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Nama inquiry scandal: Police investigating Daithi McKay coaching claims

Published 06/09/2016

Jamie Bryson watches Sinn Fein’s Daithi McKay on television before appearing at Stormont’s Nama inquiry
Jamie Bryson watches Sinn Fein’s Daithi McKay on television before appearing at Stormont’s Nama inquiry

The PSNI is investigating allegations that a key witness at the Assembly's Nama inquiry was coached, in order to see if offences have been committed.

Former Sinn Fein MLA Daithi resigned last month over contacts with loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson during a Stormont committee probe into Nama's deal to sell off its Northern Ireland property portfolio.

The controversy arose following leaked messages between Mr McKay, who was chair of the committee, and another Sinn Fein Twitter user.

A Sinn Fein statement said at the time that Mr McKay had acknowledged that his contact with Mr Bryson was inappropriate and wrong.

Detective Supt Kevin Geddes 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."

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Timeline: How did Daithi McKay's resignation unfold after Jamie Bryson Nama allegations  

The inquiry was launched following claims made in the Dail by Independent TD Mick Wallace, who alleged £7m in an Isle of Man account had been earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician or party.

Mr Bryson used the Assembly's legal privilege to name former First Minister Peter Robinson as so-called "Person A" in relation to the Nama property scandal.

Mr Robinson denied any suggestions that he sought to benefit from the deal. A National Crime Agency investigation is ongoing into the allegations.

The DUP has called for a police investigation into the coaching allegations.

At the time MLA Peter Weir said: "I think the police do need to investigate this. What we have seen is effectively a conspiracy between two individuals to abuse an inquiry on that basis it has potential of malfeasance of public office."

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