Dear Mr Geddes
I write in connection with your letter, received by me on 23 December 2016.
In the first paragraph you refer to your belief that I may hold material relevant to your investigation into evidence given by me to the Stormont DFP committee on 23 September 2015.
I note that you do not expand on what alleged offences you are investigating. I would be somewhat surprised if you were investigating the nonsensical complaints submitted by the DUP, who are simply seeking to muddy the waters to deflect from the criminal actions of their associates, and alleged corruption by members of their party, in relation to Nama.
In this regard one would initially suspect that you are casting a wide net, with the purpose of engaging in a fishing expedition.
It is my understanding that I am not a suspect in any investigation related to Nama or the hearing on 23 September 2015, if that is incorrect then I request you advise me of such.
The material I hold in relation to Nama has been published in my book and provided to the Stormont committee, and is therefore publicly available on the Assembly website, my blog and within my book ‘The Three Headed Dog’. I am of course happy to furnish you with a copy of same, should you so require.
In regards to the source of said material, or notes etc in relation to Nama or the hearing on 23 September 2015, this material is protected by journalistic privilege. The definition of journalism is a broad one, however I point out that I fall under the National Union of Journalists definition of journalistic work. In this regard the information to which you refer is excluded journalistic material.
The concept of confidentially for journalists protecting their sources, or more broadly the protection of journalistic material, is recognised in law, specifically within the Terrorism Act 2000 and Article 10 of the ECHR.
I suspect you already know that the material is excluded, or else you would not be sending me a letter asking for co-operation, but rather taking a more robust method to simply go ahead and seize such material.
I, at this point, wish to make clear that I am strongly asserting my right to protect the material to which you refer and therefore should you seek to try any back-door moves to seize it, then this will be strongly resisted legally. It would not, of course, be beyond the PSNI to fabricate a search warrant on the basis of some contrived unrelated ‘soft intelligence’ and use this as a method of seizing the material and subverting due process. I would respectfully advise you to resist any temptations to engage in such nefarious back-door tricks.
I note your implied threat within your letter that you reserve the right to go to the County Court. The PSNI can go to the County Court if they so wish, but such a fishing expedition will be strongly resisted.
In summary, I will not be co-operating with your investigation nor will I be making any material covered by journalistic privilege available to the PSNI.