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Full Hearings

Hearing: 23rd April 2008, day 7

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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


on Wednesday, 23rd April 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Wednesday, 23rd April 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, before returning to the chronology of the

6 Garvaghy Road investigation we were looking at

7 yesterday, can I just mention a further note which has

8 gone out to the Full Participants this morning and

9 I hope you have it. It shows, apart from anything else,

10 that the Inquiry has a colour printer and it is a list

11 of the LAJI delegation witnesses and the various

12 meetings that we will be looking at later today in

13 relation to which they give evidence.

14 Now, sir, returning to the chronology, we had

15 reached the point in April 1998 when Miss McNally of the

16 Commission decided that there should indeed be

17 supervision of this complaint and that it should

18 continue. And that we saw at RNI-301-096 (displayed).

19 Sir, I am going to take the remainder of the history

20 of the complaint as briefly as I can. That decision was

21 passed on to the Complaints and Discipline Department on

22 21st April. You see at the top of page 5, Miss McNally

23 was to be the supervising member.

24 Moving down the page, on 27th April 1998 -- I won't

25 repeat the references because they are all there in the

 

 

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1 document -- the investigating officer was appointed,

2 Chief Inspector Oliver and a meeting took place on

3 13th May between the officer, Miss McNally and Mr Herron

4 from the Commission, and a letter confirming what had

5 been agreed about how the investigation was to proceed

6 was sent by her on 15th May, and that is the bottom of

7 the page.

8 Turning over the page, in fact what happened at the

9 next stage of the investigation, the first stage of the

10 Chief Inspector's involvement, was a familiar pattern,

11 familiar to us at any rate. You will see the entries on

12 page 6 in June: arrangements were made but no attendance

13 took place.

14 Therefore, there was in fact a repeat so that this

15 new investigating officer, Chief Inspector Oliver --

16 this is the bottom of page 6 -- completed a form seeking

17 dispensation, and there in the bullet points in that box

18 we set out the substance of the grounds on which he

19 sought it.

20 Turning over the page, on page 7 at the top, on

21 21st August 1998 that application was considered by

22 Miss McNally at the Commission and refused. And we give

23 you there details of her minute, setting out that in

24 fact interview times for Rosemary Nelson to attend, to

25 give her account in relation to the complaint, had

 

 

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1 already been fixed. In fact, in relation to other

2 matters the proposal was that she should also deal with

3 these.

4 As we know because, we have already seen it

5 yesterday, on 21st September she made a statement and

6 that is the third box from the bottom of this page 7.

7 You will see at the bottom of the page, the

8 Chief Inspector then engaged in correspondence with

9 Mr Mageean. He, of course, was the person who had taken

10 the original unsigned statement the day after the

11 events, on 7th July, and as in the case of the clients

12 we looked at in the Mulvihill complaints, so his role in

13 this complaint will have to be considered and, in

14 particular, when one looks at the suggestion being made

15 that these complaints were fabricated as a result of

16 a propaganda campaign; in other words, a conspiracy to

17 to put forward vexatious, mendacious complaints, because

18 one infers from that that Mr Mageean also must have been

19 part of that propaganda campaign and that is no doubt

20 a matter that we can touch on with him when he comes in

21 due course to give his evidence.

22 Now, if you turn over the page, you will see that

23 the investigation continues. Further action is to be

24 taken, and in particular in the second box,

25 26th October, I draw to your attention the second bullet

 

 

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1 point which is the decision to seek evidence from

2 Tom Cusack. He is the witness, if you remember,

3 mentioned by Rosemary Nelson in her short statement of

4 21st September as being somebody who would or might

5 support her complaint.

6 Mr Oliver also makes contact at the bottom of the

7 page with various other witnesses, some of whose

8 statements we have already looked at.

9 Then on page 9 of the chronology in December, the

10 third box on the chronology is the first document I

11 would like to take you to. We have seen already the

12 statement obtained here from Mr Cusack. RNI-301-171

13 shows us the Commission's notes in relation to that

14 interview and you will see that it is a note, I think,

15 by Miss McNally, dated the 9th, the next day, at the

16 bottom of the page. It sets out how the interview with

17 this witness took place and refers to his earlier

18 statement, which we have already seen, and then

19 summarises his evidence about what were in fact two

20 incidents, again, which we saw yesterday, and the

21 particular abuse expressions used, he said, by

22 a policewoman. And that is the third paragraph from the

23 bottom.

24 Her comments are:

25 "This witness was extremely open and credible. The

 

 

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1 investigating officer agreed that Mr Cusack was a good

2 witness. He will proceed to identify military police

3 personnel on the basis of the new evidence."

4 So, so far as the investigation is concerned,

5 therefore, this represents a step forward.

6 Now, the investigation continued but, as you will

7 see in the penultimate box of page 9 of the chronology,

8 at the end of January 1999 a writ was issued in the

9 High Court here in Northern Ireland by Rosemary Nelson

10 against the Chief Constable in relation to these events.

11 Could we just look at that, please, RNI-301-185

12 (displayed).

13 There is the title of the action, and if we could

14 turn over the page, please, there is confirmation of the

15 issue -- and then the final page, please -- and a very

16 short summary of the claim by way of what used to be

17 called -- I don't know if it is still allowed to be

18 called this under the new rules -- but used to be called

19 a general endorsement.

20 The plaintiff's claim is for:

21 "... loss, damage and distress sustained by the

22 plaintiff by reason of the assault, battery and trespass

23 to her person by the defendant, his servants or agents

24 on or about the sixth day of July 1997.

25 "And the plaintiff claims aggravated and exemplary

 

 

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1 damages."

2 And the name of counsel who settled the writ follows

3 and then Mrs Nelson's signature at the bottom.

4 Now, as I said earlier, the investigation continued

5 and a significant step forward came very shortly before

6 the murder, on page 10, the entry for 5th March. And

7 this sets out an agreement for the next stage, which is

8 to issue questionnaires to those in the relevant police

9 units who it was believed had been on the scene in the

10 relevant parts of the Garvaghy Road at the time. You

11 will see that the letter in relation to this goes out,

12 in fact, on the day of the murder.

13 Sir, can I also draw your attention to references

14 here to video footage. There was a good deal of

15 material, which we have obtained and have and will

16 continue to disclose to the Full Participants, taken at

17 the scene. Much of it is irrelevant to us. Some of it

18 very helpfully sets out the general situation and one

19 gets a very vivid picture of the events of that night,

20 which form the background to these particular

21 allegations.

22 But there are, as I said earlier, one or two

23 specific sections of film which were thought to tie in

24 with some of the witness evidence.

25 Now, some days after the murder of Rosemary Nelson

 

 

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1 the statement of claim issues following the writ which

2 we have seen -- and I would like to take you to that,

3 please, at RNI-301-197 (displayed).

4 It is not a very good copy, but its importance for

5 us is that it gives details of the allegations pleaded

6 again by the same counsel, which must, one infers, be

7 based on instructions from Rosemary Nelson, from the

8 client. It sets out her age and occupation and then

9 puts the time of the assault, batteries and trespasses

10 to her person at approximately 6 o'clock. Then in the

11 second sentence of paragraph 2, it refers to further

12 assaults, batteries and trespasses to the person taking

13 place at approximately 8 o'clock. And then it gives

14 particulars, (a) to (f) on this page, putting her in

15 fear, touching her against her will and without her

16 consent, striking her, using unnecessary, unreasonable,

17 excessive and arbitrary force, using force upon her,

18 pushing, throwing her from one police officer -- can we

19 turn the page, to RNI-301-198 please -- I think that must be "to

20 another". And then, again, I am afraid it is a very

21 poor copy:

22 "... pushing her to the ground, dragging her by the

23 shoulder, grabbing her by the hair, verbally abusing her

24 and spitting at her."

25 Then for the second incident:

 

 

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1 "Pointing at her, laughing at her and abusing her."

2 And it then says:

3 "The plaintiff will further rely in proof of the

4 matters herein alleged upon such facts as may be known

5 to the defendant, his servants or agents, but not known

6 [I imagine that must be] to the plaintiff, and as may be

7 given in evidence by the defendant and witnesses upon

8 the trial of this action."

9 Then it sets out the damage alleged:

10 "Pain, discomfort, distress, inconvenience and was

11 subjected to a frightening experience and was publicly

12 humiliated."

13 Then the claim for damages: assault, battery and

14 trespass being the basis for the claim. And then, as

15 you will see in the final paragraph, a claim for

16 aggravated and exemplary damages, on the basis that the

17 conduct of the said servants or agents -- that is the

18 servants or agents of the Chief Constable -- was, I

19 think that must be, unconstitutional, arbitrary and/or

20 excessive. Signed by counsel.

21 So, sir, as the chronology points out, the pleaded

22 case is, therefore, that there were two events and at

23 this stage, but from the material we have seen it would

24 appear not before this, Rosemary Nelson's own timings

25 reflect those of the later witnesses I showed you

 

 

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1 yesterday, including, I think I am right in saying,

2 Mr Cusack and also Mr Lally, I think it was, who put the

3 matter later.

4 So the timing that appeared to emerge both from her

5 statement and indeed from the statement of Susan McKay

6 and which appeared, I suggested to you yesterday, to be

7 in part at least corroborated by the evidence of the

8 police officers who were on the line, one of whom

9 observed her being very upset and asking for

10 identification details in relation to the assault, that

11 appears now to have been overtaken by these later

12 timings.

13 Now, sir, the action proceeded and so far as we are

14 concerned, there are no further details of it that

15 I wish to show you.

16 The investigation went on its way. As you see at

17 page 11, in May 1999 some of the questionnaires came

18 back with positive responses. Then at the top of the

19 next page, 12, you will see at this stage relatively

20 late in the history and now nearly two years after the

21 events, Susan McKay gives her account and it is the one

22 we saw yesterday, and note, please, the earlier timings

23 that I mentioned.

24 Moving to July, you will see in the bullet point in

25 the box of 7th July, we have a summary conveniently in

 

 

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1 the ICPC file of the responses from questionnaires. And

2 you will see an attempt being made there -- I am not

3 going to take you to it -- to form a coherent account of

4 what may have happened, and the discrepancies and

5 contradictions are highlighted.

6 Now, sir, moving on to page 15 of the chronology,

7 the investigation took Miss McNally and

8 Chief Inspector Oliver to New York on 9th November. You

9 will see there is a meeting note of their meeting with

10 Mr Lally; if you remember, the American member of the

11 bar. And again, we have seen the statement -- and I am

12 not going to take you to it again -- and by this stage,

13 it's well over two years after the events and so perhaps

14 unsurprising that he said he found it difficult to

15 remember exact specifics; but again, the note which is

16 summarised there in the chronology, about the way in

17 which this witness came across.

18 At the bottom of the page, please note the short

19 statement from Paul Nelson I showed you yesterday, which

20 appears at any rate to add weight to the later timings.

21 If you remember, he said he received a phone call -- I

22 think he said accidentally -- at 6 o'clock and that at

23 that point Rosemary Nelson was agitated and upset.

24 He then offered effectively -- this is the top of

25 the next page -- to do what he could to move the matter

 

 

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1 on. But the next entry I wish to draw to your attention

2 is in June 2000, and it is the report from the Irish

3 police which I showed you yesterday, and you will see

4 a summary there of what the three politicians had

5 reported.

6 Now, sir, if you look at RNI-303-002 (displayed), we

7 will see the report and it goes on to RNI-303-0111, and

8 on the next page of the chronology we have attempted

9 a summary of it. And in the familiar format of these

10 reports, you will see what conclusions were drawn and

11 how the officer went about his reasoning.

12 Can we look at RNI-303, please? There are the

13 details of the incident and of the complaint. Moving

14 on, please, to RNI-303-004 (displayed), the interview

15 with Rosemary Nelson is recited there with the name of

16 the officer who conducted the interview; the fact that

17 there was no medical evidence in support of the

18 complaint is referred to. Next page RNI-303-005, please; here, the

19 list of witnesses. Again, this is all in familiar form

20 and from this page on we get the details -- go to

21 RNI-303-006, please (displayed) -- of the substantial

22 number of police witnesses interviewed.

23 Moving on to RNI-303-007 (displayed), you will see

24 the question of whether there was any police officer

25 interviewed under caution. The answer is: no; the

 

 

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1 difficulty here being, of course, that there were no

2 identified officers.

3 So the next page RNI-303-008, please. Here is the investigating

4 officer's reasoning. He sets out the procedural

5 history. In paragraph 5, it notes that:

6 "Tom Cusack goes beyond Rosemary Nelson's initial

7 allegations."

8 And how that was pursued in the investigation by

9 a statement from one of the inspectors on the scene.

10 Then reference to the questionnaire, one of the officers

11 being on sick leave, and five paragraphs down in the

12 screen:

13 "Police evidence is consistent in that no officer

14 assaulted or witnessed the complainant being assaulted

15 or subjected to verbal abuse."

16 Then reference to the civilian witnesses, and in

17 particular the three senior Irish politicians,

18 describing Rosemary Nelson being treated with

19 incivility, disdain and a distinct lack of respect:

20 "No one can identify any individual officer involved

21 in any wrongdoing. With the exception of Mr Cusack,

22 none of the civilians witnessed the actual assault."

23 Then a reference to the video recordings I have

24 mentioned. If we could go back, please, to the page.

25 Then over to RNI-303-009 (displayed), it says at the

 

 

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1 top:

2 "Both recordings are of little evidential use ...

3 After prolonged and extensive enquiry, and bearing in

4 mind the absence of medical evidence and the lack of the

5 identification of officers involved, I believe that

6 there is insufficient evidence to warrant proceedings

7 against any police officer. Allegations of alleged

8 assault are statute-barred, but nonetheless as a DPP

9 direction was issued in respect of the initial

10 investigation, I recommend that the file be forwarded

11 for information, perusal and comment."

12 As you will see from the chronology, from

13 30th October 2000, the statement of satisfaction under

14 the framework of regulation was issued by the

15 Commission. And turning over to page 19, on

16 19th January the DPP gives its direction, or his

17 direction, I should say:

18 "No prosecution. Insufficient evidence to identify

19 a police assailant or afford reasonable prospect of

20 conviction."

21 Thereafter, the question of disciplinary action is

22 considered and a recommendation made. This is by now

23 2001 -- which is eventually accepted, I think I am right

24 in saying, finally, in February 2002. That is the

25 penultimate box on page 19.

 

 

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1 So, sir, that is a survey of the investigation

2 conducted at something of a gallop, but so far as the

3 substance of this is concerned, and just for a moment

4 putting aside the long and tortuous history of the

5 investigation, one comes back to the events of 6th July.

6 Many of the factors that I mentioned to you in

7 relation to the other complaints will clearly be in your

8 minds as you consider the material and the evidence in

9 relation to this matter. It is now a very long time

10 ago. The events took place against the confused and

11 confusing and tense and often violent background of the

12 protest, the police intervention, the forcing of the

13 march down the road. These were not conditions well

14 suited for precise or detailed accounts or observations

15 and it is, you may therefore think, entirely

16 unsurprising that there is confusion and contradiction

17 in relation to timing, to take just one example.

18 But there is, you may also think, a key difference

19 between this complaint and those we have looked at

20 earlier. They concern, or largely concern, events of

21 which Rosemary Nelson herself was not a direct witness.

22 She was not in the vast majority of cases present when

23 comments were allegedly made in interview. That is the

24 system which then pertained in Northern Ireland. The

25 solicitor was not present. Here, however, and

 

 

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1 obviously, she has spoken at the time, not only in the

2 statement taken by Mr Mageean the next day but also in

3 the interview which was recorded on video and, as we

4 will have seen now, at the time to other individuals,

5 including Jane Winter, of what happened to her, and

6 although I have gone through and attempted to highlight

7 distinctions, differences, changes of emphasis, changes

8 of detail, it may well be that when you look at those

9 directly contemporaneous accounts and the video

10 interview, it is clear that something had made her very

11 upset. And that is what was observed by the sergeant on

12 the police lines and that is what led her to say to

13 camera that she had never been so frightened in her

14 life.

15 Now, for very obvious reasons, that is as far as her

16 evidence on the matter can possibly be taken, but it is,

17 I think, important to bear in mind that point of

18 distinction between this and all of the other complaints

19 that we will be considering during the course of these

20 hearings.

21 Now, sir, that concludes the treatment I wish to

22 give of the complaints. And, sir, as I said earlier,

23 what I would now like to do is to move to another area

24 of investigation. It is another part 1 topic and

25 I mentioned it on the very first morning of the

 

 

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1 hearings. It is the material that we have, in

2 particular in section 1 of part 1 of the bundle, which

3 relates to the three occasions during the last two years

4 of Rosemary Nelson's life when some consideration

5 amounting, in the latter two cases at least, to a threat

6 assessment was given to her safety.

7 Now, sir, in order for that presentation, for what I

8 am about to say, to make sense, I would like to remind

9 you, please, of the relevant issues on our List of

10 Issues. If we could have that up now, please.

11 (Displayed)

12 Thank you. 1, in a sense, pervades all of the

13 matters I have been talking about and will be talking

14 about today. However, of immediate relevance is 2: what

15 threats were made to Rosemary Nelson's personal safety

16 by any persons or organisations. And these important

17 words:

18 "... the nature and extent of and the reasons for

19 such threats.

20 "3. To what extent were the organisations notified

21 or otherwise aware of threats to and concern for

22 Rosemary Nelson's personal safety; including the nature,

23 and the likelihood, of a specific attack."

24 Two points to stress again here: 3 is concerned not

25 only with matters notified but also with those matters

 

 

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1 of which the organisations were otherwise aware.

2 Then can we turn the page, please, to issue 7.

3 Thank you. 6 deals with complaints. That is what we

4 have just been looking at, but 7 is the question of

5 assistance in relation to concerns for safety. 8 is the

6 wide issue I showed you on the first morning, namely

7 what the response was to any knowledge of threats or

8 adverse behaviour, including the investigation. 9 and

9 10 deal with risk assessments, and you will remember

10 what I said about the possible distinction between risk

11 and threat. Then, turning the page, please:

12 "What material was in the possession of or available

13 to the organisations."

14 Then finally the question of what response was

15 given.

16 Now, sir, as I suggested at the outset, in a sense

17 these are the principal matters in issue in part 1.

18 They are not concerned with complaints, they are not

19 essentially about procedures, but with rather simpler,

20 in a sense, and more important questions about

21 safeguarding life. In that sense, they are not, you may

22 think, matters to be confined or pigeon-holed by

23 reference to procedure or protocol.

24 With that in mind, sir, and the terms of those

25 issues very much to the fore, what I am going to do is

 

 

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1 to show you material which deals with this question of

2 what was known to the relevant organisations -- and for

3 these purposes they are the NIO and the RUC on which my

4 attention will be directed -- as a result of the events

5 before and between and leading up to the three

6 assessments or the three moments of consideration

7 themselves. That will mean looking principally at files

8 RNI-101 to RNI-107 of that section 1 of part 1.

9 The purpose clearly is to establish what knowledge

10 of the issues concerning Rosemary Nelson had already

11 been accommodated when the specific task of assessing

12 her personal safety began in each case.

13 That leads to the question which is the extent to

14 which those involved in the assessments took into

15 account that material, took a wider view of the issues

16 before them, or whether by contrast they stuck to

17 a narrow approach and for whatever reason did not raise

18 their heads to consider the wider issues, and to

19 consider matters in the broader context.

20 Now, that applies in particular, of course, to those

21 at the higher end of the relevant organisations who had

22 to consider the reports which came up to them from lower

23 down. However, it also applies, you may think, to those

24 charged with the assessments, as it were, at the

25 coalface and we will in due course have to consider the

 

 

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1 totality of the knowledge of those individuals too. And

2 as you will see and as I hope will be clear from the

3 diagrams we have handed out today, it involves looking

4 at material going down and then up the chain, which we

5 have illustrated with arrows.

6 Sir, there is an important caveat here: in relation

7 to the threat assessment work, the actual assessment on

8 the ground, as it were, was carried out by

9 Special Branch officers and at this stage of the

10 hearings, before the release to the Full Participants of

11 the part 2 bundle, and indeed before the issue or

12 distribution of the relevant Special Branch officer

13 witness statements, it is possible only to consider some

14 of the material which would have been or was known or

15 available to those officers.

16 I put that caveat up firmly at the start, sir,

17 because clearly the position will have to be reviewed

18 and further consideration given to these questions of

19 knowledge, and that won't be possible until we have

20 reached the stage where the bundle and the statements of

21 the relevant witnesses have been disclosed.

22 Now, sir, clearly, having mentioned, as it were, the

23 wide view, the narrow view, it is also important for us

24 to examine the actual procedures -- I think in each case

25 they are called Force Orders -- which were in place and

 

 

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1 in particular to examine whether they permitted on their

2 face such a wider examination, because as with all of

3 the procedures in issue here, the Inquiry is looking at

4 what they were but also whether they, as it were, did

5 the job. So I will show you in the three cases where it

6 seems that the procedures were in fact complied with

7 and, if they were not, where things might have gone

8 wrong.

9 But there is a further area which I am going to open

10 to you, which is by way of comparison. There are, I am

11 going to suggest, useful comparisons to be made with

12 other assessments in relation to other individuals which

13 took place at the same time, and in particular, as

14 I have mentioned already, the work that was done in the

15 context of the Residents Coalition for the two local

16 councillors which took place at exactly the same time as

17 the third threat assessment, or the second threat

18 assessment, the third consideration for Rosemary Nelson,

19 in about August 1998.

20 Now, sir, before we look at the documents, can

21 I show you some slides of the relevant organisations

22 which might help to put the documents in context. Now,

23 this is another of those nerve-racking moments, at least

24 for me, but can we have slide number 1, please,

25 (displayed), which is the RUC force area map. Good.

 

 

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1 Sir, I show you this first for one reason only at

2 this stage, which is to ask you to look, please, at J.

3 You will see that the map shows three regions and then

4 the divisions by letter, and it is J with which we are

5 particularly concerned. And you will see that Portadown

6 was the divisional headquarters and that there were two

7 subdivisional headquarters: Banbridge, but obviously for

8 us the relevant one is Lurgan.

9 Now, moving on to slide 2, as I said before -- this

10 is the RUC organisation chart 1989/1999 -- I think I may

11 have shown you this slide already. As I indicated then

12 and the same applies to all these slides in relation to

13 organisations, we have done what we can on the basis of

14 the material we had. If there are errors, then, of

15 course, we will correct them upon hearing from the Full

16 Participants.

17 So far as we are concerned, the important elements

18 of this chart today are that, on the left, underneath

19 the Chief Constable, you will see the Command

20 Secretariat. I have mentioned it already, but it is

21 with that office that a lot of the relevant

22 communication between the NIO and the RUC took place.

23 Then can I show you, please, the various

24 Assistant Chief Constables, and so far as we are

25 concerned, the relevant one is south region. You will

 

 

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1 see on the left the head of Special Branch.

2 Now, then looking at slide 3, which is uniformed

3 police, late 1990s, we go into a little more detail

4 about the south region, the various divisions. J is the

5 one we are interested in, and there are the subdivisions

6 set out and, again, the two we are particularly

7 concerned with, Lurgan and Portadown.

8 So far as Special Branch is concerned, look at that,

9 please, which is slide 4 (displayed).

10 At this stage, the relevant parts of the

11 organisation are E3, the various desks at headquarters,

12 and we will see material from them in due course. But

13 then in the regional structure under E7 and E8 south,

14 you will see there is a regional head and a deputy, and

15 then under J Division, Lurgan, Portadown and Craigavon.

16 So when I said earlier about the coalface, that is where

17 it is to be found, but as I said, we will see also input

18 into the assessment work from E3.

19 Now, turning to the NIO, could we look, please, at

20 slide 6. (Displayed)

21 Now, this sets out only part of the structure,

22 plainly, and it focuses on the ministers. You will see

23 the senior civil servant, the permanent secretary, in

24 the middle at the bottom. Note that for each of the

25 government ministers, including the Secretary of State,

 

 

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1 there is, as it were, a Belfast side and a London side

2 to the private office, and we will see that repeatedly

3 through the documents.

4 Now, I am hoping that there is another slide behind

5 this (displayed).

6 Yes. My version, part of it, is not very easy to

7 read, but under "Security and Policing" it actually says

8 "Senior Director Belfast/Security Policing Director".

9 Then on the right you will see the political affairs

10 section, and in the documents we are going to look at,

11 the key part is the police division and we have broken

12 that down for you in various boxes under "Head of Police

13 Division".

14 On the right-hand side, under "Head of Police

15 Division, KPPS", and that is something which comes in,

16 as you will remember, to the Drumcree matter in 1998.

17 That is something I will look at a little later. But it

18 is in that context that the contemporaneous assessments

19 of the local councillors took place in August 1998.

20 Now, sir, two reminders, if I may, before we look at

21 the documents. The first is that this material raises

22 in, you may think an acute form, the difficulties which

23 I have mentioned right at the outset: First, that the

24 issues are all interwoven and keep crossing each other

25 and crossing each other again and again as the history

 

 

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1 unfolds. Those connections, the connection between

2 those issues, as we have already seen, were understood

3 and observed, by some at least, at the time.

4 Secondly, this is an area where you may think it is

5 particularly important to bear in mind the danger of

6 getting the issues concerning Rosemary Nelson out of

7 proportion. And therefore it is important to remember

8 that, although I will be showing you some of the files

9 we have put together with those issues in mind, a number

10 of the people, both at the higher end of the

11 organisation and indeed all the way down to the

12 coalface, as I have put it, would have been dealing with

13 a large number of other matters on any one day, some of

14 which at the time might well have appeared to have been

15 as important or perhaps more important.

16 Now, that said, we have already seen material in the

17 last few days that at some moments, it is clear that

18 some of the Rosemary Nelson issues, if I can put it that

19 way, the issues in which she was involved, became issues

20 of genuine political importance. And the example I

21 would give you is the moment where the Commission

22 indicated that it was minded not to issue a statement of

23 satisfaction, and we saw the material that then was

24 generated.

25 Broadly, and on what we have seen so far, they

 

 

25

 

1 appear to have fallen into two categories: the first,

2 issues with an international dimension, and this will be

3 a theme as we go through this material also, and the

4 example I give you is the treatment of defence lawyers

5 and the problems of defence lawyers and the obvious

6 manifestation of international interest, the Special

7 Rapporteur; secondly, those issues which went to the

8 heart of the changing political situation, and again, an

9 example would be the policing questions, not only

10 concerning complaints where the regime didn't have the

11 confidence of those whom Government hoped would use it,

12 but also, perhaps more significant, the Garvaghy Road

13 and the Drumcree negotiations in 1998 and which

14 continued to the time of the murder.

15 Now, what I have done, therefore, in looking at the

16 three moments of consideration is to consider phases

17 which lead up to them and which take place between them

18 so as to trace the accumulation of issues, the

19 accumulation of information between each time.

20 So with that in mind, sir, leading us up to the May

21 assessment, I would like to show you some material which

22 is, I think, earlier than anything we have seen so far

23 and which shows us the genesis of a number of the points

24 we have been considering and will consider. So can we

25 look, please, at RNI-115-001? (Displayed)

 

 

26

 

1 Now, this is another attendance note from

2 Jane Winter and it helps us with, so far as we can see,

3 the earliest date of report by Rosemary Nelson of the

4 problem that became the subject of those complaints,

5 reference to her clients being taken to Gough and some

6 of the comments she was passing on to Jane Winter:

7 "'You do not want her, she is a Provie'. One client

8 was told, 'We will tell Billy Wright your solicitor's

9 address. We will bring him to the house.'"

10 Then various other matters referred to and

11 a connection being made apparently between her work for

12 a client and her organisation of the protest at the

13 Garvaghy Road -- so the connection there being made --

14 and what she thought about it, the slurs on her

15 professionalism and also the connection that she drew

16 between this situation and Pat Finucane, her own

17 position and her children, and these comments in the

18 penultimate sentence:

19 "She recognises that other lawyers have refused to

20 take on contentious work. She says she is feeling quite

21 worried about her own safety just before the

22 ceasefires."

23 That led to a response from Jane Winter, the next

24 page, RNI-115-002 (displayed) and it appears there had

25 been a visit and it deals with what they had obviously

 

 

27

 

1 discussed. She encloses one of the British Irish

2 reports, which we needn't look at, and then sets out

3 what that NGO had been doing in this area and asking

4 her, Rosemary Nelson, that is, to:

5 "... consider making a note of any future abuse you

6 may encounter and perhaps letting us have a copy in

7 strictest confidence. We will not make any use of such

8 material without first obtaining your express permission

9 and would only do so anonymously, even then."

10 Then some comments about how Jane Winter regarded

11 what she was doing and the contrast between

12 Rosemary Nelson's decision to keep on working and that

13 taken by other lawyers, who had chosen, as it is put

14 here:

15 "... not to take contentious cases or not to strive

16 too hard on account of certain clients, and I know that

17 it takes courage to carry on as you have."

18 Sir, this appears to be the beginning of the

19 connection between Rosemary Nelson and British Irish

20 Rights Watch and, as I say, one of the early references

21 to the matters that later developed into complaints.

22 We can see that being taken further forward at

23 RNI-115-101 (displayed), 21st January, because here is

24 Rosemary Nelson writing to Jane Winter:

25 "First of all, I would like to take this opportunity

 

 

28

 

1 wish you a happy New Year ... perhaps you would arrange

2 to contact me in order to discuss a number of matters

3 about which I have been approached, or better still, if

4 in the near future you could perhaps arrange a visit

5 ..."

6 But then before, I think, that took place there was

7 a telephone conversation, RNI-115-102 (displayed), this

8 is a month later, on 18th February:

9 "Lurgan has been under siege for the past week with

10 500 troops searching a single estate. Rosemary Nelson

11 has had six clients in Gough Barracks that week.

12 "Her clients have been reporting an escalating

13 amount of abuse and threats made against her by RUC

14 officers at Gough. Recently, these included threats to

15 get her shot. They also include sexual innuendo

16 regarding supposed activity between herself and her

17 clients during consultations at Gough, which she finds

18 particularly disgusting.

19 "She will be taking statements from her clients

20 about all this. Some dozen clients have reported such

21 remarks to her recently."

22 That prompts a lengthy letter from Jane Winter,

23 first of all, at the same day, 18th February at

24 RNI-115-103 (displayed), which contains her advice on

25 a personal as well as a professional level, about what

 

 

29

 

1 Rosemary Nelson should do, finding herself in the

2 situation described in their telephone conversation.

3 I don't wish to read all of this by any means, but

4 the first comment she makes in the second paragraph is:

5 "Try not to let it get to you on a personal level.

6 Far easier said than done.

7 "But the object of the exercise, as far as they are

8 concerned, is to demoralise and, if possible, frighten

9 you. So your best defence is not to allow that to

10 happen if you can help it. The second thing to say is

11 you are not alone."

12 Then she says that:

13 "Every single defence lawyer I have ever spoken to

14 who has had clients in any of the holding centres has

15 come in for this sort of abuse and threats. What it

16 does mean is that you are not being singled out, which

17 may be some comfort. I regret that it is the case, but

18 the truth is it goes with the territory if you do your

19 kind of work."

20 There, sir, we see the comment of exactly the same

21 kind as those made by members of staff in the office

22 that I showed you last week.

23 Then Jane Winter proposes or suggests that way of

24 looking at the matter in the fourth line:

25 "Generally speaking, so long as the Loyalist

 

 

30

 

1 ceasefire holds, I don't think lawyers are at risk. So

2 far as you yourself are concerned, I think that by doing

3 your job, you are probably more of a threat to RUC

4 officers than you are to Loyalists themselves.

5 Loyalists have their own lawyers, as you know, and

6 understand that Nationalists need theirs.

7 "I believe the RUC's increase in remarks about you

8 are directly related to the fact you have been called

9 out to Gough more often recently, rather than to any

10 concerted plan on their part to get rid of you. Pat's

11 murder was a terrible thing, but I do not believe

12 Loyalists would have targeted him without encouragement

13 or assistance from MI5 and/or the RUC at a high level."

14 Then she points out that there are various options

15 available -- 1, 2 and 3 in the middle of

16 page RNI-115-104 -- and it develops those suggestions in

17 the following paragraphs. And at the bottom of the

18 page, these comments which may be significant, you may

19 think:

20 "If you decide to fight ..."

21 That is option 3, "fight it":

22 "... and I am not assuming you will, then this will

23 be my advice on how to do so effectively:

24 "(a) Record each and every instance of abuse. You

25 don't need to ask clients to make specific statements

 

 

31

 

1 about it, just note down what they say as part of the

2 notes you take when taking their instructions in Gough

3 or in the office. Some lawyers actually ask every

4 client whether remarks have been made about them; others

5 just note it down if the client volunteers the

6 information. Wherever possible, record the name of the

7 officer.

8 "(b) Make a formal complaint to the RUC every time

9 it happens, if you can. You need to decide whether you

10 need your client's permission to do this as you may be

11 breaching their confidentiality. You can use

12 a pro forma letter of complaint and just fill in the

13 details. You should say in your letter that you are

14 copying your letter to us and to Amnesty International.

15 "(c) Keeping copies of all instructions from

16 clients and all letters of complaint together with

17 replies. You will end up with a dossier."

18 Then there are various further suggestions made in,

19 as it were, ascending order of seriousness, remembering

20 that this is the option described as "fight it":

21 "(d) Routinely request in writing to be present

22 during client interviews at Gough."

23 Then two suggested reasons:

24 "When they refuse, issue judicial review

25 proceedings.

 

 

32

 

1 "(f) Make the abuse an issue in the case, which

2 would be mainly about the client's access to his or her

3 solicitor, of course. You would obviously need your

4 client's cooperation for this."

5 Then three further options:

6 "Sue officers for defamation, deliver a dossier to

7 the Law Society and insist they do something about it

8 (better done in cooperation with other lawyers), and

9 finally send copies of your all your complaints to Louis

10 Blom-Cooper."

11 Then a sign-off, quoting, I think, the words of the

12 then Secretary of State.

13 Now, sir, there is, you may think, a good deal in

14 this which informs one's consideration of later events.

15 And it shows us, for example, that in relation to the

16 four LAJI complaints, which concerned clients held at

17 Gough in February, it shows that in the middle of the

18 month there was this discussion between Rosemary Nelson

19 and Jane Winter about what was reported back from a much

20 larger number of clients, about a dozen, I think is the

21 expression used, who were held at that time.

22 But, sir, one final document in this run takes us

23 right into the events with which we are concerned, and

24 that is at RNI-115-106 (displayed), because at this

25 point, long before the Special Rapporteur's visit, the

 

 

33

 

1 issue of Rosemary Nelson, not named at this stage, is

2 drawn to his attention specifically by British Irish

3 Rights Watch. 5th March, in the third paragraph:

4 "We have recently received a complaint from a female

5 solicitor in Northern Ireland concerning very serious

6 death threats and other abuse, some of it sexual in

7 content, levelled at her by RUC officers via the medium

8 of her client.

9 "So serious were these threats that I made a special

10 journey to visit her in order to offer my advice and

11 support. We have also recently received another batch

12 of instructions ..."

13 Then there is a reference to another firm, saying:

14 "It would seem, therefore, that there is plenty for

15 you to investigate."

16 Turning over to the next page, RNI-115-108

17 (displayed), the Special Rapporteur expresses his

18 interest the next day and asks for the details of the

19 very serious death threats on the female solicitor to be

20 provided to him.

21 Sir, that is, as it were, what is going on in the

22 background and it leads to Mr Cumaraswamy's letter

23 announcing his intention to visit Northern Ireland on

24 4th April at RNI-105--006 (displayed). Thank you. I am

25 afraid this isn't a very good copy.

 

 

34

 

1 You can see from the second paragraph that, although

2 we don't have the correspondence in the bundle, I am

3 afraid, there was an earlier exchange with the British

4 Ambassador at the UN about the possibility of a visit

5 and the Government's acceptance in principle of his

6 request.

7 But this is the letter in which the Rapporteur

8 outlines the allegations which concern him and which

9 became the focus of his visit. And 1 is:

10 "Consistent reports of alleged systemic abuse of

11 defence lawyers. Reports of similar abuse, though to

12 a lesser degree, in England. More recently there has

13 been reported increase of such abuses in

14 Northern Ireland associated with an increase in arrests.

15 "Concern over a number of provisions restricting

16 access; I have mentioned this already, the emergency

17 legislation.

18 "Concern with the absence of safeguards to prevent

19 abuse of lawyers. Video and audio recording ..."

20 Again, an issue with which we are familiar. And

21 then the issue of Patrick Finucane, and at 5 he

22 expressly mentions the emergency legislation absence of

23 jury, lower threshold for admissibility, et cetera.

24 What we can then trace in the bundle is the

25 reaction, unsurprisingly, which this receives in

 

 

35

 

1 Government because, of course, the relevant preparations

2 for a visit which may not have been entirely welcome

3 have to be put in train. And we will see in due course

4 how the Special Rapporteur continues to raise matters

5 with the Ambassador, which then passed through Foreign

6 Office channels to the NIO, about which information is

7 sought from the RUC in a lot of cases which then works

8 its way back up that particular chain so that answers

9 can be given to him.

10 Looking at the immediate background to the

11 consideration given in May, can we look, please, at

12 RNI-101-008 (displayed) and we will see that this is the

13 familiar letter from Mr Lynch. We have seen it already

14 and we have seen what happened to it. The thrust of the

15 letter was that Rosemary Nelson had been the subject of

16 death threats, and you will remember the story was that

17 the RUC intended to treat it as a criminal matter,

18 perhaps unsurprisingly, but in fact it was in due course

19 dealt with as a complaint, and that became the LAJI

20 complaint which we have seen.

21 Now, I am not going to take you through all of the

22 material dealing with that again, you will be relieved

23 to hear, but the next letter which comes from the

24 United States, which did work its way through the two

25 systems of the NIO and the RUC, is the Torricelli

 

 

36

 

1 letter, 15th April, which again we have seen before and

2 it is at RNI-101-022 (displayed).

3 It contains, as you remember, very familiar phrases,

4 familiar to us from Mr Lynch's letter, and its substance

5 is the same:

6 "Mrs Nelson has indicated she has received several

7 threats against her life and officers have stated during

8 the course of their investigations that Mrs Nelson's

9 life was threatened. Though the threats were not made

10 directly, they had been terrifying nonetheless.

11 Initially, she believed these threats to be an attempt

12 to intimidate her from working on behalf of various

13 clients. As a result, she dismissed them as trivial

14 matters which would not be acted upon. However, these

15 threats have recently become more insistent and ominous,

16 causing Mrs Nelson to fear for her safety:"

17 Note that he asks the Attorney to consider

18 instituting a criminal investigation in relation to this

19 and the threats received by other solicitors in similar

20 situations, and he makes the point, which Mr Lynch had

21 also made, that:

22 "In this case, it may not be appropriate to rely

23 upon the RUC to investigate one of its own members."

24 What I would like to do is to show you what happens

25 to this letter in the internal systems before looking at

 

 

37

 

1 what was done by way of consideration of

2 Rosemary Nelson's safety. Can we look, please, at

3 RNI-101-019, please, first of all. (Displayed)

4 Now, this is a memorandum within the NIO, made

5 perhaps a little more difficult to read and understand

6 by the redactions which have burst on the page, but here

7 is a summary of the letter from the Senator, sent on by

8 the Ambassador, and it says:

9 "The letter refers to a number of alleged claims

10 that, because of the clients they represent, Mrs Nelson

11 and some of her fellow solicitors have been the victims

12 of discrimination and harassment during the past several

13 months."

14 Then it says that the Senator requests the Attorney

15 General be asked to investigate these claims. So

16 already, sir, in the summary of this letter, you will

17 see that it has, if I can put it this way, been

18 flattened out.

19 The reference in the Senator's letter to death

20 threats and to the fact that having been regarded by

21 Mrs Nelson as something just to be dealt with, as it

22 were, or indeed, as he put it, "trivial matters", there

23 had been an increase in them, they had recently become

24 more insistent and ominous, causing Mrs Nelson to fear

25 for her safety.

 

 

38

 

1 Clearly, those who received the letter could read it

2 for themselves and work out what it actually said, but

3 this is something that we will see as a repeated pattern

4 in this material: that the substance of the letter is

5 not addressed head-on, that a letter alleging X is

6 treated as a letter alleging Y, or more regularly, as

7 a complaint about Z. And that is why I posed the

8 question right at the outset of my submissions about

9 this tension between treating things as a complaint when

10 in fact they are, or appear to be, a threat.

11 Now, I am just going to follow this on. It then

12 gets to the police division within the NIO at

13 RNI-101-018 (displayed), and a letter issues from the

14 division.

15 "Treat official" I said before is the way in which

16 correspondence which could be answered by and dealt with

17 by civil servants as opposed to ministers is referred

18 to, and two letters are passed on. And the first is the

19 one we are dealing with.

20 No comment is made, but the letter at RNI-101-022

21 (displayed) and the memorandum I have just shown you at

22 RNI-101-023 are passed on.

23 Now, what also happens at this stage is that the

24 civil servant passes on the Torricelli letter to the

25 Independent Commission for Police Complaints, and that

 

 

39

 

1 is RNI-101-018. That is the wrong reference, I am

2 afraid. Perhaps we can try RNI-202-039 (displayed).

3 Yes, there it is, sorry about that. So it goes on

4 the same day both to the Commission and to the RUC at

5 the Command Secretariat.

6 In following the matter through from the NIO

7 perspective, can we look, please, at RNI-101-026,

8 (displayed), because this, some three weeks later, is,

9 as it were, a chaser. Correspondence from

10 Senator Torricelli:

11 "Further to my telephone call of last week, this is

12 written confirmation of my request for further

13 information in relation to the above treat official

14 correspondence."

15 And one infers, therefore, that by this stage, two

16 weeks later, nothing had been heard by way of response:

17 "Can you please let me know if the police have

18 discussed with Mrs Nelson anything to do with her

19 personal protection in light of what the Senator refers

20 to as threats, which have recently become more insistent

21 and ominous, causing Mrs Nelson to fear for her safety."

22 So this official at least, you may think, has read

23 the letter and has understood what is at its heart,

24 namely the question of Rosemary Nelson's safety. And so

25 the issue raised fair and square in this chaser to the

 

 

40

 

1 Command Secretariat is about Rosemary Nelson's safety.

2 Now, what thereafter happens, we can see at

3 RNI-101-025 (displayed), because the memo we have just

4 seen and the correspondence from Torricelli is passed on

5 to G Department, in other words, the Complaints and

6 Discipline Department, and it says:

7 "Your advice would be appreciated, please."

8 Now, what is then done at their end appears at

9 RNI-101-030 (displayed), 29th May, and this is addressed

10 to the Chief Superintendent at Command Secretariat, so

11 the office of the Chief Constable. And he says that he

12 has a report to forward with copies of the relevant

13 correspondence and sets it out. And all the things

14 I have now shown you are brought together; so the LAJI

15 letter, the Torricelli letter in very similar terms and

16 the memorandum asking the question about Rosemary Nelson

17 and advice about her protection and security.

18 But the focus of this note, as you can see, is about

19 the investigation, because, of course, by this stage,

20 the LAJI complaints had begun their long history and

21 already there had been attempts to hold interview with

22 Rosemary Nelson, but in fact no interview had taken

23 place. And you will see that the author of this

24 memorandum draws a conclusion from that, i.e.:

25 "It would appear that the authors of the letters

 

 

41

 

1 ..."

2 That is Mr Lynch and Senator Torricelli, one infers,

3 as opposed to the civil servant in the

4 Northern Ireland Office:

5 "... seem to be reading more into the alleged

6 threats than Mrs Nelson or ourselves. We'd hope that

7 whoever has the information to support the Senator's

8 contention that these threats have recently become more

9 insistent and ominous, will come forward for interview

10 by the investigating officer."

11 He then turns to the business of what should be said

12 in response, and he says:

13 "I suggest the Northern Ireland Office be made aware

14 of the fact that Mrs Nelson has, to date, ignored

15 requests to come forward for interview in this ICPC

16 supervised investigation. They should perhaps be

17 informed that apart from what has been stated in the

18 Senator's letter, we have presently no evidence to

19 support the contention that the threats have recently

20 become more insistent and ominous, causing Mrs Nelson to

21 fear for her safety."

22 So, sir, this is a memorandum from G Department,

23 which, perhaps unsurprisingly, deals with G Department's

24 take on matters, namely with the issues about the

25 complaint and the fact that it had not been possible to

 

 

42

 

1 progress it as a result of Mrs Nelson's non-attendance

2 for interview.

3 However, that isn't the whole of the memorandum,

4 because in the second paragraph, the officer, the

5 superintendent, does address wider issues and indeed

6 draws a conclusion from the non-cooperation with the

7 complaint that in fact there may be less to this, as it

8 were, than meets the eye.

9 What he does not do -- and again, this is perhaps

10 unsurprising given his role -- is to address the matters

11 raised in the two letters and, more immediately in the

12 memorandum from the NIO, head-on. They are not dealt

13 with in that sense at all. There is no response to the

14 question about what advice should be given to her.

15 Now, what happens to it? At RNI-101-031

16 (displayed), we can see, because the same officer

17 forwards the material that we have now looked at from

18 the United States and from the NIO to the local

19 subdivisional commander, under the heading "Alleged

20 Death Threats by RUC". And it seems that he spoke to

21 the deputy, a Chief Inspector, the day before -- that is

22 on 28th May. They obviously discussed the matter. He

23 says:

24 "As agreed, I forward herewith copy letters to

25 enable you to consider what action, if any, is required

 

 

43

 

1 regarding the security or safety of Mrs Nelson. It

2 would seem that the murder of Pat Finucane, solicitor,

3 has prompted others to specifically raise the security

4 aspect."

5 Then he returns to the subject matter of the

6 complaint and says that she has ignored correspondence:

7 "We in G Department presently have no information

8 over and above that contained in the letters."

9 And then the investigating officer is writing to

10 seek an interview. The final sentence is perhaps

11 important:

12 "The investigating officer is available to provide

13 any information to enable Special Branch or others to

14 assess the threat."

15 Now, this is, therefore, the first reference at this

16 stage to the possibility at least that there would be

17 a full, proper assessment under the procedures which, as

18 I have indicated, would be in the ordinary course

19 conducted by Special Branch.

20 It follows, therefore, you may think at this point,

21 that if the issue of safety, the substance of the

22 original letters, is still alive in the chain of

23 correspondence, it is alive at Lurgan with the

24 subdivisional commander or, as it appears at any rate,

25 his deputy.

 

 

44

 

1 Now, you will also see that the memorandum, this one

2 we are looking at on the screen, is copied to the

3 superintendent at Gough, and we know from the evidence

4 that he was, as it were, the local team leader for

5 G Department based there at Gough Barracks. And we have

6 a statement from him dealing with these events.

7 We also have a statement from the Chief Inspector,

8 and we hope in due course to have a statement from the

9 subdivisional commander himself. Because that hasn't

10 been signed and issued to the Full Participants yet, I

11 can't take you to any passages in it and we will stick,

12 if we may, in relation to him, with the documents.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Would that be a convenient moment?

14 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, so sorry. Yes, it would.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Shortly before 12 o'clock.

16 (11.42 am)

17 (Short break)

18 (11.57 am)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

20 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, we had got to the point where the matter

21 had gone from G Department, from Complaints and

22 Discipline, to the subdivisional commander. And if you

23 remember, at RNI-101-031, if we can just look at that,

24 please (displayed), a conversation had taken place with

25 the deputy, and I indicated what the situation was in

 

 

45

 

1 terms of statements.

2 The deputy has given us a statement and will be

3 giving evidence about it. However, what he has to say

4 on this particular matter is put at a general level.

5 Can we just take a look at a couple of paragraphs,

6 please -- RNI-841-135 (displayed) is the reference --

7 and the threat assessments. It is all on the general

8 and hypothetical, rather than the specific and

9 particular:

10 "I have been asked to comment what I would have done

11 if I received information about a threat. This would

12 depend on where it came from. If I believed I was the

13 first person to receive it, I would refer it on to

14 Special Branch and Security Branch. If I thought they

15 already knew about, I would still check with Special

16 Branch and Security Branch to ensure sure they

17 definitely did know about it.

18 "Anybody could provide information which could

19 impact upon a threat assessment. Security Branch would

20 act as coordinator and they'd investigate the threat

21 along with Special Branch."

22 Just pausing there, this is where the distinction

23 may come in that I mentioned right at the outset between

24 threat on the one hand, and risk. The way it is put in

25 the statements is that the Security Branch dealt with

 

 

46

 

1 risk in particular in relation to the KPPS system, as

2 you will hear. They were the people who assessed risk

3 in a particular case; Special Branch were the people who

4 did the threat assessments, as we understand it:

5 "If I had any information which would impact upon

6 a threat assessment, I would supply it."

7 Then just going over the page to RNI-841-136:

8 "However, I would not have constructed a threat

9 assessment. It would be constructed by an individual

10 within the Security Branch with the assistance of those

11 providing information, including Special Branch."

12 As I say, the evidence on these points is not all of

13 a piece; there are all sorts of versions of what may or

14 may not have happened. Our understanding from the

15 totality of the evidence we have seen and gathered is

16 that it was Special Branch who did the assessment, and

17 we will see in the later two cases that that is what

18 happened.

19 So, so far as the evidence and material at the

20 subdivisional commander's level is concerned, we have

21 nothing in writing indicating what action, if any, was

22 taken locally. As you can see, no great light is thrown

23 on that matter by this particular statement. So, so far

24 as this issue of local advice or steps to be taken in

25 relation to Rosemary Nelson's safety, that is the sum

 

 

47

 

1 total of it.

2 Now, looking at what happened to the memorandum at

3 RNI-101-030, can we look, please, at RNI-101-036

4 (displayed) where we will see it having come back up the

5 chain. So that is RNI-101-036. Now we are into June.

6 This is the response which goes from the secretariat out

7 to the civil servant, whose document we saw earlier:

8 "Refer to your correspondence of the 30th April ..."

9 That reference may turn out to be important:

10 "I can now advise that you that Mrs Nelson has, to

11 date, ignored requests to come forward for interview in

12 this ICPC supervised investigation. Apart from what has

13 been stated in the USA Senator's letters, we have

14 presently no evidence to support the contention that the

15 threats 'have recently become more consistent and

16 ominous, causing Mrs Nelson to fear for her safety'.

17 "Perhaps Senator Torricelli would ask Mrs Nelson to

18 make contact with the investigating officer Complaints

19 and Discipline ..."

20 He then gives the details:

21 "... to enable her complaints to be fully

22 investigated. I trust this information is of some

23 assistance to you."

24 You will see, I hope, immediately, sir, that this

25 letter is addressed to one of the two documents

 

 

48

 

1 emanating from the NIO that we have seen. It deals only

2 with the "treat official" letter of 30th April,

3 enclosing the Senator's letter; it does not address and

4 does not deal with the memorandum from the same civil

5 servant chasing the matter and raising concerns -- and

6 raising the question about Rosemary Nelson's safety and

7 security.

8 Now, the pace of the correspondence does not heat up

9 because it is in fact about a month later that the

10 information makes its way to the other official in the

11 NIO, who raised the issue, if you remember, now some

12 months before. And that, we can see in the bundle at

13 a page reference which I can't at the moment find, I am

14 afraid. Perhaps we can look for that.

15 What you will see, when we find it, is that there is

16 simply passed on to the other official within the NIO

17 the information provided by Command Secretariat to the

18 effect that in the complaints investigation

19 Rosemary Nelson was not cooperating. And so in the

20 NIO's own internal response, therefore, the same

21 confusion, or the same partial treatment of the issues,

22 continues. And it is that information which

23 eventually -- and by now we are near the end of July --

24 makes its way from the British Ambassador to

25 Senator Torricelli. And we can see that at RNI-113-030

 

 

49

 

1 (displayed):

2 "Dear Senator Torricelli, in my letter of 20th May

3 ..."

4 So there appears to be an interim letter which we

5 don't have, I am afraid:

6 "... responding to yours of 15th April ..."

7 That is the original Torricelli letter:

8 "... I reported that the Independent Commission for

9 Police Complaints had started a formal investigation of

10 the complainant of harassment lodged by

11 Miss Rosemary Nelson, a solicitor in Northern Ireland,

12 whose case you had drawn to my attention.

13 "With a view to keeping you in the picture, I have

14 enquired about the progress of the investigation and it

15 transpires that the Commission are having great

16 difficulty in pursuing it. Mrs Nelson has so far

17 ignored all suggestions for a meeting. Complaints like

18 hers are taken very seriously, but the Independent

19 Commission cannot proceed without her help and she seems

20 reluctant to provide it.

21 "If Mrs Nelson is still in touch with you and still

22 wants her complaint investigated, could you ask her to

23 contact the investigating officer."

24 One observes at this stage that this is the second

25 time that this happy suggestion about contact has been

 

 

50

 

1 made. There is in fact nothing in the Senator's

2 original letter to suggest that he was at any point in

3 contact with Rosemary Nelson, and indeed the matters

4 about which he expressed concern had arisen in that way.

5 You may think from the similarity of terminology between

6 his letter and Mr Lynch's letter, and from other

7 examples we have seen in which Mr Lynch forwarded

8 correspondence, statements, to other elected officials,

9 in that case to Mr Hyde, the Chairman of Congress, that

10 it may be that the source of the Torricelli letter was

11 not Rosemary Nelson, but rather Mr Lynch.

12 Now, we have found the NIO memorandum. Sorry for

13 the confusion. It is at RNI-105-036 (displayed).

14 This is the 8th July, and she says:

15 "Police division provided part input to your minute,

16 requesting a line to take ... at the time, I said that I

17 had asked the RUC to detail any action they might have

18 taken in relation to Mrs Nelson's personal protection in

19 light of the alleged threats against her life."

20 So certainly in this memorandum, the civil servant

21 has not forgotten her own point passed on to Command

22 Secretariat. Then she says:

23 "They have only recently provided a response. You

24 may, at this very late stage, think that the issue is

25 dead in the water or, alternatively, you may well take

 

 

51

 

1 the view that it is still worth providing a follow-up

2 reply on this single issue."

3 The reader, therefore, might be expecting that what

4 is to follow is a follow-up reply on the single issue,

5 namely what action the RUC might have taken in relation

6 to Mrs Nelson's personal protection in the light of the

7 alleged threats against her life.

8 But such a reader would be disappointed, because

9 paragraph 3 and paragraph 4 are the familiar paragraphs

10 we have now seen in the letter from the Ambassador

11 dealing with the complaints, dealing with the question

12 of evidence to support the contention and with the

13 suggestion about contact.

14 But the memorandum continues over the page at

15 RNI-105-037 (displayed), paragraph 5:

16 "It is highly unlikely that Mrs Nelson will

17 cooperate, but at least from the point of view of

18 informing the Senator, we can take the line that the

19 police are taking the issue seriously and the onus is on

20 Mrs Nelson to cooperate.

21 "I would be grateful if you could let me know if you

22 are going to run with this or not."

23 As we have now discovered, the decision was taken to

24 run with it.

25 So the matter ends, therefore, because this is the

 

 

52

 

1 end of this passage, with a concentration in terms of

2 the substance of response, on the complaints side of

3 matters and suggestions are being made which the writer

4 believes are unlikely to be taken up because there won't

5 be cooperation, but it will, as it were, at least show

6 that the police are taking the issue seriously.

7 Now, on the question of taking the issue seriously,

8 in conclusion on this episode, there was no threat

9 assessment, it did not take place; we could not know and

10 have seen no documentation showing what other steps, if

11 any, were taken locally.

12 Although it may be a matter we can advance in the

13 evidence in due course, looking at the record, that is

14 the sum total of it and that is why, in introducing all

15 this, I draw a distinction between what happened on this

16 occasion and the subsequent occasions.

17 What is the context for all of this? Well, we can

18 see the relevant Force Order at RNI-101-001 (displayed).

19 This was the Force Order brought in July 1991 and in

20 force at this time and, as we will hear, until, I think,

21 March 1998.

22 It begins:

23 "1. When a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary

24 or Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve learns of a threat

25 to the life of any person, details of the threat will be

 

 

53

 

1 passed forthwith to the local Special Branch."

2 Now, what we then see at page RNI-101-004

3 (displayed), 7 -- because the previous paragraphs I

4 am not taking you to concern other categories of persons

5 such as police officers and officials of one kind or

6 another, including judges, other members of the security

7 forces. We are looking at other persons:

8 "Local Special Branch concerned will inform the

9 subdivisional commander in whose area the subject

10 resides and works and the subdivisional commander will

11 take whatever action he considers necessary.

12 "The local Special Branch will also inform

13 Special Branch headquarters, E3 ..."

14 The department I showed you earlier in the chart:

15 "... and the latter will pass the details to E1

16 security."

17 Looking at that, therefore, for whatever reason it

18 appears that local Special Branch do not appear to have

19 been informed by any of the officers involved up and

20 down the chain.

21 The issue of safety, as we have seen, has a brief

22 life in the course of the correspondence, but again, no

23 local action of any kind, as far as we can tell, was

24 taken to deal with it.

25 There is a curious postscript to this episode, which

 

 

54

 

1 comes in the report dated 28th July, from the

2 investigating officer of the LAJI complaint. Can we

3 look, please, at RNI-206-010? (Displayed)

4 Could you enlarge that, please?

5 We have seen this paragraph before in the LAJI

6 complaint. This was the report compiled at a stage when

7 there had been no cooperation at all and when the

8 investigating officer was seeking dispensation in the

9 LAJI matter.

10 For present purposes, the relevant sentences are the

11 last two, because he says:

12 "... for all the familiar reasons that

13 a satisfactory investigation is not possible."

14 And then adds this:

15 "Nevertheless, senior officers in CID and the

16 subdivisional commander, Lurgan, have been informed of

17 the allegations. A threat assessment has been made and

18 appropriate action taken."

19 Now, that is a somewhat surprising series of

20 comments for various reasons. First, as far as we can

21 tell, the information passed on to the subdivisional

22 commander did not include, other than in the very

23 general terms set out in the Lynch and Torricelli

24 letter, the particular allegations. It may be, however,

25 that at this stage the investigating officer only had

 

 

55

 

1 that material on which to proceed. It is important to

2 mention that.

3 But more puzzling still is the final sentence:

4 "A threat assessment has been made and appropriate

5 action taken."

6 Because, as I have pointed out to you, as far as we

7 have been able to establish, there was no threat

8 assessment undertaken; indeed, no relevant comment made

9 about the issue of safety and indeed, instead, a focus

10 on complaints.

11 This investigating officer will be giving evidence

12 to you, but I would like to show you, please,

13 a paragraph in his statement in which he deals with this

14 question and this particular comment. It is at

15 RNI-840-012, paragraph 32 (displayed). We need, please,

16 to enlarge that paragraph.

17 He refers to the comments we have just looked at and

18 says he can't now recall who the senior officers were:

19 "... that I informed about the allegations."

20 He says that those individuals would have been aware

21 of them, and the Chief Inspector there referred to is

22 the one we saw as having a conversation with the

23 superintendent in Complaints and Discipline:

24 "It would probably have been mentioned to them in

25 passing, as I often called into their office. It would

 

 

56

 

1 not have been a detailed conversation about it. All we

2 knew at the time was that threats had allegedly been

3 made."

4 That is the point I made earlier:

5 "We did not know when, to whom, by whom and so on.

6 With regard to my comment that a threat assessment had

7 been made, I meant that we assessed what we were told by

8 Mr Lynch in our own minds. I am not aware as to whether

9 or not Special Branch carried out a threat assessment on

10 Mrs Nelson.

11 "Having notified CID and the subdivisional commander

12 in Lurgan of the allegations, I would have left it up to

13 them as to what action should be taken. I would not

14 have been involved in or aware of any action that was

15 taken".

16 I should point out for clarity that the

17 superintendent there referred to, who I think is also

18 a witness in the Inquiry, took over from the

19 subdivisional commander to whom the memorandum we have

20 seen was addressed in, we think, October

21 or November 1997. So in fact he would not have been in

22 post at the time of the memorandum we looked at a little

23 earlier, which shows of course, not that this officer

24 spoke to the deputy, but rather that the superintendent

25 who made the memorandum had done so. And I think I am

 

 

57

 

1 right in saying that there is no equivalent memorandum

2 or note in the file which shows this officer from

3 Complaints and Discipline speaking to those individuals

4 at the relevant time for us, which is of course

5 not October and November 1997, but May.

6 Now, sir, so that is the May consideration, and

7 returning to the material coming into the two

8 organisations, in our chronology we have already seen

9 the main event in the next month, which is when the

10 murder of the two police officers in Lurgan took

11 place, June 1996, which was followed by the arrest of

12 Colin Duffy. And I have taken you -- and won't again --

13 to the considerable amount of correspondence, including

14 with the Secretary of State, with NGO involvement, with

15 others, including Mr Lynch, which was generated in the

16 aftermath of that arrest.

17 We have seen contact with the Irish and the notes

18 passing from them to the British side, to the

19 secretariat and the responses being given. Again,

20 I don't wish to take you to the documents, but in

21 looking at the accumulation of material concerning

22 Rosemary Nelson, at her profile, as it were, so far as

23 these organisations is concerned, that is the next event

24 of significance.

25 You will remember it includes the letter of

 

 

58

 

1 14th July 1997, in which the Secretary of State herself

2 wrote to Rosemary Nelson saying "we spoke about the case

3 of Colin Duffy and I undertook to write to the

4 Chief Constable about it"; all of that going on, as you

5 remember, while the criminal proceedings were in train.

6 That was then followed, as you remember, by further

7 interventions from the United States of America and

8 further developments -- again, I am not going to show

9 you all of them by any means -- relating to the LAJI and

10 other supervised complaints, because of course, the

11 Duffy/Nelson complaints in relation to that arrest

12 joined what became the Mulvihill group, they having been

13 made at the time of detention at the end of June 1997.

14 But, sir, can I just show you some of the material

15 towards the end of that period, which we haven't, I

16 think, yet seen. At RNI-105-055 first, please

17 (displayed).

18 This is a letter from the NIO, indeed from the same

19 civil servant whose correspondence we have just looked

20 at, in the police division, addressed to Command

21 Secretariat. The heading is the heading of the

22 material, the correspondence we have seen earlier.

23 Although the focus of it had been, as you remember, on

24 the complaints side of things, the title of the

25 correspondence remains "Alleged Death Threats by RUC":

 

 

59

 

1 "Rosemary Nelson's name has been very much in the

2 news lately, not least in connection with the

3 Colin Duffy case who is on remand having been charged

4 with the murders of two police officers in Lurgan on

5 16th June.

6 "I understand that the ICPC are supervising the

7 investigation into a complaint involving

8 Rosemary Nelson. I am currently dealing with a number

9 of letters ..."

10 Those are the letters from the NGOs, from abroad,

11 that I have shown you:

12 "... about the complaint and should be grateful for

13 the clarification on a number of points involving this

14 case."

15 Then there are a series of questions about the

16 investigation and this then, sir, which is the side of

17 the correspondence I haven't stressed to this point,

18 shows what happened during the period between now and

19 the end of 1998, in which questions, requests for

20 information, were passing from parts of the NIO, often

21 from the police division for perhaps obvious reasons, in

22 relation to correspondence which came in to the

23 department, which would then be allocated for answer,

24 for draft replies, to various parts of the department,

25 and the police division in particular would look to the

 

 

60

 

1 Command Secretariat and the officers there for their

2 responses.

3 They aren't the only people to whom the civil

4 servants sent requests, and you will see at RNI-105-057

5 (displayed) in the same bundle that the request went out

6 also to the Commission for their updates.

7 Into the middle of this, as it were, local series of

8 exchanges, there steps the Special Rapporteur at

9 RNI-105-061 (displayed). Now, this, sir, I would

10 suggest, is a letter of some importance on this

11 particular issue we are considering now.

12 Bear in mind that we have already seen him setting

13 up his visit. There is a huge amount of material in the

14 bundle at the NIO end, dealing with the arrangements

15 which were put in place. It took place eventually

16 towards the end of October. But at this point, on

17 1st August, he intervenes and intervenes specifically in

18 relation to Rosemary Nelson. You remember, her case had

19 been drawn to his attention by Jane Winter in March of

20 that year.

21 Can we just go straight to, and enlarge, please,

22 paragraph 1:

23 "According to information which I recently received,

24 it is alleged that lawyer, Rosemary Nelson, has been the

25 victim of numerous death threats due to her activities

 

 

61

 

1 as a lawyer.

2 "Mrs Nelson represents Colin Duffy, who is charged

3 with the murder of two Royal Ulster Constabulary

4 officers. In connection with her representation of

5 Colin Duffy, Mrs Nelson has reportedly been denied the

6 opportunity to be present when her client was being

7 interviewed and interrogated by the police and the

8 opportunity to present to the RUC her client's alibi

9 statement at the time that he was charged. It is

10 further alleged that Colin Duffy was charged without the

11 presence of Mrs Nelson despite her request to be

12 present.

13 "In addition, the source also reported that

14 Detective Constable [P121] had stated to Colin Duffy

15 that he was guilty of committing the crime and that

16 Rosemary Nelson was very proud of him for committing

17 those crimes. Concerns were expressed by the source

18 that Mrs Nelson was being associated with the cause

19 attributed to her client by the RUC."

20 Then over the page at RNI-105-062, he then deals

21 with the Garvaghy Road complaint, again in some detail,

22 and we have there the substance of the allegation as it

23 obviously was at that stage, 1st August, in the fourth

24 line:

25 "According to the source, at approximately 3.30 on

 

 

62

 

1 the 5th ..."

2 Now, we have seen a lot of material which suggests

3 it was the 6th. It may be that that is bad

4 photocopying:

5 "Mrs Nelson was summoned to the Garvaghy Road after

6 the RUC had amassed officers to seal off that area. The

7 source alleges that Mrs Nelson attempted to communicate

8 with an RUC officer, but was verbally and physically

9 abused. The source further alleges that an RUC officer

10 spat on Mrs Nelson's face and accused her of being

11 a Fenian sympathiser. Mrs Nelson was also allegedly

12 struck on the back of her head with a police riot shield

13 when she intervened a the behalf a boy who was being

14 ill-treated by an RUC officer."

15 That was the second allegation in her statement of

16 7th July, if you remember, given to Paul Mageean:

17 "Following these assaults, Mrs Nelson was reportedly

18 bruised throughout her body. According to the source,

19 the RUC's ill-treatment of Mrs Nelson stems from her

20 legal representation of the Garvaghy Road Residents

21 Coalition and her public affirmation of Colin Duffy's

22 innocence."

23 So sir, just pausing there, I haven't taken you to

24 the circumstance in which these matters were drawn to

25 the Rapporteur's attention, but it is plain, you may

 

 

63

 

1 think, that they were. So this obviously puts the

2 matter on to a completely different footing, because

3 this comes from the United Nations, it addresses the

4 very specific allegations in relation to the Duffy

5 arrest and comments allegedly made and the

6 Garvaghy Road, but it is not done in accordance with the

7 complaints or indeed any other procedure, and the

8 concerns are expressed by somebody who has the power and

9 has exercised the power to pay a visit to the

10 United Kingdom, in this case to Northern Ireland, in

11 order to conduct his mission.

12 So it is an intervention of a completely different

13 order, you may think, to those letters and other

14 communications, for example, from the NGOs:

15 "I am concerned about the allegations thus far

16 received. If true, the alleged acts would substantially

17 impinge on the independence of Mrs Nelson's profession

18 as a lawyer. In this regard, I would like to refer your

19 government to the following principles set forth in the

20 United Nations basic principles."

21 I mentioned those earlier:

22 "I would appreciate a response from your government

23 to the allegations made and the steps taken thereon

24 within the course of the next one month."

25 So as the terms of the letter show, this is not

 

 

64

 

1 a request for some comment by a local superintendent or

2 by somebody at Complaints and Discipline or even from

3 the RUC itself. This is a request or in fact a demand,

4 as it is put, by an official of the United Nations, for

5 a response from the Government, and indeed it includes

6 a time limit "during the course of the next one month".

7 So in my submission, it is absolutely clear that

8 this intervention raises the stakes with government,

9 with the NIO in particular, which is on the sharp end of

10 all of this, at this point, the beginning

11 of August 1997.

12 Now, we can see what then happens to it. It is

13 taken up by the Foreign Office, as you would expect, at

14 RNI-105-060 (displayed), and paragraph 1, containing

15 allegations made against HMG relating to Rosemary Nelson

16 of Northern Ireland, and a request for a draft reply.

17 We can see at RNI-105-063 (displayed) that in the

18 meanwhile, the preparations are being made for his

19 visit, in the second paragraph. The suggestion is being

20 made it would take place at the end of September. In

21 fact, it was put back, as I have said to you, by a few

22 weeks until the end of month.

23 This letter, then, from Mr Cumaraswamy is then

24 pushed through from the NIO to the Command Secretariat,

25 and we see that at RNI-101-058 (displayed), 26th August:

 

 

65

 

1 "Dear Superintendent, independence of judges and

2 lawyers."

3 That is the heading given by Mr Cumaraswamy to his

4 letter:

5 "I attach a copy of a letter received from the

6 UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and

7 lawyers. The letter details allegations made by

8 Rosemary Nelson concerning her treatment by the RUC.

9 "The Special Rapporteur, Mr Cumaraswamy, is due to

10 visit Northern Ireland towards the end of September, and

11 as I understand it, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

12 have undertaken to reply to this letter prior to his

13 visit commencing.

14 "In order to meet their deadline, I would be

15 grateful for your advice on how to reply by close of

16 play on 9th September."

17 You can see that the Foreign Office have already

18 taken to themselves a little extra time in order to

19 answer the letter. There are various notes at the

20 bottom of the page in handwriting and somebody has

21 jotted down a few particulars here arising out of the

22 Cumaraswamy letter.

23 Now, at the same time coming into the

24 Northern Ireland Office was strong letter from

25 Amnesty International, and we can see that at

 

 

66

 

1 RNI-105-075 (displayed).

2 It is addressed to the Secretary of State herself

3 and it begins with reference to the Duffy case. I am

4 not going to read most of the letter, but it deals at

5 the bottom of the page, the penultimate and final

6 paragraphs, with the now familiar alleged complaints

7 concerning his treatment and detention. Amnesty sets

8 out their case on RNI-105-076 (displayed) and then the

9 comment in the middle of that page:

10 "Amnesty International is also deeply concerned ..."

11 Deals with the allegation that:

12 "... a detective constable remarked that

13 Rosemary Nelson would be proud of Colin Duffy's

14 involvement in these matters."

15 And at the bottom of the page, a reference to the

16 Rapporteur, and this sentence:

17 "As you may be aware, since Colin Duffy's acquittal

18 in July 1996 ..."

19 I think it may be slightly later than that, but

20 certainly in 1996:

21 "... Rosemary Nelson has been informed by other

22 clients that while detained under emergency legislation

23 and questioned in Gough Barracks, they heard police

24 refer to her in derogatory terms, accuse her of holding

25 Republican political sympathies and utter death threats

 

 

67

 

1 against her."

2 That, sir, takes us right back to the telephone

3 attendance note in that year, in, I think, October, made

4 by Jane Winter, and to the subsequent communications

5 in February, on 18th February 1997.

6 But going over the page to RNI-105-077:

7 "Amnesty International is also disturbed to learn

8 about reports that Rosemary Nelson has received death

9 threats relating to her current representation of

10 Colin Duffy. The organisation requests that you provide

11 us with information about what measures are being taken

12 to protect Rosemary Nelson."

13 Now, pausing there, sir, that is an example of

14 reference in the material we have to alleged death

15 threats, which does not in fact form the subject matter

16 of any complaint. To be precise, in the Duffy/Nelson

17 complaints made arising out of the arrest, that

18 particular matter was not alleged, but it is one of

19 a large number of references in the correspondence and

20 indeed in the witness statements to death threats; this

21 one, importantly from our perspective, relating to her

22 current representation of that particular client.

23 Now, again unsurprisingly, you may think, that

24 letter gets forwarded by the NIO to the Command

25 Secretariat for their draft or suggested reply, and we

 

 

68

 

1 can see that at RNI-101-082 (displayed):

2 "Dear Chief Superintendent, 1st September.

3 I realise that I've raised queries of a similar nature

4 on the Colin Duffy front on previous occasions ..."

5 And there is a reference to another chain of

6 correspondence:

7 "However, it would be most beneficial if you could

8 provide us with some lines to take on some new issues

9 which Amnesty International have raised. We shall then

10 be able to use these to respond to this flow of

11 correspondence that we have had on this case over the

12 past few months."

13 Then various allegations are referred to, and what

14 has apparently been done is to attribute numbers to the

15 letter that we have just seen, the Amnesty International

16 letter, so 4, 5 and 6, about denial of access, 7 and 8,

17 disparaging remarks and death threats:

18 "This [the disparaging remarks] interrelates with

19 the issue of alleged death threats against Mrs Nelson

20 and the Superintendent's letter of 6th June."

21 That was the letter, sir, if you remember, that

22 ended the last episode, the May 1997 consideration:

23 "That letter covered the latest state of play on the

24 investigation."

25 Well, you will remember what the letter actually

 

 

69

 

1 dealt with and what it didn't deal with, and it did not

2 deal directly, you will remember, with the question of

3 death threats which had initiated the correspondence in

4 the first place:

5 "It would be very helpful, however, to have a line

6 on the comment that officers who come into contact with

7 detainees should be told that disparaging comments about

8 a detainee's lawyer are forbidden."

9 Can we go over the page, please? This is another

10 detail about the case and whether or not the police were

11 open to receiving evidence, and it is a minister's case,

12 so it is not something to be dealt with by officials

13 under the "treat official" heading, but something where

14 a ministerial response was required.

15 The similar matters were then raised by the Irish

16 side of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat, and we can see that

17 at RNI-101-065 (displayed) on 2nd September. This is

18 another letter going across to the Command Secretariat

19 and it reports what concerns have been raised. And we

20 saw these, the Irish documents about this earlier.

21 There, some of those allegations in relation to the

22 Duffy matter, including the penultimate line:

23 "I'm sure that Rosemary, his solicitor, and wife

24 would be happy with what he had done."

25 And a complaint about Rosemary Nelson not being

 

 

70

 

1 present when he was charged:

2 "I am under some pressure to respond too on this

3 matter raised and would be grateful for your urgent

4 advice on how to reply to the Irish side."

5 Then finally, can I just show you at RNI-105-112

6 (displayed), the letter of 4th September -- we have seen

7 it already, so we don't need to do more than register it

8 at this stage -- from Chris Mullin -- we have been

9 through it -- to the Secretary of State:

10 "Dear Mo ..."

11 Raising his concerns about the Duffy case.

12 Now, it is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that at

13 this point, with a number of letters thudding into the

14 Command Secretariat, that there is an indication of some

15 fraying of temper or loss of patience. Can we look,

16 please, at RNI-105-119 (displayed).

17 This is a response. There are two letters of this

18 date and this is the first I would like to show you. He

19 refers, therefore, to the Cumaraswamy letter,

20 independence of judges and lawyers, and the Irish side

21 matter:

22 "I refer to your letters of 26th August and

23 2nd September which raise similar matters."

24 Then he goes on to deal in detail with the Duffy

25 case, taking time to refer to a decision of the House of

 

 

71

 

1 Lords, saying that the complaints were being

2 investigated. The correspondence has been forwarded to

3 G Department and attaching a copy of a letter forwarded

4 to police division regarding another recent complaint by

5 Mrs Nelson:

6 "We noted that Mrs Nelson failed to cooperate with

7 that investigation."

8 Now, sir, whilst it might be true to say that this

9 letter constitutes a response to the Irish side's

10 concerns, which were, and were only, in relation to the

11 Duffy matter, it does not, you may think, begin to deal

12 with the matters raised by the Special Rapporteur.

13 As I have remarked before, one of the disadvantages

14 of our IT system is that we can't look at two documents

15 at once and compare them, as we would be able to if we

16 all had files, but you will remember, I hope, that the

17 Rapporteur, having addressed the Duffy issue, then

18 devotes the first part of the second page of his letter

19 to the completely different allegation concerning

20 Garvaghy Road and puts the matter on a very serious

21 footing indeed, and is not simply concentrating his

22 attention, if you remember, on, as it were, the

23 procedural complaints about access to lawyer and whether

24 or not Rosemary Nelson should have been present in the

25 Duffy case when he, Colin Duffy, was charged. Indeed,

 

 

72

 

1 the substance of his letter is not really about the

2 complaints investigation at all.

3 On the same day, the same officer, in the same

4 office, the Command Secretariat, writes at RNI-105-120

5 (displayed), and this is a response to the letter from

6 the NIO which I showed you, which was asking for

7 particulars in relation to the Amnesty International

8 issue and drawing the attention of Command Secretariat

9 to the various allegations, including the issue of

10 alleged death threats:

11 "I refer to your letter of 1st September, one of

12 four letters received recently concerning Miss R Nelson,

13 solicitor, and Mr C Duffy.

14 "The allegation that Colin Duffy was denied access

15 to his solicitor has been addressed in my response to

16 SPOD, this date (copy attached)."

17 That is the letter we have just seen:

18 "The lines used viz 'disparaging comments about a

19 detainee's lawyer are forbidden and to ensure such

20 incidents do not happen in the future', reveal an

21 assumption of guilt. This is in stark contrast to the

22 calls for justice and fairness so frequently voiced by

23 Amnesty International.

24 "Police behaviour is guided by the RUC's

25 Professional Policing Ethics and Disciplinary

 

 

73

 

1 Regulations. Members who engage in any activity which

2 contravene either will be subjected to the full rigours

3 of the disciplinary regulations.

4 "To respond to the third point you raised ..."

5 That is in the letter of 1st September:

6 "... I refer you again to my copy letter attached.

7 As the two murders are currently the subject of criminal

8 investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment.

9 "I have copied your letter and attachments to

10 Complaints and Discipline for their attention."

11 So again, sir, in this letter there is no direct

12 addressing of the matters which were specifically raised

13 in the Amnesty International letter that I have shown

14 you and then highlighted in the letter forwarding it of

15 1st September.

16 But I hope that that examination of that passage of

17 correspondence shows how matters would build up very

18 quickly and at a very high level so that the officers in

19 Command Secretariat found themselves dealing with all

20 sorts of different correspondence, and trying, in the

21 way that we have seen, to address the issues, although

22 it appears clear, you may think, that they didn't

23 succeed in addressing all of them.

24 Now, the efforts of the NGOs were not confined to

25 corresponding with the Secretary of State, because we

 

 

74

 

1 will see at RNI-101-094 (displayed) a letter which goes

2 straight to the Chief Constable himself, dated

3 18th September. Again, the subject matter -- see the

4 beginning of it -- is the Duffy case and there is

5 a great deal of detail there in this three-page letter.

6 The passage I would like to draw to your attention

7 at this stage is on RNI-101-096 (displayed) at E.

8 Somebody has, as you will see, marked various parts of

9 the letter in the margin, and this paragraph says:

10 "Amnesty International is also disturbed to learn

11 about reports that Rosemary Nelson has received death

12 threats relating to her current representation of

13 Colin Duffy."

14 That is the way it was put in the earlier letter we

15 saw:

16 "The organisation requests that you provide us with

17 information about any measures taken to investigate

18 these threats."

19 So as I say, as it were, the pressure, the

20 correspondence, were not just directing their attention

21 to the NIO, the Secretary of State, but were also

22 dealing direct with the Chief Constable and his office.

23 Sir, I would like at this point to go back briefly

24 to look at the further course of the Amnesty letter,

25 because what happened after the Command Secretariat

 

 

75

 

1 replies that I have shown you and bearing in mind the

2 comments that I have made about whether or not it had

3 properly addressed the full range of concerns, it is

4 important to show you what eventually issued from the

5 private secretary to Mr Ingram, in fact, not to the

6 Secretary of State, on 18th September.

7 That is at RNI-105-122 (displayed).

8 So if you remember, the Amnesty letter to the

9 Secretary of State was 21st August, about a month before

10 the one we have just seen. Then on the day of the one

11 we have just seen, out goes the response -- by this

12 time, of course, the NIO had heard from the police

13 division -- and it deals with the Duffy case and says

14 that the letter has been passed to Mr Ingram because he

15 has responsibility for policing issues:

16 "This case has generated some concern, including

17 obviously your own, and I have made the police and

18 Director of Public Prosecutions aware of this.

19 "However, as Mr Duffy is currently the subject of

20 criminal proceedings, it would not be appropriate for me

21 to comment on the case, including on the specific issues

22 you raise on the conduct of interviews and matters

23 associated with legal representation.

24 "I can confirm, however, that the police are

25 currently investigating four complaints made by Mr Duffy

 

 

76

 

1 and Mrs Nelson which are being supervised by the ICPC."

2 Then there is comment, which you will have

3 recognised from the Command Secretariat letter, about

4 disciplinary regulations.

5 But the important paragraph for us is on the next

6 page at RNI-105-123:

7 "In relation to alleged death threats against

8 Ms Nelson, I understand that several attempts have been

9 made to interview her as part of a supervised

10 investigation involving the Independent Commission for

11 Police Complaints, the independent body charged with

12 overseeing and in this case supervising the police

13 investigation. Regrettably, she has failed to turn up

14 at any of the pre-arranged times.

15 "It is likely, therefore, that the complaint will be

16 dispensed with under Regulation 17, essentially on the

17 grounds that a satisfactory investigation cannot be

18 completed without the cooperation of Ms Nelson.

19 Clearly, this is not a satisfactory outcome."

20 Sir, just a couple of points on that. This is the

21 stage when the investigating officer in the LAJI matters

22 had submitted his request for dispensation, 28th July.

23 We saw a couple of sentences from it just a while ago

24 and I remember telling you that there was a very long

25 gap at that point before a decision was in fact made by

 

 

77

 

1 the Commission on the request for dispensation, and in

2 the middle of it, as it were, in fact Rosemary Nelson

3 began to cooperate, gave a statement and then

4 eventually, the next month, the client statements

5 started to appear, those given to Mr Mageean.

6 At this stage, therefore, there had been no

7 decision, but clearly the private secretary had cause to

8 believe what the outcome was likely to be, as far as he

9 knew, in the last paragraph.

10 Sir, we are at that stage of our chronology, but

11 what is striking, of course, about this letter from the

12 NIO is that, despite the narrow ambit of the Command

13 Secretariat letter, the issue of death threats is

14 addressed head-on in the penultimate paragraph at the

15 top of page RNI-105-123. One observes, of course, here,

16 as in other letters, that it is acknowledged and then

17 attention is turned to the investigation and whether

18 Rosemary Nelson was cooperating with it, rather than, as

19 it were, with the substance.

20 But what it does show is that there was, at the NIO

21 at any rate, an understanding that the correspondence

22 was not limited to the matters which they had received

23 information and draft replies or suggested lines to take

24 from Command Secretariat. And that is how, as far as

25 one can tell, the matter rested.

 

 

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1 Now, the same course or a similar history can be

2 shown in just one more document in relation to the

3 second Amnesty letter. The second letter, if you

4 remember, is addressed to the Chief Constable, dated

5 a month later, 18th September, raising similar points,

6 including at E, if you remember, on RNI-105-096, the

7 death threats relating to the current representation of

8 Colin Duffy.

9 Look, please, at, as it were, the parallel answer,

10 and that is at 26th September 1997, RNI-101-097.

11 (displayed).

12 "I refer to your letter of 18th September addressed

13 to the Chief Constable. As you are aware, Colin Duffy

14 is currently the subject of criminal proceedings, having

15 been charged with the murders of Constable Graham and

16 Reserve Constable Johnston at Lurgan on 16th June, and

17 anticipate the conduct of interviews and matters

18 associated with legal representation may become an issue

19 in any subsequent proceedings. It would, therefore, not

20 be appropriate for me to comment on the case of

21 Colin Duffy.

22 "I can also confirm that police are currently

23 investigating complaints made by Mr Duffy and

24 Mrs Nelson. However, as this investigation is still

25 ongoing, it would not be appropriate for me to comment

 

 

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1 on the matter."

2 Sir, the simple point, therefore, is that the same

3 matter in relation to death threats is raised in the two

4 Amnesty International letters. We have seen the way in

5 which the NIO letter at least touches on the point and

6 then deals with the cooperation in complaints. This

7 letter does not acknowledge the death threats point at

8 all, but simply deals with it in the final paragraph by

9 referring to the investigation and saying, indeed, in

10 relation to that as well as the criminal proceedings,

11 that it would not be appropriate to comment.

12 Sir, is that a convenient moment?

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. 2 o'clock.

14 (1.00 pm)

15 (The short adjournment)

16 (2.00 pm)

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

18 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, we had been looking at the

19 Amnesty International letters of August

20 and September 1997 and the contrasting replies received

21 by the recipients, the NIO and the Chief Constable.

22 Sir, I want to move the story on now into the autumn

23 and leading up to the February threat assessment, but

24 there is a letter I need to show you to make good

25 something I suggested but couldn't make good this

 

 

80

 

1 morning in relation to the intervention of the Special

2 Rapporteur.

3 Do you remember, we looked in some detail at the

4 letter of 1st August with its comments both about the

5 Duffy case, the death threats, and about the

6 Garvaghy Road. To complete the picture, can I just show

7 you RNI-110-011. (Displayed)

8 This is a letter from British Irish Rights Watch,

9 10th July, addressed to the Rapporteur, and you will see

10 that Jane Winter encloses:

11 "... two separate reports concerning the solicitor,

12 Rosemary Nelson, on whose behalf we have contacted you

13 in the past."

14 And the first is about the Duffy arrest and alleged

15 irregularities, and the second, as she puts it, more

16 urgent report, two assaults made on her person on the

17 Garvaghy Road that year.

18 If we look over to RNI-110-012, we will see there

19 the details of the Garvaghy Road matter after a couple

20 of paragraphs of introduction. It starts in the third

21 paragraph and goes over the page, and in the last

22 paragraph on RNI-110-013 it ends with:

23 "We request the Special Rapporteur to communicate

24 this complaint to the United Kingdom Government urgently

25 and to seek from them an assurance that Rosemary Nelson

 

 

81

 

1 and any other lawyers representing residents groups over

2 the summer marching season, which unfortunately promises

3 to be a violent period, will be treated with all due and

4 proper respect as they carry out their duties on behalf

5 of their clients."

6 Then the second report, which begins at RNI-110-014.

7 Again, it is said to be a report concerning

8 Rosemary Nelson, but this is, as you can see, reading

9 down the page, starting at the third paragraph, again,

10 in fact centred on the Duffy arrest and detention and

11 all of the matters which we are now familiar with,

12 including, at the bottom of page RNI-110-015, the penultimate

13 paragraph, where the detective constable is said to have

14 said:

15 "'You murdered those people. I am sure your mother

16 and your wife would be proud of you and I am sure

17 Rosemary is very proud of you.'"

18 And the suggestion at the end of the paragraph that

19 Rosemary Nelson was considering defamation proceedings.

20 Moving over the page to RNI-110-016, the penultimate paragraph of

21 this note:

22 "British Irish is considerably disturbed by this

23 case. It appeared you may have been wrongfully

24 arrested."

25 Then in the last sentence of this penultimate

 

 

82

 

1 paragraph:

2 "In their quest to convict Colin Duffy, the RUC seem

3 also to have formed an opinion about Rosemary Nelson,

4 which they have no hesitation in expressing to her

5 clients and which they appear to believe entitles them

6 to illegally deny her access to her client."

7 And again, at the end, the request that he look into

8 the allegations when he makes his forthcoming visit to

9 the United Kingdom and raise them with the appropriate

10 authorities.

11 Sir, I have shown you that material clearly to show

12 what appears, obviously, to have been the background to

13 the very firm letter which was then sent by the

14 Rapporteur on 1st August demanding a response from the

15 British Government.

16 Now, sir, going back to the history, as I said, we

17 are now leading into the autumn of 1997. The new matter

18 in relation to Rosemary Nelson, her cases, her work,

19 which arises at this stage, is the complaint of

20 Christine McCauley, which we looked at in a little detail

21 yesterday. And I showed then, and I don't intend to do

22 so again, the material passing in the secretariat from

23 the Irish side.

24 You remember the memorandum of, I think, the next

25 day raising their concerns about it and, in due course,

 

 

83

 

1 the response which went out from the British side at

2 RNI-105-175 from the NIO. That is dated 12th November.

3 I don't think we did look at this yesterday, but this is

4 the formal response, and it is suggested at 2 that:

5 "The RUC have confirmed that Rosemary Nelson did

6 make a complaint against members of a patrol ...

7 however, as the complaint was of a non-criminal nature

8 it was referred to the military for investigation."

9 You will remember we discovered on looking at that

10 in a little more detail what had then happened to it,

11 and the short answer: not much.

12 Moving through to slightly later in the history, the

13 23rd, the NIO sees a letter coming in to the Secretary of

14 State from another NGO. This is the Lawyers Committee

15 for Human Rights, at RNI-105-170 (displayed).

16 Now, this is a letter which, although it covers

17 areas with which we are now very familiar, it does so

18 with introducing some new elements and some new

19 particulars. Sir, I am showing it to you for that

20 reason first, and secondly, to see what, if anything,

21 happened to it:

22 "Dear Dr Mowlam ..."

23 This is from the executive director of the Lawyers

24 Committee for Human Rights, based in New York,

25 Mr Posner:

 

 

84

 

1 "We are writing to express our continuing concern

2 about reports of threats against lawyers in Northern

3 Ireland. We are writing specifically about the case of

4 Rosemary Nelson, a solicitor from Lurgan.

5 "We are also making this information available to

6 Mr Cumaraswamy, the UN Special Rapporteur on the

7 independence of lawyers and judges. As you know, he is

8 visiting Northern Ireland this week to examine the

9 environment in which lawyers practise in

10 Northern Ireland."

11 Indeed, sir, this letter is dated on the very first

12 day of his mission in Northern Ireland, which took place

13 between 23rd and 30th October:

14 "For the last six years, Rosemary Nelson has

15 represented a number of individuals who are detained

16 and, in some cases, have been prosecuted under

17 Northern Ireland's emergency laws. During this period,

18 she has been subjected to repeated direct and indirect

19 threats. Such threats recently have intensified.

20 "In the past six months, Mrs Nelson has received

21 four telephone threats in her office and one at her

22 home. She has also received a number of calls where the

23 caller hangs up when she answers the phone. The callers

24 have used threatening phrases such as 'you are dead' and

25 'you will be killed'. Several of the callers have

 

 

85

 

1 called her derogatory names. In one call she was warned

2 to clear out of her office because the UVF was coming.

3 Last week there was a loud explosion just outside her

4 office window, which she subsequently learned was caused

5 by fireworks. She and her clients report that numerous

6 derogatory comments and threats have been made to her by

7 police officers in the course of interrogating her

8 clients.

9 "While serving as a legal adviser to the residents

10 of Garvaghy Road during the marching season in July,

11 Mrs Nelson was beaten and verbally abused by members of

12 the Royal Ulster Constabulary."

13 Then the writer puts these events into a more

14 general context:

15 "These incidents are particularly troubling because

16 they come in the context of a longstanding pattern of

17 harassment of and attacks against lawyers in

18 Northern Ireland who represent clients detained under

19 emergency legislation."

20 Then there is a short recitation of the history of

21 the matter, as far as they are concerned. I said to you

22 last week that it had a considerable history and here it

23 is put back to 1992.

24 Then moving over the page to RNI-105-171, reference to

25 Pat Finucane, at the top of the page, and then this

 

 

86

 

1 final paragraph:

2 "With respect to Rosemary Nelson, we request that

3 you investigate the threats against her and take all

4 appropriate measures to protect her and other solicitors

5 who represent people in politically sensitive cases.

6 International standards protecting both lawyers and

7 their clients are most clearly and authoritatively set

8 forth in the United Nations basic principles on the role

9 of lawyers."

10 We have seen them already:

11 "Article 16 of these principles states in part:

12 "'Governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to

13 perform all of their professional functions without

14 intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper

15 interference.'

16 "These principles are the basis for Mr Cumaraswamy's

17 UN mandate and for his visit to Northern Ireland. We

18 urge that you give him your full cooperation and that

19 you take immediate steps to investigate the harassment

20 against Rosemary Nelson.

21 "We eagerly await hearing from you on the steps you

22 are taking to address this serious, long-term problem."

23 So, sir, just looking at what this letter shows us

24 in terms of the build-up of information and material,

25 first of all, it appears to contain much more detail

 

 

87

 

1 about threats, about the particular way in which they

2 have been conveyed: by telephone, to the office, once at

3 her house. The nature of the calls is described and the

4 point is made that the threats to which she has been

5 subjected were both direct straight to her, and

6 indirect, and there is reference there to the threats

7 allegedly made by police officers in the course of

8 interrogating her clients. Then the brief reference to

9 the Garvaghy Road assault.

10 But the other important thing about this letter, you

11 may think, is the way in which the general context is

12 set out not only by reference to the past and the long

13 history of comment on the issue of harassment, but also

14 by putting it into its present context, because of

15 course, as the writer points out, the Rapporteur was

16 visiting on his mission to Northern Ireland and so the

17 points about Rosemary Nelson, the specific allegations

18 made, are set against the purpose of the visit and the

19 reason indeed why the Special Rapporteur was coming to

20 Northern Ireland.

21 Now, sir, as far as we have been able to

22 establish -- and if we turn back to RNI-105-170

23 (displayed), you will see why I say this -- as far as we

24 can see, this letter elicited no response whatever. The

25 note on the file in handwriting just beside the

 

 

88

 

1 Secretary of State's name and address, seems to say:

2 "Discussed with [G109]. Although it appears there

3 was no reply to this letter, there has been subsequent

4 correspondence including very recently. NFA."

5 No further action, I think. But that note is made

6 in October 1999.

7 So it would appear, as I say, from what we have been

8 able to discover, that the detailed allegations set out

9 in the second paragraph made to the Secretary of State

10 on the first day of the Rapporteur's visit did not work

11 their way through the system in the way that we have

12 seen with other letters and did not result in a reply of

13 any kind. So we don't have the opportunity to see what

14 the reaction to this much more detailed set of

15 contentions was or when it was made and how.

16 Sir, that is, I think, the obvious introduction to

17 the visit of the Special Rapporteur, and in looking at

18 these files with the threat assessments in mind, it is

19 true to say that there are discrete episodes -- discrete

20 in the sense that there is evidence about them, there is

21 a good deal of material about them in the bundles --

22 which at this stage in my opening, before the evidence

23 is called, I am going to deal with very briefly.

24 It would be possible to spend a great deal of time

25 just looking at the visit and what transpired. In

 

 

89

 

1 a moment I will explain about the role of the LAJI

2 delegation that visited in February, but I will do so,

3 again, as briefly as I can at this stage. There will be

4 much more material and evidence to consider later on.

5 That proviso, as it were, or that qualification

6 about the Cumaraswamy visit is particularly important,

7 because so far as our present concerns go, there is an

8 important meeting which took place during the visit

9 between the Rapporteur, his assistant, Mr Parra, the

10 Chief Constable, an Assistant Chief Constable of the RUC

11 and a senior officer based in the Command Secretariat.

12 I mentioned this right at the outset of my

13 submissions.

14 Now, of those five individuals, who we believe were

15 present at that meeting, three have given statements and

16 will be called to give evidence. We now have received

17 the signed statement of Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the

18 Chief Constable, and it is being processed and redacted

19 but has not yet been released to the Full Participants.

20 And I think I am right in saying that although the other

21 officer has been interviewed and maybe a draft statement

22 has been prepared, I don't think it has been signed. So

23 for that reason also, it would not be appropriate to

24 deal with the points of contention in any detail about

25 what occurred at that meeting.

 

 

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1 What I intend to do is touch on it briefly now and

2 return to it simply using the documents in the file when

3 we look at the second main episode concerning the

4 Rapporteur, which is the row that broke out, which

5 involved not only the Chief Constable, the Command

6 Secretariat, but also the NIO and Foreign Office and

7 other officials based overseas later in February/March

8 of 1998, right in the middle, in fact, of the threat

9 assessment that took place.

10 So far as the meeting is concerned, what we do have,

11 as I mentioned in opening -- and I can now give the

12 relevant researches, but I don't wish to look at any of

13 the material -- is two sets of handwritten notes: the

14 first at RNI-101-159.500 (displayed) and the second, for

15 everybody's note, at RNI-110-033 (displayed); the first

16 being those we believe taken by the Command Secretariat

17 officer and the second reference I made being to the

18 handwritten notes of Mr Parra.

19 As we will see when we come to look in a minute at

20 the contentious terms of the draft report, there was

21 a hot dispute about what had been said during parts of

22 the meeting, and essentially between the Rapporteur and

23 his assistant on the one hand, saying firmly that

24 certain remarks had been made in relation to solicitors

25 and paramilitary organisations, and the RUC, the

 

 

91

 

1 Chief Constable, and his office refuting that and taking

2 the matter back to the Rapporteur.

3 As I say, we will trace that history briefly in

4 a minute. Returning, though, to our chronology, the

5 next event that comes across the various desks is in

6 fact another case, criminal case, involving

7 Rosemary Nelson's client, Colin Duffy. It is one to

8 which I have made no reference, I think, so far in my

9 opening.

10 Can we look, please, at RNI-101-171.500.

11 (Displayed)

12 Now, what happened here -- and it was hotly

13 contested at the time, I should point out -- is that

14 following the stopping of, I think, his car by police

15 officers, there was some form of altercation, assault or

16 worse, depending on various accounts of the matter. And

17 again, in short order you will see that the Irish side

18 of the secretariat took it up with the British side.

19 Now, we can see, I think, the Irish side, which is

20 referred to here at RNI-111-030.501. (Displayed) Yes.

21 Events took place in the early hours of 17th November:

22 "During the disturbance, serious injuries were

23 sustained [it is said] at the hands of the police."

24 And Mr Duffy himself had been injured, bruising to

25 his body, cut lip, et cetera. The disputed evidence,

 

 

92

 

1 eye-witness evidence, is referred to and three listed

2 concerns are set out in paragraph 4.

3 Now, in a sense more important for us is the general

4 theme at paragraph 5:

5 "The British side will be aware we are concerned at

6 the strong evidence of a pattern of harassment by the

7 police against Mr Duffy (this is the third time in five

8 months that he has been arrested)."

9 You will remember that in relation to the murder,

10 the allegations of murder of the two police officers,

11 the decision not to proceed with those charges was made,

12 I think, on 2nd October; so just over six weeks or so

13 before this.

14 Could we go back to the document, please. Yes, this

15 is the next page at RNI-111-030.502 (displayed).

16 General allegations of harassment at paragraph 6, and

17 general points are made here about unequal treatment

18 between the two communities and a perception in the

19 Lurgan area of police harassment and unfair treatment.

20 Now, that, as I showed you, was then passed on to

21 the Command Secretariat by the NIO. We can go back now,

22 please, to RNI-101-171.500 (displayed):

23 "Please see the attached note setting out Irish

24 Secretariat views on the recent Duffy case."

25 We believe it is the note we have just shown you:

 

 

93

 

1 "I will be replying to the Irish by saying that

2 inter alia that the case is sub judice. Complaints are

3 being supervised by the Independent Commission for

4 Police Complaints and by noting they do not mention the

5 police injuries."

6 Because it was very much, as it were, a two-way

7 affair:

8 "It would be helpful, however, to have any

9 information you can give me on these injuries and on the

10 civilian injuries too. In addition, can you let me have

11 anything in the points raised in paragraph 4."

12 That is paragraph 4 of the Irish note. The crunch:

13 "Any chance of a call on this by lunchtime

14 Thursday", says the police division civil servant.

15 That led to what is now the familiar process of

16 obtaining views down the line. Now, this process took

17 the route of going down into south region, because that

18 was the relevant region where the events had taken

19 place, as we see. And we can see the memoranda going up

20 the line in the bundle; the first in order is at

21 RNI-101-171.504 (displayed).

22 It is a lengthy document and I don't propose to take

23 you to it in any great detail, save to point out on

24 RNI-101-171.505 (displayed) that it makes it very clear

25 that so far as the police were concerned, they were the

 

 

94

 

1 victims of assault and not the perpetrators. And you

2 will see that not least from the crisp paragraph in the

3 middle of the page.

4 However, what you can also glean from this is that

5 individuals had been arrested, interviewed and released,

6 some of them -- five of them -- but that Mr Duffy was

7 remanded in custody. That is four paragraphs from the

8 end.

9 Then it deals with his bail application, and

10 comments are made on the next page, at RNI-101-171.506

11 (displayed), about violence which had taken place, how

12 it had been allegedly orchestrated by the Provisional

13 IRA and how the charging, the remand of Colin Duffy was

14 seen as an excuse to gain maximum publicity coverage.

15 There is then at the bottom of this page a section

16 about complaints against the police arising as a result

17 of the incident, and under "Conclusion", the officer,

18 the superintendent, sets out his position very clearly,

19 saying that:

20 "Nine police officers were injured as a result of

21 Duffy's actions ..."

22 And describing the effects of that:

23 "He and two others remain on sick leave."

24 It concludes at the top of the next page, RNI-101-171.507:

25 "Despite Rosemary Nelson's PR machine going into

 

 

95

 

1 overdrive in relation to the ongoing harassment of

2 Colin Duffy, we must not lose sight of the fact that all

3 officers involved carried out sterling work in the face

4 of overwhelming odds."

5 This is what comes back from J Division. It is then

6 forwarded to the Assistant Chief Constable by the next

7 officer up the line, and his memorandum is at

8 RNI-171-502 (displayed) in the same file. It refers

9 there to Mr Duffy, history of activities, and says:

10 "Since his recent release from custody on murder

11 charges involving our two colleagues in Lurgan, he has

12 been proactive, provocative and indeed confrontational

13 in both Lurgan and Portadown, ably supported by

14 a vociferous solicitor, Mrs Rosemary Nelson."

15 And there is a good deal of similar comment in this

16 report, but I draw your attention in particular to

17 a further reference to this on the next page,

18 RNI-171-503, the second unredacted paragraph down:

19 "Clearly, there is a strategy by him and his

20 associates to counteract this ..."

21 That is the policing strategy he has just mentioned:

22 "... and maintain a propaganda war against the

23 security forces."

24 In the penultimate paragraph:

25 "There is, you may think, important comment relating

 

 

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1 to the need for leadership of the local officers and,

2 indeed, the maintenance of morale in the division [that

3 is J Division], particularly Lurgan subdivision, which

4 has suffered so much over the years through terrorism."

5 That then makes its way up to the Chief Constable,

6 and we can see that at RNI-171-501, and the

7 Assistant Chief Constable sets out his version, his

8 summary of events, referring obviously to the attached

9 reports. And paragraph 2 refers to an unprovoked

10 physical assault, and then in 3, a further reference to

11 the extensive propaganda campaign which needed to be

12 countered.

13 So this is then coming up through the chain, as it

14 were, of command to the top of the organisation, to the

15 Chief Constable, and it culminates, as I say, in the

16 memorandum of 21st November. You will obviously note,

17 sir, that this material gives us a view of what was

18 going on, as it were, on the ground locally and it

19 forges an explicit connection between client and

20 solicitor and suggests that both were involved in the

21 propaganda campaign, and Rosemary Nelson's role in that

22 is obviously characterised as prominent.

23 Now, the question which obviously arises in the

24 light of all of this material is whether these reports

25 made their way across, as it were, to the NIO in

 

 

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1 response to the memorandum we saw at RNI-101-171.500.

2 And I am afraid, having teed up that question, the

3 answer I give is that we don't know. We may have missed

4 something of course and we will keep looking, but it

5 doesn't appear that these notes made their way across to

6 the NIO.

7 What is clear, however, is that there was continuing

8 interest at the NIO, indeed at the very top at the

9 Secretary of State level, and we will see that from

10 a further letter going from the NIO to the Command

11 Secretariat on 4th December at RNI-105-179.502

12 (displayed).

13 This is a letter again from the police division --

14 4th December, as I say -- addressed to the

15 superintendent at the Command Secretariat:

16 "We spoke yesterday about the Secretary of State's

17 interest in the Colin Duffy case."

18 And we know that that was not the Lurgan murder

19 case, but it seems clear this latest case:

20 "I am not sure what has happened to her original

21 request, but it seemed the Secretary of State thought

22 that she had asked the Chief Constable for a report on

23 the case."

24 So it may be that what I had suggested is in fact

25 the position, that no information had come across,

 

 

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1 certainly by this stage:

2 "In any event, it seemed to you and me last night

3 that the request had fallen between the cracks. I would

4 be grateful, therefore, if you could let me have details

5 of the more recent arrests and charging, including, as

6 we discussed, on the allegation that seven or eight

7 eye-witnesses were kept waiting for four hours in the

8 local police station after the incident because the

9 police were too busy."

10 It is something we have seen before, I think, in the

11 Irish document:

12 "In addition, it would be helpful to know what stage

13 the complaint made by Mr Duffy's solicitor on his behalf

14 is at; for example, has he been cooperating.

15 "Finally, to put the incident in context, could you

16 please let me know of any other complaints Mr Duffy has

17 on the stocks and details of any other recent arrests,

18 including details of charges where appropriate. The

19 Secretary of State has asked for a report by 4 pm

20 tomorrow. Is that possible?"

21 The fact that the Secretary of State herself was

22 concerned about the Duffy case comes out from the next

23 letter in the bundle, RNI-105-180 (displayed), which

24 comes some five days later.

25 I should interpose to say, sir, that as far as we

 

 

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1 can see, there is no document evidencing the report

2 which had been asked for by 4 pm tomorrow. One imagines

3 some report was made, but again, it may be that it has

4 simply got lost in the bundle or that it has simply got

5 lost.

6 Now, on 9th December Colin Duffy is the subject of

7 a letter to Jane Winter from the Secretary of State. We

8 have seen earlier correspondence between them on this

9 and other issues, but this one picks up a number of

10 points in relation to him, and she begins by saying:

11 "I can't dispute any of the comments you make about

12 the circumstances of the arrest because I don't know

13 them. What your letter demonstrates, however, is that

14 there are invariably different accounts of incidents and

15 that the best way of getting to the truth is through

16 investigation. In this case, the facts are being

17 investigated by the police as are the complaints that

18 have been made. And these are being supervised ... More

19 generally, I note that you are concerned that the police

20 are allegedly harassing Colin Duffy and that they are

21 seeking to 'trump up' charges."

22 Then she points out that, in her view anyway, what

23 happened in relation to the original conviction and then

24 the two police officers shows that the system has

25 safeguards and shows the independence of the

 

 

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1 Director of Public Prosecutions.

2 Then it carries on looking at the more recent

3 events, and again, makes the point at the top of the

4 page, RNI-105-181 (displayed), that the Government will

5 be strengthening the complaints procedure through the

6 draft Police (Northern Ireland) Bill, which we have

7 looked at.

8 Then reference to concern being expressed in

9 a telephone call about bail conditions -- that is bail

10 in relation to this latest matter -- and the last

11 sentence of that second paragraph -- this is the

12 Secretary of State saying this:

13 "I also made sure that the Director of Public

14 Prosecutions and Chief Constable were aware of the

15 security concerns about Mr Duffy."

16 Then this paragraph:

17 "In light of the concerns surrounding this case,

18 however, and not least because of the violence this

19 erupted, for example, in Lurgan following Colin Duffy's

20 recent request, both Adam Ingram and I have spoken to

21 the Chief Constable about the case and I can assure you

22 that he is aware of its sensitivity and its importance.

23 Adam Ingram has also met others, including

24 Martin McGuinness, to discuss the situation. In

25 a sense, therefore, we have done what you asked in your

 

 

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1 letter, but I cannot give you an assurance that Mr Duffy

2 will be left alone by the RUC in the future. This

3 depends, as you would expect, on Mr Duffy's acts. But I

4 can say that the police are aware of concerns about the

5 case."

6 So, sir, my purpose, clearly, in drawing this to

7 your attention is that, as we have seen, this case,

8 which, certainly as viewed by the local senior officers,

9 is a case where the defendant, as it turned out, because

10 charges were indeed preferred and I think the

11 Magistrates' Court hearing was -- which had not been

12 concluded at the time of Rosemary Nelson's murder, that

13 case is viewed in a very particular way and

14 Rosemary Nelson is seen to be at the heart of what was

15 going on.

16 That is the first side of it, but the second side is

17 the political side and it shows that these events were

18 viewed in a sufficiently serious way by the Secretary of

19 State and the Minister that they warranted speaking, by

20 both of them -- in fact, both of them spoke to the

21 Chief Constable and expressed their concern about the

22 case. And it is asserted there that he, the

23 Chief Constable, is aware of its sensitivity and its

24 importance.

25 So when I said earlier that there were moments where

 

 

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1 Rosemary Nelson's work genuinely did have a political

2 impact, this is another example in the context of

3 proceedings that at least to this point in the opening

4 we haven't really looked at at all.

5 Now, correspondence with and to and fro from the NIO

6 continued towards the end of this year. There is

7 another example at RNI-105-182 (displayed). This is

8 a letter, part of the passage of correspondence I showed

9 you in the context of the LAJI cases, the correspondence

10 which kept going between Jane Winter on the one hand

11 and, in this case, Adam Ingram in the other. Do you

12 remember, one of the clients' statements was forwarded

13 to him and this is his response.

14 That, sir, did not let up at all into 1998, and if

15 we look first at, I think it's RNI-106-001, there is

16 her -- that is Jane Winter's -- riposte and she refers

17 to the statement. It was the statement of C220, the

18 ciphered client, and there is reference there to what is

19 going on in that complaint, but then in the third

20 paragraph, the more general point about the treatment of

21 solicitors; why they often found it difficult to make

22 official complaints, problems of client confidentiality,

23 fear of reprisals against clients and lack of faith in

24 the complaints system. All the sort of points we have

25 seen referred to in other material:

 

 

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1 "At last, a solicitor has had the courage to make an

2 official complaint and she doesn't receive any reply.

3 I hope you personally will look into it and ensure that

4 appropriate action is taken so the clear message is sent

5 to every RUC officer that this sort of behaviour is

6 wholly unacceptable.

7 "We have already expressed concern to Mo Mowlam

8 about the way that the solicitor concerned,

9 Rosemary Nelson, has been abused and on one occasion

10 assaulted by RUC officers while in the course of her

11 work. With the situation in Northern Ireland as grave

12 as it is at the moment, we are seriously concerned for

13 Mrs Nelson's safety. I fear that in asking you to

14 pursue her complaints vigorously, we may be drawing yet

15 more unwelcome attention to her.

16 "I hope will you acknowledge that there is genuine

17 cause for concern here and you will make an absolutely

18 clear to the RUC that further abuse of Mrs Nelson will

19 not be tolerated."

20 Then in the penultimate paragraph the point is made

21 about concentrating on her alone:

22 "Finally, there is always the danger that the

23 prominence of one solicitor in such cases will make it

24 seem the problem is confined to her. You are no doubt

25 aware of the letter signed by Mrs Nelson and 32 other

 

 

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1 lawyers in which inter alia they deprecate abuse of

2 themselves by RUC officers."

3 And we saw that last week. It ends with:

4 "I should be grateful if you would keep me informed

5 of any action taken in respect of Mrs Nelson's

6 complaints."

7 So in that sense, the prominence given to

8 Rosemary Nelson's position continued to be brought

9 firmly to the attention the NIO and, as we have already

10 seen, the end of the previous year, by ministers to the

11 Chief Constable personally.

12 That led, a familiar pattern, this, to further

13 requests for information from the NIO across to Command

14 Secretariat. I will just show you a couple of examples,

15 if I may: RNI-106-007 (displayed), 9th February, and

16 there are three cases there set out, not only

17 Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson but also the

18 Robert Hamill case. The next document at

19 10th February -- this is RNI-106-008 (displayed) -- is

20 request to Command Secretariat for input into a draft

21 reply to the British Irish letter that we have just seen

22 and enclosing a copy and asking for their input.

23 Now, sir, at this point the issue of the Special

24 Rapporteur comes very, very sharply back into focus and

25 we will be able to trace the reaction to receipt in

 

 

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1 early part of February 1998 on the part not only of the

2 NIO, but others, when they saw that, in the understated

3 words of one of the civil servants:

4 "Unfortunately, little of the report is positive."

5 And when I show you the draft, you will see quite

6 what an understatement that was.

7 However, sir, what I would like to do is -- because

8 that issue goes forward to April of 1998 when it is

9 eventually resolved and the final report is issued -- to

10 divert for a moment and trace the immediate background

11 of the February/March threat assessment. It is one of

12 those moments where all the events are criss-crossing in

13 the chronology.

14 But to summarise what we have now seen since the

15 consideration -- not assessment, the consideration --

16 given in May is: the business of the charges in relation

17 to the two constables -- that took place in June -- and

18 the very substantial material that was generated

19 thereafter; the intervention of the Rapporteur at the

20 beginning of August; the flurry of letters from NGOs, in

21 particular the two from Amnesty which take us into the

22 autumn; the Christine McCauley case -- again, the

23 involvement of the Irish side, of the secretariat; the

24 letter from New York in October, which goes unanswered;

25 Mr Cumaraswamy's visit in October and the fallout from

 

 

106

 

1 that; the next Duffy case in November and all the

2 material generated about that involving Rosemary Nelson;

3 added to which we have the continuing progress of the

4 complaints with the clients' statements being sent

5 hither and yon; continuing correspondence from NGOs with

6 the NIO approaching the Command Secretariat on a basis

7 that was clearly regarded, certainly in September, if

8 you remember, as perhaps excessive -- four letters

9 coming on the same topic -- for input into replies

10 dealing with these expressions of concern, which

11 included -- and this is important to remember -- the

12 allegation that there were threats; in the words of

13 Mr Posner, direct and indirect threats being made.

14 Now, sir, that takes us to February, and as I say, I

15 am just going to put the Rapporteur issue to one side

16 and turn now to consider the visit which took place that

17 month of a deputation or delegation from the Lawyers

18 Alliance for Justice in Ireland.

19 This is where the brightly coloured piece of paper

20 we handed out comes in, because this area of our

21 evidence, which involves a number of witnesses,

22 a proportion of whom to be called to give evidence,

23 comes into play. And again, as with the Cumaraswamy

24 issue, all I am going to do at the moment is to take it

25 as briefly as I can.

 

 

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1 There are many differences in the evidence, in

2 accounts given, not only between, as it were, one side

3 or the other, of meetings which took place but also

4 between the various accounts given by members of the

5 delegation themselves.

6 So far as we are concerned, there are three meetings

7 during February, during their visit, which are of

8 interest. The first is a dinner which was attended by

9 a large number of them at which Rosemary Nelson herself

10 was also present. The second was a meeting with the

11 Chief Constable on 19th February. The dinner took

12 place, I think, on the 17th. And the third, not, I

13 think, referred to on the coloured sheet or certainly

14 not on mine, was a meeting with officials from the NIO,

15 which itself proved to be the trigger for

16 the February/March assessment.

17 The comments I would like to make at this stage

18 about the Lawyers Alliance are that, as we have seen, it

19 was an organisation which had already been in

20 correspondence not only with the NIO but also with the

21 RUC. We have seen the volley of letters and reports

22 coming in, including to the investigating officer, in

23 relation to the LAJI complaint, and of course that is

24 the next point about it: that the organisation was,

25 formally at least, the complainant in relation to those

 

 

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1 four client cases we looked at.

2 We have seen some of the material, including the

3 marching season's report, which was at RNI-114-077

4 (displayed). We needn't look at that. And we can see

5 a reaction to that report, which made its way to Command

6 Secretariat 19th December 1997 at RNI-103-009.514.

7 (displayed).

8 We haven't seen this document, I don't think. We

9 did see that the investigating officer, who received the

10 report -- I drew it to your attention, because there was

11 no reference to the assault on Rosemary Nelson in 1997

12 in it -- passed it up the line to Command Secretariat,

13 and here is the letter which comes back to Mr Lynch and

14 says in the second paragraph, really coming straight to

15 the point:

16 "Having studied your report in considerable depth

17 I have come to the conclusion that it is sadly lacking

18 in balance and displays a complete ignorance of

19 realities in Northern Ireland. There is no attempt to

20 assess the available evidence in any impartial fashion,

21 nor indeed is there any effort to set out any

22 perspective other than that which agrees with the

23 author."

24 It then sets out the Force's position. Is says in

25 the fourth paragraph:

 

 

109

 

1 "The issue of marching in Northern Ireland is

2 extremely complex and surely deserving of more objective

3 consideration and explanation than is contained in your

4 report.

5 "It is manifestly wrong, unfair and

6 counter-productive to blame the police for the public

7 disorder which can result from contentious marches.

8 That responsibility rests with those who organise

9 marches or protests which are likely to result in

10 violence. Policing in a divided society such as ours is

11 not simple. All that we ask is that people take a long

12 hard look at the realities, put aside their

13 preconceptions and consider the alternatives. Whatever

14 decision is made by the police is going to incur the

15 wrath of someone, and sadly that wrath is often manifest

16 in the form of attacks to police officers by stones,

17 bottles, petrol bombs, explosives or gunfire.

18 "I note there is no mention of such attacks in your

19 report, nor is there any other indication of the scale

20 of violence nor the number of police officers injured.

21 Surely any objective assessment of events would include

22 such important details.

23 "For police officers in Northern Ireland, there is

24 no luxury of escaping any of the dreadful events which

25 have occurred on our streets. While others can wring

 

 

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1 their hands in horror, we are placed in the position of

2 exercising what have always been the primary objectives

3 of policing: to protect life, to protect property, to

4 preserve the peace and to prevent and detect crime.

5 "In public order situations and particularly in

6 contentious marches, this means the frequent deployment

7 of police officers between opposing factions. In

8 efforts to prevent intercommunal conflict, they often

9 absorb violence directed at them from one faction or

10 another, and frequently from both.

11 "We have never sought to absolve ourselves from

12 responsibility to police these events. However, we are

13 surely entitled to demand understanding of our role and

14 responsibilities and support in the discharge of these

15 duties on behalf of the public.

16 "The RUC will do everything in its power to provide

17 an absolutely impartial service. Where we do get it

18 wrong, we will not only accept our failings, but take

19 whatever steps are necessary to learn the lessons. Many

20 of the incidents alluded to in your report either have

21 been investigated as complaints or are currently being

22 investigated. You can be sure that such investigation

23 will be both thorough and searching.

24 "However, when we are subject to criticism such as

25 that in your report, we surely have the right to expect

 

 

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1 that criticism to have a modicum of objectivity,

2 fairness and accuracy.

3 "I feel that the content and tenor of your report

4 and its glaring omissions says more about your own

5 organisation than it does about the RUC."

6 Sir, it's important, I hope you will agree, to read

7 that letter, first because it obviously shows that as

8 between the organisation and the RUC there was, as it

9 were, some history, but secondly, also because it

10 touches on the important points that I outlined earlier

11 in my opening and constitutes, you may think, a powerful

12 and reasoned explanation and, indeed, defence of the

13 police's position and of the great difficulties

14 particularly in these public order situations, which

15 they faced, portraying them, as I put it to you last

16 week, as caught effectively in the middle, between the

17 two communities and absorbing the violence of both.

18 Now, sir, so far as the visit was concerned, that

19 letter met with a response from Mr Lynch at RNI-114-120

20 (displayed) and this deals with the letter we have just

21 looked at. And Mr Lynch's comment about the response to

22 the report is dealt with rather briefly there. He then

23 turns immediately to the subject of Rosemary Nelson:

24 "Perhaps you would choose to follow up directly with

25 the Chief Inspector ..."

 

 

112

 

1 That is the investigating officer in the complaints:

2 "... concerning harassment by members of RUC of

3 Lurgan solicitor, Rosemary Nelson. This continuing

4 abuse has been documented by numerous statements of

5 witnesses. To date, no discipline has been imposed upon

6 the perpetrators of this outrageous behaviour."

7 So pausing there, sir, the report -- which did not

8 refer to Rosemary Nelson by name, did not refer to the

9 incident of assault, the points were made on a whole

10 different series of bases; it related not only to 1997,

11 for example, but also to 1995/96 as well -- met the

12 general answer that you have seen in the letter of

13 19th December. But in his riposte, what Mr Lynch is

14 doing is effectively moving the ground back -- and I say

15 back, because of course he is the person who initiated

16 the complaint in the first place -- to the specific case

17 of Rosemary Nelson.

18 So even when one has these general documents winging

19 backwards and forwards, we see that Rosemary Nelson is

20 raised in the context of those general issues.

21 He then turns back to the demonstration or march

22 points. He says:

23 "Undoubtedly the RUC has a very difficult job. That

24 is all the more reason that supervisory officers must

25 exercise diligent training and control of members of the

 

 

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1 force, particularly when most of those members identify

2 with the dominant community in the north of Ireland."

3 Then at the bottom of the page we come to the nub of

4 it, as far as we are concerned:

5 "During the week of 15th February, I will be leading

6 a delegation of lawyers and other concerned Americans,

7 including representatives of law enforcement, to the

8 north of Ireland. We would be most pleased to meet with

9 you at your headquarters and engage in an open

10 discussion of the issues addressed in our report and

11 your response to the same."

12 Now, just turning the page, please, to RNI-114-121

13 (displayed):

14 "It is clear to that all an independent professional

15 police service is an essential ingredient to promoting

16 peace and reconciliation in Ireland. Please let me know

17 if you are willing to meet and we would be happy to

18 finalise the arrangements."

19 Indeed, that suggestion was taken up at

20 RNI-114-121.502 (displayed):

21 "The Chief Constable has agreed to meet your

22 delegation."

23 And the meeting was arranged for 19th February. Two

24 days before, as I have said, there was the dinner at a

25 hotel at which, in varying ways, the witnesses speak of

 

 

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1 what was said by Rosemary Nelson to them about threats

2 she had experienced, which we can look at later in the

3 evidence.

4 But the issue so far as the meeting with the

5 Chief Constable is concerned -- again, I am going to

6 deal with it briefly, not least because the Full

7 Participants don't have his statement, but suffice it to

8 say that the suggestion made by members of the

9 delegation is that Rosemary Nelson's case was

10 specifically raised with him, the threats that she had

11 been subjected to, at that meeting.

12 Now, for our purposes, though, the relevant meeting

13 is the third one, 22nd February, and it took place

14 between the members of the delegation and two civil

15 servants from the police division, and we can see

16 reference to it at RNI-114-122. (Displayed)

17 This is written the next day. It goes from the NIO

18 to Command Secretariat and it is written by one of the

19 officials. He refers to the other, and says:

20 " ... I met the US Lawyers Alliance yesterday. At

21 the meeting they recorded their deep concerns over the

22 safety of Rosemary Nelson. We have also heard these

23 concerns voiced by other organisations and individuals

24 over recent months.

25 "In case these comments were not made to the

 

 

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1 Chief Constable, or you have not picked them up

2 elsewhere, I thought I should write to pass them on. If

3 this has not already happened as a result of her

4 complaints about RUC threats, et cetera, then in

5 a situation where such concerns continue to be expressed

6 by those who have apparently met her, it might be

7 prudent to consider whether or not she needs to be

8 approached and given advice on her security.

9 "I should be grateful if you would let me know if

10 and, if so, when Mrs Nelson has been given such advice.

11 The question will continue to be asked and I should like

12 to be able to respond proactively."

13 Now, sir, this, as we will see, leads to the threat

14 assessment. However, it is obvious, you may think, that

15 the letter itself does not ask for, does not suggest,

16 that a threat assessment should be undertaken. What it

17 says first is that deep concerns about her safety were

18 recorded by the delegation, that those concerns or

19 similar concerns had been voiced by other organisations

20 and individuals:

21 "In case they hadn't reached the Chief Constable or

22 you [the Chief Superintendent] hadn't picked them up

23 elsewhere ..."

24 The civil servant writes to pass them on:

25 "If it hasn't already happened, then [as he says]

 

 

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1 where such concerns continue to be expressed, it might

2 be prudent to consider whether or not she needs to be

3 approached and given advice on her security."

4 And the question posed at the end is:

5 "Could you let me know if and, if so, when she has

6 been given such advice. The question will continue to

7 be asked and I should like to be able to respond

8 proactively."

9 So the matter is handed over firmly, you may think,

10 but also with something of a steer, to the Command

11 Secretariat. And it is put not on the basis of "could

12 you, please, undertake a threat assessment", but "could

13 you consider whether or not she needs to be approached

14 and given advice on her security". And we will see at

15 the end of the threat assessment process, which I am

16 going to describe now, that it comes back to this issue:

17 does she need to be given advice? Should she be

18 approached and given advice on her security?

19 Sir, the threat assessments, as you can tell from

20 the charts we have provided, are in ascending order of

21 complexity and this is the middle one. We have seen how

22 the matter is initiated, although looking at that

23 letter, as I say, one wouldn't immediately assume that

24 a threat assessment would take place.

25 Both the civil servants concerned have given us

 

 

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1 statements and I believe I am right in saying that you

2 have decided to call both to give evidence. Can we

3 look, please, at a brief passage in the evidence of the

4 author, and that is at RNI-841-429 (displayed). It is

5 in paragraph 27 of his statement, where he says -- and

6 it is a striking sentence, not least because it is so

7 brief:

8 "I cannot recall any other time when I wrote to the

9 police about someone in these terms. I did not

10 specifically request the police to carry out a threat

11 assessment. I expected the police to do whatever was

12 necessary. I left the matter to them."

13 When you come to look at and hear the evidence on

14 these questions, both at this stage and in August, one

15 of the themes, of the NIO evidence certainly, appears to

16 be, with one or two exceptions, that this was, and was

17 entirely, a matter for the police to process, to deal

18 with, to address and to take the relevant decisions

19 upon, even where, as in this case and in the other cases

20 generated by correspondence, the concerns were raised

21 not with the police, not expressed to the police as in

22 the LAJI meeting, but with NIO officials and when they

23 were receiving, as he says in his letter in this case,

24 many such expressions over several months.

25 Sir, the next stage is obviously to look at what

 

 

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1 happened once it goes over from the NIO to the Command

2 Secretariat, and we can see that at RNI-101-197.

3 (Displayed)

4 The Command Secretariat, having received the letter,

5 dispatches it to the Assistant Chief Constable of the

6 south region, on the 25th, and the heading of the

7 memorandum is "Rosemary Nelson: Security". The

8 substance of it:

9 "Please see attached most recent correspondence from

10 the NIO concerning alleged death threats against

11 Rosemary Nelson."

12 Then this interesting sentence:

13 "I am aware that the matter of death threats against

14 Mrs Nelson was referred to the Deputy Subdivisional

15 Commander, Lurgan, in May of last year. However, I

16 would appreciate your views/comments on any further

17 action that could be taken in this matter so that I may

18 respond to the further correspondence appropriately."

19 I interpose to point out here that, as we discovered

20 this morning, in May of last year there hadn't really,

21 at least as far as we can see, been any action taken at

22 the local commander level and so it probably wasn't

23 a question of further action, although in fairness that,

24 again, was probably not something that the Command

25 Secretariat superintendent knew.

 

 

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1 The matter then goes down the chain of command in

2 south region, and I will take you to the documents in

3 a moment but it is worth pointing out at this stage

4 a feature of the Force Order which may be relevant here.

5 The Force Order, as you may remember, requires the

6 matter -- not only the assessment to be done by

7 Special Branch in the case of a threat, but also for

8 Special Branch to inform headquarters, E3. Do you

9 remember, that was paragraph 7 of RNI-101-004. And one

10 of the issues we will be trying to follow through as we

11 go is whether that happened in this particular case.

12 Now, as the diagram shows you, if you look at the

13 diagram, it starts up at the top and it goes to Command

14 Secretariat, down to the Assistant Chief Constable in

15 the south region, down to the divisional commander and

16 the deputy divisional commander, down to Lurgan and then

17 at the bottom what I described earlier as the coalface,

18 it gets to a detective sergeant in Lurgan

19 Special Branch, and from him, on the left-hand side, the

20 zigzag arrows, as it were, it goes all the way back,

21 arriving back there, as we will see, in April.

22 Now, looking then, as briefly as we can, at the

23 stages, RNI-101-201 (displayed) shows it going down in

24 the south region to the divisional commander, asking for

25 views and comments by 12th March, and the divisional

 

 

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1 commander at that time, Superintendent Robinson, has not

2 so far -- I think I am right in saying -- provided

3 a statement to the Inquiry, but his deputy then gets

4 involved in the matter. And we can see that at, I

5 think, RNI-101-199 (displayed). There is the deputy

6 passing it down to Lurgan.

7 The Lurgan subdivisional commander deals with this

8 matter in his own evidence, and we can see, though, just

9 from the documents point of view, that it goes further

10 down the chain at RNI-101-200 (displayed) to the

11 Special Branch detective inspector.

12 At the next stage down, as far as I can take it at

13 the moment, the next stage down, the local detective

14 sergeant, that is where the assessment work takes place.

15 And we have the product of the assessment in the bundle

16 at RNI-101-211 (displayed), dated 10th March 1998:

17 "In relation to the attached enquiry, I can report

18 there is no record of a threat against Rosemary Nelson

19 held in this office. Mrs Nelson regularly represents

20 Republican activists in the greater Craigavon area in

21 her capacity as a solicitor, and as such would be

22 well-known. She very much came to the fore when

23 representing Colin Duffy throughout his charge and

24 detention for the murder of Johnny Lyness on

25 24th June 1993, and the murder of two RUC officers on

 

 

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1 16th June 1997.

2 "During this time, she appeared on news items in the

3 local media and was seen accompanying Colin Duffy on

4 television following his releases for the

5 above-mentioned cases.

6 "Mrs Nelson remains close to the Republican movement

7 and attends functions, rallies, et cetera, in support of

8 their aims and objectives. As such, she would be

9 regarded in the local Nationalist and Unionist

10 communities as a supporter of the Republican cause.

11 "It is, therefore, my assessment in the absence of

12 any threat, that she would be known to Loyalist

13 paramilitaries in this area and would be at a degree of

14 risk while working and residing in this area."

15 Go over the page to RNI-101-212, please:

16 "Forwarded for information."

17 So that is the sum total of the matter at this

18 point.

19 So, sir, so far as I can open this at this stage, as

20 I say, what we have is the product, not any evidence or

21 detail of the material, upon which the assessment was

22 based.

23 Going back, please, to RNI-101-211 (displayed), the

24 first thing, of course, to note is that what was going

25 on here was a Special Branch threat assessment; in other

 

 

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1 words, although there is precious little reference to

2 any of this in the very short memoranda which take the

3 case all the way down the chain, in fact the response to

4 the NIO letter which dealt, if you remember, with

5 whether you should consider approaching Mrs Nelson,

6 giving her advice about her security, et cetera, was to

7 conduct such a threat assessment; in other words, to

8 decide, as it were, ab initio whether there was

9 a threat.

10 I warned you on the first day that a variety of

11 terminology was used by those doing this sort of work.

12 Here, it is very simple. He doesn't introduce any

13 adjectives, specific, direct, imminent, et cetera, et

14 cetera; he simply says that there is no record of

15 a threat against Rosemary Nelson held in this office.

16 Then it sets out other material from the third line

17 down which does not go to, as it were, any specific

18 circumstances because he says there is no threat or no

19 evidence of it in his office, but rather to put her in

20 a more general context. And we won't be surprised to

21 hear that that involves reference to a particular

22 client, Mr Duffy, and the fact that she was known to

23 represent him. Indeed, you probably remember his own

24 statement in support of one of the complaints in which

25 he himself asserted that it would be generally known in

 

 

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1 Northern Ireland and, indeed, as he says, I think, the

2 whole of Ireland, that she was his solicitor.

3 Then the Special Branch officer says:

4 "She remains close to the Republican movement and

5 would, therefore, be regarded as a supporter of that

6 cause by local Nationalist and Unionist communities."

7 And therefore, he says:

8 "In my assessment, she would be known to Loyalist

9 paramilitaries and would be at a degree of risk while

10 working and residing ..."

11 That, again -- this is as far as one can take it at

12 this stage -- would appear to be an assessment of her

13 general position, what was known about her, what was

14 known about her both to the local communities, but also,

15 perhaps more relevantly in his assessment, to Loyalist

16 paramilitaries: a degree of risk but no record of

17 a threat, so far as his office was concerned.

18 So, sir, that being, as it were, the meat of the

19 matter, it then works its way back up the line. And we

20 will see, for example, at RNI-101-204 (displayed),

21 a covering memorandum as it proceeds back up to Command

22 Secretariat:

23 "I refer to attached correspondence from the NIO and

24 the superintendent, Command Secretariat. The police at

25 Lurgan do not have details of any threat there may be

 

 

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1 against Rosemary Nelson, nor do they know the nature of

2 or reasons for the deep concerns the US Lawyers Alliance

3 have about her safety."

4 Just pausing there, again, we can't look at the two

5 documents together, but that is either based on

6 something that this officer has been told, which has not

7 been written down, or it is a gloss put by him on what

8 the detective sergeant said, because he made no

9 reference whatsoever to that matter, i.e. the origin of

10 it, the expression of deep concern.

11 Then in the third paragraph there is another

12 assertion, the second paragraph of the correspondence --

13 that is the civil servant's letter -- refers to her

14 complaints about RUC threats:

15 "I can confirm that no such complaints have been

16 made to police at Lurgan, but perhaps this is

17 a reference to comments she made to the press."

18 Well, as we know, in fact the origin of that

19 reference is something quite different. The complaints

20 by this stage were well underway, including, as you will

21 remember, in the LAJI case, the client who made

22 allegations in relation to what had been said to him at

23 interview. And so obviously by putting it in the narrow

24 context of the police at Lurgan -- it may be that that

25 is strictly correct, although again one bears in mind

 

 

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1 other events in relation to that, for instance, the

2 matter of Shane McGrory. But he then suggests that

3 perhaps it is a reference to comments made to the press:

4 "If we are to advise Mrs Nelson in relation to her

5 personal security, then we need to be in possession of

6 all the facts. At present, the only reliable

7 information is that contained in the attached threat

8 assessment from the detective sergeant, Special Branch

9 ..."

10 The one we have seen:

11 "... and I do not consider it sufficient to base

12 personal security advice on.

13 "As a result of the Northern Ireland Office's

14 concerns passed on in May and again in February, police

15 personnel in Lurgan have been briefed as set out at

16 appendix B".

17 We will look at that in a minute:

18 "I recommend that the NIO and the US Lawyers

19 Alliance be asked to supply precise details of any

20 information in their possession about Mrs Nelson, so

21 that it can be properly assessed and appropriate

22 security advice given to her if necessary."

23 We will look at appendix B in a minute, but this

24 officer is alert to the way in which the case came to

25 Command Secretariat from the NIO, the suggestion about

 

 

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1 consideration being given to advising Rosemary Nelson on

2 her personal security and, in broad terms on that, he

3 says "we don't have enough information", but what is

4 being done by way of briefing local police is as set out

5 at appendix B.

6 Now, we can see that at RNI-101-205 (displayed).

7 Now, in typed capitals is this:

8 "American lawyers and pressure groups have raised

9 concerns with the NIO in relation to the personal safety

10 of Rosemary Nelson, solicitor.

11 "The gist of these concerns seems to be that they

12 believe her to be under threat from Loyalist

13 paramilitaries due to her high profile involvement in

14 a number of well publicised court cases involving

15 suspected Republican terrorists.

16 "Although no reports have been received from any

17 source threatening Rosemary Nelson and no intelligence

18 exists indicating an actual threat, it is important in

19 view of the concerns raised with the NIO, that attention

20 is given to Rosemary Nelson's office in William Street,

21 Lurgan, and her home as 3 Rosemount, Lurgan."

22 Sir, obviously this is something we will have to

23 consider in more detail later, but can I just offer some

24 comments about it. We will look in a minute to see what

25 this officer says he did with this appendix B, where it

 

 

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1 was put in terms of the police's records and procedures.

2 However, it is, I hope, a fair comment to say that if

3 this is an attempt to alert local police officers to

4 a genuine concern, it gets off on a rather unfortunate

5 footing because of the reference immediately to American

6 lawyers and pressure groups; not perhaps, you may think,

7 a wholehearted endorsement of the concerns.

8 Then those concerns are interpreted in a way that

9 doesn't flow from the letter sent by the NIO and appears

10 to be derived from the threat assessment itself, which,

11 if you remember, contained a reference to Loyalist

12 paramilitaries.

13 The essence of the threats which were the subject of

14 the many, many, many letters and expressions of concerns

15 were not that threats were being made against her by

16 Loyalist paramilitaries, but rather that they were being

17 made against her to her clients by members of the RUC.

18 The first reference we see in the recent

19 correspondence we have been looking at, which touches on

20 the issue of Loyalist paramilitary involvement, if you

21 remember, is the letter of Mr Posner, which went

22 unanswered.

23 Now, the third paragraph makes the point set out in

24 this assessment that no reports have been received from

25 any source threatening Rosemary Nelson. Well, that

 

 

128

 

1 takes us back to the subject matter of the complaints

2 and expressions of concern:

3 "No intelligence exists indicating an actual

4 threat."

5 That is much closer, you may think, to the

6 assessment document actually produced by Special Branch.

7 Then this sentence, or phrase:

8 "It's important, in view of the concerns raised with

9 the NIO, that attention is given to Rosemary Nelson's

10 office and her home address."

11 Now, it is far from clear, at least to me, what that

12 was intended to result in and we will see passages from

13 the witness statement of its author in a minute. But

14 I do draw your attention to one aspect of that

15 paragraph, which is the home address.

16 This memorandum was sent out in about March 1998.

17 The evidence will show, I think, that from 1994,

18 Rosemary Nelson did not live at that address in Lurgan,

19 but lived rather at the address from which she drove her

20 car on the day of her murder, Ashford Grange.

21 So if this was an instruction to keep an eye on that

22 home address, it was, even at that level, peculiarly

23 ineffective.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Would that be a convenient moment,

25 Mr Phillips?

 

 

129

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, thank you.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Ten minutes to four.

3 (3.35 pm)

4 (Short break)

5 (3.50 pm)

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips.

7 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, can we just go back to RNI-101-204

8 (displayed), which is the memorandum to which this

9 appears to have been an appendix, appendix B, the

10 document we were just looking at. To correct something

11 I think I said just before we adjourned, in the

12 penultimate paragraph it says:

13 "Police personnel in Lurgan have been briefed as set

14 out at appendix B".

15 I do not think it is established in the material

16 that this author, that the author of this memorandum,

17 the Chief Inspector, P165, was responsible necessarily

18 himself for what is set out at appendix B. That is the

19 typed capital letters document we were looking at.

20 Now, as I said, that officer is a witness, but

21 because of the issues I have raised in relation to

22 appendix B, I think we should look, please, at two

23 paragraphs of his statement to the Inquiry, and they are

24 at RNI-841-138. The first is paragraph 17. First of

25 all, he says:

 

 

130

 

1 "I don't recall receiving anything from the

2 Northern Ireland Office in this regard and, in fact,

3 would not have recalled this memorandum if it had not

4 been provided to me."

5 Then this:

6 "However, it is clear that the police in Lurgan had

7 been briefed as set out in appendix B. Appendix B looks

8 like a note from the threat register. The threat

9 register contained all briefings that were given to the

10 police in relation to threats to people in the Lurgan

11 area. This could mean both residents in the Lurgan area

12 and also people who were likely to be visiting the

13 Lurgan area."

14 If we go back to paragraph 18:

15 "Appendix B specifically provides that patrols would

16 give attention to both Mrs Nelson's work and home

17 addresses."

18 Then coming down here, please, to:

19 "By attention, I do not mean that there would have

20 been special units commissioned to attend either her

21 home or office, but that units which were attending

22 those areas in the course of their general duties would

23 keep a particular eye out for anything suspicious.

24 "I have been asked why we took this step if there

25 was no threat to Mrs Nelson. It should be remembered

 

 

131

 

1 that the police's primary role is the protection of life

2 and property. Life is clearly foremost in that regard.

3 If there was anything the police could do to stop

4 someone's life being endangered, it would be done. In

5 the circumstances, the police had no information about

6 any threat to Mrs Nelson, but were advised that

7 US lawyers had grave concerns for her safety. I felt

8 that briefing police units in this manner was the best

9 that we could do in the circumstances."

10 This clearly will be a matter to take up with him

11 when he gives his evidence. You will remember first of

12 all that the way the threat assessment is put, it's said

13 that there is no evidence held in the Lurgan office of

14 a threat, but indicates, as a result of

15 Rosemary Nelson's work and of the way that she was

16 perceived and seen by local communities, that she would

17 be at some degree of risk, I think is the way it is put,

18 from Loyalist paramilitaries.

19 So between whether or not there was evidence of

20 a threat and the concerns expressed by US lawyers, there

21 was this other point raised by the assessor himself, the

22 Special Branch assessor, but not in fact referred to in

23 this account. And you will see the basis for concern

24 and the question of whether there was any threat or risk

25 in appendix B also, as it were, omits this middle

 

 

132

 

1 position and concentrates, as I have shown you, on the

2 fact that the concerns had been raised by "American

3 lawyers pressure groups".

4 What the statement I have just shown you does not,

5 of course, explain is who would brief which patrols and

6 over what duration. The Inquiry is also puzzled by his

7 reference to a threat register, and that will again have

8 to be raised with him in his evidence.

9 The Force Order that we have seen at RNI-101-005

10 (displayed) refers to a threat log, and the PSNI have

11 disclosed to the Inquiry schedules listing descriptions

12 of entries in the Lurgan RUC threat log. It is

13 RNI-101-005, number 5 "Threat Log":

14 "As a result of a large number of threats received,

15 subdivisional commanders shall bring into operation

16 a threat log which will contain brief details of any

17 threat to individuals and their areas passed to them by

18 local Special Branch together with any action taken as

19 a consequence."

20 Now, just keeping that on the screen, please, as

21 I say, we have been informed by PSNI as to the entries

22 in the Lurgan threat log and there are none concerning

23 Rosemary Nelson's security, which suggests that wherever

24 appendix B went, it was not into the threat log.

25 As far as we can tell, it may be that it went into

 

 

133

 

1 what were known as briefing books, which were large,

2 mostly handwritten books -- although obviously this is

3 typed -- kept in police stations and we have sought to

4 discover the relevant books. We think they were

5 Craigavon area books which would have covered Lurgan

6 during the relevant time, but the books between

7 9th May 1997 and 23rd April 1999 were not provided. We

8 raised the matter again very recently with PSNI and

9 asked for a written explanation and received one on

10 14th April this year:

11 "Further efforts have been carried out in an effort

12 to locate the briefing book for the period 09/05/97 to

13 23/04/99. This included making inquiries with the

14 historical inquiries team at Sprucefield, the murder

15 investigation team at Gough, visiting police stations in

16 Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon. Unfortunately ..."

17 This is the solicitor to PSNI writing:

18 "... I am unable to offer any explanation as to the

19 whereabouts of the book."

20 So we cannot, I am afraid, sir, take it any further

21 at the moment. It may be that some light will be shed

22 on it by the witness who talks about it, and from that

23 we may discover: (a) what happened to the document at

24 appendix B; and (b) what was done as a matter of detail

25 in terms of the briefing of local police personnel.

 

 

134

 

1 Now, sir, so far as that is concerned, I have kept

2 the paragraph on the screen because this paragraph from

3 the Force Order is a reminder that what we were looking

4 at here, as I suggested right at the outset, is an

5 unusual situation for which it may well be that the

6 Force Order was not designed and for which it did not

7 easily cater, because the direction of travel of

8 information here is that:

9 "Details of any threat to individuals in their areas

10 should be passed to the subdivisional commanders by

11 local Special Branch, and the details of any action

12 taken as a consequence should there be recorded in the

13 log."

14 So that is a log maintained locally by the

15 subdivisional commander.

16 Here, of course, as you will have seen, the

17 initiative comes in from the NIO at the very top of the

18 RUC, and works its way down in fact to the subdivisional

19 commander and, from him, goes all the way down in fact

20 to the local Special Branch, and then, and only then,

21 works its way back up in the form of that short

22 memorandum to the local subdivisional and then

23 divisional commander.

24 For whatever reason then, I am not able to assist

25 you at the moment with what the fate of the appendix

 

 

135

 

1 was, nor, as I say, what actually happened as a result

2 of the suggestion that there was a local briefing and

3 that local officers should keep an eye on the work

4 address and the incorrect home address.

5 But what is not suggested at this stage at a local

6 level, of course, is that Rosemary Nelson should be

7 approached, to use the expression in the NIO letter, nor

8 is any reference made to the suggestion that she should

9 be given or had been given advice about her security.

10 That doesn't reappear until later.

11 So this then makes its way up to the next step of

12 the chain at RNI-101-209 (displayed), and this

13 memorandum brings together, conflates, various different

14 points which were in issue at the same time.

15 The first is the business of the various complaints,

16 and that continues down until three paragraphs from the

17 end of this page and says that the Command Secretariat

18 already have the relevant information in relation to

19 that. Then at the bottom, the issue of threats is

20 addressed:

21 "The police have received no threats in respect of

22 Rosemary Nelson. Reports of ..."

23 And then there is the one we have seen and the

24 covering memorandum that I have just shown:

25 "... verify that no threats have been received by

 

 

136

 

1 the police."

2 Turn the page to RNI-101-210 (displayed):

3 "However, in the light of the enclosed document, the

4 deputy subdivisional commander has taken precautionary

5 measures in respect of Rosemary Nelson and her office at

6 William Street."

7 No reference there to the home address:

8 "Mrs Nelson has been given no advice as there is no

9 advice presently to give."

10 Sir, this is again the suggestion made earlier that

11 without there being evidence of a threat, something, as

12 it were, to go on, no advice could be given:

13 "If the US Lawyers Alliance or the NIO have evidence

14 of a threat or threats, it would be necessary for them

15 to give precise details of any information in their

16 possession in order that it can be properly assessed and

17 appropriate security advice given to Mrs Nelson if

18 necessary."

19 Now, that then goes up one further stage to Command

20 Secretariat at RNI-101-206 (displayed). This is the

21 Assistant Chief Constable himself, and he puts his own

22 summary to it in the second paragraph:

23 "No threats have been received in respect of

24 Mrs Nelson, but because of her high profile, attention

25 is being paid to her home and business."

 

 

137

 

1 That is dated 17th March. Now, I should just say

2 for everybody's note that in relation to the question of

3 the briefing -- I don't wish to take you to it now --

4 the Assistant Chief Constable Craig has his own comments

5 to make about that in paragraph 21 of his statement. He

6 sets out what would in general cases have occurred.

7 Obviously he has no particular knowledge of what may

8 have happened at the lower level in this particular

9 case.

10 So the memoranda have now come back to Command

11 Secretariat and you will see that there is an annotation

12 at the bottom of this page, dated 1st April:

13 "Discussed with CC on 1.4.98. [Chief

14 Superintendent] ..."

15 And then there is the cipher of the Chief

16 Superintendent in Command Secretariat:

17 "Nothing further can be done by police at this

18 time."

19 There is another copy of the memorandum, however, on

20 the next page, RNI-101-207 (displayed). This is a copy

21 obscured in the copying, I think, probably by a Post-It

22 note which has gone over the Assistant Chief Constable's

23 memorandum, and in other handwriting -- and I am going

24 to offer here that this is the handwriting of the Chief

25 Superintendent, P157:

 

 

138

 

1 "Need to offer her a crime prevention order?"

2 That comment is undated, but you will see in this

3 copy we also have the annotation dated 1st April. Now,

4 that slightly opaque material is clarified in the

5 statement of P136, which I would like to draw to your

6 attention because it may clear it up for us;

7 paragraph 24, which is at RNI-841-389 (displayed).

8 In fact, it is on the previous page, which is

9 RNI-841-388 (displayed), sorry. So she has been

10 referred again to these two pages:

11 " ... I have been asked to explain what was meant by

12 the note that appears to be written on the report in

13 relation to an offer of crime prevention advice."

14 Then:

15 "[The Chief Superintendent] wrote this following

16 a conversation with me as to whether we should offer

17 Rosemary Nelson crime prevention advice given the fact

18 that she and others had raised concerns about her

19 safety.

20 "Overall, I had suggested that we offer her crime

21 prevention advice by a local officer on two occasions.

22 But this suggestion had not been taken up.

23 "In terms of the handwriting on the note stating

24 'discussed with CC on 1.4.98', this is my note of a

25 further conversation with [the Chief Superintendent]

 

 

139

 

1 after he had apparently spoken to the Chief Constable in

2 relation to whether it was now appropriate to offer

3 Rosemary Nelson crime prevention advice. The

4 Chief Constable and [the Chief Superintendent] had

5 apparently agreed that no further action could be taken.

6 Rosemary Nelson was, therefore, not offered any crime

7 prevention advice to my knowledge.

8 "It would be unusual for me to directly discuss such

9 a matter with the Chief Constable. I was not made up to

10 Superintendent until 6th April, and would then only have

11 liaised direct with the Chief Constable if [the Chief

12 Superintendent] was unavailable."

13 At the next paragraph, 25, she offers this:

14 "I believe that it was felt that it was

15 inappropriate to make an offer of crime prevention

16 advice as the advice would be given by local officers

17 and Rosemary Nelson had complained about threatening

18 behaviour by local officers.

19 "I raised this matter verbally with [the Chief

20 Superintendent] on two occasions. I was really asking

21 'is there anything else we can do?'."

22 If you just, please, keep this page on the screen,

23 sir, this gives, you may think, some substance to the

24 two short annotations that we have seen. And

25 I emphasise here what this witness is saying is that the

 

 

140

 

1 suggestion had been made twice before, presumably at

2 earlier stages of the history, that advice of this kind,

3 crime prevention advice, might be given and the matter

4 was discussed following the completion of the process of

5 notes coming up the line.

6 It was discussed with the Chief Constable by the

7 Chief Superintendent in Command Secretariat, and the

8 decision was made that no such advice should be given.

9 Now, that is the first part, and what it shows is

10 that the process initiated as a result of the Lawyers

11 Alliance meeting with the NIO. And the question posed

12 about consideration given from the NIO after all of the

13 steps we have seen, comes back to the very top of the

14 RUC, if this evidence is correct. And the decision

15 about advice is taken after a discussion with a senior

16 officer in the Command Secretariat, between him and the

17 Chief Constable, that no such advice should be given.

18 The way it is recorded, as you remember, on

19 RNI-101-206, is in these words -- could we just see

20 that, please, RNI-101-206 (displayed):

21 "Nothing further can be done by police at this

22 time."

23 Clearly, this will have to be considered in the

24 light of the witness evidence and exactly what that

25 meant will have to be established, because the

 

 

141

 

1 suggestion plainly is that there was literally nothing

2 else to be done. And apparently, that included that no

3 advice could be given. There was apparently, if that is

4 note is right, as it were, no discretion in the matter.

5 Now, returning briefly to the statement we have just

6 been looking at, can we look, please, at RNI-841-389,

7 paragraph 25 (displayed). This is obviously an

8 after-the-event suggestion, but it said:

9 "I believe it was felt that it was inappropriate to

10 make an offer of crime prevention advice as the advice

11 would be given by local officers and Rosemary Nelson had

12 complained about threatening behaviour by local

13 officers.

14 "I raised this matter verbally with [the Chief

15 Superintendent] ... I was really asking, 'is there

16 anything else we can do?'"

17 The suggestion here, which is rather a different

18 suggestion to "nothing else that can be done", is that

19 it would be inappropriate, perhaps, who knows, because

20 it would be unwelcome to Rosemary Nelson if such an

21 option were followed through, precisely because those

22 giving the advice -- that is the suggestion -- would be,

23 as it were, the same local officers about whom complaint

24 had been made.

25 That then leads this witness into further comment --

 

 

142

 

1 and I would like to look again at that, please, at

2 paragraph 27 at the bottom of this page. This is the

3 issue I raised with you right at the outset:

4 "I have been asked if I think that Rosemary Nelson

5 would have taken up such advice had it been offered to

6 her. I have no detailed knowledge of Rosemary Nelson's

7 security situation particularly because I had never

8 served in the Lurgan area and I could not really comment

9 on her views regarding police assistance ... however,

10 through correspondence I became aware later in 1998 that

11 she did not feel it was appropriate for the local police

12 officers from whom she perceived the threat to come to

13 be providing her with crime prevention advice. She

14 expressed such a view during her visit to the

15 US Congress."

16 And we will look at what was said on that occasion

17 by Rosemary Nelson herself to see whether it bears out

18 this suggestion:

19 "However, I think it would be a logical assumption

20 that if the allegations that she was making were

21 directed at the police, she may not want their help."

22 So this, admittedly by an officer who was not

23 involved, apparently, in the actual decision, deals both

24 with the hypothetical situation: had she been offered

25 advice, would she have accepted it? Would she have

 

 

143

 

1 taken up the advice or indeed the offer? But secondly,

2 mingled in with that is a return to a suggested basis

3 for the decision not to offer it in the first place: as

4 it were, where an invitation is not offered because of

5 the fear that it might be refused, which indicates

6 a level of delicacy on the part of senior officers of

7 the Royal Ulster Constabulary which is, on the face of

8 it, striking.

9 So this is the situation as at 1st April. And on

10 that date, at RNI-106-199 (displayed), the reply goes

11 back through the letter sent and dated 23rd February,

12 addressed to the same civil servant.

13 You will see, rather interestingly, that the date

14 was put back and we will have to find out why that was,

15 but certainly by this stage the decision had been taken

16 involving the Chief Constable on that day:

17 "Thank you for your letter of 23rd February 1998

18 concerning Rosemary Nelson.

19 "Whilst police are aware of concerns having been

20 expressed over the safety of Rosemary Nelson, police

21 have received no threats in respect Mrs Nelson.

22 "If the US Lawyers Alliance has evidence of

23 a threat, such information should be provided to the

24 police in order that it can be properly assessed.

25 "I trust this information is of assistance to you."

 

 

144

 

1 So in fact, although we know from the evidence

2 I have shown you that there was a discussion about the

3 actual question raised by the civil servant on

4 23rd February, namely whether consideration be given to

5 giving advice to Mrs Nelson. And we know that that

6 suggestion, on the evidence we have seen, had already

7 been raised twice by the author of this letter. In

8 fact, the reply to the letter does not refer to that

9 question posed by the NIO, nor to the discussion that

10 had taken place and, therefore, of course, provides no

11 reason for why it would not, in view of the RUC,

12 including the Chief Constable, be appropriate to offer

13 such advice to Rosemary Nelson.

14 It simply deals with the concerns expressed. It

15 states that police have received no threats and says

16 that if the Alliance has evidence, then it should be

17 provided to the police.

18 Sir, there is then evidence from witnesses who will

19 be called, as it were, who were recipients of this in

20 the NIO, not only the original civil servant, but the

21 head of the police division. I am not going to take you

22 to it, but whereas the author appears to accept, as it

23 were, that the police's view should prevail, as it were,

24 without further discussion -- it should simply be

25 accepted, and that is his statement at paragraph 38 at

 

 

145

 

1 RNI-841-434 (displayed) -- in fact, in the evidence of

2 his superior, the head of the police division, a rather

3 different approach is outlined in a reasonably

4 substantial passage, which again I don't wish to take

5 you to.

6 But what is said there is that there was initiated

7 between her and the secretariat, a discussion in which

8 the matters considered in the assessment were gone

9 through; in other words, where the very brief details

10 set out in the letter of 1st April were probed, the

11 basis upon which the decision, assessment had been made

12 was discussed and considered. So that one gets an

13 impression of a rather more interventionist stance by

14 the police division. The view set out in that letter

15 was not simply accepted, as it were, that is the end of

16 it, the police have opined, there will be no further

17 discussion or consideration; but that there was

18 a challenge to it, a discussion of it, but in the end

19 the line they were taking was accepted.

20 But in that evidence, in particular at paragraph 109

21 at RNI-841-253, there is, you may think, a frank

22 admission, as there is in other NIO evidence, that this

23 issue was important.

24 This is the extract from that statement. These were

25 important issues:

 

 

146

 

1 "Leaving aside the obvious importance of doing what

2 we could to safeguard life and establishing the truth

3 behind the various allegations, there were ..."

4 Then in these four bullet points, as it were, the

5 wider dimension I have referred to earlier is, in

6 a sense, encapsulated:

7 "We needed to know and understand what was going on

8 to be able to deal with all these dimensions effectively

9 and constructively."

10 And they are:

11 "The political dimensions with both American and

12 Irish interests; internal NI confidence dimensions; the

13 constantly recycled concerns by different NGOs; and the

14 potential for damage to the UK's reputation in the

15 international arena."

16 And the same theme is taken up by Mr Steele, an even

17 more senior civil servant, the senior director in

18 Belfast, who had therefore responsibility within the

19 department for the police division, as also for security

20 policy and operations division. He, at paragraph 24,

21 RNI-820-119, deals with this issue of significance.

22 This is a very, very long paragraph and it deals

23 with matters in a more general way, including reference

24 to the scheme which comes later in our consideration at

25 the later stage in August.

 

 

147

 

1 The bit I wanted to show you starts about eight

2 lines from the bottom:

3 "I was aware of the threat assessments that were

4 carried out at the time and the results of them, namely

5 that she was not considered at risk. However, we were

6 worried about Miss Nelson's security. On the other

7 hand, on the basis of the threat assessment received

8 from the police, we were not prepared to break the KPPS

9 scheme and risk opening the floodgates."

10 Then he expresses his private view. Again, I think

11 this is mostly directed to the later stage, which will

12 we will see in a moment.

13 So that is what happens on this threat assessment.

14 How does it match up to the Force Order? Well, I have

15 shown you what happened so far as the subdivisional

16 commander taking whatever action he considered

17 necessary -- that is the first part of paragraph 7 of

18 the Force Order at RNI-101-004 (displayed). And we have

19 been into that; that is appendix B. As I say, we can

20 only take that so far at the moment.

21 I have also flagged the point that there is no

22 evidence that we have seen that local Special Branch

23 informed Special Branch headquarters. Whether that

24 would have made a difference in this case is something

25 we will have to explore. And I have also dealt with the

 

 

148

 

1 question of the threat log, which comes up on

2 RNI-101-005 (displayed). And as I say, on that front

3 also there is little further we can do at this stage.

4 However, it is worth noting that on 20th March --

5 that is before the process had in fact concluded -- the

6 Force Order was changed. And I would like to show you

7 now, when we have got these provisions in our minds, the

8 new one which applied to the August assessment,

9 RNI-101-228 (displayed). So far as our situation is

10 concerned, it starts the same way:

11 "When a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary

12 learns of a threat to a life, details of the threat will

13 be passed forthwith to the local Special Branch."

14 Turning the page to RNI-101-229, it goes down the familiar

15 categories, but we will see on the next page, I hope,

16 RNI-101-230 (displayed), that "other persons" has now

17 been promoted from 7 to 6, and you will see the format

18 here in (a):

19 "Local Special Branch will inform the subdivisional

20 commander in whose area the subject resides or works.

21 The subdivisional commander will then take steps to have

22 the individual under threat informed.

23 "Subdivisional commanders must ensure the informing

24 of those under threat is done so personally by

25 a suitable officer, bearing in mind the sensitivity of

 

 

149

 

1 such issues. There may, however, be circumstances,

2 where, after consultation with E Department,

3 Special Branch, the subdivisional commander may decide

4 it is inappropriate to inform the individual, and in

5 such cases full records must be made of the decision."

6 It is obvious, I think, that the very business of

7 informing somebody that he or she is under threat is, as

8 it is said here, a matter of some sensitivity.

9 Subparagraph (b): D addresses that potential difficulty

10 and gives some general guidance on the relevant words or

11 messages to be used. Note, please, that local

12 Special Branch will also inform headquarters and pass

13 the details on to Security Branch. That is branch D.

14 Now, you will see also the last sentence of (a)

15 deals with the situation where there are cases envisaged

16 in which, despite there being notification of a threat

17 after consultation with E Department, a decision may be

18 taken that it is inappropriate to inform, and clearly

19 full records must be maintained in that event.

20 Sir, so far as the business of the procedures goes,

21 I have indicated the respects in which at least arguably

22 there was not full compliance. Whether that is material

23 is a matter that will have to be judged later in the

24 evidence.

25 Because of the limits on what can presently be

 

 

150

 

1 looked at or examined, in relation to the underlying

2 material what was the basis for these conclusions, the

3 basis for this assessment, the issue raised fair and

4 square in your List of Issues, there is only at this

5 stage a limited amount one can say based on the material

6 in the part 1 bundle.

7 But what remains at the end of it is this exchange

8 that appears to have taken place at the very highest

9 level, in which the question originally posed by the

10 civil servant was considered, the option rejected and,

11 thereafter, no reference in the letter to the option, to

12 the consideration or to the decision that was made on

13 1st April.

14 Sir, that is that matter and while it was working

15 its way through the system in the way that I have

16 explained, as I indicated before, there was

17 a substantial connected but distinct issue which broke

18 in early February, when, on 6th of that month, the NIO

19 saw an advanced copy in draft of the Special

20 Rapporteur's report. And that is the issue I would like

21 to turn to now and deal with as quickly as I can.

22 Can we look, please, at RNI-106-014 (displayed).

23 This memo of 12th February comes from somebody in

24 the human rights policy department. It is internal, as

25 I say, to the NIO and it simply sends the draft, and in

 

 

151

 

1 the passage I quoted before, kicks off by saying that:

2 "Little of the report is positive and a number of

3 contradictions are made to statements from officials,

4 including the RUC Chief Constable. For example,

5 Mr Cumaraswamy is critical of a suggestion by the

6 Chief Constable that solicitors may be working for

7 paramilitaries.

8 "Cumaraswamy notes that no evidence was produced to

9 substantiate such a claim. He concluded that the RUC

10 identify lawyers with their clients and interfere with

11 the attorney/client relationship during interrogation by

12 questioning their professionalism and integrity. There

13 are a number of similar comments on other issues."

14 Then the memo continues with a recital of the

15 various recommendations. At 4, the next stage so

16 far as the Government is concerned, which says at

17 paragraph 4, there is, as it were, a scope for comment

18 and for response. Finally, it deals with the potential

19 for media interest in the report, and this sentence:

20 "You should be aware that a copy of this draft

21 version has also been given in strictest confidence to

22 the Committee on the Administration of Justice. The CAJ

23 have has been told not to refer to the report until it

24 has been formally released, and the United Kingdom's

25 mission in Geneva will attempt to forewarn us of when

 

 

152

 

1 this will be.

2 "However, we can expect the CAJ to act quickly once

3 they break their silence."

4 At the next page in the bundle, RNI-106-017

5 (displayed), is a letter from the Rapporteur and it is

6 dated 6th February, 017 of the bundle. In the second

7 paragraph, it says:

8 "In this regard, please find enclosed for your

9 consideration an advanced copy of the report on my

10 fact-finding mission to the United Kingdom of

11 Great Britain and Northern Ireland ..."

12 And then the dates are given.

13 Sir, just looking forward, what we will see is that

14 there was a good deal in this advanced copy, which

15 caused at the very least concern, not only within

16 government, the NIO, in the Foreign and Commonwealth

17 Office, but also at the RUC. The potential implications

18 for government, for those organisations as and when the

19 report was released were fully appreciated because as

20 I explained earlier, this was an official of the

21 United Nations and what he had to say about the criminal

22 justice system, about the police, about the treatment of

23 lawyers in Northern Ireland was, therefore, said with

24 the authority of the United Nations and had

25 a international political dimension.

 

 

153

 

1 Sir, what I would like to do is to highlight the

2 significant passages in the report which will explain

3 perhaps why it was that there was such a reaction in the

4 Government departments and at the RUC.

5 It starts at RNI-110-036 (displayed). What I would

6 like to do is to jump straight on, because the early

7 part consists of a very lengthy recital of the nature of

8 the mission, who he had met, who he had had discussions

9 with, and there may be time to look at that in due

10 course but the key passages from our point of view for

11 the moment begin on page RNI-110-044 (displayed) at the

12 bottom of the page, "Intimidation and Harassment of

13 Lawyers", and then over the page at RNI-110-045

14 (displayed). I won't read all of this out, because

15 there are many paragraphs of relevance and it would take

16 too long, but suffice it to say that from this point on,

17 so far as those organisations I have mentioned were

18 concerned, the news was mostly bad news.

19 He recites first of all that since the inception of

20 his mandate in 1994 he had received numerous allegations

21 concerning the pattern of abusive remarks made against

22 defence solicitors in Northern Ireland, particularly

23 against those who represent individuals accused of

24 terrorist-related offences.

25 He then describes the circumstances in which it

 

 

154

 

1 occurred, i.e. during interrogations of the holding

2 centres used to detain suspects held under emergency

3 laws, then deals with the abuse against lawyers, the

4 various forms it will take, and there the Rapporteur

5 covers territory that is now very familiar to us. And

6 then at 16, one of the critical paragraphs from our

7 point of view:

8 "An example of this type of harassment and

9 intimidation of solicitors is seen in a case the Special

10 Rapporteur transmitted to the Government in a letter

11 dated 1st August.

12 "According to the source, it was alleged that the

13 solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, had been the victim of

14 numerous death threats owing to her representation of

15 Mr Colin Duffy who had been charged with the murder of

16 two RUC officers. Further, in relation to her

17 representation of the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition,

18 the residents group from Portadown who opposed marching

19 by the Orange Order through their Nationalist housing

20 estate, it was alleged on 6th July, Mrs Nelson was

21 verbally and physically abused while attempting to

22 communicate with an RUC officer concerning the RUC

23 efforts to seal off the area."

24 Then further details of the alleged assault and

25 abuse is given.

 

 

155

 

1 Then at 17, the response, which came in answer to

2 his letter. We saw the material generating it of

3 6th October. He then gives examples, 18 and 19, of

4 other named solicitors -- and the fact that they are

5 named is important -- and at 20, he continues on his

6 theme: that he spoke to a large number of solicitors and

7 barristers -- this is now the bottom of RNI-110-047:

8 "... who have worked in terrorist-related cases.

9 All were able to provide testimony that corroborates the

10 reports that the Special Rapporteur has been receiving

11 for the past four years concerning the harassment and

12 intimidation of defence solicitors.

13 "Many refer to the harassment and intimidation as an

14 occupational hazard they have come to expect and accept;

15 noting that, in the absence of audio recording, there is

16 only hearsay evidence to prove the allegations, that is

17 the word of the client against that of the RUC officer.

18 Therefore, most find it futile to file a complaint,

19 particularly in lieu of the fact that any investigation

20 will be carried out by the RUC itself, and that they had

21 no confidence in such investigation."

22 Then another critical paragraph:

23 "The RUC categorically denies the allegations. In

24 his meeting with the Special Rapporteur, the

25 Chief Constable noted there's a lack of evidence to

 

 

156

 

1 substantiate the allegations, and further, there were

2 hardly any complaints made by lawyers. He also pointed

3 out that in his view it is significant that the

4 solicitors have not sought a judicial review of

5 detentions on grounds of harassment and intimidation.

6 "He emphasised that the greatest degree of respect

7 is shown to lawyers and questioned what possible benefit

8 could there be for a police officer to make

9 a disparaging comment or threat. He also mentioned that

10 numerous safeguards had been put in place to prevent

11 such abuse, including the use of closed circuit

12 televisions which must be monitored throughout the

13 entire interrogation by an uniformed officer, the

14 presence of a doctor who is available upon the request

15 of a detainee, and the appointment of the Independent

16 Commissioner."

17 That is the Independent Commissioner for the holding

18 centres who is Sir Louis Blom-Cooper. Then this

19 sentence which caused a great deal of subsequent

20 controversy:

21 "However, the Chief Constable did express the view

22 that some solicitors may, in fact, be working for the

23 paramilitaries.

24 "In this regard, he stated that this is more than

25 a suspicion. He explained that one agenda of the

 

 

157

 

1 paramilitary organisations is to ensure that detainees

2 remain silent, and thus one role of a solicitor is to

3 convey this message to the detainee. Further, he said

4 there's in fact a political divide in Northern Ireland

5 and part of the political agenda is to portray the RUC

6 as part of the Unionist tradition.

7 "These allegations concerning police intimidation

8 and harassment of solicitors is part and parcel of this

9 political agenda."

10 Then there is a reference to what the

11 Assistant Chief Constable, also present at the meetings,

12 you remember, had admitted in relation to advising the

13 client to remain silent.

14 From the next paragraph on, the Special Rapporteur

15 begins -- it is by no means the end of it -- his

16 judgments or conclusions:

17 "Views with grave concern these allegations of

18 solicitors acting on behalf of paramilitaries."

19 So the very sentence I drew to your attention:

20 "If true, they constitute an egregious violation of

21 a solicitor's professional responsibilities, and in the

22 view of the Special Rapporteur could be grounds for

23 disciplinary proceedings.

24 "Further, if there were evidence that the solicitors

25 were involved in any complicity with a crime, criminal

 

 

158

 

1 charges would undoubtedly have been brought against the

2 solicitor. However, the Special Rapporteur wishes to

3 emphasise that he was provided with no evidence to

4 support these serious allegations."

5 So in that sense this is the mirror of the line on

6 the other side. We keep being told these things are

7 happening but we are not getting any evidence. The

8 Special Rapporteur says "I keep being told or I have

9 been told by the RUC that these things are happening";

10 in other words, paramilitary involvement by solicitors

11 "but I have been provided with no evidence". So an

12 absolute contrast there. And he then develops that and

13 encourages the RUC to submit evidence of that type of

14 malpractice to the Law Society. And at 25 on

15 RNI-110-051, he pronounces that:

16 "The Special Rapporteur is concerned that the RUC

17 has in fact identified lawyers who represent those

18 accused of terrorist-related offences with their

19 clients or their clients' causes, and further that they

20 have interfered in the attorney/client relationship by

21 questioning, during the course of interrogations, the

22 integrity and professionalism of solicitors. This is

23 based not only upon the comments made by the

24 Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable in his

25 meeting with the Special Rapporteur, but also upon

 

 

159

 

1 documentary information presented to the Special

2 Rapporteur."

3 The Rapporteur continues at 26. Now taking it more

4 briefly, he says he is concerned by the fact that

5 solicitors rarely file complaints concerning alleged

6 harassment and intimidation, and gives some suggested

7 reasons.

8 The occupational hazard point we have seen before;

9 hearsay evidence, impossible to prove:

10 "Investigation of the complaint would require

11 further questioning of the client by the police.

12 "The investigation carried out by the RUC in which

13 the solicitors have no confidence, and

14 "The solicitors have no confidence in their own

15 Law Society and its ability or willingness to take up

16 the issue."

17 That is a theme which he returns to, I should say,

18 later in the report and is critical, I think it is safe

19 to say, about what he sees as an unduly passive stance

20 being taken by the professional body, by the

21 Law Society.

22 He then says that the solicitors should have

23 documented and submitted their complaints, 27. He deals

24 with the Commission. Explains at 29 that the reports

25 come in from Dr Hayes and changes are afoot. That is

 

 

160

 

1 recorded at the beginning of paragraph 30. Then from 32

2 onwards, the legal profession; he deals with the point I

3 have just mentioned about, as it were, the professional

4 body. And at 35, he recites what he says is an

5 admission made by the president in discussion with him,

6 and expresses his concern about it in 36, which runs

7 over the page to RNI-110-057, recording at 37 what has

8 happened since, as it were, which he regards as

9 positive, whereby the society is entering the fray

10 rather more actively on this issue.

11 But his final conclusion on this section, section 2

12 of his report, is this at 38 on page RNI-110-057

13 (displayed):

14 "The Special Rapporteur is satisfied that there has

15 been harassment and intimidation of defence lawyers by

16 RUC officers as described. He is also satisfied that

17 these harassments and intimidation were consistent and

18 systematic. Though there were generally no specific

19 substantiated complaints lodged with the RUC by the

20 solicitors concerned, from the various reports from

21 concerned non-governmental organisations, the annual

22 report of SACHR and the United Nations subcommission,

23 the RUC should have taken note of these complaints,

24 taken steps to investigate them and to arrest the

25 situation. Failure to address the complaints and other

 

 

161

 

1 general complaints over the years for reasons that there

2 was no substantiated complaints lodged with the RUC,

3 resulted in the RUC losing credibility in its internal

4 complaints investigatory mechanism. This further

5 resulted in a general loss of confidence, leading to the

6 proposal for an independent ombudsman to investigate

7 these complaints."

8 Now, sir, that, taken at a gallop, is the substance

9 of the draft and it is, therefore, you may think,

10 entirely unsurprising that it met with a powerful

11 reaction, which I hope I can take you to first thing

12 tomorrow morning.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: We look forward to that. Thank you. Quarter

14 past 10.

15 (4.48 pm)

16 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

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25

 

 

 

1 I N D E X

2

3 Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS .............. 1
(continued)
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Associated Evidence

Reference Title Description
303-003-011 Complaint Against the Police - Formal Investigation - Complainant(s) - Rosemary Nelson
101-171.504-171.510 Division J - Sub-Division/Department - Lurgan - Station/Branch - Craigavon - Resume of Events - 17 November 1997 - 0130 Hours
101-171.502-171.503 Division J - Sub-Division/Department - Mahon Road - Station/Branch - Divisional Commander's Office - Resume of Events at Edward Street - Lurgan on 17 November 1997 - 0130 Hours
115-170-179 Government Publishes Response to the UN Special Rapporteur's Report
301-185-188 In the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland - Queen's Bench Division No 421 - Between Rosemary Nelson - Plaintiff - and the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary - Defendent - Writ of Summons General Form
301-197-198 In the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland - Queens Bench Division - Between Rosemary Nelson and Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary - Statement of Claim
841-216-271 Inquiry Witness Statement of Christine Collins
841-381-407 Inquiry Witness Statement of P136
841-421-455 Inquiry Witness Statement of Simon Rogers
115-002-003 Letter about a Copy of the Report by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights - they are Bringing out a Second Report Next Monday
101-008-009 Letter About a Miscellaneous Inquiry Regarding Ms Rosemary Nelson
101-032-033 Letter About A Miscellaneous Inquiry Regarding Ms Rosemary Nelson
106-001-002 Letter about Abuse of Defence Lawyers
105-075-077 Letter about Amnesty International's concern about Interrogation, Charging and Detention on Remand of Colin Duffy and the Treatment of His Solicitor Rosemary Nelson
101-094-096 Letter about Amnesty International's Concerns About Issues Relating to the Interrogation
105-180-181 Letter about Colin Duffy
115-106-107 Letter about Consent for an Official Visit to the United Kingdom
105-036-037 Letter About Correspondence From Senator Robert Torricelli (April 1997) On the Issue of Personal Protection Measures for Rosemary Nelson
101-082-083 Letter About Minister's Case Referred by Amnesty International on Issues Relating to the Investigation - Charging and Detention on Remand of Colin Duffy and the Treatment of his Solicitor - Rosemary Nelson
105-112-113 Letter about Mr Colin Duffy - Request to discuss the Matter
105-061-062 Letter about Mrs Nelson and Requesting a Response on the Allegations and the Steps Taken Thereon
103-009.514-009.515 Letter About Response to the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland Report
101-211-212 Letter About Rosemary Nelson - Security
105-055-056 Letter About Rosemary Nelson - Solicitor - Alleged Death Threats by RUC Previous Correspondence Ref - Com Sec 97/195/21
101-209-210 Letter About Rosemary Nelson - Solicitor - Security
105-170-171 Letter About Rosemary Nelson and the Visit of Mr Cumaraswamy to Northern Ireland
105-006-008 Letter About Special Rapporteur Visiting the United Kingdom and the Terms of Reference of the Visit
105-122-123 Letter about Status of Investigation of Compaints Made by Ms Nelson and Mr Duffy
115-103-105 Letter about the Abuse the RUC Have Been Handing out
114-120-121 Letter from Edmund E Lynch of Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland Inc to Roger Bayley Maxwell of Royal Ulster Constabulary.
105-105-106 Letter Requesting Government Response Regarding the Allegations of Threats Against Rosemary Nelson
111-030.491-030.492 Memorandum about Note to the British Side - Incident in Lurgan/Arrest of Colin Duffy (Log 2370)
101-104-105 Note about Colin Duffy - Log No 2346
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
106-014-016 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers - Mr Cumaraswamy on the Visit to UK
110-012-013 Report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Concerning Assaults Upon Rosemary Nelson
206-003-010 Royal Ulster Constabulary - Complaint Against the Police - Formal Investigation - Complainant - Legal Secretariat to the Law Officer's Attorney General's Chamber - 9 Buckingham Gate - London on Behalf of Lawyer's Alliance for Justice in Ireland - 445 East Main Street
840-001-050 The Rosemay Nelson Inquiry - Witness Statement of P146
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
820-112-128 Witness Statement of John Steele - Statement No 1 - Exhibits JS1-JS23
841-133-142 Witness Statement of Steven McCourt - Statement No 1 - Exhibits SM 1-4