THE LEGACY OF SCAPPATICCI: THE NEED NOW FOR AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION (2)
Today lawyers acting for the Chief Constable of the PSNI will ask the High Court in Belfast that the civil action taken by the family of Caroline Moreland be put back to enable further time to be available as to how her murder will now be investigated.
Caroline Moreland was killed by the IRA Internal Security Team (“The Nutting Squad”) as an alleged informer for British Security Forces during the Conflict. She was killed in 1994. At that time The Nutting Squad was led by Freddie Scappaticci, known as Stakeknife. It has long been known that Freddie Scappaticci was a British agent infiltrated into the IRA as part of the government’s counter-insurgency strategy of collusion, complicity and criminality during the Conflict in the North of Ireland. The murder of Caroline Moreland – and at least 23 other people – were accounted to Scappaticci and many of his acts of criminality were sanctioned in order to protect his identify as a British agent during The Dirty War.
The murder of Caroline Moreland and others were part of an important thematic being undertaken by OPONI the extent and complexity of which lead from allegations against the RUC to allegations against other state agents and agencies including MI5 and the FRU. Because of the limited jurisdiction of OPONI its interim report was passed to the Director of Public of Prosecutions who has now ordered the Chief Constable of the PSNI to undertake an investigation into the widespread violence and criminal activities of Scappaticci. This is welcome but with an important note of caution.
The civil case against the PSNI being taken by the family of Caroline Moreland challenged the ability of the PSNI to carry out a thematic investigation into the work of Scappaticci as an agent of British government. First, because the PSNI has yet to undertake any thematic investigation into any aspect of the Legacy of the Conflict. Second, because of the lack of resources available to PSNI to “Police the Past” whilst Policing Present and its intention to pass all Conflict related Legacy files to the proposed Historical Investigations Unit (HIU). Third, because the PSNI does not have the sufficient degree of independence to comply with the demands of human rights standards – including the role of the family or to command the confidence of the people of the North of Ireland given the role of the RUC in the work of Scappaticci including up to the assumption of the role of the PSNI as the successor to the RUC following the Patten reforms.
Today’s request by the lawyers for the PSNI for the civil case in Caroline Moreland to be suspended pending further consideration results in further delay for her family and the possibility that they ‘wait and see’ for the out-workings of the Stormont House Agreement Bill and the establishment of an Historical Investigations Unit. There is already scepticism as to human rights integrity and fitness for purpose of the proposed legislation to bring the HIU into being. In any event there is no guarantee that the HIU would undertake the necessary thematic reviews required in relation to the British government’s policy of collusion and the activities of agents such as Scappaticci.
What in fact is required is an independent investigation into Scappaticci, collusion and the Conflict in the North of Ireland. KRW LAW LLP is therefore suggesting either a statutory inquiry into this matter is established to undertake an investigation into collusion during the Conflict in the North of Ireland including the activities of Scappaticci or another mechanism is developed to discharge the obligations of the British government – legal, moral and political – which are on-going human rights obligations owed to the relatives of the victims, including the family of Caroline Moreland, and the survivors of the violence of the Legacy of collusion.
ENDS 05 11 2015
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