An investigation into the alleged activities of the person known as Stakeknife
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18 December 2018

Suspects questioned by Operation Kenova about murders and torture

People suspected of being involved in offences being investigated by Operation Kenova - including murder and torture - are now being brought in for questioning.

Suspects include members of the Security Forces and the Provisional IRA as detectives investigate allegations of murder and torture by an alleged army agent known as ‘Stakeknife’.

Operation Kenova, which had its investigation team in place in January 2017 investigating a range of alleged activities dating back to the 1970s, has now gathered more than 12,000 documents, secured 1,000 statements and conducted 129 interviews with witnesses, victims and families resulting in more than 6,000 investigative actions for the team.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who is leading the investigation, said: “I said at the outset that this would be a wide-ranging investigation and that is exactly what it has been. At the heart of the investigation and the reason we are doing this, are the families, without exception they have each shown incredible strength, bravery and humility in speaking to me and supporting Operation Kenova despite various setbacks and disappointments they may have had over the years. I made a promise to those families that I would do everything in my power to get the truth for them and that very much is what this investigation is about.

“We are going where the evidence takes us, so that has meant speaking to those with links to government, the police, military, intelligence agencies and paramilitary organisations. The vast majority of people we have spoken to have been victims or witnesses however we have also identified various suspects during the course of the investigation. We will continue to seek to identify and interview anyone thought to have information about the allegations we are investigating.”

The investigation team, which is based in London and Belfast, has also conducted full forensic reviews on numerous murder and abduction cases which has led to 199 requests for new forensic examinations resulting in a number of new DNA profiles and suspect finger marks.

Mr Boutcher said: “We are using ground-breaking techniques to review and uncover forensic evidence which was not previously available and that has allowed us to drive this investigation further than has been previously possible.

“We have managed to obtain a number of new DNA profiles and unidentified finger marks which are highly likely to belong to offenders. This evidence is all helping us to piece together a picture of what really happened to allow us to finally get to the truth.

“This investigation has been hugely complex and, at times, challenging, but the team has been steadfast in its approach to gathering every possible piece of evidence.

“It is my intention to submit full files covering the entirety of the Operation Kenova terms of reference into the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland during 2019.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped support Operation Kenova so far, both individuals and organisations – and I would encourage anyone with information to come forward and speak to myself or my team. Our door is always open and we treat everyone with dignity and respect. Your voice could make a significant difference. Many people have now come forward please join them if you know something.

“I am investigating any role of the Provisional IRA or the Security Forces into these offences. The families of the victims deserve to know what happened and nothing could ever justify the abduction and brutal murder of these poor victims. These offences were committed by cowards and it’s time the truth about those involved came out.”

View the terms of reference or to give information, you can email Op Kenova  , call the dedicated phone line 01234 858298 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.