Northern Ireland news

Nama inquiry: PSNI to begin probe over ‘coaching' claims

Sinn Féin's Daithi McKay was forced to resigned after the backchannel revelations. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
Staff Reporter

THE PSNI are investigating claims a key witness to a Stormont investigation into the sale of Nama's northern loan book was 'coached'.

Police will probe if any crime has been committed after The Irish News revealed last month loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson had been advised by Sinn Féin members.

The secret exchanges involved Mr Bryson, North Antrim MLA Daithi McKay, who resigned as a result of the scandal, and Sinn Fein worker Thomas O'Hara.

Who is Thomas O'Hara?

Ahead of last September's finance committee hearing into the sale of Nama's £1.25bn northern oan portfolio, Mr Bryson was advised via Twitter direct messages how to air an allegation against former first minister Peter Robinson.

The one-time flag protester subsequently claimed that Mr Robinson stood to benefit financially from Nama's disposal of the Project Eagle loan book.

The former DUP leader denies the allegation.

Full Nama coverage

A separate investigation by the assembly's standards commissioner will be suspended while police probe the allegations.

A police spokesman said: "Detectives from Serious Crime Branch are investigating to see if any offences have been committed.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news