Return to the list of transcripts

Full Hearings

Hearing: 23rd January 2009, day 102

Click here to download the LiveNote version
















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

on Friday, 23 January 2009
commencing at 10.15 am

Day 102









1 Friday, 23 January 2009

2 (10.15 am)

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?


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, the Inquiry personnel and

25 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be





1 switched back on.

2 Please take the oath.

3 A566 (sworn)

4 Questions by MR SAVILL

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Savill?

6 MR SAVILL: Thank you. Before I ask you the questions, can

7 I just remind you that you are obviously a ciphered

8 witness and in front of you, I think, on a piece of

9 paper, you should have what's called a cipher list. Do

10 you have that?

11 A. Yes, I do.

12 Q. Please can I ask you just to give a moment's pause and

13 thought before you name anybody and consult that list to

14 see whether in fact a cipher should be used instead of

15 their actual name?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Could we call on to the screen RNI-840-109, please

18 (displayed)? This is the first page of your Inquiry

19 statement and I would ask that the last page, which is

20 RNI-840-114, be put up (displayed). And we can see your

21 ciphered signature and the date of 30 May 2007. Do you

22 recognise that?

23 A. Yes, I do.

24 Q. I would like to just go back to time, please, to 1994

25 when I believe you joined the Army?





1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And you were commissioned into the regiment

3 in December 1995?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. Now, please can you just tell me the path that your

6 career followed up until the point that you were made

7 intelligence officer of the 3rd Battalion

8 Royal Irish Regiment?

9 A. I started as a platoon commander in January 1996 through

10 until June 1997, and I then moved to Mahon Road Barracks

11 in Portadown where I again took on the post of platoon

12 commander until I was made company ops officer I think

13 around February -- operations officer,

14 around February 1998. I was then company ops officer

15 until I took on the IO post.

16 Q. Thank you. When you became the Intelligence Officer,

17 were you a captain?

18 A. Yes, I was.

19 Q. Did one need, as it were, to be the captain to be the

20 Intelligence Officer?

21 A. It was a battalion staff post which required a captain.

22 Q. How would you describe your experience of intelligence

23 prior to becoming the Intelligence Officer?

24 A. I had no prior experience of intelligence matters up

25 until that point.





1 Q. Forgive me for saying this, that, to me at least, seems

2 a little strange. Was that always the case?

3 A. Yes, that was generally the case. The normal career

4 path would have been platoon commander, company

5 operations officer and then a battalion staff post or

6 a staff post outside battalion.

7 Q. So how were you brought up to speed, as it were, as to

8 the world of intelligence and the post of intelligence

9 officer prior to you taking it on?

10 A. I had prior knowledge of the area in which we worked, so

11 I was familiar with the geography of it. In terms of

12 the IO's post itself, from memory it was around

13 a three-week handover period when the previous incumbent

14 guided me through the process.

15 Q. So that really was the crucial period, was it? That was

16 the crucial period of training?

17 A. That would have been the learning period.

18 Q. Of three weeks?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. When you would be told about the individuals you would

21 be dealing with, the types of document, what they were

22 called, how they were stored and so on and so forth?

23 A. Yes, it was to do with the procedures and protocols.

24 Q. Yes. As far as the Lurgan area was concerned, you have

25 mentioned you had quite a bit of experience of that





1 before this post was taken?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. What geographical area was actually under your

4 responsibility as IO, as you call it?

5 A. Our battalion boundaries were coterminous with RUC

6 J Division at the time, which stretched from the shores

7 of Loch Neagh as far south as, I think, roughly between

8 Portadown and Poyntzpass, and west to east it would have

9 been from the Birches roundabout as far as beyond

10 Rathfriland.

11 Q. Can I ask you, if I may, do you feel that was an area

12 you were able to adequately cope with with the resources

13 available, or was it too big?

14 A. It was one of the larger battalion areas within

15 3 Brigade, but we managed.

16 Q. Yes. Now, you will be familiar with the expression

17 "persons of interest"?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Those were the sort of people that, on a day-to-day

20 basis, you were interested in.

21 What prior knowledge, if any, did you have of those

22 people prior to you taking up your post as intelligence

23 officer?

24 A. From my time as platoon commander in Portadown from

25 mid 1997 through until my appointment as IO, I patrolled





1 throughout the Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon areas.

2 So I became familiar with them from that respect.

3 Q. So when you were on this handover period, presumably

4 names cropped up?

5 A. Yes, and those names would have been familiar to me.

6 Q. I was going to say to you they didn't come as a surprise

7 to you?

8 A. No.

9 Q. No. I don't want you to tell me his name, but who was

10 actually your commanding officer? What was the rank?

11 A. He was a lieutenant colonel.

12 Q. What was his job description?

13 A. He was the battalion commander. He had overall

14 responsibility and control of the battalion during that

15 time.

16 Q. Thank you. Please tell us, what would you describe your

17 remit or your role precisely as the Intelligence Officer

18 was?

19 A. I was one of three battalion staff officers: adjutant,

20 ops officer and IO. As intelligence officer, my remit

21 was basically to be the CO's intelligence adviser, his

22 principal intelligence and security staff officer.

23 Q. Just so I can understand the demarcation, as I

24 understand it, the Adjutant is the staff officer

25 responsible, if you like, for the administration and





1 running of the battalion?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. The Operations Officer is very much a day-to-day

4 reactive post. Is that a fair way of putting it?

5 A. Yes, his remit would have been the direction of

6 resources to fight the battle, as it were.

7 Q. And we will come on to this in a moment, your role

8 obviously was to assist the Lieutenant Colonel with

9 intelligence matters and act as directed by him to work

10 within the battalion?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. You describe in your statement -- I won't take you to

13 it, but you describe intelligence gathering as a two-way

14 process?

15 A. Yes, very much so. Military intelligence would be an

16 art in which you gather from below and also take

17 direction from above. So it very much was a two-way

18 process.

19 Q. And just looking at that, you say you took direction

20 from above, did you take direction from above in order

21 to gather intelligence from below? Is that a fair way

22 of putting it?

23 A. Yes, in some cases that would be correct.

24 Q. So please tell us, how did you go about directing the

25 gathering of intelligence, as Intelligence Officer?





1 A. Every patrol that went out on the ground was given

2 intelligence tasks; a focus, if you like. It was our

3 job to gather patrol intelligence, which would then be

4 able to be used to inform the bigger picture, if you

5 like. So that was our remit: patrol intelligence passed

6 through the system to add to the overall intelligence

7 picture within Northern Ireland.

8 Q. I don't mean this rudely, but you were at the lowest

9 level of intelligence gathering. Is that right?

10 A. That's correct, yes.

11 Q. Would I also be right in saying to you that you were the

12 gatherers of intelligence, not the analysers?

13 A. There was a certain amount of analysis required, but

14 much of our task would have been the gathering and the

15 filtering of patrol intelligence.

16 Q. Sorting the wheat from the chaff?

17 A. Exactly.

18 Q. Was all of the intelligence that you gathered overtly

19 gathered?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. So it would be pointless, would it, for me to ask you

22 about any covert gathering operations?

23 A. As a battalion, we didn't engage in any covert

24 operations.

25 Q. No, but let me just push it a little further. Would you





1 have any knowledge of covert intelligence gathering

2 within the area?

3 A. There would have been instances where I would have been

4 aware that were something was going on, but the details

5 would have been held from me.

6 Q. That must have been very frustrating, must it, on

7 occasion?

8 A. Sometimes.

9 Q. A little more detail, please, if you could: what would

10 these types of operation have been?

11 A. Well, we weren't privy to the details, but I would

12 imagine surveillance operations would have been the

13 main.

14 Q. Yes. Now, on a day-to-day basis, nuts and bolts,

15 please, if you can, what were the documents, if you

16 like, or the ways in which intelligence was recorded,

17 obtained by a patrol and then fed into the intelligence

18 office?

19 A. The process would have started through intelligence

20 briefings. Suspect recognition was an ongoing process

21 that I was remitted to run, if you like. So a patrol

22 would be regularly updated on those suspects within the

23 area and perhaps travelling through the area, who

24 patrols would have needed to look out for. Once they

25 were briefed and they were deployed on patrol, any





1 sightings of those suspects would then be passed back

2 either in hard copy form in what was called a CI1, or

3 Charlie 1, or radioed back live time. Either the

4 Charlie 1 or the radio message would have come directly

5 to the intelligence cell and would then have been

6 recorded on a database.

7 Q. We will perhaps come to the databases in due course, but

8 just at this stage, what did you mean by the database?

9 A. MACER was the database that we used.

10 Q. And that was a screen and a keyboard system?

11 A. Yes, it was basically a military intelligence database

12 that was, I believe, run from a hard drive, a central

13 service, if you like, so that there was a wide remit of

14 paperwork it looked at.

15 Q. I'm just going to move in a moment to your staff, but

16 before I do, Northern Ireland intelligence cards, what

17 were they?

18 A. I can't remember. I don't think I have heard the term

19 before.

20 Q. Where physically was your office, your intelligence

21 cell?

22 A. The Int Cell was on the first floor in the main

23 battalion building within Mahon Road.

24 Q. And again, just to have a mind's eye, please, how big

25 was it?





1 A. I suppose, if you took the dividing walls away, it would

2 have just been slightly smaller than this room.

3 Q. You told us that you had a staff of approximately

4 10 people working under you?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Would that number of people be in that room at all

7 times?

8 A. I think we had four watchkeepers on rota, so there would

9 only have been one at any one time, or two if there was

10 a handover period going on.

11 Q. This is my fault for not knowing the system, but help me

12 with this. What was the chain of command in the

13 intelligence cell: watchkeeper, you, your assistant?

14 A. I would have been in charge. My Assistant Intelligence

15 Officer would have been my deputy. There would have

16 been three desk heads, who were senior NCOs, responsible

17 for focusing on specific geographical areas. I had an

18 operations clerk, an office manager and four

19 watchkeepers. The watchkeepers would have rotated so

20 there was one on at all times.

21 Q. So taking it from the top, would you be there as well as

22 your assistant at all times?

23 A. During working hours, yes.

24 Q. And if you look at your cipher list, I hope we can see

25 A674 there?





1 A. Yes, that's correct. He was my Assistant Intelligence

2 Officer.

3 Q. So you were both commissioned officers?

4 A. No, he was a senior non-commissioned officer.

5 Q. He was a senior NCO. Then beneath that were the desk

6 heads?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. Just tell us a little bit. Those were dictated by

9 geography, were they, or topic?

10 A. Yes, we would have gone along the lines that geographical

11 focus was the best way to break down the desk head role.

12 Q. Were these men or women dealing with matters on

13 a day-to-day basis as they came in or were they, as it

14 were, getting on with their own work regardless of what

15 was coming in over the radio or what was going on

16 that day?

17 A. They would have been there during working hours, the

18 same as us. They did have projects that were ongoing,

19 but in some cases they would have reacted to events in

20 terms of their jobs, that's correct.

21 Q. In terms of those beneath them, if you like, or on

22 a similar level -- forgive my expression -- they were

23 administrative staff, were they?

24 A. Yes, at the same level as the desk head would have been

25 the office manager.





1 Q. Thank you. Please give me a flavour of the way in which

2 things were done in the room. By that, I mean was it

3 a very reactive atmosphere, you were all reacting to

4 intelligence that was coming in, or was it an atmosphere

5 in which you would have allocated tasks that were to be

6 completed, say, in five days' time, if you understand

7 me, and people were getting on with those? What was the

8 nature of the business?

9 A. During the quiet periods the ongoing projects would have

10 taken precedence. We had operation -- projects that the

11 desk heads were looking at to do with, for example, you

12 know, the over usage of certain routes, vulnerable points

13 within their areas, projects of that description. But

14 in the main, from my memory, it was a very much reactive

15 atmosphere because there was always intelligence coming

16 in which we then had to deal with.

17 Q. When you say intelligence coming in, am I right in

18 saying that the only source of intelligence coming in

19 was from your patrols?

20 A. That would have been -- we would have called that

21 information, which we would then have hoped to turn into

22 intelligence. The main intelligence that we got would

23 have been from above, from brigade or from the RUC.

24 Q. I see. So you would be reacting to that?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. When you say coming in, coming in in hard copy form or

2 someone coming in orally to brief you, or on the MACER

3 system? How was it delivered?

4 A. Several ways. We would always have tried to get it

5 backed up by hard copy, but in a lot of cases it would

6 have been verbally briefed first of all.

7 Q. How would that take place?

8 A. That would either have been on a secure telephone or

9 face-to-face.

10 Q. And the intelligence that you were receiving from above,

11 was that contemporaneous, would you say?

12 A. We tried to keep it as contemporaneous as possible. The

13 idea that intelligence needs to be fast, obviously,

14 was -- played an important role. Intelligence that is

15 out of date isn't useful to anyone.

16 Q. So you might have, for example, two categories. You

17 might have the telephone call that would detail to you

18 something that had happened that day?

19 A. Yes, that's correct, or something that had come in

20 within the last 15 minutes or an hour.

21 Q. Now, again, you say "come in". How would that have come

22 in to the level above you?

23 A. Well, I wasn't really privy to how that intelligence

24 came into higher formations. They would have been

25 disseminating intelligence down to us. It wasn't really





1 my job to pry too much into how they had got that

2 intelligence.

3 Q. This was the Army chain of command, was it?

4 A. That would have been both the Army and the RUC.

5 Q. So you would have been talking on the telephone to

6 someone in Special Branch?

7 A. That is correct.

8 Q. Or someone higher up in the Army chain of command?

9 A. Yes, from Brigade G2 Branch.

10 Q. Thank you. And I mentioned two categories a moment ago;

11 that's the very contemporaneous information. Presumably

12 also you could be having a telephone conversation where

13 somebody would be saying to you, "There has been

14 a bigger picture developing over the last few weeks",

15 for example?

16 A. Yes, that's correct. Those would generally have been

17 issued at verbal briefings, but we would have chatted on

18 the phone.

19 Q. How did you go about recording, in order, for example,

20 to notify the other members of our team about it, that

21 information that was coming down from above?

22 A. Most of it would have been recorded on MACER. In fact,

23 the idea would have been that everything was recorded on

24 MACER subsequently. In terms of getting a phone call to

25 tell you that a specific threat had come in, you would





1 put it in your secret file, which would then have been

2 issued to the rest of the team verbally.

3 But as soon as I got it down in paper form, then

4 I knew that was secure. All our documents were

5 registered on a secret document register and everything

6 in the database was recorded electronically.


8 A. Yes.

9 Q. What I'm driving at is someone would telephone you and

10 tell you about an incident or a piece of intelligence.

11 Would they say to you, "This is the detail of it, and if

12 you need to remind yourself of it, you can look it up on

13 MACER" or would you be the one who would be putting it

14 into MACER as relevant for your area? Just clarify

15 that.

16 A. As the IO, as the top level in the office, I would have

17 received the verbal brief and then recorded it, but

18 I generally wasn't the one who had to go back and look

19 at it through MACER.

20 Q. No, but would someone have been able to look at it on

21 MACER, that's what I'm driving at?

22 A. As far as I know, yes.

23 Q. So it would come in orally, but anyone who wanted to

24 look back at it would know that it had also been put

25 into MACER?





1 A. It would have been recorded somewhere but whether or not

2 on MACER, I can't recall.

3 Q. Would hard copy always follow telephone intelligence or

4 oral intelligence?

5 A. Not always, but we always tried to back things up with

6 hard copy.

7 Q. Presumably, again, for good practice and audit, you

8 would have run a system whereby if you were told

9 something you would make a note of it?

10 A. Yes, that's correct. I had a secret notebook, if you

11 like, that was held on the secret document register,

12 which was mine for making notes for recording decisions,

13 that type of thing.

14 Q. Did anybody else have one of those?

15 A. As far as I know, the desk heads and the A10 had one.

16 Q. Again, forgive me, do you mean a flipover police

17 notebook type of thing or an A4 book?

18 A. As far as I can recall mine was a hardback A4 book.

19 Q. And that was completed, was it, by shift, by day or by

20 Monday? How was that --

21 A. By event.

22 Q. What I mean was would you mark at the top of a page,

23 "Friday, 21 February" and then underneath that would be

24 what happened on that day, or was it not --

25 A. It wouldn't have been as formal as a police notebook





1 type of entry. It would have been general notes, pieces

2 of intelligence that had come in, who I had passed it on

3 to. It wouldn't have been as formal or a neat as you

4 are making out.

5 Q. No, but if you had wanted to go back -- say, in your

6 mind you were thinking to yourself, "Hang on a minute, I

7 was told about this, I can't put my finger on it", how

8 would you research your own notebook: by date, by page

9 number, topic?

10 A. I think by date.

11 Q. Right.

12 A. But I can't actually recall.

13 Q. Don't think I'm seeking to criticise the way you

14 compiled your notebook. I'm just trying to understand

15 how it was done.

16 A. I think it was by date.

17 Q. Thank you. Were all the members of your intelligence

18 cell from 3 Royal Irish?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Did you ever have people working in the intelligence

21 cell who were outside that unit?

22 A. During the Drumcree operations, we had other members

23 from other battalions who were Int Cell staff working

24 within the Int Cell.

25 Q. You describe part of your role as being to make threat





1 assessments; yes?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. Could we just highlight paragraph 3 of your statement,

4 please, the third line up from the bottom:

5 "We did not carry out covert operations: our job was

6 to protect the soldiers on the ground and to make threat

7 assessments. We would always liaise closely with the

8 police in doing this."

9 Am I right to understand this to mean threat

10 assessments regarding threats to the troops?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. So it wouldn't be the case that you would be instructed,

13 or under your own initiative conduct a threat assessment

14 on someone other than the soldiers who were working

15 for you?

16 A. No, that wouldn't have been our remit.

17 Q. Just while we are on that topic, did you ever hear the

18 name of Rosemary Nelson being mentioned in the context

19 of a threat assessment?

20 A. No.

21 Q. No. Now, you very helpfully have been telling me about

22 intelligence coming in from above and from below. Can

23 I ask you to help me with this point: what was the

24 nature of your task in relation to a specific topic in

25 terms of gathering intelligence? Do you follow me?





1 A. Are you talking about specific tasks that I had been

2 given?

3 Q. No, what you told us about is really ad hoc intelligence

4 coming in about a number of different things at any

5 time. Supposing there is a topic that was of interest,

6 either to you or from somebody above you -- I don't

7 know, an individual, a geographical location, a car, for

8 example -- were you ever tasked or did you task people

9 to create topic-by-topic intelligence files?

10 A. As I said previously, during quieter periods, we would

11 have resorted back to projects. The one that springs to

12 mind was the recording of vulnerable points within each

13 area. We could also have looked at trying to develop

14 a pattern of life for persons of interest within certain

15 areas, and that would have been in order to build up

16 a pattern that would have been useful for the police in

17 that respect.

18 Q. And in creating such a topic, would you physically

19 collate a lever arch file, for example, or how would

20 that be stored or created?

21 A. It would generally have been a bundle, just like that,

22 that would have been booked in to our secret document

23 register and passed to the relevant agency who required

24 it, either the Brigade G2 Branch or the RUC.

25 Q. And presumably it goes without saying that such





1 a heading would include a person of interest, for

2 example?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Was there a separate watchkeeper's log, if you like, in

5 the Intelligence Cell? You have mentioned watchkeepers?

6 A. As far as I know there would have been, yes.

7 Q. Just help me. That was to record, as it were, in real

8 time what was going on and who was doing what?

9 A. It wouldn't have replicated the watchkeeper's log in the

10 operations room; it would have recorded simply

11 sightings, matters of intelligence interest that was

12 coming from patrols over the radio net and perhaps

13 decisions that the watchkeeper had made, for example,

14 phoning somebody in brigade, phoning myself for an

15 answer or a decision on something.

16 Q. So, for example, a message comes in that somebody has

17 been spotted of interest in a certain location.

18 Presumably you might be asked for input into further

19 actions, i.e. to follow them or whether to leave them, let

20 them go?

21 A. We wouldn't have decided whether to leave them or let

22 them go. That would have been a police function, but

23 yes, sir, along those lines.

24 Q. Would you ever be asked to explain, or rather deal with

25 a person of interest explanation? So someone would





1 contact you to say, "This is what the person of interest

2 is saying, this is their version of events, that is their

3 explanation. Is that true? Can you shed think light on

4 that?" Would that have been the sort of thing?

5 A. It wouldn't generally have been that. The only

6 interaction we would have had with persons of interest

7 would have been at checkpoints. It would just have been

8 a case of who they were, who they were with, where they

9 were going to, where were they coming from. Did they

10 have any knowledge of terrorist attacks.

11 Q. So I'm probably rather guilty of dreaming up a rather

12 more sophisticated version than actually occurred?

13 A. It wasn't that sophisticated.

14 Q. No. And so far as checkpoints were concerned, what was

15 the process that was followed? Was it someone was

16 stopped, someone was seen of interest and that was just

17 radioed through?

18 A. Generally it would have been radioed live time if the

19 call sign had time to do so. Otherwise, if they had

20 other tasks on, they would have recorded it on

21 a Charlie 1 and then submitted it with their patrol

22 debrief.

23 Q. Let me ask you this: would it have been unusual, in your

24 experience for someone to have made a sighting, not

25 radioed it through but then filed the Charlie 1 when





1 they returned to base?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Would one of the reasons why they might not have radioed

4 it through been either that they had their hands full,

5 public disorder or, for example, that they were in

6 a blind spot for the radio?

7 A. There were a number of factors which would have made it

8 difficult for the Commander to radio it back. The

9 commanders carried the radios. They obviously had other

10 tasks to carry out as well. Sometimes it would have

11 been more prudent to record it in the Charlie 1 and

12 submit it with the patrol report.

13 Q. Were you ever aware, either through your personal

14 experience or hearing about it, of any individual,

15 soldier or police officer exercising any degree of

16 favouritism, if you like, at a stop or a search because

17 they held a particular view or sympathy towards the

18 person that was being stopped?

19 A. I had never heard of that.

20 Q. You have been asked in your interview, to give your

21 statement to the Inquiry, about a specific incident

22 involving a Mr Jopling. This was a Royal Military

23 Police spotter?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Also on your cipher list you can see A620?





1 A. Yes.

2 Q. This was a particular incident that I have just

3 suggested to you, in fact at the scene of the explosion,

4 whereby Mr Jopling makes the suggestion or the

5 allegation that two persons of interest were seen, he

6 requested that it be radioed through and that A620

7 essentially either ignored him or refused to do that?

8 A. Yes, I am aware of that now but at the time I wasn't

9 aware of that.

10 Q. Let's just look at that. You say "at the time"; you

11 mean on the day itself?

12 A. On the day, yes.

13 Q. You weren't? You are now aware of that?

14 A. From what you have told me, yes.

15 Q. I was going to say is that because of the Inquiry's

16 questions and work or is that just because of your

17 memory?

18 A. No, simply because of the Inquiry's work.

19 Q. Again, please don't think I'm suggesting anything

20 untoward, but Mr Jopling has told that the Inquiry that

21 he was effectively called into the Intelligence Cell

22 and, to quote him, "the captain wanted to know the full

23 story" and I think an expression he used was that the

24 Intelligence Cell was "pointing the finger at him" for

25 this not being reported back. Do you have any





1 recollection of that?

2 A. I don't recall any of that.

3 Q. Does it sound as though that might well have been

4 something that might have happened?

5 A. If I had known that somebody had withheld a sighting,

6 obviously we would want to investigate it.

7 Q. But you have no recollection of that?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Did you know A620 particularly well?

10 A. No. I'm aware that he was in the battalion but I didn't

11 know him.

12 Q. And you wouldn't be able to assist with any suggestion

13 of favouritism on his part, one way or the other?

14 A. No.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Might this matter have been dealt with by

16 A660?

17 A. The Operations Officer wouldn't have got involved in

18 matters of, you know, whether an intelligence sighting

19 had been passed correctly or not. The Operations

20 Officer did deal with operational complaints, but they

21 would have been complaints from members of the public.

22 MR SAVILL: Thank you. Before I move on to a slightly

23 different topic of dissemination of intelligence, did

24 you have any role in counter intelligence whilst you

25 were doing your job?





1 A. No.

2 Q. Did you have any experience of leaking, if you like, of

3 intelligence back into the community by either police

4 officers or soldiers?

5 A. No.

6 Q. You didn't have any experience? You never heard

7 about it?

8 A. I had never heard of that, no.

9 Q. Now, as far as intelligence you gathered being

10 disseminated outside of the battalion, what passed the

11 test, if you like? What passed the test of relevance

12 for information to, as it were, leave the Intelligence

13 Cell?

14 A. Anything that seemed abnormal would generally have been

15 deemed to have passed the test, anything to do with any

16 suspect, known about, would obviously have passed the

17 test. Anything that had been in doubt would have had to

18 have been looked in to first. The idea that you would

19 pass out accurate intelligence was taken for granted.

20 You didn't want to be in a position where you would have

21 passed out intelligence that was dubious.

22 Q. Presumably most of your intelligence was A1 because it

23 was being reported in by a soldier or an officer?

24 A. You had to trust the guys on the ground a lot, and yes,

25 in that case it would have been graded A1.





1 Q. And presumably I would be right in saying, would I, that

2 you were expansive in terms of the intelligence that you

3 passed on rather than being very restrictive because by

4 the nature of your task you wanted to avoid being

5 accused of missing something?

6 A. That's correct, anything that we passed to Brigade G2 or

7 to the RUC was obviously going to a secure location, so

8 we could be free with all the details that we had.

9 Q. And you were able to, as it were, pass something on

10 without being accused of being inaccurate or reckless

11 because you could give it the appropriate grading?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. But would I be right in saying that also it would have

14 been unfair for anyone to make an accusation against you

15 or your team to the effect that you hadn't spotted

16 a bigger picture because really your job wasn't to

17 analyse this information in detail?

18 A. We would always try and add a comment to any

19 intelligence that we passed out. In a lot of cases,

20 because we weren't seeing the bigger picture, those

21 comments were generally less well informed. So we would

22 add a comment, but it would have been up to the RUC or

23 Brigade G2 to decide whether that comment was actually

24 adding value or a shot in the dark.

25 Q. Or being another piece to a bigger jigsaw?





1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. When you say the RUC, do you mean the RUC collator?

3 A. No, all our intelligence went the Special Branch. The

4 collator, I believe, ended up getting some of it but

5 that would have been Special Branch's responsibility to

6 disseminate as they saw fit.

7 Q. Yes. What was the form physically that the intelligence

8 was expected to be in when you passed it -- well, I say

9 up, out of the Intelligence Cell?

10 A. Generally it would have formed into a daily brief or

11 a weekly brief, and daily briefs tended to be pretty

12 much lists of sightings that we had made with a comment

13 attached.

14 Q. It would be a typed, hard document?

15 A. Yes, that's correct.

16 Q. What about individual nuggets of information?

17 A. Anything that we picked up that was abnormal or, you

18 know, seemed juicy, I would generally have passed by

19 phone to Special Branch or Brigade G2. But it would

20 have been backed up by hard copy in the daily brief or

21 weekly brief.

22 Q. Again, I'm not going to take you to it, but you provide

23 inside your statement at paragraph 7:

24 "We provided the police with a weekly intelligence

25 summary so that they could build a better picture of the





1 threat situation."

2 A. That is correct, yes.

3 Q. "This was mainly a list of sightings. Similarly, police

4 intelligence would be passed to a relevant point of

5 contact in the military when appropriate"?

6 A. That would either have been from the Special Branch

7 detective inspector to myself, if it was urgent, or from

8 police Special Branch through Brigade G2. They had

9 obviously had a link higher up in the Special Branch

10 chain and tended to get more of the intelligence.

11 Q. So just summarising, ad hoc pieces of -- I think your

12 expression was "juicy intelligence" would be passed on

13 on the telephone by you?

14 A. Generally.

15 Q. What if not generally?

16 A. If it seemed important to me I would want to tell

17 somebody as quick as I could for them to make a decision

18 as to whether that was important. But if it was the

19 case that I deemed it important, it would always be

20 backed up by hard copy through the weekly brief or the

21 daily brief.

22 Q. I see. And there were then these broader, more forward

23 thinking briefing documents?

24 A. We tended not to get involved in those. That was more

25 of a brigade remit. We added comment where we could but





1 I was always conscious of the fact that we were only

2 seeing a very narrow picture.

3 Q. Right. Perhaps we can have a look at a document which

4 may or may not help us to understand. RNI-511-144,

5 please (displayed)? Can you see that front page?

6 A. Yes, I can.

7 Q. I will just take you to the next page before I come back

8 to this. RNI-511-145 (displayed), that's the next page.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Go back to RNI-511-144, please (displayed). We can see

11 here "Document type: text". Title:

12 "Lurgan G2 brief for units. DOI: 4/6/98."

13 Now, some of the documents I'm going to show you

14 pre-date, I appreciate, your arrival into this post, but

15 I hope they will nevertheless be familiar.

16 Just talk us through this, please:

17 "Originating unit: 3RIR Battalion"?

18 A. That would have meant that the unit was 3 Royal Irish

19 Intelligence Cell.

20 Q. Yourself?

21 A. Yes, that would have been the Intelligence Cell.

22 Q. "Mahon Barracks, Mahon Road".

23 We can see at the top right, "DSL 3". That's the

24 dissemination level?

25 A. That's correct.





1 Q. Is that a low or high level?

2 A. 3 was the lowest level of dissemination in the MACER

3 system.

4 Q. For the military or the police?

5 A. The police I think were operating at level 17 at the

6 lowest up to 21, I think.

7 Q. If we go on to the next page, RNI-511-145 (displayed) --

8 I'm not going to read it, but:

9 "Lurgan subdiv groupings, Lurgan PIRA."

10 And then at the bottom of the page, "CGN INLA"?

11 A. That's --

12 Q. What does "CGN" stand for?

13 A. That's Craigavon INLA.

14 Q. Craigavon. So is this the type of briefing document

15 that you are talking about?

16 A. This would have been a document that would have been

17 kept on MACER, and I think from the title it looks like

18 it was kept on the MACER system for units who might have

19 been operating in the Lurgan area who hadn't previously,

20 would be able to go in and take information out of in

21 order to pass on to their troops.

22 Q. And if we can look at another document, RNI-511-177

23 (displayed), we can see there at the front, a similar

24 format:

25 "Pen picture, Colin Francis Duffy."





1 There is a grade reliability at the body and the

2 originating unit is the same, "3RIR"; yes?

3 A. That's correct, yes.

4 Q. If we go over the page, RNI-511-178 (displayed), again

5 I'm not going to read it, but this is a pen picture of

6 Mr Duffy. Where does that fit in to your programme, if

7 you like, of dissemination from the Intelligence Cell

8 created by yourself?

9 A. That, again, would have been kept on the MACER system.

10 I personally wouldn't have used that very often.

11 I would imagine the Lurgan desk head might have dipped

12 into it every now and again if he was preparing an

13 intelligence brief. But this would have been available

14 on the MACER system for other intelligence units to

15 look at.

16 Q. Because I think the two documents we have just seen,

17 they are very much at the back, they're background, if

18 you like, for ignorant readers. They are not very

19 contemporaneous?

20 A. We would have tried to keep them updated and one of the

21 tasks that the desk heads would have had was to keep

22 this sort of material.

23 Q. That was what I was going to ask you. It is obviously

24 a foundation stone for somebody wanting to know about

25 Mr Duffy, but not much use if not updated?





1 A. We tried to keep them as living documents. You would

2 try to get the most up-to-date information on there.

3 Q. Thank you. I'm just going to move now to the

4 dissemination of the intelligence within the battalion,

5 and I think you have touched on that. Before we look at

6 the information, let's look at the mechanics. You were

7 briefing the Lieutenant Colonel?

8 A. That's correct, yes.

9 Q. You were also briefing, indirectly perhaps, the patrols

10 on a daily basis?

11 A. Yes. You tried to get a patrol brief for every patrol

12 going out.

13 Q. And the individual that would be briefed would be the

14 Platoon Commander -- the Patrol Commander?

15 A. It very much depended. If it was a company operation,

16 you would try and get the entire company there for the

17 briefing. If it was a routine patrol, then generally it

18 would have been the Patrol Commander that would have

19 called up to the Int Cell just to update himself with

20 anything new that had come in.

21 Q. And physically, briefings were done by yourself?

22 A. Not always myself.

23 Q. By your assistant?

24 A. The watchkeeper would have been there 24 hours a day, so

25 any patrol that was going on on a routine basis would





1 have been briefed by him or her. Any operation that was

2 deployed, I would have tried to get the area desk head

3 covering that area to brief. I would have briefed

4 obviously to keep myself in the picture, as it were.

5 And the A10.

6 It generally rotated. There was no set decision

7 that a desk head briefed ground troops. It was whoever

8 was free at the time and it was whoever had the most

9 in-depth knowledge, really.

10 Q. Now, again, you will tell me it depends on who was being

11 briefed, but where would the briefings take place? In

12 the yard, if it was just a small patrol? Was there

13 a briefing room?

14 A. There was. There was an intelligence briefing room. We

15 conducted our briefs in there.

16 Q. And in that room were there maps, pictures of suspects

17 on the walls, that sort of thing?

18 A. As far as I can remember, there were maps on the wall

19 and there were cases for suspect recognition

20 photographs. I can't remember whether the suspect

21 recognition photographs were still up during my tenure

22 because there was a decision made at some stage in the

23 past to remove those and use slides instead.

24 Q. And what information -- and, indeed, documentation --

25 was the basis for those briefings?





1 A. In terms of the suspect recognition?

2 Q. No, generally in terms of company briefings, patrol

3 briefings, what resources were deployed?

4 A. For us giving the brief, we would always try and stick

5 to a set format, which would have been a generic

6 military intelligence briefing format, so that the guys

7 knew what they were being told and when they were going

8 to be told it in the sequence.

9 Q. But it was the sort of thing along the lines of what had

10 happened the night before or the week before, was it?

11 A. I can't remember the exact headings now, but it would

12 have been a case of confirming the background, providing

13 any new material, briefing on any action sheets that had

14 come in. That was --

15 Q. We will look at one of those in a moment.

16 A. Sanitised forms of pithy intelligence, if you like. And

17 then followed, where time permitted, by a short recap on

18 suspect recognition.

19 Q. And there were also daily briefs. If we look at

20 RNI-511-008, please (displayed). Just have a look at

21 that.

22 A. Yes, that would have come from 3 Royal Irish

23 Intelligence Cell on that date. That was produced on

24 the MACER system by the watchkeeper, checked by either

25 one of the desk heads, the A10 or myself when we come in





1 and forwarded to brigade. And that made up the

2 Brigade G2 daily brief, along with the other battalions'

3 brief.

4 Q. If we go over to RNI-511-009, please (displayed), we can

5 see there, if you just have a look at that, the actual

6 content:

7 "Threat incidents."

8 And indeed:

9 "Significant sightings"?

10 A. That would have been the general format.

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Could we just leave it on a moment?

12 MR SAVILL: Certainly.

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

14 MR SAVILL: And indeed we can see at the bottom there, in

15 3(b), reference to individuals, although not named

16 obviously, coming from Edward Street, going into

17 Mrs Nelson's office. And then there is a comment; yes?

18 A. Yes, that's correct.

19 Q. So that was the sort of report that had come in from

20 a soldier, or soldiers, on the ground?

21 A. Yes, that looks like it was reported at 14.14 hours.

22 Q. On that date?

23 A. Either live time or by Charlie 1.

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. They have noted the individual obviously who they were





1 interested in, who is redacted, sited with two others,

2 and the fact that they were with two not known males

3 would obviously have been of interest. Where they were

4 coming from, where they were going to, what time they

5 left, and then it looks like the watchkeeper had added

6 a comment.

7 Q. I wanted to know who is the commentator?

8 A. Generally it was the watchkeeper because the brief had

9 to be done by 06.00 hours, I think, so generally he was

10 the only one there at that time.

11 Q. Now, we will come to Mrs Nelson in a bit more detail

12 later, but just at this stage, would it be right in

13 saying that the reason she gets a mention there is not

14 because of Mrs Nelson herself but because the relevant

15 factors are the individuals of interest. And so, if

16 they had gone into the butchers or the greengrocers, it

17 would have said, "They have gone into the butchers and

18 the greengrocers"?

19 A. That's the simple fact. No matter where they had gone,

20 that would have been reported as the premises they went

21 into.

22 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: But perhaps not the comment, which

23 does appear to be focused on Rosemary Nelson?

24 A. Yes, that's correct. The int watchkeeper here has

25 obviously remembered or has written down somewhere that





1 they had been seen there previously and feels that's

2 worthy of mention.

3 MR SAVILL: Thank you. Because I was going to then say,

4 this is an individual piece of intelligence. If there

5 then becomes a picture developing, then an individual or

6 a location may emerge as being as relevant as the

7 individuals that this was originally about?

8 A. Yes, that's correct.

9 Q. By virtue of association. So a bigger picture begins to

10 be created?

11 A. But it wasn't up to us to decide why that would have

12 been the case. It is just up to us to point out

13 that there is starting -- that there is a pattern

14 starting to form here.

15 Q. Yes. Now, your access to intelligence, you have

16 mentioned the MACER system?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Yes. How easy was it to print off documents from that?

19 A. Anything that was printed out, from memory, had to be

20 booked into the secret document register, and you will

21 see on the screen here the diagonal.

22 Q. Do you want to get rid of the highlighting bit?

23 A. No, it is not that important. It is just the HQNI/G2,

24 the diagonal across came out on the print, so you could

25 always tell where it was originated from.





1 Q. Yes, a basic security -- which, indeed, the Inquiry

2 operates, I think -- a security measure to see if there

3 is a page, you can see where it has come from?

4 A. I think there was also an electronic register on MACER

5 which listed documents that had been printed off, and

6 that needed to tally with the documents held on the

7 secret documents register.

8 Q. Who was allowed actually to print things off?

9 A. Anyone who had a MACER log on would have been allowed to

10 print off. But, I mean, I know I was reluctant to print

11 things off if I didn't need them because of the hassle

12 you had to go through to get them recorded, et cetera.

13 Q. Were you ever involved with the security services at

14 your level of the Int Cell?

15 A. I think I met one of them once.

16 Q. So it wasn't a day-to-day or even monthly interaction

17 and exchange of information?

18 A. It was a one-off, I would say.

19 Q. Would you have expected the sort of intelligence we have

20 just looked at, where Mrs Nelson was mentioned -- not

21 because of her being mentioned, but that type of

22 intelligence -- to end up with the security services?

23 A. I wouldn't imagine so. A lot of what we gathered, as

24 you can see from this, are basic pattern of life

25 sightings. You know, when we witnessed something active





1 going on in terms of terrorist operation or what we

2 thought was the prelude to it, perhaps they would have

3 seen it then. But I wouldn't imagine they would get too

4 excited about our list of sightings.

5 Q. What about the Royal Ulster Constabulary,

6 Special Branch? Presumably you would have expected them

7 to have access to historical information?

8 A. I'm not sure they used MACER in the same way that we

9 did. I'm not sure they logged into it and printed out

10 lists of sightings. But in our weekly brief to

11 Special Branch, it would have included hard copies of

12 the daily briefs and I or my deputy would have

13 highlighted sightings within that week that we felt were

14 over and above abnormal, if you like.

15 Q. Yes, and we talked a lot about the formal structures,

16 but what about the informal, as far as Special Branch

17 were concerned? By that, I mean bumping into somebody

18 on the stair, one of their officers knocking on your

19 door, coming in saying, "What's going on? Anything of

20 interest happening?" Were there those sort of informal

21 interactions?

22 A. There would have been, and the desk heads were under an

23 informal remit, if you like, to visit their respective

24 officers at least once a week and, if they could, visit

25 them more. It obviously depended on how busy we were





1 I tended to try and meet with the officers that we

2 worked with on an infrequent basis, but I would always

3 try and frequently meet with the detective inspector who

4 I was working with.

5 Q. And you describe in your statement that your function

6 was to support the police?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. How much would you say your activities were directed and

9 supervised by the police, as opposed to the military?

10 A. We were probably straying into the Ops Officer's

11 territory here. All our operations and all our routine

12 patrols would have been sanctioned by the police through

13 the weekly ops meetings, and the other meetings that the

14 ops officer would have held with operations planning

15 staff and the senior RUC officers in Lurgan, Craigavon

16 and Banbridge, we wouldn't have got involved in that as

17 much.

18 I would have been aware where the taskings were, I

19 would have been aware where the RUC had concerns and

20 where the RUC would have wanted to put troops in order

21 to deter and disrupt terrorist activity.

22 Q. You were given intelligence by the police?

23 A. Yes, most of the action sheets emanated from the RUC.

24 Q. Did you ever form the opinion that you were not being

25 given the whole picture on any occasions?





1 A. I think that tended to be a part of the job. Obviously

2 intelligence is a sensitive matter. I was well aware

3 that we weren't getting the same level of intelligence

4 that brigade got or that the RUC got, but I always felt

5 that we got enough to do our job.

6 Q. When you say you didn't get the same as the RUC got, who

7 do you mean by the RUC?

8 A. I'm referring to Special Branch.

9 Q. So you were, if you like, at the end of the food chain?

10 A. Yes, that's correct.

11 Q. Did you ever try and obtain more information than you

12 were being given?

13 A. You were always conscious that it wasn't good to pry too

14 much, but you needed to strike a balance between getting

15 what you needed to do your job effectively and pushing

16 too far and ending up closing down those barriers. It

17 was quite a delicate balance to strike.

18 Q. Now, turning to the particular, dealing with Mrs Nelson

19 in a bit more detail, I think I'm right in saying that

20 you yourself had a -- forgive the expression -- vague

21 knowledge of her, according to your statement, if we can

22 look at RNI-840-111 (displayed), paragraphs 10 and 11.

23 You say this:

24 "I have been asked what I knew of Rosemary Nelson.

25 I knew she was a local solicitor with an office just





1 past the police station, she was a local personality and

2 was prominently during the Drumcree situation. I also

3 remember seeing her on television and knew from media

4 reports that she'd been involved in attempting to find

5 a solution at Drumcree. I knew of her, but she was of

6 no interest to us regarding counter-terrorism.

7 "I have been also been asked whether I knew

8 Mrs Nelson's clients. A function of the military was to

9 patrol and to support the police, so I had no reason to

10 know her activities. I do know that she represented

11 someone from Lurgan and that he was one of our subjects,

12 Colin Duffy. He would have been on our radar."

13 Two things from what I have just read out. What do

14 you mean by counter-terrorism, please?

15 A. In terms of our day-to-day patrolling, in terms of our

16 focus on the main terrorist suspects that were operating

17 in our areas, you know, she was of no interest to us

18 because she was a solicitor, not a suspect.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: You haven't actually answered the question.

20 What do you mean by the phrase "counter-terrorism"?

21 A. Counter-terrorism was our day-to-day function, to deter

22 and disrupt terrorism through our patrolling.

23 MR SAVILL: Would I be right -- and I don't want to be

24 difficult -- that that last sentence isn't strictly

25 accurate:





1 "I knew of her, but she was of no interest to us

2 regarding counter-terrorism, save for the occasions when

3 she was seen associating with terrorists"?

4 A. Yes. You have shown me those previous examples. That

5 was before my time. I was unaware -- I certainly can't

6 recall her being in the company of Colin Duffy. It is

7 not something that I recall and it is not something I

8 can recall being briefed on when I took on the post.

9 Q. And, again, you say:

10 "The function of the military was to patrol and to

11 support the police, so I had no reason to know her

12 activities."

13 I appreciate there is a deference between theory and

14 reality and your memory and experience, but it is right,

15 isn't it, that she would have been thrust into the

16 bigger picture if she was seen associating or

17 representing people such as Mr Duffy?

18 A. That's correct. But from my point of view, that is

19 a professional and a legal relationship. It doesn't

20 necessarily strike me as a relationship that makes me

21 think she is linked to terrorism because of it.

22 Q. Were you ever aware of any comments or discussion about

23 a relationship between Mr Duffy and Mrs Nelson that went

24 beyond that of solicitor and client?

25 A. No, not that I can recall.





1 Q. Did you ever hear her association with Mr Duffy

2 discussed informally within the barracks or the police

3 station?

4 A. Not that I can recall, no.

5 Q. Do you ever recall there being any unpleasant or vicious

6 remarks made about her personally or her appearance?

7 A. No, not in my presence.

8 Q. Not in your presence? Did you ever hear second hand,

9 third hand of that sort of thing?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Did you ever hear discussed the association of a lawyer

12 with a terrorist, albeit a client, as being one and the

13 same?

14 A. Not that I can recall and it wouldn't have been my

15 personal opinion.

16 Q. Because we have heard the view expressed that a lawyer

17 representing a terrorist really was just as bad as the

18 person they were representing.

19 A. Well, that wouldn't have been my opinion.

20 Q. Now, could we just have a look at RNI-511-202, please

21 (displayed)? Again, we can see that

22 that's December 1998; yes?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. The origin of it: 3 RIR Battalion. If we go over the

25 page, we can see a black line redaction in the middle of





1 the page:

2 "Rosemary Nelson. Nelson runs a solicitors'

3 practice."

4 Then the comment:

5 "Nelson is the main legal representative for

6 Republicans in the Lurgan area and she has been

7 prominent in past appeal cases of Colin Duffy (Lurgan

8 PIRA). She is also known to be active in anti-SF

9 pressure groups."

10 What does "SF" stand for?

11 A. Security forces.

12 Q. So you can see here that there is a document that

13 records her association with Mr Duffy -- the word used

14 is "prominent" in past appeals. Was this the sort of

15 thing that you had seen during this handover period?

16 A. I don't recall seeing this document, no.

17 Q. Not necessarily this document, but documents that refer

18 to Mrs Nelson, her work as a solicitor, contact with

19 Mr Duffy?

20 A. I don't recall being formally briefed on this type of

21 material.

22 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Could we actually confirm, Mr Savill,

23 when the witness took over as the Intelligence Officer,

24 the actual date?

25 A. I can't remember the precise date. I know the handover





1 period would have been January/February time and I would

2 have been in post at the start of March.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: The start of March 1999?

4 A. Yes.

5 MR SAVILL: Let's just have a look at another one,

6 RNI-511-180 (displayed). Again -- we are becoming

7 familiar with this -- we can see the date of the

8 information, October 1998. The originating unit is

9 slightly different, isn't it?

10 A. Yes, this is from 3 Brigade, 124 Int Section, which

11 would have been the G2 Branch.

12 Q. So this would have been information or intelligence

13 coming down to you?

14 A. Yes. This would have been formed from our daily brief

15 and the daily briefs of the other battalions in the

16 brigade area of operations.

17 THE CHAIRMAN: So all the battalions in the brigade would be

18 briefed from brigade with this information, would they?

19 A. Yes, this document would have been placed on MACER and

20 then provided to the intelligence cells for their

21 dissemination where appropriate.

22 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just give us the date again, Mr Savill,

23 of this?

24 MR SAVILL: If we go to the previous page, you will see it

25 is 11 October 1998.





1 If we go to the next page again, RNI-511-181

2 (displayed), we can see paragraph 10:

3 "Colin Duffy, Lurgan PIRA, stopped at Kinnego

4 Embankment ..."

5 I can't quite see because of the redaction --

6 "... Lurgan, driving [whatever] Rosemary Nelson's

7 silver BMW.

8 "Comment. Rosemary Nelson is Duffy's solicitor.

9 The reason for him being in the Kinnego area may have

10 been an attempt to move back to Lurgan from ..."

11 Again, I can't quite see that.

12 A. I think that's East Tyrone or South Armagh.

13 Q. Thank you:

14 "... without detection from the security forces in a

15 clean vehicle. However, this is unconfirmed at

16 present."

17 So we have got a sighting, there we have

18 a suspicion, a comment being expressed. Who would have

19 made that comment in this type of document?

20 A. Probably the watchkeeper. Sorry, that's from the

21 brigade. That would have been the Brigade G2 duty

22 watchkeeper.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: It is a comment by the brigade watchkeeper,

24 is it?

25 A. Brigade intelligence watchkeeper. That's a member of





1 the Intelligence Corps.

2 MR SAVILL: Again, take it in stages. Did you ever see this

3 document?

4 A. No, I have never seen this.

5 Q. What, to you, does this comment suggest about Mrs Nelson

6 and Mr Duffy?

7 A. The comment suggests that Nelson has provided her

8 vehicle for Duffy. I think it is -- well, it is

9 obviously the intelligence watchkeeper's view that this

10 was in an attempt to evade security forces.

11 Q. But to be fair to the commentator, I think I would be

12 right in saying that it doesn't say with her knowledge

13 that the vehicle was provided --

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. -- for this purpose, I mean. Now --

16 THE CHAIRMAN: It is described as A1, is it, this piece of

17 intelligence?

18 MR SAVILL: Yes, it is.

19 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Would this have gone on to the MACER

20 system?

21 A. That's from the MACER system.

22 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: From the MACER system.

23 A. So that would have been stored on there and then printed

24 off or viewed as appropriate.

25 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But in your time, appreciating that





1 this isn't during your time, when this sort of

2 information came down from G2 to you, would it have been

3 on the MACER system flagged, or would there have been

4 a hard copy?

5 A. No, the Brigade G2 brief was infrequently printed out

6 from memory because it was a document at a higher level

7 than us. It would have been the sort of briefing

8 document that would have been used by commanding

9 officers or the brigade staff. You know, our sightings

10 had already gone on to that so we had no real need to

11 delve deeply into it.

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So a hard copy like this, would that

13 ever have been retained and filed for future reference

14 in your intelligence cell?

15 A. From my recollection, we wouldn't have printed out

16 brigade documents and filed them hard copy; they would

17 have simply been stored on MACER and dipped into if we

18 needed them.


20 THE CHAIRMAN: But this document would be, you would assume,

21 read by your commanding officer, would it?

22 A. Not necessarily. He would have been briefed from our

23 daily document.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: So you'd brief your commanding officer from

25 this document, would you?





1 A. Not from this document, from our own daily document,

2 from the battalion document.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So the chances are you would have never

4 seen this?

5 A. I have never seen that one.

6 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Not you personally, sorry. The person

7 who held your position prior to your arrival.

8 A. The IO would have been aware it was there, but whether

9 she would have deemed it important enough to trawl

10 through all those sightings or not, I can't say.

11 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So in terms of this as a MACER

12 reference, what search fields would you have had

13 available to you in relation to recovering that

14 information for your use?

15 A. You are pressing my knowledge of MACER now. I didn't

16 tend to use it. You could have searched on the

17 organisation, on the name or the date.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: You could have searched on the name of

19 Rosemary Nelson as a search field?

20 A. I presume you could have. I can't say for definite

21 because I don't tend to use MACER that much.

22 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: No. Thank you.

23 MR SAVILL: I just want to ask you before we, I think,

24 probably take a small break, for your opinion. What

25 does that comment and this information suggest to you as





1 to the relationship between Mrs Nelson and Mr Duffy?

2 A. Well, it would suggest a close relationship if the

3 lending of the vehicle was allowed.

4 MR SAVILL: Thank you. Sir, I just wonder if now would be

5 a good time?

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. We will have a break until quarter

7 to 12.

8 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

9 please confirm that all the cameras have been

10 switched off?


12 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out.

13 (11.26 am)

14 (Short break)

15 (11.46 am)

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

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

18 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

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

20 screen closed?

21 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

23 and securely fastened?

24 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and





1 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

2 of this chamber?

3 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

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

5 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

6 off and shrouded?

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

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

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

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

11 Bring the witness in, please.

12 The cameras on the Panel, the Inquiry personnel and

13 the Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

14 switched back on.

15 MR SAVILL: Can we just go back, please, to RNI-511-185

16 (displayed), and just very quickly Have a look at that?

17 On that page, we can see the originating unit is

18 3 Brigade/124. What does 124 signify?

19 A. 124 Int section. That's the name of the Int section

20 that works with Brigade G2.

21 Q. Thank you. Because I now want you to have a look at

22 RNI-511-087 (displayed), because we can see there that

23 this is what is described as an INTSUM, as opposed to

24 what we were looking at, which was a daily brief; yes?

25 A. That's correct.





1 Q. Just tell us the difference between the two, first

2 of all?

3 A. An INTSUM would have been a summary, more of a generic

4 document, if you like, rather than a daily update.

5 Q. And would an INTSUM, or would INTSUMs, those things that

6 would form a daily brief, be used to make briefings?

7 A. No, this INTSUM probably came from patterns emerging in

8 a daily brief, I would imagine, or a shortened version

9 thereof.

10 Q. This is why I asked you the question about 124 says

11 "3 Brigade Int", not "Int 124". What's the difference?

12 A. I'm not honestly sure what the difference is.

13 Q. Is there a difference?

14 A. A technical difference, yes, because 124 would be the

15 unit, 3 Brigade Int would refer to the branch as

16 a whole.

17 Q. Just explain that: what do you mean by the branches as

18 a whole?

19 A. The G2 Branch, the intelligence branch within

20 headquarters as a whole. But that's a guess. I don't

21 really know, to be honest.

22 Q. Again, we can see that pre-dates your appointment and

23 pre-dates the last document that we looked at,

24 6 April 1997, A1; yes?

25 A. That's correct.





1 Q. Now, just to be fair, we can see it says page 1 of 8,

2 but I'm actually going to take you to the third page

3 of 8, RNI-511-088 (displayed). So we can see here some

4 headings "North Armagh PIRA", and then at the bottom,

5 "South Down Command PIRA"; yes?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Those seem to be similar headings. I don't know whether

8 we can call up on to the screen RNI-511-181 (displayed).

9 It is a coincidence that it starts at the same paragraph

10 number obviously, but we can see North Monaghan PIRA and

11 North Armagh PIRA?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. Can you just help me with why it is that the document on

14 the right is the daily brief and the document on the

15 left is an INTSUM and yet they seem to be fairly similar

16 in their format?

17 A. They do seem similar in format. It would appear to me

18 on first impression that the document on the right has

19 slightly more detail in it and sightings, but these were

20 brigade documents so I wasn't responsible for producing

21 them. I'm not sure how and why they create the

22 differences in them.

23 Q. But you would be responsible for creating them,

24 presumably insofar as any intelligence you had sent up

25 to brigade was contained in them?





1 A. Yes, in terms of the content and the specifics of the

2 intelligence, but we didn't set the format.

3 Q. Could we just highlight paragraph 10, please, on the

4 left-hand document? As I have said, this pre-dates the

5 document we have just looked at, and if we look about

6 four lines down, we can see:

7 "06 20.15 hours."

8 Just explain that?

9 A. That is the 6th of the month, 20.15 hours. So that is

10 quarter past eight at night.

11 Q. "Colin Duffy was stopped in a red Honda Civic, which was

12 being driven by Rosemary Nelson from Lurgan. They

13 stated that they were travelling from Portadown and were

14 going to Duffy's home address.

15 "Comment: Nelson is a solicitor and when questioned

16 by the patrol commander, she said the patrol was

17 interrupting a legal meeting which she was having in the

18 car with Duffy. Nelson has represented Lurgan PIRA

19 members in the past and this could have been a meeting

20 with reference to Duffy's convictions and release on

21 appeal after the Lyness murder."

22 Yes?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. So would you agree with me that we are moving -- and I

25 think we talked about this at the outset of your





1 evidence -- a little bit way from Mrs Nelson was with

2 Mr Duffy into the realms of -- I hesitate to use the

3 word speculation, but into the realms of inferential

4 analysis of why she might have been with him and what

5 they might have been talking about? Is that fair?

6 A. Yes, that's fair. The comment was something that we had

7 to put on to add value, and if this is a brigade

8 document, then that's the Brigade G2 watchkeeper's view

9 of the situation. You know, the information that has

10 come from the patrol commander as to what Mrs Nelson has

11 said at the time, obviously has to be taken as truthful.

12 So that looks like it has formed the basis of the

13 comment that the Int watchkeeper has put on it.

14 Q. Yes, why is it that in the document on the right, which

15 is the subsequent sighting, there isn't, as it were,

16 a cross-reference to -- well, the document on the left,

17 but the fact, for example, that Mrs Nelson's car has

18 been involved, Mr Duffy? Is that me trying to bring

19 a level of sophistication to this that really wasn't

20 possible?

21 A. I'm not sure --

22 Q. We have got on the right-hand page Mr Duffy in

23 Mrs Nelson's car, albeit she is not in it on this

24 occasion, and on the left we have got them both in a red

25 Honda Civic. So being generic, we have: Nelson, Duffy,





1 cars.

2 What I'm asking you is why is it that there isn't in

3 the subsequent document, the one on the right-hand side

4 of the screen, a cross-reference to this previous

5 incident?

6 A. I can't say. It was a brigade document.

7 Q. But is that the level of analysis that should have taken

8 place or would have, or would you not have expected it?

9 A. It depends how important it seems to the watchkeeper or

10 the staff in Brigade G2 at the time. Yes, it might have

11 been helpful to cross link them, but that's a call for

12 the watchkeeper.

13 Q. Now, as far as these two documents are concerned, you

14 would have expected to see them?

15 A. Had I been IO at the time.

16 Q. Yes. I'm sorry, the Intelligence Officer would have

17 expected to see them?

18 A. I would have known where they were, whether I always saw

19 them or not.

20 Q. They were available to you to see?

21 A. That's correct.


23 A. On MACER, yes.

24 MR SAVILL: And I think I'm right in saying that when it

25 says on the left-hand document, "NST", that means "no





1 subversive trace"?

2 A. That's correct.

3 MR SAVILL: What does that actually mean?

4 A. That generally would mean that you might have

5 a criminal -- no subversive trace might refer to someone

6 who was perhaps -- I'm trying to think of an example

7 here -- someone who was linked to Loyalist

8 paramilitaries who was actually involved in drugs rather

9 than terrorism. But no subversive trace in this case,

10 I'm not sure why --

11 Q. I want to just explore that a little bit. Is that use

12 of lettering, NSTs, is that a matter of opinion that

13 leads that to be included or is that a matter of fact?

14 A. I want say that it is a matter of fact, in that if

15 somebody is traced or not traced, then they are either

16 on MACER or they are not; they are a suspect that has

17 been linked in the past or they are not.

18 Q. This is what I want to get at. This information has

19 come in, yes?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. It has come in at a low level from the patrol?

22 A. Yes, this looks like it has been a patrol sighting.

23 Q. Where would that patrol have reported this

24 information to?

25 A. Well, if the patrol was from 3 Royal Irish, it would





1 have been reported to 3 Royal Irish Int Cell.

2 Q. That you subsequently took command of?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. That intelligence cell would have passed it up the

5 chain?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, comment was added by someone in the

8 Intelligence Cell?

9 A. That comment is from the brigade intelligence --

10 Q. That's a brigade comment?

11 A. Yes.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: How do you know it is a brigade comment?

13 A. Because it is a brigade document, sir.

14 MR SAVILL: Would their comment contain comment that you had

15 added to the intelligence when you sent it up?

16 A. It is possible.

17 Q. So, and again, I'm not criticising you, but technically

18 you say, "Oh, no, that's a brigade comment", might it

19 not be the case that it is a brigade comment because it

20 is a brigade document but the comment came from the

21 Intelligence Cell?

22 A. It could have. I can't say that it has been cut and

23 pasted completely. I can't say whether the brigade

24 watchkeeper has taken elements of the 3 Royal Irish

25 comment. That's not for me to know.





1 Q. Thank you. I was just asking you, at what point did

2 "(NST)" become attached or inserted to that document?

3 A. I have no way of knowing. It could have been added at

4 the 3 Royal Irish Int comment stage or it could have

5 been added at the brigade stage.

6 Q. When, in your experience, would NST be added? Would it

7 be the Intelligence Cell or brigade?

8 A. The no trace comment would have been added, or the

9 comment that would have linked them to an organisation

10 would have been added at the Intelligence Cell stage at

11 battalion in most cases. But if you were dealing with

12 a person of interest who wasn't that well-known to the

13 watchkeeper at the battalion level, then he may not have

14 added it at that stage.

15 Q. Thank you. That's helpful. What I'm getting at is

16 Rosemary Nelson's name comes into the Intelligence Cell

17 in this situation?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. As I understand it, in order to add an NST, and after

20 all someone may challenge you and say, "Why have you

21 added an NST?" someone has to do something, and that's

22 to check on MACER. Is that right?

23 A. That's correct, yes.

24 Q. Would they ever say to themselves, possibly, "Oh, well,

25 I know Rosemary Nelson. I have checked before, she is





1 not on MACER so it is NST" or would they always check?

2 A. Well, obviously my watchkeepers had experience of this

3 job, some of them had done it for three or four years by

4 the time I had taken over, so they would know the main

5 personalities, the main suspects. How they decided to

6 bracket Rosemary Nelson as NST I can't say.

7 Q. But someone on this occasion has put NST in?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. More than likely at the Intelligence Cell level?

10 A. I can't say. In most cases, the terrorist suspect would

11 have been known to the watchkeeper and would have been

12 added at the lowest level, at battalion level. In this

13 case, I can't say. I mean, I wouldn't have classified

14 her as NST, but that's my personal opinion.

15 Q. Let's just be careful about that. You are not saying

16 you wouldn't have classified her as NST because there

17 was a subversive trace; you are saying you would have

18 just left her name as blank, is that what you are

19 saying?

20 A. That's my personal opinion, yes.

21 Q. What you are saying is some names would have just been

22 left blank?

23 A. Yes.

24 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: If I understood it aright, NST in

25 your experience was usually used in relation to what





1 they called an ordinary decent criminal, i.e. someone who

2 is involved in, as it might be, drugs but not involved

3 in terrorism. Is that right?

4 A. That's the example I can think of. We had Loyalist

5 associates who were more involved in the drugs trade

6 than they were in terrorism. So, therefore, they were

7 NST. They had an association, yes, but it wasn't

8 strictly guerrilla warfare, if you like.

9 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: So NST is not, "This person is as

10 innocent as the day is long"?

11 A. No.

12 MR SAVILL: That's what I wanted to ask you about NST. It

13 is not something that was applied or checked for

14 everyone whose name appeared in a document such as this,

15 was it?

16 A. It could have been linked to somebody who perhaps had an

17 association with the terrorist, has been sighted with

18 the terrorist, has some links to an organisation.

19 Q. I don't quite understand your answer. Why is NST being

20 thought of, as it were, in the context of Mrs Nelson's

21 name?

22 A. I can't tell you that.

23 Q. But in theory, why would someone think of NST in

24 relation to an individual?

25 A. In theory, because she had previously been sighted with





1 Colin Duffy. Perhaps.

2 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Is there a compendium used in

3 intelligence circles in the military of recognised terms

4 and when they should be used? NST: I mean, it is not

5 something that you would just imagine, is it, or use

6 without some sort of knowledge of -- to no subversive

7 trace?

8 A. No, it is not a term that you would throw around, if

9 that's what you mean. As for a compendium, I don't ever

10 recall there being one, but you could have linked to

11 a terrorist organisation, you could have an NST trace or

12 you could have no trace, where they wouldn't appear in

13 MACER at all.

14 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: I appreciate the fact that you had no

15 formal training yourself in intelligence terms, but as

16 far as you are aware, there was nothing written down

17 that indicated when the term "NST" should or should not

18 be used?

19 A. I haven't seen it, I don't recall.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So it is a subjective judgment by the

21 individual who wrote it?

22 A. Yes, I would imagine that that was probably the case. I

23 can't recall where you would find out if somebody was

24 NST. I imagine there is something on MACER that brought

25 them to that conclusion.





1 MR SAVILL: Because, again, reminding ourselves that the

2 document on the right post-dates the document on the

3 left, there is obviously no brackets saying NST after

4 the name Rosemary Nelson in the right-hand document?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Can you assist me with that?

7 A. Can you just remind me which is the more recent of

8 the two?

9 Q. The document on the right-hand side is date of

10 information, 11 October 1998, and is the 3 Infantry

11 Brigade daily brief; yes?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And the document on the left is the INTSUM dated

14 6 April 1997. So the earlier document is on the left,

15 i.e. there has been a sighting, she has been referred to

16 as NST in 1997. But then on the one on the right, her

17 name comes up and there is no brackets NST?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. So can you explain or assist me with understanding why

20 that is the case?

21 A. I can't. I never worked at brigade level in

22 intelligence and I wasn't in the intelligence community

23 at this time. So I can't help you on that.

24 Q. I appreciate what you are saying, that it is a brigade

25 document, but what I'm asking is why might it be that





1 someone who is writing the document on one day does

2 whatever they do to put in a bracket NST, but on another

3 day doesn't?

4 A. I can't really answer your question. I don't know.

5 Q. You don't know. If we have a look at another document,

6 please, that's RNI-511-099 (displayed), we have, again,

7 that which we are familiar with: the date of the

8 information, 30 June 1997, 3rd Royal Irish Regiment

9 battalion; yes?

10 A. That's a 3 Royal Irish Int Cell document.

11 Q. So that's something you know about. We have a slightly

12 more, if I can use the expression, dubious level of

13 reliability, C3; yes?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And this, we will see, is information re murders of

16 Constables Graham and Johnston in Lurgan. Before I look

17 at the next page, was that an event that you were

18 aware of?

19 A. I was aware of it. I wasn't patrolling in Lurgan or

20 Portadown at that time.

21 Q. No. Were you made aware or did you ever hear discussed

22 Mrs Nelson's particular role in representing Mr Duffy in

23 that case?

24 A. I was aware that she had represented him, yes.

25 Q. Did anyone offer any opinion to you as to the quality of





1 her representation?

2 A. No.

3 Q. If we look over the page, please, we can see the text of

4 the report and we can see in the second paragraph that

5 certain organisations are currently trying to establish

6 alibi witnesses for Colin Duffy; yes?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And then we have more text and comment. We have already

9 touched on this type of event, but:

10 "Recent visits by [blank] Lurgan PIRA and [blank]

11 Lurgan PIRA to Rosemary Nelson, solicitors, are believed

12 to be connected to the Colin Duffy case. It is assessed

13 as possible that the [blank] and other PIRA PSF in

14 conjunction with Rosemary Nelson are attempting to

15 establish witness in support of Duffy."

16 One or two questions arise, please. Again, can you

17 assist as to why there is no NST after Mrs Nelson's

18 name?

19 A. No, I'm not sure why NST was added to that previous

20 document and it is not included here.

21 Q. And I appreciate that you say -- well, we know that you

22 joined the Intelligence Cell two years later than this

23 document, but in hindsight and looking at this document

24 now, is that the sort of document that would be raising

25 your intelligence antennae and thinking to yourself,





1 "This is a topic that's going to need looking at more

2 closely"?

3 A. It would certainly have raised my concerns. The comment

4 seems to jump to conclusions somewhat. Simply

5 a sighting I don't think warrants that comment, but then

6 again it is the opinion and that's why "comment" is put

7 at either side of it. There should be a word "comment"

8 at the end.

9 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just pursue, Mr Savill, if I may?

10 I appreciate this is long before you took over, but

11 can I just refer to your time in post, whether a similar

12 time of document would come in, obviously not relating

13 to Mrs Nelson latterly, but if you had this sort of

14 document relating to known terrorists and there was

15 a comment made at the end of the document which was, as

16 you have just said, opinion, when you are preparing

17 briefings for battalion soldiers going out, would the

18 content of the comments element there ever have been

19 included in the briefing of your troops?

20 A. Possibly. Obviously in a lot of cases, this being

21 a secret document, there is quite a considerable amount

22 of sanitisation that was used because troops on the

23 ground needed to know what they were going in to deal

24 with, what the threat was against them and what the sort

25 of basic picture was of the enemy, as it were, of the





1 terrorists. You would need to be very careful about

2 briefing people on comment.

3 This document was designed to go to brigade, where

4 they would look at that comment and then put their spin

5 on it. At the end of the day, this is simply the

6 comment of a person working in the Intelligence Cell at

7 battalion level. That comment doesn't stand in stone,

8 you know. That doesn't mean that somebody can turn

9 around and go, "We don't actually think that's correct

10 because we have seen X, Y and Z as well, which you are

11 not privy to".

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just refer to another document,

13 the one that Mr Savill referred to a moment ago, where

14 comment was made about what Mrs Nelson had said to

15 stopping troops at a vehicle checkpoint, that they were

16 interfering or interrupting a legal conference in the

17 car, which may be taken as a suggestion that it was

18 a rather abrupt comment and that the soldiers needed to

19 be rather careful?

20 A. Yes, that's correct.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Bearing in mind that soldiers may be

22 stopping that person again, would that sort of comment

23 have been included in there as a cautionary note to

24 soldiers that if this person is stopped again, just be

25 careful?





1 A. Around that time there were a number of instances where

2 Sinn Fein members had orchestrated what we term PR

3 traps, public relations traps, and we were always aware

4 that those situations could develop.

5 Now, in the instance that you have mentioned -- and

6 using it as an example -- that would have been something

7 that I personally would have been aware of as

8 a potential for causing problems in the future. And it

9 may have needed to have been worded slightly differently

10 not to give away the source of it, but we certainly

11 would have been concerned about that.

12 The fact is that you don't want soldiers in their

13 day-to-day duties ending up riling, for want of a better

14 word, a member of the legal profession because that's

15 not good practice, you know. So in your instance, yes,

16 it is something that I personally would have had my

17 antenna switched on to.

18 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: If you had produced the briefing, the

19 briefing to your troops on that particular issue, what

20 would you have said to them?

21 A. I would have taken some time over the wording of it

22 obviously. I don't think I can afford to take the time

23 in here to give you an exact wording, but I would have

24 been careful to try and sanitise the source of it and

25 perhaps, you know, try and focus more on the techniques





1 involved in VCPs, you know, remind soldiers of the need

2 to be careful of those in other professions.

3 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But if Mrs Nelson is stopped again?

4 A. I wasn't in the position of saying, "Don't ever stop

5 Rosemary Nelson".

6 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: But be careful?

7 A. Yes, I would have thought about the context of, you

8 know, knowing personalities involved and perhaps the

9 Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition or those members

10 associating with Sinn Fein, you could have worded it

11 along those lines. That's my personal opinion. I can't

12 speak for --

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: No, I was asking your opinion.

14 A. -- the soldier that wrote those comments.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Do I understand it right that, not

16 infrequently, the gist of a comment on one of these

17 documents would be disseminated in briefing to patrols?

18 A. I personally would have avoided trying to put too much

19 emphasis on the comment because it is the fact that you

20 needed to get across to the troops. In this instance,

21 if you are being specific about that, I don't think I

22 would have majored on that.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: No, but as a matter of general practice, the

24 gist of a comment might be explained or disseminated to

25 patrol members?





1 A. Yes, if there was enough belief that it was correct,

2 yes. In some cases, now, comment was just your very

3 basic stab in the dark as to what it might mean. It was

4 not really -- it didn't benefit us. Comment didn't

5 benefit us because we had the facts. The comment was

6 supposed to benefit those in the higher formations, who

7 had less knowledge or understanding of the terrorists

8 and their modus operandi.

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

10 MR SAVILL: Just to be clear, was Rosemary Nelson's name

11 ever mentioned in this type of context in briefings that

12 you were aware of?

13 A. Not that I was aware of, no.

14 Q. Could we call up RNI-840-114, please, which is your

15 statement (displayed) and highlight the last three

16 lines?:

17 "I have also been asked whether Mrs Nelson was

18 suspected of having any political memberships or

19 affiliation. I believe that if she had any paramilitary

20 affiliations we would have known about it, and we

21 didn't."

22 What exactly do you mean by the word "affiliations"?

23 A. Subversive trace.

24 Q. So that's a technical definition?

25 A. Yes.





1 Q. As opposed to a matter of opinion. Is that what you are

2 saying?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. So I believe if she appeared on the system with

5 a subversive trace, we would have known about it. Is

6 that what you are saying?

7 A. Yes. All I'm saying is that I was never formally

8 briefed that she was a member of a terrorist unit, and

9 if she was, then I would have expected to have known

10 about it.

11 Q. Because it would have been on the system?

12 A. Because it would have been on the system and because it

13 would have been remiss of me not to know that or act

14 upon that.

15 Q. What about a little level down from that? Someone --

16 this is my word -- who had sympathy or had crossed the

17 line, as it were, with paramilitaries?

18 A. Unless they were a very frequent associate, then no.

19 Q. Unless what?

20 A. You know, if someone was a very frequent associate of

21 a known terrorist, then we should have known about that

22 because you are likely to see that suspect in company

23 with on a regular basis.

24 Q. And what would the practical effect have been of someone

25 falling into that category?





1 A. That it wouldn't have taken you by surprise if you saw

2 the two together.

3 Q. In terms of record-keeping?

4 A. In terms of record-keeping, all sightings of terrorist

5 suspects were recorded, as you have seen in the

6 documents, and anyone that they were with would also

7 have been recorded.

8 Q. Would there come a time when you would have opened the

9 seal on a new file on somebody?

10 A. That wouldn't have been up to us to do. We took our

11 lead from Special Branch in that respect.

12 Q. So files were created for individuals?

13 A. As far as I'm aware, in Special Branch, yes.

14 Q. But would Special Branch, as it were, send you a memo or

15 a phone call, come to see you and say, "By the way, we

16 have now created a file on John Smith"? Would you know

17 about that?

18 A. No, we wouldn't have been privy to that level of

19 information, but the information we would have got from

20 Special Branch was, "A is a terrorist suspect and we

21 want you to look out for them".

22 Q. Because what I think you are saying is that the

23 information would come in to you and it would go up to

24 Special Branch or cross to Special Branch; yes? And

25 they may well create a file, but you wouldn't know





1 about it?

2 A. What I'm saying is that the information on what

3 terrorist suspects we were to concentrate on would have

4 come from Special Branch.

5 Q. But what about the creation of a file on an individual?

6 You wouldn't do that yourself, as I understand you to be

7 saying?

8 A. We wouldn't have created a file, as it were. We would

9 have created a pen picture if we had sufficient

10 information and we have seen an example of that already

11 on MACER. And we would have -- you know, if there was

12 a sighting or a list of sightings of that particular

13 person, then we would start sighting them and recording

14 them.

15 Q. I'm sorry to be difficult, but what makes a list of

16 sightings? What qualifies?

17 A. I'm not quite sure what your question is.

18 Q. I have shown you a number of documents involving

19 Mrs Nelson. Does one sighting with Mr Duffy qualify for

20 a pen picture? Do you have to wait until it is ten

21 sightings? Is it an exact science?

22 A. It wouldn't be an exact science, no. It would be up to

23 the IO at the time as to, you know, when they would

24 start taking an interest and passing that up the chain

25 and saying, you know, "We want to alert you to this.





1 This person is becoming a very frequent associate of

2 Colin Duffy."

3 Q. I'm just trying to -- well, I'm sure, causing problems

4 in your mind as to what stage it would have to be for

5 someone to become of interest. I mean, looking at what

6 we have seen -- and take it from me, you haven't seen

7 all the documents I could show you -- would that be the

8 level that would be getting to creating a pen picture,

9 do you think, or not?

10 A. I think it certainly would have raised hackles. You

11 know, it would have raised an antenna, as it were, in

12 that that was two instances where Rosemary Nelson was in

13 the company of Colin Duffy. In one instance he had her

14 car and in the other instance he was in her car, and

15 there was a legal meeting going on.

16 It is something that we would have reported up and

17 asked for direction.

18 Q. But would the seed have been planted in your mind in

19 theory as to the creation of a pen picture at that sort

20 of level at that stage?

21 A. Pen pictures, as far as I was concerned, were only for

22 terrorist suspects and that wasn't enough to make her

23 a terrorist suspect.

24 Q. Was there any other type of file for an individual,

25 other than a pen picture, that you would have created?





1 A. No, not personally, not that I'm aware of it.

2 Q. And to the best of your knowledge, was there ever a file

3 created by anybody concerning Mrs Nelson?

4 A. No, not that I recall.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: When you are dealing with a pen picture,

6 which is created, you said, really for only terrorist

7 suspects, would the contents of those pen pictures be

8 generally known among the rank and file of the

9 battalion? Not the actual wording of it, but would the

10 gist of these pen pictures be disseminated throughout

11 the rank and file of the battalion?

12 A. Yes, that's correct. In a lot of cases, the pen

13 pictures were generated from fact and also experience.

14 We had soldiers in the battalion who were very

15 experienced in that area and in dealing with that

16 particular branch of PIRA. So a lot of it was historic

17 and a lot of it was basically putting on paper historic

18 facts for the benefit of those who came after, like

19 myself.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

21 MR SAVILL: Now we have looked at a number of documents that

22 deal with Mrs Nelson, that pre-date your arrival. Was

23 your briefing from your predecessor sufficiently

24 detailed to have included Mrs Nelson by name?

25 A. I don't recall being briefed on Mrs Nelson.





1 Q. I know it is difficult, but seeing the one or two items

2 that I have shown you involving her and Mr Duffy, would

3 it have been the sort of thing that you would expect to

4 have been briefed about?

5 A. Not at the time, bearing in mind those were comments on

6 daily documents. You know, every day those daily

7 documents were produced. At the time, from my own

8 recall, our main concern was the developing Republican

9 dissident threat and also the issues surrounding

10 Drumcree.

11 Q. And you told us that you have never heard Mrs Nelson

12 discussed informally, and that includes your briefing?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. As somebody that may have crossed the line in terms of

15 her association with terrorists or suspected terrorists?

16 A. I was never briefed on that.

17 Q. Could we have a look at RNI-512-013, please (displayed)?

18 Can you see that?

19 A. Just about.

20 Q. Not very good. Without reading the detail just at the

21 moment, does that strike you as a familiar document?

22 A. Yes, that's an action sheet. That would have been

23 disseminated, it looks like, from HQNI.

24 Q. Basics, please: what's an action sheet?

25 A. An action sheet is basically a redacted statement of





1 intelligence that in most cases originated from

2 Special Branch, that passes on the bare bones of a

3 threat so that troops on the ground can deal with it.

4 Q. So would the handwriting there be the handwriting of

5 a Special Branch officer?

6 A. No, the handwriting there is probably the watchkeeper at

7 HQNI who transcribed it from a phone call, probably.

8 Q. So we can see at the top left, 45/99. What does that

9 mean?

10 A. I have no idea.

11 Q. Then we have HQNI?

12 A. Obviously the prime headquarters in Northern Ireland.

13 Q. And we have February 1999, "1/99", on the right-hand

14 side?

15 A. I don't know whether that is February 1999. That might

16 be jumping to conclusions. It might be another

17 sequential code.

18 Q. We can check that. Then it says "II" in Rome

19 numeration?

20 A. That's actually double I.

21 Q. Double I.

22 A. Intelligence indicates.

23 Q. Intelligence indicates.

24 A. That is "the intention of the" and then they've struck

25 out "Orange Volunteers" and written:





1 "Red Hand Defenders and the Orange Volunteers to

2 intensify their campaign of --

3 Q. Intimidation?

4 A. -- intimidation against --

5 Q. RCs, Roman Catholics.

6 A. -- RCs. Over the period of the following two to three

7 weeks, they intend to attempt to cause interruption in

8 the --

9 Q. "In a number", is it, "of areas", is it, "over --

10 A. "... over a 12-day period."

11 Q. 12-day period.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So this has been written down, you say, almost certainly

14 by someone at HQ from a telephone call from

15 Special Branch?

16 A. I wouldn't say almost certainly. I would say probably.

17 Q. Probably. Come down to you in the Intelligence Cell?

18 A. Come down through brigade.

19 Q. Through brigade, because we can see then in the bottom

20 left-hand corner a series of boxes: action and info?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And we can see 3R Irish, which is you?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. Presumably, 2118's not really of much significance?

25 A. I have no idea what that --





1 Q. Then we have two columns: action and info. I think

2 those are relatively self-explanatory. There is a cross

3 in the action box. Tell us, please, what does that mean

4 you were expected and, indeed, did do upon receipt? How

5 did you act?

6 A. On receipt that would have been looked at in

7 consultation with brigade headquarters to see if they

8 had a deeper understanding of it because at face value

9 that is not technically helpful because it doesn't give

10 you any areas. It does give you a timeframe, but it

11 doesn't give you any targets either. So in consultation

12 with them, I would have sanitised that where appropriate

13 and passed that down to troops on the ground. In itself

14 not particularly helpful.

15 Q. What I want to ask you is action: Were you being tasked

16 in any way to provide further clarity to this type of

17 information?

18 A. No, that action would have been for us to make sure that

19 the troops on the ground were aware of this, that our

20 intelligence cell was aware of this and that, I suppose

21 most importantly, the commanding officer was aware that

22 this was a new threat that was emanating.

23 Q. If we look at RNI-512-015 (displayed), an identical

24 document, we can all see the headings at the top,

25 including "Feb" on the right-hand side, and:





1 "Intelligence indicates that [crossed out] Loyalist

2 dissidents in the Armagh area are in the [blank] --

3 A. "... imminent attack on RC ..."

4 Q. Targets?

5 A. "... targets in the Armagh/Mid Ulster area."

6 Q. Then we can see someone has carefully written "change to

7 militant Loyalists"?

8 A. Yes, Loyalist dissidents would have been how we referred

9 to those within the Loyalist paramilitary organisations

10 who hadn't embraced the ceasefire at that stage. But

11 obviously somebody has deemed it necessary to put

12 "militant Loyalists" instead.

13 Q. Are they one and the same thing?

14 A. I wouldn't say they are one and the same -- militant

15 Loyalists are more those that we would have associated

16 with the Drumcree situation. Those that weren't

17 completely linked to Loyalist paramilitary

18 organisations, but in terms of the Drumcree situation,

19 were prepared to become violent.

20 Q. I don't want you to mention persons' names, but are you

21 able to give me one or even two examples of

22 organisations that would fall under those two different

23 headings?

24 A. The Orange Volunteers would have been one organisation

25 that we were aware of.





1 Q. Under which heading, sorry?

2 A. They would have been militant Loyalist. But, again, I

3 think at that stage they hadn't become involved in any

4 sort of terrorist activity outside the Drumcree

5 scenario. So that's why I would have viewed them as

6 militant Loyalists. Certainly their leader was

7 a militant Loyalist.

8 Q. What about the LVF and the Red Hand Defenders, which of

9 those would they have come under?

10 A. They would have been primarily in the Loyalist dissident

11 category, although the LVF clearly did have an interest

12 in the Drumcree situation.

13 Q. Can we now have a look at RNI-512-014 (displayed), an

14 identical document; the headings we can see. Except

15 this is a dissident Republican general threat:

16 "Intelligence cases ..."

17 Can you read that for me?

18 A. "... that dissident Republicans are engaged or

19 organised --

20 Q. "... in some form of operation"?

21 A. Yes, possibly:

22 "... involved in some form of operation.

23 Indications are that an attack is imminent and may --

24 Q. "... take the form ..."

25 A. "... take the form of a UBIED".





1 I'm not quite sure what the abbreviation UBIED

2 refers to. An under vehicle --

3 Q. UV you would expect?

4 A. Yes, or a vehicle-borne -- in fact, if that U is a V,

5 that would be vehicle-borne IED, which was the dissident

6 Republican hallmark around that period of time.

7 Q. So we have got here three documents I have just shown

8 you. Do you remember seeing them? Do you have

9 a recollection of seeing these?

10 A. No, I mean, sometimes we were getting three or four

11 action sheets a day. So I can't recall these exactly --

12 specifically.

13 Q. Another document, RNI-512-006 (displayed), because I

14 don't think we have actually dealt with this category of

15 document. This is a RIRAC. Is that the way you would

16 pronounce it?

17 A. RIRAC would have been the way it was pronounced.

18 Q. Yes. What is that?

19 A. It would have been a regional intelligence document. I

20 can't actually remember what RIRAC stood for. That was

21 a level above us. That would have been something

22 I might have had sight of occasionally.

23 Q. If we look over at RNI-512-007 (displayed) that might

24 help you. We see "no downward dissemination"?

25 A. That means it would not have been briefed to me in that





1 form.

2 Q. Who would it have gone to?

3 A. Probably the RMIO if that's a brigade level document,

4 the Regional Military Intelligence Officer.

5 Q. Thank you. Just go back to the previous page,

6 RNI-512-006 (displayed), please. We can see that's

7 a DSL7?

8 A. Yes, it looks like the originating unit there is HQNI.

9 Q. Just remind me of the Intelligence Cell level of access?

10 A. Level 3.

11 Q. And what were the other military levels of access to


13 A. Brigade G2 would have had level 7. This is a level 7

14 document, so it looks like that has been tailored

15 specifically for dissemination to Brigade G2 units from

16 HQNI. I think HQNI operated on a higher level again.

17 Q. So before I just move on to a slightly different area,

18 can we just summarise, please: in which document would

19 it have been likely for Mrs Nelson's name to have been

20 mentioned that you in the Intelligence Cell would have

21 seen?

22 A. Well, it would have to be at DSL level 3 for us to

23 see it.

24 Q. Yes. And what were they called because we have seen

25 INTSUMs, daily briefs, RIRACs?





1 A. I think it is immaterial what the actual product is

2 called. It is the security level that's important. We

3 would have seen any security -- any intelligence

4 document that was DSL3; anything above that I wouldn't

5 have had physical sight of.

6 Q. And anything that was at that level would have been

7 accessible to yourself or any of your colleagues in the

8 Intelligence Cell?

9 A. Yes, anyone with a MACER password at a very basic level

10 had level 3. So any one of my staff had level 3.

11 Q. And if you had chosen to, you or any of your colleagues

12 providing briefings would have been allowed, as it were,

13 to relate such mention, such intelligence, such

14 information, to those you were briefing?

15 A. Not in its pure form. DSL level 3 was for the

16 Intelligence Cell only. That was at secret level. We

17 would have sanitised, where we felt it was appropriate,

18 information that was being briefed to the ground troops.

19 Q. Just excuse me for just one moment. (Pause)

20 We have looked at a document which was an INTSUM

21 DSL3 -- I won't take you to it -- the one involving

22 Mrs Nelson with Mr Duffy in the red Honda?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. We have got the comment there: she was a solicitor, they

25 were will having a legal meeting. How would you go





1 about sanitising that, because it seems at least to me

2 that the facts are fairly stark?

3 A. The facts would be passed on because obviously the facts

4 have come from a patrol member originally, so you can't

5 dispute that, you can't try and hide that or sanitise

6 it. It is the comment that wouldn't have necessarily

7 been briefed directly in its pure form to ground troops.

8 Q. Let's just explore that. Would it have been related to

9 them if you had been able to put it into a different

10 format, or are you saying in reality comment was never

11 passed on?

12 A. I'm not saying it was never passed but it wasn't

13 important. As I said before, the comment was added

14 simply to add value as the intelligence went up the

15 chain.

16 Q. But sometimes wasn't comment a means of verifying the

17 intelligence information that was being passed on? For

18 example, this red Honda incident, the comment could have

19 said, "This is the fourth time this week they have been

20 seen in this red Honda, and the second time she said

21 that they are having a legal meeting."

22 Which on the face of it would lend veracity to the

23 initial intelligence, wouldn't it?

24 A. Yes, it would. It would depend very much on the briefer

25 as to how much detail he or she went into, but you





1 certainly wouldn't want to compromise any intelligence

2 by passing it to ground troops, if that's what you mean.

3 Q. The motivation behind sanitisation was to protect the

4 source?

5 A. To protect the substance.

6 Q. I see that as two different things: protecting

7 intelligence and protecting the source. Why are they

8 different?

9 A. We weren't in the business of passing everything to

10 ground troops because intelligence that we received from

11 above may have had a no downward dissemination caveat on

12 it. In the case we are talking about, personally -- my

13 personal opinion, that comment doesn't seem to be

14 factually based, factually held up by the facts. What

15 I probably would have done personally in that case would

16 have been briefed the facts and left the comment,

17 perhaps backed it up by saying, "This is the second time

18 this has been reported" or "The second time Duffy has

19 been in Mrs Nelson's company". But I think I would have

20 left it at that.

21 Q. What if the comment related the actual dates of those

22 other sightings?

23 A. If the comment was appropriate to back up the fact, then

24 yes, you could. You were constantly under pressure to

25 make sure that intelligence was sanitised so that you





1 did protect sources, and sometimes you ended up

2 sanitising too much. You always tried to err on the

3 side of caution.

4 Q. But are you saying, forgive me, that there was an

5 emphasis on protecting the fact that a soldier, on

6 a date, at a location had reported seeing something,

7 that that was an emphasis, was it?

8 A. It was an emphasis to protect sources, but where that

9 source was open source, in this case a patrolling

10 member, then it wouldn't have been so important. But it

11 was good practice to make sure every source you had was

12 protected.

13 Q. Whether it be a covert source, human source or just a

14 soldier on patrol?

15 A. We wouldn't have had any knowledge of covert sources.

16 We dealt primarily with patrol intelligence and

17 intelligence being passed down in a sanitised form.

18 Q. Now, turning to the murder of Mrs Nelson, if I may, am

19 I right in saying that you were in post at the time of

20 the murder?

21 A. Yes, I was.

22 Q. And had you received any intelligence in your role as

23 intelligence officer prior to the murder that indicated

24 that it was a possibility?

25 A. No, not that I can recall.





1 Q. You were on duty at the time of the murder, were you?

2 A. Yes, I was, yes. As far as I remember it was a normal

3 working day.

4 Q. Were you aware of any out of bounds areas, can you

5 remember, around the time of her murder?

6 A. No, I can't remember specifics. There was out of bounds

7 areas springing up all over at any time of the day or

8 night.

9 Q. What role did you have to play in relation to the

10 notification of out of bounds areas?

11 A. Out of bounds would have been notified by brigade or in

12 some cases directly from the police if it was a short

13 notice, but we had no role in terms of authorising or

14 setting or disseminating. It was an ops room

15 responsibility.

16 Q. So you wouldn't have been surprised not to have known

17 about an out of bounds area but the operations room

18 would have known about it?

19 A. Yes, if we wanted to find out information on out of

20 bounds that were current, we would have gone through the

21 ops room. They were marked up on a map board.

22 Q. Were you aware of any covert operations that weekend?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Would you have been made aware of them?

25 A. I wouldn't have expected to be.





1 Q. So you weren't aware of any intelligence. The murder

2 took place. Was there any degree of review or

3 soul-searching, if you like, within your intelligence

4 cell as to why it was that perhaps you hadn't found out

5 about it?

6 A. Obviously after every incident you want to try and find

7 out why it occurred, how it occurred and how you can

8 prevent such things in the future. In this case we had

9 no prior intelligence at our level. It was a complete

10 shock. And the aftermath of it involved us in some

11 small way assisting brigade in trying to piece together

12 what we thought had happened.

13 Q. And if we look at RNI-512-109 (displayed), this is a G2

14 incident report, "The murder of Mrs Rosemary Nelson",

15 and the date, I think it is 19 March 1998. If we go

16 over the page to RNI-512-110, please (displayed), we can

17 see the signature is A674. Do you recognise that on

18 your cipher list?

19 A. Yes, I do.

20 Q. Just tell us what was this document? Have you seen it

21 before?

22 A. I can't recall seeing it, but I imagine I probably have

23 at the time. Obviously being new to the post it is

24 likely that the A10 who wrote this did so because I

25 wouldn't have had the experience to do so at the time.





1 Q. Sorry, the A10?

2 A. My deputy, the Assistant Intelligence Officer, A674.

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. So I imagine that's why he has written it. It would

5 normally be the IO's function to write such documents.

6 I think it is a serious incident report.

7 Q. And there are some comments, if you like, in this

8 document about the device and groups that may be

9 involved. Would you be able to help me with those?

10 A. Where exactly --

11 Q. If we look at 5(c):

12 "The technical make-up of the device was much more

13 advanced than has hitherto been associated to a militant

14 Loyalist grouping."

15 So is that something you were aware of at the time

16 or had you not been in post long enough?

17 A. I can't recall the specifics, but it is something that

18 does ring true, yes.

19 Q. Why is that?

20 A. Mainly because prior to this any Loyalist activity that

21 we had dealt with within our patch had been fairly

22 crude. The LVF had an MO of close quarter shootings.

23 Around the Province at that time, I think I'm right in

24 saying that pipe bombs were becoming more prevalent.

25 Q. Can I just interrupt you and show you 5(a)? Can you





1 read that without the highlight; does that help you?

2 A. Yes, obviously there was a pipe bomb attack which had

3 killed a lady in the Portadown area, around that area.

4 I can't remember the exact date. And pipe bombs would

5 have been one of the threats that we faced during public

6 order situations at Drumcree.

7 Q. And again in 5(c) you refer to militant Loyalists. Can

8 you just give me the names of the organisations?

9 A. The A10 has referred to militant Loyalist groupings.

10 I assume he is referring to organisations such as the

11 Orange Volunteers. I'm not sure whether he is referring

12 to the Red Hand Defenders in that comment. They were

13 more of an umbrella term really, and I think there is

14 something there in paragraph 6 about them.

15 Q. What about the LVF?

16 A. The LVF, they were obviously interested in the Drumcree

17 situation which meant they were militant in that

18 respect, but they were also Loyalist dissidents.

19 Q. Thank you. Those are all the questions I have for you.

20 Thank you very much indeed for giving your evidence. Is

21 there anything at this stage before you leave that you

22 feel we haven't explored sufficiently or that you would

23 like to add in your evidence that the Panel should hear

24 today?

25 A. No.





1 MR SAVILL: I don't know if there are any questions from the

2 Panel?

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Before the witness leaves, can the video

4 engineer please confirm that all the cameras have been

5 switched off?


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

8 evidence.

9 Please escort the witness out.

10 We will adjourn until Monday, 9 February at 1.00 pm.

11 (12.45 pm)

12 (The Inquiry adjourned until Monday, 9 February 2009

13 at 1.00 pm)
















1 I N D E X

A566 (sworn) ..................................... 2
Questions by MR SAVILL ....................... 2