Beattie: ‘Stakeknife probe will be uncomfortable for Sinn Fein’

Freddie Scappaticci
Freddie Scappaticci

The investigation into the activities of British agent ‘Stakeknife’ will be “uncomfortable for Sinn Fein,” Doug Beattie has said.

Bedfordshire chief constable Jon Boutcher has been tasked to investigate whether a number of murders carried out by Stakeknife’s ‘nutting squad’ were preventable, and whether there were any criminal acts committed by members of the security forces.

His investigation has been named Operation Kenova.

Ulster Unionist Mr Beattie said that although the probe is expected to “go right to the top of the republican movement,” Sinn Fein should make it clear its members will co-operate with Kenova detectives.

The Upper Bann MLA said: “If there is evidence of wrongdoing, then those responsible must be brought before the courts.

“I sincerely hope that the Operation Kenova investigation into the activities of Stakeknife covers all angles, including looking at the inner workings of the republican movement and the historical overlap between the IRA and Sinn Fein.

“It is crucially important that this investigation is allowed to proceed unhindered, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient that may be for those who are now well known faces in Sinn Fein, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.”

Mr Beattie added: “In the past we have seen investigations dropped to facilitate the ‘peace process’. In terms of Stakeknife, it looks like the tentacles go right to the top of the republican movement in both the IRA and Sinn Fein.

“Having received a written response from the DPP outlining the Stakeknife investigation and his view that it will examine IRA structure right up to their ‘Army Council’ level, I would welcome a public statement from the DPP to reassure the public this will be the case. I would also welcome a clear and unambiguous statement from Sinn Fein that they will co-operate with the Stakeknife inquiry.”