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Belfast spy denies being informer { May 13 2003 }

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Belfast 'Spy' Denies Being Informer 'Stakeknife'
Tue May 13, 2003 06:45 AM ET

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - A Belfast man named as Britain's highest-ranking informer within the IRA on Tuesday denied allegations that he was the British agent "Stakeknife."

In a statement, a lawyer for Alfredo "Freddy" Scappaticci said the west Belfast builder denied "each and every one" of the allegations made since he was identified as Stakeknife by a number of Web Sites and newspapers on Sunday.

"He is not Stakeknife. He has never been an informer, has never contacted the intelligence services, has never been taken into protective custody and has never received any money from the security services," said solicitor Michael Flanigan.

"My client is the victim of misinformation, apparently emanating from the security forces and disseminated by the press."

Scappaticci, allegedly a leading member of the IRA's feared internal discipline unit, the "Nutting Squad," was reported to be in hiding in England, although the IRA's political ally Sinn Fein said his family insisted he was still in Belfast.

His lawyer said he had been compelled to make a public statement "as a result of the intense media speculation about him," but that he would make no further comment.

"Mr. Scappaticci is an ordinary working man living in west Belfast and as such he has no means at his disposal to combat this onslaught of false allegations," said the statement.

"Clearly, his life has been placed in danger as a result and he in now in hiding."

The identity of Stakeknife, a highly-placed spy said to have informed for the British from inside the Irish Republican Army for decades, has been a source of intense speculation in Belfast for years.

In recent weeks another disgruntled former agent had been threatening to identify Stakeknife.

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