Peter Robinson denies claim he would gain from Nama sale

DUP leader rejects allegation made by loyalist blogger as ‘scurrilous’

DUP leader and former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

DUP leader and former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

 

DUP leader Peter Robinson is to appear before a Stormont committee to reject allegations that he was set to gain from the £1.2 billion sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland property portfolio.

Mr Robinson described as “scurrilous and unfounded” a claim made by loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson that he was to benefit from the disposal of the properties to US investment giant Cerberus.

Mr Bryson made his allegation under privilege yesterday against Mr Robinson and four other men at the Northern Assembly finance committee.

The committee also heard from Sinn Féin deputy first minister Martin McGuinness who raised questions about the role of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Nama sale process.

After Mr Bryson gave his evidence, Mr Robinson said: “I repeat, I neither received, expected to receive, sought, nor was I offered a single penny as a result of the Nama sale.”

Mr Robinson said he would be happy to appear before the committee to deal with the allegations.

Wallace claims

The controversy over the sale of the Nama properties erupted in July when, under Dáil privilege, Independent TD Mick Wallace said that following from the Nama sale, £7 million (€9.5 million) was lodged into an Isle of Man account reportedly intended for a Northern Ireland politician or party.

It was subsequently confirmed that £7 million was diverted to an account controlled by Ian Coulter, a former managing partner of Belfast law firm Tughans who stood down from that post earlier this year.

At the Assembly finance committee, Mr Bryson repeated that a fee which he did not specify was lodged into an offshore account.

He said: “There were to be a number of beneficiaries to this fee and I will refer to them simply as person A, person B, person C, person D and person E.

“I can now tell this committee without fear of contradiction that person A is Mr Peter Robinson MLA, person B is Mr Andrew Creighton, person C is Mr David Watters, person D is Mr Frank Cushnahan and person E is Ian Coulter.”

All have either rejected or refused to comment on the allegations at this stage.

Mr Robinson said the claim against him lacked “credibility and can have no evidential basis”.