Sunday Life

Top Provo bolts over tout claim

18 July 2004
cmcguigan@belfast telegraph.co.uk

A TOP Provo has fled his home over fears he is suspected of being a high-ranking informer.

The man, originally from the New Lodge area of Belfast, is one of a number of senior IRA figures whose name has been leaked as being a suspected agent.

He is understood to have been living in the Republic, since being targeted by a UFF murder squad.

But sources told Sunday Life the man - from a well-known republican family - has now fled his home.

Republican sources claim he was recently interrogated by the IRA, which has been carrying out a hunt for British agents in the wake of the embarrassing Freddie Scappaticci affair.

It is suspected that the IRA warned him to leave the country.

Previously, the IRA has interrogated and then murdered members suspected of being informers.

But they now appear wary of causing embarrassment to Sinn Fein, and damaging the already fragile peace process.

Provo chiefs have also been suspected of a whispering campaign against three senior republicans following the outing of Scappaticci as the Army agent 'Stakeknife'.

However, security sources remain unconvinced that it is actually the IRA who is behind the rumours.

There is shock and disbelief among republicans that the men have been labelled British agents.

They are still reeling over the revelation that Scappaticci - a long-time member of the Provo's infamous 'nutting squad' - was outed as Stakeknife, and as the mole who happily spilled the beans on Martin McGuinness's role in the IRA to the Cook Report TV show.

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