At Mr Robinson’s appearance at the DFP committee today he once again rejected my allegations and continued his regular verbal assault on the Irish News.
It should be pointed out that given Mr Robinson has totally rejected the very serious allegations I have made and described them as scurrilous and without foundation, I do wonder why the side stepping First Minister has not initiated legal proceedings against me?
It is also a point of note that for all his bluster against the Irish News, he has not issued any legal proceedings against one of Northern Irelands largest Newspapers.
Further to the above I have published a book which not only repeats but makes further allegations against Mr Robinson. Once again, the DUP have not initiated any legal action against my book. Why?
During Mr Robinson’s evidence today he snarled and remarked that some of the charmed circle I had referred to was not even in Nama. Who would that be he is referring to, his old chums Noel Murphy and Adam Armstrong? I have attached documents to show that Mar properties- which stands for Murphy, Armstrong and Rush- were in Nama. There it is in black and white!
Mr Jim Wells also took great delight in dismissing my allegation that Mr Robinson celebrated the refinancing of Paddy Kearney’s loans with a dinner in Carrickfergus. Today Mr Robinson himself confirmed that indeed he did attend such a dinner. It was of course organised by Mr Alan Mains, who nobody thought to ask Mr Robinson if he knew. I have named Mr Mains in my book as a MI5 asset who was working for the British Security Services when RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan were murdered. A fact he conveniently omitted from his evidence to the Smithwick tribunal.
I also revealed during my evidence the Dankse bank account the money was paid into, and once again this has been confirmed as accurate.
I revealed details of meetings attended by DUP ministers in relation to Nama. This information has been proven accurate and remarkably there have been no minutes kept of these meetings. This is coupled by Mr Robinson’s remarkable memory loss. It would be interesting for someone to collate how many times Mr Robinson relied on his lack of memory to get out of any tight spots today.
He did of course have four loyal allies in the room, including Sammy Wilson’s former SPAD and also his own former SPAD, Emma Pengelly. When Mr Robinson was caught out in relation to contact he had with Mr Frank Cushnahan, Mrs Pengelly demonstrated her usefulness by jumping in, interrupting and going off on a long winded tangent to answer for Mr Robinson. Mr Jim Wells, the George Foreman of the committee’s inquiry, tweeted that Mr Robinson had performed strongly. I leave it for the public to make a judgement on his memory loss.
Judith Cochrane was remarkably silent during today’s hearing. Given her desire to lead the charge in relation to shutting down my evidence and the evidence of Mr Gareth Graham, this is astonishing. It is however made a little clearer when viewed with the knowledge that Mrs Cochrane had last year agreed to join the DUP but during an event in Castlereagh she had been disgusted with the behaviour of Jimmy Spratt and subsequently put off her planned move to the DUP.
Thankfully Mr Robinson was today able to allay any fears in relation to Ian Coulter- the man who secretly transferred £7.5m into an off-shore account- and Frank Cushnahan, the king of conflicts of interest who was to receive £5m from the PIMCO deal for… well no one really knows. Mr Robinson was able to reassure us that there were “good fixers”. That’s the end of that then, move along, nothing to see here!
I also named other individuals due to receive a payment, none of these persons have issued legal action and all issued denials much the same as Mr Robinson. Of course the denial of David Watters has about as much credibility as a DUP graduated response, given that it’s been exposed as a tissue of lies. I again reiterate, without privilege, that the others to receive payment besides Mr Watters were Peter Robinson, Andrew Creighton, Ian Coulter and Frank Cushnahan. I await legal action from the accused!
The well-choreographed evidence of Mr Robinson today is fooling no-one. The remarkable memory loss, the lack of minutes and the fact that PIMCO were led to believe he and Mr Sammy Wilson were “assessing their credibility” leaves us with more questions than answers.
Then of course we have the activities of Fortress, who Mr Robinson knows nothing about. This is surprising given Brendan McGinn is Gareth Robinson’s best friend and has recently “partied” with him in Belfast City Centre. Mr McGinn is also a business partner of Robinson’s solicitor Paul Tweed.
In relation to Gareth Robinson the DUP leader today adopted an “I know nothing approach”. He stated he did not know his son’s client list, but did feel able to assert his belief that Gareth Robinson did not lobby for the Millmount site. This is strange. For someone who doesn’t know anything at all about his son’s business, how did he feel able to make this assertion?
I also think it’s poignant to highlight the sheer hypocrisy in relation to Mr Robinson’s whining about my use of parliamentary privilege. Firstly, I have made the allegations without privilege so therefore the option of legal action is there for Mr Robinson, but for some unknown reason he chooses not to take it. Secondly, as was revealed in the Irish News last week, Mr Robinson has previously used privilege to make groundless allegations against prominent businessman Peter Curiston. Tomorrow, thanks to a disgusted DUP source, I will publish confidential letters that were exchanged between Mr Robinson and the Secretary of State in 2006 and 2007 in relation to Mr Robinon’s attempts to alter the process in relation to the development of the Odessey arena.
The truth behind the Nama scandal can be found within this book, available in paperback or on kindle.