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Full Hearings

Hearing: 12th May 2008, day 18

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Monday, 12th May 2008
commencing at 1.00 pm


Day 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Monday, 12th May 2008

2 (1.00 pm)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

4 MR BRENDAN ANDERSON (sworn)

5 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

6 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Anderson, can you give us your full names,

7 please?

8 A. Brendan Anderson.

9 Q. You have made a statement to the Inquiry, haven't you?

10 A. That is true, yes.

11 Q. Do you have it there in front of you?

12 A. I have, yes.

13 Q. Can we look, please, at RNI-801-010 (displayed)? Turn

14 over, please, to RNI-801-017 (displayed). Do we see

15 your name, signature, there and the date of 8th January

16 this year?

17 A. That's right, yes.

18 Q. Thank you very much. Now, you work as a freelance

19 journalist now?

20 A. No, I work as a broadcaster now. Circumstances have

21 changed.

22 Q. Since your statement?

23 A. That's right, yes.

24 Q. What sort of broadcasting work do you do?

25 A. I work for the BBC, different broadcast work, and the

 

 

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1 Internet and Ceefax, running news, breaking news.

2 Q. Right. But you worked for a very long time, as you say

3 in paragraph 1, for The Irish News?

4 A. That is true, yes.

5 Q. It looks as though, if I can put it this way, you worked

6 your way up from being a compositor to being a reporter?

7 A. You could say that, yes.

8 Q. Then, by the sound of it, a fairly senior reporter

9 within the paper?

10 A. That might have had as much to do with my age as my

11 ability.

12 Q. You tell us in the second paragraph that you had what

13 you describe as key contacts among both Loyalists and

14 Republicans?

15 A. Yes, I would describe it as pretty good contacts at the

16 time, yes.

17 Q. What sort of individuals are we talking about? Are we

18 talking about politicians?

19 A. Politicians and sometimes activists, Republican and

20 Loyalist activists.

21 Q. And you refer in the same paragraph to your own ethics

22 and code of conduct?

23 A. That is true. You had -- even in difficult

24 circumstances, you had to try to be your own person and

25 not to succumb to threats or sometimes even fear, if

 

 

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1 that was possible. You had to maintain your own standards.

2 Q. And there was a danger, wasn't there, that you might

3 find yourself caught in the middle between the two

4 sides?

5 A. That is true, yes.

6 Q. How did you deal with that in your work?

7 A. On one occasion when I was caught in the middle of

8 a feud, I told both sides that I wouldn't work with them

9 any more. They would have to find someone else to deal

10 with. It just became too hairy, too scary. That is

11 normally what I would do.

12 Q. So far as Rosemary Nelson is concerned, you have

13 described for us in paragraph 3 -- this is RNI-801-011

14 (displayed) -- how you first met her?

15 A. Yes, I was standing outside the High Court in Belfast,

16 and Rosemary, whom I didn't know at the time --

17 Mrs Nelson -- passed by and someone pointed her out to

18 me as a solicitor. And I think you can see in the

19 statement there that: “she is a lovely woman, it is

20 a pity about that.” I took that to mean the marks on

21 Rosemary's face, and the story here -- it was a court

22 official and he told me that she had acquired the injury

23 by walking into an IRA bomb. And he said even though

24 she did, she holds no grudge against them and represents

25 lots of them. I believed that for years, and

 

 

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1 subsequently I found out that it wasn't true at all, it

2 was in fact a birthmark.

3 I just pointed it out to the person who took that

4 statement to show how easily it is for myths to arise and

5 misinformation to spread.

6 Q. You obviously believed that this was by no means the

7 only myth that surrounded her at the time?

8 A. Another one was -- another thing that I found was that

9 Rosemary was always believed by people from the Unionist

10 tradition to only represent Nationalists and

11 Republicans. Sometimes she expressed concern to me and

12 distress that no one noted that she represented quite

13 a number of Loyalists and people from the Unionist

14 tradition as well. I believed she was impartial in her

15 view of her clients.

16 Q. You deal with that specifically -- if we could look on

17 to paragraph 8 at page RNI-801-012 (displayed), if you

18 look at the bottom of the page, you refer there to what

19 you describe as mistaken perception. Is that what you

20 are talking about? That --

21 A. That's true, yes, that's what I am talking about.

22 Pointed out that her clients came from both sections of

23 the community, yes.

24 Q. But again, as far as you were aware then, this was one

25 of the stories or the myths that surrounded her, was it?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, I would say so, yes. Because of -- she was

2 a campaigning -- a high profile solicitor/lawyer, she

3 attracted that kind of attention.

4 Q. And that sort of story about her, that she only acted

5 for one side, if I can put it that way, how did that

6 affect the public perception of her?

7 A. It wouldn't really have mattered to the Nationalist or

8 Republican community; they would have seen her as a fine

9 lawyer who wasn't just interested in collecting a fee

10 but would do her utmost to represent them. On the

11 Loyalist Unionist side, they had seen that as an

12 indication that she was maybe biased and maybe indeed

13 some would even say that she must have been a Republican

14 herself. This sort of perception did arise all too

15 easily.

16 Q. Was that something that you were aware of at the time?

17 A. Just Rosemary told me herself. She said “I represent all

18 sections but people only seem to know about one section

19 of the community.”

20 Q. What I was getting at was not so much what she told you

21 as whether you yourself encountered that mistaken

22 perception of her. Did you?

23 A. Not so much -- well, around Belfast at the time, which

24 is a little bit away from Lurgan, yes, there would have

25 been -- there may have been a perception that she tended

 

 

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1 to represent more Republicans, but that was probably

2 because they were high profile cases and received more

3 media coverage.

4 Q. But the other aspect of this which you have just

5 mentioned is the idea that some people may have had that

6 she was herself a Republican. Now, is that a perception

7 which you were aware of, other than from her, I mean, at

8 the time?

9 A. Well, frankly, I didn't give it a big lot of thought

10 because in Belfast at that time, you didn't have to do

11 much to be perceived as one side or the other. That is

12 probably -- that -- I will refer you back to trying to

13 walk a tightrope, what I am saying about keeping your

14 own standards and always trying to get at the truth in

15 a story.

16 Q. So is this right, that if there was such a perception in

17 your view, there was nothing particularly unusual about

18 that given the circumstances at the time?

19 A. It could have happened very easily in Belfast at the

20 time.

21 Q. To you knowledge, did it happen in relation to, for

22 example, other solicitors?

23 A. Yes, PJ McGrory, I noted, a man with a great love of

24 justice and of the truth, he was perceived as being

25 favourable to the Republicans. And Oliver Kelly,

 

 

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1 another good solicitor, was perceived as being

2 favourable to the Republicans. That was perceived by

3 people from the Unionist tradition.

4 Q. That, again, was something you were aware of at the

5 time?

6 A. Vaguely aware, because there were unusual circumstances

7 in the city at the time.

8 Q. Did it happen on the other side, if I can put it that

9 way: In other words, in relation to solicitors who

10 represented Loyalist clients?

11 A. Not so much that I would be aware of. There may be one

12 or two. I think there was one occasion when a solicitor

13 actually appeared in court, you know, for some Loyalist

14 activity, felling a tree or something to create a road

15 block. But, you know, people would assume that he might

16 have been slightly sympathetic to the Loyalist cause.

17 Q. But it sounds as though this wasn't such a striking

18 phenomenon as far as you were concerned. Is that fair?

19 A. No. You are talking about a city in which you probably

20 trying to stay alive and not walk into something. So it

21 wasn't a major concern. It wasn't foremost in your mind

22 at the time.

23 Q. Now, moving back, if we may, to Rosemary Nelson herself.

24 We have been over the circumstances in which you first

25 came across her, as you put it, in paragraph 3. Can you

 

 

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1 help us, please, with an idea of when that might have

2 been?

3 A. I am sorry, if I haven't given a date -- it was -- it

4 would have been some years before she was killed,

5 perhaps -- perhaps the early 1990s, perhaps. I can't

6 stand up with that. I can't really remember, I am

7 sorry.

8 Q. Can I just ask you this to see if it helps: did you

9 first come across her when she was dealing with one or

10 other of the cases that you then go on to tell us in

11 your statement or were you there for some other reason?

12 A. I was at the High Court for another reason. I can't

13 really remember at the time. It may have been the Paul

14 Hill case. It may have been that. But I was there for

15 some other reason.

16 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 4 of your statement on the

17 same page that she became a controversial figure because

18 of her association with Colin Duffy.

19 A. Well, the truth would be that she was perceived as being

20 controversial. She wasn't controversial in herself

21 except in her desire to do the best she could for

22 clients. The controversy was from other people, from

23 the perception. There was people who just didn't like

24 what she was doing.

25 Q. Well, what I am trying to find out from you is this: we

 

 

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1 have talked in general terms about perception. Do you

2 think the perception that you have described for us was

3 something which had its origins in these big high

4 profile cases that you go on to talk about in the

5 statement or do you think it was general?

6 A. No, I think it was the cases, the fact that there was

7 a lot of publicity, but probably because Rosemary was

8 such a dedicated campaigner on behalf of clients.

9 Q. We will come to that in a minute, if we may. But

10 dealing with this statement you make in paragraph 4,

11 what I think you are suggesting there is that, because

12 of her work for Colin Duffy on the Colin Duffy cases,

13 her profile was increased. Is that right?

14 A. Yes, because Colin Duffy himself would have been a hate

15 figure from a Loyalist/Unionist perspective. He would

16 have been known as a -- referred to as a prominent

17 Republican in that area, in the Lurgan area, and

18 Rosemary, representing him, would come in for her share

19 of attention.

20 Q. In the same paragraph you draw a comparison between him

21 on the one hand as a hate figure for one part of the

22 community and Billy Wright on the other for the other

23 part of the community?

24 A. I would say that -- I would say that when Billy Wright's

25 heyday would have been feared by Nationalists in the

 

 

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1 area, and yes, he would have been regarded -- purely

2 a personal opinion of course -- but I would say that

3 Nationalists would have viewed Billy Wright much as

4 Loyalists would have viewed Rosemary Nelson.

5 Q. Why was that?

6 A. Because -- because of Rosemary's representation of

7 people -- because of her representation of her clients.

8 Nationalists viewed Billy Wright as a hate figure

9 because they practically -- most Nationalists were

10 totally convinced that he was involved in a lot of

11 murders of people of the Nationalist persuasion.

12 Q. You are drawing a comparison there between him and

13 Mr Duffy?

14 A. I am not. I am talking about perceptions here. I'm

15 talking about whether Colin Duffy -- I am just saying

16 that it would be my opinion that Loyalists would have

17 hated him as much or disliked him as much as

18 Nationalists -- I would not know about the number of

19 kills any particular person had. I would not get into

20 that.

21 Q. We are talking essentially about perception on both

22 sides?

23 A. Yes, exactly, yes.

24 Q. What I think is clear -- please correct me if I am wrong

25 about this -- it is your belief that Rosemary Nelson

 

 

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1 became a hate figure because of her association in some

2 people's minds with this particular client?

3 A. With Colin Duffy, with other people who would be better

4 known to people in the Lurgan area and also with the --

5 her representing the Garvaghy Road residents.

6 I don't know if you want to tackle that later on,

7 but there was an awful amount of hatred regarding the

8 Garvaghy Road, a lot of hatred generated by that whole

9 episode.

10 Q. Let us deal with this now, please. You started to talk

11 about it in paragraph 6 -- we will return to the Duffy

12 cases later -- and you suggest that she, having become

13 prominent as a result of the Duffy work, that prominence

14 was increased, is the way you put it I think, as

15 a result of the Garvaghy Road work. Is that a fair

16 comment?

17 A. I think that is fair, yes.

18 Q. And what you then touch on in the next paragraph, in

19 paragraph 6, is the way you believe she was regarded, as

20 I understand it, in Portadown, in that area?

21 A. Yes, I think -- yes, that's right.

22 Q. So this was, as we have heard from other witnesses,

23 clearly an area of bitter dispute around the marching.

24 Is that right?

25 A. That's right. Portadown and the surrounding area is

 

 

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1 a very, very strong Loyalist area. It was the birth

2 place after Orangeism and the people down there are

3 still very loyal and very staunch and still very much

4 behind the idea of Orangeism to this day.

5 Q. I just want to ask you about this, if I may: was this

6 a political topic that you covered during the course of

7 your work as a journalist?

8 A. The Garvaghy Road?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. I did some work on it, yes.

11 Q. So far as the specific comment you make at the end of

12 paragraph 6 is concerned:

13 "The view amongst these people ..."

14 Do you see that comment? What was that based on?

15 Was it based on conversations you may have had with

16 people you may have had --

17 A. That was a just an opinion based on the questions I was

18 asked while the statement was being taken.

19 Q. So that wasn't an attitude that you heard for yourself,

20 as it were?

21 A. No one actually quoted that to me, no.

22 Q. And that is something you have suggested presumably

23 based on your understanding of feelings in that part of

24 Northern Ireland at the time?

25 A. That would be it, yes, an attempt to gauge the feeling,

 

 

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1 yes.

2 Q. It suggests that she was regarded as being, as it were,

3 too big for her boots and also there was a particular

4 prejudice against her because she was woman?

5 A. I would say that there would be a certain amount of

6 prejudice against women in certain areas of the north.

7 Q. Can you put your finger on any particular point or bit

8 of evidence in support of that?

9 A. No. There is an attitude -- and it's not going to be

10 very popular -- but there is an attitude -- I would draw

11 a parallel with blacks in the deep south of America, you

12 know, where -- if you have had an African American woman

13 who became educated and tried to represent her people

14 and also a woman to boot, you know, that is going to

15 annoy a couple of types of people, isn't it.

16 Q. Is the first part of this to do with her success as

17 a lawyer?

18 A. She was successful. I can't quote chapter and verse,

19 but I do think she was a very effective solicitor, yes.

20 Q. So what you are suggesting is certainly a high degree of

21 prejudice. It sounds, if you don't mind me saying so,

22 as if there is an element of speculation in these

23 comments you are making. Is that fair?

24 A. From a distance, looking back on it, I would not have

25 said that if I didn't think that -- I did not have that

 

 

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1 feeling about -- and sort of tried to gauge that. I had

2 to try to gauge the popular feeling at the time or some

3 feeling at the time.

4 Q. But anyway, this work for the Garvaghy Road Residents

5 Association brought her, didn't it, into the middle of a

6 very bitter dispute?

7 A. Yes, it did, yes.

8 Q. And that dispute continued, didn't it, until the time of

9 her murder? It was still going on at that time,

10 wasn't it?

11 A. I believe so, yes.

12 Q. Now, so far as the question of success and the impact on

13 the way she was regarded of her success in her work, can

14 I take you back, please, to the Colin Duffy case and

15 your paragraph 5, RNI-801-011 (displayed).

16 This is the second of the two cases you mention and

17 it looks from the last sentence of this paragraph 5 that

18 you regarded it as significant in terms of hatred that

19 she was successful?

20 A. Yes -- regarding what I said about the perception in the

21 Loyalist community and Unionist community, that would

22 have increased the feeling against Mrs Nelson.

23 Q. Because, as you say, she was seen as having got her

24 client off?

25 A. Yes -- well, she successfully represented him and he was

 

 

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1 acquitted.

2 Q. So that the campaign which we will come to in more

3 detail in a minute that she had launched in support of

4 his defence, was successful and that that was itself

5 resented. Is that fair?

6 A. I would say the result of that case -- the outcome of

7 that was what had been resented, yes.

8 Q. Is it significant, do you think, that that result was

9 achieved at the beginning of October, and by that time,

10 as we know, she was already working on the Garvaghy Road

11 cases? Do you think they had a cumulative effect, these

12 two parts of her practice?

13 A. I think it would be fair to say that, yes.

14 Q. Now, in relation to the second matter, the murder of the

15 two policemen, you say in the same paragraph that when

16 these murders occurred people were really shocked.

17 Can you help us by explaining why that was in

18 particular?

19 A. Now, you will have to allow -- I am getting on in years

20 and allow for my memory, but I do think -- when I see

21 that sentence, I do think that we may have been

22 approaching -- there was talk of the peace process was

23 progressing and there was a hope that this sort of thing

24 was behind us. That is where I think the shock came

25 from, you know, and it was particularly shocking because

 

 

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1 two people were killed together at a time when we were

2 hoping to move forward and away from all that.

3 Q. You remember the impact it had, do you?

4 A. At the time I made the statement, I must have done

5 because I think there were a couple of things that

6 still, even after years in the business, still dismayed

7 me and disappointed me and shocked me at the time. I

8 think that represented a general feeling at the time.

9 Q. Now, moving from those general comments to your

10 particular involvement with Rosemary Nelson, can you

11 look, please, at your paragraph 7, RNI-801-012

12 (displayed)? What you set out for us here is the way

13 she would deal with you as a journalist. Do you see

14 that?

15 A. I see that, yes.

16 Q. And you describe her, don't you, as a terrific

17 campaigner?

18 A. Very dedicated campaigner, yes. She kept on the case,

19 so to speak. She was like -- she wouldn't let it go

20 once she started on a case. She did her best to

21 represent her clients.

22 Q. She didn't wait for you to ring her, she would take the

23 initiative and ring you?

24 A. She did on occasions, yes.

25 Q. To such an extent that you describe her here as being

 

 

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1 almost a bit of a nuisance?

2 A. That was -- that came out very badly. I didn't mean it

3 as a nuisance. I meant that she was persistent, and the

4 next phrase:

5 "... because she would never let off once she

6 launched a campaign."

7 Persistent would be a better word there than -- you

8 know, she also would -- she would ring on a Monday or

9 Tuesday and ask, "Do you want to come down, I want to

10 talk to you about this". If you weren't down by

11 Thursday, she would ring you again and say, "Are you

12 going to come down?" That is how I mean she -- that is

13 my reference to her persistence and saying she was a bit

14 of a nuisance -- that is something I would actually say

15 it to her face, you know. It is in no way a criticism.

16 It is a tribute to her doggedness.

17 Q. You may have said to her, stop bugging me or you are

18 bugging me?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. But what you are saying is she was working in a very

21 determined way on behalf of her clients?

22 A. On behalf of her clients, yes.

23 Q. What I would like to do with you, please, is to look at

24 the result of that, so far as you were concerned,

25 because there are various articles you wrote during the

 

 

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1 course of this second Colin Duffy case, which we have in

2 your bundle.

3 The first, please, is RNI-401-016 (displayed). This

4 is an article which I think you do exhibit to your

5 statement and you will see the date there under your

6 by-line and that of Steven McCaffery, 27th June.

7 Somebody has helpfully written in there for us. And it

8 looks, doesn't it, as though this was at the very

9 beginning of the case, because you are announcing in the

10 first paragraph, aren't you, that the witness -- and we

11 know it was Colin Duffy -- has been taken into

12 protective custody, and as we understand it, this came

13 shortly after the arrest of Mr Duffy?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Now, the article begins strikingly not with a headline

16 about the defendant, but about his lawyer. It is

17 headlined, isn't it:

18 "Lawyer's fury at RUC over Duffy arrest"?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. So that the reader would begin, as it were, not with the

21 client but with the mood of his lawyer?

22 A. That's true, yes.

23 Q. Now, so we have got this clearly in our minds, is this

24 an article that you were prompted to write by

25 a telephone call from Rosemary Nelson?

 

 

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1 A. Could I just explain about the headline, first of all?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. The headlines in newspapers are written by subeditors

4 who want to attract attention to the story and who want

5 to sell newspapers and want to keep their job. The

6 headline quite often has little relevance to the story.

7 We, the reporters/writers, don't do the headlines.

8 I can't imagine the fury -- "fury" is used an awful

9 lot in the press whenever it might mean anything from

10 mild irritation to annoyance. So I know that the

11 general public take that perception of it, but they

12 don't necessarily reflect the content of the story.

13 They are aimed at catching attention.

14 Q. I absolutely take that point from you. The question I

15 was going to ask you is whether, as the author, or one

16 of the authors of the article, you think actually what

17 it shows is that Rosemary Nelson was angry about the

18 arrest?

19 A. This was -- could I have the enlargement, please?

20 Q. Yes. Thank you.

21 A. Thank you. (Pause)

22 I don't -- without sort of going carefully over that

23 statement, I don't see anywhere that she actually said

24 she was furious.

25 Q. No, I don't think it does say that. You see, what

 

 

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1 I wanted to ask you is whether, first of all, she

2 contacted you about the case rather than the other way

3 round. Can you remember that?

4 A. I can't remember it, but from the style of -- of the

5 writing and the story, I am not sure why

6 Steven McCaffery and I both were working on the story,

7 but I would say that we had been asked to cover the

8 court case rather than had been asked to go down by

9 Rosemary, rather than have been asked to go to the court

10 by Rosemary.

11 After a court case starts and you have covered it,

12 you know -- if you cover the opening, as I am sure you

13 are very well aware, if it is published, you have to

14 cover other elements of it.

15 Q. Indeed. Can you remember anything about the generation

16 of this article; in other words, can you remember now

17 whether you did speak to her yourself?

18 A. I am sorry, I don't even remember writing this article.

19 I am sure that I did write it, but ...

20 Q. Was Mr McCaffery your junior on the paper?

21 A. I was just known as the security writer. I did not have

22 a very -- I did not have a title as such. Steven was

23 a -- still is -- a fine writer and he must have -- it is

24 quite possible that, if he was on the late shift and I

25 had gone home and there were developments, he could have

 

 

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1 taken it over.

2 Q. It looks on the face of it at any rate as though

3 somebody had in fact spoken to Mrs Nelson, if you look

4 at the various quotations, for instance in the third

5 column at the top.

6 A. Yes -- sorry, well, I did not get your point there.

7 Q. I was simply trying to ask you whether you can remember

8 speaking to Rosemary Nelson about the article, because

9 there are quotations in it from her, do you see, in the

10 second and third columns?

11 A. I do see that, but I don't know who quoted her, whether

12 it was Steven or myself. I honestly don't know.

13 Q. Can you help us with whether you were the journalist who

14 spoke to Jean Forest in the United States of America?

15 That is the bottom of the third column.

16 A. I am inclined to think that I didn't, but I honestly

17 don't remember at this remove. Maybe that was part of

18 Steven McCaffery's contribution to the story, I don't

19 know.

20 Q. Do you think it is likely that that contact with

21 Jean Forest in America came from Rosemary Nelson

22 herself?

23 A. I don't know, I honestly don't know.

24 Just to explain the point: We were dealing with --

25 I would have been dealing with several stories, well,

 

 

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1 three, four or five stories a day, and even though this

2 has grown into an enormous story about Rosemary's

3 killing and an Inquiry, at that time we had several

4 stories to deal with and I can't always remember

5 everything about it.

6 Q. The reason I am asking you this is partly to see how

7 extensive your memory is beyond what you wrote at the

8 time, but also because of what you yourself just said,

9 which is that this was a case that made a very

10 substantial impact?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, the final question I wanted to ask you is you see

13 that one of the other people who appears, on the face of

14 it, to have been interviewed is the witness. And you

15 will see again quotations in the second column at the

16 bottom. Do you see? Towards the bottom of the second

17 column:

18 "I heard the shots ..."?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Again, can you help us: Did you speak to that

21 individual?

22 A. Looking at it, I have a vague recollection although I

23 think I may possibly -- I couldn't swear to it but I

24 think I may have spoke to that person.

25 Q. Again, can I ask -- and I appreciate it is a very long

 

 

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1 time ago -- do you think that you would have been put in

2 contact with that person by Rosemary Nelson?

3 A. At this remove I can't really answer that, I am sorry.

4 Q. Now, the next piece in our bundle which was written by

5 you on the same case is on RNI-401-017 and it is

6 a report by you, isn't it, published on 30th July about

7 a bail hearing in the case?

8 A. That is right, yes.

9 Q. So it looks as though you were present in court. Is

10 that right?

11 A. Bear with me a second, please. I was just handed this

12 not long before I came into the room. (Pause)

13 It looks like it, I would agree with that, yes.

14 Q. And it looks also, doesn't it, as though after the

15 hearing, if you look at the second column, Mr Magee of

16 CAJ and Rosemary Nelson were, as it were, outside court

17 and gave you statements which you quote in that second

18 column?

19 A. That's right, yes.

20 Q. Can I just ask you: were you alerted to the fact that

21 there was a bail hearing by Rosemary Nelson?

22 A. I am not sure. We newspapers have what is called

23 a diary and that would be a diary marking that someone

24 would be sent to. It would have been covered anyway, I

25 would say.

 

 

24

 

1 Q. But do you think it is likely, given what you tell us

2 about her campaigning style, that you were warned of the

3 hearing by Rosemary Nelson?

4 A. It is always possible, but I say again that we would

5 have been covering a Crown Court case anyway; if not

6 myself, then someone else.

7 Q. If you look, please, through the bundle -- I don't want

8 to spend much time on these because some you have dealt

9 with specifically in your statement -- but if you look

10 at RNI-401-018, first of all, please, that is 9th August

11 (displayed):

12 "Lawyer defends wrongly accused."

13 And this is an article, again, about the same case,

14 isn't it?

15 A. Yes, it is, yes.

16 Q. And there are substantial quotations from an English

17 solicitor?

18 A. That is right, Mrs (inaudible).

19 Q. And then at the bottom, again what appears to be

20 a quotation from Rosemary Nelson. Do you see there in

21 the penultimate paragraph of the first column?

22 A. I see that, yes.

23 Q. And then at the end of the article, Rosemary Nelson said

24 she protested and, again, what appears to be a quotation

25 from her?

 

 

25

 

1 A. That is right, yes.

2 Q. Can I just ask you again: again, can you remember

3 whether you were contacted by Rosemary Nelson about this

4 development as part of her campaign?

5 A. Well, I could probably say that at the end of a hearing

6 or on a court appearance or whatever, you would stay

7 around to talk to whoever you could, maybe a barrister

8 involved, you would try and get him to give you steer or

9 whatever, and if Rosemary Nelson had come out of court

10 at that time, certainly you would have looked for

11 a quote.

12 Q. In general was she happy to talk to you about her cases?

13 A. In general, yes.

14 Q. And in that way, was she perhaps more forthcoming than

15 the average run of lawyers?

16 A. She might have been more open about it, but there are

17 lots of lawyers who contact the press and specific

18 reporters, even to this day, about cases and give them

19 some background information and give them some hints and

20 tips about what is coming up. That wouldn't have been

21 unusual.

22 Q. Right. If we look on to RNI-401-020 (displayed)in the

23 same file, this appears to be a piece -- it is

24 20th August. It looks as though this is, as it were,

25 another bulletin about the progress of the case. Again,

 

 

26

 

1 can you remember the circumstances in which you came to

2 write this piece?

3 A. I will just take a second and look at this. This is one

4 of the ones I haven't had an --

5 Q. Yes, thank you.

6 A. (Pause) I vaguely remember writing this story. I don't

7 remember the details.

8 Q. But it includes, for instance, substantial quotation

9 from a letter written, I think, by Mr Duffy himself to

10 your paper. Do you see that in the second column?

11 A. Second column? A letter to the Irish News, yes. I see

12 that. If that arrived at the Irish News it may have

13 been handed to me as someone who had covered some of the

14 earlier episodes in the case.

15 Q. So does it sound likely that it was that letter that

16 prompted this particular article?

17 A. It looks like it, yes. Could I just check -- he

18 mentions the security video in this, as I say. Yes, he

19 said:

20 "Video film from a security camera would confirm

21 ..."

22 Yes.

23 Q. And then continuing on to RNI-801-021, slightly later in

24 the same month, you say here that a leading human rights

25 group had consulted the United Nations about

 

 

27

 

1 irregularities in the case.

2 Now, you there quote, or appear to quote,

3 Jane Winter from British Irish Rights Watch and later,

4 again, quoting from Mrs Nelson in the second column.

5 Again, can you help us: was that an article prompted by

6 contact from Rosemary Nelson?

7 A. It could be, but also with Jane Winter also. She was

8 a tireless campaigner as well. She could also have

9 contacted us. Other times, if the need arose, I would

10 phone Jane Winter and ask for her opinion on some

11 stories. It could have been either.

12 Q. But it looks, doesn't it, from the quotation in the

13 second column as though, at the very least, you spoke to

14 Rosemary Nelson?

15 A. That is true, yes.

16 Q. Although it may have been prompted, as you say,

17 originally by Jane Winter?

18 A. That is true, it could have been, yes.

19 Q. Now, the passage of articles ends with the dropping of

20 the charges -- and we will see that at RNI-401-023

21 (displayed), and this is one of the articles which is

22 exhibited to your statement.

23 There, as we see at the top right-hand corner, you

24 cite your own piece. That is the headline we have

25 already seen from June?

 

 

28

 

1 A. Yes, well, the actual headline was -- there again, it

2 would be the subeditors trying to stimulate interest in

3 the story. I wouldn't actually have been able to do

4 anything as complicated in those days.

5 Q. No, but obviously this, in terms of her client's

6 interest, was a major success. And again, was it

7 something you can remember to which your attention was

8 directed by Rosemary Nelson herself?

9 A. I can't say with complete authority that it was. It

10 could have been, I couldn't deny it.

11 Q. Right. Now, the final article in the sequence is at

12 RNI-401-024. Sorry, here we go. This is something that

13 you deal with in paragraph 20 of your statement and

14 I hope you have got that in front of you because I am

15 not sure we will be able to show this article. And the

16 passage -- (displayed). It has been interpreted as

17 a challenge. It is at RNI-801-016 (displayed). That is

18 the passage from your statement.

19 Can we have the article on the same screen and still

20 read it? Sorry, Mr Anderson. If you can find the

21 passage in your hard copy statement anyway. I think we

22 will have the article on the screen, please, and

23 Mr Anderson can look at his statement (displayed).

24 Thank you.

25 In your statement, Mr Anderson, you refer to this

 

 

29

 

1 article, paragraph 20, as I say, and you explain how you

2 interviewed Mr Duffy yourself as part of your work for

3 the piece. Do you see you start to quote him in the

4 third column?

5 A. Yes, I see that, yes.

6 Q. Now, what I wanted to ask you first of all is how was

7 the interview with Mr Duffy set up? Can you remember?

8 A. I think that he came out of the court and I asked him to

9 talk to me, and I think there was a press of reporters

10 around and he was -- he was naturally, I think, excited

11 and he said he would talk to me later. So then he did

12 arrange a meeting, I went down to his home and I think

13 there were lots of people about. So he said come into

14 the bedroom and what seemed to be the quietest place and

15 that is where the interview took place.

16 Q. You say in the same paragraph that he -- that is

17 Mr Duffy -- did not give you much information. What do

18 you mean by that?

19 A. I got the impression that -- well, I don't know, he

20 didn't sort of talk a big lot about it. I got the

21 quotes and he was just aware that he was talking to

22 a reporter all the time. I wouldn't have known

23 Colin Duffy dreadfully well and maybe he was a bit

24 guarded with reporters. He had a sort of healthy

25 disregard for the press, I think.

 

 

30

 

1 Q. Was Rosemary Nelson present during the interview?

2 A. She wasn't present during that interview, no. I am not

3 even sure that Rosemary Nelson knew that it had taken

4 place. I didn't discuss that with her. I think, to the

5 best of my recollection, that I arranged that myself and

6 of course always with an eye to trying to have a piece

7 of an interview or a story that the opposition doesn't

8 have. So I think I organised that myself.

9 Q. Well, the passage from what he said to you, which you

10 highlight in your statement in the same paragraph 20 is

11 the passage in the final column, and it begins with the

12 words "praising his family ..."

13 Do you see that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. "... Mr Duffy said he had benefited from their

16 experience acquired during the early campaign when he

17 was against his first conviction for murder."

18 In the next paragraph, he says:

19 "And my solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, was

20 unbelievable. She is brilliant."

21 In your statement you say that you think he was

22 trying to thank Rosemary Nelson in his own way?

23 A. Yes, I would say so. He was naturally enough quite

24 pleased at the outcome of the case and I think also,

25 naturally enough, he attributed a lot of it to the

 

 

31

 

1 expertise of Mrs Nelson.

2 Q. But you clearly thought that this was a mixed blessing

3 for her?

4 A. Well, it added to the outrage of the Loyalist/Unionist

5 community who would have perceived Mr Duffy as the

6 aforementioned hate figure.

7 Q. As he was making those comments to you, did you

8 appreciate that?

9 A. No, no, I didn't. I didn't know she was going to be

10 killed and I didn't know that things like that were

11 actually building up a head of steam, you know.

12 Q. So you weren't aware before the article was completed

13 that there was that double edge to those sort of

14 comments being printed?

15 A. No, I wouldn't -- no. No, it was just -- it was

16 a hurried interview and it was a quote that was taken

17 down and back to the office, write up the story and away

18 it goes to press.

19 Q. The reason I am asking you, obviously, is clearly in

20 your statement to the Inquiry it is something that you

21 are aware of. At what stage do you think you would

22 first have appreciated that it might have had this

23 double-edged effect?

24 A. That particular quote did not achieve any significance

25 for me until much later until the Inquiry started, and

 

 

32

 

1 I'd seen my statement.

2 No, I would have been concerned or I would have been

3 aware of the concern -- of the threat to

4 Rosemary Nelson's life from things that Rosemary told me

5 herself.

6 Q. So it is something that you have appreciated -- is this

7 right? -- after the murder and when you were being

8 interviewed by solicitors acting on behalf of the

9 Inquiry?

10 A. Yes, that is right. You do not -- a story is just

11 a story and it is dead the next day. So you would not

12 write stuff -- you wouldn't write anything that was

13 going to put anybody's life in jeopardy.

14 Q. That is why I am asking you.

15 A. Not at all.

16 Q. Right. Can we look back a paragraph in the same

17 statement and have this on the screen, please,

18 RNI-801-016, paragraph 19 (displayed). Can we enlarge

19 that, please.

20 Now, this is one of the articles we have looked at.

21 It was published on the previous day. It was the one,

22 if you remember, which had the little box in the top

23 right-hand corner showing your earlier heading or title,

24 and therefore it took place, didn't it, just when the

25 news of his acquittal, or the charge of the prosecution

 

 

33

 

1 being abandoned in relation to the two policemen

2 murders, had been announced. I am picking up the

3 discussion you and I had earlier, because you say in

4 relation to this piece:

5 "Rosemary would suggest to me that I write articles

6 like this to try to keep the pressure on and to

7 highlight points of law she was pursuing."

8 Now, is that a fair characterisation of this

9 particular article?

10 A. That quote would maybe -- could have been better

11 phrased. It would be that Rosemary would say -- and

12 I need something -- we need to do something on this,

13 there is a good story, you know, whatever. It wasn't

14 sort of as if reporters were part of her campaign or

15 anything like that. She was another person among the

16 many who used journalists to, you know -- in a way that

17 she seen was right. Everyone uses journalists if they

18 can and that was one way of pursuing -- doing her job,

19 basically.

20 Q. But can you see now why I asked you in relation to each

21 article how the piece had come to be written and whether

22 contact had been made by her to you, because of this

23 sentence in your statement.

24 Is it possible, do you think, or likely that the

25 articles we have been looking at in relation to this

 

 

34

 

1 particular case were prompted by her?

2 A. The -- as part of her campaign on behalf of her clients?

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. Yes, she often did ring up and ask for coverage of

5 stories.

6 Q. And then you say:

7 "I had to trust Rosemary to a huge degree in respect

8 of the articles she suggested to me I write as I didn't

9 want to be associated with incorrect stories."

10 Now, does that mean that in relation to some --

11 all -- of these articles, you didn't yourself check the

12 soundness, the validity of the points being made?

13 A. No, I would say that -- I would just point out that in

14 relation to it that -- some of those standards is that

15 you have to understand that a person who I didn't know

16 was asking me questions -- wasn't necessarily a trained

17 journalists or whatever -- but I was making the

18 statement that the person was asking questions, and

19 I replied just -- as truthfully as I thought at the

20 time.

21 But when you see the words written down, sometimes

22 your reply appears to be stilted. I am not saying it is

23 inaccurate or anything like that, perhaps a slightly

24 different nuance, but sometimes in your statement it

25 uses words that I wouldn't use in everyday conversation.

 

 

35

 

1 Not to say that is inaccurate, but the very fact that

2 someone is asking you questions and making a statement

3 out of answers. I would have to point that out.

4 The incorrect story thing, that was an attempt to

5 let the person who was asking me the questions know,

6 just to impress on him that, as I was saying earlier, I

7 had my own standards, that I had my own lines that I

8 didn't want to cross, like incorrect stories. That is

9 almost a throwaway line. I wouldn't attribute too much.

10 Q. The difficulty I have is obviously that you have made

11 the statement to the Inquiry. You are no doubt trying

12 to be helpful, and signed it. Presumably you saw it as

13 a draft statement and you were invited to sign it. So I

14 am asking you questions about what you have signed.

15 Now, just so we are absolutely clear about this, is

16 there anything in that sentence which you think is wrong

17 or you would like now to change?

18 A. No, not really. In respect of the articles she

19 suggested to me I write, now, that could easily be said

20 in a different way, in that she phoned up and said,

21 "Listen, I've a good story for you". To me, the way

22 that is phrased or the way it has come out, it is as if

23 Rosemary had said come on, we will do this or come on --

24 "Let's you and I have a campaign". It wasn't like that

25 at all.

 

 

36

 

1 Q. It might simply have been her ringing up saying, "There

2 is some more news on the Duffy case, you might want to

3 write another piece about it"?

4 A. Yes, or there are developments here and I will fax you

5 through something, or whatever, the latest news,

6 something like that.

7 Q. But looking at the particular sentence which begins:

8 "I had to trust Rosemary ..."

9 Can I just come back and ask you: is there anything

10 in that sentence that you think needs now to be changed

11 or altered?

12 A. Well, maybe clarification, in that I did respect her as

13 a person of integrity and honesty, and I would -- that

14 would be my explanation of how I trusted

15 Rosemary Nelson.

16 Q. But what then do you mean by this expression:

17 "I had to trust Rosemary to a huge degree"?

18 A. It was just, as I say, an expression and -- there was

19 not -- I basically did trust her, I had to trust her. I

20 had to trust anyone on the basis of what they are

21 telling me, and someone that you work with.

22 Q. In this particular case was one of the things she was

23 telling you very firmly was that her client was

24 innocent?

25 A. Well, she generally did, yes.

 

 

37

 

1 Q. She generally did.

2 A. Yes, she believed her clients were innocent. I believed

3 she believed they were innocent.

4 Q. Yes. And it sounds from the last sentence of this

5 paragraph as though that gave you at the time some sort

6 of reassurance?

7 A. Well, generally you write a story that -- you quote

8 people, so that you don't put your own opinion into it.

9 It is not a good thing to put opinion into it. So you

10 quote people. But, yes, I would say that -- I don't

11 think she would have misled me. I think she was

12 convinced of anything she told me about her clients'

13 innocence. I think she believed that. I still don't

14 think she would have sent me on a wild goose chase by

15 telling me she believed someone was innocent and she

16 really thought they were guilty.

17 Q. Just so I am clear, that was where the trust came in,

18 was it, that she was in a sense vouching for you for the

19 soundness of what you were being told?

20 A. Well, you had a respected lawyer telling you something

21 and -- it's the same with anyone. If you -- and I am

22 sure you are respected in your own circle -- if you told

23 me a story and I could quote you. If there was

24 a background to the case and look up files to see what

25 the background was. Just quote you as saying this.

 

 

38

 

1 That is about it.

2 Q. Sir, that is one hour. I have got a little more with

3 this witness. Would that be a convenient moment?

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, certainly. We will have a ten-minute

5 break, please.

6 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you.

7 (2.00 pm)

8 (Short break)

9 (2.10 pm)

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

11 MR PHILLIPS: Now, Mr Anderson, can we look back at another

12 of the pieces we have just touched on in our survey of

13 what you wrote to this case. This is the one at

14 RNI-401-016 (displayed) and it is the opening article in

15 the series, and that means of course it is the one that

16 reappears as a headline at the end; do you remember?

17 Now, you say in paragraph 21 of your statement, if

18 you have got that in the hard copy -- it is RNI-801-016

19 (displayed) at the bottom of the page -- that you can't

20 recall interviewing the man quoted in the article who

21 had apparently seen two men shooting the policeman. Do

22 you see that?

23 A. I see the article. The paragraph you are talking

24 about is?

25 Q. Well, if you look at the very beginning of the piece, do

 

 

39

 

1 you see the first paragraph deals with the main

2 prosecution witness?

3 A. I see that, yes.

4 Q. And then the next paragraph?

5 A. And The Irish News has spoken to a second witness? Yes.

6 Q. Yes. Now:

7 "... claims to have been just 14 inches from the two

8 IRA men."

9 That continues -- if you remember, we saw this

10 earlier -- into the second column. Do you see that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. The 36-year old spoke to the Irish News yesterday,

13 et cetera, and then there is a large quotation from him?

14 A. Yes, I do see that.

15 Q. When you say in your statement you can't recall

16 interviewing the man -- just so I am clear about this --

17 you don't now remember the interview that led to these

18 quotations; is that what you are saying?

19 A. No, I have no clear recollection of carrying out that

20 interview.

21 Q. No. But you are confident, I assume, at least, that

22 such an interview did take place?

23 A. If it was under my by-line, I would be pretty sure it

24 took place, yes. I would be fairly jealous of what

25 appeared under my by-line. Having said that, there is

 

 

40

 

1 a joint by-line on there.

2 Q. There is. So it is possible, is it, that the interview

3 took place and involved not you but Mr McCaffery?

4 A. Yes, yes, it is equally possible that I did do it. I do

5 not have a great memory, as you have probably observed.

6 Q. Yes. But you go on to say in your statement:

7 "I now recall that Rosemary was annoyed that

8 Colin Duffy was arrested so soon in connection with this

9 offence."

10 So, now, with that reminder, does that explain the

11 headline of this article, do you think?

12 A. Sorry, could you give me that paragraph in the

13 statement?

14 Q. Yes, it is the bottom of page RNI-801-016 and it is

15 paragraph 21.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And it is the last full sentence of the page.

18 A. You are asking about -- and I recall that Rosemary was

19 annoyed -- yes. Well, I think any solicitor who had,

20 you know, seen that result, would say dash it or

21 whatever we were prone to say, you know.

22 Q. Yes. Do you remember you were concerned to tell me

23 earlier that the headline was composed by somebody else

24 and wasn't your work, but it looks from your statement

25 at any rate as though you remember her anger at the

 

 

41

 

1 time. Is that right?

2 A. Well, it looks -- I can now recall -- what I have said

3 was that she was annoyed, you know.

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. As I attempted to explain earlier, a subeditor picking

6 up on that, looking through the story would pick up on

7 that, maybe embellish it a bit and make an eye-catching

8 headline.

9 Q. But we agreed, I think, earlier, that there was nothing

10 in the piece itself to suggest that she was annoyed. So

11 do you think that this headline in this particular case

12 came direct from you?

13 A. No, the headline didn't come from me, no. I don't --

14 Q. But it does recall her annoyance, doesn't it?

15 A. The headline recalls a subeditor's interpretation of

16 what he thought was in the story.

17 Q. But do you now, as it says in your statement, recall her

18 annoyance that he was arrested so soon?

19 A. I must have recalled when I made the statement, yes.

20 Q. When it says that she was annoyed that he was arrested

21 so soon in connection with this offence, can you help us

22 what you mean about that, please?

23 A. I think, just as I say, maybe what, so soon -- that

24 suggests to me that it was expected that he would be

25 arrested later. What I actually meant was that with the

 

 

42

 

1 result of the case, the lawyer must have said somebody

2 to me like that was a bad result or whatever. I would

3 describe that as being annoyed.

4 Q. Now, so far as Rosemary Nelson's reputation and

5 perception is concerned, we have discussed this briefly

6 already and you deal with it at paragraph 8 of your

7 statement at RNI-801-012 (displayed).

8 It looks, doesn't it, as though you were asked by

9 those interviewing you what it was about her in

10 particular that made her a target?

11 A. Yes, that's right, yes.

12 Q. And you offer your views presumably based on your

13 knowledge of Northern Ireland at the time?

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

15 Q. And you give as a particular feature something that

16 singled her out where she worked, where she was based.

17 That is right, isn't it?

18 A. Well, yes -- yes, it was where she was based. Yes,

19 that's true. She would have been -- she probably would

20 have been more vulnerable there than if she worked in

21 a lock-up office in Belfast and went home to somewhere

22 outside the city at night.

23 Q. But you say in relation, don't you, in relation to that

24 area, that there was an awful degree of hatred there,

25 almost more than anywhere else in the north?

 

 

43

 

1 A. As I attempted to explain earlier, yes, about the

2 Portadown and Orangeism and a very, very staunch

3 loyalism in that area.

4 Q. So is this right: you regard all of these factors, the

5 factors we have discussed, the factors set out in this

6 paragraph, as coming together to make her a target so

7 that the area where she worked, her success and the

8 profile, reputation that she had as a result?

9 A. I think that is a fair comment, yes.

10 Q. And the profile that she had was in turn increased,

11 wasn't it, by her, for example, her appearances on the

12 media, on television?

13 A. Yes, and by media coverage of her cases, that's true,

14 yes.

15 Q. Now, you say in relation to the question of perception

16 that other prominent lawyers in your view were not

17 perceived in the same way as acting only for one side.

18 Do you see two examples you give at the bottom of the

19 page?

20 A. Yes, I see that, yes.

21 Q. So when we discussed this earlier, you were suggesting

22 that there was a general problem that lawyers tended to

23 be associated with one type of client on one side.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Looking at that part of your statement, is that

 

 

44

 

1 something you would like to qualify?

2 A. Partly, yes, because PJ McGrory and Oliver Kelly were

3 both -- to the best of my recollection were threatened.

4 There was at the time -- my memory has failed me

5 again -- but there were three, I think, Belfast

6 solicitors who were threatened together: PJ McCrory,

7 Oliver Kelly and one other whose name I can't recall;

8 they were threatened. The fact that they did act for

9 Loyalists as well didn't save them from the threat. The

10 high profile cases that they did was enough to place

11 their lives in jeopardy or at least to have them

12 threatened.

13 Q. So the difference then -- is that right -- as a matter

14 of logic between their position, having been threatened,

15 and Rosemary Nelson's, is that the threats, as it were,

16 were not carried into effect?

17 A. That is true. This is purely opinion: I wouldn't of

18 course have been surprised if the possibility of --

19 sorry, I have just remembered the other solicitor, and

20 I apologise to the Finucane family, it was Pat Finucane,

21 and McCrory and Kelly.

22 Could you repeat that last question, please?

23 Q. What we were discussing was, if you remember, that there

24 were similarities, as you see it anyway, in the sense of

25 receiving death threats, but that the difference was

 

 

45

 

1 that of course in her case --

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. -- she was targeted and she was murdered?

4 A. That is true, yes.

5 Q. Now, it looks from your statement as though -- and this

6 is now the bottom of the page, paragraph 8 at the bottom

7 of the page -- you think, again, a significant factor

8 here, a thing that may have made the difference, was

9 that she was operating in this area, Lurgan and

10 Portadown?

11 A. I certainly think it may have made her more vulnerable,

12 yes.

13 Q. Where people, as you put it, were willing to act upon

14 the slightest suggestion that someone should be

15 targeted?

16 A. That is true. I would have to point out that that

17 attitude wouldn't be limited to Lurgan/Portadown.

18 Q. Can I just ask you: what is that opinion based on?

19 A. That?

20 Q. That in this particular area --

21 A. Well, for instance, the comment made to me, as we

22 discussed at the outset, about the court official who

23 said that Rosemary Nelson had walked into an IRA booby

24 trap bomb, that sort of thing, yes.

25 Q. Now, in the next paragraphs of your statement you deal

 

 

46

 

1 with the question of threats, and it starts in

2 paragraph 9.

3 Before I ask you about that, can I get you to tell

4 us this: how often did you speak to Rosemary Nelson in,

5 let us say, the two or three years before her murder?

6 A. If a case was ongoing and I was reporting it, I would

7 obviously see her more often, but generally four times

8 a year, five times a year, as I say, every two to three

9 months.

10 Q. Every two to three months you would speak to her?

11 A. That -- I couldn't swear to the exact length of time but

12 it seems to me at this remove, yes, it would have been

13 every three months or so, every two or three months.

14 Q. Would you not speak to her more often when a big case

15 was on, such as the Duffy case?

16 A. Yes, I would.

17 Q. So you might meet up every two or three months, you

18 might speak more often?

19 A. Two or three months was how often I would meet her. I

20 wasn't really talking about court cases, but you are

21 absolutely right, yes.

22 Q. Can I just ask you this: you talk about what she told

23 you about threats?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Did those matters come up on the telephone or just when

 

 

47

 

1 you were talking face-to-face?

2 A. I would say face-to-face. She wouldn't discuss that

3 sort of thing much on the phone.

4 Q. No. And you then explain that she told you that she was

5 worried and that she thought her life was under threat?

6 A. That is right, yes.

7 Q. What I would like to do -- and I appreciate it is

8 difficult -- is to ask you to give some more details for

9 us on that. First of all, were these concerns expressed

10 to you on more than one occasion?

11 A. Yes, they were.

12 Q. And I think you have said that each of the occasions

13 would have been when you were talking face-to-face. Is

14 that right?

15 A. Yes, generally -- I think almost entirely in her office.

16 Q. Is it right that your meetings would have come to an end

17 at the point you left The Irish News in September 1998?

18 A. That is right, yes.

19 Q. So using that as a guide then, can you say roughly, even

20 if it is only within a year, when these conversations

21 took place?

22 A. They would have taken place over, perhaps, a year and

23 a half or so. I would hazard a guess at a year and

24 a half, maybe two years -- probably more accurately

25 a year and a half -- that she mentioned on occasions

 

 

48

 

1 that she was concerned about things that she had been

2 hearing, messages that were relayed to her.

3 Q. And when you say over a year and a half, do you mean

4 working back from September 1998?

5 A. Working back from the last time that I had seen her --

6 I couldn't give you the dates for that, I am sorry, but

7 working back from the last time I had seen her, which

8 was some time before I left The Irish News to go to the

9 university.

10 Q. So that period may -- I am only suggesting -- may have

11 begun perhaps in early 1997?

12 A. 1997 -- maybe 1997/1998, yes.

13 Q. Now, when she said to you that she thought her life was

14 under threat, did she explain why?

15 A. She did -- she initially didn't say, you know, "I think

16 they are out to get me" or anything. What she did

17 say -- and I can't give specific -- I can only give you

18 my recall of the general gist of conversations, if that

19 is acceptable -- what she did say was that one of my

20 clients was released the other day and told me that the

21 police were saying things about me, you know. And it

22 wasn't always threats, sometimes it was filthy things

23 that she said that the person who had been arrested told

24 her.

25 Then she seemed to become a bit more worried about

 

 

49

 

1 the messages that she was getting from clients, from

2 people who had been held and questioned and who were

3 released, and some of those come back and told her

4 that -- some of those people come back and told her

5 things that they maintained the police said to them.

6 Q. Just trying to it break that down, if I may, so as far

7 as you were aware then, the reason she thought her life

8 was under threat was because of messages, as you put it,

9 coming back to her from her clients after they had been

10 detained?

11 A. Yes, that is right.

12 Q. So the messages then were comments, were they, made to

13 the clients by, presumably, the police. Is that right?

14 A. Yes, that is the implication of that.

15 Q. And you say "from the barracks" in your paragraph. Does

16 that mean from the holding centres?

17 A. Yes, in general, yes. That is a term we use here, as

18 opposed to -- in England it would be police station.

19 Q. Can you remember now how many clients we are talking

20 about here?

21 A. No, I couldn't quantify it, no.

22 Q. Okay. But you give an example, don't you, of one of the

23 cases in your paragraph 10. Do you see that?

24 A. Yes, that is right, yes.

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

 

 

50

 

1 going back to the general position here, you say:

2 "They ..."

3 That is the comments or the messages:

4 "... were not the reason I had been asked to the

5 office."

6 So this is a conversation, is it, that came up in

7 the course of perhaps a discussion about something

8 different?

9 A. That is right. The thing -- it had come up because --

10 it was not the reason I had been asked to the office.

11 You have to understand it is in answer to a question

12 from the statement-taker.

13 Yes, sometimes I had been asked down for some other

14 reason. She would say, "Oh, by the way, I've got

15 another message" or "The police were sending me messages

16 again", that sort of thing.

17 Q. So you might have come to see her about a case or some

18 other article you were working on?

19 A. That is right, yes.

20 Q. And this would come up in the conversation?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you remember in what circumstances it came up in the

23 conversation?

24 A. No, it would have been -- it would have been Rosemary's,

25 on her initiative. I didn't -- I didn't sort of bring

 

 

51

 

1 it up. I didn't, you know, want to annoy her. I didn't

2 think of it a lot.

3 I would have to point out that she wasn't the only

4 solicitor whose clients were coming out and saying that

5 their lives were in danger. Allegations about policemen

6 and holding centres then, you know -- well, "Oh, you are

7 asking for that solicitor, he is a well-known Provie" or

8 something like that. That is a general comment or

9 feeling at the time.

10 Q. So you were aware, were you, of other similar cases?

11 A. I have heard people coming out of holding centres and

12 saying that their solicitor was the subject of some

13 conversations and threats, you know. Oliver Kelly would

14 have been one.

15 Q. But these are people, clients, are they, that you

16 interviewed?

17 A. No, these would just be people in the general -- that I

18 would have met in the general course of my job or even

19 in everyday life.

20 Q. But what I am trying to get at is where this information

21 came to you from. Where did it come from?

22 A. The people who would have been held or interrogated,

23 yes. They would actually say on occasion that they

24 don't like -- they don't like my solicitor, and they

25 would use their name. They said that he is not long for

 

 

52

 

1 this world, or something like that.

2 Q. So this wasn't something unique to Rosemary Nelson then?

3 A. It wasn't, but it was more serious in her case, yes.

4 Q. Can I ask you, did it apply to solicitors acting for

5 clients on both sides, if I can put it that way?

6 A. I honestly do not know. The only people who ever

7 mentioned it to me would be solicitors acting for people

8 who were held and questioned about Republican

9 activities.

10 Q. Right. Similar information didn't come to you from the

11 other side?

12 A. Well, there was one occasion when a high profile

13 Loyalist told me that he had been offered a fantastic

14 sum of money to become an informer, he mentioned a sum

15 of £80,000.

16 Q. But that is rather a different point. It is not

17 a threat to the lawyer?

18 A. It is indeed.

19 Q. It is not a threat to the lawyer?

20 A. No.

21 Q. So moving then to the specific example you give, which

22 you tell us about in your paragraph 10, can I take it

23 that of the occasions when Rosemary Nelson told you

24 about incidents of this kind, this occasion was the only

25 time you published an article about it?

 

 

53

 

1 A. I am sorry, it is the only one I can remember.

2 Q. But that is not quite what I asked you. Is it right to

3 say that this client and the allegations he made was the

4 only one you wrote about in your newspaper?

5 A. It is the only one that I can remember writing about.

6 I don't remember. That doesn't really answer your

7 question, does it?

8 Q. No, it does. Thank you very much indeed. It is

9 certainly the only one we have in our file from you.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So just taking this example, can we look, please, at

12 RNI-401-056 (displayed).

13 Now, this is a later piece, if you see, published on

14 7th March 1998. Do you have that?

15 A. I have it on the screen, yes.

16 Q. Thank you very much. Now, it begins with reference to

17 the UN legal watchdog, as you put it, which is

18 Mr Cumaraswamy. Do you see that in the second

19 paragraph?

20 A. Could I have that enlarged? Yes, I see that now, yes.

21 Q. If we keep it at this level of enlargement, please, you

22 then go on to talk about a particular client, don't you?

23 A. Yes, that's right, yes.

24 Q. And you say further down the column that the man asked

25 not to be identified?

 

 

54

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And I think it is right, isn't it, that you can't now

3 remember his name?

4 A. I can't remember his name, no.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 A. Although I would have needed to have asked at the time

7 for authentification purposes.

8 Q. That takes me to my next question, which is: can

9 I assume that you interviewed this man?

10 A. From a quick look at this, I think that might be the man

11 I -- that I met when I was down -- that I referred to in

12 the statement.

13 Q. Could you look at the hard copy, to paragraph 10?

14 A. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

15 Q. Do you see?

16 A. Yes, that is right, yes. What I said was I couldn't

17 recall his name, but then I did say that I was kindly

18 provided with a copy of the story which meant that I did

19 interview him.

20 Q. Now, if you look on in your statement to paragraph 17?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You refer to this article, the one we have got up on the

23 screen, and you say:

24 "I had forgotten that the man I saw at Rosemary's

25 office who repeated comments made to him by the police

 

 

55

 

1 had actually been held as Castlereagh."

2 A. That is right, yes.

3 Q. "Looking at this article again, I think I may actually

4 have arranged to see this man and interview him rather

5 than it being a coincidence that he was at Rosemary's

6 office at the same time as me."

7 Just so I am clear about this in my mind and if you

8 can flick back to paragraph 10 in your hard copy

9 statement, are you talking here about the same man, the

10 same client?

11 A. Yes, I believe so.

12 Q. Right. And you say you interviewed him at

13 Rosemary Nelson's office?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And in paragraph 10 you say that:

16 "[She] brought him in to see you."

17 A. That is what I said, yes.

18 Q. Now, doing what you can, because it is such a long time

19 ago, was he referring to events that had taken place

20 shortly before the time of your article; in other words,

21 shortly before 7th March?

22 A. I think that that is the date on the article. What

23 I remember -- I refer you to 10 -- I remember one

24 occasion when I was at her office, she brought a man

25 into see me. The distinct impression was that it was

 

 

56

 

1 fairly recent -- he had been recently released.

2 Q. And you conducted an interview with him there. Is that

3 right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you then drew up this article?

6 A. That's right, yes.

7 Q. But you say at the bottom of the page and the bottom of

8 the paragraph that you did not attach any real

9 importance to what the police were saying as this was

10 a common occurrence at the time?

11 A. That's true. I believe that to be a common occurrence

12 at the time. There was a number of people who came out

13 of holding centres and said that remarks had been made

14 to them about the solicitors.

15 Q. So there was nothing about this interview and what you

16 learnt that made you particularly concerned?

17 A. That maybe says more about my naivety than the actual

18 state of things, yes, that is right.

19 Q. It just at the time seemed to be fairly run of the mill.

20 Is that right?

21 A. Yes, another one.

22 Q. And so there was nothing -- is that right? There was

23 nothing about this interview, this meeting you had with

24 this client, that made you particularly concerned for

25 Rosemary Nelson's safety?

 

 

57

 

1 A. I wouldn't say I was unconcerned because, you know,

2 everyone's life was in danger in those days, but I

3 didn't actually think there was a specific plot afoot to

4 take her life.

5 Q. Now, in your paragraph 10, where you talk about the

6 comments he made to you in the interview, you say in

7 a sentence in the fourth line:

8 "He repeated comment ..."

9 I think there must be a typo there:

10 "... to me that had been made to him by the police

11 to the effect that Rosemary would not be around for much

12 longer."

13 Do you see that?

14 A. I see that, yes. I would say -- I am not quite sure if

15 that is in the article, but I would say that the

16 statement was much later but the article was written,

17 you know, shortly afterwards. I would put more reliance

18 on it.

19 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you, because certainly

20 nothing in quite those terms appears in the article,

21 does it?

22 A. Well, I take your word for that.

23 Q. Can we take it, given that the article was much nearer

24 the time, that it is a more accurate reflection of what

25 you were told in the interview?

 

 

58

 

1 A. I would say so, yes.

2 Q. Namely that they had a law brought out in 1989 to deal

3 with solicitors who had clients to make such statements?

4 A. I would also point out that if -- although that would

5 be -- that would be good line for a story from a sort of

6 rather cynical newspaper point of view, but you don't

7 always have room to put down every single word, you

8 know, during an interview. And I can't -- while it

9 doesn't appear -- I can't vouch for it either way.

10 Q. Do you think it is possible that he did tell you that

11 one of the comments made to him was that Rosemary would

12 not be around for much longer?

13 A. It is possible, but I would repeat that the article was

14 much nearer to the time. I don't really know, sorry.

15 Q. Can I ask you about another specific comment that is

16 made in the article? It starts at the bottom of the

17 first column:

18 "He said he did not realise the implications of the

19 comment until he told Mrs Nelson."

20 A. Yes, that is right. There is reference to the

21 allegation that he said detectives told him that a law

22 had been brought out in 1989 to deal with solicitors who

23 helped client to make such statements.

24 Q. So in the interview then he told you, did he, that he

25 hadn't realised the implications of that until he spoke

 

 

59

 

1 to Rosemary Nelson herself about it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And it follows, doesn't it, that she must have pointed

4 out the implications to him?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, in describing the interview and the

7 circumstances in which you were asked to go to her

8 office and meet him, you say:

9 "I think this was her way of showing how seriously

10 she was taking these comments."

11 A. I think that is fair, yes.

12 Q. So she was trying to draw to your attention this

13 particular problem, was she?

14 A. Yes, I think it is fair to say that, yes.

15 Q. Did she also provide you with the information in the

16 article about Mr Cumaraswamy and his visit?

17 A. Well, I am not sure about that, because the Association

18 of Legal Justice are also, you know, quite active on

19 that front as well. The information could have come

20 from them, the ALJ, or British Irish Rights Watch.

21 Q. I see. So it could have come from CAJ -- is that whom

22 you mean: the Committee on the Administration of

23 Justice?

24 A. That is right, yes.

25 Q. Whom you refer to at the top of the third column. Do

 

 

60

 

1 you see?

2 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct, yes.

3 Q. So it may well have come, the information, from another

4 course?

5 A. Yes -- I am sorry I can't be more helpful, but it could

6 have come from Mrs Nelson or from any of those sources

7 that I mentioned.

8 Q. Before you left the newspaper, The Irish News,

9 in September 1998, you had a further meeting with

10 Rosemary Nelson and you deal with it in paragraph 12 of

11 your statement at RNI-801-014 (displayed)?

12 A. Yes, that is right.

13 Q. And it looks from your statement as though you noted at

14 the time that she was significantly more concerned by

15 this stage?

16 A. That is an accurate statement, yes.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, again it looks as though you were at

18 the office for some other reason but that this matter

19 came up in the course of your conversation?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And you stayed behind after the staff had left and

22 carried on talking?

23 A. That's right, yes.

24 Q. Now, doing what you can, please, can you help us with

25 a rough timing or rough date -- I assume in 1998 -- for

 

 

61

 

1 this final meeting?

2 A. I would assume it was early 1998 or late 1997. I really

3 can't remember.

4 Q. So you think that is what you mean by "shortly before

5 leaving the paper"; is that right?

6 A. Yes, I said I left the paper in September (inaudible)

7 months, yes. Sorry, I see that, shortly before leaving

8 the paper. It may have been longer than a month or two.

9 Q. I see. Do you think it is likely that it was during

10 1998?

11 A. I couldn't say with any degree of conviction which was

12 the year.

13 Q. And what was it about her part of the conversation that

14 made you convinced that she was now very concerned for

15 her life?

16 A. On that occasion she wanted to talk and she was sort of

17 using me as a sounding board or maybe seeking

18 reassurance or -- I wasn't quite sure, but I do know

19 that she wanted to chat and she was taking -- she seemed

20 to be taking the threats a lot more seriously.

21 She did say that it wasn't just coming from the

22 police this time, and I am really sorry that I can't

23 remember the exact words but she said there was -- she

24 had heard something from a particular estate that they

25 were going to -- that there would be a threat to her

 

 

62

 

1 life.

2 Q. Now, so I am clear about this, this is a threat coming

3 from a particular Loyalist estate. Is that right?

4 A. That was the impression I got at this remove or whenever

5 I made the statement, that is -- you see, I really can't

6 remember. I told the interviewer that it may have had

7 the word "green" in it, but that was just something that

8 was in my mind, you know.

9 She did mention something -- she connected it to the

10 murder of a local man, Adrian Lamph -- I think he was

11 a council worker -- and I tried to reassure her and

12 I told her that once when I had been threatened, an

13 uncle told me, "When people threaten you -- they don't

14 give you any warning, they just kill you", but

15 I foolishly told Rosemary that, not to worry too much

16 about it.

17 Q. This is something you said during the conversation,

18 is it?

19 A. Yes, I was trying to reassure her, trying to -- but

20 there wasn't really much else I could say.

21 Q. So I am clear, then, you gave her an example from your

22 own experience?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Your own experience of being threatened?

25 A. Yes, from a telephone call that I received and it was

 

 

63

 

1 just a threat, you know, "Lay off or you will be in

2 trouble" and I remember talking to my father about it

3 and my uncle happened to be present, and he said, "Don't

4 worry about that, if they are going to get you, they

5 don't warn you", but that proved to be wrong in

6 Rosemary's case.

7 Q. So your advice to her was that being threatened was not

8 in fact a reason for concern, is that right?

9 A. It was by way of reassurance, that was basically it,

10 yes.

11 Q. Could you tell whether she found that comment

12 reassuring?

13 A. I wouldn't imagine so. She had been through -- it had

14 obviously been on her mind for some time and the

15 concerns seemed to have been building.

16 Q. As far as you can recall then, her concern was prompted

17 by a particular incident or by something that she had

18 learnt?

19 A. Yes, a particular message or -- yes, something that she

20 had learnt, yes.

21 Q. Can you remember how the message got to her?

22 A. I can't, I can't. I don't know -- I don't know how it

23 was conveyed to her at all.

24 Q. Other than giving her the benefit of your own

25 experience, did you discuss with her how she might

 

 

64

 

1 better protect herself?

2 A. Well, I didn't know how she could protect herself except

3 by doing what she had done and being in touch with

4 British Irish Rights Watch, the CAJ and Mr Param

5 Cumaraswamy, by being in touch with those because it

6 didn't seem to me appropriate to tell Rosemary Nelson to

7 go to the police with her concerns.

8 Q. Why was that?

9 A. Because she felt that some of the threats emanated from

10 the police.

11 Q. Was that -- that view you took about whether it was

12 appropriate -- was that based on things she said to you

13 about the police?

14 A. That is right, yes.

15 Q. So as far as you could tell, she wouldn't have welcomed

16 police advice, police involvement in questions of her

17 own security?

18 A. I don't think she would have went to them. You know,

19 she may have lodged the complaints as a matter of course

20 but I don't think she actually had enough confidence in

21 them at that time to go and tell them that she felt her

22 life was under threat.

23 Q. Did you discuss that particular point with her?

24 A. No, I didn't, no, simply because it seemed a bit

25 obvious.

 

 

65

 

1 Q. Obvious because of the things you knew about her?

2 A. Because of the previous messages that she told me had

3 come from the police.

4 Q. But you yourself weren't asked by her for advice about

5 security or as to what she should do?

6 A. No, no. By telling me, she may have been asking but I

7 don't know if my advice was in any way adequate. It

8 obviously wasn't, but I did not offer her any advice.

9 Q. But she didn't ask for advice, as it were, in terms?

10 A. Sorry, in terms, did you say?

11 Q. She didn't specifically ask you for your advice. You

12 think she may have been wanting advice but she didn't

13 specifically ask for it, is that what you are saying?

14 A. I think really she wanted to talk about it. She want to

15 share her concerns that that was maybe a burden shared,

16 sort of thing.

17 Q. She just want to talk about it?

18 A. She wanted to talk about it. She wanted to express -- I

19 don't know, maybe she wanted me to do more than I did

20 do, but I am not sure.

21 Q. Well, you deal with this in paragraph 14 and you say you

22 don't know whether she did take any precautions and you

23 certainly didn't discuss them with her?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you say that she should at least have been looking

 

 

66

 

1 under her car?

2 A. At that stage, probably she should have, yes. She

3 should have been checking the car. She should have

4 been -- maybe taken other precautions. I don't know

5 what she could really do, but she should have been more

6 aware -- she should have been looking under her car,

7 checking the vulnerability her house, installing alarms.

8 I don't know whether she had done any of these things.

9 Probably, in retrospect, it would have been justified if

10 she had taken more measures over her personal security.

11 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you: do you think this is

12 a view you now have because of what happened; in other

13 words, it is based on hindsight?

14 A. Yes, indeed.

15 Q. You are not sure, are you, whether it is something you

16 would have been thinking at the time?

17 A. I am not sure. I don't remember -- I don't remember

18 getting her any advice about security precautions. She

19 was a very intelligent woman and I am sure she would

20 have thought of more security measures than I could ever

21 suggest.

22 Q. But based on your contacts with her, were you able to

23 form a view as to whether she was security conscious?

24 A. I wasn't able to form that view.

25 Q. Now, in the next paragraph of your statement, which is

 

 

67

 

1 RNI-801-014 (displayed), which takes us from the bottom

2 of the page over to RNI-801-015 (displayed), you make

3 various comments about the device which was, as we know,

4 put under her car. Do you see that?

5 A. I see that, yes.

6 Q. Just so I am clear, I mean, your comments here, they are

7 not of course, are they, based on any detailed forensic

8 information?

9 A. No, just -- no, they aren't, no.

10 Q. And presumably you would accept that if there was

11 detailed forensic information about the nature of

12 Loyalist devices in the relevant period, that would have

13 more weight than your views. Is that fair?

14 A. Sorry, could you repeat that for me, please?

15 Q. The views you have expressed, they are not based, are

16 they --

17 A. No, they are not.

18 Q. -- on any detailed forensic information?

19 A. That is true, yes.

20 Q. You didn't take part in any of the relevant

21 investigations of Loyalist attacks?

22 A. No.

23 Q. So what I am suggesting to you must be obviously right:

24 that if there were forensic evidence of that kind, then

25 you would have to accept, wouldn't you, that it should

 

 

68

 

1 prevail over your statements of opinion?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. In other words, if there was indeed a history of that

4 type of device being used, then that would take

5 precedence, wouldn't it, over the opinions you express

6 in this paragraph?

7 A. Well, the mercury tilt bomb, from forensic reports and

8 from police information, was used a big lot in Belfast

9 against security force personnel. And what I was just

10 trying to say there was that it was not commonly used,

11 not used to a great extent by Loyalists. Loyalists were

12 not in the main as adept at make booby trapped bombs as

13 Republicans.

14 Q. Would you be prepared to accept the qualification that

15 it was not, so far as you are aware, used by such

16 organisations?

17 A. Sorry, I don't understand what you are --

18 Q. You have just offered a general opinion about the nature

19 of Loyalist devices and what I am suggesting to you is

20 that that opinion is based on what you know of. Is that

21 a fair comment?

22 A. Yes, on what I have picked up. It is an opinion and it

23 is not based on any expertise or forensic training.

24 Q. Thank you very much.

25 Now, Mr Anderson, the final matter I want to put to

 

 

69

 

1 you is one I am putting to all witnesses, and that is

2 that if there is any matter that we haven't discussed in

3 the course of your evidence but which you would like to

4 raise now, please do so?

5 A. No, I think I have covered it pretty exhaustively.

6 Q. Thank you very much.

7 Question by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

8 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Mr Anderson, could I just ask you a

9 little bit about your comment that Rosemary Nelson was a

10 terrific campaigner.

11 In your experience, would you say that she was

12 unusual amongst defence solicitors, or was this a normal

13 thing for a good, energetic defence solicitor? How

14 energetic was she on a scale, as it were?

15 A. She was pretty well the most energetic lawyer that

16 I knew during that period I was a reporter.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Anderson, for coming to give

19 evidence. Thank you.

20 We will adjourn for 10 minutes.

21 (3.00 pm)

22 (Short break)

23 (3.10 pm)

24 MR CLINT AIKEN (sworn)

25 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

 

 

70

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Mr Aiken, will you give us your full names,

2 please?

3 A. Clint Aiken.

4 Q. Do you have with you on the desk a copy of the statement

5 you made to the Inquiry?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can you look at that, please, at RNI-801-043?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. It will come up on the screen. If we turn over, please,

10 to RNI-801-051 (displayed), do we see your signature

11 there and the date of 27th February this year?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Can you look also, please, at RNI-835-165 (displayed)?

14 Is this a statement you made on 23rd April 1999 to the

15 police following the murder of Rosemary Nelson?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, I think you are the editor of the

18 Lurgan Mail?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And have been for three years or so?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you have worked for the paper for about 15 years on

23 and off, you say?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. At the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder, you were

 

 

71

 

1 employed by the paper?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So far as your knowledge of Rosemary Nelson is

4 concerned, it is right, isn't it, that your own contact

5 with her was rather limited?

6 A. Yes, it was, it was very limited.

7 Q. You met her on perhaps a few occasions?

8 A. A couple of occasions, yes.

9 Q. So with the exception of what you picked up on those

10 occasions, your knowledge of her was based presumably on

11 what you picked up as a local journalist?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And as you say, you believe your knowledge of her was

14 pretty much the same as everyone else's?

15 A. Yes, I think so, yes.

16 Q. Now, the Lurgan Mail, as I understand it, is the local

17 paper in Lurgan. Is that right?

18 A. Yes, that's true.

19 Q. And so far as the position of the paper is concerned,

20 are you a newspaper that tries to play it down the

21 middle?

22 A. Yes, we pretty much try to straddle the divide. We

23 don't want to alienate half our readership.

24 Q. Indeed. But as you say in your statement, Lurgan was,

25 at the time Rosemary Nelson was working there, a very

 

 

72

 

1 divided place?

2 A. Yes, it was.

3 Q. Does it continue to be a divided place?

4 A. There is still a clear divide within the town.

5 Q. So that even now this year, 2008, those divisions are

6 still in place. Is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And you give us an example at RNI-835-046, paragraph 13

9 (displayed), of how there are some issues which still

10 bring out or underline those divisions?

11 A. Yes, indeed.

12 Q. Is it right to say that even now the Drumcree issue is

13 still one of them?

14 A. It wouldn't be as hot an issue as it had been, but yes,

15 there is still divided opinion on the issue of the

16 Drumcree parade.

17 Q. And you give an example of a stand-off, as you put it,

18 which took place -- it looks as though it is not three

19 months ago, presumably not three months before you made

20 this statement?

21 A. It would have been sort of towards the end of the summer

22 last year, I think.

23 Q. But can I take it that things were a good deal more

24 bitter and divided in, for example, 1997/1998 and 1999?

25 A. That would be fair to say, yes.

 

 

73

 

1 Q. You describe the area around there as looking like a war

2 zone?

3 A. No, sorry, that would have been around the Drumcree

4 church, you know, during the major part of the stand-off

5 at the Drumcree church.

6 Q. This was when the marching or the parades were actually

7 taking place. Is that what you mean?

8 A. Well, when the stand-off over the marching or the parade

9 was taking place, when the Orangemen had been stopped

10 from completing the route down the Garvaghy Road.

11 Q. Is this the period 1998 to 1999?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. When they occupied the site for many, many, many days?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. In fact, I think for about three years?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Now, so far as what you knew about Rosemary Nelson is

18 concerned, you explain that she came to your notice

19 because of two particular cases with which she was

20 involved?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And that is the Colin Duffy case and the Garvaghy Road

23 case?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And presumably one can understand the prominence in

 

 

74

 

1 relation to the Garvaghy Road matter because of what we

2 have just been discussing?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. It was a focus for bitter sectarian feeling, wasn't it?

5 A. Pretty much so, yes.

6 Q. So anyone involved in that area was presumably involved

7 in a very contentious dispute?

8 A. Absolutely. It was a very hot issue at that time.

9 Q. Now, so far as your personal dealings with

10 Rosemary Nelson are concerned -- you have explained that

11 they were very limited, but you give in paragraph 3 as

12 a first example the Colin Duffy appeal?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you explain how you wrote a piece in your newspaper

15 following an interview with Lindsay Robb?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Can you remember roughly the date of that piece?

18 A. Oh, it is going back a while. I couldn't quite remember

19 the date. It was during the negotiations -- well, not

20 even in the lead-up to the Good Friday Agreement, but

21 the negotiations in the lead-up to those negotiations.

22 Lindsay Robb was one of the negotiating team for the

23 PUP, which would have had an association with the LVF.

24 So as a local man involved in such high level

25 negotiations, we had sort of done a piece saying, "Look,

 

 

75

 

1 here is a local man involved in these negotiations".

2 Q. Now, to try and help us a little more with dates, might

3 it have been in 1996?

4 A. That sounds about right.

5 Q. Was it before the appeal which you mentioned, the

6 Colin Duffy appeal?

7 A. Yes, it would have been shortly before that appeal.

8 Q. Now, as I say, we don't have your piece in our bundle --

9 in fact we don't have any of the pieces you wrote in our

10 bundle. Can I just ask you this question: if you tried

11 to find the articles you wrote involving Rosemary Nelson

12 over the years, do you think you would be able to

13 succeed?

14 A. It would be very difficult at the moment at our head

15 office. There is a certain amount of renovation and

16 moving about going on, so all our files are in stacks of

17 about six feet high, all sort of mixed up through other

18 papers. It would be difficult to find them.

19 Q. But it is not that they have been destroyed?

20 A. No.

21 Q. And you can tell us with certainty, can you, that this

22 article and the others you mention later were in fact

23 published in the Mail?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Is it a weekly newspaper --

 

 

76

 

1 A. Yes, we are a weekly newspaper.

2 Q. Thank you. Anyway, that interview having been

3 published, you found yourself being interviewed?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So the tables were turned on you -- by some lawyers?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So not only Rosemary Nelson but some barristers acting,

8 as you understood it, for Mr Duffy?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And he, as you say in your statement, was obviously very

11 well known in the area?

12 A. Yes, he would have been well-known in the area.

13 Q. Why was he very well-known?

14 A. Well, he would have come to prominence through the

15 negotiations that were taking place at the time. There

16 would have been a certain amount of television coverage,

17 you know, of him, walking up and down the steps of

18 Stormont with the PUP negotiation team. He would also

19 have been --

20 Q. Can I just stop you there. I think the person you may

21 now be referring to is Mr Robb?

22 A. Sorry, Colin Duffy.

23 Q. The person I asked you about was Mr Duffy.

24 A. Yes, Colin would have been well-known in the area, again

25 mainly through sort of -- well, the original murder case

 

 

77

 

1 and the appeal case.

2 Q. So he would have been known, would he, as a result of

3 the fact that he was convicted of the Lyness murder?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And what was known about him, what was talked about him

6 in the town?

7 A. The talk in the town again would have largely depended

8 on who you were speaking to in the town. One half of

9 the town would have seen him as, you know, an innocent

10 man that the police were trying to pin various murders

11 on; within Loyalist circles, he would have been seen

12 almost as the bogeyman, almost.

13 On a number of occasions we had had people calling

14 us, "Oh, we have seen Colin Duffy in a Loyalist part of

15 the town, what is he doing there?"

16 Q. So he was a bogeyman?

17 A. For the Loyalist part of the town. That would be one

18 way of putting it.

19 Q. So is it fair to say, when you say in your statement

20 that he was a high profile local figure, he was somebody

21 who at least one part of the community did not like?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Was he a hate figure for that part of the community?

24 A. I think it would be fair to say that, yes.

25 Q. So Rosemary Nelson's involvement in a case concerning

 

 

78

 

1 him presumably raised her own profile locally?

2 A. Well, yes, it certainly raised her profile locally. I

3 think she came to further prominence with the case

4 involving the murder of the two policemen, but certainly

5 at the stage of Colin Duffy's original murder case and

6 the subsequent appeal, yes, that would have been the

7 start of her coming to have a higher profile.

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

9 but sticking with your own interview, you were

10 interviewed then, as we have said -- or you said to

11 us -- by lawyers acting in the case. Did they take

12 a statement from you?

13 A. No, it was just a preliminary discussion in one of their

14 rooms at the High Court, just to sort of, I suppose,

15 feel me out, to see what light I could shed on the

16 article I had written.

17 Q. Were you told at some point after that that you might be

18 required to give evidence?

19 A. No.

20 Q. You weren't? So the summons you received to attend

21 court, what was that for?

22 A. You know, I was asked to come to the court with all my

23 notes in relation to the interview with Lindsay Robb,

24 and as I say, they just took me off in a room off to one

25 side and basically asked me about that interview and --

 

 

79

 

1 well, various questions on its conduct.

2 Q. So in the end you did not give evidence in the case?

3 A. No.

4 Q. After that, you say that your contact with her was very

5 limited but you think you may have had some contact with

6 her in her role as representing the Garvaghy Road

7 Residents Coalition?

8 A. Again, it would have been limited. There was another

9 reporter in the office that would have been dealing more

10 with those stories than I would have been.

11 Q. A more senior reporter?

12 A. Yes, more senior.

13 Q. Is that because of the importance of the story?

14 A. To an extent. As well, the reporter concerned would

15 have known her personally. So it was easier for the two

16 of them to have, you know, the more personal dealings.

17 Q. So this was a reporter who knew Rosemary Nelson better

18 than you did?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. What was his name or her name?

21 A. Dara McMahon.

22 Q. Thank you. You give us an insight in your paragraph 5

23 about your general level of contact with solicitors,

24 which you describe as very limited?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

80

 

1 Q. Normally they are hard to persuade, aren't they, to say

2 very much which is of use to you?

3 A. Yes, pretty much so. Our conversations would be very

4 limited. Usually it is letters again.

5 Q. Yes, indeed. But apart from letters alleging libel, you

6 always found it difficult, did you, to get solicitors to

7 be forthcoming about their cases?

8 A. Yes, you know, to a large extent, it is covered by

9 client confidentiality, and the sort of cases we would

10 be covering would have either been done and dusted or,

11 you know, before the courts and we wouldn't have wanted

12 to prejudice the cases.

13 Q. Did you have the same experience in relation to

14 Rosemary Nelson?

15 A. Well, with Rosemary there would have been occasions

16 where -- yes, she would have been in touch with my

17 colleague regarding particularly Colin Duffy's arrest

18 for the murder of the two policemen.

19 Q. And in relation to that matter, therefore, she was, was

20 she, more forthcoming --

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. -- than solicitors generally tend to be?

23 A. Yes, I think that would be fair to say.

24 Q. Was she, as far as you know, at any rate, in regular

25 contact with your more senior colleague on the paper?

 

 

81

 

1 A. She would have been, yes.

2 Q. Both about the Garvaghy Road case we have touched on but

3 also about the second Colin Duffy matter?

4 A. Particularly the second Colin Duffy matter.

5 Q. Did she give interviews to him?

6 A. I am not sure. I wasn't involved in those

7 conversations.

8 Q. Are you aware, though, that articles were published in

9 your newspaper about those two cases?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And they were written by your more senior colleague?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And she cooperated with him as far as you are aware?

14 A. As far as I am aware.

15 Q. Thank you. But otherwise it looks from your statement

16 as though some of what you knew of Rosemary Nelson was

17 in fact gleaned from the media?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You saw articles about her in the newspapers, not just

20 your own, presumably?

21 A. Hm-mm, yes, we would always be watching out for articles

22 about -- you know -- any local person in the national

23 media or, you know, particularly the Belfast dailies.

24 Q. And presumably you also saw her on television, did you?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

82

 

1 Q. And it looks as though one of the things that you did,

2 perhaps not you personally but the newspaper did, was to

3 pick up local stories, perhaps about her, and feed them

4 up to the national press?

5 A. It would have tended to be the opposite way actually.

6 We would have maybe picked up stories that would have

7 come to prominence in the nationals and picked those up

8 for our paper. Sometimes, you know, some of the

9 accusations being dealt with, she might have -- one

10 might have come to light in national papers before we

11 would have had the chance to publish.

12 Q. And you would then follow it up locally?

13 A. We would follow it up locally, yes.

14 Q. And the example you give in paragraph 8 at the top of

15 page RNI-835-045 (displayed) concerns a threat?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. But in fairness, you weren't involved in that work, were

18 you?

19 A. No.

20 Q. And you have no direct knowledge of any of those

21 matters, other than what you have gleaned from the

22 newspapers?

23 A. Other than what has been in the newspapers.

24 Q. Yes. And so far as the second example you give in

25 relation to a stop and search, again, it looks as though

 

 

83

 

1 what you know about that comes as second-hand from the

2 newspapers, perhaps including your own?

3 A. Yes, in that case the reason, I recall, that we had

4 reason to feature the person concerned: last year he had

5 been arrested by the police in a, to be honest, rather

6 innocuous incident and we had highlighted the fact that

7 he was a potential witness in the Inquiry.

8 Q. Just pausing there, so this is -- I hadn't understood

9 this from your statement. So this is an article which

10 the Lurgan Mail published last year?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. In relation to a former client of Rosemary Nelson?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Who is a witness to this inquiry?

15 A. Well, we certainly thought he would have been. I am not

16 100 per cent sure. I haven't seen the witness list but

17 he was one that had come to prominence having alleged

18 that he had been passed a threat to Rosemary Nelson

19 before her death.

20 Q. I see. So in a sense you are still following up on

21 that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Even now -- last year, in 2007?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, you give your view of the perception of

 

 

84

 

1 her client base in paragraph 11, and what you say there

2 presumably, again, is based not on your direct knowledge

3 but upon what you picked up about the way in which she

4 was regarded?

5 A. Well, certainly, you know, Loyalist contacts of mine at

6 the time -- had been saying various things. I am

7 thinking particularly after her death rather than before

8 it. But you know, after her death, they would have been

9 coming to us -- coming to me and saying, "Well, she

10 was -- one of the more ugly comments -- an IRA

11 solicitor". So there was that definite perception that

12 she acted for Republicans.

13 Q. There is a slight difference, isn't there, between being

14 an IRA solicitor and acting for Republicans, which was

15 the comment that he was made to you?

16 A. I would have had both. I would have had both. There

17 would have been people saying she had acted for

18 Republicans. There are others that would have put it

19 more strongly and said that she was -- she sympathised.

20 Q. These were comments made to you, so I am clear, after

21 her murder. Is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Were any such comments made to you before her murder,

24 that you can remember?

25 A. I can't remember.

 

 

85

 

1 Q. But so, certainly some people commented to you, or gave

2 you the impression, that their perception of her was of

3 acting for only one side?

4 A. Yes, that would have been their perception.

5 Q. Or indeed of being on one side?

6 A. Yes. That is certainly -- as you say, I am coming back

7 with what people were saying to me. It certainly was

8 that perception.

9 Q. Right. But you comment that in relation to the other

10 side, if I can put it that way, the Nationalist side --

11 this is still in your paragraph 11 -- you say the view

12 was that she acted for a whole range of people, i.e. not

13 the two prominent cases we have discussed, but others as

14 well?

15 A. Oh, certainly, you know, everything from run of the mill

16 speeding offences, you know, drink driving, all the

17 usual cases that you hear before the Magistrates' Court.

18 Q. Again, can I ask you: is that a perception of her which

19 you were aware of before her murder?

20 A. Oh, yes. Well, again, you know, we would have -- we

21 would have seen Rosemary acting in such cases at the

22 Magistrates' Court ourselves, you know.

23 Q. Can I just ask you, going back to the first perceptions

24 that you have mentioned, you say after the murder. In

25 what circumstances did individuals express these views

 

 

86

 

1 to you?

2 A. The most memorable would have been actually over the

3 phone on the day of her murder. You know, I got back to

4 the office and got several phone calls, you know, from

5 Loyalists within the town, sort of expressing this view,

6 you know, that she had acted for Republicans and so on,

7 and in one case, you know, that she was involved to

8 a greater degree herself.

9 Q. So these were individuals, were they, claiming to know?

10 A. Individuals, I think -- giving off steam at the local

11 paper, I think, in a sense, you know, sort of trying to

12 make of excuses for it.

13 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you. These were people who

14 rang you at the Lurgan Mail on the day of her murder to

15 explain or justify?

16 A. Certainly my view or my opinion would be, yes, they were

17 trying to justify it to an extent.

18 Q. And did they do that in order to assist you in writing

19 articles?

20 A. I don't honestly know what their motivation would have

21 been in that respect, but certainly, you know, we did

22 receive the calls.

23 Q. And are these matters that you subsequently mentioned to

24 the police investigating the murder?

25 A. No, I don't think so. I think -- I think my -- or their

 

 

87

 

1 initial question was about police actions at the scene.

2 Q. Were these individuals who were claiming to have known

3 what happened, for example?

4 A. No.

5 Q. So would this be fair: that they were ringing you to, as

6 it were, sound off?

7 A. Yes. That would be a fair assessment.

8 Q. And these are people whom you knew?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And you knew their names?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And you were confident, were you, that they were coming

13 from the Loyalist side of the community?

14 A. Oh, absolutely.

15 Q. Would you be prepared to give their names?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Was this matter referred to during the course of your

18 interview?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Because it doesn't feature in your statement, does it?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Are you concerned to protect sources?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Would you be prepared to give those names to the

25 Inquiry?

 

 

88

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. Now, can we turn, please, to the day of the murder

3 itself? You say that it was a complete shock to you?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And as far as you were aware, presumably, to other

6 members of the local community?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. But you make some comments about the way you understood

9 it in paragraph 14.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And you say in particular in the third sentence:

12 "within the town at the time, there were dissidents

13 who were quite active and still are."

14 Do you mean Loyalist dissidents?

15 A. No, Republican dissidents.

16 Q. "And considering what things the Loyalists had done at

17 around that time, another murder was not a major event."

18 A. I suppose what I was saying there was while it was

19 a shock, at the same time it just didn't come as a bolt

20 from the blue, you know. There were still sort of

21 people being killed at that time.

22 Q. Did you not think it made it out of the order or a major

23 event that this was a lawyer being killed?

24 A. Yes, her murder was a major event, but a murder as such,

25 you know, you are not sort of going, "This is completely

 

 

89

 

1 out of the blue".

2 Q. I see. So to be clear about this then, the fact that

3 a murder took place in March 1999 was not of itself

4 a major event?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Because there was still dissident conflict in that area?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. But you accept, do you, that the murder of this

9 particular individual was something of a major event?

10 A. Oh, absolutely.

11 Q. Yes. So that is the way we should understand, is it,

12 your comment that you didn't consider her murder to be

13 out of the ordinary?

14 A. Yes. Well, a murder wasn't out of the ordinary. The

15 murder of Rosemary Nelson is something extraordinary.

16 Q. Yes. Now, you went to the scene of the explosion?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you went with a colleague who was a photographer?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Can you remember at what time you arrived?

21 A. It must have been some time shortly after 1 o'clock; one

22 of my colleagues had been at a hairdresser. She spoke

23 to the office and said, "Look, we have heard an

24 explosion here. There seems to be something going on".

25 So myself and the photographer hopped into the car and

 

 

90

 

1 took a drive round the general area where the explosion

2 had been reported to try and see what was going on.

3 Q. And you remained there, as I understand it, from about

4 lunchtime -- is that right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So 12? 1?

7 A. It would have been after 1 o'clock.

8 Q. Until about half past three?

9 A. Until about half three, yes, I think that would have

10 been about it.

11 Q. And you describe what you saw and observed there:

12 First, that it was a very emotional -- unsurprisingly,

13 a very emotional scene?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And there was, as you put it, obvious grief and anger?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And it sounds as though this was, even for somebody such

18 as yourself who has observed similar situations, a

19 particularly emotional scene?

20 A. It was particularly emotional. Usually for most murder

21 scenes that I have covered, they have tended to be more

22 isolated. With this one, you know, it was in the middle

23 of the community setting, and you had a lot more people

24 around than I would have usually seen at a scene like

25 that.

 

 

91

 

1 Q. So it was in a residential area?

2 A. In a residential area, yes.

3 Q. And by the time you got there at lunchtime there were

4 a number of people already gathered?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Outside the cordon?

7 A. Yes, they were just around the cordon line.

8 Q. It the numbers grow during the time that you were there?

9 A. It did.

10 Q. Yes. And you help us here with your recollection of the

11 conduct of the security forces at the scene?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And in particular, you believe that it was the police

14 who manned the cordons?

15 A. Yes, and I am saying that because I remember a policeman

16 being pointed out to me and I think they were sort of at

17 the front end of it, if you like.

18 Q. So do you think it is possible that there were military

19 personnel there as well?

20 A. I think there were as well. At the time I made my

21 statement I hadn't recalled them.

22 Q. Now, when you were present, presumably there were

23 a number of police and perhaps Army personnel in full

24 view?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

92

 

1 Q. You could see them?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You could see the way they were behaving?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. The way they were conducting themselves?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And what you tell us is that they were in professional

8 mode and were no different from every other major

9 incident that I have attended?

10 A. Yes, to my view they were standing there doing their

11 job. There was no -- there was nothing that I would

12 have said was untoward about their behaviour that I saw.

13 Q. And you witnessed no abuse from them to the crowds, nor

14 from the crowds to them?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Did you see, for example, police officers and others

17 laughing, joking around?

18 A. I didn't see that.

19 Q. No. Did you see any unprofessional behaviour during

20 your hours at the scene?

21 A. No. But I should point out that we had people at the

22 scene saying that, you know, before we arrived, they had

23 seen, you know, a Land Rover driving off with a bunch of

24 soldiers sort of out the back, laughing and cheering and

25 actions like that.

 

 

93

 

1 Q. Is this what you are referring to in paragraph 22, on

2 RNI-801-048 (displayed)?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. What you describe there as:

5 "The general nature of the comments were that

6 security forces were behaving in a triumphalist manner

7 ..."

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. "... and reports of police officers making clenched fist

10 salutes."

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So I am clear, you didn't yourself see behaviour of that

13 kind?

14 A. No.

15 Q. But I think I am right in saying that you reported it in

16 your paper?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. The next day?

19 A. It would have been the following Wednesday.

20 Q. The next edition?

21 A. The next edition, yes.

22 Q. What were those reports based on?

23 A. They were based on the witnesses we had. Obviously as

24 reporters we are not going to personally see everything

25 that we report on. So what we do is, you know, we speak

 

 

94

 

1 to witnesses at the scene and see what they are saying

2 to us, and in this case, you know, there was enough

3 commonality and enough there for us to feel comfortable,

4 "Right, okay, something went on, we have to report it".

5 Q. It sounds as though from your statement as though,

6 amongst the calls you received that day -- or perhaps in

7 subsequent days -- were calls from people saying that

8 they had been at the scene?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Is this right? And they had witnessed behaviour of this

11 kind?

12 A. People approached me at the scene with those allegations

13 as well.

14 Q. There was one particular approach you record and it is

15 recorded in your police statement at RNI-835-165

16 (displayed). I would like to ask you about it now.

17 This is the statement you made on 23rd April, which

18 we saw a little earlier?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you say about eight lines down:

21 "I would be known locally as a journalist and

22 probably because I was there with a note pad and

23 cameraman, I was approached by around five people, male

24 and female, who obviously realised I was a journalist.

25 They all complained about police triumphalism and

 

 

95

 

1 laughing. The quote relayed to me was, 'We got her'."

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So on your arrival at the scene, you were approached by

4 individuals who were in the crowd, as it were?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Who knew you were a journalist and who wanted to tell

7 you these things?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And that was when you heard also, is it, that there had

10 been a policeman in a police Land Rover giving

11 a clenched fist salute?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. But at the time it was clear to you, wasn't it, that so

14 far as your observations went, there was no behaviour of

15 that kind?

16 A. No, not when I was there.

17 Q. And you have said in April 1999:

18 "I saw nothing that caused me any concern."

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So in other words, if you had seen that sort of

21 behaviour, doubtless you would have reported it?

22 A. Absolutely.

23 Q. Because you would have seen it for yourself?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. But you reported it anyway, didn't you, simply on the

 

 

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1 basis that this was reported to you?

2 A. Yes. We had eye-witnesses, some of them I felt to be

3 credible, and on my return to the office, you know,

4 myself and the more senior reporter both received calls

5 of that nature saying, you know, these guys, they didn't

6 behave themselves in a way that we expect the police at

7 the scene or Army at the scene to behave.

8 Q. But you were aware at the scene, weren't you, of the

9 danger of being manipulated in your reporting?

10 A. Well, I did make a statement about a lady that had come

11 to me about a police officer pointing a gun. Now, in my

12 youth and inexperience, shall we say, I did sort of draw

13 the view that she had been trying to sort of slant my

14 reporting of that. Looking back on it, I am not

15 a mind-reader, I don't know what her motivation in

16 coming to me was. It could well have been a genuine

17 concern, although the officer that she indicated to me,

18 he was pointing his weapon at the ground in the way that

19 they are supposed to.

20 Q. What you said to the police, naive or not,

21 in April 1999, was:

22 "I was of the impression certainly this one woman

23 was trying to slant my reporting of this matter."

24 A. Yes, as I said, in my naivety in 1999, yes, but with

25 a bit more experience, a few more years under the belt,

 

 

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1 I have to say that I can't attribute motives to her like

2 that. I am not a mind-reader.

3 Q. But can I take it, therefore, that this particular

4 incident about the policeman with the gun you did not

5 report in the Lurgan Mail?

6 A. No, because there I was able to see for myself exactly

7 what was happening and felt that, you know -- there is

8 no concern there.

9 Q. But you can see that the question obviously arises: what

10 was the difference between this and the reports of

11 triumphalist behaviour?

12 A. Well, in this case that is something I was able to

13 witness myself and say, okay, I know that didn't happen.

14 I have nothing to say that, you know, what people have

15 alleged with regards to unsavoury behaviour. I have

16 nothing to say that they didn't. I think as a local

17 reporter, it was our duty to express those concerns.

18 Q. So you printed those allegations?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And as far as the Lurgan Mail was concerned -- you

21 appreciate we don't have the articles -- was that the

22 end of the matter or did you receive comment in relation

23 to that piece?

24 A. No, I can't recall us receiving any further comment on

25 that piece.

 

 

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1 Q. Now, in the closing section of your statement, you deal

2 with a couple of matters concerning the murder itself,

3 and this is now paragraphs 29 and 30 on RNI-801-050 and

4 to the end of the page (displayed).

5 The first point you raise with the Inquiry is that

6 you yourself didn't notice a particularly heavy military

7 presence in the area on your return after the weekend of

8 13th/14th March?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. But I think I am right in saying that what you are

11 explaining to us here is that you yourself wouldn't have

12 been in this particular area, i.e. the Kilwilke Estate?

13 A. No, I wouldn't have been in the Kilwilke area of the

14 town that weekend.

15 Q. But what you do say is that at that time, in March 1999,

16 it was a regular occurrence or quite a regular

17 occurrence, is the way you put it, to see helicopters

18 flying around?

19 A. Yes, we would -- it was pretty regular to have

20 a helicopter overhead at some stage through the course

21 of the week. It seemed to be -- it wouldn't have been

22 a permanent fixture, but it certainly seemed that way

23 sometimes.

24 Q. Then you make comment about the nature of the device --

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. Just to be clear about this, your view about it is

2 obviously not based on any forensic evidence that you

3 yourself have seen?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Neither about this murder, nor about other Loyalist

6 killings?

7 A. No, this was purely on the perceptions that had been,

8 you know -- that I would be aware of.

9 Q. It is not on any direct evidence?

10 A. No.

11 Q. No. Now, finally I just want to ask you, Mr Aiken,

12 whether there is any other matter relating to the

13 Inquiry which you would like to raise with the panel

14 now, which I haven't covered in our discussions?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Aiken, for coming to

18 give evidence before us.

19 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, there is just one final matter, because,

20 as you know, our next witness is not until tomorrow

21 morning.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

23 MR PHILLIPS: Just to keep you up-to-date, we have handed

24 out a list of all witnesses in this part of the case.

25 It is a reasonably broad church, if I can put it that

 

 

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1 way, under the heading of "Media", as you will see from

2 some of the names upon it and there are two cases where

3 a decision has not yet finally been made as to whether

4 the witness should come and give evidence, but we have

5 handed that out to the Full Participants'

6 representatives this afternoon.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will adjourn until quarter

8 past 10 tomorrow morning.

9 (3.53 pm)

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

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MR BRENDAN ANDERSON (sworn) ...................... 1
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Question by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ............ 69
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MR CLINT AIKEN (sworn) ........................... 69
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Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 69
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