A GIBRALTAR-BASED tycoon is under suspicion in a £1.2 billion property sell-off scandal in Northern Ireland.
Irishman Paddy Kearney has been forced to deny he benefitted financially from a ‘cosy’ relationship with First Minister Peter Robinson.
This week he appeared before Stormont’s finance committee to answer questions over the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland loans to US investment firm Cerberus.
Nama is the Irish state-owned ‘bad bank’ set up in 2009 to handle bad property loans.
Kearney, whose PBN company was owned by Nama, is suspected of receiving a ‘sweetheart deal’ from Cerberus thanks to the influence of his ‘friend’ Robinson.
It is further alleged that a £7 million kickback further down the line was intended for Robinson via an Isle of Man bank account.
However, Kearney told the committee: “To describe the relationship (with Robinson) as friendship is at best a gross exaggeration of the truth.”
Kearney also said allegations he was ‘manipulating in a criminal, corrupt manner the sale and purchase of the Northern Ireland Nama loan book’ were ‘totally unfounded and unsubstantiated’.