Stakeknife report to be published
Stakeknife report to be published


On Friday, a report on a notorious spy operation is to be finally published after seven years of a supposed police investigation into acts of collusion involving a spy inside the Provisional IRA’s internal security unit.

It was reported last week that the grandly titled ‘Operation Kenova’, which has cost around £40m, will fail to deliver a single prosecution, let alone a conviction, for the killings ordered and/or carried out by ‘Stakeknife’ or ‘Stake-Knife’, a cover name often used to refer to west Belfast double agent Freddie Scappaticci.

Scappaticci is said to have been involved in dozens of murders while working for British forces, among them innocent civilians and genuine republicans.

Jon Boutcher, who presided over the investigation but who departed in November last year after being handed the post of PSNI chief constable, will be present at a launch event in Belfast on Friday alongside his successor, Iain Livingstone.

Even the veracity of Scappaticci’s reported death and burial last April remain uncertain. Fran Mulhern, whose brother Joseph was killed by Scappaticci’s unit, said the investigation had delivered some new information, but also impunity for those involved.

Speaking to the Irish News, he said: “Despite an agent in the employ of the British state ordering the death of Joseph and over twenty others, nobody will be held accountable.”

The true purpose of the military agenda pursued by the ‘Stakeknife’ operation also remains unclear. It is feared that, despite the cost and the serial delays, the report will adopt a plicy of ‘neither confirm nor deny’ on several key issues, possibly failing even to publicly identify Scappaticci with the ‘Stakeknife’ operation.

Kevin Winters, acting for some of the victims, said they were “disappointed but unsurprised” by the decision of the prosecution service not to bring any prosecutions whatsoever,

He said he has asked for a review of the decision.

“As part of that request and consistent with a similar representation made in another Kenova case, we will ask the PPS to engage on the issue of corporate criminal liability by the security forces,” Mr Winters added.

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2024 Irish Republican News