Belfast Telegraph

Operation Kenova: Security force personnel and ex-IRA members considered for prosecution

Freddie Scappaticci has denied being the agent known as Stakeknife
Freddie Scappaticci has denied being the agent known as Stakeknife

Senior security force personnel and ex-IRA members are among those being considered for prosecution following a police inquiry into the British Army's top agent in the Provisional IRA.

More than 20 people have been considered for prosecution as part of the three-year investigation, which has been named Operation Kenova.

Files covering the activities of a British agent in the IRA, codenamed Stakeknife, have now been prepared for the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland.

Stakeknife is alleged to have been Freddie Scappaticci, 73, from west Belfast, who was arrested and questioned by Operation Kenova detectives.

Mr Scappaticci has strongly denied being Stakeknife.

Operation Kenova was headed by Jon Boutcher, who was until recently the chief constable of Bedfordshire Police.

A statement from an Operation Kenova spokesperson said: "Jon Boutcher, the head of Operation Kenova, and his team has prepared files containing evidence regarding a number of offences outlined in the investigation's terms of reference - including murder, kidnap, torture, malfeasance in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

"Those files are now in the process of being made available to the Public Prosecution Service for consideration.

"It would not be appropriate to go into further detail regarding that evidence, or the number of individuals involved, until that consideration has taken place.

"A full report of Operation Kenova's findings will be published at the conclusion of all legal proceedings."

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Freddie Scappaticci

Operation Kenova was launched in 2016 amid concerns that Stakeknife had been involved in kidnap, torture and murder by the Provisional IRA during the Troubles and that these alleged crimes were preventable.

Up to 50 killings were investigated, some as far back as the 1970s.

Mr Boutcher was tasked by the PSNI to undertake the inquiry.

Mr Scappaticci was named by the media as Stakeknife in 2003. He was alleged to be the head of the IRA's internal security unit, known as the "Nutting Squad".

However, Mr Scappaticci has repeatedly denied these allegations.

It is understood the files sent to the PPS deal with him and a number of other individuals.

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