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Full Hearings

Hearing: 21st May 2008, day 24

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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 Wednesday, 21st May 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Wednesday, 21st May 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (10.48 am)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

6 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, before Mr Mageean is sworn and gives

7 evidence to you, can I mention that we have handed in

8 a table of witnesses from non-governmental

9 organisations, which indicates in the usual way where

10 these statements are to be found in the bundle, and

11 those of the witnesses who are to be called to give

12 evidence. Mr Mageean is the first of the witnesses.

13 There are more to be called in the first week after the

14 break, the week beginning 2nd June.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

16 MR PAUL MAGEEAN (sworn)

17 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

18 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Mageean, can you give us your full names,

19 please.

20 A. Yes. Paul Mageean.

21 Q. Do you have a copy of the statement you made to the

22 Inquiry in front of you?

23 A. I do.

24 Q. Can we have it up on the screen, please, at RNI-813-374

25 (displayed)? Do we see your signature and the date of

 

 

2

 

1 8th May last year at RNI-813-409 (displayed)?

2 A. Yes, that's right.

3 Q. Thank you very much. It is right, isn't it, that you

4 have been shown this morning some further documents in

5 relation to your evidence?

6 A. I have.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, before we get in any detail into what

8 you have said in your statement, can I just ask you some

9 questions about the Committee for the Administration of

10 Justice?

11 A. Sure.

12 Q. First of all, when was the organisation established?

13 A. The organisation was established in the early 1980s.

14 Q. With what purpose?

15 A. The purpose was to try to secure international human

16 rights standards in Northern Ireland and to ensure that

17 the Government complied with those standards, and

18 I suppose the primary purpose in the early days of the

19 organisation was to campaign on the issue of emergency

20 legislation.

21 Q. Did it remain, during the time you were with the

22 organisation in the 1990s, a campaigning organisation?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. When did you first become connected with CAJ?

25 A. Well, I became a member -- CAJ is a membership

 

 

3

 

1 organisation and I became a member probably around 1992

2 or 1993 and I subsequently became a staff member in

3 1995.

4 Q. In 1992 and 1993 you were working as a solicitor,

5 weren't you?

6 A. That's right.

7 Q. And you worked for Mr McGrory's firm for four years, I

8 think?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Can I ask you, please, to tell us what sort of work you

11 did as a lawyer with that firm?

12 A. Well, I suppose there would have been two main aspects

13 to the work. PJ McGrory & Co was a major criminal law

14 firm -- is a major criminal law firm and quite a lot of

15 my work would have involved both Magistrates Court and

16 Crown Court criminal work, and I was also responsible

17 for some litigation issues in the county court.

18 Q. You also say in paragraph 2 of your statement that you

19 joined CAJ because you wanted to specialise in human

20 rights law. Do you see that sentence?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Was that something you had experience of at Mr McGrory's

23 firm?

24 A. Yes, a lot of the work in PJ McGrory & Co would have

25 been work that I suppose now would be classified as

 

 

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1 human rights-type work. Many of the civil claims that

2 we lodged would have been on behalf of clients who were

3 claiming that their rights had been violated by the

4 police and Army. And in addition, we had some

5 experience of lodging cases with the European Court of

6 Human Rights.

7 Q. So that the work you began to do when you joined CAJ was

8 not in a sense taking you into a new area of law?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Thank you. In the criminal work that you did for

11 Mr McGrory's firm, can I take it that you would have

12 attended court on behalf of your clients?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Would you also have attended them at the police station?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And at the holding centres?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is it possible for you now to estimate the regularity

19 with which you visited, for example, the holding

20 centres?

21 A. Well, it is difficult to be precise. Most of our

22 clients would have been detained, if they were held at a

23 holding centre, would have been held at Castlereagh.

24 Barra McGrory would have done the bulk of that work, but

25 I would certainly have been in regular attendance from,

 

 

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1 I suppose, 1992 up until the end of my time with

2 McGrory's. How often? It is very difficult to say. It

3 tended to fluctuate quite considerably.

4 Q. What about attendance at the police station? Again, is

5 it possible for you to put some form of estimate

6 on that?

7 A. I certainly would have been in police stations on behalf

8 of clients, certainly every week.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, I think I am right in saying that you

10 left CAJ in 2004?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. And joined the court service?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. What was your job there?

15 A. I was head of the criminal justice secretariat in the

16 court service and the main purpose of my job there was

17 to try to ensure that the court service was implementing

18 the recommendations that had arisen from the criminal

19 justice review which, in itself, had arisen from the

20 Good Friday Agreement. And I spent slightly over a year

21 doing that with the court service.

22 Q. Then I think you joined the Criminal Justice

23 Inspectorate?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. If you look at your statement at paragraph 9 at

 

 

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1 RNI-813-377 (displayed), you say there -- yes, it is at

2 the top of the page -- you have been there since

3 last June. I think it is right, isn't it, that you

4 joined the Inspectorate in June 2005?

5 A. That's right.

6 Q. Thank you. What is your work there?

7 A. The Inspectorate has a remit to inspect all of the

8 agencies that make up the criminal justice system in

9 Northern Ireland, and I have been involved in a number

10 of such inspections. So, for instance, I led last year

11 the first baseline inspection of the public prosecution

12 service and I have recently completed an inspection on

13 the impact of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act,

14 which is the equality duty here on the criminal justice

15 system.

16 Q. You are an inspector. Presumably above you there is

17 a chief inspector, is there?

18 A. That's right.

19 Q. And a deputy?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. How many inspectors are there?

22 A. Six.

23 Q. And you then tell us in the same paragraph that you also

24 teach at Queen's University. Is that still right?

25 A. Yes, I've just been appointed as director of the

 

 

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1 Graduate School for Professional Legal Education at the

2 University of Ulster, which is the new solicitor

3 training course at the University of Ulster. So I have

4 had to stop my teaching at Queen's.

5 Q. Presumably that's a part-time job?

6 A. No, it's full-time. I'm leaving the Inspectorate.

7 Q. Later this year?

8 A. Later this month.

9 Q. Now, in terms of the teaching you did at Queen's

10 University, you tell us that this was in international

11 law but that you also have taught in the criminal

12 justice masters programme?

13 A. That's right.

14 Q. Before we get into any further detail, can I just ask

15 you to look, please, at paragraph 15 of your statement

16 at RNI-813-379 (displayed). Now, I take this -- correct

17 me if I am wrong -- to be a general comment about your

18 recollection at this stage?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. So that in giving this evidence to the Inquiry, you are

21 obviously conscious, as I see it, that it is difficult

22 sometimes to distinguish between what you remember from

23 before Rosemary Nelson's murder and what you have read,

24 seen and heard about since. Is that a fair way of

25 putting it?

 

 

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1 A. Yes. I mean, there are clearly some things that I have

2 a very definite recollection of, but yes, it is also the

3 case that as I have gone through some of the

4 documentation that has been shown to me, it has of

5 course sparked other memories and reminded me of things

6 that perhaps may have begun to slip my memory.

7 Q. There are some matters -- is this right? -- that are

8 clear in your memory, but others where, frankly, if it

9 hadn't been for seeing the documents, you probably

10 wouldn't have recalled them?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you first of all when you first

13 met Rosemary Nelson?

14 A. I think I first met Rosemary -- I mean, I would have

15 been aware of who she was when I was working with

16 PJ McGrory & Co, but I don't think I met her until

17 I began to work for CAJ. So I think it was probably

18 around 1995/1996.

19 Q. At that stage, as I understand it, Mr O'Brien was the

20 director of the organisation?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you, I think I am right in saying, were recruited to

23 be the legal officer. Is that right?

24 A. That's right.

25 Q. As part of your work, was it your role to deal with

 

 

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1 complaints received from solicitors?

2 A. Well, it became my role. I mean, CAJ at that stage was

3 a very small organisation. We had, I think, four staff

4 members including myself. There wasn't a very definite

5 demarcation of roles and responsibilities, but yes,

6 because I was a solicitor, as those issues came up it

7 tended to be that I would deal with them.

8 Q. So that is something that, as it were, evolved?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. After you joined the organisation?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did you become, as a result of that, the main individual

13 at CAJ dealing with this particular issue?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you. And it follows, does it, that

16 Rosemary Nelson was one among a number of solicitors

17 with whom you dealt with this point?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Over the years?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 10 of your statement, where you

22 tell us about your first knowledge of Rosemary Nelson --

23 this is at RNI-813-377 (displayed) -- you describe her

24 practice, and you say:

25 "In the early 1990s, it was ..."

 

 

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1 And you put it this way "run of the mill"?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. Can I ask you first, what was that understanding based

4 upon?

5 A. Well, when I was at PJ McGrory & Co we would have had

6 a broad understanding of what her practices were like in

7 other firms. Rosemary's firm was in Lurgan, which was a

8 country town, and she would have done some criminal work

9 which is how I think I would have known her, but I think

10 the bulk of her work at that stage would have been

11 general legal work that would have come in in any

12 country town.

13 Q. Just to be clear, was that description of her practice

14 something that she gave to you or was it something you

15 simply picked up?

16 A. I can't be precise about that.

17 Q. No. But as I understand it, what you set out for us in

18 paragraphs 10 and 11 is what you perceive to be a change

19 in the nature of her practice. Is that a fair way of

20 putting it?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And that the change came about, did it, as a result of

23 her taking on what you call high profile cases?

24 A. Yes, that's right.

25 Q. Which were the ones you have in mind?

 

 

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1 A. Colin Duffy's various cases, the case of Robert Hamill

2 and of course the Garvaghy Road case.

3 Q. And you deal with those in greater detail in your

4 statement. We will come back to them.

5 But can I ask you first this: once you were at CAJ,

6 working there from I think you said the mid 1990s, how

7 frequently would you speak to Rosemary Nelson?

8 A. I don't remember that in, say, for instance, my first

9 year I would have spoken to her very often. I think

10 this began to become block a more regular engagement in

11 probably late 1996, which was about a year and a half

12 after a joined CAJ.

13 Q. Did that coincide, in your memory at least, with the

14 period when she began to take on these high profile

15 cases?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Was it the case in short that she became, from that

18 point, of greater interest to your organisation?

19 A. Yes, that's probably true.

20 Q. And so the frequency of contact increased and did it

21 continue to increase during the remaining years of her

22 life?

23 A. Yes, it did.

24 Q. Up to and including the last year of her life. Is that

25 right?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So by that stage, let us say 1998 to the early part of

3 1999, how often would you be speaking to her?

4 A. I would guess probably about once a week.

5 Q. Did you feel you came to know her well?

6 A. Reasonably well, yes.

7 Q. Would these be mostly telephone conversations?

8 A. Mostly.

9 Q. How often did you meet her?

10 A. It is difficult to say. I would have met her

11 occasionally. The relationship, I suppose, was based on

12 two issues. One was her own -- I am sure the stuff that

13 we will get into in relation to her own safety and

14 concerns around that. The other aspects of it was that

15 CAJ was also very interested in some of the cases that

16 she was involved in.

17 So in relation to that latter part, I would have met

18 her regularly enough at court. If, for instance, there

19 was a hearing on the Duffy case or something, we have

20 gone round as observers and I may have met her there.

21 If it was in relation to her own personal safety

22 concerns, that tended to be something that we would have

23 dealt with more in her office and I don't know how many

24 times I visited her office, maybe somewhere around

25 a dozen times.

 

 

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1 Q. In all?

2 A. In all.

3 Q. So those conversations about her own safety would have

4 taken place face-to-face?

5 A. More -- she would have called and updated on to things,

6 but yes, if we were to have a substantive discussion

7 about that, it would have tended to happen in her

8 office.

9 Q. In relation to the other category, the category of cases

10 in which your organisation was particularly interested,

11 can you just help us with a list of those? Would it

12 include, for example, the Garvaghy Road matter?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. The Colin Duffy matter?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Robert Hamill?

17 A. Robert Hamill probably above all others.

18 Q. Were there any others?

19 A. I think towards the end Rosemary was involved the South

20 Armagh sniper case, and we would have had some

21 involvement and interest in that because of the

22 circumstances of the arrest of those individuals. So I

23 would have had some involvement with her on that.

24 Q. Now, I am not sure you mention it in your statement but

25 it is certainly not something that appears to be given

 

 

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1 prominence in the papers we have seen?

2 A. No, it was -- from my recollection, that was towards the

3 end of Rosemary's life and it wasn't the case that we

4 were -- it wasn't a case that was prominent in terms of

5 our concerns, but I certainly remember that we had

6 conversations about it.

7 Q. Based on the many conversations and meetings you had

8 with her, can you help with this question: What do you

9 think was her motivation in her work?

10 A. Well, I suppose her primary motivation, like most

11 lawyers, was that she wanted to make a living and it was

12 her job. I think as she began to get involved in some

13 of the higher profile work, she certainly felt, I think,

14 a sense of outrage at times in relation to what had

15 happened to her clients and I am sure that that to some

16 extent meant that she was -- she would do all that she

17 could for her clients. That was certainly the

18 impression that I had.

19 Q. So you had the impression, did you, that she was

20 prepared to go, as it were, the extra mile for her

21 clients. Is that fair?

22 A. The extra mile upon a professional basis, yes.

23 Q. But the annoyance or outrage that you mention never

24 caused you, did it, to be concerned that she might be

25 going beyond the professional bounds in her approach to

 

 

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1 her work?

2 A. No.

3 Q. No. You never had concern to doubt that?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Now, can we just look at the thing a little more

6 generally. In paragraph 11, at RNI-813-377 (displayed),

7 you refer to the point you and I have already discussed,

8 which is that in your work you receive complaints from

9 other solicitors?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. And you refer there to threats. To be clear, do you

12 mean death threats?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And again, just to try and put a little more detail into

15 this paragraph, can you remember the numbers involved?

16 A. Again, it is difficult to be precise. I would guess

17 that the bulk of solicitors -- well, there were a number

18 of organisations, of human rights organisations that

19 were working in this field. I think the organisation

20 that was probably most involved in the work around

21 intimidation of defence lawyers was British Irish Rights

22 Watch, and I would think that the bulk of solicitors may

23 well have reported threats to them. Some may have

24 reported them to both ourselves and British Irish Rights

25 Watch and, indeed, a number of other international human

 

 

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1 rights organisations. It is difficult to remember.

2 I mean, certainly my recollection is that Rosemary

3 was the most -- the solicitor that we had most contact

4 with in relation to this issue and the solicitor that we

5 were most concerned about.

6 Q. Does that mean the solicitor who received the most

7 threats?

8 A. Not necessarily.

9 Q. No. But the solicitor about whose safety you were most

10 concerned?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So you are not able to assist us with a rough idea of

13 the numbers of individual solicitors who spoke or

14 contacted CAJ about this?

15 A. It would have been a small number; I would guess maybe

16 half a dozen firms, possibly involving a dozen/15

17 individuals.

18 Q. On the basis of what they told you, were you able to

19 establish what sort of work those lawyers did?

20 A. Yes, I mean, they were all solicitors who visited the

21 holding centres on behalf of clients.

22 Q. And were all the clients accused of Republican offences,

23 if I can put it that way?

24 A. I think that would be true to say. We had some contact

25 with solicitors who represented individuals who were

 

 

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1 accused of Loyalist paramilitary activity, but generally

2 speaking, in relation to the threats I think they came

3 almost exclusively from those who represented Republican

4 suspects.

5 Q. Later in your statement -- can I just show you this at

6 RNI-813-390, paragraph 52 (displayed) --

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. -- you refer to a particular solicitor, [Name Deleted], who

9 you say acted for clients suspected of links with

10 the UVF?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is he one of the solicitors, if I can put it that way,

13 on the other side whom you have in mind?

14 A. Yes, I mean, we had contacts with solicitors. I mean,

15 first of all, obviously some of the solicitors

16 represented clients from both traditions, if you like.

17 But yes, of course, we would have had contact with

18 solicitors who represented those who were accused of

19 Loyalist paramilitary activity, and I think that this

20 paragraph relates to the Cumaraswamy visit when we

21 organised a series of meetings for him with solicitors

22 who had difficulty with the relationship with the

23 police. That could have stretched from a degree of

24 hostility on the part of the police right through to the

25 sort of allegations that surrounded Rosemary.

 

 

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1 Q. In each case, were these solicitors who contacted your

2 organisation, rather than the other way round?

3 A. I think, yes, that's probably true. We would have

4 had -- again, I think it is important to stress that we

5 would have had relationships with a whole range of

6 solicitors and a smaller number, I suppose, of

7 barristers on some cases that they were involved with.

8 And it may have been in the context of discussions

9 around those cases that sometimes people raised problems

10 that they were having with the police. So it is

11 difficult to say precisely who contacted who initially.

12 Q. And would the contacts generally be by telephone or by

13 letter?

14 A. Oh, no, by telephone.

15 Q. By telephone. In the course of your work as the legal

16 officer, what were you required to do with contacts of

17 that kind?

18 A. Well, I mean, the reality is that most solicitors who

19 contacted us in relation to allegations of this nature

20 were keen simply to ensure that the contact was

21 recorded. They didn't really want anything done,

22 certainly not by us.

23 So it was mainly -- I think it was a mechanism for

24 them to say, "Look, this has happened, I would like you

25 to record it". There was no expectation that anything

 

 

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1 necessarily would be done. I think they saw it as

2 something of an insurance policy, I suppose.

3 Q. What do you mean by that?

4 A. Well, I suppose they felt in the event that anything

5 more serious happened, that they would be able to say

6 that they had alerted a local human rights group to

7 problems preceding that.

8 Q. This is something you mention in paragraph 12 of your

9 statement at RNI-813-378 at the top of the page

10 (displayed). And as I understand it, what you are say

11 is that the point of these contacts was that a record

12 should be made?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. So they aren't expecting you -- is that right? -- to do

15 anything about it?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. And so your role specifically, as legal officer of CAJ,

18 was to keep the catalogue?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So presumably you maintained files, did you?

21 A. We would have maintained some telephone notes of

22 individuals who called, and in addition, of course, the

23 other thing from our point of view that this helped with

24 was to inform policy work around the holding centres.

25 Q. And during the period with which we are concerned -- in

 

 

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1 particular, let us say from the mid 1990s to the time of

2 Rosemary Nelson's murder -- you would continue, would

3 you, to receive notifications of this kind, to note them

4 and to keep them in the catalogue or on the files?

5 A. Yes. I mean, the numbers, as I say, the numbers -- if

6 you exclude Rosemary, the numbers would have been quite

7 low, because I think as time went on, most solicitors

8 began to go directly to British Irish Rights Watch.

9 Q. I see. So they, as it were, took the lead between the

10 two organisations?

11 A. They did.

12 Q. But as you understood it, was their role the same as

13 yours, namely simply to be the repository of

14 information?

15 A. Yes, that's right. Although I think what they also

16 began to do probably more proactively than we did at

17 that stage was that they began to try to engage with

18 Mr Cumaraswamy and his office in Geneva on the back of

19 some of the reports that they had received from

20 solicitors here.

21 Q. At the time you left CAJ in 2004 would those records

22 still have been in existence?

23 A. They should have been, yes.

24 Q. And is there any reason to suppose, any reason that you

25 know of to think that the records have since

 

 

21

 

1 disappeared?

2 A. Not that I know of, no.

3 Q. No. Can I just ask you another couple of questions

4 about the organisation. First, can you help with this,

5 please: I think it's right, isn't it, that

6 Rosemary Nelson herself became a member of the executive

7 committee?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. In, I think, 1998. Is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And you mention this also in your statement, I think.

12 A. I do.

13 Q. What was her role on the executive committee?

14 A. From my recollection, Rosemary was what we would have

15 called a co-opted member. So she didn't have a specific

16 role. We had some people assigned to be chair and

17 vice-chair and treasurer, and that sort of thing. I

18 think Rosemary was a co-opted member and didn't have

19 that sort of role. Her involvement would have been to

20 attend executive meetings, which would have taken place

21 monthly.

22 Q. Was she a regular attender?

23 A. Probably about the same as most executive members. She

24 didn't turn up religiously every month, but she would

25 have gone to most meetings, yes.

 

 

22

 

1 Q. So from that point on she was, as it were, wearing two

2 hats, if I can put it that way: she was both a member of

3 the organisation's executive committee and also somebody

4 who talked to, dealt with the organisation in her role

5 as a solicitor?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. The second thing I want to ask you about the

8 organisation is this: you mention that you had an

9 interest in the South Armagh sniper case. Can you just

10 explain why that was?

11 A. Because at the time of the arrest of the suspects in the

12 South Armagh sniper case, we received complaints from, I

13 think, family members of some of those suspects, that

14 they had been quite severely beaten at the time of their

15 arrest, and I visited a number of them on remand in

16 prison to discuss those allegations with them. So our

17 interest in the case arose from that.

18 Q. So these visits took place, did they, during the course

19 of the criminal proceedings?

20 A. Yes, when they were on remand.

21 Q. And presumably these allegations about mistreatment

22 featured in the criminal trial?

23 A. I'm not sure if they did. The allegation was that the

24 beatings took place at the point of arrest. I can't

25 remember whether they featured in the criminal trial.

 

 

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1 Q. Can we go back to the question of communications with

2 you from solicitors in relation to threats?

3 You said that contact would be by telephone?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you ever remember, in the case of a solicitor other

6 than Rosemary Nelson, whether the threats had a written

7 form?

8 A. Not that I recollect, no. I think that is what struck

9 us as particularly alarming about Rosemary's case, that

10 she began to get threats like that.

11 Q. So that it follows, does it, that the threats would have

12 been made orally in the other cases?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Were they cases where threats had been made to the

15 lawyer via the client during detention in the holding

16 centres?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Invariably?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. And other than registering the matters with

21 you, as far as you understood it were the solicitors

22 intending to do anything else about the allegations?

23 A. Generally speaking, I don't think so. There may have

24 been a number of solicitors who pursued other channels,

25 but generally speaking I don't think the practice was to

 

 

24

 

1 lodge complaints, for instance.

2 Q. Why was that?

3 A. I think that was primarily due to a lack of faith in the

4 independence of the complaints system.

5 Q. We will come back to that in a minute, if we may,

6 because that is paragraph 13 of your statement, where

7 you set it out in some detail.

8 So far as your own experience is concerned, you help

9 us with that in paragraph 7 on the same page,

10 RNI-813-377 (displayed). As I understand it, there was

11 one occasion during your work as solicitor when

12 something happened to you personally, and you describe

13 it there for us?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you report that incident to an NGO?

16 A. No, I didn't.

17 Q. Did you make a complaint about it?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you discuss it with Mr McGrory?

20 A. My recollection is that I did discuss it with Mr McGrory

21 and one of the other partners in the firm.

22 Q. And what did you decide to do?

23 A. My recollection is that we didn't pursue it in terms of

24 any complaint. Certainly I didn't pursue it in terms of

25 any complaint, and I think this -- you know, as I say in

 

 

25

 

1 the paragraph, the reality is that it was mainly

2 Mr McGrory that visited the holding centres. This was

3 the one incident that I think occurred in relation to

4 me.

5 You know, the reality is -- and I think probably it

6 has been put by some other solicitors to the Inquiry --

7 I think the reality is that at that stage, despite the

8 murder of Pat Finucane, I think that to a degree this

9 was regarded as something that simply happened if you

10 were doing this sort of work.

11 Q. You said a little earlier that there were a number of

12 other solicitors -- other than Rosemary Nelson,

13 I mean -- who contacted your organisation and you give,

14 I think it is right to say, some examples in the last

15 sentence of this paragraph. Do you see it?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. There is a name redacted there, but there appear to be

18 three examples you give?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Were there any others who registered these matters with

21 you over the years that you were with CAJ?

22 A. Well, the name redacted was the senior partner in quite

23 a large firm. Complaints from him might have covered

24 half a dozen different solicitors, but it was those

25 three firms predominantly that would have been in

 

 

26

 

1 contact with us.

2 Q. And so the exchanges would be as follows, would they:

3 that you would be contacted by telephone; the incident

4 would be explained on the telephone; and a note would be

5 made of it in your file?

6 A. Generally speaking, yes. It was also the case that we

7 may have met individual solicitors at court or at other

8 locations and they may have told us something then. But

9 yes, that is generally the way it would have worked --

10 would have been by telephone.

11 Q. Did they ever record the incident or the complaint in

12 writing subsequent to the telephone call?

13 A. Not that I can recall.

14 Q. So far as the nature of the allegations, you have

15 explained the circumstances, namely that they involved

16 clients in the holding centres. What were the sorts of

17 things which were reported to you?

18 A. The sorts of comments would have varied considerably.

19 I mean, they would have included comments -- derogatory

20 comments that weren't threatening, so comments about,

21 you know, solicitors not being interested in the

22 interests of their clients, that they were only

23 interested in the Legal Aid form that they wanted to get

24 their clients to sign, comments about the sorts of cars

25 that they drove.

 

 

27

 

1 Then, I suppose, there would have been a body of

2 complaints around the identification of the solicitor

3 with the alleged crime that had been carried out by the

4 client. So it was quite regular that people would have

5 reported that interviewing detectives might have said

6 solicitor X is a Provo or an IRA solicitor, right

7 through then to threats, where comments would have been

8 made sometimes linking the solicitor to Pat Finucane and

9 saying that they would end up the same way, that sort of

10 thing, or we'll get that solicitor or they won't be up

11 to see you again, because we will get them. That sort

12 of comment.

13 Q. So they fell into those sorts of categories, did they?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can I ask you about the complaints system? We touched

16 on this a little earlier.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Because you were explaining to me why it was you thought

19 that the solicitors who contacted you did not register

20 formal complaints.

21 Now, in the period with which we are concerned, the

22 complaints system was the one involving the ICPC,

23 wasn't it?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. And at paragraph 13 of your statement at RNI-813-378

 

 

28

 

1 (displayed), you make various comments about this.

2 Can I just ask you a general question first? The

3 criticisms which you set out in your statement, are they

4 criticisms of the system or of the way it was operated

5 in practice?

6 A. Both.

7 Q. Both. What, then, are the criticisms that you had of

8 the system itself?

9 A. Well, the main concern, I think, around the ICPC model

10 was that effectively the police investigated themselves.

11 The ICPC simply had a supervisory role in that they had

12 to assure themselves that the investigation was

13 satisfactory. But up until the complaints lodged on

14 Rosemary's behalf, we hadn't come across a single case

15 where the ICPC refused to certify that the complaint

16 investigation was satisfactory.

17 Q. Can I just interrupt you? Is this what you mean by

18 saying you don't think there was any faith in the ICPC

19 taking any action at all, in the fourth line?

20 A. That's certainly one of the factors, yes. I mean, there

21 were clearly a number of other factors.

22 Under the old system, under this system, allegations

23 against police officers would have had to have been

24 proven beyond a reasonable doubt. So the standard of

25 proof was the criminal standard of proof, which clearly

 

 

29

 

1 made successfully pursuing any complaint very difficult.

2 In relation to the sorts of complaints that we are

3 talking about this morning, you would have had

4 a situation where, you know, one individual potentially

5 with a serious criminal record, certainly suspected of

6 involvement in paramilitary activity, was going to say

7 that the police officers made some comments which they

8 would, of course, inevitably deny. There was no

9 independent recording of the interview. You would have

10 had at least two police officers, both supporting each

11 other in denying that the allegation was made.

12 In that context, I think basically no one had any

13 faith that complaints lodged in relation to that sort of

14 activity could ever end up in a successful outcome.

15 And just may I add an addition? As part of my role

16 in CAJ, one of my responsibilities was to try to monitor

17 the complaints system and its effectiveness. And in

18 1997, we carried out an analysis of the number of

19 complaints that were lodged with the ICPC, and there

20 were 5,500 lodged by members of the public. Only one of

21 those complaints was upheld.

22 So, you know, in that context I think it is hardly

23 surprising that solicitors and clients simply didn't

24 have much faith in that process.

25 Q. How important in that do you think was the absence of

 

 

30

 

1 audio or video recording of interviews?

2 A. Well, in relation to these types of complaints, of

3 course, it was important. The CAJ perspective on all of

4 this would have been to say to the Government and to the

5 police, "Why don't you introduce recording? If nothing

6 untoward is happening in the interview rooms, what is

7 the objection to introducing video and audio recording?"

8 Q. You say later in your statement that you think that the

9 decision to bring those types of recording in was linked

10 to the visit of Mr Cumaraswamy?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can you now remember the dates on which the introduction

13 of, I think, first video recording began?

14 A. I can't remember clearly, no.

15 Q. But what we do know, don't we, is that in 1997 Dr Hayes

16 produced his report in which he set out concerns about

17 the system, including a number of the ones that you have

18 mentioned in your paragraph 13, and proposed a new

19 system, the Ombudsman system?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Those, I think I am right in saying, are criticisms you

22 make of the system, but you also said that there were

23 criticisms or concerns about the way it was operated in

24 practice.

25 You have touched on the ICPC. What other criticisms

 

 

31

 

1 did your organisation or did you have at this time?

2 A. I think one of the criticisms was in relation to how it

3 operated in practice; that there seemed to be an undue

4 haste in deciding that complaints couldn't be progressed

5 any further because of the failure of complainants to

6 cooperate with the system.

7 So, for instance, it is difficult to remember with

8 absolute certainty, but certainly cases would have been

9 reported to us where complaints had been lodged,

10 sometimes quite serious complaints, and complainants

11 were then told some time later that the complaint could

12 not be progressed because they hadn't responded quickly

13 enough to letters asking them to come in for interview,

14 or something along those lines.

15 It seemed as if the system was almost designed to

16 make it as difficult as possible for complainants to

17 cooperate with it. So both in -- you know, the model

18 itself, we think, was flawed, but also, at least to some

19 extent, the way it was carried out. That is not to say,

20 of course, that there weren't individuals in the ICPC

21 that tried their best to discharge their functions, and

22 I think I touch on that later on in the statement. But

23 it was a very, very difficult responsibility to

24 discharge in those circumstances.

25 Q. But were you aware of cases in which, once the complaint

 

 

32

 

1 had been made, the complainant, the client in the sort

2 of cases we are talking about, would not further

3 cooperate with the investigation?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Were you aware of a large number of such cases?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Well, presumably it must have occurred to you at the

8 time that it would be very difficult to investigate or

9 further to progress such cases without the

10 client/complainant cooperating with the investigation?

11 A. Yes, of course. That's right.

12 Q. So can I ask you this: was it your experience in the

13 period we are concerned with, the late 1990s, that some

14 clients and their solicitors would register complaints

15 with no expectation of thereafter doing anything more to

16 progress them?

17 A. I think that that probably did happen sometimes; not so

18 much, I think, in relation to the sorts of concerns that

19 we are dealing with today, but perhaps more often in

20 relation to allegations that police officers had

21 assaulted individuals. Because, of course, in those

22 circumstances, if someone was being advised by their

23 solicitor to take legal action, they would generally

24 have been advised to lodge a complaint in addition to

25 the legal action. But if they had subsequently made

 

 

33

 

1 a statement to the ICPC, that statement was then

2 disclosable to the police lawyers defending the

3 litigation. And that, often, was used then in

4 cross-examination of the individual.

5 So generally speaking, from my recollection, the

6 advice given by most solicitors would have been to lodge

7 a complaint, but because of that concern -- this is

8 specifically in relation to cases that led to

9 litigation -- then not to provide a statement.

10 Q. So that was something you were aware of, that particular

11 phenomenon, was it, that for those other reasons,

12 thinking about other proceedings, advice would be given

13 that no further steps should be taken in the complaint?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Was it also the case, as you were aware, that complaints

16 were lodged with other proceedings in mind, namely civil

17 proceedings for assault perhaps or indeed criminal

18 proceedings?

19 A. I'm sure that's probably correct, yes.

20 Q. An example would be if a client said that he had been

21 assaulted in a holding centre or police station, he

22 would be advised, wouldn't he, to register the

23 complaint, because otherwise the point would be taken

24 against him in the civil action, "Well, you didn't

25 complain about this at the time"?

 

 

34

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. So in such cases there was no intention, was there, to

3 pursue the complaint; it was simply necessary to

4 register it from the point of view of other proceedings?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Thank you.

7 A. But what we then saw in a number of those cases -- and

8 again, I think this was a criticism that CAJ would have

9 had of the system -- that even in cases where

10 compensation was paid either in terms of a settlement or

11 on the order of court, the complaint was allowed to

12 wither on the vine subsequently.

13 Now, that may have been because, as you say, the

14 complainant would not cooperate any further, but it

15 still seemed to us, you know, a very unsatisfactory

16 position where the state was paying out sometimes

17 considerable amounts of money in a given year because of

18 civil claims against the police for assault or false

19 imprisonment, but that we only had two, three, four,

20 five complaints upheld in the same period. It seemed to

21 us that there was a bit of a disjuncture between those

22 three and that the Government had to do something about

23 it. They subsequently did, as you described, in the

24 Hayes Report.

25 Q. Which led to the Ombudsman system that we have now?

 

 

35

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. It was unusual, wasn't it, at the time we are talking

3 about for solicitors or their clients to cooperate with

4 ICPC investigations?

5 A. I think it probably was unusual, yes.

6 Q. Can I ask you to look, please, at paragraph 40 of your

7 statement at RNI-813-386 (displayed)? There you are

8 talking about the particular complaint lodged by

9 Mr Lynch of LAJI, and you say -- do you see in the

10 fourth line:

11 "I do remember thinking it was unusual she was

12 cooperating to such a degree with the ICPC, as I know

13 many solicitors would not have gone down that line

14 because of the distrust of the authorities."

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So is this a fair suggestion: that the level to which

17 Rosemary Nelson was involved with and cooperating with

18 the investigation struck you at the time as being

19 unusual?

20 A. Yes, I think that's right.

21 Q. Was it unique in your experience at the time?

22 A. Well, I couldn't give you concrete examples of others

23 who had cooperated in this way, but I don't think it was

24 unique.

25 Q. But you can't give us another example?

 

 

36

 

1 A. No, I can't. Not at this stage.

2 Q. Now, one of the other comments made, indeed made to

3 Dr Hayes in the report that you and I have just

4 discussed, was that there was a perception among some at

5 least that some complaints were fabricated, were put

6 forward not in a genuine spirit but as a deliberate

7 attempt designed to undermine faith in the police.

8 Now, was that a phenomenon or a criticism of which

9 you were aware at the time?

10 A. I'm not sure when I became aware of that. It may have

11 been in the aftermath of Rosemary's complaint that

12 I began to see this notion raised by some police

13 officers. I don't think it was put forward at the time

14 as a serious point.

15 Q. Were you ever aware of a case in your work for CAJ where

16 a client or a complaint was drawn to your attention

17 which you felt to be fabricated?

18 A. Not that I can recollect, no.

19 Q. To what extent was it part of your job at CAJ to test,

20 probe, the credibility of complaints made to you?

21 A. Well, it depends very much on the nature of the

22 complaint. I mean, you know, at the high end of our

23 work, we ended up taking cases to the European Court of

24 Human Rights. So of course, there, where we were there

25 as an organisation taking action, we would try to probe

 

 

37

 

1 and try to weigh up the strength of the issue that was

2 raised with us.

3 At the other end of the scale, if someone had come

4 in and said that the police, you know, had been

5 disrespectful to them during a search or something like

6 that, it is difficult for us to determine the truth of

7 that. We didn't really see it as our role. We advised

8 them of their options but that was about it.

9 Q. So just looking at the general position then during this

10 period, mid~90s, to the time of Rosemary Nelson's

11 murder, as I understand it, a number of solicitors

12 registered matters with you and with British Irish

13 Rights Watch or with British Irish Rights Watch, and as

14 you understood it, that was the end of what they wished

15 to do and so they would not be making formal complaints?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Some complaints, however, were registered by clients

18 and/or their solicitors, but it sounds as though in the

19 vast majority of cases that was all that happened,

20 namely that the complaint was made and nothing

21 thereafter was done to advance the investigation. Is

22 that fair?

23 A. Yes. I mean, you know, I can't be absolutely scientific

24 about that, but yes, I think that probably is fair.

25 Q. On the basis of what you knew?

 

 

38

 

1 A. On the basis of what I knew, yes.

2 Q. And that the level of cooperation which you perceive to

3 be given by Rosemary Nelson to her complaints was, if

4 not unique, something very rare?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, in paragraph 41 of your statement on the same page,

7 RNI-813-486 (displayed), you say a little more about

8 this. You say that you may have advised her to

9 cooperate with the investigation, with the complaints

10 system, on the basis that it would look good.

11 So just so I am clear about this, this was something

12 you may have said to her at the time. Is that right?

13 A. It may have been.

14 Q. Do you remember advising her in those terms?

15 A. No, I don't remember that, no.

16 Q. Why is it that you made that suggestion in your

17 statement?

18 A. Well, I think at the time our -- if we had a strategy in

19 relation to Rosemary -- and that is maybe being slightly

20 optimistic in terms of the work that we were doing --

21 but I think our view was that Rosemary was in an unusual

22 position, that she was at some risk, that our view was

23 that one of the ways in which that risk could be

24 minimised was to try to bring her case, insofar as we

25 could, to the attention of the authorities, both

 

 

39

 

1 domestically and, if appropriate, internationally.

2 And on that basis, I think we felt that it would

3 help in that strategy if she cooperated with the ICPC

4 investigation, insofar as she could.

5 Q. Well, I can see that later in the paragraph you say that

6 this, the cooperation, strategy worked, increased her

7 profile, which I think is what you are getting at?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But that is not the same, is it, as a strategy which is

10 intended to make her look good?

11 A. That may be the case. My view would have been, if she

12 had -- I do not have a definite recollection of this

13 conversation. I know that we were involved to some

14 extent in the complaint, because we had taken statements

15 from some of her clients. It may have been that we

16 discussed the extent to which she would cooperate with

17 the investigation. I can't honestly be 100 per cent in

18 my recollection. That may be an unfortunate phrase, but

19 the reality, I think, is that we would not have said to

20 her explicitly one way or the other, "This is the path

21 that we think you should go down." We would have

22 discussed the options.

23 And I think certainly that the reality is that --

24 for instance, if you look at the Cumaraswamy Report,

25 which was subsequent to this, he did encourage

 

 

40

 

1 solicitors to lodge complaints. He was concerned that

2 they hadn't lodged complaints even though he recognised,

3 I think, some of the weaknesses of the complaints

4 system.

5 So, you know, if Rosemary was cooperating and seen

6 to be cooperating with the system that existed, then to

7 some extent, yes, that would put her in a position where

8 it was more difficult for the authorities to dismiss the

9 allegations that she was making.

10 Q. Certainly it would avoid the possibility, wouldn't it,

11 of a dispensation being sought by the investigating

12 officer?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Because the problem of non-cooperation that you referred

15 to earlier wouldn't exist?

16 A. That's right.

17 Q. And one of the concerns expressed not just by

18 Mr Cumaraswamy, was that of course the system couldn't

19 work properly and attract the necessary level of

20 confidence if solicitors were not prepared to use it?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So was that another reason why you might have advised

23 her to cooperate?

24 A. Well, I think the Cumaraswamy Report post-dates this,

25 but it may have been that at the time we could have been

 

 

41

 

1 aware of some of his thinking or that general train of

2 thought, that, yes, you know, to some extent if we were

3 to change the system, which was CAJ's goal, to try to

4 get an independent complaints system, then to some

5 extent it was important to demonstrate that the current

6 system simply couldn't work.

7 Q. It was a point made also by Dr Hayes in his report,

8 wasn't it?

9 A. Yes, that's right.

10 Q. And in the course of his recommendation that there

11 should be a new system, he also flagged up the

12 difficulty of maintaining confidence in a system that

13 the legal community were simply not prepared to use?

14 A. Yes. I mean, there were lots -- you know, to some

15 extent it is a slightly artificial exercise to parachute

16 back into 1997 and discuss concerns around this one

17 complaint. The reality is that the experience of the

18 legal community and the human rights community about

19 this system had been built up over the previous ten

20 years, and the experience wasn't good.

21 So while it had reached this juncture where most

22 people weren't cooperating, and it might be easy to some

23 extent to say, as Mr Cumaraswamy did, well, really you

24 should be cooperating, it is sometimes difficult to

25 persuade people of that and particularly clients of

 

 

42

 

1 that, I think, when they saw the reality of the

2 weaknesses of the complaints system that I have already

3 outlined.

4 Q. This was also the attitude of government, wasn't it:

5 that it may not be a perfect system but it is the system

6 we have, so would you, please, encourage people to

7 use it?

8 A. That might well have been the attitude of government.

9 But, you know, with respect, if government -- well,

10 government ultimately changed the system, so they

11 recognised by 1998 that the system was flawed.

12 I think in reality they had recognised it much

13 earlier but waited until 1998 to make the changes that

14 we saw.

15 Q. Returning to this paragraph, 41, it looks as though,

16 although you think you may have advised her to

17 cooperate, your expectation of the end result was the

18 same as it had been in other cases?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Namely that you didn't expect the ICPC system to result

21 in the upholding of her complaints?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. Is that a fair summary?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can I ask you this question: We will come back to

 

 

43

 

1 Mr Lynch's complaint in a moment, but where in the same

2 paragraph you talk about the strategy -- and

3 I appreciate you have slightly demurred in relation to

4 that word -- did you discuss with Mr Lynch the idea of

5 his complaint before he made it?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Did you know Mr Lynch and his organisation before that

8 complaint was made in, I think, March 1997?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. But it wasn't in any sense the result of a discussion or

11 collaboration between your two organisations?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, later in your statement you deal with

14 the end result of the complaints and I would like to

15 touch on that briefly. It begins at RNI-115-407

16 (displayed) and you say there:

17 "In terms of the complaint that was made by

18 Edmund Lynch, this continued until after Rosemary's

19 death."

20 And then in the next paragraphs, you describe, if I

21 can put it this way, the knock-on effects of what

22 happened, in particular in relation to the supervising

23 member, Geralyn McNally?

24 A. Yes, sorry. This isn't on the screen, but --

25 Q. I am so sorry, it is RNI-813-407 (displayed).

 

 

44

 

1 A. Yes, I see that now.

2 Q. Just so I am clear about this, the next paragraphs which

3 take us down to paragraph 120 on the next page -- it may

4 be easy to flick over to the hard copy which you have

5 got there -- the comments you make here are presumably

6 matters that you learned about from other people, i.e. at

7 second-hand. Is that right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. You weren't directly involved in the conduct or

10 prosecution, if I can put it that way, of the

11 investigation or complaint at this stage, were you?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And so how did you learn about what you describe here as

14 the treatment of Geralyn McNally?

15 A. This is the treatment that is described in

16 paragraph 117?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. Because a journalist from the Irish Times was present at

19 the dinner that I describe in the paragraph, and he

20 called -- I think he called me to tell me what had

21 happened. I am pretty sure -- I think the conversation

22 happened one morning on my way into work. He had been

23 at the dinner the night before and he called me to tell

24 me what had happened.

25 Q. So you learnt about it direct from the journalist?

 

 

45

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. In terms of the reference you make there to her being

3 treated very badly -- this is in paragraph 116 -- what

4 do you mean by that?

5 A. Well, what I mean is that, you know, we became aware of

6 at least one comment that was made at a relatively

7 public event about her. There were then a series of --

8 certainly one newspaper article in particular that

9 questioned her integrity and her independence because

10 she was a member of Amnesty International. Subsequently

11 she received a number of threats and was placed on the

12 Key Persons Protection Scheme and had to move house.

13 So it is difficult to envisage circumstances in

14 which she would have been treated any worse as a result

15 of simply trying to do her job.

16 Q. Did you speak to her about it yourself?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So your account comes not just from the journalist, does

19 it, but also from Geralyn McNally?

20 A. Well, she didn't know about the dinner. Obviously, she

21 wasn't there. I think she only found out about that

22 presumably from us. I can't honestly remember. But

23 certainly I spoke to her, I think, towards the tail end

24 of all of this and she was very concerned about what

25 happened, yes. I also think she felt that the calling

 

 

46

 

1 in of Mulvihill to some extent undermined her position.

2 Q. What actually happened, as we know -- and as you set out

3 in your statement -- is that in due course there was

4 a certificate of satisfaction issued and, as you put it

5 in paragraph 120, later, despite that, a critique issued

6 by the chairman of the organisation?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can I just help you in relation to one or two of the

9 matters you have talking about with reference to the

10 press cuttings bundle we have. Can you look, first,

11 please at RNI-401-073 (displayed). Is this the

12 article -- it is dated 16th April -- by the journalist

13 who spoke to you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And we see there a reference to your organisation in the

16 first column; do you see? It is about two thirds of the

17 way down.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Are you the person who is referred to or effectively

20 quoted indirectly in this piece, do you think?

21 A. Either myself or Martin O'Brien, I can't be precise.

22 Q. It says that the tendency of the policing establishment

23 according to CAJ was to attack the messengers rather

24 than to face up to a real problem in the RUC?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

47

 

1 Q. Was that your view of the matter at the time?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. We then go on, if we may, to the bottom of the column.

4 Do you see, the reference is there to the ICPC

5 barrister, which I assume is Geralyn McNally?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And turning on to the next column -- if we can enlarge

8 that, please -- further reference there to the way the

9 matter proceeded. And if we carry on into the third

10 column, do you see there is a large "C".

11 Coincidental?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. There is then a reference to the whispering campaign,

14 and a suggestion:

15 "It was pointed out in political and journalistic

16 circles that she was a Catholic, a woman, young, spoke

17 Irish, had a human rights interest and was a member of

18 Amnesty International."

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Is that the sort of bad treatment that you are referring

21 to in your statement?

22 A. Absolutely, yes.

23 Q. And then the article continues. Can we go back to the

24 full page, please (displayed). Can we enlarge the

25 fourth column, please, because it appears, doesn't it,

 

 

48

 

1 that there had been intervention by the Bar Council?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. And you remember that?

4 A. I do.

5 Q. And reference again to your argument or your

6 organisation's argument:

7 "The general manner in which the barrister was

8 treated tends to support the CAJ argument that the gut

9 establishment response is to safeguard the institution

10 of the RUC even if that could mean denigrating the

11 lawyer concerned."

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. The next question in quotation marks, was that from you?

14 A. I don't think so, no.

15 Q. No. Can we look now, please, at RNI-401-373

16 (displayed)? Now, this, I think, is the Sunday Times

17 article you refer to in 119 of your statement at

18 page RNI-813-408.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And this is the article, isn't it, in which references

21 of the kind we have been looking at in the previous

22 article were made?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. It is published on 28th March. If we look at the first

25 column first, please, in enlargement and the last

 

 

49

 

1 paragraph at the bottom of the page (displayed), and

2 reading on to the second column and enlarging that,

3 please, do you see:

4 "She was a woman, a Catholic and an Irish language

5 enthusiast"?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And reference in the same column to the fact of her

8 position within Amnesty?

9 A. That's right.

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

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. Ten past 12 we will resume.

12 (11.58 am)

13 (Short break)

14 (12.10 pm)

15 MR PHILLIPS: Now, Mr Mageean, we have talked about the

16 complaints system and the particular outcome of

17 Rosemary Nelson's complaint in the context of the

18 Mulvihill investigation, and you have said much earlier

19 in your evidence that a number of solicitors reported

20 matters to NGOs, including your own and British Irish

21 Rights Watch.

22 In your statement at paragraph 14, at RNI-813-379

23 (displayed), you suggest that one of the reasons for

24 this may have been because of what you describe as

25 a difficult relationship with the Law Society, and it is

 

 

50

 

1 that that I would like to ask you about now.

2 The impression I get from this paragraph is that the

3 criminal defence solicitors did not believe that their

4 particular concerns were given much attention by the

5 Law Society in this period?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Is that a fair way of putting it?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Now, we know from our evidence that during the 1990s,

10 both Mr McGrory and [Name Deleted], who you mentioned

11 earlier, came on to the Law Society Council and indeed

12 chaired significant committees within the Law Society.

13 Did that, as you saw it at the time, change the view

14 of the Society held by defence solicitors?

15 A. Yes, I think it probably did begin to change it, yes.

16 Q. Did they begin -- again, in your understanding at the

17 time -- to take their concerns and their complaints to

18 their professional body, to the Law Society?

19 A. It is difficult to be precise about dates. I mean, my

20 impression would be that that only really began to

21 happen in the aftermath of Rosemary's murder.

22 Q. Did you ever advise a solicitor reporting a matter such

23 as those we have described to take his complaint or the

24 threat or the concern that he had to the Law Society?

25 A. Not that I can recall, no.

 

 

51

 

1 Q. Did it ever occur to you to give advice of that kind?

2 A. Well, I think there would have been general

3 conversations about whether or not the Law Society could

4 be persuaded to become more energetic on this issue.

5 Certainly I think those conversations took place and I

6 think that when Barra McGrory and [Name Deleted] began

7 to get more involved at a sort of leadership level in

8 the Law Society, that that may well have begun to change

9 the attitude of some of the defence solicitors to the

10 professional body.

11 But, as I say, I think -- I think there were

12 a combination of factors. I think one of them was that

13 most solicitors probably did regard at least some of

14 this -- some of this level of abuse as something that

15 they just lived with. And I think it was only in

16 response to Rosemary's murder that there was really

17 a sort of groundswell of opinion within the Law Society

18 that something had to be done by the Law Society,

19 because the response to the Finucane murder had been

20 weak.

21 Q. Well, you describe it in fact in your statement as

22 pathetic?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. What was the response?

25 A. Well, I mean, I think what I am talking about there is

 

 

52

 

1 the fact that, you know, up until Rosemary was murdered

2 the Law Society here hadn't called for a public inquiry

3 into the murder of Pat Finucane, despite the fact that

4 considerable evidence had begun to emerge that suggested

5 there was collusion in the murder and despite the fact

6 that a number of other legal professional bodies in

7 Britain and elsewhere had supported the call for

8 a public inquiry.

9 So I think that that was one factor that probably

10 dissuaded criminal defence solicitors from pursuing any

11 complaints with the Law Society.

12 Q. Now, in the penultimate sentence of this paragraph, you

13 say that the defence lawyers as a group, which, as you

14 point out, is a small one --

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. -- their view was that their professional body would not

17 take up the harassment question with any great vigour?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Are you telling us that that view changed at any point

20 before Rosemary Nelson's murder?

21 A. I mean, it is difficult for me to be precise. I was at

22 one remove -- although I was a solicitor and I knew most

23 of the people, certainly a lot of the people in that

24 defence bar, I wasn't one of them really anymore. So my

25 impression would have been second-hand.

 

 

53

 

1 I mean, I think it is fair to say that the general

2 impression was that relationships between the criminal

3 defence community and the Law Society were probably

4 beginning to improve with the election of Barra and

5 [Name Deleted] on to the Council, and you did get the

6 sense that of generally. That is my recollection.

7 Whether or not that resulted in individual

8 solicitors taking their complaints to the Law Society

9 prior to Rosemary's murder, I really can't say with

10 certainty.

11 Q. We know, for example, that a complaints framework was

12 established in about, I think, 1998. Do you remember

13 that?

14 A. Yes, I think that was after the Cumaraswamy Report. So,

15 yes, I mean -- of course, that is the other factor that

16 would have presented itself in this context, that, you

17 know, once he came and spoke to the Law Society and

18 spoke to the criminal defence community, that was

19 clearly part of the dynamic in bringing them a little

20 bit closer together.

21 Q. He was critical, wasn't he, of the Law Society's failure

22 to deal with these matters and give them proper weight

23 and, indeed, attention?

24 A. Yes, he was, and I am sure that that was a factor maybe

25 in the Law Society becoming a bit more proactive. And

 

 

54

 

1 there had also been other visits, insofar as I can

2 recollect, by a number of international NGOs that would

3 have had dialogue with the Law Society locally, and that

4 may have helped the Law Society move along that path.

5 Q. You then say at the end of the paragraph that you are

6 sure that Rosemary Nelson shared this view, i.e. the view

7 that the Law Society wouldn't take the point up with any

8 great vigour. Was this something you discussed with her

9 yourself?

10 A. Yes, I am pretty sure that I did. Again, we would have

11 had a number of conversations over three years,

12 discussions about where to go with some of those

13 complaints and the response of various agencies, and

14 yes, I am sure the Law Society would have featured in

15 those discussions.

16 Q. But are you able to put your finger on any particular

17 discussion at any particular point?

18 A. No.

19 Q. So you can't, for example, help us as to whether she had

20 that view in the latter part of her life, let's say in

21 1998 and 1999?

22 A. No, I can't.

23 Q. Did you at any point during these years take these

24 concerns, the concerns of defence solicitors and others,

25 to the Law Society?

 

 

55

 

1 A. I have a recollection of correspondence with the

2 Law Society in relation to these matters. Whether or

3 not that preceded the Cumaraswamy Report or post-dated

4 it, I can't honestly recollect.

5 Q. Did you make use of your own contacts -- for example,

6 with Mr McGrory -- in relation to this?

7 A. I think I remember having discussions with Barra McGrory

8 after the Cumaraswamy Report about the response of the

9 Law Society to the report.

10 I think -- I remember a conversation about -- I

11 think, one of the issues that arose in Cumaraswamy was

12 that the Law Society should provide the police with

13 a sort of training course on the importance of the role

14 of defence lawyers, and I think I vaguely recollect

15 a discussion with Barra on that point about whether, you

16 know -- how that should be done.

17 Q. I would like to ask you now some questions about the

18 RUC, as it then was, the police force in

19 Northern Ireland.

20 At the time we are talking about now, in the mid to

21 late 1990s, did your organisation campaign or lobby for

22 reform of the police force?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. What were the particular aspects of the RUC, as it was

25 then, that in your organisation's view needed to be

 

 

56

 

1 reformed?

2 A. Well, there was a long list and some of it related to

3 the police as an institution and some of it related to

4 the sort of legislative framework within which they

5 operated.

6 So, you know, one of our primary concerns would have

7 been the operation of emergency legislation, the holding

8 centres and all that that entailed, and the arrest

9 powers, the extended detention, the deferral of access

10 to solicitors, allegations of intimidation of lawyers,

11 allegations of ill treatment, et cetera, et cetera.

12 We also would have been concerned at a number of

13 incidents involving the use of lethal force by the

14 police and the Army. We would have had concerns about

15 the composition of the police, in that it didn't reflect

16 the community background of society here.

17 We would have had concerns around the accountability

18 structures for the police, around the ICPC, the police

19 authority, and we would have campaigned from the mid 80s

20 on those issues right up until -- I mean, I think CAJ is

21 still campaigning on those issues to some extent today.

22 Although obviously there have been quite dramatic

23 changes in the intervening period.

24 Q. You mention, for example, in your statement your

25 organisation's work in relation to the

 

 

57

 

1 Good Friday Agreement?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And obviously a substantial part of that related to

4 policing?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Was that the area of your organisation's particular

7 focus in the Good Friday Agreement?

8 A. No, there would have been a number of areas; policing

9 was certainly one. One would have been criminal

10 justice. One was in relation to the constitutional, if

11 you like, or legislative protection for human rights;

12 so, for instance, the notion of a bill of rights, the

13 Human Rights Commission. One was in relation to

14 equality.

15 Those four, they would be the four sort of

16 categories that we campaigned on generally and those

17 would have been the four areas that we were trying to

18 persuade the participants to the Agreement to include in

19 the text of the Agreement.

20 Q. So that is a substantial number of concerns about the

21 police, and as I understand it, those campaigning

22 points, if I can put it that way, related both to the

23 structure, the very system itself, but also to

24 operational matters, the way the police behaved in

25 practice. Is that a fair summary?

 

 

58

 

1 A. Yes, it is.

2 Q. To what extent, do you think, did those positions taken

3 up by your organisation colour the organisation's actual

4 dealings with the police in these years?

5 A. I don't really know what you mean by "colour our

6 dealings".

7 Q. To what extent was your approach to and attitude to

8 individual cases through the specific matters you dealt

9 with, specific police officers you dealt with, coloured,

10 affected by your campaigning in relation to police

11 reform?

12 A. Well, I mean, I think it is important to say that our

13 casework, insofar as we had a sort of casework strategy,

14 the point of it was to try to support and inform the

15 general policy work. So clearly we were a campaigning

16 human rights organisation that wanted to achieve certain

17 goals.

18 We worked on cases that we felt would help us in

19 terms of achieving those goals. So obviously -- I mean,

20 I think that is an important factor to bear in mind.

21 In relation to how we dealt with, or our

22 relationship with individual police officers, well, up

23 until, I would guess, 1996 or 1997, we didn't really

24 have -- we had a relationship in correspondence with the

25 police but we didn't really meet the police. That

 

 

59

 

1 wasn't at our instigation; that was because the police

2 would have refused to meet us.

3 With the arrival of Ronnie Flanagan as

4 Chief Constable, that changed and we then began

5 a dialogue with the police at a senior level that has

6 lasted, so far as I understand, to the present day.

7 Q. So you see a change, do you, at that point? And

8 Mr Flanagan, as he then was, was open to meetings, to

9 discussion with your organisation?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Presumably you welcomed that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Can I just go back to the points you were making earlier

14 in relation to casework on the one hand and policy on

15 the other.

16 We looked at paragraph 41 of your statement at

17 RNI-813-486 (displayed) and the use there of the word

18 "strategy". Now, did you regard a case such as the

19 Edmund Lynch complaint as part of your particular

20 campaign against the police?

21 A. Well, we didn't have a campaign against the police. CAJ

22 was very much in favour of policing, proper policing and

23 accountable policing. Our concern was that we didn't

24 think that, as constituted at the time, the RUC

25 delivered that. And again, that is clearly a view that

 

 

60

 

1 the participants to the Good Friday Agreement, including

2 the Government -- that is clearly a view that they came

3 to as well, because of course they instituted many of

4 the changes that we have seen.

5 So we didn't have a campaign against the police and

6 when we had dialogue with senior police officers, it was

7 generally quite a respectful and positive dialogue. And

8 we didn't discuss the Edmund Lynch complaint prior to

9 the Edmund Lynch complaint being lodged.

10 So -- but, you know, equally, when the complaint was

11 lodged and we were to some extent pulled into it,

12 because of course when Rosemary was interviewed, she

13 appropriately told the authorities that we had taken

14 statements from a couple of clients. So they came to

15 us.

16 So it wasn't that we, you know, identified this

17 complaint and thought that is something that will help

18 in our strategic goal. Actually, we were pulled into

19 that complaint to some extent. We decided, rightly, I

20 think, to cooperate as fully as we could.

21 Q. But once you had been brought into it -- and we will see

22 in a moment how that happened -- in giving advice to her

23 and in your own approach to the complaint, did you see

24 it as part of your campaign for reform of the police?

25 A. Well, in the sense, I suppose, that, as I have said, all

 

 

61

 

1 of the casework we did was generally casework that we

2 hoped would help us to achieve the goal of

3 a reconstituted and reformed police service.

4 Q. What I am trying to get at, you see, is the extent to

5 which in your advice you had in mind not only what was

6 right for Rosemary Nelson and the complaint, but also

7 what was right for your organisation and its campaign?

8 A. Yes --

9 Q. Do you think that both matters were in play?

10 A. I think that, you know, in the vast majority of

11 individual cases that we were involved with, the

12 interests of the individual and CAJ as an organisation

13 coincided.

14 Q. But that suggests that both were in play?

15 A. They were in play. I suppose that is right. Though to

16 what extent that affected any of the -- our thinking,

17 I really at this stage would find it very, very

18 difficult to say.

19 As I say, it wasn't that we sought to become

20 involved in this case. We were asked by the police or

21 by the ICPC, I can't remember, to provide them with

22 a statement about the statements that we had taken from

23 Rosemary's clients. So I don't think, you know -- I

24 think it is worth drawing the distinction between some

25 of the casework that we were involved in where we to

 

 

62

 

1 some extent proactively sought out some cases to work on

2 because we thought they were cases that illustrated some

3 of the problems that we felt there were with the police.

4 And this case, where we were, as I say -- we weren't

5 involved in it at all until we were approached by the

6 ICPC.

7 Q. We will see in a minute your involvement in a number of

8 the clients' matters that the Inquiry has been looking

9 at and that formed part of the various complaints that

10 were made.

11 Are you saying that in none of those cases were you

12 primarily motivated by your campaigning strategy?

13 A. I mean, it is difficult to -- it is difficult -- I would

14 have thought it was difficult at the time, and it is

15 certainly difficult at this remove, to answer that

16 definitively. That would have been a factor in our

17 thinking, undoubtedly would have been a factor in our

18 thinking.

19 But insofar as our involvement with this case was

20 concerned, we took a decision to cooperate as fully as

21 we could. We provided the police with the material that

22 we had, and indeed further material in relation to

23 another complaint. You know, I don't think that

24 approach was coloured at all by thinking about what this

25 would achieve in terms of any campaign that we were

 

 

63

 

1 engaged on at the time.

2 Q. Can I ask you this: in your various conversations and

3 meetings with Rosemary Nelson, did you discuss with her

4 these issues about the need for the reform of the RUC?

5 A. Well, they would have been discussed -- I think they

6 would have been a part of, you know -- if you had spoken

7 to anyone involved in human rights work or legal work, I

8 think, at the time, certainly criminal defence-type

9 work, yes, absolutely, those discussions would have

10 happened all the time at this stage.

11 Q. Were you able to form a view of her own views as to the

12 RUC?

13 A. Well, I mean, again it is difficult to be absolutely

14 precise about this. I think Rosemary's view would have

15 been pretty much informed by some of the cases that she

16 worked on. And as I said earlier, I think that in

17 a couple of those cases, she was intensely frustrated at

18 what had happened with her clients and on occasion was

19 pretty much outraged at what had happened to her

20 clients. And that would have come, to some extent at

21 least, from the actions of the police -- not solely the

22 police; others as well, I am sure -- but certainly

23 occasionally would have been quite exasperated at the

24 police, yes.

25 Q. But putting the thing -- that, as I understand it, is

 

 

64

 

1 a comment about her particular experience as a lawyer?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. On the more general level, presumably by joining the

4 executive committee -- I think that is the correct

5 title -- she was part of and associated with the

6 campaign for the reform of the police?

7 A. Well, yes. I mean, I think that is true, but I am not

8 sure that you could immediately make the jump that all

9 of our executive committee members are completely au

10 fait with every aspect of our work.

11 But certainly, yes, I think it is face to say she

12 would have been sympathetic to the notion that CAJ had,

13 which was that there needed to be change to the police.

14 I think that was a notion that was shared pretty much,

15 you know, across the board by 1997 or 1998. And as

16 I say, it was a notion that was signed up to in the

17 Agreement by everyone who signed the Agreement,

18 including the Official Unionist Party and including the

19 British Government.

20 Q. So far as her particular view based on her own

21 experiences was concerned, in the period with which we

22 are concerned here -- four or five years from, let's

23 say, the middle of the 90s to the time of her murder --

24 did you in your conversations detect any change in her

25 attitude to or view of the police?

 

 

65

 

1 A. I think she was very -- I think she was growing

2 increasingly frustrated. I think she felt that there

3 were particular problems with the police in her area,

4 and to some extent I think there is some evidence for

5 that when you look at a number of the cases that she was

6 involved with.

7 I think she felt intense frustration around the

8 arrest of Colin Duffy for the murder of the two police

9 officers in Lurgan, and I think she was really quite

10 taken aback at what happened in the Hamill case and also

11 what happened to her personally on the Garvaghy Road in

12 1997.

13 Q. Are you able to put your finger on or identify a turning

14 point in her relationship with the RUC?

15 A. No, I'm not. I think, you know -- I think, again, it is

16 important to stress that, you know, those of us who had

17 concerns about the police -- and, as I said, I think I

18 would probably include Rosemary in that group -- that it

19 wasn't that we were against the police or against

20 policing, we wanted proper policing. And I think

21 Rosemary felt that, and to some extent -- well, I think

22 probably completely -- that feeling arose from some of

23 the cases that she was involved with.

24 Q. What I would like to do now, please, is to show you

25 a short extract from an interview you gave in

 

 

66

 

1 a programme called Spotlight, "An Unholy War", which was

2 first broadcast on 21st April 1999.

3 (video shown)

4 Mr Mageean, that, as I said, was broadcast

5 in April 1999, very shortly after her murder. It looks,

6 doesn't it, as though your understanding from her was

7 that it was the release or acquittal on appeal of

8 Colin Duffy in relation to the John Lyness murder that

9 Rosemary Nelson herself regarded as something of

10 a turning point?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can I take it, therefore, that that understanding you

13 had was based on conversations you had with her

14 yourself?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Can you remember how she pointed to a turning point; in

17 other words, what it was in her view that marked the

18 change?

19 A. Well, I think to some extent the Lyness case, I suppose,

20 was the first major high profile case that she had which

21 brought her into a conflictual relationship with the

22 police and particularly, I suppose, the circumstances

23 around Duffy's acquittal.

24 So she -- what I think she was -- I think the

25 interview made clear what she was pointing to was that

 

 

67

 

1 it was after that that a lot of these comments started

2 in police interrogation cells.

3 Q. So it was after that that the comments were reported

4 back to her by clients. Is that what you mean?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Comments they said had been made to them by interviewing

7 officers in the detention centres?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Now, in paragraph 16 of your statement at RNI-813-379,

10 bottom of the page (displayed), you talk about the first

11 time she contacted your organisation?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. On the basis of what you have just seen and heard, is it

14 likely that this occurred after the time of the

15 Colin Duffy acquittal on appeal?

16 A. Yes, it is likely.

17 Q. And that, I think, would put it in the latter part of

18 1996 at the earliest?

19 A. I think that's right. It may well have been actually

20 early 1997, but certainly in that period, yes.

21 Q. And you say at that stage she was ringing to discuss the

22 general problem of threats against defence solicitors?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And she mentioned, did she, in that first contact also

25 her specific experience and what you describe there as

 

 

68

 

1 "receiving some threats via her clients"?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And as I understand what you are saying to us, you then

4 had a number of other telephone calls from her?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Until the moment when she asked for you to come to her

7 office?

8 A. That's right.

9 Q. To speak to some of her clients yourself?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. And it was then, wasn't it, that you took statements

12 from the clients in the way that you describe in the

13 following paragraphs of your statement?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You say in paragraph 19 on the next page, RNI-813-380

16 (displayed), that you remember talking to her in her

17 room full of files?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And that at that moment the clients were waiting

20 downstairs?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, I think it is right, isn't it, that this occurred

23 in February 1997?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can we look first, please, at paragraph 18 of your

 

 

69

 

1 statement just a little further up on RNI-813-380? In

2 the third line from the end, you say:

3 "Rosemary asked us to go and see her and her

4 clients."

5 Then I think there is the name of a colleague of

6 yours which has been redacted?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And you went to her offices to meet her and that leads

9 into the description you give of meeting her in her

10 office with the clients waiting downstairs.

11 Can you look now, please, at a statement you made

12 later in the course of the investigation? It is at

13 RNI-203-009 (displayed). This is a statement of

14 20th October. Do you see? And we will look in a minute

15 at the circumstances in which it came to be made, but

16 you say that you were contacted in late February by

17 Rosemary Nelson. She told you that she had been

18 threatened while a number of her clients had been

19 detained in Gough Barracks. She said that the threats

20 had come from interviewing detectives. Then this:

21 "I told her that we would like to take statements

22 from her clients, and we then made arrangements."

23 That is a rather different version of events, isn't

24 it, because it looks from this statement, made

25 in October 1997, as though you took the initiative?

 

 

70

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Can you remember at this distance of time which is

3 correct?

4 A. I honestly can't, but I imagine if that was made

5 on October 1997, that is probably more likely.

6 Q. Why was it, do you think, that you wanted to take

7 statements from her clients?

8 A. Well, I imagine that probably -- you know, as I have

9 indicated in the statement to the Inquiry, this was at

10 the end of a period of time when she had been reporting

11 various problems to us of this nature, and my

12 recollection of this specific scenario is that a number

13 of her clients had been arrested for a specific incident

14 and that I think each of them had reported back that

15 comments of this nature had been made.

16 So it may have been that I felt that that was a bit

17 of a deterioration in terms of her situation and that it

18 would be useful to get more details from her clients

19 themselves.

20 Q. Had you ever taken statements from solicitors' clients

21 that had been the subject of similar complaints before?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Did you ever do so in relation to any other solicitors'

24 clients at any time before Rosemary Nelson's murder?

25 A. I don't think so.

 

 

71

 

1 Q. Or subsequently?

2 A. No, I don't think so.

3 Q. So when you made the request and raised the possibility

4 of taking the statements, what was your intention in

5 relation to the statements once you had obtained them?

6 A. Well, I think partly our intention was -- you know, I

7 think the other factor to bear in mind, I suppose, as

8 well was that Rosemary was to a large extent a sole

9 practitioner. She was in Lurgan. I think we felt as an

10 organisation that she probably needed a degree of

11 support from the organisation and that this was us, you

12 know, saying to her that we recognised that her

13 situation was serious.

14 In addition, of course, probably in early 1997 we

15 were conscious of the fact that there was a possibility

16 of persuading Mr Cumaraswamy to visit Northern Ireland

17 to look into this matter.

18 Annually, at that stage, CAJ would have attended the

19 Commission on Human Rights in Geneva which, from

20 recollection, I think was in April each year, and it may

21 well have been that we felt that this would have been

22 a useful exercise in order to bring Mr Cumaraswamy's

23 attention to this problem; in other words, that we could

24 have -- and in fact my recollection is that we did --

25 bring these statements with us to Geneva and give them

 

 

72

 

1 to Mr Cumaraswamy or his assistant.

2 Q. Yes, you say that later your statement, that you

3 attended in April 1997 and you think that you handed

4 over some statements to him as part of your attempt to

5 persuade him to take an interest in and presumably to

6 launch a mission to Northern Ireland?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. This, of course, is a little before then. It looks as

9 though over a month before then, but do you think,

10 looking at it now, that that plan was already in your

11 mind?

12 A. Well, it could have been. I think it probably was.

13 I mean, this is late February. We were probably going

14 to Geneva. We had probably already made arrangements.

15 We were aware that Cumaraswamy was alive to this issue.

16 We knew that it would take a considerable effort to

17 persuade him to come. It may well have been a factor.

18 I think the other factor is, as I say, that we

19 probably wanted to show Rosemary that we were taking

20 this seriously. There had been, it seemed, a pretty

21 marked deterioration. So I think it may have been

22 a combination of all three.

23 And, of course, the other thing I think to bear in

24 mind is that, you know, all of this -- well, you know --

25 it might be slightly self-serving of me to say at this

 

 

73

 

1 remove there was this grand strategy and the factors

2 that affected it. I can't be precise about my thinking

3 in February 1997, but I would guess those factors were

4 present in my mind.

5 Q. It seems likely, doesn't it, simply because it is

6 obviously not something you have done before to this

7 point?

8 Now, was there any discussion when you first spoke

9 to Rosemary Nelson about these clients and you raised

10 the possibility of taking statements from them, was

11 there any discussion between you about making

12 a complaint or complaints?

13 A. Not that I remember, no, I don't think so.

14 Q. Was there a discussion between you about the use she,

15 Rosemary Nelson, might put the statements to?

16 A. No.

17 Q. No. So it was understood between you, was it, that the

18 statements were to be taken by you from her clients and,

19 as it were, thereafter used by you, by your

20 organisation?

21 A. Yes. I mean, Rosemary wasn't present in the room when

22 the statements were taken. Her clients were brought up.

23 We spoke to them. They left. We subsequently, I think,

24 spoke to her again briefly and we returned to the office

25 in Belfast.

 

 

74

 

1 The intention was -- whether it was my intention

2 initially or hers, the intention was to inform CAJ of

3 the detail of what was being alleged.

4 Q. Our attention has focused in particular on two of the

5 statements and they are the two from clients that you

6 refer to by their ciphers --

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. -- in this short statement. But you say in your witness

9 statement that you took four to five statements. So

10 presumably there were four to five clients waiting

11 downstairs?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What happened to those statements?

14 A. They would have been retained by CAJ. I presume -- the

15 statement here isn't clear. I presume it was only those

16 two that were handed to the chief inspector in relation

17 to the complaint. But it may well have been that the

18 others simply didn't have the detail of those two. I

19 can't remember why those two were singled out.

20 Q. Can you remember anything about what the other

21 statements disclosed, what the other clients were saying

22 to you in the interviews you conducted?

23 A. I honestly can't.

24 Q. No. And again, in relation to the CAJ position and

25 CAJ's records, as far as you are aware, did those other

 

 

75

 

1 statements still exist on the files at the time you left

2 the organisation in 2004?

3 A. I would have thought so, yes.

4 Q. Again, is there any reason you can think of why they

5 might subsequently have disappeared or been destroyed?

6 A. No.

7 Q. No. I would like to ask you to look briefly, please, at

8 another statement to see if you can help us with that.

9 It is at RNI-203-006 (displayed).

10 Now, I am assuming, I hope correctly, that this is

11 not a statement taken by you?

12 A. No.

13 Q. It is not your handwriting?

14 A. No.

15 Q. And I think if we get the page full, please, on the

16 screen, we can see that the date there is 27th May by

17 the look of it, 1997?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Some three months after the events you have just been

20 telling us about?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And can I ask you to look at RNI-203-007.500

23 (displayed). Again, a very simple question. Dated

24 27th October. Is that a statement that you took?

25 A. No.

 

 

76

 

1 Q. Thank you. Can we look at the two statements that we

2 are particularly concerned with, please? The first is

3 at RNI-203-002 (displayed).

4 Before we look at the text, could we just cover the

5 circumstances in which this interview and other

6 interviews that you conducted took place. As I

7 understand it, you and your colleague were in

8 Rosemary Nelson's office?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. Upstairs?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And the clients came up one by one, did they?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You are sure about that?

15 A. Pretty sure. It may have been that we split them, it

16 may have been that we took one each simultaneously. I

17 can't remember.

18 Q. Thank you. This statement is, I think, one of the two

19 statements that was obtained during that visit. Is that

20 right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And we can see the second one at RNI-203-004, just

23 looking at that briefly (displayed). Again, that is the

24 other of the two we are particularly concerned with from

25 C206.

 

 

77

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. How was the statement obtained?

3 A. Well, either -- I can't remember whether it was myself

4 or my colleague who, you know, took the specific

5 statement. I think it looks to me like I took both of

6 those.

7 We would have taken -- I mean, to describe it as

8 a statement is probably over-egging the pudding. We

9 would have taken a pretty detailed note from the

10 individual about what had happened, who they were, when

11 they were arrested, the circumstances of the arrest,

12 et cetera, the usual sort of detail that you would take,

13 and we would have got them to describe what happened

14 when they were in custody. And obviously, we were

15 specifically interested in the suggestion that the

16 police had made derogatory comments or threatening

17 comments about Rosemary.

18 So we would have taken the detail of that down as

19 well, all in handwriting, and then those notes would

20 have been typed up back in the CAJ office.

21 Q. You said at the beginning of that answer that you

22 thought these statements were taken by you, were written

23 by you. What makes you say that?

24 A. Just the wording. I just think it looks like -- it is

25 difficult to be definitive, but I just think it looks

 

 

78

 

1 like something that I typed up.

2 Q. So I have understood this, it may or may not have been

3 you who was doing the handwriting during the interview?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. But you think that it was you who later, presumably at

6 your office, did the typing up of the statement?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Now, we can see that neither statement is signed?

9 A. Hm-mm.

10 Q. I assume, therefore, that they didn't go back to the

11 clients as a draft for their consideration?

12 A. No.

13 Q. You left the office with the handwritten notes?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And thereafter in your own office converted them into

16 typed statements?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Can I ask you a question about the handwritten notes

19 first of all. Would they have remained on your file?

20 A. Yes, I think so.

21 Q. Do all the questions and answers that you have given

22 before about CAJ's records apply?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you. You said that you were particularly

25 interested in the comments about Rosemary Nelson?

 

 

79

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And we can see those in the first case at the bottom of

3 RNI-203-002 (displayed), the final paragraph.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And in relation to this and, indeed, the whole of the

6 statement, can I be clear that what is written down here

7 consists of answers given to questions posed by you or

8 your colleague in the interview?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And it is, is it, a verbatim account of the answers

11 given?

12 A. Yes, I think it would be. I mean, we would have taken,

13 as I say, handwritten notes and this would have been

14 typed up from the notes. But yes, I am pretty certain

15 it would have been verbatim. Certainly on this specific

16 aspect of it, I would have been sure that we would have

17 been very careful about what was taken down.

18 Q. In the handwritten version of this, were the questions

19 also written?

20 A. Probably not.

21 Q. So in that sense, it didn't resemble, for example, a

22 police interview?

23 A. No.

24 Q. It was more like taking a statement, was it, for the

25 purposes of litigation?

 

 

80

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. In the process of typing up, did you edit?

3 A. I don't think so. That wouldn't have been our practice.

4 Q. So in the absence of the handwritten versions, can we be

5 confident that if and when they appear, they will simply

6 be handwritten versions of what we now see typed out

7 over these pages?

8 A. Yes, I think -- I would be very surprised if there was

9 any difference.

10 Q. And in relation to the specific comments about

11 Rosemary Nelson, there is nothing added and nothing

12 omitted?

13 A. No.

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

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. 2 o'clock.

16 (1.57 pm)

17 (The short adjournment)

18 (2.00 pm)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

20 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Mageean, we were talking about the

21 interviews that were conducted with the two clients in

22 particular. Can we have up to the screen, please,

23 RNI-203-002 (displayed)?

24 Now, during the course of the interview that you and

25 your colleague conducted, did you challenge or probe the

 

 

81

 

1 accounts that they were giving you?

2 A. Well, we would have probed them certainly and we would

3 have, you know, asked them to elaborate on things that

4 they said. We wouldn't simply have asked them to begin

5 and noted down everything they said without

6 interruption. There would have been a degree of back

7 and forth and a degree of dialogue.

8 Q. To what extent during that process were you assessing

9 their credibility?

10 A. That wasn't our role, to assess their credibility.

11 Q. If we look at RNI-203-003 (displayed), we will see at

12 the top of the page in this statement, which is C215, in

13 the third line the client is recorded as having said:

14 "Tell Rosemary she is going to die too."

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, was this the first time in relation to

17 Rosemary Nelson that you had heard of such a threat,

18 a death threat?

19 A. I couldn't be 100 per cent about that. It is certainly

20 the first time it would have been told to me directly by

21 a client.

22 Q. Was there an occasion in subsequent years or on

23 subsequent occasions that a client passed on to you

24 a death threat of this kind?

25 A. I don't think so.

 

 

82

 

1 Q. No. When the process of taking the client's accounts

2 was ended, presumably you had a discussion with

3 Rosemary Nelson herself?

4 A. Very brief discussion from my recollection afterwards,

5 yes.

6 Q. Did you tell her or mention to her at that point this

7 particular client's evidence that he had been told to

8 tell his solicitor "she's going to die too"?

9 A. I don't remember a specific discussion about that, but

10 of course Rosemary would have been aware of what her

11 clients were alleging. You know, it was her who had

12 come to us to say, "This is happening".

13 Q. Did she mention that a death threat had been made when

14 you spoke to her on the telephone?

15 A. I can't remember, but I would have thought yes. But I

16 can't remember.

17 Q. Presumably if this was the first you had heard of it

18 with the client sitting opposite you, it must have made

19 something of an impact on you?

20 A. Yes, it must have, yes.

21 Q. Whatever your original plan when you went the office,

22 did you consider at this point whether this was a matter

23 that should be referred either to the police or by way

24 of formal complaint through the ICPC?

25 A. No, not that I can recall. I mean, you know, the

 

 

83

 

1 reality was, of course, that the allegation from the

2 client was that this threat had come from the police.

3 So we certainly wouldn't have envisaged the situation, I

4 don't think, of going to the police with that and

5 I don't recollect any discussion about lodging a formal

6 complaint.

7 Q. And you don't recollect specifically mentioning anything

8 about it to Rosemary Nelson herself?

9 A. I mean, we -- I don't recollect it. We could have. We

10 had a brief discussion afterwards. I don't think the

11 discussion centred on what had been said by her clients;

12 I think it was a simply quick wrap-up and we said we

13 would go back to Belfast and type the statements up.

14 Q. In your statement, you say in paragraph 20 at

15 page RNI-813-381 (displayed), that your recollection of

16 the interviews was that the clients, the two clients we

17 have looked at, were very forthcoming?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And you gave them -- this is right, is it? -- an

20 undertaking, presumably before the interviews took

21 place, that you wouldn't disclose the information

22 without their permission?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. In the light of this serious allegation in particular

25 made by one of the clients, did you not think it

 

 

84

 

1 important to -- just to take two examples -- get them to

2 sign the statements and date them?

3 A. No, the purpose of taking the statements was not to use

4 them in legal proceedings; the purpose of taking the

5 statements was simply to inform us of what was happening

6 and potentially to inform Mr Cumaraswamy and others. It

7 was to inform the work of CAJ. We didn't envisage when

8 we took the statements that they would ever be used, I

9 think, in legal proceedings.

10 Q. They would simply be used by your organisation for the

11 purposes you mentioned earlier, before lunch?

12 A. Yes, that's right.

13 Q. So as far as you were aware then, with that exception,

14 the purposes of your own organisation, these accounts

15 that had been given of what had apparently taken place

16 in the holding centres, would not become known to anyone

17 else, presumably apart from Rosemary Nelson, outside the

18 room?

19 A. Yes, apart from the work that we would be doing with

20 other --

21 Q. Indeed.

22 A. -- agencies, yes, that's right.

23 Q. Can I ask you this about these clients, in particular

24 C206 and C215? Did you, sitting there, writing down

25 their answers, find their accounts credible?

 

 

85

 

1 A. I mean, as I say, my role was not specifically to judge

2 whether or not they were telling the truth. If -- you

3 know, if my impression had been that what they were

4 saying was nonsense or that I just didn't believe them,

5 then I certainly don't think that we would have given

6 the statements to Mr Cumaraswamy. So I certainly found

7 them sufficiently credible that we decided subsequently

8 to use them and to give them to Mr Cumaraswamy.

9 I can't say definitively, obviously, if they were

10 telling the truth. Having said that, the statements

11 fitted something of a pattern in terms of what had been

12 said previously to us by other solicitors, about what

13 their clients had told them. So it didn't seem out of

14 the ordinary for that time.

15 Q. That is, if I may say so, a rather carefully qualified

16 answer. They fitted a pattern that you were already

17 aware of, you say.

18 What I was asking is not whether you were able to

19 absolutely judge whether they were true, these

20 allegations, but rather whether you yourself believed

21 that they were true on the basis of what they told you?

22 A. Well, if I had to give an answer yes or no to that, I

23 think the answer would be yes.

24 Q. You don't sound sure.

25 A. It's impossible for me to know. So, you know, I can't

 

 

86

 

1 be definitive obviously, but they were credible, they

2 were sufficiently credible for us to use and for me to

3 put the reputation of our organisation to some extent on

4 the line by providing them to Mr Cumaraswamy. If I

5 hadn't been persuaded that they were credible to that

6 extent, I wouldn't have done that.

7 Q. In due course, as you have told us earlier, they came to

8 be used not only for that purpose but indeed as part of

9 the LAJI complaint?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. We will see how that came about in a minute, but can

12 I ask you this question: at that point, when you were,

13 as you put it earlier, brought in to hear the complaints

14 and asked to produce the two statements, did you come

15 back to this question of credibility.

16 A. In what sense come back to it?

17 Q. Well, you said in your answer to the questions I was

18 posing about whether you believe what they were saying,

19 you stressed the limited purpose. What I am saying to

20 you or asking you now is this: later, we know,

21 in September/October 1997 you were asked to provide the

22 statements for the purposes of a complaints

23 investigation?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Presumably, therefore, it became important at that time

 

 

87

 

1 to ask yourself the question whether these were credible

2 accounts that you could put forward.

3 A. Well, I mean, our view I think would have been that all

4 that we were doing was providing them to the ICPC and

5 the investigating officer, and to some extent -- well,

6 I mean, to a large extent it was really then up to them

7 to determine the credibility of the statements.

8 Q. At that point, in September/October 1997, did you wish

9 that the clients had seen the statements in draft and

10 been invited to verify their contents by signing them?

11 A. Not necessarily. CAJ would have been quite -- I mean, I

12 think CAJ would have been quite reluctant to have

13 a whole ream of signed statements on file from

14 individuals for all sorts of complaints and purposes.

15 Our view, especially in relation, I suppose, to this

16 case -- not especially, but particularly in relation to

17 this case -- is that we, as I said, were only taking

18 these to inform the policy work that we were doing; we

19 weren't taking these with a view to using them later on.

20 No, I wasn't particularly concerned when it came to

21 the ICPC investigation because, again, all that we were

22 saying to the police at that point when they asked us

23 for the statements is to say here is our account of what

24 they told us. But we fully expected that the police

25 would go to speak to those individuals themselves and

 

 

88

 

1 then determine whether or not they felt they were

2 sufficiently credible.

3 Q. Were you aware at the time these interviews took place

4 that a suggestion was being made, certainly in some

5 quarters, that complaints were being deliberately

6 fabricated in order to undermine the reputation of the

7 police force?

8 A. I am not sure if -- at what point I became aware that of

9 notion, whether it was contemporaneously with all of

10 this happening or whether it was afterwards when I saw

11 the result of the ICPC-supervised investigation.

12 I certainly was aware of it then. I am not sure at what

13 point I became aware of it.

14 Q. But can I take it that when you were asked to put these

15 statements forward in the complaints investigation, you

16 wouldn't have done so had you had any reason to believe

17 that they were false?

18 A. Well, I had no reason to believe that they were false.

19 But, as I say -- I mean, our view on that was that the

20 investigation of the complaint and, therefore, to

21 a large extent of the credibility or veracity of these

22 individuals, was a matter for the ICPC and the police.

23 Q. Can I ask you a question about how the matters

24 proceeded? You told us, I think, before lunch that you

25 did not supply copies of these typed statements to

 

 

89

 

1 Mr Lynch?

2 A. No, that's right.

3 Q. We know that his complaint was initiated in March 1997

4 and I think you have already mentioned to us that

5 in September of that year Rosemary Nelson, in the course

6 of her own statement to the investigating officer,

7 mentioned that you had taken these statements. Can we

8 just look at the relevant part of her statement, please,

9 at RNI-203-013 (displayed)?

10 This statement, for the note as it were, begins at

11 RNI-203-010 and it is dated 16th September 1997. Now,

12 on this page at the top of the page, the third line, do

13 you see:

14 "At one point it got so bad that I got the Committee

15 on the Administration of Justice to come down and take

16 statements from my clients independently. I do not have

17 dates and times or identity of detectives, but the CAJ

18 should have that and I give you my permission to

19 approach them to obtain copies of these statements."

20 Then she names you as the person who came down and

21 recorded them.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. In due course you were contacted, weren't you, by the

24 investigating officer?

25 A. That's right.

 

 

90

 

1 Q. And I think in October of 1997 you made a statement

2 which we looked at a little while ago at RNI-203-009

3 (displayed), yes, 20th October. That is the short

4 statement which we looked at before lunch.

5 A. That's right.

6 Q. Now, what I would like you to look at next, please, is

7 a little further on in this file, which is RNI-203-020

8 (displayed).

9 This is the statement of the investigating

10 officer -- one of a number of statements, in fact --

11 which he made the next year in April and it sets out

12 a narrative of the investigation. This is the second

13 page of it. And he deals with your involvement at the

14 bottom of the page. Do you see there is a sentence

15 beginning "despite"?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. "Despite letters to the Committee on the Administration

18 of Justice sent on 30th September and 8th October, it

19 was not until the 20th that I was able to interview

20 their Mr Paul Mageean. The interview took place in the

21 presence of Miss McNally. Mr Mageean provided me with

22 his own statement of evidence and tendered two typed and

23 unsigned statements in the names of [C215] and [C206]."

24 Those are the statements we have been looking at,

25 aren't they?

 

 

91

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. "Although he claims to have taken statements from a

3 number of Mrs Nelson's clients, these remain the only

4 two submitted to the investigating officer by him."

5 Can I just ask you about that. We talked together

6 about the other statements that you took on the same

7 occasion in February. Was there any particular reason

8 why you didn't tender the other statements at this stage

9 to the investigating officer?

10 A. Not that I recall. In fact I am quite surprised by

11 that.

12 My recollection would have been that he had

13 specifically requested those two statements but, I mean,

14 I could be wrong about that. I simply have no

15 recollection as to why we wouldn't have simply given him

16 everything.

17 Q. You think he may have been interested in those two in

18 particular?

19 A. Yes, that would have been my recollection.

20 Q. He says a little further down this page, RNI-203-021

21 (displayed) that on the 15th of the month, you were

22 quoted as making some comments on the complaints system

23 in an article in the Belfast Telegraph?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And do you remember that?

 

 

92

 

1 A. Not specifically, no.

2 Q. Can we have a look at it. It is at RNI-401-025

3 (displayed). This is about the time of the visit of the

4 Special Rapporteur, isn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And it appears to be an article which looks forward to

7 his visit the following week. Do you see, in the third

8 line it says "next week"?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you are quoted, aren't you, in the third column and

11 the point you make at the end is:

12 "The problem was that the law profession had no

13 confidence in the complaints procedure and so didn't

14 bother reporting incidents."

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So it is the matter we discussed earlier and that was

17 obviously your position at the time.

18 Why was it, therefore, that you thought it

19 worthwhile submitting even these two statements to the

20 investigating officer?

21 A. Well, I don't necessarily see any contradiction between

22 those two positions, in that, as I said in this quote to

23 the Telegraph, it was our view that the legal profession

24 generally didn't have such faith in the system to --

25 certainly to regularly report incidents of this nature.

 

 

93

 

1 In relation to the specific ICPC investigation of

2 Rosemary's case, we had been asked to hand over the two

3 statements and we, as an organisation, had no reason not

4 to do that.

5 Q. Do you think you were asked to do that by

6 Rosemary Nelson?

7 A. No, I think the police came to us after Rosemary told

8 them that we had been to her office. I think either the

9 police or the ICPC must have come to us to ask us for

10 the statements.

11 Q. Specifically for those two?

12 A. I think so.

13 Q. Yes. Now, the final document I want you to look at in

14 your involvement with this complaint is at RNI-227-028

15 (displayed). This is a statement you made a year

16 earlier on September 1998 to the Mulvihill officers?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Essentially it contains a confirmation by you, doesn't

19 it, of the earlier statement we have just looked at on

20 20th October the previous year?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. But you were clearly asked, weren't you, about the form

23 in which the statements were made?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you are recorded in the statement as giving two

 

 

94

 

1 explanations:

2 "(a) The statements were recorded for use in other

3 arenas such as providing information to international

4 human rights groups.

5 "(b) It was not envisaged at that stage that the

6 statements would form part of a formal investigation."

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. "Also, these were the only two statements which

9 I recorded in relation to this matter."

10 Can you explain that last point?

11 A. No. I just looked at that when the statement came up.

12 I don't know whether that was in relation to this

13 specific complaint that was being investigated. I don't

14 know what exactly that refers to.

15 Q. Can I take it that the same applies to this question of

16 signature, which we have been over on a couple of

17 occasions now, that you didn't ask for the statements to

18 be signed with these points in mind?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, later in your statement at paragraph 22, you refer

21 to another client of Rosemary Nelson and that client has

22 the cipher C200. Do you see that in your statement? It

23 is at page RNI-813-381 at the bottom of the page

24 (displayed). I would like to ask you some questions

25 about that client, please.

 

 

95

 

1 A. Okay.

2 Q. Do you remember taking a statement from him

3 in March 1998?

4 A. I have a very vague recollection of doing that, yes.

5 I remember meeting him, yes.

6 Q. Can we look, please, at RNI-217-050 (displayed). If we

7 turn the page, please, and then to the last page of the

8 statement at RNI-217-052 (displayed). Thank you. This

9 looks to be a statement in similar form, doesn't it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. It looks like the same typing, and if we can go back to

12 the first page, please, RNI-217-050 (displayed), this is

13 a statement, again, without a statutory declaration. I

14 think that is the way it was put in the Mulvihill

15 statement. And it is not signed, is it, by the --

16 A. No.

17 Q. -- by the client.

18 Now, I suggested to you that it was taken

19 in March 1998. We can see the events that are described

20 begin on 20th February 1998. So it is pretty obviously

21 some time after that.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. By this stage, we know that you had submitted the

24 earlier statements to the investigating officer in the

25 other case?

 

 

96

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And that they had, therefore, taken their place in the

3 investigation which then continued, for some time

4 indeed, and led to the Mulvihill investigation which was

5 still incomplete at the time of Rosemary Nelson's

6 murder?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. What I wanted to ask you about is this: what were the

9 circumstances in which this statement was taken by you?

10 A. I really find it quite difficult to remember taking this

11 statement. I know I did take it. I remember that

12 individual and I remember meeting him. I honestly can't

13 remember if it was in Rosemary's office -- I presume

14 that it was, but I honestly can't remember.

15 Q. Do you think this is a case where she asked you to come

16 down and see the client in the same way that you had

17 with the other clients the year before?

18 A. It might have been, yes. I think the other thing about

19 this client, in addition to what he alleged about what

20 was said about Rosemary, was that he was held for quite

21 a long period, from my recollection. And in fact, I

22 think this case formed the basis -- or this set of

23 circumstances formed the basis for a case that we lodged

24 with the European Court of Human Rights.

25 Q. That is something you talk about at the end of your

 

 

97

 

1 paragraph 22.

2 A. Yes, and Rosemary may have contacted us because she was

3 aware that this was unusual at the time, for someone to

4 be held for this extended period of time. But

5 I honestly don't remember whether it was her --

6 presumably she must have called us about him. The

7 logistics of the taking of the statement my memory is

8 not great on.

9 Q. Again, we can see we have looked at this statement in

10 the Inquiry before, but it also contains serious

11 allegations about what was said, or allegedly said, to

12 this client.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can you remember whether this was another statement that

15 you took for the purposes of your own organisation?

16 A. Yes, I think it was. And I think it also then -- you

17 know, as an example of what we then did, I think this

18 also fed into a letter that we sent to the Security

19 Minister.

20 Q. Yes. And so there were no differences, were there,

21 between the circumstances of this statement in this

22 sense and the earlier statements, and nothing to make

23 you think it worth getting his signature on the

24 statement?

25 A. Not that I recall. And, as I say, there would have been

 

 

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1 I think a degree of reluctance on our part to collect

2 statements of that nature. I mean, our role was as

3 a campaigning human rights group. It was not as an

4 investigatory agency or as an arm of the state.

5 Q. Can you explain that reluctance? You mentioned it

6 rather earlier. In the original unredacted form of this

7 statement the client's name appears, as does his date of

8 birth, address, occupation, status, telephone number,

9 et cetera, so that you were going to retain details of

10 this kind on your files. Why was it that the signature

11 made a difference?

12 A. Well, I think the signature and the statutory

13 declaration would have, at least in our view at the

14 time, been the types of things that you would have done

15 in the event that you were considering litigation and

16 that we were very clear that none of this, from our

17 perspective, was forming the basis or would form the

18 basis generally speaking of litigation.

19 So I just think that we would have been reluctant to

20 have signed statements. We weren't a solicitors'

21 office. We didn't have the security that a solicitors'

22 office would have had. We didn't have the sort of

23 administrative infrastructure that would have surrounded

24 a solicitors' office. We were not quite a shoestring

25 operation, but certainly it was a very small, locally

 

 

99

 

1 based NGO and I think we would have been conscious of

2 the fact that -- I mean, yes, you are right, of course,

3 the guy's name is on the statement and the date of

4 birth, but we would have been conscious of the fact

5 that, you know, our offices didn't enjoy the same sort

6 of protection, if you like, that perhaps a solicitors'

7 office might.

8 Q. The statutory declaration in summary is a declaration

9 that the contents of the statement are true?

10 A. But that combined, I think, with the signature would

11 have put it at a slightly different level in terms of at

12 least our perspective at the time.

13 Q. Can I ask you the same sorts of questions in relation to

14 this as I did in relation to the other matters. Was it

15 taken in the same way, as far as you can remember?

16 A. As far as I remember, yes.

17 Q. In other words, through an interview?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. With handwritten answers recorded?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And later typed up by you in the office?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And can I ask you the same question in relation to your

24 view of the truthfulness or credibility of the account

25 that you were hearing?

 

 

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1 A. I think my answer would be the same. I suppose one

2 thing to add is that, you know, the statement itself

3 illustrates the detail that this person went into. And

4 to some extent, you know, my recollection was that he

5 had an unusually clear recollection of each interview or

6 each day of interviews. So, yes, I mean, again, my

7 answer would be I find it sufficiently credible for us

8 to base interventions upon what he said.

9 Q. As you mentioned earlier, you referred to the contents

10 of this statement, didn't you, in a letter that you sent

11 to Mr Ingram, the Security Minister?

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. We can see that at RNI-106-114 (displayed). Thank you.

14 And the letter which came -- I think it is signed by

15 you -- can we look at the next page, please, RNI-106-115

16 (displayed). Yes, there you are at the bottom of the

17 page, the legal officer.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Can we go back to RNI-106-114 (displayed). It begins by

20 talking about Rosemary Nelson and her general experience

21 over the years, and then in the second paragraph it

22 deals, doesn't it, with the lodging of complaints?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And those we know now would include complaints in

25 relation to the two clients you had interviewed the year

 

 

101

 

1 before?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And the new information in that regard is in relation to

4 this particular client, i.e. C200?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you then set out, don't you, at the bottom of this

7 page and over to the next page, RNI-106-115 (displayed),

8 in effect a summary --

9 A. Yes, that's right.

10 Q. -- of what is set out in the statement that we have just

11 seen?

12 A. That's right.

13 Q. Now, it includes two italicised sections, which I think

14 I am right in saying come direct from the typed

15 statement that we have just seen. The first one, the

16 point that there was a new law passed in 1989 which

17 meant they could do away with solicitors?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Who concocted stories. And then further down the page

20 that:

21 "He said this had been going on for 30 years and it

22 was not going to change now. He said to tell half face

23 that. They said I had made the statement and Rosemary

24 got the witnesses and told them what to say."

25 And you summarise your positions as follows:

 

 

102

 

1 "We are sure you will agree it would be completely

2 unacceptable for police officers to behave in this way.

3 We believe that the Government and you as the relevant

4 minister have an obligation to ensure that behaviour of

5 this nature is punished and not allowed to occur."

6 Then the final sentence:

7 "We look forward to receiving confirmation as to how

8 you intend to deal with this particular problem and the

9 pattern of police harassment of defence lawyers in

10 general."

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can I ask you first of all: can I assume that this shows

13 us that by this stage, I think 5th March 1998, you had

14 conducted the interview and typed up the statement?

15 A. Yes, I must have, yes.

16 Q. And the end of the letter shows the seriousness with

17 which you regarded the allegations made by this client,

18 doesn't it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Why was it, can I ask you, that you did not disclose the

21 statement to the minister?

22 A. Well, I don't know why -- I have no specific

23 recollection as to our thinking behind not including

24 a copy of the statement with the letter. I think what

25 we were trying to do was to focus -- get the minister to

 

 

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1 focus his attention on this problem, not necessarily

2 perhaps on the specific incident but on this problem

3 generally, and we were using the statement as the basis

4 of this letter.

5 I can't honestly recall whether or not we thought

6 about enclosing the statement with the letter and

7 decided against it. I don't know.

8 Q. Well, if you look at the last sentence, it looks,

9 doesn't it, as though there are two points addressed in

10 the letter: the particular problem on the one hand and

11 the pattern of police harassment of defence lawyers in

12 general?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. So can I take it that the particular problem is the

15 problem outlined in the extracts from C200's statement?

16 A. Well, I think -- yes, but I think the particular problem

17 is probably Rosemary's situation, as opposed necessarily

18 to this particular client.

19 I think we did refer to the opening paragraphs of

20 the letter to the ongoing concerns about Rosemary. So I

21 think it could be read either way. I am not sure

22 looking back which one it was, but I think probably we

23 meant Rosemary's situation and the general problem of

24 harassment of defence lawyers.

25 Q. But it must presumably have been something you

 

 

104

 

1 considered before deciding to quote from the statement,

2 whether it might not be easier and more helpful simply

3 to include it as an enclosure to the letter?

4 A. It may have been. I honestly -- I have no recollection

5 of us considering that, but it may have been that we

6 considered it and decided against it. I don't know.

7 Q. What would have been required for that? Presumably,

8 first discussion and agreement by Rosemary Nelson, and

9 secondly agreement by the client?

10 A. Well, I think more likely, yes, agreement by the client,

11 although we did quote the statement. So I am not sure

12 that that would have been a particular concern. But

13 yes, we would have obviously had to get his agreement.

14 Q. Do you think it is possible that you told

15 Rosemary Nelson before sending the letter what you were

16 intending to do?

17 A. I think it is possible, yes.

18 Q. And do you think you may have had a discussion with her

19 about whether or not it would be right to send the

20 statement?

21 A. Possibly.

22 Q. Can you remember anything about any such conversation to

23 help us?

24 A. I don't recollect considering sending the statement. It

25 may appear slightly strange now but I really don't

 

 

105

 

1 recollect a discussion around whether or not we should

2 send the statement as opposed to quoting relevant

3 extracts from the statement.

4 Q. You provided a copy of the statement at about this time

5 to British Irish Rights Watch, didn't you?

6 A. I think we did.

7 Q. And it formed the subject, didn't it, of a letter from

8 that NGO to the Secretary of State?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can we look at that, please, at RNI-106-132 (displayed)?

11 It is a letter from Jane Winter to the then Secretary of

12 State, and there is a reference to the Rapporteur and

13 the controversy, which you touch on briefly in your own

14 statement, about the draft report.

15 But if we turn over the page to RNI-106-133

16 (displayed), we see, I think, that there is in the

17 penultimate paragraph a reference to this particular

18 client because of the comment, do you see, about “half

19 face” there?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Presumably before you disclosed the statement to

22 Jane Winter, you would have had to have obtained

23 consent?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And do you think you did that?

 

 

106

 

1 A. I presume that we did, yes, either through -- either

2 directly with him or through Rosemary.

3 Q. Hm-mm. Were you aware at this stage that

4 Rosemary Nelson had initiated complaints on behalf of

5 this client in relation to other matters concerning his

6 detention?

7 A. I don't recall that.

8 Q. No. Did the question ever come up between you and

9 Rosemary Nelson as to whether this statement you had

10 obtained from this client should be disclosed to the

11 investigating officer in those matters?

12 A. I don't recall the other matters. So I certainly don't

13 recall a conversation about that.

14 Q. But can you help at least with this: that as far as you

15 are aware, the statement was not disclosed to the

16 Complaints and Discipline department of the RUC, as far

17 as you are aware?

18 A. As far as I am aware, no, it wasn't.

19 Q. And as far as you are aware, it was not at any stage

20 disclosed to the Government, the NIO or any responsible

21 official or minister?

22 A. Not that I recall.

23 Q. Going back to the letter to Mr Ingram -- can we look at

24 that, please, at RNI-106-115 (displayed), in the last

25 paragraph?

 

 

107

 

1 What in these circumstances did you actually expect

2 the minister to do?

3 A. Well, there were a whole range of things that the

4 minister could have done. I mean, this was a problem

5 that -- not Rosemary's issue in particular, this general

6 problem about harassment of defence lawyers, was one

7 that had been ongoing at this point for at least ten

8 years, probably since before the murder of Pat Finucane.

9 And there were a number of what we thought were

10 relatively straightforward solutions that the Government

11 could have adopted, and we have already touched on some

12 of them this morning.

13 One was they could have introduced video and audio

14 recording in the holding centres. One was they could

15 have allowed solicitors into the interview with their

16 clients so that these comments, if they were being made,

17 couldn't be made in the absence of solicitors. One was

18 that they could have had a dialogue with the police

19 about whether or not there was in reality a problem and

20 tried to address any misconceptions on the part of the

21 police about the role of defence lawyers.

22 So there were a number of solutions that could have

23 been adopted. I think what -- I think to some extent

24 that, you know, what we saw our role as was alerting

25 the Government to the fact that this problem was still

 

 

108

 

1 in existence but that the obligation to resolve the

2 problem lay firmly on the shoulders of the Government.

3 Q. Did you regard yourselves as under any obligation to

4 assist in that process by furnishing the relevant

5 information or evidence?

6 A. Well, I think that the letter is an attempt to assist in

7 that process.

8 Q. Would it have been more helpful with hindsight to have

9 supplied the statement?

10 A. Well, I don't recall the response from the Government,

11 but I certainly don't recall that we -- that the -- the

12 minister's officials were immediately on the phone

13 asking us for the statement and saying that they wanted

14 to deal with this proactively if only they could get the

15 statement.

16 Q. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the letter

17 discloses the existence of a statement, does it?

18 A. It does quote from comments that the client had made. I

19 don't think that there was a proactive effort to, you

20 know, get to the bottom of exactly what happened during

21 that detention.

22 Q. Can you remember offhand when the reply to this letter

23 came through from the NIO?

24 A. I don't know whether there was -- well, I think there

25 was a reply that came much later which referred back to

 

 

109

 

1 this letter as well, but that reply, I think, was in

2 response to a further letter that we had sent later on

3 in that year.

4 Q. Are you referring there to the letter of July?

5 A. I think it is in July, yes.

6 Q. Right. We will come to that in a moment.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can I now turn to something completely different, which

9 is the involvement you had in dealing with a particular

10 incident on the Garvaghy Road. And you start to talk

11 about this in paragraph 25 of your statement at

12 RNI-813-382 (displayed).

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you set out for us the involvement that your

15 organisation had in the issues raised by marching and

16 parades during this period of the mid to late 1990s?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. As I understand it, the CAJ saw these disputes -- which

19 of course became very violent in some years -- as being,

20 in sense, a conflict of rights. Is that a fair way of

21 putting it?

22 A. Yes. I mean, our concern -- I think to some extent yes,

23 but our concern really was in relation to the policing

24 of the parades issue, not in relation to the -- not

25 substantively at least in relation to the rights of

 

 

110

 

1 either marchers or communities that were objecting to

2 the marches.

3 Q. So your concern was with the tactics used by the police

4 on the ground. Is that right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I see. And I think it is right to say that in 1997 you

7 produced a report and a video -- you refer to the video

8 in paragraph 30 on the next page at RNI-813-383

9 (displayed) -- this is the police video.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And that presumably was specifically directed to these

12 issues of the police tactics in dealing with these

13 disorders?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And that presumably would encompass the use of plastic

16 baton rounds, the approach to dealing with sit-down

17 protests, for example?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. The covering up of identification badges?

20 A. Exactly.

21 Q. Matters of that kind?

22 A. Exactly.

23 Q. Now, so far as we are concerned today, what I would like

24 to focus on is the more specific issue of

25 Rosemary Nelson's own experience.

 

 

111

 

1 You say in paragraph 25 that you understand that she

2 was assaulted by the police?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, can you remember when it was that you first heard

5 that she had been assaulted by the police?

6 A. I think CAJ would have had observers at a number of the

7 sort of flashpoint areas around Northern Ireland at that

8 time and that would have included the Garvaghy Road.

9 I wasn't at the Garvaghy Road, but I do think that

10 CAJ observers subsequently told me that Rosemary had

11 been assaulted. I don't know whether it was -- it was

12 probably, you know, a day or two later.

13 Q. You go on to tell us in your statement about the

14 circumstances in which you came to take -- I think in

15 the end there were two statements from her. Do you see

16 that in paragraph 28 on the next page, RNI-813-384

17 (displayed)?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Now, if we look at the first of those, it is

20 RNI-302-129.500.pdf">RNI-302-129.500 (displayed). Can we enlarge the whole

21 of the text, please?

22 Now, we will see the date given there of the

23 statement is 7th July?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can you remember whether that was the day on which you

 

 

112

 

1 first heard that Rosemary Nelson had been assaulted?

2 A. I honestly can't. I would doubt it, but it is possible

3 that I was told that morning and went straight down.

4 I just can't honestly remember. I was probably told

5 over the course of the weekend.

6 Q. Where did you take the statement?

7 A. In her office.

8 Q. And did the taking of that statement follow the same

9 process as you have indicated to us earlier with the

10 clients?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So you would ask questions and she would answer?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You would write her answers down in handwriting?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And then type them up in your office?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And are your answers to the same questions in relation

19 to where the handwritten notes might be going to be the

20 same --

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. -- as the ones you gave this morning?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you. Do you think you came to her office

25 specifically in order to take a statement from her?

 

 

113

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And was that at her request?

3 A. I think it was probably more likely to have been at my

4 request, but I can't specifically remember. But I think

5 it is more likely that I probably would have said,

6 "Look, given what appears to have happened, I think it

7 is important that we have a note of this".

8 Q. In paragraph 26 in the first line you say that you

9 remember calling her within a day or two?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So do you think, having heard from your observers on the

12 ground, you initiated contact?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you suggested, did you, that you should come and

15 take a statement?

16 A. That is my recollection, yes.

17 Q. What was the state she was in when you saw her in her

18 office?

19 A. Well, I think when I went in first she was her normal

20 self, but certainly when she began to describe what had

21 happened, she was visibly upset.

22 Q. You say in your statement that this was the first time

23 you had seen her visibly frightened?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And she gave you -- is this right? -- the account that

 

 

114

 

1 you have typed up here for us, or for your own purposes,

2 but we now have it on our screen?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Did she describe to you at the time in detail the

5 injuries that she had sustained?

6 A. Yes, she did.

7 Q. Can I ask you this, perhaps an odd question, but did you

8 see the bruising that she describes?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. She showed it to you?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And in the statement, it says at the end of the third

13 paragraph:

14 "I have bruises to my right shoulder and to my

15 legs."

16 A. Yes, I didn't see bruises to her legs.

17 Q. But she showed you the bruises to her right shoulder?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Can you describe what you saw?

20 A. I mean, I just remember bruising. I think it was here

21 (indicates). I can't remember whether she had to pull

22 up her shirt. I don't know, but I just remember she

23 showed me bruising. It is difficult to be precise as to

24 exactly what it looked like. Obviously I am not a

25 doctor.

 

 

115

 

1 Q. You are pointing to your upper arm, in fact?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And in your statement, you say at the top of

4 page RNI-813-383 (displayed):

5 "She had visible bruising on her arm and her upper

6 arm."

7 A. Yes, my recollection is I think that it was here

8 (indicates).

9 Q. Rather than on the top here, on her shoulder?

10 A. No, I think it was here (indicates), just below the

11 shoulder.

12 Q. Do you think she used the word "shoulder" and that is

13 why you wrote it down?

14 A. I would guess so, yes.

15 Q. But you are confident, are you, that it was where you

16 have just shown me?

17 A. There might have been more but certainly what I remember

18 is seeing bruising here (indicates).

19 Q. And in the course of telling you what had happened, you

20 say that she was very close to breaking down on a couple

21 of occasions?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, we have seen a video in which she gives an account

24 of this event and you describe that video being taken,

25 don't you, in paragraph 24 of your statement?

 

 

116

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Can I take it that the video interview, if I can put it

3 that way, was recorded before you conducted your

4 interview with her?

5 A. Yes, I think so, yes. I think it was -- I wasn't

6 involved in that, but I think it was, you know, hours

7 afterwards. I mean hours after the incident as opposed

8 to --

9 Q. It may have been on 6th July itself?

10 A. It may have been, I don't know.

11 Q. Having taken the statement from her, you say you would

12 have written it out, paragraph 28, and asked her to

13 sign it?

14 A. Hm-mm.

15 Q. Now, that suggests a rather different procedure in this

16 case to that you have outlined earlier in relation to

17 the clients?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you think she did sign the statement?

20 A. I guess that she -- I have no clear recollection but she

21 may have signed the handwritten note, yes, she may have.

22 Q. Certainly in the versions we have -- as I said, I hope

23 clearly, there are two versions -- neither is signed?

24 A. No. Not the typed version.

25 Q. So you think that she would have signed the handwritten

 

 

117

 

1 notes you made at the time?

2 A. Potentially she would have. It would have been unusual,

3 but perhaps, given the seriousness of what had happened,

4 maybe we would have agreed that she should sign it.

5 I really can't recollect exactly.

6 Q. So that was the distinction, was it, between this case

7 and the other cases of the clients?

8 A. It may have been. I am slightly surprised at that

9 reference in the statement. I do not have any very

10 clear recollection of her signing it but it may have

11 been that she did.

12 Q. But again, you say that the signed version is probably

13 as you put it, on the files?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So again, the same questions and presumably the same

16 answers apply?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Thank you. And then you say:

19 "I would have dictated the statement afterwards."

20 Is that the same process as you described earlier as

21 typing things up?

22 A. Yes. I mean, I think I probably would have typed it up

23 myself. I may have dictated it to someone if there was

24 a particular urgency in trying to get it typed up. My

25 typing wasn't the fastest.

 

 

118

 

1 Q. So what was the purpose of taking this statement?

2 A. Well, again, like the others, the purpose was to keep us

3 informed and abreast of what was happening. I am pretty

4 sure we gave this statement to Mr Cumaraswamy to keep

5 him informed of what was happening and to inform the

6 general interventions that we were continuing to make on

7 this subject. And in addition, you know, I think at

8 this stage we were -- you know, we were very concerned

9 about Rosemary and we were wanting to keep a note of as

10 much of what happened to her as possible.

11 Q. Did you discuss with her on this occasion in the course

12 of the interview what she should do in relation to the

13 behaviour she described, the assault she had described?

14 A. I have a recollection of a discussion about her options,

15 yes. I think she -- whether or not it was that day or

16 whether it was on subsequent days or weeks, I think she

17 talked about the possibility of issuing a writ. I have

18 a vague recollection of a writ being issued by her

19 office and there was also, I think, some discussion

20 about an ICPC-type complaint.

21 Q. Well, in due course both happened, didn't they? That

22 there was, I think -- we know there was a complaint and

23 then later an action, which in fact was, I think, not

24 begun until the time of her murder or perhaps slightly

25 after?

 

 

119

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But you submitted the statement that you had obtained,

3 did you, in to the complaints process that she

4 initiated?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Did you consider whether the handwritten notes which you

7 say may have been signed should have been submitted to

8 the investigating officer?

9 A. Yes, that is why I am not sure about the accuracy of

10 that reference, because I think if there had have been

11 signed, handwritten notes, they probably would have been

12 submitted and my recollection is that we simply

13 submitted the typed note.

14 Q. So do you think on reflection it is more likely that

15 this statement was unsigned?

16 A. Well, probably more likely. I don't know why I included

17 that; whether at the time I felt that I had a signed

18 version. I have no recollection of that now.

19 Q. Can I just ask you to look over the page at

20 RNI-202-129.501 (displayed). Do you see three

21 paragraphs from the bottom there is a reference to two

22 other individuals, Mr Joe Duffy and then another

23 ciphered person?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And a description of Mr Duffy being severely beaten and

 

 

120

 

1 the other having a broken arm?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you seek to investigate the circumstances in which

4 those injuries had been sustained?

5 A. I am not sure if I personally did that. CAJ would have

6 had a number of volunteers, observers in the area and I

7 think some of them did take statements. Whether I was

8 one of that group, I really can't remember at this

9 stage. We were taking statements in various locations

10 across Northern Ireland.

11 Q. Are you able to tell us whether either of those

12 instances resulted in complaints?

13 A. I can't.

14 Q. You didn't have any involvement in them anyway?

15 A. No.

16 Q. No. Now, so far as Rosemary Nelson's complaint is

17 concerned, you, some months later, met a chief inspector

18 who was assisting in the complaints investigation, and

19 we can see the note of that at RNI-301-149 (displayed),

20 the notes from an official of the ICPC with his

21 signature at the bottom?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And again, you see that Geralyn McNally was present as

24 well as you and Rosemary Nelson herself?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

121

 

1 Q. And there is reference, isn't there, in the second

2 paragraph to the statement that we have been looking at,

3 dated 7th July, taken by you?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you see that there is a reference there to "both

6 documents marked as a statement of Rosemary Nelson"?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can you tell us in what circumstances there came to be

9 two documents marked "Statement of Rosemary Nelson"?

10 A. No, unless -- I think there were a series of bullet

11 points at the end of the statement that you showed us,

12 unless that's the other document that they are talking

13 about, because I see she says here she was only

14 complaining about the assault and abuse that was

15 inflicted on her personally and that the shorter

16 statement was therefore more pertinent.

17 Q. Can we just have a look at them both together on the

18 screen? I hope this is going to work: RNI-302-129.500.pdf">RNI-302-129.500

19 and RNI-302-129 (displayed).

20 So the point you are making -- this is the end of

21 the second statement, RNI-302-129, and it does look

22 though, doesn't it, as if the difference is the bullet

23 points at the bottom of the left-hand page, which begin

24 at 39 and carry on to the second page?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

122

 

1 Q. The difference between the two statements is this, isn't

2 it: the shorter one focuses on Rosemary Nelson and the

3 incident to do with her, the bullet points which have

4 been omitted concern more general events including the

5 reference, for example, to the two individuals who

6 sustained injuries?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can you remember the circumstances in which the edited

9 version came out?

10 A. No, I don't know whether -- I don't know how that

11 happened. I don't know how the ICPC would have had

12 both, or maybe Rosemary had both -- I don't know.

13 Q. Now, so far as your further involvement in the complaint

14 is concerned, you provided the chief inspector, the note

15 of whose interview we saw a little earlier, with the

16 video, didn't you, the video interview of

17 Rosemary Nelson?

18 A. Well, we give him, yes, the sort of edited version, if

19 you like, which was "Policing the Police". There was, I

20 think, unedited footage which we -- and we directed him

21 towards the people who might have that.

22 Q. So you supplied a version, certainly, of the interview?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. To the investigating officer?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. You say in your statement at paragraph 34 at

2 RNI-813-384 (displayed) that about this time there were

3 two things going on. The first is the lobbying to get

4 Mr Cumaraswamy to visit?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. This is the summer of 1997?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And the second is a discussion or discussions with

9 Mrs Nelson about her, as you put, her options?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Can you help us with what that meant in this context?

12 What were her options?

13 A. Well, I think the -- that discussion was in relation to

14 the specific assault, in that, you know, her options

15 were should she issue civil proceedings herself or not,

16 should she pursue the complaints option. What she

17 should do about all of that.

18 I don't think the options were -- I don't think that

19 paragraph relates to options, more generally. I think it

20 was specifically in relation to that assault.

21 Q. So you took part in a discussion about whether she

22 should launch a complaint, launch a legal action,

23 et cetera?

24 A. Yes, I think probably in the aftermath of that

25 assault -- my impression of that was that Rosemary felt

 

 

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1 quite vulnerable, perhaps more so than she would have

2 done previously, and yes, she probably was seeking some

3 advice in a way that she may not have done previously.

4 Q. Can I ask you about another curious document connected

5 to these statements? And we find that at RNI-302-129.502

6 (displayed).

7 Now, this, on the face of it, looks like the third

8 page of the longer version of the statement with the

9 bullet points in it. But it has a completely different

10 subject matter and its own heading: "Statement of

11 Rosemary Nelson"?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In paragraph 28 of your statement on RNI-813-383

14 (displayed), you suggest that this is a note of

15 a telephone call you had with her in 1997, after the

16 charging -- or arrest, as you put it here, of Mr Duffy?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. I assume that this must mean the arrest for the two

19 policemen murders in Lurgan?

20 A. I think so.

21 Q. At the end of June 1997?

22 A. Yes, I think so.

23 Q. So this is a note, is it, of a conversation you had at

24 about that time?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And she was at that stage reporting four death threats?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. This was a note that you made. Is that right?

6 A. I am pretty sure that is the case, yes.

7 Q. And it would have been put on the file at CAJ?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And in the course of the conversation, can you remember

10 did she make a connection between the fact that she was

11 representing Mr Duffy, who had been charged with these

12 two murders, and the fact that she had received death

13 threats?

14 A. Yes. I mean, I think certainly from that note it

15 suggests that she was saying -- she was making a very

16 clear link between the charging of Colin Duffy and her

17 representation of him, I suppose, in relation to those

18 charges and these four incidents.

19 Q. Can you remember whether she rang you?

20 A. I would -- I am pretty sure that she would have, yes.

21 Q. As you recall it, rang you for the purpose of passing

22 these details on?

23 A. Probably. I mean, you know, as I say, there would have

24 been quite regular conversations about lots of different

25 things. She wasn't -- she wouldn't necessarily, I don't

 

 

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1 think, have phoned us every time. Well, she definitely

2 would not have phoned us every time there was an

3 incident, and it looks as though these four incidents

4 happened in a relatively compressed period. It's as if

5 she waited until they were over and then called us and

6 said, "Look, here are four things that have happened".

7 Q. Now, as I suggested to you, the arrest took place at the

8 end of June?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. 1997. And we have seen the Garvaghy Road statement you

11 took is on 7th July. Is it possible then that these

12 events, the alleged assault on the one hand and this

13 telephone call with four death threats enumerated, that

14 they took place at roughly the same time?

15 A. It is possible. I would have thought this probably

16 pre-dated the assault, but potentially it could have

17 been around the same time. Certainly it was within --

18 it looks like it may have been within a week or two,

19 yes.

20 Q. In relation to the first, the Garvaghy Road incident,

21 you say that this was the first occasion you had come

22 across -- this is paragraph 29 on RNI-813-38

23 (displayed) -- where police had manhandled a solicitor?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. So on any view this was a serious allegation that she

 

 

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1 was making?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Other than taking a statement from her, did you pursue

4 any other investigations to corroborate or otherwise to

5 assess the validity of what she was telling you?

6 A. No, because again, that wasn't our view, that wasn't our

7 role. We were having discussions with her. It looks as

8 if she was going to issue proceedings. She did

9 ultimately launch a complaint with the ICPC. In terms

10 of domestic legal remedies, there really wasn't very

11 much else that she could do.

12 Q. You say in your statement that you realised at that

13 point, or you regarded at that point this event as being

14 something of a watershed?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And in fact your perception, looking at it now, is this

17 marked the time from which things got worse for

18 Rosemary Nelson?

19 A. Yes, I mean, I think that's right. It was -- you know,

20 we were in a context where a lot of solicitors, as we

21 have discussed, had had complaints about comments from

22 police officers, et cetera. But this was, you know --

23 this certainly was a very different sort of incident.

24 You know, the fact that she complained that she was

25 physically assaulted.

 

 

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1 I thought that this was a very different order of

2 thing that had happened and something that hadn't

3 happened previously to other solicitors.

4 Q. And your concerns in that regard must have been

5 increased, surely, by what she told on the phone about

6 the four death threats?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So presumably as at this point you must have been

9 concerned about her own personal safety?

10 A. Yes.

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

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. Ten minutes? That would be

13 20 past three.

14 (3.10 pm)

15 (Short break)

16 (3.24 pm)

17 MR PHILLIPS: Now, Mr Mageean, can we look at

18 RNI-302-129.502, please (displayed)? That was the note

19 of the telephone call you recorded. Can we enlarge it,

20 please. You have told us what you recall of the timing

21 of it.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. These threats, as recounted to you on the telephone,

24 were of a different kind, weren't they, to those about

25 which you had interviewed the clients?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. For example, in the preceding February?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. They were not incidents said to have taken place in the

5 holding centres but rather threats telephoned through to

6 the office and, in one case at least, to the house?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Now, as far as you are aware, did Rosemary Nelson take

9 any further action in relation to these threats?

10 A. Not as far as I am aware, no.

11 Q. You see, in relation to the matters raised with you and

12 with her by clients where those allegedly making the

13 threats were the police, one can perhaps understand

14 a reluctance to ask the same organisation to

15 investigate. These threats, though, are of a different

16 kind and there was no reason in principle, was there,

17 not to refer them to the normal investigating

18 authorities?

19 A. No, there was no reason in principle not to refer any of

20 these matters to the normal investigatory authorities.

21 I think what you are dealing with, though, is

22 a situation where there was a critical lack of trust in

23 the normal authorities, and while that was perhaps more

24 acute in relation to threats that were allegedly by made

25 by police officers themselves, I think it would have

 

 

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1 also applied to matters like this.

2 Q. And you think that is the explanation, do you, if

3 nothing was done in relation to police, because

4 Rosemary Nelson herself did not trust them?

5 A. I think that certainly would be a big part of it, yes.

6 Q. When she gave you the details which are recorded here,

7 did you give her any advice as to what she might do?

8 A. I can't specifically recall that. I mean, we probably

9 did discuss whether or not there was a possibility of

10 her pursuing this with the police, but I think that, you

11 know, to some extent all of those discussions were

12 premised on a sort of mutual understanding that that was

13 a path that it would be unusual for her to go down,

14 because even though you are right, of course: these are

15 a different nature of threat, that she felt that, you

16 know, the police were threatening her and were hostile

17 to her and, therefore, were unlikely to investigate

18 these matters effectively.

19 Q. So does it come to this then, that if she had asked you

20 whether she should report these matters to the police,

21 you would have advised her not to?

22 A. No, I don't think we would have been as explicit as that

23 in discussions with Rosemary or other people. I think

24 we would have discussed the options, the strengths, the

25 weaknesses of the various options, but the ultimate

 

 

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1 decision would have been a matter for her.

2 Q. Just turning back to the case which you refer to in the

3 first line of this note, the two policemen murders?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You deal with this in your statement in the context of

6 her high profile cases, and the passage starts in

7 paragraph 45 at RNI-813-387, the bottom of the page

8 (displayed). And the point I think you are making here

9 is that if one looks at these key events, the Hamill

10 case, the Garvaghy Road and this case in June 1997, that

11 Rosemary Nelson was involved in all of them?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And you then go on to say at the top of the page,

14 RNI-813-388 (displayed), that the place in which she

15 worked was particularly tense and was an area, wasn't

16 it, where sectarian conflict was particularly acute?

17 A. Yes, that's right.

18 Q. Not just at the time of the marches, but year round?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Do you remember the reaction in Northern Ireland to the

21 murder of these police officers?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. It was regarded as a great step back, wasn't it?

24 A. Absolutely, yes.

25 Q. And it had a very substantial impact on people's hopes

 

 

132

 

1 for the future, didn't it?

2 A. Yes, that's right.

3 Q. It seemed to go contrary to the progress that had been

4 made in recent months and years?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. It was a highly controversial event?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Now, in that context you make comments about the case in

9 paragraph 46, and you suggest that the local police had

10 decided that Mr Duffy was responsible even though there

11 was a lot of evidence pointing somewhere else?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And later, you say, don't you, that you think the RUC

14 were very focused in putting Colin Duffy away for one

15 reason or another?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Are you saying that it was your view that Mr Duffy was

18 effectively framed in this case?

19 A. I'm not sure I would put it as strongly as that. I

20 think our view was -- and this was to a large extent

21 informed by what we were told by Rosemary, as reflected

22 in this paragraph -- that there were a number of alibi

23 witnesses who put Colin Duffy somewhere else at the time

24 of the murders. But yet the police seemed to be

25 determined to charge him and to keep him on remand in

 

 

133

 

1 relation to these murders, despite the existence of the

2 alibi witnesses. And also that she told us that when

3 she tried to bring some of the alibi witnesses to the

4 attention of the police to give statements, that the

5 police seemed less than enthused about taking the

6 statements. So it seemed to us that they were focussing

7 on him to the exclusion of evidence that might have

8 brought them to the real killers.

9 Q. So is it fair to say that your views of the case were to

10 a large extent based on information given to you by her?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did she contact you shortly after the arrest of her

13 client?

14 A. Yes, I think so, yes.

15 Q. And did she encourage you to speak to the press about

16 the case?

17 A. Well, we were in pretty regular engagement with the

18 press, so I don't think we -- I don't think she would

19 have encouraged us explicitly to do that or needed to.

20 I mean, our role to some extent was when people

21 brought issues like this to us, we felt that one of the

22 appropriate responses to this sort of incident was to

23 try to ventilate the matter in the press. So I think we

24 did that in relation to the Duffy matter.

25 Q. Now, can we just look at a couple of press articles at

 

 

134

 

1 the time involving you. Can we look, first, at

2 RNI-401-016 (displayed). "Lawyer's fury at RUC over

3 Duffy arrest". You see the date, 27th June?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. If you look in the final column, about three paragraphs

6 from the bottom there is a reference to CAJ and

7 a quotation from a spokesman. Was that you?

8 A. Probably, but I can't be certain.

9 Q. No. Now, a couple of questions about this, if I may.

10 The "lawyer's fury" headline -- we have discussed that

11 in fact in evidence with one of the journalists.

12 Putting aside whether or not it was his idea or the

13 sub-editor's for the moment, that description, did it

14 tally with Rosemary Nelson's attitude to the case? Was

15 she angry about it?

16 A. I think she was. I would have said she was very

17 frustrated about it as opposed to angry.

18 Q. Was that her attitude from the beginning?

19 A. I'm not sure if it was her attitude from the very

20 beginning, but certainly once witnesses began to come to

21 her, alibi witnesses, et cetera, and she, I think, was

22 attempting, as she should have done as Duffy's

23 solicitor, to bring those witnesses to the attention of

24 the police and the police didn't seem particularly

25 interested, I think she got very frustrated. I don't

 

 

135

 

1 think it was her attitude right from the first day but

2 certainly very quickly thereafter.

3 Q. Now, there are a number of other articles in our bundle

4 in which we see CAJ or you specifically quoted. Do you

5 remember giving statements to the press at various

6 stages of the case before Mr Duffy's eventual release on

7 the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Was that press coverage something that you discussed

10 with Rosemary Nelson herself?

11 A. It is difficult to be absolute about that. I am sure we

12 would have discussed it to some extent. I don't think

13 there was a -- you know, an ongoing discussion about it.

14 She clearly, I think, shared our view that one of the

15 ways to try to draw attention to this apparent failure

16 on the part of the police properly to investigate this

17 matter was to get it ventilated in the press.

18 Q. And so if that was her strategy, it was one with which

19 in effect -- by allowing yourself to be quoted, by

20 talking to the press about it -- you were effectively

21 cooperating, weren't you?

22 A. Effectively, yes. That was -- you know, to a large

23 extent, you know, this was our sort of modus operandi as

24 a human rights campaigning organisation.

25 Q. But was it unusual in your experience for a lawyer to do

 

 

136

 

1 that?

2 A. For Rosemary -- for a solicitor representing a client to

3 do that?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. Well, it certainly wasn't unique. There were lots of

6 times when individual solicitors would have been quoted

7 in the press about cases that they were involved in.

8 Q. But the comments that you make in this and later

9 articles up to October when he was released and the way

10 you dealt with the case suggest, don't they, that you

11 had accepted her account of where the truth lay in the

12 particular investigation of the two policemen murders?

13 A. Not necessarily. I don't know if I would necessarily

14 agree with that. We -- clearly our role, as I have said

15 in relation to some other matters, was not to determine

16 Colin Duffy's guilt or innocence.

17 I think we, as a human rights organisation, were

18 concerned that the police had charged someone, and he

19 was on remand, on the basis of what looked like quite

20 a shaky case and that they were not taking -- they were

21 not taking the appropriate steps to gather evidence that

22 may point away from him in terms of the murder of the

23 two officers.

24 So, I mean, we would not have -- you know, it wasn't

25 our role to explicitly say this guy is either innocent

 

 

137

 

1 or guilty.

2 Q. But did you regard your stance as having been vindicated

3 by the eventual decision of the director to release him

4 and not pursue the prosecution?

5 A. Well, I suppose that to some extent that probably would

6 be the case, yes. But, you know, we of course aren't

7 privy to all of the factors that make up a decision by

8 the Director of Public Prosecutions. So we couldn't be

9 definitive about the fact that he took that decision on

10 the basis of some of the concerns that we had expressed.

11 I am sure there were lots of other factors as well.

12 Q. Can I ask you to look at a later communication? This is

13 in November this year, 1997, at RNI-101-172 (displayed).

14 This is a letter from the director of CAJ,

15 Martin O'Brien. We can see his signature at RNI-101-176

16 (displayed).

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Going back to RNI-101-172 (displayed), you will see that

19 the first section of the letter concerns the Robert

20 Hamill case. Turning over to RNI-101-174 (displayed),

21 there is a long passage concerning Mr Duffy?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. By this stage he had been released, but you will see

24 over the page at RNI-101-175 (displayed) the subsequent

25 case, which became, I think, an assault case

 

 

138

 

1 in November, is referred to in the second paragraph.

2 That is the subject matter of the remainder of that

3 page.

4 Then over the page at RNI-101-176 (displayed), do

5 you see there is a reference here to Mrs Nelson herself?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And specifically to the Garvaghy Road assault, the

8 threats and the derogatory comments?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can I just ask you -- I appreciate that this is a letter

11 written by the director -- would you have drafted it for

12 him?

13 A. Probably, yes.

14 Q. And in relation to the Duffy matters and particularly

15 the reference to Rosemary Nelson, was it something you

16 would have discussed with her before sending it out in

17 this case to the Chief Constable?

18 A. Probably.

19 Q. Was it her suggestion that you should write on these

20 topics?

21 A. No.

22 Q. No. So it was something you decided to do but, as it

23 were, cleared with her before you sent it out?

24 A. Yes, I think that is likely to have been the case.

25 Q. So far as this question of security and threats is

 

 

139

 

1 concerned, which we touched on a little earlier in the

2 context of the Garvaghy Road assault followed by the

3 telephone call, you make the point in paragraph 46 that

4 the release which followed the decision of the

5 Director of Public Prosecutions made Rosemary very

6 unpopular at a time when there was still a lot of

7 paramilitary activity in the area, even though things

8 had quietened down elsewhere?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So this case and its result increased her vulnerability,

11 in your view. Is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And although you say that you didn't tell her that it

14 was your view she had become a target -- and this is

15 paragraph 47 --

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. -- you believe that she herself realised that things

18 were becoming more serious?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Do you date that, therefore, to this time, after

21 early October 1997, when Mr Duffy was released?

22 A. Yes, I think it was probably that -- the Garvaghy Road

23 incident and the Duffy case and the Duffy release. Yes,

24 I think a combination of those factors probably would

25 have led to that view.

 

 

140

 

1 Q. In the context of this in the same paragraph, 47 -- it

2 is RNI-813-388 (displayed). Thank you. It is at the

3 bottom of the page. Do you see in the penultimate line,

4 you say:

5 "Rosemary became a sort of self-fulfilling

6 prophecy"?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can I just ask you: do you mean by that that she in some

9 way predicted what was going to happen to her? Is that

10 the point?

11 A. No, I think that -- no, I think what I mean by that is,

12 you know, Rosemary -- Rosemary was a good solicitor.

13 She achieved results in a number of high profile cases.

14 As she achieved those results, she attracted more high

15 profile clients and cases and those brought her into, in

16 my view, increased conflict with the police and also

17 brought her, certainly in relation to the Duffy case,

18 I suppose, an adverse public profile in the view of some

19 people.

20 So, you know, the more -- to some extent, the more

21 successful that she was, the more cases she got involved

22 in, the more tension there was with the relationship

23 with her and the police, and ultimately I think all of

24 that probably led to what happened.

25 Q. But the impression one gets from your statement -- and

 

 

141

 

1 tell me whether this is right -- is that this was

2 something that she herself was well aware of?

3 A. No, that is not my intention, if that is the way you

4 read it.

5 This is me, I think, looking back and saying that I

6 think from the perspective of ten years on, I think that

7 this may well be what happened. I don't think she would

8 have viewed it like that at all. She was simply

9 discharging her professional function and she was doing

10 it effectively.

11 Q. But you do say that you are sure she could see that

12 things were becoming more serious?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. But over the page, you say, well, she was very

15 courageous?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. She had a strong sense that what she was doing was

18 right. Do you mean, therefore, that she was determined

19 to keep going even though, as you say, each case seemed

20 to lead to more tension and more controversy?

21 A. Yes, I think that probably is the case, because I think

22 her view would have been, as was the view -- as I think

23 would be a common sense view, that she was a solicitor

24 doing her job in her home town.

25 She was representing her clients to the best of her

 

 

142

 

1 ability. If that was bringing her into conflict with

2 the police, then really that was a problem for the

3 police to sort out. She was simply discharging her

4 professional function.

5 It is difficult to know -- I mean -- and I couldn't

6 pretend to know exactly what she thought about all this.

7 She sometimes, you know, may have discussed this but it

8 wasn't like we constantly talked about whether or not

9 she really faced a grave threat.

10 Q. But as far as you could tell, despite the threats that

11 she was reporting to you and the conflict in which you

12 felt she had found herself, she was determined to carry

13 on with her work, as it were, in any event?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So far as her own views, her own position, is concerned,

16 as I understand it, what you are telling us in

17 paragraph 48 is you didn't have political discussions

18 with her?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. And you don't think she was driven by a political

21 agenda?

22 A. No.

23 Q. So far as Mr Duffy is concerned, you also address that

24 question at the end of paragraph 47. Do I take it, then,

25 that you were not aware at any time before her murder of

 

 

143

 

1 rumours concerning her relationship with him?

2 A. No, not aware at all.

3 Q. And there was nothing to suggest that there was such

4 a relationship of which you were aware?

5 A. Nothing at all.

6 Q. Now, in relation to the question of threats, we have now

7 covered various examples through the client statements

8 and through the telephone conversation you had with the

9 four examples which you recorded. You refer at various

10 times in your statement to discussions or awareness of

11 threats. Can you point to or give us an example of any

12 other specific occasions other than those we have

13 already discussed in the course of your evidence?

14 A. No. The only others that I can recall, I presume we

15 will get on to, and they are the two documents that we

16 subsequently sent to the Government.

17 I think she may also have received some other

18 written document, because I have a vague recollection of

19 her -- someone telling me that it was shown to them at

20 a conference that we organised shortly before her death.

21 But apart from that, no.

22 Q. Now, in 49, paragraph 49, at RNI-813-389 (displayed),

23 you say:

24 "I think at some point in time the threats against

25 Rosemary crossed the line in terms of us becoming more

 

 

144

 

1 concerned."

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Again, we have discussed various points of significance

4 in the history. What is the time that you are referring

5 to in this paragraph?

6 A. That period, I think, in the summer and moving into the

7 autumn of 1997.

8 Q. Now, if, at that stage, you think there was a crossing

9 of the line and that you became more concerned, did you

10 raise with her what she could do in relation to

11 protecting herself?

12 A. No, I mean, not in relation to the practicalities of

13 that. That wasn't anything we had any expertise in

14 relation to. Our view -- obviously wrongly, as it

15 turned out -- was that if we drew international

16 attention to her and to her vulnerability, that that

17 would assist in protecting her and that was what we

18 could help with. But not in relation to, you know,

19 personal protection. That wasn't an issue that we could

20 give her advice on.

21 Q. In paragraph 38, earlier in the statement at RNI-813-385

22 (displayed), you say:

23 "At the point when we felt she was at serious risk,

24 we would have looked at what could be done to protect

25 her and advised her accordingly."

 

 

145

 

1 That is one of a number of references to this in

2 your statement.

3 A. Yes. But then it goes on to say our view at the time

4 was that the more publicity we could get in respect of

5 the threat, the better, in a sense. That is what

6 I meant.

7 CAJ had no expertise to give her advice about her

8 actual physical protection.

9 Q. Is that the beginning and the end of it then? That in

10 all the period we are talking about, up to and including

11 her murder, the essential and only strategy was to get

12 more publicity?

13 A. Well, no, it wasn't the only strategy. We had written

14 about this to the Chief Constable. We had cooperated

15 with two complaints with the ICPC. We had written to

16 the Minister of Security. We persuaded Mr Cumaraswamy

17 to come and to visit first to the UK. We facilitated

18 her giving evidence at a US Congressional Committee.

19 I think for a small locally-based NGO our role was

20 to try to bring this case to the concern of the

21 appropriate authorities, both domestically and

22 internationally. We did that. If there then was

23 a failure in terms of providing protection, I think that

24 rests with the authorities.

25 Q. So as far as you are concerned, CAJ's involvement was

 

 

146

 

1 properly to draw these matters to the attention of those

2 responsible?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You include, do you, the Rapporteur, his visit and

5 subsequent report in that?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you.

8 Now, in paragraph 77, you deal with a slightly later

9 stage of events in 1998. This is at page RNI-813-397

10 (displayed). You say:

11 "Throughout that year she was still receiving

12 threats, and on occasions things got worse for her and

13 this was when she would pick up the phone to us."

14 As far as I have been able to ascertain, there are

15 no notes of the kind we looked at earlier in relation to

16 any such conversations. Do you remember making notes of

17 information that she gave to you during that year?

18 A. No, I remember her calling me at home on a couple of

19 occasions in the evening and I remember her discussing

20 generally the sort of situation and the tension in that

21 area. I don't recollect that she was telling me about

22 specific threats that she had received.

23 Q. Right. Because I assume -- and tell me if this is

24 right -- that in this year, 1998, it was still one of

25 your responsibilities, at any rate, to be concerned

 

 

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1 about the whole issue of intimidation and harassment of

2 defence lawyers?

3 A. Yes, it was. Although really at this stage it had begun

4 to focus pretty much exclusively on Rosemary.

5 Q. With that in mind, presumably if they had given you

6 specific details of a threat, you would have wanted to

7 note them for your file?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Can we take it that if you did make such notes, they

10 again would be on the files --

11 A. They should be on the files, yes.

12 Q. Now, later on, as you indicated earlier, we are going to

13 come to the two specific documents: the threat letter

14 and the pamphlet, "Man Without a Future".

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. I want to just ask you this: did you at any stage see

17 any other written form of threat to her?

18 A. I don't think so, no.

19 Q. And can I take it from that that you never received

20 a copy or copies of other documents of that kind?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Now, you tell us that in some time in 1998 -- this is

23 paragraph 79 at the bottom of the page -- you went to

24 Rosemary Nelson's office to copy a threatening letter?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. When you went to copy that letter, did you see any other

2 examples of threat notes, letters or documents?

3 A. I don't think so, no.

4 Q. In paragraph 78, before you refer to that specific

5 threatening letter, you describe your feeling that

6 through 1998 the nature of the threats that she was

7 receiving changed and she had a strong feeling that they

8 were coming directly from the police.

9 Now, I would like to ask you, please, what is it

10 about what you discussed with her that made you think

11 first that the nature of the threats had changed?

12 A. Well, I think this probably more -- I think this

13 probably reflects more actually on some of the threats

14 that came in in late 1997 in relation to the Duffy

15 issue; that they were not coming from -- they were not

16 the usual sort of -- it is wrong to say run of the mill,

17 but they weren't the usual sort of complaints that were

18 coming via clients, but that they were coming via phone

19 calls to the office and phone calls to the house and

20 that sort of thing.

21 Q. Are you referring then to that attendance note we

22 looked at?

23 A. I think that is what I have to assume that I am

24 referring to there.

25 Q. Because there was nothing in that, was there, to suggest

 

 

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1 that those threats were coming directly from the police?

2 A. No, there wasn't. Although I remember -- I remember

3 discussing this with Rosemary and her view was that she

4 felt, I think, that some of those threats were coming

5 from police officers. But she had no -- you know, she

6 had no hard evidence on which to base that, but she felt

7 that.

8 Q. Did she give you any indication of what was the basis

9 for her view?

10 A. No, I think what she felt was that a lot of this was

11 coming in the immediate aftermath of the difficulties

12 around Duffy and the withdrawal of the charges on Duffy,

13 and that she knew that, you know, that the police or at

14 least some police officers would have been very angry

15 about that. And she felt that there was a coincidence

16 between that and a number of these threats that had been

17 telephoned to the office.

18 Q. Now, that, of course, was in 1997, wasn't it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Not 1998?

21 A. Yes, I think that's right.

22 Q. So on reflection, do you think in this paragraph it

23 should more accurately have referred to 1997?

24 A. I think so, yes.

25 Q. Now, looking at paragraph 79 again, you refer there to

 

 

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1 the threatening letter and I would like to show you

2 a better copy of it, or the best we have got. I think it

3 is RNI-115-351 (displayed).

4 As I understand it, that is the letter that you went

5 to copy, as you tell us in paragraph 79?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. We know that the letter at the top of the page, the

8 envelope, is date stamped 3rd June 1998, and we know

9 also -- and we will look at this letter in a moment --

10 that you referred to it in your letter to Mr Ingram of

11 10th August that year?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Do those dates help you with a possible timing for when

14 you went to the office to copy it?

15 A. Well, it was obviously between those two dates. I can't

16 remember exactly when. The fact that it was sent to

17 Mr Ingram with the leaflet I think would suggest that

18 I probably didn't get this until around about the onset

19 of the Garvaghy Road --

20 Q. In July?

21 A. In July.

22 Q. And the second document, the "Man Without a Future"

23 pamphlet, which is RNI-106-289. Can we look at that,

24 please (displayed)? That, you say, was being handed out

25 in its hundreds at, I think this is right, at the time

 

 

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1 of the 1998 marching?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You think it was one of your observers on the ground, as

4 it were, who brought it to your attention?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And this is a document that you drew to

7 Rosemary Nelson's attention rather than the other way

8 round. Is that right?

9 A. I think that's right, yes.

10 Q. Now, going back briefly to the threat letter itself, the

11 document you copied was the original. Is that right?

12 A. Yes, I am pretty sure it was, yes.

13 Q. And you say she was concerned about it?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you discuss with her what she should do in relation

16 first to this letter?

17 A. I don't think there was a discussion specifically on the

18 letter. I think there was a discussion about what we

19 would do in relation to both documents.

20 Q. Did it occur to you that if it was to be investigated,

21 i.e. the source of the letter was to be investigated, it

22 was important to preserve it?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. It might, for instance, have yielded some form of

25 forensic evidence?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you remember discussing that with Rosemary Nelson?

3 A. I am tempted to say yes, but I don't think I have

4 a specific recollection of discussing the importance of

5 retaining it for forensic examination. I am pretty sure

6 she had the original. I am pretty sure it was

7 a photocopy of the original that we got. I have a vague

8 recollection of her showing me an envelope with, I

9 think, that -- you know, that address on it but I can't

10 be absolutely 100 per cent.

11 Q. Now, you say at the top of page RNI-813-398 (displayed)

12 that it was unusual for her to receive a written threat.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And that she was unnerved by it?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Surely you must have discussed with her what she could

17 do to find out who was responsible for threatening her?

18 A. Well, I mean, I think what we agreed to do in relation

19 to both of those documents was what we subsequently did,

20 which was to send them to Mr Ingram.

21 Q. Rather than to get the letter forensically examined, for

22 example?

23 A. Well, of course it was completely open. Mr Ingram told

24 us that he passed the letter to the police for

25 investigation and of course they didn't come to get it

 

 

153

 

1 to be forensically examined until after Rosemary was

2 murdered.

3 So, you know, no. Our view was let's bring this to

4 the attention of the authorities.

5 Q. In terms of the timing of this, it looks from your

6 statement, paragraph 81, that it wasn't the letter

7 itself but the combination of the letter and the, as I

8 understand it, subsequent pamphlet that led you to

9 conclude, in agreement with Rosemary Nelson, that

10 something needed to be done. Is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So it was something, was it, about the combination of

13 the two which made you decide that action had to be

14 taken?

15 A. Yes, I think so. I mean, it is also -- although the

16 letter, as you say, is dated early June, I think

17 probably she didn't contact us about it until some time

18 after that. So I imagine when I went to her office to

19 photocopy it we probably already knew about the

20 pamphlet. So I think the conversation was about both

21 documents and the seriousness of the combination of both

22 documents.

23 Q. What was it about the combination that was so serious?

24 A. Well, I mean, it was that two threats were worse than

25 one, you know; that we had a specific written threat to

 

 

154

 

1 her office and we had a document that seemed to have

2 been mass produced and handed out, you know, at

3 Garvaghy Road. And, of course, the attendant danger

4 that someone may do something, that clearly some people

5 were aware of her office address and someone may decide

6 to do something.

7 Q. Now, as I understand it, you discussed what to do with

8 her and it was in the light of that discussion that you

9 decided to write to Mr Ingram?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Is that right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, by this stage, I think he had already -- or rather

14 you had already received a response from his private

15 secretary on 7th July 1998. Can we look at that,

16 please, at RNI-106-230 (displayed).

17 I mentioned it earlier. This is in fact a response

18 to your letter of 5th March. So some four months later?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And it refers to both Rosemary Nelson, doesn't it, and

21 the client we looked at?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And there is an assurance given in the third line, do

24 you see:

25 "Where allegations are made such as those you refer

 

 

155

 

1 to, then they are investigated. In the case of C200,

2 there are three complaints currently under

3 investigation, two are also being investigate. Most of

4 them are being investigated."

5 Something seems to have gone wrong there:

6 "Most of them are being supervised by the ICPC."

7 Turning the page to RNI-106-231 (displayed), after

8 some comments about the complaints system, you see the

9 Government's position is set out:

10 "Encourages those to come forward. Lack of

11 confidence in the system. Ombudsman arrangement being

12 put in place."

13 Then this:

14 "On the more general issue that you referred to of

15 an alleged pattern of police harassment of defence

16 lawyers, I have to say that the Government is not aware

17 of evidence of this. It's believed that the systems in

18 place are capable of identifying the facts and until the

19 new Police Ombudsman is in place, it's encouraged that

20 solicitors lodge complaints where they have concerns.

21 Mr Cumaraswamy also made this point in his report."

22 Now, in relation to this question of evidence, we

23 know that in due course you took up the point with him,

24 didn't you, in your letter of August?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

156

 

1 Q. It's right, isn't it, that you had in your possession at

2 this point in July 1998 the statement of C200, which you

3 had taken in March?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Which presumably you would have characterised as

6 evidence of this type of behaviour?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. What I want to ask you first about this letter,

9 therefore, is why it was that you didn't respond by

10 sending the statement of C200?

11 A. Well, it may have been because he said that the matters

12 were already under investigation, and I think also

13 another factor may well have been of course that, you

14 know, for the Government to say that they were not aware

15 of evidence of a pattern of police harassment of defence

16 lawyers struck us as rather surprising. And that can

17 only have meant two things: either (i) that they aren't

18 aware of all of the various reports and documents that

19 they had been sent over the years; or (ii) that they

20 didn't regard such reports and documents as evidence,

21 and if they didn't, then they wouldn't have regarded our

22 note of the interview with C200 to be evidence.

23 So I think that is -- you know, it's difficult to

24 recollect precisely at that time what our thinking was

25 in relation to this letter and any response to this

 

 

157

 

1 letter, but I would have thought those would have been

2 factors that would have been in our mind.

3 Q. Well, looking at this question of the Government's

4 response and remembering that at this point you are

5 effectively considering with Rosemary Nelson what to do

6 about these two documents, you say in paragraph 82 that

7 it was your opinion, yours and Rosemary Nelson's, I

8 think -- this is RNI-813-398 (displayed) -- that:

9 "It was the Government's responsibility to take some

10 action and we thought it was more likely that something

11 would be done in action was directed by a government

12 minister."

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. What sort of action did you think the Government should

15 take?

16 A. Well, you know, we had a situation at this stage where

17 there had been a very critical report issued by

18 Mr Cumaraswamy. He had had discussions with the

19 Secretary of State and with the Minister for Security.

20 We were aware of the fact that Rosemary's name had been

21 redacted from that report, because of purported concerns

22 over her safety, by the Chief Constable and that if her

23 name had remained in the report, he couldn't have

24 guaranteed her safety.

25 So from our perspective, we thought they are very

 

 

158

 

1 clearly aware there is a threat to the life of

2 Rosemary Nelson. We are going to send them two further

3 threats that she has received and, again, the

4 responsibility from our point of view was very clearly

5 on the Government and the authorities to then do

6 something to protect her.

7 What it was they could do -- I mean, as a small NGO,

8 we couldn't -- we weren't in a position to give her

9 practical security advice in relation to her own than

10 personal situation. That was something we felt the

11 authorities should do.

12 Q. It was for them to decide what steps should be taken?

13 A. Absolutely.

14 Q. Why was it that in relation to the threat note and the

15 pamphlet, the "Man Without a Future" pamphlet, you

16 decided to address your concerns and to copy the

17 documents to the Government rather than the police?

18 A. Because the Cumaraswamy Report -- well, because from our

19 perspective as a human rights organisation that was

20 campaigning for respect for international human rights

21 standards, the international standards bound the

22 Government, not the police. And therefore, we felt that

23 at least in the first instance it was more appropriate

24 for us to write to him.

25 We knew, of course, that in all likelihood he would

 

 

159

 

1 pass the matter on to the Chief Constable for

2 investigation. But in so doing, we thought that that

3 might give it a bit of an impetus and might make the

4 police investigation a little bit more effective.

5 Q. So can we look at the letter you send, please, at

6 RNI-106-287 (displayed).

7 You will see in the very first line -- it is dated

8 10th August and it is signed by you on the next page --

9 that it is at least in part a response to the letter we

10 have just looked at, 7th July?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And you deal first with the suggestion that the

13 Government wasn't aware of evidence of a pattern of

14 intimidation of defence lawyers and you express your

15 surprise and explain why you are surprised?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you then quote from the Rapporteur -- if we can go

18 back to the page, please -- and it is at that point in

19 the third paragraph that you refer to the two documents,

20 isn't it?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you identify them one after the other. The first is

23 the threat note, isn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And the second, the pamphlet. And you express your

 

 

160

 

1 view, which I take is the genuine view you held at the

2 time, that these are very definite threats against the

3 personal safety of Rosemary Nelson?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. "She has received a number of such threats in the past.

6 It is incumbent on the Government to investigate these

7 matters but also to provide the necessary protection for

8 Mrs Nelson."

9 That is not something we have discussed so far. So

10 as I understand it, in addition to saying to Government,

11 "These things are going on, it is your responsibility to

12 investigate them," you are also raising the question of

13 the provision of necessary protection?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can I ask you, is this an aspect of the letter that you

16 discussed with Rosemary Nelson?

17 A. I would think probably yes, although I can't be

18 100 per cent certain. But it comes from the notion that

19 the Government should also provide the protection. It

20 comes, of course, from one of the recommendations of

21 Mr Cumaraswamy that's quoted in the letter.

22 So I imagine that, yes, I would have said to

23 Rosemary, "Look, I'm going to write this letter, I'm

24 going to include the documents and I'm going to refer to

25 his recommendation that the Government should be

 

 

161

 

1 protecting solicitors under threat and asking them to do

2 something about that".

3 Q. But this is a much more specific reference than that,

4 isn't it? This is a reference specifically to one

5 solicitor?

6 A. Yes, it is.

7 Q. Did she see this letter in draft before it went?

8 A. Oh, no, I don't think so.

9 Q. Did she ask you to raise the question of her protection

10 with government in your letter?

11 A. No, I don't think she asked me to, no.

12 Q. But you mentioned to her, did you, that you intended to

13 do so?

14 A. I would have given her a general, you know, impression

15 of what we were going to put into the letter, but

16 I wouldn't have run the contents past her.

17 Q. So does it follow also in relation to the last paragraph

18 that you don't think you would have discussed with her

19 the specific examples of security measures which you

20 there mention?

21 A. I can't see the last paragraph.

22 Q. I am so sorry. RNI-106-288. Can we enlarge the last

23 paragraph of the letter, please (displayed)?

24 A. Sorry, can you repeat the question?

25 Q. The question is: did you discuss with her raising these

 

 

162

 

1 specific points about security or protection in your

2 letter to the government minister?

3 A. No, I wouldn't have thought so. I think, again, we

4 would have given her a general readout of the broad

5 points we were going to make. I don't think we would

6 have discussed those sorts of specifics.

7 Q. So you said enough, did you, to her for her to realise

8 that you were going to raise the question of her own

9 protection with government?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. She did not demur?

12 A. No.

13 Q. She was content, therefore, for you to raise this

14 question with the minister?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, so far as you were concerned, as I understand it,

17 the next you heard in this was the response from the

18 private secretary to Mr Ingram, which was dated

19 24th September and we can see it at RNI-106-324

20 (displayed).

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. This letter you deal with in some considerable detail in

23 paragraphs 92 to 98 of your statement. Could you have

24 that open in hard copy? I think that will help.

25 A. Yes.

 

 

163

 

1 Q. To put it in its context, this was at about the time,

2 wasn't it, of the visit to Washington and the testimony

3 that you both gave, you and Rosemary Nelson, to the

4 Congressional Subcommittee?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can you remember, as a matter of interest, whether the

7 letter had arrived before you left for Washington?

8 A. I can't remember.

9 Q. Now, in the letter, looking at this first page, we see,

10 don't we, that first of all the Rapporteur's points are

11 addressed?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And then the private secretary deals with the documents,

14 plural, that you enclosed?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And expresses the point that they must be of concern to

17 both Mrs Nelson and the others mentioned?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And the sentiment is passed on from Mr Ingram that he

20 hopes that those who produced them can be brought to

21 justice for their threatening behaviour?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Then you were informed, as you have already mentioned,

24 that the Chief Constable's office had been passed the

25 documents for investigation?

 

 

164

 

1 A. Hm-mm.

2 Q. And the is assurance given that they, the

3 Chief Constable's office, would obviously, given the

4 nature of the material, assess the security risk against

5 Mrs Nelson?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So far as the remainder of the letter is concerned, it

8 deals, doesn't it, with the question of her personal

9 security or protection?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, the first thing mentioned is the non-statutory

12 discretionary scheme. Do you see that at the bottom of

13 the page?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And the point is made at the top of the next page that

16 it is by necessity limited in scope and can't protect

17 everyone. And at the end of the paragraph, it says:

18 "If Mrs Nelson wishes to be considered for the Key

19 Persons Protection Scheme, this is the address to write

20 to."

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So as far as you understood it then, what the private

23 secretary was doing was to say to you, "Look, you have

24 raised the question of protection. This is the

25 discretionary scheme. This is how to apply for it, and

 

 

165

 

1 if Rosemary Nelson applies for it her application will

2 be dealt with on its merits"?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And then the letter continues with a reference to

5 another application, this time for a weapon. Again, the

6 address is given to you?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And finally, there is a reference to local crime

9 prevention officer advice, both for the home and the

10 workplace?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. I would like to deal with all of those aspects of the

13 letter in turn, please. The first in relation to KPPS.

14 You understood, therefore, did you, that the ball

15 was now in Rosemary Nelson's court if she wished to make

16 an application?

17 A. Well, yes. I mean, I think there are two aspects to

18 that. I mean, the first of course is that the letter

19 says that Mr Ingram's office has passed the

20 documentation to the Chief Constable's office for

21 investigation and for a risk assessment or a security

22 assessment. So I think that is one aspect; in other

23 words, the implication in that is that at some point

24 such an assessment would be carried out and that might

25 result in a further communication to us or to Rosemary.

 

 

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1 Q. Just to interrupt you, the letter says nothing about the

2 results of any assessment, does it?

3 A. No, it doesn't.

4 Q. It gave you no information about that at all?

5 A. No. In relation to KPPS, yes, of course you are right.

6 What they are saying there is if you wish to apply, you

7 can apply.

8 Q. And the same in relation to the weapon?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And again, in a sense the ball was put into

11 Rosemary Nelson's court, wasn't it, in relation to crime

12 prevention advice?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In your statement you explain that you had a discussion

15 with Rosemary Nelson about this letter?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And as I understand it, you provided her with a copy.

18 Is that right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So she was able to see the full text for herself,

21 obviously?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And with that copy you had your discussion about it.

24 You say in paragraph 92 at the top of RNI-813-401

25 (displayed) that the discussion about KPPS was not

 

 

167

 

1 a long one?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. And you describe it as being absurd that the letter

4 offered her the possibility and no more than that of RUC

5 protection after RUC officers had assessed her house?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, to be clear about this, the scheme referred to in

8 the letter was an NIO-operated scheme, wasn't it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. So it was your understanding, rather than anything set

11 out in the letter, that led you to a discussion about

12 the involvement of the police?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Presumably that was something you knew -- in other

15 words, that there was a police assessment of a

16 particular applicant -- before you sent your original

17 letter in August raising the question of protection?

18 A. Yes, well, we didn't really -- I mean, I don't think we

19 envisaged that the protection that would be offered

20 would be an application to the KPPS. I am not sure what

21 we envisaged that the authorities might come back with,

22 but I think we probably didn't envisage that that would

23 be the height of it.

24 And, yes, we were aware that the KPPS scheme, as it

25 operated at the time, was contingent upon a police

 

 

168

 

1 assessment of the property of the individual under

2 threat.

3 Q. But are you saying then that you didn't discuss with her

4 the idea of the KPPS scheme before you sent the letter

5 to Mr Ingram?

6 A. I don't think we would have discussed that in detail.

7 As I say, I think the key thing was that we were

8 effectively bringing the two written documents to the

9 attention of the authorities in the hope that

10 appropriate action would be taken.

11 Q. But surely when you referred in your earlier letter at

12 RNI-106-288 to government in the past installing

13 security apparatus, you must have known that that was

14 likely to have been under the provisions of that scheme?

15 A. Yes, that part of the response may have been that, but I

16 don't think we discussed that with Rosemary, the

17 specifics of that.

18 Q. No. But so far as you were concerned, putting

19 Rosemary Nelson on one side, you can't, surely, have

20 been surprised by reference in the letter to this

21 discretionary scheme?

22 A. No, I am not surprised by the reference in the letter,

23 no.

24 Q. It was, presumably, what you expected government to say

25 in response?

 

 

169

 

1 A. Well, it was certainly -- it was certainly one of the

2 things that I expected in response, yes.

3 Q. What else could they actually have offered?

4 A. Well, one thing, of course, that we expected was that

5 the police would investigate the origins of the two

6 documents to determine whether or not they did in fact

7 represent a serious threat to her safety.

8 Q. What the letter told you both actually was that, as far

9 as you were aware anyway, they would obviously:

10 "... given the nature of the material, assess the

11 security risks against Mrs Nelson"?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So you weren't being told that that wasn't happening or

14 hadn't happened, it was just that they weren't giving

15 you any information about the result?

16 A. That's right. I think the impression we got from that

17 paragraph was that that was something that was happening

18 contemporaneously with the correspondence with us.

19 Q. You see, what strikes one about this paragraph, 92, of

20 your statement is that the reaction to this suggestion

21 about the KPPS was brisk. The suggestion was simply

22 dismissed out of hand in your conversation with

23 Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. Well, it was dismissed very quickly. You know, for

25 instance, I don't think it would have been inconceivable

 

 

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1 for Adam Ingram's office, especially in light of what

2 had been going on for the previous couple of years, to

3 contact us and to say, look, we know that she may have

4 a problem with the normal procedure for the KPPS, but we

5 are prepared to be a little bit more imaginative in

6 relation to this. We do -- the police have investigated

7 this. They think there is a serious risk and we have

8 a responsibility to protect her. So can we have a chat

9 with her to discuss this? Can we exclude the police

10 from this to some extent?

11 I mean, some of these changes were instituted after

12 all of this happened. So it wasn't -- from our

13 perspective, it wouldn't have been inconceivable for

14 some imagination to be shown.

15 Q. But it wasn't a point that you made in the context of

16 your reference to security measures in your original

17 letter in July, was it?

18 A. No, it wasn't. But I mean, you know, we didn't think

19 that we needed to restate the obvious, which was that

20 there was a problem in the relationship between Rosemary

21 and the police and particularly the police in that area.

22 I mean, his office had been aware of this.

23 Q. So far as the other two suggestions which are made here

24 are concerned, i.e. an application for a weapon and local

25 crime prevention advice, in your statement you don't

 

 

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1 suggest that those were discussed between you and

2 Rosemary Nelson?

3 A. I imagine that they probably would have been touched

4 upon, but of course the same issues would have arisen in

5 relation to either of those avenues and I can't

6 recollect a discussion with Rosemary about a personal

7 protection weapon. I would have been surprised if they

8 had been interested in that, although we did raise it in

9 the original letter.

10 Q. Certainly the answer that came back in the penultimate

11 paragraph about the weapon was very much picking up

12 something that you had mentioned in your own letter.

13 You said "firearm", they said "weapon", but it is

14 exactly the same point, isn't it?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So you certainly can't have been surprised by the

17 response to that?

18 A. No, but I think, again -- you know, I think the context

19 to all of this is important, in that what we are dealing

20 with here is, you know, a campaigning human rights NGO,

21 that has no expertise whatsoever in terms of personal

22 protection, raising concerns about the safety of an

23 individual lawyer with the Government who, of course,

24 are the people that are supposed to be involved in

25 personal protection, or one of their agencies is.

 

 

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1 We were raising ideas that we may have come up with.

2 We expected them to be the experts in this field and, as

3 I say, you know, we perhaps weren't overly surprised by

4 the letter in response, but I think in hindsight it's

5 a little disappointing that they couldn't have been

6 a bit more imaginative in terms of finding ways around

7 the police involvement in the KPPS in particular.

8 Q. Now, what about the final suggestion about crime

9 prevention advice because, you see, you say in

10 paragraph 95 of your statement at RNI-813-401

11 (displayed):

12 "It is self-evident to me that they should have

13 advised her to look under her car, put it in the garage,

14 et cetera."

15 Isn't that precisely the sort of advice that she is

16 likely to have got from a crime prevention officer?

17 A. Yes, that's possible.

18 Q. So who do you mean by "they" in this paragraph then?

19 A. Well, again, I think the situation is that we had given

20 the authorities two documents. We were told that they

21 were being investigated.

22 Of course, we subsequently know that at least one of

23 them wasn't, but in the event that the police had

24 properly investigated the origins of both those

25 documents and had come to the conclusion that they

 

 

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1 constituted serious threats and in fact that they might

2 have originated with individuals who were linked to

3 Loyalist paramilitaries, I think if the police had come

4 back to us then and said -- either the police or

5 Ingram's office had come back to us and said, listen,

6 this is very serious, we have grave concerns about her

7 safety, we would like to speak to her, do you think she

8 would meet us? I think in that context Rosemary would

9 have met with them, or at least she would have taken

10 advice from us, I think.

11 It is impossible to be precise about this. As it

12 was, what we simply got was a letter that said, well,

13 you can apply to the KPPS, you can apply for a weapon,

14 or you can have a constable from the local station come

15 out and speak to you, all of which I imagine they knew

16 when they wrote the letter would have caused her some

17 problems.

18 Q. Did you raise these difficulties or concerns in response

19 to this letter?

20 A. In response to Adam Ingram's office?

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. No, because we were still, I think, waiting for what

23 would happen in relation to the security assessment that

24 he mentioned in the letter.

25 Q. Let me ask this then: did you ever hear any more about

 

 

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1 that assessment from the Government?

2 A. Well, we didn't hear any more about the assessment, I

3 don't think, until after the murder.

4 Q. Yes. Did you chase up the answer?

5 A. No.

6 Q. So is this right, that for whatever reason, you did not

7 go back to the private secretary and say, "Well, these

8 suggestions are all very well but there are difficulties

9 and they are as follows. Can you not do better?"

10 A. No, we didn't.

11 Q. Sir, it's half past four. Is that a convenient moment

12 for a break?

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. We can break off for about

14 a quarter of an hour.

15 MR PHILLIPS: I think both Mr Mageean and I are anxious to

16 finish his evidence.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Mageean, we will do our best.

18 (4.30 pm)

19 (Short break)

20 (4.50 pm)

21 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, I have made an attempt to reduce my own

22 questions so as to come in under 20 minutes. It may be

23 that in the process I do not ask some of the remaining

24 questions put by some of the Full Participants. But

25 what I will try to do, as I always try to do, is to put

 

 

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1 those matters which are relevant to and material to the

2 Inquiry.

3 Now, Mr Mageean, dealing with the question of this

4 letter in September and your discussion with

5 Rosemary Nelson about it, can I try and summarise the

6 position as I understand it from your answers, as

7 follows: Rosemary Nelson did not in general wish to

8 accept police advice or assistance in relation to her

9 personal security. Is that fair?

10 A. I am not sure that that is fair. I think what she

11 didn't want was -- Well, I mean, it is very difficult

12 for me to say exactly what Rosemary did or didn't want.

13 All I can say to you is that when the notion of KPPS was

14 put to her, which of course was predicated on the local

15 police coming out and doing a security assessment of her

16 house, she didn't want that to happen.

17 Q. But you suggested earlier, I think, that the position

18 might have been different if somebody had come to her

19 and said, "We have done an assessment on you and you are

20 seriously at risk"?

21 A. I think so, possibly, yes. But again -- that is clearly

22 said with hindsight, but yes. I mean, as I said in my

23 statement, you know, Rosemary wasn't stupid. If someone

24 had come to her and said, "We have looked at these

25 documents, there are serious people behind them, we

 

 

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1 think you are seriously at risk, listen to us", I think

2 she would have done that.

3 Q. You agreed with me, I think, that crime prevention

4 advice is likely to have included the suggestions, for

5 example, that she should look under her car and put it

6 in the garage?

7 A. I guess that that is the sort of thing they would have

8 told her, yes.

9 Q. They are pretty obvious, aren't they?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. In fact, they are probably things that didn't really

12 require crime prevention advice at all?

13 A. Yes, that's right. But again, you know -- well, again,

14 it is very easy to say with hindsight, but we now know

15 of course that she was killed by a bomb that was placed

16 under her car. It is one thing for a crime prevention

17 officer to come from a local police station and say,

18 well, we think you should do X, Y and Z. It's quite

19 another if the police come at a senior level and say we

20 have looked at these documents, we think this particular

21 group may be behind them, they have the capacity to

22 place an under-car bomb.

23 Q. Do you remember discussing with her the question of

24 the weapon?

25 A. No, I don't.

 

 

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1 Q. No. In general, how would you describe her attitude to

2 her own safety?

3 A. Very, very difficult to say. I think very -- she was

4 concerned. She knew that she was, I think, at some

5 risk, but it is very, very difficult for me to go beyond

6 that. I don't know whether she really genuinely felt

7 that she would be attacked. I can't answer that.

8 Q. Can I move on to another point, namely the Special

9 Rapporteur. We have touched on this on a number of

10 occasions.

11 You made the arrangements for him during his visit,

12 didn't you?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you have told us that you handed him client

15 statements, the two we have looked at, on your visit to

16 Geneva in April 1997?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So far as his report is concerned, you touch on the

19 question of the draft in paragraph 61. Can we look at

20 that, please, at RNI-813-392 (displayed)? You say in

21 the very last sentence you can see the logic in taking

22 the names out from the security point of view?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. So that seemed to you, did it, to be an obviously

25 sensible measure to take from the security angle?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, we had no problem with that.

2 Q. So far as the congressional visit and evidence is

3 concerned, that took place, I think, in September 1998?

4 A. That's right.

5 Q. You say in paragraph 83 at RNI-813-399 (displayed) that

6 you think the final decision to hold that hearing was

7 made when the document threatening Rosemary's life -- so

8 that is the threat letter we have looked at -- and the

9 pamphlet became known?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So you think that, as it were, tipped the balance, do

12 you?

13 A. I think so, yes.

14 Q. So she was in a sense the focus of the hearing. Is that

15 right?

16 A. Yes, she was the focus and the Cumaraswamy Report.

17 Q. You gave evidence to the hearing as well as

18 Rosemary Nelson, I think?

19 A. That's right.

20 Q. Do we see your statement at RNI-113-072 (displayed)?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you remember now what the effect of her evidence to

23 the committee was?

24 A. Well, I think the committee were -- I remember Rosemary

25 was very nervous before she gave evidence and I was

 

 

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1 slightly surprised that she was. But she gave her

2 evidence very well and she answered questions very well

3 and I think the committee were impressed by that.

4 I think they were concerned at what they heard from

5 her and from the other witnesses.

6 Q. Now, your former director, Mr O'Brien, in his statement

7 to the Inquiry, suggests that one of the aims of the

8 hearing was to make life difficult for the

9 Chief Constable. Do you think it achieved that?

10 A. Well, I think it certainly created difficulties for him.

11 But you will be aware, of course, from my statement that

12 we had been pressing the Chief Constable for a response

13 to a letter that we had sent to him shortly after

14 Rosemary's murder and we had been pressing for that

15 response for eight or nine months.

16 We finally got a response on the day that I gave --

17 well, sorry, this is a subsequent congressional hearing.

18 But the point of these hearings really was to give -- to

19 draw attention to Rosemary's case and to this general

20 issue at an international level.

21 Q. So you were putting the concerns about Rosemary Nelson

22 into an international context?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Can I just ask you to look at a transcript of questions

25 and answers in the session at which you were present,

 

 

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1 RNI-106-333 (displayed). Do you see at the top of the

2 page, Mr Gilman, who I think was a member of the

3 committee is recorded as asking her:

4 "Have you requested security?

5 "Answer: No, the question of security hasn't been

6 raised but I have reported each incident. Truthfully, I

7 do not have a lot of faith in the procedure."

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. You were sitting, I think, alongside her. Is that

10 right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Dealing with the answers that she gives. In your letter

13 of August you had raised the question of her security,

14 had you not?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And in relation to reporting each incident, certainly

17 the incidents that you have been told about, for

18 example, the attendance note you made of a telephone

19 call, those had not been reported, had they?

20 A. Well, certainly not by us, no.

21 Q. No. In relation to the last comment:

22 "I do not have a lot of faith in the procedure," was

23 it obvious to you in the meeting what she meant by that?

24 A. Yes, I think she was talking about the KPPS procedure.

25 Q. Insofar as other matters covered in your statement, you

 

 

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1 set out the history of what became your complaint to the

2 Ombudsman?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And we know, don't we, now, that the Ombudsman issued

5 her report. I don't want to look at it, but for

6 everybody's note it's at RNI-834-068.

7 Can I ask you just a couple of questions about the

8 murder investigation. You had a certain amount of

9 contact with Mr Port, didn't you?

10 A. That's right.

11 Q. And you refer to that in your statement and you say that

12 meetings took place with him?

13 A. That's right.

14 Q. And as I understand it, you regarded him as being open

15 with you?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Had you ever experienced that level of contact with the

18 senior officer of a murder investigation before?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Now, the final thing I wanted to ask you, again just for

21 everybody's note, is I think you made a statement to the

22 murder investigation team, didn't you, in March 2001?

23 Do you remember that?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Can we look at that, please, at RNI-116-081 (displayed).

 

 

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1 It carries on from there, I believe. Is this

2 a statement you made in that context?

3 A. I think this is a statement that I made to the Police

4 Ombudsman's office.

5 Q. I think you may be right, and I apologise for that.

6 A. That's all right.

7 Q. Sir, those are the only questions I wish to ask unless,

8 Mr Mageean, you wish yourself to add anything?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

12 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Can I ask one more question and it

13 is a question with hindsight, really. You took the view

14 that it would be helpful to Mrs Nelson's security to

15 publicise her case as far as possible and the cases

16 indeed with which she was dealing?

17 A. Yes.

18 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Obviously in publicising, you were

19 not just reaching the people you wanted to reach but

20 also other people who might mean harm?

21 A. Yes.

22 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: With hindsight, do you feel you may

23 actually have increased her vulnerability?

24 A. That is very difficult to say. That certainly is

25 a possibility. I don't know. I mean, our view, I

 

 

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1 think, all along was that if we increased her profile,

2 not so much here in relation to the cases that she was

3 dealing with, but at an appropriate international forum like

4 the US Congressional hearing or with Mr Cumaraswamy,

5 that that type of profile would result in pressure on

6 the Government and the police to take more serious

7 action in relation to her case and that that might work.

8 And we were clearly wrong, I think, about that.

9 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, Mr Mageean, thank you very much for

11 spending all day giving evidence before us. It has been

12 of great assistance to us, thank you very much.

13 A. Thank you very much.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: I would also like to thank particularly the

15 stenographer for being so good as to sit later. I hope

16 it won't happen again. We will adjourn until 10.15

17 tomorrow.

18 (5.06 pm)

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

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