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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Police search MEA Council Braid building

The PSNI has confirmed that detectives from Criminal Investigation Branch visited Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s headquarters at The Braid in Ballymena today (Wednesday) as part of an investigation into suspected offences of Misconduct in Public Office and under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A police spokesperson said: “As this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

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Bannside TUV Councillor Timothy Gaston said that after witnessing several plain clothes police officers in the Braid headquarters today, he is demanding a “public explanation”.

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He stated: “Once again, as an elected member, I am left dumbfounded that no communication has been provided to elected members explaining the visible PSNI activity in our HQ.”

He has asked for confirmation over the nature of the visit by police officers, if there was a warrant for entry, if any staff member was interviewed, if the PSNI removed any documents or data as part of their search.

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He has called for issues to be publicly addressed and elected members to be provided with an “urgent update”.

In a statement, Ballymena SDLP Cllr Eugene Reid said: “I am shocked and stunned that police carried out a raid at our council headquarters as part of an investigation into suspected offences of misconduct in public office.”

He added that he  has  contacted senior council officials to request an immediate update.

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “Council can confirm it is fully assisting the PSNI with its enquiries.

“As this is an ongoing investigation, council is unable to comment further at this time.”

A special meeting scheduled to take place on Thursday is due to be held behind closed doors.

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