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Full Hearings

Hearing: 3rd June 2008, day 28

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Tuesday, 3rd June 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1 Tuesday, 3rd June 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (10.45 am)

5 MS JANE WINTER(affirmed)

6 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

7 MR PHILLIPS: Ms Winter, can you give us your full names,

8 please.

9 A. Jane Sarah Joy Winter.

10 Q. Do you have in front of you a copy of your statement to

11 the Inquiry?

12 A. I do, thank you.

13 Q. Can we have it up on the screen, please, it is at

14 RNI-824-016 (displayed). Do we see your signature at

15 RNI-824-056 (displayed) and the date of

16 9th January 2007?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. I think it is right that you have also been provided

19 with some further material this morning and had a brief

20 chance at least to look over it?

21 A. That's right, yes.

22 Q. Thank you. Can I start by asking you about British

23 Irish Rights Watch itself. You are a founder member,

24 aren't you?

25 A. I am, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. You tell us in your statement right at the outset how it

2 came to be established. Perhaps you could summarise

3 what happened for us in your own words?

4 A. Yes. Well, a group of us in London had been talking

5 about the situation in Northern Ireland, which in some

6 ways came into focus as the iron curtain fell, and it

7 became apparent that there seemed to be a quite serious

8 conflict going on in our own back yard, but it was very

9 hard to understand what was happening because the media

10 coverage was so poor.

11 We had been talking about it amongst ourselves and

12 we went to hear Professor Kader Asmal, who was at that

13 time the chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties

14 and a human rights professor at Trinity College, Dublin,

15 speak at a public meeting and he talked about the human

16 rights abuses that had taken place over the, getting on

17 then for over 30 years of conflict. And he said if this

18 kind of thing were happening in South Africa, which is

19 where he came from originally, and he was in exile at the

20 time, you lawyers would be doing something more about

21 it.

22 In fact, I am not a lawyer myself but the group of

23 us almost, I think, at the same moment in time came up

24 with the idea that there needed to be what we thought of

25 in those days as a voluntary organisation -- these days

 

 

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1 we call it a non-governmental organisation -- that was

2 concentrating on the human rights dimension of the

3 conflict in Northern Ireland. And we went and spoke to

4 Kader Asmal after the meeting.

5 He arranged to meet us the next day. He was very

6 supportive. He told us to get in touch with the

7 Committee on the Administration of Justice in Belfast.

8 They were also very supportive, and so we formed a small

9 group. And originally, we just held seminars for

10 lawyers on using the European Convention on Human

11 Rights, and gradually over the years we grew into

12 a full-blown NGO, as we call ourselves.

13 Q. As I understand it, the foundation was in 1990; is that

14 right?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. You have told us that you were not a lawyer. Were most

17 of your fellow founder members lawyers?

18 A. No, I think one or two were.

19 Q. And the organisation continues to be based in London?

20 A. It does.

21 Q. But its focus, as I understand it, is on affairs here?

22 A. Well, specifically on the human rights dimension of the

23 conflict. And since about 1994, we expanded our remit

24 to look at the human rights aspect of the peace process

25 as well, thankfully.

 

 

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1 Q. We have seen in the Inquiry bundle, and references are

2 made in your statement to, various reports that were

3 compiled over the years. Looking to the period of the

4 1990s, can I ask you this question: when did you become

5 the director of the organisation?

6 A. 1995.

7 Q. Thank you. And as I understand it, from that same year

8 you have received funding from the Rowntree Trust?

9 A. I think that's right. I can't remember exactly when we

10 got our first grant from them, but I know that by 1995

11 we had managed to amass enough money to employ one

12 person for one year. And we thought that the peace

13 process would see the end of us, but unfortunately, as

14 we all know, it went on a lot longer.

15 Q. If you look at paragraph 3 at RNI-824-017 (displayed),

16 you deal with this question of funding and it does look

17 as though it is 1995, doesn't it, for that funding?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And presumably ever since you have had to generate

20 funding year by year to sustain the organisation?

21 A. Indeed.

22 Q. Thank you. From what you were saying just a little bit

23 earlier, it sounds as though, certainly at this stage in

24 1995, it was a very small organisation?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Did it consist at times just of yourself?

2 A. Never, no. When we first started in 1990, there were

3 five of us and we didn't -- we couldn't afford to employ

4 anybody until 1995. At that point I became the sole

5 employee, but the other members remained on the board,

6 and indeed other members joined and they were always

7 very involved in the work.

8 I think it was about 1998 before I got some

9 administrative help, and coming up to the present day

10 I have a full-time administrator and a full-time

11 researcher and a board of seven members.

12 Q. Thank you. So far as cooperation with other NGOs is

13 concerned -- this you touch on in paragraph 4 of your

14 statement -- clearly there were other organisations with

15 an interest in Northern Ireland at the time we are

16 concerned with now, the 1990s.

17 How, practically, did you go about between you

18 deciding what each organisation would focus upon?

19 A. Well, initially we were very much the baby of the group

20 because we were the newest group, and we looked very

21 much to the Committee on the Administration of Justice

22 for guidance and we would talk to them on a very regular

23 basis about the work they were involved in. And people

24 would come to us very often with quite old cases like

25 the Bloody Sunday case, which an organisation like CAJ,

 

 

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1 which had people coming through the door every day with

2 new problems, wasn't really able to focus on.

3 So we tried to fill the gaps, as it were, that were

4 not quite being met on the ground. As time went by and

5 we became more involved with other organisations like

6 Amnesty International, Human Rights First, who used to

7 be called the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and

8 Human Rights Watch -- the two American groups had sent

9 missions to Northern Ireland to study the human rights

10 situation there and Amnesty had been working on

11 Northern Ireland for many, many years -- we began to

12 perceive a need for coordination amongst the groups.

13 And I believe it was Halya Gowan from Amnesty and myself

14 who proposed that we have, as frequently as we could,

15 coordination meetings in whichever town in whichever

16 part of the world most of us found ourselves: Geneva,

17 it could be Belfast, it could be Washington, it could be

18 London. And we would probably meet two or three, maybe

19 sometimes as many as four times a year and discuss

20 matters of mutual interest.

21 Sometimes it seemed helpful to all to be working on

22 the same issue and sometimes it seemed helpful for

23 different people to take the lead on different issues.

24 Q. Can I just pick up on a couple of things from that

25 answer. You said that, as it were, as the junior member

 

 

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1 you picked up the Bloody Sunday case, and we can see

2 from your statement that you were doing a good deal of

3 work in relation to the lawyers: allegations of

4 intimidation and harassment during the period with which

5 we are concerned. What were the other areas of your

6 particular focus in the mid to late 1990s?

7 A. We were particularly concerned about conditions in

8 detention, about the right to remain silent, about fair

9 trials and we were often asked to observe at hearings,

10 particularly of appeals, because it was very difficult

11 to observe a whole criminal trial but an appeal would be

12 a shorter case.

13 So we did a lot of observing in the Diplock courts

14 and we looked at other issues like language rights, for

15 example, the right to speak Irish; really any

16 internationally or domestically defined human right

17 which was in some way affected by the conflict would

18 come within our remit. And I should perhaps just make

19 it clear that we only ever helped people who asked for

20 our help. We did not go looking for people. They came

21 to us and we would then think, "Are we the most

22 appropriate organisation to deal with this?" and if we

23 weren't, we would refer them to somebody else. And if

24 it did seem like something that we should be doing, then

25 we would take their case up.

 

 

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1 Q. So during this period then, from, let us say, 1995 in

2 particular until the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder

3 in March 1999, this issue of intimidation, of harassment

4 of lawyers was only one -- is that right? -- of a number

5 of issues with which your organisation was concerned?

6 A. Indeed.

7 Q. Can I ask you now about Rosemary Nelson herself. Can

8 you remember when you first met her?

9 A. I don't remember exactly but I think it must have been

10 in 1996, and I think it may well have been at the appeal

11 of Colin Duffy.

12 I know that we had been in communication prior to

13 that, because she had contacted us about his case which

14 she felt was a miscarriage of justice. But whether

15 I actually met her until I came to the appeal hearing, I

16 can't remember now.

17 Q. Do you think it is likely that you first had contact

18 with her the previous year, in 1995?

19 A. I honestly don't remember.

20 Q. When you first encountered her, if I can put it that

21 way, what did you know of her work?

22 A. Very little, really. I knew she was pretty much a sole

23 practitioner in Lurgan and that she had a very diverse

24 high street practice.

25 She wasn't, as some lawyers in Northern Ireland were

 

 

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1 at the time, a specialist in criminal law. She did

2 all -- any work that came through the door:

3 conveyancing; petty crime; matrimonial; traffic

4 accidents; she ran the whole gamut. So I knew that she

5 was in some ways less expert than some of the other

6 lawyers that I had met over alleged miscarriages of

7 justice.

8 Q. You say, for example, in relation to the case you have

9 just mentioned, the Duffy appeal, if you look at

10 paragraph 15, that you are not sure at that point that

11 she had ever done any work in the Diplock courts before?

12 A. That's right. I was familiar with most of the lawyers

13 who did work in the Diplock courts and her name had

14 never come up. That is not to say -- I might be wrong

15 about that, but I certainly hadn't come across her in

16 that context.

17 Q. From that moment then, you think in the context of the

18 Colin Duffy appeal, to the time of her murder, how

19 regular was your contact with her?

20 A. It was off and on. We had a lot of contact over that

21 first Duffy appeal and she didn't at first raise the

22 fact that she was being abused in any way, but she did

23 later talk to me about that. So we had a lot of contact

24 about that. And she also raised various other cases

25 that she was involved in and, of course, there were

 

 

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1 other cases involving Colin Duffy, other arrests, which

2 didn't actually turn into trials.

3 But she certainly wasn't the lawyer I was in most

4 frequent -- or one of the lawyers that I was in most

5 frequent contact with. I would have said she was

6 somewhere in the middle of the contact range, if that

7 makes sense.

8 Q. We can see from your statement you had contact with

9 a number of, I think, mostly solicitors in

10 Northern Ireland; is that right?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. And at one point I know that you mention the figure of

13 60 for the population of Diplock court lawyers; is that

14 about right?

15 A. I think that is the number that I had contact with and I

16 am pretty sure that I spoke to most people who were

17 working in the Diplock courts. A few of those would

18 have been barristers, but most of them were solicitors.

19 Q. So if we think of that as the league table, if I can put

20 it that way again, she would come somewhere in the

21 middle in terms of regularity of contact; is that right?

22 A. That's right, because we found that there was a direct

23 correlation between the number of times that a solicitor

24 had a case in the Diplock courts and the amount of abuse

25 that he or she was receiving. And Rosemary really only

 

 

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1 had a handful of very high profile cases, unlike some

2 firms who almost every case was a Diplock case.

3 So, yes, she was somewhere in the middle of the

4 spectrum.

5 Q. Did that position continue throughout the period with

6 which we are concerned; in other words, up to the moment

7 of her murder?

8 A. I think in terms of the number of high profile cases she

9 had, yes. But I think in terms of our concern about

10 her, she went up the register, if I can put it that way.

11 I don't mean it to sound as clinical as that, but in

12 a way Rosemary came to Diplock work rather late in the

13 process. We were already well into the 1994 ceasefires,

14 although of course they broke down at various times.

15 She was a woman, and that made her unusual, because

16 very few women were operating in that arena at all. I

17 could only think of two or three altogether. And

18 because she was a woman, the nature of some of the abuse

19 that she was suffering was sexual, which simply didn't

20 happen to men, and that made it particularly distasteful

21 and distressing.

22 Also, there seemed to be an edge to the abuse that

23 she received. There seemed to be a real hatred of

24 Rosemary on the part of some RUC officers, and I think

25 that stemmed from her getting Colin Duffy off on appeal.

 

 

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1 I think they felt that he was guilty really and that,

2 you know, she had somehow given him a "get out of jail

3 free" card, whereas in fact all she had done was do her

4 normal professional job.

5 But the whole issue of abuse and intimidation of

6 lawyers revolved around some police officers identifying

7 the lawyer with his or her clients' crime or cause or

8 perceived beliefs, and this seemed to be happening in

9 Rosemary's case to an extreme degree.

10 Q. Can I ask you a couple of questions arising out of that

11 answer. The first is -- just to clarify -- do I

12 understand you to be saying that because of these other

13 factors particular to her, her position in the table,

14 the register -- we both used similar expressions -- was

15 higher than the amount of actual work of this kind she

16 was doing?

17 A. Yes. As time went by, our concern increased and, of

18 course, the other factor was that not only was she

19 a woman pretty much on her own, but she was also in the

20 hotbed of dissident loyalism where there were many

21 people who had not accepted the peace process at all.

22 So she was operating in a very dangerous physical

23 environment.

24 Q. So where she lived and worked, in your view, also

25 contributed to her position?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, and the fact that locally everybody knew who she

2 was. Unfortunately, because of the disfigurement on her

3 face, she was very easily recognisable and people knew

4 where she lived.

5 So she really had no hiding place. She couldn't

6 alter her daily routine as some Belfast lawyers might

7 have done to try and put any would-be attackers off the

8 scent. People would know where she would be at most

9 given points in time.

10 Q. The other question I wanted to ask you arising out of

11 your earlier answer is this: looking at the thing in a

12 general way at the moment -- we will come back to the

13 detail later -- am I right to take it from your answer

14 that you, with hindsight at any rate, saw the time after

15 the successful appeal in the Colin Duffy case as being

16 something of a watershed for her?

17 A. Yes, certainly.

18 Q. And you, as you do in your statement, pinpoint that as

19 a moment when her problems increased?

20 A. I think almost when her problems began, as far as I

21 could ascertain.

22 Q. So, again, we will come back to the detail: as you look

23 at it now, her problems began, problems of this kind at

24 any rate, you think, after that appeal, which

25 was September/October 1996, I think?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, and also of course she was representing the

2 Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition, which again made her

3 very high profile. In a way, she couldn't avoid being

4 exceptionally high profile in relation to that part of

5 her work.

6 Q. Sorry, I interrupted you. That is another point that

7 you pinpoint in your evidence, that time in July 1997,

8 between the arrest of Colin Duffy for the murder of the

9 two police officers in Lurgan and the Garvaghy Road

10 incident, if I can put it that way, on 6th July?

11 A. I believe it was 5th July, actually.

12 Q. Well, am I right in suggesting to you that you saw that

13 as not the start of the problem, but another key moment

14 in the overall chronology?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Taking the matter forward -- and again, we are just

17 looking at it generally at this stage, if we may --

18 between that point, July 1997, and the time of her

19 murder, was there another sort of key moment, watershed

20 moment, as far as you can see, looking back now?

21 A. Well, what felt like a key moment was in -- I am going

22 to get muddled up about my years now, but I think it

23 was June of 1997 when she received a threatening letter,

24 which she showed to me.

25 With the benefit of hindsight, I realised that she

 

 

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1 had more than one of those letters and that she had many

2 telephone calls, and I didn't necessarily know about all

3 of those until after she died. But for me, that letter

4 stood out because, with the vast majority of other

5 lawyers that I had spoken to, they had not been getting

6 threatening letters or phone calls to the best of my

7 knowledge. So that seemed like a different source of

8 threat.

9 Q. Does the same apply to the alleged assault on the

10 Garvaghy Road in 1997, that this was something that set

11 her apart?

12 A. Very much so. I mean, she was the only lawyer in my

13 experience who had ever at that point in time been

14 physically assaulted. I have been aware of a couple

15 since, but it was deeply shocking at the time because it

16 was as if her status as a lawyer and an officer of the

17 court had been thrown out of the window, and that was

18 very shocking indeed.

19 Q. Looking at the overall position in terms of the contact

20 between you, was it in general initiated by her?

21 A. I think it probably was but at my encouragement. Most

22 lawyers -- and Rosemary was no different in this

23 regard -- didn't like talking about abuse, didn't like

24 talking about the fears that they had that something

25 might happen to them. They didn't like admitting that

 

 

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1 sometimes they felt afraid to do their job, because it

2 reflected on their professionalism or it could reflect

3 on their professionalism. And I believe that when

4 Rosemary first started to talk to me about the kind of

5 abuse that she had been suffering, she had actually been

6 encouraged by another solicitor who had already been in

7 touch with me to talk to me. And I said to her, "You

8 should record this", because most lawyers never did

9 record it, "and one way of recording it is to let me

10 know and I will record it for you, or let one of the

11 other NGOs know". And that was in fact the path that

12 Rosemary chose to take, and I think had she not done

13 that, there would be no record at all, because she was

14 not the kind of person who kept records particularly of

15 that kind of incident.

16 Q. Again, we will come back to this, but you say in your

17 statement that even when she had started to make contact

18 and report, the reporting was somewhat intermittent; is

19 that fair?

20 A. It is, and I would sometimes have to remind her that she

21 had told me -- she would be quite good at picking up the

22 phone and telling me that something had happened, but

23 not so good with following up with a statement from the

24 client to confirm that it had happened. And I would be

25 saying to her, "It is very important that this is

 

 

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1 properly recorded. You must do this." So there would

2 sometimes be a gap, sometimes of months, between her

3 phoning me and telling me that something had happened

4 and, finally, a statement arriving from her client to

5 confirm that it did actually happen.

6 Q. You describe her in your statement, I think, as being

7 not a paper person?

8 A. Exactly.

9 Q. Is that the point you have in mind?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. I would like to ask you, please, about one of the areas

12 of interest of your organisation which is clearly

13 pertinent to the Inquiry, and that is this issue of

14 intimidation of lawyers in Northern Ireland.

15 I would like you to look, please, at one of your

16 reports. This one is at RNI-115-086 (displayed). It

17 will appear to on the screen -- you may have a copy in

18 front of you -- but what we will do with the screen is

19 try to enlarge the relevant passages as we come to them.

20 December 1996, we can see. This is a report to the

21 Special Rapporteur. I think by then Mr Cumaraswamy was

22 already in office, wasn't he?

23 A. Yes, he was the second rapporteur to be reported by the

24 UN. We had been reporting to them since 1992, and

25 I believe I am right in saying this was the eighth

 

 

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1 report that we had sent to his office, as opposed to

2 D Param Cumaraswamy himself.

3 Q. Yes. Would you send them annually? How did it work?

4 A. By and large we sent them annually and we sent them

5 around November or December, because the Special

6 Rapporteur would report to the Commission On Human

7 Rights which met in April at the UN in Geneva, and he

8 had a deadline for his reports, which was usually

9 around January or February. So we tried to send him as

10 up-to-date information as we could to enable him to

11 write his report in good time.

12 Occasionally, though, if there was a particular

13 incident that we felt ought to be drawn to his

14 attention, and particularly if we wanted him to do

15 something about it, to raise it with the United Kingdom

16 Government, we might send him a report between those

17 annual reports.

18 Q. Thank you. Can I just take you to an early paragraph in

19 it, which is on the next page, RNI-115-086. Could we

20 enlarge 2.1, please (displayed). Do you see, there we

21 have had reference right at the beginning to the

22 previous reports and I should have asked you: were you

23 the author of this report?

24 A. Yes, I was.

25 Q. Had you been the author of the previous reports?

 

 

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1 A. I had, yes.

2 Q. And we will see in a moment the examples of cases that

3 are set out in an annex to the report. Can I just ask

4 you before we look at them: would you be the person who

5 would have gathered in that material?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Looking at 2.1, you say in the second

8 sentence:

9 "The number of cases in which such abuse has been

10 reported to us has decreased since the ceasefires ..."

11 Which you mentioned earlier:

12 "... but only because the number of arrests has

13 decreased."

14 Can I ask you this question, please: the cases upon

15 which the report was based, this report, were these

16 holding centre cases?

17 A. Yes, they were.

18 Q. Exclusively?

19 A. Not absolutely exclusively. There were one or two PACE

20 cases in the ordinary criminal courts, but by and large

21 they were Diplock cases. And the point about that was

22 that detainees would be interviewed by two police

23 officers with, at that time, no video or audio

24 recording. They would just make written notes in the

25 absence of their solicitor.

 

 

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1 So the only evidence that any abuse had been uttered

2 against the solicitor came from the detainee, who was

3 always outnumbered because there were always two police

4 officers to their one person's word.

5 Q. So when you say in the second sentence about the

6 decrease in the number of arrests, that was the number

7 of arrests for alleged terrorist offences?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Thank you. You go on to say:

10 "When people are arrested, their solicitors continue

11 to be abused."

12 I just want to pause there, please, and ask you what

13 evidence-gathering process you went through before

14 arriving at that conclusion?

15 A. Well, there was one firm of solicitors who kept a record

16 of every single attendance with any client who was held

17 in the holding centres, and they gave us access to those

18 records, often handwritten, and they were the notes that

19 they had taken on the occasions when they were able to

20 see their clients. And we would take those away and

21 analyse them.

22 So look not just at the number of incidences of

23 abuse, but what kind of abuse, which is why I was able

24 to say that the death threats had gone down by 1996.

25 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, but you say that there had been

 

 

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1 no reports of death threats --

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. -- since you last reported?

4 A. That's right, and I was able to quantify that by --

5 because of that analysis, which was actually of a large

6 number of clients, because this was a very busy firm,

7 but I would also talk to other lawyers who I knew worked

8 in the Diplock courts. And I would say -- I would try

9 my best to persuade them to record these incidents, but

10 I am afraid I did not have a great deal of success. But

11 I would ask them for their view of how things were: were

12 things getting better; were things getting worse?

13 And certainly, if solicitors and other firms felt

14 that there had been a particularly bad case of abuse

15 involving a death threat or whatever, they would have

16 contacted us. I would have a telephone record and I

17 would begin, as in Rosemary's case, to try and persuade

18 them to get a statement from their client to confirm it.

19 So I would take the temperature, as it were, before

20 I wrote my report and see whether the detailed

21 information I was getting from that particular firm was

22 being -- was the same kind of experience that other

23 lawyers were having at the time.

24 Q. So I am clear about this, in the process of compiling --

25 let us take the annual reports to the Rapporteur as the

 

 

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1 easier example -- you would have as your principal

2 source of information this firm, and then the research,

3 as it were, would go wider and you would have the

4 opportunity to talk to other lawyers working in the

5 Diplock court system?

6 A. Yes. And since 1990, when the issue was first raised

7 with me, as I say, lawyers were very reluctant to talk

8 about it. It was all highly confidential. I would ask

9 the lawyer -- I would interview the lawyer who had

10 talked to me and take a detailed statement from them,

11 which is how I know that I have 60 or so people that

12 I have talked to, and I would -- at the end of the

13 interview, I would say, "Do you think there is anybody

14 else that I should be talking to?" and then try and get

15 an introduction to that lawyer, go and talk to them,

16 take a statement from them.

17 So I had an overall picture of what it was like for

18 lawyers, and then I could call up some of those lawyers

19 and say, "What is it like? Is it getting better, is it

20 getting worse, any particular incidents that have

21 happened that you want to tell me about?" and so on.

22 Sometimes they would telephone me of their own accord if

23 something really nasty happened.

24 Q. So in the process and in the way that you have

25 described, you would be talking to a substantial

 

 

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1 number -- is that right? -- of solicitors?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. It sounds as though often on the telephone?

4 A. And quite often in person. We did a lot of observing in

5 the Diplock courts and I quite often was the observer,

6 and I would then take that opportunity to talk to the

7 lawyers involved and ask them how things were going.

8 Q. The figure of 60 you mentioned earlier, can you just

9 look, please, at paragraph 5 of your statement at top of

10 RNI-824-018 (displayed) in the second line. Do you see

11 there, you say:

12 "I gradually spoke to virtually all the solicitors

13 in Northern Ireland undertaking work in the Diplock

14 courts and it became apparent that they were all been

15 threatened in direct proportion to the amount of Diplock

16 work they undertook."

17 We have touched on that already, but in the course

18 of your research for a report such as this

19 one, December 1996, would you have canvassed, therefore,

20 virtually all of the 60?

21 A. No, I would have canvassed those who were doing most

22 work in the Diplock courts, because I knew by then that

23 they were the people who were suffering most abuse and

24 I knew that people who only had the occasional case

25 wouldn't have very much new to tell me.

 

 

24


1 Q. Can we go back to the report briefly, please. It is at

2 RNI-115-086 (displayed). Looking down to the bottom of

3 the page, 2.2, if we can enlarge that -- thank you --

4 this is a reference, I think, to the firm that you

5 yourself have just mentioned, isn't it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So you set out there statistics, if I can put it that

8 way, and then refer to annex A, and I would like you

9 look briefly at that, please. It begins at

10 RNI-115-100.500 (displayed). Can we look at the first

11 page, please, RNI-115-110.501 (displayed).

12 So I am clear about this, as I understand it, these

13 are extracts from the information passed on to you by

14 this firm?

15 A. I would need to see the reference to annex A and the

16 report itself to be absolutely certain, because I may

17 have interspersed some other reports that I received

18 from other lawyers.

19 Q. Shall we have a look --

20 A. I am not quite sure.

21 Q. Shall we have a look at paragraph 2.2. In fact, we may

22 be able to get paragraph 2.2 on the screen at the same

23 time. Can we try that? RNI-115-086 (displayed). Look

24 down to the bottom of the right-hand page:

25 "We have since obtained a further 38 sets of

 

 

25


1 instructions from the relevant extracts --

2 A. Yes, then they would have all been from the same firm.

3 Q. Thank you. So in relation to the other firms, other

4 lawyers you spoke to, as I understand it, you would have

5 arrived at your conclusions, overall conclusions, based

6 on what you were told, but their cases would not have

7 been part of the exhibited examples?

8 A. I can't honestly remember this report word for word, but

9 I can certainly remember in some reports, usually in the

10 body of text rather than in an annex, quoting from

11 statements that I had received from other solicitors.

12 Q. Thank you. Is it also right to say that this format

13 that we have just looked at -- in other words, the body

14 of the report and then the annexed examples -- was one

15 that you used over many years?

16 A. Yes, although in the body of the report we tried to give

17 as much qualitative information as we could as well as

18 quantitative, and we talked also about emergency lawyers

19 and the effect that they had on, for example, access to

20 legal advice.

21 Q. Thank you. Can we look at the analysis at 2.3 of the

22 report at RNI-115-088 (displayed). Thank you. There

23 you have broken down the types of cases, as I understand

24 it; is that right?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

26


1 Q. And then you give some illustrations in the body of the

2 report.

3 Go to 2.4, which takes us over the page, and we see

4 at 2.5, I think, don't we, the point you have been

5 making, which is that there is one source, a principal

6 source of information, but your assessment is it is

7 typical of those taken by many other firms throughout

8 Northern Ireland?

9 A. Yes, and as you can see, I quoted there from a different

10 firm who had written to us in the body of the text, as

11 I had suggested.

12 Q. Can I ask you to turn over on the screen, please, to

13 RNI-115-091 (displayed). This, at 2.10, is, as it were,

14 the thrust of the point under this heading of

15 "Intimidation", so far as the addressee, the Special

16 Rapporteur, is concerned.

17 So as I understand it, you are asking him

18 in December 1996 to effectively speak up on these

19 issues?

20 A. Indeed.

21 Q. And --

22 A. We felt if these measures were adopted, that would be

23 the end of this kind of abuse.

24 Q. Yes, I should have made that clear: in 2.9, at the top

25 of the same page, RNI-115-091 (displayed), you will see

 

 

27


1 a quotation from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights

2 report which, again, we have in our bundles with various

3 recommendations, and you set out in the bullet points

4 your own list of reforms?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Thank you. And again, without going to all of the

7 reports, in general, in relation to your reports to the

8 Rapporteur, would there be such a request for specific

9 interventions speaking up on his part?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Year by year?

12 A. In many senses that was the point of making the report:

13 to ask the Special Rapporteur for his support and ask

14 him to -- what, in United Nations speak, is transmit our

15 report to the UK Government in order to show that there

16 was international concern about the matters that we were

17 raising.

18 Q. Before 1997, did he add his voice?

19 A. I believe it must have been prior to 1997, because he

20 visited the United Kingdom in 1997 and I believe that he

21 may have said -- I am just talking from memory now, but

22 I think he may have said at the Human Rights Commission

23 meeting at the UN in April 1997 that he was going to

24 seek permission from the UK Government to carry out

25 a mission here.

 

 

28


1 So I think it was around then that he declared this

2 intention.

3 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you about a specific case

4 that you mention in your own statement at paragraph 6.

5 That is at RNI-824-018 (displayed).

6 Here, you deal in a general way with the comments to

7 detainees; do you see in the first sentence?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But then further down in the paragraph in what is in

10 fact the last long sentence, beginning "on the other

11 hand -- do you see that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You give some specific examples in quotation marks?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. What I would like to ask you, if you can at this

16 distance in time, is to give us more details about when

17 those incidents occurred and how they came to your

18 attention?

19 A. I'm afraid I couldn't tell you now when they occurred,

20 although obviously the first one, which referred to the

21 murder of Patrick Finucane, obviously happened after he

22 was murdered in February 1989. But references were made

23 to him for very many years after his murder. So I can't

24 be sure in which year that was made, but I am pretty

25 sure that was made to a member of his firm.

 

 

29


1 The other ones were more my characterisation of the

2 sort of things that were being said to many lawyers who

3 were working on Diplock cases, in the same way that

4 earlier in the paragraph when I talked about trivial

5 abuse and some RUC officers suggesting that the lawyers

6 were only interested in getting the Legal Aid and that

7 was the only reason they were coming down to see the

8 person, you know, I was trying to give a general flavour

9 of the kind of comments that were being made.

10 I know the first one is a direct quote. I am not so

11 sure about the other two.

12 Q. But in relation, for example, to the first one, this

13 would have been something, would it, passed on, in the

14 course of the process that we have been through

15 together, to you and would have been presumably one of

16 the incidents taken into account as you were compiling

17 your reports?

18 A. I don't think that's quite right. I think here I was

19 trying to give a flavour of the range of the kind of

20 comments that solicitors were experiencing rather than

21 trying to give specific examples.

22 Q. But you said, I think, a little earlier that the first

23 one might have been a direct quotation?

24 A. I am sure that one is, but the others I am not so sure.

25 They may have been, but I can't recall now.

 

 

30


1 Q. But in relation to the fist one then, that would have

2 been something presumably passed on to you as a direct

3 comment by a lawyer?

4 A. That was said to virtually every lawyer. That was the

5 starting point, as it were, for most abuse.

6 Q. What, "He will get four in the face"?

7 A. I beg your pardon, I thought you were talking about the

8 beginning of the paragraph about Legal Aid. I am sorry,

9 what was your question?

10 Q. The question I had -- I thought you were drawing

11 a distinction between that first quotation in the last

12 sentence and the other two and, therefore, I was trying

13 to ask you whether that was something that would have

14 been passed on to you in the course of the process you

15 explained to us a little earlier?

16 A. The first of them?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Certainly it was.

19 Q. Thank you. In relation to the reports, of which we have

20 seen now one example only, apart from the Special

21 Rapporteur, to whom would you send copies of your

22 reports?

23 A. We always sent them to the authorities. So we sent them

24 to the Northern Ireland Office, we sent them to the RUC;

25 after all, we were making allegations about the RUC and

 

 

31


1 we wanted to give them an opportunity to rebut them if

2 they could. We sent them to the police authority, which

3 was the organisation in those days that had oversight of

4 the RUC. We sent them to the professional bodies, to

5 the Law Society and the Bar Council, and I believe

6 towards the end of the 1990s we also sent them to the

7 Director of Public Prosecutions, but I am not sure that

8 we did that at first.

9 Q. Did you send them to the ICPC?

10 A. Oh, we did, yes.

11 Q. You have just mentioned the Law Society and the Bar

12 Council. The focus of the reports appears very much to

13 be on solicitors. Did you receive reports from the Bar?

14 A. I did receive some reports from a few barristers.

15 Occasionally in instructions taken by solicitors, if

16 a case was already at hearing and a barrister had

17 already been appointed, there would be derogatory

18 mention of that barrister and I would then talk to the

19 barrister to find out if they were aware about that and

20 to find out whether they felt in any way intimidated in

21 their work. And some of them did, beyond a shadow of

22 doubt, which was something that I think the Bar Council

23 found very difficult to accept.

24 Q. In your report, the one we were looking at, the word

25 used in relation to lawyers -- this is RNI-115-087. If

 

 

32


1 we could just look at that again, paragraph 2.1

2 (displayed). Can we enlarge it, please. The word you

3 use there is "solicitors", and indeed the same applies

4 later on when you are talking about death threats.

5 Did that fairly reflect the fact that the

6 preponderance of these complaints were coming from the

7 solicitors' side of the profession?

8 A. It did, and it also reflected the fact that a particular

9 barrister with whom I had a great deal of contact had

10 objected to the fact that I used the word "lawyer" and

11 didn't distinguish between solicitors and barristers.

12 I used the word "lawyer" because that is the word

13 that is in common parlance in the rest of the world.

14 There are not many places that have the same distinction

15 that we do and I hadn't meant it to imply that there

16 were equal numbers of solicitors and barristers

17 involved.

18 So I think, if I recall correctly, that I had this

19 correspondence with this particular barrister, and so,

20 therefore, reminded myself from time to time to say

21 "solicitor" rather than "lawyer". But I am sure I did

22 not succeed on every occasion in doing that, and as

23 I say, there were a few barristers who did feel

24 intimidated.

25 Q. The next part of your statement I would like to touch

 

 

33


1 on, please, takes us to your first discussions with

2 Rosemary Nelson, which you say in your statement

3 occurred, I think, when you were over in

4 Northern Ireland in October 1996. This is at

5 paragraph 18 on RNI-824-023, please (displayed).

6 You say how you stayed with her at her house on that

7 occasion. Can I ask you why you were visiting

8 Northern Ireland that week in October 1996?

9 A. I am just trying to remember when Colin Duffy's appeal

10 was. I am not sure that was then.

11 Q. I think it may have been September but I may be wrong.

12 A. Yes, I am afraid I can't remember now exactly why I was

13 there. I obviously needed to stay overnight. I often

14 try to go -- to come here and back in one day if I can.

15 And I know that Rosemary had frequently invited me to

16 stay with her and I felt that she wanted to talk to me,

17 and that this would be maybe an easier way for her to do

18 so. So I accepted her invitation on this occasion.

19 But I honestly don't remember what else I was doing.

20 We may have been conducting a seminar, I may have been

21 observing in the Diplock courts, but I would have to

22 check my diary before I could be sure.

23 Q. In paragraph 12 of your statement -- this may help

24 you -- at RNI-824-021 (displayed), you say that you

25 attended the appeal on 15th and 16th September?

 

 

34


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So it looks, doesn't it, as though there may have been

3 some other reason for you to come to Northern Ireland at

4 the beginning of October?

5 A. Yes, I am sure it wasn't anything to do with Colin Duffy

6 at that point.

7 Q. Thank you. So when you came to stay with her at the

8 beginning of October, you had obviously met her, you had

9 spoken to her no doubt in the context of that appeal.

10 She had asked you to come and stay, and so you did for

11 one night?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. If we look, please, at RNI-115-001 (displayed), we see

14 a note, don't we, of the discussion between you that

15 took place that day?

16 As I understand it, the substance of the

17 conversation as set out here took place in her car?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And presumably the note was a note you made on your

20 return to your office in London?

21 A. No, I would have probably made the note that evening

22 before I went to bed, because I always had pen and paper

23 with me and I always tried to make notes as quickly as

24 I possibly could in order to make sure that I remembered

25 them. I have got reasonably good short-term recall, but

 

 

35


1 not desperately good long-term recall.

2 Q. So you would have had it typed up on your return to the

3 office?

4 A. I would have typed it up myself.

5 Q. Thank you. In relation to this note, can I ask you

6 first: was this the first occasion on which

7 Rosemary Nelson had mentioned to you that she was having

8 these sorts of problems?

9 A. I am pretty certain it was, yes.

10 Q. So when you use the word "usual" in the first line of

11 the second paragraph, you meant presumably something

12 other than usual for Rosemary Nelson?

13 A. Yes, exactly. I meant usual for solicitors in

14 general --

15 Q. Thank you.

16 A. -- who did Diplock cases.

17 Q. Can you remember now how the conversation took this

18 particular turn?

19 A. I think she initially brought up the murder of

20 Patrick Finucane and she said to me how terrible it was

21 that he was killed in front of his wife and children,

22 and that it had -- that had somehow really stayed with

23 her, because she herself was a mother with small

24 children and she couldn't imagine anything more awful

25 than to be murdered in front of your family like that.

 

 

36


1 And she asked me how people in his firm had dealt with

2 the fact that after his death -- and he was abused

3 before he was murdered, but after his murder, threats of

4 abuse to members of that firm really intensified and she

5 asked me how they dealt with it.

6 Q. Was she using that case, the murder of Pat Finucane, do

7 you think, as a way of introducing her own case?

8 A. That is exactly what I felt at the time, yes.

9 Q. Can we take it that this is a reasonably full note of

10 what she said to you?

11 A. I believe it is. It was a fairly short conversation.

12 Q. And does that mean, therefore, that you are not able to

13 assist us with further details -- timings, location --

14 in relation to, for instance, the comments in quotation

15 marks in the second paragraph?

16 A. That's right. As she said to me, she didn't have very

17 many clients who were arrested under the emergency laws,

18 but when she did, she received abuse and threats. And

19 she gave me those examples, but she didn't name any

20 clients or any particular dates in relation to any of

21 those. I got the impression that it was all relatively

22 recent.

23 Q. But she wasn't any more specific than that?

24 A. No.

25 Q. That you can remember, anyway?

 

 

37


1 A. No.

2 Q. You say in your statement -- and this is now moving to

3 RNI-824-024 (displayed) -- and it is in paragraph 20,

4 about five lines down, the sentence beginning "Rosemary

5 told me ..." you say:

6 "A lot of different comments were made, but the one

7 that frightened her most was when the police threatened

8 to give her home address to Billy Wright."

9 Can I just be clear. Was this something she said to

10 you in the conversation in the car?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So she said to you, did she, that that one, that

13 particular comment, had frightened her the most?

14 A. She did, yes. And he was virtually on her doorstep.

15 Q. In the same paragraph of your statement, you give

16 another example relating to Billy Wright and

17 Rosemary Nelson. From the comments you have just made

18 about the note, isn't it more likely that that

19 information was passed on to you on a subsequent

20 occasion?

21 A. I think you are probably right, yes.

22 Q. Can you remember when?

23 A. I'm afraid I can't. I know that some notes that

24 Billy Wright made whilst he was in prison referring to

25 Rosemary came to light, but I am pretty certain that was

 

 

38


1 after her murder --

2 Q. Yes, it was.

3 A. -- so I don't think it was in relation to that. And I'm

4 afraid I can't remember specifically when she mentioned

5 this incident to me, but I think you are right: I think

6 I would have made a note of it at the time if it had

7 been something that she had mentioned in the car.

8 Q. Can I ask you this, because as far as I am aware at any

9 rate, we haven't found a note of it from you: is it not

10 the sort of thing that you would have recorded in the

11 way that you recorded this and a number of other

12 conversations with her?

13 A. It is certainly, I think, something I should have

14 recorded, but it may well have been said in passing and

15 I may not have thought to write it down.

16 I certainly have a clear recollection of her telling

17 me this and, you know, a picture in my mind of

18 Billy Wright opening the door for her in what was

19 apparently a courteous way and then saying something to her which

20 on the surface was not a threatening thing but which she

21 perceived, I think rightly, as being a threat.

22 Q. But you are not able to assist us with any more specific

23 date?

24 A. I'm afraid not. I spoke to Rosemary too often to be

25 able to do that.

 

 

39


1 Q. In this conversation, did she herself suggest why these

2 problems which she described to you, comments, might

3 have started?

4 A. No, I think she was very taken aback by these kind of

5 comments; it wasn't something that she was used to. She

6 had won the Colin Duffy appeal and that meant that

7 a number of mainly Republican suspects turned to her for

8 advice and representation, and that meant that she spent

9 more time at Gough Barracks, one of the holding centres.

10 And then this, what felt to her like a torrent of abuse,

11 descended upon her and she was just astonished by it.

12 She felt that normally she had very good relations

13 with the police. She was in and out of the courts and

14 the police stations all the time and nobody was ever

15 rude to her face, and to hear that they were saying

16 things like that behind her back she found just

17 incredibly puzzling. I was much less puzzled, because I

18 had heard the same comments from so many other

19 solicitors, but she found it hard to fathom.

20 Q. You say in your statement at 21 that she was very

21 surprised and annoyed. You confirmed, I think, that you

22 were certainly not surprised to hear this because it

23 conformed, didn't it, with the pattern that you had set

24 out in your various reports over the years?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

40


1 Q. The annoyance that she showed, was that a feature of her

2 reaction to these sort of incidents from this time on,

3 as you record it?

4 A. It was, and I think she became increasingly annoyed

5 about it.

6 I have to say she was not alone. Most solicitors

7 felt deeply insulted by these kind of comments and, you

8 know, Rosemary felt that she was a professional just

9 doing her job. She regarded the police as professionals

10 doing their job and she felt that it undermined her

11 standing with her clients when police officers made

12 these sort of comments.

13 Q. As I understood what you were saying a little earlier,

14 it was also surprising to her because her relations with

15 the police, as far as she could tell, at this point

16 certainly, were perfectly professional and cordial?

17 A. Indeed.

18 Q. And that was an element presumably in the surprise that

19 she showed you?

20 A. I thought so, yes.

21 Q. Sir, we have just got to the hour mark. Would that be

22 a convenient moment?

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. We will have a break of

24 10 minutes both for you, Ms Winter, and for the

25 stenographer.

 

 

41


1 (11.46 am)

2 (Short break)

3 (12.00 pm)

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Ms Winter, can we look, please, at the letter

6 that you wrote to Rosemary Nelson following your stay

7 with her. This is at RNI-115-002 (displayed),

8 7th October 1996.

9 If there was any doubt about the matter, you make

10 the point, don't you, in the second paragraph, about

11 your own lack of surprise at what she had told you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. Just to summarise, if I may, as I understand

14 it, what you did here was to send her two reports: the

15 first, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights report

16 that you had obviously talked about to the -- do you see

17 the second paragraph?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Then your own latest report to the Rapporteur. I think

20 you saved her the appendices and just included the main

21 text, do you see, in the third paragraph?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can I ask you: what was your purpose in sending her that

24 material?

25 A. I think it was to show her that she was not alone in

 

 

42


1 receiving this abuse and to give her some idea of the

2 context in which it was happening, and also hopefully to

3 encourage her to record any abuse that she suffered in

4 the future.

5 Q. So far as other aspects of the letter are concerned, you

6 asked her, didn't you, to record incidents of this kind

7 that occurred in the future?

8 A. Indeed.

9 Q. Is this something that you had discussed in the car

10 together?

11 A. I don't think so. I can't honestly remember. I felt,

12 at the time that Rosemary was telling me about the kind

13 of things that she was experiencing, it was quite

14 emotional for her and I felt that for me to leap in and

15 get technical about it would not really be appropriate.

16 And I think probably all I said to her was, "When I get

17 back, I am going to write to you about this, because

18 I do take it very seriously and I am sorry that it has

19 been happening." But I probably wouldn't have said, "It

20 is really important that you write this down," because

21 it didn't feel like the right thing to say at the time.

22 Q. No. But as I understand it, there are two aspects to

23 the recording. The first is that she should keep

24 records of such events, but also you suggest that she

25 might give you a copy?

 

 

43


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And that would presumably be something which had joined

3 the other material that you had collated over the years

4 in relation to these issues?

5 A. Well, it would certainly have helped to inform our view

6 of what was going on, but as I said in my letter to her,

7 we wouldn't actually have used it without getting her

8 express permission and we would only have ever used it

9 anonymously, unless she gave us permission to use her

10 name, which in fact later on she did.

11 Q. So again, just to be clear, because there are a number

12 of examples coming up, the process then was that

13 material would be received in confidence?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. If any use was to be made of it, there would have to be

16 consent obtained for the use?

17 A. That's right.

18 Q. And then, as it were, separately, for any name --

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. -- used. Would that apply both to the lawyer, the

21 solicitor and the relevant client?

22 A. Well, I always assumed that no lawyer would pass me

23 information about a client without getting their

24 client's permission or making the information anonymous.

25 You know, from our purposes, who the client was was not

 

 

44


1 of any great import. It was the fact that the lawyer

2 was being abused that was important, but I would not

3 have imagined that any lawyer would have sent me any

4 statement from a client without having the consent to

5 do so.

6 Q. Yes. It looks from the final paragraph of this page as

7 though in your conversation you may have touched on the

8 issue of what her options were; is that right?

9 A. It is hard for me to recall now whether we did talk

10 about her options in any detail when we had the

11 conversation in the car.

12 As you can see, I was saying to her I knew that she

13 would say to me that she had no choice, so she may well

14 have given me that impression: that she knew that a lot

15 of lawyers in her area, her geographical area, depended

16 very heavily upon her, and she may have said something

17 to give me that impression so that I felt confident that

18 I could make that prediction. But I don't recall, as

19 I say, having really discussed options with her in any

20 depth at all on that first occasion.

21 Q. When you deal with this letter in your statement at

22 paragraph 23, you talk first about the business of

23 keeping records, in the second sentence. Paragraph 23

24 is at RNI-824-025 (displayed). Could we enlarge it,

25 please. Thank you.

 

 

45


1 Do you see in the second sentence you deal with the

2 record-keeping, and then you make this comment:

3 "In my experience, solicitors did not make formal

4 complaints as the ICPC complaints system was completely

5 ineffective as it relied upon RUC officers to

6 investigate the complaints"?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. What I wanted to ask you about: it looks as though the

9 issue of making complaints about what she described did

10 not come up at this stage in the course of your

11 discussions --

12 A. No, I think that's right. I think I had become

13 convinced by then that the ICPC was a paper tiger who

14 would not really assist lawyers by upholding complaints

15 if they made them. Also, I think -- and this is, I

16 think, always a problem with these kind of statements --

17 this wasn't a seamless narrative for me. This was

18 replies to questions by Mr[name redacted] from Eversheds,

19 which he chose to put into one paragraph, which I possibly

20 would have put into two separate paragraphs had I been

21 writing it myself.

22 Q. Moving on, can we look, please, at RNI-115-101

23 (displayed), because I think it is right that your next

24 contact with Rosemary Nelson was at the beginning of the

25 following year, 1997, when she wrote to you, as I

 

 

46


1 understand it, rather out of the blue; is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And we see the letter on the screen now. It is opaque

4 in the sense that it doesn't explain, does it, why she

5 wanted you to contact her. Did she supplement it with

6 a telephone call?

7 A. I am pretty certain that I telephoned her to say that I

8 would try and come over as soon as I could or I may have

9 written to her to that effect, I can't honestly

10 remember. But I think I had heard reports from CAJ that

11 she had been coming in for quite a lot of abuse. I

12 think it was from CAJ; certainly one of the other NGOs.

13 So I kind of read between the lines of this letter and

14 felt that that was probably what she wanted to talk to

15 me about.

16 Q. So you think you may have received some information

17 about her, what, before this letter arrived?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Yes. But you made an arrangement, as I understand it,

20 to visit some time in February, but you heard from her

21 before that, I think, didn't you, when she rang you on

22 the 18th of that month?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. As I understand it -- this is paragraph 25 -- you were

25 due to go on the 26th, and rather over a week before

 

 

47


1 that you got a telephone call from her?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. And what you say in your statement -- this is

4 RNI-824-025 (displayed) -- is that she -- this is in the

5 bracket -- "couldn't wait until my visit". What do you

6 mean by that, please?

7 A. Well, as -- I use the word "indicating" and that is what

8 it indicated to me: that she needed to talk to me more

9 urgently than waiting until 26th February.

10 Q. As I understand it, the thrust of the conversation

11 between you on this occasion was about the recent

12 experiences of her clients in Gough Barracks?

13 A. That's right.

14 Q. So far as this conversation is concerned, if you look,

15 please, at page 102 of the same file, RNI-115-102

16 (displayed), we see your attendance note.

17 Again, can I just ask you, so we are clear about

18 this: is this a summary; is it a full note?

19 A. It is a summary. Whenever I was telephoned, I would try

20 to take notes, but it is difficult whilst interacting

21 with somebody, especially when they are rather upset, as

22 she was, to get down what they say verbatim. So -- I

23 knew that I would be seeing her in a short time anyway

24 and be hearing more from her, so I think this is just

25 a summary of what she said over the phone.

 

 

48


1 Q. So she was upset when she rang you?

2 A. She was.

3 Q. And you could tell that from her voice?

4 A. Yes, and in particular she mentioned the fact that there

5 was a degree of sexual innuendo in the comments that

6 were being made to her clients, and she really found

7 those very personally upsetting because they were so

8 wide of the mark and so demeaning of her as

9 a professional.

10 Q. Earlier you described her mood when you first talked to

11 her about this sort of problem in October as being

12 surprised and annoyed. Was there anger in her voice?

13 A. Not really anger. Again, it was, I think, incredulity.

14 She just couldn't understand why this was happening.

15 She couldn't think what she had done to provoke these

16 kind of remarks. She was just going about doing

17 her job.

18 Q. So again, her reaction, at least part of her reaction,

19 was of surprise?

20 A. I think she was less surprised by that then, but still

21 finding it hard to come to terms with, I think.

22 Q. Do you think it is possible that in the conversation she

23 gave you further details about the clients and what had

24 happened than is recorded in the note?

25 A. No, I don't think so. I think I impressed upon her the

 

 

49


1 need to get statements from clients, and eventually she

2 did although it took some time.

3 Q. We will come to it that in a minute. In the first

4 paragraph, you say that she had had six clients in

5 Gough Barracks last week, and then at the end, in the

6 third paragraph, you say:

7 "Some dozen clients have reported such remarks to

8 her recently."

9 Again, doing the best you can, does it mean that the

10 overall total was 12, of which these six had been at

11 Gough Barracks the previous week? Is that the point?

12 A. That is my understanding, yes. As we know, she wrote to

13 me asking me to come over, so I think she had had one or

14 two or even more clients, but they then got this kind of

15 rush of clients who were all in custody at the same time

16 following a very intensive search of a single estate.

17 So she was really, really busy and going to and forth

18 from Gough Barracks, and then every client she spoke to

19 was reporting this abuse to her.

20 So I think that is why she phoned me up and didn't

21 wait until I came to see her, because it felt like an

22 avalanche to her.

23 Q. That was the reason she telephoned you?

24 A. I believe so.

25 Q. Yes. In relation to the clients, did you ever see

 

 

50


1 statements from the clients referred to here, those who

2 had been detained at Gough Barracks in mid-February?

3 A. I believe some of the statements I saw did refer back to

4 this time. I can't, without looking them up, be sure

5 but I do know that she certainly didn't get statements

6 very promptly from them.

7 Q. Can you remember how many clients of this kind provided

8 statements?

9 A. I believe I saw about half a dozen altogether. Again, I

10 would need to really sit down and count them, but I can

11 remember she sent me three in a bundle together and

12 I know she sent me other individual ones at least on

13 another three occasions, possibly more.

14 Q. Were you aware that Paul Mageean of CAJ had taken

15 statements from some of these clients?

16 A. Yes. Well, I am not sure whether he took statements

17 from these clients who had been in Gough Barracks.

18 I know he took statements in relation to the

19 Garvaghy Road. I'm afraid I can't distinguish in my

20 memory and I am sure he would have told you himself.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 A. By the way, we usually call it C-A-J rather than CAJ for

23 the obvious reasons.

24 Q. That, I am sure, is my fault.

25 A. I made that mistake myself originally.

 

 

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1 Q. Yes. Can we look, please, at the letter you wrote this

2 same day, after the telephone conversation. It is at

3 RNI-115-103 (displayed).

4 Would it be fair to characterise this as a letter

5 setting out both advice to her and a range of options

6 for her?

7 A. Yes, I felt I couldn't really wait for the visit.

8 I needed to respond quickly to her telephone call.

9 Q. In the final paragraph of the first page, which begins

10 with the word "thirdly", you say that:

11 "On previous occasions [you] had attempted to assess

12 the gravity of the actual risk that such threats pose to

13 lawyers."

14 So had you done that in other cases; in other words,

15 about specific individual lawyers?

16 A. Both about individuals and about lawyers in general.

17 One had to try and relate what was being said to them to

18 what was actually happening on the ground, as it were,

19 and try to come, as best one could, to some assessment

20 as to how real the risk was.

21 Q. And how did you go about that?

22 A. Well, partly by talking to the lawyers themselves and

23 asking them how they viewed it, and many lawyers felt

24 that although the murder of Patrick Finucane had been

25 deeply shocking, the fact that no other lawyer had been

 

 

52


1 attacked or murdered in the interim was a good sign that

2 even though progress was very halting, the peace process

3 was beginning to take hold. And I think most lawyers

4 inevitably were more concerned about their clients than

5 they were about themselves and felt that many of these

6 remarks were aimed at the clients to make them feel

7 isolated, to make them feel that nobody, not even their

8 lawyer, could help them, to encourage people to make

9 confessions in the absence of their lawyers, because

10 lawyers of course tend to tell their clients not to say

11 anything.

12 So this was really part and parcel of, as it were, a

13 rather extreme form of interrogation technique, rather

14 than an imminent threat that somebody would be round at

15 the door with a gun. But that is not to say that

16 lawyers didn't feel threatened, especially those to whom

17 it was happening on a daily basis. And many lawyers did

18 take measures for their own protection, tried to do

19 whatever they could to vary their daily routine, and

20 so on, because one could not legislate for a dissident,

21 armed paramilitary, who might take it into their head to

22 attack somebody.

23 So while nobody could ever write it off completely,

24 we had to try and reach some kind of objective

25 assessment as to how serious the risk of a real attack

 

 

53


1 was, and as you can see there, I was saying that

2 I thought so long as the Loyalist ceasefire held, I

3 didn't really think that lawyers were at great risk, and

4 I thought that Rosemary Nelson was more of an irritant

5 to the RUC officers she was dealing with than to the

6 Loyalists themselves.

7 Q. So as I understand it, you were relating what you

8 described as the increase in remarks to the increase of

9 her attendance at this particular holding centre; is

10 that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And, therefore, characterising the comments as part of

13 the interrogation technique, rather than as, in truth,

14 suggesting that the threats would be carried out?

15 A. Yes, and I was trying to reassure her that, as far as I

16 could tell, that seemed to be the situation.

17 Tragically, I was completely wrong.

18 Q. So I am clear about this, in this paragraph beginning

19 "thirdly", as I understand it, you are doing two things:

20 first, to give an honest and objective assessment, but

21 also to reassure?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. Can I ask you about the word "threats" that you use in

24 this paragraph and in the preceding paragraph?

25 In the preceding paragraph you say that this is part

 

 

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1 of a more general phenomenon, and in particular you say

2 that:

3 "... every single defence lawyer I have ever spoken

4 who has had clients in any of the holding centres has

5 come in for this sort of abuse and threats."

6 What she told you, as reported in your note of the

7 same day, is that the threat had been to have her shot?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Is it right, therefore, that at this

10 point, February 1997, every single defence lawyer you

11 had ever spoken to had experienced such a threat?

12 A. Not every single lawyer. Every single lawyer who did

13 a lot of work in the Diplock courts had at some point or

14 other had their life threatened, but those who would

15 only occasionally do the work would be more likely to

16 come in for the "he is only here for the Legal Aid, he

17 can't really help you" kind of level of abuse.

18 Q. You remember we looked together at the December 1996

19 report you did for the Rapporteur, which said that one

20 piece of good news, as it were, was that there hadn't

21 been any death threats to report in the preceding year.

22 So can I infer from that that these examples you

23 have now talked about of death threats must have

24 occurred before the previous report?

25 A. I'm sorry, could you just remind me of the date of this

 

 

55


1 letter?

2 Q. I am sorry, yes. It is on the full page. If we could

3 go back to that, please. It is 18th February 1997 --

4 A. I would think, yes, it is not long after I wrote the

5 report. Yes, I think that's probably right.

6 Q. Right.

7 A. And indeed, I think that is one of the reasons that

8 I felt I should put pen to paper straight away, because

9 having just told the Special Rapporteur that death

10 threats were looking like a thing of the past, in

11 Rosemary's case they weren't.

12 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you next, that presumably

13 that must have made this a particularly worrying

14 telephone call and particularly concerning conversation

15 with Rosemary Nelson?

16 A. It did, yes.

17 Q. Because in fact, based on your assessment of patterns,

18 if I can put it that way, this was contrary to the

19 pattern that you had observed in December, the end of

20 the previous year?

21 A. Yes. I mean, it was hard to tell whether it was just

22 a blip or whether it was really significant. I was

23 hoping it was just a blip.

24 Q. Turning to the options part of the letter, you set out

25 on the next page, RNI-115-104 (displayed), three

 

 

56


1 options, don't you?

2 Can I ask you first: was it already clear to you

3 when you wrote this letter that for Rosemary Nelson

4 there was only one option; namely, the third option?

5 A. No. No, in many ways I felt that because she was so

6 vulnerable being a female practitioner in a very

7 dangerous area, I was hoping that she would go for

8 option 1 and just stop doing these kind of high profile

9 cases. And I didn't know, because we hadn't really

10 talked about it in any depth, which option she would

11 choose, although with the benefit of hindsight, I can

12 see that Rosemary never took anything lying down and

13 probably it was a foregone conclusion that she would

14 fight it, but I don't think I knew that at the time.

15 Q. The reason I ask you is simply because option 3 is

16 developed in so much more detail than the other two

17 options. You are sure, are you, that you hadn't

18 discussed this question before you put pen to paper?

19 A. I am pretty certain that we hadn't discussed it in any

20 kind of detail and, I mean, the first two options were

21 the simplest. If you are just not going to do the work,

22 then you are not going to do the work and that is the

23 end of the story. If you are going to carry on but

24 ignore it, which many lawyers did do, again, that is a

25 relatively simple thing to do, although not an easy

 

 

57


1 thing to do. But if you are going to take a high

2 profile and try and fight it in that way, then there is

3 more to it.

4 So I felt I needed to understand and, as you can

5 see, I did say if you decide to fight -- and I am not

6 assuming that you will. So I wasn't trying to encourage

7 her down that road, but I felt that if she did take that

8 road, she needed to know what was involved in it.

9 Q. But presumably it was in relation to this third option

10 that you and the other NGOs would have had a role?

11 A. I think we would have had a role in any event, if she

12 had chosen any of the options. We were aware of some

13 lawyers who had been so intimidated that they had given

14 up the work, and that would be part of the picture as

15 far as we were concerned. And had she chosen that

16 option, that would have been something we would a noted.

17 We would have said to the Special Rapporteur, for

18 example, we know of an another lawyer who has given up

19 that kind of business because of threats.

20 If she had chosen to just carry on with her job,

21 again, she would have slotted into that category, as it

22 were, rather than dropping out of the picture. It is

23 true we would have had a bigger role if she had decided

24 to log every complaint and make a fuss about it, because

25 we would have been trying to support her.

 

 

58


1 Q. You would have had a bigger role and, indeed,

2 a continuing role?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And that is, as we know, in fact what happened,

5 wasn't it?

6 A. It was, yes.

7 Q. Looking at the various aspects of option 3, the first

8 was in a sense a repeat of what you had already asked

9 her to do in October, wasn't it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And essentially, it was, wasn't it, to make sure that

12 she recorded incidents as they occurred?

13 A. That's right.

14 Q. I want to ask you about the second, which is at the top

15 of the next page, RNI-115-105 (displayed), and that is

16 (b):

17 "Make a formal complaint."

18 As I understand it, at this stage, the stage you

19 wrote the letter, you yourself had concluded that the

20 complaints process, the ICPC itself, was, as you put it

21 earlier, a paper tiger?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And you had already said in your statement that your

24 experience was that solicitors did not make complaints

25 in general?

 

 

59


1 A. Certainly not to the ICPC, but as you can see here, I

2 was recommending that she complained to the RUC

3 directly; in other words, to make it clear to them that

4 if their officers did abuse her, then they were going to

5 hear about it.

6 Q. Just so I am clear about this then, this is

7 a recommendation, is it, to register the complaint with

8 the police?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. But not to pursue a complaint through the formal

11 structure?

12 A. No, I didn't think there was any point and I don't think

13 Rosemary would have thought there was any point.

14 Q. And so the point of this, presumably, was in the

15 registering of the complaint itself?

16 A. Well, it was -- there was slightly more to it than that.

17 If she complained to the ICPC, her client would have

18 been asked to make a statement. Had there been any

19 legal proceedings, that statement would have been made

20 available to the prosecution and might have been used

21 against the client.

22 So there were -- there was a downside to

23 complaining: When she was essentially complaining about

24 what had happened to her, she would have to involve her

25 client in order to complain to the ICPC. By complaining

 

 

60


1 directly to the RUC about what had happened to her, she

2 didn't have to bring her client into it. She was simply

3 complaining to them that one of their officers had acted

4 unprofessionally in relation to her. So it was rather

5 a different kind of complaint.

6 Q. Although you do address, don't you, in the second line,

7 the question of confidentiality and the client's

8 permission?

9 A. Yes, well, obviously -- if she was talking about this

10 specific incident on a specific date, even if she didn't

11 mention her client's name, the police would be able to

12 identify her client. So that was obviously something

13 that she needed to take into account.

14 Q. So you were not then advising her -- so I am clear about

15 this -- to make complaint through the ICPC process?

16 A. No.

17 Q. We know, in fact, that a number of such complaints were

18 made. When you first heard about that, were you

19 surprised to hear that Rosemary Nelson had initiated

20 such complaints?

21 A. Well, it is my understanding that the very first

22 complaints that were made were not initiated by

23 Rosemary Nelson, but by the Lawyers Alliance for Justice

24 in Northern Ireland, I believe --

25 Q. In Ireland, yes.

 

 

61


1 A. In Ireland, an American group of lawyers, who I think

2 they felt very strongly that here is this mechanism and

3 it is not being used and they obtained Rosemary's

4 permission to do it on her behalf.

5 I have to say that those of us who knew Rosemary

6 knew that no was not a word that was really in her

7 vocabulary, especially if somebody was offering to help

8 her. And I am pretty certain that that complaint was

9 actually addressed to entirely the wrong person in the

10 first place, and I didn't really regard it as

11 a complaint from Rosemary herself but a complaint made

12 on her behalf.

13 I believe that she did later make complaints to the

14 ICPC and I think I am right in saying that was after

15 D Param Cumaraswamy from the UN had visited and had

16 criticised clients for not using the mechanism

17 available, because it meant there was no official

18 record. And she took that advice to heart and she did

19 then begin to register some complaints with the ICPC,

20 even though she had no real expectation and, as indeed

21 we saw after her death, nothing much did come of those

22 complaints.

23 Q. But certainly at this stage then in February 1997, had

24 she come to you with specific cases, you would not have

25 advised her yourself to register those as ICPC

 

 

62


1 complaints?

2 A. No, it wasn't until D Param Cumaraswamy issued that

3 advice that we changed our advice to lawyers, because

4 before that it felt like a waste of time.

5 Q. Essentially, as I remember it, what he was saying was,

6 well, there is a system and if you want to register what

7 is going on, about which he heard evidence on his visit,

8 you must use the system?

9 A. Indeed.

10 Q. Yes. You then set out various other parts of the option

11 or the strategy and, as I understand it, the main

12 theme -- correct me if this is wrong -- is to ensure

13 first that matters are fully recorded in writing, that

14 a full record is kept of incidents, complaints and

15 responses; is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And that on each occasion that something of this kind,

18 some objectionable behaviour takes place, as it were,

19 the full range of possible responses and remedies should

20 be considered?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Including taking legal action at (g) and sending copies

23 of material, (h) and (i), to the Law Society and to

24 Sir Louis Blom-Cooper?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

63


1 Q. It looks from the sentence at the bottom of that

2 paragraph as though that was something rather like the

3 complaints route in which you yourself had very little

4 faith in terms of likely outcome; is that fair?

5 A. Yes, that would be fair. I believe that around this

6 time Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, who was the independent

7 commissioner for the holding centres, which is places

8 like Gough Barracks where Rosemary's clients would have

9 been held, had come up with a proposal for an, as it

10 were, in-house solicitor scheme, which was very, very

11 much deprecated by the legal profession. And I think

12 that is why I made the comments that I did about him.

13 In relation to the Law Society, sadly at this point

14 in time they were not really taking very much interest

15 in what was happening to some of their members who were

16 being abused in this way. We had sent them our reports

17 every year since 1992 and got nothing but a formal

18 acknowledgment from them. We never got any sense that

19 any action was being taken to try to halt this kind of

20 behaviour.

21 Q. So can I ask then: if that was your expectation, why did

22 you suggest to Rosemary Nelson that she should lodge

23 material in this way?

24 A. Because I hoped that if she, and indeed other lawyers,

25 did this kind of thing, then her own professional body

 

 

64


1 and the independent commissioner for the holding centres

2 would begin to get a picture of what was really

3 happening to solicitors when they were acting for

4 clients in the holding centres.

5 Q. And was that the lesson that they needed to be taught?

6 A. Yes, that is what I felt -- despite us sending our

7 reports to them, perhaps if they heard from their own

8 members, in the case of the Law Society, and perhaps if

9 Sir Louis heard directly from solicitors, they would

10 perhaps take our reports a little more seriously.

11 But this would all be in the context of whether

12 Rosemary decided, as it were, to take the high road

13 or not.

14 Q. I think that having sent this full letter of advice, you

15 then went through this full letter of options with her

16 on your visit at the end of the month?

17 A. That's right.

18 Q. You describe that in a substantial section of your

19 statement beginning on paragraph 26 at RNI-824-026

20 (displayed). And I think that your discussion took

21 place over lunch with Rosemary Nelson?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. Just the two of you, presumably?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. And as I understand it, you worked your way

 

 

65


1 through the various alternatives and, at this stage,

2 considered each and every one of the three options that

3 you had set out?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. What was her reaction to option 1, ie give up the work?

6 A. She was very resistant to that idea. She had -- I am

7 not quite sure how many years by then she had been

8 working in her practice, but it was quite -- a good few

9 years and she had a number of clients whom she felt were

10 very dependent on her.

11 She believed that if she gave up that work, there

12 wouldn't be another lawyer in the area who would take

13 the work on and that she would be letting them down.

14 And I believe that she felt particularly strongly about

15 the Robert Hamill case.

16 Q. Was that a case that she already had on her books at

17 this stage?

18 A. I am pretty sure it was. I am trying to remember --

19 sorry, we are talking about --

20 Q. February 1997.

21 A. No, perhaps he wasn't. I am perhaps confusing that with

22 another conversation I had with her. But she certainly

23 felt that she had a number of clients who would have

24 nowhere else to go if she stopped doing contentious

25 cases.

 

 

66


1 Q. And then the second option -- which, if you remember,

2 was keep doing the work, but effectively shrug your

3 shoulders, say nothing and get on with it -- what was

4 her reaction to that in discussion?

5 A. She was more receptive to that. To the best of my

6 recollection, you know, she said to me, "Are there

7 lawyers who can manage to do that?" and I said, "Yes,

8 I have met many who seem to be able to just ignore it,

9 put it on the back boiler and get on with their work,"

10 and I got the sense that she was taking that as a more

11 serious option than simply giving up the work.

12 Q. Did you understand from her in your discussion that she

13 had taken your advice to discuss these questions with

14 other lawyers before you met?

15 A. I can't remember any discussion about that.

16 Q. That was advice you gave, if you remember, at the end of

17 your letter of the 18th?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. But it wasn't clear to you at this stage whether she had

20 followed it?

21 A. No, I don't believe that I pursued it with her and there

22 wasn't actually much time for her to have done that.

23 Q. No. So far as the third option is concerned, did it

24 emerge during your discussion that that would be the one

25 she would go for?

 

 

67


1 A. That was my sense. She homed in on that more seriously

2 than on either of the other two options.

3 She had a very, very strong sense of justice and

4 injustice, which I think is probably what prompted her

5 to go into the law in the first place, and she felt that

6 what was happening was wrong. The fact that it was

7 happening to other lawyers didn't make it any better as

8 far as she was concerned and, you know, I had outlined

9 to her ways in which she could perhaps try to defend

10 herself from these kind of comments and I think she was

11 naturally attracted to that, because, you know, she was

12 at heart somebody who -- as I said before -- didn't take

13 things lying down.

14 She was the sort of person who thought for every

15 problem there is a solution, and she was more attracted

16 by trying to do something about it than by simply

17 ignoring it or giving up the work.

18 Q. So, again, you were not surprised, based on your

19 assessment of her character, that she decided to carry

20 on and report what was happening to her?

21 A. No. When I thought back to the way in which she had

22 conducted, for example, the Colin Duffy appeal, the way

23 she felt about the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition and

24 so on, I could see a pattern there that, confronted with

25 an issue, Rosemary was more likely to take it on than to

 

 

68


1 just ignore it.

2 Q. So is it fair to suggest then that the majority of the

3 discussion then proceeded to how this would work in

4 practice?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you discussed, didn't you, questions about her own

7 security and safety?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Both at home and in the office?

10 A. In the office, yes. She was actually very concerned not

11 just about her family but also about her staff. You

12 know, she hated the fact this was happening to her, but

13 she didn't want it to affect anybody else if she could

14 possibly help it.

15 Q. Do you think that was the reason that she chose, for

16 example, to speak to you round the corner rather than in

17 the office?

18 A. I do. It was very clear to me that she didn't feel

19 comfortable talking in the office where somebody might

20 overhear or come in during the conversation, and

21 although where we went to have lunch was a very public

22 place, in some ways that can be a very private place to

23 have a discussion, because there is a hubbub around you.

24 Q. In relation to her home, first of all, what was your

25 impression about the level of security there

 

 

69


1 in February 1997?

2 A. Unfortunately, I don't think there was any security.

3 And I did talk to Rosemary about the fact that she could

4 apply for security measures to be provided by the Key

5 Persons Protection Scheme, but the downside of that for

6 her was that, at the time, RUC officers would be the

7 people who would come round and measure up her house,

8 and since they were the people who were uttering abuse

9 against her, she didn't feel inclined to allow that to

10 happen.

11 She also was being, I think, very realistic as

12 a mother: saying that she could put dead locks on the

13 front door but whether her children would actually

14 bother to use them or not, unless she made a huge issue

15 out of it, she didn't think they would.

16 And she didn't want to make a huge issue out of what

17 was happening to her. In fact, like many, many lawyers

18 I spoke to, she very much wanted to keep her family out

19 of all of this if she possibly could, and I think also

20 as an intelligent person she realised that she could be

21 attacked anywhere, you know. It was, I think -- as

22 I say, Patrick Finucane was the only other lawyer that

23 we knew of who had been murdered and it happened that he

24 was murdered at home, but he could just as easily have

25 been killed in the office, outside the court, in the

 

 

70


1 street or whatever. And I think, like other lawyers

2 that I spoke to, Rosemary felt she had to balance the

3 risk against what it would do to her home life to make

4 the place into a fortress when, in fact, that might not

5 be a protection in any case.

6 Q. Was it already clear to you in this conversation that

7 for her the balance would tend to come down in favour of

8 family and home life?

9 A. Yes. I mean, she said -- you know, she was quite

10 amusing really about particularly her children and how

11 difficult it would be to get them to adopt any kind of

12 secure regime unless, as she put it, she put the fear of

13 God into them and she really didn't want to do that.

14 Q. As far as you are aware, did that attitude ever change?

15 A. Not that I am aware of.

16 Q. Going back to the beginning of the answer you gave, I

17 think you said that in this first conversation -- the

18 first after you sent your letter, I mean -- you

19 discussed ways of obtaining security?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did you specifically discuss the Key Persons Protection

22 Scheme?

23 A. I think I did. You know, it seemed to me that given

24 that she had come so late upon the scene and had -- upon

25 the scene of working in the Diplock courts and had come

 

 

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1 in for such a lot of abuse, including a death threat,

2 that she probably would qualify for some official form

3 of protection. But I could understand why she didn't

4 want the RUC to be the people who would come round and

5 measure her house. And indeed, after she was murdered,

6 the scheme was changed so that a professional security

7 firm was used instead.

8 Q. Was she herself aware of the scheme at this stage, when

9 you spoke about it in February 1997?

10 A. I think she would have been. I think it was pretty much

11 general knowledge that it existed.

12 Q. Was she aware at this stage, in February 1997, of how

13 the scheme operated?

14 A. Well, she certainly was aware that it was RUC officers

15 who would come and measure her house and assess her

16 house, as it were, for security risks.

17 Q. Did you discuss with her, for example, the fact that the

18 scheme required an application?

19 A. I don't think we got to that point because I don't think

20 she was inclined to apply.

21 Q. Well, you say in your statement -- and it is

22 paragraph 29 -- that, to summarise, she had, as it were,

23 considered and dismissed this particular route in terms

24 of security for the reasons that you have given?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

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1 Q. Again, that is something that you discussed in the diner

2 in February 1997?

3 A. Oh, yes. I mean, we certainly discussed security

4 precautions.

5 I remember we also discussed the possibility that

6 she might acquire a personal protection weapon, and she

7 reacted with horror to the idea. She said she couldn't

8 imagine herself ever using a gun. She hated guns and

9 the thought of having a gun lying around the house with

10 three children around terrified her, that there might be

11 an accident or something like that. So that was

12 something that she was definitely not inclined to

13 pursue.

14 Q. So to summarise, if I may, in terms of the scheme and

15 what was required in terms of the RUC assessment, she

16 was firmly against that in the conversation?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is that right? And the same applies to the option or

19 the possibility you discussed of acquiring a personal

20 protection weapon?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You have mentioned talking about other types of security

23 at home and office. Did you discuss, for instance,

24 other types of security precaution?

25 A. I think we did talk about things that she could do

 

 

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1 herself rather than going to the Key Persons Protection

2 Scheme, such as having the kind of security lights that

3 come on at your front door if somebody comes to your

4 door, you know, triggered by the presence of a person,

5 and that kind of thing. But, again, I didn't feel that

6 Rosemary felt (a) that they would offer her any very

7 great protection in and of themselves because her home

8 might not be a target, and also that it would alarm her

9 family possibly unduly.

10 I think one has to bear in mind in the whole of this

11 conversation, and indeed subsequent conversations, I

12 don't think that Rosemary ever seriously thought that

13 she was going to be killed and I don't think anybody

14 else did either. We felt that this was rather the kind

15 of last thrashing of the dinosaur's tail and more an

16 attempt to discourage her from taking to high profile

17 cases, and I think that was the spirit in which she

18 approached this.

19 And it was a bit like a red rag to a bull to say to

20 Rosemary, "We are going to frighten you out of doing

21 these cases." She was the kind of woman who would say,

22 "Oh, no, you're not", but she wouldn't have said that if

23 she seriously thought that she was about to be murdered.

24 And the conversation didn't really take place in

25 that kind after context. It was much more of how to

 

 

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1 combat this problem and it was my duty to raise as many

2 options with her as I could think of that might be of

3 some protection or help to her, but it wasn't in the

4 context of, "You are about to be murdered, you need to

5 lock yourself up in your house."

6 Q. Because you didn't believe that that was likely?

7 A. I thought it very unlikely. I said to Rosemary, "You

8 can't ever legislate against the individual with

9 a grudge or even with a mental health problem," you can

10 never ever completely rule that out.

11 But in my overall assessment of what was going on,

12 given that it was getting on for ten years since

13 Patrick Finucane had been murdered, given that there had

14 been no violence to any other lawyer in the meantime and

15 that the peace process seemed to be moving forward,

16 which was something, incidentally, that Rosemary herself

17 very much supported, hopefully it didn't seem very

18 likely. And it seemed much more likely that there was

19 certain people, certain police officers, in particular,

20 who didn't want her to ably defend some of the clients

21 that she was defending.

22 Q. In terms of her own assessment of the situation, as far

23 as you could make it out, in February, was it also that

24 she was taking a decision without thinking that her life

25 was seriously under threat?

 

 

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1 A. It is very difficult at this elapse of time to separate

2 out necessarily conversations that we had, but I do

3 know -- I do remember on one occasion -- I am not sure

4 if it was the same occasion in the diner, but I do

5 remember Rosemary saying to me one day, "They wouldn't,

6 would they?" And you could see that a ghost had walked

7 over her grave at that moment and she was having a --

8 you know, a sudden sense, perhaps there is some reality

9 to this.

10 But generally speaking, that wasn't the context in

11 which we had discussions and I seriously didn't feel

12 that she felt that any real risk to her life was

13 involved. It was much more about her battle to do her

14 job, do it well, do it professionally without

15 interference.

16 Q. Just so I am clear about this, with the exception of the

17 conversation you have just mentioned, did that continue

18 to be the position throughout the rest of your

19 conversations with her?

20 A. Yes, it did.

21 Q. Yes. Can you give us any more help about when the

22 particular conversation you have just mentioned may have

23 taken place?

24 A. Do you know, I'm sorry, I really -- I can remember the

25 conversation. I am pretty sure it wasn't in the diner,

 

 

76


1 because I think we were outdoors at the time. But where

2 we were or when it was, I'm afraid I find it very hard

3 to remember now.

4 Q. As I understand it, at the end of this conversation,

5 although she didn't, as it were, make a formal

6 announcement, it was clear to you that she would be

7 going for option 3?

8 A. Well, it wasn't entirely clear. My sense was that that

9 would be her choice, but I can never recall her actually

10 saying to me, "I have thought about these three options

11 and may have made this decision." And I could more

12 judge from her actions that she had at least partially

13 gone down the high profile road, but how conscious that

14 decision was on Rosemary's part, I don't know. It was

15 never really articulated to me by her in any very clear

16 way.

17 I got the feeling she was going to go away and mull

18 these things over and, in a sense, time would tell which

19 way she would jump.

20 Q. But did you get the impression in the conversation that,

21 to her, raising her profile was in itself getting some

22 sort of protection?

23 A. Yes, I think she felt -- you know, she had looked at

24 other lawyers, particularly in England. I seem to

25 remember that we discussed [name redacted], a very

 

 

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1 well-known defence lawyer in England who takes on very

2 unpopular and high profile cases, and I think she felt

3 that so long as she said nothing about what was

4 happening and so long as nobody knew about what was

5 happening to her, it had more power than if she was

6 making complaints about it, being open about it and

7 saying how much she deprecated it; that that in itself

8 did give her an element of protection.

9 Q. As far as you were aware from this moment on, for the

10 next two years, just more than that, of her life, this

11 turned out to be the option that she pursued?

12 A. Yes, although not in every regard that I had suggested.

13 I think she went about halfway down the road that

14 I suggested.

15 Q. And even in relation to the things that she did adopt of

16 your plan, she followed some of them intermittently; is

17 that fair?

18 A. Indeed. I should also say it wasn't my plan. These

19 were options I was laying out. It was for her to

20 decide, not me.

21 Q. So she took one of your options and gave it her own

22 treatment, if I can put it that way?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And as I understand it, in terms of the reporting, which

25 was an important element of option 3, it came

 

 

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1 sporadically?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Sometimes to one of the NGOs, sometimes to all at once,

4 sometimes not at all?

5 A. Indeed.

6 Q. And sometimes you were the people who were chasing her

7 for information, rather than the other way round?

8 A. Not so much for information but for confirmation,

9 because, you know, it was always our policy to try to

10 get corroboration on anything that we were told rather

11 than just simply take anyone's word for it. Not that we

12 disbelieved Rosemary, but in terms of persuading the

13 United Nations that here is a woman who was being abused

14 on a regular basis, then having some documentary

15 evidence to back that up was more powerful than just

16 having her word for it.

17 So we would chase her for the confirmation but not

18 for the information. She would tend to phone me or one

19 of my colleagues at one of the other NGOs, or indeed

20 just talk to a friend about it, as we discovered after

21 she died.

22 Q. So the problem then was with the paper?

23 A. Yes, it was always with the paper.

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

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. We will break off until

 

 

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1 2 o'clock.

2 (1.00 pm)

3 (The short adjournment)

4 (2.00 pm)

5 MR PHILLIPS: Ms Winter, we were talking about your letter

6 of 18th February 1997. I wanted to ask you this: were

7 you aware, do you think, at that stage that the Special

8 Rapporteur was considering paying visit to the

9 United Kingdom?

10 A. Sorry, the letter was February?

11 Q. The 18th, 1997.

12 A. 1997. I don't think so, because -- I am just trying to

13 think about this. I don't believe that he had given his

14 report to the UN at that stage or reached a conclusion,

15 and we certainly didn't have any prior notice.

16 I wouldn't have expected to.

17 Q. Was a visit from the Rapporteur, Mr Cumaraswamy, at this

18 time something that you had hoped would happen in

19 preceding years?

20 A. I am not sure that in preceding years we thought it was

21 much of a possibility, but in April of 1997 Paul Mageean

22 from CAJ and myself went to the United Nations and I

23 think by then we were beginning to hope, because

24 Mr Cumaraswamy was relatively new post-holder -- and he

25 appeared to be very proactive, unlike some other special

 

 

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1 rapporteurs at the UN. And we, I think, if I remember

2 correctly, certainly tried to plant the idea in his mind

3 that he might come, but we realised that it would be

4 a matter for him to decide and he was covering the whole

5 world. So we had no idea where we came in his spectrum

6 of priorities.

7 Q. When it became clear later that year that he was to pay

8 a visit to the United Kingdom, you regarded that as

9 a very good thing, didn't you?

10 A. We did. We hoped it was the beginning of the end of

11 this particular problem.

12 Q. You describe it in your statement at paragraph 48 as

13 a major triumph?

14 A. That is perhaps putting it a little too high but we were

15 certainly very pleased.

16 Q. Can you look, please, at RNI-101-106 (displayed). This

17 is a letter from earlier in the year written by you to

18 the Rapporteur, 5th March. Can you look, please, at the

19 first line, second paragraph.

20 A. Yes, he must in fact have mentioned that he was going to

21 seek leave. I don't actually have any recollection of

22 him telling me that, but he must have done else

23 I wouldn't have mentioned it in the letter.

24 Q. No. It looks as though this visit was on the cards by

25 this time, doesn't it, early March 1997?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, it does. But as I say, I can't remember how that

2 was conveyed to me or when I heard. I don't think

3 I knew about this when I was meeting Rosemary

4 in February, because I am sure I would have mentioned it

5 to her, put something about it in my letter.

6 Q. It looks as though, from the remainder of the letter,

7 you had decided to draw her case to his attention albeit

8 without naming her in this letter. That's right, isn't

9 it?

10 A. It is, because this had obviously arisen since I sent in

11 my report in December 1996, and I did feel it was

12 serious.

13 Q. You refer in that third paragraph to very serious death

14 threats. Is it possible for you to explain to us now

15 what the very serious death threats were that you were

16 mentioning in this letter?

17 A. Well, Rosemary had definitely told me that whilst she

18 had that batch of clients in Gough Barracks at least one

19 of them had told her that there had been a threat to

20 shoot her. I was just trying to remember at what point

21 I saw the threatening letter, but that was later,

22 I believe.

23 Q. If we go back to RNI-105-102 (displayed), which was the

24 original attendance note of the conversations, you say

25 there:

 

 

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1 "Recently, these had included threats to get her

2 shot."

3 A. Yes, and obviously put that in the plural. I think that

4 must be what she had said to me.

5 Q. What I wanted to ask you, going back to RNI-105-106

6 (displayed), is whether at this stage you can recall

7 what you meant by "very serious death threats"?

8 A. I am sure I meant those threats to have her shot.

9 Q. Did you have any other information of a similar kind at

10 this stage, do you think?

11 A. In relation to Rosemary Nelson?

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. No.

14 Q. No. And you go on to say that you had been to see her

15 to offer your advice and support, and then you refer to

16 another batch of instructions.

17 Was this from the same firm that you have mentioned

18 earlier in your evidence, the regular provider of

19 information?

20 A. I imagine it was. I can't honestly remember but I would

21 be surprised if it wasn't.

22 Q. The response to this letter was immediate, wasn't it?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. He wrote to you the next day and asked for more details?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

83


1 Q. And we can see that at RNI-115-108 (displayed). And

2 focused on the very serious death threats, picking up

3 the phrase that you had used?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You then responded again, I think, immediately, on the

6 same day certainly, 6th March 1997, and that is at

7 RNI-115-109 (displayed). Again, in the second sentence

8 you refer to death threats, and you say:

9 "RUC detectives there have made death threats

10 against her that have become increasingly more violent."

11 I would like to ask you the same question, please:

12 what was the basis for that description of the death

13 threats?

14 A. I think perhaps I should have said more specific rather

15 than more violent. I think I was thinking about -- you

16 know, rather than just saying she will be done away with

17 or anything, there was a specific threat to shoot her,

18 which was a very direct threat.

19 Q. You see, this rather suggests that there had been death

20 threats and then, as it were, worse death threats, if

21 that is possible?

22 A. I can't, as I said this morning, exactly remember when

23 we had the discussion about Billy Wright, but I think

24 this is perhaps something hard to convey at such

25 a distance in time.

 

 

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1 But any abuse was in a sense threatening for any

2 lawyer, not just Rosemary Nelson, because it stripped

3 the lawyer of their professional status and made them,

4 as it were, into a target. It kind of took away the

5 protection that normally the criminal justice system

6 affords to solicitors and other professionals within the

7 system, that we have a role to play and -- so, you know,

8 you are just an ordinary person and we can get you too.

9 So whether a threat was specifically about killing

10 somebody or not, any kind of abuse had that threatening

11 aspect to it, that it was ceasing to see the person as

12 somebody, you know, doing their job and playing their

13 proper professional role and seeing them as somebody who

14 was worthy of being targeted, if that makes sense.

15 Q. Indeed, and of course threats come in various forms and

16 at various levels, threats of violence or other forms of

17 intimidation. But the word you use here very

18 specifically is "death threats" and becoming

19 "increasingly more violent".

20 What I am trying get from you is whether there was

21 any further information that you had received by this

22 stage further to the conversation on 18th February which

23 led you to describing the problem in this particular

24 way?

25 A. Well, I mention later in the letter -- and I have to say

 

 

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1 I am relying more on the letter than my memory here --

2 that, as you mentioned, Paul Mageean at CAJ had

3 interviewed some of Rosemary's clients and taken

4 statements. And I had obviously seen them by this point

5 and it may be that I had some of that information in

6 mind as well. But as I say, I can't honestly recall at

7 this elapse of time.

8 Q. How clear is your recollection that you had seen those

9 statements by this stage?

10 A. I am pretty certain I had seen them. I know I had

11 discussed them with Paul Mageean because we were in

12 regular contact about these issues, but I am pretty

13 certain that he had sent copies on to me by that stage.

14 We were coming up, as it were, to the UN meeting, so we

15 were swapping notes on a fairly regular basis.

16 Q. As far as I can tell, there is no record from the files,

17 certainly the files disclosed, that they had reached you

18 by that stage. Do you think it is possible that you had

19 simply discussed the fact that he had taken statements

20 and perhaps the contents of them with him?

21 A. It is possible. To the best of my recollection, he just

22 sent me the statements without a covering letter. You

23 may maybe know more than I do, but I don't recall

24 anything other than the bare statements and I can't be

25 absolutely certain when I saw them.

 

 

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1 Q. The letter certainly doesn't contain any specific

2 reference to their contents, does it?

3 A. No.

4 Q. There is no quotation, there is no summary or precis of

5 what they may have said?

6 A. No, but I would have felt that I was trespassing on

7 CAJ's territory to have done that. That would have been

8 for them to do, and that is why I suggested that

9 Paul Mageean would be able to give Param Cumaraswamy

10 more direct information.

11 Q. Before you wrote to the Rapporteur, had you yourself

12 undertaken any further investigation of the matters that

13 Rosemary Nelson had mentioned to you?

14 A. No, I didn't seek to take statements from clients

15 myself.

16 Q. Do you think that it was Mr Cumaraswamy's letter to you,

17 which had obviously taken a long time to get to you,

18 dated 2nd February, that prompted you to write to him?

19 A. I am sorry, which letter is that?

20 Q. If you look, please, at the 5th March letter that you

21 sent to him, RNI-115-106 (displayed), in the first line

22 you refer to his letter of 2nd February "which arrived

23 today". Do you think it was that letter, its arrival,

24 which prompted you to raise these matters with the

25 Rapporteur?

 

 

87


1 A. I think it may have been the immediate impetus, but I

2 think I would in any case have drawn his attention to

3 Rosemary's case because those facts had arisen since

4 I sent him my report in December and I would have wanted

5 him to be as up-to-date as possible.

6 He probably would have written his report by now,

7 by March, but he also had the opportunity to make

8 a verbal statement at the Commission. So we were trying

9 to make sure that he had the most recent information

10 that we had. So I think I would have got in touch with

11 him anyway, but probably receiving his letter on that

12 day was what prompted me to do it on that day.

13 Q. As I understand it, you got involved in the arrangements

14 for his visit later in the year in cooperation with

15 Paul Mageean and, no doubt, others?

16 A. Yes, I mean, the UN operates on a shoestring, and

17 a special rapporteur who covers the whole world for his

18 remit doesn't have a London office or a Belfast office,

19 or indeed many offices anywhere to work from. He does

20 have an assistant at the UN, but that assistant relies

21 on local people for local knowledge.

22 And D Param Cumaraswamy spent, I think, three days

23 in London at the outset of his visit and then went over

24 to Belfast, and whilst he was in London, he used a room

25 in my office and a phone there as his base, although he

 

 

88


1 didn't conduct very many interviews there. He mainly

2 went off to meetings.

3 He asked me to arrange meetings for him with, for

4 example, the Northern Ireland Office and other people

5 based in London and he also wanted to speak to some

6 lawyers in England who had been the subject of abuse and

7 threats as well, because his mission was to the whole of

8 the UK, not just to Northern Ireland. So I acted as his

9 secretary, as it were, for those -- that part of his

10 trip, and Paul Mageean organised the Belfast end of his

11 trip which was more substantial than the English end.

12 Q. You say in your statement that you spoke to

13 Rosemary Nelson and a number of other lawyers to tell

14 them that he was coming and to persuade them to meet

15 him?

16 A. Indeed, and that was partly because I had had more

17 contact with them than Paul Mageean had had. So it was

18 more appropriate for me to ask them, because up until

19 then, as you know, I had promised them confidentiality,

20 so I couldn't just give their names to Param Cumaraswamy

21 without their consent.

22 Q. So there was the consent issue, as I understand it, and

23 also the fact that you, by this stage, the middle of

24 1997, let us say, had years of experience behind of you

25 talking to practitioners, to lawyers in

 

 

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1 Northern Ireland?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. You say that of the people you spoke to in the course of

4 making these arrangements, Rosemary Nelson was the

5 keenest to see him. Why does that stick in your mind?

6 A. I think it was probably an indication to me that she was

7 intending to take a more high profile route. I think

8 also other lawyers that I had spoken to were very well

9 aware that were we were passing information to the

10 United Nations on a regular basis, but this was pretty

11 new to Rosemary and from her point of view in

12 a relatively short space of time the UN is actually

13 wanting to visit her and wanting to hear what has

14 happened.

15 So I think that she was, you know, more surprised

16 and pleased that he was coming than perhaps most of the

17 other lawyers who kind of felt about time too.

18 Q. It was a bigger deal for her?

19 A. I think so.

20 Q. Yes. And it looks as though, in relation to some other

21 lawyers, I think some other lawyers in Northern Ireland,

22 you had to exercise some persuasion to get them to meet

23 him; is that fair?

24 A. Not an enormous amount, but all of these lawyers were

25 busy, all of them had cases in court. None of them had

 

 

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1 ever had any contact, direct contact, with the UN

2 before, except for perhaps one who had himself gone to

3 the Human Rights Committee with evidence of what was

4 happening mainly to his clients in custody.

5 So most of them -- for most of them, the UN was

6 a very remote body, and I think when you ask any lawyer

7 to take time out of their daily professional life, you

8 have to exercise a certain amount of persuasion to get

9 them to do it.

10 Q. So there was some reluctance?

11 A. Not reluctance, but needing to have explained to them

12 what this was about, why it was important, why it might

13 help.

14 Q. That it was worth it, in fact?

15 A. Yes, exactly.

16 Q. And you were in no doubt yourself that this might be

17 very beneficial to them?

18 A. Well, it had been our experience ever since we started

19 work in 1990 that talking to government was pretty much

20 a waste of time, in that every response that we had in

21 relation to this particular issue, but also in relation

22 to other issues that we tried to raise with them, would

23 say that our allegations were unsubstantiated, which

24 suggests that they weren't believed and weren't taken

25 seriously. And we had learnt very early on in the

 

 

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1 process that international scrutiny was much more likely

2 to provoke a reaction from the Government than any kind

3 of internal scrutiny.

4 So we would work with the American-based NGOs who

5 came to Northern Ireland and made reports. We would

6 work with the Irish Government, and we would work with

7 the Americans and we would work with the UN to try to

8 get some international scrutiny to bear on the issues

9 that were of concern to us. And so we were hopeful.

10 As far as I know, because the UK is not seen as the

11 worst human rights abuser in this world full of human

12 rights abusers, as far as I am aware, it was the first

13 time the UN had sent anybody to the UK. So it was a big

14 deal from that point of view and we were hoping very

15 much that he would make the kind of recommendations

16 which in fact he did make, which were the kind of

17 recommendations we had been asking him to make -- to

18 bring in video and audio recording, to allow solicitors

19 to be present during interviews, and so on -- which we

20 believed would bring an end to this abuse and which,

21 once they were finally implemented, did to a very large

22 extent eradicate the problem.

23 So we were very, very hopeful that that would have

24 that effect.

25 Q. You thought, didn't you, even at this stage, that his

 

 

92


1 visit was going to be the beginning of the end of the

2 problems that you had been working on?

3 A. That was certainly our hope, yes.

4 Q. Do I take it from that particular expression that you

5 acknowledged that some hopeful changes had already taken

6 place?

7 A. There were some green shoots. For a very, very long

8 time solicitors were only allowed to see their clients

9 once in every 48 hours and their clients could be

10 detained under the Prevention of Terrorism for up to

11 seven days. So they might only see them three times

12 during a seven-day detention.

13 In around the mid 90s -- I don't remember exactly

14 when -- there was a relaxation of that and lawyers were

15 allowed to see their clients rather more often, although

16 they were still never allowed to be present during

17 interviews between the police and their clients. I

18 think that silent video recording was introduced in the

19 mid 1990s, so that if there was actually a physical

20 abuse of a client at least that would show up on

21 a screen. And somewhat later, I think possibly after

22 Param Cumaraswamy's visit, audio recording was added to

23 that silent video recording although, unfortunately, the

24 two were not in sync. It was some time before we got

25 full video recording with sound, but by that time

 

 

93


1 solicitors were allowed to be present during interviews

2 as well.

3 Q. We will return to the Rapporteur in a minute. I would

4 like to ask you now about another episode in June 1997

5 and this you deal with in paragraph 37 and following of

6 your statement at RNI-824-030 (displayed).

7 It concerned the arrest of Colin Duffy for the

8 murder of the two police officers in Lurgan on, I think,

9 16th June. I want to ask you first: how did you first

10 hear about this case?

11 A. I am sorry, did you say he was arrested on 16th June?

12 Q. No, I said I thought that the murder had taken place --

13 A. Oh, the murder, I beg your pardon.

14 Q. You tell us in your statement, don't you, that he was

15 arrested on 23rd June?

16 A. I'm sorry, I was confused about that.

17 Q. What I did ask you was when do you think you first heard

18 about the case?

19 A. I don't know exactly. I remember that it came to my

20 attention because Rosemary Nelson telephoned me and she

21 was very certain that Colin Duffy had not been involved

22 in this murder and she was afraid that there was going

23 to be a miscarriage of justice, because she had won his

24 appeal for him but she didn't believe, and nor did we

25 believe, that the RUC felt that he was innocent of that

 

 

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1 crime.

2 And this was a very unusual killing, because it

3 happened so far into the ceasefires and everybody was

4 very, very shocked at the loss of life of these two

5 police officers in the middle of Lurgan in broad

6 daylight. It was an incredibly audacious shooting and

7 looked as if it was designed to undermine the peace

8 process.

9 Colin Duffy, as far as I understand it, was an IRA

10 member. The IRA ceasefire seemed to be fairly solid at

11 the time and so it was a murder that stood out amongst

12 so many murders. And at first when Rosemary phoned me,

13 I felt perhaps, you know, any lawyer acting for one of

14 their clients would say that, wouldn't they? My client

15 is innocent. But she had so many reasons for why she

16 felt that Colin Duffy had not been involved that I asked

17 her to send me the papers that she had amassed in the

18 case, and I can remember that there were a number of

19 issues as far as she was concerned.

20 One was that the main identification witness was

21 apparently inherently unreliable. I believe there was

22 a witness near where Colin Duffy lived who placed him

23 near his home at the time and not in the city centre.

24 And there were eye-witness accounts of the -- I believe

25 there were two perpetrators involved and they were

 

 

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1 wearing wigs to disguise themselves, but the stature and

2 the build of these two perpetrators didn't match

3 Colin Duffy's stature and build.

4 So there were some very serious questions about it,

5 and I asked to see her and she said she had taken some

6 witness statements. I asked to see them and as a result

7 of that we did something that we had never done before,

8 I don't think, and I have only ever done once since

9 then, which was to write to the Director of Public

10 Prosecutions and say we fear that there is a miscarriage

11 of justice in the making here. And we were very

12 conscious of the fact that when there is a miscarriage

13 of justice, it is not just the suspect who may be the

14 victim, it is also the fact that the real perpetrators

15 are going free and, therefore, the victim's relatives

16 are also being done a disservice.

17 And we were aware that Colin Duffy had spent a lot

18 of time in gaol until he was released on appeal. We

19 knew, because of the way that the system worked in

20 Northern Ireland, that he was likely to spend many,

21 many, many months on remand, but in our judgment the

22 case would probably collapse. We wanted, if we could,

23 to try and avoid that situation, because it didn't seem

24 right to us and in the end the DPP did decide not to

25 proceed with the prosecution, although it took him some

 

 

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1 months to reach his decision.

2 Q. Can I just take you back to pick up various points in

3 that very long answer?

4 A. Sure.

5 Q. First is about the written material that you received

6 from Rosemary Nelson. Can you look, please, at

7 RNI-115-110.514 (displayed). Thank you.

8 It is a letter from Rosemary Nelson to the custody

9 sergeant at Gough about the detention of Mr Duffy. In

10 your witness statement at paragraph 37, you say that she

11 sent you a copy of a complaint made. Do you think this

12 was the letter you received from her?

13 A. Yes, I do.

14 Q. We have in our files another letter. I want to just

15 show you that: RNI-115-110.513 (displayed). It is the

16 next day. Further complaints about the detention and

17 the way the interviews have been conducted and issues

18 about the way the alibi issue had been handled.

19 Again, is that a letter, do you think, sent to you

20 at this time by Rosemary Nelson?

21 A. Yes, and to the best of my recollection, she actually

22 sent me a bundle of documents which included letters she

23 had written and statements that she had taken.

24 Q. That was my next question. So in addition to this

25 material, she sent you witness statements; is that

 

 

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1 right?

2 A. I believe so, yes. I believe they all came together.

3 Q. You said earlier in relation to the letter you wrote to

4 the Director of Public Prosecutions that it was a very

5 unusual thing for you to do?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Had you at this stage in June 1997, or about then, ever

8 asked to see statements in a pending criminal case?

9 A. Yes, I had. We were the recipient of many complaints of

10 miscarriages of justice, usually by prisoners who had

11 already been convicted. But sometimes -- unusually, it

12 would be the lawyer who would draw our attention to it

13 rather than the suspect.

14 Where a solicitor felt that maybe something was

15 going wrong with this case from the beginning, they

16 would send us statements; normally just a statement that

17 they had taken from their client. They didn't normally

18 have witness statements, and so on.

19 Q. But as I understand it, in this case, at this very early

20 stage, you received other witness statements as well,

21 did you?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. In addition to writing to the Director of Public

24 Prosecutions -- and, unfortunately, I don't think we

25 have a copy of that letter -- you wrote to the Secretary

 

 

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1 of State, didn't you?

2 A. I think I was given a copy of that letter this morning.

3 Q. The copy of the letter to the director?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Excellent. If you can find it, I would be very

6 grateful. (Pause)

7 Can I show you the relevant passage in your

8 statement that may help?

9 A. Unfortunately, this wasn't exhibited to my statement.

10 Q. No.

11 A. And I was given these papers -- here we are. Maybe this

12 is not the letter, actually. This is 1st December 1997.

13 Q. Yes. We will come to that one in a minute.

14 A. Sorry, I was misremembering, because as I say, these

15 were just given to me this morning and I had to go

16 through them very quickly.

17 Q. Indeed.

18 A. I have a copy on my file which I am sure I did give to

19 the Inquiry when I made my initial submissions to you.

20 Q. You think there is a copy available?

21 A. I am sure there is, yes.

22 Q. Thank you. Can you help us with the date? Would it

23 have been at the end of June/beginning of July?

24 A. That depends -- and I was just about to say this to you

25 because you said I received these things at a very early

 

 

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1 stage.

2 Although these letters are dated obviously around

3 the time of Colin Duffy's arrest, I am not entirely

4 certain when I received the bundle from Rosemary Nelson.

5 I am not sure that it was as prompt as these letters

6 that she wrote, because she had already written these

7 letters and she had had time to interview witnesses, and

8 so on. So I believe it was a bit later before

9 I received -- possibly a couple of weeks after the

10 arrest. I can't be entirely certain.

11 Q. Can I show you the letter you wrote to the Secretary of

12 State?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. It is at RNI-115-110.500 (displayed).

15 A. Yes, that was on 3rd July.

16 Q. Yes. Here, having referred to the fact that it is an

17 unusual step and the fact that normally you wouldn't

18 seek political intervention in such circumstances, you

19 go on to deal with the particular case and enclose

20 a submission. Do you see?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And in the second line of that paragraph, do you see:

23 "The only documents I have not included are copies

24 of the witness statements, as they may form part of

25 legal proceedings in this case"?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. It looks, doesn't it, as though by 3rd July you had some

3 witness statements?

4 A. It does indeed, yes.

5 Q. Thank you. If we turn over to the enclosure, the

6 submission to the United Nations -- we see that at

7 RNI-115-110.505 (displayed) -- it sets out in some

8 detail the circumstances of the case and the strength or

9 otherwise of the evidence. It goes over to the next

10 page, RNI-115-110.506 (displayed).

11 There, do you see, there is reference in the first

12 full paragraph to several other witnesses, certainly

13 defence witnesses by the look of it. And if you turn

14 over to the next page, RNI-115-110.507 (displayed),

15 there is, in your distinctive font, if I can put it that

16 way, a summary of their statements and what they had to

17 say.

18 So it looks, doesn't it, as though by this stage,

19 3rd July, you had received the material and been able to

20 precis the statements for the purposes of this

21 submission?

22 A. Yes, that's right.

23 Q. And the submission, I think, continues at

24 RNI-115-110.510 (displayed) with the details of the

25 arrest and interrogation, and those were the matters,

 

 

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1 weren't they, that lay behind the complaint letters that

2 we have just looked at together?

3 A. Yes. I should say, though, that this is a complaint

4 that we were making on Colin Duffy's behalf, because it

5 looked to us as if there was a miscarriage of justice in

6 the making. This was not to do with Rosemary. And

7 I made a separate complaint about remarks that were made

8 to her to Param Cumaraswamy.

9 Q. Indeed. Can I just ask you to turn back to the

10 beginning of this submission, which is at

11 RNI-115-110.505 (displayed), described as a request to

12 the United Nations working group. So this is directed,

13 is it, to another organisation or part of the UN?

14 A. Indeed, yes.

15 Q. Not to the Rapporteur?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. What was the purpose, please, of putting the submission

18 to that working group?

19 A. Well, their remit was to work against -- in the

20 wonderful language of the UN -- arbitrary detention; in

21 other words, detention for which there is no proper

22 legal basis.

23 I think sending them this submission was more an

24 expression of hope than an expectation that very much

25 would happen, because we knew that they were looking at

 

 

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1 situations where there had been wholesale detention in

2 other parts of the world, but it was the only part of

3 the UN whose remit seemed to come anywhere close to

4 Colin Duffy's case. And as with many submissions to the

5 UN, you never know until you send them what is going to

6 happen; whether anything is going to happen or whether

7 something quite dramatic like Param Cumaraswamy coming

8 on a mission would happen.

9 Q. So you sent it more in hope than expectation?

10 A. Absolutely, because we couldn't think what other body

11 might be interested in such an issue.

12 Q. Did you ever receive a response from them?

13 A. I don't think we did, which is very common with the UN.

14 Very often it is not until they produce a report that

15 you find out whether they took any notice of what you

16 sent them.

17 Q. So far as the details in these two documents are

18 concerned -- first, the request that we have on the

19 screen now -- you have told us about the statements, the

20 material you were sent. Can I ask, please, what other

21 information did you have about the case at this stage?

22 A. I think only what Rosemary had told us, but actually as

23 these cases go, it was better documented than most.

24 Q. If we look specifically at the document concerning the

25 arrest and interrogation -- that is RNI-115-110.510

 

 

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1 (displayed) -- am I right to assume that the

2 information, the detailed information about the timings

3 of interviews, et cetera, et cetera, that this

4 information would mainly, if not entirely, have come

5 from Rosemary Nelson herself?

6 A. Yes, it did.

7 Q. So I am clear about this, in putting together these two

8 documents, did you have any means available to you of

9 checking the validity of what she was telling you?

10 A. I suppose I could have gone and interviewed some of

11 these people myself, although at that point in time the

12 state of our finances made a trip to Northern Ireland

13 a very expensive undertaking. But I didn't really feel

14 any need to do that.

15 I had no reason to think that Rosemary Nelson would

16 lie to me about any of this. She was as honest as the

17 day is long and a very transparent person, and I had

18 absolutely no reason to think that she would be making

19 any of this up.

20 Q. She was, however, angry about what had happened, wasn't

21 she?

22 A. I think angry wouldn't be the right word. I think she

23 was alarmed and disturbed and very concerned that one of

24 her clients was being fitted up, if I can use the

25 vernacular, and I am not sure that she was angry. I

 

 

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1 think she was on a determined professional trajectory to

2 try and stop this from happening, if she could.

3 Q. In your statement you say that she was outraged about

4 the fact that he had been arrested again, Mr Duffy had

5 been arrested again?

6 A. I am not so sure it was his arrest as what she perceived

7 to be the making up of a case against him that really

8 outraged her.

9 Q. But did you have any sense in speaking to her about the

10 case that she had lost her professional objectivity?

11 A. Not at all, no, and when she telephoned me and said that

12 he had been arrested and that she was well nigh certain

13 that he hadn't committed this murder, my immediate

14 question was, "What is your evidence for that?" and she

15 very clearly and very cogently went through it.

16 Then when I suggested that I might make a report to

17 the UN, as you can see, she gave me chapter and verse of

18 exactly what had happened, and I didn't feel that she

19 was doing anything other than her professional best to

20 defend her client's interest.

21 Q. But what about the witnesses whose statements you had

22 seen? Were you in any position to judge their

23 credibility?

24 A. I did ask her, for example, whether the person who lived

25 near Colin Duffy was a friend of Colin Duffy's, whether

 

 

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1 it was the sort of person who would say anything for

2 Colin Duffy, and she said that this person knew him by

3 sight but didn't know him personally and the

4 eye-witnesses who saw the murder in town were simply

5 describing what they had seen.

6 I don't think they saw themselves as making

7 a statement for or against Colin Duffy; they were just

8 saying from what they could tell, given the disguise,

9 this is the kind of height and build of the people

10 concerned. So I didn't feel that they had any kind of

11 axe to grind in relation to the case.

12 Q. But those, presumably, were judgments you arrived at on

13 the basis of their written statements?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You didn't meet them yourself?

16 A. No.

17 Q. No --

18 A. To be honest, it would be very rare for me to do that in

19 any case. Where a solicitor sent me documents, I had no

20 reason to disbelieve them.

21 As we were discussing earlier, it would be hard

22 enough to persuade them to meet the UN Special

23 Rapporteur on his first and only mission to the UK, but

24 for them to take the time out to do all of this, they

25 wouldn't do it if they didn't think there was a real

 

 

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1 issue that we might be able to help with.

2 Q. By the time you sent this letter to the Secretary of

3 State, Rosemary Nelson had made appearances in the media

4 about the case, hadn't she?

5 A. Yes, I think she was twice interviewed.

6 Q. Did she discuss that with you, the question of her

7 making appearances and talking about the case --

8 A. I don't think she did, no.

9 Q. Can you look, please, at RNI-115-110.511 (displayed), at

10 the very bottom of the page. You see the sentence

11 begins:

12 "Since Colin Duffy was charged ..."

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. If we read over to RNI-115-110.512 (displayed), do you

15 see the last sentence of that paragraph at the top of

16 the page, you say:

17 "As a result, telephone death threats against her

18 have been delivered to her office."

19 So you are drawing a connection, are you, between

20 her appearance in the media and telephone death threats?

21 A. Yes, and I think she drew that connection herself.

22 Q. So that was something she discussed with you, was it?

23 A. Yes. But she didn't discuss with me before she appeared

24 on the television or gave her interviews that she was

25 going to do so.

 

 

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1 Q. Was the appearance on television consistent with

2 option 3, if I can put it that way?

3 A. I think it was, yes. I didn't see the coverage myself

4 because we don't get the local news for Northern Ireland

5 in London.

6 Q. No. But if you remember, when we talked about it before

7 lunch, the idea was that raising profile was some form

8 of protection?

9 A. Certainly, I think that is what Rosemary hoped and so

10 did I.

11 Q. In the conversation you had in which this connection was

12 made, did she begin to doubt the wisdom of that

13 approach?

14 A. I didn't get the sense that she did, no.

15 Q. No. Because it looks in fact, if this is right, as

16 though the raising of the profile through the media had

17 brought death threats?

18 A. Yes, but I remember, when we talked about the option of

19 raising a profile, that it did bring with it that risk.

20 So I would imagine that Rosemary was to some extent

21 prepared for that.

22 Many lawyers in Northern Ireland would never give

23 media interviews because they didn't want to take a high

24 profile and they didn't want to lay themselves open to

25 this kind of thing happening.

 

 

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1 Q. Was it true to say at this stage that most lawyers in

2 Northern Ireland didn't give interviews of this kind?

3 A. Yes, I think that would be true.

4 Q. Was she very rare indeed at this point?

5 A. I am trying to think exactly where we were in terms of

6 the run-up to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

7 Q. The year before it was established.

8 A. Yes, but I believe that a number of lawyers had -- the

9 media had been very active in setting the stage for the

10 new inquiry, Channel 4 in particular, and to the best of

11 my recollection, some solicitors had talked about

12 Bloody Sunday to the media. So I don't think she was

13 sui generis, in a species of her own, but certainly it

14 would be a very small group of lawyers who would talk to

15 the media.

16 Q. Returning to this part of your report, can I take it

17 then that it is based on a conversation that you had

18 with her and must by definition have taken place before

19 3rd July?

20 A. Yes, or possibly on 3rd July. I may have sat down and

21 written it immediately.

22 Q. Can you recall any more details about these telephone

23 death threats?

24 A. Only that they were sent to her office. I'm afraid, I

25 don't recall --

 

 

109


1 Q. Not the number?

2 A. No.

3 Q. No. Did she tell you, can you remember, whether the

4 threats had been delivered at her office to her

5 personally?

6 A. No, I'm afraid I can't remember. I do remember on an

7 occasion, but I am not sure which occasion, she told me

8 that one of her secretaries had received a death threat.

9 And she had been very upset about that because she felt

10 it was very, very unfair that anybody else should have

11 to bear the burden of threats against her. But I am not

12 sure on this occasion whether the threats came through

13 to her directly or were taken by members of staff.

14 Q. And again, can I ask you: other than this brief

15 reference in your report, do you think you would have

16 made a note of the telephone conversation you had with

17 her in which this information was passed on?

18 A. I think what I did was to make handwritten notes while

19 we were talking and then type them up, and I would have

20 allowed this document to serve as my record of the

21 telephone conversation.

22 Q. In your statement you refer to another call coming to

23 Rosemary Nelson and this is at paragraph 40,

24 page RNI-824-031 (displayed). Do you see at the bottom

25 of the page?

 

 

110


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Again, it may be that you can't help us but can I just

3 ask you: can you assist as to when you think this

4 telephone call took place?

5 A. Only that it was around the time after Colin Duffy had

6 been arrested. I believe that the call came to Rosemary

7 at home rather than her office. I am not entirely sure

8 about that. That is my recollection.

9 Q. Again, can you offer any further details as to this

10 incident other than those set out in paragraph 40?

11 A. No, I'm afraid not.

12 Q. Would you have made a note of it?

13 A. I am sure I would have done, yes.

14 Q. And then typed it up?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Because again, as far as I am aware at any rate, we

17 haven't seen a copy of a note of this telephone

18 conversation. Had you typed it up, do you think it

19 would still exist?

20 A. It certainly should do.

21 Q. It looks from the witness statement and the way it is

22 phrased as though it wasn't available during the course

23 of the interview, doesn't it?

24 A. To be absolutely honest, I can't recall being asked for

25 it or not being asked for it. I do recall when

 

 

111


1 I received the statement being very surprised at how few

2 exhibits there were, because we went through over

3 a two-day period a enormous amount of documentation.

4 And as I say, I was expecting to see many more exhibits

5 than I did and -- at the outset of this inquiry, I sent

6 very full submissions to the Inquiry with as much

7 documentation as I was able to find, and I think

8 I assumed that Eversheds had decided that only certain

9 documents required exhibiting and, therefore, they

10 didn't exhibit every single thing.

11 So I can't tell you now whether Mr [name redacted]

12 actually asked me for that note and looked at it and,

13 for whatever reason, decided not to put it in or whether

14 he never asked me. I'm afraid I just can't remember.

15 Q. Thank you. It looks as though we need to do some

16 digging as well.

17 A. I can certainly also do some digging and see if I can

18 find it as well.

19 Q. It was very shortly after the time of this letter,

20 wasn't it, that you heard from Rosemary Nelson in

21 relation to the Garvaghy Road incident?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And that is a conversation which was the subject of

24 a note, and we can see it at RNI-115-111 (displayed).

25 Again, can I ask you did you follow the same system:

 

 

112


1 handwritten notes and then typed up?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. 7th July, the first thing I wanted to ask

4 you about is the date. You have already offered your

5 view about timing this morning. Can you look at the way

6 it begins:

7 "On Saturday, 5th July, just before midnight she

8 telephoned the Secretary of State."

9 Then the next paragraph begins "at around 3.30 am

10 ..." Is it possible, do you think, that the incidents

11 which are then described took place in the early hours

12 of 6th --

13 A. Yes, I think you must be right about that.

14 Q. Thank you. So if that is right, then she was

15 telephoning you the next day, wasn't she?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And I assume that the call came from her in this case?

18 A. It certainly did, yes.

19 Q. Yes. Can I ask you, please, to tell us what was her

20 mood on this occasion when she telephoned you?

21 A. She was very upset.

22 Q. Could you tell that in her voice?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And --

25 A. I think shaken would be a good way to describe how she

 

 

113


1 sounded.

2 Q. Again, could you hear that in her voice?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. As I asked you before, is the note a full record of what

5 she told you?

6 A. I believe so, yes.

7 Q. I would like to ask you just a few questions about this,

8 please.

9 In the third paragraph, where you deal with the

10 first incident -- "At around 3.30 am ..." is how it

11 begins -- there is a reference just a few lines from the

12 end to residents who witnessed the incident. Do you

13 see?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And then later a reference to an American observer?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. We know from other evidence that there was a complaint

18 made and investigation of all of these matters. Did you

19 yourself undertake any investigation of these incidents?

20 A. No, I knew that Paul Mageean from CAJ was going to -- if

21 he hadn't already done so at that point -- interview

22 Rosemary herself and I know that he witnessed some

23 bruising to Rosemary's arm. I also saw a statement from

24 the American observer, I believe, if I recall correctly,

25 that his times were at quite a lot of variance with the

 

 

114


1 timings that Rosemary gave me, and I don't know why that

2 is. I'm not sure.

3 Q. But can I ask you: are you confident that the times you

4 recorded are those given to you on the telephone by

5 Rosemary?

6 A. Oh, yes, I'm certain those are what she told me, because

7 I wouldn't have known what time to write unless she

8 told me.

9 Q. So far as investigations, you mentioned what Mr Mageean

10 did and saw. Did you see any evidence of injury?

11 A. No.

12 Q. No.

13 A. No, I only heard from Rosemary herself and from

14 Paul Mageean.

15 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you about the second incident, and

16 that is the fourth paragraph at around 4.40 or 4.45.

17 Three lines from the end:

18 "Rosemary Nelson was struck on the shoulder with

19 a police riot shield."

20 Was she saying that that was a deliberate or an

21 accidental act?

22 A. I think she felt that it was deliberate, that they

23 resented her intervening on behalf of this young man.

24 You can see there I say that she is sure that the RUC

25 officers concerned knew she was a solicitor and was

 

 

115


1 present at the request of her clients. I think that

2 would have been a direct reply to a question from the --

3 you know, could they have mistaken you for a rioter or

4 whatever. But she was sure that they knew exactly who

5 she was.

6 Q. And are you --

7 A. I have to say she was instantly recognisable and very

8 well-known and once seen never forgotten, so you would

9 always know who she was if you had ever seen her before.

10 Q. And looking at the sentence beginning "Rosemary Nelson

11 was struck ..." are you sure that she told you that she

12 was struck on the shoulder?

13 A. Yes, I'm sure that is what she told me.

14 Q. If you just look, please, at a letter you sent to the

15 Rapporteur on 10th July, some three days later -- that

16 is at RNI-115-113 (displayed) -- you were telling him

17 about two things: the first and the second paragraph,

18 the Duffy matter. And at this stage you are talking

19 about that case in relation to her, aren't you, abuse by

20 an RUC officer and irregularities?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And then secondly, you are talking about the

23 Garvaghy Road incident?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. If you look at the enclosed report, the next page,

 

 

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1 RNI-115-114 (displayed), we see rather familiar

2 paragraphs towards the bottom of the page, the first

3 beginning "At around 3.30 ..." and then the next "At

4 around 4.40 or 4.45 ..." Do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. If you look at the last sentence of this page, beginning

7 "Immediately afterwards ..." and continue over to the

8 next page:

9 "Rosemary Nelson was struck on ..."

10 Then there appears to be a typo. It then goes on:

11 "... the centre of her back with a police riot

12 shield."

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Are you sure that when she described the incident to

15 you, she used the word "shoulder"?

16 A. I am sure she did. I am wondering if by the time

17 I wrote this I had seen Paul Mageean's report, which was

18 more detailed. I'm not sure.

19 Q. By Paul Mageean's report, do you mean the statement that

20 he took from Rosemary Nelson?

21 A. Yes, I do. I'm sorry, I don't mean report.

22 Q. Can we have a look at that. That is at RNI-302-129.501

23 (displayed). I think we will need to enlarge it. Do

24 you see the first full bullet point:

25 "They let him go but as I was walking away, one of

 

 

117


1 them hit me on the back of the head with a shield"?

2 A. Sorry, which paragraph are we looking at?

3 Q. The first bullet point on this page.

4 A. Oh, yes, this is Paul Mageean's statement, is it?

5 Q. Yes, if we go to the previous page, I think we can see

6 the beginning of it. Again, we will need to enlarge it,

7 please. Do you see?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So if we can go back to the next page, please,

10 RNI-302-129.502 (displayed).

11 A. Obviously I can't now remember where I got --

12 Q. It certainly can't be --

13 A. -- centre of the back from, but it certainly wasn't

14 this.

15 Q. No.

16 A. I must have got it from somewhere because I was clearly

17 referring to my note when I was looking at the times,

18 and so on.

19 Q. Do you think it is possible that she was confused about

20 the detail of the --

21 A. I think it is entirely possible that she was confused.

22 When I spoke to her, she was very, very upset about it,

23 very unnerved and I was frankly very, very shocked

24 because I couldn't think of another example of a lawyer

25 being assaulted in the pursuit of their duties ever.

 

 

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1 Unfortunately, I have come across one or two

2 instances since, but at the time it was a deeply

3 shocking report and she was clearly very upset. And I

4 think it entirely possible that she wasn't very clear

5 about timings or about exactly what her injuries were.

6 Q. But this was an unprecedented event in your experience?

7 A. Completely unprecedented, yes.

8 Q. And again, I assume that at least part of her reaction

9 was amazement and surprise?

10 A. I think it was more fear, actually. I think she was

11 very, very frightened by it. And I remember that she

12 made a video for an American group, called the Witness

13 Programme, that was run by the -- Human Rights First,

14 which I also made a video for at one time as a human

15 rights defender, and she said something -- words to the

16 effect:

17 "I have never been so scared in my life."

18 And that was the feeling I got when I was talking to

19 her.

20 Q. If you look at paragraph 42 of your statement,

21 RNI-824-033 (displayed), if we enlarge paragraph 43,

22 please, do you see in the seventh line you say that she

23 was incredibly shocked?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you draw a distinction, as I see it, later in the

 

 

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1 paragraph between the two cases that we have just been

2 discussing.

3 As I understand it, what you are saying is that it

4 was the Garvaghy Road case which would have been known

5 to everybody, certainly everybody locally?

6 A. Indeed, yes.

7 Q. In contrast to the other case we were talking about, the

8 Colin Duffy case?

9 A. I am sure locally people would have known about it, but

10 I think probably nationally people knew about the

11 Garvaghy Road.

12 Q. And at this point it was your view, I think, was it,

13 that she took on a much more high profile role, whether

14 she had chosen it or not?

15 A. That is what I feel, with the benefit of hindsight. I

16 am not sure that I realised that at the time. In fact,

17 I think I was quite remiss in not making clear links

18 between what she was doing professionally and what was

19 happening to her in relation to the threats at the time.

20 It is only afterwards that -- when I have thought about

21 it that I can see that there may have been

22 a correlation.

23 Q. But at the time, the time of the conversation on

24 7th July, what did you discuss with her about what she

25 should do in relation to these events?

 

 

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1 A. Well, to the best of my recollection, I said that she

2 should make the complaint. I believe I recommended that

3 she tried to sue the RUC for assault, although there

4 were great difficulties involved in that because the RUC

5 officers wore no identification, so she was completely

6 unable to identify who attacked her.

7 But I felt that she should -- you know, this was an

8 issue that was so unprecedented that it required a very

9 firm response.

10 Q. Did you play any further part in what later happened;

11 namely, the lodging of a complaint and eventually

12 a civil action against the Chief Constable?

13 A. No, I didn't actually know until after she died that she

14 had launched the civil action. I did know that she had

15 made the complaint to the ICPC and I believe Rosemary

16 herself told me that she had done that, but she didn't

17 mention to me that she had actually taken out a civil

18 action.

19 Q. Can I just ask you about the final paragraph of the note

20 at RNI-115-112 (displayed). Do you see the last

21 sentence:

22 "Various Irish TDs ..."

23 Then two names are given?

24 A. Sorry, I think I have something else on the screen here.

25 Q. Sorry, RNI-115-112 (displayed). My fault, I'm sure.

 

 

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1 The last paragraph. Do you see:

2 "Various Irish TDs ..."

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Can I assume that she gave you that information in the

5 course of the telephone call? Rosemary Nelson, I mean?

6 A. Yes, I would have asked her who would have seen this

7 happen, you know, who is there around, who is an

8 independent witness. And of course the events were

9 under intense scrutiny from a number of quarters, so

10 there were a number of independent people around who

11 were -- who hopefully had been in a position to see what

12 happened.

13 Q. But to be clear, she, Rosemary Nelson, in the course of

14 this telephone conversation informed you, did she, that

15 these two named Irish politicians had witnessed the

16 incidents?

17 A. Well, she thought they had. You know -- because I

18 didn't record what she told in question and answer

19 form -- it was rather like my own statement to

20 Eversheds -- and I think she remembered seeing them at

21 the time and, therefore, assumed that they must have

22 seen what happened to her.

23 Q. Thank you. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. 10 minutes; just after 20 past.

25 (3.11 pm)

 

 

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1 (Short break)

2 (3.30 pm)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Ms Winter, we were talking about the

5 Garvaghy Road incident and I showed you your letter to

6 the Rapporteur, 10th July. Could we look back at that,

7 please, RNI-115-113 (displayed).

8 At this stage, I think the Rapporteur had launched

9 his mission, as it were, and decided definitely to

10 visit, hadn't he?

11 A. He had, yes.

12 Q. So you were sending what amounted to supplementary

13 information over the summer before his visit, which was

14 fixed, I think, for October?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. Thank you. So far as other authorities, as it were, to

17 whom you wrote about this, can we see at RNI-115-128

18 your letter to the Secretary of State (displayed),

19 again, of 10th July. And there are two points in

20 relation to Rosemary Nelson, aren't there: The first

21 arising out of the detention of Mr Duffy and the second

22 the alleged assault on the Garvaghy Road?

23 Can you see, please, in the fourth paragraph, you

24 yourself to the Secretary of State use the expression

25 "in relation to her high profile"?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So that was clearly something which was obvious to you,

3 wasn't it, as at 10th July this year, 1997?

4 A. Yes, it was and I believe I am right in saying that it

5 may have been in 1997 that Rosemary Nelson attended

6 a meeting at Downing Street with the Garvaghy Road

7 Residents Coalition, which --

8 Q. I think it may have been just a little later.

9 A. Was it?

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. Oh.

12 Q. So far as the Secretary of State is concerned, you say

13 at the bottom of the page:

14 "I hope that he will respond to this letter by

15 ordering an urgent inquiry into these allegations

16 designed to discover and discipline those RUC officers

17 responsible."

18 Can I ask you: did you expect the Secretary of State

19 to intervene in this way?

20 A. I hoped she would. She was a rather different Secretary

21 of State from any of her predecessors. She was known to

22 be very independent minded and I believed that she had

23 actually at some point met Rosemary Nelson in person. I

24 am not quite sure how that came about and I hoped that

25 she would be as shocked as I was that a female solicitor

 

 

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1 might be assaulted on the Garvaghy Road in this way.

2 Q. As far as you can recall, did she take any steps to

3 investigate the matters?

4 A. I am sure I had a reply to the letter but I am not sure

5 whether she took any actual steps.

6 Q. So far as the incident is concerned, the Garvaghy Road

7 incident, can I just ask you about something you said to

8 me just a little while ago.

9 Do you remember I asked you whether you had any

10 further role in the investigation of the alleged assault

11 on the Garvaghy Road? One of the documents you sent to

12 the Rapporteur was RNI-115-114. Could we just have that

13 on the screen, please (displayed). We looked earlier at

14 the paragraph at the bottom of this page, but I would

15 like now to show you paragraph at the top of the next

16 page, RNI-115-115 (displayed). It is the paragraph

17 beginning:

18 "Following these two assaults ..."

19 Do you see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. The last sentence is the one I am interested in. Did

22 you gather together as much of this evidence as

23 possible?

24 A. I certainly tried to do so. I know that I talked to

25 Amnesty International and to Human Rights Watch.

 

 

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1 Q. But did you --

2 A. But I am not sure that they ever produced any video

3 interviews or whether they actually happened or not.

4 I'm afraid I just can't remember now.

5 I know I spoke to Susan McKay, but unfortunately, as

6 I recall, her recollection wasn't very clear about what

7 had happened, and I didn't know how to find the German

8 television crew and I asked Rosemary to see if she could

9 find them, but I don't think she was able to identify

10 who they were.

11 Q. So far as the letter to the Rapporteur is concerned,

12 there is one further point I wanted to ask you about and

13 that letter is at RNI-115-113 (displayed). Thank you.

14 Here you've used her name?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And I think this is the first time that you had done so

17 in your correspondence with him, wasn't it?

18 A. I can't remember whether I named her in my reply to him

19 of 6th May.

20 Q. Do you mean 6th March?

21 A. March, sorry.

22 Q. Can we have a look at that then. It is at RNI-115-109

23 (displayed).

24 A. No, I just talk about her as the solicitor there. So I

25 think you are probably right that that was the first

 

 

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1 time I named her.

2 Q. Can I assume, based on what you said earlier, therefore,

3 that you would have asked her consent to disclose her

4 name to the Special Rapporteur?

5 A. Oh, yes, and I also asked her consent to send him the

6 report at all about the Garvaghy Road incident.

7 Q. Did you hope in sending it to Mr Cumaraswamy that this

8 would be one of the matters that he would investigate

9 during the course of his visit to the United Kingdom?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You ask him at the end of your report to him, at

12 RNI-115-115 (displayed) -- this is the last paragraph,

13 the fourth line:

14 "We request the Special Rapporteur to communicate

15 this complaint to the United Kingdom Government urgently

16 and to seek from them assurance that Rosemary Nelson and

17 any other lawyers representing residents groups over the

18 summer marching season, which unfortunately promises to

19 be a violent period, will be treated with all due and

20 proper respect ..."

21 Et cetera. Again, can I ask you, as far as are

22 aware, did he take up this matter with the British

23 Government?

24 A. I'm afraid I don't know. It would be very unusual for

25 a UN special rapporteur to tell us what communications

 

 

127


1 they had had with the Government. They were regarded as

2 confidential and we would not normally be copied in or

3 told about them.

4 Q. Can we look, please, at RNI-110-027 (displayed). Is

5 that a letter you have seen before?

6 A. I don't think so.

7 Q. No.

8 A. It doesn't ring a bell at all.

9 Q. If you look at it and you see the date of 1st August, it

10 is from Mr Cumaraswamy to the Ambassador in Geneva, the

11 UK Ambassador to the UN.

12 If you look at the first paragraph, the first

13 numbered paragraph there, we see the Duffy case referred

14 to. And if we turn over to RNI-110-028 (displayed), do

15 you see the reference there to the Garvaghy Road?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And again, if you look a few lines from the end of that

18 paragraph, 2, it says that Mrs Nelson was also allegedly

19 struck on the back of her head. It is the same point we

20 looked at earlier?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So it looks, doesn't it, as though indeed he agreed and

23 did take up your points with the authorities in Geneva?

24 A. Yes, but this is precisely the sort of correspondence we

25 never saw.

 

 

128


1 Q. Exactly. Thank you.

2 Can we turn to another issue, please, and this

3 concerns the arrest of Colin Duffy in November of 1997.

4 And what I would like you to look at, please, is

5 a letter you sent to the Director of Public

6 Prosecutions, the one you referred to earlier, and it is

7 at RNI-115-137.500.pdf">RNI-115-137.500 (displayed). 1st December.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. You explained to us earlier how unusual it was for you

10 to write in this way in relation to pending criminal

11 proceedings. So it looks as though, within five months

12 or so of your last letter, you were writing to the same

13 official again in relation to the same client and at an

14 early stage of another lot of criminal proceedings?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. How did you learn about this arrest?

17 A. I believe I saw a newspaper report about it but I don't

18 think it said an awful lot, and I believe that I may

19 have telephoned Rosemary Nelson and said, "What is this

20 about? I see Colin Duffy has been arrested again"

21 because by then he was very much on our radar, as much

22 as he must have been on hers.

23 Q. So you think this was an example of something where you

24 initiated contact with her?

25 A. I think so, although I am not entirely certain, but ...

 

 

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1 Q. Can I ask you this: the detailed information which is

2 set out in this letter, is that information that came to

3 you from Rosemary Nelson?

4 A. It would be, yes.

5 Q. And again, just so I am clear about this, you didn't

6 conduct any exercise of your own to assess the

7 credibility, cogency of the information you were

8 provided with on the telephone?

9 A. No, but I must admit I find this line of questioning

10 puzzling, because we received information from

11 solicitors all the time about cases of theirs that they

12 were concerned about and I have never known a solicitor

13 to make up a story to me. They may on occasion have got

14 details wrong in good faith, but they have never

15 fabricated a story and I wouldn't expect them to. And

16 as I say, Rosemary was as honest as the day is long.

17 She was a completely transparent person. She was not

18 a fantasist, she was not a liar and I just had no reason

19 to disbelieve her.

20 Q. So it wasn't your practice then to filter or test or

21 challenge --

22 A. I would certainly --

23 Q. -- accounts given to you by lawyers?

24 A. Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. I would certainly

25 have asked her testing questions. You know, I think on

 

 

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1 this occasion I would have said, "Are you sure that

2 Colin Duffy didn't do anything to provoke the police?"

3 Obviously his relationship with the RUC was not a good

4 one.

5 As you can see, when I wrote to the DPP, I described

6 the circumstances as "disputed". So I was conscious of

7 the fact that I was getting, as it were, Colin Duffy's

8 account through his solicitor and that the RUC would

9 very likely have a different account of what had

10 happened. But it wasn't my practice to go out and

11 interview potential witnesses myself.

12 Q. I think you had already written by this stage -- this is

13 the beginning of December -- you had already written,

14 hadn't you, to the Secretary of State about this new

15 Colin Duffy case; can you remember that?

16 A. Not off the top of my head, no.

17 Q. Can I show you another letter. This is RNI-115-138

18 (displayed). It refers in the first line to a letter of

19 19th November, and again, I'm afraid it is one of those

20 letters that we haven't been able to trace, but it looks

21 from the text of this letter, doesn't it, that it

22 concerned the Colin Duffy arrest?

23 A. Could I perhaps make a suggestion that if you would be

24 kind enough to send me a list of these documents

25 originating from me that you haven't been able to trace,

 

 

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1 I will try and trace them. I am surprised that you

2 haven't got both sides of the correspondence, because I

3 am sure I would have given them to you originally -- if

4 this came from me originally, I am not sure where it did

5 come from. But I'm happy to have a look for them and

6 try and find them for you.

7 Q. Does it help you with the question I originally asked?

8 It looks, doesn't it --

9 A. Certainly it looks as if I wrote to her about it.

10 Q. From the third paragraph, it looks as though the

11 suggestion you have made was that you were concerned

12 that the police were harassing him and that they were

13 seeking to trump up charges?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Again, can I take it -- and appreciate it is difficult

16 without your letter, but that is the position we are in;

17 certainly the position I am in -- would that have been

18 based on what you had learnt about the case from

19 Rosemary Nelson?

20 A. Yes, it would, but it would also have been based on my

21 sense that Colin Duffy was in fact being harassed.

22 It sounded to me as if it was in fact a very trivial

23 incident that had been blown up out of all proportion,

24 and it was very plain to me from the time that I

25 attended the appeal in the John Lyness murder case, when

 

 

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1 very unreliable evidence had been relied on at first

2 instance by the prosecution and had to be withdrawn at

3 the appeal because it was so clearly untenable, that the

4 police were not above fabricating evidence when it came

5 to Colin Duffy.

6 And the very unfortunate murder of the two police

7 officers, again, the case against him didn't stand up

8 and here he was being arrested again. And I was really

9 asking the Secretary of State when is this going to

10 stop? When are the police either going to have some

11 hard evidence and bring this man to trial or leave him

12 alone?

13 Q. So those were views of your own, in fact?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Not those of Rosemary Nelson?

16 A. No.

17 Q. They were based on your knowledge of those earlier

18 cases; is that right?

19 A. Yes, and indeed many other cases that I had been

20 involved in where -- I could detect a pattern emerging

21 here with Colin Duffy that was all too familiar.

22 Q. But of course in relation to this latest incident, in

23 a sense you were raising its profile, weren't you, by

24 writing letters, for example, to the Director of Public

25 Prosecutions and the Secretary of State?

 

 

133


1 A. I am not sure -- I mean, I was raising it with people in

2 a position of authority who I hoped would be in

3 a position to take action, but I was not putting out

4 press releases saying, "I have sent a letter to the

5 Secretary of State or the DPP". These were private

6 letters that I didn't ever expect to see the light of

7 day, and I am sorry that they do in these circumstances.

8 Q. And the letters that you sent had resulted, hadn't they,

9 in the matter, the case, being considered at a very high

10 political level?

11 A. I am not sure what you mean.

12 Q. Well, let me show you. RNI-115-139 (displayed). Do you

13 see in the second paragraph, the last sentence:

14 "The Secretary of State herself says 'I also made

15 sure the Director of Public Prosecutions and the

16 Chief Constable were aware of the security concerns

17 about Mr Duffy'."

18 Those were concerns you had expressed in your letter

19 to which she was replying. Do you see that?

20 A. I do. I must say I wouldn't quite have put the

21 interpretation on it that you do. That is kind of

22 standard Northern Ireland Office language. You know,

23 the Secretary of State would not be fulfilling her duty

24 if she didn't draw these matters to their attention, but

25 whether that meant anything was open to question.

 

 

134


1 Q. Do you see in the next paragraph that she and the

2 minister had spoken to the Chief Constable about the

3 case?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And that Mr Ingram had also met others, including

6 Mr McGuinness, to discuss the situation?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So what I am suggesting to you is that the letters you

9 have written were not, as it were, receiving the

10 brush-off. You were being told here, weren't you, that

11 they were being discussed at a very high level by those

12 in authority?

13 A. Yes. I'm afraid I probably was rather cynical in my

14 response to it, in that my reaction would have been,

15 well, let us see whether Mr Duffy is arrested again in

16 dubious or disputed circumstances. I never was under

17 the impression that the Chief Constable was in listening

18 mode in relation to these matters.

19 Q. Can I just ask you a few questions, please, about

20 specific cases in the context of complaints. You touch

21 on this in your statement at various points and you have

22 already talked in your evidence about your view of the

23 complaints system as it then existed.

24 We looked at the options letter, if I can put it

25 that way, and in particular under option 3, (b) was to

 

 

135


1 make a formal complaint and we discussed whether that

2 related to the ICPC system or not?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. In the course of the period from that letter, the letter

5 of the options, you received from Rosemary Nelson,

6 didn't you, details from time to time of similar events,

7 some of which resulted in complaints?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. We know from the other evidence we have that some of

10 those were submitted to the ICPC system?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And you mentioned earlier that you knew about the LAJI

13 complaint, for example?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And we have discussed the Garvaghy Road complaint.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Were you surprised when you learnt that Rosemary Nelson

18 had initiated or pursued these complaints through the

19 ICPC system?

20 A. Well, as I said earlier, I think the first set of

21 complaints which were lodged by the Lawyers Alliance for

22 Justice in Ireland -- it was their idea to lodge those

23 complaints and Rosemary gave her consent to them.

24 I felt they were probably wasting their time because the

25 system wasn't effective.

 

 

136


1 On the Garvaghy Road issue, I believe it was

2 Rosemary herself who made the complaint and I had

3 encouraged her to complain in every available quarter

4 about that assault because it was so serious. So that

5 didn't surprise me, because it seemed to me she ought to

6 use absolutely every mechanism available to her, whether

7 it was going to produce any results or not.

8 Q. The one I would like to ask you about specifically is

9 a matter of a complaint involving a client who has

10 a cipher in the Inquiry, and the cipher is C220.

11 A. Right.

12 Q. Could I ask you to look, please, at a letter you wrote

13 about that client's case, which is at RNI-115-136

14 (displayed). It is 27th November 1997.

15 This letter, which comes in the middle of the

16 correspondence we were looking at in relation to the

17 Colin Duffy case, it is again from you to the Secretary

18 of State and it looks as though you had sent her your

19 latest report?

20 A. Indeed.

21 Q. Do you see?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. The eighth report.

24 A. Indeed, that is what this letter was about, rather than

25 C220's position specifically.

 

 

137


1 Q. Yes. But at the end of the letter you refer, don't you,

2 in the last paragraph on this page, going over to the

3 next page, to what was his case, and you say:

4 "We enclose in strictest confidence a letter

5 recently received from Rosemary Nelson about remarks

6 made to one of her clients last March."

7 Do you see that?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Can you remember when you first received this

10 information from Rosemary Nelson about this client's

11 case?

12 A. I might need your help on the chronology here, but -- I

13 am trying to remember when the six people were in

14 Gough Barracks.

15 Q. Let me help you. If you look at RNI-115-132

16 (displayed), it is a letter to you from Rosemary Nelson.

17 A. Yes, but the point is that the statement referred to

18 events in the previous March.

19 Q. If you just bear with me, I will show you the statement

20 which is enclosed with this letter.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. RNI-115-133, please (displayed). Do you see the first

23 two words?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. This is a statement from C220 and you will

 

 

138


1 see the comments about her appearance?

2 A. Yes. I remember this statement very well, and I know it

3 wasn't sent to me until late in the day and wasn't even,

4 I think, taken and put in writing by Rosemary, but --

5 the reason I am wondering whether he was one of the

6 people detained in Gough Barracks is that she had

7 complained to me then, without going into details, about

8 the very unpleasant sexual innuendo in some of the

9 comments. So I was wondering whether he was one of

10 those people.

11 Q. I think that was in February, in fact?

12 A. It was February, was it? In that case this must have

13 been slightly later.

14 Q. We can see a date at the bottom of the page. Do you

15 see? 6th November. Now --

16 A. That is when it was signed, yes, but -- or taken, but he

17 is referring to events in March.

18 Q. Indeed. What I would like to ask you about, please, is

19 a passage of your letter to the Secretary of State. And

20 if we go back to that, please, RNI-115-136 (displayed),

21 you see at the bottom of the page you say that you

22 enclose in strictest confidence a letter recently

23 received from Rosemary Nelson about the remarks made to

24 one of her clients last March:

25 "In view of their content, it is hardly surprising

 

 

139


1 that it has taken her some time to steel herself to

2 obtain a statement from him."

3 What I would like to ask you about is what was the

4 basis for that suggestion as to the delay?

5 A. Well, as I recall -- and I think I said that in this it

6 letter -- this client was naturally very, very

7 reluctant, as indeed clients often were, to pass on

8 remarks that had been made to them, and this was

9 a particularly unpleasant, distasteful remark. And

10 although I'm sure that he told Rosemary Nelson about it

11 at the time in March, I think this was one of those many

12 instances where she didn't get round to actually getting

13 it in writing until a long time later. But I felt,

14 given its content, if the client found it difficult to

15 tell her about it, she must have also found it difficult

16 to ask him to make a statement about it.

17 Q. But that was, as it were, a supposition on your part?

18 A. Yes, but I think a natural supposition.

19 Q. What I mean was it wasn't based on anything she said to

20 you at the time?

21 A. No. I mean, I'm afraid that, as I've said before, she

22 was not a paper person and she was very slow sometimes

23 to -- her intention was always to get it written down,

24 but she was often very slow in actually implementing

25 that intention.

 

 

140


1 Q. In your statement at paragraph 59 you describe the delay

2 as being typical of Rosemary as she was not one for

3 paperwork?

4 A. Exactly.

5 Q. That's at RNI-824-039 (displayed).

6 A. It was completely typical.

7 Q. That is obviously a rather different explanation for the

8 delay, isn't it?

9 A. Yes, but I am trying to remember when I gave my

10 statement to Eversheds, whether we actually looked at

11 the content of this particular statement. I think if we

12 had, I might have commented on it. I think we were just

13 looking at names and dates when complaints had been

14 made.

15 Q. Can I ask you to look back at Rosemary Nelson's letter

16 to you, RNI-115-132 (displayed). It is a very short

17 letter of 21st November. What did you understand from

18 the letter? What did she want you to do with the

19 statement which was enclosed?

20 A. I can't remember now without finding out what my

21 previous correspondence with her had been. I mean, in

22 a sense I was constantly trying to encourage her to

23 write things down, in a sense almost train her to write

24 things down, and I may well have asked her, you know,

25 "Where is this statement?" I might have well have

 

 

141


1 written to her and said, "Don't forget to send me that

2 statement", but I'm afraid without seeing this

3 correspondence, I can't be entirely certain now.

4 Q. Turning on to your letter to the Secretary of State

5 again, RNI-115-136 (displayed), the bottom of the page,

6 you say to her that you are enclosing it, the letter,

7 and the statement, in strictest confidence.

8 So, again, the question arises: what did you want

9 the Secretary of State to do with it?

10 A. Might I see the following pages?

11 Q. Of course, it is at RNI-115-137 (displayed).

12 A. I don't think I was asking the Secretary of State to do

13 anything in particular about this particular statement.

14 I was responding to her response to my latest report to

15 the UN, which I had sent her a copy of, and I clearly

16 wasn't satisfied with her response, as you can see from

17 the rest of the letter. And this seemed to me a very

18 immediate and shocking example of the sorts of abuse

19 that some solicitors were being subjected to and I think

20 I hoped that it would be a bit of a wake-up call to her

21 that our reports were not just routine, they were

22 talking about a real issue that had a real effect on

23 people. And I think I pointed out to her that she had

24 met Rosemary Nelson, she knew that Rosemary Nelson had

25 this unfortunate deformity of her face and that these

 

 

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1 kind of remarks were utterly unacceptable. And

2 I couldn't believe the Secretary of State would not

3 agree with that and I hoped that that would galvanise

4 her into taking rather more proactive steps in relation

5 to our reports.

6 Q. But in addition to that, you tell her at the end of the

7 letter, don't you, that you are copying it, her letter

8 and your response, to Mr Cumaraswamy?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. By this stage he had left the UK, his mission had been

11 completed, and he was presumably in the process of

12 producing his draft report?

13 A. I presume so, yes. But he in fact was always, as was

14 his predecessor, very interested in official responses

15 to our reports. So I would -- and they always came

16 after I had sent him the report. So I would normally

17 copy any response that I got, whether it was from the

18 RUC or the Law Society or indeed the Secretary of State,

19 to him.

20 Q. I would just like to take this correspondence with the

21 Secretary of State a couple of steps further, please.

22 Can you look, please, at RNI-115-140 (displayed).

23 Because in fact the response to your letter comes not

24 from the Secretary of State herself but from the

25 minister, Mr Ingram?

 

 

143


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And he deals with the matter generally in the second

3 paragraph, the first full paragraph, and says this:

4 "While allegations of misconduct and abusive remarks

5 are made to NGOs such as you, they tend not to be made

6 to the proper authorities who could investigate them.

7 If these were made to the Police Complaints Authority

8 they could be investigated. If they are made only to

9 the press and NGOs, there is very little the Government

10 or investigating authorities can do."

11 When you read that letter, did that seem to you to

12 be a reasonable point that the minister was making?

13 A. No. Firstly, we had sent them every report that we had

14 ever written on this issue, as well as having

15 correspondence with them about individual matters in

16 between times. But also, I was fairly sure in my mind

17 that Rosemary Nelson had in fact made a complaint to the

18 ICPC, and I contacted her to confirm that and wrote back

19 to him and said in fact she has made a complaint to the

20 ICPC -- that she had in fact made a complaint to the

21 ICPC. So he was actually factually incorrect, I felt,

22 in this instance.

23 Q. Do you mean in saying that the statement should be

24 passed to the proper authorities?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. That is where he deals with the specific case?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. But returning to the general point he is making, isn't

4 it very much the sort of point that Mr Cumaraswamy was

5 making: that the solicitors should use the complaints

6 system which existed to register these matters with the

7 proper authorities?

8 A. I think if one gave a very benign interpretation to this

9 letter, one might think that, but the fact that he

10 couldn't even get the name of the Independent Commission

11 for Police Complaints right but had them conflated with

12 the police authority, suggests a lack of attention to

13 detail here which also suggests a lack of real interest

14 to me.

15 Q. So it follows from that, does it, that you didn't take

16 the letter, as it were, seriously?

17 A. I didn't feel that I was being taken seriously.

18 Q. No.

19 A. I didn't believe that Adam Ingram wrote this letter

20 himself. I believe it was drafted for him by civil

21 servants and that it didn't really deal with the fact

22 that we had been making the same allegations since 1992

23 and here we were, I think, in 1997 making the same

24 allegations and nothing had changed, and nobody,

25 including the Northern Ireland Office, seemed to think

 

 

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1 that it was necessary to do anything about it. And

2 simply encouraging solicitors to use a system which in

3 the end was dismantled and replaced by a much more

4 robust Police Ombudsman following the report by

5 Dr Maurice Hayes, which said it was a useless system, I

6 didn't feel that that was a serious response.

7 Q. In relation to the specific complaint, you said a little

8 while ago that what you said was factually incorrect

9 because you knew that this case had in fact been made

10 the subject of a formal complaint?

11 A. I thought it had and when I checked with Rosemary Nelson

12 it had. So I let Mr Ingram know that.

13 Q. We can see that indeed at the next stage of the

14 correspondence, RNI-115-141 (displayed), 5th January,

15 because you ask her yourself in the second paragraph,

16 don't you, whether a complaint had been made?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In this letter, you don't comment yourself about your

19 own view of the system under which the complaint had

20 been made. As I understand it, you were concerned to

21 know the answer so you could respond to Mr Ingram; is

22 that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And to ask him to keep an eye on the complaint and

25 report to you as to what action, if any, was taken?

 

 

146


1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But you were also intending, it seems, to keep the

3 Special Rapporteur informed because -- and I quote:

4 "He is writing his report to the United Nations"?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So presumably you hoped that this would be something,

7 this exchange, that he would take into account?

8 A. I think, if I am brutally honest, I hoped that the fact

9 that he was writing his report at the time would

10 galvanise Rosemary into replying to me, which indeed it

11 did.

12 Q. It looks as though she telephoned you?

13 A. Indeed, unusually.

14 Q. That is your writing at the bottom?

15 A. It is.

16 Q. And she tells you that:

17 "TC from RN did make complaint. Will fax me

18 a copy."

19 Is that right?

20 A. Yes, she said she made a complaint to Superintendent --

21 Q. Ciphered name, yes. And you then responded, the next

22 page, RNI-115-142 (displayed), with details to

23 Mr Ingram, 22nd January, of the fact that the complaint

24 had been made. And it looks as though Rosemary Nelson

25 had given you some more information about it; namely,

 

 

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1 she had told you, I think, from the third paragraph,

2 that she hadn't received any reply from either the

3 police or the complaints authority. Do you see that?

4 A. Erm. Yes, I do. And indeed I am sure that Rosemary did

5 fax me. I don't know if this is another of those

6 missing documents, but I am sure she did fax me the

7 actual letter in which she said that she had not only

8 complained to the RUC, but had asked them to pass it on

9 to the ICPC, because by that time they were looking into

10 the other complaints. So she specifically named

11 Miss McNally in whom she did have some confidence.

12 Q. But again, so far as the "reply or not" point which you

13 make is concerned, that was based, presumably, on

14 something that she had told you herself?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And presumably over the telephone?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Eventually you heard back from the minister to the

19 effect that in fact there had been correspondence about

20 this complaint between the police and Rosemary Nelson

21 and that the ball was in fact in her court in relation

22 to a reply. Do you remember that?

23 A. Yes. I think they had asked her to attend an interview

24 and she hadn't responded.

25 Q. That is 5th March, RNI-115-147 (displayed). Third

 

 

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1 paragraph:

2 "The police are currently awaiting a response."

3 Do you see?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Based on what you have told us about the paperwork, in

6 truth, you probably weren't surprised to hear that, were

7 you?

8 A. No.

9 Q. When she told you in the telephone conversation, "Well,

10 I have put in material but they haven't responded", did

11 your knowledge of her attitude to paperwork make you

12 pause before making that assertion to the minister?

13 A. No, I thought that if she had received a response, she

14 would have sent me a copy.

15 Q. And she hadn't?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Had she sent you any of the correspondence?

18 A. Yes, she certainly had sent me copies of letters that --

19 some of which we have seen this afternoon, mainly to the

20 RUC.

21 Q. But correspondence in relation to this complaint,

22 I mean, 220?

23 A. Oh, to this complaint? As I say, I am sure she did fax

24 me a copy of the complaint letter. She telephoned me

25 and said that she would fax it and I am sure she did.

 

 

149


1 Q. Looking to the end of the letter, RNI-115-148

2 (displayed), the minister makes the point to you that it

3 has been acknowledged by him, by the chairman of the

4 ICPC, that the current system is not perfect and does

5 not inspire confidence, and that is the stage at which

6 the new system is being introduced. You remember, I'm

7 sure?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. In the last paragraph, he says:

10 "For the time being, however, we must make the most

11 of the system we have. We can only do that if the

12 complainants use the system in place."

13 Again, that is very much what the Rapporteur was

14 saying to the legal profession in Northern Ireland,

15 wasn't it?

16 A. It was, and I think that Rosemary Nelson did take that

17 seriously, probably more seriously than any other

18 solicitor that I can think of, because she recognised

19 him as an independent expert. He was giving advice and

20 she felt she ought to take it, however haphazardly.

21 Q. So compared to other solicitors with whom you had dealt,

22 she used the system much more regularly, didn't she?

23 A. In fact she did, yes.

24 Q. Can I ask you some questions, please, next about

25 Rosemary Nelson and her view of the RUC, because in all

 

 

150


1 the years of contact, discussions, meetings you had with

2 her, you have told us about her reaction to specific

3 events. What was your impression of her own attitude

4 towards the police force in Northern Ireland?

5 A. I think that she was -- she saw them as being as

6 necessary to the administration of justice as the legal

7 profession, and until she started to receive abuse, I

8 think she felt that she enjoyed a good working

9 relationship with the police.

10 She was very shaken by the abuse that she did

11 receive but she was not the kind of person to

12 generalise. She didn't assume that all RUC officers

13 were like that or would indulge in that sort of

14 behaviour. She felt that probably rather a small number

15 of officers based locally had taken exception to her

16 because of the cases that she was involved in and that

17 she really didn't appreciate the comments that they were

18 making.

19 But I never heard her herself abuse the RUC as an

20 organisation. I feel she was somebody who believed in

21 law and order and knew that you had to have a police

22 service if you have an ordered society, and she was

23 disappointed and distressed to find that elements of it

24 were falling down on the job to such an extent. But I

25 didn't feel that she extended the feelings about the

 

 

151


1 individual incidents to the whole of the RUC by any

2 stretch of the imagination.

3 Q. And did you ever, in the years that you knew her, detect

4 any change in her attitude?

5 A. No. I do remember, because there was a lot of

6 discussion about -- leading up to the 1998 Peace

7 Agreement as to what the elements of that agreement

8 would be. And one of them was reform of policing and I

9 can remember having discussions with her about the fact

10 that there did need to be reform of the policing, that

11 the police needed to be more representative of the

12 community as a whole and not be drawn, as they were,

13 almost wholly from the Protestant Unionist community.

14 So she was interested in those issues but not in any

15 kind of -- not with animosity towards the idea that

16 there needed to be a police force. She just wanted to

17 see a better police force and one that didn't have room

18 for the kind of people who were making these kind of

19 remarks about her.

20 Q. And what about the question of politics more generally?

21 Did you detect any particular political views that she

22 held?

23 A. She was quite obviously a Nationalist. She came from

24 the Nationalist community and she made no bones about

25 that, but we never had any really serious political

 

 

152


1 discussions other than in terms of the peace process and

2 how it was going.

3 I remember she was very, very distressed by the

4 Omagh bomb and felt that it might derail the peace

5 process, but she never struck me as being a particularly

6 political animal. She was actually a very busy lawyer

7 who didn't seem to me to have much time for getting

8 involved in politics or to even hold very strong

9 political opinions other than that she would clearly put

10 herself in the Nationalist camp.

11 Q. In your statement at paragraph 105 -- this is

12 RNI-824-055 (displayed) -- you describe an incident in

13 which you discovered that she had put her name to an

14 article in a newspaper?

15 A. I read it in the paper.

16 Q. Thank you. In The Irish News?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you say you think it was inspired by a Sinn Fein-led

19 organisation and which supported the peace process.

20 You say in the statement that you counselled her

21 against doing this, presumably doing it again?

22 A. Yes, I don't think she wrote it herself.

23 Q. No.

24 A. I think she lent her name to it and I suggested to her

25 that that wasn't a wise way to proceed for any

 

 

153


1 solicitor, but particularly for a solicitor who was at

2 risk.

3 Q. Can you remember the date of this?

4 A. I'm afraid not, but I could probably find the newspaper

5 article for you.

6 Q. Thank you. The other, as it were, more public

7 expression of view that you mention in your statement is

8 the fact that she was involved in the "Equal Under the

9 Law" statement made in, I think, January 1998?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. By her and a number of other solicitors in

12 Northern Ireland?

13 A. That's right.

14 Q. Do you remember her discussing that statement with you

15 at the time?

16 A. Yes, I remember that she was very, very grateful to

17 Param Cumaraswamy for having come to Northern Ireland

18 and having listened to her concerns and the concerns of

19 other lawyers, and she also felt that he was critical --

20 I am not sure -- I don't think his report was published

21 at this stage, but I think she sensed that he felt that

22 lawyers could do more to stand up for themselves, as it

23 were.

24 And I don't know if she was the main protagonist of

25 this statement; she was certainly one of the main

 

 

154


1 protagonists, and I remember that she sent me a draft

2 and said did I think it was a good idea. And she saw it

3 as being a way for lawyers to support Param Cumaraswamy

4 by saying, yes, this is an issue, it does affect a lot

5 of lawyers and here we are, prepared to put our names to

6 this publicly.

7 And I thought that was -- as opposed to the other

8 statement that she had put her name to, this was much

9 more a statement coming directly from her and the other

10 lawyers and was an appropriate thing for her to do,

11 although for all of the lawyers concerned a very brave

12 thing for them to do, because a similar statement was

13 put out before Pat Finucane was murdered with not so

14 many signatures but a few signatures on it, and later

15 Pat Finucane was murdered. So to come out with this

16 statement I thought was a brave thing to do as well as

17 also being the right thing to do.

18 Q. Can you remember whether the "Equal Under the Law" piece

19 came before or after the Sinn Fein article you have

20 mentioned?

21 A. I'm afraid I can't, really.

22 Q. You say, when you deal --

23 A. I saw them as completely separate. I never connected

24 them in my mind.

25 Q. No. You say in relation to this piece, the "Equal Under

 

 

155


1 the Law" petition or the statement -- this is

2 paragraph 50 of your statement at RNI-824-035

3 (displayed) -- that she was definitely in the driving

4 seat in relation to this, and when she sent you the

5 draft you assumed that she was the author?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did you ever change that view?

8 A. I think on reflection she may have been the author of

9 the first draft, but my understanding is that it was

10 then circulated to all those who signed it and that

11 there were many small adjustments made to it so that in

12 the end it became a collective document.

13 Q. As I understand the chronology, this January 1998

14 petition or statement came between the visit of the

15 Rapporteur on the one hand and the publication of his

16 report on the other?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And it is to that that I would like to turn next because

19 you touch on this topic also in your statement, and you

20 deal with it in a section beginning in paragraph 51 and

21 that is at RNI-824-036 (displayed).

22 Can I ask you first: how did you come to hear of the

23 controversy surrounding this draft report?

24 A. I think the first thing that I heard was a phone call

25 from Rosemary Nelson herself, who had been talking to

 

 

156


1 Alan Parra, who was Param Cumaraswamy's assistant at the

2 UN.

3 She phoned me up -- I believe it was on a Friday --

4 and I believe it was quite late in the evening, if

5 I recall -- and she was very, very upset about it. She

6 interpreted it as the Chief Constable threatening her

7 life, which is not actually how I personally interpreted

8 it, but I think it gives an indication of how upset she

9 was that that is how she interpreted it at the time.

10 Q. And this was the first that you had heard of the

11 controversy then, was it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. At that stage had you yourself seen the text of the

14 draft report?

15 A. I think I had. I know that a draft was certainly sent

16 to me in confidence with the strict instruction that

17 only factual amendments would be accepted, that this was

18 the Special Rapporteur's report and he wasn't interested

19 in what we thought about the content, but if he had made

20 any kind of factual error that needed correcting, then

21 he would like to hear about it.

22 Q. So you think it came direct to your organisation, do

23 you?

24 A. It came directly to me, yes.

25 Q. From the Rapporteur?

 

 

157


1 A. From Alan Parra, I think.

2 Q. So he wasn't asking for your comments on his drafting

3 style or the points he was making, but for any factual

4 inaccuracies?

5 A. Exactly, and I was quite clear that it was not my job to

6 try and influence what went into his report.

7 Q. No. Can we look, please, at RNI-115-145 (displayed).

8 It is a letter of 2nd March to the Rapporteur and it

9 refers to the telephone call you have just described

10 to us.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And it says that Rosemary Nelson was very upset, and it

13 says that those remarks, controversial remarks,

14 described here as being Chief Constable

15 Ronnie Flanagan's remarks, had been relayed to her by

16 Alan Parra?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So it looks, doesn't it, as though the account you were

19 being given is that Mr Parra had contacted her,

20 Rosemary Nelson, to explain what was going on, what

21 became the controversy about these remarks?

22 A. Yes, I mean, to be honest, I didn't enquire as to why

23 Alan Parra had telephoned her. I was dealing more with

24 her upset and her concern about what was -- the remarks

25 that were being attributed to the Chief Constable.

 

 

158


1 Q. The suggestion you are putting forward here is that it

2 is the juxtaposition of those remarks about lawyers

3 helping paramilitary organisations and the complaints

4 made by Rosemary Nelson -- it is that at the heart of it

5 that would put her, Rosemary Nelson, at serious risk.

6 Is that something, that account of the matter that

7 you put forward, based on what she, Rosemary Nelson, had

8 told you?

9 A. No, she herself -- as I say, the expression she used to

10 me was that her life was being threatened by the

11 Chief Constable. I didn't see it in quite that way and

12 these remarks that I made in this letter were my

13 concerns about the controversy.

14 It was clear that the Chief Constable wanted, as it

15 were, to censor Param Cumaraswamy's report, that he

16 wanted to deny having made any remarks linking certain

17 solicitors with paramilitary groups and he also was

18 saying he would not be answerable for the safety of any

19 lawyer who was named. And as I understood it, he had

20 specifically said he couldn't be responsible for

21 Rosemary Nelson's safety, and that was of great concern:

22 as to why he would single her out. But these were my

23 concerns, not Rosemary Nelson's concerns.

24 Q. But again, this is a complicated issue, I appreciate,

25 but it looks, doesn't it, as though by the time you were

 

 

159


1 writing to the Rapporteur, you had spoken both to

2 Rosemary Nelson and to Alan Parra?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And --

5 A. Yes, and Rosemary, as I say, was very upset and I didn't

6 feel that she fully understood what was going on. So

7 I phoned Alan Parra to find out.

8 Q. Yes. So when you say "as I understand it ..." in the

9 third line of this paragraph --

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. -- did your understanding come from Alan Parra?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. You then go on to raise a whole series of

14 questions in your letter to the Special Rapporteur and

15 that continues to page RNI-115-146 (displayed), and you

16 make the point that you have already made in your

17 evidence that it is not for you to seek to influence the

18 final shape of his report. Do you see that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. But as I understand it, you were setting out various

21 considerations on the one hand, on the other hand, and

22 leaving it up to him to make a decision?

23 A. Yes, I was very conscious that it was his report, not

24 mine.

25 Q. Yes. It is also clear, isn't it, from the third line

 

 

160


1 from the end of this same paragraph, beginning "It is

2 not for me ..." that you had the draft report and had

3 read it by this stage?

4 A. Oh, yes, I'm sure that the draft report that I saw named

5 lawyers; it wasn't the redacted version. In fact, I had

6 both versions in the end.

7 Q. So it looks then as though by this stage, 2nd March, you

8 had had the two telephone conversations, Rosemary Nelson

9 and Alan Parra, and had had the opportunity to read,

10 consider, form a view of the draft report?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And can I ask you, please, to look at your statement and

13 paragraph 51. That is at RNI-824-026 (displayed).

14 In this paragraph in your statement you deal with

15 the question of the draft for the first time, I think,

16 and you talk about the circulation in draft in the

17 second sentence. You say in the third sentence, which

18 is the one that puzzled me:

19 "I think that this was in March 1998, as both

20 Paul Mageean and I were over in Geneva for a couple of

21 days at this time."

22 Then you go on to describe a conversation in the

23 corridor.

24 The question I wanted to ask you is this: do you

25 think that what you have just been telling us -- that

 

 

161


1 you received the telephone calls from Rosemary Nelson

2 and Alan Parra, you had already read the draft, you

3 wrote to the Rapporteur -- do you think all that, on

4 reflection, happened before your encounter with the

5 staff in the corridor in Geneva?

6 A. I think it must have done, yes.

7 Q. So that in fact by this stage, at the UN headquarters,

8 you were in the corridor, you had already seen the

9 draft, read it, had the exchanges and indeed written to

10 the Rapporteur?

11 A. I think that must be right, yes.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Would that be a convenient moment to have

13 a 10-minute break?

14 MR PHILLIPS: Yes.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Right, we will have a 10-minute break.

16 (4.37 pm)

17 (Short break)

18 (4.57 pm)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

20 MR PHILLIPS: Ms Winter, we were looking at the letter at

21 RNI-115-145 (displayed) and trying to reconstruct

22 together this rather complicated history.

23 Can I ask you in relation to the conversations with

24 Rosemary Nelson and with Alan Parra, did you make notes

25 during those conversations?

 

 

162


1 A. Yes, and I believe somewhere that I have seen a typed

2 version of the discussion with Rosemary Nelson.

3 Q. Right.

4 A. But I don't think I typed up my discussion with

5 Alan Parra. I think I simply reflected what he told me

6 in the letter to Mr Cumaraswamy.

7 Q. Thank you. In relation to that conversation, the

8 conversation with Alan Parra, do you see you refer to

9 that in the second and third lines of the letter,

10 2nd March?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And you told me earlier that what then follows after "as

13 I understand it ..." was based on your conversation with

14 Mr Parra, I think; is that right?

15 A. No. Do you mean what follows in that first paragraph?

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Thank you. So to be clear then, did Mr Parra tell you,

19 as you recall, that the remarks had been made by the

20 Chief Constable?

21 A. No, he told me what I have said in the letter there,

22 which was that they were told at the outset of their

23 meeting, which was attended by not only the

24 Chief Constable but I believe two other senior RUC

25 officers, that anything said in the meeting should be

 

 

163


1 attributed in the report to the Chief Constable. And as

2 I recall, Alan Parra made very detailed notes at the

3 meeting, he told me, but he didn't attribute them to

4 individual officers. So he couldn't be certain whether

5 the Chief Constable himself had made these remarks or

6 one of the other officers. But he had been told, and

7 the Special Rapporteur had been told, that all remarks

8 should be regarded as having been made by the

9 Chief Constable.

10 Q. Told by whom?

11 A. I assume by the Chief Constable himself.

12 Q. So in your conversation and in answer to my original

13 question, Alan Parra did not tell you that the

14 Chief Constable had made these remarks?

15 A. No. And as you can see, I said -- I explained -- I used

16 the phrase "remarks attributed to him" or rather

17 "remarks attributed", because I understood that it might

18 not have been the Chief Constable himself who said it

19 but I understood he was taking responsibility for

20 everything that was said at the meeting.

21 Q. As I understand it, the information about who was to

22 take responsibility for the meeting came in this

23 telephone call with Alan Parra?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And that, you refer to in paragraph 52 of your

 

 

164


1 statement, RNI-824-036 (displayed). But again, to be

2 clear, based on what you said just a little while ago,

3 there was no note made by you of this conversation with

4 Mr Parra?

5 A. No. I'm sorry, I did make handwritten notes while I was

6 talking to him but I didn't type them up, and I am not

7 sure that I would have kept them either.

8 Q. You say just a little further down the paragraph:

9 "He ..."

10 And in this context it is Mr Parra:

11 "... was pretty sure it was the Chief Constable that

12 ..."

13 Can I take that to be your recollection of this

14 conversation with Mr Parra?

15 A. Yes, but he said he couldn't be 100 per cent certain of

16 it because of this attribution issue that had arisen

17 right at the outset of the meeting.

18 Q. Yes. Then the final sentence of this paragraph:

19 "Alan Parra also told me ..."

20 Again, I am assuming that this was something passed

21 on to you by Mr Parra in the telephone conversation the

22 two of you had; is that right?

23 A. Yes, and this is clearly what Rosemary had been talking

24 about when she telephoned me on the Friday and what she

25 was so upset about.

 

 

165


1 Q. But this remark said to have been made by the

2 Chief Constable, as I understand it, was part of the

3 controversy?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Rather than something said by the Chief Constable at the

6 meeting?

7 A. I think it must have been some dialogue that had been

8 going on between either Alan Parra or Mr Cumaraswamy

9 himself and the RUC about the report, because I don't

10 remember seeing anything that -- that remark in the

11 draft report.

12 So I think you must be right that it was something

13 said in the course of the discussion about what should

14 go into the report.

15 Q. Reading through your statement to paragraph 56 at

16 RNI-824-037 (displayed), you say at the at the bottom of

17 the page:

18 "I was also telephoned by the Rapporteur himself to

19 canvass my opinion as to whether or not he should amend

20 his report and remove references to specific names."

21 A. Actually, I thought over that and I am not sure that he

22 was asking my opinion. I think he was really explaining

23 his decision to me. I think he had already decided that

24 he just couldn't afford to name the solicitors, that he

25 couldn't afford to take the risk that he might put any

 

 

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1 of their lives at risk.

2 So I don't think he was asking what I thought. I

3 think he might have been asking me did I think he had

4 done the right thing, but I think he had already made

5 his decision.

6 Q. In this paragraph in your statement, and reading over to

7 RNI-824-038 (displayed) -- it is the last sentence of

8 the paragraph -- you say:

9 "Subsequently, I wrote to the Special Rapporteur."

10 I think you are referring to the letter we looked

11 at, the 2nd March letter?

12 A. Yes, but I think I must have written that letter to him

13 before I spoke to him or he spoke to me.

14 Q. So on reflection, you think that the telephone call came

15 after you had sent your letter to him?

16 A. I think so. I think he was responding to that and I

17 think telling me that the matter was already settled as

18 far as he was concerned, but asking me if I thought that

19 was the correct thing for him to do.

20 Q. So he was, as it were, explaining what had actually

21 happened?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. That he had in fact taken the drafting decision, if I

24 can put it that way?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. And discussing the pros and cons, the arguments on one

2 side and the other, with you?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. But it wasn't a drafting discussion --

5 A. No.

6 Q. -- because that had already happened?

7 A. I think on reflection he had made his decision already.

8 Q. Yes. So far as your attitude to the question of names

9 is concerned, you refer to that at the top of the page,

10 RNI-824-038, if we can enlarge that end of paragraph 56

11 please (displayed).

12 As I understand it, the point you are making is,

13 well, look, if these lawyers are prepared to have their

14 details passed on to you, then that was probably

15 sufficient authority for them to appear in the report.

16 Is that a fair summary?

17 A. Yes, I didn't feel that this controversy would have made

18 any difference to the decision that the lawyers had

19 already made to allow themselves to be named in the

20 report. Certainly Rosemary herself, although she was

21 very upset and I think had misinterpreted what was being

22 attributed to the Chief Constable as a threat,

23 nonetheless never suggested to me that she thought her

24 name should be left out of the report.

25 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you: did you discuss that

 

 

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1 specific question with her?

2 A. I think I did, yes.

3 Q. Yes. And her attitude was that she didn't have a view

4 on it?

5 A. No, I think her view was that she had already given her

6 permission and that that decision stood, and in many

7 ways by then her name was very much in the public domain

8 in any case.

9 Q. But presumably you could also understand why it was in

10 the end that the Rapporteur decided to remove the names?

11 A. Oh, yes, I wouldn't have expected him to be anything

12 other than cautious, and he was very cautious about it.

13 Q. Can I ask you to look, please, at a letter you wrote

14 very shortly after this to the Secretary of State. It

15 is 10th March and it is RNI-115-155 (displayed). The

16 first two paragraphs concern the correspondence we were

17 looking at earlier, don't they?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. But in the third paragraph, you move on to this topic of

20 the Rapporteur. And in the fourth line you confirm that

21 you had seen the draft?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And then you say:

24 "By those means, we had become aware that when the

25 Special Rapporteur met the Chief Constable, a senior

 

 

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1 police officer, possibly Assistant Chief Constable ..."

2 Then there is a cipher:

3 "... commented that some solicitors ..."

4 Then there is the key phrase.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Where did that information come from?

7 A. I think that must have come from Alan Parra, who I think

8 said to me that he was 99 per cent certain it was the

9 Chief Constable, but if not, then it was the

10 Assistant Chief Constable. But as he hadn't recorded in

11 his notes who said what, he wasn't able to say with

12 certainty.

13 Q. But here you are putting it in a rather different way,

14 aren't you:

15 "We have become aware that when the Rapporteur met

16 the Chief Constable, a senior police officer commented

17 ..."

18 A. Yes, because we couldn't be sure which senior police

19 officer of the three who had been present had said it.

20 Q. But in this letter, unlike in the earlier material we

21 have seen, you are specifically, aren't you, suggesting

22 that it was not the Chief Constable but possibly this

23 other senior officer?

24 A. I think I was simply trying to be as honest as I had

25 been with the Secretary of State as to who may or may

 

 

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1 not have made the remark, and I drew her attention to

2 the fact that the Chief Constable had absolutely denied

3 that he had made the remark, but one of the three must

4 have made it. And I was simply saying if it wasn't him,

5 then possibly it was this Assistant Chief Constable and

6 that must have come from Alan Parra since I wasn't at

7 the meeting and had no idea who made the remark.

8 Q. If you knew at this stage that there were three officers

9 present -- I think you said three a minute ago?

10 A. I think it was three.

11 Q. What was the basis on which you identified this person

12 rather than, for example, the third officer?

13 A. As I say, I believe it came from my discussion with

14 Alan Parra on that Monday morning. And when I was

15 writing to Param Cumaraswamy, in a sense it didn't

16 matter which officer had made the comment, it was

17 whether or not the comment had been made and what its

18 import was.

19 For all I knew, Param Cumaraswamy would remember

20 exactly who made the remark, but I didn't know after

21 talking to Alan Parra whether that was the case or not.

22 When I was writing to the Secretary of State, I was

23 trying to reflect as accurately as I could what I had

24 been told, but I am saying it doesn't really matter who

25 made the remark, it is what is the content that matters.

 

 

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1 Q. But in terms of the accounts of the meeting that you had

2 had at this stage, 10th March, had you received another

3 account in addition to that given to you by Alan Parra?

4 A. I may well have done, because I seem to remember that my

5 telephone was red-hot.

6 I had several conversations with Alan Parra. I also

7 had conversations at some point -- and I am not quite

8 sure where this fits in the chronology -- with John Ware

9 from the BBC and they were both -- these were both

10 people who had masters to make themselves accountable

11 to, who were very concerned that they hadn't slipped up

12 in some way or weren't attributing something wrongly.

13 So Alan Parra was very worried. I believe he was

14 put through quite a stringent internal process at the UN

15 to make sure that he could stand over his notes, and

16 similarly John Ware was put through within the BBC

17 a similar kind of process.

18 So there was an awful lot of discussion going

19 backwards and forwards.

20 Q. Well, I think the John Ware conversation, as far as we

21 can ascertain anyway, came afterwards, after

22 Rosemary Nelson's death.

23 A. It probably did.

24 Q. Because that is when he made his television programme,

25 if you remember, "Careless Talk"?

 

 

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1 A. I am trying to remember whether that was the programme

2 in which he had a long interview with

3 Sir Ronnie Flanagan.

4 Q. It was.

5 A. It was? In that case you are probably right, it must

6 have been later. But I am sure I spoke to Alan Parra

7 more than once whilst all of this was going on.

8 Q. Can I come back to my question. At this point on

9 10th March 1998, had you had an account from anybody

10 else present at the meeting of what had happened at the

11 meeting?

12 A. No, other than Alan Parra and Param Cumaraswamy, who

13 told me that he was relying entirely on Alan Parra's

14 notes. He couldn't remember who said the remark.

15 Q. He said he couldn't remember?

16 A. He couldn't remember which officer it was. He did

17 remember the remark being made.

18 Q. Right.

19 A. But, you know, Alan Parra was there to take notes for

20 him and he would rely on his notes.

21 Q. So far as Mr Parra is concerned, can I ask you to look

22 back, please, to paragraph 52 of your statement, which

23 is the bottom of RNI-824-036 and enlarge paragraph 52,

24 please (displayed). We looked at this just a little

25 while ago, and the phrase you use there is:

 

 

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1 "He could not be 100 per cent sure whether in fact

2 it was the Chief Constable who made the comment or one

3 of the other officers. He was pretty sure it was the

4 Chief Constable."

5 What I am asking you is if that is what he told you

6 in the conversation, how was it you came to identify the

7 other officer in the way that you did in your letter of

8 10th March to the Secretary of State?

9 A. It can only have come from a discussion with Alan Parra.

10 Whether it was that discussion or a subsequent

11 discussion I can't be entirely sure.

12 Q. So you think there was another discussion with

13 Alan Parra subsequent to the one you are referring to in

14 this paragraph of your statement but before your letter

15 of 10th March?

16 A. I'm sure there was more than one. I'm absolutely

17 certain that we were talking quite a lot on the phone.

18 He was very exercised about it. He was a very

19 professional person and he was worried that this

20 controversy would damage his reputation as

21 a professional UN employee.

22 Q. Was it clear to you in that second conversation that he

23 himself was uncertain as to who had made the remark?

24 A. I think he was uncertain from the outset. I think at

25 the very first discussion I had with him, he said he was

 

 

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1 pretty sure, almost certain, that it was the

2 Chief Constable but he couldn't be 100 per cent sure,

3 and he never varied from that. Because his notes, you

4 know -- and don't forget they had a number of meetings

5 during the mission. I don't know how many, but a good

6 many, with a good many different people and at that

7 point all he could rely on was his notes and his notes

8 didn't tell him, because he hadn't been -- you know, he

9 had been told that it didn't matter which officer made

10 any particular remark; they should all be attributed to

11 the Chief Constable.

12 Q. Thank you. Can we move on in the chronology now,

13 please, and look at RNI-115-195 (displayed). This is

14 a letter from you to the Chief Constable,

15 5th November 1998, and you are sending him a copy of

16 your most recent report to the Rapporteur.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Just to get hold of the chronology here, this was some

19 six or seven months after the publication of what became

20 the final version of the report we have just been

21 looking at, wasn't it?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. And in the way that you have told us before, you

24 included the Chief Constable as a recipient of your

25 report to the Rapporteur?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. We can see the start of the report at RNI-115-196

3 (displayed). It is entitled "Mistaken Identity:

4 Attempted Intimidations of Defence Lawyers in

5 Northern Ireland, Murder of Pat Finucane and Other

6 Issues" and it is a document which goes on in our bundle

7 to RNI-115-227. If you could just look at that, please

8 (displayed).

9 You received a response to this report from the

10 Chief Constable, didn't you?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And before we look at that, could we just look briefly

13 at RNI-115-221 (displayed), because there at 8.3 we see

14 specific reference in the context of intimidation,

15 et cetera, of Rosemary Nelson?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Looking at the answer or response you received -- we can

18 see it at RNI-115-228 (displayed) -- it is a letter from

19 the Chief Constable of 11th November, addressed to you:

20 "I have received the documents forwarded with your

21 letter of 5th November. I suppose by now I should

22 really have learnt to expect and not be surprised by the

23 total absence of balance in reports produced by your

24 organisation. This latest report continues your now

25 well-established practice in that regard."

 

 

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1 At this point, in November 1998, had you ever

2 received any correspondence from the Chief Constable

3 before?

4 A. This is the only letter I ever received from him while

5 he was an RUC officer, or indeed since.

6 Q. So in relation to his comment as to the total absence of

7 balance, was that a complaint about your organisation

8 that you had ever heard voiced by him in earlier years?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Did you have any basis for believing at this point that

11 that was his view of British Irish Rights Watch?

12 A. Well, it was a letter from him to me and that is what he

13 was saying and I assumed that he regarded our

14 organisation with contempt.

15 Q. Were you surprised to learn that?

16 A. Not altogether, I regret to say. He had been very

17 unresponsive, not just to our reports about intimidation

18 of defence lawyers but to every report or letter that we

19 ever sent to him. Usually we would just get an

20 acknowledgment from one of his staff. This was the

21 first time he had expressed any kind of opinion.

22 But had he been in any way concerned about abuse and

23 intimidation of defence lawyers, he was the

24 Chief Constable, one word from him and his officers

25 would have stopped that kind of behaviour and he clearly

 

 

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1 never uttered that word and it never crossed his mind to

2 do so, and he seemed to think that our reports were

3 simply not worth consideration.

4 Q. Did you respond to him at the time, making those points?

5 A. I don't think I did. I didn't see any point.

6 Q. Why do you say that?

7 A. It just seemed to me that it was so dismissive that

8 dialogue which had never existed up until that date was

9 not about to commence.

10 I was also really quite shocked, because

11 Rosemary Nelson had given us her permission to name her

12 in that report, which wasn't our usual practice, and I

13 think to some extent that decision on her part was

14 informed by the fact that her name was taken out of

15 Param Cumaraswamy's report. And I think she felt,

16 especially following the statement from the 33 lawyers

17 that she had been so heavily involved in, that she was

18 now, as it were, out of the closet in relation to these

19 issues and was prepared to state publicly what was

20 happening to her. And to get a response like this to

21 such serious matters, an accusation that officers had

22 assaulted a female solicitor on the Garvaghy Road in the

23 wee small hours of the morning, and all he can say he is

24 not surprised by the lack of balance in our reports,

25 didn't really seem worth an answer to me.

 

 

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1 Q. Did you ever receive a more detailed or substantial

2 critique of your reports, this report --

3 A. No --

4 Q. Had you ever received one in relation to earlier

5 reports?

6 A. No. His response was also actually in marked contrast

7 to responses that we got from other authorities,

8 particularly the professional organisations who had

9 taken to heart some of Param Cumaraswamy's criticisms

10 and sent us much more responsive replies in which they

11 didn't enter into a dialogue with us.

12 So his letter was in stark contrast to other people

13 who really were beginning to sit up and take notice.

14 Q. By professional authorities, do you mean, for example,

15 the Law Society?

16 A. Yes, and the Bar Council. Both, I think, sent much more

17 detailed replies and engaged with the issues.

18 Q. So that in that sense the Special Rapporteur's report

19 was having what, in your view at any rate, was

20 a beneficial effect?

21 A. Yes, but not apparently with the Chief Constable.

22 Q. If we look at this very point back into the text of your

23 eighth report, the one that you sent to him, we see the

24 way you put it at the bottom of RNI-115-222 (displayed),

25 which comes after the table, a similar table to the one

 

 

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1 we saw a little earlier. Do you see at the bottom of

2 the page, you say:

3 "All in all, the picture painted by these

4 instructions continues to be one of police officers who

5 are extremely unprofessional in their attitude towards

6 lawyers."

7 Then over the page, the top of the page -- if we can

8 enlarge that, please:

9 "It does appear that any instructions have been

10 issued to RUC officers following the Special

11 Rapporteur's report to modify their language or refrain

12 from abusing solicitors, albeit that if such an

13 instruction has been issued, it is being ignored

14 wholesale."

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. That was your view as at October 1998?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In your statement and just now in your evidence, you

19 have used the expresses "one word"; in other words, one

20 word from the Chief Constable would have put an end to

21 this behaviour.

22 How do you think in practice he would have been able

23 to make things right with one word?

24 A. Well, the RUC at the time was a very top down

25 organisation. The Chief Constable had a great deal of

 

 

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1 influence over what went on within the RUC and there was

2 a system of internal communication -- I think they were

3 referred to as force orders -- where the Chief Constable

4 or another senior officer for that matter could issue

5 instructions to the whole of the RUC, clearly in writing

6 and quite expeditiously.

7 So if the Chief Constable had been concerned about

8 these reports, he could easily have communicated to

9 every single officer in the RUC that this kind of

10 behaviour was unacceptable, that it would be the subject

11 of disciplinary action, that he would not tolerate it.

12 And indeed, his successor has made those kind of

13 comments in different circumstances and sent a very

14 clear message to his officers. And I think one would

15 expect any Chief Constable to be in a position to do

16 that.

17 Q. Can you remember ever raising that suggestion, that

18 possibility, with the RUC?

19 A. I don't think I raised it with the RUC, but I believe

20 I raised it with Mo Mowlam, the Secretary of State.

21 Q. Sir, I am just about to move on to another topic. I am

22 very conscious it is now half past five.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: How long do you think you will take to

24 complete this?

25 MR PHILLIPS: Another 45 minutes.

 

 

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: 45 minutes? Ms Winter, it would greatly

2 assist -- and your evidence has assisted us a lot -- if

3 you could manage to be here tomorrow morning. I know

4 that will put you in personal difficulties, but it would

5 be of very, very great assistance to us. Do you think

6 you could manage that?

7 A. Yes.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: You could?

9 A. Yes.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed. Could you be

11 here at 9.15? There is a wry smile, not surprisingly,

12 from Mr Phillips, but clearly it is important that this

13 witness's evidence is completed before Mr Cumaraswamy

14 gives his evidence and before Mr Parra's evidence is

15 heard.

16 So we will adjourn now until 9.15 tomorrow morning.

17 Once again I would like to thank particularly the

18 stenographer for sitting late this evening. We will

19 adjourn until 9.15 tomorrow morning.

20 (5.30 pm)

21 (The Inquiry adjourned until 9.15 am the following day)

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