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Questions asked about ombudsman's participation in collusion documentary

Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson has called on the Justice Department to investigate Dr Michael Maguire's participation in the documentary No Stone Unturned.

The Justice Department has been asked to investigate Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire's participation in the documentary No Stone Unturned.

The documentary by award winning film maker Alex Gibney names the chief suspects in the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, quoting from information contained in a leaked ombudsman's report and concluding there was collusion between the UVF gunmen and some members of the RUC.

The complaint lodged this week by loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson claims that by using his official car, in a "private commercial documentary" Dr Michael Maguire had breached his own code of ethics.

The complaint also points to the inclusion of information from an unredacted police ombudsman report which formed part of the film's probe into the RUC investigation of the murder of six men in The Heights Bar.

Durham police are already investigating how a solicitor's firm obtained separate documents from the ombudsman's office.

Following the release of the documentary Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said; "While there is nothing to suggest these matters are linked, the PSNI has requested that the existing investigation is extended to include this recent suspected theft of sensitive material".

Mr Bryson said that "Article 7 of the PONI Code of Ethics states the ombudsman 'shall at no time, whether on or off duty, behave in a manner which would bring, or be likely to bring, discredit upon the Office of the Police Ombudsman'.

"The 'No Stone Unturned' documentary was based upon a classified document 'leaked' from the Police Ombudsman's office.

"As such it is entirely improper that the police ombudsman would participate in the documentary based upon documents illegally obtained from his office".

The Police Ombudsman is accountable to the Northern Ireland Assembly, through the Minister for Justice.

However, in the absence of a Justice Minister it is not clear who would be responsible for dealing with any complaint received about the watchdog's office.

A spokesperson for the ombudsman's office said "We are aware of a complaint and are giving consideration as to how it will be addressed".

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