28 August 2015
Mr Daithi McKay MLA
Finance and Personnel committee
Northern Ireland Assembly
Dear Mr McKay
I received your email correspondence, on behalf of the DFP Committee, on 27 August 2015. I thank the committee for their prompt response to my letter, which you point out, was considered at the DFP committee meeting on 20 August 2015.
I have looked closely at the terms of reference that you have helpfully included in your correspondence. There is a great deal of the evidence that is within my possession that is entirely relevant and within the terms of reference.
I wish to place on record that if the committee do decide to call me, as I firmly believe it is their duty to do so, then I will remain firmly within the terms of reference and the parameters laid down by said terms. There is other evidence within my possession that falls outside the terms of reference and I am quite sure it would be argued that all of that evidence would be relevant to the NCA investigation. I do not intend to stray into those areas in any evidence provided before the committee, however much of that evidence will be included in the forthcoming publication of a book that I am publishing on the NAMA sale of the Northern Ireland portfolio.
I am not prepared to engage in a protracted process of written correspondence with the committee because quite frankly, such a process would be used by some as a fishing expedition to try and find out exactly what evidence that I hold. I have provided below some bullet points of relevant pieces of information I can provide to the committee.
• The relationship between former Finance Minister Sammy Wilson and Frank Cushnahan and taped telephone conversations that provided the genesis for the DUP lobbying for representatives on the Northern Ireland NAMA advisory committee.
• The relationship between First Minister, Peter Robinson and Frank Cushnahan. In this regard details of meetings and discussions that took place between the aforementioned during the process of the sale of the NAMA portfolio.
• Details of the lobbying undertaken, at the insistence of and also by the DUP, for special treatment to be given to a select number of property developers including Adam Armstrong, Noel Murphy, Paddy Kearney and the Lagan brothers once the sale of the NAMA portfolio had been completed. Former Finance Minister Simon Hamilton was involved in this lobbying whilst serving as the Finance Minister.
• The lobbying involvement of former RUC officer Alan Mains who acted as a go-between from the DUP to potential buyers of the NAMA portfolio, seeking to arrange favourable deals for aforementioned property developers once the purchase had been completed.
• The planned breakdown of the cash that was transferred by Ian Coulter into an off shore account.
The above bullet points provide an outline around some of the evidence that I am capable of providing before the committee. I believe the onus is now on the committee to accept the bona fides of my evidence and call me before the committee to give public evidence or to reject it outright. As previously stated I have no intention of engaging in a protracted written process of correspondence with the committee whereby some within the committee will try and stall the subject, on behalf of their party, by insisting on more information each time in the hope of firstly gleaning what they can from my written correspondence so as to assist their party in developing a containment strategy and secondly burying the question of whether the committee should hear my evidence under a protracted process of correspondence.
To be frank, if the finance committee wish to hear the evidence that I hold then I am ready and willing, at a date and time of your convenience, to provide a comprehensive presentation of evidence within the scope of the Terms of Reference. If the committee chose not to respond to this correspondence with a date on which they wish me to attend then unfortunately I feel my engagement with the committee will halt at this stage.
I thank you for your initial response and look forward to hearing from you.