were talking earlier about the letters

24 that came to you in May 1997, one of the things we

25 discussed together was the nature of them, the fact that

 

 

72

 

1 they were unique in your experience and the sort of

2 serious matters that ought to have been referred to the

3 Subdivisional Commander himself?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. What we are dealing with here is a notification of

6 a threat or potential threat coming down to you from the

7 NIO to Command Secretariat, based on comments made by

8 the same people, the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in

9 Ireland, and working its way down to your level?

10 A. Yes. You are speaking about this one here?

11 Q. I am now, yes, exactly. Wasn't this exactly the same

12 sort of very unusual case which required the attention

13 of your superior, i.e. the Superintendent, the

14 Subdivisional Commander?

15 A. Yes, absolutely.

16 Q. So are you confident that it is a matter which, although

17 you wrote the memorandum, you would have discussed with

18 him?

19 A. I have no doubt whatsoever.

20 Q. Because whatever else it was, it was not a routine

21 matter, was it?

22 A. It wouldn't be faire to say that it wasn't a routine

23 matter. It was being dealt with in a routine way.

24 Q. That is a very different point, isn't it?

25 A. It is. You could take the view that it wasn't a routine

 

 

73

 

1 matter, but then a threat against anybody, there were

2 dozens of them, would you say each one of them wasn't

3 routine?

4 Q. You see, we have agreed together that the way in which

5 these notifications came to you was unique in your

6 experience, coming from America, concerning threats

7 allegedly made by police officers to a solicitor?

8 A. In that respect, yes.

9 Q. So it was not a routine matter, was it?

10 A. It was dealt with in a routine way.

11 Q. That is a different point, isn't it?

12 A. We are trying to split hairs here. If I could say, it

13 was being dealt with in the routine way, the set

14 procedure. The origin of the complaint was unusual.

15 Q. And the nature of the alleged threats, namely made by

16 police officers against a solicitor, was also very

17 unusual, wasn't it?

18 A. Well, I'm not so sure that it was.

19 Q. Well, I thought you told me earlier that you hadn't come

20 across a case where it was alleged that police officers

21 had threatened a solicitor?

22 A. In my personal experience, no, I haven't. But I am of

23 the belief that, you know, I have read it or heard it or

24 whatever.

25 Q. I think what you are saying is whatever the origin, the

 

 

74

 

1 routine, the established routine of how to deal with it,

2 was being followed here?

3 A. Oh, yes.

4 Q. And it is the way you would have expected what you were

5 told about in May and July the previous year also to

6 have been addressed, isn't it?

7 A. That's right, yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Moving on, we can see the assessment, which

9 was provided in response to this response, at

10 RNI-101-211 (displayed). And I think it would be

11 helpful to have both pages on the screen, please, with

12 RNI-101-212 on the right-hand side (displayed).

13 Now, before asking you some questions, again can

14 I just take you through parts of this document to remind

15 you.

16 First it said in the opening paragraph:

17 "I can report there is no record of a threat against

18 Rosemary Nelson held in this office."

19 It then says that:

20 "She regularly represents Republican activists in

21 the greater Craigavon area in her capacity as

22 a solicitor and as such would be known. She very much

23 came to the fore when representing Colin Duffy

24 throughout his charge and detention for the murder of

25 Johnny Lyness on 24 June 1993 and the murder of two RUC

 

 

75

 

1 officers on 16 June 1997. During this time, she

2 appeared on news items in the local media and was seen

3 accompanying Colin Duffy on television following his

4 releases for the above mentioned cases.

5 "Mrs Nelson remains close to the Republican movement

6 and attends functions, rallies, et cetera, in support of

7 their aims and objectives. As such, she would be

8 regarded in the local Nationalist and Unionist

9 communities as a supporter of the Republican cause.

10 "It is, therefore, my assessment in the absence of

11 any threat that she would be known to Loyalist

12 paramilitaries in this area and would be at a degree of

13 risk whilst working and residing in this area.

14 Forwarded for information."

15 Now, again, the officer's name is ciphered, but I

16 think that he is one of the three who you identified

17 earlier as somebody with whom you were regularly in

18 contact. Is that correct?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. Thank you very much.

21 Can I just ask you to look at the various aspects of

22 this with me? Looking at the second paragraph, it says

23 that:

24 "She came to the fore when representing Colin Duffy

25 ..."

 

 

76

 

1 And then gives two cases. Presumably that was all

2 well known to you by this stage in March 1998. Is that

3 right?

4 A. Yes, that would be right.

5 Q. And you have already told us your perception of her

6 regular appearances in the media, and that is the next

7 sentence. Do you see that?

8 A. Not just at the moment.

9 Q. "During this time, she appeared ..."

10 Do you see that sentence?

11 A. Oh, yes, I have got it now, yes.

12 Q. Again, that was something you already knew, wasn't it?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Then the next paragraph:

15 "Mrs Nelson remains close to the Republican movement

16 and attends functions, rallies, et cetera, in support of

17 their aims and objectives."

18 Those are very much the sort of comments that we saw

19 from you yesterday in your memoranda of February

20 and March of the same year, very similar in time?

21 A. Similar, yes.

22 Q. You remember your use of the word "involvement", for

23 instance? Do you remember that? We had long --

24 A. Was it "involvement"? "Cause" I thought was the word.

25 Q. We had a discussion about both, Mr McMullen.

 

 

77

 

1 A. Okay.

2 Q. Again, that statement:

3 "She remains close to the Republican movement and

4 attends functions, rallies, et cetera, in support of

5 their aims and objectives."

6 Is something you already knew?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And it was part of your own view of her, wasn't it?

9 A. Yes, I knew that about her, yes.

10 Q. You also, as it says in the next sentence of this

11 paragraph:

12 "... believe that she had a cause, namely that she

13 was the supporter of the Republican cause"?

14 A. Well, that -- I recall sitting at my desk thinking about

15 this. What is she doing? As I have said before, my

16 aims and objectives -- my whole life and business there

17 was to protect people and keep people safe, and here was

18 a huge danger. This type of publicity, in my view, is

19 what gets people killed.

20 Now, she was a solicitor. Now, not many -- very few

21 solicitors would be standing out on the Garvaghy Road

22 with protesters with their clients. It is unusual. Why

23 was she there? All sorts of things can run through your

24 mind of why she was there. One of them that I didn't

25 mention yesterday was: is it to generate business? It

 

 

78

 

1 could well have been.

2 On occasions, letters came in in relation to

3 complaints, for example. Say if there was an incident

4 with the Army or with the police and three or four or

5 five or six people complained, there would be six

6 separate letters would arrive altogether. Why did she

7 send six separate letters about the one case? Was that

8 to generate money? I don't know, but whatever she was

9 doing I didn't know. What I did know was this was

10 dangerous with the potential to get people killed.

11 In my position, it was my duty and responsibility to

12 keep people alive and I was the officer who had to go

13 and speak with families after murders and deaths, police

14 and civilians, and the horror and the disaster and the

15 cataclysmic consequences for families are beyond

16 description. One must be extremely careful about what

17 one says and does to make sure that there are no further

18 controversies, murders, injuries.

19 That was my aim in all this and in my dealing with

20 it, that was uppermost in my mind.

21 Q. So just so I am clear about this, because you have made

22 this comment before, are you saying that you believe

23 Rosemary Nelson's behaviour in generating publicity,

24 et cetera, was itself dangerous?

25 A. In my view, yes.

 

 

79

 

1 Q. So the behaviour, which we have seen you make reference

2 to in a number of your documents, in your view put

3 people's lives at risk; is that right?

4 A. In my view, yes.

5 Q. So the person about whom a threat assessment was being

6 sought was, in your view, herself somebody whose

7 activities put other people's lives in danger?

8 A. Well, in my view, yes. She may well not have seen it

9 that way, but in my view that sort of publicity to

10 generate hatred, to generate antagonism towards police

11 officers, towards anybody -- there were people in the

12 community who went out simply and murdered people. I

13 could quote examples: the taxi driver was another

14 horrific murder, when a Loyalist group just for no

15 reason said, "Here is a guy coming from the other side

16 of the community" and they would just shoot him. The

17 cataclysmic consequences for that family were beyond

18 description.

19 Unless you have been there and seen it for

20 yourself -- my view is the general public don't realise

21 it. Unless you have personal knowledge, that happens to

22 you, you will not know the horror of it.

23 Q. But that, at any rate -- just coming back to the

24 questions I have been asking you -- was your perception

25 of Rosemary Nelson at the time you received this report;

 

 

80

 

1 is that right?

2 A. You are trying to make me say what my perception of her

3 was. The honest answer is I didn't know what she was

4 doing, but what I did know was that whatever it is, it

5 is dangerous.

6 Q. Now, did that, do you think, looking back on it,

7 influence the way you dealt with this matter?

8 A. Yes, it influenced me in that I had to be very, very

9 careful not to exacerbate the situation.

10 Q. So do you think you would have treated a similar report

11 about a different individual in a different way?

12 A. No, there is a set procedure for dealing with it and you

13 deal with it in that way.

14 Q. And are you saying that procedure was followed?

15 A. Absolutely.

16 Q. Can I ask you about the comments you make about this

17 assessment in your statement? First of all, if you

18 could look, please, at RNI-841-137, which is your

19 paragraph 13 (displayed)? Perhaps we could have that on

20 the right-hand side of the screen, please.

21 Thank you.

22 We can look at it together with the statement or

23 assessment. You see in paragraph 4, you say --

24 A. Sorry, 14?

25 Q. Paragraph 13:

 

 

81

 

1 "In paragraph 4 of Detective Sergeant [and then the

2 cipher's] report, he states that in the absence of any

3 threat ... Rosemary Nelson would be at a degree of risk

4 while working and residing in this area."

5 You go on to say:

6 "I asked what would normally ... this is an

7 impossible question. Everyone was at some risk from

8 something or other."

9 And we talked about that yesterday afternoon:

10 "An ordinary member of the public in Lurgan at the

11 time would have been at risk. By saying that Mrs Nelson

12 would have been at some risk, the detective sergeant is

13 only speculating or guessing. Anyone would have been

14 able to make that assessment from the facts available."

15 So far as the report is concerned then, the comment

16 that's made about her being at a degree of risk while

17 working and residing in the area, in your view, was

18 speculation on his part and something that anybody could

19 have said. Is that correct?

20 A. Yes, you wouldn't need to be a genius to work that one

21 out.

22 Q. Thank you. Then looking at another comment you make

23 about this report -- it begins in paragraph 16 and can

24 we look at it, please, on the next page, RNI-841-138

25 (displayed). It is the third to last sentence of

 

 

82

 

1 paragraph 16 beginning "In his report ..." Do you see:

2 "In his report, Detective Sergeant ..."

3 Then the cipher:

4 "... speculates that Rosemary Nelson may have come

5 to the attention of Loyalist terrorists due to her high

6 profile. However, that was purely speculation."

7 So that refers, doesn't it, to the other part of the

8 fourth paragraph at the bottom of the page we have on

9 the left, where it says:

10 "She would be known to Loyalist paramilitaries in

11 this area"?

12 Do you see that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And again, as far as you were concerned, that was

15 speculation on his part; is that right?

16 A. I'm not sure that speculation --

17 Q. That is what you say?

18 A. That's what I have said, but it is correct speculation.

19 He is right in saying it. It would be right to say

20 that. What I'm saying is I'm not disagreeing with what

21 he says.

22 Q. But it was just speculation?

23 A. Yes, because he wasn't telling me anything specific that

24 on such a date something happened or we had noticed

25 this, he is just looking at it and saying, "Yes, that's

 

 

83

 

1 right", speculating.

2 Q. As I understand it then, looking back to that fourth

3 paragraph, what you are saying is that the two points he

4 has made there:

5 "She would be known to Loyalist paramilitaries in

6 this area and would be at a degree of risk while working

7 and residing ..."

8 Those were both points of speculation --

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, we have dealt with the second and third

11 paragraphs because there we have seen matters that you

12 knew or they are views that you already had, as you have

13 explained. So is the key to this report, or was it, as

14 far as you were concerned, the first sentence, where it

15 says:

16 "I can report there is no record of a threat against

17 Rosemary Nelson held in this office"?

18 Is that the nub of the assessment, as you saw it?

19 A. I wouldn't say it is the nub. That was confirmation --

20 it was confirmation to me in writing that what he had

21 already told me, "Look, we know nothing". But the

22 publicity that she had drawn on herself certainly was

23 significant.

24 Now, in hindsight, looking back, it didn't occur to

25 me, you know, that -- that bringing attention to

 

 

84

 

1 herself, that she would be murdered. That really wasn't

2 the only thing. I had more than that in mind. The

3 whole business of it would have drawn in more than her.

4 It would have drawn in police officers, it would have

5 drawn in the whole terrorist situation really. But if

6 you are suggesting that this piece, that we have no

7 information, is the nub of it and, therefore, it is

8 unnecessary to do anything, if that is what you are

9 saying, no, that's not right.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 A. If it is -- what I am saying is that we don't have any

12 specific information to do something specific, but we

13 accept that, you know, there is a risk. But what can we

14 do about it? And what do we do about it? As you can

15 see, the only thing that we could do about it was pay

16 attention to it.

17 Q. Do you have any recollection, any actual recollection

18 now, of discussing this assessment with this officer?

19 A. If you mean on a certain time and date, in a certain

20 office, no, but I certainly do recall discussing with

21 him -- what I do really recall is saying, "Look, you

22 must know something, what do you know?" You know, there

23 are times I would come down personal and say, "Look, you

24 are a Special Branch officer, you must know something,

25 what do you know?" It was like that, a determination to

 

 

85

 

1 do something. And he said -- and I know he was genuine,

2 "Look," he says, "if there was anything, I would tell

3 you."

4 Q. Do you think that conversation may have happened before

5 or after you got this assessment?

6 A. There were dozens and dozens of those conversations many,

7 many times.

8 Q. On this topic, on Rosemary Nelson?

9 A. On Rosemary Nelson and many others.

10 Q. You think there were many conversations, do you, about

11 this in relation specifically to Rosemary Nelson?

12 A. Often.

13 Q. Between you and this particular officer?

14 A. Any one of them, yes. Yes, all of them.

15 Q. So it was, as it were, a regular feature of your working

16 life that you would be raising questions or having

17 discussions about the question of threats and her

18 security at this time?

19 A. Yes. There were -- I'm trying to recall the name of the

20 meeting: the subdivisional action committee or something

21 it was called, and that is where a security briefing

22 would be given and you would get it there.

23 Q. And you think this was raised at such a meeting?

24 A. Of course it was.

25 Q. Were there minutes of meetings of that kind?

 

 

86

 

1 A. There were minutes of meetings of that kind. But the

2 minutes of the Special Branch report were not recorded.

3 But what I'm saying is I heard that, but in addition to

4 that, you could say I pinned down the SB officer

5 personally, to tell him, "Give me a steer". What

6 I wanted to know was "what can I do?" I was looking for

7 a steer, but he wasn't able to help me any further, none

8 of them.

9 Q. In relation to the discussion at the meetings you have

10 just mentioned, subdivisional action committee, I

11 think --

12 A. It was something like that, I forget the precise name.

13 Q. Forgive me because that is news to me. I just want to

14 ask you some questions and obviously you will be very

15 careful if we get into sensitive areas of intelligence,

16 for example.

17 But can you remember whether these discussions you

18 have now mentioned took place at this sort of time, in

19 1998, or are we talking 1997 as well?

20 A. Well, for as long as I can recall they took place.

21 Q. It would be a regular feature of such meetings,

22 would it?

23 A. A Special Branch briefing?

24 Q. Well, no, the sort of discussion you mentioned earlier,

25 i.e. that in meetings of this kind there would be

 

 

87

 

1 a discussion about Rosemary Nelson and her security

2 because that is, I thought, what you had said?

3 A. No, the topic -- one of the topics in the meeting was

4 the security situation. At that time -- when was it? --

5 1997, 1998 that we are referring to, that would have

6 been mentioned at it and an assessment would be given.

7 And the assessment was that they didn't have any

8 information on it. If it wasn't raised by them in their

9 report, they would be asked about it.

10 Q. Do you think that discussion would have been recorded in

11 minutes?

12 A. No, Special Branch assessments were not recorded in the

13 minutes.

14 Q. This isn't a question of the assessment but the

15 discussion at the meeting. Would that have been

16 recorded in any minutes?

17 A. No, it wouldn't.

18 Q. Is that because no minutes were kept of such meetings?

19 A. The minute book is there. The minute book of those

20 meetings.

21 Q. So it is not that the weren't minutes, it is that the

22 minutes wouldn't get into that sort of material?

23 A. No.

24 Q. I understand. Where would those meetings take place?

25 A. They would have taken place in the Subdivisional

 

 

88

 

1 Commander's office or in the Deputy Subdivisional

2 Commander's office.

3 Q. Who was responsible for taking the minutes?

4 A. The staff officer.

5 Q. Whose staff officer, please?

6 A. The Subdivisional Commander's staff officer. The

7 procedures changed from time to time. It may well have

8 been at a stage that it would have been the operational

9 planning sergeant took them. So it was either the

10 operational planning sergeant or the staff officer.

11 Q. Were the minutes kept there in Lurgan?

12 A. They were, yes.

13 Q. And whose custody were they under?

14 A. Well, they were under the staff officer's custody.

15 Q. Is there any reason you can think of why minutes of that

16 kind should not still exist in Lurgan?

17 A. They do exist, I'm sure they do.

18 Q. Dating back from this time, 1998?

19 A. They should do.

20 Q. Thank you. Can we see what happened with this

21 assessment; in other words, what you did with it?

22 Again, this you deal with in your witness statement.

23 We can see the document at RNI-101-204 (displayed).

24 Perhaps to help you, we could have on the right-hand

25 side of the page RNI-841-137 (displayed) because you

 

 

89

 

1 begin to talk about this in paragraph 14.

2 Now, you are addressing this to the Divisional

3 Commander and you refer to the Northern Ireland Office

4 correspondence and the original memo that had come down

5 the chain from Command Secretariat.

6 And you say:

7 "Police at Lurgan do not have any details of any

8 threat there may be against Rosemary Nelson nor do they

9 know the nature of or reasons for the deep concerns the

10 US Lawyers Alliance have about her safety."

11 That, by the way, was a phrase that was used in the

12 Northern Ireland Office letter?

13 A. I just haven't found that.

14 Q. Sorry, I'm looking at the document on the left-hand side

15 of the screen.

16 A. Sorry.

17 Q. That's all right.

18 A. Which paragraph?

19 Q. I began to read at the beginning and I was going to

20 carry on reading.

21 A. I was looking at the wrong one.

22 Q. That is absolutely fine. Do you see I have read to the

23 end of the second paragraph?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Then it says:

 

 

90

 

1 "The second paragraph of the correspondence ..."

2 That is the letter we looked at:

3 "... from the Northern Ireland Office refers to 'her

4 complaints about RUC threats'. I can confirm that no

5 such complaints have been made to police at Lurgan, but

6 perhaps this is reference to comments she made to the

7 press.

8 "If we are to advise Mrs Nelson in relation to her

9 personal security then we need to be in possession of

10 all the facts. At present, the only reliable

11 information is that contained in the attached threat

12 assessment from the Detective Sergeant, Special Branch

13 and I do not consider it sufficient to base personal

14 security advice on."

15 Then this:

16 "As a result of the Northern Ireland Office's

17 concerns passed on in May 1997, and again

18 in February 1998, police personnel in Lurgan have been

19 briefed as set out at Appendix B."

20 We will look at that in a minute:

21 "I recommend that the Northern Ireland Office and

22 the US Lawyers Alliance be asked to supply precise

23 details of any information in their possession about

24 Mrs Nelson so that it can be properly assessed and

25 appropriate security advice given to her if necessary."

 

 

91

 

1 Can I just ask you about various parts of your memo,

2 please? The first is in the third paragraph, where you

3 say, second sentence:

4 "I confirm that no such complaints have been made to

5 police at Lurgan, but perhaps this is a reference to

6 comments she made to the press."

7 Do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Now, surely the reference to complaints which was being

10 made was to the complaints we looked at a little earlier

11 and discussed a little earlier where Complaints and

12 Discipline officers were investigating allegations that

13 threats about her had been made to clients whilst in

14 custody?

15 A. Well, I think that's what I'm saying, isn't it?

16 Q. We have established that you were aware of those matters

17 by this stage, indeed you were aware of them the year

18 before. And isn't that what the Northern Ireland Office

19 were referring to?

20 A. I assume it was, yes.

21 Q. Now, what you say is:

22 "No complaints have been made ..."

23 To you. That is the local police?

24 A. That's right.

25 Q. So you were putting your sixpenny-worth in there, if I

 

 

92

 

1 can put it that way, but what did you mean by the next

2 comment?

3 A. Which comment?

4 Q. "... perhaps this is a reference to comments she made to

5 the press"?

6 A. Because those allegations were everywhere.

7 Q. So you thought the reference to her complaints about the

8 RUC was a reference to things she had said to the media;

9 is that right?

10 A. I don't know -- I can't recall writing it, but looking

11 at it now, what I seem to have in mind that -- what I'm

12 saying is that we didn't get any complaints directly in

13 here, but the complaints that are being referred to are

14 the complaints that have been voiced in the media and,

15 as you say, to the Northern Ireland Office.

16 Q. Can I ask you now about the second paragraph, where you

17 say:

18 "Police at Lurgan do not have any details of any

19 threat there may be against Rosemary Nelson"?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. What was the basis for that view or understanding on

22 your part?

23 A. Because we didn't have -- there are -- you know, we are

24 speaking about threats against her, the alleged threats,

25 from the US lawyers, from wherever, those ones that came

 

 

93

 

1 down from headquarters, but we didn't have any details

2 of it. It was simply saying "a threat against the life

3 of". But where is the detail in it? There is no --

4 nothing specific in it. You know, there is a threat

5 against so and so. It is of no value to do anything

6 about. Tell us what the details are of it and then we

7 can do something about it.

8 Q. And do you think you were influenced in making that

9 comment by the Special Branch officer's report in which

10 he said, if you remember:

11 "There is no record of the threat against

12 Rosemary Nelson held in this office"?

13 A. Absolutely, yes, obviously.

14 Q. So you had had a nil return from him?

15 A. I had a nil return everywhere I turned, yes.

16 Q. You then say in the fourth paragraph:

17 "If we are to advise Mrs Nelson in relation to her

18 personal security ..."

19 In a sense you are moving on to a slightly different

20 topic here, what you could do about it:

21 "... we need to be in possession of all the facts."

22 So can I ask you this question: Had you done

23 anything at this stage in March 1998 to elicit further

24 facts from Rosemary Nelson herself?

25 A. No, we hadn't, or I hadn't anyway.

 

 

94

 

1 Q. Or is your explanation for that the same explanation

2 that you gave when we were dealing with earlier matters

3 of the same kind?

4 A. Yes, I feel that I'm not getting across my whole feeling

5 and the feelings I had about it. At the time, you will

6 recall that there were many threats against many people.

7 Newspaper articles would say, "Police arrived at the

8 home of so and so and informed him of a complaint from

9 a Loyalist group" published in a newspaper.

10 There is no way I was going to go to a solicitor

11 with a half-baked story that there is a threat against

12 you, for that to appear in a newspaper and get somebody

13 killed as a result of it.

14 Q. But you see, this situation was not one where the

15 information was coming to you from a newspaper, was it?

16 It was coming to you, in fact, from the

17 Northern Ireland Office via Command Secretariat?

18 A. No, you misunderstand what I say. What I said is there

19 are examples of police going to individuals, giving them

20 a threat message, telling them that there is a threat

21 against you and then a report of police going and

22 delivering that appearing in a newspaper. To my mind,

23 totally irresponsible. That is one of the things. That

24 is yet another thing that crossed my mind.

25 Q. So did you think then that it was important to be very

 

 

95

 

1 cautious before raising the matter with Rosemary Nelson

2 herself, in case the fact that you had done so would

3 find its way into the newspaper?

4 A. That crossed my mind, yes.

5 Q. As part of her publicity campaign in order to undermine

6 the RUC?

7 A. You are emphasising to undermine the RUC. When you

8 mention it now, perhaps I did have that in my mind, but

9 what was uppermost in my mind, what really was in my

10 mind was I must not get somebody killed, I must do my

11 duty in protecting people. And you know, I don't like

12 to, you know, boast about it, but I feel tremendous

13 pride in what I have done. You know, there are families

14 now who have husbands, children, who would not have them

15 had it not been for what I did in relation to it.

16 When dealing with this, this is what I had in mind:

17 that no other family would be in such a horrific

18 position because of anything that I did or anything that

19 I failed to do.

20 Q. And, again, I appreciate the context, which is very

21 important, but again, looking at what you say there in

22 the fourth paragraph about needing to be in possession

23 of all the facts, do you see that:

24 "If we are to advise her, then we need to be in

25 possession of the facts."

 

 

96

 

1 Do you see that?

2 A. Yes:

3 "If we are to advise Mrs Nelson in relation to her

4 personal security, then we need to be in possession of

5 all the facts."

6 Absolutely.

7 Q. Can I take it, therefore, that the reason you didn't ask

8 her for more facts is the reason that you have just

9 given?

10 A. That was -- that was part of it, but it wouldn't -- this

11 was being dealt with from Command Secretariat.

12 Q. Indeed.

13 A. It wouldn't be my position to jump in and deal with it

14 without consultation with Command Secretariat, the

15 Chief Constable's office.

16 Q. Did you raise the question of speaking to her with

17 Command Secretariat?

18 A. No, I didn't.

19 Q. Did you raise it with any superior officer?

20 A. I probably did because this was discussed at great

21 length on many occasions. What are we doing? What else

22 can we do? Was this done? Was that done? I don't

23 recall now what we said, but I know it was gone through

24 with great thinking and reasoning.

25 Q. You see, in the other cases we looked at yesterday, you

 

 

97

 

1 were writing memos seeking guidance?

2 A. Yes, well, this is the same thing.

3 Q. Are you seeking guidance --

4 A. Well, if you read the paragraph, what I'm saying is:

5 "If we are to advise in relation to her personal

6 security, we need to be in possession of all the facts.

7 At present, the only information is contained in the

8 attached threat assessment ... Special Branch and

9 I don't consider it sufficient to give specialist on."

10 In other words, if I'm going to give it, tell me

11 what to tell her.

12 Q. As I understand it, what you are asking for at the end

13 or suggesting is that further particulars, more detail,

14 be sought from the NIO and the Lawyers Alliance; is that

15 right?

16 A. I am the Deputy Subdivisional Commander suggesting it to

17 them. No doubt they have already considered all that.

18 Q. But you weren't so much seeking guidance as suggesting

19 to them what needed next to be done?

20 A. You could read it that way.

21 Q. Thank you. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. 2 o'clock.

23 (1.02 pm)

24 (The short adjournment)

25 (2.00 pm)

 

 

98

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

2 MR PHILLIPS: Mr McMullen, can we look again, please, at

3 RNI-101-204 (displayed)? Remember, this is the document

4 we were looking at before lunch, 11 March, your

5 memorandum to the Divisional Commander.

6 Now, I wanted to ask you this: In relation to

7 earlier incidents, we have discussed together the case

8 of individuals, whether solicitors or not, who were

9 prepared to come in and tell you about concerns or raise

10 issues with you or ring you up about it, the contrast

11 between them and the way Rosemary Nelson did her

12 business, in your view.

13 So I would like to look with you, if I may, please,

14 at your statement where this topic comes up. Perhaps we

15 could have that on the right-hand side of the screen at

16 RNI-841-039 (displayed).

17 It is a paragraph I think we have looked at before

18 about the number of people who came in to see you in

19 relation to threats. Do you see?

20 A. Yes, 19.

21 Q. Paragraph 19, yes. And you give an example there, which

22 we will come back to briefly in a minute, of a local

23 councillor, and then you make the point that neither

24 Mrs Nelson nor anyone else did this in relation to her

25 case; in other words, came in to discuss the issue of

 

 

99

 

1 personal security. Do you see that passage?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. You say:

4 "This left the police in dark as, firstly, they had

5 no idea of what threat there may be against her, and

6 secondly, could offer her no practical advice."

7 Then you make two comments:

8 "It has been put to me by Eversheds that one reason

9 why Mrs Nelson may not have attended the police station

10 to discuss her personal security was that she felt under

11 threat from the security forces. I have been asked to

12 comment on this. In my view, that kind of sentiment is

13 absolutely rubbish."

14 Do you see that?

15 A. Yes, I do.

16 Q. Now, can I just explore that a little bit with you?

17 Assume for an example that an individual is being

18 threatened by a police officer based in the local police

19 station, in this hypothetical case. Assume that is

20 happening.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Then it is unlikely, isn't it, that that person would

23 choose to come into the same station to discuss their

24 concerns with officers based in the same place?

25 A. I would think the first port of call would be in to see

 

 

100

 

1 the person in charge.

2 Q. In other words, to raise it with the superior officer?

3 A. Absolutely.

4 Q. Is that right?

5 A. Absolutely.

6 Q. And to, in that way, ensure that something was done

7 about it?

8 A. Absolutely.

9 Q. Thank you. Can you remember any example of that kind

10 happening to you during your time and service in Lurgan?

11 A. I can't recall a specific incident of a -- I do recall

12 meeting some businessmen who would say they were stopped

13 by a police patrol or something and an officer "didn't

14 have a great attitude with me".

15 Q. A complaint really about civility?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. That is a rather lower level type of complaint?

18 A. It is -- it certainly is.

19 Q. Not the sort of thing we are dealing with here?

20 A. No.

21 Q. So you can't think of an example such as this?

22 A. No, I can't.

23 Q. No. But can you understand how in circumstances where

24 the threat is coming from the very station in question,

25 there might be a reluctance to enter that station to

 

 

101

 

1 raise the matter even if it is with a senior officer?

2 A. No.

3 Q. You can't?

4 A. This was a solicitor, and a solicitor, you know, would

5 have a different attitude, a different standing than an

6 ordinary member of the public.

7 You know, if you take that, why then didn't you ring

8 the Divisional Commander over on Mahon Road, go and see

9 him there? Why didn't you call in and see the

10 Chief Constable?

11 Q. In other words, there were options for her above your

12 local subdivision; she could have taken it higher up the

13 RUC hierarchy?

14 A. That's right.

15 Q. But as I understand it, however it was done, the key

16 here -- and looking back in your statement -- was that

17 without information, without further information, you

18 were left, as you put it, in the dark?

19 A. Yes, I didn't know what to do.

20 Q. And the particular suggestion that you made -- and it is

21 still on the left-hand side of the screen, bottom

22 paragraph -- was that more information should be

23 obtained, not from her, directly, anyway, but from the

24 NIO and the Lawyers Alliance, the people who are raising

25 the question?

 

 

102

 

1 A. Yes, that's what I said there.

2 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you to look at the paragraph above

3 that on the left-hand side of the page, and the

4 reference there to Appendix B? Do you see that?

5 A. I'm just reading it, yes. (Pause)

6 Yes.

7 Q. "Police personnel in Lurgan have been briefed, as set

8 out at Appendix b."

9 I would like to look at Appendix B with you, please.

10 We can see it at RNI-101-205 (displayed):

11 "Rosemary Nelson. Solicitor.

12 "American lawyers and pressure groups have raised

13 concerns at the NIO in relation to the person safety of

14 Rosemary Nelson, solicitor.

15 "The gist of these concerns seems to be that they

16 believe her to be under threat from Loyalist

17 paramilitaries due to her high profile involvement in

18 a number of well publicised court cases involving

19 suspected Republican terrorists.

20 "Although no reports have been received from any

21 source threatening Rosemary Nelson and no intelligence

22 exists indicating an actual threat, it is important in

23 view of the concerns raised with the NIO, that attention

24 is given to Rosemary Nelson's office in William Street,

25 Lurgan and her home address at 3 Rosemount, Lurgan."

 

 

103

 

1 Can I start at the very beginning with this simple

2 question: what is Appendix B?

3 A. Well, Appendix B seems to me to be a copy of -- from the

4 threat register or threat log, as it is called.

5 Q. So the first thing to ask you arising out of that: in

6 your statement you use the expression "threat register"?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Do you mean by that the same document that you described

9 for us yesterday as a "threat log"?

10 A. Yes, they are one and the same thing, really.

11 Q. Thank you.

12 A. I forget now whether it was called a threat register or

13 a threat log.

14 Q. Now, when you were talking to us about it yesterday, you

15 describe how entries, typed entries, were sometimes

16 pasted into the book with details of the relevant

17 threats?

18 A. Yes, that is my recollection of it, yes.

19 Q. So when you say it looks like an entry from the threat

20 register or threat log, is that the sort of thing you

21 are talking about?

22 A. That's right, yes, that's right.

23 Q. Who wrote it?

24 A. Well, I don't know who wrote it, but it would be my

25 belief that it would be somebody in Special Branch

 

 

104

 

1 wrote it.

2 Q. So are you sure in your own mind that you did not

3 write it?

4 A. No, I didn't write it, no. I didn't word anything that

5 went into the threat register or log. As I said

6 yesterday, the document was brought to me and it was

7 shown to me by an officer from Special Branch. It was

8 shown either to me or the Subdivisional Commander or

9 both of us in some cases, and then it was put into the

10 threat register if it hadn't already been put into it.

11 Q. So as I understand it, what you are doing is to say this

12 looks like a typed entry from the threat log?

13 A. Yes, it does.

14 Q. And what would have happened with such an entry is that

15 I or my boss would have been shown it by Special Branch

16 and then it would have been pasted into the threat log.

17 Have I understood that correctly?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Because so far as the orders that were necessary for the

20 police officers on the ground, those orders would have

21 to come from you or your superior, wouldn't they, rather

22 than from Special Branch, for example?

23 A. Oh, yes, that's right, yes.

24 Q. And the briefing that would have been done, you say in

25 your memorandum that police personnel in Lurgan have

 

 

105

 

1 been briefed, that would have been a briefing conducted

2 by somebody in command at Lurgan rather than by

3 Special Branch?

4 A. It would have been by a duty inspector or a duty

5 sergeant.

6 Q. So in any event, on your interpretation of the matter,

7 we can expect this text to have been pasted in to the

8 Lurgan threat log, can we?

9 A. It certainly was.

10 Q. Was there also something kept at Lurgan known as

11 a "briefing book"?

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. What was that, please?

14 A. That was a book that contained all the information that

15 a police officer going out -- that a uniformed police

16 officer going out on duty should be aware of.

17 Q. So would it, for example, in this particular case have

18 contained an order to give attention to

19 Rosemary Nelson's office and home address?

20 A. It would, which may well have been exactly the same as

21 you see on the screen.

22 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't understand that?

23 A. Which may well have been simply a copy of what you see

24 on the screen.

25 Q. So you think a copy of this might also have been put

 

 

106

 

1 into the briefing book?

2 A. Yes, it would have been copied -- it would have been

3 stuck in as a photocopy or it could have been written in

4 by hand.

5 Q. But presumably in the briefing book were a whole series

6 of entries, some of which had nothing to do with threats

7 at all?

8 A. Oh, yes.

9 Q. So that was directed to people who were going to be in

10 and around Lurgan, officers obviously, in and around

11 Lurgan during the day and who had custody of it, the

12 briefing book, I mean?

13 A. The briefing book? I have forgotten exactly where the

14 briefing book was kept. It was somewhere that the duty

15 inspector had easy access to. It may well have been in

16 the custody of the duty inspector. I just don't recall

17 at this stage who had permanent custody of it.

18 Q. As I understand it, from what you are saying it would

19 have been the duty inspector's job to tell local police

20 officers to act in accordance with this; in other words,

21 to keep attention on the office and the home address?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. And with an instruction such as this, how would you

24 ensure that it was complied with?

25 A. Well, the duty inspector would check on it from time to

 

 

107

 

1 time, that it was being done.

2 Q. So it would be repeated in briefings from time to time,

3 would it?

4 A. It would be repeated in briefings -- well, if you take,

5 for example, the camera monitors, when the duty sergeant

6 or duty inspector would visit it, he would look at the

7 screen, he would say to the officers, "Have you seen

8 anything?" or "Show me what you can see". On rare

9 occasions I did that myself even, went into -- maybe not

10 that rare occasion. Occasionally, I went in to let them

11 know that they were doing a good job and that I was

12 interested in them. The sort thing I would say, "Show

13 me what you can see, show me what you are doing, show me

14 what you think is suspicious." I might have

15 a conversation with them for five/ten minutes.

16 Q. So that you would, as it were, from time to time be

17 checking up to make sure that they were acting as they

18 had been instructed?

19 A. Yes, I did.

20 Q. So, so that we have this very clearly from you, you

21 would expect this text to have appeared both in the

22 threat log and also in the briefing book?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. (Pause) The difficulty we have -- I'm sorry to hold

25 you there -- is that there is some confusion as to what

 

 

108

 

1 remains and what has been lost so far as Lurgan and the

2 briefing book or threat log is concerned.

3 In your mind, though, we are talking about two

4 different types of book: the threat log on the one hand

5 and the briefing book on the other, and you are sure

6 about that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And equally sure that this text would have been pasted

9 or appear in both of them?

10 A. Yes, I do. That's right, yes.

11 Q. If it transpired that those books, the threat log and

12 the briefing book, the relevant books for this

13 period, March 1998, were recovered, the Inquiry

14 eventually managed to get hold of them, would you be

15 surprised if this text in March 1998 didn't appear?

16 A. I would be totally surprised.

17 Q. Because it should have done?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. In both cases?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, as you have explained to us before, one

22 of the things you were trying to do was to see what it

23 was exactly that you could do to help, and the only

24 thing, as you put it before lunch, was to keep an eye,

25 to keep the premises under some sort of watch. Do you

 

 

109

 

1 see that? And presumably that was something that you

2 wanted to do in order to do what you could on the

3 limited information you had to look out for

4 Rosemary Nelson's security and personal safety?

5 A. That's right.

6 Q. Can I ask you a question about the date of this

7 document? Can we have on the screen be, please,

8 RNI-101-204 (displayed) on the right-hand side? Can we

9 have RNI-101-204 and RNI-101-205 on the screen, please

10 (displayed)? Thank you.

11 Do you see the penultimate paragraph of RNI-101-204

12 says -- you are saying it:

13 "Police personnel in Lurgan have been briefed as set

14 out in Appendix B."

15 The way I read that -- and I don't know whether you

16 agree -- is that this is a briefing that you had given

17 in March 1998 in accordance with the terms of the page

18 on the right-hand side. Is that how you read it?

19 A. I don't know what I had in mind, whether that was as

20 a result of the one in 1998. On the face of it, I would

21 have thought it was as a result of both of them -- maybe

22 stemming from 1997 -- but I'm not sure.

23 Q. So do you think it is possible then that such a note

24 came into existence and was in circulation in the two

25 books you have mentioned?

 

 

110

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. In the summer of 1997?

3 A. Well, if it wasn't that one, there was something

4 similar.

5 Q. You see, again, the difficulty here for us is we can

6 only do what we can with the documents we are given.

7 But certainly in the way the filing appears, there is no

8 indication, to the Inquiry at any rate, that this note

9 was in existence before March 1998. Are you sure that

10 it was created in May, or later in 1997?

11 A. No, I'm not sure. I don't know when it was created.

12 Q. Isn't it -- sorry?

13 A. I don't know when that specific one was created. It

14 could well have been in 1997, it might have been

15 a reissue of -- in 1998 of one that was in existence in

16 1997. I don't really know.

17 Q. But whenever it was created, presumably the important

18 thing so far as the action at the end of it was

19 concerned, the instructions to local police officers,

20 was that it should be specific and accurate?

21 A. That's right.

22 Q. If you look at the home address given there, you see it

23 is 3 Rosemount, Lurgan. Are you aware that, in fact,

24 from I think about 1994 that was no longer

25 Rosemary Nelson's home address?

 

 

111

 

1 A. Well, I know where Rosemary Nelson lived. I know the

2 location of it, but I don't know the address of it.

3 Q. Clearly it would be most unfortunate, wouldn't it, if

4 this instruction was given to local officers to keep an

5 eye on a home address and the wrong address for that

6 home was given?

7 A. It certainly would.

8 Q. Because they would then be keeping an eye on somebody

9 else's address?

10 A. That's right.

11 Q. Which would have no practical use whatsoever in terms of

12 dealing with the real person's security?

13 A. That's absolutely right.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 Can I ask you again, just drawing on your

16 experience, is it possible for you to say, assuming that

17 this was generated in about March 1998 -- for how long

18 officers would have been expected to keep these two

19 addresses under their attention?

20 A. In this case it would be a continuing one.

21 Q. So it could have gone on until further notice?

22 A. Absolutely.

23 Q. Months or years?

24 A. Months -- in this case years, yes.

25 Q. So if not corrected, the instruction could have stood

 

 

112

 

1 for months or years to look at the wrong address?

2 A. Well, on the face of it, that appears to be. Although

3 I do know that officers knew where she lived. I knew

4 where she lived and I could drive to it.

5 Q. But clearly, if this was in the briefing book and the

6 basis for the briefing of officers as they went about

7 their business, it is unfortunate, isn't it?

8 A. It certainly is.

9 Q. Now, can I just take you back briefly to the question of

10 the councillor we looked at in paragraph 19 of your

11 statement? That is at RNI-841-139 (displayed).

12 Just by way of preamble, you will see that no name

13 is given?

14 A. That's right.

15 Q. Thank you. You cite the councillor as an example of

16 somebody who did, in contrast to Rosemary Nelson,

17 discuss her personal security with you, and later in

18 your statement -- and if we can have on the screen,

19 please, page RNI-841-141 (displayed) -- you deal with

20 this in more detail.

21 Just take a little time to read that, please.

22 (Pause)

23 A. Is this the same councillor?

24 Q. It is. (Pause)

25 A. Yes.

 

 

113

 

1 Q. What I would like you to do, please, is to look with me

2 at the document that is referred to in that paragraph,

3 and it is at RNI-831-171 (displayed). You see it is

4 dated 26 May. So this is now after Rosemary Nelson's

5 murder. Your signature appears at the bottom left; do

6 you see?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And you are forwarding to D2 Branch, the Superintendent,

9 for his consideration, a memorandum to you -- or rather

10 to your boss -- from an acting inspector, which deals

11 with this very point about the councillor:

12 "On 24 May 1999, a letter was received at the

13 offices of R Nelson, solicitor which directly threatened

14 the life of ..."

15 Then "councillor":

16 "At 18.45 o the 24 May I informed [councillor] of

17 the threat and during conversation she disclosed that

18 she was under [the KPPS].

19 "Whilst Crime Prevention Office, Lurgan has

20 arrangements in hand to visit [councillor], it would be

21 in my opinion that any further security-related advice

22 be remitted as soon as possible to Superintendent, D2

23 Branch, Brooklyn, for a security survey to be

24 considered."

25 So it looks as though what you are being presented

 

 

114

 

1 with there by the Inspector was that as soon as the

2 letter, the threat, had been received by the solicitor's

3 firm and brought to the police's attention, he informed

4 the councillor of the threat and the crime prevention

5 officer made arrangements to pay a visit. And in

6 addition, the Inspector, or the acting inspector,

7 decided in his view that further advice was required and

8 it should be remitted to the specialists in the

9 Security Branch for their consideration.

10 So all of those steps are taken in relation to this

11 threat, direct threat letter.

12 Now, the point that was obviously raised with you in

13 your interview and which you deal with in paragraph 24,

14 is what are the differences in your view between this

15 situation and the situation you were faced with

16 in March 1998 in relation to Rosemary Nelson?

17 A. Well, the difference is absolutely clear. We had

18 something concrete here. The councillor was

19 cooperative. I don't know what the conversation was

20 between the crime prevention officer and the Inspector

21 with the councillor, but it seems that as a result they

22 were of the view that perhaps we could do more, hence

23 the reason for seeking further advice to see what more

24 could we do.

25 And that is the one that I think I am referring to

 

 

115

 

1 in my statement because I remember having a conversation

2 with that individual and the conversation went

3 something, "Oh, I had your people round with me today,"

4 and the individual was completely open with me and

5 discussed it. And I got a view of how concerned she was

6 about -- or the individual was concerned about it. So

7 it was a completely open, two-way conversation.

8 Q. Can I ask you this in relation to those various points

9 you have made: did you, in March 1998, or indeed at any

10 earlier stage, consider offering crime prevention advice

11 to Rosemary Nelson?

12 A. Me personally taking the decision to do it, no, I

13 wouldn't do that.

14 Q. Why is that?

15 A. The reason being is that this information came to the

16 Chief Constable. It was dealt with by the

17 Chief Constable's office and no doubt the

18 Chief Constable or his officers wouldn't be impressed

19 with somebody further down the line starting to deal

20 with something that was concerning them. I would take

21 my instructs from them.

22 If they -- if they had said to me, "Go and see

23 Rosemary Nelson and obtain the following information,"

24 then certainly I would have done it.

25 Q. That, of course, is the way it reached you

 

 

116

 

1 in March 1998, but what about in May 1997, where you

2 were notified of the issue and it was suggested to you

3 the Subdivisional Commander should consider what action

4 was appropriate by a superintendent in Complaints and

5 Discipline?

6 A. That is deciding what action is necessary.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Giving attention to it. But there again, I wouldn't

9 take the decision to, at the present, step in and go and

10 see her. I have already described the situation, what

11 it was like. To exacerbate it and perhaps be quoted out

12 of context would create an even worse situation and

13 a more volatile situation than already existed.

14 Q. That suggests that one of the big differences in your

15 mind, as you look at it now, is that with the

16 councillor, as you say, she was the kind of individual

17 who laid her cards down on the table, whereas with

18 Rosemary Nelson you might expect a completely different

19 reaction?

20 A. She wasn't telling us the specific details of it.

21 Q. Can we look together at a paragraph you have referred to

22 before, and we have looked at, which is at RNI-841-137

23 of your statement (displayed)?

24 I'm sorry, it is the wrong paragraph 13. Can we

25 look at paragraph 13 of your second statement? That is

 

 

117

 

1 RNI-841-142.502 (displayed), paragraph 13. Do you see,

2 it is the point you have made already, that advising an

3 individual that he or she was under threat is

4 a traumatic experience; do you see that?

5 A. I do, yes.

6 Q. I think the word you use in your earlier statement is

7 "shattering"?

8 A. Yes, that's right.

9 Q. "It would only be done if one was sure that they were

10 under threat."

11 I want to ask you, would you ever have sent officers

12 to visit and give advice to a person if there was no

13 specific threat to them known to the police?

14 A. I'm not sure that I fully understand what you are

15 saying. If we had some vague type of threat, you mean?

16 Q. No, what I was asking you is this: If you were notified

17 of a specific threat, would you have taken the sort of

18 actions we discussed earlier today, including perhaps

19 paying a visit to the person being threatened?

20 A. That's possible.

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. But if I received a threat -- now, are you saying

23 a threat from somebody -- a member of the public coming

24 in and --

25 Q. Yes, it could be any sort of threat.

 

 

118

 

1 A. As I explained, that would go to Special Branch for an

2 assessment. When I got their assessment, then I would

3 go. If they said to me, "Yes, there is a threat, they

4 are in danger", whatever it is, they would be informed

5 of it.

6 Q. What I'm trying to find out is what the distinction is

7 and is it that in the case of Rosemary Nelson you didn't

8 know of any specific threat?

9 A. That is right.

10 Q. Is that right?

11 A. That is right.

12 Q. That is the difference? And, therefore, the question

13 I originally put to you is would you only send police

14 officers out in these sort of circumstances to give

15 advice to a person if there was a specific threat?

16 A. Yes, if we knew what we were talking about, yes.

17 Q. In this paragraph you raise another point, in

18 paragraph 13, you say:

19 "It would be particularly difficult if, as in

20 Mrs Nelson's case, the individual concerned was likely

21 to be hostile."

22 A. Yes, that's right.

23 Q. Now, if you had notice of a specific threat, then surely

24 it didn't matter at all whether the individual was

25 likely to be hostile, you had a job to do?

 

 

119

 

1 A. Absolutely right, and many times it was done, I might

2 add.

3 Q. But do you think that that sort of consideration weighed

4 in your mind in this particular case, in dealing with

5 Rosemary Nelson, the fact that she was likely to be

6 hostile?

7 A. What we had -- first of all, to go to her, I have got to

8 have something to tell her. I did not have anything

9 specific to tell her. She would be asking me or the

10 officer I sent. So what am I going to tell her? Are

11 they going to tell her, "We have had letters from

12 American lawyers and we have had your correspondence to

13 the Northern Ireland Office?" She already knows that.

14 What is the point? If she asks then, "What is the point

15 in you coming here?" what is the answer? There is no

16 point. We would be there simply telling her something

17 she already knew, that she obviously knew more about --

18 or it appears to me knew more about than we knew about.

19 Q. So does it come to this: that you took a judgment that

20 that was the situation you were in at these various

21 points, in May and October and in the summer and then in

22 the October of 1997, and then again in March 1998, and

23 decided not to seek further information from

24 Rosemary Nelson?

25 A. I wouldn't take the decision on my own to go to see

 

 

120

 

1 Rosemary. It would be done in consultation with the

2 different departments we have already discussed. As

3 a result of what they told me then, if they said to me,

4 "Here is the threat, here is the danger," then the

5 person would be seen by probably an inspector.

6 Q. Whether or not there was a concern about subsequent

7 publicity, whether or not there was a concern about

8 hostility?

9 A. That is right, and if the register is checked, it will

10 be seen that there are a number of people that fall into

11 that category. And this morning I mentioned, you know,

12 on occasions when police delivered a threat message to

13 an individual, that was reported in the press that at

14 12.30 on such a date, police officers called at the home

15 of so and so to deliver a threat against his life

16 emanating from Loyalist paramilitaries, whatever. But

17 there were a number of those.

18 Q. You nevertheless made the call, passed on the

19 information?

20 A. Absolutely.

21 Q. Mr McMullen, that is the end of the questions I had for

22 you, unless there is any matter that you would like to

23 raise with the inquiry Panel at this stage?

24 A. There are no questions I want to raise, no.

25 Q. Thank you.

 

 

121

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr McMullen, thank you very much for coming

2 to give evidence before us. You may go now, thank you.

3 We will rise now for a quarter of an hour until five

4 to three.

5 (2.39 pm)

6 (Short break)

7 (3.04 pm)

8 MISS GERALYN MCNALLY (affirmed)

9 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

10 MR PHILLIPS: Miss McNally can you give us your full name,

11 please?

12 A. Geralyn Bridget McNally.

13 Q. I think you have made a single statement to the Inquiry;

14 is that right?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Can we have it up on the screen, please, at RNI-813-811

17 (displayed)? Do we see your signature at RNI-813-860

18 (displayed) and the date of 24 June this year?

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

20 Q. I would like you to start for me at the beginning,

21 please, and the page we now have back on the screen. We

22 can see from early part of your statement that you were

23 appointed to the ICPC in 1997?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What I would like to ask you to do for me, please, is to

 

 

122

 

1 briefly outline your career path to at that date?

2 A. I see. As I have indicated, I graduated from Queen's in

3 1992 with my primary law degree and proceeded then to

4 take a Masters in European law at UCD in Dublin.

5 I decided to return to Belfast and I was admitted to the

6 Bar of Northern Ireland in September 1994 and

7 I practised as a barrister until 2002. That coincided

8 with starting a family and that is when I stepped back

9 from practice.

10 I held membership, and continue to, of the King's

11 Inn Bar of Ireland. I took that up in October 1998 and

12 still retain associate membership of the Bar library in

13 Belfast.

14 Q. Can I ask you, please, what sort of practice did you

15 have at the Bar?

16 A. I think in the early stages, like most young

17 practitioners, it was a mixed bag really. I suppose

18 I mainly had a slant towards criminal law. I did some

19 bankruptcy and insolvency work and, reluctantly, some

20 family law.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: I think perhaps could you speak, if you can,

22 a little more slowly so the stenographer can keep up.

23 A. Sorry about that, yes, certainly.

24 MR PHILLIPS: Can we look, please, together at RNI-813-812,

25 which is paragraph 3 (displayed), where you deal with

 

 

123

 

1 your appointment. That came in March 1997, as you say.

2 As I understand it, you had been a practising

3 barrister by that stage for about three years?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. Can I ask you, what was it about that role, membership

6 of the ICPC, that attracted you?

7 A. That's a good question. I suppose on two fronts.

8 Primarily, I was interested in the post because it was

9 of a public service nature and I suppose in a practical

10 way to supplement my income as a young practitioner at

11 the Bar.

12 Q. As I understand, it was a part-time but salaried post?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. So you had, in that sense, the certainty of that income?

15 A. That's right. Just to be clear about that, when

16 I started I was employed on one day a week, but that was

17 up to two days a week after a certain time in the post.

18 Q. Again, in your own words, please, as a member of the

19 ICPC what was your role?

20 A. My role was, I suppose, twofold. First was to act as

21 a supervisor of complaints investigations, and secondly

22 to deal with any ensuing disciplinary matters arising

23 out of those complaints investigations.

24 Q. Now, in addition to this part-time job, if I can put it

25 that way, first for one day and then increasing, did you

 

 

124

 

1 have any other part-time employment in addition to your

2 self-employment at the Bar?

3 A. Yes, I had some part-time lecturing commitments, both at

4 the University of Ulster at Coleraine and latterly at

5 Belfast Institute of Higher Education.

6 Q. Thank you. What was your subject?

7 A. Criminal law and company law.

8 Q. In relation to other aspects of law, you tell us in

9 paragraph 5 that you have always had an interest in

10 human rights issues. Can I infer from that that you

11 have an interest in human rights law?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. And was that aspect of your work, of the

14 work with the ICPC, something that interested you?

15 A. Most definitely, yes.

16 Q. You tell us in that same paragraph that you had interest

17 in groups -- this is the penultimate sentence of this

18 page -- and you name Amnesty International?

19 A. Hm-mm.

20 Q. And you say that you held the position of Vice Chair of

21 Amnesty's lawyers group at the time?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can you help me, was that the local --

24 A. That was --

25 Q. -- Lawyers Group in Northern Ireland?

 

 

125

 

1 A. It was, that was the Northern Ireland group. I had

2 actually taken over that position from another legal

3 colleague who stepped down, and I took over her role.

4 I was just going to expand on that and say that the

5 lawyers group was basically interested in issues outside

6 of Northern Ireland in terms of practical application.

7 So there was a no home rule, if you like. We would have

8 letter writing campaigns, for example, in relation to

9 alleged breaches of human rights in other countries, but

10 not in Northern Ireland itself.

11 Q. I see. Well, you will understand that this later became

12 a point of contention, your connection with

13 Amnesty International, so I want to ask you some

14 questions about it.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. As I understand it, therefore, the local branch, the

17 Northern Ireland branch of the Lawyers Group concerned

18 itself with cases, issues outside of Northern Ireland?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And took no part in campaigns or letter writing in

21 relation to local issues; is that right?

22 A. That's absolutely correct, yes.

23 Q. And this was a post you held, was it, at the time of

24 your appointment in March 1997?

25 A. It was, and I confirmed all my outside interests in the

 

 

126

 

1 appointing committee.

2 Q. So you disclosed it in the process of appointment, did

3 you?

4 A. Absolutely. I think on reflection it may have been one

5 of the grounds for my appointment because I was quite

6 young at the time, and I think it was definitely -- it

7 ticked one box, let's put it like that.

8 Q. Can you help me with that? Why do you think that might

9 have advanced your candidacy?

10 A. I think an interest in human rights issues was pertinent

11 to the post I was appointed to. What I was looking at

12 and supervising were allegations of breaches of

13 individuals' rights in terms of the substance of

14 complaints, so I think it would have been very relevant.

15 Q. Amnesty as an organisation more generally did, as we

16 know from the documents, take it interest and, indeed,

17 get itself involved in campaigns to do with

18 Northern Ireland questions, didn't it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. That, presumably, was something you knew as a result of

21 your membership in 1997?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, so far as that was concerned, there were specific

24 letter writing initiatives later that year, in 1997, in

25 relation, for example, in the Colin Duffy case, weren't

 

 

127

 

1 there?

2 A. Yes, I have been provided with those today.

3 Q. Thank you. I would just like you to look at those

4 letters so we can deal with this issue together. The

5 first is at RNI-101-084 (displayed), and it is dated

6 21 August 1997?

7 A. Yes, I see that.

8 Q. It is a letter to the Secretary of State, and if you

9 turn over, please, to RNI-101-086 (displayed), you will

10 see the signatory, although I think in our system his or

11 her name has been redacted. But it comes from the

12 Secretary General. Where was that official based, do

13 you know?

14 A. I can't say with certainty. My instinct is London, but

15 I can't say for certainty.

16 Q. Let's look together at RNI-101-084 and the bottom of the

17 page.

18 A. Yes. Oh, I see.

19 Q. Do you see, it looks as though it came from an address

20 in WC1?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you questions about this stage, in

23 other words, after your appointment, because clearly the

24 issue dealt with in this letter -- and thank you for

25 indicating you have had a chance to consider it --

 

 

128

 

1 related to Colin Duffy's arrest and subsequent treatment

2 and, indeed, to allegations made about the treatment of

3 his solicitor, Rosemary Nelson.

4 Now, were you aware that Amnesty, the organisation,

5 was involved in that campaign at the time you became

6 involved with the complaints in the summer of 1997?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Had you known of that involvement of the organisation,

9 what would your attitude have been to your involvement

10 as supervising member with those complaints?

11 A. I personally would not have felt, and still do not feel,

12 that there would have been a conflict of interest on my

13 part.

14 Q. How would you have dealt with it then?

15 A. I would have made a decision whether or not to supervise

16 under the confines of the legislation at the time.

17 Q. Is it something that you would have consulted on with

18 others at the Commission?

19 A. No. In short, no.

20 Q. It is not something you would have felt the need to

21 disclose at that stage?

22 A. No, no.

23 Q. And again, I realise this is a hypothetical question,

24 but can you explain briefly why you would have reached

25 your own decision in that way?

 

 

129

 

1 A. Well, to repeat, my involvement with Amnesty Lawyers

2 Group Northern Ireland was dealing with non-home issues,

3 issues outside of Northern Ireland, so there would have

4 been no overlap or conflict in my mind. Does that

5 answer your question?

6 Q. It does, thank you very much.

7 So far as other questions of conflict, help me with

8 this, please: as a practising barrister, presumably

9 there were cases which came to you for your involvement

10 as a member of the Commission where you would recognise

11 the name, for example, of the complainant?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What was your approach to those?

14 A. That is a very clear conflict of interest and I would

15 immediately have passed the matter to another member.

16 Q. And you say that for us in paragraph 11 of your

17 statement at RNI-813-814 (displayed), if you could just

18 look at that, please?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. That's RNI-813-814 (displayed). Thank you.

21 A. Paragraph 11? Yes.

22 Q. Yes. You say:

23 "If I recognised the complainant's name, I would

24 immediately pass the file to another member"?

25 A. That's correct, yes.

 

 

130

 

1 Q. I wanted to ask you this question. What if you had

2 a file passed to you and you recognised not the

3 complainant's name, but the solicitor's name, the

4 solicitor acting on behalf of the complainant, say?

5 What was your approach to cases of that kind?

6 A. Are you asking me if I recognised the name or if I would

7 have had professional contact with the solicitor,

8 hypothetically?

9 Q. Start with the first one and then proceed to the second?

10 A. There is a huge difference between recognising

11 a practitioner's name and having professional contact

12 with them.

13 Q. Indeed. How would your own approach with them differ?

14 A. If I had been either briefed by or had legal contact

15 with the practitioner, then it would not have been

16 appropriate for me to deal with the case.

17 Q. But the fact that the name was itself familiar didn't

18 alter the position one way or the other?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Thank you. On that specific question, you say in the

21 next paragraph:

22 "I had never worked with Rosemary Nelson during my

23 legal career, and so when a complaint which concerned her

24 came in and was handed to me, I saw no reason why

25 I shouldn't supervise it."

 

 

131

 

1 Using the two categories we looked at earlier, so

2 she would be a name that you would know and recognise,

3 but not somebody for whom you had worked; is that right?

4 A. I can't say with certainty that I had actually heard of

5 Mrs Nelson's name at that point, but she was not someone

6 who had briefed me or that I had worked with, yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Finally on these sort of general questions,

8 can I ask you about the Joseph Rowntree Trust, please?

9 You refer to that earlier in your statement at the very

10 end of page RNI-813-811 (displayed). You say -- last

11 two words:

12 "I have also sat as an Ireland committee member of

13 the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust since 2001"?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. To be clear about that again, please, that was an

16 involvement which began after you had ceased to be

17 a member of the Commission; is that correct?

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

19 Q. And as I understand it -- well, please tell me: did you

20 have any involvement with that organisation whilst you

21 were a member of the Commission?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 A. I'm coming to the end of my term of office next month,

25 in fact. So that would be six years.

 

 

132

 

1 Q. Thank you. Now, what I would like now to turn to with

2 your help is to some questions for you about the

3 Commission, the ICPC itself.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. It is difficult from the documents to get a sense of the

6 size of the organisation. First of all, how many

7 members were there when you were in post?

8 A. There were six or seven from memory, and then on top of

9 that the Commission Chairman with administrative staff

10 and the Chief Executive.

11 Q. And in terms of staff, how many of them?

12 A. I can't say with certainty.

13 Q. Hundreds?

14 A. No, no, 10/15 maximum.

15 Q. Thank you. In relation to your own work, we see in the

16 files, in our documents, many references to a particular

17 employee who seems to have dealt with your cases for the

18 most part?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Did you have a member of the administrative staff

21 assigned to you?

22 A. No. I think you are referring to Jennifer Mitchell?

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. Jennifer was one of the employees assigned to me. When

25 I say that, she would have dealt with, at an

 

 

133

 

1 administrative level, cases and then I was asked whether

2 I wanted to supervise her, or otherwise various

3 complaints. But she was just one of a number of staff

4 that I worked closely with. Her name appears more

5 frequently obviously because she was dealing with these

6 particular complaints.

7 Q. In a moment I'm going to ask you to take us through just

8 an example of how the files worked, which I think will

9 help everybody to understand the many documents --

10 A. Okay.

11 Q. -- we have. But before that, can I just ask you about

12 your workload.

13 Again, I appreciate I'm asking you to make a guess

14 or a generalisation, but when you first started and you

15 were doing one day a week, how many cases would you have

16 ongoing in an average week?

17 A. Well, that is difficult to answer, but it -- I really

18 can't answer that specifically. I mean, in my time at

19 the Commission, I dealt with, I think, over 100

20 supervised cases, but there were other cases that

21 weren't supervised that I would have dealt with in terms

22 of paperwork, admin, having to deal with those in that

23 way.

24 So I think at the early stages obviously the flow of

25 complaints that I was dealing with would not have been

 

 

134

 

1 as numerous as at later stages, I think that is the best

2 way to put it.

3 Q. So your workload built up?

4 A. It did, yes.

5 Q. Was that as a result of your simply being there more,

6 i.e. spending more days a week there, or was it, as it

7 were, as you became more experienced, your workload was

8 increased; in other words, you were allocated more work?

9 A. No, I think it was due to the second day that

10 I committed.

11 Q. And so in terms of the administration, sending out of

12 correspondence, making of arrangements, et cetera, for

13 interviewing and other matters, were those dealt with by

14 the administrative staff?

15 A. Yes, in the norm, yes.

16 Q. I would like to you turn, please, later on in your

17 statement to paragraph 33, where you talk in a little

18 more detail about your role, and that is at RNI-813-820

19 (displayed).

20 Now, you make this comment in the context of your

21 narrative of all the various complaints. I don't want

22 to get into that at the moment. But you talk there

23 about your role and you say:

24 "My role is to ensure that each case was

25 investigated thoroughly and each complaint was judged on

 

 

135

 

1 its own merits. Each part of the jigsaw had to be

2 viewed separately. It was not for me to identify

3 patterns of cross complaints or express an overall view.

4 Nor was it for me to decide if the allegations made

5 against the RUC had been substantiated or not."

6 Then the final sentence, you see:

7 "My remit was simply to supervise the investigations

8 to ensure that they were properly conducted."

9 There are various points that come out of that.

10 First of all, as I understand it, what you are telling

11 us is that your job had to be undertaken on

12 a case-by-case basis?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. It was not your job to stand back and reach a view about

15 trends of complaints or, on the other hand, trends of

16 police conduct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Was there anybody at the Commission who was charged with

19 that more general role?

20 A. There were certainly within the staff -- I suppose part

21 of the Chairman's remit would have been to engage in

22 that type of investigation, if you like. But my role

23 was a statutory role, obviously. So I had a clear

24 statutory duty to supervise the investigations as set

25 out in the Police (Northern Ireland) Order 1987.

 

 

136

 

1 Q. Yes. And that was a role, as I understand it, where

2 there were, as you said, between six and seven people

3 fulfilling that sort of role at the Commission?

4 A. Yes, part-time members.

5 Q. Part-time members, thank you. And above them, the

6 Chairman?

7 A. Yes, there was one full-time Commission member and above

8 him, the Chairman.

9 Q. Thank you. You say in your statement, I think, that

10 there were two legally qualified members. Is that

11 right? Of whom you were one?

12 A. In my time in office, yes, I think before I came to the

13 position, the Chairman, as far as I know, had a legal

14 background.

15 Q. But at the time with which we are concerned, beginning

16 in March 1997, the Chairman was not legally qualified?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Thank you. Now, that, as you say, was your statutory

19 role and it was not your job, as I understand it, to

20 decide whether the allegations which had been made in

21 the complaint were made out or good or not?

22 A. No.

23 Q. That was the role of the investigating officer under the

24 system; is that right?

25 A. Yes, the investigating officer's role was to investigate

 

 

137

 

1 properly, and an ultimate decision in relation to any

2 criminal matters were dealt with by the DPP.

3 Q. Indeed, and disciplinary matters by the Deputy

4 Chief Constable on behalf of the Chief Constable?

5 A. Correct, with liaison, if you like, with the ICPC.

6 Q. And in all those cases, acting on the basis of reports

7 made by the investigating officers?

8 A. That's correct. I mean, my role essentially --

9 I suppose to paraphrase it -- was basically to supervise

10 and direct. So it was looking at procedure and

11 methodology as opposed to outcome, if you like.

12 Q. So you were concerned with the way the investigation was

13 conducted --

14 A. Absolutely.

15 Q. -- as it were, rather than the result one way or the

16 other?

17 A. That's absolutely right.

18 Q. Thank you very much. Looking back in your statement at

19 paragraph 10-- and this is on RNI-813-813, at the bottom

20 of the page -- in the second sentence:

21 "However, over time it seemed that I was being

22 handed an increasing number of high profile complaints

23 to supervise."

24 Then to help you, if you could just read over the

25 page, going on to the next one:

 

 

138

 

1 "When a case came in from the police, it went

2 straight to Greg Mullan."

3 He must then be the senior administrative --

4 A. Yes, he was next in line to the Chief Executive.

5 Q. Thank you. He was the man in charge of allocation; is

6 that correct?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. But you detect -- and I infer that you detected this at

9 the time -- that your allocation was including an

10 increasing number of higher profile matters?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is that something that concerned you?

13 A. Not at all.

14 Q. Is it something that you discussed with him or anybody

15 else at the Commission?

16 A. No.

17 Q. It was just a fact?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. In dealing with this, you refer there to this question

20 of the legally qualified members and the fact that there

21 was you and another, Sue Bryson. Do you see that in the

22 last sentence?

23 A. Yes, I do.

24 Q. Do you think that that led those with a legal background

25 to approach the task of supervision in a different way?

 

 

139

 

1 A. I can't say speak for others. I can speak for myself

2 and indicate that I approached it, I suppose,

3 as a legally trained practitioner. So my attention to

4 detail was that of a lawyer, I guess.

5 Q. You see, later in your statement and, indeed, later in

6 the chronology, you refer to the fact that your approach

7 was not necessarily the same approach as others of your

8 colleagues?

9 A. Yes, that's right.

10 Q. And clearly there were some differences of view at

11 various points?

12 A. Hm-mm.

13 Q. To what extent do you think the fact that you were

14 a lawyer contributed to those differences?

15 A. Well, again, speaking for myself, my training was to

16 have attention to detail and that was a flavour through

17 all of my work, if you like, both procedurally and in

18 terms of content.

19 Q. In terms of how you went about the job, did you receive

20 any form of training or briefing from the other members

21 as to what was required of you in your supervisory work?

22 A. No, other than we were provided with, I suppose you

23 might term it, an induction of sorts. Obviously, having

24 applied for the role, I researched the relevant

25 legislation and was au fait with what was required of me

 

 

140

 

1 in terms of my statutory duty, but Commission members

2 were provided with guidelines as to the exercise of

3 supervisory powers and general conduct of supervision in

4 investigations.

5 Q. But the impression one gets is that each supervising

6 member got on with his own or her own case load?

7 A. Yes, I mean, it would be fair to say that, I suppose, it

8 was quite a -- very different set-up from the current

9 Police Ombudsman. So if you can kind of look at it from

10 that perspective. Each Commission member had a degree

11 of autonomy, but there was also corporate responsibility

12 of the organisation as well, so whilst one proceeded

13 with individual complaints investigations, there was

14 also liaison with the Chairman of the Commission and

15 monthly meetings, that sort of thing.

16 Q. But other than liaison with the Chairman and meetings --

17 and we will look at some of the minutes in a moment --

18 did you discuss your cases, how they were going, with

19 other supervising members?

20 A. No. I mean, one could talk about things in a general

21 way, but in terms of confidentiality, it was important

22 not to discuss in detail pertinent matters of that sort.

23 Q. So the bar there was the bar of confidentiality?

24 A. Yes. I mean, I suppose just to be -- to assist you and

25 be clear about that, there was both -- the role was both

 

 

141

 

1 to supervise investigations, but then at a later date,

2 which I think perhaps you are leading me to, decisions

3 had to be made in relation to any disciplinary offences

4 that may have arisen out of the contents. So to discuss

5 detail of the first limb may have contaminated someone's

6 decision in relation to second limb.

7 Q. Were you able to discuss investigations as they were

8 ongoing with the Chairman?

9 A. To a degree, yes.

10 Q. Did you do so?

11 A. You know that I have raised concerns with Mr Donnelly in

12 relation to a number of matters, but more importantly in

13 relation to these complaints, yes, as I felt it was my

14 duty to do that.

15 Q. At the time you joined the Commission, were you aware

16 that there were many concerns being expressed,

17 criticisms made, of the system?

18 A. Of course.

19 Q. Of which it was a part?

20 A. Of course.

21 Q. And it was later in that year, wasn't it, 1997, that the

22 Hayes Report came out and effectively recommended

23 a wholesale change to the complaints system in

24 Northern Ireland?

25 A. Yes, that's correct.

 

 

142

 

1 Q. So would it be fair to say that throughout your period

2 in office, the period with which we are concerned, as

3 you know, being between 1997 and 2000, this formed

4 a background to the work that you were doing?

5 A. It did, yes.

6 Q. And that presumably included the fact that arrangements,

7 certainly in the latter part of that period, were being

8 put in place to set up the new system; in other words,

9 the Ombudsman's office? And we can see references to

10 that in the various minutes, the Chairman briefing you

11 about what the latest developments were?

12 A. Yes, it was basically a transitional period, if you

13 like, leading into the inception of the Ombudsman's

14 office.

15 Q. But presumably also it meant that you were within

16 a system which was the subject of criticism from many

17 different types of people?

18 A. I think that is fair, yes.

19 Q. Now, in your statement, rather later on when you are

20 talking about the question of cooperation on the one

21 hand and the attitude of police officers on the other,

22 you set out helpfully the fact that a number of

23 complainants, number of let us call them clients -- the

24 ones with which we are concerned were Rosemary Nelson's

25 clients -- would not attend for interview and would not

 

 

143

 

1 cooperate with the investigation?

2 A. Yes. I think that was the flavour generally across

3 a number of different complaints investigations.

4 Q. And you suggest in your statement that one of the

5 reasons for that may have been their lack of confidence

6 or trust in the system itself?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And we can see that in paragraph 99, at page RNI-813-837

9 (displayed). Do you see:

10 "The view amongst some complainants seemed to be

11 ..."?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And what you do there is to suggest that your

14 appointment in March 1997 was part of trying to, as it

15 were, freshen up the system?

16 A. Yes, I do say that.

17 Q. Is that something that you were made aware of at the

18 time?

19 A. No, that was a personal view held.

20 Q. But what you describe next, at the bottom of the page:

21 "However, complainants viewed the process as limited

22 and flawed and this hampered and frustrated us in

23 progressing the investigation of their complaints."

24 Was that a problem that you had to deal with

25 throughout your time with the Commission?

 

 

144

 

1 A. Yes, that's right. I mean, do you want me to give you

2 examples of that?

3 Q. Please do, yes.

4 A. I can think of one case, for example, where I was asked

5 to supervise the death in custody of a member of the

6 travelling community, and there were a lot of

7 difficulties in terms of securing cooperation from

8 complainants and witnesses in that case. I mean, I can

9 think of a number of other cases, but that's just one

10 that comes to mind.

11 Q. Just, again, to help us, please, what impact did that

12 problem have on the investigations that you supervised?

13 A. Well, the impact was that either witnesses didn't

14 cooperate or didn't cooperate fully, to the extent that

15 was necessary.

16 Q. With what effect?

17 A. At times, effectively an investigation couldn't reach

18 a proper conclusion, a conclusion that might have been

19 altered with the sense of further evidence or

20 cooperation. So I guess you might say on one level it

21 was the investigation may have been frustrated in that

22 way.

23 Q. Was the problem in some cases that complainants just

24 didn't see what was in it for them, in the complaints

25 system?

 

 

145

 

1 A. I'm not sure I understand your question.

2 Q. Well, there was nothing for them to gain at the end of

3 it unlike, for example, if they had made a civil claim?

4 A. Well, I think perhaps a more useful way of looking at it

5 is that the -- some complainants may have been less than

6 enamoured with the complaints process, and perhaps

7 a view that even if they were to cooperate, the outcome

8 may have -- may not have been something that they agreed

9 with or wished for; in other words, that their

10 complaints may not have been investigated thoroughly or

11 properly.

12 Q. Were you aware of cases in which a complaint was made

13 and, as it were, lodged purely for the perceived

14 advantage that would accrue in civil or, indeed, in

15 criminal proceedings?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Can you have a look, please, at paragraph 100 of your

18 statement, which is on the next page, RNI-813-838

19 (displayed)? This deals with whether or not -- and you

20 say not -- you discussed these sort of points with

21 Rosemary Nelson.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You refer to her own reluctance. We will talk about

24 that later. But you say:

25 "I think there may have been a feeling that

 

 

146

 

1 individuals were better served by making civil claims."

2 What do you mean by that?

3 A. Well, effectively that there was no point in proceeding

4 with the complaints investigation.

5 Q. Well, think of an example: a man complains that he has

6 been beaten up in custody. If he makes that complaint

7 through your system, if you know what I mean by that --

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. -- then he may or may not get determination in his

10 favour. But that's, as it were -- determination in his

11 favour, possibly other proceedings that follow, that is

12 what he is going to get out of it.

13 If, arising out of exactly the same assault, he

14 makes a civil claim, he has the prospect of recovering

15 damages, doesn't it?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Surely that is what you mean by individuals being better

18 served by making civil claims?

19 A. I think that is probably correct.

20 Q. Coming to the point, there is something in it for the

21 complaint, or in that case the claimant or plaintiff?

22 A. If that is their motivation.

23 Q. Yes. That is, as it were, one side of it. If you look

24 back in your statement to RNI-813-837, paragraph 97

25 (displayed), you refer to the other side because you

 

 

147

 

1 say:

2 "There was undoubtedly a culture within the police

3 of not appreciating the independent nature of my role

4 and a perception by the police officers that the

5 complaints that were made were not well founded. It is,

6 therefore, not surprising that there was a degree of

7 wariness towards the complaints process by police

8 officers."

9 Again, can I ask you, please, was that an

10 attitude -- wariness towards the complaints process --

11 that you experienced during your time as a supervising

12 member?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In other words, not just in the particular cases that

15 you deal with, the Rosemary Nelson cases, in your

16 statement?

17 A. No, it was an ongoing --

18 Q. And quite general phenomenon?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So if we stand back from that and see that attitude on

21 the one side from police officers and the lack of trust

22 and the non-cooperation on the other from complainants

23 or potential complainants, how easy in those

24 circumstances was it for you to deliver effective

25 supervision and an effective complaints system under the

 

 

148

 

1 ICPC system?

2 A. Well, obviously the system was changed and altered as

3 you've alluded to in some of your earlier questions, but

4 in terms of my role and what I did, I worked within the

5 parameters of my statutory duty.

6 There were, of course, times when I felt frustrated

7 by either lack of cooperation on both sides, if you

8 like, but I did the best I could in terms of my remit.

9 Q. But are you able to offer a view based on your

10 experience in those three years? Do you think that the

11 ICPC did carry out its work effectively?

12 A. I can only speak for myself.

13 Q. Indeed.

14 A. I believe that my work was thorough and effective, yes.

15 Q. Despite the difficulties that we have just discussed?

16 A. One works within and with difficulties.

17 Q. Yes. Now, one of the features of the complaints with

18 which the Inquiry is concerned, is the suggestion that

19 abuse or threatening comments were made in relation to

20 the lawyer, the solicitor acting for suspects or

21 clients. Can I ask you this: Was that an allegation or

22 a phenomenon that you had experienced first of all

23 before you took on these particular complaints?

24 A. No.

25 Q. So it wasn't part of your own experience at the Bar, for

 

 

149

 

1 example?

2 A. Personally speaking, no.

3 Q. No. So turning to the first of these complaints, you

4 begin the narrative, which is a very long one indeed, in

5 paragraph 12, at RNI-813-814 (displayed). Could we

6 start there, please?

7 I would like to come back to a question I asked you

8 a little earlier, a comment you made, about what you

9 knew of Rosemary Nelson. I think you said that you are

10 not sure you had even heard of her -- is that right? --

11 before you began your work?

12 A. Yes, that's what I said.

13 Q. Yes. So presumably that means that you hadn't -- you

14 told us you hadn't come across her professionally but

15 you hadn't heard anything about her, you think, before

16 dealing with these complaints in, whenever it

17 was, March/April 1997?

18 A. That's what I have said, yes.

19 Q. Thank you. You begin to tell us about the Lawyers

20 Alliance for Justice, or LAJI, complaint in paragraph 13

21 and we have got it up on the screen for you.

22 Now, this was a complaint that came from that

23 organisation based in the United States of America,

24 didn't it?

25 A. It did, yes.

 

 

150

 

1 Q. Can I ask you this question: in the course of your work

2 at the Commission over the next years, did you have

3 cause to deal with any other complaints originating in

4 the United States of America?

5 A. Not to the best of my knowledge, no.

6 Q. Can we look at the letter together, which starts the

7 whole thing off, please? It is at RNI-202-002

8 (displayed). We will see that the origin of the

9 complaint, this letter, the 13 March 1997 letter, is

10 from that organisation. And the national coordinator,

11 if we can get the next page on the screen, please,

12 RNI-202-003 (displayed), is Mr Lynch. Could we have

13 both on at the same time, please? Thank you.

14 It is a letter from him to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper,

15 who was the Independent Commissioner for the Holding

16 Centres?

17 A. Yes, I see that.

18 Q. Again, that is a fairly indirect way of a complaint

19 coming to the ICPC, isn't it?

20 A. I guess so, yes.

21 Q. Did you ever come across a case of that kind?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Other than this one?

24 A. No.

25 Q. No. Thank you.

 

 

151

 

1 A. Just to clarify, there was a power that the Commission

2 held in terms of if it did receive a letter from the --

3 what I call the unusual authorities, not emanating from

4 the RUC, that it could be categorised as a complaint and

5 dealt with in that way. But, no, in my experience, this

6 was the first ...

7 Q. Now, we know that this -- what became known as the LAJI

8 complaint, or at least what's known to us as the LAJI

9 complaint -- had a long and rather complicated history.

10 And one of the issues at the beginning was that,

11 bluntly, not very much happened and there was a request

12 for dispensation at one stage. You have described all

13 this in your statement.

14 Can I ask you this question: Who was the

15 complainant in the LAJI complaint?

16 A. The complainant was the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in

17 Northern Ireland.

18 Q. Now, of course, in terms of getting the complainant

19 along to an interview and giving evidence, it wasn't

20 a normal complainant, was it, this organisation?

21 A. I think I have already answered that and said yes.

22 Q. But nobody thought it would be a good idea, did they, to

23 summon Mr Lynch from New Jersey to give a complainant

24 interview in this case?

25 A. By "nobody" you mean?

 

 

152

 

1 Q. Nobody at the Commission?

2 A. At this early stage, no.

3 Q. No. At any stage?

4 A. No, not as a complainant, no.

5 Q. So, in fact, if there was to be any evidence about the

6 complaint, it would have to come from other people,

7 wouldn't it?

8 A. The complaint related specifically to Mrs Nelson.

9 Q. Indeed. So although not the complainant, she was, what,

10 a witness? In your terms?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Right. So the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland

13 is the complainant, Rosemary Nelson is a witness and

14 presumably so, also, would be anybody who had heard the

15 threats; in other words, the clients who had the threats

16 communicated to them whilst in custody; is that right?

17 A. Yes, that's right.

18 Q. Now, at the very outset, as you tell us, if we can go

19 back to paragraph 13, RNI-813-814 (displayed), there was

20 something of a kerfuffle about whether that letter

21 constituted a complaint at all. Do you remember that

22 dispute?

23 A. Well, I wasn't personally involved in that dispute, as

24 you put it, but what I have clarified is that initially,

25 despite the serious nature of the allegations, the

 

 

153

 

1 matter was not categorised, as I understand it, as

2 a complaint. That was later rectified by Greg Mullan of

3 the ICPC, having telephoned, I think, one of the

4 superintendents at CID.

5 Q. Can we look together, please, at the letter from the

6 Lawyers Alliance, RNI-202-002 (displayed) on one side of

7 the screen and RNI-202-019 on the other (displayed)?

8 Thank you. Because this is the file note that you

9 mention in your statement.

10 A. Yes, from Greg Mullan.

11 Q. Dated 4 April, which recites what had happened here.

12 And as I understand it, his concern, Greg Mullan's

13 concern, which I appreciate you weren't involved in but

14 you deal with in your statement, was that the RUC were

15 not regarding the matter as an Article 2 complaint.

16 Can you just help me: what was an Article 2

17 complaint?

18 A. An Article 2 complaint was a complaint which legally had

19 to be drawn to the attention of the ICPC and offered the

20 opportunity of supervision or otherwise.

21 Q. (Pause) I think we may have a technical hitch.

22 A. Okay.

23 Q. We will press on. I see. So there was the exchange

24 that he records here in his memorandum and the net

25 result was that the Superintendent, as it were, changed

 

 

154

 

1 his mind and accepted that it should be recorded as

2 a complaint?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. If you just cast your eye over the letter on the

5 left-hand side, do you see the sixth paragraph of the

6 letter from Mr Lynch beginning:

7 "Would you kindly ..."?

8 A. I do.

9 Q. It is a request that Sir Louis turn the information over

10 to the Attorney General's office for an appropriate

11 criminal investigation:

12 "Please do not rely upon the RUC to investigate one

13 of its own members."

14 So as far as one can tell, what Mr Lynch had in mind

15 was a criminal investigation, albeit one not conducted

16 by the RUC.

17 A. That appears to be the case from the correspondence,

18 yes.

19 Q. And actually, when you look at that letter, what he is

20 not doing is registering a complaint, is he? He is

21 asking that the very serious matters, the threats that

22 he mentioned in his letter, be investigated because they

23 disclosed a crime?

24 A. That's the tenet -- that seems to be the tone of his

25 correspondence, but on receipt of that correspondence

 

 

155

 

1 one would exercise judgment and realise that, in fact,

2 it was a complaint, I would have thought.

3 Q. Of course, it could have been both?

4 A. It could have been both, yes.

5 Q. But only the complaints side would have concerned you?

6 A. Would have concerned the police and the ICPC.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Indeed. Now, there were cases, weren't there -- and we

10 have some in the files -- where you would be present at

11 interviews, or rather two interviews, one with an

12 officer under, as it were, the disciplinary heading and

13 the other one under the -- PACE sometimes is the

14 expression used there, the criminal interview?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So you were familiar with those two things, those

17 matters being dealt with, as it were, in parallel?

18 A. That's correct, yes.

19 Q. You were allocated, I infer at any rate, this or these

20 complaints, the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland

21 complaints, once the difference had been resolved. And

22 you describe the position that the RUC originally took

23 as an odd decision. I would like to show that you

24 sentence, please, at RNI-813-814 (displayed).

25 It is in that same paragraph 13. Do you see:

 

 

156

 

1 "This was a significant and odd decision"?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you then say:

4 "Given that the complaint emanated from outside

5 Northern Ireland and also due to the seriousness of the

6 complaint itself, which was to require ICPC supervision

7 ..."

8 Can I just ask you, of those two factors --

9 seriousness of complaint and the fact that it had come

10 from outside Northern Ireland -- presumably it was the

11 seriousness that was the important one?

12 A. Yes, that was the litmus test, if you like, in terms of

13 exercising my discretion to supervise.

14 Q. What I'm getting at is this: if an organisation wrote in

15 to the Commission and happened to be writing from

16 Belgium but was talking about a very, very minor case of

17 alleged incivility, that wouldn't lead to a decision to

18 supervise just because the report came from Belgium,

19 would it?

20 A. No, the location of the -- I suppose the originating

21 location of the correspondence wouldn't have mattered.

22 What was important was the nature and content of the

23 correspondence.

24 Q. What was important was the substance?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

157

 

1 Q. That was what you had to form your judgment on?

2 A. Obviously we can't ignore the fact that there was

3 international interest in terms of the overall picture

4 here, but what you are asking me specifically is,

5 looking at the seriousness vis--vis the emanation of

6 the complaint, what would have informed my judgment, and

7 it is the latter. Sorry, it is the seriousness of the

8 complaint.

9 Q. So far as that question of supervision and decisions of

10 that kind are concerned, that obviously was, potentially

11 at any rate, a very important decision, a very important

12 moment in the process. You deal with it in paragraph 7

13 of your statement at RNI-813-813 (displayed).

14 You say that the police made a provisional

15 recommendation, usually at any rate, and that then had

16 to be approved and authorised by the Commission?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. As briefly as you can, what were the criteria? We

19 talked about seriousness?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You have mentioned the international dimension. What

22 other factors would be taken into account?

23 A. Well, I think it is important to -- differentiate

24 between mandatory supervision under Article 9 of the

25 1987 order and what was termed "discretionary

 

 

158

 

1 supervision".

2 Mandatory supervision was required if, for example,

3 the allegations regarded a serious injury to an

4 individual or death or something that of nature.

5 Discretionary supervision would have been where the

6 allegations were serious but one had to consider, for

7 example, the overall circumstances that were available

8 at the time and -- so that was the second limb, if you

9 like. One of which may have been the public interest

10 element, and so one exercised, I suppose, personal

11 judgment in relation to that.

12 Q. So does it follow then that all of the cases, the

13 specific cases with which we are concerned, were in the

14 discretionary category and not the mandatory category?

15 A. Those that we are dealing with, yes.

16 Q. Yes. And the question of approval or authorisation by

17 the Commission, you deal with how that happened and

18 presumably one of the things you would do routinely

19 would be to consider recommendations of this kind and

20 give your view one way or the other upon them. Is that

21 right?

22 A. That would have been, I suppose, my bread and butter, if

23 you like, in terms of that limb, yes.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, in one or two of the cases we have

25 within our files, it looks as though no supervision was

 

 

159

 

1 required, and I would like to show you an example of

2 that so we can see what things looked like on the other

3 side. Can we look together, please, at RNI-217-025

4 (displayed)?

5 This is a letter from the Commission. I think it is

6 signed by Mr Mullan on behalf of the Chief Executive,

7 looking at the writing. It deals with another client of

8 Rosemary Nelson, Gary Marshall.

9 A. Yes, this was provided to me this morning, this

10 document.

11 Q. Can I ask you this question: were you involved in this

12 particular decision, that it was not appropriate to

13 supervise this investigation?

14 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.

15 Q. So far as your practice in cases where you were

16 supervising, you tell us in paragraph 14 of your

17 statement at RNI-813-815 (displayed) that it was your

18 practice to attend as many of the meetings and

19 interviews during the course of the investigation as

20 possible?

21 A. I did my best, yes.

22 Q. Was that the practice of your colleagues, so far as you

23 understood it?

24 A. I really can't answer that. I assume that each of my

25 colleagues attended as much as they could.

 

 

160

 

1 Q. But you don't know?

2 A. I don't know.

3 Q. And so far as the investigating officer is concerned,

4 there were some occasions, you tell us right at the end

5 of this paragraph, when the investigating officer went

6 off on his/her own accord and held interviews without

7 the member being aware.

8 Now, in the various cases that you have looked at

9 for the purposes of your statement in this Inquiry, were

10 there examples of that particular phenomenon?

11 A. Not in this particular matter, no.

12 Q. No. In relation to the conduct of the interviews

13 themselves, did you have a practice as to how you and

14 the investigating officer would set up, discuss and then

15 conduct the interviews?

16 A. Effectively, the interviews were conducted by the

17 investigating officer, whoever that was. My presence at

18 the interview would have been acknowledged, if you like,

19 and in advance of police interviews there would have

20 been some sort of agreed approach in terms of the

21 substantive detail that was needed to be covered.

22 But there were occasions when matters arose during

23 interview that may not have been anticipated or alluded

24 to in advance.

25 Q. So that you would have a discussion -- I'm talking about

 

 

161

 

1 general practice, not any specific case?

2 A. I understand that.

3 Q. About the sort of points that needed to be covered?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. But the interviewer was the investigating officer, him

6 or herself?

7 A. That's correct, yes. My practice would have been to

8 prepare in advance of any interview, having reviewed the

9 file. I generally went into the office to do that

10 before I would have gone to whichever police station was

11 appropriate.

12 Q. What about the question of who should be interviewed?

13 How was that decided?

14 A. That was decided by joint agreement.

15 Q. Between you and the investigating officer?

16 A. In a supervised case, yes.

17 Q. During the course of the interview, was it any part of

18 your role to ask questions?

19 A. Strictly speaking, not directly, no.

20 Q. Well, that answer suggests that in practice you may have

21 asked questions in interviews. Is that the case?

22 A. On occasions, yes.

23 Q. And in what sort of circumstances would that occur?

24 A. If matters had not been dealt with adequately by the

25 investigating officer or if matters were being

 

 

162

 

1 overlooked, for example.

2 Q. So in cases of that kind, you would on occasion

3 intervene and ask some questions of your own, would you?

4 A. On a rare occasion.

5 Q. This became something of an issue, I think, didn't it --

6 and I think it is a matter that is referred to in one of

7 the Mulvihill documents.

8 There was concern expressed by, I think it was P146,

9 that investigating officer, about your getting, as it

10 were, too much involved in questioning in interviews.

11 Are the occasions you have described the exception

12 rather than the rule; in other words, the occasions

13 where you did ask questions?

14 A. Yes, they were the exception.

15 Q. And when that happened, how was your intervention

16 received by investigating officers in general?

17 A. There would have been a mixed reaction. Sometimes

18 hostility, other times an openness to answer the

19 question.

20 Q. It wasn't your job to do the investigation, was it?

21 A. That's absolutely correct. It was my job to supervise,

22 and part of the supervisory role was to ensure that it

23 was conducted effectively.

24 Q. But were you not crossing the line into investigating by

25 intervening to ask questions of your own?

 

 

163

 

1 A. That's one interpretation.

2 Q. Do you think it is a reasonable one?

3 A. I don't think so.

4 Q. But were you aware that there were certainly some

5 investigating officers who took that view?

6 A. I'm aware of that, yes.

7 Q. Yes. Now, so far as definitions of the extent of your

8 role as supervisor are concerned, we have a rather

9 formal document in the files at RNI-230-149.500

10 (displayed), and I regret to say I can't remember

11 offhand where this comes from. I think it is an

12 appendix to one of the annual reports. Does that sound

13 right?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. Thank you very much. I think the relevant passage is

16 paragraph 3:

17 "The Commission has two main functions: first,

18 a supervisory role over the police investigation."

19 And the statutory duty you have mentioned to us

20 before, and the question of whether or not to supervise

21 in the first place. Then various other examples. And

22 at the end, you see the last sentence:

23 "At the end of an investigation which the Commission

24 has supervised, it must issue a statement saying whether

25 it is satisfied with the way the investigation is

 

 

164

 

1 carried out and, if appropriate, specifying any respect

2 in which it was not satisfied."

3 So that appears to be the formal statement of the

4 Commission's function and role as set out in the

5 Commission's own document?

6 A. Yes, it reflects the substantive content of the

7 legislation.

8 Q. And, again, what's notable there -- and I think you

9 probably wouldn't dissent from this -- is the absence of

10 any reference to investigation?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. It was supervisory only?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Thank you. Now, in discussing matters, topics to be

15 covered before the interview took place, would you make

16 suggestions as a matter of practice to the investigating

17 officer as to how the interview should be carried out?

18 A. Yes, I can recall a number of occasions when that

19 happened, yes.

20 Q. What sort of points would you make in that sort of

21 conversation?

22 A. Well, the pertinent issues that needed to be dealt with.

23 Q. So that would be a list of topics that had to be

24 covered?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

165

 

1 Q. But did you get into more detail; in other words,

2 a suggestion as to how they might be covered, what

3 approach the investigating officer might usefully take?

4 A. No, that was a matter for the investigating officer.

5 Q. And, again, that was a boundary line that you

6 understood, was it?

7 A. Clearly.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask you a question that

9 I promised about filing because there are many, many,

10 many handwritten notes in these files and I hope if we

11 look together at one, that will answer the questions in

12 people's minds for all the others. So can we look,

13 please, at RNI-222-023 (displayed)?

14 This is an example chosen not completely but almost

15 completely at random from one of the ICPC files and, as

16 I understand it, the way they were ordered was

17 chronologically down the page from top to bottom?

18 A. That's right.

19 Q. So that I think the first one is a request to another

20 employee by Jennifer Mitchell dated 11 April:

21 "Please issue letters to [name redacted],

22 Edmund Lynch, the investigating officer ..."

23 And presumably the Assistant Chief Constable:

24 "... and return file to me."

25 A. Yes.

 

 

166

 

1 Q. Then we move down to the next note on the file,

2 25 April, and the one at the bottom, 6 May. So we can

3 take it, can we, that any decision, any step taken in

4 a supervised investigation will be recorded in this way

5 on the ICPC files?

6 A. That would have been the administrative approach, yes.

7 Q. And in other documents, we see -- and let us look at the

8 next page together, or the next page in my file here,

9 which is RNI-222-034 (displayed). You yourself would

10 make notes on the file. There was an example there, do

11 you see in the bottom part of the page?

12 A. I do, yes.

13 Q. Dated 16 May. So it is slightly later in this file, and

14 the numbering is continuing. So by this stage we have

15 got, I think, to 15?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. So when you came in to the office, you would look at the

18 files, see what needed to be done, what decisions needed

19 to be made, what drafts approved, et cetera, et cetera,

20 et cetera, and record those decisions, those approvals,

21 whatever else it was, instructions, by making your own

22 note and dating it in the file?

23 A. That's correct.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Miss McNally, we are going to have

25 a ten-minute break now. I know you have to get away at

 

 

167

 

1 quarter to five, but to relieve the stenographer, we

2 will have a ten-minute break.

3 A. Thank you very much.

4 (4.15 pm)

5 (Short break)

6 (4.25 pm)

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

8 MR PHILLIPS: Now, can we look, please, at the early stages

9 of the investigation and your supervision of the

10 investigation of the LAJI complaint. Can I ask you to

11 look, please, at paragraph 15 of your statement at

12 RNI-813-815 (displayed), because there you tell us that

13 you tried to arrange a meeting with Rosemary Nelson, and

14 in fact, turning the page to RNI-813-816 (displayed),

15 she wasn't able to attend the meeting that had been

16 arranged for the 13th at Craigavon police station. Can

17 I just ask you a question about that? When you say she

18 wasn't able to attend, do you mean she didn't attend?

19 A. She didn't.

20 Q. She didn't attend?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. She may have been able to, but she just didn't attend;

23 is that right?

24 A. She didn't attend.

25 Q. She didn't attend. Did you ask or did you seek through

 

 

168

 

1 your staff an explanation of why she hadn't attended?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Did you in fact expect her to attend any of these

4 meetings?

5 A. I think I hoped that she would attend.

6 Q. It is not quite the same thing, though, is it? Did you

7 expect her to attend complaints meetings and cooperate

8 with the investigation?

9 A. I'm not sure that I had any set view at that stage, to

10 be honest.

11 Q. Now, later on in your statement you say that you think

12 she had a view of the complaints process, certainly at

13 this stage, early in the LAJI complaint, and that was,

14 if not a hostile one, then a pretty cynical one about

15 it? She didn't expect much out of it?

16 A. I think what I have said is that she may or may not have

17 had a degree of ambivalence about the complaints

18 process.

19 Q. And you say, I think, that you believe that you may have

20 helped to change her attitude towards it; is that right?

21 A. That's a personal view, yes.

22 Q. Yes. So when you came to start your work on this case,

23 was it made clear to you by staff or your colleagues

24 that she was unlikely to cooperate with you?

25 A. I can't recall that.

 

 

169

 

1 Q. No. So you say you hoped she would attend. She didn't

2 in fact attend on 29 June or, indeed, the 30th of that

3 month, did she?

4 A. She didn't, no.

5 Q. No. So that's a total of three missed appointments.

6 What would your usual practice be in a case of that

7 kind; in other words, where the investigating officer

8 has set up the meeting, no attendance, another one, no

9 attendance, another one, no attendance?

10 A. I think I have gone on to say in my statement that

11 a 21-day letter would be issued to the complainant,

12 basically, if you like, allowing the complainant --

13 putting them on notice that if they didn't cooperate,

14 then there wouldn't be a position with which to proceed

15 with the investigation. So it was an opportunity to put

16 them on notice of that and afford them an opportunity to

17 cooperate.

18 Q. When you say "in such circumstances", is there any magic

19 there in the three missed interviews or would it be sent

20 in some cases where only two had been missed?

21 A. I can't say that with certainty. There was no magic to

22 it at all, no.

23 Q. So if there was no magic, was it sent when the

24 investigating officer and yourself believed that the

25 complainant, or in this case, Mrs Nelson, was not going

 

 

170

 

1 to cooperate with the investigation?

2 A. I think that the test was whether there was a reasonable

3 prospect of cooperation, from memory.

4 Q. And the penalty if there wasn't cooperation at that

5 stage was that an application would be made to dispense

6 with the investigation under, whatever it was,

7 Article 17, I think it was, wasn't it?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, Rosemary Nelson, as I think you have

10 agreed with me, was not in fact the complainant, was

11 she?

12 A. In relation to the Lawyers Alliance --

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. -- strand? No, she was a witness to the complaint, but

15 the complaint related to her.

16 Q. So in other words, despite that distinction, the

17 practice -- the usual, as you say, 21-day practice --

18 also applied to her, did it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Although she wasn't the complainant?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Right. As at that point then, at the end of June 1997,

23 was it your belief that the investigation was likely to

24 come to rather an abrupt end?

25 A. Well, I had authorised the 21-day letter to be issued.

 

 

171

 

1 Q. So the time was already ticking, as it were?

2 A. I think that is fair, yes.

3 Q. In fact, the next event you tell us about in your

4 statement is nothing to do with Rosemary Nelson, but

5 rather it is a change in the investigating officer. Do

6 you see that in paragraph 18?

7 A. I do, yes.

8 Q. At about this time, June 1997.

9 So can I take it from you then that this officer's

10 arrival, new on the scene in this role, investigating

11 officer, came at this sort of time; in other words,

12 where, in fact, nothing had happened to advance the

13 investigation at all?

14 A. Yes, that's fair.

15 Q. In paragraph 17, you tell us in relation to her

16 non-attendance that:

17 "It is important to remember she was a business

18 practitioner and although the substance of her complaint

19 was serious, there may have been genuine reasons for her

20 non-attendance."

21 Were you ever provided with any such reasons?

22 A. No, but the reason that I have made that observation is

23 that I think on at least one of arranged dates for a

24 meeting she was in fact dealing with one of her clients

25 who had been arrested.

 

 

172

 

1 Q. Is that Colin Duffy?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Was that put forward, do you remember, as an explanation

4 for her non-attendance on any one of these particular

5 occasions?

6 A. Not by Mrs Nelson. It is a detail that I picked up.

7 Q. So that's a construction you are putting on events

8 afterwards, is it?

9 A. That is my observation, yes.

10 Q. And likewise, where you say there may have been "genuine

11 reasons", that's a presumption or a speculation on your

12 part, isn't it?

13 A. That's my opinion.

14 Q. But equally, presumably, it may have been she just

15 decided not to cooperate with the investigation?

16 A. Possibly.

17 Q. Yes. Certainly the arrest of Colin Duffy, as I am sure

18 you know, took place on or about 25 June, which would be

19 the second of these three. But she can't possibly have

20 been dealing with that on 13 May, can she?

21 A. I don't know what she was dealing with on 13 May.

22 Q. No, but it can't have been the arrest of Colin Duffy?

23 A. No, you are quite right.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, the 21-day letter went out, but in fact

25 it is right to say, isn't it, this it wasn't actioned;

 

 

173

 

1 in other words, a period elapsed, but in fact the

2 investigation in that way was not brought to an end?

3 A. Yes, that's right.

4 Q. What seems to have happened instead was that the new

5 officer made, effectively, an application for

6 a dispensation in relation to the complaint at the end

7 of July 1997, and you refer to that in paragraph 19 of

8 your statement.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Do you see that?

11 A. I do, yes.

12 Q. And we can see the steps that lead up to that in the

13 file. Just to put my questions in context for you.

14 RNI-202-058 (displayed) would appear to be, as it were,

15 the final warning letter, if I can put it that way.

16 This is dated 3 July. Do you see that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. This is the one that sets up the 30 June meeting?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And in the last paragraph:

21 "Unless you are prepared to make contact with me,

22 application may be made requesting a dispensation"?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. So far as that is concerned, the officer made his

25 application in a report at RNI-206-003 -- we can look at

 

 

174

 

1 that, briefly, please -- on 28 July (displayed). And he

2 sets out the steps that he had taken or attempted to

3 take to date in the following pages.

4 You will be very familiar, I know, with the format

5 of these reports, and can I just note with you a couple

6 of passages, the first at RNI-206-005 (displayed), at

7 the bottom of the page, under "Comment on reliability as

8 a witness"? It says:

9 "Rosemary Nelson is a well-known solicitor who

10 carries out a large volume of work from her offices in

11 Lurgan. There is no reason to doubt her reliability as

12 a witness, but to date she has not provided any evidence

13 to support the allegations made on her behalf."

14 Then the conclusions at RNI-206-009 (displayed),

15 where he sets out in summary at the start that:

16 "No information has been provided, either by her or,

17 indeed, by those who have made complaints on her behalf

18 ..."

19 Presumably that must be reference to the LAJI:

20 "... to support the very serious allegations."

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Then various points are set out and his recommendation

23 at the bottom:

24 "I recommend that application be made ..."

25 Et cetera. So that is at the end of July.

 

 

175

 

1 As I understand it from your statement and the

2 documents, by that stage further complaints had already

3 come on to your desk, as it were, because complaints

4 arising out of the Colin Duffy arrest -- there were

5 a number of complaints, I think, made by both him and

6 Colin Duffy himself -- were allocated to you and you

7 took them on and decided that they should also be

8 supervised. Is that a fair summary?

9 A. That's correct, yes.

10 Q. And to trace that rather complicated history with you,

11 if we look at RNI-209-133 (displayed), you will see your

12 letter to the Superintendent, the more senior officer

13 obviously to the investigating officer, referring. He

14 has been given a cipher, you can see?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Referring to those complaints and saying that the

17 decision has been made by the Commission to supervise

18 them, and that you were to be the supervising member.

19 As I understand it -- it is complicated in the

20 files -- in the end what happened is that the LAJI

21 complaints and the Colin Duffy, and Rosemary Nelson and

22 Colin Duffy complaints were all investigated together?

23 A. Yes, in essence, yes.

24 Q. So, for example, in one of the statements given

25 eventually by Rosemary Nelson, she deals with both

 

 

176

 

1 topics?

2 A. Yes, that's right.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask you about that business of

4 supervising these other complaints because you address

5 it in paragraph 23 of your statement at RNI-813-818

6 (displayed)? You say, having traced the very long

7 number of file references:

8 "My view was that ICPC supervision was required on

9 all of the files due to the serious nature of the

10 allegations that were being made, namely that the very

11 organisation offering her protection was perceived by

12 Mrs Nelson to be threatening her personal safety."

13 In making that comment and explaining the decision

14 on that basis, are you referring to the Colin Duffy

15 complaints?

16 A. Latterly, yes.

17 Q. Yes. Well, one can see that the LAJI complaints deal at

18 their heart with alleged threats being made to the

19 solicitor in the course of interview with the clients,

20 but the Colin Duffy matters were rather different,

21 weren't they?

22 They concerned the way his detention had been

23 handled, the way interviews had been conducted and there

24 was one specific allegation that an officer had said,

25 "I'm sure Rosemary is proud of you."' But those are not

 

 

177

 

1 allegations of death threat, are they?

2 A. No, they are not.

3 Q. Indeed, I think they were, in all, five complaints, but

4 most of those did not involve reference to

5 Rosemary Nelson in a derogatory or abusive way at all,

6 did they?

7 A. No.

8 Q. They didn't involve allegations that threats had been

9 made, to use your expression there, to her personal

10 safety?

11 A. No.

12 Q. So why was it then, if that was the position, that

13 a decision was made that supervision was required for

14 those complaints?

15 A. It was felt that, given the nature of the allegations,

16 supervision was appropriate in those circumstances.

17 Q. Was the decision influenced by the nature of the

18 solicitor at the heart of some of them at any rate; in

19 other words, Rosemary Nelson?

20 A. Well, I think it was fair to say that part of my thought

21 process was the fact that she had also complained of

22 receiving death threats, if you like, threats to her

23 personal safety.

24 Q. Was your thinking also influenced by the profile that

25 she had already had by this stage and the international

 

 

178

 

1 interest in her case?

2 A. I think the international interest kind of increased at

3 a later date, but certainly it was a matter of public

4 interest.

5 Q. Do you think that explains why some of those complaints

6 which deal with relatively low level issues about

7 whether interview notes had been recorded properly,

8 et cetera, were swept up and supervised with these more

9 serious matters?

10 A. I'm not sure that they were swept up. I think attention

11 was given to the nature of the allegations and decisions

12 made on the basis of that.

13 Q. But in any event, from this point on you became the

14 supervising member, not only for the LAJI but also for

15 these other complaints, I think, five in all?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Returning to the question of dispensation, if you

18 remember, we looked at the application or the report

19 suggesting an application, and in fact you received the

20 formal application, didn't you, at the beginning

21 of August that year, which we can see at RNI-202-086

22 (displayed). This is addressed to the Chief Executive,

23 but it's in relation to the LAJI complaints and comes

24 from the more senior officer, the Superintendent?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

179

 

1 Q. And sets out the opinion of the highest authority in

2 disciplinary matters at the RUC, the Deputy

3 Chief Constable, and seeks the dispensation that I have

4 mentioned under Regulation 17.

5 Now, the basis being set out we have seen, that

6 there was no cooperation, nobody attended for interview,

7 no further facts had emerged in relation to any of the

8 allegations that were being made. Why was this then

9 not, in your view, an appropriate case for dispensation?

10 A. I think what had happened in the meantime is that there

11 had been engagement through correspondence with

12 Mrs Nelson's office and it was indicated that she would

13 be cooperating with the second limb of the complaints

14 that had been lodged.

15 So there was a decision taken that, given the

16 potential for cooperation, it would be appropriate not

17 to dispense with the matter.

18 Q. So that is the information you received from Jennifer

19 Mitchell in August, is it?

20 A. Yes.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: I think that will be a convenient moment.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Miss McNally, can you be back by quarter past

24 10 tomorrow morning?

25 A. Certainly, thank you.

 

 

180

 

1 (4.45 pm)

2 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

 

 


 

1 I N D E X

2
MR HENRY MCMULLEN (continued) .................... 1
3
Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued) ......... 1
4
MISS GERALYN MCNALLY (affirmed) .................. 121
5
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 121
6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25