Northern Ireland

Sam Pollock: 'Unhappy with approach' taken by Police Ombudsman

Sam Pollock
Image caption Sam Pollock was the chief executive of the Police Ombudsman's office for over a decade

The man whose resignation provoked the premature departure of the Police Ombudsman has spoken for the first time about why he left his £90,000 a year job.

Sam Pollock said he was unhappy with the approach taken in controversial cases involving informers.

He has spoken exclusively to the BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme.

Mr Pollock was chief executive of the office of the Police Ombudsman for more than 10 years.

The programme has also uncovered failings in a number of investigations by the ombudsman, including a complaint from the family of murdered republican informer Denis Donaldson.

Mr Pollock announced his resignation in March, claiming the independence of the office has been lowered.

He told the Spotlight programme why he felt he had to leave his job.

"I sensed in the end a dilemma or a conflict in terms of dealing with the whole issue of informants, said Mr Pollock.

"To speak about the involvement of an informant either directly or indirectly in murder, the loss of life, some atrocities, you cannot fudge that."

Al Hutchison has said he will step down as Police Ombudsman next June.

The programme also reveals details of a complaint to the ombudsman by the family of self-confessed republican informer Donaldson, who was shot dead at this remote cottage in Donegal in April 2006.

But the ombudsman declared the case closed last year with a finding of 'no misconduct' by the police.

Spotlight has established that investigators were not aware of a potentially vital piece of information that may shed light on what happened in Donegal.

However, the ombudsman rejected claims that his office has gone soft on the police.

"I can assure everybody that we do deliver independent, impartial, evidence based reports," said Mr Hutchison.

"And whether that is perceived by the public or is not is certainly a matter of debate."

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