Transcripts

Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 25th April 2008, day 9

Click here to download the LiveNote version

 

 

 

 

 

 


----------------------

 

 

ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

----------------------

 

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


on Friday, 25th April 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Friday, 25th April 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, you will remember we were coming to the

6 end of the pre-murder chronology and I was about to

7 mention the second LAJI delegation visit, this one

8 in February 1999.

9 Before I do that, sir, I want to show you just

10 a couple of documents in relation to Mr Cumaraswamy,

11 lest it be thought for a moment that that particular

12 business, if I can put it that way, had come to an end.

13 I am anxious not to give the impression that during

14 the latter part of 1998 and early part of 1999

15 everything else went quiet. It is certainly not the

16 case.

17 Can we look, please at RNI-110-082 (displayed)?

18 This is a letter from him to the Chief

19 Superintendent at Command Secretariat and

20 10th November 1998 is the date, and this is a follow-up

21 to the visit and the report and, do you remember, his

22 suggestion that there should be discussion, dialogue, as

23 he puts it, between the defence lawyers and the RUC. He

24 sets out his concern -- this is all part of improving

25 relations and also encouraging both sides, as it were,

 

 

2

 

1 to cooperate the one with the other:

2 "My concern after the meetings in the office of the

3 Chief Constable was that the Chief Constable adopted the

4 approach that unless complaints were submitted and

5 substantiated, there was nothing he could do. He knew,

6 or ought to have known, that the lawyers concerned had

7 lost confidence in the mechanism and found it futile to

8 submit complaints."

9 What he is asking for, you see there in the final

10 paragraph, is effectively a progress report from the RUC

11 as to what had happened. The response comes back

12 in December the 18th at RNI-110-184 (displayed):

13 "Dear Mr Cumaraswamy, thank for your letter of

14 10th November, the contents of which I brought to the

15 Chief Constable's attention. The Chief Constable will

16 be pleased to meet with a group of defence lawyers and

17 we have written to the Law Society."

18 So again, this is an example of a range of

19 correspondence in our files which I haven't troubled you

20 with, but this was a continuing matter as at the end of

21 this year and the beginning of the following year, 1999.

22 Then there next follows the 1999 report from the

23 Special Rapporteur. It begins at RNI-110-185

24 (displayed). So far as we are concerned, because this

25 report deals with a very large number of countries, the

 

 

3

 

1 UK section at RNI-110-221 (displayed), effectively

2 continues the story from his March report, which had

3 caused such a stir. And he begins at RNI-110-186

4 (displayed), a section under the familiar heading

5 "Intimidation and Harassment of Defence Lawyers", and

6 starts with paragraph 38 which, if you remember, was his

7 concluding paragraph on that topic. He takes the matter

8 on, having quoted from the Government's response; we saw

9 that yesterday, the 1st April.

10 He then quotes a report from a newspaper as to what

11 the Chief Constable had said about it:

12 "All of his complaints relate to hearsay. I am not

13 saying they should not be taken seriously, but he has

14 come to conclusions without any firm evidence."

15 He then deals with that assertion and points out the

16 limits of his powers to compel witnesses. This goes to

17 the point about substantiation or not, and says in the

18 fifth line:

19 "The facts remain that the RUC was fully aware of

20 these complaints through NGO reports, both domestic and

21 international. It failed to take note. In the view of

22 the Special Rapporteur, the RUC showed complete

23 indifference no the allegations contained in the reports

24 from NGOs. The lawyers concerned were only about 30 of

25 the 1,700 solicitors in Northern Ireland and could

 

 

4

 

1 easily be identified. The Chief Constable could easily

2 have called them for a meeting and enquired why they

3 were complaining to the NGOs and not to the RUC.

4 Through such a dialogue, confidence in the RUC

5 investigation mechanism could have been restored. This,

6 the Chief Constable failed to do and allowed the

7 situation to deteriorate."

8 So, sir, so far as that aspect of his 1998 report is

9 concerned, therefore, the Rapporteur continues to push

10 hard, you may think, in this text for further changes,

11 further movement on the part of the RUC.

12 Then this paragraph, 188. There are no names used

13 but it is obvious that it refers to Rosemary Nelson:

14 "Recently, a solicitor made a number of formal

15 complaints, the investigations of which were supervised

16 by the Independent Commission for Police Complaints.

17 "The Special Rapporteur received information that

18 the Commission expressed dissatisfaction with the manner

19 in which these complaints were investigated. As

20 a result, the Metropolitan Police of London were

21 appointed to investigate them. The investigation is yet

22 to be completed. This, once again, illustrates the lack

23 of confidence in the RUC investigation mechanism and

24 demonstrates further why the lawyers concerned refuse to

25 complain to the RUC."

 

 

5

 

1 Then he ends with a reference to the again familiar

2 theme of bringing in audio and video recording and

3 expresses his hope at the end that what he refers to as

4 the Chris Patten Commission will address this issue.

5 Indeed, sir, the Rapporteur's involvement in this

6 matter and its impact -- one again can imagine how these

7 paragraphs were received in the respective organisations

8 after all the trouble of the previous year -- can be

9 seen at RNI-107-003 (displayed).

10 Sir, this is four days before Rosemary Nelson's

11 murder and it is the familiar process that we saw the

12 previous year, whereby government departments, in this

13 case the NIO, are bracing themselves, are gearing up for,

14 another report and another, you may think, inevitable

15 impact:

16 "We have just received the draft copy ..."

17 This is to the Command Secretariat and it gives fair

18 warning, as it were, to the RUC of what is likely to

19 come out when the report is made public, which could be,

20 as it says in the second paragraph, as early as next

21 week.

22 Now, in fact, sir, the report was published, I

23 think, just after the murder and to complete the history

24 here, on the day after the murder the Rapporteur issued

25 his own press release at RNI-110-226 (displayed) which,

 

 

6

 

1 so far as we are concerned, for the moment, brings this

2 particular matter to an end. He expresses his sadness

3 at learning of the murder and he then sets out the

4 history as he sees it:

5 "She had received numerous death threats during the

6 past few years as a result of her defence work. In an

7 urgent action to transmit it to the Government

8 in August 1997 ..."

9 We remember that letter, 1st August:

10 "... the Special Rapporteur intervened on behalf of

11 Mrs Nelson as a result of a death threat she had

12 received for her representation of a client accused of

13 murdering two Royal Ulster Constabulary officers. It

14 was also alleged in relation to the representation of

15 a residents group who opposed marching by the Orange

16 Order through their Nationalist housing estate that she

17 had been verbally and physically abused while attempting

18 to intervene with and RUC officer who had cordoned off

19 the area. She was also allegedly struck on the back of

20 her head with a police riot shield while intervening on

21 behalf of boy who was allegedly being ill-treated by an

22 RUC officer. At that time, the Special Rapporteur had

23 called upon the Government to investigate these

24 allegations and to ensure the security of Mrs Nelson."

25 Then he deals with his own meeting with

 

 

7

 

1 Rosemary Nelson during the visit he paid to

2 Northern Ireland. That is not something I highlighted

3 in my presentation to you. I should have done. They

4 obviously had a meeting and she informed him at that

5 meeting of further threats and intimidation she had

6 received. So Mr Cumaraswamy received information direct

7 from Rosemary Nelson during his mission in October 1997.

8 Then he broadens the matter out and explains what

9 his conclusion was based on all the information received

10 from solicitors he met while in Northern Ireland, and

11 what his recommendations were, then recites the history

12 with the Mulvihill investigation -- he says it is still

13 ongoing -- and calls upon the Government:

14 "... to establish an independent and impartial

15 commission of inquiry to investigate this brutal crime,

16 to apprehend those responsible and bring them to

17 justice."

18 Then he expresses his condolences to the family and

19 friends and colleagues.

20 Now, sir, returning then to the business of the LAJI

21 delegation, that takes place, the second visit, in

22 1999, February, as I said. Again, they had a meeting

23 with the Chief Constable. We know in relation to this

24 meeting from the evidence that unlike in relation to the

25 earlier meeting, Mr Lynch was present and we have seen

 

 

8

 

1 already, of course, that he had been involved in the

2 intervening period in the Mulvihill investigation and

3 indeed had attended interviews during the year which

4 elapsed between the two visits.

5 Sir, we have, as I have said before, the witness

6 statements of those who were present and I don't wish to

7 go into detail about them, not least because, again, the

8 Full Participants have not yet received

9 Sir Ronnie Flanagan's statement on the point. But the

10 thrust of what is said about the meeting is that

11 Rosemary Nelson's case was specifically mentioned at the

12 meeting, concerns were expressed, the delegates say,

13 again, about her safety, and the suggestion is that in

14 response, the Chief Constable said that he didn't know

15 much about the case and later indicated that he would

16 need proof that the threats had indeed been made.

17 The way in which the matter is put, as I say,

18 between the various members of the delegation varies,

19 but on those simple points there appears to be some

20 unanimity. We can see what was done, certainly based on

21 what we have had disclosed to us, in preparation for the

22 meeting at the RUC side by looking at the briefing

23 material at RNI-104-008 (displayed).

24 The heading makes clear what it is and it appears to

25 be a note focusing on the question of complaints made by

 

 

9

 

1 solicitors in their own right; so a very particular

2 breed or type of complaint. And it ties that point into

3 the publicity surrounding the recent report of the UN.

4 Then it says that the Complaints and Discipline

5 Department has endeavoured to monitor instances of

6 complaints made by solicitors per se and that the

7 exercise began in approximately April. And it says it

8 has been possible to identify nine such complaints to

9 date and an additional complaint, referring to an

10 incident on 28th February, has also fortuitously come to

11 light.

12 Now, sir, can I take you down to the fourth

13 paragraph following the introductory section in the

14 second paragraph. You see a reference there to

15 a newspaper article, which I won't take you to, but the

16 fourth paragraph says:

17 "There appears to be a larger number of complaints

18 lodged by Rosemary Nelson over the year (three

19 identified) mostly in relation to remarks made by

20 officers during interview. Indeed, the same solicitor

21 has lodged a number of complaints in 1997, all of which

22 are still under external investigation, Mulvihill

23 Inquiry. Apart from this individual solicitor, there

24 does not seem to be an abundance of complaints arising

25 out of any one particular firm of solicitors."

 

 

10

 

1 Now, sir, elsewhere in the file there are details

2 provided, maybe also for this meeting, of the various

3 complaints that were going on at the time but I am not

4 going to take you to those now. It looks, therefore,

5 however, from this note, as though the briefing for the

6 Chief Constable was on this issue of solicitor

7 complaints specifically, and Rosemary Nelson was

8 highlighted to him as being the source of the largest

9 number so far monitored in the exercise which had been

10 going on apparently since April.

11 The position certainly so far as the delegates were

12 concerned, therefore -- again, taking this briefly

13 because of the evidential stage we have reached -- is

14 that at the end of the meeting it was, it seems, their

15 expectation that something would be done to look into

16 these matters and that they had, as it were, passed

17 their concerns over, across the table, and that

18 following the meeting there might be a further look

19 taken, perhaps a further investigation. They put it in

20 different ways, I should make that clear.

21 Now, sir, that then was in February and so far as

22 the things I wish to highlight at this stage, that takes

23 us to the day of the murder itself. What I would like

24 to do is to show you a couple of documents with

25 immediate reaction at the NIO side, which pick up a lot

 

 

11

 

1 of the points we have been looking at and then a couple

2 of documents only, I think all from the next day, which

3 record comments made in interviews by the

4 Chief Constable.

5 So far as the post-murder period is concerned, that

6 is it.

7 So looking first at the NIO side, RNI-107-013,

8 please (displayed). Now, this is, as it says, an

9 incident report update and there are as I have said, I

10 think, a substantial number of documents in the file

11 which, unsurprisingly, come into being as soon as the

12 news is known of the murder.

13 At this stage, the Secretary of State is in fact in

14 the United States of America and so, when we look at the

15 documents in more detail during the hearings, you will

16 see that the notes, the memoranda are speeding backwards

17 and forwards to her and her officials in Washington from

18 those who are in London and Belfast.

19 Now, there is the summary of the incident, and at 2

20 it says:

21 "Rosemary Nelson's notoriety as a solicitor was down

22 to the fact that she defended a number of high profile

23 Republicans, for example, Colin Duffy, who had been

24 suspected, among other things, of involvement in the

25 murder of two police officers in Lurgan in June 1997.

 

 

12

 

1 "Mrs Nelson also acted on behalf of the Hamill

2 family and the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition.

3 Comparisons will be drawn between her murder and that of

4 Belfast solicitor, Pat Finucane, ten years ago."

5 Sir, in addition to picking up the themes that we

6 have been looking at recently in the opening over the

7 last day or so, what you will see, I would suggest, in

8 this material is support for the points I made to you

9 right at the outset of my opening, namely about the way

10 in which her murder was immediately perceived,

11 immediately seen.

12 Turning over the page to RNI-107-014 (displayed),

13 you will see a short paragraph concerning the

14 investigation; at 4, already on the radar, the reports

15 that the area had been swamped with security forces.

16 Then with that brief background, the memorandum then

17 turns to background details, as it puts it, on

18 Rosemary Nelson, and under the heading "Allegations and

19 Complaints", we see the Cumaraswamy matter dealt with,

20 the various quotations there, what he recommended on the

21 next page, RNI-107-015. And at 8, what we have now seen, which is

22 the forthcoming further report and what the Government

23 response was.

24 At 10 are the various ongoing complaints, and at 11,

25 the background to that being:

 

 

13

 

1 "The ICPC has publicly expressed serious concerns

2 about the investigations and the Mulvihill matter."

3 And then at 12, under the heading "Mrs Nelson's

4 Personal Security," are these paragraphs:

5 "In August 1998, leaflets making disparaging

6 comments and veiled threats about Rosemary Nelson were

7 distributed in Portadown. Police division brought these

8 leaflets to the attention of the RUC and asked for

9 advice regarding her security. The RUC advised they

10 were not aware of any specific threat against

11 Mrs Nelson. Police division have also received

12 correspondence, including from Jane Winter of British

13 Irish Rights Watch, about Mrs Nelson's security. They

14 responded that the police were responsible for this

15 issue and that the Government had a limited scheme for

16 which Mrs Nelson could apply. She did not take

17 this up."

18 Then in a now familiar way, the various lines to

19 take, and you will see at RNI-107-018 (displayed) lines

20 were, on the day of the murder, being formulated in

21 relation to this question of security. Under the

22 heading "Security":

23 "It is not our practice to comment to the details

24 security for any individual. This is an operational

25 matter for the police."

 

 

14

 

1 Then in response to a question, "What about KPPS?"

2 "We did mention to some who wrote to behalf of

3 Mrs Nelson that she could apply to be admitted to the

4 Government's limited scheme. This was not taken up.

5 She did not contact us directly."

6 Then you will see the lines at RNI-107-019

7 (displayed) in relation to the sort of allegation that

8 was anticipated under the heading "Shows RUC cannot be

9 trusted and should be disbanded".

10 Perhaps an indication of the importance of this

11 document can be seen from the next page, RNI-107-020, which really

12 speaks for itself.

13 Now, sir, the next document I would like to show you

14 and the last in relation to the NIO at this stage is the

15 next day, and it is at RNI-107-021 (displayed) and you

16 will see there what I was mentioning earlier about the

17 need to communicate to Washington. This is addressed to

18 the private secretary, care of the Embassy in

19 Washington. It is "Murder of Rosemary Nelson Update",

20 and this is important for the matter to which we will

21 turn in a moment. I think I am right in saying that it

22 comes from the official who played a major role in the

23 negotiations which are then described in paragraph 2,

24 and this is the allegation which, as you see, has also

25 surfaced the next day to the effect that a Number 10

 

 

15

 

1 official, presumably Jonathan Powell:

2 "... refused protection for Rosemary Nelson when

3 asked to provide this by GRRC members ..."

4 That is the coalition members:

5 "... during proximity talks last year. We can find

6 no record in the agreed minutes of the proximity talks

7 involving Jonathan Powell that her name was mentioned.

8 The GRRC did speak about concerns they had for their own

9 security and Jonathan Powell agreed that these should be

10 pursued by officials. This led to the developments set

11 out in the annex to this paper.

12 "The key points in respect of Mrs Nelson are that

13 she never approached us direct about her personal

14 security, although we made known to those who enquired

15 that if she got in touch we would be very ready to

16 consider the issue. We also twice sought the views of

17 the RUC about possible protection for Mrs Nelson, but

18 were told on each occasion that they believed that no

19 specific threat existed."

20 There are, of course, then lines to take about that.

21 I don't wish to dwell on them, but at RNI-107-024

22 (displayed) in the same file, there the general matters

23 on personal security and then the particular matters on

24 the scheme, the KPPS, are set out. And turning over to

25 RNI-107-025 at the top, (displayed) you will see that

 

 

16

 

1 this is the line in relation to requests for security on

2 the day after the murder:

3 "Mrs Nelson did not approach the NIO herself about

4 security at any time. Enquiries were made to NIO by

5 third parties on behalf of Mrs Nelson seeking

6 information and advice on what might be done to enhance

7 her personal security. NIO responded by outlining

8 the range of ways in which protection could be

9 available. We also advised third parties that

10 Mrs Nelson should apply directly to NIO if she wished to

11 be considered for inclusion in the Key Persons

12 Protection Scheme. No such application was ever

13 received."

14 Then some specific lines in relation to the

15 allegation that I showed you, referred to in paragraph 2

16 of this memorandum, and the involvement alleged of

17 Jonathan Powell with the issue, said to have been raised

18 in the summer.

19 You will see in the second bullet point there under

20 the bold heading "If Pressed" on this, there would be

21 a line about:

22 "... the assessment carried out last year which

23 indicated that the police were not aware of any specific

24 threat against her."

25 So you will see there, sir, the themes of the

 

 

17

 

1 correspondence in relation to the August assessment that

2 we have already seen for ourselves from the documents,

3 and although no dates are put on it, you may think that

4 what is referred to in the third bullet point on this

5 page, beginning "NIO responded ..." is that letter of

6 24th September, where on the second page, if you

7 remember, various options were set out; that letter

8 being, of course, to Paul Mageean.

9 Sir, just while we are on this document, I can show

10 you without reading any part of it that by this stage

11 also, and with this note at RNI-107-026 (displayed) we

12 see chronology. It is a reasonably detailed one and it

13 shows that all the strands, strands that we have now

14 been looking at, were being pulled together, indeed were

15 understood and recognised at this early stage. So to

16 take an example: we have the Torricelli letter; we have

17 various aspects of the complaints investigations; we

18 have the 23rd February 1998 letter to the Command

19 Secretariat; involvement of the Special Rapporteur dealt

20 with in some detail at 5th March; 1st April, the police

21 response; Mr Donnelly on 19th June; the ICPC saga

22 continuing; the Secretary of State's letter to

23 Jane Winter; and at 24th July, matters to which I will

24 turn in a minute; but then on 6th August, the leaflet

25 goes to Command Secretariat. Interestingly, at this

 

 

18

 

1 stage at any rate, no reference to the second letter and

2 to the threat note. But the police response we have

3 seen, 3rd September; and then the letter I have just

4 mentioned, the 24th; and so far as this page --

5 RNI-107-029 (displayed) -- is concerned, a meeting in

6 Downing Street. You will see from the next page,

7 RNI-107-030 (displayed), that at this stage it was

8 anticipated that the Rapporteur's second report, the one

9 I have just shown you, would issue the next day,

10 17th March.

11 Now, looking back to the question of the RUC, in the

12 immediate aftermath of the murder the Chief Constable

13 gave a large number of interviews and we have

14 transcripts of some of them in our files. Can we look,

15 please, at RNI-104-056 (displayed)?

16 This is an interview with Michael Kane of RTE. You

17 will see the date, Tuesday, 16th March, and much of the

18 first page is concerned with the nature of the

19 investigation and immediately with the issue of

20 collusion. On the next page, at RNI-104-057

21 (displayed), Mr Kane, says:

22 "People in Lurgan are very, very strong and they

23 believe there was security force collusion."

24 Again, as I said to you right at the outset of these

25 submissions, that was the suggestion immediately,

 

 

19

 

1 a point there dealt with by the Chief Constable at the

2 bottom of the page. And discussion of the group that

3 had claimed responsibility, the Red Hand Defenders, at

4 the top of the next page, RNI-104-058 and the question of threats is

5 brought up at RNI-104-059 (displayed). He is asked this

6 long question:

7 "Had you heard beforehand that death threats had

8 been issued against Rosemary Nelson? It is in the

9 papers at the moment. Had you heard beforehand that

10 there had been threats and that you heard that some of

11 your officers, people have claimed since, questioned her

12 professionalism?

13 "Answer: Well, I hadn't heard allegations of any

14 questioning of professionalism. Mrs Nelson was a most

15 professional lawyer who never operated other than in the

16 best interests of her clients. Of course, there were

17 allegations that related to alleged comments made by

18 interviewing officers during interviews of her clients.

19 Now, at that time, those interviews were not audio

20 recorded. I moved immediately to introduce full audio

21 recording as well as video recording of all interviews:"

22 And then he deals with the business of appointment

23 of Commander Mulvihill and says that that is another

24 move also of his. Then he is asked at the end of the

25 interview a question about the general security threat

 

 

20

 

1 and whether the murder itself will have any impact on

2 that, and expresses his view.

3 So, sir, in answer to the specific point put to him

4 on page RNI-105-059 about death threats, there is, at

5 this stage at any rate, no direct answer to that point.

6 Now, sir, so far as other interviews, if we look at

7 RNI-104-050 (displayed), this is an interview

8 transcript. It begins at RNI-104-048 (displayed). This

9 is an interview with UTV on the same day with somebody

10 called Ivan Lyttle. Going through familiar topics

11 raised by the interviewer, can I ask you to look,

12 please, at the bottom of RNI-104-050 (displayed), where

13 the reporter asks.

14 "Question: It has also been reported that

15 Mrs Nelson had sought and had been refused personal

16 protection."

17 The Chief Constable's response is:

18 "I don't think Mrs Nelson ever contacted the RUC to

19 seek such protection, but certainly concerns were

20 expressed on her behalf and those concerns would have

21 been analysed in the light of the then prevailing

22 circumstances."

23 That, if I can summarise the contents of a very

24 large number of interviews, was the line taken at this

25 stage.

 

 

21

 

1 Now, the matter develops somewhat, however, if we

2 move slightly further into the chronology and look at

3 a minute of the April meeting, April 1999, of the Police

4 Authority Northern Ireland. It begins at RNI-104-151

5 (displayed). The members are set out and then those

6 present, the senior officers from the RUC.

7 Sir, the relevant passage so far as we are concerned

8 is at RNI-104-155 (displayed). You will see four

9 paragraphs down there is discussion about

10 Rosemary Nelson and ICPC and the Mulvihill

11 investigation. What was to follow is in the next

12 paragraph -- I mentioned this to you already -- in other

13 words a working party to review the recommendations.

14 Then a number of questions were put and the suggestion

15 was made in the first paragraph of this kind, which

16 begins "during discussion", which is rejected by the

17 Chief Constable, namely that the investigating officer

18 in one of the reports had cast aspersions on the moral

19 character of Mrs Nelson. And discussion followed about

20 the context in which the supervising officer's comments

21 had been made and how they had been misinterpreted or

22 misconstrued to the detriment of the RUC. Then this

23 paragraph:

24 "Members raised a series of questions about whether

25 security protection had been requested or offered to

 

 

22

 

1 Rosemary Nelson. The Chief Constable advised that

2 Mrs Nelson had not sought security advice from the RUC

3 and indicated that prior to her murder the RUC did not

4 have information to suggest that she was the subject of

5 a specific terrorist threat."

6 When, sir, these minutes emerged and the comments

7 there recorded, the CAJ, bearing in mind their

8 correspondence and in particular in August, took the

9 point up and that led to the article in the Irish Times

10 I mentioned earlier yesterday, I think, RNI-104-170

11 (displayed).

12 Clearly, the minutes had emerged in one way or

13 another, because you will see in the third paragraph --

14 the article we are looking at is the first article on

15 the left -- there is a direct quotation, what purports

16 to be a direct quotation from the minutes in that

17 paragraph. The article continues with a quotation there

18 from Mr Mac Cionnaith. As you will have seen, he had

19 already raised his own points about this very, very

20 shortly after the murder. And this, sir, in very brief

21 summary, is what then led, you remember, to the Command

22 Secretariat checking their files at the end of May and

23 the emergence at that stage of the threat note, and that

24 is what I touched on yesterday.

25 Now, so far as the chronology of matters which were,

 

 

23

 

1 in one way or another, either drawn to the attention of

2 the relevant organisations or of which they were aware,

3 that is all I want to show you.

4 However, sir, there is an aspect of the material and

5 the evidence which I haven't attempted yet to bring

6 together for you, although I have said on a number of

7 occasions that it is very difficult to put it into

8 a coherent shape.

9 So before we look at the separate although related

10 question of Drumcree, can I just deal with that, and

11 this is those documents and pieces of witness evidence

12 that we have seen and gathered together which speak of

13 threats but where the threat either didn't make its way

14 through in the process I have been showing you over the

15 last day or so, and indeed where matters may not have

16 been drawn to the attention of the authorities, although

17 if one goes back to look at some of the correspondence,

18 the material I will show you appears to have an echo.

19 I have in mind there comments that are made from time to

20 time that, without any details, Rosemary Nelson has been

21 receiving death threats. We have seen that sort of

22 comment in a number of the NGO and other letters.

23 Sir, I'm going to just take you to some of the

24 matters we have discovered simply because it helps,

25 I hope at any rate, to put the specific issues which

 

 

24

 

1 were the subject of all of this consideration and

2 correspondence in a slightly broader context, because it

3 would be quite wrong to think that those identified

4 particular instances -- Client A, the threat note, the

5 pamphlet -- were isolated in that way. The evidence

6 suggests that the position was quite different.

7 Now, sir, the starting point is the evidence from

8 members of staff that I have mentioned now some days

9 ago, but I have mentioned it to you. It comes in

10 various different forms. I am not going to take you to

11 passages of the evidence at this stage, but there are

12 references I would like to put on the transcript, as it

13 were, in relation to those witnesses who are not to be

14 called. They are in the statement of Annette Sheridan

15 at paragraph 83 at RNI-820-154, and in the statement of

16 Ken McKee at RNI-813-181 at paragraphs 42 and 43. Sir,

17 I am going to resist the temptation to read from the

18 screen.

19 Next are those clients whose allegations about

20 threats did not, as I have tried to demonstrate in my

21 submissions about the complaints, for one reason or

22 another enter the complaints system at all. The two

23 examples I have in mind here are C150 and C200, and

24 again, I am not going to go over the circumstances.

25 Suffice it to say that the threat element, if I can put

 

 

25

 

1 it that way, of the comments, allegations that they made

2 did not come into the complaints process.

3 Do you remember, C200 is the client who says he

4 raised the issue but in fact that matter did not get

5 reported and work its way through the system, and his

6 statement disclosing those matters was not provided and

7 so was not drawn to the attention of the investigating

8 officer. I think that is C200.

9 Now, we have other references in the bundle and in

10 particular there is evidence about a bullet in the post

11 being received by Rosemary Nelson. This I would like to

12 show you some material on very briefly. The first

13 document is at RNI-115-250 (displayed). It is another

14 Jane Winter attendance note. To be clear, it was

15 written, as is obvious, I hope, after the murder and it

16 is paragraph 3. This is, as it were, third hand, but:

17 "When I told Eamonn McKee ..."

18 [an Irish civil servant

19 "... that Jeremy Hardy ..."

20 [who is another witness in the Inquiry]

21 "... had been shown a bullet sent to RN through the

22 post, he said that she also showed him bullets during

23 proximity talks. He was later called about this by

24 Colin Port who told him that based on his service

25 experience he thought they were Army issue bullets."

 

 

26

 

1 In his statement to the Inquiry, Mr McKee says he

2 doesn't specifically recall this, and that is

3 paragraph 21 of his statement at RNI-813-537. So far as

4 Mr Hardy is concerned, who again has given the Inquiry

5 a statement but will not be called to give evidence, his

6 statement at paragraph 25 sheds further light on the

7 matter. That is at RNI-808-068 (displayed).

8 Paragraph 25, he says in the second sentence:

9 "She told me that she received bullets in the post

10 and that clients had said to her that the RUC had said

11 they would kill Rosemary. However, Rosemary never

12 showed me any death threat or bullets or ever described

13 them to me."

14 Sir, as with a number of similar pieces of evidence

15 about these sorts of events, the investigation that we

16 have conducted at the Inquiry casts, you may think,

17 rather a new light on it. It would appear that in fact

18 Mr Hardy was not shown a bullet and indeed did not see

19 either the death threats which were described to him by

20 Rosemary Nelson, nor a bullet or, as he puts it,

21 "bullets".

22 The next matter I want to mention is the question of

23 anonymous calls both to the home and the office, and we

24 have already seen reference to this, not least, I think,

25 in the statement that Rosemary Nelson made to Congress.

 

 

27

 

1 But here I would like to draw to your attention to

2 a document which we find at RNI-302-129.500 (displayed).

3 Could we enlarge this, please? Now, this is -- or

4 would appear to be -- in part the statement we saw

5 earlier in relation to the Garvaghy Road matter. You

6 will see in the third paragraph what we have already

7 read elsewhere about it, and we looked at that, as

8 I say, in that context. But it then continues in

9 a different way. The paragraph beginning:

10 "I then went to find ..."

11 The layout is not the same, the content is not the

12 same as the earlier statement we looked at, nor is there

13 a reference to the second incident, if you remember,

14 4.40/4.45.

15 So she refers in this statement, which is unsigned,

16 to Susan McKay and then sets out further details of what

17 she observed on the Garvaghy Road in addition to the

18 matters we have seen before. As far as we can tell,

19 this version of the statement did not make its way into

20 the complaints process. So it has perhaps an interest

21 from that point of view, in any event.

22 However, the passage I would like to show you

23 appears, in the file at any rate, to come as the next

24 page, although when we look at it, RNI-129-502, it

25 doesn't bear a date and it could easily be, you may

 

 

28

 

1 think, a free-standing note or, as it is put, statement,

2 again unsigned. This does not contain the recitation

3 that it was taken by Mr Mageean, which tends to be the

4 way, as you remember, his statements begin, although if

5 I can suggest, the typeface appears to be the same

6 typeface.

7 Now, this document deals with four death threats

8 which are said to have taken place after the charging of

9 Colin Duffy, when it became public that I was acting for

10 him:

11 "There have been four death threats to my office and

12 home."

13 Then she recites them:

14 "A young girl at my office who was here on work

15 experience received one. The caller said that we were

16 'nothing but IRA bastard and fuckers'. He also said

17 that he would 'get her' (reference to me).

18 "2. One caller asked to speak to me and when he got

19 through, he again asked for Rosemary Nelson, and when

20 I said 'Speaking', he said, 'You are dead, IRA fucker'

21 and hung up.

22 "3. Bernie, one of the secretaries, took this call.

23 The caller said, 'You are IRA bastards and you are going

24 to get shot'.

25 "4. There was also a call to my house which was

 

 

29

 

1 taken by my son who is ten. The caller asked to speak

2 to his mother. When I came on, they said, 'You are

3 dead, you will be shot'."

4 Now, so far as the origin of this note is concerned,

5 can we look, please, at RNI-813-383 (displayed). This

6 is an extract from the statement of Mr Mageean. This is

7 paragraph 28, and the relevant bit is the last two

8 sentences or the last two that are on the screen at any

9 rate. He says:

10 "I have been asked if ..."

11 That is the statement of Rosemary Nelson we have

12 just been looking at:

13 "... was part of the Rosemary's statement. I think

14 that this was a note of a telephone call that I had with

15 Rosemary in 1997 after Colin Duffy's arrest detailing

16 the threats she had received."

17 So even that evidence then doesn't assist us with

18 any precision as to when it was made, other than

19 obviously after the charging of Colin Duffy, which we

20 know took place at the end of June that year.

21 The Inquiry has pursued this aspect, number 3 in the

22 statement, with Bernadette Bradshaw who will be

23 a witness in the hearings. But can we look at her

24 statement at RNI-802-021 in paragraph 22 (displayed).

25 She has referred first of all to threat letters:

 

 

30

 

1 "They may well have been passed to the CAJ. It is

2 unlikely that Rosemary would have given letters to the

3 police. I don't think she trusted the police. I know

4 that Rosemary dealt a lot with Jane Winter at CAJ, and

5 as such she may well have copied her in on letters.

6 A lot of the letters may also have been ripped up.

7 I know that Rosemary received a call relating to her and

8 her staff being called 'IRA bastards'."

9 That is number 3, we think, as I say, on the list:

10 "I do not recall taking the call or the phrase being

11 mentioned to me. So I think that Rosemary must have

12 received the call directly."

13 So again, sir, tantalising, you may think, and

14 inconclusive. But certainly, if Mr Mageean is right,

15 then the document/statement of Rosemary Nelson was

16 a note by him of what he was told on the telephone after

17 the charging of Colin Duffy.

18 Moving on to written material, first of all in the

19 statement of a witness to the Inquiry called

20 Moya St Leger. She describes being shown three bits of

21 paper containing threats when she met Rosemary Nelson on

22 6th August 1998. Can we look, please, at the statement,

23 RNI-820-003 (displayed)? First of all paragraph 8:

24 "During a break ..."

25 This is in a conference, I think, or meeting. I

 

 

31

 

1 think it is the meeting of the old Ethical Society:

2 "During a break, or it may have been after the

3 speeches had finished, I made my way to the front to

4 talk to someone I knew. On my way, I felt a tug at my

5 jacket and saw that it was Rosemary. I had not seen

6 her, we exchanged pleasantries.

7 "She then opened her handbag and handed me three

8 pieces of paper. These were folded when she took them

9 out of her bag. When she handed them to me, I sat down

10 to read them. One of the letters was written in pencil.

11 I did not have my reading glasses with me but the

12 writing was big enough for me to read.

13 "The letter was four to five lines long but I can't

14 remember when it said. I do remember that it was

15 a death threat. The handwriting was not linked up. It

16 was in separate letters, similar to the way handwriting

17 was taught in the 1960s. I would say it was written by

18 someone who wasn't over-educated. It looked like

19 something which had been done by a junior school child."

20 Now, sir, it is impossible to know, but that is

21 clearly the impression it made on this witness. She

22 then refers to another matter about it which

23 distinguished it in her mind, which is:

24 "There was a stamp in one of the corners, the

25 left-hand corner, though I am not sure. It may have

 

 

32

 

1 been the red hand of Ulster with the initials UFF, UVF

2 or LVF. I am not sure about seeing the red hand of

3 Ulster. I am sure about seeing the letters of the

4 Loyalist group. I am not certain, but I think it was

5 UVF. As far as I recall, the letter was not addressed

6 and not signed."

7 Sir, apart from this business of the red hand with

8 the initials, the handwriting she describes might, I

9 think, be the sort of handwriting we saw in the threat

10 note. But it looks as though this may have been another

11 letter, based on what she says there about the red hand

12 and the initials.

13 At paragraph 9 she describes the second one:

14 "The next letter was on half an A4 sheet, made up of

15 letters which had been cut out from a newspaper."

16 We certainly haven't seen that:

17 "There were some capital letter, some letters in

18 lower case, but all of the letters had been cut out from

19 the headlines of a newspaper. I can't recall exactly

20 what the letter said. I do remember that it included

21 the word 'Fenian' and that it was a death threat.

22 "10. The third letter was in small typed print, too

23 small to read without my glasses. I regret that I did

24 not have my reading glasses with me. It was a bit of

25 a blur. All I can say is that the letter was neatly

 

 

33

 

1 typed and in small print."

2 Again, sir, it would appear in relation to this

3 third note also that whatever has happened to it, it

4 hasn't turned up in the Inquiry's work and in the

5 disclosure which has been made to us.

6 Now, in the evidence of some of the LAJI witnesses,

7 we see specific examples given of threats, including --

8 I don't wish to show you this in any detail but I will

9 give the reference. In paragraph 14 of Mr Burke's

10 witness statement, RNI-802-030, an incident which he was

11 told about, he says, by Rosemary Nelson, where a man had

12 followed her in a, as he puts it, a grocery market stall

13 late one afternoon. Then when, as he puts it, they got

14 to an area where there was only two of them, he came up

15 to her and said that if she was to continue representing

16 IRA scum, she would be killed.

17 The witnesses also describe accounts given of

18 threats to them at the dinner with Rosemary Nelson

19 in February 1998 that I have mentioned already. So far

20 as those witnesses who will not be called are concerned,

21 can I mention just for everybody's note the statement of

22 Jean Forest at RNI-806-020 and she says that she,

23 Rosemary Nelson, would have spoken about them in a very

24 casual manner as though they were an aside to the work

25 she was doing, whereas Patrick Henry, at RNI-808-003

 

 

34

 

1 also says that:

2 "She didn't give me any detail, but I think

3 I subsequently learned of their content which was ugly

4 and vulgar."

5 There are various other references in the evidence

6 both of employees and colleagues at the firm:

7 Mary Loughran and Patrick Vernon, which I don't draw to

8 your attention now. They are both going to be called to

9 give evidence, as is John Foley, another American

10 witness and lawyer, as I understand it. He tells in his

11 statement at RNI-806-058, paragraph 47, of an occasion

12 he was informed about by Rosemary Nelson when:

13 "She returned to her car to find an envelope on the

14 windshield. It was a standard manila brown envelope

15 with no markings. She opened it, and inside it was

16 a photograph taken of her clearly that day going to

17 work, as she was wearing the same outfit. Drawn around

18 her face was a target. By target, a mean a ringed

19 target that one would use for shooting.

20 "Rosemary told me that the implied message was

21 clearly we can get you at any time."

22 Now, sir, finally on this and to put all of the

23 consideration of these and other threats we have

24 undertaken into context, and also to make good the

25 suggestion I made on the first day of these hearings

 

 

35

 

1 that it was plain that she had become, by the time of

2 her murder, the object of strong feeling amounting to

3 hatred on the part of some in Northern Ireland, I am now

4 going to show you a copy of a leaflet which was in

5 circulation, as the Inquiry understands it, very shortly

6 after her murder and which you may think puts the "Man

7 Without a Future" pamphlet rather in the shade in terms

8 of unpleasantness. I am not going to show this on the

9 screen, but we have copies for everyone.

10 The reference for everyone's note is at RNI-401-133,

11 but it is not, please, to be shown on the screen. Now,

12 sir, I am not proposing to read passages from this

13 document. I will allow everybody a pause to consider it

14 and then I will highlight some passages of it. (Pause)

15 Sir, I am not going to spend any time on the first

16 column, save to recite the title, which is, although the

17 copy is poor "Monster Mashed", and to highlight the

18 second paragraph, which suggests that scenes of joy were

19 repeated as Loyalists heard of the death of "civil

20 rights abuser, Rosemary Nelson".

21 The remainder of this first column, the left-hand

22 column, as you will have seen, contains a number of

23 personal remarks and allegations.

24 Sir, the column that I would like to summarise is in

25 fact the second column. There set out are alleged

 

 

36

 

1 details of unprofessional conduct on her part, the

2 suggestion that she invented complaints against the

3 police and against Army personnel, the suggestion that

4 she misused material given to her in confidence in order

5 to identify people as targets for murder by the IRA, the

6 suggestion that she was actively involved with

7 paramilitary clients in seeking to make effective use of

8 anti-interrogation techniques and thus to defeat the due

9 process of law. The document, having made those

10 allegations, moves on to deal in lurid detail with her

11 alleged relationship with Mr Duffy, and concludes with

12 the statement that "justice has been done", by which the

13 author presumably means that the murder was in some way

14 justified by the matters set out in the foregoing

15 sections of the text.

16 As I have said, sir, it is clear from the text that

17 this document surfaced shortly after the murder and it

18 is, you may think, so unlikely as to be inconceivable

19 that these views of Rosemary Nelson were first developed

20 in the period between the news of the murder breaking

21 and the production of the document. It is far more

22 likely, surely, that this document reflects views of her

23 held at least by some before her murder. And again,

24 sir, you may think that it is in the light of material

25 such as this that one can begin to understand how it was

 

 

37

 

1 that the decision was taken that she was an appropriate

2 candidate for killing; that killing regarded by the

3 author of this document as fully deserved and, for

4 Rosemary Nelson, a just outcome.

5 Sir, that is all I want to say about it. May

6 I suggest that we deal with Drumcree after the break.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, thank you. Quarter to 12.

8 (11.30 am)

9 (Short break)

10 (11.45 am)

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

12 MR PHILLIPS: So, sir, Drumcree. It is a topic I am

13 therefore going to take separately, although, as we have

14 seen already, there are many links and overlaps between

15 this topic and others we have looked at.

16 Can we look, first, at the List of Issues to see

17 where it fits in? The first one I would like to show

18 you, which is, I think, the second slide of the List of

19 Issues, number 7 (displayed):

20 "To what extent did Rosemary Nelson and/or others

21 acting on her behalf seek assistance from the RUC, NIO,

22 Army or other state agency regarding concerns for her

23 personal safety and their reaction thereto."

24 One of the reasons the Inquiry has had to look at

25 this area is because of the suggestion which I have

 

 

38

 

1 already shown you, in fact in that NIO document on the

2 day after the murder, the suggestion made immediately

3 after the murder that a request for protection had been

4 made in the context of the Drumcree negotiations and had not

5 acted upon or refused, turned down, by Government.

6 Sir, again, I am not going to take you to it, but

7 for the note this appeared not only, as it were, on the

8 NIO radar but also in the media, and we have an article

9 from the Daily Mail on 17th March 1999 at RNI-401-194,

10 but I don't wish to show you that now, not least because

11 it is extremely hard to read.

12 Can we look, then, at issues 22 and 23? The context

13 in which this alleged request was made, as we will see,

14 takes us into a new area of process or framework for

15 dealing with people's security, the Key Persons

16 Protection Scheme. And these issues are where that comes

17 in.

18 We have spent a good deal of time looking at police

19 procedures in order to deal with these questions, apart

20 from other issues. We have looked in not very much

21 detail at the Army's approach to such matters in two

22 cases, and now we are looking at something which was run

23 by and operated by the NIO, a particular part of it

24 within the police division, with assistance from

25 Security Branch of the RUC. So, again, new territory

 

 

39

 

1 for us: not E Department, Special Branch, but D, I think

2 it is, Security Branch.

3 Then issue 1, please. The first slide of the List

4 of Issues (displayed). It is the one we have come back

5 to again and again and again. Drumcree puts this

6 particular issue in a particular context, because as

7 I outlined to you right at the start of my submissions,

8 it was in her work for the Residents Coalition that

9 Rosemary Nelson became embroiled, involved, in some of

10 the most bitter political and other conflict taking

11 place in Northern Ireland during not only the marching

12 season of 1998, but as we have seen when I took you

13 through the chronology and dealt initially with

14 Drumcree, with subsequent months of continuing violence

15 and protest.

16 So the question which comes in here is whether that

17 work created conflict of that kind. But, of course, we

18 are also concerned in issue 14 with the question of

19 which persons or organisations are suspected to be

20 directly responsible, which takes us outside the range

21 of the familiar organisations. It is put very widely

22 indeed. And conflict and the sort of feeling that

23 I have mentioned before, which was obviously generated

24 about and around the Drumcree dispute, may be material,

25 may be relevant to this question. The leaflet, of

 

 

40

 

1 course, that we have just seen shows, I have suggested

2 to you, that she was herself the object of the intense

3 feeling which was manifested in that case immediately

4 after the murder.

5 Now, sir, as I said to you yesterday, we have put in

6 a variety of documents and I shall be referring in

7 particular to the chronology which we have described as

8 the Drumcree negotiations chronology 1998/1999. And as

9 its title suggests, this concentrates on that period and

10 therefore is, as it were, a more specialised chronology,

11 more specialised than the original Drumcree chronology

12 I handed out very early on -- we disclosed to the Full

13 Participants before these hearings began, I think.

14 And the concentration or focus of this chronology,

15 sir, is on the high level negotiations which took place

16 during that period, involving the Residents Coalition on

17 the one hand, the Orange Order and their respective

18 political supporters and others, and ministers and

19 officials, including, as we know, the Prime Minister and

20 his Chief of Staff, Mr Powell.

21 It is, I hope, clear in the way that it works. The

22 bundle references are on the left-hand side, the date in

23 the next column, the event and comment, which tends to

24 be a précis or summary of the important points in the

25 relevant document. You will see that the bundle

 

 

41

 

1 references are all to file RNI-308, which is a file of

2 material disclosed by the Cabinet Office and which shows us

3 how those high level negotiations proceeded. And to

4 some of those pages only I will be directing your

5 attention in a minute.

6 So that is, as it were, the political backdrop for

7 the more specific issue of requests in relation to

8 security that we have to consider. But, sir, I am also

9 going to suggest to you that by looking at the

10 Cabinet Office material in that file, RNI-308, you will

11 be assisted to keep Rosemary Nelson and her role in

12 these matters in a proper perspective and may well

13 conclude, for example, that she was in that context

14 a minor or even very minor player compared to the

15 politicians on a national level, obviously, but also,

16 for example, to the leader of the two groups, the

17 leaders of the two groups: on the one hand,

18 Mr Mac Cionnaith; on the other hand, the leaders of the

19 Orange Orders. So that helps, I hope, to keep

20 a perspective about Rosemary Nelson and her role.

21 Now, so far as the documents are concerned, the

22 second one was this chart we handed over yesterday in

23 a variety of colours. That, in two pages, as I said,

24 sets out the history of the specific issue that we have

25 to consider, namely in relation to whether there was

 

 

42

 

1 a request for protection, and if there was, what

2 happened to it.

3 You will see that the colours reflect the varying

4 organisations and their respective roles in that short

5 history.

6 Then the final document, sir, was a list of

7 witnesses; there are 18 in all who have given evidence

8 on these matters. The missing name there, so far as

9 these issues are concerned, is that of Mr Mac Cionnaith,

10 whose statement, as I have said to you, is still awaited

11 but from whom the Inquiry hopes and expects to receive

12 a statement. And certainly when I talk you through the

13 material and we look at the issues, it will, I suggest,

14 become clear that his evidence would be of considerable

15 assistance to the Inquiry.

16 Sir, can I just break off from the Drumcree matter

17 for a moment to say that I am conscious we have handed

18 out a good deal of material to Full Participants. There

19 is more to come. We hope it is helpful in trying to

20 grasp the enormous amount of material we are dealing

21 with, but there is clearly a danger in handing it out

22 piecemeal that parts will get lost or that the Full

23 Participants won't have a full record of what they have

24 received. I know that some concern has been expressed

25 about that.

 

 

43

 

1 What we are going to do in due course, when we have

2 a minute, is to number or label -- or possibly both --

3 all of these so that when we start to refer to one of

4 them as the hearings proceed, as I hope we will, then

5 everybody will know exactly what we are talking about.

6 So, sir, what I am going to do, therefore, with

7 those documents and those issues in mind is to first

8 remind you briefly of the Drumcree issue and then take

9 a look at some -- only some -- of the negotiation

10 materials, then look at KPPS and then see what happened

11 on the material we have now gathered together from all

12 those witnesses and in these files to the request which

13 was said to have been made.

14 Sir, so far as Drumcree itself is concerned, by way

15 of reminder to what I said, the key period which became

16 so prominent begins in 1995 and continues until 1999.

17 You will remember the material we have already seen

18 about events both in 1996 and 1997 and how events of one

19 year had an impact on events the following year.

20 So far as the Residents Coalition are concerned,

21 I remind you that in May of 1997, Mr Mac Cionnaith and

22 Joe Duffy were elected as local councillors. They were

23 leading members of the Coalition and indeed

24 Mr Mac Cionnaith has acted as the spokesman since the

25 Coalition first emerged in 1995.

 

 

44

 

1 We have now seen the events of 1997, the violence

2 which erupted after the decisions had been made to push

3 the march down the road. We also know that the

4 Parades Commission entered the scene in early 1998, and

5 that is important for the events that we will be

6 looking at.

7 So far as Rosemary Nelson is concerned, there is

8 some dispute or difference in the witness statements

9 about the capacity in which she did her work for the

10 Coalition: was she, on the one hand, its solicitor, or

11 was she, on the other, a member of the Coalition? As we

12 will see at various stages in the history, that may

13 become a relevant point because it is suggested that

14 requests were made for members of the Coalition, and the

15 perhaps slightly technical point is taken that she

16 wasn't a member, she was the solicitor to the Coalition.

17 We have already seen yesterday, I think, the

18 correspondence that she wrote, for example, in July to

19 the Attorney's office, asking the Attorney to take

20 action in the public interest in relation to the

21 decision which was then expected in relation to the

22 march that year, and she described herself in an

23 entirely conventional way as acting on behalf of the

24 Residents Coalition.

25 Now, the issue may not in the end hold a great deal

 

 

45

 

1 of weight, you may think, but suffice it to say there is

2 material from her which shows her acting in that, as

3 I say, rather conventional way as a solicitor and that

4 appears to be the way she was perceived by a number of

5 those who were involved in the negotiations.

6 How prominent was she in the negotiations? Well, as

7 we will see, a number of meetings are minuted, noted in

8 our files and in the negotiations, and at a large number

9 of them she is not present. And again, the NIO

10 witnesses in particular help us with their understanding

11 of how prominent she was or the role she played in terms

12 of importance within the Coalition.

13 Now, sir, with that introduction, can we look,

14 please, at the KPPS system. We have gathered together

15 a good deal of material with assistance from the NIO in

16 file RNI-307, and I will take you on a brisk walk

17 through it now. Can we look, first, please at a paper

18 which we find at RNI-307-208 (displayed)? And you will

19 see, sir, this is not contemporaneous evidence, it is

20 a paper that we asked to be prepared and which was

21 produced for us helpfully by the NIO.

22 Sir, the scheme is, as you will see, discretionary,

23 non-statutory and publicly funded. It is run by the

24 NIO. It appears to have had a number of predecessors in

25 varied forms, but its purpose has largely remained

 

 

46

 

1 unchanged through the permutations. The purpose is as

2 follows -- and we can see this set out at RNI-307-213 in

3 a document from June 2006:

4 "To protect the homes of those key individuals in

5 the criminal justice, law enforcement and political

6 fields whose death or serious injury by terrorist attack

7 could have a serious destabilising effect on society,

8 peace and good government within Northern Ireland."

9 And that was at this time, as we understand it, and

10 remains the purpose. At this period, 1998, the time of

11 the Good Friday Agreement, there were just over 1,100

12 individuals within it and it had an annual expenditure,

13 the scheme, of about £4 million.

14 Following the agreement, as you will see from

15 RNI-307-214, the next page in the same bundle, it was

16 reviewed and you will see what ministers' hope was: that

17 in the light of the agreement, the need for home

18 protection would soon be a thing of the past. The sort

19 of hope that ministers do express from time to time with

20 their eye on the budget:

21 "The main findings pointed towards protection

22 commensurate with the level of threat and focused for

23 the first time on the need for strict financial limits."

24 Now, sir, at the time with which we are concerned,

25 early 1998, there were effectively two categories: the

 

 

47

 

1 automatic category, i.e. a category of persons protected

2 which was determined by virtue of occupation, for

3 example, judges, and this part of the scheme, as we

4 understand it, was not limited financially. There was

5 no assessment, it was simply an automatic feature of

6 occupying one of those posts.

7 The category which concerns us is the next category,

8 the discretionary category, and it depended on two

9 factors, as we understand it: occupation and level of

10 threat, as it is put in the evidence:

11 "Each discretionary case was looked at on its merits

12 and different or novel cases could be put to senior

13 officials and, ultimately, ministers."

14 Now, at this time there was a six-level threat

15 system: 1 being the highest level of threat and 6 being

16 the lowest. And we can see reference to that, I think,

17 at RNI-307-209 (displayed), paragraph 5.

18 The threat level was absolutely crucial in the

19 discretionary cases because only an assessment at

20 level 1, 2 or 3, would permit entry to the scheme.

21 Threat level 1 is described as being:

22 "Specific intelligence had been received that the

23 subject will be the target of an attack:"

24 Threat level 2:

25 "Specific intelligence and recent events indicated

 

 

48

 

1 that there was a serious threat to the individual."

2 And threat level 3:

3 "General intelligence, circumstances and/or recent

4 events indicated a significant threat to the

5 individual."

6 I am just going to read that again:

7 "General intelligence, circumstances and/or recent

8 events indicated a significant threat to the

9 individual."

10 Now, sir, so far as we are concerned in the

11 examination I am going to conduct of this issue, the

12 important levels are that one, level 3, the lowest

13 qualifying level, and the one below, level 4. And it is

14 an unfortunate feature of the material that we have been

15 able to locate so far that we have not found a precise

16 definition of threat level 4. That is, I am sure, our

17 fault but we have found reference to it in a judgment,

18 which is also in this bundle, one of a number of

19 judgments which have appeared in file RNI-307, in which

20 threat level 4 was described in 2004 by a High Court judge

21 in Northern Ireland as being:

22 "... moderate, where a target's circumstances

23 indicate that there is potential for being singled out

24 for attack and a moderate level of threat."

25 What I can't tell you for certain today, sir,

 

 

49

 

1 I regret to say, is that that was the definition at the

2 time in question. But as we will see in a moment, the

3 issue as it developed in relation to certainly the

4 councillors, Breandan Mac Cionnaith and Joe Duffy, was

5 whether they fell on the right side or the wrong side of

6 the line that divided level 3 from level 4.

7 So far as we are concerned, quite apart from the

8 specific issue of whether Rosemary Nelson's request for

9 her protection was made as alleged, in terms of the

10 comparison, of course, at the time of the events I will

11 describe to you, July/August 1998, we now know that

12 Rosemary Nelson was herself being assessed with threat

13 in mind.

14 With comparisons in mind, an issue that you may find

15 helpful to consider is whether, using the terminology of

16 threat level 3 --:

17 "General intelligence, circumstances and/or recent

18 events indicated a significant threat to the individual"

19 -- whether matters that we now know about would have

20 brought Rosemary Nelson to the right side of the line in

21 that way as well.

22 Sir, there were, as I have indicated already,

23 financial aspects to it, limits applied to levels 1, 2

24 and 3. They were much higher at levels 1 and 2.

25 Generally in the evidence, it appears the NIO would

 

 

50

 

1 follow the recommendations of the RUC, as it is put,

2 "within reason". Very exceptional requests would be

3 referred to the minister, and again, we will see in this

4 case that the matter eventually makes its way to the

5 Secretary of State herself.

6 This scheme in the discretionary category required

7 an application. There was an application process to be

8 begun by the applicant whether in person or through an

9 employer or a solicitor, i.e. a representative, and the

10 evidence we have received from those concerned at the

11 NIO stresses the point that the onus in each case was on

12 the applicant to approach the scheme and to make an

13 application.

14 What happened then, when an application was

15 received, was that the official or officials within the

16 KPPS branch of the police division -- I showed you that

17 on the chart yesterday or the day before -- met with the

18 applicant to discuss the concerns. Information would

19 then be passed on to the RUC Security Branch, and then

20 an assessment would take place which, as far as we can

21 see, was known as a threat risk assessment. And here

22 I remind you, sir, of the observation I made a little

23 while ago that some of the terminology being used by

24 those who operated these schemes and undertook the

25 assessments is perhaps inconsistent or unusual. So this

 

 

51

 

1 one is both threat and risk within the terminology,

2 apparently.

3 As I say, it was carried out by the Security Branch,

4 which came under the command of ACC operations. So it

5 is under a different command structure to

6 Special Branch.

7 Now, that said, what the officer who headed up the

8 Security Branch at the time with which we are concerned

9 tells you in his evidence at RNI-841-117 (displayed) is

10 that:

11 "Both Security Branch and Special Branch would

12 review the case, but even if Special Branch thought

13 there was no threat, we at Security Branch could look at

14 the potential threat from a different angle and come to

15 a different view."

16 Now, it was only when the assessment, the threat

17 risk assessment, had been carried out that the civil

18 servant, the KPPS, considered the second criterion; in

19 other words, if there was an assessment, qualifying

20 assessment at levels 1 to 3, then the police would pay

21 a visit to the house and, with them, staff from the KPPS

22 unit and indeed, I think, from the Department of the

23 Environment, to assess what needed to be done.

24 There was, as I have said before, an element of

25 discretion within the system so that, as it is put,

 

 

52

 

1 ministers were required to take into account the wider

2 objectives of the scheme before refusing an application;

3 and examples are given:

4 "... the level of risk and the importance of the

5 contribution by the person to the realisation of the

6 objectives which the scheme seeks to achieve and

7 protect."

8 Now, in terms of the specific measures, there were

9 a variety -- and I don't wish to dwell on the various

10 examples given -- but a variety of measures were put in

11 place, and indeed the funding then would obviously

12 cover, up to the limits I have mentioned, the

13 installation, but also, we understand, maintenance,

14 review and removal of the measures, the installation, if

15 there were any change of circumstances.

16 Now, sir, bringing the matter further up to date and

17 bearing in mind the List of Issues which requires you to

18 consider how procedures have changed and might be

19 improved, we have got material in the bundle -- and I am

20 not going to dwell on it -- which deals with reviews

21 that took place at various stages in 1999, for example,

22 in 2001. We then come to the judicial review judgments

23 I have mentioned which had some impact on the scheme,

24 and we also have gathered together within this file,

25 RNI-307, the most recent review which took place, I

 

 

53

 

1 think, in 2006, although I believe there is a yet

2 further review planned for this year.

3 The costs of the review, despite the hopes of

4 ministers I referred to earlier, continued, as far as

5 one can tell, to increase and as a result of the 2006

6 review, for example, 600 individuals were removed from

7 the scheme and some of the financial limits were

8 reduced. We are told that as at 2006 the membership was

9 still 1,800.

10 So far as the new scheme is concerned, there are

11 a couple of points of interest. It is open to all to

12 apply, but the focus remains on the individuals who are

13 assessed at level 3 and above. And we still have two

14 tiers: one based on occupation, and interestingly, the

15 list of occupations now -- I think this may be since

16 2006, but I am not entirely sure -- includes in addition

17 to the judges and the politicians and the police and

18 others, a category of defence lawyers. And we can see

19 that evidenced on page RNI-307-234 (displayed).

20 The scheme then looks at someone who comes within

21 those categories, goes through the assessment process.

22 The second tier I mentioned within the new system is for

23 individual assessments using the balancing exercise and

24 those are referred to ministers for their decision.

25 But for both tiers within the system, the new

 

 

54

 

1 system, the threat must be specifically a terrorist

2 threat. There is one further and fundamental change in

3 the way the system is operated; now, at the home

4 assessment stage, there is no involvement with PSNI.

5 Once the assessment has been made at level 3 or above,

6 the visit to the house I mentioned earlier is taken on

7 by an independent security consultant, as well as an

8 official from the unit and a representative from

9 property services division.

10 So, sir, that, in outline, is the scheme we are

11 looking at as it was in 1998 and as it has developed

12 since.

13 Can we now look at the background to the alleged

14 request? And what I would like to do, sir, is to take

15 you to some of the material in file RNI-308, the

16 Cabinet Office file I mentioned earlier. I am going to

17 use the chronology which we only have in hard copy, and

18 ask for some of the documents to go up on the screen.

19 The chronology at the bottom of its first page kicks

20 off, so far as negotiations are concerned, on 4th June,

21 a meeting between the Prime Minister and the various

22 political parties involved, and you see we have

23 summarised that in that box. The first document I wish

24 to show you or show you parts of is a letter which comes

25 in from Mr Adams to the Prime Minister, and we will see

 

 

55

 

1 it at RNI-308-013 (displayed).

2 Now, just because this is the first of the documents

3 in this file, I observe that you will see that it is

4 described as an "RNI -- that is Rosemary Nelson

5 Inquiry -- declassified document". What has happened,

6 sir, with this material is that where it has had

7 a protective marking, as a result of constructive

8 discussions with the Cabinet Office and the redactions

9 that you will see in the subsequent pages, it has been

10 declassified and that enables me to refer to it in

11 public in the way that I am about to do:

12 "I attach a self-explanatory letter to the Prime

13 Minister."

14 This is going from the Principal Private Secretary

15 to the Prime Minister, to the Northern Ireland Office.

16 It says what he, the Principal Private Secretary, has

17 done about it and it is simply the obvious opportunity

18 for me to emphasise that what is set out in this file

19 evidences discussions and negotiations at the highest

20 possible level within the United Kingdom, and

21 demonstrates, you may think, so that it is beyond

22 argument, that this issue of Drumcree was given very

23 considerable political energy, focus and attention in

24 the summer of 1998.

25 The letter I have referred to is on the next page,

 

 

56

 

1 at RNI-308-014 (displayed), dated 23rd June and the

2 limited passages I wish to draw to your attention are

3 the second paragraph:

4 "The reason for writing at this time is my very

5 serious concern over the Garvaghy Road situation and the

6 negative potential it holds for the progress achieved

7 here so far."

8 So that is the first of a number of references we

9 will see by those concerned to the potential for this

10 matter -- or as it is put here, the Garvaghy Road

11 situation, for Drumcree, to undermine, to put back,

12 indeed to put at risk the political progress made to

13 this point and symbolised for many by the

14 Good Friday Agreement.

15 Now, turning over the page to RNI-308-015, it is put

16 in the penultimate paragraph:

17 "What would be intolerable is another collapse by

18 London and another day of shame on the Garvaghy Road."

19 Then in a personal note, Mr Adams says:

20 "Tony, I wouldn't write to you like this if it

21 wasn't so serious. It needs sorting out pronto."

22 Now, sir, that is the first of the documents

23 I wanted to show you within the file. Moving the

24 chronology on to a couple of days later, we see at

25 RNI-308-016 in this file (displayed), this letter

 

 

57

 

1 coming back from the NIO to the Private Secretary, and

2 you can see, I hope, from the handwriting upon it, that

3 it was not expected by number 10 because it is observed

4 here under the heading "Prime Minister":

5 "The NIO did not tell me this was coming, hence my

6 note from earlier evening."

7 You will understand, I am sure, sir, that the NIO

8 were, as it were, on the ground dealing with the matter,

9 dealing with the parties, the various organisations who

10 were involved in this and, at this stage at any rate,

11 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister and his officials

12 were in London on, as it were, on the side and at one

13 remove.

14 What the file shows us is that there came a point

15 when that ceased to be the case and when the Prime

16 Minister and his Chief of Staff entered into the

17 negotiations themselves.

18 So it picks up the letter we have just seen in the

19 penultimate paragraph. And the sections I would like to

20 show you -- and again, they are limited -- the top of

21 the next page, RNI-308-017, and the reference there in

22 the last sentence of the paragraph at the top:

23 "The coincidence of timing with the elections to the

24 Assembly and its first meeting, probably on 1st July,

25 coupled with the special capacity of the parades issue

 

 

58

 

1 to polarise opinion and raise community passions, have

2 contributed to a volatile and tense political

3 atmosphere."

4 So that, as at this stage, the end of June, coming

5 from the NIO is their analysis of the matter. They then

6 proceed to look at the various participants, the Orange

7 Order, and then the Coalition, and at 4, the Coalition

8 is described as being "intransigent" in its opposition

9 to any march on the road, though remaining publicly

10 committed to dialogue.

11 There is a reference to an earlier parade on the

12 30th May and what is said to be the residents' role in

13 orchestrating an attack. And an analysis is there given

14 of their motivation and their approach to parades.

15 There at 7, RNI-308-019, is another analysis, this

16 time of the perceived connection or relationship between

17 Sinn Fein on the one hand and the Residents Coalition on

18 the other.

19 Now, sir, you will see at this stage what the NIO

20 are recommending at RNI-308-021 -- and this was referred

21 to in the handwritten note of the Principal Private

22 Secretary, or an official at any rate, we have just

23 seen -- is that there should be a article written by the

24 Prime Minister to appear in the local press shortly

25 before the Parades Commission's determination is known,

 

 

59

 

1 because at this point that is what everybody is waiting

2 for: what is the new body going to decide about the

3 march?

4 Moving on, sir, to RNI-308-026 (displayed) in our

5 chronology, this is a note to the Prime Minister. It is

6 copied to the Chief of Staff and Alistair Campbell, and

7 it is written in striking language, certainly at the

8 start. In the third line:

9 "I am worried we may be sleepwalking to disaster.

10 It is not impossible that Drumcree could lead to the

11 collapse of the whole agreement."

12 That, sir, is yet another expression of the way the

13 matter was regarded that I mentioned earlier.

14 Then the author deals with the pending

15 Parades Commission's decision and suggests what they are

16 likely to say. Then at the bottom of the page:

17 "When they announce the Drumcree decision, all hell

18 is likely to break loose on the Orange Order/Unionist

19 side if indeed it is a re-routing."

20 Then the analysis continues saying, and suggesting

21 at the top of the next page, RNI-308-027 that there will be an

22 extreme reluctance to compromise. And then this point:

23 "In any case, their influence over the LVF-dominated

24 local Orange Order in Portadown is not great."

25 That is the first reference to the involvement in

 

 

60

 

1 the dispute of a paramilitary organisation, the Loyalist

2 Volunteer Force.

3 Looking to the bottom of the page, the difficulties

4 in the negotiations are touched upon and in particular

5 the fact that the Orange Order would not speak to

6 Mr Mac Cionnaith. And that in turn, sir, leads to what

7 became known as proximity talks, where essentially the

8 two sides were kept separate and, as it turned out,

9 Mr Powell and officials from the NIO shuttled between

10 them.

11 Can I also emphasise the way in which, at the bottom

12 of the page, the author suggests that there is nothing

13 either side is, in practice, ready to contemplate

14 a concession. There is nothing to suggest that:

15 "Both extremes see it as a test of whether the

16 Agreement has change the anything from their different

17 perspectives."

18 And that again, you may think, is a reason why this

19 was regarded as such an important matter. Over the

20 page at RNI-308-028:

21 "The general atmosphere in Northern Ireland is much

22 better than in previous years. There may be less

23 readiness in the wider Protestant and Catholic

24 communities to line up with the extremes. A good

25 election result will obviously help, but I would not

 

 

61

 

1 bank on this. Both communities have shown a strong and

2 depressing tendency to polarise on this issue in the

3 past and I am not sure enough has yet changed to alter

4 this."

5 The author then sets out various options to be

6 followed in the light of the Parades Commission ruling

7 and, tempting though it is, I don't want to dwell on

8 them. Can I take you over to RNI-308-030 (displayed)?

9 Where, having set out the options, the author has this

10 passage:

11 "Whatever option we take, you and Mo [the Secretary

12 of State] will need to spend a lot of time saying that

13 the dangers of this parade stem from extremists on both

14 sides ..."

15 That is the point I flagged up at the outset of my

16 opening:

17 "... wanting confrontation ..."

18 [not agreement]

19 "... including the point about Sinn Fein

20 manipulating the residents' groups."

21 So that is the concern and this is the suggestion of

22 the stance, the statements that would need to be made by

23 both the Secretary of State but also by the Prime

24 Minister.

25 Now, sir, what then we see from the chronology in

 

 

62

 

1 relation to documents I am not going to show you, is

2 that the Prime Minister continues his discussions with

3 the main parties, and the efforts being made from

4 10 Downing Street to achieve some form of solution

5 continues in our chronology. The entry is at 28th June,

6 and then in the briefing material prepared for -- I am

7 sorry, the note of the meeting which took place, I

8 think, on 29th. Can we look, please, at that, which is

9 at RNI-308-038 (displayed). Again, it is from the

10 Principal Private Secretary to the Private Secretary to

11 the Secretary of State in the NIO and refers to

12 a meeting which took place, which took 35 minutes. And

13 this official and Jonathan Powell were also there with

14 the Prime Minister, and the redacted name of the

15 individual who was there, that person is reported in

16 this letter saying that the Drumcree situation was

17 dynamite:

18 "The rerouting of other parades could be controlled,

19 but Drumcree was different. People had expected that

20 other parades had been rerouted so that Drumcree could

21 be allowed to go ahead. That had not happened and,

22 therefore, people were determined to go down the

23 Garvaghy Road at whatever cost."

24 Now, this comment or these comments must be put in

25 the context of the fact that on this day, 29th June, the

 

 

63

 

1 determination of the Parades Commission had been made.

2 I have explained it to you or mentioned it to you

3 already, that the march should not return along the

4 Garvaghy Road unless, as it was put, by local agreement.

5 Now, sir, moving through the file, the next document

6 I would like to show you is dated 3rd July and we will

7 see that at RNI-308-059 (displayed). This shows that

8 following the Parades Commission's decision, the Prime

9 Minister had decided to go to the problem, as it were,

10 rather than remain in London, because it is a letter in

11 the familiar format now from the Principal Private

12 Secretary to the Private Secretary to the Secretary of

13 State, dated 3rd July. It is a summary of his -- that

14 is the Prime Minister's -- meetings in Belfast.

15 Please note the first paragraph, which shows or

16 gives us an insight into the pace and intensity of

17 events at this stage.

18 Then it sets out the various meetings that occurred.

19 Can I, please, take you to the bottom of the page where

20 there is a reference to a careful conversation with the

21 Chief Constable, who is reported as being worried about

22 preparations for violence by extreme Loyalists; in other

23 words, one infers that the Commission's decision was in

24 the -- this appeared to be the result so far as the

25 Chief Constable was concerned, that preparations for

 

 

64

 

1 violence by extreme Loyalists were being made.

2 And he made it clear what his own personal position

3 was, reiterating that he would hold the position if

4 necessary, although he feared violence and bloodshed on

5 a large scale.

6 Now, sir, so far as the remainder of the letter is

7 concerned, the passage I want to show you next is at

8 RNI-308-060 (displayed). It is the penultimate

9 paragraph. We have it on the screen now and this again

10 describes another meeting, this time with Mr Adams. And

11 the relevant passage, so far as the point I made

12 a little earlier is concerned, is the second sentence

13 about control, as it is put in this case, of the leader

14 of the Coalition and whether Mr Adams was ready to put

15 overt pressure on the residents.

16 Now, sir, so far as that is concerned, that is all

17 I wish to show you. The memos and letters continue,

18 however, in the file at RNI-30-063 we have a long note

19 addressed to the Prime Minister from, as we can see at

20 RNI-308-067 (displayed), the Secretary of State, signed

21 in her absence by her private secretary, which sets out

22 her perspective, the NIO's perspective, on the state of

23 play as it was then on 6th July.

24 In brief, it gives a report, as she says, on where

25 the Drumcree situation now stands. The penultimate

 

 

65

 

1 sentence of the second paragraph:

2 "Several hundred demonstrators are still encamped at

3 the church. There were sporadic incidents overnight.

4 The RUC have the situation under control and all routes

5 are open."

6 Then there is a reference to an RUC officer with

7 a fractured skull, but otherwise, she says, there are no

8 reports of serious injuries.

9 Moving over to RNI-308-064 (displayed), in the main

10 paragraph on this page, about eight lines down, this

11 sentence:

12 "The paramilitary Loyalist Volunteer Force is

13 thought to be ready to attack police officers, their

14 families, Roman Catholic chapels and to foment disorder

15 on Loyalist estates. The security forces are taking

16 steps to counter these threats. The main Loyalist

17 paramilitary groups, the UVF and the UDA, are understood

18 to be monitoring the situation. There are no

19 indications that they intend to become involved. The

20 Provisional IRA has placed some of its members on

21 standby for defensive purposes. The risks of attacks by

22 Republican dissidents remains."

23 So again, sir, picking up a point I have made

24 already, the Secretary of State's analysis is that the

25 dispute at Drumcree is going to be used as a pretext or

 

 

66

 

1 will occasion attacks by extremists, potentially at

2 least, on both sides.

3 Now, so far as that letter is concerned, sir, that

4 is all I wish to show you. We know from our chronology

5 that despite the efforts of the politicians involved,

6 there were indeed violent disturbances at Drumcree that

7 year beginning on 7th. And if we look further on in the

8 file at RNI-308-070, 7th July, again addressed to the

9 Prime Minister but with copies to his senior officials,

10 Jonathan Powell and Alistair Campbell. This is under

11 the heading "Drumcree Exit Strategies", and there the

12 analysis is that the aim must be to get through these --

13 that is the next days and the marches -- without

14 disastrous violence and still upholding the

15 Parades Commission's decisions. At that point, both

16 sides may want, it is said, a dignified way out and

17 there the two obstacles are identified: the march and

18 Mr Mac Cionnaith. Then from that point there are

19 various suggestions or ideas put forward which the

20 writer thinks may help to achieve that aim.

21 Now, the Prime Minister's involvement continues, we

22 see at RNI-308-073. The preparation here for a meeting

23 to take place on the 9th with the Orange Order. The

24 main point will be to make it clear to them that they

25 cannot go down the Garvaghy Road unless there is

 

 

67

 

1 agreement with the residents first.

2 On the 9th itself, a note of telephone conversations

3 with the main politicians concerned at RNI-308-075

4 (displayed), and Mr Trimble is recorded as saying he

5 feared a difficult weekend. And the note also records

6 at RNI-308-076 (displayed) the Prime Minister in his

7 discussion with Mr Adams saying that he was very worried

8 about the position:

9 "We seem to be staggering towards disaster."

10 Mr Adams disagrees:

11 "The situation was under control, the right policies

12 were being followed despite the forces against the

13 Belfast Agreement regrouping."

14 And what is then recorded from the Prime Minister at

15 the bottom is the point that:

16 "Serious violence at weekend could pose grave

17 risks."

18 And there is then further discussion between them,

19 and the Prime Minister again suggests at the top of the

20 next page, RNI-308-077, that Mr Mac Cionnaith was the problem and this

21 suggestion is rejected by Mr Adams as a distraction.

22 Now, sir, just to see what had happened by this

23 stage, by 9th July, can we look, please, at RNI-305-040

24 (displayed).

25 This note from a NIO document shows the tally so far

 

 

68

 

1 between the 4th July and 8th July. And that, when one

2 is looking at the various politicians' descriptions of

3 whether there had or hadn't been contained situation or

4 whether there was violence, et cetera, that is perhaps

5 a useful way of seeing some of the statistics at this

6 point: 437 attacks on security forces, including

7 12 shootings; 25 bombings; 136 hijackings; 412 incidents

8 involving petrol bombing; in excess of 1,000 petrol

9 bombs recovered; criminal damage to houses, 73; other

10 buildings, 93; vehicles, 279; four police officers

11 injured; four forced to move home following

12 intimidation; and 205 plastic baton rounds fired.

13 Now, sir, so far as our chronology is concerned,

14 moving over to RNI-308-078 of the file, the same date,

15 9th July, and this is a note of the meeting that

16 I mentioned earlier that had taken place with the Orange

17 Order.

18 The Prime Minister begins by saying that faced with

19 a serious situation -- I should point out, sir, that

20 this meeting was also attended by Mr Ingram, Mr Steele,

21 Jonathan Powell and Alistair Campbell, as well as the

22 Principal Private Secretary. So there were NIO,

23 a minister and a very senior official present also.

24 And that then continues. Can I highlight for you at

25 RNI-308-079 (displayed) at the bottom of the page, the

 

 

69

 

1 comment by the representative of the Orange Order,

2 Mr Watson, that he was very worried about violence

3 erupting:

4 "They have managed to keep the lid on this so far,

5 but there might be no way of controlling it by Monday,

6 especially if large numbers of people congregate in the

7 morning or evening."

8 Another person added that:

9 "The hardliners were saying that the moderates had

10 until this afternoon to find a solution, otherwise they

11 would take control."

12 Sir, the chronology continues and at this point, we

13 have reach the 10th July, and you will see at

14 RNI-308-083 (displayed), the Prime Minister speaks both

15 to Mr Adams and to the Taioseach about the problem.

16 Now, sir, one thing to stress which comes out of

17 this letter in the very first lines is the Prime

18 Minister saying that he wanted to get some talks going

19 on a contact basis with facilitators, and he wanted to

20 set it up as quickly as possible.

21 If we look, please, at RNI-305-072 (displayed), this

22 is the letter which goes out from Mr Powell that day,

23 10th July, and it contains the proposal referred to in

24 that note: that there should be indirect contact talks

25 between the residents and the Orange Order to start the

 

 

70

 

1 next day. This then is the more immediate context for

2 us.

3 You will see the arrangements set out in the bullet

4 points, as I mentioned earlier: no direct contact;

5 facilitators shuttling between the two sides. It is in

6 this context that the first reference to the issue of

7 security in relation to the Coalition occurs, because we

8 can see that the matter was raised in talks which took

9 place, as it says there, on 11th July 1998.

10 Now, sir, in file RNI-305, which now becomes the

11 main file, notes of the talks begin at page 85,

12 RNI-305-085, and you will be relieved to hear that

13 I don't propose to take you through those notes because

14 they go on to RNI-305-109, I think, or beyond,

15 RNI-308-112, I think actually. But the reference that

16 we are looking for is at RNI-305-111, I think

17 (displayed).

18 This is part of a chronology which begins for

19 everybody's note at RNI-305-108 and is pretty detailed,

20 as it were, hour by hour or more than hourly entries.

21 At the bottom of this page, it says:

22 "2020, Powell leaves the meeting with the Garvaghy

23 residents. They would like an Army escort home, not

24 RUC."

25 At the top of the next page, RNI-305-112:

 

 

71

 

1 "Residents want an Army escort front and back and

2 a guarantee that the road is clear before they leave."

3 This is the first albeit general reference to

4 security which appears, as far as we can see, in the

5 notes of the talks.

6 The first direct point on this comes in fact a week

7 later in the second round of proximity talks, and we can

8 see that at RNI-305-113 (displayed).

9 That, again, a very detailed chronology in relation

10 to those talks which goes on to RNI-305-115. There is

11 no reference in that chronology, nor indeed within the

12 NIO minutes, which again, for people's notes, are

13 RNI-305-092 to RNI-305-107.

14 However, we do find it in a subsequent -- two days

15 later this is prepared -- memorandum within the NIO by

16 one of the officials, G116, who was present. That is at

17 RNI-305-132 (displayed). This requires more detailed

18 examination.

19 20th July, addressed to the head of the police

20 division:

21 "Drumcree protection for Breandan Mac Cionnaith.

22 "You may be interested to learn that

23 Brendan McKenna, at the indirect contact talks last

24 Saturday, asked if it would be possible for the RUC to

25 meet him to discuss his personal protection. I made

 

 

72

 

1 a call to the Armagh duty inspector who undertook to

2 ensure that an RUC officer from Portadown would contact

3 him on Sunday morning. This may eventually evolve into

4 an application for KPPS. McKenna's status as

5 a councillor and his high political profile would

6 satisfy the political eligibility criteria.

7 "This approach by McKenna might also be helpful in

8 maintaining our line regarding RUC involvement in KPPS

9 applications from Sinn Fein. Brendan McKenna has

10 similar philosophical objections to the RUC, but it has

11 not prevented him from requesting RUC protection.

12 "It might do no harm to check with the RUC what

13 transpired when they contacted McKenna on Sunday."

14 So, sir, a couple of points about that. The first

15 is the request, as recorded here at any rate, was in

16 relation to his personal protection; the second, that it

17 is put by the official in a broader context because of

18 the very point I mentioned to you earlier, which is at

19 this stage the NIO line was that if the matter was to go

20 forward, there would have to be involvement of RUC, and

21 clearly this had caused difficulties because of what is

22 put as the philosophical objections in other cases from

23 Sinn Fein.

24 Now, sir, that is the start of the history and note,

25 please, that there is no reference to any other member

 

 

73

 

1 of the Coalition -- and that would include, of course,

2 the other councillor, Mr Joe Duffy -- and there is

3 certainly no reference to Rosemary Nelson.

4 Indeed, in the material recording what happened at

5 the proximity talks at this stage, there is no reference

6 to Mrs Nelson at all, and it would appear at least that

7 she was not present.

8 Now, the issue comes up again -- we can see this at

9 RNI-305-135 (displayed) -- in the next round of talks, I

10 think the third round, which takes place on 21st July at

11 the bottom of this page "Personal Security":

12 "On Saturday, Mr McKenna had raised the issue of

13 security for members of the GRRC."

14 So already it is put more broadly:

15 "Jonathan Powell had said he would be in touch with

16 the Chief Constable's office in relation to a meeting."

17 Again, if that is an account of what we have read

18 before, again it is put in a slightly different way.

19 Then:

20 "[Name redacted] contacted Brendan but did not know

21 why she had been asked to do so. She referred him to

22 Superintendent Culley, who said that all the RUC could

23 provide was crime prevention advice.

24 Superintendent Culley was dismissive of death threats

25 received by the Coalition. Given that the Portadown RUC

 

 

74

 

1 would not provide security cover after the 11th July

2 talks, he was not surprised that they would not provide

3 security for the Coalition's homes. The letter was sent

4 to the RUC over a year ago but was never replied to.

5 The Coalition requested the NIO to sit down with the

6 Coalition to discuss its ..."

7 That is the Coalition's:

8 "... personal protection."

9 Sir, you can see that the matter has already and

10 significantly broadened out after what appears to have

11 been a rather unsatisfactory couple of exchanges, if

12 this minute or note is correct, with RUC officers.

13 You will see that when this is addressed later by an

14 official at the NIO, this is alluded to at the bottom of

15 the page, RNI-305-147 (displayed).

16 It is another report of a meeting which took place

17 on 21st July. One can see that from RNI-305-146

18 (displayed) at the bottom:

19 "During this final meeting, Brendan McKenna asked

20 an NI official to contact him the following day to

21 discuss the personal security of the Coalition. He had,

22 at the last meeting, asked that the RUC contact him but

23 subsequent contacts by the RUC had been unsatisfactory.

24 This appears to have been the fault of poor internal

25 communication within the RUC. Jonathan Powell promised

 

 

75

 

1 that an NI official would be in touch."

2 Then a note:

3 "Another official and I will be meeting the two

4 councillors today to discuss this."

5 So, sir, the first initiative appears to have

6 foundered. It was an initiative, if you remember from

7 the notes, on a personal basis. It didn't work out for

8 whatever reasons. It is renewed, but not in the same

9 form, it would appear, i.e. the request is now put much

10 more broadly in connection with the Coalition. And it

11 is that matter that then goes forward, and we see

12 Mr Powell promising that an official would be in touch.

13 The final comment suggests that a meeting not with the

14 Coalition but with the two councillors would take place

15 on the same day to discuss it.

16 Now, sir, at this point we ought to consider the

17 allegation, the substance of the allegation which

18 emerged after the murder about what had happened on this

19 day, 21st July. We can see that in a passage from the

20 British Irish Rights Watch directors' report of

21 17th December that year, 1999, at RNI-306-167

22 (displayed).

23 The passage I would like to show you starts at

24 RNI-306-172 (displayed) and it became controversial,

25 indeed this and related publications on these issues led

 

 

76

 

1 eventually to libel proceedings being commenced at any

2 rate by one of the officials involved in the

3 negotiations.

4 Sir, I would like to show you this part,

5 paragraph 3.2 on this page, which is RNI-306-172

6 (displayed).

7 We don't appear to have that page. I am very sorry

8 about that and, indeed, surprised. Let me read it to

9 you. Paragraph 3.2, which is on page RNI-306-172, is as

10 follows:

11 "The Government was already well aware of the

12 existence of this pamphlet ..."

13 That is the "Man Without a Future" pamphlet:

14 "... as it was given to them by the GRRC in

15 proximity talks held in Armagh on 21st July 1998 when

16 the issue of security for the whole of the Coalition and

17 in particular, their legal representative,

18 Rosemary Nelson, was raised with Jonathan Powell."

19 Now, of the points made there, sir, the pamphlet one

20 is one I will return to. It is the pamphlet which we

21 have already seen, the "Man Without a Future" pamphlet.

22 But the point taken here is that the issue of security,

23 first for the whole of the Coalition but in particular,

24 second, for their legal representative, Rosemary Nelson,

25 was raised with Mr Powell.

 

 

77

 

1 Now, on the material I have shown you, certainly, it

2 would appear that whatever else was discussed as the

3 request evolved in the way that I have shown you, there

4 was at no stage, and certainly not on 21st July, as far

5 as we can see, a specific reference, the specific naming

6 of Rosemary Nelson in that context.

7 Now, sir, is that a convenient moment?

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

9 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you very much.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will adjourn until Monday at

11 1.00 pm.

12 (1.00 pm)

13 (The Inquiry adjourned until Monday 28th April at 1.00 pm)

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

 

 


 

1

2 I N D E X

3
Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS .............. 1
4 (continued)

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25