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Sinn Fein minister Ó Muilleoir to be quizzed over Nama claims

By Chris McCullough

Published 12/09/2016

Mairtin O Muilleoir
Mairtin O Muilleoir
Frank Cushnahan

Pressure is mounting on Stormont's Finance Minister to take action after it emerged that Nama had reported its former Northern Ireland advisor to both British and Irish police.

The Sunday Times reported that Nama had contacted the National Crime Agency and gardai after the BBC Spotlight programme broadcast prominent Belfast businessman Frank Cushnahan appearing to take a £40,000 payment from a Nama client in Northern Ireland. Mr Cushnahan has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Last night, TUV leader Jim Allister said he had tabled an urgent oral question to Sinn Fein Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir asking what actions he has taken in light of the allegations.

Mr Allister said: "It would be an exercise in demonstrating its own irrelevance if the Stormont Assembly returned today without a single mention of the Nama revelations by BBC Spotlight."

Mr Allister added that "it is important that the current minister should answer for his department and advise the House on what actions he has taken on foot of these and the other allegations".

Meanwhile, the Republic's Comptroller and Auditor General is due to publish a report this week concluding that shortcomings in the controversial sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan portfolio, Project Eagle, resulted in hundreds of millions of euro potentially being lost.

It found Nama could have achieved a better price for the portfolio, once valued at €5.7bn but sold for €1.6bn to vulture fund Cerberus in April 2014.

However, informed sources said Nama is set to "robustly" reject the core findings when the report is published.

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