McGuinness denies Scappaticci allegations
McGuinness denies Scappaticci allegations

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator Martin McGuinness has denied allegations by Alfredo Scappaticci, the west Belfast man who has denied that he is the IRA informer known as ``Stakeknife''.

Mr Scappaticci told investigative journalists in 1993 that Mr McGuinness was a leading IRA figure, contradicting Mr McGuinness's evidence to the Bloody Sunday inquiry that he left the IRA in 1974.

Mr Scappaticci further alleged that Mr McGuinness was involved in the murder of Derry IRA informer, Frank Hegarty, and that Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was also a member of the IRA army council up to 1993.

Speaking in Washington, Mr McGuinness refuted all the allegations ``in its entirety''.

He added:''I don't ever recall having a conversation with Mr Scappaticci.''

``I had absolutely no role in what happened to Frank Hegarty and I was not a member of the IRA in the 1990s, or indeed in the 1980s. I made my position on IRA membership clear at the Bloody Sunday tribunal.

``That is my position. I refute in their entirety all of the allegations that have been made against both myself and Gerry Adams in the programme,'' he said.

In statements issued through his lawyers, Mr Scappaticci denies being an agent and said he was ``naive'' to talk to the journalists regarding IRA Volunteers and their activities.

In the latest statements, Mr Scappaticci said he left the IRA in 1990 and was ``disillusioned''.

``A lot of what I said (on the tapes) was untrue and to a large extent... it was what the journalists wanted to hear.''

A party spokesman issued a general statement dismissing all the allegations made in the programme,

``Sinn Fein totally rejects these claims,'' he said, blaming them on ``spin, lies and misinformation from faceless securocrats and others intent on pursuing an anti-republican, anti-Peace Process agenda.''

Mr McGuinness added: ``I have been of the view that ever since we heard the name of Stakeknife and heard the linkage with Mr Scappaticci that there were people in the British military establishment who wanted Mr Scappaticci killed and who wanted him killed by the IRA in order for that to have a detrimental effect on the peace process.''

He said these people were ``still fighting the same war'' they had been fighting in 1973 and that they were determined to do as much damage to the peace process as they could.

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