27/05/2003

Sinn Fein launch collusion dossier

Sinn Féin have launched a document aimed at highlighting specific alleged collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and security forces.

It emergerdf that the document was presented to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern during Saturday's talks between the Irish Government and the Sinn Fein leadership.

Commenting on the dossier, Sinn Féin Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly said: "Sinn Féin has been highlighting these (collusion) activities for years. They involve the manipulation, control and direction of loyalist death squads in the murder of citizens.

"In the past number of weeks these concerns have been heightened by the partial publication of Stevens, the spying incident involving leaked transcripts of conversations between Martin McGuinness and Downing Street, the British Intelligence briefings and unsubstantiated allegations concerning an alleged British agent in the IRA and the reports of UVF collusion with military and police personnel in the murder of citizens."

Mr Kelly claimed the British government's "wall of silence" over the issue had been predictable.

"The lid needs to be lifted and we need full disclosure. The people of Ireland are demanding the truth and the people of Britain have a right to know what was done in their name," he added.

Meanwhile, the man at the centre of the Stakeknife storm is to take legal action in an attempt to clear his name.

Freddie Scappaticci, from west Belfast, was named in numerous local papers as being an Army informer inside the IRA.

However, Mr Scappaticci strenuously denies the allegations and is set to take action against Northern Ireland Security Minister Jane Kennedy.

Through his solicitor Mr Scappaticci is seeking an order to compel the minister to comment on his denial of the allegations made against him.

(MB)

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