Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson has confirmed he is one of three people to be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, in relation to evidence given to MLAs probing a National Asset Management Agency (Nama) property deal.
The prosecutions are in relation to evidence he gave, as a blogger, to the Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel hearing in September 2015 in which he alleged wrong doing by public figures.
His evidence made widespread headlines at the time.
The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said the prosecutions relate to “alleged manipulation” of evidence.
Mr Bryson denies any wrongdoing and said the courts have accepted his status as a journalist.
“The offence of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, when used against journalists, was criticised by press freedom campaigners, senior QCs and the lord chief justice in England,” he said.
“Weaponising the criminal law to prosecute public interest journalism or even political dirty tricks, takes us to a whole new level.”
A spokesperson for the PPS confirmed it has taken a decision to prosecute three individuals in relation to the alleged manipulation of evidence given to MLAs.
“After a careful consideration of all evidence, and having received advice from senior counsel, it has been decided to prosecute three suspects jointly on one charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
“In taking these decisions, senior prosecutors considered evidence received from police in relation to allegations of the manipulation of the presentation of evidence put before the Assembly Committee for Finance and Personnel in September 2015.”