Tuesday 23 May 2017

Key ex-Nama official declines to appear at Project Eagle probe

Mr Hanna has written to the PAC 'respectfully' declining their invitation to appear to give evidence. Photo: Tom Burke
Mr Hanna has written to the PAC 'respectfully' declining their invitation to appear to give evidence. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

A key figure in the controversial Project Eagle sale - former Nama official Ronnie Hanna - has declined an invitation to be quizzed by TDs at the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The agency's former head of asset recovery, Mr Hanna, was arrested last summer by officers from the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA), which has been investigating the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan book. Mr Hanna has written to the PAC "respectfully" declining their invitation to appear to give evidence.

The PAC is examining Project Eagle after the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) found that a probable loss of £190m (€223m) was incurred in the 2014 deal. Nama has rejected this finding.

Read more: NAMA made an 'eejit' out of deal-brokers in Northern Ireland property loans sale

In his letter, Mr Hanna said he was still bound by a confidentiality agreement he signed with Nama. He also cited the ongoing NCA investigation in the North as a reason why he could not appear.

Nama chairman Frank Daly previously told the PAC that no evidence has been produced to substantiate allegations made against Mr Hanna.

Meanwhile, former Northern Ireland first Minister Peter Robinson has also declined to appear at the PAC but has sent TDs a letter on Project Eagle.

Irish Independent

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