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Full Hearings

Hearing: 2nd September 2008, day 44

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Tuesday, 2 September 2008
commencing at 2.00 pm


Day 44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Tuesday, 2 September 2008

2 (2.00 pm)

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

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

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

6 the key secured?

7 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

9 screen closed?

10 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

12 and securely fastened?

13 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

15 Full Participants' legal representatives seated in the

16 body of this chamber?

17 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr -- is there somebody here who should not

19 be here?

20 UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Two representatives of the Ministry of

21 Defence.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, the question is thank you for informing

23 me about that. The rule is that only Inquiry personnel

24 and Participants' legal representatives may be in the

25 body of the chamber, so if you would be good enough to

 

 

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1 leave.

2 UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Our apologies.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, sir.

4 Mr Currans, for future reference, it is important

5 that before the Panel comes in somebody does check the

6 identity of the various individuals who are in the

7 chamber because they are in a sense a moving group.

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: And people who we may think are legal

10 representatives may not be so.

11 Mr (redacted), can you confirm, please, that the two

12 witness cameras have been switched off and shrouded?

13 MR (REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

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

15 MR (REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Now, Mr Donaldson, so far as I am concerned,

17 I haven't yet had an opportunity of reading your

18 suggested questions and lines of enquiry. They were

19 handed to myself and my two colleagues in the last five

20 minutes. What we propose to do is to hear witness P228

21 fully questioned by counsel for the Inquiry. We will

22 then have a short adjournment to give us time to read

23 the questions and lines of enquiry and we will then

24 consider what you have written before us in the light of

25 the whole of the evidence given by witness 228 in answer

 

 

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1 to the questions by Counsel for the Inquiry.

2 MR DONALDSON: Indeed, sir, that, with respect, is what I

3 was going to suggest.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Donaldson.

5 Bring witness P228 in, please.

6 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

7 Participants' legal representatives may now be switched

8 back on.

9 Would the witness, please, take the oath.

10 P228 (sworn)

11 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Would you like to sit

13 down?

14 Yes, Mr Phillips?

15 MR PHILLIPS: Now, at the very outset can I just remind you

16 of the conditions under which you are giving evidence,

17 namely with the cipher P228, and we have provided to you

18 a list of other relevant ciphered names for your use.

19 If at any point during your evidence you think there is

20 going to be a difficulty arising out of that, please

21 don't hesitate to stop and say so.

22 Now, do you have in front of you the statement that

23 you have made to the Inquiry?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can we have that on the screen, please, at RNI-843-037

 

 

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1 (displayed)?

2 Do we see your signature at RNI-843-550 (displayed)?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Thank you. If we go back to the beginning of the

5 statement, please, can I ask you this first: the events

6 with which we are concerned today took place

7 in February 1997. As at that time, how long had you

8 been a serving police officer?

9 A. From 1982.

10 Q. So some 15 years?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. When did you join the CID?

13 A. Around about Christmas 1988.

14 Q. And from what point did you find yourself based in

15 Lurgan?

16 A. 7 January 1997.

17 Q. I think you had spent some time serving there earlier in

18 your career, hadn't you?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Was that during the 1980s?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, in the course of your work as a CID

23 officer, how much of your time would you spend

24 interviewing at the holding centres?

25 A. That's difficult to say. Sometimes obviously it would

 

 

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1 have been more frequent than other. You could go for

2 a run of months and you mightn't be there at all. So it

3 is difficult to put an actual percentage of time on

4 to it.

5 Q. Would you find yourself there a day a week, more than

6 that?

7 A. Less than that.

8 Q. Less than that. Now, so far as putting the events we

9 are going to discuss in context, in terms of criminal

10 and other activity, what was Lurgan like

11 in January/February 1997 when you found yourself back

12 working there?

13 A. A very busy town. The conurbation that is Lurgan,

14 Craigavon and Portadown was obviously very busy in terms

15 of ordinary crime, if you can use that term. And on the

16 terrorist front there was a lot of things happening. In

17 fact, you know, looking back on it, what you thought was

18 maybe a week apart or maybe even a month apart was in

19 fact only days apart. Crimes were happening with that

20 frequency.

21 Q. As I understand it from your statement, you would, in

22 addition to your investigating work as a CID officer,

23 also be taking part as an interviewing officer?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. In the course of other investigations?

 

 

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1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Could you look, please, at paragraph 8 of your

3 statement, which is at the bottom of RNI-843-039

4 (displayed).

5 Now, in the penultimate sentence there, do you see,

6 you make the point that 1997 was a very busy time in

7 Lurgan and you go on to talk about the terrorist aspect

8 of that. So, as I understand it, there were problems in

9 the town from both sides, as it were, from both types of

10 terrorist organisation?

11 A. That's correct, in the general Craigavon area.

12 Q. In other words, not just specifically in Lurgan?

13 A. No. Craigavon encompasses the conurbation that is

14 Lurgan, Craigavon central and Portadown, so there was

15 a lot happening within that general division, if you

16 want to call it that.

17 Q. Now, so far as the Inquiry is concerned, as you know,

18 you have been interviewed in relation to two specific

19 cases where in due course complaints were made. In the

20 light of what you have told us about the sort of time it

21 was in Lurgan, I would like to ask you some questions,

22 if I may, about your memory, your recollection of

23 events.

24 If somebody had asked you about these particular

25 days in February 1997, these particular interviews, and

 

 

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1 not shown you the relevant notes, papers and all that

2 material, do you think you would have had any memory of

3 these events?

4 A. It is unlikely.

5 Q. So is it fair to say that what you have tried to do in

6 your statement is in a sense to reconstruct from what

7 the documents have shown you?

8 A. Yes, because that is obviously what I was being asked to

9 do at the time.

10 Q. Yes. So if somebody had said to you out of the blue

11 what you actually remember about X or Y and those

12 interviews that took place now 11 years ago, the answer

13 is not very much?

14 A. Without referring to documents, yes.

15 Q. Exactly. Thank you very much.

16 Now, in your statement you have helpfully set out

17 for us in some detail an account of the interviewing

18 procedure and it is something that the Inquiry has heard

19 evidence about from a number of other witnesses. So I

20 would like to take just a few points with you, if I may.

21 Focusing on the holding centres rather than, if I

22 can put it that way, the ordinary police station

23 interviews, what was the system for interviewing

24 suspects in that early part of 1997?

25 A. Well, you usually interviewed in pairs and there were

 

 

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1 a number of interviews and on each of the respective

2 days the (inaudible) in person was there.

3 Characteristically, there was two in the morning before

4 lunchtime, two in the afternoon and two in the evening

5 time.

6 Q. So six in all, characteristically?

7 A. Usually.

8 Q. And of up to two hours' duration; is that right?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. So a total, then, potentially of some 12 hours of

11 interviewing a day?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And how were the interviews recorded?

14 A. On written interview notes.

15 Q. How did that system work?

16 A. Well, usually, when interviewing in pairs, you took

17 turns: One did scribe and in the next interview the

18 other officer did scribe.

19 Q. Who allocated interviewing officers to interviews?

20 A. Well, ultimately it was the decision of the SIO, but I

21 had my own sub team of officers that I would work with on

22 a regular basis and in respect of one of these,

23 the lengthy and substantial number of interviews with

24 Mr Toman, it was one of my team of sub officers whom

25 I interviewed with.

 

 

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1 Q. Now, that officer, so we are clear, also has a cipher

2 and that is P162, isn't it?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And we will see in a minute that you and he worked in

5 a pair during those interviews.

6 Can I ask you about briefings? Who would give the

7 briefings?

8 A. Ordinarily the SIO.

9 Q. And when would they take place?

10 A. Before the series of interviews.

11 Q. Were there any subsequent briefings during the

12 interviews?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Who gave them?

15 A. Usually the SIO. There always had to be somebody of

16 detective inspector rank there to sign the papers

17 immediately you come out of the interview, and if it

18 wasn't the SIO it would be somebody of that level who

19 deputised for him or her.

20 Q. In general terms what were the sort of points covered in

21 the briefings?

22 A. The evidence to date and then later on, through the

23 progression of the interviews, if there was any more

24 information arising from the interviews or, indeed, any

25 other evidence that was coming to light from the

 

 

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1 external enquiry team.

2 Q. Was there a strategy established at the beginning for

3 the interviewing?

4 A. Not perhaps in the context of how it would be today.

5 Interviewing strategies have come on a long way since

6 then, but certainly, yes, there would have been

7 a strategy of sorts in the sense that we knew what we

8 had to ask and the points that we had to cover, but it

9 is certainly not of the formalised nature that it would

10 be today.

11 Q. And during the process of interviews, would the

12 interviewing officers, perhaps the pairs, share

13 information?

14 A. In what regard, sorry?

15 Q. Would you discuss what was going on in your interviews

16 with the other interviewing pair, for example?

17 A. It certainly was made public at each of those briefings

18 at whatever time they happened, 9, 2 and 7 o'clock. So

19 the answer to that would have to be yes.

20 Q. And so far as the briefings you have mentioned during

21 the course of the interviews is concerned, in other

22 words not the one at the start but the one later on,

23 what was the purpose of that?

24 A. I am sorry, I am not sure what you are asking about.

25 Q. You described a briefing at the start?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Then you said there might be later briefings during the

3 course of the interviews?

4 A. Not might be, there would be.

5 Q. Would be, thank you. What was the purpose of those

6 later briefings?

7 A. As I said, to update us about anything that had arisen

8 from the interviews or, indeed, from the external

9 enquiry team.

10 Q. So presumably you could take up those points and pursue

11 them in subsequent interviews?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask you a point about procedure

14 in the interviewing?

15 When a suspect is being taken from the interview

16 room back to his cell, what was the usual practice? Who

17 would usually take him?

18 A. Well, one of the custody staff plus one of interviewers.

19 Q. So it would be a uniformed custody officer?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Plus one of the two interviewing pair?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Thank you. And at the beginning of the interview, can

24 I ask you, did the same rule apply? In other words,

25 would the suspect be brought out to the room by one of

 

 

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1 the pair and a uniformed officer?

2 A. Usually, but not always.

3 Q. Now, focusing a little more on February 1997, can I ask

4 you this question: at that point, February 1997, how

5 much experience had you had of interviewing terrorist

6 suspects?

7 A. I would say quite a substantial one.

8 Q. During the whole of your police career?

9 A. Well, CID career.

10 Q. Yes. You tell us in your statement, paragraph 14 -- if

11 we could with look at that, please, on the screen at

12 RNI-843-041 (displayed) -- that you were asked whether

13 you had received specific training in connection with

14 interviews of terrorist suspects. Do you see that in

15 the middle of the paragraph?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. As I understand it, your answer to that was no, you

18 didn't have training specifically for that type of

19 interview. Is that correct?

20 A. No, it was the same methodology that applied to both

21 that and crime.

22 Q. Can I ask you this question in terms of the conduct of

23 the interviews: were the interviewing pair of officers

24 ever joined by other police personnel?

25 A. It can happen. A supervisory visit, for instance, or,

 

 

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1 indeed, if there was a scenes of crime officer or

2 somebody of that nature that came to produce exhibits.

3 So it has happened.

4 Q. Well, we will see in the papers in relation to one of

5 these cases that something -- I think it is described as

6 a "prig" -- a rocket anyway -- is produced at some point

7 during the course of the interviews. Is that the sort

8 of thing that would have been produced in the interview

9 room by a scenes of crimes officer, for instance?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Yes. So far as the supervision you have mentioned is

12 concerned, who would be conducting that?

13 A. If it did happen?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. Usually the SIO if there was some particular point that

16 he or she wished to ask the detained person.

17 Q. Was that a regular thing?

18 A. No, very infrequent.

19 Q. Very infrequent?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. But that senior officer would sit in in the interview;

22 is that right?

23 A. Sometimes they would simply sit there or sometimes they

24 actually would take a vocal, active part in the

25 interview itself.

 

 

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1 Q. Right. As an interviewing officer, you didn't know, as

2 it were, when to expect such a visit?

3 A. You may have done. You may have known that he or she

4 was coming to the interview or you may not.

5 Q. Would there be cases where you would conduct all of the

6 interviews and not receive such a supervisory visit?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the two cases with which we are

9 concerned -- the first being Barry Toman and the second

10 C138 -- you conducted a large number of interviews,

11 didn't you, in the first of those cases and I think I am

12 right in saying that your partner, interviewing partner,

13 was always P162. Is that correct?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Thank you. In relation to those interviews, the ones

16 that you deal with in your statement, who took the lead

17 in the interviews?

18 A. It depended who was acting as scribe.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. So if you weren't acting as scribe, the other person

21 would have taken the active lead in the interview.

22 Q. Did the scribe officer, if I can put it that way, ever

23 ask questions?

24 A. Oh, yes.

25 Q. Yes. So there would have been the non-scribe in the

 

 

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1 lead, but the scribe might well chip in with questions

2 of his own?

3 A. Absolutely, and the same would happen in a criminal

4 interview as well.

5 Q. Yes. Thank you. And was this officer P162 an officer

6 you had interviewed with on a number of occasions

7 previously?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So you had a way of working together?

10 A. Well, I worked with him every day when I was at work.

11 Q. He was part of the team you mentioned earlier?

12 A. He was part of my subsection, yes.

13 Q. Was his approach to interviewing the same as yours?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. It was?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You didn't have contrasting styles?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Now, can I ask you a question about something you say in

20 your statement about behaviour in interviews, and I

21 would like you to have in front of you, please,

22 paragraph 22 at RNI 843-044 (displayed) where you deal,

23 if you see there in the very first line, with the

24 question of derogatory comments.

25 I would like to ask you first a very general

 

 

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1 question. Have you, or had you, in the course of your

2 career cause to complain about a fellow interviewer's

3 behaviour during interviewing?

4 A. Not during an interview, no.

5 Q. So does it follow that you have had no cause to

6 discipline an officer on that basis?

7 A. Not in the content of an interview, no.

8 Q. Thank you. So far as these interviews are concerned, it

9 is right, isn't it, that most of the time there were

10 questions being asked and no responses being given?

11 A. Most of the time.

12 Q. Yes. In the face of that approach on the part of

13 a suspect, what was your strategy?

14 A. Well, the same question still had to be asked. You

15 know, that was the key point of why the detained person

16 was there. So it was a case of just having to get on

17 with it, so to speak.

18 Q. So you would continue with the interview and to put the

19 questions even though you weren't actually getting any

20 response whatsoever?

21 A. Correct, because the questions had to be asked.

22 Q. Indeed. Now, can we just see an example of this in

23 practice? I don't want to take you to any more of these

24 documents than I need to. Can we start, please, at

25 RNI-205-033 (displayed)?

 

 

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1 Before we look at any detail of this document,

2 I hope you have received this little table and, indeed,

3 I hope everybody else has received it as well because

4 what we have tried to do is to shorten the process for

5 everybody by setting out those interviews where you were

6 interviewing this particular suspect, Barry Toman, with

7 P162, whose name appears all the time under the heading

8 "other officer", and we can see another column there,

9 "note-taker". So it looks as though you passed that

10 task from one to the other, and the various references

11 there.

12 So this one, looking at this table, the one we are

13 looking at on the screen, RNI-205-033 (displayed), is

14 the second of the interviews and I think it is the first

15 that you conducted.

16 Now, I would like to just ask you a few points

17 because they apply throughout. If you look first at the

18 box under "Particulars of Interview", having noted the

19 two relevant ciphers, yours and P162, look in the second

20 line where it says:

21 "Subject brought from cell to interview room by ..."

22 Then P162:

23 "... and uniformed escort."

24 So that is very much the point you mentioned

25 earlier, isn't it?

 

 

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1 A. Except that the cipher is wrong. That would have

2 been me.

3 Q. Was it? Right. That is very, very helpful. So it

4 should say P228?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. Can I ask: do you know that because of the rank?

7 A. Sorry?

8 Q. Do you know that because of your memory or because of

9 the rank that is set out there?

10 A. I know it because of the rank, but I also recognise the

11 writing of the other officer.

12 Q. So this is his writing; he was the scribe for this

13 interview?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Thank you. And then this statement:

16 "He was informed of our identities."

17 Just pausing there, that is a phrase that appears at

18 the beginning, I think, of all the notes we have seen in

19 this case. Was that standard practice, to introduce

20 yourselves at the start of the interview?

21 A. Certainly always at the start of the first interview of

22 a series. It may not have happened in every single

23 interview and I know from reflection and looking in

24 these notes that in some cases we didn't. He knew who

25 we were because we had interviewed him so many times.

 

 

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1 Q. But the first time you met him, as it were, you always

2 introduced yourself?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Picking up the point we were looking at just a little

5 while ago, if we go over to RNI-205-034 (displayed), we

6 see in the second line there the first answer, as

7 recorded:

8 "No reply."

9 And in fact, with the exception of a moment on

10 RNI-205-035 (displayed) where he is recorded as having

11 laughed, that would appear to be the way the interview

12 went?

13 A. It could well be, yes.

14 Q. If we just flick through -- it is probably easier if you

15 have got the hard copy to do it there, but we can flick

16 through to RNI-205-037 (displayed) on the screen,

17 please. And, again, this is a question that I am only

18 going to ask you about this particular interview but it

19 applies in other interviews. Do you see in the middle

20 of the page, after the last "no reply", it says:

21 "We continued to question subject about his

22 involvement in the attack on the police Land Rover on

23 6 February."

24 Then continues:

25 "Subject continued as he had done before. Sat and

 

 

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1 made no reply to any questions put to him."?

2 What does that tell us about how the interview went

3 after the last recorded "no reply"?

4 A. He would have been asked similar if not the same

5 questions and we got exactly the same response. So

6 effectively to write them all down again would just have

7 been repetitive when it can actually be condensed into

8 those couple of lines of text.

9 Q. What was it that determined for you when to stop writing

10 down verbatim the questions and answers?

11 A. When the relevant issues had been covered.

12 Q. So there would come a moment, would there, when

13 presumably the lead interviewer, the person who was

14 asking the questions, not the scribe, would determine

15 that you had asked all the questions that were relevant

16 at that stage, you got no reply?

17 A. No, what I am saying is that the questions would have

18 continued. They simply just wouldn't have been recorded

19 verbatim.

20 Q. So was that a decision that the scribe made, then?

21 A. Usually, yes.

22 Q. Was there any conferring or did he just make a decision

23 and stop writing down the questions?

24 A. Obviously we both were there, we both knew the issues

25 that had to be covered. So we both would have been

 

 

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1 aware at what point the relevant questions had been

2 written into the notes.

3 Q. And, again, at the end of this section, it says:

4 "At the end of the interview he was asked if he

5 wished to read over the notes of the interview. Made no

6 reply."

7 It then says:

8 "Read notes over to him."

9 This may seem obvious, but can you just confirm,

10 please, that that would mean reading all of the

11 questions and the answers up to the point in the middle

12 of the page where it says "no reply"?

13 A. No, we would include everything that is in the notes.

14 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you. So you continue to

15 read, do you, and you would read to him the sentence

16 that begins, "We continued to question subject ..."

17 et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. You then asked him whether he agreed they were an

20 accurate record and, again, as we can see at the very,

21 very bottom of this page, he made no reply. Then you

22 asked him if he wished to sign -- this is now over to

23 RNI-205-038 (displayed) -- and you got the same answer.

24 Now, can I just ask you about the beginning of the

25 interviews, not this one but other notes we have seen?

 

 

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1 Sometimes -- and you refer to this also in your

2 statement -- there is what is described as general

3 conversation. Can you help us with what that describes,

4 please?

5 A. General conversation was a mechanism to try and engage

6 the detained person in conversation, ultimately in the

7 hope that he would start to correspond with answers to

8 the questions, the relevant questions. Sometimes it

9 worked, sometimes it didn't.

10 Q. And no note would be made of that conversation; is that

11 correct?

12 A. It can do. It can range from anything. It could range

13 from talking about him himself to hobbies, or anything.

14 Q. But there were obviously occasions then when that

15 strategy didn't work and even if the suspect had been

16 happy to engage in the general conversation, as soon as

17 you started to ask questions about the alleged offence

18 you would get no reply?

19 A. That was the usual course of what happened.

20 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the passage we have just looked at

21 about agreeing the contents of the interview notes, was

22 it usual for a suspect, in your experience, to agree, as

23 it were, orally the contents of the notes but not to

24 agree to sign them?

25 A. I think one is a contradiction in terms because if they

 

 

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1 usually did agree, they usually did sign them.

2 Q. So the non-signer was somebody who simply didn't agree,

3 didn't take any part in that process?

4 A. I have also seen occasions where they would say that

5 they were satisfied but they still refused to sign it.

6 Q. So there were such occasions?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And, again, in your experience was it usual for

9 a suspect to ask to read the notes himself?

10 A. Well, they were always offered to him to read anyway.

11 Q. Yes, but was it usual in your experience for them to

12 take up the offer?

13 A. Sometimes they did.

14 Q. But it wasn't usual, it did happen?

15 A. It did happen, but not all the time.

16 Q. Can I ask you about the legal representative of the

17 suspect in cases such as this? What interaction, if

18 any, would you have had as an interviewing officer in an

19 alleged terrorist case with the solicitor?

20 A. None.

21 Q. Thank you. What of the position in a non-terrorist

22 case, where you were interviewing?

23 A. A non-terrorist case?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. Well, usually -- in this day and age, if it's tape

 

 

24

 

1 recorded usually the solicitor will be present.

2 Q. Indeed. Now, so far as the solicitor was concerned,

3 when would the suspect have access to his legal

4 representative in a terrorist case?

5 A. As soon as they come in they usually would have made

6 a request to see that legal representative.

7 Q. But the representative would not be present, not at this

8 time anyway, in February 1997, during any of the

9 interviews?

10 A. Sorry, could you repeat that again?

11 Q. I asked you whether the representative, the legal

12 representative, would be present during any of the

13 interviews in a terrorist case?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 9 of your statement you

16 say that you would have known, as an interviewing

17 officer, if a suspect was seeing his solicitor -- this

18 is at RNI-843-040 (displayed) -- because this may have

19 delayed the interviews. Do you see that? It is the

20 penultimate sentence of that paragraph. Was that

21 a tactic in your experience that was used by suspects?

22 A. Frequently.

23 Q. So that they would make a request for legal access,

24 a legal visit, in order to delay the process. Is that

25 right?

 

 

25

 

1 A. That's correct. Not always, but frequent.

2 Q. Is it possible for you to give a view as to whether, in

3 your experience, this tactic was a tactic of the client

4 or the solicitor?

5 A. I can't make a comment on that.

6 Q. Now, so far as this particular solicitor,

7 Rosemary Nelson, is concerned, can I just ask you to

8 tell the Panel: what was your knowledge of

9 Rosemary Nelson and of the work she did at this

10 time, February 1997?

11 A. She was a practising solicitor in the town where

12 I worked. I obviously knew who the lady was. Being

13 a CID officer, we had frequent contact with a lot of

14 solicitors, but I think actually it was coincidental

15 more than anything that Mrs Nelson would have been one

16 of the lawyers I had less dealings with than other ones.

17 I think I can only cite a couple of occasions -- in

18 fact, only one really that I am sure of -- that I had

19 personal contact and direct contact with her.

20 Q. So you had limited dealings with her. Were you aware of

21 the way in which she was regarded by your colleagues in

22 Lurgan?

23 A. In what way? I am not sure what you are asking me here.

24 Q. Were you aware of any particular views held about her by

25 your colleagues in Lurgan?

 

 

26

 

1 A. No. My CID experience at that stage was quite extensive

2 and obviously I have interviewed a lot of people both in

3 Loyalist and in Republican circles and a lot of high

4 profile trials. So, you know, they all had individual

5 legal representation. Mrs Nelson was no different to

6 any of those other lawyers that ever I had occasion to

7 engage with.

8 Q. Can I ask you a specific question about her in relation

9 to the briefings that you mentioned to us earlier? Can

10 you recall whether her name was mentioned in the

11 briefings in either of these cases?

12 A. It may well have been. It may well have been because

13 she was the legal representative of the client, but that

14 was irrelevant. The key issue was that there had been

15 an application requested by the detained person for

16 access to legal advice, and the interviews would either

17 have been stopped at that stage or a detective

18 superintendent's approval given to continue interviewing

19 if the delay was going to be unreasonable.

20 Q. Do you have now any actual recollection of references

21 which may have been made to her in these briefings?

22 A. It may well simply have been said -- I have no

23 recollection, but it would simply have been said that

24 Mr Toman, or whoever was being represented by

25 Mrs Nelson -- but, like I say, having been, not

 

 

27

 

1 a veteran but at a substantial number of these

2 interviews, that is not uncommon, you know. Every one

3 of them, they all had their own legal representation.

4 So whether there was a Loyalist or a Republican suspect,

5 it would not have mattered. It was a simple awareness

6 as to who the lawyer actually was.

7 Q. You refer in your own statement to the question of high

8 profile clients. This is paragraph 12, by the way, at

9 the bottom of the page. Did that, that high profile

10 aspect to her work, have any effect on your view of

11 Rosemary Nelson?

12 A. None whatever.

13 Q. And what of your colleagues?

14 A. I can't speak for them, but my assumption will be that

15 it is exactly the same. They have all been in the

16 position that I have. We have all interviewed high

17 profile people. We have all been involved in a number

18 of high profile trials both on the Loyalist and the

19 Republican side. So there was no reason to suggest

20 Mrs Nelson was anything other than the lawyers that have

21 been engaged in those trials.

22 Q. Can I ask you specifically in relation to her whether in

23 these cases or others where she acted for suspects, did

24 you ever hear in a briefing a suggestion that she was

25 unduly sympathetic to or supportive of Republican

 

 

28

 

1 paramilitaries?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Now, in paragraph 13 of your statement you deal with

4 a question raised with you about links with her

5 Republican clients, and you say:

6 "Any such issues are a matter for the intelligence

7 side of our organisation. I have never been a member of

8 Special Branch during my career."

9 So the question I wanted to ask you, which, as it

10 were, flows from that and your last answer, is: were you

11 ever briefed on those matters during the course of your

12 career?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Would you have expected to have been briefed on any such

15 point?

16 A. Not unless the person was a suspect themselves.

17 Q. But in such a case you would have expected the briefing

18 to deal with such matters?

19 A. If the person was a suspect themselves, which clearly

20 the lady wasn't.

21 Q. Do you mean the solicitor?

22 A. That is the question you are asking me.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. But I can't see how else it would come even -- want to

25 be part of or relevant to the actual enquiry.

 

 

29

 

1 Q. Now, so far as events later in 1997 are concerned, you

2 mention at the end of your statement, in paragraph 37 at

3 RNI-843-049 (displayed), the murder of the two police

4 officers later that year, in June 1997, and you were

5 obviously involved in the investigation, as you tell us.

6 Can I just ask you to think back to that time?

7 Presumably the impact of those killings on you and your

8 colleagues in Lurgan was very considerable?

9 A. It certainly had a big impact on us all.

10 Q. And there was, I think -- please confirm whether this is

11 right or not -- a strong and sympathetic reaction from

12 the public?

13 A. I am sorry, the fans -- I am having difficulty hearing

14 some of the things that you are saying.

15 Q. It may be my fault. I'm not shouting into the

16 microphone enough.

17 There was -- is this right? -- a strong and

18 sympathetic reaction from the public?

19 A. Sympathetic reaction in what way?

20 Q. To the police.

21 A. Sympathetic about what? I am not sure of the question

22 you are asking.

23 Q. Did the public express their sympathy in relation to the

24 murder of the two police officers?

25 A. There was general widespread public condemnation of what

 

 

30

 

1 happened.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, you were a serving police officer in

3 Lurgan at the time and you were involved in the

4 investigation of those murders in which Rosemary Nelson

5 represented the accused, Colin Duffy.

6 Did that fact -- the fact that Rosemary Nelson was

7 involved in that capacity in that case -- do you think,

8 did that alter the way that she was regarded by you and

9 your colleagues in Lurgan?

10 A. None whatsoever. It is a position where most of us had

11 been many times before, regrettably.

12 Q. And so can I take it from that that you never heard of

13 a derogatory comment made about her by one of your

14 colleagues in Lurgan?

15 A. What would be the reason to do it?

16 Q. So is the answer no?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Thank you. Had you heard such a comment made by one of

19 your colleagues, what would you have done?

20 A. I would have reported it.

21 Q. As a disciplinary matter?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, can we look at the first of the two

24 specific cases you have been interviewed about, and that

25 is the case of Barry Toman?

 

 

31

 

1 Can you now remember for us -- and summarise -- what

2 it was that led to his arrest?

3 A. On the occasion that I interviewed him?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. Because I am aware he was arrested a short time before

6 that as well.

7 Q. Yes, you have dealt with that in your statement, haven't

8 you?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you. What were the circumstances in which you

11 interviewed him? What was the alleged offence?

12 A. He was believed to have been directly involved in the

13 prig attack on a police Land Rover, which fortuitously

14 missed, and he was believed to be keeping a lookout for

15 the people that actually fired the rocket.

16 Q. The expression which is used repeatedly in the interview

17 is acting as a "dicker"?

18 A. Yes, "keeping dick".

19 Q. Yes, for other people who were presumably the people in

20 charge of the prig, the rocket?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Is that right?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. As I understand it, the allegation is that the police

25 were deliberately lured onto the estate and then

 

 

32

 

1 attacked?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, again, trying to set this in some sort

4 of context, this was what could have been a very

5 dangerous incident indeed, an attack on a police patrol.

6 Did that at the time in Lurgan give it particularly high

7 importance, high profile, amongst the local police?

8 A. Regrettably it was one of a number.

9 Q. So was there, as you recall, any element of pressure on

10 you to get a result?

11 A. None.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the matter you have just

13 mentioned earlier, which is where you say you are aware

14 of an earlier contact with Mr Toman -- I think you deal

15 with it in paragraph 4 of your statement at RNI-843-038

16 (displayed) -- just to confirm, so we have got this

17 clear, you didn't interview him in relation to that, did

18 you?

19 A. Originally I thought I did, but actually on reflection I

20 didn't. I did make the arrangements for the arrest, but

21 I didn't actually interview him.

22 Q. Again, is that something that has emerged now you have

23 seen all the papers?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Yes, thank you.

 

 

33

 

1 We have, as I say, set out all of these references

2 for everybody. Can I just try and summarise the matter?

3 He was arrested, I think, on 11 February 1997. Is that

4 correct?

5 A. I think so, yes, that's correct.

6 Q. And released eventually without charge on the 14th, I

7 think, of that month?

8 A. I think that is correct, yes.

9 Q. Now, these show that you were involved in I think it is

10 nine of the interviews. There were, I think, 19 in all.

11 Do you know whether that is right or not?

12 A. I'm not certain.

13 Q. But there were other interviews going on?

14 A. There were a large number of interviews.

15 Q. Yes, over the course of those few days?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. Did those interviews, as far as you can recall, follow

18 the pattern that you talked about earlier of two hours

19 and then two hours, et cetera, et cetera, during

20 the day?

21 A. Some would have been shorter, may have been shorter,

22 some might have gone over the two hours, but on average

23 they were based on a two-hour slot.

24 Q. Now, in relation to these interviews -- and I know,

25 although we are not going to go through them all

 

 

34

 

1 together now, that you have had the chance to go through

2 all of the material -- were there any interviews of the

3 ones we have listed here where you remember leaving the

4 room at any time during the interview?

5 A. No, if I had have done, it would have been written into

6 the notes I had left.

7 Q. It would have been recorded, would it, in the

8 handwritten notes?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 Can I ask you just to help me with handwriting? We

12 looked earlier at what was in fact the second interview,

13 the first you conducted. Can you look, please, at

14 RNI-205-045 (displayed)? There we see the same

15 interviewing pair. Do you see the ciphers there? And

16 it is very different handwriting, isn't it? Is that

17 your handwriting?

18 A. It is, yes.

19 Q. Thank you. Yes. In fact in the third line it looks as

20 though you did, in fact, remind him -- or this is what

21 it records anyway -- of your -- that must be

22 "identities" presumably?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Thank you. So this is a case where you repeated the

25 introductions at the beginning of the second time you

 

 

35

 

1 saw him?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Again, without going through each and every one of them,

4 can I take another example of the moment at the end of

5 the interview we discussed earlier? This is a much

6 later interview, at RNI-205-132 (displayed). For

7 everybody's note, the interview begins at RNI-205-126.

8 This is a relatively short interview. Can you look,

9 please, about six lines from the end, where -- again, in

10 your handwriting, I think -- is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. "Continued to question subject about being involved with

13 PIRA. He made no answers to questions asked. Read

14 notes and offered same to him to read, sign. He made no

15 response."

16 From what you can remember now having re-read the

17 notes, is that what happened in relation to all of these

18 interviews, that he was offered the opportunity and

19 effectively didn't take it? He didn't read them and he

20 didn't sign them?

21 A. The interviews that I was present in, yes.

22 Q. Yes, absolutely. Thank you.

23 Can you remember a single occasion during these

24 interviews, the nine of them that you conducted, where

25 there was any comment or question about the content of

 

 

36

 

1 the notes raised by him?

2 A. No.

3 Q. As a matter of interest, if such a comment or question

4 had been raised by a suspect at the end of an

5 interview -- perhaps questioning the way you had

6 recorded an answer -- what would then have happened?

7 A. If we couldn't resolve it ourselves in the interview

8 room, obviously we would have had to have gone to the

9 custody officer who would have informed the SIO and the

10 matter would have been raised to light at that stage.

11 Q. So far as this case is concerned, as you know,

12 allegations were subsequently made about various

13 comments which were alleged to have been said during the

14 interview, and I think the fairest and best way to deal

15 with this is to take you to the complaint form where

16 they are all set out. So can we have, please,

17 RNI-203-131 (displayed)?

18 This is in fact part of a complaints documentation.

19 We will look again at some other aspects of it later.

20 You deal with it in your statement. But the allegations

21 begin on this page and continue to RNI-203-134, and what

22 I would like to do with you, if I may, is to take you

23 through the various allegations and put them all to you.

24 The thing begins, as you see, on this page with an

25 account of the circumstances of the arrest. So far as

 

 

37

 

1 you are concerned, the first relevant page is

2 RNI-203-132 (displayed). Now, the first suggestion

3 contained here is the allegation that the two

4 interviewing detectives didn't introduce themselves.

5 What is your answer to that, please?

6 A. We did and it is in the interview notes as well.

7 Q. So far as the other interviews which took place with

8 other interviewing officers are concerned, obviously you

9 can't comment on those, can you?

10 A. But I would have expected the same procedure to have

11 happened.

12 Q. Was it general practice?

13 A. General practice, yes.

14 Q. Was it general practice to record the fact of the

15 introduction in the notes?

16 A. Yes, or if you hadn't, why you hadn't.

17 Q. What circumstances would lead to an interviewing officer

18 not introducing himself?

19 A. If it was a series, a multiple series of interviews.

20 The suspect would have already known who you were from

21 earlier interviews.

22 Q. So effectively where it was unnecessary?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You will see the comments about what was said in the

25 interview continue, and in particular I'm now looking at

 

 

38

 

1 the eighth paragraph, numbered 8 on the left-hand side,

2 and specifically, you will understand, from the point of

3 view of the Inquiry, the issues that concern us are

4 those allegations relating to Rosemary Nelson herself.

5 So the suggestion is that in the interview the

6 comment was made:

7 "What is Rosemary telling you? Rosemary knows a lot

8 about rockets, you and Rosemary ..."

9 Then there is a blanked out name:

10 "... shot the rocket."

11 Were those words you used in any of the interviews

12 that you conducted with Barry Toman?

13 A. No, nor did I hear them.

14 Q. Is there any possibility that other remarks made during

15 those interviews might have been understood or

16 misunderstood as comments of that kind?

17 A. No.

18 Q. And then the allegations continue. They say a little

19 further down here:

20 "I had got the wrong advice. Look at how many

21 people she put away. They said she was the one who

22 touted, and I'm going to be shot. They put my family

23 under threat, they said we will shoot all of you."

24 Then, so far as the Inquiry is concerned, this

25 important allegation:

 

 

39

 

1 "He is hiding something, we need to get it out of

2 him, the fine bastard, you're dead. Tell Rosemary she's

3 going to die too."

4 Were those words you used or heard being used during

5 the course of those interviews?

6 A. Definitely not.

7 Q. Was Rosemary Nelson's name mentioned at any point during

8 the course of the interviews?

9 A. I think, from recollection, that the suspect may well

10 have been asked did he see his solicitor, but that would

11 have been the only reference to Mrs Nelson.

12 Q. Was she ever mentioned by name?

13 A. She may well have done, I'm not really sure, but that

14 would have been the context. And what we were actually

15 endeavouring to do is to say to the person, "Look, we

16 know that you have seen your solicitor, but you are

17 still entitled to further representation if you so

18 desire." That would have been the context.

19 Q. Now, if such a conversation had taken place, would we

20 see it recorded in the notes?

21 A. Absolutely.

22 Q. What of the suggestion, which you can imagine could

23 easily be made, that if derogatory remarks of this kind

24 were going to be made in interview, the last thing the

25 officers would do would be to write them down?

 

 

40

 

1 A. I understand that, yes.

2 Q. What is your response to it in this particular case?

3 A. It didn't happen.

4 Q. So, so far as you are concerned, do you stand by the

5 accuracy of the handwritten notes that we have seen in

6 these bundles?

7 A. Absolutely.

8 Q. Further allegations have been made in the course of the

9 Inquiry and also in a Panorama programme, which I think

10 it is right that I should put to you so you have the

11 opportunity of also dealing with them. And in

12 particular the suggestion has been made that the

13 Special Branch officers said they were either going to

14 get Rosemary Nelson killed or have her killed anyway.

15 Did you hear -- because obviously you were not

16 a Special Branch officer -- did you hear those comments,

17 those words, being used in any of the interviews of

18 Barry Toman?

19 A. No, and I did not conduct any interviews with

20 Special Branch.

21 Q. Thank you. And what of the suggestion that in the

22 interview it was said that Rosemary Nelson's life was

23 under danger and that the officers would have her

24 killed?

25 A. Like I say, I didn't interview with any Special Branch

 

 

41

 

1 member.

2 Q. What about during the interviews that you conducted?

3 A. Definitely not.

4 Q. So far, therefore, as any references to Rosemary Nelson

5 are concerned, as I understand it, what you are saying

6 is had there been a discussion with the suspect about

7 her, it would have been recorded?

8 A. Yes, in the context that I have outlined to you.

9 Q. Yes, exactly. So it wouldn't have been swept up by

10 a reference, for example, to general conversation at the

11 beginning of the interview?

12 A. No.

13 Q. You are sure about that?

14 A. Absolutely. It was to make sure that the suspect was

15 aware even though they had legal representation that

16 they were entitled to further.

17 Q. So far as the passage at the end of the interviews that

18 we looked at together, where it effectively says we

19 carried on putting the same matters and getting the same

20 "no reply" answer, is it possible that during that part

21 of the interview where there is no detailed question and

22 answer recorded that reference to Rosemary Nelson might

23 have been made?

24 A. Definitely not. I know what I said and I know what my

25 interviewing partner said.

 

 

42

 

1 Q. Can I ask you something about the various other officers

2 who conducted interviews of Barry Toman? And if I can

3 just pause to say this is where it is particularly

4 important to have your key, the cipher, document in

5 front of you. Do you remember the other officers who

6 conducted interviews of this suspect, by which I mean

7 P162, Steven Walker, P121, B149 and B169?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Sorry, did I read out a wrong cipher? Sorry, I should

10 have said -- this is important and I apologise for

11 having got it wrong. It is B145, not 149. I'm sorry

12 about that.

13 Are these officers whom you remember?

14 A. I remember them, yes.

15 Q. The reason I ask you that question is because I have

16 various descriptions that I want to ask your comment on,

17 physical descriptions.

18 First of all, so far as you are concerned, thinking

19 back to the beginning of 1997, how would you describe

20 your own appearance in terms of age, hair colour, rough

21 weight, height at that stage?

22 A. Well, ten years younger for a start.

23 Q. Indeed. Roughly how old?

24 A. Mid 30s. I was about two stones lighter than

25 I currently am. Facially my appearance hasn't changed

 

 

43

 

1 and my hair colour is still the same, a little more

2 grey.

3 Q. And the rough height?

4 A. 5 foot 8.

5 Q. Thank you. Looking at the cipher list and the list in

6 particular of the other interviewing officers that

7 I have just read out to you, can you help the Inquiry

8 with this: whether any of them fit the following

9 descriptions. And please bear with me because these are

10 the descriptions that appear in the papers. The first:

11 "Fat with bushy, dirty, fair hair, about 5 foot 10

12 to 6 feet tall"?

13 A. Certainly not me.

14 Q. Indeed. Is it a description that matches what you

15 recall of the appearance of any of those officers?

16 A. No.

17 Q. No?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Thank you. Secondly:

20 "Black hair with a middle parting, well built,

21 5 foot 10 to 6 feet tall."

22 A. It is a pretty generic description.

23 Q. Does it describe, however generically, any of the

24 officers on that list?

25 A. Not directly, no.

 

 

44

 

1 Q. Indirectly?

2 A. Some of them have dark hair, yes.

3 Q. Is there anyone in that list who might fit that

4 description?

5 A. There is a number of them have dark hair, but as for the

6 rest of the features, no, I can't say it directly fits

7 one person.

8 Q. The third is this:

9 "Well built, 6 feet tall with black hair brushed

10 back, big gold ring on his right-hand index finger."

11 A. There is some of them are tall, there is some of them

12 have dark hair.

13 Q. Can you indicate which?

14 A. Mr Walker is tall and has dark hair.

15 Q. Anybody else on the list?

16 A. My partner had dark hair, but he certainly wasn't that

17 height. He would be much the same height as myself.

18 Q. So about 5 foot 8?

19 A. Yes, maybe a little bit taller.

20 Q. Okay. Then finally:

21 "Black hair to the side and a squeaky voice."

22 A. I don't know who that would be.

23 Q. No. Thank you for bearing with me on that.

24 Can I ask you this question: Did Mr Toman give you

25 an indication at any point during his time in custody

 

 

45

 

1 that he wished to make a complaint?

2 A. No, not to me.

3 Q. Was he offered the opportunity to make one during the

4 course of the interviewing process?

5 A. He had that opportunity every time he interacted with

6 the custody staff.

7 Q. And as far as you are aware -- and obviously we can look

8 at the documents for ourselves -- he didn't take up that

9 opportunity at the time?

10 A. That's correct, and specifically when he was released

11 when there was a specific question on that basis, but...

12 Q. Yes. So would it follow from that that the first you

13 heard of this matter was when you were contacted in

14 relation to the complaint in, I think, October, end

15 of October that year?

16 A. I can't remember when it was, but yes, it would have

17 been in and around that time.

18 Q. We will look at the dates in a minute. Thank you. But

19 at any rate, that was when you first heard about the

20 complaint?

21 A. That would be right, yes.

22 Q. Thank you. Can I just turn to C138, which is a much

23 shorter matter?

24 Is this right: you were one of a number of

25 interviewing officers when that suspect was in custody

 

 

46

 

1 between 6 and 9 February that year, the same month, the

2 same year, in connection, I think, with a mortar bomb

3 that had been found in his garage?

4 A. Yes, I was one of a number.

5 Q. Now, if you look at your statement, please, briefly,

6 paragraph 6 at RNI-843-039 (displayed), it seems that in

7 this case you were acting as a CID supervisor?

8 A. When the incident originally happened. I was called out

9 to it in the middle of the night.

10 Q. Just for the benefit of those who don't know what that

11 means, what does that involve, being a CID supervisor?

12 A. There would have been a detective constable on call and

13 if a serious incident happened, the first point of

14 contact would have been an appointed supervisor.

15 Obviously it was my turn that particular night.

16 Q. So you were called out?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Thank you. Thereafter, once he was brought into

19 custody, I think I am right in saying that you only

20 conducted one of the interviews?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. As a result of your position, CID supervisor, were you

23 involved in the briefings for the interviews?

24 A. No, in fact, if memory serves me right, mine was the

25 very, very last one before the night closed down,

 

 

47

 

1 effectively. So I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty

2 certain that I would not have been at the 7 o'clock

3 briefing.

4 Q. And did you take part in any of the subsequent briefings

5 that you mentioned earlier?

6 A. No, I simply filled in. If memory serves me, I think it

7 was to let somebody go home early. They needed to go

8 home early or something like that. That is why I was

9 brought across, to fill it out.

10 Q. So you stepped in in that particular case?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 You deal with your prior knowledge of this

14 particular suspect in paragraph 8 -- if we could go down

15 to that, please -- on the same page, RNI-843-039

16 (displayed), and you say there that you weren't aware of

17 him before the time of his arrest. You don't think you

18 had interviewed him and, in fact, you don't think you

19 came across him subsequently either?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And it is right, isn't it, that at the end of the

22 interviewing process this suspect was released without

23 charge?

24 A. I don't know that.

25 Q. Right. Thank you.

 

 

48

 

1 Now, in the course of the interviews can you recall

2 that this particular suspect handed over a statement, I

3 think an alibi statement, to the interviewing officers?

4 Not to you, but to the interviewing officers?

5 A. I don't recollect it. He may have done, I don't

6 remember.

7 Q. Thank you. Sir, we have come to the place where we

8 would normally take a break. Would this be a convenient

9 moment?

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

11 break. Would you please take the witness out first?

12 And the witness will then come back there, yes.

13 Cameras off, yes?

14 MR (REDACTED): Yes, sir, they are.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Would you please confirm that all the cameras

16 have been switched off. Thank you, Mr (redacted).

17 Please escort the witness out.

18 (3.15 pm)

19 (Short break)

20 (3.30 pm)

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

22 again with you, please, before the witness comes in?

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

24 the key secured?

25 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

 

 

49

 

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

2 screen closed?

3 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

5 and securely fastened?

6 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than the Inquiry personnel

8 and legal representatives seated in the body of this

9 chamber?

10 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

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

12 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

13 shrouded?

14 MR (REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. And all the other cameras have

16 been switched off?

17 MR (REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Please bring the witness in.

19 Please sit down. The cameras on the Panel, the

20 Inquiry personnel and the Full Participants' legal

21 representatives may now be switched back on.

22 Yes, Mr Phillips?

23 MR PHILLIPS: Can we look at the second case, C138, and the

24 interview notes there and can we have on the screen,

25 please, RNI-204-077 (displayed)? The first question

 

 

50

 

1 I wanted to ask you is is this your handwriting?

2 A. No.

3 Q. So we can take it, can we, that the other officer was

4 acting as scribe?

5 A. That's correct, yes.

6 Q. You told us a little earlier about the circumstances you

7 thought had led you to be in the interviewing team. Can

8 I ask you: was this officer an officer you had

9 interviewed with before as at this time, February 1997?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Was he also within your team, as you put it?

12 A. No, he was a member of the office but he was not part of

13 my subsection.

14 Q. So does it follow from what you told us earlier that you

15 were in the lead for this particular interview?

16 A. That would be correct, yes.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, we know that it is only one of a number

18 of interviews over, I think, three days, but as far as

19 we can establish, this is the only interview that you

20 were involved in with this particular suspect. Is that

21 correct?

22 A. I'm sure it was the only interview.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 Just taking you through the familiar passages of it,

25 in the third line the introductions are recorded, the

 

 

51

 

1 nature of the enquiries, MK16 mortar rocket and launcher

2 in his garage, the caution. And moving over the page,

3 at the top of the page, RNI-204-078 (displayed), the

4 reference there to the entitlement to legal advice.

5 I should have flagged this up to you before when we

6 were looking at earlier notes. Was this a standard

7 point to be made at the beginning of interview?

8 A. No, it was a point that I said earlier, that it was the

9 only time that it might be referred to and in the

10 context.

11 Q. But was it always mentioned at the start of the

12 interview?

13 A. Not always, but it does be mentioned, yes. Could I also

14 point out that there is an incorrect cipher reference at

15 the first page as well?

16 Q. Please do. Can you identify it?

17 A. Yes, it is the second line. It is obviously --

18 Q. That should refer to you, should it?

19 A. If it says DS, which I think it does, it refers to me.

20 Q. Right. Can you remember --

21 A. No.

22 Q. Right. So that may or may not be a good point?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Again, we will have to check that, and thank you very

25 much for pointing that out.

 

 

52

 

1 You remember I asked you earlier about a statement

2 which had been handed in by this suspect, C138. Can you

3 look, please, down the page on RNI-204-078; do you see

4 the last question? "You have handed in a statement."

5 So it looks, doesn't it, as though by this stage in the

6 process, late on 7 February, that statement had been put

7 in by the suspect?

8 A. I accept that, yes.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 As far as you were concerned, in relation to this

11 interview, do the notes accurately reflect the questions

12 and any answers given?

13 A. Yes, they would, both people had to be satisfied with

14 the content.

15 Q. And as far as you can recall, were they satisfied in

16 this case?

17 A. Yes, otherwise I wouldn't have signed them.

18 Q. Thank you. Because as we will -- it is actually very

19 difficult because of the ciphering, but if you look at

20 RNI-204-082 (displayed), we have an example at the

21 bottom of the page where both officers are required to

22 sign and I think they are required to sign every page of

23 the notes. Is that correct?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. Thank you. Can you look, please, a little further up on

 

 

53

 

1 this same page, RNI-204-082 (displayed)? We have

2 another of these summary sections:

3 "We continued to press the suspect on this point but

4 he remained silent."

5 So is what follows that sentence and what follows

6 there a summary of the rest of the interview?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Yes. So this is an example, is it, of the kind we

9 looked at a little bit earlier where, in the case of

10 a suspect who makes no reply, there comes a moment when

11 you didn't continue solemnly to write down the question

12 and the "no reply" answer, but would summarise it in

13 this way?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Now, so far as this suspect was concerned, were you

16 aware at the time, in other words in February 1997, that

17 a complaint was being made about the conduct of the

18 interviews?

19 A. No.

20 Q. As a matter of interest, can you remember when you were

21 first made aware of this particular suspect's complaint?

22 A. This has been a subject of debate. Apparently I was

23 served with the 17/3 in connection with it. I didn't

24 recall that and on one of the subsequent interviews with

25 the Mulvihill team the issue was raised again. I don't

 

 

54

 

1 know why that was.

2 Q. Can you now remember roughly when you were first made

3 aware by service of the 17/3 form?

4 A. I don't, for exactly the reason I have just said.

5 Q. Exactly, thank you. Now, can we look together at the

6 nature of the allegations, again, so you have got them

7 in front of you as I put the points to you. And you can

8 find them in a statement by this suspect dated

9 27 October that year, 1997, at RNI-203-088 (displayed).

10 Now, the first question I would like to ask you so

11 that we can together clear this up is about the cipher,

12 which is set out in the first line of the second

13 paragraph. As I understand it, there may in this case

14 also be an error in the application of that cipher. Is

15 that your view?

16 A. That's the same cipher number as my interviewing partner

17 in relation to Mr Toman's ones?

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. I don't know.

20 Q. You don't know?

21 A. I don't know whether that is an error or not.

22 Q. Right. You are not able to say whether that other

23 interviewing partner took part in those interviews?

24 A. I don't know.

25 Q. Can I just ask you then about the specific allegations

 

 

55

 

1 that are set out within this short statement? They

2 begin, so far as we are concerned, in that same second

3 paragraph. The suggestion is that various comments were

4 made about Rosemary Nelson. Do you see?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. The first is that it was said in the interview that she

7 was:

8 "... a money grabbing bitch. She is only in it for

9 the money. She got him [namely Colin Duffy] off. He is

10 a Provo bastard ..."

11 And the suggestion was said to have been made that

12 Rosemary Nelson was as bad as Colin Duffy and that she

13 was a Provo solicitor.

14 Now, can I ask, did you make remarks of that kind in

15 the course of the interview that we have just seen?

16 A. No, and the description doesn't fit either me or my

17 interviewing partner from that interview.

18 Q. You are jumping ahead, which is excellent, thank you

19 very much.

20 A. It was just an observation.

21 Q. So far as the descriptions which are given in the

22 statement, including, for instance, the grey-haired

23 policeman, that, you say, does not fit either yourself

24 or P -- I think it is 121, who conducted that interview

25 with you?

 

 

56

 

1 A. I'm not sure of 121. They have taken my list of cipher

2 numbers. Last guy who was here --

3 Q. Right. I think it is important that you have the cipher

4 list and I am going to ask for a copy of it to be handed

5 up to you. (Handed)

6 I'm sorry about that.

7 A. No, it certainly doesn't fit his description at that

8 time. I haven't seen him for a number of years --

9 Q. No, but in February 1997?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Thank you. But returning to the allegations about

12 comments, so I am clear about this, were these comments

13 that you made in the course of that interview?

14 A. Absolutely not.

15 Q. Did you hear them made by anybody else in the course of

16 that interview?

17 A. Absolutely not.

18 Q. Is it possible that comments of that kind were made but

19 were simply not written down by the scribe?

20 A. Not in my interview.

21 Q. It continues:

22 "They told me I would have got out a lot sooner if I

23 had not requested Rosemary Nelson because of her firm

24 and that the only people who requested Rosemary Nelson

25 are the Provo’s."

 

 

57

 

1 Again, the same question: Were those comments that

2 you made in the course of this interview?

3 A. There was no derogatory comments made by me or my

4 partner.

5 Q. Was there any reference to Rosemary Nelson made during

6 the course the interview?

7 A. With the exception of that legal reference that you

8 pointed out at the start.

9 Q. Can we just look at that, in fairness to you? It is at

10 RNI-204-078, the top of the page (displayed). Do you

11 see, the question there is:

12 "Do you understand you are entitled to legal advice

13 while here?"

14 There is no reference there to Rosemary Nelson there

15 by name?

16 A. I'm not saying it was by name, but obviously Mrs Nelson

17 was the solicitor who was representing the client.

18 Q. Was there any reference in this interview to

19 Rosemary Nelson by name?

20 A. No. If it was, it would be in the notes.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 It continues with the suggestion that fun was

23 made -- this is RNI-203-088 (displayed) -- of the marks

24 on Rosemary's face saying:

25 "'How did that happen? Is that a fucking

 

 

58

 

1 birthmark?' They called her a bastard, fucker and said I

2 wouldn't be in there place only for the fucking bastard,

3 meaning Rosemary. Each time I was questioned, they

4 seemed more interested in Rosemary Nelson. They stated

5 that Sharon was not too bad, but Rosemary, she was the

6 bastard of the lot. They kept on going on to me about

7 Rosemary getting Colin Duffy off. They said they knew

8 Duffy shot Lyness and she knew it too."

9 The same question: were those remarks made in this

10 interview?

11 A. Not by me or by my partner.

12 Q. Was there any reference during the course of this

13 interview to Colin Duffy by name?

14 A. I don't know. I would have to read all of the notes

15 again.

16 Q. So are you saying that if such a reference had been made

17 in your interview, they would have been recorded in the

18 notes?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. So far as your experience of interviewing

21 with this particular interviewing officer, P121, is

22 concerned, was he, in your experience, in the habit of

23 using abusive language of this kind in an interview?

24 A. No, because I simply wouldn't have permitted it.

25 Q. What would you have done had another officer used

 

 

59

 

1 language of this kind?

2 A. Like I said earlier on in my testimony, I would have

3 reported it.

4 Q. Was it your view that the use of language of that kind

5 was a valuable interrogation technique?

6 A. None. I don't see what purpose it would serve.

7 Q. Did you ever hear it used?

8 A. No, and neither would I have permitted it to allow it to

9 go ahead.

10 Q. In the statement that we have on the screen you will see

11 that various views are attributed to the interviewing

12 officers about Rosemary Nelson and specifically that she

13 was a Provo solicitor. Was that a view that you held of

14 her at the time?

15 A. No. Mrs Nelson was a practising solicitor and the type

16 of person that I would come across in everyday duties.

17 Q. Was it a view of her that you ever heard expressed by

18 any colleague during your time at Lurgan?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Can I just ask you to look at your statement and

21 paragraph 37, and that is at RNI-843-049 (displayed)?

22 You begin this paragraph in the context of the C138

23 complaint by referring to the references in his

24 statement that we have just been looking at together.

25 And you refer -- and we looked at this paragraph

 

 

60

 

1 together earlier -- to the fact that he was charged with

2 the murder of the two police officers. That, we know,

3 took place in June 18997. The interview of this

4 suspect, C138, took place in February 1997. So whatever

5 comments about Mr Duffy that are set out in that

6 statement cannot have been referring to that particular

7 incident, can they?

8 A. They aren't made in the first place.

9 Q. No. But do you see, you make the connection here? You

10 have obviously read the comments in the statement --

11 A. No, I didn't make the connection. I was specifically

12 asked about Mr Duffy when I was making the statement. I

13 didn't make that connection --

14 Q. But you make the connection between the statement and

15 the incident following which he was charged with the two

16 murders, which we mentioned, we discussed earlier. The

17 fact is it that that took place some four months after

18 the interview, didn't it?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. So whatever else was being referred to, if it happened,

21 can't have been that, can it?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Thank you. So far as this case is concerned, can I take

24 it from your earlier answer that this suspect, C138,

25 made no complaint to you during the interview process?

 

 

61

 

1 A. Not to me, no.

2 Q. And were you made aware at the time of any other

3 complaint made by this suspect, C138, about the

4 interviewing process?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned earlier the circumstances

7 in which you came first to know about Barry Toman's

8 complaint, and let us look together to put a date on

9 that, please? That is at RNI-203-131 (displayed).

10 This is the document we looked at earlier. It is

11 part of the complaint process. This is the form 17/3.

12 I think you mentioned that earlier. And we can see the

13 date, can't we, of the acknowledgment by you on

14 30 October 1997? So, to be clear, you had no knowledge

15 of the complaint -- is that right? -- until you were

16 informed by the investigating officer at the end

17 of October 1997?

18 A. It would have been around that time, yes.

19 Q. Yes. Can I ask you -- this was, therefore, some eight

20 and a half months after the interviews of this

21 suspect -- what was your reaction when informed about

22 this complaint?

23 A. Surprised.

24 Q. Any other reaction?

25 A. No, I was surprised. I have never had a complaint made

 

 

62

 

1 against me in any interview, ever.

2 Q. So this was the first such complaint that had been made

3 against you?

4 A. Yes, ever.

5 Q. The process of the initiation of the complaint involves

6 the service of the form that we have looked at, the 17/3

7 form, and it also involves an opportunity being given to

8 the officers involved to make some statement, to make

9 a comment. And we can see that form at RNI-203-134

10 (displayed). Again, completed by the investigating

11 officer, who also has a cipher, P146, the same date,

12 30 October, you see at the bottom, and your response is

13 recorded in the middle of the document, do you see:

14 "Nothing to say."

15 Can I just ask you this question: can you remember

16 now why it was that you didn't take the opportunity

17 immediately to rebut these allegations?

18 A. Absolutely, because I knew I was going to be interviewed

19 at a later date.

20 Q. And in due course you were interviewed, and we will look

21 at that in a moment.

22 So I have understood this, you decided, did you,

23 that you would set out your position in the subsequent

24 interview?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

63

 

1 Q. Rather than by immediate response to the caution?

2 A. Absolutely.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 Now, so far as your more detailed response is

5 concerned, as I understand it, the process was that --

6 and we can see this at RNI-203-137 (displayed) -- this

7 statement records the fact that you were served with the

8 document we have looked at. You have read the details.

9 You didn't require time to think the matter over and

10 that you wished to make a statement, and that is signed

11 by you and we can see what transpired at RNI-203-135 and

12 136 (displayed).

13 If we can look at RNI-203-136, please (displayed),

14 your statement -- I am afraid it is all in handwriting,

15 which isn't very easy to read -- begins with the

16 letter A in the fourth line, doesn't it, and continues

17 until the passage saying:

18 "I agree ..."

19 And that is in your handwriting again, isn't it?

20 A. That is my writing, yes.

21 Q. So the other writing is the writing of P146, isn't it?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. He was recording what you had to say?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. So far as what you had to say is concerned, as I

 

 

64

 

1 understand it, what the statement says is:

2 "The contents of the interview notes are a true and

3 accurate account of the interviews that I was involved

4 with in relation to Barry Toman. I did not make any

5 derogatory comments against any person during any of the

6 interviews that I was present in and neither did any

7 officer who was there interviewing with myself, and

8 neither would I have permitted ..."

9 I think that must be:

10 "... same. I also deny any irregularities and

11 interviews with C138 on 7 February 1997."

12 So just trying to put this together, you set out

13 your case and your denial in relation to the Barry Toman

14 complaint. Then there is this single sentence dealing

15 with something completely different. Can you remember

16 how that came about?

17 A. The interviewer must have raised the issue.

18 Q. Right. And in terms of your dealing with that second

19 case, C138, did you ever make a more formal or a longer

20 statement than that single line?

21 A. No, I was never interviewed about it.

22 Q. To make that good, can we just look on the screen

23 briefly, please, at RNI-223-224 (displayed)? This is

24 a document generated in the course of the Mulvihill

25 investigation, which we will touch on very briefly in

 

 

65

 

1 a minute.

2 Can I ask you to look, please, at the second

3 sentence of this first paragraph:

4 "It became apparent that he ..."

5 That is you:

6 "... had also been involved in the interviews of

7 C138, but that no Form 17/3 had ever been served in

8 relation to these matters. However, in a previous

9 interview regarding the Toman complaint he had

10 done nothing improper in the interviews of

11 C138."

12 It looks as though that is a reference to the

13 document we have just looked at, and the decision is

14 taken and recorded in the second paragraph, isn't it,

15 not to pursue your involvement in the C138 case from

16 that point? Is that your understanding?

17 A. I assume that is the rationale.

18 Q. Thank you.

19 So far as the Mulvihill investigation is concerned,

20 you say in your statement that you were interviewed by

21 the Mulvihill team, and we can see those notes at

22 RNI-225-076 (displayed) and, again, we don't need to

23 look through them -- they go on to RNI-225-094 for

24 everybody's note. But in summary, what was your answer

25 to the complaint allegations made by Barry Toman?

 

 

66

 

1 A. As are recorded there. That is a transcript of the

2 interview.

3 Q. Yes. And in summary, your answer to the allegations

4 was?

5 A. Exactly the same as I have said today.

6 Q. Did you accept them or deny them?

7 A. I denied them, obviously.

8 Q. Yes, thank you. And so far as the nature of these

9 allegations is concerned in relation to the two

10 suspects, can you assist the Inquiry with why, in your

11 view, those allegations were made against you?

12 A. It was an ongoing campaign against the RUC in general at

13 that time, not just specifically against detectives.

14 There was a media campaign, there was posters up about

15 a bigoted force and all sorts of things. So I'm

16 assuming that this was just another aspect to that

17 overall campaign.

18 Q. With when you say you are assuming, is that because you

19 don't have any direct evidence for that?

20 A. It is the only rationale that I can explain for it.

21 Q. So these complaints were part of a wider campaign?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. That's your view?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Just in fairness, that is something you also deal with

 

 

67

 

1 in your statement. Can we look at that, please, at

2 paragraph 23 on RNI-843-044 (displayed), where you say,

3 "In my opinion ..." Do you see that?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. "... an orchestrated attempt by the Republican Movement

6 to smear the RUC. The type of complaints made and the

7 terminology used by a number of them was all very

8 similar."

9 I would like to ask you a few questions about that.

10 You told us earlier that this was the first complaint

11 that had been made against you?

12 A. Against me, yes, that's correct.

13 Q. Did you find yourself the subject of subsequent

14 complaints of this kind?

15 A. I have never had a complaint subsequent to this one.

16 Q. In relation to no doubt the hundreds of interviews that

17 you conducted in your time in CID, these were the only

18 complaints that were made?

19 A. Yes, and I would like to extend that further to say that

20 even in uniformed duties before and post this complaint,

21 I still haven't had another complaint.

22 Q. And presumably a number of the interviews that you

23 conducted were in relation to alleged Republican

24 terrorist offences?

25 A. And Loyalist as well.

 

 

68

 

1 Q. So was it purely fortuitous then that you escaped the

2 impact of the orchestrated campaign other than in these

3 two cases?

4 A. Because I had never done anything wrong. I don't know

5 why it has arisen in this particular case. Obviously

6 it has.

7 Q. Surely if it was such a determined campaign, then given

8 the amount of interviews that you have conducted, you

9 would have expected far more complaints against you to

10 have been registered?

11 A. Perhaps.

12 Q. But it follows, doesn't it, that you must have

13 interviewed a very large number of suspects who did not

14 make such a complaint against you. Is that fair?

15 A. That's fair, yes.

16 Q. Yes.

17 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Phillips, can I just interject

18 there?

19 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just on that point, it is your

21 recollection now, a long time ago I know, but did you

22 interview any other suspects of whom Rosemary Nelson was

23 the legal representative?

24 A. Not that I am completely aware of. I may have done, but

25 not that I'm complete aware of. I may have done.

 

 

69

 

1 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay.

2 MR PHILLIPS: Can I ask you about your awareness? You have

3 explained your own very limited experience of

4 complaints, personal experience, but was it usual at

5 that time for complaints of this kind to be made, namely

6 where the alleged comments in interview focused on the

7 suspect's solicitor?

8 A. Not that I'm aware of. I am aware of occasions where

9 complaints have been made by suspects in custody but

10 when they have left, they have withdrawn the

11 allegations.

12 Q. But were you aware at the time of any other case where

13 the substance of the allegation was that comments had

14 been made about the suspect's lawyer?

15 A. Not outside of this Inquiry.

16 Q. No. Now, so far as the motivation is concerned, the

17 motivation for making such complaints, you have

18 described to us now and in your statement the idea, that

19 you have at any rate, that this was part of an attempt

20 to discredit the police.

21 What about the suggestion that complaints were made

22 for tactical reasons within the context of criminal or,

23 indeed, subsequent civil proceedings?

24 A. I am aware that that has happened. And a particular

25 issue around the holding centre was an effort by

 

 

70

 

1 paramilitary groups to have them tape recorded, whereas

2 at this stage they obviously weren't. They are now.

3 Q. Actually you refer to that in your statement, don't you,

4 because in paragraph 30, if we look at that, at the top

5 of page RNI-843-047 (displayed), when you are talking

6 about the purpose of the complaints in your opinion --

7 it is the last sentence -- you say:

8 "It was to undermine the RUC and to try to ensure

9 that all interviews were tape recorded in the future,

10 which ultimately they were."?

11 Obviously another way of looking at that is that the

12 taping ensured that in fact no such derogatory or

13 improper comments could be made because if they were

14 made, they would be recorded on the tape?

15 A. Well, that is one way of looking at it.

16 Q. Yes, and your way of looking at it?

17 A. Well, I accept what you are saying. However, the

18 interview process, you know, the intelligence flow now

19 has now stopped as a result of them being tape recorded,

20 and it is my opinion and my belief that that was a major

21 campaign for actually starting the tape recording in

22 interviews because those people were afraid to actually

23 say something on tape.

24 Q. So you see these particular complaints, do you, the two

25 with which we are concerned, as being part of that wider

 

 

71

 

1 campaign?

2 A. Yes, I do.

3 Q. Now, on that topic broadly, can I just go back to

4 something I asked you right at the outset of your

5 evidence -- and I fear I may have rather cut you off in

6 the middle of your response -- you were answering

7 a question about how things were in Lurgan when you went

8 back there in January 1997.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And I asked you specifically about the nature of the

11 terrorist problem, and you gave an answer. Can I ask

12 you specifically: was, as far as you were concerned, the

13 Provisional IRA active in Lurgan at that time?

14 A. Without question.

15 Q. And what was your estimation and assessment of the level

16 of activity there?

17 A. They were very active.

18 Q. And that was something you dealt with day-to-day, week

19 on, week out --

20 A. And year on year as well.

21 Q. Sir, those are the only questions that I have.

22 Question by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

23 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Yes, I just wanted to pick up the

24 point about tape recording.

25 Would I be right in deducing from your answer to

 

 

72

 

1 Mr Phillips that you actually felt that the introduction

2 of tape recording was positively unhelpful to the cause

3 of justice?

4 A. No, I'm not saying that, ma'am. I think it was helpful

5 in many regards and, if anything, it would be

6 a safeguard to the officers conducting the interview.

7 However, there has been a stemming of an intelligence

8 flow and I believe that was one of the principal reasons

9 why they wanted to stop the way that they were recorded.

10 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I understand, thank you.

11 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just to pursue this issue of the

13 complaints again, if I may, just to take it to

14 a satisfactory conclusion for me, you personally were

15 subject to complaints made by two suspects that we have

16 heard about this afternoon?

17 A. Yes.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: That is not the whole picture, of

19 course, as far as this Panel is concerned.

20 A. I understand that, sir.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: We face a situation where we have read

22 and heard from in total nine people, not always

23 connected by the offences for which they were arrested,

24 not always arrested together and not always arrested at

25 the same time, and that is important. But there is

 

 

73

 

1 a thread in the allegations that these people have made

2 concerning comments made about Rosemary Nelson, in that

3 they were comments of a personal nature, attacks on her:

4 Either she was connected with paramilitaries or

5 allegations, comments, made about her personal

6 appearance.

7 Can you offer some help to us, please? Looking at

8 that disparate situation, how do you feel they came to

9 make similar complaints if they were not arrested at the

10 same time, not in connection with the same offences? If

11 that is not the common thread, what is?

12 A. In connection with the Provisional IRA.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can you expand on that?

14 A. Like I say, I believe that was part of an orchestrated

15 campaign by that organisation towards us as a service in

16 general. That is what I think the common thread is.

17 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So it was orchestrated by them in

18 preparation for any occasion when they may be arrested,

19 to be used?

20 A. That is one explanation, but I think it was part of a

21 wider and strategic ambition to disassemble the RUC in

22 general, and that effectively happened.

23 As I say, the other issue was the beginning of tape

24 recording of the holding centre interviews.

25 Questions by THE CHAIRMAN

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Are you still a serving officer?

2 A. Yes, I am, sir.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: What position do you now hold?

4 A. One rank higher than I was at that stage.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Are you still in CID or are you now in

6 a uniformed branch?

7 A. No, I'm in a uniformed branch and have been since 1999.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

9 Well, we will adjourn now for a short time and

10 consider your list of questions, Mr Donaldson.

11 Before the witness leaves, would you confirm that

12 all the cameras have been switched off, Mr (redacted)?

13 MR (REDACTED): Yes, sir, they have.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Officer, we are going to adjourn for a short

15 time to decide whether you should be asked any further

16 questions. Would you mind remaining and would you be

17 escorted out, please?

18 MR DONALDSON: Sir, may I enquire, would you wish to hear

19 some submissions from me?

20 THE CHAIRMAN: We will first of all consider the questions

21 and then give you the answer to that question.

22 MR DONALDSON: Thank you.

23 (4.17 pm)

24 (Short adjournment)

25 (4.41 pm)

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Donaldson, we have carefully considered

2 your questions. Our feeling at present is that the

3 substance of most of the questions that you want asked

4 have been answered by the witness either as a result of

5 questions by Mr Phillips or questions by members of the

6 Panel.

7 Other questions, of the nature of which we have

8 already ruled, would not assist us, but we would like to

9 hear any oral submissions you do wish to make in

10 response to what I have just said.

11 Submissions by MR DONALDSON

12 MR DONALDSON: I'm grateful for that.

13 I would, sir, like to do that. In fact, it is

14 interesting -- firstly, let me say this: we have evolved

15 at least a working scheme now for submitting our

16 questions and it is helpful at least to know in advance

17 which will be asked and which will not be asked, and it

18 gives us an opportunity to consider that.

19 Now, in relation to this particular witness, we do

20 consider that the questions, especially the questions

21 at 3, 4 and 5 and 6 -- especially 3, 4 and 5 -- are

22 particularly important and we feel that they would have

23 been helpful to the Inquiry.

24 I listened with great interest to the questions

25 asked by Sir Anthony Burden, which bear very much on the

 

 

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1 matter that we had in mind, and that concerns the matter

2 of whether or not there was any consistency in the

3 complaints which were made by various people, by various

4 complainants, especially -- we have dubbed them really

5 the "Lurgan Nine".

6 The interesting thing about the Lurgan Nine is this:

7 that the Lurgan Nine -- the questions -- I am going to

8 make some presumptions, as it were, but it would be

9 important, I think, that the Inquiry should enquire

10 further into this because it does appear that in fact

11 the Lurgan Nine have a lot in common: They all knew

12 each other; they were all from the Kilwilke Estate area;

13 they were all clients of Rosemary Nelson. And I know

14 the point that Sir Anthony was pressing was whether

15 there was some common thread or not in relation to the

16 allegations made by them because, in fact, a common

17 thread in all of it is the fact that there were

18 derogatory references alleged to have been made about

19 Rosemary Nelson.

20 Now, in order for the Panel to reach findings on

21 this, we feel that you would really need to have some

22 evidence about this, although it appears generally that

23 that is the situation. But eventually, when this

24 Inquiry finishes and when I am making submissions at the

25 end, I want to be clear, and the Panel, more

 

 

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1 importantly, will want to be clear, just exactly what is

2 the situation.

3 In relation to question number 3, this particular

4 witness served in Lurgan for a number of years. He is

5 a very experienced detective and it is important,

6 therefore, that he can assist or could assist, we

7 believe, the Inquiry in relation to whether or not these

8 people knew each other and whether they all came from

9 the Kilwilke Estate. I don't want to guess at this. I

10 am sure the Inquiry will not want to guess at it. And

11 it is important, therefore, that the Inquiry should be

12 informed and assisted in relation to these matters.

13 A further point has arisen and this bears on

14 question number 4. This witness was only concerned in

15 the interview of two of the Lurgan Nine. He was not

16 concerned in the interviews of the others. Barry Toman,

17 for example, made numerous detailed allegations. C138

18 alleges gross abuse about Rosemary Nelson and extremely

19 vulgar language. Those are the two he interviewed.

20 He was asked as well about whether or not it was

21 a coincidence that nobody else had made allegations

22 against him. But it is significant that it came from

23 two of the Lurgan Nine. He had not interviewed the

24 remaining seven and, therefore, they were not in

25 position to make allegations against him.

 

 

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1 In relation to question 5, that continues the theme:

2 is it likely that all the above-named persons would be

3 known to each other. We feel that either this witness

4 or other experienced detectives will be able to answer

5 that question and satisfy the Inquiry one way or the

6 other as to whether or not that is so.

7 I think there has been evidence given already --

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Surely from the whole corpus of the evidence

9 that we will hear, both oral evidence and written

10 statements, we will be able to reach a conclusion with

11 regard to these questions. This officer won't be able

12 to assist us.

13 MR DONALDSON: He can, sir, with respect. This officer

14 could and should be -- he may be able to assist, but he

15 will not assist unless he is asked. And the same will

16 apply to any other witness, and that is the importance

17 of the evidence of police officers against whom

18 allegations are made. They are the people who can give

19 you this information and, in fact, some other officers

20 may be able to do so as well. But we cannot wait until

21 they are called to pose the questions. We have to ask,

22 and the Inquiry, I think, should enquire if it feels

23 that this witnesses might be able to assist, and we feel

24 that he can and would be able to assist.

25 I would remind the Inquiry at this stage too of

 

 

79

 

1 certain comments made by Mr Phillips in his opening, and

2 I want to refer -- and I will do this very quickly -- to

3 part of his opening. It occurred on opening day 6, and

4 I am referring to page 63. He said as follows:

5 "For the most part, the situation which presents

6 itself to you is black and white. Either on the client

7 or complainants' accounts a pattern of derogatory

8 reference to Rosemary Nelson emerges over all the cases

9 with some consistent themes: the unpleasant personal

10 remarks; the suggestions that she has only her own

11 interests at heart and not their interests; the

12 interests of her clients, and again and again the links

13 drawn between her and her clients, between her and the

14 paramilitary organisations and adverse and specific

15 comment made, if you remember, to others about her work

16 for one client in particular, Colin Duffy.

17 "If it is true that pattern is correct and made out,

18 what then emerges is a repeated set of interrogation

19 tactics which was both abusive, and I mean by that not

20 only abusive in the simple sense, but also in the sense

21 of abusive of power. The power conferred on those

22 detaining the suspects by the emergency legislation and

23 by the absence of independent records of what was being

24 said in interview is both abusive and also apparently

25 unsuccessful."

 

 

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1 Excuse me a moment, please. (Pause)

2 In order to consider that, we respectfully submit

3 that the Inquiry should also be considering the other

4 side of the coin; that is, that there was a situation

5 here where the Lurgan Nine in particular had a lot of

6 things in common, and it seems probably likely that they

7 conferred together and this was a tactic of theirs to

8 blacken the police, making allegations of this kind.

9 And therefore, if there is consistency, that

10 consistency -- if there is any -- was achieved by

11 collusion between the Lurgan Nine.

12 So, therefore --

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Isn't that something you will be able to

14 submit on the whole of the evidence, when all the

15 evidence is given by the various complainants, both in

16 written statements and oral statements, and by the

17 evidence of the various officers?

18 MR DONALDSON: I would prefer to make the submissions, sir,

19 on the actual evidence of the witnesses in response to

20 these questions.

21 We feel that no question has yet been asked, which

22 in fact is sufficient perhaps yet to satisfy this

23 Tribunal that there may be some substance in the point I

24 am making. I don't want to be making submissions in

25 a vacuum. Really at this stage I am inviting the

 

 

81

 

1 Inquiry to enquire from the witness about these crucial

2 matters; otherwise I think you need that assistance.

3 I don't know what answer you are going to get --

4 although I think I do -- but until it is actually given

5 in evidence, it is not evidence. And we feel,

6 therefore, that the questions should be asked.

7 Let me say this in a more general way. We are

8 asking serious questions, not very many, putting in

9 a list of questions. We are at a disadvantage in not

10 being able to cross-examine witnesses themselves and it

11 seems that the Tribunal has set its face against

12 allowing us to do so. But we feel that we should not be

13 deprived of this opportunity of having some of our

14 questions asked, and so far we have not been very

15 successful, if I can say so, in having our legitimate

16 questions asked. And we have been denied that

17 opportunity and I do now invite the Tribunal to consider

18 this proposition very carefully and allow these

19 questions to be asked.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Donaldson.

21 Yes, Mr Phillips --

22 MR DONALDSON: Just one further point, sir, I would like to

23 make.

24 We did send in some MSN questions. I didn't want to

25 trouble you with this, but two of them are important as

 

 

82

 

1 well. In relation, for example, to the complaints made

2 by Barry Toman and C138, we invited the questioner to

3 refer the witness to the custody record of each of those

4 people. I know it will appear, but in fairness to the

5 witness, he should have been asked about the complaint

6 made, if any, in his custody record because Barry Toman

7 in his custody record -- just to remind you, sir,

8 because you would not have been able to check this --

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Would this officer have had anything to do

10 with the custody record?

11 MR DONALDSON: Not particularly, but nonetheless it is part

12 of the record --

13 THE CHAIRMAN: The custody record is done by either the

14 custody sergeant or the custody inspector, isn't it?

15 MR DONALDSON: Sir, it was important to him. It was

16 a witness or a suspect whom he had interviewed, and in

17 fact -- I say it now in respect of C138. When asked if

18 he had any complaints to make, he said no, and in

19 respect of Toman, when he was asked, he said no, none at

20 all.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: When you make your final speech, you can

22 refer to these documents.

23 MR DONALDSON: I will.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: They are part of the material before us.

25 MR DONALDSON: Sir, there is -- fairness in examination of

 

 

83

 

1 the witness, in our respectful submission, would have

2 been achieved by allowing the witness to refer to the

3 document relating to his witness -- he was referred to

4 a lot of other documents of which he was not necessarily

5 the author, if I may say so, and furthermore he was

6 asked a number of hypothetical questions. Therefore, we

7 would respectfully submit that when we do put in a list

8 of questions, they should be treated seriously.

9 We have put in a list of 15 questions and the

10 indication given was that only five would be asked. It

11 is not really good enough.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Yes, Mr Phillips?

13 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, it is very, very tempting to get into

14 generalities, so I must be careful to confine myself.

15 But given that my learned friend has made a general

16 point about the way in which the PSNI's questions are

17 dealt with, I should make it abundantly clear to you

18 that the PSNI's questions and the questions of all Full

19 Participants are dealt with seriously by me and by my

20 fellow counsel.

21 So far as the substance of this application is

22 concerned, sir, in my submission the position is as you

23 have outlined it. These are matters which, insofar as

24 they are proper questions, have been sufficiently

25 covered by the witness. There are a number of other

 

 

84

 

1 issues, to which my learned friend has not made

2 reference, contained in these questions, which are the

3 sort of points on which you have ruled before against

4 him.

5 The question for you to consider is whether these

6 are questions in the proper sense which are likely to

7 elicit relevant and useful testimony, or rather whether

8 they are more in the nature of a submission, in other

9 words that they are points which my learned friend has

10 already outlined to you, perhaps ironically by reference

11 to a number of answers already given, which will and can

12 be opened to him of course in his submissions at the end

13 of the day.

14 So far as the specific MSN question is concerned,

15 the position is as follows: that the witness was asked

16 very specifically in relation to whether complaints had

17 been made in both the cases and gave very specific

18 answers to those questions, saying that no such

19 complaint had been made and, indeed, making the point

20 himself that an opportunity was given at the end of the

21 custody detention period to raise specifically whether

22 there was a complaint to be made and, in the case of

23 Barry Toman, that he said specifically that no complaint

24 was to be made.

25 So, sir, I do not believe, with great respect to my

 

 

85

 

1 learned friend, that to show the custody record would

2 have taken that particular matter any further.

3 Sir, that is all I have to say.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Anything further you want to say,

5 Mr Donaldson?

6 MR DONALDSON: No, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will adjourn to consider your

8 submission.

9 (4.59 pm)

10 (Short adjournment)

11 (5.32 pm)

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Donaldson, we are grateful for your

13 submissions. We accept that many of the points that you

14 have made are valid points which we shall have to

15 consider when writing our report. But we are satisfied

16 that this witness is not an appropriate or legitimate

17 vehicle to advance those points.

18 We already have had in oral evidence, or written

19 statements or documents, much material and we shall

20 receive more in subsequent weeks, upon which you can

21 fully advance your arguments on these points in your

22 final submission.

23 You read out to us a part of Mr Phillips's opening,

24 but you did not refer us to what Mr Phillips said by way

25 of balance. And I quote from the transcript, from the

 

 

86

 

1 same page from which you read out to us:

2 "On the other side, you are faced with the

3 suggestion that these are no more than a set of

4 fabricated allegations put forward in a cynical attempt

5 to obtain advantage in any criminal proceedings or, more

6 broadly and as I have said this morning, in an attempt

7 to undermine and discredit the police as a whole, the

8 RUC itself."

9 We will adjourn until Thursday, I think, now --

10 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, can I just make a couple of procedural

11 announcements. I know this is a matter of concern to

12 Full Participants and their representatives.

13 Unfortunately it is not going to be possible to have

14 any evidence tomorrow. So, as you say, we will resume

15 again on Thursday with witness P117. I'm sorry about

16 that.

17 I should also flag up that the witness for Friday

18 morning is still in doubt and, again, as soon as I have

19 final, firm information, we will make sure the Full

20 Participants are aware of it.

21 Sir, the other matter I should raise at this point,

22 just after the evidence of P228, is this. Full

23 Participants will have noticed persistent references to

24 his interviewing partner in the Toman case, P162. Now,

25 as everybody will know from their lists, P162, who also

 

 

87

 

1 was, indeed, due to be called to give evidence as

2 a result of your decision, has provided a statement to

3 the Inquiry. However, sir, it is now clear that it

4 would not be fair or right to call him for medical

5 reasons. I'm not going to say any more than that.

6 So the suggestion I would make, sir, is that we take

7 his statement as read and it will be taken into account,

8 but he will not be called to give evidence.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: I think it is right that I should say that

10 the Panel as a whole considered the medical evidence in

11 relation to that witness and decided, because of the

12 significant nature of the medical evidence, that it

13 would not be fair to call that particular witness. It

14 was a decision of the Panel as a whole.

15 (5.36 pm)

16 (The Inquiry adjourned until Thursday, 4 September at

17 10.15 am)

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

 

 


 

1 I N D E X

2
P228 (sworn) ..................................... 3
3
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 3
4
Question by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ............ 71
5
Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN .............. 72
6
Questions by THE CHAIRMAN .................... 73
7
Submissions by MR DONALDSON ...................... 75
8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25