George Hamilton Brian Lawless

Senior PSNI officers 'completely exonerated' after investigation into bribery case

The allegations surround complaints made by seven people.

THREE SENIOR PSNI officers say they have been cleared after an investigation into a bribery case,

Chief Constable George Hamilton, Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris and Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton had been subject to an investigation by the Police Ombudsman.

The complaints related to allegations of misconduct by senior police during a criminal investigation into the two complainants, former senior officers, during 2014. The allegations surround complaints made by seven people questioned in a case surrounding the awarding of contracts for the sale of PSNI vehicles.

The Police Ombudsman had declared the case as a “critical incident”, meaning it could “have a significant impact on the person making the complaint, on the police or on the wider community”.

In a statement today, George Hamilton said all of the PSNI officers had been fully exonerated of all wrongdoing.

“Today, I and the other senior officers involved welcome the full exoneration provided by the Police Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has reported that he is entirely satisfied that the original investigation was necessary, intelligence and evidence-led, lawful and proportionate. He has found that our actions were taken entirely in the public interest and not to have done so would have seriously impacted on public confidence in policing. He has recommended no misconduct proceedings against myself or any other police officers, nor at any stage during his investigation did he interview any officer for criminal conduct.

“For the public to have confidence in their police service, it is important that all officers at every rank can be held to account. We cooperated fully with the Ombudsman and let due process run its course.”

Hamilton added the 2014 investigation was “in the public interest”.

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