Northern Ireland

Tony McCusker to lead Police Ombudsman review

Tony McCusker
Image caption Tony McCusker is due to report on the allegations by the middle of May

The chair of the Community Relations Council, Tony McCusker, will conduct a review into allegations of interference at the Police Ombudsman's office.

Lat week, chief executive Sam Pollock resigned after claiming the office's independence had been undermined by meddling from senior civil servants.

Justice Minister David Ford said last week he would set up an independent review into the claims.

Mr McCusker will provide an initial report to the minister by 16 May.

He will recommend whether the allegations warrant further investigation.

The review will focus on whether:

  • officials have interfered and meddled in the affairs and governance of the Office;
  • officials have made false and malicious allegations against the chief executive.

Mr Ford said: "I am determined that this matter be addressed as urgently and robustly as possible.

"That is why, when announcing this independent review, I outlined the need for these serious allegations to be documented and substantiated as an important first step.

"Mr McCusker will now examine the issues raised and provide an initial report to the Department by 16 May 2011 on the allegations made."

The ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, has strongly rejected claims the office's independence had been undermined.

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