Doug Beattie: Stakeknife report could be uncomfortable for Sinn Fein

UUP MLA Doug Beattie said the Stakeknife report is due this year
UUP MLA Doug Beattie said the Stakeknife report is due this year
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Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie has said a file being prepared for prosecutors as part of an investigation into the Army’s most high-ranking agent in the IRA could make for “uncomfortable reading” for some in Sinn Fein.

Mr Beattie said he hopes the Operation Kenova report, once it is prepared, “shines a light into the IRA’s so-called ‘internal security’ operations and its ‘army council’.”

Operation Kenova, which is being led by the chief constable of Bedfordshire Police, is investigating the alleged activities of the agent codenamed Stakeknife — who is alleged to have been head of the IRA’s ‘internal security’ unit and is linked to some 50 murders.

Mr Beattie said he recently wrote to the Bedfordshire police chief, Jon Boutcher.

“Given the widespread concerns that exist about the imbalance in legacy investigations, especially in regards to the proposals on the establishment of the HIU (Historical Inquiries Unit), I sought assurances that no ‘On The Run’ letters or Royal Prerogatives of Mercy, pardons, or any other mechanism would prevent him from reporting the truth,” he said. “I understand that he plans to hand a file to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) later this year and then follow that up with a public-facing report.

“It will then be up to the PPS to decide if there should be any prosecutions.

“I hope that Operation Kenova, as was promised by Jon Boutcher and the then attorney general, shines a light into the IRA’s so-called ‘internal security’ operations and its ‘army council’.”

He added: “It should provide an opportunity to identify those high-ranking IRA figures who were directing this reign of terror. This could well make very uncomfortable reading for those who graduated from the IRA into the ranks of Sinn Fein.”