Belfast Telegraph

‘Stakeknife’ grilled me over killing, court told

A west Belfast man alleged to have been the top British agent in the IRA was part of a team of Provisionals who interrogated a husband and wife after they were held by police, the High Court heard yesterday.

Margaret Keeley claimed Freddie Scappaticci was one of the men who subjected her to two separate questioning sessions following her release from custody in connection with the attempted murder of a senior detective 17 years ago.

Mrs Keeley, whose ex-husband Peter is the one-time MI5 agent known as Kevin Fulton, told a judge she was “horrified and frightened” by the process at a flat in north Belfast.

She is seeking to have Scappaticci (64), who denies allegations that he was the military spy codenamed Stakeknife, listed as a co-defendant in her damages claim against the PSNI Chief Constable.

A judge will decide whether to permit the application based on the passage of time since she became aware of his alleged role as an agent.

Mrs Keeley has issued proceedings against the police for alleged wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.

The Newry woman was held at Castlereagh detention centre in 1994 following an IRA attempt to murder RUC detective Derek Martindale in east Belfast.

Mrs Keeley, who was released without charge, says she was then told to go to the New Lodge area of Belfast with her husband, where she was interrogated by an IRA team.

She told the court that she heard different voices and that one of the faces she glimpsed was Scappaticci.

In evidence she said: “I was made to face the wall (and) told not to move, or else.”

Mrs Keeley claimed to have recognised Scappaticci from going to bars in Dundalk with her husband, but did not know his name at the time.

It was only in 2003, when Scappaticci was alleged by the media to have been the double agent, Stakeknife, that she realised he had been one of those involved in the questioning, the court heard.

Following the first session the couple were brought back a second time to face more questions, the court was told.

Asked by her barrister, Brett Lockhart QC, about Scappaticci's alleged involvement, she replied: “He was one of the ones interrogating me and he had a say over what was going to happen.”

At the time Mrs Keeley was unaware of her husband's own role as an agent, she said.

Detailing fears for her own safety, she told of having her windows broken, the wheels of her car slashed and being followed.

But during cross-examination Michael Lavery QC, for Scappaticci, put it to her: “You are just making this up as you go along, Mrs Keeley.”

The case continues.

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