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Transcript (Morning Session)

Hearing: 15th December 2009, day 75

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Held at:


20-24 York Street



on Tuesday, 15th December 2009

commencing at 10.30 am


Day 75




1 Tuesday, 15th December 2009

2 (10.30 am)

3 (Proceedings delayed)

4 (10.50 am)

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Underwood?

6 MR UNDERWOOD: Sir, we were hoping to start with evidence by

7 video link from Sir Ronnie. Can I just explain what the

8 position is about that? Due to the way the evidence

9 came out, Mr McGrory was not in a position to put some

10 matters to Sir Ronnie when he gave evidence last time.

11 Obviously, with the advantage now of seeing all the

12 documents, Mr McGrory has been able to patch together --

13 I don't mean that in a pejorative way -- piece together

14 a submission about Sir Ronnie, which Sir Ronnie has not

15 squarely had the opportunity to deal with.

16 When that arose in the course of submissions, your

17 immediate reaction was that perhaps Sir Ronnie might put

18 in a further witness statement. In fact, his team has

19 offered him, as it were, by way of further evidence by

20 video, because he is not in the jurisdiction, for

21 examination by me. That's what we are going to conduct.

22 Unhappily, he can't get to the place where the video

23 is to be linked from until 11.30 am our time, we are

24 hoping. So the position now is that my friend for G

25 will make his submissions, and I apprehend we will then

1 have to break for a while so we can get Sir Ronnie at

2 the other end of the video link

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Just before we hear counsel for G,

4 I understand, Mr McGrory, although at one stage you

5 seemed to be content to leave all the questioning of

6 Sir Ronnie Flanagan to Mr Underwood, you are now seeking

7 to put questions of your own, though you have put

8 lines of questioning to -- I am wrong.

9 MR McGRORY: No. Having spoken to Mr Underwood, I am

10 reasonably content to leave it to Counsel to the

11 Inquiry.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: "Reasonably"?

13 MR McGRORY: Very content.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: A large part of what Mr Underwood will be

15 asking about is, in effect, what would have been

16 a re-examination, had matters been dealt with on the

17 first occasion.

18 MR McGRORY: Yes.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you then.

20 MR McGRORY: The only matter that occurs to me is, if

21 something arises, I might ask to make a very short

22 supplementary submission at the end of submissions, but

23 it may not even be necessary. That is the only matter.

24 THE CHAIRMAN: Very well.


1 Closing submissions by MR A LUNNY

2 MR A LUNNY: Sir, my name is Lunny. I appear on behalf of

3 Witness G. I am sorry for the delay this morning.

4 I fear I will not be able to fill the space between now

5 and 11.30 am. I propose to be very short.

6 In relation to Witness G, I would suggest there are

7 two main questions to consider in relation to the

8 evidence that he gave.

9 First of all, what, if anything, did Timothy Jameson

10 say to Witness G, and to Mr McCaw, about the attack on

11 Robert Hamill? That's the first question.

12 The second question is: if Jameson did give evidence

13 to Witness G and Mr McCaw about the attack on

14 Robert Hamill, how much of that information was conveyed

15 to Mr McBurney and Mr Irwin?

16 So far as question one is concerned, there are two

17 witnesses to this. Unfortunately, the third witness,

18 Mr McCaw, is no longer able to remember anything of

19 this, or, indeed, much about anything else in relation

20 to this whole affair. The two witnesses are

21 Mr Timothy Jameson and Witness G.

22 Now, Mr Jameson. I would pose the question: is this

23 man's evidence to the Inquiry capable of belief? First

24 of all, he has made a detailed statement to police about

25 the involvement of several people in the incident in

1 which Robert Hamill was attacked, only to retract that

2 statement at a later stage, claiming that the police had

3 composed the statement for him and that it was all lies.

4 Now, sir, the Panel may feel that Mr Timothy Jameson

5 had good reason to retract the statement. First of all,

6 he would have in his mind, no doubt, the fear of

7 reprisal from paramilitaries, and, also, he would have

8 had a loyalty to his own community. That's in relation

9 to the statements that he claims were induced by some

10 pressure from police and were all lies.

11 If he was prepared to retract that statement, the

12 Panel may feel that he has equal good reason to retract

13 or to deny the suggestion that at his home, on

14 9th May 1997, he admitted to Mr McCaw and Witness G that

15 he had been at the scene and he put the boot in.

16 The good reason for denying that would be the

17 probability that he would be convicted of a very serious

18 crime. So, therefore, Mr Jameson had a clear motive for

19 behaving the way that he did in denying what Witness G

20 says he had said to McCaw and himself.

21 Now, when we look at the evidence given by

22 Witness G, it has been suggested in the composite

23 closing submissions by some people that, because of the

24 alleged inconsistencies in the very statements that he

25 has given, and in the oral evidence in relation to the

1 conversation with Timothy Jameson, that that's not

2 credible, but I would invite the Panel to look at the

3 evidence which Witness G gave in its totality, and in

4 particular to the manner in which he gave his oral

5 evidence, and to accept that Witness G is a witness of

6 truth.

7 That's the first thing. The second thing is, if the

8 Panel is not persuaded by the manner in which Witness G

9 gave his evidence, then what motive would he have to

10 make up the serious allegation about someone against

11 whom he bore no grudge? It would be the most outrageous

12 lie in respect of an innocent young son of a man being

13 given daily protection by Witness G.

14 I have suggested that Timothy Jameson, therefore,

15 had good reason to lie about what he told Witness G

16 about putting the boot in. Did Witness G have a good

17 reason to lie? Did Witness G have any reason to lie?

18 I suggest that he did not in relation to that

19 conversation with Timothy Jameson at the home of

20 Timothy Jameson.

21 In those circumstances, I would ask the Panel to

22 prefer the evidence of Witness G over and above that

23 given by Timothy Jameson in this Inquiry. That's the

24 first question.

25 The second question then is: did Witness G And

1 Reserve Constable McCaw together relay to

2 Messrs McBurney and Irwin what Timothy Jameson had told

3 them, including Jameson's admission that he put the boot

4 in?

5 Now, in relation to this aspect of the case there

6 are, would I suggest, four relevant witnesses.

7 Number one, there is Mr Michael Irwin. Number two,

8 Mr McBurney, number three, P39, and number four,

9 Witness G.

10 Now, I don't propose to rehearse the evidence given

11 by each of these witnesses or the evidence contained in

12 any statements either to the Inquiry or in earlier

13 investigations, but in summary, Mr Irwin says that on

14 9th May 1997, he was in a hurry to proceed to a meeting

15 elsewhere when Reserve Constable McGaw came to see him

16 at Portadown Police Station with information about

17 a potential witness. Mr Irwin brought Mr McCaw to

18 a room to meet Mr McBurney and P39. He then left for

19 his other appointment and was not present for any of the

20 conversation between McCaw, McBurney and P39. He

21 doesn't refer at all to Witness G. That's a summary of

22 the evidence by Mr Michael Irwin.

23 Now, Mr McBurney, his statement to the Inquiry and

24 the various interview transcripts confirms the

25 circumstances surrounding the interview were as set out

1 by Mr Irwin. So they both agree in the evidence that

2 they give to the Inquiry.

3 P39. Now, this witness gives evidence -- gives

4 an account broadly similar to that of Messrs Irwin and

5 McBurney, including the assertion that he did not recall

6 seeing Witness G being present in the room when McCaw

7 came to report to McBurney about what Timothy Jameson

8 had told him.

9 So, therefore, there is a clear conflict between the

10 account given by Witness G, on the one hand, and those

11 of McBurney, Irwin and P39 on the other. Witness G said

12 he was present in a room with McCaw, Irwin and McBurney

13 when McCaw told both of them what Jameson told them. He

14 is very clear about this. He was clear in his earlier

15 statements, he was clear in his direct evidence, and he

16 was equally clear in cross-examination. He was there.

17 He walked into the police station, met Mr Irwin. He and

18 McCaw -- remember, he was with McCaw at all times --

19 both of them went to Irwin's room. Irwin took them to

20 McBurney's room and all four were in the room together.

21 No sign of P39. Irwin was there when the disclosure was

22 made. That's the evidence of Witness G.

23 Why would Witness G make this up? What was in it

24 for him to make this up?

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Just remind me about this, will you? G told

1 us, didn't he, that he was told by McBurney not to make

2 any notes?

3 MR A LUNNY: Yes.


5 MR A LUNNY: Well, I accept there is some confusion there.

6 Mr Adair adduced evidence in cross-examination about

7 that point, that, at one stage, he was not sure if he

8 made a note or not, then, at a later stage, it became

9 clear that he had been told in specific terms not to

10 make a note.

11 In any event, the flavour of his evidence, in my

12 submission, is, by one means or another, he was invited

13 to not make a note, because nobody else was.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: The reason I raised the question is this. It

15 may be, and we shall have to consider this, that G would

16 have been unlikely to know what was McBurney's way of

17 working.

18 MR A LUNNY: That's right.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: On the other hand, if McBurney did say,

20 "Don't make any notes", that, it may be thought, was

21 consistent with McBurney's way of working and perhaps

22 understandable.

23 MR A LUNNY: Yes, sir, but there is another scenario.

24 Sorry --

25 THE CHAIRMAN: I merely raise it for this reason. If that's

1 right, and we have not reached any conclusions or even

2 considered it, it may add strength to G's evidence.

3 MR A LUNNY: To G's evidence?


5 MR A LUNNY: Yes, because there is another scenario as well,

6 a related scenario, because if McBurney and Irwin alone

7 decided to conceal some of what was told to them by

8 McCaw and Witness G, which may be the case, because P39,

9 her evidence is odd, in my submission. This is

10 simply -- this is speculation and you might stop me at

11 this stage, but I did put it to P39 in cross-examination

12 that, if she is to be believed, there was another

13 meeting with McBurney and McCaw and herself and nobody

14 else, maybe later on the 9th or maybe -- and that's

15 where she heard for the first time for her the evidence

16 about putting the boot in. It is mere speculation.

17 Equally well, it may be that on the 8th, the

18 previous day, she had been present at a meeting where

19 the information was about Tracey Clarke and Andrea McKee

20 on the 8th, because she does say in her statement to the

21 Inquiry that she does not think she was in on the 8th.

22 She does not rule it out as a possibility. Again,

23 that's speculation, Mr Chairman

24 THE CHAIRMAN: As I remember, the effect of P39's evidence

25 was this: on the day on which Irwin left, because he had

1 some other appointment, she saw one of the two officers,

2 didn't see the other, but doesn't go so far as to say he

3 did not attend the police station on that occasion. Is

4 that right?

5 MR A LUNNY: That's right. She, in her evidence, said she

6 did not see Witness G there. She saw Mr McCaw there.

7 Mr McCaw was ushered into the room by Mr Irwin, who left

8 immediately. So she was there with McBurney and McCaw

9 when McCaw made the disclosure. There lies the

10 confusion, because Witness G was adamant right through

11 persons to whom this information was first relayed in

12 the police station.

13 Now, in relation to the evidence of P39, McBurney

14 and Irwin both say she was present in the room when

15 McCaw alone entered and told them what Jameson had said.

16 So why, then, is there a conflict between the two --

17 well, Witness G on one side and the three police

18 officers on the other side?

19 I go back to the point -- and it may be

20 speculation -- I made a moment ago. If, say, both Irwin

21 and McBurney were concealing information, they would

22 have an obvious motive for covering their tracks by

23 seeking to undermine the evidence of Witness G, who

24 remained the only witness who might counter the version

25 of events given by them.

1 Now P39, has she been used by Irwin and McBurney?

2 Is she confusing a meeting with McCaw on 8th May or was

3 there a meeting later on 9th May? If Witness G is

4 correct, and P39 is correct, another explanation is

5 there was that second meeting on 9th May, at which P39

6 was present and at which McCaw was present, although

7 I am indulging in a conspiracy theory here, sir. I am

8 trying to reconcile the definite evidence given by

9 Witness G as to what the circumstances were, as he saw

10 it, and the contrary evidence being given by the police

11 officers.

12 Now, what motive would G have to concoct this story?

13 Why should he have persons present, persons absent?

14 No-one suggested at any stage through thousands of

15 pages of this Inquiry that G had any motive for this and

16 there is no reason for that. Is he conducting some sort

17 of campaign against the police or Timothy Jameson? No

18 suggestion like that has been made.

19 The answer is clear. The evidence that he has given

20 is the truth and he is sticking by that evidence in the

21 face of various counter-suggestions and suggestions that

22 it is fabrication, it is inconsistent, because it is the

23 truth. He is going to against evidence given by two

24 senior officers, despite being interviewed over

25 a number of years and despite coming to the Tribunal to

1 be cross-examined.

2 So the answer to the two questions is, yes,

3 Timothy Jameson did give the evidence about putting the

4 boot in and, yes, that was relayed to two officers, at

5 least two officers. Those officers were Mr McBurney and

6 Mr Irwin. Those are my submissions, Mr Chairman.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: There seem to me to be two other matters we

8 may need to think about in relation to why, if G did

9 make this disclosure to McBurney, McBurney has not

10 recorded it, to use a neutral phrase.

11 If he suppressed it, was that to protect

12 Timothy Jameson, or was it to keep Timothy Jameson as

13 a witness for the prosecution? He could not easily be

14 both a witness and a defendant, you see.

15 MR A LUNNY: I am afraid, sir, I have an easy answer to

16 that. I am not sure if an easy answer does exist to

17 that scenario. My submission is, for one reason or

18 another, Mr McBurney suppressed this, concealed it, hid

19 it, and did not pass it further up the line, or, indeed,

20 Mr Honeyford was a very impressive witness. His

21 evidence was, when interviewing Mr Timothy Jameson, that

22 he was not given the information about putting the boot

23 in.

24 I would invite the Panel to accept he was not given

25 the information. Yet another person not given the

1 information. P39 was not given the information either,

2 possibly

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. I raise the matter simply because it is

4 a matter we may have to consider in light of submissions

5 being made to us. Thank you very much.

6 MR A LUNNY: Thank you very much. Thank you.

7 MR UNDERWOOD: Can I suggest that we rise until 11.30 am, or

8 not before 11.30 am in any event. We will endeavour to

9 find out whether Sir Ronnie is close to the other end of

10 the video link.


12 (11.05 am)

13 (A short break)

14 (11.30 am)

15 MR UNDERWOOD: My learned friend for Sir Ronnie Flanagan has

16 raised a point that I think needs to be dealt with, with

17 me, before we start. Can I ask you to rise again for

18 five minutes? I am so sorry.

19 (11.32 am)

20 (A short break)

21 (11.37 am)

22 MR UNDERWOOD: I do apologise, sir, for that. There was

23 a glitch with the video link, which I hope has been

24 solved now.



2 MR UNDERWOOD: Good morning, Sir Ronnie.

3 A. Good morning.

4 MR UNDERWOOD: Please sit down.

5 A. Thank you very much.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Sir Ronnie, may I apologise for the fact that

7 we have had to ask you to appear again. Matters were

8 raised in submissions to which we did not have your

9 answers and it was appropriate that we should hear what

10 you could say about them.

11 A. Absolutely, Chairman. Thank you very much indeed.

12 Questions by MR UNDERWOOD

13 MR UNDERWOOD: May I offer my thanks to you for making

14 yourself available in this way. I know it is a busy

15 schedule you have broken into to do this.

16 A. Not at all. I am sorry for any convenience as a result

17 of the delay.

18 Q. What is now being said against you is that Mr McBurney

19 deliberately pulled his punches -- that's my phrasing of

20 it -- in the way in which he investigated the tip-off

21 allegation against Reserve Constable Atkinson, and it is

22 now being said against you that you had a guiding hand

23 in that policy of going slow.

24 It is also said that there is some evidence which,

25 as it were, provides straws in the wind to support the

1 suggestion that you were that guiding hand, and the

2 purpose of these questions is to give you the

3 opportunity to deal with those allegations.

4 Do you follow?

5 A. Thank you.

6 Q. First of all, were you a guiding hand in any policy or

7 procedure adopted by Mr McBurney in relation to the

8 investigation of the tip-off allegation?

9 A. Absolutely not.

10 Q. It is right I think, isn't it, that any diaries or

11 journals which you would have had covering that period,

12 that is May 1997 onwards, are no longer available?

13 A. They would have been electronic diaries, electronic

14 records at police headquarters. My understanding is

15 they are no longer available. I certainly have no

16 personal records available to me.

17 Q. Right. Now, what I want to do is take you back over

18 some of the evidence, which I think, to be fair, you

19 have already seen and already commented upon, but I want

20 to do it in a way that allows you to understand how it

21 might be stitched together so as to provide some support

22 for the allegation that is now being made.

23 Do you stand by your allegation that, when

24 Mr McBurney came to you in June 2000, you pushed and

25 pushed for him to -- what transpired, to re-interview

1 Andrea McKee?

2 A. In terms of the expression "pushed and pushed", I don't

3 think that was necessary. I think certainly

4 Maynard McBurney would have taken that course of action

5 anyway, but certainly in relation to what was seen as

6 a new opportunity, my interpretation of Mr McBurney's

7 attitude was that he was enthusiastic that a new

8 opportunity had arisen and my determination was to make

9 sure that full investigative opportunity in the new

10 opportunity was taken.

11 Q. Right. I want to ask you about Dr Mowlam and Labour

12 coming to power in May 1997.

13 The suggestion has been made that, when Labour came

14 to power and appointed Dr Mowlam that it became clear to

15 those in the RUC that there might be an agenda to get

16 rid of the RUC. What do you say to that?

17 A. Absolutely not. I had a very good relationship with

18 Dr Mowlam as Secretary of State and I certainly had no

19 indication, fear, suspicion of any such motivation on

20 her part or on the part of the new Government.

21 Q. We know that by November 1997 it became apparent to you

22 that Dr Mowlam had taken a particular interest in the

23 Hamill case, because she was writing to you at this

24 stage asking for some information.

25 Were you aware before that that she had taken

1 a personal interest?

2 A. No, I was not.

3 Q. We know, for example --

4 A. I certainly can't recall her having taken a personal

5 interest, but she was Secretary of State and she would

6 have taken an interest in all matters relating to

7 security, and certainly the murder of a young man would

8 have been something that she would have taken

9 an interest in, of course.

10 Q. We know, for example, from Mr Steele's evidence, that

11 I don't think you did have a chance to comment on, that

12 in May 1997, shortly after her appointment, she visited

13 the Hamill sisters at their home and sympathised deeply

14 with their plight.

15 Is that something which it is possible was raised

16 with you by her?

17 A. No, I have no recollection of that, but it certainly

18 does not surprise me. Dr Mowlam was a very human

19 person, and the fact that she would be extremely

20 sympathetic to a bereaved family is no surprise to me.

21 Q. Again, I am revisiting something that you told us last

22 time you gave evidence, just to make sure I have this

23 right. We know that ACC Hall made a journal entry to

24 the effect that, at one of the Monday meetings, namely,

25 12th May 1997, he raised the tip-off allegation and

1 attributed it to Tracey Clarke. I think your position

2 is, if that's what he says, you accept that that

3 happened. Is that right?

4 A. I would accept anything that Mr Hall said. I have every

5 trust in the man of absolute integrity. I have no

6 recollection of him raising it with me, but if his

7 record or his recollection is that he did, I would

8 accept that without demur.

9 Q. The allegation goes this way, and let me give you this

10 chance to deal with it, that, in 1997, at least by

11 November, you had recognised that Dr Mowlam had taken

12 a personal interest in the Hamill case, and you must

13 have been alert to the fact that there was criticism in

14 general about the RUC over the years and that Dr Mowlam

15 might be interested in that general criticism, and, the

16 argument goes, you were, therefore, anxious not to give

17 her more opportunity for criticism in respect of the

18 Hamill case, and, therefore, you weren't going to inform

19 her of all the detail about the Atkinson tip-off.

20 A long question I know, but do you follow it?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. What do you say about it?

23 A. I follow the trend, but that's absolutely not the stance

24 I would have taken. If there was someone who had

25 behaved in the way that has been alleged that that

1 person behaved, I would want to have that rooted out

2 absolutely. I would want to have it publicly exposed,

3 and there would be no question of trying to conceal it

4 or trying to deliberately withhold information from the

5 Secretary of State.

6 Q. You see, the suggestion, I think, goes this way: that

7 Mr McBurney had a whole range of choices about how he

8 would investigate the murder, the neglect complaint and

9 the tip-off, and, so the suggestion would go, what he

10 opted to do was take the longest possible route to

11 investigating the tip-off allegation, and, so the

12 suggestion would also go, you assisted him in that by,

13 as it were, agreeing with that attitude.

14 What do you say about that?

15 A. I absolutely refute that. As a chief constable, I would

16 never be micro-managing an individual investigation. It

17 would be my job to make sure that whatever resources

18 were needed, whatever support was needed for

19 an investigation was provided, so that that

20 investigation could be thoroughly and rigorously

21 conducted.

22 Q. Yet, when the Secretary of State asked you personally by

23 letter, in November 1997, a range of questions, one of

24 which was about alleged links between suspects and

25 police officers, you were advised then that the Atkinson

1 tip-off allegation was going to the DPP. That is

2 correct, isn't it?

3 A. I was advised that any alleged links were being

4 thoroughly investigated and that the report would

5 eventually go to the Director of Public Prosecutions for

6 a decision.

7 Q. At that stage, of course, we know from Mr Hall's journal

8 entry of 12th May you had long been aware of the tip-off

9 allegation and that it was made by the chief prosecution

10 witness in the murder. Is that right?

11 A. Well, that is not my recollection. My recollection is

12 that, when Mr McBurney came to me some time later with

13 what I have described as a fresh opportunity, that's

14 when I really became aware of the detail of what you are

15 describing, the tip-off allegation.

16 Q. I want to ask you about Rosemary Nelson. Before I get

17 to her, I want to ask you about one of her clients,

18 Colin Duffy.

19 I understand that Colin Duffy was a man who was

20 convicted of murder of a soldier in 1994, but was

21 released on appeal in 1996. Were you aware of that?

22 A. I can't say that I'm aware of that precise detail, but

23 I was aware of the individual and aware of his

24 background.

25 Q. He was arrested for the murder of two police officers in

1 Lurgan in June 1997, I think. Are you aware of that?

2 A. That is correct. I was aware of that.

3 Q. He was not prosecuted in the end, I think. Is that

4 right?

5 A. He was not prosecuted. I think the Director did not

6 proceed with the charges, and my understanding is that

7 was because a witness who had given evidence either

8 withdrew that evidence or was deemed not to be reliable

9 enough.

10 You would have to ask the Director as to the

11 reasoning for the withdrawal of those charges.

12 Q. Certainly, but as far as the RUC was concerned, it

13 provided a crime file, which, in its view, supported

14 a prosecution for murder against Mr Duffy. Is that

15 fair?

16 A. Yes. I am certain we would have recommended

17 prosecution, yes.

18 Q. Are you aware also that he made complaints about his

19 treatment by the RUC on his arrest?

20 MR McGUINNESS: I wonder, sir --

21 A. At that particular time or ...

22 MR McGUINNESS: Sir, we were given helpfully some advance

23 indication of the areas that would be trammelled today.

24 I don't know that there is any evidence and I certainly

25 don't have any evidence or any information about

1 a Mr Colin Duffy, sir. This does appear to be very new

2 material, certainly to me instructed on behalf of

3 Sir Ronnie Flanagan. I have not been able to take

4 instructions from my client.

5 I am not sure where my learned friend is going with

6 it, but I raise at this stage the fact that this is

7 an issue that appears to have come from -- it has first

8 been raised now with Sir Ronnie at this stage, and, had

9 this been raised, for example, yesterday, sir, I would

10 have endeavoured to obtain the relevant documentation or

11 considered the relevance of this potential line of

12 questioning, because it may well be that all of this

13 information may or may not be correct. It may be

14 something that we would like to challenge by way of oral

15 evidence.

16 I don't know, sir, but at this stage, I raise -- it

17 does appear to be a very late stage to be raising

18 something which has not even, in my respectful

19 submission, been raised by Mr McGrory in his submission.

20 It appears to be something entirely new not arising out

21 of Mr McGrory's --

22 THE CHAIRMAN: I have your point, but I am against you.

23 Sir Ronnie is obviously aware of the name Colin Duffy,

24 and I am sure he can deal with the matter, subject to

25 any limitations of his memory.


2 MR UNDERWOOD: Can I just press you for an answer on that

3 one?

4 Were you aware he made a complaint of alleged

5 ill-treatment at the hands of the RUC on his arrest?

6 A. I was aware of complaints made either by or on behalf of

7 Mr Duffy. I became aware. I am not sure -- in terms of

8 the time period we are discussing, in 1997?

9 Q. Uh-huh.

10 A. I am not sure. I cannot say if I was aware then.

11 Q. Fair enough. Were you aware, in 1997, that his

12 solicitor was Rosemary Nelson?

13 A. I certainly became aware that his solicitor was

14 Rosemary Nelson. Of that there is no doubt, but in

15 terms of the exact timing, I cannot be sure.

16 Q. Let's see if this helps you. Do you recall that she,

17 too, made a complaint about treatment of her arising out

18 of her acting for Colin Duffy and arising --

19 A. There were a whole range of complaints made by or on

20 behalf of Mrs Nelson, and I had those complaints

21 investigated by an officer from the London Metropolitan

22 Police. So I am aware of all those allegations, but in

23 terms of setting here and giving you an exact

24 chronology, I can't do that. I have no records

25 available to me.

1 Q. I am not asking you for a chronology. Let me just give

2 a very broad timescale to this.

3 Were you aware of those matters at any time between

4 May 1997 and June 2000?

5 A. Certainly within that timescale, I would have been

6 aware.

7 Q. I think complaints made both on her own behalf and on

8 behalf of Mr Duffy by her were investigated, firstly by

9 the force, secondly, as you say, by an outside officer,

10 under the auspices of the ICPC. Is that correct?

11 A. That is correct.

12 Q. I know you were questioned about comments which have

13 been attributed to you in the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

14 about Mrs Nelson and, of course, it is no part of this

15 Inquiry's remit to cover those matters, but can I just

16 get a grip on a couple of them to see what the issue is

17 there?

18 As I understand it, one of the things that was said

19 was that you told the UN special rapporteur that some

20 solicitors could be working for paramilitaries. You

21 deny that. Are you aware that's an issue?

22 A. I never said any such thing. I am aware of the

23 allegation.

24 Q. Are you aware also there is an allegation you told

25 a number of people, including an ICPC officer, that

1 Rosemary Nelson was sleeping with Colin Duffy?

2 A. I'm aware of allegations having been put to me in the

3 other Inquiry, the Inquiry into Mrs Nelson's murder. So

4 I am aware of those allegations.

5 Q. As I say, of course, it is no part of our job to

6 investigate such allegations. What I am interested in

7 putting to you is this: in the period I am talking

8 about, between May 1997 and June 2000, were you

9 conscious of such allegations being circulated, either

10 within the RUC or outside; namely, that some solicitors

11 worked for paramilitaries and that Rosemary Nelson was

12 having a relationship with Colin Duffy?

13 A. Certainly the question of solicitors working for

14 paramilitaries was never a suggestion to which

15 I subscribed. I have made that absolutely clear

16 publicly and in evidence in other tribunals.

17 Q. Sir Ronnie, I am not suggesting you did subscribe to it.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What I am asking you is whether you were conscious other

20 people were commenting to that effect?

21 A. I was conscious that allegations to that effect were

22 being made, yes, of course.

23 Q. Again, in the timescale I am talking of, were you

24 conscious that allegations about Colin Duffy and

25 Rosemary Nelson were being made?

1 A. I have given in detail my evidence to the other Inquiry

2 to which you refer about a chronology of when I became

3 aware of such allegations. So I can't tell you now of

4 that precise chronology.

5 Q. Fair enough?

6 A. I have not referred to any documentation. I wasn't

7 alerted to the line of questioning. So I am just not

8 able to be more precise. I'm trying to be as absolutely

9 accurate as I can.

10 Q. All right. Again, looking at my timescale of May 1997

11 to June 2000, you were conscious that at least some

12 people were making allegations about some solicitors

13 working for paramilitaries?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You may or may not, in that timescale, have been aware

16 of allegations about the relationship between Mrs Nelson

17 and Colin Duffy. Is that fair?

18 A. That's correct. I am not sure exactly when I became

19 aware of such allegations.

20 Q. But we can check that by reference to your evidence in

21 the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry, can't we?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Thank you. You told us you didn't subscribe to these

24 views, but can I press you on what your view was of

25 Rosemary Nelson? Did you take her to be a perfectly

1 ordinary, professional solicitor?

2 A. Absolutely, and I have said that publicly.

3 Q. As far as you were aware, in the period May 1997 through

4 to June of 2000, was she a solicitor who did criminal

5 work on behalf of Catholic clients?

6 A. I am certain not exclusively, but she would, of course,

7 have had Catholic clients, but I am certain she would

8 not exclusively have had Catholic clients.

9 Q. Did you regard her as a particularly rigorous solicitor?

10 A. I had no knowledge. I can't comment on her professional

11 ability or standing. I wouldn't have any detailed

12 knowledge about that.

13 Q. Bearing in mind that she had acted for Colin Duffy in

14 the murder of which he was eventually acquitted on

15 appeal and in respect of the two alleged murders, would

16 her name have rung bells in the RUC when she put her

17 name to the complaint made by Diane Hamill?

18 A. It all depends what you mean by "ring bells". It

19 certainly wouldn't have rung bells that would have led

20 to any action or inaction. That would certainly not be

21 the case.

22 My view has always been very clear, that anyone

23 charged with any offence is absolutely entitled to be

24 rigorously defended, and that lawyers who offer that

25 rigorous defence should not in any way be associated

1 with either the activities of the individual they are

2 defending, or, in this case, what you are describing,

3 organisations of which those particular suspects might

4 be members. I have always been absolutely clear in that

5 view.

6 Q. Again, to go over something that we have already dealt

7 with, I think your view of Maynard McBurney was that he

8 was an exceptionally good officer. Is that fair?

9 A. Yes. I had the utmost respect for Maynard McBurney.

10 Q. We know from his interview with the Inquiry that he said

11 that he rang you twice on 10th May 1997, and I think

12 your evidence about that is you have no recollection,

13 but, if that's what he says, then you are prepared to

14 accept it?

15 A. Absolutely.

16 Q. We know that, as at 10th May 1997, he was the SIO in the

17 murder and in respect of the neglect complaint. We also

18 know that that very day he had got a witness statement

19 from Tracey Clarke which led to the arrests of the

20 alleged murderers that she named, and, also, in that

21 same witness statement she had made the tip-off

22 allegation against Mr Atkinson. Do you follow me?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Now, in the two telephone calls he would have made to

25 you on that day, which I think was a Saturday, would you

1 accept the likelihood that he would have raised the fact

2 that this tip-off allegation had been made by a credible

3 witness?

4 A. No, I have certainly absolutely no recollection of that.

5 The allegations at that time were of inactivity by the

6 police. So certainly he did not raise with me -- I have

7 certainly no recollection whatever. I think I would

8 have a recollection if he had, the question of that

9 tip-off at that time.

10 Q. You told us you are very exercised about bad apples in

11 the force. You would have rooted them out. That's your

12 evidence in essence, isn't it, about learning of

13 potentially corrupt officers?

14 A. Absolutely.

15 Q. Would you have expected the same of Mr McBurney?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. So it would be remarkable, wouldn't it, if he had had

18 this tip-off allegation made by a witness who is so

19 credible that half a dozen arrests have been made on the

20 basis of her statement, and he rings you twice on the

21 day he gets her statement but does not mention it?

22 A. I don't think that's particularly remarkable. He would

23 be dealing with -- I think we are talking about a period

24 before Robert had died.

25 Q. No, it is two days after he had died.

1 A. After he had died. Sorry. Sorry. So he would have

2 been talking about an investigation into a dreadful

3 murder. He would have been concentrating on the

4 headline (inaudible) that I needed to know or he thought

5 I needed to know. He wouldn't have given me the detail,

6 so I do not consider it remarkable that he would not

7 have briefed me on that aspect.

8 Q. So looking back on it now, is such an allegation of so

9 little weight that you would not have expected the SIO

10 to bring it to your attention?

11 A. I am saying I have made it very clear in my original

12 evidence, and you have referred to rooting out bad

13 apples, and I would not tolerate such behaviour for

14 a second and I would not expect an officer of the

15 calibre and standing of Maynard McBurney to tolerate it

16 for a second either. But he is a detective, he has to

17 deal in evidence, he has to find out whether there is

18 a basis for the allegation that had been made.

19 Q. Yes. Where this all gets drawn together is in this

20 contention, and let me put it to you, which is that the

21 last thing the force needed was this tip-off allegation

22 when Rosemary Nelson, of all people, had made

23 a complaint and that was a complaint about the four

24 officers in the Land Rover and what they did on the

25 night, and suddenly you are landed in the statement of

1 the chief prosecution witness with a tip-off allegation

2 against one of those four officers. It was a sort of

3 bullseye scored by Rosemary Nelson in that sense, wasn't

4 it?

5 A. Absolutely not. Certainly, my drive would have been, if

6 there were such allegations of behaviour, to expose them

7 and to get rid of anyone engaging in such behaviour.

8 That would have been my drive in order to protect the

9 reputation of the organisation, not in any way to

10 conceal it or withhold knowledge of it from any other

11 person, including the Secretary of State.

12 Q. You recall that the last time you gave evidence

13 a document was put to you that turned out to have been

14 written by Anthony Langdon, in which he said that you

15 said to him that Diane Hamill had her own agenda to

16 discredit the RUC.

17 Do you recall that being put to you?

18 A. I recall that being put to me. Any conversation I had

19 with Mr Langdon, either about that, or, indeed, about

20 the suggestion that Robert's dreadful death was as

21 a result of some inappropriate cradling at the scene,

22 that conversation would have been in the context that

23 some people were suggesting that. They were never

24 theories that I ever subscribed to. I am clearly not

25 a medical person, but I would have always found that to

1 be absolutely fanciful.

2 I have always been absolutely clear in my mind that

3 Robert Hamill's death was absolutely attributable to the

4 attack made upon him --

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. -- no other reason.

7 Q. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cut across you. The part

8 of that document I want to focus on at the moment is the

9 note made by Mr Langdon that you told him that

10 Diane Hamill had her own agenda to discredit the RUC.

11 Now, you have denied that. You say that absolutely

12 wasn't --

13 A. I have never met Diane Hamill. I have no knowledge that

14 would lead me to such a conclusion. That others were

15 suggesting it, of course is a possibility. That

16 I subscribed to it, I absolutely refute.

17 Q. How about this, that the force took the view that, by

18 going to Rosemary Nelson, Diane Hamill had exhibited

19 an agenda and it is the fact that she chose that

20 solicitor that made her subject to that sort of

21 criticism?

22 A. Absolutely not. For you to say the force -- I obviously

23 cannot speak for individual members of an organisation,

24 but it certainly was not the view of the force, as you

25 describe it, and it certainly was not a personal view of

1 mine.

2 Q. I may be being unfair in an attempt to be fair here, but

3 let me try this one. The Panel has to decide whether

4 Mr Langdon made an accurate note of what you said or

5 whether, on the other hand, what you are now saying

6 about that note is correct.

7 Can you assist them at all, if they do conclude that

8 you said Diane Hamill had an agenda of her own, as to

9 why you might have said that? Is there any reason why

10 you might --

11 A. Absolutely no reason why I might have said that. I have

12 always made it clear that if there were to be, for

13 example, a public Inquiry, which Ms Hamill was

14 campaigning for, that that's not something I would in

15 any way obstruct, resist or attempt to resist.

16 Absolutely not.

17 I have no basis for believing that Diane Hamill had

18 any agenda other than in finding out exactly what

19 happened to her brother.

20 Q. Let me -- again looking at my timescale of May 1997

21 through to June 2000 -- pull together some threads of

22 what I have been suggesting to you.

23 There is Dr Mowlam, who takes an interest in the

24 family and who in some quarters, some people -- or

25 rather, in some quarters perhaps was believed to have

1 had an agenda that was antagonistic towards the RUC.

2 You have Rosemary Nelson, who is a very effective

3 solicitor acting for the Hamill sisters.

4 The criticism goes this way: that it was not in the

5 interests of the force to give those two people details

6 of this tip-off allegation.

7 What would you say about?

8 A. I would absolutely refute that. I had a very good

9 relationship with the Secretary of State. She was

10 a very different person from her predecessor, but she

11 and I got on extremely well personally and I had every

12 respect for her. There is no way that I would

13 deliberately have withheld any information from her.

14 There is no way that I regarded her as having

15 an anti-RUC agenda.

16 Q. Okay. I want to move now to June 2000. We have at

17 page [39625] a note -- and I hope you have a hard copy

18 there --

19 A. I have some hard copy material. Can you tell me what

20 the document is, please?

21 Q. Yes. It starts with a heading "Confidential. From

22 [blank] Permanent Undersecretary, 12th June 2000".

23 SIR JOHN EVANS: It starts at [39623], doesn't it?

24 MR UNDERWOOD: It starts at [39623]. Sorry.


1 same as ours, it is the last one.

2 MR UNDERWOOD: It is probably the last set of documents in

3 that clip, Sir Ronnie.

4 A. I have got it. "Permanent Undersecretary,

5 12th June 2000". Yes, I have got the document.

6 Q. If we can look at what is the third page of that,

7 [39625].

8 A. Yes, I have that page.

9 Q. We have seen this before, but again, I just want to take

10 you, out of fairness, to it in the context that the

11 allegations are now being made.

12 Paragraph 8, the Permanent Undersecretary is

13 reciting there what he did:

14 "I said that, whatever the ICPC thought, I was

15 pretty uncomfortable about Portadown being policed by

16 someone who at the level of a strong possibility or even

17 probability had conspired to pervert the course of

18 justice in a murder case. Surely any social contact

19 with a leading suspect in a murder case where the police

20 officer had been present was unwise/unprofessional to

21 put it at his lowest? Put to him like that, Ronnie

22 appeared to agree and said that in similar circumstances

23 he had sacked people and paid whatever it cost because

24 they could not be got bang to rights. He implied that

25 if I asked him to do so, he would sack Reserve

1 Constable Atkinson. I said that it was a matter for

2 him, not for me. We might need to revert to the point."

3 Then going on to paragraph 9, [39626]:

4 "9. I asked why Reserve Constable Atkinson had not

5 been suspended from duty whilst such a grave matter was

6 being investigated. Ronnie said that he had been kept

7 away from it as standard practice in case he had to sit

8 in a disciplinary case. I said that he was surely

9 responsible for the policy. He said that the decision

10 to suspend would depend on the strength of the prima

11 facie evidence as well as the seriousness of the

12 allegation. I feel (but did not say) that the failure

13 to suspend may be indicative of a failure to strike the

14 right balance between fairness to the officer and taking

15 seriously a very serious allegation."

16 Now, the context of that, wasn't it, was

17 a discussion about the likelihood of a public Inquiry?

18 A. I can't remember the context of the actual conversation.

19 Q. If we go back to the first page of it, [39623]?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Paragraph 2:

22 "I said that the Secretary of State was seeing

23 increasing difficulty ..."

24 A. Yes, I see it.

25 Q. "... about resisting the demands for a public Inquiry in

1 light of the allegations made", etc, etc.

2 Then you going on to say you would not be resisting

3 it.

4 So would you accept now that the context of that

5 discussion was that there was a likelihood?

6 A. Yes, I'm not ...

7 Q. It was following that, within a week or so, that

8 Mr McBurney went to see Andrea McKee. Do you follow

9 that? He saw her on the 20th.

10 A. I am not sure of the exact chronology of that. I accept

11 that completely if you give me those dates.

12 Q. You have told us that you pressed, as it were, you

13 encouraged Mr McBurney to do that. Is that fair?

14 A. I certainly wanted that to be done, but I think I would

15 have been pushing at an open door. Put it that way.

16 I think Maynard McBurney was -- it was described to me

17 as a new opportunity and I wanted to be sure we took

18 full advantage of that new opportunity.

19 Q. So the allegation goes this way then, Sir Ronnie, that,

20 down to that point, you had encouraged Mr McBurney to

21 take the slowest possible route in investigating this

22 tip-off, but now that a public Inquiry was looming, you

23 saw Mr McBurney and told him to get on with it. What do

24 you say to that?

25 A. Absolutely not. That is absolutely incorrect.

1 MR UNDERWOOD: Thank you very much, Sir Ronnie. Unless my

2 learned friend who acts for you wishes to ask any more

3 questions, I think that's it.

4 A. Thank you very much.

5 MR McGUINNESS: No, I have no re-examination, sir.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Sir Ronnie?

7 A. Thank you very much, sir.

8 THE CHAIRMAN: I see from the clock behind you it is time

9 for tea. Thank you.

10 MR UNDERWOOD: Again, thank you very much for attending.

11 A. Thank you very much indeed.

12 MR UNDERWOOD: Mr Adair is prepared to make his submissions

13 now, if that's convenient.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, by all means.

15 MR ADAIR: I am ready to start straightaway.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.

17 Closing submissions by MR ADAIR

18 MR ADAIR: Like others, sir, I want to thank the Inquiry

19 team for their thoroughness and preparation and

20 presentation of the evidence. I don't say that, sir, to

21 make anybody's head bigger, but I say it for a very

22 important reason, and the reason is that, at the outset

23 of this Inquiry, there was a human tragedy, and that was

24 the death of Robert Hamill, but there are other human

25 beings who have been involved for the past 12 years in

1 the consequences of this particular evening, who, up

2 until the preparation and presentation of this evidence,

3 have not had their voice heard, who, up until the

4 preparation and presentation of the evidence, the public

5 were not aware what they were saying about the events of

6 this particular night.

7 I will be coming in a little detail to what the

8 allegations have been and so on, in due course, but the

9 point I make is this, sir, just at the outset so that

10 the Panel are aware of this, if the Panel need

11 reminding, that while there is a human tragedy on the

12 Hamill side, clients whom I represent, for example, the

13 Land Rover crew, have been the subject of vilification,

14 of the wildest allegations, both in the press and on the

15 Internet, as no doubt, sir, you will have seen, from

16 various organisations with their own agenda, and,

17 ironically, of late have been the subject of

18 vilification by the Protestant side of the Portadown

19 community.

20 I lost count of the conspiracies that were being

21 alleged yesterday. More were alleged this morning

22 against officers whom I represent. I tried to keep

23 count of Mr Green's conspiracies yesterday on behalf of

24 the unlucky Hobson. I think I lost track at five.

25 I think it is worth reflecting, sir, that it is very

1 easy to make an allegation against a human being which

2 goes out, as we know, on this website every night, and

3 very easy to lose sight of the fact that we are making

4 allegations against a human being. Constable Neill no

5 doubt is sitting at home, or his family are sitting at

6 home, seeing him being called liar, after liar, after

7 liar by Mr Green yesterday. He is doing his job,

8 I accept, but nevertheless there is a human element to

9 all those people for whom I appear.

10 Mr McBurney's widow, still grieving no doubt for

11 him, is sitting at home reading the press, hearing these

12 allegations repeated time and time and time again. So

13 there is not just the human element in this Inquiry in

14 relation to the Hamill family, there is the human

15 element in relation to those officers who have been the

16 continued subject of vilification and allegations over

17 the years continuing up until today.

18 Throughout the 12 years that this has been

19 progressing, of course, there have been opportunities by

20 those who have their own agenda to jump on the bandwagon

21 of what was the undoubted grief and justified concerns

22 of the Hamill family, and I will be coming to where

23 those concerns arose in due course and why they arose,

24 but they have been subject to that, and that's why I say

25 that the thoroughness of the investigation is, in fact,

1 to be welcomed by those for whom I appear. I am not

2 saying it to thank the Inquiry team in a sense, I am

3 saying it on behalf of my clients, because what this

4 Inquiry has revealed is the destruction of the worst

5 type of allegations that were made against,

6 particularly, the Land Rover crew.

7 Let's just reflect on what those allegations were,

8 sir. As Mr McGrory I think said to you at the outset,

9 it is the nub of the terms of reference in this case.

10 The allegations -- may I say this so it is absolutely

11 clear, in case there is any misunderstanding on the part

12 of the Hamill family, that I understand -- and when I

13 say I understand, sir, and I hope you will forgive me if

14 I use the word "think" from time to time, I mean

15 "submit" -- I understand entirely where their concerns

16 came from in the immediate aftermath of the death of

17 Robert, and I will be coming to where those concerns

18 came from.

19 So there is no criticism whatsoever in my

20 submissions of the attitude and drive the Hamill family

21 have adopted over the years in pursuing the truth,

22 absolutely not.

23 I have less sympathy for those, as I say, including,

24 as we all know, if one looks on the Internet, page after

25 page from groups such as the Troops Out Movement, from

1 Sinn Fein, from the Irish Freedom Committee and various

2 other self-interest groups with their own agenda.

3 I have less sympathy for those who jump on the

4 bandwagon and pursue these allegations for their own

5 agenda. I have less sympathy, and the Panel may feel

6 this, and this is why I submit it is relevant, I have

7 absolutely no sympathy for those Protestants who come

8 into this Inquiry and make allegations out of their own

9 self-interest against those officers for whom I appear.

10 While I will be coming to deal with them briefly in due

11 course, one simply has to ask the question in relation

12 to each and every one of them: why did they do that?

13 Well, we know in respect of Hobson -- I can't

14 remember how many times Mr Green yesterday used the word

15 "liar" against Constable Neill, "conspirator" against

16 Constable Cooke, "conspirator" against virtually the

17 entire investigation team in relation to Hobson.

18 Now, why does he do that? I will be coming briefly

19 to the evidence in due course. The simple fact is that

20 it is because he was one of the persons who was engaged

21 in the attack on Robert Hamill, but to excuse himself

22 from that attack, he has to make out that

23 Constable Neill is a liar and others are liars.

24 Tracey Clarke, why does she allege the conspiracies?

25 Because she retracts her statement, probably mainly out

1 of love for Allister Hanvey.

2 Timothy Jameson, why does he make allegations?

3 Because he retracts his statement, for whatever reason.

4 Jonathan Wright, why does he make allegations? One

5 can go on relating to the Protestants and the

6 allegations they have made.

7 I submit sir, that you and the Panel in your report

8 should make it absolutely clear that the Protestants

9 have jumped on to the bandwagon of making these wild and

10 false allegations against the RUC out of their own pure

11 self-interest and preservation.

12 What I am saying to you is you shouldn't make any

13 bones about it. Let's not prevaricate about this. if

14 the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that that's what

15 they have done, then I submit, sir, you should say it,

16 because the people for whom I appear have been subject

17 to unjustified vilification and propaganda for 12 years,

18 and it is right that they should be exonerated, if

19 exoneration is due. That's really what I am saying.

20 Now, as Mr McGrory said to you at the outset, the

21 nub of this Inquiry, the nub of the terms of reference,

22 concerned the Land Rover crew.

23 Now, what do we know, sir, I rhetorically ask, about

24 what was alleged prior to the Inquiry being set up?

25 What we know is it was alleged that the Land Rover crew

1 sat in their Land Rover and watched the attack take

2 place. We know it was alleged that they sat and did

3 nothing while the attack took place. We know it was

4 alleged that they did not attempt to stop the attack,

5 even when they did get out of the Land Rover. We know

6 it was alleged that they didn't give first aid. No RUC

7 officer gave first aid. That was another one of the

8 allegations that was made prior to the Inquiry being set

9 up. We know it was alleged that the Land Rover crew did

10 not get out of the Land Rover until the ambulances

11 arrived.

12 Now, in relation to each and every one of those

13 allegations, the evidence is overwhelming that none of

14 them stand up to any scrutiny. Sir, if I am right about

15 that, if I am right about that, that puts to bed

16 a substantial proportion of the most serious allegations

17 that have been made which led to the setting up of this

18 Inquiry.

19 No-one in this room has suggested to any one of the

20 Land Rover crew or to anybody else that they sat and

21 watched this attack take place. You will remember

22 the -- if I may say so, sir, having the witness in front

23 of you rather than the piece of paper perhaps amends

24 one's attitude to a particular person. They are not the

25 ogres that they are made out to be. We know that

1 Mr McGrory, not once, quite properly, suggested that

2 they sat and watched the attack take place. We know

3 that not once was it suggested they sat in the

4 Land Rover until the ambulances arrived. We know that

5 not once was it suggested they didn't attempt, however

6 ineffectively, to get the crowd back once the attack had

7 started. It was never suggested by anybody in this room

8 that first aid was not given by Silcock and possibly

9 another person.

10 So that plethora of serious allegations that were

11 made from day one against those for whom I appear are

12 now absolutely gone. I have said that in five minutes,

13 but the people like Constable Neill have lived with it

14 for 12 years.

15 We know that Constable Neill, for example, you may

16 recall, sir, since this incident has been on desk duty.

17 He has not even been out on the beat. Now, if, as it is

18 suggested by Mr McGrory to Constable Neill, the height

19 of the allegation is that he was distracted, because

20 that's the suggestion that was put on behalf of the

21 Hamill family, one rhetorically asks: would a police

22 officer such as Constable Neill have been deskbound for

23 12 years, having been guilty of a distraction? Maybe he

24 would. I don't know. It is certainly worth asking the

25 question.

1 It brings one back to -- and I will just say it for

2 the last time -- the reality of the human situation for

3 those for whom I appear, that they have lived with these

4 allegations for 12 years, and because of what the

5 Inquiry team have unearthed in relation to the evidence,

6 and because of what we have heard here, both in direct

7 evidence and cross-examination, we know that the heart

8 of those allegations are gone.

9 I ask on behalf of my clients, sir, that that should

10 be made absolutely clear during the course of your

11 report.

12 Mr McGrory, at the outset of his submissions, said

13 the following. He said that the family perhaps revised

14 their view in relation to what they had been told and

15 heard during the course of hearing the evidence, and

16 that, of course, is commendable.

17 I am not sure why the word "perhaps" was used,

18 I have to say, because, if one did not revise one's

19 initial views that they obviously had about the

20 behaviour of the Land Rover crew, then one was not

21 listening carefully to the evidence. So it may be that

22 that was coded language for the family, of course, having

23 revised their views.

24 What Mr McGrory then said on behalf of the family is

25 that the Land Rover crew took their eye off the ball by

1 engaging with Bridgett and Forbes. Now, as I say,

2 I took maybe five minutes describing the human situation

3 of the Land Rover crew. Mr McGrory took possibly

4 a minute in telling us that the family had now perhaps

5 revised their view as to what the Land Rover crew did or

6 didn't do. Again, it is just perhaps reflective, we

7 say, of, not the unfairness of either court proceedings

8 or tribunals, but it is just reflective of how easy it

9 is to make an allegation against somebody, to have that

10 broadcast, to have it publicised. That person has to

11 live with it without answer. That's why, and I say it

12 for the last time, the thoroughness of this

13 investigation is, in fact, very much to the benefit of

14 the Land Rover crew.

15 Now, it may be you will find criticism of them.

16 I am not suggesting that for a moment, sir. I will deal

17 with that in due course, but that criticism, we submit,

18 will not touch upon or not come close to the wild

19 allegations that were originally made which led to the

20 setting up of this Inquiry.

21 Can I say this also, sir? There were allegations

22 made prior to the setting up of the Inquiry by various

23 persons and various groups that the reason the

24 Land Rover crew sat in their Land Rover and watched what

25 was going on was because Robert Hamill was a Catholic.

1 Now, nobody has suggested that in this Inquiry. Ten

2 seconds to say that. For 12 years, the finger has been

3 pointed at the Land Rover crew, "You sat and watched

4 an innocent Catholic being beaten up because you are

5 part of this corrupt RUC". Not once, the evidence now

6 having been gathered, the witnesses now having been

7 called, has there been the hint of a suggestion that the

8 Land Rover crew did what they did because it was

9 a Catholic being attacked.

10 Of course, there is good reason for that. It is

11 because there is not a shred of evidence that whatever

12 they did or didn't do was in any way related to the fact

13 that Robert Hamill was a Catholic.

14 One then has to ask, sir, in our submission, where

15 did these allegations come from in respect of the

16 Land Rover crew? The evidence is fairly compelling as

17 to the primary source or sources of where these false

18 allegations emanated from. In our submission, sir,

19 again it is right they are named and shamed, because

20 they are responsible to a very large degree for

21 a substantial part of the grief that the Hamill family

22 have been harbouring over the years, because of the

23 Hamill family's belief as to what they were told.

24 If one might put it just in simple terms, I can

25 absolutely imagine, if this was a son, daughter, husband

1 and so on of my family, and somebody came along and said

2 "Here's what happened, and here is what the police did

3 or didn't do", that I would be driven just like the

4 Hamill family are driven.

5 So these people, in our submission, are the people

6 who are subject to the greatest criticism arising out of

7 this Inquiry for what has occurred and the exceptional

8 grief over the years that the Hamill family have

9 suffered.

10 The first is Colin Hull. Now, I will be coming to

11 what he said and didn't say in just a few moments, but

12 I am just reflecting, sir, and it might be worthwhile

13 just reflecting for a moment, in our submission, on what

14 is meant by the terms of reference in this case.

15 I think the Inquiry IT team can pop up the terms of

16 reference, which I am sure you know off by heart, sir.

17 I was just reflecting on this and in relation to

18 an issue that arose about Colin Hull and Keys:

19 "To enquire into the death of Robert Hamill with

20 a view to determining whether any wrongful act or

21 omission" -- I am assuming that's conjunctive for

22 a moment; I am assuming that the word "wrongful" applies

23 both to a wrongful act and wrongful omission and that

24 omission is prefaced by "wrongful".

25 Now "wrongful" means illegal, unjust, unfair.

1 I have tried to look up, as no doubt I am sure you have,

2 sir, and see what various meanings are given to this

3 word "wrongful". The best that one can come up with and

4 the most hits, if that's the right word, on looking into

5 this, is illegal, unjust, unfair.

6 So I rhetorically pose the question then: is it then

7 for the Panel to determine in relation to the Land Rover

8 crew as to whether anything they did was illegal, unfair

9 or unjust, any act or omission?

10 Then it goes on:

11 "... by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary

12 facilitated his death or obstructed the investigation of

13 it, or whether attempts were made to do so ..."

14 Just stopping there for a moment in relation to the

15 Land Rover crew, one of the issues that the Panel will

16 then have to consider in our submission is whether what

17 they did was illegal, unjust or unfair. There may be

18 other words that can be used.

19 THE CHAIRMAN: It has to be did or didn't do.

20 MR ADAIR: Yes, it is what they did or didn't do. Exactly.

21 Was it wrongful? The reason I have stopped at this

22 stage before coming on to Hull, and I hope I am not

23 going off too tangentially, but I was reflecting on

24 a question that Sir John asked me as to whether

25 Detective Constable Keys had been asked in relation to

1 the questionnaire that Hull made.

2 You will recall that, when he asked, I popped up and

3 said, "Oh, he was. He was asked. He gave evidence

4 about that". I actually had it in my head, as you will

5 appreciate, that I could hear the words ringing in my

6 head that he had been asked, either by myself or

7 Mr Underwood. Then I checked it on the transcript and

8 it wasn't there.

9 Now, I have a duty to appear for Detective

10 Constable Keys. My duty is to him, just like the police

11 duty is to the public. I should have asked

12 Detective Constable Keys about that, and possibly

13 Mr Underwood should have asked Detective Constable Keys

14 about that, because it is something which is relevant to

15 whether Hull did, in fact, say that. Now, I didn't ask

16 him. Is that a breach of my duty? He is my client.

17 I represent him. Is what I did or what anybody else did

18 or didn't do, would you describe that as wrongful?

19 Would you describe it as negligent? Would you describe

20 it as an error of judgment? Would you describe it as

21 an oversight? Is it something that in the rough and

22 tumble of everyday life all of us are guilty of, making

23 mistakes, but whichever adjective one puts to it, would

24 you describe it as wrongful?

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I remember being told by

1 Lord Justice Winn, when I was appearing before him in

2 the Court of Appeal and drawing an analogy, "Analogies

3 are always dangerous --

4 MR ADAIR: Of course they are.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: -- "and often misleading". I think our

6 concentration in relation to the Land Rover crew is

7 going to have to be, isn't it, whether the failure to

8 see what was happening was a lack of vigilance, and, if

9 it was, it would be difficult to say that wasn't

10 a wrongful failure, wouldn't it?

11 MR ADAIR: A lack of vigilance?


13 MR ADAIR: As to whether that's wrongful, well --

14 THE CHAIRMAN: It depends why you are there.

15 MR ADAIR: Yes.

16 THE CHAIRMAN: In deciding what is wrongful, you have to

17 ask: what was the duty, what was the purpose of their

18 presence there?

19 MR ADAIR: To protect the public.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: How? By vigilance.

21 MR ADAIR: Absolutely, sir, but my duty, to go back to the

22 imperfect analogy --


24 MR ADAIR: -- is to represent Detective Constable Keys.

25 I should be vigilant that everything I do and every

1 question I ask is directed towards representing him.

2 I didn't. Was I wrongful? Is this part of the rough

3 and tumble of everyday life?

4 Which one of us -- I know there are some lawyers who

5 think they are perfect, I have said this before, but

6 I have never met a perfect one. I have never seen

7 a case that I have read, sir, in appeal, when I am

8 reading the transcript, where I said, "I shouldn't have

9 asked that. I should have asked that. I should have

10 called this witness. I shouldn't have called that

11 witness. What did I ask that for?"

12 Now, does that make my act wrongful or is it part of

13 the rough and tumble? Is it part of our human frailty?

14 I think "wrongful" is a fairly strong word.

15 Sir, that awful expression, I will cut to the chase

16 about the Land Rover crew. In perfect hindsight, on the

17 warning being given by Mr Mallon, it may be that they

18 should have directed -- I will be coming to this in

19 a little more detail -- more of their attention or all

20 of their attention to Thomas Street. Maybe.

21 Now, I have some difficulty with that proposition,

22 but I can see it can be reasonably argued. But, if

23 there was a failure to do that, are we to describe that

24 as wrongful as opposed to an error of judgment or, in

25 hindsight, something that might have been done?

1 THE CHAIRMAN: It may depend on why you didn't do it.

2 MR ADAIR: It may do, and, of course, I will be coming to

3 that. I don't think, just to deal with this, anybody is

4 suggesting that they intentionally in the sense of were

5 given the warning, consciously decided "I don't care",

6 in that sense of intentional. Most acts that we do are

7 intentional and certainly they intentionally sat and

8 talked to Bridgett and Forbes, but I don't think anybody

9 is suggesting there was intention in the sense of,

10 "I don't care about that".

11 So that's why I am saying in our submission that the

12 Panel will be slow to find a wrongful act on the part of

13 the Land Rover crew. They may find something else.

14 I am not suggesting, blessed with this microscopic

15 hindsight -- and I will be coming to the facts of what

16 happened in a moment or two -- that it might have been

17 better if something else was done, but it also, to go

18 back to my imperfect analogy, would have been much

19 better if I had asked Mr Keys that question. Do not

20 endow them with perfection. That's really what it boils

21 down to, sir

22 THE CHAIRMAN: One must be critical, but not hypercritical.

23 MR ADAIR: Exactly, sir. If you do that, I will have no

24 criticism, sir.

25 I had gone off tangentially because of the thoughts

1 I had in respect of Colin Hull. What I was dealing with

2 is: where did these allegations, which, as Mr McGrory

3 says, form the nub of the reference, come from?

4 They come from Colin Hull, amongst others. Now, his

5 questionnaire appears -- and if I could call up

6 page [03449]. I said "questionnaire". The record we

7 have is an action record print. I think it is worth

8 reflecting on what Colin Hull actually told, according

9 to this note, Detective Constable Keys on 10th May:

10 "Left St Patrick's hall at 0130 hours approximately,

11 alone."

12 Just stopping there, he is telling Keys that he was

13 at St Patrick's Hall and that he left alone. Now, has

14 he just made that up? Two things. Has he made up,

15 because we know he changes this, first of all, that he

16 was in St Patrick's Hall? Has he just thought out of

17 the top of his head, "I will tell them I was alone"?

18 Then:

19 "Stood about for five minutes waiting for a taxi."

20 Did he just make that up? One has to ask where in

21 earth does this come from? Just to stop here, this is

22 not a note from Detective Constable Keys simply saying,

23 "Hull told me he was at St Patrick's and walked down to

24 the junction". He gives graphic details as to his

25 movements:

1 "He walked off when one didn't turn up. He walked

2 off along Thomas Street alone. Stated that

3 Robert Hamill, D and two women were walking about

4 15 yards behind him. At some stage he walked past

5 Colin Prunty, who says was alone. He walked across the

6 main street towards Woodhouse Street."

7 Again, one has to ask: is this true or is this

8 something he has made up? If he has made it up, how did

9 he know that they had come down Thomas Street? Had he

10 talked to them? Where does this information come from

11 that Prunty had come down Thomas Street, that others,

12 including Robert Hamill and D had come down

13 Thomas Street?

14 "He walked across the main street towards

15 Woodhouse Street. As he was doing so, he saw about

16 20 people spaced out in small groups, the first of which

17 was near Ronnie's. He was called a Fenian bastard. He

18 walked on to halfway down Woodhouse Street. When he

19 heard 'Fenian bastards' being shouted, he turned round

20 and went back up to the top of the street. At the

21 traffic lights he saw people jumping on Robert Hamill's

22 head."

23 Now here is an interesting line:

24 "He said to police who were near 'Are you not going

25 to stop it or do anything about it?'."

1 Now, according to his later version of events that

2 must be something that he has absolutely made up,

3 because the police did not get out of the Land Rover

4 until the ambulances arrived. So is this bit true?

5 I don't know, because I don't know what sentence or what

6 word one can safely rely on in respect of Mr Hull:

7 "He went over to try and stop the fighting, was

8 kicked and punched and the crowd were shouting 'Die, you

9 Fenian bastard, you. This town is ours'. He will make

10 a witness statement."

11 Which he didn't, apart from to Rosemary Nelson.

12 Then there is a physical description.

13 So that's the first contact Colin Hull has with the

14 police. It is a matter for the Panel whether they think

15 that this is a true -- is this a true version? Is it

16 a partially true version? Is it a totally untrue

17 version? If it is untrue, why did he say it? Because

18 we know, when he eventually does make a statement which

19 goes into the offices of Rosemary Nelson, he

20 describes -- and which appears at page [60808] -- we

21 know, and I am not going to go through the entirety of

22 the statement, sir, but you know from this statement

23 that he says that he, in fact, was coming from the

24 Woodhouse Street area, he had been in McKeever's pub.

25 He makes his way down, and on passing, sir -- in case

1 I forget to mention it in due course -- it is

2 interesting in relation to where he says he was going,

3 but both he and McKeever were saying they were going up

4 to Boss Hoggs for chips. So any suggestion that it was

5 totally unreasonable for Neill to consider the rest of

6 the town as a potential flash point area or trouble spot

7 area is put to bed by the very fact that here were two

8 Catholics apparently going to walk up in the face of the

9 Protestant crowd coming down the main street.

10 He then says in this statement essentially that he

11 walks down to the junction. None of the police

12 personnel were outside the Land Rover. He then goes on

13 to describe -- if one looks to the paragraph --

14 highlight the paragraph, "I went over to see how

15 Robert Hamill was":

16 "I went over to see how Robert Hamill was and he was

17 unconscious. I stayed with him for about ten minutes",

18 ten minutes, "as the crowd was only about ten yards away

19 from him. The crowd kept calling us 'Fenian bastards'.

20 One man-made another run at Robert and I grabbed him and

21 threw him away. He returned to the crowd. At no stage

22 did the RUC leave their Land Rover - nor did

23 reinforcements come while the attack was happening.

24 This episode lasted about fifteen minutes. One girl

25 banged the back of the RUC Land Rover pleading for help.

1 The RUC ignored her.

2 "An ambulance eventually arrived and I helped the

3 ambulance crew to lift Robert on to the stretcher. The

4 RUC left their jeep when the ambulance arrived and stood

5 in front of the gang of youths.

6 "In my view, the RUC could have left their

7 Land Rover or called reinforcements, as the RUC station

8 is only about two minutes' walk from the scene of the

9 attack. Instead they did nothing. At no stage did the

10 RUC come under attack."

11 So here we have the allegations essentially being

12 made by Colin Hull. Shame on him. He is the one, not

13 exclusively, who led the Hamill family to believe that

14 the RUC sat in their Land Rover for ten to

15 fifteen minutes and watched this attack on their family

16 member, sat there until the ambulances arrived.

17 We certainly know that he is lying through his teeth

18 probably in relation to both versions. I would go as

19 far as to say the probability is that Hull, by the time

20 he got down to the junction of Woodhouse Street, did not

21 see any of this fight, because we know if we look at

22 McNeice, for example -- you will remember Mr McNeice was

23 the other gentleman who made a statement which went to

24 Rosemary Nelson's office

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Which came from?

1 MR ADAIR: Yes, came from.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Because we don't know whether a completed

3 statement was sent to her office or taken there or

4 whether it was taken at her office.

5 MR ADAIR: That's right, sir. Just before we come to

6 McNeice, and, of course, we also know -- Hull then

7 perpetuated this when he came to give evidence in front

8 of this Inquiry. If we could just go to 27th January of

9 2009 at page 13, I know it is about to come up, sir.

10 THE CHAIRMAN: Do you have the day?

11 MR ADAIR: 27th January.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: No, the day.

13 MR ADAIR: Day 9.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: It is on the screen now. Yes.

15 MR ADAIR: Just at the top of this page, if you just stop

16 there, please, this is Mr Underwood asking questions,

17 and he says:

18 "Question: Can I just put to you some other accounts

19 that have been given so you can comment on them for us?

20 "One thing we have been told is that by the time one

21 or more girls went over to Robert Hamill the kicking had

22 stopped, but that's not your case -- that's not your

23 evidence, is it? Your evidence is that the kicking was

24 going on while the girls were there. Is that right?

25 "Answer: I witnessed, yes."

1 So Hull has this attack going on at a time when the

2 ladies are trying to attend to the injured persons on

3 the ground. We know that they have all said that there

4 was no further attack once they got over to the bodies

5 on the ground. One wonders whether he actually saw any

6 of the attack at all, because if one looks at what

7 McNeice says in relation to going down Woodhouse Street,

8 and this is at page [00544], this is the statement that

9 McNeice made:

10 "On 27th April 1997, I left McKeever's bar in

11 Woodhouse Street, Portadown, with Colin Hull. I was

12 going up Woodhouse Street to see if Boss Hoggs chip shop

13 was open. I heard screaming and proceeded right to the

14 top of the street. There was a police Land Rover near

15 the top of Woodhouse Street and I saw D lying on the

16 road at the bottom of Thomas Street and Robert Hamill

17 was lying in the road about 20 yards away from him.

18 There was a girl at the Land Rover screaming for help.

19 "There was a crowd in the middle of the road of

20 about 30 people. There were no police about except for

21 those in the Land Rover. I went over to D and put my

22 coat under his head. We waited for the ambulance. The

23 police made no effort to help the injured men at all and

24 it was only when the ambulance came that they got help.

25 I went in the ambulance with D to hospital.

1 "I couldn't identify anyone who was attacking the

2 boys, but I can say for definite that the RUC would have

3 seen what was going on and made no effort to give any

4 assistance to the injured men."

5 Shame on Mr McNeice, we say, for making these

6 allegations, which are absolutely unfounded on the

7 evidence that we have heard before this Inquiry.

8 In his evidence, again on Day 9, Mr McNeice --

9 that's 27th January -- at page 76, just starting at

10 line 19 is asked:

11 "Mr Adair: Mr McNeice, if I just encapsulate you

12 coming up Woodhouse Street, you and Colin, do you run or

13 walk to the junction after you hear the noise?

14 "Answer: We run up probably.

15 "Question: Do you both arrive at the junction at or

16 about the same time?

17 "Answer: I would say roughly the same time

18 probably, yes.

19 "Question: As you approach the junction, you see --

20 you are aware of police officers?

21 "Answer: Getting out of the Land Rover as we

22 approached it, yes.

23 "Question: Was that out of the back or out of the

24 front?

25 "Answer: Out of the back, I think.

1 "Question: Pardon?

2 "Answer: I think it was out of the back.

3 "Question: That was two officers.

4 "Answer: Two officers.

5 "Question: One of whom you think for some --

6 I think you say you were 80% sure was a woman?

7 "Answer: Yes.

8 "Question: There was certainly a policewoman there

9 at some stage, we know.

10 "Was there a policewoman out of the Land Rover, do

11 you think, when you arrived at the junction?

12 "Answer: Yes, I think that was one of the two

13 officers got out of the back of the Land Rover.

14 "As I say, I am not 100%, but for some reason, in my

15 head there was a woman.

16 "Question: I understand. At that stage the attack

17 is over, as you have told us?

18 "Answer: Yes."

19 This is Hull and McNeice arriving down together at

20 the junction. I can't say for certain, sir, but it

21 certainly poses the question: did Hull, in fact, see

22 anything of this attack, or is it simply an entirely

23 manufactured statement, or statements, purely and simply

24 to blacken the police? Because there can be no other

25 explanation that I can rationally or reasonably think of

1 for making such wild allegations.

2 Then he is asked at line 24:

3 "Question: A police officer tried to prevent you

4 and Colin getting involved. Isn't that right?

5 "Answer: What, in the --

6 "Question: He tried to prevent you crossing over to

7 where the crowd were?

8 "Answer: No, where the injured parties were.

9 "Question: And where the crowd was?

10 "Answer: Probably, aye, yes.

11 "Question: But you managed to make your way past

12 them, as I understand?"

13 So it seems likely, sir, if McNeice is right in this

14 part of his evidence, that that's P40 standing at the

15 junction of Woodhouse Street at the time when McNeice

16 and Hull had made their way down from McKeever's pub to

17 the junction, if Hull was with him, that is, but if Hull

18 was with him, as he says, then it would appear likely

19 that he was unable to see any of the assault, because it

20 had finished.

21 Now, I am not saying he is telling the truth that he

22 was with McNeice coming down. I just don't know, sir,

23 because, as you know, he had originally told us he came

24 from St Patrick's Hall.

25 What we do know is that both Colin Hull and McNeice

1 in their original statements made allegations of the

2 most serious nature against the police. I am referring

3 essentially to the Land Rover crew -- relating to their

4 action or inaction on that night, which are palpably

5 false and which palpably were responsible for the

6 Hamills' belief, which they have now revised, that the

7 police sat and watched Robert being kicked to death.

8 Sir, it is our submission that the clients for whom

9 I appear, as I say, have been vilified with this

10 allegation for 12 years. It is only right that the

11 public should know we submit in our report who the

12 likely people are who are responsible for this false

13 assertion having been made about the actions or

14 inactions of the Land Rover crew.

15 In our submission, those are two of the prime

16 candidates for it. That's Colin Hull and

17 Vincent McNeice.

18 I see it is 1 o'clock, sir. Would that be ...

19 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. I suppose we simply do not know to what

20 extent the account given by either of these men to

21 Rosemary Nelson's office was edited when it came to

22 taking the statement. I mean, often it is quite proper

23 to edit a statement, rule out irrelevancies, but we

24 don't know.

25 SIR JOHN EVANS: Or include them.

1 THE CHAIRMAN: Or include them, yes.

2 MR ADAIR: I just don't know, sir.

3 MR UNDERWOOD: May I ask you to rise until 2.15 pm for

4 editing purposes for the transcript?

5 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

6 (1.00 pm)

7 (The luncheon adjournment)



















1 I N D E X


Closing submissions by MR A LUNNY ................ 3
SIR RONALD FLANAGAN (called) ..................... 14
5 Questions by MR UNDERWOOD ................. 14

6 Closing submissions by MR ADAIR .................. 38
















Associated Evidence

Reference Title Description
Statement Vincent McNeice (00544)
Letter from P42 (01038)
HOLMES A114 (03449)
Judgment R v Hobson (08727)
Statement Thomas Mallon (09091)
Letter re. Robert Hamill - meeting with Chief Constable (39623)
Statement Colin Hull (60808)
Questions from Edwards & Co-PSNI response. 8 9 09 (75234)