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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Armour judge in expert probe call
Armoured police Land Rover
Armoured police vehicles are used in troubled areas
The Public Prosecution Service has been asked to probe the conduct of an expert witness in a court action which saw the PSNI pay a Belfast company 400,000.

The request was made by High Court judge Sir Liam McCollum, who called for a probe into how an armour contract was pulled then awarded to another firm.

Sir Liam said during the hearing he got a letter from an expert engaged by NI Sheet Metal Works, which sued the PSNI.

He said he regarded it as a "breach of professional confidentiality".

He also said that he regarded it as "as a potential contempt of court and a possible attempt to pervert the course of justice."

On Thursday the judge said he proposed to refer the letter to the PPS and to the Attorney General's department for consideration as to what, if any, further action was appropriate.


He did not name the letter writer or reveal their occupation.

The Policing Board is seeking an urgent report from the chief constable over the court case.

The judge said on Wednesday there was evidence someone within the police service deliberately undermined the company, which lost them a contract to supply armour plating for vehicles.

The police have already said they are to begin an inquiry.

Belfast-based NI Sheet Metal Works took the action for breach of contract after English firm Firth Rixson Castings Ltd was awarded the contract, at an extra cost of 350,000.

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