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Operation Kenova report into Stakeknife to call for Government and IRA apologies

A major report into the activities of the Army’s top agent in Northern Ireland during the Troubles will call for Government and IRA apologies, the PA news agency understands.

The interim findings of Operation Kenova will be revealed on Friday after an investigation lasting seven years and costing approximately £40 million.

Kenova has probed the activities of the agent Stakeknife within the Provisional IRA.

Stakeknife was part of the IRA’s internal security unit, and Kenova examined crimes such as murder and torture and the role played by the security services, including MI5.

The agent was widely believed to be west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci, who was in his 70s when he died last year.

However, it is understood that Scappaticci will not be named in Friday’s 200-page report.

It is also understood that the report will call for a review into the UK Government policy of neither confirming nor denying sensitive information relating to intelligence issues.

It is also expected to call for apologies from the Government and the IRA to bereaved families and surviving victims.

Last week, the Public Prosecution Service announced that no prosecutions would be pursued after consideration of the last batch of files from the investigation.

Some 32 people, including former police officers, former military personnel and people linked with the IRA, were considered for prosecution on a range of charges from murder and abduction to misconduct in public office and perjury.

However, the PPS found there was insufficient evidence to pursue cases.

Appearing at a meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board on Thursday, PSNI Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who previously headed up the Kenova probe, was asked if he shared the views of the current Kenova head, Sir Iain Livingstone, who expressed “frustration” that no-one would be prosecuted.

Sir Iain said last week that the team had built “a strong and compelling case which we are frustrated will now not be tested before a court”.

Mr Boutcher responded: “I can say now I agree with Iain Livingstone and I will deal with all of this tomorrow.”