Interesting announcement from Barra McGrory, the director of Public Prosecution who has asked the PSNI to launch two separate investigations into the alleged British spy, Freddie Scappaticci:
“The first will seek to examine the full range of offences alleged to have been committed by this individual and will also include an investigation into any criminal activity that may have been carried out by security service personnel.”
“I have been made aware of the scope and range of possible offences that may have been carried out by this individual and also members of Intelligence Agencies.
“This information has been provided to me by the office of the Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, which is now concluding a painstaking review of all available material.
“The Ombudsman has carried out a comprehensive analysis of material emanating from the three investigations carried out by Lord Stevens into allegations of collusion. A common link across a significant number of potential crimes, including murder, was the alleged involvement of an agent of military intelligence codenamed ‘Stakeknife’.”
“In addition, the Attorney General of Northern Ireland John Larkin QC, has recently contacted me about a murder case to enquire about any action the Public Prosecution Service may be considering. This is a case in which the same agent is potentially implicated.
“In the light of all of this information, I concluded that I must exercise my power to request that the Chief Constable investigates matters which may involve offences committed against the law of Northern Ireland and did so on August 11, 2015.”
The problem facing the PSNI is likely to be twofold. One, where matters of national security are concerned, they will sooner or later have to turn it over to the newly formed and newly approved NCA.
They in turn will likely run into another problem which is the pragmatic situation through which MI5 will judge can safely be released.
Given the ongoing presence of the IRA and the Army Council, and what the latest report implies about the continuing presence of Covert Human Intelligence Sources inside that organisation, this hare could be running into a few brick walls along the way…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty