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Man Denies Being British Spy in IRA

May 15, 2003|From Reuters

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — A former Irish Republican Army activist named as Britain's top informer within the guerrilla group emerged from hiding Wednesday to deny he was a British army double agent suspected of up to 40 murders.

Freddy Scappaticci admitted he once had links to the IRA, but said he had no idea why Sunday newspapers named him as "Stakeknife," the IRA figure who secretly undermined the Roman Catholic group's war against British rule in Northern Ireland.

"I am telling you I am not guilty of any of these allegations, I have not left Northern Ireland since I was challenged by reporters on Saturday night," Scap- paticci said at his lawyer's office in west Belfast. "Nobody had the decency to ask me if any of these allegations were true, and why the police had not come to question me about these allegations."

Asked if he had ever been a member of the IRA, Scappaticci said: "I was involved in the republican movement 13 years ago, but I have had no involvement this past 13 years."

He did not comment directly on media reports that as Stakeknife, he was a top member of the IRA's internal discipline unit and suspected of up to 40 murders, carried out with the permission of his British handlers.

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