The prospect of prosecutions over the Stakeknife record underlines the need to enact a Legacy Bill

Wisely, the usual knee jerk reactions from politicians and commentators  committed to one side or another in historical cases have  been held back after the sudden announcement from Jon Boutcher the chief constable of Bedfordshire running Operation Kenova that he has gathered evidence  to prosecution standard. It remains  to be assessed by the Northern Ireland director of public prosecutions. The prospect of state servants being charged over the record of Stakeknife cuts through the deadlocked debate on dealing with the …

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“In Kenova’s sights are also those IRA leaders on the Provisional Army Council who sanctioned the “executions” for spying…”

The BBC reports that Freddie Scappaticci has been arrested in England by the Operation Kenova team and is being questioned “in connection with the investigation into allegations of murder, kidnap and torture”. [Scappaticci is pictured above – bottom left with dark moustache at funeral of Provisional IRA member Larry Marley] The investigation team confirmed that a 72-year-old man had been arrested. The BBC understands the man being questioned is Fred Scappaticci and that he was arrested in England. The investigation …

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Soapbox: Scappaticci and the importance of reporting what we know, rather than what we think we know…

Ed Moloney has produced a puzzling critique (“Did Panorama Pull Its Punches?”) of my recent programme on the army agent StakeKnife (aka Freddie Scappaticci) to which your site recently drew attention. He noted that I had made no mention of Scappaticci’s first handler Peter Jones, an army sergeant said to have recruited him. The reason is straightforward. Despite my best efforts, Jones refused to discuss Scappaticci with me. Ed said he found an account by ex NI GoC General Sir …

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Operation Kenova and The Spy in the IRA…

John Ware’s BBC Panorama investigation on Freddie Scappaticci, The Spy in the IRA, is available online, with an accompanying article on the BBC website.  Ed Moloney has some relevant posts on his blog on the programme, including criticism of the initial response by processors in the media to Liam Clarke’s scoop when he broke the story in 1999. Not all journalists were as keen to follow the story up. Sinn Fein spread the word that Liam Clarke’s story was the work of …

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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 …

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Stakeknife is in the Police Ombudsman’s frame, but has he the tools to do the job?

One of the casualties of the failure to implement the Stormont House Agreement is I presume, the extra £150 million due to have been allocated over five years for dealing with the past. Although I know of no details of how the funding was to be shared out, some of it would have been apportioned to the Police Ombudsman, an office whose reputation has been revived by the redoubtable Dr Michael Maguire.  He issued a warning last year of the consequences of budget …

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“Maybe your client is understating his importance.”

Yesterday Dublin High Court rejected an application by Freddie Scappaticci, who denies he was a British army agent within the Provisional IRA known as “Stakeknife”, for a judicial review of the Smithwick Tribunal’s decision to allow witness Kevin Fulton to give evidence from behind a screen – and for a halt in the hearing of that evidence until the matter was resolved to Scappaticci’s satisfaction. Today, the Smithwick Tribunal continued to hear evidence from Kevin Fulton – a former British army agent also known as …

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