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Full Hearings

Hearing: 9th February 2009, day 103

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7 ----------------------







14 ----------------------


16 held at:
The Interpoint Centre
17 20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ

19 on Monday, 9 February 2008
commencing at 1.00 pm

21 Day 103









1 Monday, 9 February 2009

2 (1.00 pm)

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

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

5 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

7 screen closed?

8 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

10 and securely fastened?

11 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

13 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

14 of this chamber?

15 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

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

17 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

18 off and shrouded?

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

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


22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

23 Bring the witness in, please.

24 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

25 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be





1 switched back on.

2 Would you, please, take the oath.

3 S188 (sworn)

4 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please sit down.

6 Yes, Mr Phillips.

7 MR PHILLIPS: I think it's right, isn't it, that you have

8 made a statement to the Inquiry. Can we look at that

9 together, please, on the screen at RNI-844-146

10 (displayed). Do we see your ciphered signature at

11 RNI-844-152 (displayed), and the date of

12 28 November 2007?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. Thank you very much. I would like to begin at the

15 beginning by going back to the first page of your

16 statement at RNI-844-146 (displayed), where you tell us

17 in your first paragraph there that you joined the

18 Security Service in 1991. Is that right?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And then from 1993 to 1998 you worked in two capacities

21 in Northern Ireland, first running agents and then in

22 the Assessments Group. Is that right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. From May 1999, you tell us that you were in middle

25 management, as you put it, in the Security Service's





1 Irish Counter-terrorism Section. Was that based in

2 London?

3 A. Yes, it was.

4 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you straight away,

5 please, one or two questions about Rosemary Nelson, and

6 I'm looking now at paragraph 3 of your statement, at

7 RNI-844-147 (displayed). What did you know about her

8 before her murder?

9 A. Nothing more than I had read in the media, and I can't

10 recall any detail of what I read in the media, but her

11 name was familiar to me. I knew nothing else about her.

12 Q. Were you aware of perceptions of her, perceptions, for

13 example, held by Special Branch before her murder?

14 A. No, I was not aware of that. I didn't really have any

15 reason to be interested in her.

16 Q. As I understand it, what you are saying in this

17 paragraph is that she didn't feature in intelligence

18 reporting that you saw, before her murder. Is that

19 correct?

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you a question just to clarify

22 something for us all in relation to a document which was

23 generated very shortly after the murder, and we can see

24 it together at RNI-532-005? It is dated 16 March

25 (displayed). I ask you simply because you are in a long





1 list of copyees. On the version we have there is

2 a great deal of redaction, but from the redaction one

3 can see that a number of people saw this loose minute.

4 We have it on the screen. Do you see it there?

5 A. Yes, I do.

6 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you simply: why were you copied

7 into this loose minute?

8 A. First of all, until I saw this loose minute in this

9 folder when I was given some papers before travelling

10 over to Belfast today, I can't recall having seen this.

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. And if this was a loose minute that was sent to me,

13 I have no recollection of reading it. So I don't know,

14 is the short answer.

15 Q. Given what you have told us about the work you were

16 doing at this stage, does that not prompt any

17 recollection of why it might have been?

18 A. I would say, if it came to me, it would have just been

19 that somebody sending a loose minute out was giving it

20 a wider distribution than perhaps necessary. My work in

21 London at the time was not relevant to the subject

22 matter in this loose minute.

23 Q. Don't forget this is March and what you told us in your

24 statement and you have just confirmed to me is that you

25 began your London job in May, so it looks as though you





1 are probably still in Northern Ireland at this time;

2 isn't that right?

3 A. Just bear with me while I just check my dates.

4 Q. If you look at the first paragraph of your statement it

5 will help you.

6 A. Yes, that's correct. So I must have been in

7 Northern Ireland still at the time.

8 Q. Yes, okay. Can I turn to the principal topic of your

9 evidence to the Inquiry, which concerns the -- I'm going

10 to call it a review; I don't know if you would accept

11 that as a term -- but anyway the work that you undertook

12 in relation to the murder investigation in May that

13 year, 1999.

14 Can I ask you first of all, in terms of your actual

15 recollection of the events of May 1999 that you describe

16 in your statement, how clear is it?

17 A. Most of my statement, which I have subsequently made,

18 was based on the loose minute that I wrote on returning

19 from doing that piece of work. My actual recollection

20 was very slight until I had re-read my original loose

21 minute. As you will appreciate, some -- almost ten

22 years have passed since I wrote that note and I have

23 been in a variety of other jobs, unconnected with

24 Northern Ireland work, since, so this has not really

25 featured very much on my radar.





1 Q. No. Okay. Well, in paragraph 4 of your statement at

2 RN-844-147 (displayed), you explain what job you were

3 given. You say you were:

4 "... tasked by the Service to review the existing

5 arrangement for the handling of RUC intelligence

6 relevant to the Rosemary Nelson murder investigation."

7 It looks as though Mr Port, who was leading the

8 investigation, had asked the Security Service for

9 assistance in this regard; is that correct?

10 A. That was my understanding at the time.

11 Q. Was it ever explained to you, either by Mr Port or by

12 anyone else, why he had turned to the Security Service

13 rather than, for example, to the Chief Constable or

14 senior officers within the RUC?

15 A. If he did explain that to the Director and Coordinator

16 of Intelligence, I wasn't privy to that conversation.

17 My understanding was as I was briefed by the DCI at the

18 time when I was invited to come back to Belfast to

19 assist Mr Port. But I was not given any indication of

20 who had asked.

21 Q. No. Thank you. Now, you tell us in the next paragraph

22 of your statement just a little bit more about your

23 introduction, if I can put it that way, to the work that

24 you had to do. In terms of the task you were assigned,

25 the review of existing arrangements in paragraph 4,





1 where did your information about those existing

2 arrangements come from?

3 A. Two areas. First of all, my own experience of having

4 worked in Northern Ireland.

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. And an understanding of how the RUC Special Branch

7 intelligence structures worked. And the second area was

8 when I got there, I was very much in listening mode, and

9 so when I got there, hearing from RUC Southern Region

10 and also from the SIO of the investigation how the

11 structures were made up.

12 Q. We will look at that in a little more detail in

13 a moment, but as I understand it, what you are say

14 suggesting is you had prior experience in

15 Northern Ireland. Is that correct?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And then, as it were, you went and heard both sides?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. In relation to your briefing on arrival, in

20 paragraph 5 you say that you had a meeting with the DCI

21 but you don't recall the details of it. Presumably he

22 would have explained the circumstances in which the

23 request for help from the Service had been made. That

24 sounds logical, doesn't it?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. Can you remember whether at that first meeting he

2 informed you about the terms of reference that had been

3 given to Mr Port?

4 A. I don't remember being shown or briefed on Mr Port's

5 terms of reference. I was aware that he was leading the

6 murder investigation and that he was to get the full

7 assistance of the RUC. Beyond that, the first time

8 I have seen his terms of reference was in preparing for

9 today.

10 Q. Yes. Can we look at that document together, please? It

11 is, I think, at RNI-831-083 (displayed). Yes. The key

12 paragraph is on the next page, RNI-831-084 (displayed).

13 Do you see there:

14 "You will have unlimited access to all intelligence

15 and information available to, and all files held by, the

16 RUC"?

17 So to be clear then, you are reasonably confident,

18 are you, that you weren't aware of the existence of this

19 document and what it says in paragraph 7 in particular

20 in your time in Northern Ireland?

21 A. No, I wasn't.

22 Q. With hindsight, now you have seen this document, do you

23 wish that you had been made aware of this entirely open

24 ended promise of unlimited access to all intelligence

25 and information?





1 A. I don't think it would have altered the way I conducted

2 the review because my implicit assumption was that this

3 would be the case anyway.

4 Q. We will come back to that, if we may. Getting back to

5 what may have been passed on to you at this initial

6 stage by the DCI, presumably he would also have

7 explained what the concerns of Special Branch, the RUC

8 Special Branch, were about the Port investigation. That

9 sounds logical, doesn't it?

10 A. Yes -- I mean, erm -- I must stress I'm trying to go

11 back ten years, but the briefing from the DCI would have

12 amounted to something on the lines of that there was

13 some difficulties between the SB and the CID.

14 My immediate line manager in London, who had

15 volunteered me for the task, had briefed me along those

16 lines. I would have also been told -- I'm sure because

17 that was why I was going out -- that there were issues

18 about the use of intelligence in support of the Inquiry

19 and concerns about how the intelligence may or may not

20 have been protected. And that, I think, would have been

21 the gist of the briefing.

22 Q. Yes. Did you gather from the DCI, do you think, that

23 there were tensions already between, as it were, the

24 Port team on the one hand and Special Branch on the

25 other?





1 A. Yes. I'm hesitating because some of the tension was not

2 so much between the Port team and the Special Branch,

3 but also within the RUC, between the CID working with

4 the Port team and the Special Branch.

5 Q. And specifically the senior investigating officer,

6 Mr Kinkaid, and Special Branch; is that right?

7 A. I don't recall that being mentioned in my briefing, no.

8 Q. But as you explain in the loose minute that you prepared

9 after your visit, it became very clear to you, when you

10 were there, that there was this animosity?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Yes. Now, can I just ask you about the Security

13 Service's position in all this, and perhaps you would

14 look with me at paragraph 56 your statement, RNI-844-147

15 (displayed)? Here you say, about four lines from the

16 end, when you are dealing with this initial meeting with

17 the DCI:

18 "I was also told that I was to work to Colin Port

19 and that other than helping his investigation, the

20 Service had no agenda."

21 Now, so far as that's concerned, the Security

22 Service did have a significant interest, didn't it, in

23 ensuring that work of the Murder Investigation Team

24 didn't compromise sources of intelligence or, indeed,

25 future or ongoing intelligence operations? To that





1 extent, the Security Service had an interest, didn't it?

2 A. Yes, it did. But in terms of my briefing, the DCI was

3 very clear that I was going there to help Colin Port,

4 and when I was being told that the Service had no

5 agenda, it was clear to me that I was to do what

6 Colin Port wanted.

7 Q. Yes. But you weren't going there -- if I can put it

8 this way -- as an entirely neutral and detached observer

9 because the Service had a legitimate interest in those

10 matters. Is that a fair way of putting it?

11 A. Yes, but I didn't see my role as going out to protect

12 those interests. If I had found grounds of real

13 concern, then of course I would have reported to Mr Port

14 and to the DCI.

15 Q. Can we have a look together at paragraph 18 of the loose

16 minute you did prepare, and that's at RNI-532-065

17 (displayed). This is at the end of the minute under the

18 heading -- I am afraid it is on the previous pages -- we

19 can't see it on the screen at the moment -- RNI-532-064,

20 "Protection of Methodology?". At paragraph 18, you say:

21 "I advised Port -- this records your closing

22 conversation with Colin Port:

23 "... that my service has an interest in this matter

24 ..."

25 Et cetera. And then there is a proposal that there





1 should be a visit by him to the Security Service

2 headquarters to have a conversation. The Service was

3 concerned to ensure, wasn't it, that Mr Port should be

4 well aware of the need for the protection of relevant

5 methodology?

6 A. Yes, and I think this is an example of how events

7 developed between being briefed on what the requirement

8 was, finding out what the issues were when I was

9 conducting this mini review. And one of the issues that

10 came out was this strong concern held by Special Branch

11 and shared by my service about how some of this

12 technology might be used, and then, again in the spirit

13 of my briefing, this was being fed back to Mr Port but

14 also then to DCI, and Mr Port was invited to Thames

15 House to have some further briefing.

16 Q. Presumably at the heart of all of this was the Murder

17 Investigation Team's wish to make use of intelligence

18 for evidential purposes; in other words, in the course

19 of a potential criminal prosecution. That was at the

20 heart of all of this, wasn't it?

21 A. Yes, and at the heart of it was the way that some of the

22 methodology was to be used, which was causing the

23 concern, rather than just the use of intelligence as

24 evidence which, as you know, we do quite regularly.

25 Q. Yes. But of course, again, one must remember this is





1 ten years ago and wouldn't it be fair to say that

2 certainly in Northern Ireland the SIO in this case was

3 seen as rather pushing the boundaries, breaking new

4 ground in some ways?

5 A. In this case it was pushing the boundaries and breaking

6 new ground in how some of the methodology was to be

7 deployed.

8 Q. Can I just ask you one or two more questions about your

9 background before we look at what you did when you came

10 over. You touched on this briefly in an earlier answer,

11 but can I just ask you this: had you, in your work in

12 Northern Ireland, worked with Special Branch South

13 Region before?

14 A. Yes, I had.

15 Q. And did you therefore know, if I can put it this way,

16 the personalities -- B629 you mention and met, B503, I

17 think it was, his deputy, again, I think you met. Did

18 you know those two officers?

19 A. Yes, I did.

20 Q. Can I just then ask you what contact you had had, if

21 any, with CID officers within the RUC?

22 A. When I was working in Northern Ireland, I had no

23 professional contact with them.

24 Q. No. And can I take it from there then that you had no

25 working experience of an RUC criminal investigation?





1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Were you aware at the time you began your work of the

3 concerns expressed, complaints sometimes made by one

4 side of the force, namely the CID, that the other side

5 of the force, namely the Special Branch, were not

6 perhaps as forthcoming and as helpful with intelligence

7 as the CID investigators might have wished?

8 A. I wasn't aware of that when I was working in

9 Northern Ireland because that wasn't an area of business

10 that I would become involved in. The Service was not

11 involved in leading investigations or exploiting the

12 intelligence in Northern Ireland. Our role was to

13 assist in the collection of the intelligence, and as an

14 agent runner that was my role. So I didn't have any

15 professional exposure to the relationships between

16 Special Branch and the RUC/CID in any of these

17 investigations, exploitations of intelligence.

18 I was aware of this issue between the Special Branch

19 and the CID in my briefings, both in London but also

20 from the DCI, when I came to do the review. And that's

21 when I was sensitised to the issue.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your review is concerned, can

23 we now look at the beginning of your minute, the minute

24 you prepared on your return? It is at RNI-532-061

25 (displayed). As I understand it, you met Mr Port after





1 your initial briefing with the DCI and you then describe

2 in paragraph 2, which we have on the screen, the

3 subsequent meetings that you have touched on earlier

4 with, as it were, both sides of the RUC and, indeed,

5 with another department, we can see at the end. And as

6 I understand it, you followed up with another session,

7 if I can put it that way, with Mr Port in which you went

8 over your findings and then returned to London and

9 prepared your report. So that's the structure, is it?

10 Is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your initial conversation

13 with Mr Port is concerned, can we look at the next page,

14 RNI-532-062 (displayed), because here under the heading

15 "Detail" you describe your discussion with him, and it

16 looks as though in that discussion he, in a sense, set

17 out your objectives. Is that a fair way of putting it?

18 A. I share your reading of my minute, and on that basis

19 I agree with you. I cannot actually remember whether it

20 was the DCI who gave me specific terms of reference or

21 Mr Port. But in the context of my visit, my assumption

22 that Mr Port had asked for assistance, then I would

23 expect, as I was being told to work to him, that he

24 would set me the detailed terms of reference.

25 Q. Yes. And in short, they are:





1 "Review the systems for collation, analysis and

2 dissemination of the relevant intelligence. In

3 particular look at the interface between the

4 Intelligence Cell within the investigation team and

5 Special Branch South Region and consider the safeguards

6 in place to protect intelligence."

7 Then finally do what you could, I suspect, to help

8 with the relationships between the two sides. Again, is

9 that a fair summary?

10 A. Yes, it is.

11 Q. Thank you. Did he, as far as you can remember, go into

12 any detail in relation to the rubbing points, the

13 difficulties, the tensions, which existed between one

14 side and the other?

15 A. I don't remember him doing that. My recollection is

16 that I was exposed to the rubbing points when I first

17 went down to speak to B503 and B629.

18 Q. Can I ask you this question? Later in your report you

19 refer to a concern being expressed by Colin Port that

20 his investigation was stalling and about its lack of

21 progress. This comes much later your report. Can you

22 remember, was that a concern that he had on his mind and

23 expressed to you from the outset; in other words, at

24 this first meeting?

25 A. I don't think he said that in my first meeting with him.





1 This was -- this was my first meeting with him ever, so

2 I had no rapport with him. I think by the end of the

3 couple of days I did have a reasonable rapport with him,

4 as you will expect after a couple of days working for an

5 individual.

6 Looking at where I had put this in my minute,

7 recording the events -- and it is towards the end --

8 I suspect that some of that personal view from

9 Colin Port would have probably come out in some of our

10 later discussions as he got to know me.

11 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as his terms of reference are

12 concerned -- we know from what you have said that he

13 certainly didn't, as it were, hand you over a copy --

14 any recollection of being told about his terms of

15 reference by Mr Port in that initial meeting?

16 A. No, recollection.

17 Q. No. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you, so far as the

18 meetings that then took place are concerned, just so I'm

19 absolutely clear about this, am I right in thinking you

20 started with the murder investigation side, if I can put

21 it that way, and then went onto Special Branch? Can you

22 remember?

23 A. I think the first meeting I had after Mr Port was with

24 B542.

25 Q. The Head of Special Branch?





1 A. The Head of Special Branch.

2 Q. Right.

3 A. And this was very much a courtesy call. I was coming to

4 his patch, and as courtesy I was introducing myself and

5 explaining what my role was -- he already knew -- and

6 that's all. He wished my luck and I think that was it.

7 Q. Right. Can we look at the relevant part of your

8 statement together, please, at RNI-844-148, paragraph 6

9 (displayed). You tell us there:

10 "My first visit to the RUC was to pay a courtesy

11 call on ..."

12 There you see the Head of Special Branch. Then you

13 say:

14 "I subsequently met ..."

15 The two ciphered names appear, the officers that you

16 and I discussed just a little while ago. So it looks as

17 though, from the way you put it in your statement, you

18 start at the top of Special Branch, then went on the

19 relevant South Region officers and then, as you say:

20 "I later met the SIO."

21 Is that right?

22 A. Yes, it is.

23 Q. So by the time you met Mr Kinkaid you had had, as it

24 were, the Special Branch South Region side of the case,

25 if I can put it that way, given to you in your meetings





1 with those two officers?

2 A. Yes, absolutely. I had to start somewhere.

3 Q. Yes, indeed. And you give us a brief summary of their

4 position, the suggestion that Mr Port didn't understand

5 the use of intelligence in the Northern Ireland

6 environment and upset at the implication they had been

7 in some way involved in collusion. So they regarded

8 themselves, as it were, as being the objects of the

9 investigation, in some sense. Is that right?

10 A. Yes, I don't think it was intended to be as personalised

11 as that. They were talking about RUC Southern Region

12 Special Branch.

13 Q. Yes. But it looks as though they told you that the SIO

14 himself was describing his work as being a collusion

15 inquiry?

16 A. Yes, I remember B629 using that phrase with me, which is

17 why I put it in quotes, and it had clearly upset him and

18 his colleague, and presumably other colleagues in that

19 area.

20 Q. Yes. Now, if we look at your loose minute together and

21 paragraph 8, which is at RNI-532-063 (displayed), you

22 summarise in four bullet points what you were told, as

23 it were, by the South Region officers: One, that they

24 had concerns about the Intelligence Cell which had been

25 set up and its security, that it was leaking to the





1 inquiry team and wasn't sufficiently expert in

2 converting intelligence into evidence; two, a lack of

3 familiarity with the particular conditions in

4 Northern Ireland and short-termism -- in other words,

5 prejudicing longer-term operations for their own

6 short-term goals; three, this attitude of suspicion, the

7 suggestion that material was being held back and the

8 point about collusion; and then, four, that the SIO in

9 particular had a grudge against Special Branch and was

10 intending to use this inquiry to set a precedent for new

11 approaches, presumably, to investigations in their use

12 of intelligence.

13 I'm summarising, but is that, again, a fair summary

14 of the points that you have recorded there?

15 A. Yes, it is.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, presumably, at that meeting you, as

17 you, I think, put it earlier, were in listening mode;

18 you weren't at that stage in a position to challenge,

19 probe, test, or otherwise question what you were being

20 told?

21 A. I was in a position to; I chose not to because I was in

22 listening mode and I was learning quite a lot. And I

23 was struck, as I think I referred to earlier in my loose

24 minute, at the degree of emotion around this. And

25 listening to what was quite an emotional briefing given





1 to me, I had little to do but listen, and from that I

2 think what I summarised in paragraph 8 in those bullet

3 points captures fairly the RUC Southern Region

4 perception.

5 Q. They felt very strongly about it?

6 A. Yes, they did.

7 Q. We can look at the paragraph -- I am afraid this is one

8 of the effects of screen -- that you are referring to, I

9 think, paragraph 7 -- if we can have the full page,

10 please -- because there you see you say:

11 "A key issue which quickly emerged during my visit

12 was the acrimonious state of relations between SB and

13 the remainder of the Inquiry team. The relationship

14 between the Regional Head of Special Branch South

15 [that's B629] and the SIO was particularly hostile. I

16 had to listen to over an hour of vitriol from both about

17 each other during my separate discussions before we

18 could even begin to address the more substantive items

19 of business."

20 So this was not just your experience with B629; as I

21 understand it, you had a parallel experience with the

22 SIO. Is that right?

23 A. Yes, I would say with B629 it was more heated, but there

24 was -- the concerns that were raised by B629 I had, as

25 I've referred to elsewhere, a mirror image from when





1 I saw the SIO, I think it was the following day. And,

2 again, with both I was -- at that stage I was just

3 listening to see what were the issues. Although I was

4 briefed in advance that there were some rubbing points,

5 I was taken by surprise at the intensity of the emotion

6 that was shown.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your meetings and visits to

8 the Murder Investigation Team are concerned, can I just

9 ask to you look at RNI-844-148, which is back to your

10 statement (displayed).

11 You tell us in paragraph 8 that you met the SIO,

12 Mr Kinkaid, at RUC Headquarters in Knock and then that

13 you paid a visit to the team, Mr Port's team, at

14 Lisburn. Now, was that where the Intelligence Cell was

15 then located? Is that right?

16 A. Yes, it was, and I think for clarification when we are

17 talking about the inquiry team, I was not looking at the

18 wider Murder Investigation Team; I was dealing with the

19 interface between the Special Branch, the Intelligence

20 Cell, whose role was to process and sanitise that

21 materiality, to feed it into the wider Murder

22 Investigation Team. So within my remit there was no

23 reason for me to be going beyond the Lisburn

24 Intelligence Cell.

25 Q. That's the question I wanted exactly to ask you because





1 what you didn't do was to pay a visit to the main

2 enquiry team based in Lurgan, did you?

3 A. No, I didn't, I would have had no business there.

4 Q. Well, one of the issues that B629 had raised with you

5 was this leakage point, whereby in his view of matters,

6 the cell was allowing material, inappropriately, to leak

7 to the wider Murder Investigation Team. Wouldn't it

8 have assisted your evaluation to see things as they

9 actually were operating in Lurgan and to see what

10 safeguards had been put in place to deal with precisely

11 that potential problem?

12 A. That may be the case, but when I was conducting this

13 review, I was working strictly in the area of my

14 experience and I had no experience in CID criminal

15 investigations, either here or on the mainland. So I

16 was keeping myself to the area where I had some

17 experience, which is the intelligence area. The

18 Intelligence Cell was the fulcrum in handling in this

19 case Southern Region's intelligence for the murder

20 enquiry, and I saw that quite a key part of my short

21 stay here to do this review was to try and build

22 confidence, and dealing with the perceptions was a real

23 issue. And I didn't think that with -- I would not be

24 able to do an exercise where I could audit all the

25 intelligence. I wouldn't have had the time nor the





1 resource to do that. I had to look at what the issues

2 were that were perceived by the holders of the

3 intelligence to be of concern, and then in the short

4 time I had there, to try and address those issues, which

5 took me as far as the Lisburn cell and not beyond.

6 Q. Thank you. In terms of that word "perception", did you

7 see your role at least in part as trying to -- for both

8 sides -- ensure that there was a little less perception,

9 if I can put it that way, and a bit more reality?

10 A. I saw my role to identify what were key process issues

11 which may have been prompting this perception.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask your attention, please, at

13 a later part of your statement -- RNI-844-149 it begins

14 (displayed) -- where you make various comments about the

15 passage of your loose minute that we were looking at

16 just a little earlier. What I would like to do, if the

17 technology works, is to put that page on the right-hand

18 side of the screen and put RNI-532-063 (displayed) on

19 the other side, please -- thank you very much -- so we

20 can see at the same time the part of the document you

21 are commenting upon.

22 Now, just looking at the second bullet point on the

23 left for a moment and the question of sanitisation that

24 you talk about there, and describing it in the context

25 of the Intelligence Cell --





1 A. Sorry, which paragraph --

2 Q. Sorry, if you look at the left, the second bullet point,

3 where you are commenting on the question of

4 sanitisation. Do you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Now, we know from the material the Inquiry has seen that

7 a good deal of intelligence coming in to the murder

8 investigation in this case had already been sanitised;

9 in other words, had been processed by Special Branch

10 before being handed over in the form of briefing sheets

11 to the Murder Investigation Team.

12 To be absolutely clear about this, are you

13 suggesting that that sort of already sanitised material

14 would have to be yet further sanitised by the

15 Intelligence Cell before it was safely released to the

16 rest of the enquiry?

17 A. No, the role of an intelligence cell -- and I'm speaking

18 generically now, but the role of the Intelligence Cell

19 is to take intelligence in all its forms, collate it and

20 make assessments and sanitise it, and in a consistent

21 way. So if there was sanitising of intelligence before

22 going into an intelligence cell, that cell would still

23 have to take, and be able to take, intelligence from

24 other sources, either raw or sanitised, but in

25 a consistent way produce it for use by in this case the





1 SIO.

2 Q. Now, if we get on the left-hand side, please, turn over

3 to RNI-844-150 (displayed), you will see the second

4 bullet point there deals with the third bullet point

5 under paragraph 8, and this is the issue of holding back

6 intelligence. As I understand it, when you saw

7 Mr Kinkaid, he indeed confirmed that that was his view:

8 that he wasn't getting everything he should have been

9 getting. Is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. That's the mirror, as you describe it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, in your comments in your statement, on

14 the left-hand side, the second bullet point, you say:

15 "However, I never got a sense that RUC (S) ..."

16 That's the South Region:

17 "... was unnecessarily withholding relevant

18 material."

19 Can I just ask you, you were there for a very short

20 period of time, weren't you?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Did you seek to test this by asking, for example, to see

23 a sample of relevant material that Special Branch held

24 as against a sample of what they had handed over?

25 A. No, I didn't. That would have been beyond my resource





1 and time for this job. I wasn't there to review all the

2 intelligence in substance; I was there to look at

3 process, a perception from Southern Region, which

4 I refer to here, of being unwilling to release

5 intelligence because they did not perceive the

6 Intelligence Cell was yet functioning as it ought, by

7 being the perception was, therefore, an issue that

8 needed to be dealt with.

9 Q. Yes. But so far as the comment you make in your

10 evidence to the Inquiry:

11 "I never got a sense that the RUC South was

12 unnecessarily withholding relevant material."

13 What are you getting at there, "unnecessarily

14 withholding"?

15 A. What I'm getting at is that I thought their reasons for

16 having concerns about the Intelligence Cell capacity and

17 capability to handle intelligence were well founded.

18 Q. Are you saying, "Yes, they did withhold things but it

19 was for jolly good reason"?

20 A. Yes, I'm saying that they were holding material -- which

21 material I do not know, but listening to B629 and his

22 colleague B503, it was clear that the senior officers

23 were very uncomfortable with the ability of the

24 Intelligence Cell to handle their product. It was also

25 clear, because we have to look back at the time, that





1 the need to protect sources, both human and technical,

2 in this area had life threatening issues related to it.

3 Q. Indeed.

4 A. So these were very valid reasons. On the basis that

5 they were not happy with the ability of that cell to

6 operate at this time, it would be a reasonable

7 conclusion to draw that they would not be putting

8 source-sensitive material into that process until it was

9 rectified.

10 Q. That I understand, but what I'm concerned to establish

11 is this: as I understand it, what you are saying there

12 is that they told you in the meeting with the South

13 Region officers that such were their concerns about the

14 various aspects that you have just gone through for us

15 that they were not prepared to disclose source-sensitive

16 or other sensitive information to the murder

17 investigation?

18 A. I can't recollect how it was put to me and I can't

19 recollect the actual wording. What I do recall -- and

20 prompted largely from reading my own minute -- was they

21 were unhappy with the arrangements that the Intelligence

22 Cell and, ergo, they would not be comfortable putting

23 source-sensitive material into that cell. Whether they

24 said they were holding material our not, I don't know, I

25 can't remember.





1 Q. In paragraph 10 of your report, or your loose minute

2 which we have on the screen on the right-hand side under

3 the heading "Comment", you offer this:

4 "From my observations, I'm persuaded that RUC (S)B

5 is being unusually open with the intelligence if only

6 because it is aware that it cannot be seen to be

7 anything less than 100 per cent cooperative."

8 Presumably this is against the background of the

9 collusion allegations and the intense political interest

10 in the murder?

11 A. Hm-mm.

12 Q. Yes. But again, can I ask you: given what you have just

13 told us about the attitude of B629 and his deputy, how

14 could you come to the conclusion that they were being

15 "unusually open"?

16 A. Yes, I think we could put down in my loose minute here

17 some loose drafting. What I was referring to is there

18 was a clear intention that they wanted to do this, that

19 the barrier as described to me was the Intelligence Cell

20 in Lisburn and the lack of confidence in it at that

21 time, but a clear understanding that they needed to

22 play.

23 Q. I understand. So in fact, if we could go on in your

24 drafting, loose or not, a few lines, we come to the nub

25 of it, don't we, where you say in the third line:





1 "Much of the SB's caution over the handling of the

2 intelligence is understandable at this stage"?

3 So as I understand it, what you are saying is until

4 these issues are, one way or another, resolved, their

5 position is understandable?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. In your conversation with the South Region officers, you

8 have explained what impression you formed of the

9 attitude they were taking, and we have now set it in, as

10 it were, a temporal context because of their concerns at

11 the time -- did they make you aware, to take a specific

12 example, that they had withheld surveillance material in

13 relation to an operation which was then ongoing on the

14 major suspects in the investigation under the title

15 "Operation Shubr"? Did they you that they had decided

16 to withhold that material?

17 A. Not that I can remember.

18 Q. Were you aware of that operation?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Okay. Had you been told that they had withheld

21 intelligence on the major suspects, which was ongoing at

22 the time of the murder, do you think it would in any way

23 have altered the conclusions that you had expressed in

24 the fullness of paragraph 10?

25 A. Yes, depending on what the significance was. I think





1 the problem, which I would have had then and I would

2 have now, is understanding what is the significance of

3 intelligence. I'm not privy to the intelligence and how

4 that played into the murder -- the criminal

5 investigation. That's not my area of expertise.

6 I remind you I'm there to look at the intelligence

7 process, not to examine or audit the intelligence.

8 Q. Well, on that very point, can I just remind you of what

9 you recorded in the fourth bullet point on the

10 right-hand side, paragraph 8, you touched on before.

11 This is the business of converting intelligence into

12 evidence for the purposes of the murder investigation

13 and what the SIO was intending to do. Do you see there?

14 The fourth bullet point under paragraph 8?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Did you discuss that aspect of the SIO's work and

17 intentions with him, with Sam Kinkaid?

18 A. I think in his discussion was me -- and I'm now going on

19 memory here -- I assume that would have come out in the

20 discussion. I do remember talking about this particular

21 issue with Colin Port.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your conversation with

23 Sam Kinkaid -- your, as it were, follow-up meeting with

24 him -- is concerned, again, you set out in brief summary

25 the impressions you formed in paragraph 9 on the





1 right-hand side. I would like to ask you about the

2 third sentence:

3 "It is also clear that the SIO sees this murder

4 enquiry (which unhelpfully he refers to as a 'collusion

5 inquiry' ..."

6 That was what you had been told and it turned out to

7 be correct:

8 "... as a possible blueprint for future criminal

9 investigations in the Province."

10 And as I understand it, what you are telling the

11 reader, in your last sentence of this paragraph:

12 "From my discussions with him it was apparent that

13 RUC (S)'s perceptions of Kincaid are well founded."

14 So, as it were, what you had been told to expect was

15 borne out by what you discovered in your meeting with

16 Sam Kinkaid?

17 A. Yes, broadly. Could I just clarify?

18 Q. Please do.

19 A. The points that were being made to me in paragraph 8 by

20 the Southern Region, I did get the mirror image of that

21 from my discussion with Kincaid, the issues about the

22 frustration that intelligence wasn't being made

23 available, concerns that Special Branch were being

24 overly protective of some of the methodologies. So that

25 I saw -- those first three bullet points, broadly were





1 mirrored by what Kincaid said.

2 Q. Now, so far as the possible blueprint point you make in

3 paragraph 9 is concerned, is this fair: what you

4 discovered from your meeting with him was that Mr Port

5 and his SIO and Sam Kinkaid, so one from England and one

6 from Northern Ireland, were taking a rather new approach

7 to the investigation and, in that way, taking South

8 Region rather out of what has been described in the

9 documents as their comfort zone? They were breaking new

10 boundaries in the demands they were seeking to make of

11 Special Branch. Is that what you discovered?

12 A. Yes, I think they were taking a more forward approach

13 with some of the methodology.

14 Q. And presumably that was being explained to you in part

15 at least by the very nature of the inquiry, where

16 allegations of collusion had been made, almost

17 immediately in fact, immediately after the murder, and

18 where it was vital that a very thorough and transparent

19 investigation be conducted?

20 A. Hm-mm.

21 Q. Now, when you say in that last sentence of paragraph 9:

22 "From my discussions with him it was apparent that

23 RUC's perceptions of Kincaid are well founded:"

24 That, by definition, means that you are making some

25 rather critical findings, if I can put it that way,





1 about him, doesn't it, because the perceptions you have

2 recorded in paragraph 8 are not very flattering?

3 Now, did you conclude that he had a grudge and that

4 he was on some sort of mission to set a precedent?

5 A. No, I think that's overstating it, if I may.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. The perceptions -- if we just take the personalities out

8 of this. The perceptions from the Special Branch were:

9 the CID were wanting to use intelligence in a too casual

10 manner, too forward and not fully appreciating some of

11 the source sensitivities and protection issues; the

12 short-termism versus long-term issue that you referred

13 to. They were expressing concerns about the ability of

14 the Intelligence Cell to operate and they were

15 expressing concerns that the SIO, who was keen on using

16 some of this methodology in this forward way, had been

17 briefing Colin Port on those lines. And so, summarising

18 in paragraph 8 those general perceptions of -- or those

19 summary perceptions of Southern Region Special Branch,

20 finding them largely mirrored in Kincaid's discussion

21 with me, drew me to the conclusion, not as a criticism

22 of Kincaid but as an observation, that those

23 perceptions, those concerns of Special Branch were well

24 founded because what they thought was happening I also

25 heard was in the mind of the SIO and Colin Port.





1 Q. And that gave rise to your own concerns, which you

2 sought to address presumably in the recommendations that

3 you made?

4 A. The concern with the forward use of some of the

5 methodology.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. I raised with Colin Port either at the end or towards

8 the end of my visit -- I can't recall whether it was the

9 evening or the lunchtime meetings -- and my -- again,

10 sticking with my area of expertise -- I'm not an expert,

11 I have not worked in a technical department in my office

12 and I had not run any technical operations. So in

13 accordance with how I approached the review, I raised

14 first of all my concern with Mr Port. I then briefed

15 the DCI and suggested this visit to London so that those

16 who were better informed on these matters -- so

17 technical matters -- who were in London could explain

18 some of the short-term/long-term issues to Mr Port.

19 Q. Thank you. Just to complete this, we can see your

20 recommendations at paragraph 4 of your loose minute,

21 RNI-532-062 (displayed) where you say:

22 "On the last night of my visit, I gave Colin a very

23 frank assessment of the situation. He was surprised to

24 learn of the degree of antagonism that exists between

25 the SB and the enquiry team."





1 Can you just help with this: was he surprised at

2 Kinkaid's feelings or to hear about the emotion, as you

3 put it, in the meeting you had with South Region?

4 A. I think it was with the emotion, because that had been

5 the key sort of surprise for me as well coming here, and

6 the issues, as you can see from my note, were relatively

7 minor in terms of the processes that could be put in

8 place to try and lubricate the machine a little better.

9 What was the issue which overshadowed my two days here

10 was the degree -- the intensity of emotion.

11 Q. Now, in general terms how did he respond to your

12 findings and the suggestions that you put forward?

13 A. In general terms he seemed to be pleased -- grateful for

14 what I had done, grateful for my openness with him. I

15 didn't hide any of this from him and I left it that if

16 he wanted help -- and thus the London trip -- then we

17 could -- through me we could arrange that. He seemed

18 generally satisfied.

19 Q. Thank you. Can I just get you to go on to nearer the

20 end of the your report -- we touched on this earlier --

21 RNI-532-064, paragraph 15 (displayed). And when we

22 discussed this earlier, you said that you thought his

23 comments about the investigation being in danger of

24 stalling were made to you at the end of your visit -- I

25 think that's right, isn't it?





1 A. I think so, yes.

2 Q. Are you able to give us any more detail on that or have

3 you summarised it as far as you can, in that and the

4 next sentence?

5 A. No, I haven't got any more detail --

6 Q. Essentially -- sorry to interrupt you. Essentially, as

7 I understand it, what you are saying is that he was

8 informing you at this point that he thought it unlikely

9 that further evidence or intelligence would emerge and

10 that they needed, as it were, to actively go out and get

11 it by what he calls there, or you describe there as

12 a proactive approach?

13 A. That's what I have written there and that's what

14 I, therefore, remember.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as that is concerned, we can see

16 your second reference to it at paragraph 19 on the next

17 page under "Conclusion":

18 "Port is impatient with the slow start to this

19 investigation and the lack of progress to date. He is

20 determined to get a result as soon as possible. Weekly

21 commuting from Norfolk does not suit him domestically."

22 Again, I would just like to ask you about your

23 recollection of this. I appreciate it is a very long

24 time ago. The suggestion is being made that his comment

25 to you would have been more along the lines of that he





1 was there to do a job in the time available and, as it

2 were, the sooner he could do it and go home, the better.

3 How do you respond to that suggestion?

4 A. I think that probably underestimates the integrity of

5 Mr Port. I only knew him for a couple of days. He

6 struck me as a very decent man, and like all the senior

7 police I have worked with, he wanted the right outcome.

8 What I have recorded here is an understandable

9 frustration. He has sort of got, you know, a very high

10 profile investigation, it shows signs of stalling. You

11 know, as I put in my note, there are some local

12 difficulties for him. He is having -- and this is his

13 domestic situation -- he is having to commute. So he

14 would like progress. I wouldn't want that to be taken

15 as he wanted to go home. So he wanted to wrap this up.

16 I think he wanted to get the culprits.

17 Q. And the two further points you recall, there is one of

18 the culture shock, the business of working with the RUC,

19 and secondly his awareness of the importance that his

20 work in the investigation did not jeopardise these

21 longer term goals, the longer term intelligence

22 operations. So that, as far as he was concerned, was

23 something that he was sensible of, as far as you could

24 tell, in your meeting with him at the end of your visit?

25 A. Yes, I think where he had got to -- and I'm sure he will





1 speak for himself, but where he had got to, my

2 understanding was he was keen to use this technique the

3 SIO was promoting because, as I had said earlier in

4 paragraph 15, he thought this was a way maybe of

5 creating an opening for the investigation. But he was

6 also responsible in not wanting to unnecessarily

7 jeopardise longer term intelligence operations.

8 So I don't recall him at any stage saying to me,

9 "Well, we will leave it then". I think what he wanted

10 was more explanation so he could have a better

11 understanding before he either -- and I have no idea

12 whether he carried on with this particular technique

13 because I went out the next day -- but if he was going

14 to carry forward the SIO's recommendation, he was clear

15 he wanted to fully understand the implications and

16 that's really what the trip to London was about. And at

17 no stage did he give me any assurance that if he goes to

18 London, he won't do what the SIO wants.

19 He just wanted to get a proper understanding of the

20 issues, which I couldn't give him.

21 Q. And in due course, as you say in your statement, he did

22 go to London and have a briefing at the Security Service

23 Headquarters?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, as I understand it, you had no further involvement





1 with the murder investigation. Is that correct?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. So can I take it that you were not made aware of what

4 turned out to be further problems and tensions between

5 the Murder Investigation Team and South Region

6 Special Branch in the months and years ahead?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Now, I think in fairness to you, I should end by showing

9 you a couple of plaudits. The first at RNI-532-080

10 (displayed), where you receive the grateful thanks of

11 your superiors for the work that you had done, and

12 finally, from Mr Port at RNI-532-086 (displayed),

13 a letter to the DCI of 10 June, where he, in the second

14 and following paragraphs, expresses his appreciation of

15 the work that you undertook and the beneficial effects

16 of it, and recorded his thanks.

17 Now, those probably weren't questions at the end,

18 but those were all the matters I wanted to raise with

19 you. However, as I always say to witnesses, if there is

20 any other matter that we haven't covered that you wish

21 to draw to the attention of the Panel, this is your

22 opportunity.

23 A. No, I think that's covered.

24 Q. Thank you very much.

25 Questions by THE CHAIRMAN





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Could you recollect raising with Mr Port the

2 suggestion that Mr Kinkaid had a grudge against

3 Special Branch, specifically?

4 A. I think -- my recollection is that during my meeting

5 with Mr Kinkaid, he had made reference to the SB --

6 being -- these aren't his words, but had been the big

7 beast in the playground, and as the times were changing,

8 it would now be the turn for the CID to have a more

9 influential role within the RUC. And I think this is

10 one of the reasons why I could talk about his statements

11 mirroring some of the concerns expressed in Southern

12 Region.

13 So without being able to remember the specific

14 details of my conversation with Mr Port, I am sure I

15 would have brought that to his attention and that would

16 have been part of what I referred to giving him a very

17 frank account. It was trying to -- I mean, I saw very

18 much my role as I wasn't there to fix things. I did not

19 have the time nor the experience nor the resources.

20 Quite a lot of my role was to try and get a better

21 understanding of what were the issues generating some of

22 these problems and that would have been part of the

23 discussion I would have had with Colin Port.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: What you describe as a sort of lubricator?

25 A. Something along those lines. I don't think it was





1 probably quite as successful as that, but it was along

2 those lines.

3 Q. Thank you.


5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Could I just follow on that theme, if

6 I may. Just putting to one side for a moment the

7 process issues and any improvements which you could

8 possibly recommend, the relationship between Mr Kinkaid

9 and B629 or, indeed, any of the other key players that

10 you met, did you at any stage get any sense that those

11 relationships were dysfunctional beyond repair?

12 A. No, my sense was these were not personal issues. These

13 were about people representing their roles and their

14 roles having prickly relationships, the organisational

15 roles, and they were leading them. Their relationships

16 were poor when I was there. I did not think that they

17 were irrecoverable. I thought they were at a nadir, but

18 not broken permanently.



21 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Still following up on that theme,

22 reading the account that you wrote immediately after you

23 came back, as it were, from cold, I have to say it read

24 to me as though this was somebody who went out with

25 a very good understanding to start with of the





1 intelligence side of the story, but not a particularly

2 good idea of the CID end of the story and that you

3 therefore received, as it were, the anxieties of

4 Special Branch with perhaps more sympathy than you

5 received the anxieties of Sam Kinkaid. Would that be

6 fair?

7 A. I think it is right to say I clearly have a better

8 understanding of intelligence than criminal

9 investigations. My knowledge of criminal investigations

10 is poor, but I would certainly -- was not going out

11 there to support one side or the other. I focused on

12 the SB concerns, rightly or wrongly, in the belief that

13 as they were holding the intelligence, if those concerns

14 weren't addressed, then the intelligence flow may not be

15 as smooth as ought. And, therefore, by picking up on

16 what they said were the concerns -- and I keep going

17 back to this intelligence cell at Lisburn which was

18 still in its formative stage -- then until those

19 concerns with addressed, I didn't see how we were going

20 to sort of -- with my role supporting Colin Port -- get

21 that flow of intelligence normalised. So it was from

22 the intelligence end I was coming.

23 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: So would it be fair to characterise

24 your role as explaining the SB concerns with rather less

25 heat and passion to Colin Port than they had been able





1 to do?

2 A. Partly. I think also to explain what the concerns were

3 and to give some -- as impartial judgment as possible as

4 to whether those concerns were valid, and as I record,

5 some of those concerns were valid and thus those

6 recommendations I put in, which were quite minor

7 recommendations -- putting a couple of people from there

8 to here and a couple of process issues -- was really,

9 again, just trying to address some of the perceptions

10 which were causing the intelligence holders concern.


12 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming to give

13 evidence before us.

14 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

15 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

16 off?

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

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

19 What about tomorrow?

20 Housekeeping

21 MR PHILLIPS: Yes, sir. Can I just say a word or two about

22 the first witness tomorrow, another Security Service

23 witness.

24 The Inquiry Solicitor indicated last week that part

25 of S224, the next witness's evidence would be given in





1 closed session and I am afraid the constraints of the

2 timetable this week mean that we have, unusually, had to

3 fix the closed session at the start of his evidence

4 rather than at the end. And for that reason, the closed

5 session will begin at 9 tomorrow morning. I hope very

6 much that it won't last very long and that we will be

7 able to begin at or nearly at our usual time as soon

8 after that as we can.

9 So those who are not going to be at the closed

10 session should, please, as it were, report for the

11 normal time, 10.15.

12 But, sir, the other thing I wanted to do, because we

13 are not doing this in the way we usually do, is to say

14 a word or two about the closed session in the way that

15 I usually do, so that those who are not present are

16 aware of the broad areas to be covered.

17 S224 was, between 1999 and 2004, the Assistant

18 Director responsible for the Irish counter-terrorism

19 agent-running section of the Security Service, and in

20 the closed session I will be asking the witness about

21 a number of the agents which were run by the Security

22 Service in Northern Ireland around the time of

23 Rosemary Nelson's murder and, in particular, whether any

24 of those agents would have been able to provide

25 intelligence about the murder.





1 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Well, we will adjourn now.

2 (2.23 pm)

3 (The Inquiry adjourned until 9.00 am the following day)


























1 I N D E X

S188 (sworn) ..................................... 2
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 2
Questions by THE CHAIRMAN .................... 40
Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN .............. 42
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 42
Housekeeping ..................................... 44