NAMA scandal: Jamie Bryson promises ‘explosive, career-ending evidence’

Jamie Bryson expects to give evidence to Stormont's finance committee
Jamie Bryson expects to give evidence to Stormont's finance committee

Prominent loyalist activist Jamie Bryson has promised that evidence which he is prepared to give to MLAs investigating the NAMA scandal will be “explosive” – and may end top politicians’ careers.

The north Down man has been asked for details of any evidence he may have about the vast property and finance deal by the Stormont committee tasked with examining it.

Daithi McKay, chairman of the finance committee, said Mr Bryson was a “person of interest” when it came to their probe, and that he would be written to by the committee.

He said the committee was “not in the business of shutting doors on anybody with information; factual information, if it is a concern to this committee, should be brought forward”.

NAMA (the National Assets Management Agency) was set up to take control of property loans made by Irish banks after the financial crash.

A US body called Cerberus then bought the rights to a package of loans last year for over £1bn.

The current scandal came to public attention at the start of July, after TD Mick Wallace claimed in the Irish parliament that a £7m payment, linked to the deal, had been made to an offshore account and earmarked for a Northern Irish politician.

He made the allegation under the protection of parliamentary privilege, which lets the speaker make claims freely without threat of libel action.

The National Crime Agency has since said it is investigating the affair.

Mr Bryson, who describes himself as an “anti-Agreement Ulster Protestant” and who came to prominence during the 2013/13 flag protests, has written a string of internet posts about this NAMA affair.

He said he now expects to be sent the Stormont committee’s terms of reference.

He understands the committee will ask him to indicate the relevance of his evidence.

He said: “It is my intention to provide the committee with an indication of what evidence I hold and how this is relevant to the terms of reference.

“I will release this correspondence into the public domain to ensure there is no attempt to create a veil of secrecy around the process.

“It will then be up to the committee to decide if they wish to ask me to appear as a witness or if they wish to receive further written evidence.”

Mr Bryson said he wants all his dealings with the committee to be public, and that he hopes its members will “interrogate” him to establish the quality of his evidence.

He pledged he would not use any appearance to turn the hearing into a “circus”.

He added: “What I have to say and show will be shocking, explosive and it is no exaggeration to say that it could – and should – end some big political careers.”