Northern Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions has called for a new investigation into murders linked to the activities of Scappaticci, known by the codename ‘Stakeknife’ and the security services who allegedly liaised with him.
It has emerged that the Director of Public Prosecutions (Barra McGrory) had asked the PSNI Chief Constable in August to start an investigation into Scappaticci and other security service personnel.
UTV Ireland reports:
Double agent Stakeknife infiltrated the Provisional IRA at a high level during the Troubles.
Mr McGrory said: “I have been made aware of the scope and range of possible offences that may have been carried out by this individual and also members of Intelligence Agencies.
“This information has been provided to me by the office of the Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, which is now concluding a painstaking review of all available material,” he said.
It comes after the Police Ombudsman confirmed earlier this year that it was conducting a major investigation into a series of IRA murders of alleged informants.
The Police Ombudsman probe is examining whether the killings in the 1980s and 1990s could have been prevented by the state and, as such, is investigating the role of British-run agents inside the IRA.
It is understood the fresh police investigations also relate to allegations of security force collusion in at least 24 murders carried out by the IRA in Northern Ireland.
“In the light of all of this information, I concluded that I must exercise my power to request that the Chief Constable investigates matters which may involve offences committed against the law of Northern Ireland.”
“The Ombudsman has carried out a comprehensive analysis of material emanating from the three investigations carried out by Lord Stevens into allegations of collusion,” Mr McGrory added.
“A common link across a significant number of potential crimes, including murder, was the alleged involvement of an agent of military intelligence codenamed ‘Stakeknife’.
“In addition, the Attorney General of Northern Ireland John Larkin QC, has recently contacted me about a murder case to enquire about any action the Public Prosecution Service may be considering. This is a case in which the same agent is potentially implicated.”
Mr McGrory has also identified one case, involving an allegation of perjury in 2003, where he now considers there is sufficient basis to review a prosecutorial decision.
He said: “Having reviewed all of the available evidence I consider that the original decision did not take into account relevant considerations and also took into account irrelevant factors.
“I have concluded that the original decision was not within the range of decisions that could reasonably be taken in the circumstances. This decision has been set aside.
“In accordance with our Code for Prosecutors, I have asked the Chief Constable to provide further materials so that the matter may be reconsidered.”
The Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland says the terms of each investigation have been referred to the Police Ombudsman so that he can consider if any investigation into the action of police should take place.
The announcement comes after a number of meetings with Chief Constable George Hamilton, the Police Ombudsman and the Attorney General.
“We are agreed in our commitment to ensure that the public should be able to have full confidence in the criminal justice system. We will each play our role independently, openly and with integrity,” Mr McGrory added.
Meanwhile families of victims previously said they were also taking a civil action against Scappaticci, the Ministry of Defence and the Chief Constable over the claims.
Belfast man Scappaticci was named as Stakeknife in 2003. Scappaticci has always denied he is the double agent.
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