Saturday 24 March 2018

Policing board chief's home searched in land deal probe

The office and home of Northern Ireland Policing Board chairman Barry Gilligan were searched as part of a police investigation into a Belfast land deal.

A number of unspecified items were taken from his home in south Belfast, as well as his office at the Board's headquarters.

Mr Gilligan, a developer and a member of the Board which was established as part of the police reforms introduced in the aftermath of the Good Friday peace agreement, has been away from his office on health grounds since February this year after undergoing major heart surgery.

But it is believed he planned to return.

In a statement police said: "Searches have been conducted in Belfast as part of an investigation into matters concerning development land at Nelson St.

"A number of items have been removed for examination from an office and a house. Police inquiries are continuing."

Asked if Mr Gilligan had been questioned, a spokesperson for the PSNI said: "Police inquiries are ongoing and we cannot comment on details of the investigation."

The probe by the police organised crime branch started five months ago.

Detectives were called in by the Housing Executive to investigate its role at the site which is owned by a company called Big Picture Developments which list Mr Gilligan as one of its directors.

Press Association

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