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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 May, 2003, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
Alleged agent protests innocence
Freddie Scappaticci
Mr Scappaticci spoke to the BBC at his solicitor's office in Belfast
The man named as a top Army agent in the IRA has spoken to the BBC at his solicitor's office in Belfast and again denied the allegations against him.

Freddie Scappaticci, who is in his late 50s, is alleged to have been a senior figure in the IRA in Belfast for several decades, working under the codename Stakeknife.

He told the BBC he had not received any advance warning of the allegations made against him in several Sunday newspapers.

"I am sitting here today with my solicitor and I am telling you I am not guilty of any of these allegations," he said.

He has never been involved in any criminal activity and has a clear record
Freddie Scappaticci's lawyer Michael Flanigan

"I have not left Northern Ireland since I was challenged by reporters on Saturday night.

"Nobody has 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."

'Unnameable source'

Mr Scappaticci said he did not know why the allegations had been made.

He also said he was not an active member of the republican movement.

"I was involved in the republican movement 13 years ago but I have had no involvement this past 13 years," he said.

A statement issued by Mr Scappaticci's solicitor Michael Flanigan on Wednesday reiterated denials that Mr Scappaticci had been an informer or received money from the security services.

"My client refuses to engage in challenging every statement made by an unnamed and apparently unnameable security source," Mr Flanigan said.

"He repeats the contents of his statement released on Tuesday and in particular confirms that he is not and never has been in any sort of military, security or police custody.

The people who made the accusations certainly have an agenda in doing so
Gerry Kelly
Sinn Fein

"He has never been involved in any criminal activity and has a clear record."

Mr Flanigan said his client had been forced to leave his home on Sunday solely because of "the media onslaught upon his character".

The solicitor also said he would be examining the published material about his client with a view to defamation proceedings.

Mr Scappaticci was publicly named on Sunday morning in some newspapers in the UK and Ireland as the Army agent Stakeknife.

It is understood the Stevens team of detectives investigating collusion between security forces and paramilitaries want to question Mr Scappaticci.

However, his solicitor's statement said that "he has not been arrested and no attempt has been made by the police to speak to him about any of the matters referred to by the media".

"He has not been contacted by the Stevens investigation team."

'Hidden agenda'

Speaking at Sinn Fein headquarters, Gerry Kelly called for disclosure of files and documents relating to the security forces' activities.

He said the media had been manipulated by faceless people intent upon damaging the political process.

"What I am arguing for is that files need to be opened on those faceless and nameless people," he said.

"All I know is that the people who made the accusations certainly have an agenda in doing so."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan called for British military intelligence to be withdrawn from Northern Ireland, and demanded a public inquiry into the activities of the Force Research Unit.

"The questions that need to be answered arise not just for military intelligence and the FRU and the British Government," he said.

"It is quite clear that there were a number of different people and forces mired in this sordid dirty war for which all of us paid far too high a price."




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Denis Murray
"Freddie Scappaticci is considering legal action against his accusers"



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