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Full Hearings

Hearing: 5th June 2008, day 30

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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 Thursday, 5th June 2008
commencing at 9.15 am


Day 30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1 Thursday, 5th June 2008

2 (9.15 am)

3 DATO' PARAM CUMARASWAMY (continued)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

6 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Cumaraswamy, can I ask you to look, please,

7 at paragraph 25 of your statement. It is at RNI-803-129

8 (displayed).

9 Here, you talk about meeting with defence lawyers.

10 Do you see in the third line you say there was a group

11 of 20 or so lawyers who were being intimidated by the

12 police and who were not being allowed to advise their

13 clients properly.

14 Can I ask you, please, how many lawyers did you meet

15 during the course of your mission?

16 A. It could have been easily between 10 to 15 of them.

17 There were quite a few who came in different groups.

18 Q. I was going to ask you, did they come singly or in

19 groups?

20 A. On many occasions they were in groups, except in the

21 case of Rosemary Nelson. She was seen by me

22 individually.

23 Q. Yes. In paragraph 44 at RNI-803-194 (displayed), you

24 tell us that there were only two to four meetings with

25 barristers in comparison with the 10 to 12 meetings you

 

 

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1 had with solicitors. So can I take it that those

2 meetings, with the exception of the Rosemary Nelson

3 meetings, involved more than one solicitor?

4 A. Yes, some of them were more and some of them could have

5 been just individuals.

6 Q. Yes. Can I ask you, in terms of the particular

7 solicitors that you met, were those in each case

8 solicitors whose names were suggested to you by the CAJ?

9 A. In many of these cases they were the ones who provided

10 the names, because they were on the ground and they knew

11 who these people were and they arranged for these

12 meetings as well.

13 Q. As you understood it, had they chosen the solicitors on

14 the basis that they were part of the group of 20 or so

15 who were being intimidated?

16 A. In all, among the 1,700 or 1,800 solicitors in

17 Northern Ireland, what I learnt was that only about 20

18 to 30 of them were subjected to such harassment, because

19 these are the solicitors who were taking those unpopular

20 causes and they were all in the criminal defence of

21 these accused persons.

22 Q. But in answer to my question, were the solicitors you

23 met all solicitors within that group of 20 to 30?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. As part of your aim to hear both sides, did you take any

 

 

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1 steps to widen the range of lawyers that you were to

2 meet, for example, by asking to meet lawyers who did

3 other types of work?

4 A. Not really. This is one of the reasons why I wanted

5 a meeting with the Law Society, the executive committee

6 of the Law Society, who met me collectively. And at

7 that meeting some of these questions came up and the

8 indication given to me was that only about 20 to 30 of

9 these lawyers were really involved in such cases.

10 Q. And were they lawyers acting solely for Nationalists?

11 A. No, they were really on both sides, as I also mention in

12 my statement.

13 Q. Yes. Can you remember now how many of the lawyers you

14 met acted for clients on the other side?

15 A. I would not be able to give you the figures.

16 Q. No, but was it more than one, for example?

17 A. Oh, yes.

18 Q. A handful?

19 A. Could be.

20 Q. Yes. And so we have got the chronology of this visit

21 clear, you describe, I think, two meetings which took

22 place with the Chief Constable?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. The meetings with the lawyers that we have just been

25 discussing, where did they take place in relation to

 

 

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1 those two meetings with the Chief Constable?

2 A. Invariably they were at the premises organised by the

3 CAJ, and it could be -- some could be in the offices of

4 the solicitors themselves.

5 Q. Can I ask you when, in the chronology of your trip,

6 those meetings took place?

7 A. Oh, these meetings all took place after my first meeting

8 with Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

9 Q. But before your second meeting?

10 A. Of course.

11 Q. Yes. Thank you.

12 In the course of those meetings, did you encounter

13 any solicitor who did not have complaints to make about

14 the police?

15 A. There could be one or two who may have told me that they

16 had no complaints as such. I cannot possibly remember

17 the numbers, but by and large practically all of them

18 I met gave an account which is consistent with the

19 pattern of how those intimidations and harassments were

20 made.

21 Q. What examples did you hear of from them?

22 A. Largely it was in connection with how the threats were

23 passed through the people, the accused persons, or those

24 who were in holding centres or those who are waiting

25 pending their trials. And the suggestions were always

 

 

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1 that your lawyers would put you into further trouble,

2 and so on. It was through the accused persons that

3 these threats came in.

4 Q. So these were not direct threats; they were made via the

5 clients?

6 A. No, the only direct threat at the time was in connection

7 with Rosemary Nelson, I remember.

8 Q. We will come on to that in a moment, but so far as the

9 accounts that you heard in these meetings, what view did

10 you form as to their credibility?

11 A. It was interesting in a sense that I felt that these

12 people were not cooking up their versions, because they

13 gave a kind of a pattern of harassments -- how they were

14 channelled through accused persons -- hence there was

15 consistency in the manner in which these threats were

16 passed on.

17 Q. Can I ask you about the question of complaints, because

18 you will remember in your report you make some comments

19 about the solicitors' failure to use the complaints

20 system. Can I just remind you of the relevant section.

21 It is at RNI-106-091 (displayed), and it is paragraph 26

22 of the final report. Do you see it there?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And it is right to say, isn't it, that your report

25 contains reasonably strong views on this topic?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And you concluded your report, didn't you, with

3 a recommendation in paragraph 91 that the solicitors

4 and, indeed, through their professional bodies, the

5 Law Society should use the complaints system. Can we

6 look at that, please, at RNI-106-105 and it is

7 subparagraph (d) of paragraph 91 (displayed).

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So, can I just ask you on this particular topic: you

10 learnt, I assume in these meetings, that they were in

11 general not using the system?

12 A. Generally they were not, and that concerned me at the

13 time because one would have expected that when they were

14 subjected to these threats and intimidations, it was

15 only proper that they channelled their complaints

16 through the proper channels. That is, firstly, through

17 the RUC itself, to the Chief Constable, and also to the

18 Law Society. And this, I was told, didn't really take

19 place generally, though there were one or two cases

20 where there were complaints lodged to the RUC.

21 Q. Can you remember any of the cases where complaints were

22 lodged?

23 A. I subsequently learnt it was in connection with

24 Rosemary Nelson herself there were complaints lodged.

25 Q. Can you look, please, at RNI-106-091, paragraph 26 of

 

 

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1 the report (displayed).

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. There, as I understand it, you set out the concerns or

4 criticisms of the complaints system which then existed,

5 which were made to you in these meetings; is that right?

6 A. Yes, there was.

7 Q. And that led to your views expressed in paragraph 27, I

8 think. If we see that on the screen, please

9 (displayed).

10 That, I think, in a short form is the point you have

11 just been making to us; is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In other words, that the failure to register, to voice

14 the complaints within the system itself contributed to

15 problem?

16 A. Yes, to some extent.

17 Let me explain this to the Commission. Both the

18 solicitors themselves who met me, including thereafter

19 the Law Society itself at the meeting with the

20 Law Society, I learnt that lodging these reports, these

21 complaints, to these respective bodies will not produce

22 any result, because these solicitors had no confidence

23 in both the Law Society entertaining their complaints.

24 I recall a remark made by one of the members of the

25 Executive Council of the Law Society. He himself was

 

 

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1 very critical about the Law Society's conduct in the

2 matter and said that any complaints lodged to this

3 Law Society would not see the end of light. And my

4 suggestion to them all was -- to the lawyers

5 concerned -- that even if they had no confidence in the

6 complaints procedures, whatever there was available

7 then, at least they should go on record to place their

8 complaints so that nobody can find fault with them that

9 complaints were not lodged. And that would have been

10 prudent in the circumstances, and that was my suggestion

11 to them in my recommendations towards the end.

12 Q. Yes. Can we pick up that point you have just raised and

13 look at the note of the meeting you had with the

14 Law Society on 30th October, and that we can find at

15 RNI-112-052 (displayed).

16 You will see in the first paragraph it says that you

17 attended with your assistant and that the Law Society

18 was represented by the president, accompanied by

19 Mr McGrory and the chairman of the Human Rights

20 Committee and the Deputy Secretary.

21 So far as the substance of the meeting is concerned,

22 if we can go back to the page, please, you will see that

23 by this stage you had had meetings with a number of

24 criminal practitioners, the Chief Constable and the Bar

25 Council, and the meeting appears to have proceeded on

 

 

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1 the basis of topics that you raised. Does that accord

2 with your recollection?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. So you raised this topic, it would appear, and then two

5 of the lawyers present, Mr McGrory and another, gave you

6 details of their own experiences.

7 If we can just turn over the page, please, the first

8 full paragraph on the next page, RNI-112-053

9 (displayed). If we can enlarge that, please. It begins

10 with the word "Barra McGrory". Is this the example that

11 you have just been giving us: namely, of somebody at the

12 Law Society -- he was the chairman, I think, of the

13 criminal law committee at the time -- explaining to you

14 that that was his own experience of making complaints?

15 A. That's right, yes.

16 Q. Thank you. If we go back to the page, please, to the

17 next paragraph:

18 "Neither Barra McGrory nor the other lawyer felt

19 that the police complaints system had any effective role

20 in relation to these complaints which always floundered

21 on evidential grounds. There was also a mindset within

22 the RUC which did not want to change such behaviour."

23 Then it was the president who sought to introduce

24 some balancing comment, by the look of it, and made the

25 position of the Society clear to you.

 

 

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1 Before going on to look at your reaction, as I

2 understand it, what you were encountering here was, from

3 lawyers who were chairing committees at the Law Society,

4 exactly the same stance in relation to the complaints

5 system as you had already been told about by the other

6 lawyers?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. Yes. So those within the professional body itself and

9 at the high level within it shared those views?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. Thank you. So far as the Society is concerned, the

12 discussion continues and you see, if we go back to the

13 screen, please, that underneath what the president says,

14 your own observations are set out. And in essence, this

15 position that you took in the meeting was one that

16 followed through, didn't it, into the comments that the

17 made and indeed the recommendation that you made in your

18 final report?

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. Thank you. Indeed, I think, just before you left

21 Northern Ireland you held a press conference at which

22 again you made comment, I think, about what you regarded

23 as the unsatisfactory way in which these matters were

24 dealt with by lawyers and indeed by their professional

25 body?

 

 

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1 A. Correct.

2 Q. We can see that at RNI-208-305 (displayed). Can we

3 enlarge the first column, please. Yes. Not that much

4 better.

5 I don't know if you can read this. Can we enlarge

6 the third paragraph of this column (displayed). Right.

7 That, near the top of the article, shows you as

8 criticising the Law Society for not doing more to

9 protect its solicitors from police threats, and there

10 are various other observations set out in the article.

11 Can I just ask you this: was it usual for you at the

12 end of your mission to hold a press conference?

13 A. Yes. Special rapporteurs -- I think it is not only my

14 methodology -- special rapporteurs, when we are

15 undertaking these missions, there is already

16 a widespread public interest and media interest in that

17 visit. And in my particular case, what I normally do is

18 I avoid giving press statements while the mission is in

19 progress, but to inform them all that at the end of the

20 mission I will make some preliminary observations as to

21 the findings during my mission.

22 So this is what happened here again, and that has

23 been how -- I have been operating in that manner

24 practically all over the world. After my missions,

25 I give a press conference and I think this is also

 

 

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1 encouraged by the UN Commission on Human Rights as

2 a proper procedure. And it is with regard to that

3 procedure that in this particular case, at the end of

4 the mission, I had a press conference. It is quite

5 normal.

6 Q. Yes. I suppose for those concerned, what it means then

7 is that there are actually three stages to your process,

8 because during the visit to the relevant country,

9 presumably at the end of the visit, you issue

10 preliminary observations in the form of a press

11 conference. Then next, you have the draft report stage,

12 which you explained to us yesterday, and then finally

13 the submission of the final report?

14 A. Correct.

15 Q. As a matter of interest, is there not a yet further

16 stage at the very end where you formally present the

17 report to the Commission and give a summary or a short

18 statement about it?

19 A. That would really be the third stage, where the final

20 report is published at the Commission level and made

21 available to all member states attending -- attending

22 the Commission session, and that would really be the

23 third stage, where the final report is published and

24 made available to the states.

25 Q. Just looking at the complaints matter very briefly, you

 

 

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1 learnt, I think during the process of drafting this

2 report, that changes to the system were afoot; is that

3 right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you refer to them later in your text and in

6 particular at paragraph 30, RNI-106-092 (displayed).

7 Here, you set out the history of the Hayes Report and

8 its recommendations, their acceptance by government and

9 the plan to establish an ombudsman system?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And presumably that was something that you hoped might

12 indeed serve to increase confidence in the legal

13 community in the complaints system?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you. So far as the Law Society is concerned,

16 again you came to learn, I think, that the Society had

17 itself put in place, after your visit, some measures by

18 way of response, I think you believed, to the concerns

19 you had expressed in order to increase their own

20 involvement in this issue?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And that, we can see at paragraph 37. Again, if we look

23 at the very last sentence of that we can see that that

24 is something that, in addition, you welcomed?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

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1 Q. Can I ask you about a specific detail. In your report

2 at paragraph 31, RNI-106-092 (displayed), you say that

3 in the course of your mission you were provided

4 documents in those rare cases in which a solicitor has

5 filed a complaint.

6 Was that material handed over to you in the course

7 of the meetings?

8 A. It could have been handed over during that period, yes,

9 and also subsequently I received some.

10 Q. Yes, but reference here is to something that happened

11 during the course of the mission, isn't it?

12 A. I assume so, yes.

13 Q. Can you remember any detail in relation to it?

14 A. I can't at this stage remember all the details.

15 Q. No. These weren't documents handed over to you by

16 Rosemary Nelson?

17 A. Rosemary Nelson at that point of time didn't hand me

18 anything personally.

19 Q. No.

20 A. It was subsequently I received some documents with

21 regard to her case.

22 Q. Yes. So whatever that refers to, it doesn't refer to

23 a Rosemary Nelson complaint?

24 A. No.

25 Q. No. Thank you.

 

 

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1 So far as the Bar is concerned, I showed you already

2 that you had, I think you say, two to four meetings with

3 the Bar. This is paragraph 44 at RNI-803-194

4 (displayed). Can I ask you in relation to that, how

5 many members of the Bar did you meet?

6 A. It was, again, a group. I visited the Bar Council

7 premises, their secretariat. There could have been five

8 or six of them, not very many. But insofar as the

9 barristers are concerned in Northern Ireland, the

10 indication I got was that they were not very much

11 involved in these cases, because they were not going to

12 these holding centres, meeting the accused persons.

13 Hence they were not -- at least the impression given to

14 me was that they were not so very concerned about these

15 intimidations and harassments of these solicitors.

16 Q. Is it right that they told you they were not

17 experiencing the same problems?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Yes. I think it is right, however, that in your report

20 you nevertheless recommended in the same terms that the

21 Bar Council should be "more vocal" in its defence of

22 solicitors. And we can see that at 91(c), RNI-106-105

23 (displayed).

24 Am I right in taking that to be an exhortation to

25 the Bar to support the other side of the profession in

 

 

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1 this?

2 A. Correct. But if we look at the international standards

3 on the role of lawyers, the standards don't make any

4 difference between solicitors and barristers, advocates

5 and solicitors, and so on. Lawyers: they belong to the

6 one single profession, the legal profession. Hence both

7 the Bar Council and the Law Society, who are the

8 supervisory bodies of these two branches, are expected

9 to take a single form of united action to protect their

10 lawyers, whether they are barristers or solicitors.

11 Q. So far as the position generally in relation to these

12 findings and recommendations is concerned, as I

13 understand it, you were trying to get the two sides, if

14 I can put it that way, to speak to each other, to

15 communicate about these various problems, the problems

16 you had heard about?

17 A. The barristers and solicitors?

18 Q. Well, the barristers and solicitors on the one hand and

19 the police on the other hand?

20 A. Certainly.

21 Q. That is why, isn't it, you use the expression "enter

22 into a dialogue" in the recommendation that we have on

23 the screen?

24 A. Correct, yes.

25 Q. So you were hearing a lot from one side, particular the

 

 

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1 lawyers, but because they aren't using the complaints

2 system, they weren't actually getting their message

3 across. Is that a fair way of putting it?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. To the police?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Because they simply weren't taking advantage of the

8 structures that were in place?

9 A. And also the police themselves, one of the -- I don't

10 know whether you might come to the question very

11 shortly. In the case of the RUC, they themselves, as

12 I mention in my report, were indifferent to these

13 various allegations which appeared in the documents

14 which the RUC had access to. These were the documents

15 from the international NGOs about harassment and

16 intimidation.

17 Q. This is paragraph 31 of your report at RNI-106-092

18 (displayed). Can we enlarge paragraph 31, please.

19 As I understand it, the problem that you identify

20 here was that, as you saw it at any rate, the RUC

21 responded to complaints which entered the system, but

22 otherwise did not take cognisance of information of

23 exactly the same kind which came to them in the form of

24 NGO reports?

25 A. The RUC's stance at the time was that they were not

 

 

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1 receiving these complaints, and Sir Ronnie Flanagan

2 hardly saw any of these complaints himself, as he said.

3 And even with the few they received, from the

4 information I got, no action was taken.

5 But my concern then was there was a lot available,

6 materials which were supplied through the international

7 NGOs. For some reason, their solicitors found fit to

8 refer these to this international NGOs and they raised

9 these matters. But the RUC never bothered to either

10 invite the solicitors and say, "Look, why are you going

11 to these international NGOs? We are here. Submit your

12 complaints to us."

13 On the other hand, the international NGOs had sent

14 these materials, respond to them. But again, from the

15 information I got then was that there was no response to

16 those. And I recall the stance taken by the RUC then

17 was -- at the meeting with Sir Ronnie Flanagan and his

18 assistant, was that they didn't take notice of these

19 complaints which came from outside sources, because they

20 got into some technical definitions of complaints and

21 all that.

22 But I looked at it in a very simplistic way: there

23 were problems, problems were brought to the attention in

24 one way or the other. Weren't you duty-bound to pursue

25 these and investigate them, whether there was some truth

 

 

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1 to these complaints or not? And this is where I felt at

2 the time both the professional bodies, the Bar Council,

3 the Law Society, they and the police, were quite

4 indifferent to these complaints which were in virtually

5 public domain then, channelled through the international

6 NGOs and also the CAJ which was present here in Belfast.

7 Q. But was the police attitude this: look, there is

8 a statutory framework in existence for the receipt of

9 complaints, we have set up an entire department of the

10 RUC in order to deal with such complaints. If material

11 doesn't get submitted in accordance with the statutory

12 framework, then we cannot deal with it under the system

13 which we have established.

14 Was that not what they were saying to you?

15 A. Yes, but from what I remember with regard to the

16 statutory framework, there was one particular authority

17 which only dealt with when the matters were channelled

18 through certain agencies, including the RUC. And in

19 this particular case, at that particular time, the RUC

20 should have been cognisant of the fact that these

21 solicitors had lost confidence in their whole system,

22 and they had lost confidence with the Law Society's

23 procedures as well. Hence where do we go from there?

24 In the light of the concerns expressed, materials

25 submitted, through these reports of the international

 

 

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1 bodies and the CAJ, I felt very strongly then it was

2 only proper and prudent for the authorities here to call

3 upon -- there were only a small number of them, 20 or 30

4 of them, to enter into a dialogue with them and say,

5 "Why are you doing this? We could be of help to you."

6 But there was certainly some element of bad blood,

7 the solicitors and the police, that any form of dialogue

8 at that time, from the impression I got, couldn't have

9 worked because they virtually didn't trust each other.

10 Q. And you think that was mutual?

11 A. It could have been. I think the police had -- these

12 people, the lawyers, didn't have trust in the police and

13 the police, from the information I received from the

14 kind of intimidations, obviously they were not in any

15 good terms with the -- these few solicitors.

16 Hence it continued. And I feel that at that time

17 the Chief Constable was duty-bound, was duty-bound to

18 prevent further deterioration of the situation and

19 should have called upon all these people into

20 a dialogue, which he did subsequently.

21 Q. But of course it is always easier, if I may say so, to

22 come from outside and see all these things and

23 intervene. It is nearly always much more difficult when

24 you are on the ground?

25 A. Correct, I agree.

 

 

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1 Q. And that was your role, wasn't it?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. To promote, to encourage them to talk to each other and

4 also to break what you have described as the logjam or

5 the stalemate between them?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. And you found, didn't you, in relation to the points you

8 made, there was in fact movement on both sides as

9 a result of your intervention, the comments you made and

10 indeed the recommendations you have set out in your

11 report?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. And you also discovered, I think, when you were there,

14 that some at least of the problems that were mentioned

15 to you in meetings, for instance, the complaints system

16 itself, those changes were already underway?

17 A. They were. They were underway, yes. But they were not

18 really in kind of an operation, which were all very well

19 known to everyone. And hence it took some time for

20 these to come into full force of creation until after

21 the mission and after the report. And I was quite

22 pleased that all agencies concerning, including the

23 professions, became more alert to the situation then

24 prevailing and things began to improve, began to

25 improve.

 

 

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1 Q. Can I ask you now about the meeting you had with

2 Rosemary Nelson herself during your mission, and you

3 deal with it in paragraphs 26 and following of your

4 statement.

5 You say in your evidence that the meeting was

6 a one-to-one meeting?

7 A. It was. I recall my waiting there and she walking into

8 the room and we had a lengthy conversation as to what

9 was going on. That was the first time I met her. And

10 she explained to me what was going on from her own

11 experience with regard to the intimidation, harassment

12 of defence lawyers, including herself and the kind of

13 various threats she received.

14 Q. Can I ask you, are you sure in your own mind that

15 Mr Parra was not present?

16 A. If I recall, it was really a one-to-one meeting at that

17 particular time when she walked in.

18 Q. That would have been unusual, based on what you told us

19 yesterday?

20 A. No, it was because -- I think it was in connection with

21 Rosemary Nelson herself wanted a one-to-one meeting at

22 the time.

23 Q. And, again, are you sure that there was only one meeting

24 with her?

25 A. Yes, with me there was only one meeting, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Mr Parra, in his witness statement to the Inquiry, has

2 told us that he was present at the meeting with you and

3 Rosemary Nelson and indeed took notes in the usual way.

4 Do you think that his recollection is mistaken?

5 A. Yes, I am not so sure whether he was present. There was

6 this meeting with Rosemary Nelson, I recall, it was

7 a one-to-one and there was nobody else present. It

8 could have been another meeting subsequently, but I

9 can't recall a second meeting. The second meeting --

10 the second time I met Rosemary was in Washington.

11 Q. So far as the meeting is concerned, you say that she

12 showed you anonymous threats that she had received

13 through the post?

14 A. Yes, I recall that.

15 Q. Can you remember how many there were?

16 A. I beg your pardon?

17 Q. Can you remember how many threats there were that she

18 had received through the post?

19 A. Oh, no, no, I can't remember their numbers, no.

20 Q. Can you remember anything more about them?

21 A. No, simply I didn't take any notes of the meeting

22 myself, no.

23 Q. But you do say to us in paragraph 26 at the end, it was

24 immediately clear to you that Rosemary Nelson was

25 extremely distrustful of the police?

 

 

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1 A. She was.

2 Q. What is that impression --

3 A. From the kind of problems she had been encountering with

4 regard to her practice and with regard to the threats

5 and intimidations on her. She had no trust in the

6 police, though all she wanted was -- I recall that she

7 wanted to continue with her practice without fear or

8 favour and to serve her clients in the most professional

9 way. But there was no -- she never, if I recall -- she

10 never asked for any sympathies from anyone, including

11 myself. And if I recall, when we started off, it was

12 more she started off talking about the problems that

13 defence lawyers were encountering and then zeroed down

14 to her own situation, and -- but she made it very clear

15 that she was not going to be put off by these threats

16 and that is why at some point of time towards the end,

17 I asked her whether she was -- wasn't she concerned

18 about her life, her family members. And I recall her

19 saying something to the effect that, no, she virtually

20 put her profession before everything else.

21 Q. So far as the threats that she described to you,

22 I appreciate you don't have any notes and it is a long

23 time ago, but can you now recall any further detail of

24 what she described to you?

25 A. No, they were really matters with regard to the way -- I

 

 

25


1 think some of them were documented subsequently. With

2 regard to those personal verbal threats at one

3 particular occasion, I think that is recorded.

4 Q. Is this what you mean by threats she received directly

5 from the police?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. Can you remember any more about that?

8 A. That was the one of those incidents where there was this

9 march, the Garvaghy Road march, where she was acting for

10 some people and she had a confrontation with the police,

11 and the kind of language used by the police against her,

12 and I recall she was spat at and all sorts. And these

13 were the kind of problems she explained, if I recall,

14 during that meeting.

15 Q. That is direct contact. What about the indirect --

16 A. Those were, again -- the pattern was the same as what

17 I mentioned earlier with regard to the kind of threats

18 other solicitors received through their clients, how the

19 police passed these messages through her clients to her.

20 So, so far as that is concerned, that was quite

21 consistent with what the others mentioned: that these

22 threats were really channelled through their clients.

23 Q. You say it was quite consistent. In your evidence you

24 tell us that these were the worst examples you heard

25 from listening to the evidence of solicitors. What was

 

 

26


1 it about them?

2 A. They were the direct threats which were really

3 aggravating the situation insofar as she was concerned.

4 Q. So it was the Garvaghy Road incident you have mentioned?

5 A. That is one, yes.

6 Q. Which tipped the balance, as it were?

7 A. That is quite a rather ghastly incident, I must say,

8 from her description of what happened.

9 Q. Yes. And she gave a description to you in the meeting,

10 as you recall?

11 A. Yes, she was mentioning that.

12 Q. So, to be clear, what made her case, the remarks, the

13 worst examples? In your statement, you say, you see, in

14 the third line of paragraph 27 -- you talk not about the

15 direct comments but the remarks made by the RUC to her

16 clients, and you describe them. This is RNI-803-190,

17 paragraph 27 (displayed). You describe them as being

18 the worst examples.

19 A. They were the worst examples.

20 Q. So what was it about them that made them the worst?

21 A. Because insofar as -- the threats the others received, I

22 did not get any information of anything very serious as

23 these, particularly the direct threats.

24 My other concern about Rosemary Nelson was that she

25 also -- I had information -- she took over some of the

 

 

27


1 files from Patrick Finucane. If I recall, she was

2 handling some of those other clients, files which were

3 handled by Patrick Finucane, if I recall.

4 Q. Did she tell you that herself?

5 A. Yes, I remember it was mentioned, the fact that she was

6 handling some of those files. In fact, I may have asked

7 her that question.

8 Having done some homework on the Patrick Finucane

9 matter and realising the kind of threats that she was

10 getting, and having considered the kind of threats

11 Patrick Finucane earlier received, I felt that her

12 situation was becoming more of a serious matter compared

13 to even the others.

14 Q. And you say in your statement:

15 "From what she said, it appeared that the RUC were

16 really gunning for her."

17 What was it in particular about the remarks she made

18 to you that led you to form that impression?

19 A. They were not remarks -- it was not just one or two

20 remarks, it was the sum total of all what she said, that

21 the inference to be drawn, I thought, was that there

22 was -- she was being targeted by the RUC to virtually,

23 I suppose, prevent her from acting in those cases. And

24 she may have become a problem to them, just as I thought

25 earlier in the other case of Patrick Finucane.

 

 

28


1 Q. So, to be clear then, you think that she was being

2 targeted in order to make sure she didn't deal with her

3 cases. Is that what you are saying?

4 A. I think they were virtually trying to break her down

5 from her practice in those cases, because she was quite

6 a formidable solicitor, taking on directly with these

7 RUC officers and confronting them, and of course they

8 didn't like it at all, I suppose. And hence I felt that

9 she was very much a problem for them.

10 Q. But it sounds as though you believe that they were

11 responding, as it were, to her own success?

12 A. Yes, it was a kind of a reaction to her success, put in

13 a sort of situation where one would have expected the

14 police in Belfast at the time to be more responsive to

15 the rule of law, more responsive to the concerns the

16 solicitors expressed when it comes to issues relating to

17 the due process. And yet in this case she certainly had

18 serious problems, from the information I received.

19 Q. You referred earlier to a time during the meeting when

20 you raised the question of her safety with her, and it

21 sounds as though that may well have been towards the end

22 of the meeting; is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And when you raised that concern with her, what was her

25 response?

 

 

29


1 A. As I mentioned earlier, she didn't seem too perturbed.

2 Obviously, she was -- she felt very concerned about all

3 this, yet she just felt that she should continue with

4 the practice, and she virtually felt that this was one

5 of the professional hazards she had to go through, which

6 also some of the other solicitors mentioned to me had

7 become a situation where they just had to go through the

8 whole processes as a professional hazard. But some

9 faced more difficulties than the others, I suppose.

10 Q. Did you get the impression that she was looking for

11 protection?

12 A. No, her concern would have been who would protect her.

13 She didn't have much trust in the RUC and this is where

14 the problem arose: who would protect her in those

15 circumstances.

16 So, therefore, the question arises -- this is where

17 I felt that the Law Society, for example, could have

18 been a little more proactive at the time, to come in aid

19 and stand up in defence of these solicitors, and that

20 didn't happen.

21 But she certainly didn't talk to me about protection

22 as such.

23 Q. No. Indeed, you say in your statement she did not say

24 she was seeking protection?

25 A. Yes, she did not.

 

 

30


1 Q. So the issues you have raised about protection given by

2 the police, or the difficulties there, that didn't come

3 up in the course of your meeting?

4 A. No, no, we -- but ...

5 Q. No. In your statement, you mention a particular case

6 which was raised in the course of the meeting, as I

7 understand it. This is paragraph 31 at RNI-803-191

8 (displayed), and you say in the context of this case,

9 the Colin Duffy case, she told you she had received

10 derogatory comments when she went to the detention

11 centre. You go on to say you didn't meet any of her

12 clients, so I assume you didn't meet this particular

13 client, Mr Duffy; is that right?

14 A. No, I didn't meet -- that is one of the problems I had.

15 They were all in detention centres and holding centres

16 and getting access to them would have been a problem.

17 And hence I couldn't go into these centres to meet those

18 who received, for example, these messages from the

19 police to convey to the solicitors.

20 Q. So you weren't able to assess their versions of events

21 in the same way that you were the lawyers' themselves?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. Can you remember anything more of this particular

24 example, the one you mention in the second sentence of

25 paragraph 31?

 

 

31


1 A. No, this is one of those patterns of comments, or you

2 can call it harassments or intimidations, she received.

3 This is one of those examples. I can't remember any

4 more detail on that.

5 Q. Thank you. So far as the timing of this is concerned,

6 did the meeting with Rosemary Nelson, as you recall it,

7 take place before or after the first meeting with

8 Mr Flanagan?

9 A. This is after the meeting.

10 Q. After?

11 A. After the meeting with Flanagan.

12 Q. Turning to that meeting, can I ask you first of all who

13 was present?

14 A. Sir Ronnie was present and there was also his assistant,

15 Alan Parra and myself. I think there were only four of

16 us at that meeting, if I recall.

17 Q. How confident is your recollection?

18 A. Yes, I think -- because at the second meeting, there

19 were two others he brought in. In the first meeting, if

20 I recall, it was just two of them and Alan Parra and

21 myself.

22 Q. So at the second meeting, just to be clear, there were

23 the Chief Constable and two others and you and Mr Parra?

24 A. The second meeting there were two others.

25 Q. So five in all, and the first meeting you think there

 

 

32


1 were four people present?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And of the four people present how many were taking

4 notes?

5 A. If I recall, Alan Parra was taking notes. I can't

6 remember whether notes were taken by either one of the

7 other two. I can't recall.

8 Q. Well, to answer this, do you think Sir Ronnie himself

9 was taking notes?

10 A. I don't think so.

11 Q. So if anybody was making notes on the other side of the

12 meeting, it would have been his assistant?

13 A. His assistant, yes, his number two, yes.

14 Q. As far as you were concerned, was the meeting on the

15 record?

16 A. It was on the record, it was certainly not in

17 confidence. I assumed Sir Ronnie knew the purpose of my

18 mission and there would be a report published, and hence

19 I would report what was discussed. And I suppose he

20 definitely must have been aware that it certainly was

21 not in confidence and it was certainly not off record or

22 something, no.

23 Q. No. To your knowledge, had discussions taken place

24 before the meeting to let him know the purpose of your

25 mission?

 

 

33


1 A. He certainly knew when -- again, I assumed he certainly

2 knew, when the British Government arranged for that

3 meeting, when he must have been aware of our terms of

4 reference as well, I am sure. And hence -- what

5 I normally do at these meetings is to introduce myself

6 and the purpose of the visit, but otherwise we assume

7 that they all know that this is going to be part of

8 a report, a subsequent report.

9 Q. Yes. Do you think you did introduce yourself and

10 explain the purpose of your visit at the beginning of

11 this meeting?

12 A. Yes. I normally do that, yes.

13 Q. Yes. Was there any indication, as far as you were

14 concerned, from the Chief Constable that he was

15 surprised to hear what you were saying?

16 A. Surprised to hear about the purpose of my visit?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. No, I don't think he was surprised. I thought he was

19 write prepared for the meeting.

20 Q. He was quite prepared --

21 A. I think he was quite prepared for the meeting.

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

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. Just before half past. We will

24 break off.

25 (10.18 am)

 

 

34


1 (Short break)

2 (10.30 am)

3 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Cumaraswamy, you told us that at the start

4 of the meeting you think you outlined the purpose of

5 your visit. From then on, with the four people present

6 at the meeting, can you tell us who did most of the

7 talking?

8 A. Well, there was interaction but I was there to listen to

9 the Chief Constable's responses to the two main issues.

10 Q. Did you begin then, in addition to explaining what the

11 purpose of your visit was, by expressing your

12 provisional views about this question of intimidation of

13 lawyers?

14 A. Not so much my provisional views but to get a response

15 from him as to the information I had received from the

16 various quarters about the threats and intimidations.

17 Q. You say at the end of paragraph 16 of your statement

18 that you told him you were extremely concerned by

19 information you had received from NGOs and others.

20 Was this meeting at the very start of the mission?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So in terms of information received, that can't have

23 included, presumably, the meetings with solicitors that

24 you have mentioned?

25 A. Yes, but that concerns I referred to, extremely concern,

 

 

35


1 was in connection with the materials I had already

2 received, and also the earlier 1995 meeting where I met

3 some solicitors here in Belfast.

4 Q. Yes. And what response did you get to your reference to

5 the material from the NGOs?

6 A. Sir Ronnie's response was simply that there was no basis

7 for these allegations. I think that is how he started

8 off, because his argument was that they were not

9 substantiated, and hence not to accept them as they

10 are -- as they were.

11 Q. As I understand it, what then happened is you, as you

12 put it, afforded him the opportunity to explain, to put

13 his case forward?

14 A. Yes, I left it to him, because I wanted his entire

15 reaction to all these issues. And it was in that

16 connection that he, having said that these were all

17 unsubstantiated, and so on, then came to say that the

18 solicitors could be working for the paramilitaries, and

19 so on. I think it is in the report.

20 Q. Yes. Well --

21 A. It is in the draft report.

22 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you first of all. Sitting

23 here today, giving your evidence and knowing, as you do,

24 the controversy that erupted in relation to this, how

25 clear is your recollection of the words that were spoken

 

 

36


1 during that meeting?

2 A. May I say this to the Commission: I still vividly

3 remember Sir Ronnie's uttering those words. They can

4 have their own views as to what they meant by that or

5 so, but they were -- and moreover, Alan Parra had

6 a handwritten record of the particular words he uttered.

7 And I remember very well it was a bit of a surprise to

8 me, a concern to me, that there was that perception, at

9 least in the minds of the RUC, coming from the

10 Chief Constable himself that solicitors -- these

11 solicitors may be working for paramilitaries.

12 They had a kind of an agenda. There was a political

13 divide in the country, in the state, and so on. And

14 particularly, it was recorded. There was

15 a contemporaneous note by Alan Parra at the time of

16 those words uttered.

17 Q. Just dealing with the various aspects of what you have

18 said. First, are you clear now in your recollection

19 that it was Sir Ronnie who made the remark?

20 A. It was him.

21 Q. You are?

22 A. I was quite clear about that.

23 Q. And in general terms, doing the best you can, to what

24 extent is your account of these events based on your

25 recollection and to what extent is it based on the notes

 

 

37


1 by Mr Parra?

2 A. My recollection is also based, also from the record of

3 Alan Parra's notes.

4 It was in connection with those remarks that I posed

5 a further question to Sir Ronnie, that if that was the

6 case, did he lodge any complaints to the Law Society

7 against the solicitors? And he -- I recall him saying

8 that he had evidence, but he didn't give me the

9 evidence. I wanted the evidence. He didn't give me.

10 But if he had not made those remarks, I wouldn't

11 have asked that question as to whether complaints were

12 lodged to the Law Society, because it was clear, even in

13 the international standards, the UN basic principles on

14 the role of lawyers, there is clear provision that

15 lawyers should not be identified to their clients'

16 causes. And here was the Chief Constable making such

17 a remark, which prompted me to ask him that question.

18 He has not denied my asking that question. But he

19 disputes having said that. If he had not uttered those

20 words, it wouldn't have led me to ask that question

21 about reports to the Law Society. Hence as far as those

22 remarks are concerned, I am afraid those are the words

23 he uttered, which were recorded and in my draft.

24 Q. So, to be clear then, you believe that the reaction,

25 certainly the reaction you expressed in the meeting to

 

 

38


1 those remarks, was to ask the question about whether

2 these matters had been referred by him to the

3 Law Society?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. Did you express any other kind of reaction, any other

6 response to these remarks in the meeting?

7 A. No, I think my response was immediately -- that was an

8 immediate response I had to him, and I can't recall any

9 other responses to those words he uttered, as far as

10 a response to him. But I was a little concerned, of

11 course, of other incidents, but that is irrelevant now.

12 Q. Can we look at the draft report in this context. It is

13 paragraph 21 and that is at page RNI-106-030

14 (displayed).

15 Just going through this paragraph, because there are

16 various reported comments here, the first is that the

17 RUC categorically denies the allegations. Can I ask

18 you: is that something that was expressed in this

19 meeting?

20 A. Yes, there was a complete plain denial of all these

21 allegations.

22 Q. Secondly, there was a lack of evidence to substantiate

23 them. Again, I am going to ask you the same question at

24 each point: was that something said in the meeting?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

39


1 Q. Hardly any complaints made by lawyers. Do you see that?

2 A. Hm-mm.

3 Q. And then the next point, which is about no proceedings

4 being taken, judicial review, et cetera?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. And then, as I understand it, the next two sentences,

7 which begin with "he emphasised ..." and then "he also

8 mentioned ..." again, as far as you were concerned, is

9 this right, that these were points made to you by the

10 Chief Constable in this meeting; is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And that leads on to the next sentence, which is

13 obviously the key sentence:

14 "He did express the view that some solicitors may in

15 fact be working for the paramilitaries."

16 In relation to the next sentence in this regard, can

17 you remember whether that comment was prompted by

18 a question from you or whether it was just something he

19 went on to say?

20 A. I think he went on to say that. It was not in

21 connection with any particular question I asked.

22 Q. No.

23 A. That is why I was also a little surprised that he

24 brought that up on his own volition.

25 Q. Does the same apply to the next sentence:

 

 

40


1 "He explained that one agenda ..."?

2 A. This is ...

3 Q. Do you see the sentence?

4 A. You are referring to which ...

5 Q. Sorry, it is the sentence:

6 "He explained that one agenda of the paramilitary

7 organisations is ..."

8 Do you see that sentence?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Five lines from the bottom. Was this something he said

11 to you rather than an answer to a question raised by

12 you?

13 A. No, it was in connection -- he himself --

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. -- volunteered this statement.

16 Q. Yes. And does the same apply to the remainder of the

17 paragraph, if we read over the page until the sentence

18 beginning:

19 "The Assistant Chief Constable ..."?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In other words, this was a continuous flow without, at

22 that stage, interruption from you?

23 And is it right, therefore, that your first

24 intervention was at the end of all this when you made

25 the point that you have just described to us, "Well,

 

 

41


1 look, if all of this is right, why haven't you taken

2 this up with the Law Society?" I am paraphrasing.

3 A. That was my immediate response.

4 Q. Yes. And I assume, therefore, that where you go on to

5 that point, which is in paragraph 22, some 12 lines or

6 so down:

7 "To a specific question from the Special Rapporteur,

8 the Chief Constable said the RUC did not lodge any

9 complaint to the Law Society."

10 That is, in your view at any rate and in your

11 recollection, what happened. In other words, you asked

12 the specific question and this was the specific answer?

13 Thank you.

14 Just going back to the top of the page, to

15 RNI-106-031 and the last sentence of paragraph 21

16 (displayed), am I right to take it from your account of

17 the meeting that the Assistant Chief Constable --

18 I assume the other person from the RUC present in the

19 meeting that you mentioned earlier -- he, as it were,

20 chipped in or intervened at this point to make this

21 remark?

22 A. Correct, yes.

23 Q. Right. But as far as your recollection goes, he, the

24 Assistant Chief Constable, had not chipped in or made

25 any comments at an earlier point?

 

 

42


1 A. The assistant?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. I can't remember. I don't think he did, it was

4 somewhere towards that part where he came in.

5 Q. Yes. So far as the question of the notes that you have

6 referred to on a couple of occasions now are concerned,

7 could we have a look at them, please. They are at

8 RNI-110-033 (displayed).

9 What I would like to do, if we can do this, please,

10 technically, is to get that on the left-hand of the

11 screen and paragraph 21 of the draft report on the other

12 side, and that is RNI-106-030 (displayed).

13 Now, just to confirm what you said to me yesterday,

14 when you returned from your mission, Mr Parra is the man

15 who had the handwritten notes and he had them in Geneva.

16 You returned to Kuala Lumpur and he is the man who did

17 the first draft of the report; is that right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And in terms of written records of this meeting, these

20 notes, the first page of which we see on the left of the

21 screen, represented the sum total of what you had?

22 A. Yes. I think Alan Parra had more notes than these.

23 Q. Yes. We only have two pages of his notes. I can show

24 you the other one if you would like to see it. It is at

25 RNI-110-034 (displayed).

 

 

43


1 But if we go back to RNI-110-033 (displayed), they

2 are undoubtedly incomplete notes. He has told us that

3 in his own evidence. You can see, apart from anything

4 else, that it appears to begin at the top of the page in

5 the middle of the conversation, or the middle of the

6 meeting, whatever it is that is being recorded. Do you

7 see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. When you were going about the drafting of this report or

10 amending the drafting, did you have with you a copy of

11 the notes on the left?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Yes. The relevant section of these notes on the left

14 starts with the words "Sir Louis" about two thirds of

15 the way down. Could we enlarge that on the left,

16 please, if that is possible (displayed). A little

17 further down. Yes, thank you. I am going to read them:

18 "Sir Louis has commented upon corruption of

19 solicitors and there are those who working for

20 a paramilitary agenda and part of that agenda is to make

21 sure that detainee does not speak, stifling any means of

22 communicating info. Paramilitaries want to learn from

23 the holding centre which is deduced is from questions

24 put to detainees. Use legal people to inhibit provision

25 of info. More than a suspicion on role of lawyers have

 

 

44


1 terms ..."

2 And if we can just turn the page:

3 "... of documented evidence from detainees where

4 that has come out."

5 Then there is a reference to a political divide.

6 Just going back to RNI-110-033 on the left-hand

7 left-hand side, please, what I would want to ask you is

8 how you went about the drafting based on these two pages

9 of notes, which appear to be the pages dealing with the

10 relevant part of the meeting?

11 A. They were very skimpy notes, no doubt.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. But I had clear recollection, as I mentioned earlier, of

14 the remarks made by Sir Ronnie in terms of what was in

15 the draft. And at that point of time, I had no doubt

16 whatsoever that what was attributed to him actually came

17 from him.

18 Q. Can we look at the way it was done. First of all, the

19 key sentence and the expressing the view:

20 "Some solicitors may in fact be working for

21 paramilitaries."

22 If you look to the left-hand side, the relevant line

23 there is:

24 "There are those who working for a paramilitary

25 agenda."

 

 

45


1 Now, that word doesn't appear in your text, does it?

2 A. No, they are not -- I did not quote him as verbatim, if

3 you look at -- it is not in inverted commas or so.

4 Q. No.

5 A. So that was my understanding of what he said during that

6 particular meeting in connection with that part of what

7 he said.

8 Q. As I understand it, what you then did in the drafting is

9 to pick up the sentence at the bottom of the notes,

10 "more than a suspicion ..."?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And connect it to the lawyers point. It says:

13 "More than a suspicion on the role of lawyers."

14 But you did not include the notes relating to "have

15 terms ..." I think Mr Parra says that was an error for

16 "reams of documented evidence"?

17 A. That is in connection with what I asked him, whether he

18 had the evidence, and I may not have put in that part

19 that he had reams of evidence.

20 Q. Well, you see, one of the points you made later is in

21 relation to why they hadn't reported the matter to the

22 Law Society. You were saying, as I understood it, "We

23 had asked them for evidence. If we have got evidence,

24 they must bring it forward."

25 So the question of whether or not there was evidence

 

 

46


1 was obviously significant in your own mind; whether what

2 he was saying could be substantiated.

3 By leaving it out at this point, didn't you slightly

4 undermine or distort what he had been saying to you as

5 noted by Mr Parra?

6 A. No, I don't think so, because subsequently, if you look

7 at my report, I did mention that I asked for the

8 evidence and the evidence was not produced, and he has

9 not referred any of these matters to the Law Society.

10 Q. If we go back to the notes on RNI-110-033 (displayed),

11 you return to the same line about the paramilitary

12 agenda later in your text:

13 "Explain that one agenda of the paramilitary

14 organisations is to ensure that detainees remain

15 silent."

16 A. Silent.

17 Q. Yes:

18 "And thus, one role of a solicitor is to convey this

19 message to the detainee."

20 Again, that appears to be something which expands

21 upon what appears in the notes. Is that something which

22 came from your own recollection?

23 A. Sorry, which one are you referring to now?

24 Q. Sorry, do you see the sentence:

25 "He explained that one agenda ..."

 

 

47


1 In the report? It is five lines from the bottom.

2 A. Yes, that's right.

3 Q. What I was suggesting is that in this sentence of the

4 draft, you go back to the relevant passage of the notes

5 and at this point, although not before, use the term

6 "agenda". Do you see that, first of all?

7 A. Yes, the term "agenda" was used by Ronnie Flanagan

8 himself or his assistant, if I recall, during the

9 meeting.

10 Q. You think it may have been his assistant who used

11 that --

12 A. No, it was used at the meeting.

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. By Ronnie himself.

15 Q. Sorry?

16 A. If I recall, it could be Ronnie himself.

17 Q. Yes. Are you sure about that? (Overtalking)

18 A. As I recall now, because as far as his assistant is

19 concerned, he only chipped in towards the end, which --

20 I mentioned.

21 Q. Turning over the page of the notes at RNI-110-034

22 (displayed), do you see the reference to political

23 divide there in the second paragraph:

24 "Might just be that there is a political divide, an

25 attempt to portray as part of Unionist tradition. Thus

 

 

48


1 not keen to have dialogue to keep that distance."

2 That is a point you pick up in the bottom sentence

3 of the page RNI-106-030 (displayed) on the other side:

4 "Further, he stated there is in fact a political

5 divide in Northern Ireland and part of the political

6 agenda is to portray the RUC as ..."

7 If we go over the page, please, to RNI-106-031

8 (displayed):

9 "... part of the Unionist tradition."

10 And then you go on to say:

11 "These allegations concerning police intimidation

12 and harassment of solicitors is part and parcel of this

13 political agenda."

14 That -- I may be wrong about this -- doesn't appear

15 to be something recorded in the notes; is that right?

16 A. Yes, but it was -- it came in the course of the meeting.

17 It may not have been in the notes, produced in the notes

18 in verbatim as such, in detail, but obviously what

19 I have said there is facts which are -- words which are

20 used -- facts which were really brought up by Sir Ronnie

21 himself in the course of that meeting.

22 Q. Can we go back, please, to RNI-110-033 on the left-hand

23 side (displayed). Now, do you see that the dashed line

24 just above the part we have been looking at begins with

25 the words "Sir Louis"?

 

 

49


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. "Sir Louis has commented upon corruption of solicitors."

3 Again, am I right in suggesting to you that that was

4 not something that appeared in your account of the

5 meeting?

6 A. No, but I think it appears in my report somewhere, if

7 I recall.

8 Q. You think it appears in your report?

9 A. I think it was there about this particular part.

10 Q. Before we consider that further, can I just ask you,

11 does it follow from what you have said that you believe

12 that this, which was noted by Mr Parra, was a comment

13 made during the meeting?

14 A. During the meeting, yes.

15 Q. And who made it?

16 A. I cannot offhand recall, but most of the talking at the

17 meeting was done by Sir Ronnie.

18 Q. So you think he may have said --

19 A. He could have mentioned it or it could have been

20 mentioned by his assistant in the course of this meeting

21 about Sir Louis. But if I recall now, I think

22 Sir Louis -- Sir Ronnie was the one who brought in the

23 name of Sir Louis.

24 Q. And can you remember the context in which this remark

25 was made:

 

 

50


1 "Sir Louis has commented upon the corruption of

2 solicitors"?

3 A. It was in connection with the conduct of the solicitors,

4 the allegation that they may be working for

5 paramilitaries and a particular agenda, and in

6 connection with that that he brought in -- the name of

7 Sir Louis. This is what Sir Louis himself said. It was

8 in that context.

9 Q. So as you understood it, this was a comment made

10 probably by Sir Ronnie Flanagan reporting to you what he

11 said Sir Louis Blom-Cooper had --

12 A. To say that there was somebody else who had a similar

13 perception of what was happening.

14 Q. Did he explain in what context Sir Louis Blom-Cooper had

15 made these remarks?

16 A. Well, Sir Louis was the commissioner for holding

17 centres, if I am not mistaken. I think it was somewhere

18 along there that he wanted to bring in that name to

19 indicate that there was somebody else who had a similar

20 view.

21 Q. Yes. Can we look at some further notes which have

22 recently emerged in relation to this meeting, and they

23 are at RNI-101-159.500 (displayed).

24 These notes are notes made by another senior RUC

25 officer who says that he was present also at the

 

 

51


1 meeting, and I think you have had an opportunity to look

2 at them, have you?

3 A. I just recently --

4 Q. Yes. They are just recent for most of us, in fact.

5 If you look, please, at RNI-101-159.505 (displayed),

6 although the handwriting you may find rather difficult,

7 can you see that the first words -- there is a letter F

8 in a circle, and the first words are:

9 "Sir Louis BC. Some particularly corrupt.

10 A nucleus work to a paramilitary agenda."

11 These have been typed up for us, and if we look at

12 RNI-101-159.511 of the same reference, you will see at

13 the bottom of the page under F it is rather clearer, and

14 that says:

15 "Sir Louis BC - some patently corrupt. A nucleus

16 work to a paramilitary agenda."

17 Again, as you recall it now, is that consistent with

18 what you believe was said at the meeting?

19 A. Well, the gist of what I mentioned is virtually what is

20 mentioned here as well with regard to -- which is in the

21 notes.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. Yes, that is, I think -- the way each one of them took

24 their notes may have differed.

25 Q. Yes. It looks, doesn't it, as though these, in very

 

 

52


1 brief format -- reading on -- are the sort of points

2 that Mr Parra also records:

3 "Stop people giving any information. Stop

4 information being passed. Stifle ..."

5 That word again:

6 "... any information"?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So although it is very brief, it looks, doesn't it, as

9 though these are notes of the conversation as you

10 recall it?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. So far as your recollection of this rather nearer the

13 time of the meeting is concerned, I would like you to

14 look briefly, please, at a couple of notes which in fact

15 were made by John Ware, the broadcaster, in June 1999.

16 Before I show you the documents, do you remember

17 speaking to him at the time when he was preparing

18 a Panorama programme?

19 A. Yes, I think he interviewed me in Geneva soon after

20 I presented the report before the Commission.

21 Q. The Full Participants in the Inquiry have a copy of the

22 broadcast. The interview with you included, didn't it,

23 questions and answers in relation to this meeting?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. If you look, please, at RNI 110-254

 

 

53


1 (displayed), this is his note of 9th June 1999, so

2 obviously much closer to the time of the events. And he

3 records you as saying:

4 "Ronnie did say working for paramilitaries. He

5 definitely used the word 'working'. [He] also says that

6 RF most definitely did not mean that lawyers were being

7 exploited by paramilitaries. It could never be said

8 that that was the sense of the conversation."

9 It looks, doesn't it, as if that was your

10 recollection at that time, in June 1999. Does that

11 sound right?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. Thank you.

14 A. This must have been a subsequent meeting with John Ware,

15 because there was one interview earlier, soon after

16 I presented the report in Geneva.

17 Q. You think there was an interview in 1998?

18 A. There could have been one -- he may have done one in

19 Geneva the following year, if I am not mistaken.

20 Q. Right. We know the "Careless Talk" programme was

21 broadcast in June 1999. So is it --

22 A. That is after -- after the murder of Rosemary Nelson.

23 Q. Yes. Three months after.

24 A. There were really two I remember now, because there was

25 one taken soon after the first report was presented, if

 

 

54


1 I am not mistaken.

2 Q. An interview with John Ware?

3 A. I think it was John Ware who was there, if I am not

4 mistaken.

5 Q. Might it have been an interview for another television

6 programme?

7 A. Could be, because it was taken in the grounds of the --

8 and there was another one taken thereafter in the room

9 which was -- this was soon after the murder, when there

10 was a kind after memorial for Rosemary Nelson. I think,

11 if I recall, Mary Robinson was also present at the

12 memorial, who spoke.

13 Q. So that would obviously have been in 1999.

14 A. Of course, 1999, yes, soon after the murder.

15 Q. Yes. Okay. The other thing I wanted to show you, the

16 other note I wanted to show you, also a John Ware note,

17 is at RNI-110-254.501 (displayed). This is a note of

18 a telephone conversation, slightly later in the month,

19 14th June. You say:

20 "At the meeting on 24th October ..."

21 Which we understand to be the first of these

22 meetings:

23 "... RF was present throughout."

24 And you didn't recall him leaving the room, and that

25 leads on to you saying, according to Mr Ware:

 

 

55


1 "RF dominated the discussion, but the other two

2 officers occasionally chipped in."

3 A. So there were two other officers at that meeting.

4 Q. Well, obviously what we are interested in is your

5 recollection now. But it looks as though in June 1999

6 you thought there were indeed two other officers at the

7 meeting.

8 Thinking about it now, do you think that might be

9 right?

10 A. I recall at the first meeting -- at the second meeting,

11 there were two officers. At the first meeting, there

12 was one, I recall. But there could have been another

13 one. I can't recall the third person there.

14 Q. But it looks as though this paragraph, beginning "PC

15 says that RF dominated the discussion ..." is referring,

16 isn't it, to the first meeting?

17 A. I think he was referring to the first meeting.

18 Q. Yes, because that is the meeting in which the

19 controversial remark about the lawyers was made, as you

20 have explained; is that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And what you said there is that there were two officers,

23 but you had no doubt that the remark, the controversial

24 remark, was spoken by Mr Flanagan, and then you exclude

25 from that the one comment made by the

 

 

56


1 Assistant Chief Constable. It is in fact Assistant

2 Chief Constable White which you refer to and which we

3 looked at in your draft report.

4 So far as what happened after this meeting is

5 concerned, you explained earlier how you reacted within

6 the meeting and the question you asked Sir Ronnie.

7 What discussion did you have after the meeting with

8 Mr Parra?

9 A. No, I think I recall we were a little -- we discussed

10 about this particular part of Sir Ronnie's response and

11 were quite concerned, and I think when we were

12 returning, there was some discussion about these

13 particular remarks made and that is why I recall even

14 telling him that, look, I was surprised. That is why

15 I asked him whether this -- complaints were lodged with

16 the Law Society, because there was serious allegations

17 against these lawyers. That could have been

18 a discussion with him.

19 Q. You say in your statement -- this is paragraph 45 at

20 RNI-803-194 (displayed) -- that this comment:

21 "... convinced [you] that there must be some truth

22 to the allegations and that the RUC identified lawyers

23 with their clients' cases and made threats."

24 Just taking those two assertions one at a time, what

25 was it about the particular remark that made you so

 

 

57


1 convinced, ie that the RUC identified lawyers with their

2 clients' cases?

3 A. That was those remarks made by Sir Ronnie, that they may

4 be working for the paramilitaries and there is more than

5 a suspicion. And hence the reaction of the RUC against

6 the solicitors with regard to their -- vis-a-vis the

7 threats and intimidations.

8 Q. So you saw that remark, did you, as, as it were,

9 creating a link with the issue that you had come to

10 Northern Ireland to determine: namely, whether there was

11 harassment --

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. -- and abuse?

14 A. Kind of a resentment hatched by the police against these

15 defence lawyers.

16 Q. But if that were right, it would presumably have

17 followed that each and every one of the little group

18 that you met was regarded by the police as working to

19 a paramilitary agenda?

20 A. Possible, yes. That would be the irresistible inference

21 to be drawn, that that was the indication given. Though

22 he didn't mention that all of them were involved, but

23 there is more than a suspicion that these people were --

24 at least some of them were working for the

25 paramilitaries and passing the information.

 

 

58


1 Q. As recorded, the remark was that some solicitors were

2 working for, as the notes say, "a paramilitary agenda"?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. So during the rest of your mission, what did you do to

5 get to the bottom of that assertion?

6 A. During the course of my discussions with the lawyers

7 concerned, I may have asked them these questions, but I

8 didn't want to in any way pursue this in such a way as

9 to cause a big sensation there, cause a wedge between

10 the lawyers and the solicitors which was already bad

11 enough.

12 Q. But can I ask you to be specific about that. Did you

13 mention it in any of the meetings that you had

14 subsequently with the lawyers?

15 A. We could have raised this matter in the course of the

16 discussions with them. I can't offhand remember this

17 particular point being raised with any particular one of

18 them.

19 Q. So it could have been raised, but at this point you

20 can't remember whether it was? If you had raised it, it

21 would presumably have elicited a very strong reaction,

22 wouldn't it?

23 A. It would have.

24 Q. Therefore, it would have been something, presumably,

25 that you would have recalled?

 

 

59


1 A. But I can't remember anything, because as I mentioned,

2 these solicitors were working for both the Republicans

3 and the Loyalists, and I can't remember my pursuing this

4 particular allegation against them in that manner.

5 But my concern at the time was, look, here is a case

6 where the RUC has -- was viewing -- some of these

7 solicitors as working for the paramilitaries and,

8 therefore, that could have been the cause of some of

9 these resentments by the police against them and

10 harassments and intimidations.

11 Q. Is it possible that you decided not to raise it because

12 you didn't want to make the problems, as you saw them,

13 and the division worse?

14 A. That is true. There was this other concern at the time.

15 I recall I had always been concerned about what happened

16 in 1989, about the allegation made by, I think, the

17 Parliamentary Secretary to the Home Office in the House

18 of Commons, something to the same effect: that there are

19 in Northern Ireland lawyers working for the IRA or

20 sympathising with the IRA. And within four weeks

21 thereafter, Patrick Finucane was murdered. And it was

22 a concern to me and it always doubted on my mind.

23 Q. But of course the disadvantage of not raising it with

24 the lawyers you met is that you weren't able to hear

25 their answer, or to hear the other side of the story?

 

 

60


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And that, of course, as you explained yesterday to us

3 was the point of the mission, to make sure that you

4 heard both sides?

5 A. Both sides, yes.

6 Q. So the effect of keeping it to yourself is that it

7 wasn't tested, if I can put it that way, with the

8 lawyers doing this sort of work. Is that a fair

9 comment?

10 A. We could have mentioned -- we may have discussed this in

11 the course of the meetings but, as I said, it didn't

12 come out clearly in the report, anything to that effect.

13 Q. Can I ask you to look at the note we have -- we looked

14 at it briefly -- of the Law Society meeting, and that is

15 at RNI-112-052 (displayed). And so you're aware, this

16 note goes on to RNI-112-055 (displayed). The relevant

17 passage, so far as we are concerned, however, only goes

18 on to the top of RNI-112-054 (displayed).

19 But I hope that you would accept from me that there

20 is no reference in this note to this issue, the

21 Chief Constable or whoever it was, the comment made in

22 the meeting, in the course of your discussion with

23 officials at the Law Society. So it looks, doesn't it,

24 as though it didn't come up in that meeting?

25 A. Because the Chief Constable, having said that he never

 

 

61


1 lodged any complaints to the Law Society, I didn't

2 pursue with the Law Society on that matter.

3 Q. So it was your view, was it, that this was something

4 which was to be taken up by the Chief Constable rather

5 than by you in your meeting with the Law Society

6 officials?

7 A. Yes. It may have been. That could have been ...

8 Q. But if correct, clearly it would have been a very, very

9 serious matter indeed, as you observe in your report,

10 and the sort of thing, as you say in your report, that

11 ought most certainly to be drawn to the attention of the

12 Law Society?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. So wasn't it something that was worth at least flagging

15 when you met the officials of the Law Society on

16 30th October?

17 A. No, I felt that as no complaints were lodged with the

18 Law Society, I felt that they would not give me any

19 information as to what steps they had taken with regard

20 to those complaints, and it was not pursued there.

21 Q. You see, one of the things you criticised the

22 Law Society for was not taking a more active role in

23 dealing with the problems. Now, do you accept that in

24 this particular case, obviously if they aren't given the

25 information by you in the course of the meeting,

 

 

62


1 certainly there was nothing they could have done about

2 that particular aspect of the problem?

3 A. Fair enough, yes. Yes, they could have pursued that

4 matter in that way but, as I mentioned, once I heard

5 that there was no complaints lodged by the RUC, I didn't

6 think it needed for me to pursue it with the

7 Law Society.

8 Q. Can I ask that the two documents we had on the screen

9 a little earlier be brought back for another appearance.

10 We have Mr Parra's notes on the left, RNI-110-033

11 (displayed), and the relevant passage of the draft

12 report, paragraph 21, which is, I think, RNI-106-030

13 (displayed).

14 Now, can I just ask you -- and I am sorry to take

15 you back to this -- we looked together before at the key

16 sentence which is seven lines up from the bottom, and it

17 begins with the word "however". Do you see that

18 sentence? This is in the report on the right-hand side.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. And we went together through a comparison

21 between the words you used there and the words which are

22 used in the notes.

23 I pointed out to you that the line above in the

24 notes, which is:

25 "Sir Louis has commented upon corruption of

 

 

63


1 solicitors ..."

2 Doesn't appear anywhere in the text of your draft.

3 Can I ask you another question in relation to this,

4 and it may be that you can't assist us with your

5 recollection, but let me ask anyway. If you look at the

6 notes:

7 "Sir Louis has commented upon corruption of

8 solicitors and there are those who working for

9 a paramilitary agenda."

10 Now, you said earlier that you thought the comment

11 about corruption of solicitors had been put to you in

12 the meeting as something said by Sir Louis. Do you

13 remember that?

14 A. Yes, it was mentioned by --

15 Q. Yes. What of the next line beginning "and there are

16 ..."? Was that, as you recall it, put in the meeting as

17 something said by Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

18 A. No. But you are referring to the -- what was put to me.

19 Can you, please, repeat the question?

20 Q. I am sorry, it was a long and probably a very unclear

21 question.

22 We discussed earlier the line in the notes,

23 "Sir Louis has commented upon corruption of solicitors,"

24 and I pointed out to you that that didn't appear,

25 certainly in this paragraph of the report, and I don't

 

 

64


1 believe it appears in the report. And you said that you

2 remembered this point being put to you in the meeting:

3 "Sir Louis ..."

4 In other words, whoever it was on the RUC side:

5 "Sir Louis has made this comment upon the corruption

6 of solicitors."

7 If you look at the next line down of the notes:

8 "And there are those ..."

9 The question I am asking you is whether you can

10 recall: was that also put to you in the meeting as

11 a comment by Sir Louis Blom-Cooper: namely, "and there

12 are those who working for a paramilitary agenda"?

13 A. I can't remember exactly whether it was put to me as

14 something said by Sir Louis also.

15 Q. You can't remember?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Did anybody in that meeting of the officers from the

18 RUC, one, two, three, however many there were, correct

19 or seek to qualify those remarks as recorded in the

20 notes?

21 A. No, I can't remember that.

22 Q. Did anybody seek in any way to disassociate themselves

23 from those remarks?

24 A. No, I can't remember.

25 Q. Did anybody seek in any way to disavow those remarks?

 

 

65


1 A. I can't remember.

2 Q. No. Can we look, please, at the other notes I showed

3 you, which, in the transcript form, appear at

4 RNI-101-159.511 (displayed). If we enlarge, please, the

5 section under F. That says:

6 "Sir Louis BC -- some patently corrupt."

7 A new sentence beginning:

8 "A nucleus work to a paramilitary agenda."

9 It looks, doesn't it, as though the first comment

10 was put across as something said by

11 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, but the other was a comment

12 simply made to you in the meeting; is that right?

13 A. Hm-mm, yes.

14 Q. Thank you. You tell us that there was a second meeting

15 with the Chief Constable and that, as I understand it,

16 took place at the end of your visit?

17 A. Yes. Correct.

18 Q. And you describe it in paragraph 34 of your statement at

19 RNI-803-192 (displayed) as being an unusual step to go

20 back to see him. Had you planned to see him for

21 a second time?

22 A. I think I must have told him that if there is anything I

23 will call him back and seek out a meeting.

24 Q. So that your first meeting with him was a chance for you

25 to raise the points and for him to, as you put it, put

 

 

66


1 his case?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you raise, you think, the possibility then that you

4 might come back?

5 A. Yes, I must have told him that I might come back.

6 Q. So was the purpose of the second meeting to pass on to

7 him what you had gleaned during the course of your other

8 meetings?

9 A. Yes, the other meetings, that is correct.

10 Q. Yes. And you have told us how many people were present.

11 Again, can I ask you a question about notes. Can you

12 remember anybody in the meeting taking notes?

13 A. If anything, Alan Parra would have taken notes, but I

14 can't remember anybody else taking notes.

15 Q. Yes. If you look at your statement at paragraph 36, it

16 looks as though you returned to the point, the

17 allegations being made, in the course of this second

18 meeting.

19 Can I take it that that return by you was based on

20 what you had gleaned in the intervening period?

21 A. That is right.

22 Q. And so you were putting forward to him, were you, the

23 comments, the information that you had gathered in the

24 preceding meetings with the lawyers?

25 A. Correct.

 

 

67


1 Q. And can you remember now: did you give him details in

2 this meeting of specific cases?

3 A. No, generally. I think it was a general discussion as

4 to what I learnt during the previous few days and put

5 across to him, which simply reinforced some of the

6 points I already made to him at the first meeting. And

7 that is why I then asked him whether there could be

8 an inquiry called for to consider these allegations of

9 harassment and intimidation.

10 Q. And he didn't accept that that was needed, as you

11 record it?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. So the comments, as I understand it, that you were

14 making were at a general level and presumably his

15 response was likewise at a general level?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. As you set it out here for us in your statement -- and

18 there are no notes, certainly, that we have of this

19 meeting -- what he was saying, as I understand it, is,

20 "Well, in relation to particular cases I do not have the

21 detail, I do not have the information which would allow

22 me to give you any detailed responses." Is that a fair

23 way of putting it?

24 A. Possibly, yes.

25 Q. Would there be another way of putting it?

 

 

68


1 A. No, I think -- my concern -- it was reinforced after

2 those few days there that this was a matter which ought

3 to have been thoroughly investigated by an independent

4 body, and that is why I point blank asked him that

5 question about an independent inquiry.

6 Of course, the indication was that there was

7 insufficient material for anything of that kind. But in

8 any event, he had already indicated earlier that these

9 allegations -- there was no substance to these

10 allegations and all that. But it was only going back to

11 him and explaining these other things and to seek his

12 response to this issue about an inquiry.

13 Q. Was there any discussion in this meeting about the

14 complaints system: namely, the idea that if there were

15 allegations of this kind they should be put into the

16 complaints system and investigated in that way?

17 A. No, we discussed this whole thing and also I must have

18 mentioned to him also the question of the lawyers

19 themselves should have been more prudent in submitting

20 these complaints.

21 Q. You think you made that point again?

22 A. I must have.

23 Q. Yes. You say in the next part of this paragraph:

24 "He took my comments lightly ..."

25 I assume that is a reference to his mood or the way

 

 

69


1 he responded to you in the meeting; is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. "... until he read the newspapers the next day."

4 Presumably including the coverage that we looked at

5 a little earlier. How did you learn that the way he

6 took your comments had changed?

7 A. I think it was in connection with a response -- I think

8 I explained this in one of my -- in the reports or some

9 letters I had written. It was in connection with the

10 John Stevens II Report and it was during that second

11 meeting that he was very happy to cooperate and let me

12 have access to that report. I recall he even lifted the

13 telephone to call John Stevens, now Sir John Stevens,

14 and he was not available. I think he was out of town.

15 And I thought I would get a copy of that report.

16 Subsequently, as I recall, John Stevens was not in

17 town or so, and I couldn't meet him. I wrote to

18 John Stevens and I was told that this report belonged to

19 the Secretary of State and the Chief Constable, either

20 one of them should give consent. And I never saw

21 the report after that, and I felt that there was

22 a change of mind on the part, because Sir Ronnie

23 knew that I was eager to get that report and I thought

24 he would have pursued. But after seeing the press

25 statement with regard to what I said about the

 

 

70


1 Patrick Finucane case, he must have felt quite slighted

2 with my press statement and he didn't follow up in

3 cooperating to get me that report.

4 Q. Did you follow it up with him?

5 A. No, I didn't bother after that.

6 Q. No, and your feeling about this and the connection with

7 your press conference is not based on anything that was

8 said by him or by anybody else at the RUC?

9 A. With regard to?

10 Q. The connection you have drawn between your press

11 conference and the refusal or the absence of consent to

12 give you the Stevens Report. That is something not

13 based on anything said to you by Sir Ronnie himself or

14 by the RUC, is it?

15 A. No, it was -- the subsequent response I got from

16 John Stevens was that he couldn't divulge anything to me

17 until he got that consent, and I never thereafter

18 followed up on that.

19 Q. No. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. Just before 10 to.

21 (11.37 am)

22 (Short break)

23 (11.50 am)

24 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Cumaraswamy, I am very sorry but I am going

25 to have to ask you to look again at your draft report.

 

 

71


1 Can we have on the screen, please, RNI-106-030 on

2 the left-hand side and RNI-101-159.505 on the right

3 (displayed). Can we enlarge the top half of the

4 handwritten notes, please. Thank you.

5 A little earlier on I was asking you about this part

6 of the notes and the reference to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper,

7 and specifically whether you could recall how the point

8 was put to you in the meeting and whether the words "and

9 there are those who working for a paramilitary agenda"

10 or in these words "a nucleus work to a paramilitary

11 agenda", whether those words were put to you as

12 something said by Sir Louis Blom-Cooper.

13 Now, just looking at these notes -- I showed you the

14 typescript before, but I am now showing you the

15 handwritten version -- do they assist you in your

16 recollection?

17 A. No, what Sir Louis -- the name of Louis was mentioned in

18 the course of the meetings, something to this effect.

19 There is no doubt about it, I recall. And it was not

20 put to me or so, it was just mentioned as part of

21 a statements they made in the course of the discussion.

22 Q. If you look on the left-hand side of the page and the

23 key phrase in your draft report, which begins with the

24 words "however", which is seven lines up from the bottom

25 of the page, the words you used in your draft are as

 

 

72


1 follows:

2 "However, the Chief Constable did express the view

3 that some solicitors may in fact be working for the

4 paramilitaries."

5 Was it your understanding at the meeting that this

6 was the view of the Chief Constable?

7 A. No, my understanding was it was the Chief Constable who

8 mentioned that. Louis Blom-Cooper's name was mentioned

9 that he, as I mentioned earlier, had a similar view.

10 That was the understanding I had.

11 Q. So --

12 A. That is how the name of Sir Louis came into the picture.

13 Q. So it was his name was brought in, was it, as being

14 somebody who held a similar view to that expressed?

15 A. It was the impression given. There was another person.

16 Here, it was Sir Louis who had a similar view.

17 Q. Similar to whose?

18 A. Similar view to how -- the view expressed by Sir Ronnie,

19 that solicitors were working for paramilitaries.

20 Q. Thank you.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Phillips, could I just see the

22 complete page of notes before you take it off the

23 screen, please.

24 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. (Pause)

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

 

 

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1 MR PHILLIPS: Can we turn, please, to the question of the

2 drafting of your report.

3 You have explained to us already the process by

4 which it was undertaken and we know that in due course

5 a row broke out concerning certain passages of the

6 report.

7 Can I ask you, please, to look at RNI-110-258

8 (displayed). This is another note by Mr Ware

9 in June 1999, and at the bottom of the page -- which is

10 why I am showing it to you -- there is a reference to

11 a fax -- do you see that? -- penultimate line, dated

12 27th February? And it is a fax that Mr Parra says he

13 sent you about a telephone call, which was the way this

14 controversy first emerged.

15 If we look over the page, you see a quotation from

16 the fax:

17 "Also, I have received a phone call. The

18 Chief Constable has expressed concerns that the

19 statement attributed to him might jeopardise the life of

20 Rosemary Nelson. He also indicated that neither he nor

21 his deputy recalled saying solicitors have links with

22 paramilitaries. He has asked whether it is possible to

23 speak to you. I will telephone later to discuss this

24 matter."

25 Do you think that the first you heard of this

 

 

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1 problem was when you received a fax from Mr Parra on

2 27th February?

3 A. Yes, there was a discussion. He may have called me and

4 mentioned about this particular call he received, as he

5 said, from the Chief Constable or someone from the RUC,

6 but I recall he mentioned the call came from the

7 Chief Constable.

8 Q. Very unfortunately, we don't have the fax. It looks as

9 though it was sent to you in Kuala Lumpur.

10 So far as your statement goes, you tell us in

11 paragraph 46, which is the top of RNI-803-195

12 (displayed), that you recall receiving a call at home

13 from the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, and in

14 your statement certainly, that's the first reference you

15 make to this particular controversy.

16 Do you think it is possible that in fact you had

17 heard about it from your assistant rather earlier than

18 2nd March?

19 A. I think these things happened about the same time. The

20 call I received in Kuala Lumpur was in fact some time in

21 the evening of that particular date, I think 2nd of that

22 month, and it was in the evening in Kuala Lumpur that

23 I got a call from the British High Commission, which I

24 was quite surprised the call was of that nature.

25 Q. What was the point that Mr Bridges at the High

 

 

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1 Commission wanted to raise with you?

2 A. He told me that he had received some calls asking me

3 whether I could consider this particular report, which I

4 don't think he had the full text of the report, but over

5 the phone he mentioned about disclosure of the names,

6 disclosure of the names of the lawyers I mentioned in

7 the report. And I asked him what was the problem, and

8 he mentioned that he has been asked to ask me whether I

9 could consider removing the names and also to the other

10 paragraph relating to what Sir Ronnie mentioned.

11 Q. So --

12 A. But they were more concerned, if I recall Steve Bridges'

13 call -- not so much about expunging what Sir Ronnie

14 said, but I think they were more concerned about the

15 disclosure of the names of the solicitors; the name of

16 Rosemary Nelson was particularly mentioned. And just --

17 they were concerned that their life may be endangered.

18 Q. So you think there may have been two concerns expressed

19 when you heard from the High Commission: the primary

20 one, as it was put to you, being the disclosure of names

21 of lawyers and you think that Mrs Nelson's name was

22 mentioned, but you also believe, do you, that the other

23 point, the paragraph 21 point, was raised with you at

24 this time?

25 Was it clear to you from this conversation who had

 

 

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1 the concerns?

2 A. I was -- I will probe into that. I asked Steve Bridges

3 and he -- all he mentioned was, look, we are not here to

4 protect the police. But he had received some

5 information from head office, either from the Foreign

6 Office or from the mission in Geneva, I was not certain.

7 But he said he received the calls from overseas,

8 I suppose the head office. They must have been liaising

9 among themselves.

10 Q. Can I just ask you: in relation to the conversation with

11 Mr Bridges, was that on the telephone or --

12 A. It was on the telephone.

13 Q. On the telephone. Looking first at the question of the

14 lawyers' names, we saw earlier in your draft report,

15 paragraph 8, that you mentioned some lawyers' names,

16 including, for example, Mr McGrory's name and then you

17 said that you had met other solicitors, other lawyers,

18 but you had only named them in the report with their

19 express permission. I can show you the draft if you

20 want, but will you take that from me?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So can I assume, therefore, that based on that comment

23 in your draft, you were content at that stage that you

24 had the relevant authority and permission from

25 Mr McGrory but also from Rosemary Nelson, Kevin Winters

 

 

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1 and Patricia Coyle, who were the three solicitors you

2 singled out for special mention?

3 A. We would have got, not directly from me, but I think

4 Alan Parra would have got the consent from them.

5 Q. Yes. In your statement, you describe your reaction to

6 the call from Mr Bridges as being one of extreme

7 surprise. Can you explain that to us?

8 A. I was surprised, because there was very few occasions I

9 had a call from a mission in Kuala Lumpur over my work

10 as Special Rapporteur and, in this particular case,

11 requesting from me to remove something which was in the

12 draft. And it certainly gave me some anxious moments

13 for a couple of days.

14 Then I received information from Alan Parra that he

15 also received similar calls, including, as he said, from

16 Ronnie Flanagan. And all that surprised me and I had to

17 give the matter some serious consideration. Here we are

18 dealing in a country where there was a conflict going on

19 and there were already -- there was already one

20 particular murder a few years earlier in 1989, and it is

21 a question of when they mentioned -- and Steve Bridges

22 mentioned to me that it was the security of these

23 lawyers, particularly Rosemary Nelson, they were

24 concerned about, and that really gave me anxious

25 moments.

 

 

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1 On the one hand, we are independent, we put in our

2 report what we think was right and here there was

3 a state intervening in those circumstances. So I had to

4 put a careful balance.

5 I must have discussed with this Alan when he

6 received these calls and mentioned all that to me. And

7 I felt that in the interests of security of these

8 people, I was very, very mindful, I recall, of what

9 happened in 1989 when that statement was made in the

10 House of Commons and something happened four weeks or

11 five weeks later. I didn't want anything that of sort

12 happening, because here I was holding on to my

13 independence and putting in the names when I was warned

14 about -- or cautioned about possible retaliation or

15 whatever it is. Hence I took the decision -- I mean,

16 Alan Parra spoke to me about what he had already

17 discussed with the mission there and -- in Geneva, but

18 I took it upon myself, very independently in the

19 interests of the security of these people, to remove

20 their names.

21 And insofar as the other paragraph about what

22 Sir Ronnie said, again, I was very conscious about what

23 happened in 1989. It was something similar to what was

24 said in the House of Commons that sparked off something

25 four or five weeks later, and I didn't want that to

 

 

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1 happen. I just didn't want to.

2 I felt that here I was trying to do everything

3 possible to provide security for these lawyers.

4 I shouldn't be seen as in any way contributing to

5 anything as serious as what happened in 1989.

6 And I took it upon myself to amend the appropriate

7 paragraphs and I made it very clear that I was doing

8 so -- in a letter to the mission in Geneva, that I was

9 doing so not because of any inaccuracies of what

10 Sir Ronnie said at the meeting, insofar as that

11 paragraph is concerned, but I was doing so because of

12 the possible threats to these solicitors. Hence it was

13 appropriately amended and it was done in Kuala Lumpur

14 and I sent the draft back with the amendments.

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

16 that. The first is: did you take steps to check with

17 the individual lawyers themselves as to whether they

18 were content to be named in the draft in the way that --

19 A. I didn't personally check on that. When the draft was

20 sent, I was quite sure that they would not have any

21 objections. The consent would have been obtained and at

22 least Alan Parra would have discussed with them, and

23 hence I personally did not contact any of these lawyers

24 subsequently.

25 Q. Do you think Mr Parra may have done so?

 

 

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1 A. He may have do done. He may have done.

2 Q. Did you, beyond the discussion you had with Mr Bridges,

3 have any further discussion with the British government

4 representatives, or indeed anybody else, about the

5 concerns which had been passed on to about security and

6 the implications, therefore, of naming the individual

7 solicitors?

8 A. Not with anyone, except for the subsequent letter

9 I wrote confirming that I had taken the steps to remove

10 those words in the report to the head of mission in

11 Geneva.

12 Q. In your evidence at paragraph 48, which is at

13 RNI-803-195 (displayed) -- we have it on the screen --

14 you say you remember asking Mr Bridges where the request

15 to remove her -- Rosemary Nelson's -- name had come from

16 and he told you he couldn't tell you, but you say:

17 "It was clear to me it must have come directly from

18 the RUC through the Geneva mission."

19 What was it --

20 A. That was my assumption at the time. The RUC would have

21 contacted directly, but on the other hand it could have

22 been through the Foreign Office, the RUC to the Foreign

23 Office, the Foreign Office to the mission. And

24 I subsequently, as you will have seen from the

25 statement, received a couple of letters from

 

 

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1 Sir Ronnie Flanagan himself and it was then that

2 I mentioned to him that I must have quoted -- I quoted

3 a couple of paragraphs from the letter I wrote to the

4 head of mission in Geneva. That is what I had done, and

5 again, I emphasised that I did so not because of the

6 fact that he was disputing the accuracy of what he said,

7 but more as a precautionary measure to protect the lives

8 of those named in the report.

9 Q. You say in the same paragraph at the end, particularly

10 given the call that Mr Parra received in Geneva. Was

11 that something that you heard about from Mr Parra when

12 you spoke to him?

13 A. Yes, I didn't get any calls directly from the RUC; it

14 was Parra who told me that he received these calls.

15 Q. And do you think that you were told about those calls

16 before you made the decision to amend the draft?

17 A. Oh, yes, yes.

18 Q. Before?

19 A. It was during -- all this happened within a day or two,

20 and I had to make the decision soon because we had to

21 submit our final drafts for printing and publication.

22 So I had to take a decision soon and I did do it in

23 those circumstances and for those reasons.

24 Q. If we look at a document at RNI-109-166 (displayed),

25 which is a Foreign Office document -- I am showing it to

 

 

82


1 you simply because of the date which, although it is

2 rather difficult to work out, is in fact 2nd March -- do

3 you see at the top left-hand corner?

4 Then if we can come back to the document, please

5 (displayed), it looks from this that by this date,

6 2nd March, if you look at paragraph 2, you had indicated

7 that you would delete references to the specific

8 individuals and also address the drafting comment about

9 paragraph 21. And then in paragraph 3, do you see:

10 "Parra politely took issue with the inference that

11 the report wrongly attributed this statement to the

12 Chief Constable. Both he and Cumaraswamy clearly

13 recalled him making it. Parra said his notes taken at

14 the meeting also clearly reflected this. He offered to

15 provide copies."

16 So it looks as though as early as this, on

17 2nd March, you had considered the matter, arrived at the

18 decision that you have described to us and passed the

19 message back via your assistant that although you were

20 making the change to paragraph 1, you didn't resile from

21 your position, which is that the Chief Constable had

22 made those remarks?

23 A. Correct. It was, I think, on the same day that

24 I received a call also from Steve Bridges. It was all

25 during that short period.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. In relation to the change you made to

2 paragraph 21, as I understand it, the position that you

3 were being faced with, put forward by Mr Bridges, was

4 that the Chief Constable denied making those remarks.

5 Is that how you remember it?

6 A. That telephone call was more with regard to the names,

7 and in the course of it I recall he mentioned about the

8 other paragraph, saying that that, look -- it had been

9 said that it was disputed and that having it there could

10 cause problems for these lawyers' security.

11 It was in connection with the security of these

12 lawyers that all that came up in the telephone call.

13 Q. But the question I was asking you is whether Mr Bridges

14 made clear to you in the telephone call that the

15 Chief Constable denied making those remarks about

16 solicitors --

17 A. I think he used the word not "denied" but "disputed", it

18 was disputed. Something to that effect.

19 Q. Thank you. In your work as a Special Rapporteur, to

20 this point had you experienced a situation before where

21 such a request for amendment had been made?

22 A. No, not with regard -- there have been governments who

23 have been concerned where things mentioned in the report

24 which was not palatable to the government or their

25 agencies, but it was not to the extent of calling upon

 

 

84


1 me to remove something. And I recall there was one

2 incident in Indonesia, and also -- this is all in

3 connection with judicial corruption, where certain

4 details -- they were concerned that I mentioned. But

5 there was no request from them to remove anything.

6 But here was a very, very different situation, where

7 the security of these lawyers, particularly in the light

8 of what was going on in Northern Ireland then,

9 as Special Rapporteur I thought I must be very, very --

10 be mindful not to in any way aggravate anything and

11 bring in any threat to the lives of any one of them.

12 Q. So that was the factor that tipped the balance in your

13 thinking, was it?

14 A. Yes, I think this was one of the very -- this was the

15 only case I remember where I was called upon, when

16 a draft report was sent to a government, to remove --

17 and I want to emphasise again to the Commission I was

18 very much guided by what really happened in 1989 and

19 Douglas Hogg made those remarks in the House of Commons

20 and what happened to Pat Finucane thereafter.

21 Q. Can I ask you to look at the new paragraph 21, as it

22 appeared in your final report. It's at RNI-106-089

23 (displayed). It is at the bottom of the page, if we

24 could enlarge that paragraph, please (displayed).

25 Here, the new sentence is eight lines from the

 

 

85


1 bottom, beginning:

2 "The Chief Constable ..."

3 Do you see?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You describe in your evidence your redrafting of the

6 original sentence. Did you undertake the drafting

7 yourself?

8 A. It was done by me.

9 Q. And did you believe, in doing so, that you fairly

10 reflected what had been said at the meeting?

11 A. Yes, I thought so. I thought it was more -- it was

12 putting it more diplomatically without causing any

13 problems for these lawyers. The original words did

14 cause that concern.

15 Q. The earlier version began with the word "however" and

16 then continued:

17 "... the Chief Constable did express the view that

18 some solicitors may in fact be working for the

19 paramilitaries."

20 So the sentence emphasised the role of solicitors,

21 as opposed to the sentence in the final report. Is that

22 the deliberate change that you made?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. But the new sentence also includes the word "agenda",

25 doesn't it?

 

 

86


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And that, as we saw from the notes that we looked at,

3 was a word which was recorded contemporaneously?

4 A. The word "agenda" was used, yes.

5 Q. Yes. But again, there's no reference, is there, to

6 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper or his remarks or views?

7 A. No.

8 Q. And was that the sole change you made in this paragraph,

9 paragraph 21?

10 A. If I recall, that was the change made.

11 Q. Yes. Can we look, please, at RNI-110-004 (displayed).

12 This is the letter to which you have referred, I think,

13 on a number of occasions. Could we enlarge the text,

14 please (displayed). It is dated 5th March and recites

15 the telephone call -- I think it is a telephone call

16 anyway -- from the UK mission and refers to the

17 sentences attributing remarks.

18 That is expressed in the plural. Was there another

19 controversial sentence that you remember?

20 A. No, I think it was the names mentioned in the rest --

21 there were three other paragraphs where three names were

22 mentioned.

23 Q. Right.

24 A. And I think they were more concerned at the time of

25 Rosemary Nelson, but I decided that if I removed that, I

 

 

87


1 should also remove the other two names.

2 Q. Right. And this sets out your stance, I think, doesn't

3 it? You refer to the contention that he couldn't

4 remember making the remarks, but that your notes, or the

5 notes of Mr Parra, show otherwise, and you put your

6 decision as being one taken in the interests of the

7 security of the defence lawyers as opposed to because

8 the Chief Constable disputes having made the remarks?

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. That was a letter written to the Ambassador, as we can

11 see, but you later received a letter from the

12 Chief Constable, I think, didn't you?

13 A. Yes, I recall, yes.

14 Q. Can we look at that, please, at RNI-101-215 (displayed).

15 As far as one can tell, this must have come rather

16 out of the blue to you?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. There hadn't been any earlier correspondence between you

19 and the Chief Constable, had there?

20 A. Not directly, no.

21 Q. No. As the letter records, the statement had been

22 removed. And this may assist you, this letter, in

23 relation to the question of the two sentences. If you

24 look at the sentences quoted in the middle of this text,

25 do you see, it is not just the first one we looked at

 

 

88


1 earlier, but the next one in your draft "In this regard

2 ..." et cetera. Do you see that on the screen?

3 A. No, you are referring to the letter from Sir Ronnie?

4 Q. Yes. Do you see it contains two quoted sentences?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. In relation to the second of those sentences, I think it

7 is right, isn't it, that you deleted that sentence in

8 its entirety?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can we just check that from RNI-106-089 (displayed),

11 paragraph 21. Do you see after the new Chief Constable

12 sentence, the one about there being more than

13 a suspicion, I think is the expression, has been

14 completely removed. Do you see that?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So in fact, the reference that you had made in the

17 letter we had looked at is correct after all. There

18 were two sentences, and you amended the first one and

19 removed the second?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. You responded to the Chief Constable on

22 27th March and I would like to take you to that, please,

23 RNI 110-138 (displayed). And as you say, you set out

24 your position by in fact quoting back to him the comment

25 that you had already made in your letter to the

 

 

89


1 Ambassador. As far as you were concerned, did that

2 bring the correspondence to an end?

3 A. Yes, on that particular issue.

4 Q. In fact, however, you heard again from the

5 Chief Constable in a letter of 8th April, didn't you?

6 A. Yes, there was another letter he sent.

7 Q. Can we look at that, please, at RNI-110-148 (displayed).

8 Here, in the first part of the letter he quotes you

9 quoting your earlier letter, and then he quotes the

10 draft with the two sentences to which objection had been

11 taken, repeats his denial and says he didn't make such

12 a statement because he had no grounds for believing it

13 to be true. And then he goes on to raise in particular

14 an issue with you at about paragraph 19 of your report.

15 That was one of the paragraphs in which you raised

16 a specific issue, a specific issue concerning a specific

17 lawyer. Do you see that quoted on the screen,

18 beginning:

19 "Another serious incident ..."?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. This paragraph from your final report caused some

22 controversy, didn't it, with Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

23 A. Yes, to some extent I recall there was some controversy.

24 Q. Can I ask you to look, please, at what Sir Louis said to

25 you about this. This is at RNI-110-146 (displayed).

 

 

90


1 There he himself addresses the same paragraph,

2 paragraph 19, and essentially points out to you, doesn't

3 he, that what you set out in your report is factually

4 incorrect. If you turn over to RNI-110-147 (displayed),

5 he makes the point at the top of the page that if your

6 conclusion, including paragraph 90 of your report,

7 is based in part on that, then that was misconceived,

8 because in fact the account you have given of the

9 incident was wrong.

10 I would just like to ask you with that background,

11 this incident in the holding centre that you referred to

12 in your paragraph 19, was it a matter you had

13 taken up with Sir Louis in your meeting with him during

14 your mission?

15 A. I offhand can't remember whether the specific point was

16 raised with him, because the meeting with Sir Louis was

17 a short meeting and offhand I cannot remember whether

18 this particular point was raised with him.

19 Q. Well, assuming it wasn't raised with him and assuming,

20 for example, that it was raised in the course of your

21 meetings with lawyers, given that you were referring to

22 his deputy in your paragraph 19, wasn't it something you

23 should have checked with Sir Louis or his office before

24 including it in your report?

25 A. Probably I should have put it across to him, but this

 

 

91


1 was a letter which he, I think, submitted to me some

2 time later, wasn't it?

3 Q. This is dated 6th April. It is at RNI-110-146

4 (displayed). We can see that just after your final

5 report had been released?

6 A. That is right.

7 Q. With hindsight, it would perhaps have been better,

8 surely, to check this with his office at least before

9 including it in your --

10 A. Possibly, yes.

11 Q. And what of the next point he makes, which is at

12 RNI-110-147 (displayed)? This is where you made comment

13 about his proposal for legal advice units, and again, he

14 gives the reference to your report; it is paragraph 53.

15 He was taking exception there to the way you had

16 described the legal community's reaction. And again, is

17 this a matter that you discussed with him when you went

18 to see him, do you think?

19 A. I can't recall.

20 Q. No.

21 A. But let me inform the Commission: when our final reports

22 are submitted, considered by the various parties

23 concerned, we do get concerns expressed by certain

24 quarters that this is not correct and that is not

25 correct.

 

 

92


1 I must say here, though our system is not a perfect

2 system, yet within the parameters of our work we do try

3 to do the best in the circumstances and there may be

4 objections taken by certain quarters, which we always

5 welcome. And these are views expressed subsequently by

6 Sir Louis, and unlike the other situation, it was not

7 brought to my attention before the final report was

8 published. And if there was any concerns expressed

9 before the final report is published, I may have had

10 a look at that.

11 Q. I think his point would be, well, because I didn't know

12 that this was something you were going to be commenting

13 on, I did not have the chance to correct you before you

14 issued your report?

15 A. No, it may be that he was not aware of the draft report.

16 He may not have been shown, in fairness to him.

17 Q. Can we move on to your next meeting with

18 Rosemary Nelson, which took place in September of the

19 same year, 1998.

20 You, I think, were attending the congressional

21 subcommittee meeting on 29th September that year?

22 A. That is right.

23 Q. You tell us in paragraph 62 of your statement,

24 RNI-803-199 (displayed), that you did not agree to

25 testify because of your independence; is that right?

 

 

93


1 A. Yes, I was then holding the office on the mandate and I

2 didn't want to be subjected to -- I mean, the way it was

3 put to me at the time, to testify before a congressional

4 committee, to my mind in that sort of environment for

5 a special rapporteur to go and testify while he was

6 still holding the office didn't sound right.

7 I think it was discussed. It was never done before,

8 and hence I said if anything I could come there for

9 a discussion, a kind of round table discussion, but not

10 in the formal sense of my testifying before the

11 congressional committee, which they acceded to in the

12 end. And it was kind of a dialogue session, and hence

13 it went on as I wanted it to be, not in a kind of

14 a formal setting.

15 Q. No. You tell us of course that Rosemary Nelson attended

16 and that you had a chance to talk to her while you were

17 both there in Washington?

18 A. Yes, yes.

19 Q. And she told you, I think, about her experience: still

20 being harassed, as you put it in your statement, by the

21 RUC. You make these remarks:

22 "But she seemed to be resilient and not further

23 perturbed by the threats that had been made."

24 What was it about the conversation you had with her?

25 A. No, she was not afraid or she was not -- she didn't feel

 

 

94


1 that it was really affecting her mind in such a way that

2 she was unable to even practise, or anything of that

3 sort. And that was the reason why I said that she was

4 quite resilient and continuing with her practice

5 regardless of all these threats and intimidations.

6 Q. So compared to when you had first met her

7 in October 1997, is it possible for you to tell us

8 whether her mood seemed to be the same, or more buoyant,

9 or was there a difference?

10 A. No, she was -- there was not much of a change as such.

11 She was, you know, when she spoke, she was very coherent

12 and very confident, and hence my impression of her at

13 that time was that she was quite a formidable lawyer who

14 didn't allow these threats to affect her continuing in

15 the practice, particularly in the criminal practice of

16 the law.

17 Q. But she certainly didn't tell you, as I understand it,

18 that the threats -- this is the way you put it -- were

19 getting worse?

20 A. No, but the impression she gave was that they were

21 continuing, they were continuing.

22 Q. But did she give you any details?

23 A. No. We didn't have much time together, because after

24 the meeting we all retired for lunch and there was no

25 opportunity, and I left and she left. Hence it was not

 

 

95


1 a time where I had a lengthy discussion with her.

2 Q. Can I ask you briefly about events between this point,

3 the end of September 1998, and the time of

4 Rosemary Nelson's murder.

5 I don't want to show you the documents, but as I

6 understand it, there was correspondence continuing

7 between you and the Chief Constable and the RUC, as it

8 were following up on the recommendations of your report.

9 Do you remember that?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And they were updating you as to the steps they were

12 taking, for example, in cooperation with the Law Society

13 in the way that you yourself had suggested in the

14 report.

15 But as I understand it, between this point, the end

16 of September, and the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder,

17 you had no contact with her yourself?

18 A. No, not directly.

19 Q. Thank you. I think that after you heard the news of

20 Rosemary Nelson's murder, you issued your own press

21 release; is that right?

22 A. That is right.

23 Q. And we can see that at RNI-110-226 (displayed). It is

24 dated 16th March and it looks as though you learn the

25 news on the day of the murder itself, on the 15th?

 

 

96


1 A. I received a call in Kuala Lumpur at 2 o'clock in the

2 morning that the car was bombed, and one hour later that

3 she died.

4 Q. At this early stage, we can see from the last paragraph

5 of this page that you were calling on the Government to

6 establish an independent and impartial commission of

7 inquiry to investigate the murder?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So far as your statement is concerned, can I just ask

10 you to look at paragraph 68, because there you draw

11 a comparison between this case and that of Pat Finucane.

12 You have already made reference to that case in the

13 context of your consideration of the drafting, and you

14 have made reference, I think, to Douglas Hogg's comments

15 in the House of Commons. You didn't use his name, but I

16 think that is who you intended to refer to. And you say

17 in the second sentence of paragraph 68:

18 "If you look at the situation that Rosemary Nelson

19 was in, i.e. threats from the RUC, it seems to me that the

20 RUC just wanted to get rid of her, as they did in the

21 case of Finucane."

22 Well, you can perhaps imagine that that is a comment

23 that has elicited some interest. First of all, can

24 I ask you, please, what was the basis for your assertion

25 that the RUC just want to get rid of her?

 

 

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1 A. I think it was -- it might have -- my opinion comparing

2 her case with the Patrick Finucane.

3 Q. So it is your own view?

4 A. My own view at the time, expressing -- and I think

5 I remember even when I met Chief Constable Colin Port,

6 I urged him to look into the pattern of the

7 Patrick Finucane case and this -- one could find some

8 similarities in the kind of threats these people

9 received and how it intensified to the time when the

10 murders took place. Hence the RUC involvement or any

11 other state involvement. That is where the question of

12 whether there was any state agency collusion into these

13 murders. And I felt also that it was not a case,

14 because of the problems she faced with the RUC and the

15 kind of threats she received, that an independent

16 inquiry was necessary and not by the RUC itself.

17 Q. But the views you have expressed, they are not based,

18 are they, on any detailed knowledge of the circumstances

19 of her murder?

20 A. Of course not. I don't think even the RUC had the

21 details at the time, really.

22 Q. And as I understand it, by mentioning this to Mr Port,

23 who was in charge of the investigation into the murder,

24 you were, as it were, handing over the suggestion to

25 those who actually did have responsibility --

 

 

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1 A. Exactly.

2 Q. -- and who would have the knowledge and, if appropriate,

3 be able to make any relevant comparisons. Is that

4 a fair way of putting it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Mr Cumaraswamy, those are all the questions I wish to

7 ask you. However, as I always say to witnesses, if

8 there is anything you wish to say to the Panel, which we

9 haven't so far covered, this is your opportunity.

10 A. No, I do not have much, except to inform the Commission --

11 some of these points came out earlier -- as special

12 rapporteurs monitoring situations of this nature, our

13 powers are limited. But one the parameters, when we go

14 on site, we study documents, come out with our

15 conclusions and our recommendations. Our conclusions

16 will not be substantiated with what in a court of law

17 one would call admissible evidence. Our investigations,

18 and subsequently our conclusions and recommendations to

19 the states concerned, are to really get on to the

20 states to take a step further to put in place their own

21 investigations on matters which we bring to light.

22 The situation in Northern Ireland, I was quite

23 convinced -- in hindsight, I am still very convinced --

24 needed an input from an international organisation like

25 the UN, which brought on to the surface some of the very

 

 

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1 serious problems affecting the administration of

2 justice, the rule of law. And in that connection, we in

3 the United Nations and in the Commission on Human Rights

4 took particular attention and paid particular attention

5 to the situation in Northern Ireland, and I was very

6 glad that some of the recommendations made in the

7 reports were taken on board.

8 But in the case of Rosemary Nelson's murder,

9 particularly with the backdrop of the Patrick Finucane

10 murder, I would have expected the authorities concerned

11 to have been more alert in providing adequate security

12 to prevent that murder. And as I said, this particular

13 murder caused a great deal of concern to us, because the

14 Patrick Finucane murder happened before my mandate was

15 even created. But this -- I was there, but my greatest

16 regret in the nine years of my mandate is that

17 I couldn't save her in the plight she was in. Hence I

18 am very pleased at the end of the day that this

19 particular inquiry was set up and I was able to come in

20 and give my assistance in whatever way I could, because

21 it is not only something which will go down on record as

22 beneficial to Northern Ireland, to the United Kingdom,

23 but it will be, you know, an example for other countries

24 as well, and I am very pleased to hear of the

25 improvements made with regard to the policing in

 

 

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1 Northern Ireland. And to that extent I am happy that

2 the United Kingdom Government had taken on board some of

3 the recommendations we have made and the situation has

4 improved.

5 I would like to thank you all for this.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Cumaraswamy, we are very grateful for you

7 coming over to Belfast to give evidence before us, and

8 finally I would like to wish you a good journey back to

9 Kuala Lumpur.

10 A. Thank you.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Before we adjourn, as we are coming towards

12 the end of the public hearings for this week, may I, on

13 behalf of the Panel, make some comments.

14 Firstly, this has been a busy week with long hearing

15 days and we would like to thank everyone for their

16 cooperation in dealing with witnesses. This is vital if

17 we are to keep to our timetable and something we are

18 fully committed to do.

19 I am afraid that I can give no words of comfort that

20 this punishing pace will relax. We have some busy

21 months ahead, especially as the most major lines of

22 enquiry are still to come.

23 Secondly, dealing with suggested lines of

24 questioning from Full Participants, we have now had an

25 opportunity to read questions submitted by several Full

 

 

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1 Participants. We will be very strict that any questions

2 must be relevant to our Terms of Reference and will help

3 the Panel in its task, otherwise questions will not be

4 allowed. We would welcome a modicum of self-restraint.

5 Finally, in respect of disclosure of documents,

6 disclosure of documents will only take place if the

7 documents will contribute to the Panel's understanding

8 of the facts relevant to the Terms of Reference to the

9 Inquiry.

10 With those words, we adjourn until five to two.

11 (12.55 pm)

12 (The short adjournment)

13 (2.50 pm)

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

15 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Parra, can you hear me?

16 A. Yes, I can.

17 Q. Thank you very much. I am sorry about the fact that you

18 have only just received some material. There appears to

19 have been a mishap, for which I am very happy to

20 apologise, from London.

21 A. No problem. I have been able to read the documents now.

22 Q. Thank you very much. Can we proceed with the

23 affirmation or taking of the oath, please.

24 MR ALAN PARRA (affirmed)

25 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

 

 

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1 MR PHILLIPS: Do you have in front of you a hard copy of

2 your witness statement to the Inquiry?

3 A. I do.

4 Q. Can we have it up on the screen, please, as well. It is

5 RNI-817-082 (displayed). Do we see your signature and

6 the date of, I think, 4th August 2007 at RNI-817-103?

7 A. That is my signature.

8 Q. Thank you very much. Now, Mr Parra, during the course

9 of questions, I will ask for documents to appear on the

10 screen, this screen in front of you, and I hope that by

11 enlarging the relevant passages of text, you will be

12 able to read them satisfactorily.

13 Can I start at the beginning of your statement by

14 asking you about your early career. As I understand it,

15 you did a law degree, you went to law school?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And obtained a fellowship with the Graduate Institute in

18 Geneva at the United Nations, and while you were there,

19 you were offered a permanent job?

20 A. Actually, it was shortly after I completed the programme

21 at the Graduate Institute.

22 Q. Can you remember the year you joined the United Nations?

23 A. 1993.

24 Q. Thank you. As you say, you worked for them for eight

25 years and the job you performed there was to be

 

 

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1 a secretary to various Special Rapporteurs?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Of whom Mr Cumaraswamy was one?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. We know that he began in his post in 1994. Am I right

6 in thinking that you joined him in about 1996?

7 A. It would be near the end of 1996.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, you were based in Geneva, as I

9 understand it; is that right?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And did you, in addition to working for Mr Cumaraswamy,

12 also work for other rapporteurs?

13 A. Yes, I did. I worked with Sir Nigel Rodley, the Special

14 Rapporteur on torture, and various rapporteurs;

15 initially Dr Gaspar Biro, who was the Special Rapporteur

16 on Sudan.

17 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 2 of your statement at

18 RNI-817-842 (displayed), you say that on occasions your

19 role as a UN civil servant did conflict with your role

20 as a secretary to an independent expert. Can you

21 enlarge on that point for us?

22 A. Well, as a UN civil servant I was -- I reported directly

23 to the Secretary General through the office of the High

24 Commissioner for Human Rights, whereas the special

25 rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the

 

 

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1 Commission and are not -- do not have to answer to the

2 Secretary General.

3 That doesn't mean that they are not advised and

4 don't take into consideration the Secretariat's view,

5 but they provide their own independent views and

6 opinions, and there may be times where the views of the

7 Secretariat came into conflict with the views of special

8 rapporteurs.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the events with which we are

10 particularly concerned, can I, please, ask you about

11 first of all the position as it was when you started to

12 work for Mr Cumaraswamy in, as I think you said, late

13 1996.

14 I think it is right that the issue of

15 Northern Ireland and matters concerning Northern Ireland

16 was already on his agenda when you started to work for

17 him; is that correct?

18 A. That's correct, yes. There would have been already --

19 in his annual reports to the Commission, he had already

20 addressed the issues and some of the concerns,

21 particularly the threats and intimidations of

22 solicitors, as well as the Finucane murder. So that had

23 already been published in his two annual reports.

24 Q. Yes. And as I understand it, he had already assembled,

25 as it were, a library of material received from NGOs by

 

 

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1 the time you started working for him?

2 A. That's correct. There were numerous documents from

3 several non-governmental organisations concerning these

4 issues.

5 Q. And they included, as I understand it, requests by the

6 NGOs to him for him to go on an official mission to

7 Northern Ireland?

8 A. Absolutely.

9 Q. And that was something that you were aware of, was it,

10 from the time you started working for him?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. So far as the practicalities of working with him is

13 concerned, he, as we know, was based in Kuala Lumpur.

14 You, as you have told us, were based in Geneva. Were

15 you in frequent contact with him?

16 A. Mr Cumaraswamy was somewhat prolific in his

17 correspondence. In contrast to other rapporteurs who

18 I may hear from once a week or a few times a month, I

19 would hear from Mr Cumaraswamy on a daily basis,

20 sometimes multiple times.

21 Q. And so communications would be going back and forth from

22 Geneva to Kuala Lumpur on a very regular basis all the

23 time during which you worked for him; is that right?

24 A. 24 hours a day.

25 Q. 24 hours a day. And it looks as though you were able to

 

 

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1 issue letters on his behalf using a UN header and

2 a stamp with his signature at the bottom; is that right.

3 A. That's correct. That's correct.

4 Q. Can I ask you, so far as the formal work that was

5 undertaken is concerned, and in particular the drafting

6 of reports, is it right that you would begin the

7 drafting and produce a first draft?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. And that there would then be a drafting process in which

10 he would have an input; is that right?

11 A. Absolutely, a very active input.

12 Q. He told us that he was a pretty active participant in

13 the drafting, and that is a fair comment, is it?

14 A. Absolutely. There is no question that he was very

15 intimately involved in all aspects of drafting the

16 reports.

17 Q. So the reports issued under his name had had significant

18 input from him?

19 A. No question about it, yes.

20 Q. Thank you. So far as the mission to Northern Ireland is

21 concerned, what was the material, as far as you were

22 aware, upon which he made the decision to launch his

23 mission?

24 A. There were numerous reports from various

25 non-governmental organisations, the most important of

 

 

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1 which was British Irish Rights Watch and the Committee

2 for the Administration of Justice based in Belfast. But

3 also the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in the

4 United States, Amnesty International and Human Rights

5 Watch had also issued multiple reports on these issues

6 and those were all a part of the background information

7 that led him to request the visit.

8 Q. So am I right to assume then that when he was making his

9 decision, the material upon which he made it consisted

10 exclusively of NGO material?

11 A. That would be a fair assessment, yes.

12 Q. Did you take any part in making that decision?

13 A. No. It would have been the Rapporteur's decision on his

14 own.

15 Q. So far as the focus of the mission, as I understand it,

16 there are two points: there is harassment or

17 intimidation of lawyers and there is the Pat Finucane

18 case; is that right? There were two points to be

19 investigated?

20 A. I think those were the major points, but there is also

21 issues about access to detainees and other legal issues

22 under the emergency laws in effect at the time.

23 Q. Thank you. But am I right in suggesting that the first

24 two matters I raised with you, harassment and the

25 Pat Finucane case, were those the major points of the

 

 

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1 mission?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 A. No question.

5 Q. We know that there was a certain amount of

6 correspondence between the early part of 1997 and the

7 visit itself in October. Can I ask you this: Did the

8 focus of the mission change?

9 A. No, I think at all times the two concerns -- major

10 concerns were the focus from the very beginning.

11 Q. And those are, again, so I am clear, harassment and

12 intimidation of lawyers and Pat Finucane?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. Can I ask you to look, please, at paragraph 15 of your

15 statement and that is at RNI-817-085 (displayed).

16 Here, you are talking about a letter, which I am not

17 going to display, of 10th September. And the reason

18 I want you to look, please, at this paragraph is because

19 of what it says in the penultimate sentence:

20 "At this point, the focus of the mission was the

21 murder of Pat Finucane and the murder of other

22 solicitors."

23 That suggests something rather different. Can you

24 explain that comment?

25 A. Well, I think the first and foremost was the murder of

 

 

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1 Pat Finucane and there were other solicitors murdered

2 around that same time. But then there was in addition

3 the ongoing harassment and intimidation of solicitors in

4 general.

5 I don't think that we were focussing on any one

6 individual at that time, although we had received

7 complaints -- I think this is through -- my

8 recollection -- from British Irish Rights Watch about

9 specific events concerning Rosemary Nelson. But at that

10 point she certainly was not individually a focus, but it

11 was more general solicitors as a whole who were doing

12 this type of defence work.

13 Q. We will come back to her in a minute and the

14 correspondence you mention, but the passage of that

15 penultimate sentence that is puzzling is the reference

16 to the murder of other solicitors and, indeed, what you

17 have just said about that.

18 Are you suggesting that other solicitors had been

19 murdered by this time, September 1997?

20 A. My understanding -- my recollection is that there were,

21 if not murders, threats against other solicitors at the

22 same time as Pat Finucane.

23 Q. I am going to press you a bit on this because there is

24 obviously a big difference between a threat and an

25 actual murder, not least for the solicitors. But can

 

 

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1 you think of a particular case, another lawyer in

2 Northern Ireland being murdered, obviously not

3 Pat Finucane and not Rosemary Nelson?

4 A. At this time, no.

5 Q. No. Do you think --

6 A. I do -- I did recall that there were other solicitors at

7 the time and it may have been, when I provided this

8 statement, a misstatement on my part of saying "murder

9 of other solicitors" and it probably should have been

10 "threats against other solicitors".

11 Q. Right. Okay, because certainly earlier in your

12 statement in paragraph 9, where you talk about the two

13 areas, which is at page RNI-817-084 (displayed), the two

14 areas that you are concerned with, you say that:

15 "He made a determination that the situation

16 regarding the alleged harassment of lawyers in

17 Northern Ireland warranted his review."

18 And then:

19 "He also made his decision to investigate this

20 matter against the background of the Pat Finucane case."

21 That is rather more consistent, isn't it, with the

22 two major areas of concern that you mentioned to me

23 earlier?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Can I ask you to look, please, at a document RNI-110-011

 

 

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1 (displayed).

2 Now, this is a letter from the organisation you

3 mentioned earlier and it is a letter from Jane Winter of

4 British Irish Rights Watch of 10th July, and it refers

5 to Rosemary Nelson. Is this the sort of correspondence

6 you had in mind when you gave that answer earlier?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Thank you. And presumably this would have been received

9 in fact by you in the office, in Mr Cumaraswamy's office

10 in Geneva?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. You refer to it in paragraph 12 of your statement and

13 that is at RNI-817-084 (displayed) at the bottom of the

14 page, and you say:

15 "Upon reading this letter, I now recall Mr Duffy's

16 name and that ..."

17 If we go over the page:

18 "... Rosemary did mention him as the client who had

19 received a direct threat from the RUC that Rosemary's

20 life was in danger."

21 Can you help us with that comment in your statement.

22 You remember, do you, that this was a client mentioned

23 by her, by Rosemary Nelson, as someone who had received

24 a direct threat that her life was in danger?

25 A. That is my recollection, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. The letter, of course, is a letter not from her but from

2 British Irish Rights Watch. So can you remember when it

3 was that she mentioned this client?

4 A. She herself would have mentioned it during the course of

5 the mission to Northern Ireland, when we were in

6 Belfast. At that time we did not have direct

7 correspondence with her.

8 Q. No. So that would have been, would it, at a meeting

9 during October this year, in 1997?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And can you help us now with any details of this

12 particular incident?

13 A. Of the meeting with Rosemary Nelson or the comments by

14 Colin Duffy?

15 Q. The latter, please.

16 A. Well, based upon my recollection, he alleged that during

17 an interrogation without the presence of a solicitor,

18 the threats were made against Rosemary Nelson.

19 Q. And I appreciate it is a long time ago, but can you

20 remember anything about when this might have occurred?

21 A. At this point, I would have to look back at the reports

22 themselves. I believe it would have been some time in

23 1997, but to be honest, I would have to look at the

24 reports.

25 Q. Have you had a chance to look again at the reports that

 

 

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1 were enclosed with this letter of 10th July, the letter

2 we were just looking at?

3 A. Yes, briefly.

4 Q. Because they go over a number of pages, but I think it

5 is right, isn't it, that there is no such incident

6 mentioned in those reports?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Can we move on to the visit itself. As I understand it,

9 you began with a couple of days, two or three days, in

10 London before heading over to Northern Ireland; is that

11 right?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. And the London part of the mission, as you describe it,

14 was a separate part, because there were distinct issues

15 that the Rapporteur wished to investigate which were to

16 do, as it were, with England rather than

17 Northern Ireland; is that right?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. You deal with the Northern Ireland part of the mission

20 in paragraph 17 and following of your statement. That

21 is at RNI-817-086, the top of the page (displayed), and

22 having described meetings with various officials,

23 including a very formal lunch, and meeting with

24 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, you say that:

25 "Nothing really stands out in my memory about these

 

 

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1 meetings. They were not very useful."

2 Can I just ask you for a bit of help about that.

3 What do you mean "they weren't very useful"?

4 A. Well, as I say, and my recollection that the one was

5 a lunch meeting and it was more -- not related to the

6 two key issues that we were addressing, that is the

7 harassment of lawyers or solicitors and the

8 Pat Finucane. I don't believe with Mr Murphy that we

9 discussed that issue at all.

10 My recollection of the meeting with

11 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, it was a very brief meeting,

12 maybe for less than half an hour and there just wasn't

13 sufficient time to fully address the issues.

14 Q. Can I ask -- sorry.

15 A. I think with Sir Louis Blom-Cooper I think a lot of the

16 discussion centred around the videotaping and audio

17 taping of interrogations, and that is my recollection.

18 Q. Thank you. So just in relation to that meeting with

19 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, you say it was a brief meeting.

20 Do you think that the question of harassment or abuse of

21 defence lawyers was raised by Mr Cumaraswamy at that

22 meeting?

23 A. In all honesty, I don't recall. I assume it would have

24 been, but once again my recollection is that we were

25 more discussing the other technical issue of audio

 

 

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1 taping and videotaping which, in a way, is related to

2 the issue.

3 Q. This was the changes that were being introduced to allow

4 recording in those two ways of interviews with suspects

5 in the holding centres; is that right?

6 A. Correct, correct. Obviously, with audio tape these type

7 of offhand comments that the detainees were alleging to

8 have been made by RUC officers would then be recorded

9 and, therefore, less likely to happen.

10 Q. But presumably, equally people would be less likely to

11 make them up because there would be an indisputable

12 record of what had in fact been said?

13 A. Absolutely, no question.

14 Q. Can I ask you about meetings in general. You were the

15 note-taker, as I understand it, for meetings; is that

16 right?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And you made notes in handwriting?

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. And so far as the Rapporteur was concerned, those

21 constituted the record of the mission?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. You deal in your statement with what became of your

24 notes. First of all, let me ask you: I think you took

25 them back with you at the end of the mission presumably

 

 

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1 to the office in Geneva; is that right?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Did Mr Cumaraswamy have a copy of them?

4 A. Initially, no, he did not.

5 Q. He did not? Did he later receive a copy of them?

6 A. At least -- certainly of parts of the notes.

7 Q. Are you referring to the parts dealing with the meeting

8 with Sir Ronnie Flanagan?

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. Yes. So in other words, when it became a controversial

11 issue, he was sent copies of the notes?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. Thank you.

14 A. But he would have also -- you have to understand that

15 the rapporteurs would come to Geneva for three times

16 a year in large part to help draft the reports, and

17 during those periods in Geneva he would have had free

18 access to my notes and certainly would have seen them at

19 those times as well.

20 Q. Presumably the drafting process for this report went on

21 between November and the very beginning of February, I

22 think, 1998. Did he pay visits to Geneva as part of the

23 drafting process during that period?

24 A. I don't believe so.

25 Q. No. So does it follow that in the initial drafting and

 

 

117


1 then the amendments that were made which led to the

2 draft report as it was issued at the beginning

3 of February, he didn't have access to the handwritten

4 notes?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. You had them in Geneva?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. And during the course of the meetings, am I right in

9 thinking that he, the Rapporteur, did not himself take

10 notes?

11 A. Not to my recollection.

12 Q. No. So in discussing during the drafting what was said

13 by anybody at any of these meetings, in terms of what

14 was available to him, it would have been his own memory;

15 is that right?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. You didn't fax him the notes, for example?

18 A. No, I don't believe so.

19 Q. And you had obviously your own memory but also the

20 handwritten notes in Geneva?

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. Thank you. If we look at paragraph 25 of your

23 statement, RNI-817-088 (displayed), we see that after

24 you left the United Nations, effectively your office was

25 cleared and the material which you had generated during

 

 

118


1 the course of your work effectively disappeared?

2 A. Effectively, yes.

3 Q. Yes. That means, as far as I understand it, that the

4 only pages of notes that you had were the two pages

5 which had become relevant to us because of the

6 controversy surrounding the meeting with the

7 Chief Constable; is that right?

8 A. Correct. When I returned to the office to claim my own

9 possessions, I had to go into storage and it was clear

10 that items had been placed in different locations and I

11 was able to find some items and not others.

12 Q. Did you look for the notes?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. But you couldn't find them?

15 A. No.

16 Q. How is it, can I ask you this, that these two pages

17 managed to survive the clearout?

18 A. That, I am not sure. Although I think there were more

19 than two pages, but those were the ones directly related

20 to the meeting with the Chief Constable.

21 Q. Can we just take a look at them at RNI-110-033

22 (displayed). Can you see that either in hard copy or on

23 the screen?

24 A. I am looking for the hard copy.

25 Q. Thank you.

 

 

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1 A. And I have it. I have it in front of me.

2 Q. I mean, just looking at the very first line of

3 RNI-110-033 (displayed), it looks, doesn't it, as though

4 there must have been earlier notes of the same meeting?

5 A. Yes, there is no question that there would have been

6 several more pages.

7 Q. Can we --

8 A. This is well into the meeting with the Chief Constable.

9 Q. Thank you. If we get both pages up on the screen at

10 once, so we have RNI-110-034 as well, please

11 (displayed), so just looking at, first of all, the

12 beginning of RNI-110-033 (displayed), as you say, there

13 must have been notes earlier of what was said at the

14 meeting. Does that accord with your recollection?

15 A. Absolutely, no question.

16 Q. What about at the end, ie do you think there were pages

17 beyond what is now RNI-110-034 (displayed)?

18 A. I don't think so, because the last -- at the end of the

19 meeting -- and this is where now, having had

20 an opportunity to read both Dato' Param's testimony and

21 statement and Sir Ronnie Flanagan's statement, my

22 recollection now is that he very well may have left the

23 meeting at that point. And at that time we were given

24 a slide presentation in which they had broken down the

25 different paramilitary groups, and that is at the very

 

 

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1 bottom of the second page, kind of my notes from those

2 slides that we were shown.

3 And my recollection is that it would have been

4 Assistant Chief Constable White who was the one

5 presenting the slides, but I am not 100 per cent certain

6 of that. But that is my recollection.

7 Q. So the little notes at the bottom of the right-hand page

8 were notes from the slide presentation?

9 A. That is correct, and I think then right above it they

10 kind of gave a history of the Troubles in

11 Northern Ireland, and that would have been from the

12 slide presentation as well.

13 Q. This is very helpful, if I may say so. If you just look

14 a few lines above that, I have often been puzzled by the

15 sudden reference to the flight of the earls in, I think,

16 1603. No doubt there are many people here who know much

17 better than I do.

18 So you think there was a historical presentation in

19 slide form, do you, on which you diligently made notes?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Good. Thank you very much. So, as it were, the

22 business part of the meeting, so far as your notes are

23 concerned, ends with the comment above it:

24 "Wish that day will come that we don't need

25 emergency legislation."

 

 

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1 Do you see that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Right. Go back to the top of RNI-110-033 (displayed).

4 Can you help us with any idea of how many previous or

5 early pages there were?

6 A. I would think at least -- at least three additional,

7 maybe four additional pages.

8 Q. And how is it that these two came to be separated, as

9 one assumes they must have been, so as to enable them to

10 survive the clearout of your office?

11 A. Literally what these individuals did who cleared out my

12 office was to take stacks of papers and throw them into

13 boxes randomly and everything was mixed in together, and

14 I suspect that they get separated in that way. They

15 were just randomly tossing things in.

16 Q. You may not agree with me, but it looks to me from the

17 extreme right-hand edge of RNI-110-034, as though these

18 were pages from a notebook, a spiral-bound notebook?

19 A. They were, but I would have torn them out.

20 Q. Yes. So is it possible that these two survived simply

21 because after the row, if I can put it that way, copies

22 were distributed of the relevant parts of your notes?

23 A. I am not sure I understand the question.

24 Q. Is it possible that these survived because copies of

25 these two key pages, pages which were important to the

 

 

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1 controversy that broke out, had been copied and sent

2 elsewhere and, therefore, they survived, whereas the

3 notebook from which they were a copy had been put in

4 boxes and cleared out of your room?

5 A. Now that you put it in that way, yes, that very well may

6 be the explanation.

7 Q. You see, somebody looks as though they faxed these

8 pages, using a French-speaking fax machine, on

9 10th August 1999?

10 A. Right. And that probably is a fax from me to

11 Dato' Param in Kuala Lumpur.

12 Q. Yes. So that may explain, may it not, how these two

13 survived the clearout?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, we will return to those notes in

16 a minute, but I wanted to ask you something about the

17 visit as a whole.

18 Dr Cumaraswamy has already told us what a busy

19 schedule you had, and you suggest in your evidence that

20 this mission was shorter than the normal rapporteur

21 mission; is that right?

22 A. A little bit. Normally, a rapporteur will go on mission

23 for two weeks, and in this case it was less than that,

24 plus we spent a few days in London. So it would have

25 been slightly shorter than the normal mission.

 

 

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1 Q. Did you think, after the event, that a week or so, which

2 I think is what you had spent in Northern Ireland, was

3 enough to get to the bottom of the issues which were the

4 focus of your mission?

5 A. No. I think that undoubtedly it would have been helpful

6 to have more time in the country. But that said, I

7 think that is true of any mission, even for a mission of

8 two weeks to a country is at the end of the day

9 insufficient to make definitive findings. But those

10 where we are -- when I say "we", at the UN, the

11 Commission's rapporteurs and the High Commissioner's

12 office are so dependent on the non-governmental

13 organisations who are working continuously on these

14 issues.

15 Q. It meant inevitably, because of the way the system

16 worked, the NGOs had a great influence over the people

17 you met, the material you saw and, in other words, the

18 way the issues were presented to you?

19 A. That's a fair statement, yes.

20 Q. And that was something presumably you had to be on your

21 guard against, in a sense, in trying to get the truth in

22 relation to the matters you were investigating?

23 A. Yes. This is why on these missions it is important to

24 meet with concerned government officials and give them

25 an opportunity to present their views on the issue.

 

 

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1 Q. But did that actually happen in this case?

2 A. Well, to a degree, yes. We certainly, I think, met with

3 all the concerned parties. In hindsight, and

4 particularly given some of the comments by

5 Sir Ronnie Flanagan and even some of the others, I am

6 not sure that they were briefed adequately in advance of

7 the mission, and didn't fully appreciate what the

8 purpose of the mission was. But I think during the

9 course of the meetings, the issues were brought out and

10 there was at least some opportunity for them to provide

11 their views and comments. And then, more importantly,

12 we did send an advance copy of the report to the

13 Government to give them an opportunity to respond, which

14 of course in this case was a major issue.

15 Q. Just taking a couple of points from what you have said

16 in turn, are you saying that it seemed to you during the

17 visit that some of the officials you met were

18 insufficiently briefed as to the purpose of the mission?

19 A. Yes, and even more so now reading some of the

20 correspondence, that is clearly the case. But even

21 during the mission it was obvious that they weren't

22 fully briefed on the issues.

23 Q. And in relation to the meetings you had and the

24 officials you met, who do you have in mind when you make

25 that remark?

 

 

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1 A. Well, now, and particularly given what some of his

2 comments after the fact, certainly Sir Ronnie Flanagan,

3 but even, you know, Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, I don't think

4 that he was aware of the issues and the scope of the

5 mission before we met him. The Lord Chief Justice, I am

6 not sure that he had a full understanding of what we

7 were -- the public prosecutor. Those are just some of

8 the -- that stand out in my memory.

9 Q. But did you at the time, during the course of your

10 meetings, find people expressing surprise when they

11 discovered what you were actually there to do?

12 A. No, I wouldn't -- I mean, I think they were -- they were

13 responsive to our questions.

14 Q. The next matter I would like to raise with you concerns

15 a meeting with Rosemary Nelson.

16 You say in your statement at paragraph 21 that you

17 believe -- this is at the bottom of RNI 817-086

18 (displayed) -- that you and Mr Cumaraswamy met

19 Rosemary Nelson at the CAJ office or offices?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. Can I ask you to look, please, at another document. It

22 is at RNI-110-241 (displayed). I don't know if you have

23 got a copy of that in hard copy, have you? Can you see

24 it on the screen?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. This is in fact a note made by John Ware, the

2 broadcaster, and dated 11th April 1999, so after

3 Rosemary Nelson's murder and some considerable time

4 after the visit to Northern Ireland that you made. It

5 is described as:

6 "Verbatim of Alan Parra's notes of Special

7 Rapporteur's conversation with Rosemary Nelson

8 in October."

9 Have you managed to find a hard copy of it?

10 A. I do have it in front of me right now.

11 Q. Good. Thank you. Presumably, if you were present at

12 this meeting you would have followed your practice and

13 made notes of the conversation; is that right?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. And we must assume if that happened, that the notes were

16 lost with the rest of the notes in the clearout?

17 A. Regrettably, yes.

18 Q. Thank you. Looking at these lines that follow, can I

19 ask you, first of all: how did it come to be that

20 John Ware was making what he describes as a "verbatim"

21 of your notes?

22 A. He had come to the Palais Wilson, the office of the High

23 Commissioner for Human Rights, and had indicated that he

24 was doing a programme on this issue and the Special

25 Rapporteur had indicated that I should cooperate with

 

 

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1 him.

2 Q. So he came to see you, and presumably you showed him

3 what then existed, which was your notes including notes

4 of this meeting?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. And doing what you can now all these years later, does

7 that sound like a list of the points that were discussed

8 with Rosemary Nelson?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Mr Cumaraswamy believes, I think, that you were not

11 present and that the meeting was a one-to-one meeting

12 with Rosemary Nelson.

13 A. I did read that.

14 Q. Yes. Are you sure in your own mind that you were

15 present?

16 A. That was certainly my recollection. What I can say for

17 certain is that we had gone back to the CAJ offices and

18 that is where we met her. And as I describe in my own

19 witness statement, I distinctly remember meeting her,

20 and these notes would tend to confirm that I was there.

21 Q. Yes. Well, you describe the room and the weather

22 outside.

23 A. Right. And also, you know, one thing that, yes, you

24 immediately notice is the distinct facial disfigurement.

25 And you know, that was the first time I had met her in

 

 

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1 person, so I can recall that.

2 What may have happened, though, is at some point

3 I left the room and met with other people and they

4 continued their conversation. And that I don't recall,

5 but certainly I recall meeting her there and the notes

6 would seem to indicate that at least for a certain

7 portion of the discussion I was present.

8 Q. Indeed. If we keep the notes made by Mr Ware on the

9 screen for a moment and you look at your statement, at

10 paragraph 23 at RNI-817-087 (displayed), you describe

11 there her telling you about a specific incident where

12 she had been spat on and that she couldn't see the

13 officers' identification numbers?

14 A. Right.

15 Q. The reason I draw that to your attention is because if

16 you look over to the notes on the left-hand side, we

17 don't see any reference, do we, to that incident?

18 A. No, but I think this is a summary of what my notes are

19 and he says verbatim --

20 Q. He does. I mean, the way I would have read that -- tell

21 me whether you agree -- is that this is a complete

22 record of the notes?

23 A. That is what I would say, but normally -- if you look

24 back at how I wrote the notes during the meeting with

25 Ronnie Flanagan, I tried to keep literally a verbatim

 

 

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1 record of exactly what was said, not bullet points like

2 this.

3 So that is why -- I normally do not do bullet point

4 notes that of nature. I would literally write out

5 almost verbatim what was being said.

6 Q. So that if these comments had been made to you in the

7 meeting by Rosemary Nelson about the incident with her

8 being spat on, you would have expected them to appear in

9 your handwritten notes; is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. I think that when you made this witness statement you

12 probably hadn't seen these notes compiled by Mr Ware; is

13 that right?

14 A. That's correct. I only saw this last evening.

15 Q. So does the appearance of the notes make you wonder

16 whether your recollection of being told about this

17 incident in the meeting is correct?

18 A. No, I have no doubt that during that meeting she would

19 have made these comments.

20 Q. Can you remember anything else that you were told by her

21 about the incident where she was spat on?

22 A. I think this is also the incident where she tried to

23 intervene with a young boy, and that is where she was

24 physically struck by someone.

25 Q. Can you remember when or where the incident took place?

 

 

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1 A. It is during the march, the one organisation that held

2 the annual marches through the neighbourhood, and I am

3 not sure I can pronounce Garvaghy Road. That is what

4 that is a reference to.

5 Q. So far as the next passage in your statement is

6 concerned, you say that she spoke about constant

7 comments and threats that were made by RUC officers when

8 she went to local prisons to represent her clients. Do

9 you see that?

10 A. Hm-mm, yes.

11 Q. Again, looking over to the notes, those words, or the

12 points you are making there don't appear, do they?

13 A. No, not explicitly.

14 Q. And again, would you have expected them to appear if you

15 had been making one of your usual handwritten notes of

16 the meeting?

17 A. Yes, absolutely.

18 Q. Again, are you sure that those comments were made by her

19 in the meeting?

20 A. Yes, I am confident that they were.

21 Q. Can I ask you about another aspect of the meeting, which

22 is it looks as though it was in this first meeting with

23 Rosemary Nelson that you became convinced in your own

24 mind that she had, as you put it, an "absolute disdain

25 and hatred for the RUC"; is that right?

 

 

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1 A. That would be -- yes. Now, in some ways I don't think

2 she used those words. I think that is my interpretation

3 of what she was saying and the inflection in her voice

4 and her facial gestures and such.

5 Q. So --

6 A. But that is certainly my -- the sense that I got from

7 what she was saying and how she said it.

8 Q. So the things she told you in the meeting, the way she

9 said them and her manner as she was saying them led you

10 to that view?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Where you say, therefore, later in this paragraph:

13 "Rosemary did not trust them."

14 As I understand it, your impression was it wasn't

15 just a matter of mistrust, it was of active hatred?

16 A. Correct. I think her view was that the threats

17 wouldn't -- they emanated directly from the RUC. They

18 weren't coming from the paramilitaries, they were coming

19 from the RUC.

20 Q. But to pick up that word you have just used, as I

21 understand it, you also had the impression from her that

22 she viewed the police as being itself a paramilitary

23 organisation?

24 A. I think that is true, yes.

25 Q. This is something you mention in paragraph 26 of your

 

 

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1 statement. I would like to ask you first of all: I

2 think that you are giving an account in this paragraph

3 also of what was said to you by her at the meeting; is

4 that right? The meeting in October 1997?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. And you say having mentioned the Garvaghy Road march

7 incident, the spitting, you say that it was in that

8 description, first of all, that her contempt, disdain

9 and hatred of the police jumped out at you?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So it was in talking about that particular incident, was

12 it, that these feelings were displayed to you?

13 A. Yes, but I think she would have also talked about -- my

14 recollection is that there were other occasions on which

15 they used derogatory terms directed towards her.

16 Q. So far as the particular expression in the next sentence

17 goes, "Protestant paramilitary organisation," I think

18 that is your expression, isn't it?

19 A. Yes, that is mine, but clearly she saw them being on one

20 side of the divide, that they were not a neutral

21 participant in this -- in the Troubles.

22 Q. But you say that although they aren't her words, she

23 used words to this effect. Are you able to help us with

24 what words she actually did use?

25 A. I think that she would have used -- that they were part

 

 

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1 of the Unionist tradition in that predominantly

2 Protestant organisation that was above the law. They

3 viewed themselves above the law.

4 Q. But that is some way short of being a paramilitary

5 organisation, isn't it?

6 A. That's true.

7 Q. So what was it about what she said that led you to use

8 those words "Protestant paramilitary organisation"?

9 A. I think that her view was that there was collusion

10 between the RUC and paramilitary organisations and there

11 was -- that there was collusion.

12 Q. This must have been a pretty vivid, not to say startling

13 part of the meeting, but we don't, do we, find any

14 record of it on the page on the left-hand side,

15 RNI-110-241 (displayed)?

16 A. No.

17 Q. So again, I am afraid I have got to come back to the

18 same point: are you sure now in your own mind that in

19 this meeting she expressed herself in this way?

20 A. Yes, I am very confident that she would have expressed

21 these views.

22 Q. And you would have written them down?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. So is it the case then, or might it be the case that the

25 problem lies with the way in which the record of your

 

 

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1 notes was made by Mr Ware in April 1999?

2 A. That is what I would assume. As I say, in none of the

3 missions I took for any rapporteurs would I have used

4 this type of bullet in note taking.

5 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you now to look over to

6 paragraph 28 of your statement. It is at the top of

7 RNI-817-089 (displayed). You say there -- again, it has

8 been enlarged for us on the screen:

9 "In terms of the allegations of verbal and physical

10 assaults on Rosemary made by the RUC, I think that

11 Rosemary always filed complaints with the RUC when she

12 was assaulted either verbally or physically."

13 Again, can I ask you, please, what was the basis for

14 that thought or belief on your part?

15 A. My recollection is that she actually told us that she

16 had filed complaints, but I also -- I believe some of

17 the reports from British Irish Rights Watch also

18 indicates that she had filed reports, but I do believe

19 that she personally told us that as well.

20 Q. Well, the point as you make it here is that she always

21 filed complaints and that is the part that I am

22 particularly interested in. Where do you think that

23 information came from, that she invariably filed

24 complaints when she was assaulted either verbally or

25 physically?

 

 

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1 A. I believe it would have come from her.

2 Q. You have mentioned the NGO material. Did you ever see

3 any material generated in the course of any complaint

4 made by her?

5 A. That, I don't recall. I don't believe so. I don't

6 think we actually received the actual document in which

7 she filed the complaint.

8 Q. So far as the threats and the abuse themselves are

9 concerned, if we go back to paragraph 27 at the bottom

10 of page RNI-817-088 (displayed), again, can I take it

11 that what you tell us there is something she passed on

12 to you at the meeting in October 1997?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. She talked, obviously, about threats made against her

15 via her clients and you give a particular example of

16 that in the third line:

17 "The client in particular told her directly that he

18 had been told by officers interviewing him that her life

19 was at risk."

20 Again, is there anything you can add to the details

21 that you set out in paragraph 27 of your statement?

22 A. I am pretty certain that this is a reference to

23 Colin Duffy and that he had told her that during the

24 interrogation, the RUC officer made what he perceived to

25 be a direct threat against her life.

 

 

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1 Q. I see. So this is the case we looked at a little

2 earlier in the questions?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. But anything further? Any further details that you can

7 recall of what you were told?

8 A. At this point, no.

9 Q. No. In relation to the first sentence of this

10 paragraph:

11 "Rosemary explained to us that not all of the abuse

12 or threats were made against her directly."

13 I would like to ask you about the direct abuse or

14 threats, please.

15 You have included in your statement a description of

16 the spitting incident. Did she tell you of any other

17 direct abuse or threats?

18 A. I think she indicated that when she would go to visit,

19 the various derogatory terms used for those perceived to

20 be Nationalists and sympathisers with the Nationalists,

21 those terms that are derogatory terms and slang, would

22 be used and she would be called these names.

23 Q. Can you remember where or when this happened?

24 A. I don't think she gave us any specific times or dates or

25 specific incidents, but more generally that it was

 

 

137


1 a routine occurrence when she would go to the holding

2 centres.

3 Q. And did you or Mr Cumaraswamy take any steps to obtain

4 further details or information from her?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 30 of your statement at

7 RNI-817-089 (displayed), you deal with the effect on you

8 both of hearing, as you put it, from the various

9 solicitors but in particular Rosemary Nelson.

10 Can I ask you first of all: there were a number of

11 meetings, as I understand it, with lawyers during the

12 mission; is that right?

13 A. That's correct, that's correct.

14 Q. And Mr Cumaraswamy has told us you saw them often in

15 groups, sometimes one-to-one, as in the case of

16 Rosemary Nelson?

17 A. You know, several of them were one-to-one.

18 Q. Right.

19 A. I do recall that we met with Kevin Winters at the

20 offices of the Finucane firm. We met with another

21 lawyer -- at least two other lawyers at their own

22 offices, but then at the Law Society we met several.

23 Q. Now --

24 A. I would say most of them were individual, one-to-one,

25 meetings, not as a group.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. Mr Cumaraswamy told us that those meetings,

2 including the one with Rosemary Nelson, took place

3 between the two meetings with Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the

4 first of which took place at the beginning of the visit

5 and the second at the end. Does that accord with your

6 recollection?

7 A. Yes. We met very early in the mission with the

8 Chief Constable.

9 Q. So --

10 A. And then after that, the solicitors.

11 Q. So when you give the view that you formed in

12 paragraph 30, you and Mr Cumaraswamy, namely, that it

13 was clear to you that:

14 " ... the RUC were imputing to solicitors the

15 political views of their clients ..."

16 Et cetera, that was a view you formed after your

17 first meeting with Sir Ronnie Flanagan; is that right?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. But I assume before the second meeting with him at the

20 end of the mission?

21 A. That's correct. I would think it is safe to say that

22 after our meeting with Sir Ronnie Flanagan, it became

23 clear to us that they did have this view, because in

24 my -- no question, no doubt about it, he made the

25 comments that we attributed to him and that clearly

 

 

139


1 indicated the mindset of the RUC: that there were

2 solicitors that were working on behalf of the

3 paramilitaries. Absolutely no doubt about it.

4 Q. Sir, in terms of our stenographer we have had an hour.

5 So we may have to come back to that?

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. We will have a ten-minute break until

7 just about ten past four or just after.

8 (4.00 pm)

9 (Short break)

10 (4.15 pm)

11 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Parra, we ended before the break with your

12 comment about the particular comment that was made in

13 the meeting with Sir Ronnie Flanagan. I would like to

14 ask you a few general questions about the meeting,

15 please. You say in paragraph 31 of your statement at

16 RNI-817-089 (displayed):

17 "I remember it like it was yesterday."

18 And you give a description of the room in which it

19 took place and you say that Mr Flanagan was accompanied

20 by his assistant, and you mean Assistant

21 Chief Constable White. How many people in all were at

22 the meeting?

23 A. My recollection was that myself, Mr Cumaraswamy, the

24 Chief Constable and the Assistant Chief Constable White.

25 Now, I have seen the other notes, but to be honest, I

 

 

140


1 don't recall that.

2 Q. No. In relation to the question of notes, can I assume

3 that you were taking notes?

4 A. Absolutely.

5 Q. Was anybody else in the meeting that you were aware of

6 taking notes?

7 A. I don't recall that.

8 Q. No.

9 A. No.

10 Q. What was the purpose of the meeting so far as you and

11 Mr Cumaraswamy were concerned?

12 A. I think to indicate to him what our objectives were and

13 to give him an opportunity to respond to the concerns.

14 Q. Now, how did the meeting begin? Who kicked off, if I

15 can put it that way?

16 A. Well, in meetings of this nature there is normally the

17 formalities at the beginning of both introducing

18 themselves and probably Dato' Param explaining his

19 mandate and his appointment and why he had requested the

20 mission, and then the Chief Constable would have then

21 begun his statements.

22 Q. Can you remember how long -- sorry?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Can you remember how long the meeting lasted?

25 A. It was a lengthy meeting, at least an hour, maybe an

 

 

141


1 hour and a half.

2 Q. Who did most of the talking?

3 A. There was no question: the Chief Constable.

4 Q. And just going back to something you said to us earlier,

5 as I understand it, at the end of the meeting the slide

6 presentation took place and at that point, as you

7 remember, the Chief Constable left; is that right?

8 A. Yes, at this point, yes, that is my recollection. I

9 think it was Assistant Chief Constable White who was the

10 one going through the slides with us.

11 Q. Thank you. So far as the controversial comments are

12 concerned, those said to have been made at the meeting,

13 is your view of what was said, do you think, derived

14 from your memory of the meeting or is it, at least in

15 part, based on what you know is set out in your notes?

16 A. I think my notes are almost a verbatim recitation of

17 what was said.

18 Q. Can we have a look at the notes again, please. This is

19 RNI-110-033 (displayed). If we move that to the

20 left-hand side of the screen, please, and we have on the

21 right-hand side RNI-817-091 (displayed). Can you see

22 the two documents on the screen?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. The question I want to ask you is about the first

25 sentence of paragraph 37. You say:

 

 

142


1 "I should point out that the notes that I took were

2 pretty much a verbatim note of what Ronnie Flanagan said

3 throughout the meeting."

4 Do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you have already explained to us that in their

7 original state there would have been several pages

8 before this one we are looking at on the screen on the

9 left-hand side.

10 A. Right.

11 Q. You then say:

12 "When Mr Cumaraswamy intervened to ask a question or

13 make a comment, I would usually note his initials in the

14 margin to identify that it was him that was speaking"?

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. Do you see that? Now, if we look at RNI-110-033

17 (displayed), you may have spotted something that I

18 haven't, but I can't see any initials there --

19 A. No, there isn't any on this page and I think this is the

20 Chief Constable speaking.

21 Q. Indeed. So I can take it, can I, that the note on that

22 system would be, as it were, purely the Chief Constable

23 talking and certainly not Mr Cumaraswamy talking,

24 because we don't see his initials?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

143


1 Q. Right.

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. But if you read down in your statement to paragraph 38,

4 do you see it says you think that Mr Cumaraswamy may

5 have intervened to ask Mr Flanagan what evidence he had

6 to support his proposition. Do you see what I mean?

7 Have you seen that passage?

8 A. I did.

9 Q. You say:

10 "This resulted in Mr Flanagan stating, 'We have

11 reams of evidence'."

12 And you explain at the very bottom of the page on

13 the left-hand side, the bottom right-hand corner, where

14 it says "have terms", it should say "have reams". And

15 if we go over, if we can keep on the left-hand side

16 RNI-110-034:

17 "... of documented evidence from detainees where

18 that has come out", I think it says.

19 Going back to RNI-110-033, please, (displayed)

20 although you say there was an intervention, you didn't

21 in fact note his initials at that point, did you?

22 A. No, I did not.

23 Q. So is that an exception to your usual practice?

24 A. Yes, or it may be that it had been a statement earlier,

25 prior to this, although I would have expected it to be

 

 

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1 when he said:

2 "More than a suspicion on role of lawyers have reams

3 of documented evidence where that has come out."

4 To be honest, my recollection now -- and this is not

5 reflected in the minutes -- but I think Mr Cumaraswamy

6 would have said at that point -- yes, he said:

7 "Use legal people to inhibit provision of

8 information."

9 And I think Mr Cumaraswamy at that point would have

10 asked, "Do you have any proof of that?" or "Do you have

11 any evidence of that?"

12 But you are right, I don't reflect that in my notes.

13 Q. But doesn't that mean, first of all, that you haven't

14 stuck with your practice of putting initials but also,

15 perhaps more importantly, it seems that these are not in

16 fact verbatim notes of the meeting?

17 A. Well, you know -- yes, my best effort to reflect what

18 had been said.

19 Q. So far as the passage on the left-hand side of the

20 screen is concerned, again, there are no initials here,

21 no initials of anybody else speaking. As far as your

22 recollection goes, the passage beginning "there is

23 a political agenda", in the middle of the page reading

24 on down the page, who was the speaker?

25 A. It is Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

 

 

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1 Q. And you are sure of that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And other than the intervention you have mentioned by

4 Mr Cumaraswamy, or Dr Cumaraswamy, do you remember

5 anybody else speaking at this stage of the meeting?

6 A. I do recall that at some point the

7 Assistant Chief Constable, Mr White, made a comment that

8 it may be true that there are instances where the

9 interrogators, the RUC officers, will tell the detainee

10 that the advice from the -- he is not getting good

11 advice from the solicitor, that he should be, you know,

12 be more forthcoming to the interrogators and not keep

13 silent, that keeping silent is not in the individual's

14 interest.

15 At some point, I recall him making that comment,

16 that it may be true that they do make such a comment.

17 Q. Is that a comment that found its way into the draft

18 report; do you remember?

19 A. I believe it did.

20 Q. Can we look together at RNI-106-031 (displayed), the top

21 of the page.

22 A. Give me one moment.

23 Q. Sorry. (Pause)

24 It has come up on the screen. I don't know if you

25 can see that. I am sure we could enlarge the top of the

 

 

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1 page for you. There. Do you see it is the last

2 sentence beginning, "the Assistant Chief Constable ..."?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. That is the comment you had in mind, is it?

5 A. Right.

6 Q. If we go back to the notes at RNI-110-033 (displayed)

7 and if we can have that on the left and the next page on

8 the right, please.

9 Now, this intervention, the comment by the

10 Assistant Chief Constable, according to your practice,

11 would you have expected to make a note that a new

12 speaker was joining the conversation?

13 A. I would have noted who it was.

14 Q. And it doesn't appear in your notes, does it?

15 A. Not here.

16 Q. Indeed, as far as I can see, the comment itself does not

17 appear in your notes?

18 A. No, it doesn't.

19 Q. Can we, please, have on the right-hand side of the

20 screen now page RNI-110-239 (displayed).

21 This is, I think, probably another document you have

22 seen only recently; is that right? It is another note

23 of a meeting with you in Geneva, you and Mr Ware,

24 John Ware, RNI-110-239.

25 A. I am locating it. (Pause)

 

 

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1 I have it.

2 Q. Thank you. So do you see --

3 A. Although I think --

4 Q. Sorry.

5 A. I am looking at RNI-101-239, I am sorry.

6 Q. Sorry. (Pause)

7 A. My apologies. (Pause)

8 Can you enlarge it on the screen?

9 Q. That would be, I am sure, a quicker way of doing it.

10 Can we do that, please.

11 Can you see it on the screen now? I am afraid it is

12 not very big. Can you read it?

13 A. I can -- yes, with some difficulty, but yes.

14 Q. Okay. Well, if it becomes too difficult, do say, but

15 let us do what we can.

16 Again, it is a note of a meeting, as I said, with

17 you and John Ware on 11th April 1999, and he says that

18 he saw your contemporaneous notes. Is that something

19 you can recollect, showing him your notes?

20 A. Absolutely, yes.

21 Q. And you obviously told him that in addition to

22 Sir Ronnie Flanagan, were ACC White and a Deputy

23 Chief Constable.

24 That is obviously not something you have said to us

25 or said in your statement, but it looks as though you

 

 

148


1 remembered in April 1999 there being three

2 representatives of the RUC?

3 A. That very well may be, because the notes reflected the

4 third individual.

5 Q. Sorry, I don't understand that. The notes reflect the

6 third individual? Do you mean your notes?

7 A. My own notes, handwritten notes from the -- at the very

8 beginning of the meeting I would have noted who was

9 participating.

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. And so while I do not recall at this point the third

12 individual from the RUC, obviously my notes did reflect

13 the presence of a third person.

14 Q. I see. So you think that following what presumably is

15 your usual practice, you would have written down the

16 attendees at the meeting; is that right?

17 A. At the very beginning of my note.

18 Q. At the beginning of your note?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And that would have been available to you in your

21 meeting with John Ware, obviously, because that is what

22 you were looking at, your notes of the meeting?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Moving on down into the second paragraph, in the top

25 left-hand margin of the notes are the letters "cc", and

 

 

149


1 that must be on a previous page because it certainly

2 doesn't appear on our two pages, and you are recorded as

3 saying:

4 "Parra says that ACC White may have interjected one

5 or two sentences. Otherwise Flanagan spoke

6 exclusively."

7 You are sure what you recorded in your notebook was

8 from Flanagan's mouth, as is Mr Cumaraswamy himself.

9 Then what Mr Ware's note records is what he says is

10 a transcript following him reading them verbatim into

11 a tape recorder. Do you see that?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. The paragraph I wanted to draw to your attention is the

14 very first one in quotation marks:

15 "Lawyers want to have access, because they are

16 working for paramilitaries. Madden & Finucane represent

17 Republicans."

18 Now --

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. That is a sentence which does not appear, does it, in

21 the handwritten notes on the left-hand side of the

22 screen?

23 A. No, it does not.

24 Q. So we are faced with a situation, then, where you say

25 these are the notes that you made. Here is somebody's

 

 

150


1 record of the notes as that person saw them

2 in April 1999, but the first paragraph recorded is

3 missed out. Can you explain that for us?

4 A. Once again, I would assume that that appears on

5 a different page of my notes.

6 Q. If that were right, then it would be a page before the

7 start of page RNI-110-033 (displayed) and a verbatim

8 account would presumably have included the words at the

9 top of the page, for example:

10 "In most cases we have hard evidence of guilt."

11 Then the various lines that follow it. That would

12 be right, surely, if it was a verbatim account?

13 A. I am reading the following sentences and it does seem to

14 flow after that, but I can't explain that. These are

15 Mr Ware's own notes.

16 Q. Indeed, but it is --

17 A. But he has it -- yes, in italics.

18 Q. It is obviously --

19 A. In quotation marks.

20 Q. It is obviously a matter we can take up with Mr Ware,

21 but I just wanted to draw that to your attention and ask

22 you simply whether you, from your end, from what you

23 know, can offer any explanation?

24 A. The only explanation I would have is that perhaps that

25 first line is on a different page of my notes, but as

 

 

151


1 you point out, if it were verbatim it should be right

2 above "there is a political agenda" on my own personal

3 notes, which --

4 Q. Is it possible that your notes went through various

5 versions; there was more than one --

6 A. No, no, no, I would not have -- if I had done -- the

7 handwriting I use when I am writing quickly is the notes

8 from the meeting, and my handwriting -- my printing is

9 much different if I am writing after the fact.

10 Q. Thank you. I would like to do a similar exercise with

11 the two next pages, please, RNI-110-034 on the left-hand

12 side and RNI-110-240 on the right (displayed). Thank

13 you.

14 Do you see at the very top of the right-hand page,

15 RNI-110-240 (displayed), the last sentence:

16 "Have reams of documented evidence from detainees

17 where that has come about."

18 Do you see that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Mr Ware has obviously corrected your use of the word

21 "terms" and he appears to have used the word "about"

22 rather than, as far as I can see, "out". But the

23 passage that I want you to look at, please, is the next

24 passage, because as I understood what you told us, the

25 verbatim notes continued to the end of the meeting,

 

 

152


1 ending with the word "legislation" on the left-hand

2 side. And it was then that you made your notes from the

3 slide presentation.

4 Do you see that?

5 A. That would be -- yes, that would be my recollection,

6 yes.

7 Q. But on the right-hand side, still in the quotation

8 marks, as you can see, further down after the word

9 "information", there is a completely different topic

10 covered, namely the Pat Finucane murder, and that does

11 not appear -- at least it certainly doesn't appear on

12 this page in this place -- in your handwritten notes,

13 does it?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Again, is there anything you can do to help us to an

16 explanation of that?

17 A. At this point -- to be honest, it is my recollection on

18 that -- once again, I can only assume that it must have

19 been on a separate page.

20 Q. Yes. In which case it wouldn't be -- or at least not in

21 the sense that I understand the word -- a verbatim

22 account of your notes, would it?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Thank you. If we go back, please, on the left-hand side

25 to RNI-110-033 (displayed), the passage I now would like

 

 

153


1 you to look at, please, is the key passage. And in the

2 handwriting it begins with the words "Sir Louis", which

3 is about two thirds of the way down, if we could enlarge

4 that, please:

5 "Sir Louis has commented upon corruption of

6 solicitors and there are those who working for

7 a paramilitary agenda and part of that agenda is to make

8 sure that detainee does not speak, stifling any means of

9 communicating info."

10 Do you remember the name of Sir Louis,

11 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, whom you had met earlier, coming

12 up in the course of this discussion?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. How was his name brought up and by whom?

15 A. It was brought up by Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

16 Q. And looking at the notes, what was he saying about

17 Sir Louis?

18 A. I think what he was trying to say is that even Sir Louis

19 has recognised that there are some solicitors who are

20 working for paramilitaries and that their intention is

21 to keep the detainees silent so as to avoid any

22 information being divulged about the particular

23 paramilitary group of which they are a member. In other

24 words, they are working for the paramilitaries, not for

25 the client.

 

 

154


1 Q. So in the meeting, were you being told that this view,

2 ie that solicitors worked for paramilitaries, was the

3 view of Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You were the person who prepared the draft report after

6 the mission was over, weren't you?

7 A. Initially, yes.

8 Q. Yes. And you were the person, as you have explained to

9 us, who had access to the handwritten notes?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And the Rapporteur himself did not initially?

12 A. No, but there would have been -- there would have been

13 discussions between us about what he wanted to have

14 reflected in the report.

15 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at the key paragraph of

16 the report, RNI-106-030 (displayed). Thank you. Can we

17 enlarge the passage at the bottom beginning "however"

18 (displayed).

19 In the draft which you prepared, this phrase we have

20 just been looking at together on your handwritten notes

21 appears in the first full sentence of the enlarged

22 section. Do you see it:

23 "However, the Chief Constable did express the view

24 that some solicitors may in fact be working for the

25 paramilitaries"?

 

 

155


1 A. Correct.

2 Q. Do you recall him expressing that view in the meeting?

3 A. Yes, if you look at my notes where it says:

4 "More than a suspicion that lawyers have reams of

5 documented evidence from detainees where that has come

6 out."

7 Q. But --

8 A. Then above:

9 "Use legal people to inhibit provision of

10 information."

11 Q. But in your report, your draft report rather, you make

12 no reference to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper in this

13 connection?

14 A. No.

15 Q. So this is the question at the heart of this: whose view

16 was it in the meeting that some solicitors may in fact

17 be working for the paramilitaries?

18 A. I think it was Sir Ronnie Flanagan, but to support his

19 position he made reference also to what he claimed

20 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper had said.

21 Q. Right. Can you look, please, at paragraph 36 of your

22 statement at RNI-817-091 (displayed).

23 This is where you are commenting on your notes, and

24 after the relevant section, you say:

25 "I think this was Mr Flanagan's way of saying, 'See,

 

 

156


1 it is not just me that holds this view, even Sir Louis

2 has come to that conclusion'."

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. I assume that this wasn't a matter that you had

5 discussed with Sir Louis in your meeting with him in

6 Belfast?

7 A. Not to my recollection.

8 Q. No. And it is not a view that you remember him

9 expressing during that meeting?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Before you produced your draft, which I think was

12 released in the early part of February 1998, did you --

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. -- revert to Sir Louis and raise with him what the

15 Chief Constable had told you was his view?

16 A. I personally did not, but I know that Dato' Param at

17 times did have direct correspondence with individuals.

18 Whether or not he had spoken directly to him or not, I

19 am not entirely certain.

20 Q. Well, we know that they corresponded after the final

21 report was issued, because Sir Louis took objection to

22 various aspects of the final report. But you are

23 certainly not aware of any contact with him before the

24 draft was released?

25 A. No, but that is not to say that there wasn't contact

 

 

157


1 between Dato' Param and he, but I don't know of it.

2 Q. But can we at least agree on this: that there is no

3 reference to him in this paragraph, paragraph 21, of the

4 draft report?

5 A. That's correct, yes.

6 Q. As I understand it, from what you were saying earlier

7 although you were the initial draftsman, Dr Cumaraswamy

8 took an active part in the drafting work up to the point

9 when the draft was released in early February 1998?

10 A. No question about it. There would have been a lot of

11 back and forth, and even before I began a draft, we

12 would have had lengthy discussions of what needed to be

13 included in the report.

14 Q. So far as the draft, can I take it that as with the

15 final report, Dr Cumaraswamy regarded the draft, as he

16 regarded the final report, as being his responsibility?

17 A. Absolutely no question about it, and that is -- it is

18 a report by the Special Rapporteur, not by -- by the

19 Secretariat.

20 Q. And the same applies to the draft?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. Because it was issued, as we know, to the UK Government

23 and that is, as I understand it, standard practice; is

24 that right?

25 A. Yes. I would make an analogy to a judicial clerk of the

 

 

158


1 Supreme Court. They may be involved in preparing

2 initial drafts of a decision by a Supreme Court justice

3 but obviously the Supreme Court justice is the one who

4 is ultimately responsible for the decision.

5 Q. Now, in the draft report we know that the three lawyers

6 were named: Rosemary Nelson, Patricia Coyle and

7 Kevin Winters?

8 A. Kevin Winters.

9 Q. And earlier in the draft, it says that those who are

10 named are people who have specifically given their

11 consent or authorisation for their names to appear.

12 Were you the person responsible for ensuring that

13 those consents were obtained?

14 A. Yes, I contacted each one individually from Geneva and

15 explained, you know, what was being said and whether or

16 not they objected to having their names used in the

17 report.

18 Q. So far as the draft report and its distribution is

19 concerned, we know from documents that the Inquiry has

20 seen that at least two NGOs received a copy of the draft

21 report: The Committee on the Administration of Justice

22 and British Irish Rights Watch. Did they receive those

23 copies of the draft report from you?

24 A. I don't recall if they did. It would have been upon

25 instruction from the Rapporteur to send copies to them.

 

 

159


1 Q. Well, he told us that if they did, they would have

2 received them from you and he didn't know anything about

3 it. So can you help us one way or the other?

4 A. Well, it very well could have been sent by me, but

5 certainly I would not have done so to a NGO without

6 instruction -- without instruction from Dato' Param.

7 Q. Do you accept that it may at least have happened in this

8 case?

9 A. That they were sent from the office in Geneva to the

10 NGOs?

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. So far as the controversy that broke out

14 after the release of the draft is concerned, you deal

15 with this in your statement from paragraph 50. And it

16 is an area of this matter -- it is at RNI-817-095

17 (displayed) -- that has become immensely complex as the

18 evidence has built up, so I am going to take it as

19 quickly as I can.

20 As I understand your evidence, you think you

21 received a call from somebody who you believe to be the

22 Assistant Chief Constable, Assistant

23 Chief Constable White, who was present at the meeting;

24 is that right?

25 A. Yes, that's correct.

 

 

160


1 Q. And what was the purpose of his call to you?

2 A. The purpose of the call was to express concern about,

3 (i) the passage in which we attribute the comments to

4 Sir Ronnie Flanagan about solicitors, and then also

5 about the naming of specific solicitors.

6 Q. So both points were raised, were they, in this

7 conversation?

8 A. Yes, I am very confident that we discussed both of those

9 issues. My recollection is that I had a very lengthy

10 conversation with the Assistant Chief Constable.

11 Q. And did he explain the points that were concerning him?

12 A. Yes, I think he said, reading -- if the one line

13 remained in the report and which we attribute to

14 Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the comment that, you know, that

15 solicitors are working on behalf of the paramilitaries

16 in juxtaposition to the direct mention of specific

17 solicitors, that that would create a potential threat

18 for those solicitors.

19 Q. So to be clear, he made a connection, did he, between

20 the comment said to have been made in the meeting and

21 the safety of all three of the named solicitors?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Not just Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. I think he would have made reference to all three, not

25 just Rosemary.

 

 

161


1 Q. So what was he suggesting by way of cure for this

2 problem?

3 A. To delete the names and to delete the reference, in

4 I believe it is paragraph 21 of the report, of the

5 comments to Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

6 Q. But what was the basis on which he said that the

7 sentence or the comments in paragraph 21 should be

8 deleted?

9 A. They were -- they were adamantly or he was adamantly

10 denying that the comments were made.

11 Q. Right. You say in your witness statement at

12 paragraph 50, the one we have just been looking at on

13 the page, that the concern here was about removing

14 Rosemary Nelson's name from the report. And it is

15 certainly in your evidence, you don't make any reference

16 to other aspects of the draft. And indeed, if you look

17 down the page to 52, three lines from the bottom, you

18 say in terms:

19 "There was no mention in this conversation of other

20 aspects of the draft report."

21 Are you now, having thought about it again, more

22 clear in your mind that both points were raised in this

23 telephone conversation?

24 A. I think both points were raised.

25 Q. Yes. I am going to suggest to you that after this

 

 

162


1 telephone call you made contact with the Rapporteur; is

2 that right?

3 A. Yes, there is no question. Once I got off the phone, I

4 would have immediately called Dato' Param.

5 Q. Yes. And that is what you say in paragraph 53 of your

6 statement at the very bottom of the page.

7 Is it right that you also faxed him on the same day,

8 which I think was 27th February 1998? Does that sound

9 right?

10 A. We faxed him?

11 Q. Yes. Faxed Mr Cumaraswamy?

12 A. It would be normal for me to fax him almost every day of

13 the week. So, yes, I have no doubts that I probably did

14 fax him.

15 Q. Right. Would you generally fax him with a list of

16 things that had happened during the day, the messages

17 received, et cetera?

18 A. Certainly of something of that importance.

19 Q. Can you look, please, at RNI-110-258 (displayed). Now,

20 this is another, I am afraid, John Ware note and it is

21 another account of these very complicated events. But

22 the reason I want to show it to you is that it has him,

23 three lines from the bottom, ringing you and you reading

24 out to him the fax, as it is put, dated 27th February.

25 Do you have that page, RNI-110-258? It has been

 

 

163


1 enlarged on the screen for you. Do you see that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Slightly tantalising, because the substance is on the

4 next page at RNI-110-258. If we could enlarge the top

5 of the page, the bit in quotation marks, please

6 (displayed). This purports to be part of the text of

7 a fax; do you see?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. I am simply asking you because unfortunately the fax has

10 disappeared and we haven't found it: does this quotation

11 here sound plausibly like something that would have been

12 in a report fax sent by you to Mr Cumaraswamy on that

13 day?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you. Returning to your statement and the

16 conversation with the Assistant Chief Constable, you say

17 in paragraph 51 that it was at this stage in the course

18 of your telephone conversation that you asked him what

19 steps the RUC were taking to protect her, RNI-817-095

20 (displayed).

21 A. Right.

22 Q. Can you remember any more about that part of this

23 conversation?

24 A. Simply that I think they had offered to provide

25 protection, but that Rosemary Nelson had denied -- had

 

 

164


1 not accepted it, which would be consistent with what

2 I view as her perception of the RUC.

3 Q. So you weren't surprised when he said that to you, you

4 weren't surprised that she had refused protection? Is

5 that what you are saying?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Did he give you any more details of the protection he

8 said he had offered her?

9 A. No, I don't think he would have provided.

10 Q. Would you have made a note of this conversation with the

11 Assistant Chief Constable?

12 A. I think the note would have been -- no, not necessarily.

13 I mean, there may have been a pad at my table where

14 I jotted down or scribbled some notes, but nothing in

15 detail.

16 I have to say that it was extremely unusual for me

17 to receive a phone call of that nature. Normally, the

18 individuals with whom I dealt were either NGOs or people

19 at the missions in Geneva, and to get a direct call from

20 an individual with whom we had met during the mission

21 was very, very unusual.

22 Q. Had it happened before, during your time as a civil

23 servant at the UN?

24 A. No.

25 Q. No. Subsequently, you say that that unusual event was

 

 

165


1 succeeded by another one: namely, that you had another

2 telephone call -- this is paragraph 54 at RNI-817-096

3 (displayed) -- which you think was from the

4 Chief Constable?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Presumably when a telephone call comes through to you at

7 your office or indeed at your house, you like to know in

8 general who you are speaking to?

9 A. There is no question that I would have asked with whom I

10 was speaking.

11 Q. So presumably, if you were speaking to the

12 Chief Constable, you would have been told, "Hello, this

13 is the Chief Constable", or "This is

14 Sir Ronnie Flanagan"?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. Well, why is it then that you are in any doubt as to who

17 it was who telephoned you?

18 A. Well, at the time, and certainly initially, I had no

19 doubts whatsoever, but at some point, once someone

20 becomes so adamant in denying that they made the

21 telephone call, I begin to question whether my memory is

22 correct or whether it is faulty.

23 But the more I have reflected about this, and now

24 seeing some of these documents for the first time, I am

25 absolutely -- I am more convinced that it was indeed

 

 

166


1 Sir Ronnie Flanagan who called me.

2 Q. And what were the topics of that conversation?

3 A. I think that conversation was a very short conversation,

4 but in this conversation it focused on the statements

5 attributed to him and I think more than anything he

6 simply wanted to speak directly with the Rapporteur

7 about this.

8 Q. Can you remember the date of this conversation?

9 A. No. No.

10 Q. Well, we know that by early in March 1998, so very

11 shortly after your first call and the fax that we

12 discussed, the Special Rapporteur had decided to make

13 some changes to the draft?

14 A. Yes, my recollection of the events is I first got a call

15 from the Assistant Chief Constable and that is what

16 I reflected. And then it would have been shortly

17 thereafter, a few days later, I got a follow-up call.

18 At the same time, there had also been letters sent by

19 the Chief Constable directly to Geneva, to the office of

20 the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to my

21 attention, and those also -- I immediately contacted my

22 counterpart at the UK mission, Colin Wells, and told him

23 that I had once again received -- at least the second

24 time I remember saying I got another letter from

25 Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

 

 

167


1 Q. Now, the letters that -- sorry?

2 A. Then he came to my office and I gave him copies of those

3 letters. I am sure I also indicated to them that I had

4 received the phone calls.

5 Q. Well, the letters -- certainly the letters we have

6 seen -- come later in the sequence, in March and indeed

7 the last one, I think, is in April?

8 A. Right.

9 Q. And I am not proposing to show you those now, but so far

10 as you are concerned then, did this second telephone

11 call come before or after the decision to amend the

12 report?

13 A. Oh, before.

14 Q. Before?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And you are sure about that in your mind?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. As I understand it, in this second telephone

19 conversation the focus of it -- and I think you describe

20 it as a short one -- was on paragraph 21?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. There was no discussion, as I understand it, about the

23 naming of solicitors?

24 A. No, and as I say, this conversation was a very short --

25 nor more than three or four minutes.

 

 

168


1 Q. Now, in relation to the naming point, as I understand it

2 from your evidence, you were told by the Rapporteur,

3 once you had alerted him to the point, to telephone

4 Rosemary Nelson?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. And you describe that conversation at paragraph 53 at

7 the bottom of RNI-817-095 and over to the top of

8 RNI-817-096 (displayed), and it looks as though she put

9 an immediate interpretation upon what you were telling

10 her?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What was her reaction when you rang her and gave her the

13 news?

14 A. You know, I think she was not surprised and, you know,

15 her view was that the threats were actually emanating

16 from the RUC.

17 Q. And so, as I understand it, when you raised the question

18 of removing her name, she positively wanted to keep her

19 name in the text?

20 A. Yes, there was no question that she, you know -- that

21 her preference was that it be retained in the final

22 draft.

23 Q. And as I understand it, she wanted to do that because to

24 her, to be named, to be part of a document going out

25 into the public domain, would in fact be to give her

 

 

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1 some form of protection?

2 A. Yes, I think that may be part of her calculation, but

3 also -- I mean, from her perspective the threats had

4 nothing to do really with the report. Those already

5 existed, and so whether or not the report came out or

6 not, she was still going to get threats and -- and the

7 use of her name -- the use of her name would not create

8 a greater risk. I guess I would put it in that way.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. It didn't increase the risk to her safety. I think she

11 thought that that already existed.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. Irrespective of the report.

14 Q. You passed on her views to the Rapporteur, but in the

15 end, as I understand it, on this, as indeed on all

16 drafting questions, the final decision was his; is that

17 right?

18 A. Yes. Yes, in this case I can say categorically that we

19 had a fairly lengthy discussion and I was giving my

20 views, and my view was that we should defer to the

21 wishes of the solicitors. But in the end he decided to

22 delete the names.

23 Q. Did you speak to the other two individuals?

24 A. I recall speaking to Kevin Winters as well. I don't

25 recall speaking to the third one.

 

 

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1 Q. Can you remember --

2 A. I -- his reaction was much the same as Rosemary Nelson:

3 that at the end of the day he did not object to his name

4 being included in the report.

5 Q. Thank you. The final thing on this paragraph I wanted

6 to ask you about is in the last sentence, you say:

7 "There was no question in my mind that Rosemary

8 viewed the RUC as a threat and she thought that the RUC

9 would assist paramilitaries to kill her."

10 Was that view that you had based on something she

11 said to you in this conversation?

12 A. Yes. I mean, she was the one who said that, you know,

13 they are the ones who are making the threats, meaning

14 the RUC. It is they who are -- and -- they are in

15 collusion with the paramilitaries.

16 Q. So you must, at that point in late February 1998, have

17 yourself have been concerned about her safety?

18 A. No question. No question.

19 Q. Now, as I understand it, however, it wasn't until you

20 met up with her again at the end of September that year,

21 1998, that you and I think Mr Cumaraswamy as well came

22 back to the question of her security, her safety in the

23 context of the Congressional Subcommittee meeting. Do

24 you remember attending that --

25 A. No -- well, let me be -- I would not have been there.

 

 

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1 Mr Cumaraswamy would have been the person -- I was not

2 present at that time.

3 Q. Right.

4 A. Where I -- where I believe I saw her was later that

5 spring after the report had actually been issued to the

6 Commission and presented to the Commission on Human

7 Rights. My recollection is that she came to Geneva and

8 we met her there in the spring of 1998.

9 Q. I see. I am sorry, I misinterpreted this.

10 So if we look at 64 at RNI-817-100 (displayed), when

11 you say:

12 "I think it was when Rosemary attended the

13 Commission ..."

14 That is the UN Commission meeting in April that

15 year?

16 A. That's correct, the UN Commission on Human Rights.

17 Q. I think this is the first time we have heard in evidence

18 that Rosemary Nelson attended that. This is the formal

19 meeting of the Commission, isn't it?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. Yes. And you are confident, are you, that you saw her

22 in Geneva at that time in 1998?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. With Mr Cumaraswamy?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. And you tell us that you had a discussion with her about

2 security, and I am afraid it is the usual question: what

3 can you remember about the terms of that discussion?

4 A. You know, I think that Dato' Param would have asked her

5 whether or not it would be prudent to have protection

6 from the RUC, and her response was very clear and

7 adamant that no, she viewed them as as much of a threat

8 as the paramilitaries.

9 Q. So in her mind then, as you understood it, there was no

10 question of her accepting protection from that source?

11 A. Absolutely none.

12 Q. Did you discuss any other alternative avenues for

13 protection?

14 A. At that time, no.

15 Q. No.

16 A. Not that I recall.

17 Q. Did you have such a discussion with her at any time

18 before her murder?

19 A. No. No.

20 Q. And I think you did discuss the matter with Jane Winter

21 of British Irish Rights Watch, or so you tell us in

22 paragraph 65?

23 A. Right.

24 Q. In summary, it looks as though her view was the same as

25 expressed to you: that she, Rosemary Nelson, would not

 

 

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1 accept protection from the police?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. Can I ask you, in relation to Mr Ware, this question

4 about paragraph 68 of your statement at RNI-817-101

5 (displayed). You say:

6 "Some time after Mr Cumaraswamy and I arrived back

7 in Geneva after the 1997 mission, Mr Ware came to

8 Geneva."

9 Again, it is a question about dates. As far as we

10 can see -- I may be wrong about this -- the notes we

11 have been looking at are all from 1999, rather than 1997

12 or 1998. Do you think you may be mistaken about that

13 date?

14 A. Yes. I don't think I meant to say that it was in 1997.

15 I just know it was after the mission. But the exact

16 date I don't recall.

17 Q. Those are all the questions I wanted to ask you,

18 Mr Parra, save to raise this with you, which is

19 a question I ask all witnesses: if there is a matter we

20 haven't covered in the course of our discussions this

21 afternoon, this is your opportunity to raise it with the

22 Inquiry Panel.

23 Is there anything you would like to raise?

24 A. I suppose the one thing that is surprising is that,

25 given the fact that clearly they had prior notice that

 

 

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1 there was a risk and they themselves believed that she

2 was at risk, it is difficult to understand why more

3 steps were not taken. At the same time, I recognise the

4 difficulty where the individual concerned was unwilling

5 to accept their protection, but nevertheless is still

6 seems as though more could have been done to have

7 prevented the tragedy.

8 Question by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

9 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Mr Parra, may I ask just one question,

10 and forgive me if this question causes any personal

11 embarrassment, but was your reason for leaving the UN in

12 any way connected with the mission visit to Belfast?

13 A. Absolutely no. It had nothing to do with that mission.

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

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Parra, for making yourself

16 available to give evidence to us and --

17 A. It is my pleasure.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: -- your evidence is now concluded.

19 Thank you.

20 A. Thank you.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: We will adjourn until 1.00 pm on Monday.

22 (4.22 pm)

23 (The Inquiry adjourned until 1.00 pm on Monday

24 9th June 2008)

25

 

 



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4 DATO' PARAM CUMARASWAMY (continued) .............. 1

5 Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued) ......... 1

6 MR ALAN PARRA (affirmed) ......................... 101

7 Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 101

8 Question by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN ............... 174

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