Stakeknife: Secrecy bid in Freddie Scappaticci court case to be resisted

Freddie Scappaticci Freddie Scappaticci denies being the agent known as Stakeknife

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A legal bid for secrecy around part of a High Court action against an alleged British agent inside the IRA, known as Stakeknife, is to be resisted.

Margaret Keeley is suing Freddie Scappaticci, along with the Ministry of Defence and police, for alleged false imprisonment.

The MoD and PSNI are seeking closed material procedures (CMPs), that would deny her lawyers access to material.

Mrs Keeley's legal team said the move was "draconian" and "inappropriate".

Her lawyer also said they would be "resisting it strenuously".

He added: "This case will have enormous implications for many, many cases, particularly those where there is an alleged intelligence agenda, and CMPs were never intended for this type of case.

"This application has been brought by the MoD and chief constable, not by the lawyers for the other defendant, Freddie Scappaticci."

Interrogated

Mrs Keeley, who is the ex-wife of former MI5 informer Kevin Fulton, alleges she was wrongfully arrested and falsely imprisoned during a three-day period at Castlereagh police station in 1994, following an IRA attempt to murder a senior detective in east Belfast.

She believes her detention was part of a plan to protect her husband's cover.

Mrs Keeley was released without charge, but claims to have been taken with Mr Fulton to a flat in the New Lodge area of north Belfast and interrogated by an IRA security team.

She has previously alleged in court that Mr Scappaticci was one of the men who carried out the two debriefing sessions.

The MoD and PSNI are seeking CMPs, that could involve intelligence documents being assessed only by a judge and a special advocate.

It is believed to be the first action of its kind in Northern Ireland, since the Justice and Security Act 2013 extended the remit of closed hearings.

Mrs Keeley's lawyers said the legislation was brought in more to deal with Al-Qaeda terrorism than the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

At the High Court, it was confirmed that the CMPs would be contested on the basis of them being incompatible with the plaintiff's right to a fair trial.

The judge listed the CMPs application for a hearing in January next year.

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