Martin says Nama claims ‘go to the heart of confidence and trust’ in a body acting for taxpayer
Allegation that entire file of Nama client’s loans sent to individual acting for rival
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said it was claimed that property valuations were manipulated by Nama, the world’s largest property management company, with responsibility for ¤74 billion in assets. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins
A call has been made for an urgent response to “shocking” allegations about Nama that “cannot be left hanging”.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin made the call as he highlighted claims that “go to the heart of confidence and trust in an extremely important body that is acting on the taxpayers’ behalf”.
Mr Martin said “one allegation is that the entire file in relation to a person whose loan book is with Nama was sent to a partner in a major global property company acting on behalf of that person’s rival in advance of a major high-profile court case”.
The Fianna Fáil leader said the Barclay brothers had also contacted the Department of Finance in relation to documents linked to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish bank.
Moreover, Mr Martin said it was also claimed that property valuations were manipulated by Nama, the world’s largest property management company, with responsibility for €74 billion in assets.
Ongoing Garda inquiries
Taoiseach Enda Kenny told him that the Garda Commissioner had appointed a senior officer to liaise with Nama to ensure
complaints are pursued.
He also said the Public Accounts Committee is in contact with the agency about the investigations and Nama intends to assist them within the constraints of the ongoing Garda investigations.
Mr Kenny agreed “we cannot allow activity of the kind alleged” and the manipulation of valuations was a serious issue.
He said one complaint was being followed through. Information had been received about a second complaint but gardaí had not yet been in contact with Nama because it was awaiting further information from a firm of solicitors who made the complaint in August about the disclosure of information by Nama to a third party.
Mr Martin also called on the Taoiseach to instruct that objections to the release of information by the Department of Finance on concerns about Nama should be lifted.
He said a Freedom of Information (FoI) request was made in 2012, but just six of 19 documents were released and the issue was now with the Appeals Commissioner.
Mr Kenny said a Minister “never has sight or function of what is agreed by FoI officers on what is released. So it’s not for the Minister to direct a Freedom of Information officer what and what not to release.”
Mr Kenny told Mr Martin: “Nama were excluded from FoI requests by your own government.”
Mr Martin said he was not referring to the Minister but that it was the department that objected to the release of documentation.
He was “not casting aspersions on anybody but I believe it is important that there be certainty, trust and confidence”.
He said if the department
is “withholding documentation that might relate to overtures or representations made by a very significant player”, it appeared if though “people are hiding something and using Freedom of Information mechanisms to prevent material from getting out”.
But Mr Kenny said Freedom of Information officers in any Government department made their decisions independently.