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Full Hearings

Hearing: 26th February 2009, day 115

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

on Thursday, 26 February 2009
commencing at 10.15 am

Day 115









1 Thursday, 26 February 2009

2 (10.15 am)

3 B629 (continued)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist. Is the public

6 area screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

7 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

9 screen closed?

10 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

12 and securely fastened?

13 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

15 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

16 of this chamber?

17 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Can the video engineer please

19 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

20 off and shrouded?

21 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, we are ready, sir. Yes, sir, they

22 have.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. All the other cameras have been

24 switched off?

25 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.





1 MR CURRANS: Before the witness is brought in, I think

2 Mr (name redacted) will need to come back.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel

4 and the Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

5 switched back on.

6 Yes, Mr Phillips?

7 MR PHILLIPS: Before continuing the questioning, can I just

8 make a couple of brief, as it were, procedural

9 announcements. First, you have indicated in relation to

10 this witness that there will be a closed session for

11 part of his evidence and the matters to be dealt with

12 there will be sensitive matters in relation to sources

13 of intelligence. The second thing, sir, so far as the

14 plan for the day is concerned, the witness has to leave,

15 as I understand it, at six. What I'm aiming to do is to

16 complete the questions in the open session by 4 o'clock

17 this afternoon.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

19 MR PHILLIPS: Now, can we turn straight, please, to look at

20 the murder of Rosemary Nelson itself. In paragraph 101

21 of your statement at RNI-846-639 (displayed), you deal

22 with the issue of whether there was any advanced warning

23 or intelligence coming in to Special Branch about the

24 murder. Just to be clear about this from the outset,

25 what is the answer to that, as far as you are aware?





1 A. We had no intelligence.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of whether or not that was

3 usual, clearly this was an issue raised with you in your

4 interview and you say:

5 "I have been asked ..."

6 Second line:

7 "... if this was usual."

8 And by way of answer you refer to a number of high

9 profile murders where there was no warning. Is that

10 right?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Just answering the specific question whether it was

13 usual or unusual not to have any advance intelligence,

14 what is your answer to that, please?

15 A. Just briefly say it again, please?

16 Q. Was it usual or unusual for Special Branch not to have

17 any advanced warning?

18 A. It was not unusual.

19 Q. Not unusual. Thank you. The examples you give there,

20 the murders of Lord Justice Gibson and his wife and

21 Edgar Graham, am I right in thinking that they were both

22 Republican attacks?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Is there an important difference here in terms of the

25 discipline of the organisations and the comparison,





1 which you make earlier in your statement, between

2 Republican terrorists on the one hand and Loyalists on

3 the other?

4 A. Certainly Republicans were more disciplined and more

5 planning went into their operations.

6 Q. Yes. Now, just looking at that earlier part of your

7 statement, it is at paragraph 22, where you talk, for

8 example, about the LVF at RNI-846-612 (displayed). Now,

9 this is in the course of some general comments about, if

10 I can put it this way, local paramilitaries, and the

11 impression you give there is that you regarded

12 individuals and organisations such as this as being ill

13 disciplined but dangerous?

14 A. Absolutely.

15 Q. Is that right?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. Yes. Now, clearly if they acted suddenly and without

18 advanced planning, one can see that the opportunities

19 for gathering advanced intelligence were reduced?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. Now, in the light of that information and of course your

22 experience at the time, what was your reaction to the

23 fact that there seemed in this case, Rosemary Nelson's

24 case, to be no advanced warning?

25 A. It was not unusual.





1 Q. Did you draw any conclusions from it whatever?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Did it suggest anything to you about the sort of

4 individuals or the sort of organisations who might have

5 been responsible?

6 A. When Mrs Nelson was murdered, it came as a complete

7 shock to us and it wasn't -- we didn't even have

8 a starting point or anything prior to her murder. There

9 was no indications that she was even being targeted by

10 the LVF.

11 Q. And so in the aftermath of her murder, presumably, you

12 were concerned to go back through the intelligence that

13 had been gathered in South Region to make sure, first of

14 all, that you hadn't missed anything?

15 A. Absolutely. That's a normal event.

16 Q. Yes. And presumably there are two reasons for that:

17 first, just to check that there wasn't something that

18 now could be regarded in a more significant way; and

19 secondly, to learn lessons for the future?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. Because if this exercise revealed, for example, that

22 there were gaps, of which you weren't aware at that

23 point, then you would obviously want to try to fill

24 them?

25 A. Absolutely.





1 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the likely culprits are concerned,

2 can I ask you to look with me now, please, at

3 paragraph 176 of your statement at RNI-846-446

4 (displayed).

5 Here you are dealing with a rather different topic,

6 which is the lack of intelligence after the event. So

7 we have moved on now from no intelligence of the attack

8 in advance to the, what you put there as, so little

9 intelligence on the murder after the event. Do you see

10 that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, did that give you any indication in your view as to

13 the likely individuals or organisations that may have

14 been responsible?

15 A. Just give me a second to read it.

16 Q. Sorry. (Pause)

17 A. Okay, yes.

18 Q. What I'm asking you is whether the absence of

19 intelligence, as you put it there -- there was so little

20 intelligence after the event -- gave you any clues as to

21 the likely individuals or organisations responsible?

22 A. No. A high profile target or a high value target like

23 that, basically whoever would have done it, it would

24 have been natural for very little intelligence to be

25 coming forward.





1 Q. Is that because of the intense scrutiny, media,

2 political, which followed an event such as that kind?

3 A. Absolutely.

4 Q. So does it follow from that, in your view at any rate,

5 that anyone who decided to target Rosemary Nelson would

6 have realised that this was going to be a very high

7 profile attack and that after the attack they would have

8 to keep very low?

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. And does that not suggest the involvement of experienced

11 and expert, if I can put it that way, terrorists?

12 A. Absolutely.

13 Q. And does the same not also apply -- again, just drawing

14 on your experience, please -- in relation to the

15 planning of such an attack; in other words, the very

16 high profile nature of the target means that very great

17 care would have to be taken in order to put together the

18 various elements of the attack on Rosemary Nelson?

19 A. The actual carrying out of the attack wouldn't have

20 taken a lot of planning because, as it came out later in

21 the enquiry, Rosemary Nelson was not very security

22 conscious on that and left her car and her house and

23 that on, I think on some occasions she even left the car

24 open at night and that. So it wouldn't have taken a lot

25 of planning to carry out that operation.





1 Q. Let's just look at that just because you have raised

2 this issue. It would, for example, have required access

3 to the relevant device, wouldn't it?

4 A. Absolutely, yes.

5 Q. And it may be that you have a view as to whether there

6 was the bomb making capacity to produce a device like

7 that in the local LVF?

8 A. We had no intelligence to indicate that the LVF had that

9 capacity. Certainly they were using pipe bombs at

10 Drumcree and killing police with pipe bombs.

11 Q. But this was an attack of a different order, wasn't it?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. Therefore, if that's correct, it suggests that they must

14 have, if I can put it this way, outsourced the device?

15 A. I agree.

16 Q. And that would in turn involve cooperation with an

17 individual or more than one individual elsewhere?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. Then, of course, there is the business of getting the

20 device from wherever elsewhere was to the target?

21 A. Yes, that's correct.

22 Q. And the business of transporting it but also, of course,

23 the planning and organisation of the attack itself?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And thereafter, of course, presumably ensuring that any





1 relevant forensic evidence, traces, were removed?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. So we are talking, aren't we, about an attack which is

4 likely to involve no less than a handful of individuals?

5 A. A small number.

6 Q. Yes. Now, so far as what happened, and your role in

7 what happened, immediately after the murder, we have

8 talked together about review of previous intelligence.

9 Can I just ask you about some specific aspects of that.

10 Do you mean by that that there would be a review of the

11 relevant source reports, for example?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And technical product?

14 A. Everything.

15 Q. Yes. And what about tasking of your assets? You deal

16 with that in paragraph 128 of your statement at

17 RNI-846-650 (displayed). Would that have happened in

18 this case?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Would you have initiated that or would you have expected

21 that just to happen at a much lower level?

22 A. Both.

23 Q. Do you remember issuing particular directions in

24 relation to this tasking in this case?

25 A. I remember it very well.





1 Q. What was the nature of the orders you gave?

2 A. Well, basically, within a very short period of the

3 incident happening the Detective Inspector come over to

4 see me and we sat down and talked about it because it

5 was a bolt -- it was like a bolt of lightning out of the

6 blue. And I asked him to make sure that no stone was

7 left unturned because we didn't need a Mensa rating to

8 work out what the ramifications of this murder was going

9 to be.

10 Q. It was obvious immediately?

11 A. Absolutely.

12 Q. Did you ask him to explain how it had happened without

13 any warning coming to him?

14 A. I didn't need to.

15 Q. That was an obvious question hanging in the air?

16 A. I was dealing with one of the most experienced

17 inspectors in the department.

18 Q. Was there any sense that there had been an intelligence

19 failure?

20 A. That's a very strong term to use.

21 Q. I'm just asking a question.

22 A. There were thousands of other people murdered in this

23 campaign, and if you want to say were they all

24 intelligence failures, I think it is a very strong term.

25 I wouldn't say it was an intelligence failure.





1 Q. You wouldn't?

2 A. I wouldn't.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Would "gap" be a fairer word?

4 A. Perhaps, sir.

5 MR PHILLIPS: In terms of the tasking that went on, was that

6 of both Loyalist and Republican sources?

7 A. Mostly Loyalist.

8 Q. But was a decision taken at the time that the focus

9 should be on tasking your Loyalist assets?

10 A. Absolutely.

11 Q. Now, at that early decision, was there any point at

12 which you had cause to reconsider it and seek to find

13 out more from the Republican side?

14 A. I honestly don't think that the Republicans murdered

15 Rosemary Nelson for one moment, and still do to this

16 day, and there is no way they would have been given any

17 approval to murder Rosemary Nelson.

18 Q. That's not quite what I was asking, though, is it?

19 I was asking you whether the Republican assets you had

20 were tasked to see if they could pick up information on

21 their side as to the circumstances of the murder?

22 A. They would have been -- her murder would have been

23 discussed with Republican assets, yes, to see what they

24 thought or who had done it.

25 Q. And was the trawl of source reporting and product,





1 everything, as you put it earlier, did that include

2 reporting from that side and product from that side, as

3 from the Loyalist side?

4 A. It would have. If a Republican agent had have come in

5 and said, "We think so and so did it", that would have

6 been dealt with immediately too and assessed.

7 Q. So your minds weren't closed to that possibility at

8 least, that information would come in?

9 A. Our minds wouldn't have really been concentrating on

10 Republicans doing the murder, to be honest.

11 Q. In terms of those who did the murder, can I ask you to

12 look with me, please, to a slightly earlier paragraph in

13 your statement, 120, at RNI-846-647 (displayed).

14 Here you are dealing first of all with the Red Hand

15 Defenders and, as everybody knows, the claim of

16 responsibility in the case came from the Red Hand

17 Defenders. You describe it there as a nom de guerre and

18 presumably, again, all of this is based on the knowledge

19 and information that you had at the time. Is that

20 right?

21 A. That was a nom de guerre that was used by various

22 Loyalist groups for murders that they were committing

23 because there was supposed to be a ceasefire involved at

24 the time.

25 Q. And they didn't want, as you say there, to admit





1 responsibilities themselves because of various ways in

2 which it might prejudice their position -- you give an

3 example there in relation to the LVF, the release of

4 Mark "Swinger" Fulton from prison, and also the ongoing

5 business of decommissioning which in his case you didn't

6 believe was a genuine effort?

7 A. Certainly not.

8 Q. Now, so far as that is concerned, can I now ask to you

9 look back to the paragraph we were looking at a little

10 earlier, 176, at RNI-846-667 (displayed), because here

11 you focus rather more on the specific circumstances of

12 this case and, indeed, on the key suspects. Their names

13 have been redacted, as you see, in this paragraph, 176,

14 but they are the names of the two key suspects in the

15 case.

16 Now, what you go on to say in the second half of the

17 paragraph is that:

18 "I would never, however, have thought that ..."

19 Then you give the names of the two key suspects:

20 "... would have killed Mrs Nelson by planting a bomb

21 under her car. If they were going to kill her, I would

22 have thought that they would have shot her. That would

23 have been my immediate assessment of things unless we

24 had intelligence to indicate otherwise. That is how the

25 LVF operated. As to their capacity for explosive





1 attacks, I don't recall any other bomb attempts by the

2 LVF other than pipe bombs."

3 So that, as we were saying earlier, was a departure,

4 as far as you were concerned. Is that right?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. And it didn't represent the usual modus operandi, if I

7 can put it that way, of these two individuals?

8 A. Those two individuals were notorious gunmen.

9 Q. Yes. And that presumably was a relevant view in

10 assessing whether it was indeed likely that those two

11 individuals had carried out this attack, not by shooting

12 or pipe bombs but by the undercar explosive device?

13 A. There can always be a first time.

14 Q. Sorry?

15 A. I said there can always be a first time.

16 Q. Yes. But is it fair also to say that in your view this

17 is one of the matters that indicated to you that there

18 must have been others involved who were not part of this

19 local organisation in order, for example, to produce the

20 device itself?

21 A. Well, that became evident later on when the intelligence

22 did come in.

23 Q. Yes. Did you not consider that this sort of new

24 departure for them might also mean that there were other

25 individuals involved with greater expertise, again, if I





1 can put it that way, in planting devices of this kind?

2 A. Well, there had to be expertise for the making of the

3 device. It doesn't require a lot of skill to actually

4 plant the device.

5 Q. Right. So that wasn't, as it were, a runner in your

6 view?

7 A. Not really.

8 Q. No. Now, so far as the possibility of a Republican

9 motive or Republican involvement in this attack is

10 concerned, in a sense you have already set out very

11 clearly your view on that. You were aware, were you, of

12 intelligence before the murder to the effect that there

13 was Republican activity and Republican planning in

14 relation to a bomb attack?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And can we look together, please, at the relevant

17 reporting. It is at RNI-544-117 (displayed).

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. It is obviously a general warning going out to the

20 various Special Branch offices, isn't it?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And to be clear, as I understand it, despite

23 intelligence of this kind, which is obviously extremely

24 general, the matters you mentioned earlier were more

25 than enough in your view to rule out any possibility of





1 Republican involvement?

2 A. I know exactly where this intelligence here came from

3 and you can put that to bed right now. And it had

4 nothing whatsoever to do with Mrs Nelson's murder.

5 Q. And can I take it from the way you have just expressed

6 yourself that that's as far as you can go to help us in

7 this open hearing?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. Thank you. And, again, can I, just for completeness,

10 touch on another piece of intelligence, this emerging

11 after the murder, and that's something you address in

12 paragraph 177 at RNI-846-667 (displayed). I don't think

13 we need to look at it because it is clear from your

14 paragraph there what it said, the relevant intelligence

15 report from April, so after the murder, as I say. And

16 the question you were asked in your interview was

17 whether that had any bearing on Rosemary Nelson's death.

18 Now, can you just explain to me why it is that you

19 take the view that it had no bearing on her murder?

20 A. I think I know what you are alluding to, but if you are

21 alluding to the fact that possibly Duffy could have

22 murdered her, I would say no.

23 Q. Right. That was not a possibility in your view?

24 A. Not in the slightest.

25 Q. No. As I understand it from your statement, nothing





1 came to your attention after that, in other words

2 after April 1999, which led you to change that view?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Thank you. Now, can I pick up another point you make in

5 relation to the aftermath of the murder and that's in

6 paragraph 121 at page RNI-846-647 (displayed). As you

7 have already explained, it was obvious to you that it

8 would have very substantial impact, the murder, and you

9 then go on in the second sentence to say:

10 "I don't think it could have derailed the peace

11 process, but it did raise community tensions although,

12 surprisingly, not as much as I thought it would have."

13 Just to unpack that, if I may, presumably one of the

14 concerns was that this act of what was regarded as

15 Loyalist violence would provoke an extreme reaction on

16 the other side. Is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And there was concern that it would spark, as it were, a

19 tit for tat process which would if not derail, then

20 substantially undermine the progress that had been made

21 to that point?

22 A. And serious public disorder too.

23 Q. Yes. Now, as you point out, in fact there was no such

24 tit for tat. In considering the significance of that,

25 what did the absence of that sort of reaction tell you?





1 A. It didn't tell us very much. We knew that there was

2 a lot of community work going on to have -- keep things

3 very calm at the time and there was a lot of good work

4 done on both sides of the community to do that.

5 Q. So those who were, as it were, not on the paramilitary

6 side but who were in the communities and on the

7 political side were, presumably, on both sides, trying

8 desperately to keep the thing on the rails?

9 A. That was the feedback we were getting at the time.

10 Q. And were being successful?

11 A. Apparently so.

12 Q. Yes. Now, that takes us back in a sense to the tasking

13 issue that we looked at earlier because presumably in

14 order to find out what the reaction was, how bad it was

15 going to be, whether things would get out of control,

16 you needed to seek intelligence from both sides, so

17 there must have been tasking on the Republican side in

18 the aftermath at least with that in mind. Is that fair?

19 A. Absolutely.

20 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the early intelligence picture is

21 concerned -- that's what I would like to touch on

22 next -- Sir Ronnie Flanagan in his evidence to the

23 Inquiry told us of his recollection that at an early

24 stage he was given the impression that Special Branch

25 were confident as to the intelligence which pointed to





1 these key suspects. Is that right?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. Now, clearly that involved the very two individuals that

4 we looked at earlier, although we weren't able to give

5 their names?

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. So what was it, please, in those early days that led you

8 to think that this was indeed the new departure by them;

9 in other words, that everything you had known about them

10 and their modus operandi before had to be, as it were,

11 put to one side because what you were suggesting with

12 confidence to your Chief Constable was that they were

13 involved in this new type of attack? What was it,

14 please?

15 A. It was intelligence (redacted).

16 Q. Now, bearing in mind that we are in an open hearing and

17 it is probably best to stick to generalities, can I ask

18 you what, as far as you are aware -- obviously you were

19 at the head of the region -- so, as far as you were

20 aware, what was done by your officers to check out, to

21 validate that early intelligence?

22 A. The first thing I would say is that the detective

23 inspector who was involved (redacted) was one

24 of the most experienced in the Branch, okay?

25 Q. Can I just -- sorry to interrupt you, but can I just





1 remind you of the constraints that we are under in the

2 open --

3 A. Thank you very much, yes. And secondly, (redacted)

4 (redacted).

5 Q. Right. I'm going to move away from that.

6 A. Okay.

7 Q. Now, just to try and conclude it so far as this open

8 session is concerned, can I take it that the work that

9 was done by your officers led them to believe that that

10 early intelligence was credible and reliable?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Now, can I ask you to look at another part of your

13 statement now, and it is 161. Again, you will see at

14 RNI-846-662 (displayed) that there are a number of

15 redactions. Just to assist you, the redactions in the

16 second part of the statement are of the names of the two

17 key suspects, the individuals who we were talking about

18 without naming them earlier. Do you see that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Right. Now, so far as this is concerned, what you tell

21 us in this part of your statement is:

22 "At the end of the day there was no intelligence

23 pointing anywhere else."

24 In other words, as I understand it, other than at

25 these key suspects?





1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Yes. So when you were saying in the paragraph of your

3 statement we looked at earlier, that there was so little

4 intelligence on the murder, what you had was a small

5 amount of intelligence and, as far as you were

6 concerned, it pointed in this direction?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. And what you do then in the remainder of this paragraph

9 is to offer suggestions as to why there was so little

10 coming your way, and you say there you were:

11 "... trying to task all our sources to get more

12 intelligence on the murder, but nothing was coming in.

13 There was a complete clampdown on it. I think this was

14 because of the publicity generated by the murder."

15 Now, so far as that is concerned, again just based

16 on your experience and knowledge of these sorts of

17 individuals, was it characteristic of them to clamp down

18 and to keep quiet in relation to their terrorist

19 activities?

20 A. Well, first of all, as I have said, there was a lot of

21 publicity generated and -- in relation to the murder and

22 the enquiry. And the fact that the FBI and other police

23 officers were coming in to assist in the investigation,

24 I have no doubt that scared the life out of various

25 people that were involved in it.





1 Q. Yes.

2 A. And secondly, these guys had a litany of atrocities to

3 their credit and we never heard much about those

4 atrocities after they had been committed either.

5 Q. Right.

6 A. So this was not, shall we say, a strange departure.

7 They were a very tight, cohesive group.

8 Q. Yes, thank you. So when we were talking about them

9 earlier, we were looking at a paragraph in your

10 statement which seemed to suggest that they were rather

11 ill disciplined, to use that expression. Again, this

12 clampdown, this silence after the murder, that didn't

13 make you wonder whether those involved had been rather

14 more disciplined, rather more tightly restrained than

15 the individuals we are talking about?

16 A. No.


18 THE CHAIRMAN: Did you receive in March 1999 any

19 intelligence from other parts of Northern Ireland,

20 brought to your notice in March?

21 A. Sir, I can't honestly recall at the moment. Maybe you

22 could show it to me, if you could, and --

23 THE CHAIRMAN: I don't want to go into detail at this stage,

24 but you have no recollection of being interested to

25 learn of intelligence coming from other parts of





1 Northern Ireland in March/April?

2 A. There was intelligence that subsequently came from

3 Belfast. When it came, I honestly don't know.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

5 MR PHILLIPS: Can I just pick up a couple of points arising

6 out of that because one of the things I wanted to ask

7 you is what you can tell us about arrangements made in

8 Special Branch, if there were any, to ensure that the

9 Murder Investigation Team in Lurgan received not just

10 your intelligence from South Region but intelligence

11 from the other regions?

12 A. Yes. Shortly after the murder happened, the head of the

13 department had a meeting, a senior management meeting in

14 Headquarters, and he directed all the regional heads and

15 senior management team of the department to ensure that

16 any intelligence that basically came in in relation to

17 the murder was immediately communicated to the murder

18 team.

19 Q. Thank you. And again, just to complete this, sir, the

20 reference is paragraph 77; if we could look at that

21 together, please. RNI-846-630 (displayed). There you

22 explain -- do you see? -- in the middle of the paragraph

23 that somebody was given -- his name has been redacted --

24 the responsibility for getting in intelligence from

25 Special Branch Belfast. Do you see that?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Yes. Now, so far as that process is concerned, again

3 can you just help us: did it go from Belfast to

4 Headquarters and then down to South Region, or did it go

5 direct to the Murder Investigation Team; do you know?

6 A. It possibly went all three ways. It certainly would

7 have went to Headquarters. It certainly should have

8 come down to the murder team and it certainly should

9 have come to South Region.

10 Q. But did South Region have any, as it were, editorial or

11 filtering role to play in relation to intelligence

12 received from other parts of Special Branch?

13 A. No.

14 Q. It wasn't your job to assess, once you had received it,

15 whether it should be passed on?

16 A. It would have been assessed before we got it.

17 Q. Right. So if it came to you to pass on, you were just

18 the postman, as it were?

19 A. Absolutely.

20 Q. Yes. Now, can I just now begin with some questions

21 about the relationship between the Murder Investigation

22 Team and Special Branch in the early days of the

23 investigation, and this is a topic you deal with in your

24 statement, obviously.

25 But it is right, isn't it, that on I think the day





1 after the murder, 16 March 1999, the SIO, Mr Kinkaid,

2 issued a number of tasks or actions to Special Branch in

3 written form requesting various pieces of information.

4 Is that right?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. And one of them related to undercover operations, and

7 you deal with this in paragraph 139/140 of your

8 statement at RNI-846-654 (displayed). In short, you

9 deal here with the delay of a few days between that day,

10 16 March, and I think, 19 March, in informing the team,

11 the Murder Investigation Team, about the undercover

12 Fagotto operation and what had happened on the night of

13 the murder.

14 Now, I think it might help everybody, because

15 I think this is a document that we haven't seen before,

16 just to take you to the way that this was dealt with,

17 and we can see it at RNI-549-006. That's obviously

18 a completely wrong reference, for which I apologise.

19 Let's see if I can find the tasking sheet.

20 But what I wanted to show you was an action where

21 you had responded to the request being made -- I have

22 found it now at RNI-549-046 (displayed). There we go.

23 We see the action at the top of the page "Military

24 undercover operations in the Lurgan area", et cetera, SB

25 and military, I should have said. And I think that's





1 your answer in the middle of the page, is it not?

2 A. Yes, that's correct.

3 Q. Showing that on 19 March -- I don't think we have seen

4 this document before -- you gave a briefing about that

5 operation to the SIO and his deputy?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Can I just ask you a couple of questions about that. We

8 have heard a certain amount of complaint about the delay

9 that took place before that information was handed over.

10 Did it, as you saw it, have any longer term effects on

11 the relationship between Special Branch and the Murder

12 Investigation Team?

13 A. None whatsoever.

14 Q. None at all? You didn't sense from Mr Kinkaid, for

15 example, that this was a source of some irritation?

16 A. No.

17 Q. No. Can I ask you about the way he went about it?

18 There we have the action number at the top and you are

19 doing what I think is called resulting it in the middle

20 of the page. Was it usual for Special Branch to be

21 tasked in this way by investigators?

22 A. It was the first time that this had ever happened, put

23 it like that.

24 Q. That's very clear. So he was in completely new

25 territory for you?





1 A. Yes, but it is not surprising either.

2 Q. Why do you say that, please?

3 A. Well, basically, the night that that operation took

4 place, there was an area out of bounds and he would have

5 known that. And when areas go out of bounds, there are

6 a number of reasons why they go out of bounds and that's

7 probably what triggered him to ask that question.

8 Q. That may explain why he asked the question, but what I'm

9 asking you is why you think he decided to do it in this

10 particular way, through the written tasks?

11 A. He probably wanted it documented.

12 Q. And do you think that was because of the allegations of

13 collusion that had been made at a very early stage?

14 A. I honestly don't know.

15 Q. You don't?

16 A. No.

17 Q. But it was unprecedented?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Just on the out of bounds point and the issue of whether

20 there was an out of bounds order on that particular

21 night -- again, the Inquiry has heard a good deal of

22 evidence about that -- as far as you are aware, was

23 there an out of bounds order in force that night?

24 A. I'm sure there was, but I can't honestly be 100 per cent

25 sure.





1 Q. No. From what you know of the operation, is this right:

2 that you would have expected there to have been such an

3 order?

4 A. Sometimes those sort of operations -- that would be

5 a matter for the team to judge, or the TCG officer.

6 Q. And you didn't have any role in that for this operation?

7 A. Not really.

8 Q. No.

9 A. Other than to authorise it.

10 Q. Indeed. But in terms of deciding whether or not an

11 order should be given on this particular occasion, you

12 didn't have an involvement in that?

13 A. No.

14 Q. No. Can I just move now to ask you some questions about

15 Mr Port's involvement in the investigation and his terms

16 of reference. And you deal with this in paragraph 127

17 of your statement, which we can see at RNI-846-650

18 (displayed).

19 There you were asked whether you were aware of the

20 terms of reference and in particular paragraph 7 of

21 them, which is obviously the important one from the

22 intelligence point of view. And you say that they

23 "filtered down to us". Now, do you mean that you were

24 told about them?

25 A. We were briefed in Headquarters by the ACC about that.





1 Q. Right. And what briefing did you get as far as you can

2 remember?

3 A. The ACC, I think, read from the actual document. I

4 can't just accurately recall. But it was quite clear

5 what the directive was.

6 Q. And what was that?

7 A. All intelligence relevant to Mr -- to the Nelson murder

8 should be passed to Mr Port.

9 Q. So as far as the ACC's briefing was concerned, it was

10 all intelligence relevant to Rosemary Nelson's murder

11 should be passed to Mr Port?

12 A. Absolutely.

13 Q. Right. Did you ever see the actual document, the terms

14 of reference?

15 A. I think I did, but I'm not sure if it was prior or --

16 when I was making this statement.

17 Q. Yes, that's one of the difficulties that a number of

18 witnesses have: trying to separate what they have learnt

19 in the Inquiry and what they knew at the time. So you

20 are not sure?

21 A. I'm not sure, to be honest.

22 Q. Right. Can I just ask you to look at the relevant

23 paragraph, and it is at RNI-831-084 (displayed). It is

24 paragraph 7, if we could enlarge it, please. And what

25 it actually says is:





1 "You will have unlimited access to all intelligence

2 and information available to and all files held by the

3 RUC."

4 Now, to be clear, you think that was read out, do

5 you, by the ACC?

6 A. I do, yes.

7 Q. And what he told you is that all intelligence relevant

8 to Rosemary Nelson's murder should be provided to the

9 Murder Investigation Team?

10 A. Correct.

11 Q. Now, these terms of reference were also unprecedented,

12 weren't they?

13 A. Absolutely.

14 Q. Yes. And as you can see from the actual wording, it

15 gave him unlimited access not just to all intelligence

16 and information available to them, but all files held by

17 the force. And that, again, took you into completely

18 new territory, didn't it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. The usual way in which intelligence was shared with

21 investigators, including investigators of murders within

22 the RUC, was that you would provide intelligence in

23 sanitised form?

24 A. Correct.

25 Q. Whereas this was requiring something very different,





1 wasn't it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, you tell us in the same paragraph we were looking

4 at, 127 -- if we could go back to that, RNI-846-650

5 (displayed) -- that you had, as you put it, no problems

6 with it. Given that you could see, I think, that it was

7 taking you into new territory, wasn't it obvious to you

8 from the beginning, when you had your briefing from

9 B542, that it might cause difficulties for you and for

10 Special Branch?

11 A. Just -- could you repeat that again, please?

12 Q. What I was asking you, in probably a very long-winded

13 way, was when you heard about the terms of reference in

14 paragraph 7 in particular, wasn't it obvious to you that

15 it was going to cause problems for Special Branch?

16 A. I could see that there would certainly be occasions when

17 we would have to discuss certain issues.

18 Q. But given the way you had been used to disseminating

19 intelligence in sanitised form and, by contrast, the

20 terms of paragraph 7, there was likely to be a number of

21 such discussions?

22 A. Absolutely.

23 Q. Yes. Now, just going back to the paragraph, RNI-831-084

24 again, paragraph 7 (displayed), did you understand

25 paragraph 7 to be subject to questions of reasonableness





1 and necessity; in other words, you would be given, as it

2 were, reasonable access to intelligence that was

3 necessary?

4 A. Relevant and necessary.

5 Q. Yes. That's the way you read it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And is that the way that B542 read it, as far as you are

8 aware? Sorry, do check: the head of your department.

9 A. Sorry, yes.

10 Q. He read it in the same way?

11 A. Yes, I have no doubt, yes.

12 Q. So actually when you saw it and you tell us that you had

13 no problems with it, that's perhaps because you were

14 reading in those words that that was subject to the

15 qualification that it had to be relevant and necessary?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. Now, so far as the way intelligence was passed to

18 Special Branch, can I just ask you about the

19 Chief Constable's involvement in this. If we go back in

20 your statement to 125, RNI-846-649 (displayed), we will

21 see there, when you are talking about the arrival of

22 Mr Port, do you see, and early meetings about liaison

23 with the team, you say:

24 "The murder inquiry team ..."

25 This is the fifth line:





1 "... was assured of Special Branch's full

2 cooperation, and Sir Ronnie Flanagan directed

3 Special Branch to provide DCC Port with whatever he

4 needed. This gave us no cause for concern whatsoever."

5 So in addition to your briefing from your head of

6 department, you are saying to us, I think, that this was

7 also coming from the very top?

8 A. Yes, I think Sir Ronnie was at some meetings that they

9 were -- we were at meetings together when he said those

10 things.

11 Q. Yes. And his position, which, I think, is very much

12 consistent with what he has told the Inquiry in his

13 evidence, is that if Mr Port needed something from you,

14 you should provide it to him?

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. Now, again, that was an approach, an instruction from

17 him which didn't have any caveats about relevance and

18 necessity, did it?

19 A. No.

20 Q. No. And did you foresee at the time that there might be

21 difficulties in managing your Chief Constable's wishes

22 in this regard?

23 A. I don't think he foreseen some of the problems either

24 that arose later, to be honest.

25 Q. Yes. But did you and your colleagues -- talking to each





1 other, not talking to him -- discuss the question of

2 what your Chief Constable had said to Mr Port and the

3 difficulties it might create?

4 A. I can't really recall, to be honest.

5 Q. No.

6 A. But I knew that there would certainly be problems along

7 the line.

8 Q. Was there a sense, even if you can't remember the

9 details, that your Chief Constable had been rather too

10 open handed with Mr Port?

11 A. I don't think he thought the full issues through, to be

12 honest.

13 Q. So is the answer to my question yes?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the very early stages are

16 concerned, you tell us in paragraph 150 -- and this is

17 RNI-846-658 (displayed) -- and, again, I don't think we

18 need to go into any detail here -- that you went to

19 a meeting on 18 March with the Kent officers,

20 Sir David Phillips and a couple of other officers who

21 came over to advise on the investigation. The issue

22 I wanted to pick up with you here is about one of those

23 officers who you mention, DCI Gutsell, who was

24 a Special Branch officer from Kent, wasn't he?

25 A. He was, yes.





1 Q. And so far as that is concerned, the impression I get

2 from your statement is that you were happy to have on

3 the Kent team an officer with Special Branch experience?

4 A. Absolutely.

5 Q. Because he presumably, in your view, would be attuned to

6 your concerns and used to dealing with the sort of

7 material that were handling?

8 A. He understood national security issues very well.

9 Q. Yes. He was, as you say in this paragraph, vetted to

10 developed vetted level?

11 A. I am sure he was, yes.

12 Q. Which at that point none of the Murder Investigation

13 Team officers were, were they?

14 A. There may have been one or two, but generally there were

15 not --

16 Q. Well, we know that Mr Port, when he arrived, was the

17 only DV'd offer on the senior management. Did you feel,

18 as the investigation proceeded, that it would have been

19 of benefit to the investigation if they had either been

20 able to keep Mr Gutsell or replace him with

21 a Special Branch officer from England with relevant

22 experience?

23 A. Yes, I think we recommended to Mr Port that it would be

24 advantageous to do so. But he had -- to the best of my

25 knowledge, he had somebody else in mind and brought his





1 own gentleman along.

2 Q. Right, and he in due course set up his Intelligence Cell

3 and managed intelligence in that way, didn't he?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Yes. Now, so far as Mr Port and disclosure to Mr Port

6 and his team are concerned, can I look at various

7 passages in your statement in which you deal with the

8 way you approached this. The first is paragraph 77,

9 again, RNI-846-630 (displayed) and here you say in the

10 fifth line:

11 "DCC Port saw whatever was relevant and necessary to

12 his enquiry."

13 And later in your statement -- I'm not going to show

14 you all the paragraphs because I think there are three

15 or four of them -- you say that he:

16 "... got everything Special Branch had that we

17 thought he needed to know and which was relevant to the

18 murder."

19 Then later, at paragraph 151, you say that

20 Special Branch decided what was relevant. And as I

21 understand it, your position in your evidence is that it

22 is for the owner of the intelligence to determine both

23 relevance and necessity. Is that correct?

24 A. That's correct, yes.

25 Q. So can I take it that in your approach to disclosure to





1 Mr Port and his team, you regarded it as the province of

2 Special Branch to determine what parts, which aspects,

3 of your intelligence was relevant?

4 A. The originator of the intelligence, and it didn't take

5 a lot of serious working out to determine whether or not

6 it was relevant or necessary.

7 Q. Right. But it was, as it were, Special Branch's job to

8 do that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And that was something that was clearly understood, was

11 it, by your officers in South Region?

12 A. Certainly by the detective inspectors and

13 superintendents.

14 Q. Yes. And in particular, can I take it, by B567, if you

15 look at your sheet, who was the relevant detective

16 inspector, who was the liaison officer?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And by B503 -- again, if you just check that, please --

19 who also worked on liaison with the Port team?

20 A. Yes, correct.

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. Both very experienced officers.

23 Q. Yes. And in doing -- in approaching the matter in this

24 way, namely that Special Branch determined what was

25 relevant, did you consider that there was any conflict





1 between that approach and what was set out in Mr Port's

2 terms of reference?

3 A. No.

4 Q. So although it speaks of unlimited access, in your view

5 the filter that you were putting in by determining

6 relevance was fully consistent with that paragraph. Is

7 that right?

8 A. That would be my assessment, yes.

9 Q. Yes. Now, that raises the question of what you were

10 able, you and your colleagues, to draw on in order to

11 determine relevance. You were not involved in the

12 detail of lines of enquiry being pursued by the team,

13 were you?

14 A. No.

15 Q. And you didn't have any experience yourself of CID?

16 A. I never served in CID.

17 Q. No. You never worked in CID on a murder investigation?

18 A. I did work on a murder investigation, a number of them,

19 with CID when I was seconded.

20 Q. I see. So as a Special Branch officer you were seconded

21 to a number of murder investigations?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. But do you think that you were sufficiently well aware

24 of the way in which investigations were run generally

25 and the way in an evidential, as opposed to an





1 intelligence case was built up, to be able to form

2 a judgment in relation to what was relevant to this

3 investigation?

4 A. We had a number of Special Branch officers actually

5 working with his team, two detective constables, plus we

6 had two liaison officers, a superintendent and an

7 inspector also attached. They had weekly meetings, and

8 sometimes more frequently. And surely it would have

9 been reasonable to assume that open and frank

10 discussions would have helped Special Branch to

11 determine what was relevant and what was not relevant.

12 Q. Now, in making those points, you are at least to some

13 extent acknowledging, aren't you, that the obvious

14 people to determine what was relevant to their

15 investigation were the investigators themselves?

16 A. Well, they should have been telling us what they wanted.

17 Q. But as I understand it, your view of the matter is that

18 they indeed should have been giving you a steer, should

19 have been telling you what they wanted. But in the end,

20 on the question of what would be passed back to them,

21 you would remain the judges of relevance?

22 A. I had every confidence in the superintendent and the

23 inspector.

24 Q. So is the answer to my question yes, that you would

25 remain the final judges of relevance?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, in the paragraph we have on the screen,

3 in dealing with your instructions to your team, or your

4 officers rather, to ensure, as you put it, that the Port

5 team got access to everything, you tell us there in the

6 middle of the paragraph that you told your team that we

7 had to be "lilywhite" on this. That's a striking

8 expression. What does it mean?

9 A. We had to be seen to be totally upfront, give everything

10 that we had that was relevant and certainly not be

11 caught out holding back intelligence in any

12 circumstances.

13 Q. So you didn't want to be caught out?

14 A. Certainly not.

15 Q. And why was that of a particular concern in this

16 investigation?

17 A. Well, as you touched on yesterday, CID were always

18 accusing Special Branch of holding back intelligence,

19 which was not the case. There were perceptions and we

20 did not want those perceptions to be basically, shall we

21 say, turn into fact.

22 Q. No doubt because of the intense political interest, the

23 intense media scrutiny, under which the investigation

24 operated, you were particularly anxious to ensure that

25 CID didn't have any justification for a complaint in





1 this case?

2 A. Absolutely.

3 Q. And that leads us on later in the paragraph to the fact

4 that in your statement you comment on a few items that

5 you now know the Port team say that they didn't receive.

6 And what you say is:

7 "If this is so, this is down to a few pieces of

8 intelligence slipping through the cracks. There was

9 never deliberate omission..."

10 And as I understand it, that is your general

11 position here: that if something wasn't passed on, it

12 was by inadvertence rather than deliberate withholding;

13 is that correct?

14 A. Could I just clarify it too slightly by saying that we

15 got hundreds of actions from the Port team and those

16 actions had to be passed to E3 to basically provide the

17 answers, and that was a huge job in itself. And we were

18 dealing with it at a time when some intelligence was

19 actually in hard copy format, on files, and there was

20 electronic intelligence also, with the beginning of an

21 IT system coming in. And I think if anything was

22 missed, it could have been caught somewhere between

23 the two.

24 Q. So just so I have understood what you are saying, as I

25 understand it, you are referring there to two points:





1 the first is the sheer volume --

2 A. Absolutely.

3 Q. -- of reporting that you received?

4 A. I am sure Mr Port could tell you the number of reports

5 he received from Special Branch, or the team could.

6 Q. Yes. Also presumably you are saying that even the

7 number of reports he received has to be seen within the

8 total of the overall number of reports you received,

9 which was obviously much greater?

10 A. Absolutely. And may I also clarify it by saying there

11 was no way once intelligence was in the system that it

12 could be hidden.

13 Q. Do you mean by that within the computer system or the

14 paper system?

15 A. Both.

16 Q. Both?

17 A. Both.

18 Q. But, as I understand it, it remained throughout the job

19 of Special Branch officers to check that nothing had got

20 lost, been hidden or whatever, within the system?

21 A. That was being done up in Headquarters.

22 Q. Yes, at E3?

23 A. At E3.

24 Q. Yes. So tasking would come into the liaison officer or

25 officers in the South Region, but the job of going





1 through the registry, if I can put it that way, and

2 looking at the overall mass of material for material of

3 relevance, was a task performed by E3?

4 A. Yes, that was the central repository where all

5 intelligence was stored.

6 Q. Yes, and can I take it that that would apply both to

7 South Region intelligence and intelligence from the

8 other two regions?

9 A. Absolutely.

10 Q. Yes. Can I just look with you to paragraph 136 of your

11 statement in this context, RNI-846-653 (displayed). It

12 is a short paragraph, and you say there:

13 "The SIO and the Murder Inquiry Team told us what

14 intelligence they needed to know and we provided it.

15 They had already asked us to review our intelligence for

16 anything relevant to the murder, which we had done with

17 little result."

18 Just looking at that second sentence, "they had

19 already asked us"; do you see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Are you referring there, do you think, to that early

22 tasking from Mr Kinkaid?

23 A. Which tasking was that?

24 Q. Do you remember we looked at the actions that he issued,

25 including the one about undercover operations?





1 A. We had already disclosed the undercover operation to

2 him.

3 Q. Yes, absolutely. All I'm trying to find out is when you

4 say there, "they had already asked us to review ..."

5 what specifically do you have in mind?

6 A. I just can't really recall.

7 Q. No, but you are aware that such a request was made. Is

8 that right?

9 A. I'm nearly sure it was continually reviewed and checked

10 ...

11 MR PHILLIPS: Right, okay. Sir, would that be a convenient

12 moment?

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, subject to me asking just one question.

14 One of your problems, so far as what might be

15 described as breakaway Loyalist dissidents, was that the

16 coverage was very limited, wasn't it, at this time?

17 A. It was, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: And, therefore, there were few pieces of

19 intelligence actually coming through?

20 A. Yes.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: And so if anything went into the cracks, they

22 would have been one of these very few pieces of

23 intelligence that were actually coming through at that

24 time?

25 A. It is difficult to answer that because breakaway





1 terrorists, Loyalist terrorist groups, they would have

2 already been on personal file in Headquarters, i.e. the

3 individuals should have been on a personal file in

4 Headquarters, or the subject of previous reporting. And

5 that reporting basically would have been married in with

6 the previous reporting, if you understand what I mean.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Thank you. Well, we will have

8 a quarter of an hour break until quarter to 12.

9 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

10 please confirm that all the cameras have been

11 switched off?

12 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

14 Please escort the witness out.

15 A quarter to.

16 (11.30 am)

17 (Short break)

18 (11.46 am)

19 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist. Is the public area screen

20 fully in place, locked and the key secured?

21 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

23 screen closed?

24 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place





1 and securely fastened?

2 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

4 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

5 of this chamber?

6 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

8 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

9 shrouded?

10 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

12 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Bring the witness, please.

14 MR GRIFFIN: Sir, before the witness is brought in, may

15 I mention one thing. I think B629's representatives may

16 be outside wanting to come in.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Don't switch the cameras on. Do

18 we need the witness to go out again?

19 MR CURRANS: I think so, sir.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry, would you mind going out.

21 MS CRAWFORD: Apologies, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: I do not have to go through it all again,

23 do I?

24 MR CURRANS: Providing the cameras are off, sir, no.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: I mean, that door is shut?





1 MR CURRANS: It is, sir.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: And locked, yes.

3 Right, bring the witness in, please.

4 It was getting pretty boring reading this checklist

5 out, but today we have had some changes.

6 Bring the witness in, please.

7 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

8 Participants' legal representatives may now be switched

9 back on.

10 Right, Mr Phillips.

11 MR PHILLIPS: Now, just focusing on a point that you and

12 I looked at very briefly, you are aware, I know, from

13 your statement -- we looked at the paragraph; you

14 mentioned this earlier -- that the Port team are now

15 saying that there were various pieces of intelligence

16 that they should have seen but they didn't see. And

17 bearing in mind the comments you have been making to us

18 about who judged relevance, I just want to take three of

19 them with you and all I'm going to do, by way of

20 advanced warning and remembering that we were in an open

21 hearing, is to show you the substance of the report and

22 see what your view on its relevance is today.

23 Now, the first is at RNI-544-260 (displayed).

24 I think the relevant page is 260. It is. And this is

25 a report in April 1999 and the point is that it concerns





1 the claim of responsibility, doesn't it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, it is surely hard to see how it could possibly be

4 argued that this information or intelligence was

5 irrelevant to the murder investigation?

6 A. Absolutely.

7 Q. And what you say about it -- if we could now see in

8 paragraph 179, at RNI-846-668 (displayed) -- is, at the

9 end of that paragraph:

10 "I understand ..."

11 You will see there are very substantial redactions:

12 "I understand the Port team say they were not aware

13 of this intelligence. I do not follow that."

14 And as I understand it -- again, just being very

15 careful of the redactions, please -- what you are

16 suggesting here is you don't follow it because it was

17 obviously relevant. Is that right?

18 A. I'm saying basically it was shown to them.

19 Q. It was shown to them? Right. Now, so far as that is

20 concerned, just to deal with the question of relevance,

21 as I understand it, what you are accepting is it was

22 relevant and what you are saying is that it was also

23 shown?

24 A. I would have no doubt it was.

25 Q. Now, just moving on, please, to the other example, which





1 is at RNI-549-095 (displayed) and the relevant substance

2 at RNI-549-906, I hope (displayed) -- yes. Well, there

3 we are. There is not much left certainly in this

4 version. I think there is actually a better version, if

5 I can put it that way, a clearer version elsewhere in

6 the bundle. But what it is suggesting I think towards

7 the end of March 1999, some two weeks after the murder,

8 is that LVF members were currently targeting

9 Colin Duffy.

10 Now, again, can I take it that you would accept that

11 this was obviously relevant to the work of the

12 investigation?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Now, so far as this is concerned, are you suggesting

15 that it was disclosed or --

16 A. I have no doubt it was and I can explain the reason why

17 in the closed session.

18 Q. Thank you. So far as RNI-545-020 or RNI-545-021 is

19 concerned -- and I think that's the third example I

20 wanted to show you -- and I hope I have got the right

21 reference (displayed). Yes. Again, this is redacted

22 but, as I think you are aware, the names which are

23 covered up are those of the two key suspects that we

24 looked at earlier, and it says they are:

25 "... expecting to be arrested and questioned over





1 the murder of Rosemary Nelson."

2 And, again, can I take it, please, that you would

3 have regarded that as relevant to the murder

4 investigation?

5 A. Absolutely.

6 Q. And in terms of whether or not you believe it to have

7 been disclosed, is your the answer the same?

8 A. It is indeed.

9 Q. Thank you. And for the same reasons that you can

10 explain --

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, can I move on to a separate topic with

13 you, please, and this is something that we have heard

14 evidence about from the Murder Investigation Team. They

15 say that the existence of a surveillance operation on

16 the key suspects, known as Operation Shubr -- that is the

17 way we are pronouncing it anyway -- that that was not

18 disclosed to them, they asked a specific question about

19 surveillance, whether there was surveillance ongoing on

20 these individuals, and didn't get the information about

21 this operation. What, please, is your answer to that

22 suggestion by the Port team?

23 A. That is incorrect.

24 Q. And in the context of this open hearing, what are you

25 able to tell us by way of explanation?





1 A. They may not have been told about the name Shubr because

2 I didn't know that name myself until recently. It meant

3 absolutely nothing to me. I myself briefed Mr Port that

4 there was ongoing surveillance on those suspects, when

5 he arrived, and that we would probably have to continue

6 doing it but would keep him appraised. I can give you

7 an example in the closed session later, if you wish.

8 Q. Thank you. So just to be as clear about this as we can

9 be, given that it is all so long ago, you are saying you

10 briefed Mr Port personally?

11 A. I did, yes.

12 Q. Are you able to put at least a rough date on that?

13 A. Shortly after he arrived.

14 Q. So that would be in the second or third week

15 of April 1999. He arrived, I think, on the 7th?

16 A. I'm not sure. I'm not sure of the dates, to be honest.

17 Q. But shortly after his arrival, you believe?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. Now, you deal with this aspect of the matter in

20 paragraph 104 of your statement and specifically on page

21 RNI-846-641 (displayed). And as I understand it, what

22 you are saying here in the last six or seven lines of

23 the paragraph, is first of all to repeat that your

24 instructions were to allow access to all such material.

25 Does that take us back to B542?





1 A. Yes, absolutely.

2 Q. From your head of department, the instructions, yes?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And then you say that you think that a discussion took

5 place about accessing the logs and you recall another

6 senior officer, Mr Provoost, Mr Port's deputy, having

7 a conversation about that. Then you go on to say:

8 "It is possible that they somehow missed the

9 material or perhaps because it didn't reveal anything of

10 great value."

11 But what you are telling the Inquiry there is that

12 there was no reason not to provide them?

13 A. Absolutely none.

14 Q. So, as it were, there was no motive, there was nothing

15 that you would have wanted to hide about the

16 surveillance operation on these individuals?

17 A. As I said, I had already briefed Mr Port to the effect

18 that we had done surveillance on these people.

19 Q. Now, so far as early questions about this are concerned,

20 it may be that you saw some of the material that we have

21 seen, and I would like to show you just two documents,

22 please, at RNI-914-349 first of all (displayed). Again,

23 I am afraid it is not very illuminating in this form,

24 but do you see under the heading "Requests" at the

25 bottom of page, there is a request there in relation to





1 surveillance, including, do you see at number 2,

2 surveillance on the above three main suspects, and those

3 are the two names we looked at earlier and the name of

4 the alleged bomb maker?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, if we go through to RNI-914-352 (displayed), we

7 will see the written response from Special Branch and do

8 you see it is at number 1:

9 "Surveillance is ongoing in accordance with future

10 requirements"?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. I hope you don't mind me saying so, but that's

13 a somewhat opaque sentence. Did you have any part in

14 drafting that sentence?

15 A. None whatsoever.

16 Q. Are you able to assist us with who drafted that

17 sentence?

18 A. It probably was one of the liaison officers, one of the

19 two who worked closely with the team.

20 Q. And did you approve or otherwise see the drafting before

21 it went back to the team?

22 A. I only saw this document for the first time, I think,

23 yesterday.

24 Q. That's quite a helpful basis for the next question,

25 which is how would you interpret that sentence? What





1 does it tell you about surveillance?

2 A. I will explain to you in a little bit of detail, if you

3 don't mind. Surveillance was very difficult to do in

4 the Mid Ulster area. It is a small goldfish bowl, for

5 want of a better term. Any time that surveillance was

6 done in that area, it had to be intelligence-driven and

7 it had to be properly assessed and that.

8 The way I would interpret that is quite simple: if

9 there was intelligence, we would have certainly done

10 surveillance, or reason to do surveillance, we would

11 have -- requirement to do surveillance, we would have

12 carried out surveillance. It is impossible to do

13 surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week in that

14 area.

15 Q. That, I understand. But what it seems to be saying is

16 surveillance is going on; is that right?

17 A. I have explained the way it was ongoing, when it was

18 intelligence-driven.

19 Q. So the point about future requirements, is that what you

20 are getting at there? That it will happen as and when

21 intelligence suggests --

22 A. Absolutely.

23 Q. I understand. So is it addressing the present and the

24 future?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. Rather than the past?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Yes. Can I just ask you a specific question about the

4 access that you say Mr Provoost had. If we can get back

5 on paragraph 104 at RNI-846-641, please (displayed).

6 You say in your statement that Mr Provoost spoke to an

7 officer:

8 "... at the TCG with a view to accessing material

9 there."

10 Is it not correct that the material he was accessing

11 there was the Operation Fagotto log, rather than this

12 one, Shubr?

13 A. I'm not sure, to be honest.

14 Q. Is it at least possible that was the Fagotto --

15 A. It is possible.

16 Q. You may have confused the two?

17 A. That could be possible.

18 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Before you leave the Operation

19 Shubr, you were explaining that it was impossible to

20 conduct surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week

21 in that area.

22 Could you just say, was that because of limitations

23 of resources or because of safety problems? Or was it

24 both?

25 A. Both, and the geographical terrain too, or the





1 topography, sorry, of the area. It was just impossible.

2 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: You mean that if one tried to do it,

3 the teams would become obvious and, therefore, cover

4 would be blown?

5 A. Somebody could be killed, quite simple.

6 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Yes, thank you.

7 MR PHILLIPS: Can ask you now to look at another paragraph

8 of your statement on Operation Shubr, and it is

9 paragraph 141. I am afraid it is one of those

10 paragraphs that goes over the page. Can we have

11 RNI-846-654 and RNI-846-655 on the screen, please

12 (displayed)?

13 Here you see at the beginning of 141 you have been

14 asked about Shubr, the very issue we have been

15 discussing, and there you make the point that it was an

16 intermittent operation. And two lines from the end of

17 the page, you say:

18 "As stated, I believe DCC Port was aware of

19 Operation Shubr though probably wouldn't have been

20 referred to by name. He was allowed access to all the

21 intelligence and logs from that and asked us why we had

22 not foreseen the murder of Mrs Nelson and meetings

23 between ..."

24 And then we have the names of the three individuals,

25 the alleged bomb maker and the suspects:





1 "... prior to the murder. When he asked me this,

2 I told him we had done surveillance on ..."

3 Then it is the two individuals:

4 "... on a number of occasions over that period, but

5 to no avail. We thought the intelligence, such as it

6 was, on the movements and activities of the LVF related

7 to their drug dealings."

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So that was, as I understand it, something you told

10 Mr Port presumably in the conversation that you

11 mentioned just a little while ago?

12 A. I had a number of conversations with Mr Port. I'm not

13 sure when I told him this, but I certainly did tell him

14 about the various operations that we were running and

15 a lot of them were drug-related, and I think that will

16 become apparent.

17 Q. Yes. So these were individuals who were terrorists but

18 were also heavily involved in the drugs trade?

19 A. Absolutely.

20 Q. And as I understand it, you were not able to say on the

21 basis of the surveillance observations whether this was

22 one or the other?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. Now, I would like to ask you, please, about a different

25 topic, on the same general theme of disclosure to the





1 Murder Investigation Team, and this concerns not

2 Special Branch intelligence but Security Service

3 intelligence. What I would like to do, please, is to

4 take you to a document or documents from the Security

5 Service files disclosed to the Inquiry and start by

6 looking with you, please, at RNI-532-143 and RNI-532-144

7 (displayed). Thank you.

8 Now, this is a note for file of 4 April and the

9 author is S224. Do you have your cipher list? That

10 would help, just to check that.

11 Now, what the Inquiry has heard about that officer,

12 who has already given evidence to us, is that he was an

13 assistant director in the Security Service and

14 responsible at this point for T8 and the agent handling

15 in Northern Ireland. But is it right, as far as you can

16 recall, that he was based in London?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now, so far as your dealings with him are concerned,

19 would you have been in regular contact with him at this

20 time?

21 A. I met that officer on numerous occasions in London when

22 I was there doing other business and that too.

23 Q. Now, is it right to say that there was another officer

24 within S224's section or department who was based here

25 and with whom you also had regular contact?





1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Now, we will come to his material in a moment, and just

3 to remind you, his name has been redacted in our files

4 because he is not a witness. And I'll try to flag up

5 when we are dealing with his material as opposed to

6 S224's material.

7 Now, looking at this specific document, what it

8 relates to is intelligence that had come in to the

9 Security Service to the effect that there was, as you

10 can see there in paragraph 1, intelligence relating to

11 the Orange Volunteers. Do you see that in the third

12 line?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And if you read on down to paragraph 3, it becomes

15 obvious that what the intelligence concerned was

16 targeting, and the Inquiry has seen the relevant

17 material and a report suggesting that there was contact

18 between the security forces and this paramilitary

19 organisation in the targeting of individuals.

20 Now, the reason I wanted to ask you to comment on

21 this is because of what it recorded about you, the

22 conversation being between the Deputy Head of

23 Special Branch and this individual, S224, but at

24 paragraph 5 it refers to your view as to whether this

25 reporting should be disclosed to Mr Port and his





1 investigation. And you see there in the second line of

2 paragraph 5, it says:

3 "It seemed B629 ..."

4 Obviously you:

5 "... believed that because they contained some

6 colour of suspicion of collusion between the security

7 forces and Loyalists, it might be wise for the relevant

8 ..."

9 And the word is redacted:

10 "... reports to be shown to Colin Port."

11 So this is an example, it would appear, where an

12 issue came up -- should this material be disclosed to

13 the Murder Investigation Team? -- and your view was that

14 it should. Is that correct? Do you remember this

15 incident?

16 A. I don't really remember, to be honest.

17 Q. And it looks further as though others, including the

18 deputy head of your department, disagreed and we know in

19 due course that the head of department also disagreed

20 with you and a decision was made that it should not be

21 disclosed to Mr Port. Now, do you remember that part of

22 this?

23 A. I don't really recall this.

24 Q. Now, is it fair to say that in approaching this issue of

25 relevance, you were considering amongst other things





1 whether material contained some colour of suspicion of

2 collusion, which is the way it is put there?

3 A. Well, it would have been my view if there was anything

4 to do with collusion in that particular area, my region,

5 it should have been handed over to Mr Port.

6 Q. Right. And that was something you obviously expressed

7 in this case?

8 A. I probably did, yes.

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. May I say I only saw this report, I think, for the first

11 time yesterday or whatever.

12 Q. Absolutely. It is an internal Security Service

13 document, isn't it?

14 A. It is, yes.

15 Q. Yes. Now, can I ask you some questions now about

16 Mr Kinkaid.

17 As I understand his evidence to the Inquiry, he had

18 been based in South Region for about six months before

19 he was appointed to the investigation. Had you come

20 across him in that period before -- or indeed at any

21 other stage before the murder investigation?

22 A. I knew him from -- we were both stationed together in

23 a location down the country many years before that. But

24 I never really knew him terribly well.

25 Q. Right. And based on what you knew of him, did you have





1 a view as to the way in which he regarded

2 Special Branch?

3 A. No.

4 Q. You did not. Now, what you tell us in your statement in

5 the various passages where you address the relationship

6 between the SIO and yourself and the SIO and

7 Special Branch, is that there was an early incident in

8 which he made a comment?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. And I would like to look at it with you, please. It is

11 paragraph 132, RNI-846-651 (displayed). The comment was

12 said to have been made in an early meeting. You weren't

13 present; is that right?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. And it was reported by the officer, who is

16 a detective constable, who was present from

17 Special Branch to, I think, his detective inspector, who

18 passed it up to you. What was your reaction?

19 A. It was something that I felt needed to be addressed and

20 dealt with.

21 Q. Why?

22 A. Well, he made a statement in an open forum when there

23 was civilians, members of the RIR and that, I thought,

24 was inappropriate as, indeed, my colleagues in

25 Special Branch thought.





1 Q. So would it have been a comment which would have been

2 acceptable if there had only be RUC officers present?

3 A. He certainly should have addressed the issue to me

4 personally or to the inspector.

5 Q. So, having had that reaction, what did you do about it?

6 A. I rang him up that night and asked to see him the next

7 morning and I went to see him, and we spoke for a period

8 of 10 -- about progress in relation to the enquiry and

9 then he asked me what I really wanted to see him about

10 and I told him.

11 Q. What was his reaction to your complaint?

12 A. He initially denied it.

13 Q. He denied it?

14 A. He did, yes.

15 Q. And how did the conversation proceed from there?

16 A. Well, I told him that I could refresh his memory by

17 bringing in somebody who was at the meeting up into the

18 office and I lifted the phone to ring the guy and he

19 slapped the phone down and then said, "Hold on, that's

20 not what I meant," and that's basically where it went

21 from there.

22 Q. You see, Mr Kinkaid's version of events is rather

23 different, and in particular he certainly doesn't accept

24 that he denied making the comment. I think he was clear

25 in his evidence to the Inquiry that the comment was





1 about disclosure rather than seeking to point the finger

2 of blame and that he made that clear to you in the

3 meeting and you were satisfied with his assurance?

4 A. He said -- I certainly -- what he said at the meeting

5 and what he said to me about what he said was two

6 different things. We didn't dwell on the issue a lot,

7 let me tell you. Basically, I just said, "Don't ever do

8 that again" and "That was an unfortunate choice of

9 words," and that finished the whole discussion.

10 Q. Looking at the end of this paragraph of your statement,

11 RNI-846-652 (displayed), can I take it that as far as

12 you were concerned, that was it and a line had been

13 drawn under the incident?

14 A. Absolutely. It was never mentioned again for some

15 considerable time.

16 Q. It didn't in any way affect more long-term relations

17 between you and him?

18 A. Not really, no.

19 Q. Not really. Did it a bit?

20 A. Not really.

21 Q. Are you sure?

22 A. I am, yes. I certainly briefed this superintendent who

23 came on what had happened. I briefed him on everything

24 in precise detail.

25 Q. This is 503?





1 A. Absolutely, yes.

2 Q. Because you thought it was sufficiently significant that

3 503 should be briefed about it?

4 A. Absolutely.

5 Q. And presumably one of your concerns was that in the

6 future you would have to keep rather a close eye on

7 Mr Kinkaid in case he made comments of this kind again?

8 A. Certainly not.

9 Q. Certainly not?

10 A. If he had have made those comments again, I would have

11 addressed them.

12 Q. Yes. Did you come to believe that Mr Kinkaid was

13 determined to use this enquiry in order to set

14 a precedent for intelligence-sharing by Special Branch

15 with CID?

16 A. Not intelligence-sharing, certain methodology which he

17 was talking about.

18 Q. And do you mean by that the business of turning

19 intelligence into evidence?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Right. Do you mean specific operational detail?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And are you able to say anything more about it in this

24 open hearing?

25 A. I would prefer not to.





1 Q. No. But what about the point I raised with you, which

2 is the old issue of making sure on the CID side that

3 everything that was relevant was disclosed to them by

4 Special Branch? Did you see him as wanting to set out

5 something of a blueprint in this particular case on

6 that?

7 A. Certainly in this particular case, yes.

8 Q. Yes, you think he was?

9 A. In this particular case.

10 Q. In other words, he was determined, was he, to get

11 a higher level of intelligence reporting and greater

12 cooperation than had perhaps been the case in the past?

13 A. He got everything we had.

14 Q. Sorry?

15 A. He got everything we had.

16 Q. Yes. Now, can I just ask you about the first of

17 a number of documents which you have addressed in your

18 statement in which individuals from outside the force,

19 from outside the RUC, in this case the Security Service,

20 have given their own observations of the nature of the

21 relationship between you. Can I ask you first to look

22 at the relevant document? It is at RNI-532-061

23 (displayed), and this is a loose minute by S188, 24 May,

24 and its heading is "The Rosemary Nelson investigation,

25 some local difficulties".





1 This was an officer from the Security Service who

2 came over to advise on intelligence issues as between

3 Special Branch and the murder investigation, wasn't it?

4 A. Yes, he was invited over by the ACC --

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. -- to assist.

7 Q. Now, so far as that is concerned, he sets out the

8 various meetings he had, including a meeting with you,

9 in the fifth line under paragraph 2 and the

10 Superintendent, 503. And I know you are familiar with

11 the contents because you have addressed it in your

12 statement. But he points at 3(a) to a high degree of

13 personal antagonism and mistrust between the South

14 Region and the investigation team. Then at paragraph 7

15 at RNI-532-063 (displayed) under the heading

16 "Relationships", he describes a key issue as being:

17 "... the acrimonious state of relations between SB

18 and the remainder of the enquiry team. The relationship

19 between RHSB(S) and the SIO is particularly hostile. I

20 had to listen to over an hour of vitriol from both about

21 each other during my separate discussions before we

22 could even begin to address the more substantive items

23 of business."

24 Then he sets out your perception of the situation

25 with four bullet points.





1 Now, just keeping that on the screen for the moment,

2 what you do in your witness statement -- I'm going to

3 summarise now -- is to say in essence that this is all

4 very exaggerated and simply overstates the position as

5 it was at the time. Is that right?

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. Yes. Now, this was an internal Security Service

8 document prepared by S188 not for the RUC, but for his

9 colleagues and superior officers within the Service.

10 Why, in those circumstances, do you think he would have

11 exaggerated what he found in the way that you are

12 suggesting?

13 A. I can't answer that. The only thing that I would say is

14 basically we had grave concerns, which I can deal with

15 in the closed session, about what was being proposed.

16 And I can deal with that better in disclosed session, if

17 you don't mind.

18 Q. Well, just let's see what you mean by all of this. You

19 had grave concerns and feelings about it were running

20 high, were they not?

21 A. We had to be -- basically there were no protocols in

22 place for dealing with what was being proposed.

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. And that's what we were trying to basically get set, and

25 we needed those protocols in place.





1 Q. And you were concerned, weren't you, that the Port team

2 didn't fully appreciate the risks which attached to the

3 way they wanted to proceed?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And that as a result of their investigative methods, the

6 ones they wished to use, the long-term intelligence

7 assets that you had built up and the methodologies that

8 you had developed might be put at risk?

9 A. Absolutely.

10 Q. And that was something which you found both worrying,

11 I would suggest, and not a little irritating?

12 A. Let me tell you the Security Services were equally

13 concerned about it.

14 Q. But isn't it more likely that this Security Service

15 officer was simply portraying the situation, the state

16 of affairs, as it actually was?

17 A. This officer was a very junior member of the Security

18 Service.

19 Q. At that time?

20 A. At that time.

21 Q. Yes. And -- sorry, I don't understand what you are

22 suggesting there.

23 A. I'm just saying if those were his perceptions, so be it.

24 Q. Are you suggesting that because he was a junior officer,

25 he wasn't able accurately to portray the relationship





1 between two individuals?

2 A. We raised our concerns and we asked for basically

3 advice. It was better that the Security Service advised

4 the Port team on the setting up of the Intelligence Cell

5 than we did because it was coming from a neutral person

6 and it was all about getting the protocols set up for

7 the running of the cell.

8 Q. Yes. And you didn't see this report at the time,

9 did you?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Did you get any sense during the visit of S188 that he

12 was somewhat taken aback by the strength of feeling that

13 you were displaying in your meeting with him?

14 A. He never mentioned anything to me.

15 Q. He simply observed and listened to what you were saying?

16 A. Well, there were other people at that meeting also. I

17 wasn't the only one at it.

18 Q. No, B503 was also present?

19 A. And I'm sure my deputy in the region would also have

20 been there.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, looking at the specific concerns, is it

22 an accurate reflection of the concerns that you had at

23 the time; in other words, in paragraph 8?

24 A. (Pause)

25 Some of them, yes.





1 Q. So let's just see which ones. The first one looks very

2 much as though it picks up the points you have already

3 been making to me about whether the cell was going to

4 work securely and effectively. Is that an accurate

5 reflection of your concern?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Yes. And the same, presumably, would be true, given

8 what you and I have already discussed, of number 2, the

9 second bullet point?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, what about the third one: That members of the

12 enquiry team were treating Special Branch South Region

13 with suspicion?

14 A. That was always a general perception.

15 Q. Yes. So it is likely that you would have expressed at

16 that concern to S188, isn't it?

17 A. Probably, yes.

18 Q. Yes. And then the final one, the suggestion that

19 Mr Port was getting biased advice from the SIO who had

20 a grudge against Special Branch, and then the next point

21 is the business of setting precedents.

22 Now, you have told us that you did believe he was

23 trying to set a precedent on the way he was using

24 intelligence to produce evidence. Is looks as though

25 that's pretty accurate?





1 A. I'm not aware of any grudge that Kinkaid had.

2 Q. In fact, when we look at the four points together, it is

3 really the first part of the fourth one with which you

4 are taking substantial issue. Is that right?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. So the rest of it is, broadly speaking an accurate

7 reflection?

8 A. Probably, yes.

9 Q. That takes me back to the issue, you see, because if

10 most of that paragraph is broadly accurate, the question

11 arises as to why it is, on your evidence, that the same

12 officer should have got things so very wrong in his

13 account of the nature of the relationship between you

14 and Mr Kinkaid?

15 A. I can't answer that.

16 Q. No. Now, just picking up the third bullet point under

17 paragraph 8, can I ask you to look at a part of your

18 statement right near the end of the very long statement

19 in paragraph 214 (displayed) -- and I think we need to

20 have this on the screen, please, RNI-846-680 and

21 RNI-846-681 (displayed), because here you are commenting

22 on sections of the note and in particular, 214, you

23 address paragraph 7, which is the one we were looking

24 at, at the top of the page. And as I said, you are

25 taking issue here with the language, the way it was





1 expressed.

2 But you then go on to deal with the substance of the

3 thing and say, about six lines down from the top of the

4 page:

5 "The main problem had been that members of my

6 Special Branch team in the south had been made to feel

7 as criminals. I did feel, and may have said to S188,

8 that our Special Branch officers should not be treated

9 like criminals."

10 Now, what did you have in mind in particular in

11 saying that your Special Branch officers were being made

12 to feel like criminals?

13 A. That was an issue which arose over cars, and which you

14 are well aware of.

15 Q. This is the Fagotto issue?

16 A. Yes, that's correct. And that did cause some friction,

17 but I would like to think that we managed it very well.

18 Q. That's the point, isn't it: that your role and that of

19 the other senior Special Branch officers was to explain

20 to the more junior officers involved in the

21 surveillance, "Look, you may not like this, this team

22 have a job to do and a very high profile investigation,

23 so, please calm down"?

24 A. That's exactly what we did.

25 Q. Do you think you were effective in that?





1 A. Yes, but they were trying to prove a negative which

2 couldn't be proved, which I can explain to you again in

3 closed session.

4 Q. Well, in a sense what they were doing, surely, was

5 trying to eliminate any possible connection between the

6 cars and the officers in them and what had happened to

7 Rosemary Nelson?

8 A. Yes, I agree.

9 Q. And, as you say, that you understood the need for

10 Colin Port and his team to do what they had done?

11 A. Absolutely.

12 Q. But it sounds as though whatever you and your colleagues

13 had done by way of managing the issue, you hadn't

14 managed to deal with this feeling, not effectively

15 anyway, that they were being treated like criminals?

16 A. There was an issue which basically I can deal with in

17 closed session and explain to you exactly why.

18 Q. Now, can we just look at one further document about

19 matters in 1999. This Security Service material is

20 in May 1999. I should say, by the way, since you have

21 it on the screen, that the date given in your statement

22 there in paragraph 212 in the first line is out by,

23 I think, 11 years. I think it is May 1999.

24 I want to move to the beginning of July and look

25 with you at an extract from Mr Port's journal, and it is





1 from 1 July 1999 at RNI-914-261 (displayed). There is

2 an account -- and, again, obviously a document that you

3 haven't seen until the Inquiry's process, until very

4 recently, I think, probably -- but Mr Port recounts

5 first of all going to see Sir Ronnie Flanagan about the

6 issue. I think it is the same -- in fact the same cars

7 issue. Then do you see the third meeting of the day

8 that is noted here is with your boss, with the head of

9 E Department, and what he says there is that as he

10 entered the room, you, without a word, exited the room

11 by another door. Do you remember that incident?

12 A. No, I don't.

13 Q. You don't? But what does it tell us, please, about the

14 relations, the state of relations between you and the

15 Murder Investigation Team at the beginning of July 1999?

16 A. It doesn't tell me anything.

17 Q. You don't remember being in a position in terms of your

18 feelings about the Murder Investigation Team at this

19 point that you simply left the room when Mr Port

20 entered it?

21 A. I don't even remember it.

22 Q. Did you know at this point that Mr Port was saying to

23 the Chief Constable and to the head of your department

24 that he was being obstructed?

25 A. No. The first I heard of it.





1 Q. Right. You weren't told that by your head of

2 department?

3 A. No.

4 Q. And you weren't told it by your Chief Constable?

5 A. No.

6 Q. And you never heard it suggested to you by Mr Port?

7 A. Never.

8 Q. Are you surprised to hear that he was saying that?

9 A. I am, because I know that our ACC asked him on a number

10 of occasions had he any complaints to make and he

11 said no.

12 Q. Now, so far as other friction points are concerned, what

13 I would like to do is to focus on two with you, please,

14 and they come the next year in 2000. The first you

15 begin to speak about in paragraph 201, at RNI-846-675

16 (displayed). It is not a very useful reference, I am

17 afraid. Is it right to say that in August 2000

18 Mr Kinkaid requested details of certain telephone

19 records?

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 A. Just repeat that again, please?

23 Q. I can't remember exactly what I said, but is it right to

24 say that in about August 2000, Mr Kinkaid requested

25 details of certain telephone records?





1 A. A certain telephone call, I think. Is that correct?

2 Q. I think we may be talking about a slightly different

3 incident, which is perhaps the price of talking about an

4 entirely redacted paragraph in your statement. Can

5 I help you by directing you to the next paragraph, which

6 may shed some light on the incident. This is the

7 incident in which B503 became involved; do you remember?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And you refer there in a paragraph that, helpfully, we

10 can read to the letter that he wrote on 8 September to

11 the SIO, to Mr Kinkaid. When did you become aware that

12 Mr Kinkaid had in fact withdrawn the request he had

13 made?

14 A. I'm not sure, to be honest.

15 Q. But did you at some point become aware that the original

16 request had been withdrawn?

17 A. Yes, later on.

18 Q. And did you ever discover why that was?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Now, again, mindful of the constraints under which we

21 are operating here, what were your concerns about the

22 request that had been made?

23 A. I wanted to find out exactly what was behind the

24 request, and there were serious security and health and

25 safety concerns.





1 Q. Yes. Can we have, to help you, the next page on the

2 screen at the same time, please, RNI-846-676

3 (displayed). Can I take it that you would have

4 discussed your concerns both with the Detective

5 Superintendent and with your head of department?

6 A. Absolutely.

7 Q. Yes. Now, the next stage in the process is Mr Port's

8 letter of 18 September and I think probably the best

9 thing to do is to remind you of that. It is at

10 RNI-548-253 (displayed). Thank you. It is addressed

11 not to you but to your boss, and it contains comments

12 about 503's letter and then this comment:

13 "The letter could be used by others to demonstrate

14 that the RUC and particularly E Department, are

15 attempting to obstruct this investigation. You and

16 I both know that this is not the case."

17 And then he makes some comments about security

18 implications, makes the point that the request has been

19 cancelled, and then says:

20 "I do not intend to respond to Superintendent

21 [B503's] letter, which seems to be a manifestation of

22 paranoia."

23 Can you remember, please, what your reaction was

24 when you first saw this letter?

25 A. Yes, the officer 503 was very annoyed about the term





1 "paranoia" being used and did not accept that.

2 Q. Right. Did you honestly believe that Mr Port was

3 suggesting that 503 was suffering from paranoia or

4 mental illness of some kind?

5 A. It is written on this document.

6 Q. That's what you believed he was intending to say?

7 A. You had better ask Mr Port.

8 Q. I'm asking you what you believed about the letter.

9 A. All I'm saying is it is in the letter and it needed to

10 be cleared up. That's a serious blemish to have on

11 anybody's character.

12 Q. Yes. We know that by this point the matter had reached

13 your head of department and there were then, I think,

14 further memos from your head of department to the

15 Chief Constable about it. Did you at any point seek to

16 discuss the issue with Mr Port yourself?

17 A. No.

18 Q. As far as you are aware, did the head of your department

19 have discussions of that kind with Mr Port?

20 A. I'm not sure.

21 Q. Do you think with hindsight it would have been a good

22 thing to have discussions of that kind to try and defuse

23 the situation?

24 A. Mr Port could equally have come and see me. I offered

25 him meetings whenever he wished to come and see me.





1 Q. Do you think there is any force in the suggestion about

2 this whole episode, that it was something of a storm in

3 a tea cup?

4 A. There were serious concerns, which I will talk about in

5 closed session, basically, and that's what was driving

6 the concerns.

7 Q. Would it be wrong to see this as indicative of a serious

8 problem in the relationship between you, Special Branch,

9 and the Murder Investigation Team at this point?

10 A. The issue was put to bed when Mr Port wrote another

11 letter to this officer.

12 Q. The handwritten letter?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Yes. And you think that that effectively did draw

15 a line under the issue, did you?

16 A. That issue, yes.

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. I think so, yes.

19 Q. Was the problem here that in tandem with this issue,

20 there was another issue going on from the same point, in

21 other words from August 2000, namely Mr Port's request

22 for CHIS identities?

23 A. Absolutely.

24 Q. And would it be fair to suggest that the two issues, as

25 it were, fed on each other in terms of gathering heat





1 and irritation?

2 A. The CHIS issue was the more serious issue.

3 Q. Yes. Now, in terms of the impact of this issue, first

4 of all, the one we are looking at at the moment, before

5 we look at the CHIS issue, did that have a lasting

6 effect on relations with the Murder Investigation Team

7 in your view?

8 A. Not really.

9 Q. Not really?

10 A. No, certainly not.

11 Q. And what of the CHIS identities issue, which we will now

12 look at in some detail? Did that have a long-term

13 effect on relations?

14 A. Not a long-term effect. It certainly had an effect

15 until the issue was dealt with.

16 Q. In January 2001?

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. Now, let's look at the progress of that issue together,

19 please. By way of background, it is right, isn't it,

20 that at a very early stage, much earlier than this, in

21 1999, Mr Port had asked for and been provided with

22 a very limited number of CHIS identities?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, did you, between that point in, let's

25 say, April/May 1999 and the time he made the requests





1 in August 2000 -- did you in Special Branch have

2 concerns about the way in which Mr Port had handled that

3 information?

4 A. Which information are you talking about?

5 Q. The information that was given to him at the very early

6 stages in relation to one or two CHIS identities?

7 A. Yes, I did.

8 Q. You did?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And were they that he had not kept the identity or

11 identities confidential?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. In other words, he had not kept them to himself?

14 A. Correct.

15 Q. And can I take it, therefore, that you became aware that

16 he had not kept the identity or identities to himself at

17 some point before August 2000?

18 A. I did.

19 Q. Do you think it was in the latter part of 1999?

20 A. I'm not sure, to be honest.

21 Q. But is it fair to say that that had an influence on your

22 own attitude to the broader request for CHIS identities

23 that came in August 2000?

24 A. No.

25 Q. No, it did not?





1 A. No.

2 Q. Thank you. Let's look, please, at the request first of

3 all, and the Special Branch one is at RNI-622-001

4 (displayed). It is from his deputy and it is addressed

5 to you and it sets out what he is wanting, which is the

6 information on CHISs, on the LVF, the Red Hand

7 Defenders, the Orange Volunteers or similar affiliated

8 groups, going back to 1996, and including those who were

9 no longer active.

10 And then there is a reference to how that

11 information will be treated and held in the second

12 paragraph, and a request that the details be made

13 available two days later, 12 noon, on 18 August.

14 Now, just taking various aspects of this one at

15 a time, so far as the 16 August document is concerned,

16 had you had any prior discussion with Mr Port or any

17 member of his team about the request which is set out in

18 the document?

19 A. None.

20 Q. Mr Port suggested in his evidence that there was

21 discussion before this written request was made. Is it

22 possible that discussions took place with other officers

23 within Special Branch?

24 A. I don't know.

25 Q. Do you think, had such a request been made in





1 conversation, that you would have heard about it?

2 A. I probably would, yes. Certainly one of this magnitude.

3 Q. So, as far as you were concerned then, this was a bolt

4 from the blue?

5 A. Absolutely.

6 Q. Now, can I then turn to the extent of the request. In

7 your statement -- and I'm not going to show you the

8 passage because otherwise we will lose the document --

9 you say:

10 "DCC Port subsequently asked for the identity of all

11 our Loyalist CHISs."

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, in fairness, when you look at the text, it is more

14 limited than that, isn't it? It is asking for CHIS

15 identities in relation to certain identified groups and

16 affiliated groups?

17 A. Yes, all relating to those organisations.

18 Q. Absolutely. But it is not a blanket request in relation

19 to all Loyalist CHIS, is it?

20 A. No, I knew what it meant.

21 Q. So the way you have put it in the statement is slightly

22 too wide, is it not?

23 A. My own statement?

24 Q. Yes. Shall I show you the sentence?

25 A. Please do.





1 Q. 208 at RNI-846-678, please (displayed). There, first

2 sentence of 208; do you see?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. It is not as wide as that?

5 A. It is not as wide as that, no.

6 Q. Right.

7 A. But I knew clearly what he wanted.

8 Q. Absolutely. Now, looking at the remainder of the text

9 on the left-hand side, what were your concerns about the

10 request that was being made of you?

11 A. Number 1, I couldn't deliver this request, it wasn't

12 within my power. I did not have the knowledge that he

13 required.

14 Q. Can I ask you who did have the knowledge and power?

15 A. That was held at Headquarters.

16 Q. Thank you. Sorry, I interrupted you. That was

17 number 1.

18 A. Yes, also this was totally unprecedented.

19 Q. Right. And do you mean by that the scale of the

20 request?

21 A. Absolutely.

22 Q. Right. Well, just to be clear, we know that on an

23 individual basis, there had been disclosure at an

24 earlier stage?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. So what was unprecedented was the sheer breadth of what

2 was --

3 A. Absolutely.

4 Q. Is that right?

5 A. Yes. And thirdly, who would have access to this

6 information.

7 Q. So your concerns on that front were not assuaged by what

8 was said in the second paragraph; is that right?

9 A. No.

10 Q. And can you explain why not?

11 A. Well, basically who all was going to have access to

12 this? Why did they need this access? It was never

13 explained to us why they needed this.

14 Q. That's another point, isn't it: that the letter or the

15 request does not set out a case, as it were --

16 A. Absolutely.

17 Q. -- as your boss told us in his evidence, for relevance,

18 necessity and, indeed, for proportionality in relation

19 to disclosure?

20 A. Case by case relevance, necessity and proportionate.

21 Q. Now, the final point I wanted to ask you, and I think it

22 is probably pretty obvious in the light of what you have

23 said already, is the timeframe given was about two days.

24 What was your reaction to that?

25 A. It wouldn't even have been possible to have done that in





1 two days.

2 Q. Now, let's take you back to the moment when you received

3 the note. What steps do you take to deal with it?

4 A. I forwarded it immediately to my ACC.

5 Q. Yes. And did you thereafter discuss it with him?

6 A. Yes, and the other regional heads of the department and

7 senior management within the department.

8 Q. Yes. Well, if we look at 208, which we have on the

9 screen there, you explain discussing it with the

10 regional heads. And in the last sentence, do you see,

11 of paragraph 208:

12 "The matter quickly became a topic of conversation

13 with the other Special Branch regional heads."

14 Did you interpret, therefore, the request as

15 covering the whole of Special Branch; in other words,

16 not just your region?

17 A. Absolutely.

18 Q. Yes. And in the discussions that you had with the

19 various very senior officers that you have mentioned,

20 did you find that they shared your concerns?

21 A. Absolutely.

22 Q. Did you initiate discussions yourself with Mr Port?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Can you explain why not?

25 A. Well, he had never initiated any discussions about this





1 with me.

2 Q. So, in other words, because he hadn't done it, you

3 weren't going to do it back, as it were?

4 A. Well, basically at that stage that wasn't within my

5 power to deliver this and I couldn't deliver it.

6 Q. I asked you a question about that before. I would like

7 to be a bit more specific now: who had the power to

8 authorise disclosure of this information?

9 A. The Chief Constable.

10 Q. Right. So not your head of department but the

11 Chief Constable himself?

12 A. Not on that magnitude.

13 Q. No. Were you aware of any other discussions going on

14 between other senior officers and the Port team about

15 this request?

16 A. No, I can't recall.

17 Q. We know that there were discussions, meetings, with the

18 head of department, after this in,

19 I think, August/September 2000. Were you not made aware

20 of the progress of matters --

21 A. Which department are you talking about?

22 Q. E Department, sorry.

23 A. E Department? Yes.

24 Q. The head of E Department.

25 A. I'm just confused here slightly, sorry. Discussions





1 between Mr Port and the Head of E Department?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. I'm sure there were.

4 Q. And we know, since you have raised the question of

5 departments, there was a parallel request of

6 C Department, was there not?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. And their approach was rather different?

9 A. Different ball game.

10 Q. Different ball game. Can you just explain that?

11 A. This was a national security issue.

12 Q. Whereas in relation to their sources those

13 considerations didn't apply. Is that right?

14 A. Unlikely.

15 Q. Unlikely. But you were aware, presumably, that

16 C Department's approach was a different approach?

17 A. Absolutely.

18 Q. Yes. And they responded to the request in

19 a different way?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Yes. Now, can we look, please, at 211 of your statement

22 at RNI-846-679 (displayed). Here you tell us, first of

23 all, that you knew from the outset, as you have just

24 been explaining, that this would be a decision for the

25 Chief Constable and that you, therefore, kept him fully





1 informed as to what was happening. Then you say:

2 "... including the fact that legal advice was being

3 taken from the Security Service."

4 Now, I would like to ask you some questions about

5 that, please. But just to be clear at the outset, it is

6 your understanding, is it, that the Chief Constable was

7 aware at the time that you and colleagues were seeking

8 advice and assistance from the Security Service?

9 A. I told the Chief Constable myself.

10 Q. Right. You may or may not be aware that in his evidence

11 to us, Sir Ronnie indicated that he had not been aware

12 that you had gone off to speak to the Security Service

13 about this issue. Are you confident in your

14 recollection that you yourself told him that you had

15 gone off to speak to them?

16 A. I did tell him.

17 Q. Was that, as far as you can remember, in the months

18 between August, when the request was made, and the end

19 of the year?

20 A. Yes, I think so, yes.

21 Q. I know it is a very long time ago. Can you be any more

22 precise than that?

23 A. I think I can, but not just at the minute. I think I

24 can, yes.

25 Q. Can I say this: if it is an issue that you are able to





1 go back and check on outside the hearing, I would be

2 very grateful if you would supply any further

3 information.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, in the context of your talking to the Security

6 Service, you explain the background later in this

7 important paragraph in your statement. It is about ten

8 lines up from the bottom of the page, where you say

9 this:

10 "What I was trying to do was to ensure that we got

11 proper guidance and advice from the lead agency in the

12 UK, which was the appropriate body to give that advice."

13 In other words, the Security Service, yes?

14 A. (Witness nods)

15 Q. Then you go on to say:

16 "We had a partnership with the Security Service in

17 Northern Ireland and they controlled the finance and

18 training for Special Branch in Northern Ireland. They

19 also had the lead on terrorism on the mainland. Indeed,

20 with Colin Port's request we did not, therefore, want to

21 set an adverse precedent for the future without fully

22 involving the Security Service."

23 So in addition to the concerns that you have

24 explained to us about this request, you were also

25 looking to the future, to the danger of setting





1 a precedent. Is that right?

2 A. There was another issue too which was driving this,

3 which I can explain also in closed session.

4 Q. Right.

5 A. But that is partly correct, yes.

6 Q. Can I ask you this: were you thinking in terms of

7 setting precedents in particular of the Stevens enquiry

8 that was ongoing at the same time?

9 A. I'm not sure exactly what you are getting at. Maybe you

10 can --

11 Q. Well, were you concerned that if you gave Colin Port

12 what he was asking for here, then you would have to do

13 the same in relation to the Stevens enquiry, Stevens 3,

14 which was going on at the same time?

15 A. I had nothing whatsoever to do with Stevens. I had no

16 knowledge of it, other than that it was ongoing.

17 Q. It wasn't a concern of yours?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Do you think it may have been a concern of the Security

20 Service?

21 A. It could very well be.

22 Q. Yes. Now, you explain there, as I say, the background

23 to the involvement of the Security Service in this

24 issue. Can you remember whose idea, whose suggestion it

25 was to approach them for their help and advice?





1 A. I think it came from two members of the Security

2 Service: the DCI.

3 Q. Yes. And?

4 A. Also the head of the agent running section in

5 Northern Ireland.

6 Q. Now, is that S224 or the other individual?

7 A. No, the other individual.

8 Q. The other individual, thank you. Now, you tell us in

9 paragraph 209 at RNI-846-678 (displayed) that you

10 remember it coming up in a discussion between you and

11 the DCI. Do you see that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So can I take it that you said to him, "You should know

14 we have had this request from Colin Port and we have

15 concerns about it," and he said, "Well, you should speak

16 to the legal adviser"?

17 A. I think he was informed by his own officer in

18 Northern Ireland of the request.

19 Q. You think he already knew about it?

20 A. He did, yes. We worked very closely with that other

21 officer on jointly handled cases and other operations

22 which were being planned, and he, I think, conveyed the

23 matter -- the information to him.

24 Q. Yes. So you think you or a colleague had probably

25 mentioned it to that other officer who in turn had





1 reported it up to the DCI?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Yes. So, so far as you were aware, from that early

4 discussion with the DCI did the Security Service in the

5 person of the senior officer, the DCI, share your own

6 concerns about the request?

7 A. Oh, they certainly did, yes, because at that stage they

8 didn't know if it was going to affect them.

9 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?


11 Before the witness leaves, have all the cameras been

12 switched off?

13 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

15 Please escort the witness out.

16 We will adjourn until 2 o'clock.

17 (1.00 pm)

18 (The short adjournment)

19 (2.00 pm)

20 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist, Mr Currans. Is the public

21 area screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

22 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

24 screen closed?

25 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

2 and securely fastened?

3 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

5 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

6 of this chamber?

7 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

9 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

10 shrouded?

11 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, we are ready to go.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. The two witness cameras have been

13 switched off and shrouded?

14 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

16 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

18 Bring the witness in, please.

19 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and Full

20 Participants' legal representatives s may now be

21 switched back on.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Now, we were discussing the issue of the

23 request for CHIS identities and what I would like to do

24 is look again at paragraph 209 of your statement with

25 you and that's at RNI-846-678 (displayed). You told us





1 about your conversation with the DCI. The aspect of

2 what you say there I would like to focus on with you

3 now, please, is the comment you made that he, the DCI,

4 advised you to speak to their legal adviser in Thames

5 House.

6 Just to put this in context, at this point

7 Special Branch did not have its own legal adviser,

8 did it?

9 A. No.

10 Q. And the RUC legal advisers were not experienced, were

11 they, in national security issues?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, let's see how this progressed, please.

14 Can we look at another Security Service document and

15 that's at RNI-532-157? (displayed). This is a note for

16 the file of 5 September 2000, and if we have RNI-532-158

17 on the screen as well, please (displayed).

18 Now, just to help you, this is written by the other

19 Security Service officer that you and I have discussed,

20 whose name is redacted on the document. So it is

21 a colleague of S224.

22 Now, it looks from here as though in speaking to

23 that officer on 30 August -- do you see that in the

24 first line? -- you were wanting to warn the Security

25 Service about something that might affect them and





1 then -- I'm just going to quote from paragraph 2:

2 "Enlist the Service's support for a proposed RUC

3 line of action."

4 Do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So that was the aim, was it, first to keep them in the

7 loop so that they knew what was happening and, secondly,

8 to get them to back you and Special Branch up in the

9 line that you were taking?

10 A. Not to back us up, to give us authoritative advice.

11 Q. Right. So support for the proposed line of action, what

12 was the line of action.

13 A. Can you just --

14 Q. Sorry, the second line of the second paragraph. It

15 says:

16 "To enlist the Service's support for a proposed RUC

17 line of action."

18 A. I don't know. I have no idea what he is talking about.

19 Q. Right. You weren't looking for the Security Service

20 support in the approach you were intending to take on

21 this issue, which was to say that it should not be

22 permitted by the Chief Constable?

23 A. We were looking for legal advice on -- authoritative

24 legal advice.

25 Q. Now, in this note, though, what it shows was that what





1 you were looking for from the Service was more than just

2 legal advice; you were looking for them to intervene,

3 weren't you -- see paragraph 3 -- to persuade the

4 Chief Constable to reject the request?

5 A. I never asked them to persuade the Chief Constable to do

6 anything.

7 Q. Do you think you said to this officer that there might

8 need to be a discussion between very senior officers at

9 the Security Service -- the example given is the deputy

10 director general -- and the Chief Constable?

11 A. He may have suggested that to me.

12 Q. You do not think you made that suggestion?

13 A. I can't recall saying that.

14 Q. That's what it says in the note, doesn't it? It says

15 RHSB South -- that's you:

16 "... said that in his opinion the Chief might need

17 to have a discussion with someone in top management of

18 the Service, e.g. the Deputy Director General, to

19 encourage him to resist Port's request."

20 That's what you were talking about at the time,

21 wasn't it?

22 A. That's probably his own wording.

23 Q. Right. But has he got the substance of it wrong or are

24 you just quibbling with the individual choice of words?

25 A. Probably both.





1 Q. Right. So this is another Security Service officer, is

2 it, who has misrepresented you in a contemporaneous

3 note?

4 A. He was one of the principal officers that was advising

5 us also to get legal advice.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. Because he had grave concerns himself as to how it would

8 affect his service.

9 Q. I remember you mentioning before lunch that you think

10 you had a discussion with him. He shared your concerns

11 and then with the DCI you discussed getting legal advice

12 from the Service?

13 A. I think it was in that order, I can't just be totally

14 accurate.

15 Q. Right. But here he is again making a note of the

16 conversation in which, whether or not he was in sympathy

17 with you, what he is recording is that it was you who

18 was suggesting that a good idea would be for the top

19 management of the Security Service to speak to the

20 Chief Constable?

21 A. He was in total sympathy. In fact, he was actually

22 driving us to get this advice.

23 Q. Right. But this is not a legal advice we are talking

24 about. The deputy director general is not a lawyer, he

25 is just the number 2 in the Security Service. That's





1 right, isn't it?

2 A. I'm talking -- we are talking about two different things

3 here. Just let me clarify this.

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. Rephrase the question again, please?

6 Q. You see, you have said on a number of occasions that

7 what you were concerned about was to get legal advice?

8 A. Absolutely.

9 Q. And what I'm suggesting to you here is that what's

10 recorded in paragraph 3 has nothing to do with legal

11 advice; this is the idea of getting somebody at the very

12 top of the Security Service to encourage the

13 Chief Constable to resist Port's request?

14 A. As far as I can recall, he was suggesting that that

15 would probably have to happen.

16 Q. Did you agree that it was a good idea?

17 A. I can't recall.

18 Q. You can't recall?

19 A. No, I just can't honestly recall that.

20 Q. Right. Did you agree with him or do you think that you

21 may have said to him that there were serious national

22 security issues at stake which both Port and, to

23 a lesser extent, the Chief, Sir Ronnie, did not fully

24 understand?

25 A. Sir Ronnie fully understood the implications of national





1 security.

2 Q. Right. So he has got that bit wrong as well, has he?

3 A. That's what it says here.

4 Q. Is it right to say that he was urging you, as it says in

5 the penultimate sentence, to brief upwards, i.e. within

6 the Security Service?

7 A. He had already briefed, I think, his own DCI in relation

8 to the matter. This issue caused him grave concern, let

9 me tell you.

10 Q. Weren't you also concerned to make sure that

11 Special Branch's anxiety about this reached the higher

12 echelons of the Security Service?

13 A. They probably already had, knowing this officer.

14 Q. But in answer to my question, weren't you also concerned

15 to make sure that it reached the higher echelons of the

16 Security Service?

17 A. I knew he would brief them.

18 Q. So is the answer to my question: yes, you were concerned

19 to make sure that that would happen?

20 A. I'm saying that I knew that he would brief them.

21 Q. Right. We can see from the top of the next page,

22 paragraph 6, that in due course he did indeed brief

23 Director T, the Head of the T Branch, and it was made

24 clear by that director that he had already discussed it

25 not only with the DCI, but in fact with the Director





1 General of the Security Service. Do you see that?

2 Were you aware, do you think, at the time that the

3 matter had reached the very top of the Security Service?

4 A. I can't honestly recall. I knew at some stage that

5 definitely it had went to the very top, but I'm not sure

6 at what stage that happened.

7 Q. If the note is right, in setting out your suggestion

8 that the top management of the Service should intervene

9 and speak to the Chief Constable in this way, do you

10 think it was appropriate for you to make that suggestion

11 as a senior officer of the RUC?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You do?

14 A. I do, yes.

15 Q. So it was appropriate to go to an outside organisation

16 and seek their help to influence the decision of your

17 Chief Constable?

18 A. We had a partnership with the Security Services on

19 national security matters and it was appropriate for me

20 to speak to them on serious national security matters.

21 They were the lead agency in the United Kingdom.

22 Q. Do you think that the Head of Special Branch was aware

23 that you were making these suggestions, that the

24 Security Service should seek to have a discussion with

25 the Chief Constable?





1 A. He was aware.

2 Q. He was?

3 A. And he also, I think, sent the note at a later stage to

4 the Chief Constable suggesting that he should perhaps

5 seek advice from them on that.

6 Q. Indeed he did, in October and we have seen that in

7 looking at the evidence of that officer, B542.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But the issue I'm raising with you is about a stage

10 before that, in September, and whether or not it was

11 appropriate to go outside your organisation at that

12 point. And as I understand it, you are saying that you

13 believed it was appropriate?

14 A. Absolutely.

15 Q. Because you were in a partnership with the Security

16 Service?

17 A. Absolutely.

18 Q. Was that a partnership in which the Security Service was

19 the dominant partner?

20 A. I would say it was fairly equal.

21 Q. Fairly equal?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. They had overall responsibility for national security in

24 the country, didn't they?

25 A. In the United Kingdom. That's what it says in the





1 Security Services Act.

2 Q. Yes, and that he, as you have explained earlier, had

3 control of your CHIS financing?

4 A. Absolutely.

5 Q. They had direct access to ministers not only in

6 Northern Ireland but in England as well?

7 A. Direct access.

8 Q. And they delivered and set the intelligence strategic

9 requirements, as --

10 A. Absolutely.

11 Q. So weren't they in practice the dominant part of the

12 partnership between yourselves and them?

13 A. More or less, yes.

14 Q. Yes. Now, moving the story on now to later

15 in September, we see another note, this time at

16 RNI-532-170 and RNI-532-171, if we could have that on

17 the screen, please (displayed).

18 Now, this is a note made by 224 of a conversation he

19 had with you on 14 September, so a week or so after the

20 last conversation we have seen noted. And he sets out

21 on the left-hand side various, as he puts it, assertions

22 or allegations and I would like to look at them in turn

23 with you, please. The first in subparagraph 1 there, he

24 records you as saying in the latter part of the

25 paragraph:





1 "The Chief Constable had promised to support South

2 Region's stand."

3 Now, what was South Region's stand, please?

4 A. Can I first say the Chief Constable never promised to

5 support South Region in relation to I think what you are

6 getting at.

7 Q. That's very important and that's is what you say in your

8 statement, isn't it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. That as far as you are concerned, you didn't receive

11 a promise from Sir Ronnie that he would support your

12 position?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Thank you. But can I just ask you to help us, please:

15 was the stand that is being referred to the position you

16 had that this request should be refused?

17 A. Our stand was based on the legal advice that we got,

18 case by case, necessary, relevant, et cetera.

19 Q. That's very clear, thank you. So your stand was not

20 that it should simply be rejected, but rather that an

21 individual case should be made out using the tests of

22 relevance and necessity?

23 A. Absolutely.

24 Q. Right. And was that a stance founded, in your view, on

25 the advice you received from the Security Service?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And specifically from their legal adviser?

3 A. I think their legal adviser and other members of the

4 department.

5 Q. Thank you. Now, moving on to subparagraph (iii), (ii)

6 deals with question of telephones, (iii) is about abuse

7 of information given to him in strict confidence. And

8 is this the issue that you and I discussed before lunch,

9 where there had been a disclosure by Mr Port, in your

10 view, of the identity of a CHIS, which had been

11 disclosed specifically for his knowledge only?

12 A. It probably is, yes.

13 Q. Yes. And then at paragraph 2 you are recorded as saying

14 that:

15 "Mr Port had invested considerable resources and

16 much of his credibility in an undercover operation on

17 the British mainland against ..."

18 Then there are some redacted words:

19 "... which he had hoped to would lead to

20 prosecutions for the murder of Nelson. The scheme has

21 failed and Port now seemed determined to find a way to

22 blame the RUC for the 'failure' of his enquiry."

23 Now, just pausing there, was that your understanding

24 at the time --

25 A. Certainly not.





1 Q. It was not?

2 A. That operation ran for at least another nine months and

3 what I may have said was that if anything went wrong, he

4 would not find Special Branch wanting, that we would not

5 be seen to be blamed or -- to blame for anything going

6 wrong. That's out of context totally.

7 Q. So as I understand it, you are making two points: one,

8 it is out of context; and two, as far as you are aware,

9 at this point the operation was still ongoing?

10 A. I don't know when it ended because I had left the place.

11 What was the date -- could you help me?

12 Q. Sorry, this is 14 September 2000.

13 A. That operation ran for at least another -- was running

14 for at least nearly another year.

15 Q. Yes. So what did you know as to the success or

16 otherwise of the ongoing undercover operation?

17 A. I had never been briefed.

18 Q. Right. So can you explain -- and it may be that you

19 can't -- how it was that the Service officer came to

20 record those comments and to attribute them to you?

21 A. I think he misunderstood what was probably said.

22 Q. Right. Now, you say you were not briefed on the

23 results, successful or otherwise, of the ongoing

24 operation. Is it possible that information as to that

25 had reached you?





1 A. I knew that there was an operation certainly ongoing. I

2 had no idea as to the detail of it. I knew it was

3 against a couple of targets from the Portadown area, but

4 I had no idea what the operation entailed.

5 Q. But is it fair to say that you were concerned at this

6 point, September 2000, that if his investigation didn't

7 succeed, Mr Port might seek to blame the RUC?

8 A. I can't see how I could have said that at that stage.

9 Q. So the answer is no, is it?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Then it records you as saying that you believed Port had

12 started from the premise that the RUC was implicated in

13 Nelson's murder, and it has you expostulating about the

14 unfairness of all this:

15 "... insisted that the RUC was completely innocent

16 of in any collusion in the murder of Rosemary Nelson."

17 Did you think that Mr Port's attitude was unfair in

18 that respect?

19 A. Which paragraph?

20 Q. Sorry, I'm still on the same paragraph, 2, at the bottom

21 of the left-hand page.

22 A. Sorry.

23 Q. That's all right. Do you see it records you as saying

24 that he:

25 "... believed you had started from the premise that





1 the RUC was implicated"?

2 A. The RUC were never implicated in Mrs Nelson's murder.

3 Q. But did you believe Mr Port to be starting from the

4 premise that you were?

5 A. No.

6 Q. You don't?

7 A. No, but he did have a collusion side of his enquiry.

8 Q. Yes, well, he was investigating allegations of

9 collusion, wasn't he?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. And are you saying that you weren't taking the view at

12 this point that he had already made his mind up?

13 A. I knew that the RUC had no part in Mrs Nelson's murder.

14 Q. But I'm really asking you not about that, but about

15 Mr Port's attitude and whether he had an open mind

16 about it?

17 A. I don't know what Mr Port's attitude was.

18 Q. Now, in paragraph 4 over the page he has you expressing

19 anxiety that the Chief Constable, Flanagan, might not

20 hold the line. Now, is that something that you think

21 you would have said to S224?

22 A. There was no line to hold, as I have already said. The

23 Chief Constable hadn't made any promise to us.

24 Q. So, again, that's just wrong?

25 A. That's not correct.





1 Q. Yes. Then finally in this paragraph you are recorded as

2 saying that:

3 "If South Region was let down, then they would be

4 minded to pay off all their Loyalist agents."

5 On any view that's a very extreme comment to make.

6 Is it a comment that you did in fact make in this

7 conversation?

8 A. I did not make that comment. I think, basically, what

9 he is getting at here, we were concerned at the time

10 that if it became public knowledge that Loyalist agents'

11 identities had been disclosed to various people, it

12 would have a detrimental effect on the existing agents

13 that we had, and indeed it did have.

14 Q. Do you think it is possible that in trying to illustrate

15 the level of your concern about those matters, you used

16 reasonably high-coloured language in the way that is

17 recorded here?

18 A. I suggest that this is high-coloured language.

19 Q. Yes, I see that from your statement. And, again, I come

20 back to this question in relation to this document,

21 224's document. It is an internal document within the

22 Security Service. Can you think of any reason why it

23 would have been expressed in this inaccurate and

24 exaggerated way?

25 A. All I can say is I know that 224 was very concerned





1 about the outcome -- how it could affect the Service or,

2 indeed, if it would affect the Service and their agents

3 in Northern Ireland.

4 Q. And are you suggesting that he, for his own internal

5 purposes, in order to ensure that his superiors were

6 aware of the gravity of the situation, might have

7 exaggerated matters and expressed them in this way in

8 his note?

9 A. I'm not going to say for I don't know, but basically he

10 obviously had concerns.

11 Q. Now, so far as the progress of this issue is concerned,

12 can I ask you next, please, about the leaking of

13 information about the fact that the request had been

14 made, which took place at the end of this year, the end

15 of 2000.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And what I would like to do, please, is to look at just

18 some of the contemporaneous documents on this, the first

19 being at RNI-548-585 (displayed). I'm not going to take

20 you to the articles because in a sense they speak for

21 themselves, but they revealed, didn't they, that such

22 a request had been made?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Now, this is your memo to your head of department of the

25 8 January, attaching a report from the Superintendent,





1 503, who in turn had referred to the leak, and what you

2 say is this:

3 "This leak to the media can only be described as an

4 'act of treachery' which will undoubtedly have serious

5 long-term repercussions for E Department and our ability

6 to meet the intelligence requirements set by our

7 customers.

8 "I am disappointed to find yet another newspaper

9 article which will have a detrimental effect on our

10 intelligence gathering capabilities."

11 The treachery you were referring to there was

12 treachery on whose part?

13 A. It was a deliberate leak to the press by someone in the

14 Port team.

15 Q. And were you ever able to back up that suggestion?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And what, please, makes you suggest to the Inquiry that

18 it was a deliberate leak by someone in that team?

19 A. I think it was done deliberately to force the

20 Chief Constable's hand.

21 Q. Were you aware that as at this time, 8 January, the

22 Chief Constable had already given Mr Port an assurance

23 that he would get the information he was seeking?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Might that have changed your view as to the leaking and





1 who was responsible for it?

2 A. Sorry?

3 Q. You see, when you explain why it was that you thought

4 the Port team deliberately leaked this information, what

5 you were suggesting is that it would put pressure on the

6 Chief Constable to rule in their favour, in effect.

7 Now, the press articles came at the end of December

8 and what the Inquiry has learnt is that by the middle of

9 that month the Chief Constable appears, at any rate, to

10 have assured Mr Port that he was going to get what he

11 wanted. So there was no motive, as it were, to leak.

12 Now, if you had known that, do you think you would

13 have thought again about your ascribing blame to the

14 Port team?

15 A. I can tell you now that Special Branch were not made

16 aware of the Chief Constable's decision until around

17 20 January that year.

18 Q. Indeed. I know that. And we have seen it from the

19 documents. I think it was a little earlier than that

20 because I think you were in fact discussing it with your

21 head of department by about the 16th. But put that to

22 one side.

23 What you have been suggesting is that the motive for

24 the leak was to force the Chief Constable's --

25 A. I have no doubt that was the motive. There was





1 a subsequent further leak in May to the Guardian.

2 Q. In May 2001?

3 A. In May 2001.

4 Q. Right.

5 A. About agents being involved in the murder of Mrs Nelson.

6 I do not have the details of that, but I went personally

7 to speak to the Chief Constable about that with 503.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. To try and find out who these agents were so that we

10 could be RIPA compliant. I never got an answer.

11 Q. From the Chief Constable?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Do you ascribe that leak, which I don't think we have

14 heard about to this point, to the Port team as well?

15 A. I do.

16 Q. And what would have been their motivation for that leak?

17 A. I don't know.

18 Q. Is there any firm foundation for your suggestion that

19 they were responsible for that leak?

20 A. I believed there were.

21 Q. Are you able to explain what the firm foundation was?

22 A. There must have been some motive in doing it. It didn't

23 come from within Special Branch.

24 Q. And you are sure about that, are you?

25 A. I'm certain.





1 Q. Did you launch any form of internal enquiry at that

2 point?

3 A. No, there was no inquiry relating to the first leak as

4 well.

5 Q. No, so you didn't launch an enquiry in relation to the

6 first leak?

7 A. No, it wouldn't have been within my power to do so.

8 Q. No, but did you think it was unnecessary because you and

9 your colleagues were so convinced that the leak had come

10 from the Port team?

11 A. There should have been an enquiry into both leaks, in my

12 view.

13 Q. But there wasn't?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Did you suggest at the time that there should have been

16 an enquiry?

17 A. No. I asked the Chief Constable on the second one to

18 enquire and come back to me, which he never done.

19 Q. Right. So far as the Security Service's position in all

20 this is concerned, can I ask you to look with me,

21 please, at paragraph 218 of your statement and that's at

22 RNI-846-682 (displayed).

23 I think that's a wrong reference but let me just ask

24 you this question: you have explained very clearly your

25 own concerns in Special Branch about the request that





1 was being made by Mr Port. What, as far as you were

2 aware, were the concerns of the Security Service?

3 A. I think they were concerned about their own agents being

4 made -- the identities of their own agents being made

5 available.

6 Q. So did they read the request as potentially applying to

7 them?

8 A. They were certainly concerned initially that it would --

9 that it would apply to them also, and there were some

10 agents also being jointly handled by them.

11 Q. Yes, and that was an area of obvious concern, was it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Yes. When you say that they had those concerns, are you

14 able, by use either of their roles within the Service or

15 the ciphers that you have on the list in front of you,

16 to indicate from which Security Service officers you

17 heard those concerns?

18 A. The officer in Northern Ireland.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. And also 224.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, looking at paragraph 210 of your

22 statement at RNI-846-678 and RNI-846-679, if we can have

23 both on the screen, please (displayed), here you give

24 some detail about the nature of their concerns. And you

25 say at the bottom of page RNI-846-678:





1 "The Security Service was very proactive and keen to

2 know -- sorry, have you found it? The bottom line of

3 RNI-846-678. There, where that little magnifying glass

4 was.

5 A. Thank you.

6 Q. "The Security Service was very proactive and keen to

7 know the position in relation to the Port Inquiry's

8 requests, and I was encouraged to keep them fully

9 abreast of development."

10 That's how you remember it?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. So they aren't playing, as it were, a neutral role just

13 as advisers; they actually had their own concerns and

14 they wanted to be kept in the loop?

15 A. They wanted to be kept fully in the loop because there

16 were issues, as I have already explained, regarding

17 technology and things like that, and anything that they

18 thought would impinge upon their sphere of influence

19 they wanted to be kept fully briefed.

20 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the decision is concerned -- we

21 have discussed the possible timing of it -- can we look,

22 please, at RNI-532-174 (displayed). This is another

23 Security Service document from S224 and you will see

24 there that on 10 January you are recorded, in an

25 agitated state apparently, contacting him and passing on





1 the information hot off the press, as it were, that your

2 head of department had just informed you that the

3 Chief Constable had decided to release the names to the

4 Port team. So it looks as though that was about

5 10 January. Do you see that? Slightly earlier than you

6 had remembered it.

7 Did the knowledge of the decision make you -- when

8 you got that news, did it make you agitated?

9 A. No, what we were concerned about was once the

10 Chief Constable had decided to release -- or allow

11 Mr Port to see the names is what protocols were in place

12 to ensure that the information would be handled

13 discreetly.

14 Q. And appropriately?

15 A. And appropriately.

16 Q. And that, as you have explained earlier, was one of the

17 concerns you had at the outset?

18 A. Absolutely.

19 Q. Yes. Can you remember now what the reaction from the

20 Security Service, for example, from S224, was when you

21 told him the news?

22 A. I can't remember exactly, but I know that -- I was going

23 to London in relation to another meeting with Customs at

24 Thames House. I think it was Customs. And we asked to

25 see the legal adviser and he offered us some advice in





1 relation to the setting up of protocols, et cetera,

2 et cetera.

3 Q. Right. Did the Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie, explain his

4 reasoning to you?

5 A. Never.

6 Q. Did you understand the reasons which had led him?

7 A. I never questioned them.

8 Q. You never questioned them?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Now, we know from your head of department's evidence

11 that there was a meeting of the senior Special Branch

12 team, including, I think, you and the other detective

13 chief superintendents, no doubt the regional heads in

14 fact, in which feelings of dismay about the decision

15 were expressed and then passed on, I think, by him to

16 the Chief Constable?

17 A. There was a meeting with the regional heads in August,

18 I think.

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. When was --

21 Q. What he told us about -- I do not have the document for

22 you, but I think it was on 16 January there was another

23 meeting and either at the meeting or afterwards the head

24 of department conveyed to Sir Ronnie the department's

25 feelings about the decision that he had made. Do you





1 remember that?

2 A. I don't recall that meeting.

3 Q. Right. But is it fair to say that your feelings were

4 shared by the other senior officers in Special Branch?

5 A. They were shared before.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. From the minute the request was made. This was totally

8 unprecedented.

9 Q. But that you were all dismayed, to put it no stronger

10 than that, at the decision?

11 A. Very concerned.

12 Q. Yes. Now, in this sequence of Security Service

13 documents, can I take you to a final document, which is

14 at RNI-532-198 and RNI-532-199 (displayed). It is dated

15 8 February 2001, so about a month after the decision was

16 made. And this is another note by the other officer, if

17 we can put it that way, not S224, and it describes

18 a routine visit and discussion with you. And do you see

19 in the third line:

20 "Throughout our discussions, the Regional Head of

21 Special Branch South did not hide his ..."

22 Then there are two points:

23 "... anger at the way he had been treated by Port

24 and his enquiry team, and a feeling of betrayal by the

25 Chief Constable who had gone back on his word over





1 disclosure of agent identities."

2 Now, this, I think, is something that you have

3 commented upon in your statement, isn't it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And what I would like to do, please, is to put up on the

6 right-hand side of the screen the relevant paragraph,

7 RNI-846-687 (displayed). Do you see, it is

8 paragraph 237 on the right-hand side there? And what

9 you say is:

10 "I have to say that this wording is total theatre."

11 That is your view?

12 A. Yes, very colourful.

13 Q. So this, again, is a seriously over-exaggerated account

14 of the views that you held?

15 A. Absolutely.

16 Q. And can I take it that that applies equally to both,

17 i.e. the so-called anger at the way you had been treated

18 by Port and the team, and secondly, the feeling of

19 betrayal by your own Chief Constable?

20 A. Port never treated me any way, he done nothing to me.

21 Q. Do you feel that the Chief Constable had gone back on

22 his word to you?

23 A. He never made a promise to me.

24 Q. Do you think he let Special Branch down?

25 A. He acted differently, shall we say.





1 Q. So is there at least some feeling on your part that you

2 had been let down by the Chief Constable?

3 A. Not really, no. He made the decision, he had to stand

4 by the decision, and if it was wrong, he had to answer

5 for it. I told him that.

6 Q. And presumably you told him that you didn't agree

7 with it?

8 A. I did, yes.

9 Q. Now, in relation to the impact of all of this between

10 this time -- we have now reached February 2001 -- and

11 the time of your retirement, which I think was later

12 that year in July --

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. -- so not very long, just five months after this -- is

15 it fair to suggest that this had a significant impact,

16 this episode, on your relations with the Port team?

17 A. Not really, no.

18 Q. Not really?

19 A. No, no, we had moved on.

20 Q. Well, if there is anything in the note which we have

21 still got on the left-hand side, even if it is

22 over-exaggerated, it suggests that there was at the very

23 least some bad blood between you and the Port team at

24 this point?

25 A. There was no bad blood between me and the Port team.





1 Q. So it didn't, as you say, really have any impact on

2 relations between you?

3 A. None.

4 Q. Right.

5 A. They had a job to do, we had a job to do.

6 Q. And you are saying that it didn't in any way affect

7 Special Branch's willingness to provide the service that

8 the Port team required in terms of the provision of

9 information?

10 A. What had happened happened and we had to move on.

11 Q. Right. Now what I will like to do now, please, is to,

12 as it were, turn back the clock and to look at some

13 earlier material and earlier parts of your statement

14 where you deal with what you knew of Rosemary Nelson and

15 about her, not after her murder but in the period

16 leading up to her murder.

17 In paragraph 27 of your statement -- and that's at

18 RNI-846-613 (displayed) -- could we remove the left-hand

19 document? Thank you. You tell us that she was

20 a household name in South Region. She was continually

21 in the media, and then you give two examples of the sort

22 of cases which made her well-known: The

23 Breandan Mac Cionnaith/GRRC work she did and her work

24 for high profile cases defending Republicans such as

25 Colin Duffy.





1 Just to summarise the position so I have understood

2 it, in terms of what you knew about her before her

3 murder, there is this sort of information coming from

4 open source, from the media, from other open material,

5 on the one hand, and on the other hand the reporting on

6 her that you saw in your role as a senior Special Branch

7 officer. Is that correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you one or two questions

10 about these prominent clients of hers and ask you to

11 look with me at paragraph 41 at RNI-846-618 (displayed).

12 Here you are talking about the work she did for the GRRC

13 and you say there that she was working very closely with

14 Breandan Mac Cionnaith. You say:

15 "They were the ones driving the GRRC and making the

16 legal challenges and so on."

17 So that was your perception of her role in that

18 organisation, was it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Not just that she was advising them as a lawyer, but

21 that she was, with Breandan Mac Cionnaith, driving the

22 Residents Coalition?

23 A. Absolutely.

24 Q. And, again, can I take it, please, without going into

25 any detail, that that view is based on what you knew and





1 saw in the media, and on reporting?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. In this connection, you say in relation to

4 Breandan Mac Cionnaith that he was told what to do by

5 the politicians in PIRA. He was not his own man. And,

6 again, I'm going to assume -- and tell me if I'm

7 wrong -- that that view is based on intelligence

8 reporting?

9 A. I believe so, yes.

10 Q. Then you say:

11 "I have been asked to what extent that would apply

12 to Mrs Nelson."

13 Then you simply say:

14 "I have no knowledge of that."

15 So why was it that you say they worked very closely

16 together, they were driving the organisation together,

17 and whereas you ascribe him as being under the control

18 of politicians in PIRA, you didn't form the same view in

19 relation to her?

20 A. I don't think she was being controlled by PIRA. She was

21 assisting Mac Cionnaith.

22 Q. Right. As far as you saw it, did her representation,

23 her involvement, with the GRRC cause her to be seen as

24 a Republican sympathiser?

25 A. In some Loyalist eyes, I have no doubt she was.





1 Q. And what about in your eyes?

2 A. I was fair open-minded, really.

3 Q. Now, what you do in your statement in relation to

4 intelligence reporting is to comment on a number of

5 reports which came in to Special Branch from, I think it

6 is about 1996/1997 on through to 1998, I think, is the

7 last of this run of reports.

8 Now, in your statement, what you have very helpfully

9 done is to say in each case whether you think you were

10 aware of the reporting at the time, and we will look at

11 various examples in which you say, "Yes, I think I do

12 remember this, and I remember discussing it" and equally

13 there are others, aren't there, where you say, "I don't

14 remember seeing or hearing about this at the time"?

15 A. That's correct, yes.

16 Q. Can I just ask you a general question about the

17 reporting which you have commented on before we look at

18 one or two of the examples. You were at the head of the

19 South Region and, therefore, at some remove from the, if

20 I can put it that way, coalface of intelligence

21 gathering, weren't you?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. So were you in fact in a position, in relation to any

24 particular piece of reporting, to assess for yourself

25 whether or not it was itself reliable?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You were? And, again, mindful of the constraints we

3 operate under in this hearing, can you tell us what

4 means or methods were open or available to you to reach

5 that assessment?

6 A. Not in this hearing.

7 Q. Can I look at this from another angle then? To what

8 extent in looking at individual pieces of reporting were

9 you in fact relying on the judgments, the experience and

10 the expertise of the more junior officers who were

11 responsible for producing the material, as it were, up

12 the line?

13 A. That did not go down to really junior officers. It went

14 also down to superintendents and chief inspectors and

15 inspectors.

16 Q. But you have made some comments right at the outset of

17 your evidence about knowing a number -- most of the

18 officers under your command, some of them very well. Is

19 it fair to say that given the vast amount of material

20 that was coming in and your no doubt wide range of

21 responsibilities, on a day-to-day basis you were reliant

22 on the other more junior officers to get things right,

23 to do their jobs properly and, therefore, reliant on

24 their own assessment of the credibility of intelligence?

25 A. That is correct, but I also knew those officers very





1 well. I knew their capabilities and I knew exactly how

2 capable they were. Some of them were the best that we

3 had in the department.

4 Q. Yes. But presumably that meant that in general, when

5 a report came in to you, you didn't seek to devote a lot

6 of time to asking questions about it, to probing it, to

7 seeing whether it could possibly be right; in general

8 you were content to rely on the good work of your junior

9 officers?

10 A. My superintendent and chief inspector especially.

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. Who I had the utmost confidence in.

13 Q. In general can I take it that where we are looking at

14 these pieces of reporting on this particular individual,

15 Rosemary Nelson, it would have been your view at the

16 time that the reporting was reliable?

17 A. Absolutely.

18 Q. Yes. Now, what I would like to do, please, is to start

19 by looking at the first of the reports that you actually

20 claimed to have any particular recollection of, although

21 not a clear one because, of course, this is a very long

22 time ago, and that's the one you refer to in

23 paragraph 32. If we could have that on the screen,

24 please, on the left-hand side, RNI-846-615 (displayed)

25 and maybe on the right-hand side we could have





1 RNI-541-148 (displayed). Yes.

2 So that allows us to have on the screen the

3 substance of the report on the right and your comment

4 about it on the left in paragraph 32. Do you see?

5 And what you say in the last sentence of this

6 paragraph is:

7 "I vaguely remember something about this but nothing

8 more than is already stated in this intelligence

9 report."

10 Now, this was a report about Rosemary Nelson's

11 conduct of the defence of Colin Duffy in relation to the

12 murder of the two police officers in Lurgan

13 in June 1997, wasn't it?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. And the suggestion was that she was acting

16 unprofessionally and that she was concerned that she

17 might be found out.

18 Now, in relation to this sort of reporting about an

19 ongoing criminal case, isn't it the sort of thing that

20 you would, or perhaps should have raised with your

21 opposite number in CID, whom you mentioned yesterday,

22 just to alert him to what was being said?

23 A. I don't think I raised that issue with my opposite

24 number, but the inspector, the divisional officer raised

25 it with the divisional CID.





1 Q. Do you mean B567?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you are confident, are you, that this was taken up

4 by him with CID?

5 A. Yes, I believe so.

6 Q. And what is it about this reporting that leads you to

7 think that it would have been taken up with CID?

8 A. I think I have since checked that issue, to be honest.

9 Q. Yes. But in other words to check whether it or not was

10 taken up. Is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. But can you just look at the report and try and help

13 with this: what is it about the report that would have

14 led B567, do you think, to inform CID about it?

15 A. To make them aware of what was happening.

16 Q. Because it was a matter which impinged or potentially

17 impinged upon the investigation?

18 A. Absolutely.

19 Q. Yes. Now, flicking over to the next document -- keeping

20 the left-hand one on the screen, please -- the

21 right-hand one, RNI-541-165 (displayed), this comes in

22 the same phase. The suggestion is that, again,

23 Rosemary Nelson was behaving unprofessionally in the

24 Duffy case, pressurising individuals, and you say in

25 paragraph 33 on the left that you remember a discussion





1 about this intelligence. Do you see that at the bottom

2 of the page?

3 A. Yes, I do, yes.

4 Q. When you say "a discussion", do you mean with colleagues

5 in Special Branch or do you mean between you and the

6 CID?

7 A. Both -- well, certainly I did not discuss that with CID.

8 Again, that was done at divisional level.

9 Q. Again, do you think that B567 discussed it with CID?

10 A. I believe so, yes.

11 Q. And what would be the purpose of that discussion?

12 A. Just to keep them informed of what was going on.

13 Q. And do you remember whether there was any discussion at

14 this point or, indeed, at any later point of whether

15 there should be an investigation of what was said to be

16 Rosemary Nelson's activities, her unprofessional

17 behaviour?

18 A. I remember it vaguely and it was not deemed appropriate

19 at the time to do so.

20 Q. Now, you make in your statement various comments about

21 this in a quite general way and we will come to them in

22 a moment. But you are saying, are you, that you

23 remember vaguely a discussion in which a decision was

24 taken that it wouldn't be right to do that?

25 A. Not appropriate at that time.





1 Q. Can you remember anything more about the discussion, for

2 example, who was involved?

3 A. Yes, I think I do, yes.

4 Q. And is it possible perhaps by using the cipher list to

5 explain who was involved in that discussion?

6 A. (Pause)

7 I'm not sure of the date that it was discussed, but

8 it would have been the Superintendent in the region.

9 Q. Do you mean the territorial --

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Right.

12 A. That could have been 508, 534, 627, undoubtedly myself,

13 and 567.

14 Q. Right. So just so everybody else is clear, those are

15 all Special Branch officers?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. Yes. And if a discussion of that took place, it was

18 obviously a reasonably high level regional discussion?

19 A. Yes. I'm not sure which officers were there now, but

20 that would have been the level at which it was

21 discussed at.

22 Q. Right. And can you help with -- I don't mean a precise

23 date, even necessarily a date by month. Can you help

24 with a likely year for that? Would it have been 1997,

25 1998, 1999 even?





1 A. I'm not sure, to be honest. Probably 1997.

2 Q. Was it, do you think, at about the time of the

3 prosecution of Colin Duffy for those two murders?

4 A. Probably, yes, probably somewhere around that time.

5 Q. So might it have been prompted, for example, by this

6 sort of reporting that we have on the right-hand side of

7 the scene?

8 A. Absolutely.

9 Q. Yes. To be very clear about this, what was under

10 discussion is whether to refer to CID the idea that

11 there should be an investigation of this solicitor.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Is that right? Yes?

14 A. Yes, that would have been discussed, but it was ruled

15 out for reasons which I can talk about to you later.

16 Q. Sorry, which you can ...?

17 A. Talk to you about later.

18 Q. Right, they are not reasons which you can share in the

19 open hearings?

20 A. Not really, other than we didn't have evidence. We only

21 had intelligence. But there were other issues too, I

22 think, that influenced us at that time.

23 MR PHILLIPS: Right. Now, sir, I want to stick to timing

24 plan, so would this be a convenient moment just for

25 a quarter of an hour break?





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Right, we will have a quarter of an hour

2 break.

3 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

4 please confirm that all the cameras have been

5 switched off?

6 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

8 Please escort the witness out.

9 Quarter past, thereabouts.

10 (3.02 pm)

11 (Short break)

12 (3.15 pm)

13 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist. Mr Currans, is the public

14 area screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

15 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

17 screen closed?

18 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

20 and securely fastened?

21 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

23 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

24 of this chamber?

25 MR CURRANS: No, sir.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Can the video engineer please confirm that

2 the two witness cameras have been switched off and

3 shrouded?

4 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

6 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they are.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: Bring the witness in, please.

8 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

9 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

10 switched back on.

11 Yes, Mr Phillips.

12 MR PHILLIPS: I think some of the delay has been caused by

13 the fact that we managed to find the article that

14 I think you were talking about, and just to help

15 everybody, can we try -- I think it is RNI-401-622 from

16 memory (displayed). Yes. This is a Guardian article

17 of May 2001. You were spot on about that. And if we go

18 on to -- I think it is RNI-401-625.

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. The second full paragraph there says:

21 "However, we can reveal that ..."

22 And then it is a reference to two Special Branch

23 informers. And that was the article you had in mind,

24 was it?

25 A. That's correct.





1 Q. Excellent, thank you very much.

2 Now, can we just have that off the screen, please,

3 and return to the issue of the intelligence reporting

4 that you received. There is just one more document that

5 I would like to look at on the screen at this stage and

6 it is RNI-541-168 (displayed), and if we could move that

7 over to the right and have on the left, RNI-846-616 --

8 do we have RNI-846-616 (displayed)? Yes. And

9 paragraph 34. And this time, I am afraid we have done

10 it the other way round to have some sort of variety,

11 I suppose.

12 But you are commenting on the document on the left

13 in the paragraph 34 on the right, and this is the report

14 which gives the quotation there in relation to

15 Rosemary Nelson and whether or not she was an ordinary

16 solicitor. And it says there:

17 "... giving the impression that she was very close

18 to PIRA."

19 And in the comment:

20 "Is known to be sympathetic to the Republican

21 cause."

22 The reason I have asked you to look at this with me

23 is because in your comment on it, you say:

24 "I don't recall seeing this intelligence. It

25 doesn't, however, surprise me. The dogs on the street





1 knew that Mrs Nelson was sympathetic to PIRA."

2 That was obviously the view you held at the time.

3 Is that right?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. So what we are dealing with here, therefore, is not, as

6 it were, some special knowledge gleaned through

7 intelligence but something that was common knowledge on

8 the street?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. And as you point out, Lurgan, and the Kilwilke Estate in

11 particular, was a small -- very small, you say --

12 tight-knit community?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. In which everybody knew each other's business?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And presumably in areas such as that there must have

17 been regular occasions on which intelligence reporting

18 came in which simply told you what was in general

19 circulation in the community on and the street?

20 A. There was a lot of open source material too in relation

21 to that.

22 Q. Yes. But in a sense, therefore, what this is doing on

23 the left-hand side is simply confirming something that

24 was in general circulation in that little community at

25 the time. Is that right?





1 A. Sorry, repeat the question, please?

2 Q. Well, when you say that the dogs on the street knew,

3 what, as I understand it, you are telling us is that

4 this report on the left didn't tell you anything that

5 the average person in Lurgan and --

6 A. Absolutely.

7 Q. Now, presumably, there was a danger of the thing working

8 the other way round, in the sense that what was gossip,

9 what was being talked about on the street, might come

10 back to you in Special Branch in the form of

11 intelligence reports. It must have happened from time

12 to time?

13 A. That could happen, yes.

14 Q. And, of course, even if gossip is in a document with

15 a secret protective marking on, it doesn't mean it isn't

16 gossip, does it?

17 A. No.

18 Q. And presumably you had to be very careful in assessing

19 that sort of reporting to distinguish between what was

20 factual, hard intelligence and what was no more than

21 a source picking up chat on the street?

22 A. It would depend on who the source of the intelligence or

23 the agent was who was reporting it.

24 Q. Indeed, but it is something you had to be very much

25 aware of?





1 A. Absolutely.

2 Q. Yes. Now, so far as the remainder of the pre-murder

3 reports that you have looked at in your interview and

4 made comments on in your statement, they come in 1998

5 and they include the suggestion that she was creating

6 false alibis, she was allowing PIRA members to consult

7 confidential case documents and, in one case in April,

8 if you remember, being briefed by PIRA to instruct an

9 individual to take responsibility. You can remember

10 them? You are nodding?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And as I understand it, what you say about these

13 documents is that you don't have a particularly detailed

14 recall of them, but some of them at least may have

15 featured in discussions from time to time. Is that --

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. -- fair summary?

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. Yes. Now, what I would like to focus on next, please,

20 is just this question that has come up with a number of

21 witnesses about where this material was held, the

22 material on Rosemary Nelson, and in what form. So far

23 as you are aware, was there a paper file, a file of

24 documents, on Rosemary Nelson held by Special Branch?

25 A. I know from reading that we couldn't find that file.





1 Most of it, I think, was held electronically.

2 Q. Right. Just picking up the first thing you said, you

3 know from reading that we couldn't find it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you mean that you are aware that there was a search

6 which took place to find the file?

7 A. I think so, yes, I think so.

8 Q. Can you remember at what time, what period that took

9 place, that search?

10 A. I think Mr Port may have asked was there a file on

11 Rosemary Nelson.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. And I don't think we could find a file on her in

14 Headquarters.

15 Q. So you think that in answer to a question posed by

16 Mr Port, a search was initiated?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And you couldn't find it?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Right. Now, presumably if somebody had said to you at

21 the time, "There is a file on this woman", given the

22 amount of reporting we have seen about her, you wouldn't

23 have been surprised?

24 A. No, certainly not because I can explain to you the

25 system.





1 Q. Please do. That would be very helpful, yes.

2 A. When an adverse report went in from Special Branch on

3 somebody, the first report -- there was a white slip

4 created in Special Branch registry and I think it was

5 after three or four reports there was a file

6 automatically then generated. So if there was more than

7 three or four reports on Rosemary Nelson, there should

8 have been a personal file.

9 Now, having said that, this was at the stage when we

10 were changing over to computerisation and I haven't

11 a clue as to what way that system worked, to be honest.

12 Q. But if you had been in the old paper system --

13 A. I would have had no doubt there would have been

14 a personal file.

15 Q. Yes, and we know she had a number and acquired it,

16 I think, in April 1996.

17 A. If she had a number there should have been a personal

18 file under the old system, but as I say, I'm not sure

19 what way the new system superseded it.

20 Q. No, but on the new system of computers -- obviously

21 there wouldn't have been a physical file, but the

22 computer system worked in a way that you could trace

23 through references to individuals?

24 A. Sir, I haven't a clue how the computer system worked.

25 Q. No, I rather thought you might say that.





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Now, assuming under the paper system, that file would

3 have been held where, in the registry?

4 A. In Special Branch registry.

5 Q. And would there have been, as it were, a parallel or

6 another file on her held locally in Lurgan, say?

7 A. Not necessarily, no. In fact, at that stage we were

8 trying to discourage -- as least paperwork in offices as

9 possible.

10 Q. You say not necessarily, is it at least possible that

11 there was such a paper file in Lurgan?

12 A. There would have been possibly some reports like you

13 have already seen or generated here for the Inquiry.

14 Q. Would that be, as it were, a copy of what was held in

15 registry or something separate?

16 A. Some of those reports would maybe never even have went

17 to registry. They were maybe just locally held pieces

18 of information.

19 Q. Right. And there might well have been -- I know you are

20 not sure, but there might well, therefore, have been

21 a local file on her as well?

22 A. There could very well have been. I honestly don't know.

23 Q. Just in terms of the descriptions of files -- we have

24 heard all sorts of phrases to describe them -- would

25 that have been a personal file also?





1 A. I don't think the local officers kept personal files at

2 that stage.

3 Q. Right. We have heard other descriptions, general file

4 and target file?

5 A. There would have been -- there would have been a general

6 file for various different types of information and it

7 may have been in it. If there was a target file for

8 targeting, there would have been a target file, but she

9 was never a target of ours to the best of my knowledge.

10 Q. So as far as you are concerned, we can rule out the

11 target file?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So it might have been a general file?

14 A. Information maybe could have been contained in general

15 files or cross-referenced with some other file.

16 Q. In terms of the search that you think happened, was that

17 a search both in the registry and at the office?

18 A. It should have been both.

19 Q. Yes. Were you responsible for initiating that search?

20 A. No, the action sheets for any information would have

21 come from Mr Port to the two officers who would have

22 forwarded them then to E3, where there was

23 a superintendent and an inspector who basically overseen

24 that.

25 Q. Right. What we have heard so far on this, so far as





1 your head of department is concerned, is that he

2 remembers being asked in a meeting by Mr Port -- and we

3 have seen his journal record on it -- and responding to

4 Mr Port that there was no target file. And when I asked

5 him, "Well, you are the head of department, what was the

6 basis for that remark?" He said that he must have been

7 briefed to the effect that there was no target file on

8 Rosemary Nelson.

9 A. There was no target file on Rosemary Nelson, I can tell

10 you that.

11 Q. But if he had asked you --

12 A. I would have told him that.

13 Q. And if he had asked you -- presumably if he had asked

14 you, "Is there a personal file on her?" You would have

15 said, "Yes, there is"?

16 A. There should be. She had an SB number.

17 Q. Yes, if the system was working properly, she should

18 have?

19 A. Not necessarily, if the electronic system had kicked in

20 fully.

21 Q. If Mr Port had asked that question -- and he told us

22 himself in his evidence that he asked it on a number of

23 occasions in fact -- presumably he should have been told

24 in answer to it, given what you have been explaining,

25 "Well, actually, there was a personal file held in





1 registry but we can't find it"?

2 A. I didn't say there was a personal file, sorry --

3 Q. Right.

4 A. -- but she had an SB number, which meant she should have

5 had an SB file.

6 Q. Perhaps the answer should have been, "Well, she should

7 have had one if our system had worked properly, but if

8 there was one, we can't find it"?

9 A. That's it.


11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just say, Special Branch is

12 a very regulated environment?

13 A. Yes, that's correct.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: And Special Branch files are protected

15 within that environment because of the content that they

16 usually have?

17 A. That's correct.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Very secret --

19 A. Yes, absolutely.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Okay, thank you.

21 A. I honestly don't think there was a personal hard file

22 created and that's probably what caused the problem.

23 MR PHILLIPS: Even though a lot of this intelligence was

24 generated in 1994/1995 and particularly in 1996 and

25 1997, before, as I understood it -- long before the





1 changeover to computers?

2 A. I can't answer that, to be honest with you. I don't

3 think there was -- it would have been there, because as

4 I explained to you before, any intelligence would have

5 been cross-referenced. You can't just -- once

6 intelligence goes into the system it is all

7 cross-referenced and it can't be hidden or buried or

8 lost.

9 Q. No, so in other words, even if the request had been

10 asked by Mr Port in 1999 for all reporting on

11 Rosemary Nelson, it would have been possible on the

12 computer system to dig out all these earlier documents

13 that we have been looking at from 1996 and 1997, 1998

14 and print them out and give them to you?

15 A. It should have been, but it would depend if -- how

16 up-to-date the computer was and how much information had

17 been stored in it. The only thing that could tell you

18 also is the actual number that was allocated to her.

19 That would give a rough idea -- there should be a rough

20 date as to when that was number was allocated.

21 Q. It looked to us as though it was probably allocated

22 before April 1996.

23 A. That's what I mean, yes.

24 Q. Yes. Does that help you one way or another?

25 A. Well, it doesn't, in that I don't know when the





1 electronic system kicked in, to be honest.

2 Q. I think the evidence we have had is that they were

3 running the two systems in parallel until the end of the

4 century, I think was the evidence actually?

5 A. I'm not sure when the electronic started.

6 Q. But isn't it fair to say that during the changeover

7 period until, as I say -- I think the evidence is into

8 2000, you were running both the systems in parallel?

9 A. I honestly don't know what was happening in registry.

10 Q. Okay. Can we move on to a completely different topic

11 and that is the evidence that you give about the rumour

12 or the allegations that were being made to the effect

13 that Rosemary Nelson was having an affair with

14 Colin Duffy. This you deal with in your statement in

15 paragraph 50 at RNI-846-622 (displayed). What you say

16 there is:

17 "Everyone in Lurgan knew about the affair between

18 Mrs Nelson and Colin Duffy. They knew Mrs Nelson had

19 purchased a house for Colin Duffy to live in, even CID

20 knew about the affair."

21 So this, as you characterise it, is another piece of

22 information which was widely known in that small,

23 tight-knit community?

24 A. I think there was actually a newspaper article.

25 Q. Is that the Casanova article --





1 A. I think so, yes.

2 Q. We are talking about rather earlier than this.

3 Certainly the intelligence reporting on it comes at the

4 end of 1997 and into 1998, long before the article.

5 So in terms of your perception, this was general

6 knowledge in the community, was it, long before her

7 murder?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And the comment you make there is a striking one in

10 relation to CID because you say everybody in the

11 community knew about it. And then you say:

12 "... even CID ..."

13 Rather suggesting that they were sometimes the last

14 to know what everybody else in the community was talking

15 about?

16 A. CID knew as much as Special Branch in the local

17 community.

18 Q. Right. And then you saw:

19 "Their knowledge ..."

20 That's CID's knowledge:

21 "... did not emanate from Special Branch

22 intelligence."

23 A. I don't think so, no.

24 Q. No. If you are right about the first point, that

25 everybody in Lurgan knew about it, then clearly they





1 didn't need your intelligence to tell them, did they?

2 A. I wouldn't have thought so.

3 Q. No, as you say, it could have come from anywhere.

4 Now, so far as that is concerned, why is it that you

5 say:

6 "Their knowledge did not emanate from Special Branch

7 intelligence"?

8 It is at least possible, isn't it, that in addition

9 to the rumour on the streets, you received intelligence

10 about the rumour, much in the way that we were

11 considering just a while ago, and shared it with

12 colleagues in CID?

13 A. I don't think we did, to be honest.

14 Q. If you regarded it as general knowledge and something

15 that everybody knew about anyway, why would you withhold

16 it from them?

17 A. They probably already knew.

18 Q. But just to try and answer my question, what would be

19 the grounds for withholding something that, on your own

20 evidence, everybody knew anyway?

21 A. There would be no grounds for withholding it.

22 Q. Right. So it must at least be possible, surely, that

23 the intelligence reporting on this matter was indeed

24 shared with CID?

25 A. I can't answer that. I don't know. I never discussed





1 it with CID.

2 Q. You didn't?

3 A. No.

4 Q. No. So far as the intelligence reporting is concerned,

5 again, you have considered a large number of reports in

6 paragraph 45 of your statement at RNI-846-620

7 (displayed), and you make some comments about it, as you

8 say:

9 "Some of the reports merely record the sightings of

10 them together, some report them travelling away

11 together."

12 And there you talk about the significance or

13 otherwise of the alleged affair to Special Branch. In

14 the last two sentences, you say:

15 "The affair itself was of no interest to

16 Special Branch, it was none of our business. The only

17 relevance of it was that perhaps there might be a time

18 when we could exploit it."

19 Do you see that?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. I want to just ask you some questions about this before

22 we look at some more documents. Surely it was

23 significant for you in Special Branch South Region that

24 a man you regarded as a very prominent local terrorist

25 was having a personal -- not a professional, a personal





1 relationship with a prominent local lawyer? That must

2 have been significant, surely?

3 A. It was significant.

4 Q. Yes. And so the fact that their relationship was, as

5 the rumour, the reports were telling you, more than

6 a solicitor/client relationship, was something that you

7 had an interest in, wasn't it?

8 A. I said only if it afforded us opportunities.

9 Q. Yes. Now, in terms of the opportunities, can I consider

10 with you first, please, the possibility of operations in

11 relation to Rosemary Nelson because that's something you

12 deal with head-on in your statement, paragraph 58 at

13 RNI-846-625 (displayed).

14 Here you are considering the possibility of a

15 warrant application in relation to her, and you say

16 because of the nature of her profession, that it would

17 have made it especially difficult for you to obtain

18 a warrant in relation to her.

19 And the point you make there is, if you had seen

20 such an application, it wouldn't have got past you?

21 A. No.

22 Q. In the role that you explained before, in the warrantry

23 applications, once it had come to you, it wouldn't have

24 left South Region?

25 A. That's correct.





1 Q. Yes. Now, to what extent was your concern at the time

2 in relation to any possible operation against her

3 focused on the fact that she was a lawyer and,

4 therefore, there was the risk of intruding upon

5 privileged communication?

6 A. Just rephrase that again, please?

7 Q. To what extent would you have been concerned if such an

8 application had come to you, that the danger of any such

9 operation would be you would get into the territory of

10 lawyer/client privilege?

11 A. Directed against Rosemary Nelson?

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. I wouldn't have sent it to Headquarters.

14 Q. No, but in deciding not to, was one of your concerns

15 legal privilege?

16 A. It would have been, yes.

17 Q. Yes. Now, in the actual application which took place in

18 relation to the property she owned, Deeny Drive, the

19 Operation Indus case, that application made its way from

20 your region eventually, as we have seen, to the Security

21 Service, thence to the Secretary of State, and we have

22 looked at all of the material in it. And as you say in

23 paragraph 64 -- if we can have that on the screen,

24 please, at RNI-846-626 (displayed) -- there is no

25 reference at all in that application material produced





1 by South Region to the fact that Rosemary Nelson owned

2 the property at Deeny Drive. That's correct, isn't it?

3 A. I believe so, yes.

4 Q. There are references at various stages to it being

5 privately owned and a suggestion that she would be on of

6 the visitors of interest in the list of Republicans, but

7 it wasn't made clear in the application, was it, that

8 she in fact owned the house?

9 A. I can't just recall that, to be honest.

10 Q. That is obviously what you had --

11 A. Can I just say it wouldn't have mattered: Duffy was the

12 target.

13 Q. Yes, but obviously it was relevant for those who were

14 considering the application, wasn't it?

15 A. Absolutely -- it later became very relevant.

16 Q. But it only became relevant when it was pointed out by

17 the Security Service. That's right, as much it?

18 A. I think we told the Security Service later.

19 Q. Well, in the material that you provided to them, you

20 didn't say, did you, that she owned the house and you

21 certainly didn't raise the question of legal privilege?

22 A. No.

23 Q. And you told us in your statement and, indeed, yesterday

24 that it fell to you to approve, to consider carefully,

25 these applications before they left South Region?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So you must take responsibility for those omissions,

3 surely?

4 A. They are not omissions. Duffy was the target. If that

5 warrant had have proceeded on or the operation had have

6 proceeded on, there would be very strict guidelines for

7 the running of that operation.

8 Q. Was consideration given at the time of the draft of this

9 application to whether or not to mention the fact that

10 Rosemary Nelson owned the house and was Colin Duffy's

11 lawyer?

12 A. Well, I may not have known that at the time.

13 Q. You didn't know that she was Colin Duffy's lawyer?

14 A. Oh, I knew she was his lawyer, very well, yes. That

15 doesn't preclude us from carrying out an attack on

16 Duffy.

17 Q. Are you saying, therefore, you think you didn't know it

18 was her house?

19 A. I may not have. There was no omission -- deliberate

20 omission on that case or underlying motive, may I tell

21 you.

22 Q. There was a great deal of intelligence reporting before

23 Indus, announcing the news that Rosemary Nelson had

24 bought a house and that Colin Duffy was going to live

25 in it?





1 A. I may not have seen that. I just can't recall.

2 Q. Are you seriously suggesting that you didn't see that

3 intelligence reporting?

4 A. I may not have seen that.

5 Q. Because it was that that led to the idea of applying for

6 Operation Indus in the first place, wasn't it?

7 A. It would be, yes.

8 Q. Yes. Surely you must have been told as soon as that

9 intelligence came in that the place he was going to be

10 living in was owned by his lawyer, Rosemary Nelson?

11 A. I don't recall that.

12 Q. So you didn't see all the intelligence reporting to that

13 effect at the time?

14 A. I may not have.

15 Q. Let's have a look, please, at paragraph 49 of your

16 statement at RNI-846-622 (displayed) because here you

17 deal with one of the reports in June, so some months

18 before the application was made, and there that report

19 deals with buying the property and that he had recently

20 met her there. And you say:

21 "This intelligence was very important. We would

22 have tried to check the intelligence."

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And in the next paragraph, in the section where you are

25 telling us that everybody in Lurgan knew about it, you





1 also say that:

2 "Everybody in Lurgan knew that Mrs Nelson had

3 purchased a house for Colin Duffy to live in."

4 So you are not seriously suggesting, are you, that

5 everybody in Lurgan knew that but you, as the Regional

6 Head of Special Branch, did not?

7 A. I'm not so sure about that. I can't really recall the

8 exact detail.

9 Q. Just consider the question that I asked you, and bearing

10 in mind the statement that you have made: are you

11 seriously suggesting that you were not aware that before

12 Operation Indus, the application, was made that this

13 house belonged to Rosemary Nelson?

14 A. I cannot be sure.

15 Q. Right. Right. Now, trying to bring these threads

16 together, can I just ask you to think about the comments

17 you have made in your statement about her significance

18 and why it was that Special Branch had an interest in

19 her.

20 The first thing I would like you to do, please, is

21 to look with me at paragraph 56 of your statement at

22 RNI-846-624 (displayed). Here you address the question

23 of whether you would have used the intelligence in

24 relation to the alleged affair to try and recruit her,

25 and you say:





1 "We would never even have considered it."

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. And as I understand it, there are various reasons for

4 that: It was too problematical, and in addition she

5 would have been on to everyone she knew about it,

6 including all the human rights organisations and the

7 News of the World. And that was the way you perceived

8 her at the time, was it, that she was the sort of person

9 who would talk to the press and --

10 A. I have absolutely no doubt she would have.

11 Q. Yes, and in the consideration that you gave, did you

12 consider the additional point that she was a lawyer and,

13 therefore, that issues of privilege might arise?

14 A. Not really.

15 Q. You didn't?

16 A. No.

17 Q. You didn't consider that to be significant?

18 A. No.

19 Q. No. Now, in relation to her in general, I'm sure you

20 know now that a number of your colleagues, or former

21 colleagues, some in very senior positions, have

22 expressed their views about Rosemary Nelson based on the

23 intelligence reporting they saw, to the effect that she

24 was a terrorist or had crossed the line, to use an

25 expression that one of them used, an active supporter of





1 terrorism. Was that a view of her that you shared?

2 A. I would certainly say she crossed the line. We had no

3 intelligence to indicate that she was a member of the

4 Provisional IRA.

5 Q. But you saw her, did you, as an active supporter of that

6 organisation?

7 A. Yes, if she crossed the line, she was supporting them.

8 Q. In other words, when you say she had crossed the line,

9 she was prepared to act, in your view, you think,

10 professionally and even criminally?

11 A. Absolutely.

12 Q. Looking again briefly at the relationship and the way it

13 was perceived by you in this same context that we were

14 looking at earlier of potential recruitment, can we

15 look, please, at RNI-531-043 (displayed) and RNI-531-044

16 (displayed).

17 Now, this is a loose minute by another Security

18 Service officer, dated 26 October 1998, and it addresses

19 the possibility of recruiting not Rosemary Nelson but

20 Colin Duffy. There are various comments made about him

21 and the arguments, as it were, for or mostly against

22 that proposition. I just wanted to ask you about two

23 parts of it. First, on RNI-531-544 5(c), it says:

24 "The attached RUC reports suggests that Duffy's

25 partner ..."





1 Then there is a redaction."

2 ... is Rosemary Nelson whom they describe as a

3 solicitor with strong Republican sympathies."

4 Did you remember being asked to produce a report for

5 the Security Service at this time in October 1998?

6 A. Which paragraph?

7 Q. Sorry, 5(c) on RNI-531-044.

8 A. Which attached report are they talking about?

9 Q. A very good question. It hasn't emerged in the

10 disclosure given to the Inquiry. I was simply asking

11 you whether you remember being asked to produce a report

12 for the Service's consideration. You don't?

13 A. For?

14 Q. The Security Service's consideration.

15 A. To do what?

16 Q. I don't know because I haven't seen it, but you see it

17 refers to an attached RUC report?

18 A. That may have been with some of the superintendents -- I

19 can't recall this.

20 Q. Right, okay. Let's go back to the left-hand side

21 because you will see there is a handwritten comment in

22 manuscript, and if we could enlarge the handwritten

23 comment it would be very helpful indeed. Thank you.

24 What it says is that a Security Service officer,

25 whose cipher is S966:





1 "... has raised Duffy's name with the Regional Head

2 of Special Branch South ..."

3 That's you:

4 "... who described Duffy and Nelson as 'the

5 nightmare team' and strongly suggested that we not go

6 anywhere near them."

7 Do you remember being contacted about this possible

8 recruitment and describing the two of them as the

9 nightmare team?

10 A. I don't recall using those words. I certainly recall

11 the Security Services asking if they could perhaps mount

12 an operation to recruit Duffy, whereupon we refused.

13 Q. You refused. In other words, you objected --

14 A. Absolutely.

15 Q. And do you think it is at least possible that you would

16 have used that term to describe them?

17 A. I don't recall using that term.

18 Q. But is it the way that you thought of them?

19 A. I don't recall using that term.

20 Q. But in answer to my question: is it the way that you

21 thought of them, as a nightmare team?

22 A. I have said -- Duffy was certainly a nightmare. I don't

23 recall using that term.

24 Q. You don't think that Colin Duffy in combination with

25 Rosemary Nelson, was a nightmare team?





1 A. I don't recall that.

2 Q. Those are all the questions I had for you in the open

3 session. But as I'm sure you know, at the end of the

4 open session I always ask witnesses whether there is any

5 matter that they wish to add to the evidence they have

6 given. Is there anything you would like to add at this

7 stage?

8 A. Yes, sir. Just to say that I considered myself

9 privileged to have commanded Special Branch South

10 Region. They were a very dedicated team of officers who

11 done and attempted to do their very, very best. They

12 were very sincere and profound officers, and it is our

13 regret to this day that we haven't brought to justice

14 the people who murdered Rosemary Nelson.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

16 Well, we will adjourn now for a quarter of an hour

17 and then move into a closed session.

18 MR GRIFFIN: May I just address you very briefly after the

19 witness retires?

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Can the witness be escorted out, when

21 the cameras have been switched off.

22 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir, they have.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

24 Please escort the witness out.

25 Yes, Mr Griffin? We have been handed your





1 application dated 26 February. Is there anything you

2 wish to add to it?

3 MR GRIFFIN: Just this, that it is premature that it has

4 been handed to you. I handed it to Mr Phillips and

5 Miss Wells simply so that I could discuss it with them

6 first, and clearly Mr Phillips has been very busy and I

7 haven't had the opportunity.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: So you would like to discuss it in the

9 quarter of an hour, would you?

10 MR GRIFFIN: I would like to do that and it may be possible

11 then either to narrow down the application or to take

12 other steps.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Right, thank you, if Mr Phillips has the time

14 to see you. I'm sure he will do his best effort to make

15 some time. It is in rather short supply, the time, this

16 afternoon.


18 (3.58 pm)

19 (Short break)

20 (4.20 pm)

21 (Closed session)

22 (5.32 pm)

23 (The hearing adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)






1 I N D E X

B629 (continued) ................................. 1
Questions by MR PHILLIPS (continued) ......... 1