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Full Hearings

Hearing: 23rd June 2008, day 39

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Monday, 23rd June 2008
commencing at 1.00 pm


Day 39

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Monday, 23rd June 2008

2 (1.00 pm)

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

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

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

6 secured?

7 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

9 screen closed?

10 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

12 and securely fastened?

13 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

15 participants' legal representatives seated in the body

16 of this chamber?

17 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr [name redacted], can you confirm, please, that

19 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

20 shrouded?

21 MR [NAME REDACTED]: Yes, sir, they have.

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

23 MR [NAME REDACTED]: Yes, sir, they have.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Bring the witness in, please.

25 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

 

 

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1 Participants' legal representatives may now be switched

2 back on.

3 P160 (sworn)

4 Questions by MR SAVILL

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

6 MR SAVILL: Before I ask you one or two questions, could

7 I just confirm with you that we have your statement to

8 the Inquiry. In order to do that, I will ask for

9 a document to be put on to the screen: RNI-842-084,

10 please (displayed).

11 That, I very much hope, is the first page of your

12 witness statement. We can see a date,

13 15th November 2007; yes?

14 A. That is correct, yes.

15 Q. Could we just pop up, please, the last page with your

16 signature, which is RNI-842-092; yes?

17 A. That is correct, yes.

18 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you some questions relating to

19 events in 1997, some time ago now, relating to

20 interviews of two suspects. The first of those is

21 a Mr Colm Toman and the second has a cipher of C138, and

22 I think you should have in front of you a cipher list to

23 help you identify identities, where appropriate, when we

24 come to ciphers?

25 A. I have, yes.

 

 

3

 

1 Q. Thank you. I think I am right in say that you joined

2 the RUC in 1969?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. And can you tell us when you retired, please?

5 A. March 2001.

6 Q. And what rank and what was your role when you retired?

7 A. I was a detective constable.

8 Q. In CID?

9 A. CID, yes.

10 Q. I think I am right in saying that in July 1976 you

11 started your CID duties?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. By moving to Portadown police station?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And then you moved from Portadown to Armagh, to the

16 regional crime squad?

17 A. That's correct yes.

18 Q. For about a year in the mid 80s?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. And around about 1985 you transferred. Where was that

21 to?

22 A. That was to Dungannon police station.

23 Q. And in 1997 transferred again; where to?

24 A. Lurgan police station.

25 Q. And I think, again, I am right in saying that a little

 

 

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1 under ten years saw you working at Lurgan until your

2 retirement?

3 A. That would be correct, yes.

4 Q. Just help me, please, if you can, with your

5 responsibilities and activities whilst a member of CID.

6 What sort of crimes were you investigating?

7 A. They varied. Anything from ordinary crime, which was

8 theft, burglary, anything that of nature, through to

9 terrorist type crime.

10 Q. Now, you have a considerable number of years' service

11 behind you so obviously the climate of criminal activity

12 would have changed during that period, but are you able

13 to give me a rough idea of what percentage of your time

14 was involved in run of the mill criminal activity and

15 what was involved with terrorism?

16 A. It would be difficult to put a percentage on it. It

17 really depended on what was happening at that particular

18 time. Obviously the terrorist aspect would take

19 precedence over the ordinary crime, and as being

20 a senior detective, senior detectives would normally be

21 involved in the terrorist aspect. But as I say, to put

22 a percentage on it would be very, very difficult.

23 Q. That is entirely fair of you to say that.

24 Now, in 1997, talking, as you have just done, about

25 changing climates of criminal activity, could you give

 

 

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1 us, please, a snapshot of the situation as regards

2 terrorism in Lurgan at that time?

3 A. Lurgan as such -- terrorist activity in Lurgan would

4 have been at a high degree. One couldn't say on a daily

5 basis, but it was on high alert, if you would like to

6 say.

7 Q. In early 1997 it was in such a state?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And before 1997, had it been building up to that or ...?

10 A. Not in a noticeable sort of a build-up. There were

11 certain areas where terrorist-type incidents/terrorist

12 crime were always prevalent. Lurgan, unfortunately, was

13 one particular place that you always had that problem.

14 Q. Would the expression "a hot spot" be appropriate, or

15 not?

16 A. You could refer to it as that, yes.

17 Q. And again, my words, were the activities from both

18 sides?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. What were the implications for you as a police officer

21 of this type of activity?

22 A. It was very busy. There were a lot of incidents that

23 had to be dealt with on the street. There were a lot of

24 incidents where we spent a lot of time in holding

25 centres, such as Gough Barracks or Castlereagh, where

 

 

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1 there were interviews of suspect terrorists taking

2 place.

3 Q. Did you find that frustrating work on the basis that

4 very often those you were interviewing made no reply to

5 questions in interview?

6 A. Not as such. I had been at this particular aspect of my

7 work for a long time and really if I was going to be

8 frustrated in this type of work, I shouldn't have been

9 there.

10 Q. Was it comparatively more frustrating than run of the

11 mill criminal work?

12 A. Not really. It was like any form of criminal work:

13 frustrating. If you could come at it from the other

14 direction, it was very rewarding, in that conducting

15 enquiries, if you got a result of your enquiry, whether

16 it be terrorist or ordinary crime, as we describe, it

17 could be very rewarding.

18 Q. Yes. In 1997, interviews were not audio recorded?

19 A. No.

20 Q. They were recorded by means of a written summary?

21 A. That would be correct, yes.

22 Q. Just help me with that a little bit if you can. Who

23 would make the note? What was contained in the note?

24 A. This is in relation to interview of terrorist suspects?

25 Q. Yes.

 

 

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1 A. Normally what would happen would be four detectives

2 would be allocated to one suspect terrorist for

3 interview purposes. You would be paired up with another

4 officer and you would conduct the interviews, sort of

5 interview about with the other team of officers.

6 Q. And it wasn't a hard and fast rule that there would only

7 be two pairs; I mean, there might be more than that?

8 A. The maximum would normally be six, but it would --

9 normally we kept four.

10 Q. That group of detectives would have particular knowledge

11 of the case because there had been a briefing?

12 A. That's correct. Before you would interview a suspect,

13 the senior investigating officer would hold an initial

14 briefing, where you would be brought up to speed with

15 obviously exactly why that suspect was there, what

16 information and/or intelligence you had against that

17 suspect and then a strategy would be set aside then for

18 the interviews.

19 Q. And there would be an exchange, presumably, of

20 information between the officers in between the

21 interviews?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Just coming back to a question I asked a moment ago, in

24 relation to the interview summaries that were written by

25 police officers, how did those work, please?

 

 

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1 A. In an interview, initially you would enter the interview

2 room, the suspect would either be in the room at that

3 time or he would be brought to the room. One of the

4 interviewing officers would be designated to take

5 handwritten notes. This doesn't mean that he would not

6 take part in the interview itself.

7 Q. No, quite.

8 A. But normally the other interviewing officer would take

9 the lead then in the interview, because the other

10 officer would be taking the notes.

11 Q. And would it be fair or not to say that the object at

12 least was that a verbatim note was kept, or not?

13 A. No, not as such. Things obviously -- in an interview

14 lasting two hours on a particular subject, things

15 obviously would be become repetitive and unless there

16 was something different -- or a different answer given

17 to a question that had already been put, normally it

18 would not have been noted.

19 Q. And I hope I am right in saying that very often some of

20 the conversation or questioning that you engaged the

21 suspect in, whilst it had its purpose, wasn't strictly

22 relevant to the offence. There would be general

23 conversation?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. As I say, I am not suggesting you were doing it for the

 

 

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1 sake of it, it was no doubt part of your tactics, but

2 there wouldn't always be conversation germane to the

3 precise incident --

4 A. I don't think it would be fair to say it was just for

5 the sake of it.

6 Q. No, I am saying it wasn't for the sake of it.

7 A. No, no, if you are interviewing somebody and, as often

8 happened, they weren't speaking to you or answering your

9 questions, yes, you could go off on a tangent to talk

10 about anything, just to try and get the suspect to join

11 in conversation.

12 Q. And also, if you will forgive me, to find a way in?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Yes. I think I am right in saying also that the

15 interviews were video-recorded? There was a monitor at

16 least, a video camera?

17 A. As far as I can recall back then, yes.

18 Q. Were they recorded or just monitored, do you recall?

19 A. I know for definite they were monitored. Now, what the

20 actual recording of the interview was, I'm not sure, I

21 don't know.

22 Q. Was it part and parcel of your role to satisfy yourself

23 that an interview had been either monitored or recorded

24 on the video?

25 A. Well, I took it the purpose of it was, you know, that if

 

 

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1 it was going to be monitored, it would also be recorded

2 and retained for a certain amount of time in case there

3 were certain allegations being made about what went on

4 in the interview on a physical plain.

5 Q. Yes. But what I am asking you is: would you, putting it

6 another way, if I can, at the end of each interview go

7 and check that there had been a recording made, or was

8 that not really part of your role?

9 A. No.

10 Q. No. You have mentioned in your statement to the

11 Inquiry -- I won't put it up on to the screen unless you

12 particularly want me to -- that sometimes one officer

13 would speak to a suspect alone?

14 A. I don't think I actually said that. I think what I said

15 was it wouldn't be uncommon or there would be nothing

16 wrong about one officer speaking to a suspect.

17 Q. I'm not suggesting that there was, and that answer, I

18 think, tells me we should call it up on to the screen.

19 A. Right.

20 Q. So could we call up RNI-842-085 and highlight

21 paragraph 6 (displayed). It is probably my fault. I'm

22 not suggesting there was anything sinister about it:

23 "An interview of a terrorist is always undertaken by

24 a pair of detectives. If the subject only wanted to

25 speak to one detective in relation to a particular

 

 

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1 matter, then this could be facilitated. But 90 per cent

2 of the time, the interview would take place in pairs."

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. So just so you understand me, I'm not suggesting there

5 was anything wrong with that, but your evidence to us is

6 that occasionally, perhaps at the request of a suspect,

7 there would be just a one-on-one?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. How would those interviews be noted?

10 A. Either by the remaining officer, who was with the

11 suspect at the time, or there was a facility for the

12 notes to be made after the interview had concluded.

13 Q. Yes. And as far as you and your brother or sister

14 officers were concerned, it is right, isn't it, that you

15 introduced yourselves by name at the beginning of the

16 interview?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Would you do that even if you had done it already, three

19 times that day, for example?

20 A. Yes. If you did it, actually, what you did was you

21 introduced it into the notes that in fact you did. That

22 was the way you started the interview. You informed

23 again the suspect of your identity.

24 Q. So it was custom and practice that, despite having

25 identified yourself previously, you would do it at the

 

 

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1 beginning of each interview?

2 A. Yes, that would be right.

3 Q. And at the end of the interview, the notes would be

4 passed on to the next interviewing officer for the next

5 interview. Is that right?

6 A. You mean the actual notes handed to the next

7 interviewing team?

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Yes, it would be part of a folder that would be kept.

10 The notes were all kept together. So if I conduct the

11 first interview, my set of notes going into the folder,

12 the next interviewing team then would attach their

13 interview notes to that. It was sort of -- it was for

14 reference purpose as well, so as you could go back and

15 read through the notes just to see how the other

16 interviews had gone.

17 Q. As far as Mr Toman was concerned, there was obviously an

18 allegation involving an attack on the security forces.

19 As far as you are, or were concerned, was there any

20 particular pressure on you because of that to obtain

21 a result, obtain a conviction, as opposed to any other

22 case?

23 A. No.

24 Q. I am going to tell you certain things which I hope you

25 can accept from me: That the interviews of both these

 

 

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1 gentlemen were conducted between 6th and 9th February

2 for C138, and 11th and 14th February for Colm Toman in

3 1997. So I'm just trying to help you with the

4 background to this.

5 A. Okay.

6 Q. And as far as Colm Toman was concerned, you were present

7 for eight of the 20 interviews with two different

8 partners, P225 and Detective Constable Strain who sadly

9 is deceased.

10 In respect of C138, you were in seven of the

11 14 interviews that took place, with officers P121, P135

12 and P162. As I say, I'm not asking you a question.

13 Forgive me for that, but I'm just putting some facts

14 into your mind.

15 A. Yes, if that's what the record says, yes --

16 Q. That's where I got it from, you will be relieved to

17 hear.

18 A. Yes, I accept that.

19 Q. As far as you were concerned, yourself, at this time, I

20 think I would be right in saying, you were probably the,

21 or one of the most senior detectives. Would that be

22 fair?

23 A. Of the rank, yes.

24 Q. I'm sorry, quite right, of the rank.

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. But as far as experience was concerned, you were one of,

2 if not the most, experienced?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. When you were interviewing suspects generally, what sort

5 of level of interaction did you have with their

6 solicitor? I am talking about terrorist suspects, of

7 course.

8 A. Practically none. The interviewers -- unless there was

9 specific request to -- by the suspect to speak to the

10 solicitor or the solicitor to speak to the interviewing

11 officers, there would be no contact.

12 Q. I hope you will accept from me there isn't a right or

13 wrong answer. I am just keen to understand how much you

14 would see a suspect's solicitor if they were being

15 interviewed by the holding centre. So very little,

16 really, is the answer?

17 A. Very little or none.

18 Q. But would it be usual for you to know more often than

19 not who the solicitor was?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. I would presume, in accordance with custom and practice,

22 you would check the custody record before interviewing

23 the suspect?

24 A. Yes, normally -- solicitors would have contacted the

25 holding centres on behalf of their client and a note

 

 

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1 would be made of that, and there was a register kept of

2 that. So from an early stage, you would be aware -- not

3 in all cases, because a lot of suspects maybe didn't

4 require or ask for a solicitor, but if a solicitor was

5 involved, normally you would know within a short period

6 of time the name of the solicitor who was representing

7 the particular client.

8 Q. As you have said to us just a moment ago, very often

9 they might request that solicitor whilst you were

10 interviewing?

11 A. That request would normally have been made of the

12 uniformed personnel who were looking after their

13 welfare. But, no, it wasn't unusual to go into an

14 interview of a suspect who maybe did not have

15 a solicitor and they make a request. But as soon as

16 they would make that request, then we, as detectives,

17 would not take that on board; we would pass that to the

18 uniformed personnel who would take it on board.

19 Q. I understand what you are saying. I mean, it is not

20 a very big point, but I hope you would accept that there

21 were occasions when someone would say in the middle of

22 an interview, "I want to see Mrs Nelson or Mr Bloggs or

23 Mr Jones"?

24 A. As soon as that would be said, the interview would

25 terminate and, yes, it wouldn't be uncommon for them to

 

 

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1 say, "I want to see my solicitor. My solicitor is

2 Mrs Nelson." It wouldn't be uncommon for that to

3 happen.

4 Q. As you say, the interview would be terminated. I will

5 just ask you this: there were provisions and

6 circumstances -- and I'm not, again, suggesting any

7 impropriety -- when the interview would in fact continue

8 without the solicitor first seeing the client?

9 A. It would really depend on the circumstances of the

10 interview. Obviously, if you are well into an interview

11 where a suspect is about to make an admission, it was

12 sort of very difficult -- you would have to weigh up the

13 implications of the request that was made at the time,

14 in that if the request was made for the solicitor and

15 then all of a sudden the suspect made an admission, even

16 as a senior detective I would have to seek direction on

17 that. But I would be very reluctant to all of a sudden

18 just want to turn in -- I would have sought direction in

19 a case like that.

20 Q. As I say, I'm not suggesting there was anything right or

21 wrong about it. I just wanted to understand.

22 A. What I am saying is normally when a request was made for

23 a solicitor, what would happen would be that that

24 interview would be terminated and then uniformed

25 personnel would take it on board and a solicitor would

 

 

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1 be on hand for the suspect.

2 Q. As far as Mrs Nelson was concerned, we have got this

3 date of February 1997 because that is what we are

4 focusing on here. What was your knowledge of her prior

5 to 1997? Can you help me with that?

6 A. Well, I knew Mrs Nelson as a solicitor who visited

7 Lurgan police station to represent clients, ordinary

8 crime. I knew of her. I had spoken to her

9 professionally. It was a professional relationship, you

10 know, I'd pass the time of day with her if she was in

11 the police station or out on the street. Basically,

12 that was it.

13 Q. I'm not suggesting that you were friends with her, but

14 presumably business was brisk at times at Lurgan police

15 station and you saw her quite a good deal?

16 A. No more than any other solicitor.

17 Q. No.

18 A. No.

19 Q. But she was familiar to you?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And up to and after 1997, would you say your dealings

22 with her remained constant?

23 A. I don't know if constant would be the word. If

24 Mrs Nelson was representing a client, I would have

25 contact with her, yes, the same as with any solicitor;

 

 

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1 no more so with Mrs Nelson than any other solicitor that

2 would be visiting the police station.

3 Q. But there didn't come a time when the contact, the level

4 of contact you had with her changed? No?

5 A. No, there was no pattern to contact with Mrs Nelson or

6 any other solicitor. It was just whatever was happening

7 at that particular time. If she happened to be the

8 solicitor, then obviously there would be some sort of

9 contact, but there was no pattern to it.

10 Q. In your perception, was there a shift in her client base

11 around this time at all?

12 A. I was always aware that Mrs Nelson represented clients

13 who were involved in terrorist crime and in ordinary

14 crime, yes.

15 Q. So your dealings with her suggested to you they were

16 a mixed bag of clients?

17 A. Yes, as with other solicitors who would have been --

18 Q. Certainly, but what I'm suggesting to you or asking you

19 is: you didn't say to yourself, over a period of time,

20 "It seems that Mrs Nelson is representing higher profile

21 or more focusing on terrorism-related offences"?

22 A. Not particularly. I was aware that she did represent

23 terrorist suspects, yes, but for me to sort of say, you

24 know, Mrs Nelson is now representing more terrorists, no

25 I never got into that, no.

 

 

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1 Q. Now, as far as other people were concerned, other police

2 officers were concerned, I just want to ask you about

3 your contact with them. Presumably you would have

4 contact with them in the police station and when out and

5 about making enquiries day-to-day?

6 A. Are these other CID officers?

7 Q. Yes, other CID. You're quite right to ask me. Other

8 CID officers.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Since you say that, did you have much contact with

11 uniformed officers?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Special Branch?

14 A. We had contact with Special Branch, yes.

15 Q. And there would be occasions when you would be either

16 sat having a cup of tea in the canteen with them, for

17 example?

18 A. It could happen. It didn't happen very often.

19 Q. And was that because you were busy working?

20 A. It was just things were going on. If somebody happened

21 to be sitting at a table in the canteen, whether there

22 was a Special Branch officer, a uniformed officer,

23 whatever, and you sat there, you would have contact with

24 them, but no more than having contact with uniform or

25 anybody else in the police station, no.

 

 

20

 

1 Q. And you socialised with other officers, I would presume?

2 A. Not to a great extent, no.

3 Q. No. When you were either at work or sometimes possibly

4 socialising outside work, you discussed your work:

5 cases, personalities?

6 A. You mean with other officers?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Outside work I tried to avoid it at all costs. Inside

9 work, yes, I discussed matters with other officers.

10 Q. And during those discussions was Mrs Nelson's name ever

11 mentioned?

12 A. In what regard?

13 Q. Well, was her name ever mentioned?

14 A. I don't know, I can't recall. Specifically I can't

15 recall sitting down and holding a conversation about

16 Mrs Nelson. No, I don't recall having a conversation

17 like that.

18 Q. Let me now narrow it down a bit. Were you aware that

19 her name was ever mentioned in relation to the work she

20 did and perhaps frustrations felt by police officers

21 with her?

22 A. No.

23 Q. What about any other defence solicitors? I'm sure you

24 will understand what I am driving at. You have got

25 someone that you are absolutely convinced is guilty of

 

 

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1 an offence and for whatever reason they don't end up

2 being charged or they are acquitted at court. Was that

3 ever discussed?

4 A. The fact that they didn't end up in a court?

5 Q. The solicitor's role in securing either their acquittal

6 or the fact that they were never charged?

7 A. My regard to that is a solicitor is a professional

8 person and that is what his job is. There are decisions

9 that are made as a result of that which are totally out

10 of my jurisdiction, and I didn't or I don't dwell on it.

11 I may have my own opinion on it but there were things I

12 didn't dwell on, no.

13 Q. Thank you. But going back to the question, was that

14 ever discussed?

15 A. The fact that a solicitor had got a client off?

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And I'm not suggesting there was anything wrong with it.

19 I am just asking whether it took place.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. But as far as you are concerned, Mrs Nelson's name

22 wasn't mentioned?

23 A. In a specific incident, I can't recall. It might have

24 come up in the fact that, oh a client had got off and

25 the solicitor was A, B, C or D, but there was nothing

 

 

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1 other than the fact that a client had got off. It

2 wasn't a whole big discussion.

3 Q. Let me give you an example. Was it ever said, "She has

4 got another one-off"?

5 A. By me?

6 Q. No, by anybody.

7 A. No, I never heard that.

8 Q. Was her involvement in Colin Duffy's murder trial at the

9 end of 1996 and his acquittal ever discussed? Do you

10 remember that?

11 A. I wasn't involved in that case. Yes, there was -- it

12 obviously was known that the trial was going on and that

13 Colin Duffy got off, and that everybody, I suppose, had

14 their own opinion about it. But I wasn't involved in

15 the inquiry, and other than the fact that she got off, I

16 wasn't involved in that.

17 Q. Thank you. Again, going back to the question: was

18 Mrs Nelson's involvement in that episode discussed?

19 A. Not with me, no.

20 Q. No. You see what I am just asking you? We could accept

21 that there could have been on a version a level of

22 discussion about solicitors, their involvement with

23 clients, and so on; yes?

24 A. I'm not disputing that at all.

25 Q. All I am asking you is was there, as far as you were

 

 

23

 

1 aware, anything above and beyond that, what one would

2 normally expect to be discussed at a police station,

3 anything pejorative?

4 A. Not that I am aware, no.

5 Q. So you didn't witness any of that?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Was any of it ever reported to you?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Moving to a slightly different level of rank, if you

10 will forgive my expression, of management, higher

11 ranking police officers, was there any impression given

12 or left with you that defence solicitors or indeed

13 Mrs Nelson were something of a nuisance?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Because I understand your answer some minutes ago, that

16 you felt that they were simply another person in another

17 role performing a professional job and obligation?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Were you aware that Mrs Nelson was instructed by

20 Colm Toman and C138? Do you think you would have been?

21 A. Probably, yes.

22 Q. I want to just turn, if I may, now, please, to the

23 allegations of Colm Toman. But before I do, can I just

24 explain to you what I am going to do to try and help

25 you.

 

 

24

 

1 The allegations made by Mr Toman in his statement to

2 this Inquiry go rather further than have been made in

3 the past. So you haven't until now had a opportunity to

4 deal with them. So I'm going to deal with them slowly

5 with you, but if they are seemingly fresh to you, that

6 is why.

7 A. That's fine.

8 Q. I just want to clear up with you what I think may be

9 an error in drafting. Could we put RNI-842-089

10 (displayed) on one side of the screen, please, and then

11 on the other side could we have RNI-203-150 (displayed)?

12

13 Now, we have got here on the left your statement,

14 and on the right the form 17/3, which we will come to in

15 due course; yes? Can you see that?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And the form on the right, at the bottom you can see:

18 "I acknowledge I have been served ..."

19 30th October 1997?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. If we look at paragraph 18, if we could just highlight

22 that on the left-hand side:

23 "Following my interviews of C138 and Colm Toman, I

24 was only advised two years later that they had made

25 complaints against me. I first became aware of these

 

 

25

 

1 complaints when I was served with a form 17/3 in

2 relation to each complaint on 28th October 1997 and

3 31st December 1997 ..."

4 Now, the interviews were in February 1997. Again,

5 I'm not seeking to be argumentative or critical, but it

6 is not quite right to say you were advised two years

7 later, is it?

8 A. No, that -- I think that actually refers to the -- or

9 should refer to the statements that were made by

10 Mr Toman and C138.

11 Q. Just so we are clear, the first that you heard about it

12 was when you were served with the form 17/3?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Thank you. Again, trying to help you, would I be right

15 in saying that if you were to have all these documents

16 taken away from you now, you would probably have quite

17 a lot of difficulty in remembering the facts and dates

18 of these interviews and what the incidents were about

19 and the people concerned?

20 A. That would be correct, yes.

21 Q. It is not meant to be a test of your memory. So I will

22 help you with the documents.

23 Again, so you understand this, Mr Toman made

24 allegations relating to his first interview, which

25 didn't involve you; yes?

 

 

26

 

1 A. I'll take your word for that. I do not have --

2 Q. I hope you can take my word for that.

3 A. I do not have that particular document in front of me.

4 I probably do.

5 Q. But he also -- just excuse me. (Pause)

6 Could we turn over the page to RNI-203-151

7 (displayed)? We can see at paragraph 7 -- highlight

8 that -- this is his original allegation:

9 "At the first interview, I was asked who my

10 solicitor was. I said Rosemary Nelson. They asked, 'Is

11 Rosemary Nelson really a Provo?' I laughed and said,

12 'Aye, she looks like one, doesn't she'. Then after this

13 interview, I was brought back to my cell at about

14 11.30."

15 He then talks about a second interview where there

16 is no mention of Mrs Nelson but there is some abuse and,

17 if you like, some threatening remarks made to him. And

18 if we turn over the page to RNI-203-152 (displayed),

19 please, paragraph 10 highlighted:

20 "I saw Rosemary twice a day. They said she was a

21 friend of the Provos and of Colin Duffy's. They said

22 she is not that good, she won't get you off."

23 Yes?

24 A. I see that, yes.

25 Q. That is what you were presented with in October as being

 

 

27

 

1 the suggested misbehaviour, if you like, during this

2 interview. Do you understand that?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Just pausing at this point, Mr Colm Toman was offered

5 the opportunity to sign interview records that you and

6 I have helpfully discussed earlier, and declined to take

7 up that opportunity. Was an unusual occurrence?

8 A. No.

9 Q. In terrorism-related offences or in all types of

10 offences?

11 A. Probably more so in terrorist-related offences.

12 Q. Now, as I have explained to you, these are the remarks

13 that were initially alleged by Colm Toman. So in

14 fairness to you, did you or anybody else you know about

15 say any of these remarks?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And you never heard anyone discussing that these things

18 had been said?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Thank you. Mr Colm Toman in his evidence to us has

21 suggested that in fact it wasn't in the first interview

22 when this started; it was more on the second or the

23 third day of the interviewing process and it continued

24 until he was released. Do you understand?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

28

 

1 Q. I'm just trying to set the scene for you so that you

2 don't feel that I am springing things on you, that's

3 all.

4 A. No, I'm just trying to recall how many days Mr Toman was

5 held.

6 Q. It was 11th to 14th February.

7 A. So it was three days, then?

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Okay.

10 Q. Three or four. So I'm just going to tell you the other

11 remarks that he says were made to him; all right?

12 A. Okay.

13 Q. I think I know what you are going to say, but I'm going

14 to suggest them to you anyway because that is what he

15 has told us. He said that in relation to the rocket --

16 because this was a rocket-related offence. I think it

17 was a propelled grenade:

18 "I suppose Rosemary Nelson showed you how to make

19 that?"

20 Meaning the rocket:

21 "That Mrs Nelson had been part of an active service

22 unit, a fire bomb exploded causing scarring on her face,

23 she'd been beaten with an ugly stick, she was

24 Colin Duffy's right-hand woman. They [meaning you, the

25 police] would have sorted her out. There would be no

 

 

29

 

1 fucking Rosemary Nelson Provo solicitor running about.

2 Rosemary Nelson wouldn't be helping him ..."

3 That is Mr Toman:

4 "... this time and that you [the police] would take

5 her out."

6 So again, did you or do you know of anybody else

7 that made remarks like that?

8 A. No.

9 Q. He also has suggested to us that there was an interview

10 that took place in the very early hours of the morning.

11 Can you remember what the last time was at night that

12 you were allowed to interview somebody, as a rule?

13 A. As a rule, normally it would be 11 pm.

14 Q. Because he is certain in his evidence to us that there

15 was an interview that took place at 1 o'clock in the

16 morning. It is not on the custody record.

17 A. I'm not aware of that, no.

18 Q. Can you think of any reason why an interview would take

19 place at that time and not be recorded on the custody

20 record?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Because in that interview -- again, you will understand

23 I'll try and put these to you as succinctly as I can --

24 he says:

25 "Interviewing officers suggested that they would

 

 

30

 

1 fucking finish her off, that there would be no more

2 Rosie the Provo and that we [the police] will fucking

3 kill her, a Provo like the rest of you."

4 So again, do you have any comment to make in

5 relation to that?

6 A. I know absolutely nothing about that.

7 Q. Do you recall Mr Toman ever trying to stand from his

8 seat to remonstrate with you or another officer about

9 remarks that were being made concerning Mrs Nelson?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Or being thumped, to use that expression, when he tried

12 to do so?

13 A. No.

14 Q. He also suggests that in an interview it was said to him

15 that:

16 "We [meaning the police] will put you down and will

17 put Rosemary Nelson down. None of yous will be running

18 about."

19 A. No, I know nothing about that.

20 Q. I have shown you the form, the 17/3, and just to be

21 clear about this, at the time that Mr Toman was released

22 and up until your receipt of that form, am I right in

23 saying that you had no indication that a complaint was

24 likely to be made?

25 A. I'm not aware of it, no.

 

 

31

 

1 Q. No more than any other case --

2 A. No.

3 Q. -- that is what I'm saying.

4 Just finally in relation to Mr Toman, again, he is

5 not very specific but he suggested to us that

6 in July 1997, so five or so months after this set of

7 interviews, he was arrested and interviewed again. I'm

8 not suggesting that it was you, but I'm just asking you

9 that someone from the police, an interviewing detective,

10 said that Mrs Nelson was a fire bomber and again she had

11 been beaten with the ugly stick. Presumably, again, you

12 didn't know anything about that?

13 A. No, I don't know anything about that, no.

14 Q. He also makes various allegations of physical abuse

15 whilst at Gough Barracks: having a chair put on his

16 foot, being clipped round the back of his head, someone

17 tried to throw him down some stairs. Do you have any

18 comment to make about that?

19 A. Sorry, when was this complaint made?

20 Q. The complaint was made a number of months after his

21 detention, but what I'm asking you is are you able to

22 help me as to whether any of that happened?

23 A. No.

24 Q. No. Dealing with C138's allegations, he was, if it

25 helps you, in custody between 6th and 9th February. And

 

 

32

 

1 if we could call up -- just bear with me for a moment --

2 RNI-203-060 on to the screen, please (displayed), we

3 have here on the right-hand side -- actually, I think,

4 if you will forgive me, we could get rid of the

5 statement on the left of the screen. There we are. I

6 don't know if we can highlight all the text, please.

7 Thank you.

8 We can see this is signed and dated by you

9 in January 1998, and you will be pleased to hear I'm not

10 going to give you further or alternative allegations.

11 It is as set out here. That they started -- and I am

12 reading from the second paragraph, second line:

13 "... to fire abuse at me in relation to my

14 solicitor. They said she was a 'money grabbing bitch',

15 'she's only in it for the money', 'she got him off

16 (Colin Duffy)', 'he is a Provo bastard', and suggesting

17 Rosemary Nelson was as bad as Colin Duffy, saying that

18 she was a Provo solicitor. They told me I would have

19 got out a lot sooner if I had not requested

20 Rosemary Nelson because of her firm and that the only

21 people who requested Rosemary Nelson are the Provos.

22 "They also made fun of the remark on Rosemary's

23 face, saying, 'How did that happen', 'Is that a fucking

24 birthmark'. They called her a bastard, fucker and said

25 I wouldn't be in this place only for the fucking

 

 

33

 

1 bastard, meaning Rosemary. Each time I was questioned

2 they seemed more interested in Rosemary Nelson. They

3 stated that Sharon ..."

4 Just pausing there, that is a colleague of

5 Mrs Nelson:

6 "... was not too bad, but Rosemary, she was

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

8 Rosemary getting Colin Duffy off. They said they knew

9 Duffy shot Lyness and she knew it too."

10 Again, there is no specific allegation being made

11 against you, but I just wanted you to have the benefit

12 of seeing what was being alleged that was said, or words

13 to that effect, during interviews of C138.

14 So again, I'll give you the opportunity to make such

15 comments as to the veracity of these allegations as you

16 would like.

17 A. I have already said in relation to these I know

18 absolutely nothing about that.

19 Q. Because C138 suggests that he presented, if you like, an

20 alibi statement to the police after seeing Mrs Nelson.

21 Do you understand what I mean by that?

22 A. I can't recall having seen a statement or not.

23 Q. No, no, but you understand what I mean? It was

24 a written account of his movements and, if you like, his

25 answer to the charge or the allegations being put to him

 

 

34

 

1 by the police?

2 A. I can't recall. I don't know.

3 Q. But you are familiar with those, are you not? You know

4 what I'm talking about?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Let me try and help you. When a suspect is interviewed,

7 it is very often the case that the police ask him where

8 he was, what he was doing, who he was with, why he was

9 in certain places; yes?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And it is open, or was open then, certainly to the

12 suspect to present to the interviewing officers, to the

13 police, a written account of his version of events?

14 A. It wouldn't be unknown.

15 Q. No. I'm not suggesting it was, but this is what I am

16 talking about. C138 suggests that it was after the

17 presentation of such a document that the abuse of

18 Mrs Nelson started. Do you understand?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. I want to ask you: did you, on the occasions you

21 encountered them, find such written accounts

22 frustrating?

23 A. A written alibi?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. No.

 

 

35

 

1 Q. Because did it not mean that thereafter the suspect

2 would simply refer you to this written account?

3 A. A written alibi -- my opinion on a written alibi is that

4 it had to be followed up to see if it come up to speed.

5 Q. That what, sorry?

6 A. That the alibi that was being given by the suspect would

7 have to be investigated to see if it come up to speed.

8 Q. Do you mean outside of the interview?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So you are saying that in fact you probably wouldn't

11 interview the suspect any further until what was in the

12 statement had been investigated?

13 A. No, the interviews probably would have continued, but

14 certainly I would have liked to have thought that if

15 such a document did exist, that the alibi would be

16 investigated, be looked into, and if it proved that what

17 was written in that alibi was right, that the suspect

18 would be released on the basis of he was telling the

19 truth in his alibi.

20 Q. If we just pop up on to the screen RNI-204-002

21 (displayed), we can see here what I'm, or have been no

22 doubt, confusingly referring you to. I wanted to ask

23 you one or two questions before I showed it to you. I'm

24 not suggesting you would remember this, but this is

25 a document that I'm talking about. Don't read it all,

 

 

36

 

1 but just have a look at it and you will see it is the

2 type of document that I'm talking about. (Pause)

3 Yes?

4 A. I have just read the first paragraph.

5 Q. I'm not suggesting you will remember it.

6 A. I don't.

7 Q. But this is the document I am referring to. And I am

8 just suggesting or asking you whether or not, once

9 a document like that was handed to the police, it rather

10 brought the shutters down, as it were, on further

11 dialogue, such as it may have been, with a suspect?

12 A. Not as such. Until it was proven that it was -- the

13 alibi was correct, it would still be assumed that the,

14 you know, the suspect would be interviewed.

15 Q. But might it not be the case that he would simply say,

16 "I have given you a statement"?

17 A. Yes, that is quite right, yes.

18 Q. And that wasn't frustrating to you as an interviewing

19 officer?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Now, had you heard a colleague make remarks such as

22 those which I have quoted to you, or akin to them, what

23 would have been your reaction?

24 A. In relation to Mrs Nelson?

25 Q. No, to sitting there in the interview.

 

 

37

 

1 A. I'm sorry, could you rephrase that?

2 Q. You are sat in an interview and an officer says, "She is

3 a fucking Provo bastard, she has been hit with the

4 fucking ugly stick"; what would you have done?

5 A. What I'm saying to you is that didn't happen in any

6 interview I had.

7 Q. Yes, and I am asking to you look at it in theory.

8 A. In theory?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. I would probably have reported it to the senior

11 investigating officer.

12 Q. Why do you use the word "probably"?

13 A. Well, I'll rephrase it: I would have mentioned it to the

14 senior investigating officer.

15 Q. And I hope, helpfully returning to reality rather than

16 theory, as regards making a report to a senior officer

17 about another officer's bad behaviour; yes? You

18 understand what I mean?

19 A. No. Could you rephrase that for me, please?

20 Q. Certainly. Have you ever reported a fellow officer for

21 a disciplinary matter?

22 A. Not that I am aware of, no.

23 Q. Not that you are aware of. Sorry, that is a curious

24 expression.

25 A. Well, a conversation with a senior officer, whether it

 

 

38

 

1 is on the record or off the record, what he does with

2 that after I speak to him, I don't know.

3 Q. So -- I'm sorry?

4 A. Formally speaking, no.

5 Q. So informally, you have done?

6 A. I'm not saying that. I'm saying in an informal

7 conversation with a senior officer, if I happen to

8 mention something that he takes upon himself to

9 investigate, I don't know if that has happened.

10 Q. Right. That is helpful.

11 Let me try and help you with a better-phrased

12 question. Has there ever been an occasion when you have

13 related to a senior officer what could be viewed

14 objectively as bad behaviour by a fellow officer?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Right. Was there any resentment in particular at the

17 role Mrs Nelson played in Mr Duffy's acquittal of the

18 Lyness murder?

19 A. I think I have already mentioned I had nothing to do

20 with that investigation. I was aware that Mrs Nelson

21 had represented Colin Duffy and I was aware that

22 Colin Duffy had been acquitted and that was the decision

23 of the courts, and that was it as far as I am concerned.

24 Q. Did you think that the acquittal altered the perception

25 of her in the minds of Lurgan-based police officers?

 

 

39

 

1 A. Personally speaking, no.

2 Q. And are you able to help me with other officers?

3 A. No.

4 Q. I am going to move on now, you will be pleased to hear,

5 to the home strait, which is the complaints

6 investigation; yes?

7 A. That's fine, yes.

8 Q. And that came in two parts, I think: First of all, the

9 Royal Ulster Constabulary's complaints department?

10 A. Right.

11 Q. And then the Mulvihill investigation,

12 Commander Mulvihill?

13 A. Yes.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Are you nearing the end of your time?

15 MR SAVILL: I am.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, we will complete this. Yes, carry on.

17 MR SAVILL: We have had a look already, but could we just

18 put up on to the screen, RNI-203-060 (displayed). And

19 we have here -- no need to highlight it, thank you --

20 the C138 17/3 form; yes?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And if we could turn over the page, please, to

23 RNI-203-061 (displayed) and could we just not highlight

24 it. But look at the date on there. We can see that

25 this is served on you and you make a comment -- and

 

 

40

 

1 could we just highlight the handwriting, please:

2 "I did not make those remarks, nor was I in the

3 presence of any other police officer making such

4 remarks."

5 So there is a denial in accordance with what you

6 have told us today, made many years ago?

7 A. That's right, yes.

8 Q. And if we can turn over the page to RNI-203-062

9 (displayed), you make a very brief statement -- I won't

10 even read it out -- relating to this matter, and you

11 were then interviewed, if we could go to RNI-203-074

12 (displayed) -- put that on the screen there. We can see

13 that this is the interview notes of yourself. Can you

14 see that?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Date at the top right-hand corner of 24th March 1998.

17 Could we turn over the page, please, to RNI-203-075,

18 have that on the left-hand side of the screen, and call

19 up on to the right-hand side RNI-206-107 (displayed).

20 The handwriting is pretty awful, not that I'm one to

21 talk, on the right-hand side, so I am calling up the

22 typed version. And if we look in the bottom quarter of

23 the left-hand page -- and highlight it, please -- this

24 is the typed version, and you respond:

25 "I have nothing further to add to the comment I made

 

 

41

 

1 on the last occasion".

2 That comment is put to you. You say:

3 "That's correct.

4 "Question: Anything else you wish to say?

5 "Answer: No."

6 Do you see that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Turning now to Colm Toman's allegations, could we call

9 up on to the screen, RNI-203-150 (displayed)? Again, we

10 have, I think, seen this.

11 If we turn over the page, please, to RNI-203-151

12 (displayed). Can we get rid of the document on the

13 left-hand side of the screen, please. There we are. We

14 can see 30th October and your signature at the bottom.

15 Turn over the page to RNI-203-152 (displayed). We have

16 seen this before. Could we turn over the page to

17 RNI-203-153 (displayed), and highlight the handwriting:

18 "I was not involved in arrest and/or house search.

19 I was involved in a number of interviews but had no part

20 in any such conversations as referred to in the

21 complaint."

22 Do you see that?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Could we get rid of the highlighted part, please. We

25 can see that that, again, was on 30th October 1997.

 

 

42

 

1 Could we go over the page again, please, to

2 RNI-203-154 (displayed). Here is a very brief statement

3 given by you in relation to this set of allegations.

4 Could we now go to RNI-203-185 (displayed). Again,

5 a familiar form, the interview notes of yourself,

6 24th March 1998. Could we turn over the page, please,

7 to RNI-203-186 (displayed), putting that on the

8 left-hand side of the screen -- or the right. Call up

9 then, please, RNI-206-108 (displayed), just doing the

10 same thing to try and help you with the typed comments.

11 If we look to the bottom of the page and highlight the

12 bottom portion there of Q and A:

13 "You have seen the allegations made by the witness

14 on behalf of Rosemary Nelson, the solicitor acting at

15 the time. How do you respond?

16 "Answer: I was not involved in the arrest and house

17 search. I was involved in a number of interviews, but

18 had no part ..."

19 Could we turn the page, please, to RNI-203-109

20 (displayed):

21 "... in any such conversations as referred to in

22 this complaint."

23 We can see your final answer is:

24 "I didn't make any such remarks to Mr Toman, nor did

25 anyone in my presence.

 

 

43

 

1 "Question: Anything else you wish to say?

2 "Answer: No."

3 So you make firm denials to the Royal Ulster

4 Constabulary Complaints and Discipline branch.

5 You were then interviewed by Commander Mulvihill.

6 I don't necessarily want that to be called on to the

7 screen, but you make denials again throughout that

8 interview with him?

9 A. It wasn't him personally.

10 Q. Well, not him personally. No, sorry, forgive me.

11 A. There were two detectives who were carrying out that --

12 Q. On his behalf?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. But you make denials in that interview?

15 A. That's correct, yes.

16 Q. In your statement to the Inquiry, and could we just,

17 please, call up just this document, RNI-842-090

18 (displayed), and highlight paragraph 20, please. Do you

19 see that; yes?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. "I think it is fair to say that one is always vulnerable

22 to complaints as a detective, and even now I still feel

23 vulnerable to complaints."

24 You are retired now obviously, but things are in the

25 past. Just explain that to us, please. Why do you say

 

 

44

 

1 that you are always vulnerable?

2 A. Well, having been in the job that I was in for over

3 27 years, since I have left this job I have been

4 approached on several occasions by people I dealt with

5 over 25 years ago when I have been out on the street

6 with my family and I have been travelling about trying

7 to enjoy my retirement. And if people are going to

8 remember 20 years ago that I dealt with them, I believe

9 that that statement, that I am vulnerable to complaint,

10 is proven by the fact that people still remember back

11 that far.

12 Q. That is why I wanted you to just expand on it.

13 Forgive me for saying this, I don't mean to be rude

14 and I hope you understand why I ask: you say 25 years

15 ago. That is not an exaggeration, is it? That is how

16 long ago it was?

17 A. In fact I could actually go back further than that.

18 Q. Yes. I just wanted to give you the opportunity to be

19 clear about that.

20 Could we call up, please, the previous page,

21 RNI-842-089 (displayed), and highlight paragraph 19.

22 Let me just read this out, and I hope this assists you:

23 "Receiving a complaint ..."

24 This is your statement:

25 "... was not an entirely uncommon thing. Not every

 

 

45

 

1 suspect or prisoner made complaints. It was up to any

2 suspect or prisoner to make a complaint if he wanted to.

3 I don't think there was any pattern as to who made

4 complaints and who did not. Ultimately, I was putting

5 individuals in situations which they were not going to

6 like, accusing them of crimes which I believe they had

7 committed. If I had interviewed someone for seven days,

8 as was possible in relation to suspected terrorists, and

9 then released them with or without charge, the suspect

10 was clearly going to feel animosity towards the

11 interviewing officers. As a result, detectives

12 interviewing suspects were always open to complaint. I

13 think complaints were sometimes used to try to get back

14 at interviewing officers ..."

15 That should, please, be page RNI-842-090

16 (displayed):

17 "... and also [at the top, highlight that please] on

18 occasions to try to delay the interviewing process

19 itself. For instance, if a suspect was under extreme

20 pressure, suspects knew that if they made a complaint,

21 the interview would automatically be suspended."

22 Yes?

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. I just want to ask you a little bit about that. Is it

25 right that the interview would be suspended if

 

 

46

 

1 a complaint was made?

2 A. Yes, that was procedure.

3 Q. So if a suspect said, "He has hit me" or "He is making

4 remarks about my solicitor", or things of that nature,

5 there would be no further interviews?

6 A. That was the procedure, yes.

7 Q. But is that what actually happened?

8 A. In my case, I would have suspended the interview and

9 informed uniformed personnel who would then take the

10 matter in hand.

11 Q. But dealing with your experience -- again, I'm not

12 trying to catch you out --

13 A. That is what I am saying. That is what I would have

14 done. That is my experience. If I am interviewing

15 a suspect and he makes a complaint at any stage, the

16 procedure is that I inform the uniformed personnel, and

17 that is what I would have done.

18 Q. But other officers may have informed the uniformed

19 officers but the interviews may have continued?

20 A. They may have continued on a basis where someone could

21 have been about to make an admission and the information

22 was given over and was put through a command chain and

23 authorisation given for the interview to continue. But

24 the solicitor would have been informed that a request

25 had been made, depending on where the interview was at

 

 

47

 

1 that particular time.

2 Q. And as regards the categories of interviewees that made

3 complaints, did it fall to certain categories more than

4 others to make complaints, in your experience?

5 A. Are we still with the terrorist suspects here?

6 Q. No, we are with whichever category you choose.

7 A. No. As I have already stated, you know, whenever

8 a suspect or a prisoner or interviewee got himself into

9 a position where pressure started to mount on him and he

10 was fully aware, which he should have been, as to the

11 fact that making a request for a solicitor would

12 terminate an interview, it was not uncommon for that to

13 happen.

14 Q. No, but I'm asking about complaints. Did terrorism

15 suspects make more complaints about misbehaviour in

16 interviews than run of the mill criminals? That is what

17 I am asking you.

18 A. Probably.

19 Q. And can you tell us why that may have been, in your

20 opinion?

21 A. I would say because the interviews were probably a lot

22 more intense than the interview of an ordinary suspect.

23 Q. The stakes were higher, you would say?

24 A. I wouldn't say the stakes were higher; I would say the

25 intensity of the interview would be such that it could

 

 

48

 

1 be used as a tool to take pressure off a prisoner and,

2 as I say, normally the terrorist interview was a lot

3 more intense than just the ordinary criminal.

4 Q. And in your opinion, was there any, as it were,

5 concerted pre-planned effort by terrorism suspects to

6 make complaints against the police?

7 A. I assume it happened both in terrorist and ordinary

8 crime.

9 Q. I am sorry, when you say you have seen it happen?

10 A. Well, I have been in a position where it has happened

11 that someone obviously knew that if they continued to

12 make complaints, that the interviews would be disrupted,

13 yes.

14 Q. As far as you are concerned, I expect you would say that

15 to make complaints of the type that I have put to you

16 this afternoon is easily done but far harder to disprove

17 by yourself or any other officer?

18 A. The complaints were easy to make, yes.

19 Q. And hard, or harder, to disprove?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Yes. But would you also equally accept from me that

22 those being interviewed did not have the benefit of

23 audio recordings or access to a solicitor in the

24 interview, so equally they were susceptible to comments

25 from officers that, again, would be hard for the suspect

 

 

49

 

1 to prove were actually said?

2 A. The audio point actually works both ways. It is good in

3 many respects in that it also protects the interviewing

4 officers. As far as having a solicitor present, where

5 the solicitor is there and you conduct your interview as

6 such, and if the solicitor then wishes to make

7 a complaint that is entirely up to the solicitor.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. As to what was being said in the interview.

10 Q. You are dealing with the future, when audio recording

11 came on line, and I understand what you are saying. I'm

12 just asking you -- forgive me again -- theoretically to

13 consider a point from me: namely, that at a time when

14 suspects were interviewed on their own and without the

15 benefit of audio recording, it might be said that it was

16 easier for remarks of the kind we have discussed to have

17 been made without them being discovered?

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

19 Q. Right. Thank you very much.

20 There is only one question that I would like to put

21 to you at the end, which is put to all witnesses, and it

22 is this: you very kindly have come along to give us your

23 evidence this afternoon. You have given a statement

24 prior to coming along. Is there anything that you would

25 like to add or say or clarify about your evidence that

 

 

50

 

1 you haven't already?

2 A. No.

3 MR SAVILL: Sir, I don't know --

4 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: If I may, you were a very experienced

6 detective officer charged with a heavy responsibility:

7 interviewing terrorist suspects. Could you just help me

8 understand the system, please, under which you operated.

9 Did you at any time in your career attend a course

10 or any training which assisted you in interviewing

11 terrorist suspects?

12 A. Yes.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You did?

14 A. I did, yes.

15 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: What sort of issues were explored

16 during that training course?

17 A. I honestly can't remember.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You can't remember.

19 A. It was so long ago. It actually took in not only

20 terrorist suspects but ordinary crime. It was an

21 interviewing techniques course I did, but I honestly

22 can't remember just what detail it went into.

23 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Could you just help us with the sort of

24 system on the ground. Less experienced, younger,

25 officers starting off that type of work, would they be

 

 

51

 

1 put with a more experienced officer?

2 A. Yes.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: And so in some respects the experience

4 was handed down from a more experienced officer to

5 younger officers?

6 A. A lot of it would be, yes. That would be the way it

7 would be done.

8 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you very much indeed.

9 Question by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

10 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I wanted to ask: you said both TO

11 the RUC investigator and to Mr Mulvihill the same words,

12 which was:

13 "I was involved in a number of interviews but had no

14 part in any such conversations as referred to in the

15 complaint."

16 I was struck by that particular choice of words. It

17 could be interpreted that you had no part but maybe

18 others did. Would you like to comment on that?

19 A. I understand what you are saying, but no, it is probably

20 just the way I have phrased the thing. I had nothing to

21 do with any of the remarks that were made, nor do I have

22 any knowledge of any of the detectives who were -- when

23 I say I have no knowledge, I know any of the detectives

24 that were in interviews with me did not say what the

25 allegations set out.

 

 

52

 

1 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming to give evidence before

3 us. Before the witness leaves, would you, please,

4 confirm that all the cameras -- oh, hello, Mr Donaldson.

5 That is a surprise.

6 MR DONALDSON: Yes. There are some matters I would like to

7 raise with Mr Savill, if I may, please.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

9 I was going to say thank you, but nevertheless you

10 will have to leave in a moment.

11 Mr [name redacted], before the witness leaves, would you,

12 please, confirm that all the cameras have been switched

13 off?

14 MR [NAME REDACTED]: Yes, they have, sir.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Would you go with the gentleman with you and

16 would you be good enough just to remain in the building

17 for a few minutes? Thank you very much.

18 (Witness leaves)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Primarily to give the stenographer a break,

20 we will have a 15-minute break, which should be more

21 than ample for you to discuss matters with Mr Savill.

22 MR DONALDSON: Yes, I think so, sir.

23 (2.17 pm)

24 (Short break)

25 (2.35 pm)

 

 

53

 

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

2 with you before the witness comes back in.

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

4 the key secured?

5 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR CURRANS: Yes.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

13 participants' legal representatives seated in the body

14 of this chamber?

15 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr [name redacted], can you confirm, please, that

17 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

18 shrouded?

19 MR [NAME REDACTED]: Yes, sir, they are.

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

21 MR [NAME REDACTED]: They have, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Bring the witness in, please.

23 Do sit down.

24 A. Thank you.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel

 

 

54

 

1 and the Full Participants' legal representatives may now

2 be switched back on.

3 Yes, Mr Savill.

4 Further questions by MR SAVILL

5 MR SAVILL: I would just like to ask you about one or two

6 other matters, if I may.

7 We spoke about an interview that took place, so it

8 was alleged, at 1 o'clock in the morning.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I just want to ask you -- I mean, your experience,

11 considerable as it -- how easy or indeed hard would it

12 have been to conduct such an interview at that time and

13 avoid making an entry on the custody record?

14 A. It is very difficult for me to answer that, because

15 there are so many different people involved. Uniformed

16 personnel have to monitor these things. Investigating

17 officers have to be guided by the rules that are laid

18 down, and there are so many people involved in the whole

19 chain of conducting an interview, I would find it very

20 difficult.

21 Q. I am sorry, my fault. Are you finding it very difficult

22 to answer the question, or are you saying it would you

23 very difficult to do it?

24 A. I would find it very difficult to see how it could be

25 done, if you know what I mean?

 

 

55

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. There are so many people involved.

3 Q. Yes. The other thing I want to ask you, if you will

4 just forgive me -- I have to quote from the

5 transcript -- I was asking you about the perception of

6 solicitors in the minds of the police when suspects were

7 either acquitted or never charged, and I will just read

8 to you something that you said just so we can be clear

9 about what you meant. I asked you.

10 "Question: The solicitor's role in securing either

11 their acquittal or the fact that they were never

12 charged?

13 "Answer: My regard to that is that a solicitor is

14 a professional person and he had his job. There are

15 decisions that are made as a result of that which are

16 totally out of my jurisdiction and I didn't or don't

17 dwell on it. I may have my own opinion on it, but there

18 were things I didn't dwell on, no."

19 You had your own opinion on. What I think you were

20 saying there is that if, for example, someone had been

21 found not guilty --

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. -- that was something that was clearly out of your

24 control?

25 A. That's correct, yes.

 

 

56

 

1 Q. And understandably, you might have had your own private

2 opinion about the wisdom of that?

3 A. Yes, which I have done, yes.

4 Q. And you would either have kept that to yourself or may

5 in fact have made comment about it?

6 A. I would have my opinion on it, yes, indeed.

7 Q. Okay. That is all from me. Thank you very much indeed.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: We are satisfied the witness has been

9 comprehensively questioned. The witness can now leave,

10 thank you very much.

11 A. Thank you.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Before the witness leaves, Mr [name redacted],

13 would, please, confirm that all the cameras have been

14 switched off?

15 MR [NAME REDACTED]: Yes, sir, they have.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

17 (Witness leaves)

18 THE CHAIRMAN: I am addressing the counsel and solicitors

19 for all the Full Participants. Tomorrow, Mr Phillips is

20 going to open the part 2 material and it will be

21 necessary, in order to follow his opening, for all

22 counsel and solicitors to bring their part 2 file

23 bundles with them in order to follow the opening.

24 I hope that is understood and those Full Participants

25 who are not present today will be notified by telephone

 

 

57

 

1 by the solicitor to the Inquiry to bring their part 2

2 bundles with them. And the Panel also, each of us will

3 have a set of those part 2 bundles.

4 We will adjourn now until 10.15.

5 (2.42 pm)

6 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

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Question by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ............ 51
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Further questions by MR SAVILL ............... 54
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