Findings of Judge Cory
Findings of Judge Cory
The following was prepared by the Committee for the Administration of Justice.



``They (FRU) were aware that Nelson was a central player within the UDA, and that he had considerable influence in directing targeting operations. They were also aware that Nelson often played a direct and active role in reconnaissance missions. The provision of information to Nelson in these circumstances may be seen as evidence of collusive behaviour that had the potential to facilitate the deadly operations planned by the UDA.'' (page 102)

``The documents I have examined disclose that Army handlers and their superiors turned a blind eye to the criminal acts of Nelson. In doing this they established a pattern of behaviour that could be characterised as collusive.'' (page 103)

``Similarly, they indicate that SB rarely took any steps to document threats or prevent attacks by the UDA, whereas pro-active steps were routinely taken in connection with PIRA and other Republican threats. The failure to issue warnings to person targeted by the UDA often led to tragic consequences. This is indicative of attitudes with RUC SB.'' (page 105)

``If criminal prosecutions are to proceed the practical effect might be to delay the public inquiry for at least two years. The Finucane family will be devastated. A large part of the Northern Ireland community will be frustrated. Myths and misconceptions will proliferate and hopes of peace and understanding will be eroded. This may be one of the rare situations where a public inquiry will of greater benefit to a community than prosecutions.


``Police officers must not act collusively by ignoring or turning a blind eye to the wrongful acts of their officers or of their servants or agents. Nor can the police act collusively by supplying information to assist those committing wrongful acts or by encouraging them to commit wrongful acts.

``First and foremost the actions of Reserve Constable B, if established, are capable of being found to constitute the most flagrant type of collusion. His actions did not constitute the simple turning of a blind eye. Rather they could be found to be carefully planned and premeditated actions taken to frustrate a murder investigation and to protect or to exonerate an individual who might have been guilty of murder.

``Steps should have been taken to obtain the clothing of Robert Hamill and those identified as the scene as taking part in the assault &the failure to take steps may indicate a bias in the police force that could amount to institutional collusion.


I am satisfied that there is evidence of collusion by Governmental Agencies in the murder of Rosemary Nelson that warrants holding a public inquiry'' (page 71)

``RUC officers are alleged to have made highly demeaning and threatening remarks about Rosemary Nelson while questioning her clients. Among other things, they are said to have questioned her morality, made insulting sexual innuendos, described her facial scarring in cruel and debasing terms, belittled her ability as a lawyer and, perhaps most disturbingly, to have threatened her life. It is for a public inquiry to determine whether or not these remarks were made. If it is found that they were, this could constitute strong evidence of collusion.'' (page 66)

``The NIO's mishandling of documents that were directly pertinent and vitally important to the safety of Rosemary Nelson may also indicate a level of neglect or disregard that could be found to be collusive.'' (page 69)

[The NIO's] failure to take any action to protect Rosemary Nelson could be found to be troubling when it is considered against the background of the earlier murder of Patrick Finucane. By disregarding a significant body of evidence of threats against Rosemary Nelson, it could be found that the NIO engaged in conduct that was collusive in nature.'' (page 70)


This case will turn primarily on the response to these questions. First, and most importantly, did the Northern Ireland Prison Service turn a blind eye to the very dangerous situation they knew or ought to have known would arise from billeting the INLA and LVF prisoners in the same H block in the Maze? Similarly, did another Governmental agency fail to advise or supply to the Prison Service information they had received and considered reasonably reliable which indicated that a dangerous situation had arisen or was arising in the prison? (Page 78)

One or two of the incidents that occurred on the day of the murder may, in themselves, have little significance. On the other hand when they are all considered together the resulting effect may be sufficient to take them out of the realm of coincidence and make them components of a plan to murder Billy Wright that was collusive in nature. (page 89)

There is, in my view, sufficient evidence of acts or omissions that could, after hearing the testimony of witnesses, coupled with a review of the relevant documents result in a finding that there had been acts of collusion by Prison Services, their directors, officers or employees. (page 89)

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