'Stakeknife' may give evidence
An alleged British agent in the IRA known as Stakeknife is actively considering giving evidence to an inquiry on Garda collusion in Ireland.
Lawyers for Freddie Scappaticci - accused of being the double agent while heading the IRA's notorious internal security unit the "nutting squad" - told the Smithwick Tribunal he may come forward.
An application was made to Judge Peter Smithwick for increased legal representation for Mr Scappaticci within hours of a former spy naming the Belfast republican as Stakeknife.
Peter Keeley, also known as Kevin Fulton, said: "He is an informer and he is Stakeknife." Mr Keeley also alleged convicted IRA bomb-maker and one-time Omagh bomb suspect Joseph "Mooch" Blair was a tout and protected by authorities north and south.
The tribunal is investigating allegations Garda collusion led to the IRA murders of senior RUC officers Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan on the Irish border, minutes after a Garda meeting.
During cross-examination by a barrister for Mr Scappaticci, who denies being the highly-prized agent or being a volunteer, accused Mr Keeley of making allegations to keep in the public eye.
"I do not want to be in the papers at all. I just want to disappear like everyone else," he said. "I am sure there are some people who could arrange it," he added.
"Your client went to the papers saying 'I'm not an informer and I'm not Stakeknife'. In actual fact he is an informer and he is Stakeknife."
Within hours of Mr Keeley's allegations against Mr Scappaticci, his solicitor Michael Flanagan made an application for his client to have a second counsel represent him.
The judge said if Mr Scappaticci would be interviewed, make a statement to the tribunal and give evidence he would grant the application, to which Mr Flanagan responded: "This is under very active consideration at the present time."