Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Raid on firm linked to police board man

The offices of a company linked to Policing Board Chairman Barry Gilligan have been searched by officers investigating a controversial development site in north Belfast.

Detectives from the PSNI’s Organised Crime Branch swooped on the Belfast premises of Big Picture Developments this week as part of a probe into matters concerning land at Nelson Street in Belfast.

Mr Gilligan is listed as a director of the company which bought the site from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. The body had earmarked the land for social housing but told planners it was “withdrawing the request”.

Big Picture Developments has said it wants to build 250 private apartments on the site.

Earlier this month, the Housing Executive called in the police to investigate its role in the controversial north Belfast development site. On Tuesday police conducted a series of searches on the premises of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

A number of items, including computers, were removed from the Belfast city centre offices.

A house in Co Armagh was also searched.

Three people have been questioned by police and one of them is believed to be a senior employee with the Housing Executive.

All the people were questioned voluntarily, and no-one has been arrested.

A Big Picture spokesman said last night the company was “assisting the PSNI as part of a wider investigation it is carrying out”.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that none of our directors, or staff, have done anything wrong and we are assisting the PSNI fully so that they can confirm this as soon as possible,” he added.

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