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Full Hearings

Hearing: 14th May 2008, day 20

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10 ROSEMARY NELSON

11 PUBLIC INQUIRY

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15

16 held at:
The Interpoint Centre
17 20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ
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19 on Wednesday, 14th May 2008
commencing at 10.15 am
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21 Day 20

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1 Wednesday, 14th May 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (10.53 am)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: I would like to begin by telling everyone

6 that the witness scheduled to give evidence on Friday

7 will not now be giving evidence on Friday, and no

8 evidence will be given on Friday, except if a witness

9 giving evidence on Thursday has not completed his or her

10 evidence.

11 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, can I just pick up on that point to say

12 that we have now handed out schedules for next week and

13 for the first week after the break, the week beginning

14 2nd June. And as we have done so, we have made it clear

15 that they are perhaps more than usually provisional.

16 Much will depend on how possible it proves to be to fit

17 all the various witnesses into the slots during those

18 two weeks, but we thought it useful to give people that

19 sort of advanced warning.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Phillips.

21 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, before Mr Wells is sworn, may I introduce

22 this witness and the area of the case with which he is

23 concerned very briefly, because he comes completely out

24 of order.

25 He is taken as a witness today because he has flown

 

 

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1 from his post in Azerbaijan and this is the day that his

2 evidence had to be taken.

3 It deals with a topic I mentioned in the opening but

4 about which no evidence has so far been heard, namely

5 the question of Mr Cumaraswamy's mission to the

6 United Kingdom and specifically to Northern Ireland,

7 which took place, as you remember, in October 1997, the

8 question of the draft report and the changes to it which

9 are made, the issue of the final report and the

10 circumstances in which that took place.

11 Now, sir, the other witnesses on this point are as

12 follows: first Mr Cumaraswamy himself; second, his

13 assistant, Mr Parra. So far as the RUC is concerned:

14 the Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan;

15 Assistant Chief Constable White, present at the meeting

16 I told you about in opening, with the Special

17 Rapporteur; the Command Secretariat officer, cipher

18 P157. Then two further witnesses: another Foreign

19 Office witness, who is not to be called to give

20 evidence, that is Mr Bridges, based in Kuala Lumpur; and

21 finally Mr Ware, John Ware, the journalist who produced

22 the Panorama programme, "Careless Talk".

23 MR COLIN WELLS (affirmed)

24 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

25 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Wells, can you give us your full names,

 

 

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1 please?

2 A. Yes, my name is Colin Neil Wells.

3 Q. Thank you. Do you have in front of you the statement

4 you made to the Inquiry?

5 A. I do.

6 Q. Can we have it on the screen, please, at RNI-824-077

7 (displayed). Do we see your signature at the end of the

8 statement on RNI-824-086 (displayed) and the date of

9 2nd October last year?

10 A. Yes, that's correct.

11 Q. So far as your current post is concerned, you are based

12 in Azerbaijan?

13 A. Yes, that is correct.

14 Q. And looking at your brief career history in paragraph 3

15 on this page, RNI-824-077 (displayed) --

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. -- so far as the Inquiry is concerned, the relevant

18 posting began in 1996 when you went to the UK Permanent

19 Mission to the United Nations in Geneva?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. You started as Third Secretary and were then promoted to

22 Second Secretary?

23 A. That's right.

24 Q. So far as the hierarchy within the Mission is concerned,

25 can you help us about where you featured in the

 

 

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1 hierarchy?

2 A. Yes, of course. Quite low down, to be quite honest.

3 But starting from the top, you would have had the

4 Ambassador, at that time [Deleted] when I arrived,

5 with a deputy permanent representative -- there were

6 two, but one on the political side, who was

7 [Deleted]. Then the human rights section itself,

8 which is relevant to this Inquiry, I think, was headed

9 by [Deleted], and at first secretary level, I was her

10 deputy.

11 There was one person below me, who was our filing

12 clerk, who occasionally would do meetings.

13 Q. If you look at your paragraph 7, you will see that at

14 RNI-824-079 (displayed), there is a point I should have

15 stressed to you before, which is that the Inquiry has

16 a rather fierce policy about the redaction of

17 non-witness names. It is entirely my fault for not

18 warning you about that and it really doesn't matter, but

19 can you see there the structure set out with the

20 redacted names?

21 A. Yes, I apologise for mentioning those names but that is

22 basically what I have just said there.

23 Q. Not at all. Thank you very much. What it amounts to is

24 that you were the lowest executive grade?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your role in Geneva, you deal

2 with this in paragraph 8 and I think it is right to say

3 that here, in this paragraph, you are focussing on an

4 element of your work. Is that right?

5 A. Yes, that is right. If I -- if you have got one minute,

6 I should explain that my job was twofold: 50 per cent

7 of my job was human rights-related work; 50 per cent of

8 it was humanitarian. Of the 50 per cent of human

9 rights, there would have been many different issues,

10 different meetings throughout the year which I would be

11 handling, one of which, along with my boss, would have

12 been Northern Ireland-related and domestic human

13 rights-related issues.

14 Q. And what you suggest in paragraph 8 is that you were

15 required to be alert?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. To issues which might be received negatively or

18 inaccurately?

19 A. Yes, that's correct.

20 Q. So far as the percentage of your time is concerned, can

21 you look, please, at paragraph 5, which is at

22 RNI-824-078 (displayed).

23 Is it fair to say that the reality was that actually

24 rather more than half of your time was spent on the

25 human rights issues?

 

 

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1 A. For the vast majority of the posting, yes. Only at the

2 end did that change slightly because of staffing issues

3 and the situation in Kosovo, when my humanitarian

4 element became predominant. But for the vast majority

5 of my posting, human rights was the big chunk of my

6 work.

7 Q. So that we are clear, your posting came to an end

8 in June 1999?

9 A. July 1999.

10 Q. July 1999, thank you very much.

11 Now, before we get into any form of detail on your

12 evidence, can I show you paragraph 4 on this same page.

13 I hope not unfairly I am going to suggest that you are

14 entering here a caveat about the evidence that you are

15 giving because -- again, correct me if this is wrong --

16 I think you are saying that your particular involvement

17 in the Cumaraswamy episode was merely one of many

18 matters crossing your desk at the time?

19 A. That's right. I was warning this Inquiry that it was

20 stretching my memory because it was an element of a very

21 busy job.

22 Q. And is it fair to say that in general such recollection

23 as you have of events is based on documents which have

24 since been shown to you?

25 A. It has served to reignite some memories of the events of

 

 

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1 the -- of that period relating to the Cumaraswamy visit.

2 There were elements of organising Cumaraswamy's visit

3 that I recall very well as well as personal relations

4 that I had, for instance, with Alan Parra.

5 Q. Thank you very much.

6 Dealing with that topic in particular, you set out

7 in your statement some comments about both Mr Parra and

8 his boss, if I can put it that way. First, however, you

9 help us with some detail about the role of Special

10 Rapporteur themselves. This is paragraph 6 on

11 page RNI-824-079 (displayed).

12 Now, in summary, he, Mr Cumaraswamy, was by no means

13 the only Special Rapporteur and you set out some

14 examples here, I think, of the topics or areas which

15 they covered?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Would they typically be lawyers?

18 A. Yes, actually, most of them were lawyers, some were

19 academics. A British Special Rapporteur, Sir Nigel

20 Rodley, was an academic from the University of Essex,

21 for instance, some were politicians as well.

22 Q. As I understand it, although they may have been based in

23 different parts of the world, they would have offices in

24 Geneva?

25 A. That's right. They would have a special assistant based

 

 

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1 in Geneva that provided the bulk of their work.

2 Q. In this case the special assistant was Mr Parra?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Thank you. So far as the hierarchy or structure within

5 which the Special Rapporteur operated, you help us with

6 that in paragraph 11. Can you just look at that,

7 please. This is RNI-824-080 (displayed).

8 So, first of all, the mandate came from a resolution

9 at the Annual Commission on Human Rights and that gave

10 not only Mr Cumaraswamy but also the other Special

11 Rapporteur their instructions. Is that right?

12 A. Yes, it would have been a specific resolution for the

13 specific mandate. There wasn't one resolution for all

14 mandates. In the case of this particular mandate, the

15 independence of judiciary and lawyers, the resolution

16 was once every three years. It was one of those

17 resolutions which was less contentious, put it that way,

18 so he had a freer mandate.

19 Q. So this is clear, during the course of that mandate, he

20 would have considered matters in a whole variety of

21 different countries?

22 A. He would hopefully have considered the mandate to be

23 pertinent across the whole world, to all the countries.

24 Q. So that in the reports that we have seen in your files,

25 there will be sections on different countries with

 

 

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1 whatever views he had or whatever findings he had made

2 in relation to those particular countries?

3 A. Yes, usually.

4 Q. Thank you very much. As you say in this same paragraph,

5 his boss was effectively Mary Robinson, the UN High

6 Commissioner?

7 A. Yes. It gets a bit anorak in my report, but the -- his

8 official boss is the Commissioner of Human Rights,

9 because those countries set the mandate. But in terms

10 of who might have day-to-day control of him, Mary

11 Robinson at the time.

12 Q. What was your view of Mr Cumaraswamy?

13 A. Personal view?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. I liked Mr Cumaraswamy. I thought he was a good Special

16 Rapporteur, one of the good ones.

17 Q. Where did he do his work? Did he maintain his base in

18 Kuala Lumpur?

19 A. Yes, he was himself a lawyer with his own practice in

20 Kuala Lumpur, his own business and work there, and he

21 would have conducted his mandate through telephone, fax

22 machines, at the time -- no real email contact at the

23 time -- using Alan Parra. They would have been in daily

24 contact, as would have been all special rapporteurs and

25 assistants at the time.

 

 

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1 Q. In terms of the production of reports, is it right to

2 say that you would have expected Mr Parra to do the

3 drafting?

4 A. Absolutely, that was his job.

5 Q. Thank you. So far as Mr Parra is concerned, what was

6 your relationship like?

7 A. A good one. Alan was a good contact of mine at that

8 level where he certainly knows his stuff, he knows the

9 issues. He would have been a useful source of

10 information to do with the mandate as well as perhaps

11 some wider issues. He was a good person to have lunch

12 with.

13 Q. Can you help me with some detail as to the wider issues

14 you have just mentioned?

15 A. We would have talked about just the general way human

16 rights were being handled by the UN, that kind of thing,

17 the kind of issues one talks about when one is

18 interested in the UN machinery and the UN machinery

19 doing the right thing. So what would be good for the

20 future of the UN human rights machinery, general stuff

21 like that.

22 Q. Looking, as we will in a minute, at what happened with

23 this particular mission, that formed only part of your

24 contact with Mr Parra over the years?

25 A. During that period a significant part, but a part, yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Yes. Thank you. But it looks from your statement at

2 any rate -- and this is the end of paragraph 9 at the

3 bottom of page RNI-824-079 (displayed) -- that you used

4 to meet him on a regular basis?

5 A. Yes, and occasionally I would find it useful for

6 visitors to meet him as well as other people who were

7 good contacts, simply for people to get a good awareness

8 of the issues that are going on in Geneva from informed

9 people.

10 Q. Now, so far as the particular mission with which we are

11 concerned goes, you say in paragraph 12 -- this is

12 RNI-824-080 (displayed) -- that in around March

13 or April 1997, you were notified by Mr Parra that

14 Mr Cumaraswamy wished to visit the UK and

15 Northern Ireland?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You then say later that you were responsible for making

18 the arrangements and you attach a letter from the

19 Rapporteur to you dated 10th September. Do you see

20 that?

21 A. Yes, I see the reference in my report, yes.

22 Q. Thank you very much. What I would like to do, please,

23 is to fill in some of the preceding gaps which will help

24 to set those arrangements in context. Can you look,

25 first, please, at RNI-109-001 (displayed).

 

 

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1 A. Yes, I can see it.

2 Q. It is a letter dated 21st February, addressed to your

3 boss, if I can put it that way?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. "Dear Mr Ambassador ..."

6 I wanted to ask you first: is this a letter you have

7 seen before?

8 A. I will have seen at the time, yes.

9 Q. So when a letter of this kind came in, it would have

10 been passed to you. Is that right?

11 A. It might have been passed to my immediate boss, but I

12 would have been provided with a copy.

13 Q. And if we turn over the page to RNI-109-002 (displayed),

14 the nub of it was his expression of interest, as he puts

15 it:

16 "... in undertaking a fact-finding mission to the

17 United Kingdom and visit Northern Ireland in order to

18 investigate in situ the allegations I have received

19 concerning the independence of lawyers ..."

20 And this finally:

21 "... and request the Government of the

22 United Kingdom for permission to carry out such

23 a visit."

24 Can I just ask you this: first of all, had he

25 undertaken such a mission to the United Kingdom before?

 

 

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1 A. I am absolutely certain he had not.

2 Q. And it follows, does it, that this was in itself

3 significant?

4 A. Yes, a request from a Special Rapporteur to visit your

5 country is a significant request.

6 Q. And if we go back to the previous page, RNI-109-001

7 (displayed) and the allegations that he sets out there,

8 including allegations that lawyers are subjected to

9 intimidation by the authorities, that presumably would

10 have been a matter of concern within the Mission?

11 A. Yes, I will comment, if you don't mind. This is quite

12 a standard text for a letter. It might well be the kind

13 of text he would have sent to other missions that --

14 countries he would like to visit.

15 In terms of the Mission, we would have been

16 concerned to immediately convey this request to our

17 authorities in the Foreign Office, to make sure that he

18 gets a response to this request. So that would have

19 been the importance.

20 Q. What I am really getting at -- and we will see how it

21 develops -- is whether this letter fell within the

22 category you describe in your statement in paragraph 8,

23 namely issues which might be received negatively or

24 inaccurately in the United Kingdom; the allegations

25 about lawyers' intimidation in Northern Ireland?

 

 

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1 A. The -- yes, that obviously -- at the time those issues

2 were, in terms of the domestic human rights, issues that

3 would have been conveyed negatively at the time in

4 Geneva or in the media in the UK. But in the Geneva

5 context, the human rights situation in Northern Ireland

6 was probably the highest profile. There were other

7 issues.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. So, yes, this would have been in that category.

10 Q. So just to be clear on that then, at the time this

11 letter was received you were already dealing, were you,

12 with these sorts of human rights questions in relation

13 to Northern Ireland?

14 A. Not many, but, yes, we were dealing -- I was also, in

15 terms of the domestic human rights issues, dealing with

16 UK reporting to treaty monitoring bodies at the time,

17 particularly in the run-up to the end of Hong Kong's --

18 tenure of Hong Kong. We were doing a lot of reporting

19 to treaty monitoring bodies.

20 Again, Northern Ireland issues would have been

21 a part of that as well.

22 Q. Was the specific question of intimidation of lawyers

23 something that had already come on to your radar?

24 A. Not in a significant way.

25 Q. No. The next thing I wanted to ask you -- can we go

 

 

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1 back to RNI-109-002 (displayed)? -- about this letter,

2 please, is where the Rapporteur says that he requests

3 permission to carry out such a visit.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I wanted to ask your view on the realities about this.

6 When a Rapporteur requests permission, does he expect to

7 receive the answer no?

8 A. It depends what country he is asking.

9 Q. Would he have expected to receive such an answer from

10 the United Kingdom Government?

11 A. He would have expected a positive response.

12 Q. Thank you. So this was a formality at the end of his

13 letter?

14 A. It is a courtesy.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, the matter was then passed on back to

16 the United Kingdom. If we look at RNI-109-003

17 (displayed), this is the letter of 24th February. If

18 you turn over to RNI-109-004 (displayed), yet more of

19 our redactions, I am afraid, but we can tell, can't we,

20 that whoever wrote this letter, it wasn't you?

21 A. That's right. I know who it is, but I won't say.

22 Q. Was it a colleague within the Mission?

23 A. It was.

24 Q. Thank you. And if we go back to RNI-109-003

25 (displayed), please, you will see that the letter we

 

 

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1 have just been looking at is passed on as an attachment.

2 And then in 2, an opinion is given about the request

3 which he had made, namely the writer says:

4 "It strikes us that the request is odd, because we

5 have no record here of allegations transmitted by him to

6 HMG for a reply.

7 "In other words, it would appear he is requesting

8 a country visit to investigate allegations he has not

9 seen fit to pass on to the government concerned."

10 Can you help us: I know you are not the author of

11 the letter, but was that the view held in the Mission at

12 the time, that this was an odd request?

13 A. The request came slightly out of the blue, yes.

14 Q. Would you normally have expected it to be trailed by him

15 raising these allegations in advance?

16 A. Yes, there would have been some kind of forewarning,

17 yes.

18 Q. Perhaps permitting the relevant government to respond,

19 and only in the light of the response making a decision

20 as to whether to launch a mission?

21 A. That is corrected.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, if you look further down the page, you

23 will see at 3:

24 "HMG has usually adopted a cooperative attitude

25 towards requests by special rapporteurs for

 

 

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1 information."

2 Does that accord with your own recollection?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Thank you. It looks therefore as though this is

5 suggesting to its recipient -- I think a recipient

6 within the Foreign Office. Is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Back in London?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. That you, i.e. the Foreign Office in London:

11 "... will no doubt wish to consider Cumaraswamy's

12 request carefully."

13 Then further comment:

14 "Seen from here, Cumaraswamy's methods of work leave

15 much to be desired."

16 Can you shed any light on what that reference

17 was to?

18 A. No, I can't.

19 Q. Thank you. And a suggestion is made that, as it were,

20 particulars are sought before a response to the request

21 is given.

22 Now, moving the matter on, can you look, please, at

23 RNI-108-050 (displayed). This is a letter of 4th April

24 and, again, am I right in assuming that it is one you

25 would have seen at the time?

 

 

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1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. It is another one from the Rapporteur,

3 addressed to the Ambassador, and in the second paragraph

4 we see I think what I might describe as a diplomatic

5 flourish in relation to earlier correspondence. It

6 looks, doesn't it, as though by this stage, 4th April,

7 acceptance by the UK Government in principle had been

8 conveyed to him?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And equally that the request for particulars that we

11 have just seen reference to had been made, and here they

12 were.

13 Presumably -- it is a matter of common sense -- when

14 one looks through -- if we can go back to the screen,

15 please, RNI-108-050 (displayed), the numbered

16 subparagraphs 1 to 5 -- in fact, it carries on to 6 over

17 the page, as you see -- this would have made it clear,

18 wouldn't it, if it wasn't already, that there were

19 issues here which might lead to a negative perception of

20 the UK?

21 A. Yes, I think the missing correspondence here is either

22 a written correspondence from the Mission to Cumaraswamy

23 or something orally, conveying in principle our

24 agreement to the visit but also asking for those details

25 about the negotiations. And now he has set those out so

 

 

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1 that we are aware of the background to the visit.

2 Q. And aware also of the potential significance of the

3 visit?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And that was, therefore, something which would very much

6 have fallen within your own purview of the Mission?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the progress goes, it looks

9 as though there was a change in the Permanent

10 Representative at about this time. Is that right?

11 A. Yes, on 1st May 1997.

12 Q. Thank you. If we look at RNI-108-010 (displayed), we

13 see the new Permanent Representative corresponding in

14 answer to the letter we have just seen, with the Special

15 Rapporteur, announcing his succession and saying that

16 having consulted the relevant authorities -- presumably

17 back in London. Is that right?

18 A. That is right.

19 Q. -- there was contentment with the terms of reference and

20 with the proposal to meet the various bodies and

21 individuals.

22 From then on -- is this right, Mr Wells -- it became

23 a matter of arranging the practicalities?

24 A. That's right; who he should see, the dates, that kind of

25 thing. The sort of practical stuff.

 

 

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1 Q. Now, so far as your recollection goes, do you remember

2 whether, during the summer in which these arrangements

3 were made, there was still some resistance on the part

4 of some government departments to the fact of the visit?

5 A. I don't recall it very well. Reading through some of

6 the evidence that has been brought to my attention,

7 I realise there was some, but I also recall it being

8 something that was a healthy debate, put it that way;

9 the fact that we had agreed at an early stage that in

10 principle he should go was in itself a driving factor

11 for the Foreign Office and certainly in making it

12 happen.

13 Q. We will look at some of the material in a moment and I

14 should make it clear that a number of the letters we

15 have been looking at -- and we will look at -- are

16 letters you have seen, or seen again for the first time

17 this morning. That's right, isn't it?

18 A. That's correct, yes.

19 Q. Thank you. But it looks as though part of the

20 resistance may have been to the details of the proposed

21 arrangements, the proposed meetings. Does that accord

22 with your recollection?

23 A. Yes, I think there was also a degree of nervousness --

24 if I had to comment, I think there was a degree of

25 nervousness. There had not been a Special Rapporteur

 

 

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1 visit of this kind in most officials' memories and there

2 was a certain amount of having to explain what the visit

3 would be about and why it was beneficial to HMG, to the

4 Government to take this visit.

5 Q. Presumably there was an awareness of the controversial

6 nature of many of the human rights issues specifically

7 to do with Northern Ireland?

8 A. Yes. And a suspicion of outsiders looking in, which

9 frankly exists in most countries, but it needed to be

10 explained perhaps by the Foreign Office more clearly

11 during that summer period.

12 Q. So was it your role then in a sense to convince other

13 government departments of the need for full cooperation?

14 A. No, that would have been the Foreign Office in London.

15 Q. But it was their role, was it, to, as it were, bring the

16 other departments along with them?

17 A. To convince them -- to answer their questions.

18 Q. Now, moving the history forward, can we look, please, at

19 RNI-109-026 (displayed). This is a further letter to

20 the Ambassador from the Special Rapporteur. By this

21 stage, I think it is right that the arrangements were at

22 least being put together, and this contains material

23 which is of particular interest in the Inquiry?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, can we look back, please, at the full page

 

 

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1 (displayed)? Thank you. Do you see there in italic

2 script your name in handwriting?

3 A. I do.

4 Q. Is that a note to you from the Ambassador?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Thank you. The specific points being that the

7 Rapporteur was, as he says in the third paragraph,

8 bringing to the Government's attention the following

9 serious allegations. I am not going to read them out,

10 but you will see that at 1 there was a specific incident

11 or series of incidents involving Rosemary Nelson.

12 Turning the page, RNI-109-027 (displayed), there's

13 another concerning an alleged assault on the

14 Garvaghy Road involving Rosemary Nelson, and then in the

15 second paragraph of this page, a statement of the

16 Rapporteur's position, namely that he was concerned

17 about the allegations. If true, they would

18 substantially impinge upon the independence of

19 Mrs Nelson's profession as a lawyer. And then he sets

20 out for you principles, which I suspect were already

21 very familiar to you, in detail and asks for a response.

22 Now, so far as you can recollect at this stage, how

23 was this letter viewed within the mission?

24 A. This letter -- before I answer that point, I should say

25 this letter is the kind of complaint that we would have

 

 

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1 expected to have received prior to the request for

2 a visit, for instance. This would have been a kind of

3 letter that we received from many special rapporteurs

4 about specific issues relating to their mandates in the

5 United Kingdom.

6 This would have been a considered very seriously by

7 us and immediately passed back for a response, the point

8 being we would want to respond quickly to the Special

9 Rapporteur on the this point, certainly before --

10 ideally before he went on the visit. The fact that he

11 arrived on 1st August was not conducive to a quick

12 response.

13 Q. So to take you back to a comment we saw earlier in one

14 of the documents, was this then, in the Mission's view,

15 further evidence of unconventional methods of working by

16 this Special Rapporteur?

17 A. No, this was a convention. This is evidence of

18 a conventional method of working.

19 Q. Presumably if it had been a conventional method of

20 working, though, you would have seen this before the

21 decision to visit had been made in the first place?

22 A. Not necessarily. It may be that this is the information

23 that he had received -- that was recent information

24 received by him. You would have to ask Param on that

25 point.

 

 

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1 Q. So far as you were concerned, one of the things the

2 letter did then was to put the Government on notice of

3 specific allegations, specific matters that he wished to

4 have addressed and himself to investigate?

5 A. It was a very good indication.

6 Q. Thank you. So far as you can recall then, this letter

7 with its specific allegations, was passed on presumably

8 back to London in the first instance?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you may not know, but presumably you would have

11 expected it thereafter to be passed by the Foreign

12 Office on to the NIO?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. Can you remember now receiving a response?

15 A. No, I can't recall that.

16 Q. No, thank you.

17 Now, I would like to take you through the

18 arrangements which continued to be put in place

19 in August, briefly, please. RNI-109-036 (displayed) is

20 the next document and this, I think, is a fax from you

21 to London, to the Foreign Office in London and it

22 records at 1 an earlier conversation on the telephone, I

23 think?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you were, I think, drawing attention to earlier

 

 

25

 

1 stages of the exchanges with Cumaraswamy and in

2 particular to the Ambassador's formal response. The

3 issue appears to have been whether or not the Government

4 had committed itself at this stage to agreeing to the

5 visit. Is that right?

6 A. Yes, it looks like that.

7 Q. And it looks, doesn't it, as though in the conversation

8 you had with your colleague, there was still a question

9 as to whether the Government would in fact agree to the

10 mission going ahead?

11 A. You are testing my memory, I'm sorry, sir. You are

12 testing my memory. This is not something -- this is

13 a very confusing fax because of course a lot of the

14 redactions have taken place there.

15 Q. Yes.

16 A. But it does look from this particular fax as if I am

17 having to be firm and reassert the need for this visit

18 to take place. From a Geneva angle, to pull back from

19 a visit of this kind would have been unhelpful.

20 Q. If one looks at paragraph 2, it looks as though the

21 point you were making was effectively that the

22 Ambassador had agreed?

23 A. Yes. And to, therefore, pull back -- agreed in writing,

24 and therefore to pull back would have been a serious

25 choice to make.

 

 

26

 

1 Q. Because it would have been interpreted by some at least

2 as evidence of the Government's non-cooperation with

3 human rights mechanisms?

4 A. It could be interpreted that way.

5 Q. Indeed. Now, this suggests, doesn't it, that, whoever

6 you were speaking to in London was, as I say, raising

7 that as a serious possibility, what you would have

8 regarded as a change of position?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Was that, do you think, prompted by the letter of

11 1st August from Mr Cumaraswamy?

12 A. No, my judgment is that it would not have been prompted

13 by that.

14 Q. Is that a recollection that you have --

15 A. No, I said it is a judgment I am giving you now.

16 Q. Is it at least possible that the detailed allegations

17 set out in the 1st August letter might have prompted an

18 urgent reconsideration in London?

19 A. It's possible.

20 Q. Yes. And the final question I wish to ask you on this

21 fax is in relation to the last sentence, where you say:

22 "Perhaps one solution could be to present a formal

23 response to Cumaraswamy, either at the start of his

24 visit or shortly before it."

25 And again, doing what you can to help us now,

 

 

27

 

1 please, was that to be a formal response to the

2 allegations made in the 1st August letter?

3 A. I can see no other response to anything else, except

4 that letter.

5 Q. So it does look, doesn't it, as though that letter, the

6 1st August letter, was discussed by you and whoever it

7 was at the Foreign Office in the telephone conversation?

8 A. Yes, it does.

9 Q. And surely that makes it more likely, doesn't it, that

10 it was in that context that the question of effectively

11 changing position in relation to the visit came up?

12 A. It's possible. It wouldn't have been the only thing, I

13 am certain, but it's possible.

14 Q. Now, so far as this issue is concerned, we can see

15 a further stage at RNI-109-037 (displayed), and I wanted

16 to ask you first, if you look, please, at RNI-109-038

17 (displayed), which is the end of the document, again

18 help me: is this, as far as you can tell, a letter or

19 memo going from the Foreign Office on the one hand to

20 the Home Office on the other, if you go back to

21 RNI-109-037?

22 A. Certainly, it is from the Foreign Office.

23 Q. Thank you. Can we look at RNI-109-037 (displayed),

24 please?

25 A. Yes, to the Home Office --

 

 

28

 

1 Q. Thank you. And you will see reference there to

2 Mr Cumaraswamy in the very first paragraph, and this

3 sentence, the second sentence:

4 "I can well understand your fear that Mr Cumaraswamy

5 might have made up his mind about the need for a visit

6 and can appreciate your point that he might perhaps have

7 waited to see the substance of our response before

8 deciding whether a visit was required or not."

9 I quite understand this is not your minute or

10 letter, but it looks, doesn't it, as though the

11 conversation that you had had and the fax which had

12 followed two days earlier, this discussion about whether

13 the visit was to go ahead or not and the way he had gone

14 about it, was continuing in London?

15 A. It looks that way.

16 Q. Thank you. And in the final sentence of this paragraph:

17 "I think we need to accept that the visit will take

18 place, whether on those proposed dates or not."

19 Is it a fair comment that this letter appears to be

20 part of what you described earlier as the London Foreign

21 Office's attempt to convince other departments of the

22 need to cooperate and, indeed in this case, of the need

23 to stick with the Government's original position?

24 A. This letter certainly indicates a considerable amount of

25 confusion in -- between the departments at the time.

 

 

29

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. And the attempt by the Foreign Office to nail down this

3 visit. For whatever reasons this confusion existed, be

4 it summer holidays and junior officers taking over

5 responsibility for the visit, who knows, but it is

6 certainly a need to remind people that this visit needs

7 to take place.

8 Q. And the point that is made later in paragraph 3 is,

9 isn't it, the line that we saw earlier, namely that the

10 Government was proud of its track record of cooperation

11 in this field?

12 A. Yes, to remind the people who should have known that.

13 Q. And the point made there was, of course, that if the

14 Government didn't cooperate, then it couldn't really

15 criticise others for the same behaviour?

16 A. Absolutely.

17 Q. Thank you. So far as the final stages of arrangements

18 are concerned, can you look at RNI-109-051 (displayed).

19 Again, the document ends at RNI-109-053 -- it might be

20 useful to it look at that first (displayed). This, I

21 think, is a Foreign Office document coming from London?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. And if we go back to RNI-109-051 (displayed), dated

24 22nd August and addressed to you in Geneva -- do you see

25 that?

 

 

30

 

1 A. Yes, I do.

2 Q. Thank you. It looks as though the matter had been

3 resolved by this stage, 22nd August, because you will

4 see that the dates proposed are said to be acceptable?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. However, the questions that we looked at earlier are

7 also dealt with here. First of all, it says that there

8 is a substantive response to the allegations, and those

9 are the allegations apparently made not in the

10 1st August letter that we looked at, but in the

11 4th April letter.

12 Now, that, if you remember, was the very first

13 formal announcement. If it would help to look at that,

14 I think we might be able to get it on the screen at the

15 same time. Would that help?

16 A. Yes. I mean, I have got some comment on this if it

17 helps.

18 Q. Yes, please.

19 A. If you go back to my fax of 1st August, it is quite

20 possible that the allegations at the bottom, the final

21 sentence, the formal response might well have been

22 relating to 4th April, rather than the 1st August ones.

23 Q. Exactly.

24 A. Rather than the specific ones on Mrs Nelson.

25 Q. If we look at RNI-108-050 on the same screen, please, if

 

 

31

 

1 we can (displayed).

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So it could well be that the discussion you had on the

4 telephone and then the reference here in the later

5 document, 22nd August, was not about the 1st August

6 letter relating to Rosemary Nelson but in fact the much

7 more general allegations made on the 4th?

8 A. Yes, it could well have been about that.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as continuing discussions are

10 concerned, if you look at 3, it appears that by this

11 stage the Home Office, at any rate, had accepted the

12 proposed terms and conditions and their concern was

13 about the practicalities and sufficient notice to make

14 the necessary arrangements.

15 A. Yes, I remember it suddenly becoming very smooth.

16 Q. So that the difficulties were removed?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Can you remember now why that happened?

19 A. No, not very clearly, but I -- simply, as you suggested,

20 the Home Office accepted the visit must take place and

21 then it became a matter of doing the practicalities and

22 alerting the Special Rapporteur of some of the

23 difficulties that some of his requests presented.

24 Q. And presumably you were pleased with that outcome?

25 A. Yes, relieved.

 

 

32

 

1 Q. Relieved, yes. Now, the letter of 22nd August continues

2 over the page at RNI-109-052 (displayed), with specific

3 information about various matters to do with prisons and

4 police stations. And if I can show you, though,

5 paragraph 8, it may be that this puts the matter beyond

6 doubt. Do you see? He there suggests that there will

7 be in due course a letter dealing with the 1st August

8 allegations from Mr Cumaraswamy?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And that suggests that the reference in the earlier fax

11 we looked at may well have been to a response to the

12 4th April matters, doesn't it?

13 A. It could be either of those.

14 Q. It could be either, thank you.

15 That then takes us to the point in September that

16 you actually deal with in your statement in

17 paragraph 12, and you say in that paragraph, which is at

18 RNI-824-080 (displayed), that you were responsible for

19 making the arrangements for the visit, finalising the

20 programme and dealing with the practicalities. And when

21 you were doing so, I think you received this letter from

22 Mr Cumaraswamy, and it is dated 10th September. Can we

23 look at it now, please, RNI-110-029 (displayed).

24 It is addressed to you from the Special Rapporteur

25 and it refers to a letter of 4th September to -- I am

 

 

33

 

1 afraid, again, the name has been redacted -- and I think

2 it is right that we don't seem to have your letter in

3 our files, unfortunately. But it looks, doesn't it, as

4 though this was a letter from the Rapporteur concerned

5 with the details of the visits he was to make during his

6 mission?

7 A. It is quite possible that my letter was setting out some

8 of the points relating to his visit that arose from the

9 previous correspondence he gave. So turning that into

10 a formal letter to the Rapporteur.

11 Q. Yes. Now, so far as you are aware, therefore, the visit

12 after all these arrangements had been put in place, went

13 ahead, I think, towards the end of October --

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. -- of that year, didn't it?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And your involvement would, in a sense, have ceased

18 temporarily at that stage. You didn't go across to

19 Northern Ireland with the Rapporteur, did you?

20 A. No, I did not.

21 Q. No. So far as the way the visit had gone, you tell us

22 in your statement that after the visit but before the

23 emergence of the draft report, you had conversations

24 with Mr Parra about what had happened, and this is

25 paragraph 15, if you look at RNI-824-081 (displayed).

 

 

34

 

1 Do you see about the third line in, you say:

2 "I think I may have met with Alan Parra about once

3 or twice during the period between the end of their

4 visit and the production of the draft report"?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you say you had quite candid discussions with him?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. It is a very long time ago but it would be very helpful

9 if you could recall for us what he told you at that

10 stage?

11 A. They would have been counted in perhaps brief

12 discussions; maybe we bumped into each other in the

13 corridors of the Palais des Nations. It was that the

14 visit went very well. They had seen all the people they

15 had hoped to see, they pointed out, for instance, that

16 they had not seen Tony Lloyd, the Foreign Office

17 minister, and they had also had a number of meetings

18 outside the official programme with NGOs and families in

19 Northern Ireland. So it would have been -- that is what

20 I recall at this stage.

21 Q. Can you help me with why it is that you use the word

22 "candid" in this paragraph?

23 A. Most of my discussions with him were candid. He was

24 a candid kind of fellow. He would be -- he would be

25 quite honest with his opinions of individuals, for

 

 

35

 

1 instance, but nothing that I recall.

2 Q. But did he, for example, give his view as to whether

3 they had felt that the allegations, the allegations set

4 out in the correspondence we have seen, were well

5 founded?

6 A. He would certainly -- yes, he would certainly have felt

7 that they had discovered enough to suggest that the

8 UK's -- that there were problems in Northern Ireland on

9 the -- specifically on the allegations that he had set

10 out, yes.

11 Q. You have said that you had a good relationship with him.

12 In a sense, therefore, he was warning you that the

13 report, when it came, was likely to contain adverse

14 comment. Is that fair?

15 A. And I was quite interested to get a view as to whether

16 this report was going to be positive or negative for us,

17 yes. There would have been something for me to gain out

18 of those candid views, those candid conversations.

19 Q. Do you in fact remember raising the question with him,

20 taking the initiative yourself?

21 A. I don't recall that, sorry.

22 Q. But as at this time, some time between the end

23 of October 1997 and the emergence of the draft, which is

24 early February 1998, conversations of this kind took

25 place?

 

 

36

 

1 A. Yes, infrequently but they took place.

2 Q. Were those conversations things you could act upon, do

3 anything about at your end?

4 A. They would have been conversations that I would have

5 noted, perhaps told orally to my boss, but I would not

6 have reported them because there simply wasn't detail.

7 In terms of preparing a response for a negative

8 report, I would have expected to have seen a draft copy

9 of the report anyway, and the confidence in the ability

10 of the Northern Ireland Office and Home Office to

11 respond to that quickly. So I would not have -- there

12 was not enough detail for me to be able to be helpful to

13 London on what was going to be -- what was going to come

14 up except that it was not going to be positive.

15 Q. So far as you can recall now then, you didn't report in

16 writing about these conversations?

17 A. As far as I recall -- I do not recall reporting that in

18 writing.

19 Q. No. One specific comment you recall for us in this same

20 paragraph is that Mr Parra's comment that the call on

21 Ronnie Flanagan was quite a catch, and you remember that

22 phrase now?

23 A. Yes, I do.

24 Q. And you give I think it is your interpretation of what

25 he meant, and you say that that meant that they both

 

 

37

 

1 were pleased to have had the opportunity to meet

2 Mr Flanagan, as he then was, and to discuss his views

3 with him?

4 A. Yes, I am absolutely certain they were not expecting to

5 get a meeting with him and that, therefore, the meeting

6 was a catch.

7 Q. Right. The expression wasn't then a comment made by

8 Mr Parra about anything that they had discussed at

9 a meeting --

10 A. No.

11 Q. -- with Mr Flanagan?

12 A. No, the subsequent events did not come up at that stage.

13 Q. Why was it in doubt that they would be able to meet him?

14 A. I don't know. It was news to me when Alan Parra

15 described it as quite a catch. They wanted to see him.

16 I think it was their judgment that they would not get to

17 see him. Maybe it was because of information they had

18 received from other sources.

19 Q. Do you remember, as one of the arrangements for the visit,

20 an appointment or a schedule including an appointment

21 with Mr Flanagan?

22 A. No, as in I don't remember.

23 Q. No, thank you. Now, you mentioned earlier about the

24 question of an adverse report and expecting to see

25 a draft, and that is what I would like to ask you about

 

 

38

 

1 now.

2 Had you had the experience of dealing with adverse

3 reports before?

4 A. Not Special Rapporteur reports but treaty monitoring

5 body reports, yes.

6 Q. And in those cases, the treaty monitoring body reports,

7 you had received a draft of the report in advance, had

8 you?

9 A. A draft -- in treaty monitoring bodies, the draft of the

10 concluding observations, their views on our record, yes.

11 Q. Was it, therefore, your expectation when you learnt what

12 you did from Mr Parra that in due course you would be

13 provided with a draft of this report?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Was that actually based on anything he said to you?

16 A. It was based on a standard procedure for visits of this

17 kind that a host country could expect to see a copy of

18 the draft report as a courtesy, and for other reasons.

19 Q. In such cases, if on receipt of the draft, government

20 had concerns or thought there were inaccuracies or

21 problems with the draft, what was the standard process

22 or procedure?

23 A. Twofold, I suppose. One is that if there were obvious

24 factual inaccuracies that one could submit those

25 concerns or amendments to the Special Rapporteur before

 

 

39

 

1 publication to draw the attention of the Special

2 Rapporteur to the inaccuracies. But failing that, or

3 instead, all host countries have the ability to offer

4 a formal response, usually orally but also written, when

5 the report itself is submitted to The Commission On

6 Human Rights by the Special Rapporteur.

7 Q. Was it within your experience in the case of the treaty

8 monitoring bodies that comments of that kind, feedback

9 if I can put it that way, resulted in amendments to the

10 text?

11 A. I don't recall us giving amendments to the text of

12 concluding observations. They are very different from

13 a report. It would have been unusual to actually amend

14 a treaty monitoring body's conclusions, but in terms of

15 factual inaccuracies in the body of a report of a

16 Special Rapporteur, that would have been -- that would

17 have been something that other countries did and we

18 would have done.

19 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you. We know that the

20 draft emerged -- we will look at the detail in

21 a minute -- in early February 1998?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. As at that time, had you had any personal experience of

24 putting forward amendments to a Special Rapporteur's

25 report?

 

 

40

 

1 A. No, my first time.

2 Q. And so your understanding of whether it was likely that

3 such amendments would be accepted was based presumably

4 on what you had gleaned in relation to other countries?

5 A. That's right, and also from conversations with the likes

6 of Alan Parra over the years and other special

7 assistants as well.

8 Q. But is this right -- and again, keeping it at a general

9 level -- that given the status of Special Rapporteur, it

10 was big thing to suggest an amendment to a draft text?

11 A. It really depends on what the amendment is, and

12 ultimately it has to be presented pre-publication as

13 suggestions. The report is that of the Special

14 Rapporteur, who is an independent figure.

15 Q. You say in paragraph 18 on page RNI-824-082 (displayed),

16 that in the specific context -- as I say, we will come

17 back to the detail later, but you thought it would be

18 wrong to change the report, and this is the sentence I

19 am interested in:

20 "It was fairly exceptional to request that the

21 wording be changed."

22 So this was not an everyday matter and presumably

23 that meant that it had to be handled carefully?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And through the correct and proper channels?

 

 

41

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Sir, I think we have overrun our stenographer's hour.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: That would be a convenient moment.

4 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you very much.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: We will adjourn until five past 12.

6 (11.55 am)

7 (Short break)

8 (12.06 pm)

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

10 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Wells, before we return to the question of

11 the draft report, can you look, please, at RNI-105-078

12 (displayed). This is a document I didn't show you in

13 the little run of material we were looking at, and to be

14 absolutely fair to you it is not a document that you

15 have been shown even this morning. So this is even more

16 last-minute.

17 But on the question, which we discussed, of

18 a response, detailed response to these letters coming

19 from Mr Cumaraswamy, can you see this is a letter from

20 the Home Office of the 22nd, and it deals not only with

21 the points we looked at earlier about the proposed terms

22 and conditions -- do you remember we saw a reference to

23 that in an earlier document -- also with the question of

24 a detailed response to the allegations?

25 If you turn to RNI-105-080 on the screen

 

 

42

 

1 (displayed), we see there a lengthy document which goes

2 on in fact to RNI-105-087 (displayed), and I think even

3 beyond, but let us not waste any time looking at that --

4 I think it goes to RNI-105-098, for everybody's note --

5 headed "Response to Allegations" and divided in each

6 case between Northern Ireland and England, dealing with

7 the various general allegations that he had made, I

8 think in his April 1997 letter.

9 Now, is that material that you can now recall?

10 A. No.

11 Q. No. But it looks, doesn't it, doing the best you can

12 now, as though in due course a detailed refutation or

13 rebuttal of those allegations was put forward from

14 London?

15 A. Yes, it does.

16 Q. And it is conveyed by the Home Office to the Foreign

17 Office, and it looks as though from the references to

18 Northern Ireland as though they had been input from the

19 NIO, doesn't it?

20 A. Yes, it does.

21 Q. Thank you. Returning to the question of the draft

22 report, can we look, please, at RNI-106-017 (displayed).

23 This is a letter again addressed to the Ambassador,

24 6th February 1998, and it enclosed what we call the

25 draft report, which is described in this letter at any

 

 

43

 

1 rate as an advance copy?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you saw that letter at the time, I imagine?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So far as you were concerned, what you were being given

6 was in effect a draft. Is that right?

7 A. That's right.

8 Q. Thank you. And what you explain in your statement is

9 that you did a quick assessment of it -- this is

10 paragraph 16 at RNI-824-081 (displayed) -- and as you

11 put it, passed it on to London with the message that

12 Cumaraswamy had requested comments. Do you see that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. If we could go back to the letter, please, RNI-106-017

15 (displayed), now, I may be wrong about this but apart

16 from him saying it is not a final version, in the third

17 paragraph, because it had to go through the UN editing

18 process, I don't see in that letter a request for

19 comment. Was it implied, in your view?

20 A. No, that would have been given to me orally by

21 Alan Parra.

22 Q. Thank you. So at the time or perhaps shortly before

23 this letter issued to the Ambassador, you were given

24 that information by his assistant, were you?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

44

 

1 Q. Right. So far as the text itself is concerned, the text

2 of the draft, in your statement you exhibit a version of

3 it, which is at RNI-103-011 (displayed), and we will

4 look at one or two passages in it in due course, but can

5 we look, please, at RNI-103-021 (displayed). Do you see

6 there is a handwritten comment upon this?

7 A. Yes, I do.

8 Q. Now, to be absolutely fair, this is not your

9 handwriting, is it?

10 A. Certainly not: mine is a lot neater.

11 Q. Thank you. I think it is right -- you won't obviously

12 know this but I am going to make this absolutely clear

13 that, for whatever reason, the version of this draft

14 which has been exhibited to your statement -- it is one

15 of many versions of the draft in our files -- is in fact

16 from the RUC; hence, for the Full Participants' note,

17 the reference from the 103 file.

18 So please don't assume, Mr Wells, that anybody in

19 the room is going to hold you responsible for the

20 annotations that we will see.

21 A. Okay, thank you.

22 Q. Now, so far as your review of the draft is concerned,

23 can you help us as to whether that would have been

24 a process taking days or hours, or what sort of review

25 was it?

 

 

45

 

1 A. It would have been a very quick review. I would have

2 fast read the report, looking for -- concentrating on

3 parts that I would have felt were likely to draw -- be

4 of particular concern to readers in London.

5 My aim would have been to get that report back to

6 London for wider dissemination in London as quickly as

7 possible, back to the experts. I wouldn't have

8 pretended in my covering letter to have been a person of

9 expert on the issues concerned, which I was not.

10 Q. No. But even on a quick review of that kind, it was

11 obvious to you, wasn't it, that it contained a good deal

12 of bad news from the Government's point of view?

13 A. Yes, and it wasn't a surprise -- as we talked earlier,

14 it would not have been a surprise.

15 Q. No. When the letter, or the draft report, eventually

16 reached London, were the home departments surprised, as

17 far as you were aware?

18 A. I didn't really get feedback. Their job was to get on

19 with preparing a response.

20 Q. But as you said to us earlier, as far as you can recall,

21 you had not alerted them to the likely content of this

22 report?

23 A. Not in detail, no.

24 Q. Had you alerted them at all?

25 A. No, not really, not in writing. Perhaps we had phone

 

 

46

 

1 calls and conversations but not in any great way that

2 was recordable, no.

3 Q. Now, so far as the process of getting the draft back to

4 London is concerned, can you look, please, at

5 RNI-106-014 (displayed). This is a letter of

6 12th February and, again, looking over to RNI-106-016

7 (displayed), we will see, I think, that it is a Foreign

8 Office letter. Is that right?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. And it is copied to various people, including yourself?

11 A. That's right.

12 Q. But going back to the front page of it, 12th February,

13 RNI-106-014 (displayed), this is, as far as we can see,

14 the only document from the Foreign Office passing on the

15 contents of the draft. We don't have whatever you sent

16 on to London. But is it right that you would have

17 dispatched the draft with some sort of covering letter?

18 A. Yes, it would have been no more than one side.

19 Q. And can we infer, therefore, that that letter and the

20 draft had arrived in London and been processed before

21 12th February?

22 A. I would have probably have sent it almost the same day

23 that I got it.

24 Q. Yes. So as soon as you got the draft and gave it

25 a quick review, it was obvious to you that it needed to

 

 

47

 

1 get to London to the relevant departments as fast as

2 possible?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And the comment made in this letter, in the second

5 paragraph:

6 "Little of the report is positive, and a number of

7 contradictions are made to statements from officials,

8 including the RUC Chief Constable," that was something,

9 was it, that was already known to you at that point?

10 A. I think just reading that letter, it is clear to me that

11 the desk officer in question had done a more thorough

12 read of the document than I had done. I had

13 subsequently read the document in slow time but I had

14 not contributed to this letter.

15 Q. But presumably by the time it came back to you, as

16 a copyee, you had had a chance to consider the draft in

17 more detail?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And it was obvious to you, I assume, that these

20 comments, in particular the comments about the

21 Chief Constable, were potentially very serious?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Of course, it was only one of a number of adverse

24 comments and conclusions set out in the report and it is

25 only fair to record that.

 

 

48

 

1 A. Yes, it goes much wider than the Chief Constable.

2 Q. Yes. And set out in paragraph 3 is a summary with the

3 bullet points of the various recommendations made in the

4 draft text.

5 Can you look, however, at the next paragraph,

6 RNI-106-015, and it is paragraph 4? Can we enlarge

7 that, please (displayed)?

8 "The report is now being edited and translated prior

9 to its official publication."

10 That is the process that Mr Cumaraswamy referred to

11 in his letter, isn't it?

12 A. That is correct.

13 Q. "Hence we are unable to have a response incorporated

14 within it. However, we could still respond in writing

15 and/or by making an oral statement under item 8 at the

16 Commission on Human Rights which commences in Geneva on

17 16th March."

18 Just so I am clear about this, there were two

19 options: either a formal written answer, or no such

20 response, but instead, after the report had been

21 formally submitted, an oral answer given at the

22 Commission itself?

23 A. I am sorry, you are going to have to say that question

24 again.

25 Q. There are two options set out here in this sentence,

 

 

49

 

1 aren't there?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Either you made a written response, but it couldn't be

4 incorporated in the report itself, and/or you made an

5 oral presentation at the Commission meeting on the 16th?

6 A. I think the writer of this letter hasn't got the

7 procedure right, to be honest with you. If you are not

8 going to suggest comments to the draft text, then there

9 really is only one option, which is a written/oral

10 presentation to the Commission on Human Rights. No

11 written comment would be incorporated into the Special

12 Rapporteur's report.

13 Q. So as far as you were concerned, at this point in

14 early/mid-February you recognise that it might be

15 possible to suggest amendments, but you knew at least

16 that you couldn't have a formal written response

17 incorporated within the report?

18 A. Yes, that was not normal.

19 Q. No.

20 A. Or possible.

21 Q. No. And we see also at paragraph 5 at the bottom of

22 this page, if that could be enlarged, please, two points

23 are flagged up: first, we will have to be prepared for

24 any media interest; and secondly, that a copy of the

25 draft had been given in strictest confidence to an NGO,

 

 

50

 

1 CAJ?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Was that an NGO with which you were familiar?

4 A. Through this visit, yes.

5 Q. They had taken part in some of the arrangements, hadn't

6 they?

7 A. Yes. I had never met somebody from CAJ, but I was aware

8 of their existence and their importance.

9 Q. Yes. So even at this stage, there was an understanding,

10 wasn't there, at the Foreign Office at any rate, that

11 there would be or could be both media and NGO interest?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And that presumably was because of the contents, the bad

14 news, it contained?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, as you describe it in your statement,

17 you, in drawing this matter to the attention of London,

18 were concerned to make London aware that the report may

19 be damaging in the context of the Commission on Human

20 Rights and of local handling. Is that a fair summary of

21 your perception of the draft?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And you expected, I assume, that the various departments

24 would give their comments and in due course produce

25 a written response?

 

 

51

 

1 A. Yes, as well as prepare media handling lines.

2 Q. Yes, and we see that process in operation, don't we, at

3 RNI-106-077 (displayed), another Foreign Office letter,

4 20th February. Again, you are a copyee at the bottom,

5 and it says there that -- look at paragraph 2, please:

6 "The NIO will wish to respond in writing."

7 And gave a deadline for that response. And it is

8 suggested that the Home Office should operate to the

9 same deadline?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And the plan, at this stage at any rate, if you look at

12 the last sentence at paragraph 3, was to prepare a draft

13 letter to Mr Cumaraswamy, which would be circulated as

14 an official document of the Commission?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So the formal written --

17 A. Exactly.

18 Q. -- route had been adopted. Thank you very much.

19 So presumably at this stage, what you were expecting

20 and waiting for in Geneva was either drafts or

21 eventually the final text of a formal written response?

22 A. Exactly.

23 Q. What actually happened was something rather different,

24 wasn't it?

25 A. Yes, correct.

 

 

52

 

1 Q. Because you received, I think, a telephone call from

2 a colleague in London who raised with you, didn't she,

3 the question of whether the report could be amended?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. Which obviously was a rather different approach?

6 A. Yes, the amendments were of a different nature.

7 Q. Yes. Now, you describe this conversation in

8 paragraph 17. Can you look at that, please? It is at

9 RNI-824-081 (displayed)?

10 I assume from what you have told us -- but please

11 tell me whether this is right or not -- but that

12 telephone call came rather out of the blue, as far as

13 you were concerned?

14 A. Yes, clearly.

15 Q. You had no prior experience of a similar occurrence?

16 A. No.

17 Q. The official who contacted you was from your department?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. How clear is your recollection now of the conversation?

20 A. Not very clear, but in general -- ask a question and I

21 will see.

22 Q. Fair enough. When she raised this possibility, as you

23 put it, of scoping out the possibility of changing the

24 report, did she indicate to you where the suggestion had

25 originated?

 

 

53

 

1 A. Yes, it was clear that the suggestion had originated

2 from the Northern Ireland Office -- had come to her from

3 the Northern Ireland Office.

4 Q. There is an important distinction potentially there,

5 isn't there?

6 A. There is. It was also clear that it had started from

7 the Chief Constable's office.

8 Q. So the NIO's role was, as it were, to pass on concerns,

9 which, as you understand it, had been expressed to them

10 by the Chief Constable?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. And can you explain to us how those concerns were

13 conveyed to you in this conversation?

14 A. Factually. Simply that the Chief Constable had denied

15 the conversation -- that part of the conversation that

16 had been attributed to him in the draft report -- he had

17 clearly seen a copy of the draft report -- and that I

18 was asked to see whether there was scope to amend it,

19 given that there were implications for the safety of

20 individuals as a result of that remaining in the text.

21 I was somewhat concerned about doing so and

22 expressed that concern back.

23 Q. In the conversation?

24 A. In the conversation.

25 Q. Yes. When you were talking the point through, did you

 

 

54

 

1 have the text of the draft in front of you?

2 A. I can't recall that, I am sorry.

3 Q. In your paragraph 17 you refer to a number of specific

4 parts of one of the paragraphs of the text. Can you

5 recall whether the particular amendments or the

6 particular passages of concern were mentioned to you in

7 the conversation?

8 A. I can't recall any details but it was clearly

9 paragraph 21 that we were referring to.

10 Q. If we look at that on the screen, please. It is

11 RNI-103-023 (displayed). If you look at the bottom of

12 the page next to the rather firm comment, "no," there is

13 a sentence beginning "however ..."?

14 A. Yes, that is the phrase that was of concern to the

15 Chief Constable.

16 Q. And if you have got your hard copy of your statement in

17 front of you, paragraph 17, you will see that this is

18 the passage, isn't it, that you mention in your

19 statement to the Inquiry?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And can you remember, were the terms of proposed changes

22 discussed in your conversation?

23 A. I do not recall any alternative texts being provided to

24 me by the Foreign Office, simply that I was being asked

25 to scope out the Special Rapporteur on making amendments

 

 

55

 

1 to that text based on concerns for the security of

2 individuals. So I had no alternative text to give the

3 Special Rapporteur at that stage.

4 Q. So the basis for the concern as explained to you in this

5 telephone conversation was for the safety of

6 individuals?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And did you understand who those individuals were?

9 A. I did not have the text in front of me. I understood

10 that they were lawyers. I didn't know individual names.

11 Q. When you had read the text earlier or flicked through or

12 reviewed the draft, did you see that certain lawyers

13 were mentioned by name?

14 A. I did, but I must be clear: I did not know the

15 significance or these individuals. I was not that

16 expert on the situation of lawyers in Northern Ireland,

17 individuals; in other words, the significance of

18 Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane and so on were not

19 known to me.

20 Q. No. Because you see, in your statement at the end of

21 this paragraph -- and we have now moved over to the top

22 of RNI-103-082 (displayed) -- you express the concern in

23 these terms that:

24 "Publication of these comments in the report would

25 endanger the lives the lawyers named in the report.

 

 

56

 

1 Four or five lawyers were named, including

2 Rosemary Nelson."

3 Is that something that was explained to you in this

4 conversation?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. It was?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So your attention was drawn, if it hadn't already been

9 drawn, to the fact that certain lawyers were named?

10 A. Yes. As well as to the fact that the Chief Constable

11 believed he did not say this statement.

12 Q. So there were two points in issue, were there?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. The first, a denial of the remarks?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And secondly, the concern about individuals' safety?

17 A. Yes, that's correct.

18 Q. Did you ask for any more detail or explanation in

19 relation to the suggestion that these individuals named

20 in the report might thereby be endangered?

21 A. The explanation was given to me that by connection with

22 a statement that they are acting on behalf of

23 paramilitary groups was, within itself, a statement by

24 the Chief Constable saying that they were linked with

25 paramilitary groups, would endanger their lives. That

 

 

57

 

1 was how it was conveyed to me. I saw the linkage.

2 Q. Right. But your immediate reaction in relation to this

3 conversation was negative?

4 A. My immediate reaction was of concern that this was a --

5 not -- was a substantial amendment, but I wasn't

6 refusing. I think at the time I was asking them to

7 think about it, but then I would talk to Alan Parra

8 nevertheless.

9 You are testing my memory of that at the time, but I

10 was -- it was not an instruction from London at this

11 stage; it was, "What do you think, Colin? What do you

12 think of the options here?"

13 Q. Why do you think you concluded that the amendment was

14 substantial?

15 A. Because it was more than sort of changing Edinburgh to

16 Belfast, and so on: I visited Edinburgh when actually

17 it was Belfast, that kind of thing. It was asking to

18 change the text of a statement that I think was in

19 quotes. So it was substantial, but I needed them to be

20 sure that they wanted to do this.

21 Q. If we just look back to the text -- it is still on the

22 screen -- now, the passage, as we have seen, begins with

23 the word "however ..." I don't think there are any

24 quotation marks there, but it was your view anyway,

25 based on the suggestion made to you, that this was

 

 

58

 

1 a substantial amendment which was being proposed?

2 A. It was more than simply changing factual -- small

3 factual errors. It was something a bit more, and

4 I needed them to just be absolutely sure. They were at

5 that point consulting me. I gave them my view and then

6 they came back to me.

7 Q. Did you discuss whether the names of the lawyers could

8 be removed whilst maintaining the integrity of this part

9 of the text?

10 A. I do not recall getting into that detail.

11 Q. No. But it sounds from your evidence -- paragraph 18

12 again, on RNI-103-082 (displayed) -- as though you

13 suggested to your colleague that she should not only

14 think about this again but also discuss it with more

15 senior officials?

16 A. I would have expected her to do so, yes.

17 Q. Yes. You say in your statement -- you said:

18 "I thought the official should give further thought

19 to this and pass the information up her chain of

20 command."

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So far as the timing of this is concerned, can we look,

23 please, at RNI-109-162 (displayed)? This is a letter to

24 you, and if you turn over the page, RNI-109-163

25 (displayed), it is a Foreign Office letter, isn't it?

 

 

59

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And I think it is -- in fact our redaction policy has

3 removed the name, but I hope you will take it from me,

4 this is from the same official you spoke to on the

5 telephone?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. I wanted to ask you this: this is a reasonably formal

8 letter to you. Is it likely that this came after the

9 telephone conversation?

10 A. Could I see the first page?

11 Q. Yes, I am sorry, RNI-109-162 (displayed).

12 A. It looks that way. It looks like something that would

13 have been a result of our conversation and consulting

14 upwards. As you say, it is a formal letter.

15 Q. Yes. And it sets out the paragraph of concern in

16 paragraph 2 saying that the writer had had a telephone

17 call from an official at the NIO to say that she, the

18 official at the NIO, had just received feedback on the

19 report from the Chief Constable. Then this:

20 "The Chief Constable categorically denies making the

21 comment attributed to him in paragraph 21 (see the text

22 marked 'X')."

23 I am afraid we don't have that copy of the text to

24 show you:

25 "His denial is supported by his

 

 

60

 

1 Assistant Chief Constable who was also present at the

2 meeting with Cumaraswamy and Parra."

3 Then set out for you, passed on by this official

4 from the NIO official, is this:

5 "... the Chief Constable's primary concern is not

6 his reputation but the possible repercussions for the

7 safety of those currently involved in cases against the

8 police."

9 That is put in a rather different way to the way you

10 have put it in your statement, but when you read it,

11 what did you understand that reference to be, namely:

12 "... the safety of those currently involved in cases

13 against the police"?

14 A. I can't recall, I am sorry.

15 Q. No.

16 A. I don't recall what I thought at the time.

17 Q. But it is right, isn't it, that what it doesn't say is

18 that the concern was for those currently named in the

19 draft text?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did you seek clarification?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Did you therefore assume that the same point was being

24 made?

25 A. Which point?

 

 

61

 

1 Q. The point in relation to the lawyers named in the

2 report?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. We discussed earlier?

5 A. That is the way I felt.

6 Q. That is how you read it?

7 A. That is how I read it.

8 Q. Thank you. It continues:

9 "The Chief Constable is willing to speak to

10 Cumaraswamy himself but does not feel that the inclusion

11 of a denial in the NIO response would achieve anything.

12 I suggest that had our only other option would be to

13 informally consult Alan Parra -- the other participant

14 in the meeting -- and highlight the Chief Constable's

15 views. If you feel that it would be preferable for the

16 Chief Constable to speak to Parra, or that he should do

17 so after you have consulted Parra yourself, please let

18 me know and I will make the arrangements through NIO."

19 Just pausing there, so flagged up in this letter was

20 a suggestion that one option was that the

21 Chief Constable himself should speak to the Rapporteur.

22 Can I ask you this: was that suggestion something that

23 had been floated with you in the earlier telephone

24 conversation?

25 A. I don't recall it was, no.

 

 

62

 

1 Q. No. So it looks, doesn't it, as though this was

2 something that emerged from the further consideration at

3 the Foreign Office end?

4 A. Yes, possibly inspired by the NIO.

5 Q. Thank you. But the willingness we are looking at here

6 in this paragraph is expressed, at any rate, to be that

7 of the Chief Constable himself?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So again, it looks, doesn't it, as though the NIO's role

10 was that of messenger as between him on the one hand and

11 your colleague at the Foreign Office on the other?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, another option was contact with

14 Mr Parra and it was left to you to express a view as to

15 which was the better option. What was your response?

16 A. I got on the phone to Alan Parra. That was the easier

17 one of the two. Diplomatically it is a more sensible

18 one, and I don't mean that in a negative way to the

19 Chief Constable. What I mean is it is better, first of

20 all, to try and resolve these issues through the

21 officials level, myself and Alan Parra.

22 Q. Through lower --

23 A. Through lower level contacts and see how that goes.

24 That is what I did. I got on the phone, or went over to

25 Alan's office and took him through our concerns.

 

 

63

 

1 Q. I would like to leave that where it is for the moment.

2 Still looking at the letter, did you respond to this

3 letter saying, "I want to go for option B?"

4 A. I did. I know that you and I don't have any response.

5 I can only assume I did that response by telephone.

6 Q. Thank you. At any rate, it was clear to you that that

7 was the better way to deal with this?

8 A. Yes, at this stage.

9 Q. And it appears to have been left, therefore, that if

10 there was to be contact between the Chief Constable and

11 Mr Parra, or indeed Mr Cumaraswamy, that was something

12 that would have to be subsequently arranged and, again,

13 through the medium of the NIO?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Because that is what emerges from paragraph 3, isn't it?

16 That in fact there is a willingness to speak to the

17 Rapporteur himself, but also a suggestion of the

18 possibility that the Chief Constable might speak to

19 Mr Parra?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 The official in London was aware, wasn't she, that

23 there was a fine line to be trodden here?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Between appearing to influence the content of a Special

 

 

64

 

1 Rapporteur's report on the one hand and ensuring that

2 the concerns were conveyed?

3 A. That is right.

4 Q. Now, you took the first step on that rather delicate

5 path and you explain what you did in paragraph 19.

6 You said, I think, just a minute ago that your

7 contact with Mr Parra took place in a meeting. You went

8 to see him. Is that right?

9 A. I said it could have been by phone as well. I can't

10 recall exactly how.

11 Q. In paragraph 19, you use the verb "approached". You

12 said "I approached Alan Parra --

13 A. Actually -- sorry to interrupt. Just looking

14 through 19, it looks like this took place face-to-face.

15 Q. Yes, thank you. And did it take place on the same day,

16 26th February?

17 A. I believe so.

18 Q. Yes. You had expressed earlier reservations about this

19 option?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. What reaction from Alan Parra did you expect?

22 A. I didn't -- I didn't express those reservations to

23 Alan Parra. I kept those to myself. I expected Alan to

24 note my concern, my Government's concern and to convey

25 those to Param Cumaraswamy. I knew he could not make

 

 

65

 

1 a decision.

2 Q. No. So you were, as it were, the messenger with the

3 concerns emanating in the case we have just seen from

4 London?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And he was the potential messenger, at any rate, to the

7 Rapporteur himself?

8 A. Yes, that was the right process to do this.

9 Q. Right.

10 A. Through.

11 Q. As opposed to the sort of direct contact that was

12 suggested as an alternative?

13 A. That is a good way of doing things too. At the time,

14 the way things were done at the time, it would have

15 been -- this was a more appropriate way for it to be

16 done, rather than through high level contacts like that

17 involving the Chief Constable.

18 Q. So at the time then, this was the usual way of doing

19 something?

20 A. Yes, that's right.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, you describe his reaction when you

22 raised the points with him, and again, doing the best

23 you can now, how did you express the concerns?

24 A. Factually, professionally, if I might add, and conveyed

25 the concerns that the Chief Constable was certain he had

 

 

66

 

1 not said that and the implications of that statement

2 retaining in the -- in the text and asking him to convey

3 that view, the view of the Government -- not

4 Sir Ronnie Flanagan -- the view of the Government to

5 the -- to the Special Rapporteur and to seek -- for him

6 to make any necessary amendments to the text he thought

7 appropriate as a result of that.

8 Q. You weren't suggesting amendments?

9 A. I did not come with any amendments to the text.

10 Q. You did not suggest, for example, that names should be

11 removed?

12 A. Sorry, no specific text -- I gave no -- handed over no

13 text. I would have suggested one option would have been

14 to remove names. This would have been something I would

15 have said.

16 Q. In your statement, when you deal with this, you describe

17 Mr Parra's reaction as being to laugh?

18 A. And scoff.

19 Q. And scoff, indeed.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. He was clear, wasn't he, that the remarks set out in the

22 report had indeed been made?

23 A. He was not laughing and scoffing at the security

24 implications. He was laughing and scoffing, as I put it

25 in my statement, at the implication that that

 

 

67

 

1 conversation had not taken place.

2 Q. Yes. So his immediate reaction was to confirm, in

3 effect, that what was recorded in the report was

4 accurate?

5 A. Yes. As you will see further down, he offered to show

6 me his contemporaneous notes.

7 Q. And you didn't take him up on that?

8 A. I took his word.

9 Q. Yes. And I think the matter came up rather later.

10 There was a further offer to disclose the notes, and

11 again, you didn't pursue that with him, did you?

12 A. No, he was certain that -- he was reaching for them and

13 I took his word for them that they existed.

14 Q. Can you remember his reaction, if any, to the suggestion

15 about the names in the report?

16 A. No, I can't.

17 Q. No. Because, as you have already pointed out, it would

18 have been surprising if his reaction to that had been

19 similarly dismissive?

20 A. It would have been surprising. He was -- he was

21 particularly concerned that his -- his own -- because he

22 drafted the report, that the quality of his drafting, I

23 think, was being called into question. So therefore, he

24 was particularly keen to express to me that it was

25 accurate.

 

 

68

 

1 As for the other point, he obviously agreed to

2 convey all that I was saying to Param Cumaraswamy.

3 Q. So the meeting ended then with an assurance from him to

4 you that your points, the points you had made to him,

5 would be conveyed to the Rapporteur himself?

6 A. It would have ended that way.

7 Q. Yes, thank you.

8 So far as you were concerned, did you at that stage

9 contact London and report matters from your end?

10 A. I did, and there is a missing element really here, which

11 is that Alan would have been -- that I would have

12 reported to London the negativity of Alan's response to

13 the accuracy of the statement itself. So, yes, I would

14 have included that in my oral -- my telephone report.

15 Q. To London, yes. So that they were aware from the

16 outset -- is that right? -- that in terms of the factual

17 element, that he, Mr Parra, was firm that the remarks

18 had been made?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, you say in your statement at paragraph 20 that

21 there was a subsequent decision, as you put it:

22 "Deal with the matter on a more official level."

23 Can you help us with the background to that? How

24 did that decision come to be made?

25 A. I don't know because, I will be honest, the telegram

 

 

69

 

1 that came in was a surprise.

2 Q. Yes. Is it likely, looking at the matter now, that

3 discussion followed your initial and negative report and

4 that the telegram which followed, which we will look at

5 in a minute, was the product of that discussion?

6 A. Yes, they would have discussed it and taken the view

7 that this needed to be done in a different way.

8 Q. So that the informal approach that you had advocated as

9 one of the options had proved to be, in that sense,

10 unsuccessful?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. They aren't waiting to hear what response came back from

13 the Rapporteur himself. Instead, they decided to up the

14 ante and pursue this two-pronged approach?

15 A. Yes. One other conclusion was that they didn't have the

16 confidence in Alan Parra to deliver the message.

17 Q. Now, if we look at the telegram -- it is at RNI-110-093

18 (displayed) -- one of the things I hope you can help us

19 with is the date of it?

20 A. 27th February 1998.

21 Q. I see. So you ignore all the digits in between?

22 A. The 17.30 is the time it was dispatched. "Z" is Zulu

23 time. How anorak is that?

24 Q. This telegram came as a surprise to you?

25 A. Yes, that's correct.

 

 

70

 

1 Q. It came the next day, on 27th February, and in its

2 summary it describes its contents as instructions both

3 to Kuala Lumpur but also to you in Geneva?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And there is then a summary and the distinction is

6 drawn, isn't it, in paragraph 4 between the formal

7 response of the Government and the particular response

8 required in relation to paragraph 21.

9 So the formal response we know from the earlier

10 documents -- the deadline for that was going to be the

11 9th March internally -- was put to one side and this

12 matter you had already tried to deal with was raised in

13 the following paragraphs, 4, 5 and 6.

14 Do you see in paragraph 5 first the

15 Chief Constable's position? He maintains he didn't make

16 these statements; and secondly, a view conveyed from the

17 NIO, and it is the NIO who are said, in this text at any

18 rate, to have had concerns about safety, the safety of

19 the defence lawyers?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, you received this telegram, didn't you?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. But when you read this, did you understand that

24 reference, "the lives of some defence lawyers", to be

25 a reference to those named in the report?

 

 

71

 

1 A. That is what I understood, yes.

2 Q. And so there were two points, the same two points, as

3 far as you understood it, in issue: the denial of the

4 allegation or the comment themselves, and also the

5 question of the naming?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, in 6, where it says:

8 "We have discussed this point already with the

9 assistant in Geneva ..."

10 Did you take that to be a reference to you, to your

11 discussion with Mr Parra?

12 A. Absolutely.

13 Q. And that there had been an agreement there to direct

14 contact?

15 A. Yes, Parra would have said it is okay for you to contact

16 Cumaraswamy direct.

17 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you, because the way you

18 had explained it earlier is that the meeting ended with

19 an assurance by him that he would contact Cumaraswamy.

20 Now, this is suggesting something rather different,

21 isn't it?

22 A. No, he would have conveyed -- it would have been his job

23 to convey my conversation and I would have requested him

24 to convey my points to Cumaraswamy.

25 At some point in the meeting, either the point of

 

 

72

 

1 would it help if Ronnie Flanagan raised this directly

2 with Cumaraswamy, or he would have suggested something

3 -- I am afraid you are testing my memory -- or if you

4 want to call him direct, I can give you his number,

5 something like that. And I would have conveyed that

6 back. I can't give you a definitive view.

7 Q. It certainly looks here as though the people who were

8 going to contact the Rapporteur direct were Foreign

9 Office officials. Is that right?

10 A. This is an instruction to the High Commission in Kuala

11 Lumpur to contact them.

12 Q. Yes, because what you have just said about discussing

13 Mr Parra, the possibility that the Chief Constable

14 himself should contact the Rapporteur, that is not

15 something you mention in your witness statement, is it?

16 A. No, and what I am trying to do with that statement is to

17 suggest what could possibly have led to this. It is not

18 in my witness statement, because it is not something

19 I recall. My apologies if I have led you astray a bit

20 there.

21 Q. No.

22 A. It could also be simply that Parra offered the lifeline

23 of contacting Cumaraswamy direct.

24 Q. Yes. But again, just to be absolutely clear about it,

25 there is nothing in the telegram which even contemplates

 

 

73

 

1 direct contact between the Chief Constable on the one

2 hand and the Rapporteur, is there?

3 A. No, there is nothing in the telegram.

4 Q. No. Now, the instruction is to the officials in Kuala

5 Lumpur to do this at a suitable level, i.e. a level of

6 officialdom presumably, and then a list of points to be

7 made are set out?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And I would like to highlight a couple for you on the

10 next page at RNI-110-094 (displayed).

11 Do you see in the second paragraph, this:

12 "There may have been some confusion in what was

13 after all an oral exchange, but the comments attributed

14 to the Chief Constable certainly do not represent his

15 views."

16 It might be suggested that that is a softening of

17 the Chief Constable's position as it had been conveyed

18 at least to you, namely that he denied making those

19 remarks. Is that fair?

20 A. I see it as the Foreign Office believing that is the

21 best way to convey the message to Param Cumaraswamy to

22 deliver the result that the NIO wanted.

23 Q. Thank you very much. And then in the next two

24 paragraphs, confirmation of the fact that this course

25 was being taken in very exceptional circumstances?

 

 

74

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. That is an indication, isn't it, of the significance of

3 taking a step of this kind?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And that leads, doesn't it, inevitably to the final

6 bullet point, which is an assurance to the Rapporteur

7 that you are not trying to interfere with his

8 independence?

9 A. Absolutely.

10 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as you were concerned, your job

11 looking at paragraph 8 on this page, RNI-110-094

12 (displayed), was to tell Mr Parra what steps were going

13 to be taken and those were the expense to be taken in

14 Kuala Lumpur?

15 A. Yes, and I did so.

16 Q. Thank you very much.

17 So far as the telegrams going backwards and forwards

18 are concerned, can you look at RNI-109-168 (displayed).

19 This is an even more confusing telegram in terms of

20 date, because even using the system you have just

21 explained to me, it doesn't work. I think it should be

22 4th March. Is that right?

23 A. Yes, that is Foreign Office technology, I am sorry.

24 Q. No need to apologise. But this isn't a telegram from

25 you but from Kuala Lumpur, I think. Is that right?

 

 

75

 

1 A. That is right.

2 Q. Explaining what had happened so far as they are

3 concerned, and their own approach to Mr Cumaraswamy?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, the third paragraph of that says:

6 "For the record, however, Mr Cumaraswamy said there

7 had been no mistake. Both he and his assistant had

8 recorded the Chief Constable's comments accurately.

9 They had rechecked their notes."

10 Then that he took little persuading to remove the

11 offending sentences.

12 So when you received this telegram, it seemed to you

13 presumably that the Rapporteur was taking exactly the

14 same line on the comments as Mr Parra?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. They aren't withdrawing what they had said?

17 A. No.

18 Q. But that he had decided to remove the two sentences, and

19 the suggestion here is:

20 "This had much to do with our good relations with

21 him and our consistent support throughout his own recent

22 troubles"?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. So there were other matters in play. The position taken

25 in relation to the comments remained the same?

 

 

76

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. 2 o'clock.

4 (1.00 pm)

5 (The short adjournment)

6 (2.00 pm)

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

8 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Wells, we were looking at a telegram from

9 Kuala Lumpur. Can we now look at your own telegram at

10 this time? It is at RNI-109-166 (displayed). With my

11 new skills I can suggest to you it was sent on

12 2nd March. Is that right?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. It shows, doesn't it, your most recent conversation with

15 Mr Parra?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And it looks as though today, the 2nd, you had spoken to

18 him?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. As instructed in the telegram that we have seen. Is

21 that right?

22 A. That is right, a telegram and a reference.

23 Q. Thank you. And he said that at that stage the British

24 High Commission in Kuala Lumpur had already approached

25 the Rapporteur and that his decision had been passed

 

 

77

 

1 back, namely that he would delete references to the

2 named individuals. Do you see that?

3 A. I do.

4 Q. And in addition, there would be sentences deleted, the

5 controversial sentences, in paragraph 21?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. But he repeated to you, didn't he, their basic position

8 in relation to the Chief Constable, namely that they

9 both clearly recalled him making those remarks?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Thank you. And referred again to the notes that he had

12 taken and offered again to provide copies?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And the question that clearly occurred to somebody, as

15 he or she read this telegram, was did he?

16 A. He did offer. I didn't take him up on the offer.

17 Q. Was there any particular reason for that?

18 A. I had no reason to doubt his word that he had the notes

19 in his document and I did not see the need to take

20 a copy of those notes.

21 Q. Thank you. So far as the Rapporteur was concerned --

22 and here I am moving on to paragraph 22 of your

23 statement -- a confirmation, as it were, an official

24 confirmation came from him on 5th March at RNI-109-170

25 (displayed). It is another letter, isn't it, to the

 

 

78

 

1 Ambassador?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I would like to take you, first, please, through the

4 first paragraph of it:

5 "Last week, Mr Alan Parra in the Office of the High

6 Commissioner for Human Rights who assists me on my

7 mandate, received a call from the United Kingdom

8 Permanent Mission in Geneva expressing concern over two

9 sentences in my draft report."

10 Now, just taking that sentence first, do you think

11 that this is a reference to your earlier conversation

12 with Mr Parra?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In other words, it is not the second conversation

15 referred to in the telegram, but the original --

16 A. The original conversation.

17 Q. -- expression of concern?

18 A. And it was not a call, it was a meeting.

19 Q. Thank you very much. And the concern which is reported

20 in this letter is a concern, as I say, in relation to

21 two sentences. And he then goes on:

22 "The two sentences attribute remarks made by the

23 Chief Constable of the RUC, Mr Ronnie Flanagan, to the

24 Special Rapporteur during his meeting with him. It was

25 mentioned to Mr Parra that the Chief Constable could not

 

 

79

 

1 recall making those remarks."

2 Now, again pausing there, is that, as you remember

3 it, how you put it to Mr Parra?

4 A. I am sorry, I cannot remember the detail of how I put it

5 to Mr Parra, in that preciseness.

6 Q. You will appreciate in the preceding material we have

7 seen together that the Chief Constable's position was

8 that he denied making those remarks. Do you think it

9 possible at least that in your conversation with

10 Mr Parra you put it that he could not recall making

11 those remarks?

12 A. I simply cannot remember the actual wording I used with

13 Mr Parra in that meeting and the subsequent phone calls.

14 It may well be that this is simply the way that

15 Param Cumaraswamy drafts, and wanted to draft this

16 letter.

17 Q. You don't think it is another example of dealing with

18 matters in a way that you thought might show the

19 greatest prospect of success?

20 A. I can't comment on that, I am sorry.

21 Q. And then it says:

22 "Mr Parra was also informed that the reported

23 remarks could put the security of defence lawyers in

24 jeopardy and in particular Ms Rosemary Nelson's life."

25 Now, when we talked earlier about the conversation,

 

 

80

 

1 the meeting you had with Mr Parra, you didn't, at least

2 so far as I can recall, tell us that you specifically

3 mentioned her name.

4 Did you, as far as you can recall, mention her name

5 in that first conversation with Mr Parra?

6 A. Again, details very hazy. I think her name was the most

7 prominent of those that were discussed amongst me and

8 officials at the time. So I would have probably raised

9 her name at that stage.

10 Q. Why was her name the most prominent?

11 A. In my mind, the most memorable. Sorry, it may be as

12 simple as just the name that rings a bell with me.

13 Q. It wasn't because she had been the subject of a letter

14 we looked at earlier of 1st August?

15 A. It might well be, because her name turns up in a lot of

16 correspondence as the name that triggers in my mind.

17 Q. Are you able to help us as to whether you specifically

18 mentioned her name in your initial conversation with

19 Mr Parra?

20 A. I am afraid I can't recall the specific details of that

21 conversation.

22 Q. It is right, isn't it, that in the telegrams raising the

23 instruction, both to Kuala Lumpur and to you, the one we

24 looked at before lunch, there is no specific reference

25 to her by name?

 

 

81

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. And indeed, in the earlier communication, the formal

3 communication or more formal communication from your

4 colleague in London, 26th February, there is no

5 reference to her by name, is there?

6 A. No.

7 Q. In each case, the defence lawyers are dealt with as

8 a category, aren't they?

9 A. They are.

10 Q. Can you assist us in any further way as to why her name

11 was specifically mentioned in this paragraph of

12 Mr Cumaraswamy's letter?

13 A. I can only surmise that the way that it was reported, my

14 conversation to Alan Parra, was reported to

15 Param Cumaraswamy, referred to Rosemary Nelson in this

16 way.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, the letter continues with the

18 Rapporteur saying that he had received a similar call

19 from the Mission in Kuala Lumpur, and then expressing

20 his views about it. And were you surprised to read his

21 statement that the calls, both the calls, were viewed

22 with grave concern?

23 A. I don't remember taking a view at that time, no, sorry.

24 Can I comment on the second paragraph?

25 Q. Of course.

 

 

82

 

1 A. The second paragraph does suggest that Alan Parra

2 drafted this letter. Cumaraswamy would have known that

3 it's the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. Parra

4 would not have known that. I don't know if that helps

5 you.

6 Q. I think it is very helpful, thank you very much.

7 But so far as the Rapporteur was concerned, is this

8 a fair summary of the remainder of this page of the

9 letter: that he maintained in writing in the letter the

10 position that Alan Parra had indicated to you from the

11 very outset, namely that he was certain that the remarks

12 had been made?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And that his agreement to making amendments was for

15 other reasons entirely?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And those reasons, as expressed in the letter, were, as

18 he puts it, in the interest of the security of the

19 defence lawyers?

20 A. He was clearly protecting his position on whether the

21 statement had been made, but also conceding that he

22 should make the amendments.

23 Q. So that the success of the approach, i.e. that the

24 amendments had been accepted, was tempered by his firm

25 restatement of his position?

 

 

83

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But also by further allegations to which he referred in

3 the letter?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. If you turn over to RNI-109-171 (displayed), there was,

6 wasn't there, a sting in the tail? And it concerns

7 specifically the question of harassment and threats on

8 the same lawyer, Rosemary Nelson.

9 You reported on that letter to your colleagues, and

10 we can see that at RNI-109-172, I think (displayed). It

11 is a letter of 9th March, and first you refer to the

12 telegram we have seen, I think, in relation to the

13 positive outcome of the efforts to seek amendments, and

14 you then enclose the Rapporteur's letter and set out and

15 emphasise the concern he expressed at the end.

16 And your suggestion to London was that they should

17 consider giving a response to those specific matters

18 even though he hadn't asked for one. Is that right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. But your position, expressed in the final sentence of

21 the paragraph, was that one would have to tread very

22 warily at this stage with him. Is that right?

23 A. You mean the sentence starting "Our instinct ..."?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. Yes, that is more on the question of whether or not to

 

 

84

 

1 respond on the question of Ronnie Flanagan's statement;

2 did he or did he not make that statement. So I didn't

3 want to argue the toss on that. That does not relate to

4 the question of the accusations made about

5 Mrs Rosemary Nelson. It is not very good drafting.

6 Q. It is my misunderstanding, I am sure.

7 So your advice effectively back to London was don't

8 take issue with him on the Chief Constable point?

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. Because we have secured an amendment to which we were

11 not entitled?

12 A. I thought it was a fruitless battle that would serve no

13 end.

14 Q. Thank you. And it looks as though in addition to what

15 the Rapporteur said in his letter, you had been informed

16 yourself by Mr Parra that he, the Rapporteur, intended

17 to forward further and serious allegations of RUC

18 harassment of lawyers?

19 A. Yes, I am just paraphrasing the letter from the Special

20 Rapporteur.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 You then tell us in your statement about the effects

23 of the amendment, and in paragraph 23 you make some

24 comments about the drafting of the final version of the

25 report, describing it as being slightly ugly. And you

 

 

85

 

1 highlight for us -- and I don't think we need to look at

2 this -- the changes that were made.

3 So far as you were concerned then, the attempt to

4 obtain some changes had succeeded, and in relation to

5 the report, as it emerged finally, your particular

6 involvement was at an end?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. It remained for the departments in London, as far as you

9 were concerned, to deal with any impact, any fallout,

10 from the release of the final report?

11 A. Yes, they were compiling their response.

12 Q. Were you aware that just before the final report was

13 issued, there was yet a further flurry of activity as

14 a result of a leak of a draft press release in relation

15 to the text?

16 A. Press release from who?

17 Q. From the RUC.

18 A. I remember receiving the press release. This was

19 somewhat later in March, I think.

20 Q. It was.

21 A. And we were at that time based in the UN buildings,

22 because the Commission on Human Rights had started and

23 we were given offices in those buildings, and I remember

24 receiving that and being somewhat surprised by it.

25 Q. Can we look, please, at RNI-106-168 (displayed).

 

 

86

 

1 Now, this is a letter of the -- I think it is faxed

2 on 27th March, if you look at the top left-hand corner?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. It is from your Mission in Geneva. Is that right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. But not, I think, a letter from you?

7 A. No, it is from somebody else. I know who it is.

8 Q. Thank you. The heading is "Cumaraswamy Report". It

9 looks as though, by this stage, the Guardian newspaper

10 had found out that there had been a change --

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. -- in the report and that the newspaper had been seeking

13 comment from the Rapporteur's office?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And this is what you remember, is it?

16 A. Yes, that is right.

17 Q. Thank you. And did you yourself deal with this new

18 issue over the next few days?

19 A. I was working with a more senior colleague who had come

20 in from London to take part in the -- delegate -- to be

21 a member of the expanded delegation to the Commission on

22 Human Rights. He and I worked on this. This was

23 drafted by him.

24 Q. Can I ask you in particular in relation to paragraph 3,

25 the suggestion which was apparently made to the

 

 

87

 

1 Rapporteur as to the line he should take, that was

2 a line that you discussed with your more senior

3 colleague, was it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. But he made the call?

6 A. Who made the call, sorry?

7 Q. Your colleague?

8 A. The colleague who drafted it -- that line would have

9 been discussed with other colleagues in the delegation,

10 including the head of the delegation as well.

11 Q. So you were suggesting to the Rapporteur that he should

12 say that there had been a misunderstanding between him

13 and the Chief Constable in the meeting?

14 A. That is what he has put down.

15 Q. Is that your recollection of the line you suggested?

16 A. I didn't suggest this line. My colleague suggested this

17 line.

18 Q. Do you remember the line that was suggested?

19 A. No.

20 Q. No.

21 A. I am recalling it from the screen now.

22 Q. Does it sound right?

23 A. In what way?

24 Q. Does it fit with whatever recollection you have of these

25 events?

 

 

88

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. It does not?

3 A. I wasn't greatly involved in this particular part of the

4 procedures. What I do recall was that Cumaraswamy was

5 very keen to liaise with us on this particular point.

6 He was as concerned about this as we were.

7 Q. So in broad terms, he was responsive to the concerns you

8 have expressed?

9 A. Yes, and he was seeking our advice on how to handle

10 this.

11 Q. We can see confirmation from that, I think, in the next

12 document at RNI-109-200 (displayed). Again, this is not

13 from you. I think it is from the same senior colleague.

14 I think it is the same date, 27th March:

15 "As we discussed on the telephone, I discussed

16 further with Cumaraswamy what we were all going to say

17 to the press about the deleted sentences from his

18 report. Cumaraswamy was helpful and clearly not at all

19 disposed to enter into a public spat."

20 Now, I asked you a little earlier about the extent

21 to which you were involved with these events. If you

22 turn over to RNI-109-201 at the top of the next page,

23 paragraph 4 (displayed), was this, this

24 recommendation -- "my strong recommendation", as it is

25 put here -- something that you remember discussing in

 

 

89

 

1 the Mission with colleagues?

2 A. I don't remember being involved in this discussion.

3 Q. No. But does it reflect the view of the Mission at the

4 time, as you recall it, that he was indeed being

5 helpful?

6 A. Yes, and he had every reason to be helpful as well. He

7 would have seen the reputational risk to him as well of

8 an article in the Guardian being seen to be negative

9 towards him.

10 Q. Because in a sense the information the Guardian had

11 obtained, as it were, revealed what had been going on

12 behind the scenes and that he had agreed to amend the

13 text of his report?

14 A. And there was potential for that to be misreported and

15 misinterpreted, and Cumaraswamy had always been good to

16 his word on this issue and throughout the visit. There

17 was no reason to doubt him.

18 Q. The further development I mentioned earlier came in

19 relation to the mistaken release of the press release.

20 Is that something you remember?

21 A. I remember seeing the press release, yes.

22 Q. Can we look at that, please, at RNI-109-205 (displayed).

23 In the second paragraph, you see there is

24 a rejection of the very statement which Mr Cumaraswamy

25 had agreed to remove. So presumably the view in your

 

 

90

 

1 Mission -- or your view at the time was that the effect

2 of this coming out was precisely to undo the good work

3 that you had done?

4 A. It was unhelpful to our ability to handle this issue.

5 Q. If we go back to RNI-109-204 (displayed), there is

6 a covering letter with this press release. Again, it is

7 a Foreign Office letter. It looks as though this is

8 coming from London, in this case. Is that right?

9 A. That is correct, London to the Northern Ireland Office.

10 Q. Thank you very much. You will see the proposed line set

11 out in paragraph 2:

12 "The UK Government's position is clearly set out in

13 our press statement. The Chief Constable's comments

14 were not made under cover of that position. His

15 statement was not authorised or approved by the

16 government departments concerned."

17 Did you take any part in assembling or drafting that

18 line?

19 A. No, that was London. In the context, you must remember,

20 that we were very busy at that time with the Commission

21 on Human Rights. London would have taken up a lot of

22 the responsibility for this kind of work.

23 Q. And the final piece of the jigsaw is at RNI-109-109

24 (displayed). Can we just look at that briefly, please?

25 31st March, the next day, this addressed to your

 

 

91

 

1 delegation from London again. And do you see that there

2 had been further investigation and it had emerged that

3 the release of the press release had been an error.

4 Now, we have been through quite a lot of material

5 showing later developments in relation to the report.

6 I now want to ask you about whether you saw further

7 correspondence, this time correspondence between

8 Mr Flanagan, as he then was, and the Rapporteur

9 themselves. And you deal with this -- can you look,

10 please, at page RNI-824-084 of your statement and

11 paragraph 25 (displayed)?

12 Now, in your statement you say that you do not

13 recall being shown copies of these letters at the time

14 and that if you were shown them, you have simply

15 forgotten that. I would like to show you, please, the

16 first of the letters and that is the letter from

17 Mr Flanagan dated 13th March 1998. And it is at

18 RNI-110-137 (displayed).

19 Very short:

20 "Dear Mr Cumaraswamy, I have had sight of an

21 advanced copy of your report which includes at

22 paragraph 21 ..."

23 Then the quotation from the original draft:

24 "As at no time during our discussion did I make such

25 a statement, I am pleased to be informed that it had

 

 

92

 

1 been removed."

2 The second letter, 27th March, the reply from the

3 Rapporteur at RNI-101-245 (displayed):

4 "Dear Chief Constable Flanagan ..."

5 And the restatement of the position:

6 "Please note that I have decided to remove the two

7 sentences in paragraph 21 for reasons other than your

8 denial of having made such comments in the course of our

9 discussion."

10 He then quoted the paragraphs we have seen already

11 from the letter of 5th March. And finally, the letter

12 coming back to that from the Chief Constable to

13 Mr Cumaraswamy at RNI-110-148, 8th April (displayed).

14 In very brief summary, this letter, which I think

15 came after the release of the report, returns to the

16 fray on this point and then deals with some other

17 matters to which objection was taken in the rest of the

18 text. Is that right?

19 A. It looks like that.

20 Q. I have shown you those letters. I just want to ask you

21 first whether seeing them now helps you to recall

22 whether you think you may in fact have seen them during

23 these events in March and April 1998?

24 A. I am pretty certain I would have seen

25 Param Cumaraswamy's reply, because if you have noticed,

 

 

93

 

1 it was copied to the Ambassador who undoubtedly would

2 have marked it down to me.

3 As for the other two, it really doesn't ring a bill

4 still. I accept that they occur and exist, but it does

5 not ring a bell in terms of knowing about them.

6 I certainly -- I don't recognise them.

7 Q. Now, if you look, please, at RNI-109-336 (displayed), we

8 will see a note, in fact made by John Ware, the

9 broadcaster, of 8th June, recording, at least on its

10 face, a conversation with you. And we will return to

11 that in a minute because you deal with these

12 conversations in your statement.

13 He purports at any rate to quote you and one can see

14 that because of the terms of the note. To give you

15 an example, if you look in the fifth line, there is the

16 quotation:

17 "It was extremely politically awkward for us that he

18 wrote direct."

19 And "he" in that context is Mr Flanagan. Do you see

20 the next sentence:

21 "Alan Parra (UN Human Rights Officer and assistant

22 to Special Rapporteur) provided us with copies of RF's

23 letters in confidence."

24 Now, that is obviously a note which, if accurate,

25 records what you were saying much, much closer to the

 

 

94

 

1 events. Looking at that, do you think on reflection

2 that it is likely that you saw these letters?

3 A. Possibly. But my earlier statement -- I don't recall

4 them. It might well be that they were actually handed

5 to me by Alan or to the senior colleague I referred to

6 earlier, but in response to your earlier question,

7 I genuinely do not recall the letters ten years further

8 forward.

9 Q. But it is not something you can rule out?

10 A. Oh, no.

11 Q. No. And do you think that the comment you are recorded

12 as making there was a fair comment; in other words, that

13 the direct communication was extremely politically

14 awkward?

15 A. Yes, absolutely.

16 Q. Yes. The option which was raised, if you remember, in

17 the earlier letter we looked at of direct contact had

18 not been pursued. It had been dealt with in another way

19 which, as far as you could see, had been successful?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And the first of these letters, as we have seen, was

22 written after the decision had been made to amend the

23 report. And that was the context, wasn't it, in which

24 that remark about it being extremely politically awkward

25 was made?

 

 

95

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. And while we are looking at this note, the

3 comments that are recorded at the end of this first

4 paragraph reflect, do they, your view at the time, that

5 they are not dodgy, those two individuals, and they were

6 actually, in your view at any rate, very honest people?

7 A. Yes, the word "dodgy" is something I use. So it is

8 a conversation he has had with me and that was my view

9 of them and remains my view of them.

10 Q. They were highly respected by the Mission and you were

11 on very good terms with them?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And can we look next at the second paragraph, because

14 again, this is so much nearer the time. You are

15 recorded as expressing the view that the NIO took up the

16 issue of the danger to Rosemary Nelson's life if her

17 name appeared in the report because Mr Cumaraswamy had

18 named her in the draft report.

19 You characterise the process as being -- that

20 concern having been channelled through you from the NIO

21 via the Foreign Office, presumably in London?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Thank you. You then say:

24 "I believe that Ronnie also raised this issue

25 directly with the Special Rapporteur."

 

 

96

 

1 Now, to be clear from this and the following

2 sentence, what you were saying there was not a reference

3 to the correspondence, was it?

4 A. I believe that Ronnie also raised this issue directly

5 with the Special Rapporteur.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. Sorry, could you explain the question again?

8 Q. Absolutely. I will. When you say, "I believe that

9 Ronnie also raised this issue directly with the Special

10 Rapporteur", were you suggesting that he had raised the

11 issue in the correspondence which is referred to in the

12 first --

13 A. Either that or a direct phone call. I am not quite sure

14 what I was referring to but I imagine the

15 correspondence, given the earlier paragraph.

16 Q. Yes. Well, we saw the correspondence for ourselves and

17 certainly in the 13th March letter, as you remember,

18 there was no reference to any concern for

19 Rosemary Nelson's safety, was there?

20 A. No.

21 Q. No. So do you think it is possible that what you were

22 saying to Mr Ware was that you believed there had been

23 a direct telephone call between the Chief Constable and

24 the Rapporteur?

25 A. It is difficult. If you go on to the next paragraph, I

 

 

97

 

1 am clearly not being completely truthful with John Ware.

2 It is the next sentence. So it is difficult to know

3 entirely what identification trying to say to John Ware

4 at this point. If you look at the next sentence, it

5 says:

6 "I know nothing about a telephone call from RF to

7 Alan Parra directly."

8 Well, I did.

9 Q. Can I just stop you? What did you know?

10 A. That Flanagan had called Alan Parra.

11 Q. That was your understanding at the time?

12 A. Yes, it is in my statement.

13 Q. Yes, it is. So you say you are not being truthful with

14 Mr Ware --

15 A. I think I was getting annoyed with John Ware. This was

16 a long conversation and I was getting a little annoyed.

17 He was not somebody I treasured as a contact. He was

18 using me and I probably had other things to do. So it

19 is not quite unusual for us to be -- want to get

20 a journalist off the phone if I could possibly help it.

21 Q. You say in your statement -- can I just show you

22 this? -- in paragraph 31, where you deal with this, your

23 dealings with Mr Ware, and then reading over to the next

24 page, RNI-824-086 (displayed), you say you think you

25 probably would have offered him an off-the-record

 

 

98

 

1 briefing?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And --

4 A. This was off the record.

5 Q. Yes. So, so far as this is concerned, if we can just go

6 back to the note, please, at RNI-109-336 (displayed),

7 what you are saying to us now is that that statement,

8 "I know nothing", wasn't correct?

9 A. That is right.

10 Q. And so in relation to your knowledge of telephone calls,

11 we are better off, are we, looking at your statement

12 itself?

13 A. Yes, because that is to the Inquiry. This is to

14 a journalist on the phone.

15 Q. Yes. So can we look at that, then, paragraph 26,

16 page RNI-824-084 (displayed)? And you begin by saying

17 that you have difficulty recalling the detail of

18 Flanagan's telephone contact with Cumaraswamy and/or

19 Parra. But as I understand it, what you do recall is,

20 in a conversation between you and Mr Parra, him saying

21 that he, Mr Parra, had received another call?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And it is from that, as I understand it, that you have

24 inferred that there were two?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

99

 

1 Q. Did Mr Parra make it clear to you that the calls, the

2 plural calls, the two of them, to him had been made by

3 the Chief Constable?

4 A. The inference was that they were by the Chief Constable.

5 As to whether they were both to Alan Parra, I can't say

6 that. Certainly one was. The other one might have been

7 to Parra.

8 Q. Did Mr Parra say in terms to you that the caller in both

9 cases had been the Chief Constable?

10 A. He inferred that in both cases they had been by the

11 Chief Constable.

12 Q. But he didn't say it in terms?

13 A. I can't remember that.

14 Q. No. And did you say to him that it was inappropriate

15 for such a direct contact to be made?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. That is certainly Mr Parra's recollection. I think you

18 have seen the relevant paragraphs of his statement?

19 A. I have and --

20 Q. You agree with him?

21 A. I do agree with what Alan Parra says.

22 Q. Yes. Do you remember on the second occasion him ringing

23 you and saying, "You're never going to guess who just

24 called me?"

25 A. Yes, I think I do actually.

 

 

100

 

1 Q. Was your reaction to him to say, "We keep asking them

2 not to do this"?

3 A. I don't know if I would have said that.

4 Q. No. Well, when you were first told by Mr Parra that

5 such a call had been made, what did you do about it?

6 A. Listened to the detail, obviously, from Alan Parra,

7 asked what their response might be and conveyed that

8 then to colleagues on the CHR delegation, including the

9 senior colleague that I referred to earlier. He and I

10 were, I think -- he was actually -- if I can go back one

11 step, I am certain that he was with me at that time when

12 Alan told me of this phone call.

13 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you, because in your

14 statement in talking about when this might have

15 happened, you say -- and it is the middle of the

16 paragraph about ten lines down:

17 "I recall being in those offices ..."

18 That is offices given to you by the UN. And that is

19 where you were, you think, when you received these calls

20 from Mr Parra. And then you say you recall discussing

21 the matter with both Mr Parra and Mr Cumaraswamy in, I

22 think, Mr Parra's office. Is that what you mean?

23 A. After the phone calls -- after Alan phoned, Alan walked

24 down to the offices -- we were in the same building --

25 and gave myself and my senior colleague a run-down, and

 

 

101

 

1 then said, "Param Cumaraswamy would like to see you" and

2 then we went up to their offices and saw Parra, and I

3 think the rest of it is explained my statement.

4 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the British Government was

5 concerned, did you take any part in dealing with the

6 fact that these calls, the direct contact, had been

7 made?

8 A. So far as passing on to colleagues, no -- yes, that is

9 what I did, I passed the information on to colleagues.

10 I don't recall any further action on the calls. I don't

11 even know if there was any.

12 Q. Did you express to Mr Parra, when he made these reports

13 to you, your irritation that this direct contact had

14 taken place and had then been repeated?

15 A. I think the fact that I said he shouldn't be doing this

16 was in itself an expression of irritation. I think I

17 would have told them that it did not represent the

18 Government's view and no more than that.

19 Q. Now, in your statement you then deal with the question

20 of their reaction; in other words, the reaction of the

21 Rapporteur and presumably of Mr Parra, and you say that

22 the Rapporteur was not concerned. Presumably he was

23 surprised to receive such calls?

24 A. He was very laid back, merely wanted us to know as

25 a courtesy he did not -- he was not angry, he was calm,

 

 

102

 

1 no more than that.

2 Q. What I would like to do finally in relation to these is

3 ask you whether you can help us, beyond the help you

4 have given in your statement, with the timing.

5 We have seen now the letters and we saw that the

6 first of the letters from the Chief Constable was

7 13th March. We know that considerably before then,

8 agreement had been reached to make the amendments. Are

9 you able to assist us as to when you first heard reports

10 in relation to each of these calls?

11 A. All I can say to you is that the -- this all happened

12 during the six-week meeting of the Commission on Human

13 Rights, which would have been between 16th March and

14 whatever the last Friday was of April. My gut instinct

15 is that it was in the second half of that period. I did

16 not -- I simply can't recall an event during that period

17 which I match with these phone calls except that it

18 was -- I know where I was, which was based in the

19 offices in the Palais des Nations. That is all.

20 Q. You think they took place in the second half of March

21 and probably more likely towards the end of the month.

22 Is that right?

23 A. Sorry, the second half of March?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. No, I would put it probably into April.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. But in that event -- this is right, isn't

2 it? -- by then the amendments had already been agreed?

3 A. Long agreed.

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. The report might well have been out at this stage.

6 Q. Certainly, as far as we can see the report was issued

7 either at the very end of March or, perhaps unwisely, on

8 1st April?

9 A. If it was by the end of March, it's possible that the

10 calls could have been before then. I simply can't help

11 you with a precise date. Alan Parra might have taken

12 notes.

13 Q. So far as the John Ware programme is concerned, you deal

14 with that, as I said, at the end of your statement. We

15 have touched on the first note and you have told us

16 about your conversation, that it was off the record and

17 in the end you wanted to get him off the phone.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Now, we know that the programme which he broadcast was

20 called "Careless Talk" and it was broadcast, I think I

21 am right in saying, in June, I think, 1999, but I am not

22 asking you to comment on that.

23 It looks, though, as if you became aware, certainly

24 by the middle of June, that this programme was about to

25 be broadcast. Can you look, please, at RNI-109-337

 

 

104

 

1 (displayed)?

2 This is a telegram from you -- I think that is

3 revealed in the "FromInd" entry?

4 A. It is not a telegram; it is a primitive form of email in

5 the Foreign Office.

6 Q. Thank you very much. It is addressed from an official

7 in the Human Rights -- the HRPD, which is, please, the

8 Human Rights --

9 A. Human Rights Policy Department.

10 Q. Thank you. In London. And you were, as it were, giving

11 him the heads-up on the conversations you had had with

12 John Ware. Is that right?

13 A. Yes, that is correct.

14 Q. So as to give warning and advance notice about what

15 might be about to be broadcast?

16 A. Yes, that is correct.

17 Sorry, can I correct a factual -- I have said that

18 was a primitive form of email. Can I say that is

19 actually a file copy of a letter. It is actually the

20 text of a letter, and that was the way we filed -- it

21 comes out badly this way because that is the way it was

22 filed. So it was actually a letter that I would have

23 faxed.

24 Q. Thank you very much.

25 A. Sorry.

 

 

105

 

1 Q. You say in your statement, paragraph 32:

2 "I put together a letter."

3 A. Okay, thank you.

4 Q. Now, looking at what you told him and turning over the

5 page to RNI-109-338 (displayed), you have dealt with

6 your first contact, and then at the top of the page you

7 say:

8 "Roughly ten days ago he rang back for an off the

9 record briefing on this Mission's role and

10 Sir Ronnie Flanagan's correspondence with Cumaraswamy

11 in March and April 1998. I explained that there was

12 little I could say even off the record."

13 Pausing there, if somebody had rung you to ask about

14 correspondence which you hadn't seen, presumably it

15 would have been a very short conversation --

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. -- indeed:

18 "He went on to tell me what Cumaraswamy had told

19 him."

20 Then there was detail provided about attempts to

21 alter the report to protect the identities of

22 Rosemary Nelson and others. Of course, by this stage

23 Rosemary Nelson had been murdered?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. "... that Flanagan had written direct to Cumaraswamy

 

 

106

 

1 refuting some of the quotes accredited to him."

2 You record yourself as saying in this conversation

3 that:

4 "... both points were widely known here and

5 explained the genuine reason for HMG's actions which

6 were accepted but did not think originated from Flanagan

7 but more likely from well-meaning NIO officials."

8 So that was John Ware's interpretation, was it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. That they were the people who had raised the concerns

11 about safety?

12 A. That was my interpretation at the time. I am not saying

13 it was correct but that was my interpretation.

14 Q. You said you couldn't comment and directed him

15 elsewhere, and then Mr Ware gave you his view based on

16 an interview, about the view he had formed of the

17 Chief Constable?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Namely that he didn't believe a word he had said?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And the next sentence, which is an important sentence

22 for us, is as follows:

23 "The implication was that he believed Flanagan cared

24 little for the safety of lawyers like Mrs Nelson and

25 that the programme would be damning."

 

 

107

 

1 Is that an implication that you drew from what

2 Mr Ware had told you?

3 A. Yes. That was my view of what Mr Ware's view of this

4 was -- not my view.

5 Q. Thank you. No. Did you watch the programme?

6 A. No.

7 Q. So you weren't able to judge for yourself whether it was

8 indeed damning?

9 A. I was living in Geneva at the time. It was not on

10 Geneva TV.

11 Q. No. I think it is right to say, isn't it, that

12 subsequent to this letter you had further contact with

13 Mr Ware?

14 A. Possibly. I don't know. I am coming right to the end

15 of my posting here.

16 Q. Indeed. You said earlier that you ended your time in

17 Geneva in July 1999?

18 A. Right at the beginning of July.

19 Q. Right at the beginning of July. Can you look, please,

20 at RNI-110-258 (displayed). This is one of the

21 documents that you saw, I think, for the first time this

22 morning?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. It is more notes by Mr Ware, and you will see it is

25 under various date headings. If we turn over to the

 

 

108

 

1 next page, to RNI-110-259 (displayed), do you see at the

2 bottom of the page this is stated:

3 "JW telephoned Colin Wells at home in Geneva."

4 Do you remember a telephone call from Mr Ware at the

5 end of June?

6 A. Do you know what, I do, because I think I was thoroughly

7 annoyed to be found at home and wondered how he got my

8 number.

9 Q. Did he tell you?

10 A. I don't recall that, I am sorry.

11 Q. No. And you said a number of things to Mr Ware based on

12 this note, at any rate. The first, which I certainly

13 was puzzled by when I read it, was this:

14 "Wells confirmed that he did not recall making any

15 telephone call to AP ..."

16 That is Mr Parra:

17 "... on 27th February relaying a message from RF."

18 Now, what you have told us in your evidence is that

19 you had a meeting with Mr Parra to convey the concerns

20 passed on to you by London via the NIO, via the RUC. Is

21 this an accurate note of what you may have said to

22 Mr Ware?

23 A. Yes, it is difficult to say. By this time I am very

24 much tiring of Mr Ware.

25 Q. Indeed.

 

 

109

 

1 A. And packing my bags ready to go, very wary of what he

2 was trying to get from me and there was very little

3 benefit in the conversation for me.

4 I imagine, though, that it might have been the way

5 he posed the question: was I relaying an actual message

6 that Ronnie Flanagan had conveyed to me? No, I had not.

7 The only messages I passed were under instructions from

8 the Foreign Office.

9 Q. Via the NIO?

10 A. Exactly.

11 Q. Thank you very much. So far as the next sentence is

12 concerned:

13 "Letters from RF had been sent by AP to him as

14 a courtesy."

15 That sounds as though, again much nearer the time,

16 you were well aware that you had seen some of the

17 correspondence?

18 A. It looks like that, doesn't it?

19 Q. Thank you. And then this important sentence:

20 "Wells' best recollection was that all objections to

21 the draft report had been channelled from the NIO

22 through the Foreign Office to the UK Mission in Geneva."

23 Now, just pausing there, that obviously would not

24 fit easily with what you have just been telling us about

25 direct contact?

 

 

110

 

1 A. The word "official" would have been better to insert.

2 This is not my draft.

3 Q. Of course it isn't.

4 A. I would have inserted the word "official" objections to

5 the draft.

6 Q. So the telephone calls you mentioned earlier to us you

7 would have regarded as unofficial?

8 A. Which telephone calls, sorry?

9 Q. The telephone calls you say you heard about from

10 Mr Parra, the calls from Mr Flanagan?

11 A. Oh, I see where you are coming from.

12 Q. Do you see what I am getting at?

13 A. What is your objection to this? It looks fine in this

14 context. I think we have gone around. Do you want to

15 start again?

16 Q. I do not have any objection to any of it. I am just

17 asking you some questions.

18 A. Start again.

19 Q. Do you see what it says here:

20 "Wells' best recollection was that all objections to

21 the draft report had been channelled from the NIO,

22 through the Foreign Office to the UK Mission in Geneva."

23 Is that an accurate statement, the way it went, as

24 far as you can recall?

25 A. In terms of both the official written response, yes, and

 

 

111

 

1 in terms of the amendments to the text regarding

2 paragraph 21, yes, that was correct.

3 Q. It supports, doesn't it, your suggestion earlier that if

4 there were such telephone calls direct from the

5 Chief Constable, they took place after the amendments

6 had been agreed?

7 A. I am certain they took place after the amendments were

8 agreed.

9 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you then said, as recorded in

10 here, that the objections had been dealt with by

11 early February. Well, on the documents that does look

12 to be wrong.

13 A. It is wrong.

14 Q. It must be by early March?

15 A. Early March.

16 Q. Thank you. And it ends with you apparently promising,

17 perhaps to bring this telephone call to an end, to check

18 matters and that Mr Ware was to call back the following

19 day. And you will see that he did, or at least

20 according to the note he did, in the second paragraph

21 under Friday, 25th June, and it records you as repeating

22 the point that you were sure all requests from the NIO

23 to change the report had been dealt with early

24 in February.

25 Again, just can you, please, deal with that sitting

 

 

112

 

1 here now, having looked at the material? It looks,

2 doesn't it, as though there is a misunderstanding here

3 and the relevant date is early in March?

4 A. That's right. We would not even have seen the report by

5 early February.

6 Q. And so far as the reference to the NIO is concerned,

7 your understanding had been, hadn't it, that the NIO

8 were passing on objections made by the Chief Constable?

9 A. Yes, to paragraph 21, correct.

10 Q. Yes, thank you.

11 Mr Wells, those are the only questions I wished to

12 put to you, but I should ask you this: is there any

13 matter of relevance to this Inquiry which I haven't

14 raised with you which you would like to mention at this

15 stage to the Panel?

16 A. Not that I am aware. I think you have been quite

17 thorough.

18 Q. Thank you very much.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Wells, thank you very much for coming all

20 the way from Azerbaijan to give evidence before us.

21 I hope the weather is as good in Azerbaijan as it is

22 here. Thank you very much.

23 A. Thank you, sir, thank you.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: We will rise for -- would ten minutes be long

25 enough? Shall we make it just after five past?

 

 

113

 

1 (2.55 pm)

2 (Short break)

3 (3.06 pm)

4 MR EUNAN MAGEE (sworn)

5 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

6 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Magee, can you give us your full name,

7 please.

8 A. Eunan Thomas Magee.

9 Q. Thank you. Do you have a copy of the statement you have

10 made to the Inquiry in front of you?

11 A. I do indeed.

12 Q. Can we have it on the screen, please, it's RNI-813-073

13 (displayed). Now, you were the baby of the family?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Seven children in all?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And help us with this, would you? Where in the running

18 order did your sister come, your sister Rosemary?

19 A. Rosemary was exactly in the middle. There were three

20 before and three behind.

21 Q. When you say in your second paragraph that you spent

22 a lot of time with her when you were growing up, what

23 was the gap in age between you and her?

24 A. Thirteen years.

25 Q. And what sort of upbringing was it?

 

 

114

 

1 A. It was, I suppose, like most families. It was an

2 ordinary working class background that we came from. My

3 father worked in a factory and my mother kept house.

4 I suppose in some ways quite a religious background. We

5 were all brought up as God-fearing practising Catholics.

6 We were taught right from a very early age, and each one

7 of us was given a strict moral code to which we adhered.

8 Q. And were you close to your sister Rosemary?

9 A. As we all were. We were quite a close knit family.

10 Q. You say in the second paragraph, do you see, that you

11 feel a great debt to her?

12 A. Without a shadow of a doubt. I suppose in some ways,

13 Rosemary took me under her wing, especially whenever I

14 was going through college, I found that Rosemary helped

15 me in many different ways, not least financially.

16 Q. And at that stage, when you were a young adult,

17 borrowing her car, she obviously came to know some of

18 your friends when you were at college?

19 A. She did. She saw the benefit of this as well, you know.

20 And she, I suppose, quite frequently would have

21 socialised with my friends as well. So she got to know

22 all of my friends, as did I hers.

23 Q. There is one thing I want to clear up right at the

24 start, if I may. We know from photographs and from the

25 film we have seen that she had marks on her face, and

 

 

115

 

1 various suggestions have been made as to their cause.

2 Can you help us with the truth?

3 A. I suppose in some ways some of the comments have been

4 quite damning and all the rest, but it can easily

5 dispelled.

6 Rosemary was born with a strawberry patch on her

7 face. Numerous attempts at skin grafts had tried to

8 remove it and in some ways failed, and it led to

9 numerous trips to Belfast, to the hospitals, and in some

10 instances she had to go to Scotland. Quite a lot of

11 this happened before I was born, because obviously

12 I have very few memories of that. But I do remember

13 from very young age, you know, I suppose in some ways my

14 mother would have gone to Scotland and I would have been

15 left with my father.

16 So with reference to the comments that have been

17 made, you know, I mean, the allegations that Rosemary

18 was a bomber or in fact that she was involved in an

19 explosion of some description, totally false, and we do

20 have photographs should anyone care to see the

21 photographs.

22 Q. Thank you very much. Now, moving from the time when you

23 were a student and you describe her meeting and getting

24 to know your friends, to the period of, let us say, the

25 1990s, first of all how regularly would you see her?

 

 

116

 

1 A. I would have seen her frequently enough. Like I say, we

2 were a close knit family.

3 In around 1995, I left Lurgan. I went to an area

4 more towards mid Armagh, a small town called Keady and

5 while I lived there, I would have seen her more

6 infrequently. In fact, the only members of my family I

7 would have seen frequently would have been my parents.

8 We would have spoken regularly on the phone as well.

9 As you could appreciate, a young man in his early 20s

10 certainly wasn't too worried about family ties and

11 keeping family ties. So I suppose just the same sort of

12 relationship that I would have had with any other member

13 of my family.

14 Q. So where, in your statement, you talk about what you

15 understood about her work, can I take it that that is

16 based on conversations that you had with her over the

17 years?

18 A. Can I ask you to clarify that?

19 Q. Yes. You see beginning in paragraph 4, you talk about

20 her work and you go on through the statement to deal

21 with the sort of work she did?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. What I am trying to get from you is whether the

24 information you had about her work as a solicitor was

25 based on what she told you?

 

 

117

 

1 A. Not necessarily what she told me. But as you can

2 appreciate, that was Rosemary's very first high profile

3 case.

4 Q. So the way you put it in the statement is that the first

5 time things changed was when she started to work for

6 Colin Duffy?

7 A. Well, that was the first time, I suppose, in some ways

8 that it had come to my attention, because all of

9 a sudden from a girl who had been traditionally known in

10 our family as "our Rosie", all of a sudden she became

11 this character who infrequently appeared on television,

12 and I suppose in some ways that is as much as I can say

13 as I saw it.

14 Q. But she began, did she, to develop the high profile that

15 characterised the last few years of her life?

16 A. Yes, because you have to remember that Colin Duffy went

17 to Rosemary's office for a very particular reason. You

18 know, he went to her because she was a talented

19 individual. And I think, you know, from a human aspect

20 as well she was also a very approachable individual and

21 when Colin Duffy walked through her door, he walked

22 through because he knew that he could trust her to do

23 the best for her. Well, I suppose in some ways, this in

24 turn led to Rosemary getting more work of that calibre.

25 Q. You say in paragraph 12, if you look at that -- it is at

 

 

118

 

1 RNI-813-076 (displayed) -- that your view certainly is

2 that things probably would have been different if he

3 hadn't come to her?

4 A. Well, you know, I suppose I don't want to be taken out

5 of context in that one as well, because while he knocked

6 on her door because he thought that she could do her

7 best for him, at that time it was post-ceasefire.

8 Whenever Rosemary was murdered it was post-ceasefire, it

9 was post-Good Friday Agreement, and defence cases for

10 terrorism were dwindling at that stage. And because of

11 that, you know, that type of work was novel and there

12 were very few solicitors in Lurgan that were doing that

13 sort of work in such a high profile context.

14 Q. Just looking at the practice that she had more generally

15 and her attitude to it, what you tell us -- and this is

16 paragraph 17, at RNI-813-077 (displayed) -- is that she

17 would happily have acted for any members of the

18 Protestant community?

19 A. And did.

20 Q. And did?

21 A. There was -- while I read through this, I realised that

22 there was maybe a few words that were missing. Rosemary

23 would and did act for many of, I suppose, the Unionist

24 persuasion rather than the Protestant community. Some

25 of the cases will never come to light, you know what

 

 

119

 

1 I mean? You have the ordinary matrimonials, you have --

2 well, as you could appreciate yourself -- some of the

3 cases were less popular than others, as you could

4 imagine, but every one was treated equally. And

5 I remember whenever Billy Wright was murdered, Rosemary

6 was horrified because -- for exactly the same reason.

7 It didn't matter about the background, the fact is that

8 wrong was done and Rosemary was there to uphold the rule

9 of law irrespective of who needed defending.

10 Q. And this work for a much broader range of clients

11 continued, as far as you are aware, right up to the time

12 of her death?

13 A. I would have quite a few friends from, once again, the

14 Unionist persuasion who would have continued to have

15 gone to Rosemary, but I can't honestly say that with any

16 accuracy at all.

17 Q. But the problem you talk about in your statement to the

18 Inquiry is that it was the higher profile cases for

19 which she became known. Is that fair?

20 A. She would have been known locally as being someone who

21 was good at her job, someone who cared about people,

22 someone who did her best for people irrespective of

23 their background. Because let's remember that Rosemary

24 came from a working class background herself.

25 However, in a wider context, I suppose in some ways

 

 

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1 those people from outside the town of Lurgan might have

2 gained a certain perception.

3 Q. So people who lived nearby knew her, she was local, and

4 they knew the breadth of the work that she did?

5 A. They did, yes.

6 Q. I think what you are saying to us, therefore, is that

7 people who didn't have that insight might have

8 associated her just with the particular cases where they

9 saw her on the news or they heard her interviewed. Is

10 that fair?

11 A. I would say that is a fair assumption.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, just again looking at the general

13 position first, and I have gone back to paragraph 18 --

14 I am afraid I am skipping around a bit -- RNI-813-077

15 (displayed), you have told us the attitude she had to

16 her work, and you say there:

17 "People went to her because she was good and

18 popular."

19 A. Hm-mm.

20 Q. And certainly the impression I get from your statement

21 is that she succeeded as a lawyer because people thought

22 she would work very hard for their cases?

23 A. Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. I have written in

24 here as well that many clients -- she would have had --

25 done favours for clients free of charge. Now, that

 

 

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1 would have extended even to outside of work hours,

2 whereby people would have called to the house, even

3 should she have been out socially from time to time

4 people would have approached her and asked her for

5 advice, for her own opinions on things.

6 I can remember a couple of instances -- and I will

7 give you the name should you want the name -- but there

8 would have been one particular individual who would have

9 had a drink problem and would have been continuously in

10 front of the court, and I would have known this because

11 I would have been Rosemary's designated driver at that

12 stage. But one particular individual didn't have the

13 money for a taxi to get home to Portadown. Rosemary

14 gave him the money for a taxi. That is the sort of

15 person we are talking about here.

16 Q. So not motivated by money and prepared to go the extra

17 mile for her clients?

18 A. I think so, yes.

19 Q. Now, so far as some of the cases she dealt with, you, as

20 I say, begin to deal with this in paragraph 4 which

21 begins at RNI-813-074 (displayed), and you say that you

22 remember one day she mentioned Mr Duffy's name and the

23 other name, the name of Lindsay Robb?

24 A. Hm-mm.

25 Q. And it looks as though at that time he was acting in

 

 

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1 a political capacity for the PUP, and was he involved in

2 negotiations at that stage?

3 A. You see, that was where I had heard the name from.

4 Rosemary never gave the context or anything else, and I

5 can remember specifically where we were. We were in

6 Breandan's scullery and Lindsay Robb had done an

7 interview with the Lurgan Mail, which is a local

8 newspaper, a few months previous to this and had just

9 read the article itself, because at that time peace

10 negotiations were in a very tentative stage and it would

11 have been something that I would have been quite

12 interested in because, obviously, having grown up in

13 Lurgan in the 70s, I hadn't known anything of peace

14 before that.

15 Q. But you think the first time you heard about Colin Duffy

16 as a client was in connection with that case, where

17 Lindsay Robb was also involved as a witness?

18 A. Well, I hadn't known Colin Duffy as such before that.

19 I did know that he, along with Sam Marshall and

20 [Deleted], had been shot at in Lurgan years

21 previous to that. But I couldn't have picked him out in

22 the street at that stage. So his name didn't

23 necessarily mean a lot to me.

24 Q. No. But what I was trying to ask was whether you think

25 this first time you heard about him was in connection

 

 

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1 with the John Lyness murder, the first of the two

2 Colin Duffy cases that Rosemary Nelson dealt with?

3 A. Yes, in connection with Rosemary, yes.

4 Q. And just to go back to that first sentence of this

5 paragraph, the expression you use, the very striking

6 expression is that this was the first time that things

7 changed. By that, do you just mean that Rosemary Nelson

8 was involved in higher profile cases? Is that what you

9 mean?

10 A. That was the highest profile case that Rosemary had

11 taken to date, as I saw it. Maybe I am wrong, but

12 certainly as I saw it that was the very first case.

13 I suppose in some ways that was the first time

14 Rosemary had been thrust into the media spotlight and

15 I suppose in some ways, you know, it would have been

16 easy for people to wrongly associate her with certain

17 groups and --

18 Q. Do you think that process began to happen then?

19 A. Possibly, quite possibly.

20 Q. And it looks from your statement as though you also

21 think that the Garvaghy Road work she did helped the

22 process of people associating her work with a particular

23 part of the community. Do you see that in paragraph 5?

24 A. I do indeed. Once again, you have to remember the

25 mid 1990s, at that time it was a very tense time: cars

 

 

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1 were being bombed, roads were being blocked. It was

2 hard for travel of any description, irrespective of

3 where you were going. And to watch your sister on live

4 TV in such a tense atmosphere, it is very easy to,

5 I suppose, in some ways ask her to pull back, maybe take

6 a lesser role in some of the work she did.

7 Q. Were you concerned to see her get involved in that case,

8 the Garvaghy Road case?

9 A. There was a level of concern in all of those high

10 profile cases, because once again, you know -- for those

11 people who cannot separate the client from the defence

12 lawyer, it is very easy to make an unfair assumption.

13 Q. And you say there in the same paragraph, just the next

14 sentence, that you know that one of your sisters,

15 Bernie, would have suggested to Rosemary not to do that

16 type of work?

17 A. Well, there was that summer I am thinking of, the summer

18 of 1997 in particular, and Bernie got the number of

19 someone on the Garvaghy Road, obviously mobile phones

20 were in their infancy at that stage, but she finally got

21 talking to Rosemary and said, "Get you home here". You

22 know, because it is a hard thing to watch one of your

23 siblings on live television in such an atmosphere and in

24 such a confrontational atmosphere.

25 Q. What was your sister's reaction?

 

 

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1 A. I go back to the person who she was. She was

2 hard-working and diligent to the end, and I suppose in

3 some ways this led to Rosemary's grit and determination

4 kicking in, whereby she decided she was going to see it

5 through to the bitter end.

6 Q. So whatever concerns might have been expressed even by

7 her brothers and sisters, she was determined to stick

8 with her work?

9 A. Yes, without a doubt.

10 Q. Yes. And you say right at the end of that paragraph

11 that in relation to the Garvaghy Road work certainly,

12 she wasn't in it because she needed the work, she must

13 have been in it then for some other reason?

14 A. She was, you know, and I mean, I suppose in some ways,

15 you know, I can't understate the sort of person Rosemary

16 was. Rosemary was a highly intelligent girl. She was

17 highly read, she didn't go in for the Mills & Boon

18 romantic-type novels. She was interested in world

19 affairs and current affairs.

20 Rosemary would have spoken about Kosovo where

21 I wouldn't have heard where Kosovo was. She would have

22 spoken about Rwanda. Because she was interested; she

23 was interested in the rights of all human beings,

24 irrespective of their background.

25 Q. So she had serious interests in that way, political --

 

 

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1 in world affairs --

2 A. Sorry, well, I mean in world affairs, yes, but I mean in

3 all sorts of affairs as well.

4 Q. What about local politics?

5 A. She would have been -- once again, it was an exciting

6 time at that stage because, like I said, you know, I,

7 having been born in 1971, had never experienced anything

8 which resembled peace and I suppose, you know,

9 Rosemary's formative years mightn't necessarily have

10 experienced much of a difference either, you know.

11 So from that point of view, Rosemary would have been

12 very interested in developments and she would have been

13 keeping a keen eye on these as a supporter of the

14 Good Friday Agreement and someone who would have liked

15 to have seen change.

16 Q. If you were asked or had been asked at the time what are

17 her political views, what would you have said?

18 A. Rosemary's political views, I suppose, in some ways,

19 varied in connection with what she believed at that

20 particular time.

21 There was an instance, for example, where she voted

22 for Harold McCusker, who was a Unionist politician

23 before David Trimble, because Rosemary believed that

24 Harold McCusker was saying was right.

25 Q. This is something that one of your sisters says in

 

 

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1 a witness statement, that Mr McCusker had a particular

2 local policy with which she agreed, so she voted for

3 him?

4 A. In some ways, I suppose she transcended the political

5 affiliations, if you want to call it that. Rosemary did

6 what she believed was right. And as regards political

7 views, we saw, as I said, from that example, Rosemary

8 was on the side of what was best.

9 Q. Can you have a look at paragraph 20, which is a bit

10 later on -- since we are talking about politics -- at

11 RNI-813-078 (displayed). And you say it is a hard

12 question for you to answer about politics, what her

13 politics was?

14 A. Hm-mm.

15 Q. But do you see a few lines down, you say:

16 "Her main drive was certainly not political but she

17 knew what was right and what was wrong"?

18 A. Hm-mm.

19 Q. You also say that because of her work -- and the example

20 you give is the Garvaghy Road case -- she clearly became

21 close to certain Nationalist people?

22 A. Hm-mm.

23 Q. Who do you have in mind there?

24 A. Well, I suppose, you know, people who immediately spring

25 to mind are those people who were on the Garvaghy Road

 

 

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1 Residents Coalition. But you know, once again, it is

2 easy for people to have a certain perception, you know,

3 whereby the client and the lawyer are very closely

4 associated, you know. So Rosemary believed what she was

5 doing on the Garvaghy Road was right. She believed that

6 this was an issue whereby the rights of those people who

7 lived on the Garvaghy Road had been trodden over, and as

8 a result, Rosemary believed what she was doing at that

9 time was in the best interests of those people.

10 Q. But did she have any sympathy, as far as you are aware,

11 with the paramilitary side of Nationalism?

12 A. No, I am kind of -- you know, I am being hesitant in

13 answering your question because I am kind of wondering

14 the best way to answer it. I would have to say no, you

15 know. I mean, I have written in here, I suppose -- and

16 in some ways it's a wee bit flippant in what it said

17 whereby -- I am certainly not aware of any paramilitary

18 connections.

19 I don't think that is anywhere nearly strenuous

20 enough. I would be flabbergasted and I think everyone

21 would have been highly disappointed. I would say with

22 almost total certainty that there would have been no

23 paramilitary connection.

24 Q. She did not approve of the use of violence for political

25 ends?

 

 

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1 A. Not at all.

2 Q. No. Now, in your conversations with her -- and I am now

3 going back to paragraph 6, RNI-813-074 (displayed) --

4 you tell us that she would often tell you about abusive

5 calls and that you yourself had seen some of the

6 threatening notes?

7 A. One note in particular, yes.

8 Q. Can you remember the text of that note? Can you

9 remember what it said?

10 A. I can remember it was a scrappy piece of paper. It was

11 a handwritten note and it was untidily written.

12 Now, I suppose in some ways the shock of seeing this

13 written about a member of your own family was enough to

14 stir you, but no, I couldn't tell you exactly what was

15 written on the note.

16 Q. When you say she would often tell stories, is this

17 something that you came to expect whenever you spoke to

18 her?

19 A. No, not at all. Not at all. You know, she was still

20 the girl with the laugh and the joke for everyone. She

21 was still concerned with mundane issues, but at the same

22 time, you know, from time to time it would have

23 cropped up.

24 Q. And the impression I get from paragraph 6 is that in

25 general she tried not to take it too seriously, as you

 

 

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1 put it there, although you think she must have been

2 afraid. Is that right?

3 A. Well, I can't see any other reason for maybe holding on

4 to the note and maybe showing it to people, because you

5 have to remember that, I suppose in some ways,

6 Rosemary's only means of protection was to highlight

7 this, to highlight the fact that she had been

8 threatened, that she had had abusive calls, that abusive

9 things had been said about her. And I suppose by

10 highlighting this, this was in some way Rosemary's means

11 of defence.

12 Q. So was that something she discussed with you herself,

13 that she was deliberately highlighting these things,

14 making them more public in order to protect herself?

15 A. She would have alluded to it. I don't know whether or

16 not it would have been in direct conversation.

17 I couldn't honestly say with any degree of certainty,

18 but that is the opinion I would have formed. So whether

19 or not it was said, I couldn't tell.

20 Q. And when she told you these stories and showed you some

21 of the notes, were you concerned for her?

22 A. I think we all were. You know, I don't think that

23 anyone could have said or shown a note like this or

24 explained about a phone call of that calibre and not

25 expected a degree of concern from a member of their

 

 

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1 family.

2 Q. So did you discuss what she might do about that?

3 A. When it comes to things like that, I wouldn't be maybe

4 best placed to give advice to someone of Rosemary's

5 calibre, so I suppose an answer to that would be no.

6 Q. No. Well, you say in paragraph 9 on the next page that

7 she didn't take any precautions, certainly as far as you

8 are aware. Do you see that?

9 A. I do indeed.

10 Q. And the way you explain it is that she couldn't ask the

11 people from whom the abuse came to protect her?

12 A. It would have been very hard to do, you know, because

13 obviously a security assessment would have needed to

14 have been carried out on the house, and if people are

15 issuing threats or verbally abusing or insulting or

16 whatever it happens to be, it would be very hard to let

17 those same people in to carry a risk assessment out on

18 your house.

19 Q. Do you believe that she would have accepted advice from

20 the police about security?

21 A. I do believe that if advice had come from on high -- now

22 obviously, you know, she would have had members of her

23 own family, she would have had NGOs, she would have had

24 different people telling her to step up security, but

25 I do believe if it had come from an authoritative level,

 

 

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1 then she might have been forced to take a wee bit more

2 notice.

3 Q. Even if it would have involved the police coming to

4 assess the house and survey it?

5 A. I think so, yes.

6 Q. Maybe when you and your brothers and sisters discussed

7 this, did anybody suggest that just a few basic

8 precautions might help; in other words, perhaps keeping

9 the car in the garage?

10 A. I don't honestly know.

11 Q. No. There is obviously a terrible danger of hindsight

12 here.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. But can you at least help with this: do you remember

15 that sort of suggestion ever being made to her?

16 A. Once again, no.

17 Q. No. Now, when you said a little earlier what her

18 attitude would have been and why in relation to any

19 police involvement, the abuse you mention in your

20 statement came, as far as you were aware, I think, from

21 clients. Is that right? So that the clients were

22 reporting abuse of Rosemary Nelson by the police?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You say in paragraph 6, you refer there to threats

25 coming from the RUC. Do you see that?

 

 

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1 A. I do indeed.

2 Q. And then in paragraph 7, that the clients were passing

3 these -- I think it is, again, threats -- on to her from

4 the police.

5 Now, was that something that she reported to you?

6 A. She did.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. She did, yes, not only to me but to other members of her

9 family as well, and it was documented thoroughly. And

10 I know that in some of the earlier statements Rosemary

11 was nearly portrayed as someone who was media crazed,

12 but I think it needs to be stated that Rosemary

13 considered that if she highlighted a problem, then

14 hopefully the problem would have been lessened.

15 Q. So you think that is why she wanted to draw attention to

16 this type of threat as well?

17 A. Without a shadow of a doubt, because these threats,

18 I mean, after all, had come from those people who had

19 been employed to uphold the rule of law.

20 Q. Can you help us, it is obviously a long time ago now,

21 but can you help us with any details as to any

22 particular examples, particular examples of things said

23 to her by the police?

24 A. To her directly or through her clients?

25 Q. Through her clients, sorry.

 

 

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1 A. Nothing that hasn't been documented already.

2 Q. Right. Now, in relation -- I think you said earlier --

3 to the notes you think you remember, you said earlier

4 and you say in your statement that there was just

5 a scrap of paper that she carried in her handbag?

6 A. Hm-mm.

7 Q. Can you have a look, please, at a document on the

8 screen. It is RNI-115-351 (displayed). It is not

9 a very good copy.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You see at the top the envelope, and then:

12 "We have you in our sights, you Republican bastard.

13 We will teach you a lesson. RIP."

14 Is that a note that you remember?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. It is?

17 A. Hm-mm.

18 Q. Do you think that is the note that she had in her

19 handbag?

20 A. I would be pretty sure of it.

21 Q. Thank you very much.

22 Sticking with the subject of the police, as I

23 understand it from your statement, Rosemary Nelson's

24 relationship with the police was not always a bad one.

25 Is that fair?

 

 

135

 

1 A. It is and, you know, I had kind of given the example

2 whereby in North Street, once again in the early 1990s,

3 Rosemary would have been having a conversation which

4 would have in turn made me feel uncomfortable because

5 of, I suppose, people's perceptions, because people's

6 perceptions played a big part in Lurgan, which was in

7 fact such a divided town and from this sort of work had

8 begun to play a prominent part in Rosemary's work.

9 Things began to change from the point of view that,

10 I suppose in some ways, you know, the amiable

11 relationship that would have been in existence

12 beforehand began to dwindle, because the people who were

13 once friendly were now not so friendly because of their

14 inability to discern between client and lawyer.

15 Q. It may be very difficult, but can you try to help us

16 with a date or a rough date for when that started to

17 change?

18 A. You are talking mid 90s.

19 Q. Yes. So to summarise then, what you set out for us in

20 paragraph 10 of your statement and the obviously

21 friendly relations she had with that particular police

22 officer, was something that at that time concerned you

23 for the completely opposite reason?

24 A. It concerned me from a personal point of view because I

25 was -- I was, I suppose, living among people in that

 

 

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1 area, as indeed was Rosemary. But because of Rosemary's

2 job, she was entitled to have that sort of relationship

3 whereas I would not necessarily have been.

4 So from a -- I suppose it is from a personal or

5 selfish point of view nearly that I was concerned.

6 Q. So the concern at the early stages that you have

7 explained in relation to that conversation, was that

8 there was too much obvious friendliness. But in fact,

9 after things changed in the mid 90s, it looks from your

10 statement as though the concern became very, very

11 different?

12 A. Yes, from the simple fact that, you know, Rosemary was

13 perceived to have certain affiliations.

14 Q. Yes. And what affiliations were those?

15 A. They were the perception once again, you know, the fact

16 that when you represent Republican clients it doesn't

17 necessarily make you a Republican, nor indeed if you

18 represent Loyalist clients does it make you a Loyalist.

19 Q. One of those clients was Mr Duffy and you talk again

20 about him in paragraph 11, and you say in the second

21 sentence, do you see, which you have already mentioned

22 to me, that you didn't know him. When she first started

23 to act for him, you didn't know him?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You then give an account of a conversation which took

 

 

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1 place in a pub here in Belfast. Can I ask you whether

2 it's possible for you now to put a rough date on this

3 conversation?

4 A. This conversation? It would have been the latter part

5 of the 90s.

6 Q. Right.

7 A. And it would have been a conversation, you know -- the

8 person to whom I was talking at that time, I didn't know

9 him, but -- and it wasn't even in relation to the fact

10 that he knew that I was Rosemary's brother. It was the

11 fact that I was from Lurgan and a Gaelic speaker.

12 Q. So at that stage clearly, in the late 1990s, your sister

13 had been acting for him for some years. And the comment

14 was made to you, you say, that Colin Duffy had been

15 stood down. Now, what do you think the person meant by

16 that?

17 A. I suppose in some ways, you know, it is nearly like

18 a demotion.

19 Q. What sort of demotion do you mean?

20 A. Well, I assume, you know -- and I mean it is only an

21 assumption -- that for whatever reason he had been

22 stripped of any position that he had been in.

23 Q. Did you understand the person to be suggesting he'd had

24 a position within a paramilitary organisation?

25 A. Well, I had known from media -- I suppose media coverage

 

 

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1 and from Rosemary herself -- because, you know, whenever

2 the whole thing started off, we obviously knew that

3 Rosemary had been representing him -- that he was

4 a Republican, without a shadow of a doubt. But this

5 conversation was taken totally out of context to the

6 rest of the conversation, you know. So, yes, I would

7 have known that.

8 Q. Yes. And what was your sister's reaction when you

9 reported this comment to her?

10 A. There wasn't any real reaction whatsoever, you know. It

11 was just a right -- you know, I was relaying

12 a conversation and it was nothing more than that.

13 Q. Was she surprised by the comment?

14 A. I don't honestly know. If she did, it was well hidden.

15 Q. Yes. Can you remember whether this conversation took

16 place after the murder of the two police officers in

17 Lurgan?

18 A. No idea. I can't remember. That is not to say I have

19 no idea. I can't remember.

20 Q. We know that that took place in June 1997. Do you think

21 it is possible at least that it took place after that

22 event?

23 A. I wouldn't have a clue.

24 Q. You wouldn't?

25 A. No.

 

 

139

 

1 Q. Thank you. Now, at the bottom of this same page of your

2 statement -- and we are still in paragraph 11, do you

3 see on the screen -- you say:

4 "She didn't say outright at that time she wanted to

5 distance herself, but I think that over time she began

6 to realise that she was fighting a lonely battle

7 representing certain people. Unfortunately, I think

8 that the realisation of this came to Rosie too late."

9 A. Hm-mm.

10 Q. Just looking at those comments you have made, which were

11 the people she was representing to whom you are

12 referring in this sentence?

13 A. Well, obviously the cases that caused most controversy

14 at any one time, and you have to remember that it was

15 a lonely path that Rosemary had fought. You know, she

16 seemed to be one of the few solicitors who would have,

17 I suppose, taken on cases of such a high calibre. And

18 as a result, it had been physically draining on her, it

19 had been emotionally draining on her and probably

20 psychologically as well. And I suppose, you know, there

21 comes a time where you need to refocus and decide

22 exactly what path it is you are going to take. Those

23 were only my views. I could not say those with any

24 degree of certainty.

25 Q. But did she say to you herself that doing this sort of

 

 

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1 work made her feel as though she was fighting a lonely

2 battle?

3 A. No.

4 Q. She didn't?

5 A. No.

6 Q. No. And where you say a very similar thing in

7 paragraph 13, do you see in the third line, do you see:

8 "I think that over time she became quite isolated

9 representing the people that she did."

10 Again, is that based on something that she said to

11 you?

12 A. No.

13 Q. So that was your perception of it, was it, your own

14 perception?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Is it a perception that was shared by your sisters, for

17 example?

18 A. I think we were all of a similar view, whereby, you

19 know, it certainly wasn't a car accident that brought

20 Rosemary into the confrontation. It was obviously more

21 controversial cases that allowed Rosemary to be brought

22 into the spotlight and in turn gave people an

23 opportunity to have certain perceptions.

24 Q. Yes. So in your perception of it, can we just be clear,

25 it was the Colin Duffy case or cases, the Garvaghy Road

 

 

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1 case. Were there any others you think that contributed

2 to this perception?

3 A. I am sure it was just a culmination of certain cases.

4 I wouldn't put -- single out any in particular. I know

5 I probably have done here for the reason that they were

6 the higher profiled cases. But no, I think it was just

7 a culmination of cases.

8 Q. But the language you use suggests, doesn't it, that you

9 were worried for her in the latter part of her life?

10 A. As we all would have been.

11 Q. Yes, and that concern was shared by your sisters, for

12 example, wasn't it?

13 A. And indeed my parents.

14 Q. And your parents. You thought, didn't you, that in some

15 ways her work had taken a wrong turn?

16 A. Wrong turn might be maybe, I suppose, in some ways

17 a misconception, but it had certainly taken a turn that

18 had led Rosemary down a lonely path.

19 Q. And it is right, isn't it, that you believe that she

20 herself wanted to make changes in the way that she

21 carried on her work?

22 A. I believe she did. After all, she was a working mother,

23 she was a girl who cared passionately about her family,

24 and like I said, you know, earlier, this would have been

25 a severe drain on Rosemary's time, on Rosemary's

 

 

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1 emotions. And as I see it, she was going to have to

2 make some sort of changes somewhere.

3 Q. Hm-mm. Is it possible for you to help us again on the

4 question of the dates? The sense that she herself

5 wished to change the way things were, can you remember

6 whether you first became aware of that?

7 A. Once again, probably the late 90s.

8 Q. Yes. So do you mean, for example, a year or two before

9 she was murdered?

10 A. I would say probably about 1997/1998.

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. I think whenever Rosemary came into direct confrontation

13 in the Garvaghy Road in 1997, that was maybe the

14 beginning of the turning point.

15 Q. Yes. The other aspect of the way she did her work that

16 you mention is that she often befriended her clients?

17 A. Hm-mm.

18 Q. And you say in these two paragraphs, 13 and 14, that in

19 your view at any rate, it was probably something she

20 shouldn't have done?

21 A. I think it was inevitable, no matter what, you know?

22 Rosemary grew up in a working class area of Lurgan and

23 she would have come into contact with many people

24 through her line of work. And some of the people she

25 would have come into contact with were people with whom

 

 

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1 she would have gone to school, would have socialised

2 with through her teenage years, and I suppose in some

3 ways, you know, she was a very approachable girl. And

4 because Rosemary was so approachable, people began to

5 look upon Rosemary as a friend, as indeed -- a typical

6 example, [Deleted] was one of those people who went

7 on television after Robert had been murdered and said,

8 "I looked upon Rosemary as a good friend of mine".

9 That is the way quite a few people would have seen

10 Rosemary. In fact, a substantial amount of her clients

11 would have seen her in such a light.

12 Q. Can you think of any other examples of clients where you

13 think the line between client and friendship was blurred

14 by her?

15 A. I know one lady in particular, you know, would have

16 started off as a client, would have ended up cleaning

17 Rosemary's office and, in turn, would have been invited

18 to social gatherings in Rosemary's house, and vice

19 versa.

20 There was another individual in particular as well I

21 can think of who was a local priest. He was a very good

22 friend of Rosemary and I suppose in some ways would have

23 known an awful lot about exactly -- what Rosemary was

24 thinking. He would have been introduced to Rosemary

25 through certain areas of her work as well, you know.

 

 

144

 

1 So I mean, to say that -- to single one individual

2 out would be wrong, because I am sure should you go to

3 Lurgan, Portadown, Craigavon, anywhere in the

4 surrounding area, you would have found quite a few

5 people who would have considered Rosemary to be a good

6 friend. And I suppose in some ways from that context

7 the line there would have been blurred.

8 Q. Yes. You suggest in the same paragraph, 13, that

9 whereas you don't think she would have accepted that

10 that was a mistake, the way she dealt with her

11 clients --

12 A. No -- sorry, for interrupting.

13 Q. No.

14 A. No, Rosemary would have been very zealous in her work.

15 And Anne Cadwallader, who was sitting here yesterday,

16 said that Rosemary would have gone to hell and back for

17 her clients.

18 Now, it didn't matter political affiliations, it

19 didn't matter status, it didn't matter wages, whatever

20 it would have happened to have been, Rosemary would have

21 done her best. She would have been zealous in the work

22 that she was doing for anyone, and through that work she

23 in turn became friends with the people she represented.

24 Q. But do you think, looking at it now, that what you set

25 out in your statement here is correct, namely that if

 

 

145

 

1 she had been given her time again, she might have kept

2 a little more distance between herself and her clients?

3 A. I see exactly where you are coming from here, because,

4 you know, she was a very approachable girl, you know.

5 I suppose in some ways because of the perception of what

6 Rosemary was, it was sometimes asked, she might have --

7 certainly I think she would have done things

8 differently.

9 Q. And it looks from your statement at paragraph 14 as

10 though you got the impression towards the end of her

11 life that she was attempting to do that: she was

12 attempting to create a bit more distance in the

13 relationships she had with her clients. Do you see that

14 at the beginning of paragraph 14?

15 A. I do indeed. Like I said earlier, I think Rosemary did

16 refocus in some ways. She was a married woman with

17 three children herself. You know, she was a daughter

18 and she was a sister and she needed -- as I saw it

19 anyway, she had begun to put more of an emphasis on her

20 home life.

21 Q. She was adjusting the balance of her life?

22 A. Very well put.

23 Q. And in your view and perhaps that of your sisters, that

24 balance had got out of kilter, had it?

25 A. Yes, because of Rosemary's desire to do her best.

 

 

146

 

1 Q. Yes. So one of the things she did was to turn some high

2 profile clients away, wasn't it?

3 A. Well, once again, I had written that as well. I can't

4 honestly give examples of people there, but it is an

5 idea whereby -- as I said, you know, she had begun to

6 spend a lot more time with family, and as a result she

7 was able to, I suppose, delegate a bit more, or a bit

8 more fairly, work in the office, whereby it meant that

9 she was able to spend more time at home.

10 Q. Yes. So although you can't give us examples of high

11 profile clients who were turned away, you are sure, are

12 you, that that was something she did towards the end of

13 her life?

14 A. Once again, you know, I suppose it was a runaway comment

15 because, no, I can't give any examples.

16 Q. So far as her sense of isolation, as you put it in your

17 statement, is concerned, you say in paragraph 14 that

18 you think she was tired of being criticised all of the

19 time?

20 A. Hm-mm.

21 Q. And later, do you see, that she felt under a lot of

22 pressure?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Again, can I just ask you, is that based on comments

25 that she made to you?

 

 

147

 

1 A. Not necessarily comments she made to me, but her general

2 demeanour, how she behaved, I mean, I'm sure it's

3 documented as well, but Rosemary would nearly have lived

4 on nicotine and caffeine, you know. And I suppose in

5 some ways it is not really conducive to a person who is

6 not living on the end of their nerves.

7 Q. So the sort of work she was doing created these very

8 considerable pressures on her?

9 A. Hm-mm. I think so.

10 Q. And had that effect, do you think, do you, on her

11 nerves?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In the piece that Anne Cadwallader showed us

14 yesterday -- I don't know if you saw this -- she

15 describes her as somebody living on her nerves?

16 A. Hm-mm.

17 Q. Is that a fair description?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. So that although she, as you describe it in the

20 statement, was a generous person, a fun-loving person,

21 the effect of this sort of work was to pile up the

22 mental pressure on her gradually?

23 A. I would agree with that, yes.

24 Q. Yes. So far as what may have contributed to that sense

25 of pressure bearing down on her is concerned, can you

 

 

148

 

1 have a look, please, at paragraph 19, which is on

2 page RNI-813-077 at the bottom of the page (displayed).

3 A. Hm-mm.

4 Q. And you say there:

5 "I think that people become hate figures quite

6 easily, and being the country that it is, people often

7 take offence just because you represent the wrong sort

8 of person."

9 Just pausing there, are you convinced in your own

10 mind that she became a hate figure?

11 A. I am sure Rosemary was a person who once again, you

12 know, had become associated with her clients and people

13 found it difficult, and in some cases indeed, I suppose,

14 hated her for what her clients represented.

15 Q. Yes. So you have no doubt, have you, that before the

16 time of her murder she had for some people become a hate

17 figure?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And you then explain that the sort of people she was

20 working for towards the end were a group of very violent

21 people?

22 A. I looked through that as well and that, in fact -- that

23 should have been a new paragraph.

24 Q. I see.

25 A. A group of violent people, that was as a direct result

 

 

149

 

1 of a question about Combat 18.

2 Q. I see.

3 A. So that maybe should have been an extra paragraph down.

4 Q. Thank you. So that sentence, "we are talking about

5 a group of very violent people", leads on to the next

6 passage?

7 A. It refers to the sentence that comes after as opposed to

8 the sentence that has come beforehand.

9 Q. If we just look at the earlier sentence then, you see:

10 "I think we all have to be realistic about the type

11 of people that Rosemary was working for towards the

12 end."

13 What did you mean by that?

14 A. These were people who from time to time had become

15 embroiled in terrorist offences.

16 Q. So when you say the type of people she was working for,

17 you mean the sort of clients she was representing

18 towards the end?

19 A. Hm-mm.

20 Q. So although, as you explained earlier, she did, you

21 think, turn away some high profile cases, in the last

22 period of her life, you were aware, were you, that

23 towards the end she was working for people of that kind,

24 people accused of terrorist crime?

25 A. As she had been right through the 90s.

 

 

150

 

1 Q. Yes. And understanding, as I now do, that there is then

2 a break, as it were, before the next sentence and the

3 next paragraph, are you suggesting therefore that

4 because of the nature of her clients, she put herself at

5 risk from, as it were, the very violent people on the

6 other side?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Yes. Because those people on the other side saw her and

9 her own clients as one and the same?

10 A. Yes. Can I just add on to that as well: I think that

11 Rosemary would have considered herself to be Nationalist

12 and made no apologies for it. Rosemary would have been

13 a girl who would have been very interested in Irish

14 culture and that was taken as read by even those people

15 from the Unionist persuasion who decided to use her as

16 a solicitor.

17 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the events leading up to the day of

18 her murder is concerned, as I understand it, you were

19 yourself away for that weekend. Is that right?

20 A. No, Rosemary was away. I was at home.

21 Q. You were at home, and we know that she went to her

22 mobile home in Bundoran?

23 A. Hm-mm.

24 Q. So far as you were aware, were you around in Lurgan,

25 therefore, over the weekend?

 

 

151

 

1 A. I was. Like I said, I had been living in the far end of

2 Armagh City and I did what I normally would have done.

3 I would come home and, I suppose, not least to get my

4 Sunday dinner, and I would have known that Rosemary was

5 away but it wouldn't have been unusual for Rosemary to

6 have used the mobile from time to time.

7 Q. You say you drove past the house at about six to see if

8 she was back?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. But she wasn't?

11 A. No.

12 Q. And presumably you could tell that because her car

13 wasn't parked outside?

14 A. It would have been on my route towards the motorway.

15 Q. Because that is where her car was usually parked, wasn't

16 it, on the driveway?

17 A. Hm-mm.

18 Q. And you say, which is of interest to the Inquiry, that

19 you didn't notice anything unusual in that part of

20 Lurgan that day?

21 A. Nothing at all. Like I said, I was on my way home at

22 that stage.

23 Q. So as you know, we have heard a great deal about road

24 blocks and helicopters, et cetera, but that wasn't

25 something that made an impression on you at the time?

 

 

152

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. No. Now, so far as the matters you deal with relating

3 to the aftermath of the murder -- I am not going to ask

4 you any questions about the day itself -- but the

5 aftermath of the murder are concerned, you talk

6 relatively briefly about the murder investigation and

7 you say a few things about it specifically in

8 paragraph 26. Can I ask you to it look at that?

9 A. Hm-mm.

10 Q. That is at RNI-813-080 (displayed). Now, as I

11 understand it, the position after the murder was that

12 Mr Port made communication particularly with Mr Nelson.

13 Is that right?

14 A. That is true, yes.

15 Q. Paul Nelson. And your parents were doubtless extremely

16 upset and grieving?

17 A. Hm-mm.

18 Q. And as I understand it, what you are saying in that

19 paragraph is that once Mr Port understood that you felt

20 you hadn't had as much information as you would have

21 liked, he opened up a separate channel of communication

22 to you and your brothers and sisters?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And as you say, from then on he gave you lots of

25 information?

 

 

153

 

1 A. He did, he gave us regular updates, he would have

2 visited frequently.

3 Q. Yes. Now, in paragraph 28 you make another comment

4 about the murder investigation and in particular about

5 Mr Port, and I just want to ask you this: that comment

6 about whether or not he was likely to solve the murder,

7 that's presumably not based on anything he told you?

8 A. No, that is certainly nothing concrete. That is my own

9 opinion.

10 Q. That is just an opinion?

11 A. It is, yes.

12 Q. Is the same true, please, in relation to the third

13 sentence, where you say:

14 "If the investigation had been done thoroughly

15 enough in the first place, there would have been no need

16 for a further inquiry"?

17 A. I do believe that very early on -- we have to remember

18 that the LVF had been very heavily infiltrated and there

19 was quite a few informers at that time. And I do

20 believe that the intelligence had already been gathered

21 and probably the murderers had already been known to the

22 police before Colin Port set foot on this soil, but once

23 again, that is an opinion.

24 Q. It is not based on any detailed consideration of the

25 evidence?

 

 

154

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. The final thing I wanted to ask you to look at in your

3 statement, please, is in paragraphs 31 and 32, because

4 there you draw a distinction between the interests of

5 the family and the interests of other people who may be

6 wanting to make gain for their own reasons out of the

7 murder. And is that distinction one that the family

8 maintains to this day?

9 A. Well, to say we are not political would be wrong. We

10 would be a Nationalist family, you know, but I do

11 believe that certainly over this last nine years we have

12 been pushing one agenda only, and that is to find out the

13 circumstances which allowed Rosemary to be murdered.

14 So we weren't interested in any hidden agendas. We

15 certainly wanted to give Colin Port the benefit of the

16 doubt. There were instances where we might have helped

17 him even to approach witnesses. So we certainly weren't

18 out to bash the system; we weren't out to create

19 problems and we weren't out in the hope that Colin Port

20 might fail so that we in turn could turn round and say

21 he failed and the system is wrong.

22 All we wanted was the truth and the nature of the

23 circumstances that allowed Rosemary to be murdered.

24 Q. Mr Magee, we have come to end of all the questions

25 I wanted to ask you, but I am going to ask you exactly

 

 

155

 

1 the same question I ask all the witnesses: Is there

2 anything you would like to add?

3 A. Well, once again, you know, by the very nature of this,

4 we have nearly forgotten the fact that Rosemary was

5 a human who lost her life. She was a girl who was

6 a member of our family and of whom we were very proud.

7 And ultimately, all we want to know is, like I have

8 already stated, who the perpetrators were, if there was

9 inaction, what inaction there was and who is going to be

10 held accountable as a result.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Magee, for

12 everything you have said and for your evidence. Subject

13 to anything you want to say, we will break off now.

14 MR PHILLIPS: Can I just mention this, sir. I have tried to

15 introduce witnesses in groups, as you know. The family

16 group is a small one. In addition to Mr Magee's

17 statement and his evidence today, we have a statement

18 from Caitlin McVeigh at RNI-831-224 and from

19 Bernadette McQuillan at RNI-813-230, and we expect

20 shortly to receive a statement from Mr Nelson.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will break off until quarter

22 past ten tomorrow morning.

23 (4.12 pm)

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

25

 

 


 

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MR COLIN WELLS (affirmed) ........................ 2
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 2
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MR EUNAN MAGEE (sworn) ........................... 113
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 113
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