On the night of October 9, 1987, four loyalist gunmen working for the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) broke into the West Belfast flat of Francisco Notarantonio, long time member of the IRA, and retired taxi driver, and killed him as he lay in bed with his wife. According to Peter Harclerode in Secret Soldiers, the incident finally persuaded his Force Research Unit handlers in the British Army that its mole Brian Nelson, the Association’s chief intelligence officer, might be passing along information from its Crucible and Vengeful computer systems to facilitate sectarian murders.
Starting in May 1987, Nelson had helped organize the UDA’s shooting of bread van driver Dermot Hackett, two other taxi drivers, Edward Campbell and Mickey Power, in July and August, Patrick Hamill in the same fashion as Notarantonio shortly thereafter, and finally young Jim Meighan on Sept. 20th. Alex Maskey, a Sinn Fein city councillor for Belfast, only escaped the murderous efforts of another UDA assassin, posing as a cabbie, because of the quick work by surgeons at the Royal Victoria Hospital. A year later, as Peter Everett discussed in Issue Eleven of Eye Spy, Nelson called upon FRU free-lancer Ken Barrett, apparently aka ‘Geoff’, to finish the job, but he arrived too late at the restaurant where Maskey was eating to effect the killing. Nelson, when questioned by his handlers about these incidents, denied, of course, that he had had any knowledge that the information he supplied to the UDA was to be used in the slayings.
According to Nicholas Davies in Ten Thirty Three – The Inside Story of Britain’s Killing Machine in Northern Ireland, Nelson, aka Agent 6137, had earned his place in the UDA after he was released from prison in 1980 for helping kill a Catholic by beating him, setting his hair afire, and finally denying him life-sustaining medication. Nelson, codename 10-33, had become a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) after he had been discharged from The Black Watch in 1969. In November 1985, Nelson reportedly offered his services to British military intelligence as an informer so that he could exact revenge upon another UVF member who the UDA refused to discipline for trying to rape his wife.
In April 1986, four months after the fallout from the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement had settled, especially the 14 Intelligence Company’s kidnapping, and the IRA’s reprisal killing of renegade Derry quartermaster Frank Hegarty for tipping off authorities about the locations of various IRA depots of Libyan-supplied weapons in the Republic, the Nelsons moved suddenly to West Germany where he became a professional roof tiler. Then in October, Nelson was sent to South Africa to procure arms from supplier Armscor for a leaner, meaner UDA whose UVF and UFF murder squads were seeking military-like proficiency. At the same time, Nelson, who had been approached again for disclosure of UDA plans in sectarian struggles by the FRU’s Colonel J, aka Gordon Kerr, because of pressure from MI5’s Joint Irish Section, informed his FRU handlers of the trip, and they arranged a three-week visit for him to Johannesburg, under the watchful eye of MI6, to complete the deal.
By January 1987, the FRU was so happy with Nelson’s performance that two of its agents went to Munich to persuade him, and his family to return to Northern Ireland for more mole work within the UDA. In explaining his new found wealth, the FRU arranged with West German counterintelligence for Nelson to win, it seems, a lottery for £20,000. “Shortly after his return to Belfast,” Harclerode added, “he was given a series of conducted tours of republican areas by the FRU, with establishments frequented by the Provisionals being pointed out to him.” (p. 561) Nelson was to funnel what he gained from UDA intelligence on republican activities to FRU handlers so that joint plans could be devised about what the IRA was planning, and what was to be done about it. .
The relation between Nelson and the FRU apparently proved perfect when the UDA decided to assassinate Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in June 1987, what it had attempted but without success on March 14, 1984. On that occasion, a UFF assassination squad, led by John Gregg and Gerard Welsh, decided to kill the just-elected London MP as he left an adjourned magistrates court session in Belfast, answering charges of obstructing justice. As Joe Keenan, son of long-time IRA volunteer, and fellow passenger Sean Keenan, was driving down Howard Street, Gregg’s UFF car, driven by Colin Gray, overtook the one Adams was in, spraying it with at least 12 rounds, three of which hit Adams in the neck, shoulder, and arm, and one of which hit Sean Keenan riding in the backseat.
Fortunately, it seems, another military intelligence informer had told it about the attack, and it had had the 14 Intelligence Company remove powder from the ammunition planned for use in the attack so that it would not be lethal. Since neither the car nor the driver had been incapacitated in the attack, Adams and Sean Keenan were driven directly to the Royal Victoria Hospital for the necessary repairs. Then members of the Intelligence & Security Group appeared on the scene, and arrested the three UFF members. The shooters were subsequently given 18 years in prison for the attempt, and driver Gray received 12 years for his trouble.
In the summer and fall of 1987, the UDA planned three attempts on Adams’ life, all using motorcyclists, but none of them materialized because of tipoffs to the FRU by Nelson. In the first case, the 14 Intelligence Company, and the RUC’s Special Branch, along with regular policemen, and soldiers, had the site, the Housing Exectuive offices, so well surrounded that not even the craziest of assassins would have tried it. Two weeks later, it was the same arrangement at another site. Some months later, the UDA planned another attack, with motorcyclists pulling up beside Adams’ car to put a limpet mine on its roof, set to explode later, but the effort was called off, apparently because it was too reminiscent of the first effort.
Then in 1988, the UDA, finally fully armed, thanks reportedly to the arms shipment from South Africa, went on a sectarian shooting spree, highlighted by Michael Stone shooting up the mourners attending the funerals of the three volunteers killed by the SAS at Gibraltar in May, resulting in the murders of Kevin Brady, John Murray, and Thomas McErlean. It was these killings which resulted three days later in the brutal murders of the two Army corporals, Robert Howes and Derek Wood, when they stumbled across the funeral cortege of one of the above.
The campaign had been kicked off in January with the killing of Catholic Billy Kane, also lying in bed, and was followed the next day by the murder of Ulster Defence Regiment Captain Timothy Armstrong, the assassins thinking that he was another undesirable Catholic. In May, there was a repeat of these killings, with the UDA this time killing Seamus Murray, and Terry McDaid, the FRU finally assuring the shaken Nelson that he had connections with his dangerous brother, Declan. Then the UDA, with FRU approval, had its assassins kill senior PIRA officer Brendan Davidson, feigning that they were regular RUC policemen making a security check. The UDA, with full FRU assistance, finished the year by killing suspected PIRA member Gerard Slane, and the McNally brothers, Francis, and Phelim, more cases of mistaken identity.
In 1989, the chief victim of the UDA/FRU shooting spree was solicitor Pat Finucane, who had represented famous hunger-striker Bobby Sands, and was employed by Gervaise McKerr’s widow to determine why he was killed by an RUC Headquarters Mobile Service Unit back in the fall of 1982.
According to Everett, Finucane was murdered because of his successful defence of Patrick McEwen, who was charged with killing the two corporals. According to Harclerode, the UDA had planned to assassinate Finucane in September 1987, but the FRU saw that he was provided the same protection that Adams had been given three months before. (p. 568) In March 1988, the same process resulted in Finucane being protected from assassination. In February 1989, it was an entirely different matter, though, when three UDA assassins got lucky, not just Barrett as Everett claimed, marching into his house unnoticed, and gunning him down in front of his wife and children, only to escape without difficultly.
Other significant UDA killings in 1989 were finishing off Catholic Ian Catney in January, what the breakaway Irish National Liberation Army had attempted two years before at Belfast’s Smithfield Market. Then there was another mistaken identity shooting, that of Protestant David Dorman, a week later due to faulty intelligence. “The two gunmen,” Harclerode added, “had been seen running towards a nearby loyalist housing estate which was quickly sealed off. Shortly afterwards, four men were arrested and taken way for questioning.” (p. 567)
Nelson’s career with the UDA was finally finished in August 1989, according to Harclerode, when two of its assassins used a RUC P-Card plan of his residence, and photograph of Loughlin Maginn, to kill him. When the UDA bragged about its intelligence in murdering the PIRA intelligence officer, producing the expected scepticism about the claim, it published the FRU file on Maginn, obliging the government to appoint Deputy Constable of the Cambridgeshire Police John Stevens to conduct an inquiry of Army collusion in loyalist killings.
The trouble with these sometimes erroneous explanations of FRU/UDA murders is that they are dealt with in a disjointed, episodic fashion, an approach which seems completely unjustified when we are told by Davies that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was continually provided with Military Intelligence Source Reports (MISRs) regarding individual operations. This was no renegade, hit-or-miss campaign. We need to put these killings, and others in the changing counter-terrorist context of Northern Ireland, one which appreciates its evolving causes, objectives, strategies, organizations, operatives, and limitations. After the successful completion of the Falklands War, Britain was prepared to go all out with its own campaign of terror in order to defeat revolutionary Irish nationalism.
The disjointed character of Harclerode’s analysis is best captured in his setting the scene, the Hyde Park bombings by the PIRA in the summer of 1982 (p. 134), as far away as possible from the six reprisal killings in the province a few months later (pp. 532-5), what led to the appointment in March 1984 of John Stalker, Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police, to conduct an inquiry similar to Stevens’s. With Britain’s defence forces stretched to the limit because of the growing confrontation with Argentina, the killing of four soldiers in the Queen’s Household Cavalry, two police officers, and six Royal Green Jackets bandmen with nail bombs was the last thing Britain needed.
To settle scores, though, Captain Simon Hayward of the Life Guards volunteered to lead UDA squads, and re-inforced Headquarters Mobile Service Units (HMSU) of the RUC to settle scores with the republicans, resulting in the above killings, and a few others. The killings, though, were completely unfocused, thanks to more faulty intelligence from George Poyntz, and apparently David Burton aka Bertelstein. Hayward teamed up with the UDA’s John McMichael and Michael Stone, already notorious for working with now murdered Captain Robert Nairac, to kill Seamus Grew on September 22, 1982, but without success, requiring a similarly led HMSU to do it two and a half months later. Hayward, McMichael, and Stone, it seems, did manage to assassinate ex-internee Peter Corrigan in the meantime.
Once the crisis passed, Hayward decided to join the 14 Intelligence Company, hoping that the new service could find a permanent place for the somewhat disabled but most talented captain. Hayward had lost the middle segments of the middle and ring fingers on his right hand in an accident involving a Ferret vehicle in Cyprus in March 1976, and thought that the unconventional force might be able to give him a new identity too, especially in light of the Stalker inquiry. By the time this police officer had put his Interim Report together during the summer of 1985, requiring only the tapes of the controversial killing of Michael Tighe in a Lurgan hayloft on November 24, 1982, to complete his inquiry, Hayward had successfully completed the course for the Company, and had become Operations Officer for its South Detachment in Northern Ireland, adopting the operational identity of James Rennie just to be on the safe side. (For his fictionalized account of the transformation, see The Operators: On the Streets with Britain’s Most Secret Service.)
Rennie now seemed far removed from any trouble Stalker could make, especially given the opposition of RUC Chief Constable Sir John Hermon, and MI5 to handing over the tapes. Stalker was then removed from the inquiry under suspicion that he was connected to the criminal activities of Manchester’s Quality Street Gang, especially drug-running, through dealings with businessman Kevin Taylor.
Just when Colonel Gordon Kerr was recruiting Nelson to become a military mole in the UDA, the JIC was altering its focus on what to do with the PIRA, and its supporters, a change which required Hayward aka Rennie from trying to stop IRA Active Service Units (ASUs) in East Tyrone from blowing up undermanned RUC police stations to directing more sectarian killings, as he had done in 1982. Thatcher’s JIC was committed to making it seem that the Soviets, through their clients, especially Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, were assisting the republicans in taking over the North by force, a ploy it would punish by helping to destroy the USSR as a Cold War player.
Hayward’s assignment was to expose the stockpiling of Libyan weapons in the Republic by means of Hegarty’s arrest while leading another series of so-called shoot-to-kill murders to meet the alleged PIRA threat which would give him a believable alibi for triggering the showdown with the Soviets, the shooting to Swedish statsminister Olof Palme in Stockholm at the end of February 1986. Hayward saw to it that McMichael and Stone disposed of joiner Kevin McPolin in Lisburn as the new campaign commenced. Then he apparently led the drawn-out assassination of arms mover Francis Bradley on February 18, 1986, one so outrageous that it was being hotly debated in the press when Palme was murdered. Hayward had been actively sizing up Bradley for the shooting, even having his picture taken in military battlegear outside McVeys’ cafe in Magherafelt during the process, ever since unknown parties had shot up the Castledawson Police Station on December 9, 1985.
While the shooting of Palme, apparently by Hayward while reassessing the performance of his bodyguards, went off without a hitch, the problems with the South Detachment’s Ops Officer only increased for British officials as the Swedish police failed to find a likely suspect for the shooting, thanks particularly to SIS’s false leads. Jo Thomas of The New York Times published a belated story of the recent killings in the province, especially Bradley’s, to keep Hayward’s alibi going, and he added to it by helping entice Seamus McElwaine from across the border two months later, in the hope of catching the long sought-after James Lynagh, resulting in McElwain’s execution, and Sean Lynch’s wounding.
Still, Group 13, which included Chairman of the Joint Intelillgence Committee Sir Percy Craddock, former SIS Chief Sir Colin Figures, current chief Christopher Curwen, his deputy Colin McColl, Defence Intelligence Staff Chief Derek Boorman, DIS Director General for Management and Support of Intelligence Vice Admiral John Kerr, DGSS Anthony Duff, DDGSS Patrick Walker, G Branch Director John Deverell, Cabinet Secretary Sir Robert Armstrong, and Sovbloc operatives Gordon Barrass, Harry Burke, and Gerry Warner, and who had arranged the statsminister’s shooting, were increasingly anxious about Hayward’s continuing presence, and functioning in Northern Ireland, especially when the Iran-Contra scandal started unraveling in the fall. These officials are responsible for Whitehall’s unwritten code of keeping quiet at all costs about current operations. To ease the pressure, Hayward attended the PQS 2 course back in Ashford, successful completion of which would apparently lead to his being promoted to major, and given a top military intelligence post in Whitehall.
Just when Hayward was taking leave of Northern Ireland in early 1987, Nelson was back at work with the UDA over the strongest protests by MI5. Deverell believed that his use in the Hayward case would just compound the problem rather than end it, especially by leading the UDA to suspect that Nelson was working for the PIRA. His first assignment, it seems, was to help IRA volunteer, and longest British mole within the republican movement DOOK (aka DUKE and ‘Steak Knife’) set Hayward up on a drugs smuggling charge in Sweden.
This would lead to his being in the hands of Swedish authorities if investigations of Iran-Contra, now underway, ever revealed his role in the Stockholm assassination. Hayward’s brother Christopher, who had purchased the drug-running catamaran True Love from Kevin Taylor, was apparently forced to join the plot under threat from DOOK that he would kill his Army agent brother if he didn’t cooperate. As for who DOOK is, he sounds like Padraic Wilson, long-time leader of the PIRA, and its commanding officer in the high security Maze Prison until his release in 1999.
Wilson had apparently been turned by the British when the Keenans, Adams, and Martin McGuinness made a mess of the breakaway Provisionals. At first, Wilson tried to make the most of the revolutionary Free Derry movement, going to the greatest trouble despite the security net to attend the funeral of one of Sean’s sons killed in the process. Before Bloody Sunday, what might well have been sparked by a McGuinness first shot, Wilson, according to Harclerode, told members of the Mobile Reconnaisance Force (forerunner of the FRU), who had set up the Gemini Health Studio massage parlour on Belfast’s Antrim Road to gather intelligence from talkative clients, who of his colleagues had killed three young Scots of the 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers, based at Girdwood Barracks. (p. 317)
This intelligence gathering operation by the MRF ‘ladies’ was ‘blown’, as they say, in October 1972 after double agents Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, and an unacknowledged third one were forced to disclose to the PIRA leadership its relation to the Four Square Laundry intelligence-gathering operation next door.
What Harclerode, nor anyone else for that matter (See, e.g., Tony Geraghty, The Irish War, p. 89ff.), failed to tell us is how Wilson, it seems, somehow managed to escape both execution at the hands of the PIRA, and incarceration at those of the British. Wilson would have had all kinds of problems explaining his visits to the massage parlour. Perhaps, he was the third unknown volunteer (n. b. that Harclerode makes no mention of him), suspected of working with the ‘Freds’, but since he was only 15, he was excused because of expected adolescent impulses.
Afterall, the Ardoyne IRA had already murdered enough mere youths. While the PIRA leadership was making Wright and McKee pay for their liberties, and the MRF and its allies in the ‘Det’ were regrouping elsewhere after the attacks on October 2nd, Wilson, it seems, was able to become an Army informer, at that time not yet an anathema within the nationalist community. (Taylor, pp. 59-60)
Harclerode thought that he had gotten round these difficulties and developments by writing vaguely about Paddy Wilson, a leading figure in the nationalist community, divulging the names of the PIRA killers of Fusiliers Dougald McCaughey, John, and Joseph McCaig one night after drinking beer with the boys, and bonking the girls from the MRF. Harclerode was apparently alluding to the veteran SDLP Senator to the old Stormont upper house, Paddy Wilson, who was assassinated, along with his secretary, by the UFF’s John White on June 26, 1973, shortly after the ending of the massage parlour, and laundry collection operations. Wilson and Protestant Irene Andrews were savagely stabbed to death, and their bodies mutilated in a quarry just outside Belfast. She even had her breasts sliced off to indicate, it seems, the sectarian sources of the slayings.
Of course, there was no way that this moderate Catholic politician would have known who killed the soldiers. And if he had, there was no way that he would have been honored, along with hard-line Unionist Senator from Strabane, Jack Barnhill, in the Senate Rotunda with memorials of the new Northern Ireland Assemby, what colleague Gerry Fitt had been recommending for years, and the cross-party Stormont Commission agreed to. Barnhill was assassinated, and his house destroyed by the Official IRA on December 12, 1971, thirty years to the day before the memorials were commemorated. Innocent victim of the Troubles Senator Paddy Wilson was mentioned, along with Barnhill, and British Conservatives Airey Neave, and Ian Gow, when Irish Taoiseach John Bruton opened the All-Party Negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement. In sum, Senator Paddy Wilson could not have been Harclerode’s Paddy Wilson.
If he were Padraic Wilson, this leads to all kinds of ugly conclusions. First, it shows that there was systematic collusion between the Intelligence and Security Group (NI), and the loyalists paramilitaries much longer than previously thought. Wilson provided British authorities with inside information about armed assaults, like the one at Loughgall in 1987, and arms shipments, especially the ones from Libya, starting in 1971. White could only have murdered Senator Wilson, and Ms. Andrews on a tip from the female MRF agents, what they saw as ideal cover for Padraic Wilson not being suspected by the PIRA as being an Army informer. He would have been assured of the safety of his covert role by their assassinations. This assurance would have been strengthened when White was finally brought to trial, and convicted of the murders in 1978 when the military campaign by MI5 and the SAS against the nationalists was in full swing.
As with all clandestine relations, when things change, what was previously accepted or at least tolerated can become a death warrant. ‘Steak Knife’ seems to have prevented some unnecessary killings while MI6’s Michael Oatley was seeking a settlement with the IRA’s Billy McKee. Once negotiations broke down, and MI5 and the ‘Det’ started going after the republicans, however, ‘Steak Knife’s role became increasingly unacceptable, especially when the UDA’s “Shankill Butcher” Lennie Murphy, recruiter of McMichael and Stone, became involved. Then the Active Service Unit, directed apparently by Brian Keenan, in Britain went wild, culminating in the famous Balcombe Street shootout.
‘Steak Knife’ apparently did help arrange the SAS assassination of John Francis Green, the suspected leader of the shooting of the Scottish soldiers; helped in the 1980 imprisonment of Keenan for 18 years for conspiring to cause the explosions on the British mainland; and arranged for the UDA to kill Murphy when he threatened again to go on the rampage after being released from prison during Hayward’s 1982 retribution campaign.
Wilson’s long-time association with the Army, for which he was paid £75,000 per year in a secret Gibraltar bank account, suffered a severe setback, though, when the UDA, with 14 Intelligence Company assistance, almost killed Brian Keenan’s father, and Gerry Adams, not to forget the risks to brother Joe. Wilson had not bargained for this kind of retribution. While the military intelligence people have cooked up this story about having safely doctored the ammunition, no one in his right mind would believe it, given the extent and seriousness of the wounds. And one doubts that Wilson was ever told of the precautions. As former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Sir Patrick Mayhew explained about such murders: “If you do shoot, then you don’t shoot to tickle, you don’t shoot to miss, you do shoot to kill.” (Quoted from Peter Taylor, Brits: The War Against the IRA, p. 255) This may help explain why subsequent assassination attempts on Adams got nowhere, thanks to Wilson’s disclosures to the IRA leadership.
For good measure, MI5 officer Michael Bettaney, while on remand in Brixton jail for spying for the Soviets, had given fellow prisoners in the IRA, particularly Keenan, an earful of what the Security Service, and Army intelligence had been doing against it in Northern Ireland (Mark Urban, Big Boys’ Rules, p. 99), what became a red flag for DOOK (or ‘Steak Knife’) when he saw the Army captain ‘holidaying’ with his brother Chris on Ibiza in February 1987. DOOK had apparently learned from Martin McGuinness of the 150-ton shipment of Libyan arms on the Eksund for a PIRA ‘tet offensive’ (Ed Moloney, A Secret History of the IRA, p. 1ff.), and had stationed himself on the island to help the FRU intercept it from Malta. What Bettaney had seen in the province while working for MI5 was so bad that he converted to Catholicism, took up drinking, and became a left-winger.
While Simon’s brother maneuvered him into driving his Jaguar to Stockholm, on the pretext that it was being sold to an Englishman living there, the luxury car was loaded with 50.5 kilos of cannibis to secure his imprisonment when discovered. (For an explanation of this, see Simon Hayward’s rare autobiography, Under Fire: My Own Story; not to be confused with co-conspirator Oliver North’s Under Fire: An American Story.) In order to hide the cargo properly, the Jaguar had to be stolen for the time-consuming operation to be performed, necessitating Hayward being drugged by someone calling himself ‘Brian’ (p. 69), apparently Nelson. Meanwhile, DOOK, the well-heeled, nasty IRA man, in the company of a 35-year-old brunette, apparently calling herself Heather Weissand (whose existence and identity Hayward was most reluctant to recognize), made arrangements with drug dealer Forbes Mitchell to secure his arrest after he arrived in Sweden – what happened outside Linköping on Friday, March 13, 1987.
While Brian Nelson, along with RUC Special Branch’s Ian Phoenix, and FRU’s Mags, ultimately known as Captain M, and really Captain Margaret Walshaw, were making up as best they could for Hayward’s absence from Northern Ireland, he was slowly being prosecuted in the Swedish capital for drug smuggling. Phoenix replaced Hayward during Operation Judy, the Loughgall Massacre of 8 IRA volunteers on April 26th – what ‘Mary’, according to Peter Taylor, had forced when she was called off at the last moment from protecting UDR officer William Graham from an IRA AUS the previous day. (See her description in Taylor, pp. 270-1.)
She had been leading Graham’s protective surveillance since Hayward’s depature 10 weeks before. Expecting the case to be dropped because of Hayward’s connections in the UK, given the fact that it depended upon what Britain’s National Drugs Intelligence Unit officers could persuade Mitchell to testify to, he was shocked when found guilty in August. Hayward reacted by hiring a private detective to determine facts surrounding the case so that its prosecution could be overturned on appeal.
It was heard in early October, and turned on whether DOOK could persuade the court that Hayward knew what he alone was doing all along, what Weissand was prepared to corroborate. Of course, Hayward wanted DOOK to be forced to appear so that he could be subjected to cross examination about his role, but he persisted in refusing, claiming that he had already testified truthfully. When his lawyer, Dutchman H. K. ter Brake, was obliged to testify, he was asked who his client was. He declined to identify him, explaining to the court: “He is afraid of anything that will reveal his identity. He is afraid of the British Army.” (Quoted from Hayward, p. 340.)
ter Brake was never asked why. Then the court heard a letter from DOOK, claiming that he was the victim of a plot by the British press to scapegoat him, but he added that “…the truth will come out.” DOOK implied that if something happened to him because of UDA/FRU action, his lawyer would have more to tell the court. On this note, it was adjourned on October 7th.
Two nights later, Notarantino instead of ‘Steak Knife’ was assassinated, thanks to intervention by the FRU’s Captain M or Mags who decided that changing targets was essential, given DOOK’s obvious threat. (It is interesting to note that Hayward was soon calling his wife of be, Sandra Agar, ‘Sands’ after meeting her through a personal ad he had placed in Private Eye.)
When the court reconvened on October 15th, Hayward began to suspect that his appeal was doomed, once a letter from Ms. Weissand to ter Brake was introduced, confirming a conversation she had had with one of the prosecutors the day after Notarantino’s assassination. She stated that she had been present at the meeting of Simon, Chris, and DOOK at Santa Eulalia, and that at no time had Chris and DOOK left the table to conspire against Simon. (For its text, see Hayward, p. 356.)
While the defence tried to make much of the fact that no one knew who Ms. Weissand really was, and that she too was afraid to appear in person, these doubts were cleared up by the time the court rejected the appeal two weeks later, as one of the prosecutors summed up: “…Heather Weissand sounded credible to me on the telephone, HK ter Brake thought the same…Dook is not involved in this affair…that is nothing but a smokescreen put forward by the defence to cloud the issue…” (Quoted from p. 361.) Apparently, London had reassured Stockholm under the strictest secrecy that Weissand was a British military intelligence officer, unavailable for the court because of assignment on a chartered sailing yacht, apparently DOOK’s.
On October 28th, it had helped secure the capture of the Eksund off the coast of Brittany by French authorities. Clearly, British ones put a higher priority on keeping on good terms with the PIRA man than the Ops Officer.
Once Hayward was safely locked up for a five-year sentence, Britain’s ‘killing machine in Northern Ireland,’ to use Davies’ term, saw to the elimination of grounds for further blackmail by either ‘Steak Knife’ or Rennie, the details of which will have to be left for another time.