Report on Army’s IRA agent Stakeknife to be published in the new year

A report into the alleged activities of Stakeknife, the Army’s high ranking agent within the IRA, is set to be published in the new year.

Jon Boutcher, the former chief constable of Bedfordshire Police, has been working with a team of detectives for six years investigating a series of Troubles crimes, including 200 murders as well as incidents of torture and kidnap.

The interim report from the Operation Kenova team, due to be published in early 2023, will focus on Stakeknife, the British agent who allegedly heading up the IRA’s internal security unit.

Operation Stakeknife
Retired Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who is heading up the investigation into IRA agent Stakeknife (PA)

In 2003, Stakeknife was widely named as west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci, an allegation he denied.

The probe will focus on whether the security forces did enough to either prevent or subsequently investigate the IRA abductions and murders examined by the Kenova team.

Operation Kenova is continuing at a time when the Government is progressing controversial legislation through Parliament that would see the introduction of immunity from prosecution for individuals suspected of Troubles crimes in exchange for their cooperation with a new truth recovery body.

Mr Boutcher insisted the planned legislation would not derail the report’s publication.

“My commitment to publishing the results of all of the Kenova investigations remains as strong as ever and this takes us a step closer to achieving this,” he said after publishing a protocol for releasing the findings.

“While there is much discussion about the future of legacy following the Government proposed Bill, the Bill should not impact the release of the Kenova’s findings.

“Now the process for release has been finalised, we can start the work of engaging with all of the relevant parties before publication which I anticipate will be early 2023.

“This will finally mean we can address some of the unanswered questions from families.”