Duncan McCausland: Former senior PSNI officer released from custody

Ex-Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said he "strenuously denies" the allegations.

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A former PSNI assistant chief constable who was one of seven men questioned about the awarding of police vehicle contracts has been released.

Duncan McCausland was arrested on Tuesday along with five other men, including a serving police officer.

All seven men have been released pending reports to prosecutors.

Mr McCausland said he "strenuously denies" the allegations. The 54-year-old was once one of Northern Ireland's most high-profile officers.

He said: "I am going to go out of my way to ensure I can prove my innocence."

The 54-year-old was once one of Northern Ireland's most high-profile officers.

He retired from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in March 2011.

Following his arrest, Mr McCausland was taken to Antrim police station where PSNI detectives questioned him for three days.

His release from custody is pending a report being sent to the Public Prosecutions Service (PPS).

Arrest not 'necessary'

Speaking outside the station following his release, the former officer said he was "disappointed" to be arrested and that he was happy to attend the station voluntarily "throughout the entire process".

"I've actually told them that I'm happy to come back and assist them with anything else that they wish to talk to me about," he said.

"But I fully understand what they had to do and they treated me in a very professional manner, which is what I would have expected."

Mr McCausland's solicitor added that they did not believe it was "necessary" for police to arrest him but they would "definitely not" be making any sort of complaint.

He said: "The staff within the building have been excellent, they have treated him with the utmost respect, so there is no issue whatsoever."

Suspended

PSNI detectives are investigating allegations connected to contracts for the PSNI's fleet of vehicles and the first six arrests were made in Northern Ireland and England on Tuesday morning.

The Northern Ireland arrests took place in counties Antrim, Down and Tyrone and the detainees included Mr McCausland, a 48-year-old serving police officer, a 37-year-old member of the PSNI's civilian staff and a 62-year-old civilian.

Two civilians aged 34 and 54, who were arrested in England, were brought to Northern Ireland for questioning.

On Thursday morning, a 71-year-old pensioner in County Down became the seventh man to be detained as part of the investigation.

Later that evening, Mr McCausland and the civilian worker with the PSNI were both released pending a file being sent to the PPS.

The PSNI civilian staff member has been suspended from duty.

On Friday, the five remaining men questioned were also released pending reports to the PPS.

The 48-year-old serving officer has also been suspended from duty.

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