More than 20 people may be prosecuted after Stakeknife inquiry

Stakeknife stands accused of overseeing the murder of alleged IRA informers

A police inquiry into one of the biggest spy scandals in the history of British intelligence has recommended that more than 20 people including senior security force personnel and ex-IRA members be considered for prosecution, the Guardian has learned.

Operation Kenova, the multimillion-pound investigation into "Stakeknife" – the army agent at the heart of the IRA during the Troubles – has now sent files identifying military commanders and at least one IRA veteran with a so-called "get-out-of-jail" card to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Belfast.

Sources close to the inquiry have also revealed that its head, Jon Boutcher, the ex-chief constable of Bedfordshire, has had access to all secret briefing papers given to every prime minister from Margaret Thatcher onwards that related to the running of Stakeknife within the IRA.

Stakeknife stands accused of overseeing the murder of alleged informers within the IRA while at the same time working as one of Britain’s most important spies within the Irish republican movement.


It is understood that the man accused of being Stakeknife, alleged to be Belfast bricklayer Freddie Scappaticci, is among those named by Boutcher. Sources said Scappaticci and the others on the files form "part of the evidence to be considered" by the PPS.