Torture witnesses come forward to help investigation into Armys IRA mole Stakeknife

The chief constable said detectives were using ground-breaking techniques to review and uncover forensic evidence which was not previously available. They include DNA and finger marks and new exhibits from families.Mr Boutcher added: “I can present a wealth of new information, of evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions . Show more Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher is leading an investigation into Stakeknife “I am now bringing in all those people that I think were responsible for offences.”I want to get those people who still know something, who felt that Kenova would just get closed down, or that Kenova would never result in any prosecutions, who now see things differently, who are beginning to have more confidence that Kenova is going to deliver on promises we made, to do our best to investigate things.”We want those people to come and speak to us, to call us, to come and meet us, to listen to how we deal with things.”Witnesses have told how records were removed or invented by members of the security forces, said Mr Boutcher, who is due to present files to prosecutors next year in a bid to secure convictions.Dozens of detectives are probing more than 50 murders. Suspects, including members of the security forces and the Provisional IRA, are being brought in for questioning. IRA members who witnessed suspected informants being tortured at the height of the Troubles have come forward to help an investigation into a high-level Army mole.Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher is gathering information about the prized double agent known as Stakeknife, who reputedly led the Republican organisation’s “nutting squad”.The unit brutally interrogated and murdered suspected spies and informers during the conflict in Northern Ireland.It is feared Stakeknife’s British handlers may have known about – but failed to act on – planned murders by the unit in order to protect his identity.Operation Kenova, the name of the investigation, is centred on possible crimes by paramilitaries, agents and Army and police handlers linked to Stakeknife, allegedly the military’s highest-ranking spy within the IRA. Multiple murders, attempted murders, torture and unlawful imprisonments are included.In 2003, Stakeknife was widely named as west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci, but he has always strongly denied the allegation.Mr Boutcher claimed people who owned premises where victims were detained have also spoken to independent detectives. “I need to make sure that information is sufficient to persuade him to prosecute people responsible for these offences.”Operation Kenova has 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.Mr Boutcher said his detectives had access to every document in unedited and at times poorly-indexed form.Most of those whom detectives have spoken to have been victims or witnesses but various suspects have been identified, the senior officer added.Investigators based in London and Belfast also conducted full forensic reviews on numerous murder and abduction cases which have led to 199 requests for new forensic examinations, resulting in several new DNA profiles and suspect finger marks. Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher is leading an investigation into StakeknifeCredit:PA He said: “We have spoken to members of the IRA who have come forward and told us that they were present when people were held, when people were tortured, and have named the people involved. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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