BBC SPOTLIGHT PICKS UP TOP AWARD FOR NAMA EXPOSE

Fixer’s fee for FrankCushnahan over NAMA portfolio

BBC NI’s Spotlight programme has won a UK-wide journalism award for its investigation into Nama’s controversial NI property loans deal.

Nama, the Irish National Assets Management Agency, was behind the biggest property deal in the history of Northern Ireland in 2014.

Spotlight reporter Mandy McAuley uncovered secret recordings exposing hidden dealings during the transaction.

It showed Frank Cushnahan allegedly taking £40,000 in cash from NAMA borrower John Miskelly.

The recording was made in 2012 at a time when Mr Cushnahan was still working as an adviser to Nama.

The payment was made by the property developer John Miskelly during a meeting in a hospital car park.

Mr Miskelly said “payments made by me to any persons have been lawful”.

Spotllight won the  prestigious Royal Television Society (RTS) Journalism Award.

The programme team were presented with the RTS Nations and Regions Current Affairs award at a ceremony in London on Wednesday night.

Peter Johnston, Director BBC Northern Ireland said: “This recognition from the Royal Television Society continues Spotlight’s long tradition of making award-winning programmes.

“It is a reflection of the dedication of our Spotlight team producing hard-hitting, high quality investigative journalism.”

The National Crime Agency is currently investigating claims of ¬£7 million ‘fixer’s fee’ which was to be split between five individuals, including Cushnahan.

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