Scappaticci loses case to clear ‘Stakeknife’ allegations

A Belfast man has lost his High Court bid to clear his name of allegations that he was a British Army spy in the IRA codenamed ‘Stakeknife’.

Freddie Scappaticci, 59, had gone to the High Court in Belfast in an effort to force the Government to state that he was not the spy in the IRA who was outed by reports in UK newspapers in May this year.

Mr Scappaticci took the action after fearing his life would be endangered by reprisal attacks from provisional IRA groups.

Lawyers for the man had argued that his ‘right to life’ under the European Convention were being denied by Northern Ireland Security Minister, Jane Kennedy’s refusal to deny his alleged role in the secret war on the republican movement.

The Belfast man strenuously denied the allegations that he was the military’s top informant inside the IRA

However, the judge in the case, Lord Carswell, the Lord Chief Justice in Northern Ireland, ruled that if the Government was to depart from its standard practice of neither confirming or denying agents it would put many lives at stake.

If the Government was to comment on one case, a refusal to comment on another may lead to assumptions being made that could risk further lives, he explained.

Mr Scappaticci left his Belfast home immediately after the allegations were made. At the time when the allegations were made, Mr Scappaticci claimed that he was no longer an active member of the republican movement in Northern Ireland.