Cooke report raises concerns of possible interference

Unidentified parties tried to influence evidence given to inquiry by UK security firm

Thu, Jun 12, 2014, 01:00

The Cooke report has outlined a chain of events suggesting unidentified parties tried to influence the evidence given to the inquiry by staff from the security company hired by GSOC to sweep its offices for bugs.

One section of the report carries what appears to be a transcript of part of a telephone conversation between an employee of the UK firm Verrimus and an unidentified man conveying concerns about the controversy expressed to him by members of the Garda and Defence Forces.

Mr Justice John Cooke describes the conversation as “quite oblique”.

The caller suggests that when the Verrimus official gives evidence, he should impress upon Mr Justice Cooke the need for the Garda to be provided with the results of the sweep of GSOC’s offices for investigation.

The caller says the “boys in green” were trying to place a contact of theirs into the inquiry in the guise of an expert who would advise the judge on the technical evidence he would be reviewing.

Mr Justice Cooke also notes that when he began his inquiries the Department of An Taoiseach passed him a letter containing an unsolicited offer of assistance from a person who had 20 years’ experience “in the intelligence services as an officer in the Defence Forces”.

The offer was not taken up.