IOL: SF slams Scappaticci ruling

Sinn Féin has criticised the High Court in Belfast for rejecting attempts by a 59-year-old republican to get the British government to deny that he was an informer for the British army.

The court ruled today that the British government was right to refuse to confirm or deny whether Freddie Scappaticci was the informer code-named Stakeknife.

Several newspapers claimed earlier this year that Mr Scappaticci was Stakeknife, who is reported to be the British army's highest-placed informer within the IRA. The newspaper articles are believed to have been based on briefings with anonymous British "security sources".

Sinn Féin chairman Mitchel McLaughlin said today's High Court decision would enable these faceless security sources to continue to undermine the peace process by giving briefings to journalists.

"These allegations [against Mr Scappaticci] were made by the same people who killed Pat Finucane and ran Brian Nelson and used him and other agents to control and direct loyalist death squads against republicans, nationalists and Catholics," Mr McLaughlin said.

"At every turn of the peace process, they maliciously leak and brief misinformation to create crises and to bolster anti-agreement elements. This morning's judgement in the High Court will have the effect of providing further cover for the activities of these faceless and unaccountable agencies who made the allegations against Freddie Scappaticci."

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