A court bid to have part of a legal action held in secret against a man accused of being the most high-ranking British agent in the IRA will be held early next year.
Police and the Ministry of Defence are seeking the order for the first time here in a case involving Freddie Scappaticci from a woman who claims she was wrongly arrested and falsely imprisoned for three days by police as a part of a sham to protect her MI5 husband's cover.
Margaret Keeley was freed without charge, but she claimed she was later interrogated by Scappaticci, who is alleged to have been part of an IRA security team.
Following submissions, Mr Justice Stephens said he would hear the application for secret hearings in February.
He told lawyers that the case would "have priority in my commitments, and I would expect there would be a degree of priority on the part of counsel".
If the Government's application succeeds, judges and special advocates sitting on secret courts would assess the evidence.
Scappaticci (68) has consistently denied claims that he was a British spy in the IRA codenamed Stakeknife.