Transcripts

Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 24th April 2008, day 8

Click here to download the LiveNote version

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

 

ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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

 

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


on Thursday, 24th April 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Thursday, 24th April 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, before resuming the story, can I do what

6 I am now doing on a fairly regular basis, which is to

7 give you the latest news on the material we are handing

8 out.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

10 MR PHILLIPS: The first is that we have this morning handed

11 out copies of the various slides I showed yesterday

12 about the organisations and then, giving us

13 a tantalising glimpse perhaps of the next stage, some

14 material about Drumcree 1998; a witness list, which

15 shows that that topic on its own might constitute

16 a substantial case; a chronology of the negotiations,

17 these are the negotiations in 1998 and 1999 which took

18 place at a very high level indeed; and a two-page chart

19 with a variety of colours on it, which shows in two

20 pages and in simple form the flow of information.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, where we had arrived yesterday was

23 in March 1998 with the draft or advanced copy report of

24 the Special Rapporteur. And I took you at high speed

25 through various paragraphs of the draft -- much, no

 

 

2

 

1 doubt, to the consternation of the stenographer -- in

2 order to highlight those passages which were (a) of

3 political importance and significance, and (b) of

4 course, those passages which related to

5 Rosemary Nelson's case.

6 Just to recap briefly, because it was rather

7 a rushed series of citations, paragraph 16, if you

8 remember, was whether she was mentioned by name in the

9 context of threats. We then had the comments said to

10 have been made in the meeting between the

11 Chief Constable, two other officers and the Special

12 Rapporteur and his assistant at paragraph 21; that some

13 solicitors may in fact be working for the

14 paramilitaries.

15 In paragraph 22 and following, he dealt, as you

16 remember, with the fact that in his judgment -- that is

17 the Special Rapporteur's judgment -- there was no

18 evidence for that. In 25, he says that in his view the

19 RUC did so identify solicitors with their clients.

20 In 26 and following he dealt with the issue of

21 complaints. He then expressed his concern, as you

22 remember, in relation to the professional body and what

23 they had done about it; that is, in particular, the

24 Law Society of Northern Ireland, leading to his ringing

25 conclusions at paragraph 38.

 

 

3

 

1 Now, sir, the paragraphs I did not show you before

2 the end of the day, there are just two I would like to

3 show you which come at the very end of his report. They

4 are at RNI-110-086 (displayed).

5 These are in fact the final conclusions once he had

6 dealt with all of the various topics of which harassment

7 and intimidation of lawyers was only one. He says in

8 paragraph 90 under the heading "Concerning the

9 Harassment and Intimidation of Solicitors":

10 "The Special Rapporteur concludes that the RUC has

11 engaged in activities which constitute intimidation,

12 hindrance, harassment or improper interference. The

13 Special Rapporteur is particularly concerned by the fact

14 that the RUC has identified solicitors with their

15 clients or their clients' causes as a result of

16 discharging their functions."

17 Then in 91, he sets out five recommendations on this

18 point. I don't propose to read them all, but the first

19 is that there should be an independent and impartial

20 investigation of all threats to legal counsel in

21 Northern Ireland, and (b):

22 "Where there is a threat to the physical integrity

23 of a solicitor or barrister, irrespective from whom the

24 threat emanates the Government should provide the

25 necessary protection and should vigorously investigate

 

 

4

 

1 the threats and bring to justice the guilty party.

2 (c) is comment on the professional bodies, not only

3 the Law Society but the Bar Council. They should be

4 more vocal in respect of solicitors who have been

5 subjected to such harassment and intimidation. Then

6 (d), that should be complaints made -- if you remember,

7 his theme is that lawyers should use the system, should

8 register their complaints, rather than, as they had told

9 him, simply choose not to do so because their

10 expectations were that nothing would result.

11 Then finally, there should be seminars for police

12 officers organised by the two bodies and the RUC in

13 cooperation to, as he puts it, sensitise them on the

14 important role the defence lawyers play in the

15 administration of justice.

16 Now, sir, I have already mentioned that this report,

17 when it arrived, provoked a good deal of reaction and

18 there are many, many documents in our files which

19 evidence that in the plainest way. I would like to show

20 you just some of them, which will help, I hope, to see

21 not only the nature of the reaction of the various parts

22 of government and within the RUC, but also to see how

23 widespread it was and how seriously the issues were

24 viewed.

25 Can we look, please, at RNI-106-077 (displayed).

 

 

5

 

1 We saw on 6th February, I think I am right in

2 saying -- or possibly the 12th, I am not sure entirely

3 sure -- that the advance copy was sent into the NIO. It

4 would have come through the Foreign Office, that being

5 the proper channel for communications from the

6 United Nations of this kind. And you will see there

7 that at 2, the NIO have decided they wish to respond in

8 writing to this report, and a good deal of the

9 subsequent material shows us how that process continued.

10 And in fact, as we will see, contributions were sought

11 from various departments within government.

12 The assistance of the Foreign Office was required in

13 order to speak to, deal with, Mr Cumaraswamy, but also

14 contributions were received not only from the NIO, as we

15 will see, but, for example, from the Home Office, who

16 regarded themselves as having a legitimate interest in

17 the wider concerns he has expressed about the criminal

18 justice system.

19 We will see in the next document at RNI-106-110

20 (displayed) that by early March these issues had, in the

21 ways I am going to set out for you from this letter,

22 which comes from the Rapporteur himself, reached him and

23 his officials. And it is right to say at this point,

24 sir, that an issue arises about how those concerns were

25 actually conveyed to him. And for the reasons I gave

 

 

6

 

1 earlier in relation to the relevant statements and the

2 fact that of the key statements on this we have not

3 served on the participants two of them from the RUC end

4 of things, I am not going to get into the respective

5 contentions. Suffice it to say that, in addition to the

6 matters set out in this letter, which evidence, as it

7 were, formal communication, suggestions were made that

8 telephone calls were made from -- I am going to put it

9 in this way -- from the RUC, raising specific concern or

10 objection to passages in the report, specifically two

11 aspects of it.

12 The two aspects were: (i) the allegation which was

13 denied that a comment of the kind I have shown you in

14 paragraph 21 of the advance copy report, namely that

15 solicitors were working for paramilitaries, a denial

16 that that comment had been made and the suggestion,

17 therefore, that it should be removed, changed, otherwise

18 the report should be amended in some way to deal with

19 that; and secondly, the issue of identification by name

20 of solicitors -- if you remember, there were three

21 mentioned by name in the paragraphs we saw, one of whom

22 was Rosemary Nelson.

23 Now, there will, I anticipate, be a dispute about

24 whether such a call, calls, were made and what was then

25 said. And that is a matter we can explore when we have

 

 

7

 

1 the statements served. But at this stage, the letter

2 reveals what had been going on from the point of view of

3 the Rapporteur himself and it is addressed to the

4 United Kingdom's Ambassador at the UN office in Geneva:

5 "Last week, Mr Alan Parra ..."

6 That is his assistant:

7 "... in the office of the High Commissioner for

8 Human Rights, who assists me on my mandate, received

9 a call from the United Kingdom permanent Mission in

10 Geneva expressing concern over two sentences in my draft

11 report. The two sentences attribute remarks made by the

12 Chief Constable of the RUC, Mr Ronnie Flanagan, to the

13 Special Rapporteur during his meeting with him. It was

14 mentioned to Mr Parra that the Chief Constable could not

15 recall making those remarks. Mr Parra was also informed

16 that the reported remarks could put the security of

17 defence lawyers in jeopardy, and in particular

18 Miss Rosemary Nelson's life."

19 So the way it is put, therefore, is to forge

20 a connection between these two aspects, the two passages

21 to which objection was taken. The suggestion (a) that

22 the Chief Constable could not recall making the remark,

23 and (b) that the reported remarks could put Mrs Nelson's

24 life in jeopardy.

25 Now, bear in mind, please, that this is going on at

 

 

8

 

1 exactly the same time as the second threat assessment.

2 On 2nd March, the Special Rapporteur received

3 a similar call from the United Kingdom Mission in Kuala

4 Lumpur:

5 "The Special Rapporteur views these calls with grave

6 concern. If disclosing the remarks made by the

7 Chief Constable as described in the two sentences could

8 put the lives of defence lawyers, and in particular the

9 life of Miss Rosemary Nelson, in danger, then the

10 question remains: threat from whom, the paramilitaries

11 or the RUC? As for the Chief Constable's contention

12 that he could not remember making those remarks, I am

13 afraid the contemporaneous notes of the meeting recorded

14 by Mr Parra show otherwise.

15 "I have, however, carefully deliberated on the

16 request for deletion of the sentences and have decided

17 to accede in the interest of the security of the defence

18 lawyers, and not because the Chief Constable disputes

19 having made the remarks."

20 Turning the page to RNI-106-111 (displayed):

21 "Since my mission to Northern Ireland, I have

22 received more disturbing information of harassment of

23 defence lawyers by the RUC during interrogation. I have

24 also received copies of complaints lodged by the

25 solicitors concerned.

 

 

9

 

1 "I am particularly concerned over the harassment and

2 threats on Miss Rosemary Nelson. I appeal to you that

3 your government gives highest priority to my concerns

4 and prompt measures be taken to provide security for

5 these lawyers. As it appears that the threats seem to

6 emanate from the RUC, the question of concern is who can

7 provide these lawyers with adequate credible security.

8 I remain very disturbed."

9 So, sir, in summary the Rapporteur accepts the case,

10 based on safety or security, for an amendment. He does

11 not accept the proposition that his recollection of the

12 meeting and what was said during the meeting is

13 incorrect. Indeed, he takes the opportunity to restate

14 his position and to refer to the notes made by his

15 assistant, the notes to which I made reference

16 yesterday.

17 But, more importantly still from our perspective, is

18 that in the same letter he takes the opportunity, as it

19 were, to come back to the Ambassador with the specific

20 case of Rosemary Nelson. And he says in terms that more

21 information has emerged and that he is particularly

22 concerned about her case, and issues an appeal to

23 government in this way that highest priority be given to

24 his concerns and prompt measures be taken to provide

25 security for the defence lawyers.

 

 

10

 

1 Sir, so far as the February/March assessment is

2 concerned, therefore, this is the immediate context, and

3 the events that I am about to show you, the material

4 that was then generated, was all in play and in place

5 before the receipt on 1st April of the decision, the

6 information passed on, which we looked at yesterday.

7 Now, moving the story on, at RNI-106-116

8 (displayed), we see a letter from the

9 Northern Ireland Office to the Foreign and Commonwealth

10 Office, 9th March, and it says in the second paragraph:

11 "I attach the NIO's written response to the report

12 ..."

13 Which you remember we had seen was forthcoming.

14 Then there are various comments about inaccuracies said

15 to have been included in the advance copy. Turning the

16 page to RNI-106-117 (displayed), under:

17 "The Harassment and Intimidation of Solicitors ..."

18 This, as you remember, was the section of the report

19 we saw at paragraphs 15 to 38 of the advance copy. The

20 comments of the NIO take up a page, and they say:

21 "We have considered carefully the Special

22 Rapporteur's comments on the 'harassment and

23 intimidation of the solicitors'."

24 That expression is put in inverted commas in this

25 document:

 

 

11

 

1 "The conclusion in paragraph 90 [which I have read

2 you] is that the RUC is engaged in activities which

3 constitute intimidation, hindrance, harassment or

4 improper interference. This obviously is a matter of

5 considerable concern. We would ask, however, to be

6 provided with the specific details on which the

7 allegations are made. If there is new evidence, we will

8 want to ensure that it is looked into."

9 Now, sir, the rest of this page is not concerned

10 with the particular issues of concern raised in

11 paragraphs 15 to 38 of the advance copy of the report at

12 all; it is simply concerned with one of them, namely the

13 question of complaints, which, as I have shown you, was

14 only one of the matters referred to in this section by

15 the Rapporteur.

16 What we will see here in the rest of the page is

17 a familiar story, at about halfway down:

18 "The Government and, indeed, the Commission

19 recognise there are weaknesses in the current system

20 ..."

21 That is the complaints system. What are they going

22 to do about it? Well, they have introduced the Police

23 (Northern Ireland) Bill, and various other reform

24 suggestions are put forward aimed at building greater

25 public confidence in the system while also inspiring

 

 

12

 

1 police confidence.

2 At the end of this section:

3 "In the meantime, while change is awaited, we have

4 been encouraging people to recognise what the Government

5 is seeking to do and cooperate with the system as it

6 exists. We know that you ..."

7 That is the Rapporteur:

8 "... recommended such cooperation."

9 With this document come lines to take in the way

10 that is now familiar to us, and they are at RNI-106-130

11 (displayed):

12 "Harassment and intimidation of solicitors. It

13 would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases

14 while investigations are still proceeding."

15 Over the page, RNI-106-131 (displayed):

16 "All the complaints are treated seriously. There

17 are procedures for investigation that should be

18 followed. These provide for independent oversight.

19 This is a significant power. Anyone with a complaint

20 should be encouraged to cooperate with the investigation

21 under the current system in the knowledge that the

22 Government is committed to improving that system."

23 Sir, so far as the reaction is concerned, we can

24 follow it through on 10th March at RNI-106-136

25 (displayed). You will see in this communication to the

 

 

13

 

1 NIO -- I think it may be a Foreign Office

2 communication -- yes, it is. We see that, in fact,

3 later. This deals with the contributions from the NIO,

4 and in the second paragraph:

5 "Meanwhile, our Mission in Geneva have just received

6 the following letter from Mr Cumaraswamy ..."

7 That is the letter of 5th March which appears in

8 this bundle at RNI-106-137:

9 "... which he has copied to our High Commission in

10 Kuala Lumpur. As you see, the Special Rapporteur

11 confirms his intention to amend the text. He goes on to

12 express his concern that the threat to Rosemary Nelson

13 and others emanates from the RUC as well as paramilitary

14 groups. He goes on to call on HMG to protect the lawyers

15 concerned, but doubts the RUC's credibility to do this.

16 "He has not asked for a response, but you may wish

17 to consider whether one should be made regardless. Our

18 instinct is that we should not press the argument, even

19 if the statement is inaccurate, having just secured

20 important amendments which we were not automatically

21 entitled to obtain."

22 Because what is important to note here, sir -- one

23 gets this from Mr Cumaraswamy's own letter -- is that

24 this was an exceptional situation, where the Rapporteur

25 issued his document, more or less as a matter of

 

 

14

 

1 courtesy, as far as one can see, not expecting

2 government or indeed anybody else to propose amendments

3 to it. But what the Foreign Office, with perhaps

4 a clear appreciation of these matters, is pointing out

5 is that the amendments themselves were important and

6 were amendments to which the Government was not

7 entitled; in other words, there was no legitimate

8 expectation that the Rapporteur would agree to make any

9 amendment whatever to his text.

10 Now, there is then, at the bottom of the page, a

11 warning passed on from the assistant that the Rapporteur

12 intends to forward further and serious allegations of

13 RUC harassment of lawyers in Northern Ireland. So, so

14 far as the Foreign Office is concerned, what has been

15 achieved in the amendments is enough; it should not be

16 pushed any further and if the NIO thought that the

17 Rapporteur's stance in relation to this had so far been

18 completely disclosed or that his interest in the matter

19 had come to an end, they were quite wrong. And we have

20 seen that ourselves from the letter of 5th March.

21 Now, more from the Foreign Office follows at

22 RNI-106-143 on 11th March (displayed).

23 I will just show you, if I may, the second part of

24 the first paragraph. This is a contribution to the

25 telegram to go out to the relevant foreign stations

 

 

15

 

1 briefing them on what was going on, and it is itself an

2 indication of the point I have made about the

3 international aspect of it and of its importance. In

4 the middle of the second paragraph it begins with the

5 word:

6 "Unfortunately, little of the content of the report

7 is positive, and notably Mr Cumaraswamy was critical of

8 the suggestion attributed to the RUC Chief Constable

9 that solicitors may be working for the paramilitaries.

10 We have since succeeded in persuading Mr Cumaraswamy to

11 remove the appropriate sentences from his report,

12 because of the security implications in Northern Ireland

13 of such a comment becoming public. The RUC

14 Chief Constable maintains he did not make such a remark,

15 but Mr Cumaraswamy stands by his record of the meeting.

16 In any event, Cumaraswamy was under no obligation to

17 amend his text and we are grateful that he did so.

18 However, we must tread carefully to avoid being seen to

19 be tampering with human rights monitoring mechanisms,

20 which we strongly support."

21 That is an even clearer statement, you may think,

22 of the Foreign Office's perspective on it.

23 Then it sets out the various recommendations and the

24 matters that would follow, and at the bottom of the next

25 page, RNI-106-144 (displayed), the penultimate

 

 

16

 

1 paragraph, there is reference to the other contributions

2 I have referred to, namely from the NIO and the Home

3 Office.

4 Now, we then see the matter proceeds on RNI-106-151

5 (displayed) with a memorandum prepared for the Foreign

6 Secretary to the private secretary:

7 "UN Special Rapporteur's report:

8 "Issue 1. The Secretary of State ..."

9 I think this is to the Foreign Secretary. It is

10 certainly a Foreign Office document. I'll no doubt be

11 corrected if I'm wrong:

12 "The Secretary of State should be aware of a human

13 rights report critical of the UK prepared by

14 a UN Special Rapporteur which is due to be issue

15 shortly."

16 There in a nutshell is the point. It is not

17 critical of a particular officer, it is not critical

18 indeed of a particular police force. In the briefing to

19 the Secretary of State, it is critical of the UK and

20 that is the way it is being viewed.

21 Then there is a section on background, what the

22 report alleges in paragraph 2. I won't repeat that.

23 And at 3, a guidance telegram, the one we have seen

24 reference to, will issue. And at 4:

25 "The report will provoke criticism of HMG and will

 

 

17

 

1 be exploited by Republican sympathisers in

2 Northern Ireland and abroad.

3 "The NIO are understandably concerned that we need

4 to defend the RUC's reputation against unfair attack.

5 Our objectives of defending Northern Ireland's human

6 rights image and of being clearly seen to uphold the

7 UN's human rights machinery are not incompatible but

8 will need careful handling.

9 "We are working to ensure that the NIO's line does

10 not lay the UK open to the charge of selective support

11 for international human rights structures."

12 And there, sir, in the, you may think, careful terms

13 of the note prepared for the Secretary of State, we come

14 to, in a sense, the Government, the nub of the issue.

15 When you see matters from this wider perspective, it

16 enables you to consider this balance between one

17 government department's wish to defend and to defend the

18 local police force against, as it puts it, "unfair

19 attack" and to deal with an attempt to exploit the

20 report by, as it puts it, "Republican sympathisers".

21 But on the other hand, looking at it in that way, that

22 must not itself be allowed to undermine or to put at

23 risk the broader interests of government in support, and

24 being seen to support, international human rights

25 structures.

 

 

18

 

1 Now, sir, moving on to the next document at

2 RNI-106-153 (displayed), this is more material generated

3 in the process of consultation with and within

4 government departments. At the bottom of the page,

5 a suggested introduction to the response to the key

6 section; key from our point of view. Paragraph 4 is set

7 out, and we see that at RNI-106-154 (displayed) and,

8 moving swiftly on to RNI-106-155 (displayed), we see

9 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office going out on

10 the 17th to Geneva: Our Mission to Geneva, the UK's

11 Mission in Geneva, to Mr Wells there, who is a witness

12 to the Inquiry. It follows the final version of the

13 response and it is to be submitted to the United Nations

14 under cover of a letter from the Ambassador. And we

15 will see at RNI-106-156 (displayed), the next page, the

16 official, final response and the introduction that

17 starts the process off before leading into the section

18 we have already looked at about harassment and

19 intimidation of solicitors.

20 Sir, so far as the further process is concerned, can

21 we look, please, at RNI-101-214 (displayed), because we

22 move now to look at things, in terms of the documents at

23 any rate, from the RUC's perspective. This is

24 a memorandum generated within Command Secretariat. You

25 will see the reference at the top right. The heading is

 

 

19

 

1 "A Report of the UN Special Rapporteur", and it is

2 addressed to the Chief Superintendent within Command

3 Secretariat. That is the same date as we saw the

4 earlier memoranda going backwards and forwards within

5 government, 13th March:

6 "I spoke to [name redacted] in the police division."

7 That's of the NIO:

8 "She thinks that the report will be published on the

9 Internet on Tuesday, 17th March. She is trying to

10 obtain the Internet address for us. I ..."

11 And I am afraid I can't make sense about that:

12 "... asked [I think it may be] about the NIO

13 response and she agreed to let me have a copy attached.

14 A verbal request had been made to UN to have references

15 to the Chief Constable's comments and actual names of

16 solicitors removed, and she understands that the request

17 has been taken on board."

18 Now, sir, what also emerged on this same day in the

19 same file, RNI-101-233 (displayed), is a detailed

20 commentary. I'm not, by any means, going to take you to

21 all of it because it goes on for, I think, nine or ten

22 pages. This was written by the

23 Assistant Chief Constable who was present at the meeting

24 with the Rapporteur in October. And it consists, after

25 its introduction, of a paragraph-by-paragraph response

 

 

20

 

1 to what was set out in the advanced copy of the report.

2 And when we look at further RUC material, you will see

3 that it provides an accurate reflection of the reaction

4 to the report. It is addressed to the Superintendent at

5 the Command Secretariat:

6 "I have read Mr Cumaraswamy's report with interest

7 and dismay.

8 "As I feared, the mindset he displayed prior to his

9 meeting with the Chief Constable was apparent from his

10 clear intention that this meeting was to be little more

11 than a courtesy call. He clearly was not influenced by

12 any representations made by the Chief Constable or

13 myself. The extent of this mindset is further evidenced

14 by his omitting to use the word 'alleged' from the parts

15 of paragraphs 15 and ..."

16 I think that may be 16; it may be 18. If it is 16,

17 it is obviously the Rosemary Nelson case:

18 "... where he outlines the accusations levied

19 against the RUC by some solicitors and/or their clients.

20 It was also exampled by the comments he made during his

21 interview in a recent Dispatches programme, which was

22 broadcast on Channel 4 prior to the publication of his

23 draft."

24 Pausing there, sir, we have, I think, very recently,

25 managed to obtain from Channel 4 a copy of that

 

 

21

 

1 broadcast and will, in due course, disclose it to the

2 Full Participants, if indeed it does contain an

3 interview on this very topic, because it is plainly

4 relevant:

5 "Mr Cumaraswamy compounds matters by including

6 references which are factually incorrect or seriously

7 flawed. The result is a report which flagrantly lacks

8 objectivity, accuracy or cohesiveness. It, therefore,

9 cannot be given serious accreditation.

10 "Unfortunately, if published in this flawed state,

11 it will give instant succour to those who, over many

12 years, have attempted to denigrate the regime under

13 which suspected terrorists are detained in

14 Northern Ireland.

15 "Mr Cumaraswamy fails to recognise that the aim of

16 such persons/groupings may not be solely of a human

17 rights or altruistic nature, but rather may possibly be

18 self-serving or contrived by terrorist groupings who

19 have manipulated their thinking."

20 So in fact, in his opening analysis, clearly there

21 is strong criticism of the report in a way that is

22 fundamental to it:

23 "It lacks objectivity, accuracy or cohesiveness."

24 It cannot be given serious accreditation. But

25 immediately, the very point which is at the heart of the

 

 

22

 

1 issues raised in the report is then reflected back,

2 because the writer perceives the issues at the heart of

3 this as going to the aims, strategies of those who seek

4 to undermine the force, and in that way, this provides

5 an echo of, for example, the comments we have seen about

6 the propaganda campaigns, the publicity campaigns, the

7 attack, the root and branch approach.

8 Then he highlights specific inaccuracies and

9 examples of subjectiveness as they occur. Then he takes

10 the matter through the various paragraphs.

11 There is no reference to paragraph 16 in this note,

12 so I will take you, if you may, to paragraph 21:

13 "He cites the Chief Constable as having expressed

14 the view that some solicitors may in fact be working for

15 the paramilitaries. I have no recall of this view being

16 expressed and neither, so I understand, does the

17 Chief Constable. Even if such a view was expressed,

18 which I dispute, it would have been made within the

19 strictures of a discussion held in confidence and should

20 not have been repeated in a document for general

21 publication. The fact that Mr Cumaraswamy has done so,

22 if allowed to go unchallenged, merely repeats and

23 compounds the circumstances which gave rise to the

24 central theme of earlier reports, namely the murder of

25 Pat Finucane which was attributed to the utterances of

 

 

23

 

1 Douglas Hogg MP which Mr Cumaraswamy repeats at

2 paragraph 61 of his report."

3 Sir, for the reasons I have given, I don't want to

4 get into any detail about what was said or not at the

5 report and what light this might shed on it, but you

6 will see one of the objections here is that the

7 comments, if made, were made in a meeting which was, as

8 he puts it, held in confidence.

9 He then takes issue with remarks attributed to him

10 at the bottom of the page, and turning over, he then

11 proceeds to deal with the various contentions set out in

12 the key passages I have shown you. I would like to

13 highlight, please, the comments he makes in

14 paragraph 26, which is the paragraph where the

15 Rapporteur deals with the Law Society and he refers to

16 the Chairman, Mr McGrory, of the Society's Association

17 of Criminal Lawyers. Then this:

18 "Mr Cumaraswamy goes on to state that the

19 Law Society's position was attributed to a view that it

20 should remain neutral in political cases to avoid

21 a divide within its own membership. This is an

22 acknowledgment of the fact that solicitors are not

23 apolitical and gives tacit recognition to assertions by

24 some that some solicitors are, at the least, sympathetic

25 to the paramilitaries."

 

 

24

 

1 So in fact, again, in the note we come back to the

2 original theme. Then he refers and commends the Special

3 Rapporteur's criticism of the position of solicitors in

4 relation to the complaints system and deals with the

5 concluding paragraph, 38, which I showed you, on the

6 next page, RNI-101-236 (displayed):

7 "Despite the fact that he accepts that no complaints

8 of the nature covered in his report were substantiated,

9 the Special Rapporteur declares his satisfaction that

10 harassment and intimidation were consistent and

11 systematic. He predicates this conclusion on the

12 questioned reports of the NGO and others, none of which

13 produced any independent evidence of such activity. In

14 the same vein, he fails to mention the comments to which

15 he was referred by Judge Legge in respect of his

16 dismissive assessment of the most recent BIRW report and

17 the evidence given by Jane Winter ..."

18 I think that must be:

19 "... during the recent extradition hearing in

20 San Francisco."

21 He then deals with the points about the Police

22 Ombudsman. Now, sir, as far as we are concerned,

23 therefore, those are the key passages of the note. He

24 doesn't deal head-on, at least as far as I can see, with

25 the concluding paragraphs 90 and 91, which I showed you.

 

 

25

 

1 That then was the comment made by the

2 Assistant Chief Constable which goes into Command

3 Secretariat. Could we look, next, please, RNI-103-068

4 (displayed), because it mustn't be thought that all of

5 the reaction and comment was being generated in these

6 two organisations. Information about what was contained

7 in the Rapporteur's report had emerged. We will see in

8 due course that it emerges still further in the media,

9 but at this point I wanted to show you what was said on

10 exactly the same date, 13th March, by the president of

11 the Law Society, addressed to the Chief Constable,

12 marked "Urgent":

13 "Dear Chief Constable, you may recall that when we

14 met at the end of January, we had a useful opportunity

15 to discuss complaints made by individual solicitors

16 against members the RUC.

17 "One of the points discussed was the potentially

18 danger effect the adverse comments made by the police

19 about solicitors, either to that solicitor's own client

20 or to clients of other solicitors. In this connection,

21 we were disturbed to learn of some remarks attributed to

22 you by the Special Rapporteur, which we understand will

23 appear as part of his final report.

24 "According to the Special Rapporteur, you expressed

25 a view that some solicitors may be working for the

 

 

26

 

1 paramilitaries, that this is more than a suspicion and

2 that solicitors convey certain messages to detainees on

3 behalf of the paramilitaries. Further, it is suggested

4 that had a senior police officer admitted that in the

5 course of an interrogation an officer may suggest to

6 a detainee that his solicitor is providing bad advice

7 and not acting in his interests.

8 "I believe you will understand immediately why we

9 share the grave concern expressed by Dr Cumaraswamy

10 about these allegations, particularly given that no

11 complaints to this effect have been made to the Society,

12 nor are we aware of evidence which would support these

13 serious allegations. In these circumstances, I think it

14 reasonable on behalf of the Society to ask you to

15 clarify your position in respect of the comments

16 apparently made to the Special Rapporteur."

17 Sir, that initiates correspondence and discussion

18 and meetings in which the whole question of dealing with

19 complaints of the kind which gave rise to our cases of

20 Rosemary Nelson's client and also complaints in relation

21 to the conduct of solicitors were discussed, as between

22 the RUC on the one hand and the Law Society on the

23 other.

24 It is clear also at this stage that the report in

25 this draft or advance form had reached, for example, the

 

 

27

 

1 Committee on the Administration of Justice. We saw

2 reference to that earlier. And in the evidence, you

3 will see that Rosemary Nelson herself had been made

4 aware of the particular issue about her name being

5 mentioned and of the dispute which had broken out.

6 Now, sir, could we look, please, at the formal

7 response which came from the Chief Constable to the

8 exchanges that we have been reading about, and that is

9 at RNI-101-215 (displayed).

10 It is very short, addressed to the Rapporteur:

11 "I have had sight of an advance copy of your report

12 which includes at paragraph 21 ..."

13 Then the quotation:

14 "As at no time during our discussion did I make such

15 a statement, I am pleased to be informed that it has

16 been removed."

17 So on the correspondence, again, the

18 Chief Constable's position is not that he couldn't

19 remember, which is what the Rapporteur said, if you

20 remember, but that he did not make such a statement.

21 Now, that, of course, was only one of two concerns

22 raised, as you will remember; the other about the

23 identification of particular solicitors and that being

24 said to give rise to concern. But let us look, please,

25 at RNI-101-245 (displayed) to see how the Rapporteur

 

 

28

 

1 responded. This is a letter of 27th March:

2 "Dear Chief Constable Flanagan, in response to your

3 facsimile of 13th March, please note that I have decided

4 to remove the two sentences in paragraph 21 for reasons

5 other than your denial of having made such comments in

6 the course of our discussion.

7 "For your information, I quote the relevant

8 paragraphs of my letter dated 5th March 1998 to the

9 United Kingdom Government sent through the permanent

10 representative of the United Kingdom to the

11 United Nations."

12 Then there are the two paragraphs from the letter of

13 5th March that we have seen, which obviously has the

14 effect in this context of, as I say, reasserting his

15 position and making clear that his decision to make

16 amendments was not founded upon an acceptance of the

17 Chief Constable's version of events.

18 So the effect of what we have seen, therefore, sir,

19 is that these changes were made, and at this stage the

20 report had not formally been published. However, as

21 a result of what appears to have been a mix-up at the

22 RUC, a press release emerged. It may, it seems, have

23 had limited circulation. It, I think, is pretty clear

24 that it should never have been allowed to emerge because

25 it addresses head-on the very quotation which in fact by

 

 

29

 

1 then the Rapporteur had agreed to remove; thus, in that

2 way letting the cat out of the bag anyway, and that is

3 at RNI-103-071 (displayed).

4 There are many copies in the bundle because, as we

5 will see, the release of this document itself led to

6 exchanges and trouble, and it looks, to me at any rate,

7 as though this copy I am showing you now is either

8 a draft or a version which was later amended, but we

9 have in our bundles other copies, as I say, which

10 include the release as issued.

11 Response to a report:

12 "The Royal Ulster Constabulary considers the report

13 of Mr Cumaraswamy to fall short of the objectivity,

14 accuracy and fairness which might have been expected

15 from an investigation carried out through the offices of

16 the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. It

17 rejects totally a suggestion by Mr Cumaraswamy that the

18 Chief Constable, Mr Ronnie Flanagan, expressed the view

19 that some solicitors may be working for paramilitaries.

20 Rather, the RUC holds firmly to the basic United Nations

21 principle that lawyers shall not be identified with

22 their clients or their clients' causes."

23 Then the matter proceeds with further corrections

24 and denials, with acceptance of certain suggestions

25 being made, including, over the page at RNI-103-072, the suggestion in

 

 

30

 

1 relation to the ombudsman.

2 Now, sir, it seems reasonably clear from the

3 material we have seen that this press release was not

4 approved in advance, shown to the relevant Government

5 departments. It seems to have come to them as rather an

6 unwelcome surprise, as we will see. It is certainly

7 a document which would make the exquisite balancing act

8 set out in the memorandum to the Secretary of State and

9 the Foreign Office, rather a difficult one, you may

10 think, to bring off.

11 For clarification, can I just mention that what we

12 believe to be the final form of the press release is at

13 RNI-101-261 (displayed). It is not a very good copy but

14 it does at least avoid the crossings out and handwritten

15 amendments we saw earlier. You will see the key

16 passage, although it is poorly printed, is in the second

17 paragraph there, and over the page at RNI-101-262, we can see it is

18 dated -- perhaps you can't, but I can just about see

19 that it is dated 19th March. And as I say, by then, as

20 we know, the amendment battle, as it were, had already

21 been won.

22 The problem, therefore, was that those outside

23 government and the RUC were already alive to the issue

24 and not just as a result of that mix-up. Can we look,

25 please, at the letter of 10th March from Jane Winter at

 

 

31

 

1 RNI-106-132 (displayed).

2 This is addressed to the Secretary of State and it

3 picks up the correspondence we have seen already which

4 it had been having with Adam Ingram at the beginning of

5 the year, the end of the previous year. Then in the

6 second paragraph, she says:

7 "Things have taken such a serious turn that I want

8 to be sure you are aware of them."

9 Then she refers to the visit in October:

10 "During his visit, he met the Chief Constable and

11 various other senior RUC officers. As is his practice,

12 the Special Rapporteur allowed all those quoted in his

13 report to see a draft. And by those means, we have

14 become aware that when the Special Rapporteur met the

15 Chief Constable, a senior police officer, possibly

16 Assistant Chief Constable [cipher], commented that some

17 solicitors may in fact be working for the

18 paramilitaries.

19 "In his draft, the Special Rapporteur attributed

20 this remark to the Chief Constable who has since made it

21 clear that it was not he who made the remarks."

22 This is the particular and, as far as we are

23 concerned, in the correspondence, new and more refined

24 account of events given by the NGO:

25 "However, the contemporaneous notes made by the

 

 

32

 

1 Special Rapporteur's assistant during the meeting

2 confirm that the remarks were indeed made and that the

3 Chief Constable did not challenge them or distance

4 himself from them in any way."

5 Then she goes on:

6 "That RUC officers at such a high level should make

7 such irresponsible remarks without being able to

8 substantiate them is in itself shocking. What is more

9 shocking though is the fact that when the

10 Chief Constable saw the draft report he was reported by

11 the UK Mission in Geneva as insisting that they be

12 excluded from the report, because if they appeared in

13 the same report as allegations about abuse against

14 herself made by Mrs Nelson, whom he named specifically,

15 it might lay her open to Loyalist attack."

16 This is just a flavour, therefore, of the

17 contentious issues I mentioned earlier. Jane Winter's

18 account -- obviously, it is second-hand at the very

19 least -- is that in those protests or objections,

20 themselves controversial, the connection was made not by

21 the Rapporteur, but rather by or on behalf of the

22 Chief Constable between the two aspects of the matter,

23 and in particular in relation to Rosemary Nelson:

24 "A number of very serious questions arise from this

25 suggestion by the Chief Constable. The first of these

 

 

33

 

1 is why you should single out Rosemary Nelson by name."

2 So again, sir, in this process, the whole thing has

3 been turned upon its head:

4 "The second is why he should directly link the

5 remarks made by his colleague with Loyalist attacks on

6 lawyers. In his past, he and his predecessors have

7 always claimed that our allegations of collusion on the

8 part of RUC officers are unsubstantiated and untrue."

9 That is, one may think, an obvious point that

10 proceeds from the suggestion that to name the solicitors

11 would be to put them at risk:

12 "Now he seems to be saying that things said by RUC

13 officers can lead to Loyalist attacks. This begs the

14 third question, which is where the threats against

15 lawyers are coming from. The answer to that question,

16 of course, is that those threats emanate from RUC

17 officers, as indeed was so in Pat Finucane's case.

18 "The fourth question is: is the Chief Constable

19 seriously concerned for Mrs Nelson's or any other

20 lawyer's safety, or is he more concerned to try to

21 distance himself from allegations of RUC collusion with

22 Loyalist paramilitaries? If it is the former, what

23 steps has he taken to make arrangements for Mrs Nelson's

24 personal safety in view of the numerous complaints she

25 and others have made. If it is the latter, why does he

 

 

34

 

1 suggest that attributing to the RUC remarks such as

2 those made at the meeting in some way endangers lawyers?

3 Does he know of some other risk to Mrs Nelson of which

4 she is not already aware and, if so, has he warned her

5 or taken steps to safeguard her?"

6 Just pausing there, sir, in this important letter,

7 it illustrates, if any illustration was needed, how in

8 our investigation and consideration of these issues, the

9 Cumaraswamy episode is intimately bound up with the very

10 issues with which we are concerned, namely the question

11 of threats, the attitude taken, in this case at the

12 highest level, to the threats, to the question of how

13 they should be investigated, and raises the question in

14 the context of Rosemary Nelson: what is being done? If

15 there are concerns, concerns such as to lead to the

16 suggestion that her name and that of other solicitors

17 should be removed from the report, what is being done

18 about those circumstances, about those concerns:

19 "I do not for a moment suggest that the

20 Chief Constable intended to threaten Mrs Nelson's life,

21 but he clearly does not understand that remarks made at

22 the meeting and those reported by the UK Mission are

23 wholly unacceptable.

24 "The abuse of lawyers about which we complain comes

25 mainly from RUC officers. The Chief Constable is

 

 

35

 

1 reluctant to even admit that this is even the case, let

2 alone do anything to stop it. On the other hand, he

3 seems quite ready to compound the problem by condoning

4 remarks made in his presence that alleged collusion

5 between lawyers and paramilitaries and then linking

6 those remarks with Loyalist assassination of lawyers.

7 "What was said at the meeting and the remarks

8 reported by the UK Mission are graphic illustrations of

9 the problems lawyers face and show that RUC officers at

10 the highest level are themselves part of the problem.

11 "Ronnie Flanagan's insensitivity to the problem is

12 undoubtedly responsible for the fact that RUC officers

13 on the ground continue to abuse Mrs Nelson. As recently

14 as 27th February, she again complained to us about

15 comments made to a client by an RUC officer who alleged

16 that she had concocted an alibi statement for a client

17 on the say-so of the IRA. A client also reported that

18 after he had complained about these comments, an RUC

19 officer referred to her as 'half-face' and boasted that

20 the matters her client had complained off had been going

21 on for 30 years and were not about to change.

22 "It's high time the Chief Constable issued clear

23 instructions to all his officers to stop making

24 derogatory comments about any lawyers, and told them in

25 no uncertain terms that any further reports will lead to

 

 

36

 

1 disciplinary action. If he cannot be made to appreciate

2 that it is fundamentally wrong to confuse lawyers with

3 their clients' alleged acts or affiliations, then he

4 should resign."

5 Now, sir, just looking at the remaining paragraphs

6 of the letter, and bearing in mind, as I say, that this

7 is a letter obviously written from a particular

8 perspective and at a distance from the controversial

9 events in the meeting, you will see here also how the

10 further strand of the question of complaints, the

11 matters raised or alleged in the client interviews,

12 brought in the same letter in the penultimate

13 paragraph.

14 That, again, serves to remind us of the full context

15 in which this great dispute broke out concerning two

16 relatively limited aspects of the Special Rapporteur's

17 report. And see also how, if I can put it this way, the

18 two positions are not only poles apart, the note

19 I showed you by the Chief Constable on the one hand and

20 this letter on the other, but how both sides use the

21 same facts to arrive at diametrically opposite

22 conclusions.

23 We have seen that during the whole of this second

24 page, including the suggestion, although disavowed, that

25 there was or there might be within it danger for

 

 

37

 

1 Rosemary Nelson precisely because of the way in which

2 the matter was being addressed, treated and dealt with

3 by the senior RUC officers.

4 Sir, as it were, the same facts are taken hold of

5 and used in a completely different way.

6 Now, sir, unsurprisingly, you may think, I just want

7 to show you where we see evidence of this. In due

8 course, the Chief Constable asked to see that letter or

9 a copy of it, and that we can see from the short

10 memorandum at RNI-101-249 (displayed):

11 "CC has asked for a copy of the letter from

12 Jane Winter to NIO."

13 Now, we will see in due course how that

14 correspondence continued, but so far as the report is

15 concerned, it did not remain even within this circle for

16 that much longer. And we will see from RNI-106-168

17 (displayed), before the end of the month it looks as

18 though this letter, although it is obscure, is probably

19 dated 27th March -- comes from UK UN Mission in Geneva,

20 addressed to an official at the Northern Ireland Office,

21 "Cumaraswamy Report":

22 "As we discussed on the telephone this morning, the

23 Guardian newspaper appears to know about Cumaraswamy's

24 deletion from his report of the comments attributed to

25 the RUC Chief Constable about links between defence

 

 

38

 

1 lawyers and paramilitary groups. The Guardian have been

2 asking Cumaraswamy's office for details. So far they

3 have simply told the Guardian that the story is correct,

4 but they expect to comment further in due course".

5 Then you will see the way in which this is being, if

6 I can put it that way, managed:

7 "I suggested to Cumaraswamy that he take the line

8 that there was a misunderstanding of what was said in

9 the oral exchange between him and the Chief Constable,

10 but that that was put right when we saw an advance copy

11 of the report. Cumaraswamy did not favour this

12 approach."

13 In the light of the correspondence he sent, that is

14 perhaps unsurprising:

15 "He wanted instead to say that following approach

16 from HMG, he had made an independent decision on

17 security grounds to remove the sentences from his

18 report."

19 Equally, if I may say so, that appears to be

20 consistent with what he said from the early part

21 of March:

22 "I agreed to meet Cumaraswamy again on Monday for

23 further consideration of the best way forward ..."

24 Then he proposes an agreed line in response to

25 enquiries, with this comment in the penultimate

 

 

39

 

1 paragraph:

2 "I hold out little hope that Cumaraswamy will accept

3 this. It is essentially the same line I proposed in our

4 meeting this morning. A less good option, but one which

5 I think would still be all right for us, is ..."

6 Then sets out an alternative. 5 on the next page

7 says, at RNI-106-169 (displayed):

8 "If we did agree either of these lines with

9 Cumaraswamy, we would have to be quite clear there was

10 no scope for us to comment further. We could not, for

11 example, issue a subsequent denial by the

12 Chief Constable of what he had said."

13 And that is where we see very clearly the disconnect

14 or disjunct between the line being pursued by this part

15 of government and the RUC stance as set out in the press

16 release which went out, it appears, by mistake.

17 And the lines to take are at RNI-106-170 (displayed)

18 and you will see that they are put on various bases.

19 I don't wish to dwell on them, but the first is:

20 "Provided that there is no knowledge of/reference to

21 the alleged content."

22 (a) that is, and (b):

23 "If anybody refers to the alleged records ..."

24 Then a statement under the heading "Establish Facts

25 of the Chief Constable's Position":

 

 

40

 

1 "He did not say and does not believe that certain

2 solicitors in Northern Ireland abuse their position as

3 officers of the court while working for terrorist

4 organisations."

5 2:

6 "Publication of erroneous statements to the contrary

7 would have placed in grave peril the lives of certain

8 defence solicitors.

9 "3. Accordingly, HMG sought deletion of these

10 statements."

11 The matter continues until the publication of the

12 report, which took place, I think I am right in saying,

13 on the first day of April. I think it was on 1st April;

14 in other words, on our chronology exactly the same day

15 as the message came back from Command Secretariat at the

16 end of the threat assessment process to the effect that

17 there was no evidence of a threat and, as we have seen,

18 that nothing more could be done.

19 Sir, we will see that on RNI-106-189 (displayed).

20 That is the official press release. Now, sir, I won't

21 take you to any part of it, but if you look over to

22 RNI-106-190 (displayed), you will see now familiar text

23 which we have seen in circulation between the

24 departments over the previous weeks. It would be quite

25 wrong to say that publication of the report brought the

 

 

41

 

1 correspondence in relation to it to an end. And

2 because, of course, what we are looking at is

3 accumulation or build-up of material, I want to just

4 show you three letters briefly; the first at RNI-106-206

5 (displayed). You can see from it that this is a letter

6 from British Irish again to an official in the Rights

7 and European Division of the NIO, 10th June.

8 This deals with the substance of the report, rather

9 than the dispute about remarks made or not made, and it

10 is merely one part of a lengthy series of exchanges.

11 You will see some two days later, Jane Winter had

12 received a letter from this official and came back two

13 days later with four pages of detailed critique in

14 relation to aspects of the report.

15 Then at RNI-106-255 in the same bundle, the official

16 responds on 29th July, and you will see, if I can put it

17 that way, that this is an attempt to close the matter

18 down, perhaps to ensure that there were no further

19 lengthy letters. And the official says:

20 "You raised again a number of the points covered in

21 your previous letter. I am afraid there is nothing

22 further I can add to Mr [Blank's] reply of 8th June

23 which was sent to you."

24 And so far as the remarks were made, the

25 correspondence on that specific issue continued

 

 

42

 

1 into July, and I wanted to show you a letter we have

2 seen letter of 14th July 1998 from the Secretary of

3 State herself to Jane Winter, RNI-106-251 (displayed):

4 "Dear Jane, thank you for your letter of

5 10th March."

6 That is the letter which we saw, which gave what

7 appeared to be a very detailed account of the meeting of

8 who had allegedly said what to the Special Rapporteur.

9 And some, I think, now four months later, the Secretary

10 of State herself writes back. We have seen this letter,

11 I think, in another context, but I would like to show

12 you in particular the passages about Mr Cumaraswamy

13 because that was in fact the main focus of the reply, as

14 it had been the main focus of Jane Winter's letter:

15 "I read carefully your comments about the report.

16 I have of course already seen his report and I am aware

17 of the background to the exchange between Mr Cumaraswamy

18 and the Chief Constable. As a result, I do not see the

19 issue quite as you do. However, I acknowledge that your

20 concerns are very serious ones and I would like to

21 explain why I see it differently.

22 "One reason is that the Chief Constable has denied

23 that the remarks attributed to the police were made at

24 all and that is why, when he saw them in the report, he

25 felt they should be excised. However, he also asked for

 

 

43

 

1 them to be removed because he was concerned that if they

2 were to be included in a section dealing with alleged

3 harassment and intimidation by police of solicitors, it

4 might lead to a threat to their safety. Also, he did

5 not, as far as I am aware, single out Rosemary Nelson

6 when he expressed his concerns."

7 And that may obviously turn out to be a point of

8 some importance:

9 "Her name was one mentioned to Mr Cumaraswamy by

10 others as being the recipient of intimidation and

11 threats. The question you quite reasonably raise as to

12 the origins of threats against lawyers is a very serious

13 and important one. What I can say in response is that

14 where complaints are made, they are investigated."

15 There then follows the passages which I have shown

16 you before about the complaints system and what was

17 being done to improve it, the fact that it didn't have

18 as much public confidence as ministers would like, at

19 the bottom of the page, and that individuals were

20 encouraged to use it.

21 Sir, these two paragraphs, which take us to the

22 third page of the letter are in fact, therefore, not

23 specifically about the question of assessing safety but

24 rather about looking at that issue in the context, the

25 limited context, of the complaints system.

 

 

44

 

1 Then on the final page at RNI-106-253 (displayed):

2 "Finally, I can understand your concern over

3 Rosemary Nelson's safety. Although clearly this is not

4 a matter which it would be appropriate for me to discuss

5 with you or anyone else, I can say the police are aware

6 of concerns such as yours and take their responsibility

7 for the safety of individuals very seriously."

8 Again, sir, that was a passage I showed you earlier

9 in the context of complaints, but I hope it is clear,

10 when one looks at the wider range of correspondence, of

11 concerns of issues which were on the table, including on

12 the Secretary of State's table at this stage, that those

13 remarks must be seen in that broader context. And in

14 that context, the Secretary of State says that she

15 understands Jane Winter's concern and that the police

16 are aware of concerns such as hers.

17 Now, sir, I wanted then to move on to the other

18 issues which emerge in the middle of 1998, which form

19 the immediate backdrop to the third threat assessment

20 which took place in August that year.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: We will begin that at just before a quarter

22 to, thank you.

23 (11.30 am)

24 (Short break)

25 (11.45 am)

 

 

45

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

2 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, as I said, I was about to move into a new

3 phase, as it were, but there is one point I can make

4 good, which I should have done earlier, in relation to

5 the draft press release. Can I show you RNI-101-263

6 (displayed). This is a note for file in the Command

7 Secretariat, dated 31st March:

8 "Enquiries with press office reveal this draft press

9 release was issued to ..."

10 Then there is a redacted name:

11 "... on 30th at 1526 in error, as it was mistakenly

12 believed to be the approved statement. The official

13 line is that we have no intention of commenting on

14 a report we have not seen."

15 Indeed:

16 "[The redacted name] was contacted this date and

17 informed the statement was only a draft. He undertook

18 not to pass it to other journalists."

19 Then "spoke to", and that's the name of an official

20 in the police division:

21 "... by telephone. Informed him statement had been

22 released in error. Explained how error had arisen, ie

23 ..."

24 I think it is "two folders" that may say:

25 "... advised him of the official line (see above) to

 

 

46

 

1 be taken at this stage. A press statement will be

2 prepared on release of report."

3 Now, sir, just in other areas, to remind you of

4 a couple of letters -- I don't wish to spend any great

5 time on them, but while what we have been looking at was

6 going on, there were continuing letters going backwards

7 and forwards to government, and in particular the one

8 I wanted to mention at this stage is one we have seen

9 already from Mr Mageean of 5th March 1998 at RNI-106-114

10 (displayed).

11 Just to, as it were, notice it, it is the one which

12 contains detailed references -- you see at the bottom of

13 the page -- to the case of C200. We have already

14 considered. But you will remember, when we first looked

15 at it, that the -- could we go back to the document,

16 please. It begins in fact by putting all this in the

17 context of the Rapporteur's visit, and at the very end

18 of the first paragraph he makes the point that one of

19 the cases he -- that is the Rapporteur -- looked at was

20 that of Rosemary Nelson, and then proceeds, having given

21 that introduction, to introduce the new case of C200.

22 Going on to the end of the page at RNI-106-115

23 (displayed), again, passages we didn't look at in the

24 context of the complaint, but the last paragraph you see

25 brings the letter to an end in the way that it began,

 

 

47

 

1 ie on a very general level, by putting the particular

2 case against the background of other such cases, reports

3 over the years, and suggesting that:

4 "It becomes the responsibility of government to

5 ensure that the UK does not continue to breach its

6 international obligations.

7 "We look forward to receiving confirmation as to how

8 you intend to deal with this particular problem and the

9 pattern of police harassment of defence lawyers in

10 general."

11 I show you that, or remind you of it, because it

12 shows that at that level, at the government level, not

13 only were ministers dealing with those sorts of letters

14 from NGOs, but now, as we have seen, from the

15 Rapporteur himself, all going on at exactly the same

16 time. 5th March, of course, is the date of the letter,

17 the riposte by the Rapporteur in relation to the RUC's

18 comments upon those paragraphs of his report.

19 Now, sir, turning to other matters and bearing in

20 mind the context that I have outlined for you as to how

21 these should all be viewed, can we look, please, at

22 a letter which comes in from Chris Mullin MP. The

23 letter is dated 3rd April 1998, and what I am proposing

24 to do is to show you on the screen the letter, and that

25 is at RNI-106-199.500 (displayed).

 

 

48

 

1 This refers, under the heading "Colin Duffy", to two

2 matters in particular said to be enclosed, which we are

3 not going to look at on the screen. The first is

4 a poster, which I am told has recently been circulated

5 in Portadown, and the second is two articles from the

6 Belfast newsletter. And it then sets out what is said

7 to be contained in the poster and deals with the

8 newspaper article, suggesting that:

9 "The tone and content clearly suggest they have been

10 inspired by a member or members of the security forces,

11 no doubt some of the very people who have been hounding

12 Mr Duffy for several years.

13 "One of the articles contains what appears to be

14 a thinly-veiled threat to kill Mr Duffy. I draw your

15 attention to the highlighted passage quoting an

16 anonymous security force."

17 Then suggesting that the same point is to be derived

18 from the poster.

19 We have handed out, or I hope we have handed out or

20 are about to hand out, copies of that. It won't go on

21 the screen and you will see, because the text is

22 extremely short, what is said on it there and Mr Duffy

23 is identified. The suggestion is:

24 "If you see him in a Loyalist area, contact the

25 security forces or a leading Loyalist immediately."

 

 

49

 

1 As you will see, one of the objections taken to this

2 by those who write about it -- and we will see more in

3 a minute -- is that those two options -- the security

4 forces on the one hand, or a leading Loyalist on the

5 other -- are put up, as it were, as alternatives.

6 Sir, I am mentioning this issue because, as

7 I suggested to you much earlier, when one looks at the

8 position of Rosemary Nelson and the association made,

9 the perception held of her close association with this

10 particular client, and when one considers then the

11 question of her safety and how it was assessed and what

12 should be done about it, material which goes to threats

13 or to the safety of the client might also reasonably be

14 said to have at least a potential impact on her own

15 position given the perceived and close connection

16 between them.

17 Sir, there is further correspondence at

18 RNI-106-263.500 (displayed). It may be that that is

19 a page reference which has defeated the IT. Yes, it

20 has; in the same way that it has defeated my bundle.

21 Just so that everybody knows, because it is no doubt

22 a very puzzling reference for me to make, this is

23 a letter, I believe, or a communication relating to

24 a letter from Jane Winter raising the same point, the

25 same concern about this poster.

 

 

50

 

1 That sets off further correspondence back and

2 forward, and we can see at RNI-106-205.500 a further

3 stage in it -- at least I hope we can (displayed).

4 Yes. Here it is. By this stage, we have moved

5 into June. It is addressed not to the Secretary of

6 State but to Mr Ingram, and it suggests, as you can see,

7 that the concerns were first raised in fact at the end

8 of March. And there is some criticism made there about

9 the delay in responding and comment made about what that

10 might reveal as to the seriousness of the way in which

11 the matter was being regarded. It deals then with media

12 coverage, the same point raised by Mr Mullin, and the

13 specific reference again to the anonymous quotation in

14 one of the articles.

15 Can we just turn over the page to RNI-106-205.501, please. There is

16 then a lengthy analysis of what the impact of coverage

17 material of this kind might have been on this client's

18 safety, and the issue is taken with comments which had

19 obviously been made in the correspondence -- this is the

20 bottom of the paragraph -- about the involvement or not

21 of a member or members of the RUC in what was going on.

22 The point I flagged up about the apparent connection

23 between security forces on the one hand or a leading

24 Loyalist on the other is dealt with at the bottom of the

25 page, and then turning over, and there is then a rather

 

 

51

 

1 resounding final paragraph.

2 Sir, this all occurs at the moment immediately

3 before the next big issue comes on to the radar, namely

4 the dispute concerning the Commission, because if you

5 remember, we have seen the minute showing that

6 Miss McNally's concerns were raised in the middle of May

7 and the two letters, both marked "in confidence", one to

8 the Chief Constable and one to the Secretary of State,

9 were sent out on 19th June. And I showed you, when we

10 dealt with this, those letters. We went through them in

11 detail, and I took you to, as it were, the reaction

12 which was then generated.

13 I don't propose to go over that again, but save to

14 say that from the middle of June, therefore, there is

15 another chain of reactions, both at the NIO, at a very

16 high level, and within the RUC, again right up to and

17 including the close involvement of the Chief Constable

18 in what led to be the appointment of

19 Commander Mulvihill.

20 Then to add to that, we have on the list of matters

21 crossing desks, of course, the next stage of the

22 Drumcree matter, because in late June/early July,

23 Rosemary Nelson is concerned and involved with

24 representing the residents and with the consideration of

25 whether an application should be made to the Attorney

 

 

52

 

1 General for an injunction to bring the march to an

2 abrupt halt.

3 Now, if we look, please, at RNI-101-302 (displayed),

4 this is the covering fax sheet for a communication that

5 begins on the next page, RNI-101-303. This is

6 a communication from the Attorney's office, down to or

7 across to the Command Secretariat, and this is an

8 official within that office writing on 9th July:

9 "Dear Superintendent, I enclose a letter I have

10 received from Rosemary Nelson asking the Attorney

11 General either commences injunctive proceedings on

12 behalf of the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition ..."

13 So, as it were, taking proceedings in his name in

14 the public interest:

15 "... against the officers of the Portadown Loyal

16 Orange Lodge, district number 1."

17 I think those initials stand for:

18 "We will consent to Mrs Nelson so acting by way of

19 a relate or action. The purpose of the injunction would

20 be to prevent them from breaking the criminal law, in

21 this case by breaching the determination made by the

22 Parades Commission in respect of the Drumcree

23 procession. Her explanation is set out in some detail

24 in her letter."

25 Sir, you will remember when I took you to the

 

 

53

 

1 chronology on this what went on in this particular year

2 and how the decision-making had gone. This was the year

3 in which the Parades Commission had made a determination

4 but which had within it a proviso about local agreement,

5 if you remember:

6 "The Attorney General has not yet seen the letter

7 from Mrs Nelson, it only having been received here

8 a short time ago. I am confident, however, that he

9 would wish to take any steps which he was advised would

10 assist in upholding the law. The purpose of this letter

11 is to seek urgent advice from the Secretary of State and

12 from the Chief Constable of the RUC on the following

13 question.

14 "Given the current involvement of the police in

15 maintaining order in Portadown/Drumcree, whether an

16 injunction ordering officers of the lodge not to breach

17 the terms of the determination would assist in the

18 maintenance of public order.

19 "The Attorney General will need to respond to

20 Mrs Nelson this afternoon and would be grateful,

21 therefore, for your immediate response. I have written

22 in similar terms to the private secretary to the

23 Secretary of State."

24 Although we know in fact what happened was that no

25 such application was made, you will see the grounds set

 

 

54

 

1 out on the next page, RNI-101-304 please. It is a letter to the

2 Attorney from Rosemary Nelson:

3 "I have been instructed to write to you on behalf of

4 the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition in respect of the

5 stand-off currently taking place at Drumcree,

6 County Armagh.

7 "As you know, the background to this matter is that

8 a notice of a proposal to organise a public procession

9 on the Garvaghy Road, Portadown on 5th July was served

10 on the police on behalf the Loyal Orange Lodge, number 1

11 district in accordance with section 6 of the Public

12 Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

13 "By a determination dated 30th June, made under

14 section 8, the Parades Commission imposed a condition on

15 the parade prohibiting it from entering the

16 Garvaghy Road and requiring it either to disperse at the

17 church or to return to Portadown by a different route.

18 A copy of the determination is enclosed."

19 Then she sets out the factual basis for the request

20 to the Attorney, namely that:

21 "Leading members of the Orange Order have repeatedly

22 stated their intention not to comply with the re-routing

23 condition and have incited to others not to comply with

24 the same."

25 And:

 

 

55

 

1 "They have refused to disperse or return to

2 Portadown by a different route, but continue to insist

3 on their right to return to Portadown."

4 Then she explains how security barriers blocking

5 access to the estate had been erected and there had been

6 a stand-off at this point for nearly four days. Then

7 sets out the effect of that on her clients and points

8 out in the penultimate paragraph:

9 "There is no sign that the situation will resolve

10 itself, but there is every indication that the situation

11 will become worse."

12 And a reference there to Dr Paisley's comment that

13 12th July will be the settling day, and that one way or

14 another the parade would proceed down the road.

15 Then:

16 "Mr [name redacted] has this morning been reported

17 as saying that if the Orangemen don't get what they

18 want, this morning's meeting with the Prime Minister

19 ..."

20 That is one of a number we will look at in more

21 detail later:

22 "... they can paralyse the country."

23 Sir, I don't want to read the rest of the letter in

24 full, but you will see, after further description of the

25 latest events under the paragraph "Last Night":

 

 

56

 

1 "Approximately 10,000 Orangemen and their supporters

2 gathered at the security cordon at the Drumcree end of

3 the estate, and there was a concerted effort to break

4 through. Plastic baton rounds were fired and for

5 several hours the residents were subjected to an

6 extremely tense and frightening situation with

7 the prospect of an imminent invasion of their estate by

8 hostile and violent crowds of Orangemen and their

9 supporters."

10 Then she sets out effectively the grounds for her

11 request and makes the formal request in the final

12 paragraph of this page, using formal language. In other

13 words, she puts her case, and then puts it in an

14 alternative basis starting in the fifth line. Could we

15 go to the next page, RNI-101-305 please (displayed). Effectively

16 seeks the Attorney's consent on the alternative basis

17 for a relate or action.

18 Now, sir, in terms of the immediate background,

19 therefore, to the August assessment, this is as far as I

20 would like to take it. So we have got then to 9th July,

21 and in summary, just over the previous few busy months,

22 we had the concerns expressed over the poster and media

23 campaign in relation to Colin Duffy, the huge issue

24 surrounding the ICPC's position and Rosemary Nelson

25 involved, certainly in this sense, centrally in what was

 

 

57

 

1 going on on the ground at Drumcree, as well as the

2 continuing fallout, if I can put it that way, from the

3 Cumaraswamy report.

4 Looking back to the situation, as it were,

5 between February and August, February, the last

6 assessment, it is really that business of the

7 Rapporteur's report and all of the disputes which arose

8 that is perhaps the most striking matter that was

9 crossing the relevant desks in the period immediately

10 before the assessment.

11 Now, turning to that assessment, I hope you have or

12 still have the chart that was prepared. It looks like

13 that (indicated). Just by looking at the chart, I

14 think, you get a fair flavour, indeed warning, of what

15 is involved in this particular assessment. There are

16 more boxes, putting it at its simplest, and more arrows,

17 going in more directions than either of the previous

18 charts. There are more stages along the way, down and

19 back again. Do you all have a copy of the chart?

20 THE CHAIRMAN: We certainly have.

21 MR PHILLIPS: Does everybody have a copy? I hope so.

22 Sir, that is, as I say, a warning of the complexity

23 of this issue. It involves a number of witnesses and

24 you will see, I hope, from the left-hand column, as it

25 were, the one which begins "ACC E Department" that

 

 

58

 

1 unlike the February/March assessment, there is an entire

2 chain of this assessment, which involves officers at

3 various levels of Special Branch, including the head of

4 Special Branch, ACC E Department.

5 That is in addition to the involvement, as it were,

6 on the ground, at the coalface, of a Special Branch

7 officer, this time from Portadown, at the bottom of the

8 right-hand column.

9 I say that right at the outset by way of caveat,

10 sir, because, of course, what that means, so far as our

11 procedural state of play is concerned, is that we have

12 not been able so far to release the part 2 bundle. And

13 having not issued the statements of a number of these

14 officers, what I can open to you about this is, by

15 definition, incomplete and it means, so far as I am

16 concerned, that I will have to tread particularly

17 carefully, not just in the normal ways because of

18 ciphers and other matters of that kind and redactions,

19 but also because individuals with a substantial role to

20 play, their statements have not so far been disclosed to

21 the Full Participants.

22 Sir, the next thing I would like to say by way of

23 introduction is to remind you of the situation as it was

24 at the beginning of August, which is when the previous

25 process came to an end. It had been that earlier

 

 

59

 

1 assessment initiated by the NIO -- they had requested

2 advice, consideration as to whether advice should be

3 given to Rosemary Nelson in relation to her security.

4 We saw that appendix B was generated although it

5 wasn't clear, and still isn't clear, what action was

6 taken in response to that, and our attempts to find out

7 where appendix B might have ended up, as you remember,

8 came to nothing. There was nothing in the relevant

9 threat log and the briefing book in which it might have

10 appeared. It is not to hand and cannot now be found.

11 You saw how the Chief Constable was involved in the

12 consideration of what should be done and you saw also

13 the note on 1st April in handwriting, which said that

14 nothing could be done. Neither that position nor any

15 reference to the provision of crime prevention advice

16 was made in the letter that subsequently was issued to

17 the NIO.

18 You remember that the head of police division

19 explained that consideration was given by her to the

20 substance of the assessment, and I will return to that

21 matter in due course. But that, so far as the earlier

22 assessment is, as it were, the beginning and the end

23 of it.

24 This assessment involves, sir -- because I think it

25 is important to give a short outline before we get

 

 

60

 

1 immersed in too much detail -- involves or rather should

2 have involved two distinct documents. One is a pamphlet

3 entitled "The Man Without a Future", and the second is

4 a threat note, which is one we have seen already because

5 it was referred to by Rosemary Nelson in the course of

6 an interview she had with the Mulvihill team, which

7 said:

8 "We have you in our sights, you Republican bastard.

9 We will teach you a lesson. RIP."

10 One of the many issues that we will be looking at is

11 why it was that the actual work of assessment only

12 included consideration of the first of those two

13 documents, "The Man Without a Future" pamphlet, because

14 as we will see, although both documents were received by

15 the NIO from different sources, only one, the pamphlet,

16 was considered in the assessment by the relevant

17 officers at the RUC.

18 Sir, can I take first "The Man Without a Future"

19 pamphlet? This came to the NIO, as far as we can see,

20 twice during August of 1998. At the beginning of the

21 month it came from the Irish side of the secretariat,

22 and we can see that at RNI-111-080 (displayed).

23 31st July -- I am sorry, it is even earlier than

24 that:

25 "Rosemary Nelson, the Lurgan-based solicitor, was in

 

 

61

 

1 contact with us this morning to express her extreme

2 concern at a leaflet (see attached) which she

3 understands is in circulation in Portadown at present.

4 "The leaflet makes reference to Miss Nelson as

5 a 'former bomber'. She is particularly concerned about

6 this reference and the fact that her address and

7 telephone number also appear on this leaflet. I would

8 be grateful if you could raise this matter with the

9 other side ..."

10 So you can see that this is an internal memorandum

11 between Irish officials:

12 "... and express our deep concern of the circulation

13 of such material. Grateful if you could request the

14 other side to ensure that Mrs Nelson and those others

15 mentioned on the leaflet are provided with appropriate

16 additional security. It may be appropriate for the

17 other side to bring this matter to the attention of the

18 Metropolitan Police Commander Mulvihill, who has been

19 appointed to investigate threats made against

20 Miss Nelson."

21 Now, what we then see in the bundle at RNI-111-081

22 (displayed) is one of a large number of copies of this

23 document. And like many of them -- I am not sure this

24 is the best one -- it is in fact very difficult to read.

25 And we will see that this is a complaint made on

 

 

62

 

1 a number of occasions as the events unfold and as the

2 assessment continues, and what we can discern from the

3 document as it is at the moment on the screen is that

4 the photograph and the subject matter of the title is

5 not Rosemary Nelson but in fact Breandan Mac Cionnaith.

6 A description is given of him there. It says:

7 "Brendan McKenna, IRA gunman and bomber, now

8 a so-called independent councillor."

9 It continues:

10 "Brendan McKenna was dragged up in Lurgan along with

11 other well-known ..."

12 I think that says "murdering scum":

13 "... like the Duffys. Contrary to the wholesome

14 image the media would have you believe, Mac Cionnaith's

15 past is not one of choir practice and Gaelic football;

16 it is in shooting, bombing and murder. Mac Cionnaith

17 joined the IRA while still at St Michael's [I think]

18 grammar school in Lurgan. In 1982, he was sentenced to

19 six years in prison for hijacking, possession of a

20 firearm and false imprisonment. While in the Maze, he

21 became close friends with Bobby Storey, now IRA

22 chief of staff, and his second-in-command, Spike Murray.

23 These two men have been pulling Mac Cionnaith's strings

24 since he left jail. Under the command of Storey ..."

25 Then it says:

 

 

63

 

1 "Emond Stack, a Jesuit priest, and with advice from

2 Lurgan solicitor and former bomber, Rosemary Nelson,

3 8A William Street, Lurgan, telephone 321885, this motley

4 crew have for the past six years been trying to put in

5 place a plan that was first used by the Jesuit, Philip

6 Muller. His plan was to destroy the religious rights

7 and freedom of Hungarian protestants by bringing them

8 into conflict with the statement.

9 "Mac Cionnaith, your plan has been found out, your

10 time is running out. Ask not for whom the bell tolls;

11 it tolls for you, Mac Cionnaith!"

12 Then the rest begins:

13 "If you do not like what Mac Cionnaith is ..."

14 And I am afraid I can't read the remainder, but

15 I hope I have read enough to give you the flavour of it.

16 A number of individuals are referred to within it in

17 addition to the main subject matter, Mr Mac Cionnaith,

18 and allegations are made about them and him and about

19 the involvement of individuals, and Father Stack, who is

20 a witness in this case and was involved in the Residents

21 Coalition, and Rosemary Nelson herself who is described

22 as being a Lurgan solicitor and former bomber.

23 She is, therefore, one of the motley crew who have

24 been trying to put in place a plan for the past six

25 years to destroy the religious rights and freedoms of

 

 

64

 

1 protestants. I am now interpreting the reference to the

2 Jesuit Philip Muller. Then the sentence at the end:

3 "Ask not for whom the bell toll, it tolls for you

4 ..."

5 Conveys you may think, a clear and obvious threat,

6 certainly to him.

7 Now, this works its way to the British side at

8 RNI-111-028 (displayed). It is described as an

9 extremely disturbing leaflet, and you may think that is

10 an unsurprising description. It is said to be in

11 circulation in Portadown and that is an important

12 matter, as we will come to see, that the leaflet was

13 being circulated there, and indeed that Mr Mac Cionnaith

14 was a local resident. Indeed, that is where the

15 residents of the Residents Coalition were of course

16 based:

17 "The leaflet, the overall tone of which is extremely

18 menacing, makes a number of inflammatory allegations

19 about several individuals, including Mrs Nelson. It

20 describes Mrs Nelson as a former bomber, and alarmingly

21 contains her address and her telephone number.

22 "Mrs Nelson is understandably extremely distressed

23 by this incident and has expressed serious concerns

24 about the threat to her personal security posed by both

25 the claims advanced in the leaflet and the circulation

 

 

65

 

1 of her address and telephone number. The Irish side

2 fully shares these concerns, which are of an extremely

3 serious nature."

4 Sir, when you look at the remarks we have seen so

5 far, alleging a connection between Rosemary Nelson and

6 her work as a lawyer and paramilitary organisations, you

7 may well think that this takes it a step further,

8 because here the allegation made against her, which is,

9 as far as the Inquiry is aware, without any foundation

10 whatever in fact, was that she was in fact a bomber, and

11 not a lawyer who assisted paramilitaries, who assisted

12 the cause of militant Republicanism, but rather herself

13 an active terrorist.

14 And so it is in that context that the Irish side's

15 comment is made. They focus not on the references to

16 other individuals within the leaflet, but rather on the

17 position of Rosemary Nelson alone:

18 "The Irish side would be grateful to receive as

19 a matter of some urgency the British side's full

20 assurance that those mentioned in the leaflet ..."

21 And this is the first time in the note that they

22 widen it to include anybody other than Rosemary Nelson:

23 "... including Mrs Nelson would be provided with

24 a appropriate additional security given the increased

25 risk to their personal safety."

 

 

66

 

1 That was the way the matter and the leaflet was

2 perceived by the Irish side, that the leaflet gave rise

3 to an increased risk to their personal safety:

4 "In addition, the Irish side would wish to be

5 advised of the police authority's plans to carry out an

6 investigation into both the publication and the

7 circulation of these dangerous inflammatory allegations,

8 and to receive a full report on the matter."

9 Again, sir, there are two aspects here, therefore:

10 One, the issue of the security of the individuals named;

11 but two, a criminal investigation into the making of the

12 leaflet, its publication and circulation, given the

13 dangerous and inflammatory nature of the allegations:

14 "The Irish side also believes the matter should be

15 brought to the attention of Commander Mulvihill."

16 Now, as far as we know -- just pausing there, sir --

17 the first that Commander Mulvihill learnt of the

18 business of threats in relation not to this document but

19 the note, as we will see -- and this is significant --

20 is when it was handed over unexpectedly in the course of

21 a very different interview. But that note is the note,

22 as it were, that didn't go through the threat assessment

23 system and it emerged in a quite different way, as we

24 will hear, from, in fact, Paul Mageean.

25 But before we get to that point, which is slightly

 

 

67

 

1 later in the chronology, can I just take you to what

2 then transpired, and this we can see at RNI-106-271

3 (displayed).

4 The British side of the secretariat, having received

5 the leaflet, then pass it on to the NIO. Sir, this is

6 from an official in the secretariat, the British side,

7 to the police division, I think:

8 "Matter raised by the Irish side:

9 Miss Rosemary Nelson.

10 "Please find attached a copy of a note received from

11 the Irish side today. The Irish side share Mrs Nelson's

12 concerns over this leaflet and have asked that as

13 a matter of urgency, appropriate additional security be

14 given to those persons mentioned in the leaflet. They

15 also suggest this matter should be brought to the

16 attention of Commander Mulvihill, who has been appointed

17 to investigate previous threats against Mrs Nelson."

18 Well, again, apart from being another reminder of

19 how the complaints issue and these issues came together,

20 you will see the way it is put there, to investigate

21 threats. As we know, in fact what Commander Mulvihill

22 was required to do, which is closely related but in fact

23 a different task, was to deal and review and

24 reinvestigate the complaints, including some complaints

25 about threats.

 

 

68

 

1 Now, that then came up to, as we see, the relevant

2 official in police division and went over on 6th August

3 to Command Secretariat at RNI-106-275 (displayed). The

4 first reference to the quality of the fax appears in

5 this letter:

6 "Please see the attached fax, which is of appalling

7 quality, of a leaflet which is apparently being

8 distributed in Portadown.

9 "The leaflet has been sent to us by the Irish side

10 of the secretariat, having been brought to their

11 attention by Rosemary Nelson. We understand Mrs Nelson

12 is extremely stressed by the leaflet and is seriously

13 concerned about the threat to her personal security

14 posed by the claims in the leaflet and by the

15 circulation of her address and telephone number.

16 "If this has not already happened, could steps

17 please be taken to assess the background to the leaflet

18 and any threat or increased threat to the security of

19 the individuals mentioned in it. I presume that if

20 there is a threat to the safety the individuals, then

21 the police will talk to them about this. In doing so,

22 and while we could not pre-judge the outcome, Mrs Nelson

23 in particular could be informed that if she needs

24 financial assistance with any required security

25 measures, then the NIO does run a limited scheme and she

 

 

69

 

1 could apply to this. Obviously, any application would

2 be treated on its merits."

3 Sir, this letter was written by exactly the same

4 official who had written the letter on 23rd February.

5 In that letter, if you remember, he made a suggestion

6 that the RUC should consider whether it be appropriate

7 to give advice. He, as we know from his statement, then

8 received a response on 1st April which did not address

9 that question at all. No reply, I should say, went

10 back.

11 There is nothing in the correspondence in which the

12 NIO queried why it was they haven't been given an answer

13 to their question, although I have told you that in her

14 statement, the head of police division has suggested

15 that she spoke to the police and went through the basis

16 of the judgment that they had made.

17 However, when, nearly six months later, the same

18 official comes to deal with the latest material in

19 relation to threats, coming this time not from a NGO,

20 not from the United States of America but from the Irish

21 Government, you will see that he's a little bolder in

22 his suggestions to Command Secretariat of the ways they

23 might choose to deal with the matter and with the

24 particular issues that they might wish to consider.

25 In the second sentence of the third paragraph, he

 

 

70

 

1 puts as a presumption that:

2 "If there is a threat to the safety of the

3 individuals, then the police will talk to them about

4 this."

5 And we know that that was something that had not

6 taken place in the aftermath of the previous threat

7 assessment, because the judgment had been arrived at

8 that nothing could be done. And as far as we can see,

9 nothing was done.

10 Next he says that:

11 "Whilst we ..."

12 The NIO:

13 "... could not pre-judge the outcome, she could ..."

14 And Mrs Nelson in particular, of those referred to

15 in the leaflet, he means:

16 "... be informed that if she needs financial

17 assistance with any required security measures, then the

18 NIO does run a limited scheme and she could apply to

19 this."

20 Again, it is a matter dealt with in the witness

21 evidence and can be explored there, but at this stage it

22 seems obvious just from the face of the letter that this

23 is, if I can put it this way, something of a nudge,

24 something of a hint, a broad suggestion to the police of

25 one outcome that might follow from their assessment of

 

 

71

 

1 the matters in relation to Rosemary Nelson in particular

2 set out in this leaflet, namely that she could apply to

3 get financial assistance under the limited scheme.

4 Now, that resulted, so far as the NIO is concerned,

5 in a response going back to the British side of the

6 secretariat. And a note there of the action taken,

7 RNI-106-279 (displayed) at the bottom of the page

8 "Action Taken":

9 "I have written ..."

10 This is a memo from the same civil servant:

11 "I have written to the police about the leaflet and

12 asked them, so far as they are not doing so already, to

13 investigate the background, to look at any threat and

14 increased threat to the security of the individuals.

15 I have also sent it to the Commission with the

16 suggestion they should draw it to the Commander's

17 attention."

18 And that was, as I understand it, done. Then he

19 sets out a response to the Irish:

20 "Obviously the police will not release details of

21 personal security issues to the Irish or anyone else.

22 It is unlikely I will be able to give you anything

23 further on this. I suggest, therefore, you tell the

24 Irish side that we have written to the police asking

25 them to take appropriate action, insofar as they have

 

 

72

 

1 not already done so."

2 Then this civil servant is on to the point that

3 I have just drawn to your attention, that the Irish have

4 misunderstood the limited basis of Commander Mulvihill's

5 remit. He is not to, as the Irish put it, investigate

6 previous threats, but rather to investigate complaints.

7 And the point is made, the distinction is drawn, that in

8 case there is no suggestion that the source, the origin,

9 of the leaflet is the police or that they have colluded,

10 as it is put here, in its production.

11 And so in formal terms, therefore, the matter

12 concludes with the response going back to the Irish,

13 RNI-106-281.501 (displayed), simply setting out what we

14 have just seen.

15 Now, sir, at exactly this same time, the second

16 document enters the picture and it comes this time from

17 CAJ. It is a letter of 10th August at RNI-106-287

18 (displayed) and it is addressed to Adam Ingram:

19 "Dear Mr Ingram, we refer to the above and thank you

20 for your letter of the 7th from your private secretary."

21 That is a letter we have already seen; the one, if

22 you remember -- I think it is the one which refers to

23 the absence of evidence of a pattern of intimidation of

24 defence lawyers, and surprise is expressed about that.

25 And unsurprisingly, you may think, reference is made in

 

 

73

 

1 this first paragraph, later in the paragraph, to the

2 report of the Rapporteur in which he did indeed arrive

3 at that conclusion in paragraph 90.

4 He then also cites a recommendation -- we have also

5 seen this -- from the Rapporteur:

6 "Where there is a threat to the physical integrity

7 of a solicitor or barrister, irrespective from whom the

8 threat emanates, the Government should provide the

9 necessary protection and should vigorously investigate

10 the threats and bring to justice the guilty party.

11 "We enclose two documents for your attention, which

12 indicate that there is indeed a threat to the physical

13 integrity of Rosemary Nelson. The first is a note which

14 was posted to Rosemary Nelson which reads 'we have you

15 in our sights, you Republican bastard. We will teach

16 you a lesson, RIP'. The second is a one-page leaflet

17 entitled 'Man Without a Future' which relates to

18 Brendan McKenna. However, it also refers to him having

19 received advice from 'Lurgan solicitor and former

20 bomber, Rosemary Nelson, 8A William Street, Lurgan,

21 telephone 321885'.

22 "We believe that these documents are very definite

23 threats against the personal safety of Rosemary Nelson.

24 She has received a number of such threats in the past.

25 It is incumbent on the Government to investigate these

 

 

74

 

1 matters but also to provide the necessary protection for

2 Mrs Nelson.

3 "We understand that the Government has in the past

4 installed security apparatus in the homes of threatened

5 individuals at the State's expense. In addition, advice

6 has been offered as to steps which can be taken to

7 minimise personal risk. There is also a matter of

8 a personal protection firearm.

9 "We, of course, are not expert in this area but we

10 presume that the Government will be making proposals to

11 Mrs Nelson and we look forward to receiving them as soon

12 as possible given the obvious urgency of this matter."

13 So what this shows, therefore, first is, as I have

14 said, that there are two documents in issue; the second,

15 that the letter asserts clearly that there is indeed

16 a threat to the physical integrity of Rosemary Nelson,

17 very definite threats against the personal safety of

18 Rosemary Nelson. She has received a number of such

19 threats in the past. So that is the way it is put. It

20 could not possibly be misunderstood. It is also

21 absolutely plain from the document that not one but two

22 documents go to that same issue. In other words, they

23 both relate to the issue of threats and of personal

24 safety.

25 Then finally you will see that on 10th March, in the

 

 

75

 

1 final paragraph of this letter at page RNI-106-288

2 (displayed) on the screen, Mr Mageean arrives at exactly

3 the same place, exactly the same point, which had been

4 raised by the NIO in their letter to Command Secretariat

5 some four days before. There is absolutely no

6 indication that the two authors were in contact with

7 each other or that there was any prior discussion, but

8 in fact Mr Mageean ends his letter by referring to ways

9 of protection, Government schemes, proposals in this

10 area, and raises the suggestion that this is the obvious

11 way forward:

12 "We presume that the Government will be making

13 proposals to Mrs Nelson and we look forward to receiving

14 them."

15 Now, that final phrase is a reminder that of course

16 this letter does not come from Rosemary Nelson.

17 Rosemary Nelson took the pamphlet to the Irish side and

18 they conveyed it to the British side, and thence it came

19 to the NIO and then the secretariat. In the case of the

20 pamphlet and the threat note, as I am going to describe

21 it, they come not to Government from Rosemary Nelson

22 herself but from the NGO, it would appear, on her

23 behalf. And in passages of Mr Mageean's statement to

24 the Inquiry, which I will refer to you and show you in

25 a moment, that is clear; in other words, that there was

 

 

76

 

1 discussion before this letter was sent and agreement

2 given, consent given by Rosemary Nelson to Mr Mageean to

3 advance these matters, as it were, on her behalf.

4 So this, sir, in relation to the whole question of

5 threat assessment, gets us into the hypothetical issue

6 on the one hand of what would her response have been had

7 officers, had advice, had suggestions been made, but

8 also before we even arrive at that point, to the

9 question: what was her attitude to these matters

10 generally, to what extent was she involved in seeking

11 protection, in drawing concerns to the attention not of

12 the Irish Government, but rather of the appropriate and

13 relevant authorities in Northern Ireland, in this case

14 the minister of state.

15 Now, this, therefore, as I say, encloses first the

16 pamphlet -- and I am not going to take you through that

17 again -- but secondly, the threat note. There are many

18 copies of the threat note in the bundle. They are

19 almost all completely illegible. I am going to show you

20 the best copy that I can. It is at RNI-115-351

21 (displayed).

22 It is not a great copy, I can't pretend otherwise,

23 but it shows that the transcription in the letter we

24 have just read is accurate. It shows first of all

25 a copy of the envelope which was sent to her office

 

 

77

 

1 address, the one in the pamphlet, and it shows in

2 capital letters the words quoted and the brief but

3 powerful message which was set out on a single sheet of

4 paper.

5 In terms of the timing of it, it looks to me at any

6 rate as though the stamp reveals a date in June, and you

7 will remember that in her interview with

8 Commander Mulvihill, Rosemary Nelson puts the receipt of

9 this note as being in -- I think she said -- early June.

10 Sir, that is itself significant, you may think, because

11 it first emerges here as far as we can tell, on

12 10th August. Certainly that is the day on which

13 Mr Mageean writes his letter drawing it to the attention

14 of Mr Ingram.

15 We will hear a good deal of evidence in due course

16 about these sorts of threats. It may be that that

17 period of two months which may have elapsed gives one

18 a clue, allows one to form at least a tentative view

19 about the way in which it was regarded by her. If that

20 timing is right, if I have correctly interpreted the

21 date stamp, then she did not, it seems, take it

22 immediately -- it seems at any rate -- to Mr Mageean or

23 indeed anybody else, but rather it emerges in the way

24 that I have suggested and you will remember in the

25 interview with Commander Mulvihill, which took place

 

 

78

 

1 later than this in September. Again, it emerges rather

2 out of the blue and she puts it in the context of

3 threats that have been received in the past; by that

4 stage, it would appear, over three months earlier.

5 What Mr Mageean tells us in his statement is that he

6 first -- he thinks, at any rate -- knew about it

7 probably in about July. If we look, please, at

8 paragraph 72 and following at RNI-813-397 (displayed)

9 and see what he has to say about it.

10 There is an introduction here from 77 onwards about

11 what he knew and was told about the continuing threats

12 throughout 1998. And 78 is a good illustration of the

13 difficulties one has in trying to piece together the

14 picture because details are now understandably vague in

15 people's minds. But the key passage for us at this

16 stage is in 79:

17 "I remember Rosemary telephoning me to tell me she

18 had received a threatening letter. I remember her

19 reading it out to me over the telephone. I can't recall

20 the exact wording, but it was something about Rosemary

21 being in their sights. I later went to her office and

22 took a copy of the original letter. Rosemary was

23 clearly concerned about the letter. It was unusual for

24 her to receive a written threat. Usually they were

25 verbal to her or her clients, and I think this, together

 

 

79

 

1 with the fact that it was around the time of the

2 Garvaghy Road, unnerved her."

3 That is why I suggest, because that is all it is,

4 that this may have emerged for Mr Mageean at any rate

5 in July, not in June but I think not also in August.

6 Then in paragraph 80, he says:

7 "I also recall there was a pamphlet that was handed

8 out during the marching season in 1998 entitled 'The Man

9 Without a Future'. I do not know who was responsible

10 for its distribution, but there were apparently hundreds

11 just being handed out. It contained her office and

12 telephone number."

13 Sir, it looks from the rest of this paragraph as

14 though it was Mr Mageean -- "I am pretty sure I phoned

15 Rosemary to tell her about it" -- who drew the pamphlet

16 to Rosemary Nelson's attention rather than the other way

17 around. Then this paragraph:

18 "It was a combination of the letter and the pamphlet

19 that led us to agree with Rosemary that something needed

20 to be done. I can't recall what Rosemary said but I do

21 remember that she was particularly concerned about her

22 staff as her office address was on the pamphlet. She

23 was worried that most of her staff sat downstairs and

24 that they would take the brunt of anything that was

25 thrown in."

 

 

80

 

1 Then he describes what he did, and we have seen

2 already his letter to Mr Ingram.

3 Sir, so far as those comments that he makes are

4 concerned, note please the way he says that it was the

5 combination of the two that tipped the balance; in other

6 words, it was the fact that there was first of all the

7 threatening note that we have just seen, the threat

8 note, but also the pamphlet in circulation that led us

9 to agree with Rosemary that something needed to be done.

10 And in paragraph 92, he says -- and this is at

11 RNI-813-400, the next page. Sorry, it begins at the

12 bottom of this page:

13 "I always spoke with Rosemary before sending letters

14 on her behalf. I recall that I had a specific

15 discussion with Rosemary about the letter to Adam Ingram

16 prior to sending it to check she was happy to raise the

17 threats with the Government. She had confirmed that she

18 was."

19 Two points here: the first, certainly as far as

20 Mr Mageean was concerned, it was the combination of the

21 two documents, as I say, that tipped the balance, that

22 led to him writing the letter. And it is therefore

23 unfortunate for that reason also that the two documents

24 were never considered together during the whole of the

25 rest of the process.

 

 

81

 

1 Secondly, so far as a number of comments which we

2 will have to consider in due course about

3 Rosemary Nelson's attitude towards raising these issues

4 with Government is concerned, what it shows is that

5 there was discussion before the letter was sent and that

6 she confirmed that she was happy to raise the matters

7 with Government.

8 Now, what then happens is that the material handed

9 over, these two documents by CAJ, go from the minister

10 and his office into the police division. This is dealt

11 with in the relevant witness statements of the two civil

12 servants, the very same civil servants who had attended

13 the meeting with LAJI in February, which triggered the

14 consideration in February and March.

15 Now, what then transpires is that the pamphlet is

16 forwarded to Command Secretariat for the second time.

17 We can see that at RNI-106-308, I think (displayed).

18 Yes. This comes from another official in the police

19 division. Can we go back to the page, please

20 (displayed).

21 Thank you. From this point on, in looking at the

22 documents in the correspondence we are going to have to

23 proceed reasonably carefully, because what was or wasn't

24 referred to in the documents and attached to them or

25 sent with them becomes very important.

 

 

82

 

1 This is sent some time after the letter of

2 10th August "Minister's Case from CAJ on

3 Rosemary Nelson", addressed to the Command Secretariat:

4 "We have received a further letter from the

5 Committee on the Administration of Justice concerning

6 Rosemary Nelson. In particular, the letter expresses

7 concern about her safety in light of a pamphlet relating

8 to Brendan McKenna which refers to Rosemary Nelson, and

9 a threatening note which was posted to Rosemary Nelson.

10 Copies attached. Mr ..."

11 Then there is the first official:

12 "... wrote to you on 6th August concerning the

13 pamphlet ..."

14 And we have already seen that communication, the one

15 in which he gave what I describe as the hint or nudge:

16 "... and I would be grateful for advice as to what

17 action has been taken."

18 Now, sir, this first paragraph then refers to two

19 documents: a pamphlet relating to Breandan Mac Cionnaith

20 which refers to Rosemary Nelson, and a threatening note

21 which was posted to Rosemary Nelson. And the next

22 expression in the bracket is in the plural: "copies".

23 Copies, one assumes, of the two documents attached.

24 Then the further distinction is actually drawn in the

25 next paragraph because where she refers to the earlier

 

 

83

 

1 correspondence, she makes it clear, you may think, that

2 that correspondence concerned the pamphlet; not the

3 threatening note, but the pamphlet.

4 What it would appear happened, based on the evidence

5 we have received at this stage, is that on this date,

6 26th August, there was an attempt at any rate to send

7 the covering letter, the two documents and, at the front

8 of them all, a fax cover sheet, which we can see at

9 RNI-106-307, the previous page, to Command Secretariat.

10 The cover sheet says:

11 "Grateful for a response as soon as possible. I am

12 afraid with annual leave this has sat around for a few

13 days."

14 Indeed it had.

15 Now, this is where the trouble begins because

16 summarising an enormous amount of complicated evidence

17 and claims and counterclaim, the position appears to be,

18 for whatever reason, the note, as I have said, did not

19 enter the threat assessment process. Certainly, when we

20 get to see the little memorandum going down the line and

21 then coming up again -- in fact, on this occasion in two

22 chains -- they are concerned with and about the pamphlet

23 alone.

24 What appears to have happened or what may have

25 happened is that something went wrong in the faxing; in

 

 

84

 

1 other words, that the -- either none of the attachments

2 or possibly this relevant attachment made it through.

3 So that later led to claims and counterclaims about what

4 was on whose file at what particular stage which, from

5 our point of view, our secondary issues, you may think,

6 and how exactly it had happened, the issue is, for us,

7 in a sense a simple one: for whatever reason the threat

8 note did not get considered and so the conjunction of

9 the two that I have mentioned was never part of the

10 threat assessment.

11 There was, it would appear, a further attempt maybe

12 two days later to refax the letter so that it did get

13 through as a result of what may have been -- everything

14 is heavily qualified here -- what may have been

15 a complaint or concern raised by an individual at

16 Command Secretariat.

17 But the position is, for whatever reason, that the

18 combination of the civil servants at NIO and whoever it

19 was in Command Secretariat, whoever may or may not have

20 been to blame -- it may not matter very much, but the

21 assessment was limited in the way that I have described.

22 We can see that when we begin to trace the chain.

23 It will be a familiar one and it may be best to start

24 that after lunch.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. 2 o'clock, please.

 

 

85

 

1 (1.00 pm)

2 (The short adjournment)

3 (2.00 pm)

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, we were looking at the circumstances in

6 which the second document, the note, did not get into

7 the chain of assessment.

8 On the note, I am pleased to tell you that

9 Mr Stockwell for Mr Port and others in the Murder

10 Investigation Team has very helpfully drawn to my

11 attention that the note was, after the murder, during

12 the course of that investigation, forensically examined.

13 And the envelope we saw bears the postmark of 3rd June.

14 So that helps perhaps with the comment that

15 Mrs Nelson made to the Mulvihill team, namely that she

16 had received it in early June.

17 If we look now, please, back to the history of the

18 assessment at RNI-101-329 (displayed), this is the first

19 memorandum in the chain that we have set out in our

20 diagram and it is to the first part of the South Region

21 chain headed by the Assistant Chief Constable, but also,

22 as you see, to the first part of the other chain, to the

23 Assistant Chief Constable at E Department. And it looks

24 as though this particular copy with its tick is going in

25 that direction:

 

 

86

 

1 "Please see attached copy leaflet (of very poor

2 quality) which has been passed to me by the

3 Northern Ireland Office.

4 "I am advised that the leaflet is being distributed

5 in Portadown and was passed to the NIO from

6 Rosemary Nelson via a third party. The NIO informed me

7 that Mrs Nelson is extremely distressed by the leaflet

8 and is seriously concerned about the threat to her

9 personal security posed by the claims in the leaflet and

10 by the circulation of her address and telephone number.

11 "I would appreciate whatever information you can

12 provide on this matter and an assessment of whether or

13 not you consider those named to be the subject of any

14 threat."

15 So, sir, this, by its date, you will see, comes

16 after the first letter from the NIO, 6th August, with

17 the hint or the nudge, but before the second letter

18 which at least purported to send the two documents on

19 the 6th.

20 7th August, then. What the superintendent is saying

21 is that:

22 "She would appreciate whatever information you can

23 provide and an assessment of whether or not you consider

24 those named to be the subject of any threat."

25 So the suggestion of an assessment then comes to

 

 

87

 

1 both the Assistant Chief Constables from Command

2 Secretariat. Sir, the brief history so far as the later

3 letter is concerned -- and without, as I say, getting

4 into details of what was faxed and what wasn't -- it

5 appears as though at the time of receipt of the second

6 letter, 26th August, this officer was away on holiday.

7 And it is dealt with in the statement that has been

8 provided by that officer, and the relevant passage so

9 far as we are concerned, is at RNI-841-393,

10 paragraph 38. It is a very long paragraph, I am afraid,

11 but it is said there:

12 "I was forwarded a further fax ..."

13 That is the one we have seen:

14 "During my absence, it would have been dealt with

15 which by my superior, the Chief Superintendent.

16 I remember being informed by a civilian member of

17 administrative staff on my first day back that we had

18 received another fax. Of course, I already knew about

19 the leaflet. It was the same leaflet that had been

20 attached to the 6th August letter. I asked someone if

21 we had received a response from E Department or South

22 Region and told them to chase the response if not. This

23 time I didn't realise and wasn't informed that there had

24 been an issue regarding attachments. I had come back

25 from leave to a lot of post. Following conversations

 

 

88

 

1 with [redacted name], I was left with the impression

2 that the letter related to the leaflet I had already

3 seen."

4 This is the nub of it:

5 "There was no mention of another enclosure. I

6 wasn't informed there had been discussions between my

7 staff and the NIO regarding missing attachments. I

8 didn't read the letter, but reference to a threatening

9 note must have passed me by. It was not until after

10 Rosemary's death that I became aware of a threatening

11 note to Mrs Nelson that should have been attached to the

12 fax when I found it on the file ..."

13 That, I am afraid, also turns out to be a point of

14 some contention which I hope we can deal with very

15 briefly, but:

16 "In terms of how this letter got on to the file, I

17 can only assume that someone had put it on the file at

18 a later date. The file had been with the murder enquiry

19 investigators meanwhile."

20 The importance, however, sir, of this witness's

21 evidence in relation to the threat note comes just after

22 this in paragraph 41 at RNI-841-395 (displayed), because

23 there she addresses what her reaction would have been

24 had it been attached:

25 "If I had have received a copy of the threatening

 

 

89

 

1 letter attached to the fax, I would have actioned it

2 separately and straight away. I would have done exactly

3 what I did with the pamphlet. I would have sent out

4 a similar request for information to Special Branch at

5 HQ and in South Region. It would have gone in to South

6 Region as a priority because the letter had gone to her

7 Lurgan address and to enable any investigations.

8 I suspect that South Region would have been keen to

9 obtain the original and I would have expected them to

10 do so."

11 Sir, just pausing there, that is obviously another

12 important point. When you are trying to get to the

13 bottom of what has happened when a threat note has been

14 sent, one of the things you will want to do no doubt is

15 to examine the original to see whether there are any

16 forensic clues which it yields:

17 "I suspect that South Region would have been keen to

18 obtain the original and I would have expected them to do

19 so. I would obviously have provided any information

20 that I could in terms of how the letter arrived at the

21 Command Secretariat, eg via the NIO, and would have

22 provided any information that I could to assist them to

23 trace the origins of the letter."

24 So, sir, the reason I have shown you that is simply

25 to confirm, if confirmation were required, that the

 

 

90

 

1 nature of the note was such that she would, as she put

2 it, have actioned it straight away:

3 "I would have done exactly what I did with the

4 pamphlet and sent out a similar request to the same

5 bodies, ie Special Branch HQ and South Region."

6 Note also, please, in 41 the reference to the Lurgan

7 address and this may turn out to be significant in terms

8 of trying to establish what happened and also what

9 didn't happen as a result of the failure of the note to

10 enter the process, for as you will see from your diagram

11 on the right-hand side, the chain ends at Portadown.

12 It is reasonably, I would suggest, to be inferred

13 that had the threat note entered the system, it would

14 also, the assessment, have included a chain leading down

15 to Lurgan. And that did not happen as far as we can

16 see.

17 The result of all of this is effectively that the

18 pamphlet was the thing the response to which had to be

19 chased up and the focus then turns to see what was

20 produced in response. We can see the chain working its

21 way down the Special Branch side at RNI-101-331

22 (displayed). It goes down to the Detective Chief

23 Superintendent, the head of the substantial management

24 group, and then on down the chain, we can see at

25 RNI-101-333 (displayed). And what we see in the various

 

 

91

 

1 entries on this page with the various ciphers is

2 effectively it working its way down and down from one

3 ciphered officer to the next, along the left-hand side

4 of my diagram.

5 It ends up, as we see, with a sergeant, P226, in

6 E Department at E3C. We saw reference to that in the

7 chart yesterday setting out the various parts of

8 E3 Department and the various desks.

9 Now, this results in the memorandum at RNI-101-337

10 (displayed), which in his statement, which has been

11 served, contains what he describes as an intelligence

12 report. It is addressed to the man up the chain:

13 "With reference to the attached papers. This office

14 ..."

15 Which we know is E3C:

16 "... holds no current intelligence to indicate that

17 a specific threat exists to Rosemary Nelson from

18 paramilitaries.

19 "Local Special Branch at Portadown and Lurgan are of

20 the opinion that the leaflet was circulated by Loyalist

21 elements to heighten tension during the Drumcree period.

22 Research has shown that the address and telephone number

23 given on the leaflet relates to Rosemary Nelson's office

24 at 8A William Street, Lurgan. This information is

25 listed in Yellow Pages and is therefore readily

 

 

92

 

1 accessible to anyone wishing to obtain same."

2 Now, this is the substance of what goes back. So

3 although it is very short, it is worth spending a little

4 time looking at it. It is dealt with by him in his

5 statement which is, as I say, an open statement which

6 has already been served.

7 First, it deals with intelligence or current

8 intelligence, as it puts it, held by "this office".

9 That is this particular desk within E Department,

10 within E3:

11 "No current intelligence to indicate that a specific

12 threat exists."

13 Here is, I think, the first use of that term. It is

14 one of a number of similar terms, as I explained, that

15 we will see in the papers. But this is used so far as

16 this office is concerned.

17 However, he then suggests that although the matter

18 hasn't gone down the chain to Lurgan, as I have shown

19 you, he puts forward the opinion said to be held by

20 local Special Branch in both places that the leaflet was

21 circulated by Loyalist elements. So, as it were, the

22 view he passes on from the two offices, the local

23 offices, is not a view about threat, it is a view about

24 the leaflet and why it was circulated, namely to

25 heighten tension during the Drumcree period. And that

 

 

93

 

1 fits in with the information we have already seen from

2 Mr Mageean.

3 Then he says in three lines:

4 "Research has shown that the address and telephone

5 numbers given ..."

6 And reveals, it seems, that the research might have

7 been limited to looking it up in the Yellow Pages.

8 So, sir, so far as the assessment of the threat is

9 concerned, the second paragraph, you may think on

10 analysis, is not concerned with that at all; it is

11 concerned first with the origin of the leaflet and where

12 it was circulated and why; to heighten tensions. And

13 then simply points out, as I imagine was easily

14 established, that those are indeed the details of

15 Mrs Nelson's office as listed in the Yellow Pages.

16 So as an assessment, it is brief. In fact the

17 material directly on the question posed consists of

18 a single sentence:

19 "This office holds no current intelligence to

20 indicate that a specific threat exists to

21 Rosemary Nelson from paramilitaries."

22 Now, as I say, the sergeant explains how he went

23 about his work on this in his statement, and can no

24 doubt be asked about that in more detail in due course.

25 But so far as the information going up the chain is

 

 

94

 

1 concerned, that is the beginning and the end of it, and

2 we can see it working up the chain at RNI-101-338

3 (displayed) and that takes it to the

4 Assistant Chief Constable, the head of E Department.

5 I will just complete the picture, if I may, on this

6 side of the diagram, because that

7 Assistant Chief Constable, the head of Special Branch,

8 forwards the report at RNI-101-341 (displayed), and that

9 is on 27th August.

10 So that completes the material generated in the

11 course of the progress of this matter up and down the

12 chain.

13 So far as South Region is concerned, remember the

14 starting point is the Assistant Chief Constable and he,

15 having received the Command Secretariat memorandum,

16 sends that down the chain. And we will see what comes

17 back -- sorry, we will see the stage of the -- going

18 down the chain at RNI-101-334 (displayed).

19 Now, this is a complicated document to understand

20 because it in fact includes two stages of the process.

21 This appears to be the end of the chain because we are

22 now down at, as it were, ground level, because the

23 bottom cipher is indeed the detective constable, B141,

24 at Portadown Special Branch and this is his report:

25 "During Drumcree 1998, several different propaganda

 

 

95

 

1 leaflets were distributed by Loyalists in Portadown.

2 This particular leaflet contains information which is

3 easily obtained and is designed to intimidate those

4 mentioned in it. There is no intelligence held at this

5 office to suggest that Rosemary Nelson is under specific

6 threat from Loyalist paramilitaries."

7 So this, again, rather short report from an officer

8 whose statement I do not think we have yet obtained is

9 again brief but starts with the origin of the leaflet

10 and asserts on a more general basis about it that it

11 contains information which is easily obtained, but then

12 adds, of course, that it is designed to intimidate those

13 mentioned in it.

14 Then the third sentence appears in a sense to cover

15 a completely separate and distinct topic, namely:

16 "There is no intelligence held at this office to

17 suggest that Rosemary Nelson is under specific threat

18 from Loyalist paramilitaries."

19 So this assessment, also in relation to the matter

20 put to the two Assistant Chief Constables, deals with it

21 in two lines, one sentence, by simply referring to the

22 absence of intelligence at the relevant office of

23 specific threat.

24 So that works its way up the chain, and we see at

25 RNI-101-339 (displayed) it is being forwarded to the

 

 

96

 

1 divisional commander and eventually it gets to the

2 Assistant Chief Constable, the South Region, and his

3 memorandum at RNI-101-342 (displayed) is dated

4 28th August:

5 "I would refer to you the attached papers which are

6 forwarded for information as requested per your minute

7 dated 7th August."

8 And attached to that are the documents that I have

9 just shown you and, indeed, the original letter of

10 6th August and the pamphlet sent to Command Secretariat

11 by the NIO.

12 So, sir, so far as the Lurgan end of things is

13 concerned, where Rosemary Nelson actually lived, what we

14 have is the reference to opinion held by them and the

15 Portadown office, which is included in the sergeants',

16 from headquarters, from E3C Department, their opinion

17 about the origin and purpose of the leaflet. But what

18 we do not have is anything coming up from Lurgan dealing

19 specifically with this question of whether threat

20 intelligence was held, and as I say, the reason for that

21 may be because the leaflet was distributed in Portadown,

22 and indeed the main subject of it was a resident in

23 Portadown, whereas the note was addressed to the office

24 in Lurgan but of course didn't enter the system.

25 Now, that meant, therefore, that on the Command

 

 

97

 

1 Secretariat officer's return from holiday there were

2 responses from both sides, as it were, and as we have

3 seen, they were consistent in the result. We will see

4 the response that went out from Command Secretariat at

5 RNI-106-314 (displayed), addressed to the civil servant:

6 "I refer to your correspondence of 6th August and

7 the subsequent fax dated 26th August.

8 "I am advised that during the Drumcree period

9 several leaflets were distributed by Loyalists in the

10 Portadown area. The address and telephone number

11 included on the leaflet refers to Mrs Nelson's business.

12 This information is listed in Yellow Pages and is

13 therefore readily accessible.

14 "Police are unaware of any specific threat against

15 Mrs Nelson. I trust you find this information helpful."

16 In the witness evidence on this point we see that

17 between the drafting of this letter and its dispatch

18 there was some form of delay. In one of the numerous

19 later investigations of these events conducted by

20 a senior officer of the RUC, Superintendent Short, he

21 suggests that in fact the letter, although dated

22 3rd September, was not sent out until the 11th. It is

23 not immediately apparent to me that the delay was that

24 substantial but there was undoubtedly some hiatus before

25 the letter was issued.

 

 

98

 

1 Can we look, please, at RNI-841-397 (displayed).

2 This is paragraph 48:

3 "On 1st September, I would have drafted a note

4 setting out my response to the NIO."

5 That is the letter of 6th August:

6 "Whenever I did receive information in from the

7 various Assistant Chief Constables, I would usually

8 simply lift paragraphs from their report and put it into

9 the draft response. It was the people out in the

10 divisions with the knowledge and it was not for me to

11 put any sort of interpretation on what they had said.

12 This is exactly what I did on this occasion. I handed

13 my draft letter to Chief Superintendent [ciphered]."

14 That is the same officer in Command Secretariat who

15 dealt with the earlier assessment at its final stage:

16 "... with an expectation that he would make the

17 Chief Constable aware of the content given, as I was

18 aware, that the Chief Constable had a personal interest

19 in this matter. When I handed the draft letter to him

20 ..."

21 That's the Chief Superintendent:

22 "... I would have given him the entire file and the

23 draft letter would have been on top. I recall that the

24 letter ..."

25 To the NIO:

 

 

99

 

1 "... came back to me with a Post-it note on it in

2 the Chief Superintendent's handwriting saying 'CC okay'.

3 I understood this to mean the Chief Constable was happy

4 with the draft letter.

5 "The Chief Superintendent would have handed me the

6 whole correspondence file back after discussing the

7 matter with the Chief Constable. I recall that when I

8 went looking for these papers at a later date after the

9 press queries in May 1999 ..."

10 To which we will turn in a minute:

11 "... that the Post-it note was still on the

12 document, so I assume that this is still on the Command

13 Secretariat's files."

14 I think I am right in saying that by the time the

15 Inquiry saw the files the Post-it was no longer there.

16 But it is following this process, therefore, whereby the

17 draft is taken to the Chief Constable, because as it is

18 put, he had a personal interest in this matter, that the

19 letter is issued. It is not suggested that the terms of

20 the letter were amended, of course, in any way; on the

21 contrary, that approval was given and it went out in

22 this form.

23 So in relation to this matter, therefore, as in

24 relation to the earlier one, what was returned to the

25 NIO at the end of the process was considered at the

 

 

100

 

1 highest level of the force and the terms in which the

2 response was given in this case certainly was considered

3 and approved.

4 So, sir, with that introduction, can we look again

5 at RNI-106-314 (displayed).

6 Obviously the first and striking thing about it is

7 it purports to be a response to both letters, and you

8 will remember, as I showed you -- I don't wish to do so

9 again -- that it is the second letter, 26th August, that

10 in the plainest possible terms indicates that there are

11 two documents being referred and two documents about

12 which the police's opinion, view and advice is sought.

13 Secondly, what is extracted from the memoranda we

14 have seen is first the origin of the leaflet, but not --

15 and you will have noted this, I am sure, already -- the

16 intended purpose, which formed part of both reports

17 coming up from ground level. There is no reference here

18 to the intended purpose, namely to intimidate.

19 However, there is full treatment given to the

20 further points made, namely that the address and

21 telephone number were readily accessible and the

22 reference specifically to Yellow Pages.

23 Then in a single line is the report to one of the

24 key issues raised, which is that the police are unaware

25 of any specific threat and you will remember the terms

 

 

101

 

1 in which the matter was put in each case, which is about

2 no current intelligence, for example, held in this

3 office. And this, by way of summary, puts the matter on

4 a more general basis. It is not confined to any local

5 area, local office; it does not, for instance, say this

6 view has been expressed by E3C and by Portadown

7 Special Branch; it simply says police are unaware of any

8 specific threat against Mrs Nelson.

9 Now, so far as the other matters raised, first of

10 all in the letter of 6th August, are concerned, of

11 course they are not dealt with at all because that was

12 the letter which, if you remember, contained the

13 suggestion that an approach might be made and that

14 Mrs Nelson might apply for the discretionary scheme

15 which provided funding in relation to security

16 precautions and other matters.

17 Now, sir, because we can't see two documents at

18 once, can we look back briefly, please, at the letter

19 which went out from the NIO. It is at RNI-106-275

20 (displayed). It is a great pity, as I say, that we

21 can't have both documents at once because that would

22 allow us to compare precisely the disparity between the

23 matters raised in this letter and the matters dealt with

24 by way of response.

25 The key paragraph here is the third paragraph and

 

 

102

 

1 you will see a request is made to assess the background

2 to the leaflet:

3 "Any threat or increase to the security of

4 individuals. Presumably, if there is a threat then the

5 police will talk to them about this. In doing so, and

6 while we could not pre-judge the outcome, Mrs Nelson in

7 particular could be informed that if she needs financial

8 assistance, the NIO does run a limited scheme."

9 One is therefore left, because there is no reference

10 to those suggestions at all, with inferences from the

11 documents or with evidence, comment on these matters

12 given long after the event by those involved.

13 The civil servant deals with this in his evidence at

14 RNI-841-444 (displayed) at paragraph 67:

15 "I received a response to my letter of 6th August

16 and subsequent fax of 26th."

17 On 3rd September:

18 "The response did not exactly match up to what I had

19 requested in my letter. I had asked her to assess the

20 background to the letter and any threat or increased

21 threat to the security of individuals in it. I said in

22 the letter that I presumed if there was a threat to

23 them, the police would talk to the individual concerned

24 about it and I suggested that KPPS could be mentioned.

25 The response referring to the letter and the fax

 

 

103

 

1 mentioned the leaflet and, in a separate sentence,

2 stated that the police were not aware of any specific

3 threat. That was all the detail one received from the

4 police in response to enquiries."

5 And indeed it is very like the terse response

6 provided on the 1st April.

7 Then reading down, please, on to paragraph 69:

8 "The police told us there was no specific threat to

9 Mrs Nelson, and we accepted this. The police had

10 operational independence, they relied on what the police

11 assessed as a threat and not what non-governmental

12 organisations told us was a threat."

13 Now, if I may make a couple of points about this, I

14 will come back to this stance by this civil servant

15 certainly at the end of our consideration of the threat

16 assessments, but essentially what he is saying to the

17 Inquiry is, well, this was a matter for the police and

18 although I had given them the hint, the nudge,

19 et cetera, et cetera and they had not responded, that

20 was the end of the matter.

21 We know from the evidence of his superior in

22 relation to the earlier assessment that it certainly

23 wasn't the end of the matter as far as she was concerned

24 with the earlier assessment, because it was taken up and

25 challenged at that stage, before she was satisfied with

 

 

104

 

1 what had been done.

2 What one infers will be said about this is, well,

3 there was no need, purpose, to be served by going on to

4 address the question of advice, the question of the

5 discretionary scheme, because the threshold, to use the

6 expression here, of a specific threat had not been made

7 out. In other words, that the police stance was: on the

8 basis of the material we have been given and having done

9 what we have done in relation to current intelligence,

10 no specific threat, therefore the issues that you, the

11 NIO, have raised with us do not come into the picture

12 because we haven't even got to that first stage.

13 Now, this is where, you may think, the absence of

14 the note which, on any view, was a threat becomes

15 significant. But of course that stance, both on the

16 part of the NIO in the first place, the acceptance that

17 that was the end of it, and on the part of the police is

18 one that you will want to consider when you hear and

19 look at the evidence in more detail.

20 It appears that this line, however, is or was

21 a general line in relation to it being the police's

22 responsibility and decision. And we see that in various

23 other witness statements from senior NIO civil servants,

24 and the references just for the note, rather than

25 matters I am going to take you to, are paragraph 4 of

 

 

105

 

1 Kenneth Lindsay's second statement at RNI-841-322 and

2 paragraph 26 and 31 of David Watkins at RNI-824-131 and

3 RNI-824-133.

4 That, so far as the pamphlet, is not the end quite

5 of the story even at this stage. But as I have said to

6 you before, there was separate consideration which we

7 will hear about later, going on in relation to the

8 pamphlet and issues surrounding the security of the two

9 local councillors who were members of the Residents

10 Coalition at exactly the same time.

11 Now, I don't intend at this stage to go into any

12 comparisons between the work that was done then and the

13 work that was done in respect of Rosemary Nelson, not

14 least because that gets us into the same difficulty

15 I mentioned earlier, namely the difficulty of the part 2

16 material and the business of statements which haven't

17 yet been served.

18 But it is, I think, worth looking at a memorandum of

19 the 16th September which deals with the pamphlet in that

20 context, and that is RNI-106-318 (displayed).

21 Now, this comes from an official in the KPPS

22 branch -- we will hear more about that in due course --

23 of the police division, and that is the Key Persons

24 Protection Scheme that I have mentioned earlier. He

25 appears as a box on the side in our diagram, on the

 

 

106

 

1 right-hand side in the middle, because as at this stage,

2 although a letter had gone out to the NIO, as we see on

3 the 3rd, what hadn't happened was no response had yet

4 gone to CAJ, to Paul Mageean. So still the

5 consideration was going on on 16th September.

6 "Rosemary Nelson" is the heading of it:

7 "I am aware of the leaflets which have been

8 distributed in the Portadown area concerning

9 Brendan McKenna and Mrs Nelson. I also know she raised

10 the matter with the Irish who in turn raised it through

11 the Anglo-Irish Secretariat. The line taken at that

12 time was that the NIO ran a limited discretionary scheme

13 to provide protection for those individuals who met the

14 criteria for entry. If she so wished, she could apply.

15 "Both Councillor Mac Cionnaith and Councillor Duffy

16 of the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition at a recent

17 round of proximity talks in July at Hillsborough

18 expressed their concern about personal security to

19 Jonathan Powell. We asked the police for a threat risk

20 assessment [and we'll come to this] and to carry out

21 a security assessment of their homes. As their

22 solicitor, I would be surprised if Mrs Nelson does not

23 know of these events.

24 "In relation to the final two paragraphs of

25 Mr Mageean's letter ..."

 

 

107

 

1 And that is the letter we have looked at. As I say,

2 a reply was awaited for the letter of 10th August:

3 "... I suggest you direct Mrs Nelson to the police

4 to apply for a personal protection weapon and to her

5 local crime prevention officer in relation to security

6 advice at her home and at her workplace."

7 Clearly there is something of an irony here given

8 that these were the very matters put in issue much, much

9 earlier, discussed, considered and rejected as a plan,

10 crime prevention advice, on 1st April:

11 "To be complete, you might wish to mention that the

12 NIO run a discretionary protection scheme providing

13 limited physical security at an individual's home

14 provided they meet the criteria for entry into the

15 scheme. If Mrs Nelson wishes to be considered for the

16 scheme, she should apply to police division. However, I

17 would be careful about raising false hopes, as on the

18 basis the police advice you have received, she would not

19 be eligible for entry to the scheme."

20 How this official came into the continuing saga can

21 be seen from his statement at paragraph 31, on

22 page RNI-842-046, I think (displayed).

23 No, I don't think that is the right reference. Can

24 we go over the page, please, to RNI-841-047 (displayed).

25 Yes, it is further down the page here. And you will

 

 

108

 

1 see reference to the pamphlet at the top of the page and

2 to the handwritten threatening note addressed to

3 Mrs Nelson. And he says a few lines down:

4 "Consequently, the first time I became aware of all

5 this was when [reference a staff officer] in the

6 Complaints section of the police division came across to

7 my office to ask for some advice in connection with it.

8 She told me about the letter from the CAJ and the

9 outcome of Mrs Nelson's threat assessment. She asked me

10 for some advice on how we might respond to the CAJ. She

11 left the matter with me to consider."

12 Then the next paragraph says:

13 "I prepared a note of advice."

14 That is the note we have just seen.

15 If you look, please, at RNI-106-320 (displayed), you

16 will see the next stage of this, which is the briefing

17 note prepared by the civil servant and it is setting up

18 the response to CAJ. The issue is the further letter to

19 the minister concerning Rosemary Nelson. The

20 recommendation is that the minister or the private

21 secretary respond on the lines the draft. And that, for

22 everybody's note, is at RNI-106-322:

23 "Timescale: as soon as possible. The advice has

24 been delayed as we were awaiting response from the

25 police as to whether there is any specific threat

 

 

109

 

1 against Mrs Nelson. Background ..."

2 And there it sets out the CAJ letter and what was

3 said. And IT continues at 3: threatening note and

4 a pamphlet; and over the page to RNI-106-321, and it refers to:

5 "CAJ's request that we contact Mrs Nelson to make

6 proposals concerning her safety and safety at her home."

7 Then:

8 "The RUC have advised that they are unaware of any

9 specific threat against Mrs Nelson and therefore it is

10 unlikely she would be eligible for protection. However,

11 should she apply, her application would be considered.

12 It would not be appropriate to communicate details on an

13 individual's security to a third party. The draft

14 refers to the options which Mrs Nelson might wish to

15 pursue without raising any false expectations."

16 The draft then begins at RNI-106-322, but the letter

17 as issued can be seen at RNI-106-324 (displayed).

18 So this is the response from the private secretary

19 to the minister dated 24th September, and it brings, as

20 it were, the formal end to this episode:

21 "Dear Mr Mageean, thank you for your letter of

22 10th August to Adam Ingram, Minister of State. I've

23 been asked to apply on his behalf. I am sorry for the

24 delay in replying.

25 "The Government made it clear in its response to the

 

 

110

 

1 UN report that it would not tolerate harassment or

2 intimidation of lawyers and nor will the

3 Chief Constable. Where allegations are made, they are

4 investigated and if there is sufficient evidence to

5 substantiate such allegations, the appropriate action

6 will be taken. However, as the UN Special Rapporteur

7 states, solicitors have failed to lodge complaints. He

8 has, as the Government has done, encouraged them to do

9 so.

10 "Obviously, the documents enclosed must be of

11 concern to Mrs Nelson and the others mentioned. The

12 minister has asked me to say that he hopes that those

13 who produce them can be brought to justice for their

14 threatening behaviour. We passed the documents

15 immediately to the Chief Constable's office for

16 investigation. They would obviously, given the nature

17 of the material, assess the security risk against

18 Mrs Nelson."

19 And there, of course, we are at the heart of the

20 problem because only one of them was in fact, as it is

21 put here, investigated and only one of them led to an

22 assessment of the security risk:

23 "I should mention, in case Mrs Nelson is not already

24 aware, the Northern Ireland Office runs a limited,

25 non-statutory discretionary scheme by which security

 

 

111

 

1 measures can be installed in homes at public expense.

2 The scheme is by necessity limited in its scope and

3 cannot protect everyone who may be at some degree of

4 threat from terrorists. Its aim is to protect those

5 whose death or injury from terrorist attack could damage

6 or seriously undermine the democratic framework of

7 government, the effect of administration of government

8 and/or the criminal justice system or the maintenance of

9 law and order.

10 "Clearly, a judgment has to be made about the

11 candidacy of any individual who applies to join the

12 scheme and the level of threat which they might be

13 under. If Mrs Nelson wishes to be considered for the

14 scheme, she should apply to the NIO. I cannot of course

15 give any assurances as to the outcome. Any application

16 will be dealt with on its merits. Any applications for

17 personal protection weapons should be made to the

18 Chief Constable.

19 "Mrs Nelson may also contact her local crime

20 prevention officer in relation to security advice at her

21 home and at her workplace. I hope you understand that

22 beyond these general points it would not be appropriate

23 to comment further to a third party on the security of

24 an individual."

25 So, sir, in addition to the matters I have already

 

 

112

 

1 flagged up to you, the striking thing about this letter,

2 you may think, is that although the NIO knew at this

3 stage that the police had pronounced in relation to

4 threat -- in other words, that there was no specific

5 threat so far as they were concerned -- it did not

6 prevent the private secretary from making a whole

7 variety of suggestions about what could be done on

8 application by Mrs Nelson in relation, first, to the

9 KPPS scheme, secondly in relation to a personal

10 protection weapon and also to make the, as it were,

11 lowest level of suggestion that she should contact her

12 local crime prevention officer.

13 What is of course striking is that these

14 suggestions, which in a sense are an echo of the hints

15 or nudges made earlier in the correspondence by another

16 official in the NIO to the police in the letter of

17 6th August, were still in play so far as the NIO was

18 concerned, notwithstanding the brief and negative way in

19 which the question had been answered by Command

20 Secretariat in response.

21 So, sir, the obvious question is: well, how was that

22 received, because that may shed some important light on

23 the issues we looked at this morning? And the obvious

24 witness to deal with that is Mr Mageean and he deals

25 with it in paragraphs in his statement from RNI-813-400

 

 

113

 

1 (displayed).

2 It begins at paragraph 92 and what he has to say

3 about it, albeit now all these years after the event,

4 is, you may think, significant in terms of

5 Rosemary Nelson's own attitude to the matters raised in

6 that letter.

7 It begins, this passage in the fourth line of

8 paragraph 92, which I think is over the page at RNI-813-401:

9 "When the letter eventually came back from

10 Mr Ingram's office suggesting she could apply for KPPS

11 ..."

12 That is the one we have just seen:

13 "... I spoke to Rosemary to discuss this matter. I

14 don't recall the discussion I had with her about KPPS as

15 being a long one. Rosemary had had two years of hassle

16 from the local police and detectives. It was absurd

17 that she then received a letter offering her the

18 possibility, and no more than that, of RUC protection

19 after RUC officers had assessed her house. This was

20 certainly her view. The letter did not state that RUC

21 officers would visit her house but everyone knew this

22 was the case."

23 Then he refers to a change in the law which took

24 place thereafter. Then paragraph 93:

25 "I did not try to change Rosemary's mind. It seemed

 

 

114

 

1 self-evident to me that you would not ask the people

2 that you thought were threatening you to assess your

3 house. The suggestion really was a non-starter for her

4 and was not discussed any further."

5 Next paragraph:

6 "From CAJ's perspective also, the suggestion of KPPS

7 was ludicrous. If the Government was serious about

8 trying to protect Rosemary, they should have sorted

9 something house out separate to KPPS. I think that in

10 Ronnie Flanagan's office or Adam Ingram's office had

11 called us and said there was concern over Rosemary's

12 security, accepted that the police may be part of the

13 problem and given Rosemary some advice as to what to

14 look for, we would have been able to move forward.

15 "It is self-evident to me that they should have

16 advised her to look under her car, put it in the garage,

17 et cetera. Rosemary was not stupid. If the police had

18 said they thought she was in danger, I think she would

19 have listened. The Chief Constable could have got

20 involved and told her to take certain steps even if they

21 did not want to go outside KPPS. If they had made

22 a genuine effort, it is conceivable that they could have

23 prevented what happened."

24 Then could you move down, please, to 98,

25 paragraph 98, the last part of the evidence which is

 

 

115

 

1 relevant:

2 "The bottom line was that Rosemary was not going to

3 apply for KPPS due to the RUC inspection that was

4 required. Because that was where she felt the threat

5 was coming from, she was not going to let them into her

6 house. This was possibly the only conversation we had

7 about this matter between autumn 1998 and her death in

8 early 1999."

9 Sir, you can see therefore in the particular context

10 of the letter coming back in September that this is

11 important evidence about how the suggestions made not by

12 the police, it has to be pointed out, but by the NIO

13 were in fact received. If this is correct and credible

14 evidence, then certainly so far as the KPPS suggestion

15 was made with the attendant survey of the house, it

16 seems as though that was discussed, if Mr Mageean is

17 right, and rejected. And as he puts it rather firmly:

18 "The bottom line was that Rosemary was not going to

19 apply for KPPS."

20 Now, there is other more general evidence about her

21 attitude to these matters, as I have explained to you,

22 but the advantage of this evidence is that it focuses on

23 a particular suggestion in a particular letter, which

24 was a letter to the witness.

25 What is striking, though, you may think, about the

 

 

116

 

1 evidence is it is not so clear as to whether there was

2 a discussion about what I am going to call the lesser

3 steps. I don't read this -- it is obviously a matter

4 for further consideration, but I don't read it certainly

5 as setting out that there was a discussion on those

6 options as well, and indeed had there been, it looks

7 from the evidence as though certainly Mr Mageean would

8 have regarded those as more acceptable, as more

9 sensible, as more useful.

10 Now, I will return to this question of the simpler

11 levels of advice. He says at 95 to look under her car,

12 because plainly with hindsight that strikes one, given

13 what we all know actually did happen, as a simple

14 measure that might have been taken. The question for

15 you to consider is whether that comes into the mind

16 simply because of what we already know with the

17 advantage, if I can put it that way, of being so long

18 after the event and understanding exactly how

19 Rosemary Nelson met her death. Whether it is something

20 that was, as it were, on the table, being considered, or

21 should have been considered at this stage is another

22 question.

23 What we do know is that, according to the officer in

24 Command Secretariat, before consideration was given to

25 crime prevention advice in late March/early April 1998,

 

 

117

 

1 she had tabled the suggestion and it had not been

2 followed. And we also know that it was not followed

3 again at that stage.

4 So where, in paragraph 95, Mr Mageean says by way of

5 criticism:

6 "The Chief Constable should have got involved ..."

7 To that extent we know that he did. What we also

8 know is that as a result of or following that

9 involvement, no such advice was tendered by the RUC.

10 That leads one to consider in relation to the

11 assessment as a whole first of all how it conformed to

12 the relevant force order, and that is the one we saw

13 before, RNI-101-228, (displayed) and the premise for the

14 whole thing of course in the first paragraph is that

15 a member of the RUC should learn of a threat to life.

16 Now, one of the aspects of the August assessment,

17 which makes it like the April assessment, is that the

18 whole process was initiated in a way that the force

19 order may not have been designed for and which may have

20 been out of the ordinary.

21 In relation to the very first episode we looked at,

22 in May 1997 the impetus comes from the United States of

23 America, from Mr Lynch and the Senator. In March it

24 comes from the delegation from the United States of

25 America, and in both cases the information, as it were,

 

 

118

 

1 comes in from the top of the organisation, ie from the

2 NIO straight over to Command Secretariat.

3 So the threat information does not come from local

4 intelligence, from a word on the street: X is likely to

5 be attacked, X's life is in danger, there is a plan to

6 take out Y; rather it comes in in this unusual way and

7 works its way down the system rather than up, as it

8 were, from the ground.

9 However, what actually happened is that the process,

10 which is set out in the remaining paragraphs of the

11 force order in general terms was indeed followed because

12 it did indeed -- the pamphlet -- go to headquarters,

13 E Department, as well as down the local command

14 structure. So it was treated, as it were, as if it was

15 a threat to the life of any person because the

16 procedures appear to have been followed. And I have

17 explained why Portadown was in a sense the obvious and

18 correct destination for the pamphlet because of the main

19 subject matter, although it is clear that the pamphlet

20 also dealt with other individuals and, most obviously of

21 course, with Rosemary Nelson, where it was the Lurgan

22 office which was more appropriate.

23 However, if we look on to paragraph 4 of the

24 guidance. You are looking at paragraph 2(4). I think

25 it may be page RNI-101-230 (displayed). Okay, under

 

 

119

 

1 "General Considerations":

2 "(a) Where it is considered appropriate by

3 a subdivisional commander after consultation with the

4 divisional head of Special Branch, crime prevention

5 officers will be tasked to provide those under threat

6 with written advice literature on their personal

7 security and/or surveys of their homes/businesses.

8 Written advice will be submitted via subdivisional

9 commanders for approval and copies retained by the crime

10 prevention officer for future reference."

11 And so in this general section of the force order,

12 if the subdivisional commander, having consulted the

13 divisional head of Special Branch, thinks it is

14 appropriate. We then move into the area of crime

15 prevention, and can we look over, please, to (b):

16 "Service of written security advice should be by

17 personal service in the presence of a witness, if

18 necessary or, where security conditions dictate, by

19 registered post. Refusal to accept advice should also

20 be noted in writing and kept by the subdivisional

21 commander/crime prevention officer on file. In the

22 event of subsequent criminal attacks on the person so

23 advised, the crime prevention officer will establish

24 what recommendation or other security precautions, if

25 any, had been taken by the aggrieved party to prevent or

 

 

120

 

1 minimise injury or damage. These details will be copied

2 and supplied where appropriate to the police officer

3 responsible for preparing criminal injury and damage

4 report claims, and the force legal adviser where a civil

5 claim against the Chief Constable is contemplated."

6 I am showing you this material because within the

7 force order itself it contemplates both this suggestion,

8 where there are persons under threat that there should

9 be advice of this kind, but also, and obviously from

10 (b), it deals with the situation where such advice is

11 not welcome; indeed, where such advice is refused. It

12 provides for there to be records taken and kept of such

13 cases, presumably so that if, as it says, there are

14 subsequent criminal attacks -- in other words, if

15 something goes wrong -- where an individual has declined

16 to receive advice or to receive it, then the police will

17 be able to say, should there be any complaint: well, we

18 did what we could and you can see from our records that

19 we offered advice and assistance but that offer was

20 turned down.

21 Now, sir, that becomes important when we come to

22 consider the reasons put forward at various stages for

23 why no steps were taken to tender, offer advice and

24 assistance to Rosemary Nelson herself.

25 The final issue here, which we will have to explore

 

 

121

 

1 in the light of the further material as and when it is

2 served, is the question of the test applied in the

3 assessment and the use of this expression "specific

4 threat", because that would appear in both the cases,

5 both of the memoranda we saw, to have been the threshold

6 set by the officers on the ground providing advice. And

7 there is a good deal of evidence, as I have said, in

8 relation to what standard should be applied, what was

9 enough to trigger a threat in terms of a threat

10 assessment. And of course one question which then

11 arises is: would the answer given have been any

12 different had the threat note itself made its way down

13 for assessment? Would that have been regarded as

14 sufficient to constitute a specific threat? And there

15 is opinion offered and views given in the evidence by

16 those with experience on these matters which you will

17 have to consider in due course.

18 Now, sir, what I now want to do is to move on to the

19 next stage of this process, but can I first deal with

20 a red herring. If we look at RNI-106-270 (displayed),

21 this is a document in the bundle that it may be the Full

22 Participants and their representatives have considered,

23 thinking, as I did when I first saw it, that they had

24 found a clearer copy of the pamphlet, and raising the

25 question, perhaps understandably, in their minds, well,

 

 

122

 

1 what was all the fuss about, all the references to it

2 being difficult to read and the fax being an appalling

3 quality, et cetera, et cetera, because all the time

4 there, sitting in the bundle at page RNI-106-270, is

5 a perfectly clear copy of the "Man Without a Future"

6 pamphlet.

7 That would have been a mistake, because this is not

8 the same pamphlet. It is superficially the same

9 although much clearer. It contains much of the same

10 language, but it is not the pamphlet, as far as we can

11 see, that made its way down the chain for assessment.

12 So far as we can see, what happened was that this

13 version of the document, which is a different version,

14 was recovered during the murder investigation, I think

15 in about November 1999. There is no evidence that we

16 have seen, as I say, to suggest that it entered the

17 threat assessment system either from the Anglo-Irish

18 Secretariat, the NIO or CAJ.

19 Its interest for us is that the wording in relation

20 to Rosemary Nelson was different and even more specific,

21 as you will see, because instead of referring to her as

22 a "former bomber", it says:

23 "... who just happened to blow herself up while

24 planting a bomb ..."

25 And that is another of the quite incorrect rumours

 

 

123

 

1 and allegations which surrounded her.

2 So, sir, that pamphlet, although it is, as I say,

3 welcome in the sense of being clear, is a red herring

4 and a distraction.

5 Sir, there are a number of further stages of the

6 assessment which I want to refer to as briefly as I can.

7 The first is that there was, after the murder,

8 investigation of this issue, of the August threat

9 assessment, taken forward by two officers on the

10 investigation. And we can see how that process began at

11 RNI-102-169 (displayed).

12 There was an investigation of a very considerable

13 range of threats made for obvious reasons, you may

14 think, after the murder and I refer to this report which

15 I think I am right in saying was in fact compiled in the

16 year 2000; you can see that at the top. It followed

17 a meeting between the two relevant officers and

18 Detective Superintendent Provoost on 9th August that

19 year. Although it was compiled then, the events to

20 which it refers took place just after the murder. You

21 will see the first main paragraph, 29th March, and they

22 were given the task of investigating this particular

23 issue.

24 What it does, the report, is to set out what there

25 transpired. And if you turn over to RNI-102-170

 

 

124

 

1 (displayed), there is then a visit to Command

2 Secretariat on the next day; that is the 30th. And this

3 report deals with what became a controversial issue,

4 namely as to whether the threat note had indeed arrived

5 at Command Secretariat, whether it was on the file, what

6 happened to the file after the murder. And indeed there

7 is the dispute in the evidence whether on this occasion

8 the missing threat note, if I can put it that way, was

9 discussed at all; these officers maintaining that it

10 certainly was, indeed it was a focus of discussion.

11 But the officer at Command Secretariat takes

12 a different view, and we can see that clearly at

13 RNI-841-403 (displayed), paragraph 64:

14 "I have been asked if I recall being visited by

15 officers in relation to the investigation. I do recall

16 two investigators speaking to me from Command

17 Secretariat. I do not recall them taking a statement

18 from me or even writing a note. I have been a shown

19 a document entitled ..."

20 Then there is reference to the interview:

21 "... and asked if it is my handwriting. It is not.

22 I don't think I even got the relevant Command

23 Secretariat files out when they came to see me in

24 connection with the murder investigation. I could have

25 done, but I have no recollection of doing so. I didn't

 

 

125

 

1 view their visit as a formal interview, and as such it

2 wasn't even recorded in my journal. I certainly have no

3 recollection of them making any suggestion there might

4 be something missing on the file, that something had

5 been overlooked.

6 "I clearly recall my reaction later in May when

7 I realise that a threatening note to Mrs Nelson had

8 appeared to the file. I would have recalled if they had

9 mentioned anything or if I had seen it on the file at

10 this time, and I would have started asking questions

11 internally straightaway.

12 "We had a general chat about Command Secretariat,

13 but I am very sure that the absence of any document was

14 not raised with me at that time."

15 And this, sir, hints at the number of the problems

16 we have been looking at in an article in the media on

17 27th May 1999 at RNI-401-476 (displayed).

18 This is an article from the Irish Times and it picks

19 up a comment made by the Chief Constable in a police

20 authority meeting in April that year -- so all of this

21 after the murder -- where the Chief Constable had told

22 the meeting that the RUC did not have any information

23 that suggested Mrs Nelson was the subject of a specific

24 terrorist threat. And the Irish Times build their

25 article on that, including quotations from CAJ who, by

 

 

126

 

1 this stage, were questioning what had been said by the

2 Chief Constable in the light of the fact, of course,

3 that they had sent the threat note to the NIO in August

4 and had been told by the NIO in the letter we have seen

5 of 24th September that had been passed on to the RUC.

6 Now, as far as we can tell -- and I don't want to

7 dwell on any of this subsequent history because it is,

8 on any view, secondary to the question of what might

9 have happened before the murder of Rosemary Nelson, but

10 it took up a great deal of time. But essentially what

11 one gathers -- and you will have seen this from the

12 statement I showed you at paragraph 64 -- is that the

13 article prompts, not surprisingly, a checking of the

14 file to see whether indeed such a note had been sent in

15 to the RUC.

16 One can imagine the circumstances in which that

17 checking exercise took place, and the officer describes

18 how surprised and indeed shocked she was to discover

19 that it was indeed there. And that is part of her

20 answer to the suggestion made in the report I have shown

21 you by the two murder investigation officers that they

22 did indeed discuss it with her two months before, at the

23 end of March 1999.

24 Now, sir, that in turn led to the investigation

25 I have referred to earlier by Superintendent Short, and

 

 

127

 

1 that is at RNI-102-061 (displayed). His task was to

2 find out how the threat note came to appear upon the

3 file and he conducted a number of interviews and created

4 a whole new lot of paper and produced a reasonably short

5 report at the end of it, concluding that he couldn't say

6 how the threat note came to appear on the file. And it

7 involved an enormously detailed examination of fax

8 records and other matters of that kind which I don't

9 propose to dwell on, save that a number of the

10 individuals from whom the Inquiry has obtained

11 statements assisted him in his investigation.

12 Now, sir, there are, I think I am right in saying

13 two yet further reports or enquiries, investigations

14 into this matter; the first prompted by the CAJ's

15 application for judicial review. There was follow-up

16 correspondence with the Chief Constable and then with

17 the Police Ombudsman during the course of 1999, and the

18 year 2000. All that material has been put in a safe

19 place in file 116 and I don't propose to look at it now,

20 save to say that in the light of the stance taken up

21 both by the Ombudsman, because a complaint was made to

22 her, and the Chief Constable, litigation began and

23 resulted eventually in a judgment which I don't think is

24 in the bundle, believe it or not, in 2005.

25 Now, as a result of those proceedings, the Ombudsman

 

 

128

 

1 was unable to conclude her work and to issue her report

2 on it and, therefore, that report, which is also in our

3 files, was not issued until last year, 2007.

4 Sir, I have got a few comments to make about that

5 report and where it fits into the Inquiry's work, but

6 shall I make them after our break?

7 THE CHAIRMAN: If they last only two or three minutes, I

8 would be delighted to hear them now.

9 MR PHILLIPS: Excellent, they do.

10 The matters investigated by the Ombudsman were of

11 course limited to the complaints that were made to her.

12 Her report is one of a number of reports in our files

13 which you will consider and no doubt weigh up along with

14 all the other materials. There is no sense in which her

15 conclusions bind you or are determinative, where the

16 same issues are to be considered by the Inquiry.

17 Her report is at RNI-834-068 (displayed) and it goes

18 on to RNI-834-119 (displayed). So far as the actual

19 threat assessment is concerned, I can say that she is

20 critical of what happened and of the work done by the

21 RUC. She suggests for various reasons that are set out

22 in the report that their assessment of the threatening

23 element of the pamphlet itself was insufficient. They

24 did not consider the full import of referring to

25 a solicitor as a former bomber, for example, and they

 

 

129

 

1 did not give, therefore, adequate weight to what was set

2 out in the pamphlet.

3 Her second main criticism is that there existed

4 within the RUC no mechanism, or certainly there was no

5 attempt to consider matters in the much broader context.

6 And she gives her view about that clearly in her report.

7 In other words, it was not sufficient to look only

8 at the single document; there should have been a wider

9 consideration of the history which I have outlined to

10 you, and of that, more detailed accumulation of threats

11 over the years up to the point when this assessment took

12 place. And that information, that broader background,

13 should have informed the assessment of the particular

14 pamphlet.

15 Sir, the relevant references in terms of our bundle,

16 they are at RNI-834-108 and RNI-834-110 (displayed).

17 Sir, that is all I want to say for the moment about

18 the Police Ombudsman's report.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: We will break off now. Just after a

20 quarter to.

21 (3.32 pm)

22 (Short break)

23 (3.48 pm)

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

25 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, in the course of my submissions

 

 

130

 

1 I probably made a number of egregious errors, but one in

2 particular has been pointed out to me and I rush to

3 correct it.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: The good angel?

5 MR PHILLIPS: There were a number of them, in fact: Members

6 of the formidable IT team that the Inquiry has

7 assembled, and they understandably, you may think, have

8 taken exception to the comment I have now made on

9 a number of occasions -- and like many of my comments

10 just because I say it a number of times does not mean it

11 is right -- about my inability to display two documents

12 at once on the screen, and the chuntering that I allowed

13 myself about how that inhibited the forensic process.

14 That is apparently completely incorrect: It is

15 quite possible to display two documents on the screen,

16 and I can assure you that this evening I intend to learn

17 how to do that so that we are no longer inhibited. It

18 was my fault. It is not a proper or valid criticism of

19 the system.

20 Now, turning back to the assessments, what I would

21 like to do is to try to identify some points in relation

22 to all three of these moments -- may 1997, February 1998

23 and August 1998 -- before looking at just a few issues

24 in relation to the remaining six months or so before

25 Rosemary Nelson's murder.

 

 

131

 

1 We have now seen that two were threat assessments,

2 as it were, properly so-called. I have suggested that

3 there may have been a number of respects in which there

4 may not have been full compliance with the relevant

5 force orders. However, it is a striking fact about the

6 evidence you have now received from all of those

7 involved in these matters and on these particular

8 occasions that, as far as we can see, not a single

9 witness has at any point referred to the existence of,

10 never mind the terms of, the relevant force orders.

11 So for that reason and also because of the widely

12 varying accounts given about what the relevant

13 terminology should be, what the relevant standard should

14 be, whether, for example, a letter sent to the

15 supposedly threatened individual, as in this case, could

16 ever constitute a specific threat, a whole range of such

17 issues, for those reasons it may be better to leave

18 procedure, to leave technical matters, technical

19 breaches behind and to stop trying to treat this as

20 a matter of scientific discipline and get back to

21 something more akin to common sense.

22 Now, clearly in relation to the last matter,

23 however, it is simply common sense that it went off at

24 half power because of the threat note not beginning its

25 journey down the assessment process. That clearly

 

 

132

 

1 substantially undermined whatever assessment, whatever

2 exercise, was undertaken on the ground.

3 The other aspect to this is how the material was in

4 fact regarded by those who looked at it, and this means

5 in the August case the pamphlet in particular, at the

6 time. What was it indeed regarded as run of the mill,

7 the sort of thing that was generally in circulation

8 around the Drumcree march time? Perhaps intimidating

9 but, as it were, nothing out of the ordinary? Or was it

10 in fact the case that these assessments were, as I have

11 suggested before, unusual, not run of the mill, not

12 least because they were initiated in the way that we

13 have seen rather than by word of mouth, by intelligence

14 from sources on the ground and that, therefore,

15 reference to any part of the consideration as being

16 mundane, standard, run of the mill is not appropriate

17 and not helpful.

18 But in a sense all of those remarks remain at the

19 level of detail. What I would now like to flag up are

20 other broader questions which I would suggest have to be

21 addressed in order to answer and deal with the issues

22 set out in the List of Issues.

23 First, what the material I have shown you up to the

24 time of the August assessment, what that material shows,

25 you may think, is the accumulation of information,

 

 

133

 

1 concerns, suggestions of threat or of danger to

2 Rosemary Nelson, which builds and builds at each stage.

3 Whatever the level of detail in any particular case,

4 whatever the source of information, whatever form it

5 emerged in, one can stand back now and see the totality

6 of the picture.

7 And the position was, you may think, clear: that

8 there were concerns for Rosemary Nelson's safety which

9 were growing in intensity and in volume throughout the

10 period which encompassed the three moment at which that

11 question, the question of her safety, was raised with

12 the NIO and then by that department with the RUC.

13 Those at the top end of the organisations were privy

14 to the full range of these concerns, as I have shown

15 you. They were also at times painfully aware of the

16 number of aspects of Rosemary Nelson's work which had

17 a political dimension, which brought her into areas of

18 life in Northern Ireland where there had been violence

19 and conflict for decades, which violence and conflict

20 had not been ushered out of the way by the politicians

21 who made the Good Friday Agreement. And I would

22 suggest, sir, that that much is clear with full

23 allowance taken of: (a) the dangers of hindsight; and

24 (b) the point I have already made to you on a number of

25 occasions about perspective; in other words, the place

 

 

134

 

1 of these points in the overall range of matters being

2 considered.

3 So even allowing for both of these factors, I would

4 suggest the position here, as confirmed, for example, in

5 the evidence of some of the senior NIO officials and in

6 the correspondence involving ministers, was that her

7 safety was a matter of concern. The issues relating to

8 it and the context in which it arose, whether in the

9 case of Mr Cumaraswamy, or of the Commission dispute,

10 the ICPC, or of the continuing work she did for the

11 Residents Coalition, those concerns, those issues, were

12 still live, they were not abating and they had not

13 ceased to be important issues.

14 So also were those in Command Secretariat and at the

15 top of the RUC, including the Chief Constable, aware of

16 the range of these concerns and of the issues arising.

17 We have seen how correspondence was coming into that

18 office from a variety of sources, including

19 a substantial amount of material forwarded for comment

20 by the NIO. We have seen too how the Chief Constable

21 took a personal interest in a number of these issues; by

22 no means just the threat matters that we have been

23 looking at, a whole range of matters.

24 And we have seen how material came up from within

25 the organisation, from within the RUC, to Command

 

 

135

 

1 Secretariat and I showed you the striking examples

2 relating to the further Colin Duffy case which emerged

3 in the autumn of 1997.

4 So the question arises whether and to what extent

5 accumulated knowledge was brought to bear when the issue

6 of her safety was specifically raised with those in

7 authority. And in this context you may think that it is

8 simply not enough to scan the terms of the relevant

9 force orders, so far as the RUC were concerned, and to

10 consider in a narrow way whether what emerges from the

11 material on each occasion amounts to compliance. Nor,

12 so far as the NIO is concerned, was it, you may think,

13 simply enough to leave this to the police and to take no

14 part in assessing the situation and bringing to bear

15 upon it the wider perspective, the broader view, which

16 emerges clearly from some of the NIO material at this

17 time.

18 Now, this broader view appreciated the range of

19 interrelated topics and concerns, and appreciated the

20 ways in which they overlapped one with another.

21 As I have mentioned already, it was certainly the

22 view of the head of police division that the police's

23 answer, verdict, approach on such matters was not meekly

24 to be accepted, and that is what led her, she says, to

25 question it, to probe it and to satisfy herself that it

 

 

136

 

1 was the right response.

2 I have said already that (a), there is no written

3 evidence of that consideration on her part, nor of the

4 discussion which she says took place, and (b), perhaps

5 more importantly, there is nothing in the correspondence

6 to indicate that the NIO took up with the police, with

7 the Command Secretariat in correspondence their failure

8 to deal with the specific issues raised in the letter of

9 23rd February.

10 For that 1st April letter from Command Secretariat,

11 you will recall, did not disclose to the government

12 department that a consideration had been given to giving

13 advice on crime prevention, and that option had been

14 rejected, it would appear, not for the first but

15 apparently for the third time in this case on the basis

16 that nothing could be done.

17 As to that, I have given you a flavour at least of

18 the evidence of the relevant officer in Command

19 Secretariat and shown you that the line or explanation

20 offered appears to be this: that no offer of advice,

21 advice of this kind, was made for fear that it might be

22 rejected. A similar stance appears too in some -- not

23 all, some -- of the NIO witness statements in which the

24 suggestion is made that it would have been wrong, even

25 intrusive or offensive to have offered such advice or

 

 

137

 

1 assistance.

2 Sir, I would like to show you at this stage two

3 further paragraphs from the head of police division's

4 statement: RNI-841-268 (displayed). As I have said, she

5 will be giving evidence, but these paragraphs bear

6 consideration at this stage.

7 Now, para 146 deals with the later situation in relation

8 to KPPS and she is asked a hypothetical question about

9 that and says, understandably perhaps:

10 "It is impossible for me to say. I don't know to

11 what extent Mrs Nelson genuinely believed she was under

12 threat from the police or to what extent other beliefs

13 or circumstances may have framed her choices and

14 actions.

15 "Awareness through third parties of the thrust of

16 her apparently eloquently-stated views certainly made it

17 more difficult for us to be able to offer her any help."

18 Now, sir, that sentence plainly needs, if I can put

19 it this way, some unpacking, which can no doubt be done

20 later at the hearings. But the point which is made at

21 the end of it, namely that it would be more difficult

22 for us to be able to offer her any help, is developed in

23 the final sentences:

24 "Without the immediate and obvious rationale of an

25 actual threat, it seemed to me that any such approach

 

 

138

 

1 was likely to be most unwelcome and possibly even

2 misinterpreted as harassment, threat or intimidation.

3 "There was to my recollection no indication

4 whatsoever from any quarter that any approach from the

5 NIO or the police would have been well received."

6 It is that last sentence, sir, that takes us back to

7 the suggestion made in the evidence which I showed you

8 of the Command Secretariat officer; in other words, that

9 any approach from either organisation would not, or

10 there was no indication that it would have been well

11 received.

12 Then the statement continues:

13 "If Mrs Nelson genuinely believed that the whole of

14 the British State was corrupt and that this was the

15 reason for her refusal to use any of the mechanisms

16 available to her, then how could we go to her when there

17 was no indication of any substantive threat to her and

18 suggest that she be protected by the very regime she

19 objected to and which she apparently believed to be

20 threatening to her. Neither could we, as a responsible

21 government department, in the absence of any assessed

22 threat, go to her and offer her public money to put in

23 place her own security."

24 Now, obviously, the premise for these comments in

25 the first part of the first sentence of para 147 will have

 

 

139

 

1 to be carefully examined, as of course will be the

2 suggestion that there was a refusal on the part of

3 Rosemary Nelson to use any of the mechanisms available

4 to her.

5 But the significance of the paragraph for us at

6 present, you may think, lies in the final lines; first

7 in the rhetorical question and then the conclusion,

8 because if this reflects the view held at the time, then

9 it appears that the two sides to the equation were never

10 going to get any closer to each other.

11 If the police division viewed Rosemary Nelson as

12 taking that stance, ie that the whole of the British

13 State was corrupt, and that she was unwilling to be

14 assisted, and indeed refusing to take an advantage of

15 the mechanisms, it would appear that that led to

16 a position that picks up the verdict on the 1st April

17 from the Command Secretariat: that there was nothing to

18 be done.

19 So, sir, one of the questions raised by the vivid

20 language of these two paragraphs and the suggestion that

21 any approach made by the authorities might be

22 misinterpreted as harassment, threat or intimidation, is

23 whether these explanations of failure to act in this

24 case, quite apart from the issue of whether there was

25 the necessary level of threat or direct or specific

 

 

140

 

1 threat, are either (a) plausible or (b) acceptable.

2 On one view, certainly they suggest, as I remarked

3 yesterday, a fastidiousness or delicacy in relation to

4 Rosemary Nelson's feelings which you may think is

5 inappropriate on the part of public bodies with public

6 responsibilities. The offer was not made lest it offend

7 or even lest it be refused or, finally, because it had

8 been decided that there was no point in making it

9 because it would be refused.

10 It is at this point that one must remember that the

11 issue here, the issue with which these officials in both

12 organisations were dealing, was one concerning the

13 safety or the life of a citizen, and in that regard you

14 may think that this sort of approach, if it was indeed

15 the approach taken at the time and did indeed reflect

16 the thinking of those concerned at the time, simply did

17 not do justice to the issue at stake.

18 And in any event, sir, remember that the RUC

19 material we have seen itself contemplates the situation

20 where an individual under threat is not willing, will

21 not accept the advice tendered, and so the structure --

22 if we are looking at the procedures, if we are limiting

23 ourselves to the procedures, itself included for dealing

24 with such situations.

25 That, if I may say so, makes these suggestions made,

 

 

141

 

1 obviously a long time after the event, even more

2 puzzling. There were procedures in place where there

3 was a threat which would allow the police to make the

4 offer, to note the refusal in their records so that, as

5 I have said, if something did go wrong they would be

6 able to show that they had tried to assist. And bear in

7 mind on this, please, that the NIO letter which goes out

8 finally on 24th September does not suggest that the KPPS

9 or the lesser levels of assistance or advice were

10 irrelevant. It does not say:

11 "Dear Mr Mageean, the police tell us that there is

12 no specific threat and that is the end of it."

13 It goes on to say:

14 "These are the options and an application can be

15 made."

16 And sets out the various levels of assistance that

17 might be offered.

18 But returning to the order, it contemplated exactly

19 the situation said to be of concern here. I would

20 suggest that even taking these assessments at face value

21 and accepting that there was no threat or no specific

22 direct threat, it is puzzling indeed that it was not

23 thought appropriate, not to mention prudent, to offer

24 crime prevention advice at a low-key level and to note

25 carefully both the offer and any refusal to receive or

 

 

142

 

1 accept it on the part of Rosemary Nelson.

2 But the records, as we have seen, reveal nothing of

3 the kind. There is, as we have seen, nothing which

4 assists us with the fate of appendix B, the typed

5 document generated in the March exercise. There is

6 nothing in the relevant threat log; there is no record

7 that we have seen of any action taken; the briefing

8 books for the relevant period are missing.

9 It seems there was no communication at all with

10 Rosemary Nelson, either after the May 1997 consideration

11 or the February/March one.

12 Such communication as there was during this period

13 followed the August assessment and that, as you will

14 have seen, was not to her but to Mr Mageean. And it is

15 important to take into account, as I have said, what he

16 says and what his evidence will be about that because it

17 deals both with his reaction and his description of

18 Rosemary Nelson's reaction.

19 As I have said, that raises the question of what she

20 would have done, what would have happened if any

21 approach had in fact been made to her directly, or if,

22 for example, crime prevention advice had been offered to

23 her. Although you will remember, as far as I can see

24 from his statement, that that issue was not discussed

25 between them, whereas the KPPS offer or suggestion was.

 

 

143

 

1 Now, that distinction between KPPS or its equivalent

2 and this sort of advice may be significant because that

3 would not, as far as one can tell at any rate, have

4 required the police to survey her house or even,

5 I suspect, to step inside it. It is impossible to avoid

6 contemplating the possibility that he himself refers to:

7 that a suggestion that she should look under her car or

8 keep it in the garage -- the simplest of suggestions,

9 you might think -- might have made all the difference.

10 But as I have said before, even if one takes the

11 hypothetical chain to that point, that isn't the end of

12 either because of course the question that then arises

13 is: even if such advice had been given, would it have

14 been heeded? Would it have been borne in mind? Would

15 she have taken precautions? Would she have been in any

16 way prepared to alter her lifestyle, her behaviour, her

17 patterns of life?

18 That then leads to the question of whether, even if

19 she had been, that would have made a difference in the

20 end. For in all of this, once one gets into the realms

21 of the hypothetical, of course the care that I urged

22 upon you at the outset in relation to causation comes to

23 the fore; first because there is no evidence of any

24 connection between the threats, those made or sent to

25 her, and the murder itself. That is the first issue.

 

 

144

 

1 And the result is of course that one can't draw the

2 conclusion that had the authorities' reaction to any

3 particular threat -- say, for example, the threat

4 note -- had that gone through, had it been forensically

5 examined as the Command Secretariat officer suggests

6 would have happened, would that have made a difference?

7 In other words, if it had been investigated, would that

8 have meant that the murder would have been prevented?

9 But the same is true in relation to Rosemary Nelson

10 herself. If, which may have been the case, she was the

11 target or became the target of a group of people

12 determined to kill her, the reality is, you may think,

13 that they would have found a way, even if, for example,

14 she had kept her car in her garage and so prevented an

15 attack of the particular kind which did in fact result

16 in her murder.

17 So, sir, that is of course a familiar difficulty in

18 any case in this Inquiry as in any other: once we enter

19 the realm of hypothetical possibilities, they go and on

20 and multiply, and one must be alert at all times not to

21 leap, as it were, to conclusions without going through

22 all the necessary causal links.

23 Now, sir, there is a final matter which I would like

24 to mention on this topic before returning to the history

25 briefly and taking it to the time of the murder and,

 

 

145

 

1 immediately thereafter, to see how the threat situation

2 developed. Because I suggest, sir, that when you

3 consider why it was that the threat assessments came

4 back with a negative answer on each occasion, and why it

5 was that no action resulted, you must, I suggest,

6 consider other broader reasons why that might have

7 been so.

8 At this point I have to flag again that in dealing

9 with the officers on the ground who assessed the

10 intelligence and produced the assessments, I have not

11 been able to open to you the part 2 material and the

12 statements which relate to it.

13 It follows that the question of what was known over

14 the months that we have looked at together, what

15 information was available at this level, cannot be

16 explored at this stage. That applies in addition to

17 those higher up in the Special Branch hierarchy and

18 within the RUC who received or had access to relevant

19 information. And when that material has been disclosed,

20 it will be possible and indeed necessary to consider

21 what was known at the various levels and what impact it

22 had or may have had on the assessments which were in

23 fact undertaken and the way they were undertaken and on

24 the views taken during the process and its conclusion.

25 I have referred already to the fact that the threat

 

 

146

 

1 assessment in these cases was triggered in an unusual

2 way. You will have to consider whether in another sense

3 that may have had an impact on the process. First, did

4 the fact that some of the concerns were raised by

5 individuals or groups summarised in appendix B as

6 American lawyers and pressure groups affect the way in

7 which the assessments were carried out? Did it affect

8 the seriousness, the rigour with which the questions

9 were considered? Did the origin of the concerns

10 influence those who conducted them or who considered the

11 issues at the end of the process? Did those facts

12 affect decisions or judgments at that stage?

13 Secondly, did Rosemary Nelson's work and attitudes,

14 as evidenced in the material we have seen, attitudes

15 both to the police and to the systems then in operation

16 in Northern Ireland, affect these matters or rather did

17 the way in which her work and her attitudes were

18 perceived affect them? This is the point raised in the

19 extracts from the witness statement I have just been

20 showing you.

21 Unsurprisingly perhaps, the impression in the

22 material and in the witness evidence which has been

23 given to you is that the assessments and the subsequent

24 consideration were undertaken in a detached and

25 professional manner, that the processes were routine,

 

 

147

 

1 were followed by experienced officers and were in

2 accordance with well-settled procedures.

3 Well, I've touched on that latter point already.

4 But the point I wish to focus on at this stage is

5 a broader and a simpler one than that. Did these

6 perceptions of Rosemary Nelson and of her work and views

7 influence the way in which the assessments were

8 undertaken?

9 That is, I suggest, a legitimate question,

10 notwithstanding the no doubt considerable levels of

11 experience and professionalism that were available and

12 brought to bear within the relevant organisations,

13 because what our examination of the material shows in

14 relation to perception, I would suggest, can be

15 summarised as follows: that she was seen to be at the

16 heart of a propaganda campaign waged on behalf of

17 Republican interests, that she was seen to be closely

18 allied in a way which was unprofessional in various

19 respects with the cause of the militant Republicanism

20 and that she was seen in particular to be closely

21 allied, including in a way which was unprofessional,

22 with her clients and with one in particular,

23 Colin Duffy, who was himself, as we have seen, the focus

24 of what appears to have been bitterness and strong

25 feeling, not just amongst those on the other side of the

 

 

148

 

1 community, but also, if the client statements are

2 correct, on the part of police officers.

3 Here I have in mind, for example, not only the

4 client comments, especially those made in interviews in

5 relation to the murder of the two police constables and

6 Rosemary Nelson's efforts in connection with that to

7 obtain his release, but also the poster and media

8 material I showed you which emerged in March/April 1998,

9 and finally the notes, memoranda, generated within

10 J Division in the aftermath of the assault incident in

11 the autumn of 1997.

12 Sir, those are questions which in the context of

13 this Inquiry will, I suggest, have to be explored in the

14 evidence and weighed up to see whether those perceptions

15 had a role to play in this process and in the decisions

16 which were ultimately made.

17 Now, as against them, you will also, I know, want to

18 see things from the other side of the coin. Precisely

19 because of all these matters, because of the very high

20 profile which Rosemary Nelson had and also because the

21 very public way in which concerns about her safety had

22 been aired, not least by her, one can see why it was

23 very much in the interests, both of the NIO and of the

24 RUC, to deal very thoroughly indeed with any such

25 assessment. And to see why, one only has to look at

 

 

149

 

1 what actually happened in the case, and particularly

2 after the murder when it was immediately suggested that

3 she had been failed by the authorities who should taken

4 steps to protect her or to prevent what had happened,

5 and so much was, you may think, entirely foreseeable

6 within the range of reasonable possibility or

7 probability, precisely because of the profile she had,

8 the political context in which she worked.

9 So much must, you may think, have been clear at the

10 time to those concerned with the assessments and with

11 the processes. It was vitally important to get it

12 right, because these were matters which might be

13 subjected to scrutiny by NGOs and others. And if any

14 deficiencies or imperfections were to emerge, then

15 criticism, public criticism at a political level, would

16 follow.

17 And there was, therefore, you may think, the

18 strongest incentive to do whatever was possible or

19 appropriate in the circumstances, not least so as to be

20 able to satisfy the considerable NGO and international

21 interests in the matter.

22 Sir, that is also, if I may say, important to bear

23 in mind, as it were, on the other side of the matter.

24 And it comes down at its most basic, if I can put it

25 this way, in a cynical way, it is a matter of

 

 

150

 

1 self-protection so that the record would show that

2 a full and thorough job has been done to assess the

3 relevant matters and to arrive at the right judgment.

4 Now, sir, the events of the remaining six months of

5 Rosemary Nelson's life, so far as the business of the

6 threat assessments and relevant material are concerned,

7 can be dealt with briefly: first, because

8 this, August 1998, was the last occasion on which there

9 was an assessment of the kind that we have now

10 considered; and secondly, because although

11 correspondence continued from all the familiar sources,

12 there is no further taking stock and there is no similar

13 advantage to you of looking at further accumulated

14 material.

15 Sir, with that in mind, I am going to highlight, if

16 I may, just three particular incidents in the whole of

17 that period of six months. The first is the appearance

18 before the Congressional Committee, because although

19 I have referred to it, I haven't actually taken you to

20 her statement, though you have now seen some extracts,

21 some short extracts from it, as you remember, on the

22 second day.

23 Can we look, please, at her statement to the

24 Congressional Committee. The clearest version is at

25 RNI-113-044 (displayed).

 

 

151

 

1 There are many versions in the bundle, but this is,

2 as I say, the easiest to read; 29th September. I am

3 proposing to read substantial parts of this because it

4 is the fullest written account of her position as at

5 that time.

6 It was delivered, the statement, in perhaps the most

7 prominent of all the fora, all the contexts in which she

8 spoke about her work and about the experiences, the

9 threats, the treatments she had had and because great

10 importance was later attached to it when questions, as

11 soon as news of her murder broke, began to be raised

12 with the authorities about protection and the prevention

13 of the murder:

14 "I've been a solicitor in private practice

15 in Northern Ireland for the past 12 years. My practice

16 includes a mixture of several areas the law, including

17 crime, matrimony and personal injury cases. My clients

18 are drawn from both sides of the community. For the

19 last ten years, I have been representing suspects

20 detained for questioning about politically-motivated

21 offences. All of these clients have been arrested under

22 emergency laws and are held in specially designed

23 holding centres. There are three such centres across

24 Northern Ireland.

25 "Since I began to represent such clients, and

 

 

152

 

1 especially since I became involved in a high profile

2 murder case, I have begun to experience difficulties

3 with the RUC. These difficulties have involved RUC

4 officers questioning my professional integrity, making

5 allegations that I am a member of a paramilitary group

6 and, at their most serious, making threats against my

7 personal safety, including death threats. All of these

8 remarks have been made to my clients in my absence

9 because lawyers in Northern Ireland are routinely

10 excluded from interviews with clients detained in the

11 holding centres.

12 "This behaviour on the part of RUC officers has

13 worsened during the last two years and particularly

14 since I began to represent the residents of the

15 Garvaghy Road who have objected to an Orange Order march

16 passing through their area from Drumcree church.

17 "Last year, I was present on the Garvaghy Road when

18 the parade was forced through. I had been present on

19 the road for a number of days because I had instructions

20 from my clients to apply for an emergency judicial

21 review of any decision allowing the parade to pass

22 through the area. When the police began to move into

23 the area in forces in the early hours of 5th July,

24 I went to the police lines and identified myself as

25 a lawyer representing the residents. I asked to speak

 

 

153

 

1 to the officer in charged. At that point, I was

2 physically assaulted by a number of RUC officers and

3 subjected to sectarian verbal abuse. I sustained

4 bruising to my arm and shoulder. The officers

5 responsible were not wearing any identification numbers

6 and when I asked for their names, I was told to 'fuck

7 off'. I complained about the assault and abuse but to

8 date have obtained no satisfactory response from the

9 RUC.

10 "Since then, my clients have reported an increasing

11 number of incidents when I've been abused by RUC

12 officers, including several death threats against myself

13 and members of my family. I have also received

14 threatening telephone calls and letters. Though I have

15 tried to ignore these threats, inevitably I have had to

16 take account of the possible consequences for my family

17 and for my staff. No lawyer in Northern Ireland can

18 forget what happened to Patrick Finucane nor dismiss it

19 from their minds. The allegations of official collusion

20 in his murder are particularly disturbing and can only

21 be resolved by an independent Inquiry into his murder as

22 has been recommend by the UN Special Rapporteur. I

23 would be grateful if the subcommittee could do all in

24 its power to bring about such inquiry and by

25 communicating to the United Kingdom Government its

 

 

154

 

1 belief that an inquiry in this case would in fact be a

2 boost to the peace process as it has been in the Bloody

3 Sunday case.

4 "I have also complained about these threats, again

5 without any satisfactory response. Although complaints

6 against the RUC are supervised by the Independent

7 Commission for Police Complaints, the complaints

8 themselves are investigated by RUC officers. Recently,

9 a senior police officer from England has been called in

10 into investigate my complaints in view of the RUC's

11 apparent inability to handle my complaints impartially.

12 This English police officer is interviewing witnesses

13 himself and has decided not to rely on any assistance

14 from the RUC.

15 "I believe that one of the reasons that RUC officers

16 have been able to indulge in such systematic abuse

17 against me is that the conditions under which they

18 interview clients detained under emergency laws allow

19 them to operate without sufficient scrutiny. My access

20 to my clients can be deferred for periods of up to

21 48 hours. I am never allowed to be present while my

22 clients are interviewed. Interviews are now subject to

23 silent video recording, but are not yet being audio

24 recorded, though that is due to be introduced.

25 "The UN Special Rapporteur has made a number of

 

 

155

 

1 recommendations that would remedy this situation which

2 to date have not been implemented. I should be grateful

3 if this subcommittee would lend their support to what he

4 proposes. Another reason why RUC officers abuse me in

5 this way is because they are unable to distinguish me,

6 as a professional lawyer, from the alleged crimes and

7 causes of my clients. This tendency to identify me with

8 my clients has led to accusations by RUC officers that I

9 have been involved in paramilitary activity, which

10 I deeply and bitterly resent. The Special Rapporteur

11 has recommended that RUC officers be sensitised to the

12 important role played by defence lawyers in the criminal

13 justice system. To date this recommendation had not

14 been implement.

15 "I should be grateful if the subcommittee would ask

16 the UK Government what steps they intend to take to act

17 on this recommendation".

18 Then she looks more broadly at the

19 Good Friday Agreement and expresses her views about the

20 existence of the emergency provisions legislation, and

21 says:

22 "It has seriously undermined public confidence in

23 the rule of law and led to numerous miscarriages of

24 justice, some of which have involved my clients."

25 And I think the remainder of that paragraph is not

 

 

156

 

1 directly relevant to us. She has this to say in the

2 next paragraph:

3 "I believe that my role as a lawyer in defending the

4 rights of my clients is vital. The test of a new

5 society in Northern Ireland will be the extent to which

6 it can recognise and respect that role and enable me to

7 discharge it without improper interference. I look

8 forward to that day."

9 Now, sir, that statement, as I say, is the most

10 detailed and comprehensive statement that we have from

11 Rosemary Nelson, and all or a large number at any rate

12 of the themes with which we have been concerned are set

13 out in it.

14 Can I draw to your attention first of all in the

15 Garvaghy Road passage -- there does seem to be some

16 confusion about the date. Here we have again 5th July.

17 It looks from all of the other material as though the

18 correct date was the 6th. But in the last paragraph on

19 RNI-113-044 (displayed), we have some comment about

20 threats. As I have said before, the bits and pieces of

21 material about threats, particularly those which did not

22 get reported onwards or not in an easily digestible

23 form, this is such an example and it includes, she says,

24 not only death threats against herself but against

25 members of her family. And her attitude to them is then

 

 

157

 

1 set out. She has tried to ignore them but had to take

2 account of the possible consequences for family and

3 staff, and at that point, as we have seen before, calls

4 to mind the case of Pat Finucane.

5 You will see in passages that we heard for ourselves

6 on the clips of film the way she puts her position in

7 relation to the comments made by police officers, she

8 says, to her clients in interviews and how it is under

9 the emergency legislation that this is able to take

10 place.

11 Now, apart from her references to the Special

12 Rapporteur, the other thing you will see in the

13 statement, of course, is an appeal on various points to

14 the Congressional Subcommittee to take forward various

15 concerns. And points that she raises -- and, sir, this,

16 as I say, at this very high level is another example of

17 an appeal beyond any body or organisation or authority

18 in the United Kingdom to international bodies, in this

19 case Congress in the United States of America.

20 Now, the record, the congressional record for

21 everybody's note of what transpired is at RNI-113-070

22 (displayed), but I would like to show you, sir, the

23 exchanges which took place after the statement had been

24 delivered. The format of the hearing, as I should have

25 said, is that various individuals, including Mr Mageean

 

 

158

 

1 from recollection, gave statements. I think there was

2 another solicitor present. Then the members of the

3 subcommittee were able to pose their questions. And the

4 Government at this end in the United Kingdom

5 understandably received reports of what had been going

6 on, and we can see these, I think, at RNI-106-328.

7 (displayed).

8 So, again, sir, just to underline the continuing

9 interest of government in these matters, it comes from

10 the British Embassy in Washington, it is dated

11 30th September and the author from the Embassy then is

12 writing to -- if you see under "Mr G107", it says:

13 "NIOB."

14 NIO Belfast. It recites what had happened. You

15 will see Congressman Smith is in the chair, two other

16 congressmen present, and they heard from

17 Mr Cumaraswamy -- I had forgotten that, I am sorry --

18 Mr Mageean, Rosemary Nelson and another solicitor. And

19 I am not going to take you to the other statements or

20 indeed to the rest of this letter. You will see there

21 is comment about Mr Cumaraswamy's evidence but there is

22 a much more detailed account or note of what had

23 transpired which begins at RNI-106-330 (displayed),

24 section 2, "Prepared Statements", and on at RNI-106-331

25 under D (displayed), there is a brief precis of

 

 

159

 

1 Rosemary Nelson's statement. Then do you see at the

2 bottom of this page under 3, it says "Questions" and

3 questions are posed to all of the witnesses in turn.

4 The one I would like to show you is at the top of

5 RNI-106-333 (displayed) and it is at letter J, I think

6 it is. It says:

7 "From Gilman."

8 That is one of the congressman present to

9 Mrs Nelson:

10 "Have you requested security?

11 "Answer: No. The question of security hasn't been

12 raised but I have reported each incident. Truthfully, I

13 do not have a lot of faith in the procedure."

14 Then there are numerous questions about the more

15 general issues and indeed about the Finucane and other

16 cases. But that little exchange, again at the end

17 of September 1998, has to be read, sir, in the light of

18 the letter of 24th September which we have just seen.

19 It is not clear from the material that I have

20 considered certainly whether that letter, its contents,

21 had been passed on to Rosemary Nelson by the time she

22 went to Washington to give evidence, because plainly in

23 that letter the issue of security was indeed in various

24 ways raised with Mr Mageean -- not with her admittedly,

25 but with Mr Mageean -- and we know he then discussed it

 

 

160

 

1 with her, and various suggestions, as you remember, were

2 set out.

3 Perhaps it is important to note the last thing she

4 says, which is:

5 "Truthfully, I do not have a lot of faith in the

6 procedure."

7 Now, sir, the second event I wanted to mention we

8 will come to in the context of Drumcree, but it is the

9 visit to 10 Downing Street which takes place on

10 18th January when she is one of the Garvaghy Road

11 delegation. However, in terms of the story that we have

12 been following to this point, more immediately relevant

13 is the second visit of the LAJI delegation, the second

14 visit which took place in February 1999, so a year after

15 the visit, which included the meeting with the

16 Chief Constable, with Rosemary Nelson and with the NIO

17 which I mentioned to you earlier.

18 As I said in that context, when we were looking

19 at February 1998, there is a good deal of witness

20 evidence about this. Sir, what I have to say at the

21 moment is very brief.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: I think probably tomorrow.

23 MR PHILLIPS: Oh, sorry.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Quarter past ten.

25 (4.45 pm)

 

 

161

 

1 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

 

 

 

1 I N D E X

2
Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS .............. 1
3 (continued)

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

Associated Evidence

Reference Title Description
102-061-125 B Division - Grosvenor Road Sub-Division/Department - CID Station/Branch - Correspondence from NIO re Rosemary Nelson
106-168-169 Facsimile about Cumaraswamy Report
106-189-198 Government Publishes Response to the UN Special Rapporteur's Report
841-216-271 Inquiry Witness Statement of Christine Collins
106-205.500-205.502 Letter About Assurances that any Remaining Posters will be Removed by the RUC
101-304-306 Letter about Being Instructed to Write to you on Behalf of Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition
106-328-329 Letter about Committee Meeting
106-206-209 Letter about Data' Param Cumaraswamy's Report
106-136-137 Letter About Report of UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of the Judiciary - Visit to UK
106-153-154 Letter About Response to Report by Mr Cumaraswamy (UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers) on his visit to the United Kingdom
106-251-253 Letter about Rosemary Nelson
106-132-133 Letter about Rosemary Nelson
106-287-288 Letter about Rosemary Nelson
106-330-334 Letter about Subcommittee on International Operations & Human Rights Northern Ireland Meeting
106-151-152 Letter About UN Special Rapporteur's Report on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in the UK (Including Northern Ireland) - Background
106-110-111 Letter from Dato' Param Cumaraswamy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Office at Geneva
106-324-325 Letter from G105 Private Secretary to Adam Ingram to Paul Mageean of CAJ
106-322-323 Letter from Mr Ingram to Paul Mageean of CAJ
106-114-115 Letter Regarding Rosemary Nelson's Allegations
106-143-145 Memo about Contribution for Guidance Telegram on Cumaraswamy
306-001-004 Memo about Drumcree
106-320-321 Memo about Minister's Case SPB 288/98 - CAJ Re Rosemary Nelson
106-279-281 Memo about MRIS 2363 - Portadown Leaflet About Brendan McKenna, Rosemary Nelson et al.
102-169-173 Officer's Report - Regarding Threat Messages Made Against Rosemary Nelson
834-068-119 Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland Investigative Report
103-071-072 Press Release - Response to a Report by Mr Dato' Param Cumaraswamy United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
101-233-242 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers - 1998
110-036-092 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers - Mr Param Cumaraswamy Submitted Pursuant to Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/23 - Addendum - Report on the Mission of the Special Rapporteur to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
101-261-262 Response to a Report by Mr Data' Param Cumaraswamy - United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
106-117-131 Response to the Conclusions and Recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur's Report
106-156-164 Response to the Conclusions and Recommendations to the UN Special Rapporteur's Report
113-044-045 Rosemary Nelson - the Life and Death of a Human Rights Defender - Statement of Rosemary Nelson - Before the International Operations and Human Rights Sub-Committee of the House International Relations Committee Hearing on the Human Rights in Northern Ireland
902-001-004 Rosemary Nelson Inquiry - Part 1 Bundle Index
841-381-407 Rosemary Nelson Inquiry - Witness Statement of P136 - Statement No 1 - Exhibits P136 1-47
841-421-455 Rosemary Nelson Inquiry - Witness Statement of Simon Rogers - Statement No 1 - Exhibits SR 1-40
101-228-231 Threats Against the Lives of Members of the Security Forces - VIPs or Other Individuals - Force Order No 21/98
101-001-005 Threats Against the Lives of Members of the Security Forces, VIPs or Other Individuals - Force Order No 60/91
842-033-051 Witness Statement of G115 - Statement No 1 - Exhibits G115 1-14
841-094-104 Witness Statement of Lesley Foster - Statement No 1 - Exhibits LF 1-14
813-374-409 Witness Statement of Paul Mageean - Statement No 1 - Exhibits PM1-PM16