Gerry Adams is taking action against the BBC over allegations about the murder of an MI5 spy in the IRA.
However, the Sinn Féin president refused to say if he will sue over claims levelled in a Spotlight current affairs programme in the North over who sanctioned the killing of Denis Donaldson.
Mr Adams branded the documentary “nonsense” and last week said he specifically and categorically denied the allegation that he had any involvement in ordering the murder.
Mr Donaldson, 55, a Sinn Féin official and close colleague of Mr Adams, was shot dead in April 2006 at an isolated cottage near Glenties in Co Donegal following his exposure as a British spy.
In a statement, Mr Adams said: “I have been consulting with my lawyers and we will now be taking action against the BBC in relation to the totally false allegation contained within the BBC Spotlight broadcast.
“This matter is now in the hands of my lawyers and I will not be making any further comment.”
It is understood Mr Adams and his lawyers want to pursue the matter as far as possible . He said last week he would not be reluctant to sue if he was advised to.
The BBC defended Spotlight and said its programme dealt with matters of great public interest and that it stood over its journalism.
A spokeswoman said it had “not heard from Mr Adams’ lawyers since the programme was broadcast”.
The explosive claim over who sanctioned the spy’s murder was made by an anonymous man, who claimed he was also a paid state agent in the IRA.
Dissident republican group the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the killing in 2009 but the circumstances surrounding Mr Donaldson’s outing as a British agent and subsequent death have long been shrouded in mystery.
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