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Full Hearings

Hearing: 15th April 2008, day 1

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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 Tuesday, 15th April 2008
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 1


1 Tuesday, 15th April 2008

2 (10.15 am)

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Good morning everyone. We are very grateful

4 for everyone being so punctual. I will now ask

5 Mr Rory Phillips, leading counsel to the Inquiry, to

6 open his submissions to the Inquiry. Mr Phillips?

7 Opening submissions by MR PHILLIPS

8 MR PHILLIPS: On Monday, 15th March 1999 at about half

9 past 12 in the early afternoon, Rosemary Nelson left her

10 house in Lurgan and got into her car to drive to her

11 office in William Street in the town. Her car was

12 parked on her driveway facing the house. She reversed

13 out on to Ashford Grange and drove the very short

14 distance of about 75 metres to the junction of

15 Ashford Grange and Lake Street. At that point, the bomb

16 which had been attached to the underside of her car

17 detonated and the force of the blast ripped through the

18 driver's side causing her very severe injuries.

19 The noise of the explosion was heard by neighbours

20 and by others who were in the vicinity. Some rushed to

21 the scene. Calls were made to the emergency services,

22 the first being received by the ambulance service at

23 about 12.38.

24 Ambulance staff, members of the fire service and

25 police arrived promptly. They were joined by a trauma

3


1 team from Craigavon Hospital. At this stage, it seems

2 that Rosemary Nelson was conscious, though, of course,

3 suffering both from her appalling injuries and from

4 shock. After she had been stabilised, the fire service

5 cut the post between the driver's door and the rear of

6 the car in order to allow her to be removed. She was

7 taken to Craigavon Hospital at about 1.30.

8 Despite the efforts of medical staff to save her,

9 however, the damage done by her injuries was too great.

10 She was pronounced dead shortly after 3 o'clock.

11 She was 40 years old.

12 She was murdered in the brutal and cowardly way

13 I have described in her home town, in the town in which

14 she had grown up, the town in which she had got married

15 and brought up her three children, the town in which she

16 had set up and run her successful practice as a lawyer.

17 She was a well-known figure in the town and it was

18 not surprising, therefore, that the news of her death

19 was greeted with shock and dismay by many who lived

20 locally. Her funeral at St Peter's Church in Lurgan on

21 18th March was attended by hundreds of local residents,

22 many of whom took their places in the funeral procession

23 at the head of which walked her father, her husband,

24 Paul, and their three children.

25 Of course, early and sudden death must always have

4


1 a searing effect on family, friends and neighbours.

2 When that death is brought about by murder, there is, in

3 addition, often anger and a desire for explanations and

4 for answers, for someone to be made answerable for what

5 has happened, for those responsible to face up to what

6 they have done and to account for it.

7 No doubt all of these feelings were present in the

8 immediate aftermath of Rosemary Nelson's murder, but

9 what distinguished this case, what is important about

10 it, indeed what explains our presence here today, is

11 that her death had a impact and an effect far beyond the

12 confines of her home town.

13 On the day of her death her killing was described by

14 the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair as a "disgusting act

15 of barbarity" and as "cruel and senseless" in a joint

16 statement made in Washington DC by Mr Blair, Mr Ahern,

17 the Taoiseach, and the then president of United States,

18 Bill Clinton, on the day of her funeral. The murder was

19 condemned without reservation by politicians of all

20 parties in Northern Ireland and around the world.

21 So also her funeral was attended not just by her

22 friends and her neighbours, but also by the President

23 and Foreign Minister of the Irish Republic, by

24 a Minister of State from the Northern Ireland Office, by

25 many other politicians from Northern Ireland as well as

5


1 by judges and lawyers from here and elsewhere.

2 And at that funeral, the local priest in his address

3 expressed it as follows:

4 "The shockwaves of Rosemary's death have stunned so

5 many people in Lurgan and its surrounding areas and have

6 had enormous ramifications across Northern Ireland and

7 further afield."

8 And so the question arises: why? Why did her murder

9 have such an impact? And why was its significance

10 recognised and articulated immediately, and not just

11 here in Northern Ireland but around the world?

12 At this stage, sir, I would like to mention four

13 factors, all of which will have their part to play in

14 these hearings.

15 First, the murder took place at a time of broadly

16 positive change for Northern Ireland. This will be

17 a theme of my opening statement: that the years before

18 her murder, the background to it, were a time of change,

19 with all the usual consequences for people in those

20 circumstances.

21 Change can, of course, be a hopeful and

22 forward-looking business, which some people will embrace

23 as an opportunity. However, it can also be experienced

24 by some as worrying, or even disturbing, when old

25 certainties or familiar ways of doing things seem to be

6


1 undermined or challenged and the ground moves

2 unexpectedly under the feet. One man's change for the

3 better can be another's change for the worse.

4 The process of change in a society which had been,

5 and continued to be, divided in significant respects was

6 always likely to be a difficult and challenging one.

7 And we will, during this hearing, hear evidence from

8 some who took part in and helped to move forward those

9 changes, some indeed who had major roles in the process.

10 But also from others, whose experience it was simply to

11 live and to work here during that time.

12 For now, however, let me simply suggest that her

13 murder may have had an especially powerful impact

14 because it took place nearly a year after the

15 Good Friday Agreement, when the political and security

16 situation seemed to have improved and to be improving.

17 In this connection, a further comment by the then

18 Prime Minister, Mr Blair, is important. In his reaction

19 to the news of Rosemary Nelson's death given on the day

20 of her murder, he said this:

21 "The sole aim of the murderers is to remove any

22 chance of reconciliation. They will not be allowed to

23 succeed."

24 The then leader of the Opposition, William Hague,

25 added his voice to this theme by suggesting that the

7


1 murder was designed to derail the peace process and by

2 expressing the hope that the people in Northern Ireland

3 will have the resolve to continue with their work.

4 They were not alone in seeing her murder in this

5 light, nor in looking in this direction for a probable

6 motive for the killing, namely that the murder was

7 itself an attempt to derail the peace process, perhaps

8 by provoking retaliatory violence and thus to put at

9 risk those positive changes which had taken place by

10 that point and which were, in many people's eyes,

11 embodied by the Good Friday Agreement.

12 In this way, therefore, the murder of

13 Rosemary Nelson was placed immediately in a broad

14 political context. It ceased immediately to be just

15 a private family matter. And it is in this light that

16 the violence and clashes which took place in Portadown

17 on the eve of her funeral must be seen.

18 However, it is also important, I would suggest, to

19 remember that these concerns, about the potential

20 ramifications of the killing, expressed in the immediate

21 aftermath were not well grounded. We will consider this

22 in more detail in due course, but you may think it

23 a notable feature of the period after her murder that

24 there was no headlong return to violence, and that may

25 also be illuminating for us when we come to consider the

8


1 true place of Rosemary Nelson in the political landscape

2 of Northern Ireland at the time. Indeed, it may help us

3 to understand the background and possibly the reasons

4 for her murder.

5 As we know, the process continued on its way, with

6 an onward movement which was not always reliable and

7 which at times it seemed only by inches took

8 Northern Ireland to the very different political

9 situation which pertains today, as recently celebrated

10 in the course of the meetings to mark the

11 10th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

12 So the second factor I would like to mention at this

13 point relates to her work as a lawyer and specifically

14 as a defence lawyer.

15 At the time of her murder there was a perception,

16 which has persisted to this day, that she was killed

17 because of her work. Now, as is well-known,

18 Rosemary Nelson represented a number of people charged

19 with serious terrorist crimes and with grave offences,

20 including murder: and, of course, an important

21 characteristic of a free democratic society, governed

22 according to law, is the presence within it of lawyers

23 who are willing and able to take up the cause of those

24 charged with offences, however grave they may be and

25 however repellent the nature of the conduct alleged, and

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1 to represent them fearlessly and to the best of their

2 ability, whatever society's view of their clients.

3 This is also an essential underpinning of any legal

4 system. If lawyers are not willing to represent, to

5 argue cases for such people, then the effective

6 functioning of the system itself is put at risk.

7 And that means, in turn, that the system must value

8 and uphold those undertaking such work. The more

9 repulsive the alleged crime, the more critical it is

10 that the defendant should have effective representation.

11 And in this country we hold that principle very dear,

12 and indeed we view with concern other systems in which

13 the rights of defendants do not extend to the provision

14 of effective representation, or where the ability of the

15 defendant's lawyer to argue his case is fettered in

16 a way that we would regard as unacceptable.

17 One of the ways in which this is done is by

18 preserving and defending bright and clear lines of

19 distinction between the lawyer on the one hand and the

20 client and his or her alleged crimes on the other. So

21 whatever society's view of the client or of the offence,

22 whatever opprobrium may attach to the client, that must

23 not be allowed to affect society's view of the lawyer,

24 whose professional duty is to represent that client to

25 the best of his or her ability.

10


1 Thus it is that what many have suggested happened in

2 this case, namely that a lawyer's murder may have been

3 brought about because of the identification of that

4 lawyer with her clients in the minds of the killers, was

5 and continues to be a matter of great concern, and would

6 have been and would be in any democratic society where

7 the murder had taken place.

8 But it took place here, of course, in

9 Northern Ireland and in the particular changing,

10 political and security context of March 1999, which is

11 why it will also be important to take into account not

12 only that context, but also the political element to

13 Rosemary Nelson's work, by which I mean those areas of

14 her practice as a lawyer which were themselves

15 political, or which had a political element, or which

16 brought her into the political sphere.

17 But as important, indeed perhaps more important, is

18 the related but distinct question of the way in which

19 her work was perceived to be political or to bring her

20 into the political arena. For that perception of itself

21 and whether or not it was grounded in fact may have been

22 enough to make her a more likely focus for the bitter

23 sectarian views of those who had not embraced the

24 political path and who still clung to violence and

25 murder as a way of advancing their own agenda, whether

11


1 political or not.

2 And that she was the focus of intense and bitter

3 feeling amounting to hatred on the part of some in this

4 community will, I suggest, become absolutely plain, as

5 you consider the documents and the evidence over the

6 next weeks and months. Nor could there be much doubt,

7 you may think, that this hatred was itself the product

8 of the violent sectarian element in Northern Ireland

9 society, which was not removed by magic as a result of

10 the Good Friday Agreement, but on the contrary, which

11 showed its power to full effect in the months after the

12 agreement was made and in particular in the areas, both

13 legal and geographical, in which Rosemary Nelson lived

14 and worked.

15 At this stage, it will be seen, I hope, that the two

16 factors I have mentioned -- that her murder took place

17 at a time of broadly positive change and that she may

18 have been murdered because of her work as a lawyer or

19 because of the way in which her work was seen by some at

20 least in that same political context -- are closely

21 interlinked.

22 This too will be a feature of the documents and the

23 evidence which we examine in these hearings. How

24 Rosemary Nelson's legal work brought her into the

25 broader political context and how the two areas of law

12


1 and politics met merged and perhaps collided in the last

2 years of her life.

3 Returning, however, to the question of why her

4 murder made such an impact, the third factor I would

5 like to mention, which is again closely linked to the

6 other two, is, of course, that in her case, as in the

7 case of the only other lawyer to be murdered during the

8 Troubles, Pat Finucane, allegations of collusion, ie of

9 state or security force involvement in the murder, were

10 made very shortly after her murder and have continued to

11 be made both in Northern Ireland and elsewhere over the

12 years since; one, of course, of a number of such cases

13 where allegations have been made in the history of the

14 Troubles.

15 In this regard, it is in itself significant that her

16 death took place ten years after Pat Finucane's and at

17 a more hopeful stage of the long journey towards peace.

18 And so we return to the first factor I mentioned as

19 a possible reason for the impact made by her murder.

20 However, there is a further and final factor which

21 you may think distinguishes her case from Pat Finucane's

22 and indeed from any other murder in the years of the

23 Troubles of which certainly I am aware. And this is

24 that what happened to Rosemary Nelson was in a sense no

25 more than the dreadful fulfilment of death threats about

13


1 which she had spoken privately but also publicly in the

2 years and months before her death. And those threats

3 had been the subject of international expressions of

4 concern over the same period and had been considered and

5 investigated by others in various ways during that

6 period. Indeed, as we will hear, some of those

7 investigations were still incomplete at the time of her

8 murder.

9 Now, I will have more to say about this later in

10 this opening. Suffice it to say at this point that the

11 striking and, as I have suggested, possibly unique

12 feature of her murder, was that the fact of it, if not

13 the manner of it, had apparently been so clearly

14 foreshadowed or foretold, not least by her.

15 Unsurprisingly, therefore, after her murder there

16 were many who wanted to know whether more could have

17 been done to protect her and whether her murder could

18 have been prevented.

19 Sir, the result of all of these and perhaps other

20 matters has been that her murder has become the focus of

21 debate and of a good deal of emotion in the years which

22 have followed, so that although only one out of well

23 over 3,000 violent deaths which marred the years of the

24 Troubles, it has continued and continues to arouse deep

25 feeling and to be the object of controversy.

14


1 Importantly, however, the theories, the claims and

2 the counterclaims which have surrounded the murder have

3 had no public airing until now; perhaps the principal

4 reason for that being that, despite a huge police effort

5 put into the murder investigation over many years,

6 no one has ever been charged or tried for, still less

7 convicted of the murder. So there has been no hearing;

8 no public investigation of what happened has ever taken

9 place.

10 So returning to what I said a little while ago about

11 the human response to such a terrible event, there have

12 been no answers and no calling to account and nobody has

13 been made answerable.

14 And it is in this context that the Inquiry takes its

15 particular place. On your behalf it will be our task

16 over the months of these hearings to investigate and

17 probe these and other matters, which include very

18 troubling suggestions, at their highest of state

19 involvement in the murder of one of the state's own

20 citizens, in a dispassionate and calm way, so that the

21 truth is not itself obscured by emotion, preconception

22 or prejudice.

23 As you remarked in the initial statement which you

24 made at Craigavon in April 2005, uncovering the truth

25 can be a painful business. However, as you also pointed

15


1 out, the truth, when revealed, can allow lessons to be

2 learned about the past and can lead to a better way

3 forward for the future.

4 Sir, at this point I would like to say something, if

5 I may, about the background to the inquiry.

6 The Inquiry is itself a product of the peace

7 process. At Weston Park in 2001, the British and Irish

8 Governments agreed to establish investigations into six

9 cases, four from Northern Ireland and two from the

10 Republic, where allegations of collusion had been made

11 over the years. And the retired Canadian Supreme Court

12 Judge, Peter Cory, was appointed to review the cases.

13 In relation to the four Northern Ireland cases, he

14 interpreted his task as being to determine a simple

15 question in each case, whether there was, to use his

16 words:

17 "A case to be answered as to possible collusion, in

18 a wide sense, by members of the security forces in these

19 deaths such as to warrant a further and more detailed

20 Inquiry."

21 He described his task as being "preliminary and

22 provisional." In those circumstances, he decided that it

23 was not necessary nor appropriate for him to hear oral

24 evidence. His investigations consisted of an

25 examination of the documents in each case.

16


1 Now, in each of the four cases, including

2 Rosemary Nelson's case, he determined that the

3 documentary evidence indicated that there were matters

4 of concern which would warrant further and more detailed

5 enquiry.

6 Accordingly, on 16th November 2004, the then

7 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Right

8 Honourable Paul Murphy, established this Inquiry under

9 section 44 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

10 Now, sir, at this stage, and with some trepidation,

11 I would like to make use of the display system we have

12 here in the chamber to show you, for the first and what

13 may be the last time, the relevant section of the Act.

14 So I would like section 44 of the Act, please.

15 Good. Thank you very much.

16 Sir, it is very short:

17 "The Secretary of State may cause an Inquiry to be

18 held by a person appointed by him and to any matter

19 connected with policing. The Inquiry under this section

20 shall be held in public ..."

21 As in our case:

22 "... or in private as the Secretary of State may

23 direct."

24 Sir, you will then see reference to schedule 8 of

25 the 1972 Health and Personal Social Services

17


1 (Northern Ireland) Order 1972, which I don't think we need

2 to look at at the moment, but which sets out the

3 procedural powers given by statute and that regulation

4 to the Inquiry.

5 Then finally, can I draw attention to

6 subsection (4):

7 "Where the report of the person holding an Inquiry

8 under this section is not published, a summary of his

9 findings and conclusions shall be made known by the

10 Secretary of State so far as appears to him consistent

11 with the public interest."

12 Sir, that is all we need from the Act for now, but I

13 will be referring to this same Act, the 1998 Police

14 (Northern Ireland) Act, later in this opening. First,

15 because it was also in this Act that the Police

16 Ombudsman for Northern Ireland was established in order

17 to deal with all complaints against the police, and

18 secondly -- and in a broader context -- because the Act

19 itself marked one of the stages along the road to change

20 in the policing of Northern Ireland, which is, I will

21 suggest, an important part of the background to the

22 issues we will have to consider.

23 So, sir, you and your colleagues were appointed to

24 conduct this public Inquiry under that 1998 Act, and the

25 team of counsel, solicitors and civil servant

18


1 administrators and others which you then recruited has

2 worked for you in the period of over three years since,

3 to assist you to discharge the duty laid upon you to

4 inquire into the matters set out in your Terms of

5 Reference and identified in more detail in the List of

6 Issues which the Inquiry published in May 2005.

7 Before taking a look at those two important

8 documents, I would like first to take the opportunity to

9 correct a misunderstanding which may exist in some minds

10 as to the statutory basis of the Inquiry.

11 There has been a good deal of published and reported

12 comment about the Inquiries Act 2005 and, in particular,

13 about some of its provisions. Whether or not there is

14 any substance in those comments or concerns is something

15 which, fortunately, lies well outside my brief.

16 However, what I can say with certainty is that this

17 Inquiry is not proceeding under the 2005 Act. It

18 continues as it began, under the Police

19 (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

20 Sir, it may also help if, right at the outset, I say

21 something about the place of these hearings in the

22 overall scheme of the Inquiry's work. These hearings

23 are not the beginning and they are certainly not the end

24 of the Inquiry's work. You and your colleagues and your

25 team have been at work since the early part of 2005. So

19


1 the hearings which start today are the product of

2 literally years of work. Documents and witness

3 statements which we will consider during these hearings

4 will not, in the vast majority of cases, be new to you.

5 The distinctive aspect of this stage of the Inquiry's

6 work is that it takes place in public.

7 And of course, when these hearings end, another

8 phase of the Inquiry's work will begin, namely the

9 production of a report to the Secretary of State.

10 I hope that those remarks will help everyone here to

11 see these hearings in a proper perspective. I intend to

12 do what I can in due course to correct some other

13 possible misunderstandings about the nature of our

14 process, but I would like first to turn to the Terms of

15 Reference:

16 "To inquire into the death of Rosemary Nelson with

17 a view to determining whether any wrongful act or

18 omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary

19 Northern Ireland Office, Army or other state agency,

20 facilitated her death or obstructed the investigation of

21 it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any

22 such act or omission was intentional or neglect; whether

23 the investigation of her death was carried out with due

24 diligence; and to make recommendations."

25 Sir, can I make just a few points about the Terms of

20


1 Reference? First, I note the very general nature of the

2 opening words:

3 "To inquire into the death of Rosemary Nelson ..."

4 Secondly, the specific matters then listed as to be

5 determined fall into three parts: questions arising in

6 the period leading up to her murder; issues relating to

7 the murder investigation itself; and finally, the

8 question of recommendations.

9 Next, there is the obvious distinction, I suggest,

10 between the questions of fact required to be answered by

11 these Terms of Reference in relation both to the events

12 before the murder and to the actual or attempted

13 obstruction of the murder investigation, and on the

14 other hand, the qualitative assessment required in

15 relation to the murder investigation in order to answer

16 the question: was it carried out with due diligence?

17 That is the phrase, sir, between the pair of

18 semi-colons.

19 Sir, that difference or distinction is reflected in

20 the Inquiry's procedural approach to the question of due

21 diligence, most obviously in the instruction by the

22 Inquiry of an expert, Mr Robert Ayling, whose report on

23 the question of due diligence will obviously be an

24 important element in the Inquiry's assessment of that

25 issue.

21


1 Perhaps the only slightly out of the ordinary word

2 is "facilitated", and the Shorter Oxford English

3 Dictionary gives me the following definition:

4 "Make easy or easier, promote, help forward (an

5 action, result, et cetera)."

6 And I hope that that is enough to get the sense

7 across.

8 In relation to the organisations on whom the Inquiry

9 has focused its attention, you will see that the RUC,

10 now PSNI, the NIO, the Northern Ireland Office, and the

11 Army are named, and then there is the phrase "or other

12 state agency". Sir, included within the wide ambit of

13 this phrase is the Security Service, or MI5.

14 As I will explain in due course, the Security

15 Service is an organisation from whom the Inquiry has

16 received substantial disclosure. A number of witness

17 statements have been provided by current or former

18 officers of the service. The Security Service has bee,n

19 and continues to be, included within the range of the

20 Inquiry's investigations. And in September 2006, the

21 Inquiry acceded to the Security Service's application to

22 become a Full Participant in the Inquiry.

23 Sir, finally, it will be seen that the word

24 "collusion" does not feature in the Terms of Reference.

25 When one considers the language of the Terms of

22


1 Reference, however, and when we consider, as we shall in

2 a moment, the Inquiry's extensive List of Issues, it

3 will be clear, I hope, that nothing is lost thereby.

4 Indeed, it could be argued that the connotations of this

5 word in Northern Ireland, the baggage of associations

6 and preconceptions which have been grafted on to it and

7 which have accrued to it over the years, would not have

8 been helpful to you in your investigation and, indeed,

9 might have tended to obscure, rather than to illuminate.

10 Its absence also makes it unnecessary for us to

11 attempt to define its meaning with precision. As is

12 well-known, a striking feature of Judge Cory's reports

13 and one which caused some concern on their publication

14 in 2004, was the very wide meaning which he gave to that

15 term. And this is indeed something which is commented

16 upon in evidence obtained by the Inquiry.

17 It must be borne in mind, of course, Judge Cory's

18 definition was given in the context of a very different,

19 provisional and preliminary form of Inquiry. What is

20 clear, I would suggest, is that it would be quite

21 inappropriate for you to spend any time assessing the

22 interpretation which Judge Cory gave to the term in the

23 context of this Inquiry. Your task is defined by the

24 Terms of Reference and set out in greater detail in the

25 List of Issues, which the Inquiry has published.

23


1 So far as we are concerned, the words of those two

2 documents, old-fashioned and perhaps legalistic as they

3 may be -- you described the language of the draft List of

4 Issues as "law speak" in your initial statement in

5 Craigavon -- are sufficiently clear to be readily

6 understood.

7 In relation to Judge Cory's report, however, there

8 is a wider point to be made. The Government accepted

9 Judge Cory's recommendation that there should be an

10 Inquiry in Rosemary Nelson's case. That in turn, as

11 I have explained, led to the establishment of this

12 Inquiry. However, this Inquiry is a distinct and

13 separate legal entity and its investigation a distinct

14 process from Judge Cory's. You are in no sense bound by

15 his findings or comments and nor is the scope of your

16 work to be confined by reference to his report.

17 His report is one of a number of reports in relation

18 to inquiries, investigations and complaints which you

19 and your team have considered over the years, some of

20 which we will look at in more detail later. They take

21 their place with all of the other material you will have

22 to consider. Their findings and conclusions may be

23 found to assist you. They do not bind you.

24 Sir, can we now look at the List of Issues?

25 (Displayed)

24


1 There are 29 issues in all. They were first issued

2 in May 2005. We have worked with them since and I can't

3 recall any substantial challenge to their terms having

4 been made either by the Full Participants or indeed

5 anyone else, certainly not over the last couple of

6 years. As the hearings proceed, it may be that other

7 points of significance will emerge in the evidence and

8 that you might think it right to amend one or more or

9 even to add to the list. However, at this stage they

10 remain a comprehensive and, I hope, useful guide to the

11 matters under investigation.

12 A glance through them will perhaps underline for

13 everyone the very wide range of matters which you have

14 been investigating and about which you will be hearing

15 evidence over the next months.

16 Sir, as we look through them, I will explain or

17 elaborate on particular aspects of the issues so that

18 their role in the hearings is clear. Sir, can we start

19 by looking at this first group. I think they are going

20 to appear in batches of five.

21 The first issue:

22 "Did Rosemary Nelson's work for her clients create

23 conflict with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), the

24 Northern Ireland Office (NIO), the Army or other state

25 agent, and if so, why and to what extent?"

25


1 That issue picks up the point I mentioned earlier

2 about the effect of her work as a lawyer on her

3 relationship with the police, and here also the NIO, the

4 Army or other state agent. And note, please, also the

5 reference there to "clients", which brings us back to

6 the concern that there may have been confusion here

7 between client and lawyer.

8 Sir, we will have to consider the work she did and

9 the particular clients for whom her work may have caused

10 such conflict with those organisations. It may also be

11 worth reminding everyone that the list of organisations

12 which appears in issue 1 is, of course, exactly the list

13 that we have just seen in the Terms of Reference.

14 The next two issues relate to threats. The first:

15 "What threats were made to Rosemary Nelson's

16 personal safety by any persons or organisations; and the

17 nature and extent of, and the reasons for, such

18 threats."

19 That issue will be the subject of a good deal of

20 evidence. We will hear from those -- family, friends,

21 colleagues and others -- to whom Rosemary Nelson spoke

22 about the threats she said she had received over the

23 years, and we will look at such documentary or other

24 evidence as remains of the threats themselves.

25 In the course of our work, we have also recovered TV

26


1 and other material from broadcasters and others and that

2 includes footage which shows Rosemary Nelson herself

3 speaking about threats to her. And I intend to show

4 some short extracts from that material later in this

5 opening so that we can hear her speaking about her work

6 and about her experience, and also to hear from her what

7 she had to say about those threats.

8 Issue 3 is closely connected:

9 "To what extent were the RUC, NIO, Army or other

10 state agency notified or otherwise aware of threats to,

11 and concern for, Rosemary Nelson's personal safety;

12 including the nature, and the likelihood, of a specific

13 attack."

14 Sir, this is concerned with the extent to which

15 threats were brought to the attention of the various

16 organisations or were otherwise known to them, and also

17 with the extent to which they were notified or were

18 aware of concern for her safety.

19 It also raises the question of whether they were

20 notified or aware of the likelihood of a specific attack

21 on her, and this is a matter to which I will return

22 later in dealing with the intelligence material.

23 The next two issues, 4 and 5, deal with behaviour at

24 a lower level than the threats, referred to in what is

25 perhaps not a very elegant phrase as "adverse behaviour

27


1 or comments", and these ask the same questions as in

2 issues 2 and 3 about such behaviour or comments.

3 Number 4:

4 "Whether [she] was subject to any adverse behaviour

5 or comments by any persons or organisations, including

6 the RUC, NIO, Army or other state agency; and the nature

7 and extent of, and the reasons for such behaviour or

8 comments.

9 "To what extent were the RUC, NIO, Army or other

10 state agency notified or otherwise made aware of any

11 other adverse behaviour or comment, to Rosemary Nelson

12 or about her."

13 Sir, can I stress a few points in relation to those?

14 First, the issue includes a consideration of the

15 reasons, the reasons for behaviour or comment. We are

16 not, therefore, simply concerned with the question of

17 whether things alleged to have taken place took place,

18 but rather to look behind that and seek to understand,

19 if things did take place, why they did take place.

20 Sir, I should explain that amongst the complaints

21 made by Rosemary Nelson on behalf of her clients in 1997

22 and 1998, there were complaints that police officers at

23 holding centres made rude and abusive comments about her

24 to her clients during the course of interviews. But the

25 sort of comments I am talking about here did not

28


1 include, and indeed did not amount to, threats against

2 her life or personal safety.

3 So the issues then -- the five that we have looked

4 at -- as between 2 and 3 on the one hand and 4 and 5 on

5 the other, draw that distinction between comments which

6 amounted to or may have amounted to a threat, and other

7 comments.

8 Now, sir, I will return to these questions later,

9 but it is, I think, worth noting at this stage that the

10 Inquiry's interest in the question of behaviour and

11 comment, for example, is in part an interest in what

12 these comments, if made, tell us about attitudes, about

13 how some police officers and others may have regarded

14 Rosemary Nelson and how their view of her may have been

15 reflected both in what they said about her and in how

16 they behaved towards her.

17 We will also have to consider how widespread such

18 attitudes were within the police force or elsewhere, and

19 what the basis for or cause of these attitudes to her

20 might have been. Can we have the next lot of issues.

21 The next issue, issue 6:

22 "To what extent were any complaints made by

23 Rosemary Nelson and/or others, as to her alleged

24 mistreatment by the RUC, investigated by the RUC, NIO,

25 Army or other state agency."

29


1 So obviously, sir, this is centred on the complaints

2 made by her or by others about these issues and on the

3 investigation of them. And it is a topic with a long

4 history, which began at least two years before her

5 murder and continued after her death, and which I will

6 outline in greater detail later in this opening.

7 But at this stage, sir, I should make clear that the

8 vast majority of the complaints on which the Inquiry has

9 focused its attention were against police officers and

10 related to comments, as I have said, alleged to have

11 been made in interviews of her clients, when they were

12 being detained in the holding centres.

13 The complaints were investigated by police officers

14 under the complaints system which was then in operation.

15 Some of those investigations were supervised by a member

16 of the Independent Commission for Police Complaints, the

17 ICPC. There was then a further investigation or review

18 in relation to some of the complaints by a very senior

19 officer of the Metropolitan Police, Commander Mulvihill.

20 Although there are some documents in the bundle

21 relating to complaints involving members of the Army

22 where there was a level of Army investigation, these

23 constitute a small minority of the overall number of

24 complaints which we will be considering.

25 In relation to the NIO, the department was not, of

30


1 course, involved in the detailed investigation of these

2 matters, although, as we will see, there was involvement

3 at a higher level at various stages of what became an

4 increasingly prominent political issue during 1997, 1998

5 and 1999.

6 But it follows that the principal focus in relation

7 to this issue during the next weeks and months will be

8 on the complaints made against the police and on the

9 investigation of those complaints.

10 Issue 7:

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

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

13 Army or other state agency regarding concerns for her

14 personal safety, and their reaction thereto."

15 So this approaches the question of Rosemary Nelson's

16 safety from another angle and it looks at whether help

17 was sought by her or by others on her behalf from any of

18 the relevant organisations with regard to the concerns

19 about her safety, and if so, what response was given to

20 any such request for help. And there is a substantial

21 amount of material and evidence which deals with these

22 matters.

23 The next issue, 8:

24 "The response of the RUC, NIO, Army or other state

25 agency to any knowledge of threats or adverse behaviour

31


1 to or about Rosemary Nelson, including the investigation

2 of the same."

3 Sir, this issue considers the matter of threats and

4 adverse behaviour, the terms we have looked at earlier,

5 and asks what any of the relevant organisations did in

6 response to any knowledge of these matters, including

7 the question of whether they investigated them.

8 So clearly, bound up with that issue, number 8, are

9 sub-issues: First, the question of what knowledge of

10 such matters there was; secondly, what they did about it

11 and with it. Please note here that there is what may be

12 a significant distinction drawn between the question of

13 complaints, as in issue 6, for example, and the separate

14 question of how an organisation dealt with knowledge of

15 threats, whether raised in the form of a complaint or

16 not, and however that knowledge was obtained or came

17 into the hands of the relevant organisation.

18 As we shall see, when we come to consider the

19 documents in greater detail, the question presents

20 itself time and time again. When is a threat to life

21 properly to be addressed as if it were a complaint and

22 only a complaint? That is a stark question, but there

23 is bound up in it another point which relates to the

24 lower level of conduct alleged, namely adverse

25 behaviour. You will see that term is also used in

32


1 issue 8.

2 The question in that context, therefore, is what the

3 organisations did, if anything, in the light of whatever

4 knowledge they had of that type of behaviour.

5 Now, sir, the next issue, number 9, should, I think,

6 obviously be read with 10 and 11, but if we can stick

7 with this slide for the moment. These issues are all

8 concerned with risk assessments, which were carried out

9 in relation to Rosemary Nelson's safety. Now, as you

10 know, in the material and the evidence there is a very

11 large amount of documentation about risk and threat

12 assessments generally.

13 There is at least some suggestion in the evidence

14 obtained by the Inquiry that these two terms -- "risk",

15 and "threat" -- should be used for distinct processes.

16 Perhaps I can try to explain the distinction which I

17 think is being drawn. A threat assessment is concerned

18 with whether there exists a threat or perhaps a specific

19 or a direct threat to a particular person or persons,

20 that assessment being conducted at the time we are

21 concerned with by Special Branch of the RUC and usually

22 conducted on the basis of an analysis of the relevant

23 intelligence.

24 Now, it is suggested that a risk assessment is

25 something which, in a sense, follows on from a threat

33


1 assessment and it is the process whereby the particular

2 risk to the person or persons under threat is assessed

3 by reference to their way of life, the place and

4 conditions in which they live, their daily habits, their

5 routines, any security precautions they may already have

6 in place and their general awareness of their own

7 security.

8 Now, having outlined the distinction which is made

9 in some of the evidence, it has to be said that the

10 comments made by witnesses, including some with many

11 years of experience in this area, both about the

12 processes and about the question of what constitutes

13 a threat or a risk or a specific or a direct threat, are

14 very many and very varied. That will to be explored

15 with them, of course, when they come to give evidence,

16 and there is certainly, you may think, enough

17 inconsistency, if not contradiction in the views

18 expressed to suggest that the processes were not perhaps

19 as scientific and the principles not so generally

20 understood or agreed as might first appear.

21 But for now, let there be no doubt at least about

22 this: the material relevant to issues 9 and 10, on which

23 the Inquiry will focus its intention, relates to the

24 threat or risk assessments which were carried out by the

25 RUC in relation to Rosemary Nelson

34


1 in February/March 1998 and in August that year.

2 However, we will also devote some attention to an

3 earlier episode in May 1997, in which concerns about her

4 safety were raised but which appears not to have

5 involved or triggered a threat or risk assessment. As

6 far as we can tell, at any rate at this stage, no such

7 formal assessment was undertaken.

8 Now, in each case NIO officials were involved, both

9 in the initiation and at the end of the process.

10 Indeed, I will suggest that this may have been an

11 important factor in the way in which the assessment or

12 whatever it was that did take place in May 1997 was

13 conducted. Without getting into any further detail now,

14 the end result of each exercise was negative, in the

15 sense that it was determined that there was no threat or

16 direct or specific threat or no direct or specific

17 intelligence of a threat -- a variety of terms are

18 used -- but with the same effect in each case, namely

19 that it was concluded that there was, in short, nothing

20 further to be done.

21 Now, sir, for obvious reasons I will, in my opening,

22 outline for you the material on these particular issues

23 in some detail, for it seems obvious that these may have

24 been the moments at which, in answer to the sorts of

25 questions I mentioned a little while ago, something

35


1 might have been done. Now, part of the examination will

2 include a focus on the extent to which the senior

3 officers in the RUC, senior officials in the NIO, were

4 involved in the process, what their roles were and the

5 extent, therefore, of their knowledge of the issues at

6 various points in the history.

7 Now, whether, if the assessments had produced

8 a different result that would have made any difference

9 in the end -- by which I mean, of course, whether it

10 might have prevented the murder of Rosemary Nelson --

11 is, of course, another question. And it is no doubt

12 a question which has troubled her family and others over

13 the years which have passed since her murder and it is

14 one of the issues to be considered.

15 But in order to set these assessments in their

16 context, I also intend to take to you the documents and

17 other material in the files so far disclosed which show

18 what was known by the two principal organisations, the

19 RUC and the NIO, about Rosemary Nelson, about what was

20 happening to her and about concerns which were being

21 expressed about her personal safety before each

22 assessment.

23 I will also show you what I can at this stage of the

24 material which appears to have been considered by those

25 conducting the assessments, and this is issue 10, which

36


1 provides:

2 "The nature, extent and quality of the material on

3 which each such risk assessment was based."

4 Now, sir, it is 11.15. Is that a convenient moment

5 for a short break?

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to have

7 each day a quarter of an hour break in the middle of the

8 morning, and it is to be exactly a quarter of an hour,

9 and we will resume promptly at 11.30.

10 (11.15 am)

11 (Short break)

12 (11.30 am)

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

14 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, can we have the List of Issues back and

15 can we get the slide with numbers 22 and 23, please?

16 Thank you very much. (Displayed)

17 Sir, you will remember I was talking about issue 10

18 and the process for a threat or risk assessment. There

19 is clearly a connection between those issues and 22 and

20 23. 22 is:

21 "What procedures did the RUC, NIO, Army or other

22 state agency have in place to assess and react to

23 threats and adverse behaviour to an individual, whether

24 reported by that individual or not.

25 "23. How such procedures have changed and might have

37


1 improved."

2 Sir, the Inquiry's focus here will be, so far as the

3 police is concerned, on the applicable force orders for

4 the two threat assessments I have mentioned. The force

5 order in place for the first assessment was replaced

6 in March 1998 by a new regime which was, therefore, the

7 one in force for the second assessment in August that

8 year. Sir, we will look at both and we will consider

9 whether and to what extent what was done in each of the

10 assessments conformed to the terms of the relevant

11 orders.

12 Sir, moving down this slide, 24 and 25:

13 "What procedures were in place to record and deal

14 with adverse behaviour or comments if made by members of

15 the RUC towards a detainee about his legal

16 representative.

17 25. How such procedures have changed and might be

18 improved."

19 So, sir, these deal with the specific cases I have

20 mentioned of alleged police behaviour or comment about

21 the lawyer, about the legal representative of

22 a detainee. And I have explained that some of the

23 complaints we will examine concern suggestions that such

24 comments were made by police officers to her clients

25 about Rosemary Nelson.

38


1 So, sir, those issues require us, therefore, to look

2 at the system which was then in place for complaints

3 against the police, at the workings of the relevant

4 department of the RUC, G department, and at the

5 structure and workings of the Independent Commission for

6 Police Complaints. We will look, first, at the relevant

7 framework of statute, regulation and guidance and in due

8 course we will hear evidence from witnesses who worked

9 on and investigated complaints, both in the police and

10 at the ICPC. We will also hear from some of

11 Rosemary Nelson's clients who made complaints in 1997

12 and 1998, and from some of the officers against whom the

13 complaints were made.

14 I should make it clear at the outset that the end

15 result of all of the investigations which took place,

16 including those which were still ongoing at the time of

17 her murder, was that none of these allegations, none of

18 the complaints, were made out; none of the complaints

19 were upheld. It is important, I think, to stress that

20 now.

21 However, sir, as we will also consider, in this area

22 too the years before Rosemary Nelson's death were a time

23 of change. In November 1995, the Secretary of State for

24 Northern Ireland in the Conservative Government

25 appointed Dr Maurice Hayes to review the workings of the

39


1 complaints system, and he reported in January 1997.

2 His report is in the Inquiry bundle and we will look

3 at key passages of it in due course. In short, however,

4 Dr Hayes recommended a new ombudsman system for the

5 investigation of all complaints against the police, and

6 his recommendations were accepted by the Government and

7 followed through by the New Labour administration which

8 came into power in May 1997. And that, in turn, led to

9 the provisions of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act

10 1998, which I have mentioned earlier, by which the

11 office of the police ombudsman for Northern Ireland was

12 established.

13 As a matter of fact, however, that office was not

14 working, at least not officially, until, I think, 2000,

15 certainly after Rosemary Nelson's death, which means

16 that the last two years of Rosemary Nelson's life were

17 in short a period of transition in this area as well.

18 Changes, it was accepted, had to be made and would be

19 made. The ground for the new system was being prepared,

20 but for all complaints concerning Rosemary Nelson and

21 ongoing at the time of her death, the old system was in

22 force.

23 Sir, returning to our list, we have gone slightly

24 out of order, so could we return now to the slide with

25 issue 11? Thank you. (Displayed) Issue 11:

40


1 "What material relevant to Rosemary Nelson's

2 personal safety was in the possession of or available to

3 the RUC, NIO, Army or other state agency prior to

4 Rosemary Nelson's death."

5 This makes it clear that the Inquiry is also

6 interested in all material relevant to her safety, which

7 was held by or available to any of the organisations at

8 any time before her murder. Sir, we are not simply

9 concerned, therefore, to ascertain what assessments were

10 done and how they were done and to look at procedures;

11 but more generally, and perhaps more importantly, the

12 Inquiry will consider everything which was known or

13 which could have been made known to the organisations,

14 whether or not at that time there was initiated a threat

15 or risk assessment. For what is at stake here is in the

16 end the state's responsibility to safeguard life and not

17 simply a question about procedures.

18 The next issue, 12:

19 "Rosemary Nelson's response to any offers of

20 assistance in relation to her personal safety made to

21 her or to others representing her interests."

22 Clearly this raises some important questions, and

23 breaking it up into its component parts, the first

24 question, I think, is this: was Rosemary Nelson ever

25 offered any such assistance? So far as I have been able

41


1 to ascertain in the material which the Inquiry has seen,

2 the answer to that question is: no, she was not. There

3 were some suggestions made to others about steps she

4 might take but, as I say, there is, so far as I am

5 aware, no documentary evidence of any such offer being

6 made to her. There is evidence about steps which may or

7 should have been taken with her safety in mind by local

8 police officers and that is, as I believe, it.

9 That, of course, leads us to the second question

10 arising from issue 12, which relates to how she reacted

11 to any such offer of assistance made to others, on that

12 hypothesis, in relation to her personal safety.

13 Obviously, you will have to consider the evidence we

14 have gathered about this, but also, I would suggest, to

15 consider the further question of what her reaction would

16 have been had advice of this kind been given directly to

17 her.

18 Would she have followed it? Would she have made

19 changes to her pattern of life? How far would she have

20 been prepared to go in this respect? And to the extent

21 it is possible to judge, would that have made any

22 relevant difference?

23 Now, a number of witnesses have offered their views

24 on these questions, and some of them knew her well or

25 very well. They include members of her family, friends

42


1 and colleagues. And, of course, their suggestions are

2 all hypothetical, but they will have to be weighed up

3 carefully in the light of all of the information we have

4 about her attitude to her own personal safety and her

5 willingness or otherwise to make changes or compromises

6 in the way she lived her life.

7 Now, there is then a shift in focus within the List

8 of Issues with issue 13. This turns our attention to

9 the period immediately preceding the murder and leading

10 up to it, the circumstances of Rosemary Nelson's death,

11 including the sequence of events and activities in the

12 vicinity of Rosemary Nelson's home in the 48 hours

13 preceding her death. In particular, this issue will

14 entail a consideration of suggestions which were made in

15 the immediate aftermath of the murder to the effect that

16 there was a notably large security force presence in the

17 area around her house in Lurgan over the weekend of 13th

18 and 14th March, ie immediately before the murder which

19 took place, as I have said, on Monday, 15th.

20 I will in due course outline the relatively small

21 number of issues which seem to the Inquiry to require

22 exploration in this area later in the opening.

23 As far as the other events of the weekend are

24 concerned, we have evidence concerning the trip to the

25 family's mobile home in Bundoran, which Rosemary Nelson,

43


1 her husband, Paul, her daughter and her daughter's

2 friend, together with Rosemary Nelson's friend,

3 Dara O'Hagan, took. They returned to the house in

4 Lurgan on the Sunday evening.

5 As I will explain, the Inquiry's view is that the

6 important events, so far as security force activity over

7 the weekend are concerned, are those which took place

8 from the time of the return of the family party on

9 Sunday evening, for the simple and obvious reason, you

10 may think, that they drove to the mobile home and back

11 in Rosemary Nelson's car.

12 The probability is, I would suggest, therefore, that

13 the explosive device which was attached to the

14 underneath of the car was attached while the car sat in

15 the driveway of the house in Ashford Grange during the

16 night of Sunday and early Monday, 14th and 15th March.

17 We will also be hearing evidence about the events

18 immediately before the explosion and immediately after

19 it, about what we call the scene, the scene of the

20 murder.

21 Now, sir, I should mention at this point that,

22 unsurprisingly, all of these matters were investigated

23 in great detail by the murder investigation team and the

24 Inquiry has, of course, been able to consider the

25 material and evidence which that team gathered in.

44


1 In relation to the question of security force

2 activity over the weekend, for example, the murder

3 investigation team also employed the services of an

4 analyst to assess the very considerable body of evidence

5 they had gathered together about these issues. The

6 redacted version of his report was indeed appended to

7 Judge Cory's report on the Rosemary Nelson case.

8 The Inquiry has had the benefit of that report and,

9 indeed, of other work done by the analyst. And with the

10 assistance of its own team of former police officers,

11 led by Robert Ayling, it has been able to pinpoint those

12 matters which, in my submission, ought to be considered

13 and examined further in the evidence.

14 At this stage, and with issues number 13 and 14 very

15 much in mind, I should repeat the obvious but important

16 points: first, that the Inquiry is not a murder

17 investigation; and secondly, that this is not and

18 criminal trial.

19 Indeed, as you have remarked before, it is not

20 a trial at all. There are no claimants, no defendants,

21 no prosecution and no accused. Nobody has a case or

22 a defence to run and you have made it very clear that

23 nobody will be allowed to do so. It is not, in short,

24 an adversarial process. It is an Inquiry in which the

25 role of those you have made Full Participants is to

45


1 assist you, to assist you to inquire into the matters

2 set out in your Terms of Reference and in this List of

3 Issues.

4 The Inquiry has no power to determine liability for

5 criminal acts. Indeed, the Inquiry's findings will not

6 be determinative of either criminal or civil liability.

7 And the perhaps indirect terminology of issue 14 should,

8 I would suggest, be seen in this context:

9 "The persons or organisations who are suspected to

10 be directly responsible for Rosemary Nelson's death."

11 So far as that crime, which is at the heart of this

12 Inquiry, is concerned, namely the murder of

13 Rosemary Nelson, as I have said, nobody has been

14 convicted of her murder.

15 Can I make two further points here?

16 First, notwithstanding that this is not at murder

17 investigation, it will, I hope, be appreciated that the

18 Terms of Reference envisage that consideration will be

19 given to the question of which person or persons are

20 suspected to have killed her, and that is not just

21 because that is encompassed by the wide opening words

22 "to enquire into the death of Rosemary Nelson" in your

23 Terms of Reference, but also because the answer to that

24 question might obviously have a bearing on the further

25 question of whether there was any wrongful act or

46


1 omission which facilitated the murder as set out in the

2 Terms of Reference, and again, as we will see, in

3 issues 16 to 18.

4 Now, that question -- thank you -- you will see 16

5 to 18 are repetitions of extracts from the Terms of

6 Reference themselves. That question, the question as to

7 whether there was any wrongful act or omission which

8 facilitated the murder, requires, you may think,

9 a causal analysis, which would encompass both who might

10 have killed her and how, in order to arrive at

11 a conclusion as to whether any act or omission might

12 have made it easy or easier for the crime to be

13 committed, ie facilitated it.

14 The second point I would like to make: although, as

15 I have explained, the Inquiry's findings would not

16 determine questions of criminal liability or

17 responsibility, it cannot be denied that there are, at

18 the centre of our work, alleged criminal acts and not

19 just a crime of the murder of Rosemary Nelson; for

20 example, one of the issues to be considered under the

21 Terms of Reference and set out in issues 20 and 21. We

22 have 20 on the screen, which is:

23 "Whether the RUC, NIO, Army or other state agency

24 obstructed the investigation into her death."

25 And 21:

47


1 "Whether any such obstruction was intentional or

2 negligent."

3 Those issues focus on the part of the Terms of

4 Reference I mentioned earlier dealing with whether the

5 investigation was itself obstructed.

6 Now, clearly, if that were established in a court of

7 law, it would no doubt amount to the offence of

8 attempting to pervert the course of justice. It may be

9 other offences would be disclosed as well. As you know,

10 other serious allegations or suggestions of what might

11 amount to criminal conduct have also been made in

12 relation to matters we must consider pursuant to the

13 List of Issues.

14 Can we look, please, back at the slide with

15 issue 15? Thank you:

16 "Whether any person within the RUC, NIO, Army or

17 other state agency incited violence against

18 Rosemary Nelson or incited her murder."

19 Now, that clearly raises a question relating to very

20 serious criminal conduct.

21 That allegations of behaviour of that kind have been

22 made is clear. There was, for example, some years after

23 the murder, an allegation which emerged in the pages of

24 the News of the World -- under the heading "Cops told me

25 to kill Nelson" -- an allegation made by a man described

48


1 by the newspaper as a conflicted Loyalist killer that he

2 had been incited by police officers to murder

3 Rosemary Nelson.

4 Now, at present it is not clear to what extent we

5 will be able to explore this matter in the evidence, and

6 I, therefore, propose to say very little more about it

7 at this stage, save to say this: this was a matter again

8 investigated by the murder investigation team; the

9 allegations were denied and no charges were brought as

10 a result.

11 However, it was with these sorts of allegations of

12 criminal conduct in mind and as one of a series of

13 measures designed to encourage witnesses to be open in

14 their evidence to the Inquiry and to ensure that the

15 Inquiry received the fullest disclosure and cooperation

16 from those with material of relevance, that the Inquiry,

17 during the course of 2005, sought from the then Attorney

18 General, Lord Goldsmith, a limited evidential

19 undertaking. Now, the form of that undertaking is on

20 our website, but it might assist to read it now:

21 "an undertaking in respect of any person who

22 provides evidence to the Inquiry that no evidence he or

23 she may give before the Inquiry, whether orally or by

24 written statement, nor any written statement made

25 preparatory to giving evidence, nor any document or

49


1 information produced by that person to the Inquiry, will

2 be used in evidence against him or her in any criminal

3 proceedings, except in proceedings where he or she is

4 charged with having given false evidence in the course

5 of this Inquiry or having conspired with or procured

6 others to do so."

7 As I have said, sir, the purpose of seeking such an

8 undertaking was precisely to encourage individuals,

9 giving evidence in statement form or at this hearing, to

10 be open and frank with you in their evidence, even when

11 that evidence touches on allegations or matters as

12 serious as these.

13 Sir, can we now turn back to the slide with

14 number 19 on it? (Displayed)

15 Thank you:

16 "Whether the investigation into Rosemary Nelson's

17 death was conducted with due diligence."

18 Again, sir, that is the phrase from the Terms of

19 Reference which is identified between the semi-colons,

20 and it requires the Inquiry to determine, as it says,

21 whether that investigation, which went on for many, many

22 years, was conducted with due diligence.

23 The factual questions which I have already mentioned

24 in relation to obstruction -- and we see the one there,

25 20, immediately below it -- are clearly closely related

50


1 to this, but they raise issues of fact. This, as I have

2 said, requires the Inquiry to conduct an assessment of

3 the investigation against a standard of due diligence.

4 In relation to obstruction, I will outline, to the

5 extent that I can at this stage, the issues on that

6 point at the very end of this opening.

7 Can we turn now to number 28? (Displayed) Sir, this

8 issue is obviously closely connected to the due

9 diligence issue:

10 "Whether any improvements in Police Service of

11 Northern Ireland police procedures for murder

12 investigations should be implemented in the light of the

13 experience of Rosemary Nelson's murder investigation."

14 So in essence, whether the work done and

15 consideration given to this particular investigation

16 might lead to recommendations -- see 29 -- to

17 suggestions for improvement. In that sense, it is one

18 specific example of the general requirement in 29 that

19 you should consider at the end of your work whether

20 recommendations are appropriate as part of your

21 reporting to the Secretary of State and in the light of

22 your findings.

23 Now, sir, just before those, 26 and 27, there

24 a couple of very widely drawn issues raising questions

25 about cooperation between the key organisations in

51


1 relation, as I read it at any rate, to all of the

2 matters encompassed in the List of Issues. And we shall

3 certainly be considering in the evidence how the

4 organisations did cooperate, how they shared

5 information, how they liaised with each other in

6 different areas, including, of course, that of

7 intelligence.

8 Sir, that is all I wanted to say about the List of

9 Issues.

10 The next topic I would like to outline, so as to put

11 the substance of my opening in context, is to explain to

12 those present the current procedural state of play.

13 Now, sir, in October at our case management hearing,

14 I reported to you on the work done since the Inquiry

15 began, and obviously I don't want to repeat what I said

16 then. A transcript of the hearing is on our website for

17 those who are interested.

18 So far as what has happened since is concerned, can

19 I say just a few words about various aspects of our

20 work? But before doing that, may I simply repeat

21 a point fundamental to our procedures, which you have

22 made before, which I have made before but which

23 I believe bears further repetition? That is that this

24 is an inquisitorial process, and one of the effects of

25 that is that it is the Inquiry which has shouldered the

52


1 burden of the work at all stages. It is the Inquiry

2 which has got in the material and sorted it into the

3 Inquiry bundles. It is the Inquiry which has decided

4 which interviews should take place of witnesses and it

5 is the Inquiry's solicitors who have interviewed most of

6 those witnesses.

7 It is also the Inquiry which has determined, and

8 will continue to determine, which issues should be

9 explored in its work. And at the hearing in October,

10 you re-emphasised your determination that time in these

11 hearings should not be taken up on matters which you do

12 not wish to investigate. You made it equally plain that

13 you would not be deflected from examining issues which

14 you deemed significant, whatever the views or wishes of

15 others.

16 In the same way as our procedures to this point have

17 all reflected the inquisitorial nature of our process,

18 so also with these hearings themselves. At a very early

19 stage of your work, you made it clear that it would be

20 the Inquiry who decided which witnesses should be called

21 to give evidence. You also indicated that you would

22 only wish to hear live evidence from a proportion of the

23 witnesses who had provided witness statements: those who

24 were at the heart of the matters you wished to

25 investigate, whose evidence was both material and

53


1 contested and who might be the subject of criticism.

2 Sir, as I will explain in more detail in a moment,

3 you have now made decisions in respect of over 240

4 witnesses as to whether they should be called or not to

5 give evidence at these hearings. In short, the

6 witnesses whom you have decided should give evidence to

7 you at these hearings are those whose oral evidence you

8 think will assist you in your work. That is, in

9 essence, the purpose of these hearings.

10 That means, for example, that where five statements

11 about an event or an incident take the same evidential

12 line, you might take the view that it is neither

13 necessary nor appropriate for each witness to come to

14 these hearings to give the same evidence. That does

15 not, of course, mean that such statements will be

16 disregarded or ignored. Unless the Inquiry specifically

17 indicates to the contrary, the statements of all

18 witnesses will be taken into account and weighed up when

19 you come to assess the totality of the evidence and the

20 documentary material on the issues before you.

21 By the same token, if, during the course of these

22 hearings, a point takes on a new or increased

23 importance, it may be necessary to ask a witness to come

24 to give evidence at the hearings. In the Inquiry's

25 letters to witnesses and to Full Participants about the

54


1 decisions taken on whether to call them or not to give

2 evidence at the hearings, this possibility is flagged

3 up. It may be that, as the hearings proceed, the

4 evidence suggests to you that a new witness or new

5 witnesses should be interviewed in order to get to the

6 bottom of a particular point. If that happens, so be

7 it; that will be a matter for you to decide. And

8 changes, developments like that, are part and parcel of

9 an investigation like this.

10 The Inquiry's protocol for questioning witnesses is

11 shaped by the same considerations, and as you first

12 explained in the procedures document issued in May 2005,

13 you expect your counsel to ask the vast majority of the

14 questions of witnesses at these hearings. The protocol

15 we issued this year provides for assistance to be given

16 to us by the Full Participants' representatives on

17 possible questions or lines of questioning to be

18 provided in advance.

19 The Inquiry has also set out its procedures for

20 those cases where a witness may face criticism. In this

21 respect and generally, what will guide the Inquiry and,

22 specifically, those responsible for these matters is the

23 question of fairness, so the witnesses are treated

24 fairly as they prepare to give their evidence.

25 There is another point to be made on evidence at

55


1 this stage. I mentioned earlier the evidential

2 undertaking given by the Attorney General in relation to

3 criminal proceedings. As part of the same initiative

4 designed to encourage witnesses to be open in their

5 evidence to the Inquiry, the Inquiry also sought and

6 received undertakings and assurances from the major

7 employers involved with the Inquiry's work: the home and

8 Northern Ireland civil services, the Ministry of Defence

9 and the PSNI, and those undertakings related to the use

10 in future disciplinary or other proceedings of the

11 evidence given by employees to the Inquiry.

12 The relevant letters from the heads of those various

13 organisations are, again, on the Inquiry website.

14 So, sir, turning to the matters where I intend to

15 give you a progress report since we last met in October,

16 the first I would like to mention is disclosure. This

17 was an area which you also mentioned in your remarks at

18 the start of our hearing in October and you explained

19 the Inquiry's approach.

20 The Inquiry has statutory powers -- I mentioned them

21 earlier -- to compel persons or organisations to produce

22 documents or other material relevant to its work. But

23 so far as possible, we have sought to obtain material

24 without recourse to those powers.

25 You also remarked in October that you didn't wish

56


1 your team's time and resources to be taken up with

2 disclosure disputes in the run up to these hearings.

3 Where there were gaps in the disclosure provided and all

4 efforts to obtain the material had been exhausted,

5 leaving the gap unfilled, that would not distract you in

6 your work or deflect you from considering the material

7 which had been disclosed and drawing from it such

8 inferences as seemed appropriate.

9 Turning to the position as at today, it is right to

10 note that in the course of some interviews and witness

11 statements, some witnesses have expressed the view that

12 other documents relevant to their evidence did exist,

13 but, it seems, may not have been disclosed to the

14 Inquiry.

15 These will, of course, be questions to be explored

16 with them further in their evidence. And there are some

17 other apparent gaps in the documentary record, to which

18 I will refer later.

19 Now, the Inquiry has been concerned to ensure that

20 in relation to the major providers of disclosed

21 documents, a statement from the responsible person

22 within each organisation would be provided setting out

23 the extent of the work done on disclosure by their

24 organisation. Specifically, on 21st December last year,

25 the Inquiry requested that senior individuals at the

57


1 PSNI, the Army, through the Ministry of Defence, the

2 Security Service, the Cabinet Office and the

3 Northern Ireland Office each produced statements setting

4 out their respective organisation's efforts to comply

5 with disclosure obligations.

6 The completion of those statements will assist the

7 Inquiry in general terms, and in particular in its

8 ongoing assessment of whether it has been provided with

9 all relevant material, including in the case of those

10 organisations' intelligence material.

11 Now, each of the individuals has produced

12 a statement. With the exception, I think, of the

13 statement from the PSNI, which is still being processed

14 by the Inquiry, the statements have been circulated to

15 the Full Participants. Save for a few points in

16 relation to PSNI, I do not propose at this stage to

17 comment on them further.

18 I should make clear, however, that the question for

19 you as to whether or not any of the individuals making

20 those statements should be called to give evidence about

21 their contents is a matter to be decided not now but

22 later, when we see how the evidence plays out and

23 whether the apparent issues about missing documentation

24 are or are not resolved satisfactorily.

25 Sir, so far as the PSNI is concerned, and turning

58


1 now to the question of intelligence material

2 specifically, the vast majority of intelligence-related

3 material held by PSNI was held on three computer

4 databases: Prism, Chism and Macer. An arrangement was

5 reached for members of the Inquiry staff to interrogate

6 these databases directly in order to search for and

7 obtain relevant documents. This process lasted many

8 months and has in general been successful.

9 In addition, the Inquiry made a number of specific

10 requests of the PSNI for documents or categories of the

11 documents which were relevant to its Terms of Reference

12 and the List of Issues. These requests have, for the

13 most part, been slowly or satisfactorily responded to by

14 the PSNI.

15 There are, however, two issues which require further

16 consideration. The first is whether or not the RUC

17 Special Branch ever opened and held a paper file on

18 Rosemary Nelson.

19 The Inquiry first raised this issue in

20 correspondence with the PSNI in a letter dated

21 27th April 2006. On 26th May that year, the PSNI

22 responded that it could confirm that:

23 "No personal file paper existed on Rosemary Nelson

24 prior to her murder."

25 This response was repeated more recently. In his

59


1 disclosure statement dated 24th March this year, the

2 Assistant Chief Constable with responsibility for these

3 matters confirmed that RUC Special Branch did not hold

4 a paper file on Rosemary Nelson prior to her death.

5 Now, sir, given the importance of this issue to the

6 Inquiry's work, it is anticipated that a number of

7 witnesses, including former and serving officers, will

8 be questioned in detail about this during the Full

9 Hearings.

10 The second issue relates to the computer systems

11 I have mentioned. In order to undertake a proper and

12 thorough assessment of the intelligence stored on these

13 databases, the Inquiry needs to understand how they

14 worked and, in particular, when each database was

15 introduced: what was each designed to do? Who had

16 access to each database? How was intelligence recorded

17 on each database and who was responsible for doing that?

18 How is intelligence disseminated on the database? Was

19 intelligence modified between the systems? Was it

20 possible to modify and/or to delete intelligence after

21 it had been entered into the system? Did the systems

22 create an audit trail of every occasion on which

23 a record on the system was accessed or amended?

24 These questions and this issue, the integrity of the

25 RUC or PSNI databases, is important to the Inquiry's

60


1 work in this area. The Inquiry, I suggest, needs to be

2 certain that it has seen all the intelligence which

3 could bear upon its Terms of Reference and that no

4 attempts have been made or could have been made by the

5 PSNI or other state agencies to delete or to alter that

6 intelligence.

7 On 19th March last year, the PSNI provided the

8 Inquiry with a short document outlining the Macer and

9 Prism systems and touching briefly on the third system,

10 Chism. On 4th June that year, the Inquiry requested

11 that had this document be converted into the form of a

12 witness statement from a named individual at the PSNI

13 and that it be expanded to include, inter alia: (a) an

14 explanation of how data was added to each of the

15 databases; (b) what systems there were for the removal

16 or retrospective alteration of data; and (c) whether the

17 system would record the date on which data had been

18 added, altered or removed.

19 This request was reiterated at a meeting with the

20 PSNI on 13th September last year. It was then followed

21 up on 2nd October 2007 with a detailed schedule of the

22 issues which the Inquiry wished the PSNI to address.

23 No such statement has been forthcoming and I would

24 suggest that no satisfactory explanation has been

25 produced by the PSNI as to why that is the case. You

61


1 may well think that it should now be produced without

2 delay. Without such evidence it will be open to the

3 Inquiry to draw the adverse inference that intelligence

4 relating to Rosemary Nelson's murder may have been

5 altered or deleted retrospectively by members of the

6 RUC, PSNI.

7 Sir, so far as disclosure in relation to the other

8 organisations I mentioned and their own disclosure

9 statements, there is no need for me to say any more at

10 this stage. The comment I would make is that overall

11 their compliance with our general and specific requests

12 for disclosure has been satisfactory.

13 Sir, now, turning to the documents for use at this

14 hearing. In October at our hearing I tried at least to

15 explain how the Inquiry bundle was divided into three

16 parts. And by "the bundle", I simply mean the

17 collection of files of documents which the Inquiry team

18 has put together. They relate to the various issues we

19 must consider for use at these hearings.

20 Now, sir, we will look in due course at the files

21 which make up the first and, indeed, the main part of

22 the bundle, which we have unadventurously called part 1,

23 in more detail later. So I won't at this stage attempt

24 to summarise its contents. It is, in fact, a very

25 difficult task to summarise, because the bundle cover

62


1 has a very large range of issues. But in relation to

2 that part of the bundle, I can report that the embargo,

3 which was placed upon it originally, was lifted

4 in December, on the 12th of that month, and that allowed

5 the part 1 bundle to be considered by the Full

6 Participants themselves, as well as by their lawyers.

7 Some of our sensitive redaction questions, as we called

8 them, have been resolved, although there are more to be

9 dealt with. We have added some additional documents to

10 the bundle.

11 They were sent out at the beginning of this month

12 and then again a batch last week, and we have in fact

13 two new files of documents in the part 1 bundle.

14 The first disk of bundle documents in electronic

15 form was sent out in the middle of last month and there

16 will be at least one more to follow, and we have also

17 begun the task of dispatching tables of contents for the

18 various part 1 files.

19 Finally on this point, sir, and by way of

20 developments since last we met, the files we call the

21 "unused material", nine files of part 1 documents which

22 we have not deemed to be worthy of inclusion in the

23 bundle itself, ie because we don't believe them to be

24 both relevant and significant, those files were sent out

25 on 5th March and the embargo on them was lifted on

63


1 8th April last week.

2 Sir, you will remember in October I explained, in

3 what many present no doubt thought was excessive detail,

4 the redaction and other processes which bundle documents

5 we use have been subjected to by the Inquiry, because we

6 will obviously be looking at a large number of bundle

7 documents in the next days, weeks and months. And in

8 the context of this public hearing, I would like now to

9 take an example document from our bundle and explain

10 what the various markings denote, so that those who are

11 not so familiar with all this material can at least have

12 some guidance.

13 Sir, can we look, please, at RNI-201-002? (Displayed)

14 Now, this is an Army document, as you can see,

15 Royal Irish Regiment, and it is a relatively early

16 document for us in terms of our main focus, June 1993.

17 So that everybody can understand the context, it comes

18 in a small collection of papers concerning a complaint

19 by a client of Rosemary Nelson, this time the complaint

20 being about members of the Royal Irish Regiment.

21 Sir, just going through all the various markings on

22 this page, you will see first of all in the top

23 right-hand corner -- right, so the technology is

24 working; I hope that is even clearer -- that although

25 the number which would be in the public domain remains,

64


1 the detail of the extension has been blacked out.

2 Although trying to summarise the redaction policy for

3 what we call irrelevant personal information is a task

4 well beyond the capacity of most lawyers to summarise in

5 any brief way, what it is designed to do is to ensure

6 that personal information, which is irrelevant to the

7 consideration of the issues in this Inquiry, does not

8 come into the public domain and is redacted in this

9 perhaps crude way.

10 Now, if we look down, we will see further on this

11 page, which is RNI-201-002, further redactions have been

12 made: the first underneath the line saying "Complaint",

13 and then below that, under the heading "Introduction".

14 Now, sir, those redactions, I can say, are redactions of

15 a different kind.

16 One of the concerns that the Inquiry has and that

17 you have mentioned before, not least at the October

18 hearing, is the Inquiry's obligation and duty in

19 relation to Article 2 to be concerned with the safety of

20 those who, in one way or another, are engaged with our

21 work.

22 As well as the question of anonymity and ciphering,

23 to which I will turn in a minute, there are various what

24 we call sensitive redactions which have been made on

25 a variety of grounds, but including grounds where there

65


1 is concern that if material were put in the public

2 domain, adverse consequences, if I can put it that way,

3 might follow.

4 Clearly, the think of the Inquiry on these matters

5 has been, so far as possible, to ensure that the sense,

6 the relevant sense, of the documents is preserved. It

7 has involved a great deal of consideration in particular

8 cases and judgments. In the end, decisions being made,

9 sir, are often by the panel or by you in the final

10 analysis. But this is an example of that kind of

11 redaction.

12 Now, could we turn finally, please, through the

13 documents to page RNI-201-005? (Displayed)

14 Part of the policy, cautious policy, which the

15 Inquiry has pursued, is to treat as irrelevant the names

16 of those in our documents who are not witnesses to this

17 Inquiry. There are exceptions to that and this is where

18 you get into the complications that I hinted at earlier,

19 for example, for public figures. There are other

20 categories. But here in the list under c, we see what

21 are obviously the names of serving soldiers and the

22 first four are on this basis, non-witnesses, and the

23 last is a witness but has received a cipher.

24 Now, I will come to the question of anonymity in due

25 course, but as everybody here for the Full Participants

66


1 will recall, in order to release our part 1 bundle, we

2 ciphered provisionally the names of all applicants for

3 anonymity, so that while the question of anonymity was

4 considered, their names would not be released in the

5 bundle, thus undermining the point of the exercise.

6 So, Corporal A193 is a witness and that is his

7 cipher.

8 Sir, before we leave this document, could I also

9 mention something about pagination? The numbers, as you

10 will see, are long. They don't make for snappy

11 reference, I am afraid. Where we have added documents

12 to the bundle; the numbers are even longer, and again,

13 for the benefit of those who are not perhaps familiar

14 with the bundles, when I start referring to

15 RNI-201-005.500 -- I don't think there is such a document,

16 but that is an example -- that is where additional page

17 references come in. They start at 500 and they proceed

18 from there. So 501, 502, et cetera.

19 So, unfortunately, you have no less than nine digits

20 for page references of that kind. We will all, I think,

21 learn to live with it.

22 Now, so far as the ordering of the bundle is

23 concerned -- and, again, with those who are not so

24 familiar with our files very much in mind -- part 1

25 itself is divided into a number of sections, and I am

67


1 going to take you in a moment to look at the list of the

2 files because it is a good way of seeing the nature of

3 the issues and the nature of the evidence we are going

4 to consider, and also to see how they interrelate one

5 with another.

6 But that means, as we will see, that we have files

7 in the hundred series, these files, of which this page

8 is an example, in the 200 series. Those are the files

9 concerning complaints, and I think there are 33 in all.

10 The 300 series is a series concerned with the

11 Garvaghy Road and with Drumcree. It covers the events

12 of 1997, 1998 and 1999. Rosemary Nelson, as is

13 well-known, represented the Garvaghy Road Residents

14 Coalition, and the Garvaghy Road comes into the

15 Inquiry's List of Issues at various points and for

16 various reasons, as I will outline in a moment.

17 Sir, can I turn, with this last name on our list,

18 with 6c(v) in mind, to anonymity, because this is

19 another area in which there have been developments since

20 we last met.

21 There have now been 144 applications to the Inquiry

22 for anonymity. You have delivered your decisions in

23 about 110, I think, of those cases. Your main generic

24 ruling, which was applicable to and, indeed, formed the

25 foundation of all the individual rulings, was given on

68


1 21st February this year and, again, can be seen on our

2 website.

3 Copies of that ruling and of the short individual

4 rulings with specific and sensitive confidential

5 information relating to each applicant, were sent to the

6 applicants and to their lawyers, and copies of the

7 generic ruling went, of course, to all the Full

8 Participants.

9 Now, in addition to setting out in detail the

10 approach which you have taken to your decisions, the

11 generic ruling includes five annexes, which addressed in

12 general terms the major categories or groups of

13 applicants: the MoD personnel, the police

14 (non-Special Branch), the police (Special Branch), the

15 NIO and the Army. And again, those annexes, dealing

16 with categories and organisations and their applicants,

17 can be seen as part of the generic ruling on the

18 website.

19 Now, in the 30 or so cases which remain to be

20 resolved, the difficulty for the Inquiry is that

21 material is still awaited, whether in the form of threat

22 assessments or statements. And the view you have taken

23 is until they are received, the final decisions cannot

24 be delivered, although it may be that in some cases the

25 Inquiry's patience is wearing rather thin and obviously

69


1 won't last forever.

2 Sir, in relation to decisions where applications

3 have been refused, the Inquiry required applicants to

4 give prompt notice of any challenge to those decisions

5 so that the necessary changes to the bundle could be

6 processed; in other words, where there are people who

7 have applied for anonymity and been given a provisional

8 cipher but whose application has failed, that the

9 details of their name, in accordance with that ruling,

10 can then be revealed or made clear to those who are

11 trying to work with these bundles, in other words, the

12 Full Participants and their lawyers.

13 Now, in relation to cases where you have refused to

14 grant anonymity, I should mention that last week an

15 application for judicial review of decisions made in, I

16 think, 13 cases was served on the Inquiry. Now, for

17 obvious reasons, I don't propose to say anything at all

18 about the substance of that challenge, save to point out

19 that the system of provisional ciphering for all

20 applicants which we have in place will, I hope, help to

21 ensure that there is no disruption to these hearings.

22 Those provisional ciphers will remain in place until

23 the judicial review challenges have been concluded, but

24 would then, of course, be removed if the challenges are

25 resolved in the Inquiry's favour.

70


1 Finally, the Inquiry has been given notice of

2 potential or possible challenges within the time limit

3 set in, I think, three other cases. Now, in accordance

4 with the Inquiry's published and clearly stated

5 intention, the first details of the ciphered names of

6 those witnesses whose applications have not been granted

7 were released to the Full Participants on 4th April, so

8 that, as I say, they could know, where appropriate, what

9 the names in the bundle were.

10 Sir, the next topic, where there have been

11 developments since October, concerns witness statements.

12 Sir, the position here is as follows: we have sent out

13 to the Full Participants statements from 254 of the 341

14 witnesses from whom we expect to receive witness

15 statements. Batches of statements went out

16 in November, January, February and March and two small

17 batches have already gone out this month.

18 In October, I explained that we had decided to

19 categorise witnesses by reference to the part of the

20 bundle to which their evidence principally relates, thus

21 part 1, part 2 and part 3 statements. As I explained

22 then, that is a rough and ready approach, not least

23 because many witnesses deal with a range of issues in

24 their statements. But using that approach, there are

25 about, we think, 236 part 1 witnesses and the remaining

71


1 witnesses are divided between the other two parts with,

2 I think, the majority being in part 2.

3 Now in very broad terms, part 2 concerns

4 intelligence and related issues. Part 3, again in broad

5 terms, covers the major issue of due diligence, which

6 I have mentioned, and it also covers the questions

7 relating to security force activity over the weekend

8 before the murder, as well as points concerning the

9 scene, and in particular behaviour at the scene, and

10 finally the question of whether the murder investigation

11 was obstructed.

12 It will, therefore, be seen that, despite hard work

13 by many involved, not just in the Inquiry team but also

14 those representing a number of Full Participants, not

15 all the targets which I hoped we would achieve for the

16 service of witness statements, when I addressed you

17 in October, have been met.

18 Work is continuing and as soon as the complex and

19 delicate redaction issues raised by a large number of

20 these statements have been resolved, we will start to

21 serve them, and I will return to the part 2 witness

22 statements and have a word more to say about the part 3

23 statements in a minute.

24 But, as far as the statements we have, sir, are

25 concerned, namely those from the 254 witnesses, you have

72


1 now made decisions as to whether they should be called

2 or not to give evidence at these hearings in respect of,

3 I think, 242 of them. Of those, you have decided that

4 115 should give evidence at these hearings and we have

5 notified all the ones or their lawyers and the Full

6 Participants of these decisions in the months since

7 the October hearing.

8 Work has now begun to set the timetables for the

9 weeks of witness evidence and that will, as in any case,

10 involve accommodating unavoidable diary clashes, dealing

11 with travel, other arrangements and, as in any case, is

12 likely to be a demanding task in which it may be that

13 from time to time changes in the timetable have to be

14 accommodated.

15 However, the thing I would like to stress at this

16 stage is that, subject to those traditional scheduling

17 difficulties, there is now a witness list in preparation

18 with 115 names on it. On that basis, it will be obvious

19 to everybody here that we have evidence to fill many,

20 many weeks of these hearings.

21 As soon as finalised lists for the first weeks of

22 evidence, which we hope will begin on 28th April, are

23 ready, we will of course let the Full Participants know.

24 It also follows from what I have said, of course,

25 that there are likely to be further witnesses called to

73


1 give evidence at these hearings from amongst those whose

2 statements we have not yet served. At this stage, it is

3 hard to predict how many will be in that group, and

4 therefore, of course, what the total number of witnesses

5 to be called to give evidence at these hearings will be.

6 Perhaps it would help, although perhaps it is unwise, if

7 I say this: I continue to believe, or perhaps to hope,

8 that the total number of witnesses to be called will not

9 exceed 50 per cent of the total number of witnesses from

10 whom we expect to obtain statements. That will depend

11 on your decisions in due course. By way of reminder,

12 the total number of witnesses who provided statements to

13 us is 341.

14 Sir, at this point, I would like to turn back to the

15 question of part 2 in order to explain in more detail

16 the situation which pertains there. This, again, is at

17 least in part an update on what I reported to you

18 in October.

19 First of all, sir, can I say something in a little

20 more detail about the part 2 bundle itself? In broad

21 terms, it comprises intelligence and related information

22 on or referring to Rosemary Nelson and her clients,

23 covering the period between 1994 and 2000. It includes

24 intelligence on Loyalist paramilitary groupings in the

25 late 1990s and it is concerned in particular with the

74


1 formation and activities of dissident and fringe groups.

2 The vast majority of the material emanates from the

3 RUC or PSNI, with the remainder being disclosed by the

4 Army, the Security Service and the Cabinet Office.

5 As the bundle stands at the moment, there are over

6 400 documents within it from the RUC, just over 100 from

7 the Army, just over 140 from the Security Service and

8 about 30 emanating from the Cabinet Office.

9 The production of this bundle is the work of the

10 Inquiry team but also of individuals at the relevant

11 organisations who have together conducted a huge

12 disclosure and redaction exercise. Over 8,000

13 intelligence-related documents have been disclosed to

14 the Inquiry, and over the course of three years they

15 have been reviewed for relevance and significance and

16 have been reduced to the numbers which I have just

17 mentioned. In their original form, the vast majority of

18 those documents were protectively marked at "secret" or

19 higher, in terms of the well-known classifications.

20 So, in order for those documents to be disclosed to

21 the Full Participants and used publicly in these

22 hearings, it has been necessary for the Inquiry to

23 engage in a long and thorough exercise of consultation

24 with each of the principal providers, and indeed with

25 other relevant organisations or persons. As a result of

75


1 this consultation, the Inquiry has redacted words,

2 paragraphs or in some cases whole documents where

3 necessary in order to protect sensitive information.

4 For example, information which, if released, could

5 endanger national security or the lives of particular

6 individuals.

7 In addition, and as with all documents in the

8 Inquiry bundle, as I have been trying to explain, the

9 Inquiry has removed irrelevant personal information and

10 has applied ciphers to the names of those witnesses to

11 whom the Inquiry panel has granted anonymity.

12 So, after this work has been done, both by the

13 Inquiry and the others I have mentioned, the principal

14 consultation process has essentially been completed.

15 However, an Article 2 issue has been identified in

16 relation to the part 2 bundle, and that issue or

17 potential issue in relation to one witness and one

18 potential witness needs to be resolved. It is in the

19 process of being resolved, and we very much hope that

20 that process will be completed later in this month.

21 Unfortunately, however, due to the nature of that

22 issue, it is simply not possible to release the part 2

23 bundle as had been planned and as we had hoped in time

24 for the start of these hearings.

25 Having said that, I repeat that we hope the issue

76


1 will be resolved very speedily. We believe that the

2 consultation process with providers is now more or less

3 complete, and as soon as we arrive at both of those

4 points, the part 2 bundle will begin to be released to

5 the Full Participants.

6 Now, sir, the effect of that piece of procedural

7 news, which means that we haven't achieved in this area

8 what I hoped very much that we would have done, is that

9 it is simply not possible, nor appropriate, for me to

10 open in the detail that I would wish the part 2 issues,

11 the part 2 bundle and the material that goes with it.

12 It may well be that in due course, once the matters

13 I have mentioned have been resolved, it would be

14 sensible at that stage for there to be a short

15 presentation by me of those issues so that the wide

16 range of matters which emerge from those files can be

17 put in context and, I would hope at any rate,

18 illuminated in a short or further opening.

19 But we will obviously keep the Full Participants

20 informed on that, as the weeks proceed.

21 Sir, what I can do, and I hope this will be helpful,

22 is to deal in outline with the key issues at a high

23 level, not at a level of detail that requires

24 consideration of the documents, but at a high level,

25 with the points arising from the part 2 material, which

77


1 we will investigate during the course of our hearings.

2 You could perhaps describe them as headline issues.

3 The first is the extent to which Rosemary Nelson was

4 of interest to the intelligence agencies, why she was of

5 interest and at what level. Next, to what extent any

6 intelligence reporting on Rosemary Nelson may have

7 affected the attitudes of the security forces or other

8 state agencies, including the NIO, towards her; and her

9 safety. To what extent intelligence reporting on

10 Rosemary Nelson may have been known outside of the

11 intelligence agencies or government departments and may

12 thereby have affected her safety; whether there was any

13 intelligence relating to any threats to Rosemary Nelson,

14 either in general or specific terms, prior to her death.

15 I should say at this point, sir, that from the material

16 that the Inquiry has seen, the answer to this question

17 is no.

18 This preliminary conclusion, however, begs a whole

19 host of further questions. For example, what is the

20 explanation for there being no such intelligence?

21 Should there have been intelligence of this kind? Was

22 there intelligence which was received and recorded that

23 has not been provided to the Inquiry? Was there

24 intelligence received but not reported, perhaps because

25 it was considered to be irrelevant or of insufficient

78


1 importance? Was there intelligence which was reported

2 but subsequently deleted, for example, from the PSNI

3 databases? And that is an issue clearly which could

4 only be determined by reference to the statement

5 I mentioned earlier in relation to those databases.

6 Finally in this list, whether there was any

7 intelligence after her murder to indicate who might have

8 been responsible for it, or any intelligence which

9 pre-dated her death which becomes significant in

10 hindsight.

11 Now, in order to assess these sorts of key issues

12 effectively, it will be necessary for the Inquiry to

13 examine how the intelligence community operated in

14 Northern Ireland in the late 1990s; in particular, which

15 organisations were involved in the collection,

16 collation, analysis and dissemination of intelligence;

17 which organisations were the customers for such

18 intelligence; the relationship between the different

19 intelligence agencies and the extent of any liaison

20 between them; the relationship between the regional

21 offices of Special Branch and Special Branch

22 headquarters; the relationship between the

23 Special Branch and CID branch of the RUC; what coverage

24 the intelligence agencies had, whether human, technical

25 or surveillance; who was responsible for tasking the

79


1 collection of that intelligence; how was it recorded, on

2 paper or electronically; who was responsible for

3 analysing it; how was its reliability assessed; how was

4 it disseminated, both formally and informally, within

5 each intelligence agency, between the agencies and

6 beyond the agencies.

7 Now, the Inquiry team has already undertaken a good

8 deal of work in this area. However, of course, these

9 issues will be explored in more depth through the

10 witness evidence. And for that reason again, although I

11 cannot go into too much detail at this stage, an outline

12 of the witness evidence which may be adduced may be

13 useful.

14 The Inquiry has taken statements from over 50 people

15 involved in the intelligence community in

16 Northern Ireland at the relevant time. As the following

17 summary indicates, this includes officers at all levels,

18 from PSNI, the Security Service and the Army. In the

19 PSNI, the Inquiry has taken or will take statements from

20 about 30 witnesses of this kind. They include the Head

21 of Special Branch and Assistant Chief Constable, the

22 Regional Head of Special Branch, South Region, two heads

23 of the Intelligence Management Group, the detective

24 superintendent in charge of J Division of

25 Special Branch, a detective inspector from that

80


1 division, detective sergeants in Lurgan and Portadown,

2 and detective constables from Belfast and the south

3 regions.

4 From the Security Service, the Inquiry has taken

5 19 statements. They include statements from the

6 Director and Coordinator of Intelligence in

7 Northern Ireland, the Senior Security Service Officer in

8 Northern Ireland, from his representative at RUC

9 Headquarters, from two further directors of the Security

10 Service in T Branch and A Branch, the Head of the

11 Assessments Group, several officers involved in agent

12 handling in Northern Ireland, several officers involved

13 in intelligence assessment in Northern Ireland and

14 several officers involved in technical operations.

15 From the Army, the Inquiry has taken statements from

16 eight witnesses of this kind and they include a very

17 senior officer with responsibility for intelligence,

18 five senior officers with responsibilities for

19 intelligence, counter intelligence and liaison, the

20 senior officer with responsibilities for operations on

21 the ground at the relevant time and three more junior

22 soldiers involved in intelligence or operations.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: We will resume at two minutes to two.

24 (1.00 pm)

25 (The short adjournment)

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1 (1.58 pm)

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

3 MR PHILLIPS: Sir, yes, before lunch I had been listing the

4 witnesses in the part 2 part of the case from whom the

5 Inquiry has taken statements, and I had gone through the

6 relevant officers of the PSNI, the Security Service and

7 the Army.

8 In addition to those people who are of interest to

9 the Inquiry because of the posts they held at the

10 relevant time, the Inquiry has also received two

11 statements: one from a senior officer in the Army and

12 one from a senior officer in the Security Service, and

13 both of them were in post some time after the murder and

14 have provided more general statements setting out the

15 structure and role of their respective organisations in

16 Northern Ireland.

17 Now, some, but obviously not at all of these

18 witnesses, are likely to be called to give evidence, as

19 I have explained, later on during the course of this

20 hearing, and as you have to this point, so you will be

21 issuing your decisions in due course.

22 Now, sir, as I explained at the hearing in October,

23 the documents in the part 2 bundle are to a large degree

24 sensitive or highly sensitive. Notwithstanding that, we

25 have at all times maintained sight of the fact that this

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1 is a public inquiry, and it is to that end that the team

2 with the document providers, as I have mentioned, have

3 spent such amounts of time and effort redacting the

4 documents.

5 Our goal has always been to produce the bundle and

6 the statements in a form that can be used in the public

7 hearings. As I have noted, this process is nearing

8 completion. However, it is right to record at this

9 point that there may be some issues, some matters, which

10 may have to be held not in a public hearing but in

11 a private hearing, because it is simply not possible to

12 do justice to the material in a public hearing. We

13 haven't arrived at that point, but I wanted to flag up

14 the possibility at least that something like that might

15 have to happen at this stage.

16 Now, sir, that is all I wanted to say for the moment

17 about the part 2 issues. Can I just say a word about

18 where we have got to on part 3? I am not going to

19 repeat the definition of that, which I have given to you

20 a couple of times already. The position in relation to

21 this part again, I am afraid, is not as rosy as I had

22 hoped would be the case at this point when we last met

23 in October.

24 The major element in part 3 is the question of due

25 diligence on which, as I have said, Mr Ayling has

83


1 prepared his report, and that was completed and served,

2 I think, in the early part of this year. Since then

3 a great deal of work has been done, by the Inquiry team

4 but also by those who represent the senior officers in

5 the investigation and by the PSNI, to identify and

6 resolve possible questions of redaction on either

7 Article 2 or indeed public interest immunity grounds.

8 The Inquiry was concerned to ensure that as much of

9 the report as was possible could be circulated to the

10 Full Participants before the start of these hearings so

11 that the issues canvassed in that very detailed and

12 lengthy report -- the full text of which runs to over

13 700 pages -- could be open to you at the outset.

14 Although, as announced in the October hearings, no

15 evidence on those issues will be heard before the summer

16 break this year.

17 Now, in order to achieve this aim, a further phase

18 of intensive work, discussion and cooperation with the

19 parties I have mentioned has taken place over the last

20 few weeks and I would like to acknowledge right at the

21 outset that the Inquiry has received great assistance in

22 this from the people I have mentioned. Indeed, it

23 exemplifies, if I may say so, the type of assistance and

24 collaborative working which we hope and expect always to

25 receive from Full Participants.

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1 Now, the result of that work is that today we have

2 been able to distribute to the Full Participants a very

3 substantial document in two lever arch files. It is not

4 the whole report, but it is most of the text. It has

5 been provisionally and, therefore, cautiously redacted

6 so to allow its use in the public hearings.

7 In addition, although the senior officers whom the

8 Inquiry wishes to attend to give evidence have not yet

9 completed their statements for the Inquiry on the due

10 diligence issues, as, again, I hoped would be the case

11 in October, they have helpfully prepared an outline of

12 the evidence which they will give. And again, I hope

13 that either this morning or later on today this will be

14 provided to the participants and, in due course, also

15 a narrative of the long history of the investigation,

16 which has been agreed between the Inquiry on the one

17 hand and the senior MIT team and their legal advisers on

18 the other.

19 Sir, that is important, because as I have said

20 before, the investigation went on for a very long period

21 of time indeed, was very complex, involved a very large

22 number of officers working both here in Northern Ireland

23 and elsewhere, and the advantage of the narrative, so

24 far as presentation is concerned, is it will to a very

25 large extent relieve you from the business of, as it

85


1 were, finding the facts in relation to the course of the

2 investigation. All of that is, I think, reasonably

3 clear and agreed in the document, the narrative that

4 I have mentioned.

5 Sir, that leaves first the part 3 bundle, and this

6 is some 30-odd files containing documents which are

7 cited in the report and some related material. Work on

8 their preparation for use in these hearings continues,

9 and again, I am afraid there are many possible redaction

10 points in play which are being discussed and I hope,

11 with goodwill on all sides, will be resolved. Again, as

12 soon as the bundles are ready, we will obviously release

13 them to the Full Participants.

14 Now, in relation to two other issues on part 3 --

15 that is the security force activity and the question of

16 what happened at the scene of the murder -- most of the

17 non-sensitive witness statements on those issues have

18 already been served on the Full Participants and I will

19 in due course be able to lay out the issues which I see

20 as arising in that part of the case later in my opening.

21 Then finally on the question of obstruction -- it is

22 the last issue under the heading of part 3 -- on this

23 part of the case, again, I am afraid we still await the

24 relevant statements, which will include statements given

25 by those senior officers at the MIT, as I have

86


1 mentioned, and the related documentation, some of which

2 is sensitive or very sensitive has not yet been served.

3 But I hope we will catch up on that front shortly too.

4 So far as what I say to you in opening the case,

5 however, I will have to pitch that at a reasonably high

6 level of detail and I expect that to be the very last

7 thing that I deal with.

8 Now, sir, the reason I have spent some time --

9 probably too long in most people's minds -- trying to

10 give you an update as to where we have now got to in the

11 months since the October hearing, is that it shapes what

12 can be covered at the start of these hearings and it

13 must, I hope, be obvious now that I have said to you

14 what is possible to say about part 2 and so the focus of

15 my more detailed remarks, just as it is the focus of

16 most of the witnesses and the preponderance of files in

17 the bundle, is on what we call the part 1 issues.

18 I will, as a result of the work I have mentioned, be

19 able to open the part 3 matters, but the starting

20 point -- and, as I say, the main focus of our work -- is

21 in part 1. I have mentioned before the wide range of

22 issues and in order to make that good and by way of

23 introduction, can I ask you, please, to look at the list

24 of files within part 1, which is at RNI-902-001.

25 (Displayed)

87


1 Sir, that page sets out all the files which appear

2 in what I have called before the 100s. There are, as

3 you see, 16 in all. The title of the files refers

4 mostly to the name of the relevant provider of material.

5 What we have done is to try to arrange the files so that

6 there are in chronological order copies of the relevant

7 documents emanating from or received by the persons or

8 organisations in the long list. What the files will,

9 I hope, in due course allow us to show is what material

10 was coming in, what information was being received, what

11 was being done with it, where was it going and in

12 particular what liaison or communication, what passing

13 of information there was between the main organisations

14 with which we are concerned. And for the purposes of

15 part 1 they are, as you can see, from the first seven

16 files: the RUC, now PSNI, and the

17 Northern Ireland Office. Now, sir, what we have done

18 there in the first four files is to draw a distinction

19 between material under the general RUC heading and two

20 files which deal with, as it were, the Chief Constable's

21 side of things, the relevant department or office being

22 called the Command Secretariat. And the point of that,

23 of course, is that, as you will hear, there were

24 important exchanges, meetings, involving the then

25 Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan. And issues arise

88


1 as to what he or his officers within the Command

2 Secretariat knew, what information they were receiving

3 about various different matters, and that is why we have

4 separated and drawn that distinction between the RUC on

5 the one hand and the Chief Constable, Command

6 Secretariat on the other.

7 Now, the main points dealt with in these files are

8 those concerning Rosemary Nelson's safety. That is the

9 general heading at the top of the section. This is

10 where the material on allegations about threats and some

11 of the high level documentation in relation to

12 complaints is to be found.

13 But if you look down, passing through the other

14 Government departments or agencies in 108 and 109, you

15 will find the files concerning the visit of

16 Mr Cumaraswamy at 110. We will see the material to do

17 with him later on. But there is then a file for the

18 secretariat, the way in which, as it were, the

19 governments talked to each other at the relevant time

20 and then a series of miscellaneous categories,

21 including, at 114 to 116, what I am going to call the

22 NGO files.

23 Now, if we can then turn on to section 2, that is

24 entirely devoted to complaints. There is a daunting

25 quantity of documentation within those files. There are

89


1 33 now files in this section and, as I hope is again

2 clear, what we have tried to do in ordering the

3 documents here is to separate the various complaints --

4 I will go into much more detail about this later -- and

5 within the complaints to take the -- what I am going to

6 call the LAJI complaint, for example, 203 to 208, to

7 display or file the material, drawing distinctions

8 between administration, evidence and the investigating

9 officers report.

10 It is, as I say, a formidable gathering of material

11 and I hope later to make my way successfully through it

12 and shine some light on its darker corners, perhaps for

13 the benefit of everybody.

14 Can we look at the next page, please, 003. I am

15 drawing attention here, if I may, to the files from 222,

16 that is the first of the ICPC files. These files, which

17 in fact go all the way to 230, trace the history, which

18 I have mentioned briefly before, whereby the complaints

19 which were being supervised by that complaints

20 organisation, after a somewhat complex process involving

21 very senior officers at the RUC and, indeed, officials

22 at the NIO, ended up being reviewed or further

23 investigated by Commander Mulvihill. We then trace the

24 developments of that investigation and that report and

25 follow the matter through.

90


1 Bearing in mind, as I have explained earlier, that

2 the whole of this process that we will focus on from,

3 broadly speaking, early 1997 to January 2000, was

4 pursuant to, subject to, the old system for looking at

5 police complaints.

6 Now, if we go back to the main list, please, at 003,

7 in 231 and 232 we have the relevant guidance and rules.

8 And fortunately or unfortunately, in order to understand

9 the system, you have to get a grip of that material.

10 Then finally, at 233, we have the report of Dr Hayes

11 that I mentioned before.

12 This is the report in which, at the behest of the

13 Conservative Government, he came to the view that the

14 present system should not continue. I will take you,

15 probably tomorrow, to his assessment of its strengths

16 and its weaknesses. His recommendation that there

17 should be an ombudsman was accepted, as I have said, and

18 this is what leads eventually to the 1998 Act and its

19 provisions for that office.

20 Can we look at the next page, please. Then, as

21 I have said before, this is the 300 series,

22 Garvaghy Road and Rosemary Nelson. Now, later on today,

23 I think, I will be showing a chronology which deals with

24 the history of Drumcree. But so far as the Inquiry is

25 concerned, there are different aspects to our interest

91


1 in the Garvaghy Road and that dispute about Drumcree

2 generally.

3 The first four files in this section deal with

4 complaints arising out of the confrontations in 1997.

5 Rosemary Nelson made her own complaint and she also

6 advanced complaints on behalf of others. They were in

7 turn investigated and we have, at 303, the report.

8 Going back to the page, the next files relate to the

9 later period of the Garvaghy Road history, where, as you

10 will hear, the whole issue of Drumcree, in particular

11 after the Good Friday Agreement, became much more

12 significant politically, and the negotiations between

13 the two sides involved Jonathan Powell, the then Prime

14 Minister's Chief of Staff, which is perhaps the clearest

15 demonstration of its perceived importance by the British

16 Government.

17 There are particular issues about the Key Persons

18 Protection Scheme that I will outline in a minute. Then

19 at 308, which is a new file, recently added to the

20 bundle, there are more documents. It goes, therefore,

21 in a sense, with 305 and 306 -- relating to those

22 negotiations that I have described, but in this case

23 emanating from the Cabinet Office.

24 Now, sir, the final section is a miscellaneous one

25 but it is one to which I will refer later. First, we

92


1 have a lot of press cuttings in in fact two volumes,

2 401; secondly, some generic material relating to the

3 issue of alleged intimidation of lawyers; and finally,

4 some transcripts, and in fact it is related

5 documentation of broadcasts and programmes of one kind

6 or another.

7 Now, sir, that, I hope, helps us to pull in the

8 focus on part 1. Because of the immense range of points

9 it covers, there is a difficulty, both in trying to

10 present them at this stage in an ordered and useful way,

11 and also in determining how evidence on them should be

12 called.

13 One of the reasons for that is that there are

14 constant overlaps. There are overlaps of chronology,

15 issues overlap in that sense; but there are also

16 overlaps between topics, ie where there are documents or

17 there are witness statements which deal with more than

18 one issue, in some cases far more than a couple of

19 issues, and that means that in trying to set up

20 a timetable for witnesses, as I say, there are

21 difficulties in bringing together all of the evidence on

22 a particular point in one place.

23 But what I would like to do -- for the benefit in

24 particular of the Full Participants' lawyers -- is to

25 give at least an outline of the likely order of groups

93


1 of witnesses if, diaries and other complications

2 permitting, we are able to achieve our aim.

3 Now, the logical starting point, I think both for

4 our List of Issues and because it just seems, if I may

5 say so, the obvious place to start, is to start with her

6 work, to start with her office, with her practice and to

7 hear about the question raised in issue 1 about the

8 nature of her work and what it was about that work that

9 may have caused a conflict with the relevant

10 organisations.

11 Sir, we will have evidence from the people who

12 worked for her over the years, from clients, but also

13 from family and friends, so that we can get some sense

14 of what her practice was. There is a good deal of

15 material about it, in addition to witness statements, to

16 try and answer those questions.

17 To put that evidence in a broader context, we also

18 have some witnesses, a proportion of whom you have

19 decided to call, who were lawyers in Northern Ireland at

20 the time and who tell in their statements of their own

21 experiences as defence lawyers, of dealing with the

22 police and with the other difficulties which we are

23 concerned with, in order to set her own work, her own

24 experiences, as well as the complaints that we have got

25 to consider, in some sort of context.

94


1 Leading on, I hope logically from that, we have

2 evidence from the NGOs, who worked in this area and, as

3 we will see, who played a substantial role in drawing

4 concerns about her safety to the attention of the police

5 and the NIO.

6 Now, some of these statements range far and wide and

7 they cover many of the part 1 issues, and so in a sense

8 they are a very good example of the difficulty that

9 I have mentioned. Indeed, there are some statements in

10 this category which cover not only many of our issues,

11 but also just about all of the time period with which we

12 are concerned.

13 Now, it might assist the Full Participants if

14 I suggest at this point how this might best be dealt

15 with. My understanding is that you do not wish, where

16 possible anyway, witnesses to give evidence more than

17 once. That means inevitably that you will be hearing

18 from witnesses on a whole range of topics which don't

19 fit logically into our neat order. So what I propose to

20 do about that is essentially to act as a sort of compere

21 and to keep up a flow of mini announcements so that

22 everybody is aware of the areas which are to be covered

23 by the witnesses and is, therefore, alert to the

24 possibility that they might, in addition to giving

25 evidence on the main topic of concern at the time, be

95


1 dealing with other points as well.

2 Now, so far as the statements of people who are not

3 coming to the hearings are concerned, my understanding

4 is that you do not wish those to be read out. To do so

5 would certainly lengthen our proceedings and it might

6 strain the patience of even the most well disposed

7 listener. The Full Participants, of course, have all of

8 the witness statements. They have all of the exhibits,

9 even of those not being called.

10 As far as others interested in our work are

11 concerned, you have already made it clear that copies of

12 witness statements will in due course be posted on our

13 website, and so for those who are interested in

14 following the course of our proceedings and wish not

15 only, as it were, to listen to the evidence but also to

16 read the evidence which is not being heard in the

17 chamber, the website will be a source and a way of

18 accessing that material.

19 Now, sir, so far as those statements are concerned,

20 ie those statements of witnesses who are not going to be

21 called to give evidence in the hearings, again, my

22 proposal is to keep up a similar flow of announcements

23 so that when we come to deal with the live evidence on

24 a particular issue, I will endeavour to list and

25 identify all the written evidence which we have received

96


1 on that point, which is not going to be the subject of

2 questions at the hearing.

3 Now, sir, just going back to the question of the

4 order, following on from the NGOs, we have a number of

5 statements and you intend to call a number of witnesses,

6 from the media, that is representatives of newspapers

7 and other broadcast media who covered or wrote about

8 Rosemary Nelson over the years.

9 Sir, then, shifting our focus slightly, there is

10 a group of lawyers and others from the United States and

11 Canada, including some members of an organisation which

12 I have mentioned called the Lawyers Alliance for

13 Justice, often referred to as LAJI, who visited

14 Northern Ireland in 1998 and 1999.

15 Now, some of them met and talked to Rosemary Nelson,

16 in particular about her concerns for her safety, some of

17 them met officials from the NIO and indeed met the

18 Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, during those

19 visits.

20 Now, their evidence, like that of many witnesses in

21 these first groups, will deal in particular with this

22 question about what they learnt about her position, what

23 she told them about threats and also with the important

24 question of the extent to which they raised concerns

25 about those issues with those in authority.

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1 Sir, we will have their accounts of these meetings,

2 including the meeting with the Chief Constable, and we

3 will also hear about their meeting in February 1998 with

4 NIO officials. And it is that meeting which led the

5 officials to initiate correspondence with the RUC, which

6 in turn led to the February 1998 threat assessment that

7 I have mentioned.

8 Now, as I indicated earlier, we have also recovered

9 documents and indeed now have a number of witness

10 statements from civil servants from the Irish Republic.

11 They too were in contact with Rosemary Nelson and we

12 will see in due course a substantial number of documents

13 which evidence the way in which, as part of her work, as

14 part of her representation of her clients, she was in

15 the business and made it a practice to make contact with

16 these officials and to raise her concerns, not just

17 about her safety but about aspects of particular

18 clients' cases which concerned her with those officials.

19 And we will be able to trace what happened then when

20 they took up her concerns and passed them through the

21 mechanisms of the secretariat to officials on the

22 British side.

23 Now, sir, finally in this part of the case we return

24 to the United Nations Special Rapporteur,

25 Mr Cumaraswamy, as I mentioned earlier, and we will hear

98


1 evidence about his mission to Northern Ireland

2 in October 1997. It is clear in fact from the material

3 that his interest and focus on the question of the

4 position of lawyers in Northern Ireland dated from

5 earlier than that, and there is correspondence between

6 him and NGOs from considerably before October 1997.

7 But that part of our investigation will clearly

8 encompass what he found when he made his visit to

9 Northern Ireland, the drafting of his report

10 in February/March 1998 and indeed his next report,

11 ie the report for the following year, which was

12 published in fact very shortly after Rosemary Nelson's

13 murder.

14 Now, this evidence will also include evidence from

15 John Ware, the journalist, whose Panorama programme,

16 "Careless Talk", on these and other questions relating

17 to Rosemary Nelson was broadcast in June 1999.

18 Sir, in relation to Cumaraswamy, we will have to

19 consider the accounts of an important meeting between

20 the Chief Constable, two senior police officers and

21 Mr Cumaraswamy and Mr Cumaraswamy's assistant, which

22 took place in October 1997. I should point out at this

23 stage that we have not yet received Sir Ronnie's signed

24 witness statement, nor that of one of the two other RUC

25 officers present.

99


1 However, on the material that we do have, it is

2 clear that there are differing recollections of what was

3 said at that meeting. The key question, you may think,

4 is whether Sir Ronnie or one of the other senior

5 officers present suggested that some solicitors in

6 Northern Ireland worked to a paramilitary agenda. I can

7 certainly say that when this suggestion has been put to

8 him in the past, which it has been on a number of

9 occasions, not least in the Panorama programme interview

10 that I mentioned, Sir Ronnie has not accepted that any

11 such comment was made.

12 The Inquiry has the notes taken at the meeting by

13 Mr Cumaraswamy's assistant and they are in the bundle,

14 as also are now the very recently disclosed notes made

15 in the meeting by one of the two other RUC officers

16 present, this officer being from the Command

17 Secretariat.

18 Now, this will clearly be a contentious matter to be

19 explored further in the evidence, as will the follow-up

20 to it, which is when, in February and March 1998,

21 exception was taken by the RUC to certain passages in

22 the draft report prepared by Mr Cumaraswamy, including

23 a paragraph which cited the comments I have mentioned

24 which he said had been made during the meeting.

25 It was also suggested at that time, it seems, that

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1 specific references in the draft report to

2 Rosemary Nelson, and indeed to other solicitors then

3 working in Northern Ireland, should be deleted from the

4 report on the grounds that to name them would be to put

5 them at risk.

6 Again, this is an episode in relation to which there

7 are differing accounts in the evidence that you have

8 received. You may think, however, that the timing of

9 this is at least interesting because, as you will

10 recall, it was exactly this time, February 1998, that

11 the first threat assessment on Rosemary Nelson was being

12 initiated, as I have explained as a result of steps in

13 fact taken, it appears, by officials at the NIO.

14 Sir, I have shown you already the section 2 files

15 about the complaints and you won't be surprised to hear

16 that there are a large number of witnesses whom you have

17 decided to call to these hearings to give evidence about

18 the complaints. They are both her clients who made

19 complaints, some of whom have given us statements, some

20 of whom we hope will provide us with statements, but

21 there are also, and importantly, statements from some at

22 least of the officers against whom the complaints were

23 made. Again, you have decided to call, in fact, I think

24 a substantial proportion of those officers.

25 Now, sir, two things about that, if I may: the

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1 first, I have already explained to you that none of

2 these complaints was upheld. The second thing which it

3 is important at this early stage to record is that none

4 of the officers against whom allegations in those

5 complaints were made accepted the allegations. They

6 denied the allegations then, and in summary, they have

7 continued in that position, maintained since 1997/1998,

8 in their witness statements to this Inquiry.

9 Sir, there are some officers who were named in more

10 than one complaint and, sir, with them as with the other

11 witnesses I have mentioned, I am afraid we will simply

12 have to try and keep track of the various issues, in

13 that case complaints, that they are going to deal with

14 as they come to give their evidence.

15 Now, the next group of people in this category from

16 whom we will hear are the investigators themselves.

17 They include the RUC officers who did the main work,

18 some witnesses from the ICPC, including, I anticipate,

19 the supervising member involved in some of these

20 complaints, and then the final stage, if you remember,

21 the Commander Mulvihill stage, we have obtained evidence

22 from the Commander and from two of his more junior

23 officers from the Metropolitan Police who conducted the

24 investigations or review in 1998 and 1999.

25 Now, sir, so far as the Garvaghy Road is

102


1 concerned -- we still have the list helpfully up on the

2 screen -- we have evidence from those who were involved

3 in the residents' coalition, as it were general

4 evidence. We hope in due course to have a statement

5 from Mr Mac Cionnaith who led the coalition throughout the

6 period with which we are concerned.

7 The Garvaghy Road issues include the complaints

8 which arose out of the July 1997 confrontation, and I

9 should point out that the incident involving

10 Rosemary Nelson herself was one that in due course led

11 her to commence a legal action against the

12 Chief Constable alleging assault and other matters. And

13 we have that also in the bundle.

14 The substance of that allegation, if you remember,

15 is that she was both assaulted and abused by police

16 officers at the police lines in the middle of this very

17 highly charged confrontation on the Garvaghy Road in

18 1997.

19 We have evidence also from police officers who were

20 there dealing with, as it were, the public order problem

21 created by the intensity of feeling between the two

22 communities which found its expression on Garvaghy Road

23 in that year, and we also have some broadcast coverage

24 of those incidents and, indeed, about Drumcree in 1997

25 and 1998 generally, and we have disclosed some of that

103


1 material to the Full Participants and there is more to

2 follow.

3 Now, we then have evidence from the investigators of

4 those complaints and that takes us, in terms of the

5 scope of the evidence, back to the assessments or

6 whatever it was that happened in May 1997. And sir, at

7 this point the focus of interest begins once again to

8 include not just the RUC, but also the NIO. And we have

9 those three moments that I mentioned

10 earlier: May 1997, February 1998 and then August 1998.

11 Now, so far as August 1998 is concerned, this is

12 a particularly complex issue and we will have to manage

13 the evidence as best we can. There were in essence four

14 further stages after the assessment had taken place at

15 which at least some of these issues were considered:

16 First in, I think, May 1999 and then again in 2000 by

17 the murder investigation team; secondly, by a senior

18 officer within the RUC who conducted an internal inquiry

19 and reported to the Chief Constable; third, by the

20 Police Ombudsman; and fourthly, in judicial review

21 proceedings brought by the Committee On the

22 Administration of Justice. And in fact, it was only

23 when those proceedings had been concluded that the

24 ombudsman's report into some aspects at least of this

25 episode could be issued, and that did not take place in

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1 fact until last year.

2 Now, with her permission we have the Ombudsman's

3 report in the bundle and that traces the rather

4 complicated history of what happened as between the RUC

5 and the NIO in the August 1998 assessment.

6 I anticipate that our examination of those issues

7 will be fuller than hers was simply because hers was

8 constrained by the particular terms of the complaint

9 made and also by the particular statutory set-up under

10 which she operated.

11 As with the Cory Report however, the PONI Report,

12 whilst obviously of considerable interest, is not in any

13 sense determinative for the Inquiry, and you will,

14 I know, arrive at your own conclusions in the light of

15 all of the material, including that report.

16 Now, at that point we move back to the Garvaghy Road

17 in order to consider the matters I mentioned earlier to

18 do with the political negotiations between the residents

19 on the one hand, the Orange Order on the other, with the

20 Government and officials led often by Jonathan Powell in

21 the middle, and we have the material I mentioned and

22 witness statements in our files.

23 I anticipate that we will hear his evidence and

24 evidence from a number of other senior civil servants at

25 the NIO about these negotiations. Their importance is

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1 perhaps best illustrated by the visit that

2 representatives of the coalition paid to the Prime

3 Minister at 10 Downing street, Rosemary Nelson being

4 part of the delegation in January 1999.

5 Now, sir, I should flag at this point a particular

6 point that arises here. It is something that I haven't

7 yet canvassed in my description of the issues and my run

8 through our own List of Issues and the Terms of

9 Reference. It concerns the question of whether

10 a specific request was made during the course of those

11 negotiations for protection for Rosemary Nelson, and

12 obviously, if such request was made, how it was then

13 dealt with.

14 A number of the witnesses involved in those

15 negotiations on various sides have given us statements,

16 and indeed this is another reason why the Inquiry hopes,

17 and indeed expects, that Mr Mac Cionnaith, who is in the

18 forefront of negotiations on the residents' side, will

19 provide a witness statement so that he can assist you

20 with his evidence on this, which it seems is likely to

21 be of significance.

22 This area of our work has also involved

23 consideration of the Key Persons Protection Scheme, and

24 I come back to file 307. Now, in very broad outline,

25 this is the scheme under which individuals in certain

106


1 positions in Northern Ireland and some others were

2 admitted to a scheme as a matter of discretion in the

3 latter cases, and under the scheme received advice, help

4 with their security and funding for the appropriate

5 security measures to be put in place. And we will hear

6 from those at the NIO who were responsible for and

7 involved with the scheme, as well as from the police

8 officers who helped by doing threat or risk assessments

9 for the purposes of the scheme.

10 Now, that area of evidence will also allow us to

11 consider whether there are instructive contrasts or

12 comparisons to be drawn between the assessment of risk

13 or threat which was undertaken in August in relation to

14 the question of the admission to this scheme of two

15 local councillors, one of whom, Mr Mac Cionnaith, and one of

16 whom, Mr Joe Duffy, both of whom were prominent in the

17 residents' coalition. As I say, the contrasts or

18 comparisons would be between that exercise and the very

19 similar, you may think on the face of it, exercise of

20 assessment undertaken at the same time, August 1998,

21 albeit in different circumstances, in relation to

22 Rosemary Nelson. And we will be able to draw out those

23 apparent contrasts in the course of the evidence.

24 Now, that leaves those witnesses who, again, seem to

25 come logically at the end of our batting order, who deal

107


1 with security force activity, the scene, due diligence

2 and then obstruction.

3 There is, however, a big caveat to this attempt on

4 my part to set out a likely map for Full Participants.

5 And that is the obvious one that until you have taken

6 decisions in relation to the witnesses whose statements

7 have not yet been served, we won't know how many there

8 are nor what issues they deal with and we won't be able

9 to take decisions as a result on the question of where

10 they might fit within our scheme.

11 Sir, the next topic I wanted to deal with is a quite

12 general topic and it is one that I hope is best taken

13 before we get too swamped by detail. We have gathered

14 in an enormous amount of material. We have obtained

15 a huge number of statements and, as I have explained,

16 the work has been going on for a very long period of

17 time now. In my submission, it will be very important

18 in all of the evidence and in the assessment of where

19 the truth might lie to bear in mind some important

20 general principles, and in a sense, they can all be

21 grouped together under the heading of context.

22 It is all too easy, when work at this level, for

23 this length of time, has been going on, to lose sight of

24 proportion, of perspective, to come to believe that the

25 events surrounding and concerning Rosemary Nelson were

108


1 the only events of any importance going on at the time.

2 I don't believe that that is an error in which you

3 are likely ever to fall, but it is, if I may say so,

4 crucial to remember at all times the wider picture. Can

5 I give some examples?

6 When we look at the files of documents in the

7 bundle, they are by their definition selections of

8 material. They do not begin to represent a fair picture

9 of the number of points of difficulties, of issues

10 crossing the desks of senior officials, of senior

11 officers in the RUC or other organisations at any one

12 time.

13 So the task at all times is to try to keep the

14 issues concerning Rosemary Nelson, indeed to try to keep

15 Rosemary Nelson herself, in some form of perspective,

16 because if that is done, then it is much more likely

17 that the right path through the documents to the truth

18 that you are seeking will be found.

19 An example of this is, I think, also in the material

20 which we have gathered together on a lot of the general

21 issues. It may be the extent to which Rosemary Nelson's

22 work was political. Well, we will explore that in due

23 course. But what we need to bear in mind is the wider

24 picture of all the events which were going on, which

25 were in play in Northern Ireland in the crucial last

109


1 years of her life.

2 I think, if I may say so, in that way then the risks

3 of getting things out of control, out of perspective,

4 and of seeing at all times the wood for the trees will

5 be reduced, and that will also help to deal with

6 temptations, with which we are all familiar, of looking

7 back.

8 Lawyers and judges are always warning each other and

9 being warned of the dangers of hindsight, of the

10 appealing but misguided tendency to look back and see

11 things as blindingly obvious. Often that is because one

12 hasn't fully got to grips with the context and one is

13 using the retrospectoscope to see with absolute clarity

14 in a way that is in fact unrealistic to expect of people

15 dealing with the issues day-to-day at the time.

16 Now, sir, there is a very particular aspect of

17 context which I want to turn to next. One of the things

18 you said at the very outset of the Inquiry was that it

19 was independent, and you, if I may say so, rightly

20 stressed the importance of the Inquiry being independent

21 and being seen to be independent. And at our last

22 hearing I said that, so far as your team were concerned,

23 our position in this Inquiry has been and will continue

24 to be neutral. We are independent. We do not take one

25 side or another and I know neither do you.

110


1 Now, one of the ways in which the independence of

2 the Inquiry has been underlined is the very fact that,

3 as you explained in your opening statement, you are not

4 people who have lived and worked in Northern Ireland;

5 your lives and your careers have taken place elsewhere.

6 And the same is true of the counsel team and indeed the

7 team as a whole that you have retained to work for you.

8 I hope that means that we do not come to the Inquiry

9 with fixed views, with preconceptions and that the

10 advantage of fresh eyes and an open mind will be clear.

11 But because we haven't lived through the last decades in

12 Northern Ireland, we must, I suggest, be careful,

13 careful to do what we can to understand, to familiarise

14 ourselves with the relevant context, with the political

15 and security situation which forms the background not

16 only to Rosemary Nelson's life and work but, as I have

17 sought already to explain, to a number of the particular

18 issues which we have to consider. I hope that by doing

19 that, by seeking to understand that context, we will

20 assist you to come to a surer view about the difficult

21 questions you have got to consider.

22 Now, that is the moment to introduce the first of

23 the documents that the Inquiry has prepared dealing with

24 context, dealing with history and politics in the years

25 leading up to Rosemary Nelson's murder. Given the

111


1 importance of that to your work and indeed to the

2 assessment of evidence on specific topics, I am

3 intending to take you through these documents next.

4 There are two documents which I hope usefully read

5 together. The first is a narrative and it covers the

6 years from the late 80s until after her murder in 1999.

7 And the second, which I hope can be read usefully

8 alongside it, is a chronology setting out the key dates

9 in that period.

10 Now, sir, because of the technology in the room, I

11 think the best thing to do is to show the chronology on

12 the screen. This is at RNI-901-025. (Displayed)

13 Whilst I take you through it, by reference to the

14 historical narrative we have prepared, which is the

15 bundle number -- don't try to show it, please. The

16 bundle number is RNI-901-001 -- and I hope that the Full

17 Participants have been provided with hard copies. They

18 are nodding, yes. Good.

19 Now, sir, they both start in fact in the late 1980s

20 and of course it is important to bear in mind that the

21 hopeful events, for instance, of 1997 and 1998, some of

22 which I have already mentioned to you, did not come

23 about overnight; their roots lie much, much earlier in

24 the initially perhaps faltering, certainly intermittent

25 initiatives, discussions, negotiations. But eventually

112


1 things came together and so, as I said right at the

2 outset, by the time of -- years before Rosemary Nelson's

3 murder, things were changing and, certainly in most

4 people's eyes, for the better.

5 So, sir, the first screen takes us importantly to,

6 in 1991, the beginning -- at the bottom of the page it

7 says 14th March -- of the Brooke-Mayhew talks. As the

8 narrative makes clear in paragraph 4, the names come

9 from the two relevant Secretaries of State. They begin

10 in that month, 1991, in March, and are continued under

11 the chairmanship of Peter Brooke, when he took office of

12 Secretary of State in April the following year.

13 It was not, as you will see from paragraph 4.3 of

14 the narrative, a smooth and continuous process but it

15 did continue after efforts to restart the talks were

16 made, until later, when unfortunately they came to an

17 end.

18 Can we move on to the next screen, please. This

19 shows us through 1992, more of the Brooke-Mayhew

20 discussions and you will see, for instance, from the

21 entry on 9th September that things didn't always go

22 smoothly. But then a new development in April 1993,

23 which is the first joint statement from John Hume of the

24 SDLP and the Sinn Fein president, Mr Adams, and I think

25 there were four in all but at these early stages they

113


1 were regarded as significant. But perhaps the first

2 major intergovernmental stage is reached in paragraph 6

3 of the narrative and in December 1993 with the Downing

4 Street Declaration.

5 Reading from there:

6 "The Downing Street Declaration made by Major and

7 Reynolds on 15th December 1993 represented a major shift

8 in approach for their respective governments and

9 incorporated some aspects of the Hume/Adams initiative.

10 Essentially, the declaration argued for

11 self-determination on the basis of consensus for all the

12 people of both parts of the island of Ireland."

13 You will see in the next two paragraphs what the

14 leaders said or pledged by way of support for that

15 important declaration.

16 Now, the next section of the narrative in page 5,

17 paragraph 7, is headed "From the DSD to the IRA

18 Ceasefire". You will see that the consequences of the

19 Downing Street Declaration included the decision by the

20 President of the United States, then President Clinton,

21 to allow Gerry Adams to visit the USA. It was not

22 universally welcomed though. It says in paragraph 7:

23 "On the Unionist side, the DSP was immediately

24 condemned by Ian Paisley who announced he'd lead a

25 series of rallies against it. James Molyneux, the

114


1 leader of the UPP, however, argued that the DSP was not

2 a sell-out of the Unionists."

3 So the process continued. On 19th May, the NIO,

4 paragraph 8, issued their clarification, which was

5 a response to questions posed about the declaration. It

6 included this important sentence, which is quoted in the

7 narrative:

8 "The wish of a greater number of the people of

9 Northern Ireland would be determined by a numerical

10 majority of those validly voting in a poll fairly and

11 explicitly organised for this purpose. Acceptance of

12 the joint declaration is not a pre-condition for

13 entering the talks process. What is required is

14 a permanent end to the use of or support for

15 paramilitary violence."

16 As I think we all know, that refrain about the link

17 or otherwise between the continued use of paramilitary

18 violence and the continued business of talking is

19 a theme throughout the whole of the history that we will

20 explore, and indeed continued to be a theme after the

21 murder of Rosemary Nelson.

22 Now, as it is clear from paragraph 9, there were

23 criticisms made by Sinn Fein, or some at Sinn Fein, in

24 their conference in July. But the narrative continues:

25 "Nevertheless, there continued during this period an

115


1 unprecedented focus on the development of an effective

2 peace process. In the words of the fourth joint

3 statement ..."

4 And in your chronology that is 28th August 1994.

5 Can we bring that up, please? Thank you. What I should

6 have said, sir, right at the outset of this is you will

7 see in the printed version of the chronology here that

8 we embedded in it a link to the CAIN website, and we

9 supplied it in electronic form to the Full Participants

10 so that they could simply follow the links to that

11 well-known website in using the chronology. I certainly

12 should have acknowledged the cooperation which we have

13 received from the CAIN website and the people who run it

14 in allowing us to produce documents in this way.

15 Sir, is this a convenient moment?

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. We will adjourn now until exactly 15

17 minutes. That is just after 25 past.

18 (3.13 pm)

19 (Short break)

20 (3.27 pm)

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

22 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you, sir. Could we have the chronology

23 back on the screen, please. Now, if we just go back to

24 looking at that document in the normal way -- thank you

25 very much.

116


1 Sir, what I was trying to do before the break was to

2 read both the chronology and parts of the narrative, and

3 it seemed to me that we weren't getting the benefit of

4 either in particular. So what I am hoping is that as

5 I read through the narrative, the chronology will keep

6 up, or if it doesn't, I will summon it, because in fact,

7 as I suggested to you earlier, the context which is set

8 out in this document is really essential background for

9 what we have to consider, and in that sense I don't feel

10 apologetic about reading it.

11 I should also say that this is certainly not

12 a scholarly document, but I hope it is a neutral

13 document and I hope it is fair document. And certainly,

14 since the time we served it on the Full Participants, we

15 haven't had any suggestions to the contrary or indeed

16 amendments proposed of any kind.

17 Clearly the most important event on the screen at

18 the moment is the announcement on 31st August 1994 by

19 the IRA of the complete cessation of military

20 activities, and that is at the very end of paragraph 9

21 at the top of page 6.

22 The next section of the narrative takes us from 1994

23 for February 1996:

24 "Immediately following the ceasefire, a number of

25 positive developments occurred. The acceptance of

117


1 Sinn Fein as a legitimate political party was indicated

2 by the lifting of the broadcasting ban in the UK. On

3 21st October 1994, John Major said that he was making

4 a working assumption that the IRA ceasefire was intended

5 to be permanent and lifted exclusion orders on both

6 Adams and McGuinness. He also announced that

7 exploratory talks between the Government and Sinn Fein

8 would begin before Christmas, and the first formal

9 meeting between Sinn Fein and British officials in over

10 20 years took place on 9th December 1994 when

11 a delegation led by McGuinness met officials from the

12 NIO. Further meetings were held in January

13 and February 1995.

14 "In the Republic of Ireland, Reynolds publicly shook

15 hands with Hume and Adams on 16th September 1994

16 following a meeting in Dublin. Ten border roads were

17 reopened and following elections there was a change of

18 government in December 1994 with Fine Gael's John Bruton

19 becoming Taoiseach at the head of a coalition. On

20 22nd February 1995 ..."

21 And we can see this on the chronology with the CAIN

22 links:

23 "... Major and Bruton launched two documents

24 entitled 'A New Framework for Agreement' and 'A

25 Framework for Accountable Government in

118


1 Northern Ireland'. The former dealt with north/south

2 relations and institutions, while the latter proposed a

3 single chamber NI Assembly elected by proportional

4 representation and containing around 90 members. In the

5 USA, a ban on White House contact with Sinn Fein was

6 lifted by Bill Clinton who, in November 1994, also

7 announce an aid package to Northern Ireland. On

8 1st December that year, he announced the appointment of

9 George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader, as

10 a special economic adviser on Ireland from January 1995;

11 in effect, a form of peace envoy. On the Loyalist side,

12 a ceasefire was announced by the CLMC ..."

13 That is the Combined Loyalist Military Commend:

14 "... on 13th October 1994."

15 Again, you can see that at the very top of the

16 screen. That statement warned however that:

17 "The permanence of our ceasefire will be completely

18 dependent upon the continued cessation of all

19 Nationalist Republican violence. The sole

20 responsibility of a return to war lies with them."

21 In December 1994, the first meeting took place

22 between NIO officials and delegations from the

23 Progressive Unionist Party, the PUP, which was linked to

24 the UVF and the UDP, which was linked to the UDA. On

25 15th January 1995, the ban on ministers engaging

119


1 contacts with those two parties and with Sinn Fein was

2 also lifted. The problem that beset this period of

3 talks about talks and which eventually led to the end of

4 the ceasefire was the issue of decommissioning."

5 Again, pausing there, sir, this is another of the

6 great themes in the changing political situation over

7 the next years, as I am sure we all know:

8 "The first sign of this came in March 1995, when

9 Mayhew ..."

10 That is the Secretary of State:

11 "... during a visit a Washington outlined what

12 became known as the Washington three conditions, namely

13 that Republicans could only enter into substantive

14 negotiations when they showed a willingness in principle

15 to disarm progressively. There was practical agreement

16 on the method of doing so and as a confidence building

17 measure, there was a tangible start to the actual

18 process of decommissioning. Exploratory dialogue

19 between Sinn Fein and the Government did occur during

20 the first half of 1995, including the first official

21 meeting between ministers and Sinn Fein in 23 years,

22 when Ancram met McGuinness at Stormont on 10th May 1995.

23 In June of that year, however, Adams announce that had

24 these talks had run their course and were now over.

25 Shortly afterwards, McGuinness stated that there was no

120


1 chance of IRA weapons decommissioning before an agreed

2 settlement had been negotiated. On 8th September 1995

3 ..."

4 Moving on now to the next screen:

5 "... David Trimble was elected leader of the UUP

6 ..."

7 And we can see that at the top:

8 "... and stated that he saw no evidence that the IRA

9 were committed to exclusively peaceful methods.

10 In October ..."

11 And I am afraid that is where there is a discrepancy

12 between these two documents, because as you will see the

13 chronology says 2nd November, but anyway:

14 "... Adams described the peace process as being in

15 very serious difficulty, the blame firmly attached to

16 the British Government's refusal to move to all party

17 talks unless the IRA disarmed. Adams accused Britain of

18 deliberately stalling the peace process in order to

19 distract and immobilise Nationalists and regarding the

20 process as a continuation of war by another means.

21 "In an effort to overcome the stumbling block of

22 decommissioning, the British and Irish governments

23 issued a joint communique on 28th November 1995 calling

24 for a twin-track process whereby decommissioning and all

25 party negotiations would progress separately."

121


1 That is at the top of the page, again with the link

2 to the joint communique on the right:

3 "In support of this, the establishment was announced

4 of an international body to provide an independent

5 assessment of the decommissioning issue.

6 George Mitchell was later asked to chair the

7 international body and Harri Holkeri, a former Finnish

8 Prime Minister, and General John de Chastelain former

9 Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, were asked to serve

10 on it.

11 "Progress on the all-party negotiations track was

12 hampered, however, when Trimble rejected his party's

13 invitation from the Irish Government and refused to

14 endorse the twin-track approach. On the decommissioning

15 track, the international body met on 9th December 1995

16 in New York and later in Dublin where it held a meeting

17 on 18th December with Sinn Fein. Adams reported that

18 this meeting had been very constructive and positive,

19 and this was despite an IRA statement on

20 7th December 1995 reiterating that there was no chance

21 of IRA decommissioning as proposed.

22 "On 24th January, the international body published

23 a report setting out ..."

24 In paragraph 20 of the report:

25 "... six principles which came to be known as the

122


1 Mitchell Principles to which parties would have to

2 affirm their total and absolute commitment as

3 a pre-condition of entry to talks. These were:

4 "(a) to democratic and exclusively peaceful means of

5 resolving political issues;

6 (b) to the total disarmament of all paramilitary

7 organises;

8 "(c) to agree that such disarmament must be

9 verifiable to the satisfaction of an independent

10 commission;

11 "(d) to renounce for themselves and to oppose any

12 effort by others to use force, to threaten to use force,

13 to influence the course or the outcome of all-party

14 negotiations;

15 "(e) to agree to abide by the terms of any agreement

16 reached in all-party negotiations and to resort to

17 democratic and exclusively peaceful methods in trying to

18 alter any aspect of that outcome with which they may

19 disagree; and

20 "(f) to urge that punishment killings and beatings

21 stop and to take effective steps to prevent such

22 actions.

23 "The first meeting under the twin-track negotiations

24 was held on 29th January and involved the SDLP, the UDP

25 and the PUP. And the next week, meetings took place

123


1 between Adams and Mayhew and between Hume and Major.

2 The PUP delegation met John Bruton and Dick Spring of

3 the Irish Government. However, on 9th February 1996,

4 the IRA announced the end of its ceasefire stating that

5 'instead of embracing the peace process, the British

6 Government acted in bad faith with Mr Major and the

7 Unionist leaders squandering this unprecedented

8 opportunity to resolve the conflict'. One hour after

9 this statement, a large bomb exploded in Canary Wharf in

10 London, killing two people, injuring many more and

11 causing millions of pounds' worth of damage."

12 And that obviously and emphatically marked the end

13 of that particular phase.

14 Now, the next in the narrative we have headed

15 "Proximity talks and forum elections", and it takes us

16 only a short distance to June 1996. And if I may say

17 so, this is one of these episodes in this history which

18 shows the remarkable political resilience of those

19 involved and what must, one assumes, have been a broadly

20 optimistic outlook which enabled them, empowered them to

21 keep going when things seemed to have gone desperately

22 wrong:

23 "On 28th February 1996, Major and Bruton announced

24 that all-party talks would begin on 10th June following

25 elections to a forum in which discussions would take

124


1 place. They explained that entry to the talks was

2 dependent upon parties agreeing to abide by the

3 Mitchell Principles. Describing the end of the IRA

4 ceasefire as a fundamental breach of the declared basis

5 upon which both governments had engaged Sinn Fein in

6 political dialogue. Both governments were agreed that

7 the resumption of ministerial dialogue with Sinn Fein

8 and their participation in negotiations required the

9 restoration of the ceasefire of August 1994.

10 Accordingly, Sinn Fein were excluded from the talks.

11 "The proximity talks began on 4th March. On the

12 15th, the British Government published a consultation

13 paper ..."

14 Again, we have it recorded in our chronology with

15 the link to the CAIN website:

16 "... setting out the basis, participation,

17 structure, format and agenda of all-party negotiations

18 and reiterating the call for the unequivocal restoration

19 of the IRA ceasefire as a pre-condition of Sinn Fein's

20 participation."

21 This paper was followed on 16th April that year by

22 the draft text of the Northern Ireland Entry to

23 Negotiations Act 1996, which set out the basis on which

24 elections shall be held in Northern Ireland for the

25 purpose of providing delegates from among whom

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1 participants and negotiations may be drawn:

2 "This Act was passed shortly thereafter despite

3 opposition to parts of it from the Unionists and from

4 the SDLP. During this period, the IRA continued

5 a bombing campaign in England, planting four bombs in

6 the space of two months in London. The two largest

7 bombs under Hammersmith Bridge, failed to explode. On

8 28th April, Ankram called again for the IRA to restore

9 its ceasefire and for Sinn Fein to commit to the

10 Mitchell Principles.

11 "In May 1996, Adams said that Sinn Fein was prepared

12 to accept the Mitchell Principles if the other parties

13 agreed to them as well."

14 The forum elections took place on 30th May. That is

15 the penultimate entry in the chronology on the screen:

16 "... Sinn Fein attracted a record vote of

17 15.5 per cent which gave them 17 seats in the forum."

18 And the other results are set out in that paragraph:

19 "Despite Sinn Fein's strong showing in the forum

20 elections, the IRA ceasefire was not renewed and on

21 5th June, the IRA issued a statement describing the

22 prospects of a new ceasefire as remote in the extreme.

23 Thus, when the multi-party talks began and the

24 Northern Ireland forum met in June 1996, Sinn Fein did

25 not attend."

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1 The next section is "Multi-Party Talks":

2 "Progress in the first section of the multi-party

3 talks up to the summer recess of 1996 was hampered by

4 continuing sectarian violence. On 15th June just a few

5 days after the talks began, an IRA bomb destroyed

6 a large part of the centre of the City of Manchester,

7 the Ulster Freedom Fighters, the UFF, responded by

8 putting its members on alert. The IRA issued

9 a statement on 19th June claiming that it was still

10 prepared to embrace the democratic peace process. Nine

11 days later it launched a mortar attack on British Army

12 barracks in Osnabrueck in Germany."

13 Paragraph 30:

14 "The Loyalist marching season caused more disruption

15 as the annual Portadown Orangemen's parade down the

16 Garvaghy Road saw 2,000 RUC officers facing thousands of

17 Loyalists. The decision by the RUC to ban that year's

18 march prompted the UUP, DUP, UKUP all to pull out of the

19 multi-party talks.

20 "The Drumcree stand-off continued for five days

21 until the RUC relented and allowed the march to take

22 place. This, in turn, prompted rioting in Catholic

23 areas."

24 Then there is a sentence about the Orangemen's

25 parade down the Lower Ormeau Road in Belfast causing

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1 further rioting, and the car bomb by the Continuity IRA.

2 Can I pause here and flag up the point that, looking

3 from this general history to our particular concerns, as

4 far as we can see, by this stage, ie by the march in

5 1996, Rosemary Nelson was involved with the residents'

6 association and was present during these events, and so

7 although we will be focusing our attention more on 1997

8 and 1998, it will be important to consider the impact --

9 which was substantial -- of what happened during this

10 parade and the way it was dealt with in 1996. So

11 continuing:

12 "By the time the multi-party talks broke off for the

13 summer recess, only the rules of procedure had been

14 agreed. Agreement on the actual agenda remained

15 elusive. The next session of talks which began

16 in September was marked by calls for the expulsion of

17 the DUP, the UPP and the PUP for breach of the Mitchell

18 Principles following Loyalist violence over the summer,

19 and in particular the events of Drumcree.

20 "Meanwhile, Loyalist prisoners in the Maze Prison

21 said they were withdrawing their support for the peace

22 process, partly as a result of continuing IRA violence.

23 Both Mo Mowlam, then Labour Party spokesperson for

24 Northern Ireland, and Trimble went to the Maze to talk

25 to the prisoners in order to maintain their support."

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1 The next phase is from January to July 1997:

2 "The multi-party talks resumed in January 1997 with

3 further calls for the expulsion of the PUP and the UDP

4 due to the continuing Loyalist paramilitary violence.

5 Mayhew resisted these calls, but on the Republican side,

6 Adams stated in the Irish Times that any new ceasefire

7 by the IRA would be genuinely unequivocal. However,

8 mortar bombs and shootings by the IRA continued."

9 And we can see on the chronology that it was indeed

10 in this period, on 12th February, that Lance Bombardier

11 Stephen Restorick was shot in County Armagh.

12 The first talk session of 1997 only lasted

13 until March, after which they adjourned to allow the

14 parties to contest the UK general election:

15 "At the beginning of May 1997, Labour won the

16 general election and the new Prime Minister, Tony Blair,

17 appointed Mo Mowlam as Secretary of State for Northern

18 Ireland. She immediately visited Belfast and indicated

19 that Sinn Fein could enter the talks as and when there

20 was a renewed IRA ceasefire. Blair visited

21 Northern Ireland on 16th May, and in a speech given at

22 the Royal Ulster Agricultural Show, reaffirmed the

23 UK Government's commitment to the framework documents,

24 the Mitchell Report on decommissioning and the ground

25 rules for entry into the talks. And he delivered a

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1 message to Sinn Fein:

2 "'The Settlement train is leaving. I want you on

3 that train, but it is leaving anyway and I will not

4 allow it to wait for you. You cannot hold the process

5 to ransom any longer. So end the violence now.'.

6 "In the same speech, he said that the dreadful and

7 depressing events at Drumcree in 1996 illustrated the

8 great divisions and sense of insecurity in

9 Northern Ireland."

10 Again, if I can just pause there. The importance,

11 so far as we are concerned, and the more immediate

12 background to Rosemary Nelson's work, which made her

13 involved with Drumcree is precisely this: that, as

14 witnesses who have given us evidence put it, in these

15 years, 1996, 1997 and 1998, Drumcree simply became the

16 focus for conflict, and indeed by 1998, the place at

17 which those who one of our witnesses described as

18 "rejection Loyalists" on the one hand and Republicans

19 who did not approve of the Good Friday Agreement had

20 their battle. And apart from causing the most enormous

21 public order problem for the RUC, for the police, it

22 brought Rosemary Nelson right into the centre of some of

23 the most bitter sectarian conflict in the period

24 immediately before her murder.

25 Paragraph 35:

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1 "On 25th June 1997, the British and Irish

2 governments gave the IRA a deadline of five weeks in

3 which to call an unequivocal ceasefire. If the

4 ceasefire then held for a further period of six weeks,

5 Sinn Fein would be allowed to enter the talks. The next

6 two weeks saw four days of rioting linked to that

7 summer's Drumcree parade.

8 "On 12th June 1997, Hume met Blair and called on the

9 IRA to reinstate its ceasefire. On 16th July, the DUP

10 and the UKUP walked out of the multi-party talks in

11 protest at what they claimed was a lack of clarity on

12 the issue of decommissioning on the part of the British

13 Government. Two days later, the British Government

14 stated that Sinn Fein would be allowed to participate in

15 talks without IRA decommissioning so long as they

16 adhered to the Mitchell Principles."

17 Again, it is obvious from what has gone before that

18 that was itself a significant moment. Both Hume and

19 Adams welcomed the announcement, and Adams and

20 McGuinness called on the IRA to renew its ceasefire.

21 Three days later, after the walkout from the multi-party

22 talks and very shortly after the British Government

23 announcement what I have mentioned: the IRA issued

24 a statement in which it announced that having assessed

25 the current political situation, the leadership of the

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1 IRA are announcing a complete cessation of military

2 operations from 12 midday on Sunday, 20th July 1997.

3 So this clearly, as it turned out, marked

4 a political watershed. That is significant for us in

5 this Inquiry, because the key events on which we will be

6 spending most of our time and attention occurred from

7 the middle of July that year, certainly not long before

8 the ceasefire, when the Garvaghy Road incident took

9 place, through to the murder of Rosemary Nelson

10 in March 1999, during the whole of which period there

11 was in place the ceasefire. And obviously that was one

12 of the major changes, changes of the kind I mentioned

13 earlier which marked this period:

14 "Following the IRA ceasefire, Mo Mowlam reaffirmed

15 her commitment to permit Sinn Fein to join the

16 multi-party talks if, after six weeks, she was convinced

17 that this was a genuine restoration of the ceasefire.

18 On 29th August, she announced that the ceasefire had

19 been sufficiently well observed to allow Sinn Fein to

20 enter the talks, which it duly did after signing up to

21 the Mitchell Principles on September 1997.

22 "These events provoked anger on the Unionist side.

23 In July 1997, the DUP and the UKUP threatened

24 permanently to walk out of the talks if Sinn Fein were

25 allowed to join them. Trimble met Blair on

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1 21st July 1997 and stated that he could not support the

2 British and Irish governments' proposals on

3 decommissioning. The following day, the DUP and the

4 UKUP walked out of the talks, but the UUP stayed. And

5 in late August 1997, Billy Hutchinson, a PUP spokesman,

6 said in a radio interview that the talks process were

7 offering nothing to Loyalists and that he would be

8 recommending that the PUP also ended its participation

9 in the talks.

10 "Just after Sinn Fein joined talks, a senior IRA

11 figure was quoted in a newspaper article as saying that

12 the IRA would have problems with sections of the

13 Mitchell Principles, but what Sinn Fein decided to do

14 was a matter for them as the IRA is not a participant in

15 these talks. Inevitably, this caused further anger.

16 "Tony Blair issued a statement on

17 12th September 1997 in an effort to persuade the UUP not

18 to leave the talks, and the DUP called for Sinn Fein to

19 be expelled from the talks. The formal opening of the

20 talks chaired by Mitchell took place on 15th September.

21 Whilst the UUP, PUP and DUP boycotted the first days of

22 talks, they did attend from the 17th, albeit refusing to

23 sit at the same table as the Sinn Fein delegation. On

24 the 23rd, the UUP proposed the motion to have Sinn Fein

25 expelled from the talks following the comments of the

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1 IRA figure. The motion, however, was defeated.

2 "The talks now moved quickly to resolve procedural

3 matters so they could move on to more substantive

4 matters. And on 24th September, procedures for the

5 conduct of the talks were agreed. On the same day the

6 Independent Commission On Decommissioning was formally

7 launched under the chairmanship of John de Chastelain,

8 and on 30th September, the format of the negotiations

9 was agreed.

10 "Talks followed the three-strand approach first used

11 for the Brooke-Mayhew talks:

12 "1. Relationships within Northern Ireland;

13 "2. The relationship between Northern Ireland and

14 the Republic of Ireland, and

15 "3. The relationship between the British and Irish

16 governments.

17 "Strand 1 was chaired by the British Government's

18 minister, Paul Murphy; strand 2 by Mitchell; and

19 strand 3 was conducted by the two governments.

20 Substantive talks continued at Stormont

21 through October, November and December 1997 occasionally

22 breaking off for private meetings. These included

23 meetings between the UUP and the Taoiseach, Bertie

24 Ahern, on 20th November 1997 and a meeting between

25 Sinn Fein and Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street on

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1 11th December 1997, the first such meeting for 76 years.

2 Despite a great deal of activity there was little

3 apparent progress made.

4 "There were other more positive developments,

5 however. On 17th October, Mo Mowlam announced the

6 establishments of the Parades Commission."

7 Sir, just pausing there. That followed the

8 recommendation of a report by Dr Peter North, which

9 itself was one of the consequences of repeated violence

10 and disorder at Drumcree. And Dr North was put in

11 charge of a review and came up with a mechanism whereby

12 decisions on marches, on parades, would not be taken by

13 either the RUC or by politicians, by the Secretary of

14 State, but by the Commission itself.

15 And it says in paragraph 43 that:

16 "The brief was to deal with the then often

17 controversial question of whether marches should take

18 place. The UK Government in conjunction with and on the

19 advice of the RUC began to take measures to relax

20 security, including the reduction of the military

21 presence on police patrols and the removal of the

22 majority of vehicle controlled zones."

23 Again, those must have been obvious, tangible signs

24 of the security situation being improved.

25 Now, the next section deals with the run-up to the

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1 agreement. At the very end of the previous year, on

2 27th December, Billy Wright, the leader of the LVF, was

3 shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army

4 prisoners inside the Maze Prison, and as we all know,

5 his death, his murder, is the subject of another public

6 inquiry:

7 "On 3rd January 1998, Loyalist prisoners voted to

8 withdraw their support for the peace process in protest

9 at the British Government concessions to Republicans.

10 The situation was only defused when Mo Mowlam herself

11 went into the Maze and persuaded the prisoners to renew

12 their support for the process.

13 "When talks resumed on 12th January, the British and

14 Irish governments issued a document entitled

15 'Propositions of Heads of Agreement', setting out the

16 areas on which agreement was thought possible. These

17 areas included constitutional change, democratically

18 elected institutions, a new British/Irish Council, a

19 bill of rights for Northern Ireland, effective and

20 practical measures to establish and consolidate an

21 acceptable peaceful society, prisoners' security,

22 policing and decommissioning."

23 Sir, one of the strands or themes which is important

24 for us in relation to the background there is that

25 policing was included, because that, in due course, as I

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1 will show you, led to the provisions in the agreement

2 which addressed policing in Northern Ireland and in turn

3 led to the establishment of the Patten Commission:

4 "Most parties welcomed the document, but it was

5 rejected by Sinn Fein as a basis for agreement. On

6 18th January, Adams met Blair in Downing Street. The

7 IRA also rejected the document as pro-Unionist in

8 a statement on 21st January. The British and Irish

9 governments subsequently agreed to produce a revised

10 version. The talks themselves moved to Lancaster House

11 in London in an attempt to inject impetus into the

12 process. On the first day of this phase,

13 26th January 1998, British and Irish governments decided

14 to expel the UDP because of its connections with the

15 UFF, which had recently committed a number of murders.

16 However, by this stage, the UDP had already left the

17 talks; they rejoined on 23rd February 1998.

18 "On the second day, a discussion document was

19 produced by the British and Irish governments on

20 cross-border bodies and it was welcomed by the SDLP and

21 Sinn Fein but rejected by the UUP. Blair visited the

22 talks to urge the parties to find a compromise.

23 However, there was further division over the question of

24 establishing a Northern Ireland Assembly.

25 "On 19th February, Sinn Fein was expelled from the

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1 talks because of an assessment by the RUC that the IRA

2 had been involved in two murders which had been

3 committed on 9th and 10th February 1998. Whilst Adams

4 described the expulsion as disgraceful, the Unionists

5 were equally appalled by the fact that the British and

6 Irish governments confirmed that they would allow

7 Sinn Fein's return to the talks if there were no further

8 breach of the IRA ceasefire for two weeks. Sinn Fein

9 rejoined the talks on 23rd March.

10 "The deadline of just two weeks for the completion

11 of talks was finally set by Mitchell on 24th March 1998.

12 On 6th April, he published a blueprint of a possible

13 agreement. This was immediately rejected by the UUP.

14 "On 7th April 1998, Blair joined the talks in

15 Belfast saying that he felt the hand of history on his

16 shoulder. The following day, Blair met Ahern to begin

17 strand 2 negotiations, and on Friday, 10th April 1998,

18 after an all-night session punctuated by DUP protests

19 against the negotiations and rumours of splits in the

20 UUP, Mitchell accounced that the two governments and the

21 political parties in Northern Ireland had reached

22 agreement, and the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

23 "The main shape of the agreement was as follows:

24 a Northern Ireland Assembly with 108 seats elected by

25 proportional representation; 12-member executive

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1 committee of ministers to be elected by the Assembly;

2 the setting up of a north/south ministerial council

3 within a year by the Assembly, the council being

4 accountable to the Assembly and the Dail; amendments to

5 Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution to establish

6 the principle of consent; the repeal of the British

7 Government of Ireland Act 1920; a Council of the Isles

8 with members drawn from assemblies in England, Scotland,

9 Wales, Belfast and Dublin.

10 "The agreement also made significant provision for

11 initiatives on other fronts, notably on policing,

12 criminal justice and in relation to the early release of

13 prisoners serving sentences for terrorist offences."

14 Indeed, sir, although we can't, I am afraid, get

15 access to it through our system, it is, I suggest, worth

16 noting what the Patten -- or rather what the

17 Good Friday Agreement said which led to Patten.

18 Can I just quote a passage from the annexes

19 concerning policing and justice:

20 "The participants recognise [that is the

21 participants to the agreement] that policing is

22 a central issue in any society. They equally recognise

23 that Northern Ireland's history of deep divisions has

24 made it highly emotive, with great hurt suffered and

25 sacrifices made by many individuals and their families,

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1 including those in the RUC and other public servants.

2 They believe that the agreement provides the opportunity

3 for a new beginning to policing in Northern Ireland,

4 with the police service capable of attracting and

5 sustaining support from the community as a whole. They

6 also believe that this agreement offers a unique

7 opportunity to bring about a new political dispensation

8 which will recognise the full and equal legitimacy and

9 worth of the identities, senses of allegiance and ethos

10 of all sections of the community in Northern Ireland.

11 They consider that this opportunity should inform and

12 underpin the development of a police service

13 representative in terms of the make-up of the community

14 as a whole and which, in a peaceful environment, should

15 be routinely unarmed."

16 Then later, as I have said, the Commission, with its

17 Terms of Reference, which became the Patten Commission,

18 was established.

19 Sir, following that, after the agreement it became

20 obviously necessary to get it endorsed by the

21 electorate, and that is what the next section deals

22 with:

23 "With the agreement signed, it was now necessary to

24 secure public support for it in a referendum in both the

25 Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The prospects

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1 of such support depended to a significant degree upon

2 the attitude taken by the political parties involved.

3 On the Unionist side, the UUP party executive approved

4 the GFA just one day after it was signed. The ruling

5 council of the UUP backed the agreement on 18th April.

6 The ruling body of the Orange Order, however, refused to

7 support the agreement and generally called on its

8 members to vote 'no'. Ian Paisley said that he aimed

9 for a 40 per cent 'no' vote in the referendum and the

10 DUP launched a series of 'no' rallies.

11 "In early May, the DUP, the UKUP and dissident

12 members of the UUP launched the United Unionist Campaign

13 to oppose the agreement using the slogan 'It is right to

14 no'. Sinn Fein rallies over Easter gave the agreement

15 a cautious welcome. The IRA issued a statement saying

16 that it would judge the agreement against its potential

17 to deliver a just and durable peace in our country. At

18 a Sinn Fein Convention on 18th April 1998, Adams

19 described the agreement as a basis for advancement and

20 said it could become a transitional stage towards

21 reunification. On 30th April, the IRA issued a further

22 statement saying that the agreement falls short of

23 presenting a solid basis for a lasting settlement and

24 stated 'let us make it clear that there will be no

25 decommissioning by the IRA'.

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1 "On 6th May, however, the Sinn Fein leadership

2 confirmed its support for the agreement and recommended

3 that its members voted 'yes' in the referendum.

4 Sinn Fein members voted in a convention on 10th May to

5 change the party's constitution to allow its candidate

6 to sit in the proposed Northern Ireland Assembly.

7 Harder line Republican groups were opposed to the

8 agreement. For example, Republican Sinn Fein called for

9 a 'no' vote and the 32-County Sovereignty Committee and

10 the real IRA also emerged as dissident groupings at this

11 time, united in their opposition to the agreement.

12 "The Government threw its weight behind the 'yes'

13 campaign and in the run-up to the referendum, the

14 Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announced

15 a 315 million package of investment for

16 Northern Ireland, and the Prime Minister visited

17 Northern Ireland twice. On 17th May, he issued a joint

18 statement with Clinton urging people to vote 'yes' and

19 in the Republic of Ireland, the Taoiseach led Fianna

20 Fail's own 'yes' campaign. When the referendum was held

21 on the 22nd, it delivered an 85.46 per cent overall vote

22 in favour of the agreement based on the voting in

23 Northern Ireland and the Republic:"

24 Now, the final section of the narrative before the

25 murder of Rosemary Nelson does not follow the same

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1 structure as the previous ones, because by this stage

2 the strands that one has to consider when looking at the

3 changing picture become, we felt anyway in preparing it,

4 too complicated. So what we have done here, uniquely,

5 is to divide the thing into four: implementing the

6 agreement; Drumcree, which, as I said, took on even

7 greater importance in this year, 1998; paramilitary

8 ceasefires and the Omagh bomb; and then finally

9 decommissioning:

10 "So far as the agreement was concerned, the work now

11 began with elections to the new Northern Ireland

12 Assembly being held on 25th June."

13 We set out the results there:

14 "The Assembly met for the first time and in shadow

15 form on 1st July 1998."

16 That is at the bottom of the screen, the 1st July

17 Assembly meets for the first time, Trimble elected first

18 minister designate with the SDLP Seamus Mallon elected

19 as the deputy first minister:

20 "The British Government introduced the

21 Northern Ireland Bill into the House of Commons on

22 15th July 1998 as a means of implementing various

23 provisions of the agreement."

24 Then, obviously, importantly for us:

25 "On 24th July, the Police (Northern Ireland) Act was

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1 enacted. Among its provisions were those establishing

2 the Police Ombudsman. Meanwhile the Independent

3 Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland chaired by

4 Chris Patten was established on 3rd June 1998 and began

5 its work that month."

6 If I may say so, all of these developments need to

7 be viewed together. They all are connected with broader

8 changes of course, but specifically with changes in

9 policing. And you will remember, I am sure, that

10 Dr Hayes, whom I mentioned earlier as the author of the

11 report reforming, or suggesting reform in the police

12 complaints system, was himself a member of the

13 Patten Commission, and in the Patten Report they go out

14 of their way to endorse the recommendations that he had

15 made in his report in January 1997, because at the time

16 of their report's emergence in, I think, September 1999,

17 in fact the Ombudsman's office was not yet up and

18 effective, although the legislation was in place:

19 "On 28th July 1998, the Northern Ireland Sentences

20 Act was passed and this allowed for the early release of

21 paramilitary prisoners. The first prisoners to be

22 released were freed on 11th September 1998. On

23 19th November, the Northern Ireland Act was passed. The

24 Assembly met on 14th September. However, efforts to

25 form an executive failed due to disagreement over the

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1 need for prior decommissioning on paramilitary weapons.

2 The first deadline set for the establishment of an

3 executive under the agreement, 31st October 1998, was

4 missed. On the other hand, on 18th December, agreement

5 was reached on setting up government departments and

6 cross-border bodies. The bodies covered inland

7 waterways, agriculture, food safety, the Irish and

8 Ulster-Scots languages, European Union funding

9 programmes and trade and businesses development.

10 "In January 1999, Mo Mowlam accounced that the UK

11 Government was prepared to devolve power to the

12 Northern Ireland Assembly on 10th March if the parties

13 could agree on a way forward. On the 3rd, she indicated

14 she would be prepared to delay the devolution of power

15 to the Assembly until the end the end of March. On

16 8th March, David Trimble gave an angry response to this

17 announcement.

18 "On the 4th, four new treaties giving effect to the

19 north/south bodies and other institutions established

20 under the GFA were agreed between Ahern and Trimble. On

21 10th March 1999, the Assembly endorsed Trimble and

22 Mallon's proposals for structures of government."

23 Sir, I am conscious that there is a great deal of

24 reading and it is about quarter past four. Would this

25 be a convenient moment?

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1 THE CHAIRMAN: If it would be for you, the answer is yes.

2 10.15 tomorrow morning.

3 (4.15 pm)

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