Northern Ireland news

Jamie Bryson one of three men reported to PPS over Nama ‘coaching' claims

Jamie Bryson leaving Parliament Buildings in Belfast where he gave evidence to Stormont's Finance Committee in September 2015. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

THREE men including a high-profile loyalist blogger and a former Sinn Féin MLA have been reported to the Public Prosecution Service in connection with allegations of 'coaching' at a Stormont inquiry on Nama.

The men, understood to be blogger Jamie Bryson, Sinn Féin's Daithí McKay and party activist Thomas O'Hara, were interviewed by police over claims Mr Bryson had been coached before he gave evidence to the assembly's finance committee in 2015.

The allegations are based on leaked messages between Mr Bryson, Mr McKay and another Twitter user, also believed to be in Sinn Féin.

Mr McKay resigned as an MLA after the messages became public.

Sinn Féin has denied knowledge of the communications.

The Nama inquiry, then chaired by Mr McKay, was set up following controversy over the £1.24 billion sale of Nama's northern portfolio to US investment fund Cerberus in April 2014.

Using assembly privilege, Mr Bryson had claimed that former DUP leader Peter Robinson had been in line to receive a payment as a result of the deal - a claim Mr Robinson strongly denied.

Police had asked three men to present themselves voluntarily for questioning as part of their investigation into alleged misconduct in public office.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes said on Wednesday night it had interviewed them.

"All three have been reported to the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) for consideration for prosecution," he said.

The PPS will decide whether a case will be pursued.

Mr Bryson previously confirmed he was one of the men police had asked to come in for questioning.

He wrote on his blog on Wednesday night: "I would welcome a court case in relation to this matter as in the course of such, many extraordinary matters could be examined in the public domain."

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