“Is Scappaticci getting to that time of life when he wants to talk about his role in the conflict…”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Alan Murray asks some pertinent questions ahead of the Smithwick Tribunal’s public hearing stage.  From the Belfast Telegraph article

What Hurst [‘Martin Ingram’] has told Judge Smithwick so far about Stakeknife’s role along the border and whether it has relevance to his tribunal we are not allowed to know.

What we do know is that the Ministry of Defence does not want Hurst to talk about Stakeknife, either publicly or privately, which puts its lawyers on a collision-course with Judge Smithwick who wants much more dialogue with Hurst.

Those who may know, but cannot divulge what the state-of-play is on this crucial matter will only advise that matters are “delicately” poised on whether Hurst will ever be allowed to travel to Dublin to speak about Stakeknife.

For some as yet to be explained reason, back in October 2006 Freddie Scappaticci’s lawyers seemed to think that they should be tied to the tribunal investigating the murders of Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan.

That remains the case.

So has Scappaticci something crucial he wants to tell the tribunal in relation to the ambushing of the two senior RUC officers in March 1989?

Is he going to spill the beans about the role of rogue members of the security services and fellow IRA members in the Republic?

Is Scappaticci getting to that time of life when he wants to talk about his role in the conflict – and name others?

Hurst may be able to assist the Smithwick Tribunal in this very sensitive matter if he is allowed to reveal what he knows about Scappaticci’s role in the IRA along the border, where he would have regularly gone to interrogate alleged informers in safe houses in Dundalk.

Given that Judge Smithwick is investigating the murders of the two most senior of Her Majesty’s police officers to be murdered by the IRA, wouldn’t it be considered outrageous if some of Her Majesty’s most senior Army officers and MoD officials contrived to obstruct Judge Smithwick’s inquiry – itself specifically requested by Her Majesty’s Government?

Read the whole thing.

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  • I have to agree.
    Id broaden the remit but the substance of the post is correct.
    The year 1998 is a crude line dividing (rather than ending) the Troubles.
    A time when the law helped one lot of people got away with murder and a time where it helps everybody get away with murder.
    At this point in time Hurst and Scappaticci can be interviewed by authorities (in fact Im sure they already have) Must it be kept from the Public at this stage?
    They CAN be cross-examined.
    It is unsatisfactory to leave everything to a tell all book after Scapaticcis death in “Voices from the Grave” style.

  • Niall

    Hurst? I missed Ingram’s name becoming known, when did that happen?

    Other than raking in the proceeds from the sale of his books and his ongoing pension from the press for the countless stories or corroboration of others like the ‘fantasist’ Peter Keeley, is there a motive here? Why is he spilling all the secrets? I hope its genuine, it would be great if he had something that could force Scappaticci’s hand and get him to come clean, to name names.

    For instance, Brendan Hughes referenced a name that was redacted by Ed Maloney in ‘Voices from the Grave’ in relation to Joe Fenton’s execution. It appears to be someone on the Army Council, and probably someone now in the upper echelons of Sinn Fein. If Hughes was effectively Scappaticci’s boss on the IRA side, the name would have been accurate. Surely, Scappaticci could reveal it and confirm others.

    And does this not once again show the benefit of a full truth and reconciliation set up to be established; even if information were to be held and released only in 25 years time, when the protagonists will probably all be gone. From all sides, because at the minute all we’re getting is piecemeal information from IRA, UDA and UVF sources. Nothing from the British, nothing approaching the truth, even if that’s merely owning up to what happened without offering any remorse.

  • “Truth & Reconciliation”….I heard the South African process described last week as a “marketing ploy for an international audience” But thats another debate.
    Niall makes a good point about publication after a number of years but I think the key is the ability to question and cross-examine people (if indeed its the chosen way).

    What we are going to be left with is that in 2035 the last man or woman standing from the Troubles era will get to write “the definitive version” of the period.

  • The Word

    “Nothing from the British, nothing approaching the truth, even if that’s merely owning up to what happened without offering any remorse.”

    I welcome the truth as I know it will do no service to the Sinn Fein or DUP parties.

    The truth, reflected against the Chuckle Brothers routine, would serve a purpose.

    But I’m not looking for heads on pikes, an eye for an eye, or any other kind of man’s justice.

  • HeinzGuderian

    The next time El Beardo tells *The Truth*,will be the first !!!

  • socaire

    All bow to 57 varieties of omniscience.

  • Mark

    Is scappaticci getting to that time of life when he wants to talk about his role in the conflict ?

    Who needs freddie Kruger when we have his handlers files and the files at H/Q – lol .

    Is freddie now on the road to Damascas ? I doubt it . He’ll be the last person to know what the rest of his life holds for him .

    As for the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth , just don’t ask the Brits .

    Dr Kelly told the truth and he was killed for it . As libya has shown the world , the Brits are incapable of telling tthe truth and they see nothing wrong holding that view .

    Could that soldier that killed that young girl tell the truth ?? They feel as though people like us and the rest of the international plebs don’t need to know – that we just can;t be trusted with it .

    The fires at the Stevens inquiry offices ,,, the list goes on and on .

  • between the bridges

    mark,’As for the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth , just don’t ask the Brits’ .true! (more double agents than John le Carré )
    but i would hasten to add Gerry and the pacemakers not being in the not gone away! very few are telling or ever will tell the whole truth. most are putting a spin on it and everyone has their own version.., but one thing we all agree on its was the other one’s fault…

  • fordprefect

    Spot on! They also think that us “plebs” are too stupid to understand all that’s going on around us!

  • Whatever some might say about Ingram, you have to admire the man’s tenacity and courage.

  • Niall

    To answer my own question about ‘Hurst’ – in case no one else spotted it (perhaps it was just me who missed it though):

    Panorama, phone hacking report on Monday 14 March – Ian Hurst is Martin Ingram. Now, I watched that programme but didn’t make the connection, the Irish Times did. He seemed thoroughly unimpressive.

    And another thing, why would Freddie Scappatici get a ‘cool’ codename like ‘Stakeknife’ while he was number 5 in the list of the unknown BIG FIVE (as purported by the albeit, completely discredited muppet, Peter Keeley), while surely the biggest alleged informer of the lost, our great leader Marty, got the rather more innocuous moniker of ‘J118’. Perhaps Mr Hurst did not have the position within FRU that he would like us to believe he held.