O'Loan To Examine Handling Of Fulton Allegation
The News Letter
Dec 10 2003

Exclusive By Stephen Dempster

POLICE Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan is investigating why the PSNI has not interviewed Freddie Scappaticci over a complaint that he held a man against his will, threatened and interrogated him.

The complaint against Mr Scappaticci, who is alleged to be the British Army's top agent inside the IRA, was made to police six months ago - ironically by another British agent, Kevin Fulton.

But, despite a detailed account of the incident which took place in February, 1994, when Mr Scappaticci was believed to be the head of the IRA's Nutting Squad, the police have yet to question the west Belfast republican.

When asked why this was, a PSNI spokesperson said: "The investigation is on-going and we cannot comment."

But sources have told the News Letter that Mr Fulton will meet a representative of the Ombudsman's office in the coming days, at a secret location in England, to discuss the matter.

When contacted last night, Mr Fulton said he had no comment.

But another source said: "Why have the police not spoken to Mr Scappaticci about this alleged crime?"

He added: "If someone goes to the police and makes an official statement accusing a person of something as serious as false imprisonment, it would surely be common practice for the police to then speak to the accused.

"Is it that Mr Scappaticci cannot be touched because he was a top British agent? It seems fair to pose that question."

Mr Scappaticci has strenuously denied being a British spy.

But Mr Fulton's meeting with the Ombudsman will also follow a weekend newspaper report claiming that Britain's top cop, Sir John Stevens, has been banned by the Ministry of Defence from talking to Stakeknife, as part of his inquiries into collusion.

An ex-Army Force Research Unit (FRU) officer, Martin Ingram, said there should be no reason why Sir John and the PSNI could not talk to Mr Scappaticci.

Mr Ingram was arrested by Special Branch on behalf of the Stevens inquiry team, over allegations he breached the Official Secrets Act - in connection with the work of the FRU.

"I was arrested and held in jail for three days by Stevens yet Mr Scappaticci - who has far more serious allegations hanging over him - has not been spoken to by police or Stevens," said Mr Ingram.

It is believed that Mr Fulton will also complain to the Ombudsman that files held on him by Special Branch, MI5 and the military have been destroyed.

Mr Fulton is battling with the Ministry of Defence in the High Court, in a bid to force them to provide him with a new identity, protection and a pension, as his life is under threat from the IRA and Real IRA.

The files would help prove his role as an agent.

It is understood that he will also raise his concerns about another case in which Special Branch is accused of covering up - the IRA murder of RUC officer Colleen McMurray in Newry in 1992; an attack in which officer Paul Slane also lost his legs.

Mr Fulton has claimed he warned MI5 and Special Branch an attack was imminent and they did not try to stop it.

The incident also has a wider significance as the alleged bombmaker was Patrick Joseph "Mooch" Blair - the same man Mr Fulton forewarned was making a bomb in the days before Omagh - another atrocity which was not stopped.

* Security sources attempted to discourage this report and discredit Mr Fulton during the writing of the story.

Former Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan also tried to undermine Mr Fulton's name, when the ex-British agent made claims that he warned about a bomb before Omagh.

The Police Ombudsman's report officially upheld the allegations by Mr Fulton and dismissed a number of claims by Sir Ronnie.

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