Jamie Bryson could give evidence to Nama probe

Flag protester Jamie Bryson
Flag protester Jamie Bryson Flag protester Jamie Bryson

THE Stormont committee probing the sale of Nama's northern debt portfolio will today consider taking evidence from prominent loyalist Jamie Bryson.

Since Mick Wallace made his explosive claims about Nama last month, the Co Down-based loyalist has made a series of allegations on his blog. Mr Bryson's posts have given the impression that he is being fed information about the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan book by a well-informed source.

A fortnight ago he wrote to the Finance and Personnel Committee offering MLAs the evidence he claims to hold.

Committee chairman Daithi McKay confirmed to The Irish News last night that it would be considering Mr Bryson's offer.

The Stormont committee launched its probe into allegations surrounding the £1.3bn Nama's Northern Ireland property loan portfolio sale last month in the wake of Mr Wallace's Dáil allegations.

The independent Wexford TD claimed £7m lodged in an offshore bank account was earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician.

The National Crime Agency has also launched an investigation into elements of last year's deal and an aborted bid by Pimco to buy the Nama northern loan book.

According to Nama chairman Frank Daly, former banker and Northern Ireland advisory board member Frank Cushnahan was in line to receive £5m if the Pimco deal had gone ahead.

The scrutiny committee is keen to look at the circumstances of Mr Cushnahan's appointment to the bad bank's northern advisory board on the recommendation of former finance minister Sammy Wilson.

To date its efforts have been frustrated by the Department of Finance and Personnel's (DFP) refusal to hand over

information, citing concerns that it may prejudice a future criminal prosecution.

The committee is also expected to discuss legal advice it has been given on compelling witnesses, including DFP permanent secretary David Sterling and Nama representatives.

The Sinn Féin committee chairman has said members will consider using 'section 44' powers which compel witnesses to appear.