Operation Kenova: “I do not underestimate the huge task of establishing the circumstances behind how and why these murders occurred during those dark days.”

In a recent post Brian mentioned briefly the launch of the investigation into the activities of ‘Steaknife’ – the alleged British Army’s highest ranking informant within the Provisional IRA.  Named in the media as Freddie Scappaticci, originally from west Belfast, Scappaticci has denied the allegations.

Operation Kenova, as it’s been named, will be headed by Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, from Bedfordshire Police and, according to reports, is expected to last around five years and cost £35million.

The BBC report notes

[The] investigation into the alleged activities of the Army’s most high-ranking agent in the IRA will also examine possible crimes by IRA members, agents, Army and police handlers.

And the PSNI press release includes these quotes from Jon Boutcher

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, from Bedfordshire Police, added: “I am humbled to have been asked to lead such a critically important and complex investigation.

I do not underestimate the huge task of establishing the circumstances behind how and why these murders occurred during those dark days.

“My principle aim in taking responsibility for this investigation is to bring those responsible for these awful crimes, in whatever capacity they were involved, to justice. 

“The recruitment process for the investigation team will begin immediately, this will require time and I ask for a degree of patience as I do this. 

“As soon as officers and staff are in place the investigation team will begin reaching out to victims, victims’ families and all interested parties to receive information. [added emphasis]

At the Broken Elbow blog, a sceptical Ed Moloney admires “the bare-cheeked audacity of the British establishment when it comes to dealing with scandals that threaten their own”.

So, now, no-one can criticise the British for not doing anything about the Scappaticci scandal. But the the truth is that we are very unlikely ever to see the full report, which will be said to be so sensitive that its contents won’t be divulged. We’ll be lucky even to see a short, sanitised summary.

That’s what happened to the Stalker report, to the Sampson report which took over from Stalker when Jack Hermon nobbled him, and it is what has happened to the various Steven’s reports, although we did get one half-decent summary from Stevens.

So a secret inquiry, held in private will produce a report which we’ll never get to read but the British will be able to say that they did something about the Scappaticci scandal.

There’s a kicker though, Apparently the PSNI and/or John Boutcher are briefing that his report will take five years to produce. That’s nearly as long as World War II.

By 2021 or even 2022, Scappaticci will be a distant memory. The man himself may even have departed for the big Internal Security Unit in the sky by then. The odds are that many people won’t care a toss about Scap by that time.

But the British will be able to say that they did something about the scandal.

Well, perhaps…

In a separate post, Ed has some suggested viewing for Chief Constable Boutcher and, interestingly, notes

The media call him ‘Stakeknife’ but that is inaccurate. The whistleblower who revealed his identity was forced by court order no longer to use his proper name, ‘Steaknife’ and so to circumvent the ban, he devised ‘Stakeknife’ as an alternative that could not be banned by the courts. I think it’s time we all reverted to ‘Steaknife’.

He also notes

This guy may also be able to help:

Obviously, if anyone has any knowledge of this man’s current whereabouts they should pass that information on to the investigating team…

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  • Ciaran Goggins

    Scappaticci was “Kerbstone”.

  • Thomas Barber

    If we wait as long as the Irish government have been waiting on getting access to British government files relating to the Dublin Monaghan bombings we’ll be waiting forever. As usuall in a fanfare of publicty we are to believe the British government are serious about revealling their role in allowing a state agent to commit murder at will, set up innocent people to be killed and ensured he evaded justice. There is not a snowballs chance in hell that the findings of this report will lead to anyone being reprimanded or charged with any offense. Another whitewash, another waste of public money and another dirty secret to be brushed under the carpet while the British government lectures other countries on their human rights records.

  • ted hagan

    Steakknife?
    Try Stakeknife.

  • Thomas Barber

    His nickname as a teenager was Steak.

  • eamoncorbett

    If there was a trial would the top guys at MI5 give evidence and answer every question asked of them , of course they wouldn’t and as a result there would be a lack of evidence and a non trial , so what is this English cop talking about when he says he will bring those responsible to justice . There will be no trials , no convictions and therefore no justice and most of the report will be suppressed , they should at least be honest with the victims , it’s the least they deserve.

  • Skibo

    Steaknife, the fisherman and kerbstone, fire enough muck and something will stick.
    Watch how Tony Blair will answer the questions on Iraq as an example of how people should address inquiries.
    As for your video, what was the sentence for soldiers in war for defecting to the other side? Didn’t Britain execute soldiers who were suffering from shell shock during WW1 for not returning to the front.

  • chrisjones2

    what colour of kerbstone was he …that’s the issue

  • Try reading the original post in full.

  • Yeah, Skibo. That’s the comparison you want to go for…

    As for “fire enough muck and something will stick”.

    Well, if Martin McGuinness’ own words on camera constitute “muck”, who am I to argue?

  • littlebentone

    No, Kerbstone was really Mickey Mouse and Scappaticci was BJs wife you clown.