Nama challenges Mick Wallace to give gardaí evidence

Nama has written to Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace to hit out at his “unsubstantiated allegations” and tell him failure to hand over evidence to gardaí could be a criminal offence.
Nama challenges Mick Wallace to give gardaí evidence

The State property firm’s head of legal, Aideen O Reilly, wrote to Mr Wallace yesterday, 24 hours after the Wexford TD claimed under Dáil privilege that a former Nama advisor was “peddling” information to companies in Asia.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions on Thursday, Mr Wallace claimed to be in possession of more than 100 e-mails allegedly showing that former Northern Ireland Nama advisory committee member Frank Cushnahan was “peddling” information in other parts of the world.

“Last weekend, I travelled to Asia to meet a businessman who contacted me through Nam-Leaks [Mr Wallace’s website],” he said. “I went to collect documents and emails.

“Within a short time of Frank Cushnahan being appointed to Nama, he was peddling assets belonging to Nama to foreign parts.”

Nama did not comment on the specific claims yesterday. However, in a letter to Mr Wallace, Ms O Reilly said failure to pass on information to gardaí could be construed as a criminal offence in itself.

“In the event that you have information that such alleged ‘serious malpractice’ relates to a relevant offence, you are obligated, pursuant to Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011, to disclose that information as soon as it is practicable to do so to a member of the Garda Siochcana,” the letter read.

Mr Wallace’s office had yet to respond to the Irish Examiner last night.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin deputy leader and Dáil public accounts committee member Mary Lou McDonald has called for Finance Minister Michael Noonan to clarify the reasons why he met Cerberus officials on March 31, 2014, at a further meeting of the cross-party group.

Speaking after Mark Neporent, chief operating officer of Cerberus — the US vulture fund which ultimately won the controversial multi-billion euro Project Eagle Nama deal — revealed that his firm paid Brown Rudnick and Tughan’s £15m for access to debtor information and access to politicians including Mr Noonan and then DUP leader Peter Robinson, Ms McDonald said the issue must be clarified.

“We need to know what was the purpose of that meeting, who set it up, why was the minister and senior officials meeting with a bidder a handful of days before their bid was accepted, and was there a similar meeting with Fortress [the unsucessful Project Eagle bidder],” said Ms McDonald.

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