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Former Nama official Ronnie Hanna won't give evidence to committee

By Cormac McQuinn

Published 24/11/2016

Former Nama official Ronnie Hanna
Former Nama official Ronnie Hanna

A key figure in the controversial Project Eagle sale, former Nama official Ronnie Hanna, has declined an invitation to be quizzed by politicians in the Republic.

Mr Hanna, the agency's former head of asset recovery, was arrested last summer by officers from the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA), which has been investigating the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan book.

Mr Hanna wrote to the Dail's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) "respectfully" declining their invitation to give evidence.

Committee chairman Sean Fleming said: "He (Mr Hanna) has written to the committee saying he's respectfully declining the invitation."

In his letter, Mr Hanna said he was still bound by a confidentiality agreement he signed with Nama. He also cited the ongoing NCA investigation in Northern Ireland as a reason why he could not appear.

The PAC is examining Project Eagle after the Comptroller and Auditor General found that a probable loss of £190m was incurred in the 2014 deal. Nama has rejected this finding.

Nama chairman Frank Daly previously told the PAC that no evidence had been produced to substantiate the allegations made against Mr Hanna.

Mr Hanna was named in the Dail by TD Mick Wallace as one of two men arrested by the NCA. Former Nama adviser Frank Cushnahan was also held. Both men were questioned and released. They deny wrongdoing.

Former First Minister Peter Robinson also declined to appear at the PAC, but sent TDs a letter on Project Eagle.

Belfast Telegraph

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