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…