Belfast Telegraph

I acted properly, says prosecutor who didn't charge Scappaticci

By Michael McHugh

Northern Ireland's former deputy prosecutor has said she acted appropriately and responsibly after it emerged she was asked to stay at home over a decision not to prosecute Freddie Scappaticci for perjury.

No wrongdoing is alleged against Pamela Atchison.

It has been widely reported that Scappaticci was the British spy in the IRA known as Stakeknife, whose activities are under investigation in connection with many Troubles murders. Scappaticci swore an affidavit to Belfast's High Court to say he was not the mole.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) decided not to prosecute him for perjury because he was in fear of his life, the BBC's Panorama programme said.

It added that a senior DPP lawyer involved in the decision not to prosecute Scappaticci for perjury was Ms Atchison, who went on to become Northern Ireland's Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.

After the current director Barra McGrory QC decided to review the decision, Ms Atchison was asked to stay at home last year. She has since retired.

Lawyers for Ms Atchison said: "Our client, who has had an exemplary and unimpeachable record as a prosecutor, has at all times acted appropriately and responsibly in relation to this matter.

"She would welcome the opportunity to clarify her role but is constrained by current circumstances.

"She is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explain her involvement in this matter during the Operation Kenova (Stakeknife) inquiry.

"It would be wholly inappropriate to publish anything that might imply wrongdoing by, or specific allegations against, our client."

In 2015 Mr McGrory said he had serious concerns about the decision.

He added: "Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I consider that the original decision did not take into account relevant considerations and also took into account irrelevant factors."

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