Irish Republican News · September 5, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Committee hears of culture of white-collar criminality


A witness at an investigation into political corruption by a committee of the Stormont Assembly has claimed to have hundreds of hours of tapes revealing “an ingrained culture of inappropriate and possibly illegal conduct” across the political, banking, legal and accountancy sectors.

Gareth Graham (pictured), whose family owns the Sean Graham bookmakers, is one of a number of large-scale borrowers in the north of Ireland whose loans were acquired in suspicious circumstances by the US vulture fund Cerberus.

The scandal has centred on the role of Stormont politicians in the multi-billion pound deal which is alleged to have produced secret ‘pay-offs’ of several million pounds. Wexford TD Mick Wallace claimed, using parliamentary privilege, that seven million pounds sitting in an offshore account was corruptly intended for one or more politicians in the Six Counties.

Stormont’s Finance and Personnel Committee is investigating the sale of assets in the Six Counties by NAMA, the government bank set up to handle bad debts following the collapse of the banking system in the 26 Counties.

In the course of Graham’s submission he confirmed that he had “thousands” of taped conversations running to hundreds of hours featuring a NAMA adviser who as also a director and shareholder in Graham’s firm when assets were being transferred.

At least one DUP politician features on the hundreds of hours of recordings held by Graham, it is believed.

The developer claimed other borrowers in the north of Ireland whose loans were acquired as part of NAMA’s multi-billion ‘Project Eagle’ sale are “unwilling or afraid to speak out against Cerberus for fear of repercussions”.

Politicians conducting the inquiry also agreed, despite objections lodged by the DUP, to invite Jamie Bryson to give evidence in public on his allegations. The DUP has previously accused the high-profile loyalist of making “defamatory” accusations against the party leadership.

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