Allegations of security force collusion in at least 24 murders in the North should be investigated by police, the North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said. The allegations were made by Stakeknife, an army intelligence agent in the IRA.
Some believe double agents within the republican organisation were permitted by the security forces to commit crimes, including murder, to gain the trust of gunmen.
The North’s director of public prosecutions, Barra McGrory, QC, said: “I can confirm that I have requested that the chief constable (of the Police Service of Northern Ireland) investigate a range of potential offences, which relate to the alleged activities of an agent commonly known as Stakeknife.’’
Two investigations will centre on Stakeknife. Former senior IRA member, Freddie Scappaticci, has denied being Stakeknife.
In April, it was revealed that Northern Ireland’s police ombudsman, which investigates complaints against the police, was probing whether the killings, thought to date back to the 1980s, could have been prevented. The ombudsman has now contacted prosecutors.
Criminal reviews of the matters stopped some time ago.
Mr McGrory has requested two separate investigations. “The first will be an investigation of broad scope. This will seek to examine the full range of potential offences that may have been committed by this individual. It will also include an investigation into any potential criminal activity that may have been carried out by Security Service agents.” He added: “I have outlined, today, extremely serious matters, perhaps the most significant in my time as DPP”.
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