Cops probing suspected leaks of medical records at a top Ulster hospital believe they may be linked to the intimidation of witnesses in a loyalist terror case.
It's understood that an investigation into suspected breaches of confidentially at the Craigavon Area Hospital is directly linked to a series of threatening emails received by people who have given evidence against a notorious LVF gang.
Sunday Life understands that information contained in a number of emails received by a victim of intimidation included material that could only have been discovered by someone with access to her medical files.
The victim is believed to have given evidence to police in relation to a serious assault in Lurgan last December.
When the victim received the intimidating emails she alerted cops, who are now investigating the source of the leak.
It's understood that the home of an employee of the hospital was raided by cops last month and a computer seized.
Police and hospital authorities are now trying to establish if an employee has accessed private records and passed on details.
Sources close to the probe believe that as many as TEN patient files may have been illegally accessed at the hospital. And a number of people in the Lurgan area have been warned that their details may have fallen into the hands of the gang.
In relation to the raid, a police spokesman said: "Police carried out a search in the Lurgan area as part of an ongoing investigation. A number of items were seized for further examination. "
A spokeswoman for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: "We have been notified of these allegations that medical records were accessed.
"We take any breach of patient confidentiality very seriously and we are investigating it at this time."
SDLP MLA Delores Kelly called on police to ensure that the investigation into alleged intimidation of witnesses was completed quickly.
"I am very concerned that people brave enough to take a stand against known members of loyalist terror gangs should be given support and that when that support is forthcoming, it will encourage other people to take a stand against these parasites in our community," she said.