Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams must sue the BBC if its claims that he sanctioned the murder of Denis Donaldson in 2005 are untrue, it is claimed.
The allegation about the 2006 killing was made by a man who claimed he was also a paid state agent in the IRA.
The man made a series of claims, on an anonymous basis, to BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme.
The most explosive was that Mr Adams sanctioned the killing of Mr Donaldson.
But UUP Upper Bann MLA, Doug Beattie MC, who is also his party’s Justice spokesperson, said Mr Adams must now sue the BBC for libel.
“If the allegations made against Gerry Adams are not true, then he should take legal action against BBC Spotlight and if not, he needs to explain why not,” Mr Beattie said. “All we have heard so far is a weak denial.
“If any other political leader on these islands was accused of the allegations made against Adams, they would have had to resign or at the very least stand aside. However, it seems that Sinn Fein leaders have no shame. From Martin McGuinness exercising Royal Prerogatives to Gerry Adams` silence on his brother`s child sexual abuse when he was first told of it, what little credibility the Sinn Fein leadership had is dwindling away.
“The programme made two key claims. Firstly, that the IRA sanctioned the murder and then under pressure from Thomas (Slab) Murphy, Sinn Fein sanctioned the murder. A pertinent question is therefore, was the murder given political sanction to satisfy the ‘good republican’ Slab Murphy? These are very serious allegations indeed.
“I welcome the fact that the intelligence services so heavily infiltrated the leadership of Sinn Fein and as was made clear in last night`s BBC Spotlight programme, ‘agents of influence’ led to the strategic defeat of the Provisional IRA.”
Mr Adams has rejected the BBC allegations and has always denied he was in the IRA. His lawyer told the BBC his client had no knowledge of or involvement in Mr Donaldson’s death and denied being consulted about it.
Mr Adams’s party colleague Gerry Kelly dismissed the documentary as a “collection of discredited conspiracy theories”.
“The programme makers have had no regard for the feelings of families of the victims of the conflict, including the family of Denis Donaldson,” said the North Belfast Assembly member.