GENERALE DEL BRITISH ARMY CONFERMA, FREDDIE SCAPPATICCI E’ STAKEKNIFE

Freddie Scappaticci era il nostro agente più importante nelle file dell’IRA”. John Wilsey,  ex ufficiale dell’esercito britannico, distaccamento Land Forces, ha confermato l’identità del più importante agente sotto copertura infiltrato nella Provisional Ira durante i Troubles. Le trascrizioni delle telefonate

Si tratterebbe di Freddie Scappaticci, nome in codice Stakeknife, all’epoca membro della squadra di sicurezza interna dell’Ira (la temuta Internal Security Unit) e che, dal 2003, vive al di fuori dell’Irlanda del Nord. Scappaticci, classe 1946, originario di Belfast e figlio di immigrati italiani, ha sempre negato le accuse di essere stato un double agent al servizio del Regno Unito, riconoscendo solo il suo ruolo di “attivo repubblicano” all’interno dell’organizzazione dissidente.

“Era il nostro segreto più importante”, ha affermato il generale John Wilsey, comandante dell’esercito britannico in Irlanda del Nord dal 1990 al ’93. “Era una gallina dalle uova d’oro, qualcosa di fondamentale per l’esercito. Siamo sempre stati molto prudenti sul suo conto”. Il generale Wilsey ha ammesso i dettagli sull’identità di Scappaticci in una conversazione telefonica con Ian Hurst, un ex militare che si occupava di intelligence, che ha poi diffuso in rete il tabulato della registrazione. Hurst telefonò presso l’abitazione del generale in due occasioni, sabato e domenica scorsa, dicendo di essere un giornalista di Channel4 e usando il nome fittizio Jeremy Chiles.

Nelle prossime settimane la corte di Smithwick sentirà a Dublino la testimonianza di Hurst nell’ambito delle inchieste sugli omicidi degli ufficiali del Ruc Harry Breen e Bob Buchanan – freddati a Jonesborough, in Co. Armagh, nel 1989. L’inchiesta, sotto la direzione del giudice Peter Smithwick, è stata istituita per dirigere le indagini sugli omicidi eccellenti dei due ufficiali durante i Troubles. Dopo un anno di negoziati con il ministero della difesa, il giudice Smithwick riuscì ad ottenere l’apparizione in tribunale dell’ex militare e mediatore d’intelligence Ian Hurst. Nella sua testimonianza, Hurst disse che c’era la possibilità che quattro membri del gruppo di fuoco che uccise gli ufficiali fossero stati agenti al servizio dell’intelligence che operava in Irlanda del Nord. Secondo Hurst, Fred Scappaticci era uno di questi.

Nella conversazione telefonica registrata tra Hurst e il generale, Wilsey descrive almeno due diverse occasioni in cui entrò in contatto con l’agente infiltrato nell’Ira, a cui fa riferimento sia come Stakeknife sia come Scappaticci. All’epoca, Stakeknife era un membro importante della sezione di sicurezza interna dell’Ira, il cui compito era di scoprire eventuali informatori della polizia e dell’esercito. Il primo incontro avvenne dopo l’avvio dell’inchiesta, presieduta dall’allora capo della Metropolitan Police John Stevens, sulla presunta collusione tra le forze di sicurezza e i gruppi paramilitari.

“Il capo dell’intelligence in Irlanda del Nord [il colonnello Colin Parr] venne da me dicendo che Stevens stava indagando a fondo, e che Fred Scappaticci era nervoso. Mi chiese se avessi potuto incontrarlo e rassicurarlo circa l’importanza del suo lavoro. E lo feci”.

All’incontro tra i due, a sud di Belfast, Wilsey disse a Stakeknife di contattarlo personalmente se mai avesse avuto problemi di qualunque genere. In seguito, Scappaticci lasciò l’Irlanda del Nord e chiese assistenza legale. Wilsey passò allora la richiesta alle “sezioni appropriate”, e ritiene che l’agente ricevette il supporto che voleva. Il generale afferma inoltre che Stakeknife venne reclutato nel 1976 e che il suo primo intermediario fosse un soldato di nome Peter Jones. Nel 1984 venne istituitala ForceResearchUnit (Fru), un’unità specializzata per gestire agenti e informatori, alla quale vennero assegnati Jones e Scappaticci.

Lo stesso Hurst servì presso il Fru. Secondo Wilsey, i reparti speciali del Ruc “volevano strapparci Stakeknife, lo volevano solo per loro. Fred però non voleva passare sotto la polizia, perché riteneva fosse settaria”. “[Alla fine], il Fru lavorava per l’MI5 [il servizio segreto britannico], e quindi il Ruc e tutta l’intelligence passò a loro”, ha detto il generale. “Io ero solo responsabile per amministrarli e promuoverli. Non erano la mia unità”.

Commentando le rivelazioni, l’ex direttore della pubblicità di Sinn Fein, Danny Morrison, ha riferito: “[I servizi di intelligence] usavano gli agenti come pupazzi. Decidevano chi viveva e chi moriva in giochi di guerra perversi e privati”.

(Segue la trascrizione della telefonata tra Gen. John Wilsey e Ian Hurst)

Le trascrizioni delle telefonate tra Ian Hurst e il Gen. John Wilsey

(fonte Stakeknife)

00:01 Speaker 1: Hello?
00:01 Jeremy Giles: Hi. Can I speak to General Jones please, sir?
00:04 S1: Who’s speaking?
00:05 JG: My name’s Jeremy Giles.
00:07 S1: Hello there.
00:08 JG: Good morning, sir. I spoke to your wife this morning.
00:11 S1: Right.
00:13 JG: I tell you what it is, sir. Andrew Vallance gave me your details.
00:17 S1: Who did? Sorry?
00:18 JG: Andrew Vallance, the D-Notice.
00:21 S1: Right.
00:23 JG: I tell you what it is, sir. We’re doing some research on a program for Channel 4 and
we’ve got some documents which feature you. And really, I was wondering whether I could come
down and see you?
00:38 S1: Oh, right. So you’re a television program or journalist or something like that, are you?
00:42 JG: Yeah. I’m a journalist, sir. Yeah.
00:44 S1: Right. And the…
00:44 JG: That’s how we got a hold of Andrew Vallance, he’s the Chairman of the D-Notice
committee.
00:49 S1: Oh, I see. Yes.
00:51 JG: And basically, the quite serious matters were… There are documents but there’s also
recording of you admitting to be in a car with Fred Scappaticci.
01:08 S1: I was in a car with him?
01:09 JG: Yeah, South Belfast. And it’s recorded in some contact forms that we have.
Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
01:15 S1: That doesn’t sound right to me. I don’t know Fred Scappa… Who is he?
01:23 JG: You don’t know who Fred Scappaticci is?
01:25 S1: No, not by that name. No.
01:28 JG: Well, you know him as “Steak Knife”.
01:30 S1: Oh, that cap. Yes, sorry. Yes, yes, yeah.
01:33 JG: Yeah.
01:34 S1: Yeah.
01:35 S1: The point of that being…
01:36 S1: But I’ve never been in a car with him.
01:37 JG: Sorry?
01:38 S1: Never. I’ve never been in a car with him.
01:40 JG: Yes. You had… Well, you were on the outside of a car but you had a meeting in South
Belfast in 1993.
01:49 S1: Right.
01:50 JG: Is that right, sir?
01:53 S1: Well, this is all teenager stuff, isn’t it? I mean, Fred Scappaticci…
01:56 JG: It is sir but what I’m saying is, before I come down, I just wanted to give you the
opportunity of either saying “yes” or “no.” And clearly, there is a recording of you discussing this
with another journalist fairly recently.
02:13 S1: Right.
02:14 JG: And what I don’t want to do, sir, is to mislead you. I just wanted to be clear as to the
reasons why, if you allowed me to come down… It wouldn’t be on camera but I’d like the
opportunity of showing you some documentation. As you know, the Force Research Unit, they
produce the contact forms and they record that you were concerned you would be subject to some
interest by Lord Stevens.
02:43 S1: Oh, right. Yeah, the Stevens thing. Yes, yeah.

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
02:45 JG: Yes. And that was your concern as to your motivation why you made that meeting with
Mr. Scappaticci?
02:53 S1: Well, yes. I mean… What happened is the Head of the Intelligence in Northern Ireland
came to see me and said that Stevens was burrowing around and that Fred chap, whatever his name
is, Steak Knife, was unsettled and would I go and see him and reassure him to the value of his work.
03:15 JG: Yes. No and…
03:17 S1: And that’s what I did, but I never went in a car with him.
03:20 JG: No, but you were on the outside… You were in South Belfast, if I understood.
03:23 S1: Yeah. Yes. Well it took place in Belfast. Yes, yeah.
03:26 JG: Yeah. What I understood was and from what I gathered from the documents was that
there was only you and him together and…
03:37 S1: That is correct. Yes.
03:38 JG: Yeah, I mean that’s how I understood it, sir.
03:40 S1: Yeah.
03:41 JG: I mean the detail, I don’t think is… How can I put this? I don’t think it’s of such gravity
that it would never get in a TV program.
03:54 S1: I wouldn’t have thought so. I mean, he was ousted by Stevens, wasn’t he?
03:57 JG: Well he was, sir. Yeah, I mean there’s…
04:00 S1: I thought it was the most terribly unprofessional business but he was ousted by Stevens.
Yeah.
04:05 JG: Absolutely. And by the way, I did read your book as well, sir, and I was looking at the
references to narrow it down.
04:10 S1: And I didn’t mention his name in the book at all.
04:13 JG: No, I noticed that. So that’s why I was going to ask you because clearly, that was… Your
rouges details would’ve featured, I would suggest, quite prominently given that your period, your
tenure, was a very political moment…

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
04:28 S1: Yes. Yes, absolutely.
04:29 JG: When the peace process was taking some hold.
04:33 S1: Yes, absolutely.
04:34 JG: And given Mr. Scappaticci’s role, clearly, it would be extremely unusual for a GOC to
get in a car with an agent and it must’ve been a very serious situation for that to have happened.
04:51 S1: Well see, I’ve explained the seriousness of the situation: He was fed up with Stevens. He
was worried about Stevens.
04:59 JG: No. I appreciate that sir, but there must be, and I don’t say there must be, but there would
have been other agents who would have been concerned about things like Brian Nelson, Stevens,
but you wouldn’t have got in the car with any other agent. It had to be a serious situation for that…
05:19 S1: Well, he was our best agent, as you know.
05:22 JG: Yes. I understand that, sir. Would you have been able to reassure him? Would that have
been the outcome?
05:30 S1: I did reassure him. Yes, yes.
05:32 JG: And did he then go on to continue in his work?
05:35 S1: Well, as far as I know, yes. Because I never so who the product was. You would just see
these intelligence reports.
05:41 JG: Yes, sir.
05:42 S1: They didn’t name the so-and-so said.
[chuckle]
05:45 JG: Yeah. And I mean I appreciate that, sir. On the contact forms that we’ve seen, it clearly
does demonstrate or detail your involvement, but it’s a contact form, so if it actually does detail the
agent’s name and welfare and all those sorts of issues, but any product which is generated clearly
doesn’t.
06:10 S1: Exactly. But I don’t know whether… As far as I know, because I spoke to the man who
asked me to go and see him. I spoke to that man later and he said, “Oh yeah. No, he’s fine. He’s

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
much reassured.”
06:21 JG: Good. Okay, sir. That’s just fine. Can I just… I’m happy with the Scappaticci sir.
06:26 S1: Yes, of course.
06:28 JG: And we can deal with that separately, if that’s okay with you.
06:30 S1: Yeah, of course.
06:33 JG: The book, your book sir, when it deals with issues when you were, I think you were a
company commander, were you during at the time of Narrow Water?
06:42 S1: In North Belfast. I was a CO in South Armagh, and that’s one point your talking about,
isn’t it?
06:49 JG: It is, sir, yeah. I always…
06:51 S1: I was the CO. I had been until two weeks previously. No. Sorry. I was the incoming CO
in South Armagh.
07:02 JG: You were the incoming CO.
07:04 S1: Yes.
07:05 JG: Had you actually taken up position? Or…
07:06 S1: No, not yet. No. I hadn’t, no.
07:09 JG: Were you on a handover?
07:10 S1: No. It was the [07:11] ____, if I remember rightly.
07:13 JG: But you weren’t in theatre?
07:15 S1: I was not in theatre, no.
07:17 JG: Where were you at that time, sir?
07:19 S1: I was commanding my regiment.
07:21 JG: In the UK?
07:22 S1: In Colchester.
07:24 JG: Okay, sir. Can I ask you a question then, sir?
07:28 S1: Of course.

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
07:28 JG: When you come into theatre, as the CO in…
07:33 S1: In South Armagh.
07:34 JG: Were you on a rural detachment then?
07:35 S1: In South Armagh, in Bessbrook Mill, yeah.
07:38 JG: And was it on the three-month deployment?
07:40 S1: Yes. Well, it was actually six months by then, I think.
07:43 JG: So roulement.
07:44 S1: Yeah, it was a roulement. Yeah it was.
07:46 JG: So when you come in, would you have been then aware of any concerns in regards to,
what’s the word I’m looking for, whether there was any intelligence generated?
08:02 S1: Well, yes. We were always concerned about intelligence as the book states. We never
used to get any intelligence and that was always the terrible disappointment thing. We never used to
get any contact intelligence.
08:15 JG: You never, but as a company commander… Sorry, as the CO of a regiment, presumably
you wouldn’t have received quality intelligence. You would have got the stuff that’s produced by the
local unit intelligence officer.
08:31 S1: Absolutely, and also the RUC and, as my book states, the trouble was that a regiment
would arrive. It would take time to get established and the police would stuff out the regiment and
see whether they were confident in the way they handled things or not, and then perhaps towards
the end of their time, they would drop a bit of a useful for intelligence in the pond.
08:55 JG: But you would never see FRU product?
08:58 S1: You would never see who it came from, no never.
08:59 JG: No, you would never see force research of product as the CO of that unit. Obviously, at
the GOC, you saw FRU product but when you were the CO of that rural, of that battalion in South
Armagh, you would never have seen any intelligence product generated by the Force Research
Unit?

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
09:19 S1: You never knew where they come from.
09:23 JG: You would know it was a unit, wouldn’t you? You’d know from a miser what unit it
came…
09:28 S1: No, you never saw… I never saw the misers.
09:30 JG: You never saw… That’s the point that I was making, sir. You never saw FRU. All misers
are generated by the Force Research Unit.
09:37 S1: Yeah, absolutely.
09:38 JG: So you didn’t see any product down that…
09:42 S1: No, what would happen is if someone would arrive, a policemen would arrive or a
member of the regiment would arrive and say, “We’ve got an interesting one here and we would like
you to stake out Forkhill”, or something like that. And that’s the nearest we got to it.
09:56 JG: Okay, sir. And you would never have any dealings with the Garda?
10:00 S1: And we had no dealings whatsoever with the Garda, ever, ever, ever, ever.
[laughter]
10:03 JG: Even when you was a GOC, sir, you wouldn’t have had any…
10:05 S1: I had to dealings with the Garda at all. Anything that happened with the Garda would
have gone FRU the chief constable.
10:12 JG: Yeah, I understand sir.
10:14 S1: The Garda was off limits.
10:15 JG: Can I ask you, sir, you say it was off limits, was that purely geopolitics?
10:21 S1: As I understood it was pure politics, yes. I mean, I think it probably came from the other
side of the border in the sense that the Garda didn’t recognise the existence of the British Army
because, of course, we were a foreign power at the time.
10:37 JG: Yes, sir. And would that have been the attitude which was, you understood, to be in
place during 1990 and 1993?
10:47 S1: Absolutely.

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
10:49 JG: I mean, it’s different today, I suppose.
10:51 S1: It’s very different today, yes. Yeah.
10:53 JG: And who would the Secretary of State been then, sir?
10:55 S1: I had Peter Brooke and Patty Mayhew.
10:58 JG: And would they have been supportive politically if you were to have said to them, could
we have some cross border liaison?
11:08 S1: Oh, I often said, could we have some… I used to make… Of course, when I was in South
Armagh, it wasn’t Patty Mayhew and Peter Brooke. That’s was when I was GOC. I think it was Tom
King probably at the time.
11:20 JG: But when GOC, clearly…
11:22 S1: When I was GOC, I had Peter Brooke and Patty Mayhew, and I was forever saying to
them, we must improve this, and of course, it was of my great frustrations. We would never
improve.
11:32 JG: As a Five Star, you would presumably expect to have had some means of
communication with your equivalence in the Irish set?
11:43 S1: Army, yeah. But I had none whatsoever.
11:46 JG: What would happen, sir, in this situation if you had hot pursuit for once in a better…
11:53 S1: Well, it’s a very good question. As things improved politically, they relaxed the hot
pursuit rules, and if I remember it rightly, the hot pursuit was allowed by air. So the helicopter
would like to fly over the border, so I think at depths of about five miles in hot pursuit. The ground
troop is still not allowed to get in hot pursuit.
12:19 JG: So there is never any ground. As GOC, sir, did you ever authorise any cross border?
12:27 S1: Not at all.
12:29 JG: I am talking, perhaps, not normal units. Let me put it that way.
12:34 S1: No we never did. And it was absolutely strictly taboo. It was one of the great taboos. We
knew that there was any suggestion, that anyone is going across the border, there will be an out roar

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
in Dublin and that would get to Westminster and then come down to us.
12:51 JG: You know that had been authorised previously by your predecessors.
12:56 S1: As GOC?
12:57 JG: As GOC, yeah.
12:59 S1: Well, I think that they’ll go into deep trouble about it.
13:02 JG: Well, they may have done sir, but we’ve got documentation that shows that there has
been previous proof activities which were authorised by your…
13:11 S1: Well, I think, in the early days but I think there is such a…
13:15 JG: No, that is the point that I was making.
13:18 S1: I never did it anyway.
13:19 JG: No, I’m not suggesting you did sir but what I am saying is previous GOC had authorised.
13:25 S1: I’m sure, yeah. There were very bad relationships at those times.
13:30 JG: Yeah…
13:33 S1: The [13:33] ____ period was…
13:35 JG: The politics.
13:36 S1: Was very bad time.
13:37 JG: It is basically politics. In the 80s, when you were down in South Armagh. That was very
difficult, when there was mistrust and suspicion on both sides of the…
13:49 S1: Absolutely, and I decided that we play straight it. So we played it straight.
13:53 JG: Thankfully, sir, we are in a better position today aren’t we? I mean today its…
13:57 S1: Today, it must be March month already. Yes, I am sure.
14:00 JG: Can I ask you sir, when you… Again, the GOC, so the period 92 to 93, clearly, you were
the GOC at that time, when Brigadier Ian Liles, produced these reports on after the Breen and
Buchanan.
14:17 S1: Of course, I am inside of that, Brigadier Wild?
14:20 JG: No Ian Liles.

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
14:22 S1: Ian Liles?
14:22 JG: He is a Brigadier today sir. I am not sure he was a Brigadier then, but he produced a
report which was shortly after the murder of the two more senior police officers, Mr. Breen and Mr.
Buchanan.
14:37 S1: Mr. Breen, well, that was much earlier. I think that was in ’82, isn’t it?
14:41 JG: No, it was later on in ’89 sir, but…
14:45 S1: ’89, yeah.
14:47 JG: The report was made during your tenure, I understand.
14:51 S1: Right, okay.
14:51 JG: But I don’t know whether you remember seeing it.
14:53 S1: No, I didn’t definitely.
14:54 JG: As a GOC though, perhaps, you see thousands of documents and it might…
15:00 S1: I don’t remember seeing anything by a chap of that name, no.
15:02 JG: You don’t remember his name. That is where they are helpful, sir, because that does help
me just to chart things as to who had knowledge of what points. I mean my only interest in that is to
make sure that we don’t tread on a landmine by going down and having you that in term of incorrect
for once of a better expression.
15:26 S1: I don’t think so. I mean I didn’t clear my… I clear my book with the Ministry of Defence
and I had no comments whatsoever on it. So it’s a pretty anodyne stuff, and I did not want to kick
sand in the eyes of the IRA or the police or anybody else, or the republic.
15:45 JG: I think your book is a good read sir, if I may add. Did you write it yourself or did you
have…
15:49 S1: I did it entirely myself. Yes.
15:51 JG: I suspect that you did sir because it has come from a very military perspective, but I
enjoyed the read and…
15:59 S1: Well, I’m glad you did. It’s great, yeah.

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
16:00 JG: I was slightly disappointed you didn’t add the material about Mr. Scappaticci or at least
why–not that the incident took place, because I understand why you did not make reference to that-
-but the fact that there were concerns regarding your feature has been one of the most valuable
assets.
16:24 S1: Well, you have to remember that the military background was such that we knew we had
this source, take note, and it was the golden egg. It was the one thing that was terribly important to
the army. So we never ever, ever mention the words “Steak Knife”, or whatever he subsequently
became. I think it was 2001 or something like that.
16:54 JG: What about the police, sir, would they have had…
16:57 S1: Well, they were trying to get him off us.
17:00 JG: They were trying to pinch it?
17:02 S1: Get him off. They wanted to run him himself, you see.
17:05 JG: Okay, sir. That makes sense.
17:07 S1: And, as I explained in the book, Fred did not want to get with the police. He thought they
were sectarian and he did not wanted to be handled by MI5 or MI6. He thought that they were
whole lot of sort of university profit and so on.
17:21 JG: And so that is the reason that you came into…
17:26 S1: So we were terribly crazy about Fred.
17:29 JG: Had he been compromised at that time sir? Or…
17:31 S1: No, he hadn’t. Absolutely, not.
17:32 JG: So he was still active within…
17:35 S1: And he was the most valuable asset and he was probably the military’s most valuable
asset.
17:41 JG: And so, at that point, it was the damage limitation as that you could say. You wanted to
keep him on board.
17:50 S1: When I said I was going to write my book, there was mentioned of that uproar about it

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
and the first chapter, with the chapter that I wrote first. It was the one and I write it because I knew
his handler, who is in my regiment.
18:04 JG: You mean his original handler?
18:05 S1: His original handler which is… His name is Jones and who is truly the job I read about.
18:12 JG: And are we going back now to 1977?
18:17 S1: We came back to 1976-1977.
18:19 JG: 1976-1977?
18:21 S1: Yeah.We are, yeah.
18:22 JG: What regiment were you, sir?
18:23 S1: Devon and Dorset.
18:24 JG: And did Jones come from…
18:26 S1: He’s a Devon and Dorset, yeah.
18:28 JG: He did, yeah.
18:28 S1: But he was in my platoon.
18:30 JG: Was he, sir?
18:31 S1: Yeah.
18:32 JG: I didn’t know that you’re adding something…
18:34 S1: Yeah. Well, it’s in the book, you see.
18:35 JG: I did know all of them.
18:37 S1: Yes.
18:38 JG: But I didn’t know… And I knew, clearly, because the Force Research Unit didn’t come
into operation till 1980.
18:46 S1: He was transferred to the Force Research Unit after he left the Devon and Dorset.
18:51 JG: What’s his first name, sir?
18:53 S1: Peter. PJ. Peter Jones.
18:55 JG: Peter Jones.
Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
18:56 S1: Yeah. It’s all in the book.
18:58 JG: He then became Int. Corps, didn’t he?
19:00 S1: Well, he never did it. He never rebadged.
19:03 JG: He never rebadged.
19:04 S1: But he’s attached to the Intelligence Corps.
19:06 JG: Yeah. The FRU was an Int. Corps sponsored unit. But he never rebadged, did he?
19:11 S1: He never rebadged. He’s still a Devon and Dorset to this day.
19:13 JG: Was he promoted to FRU, sir?
19:15 S1: He was promoted all the way through to WHU. And he’s a very, very brave man. He got
the deuce. He got the George class.
19:26 JG: Was he referred to as Paddy?
19:28 S1: No, never. No.
19:30 JG: No. Did he wear a… I mean it’s a stupid thing, sir. Did he ever wear it like a donkey
jacket?
19:35 S1: I’m sure he did, yeah.
19:38 JG: That was something that was written in one of the documents which characterised one of
the handlers. So would he have stayed in theatre in the ’80s, in the early ’80s?
19:50 S1: Yes, he was there in the early ’80s. Yeah, absolutely.
19:53 JG: Was he, sir?
19:54 S1: Yeah.
19:55 JG: I don’t think I’ve seen his name in the documentation that I’ve…
20:00 S1: Well, if you read chapter four my book, you’ll find the whole history of that.
20:03 JG: Okay. So, I didn’t read that chapter after. I admit, sir, my research has been lacking in
that department. I didn’t appreciate that you dealt…
20:11 S1: Yeah. He’s a very important man.
20:14 JG: Absolutely, sir. And he’s still alive and well?

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
20:17 S1: He’s still alive and well. Anyway, just getting back to what I was saying, when I started
to write this book, I’ve written that chapter first because he was the one who was most accessible to
me because I knew him very well and I discussed it with him and he was very happy of me to write
about it. Then he said, “Life got to go on. I’ve got to get a job,” and so on and so forth. By this time,
of course, he was out of the army.
20:40 JG: Okay, sir. Presumably, the MOD will be happy for you to write about Scappaticci?
20:48 S1: Well, the MOD weren’t happy, obviously, but they just miss the point that I was trying to
make. The MOD was very anxious about it. I mean, I used to get a letter from the chairman of the D
List committee who was then Nick Wilkinson, who was a friend of mine.
21:03 JG: Yeah.
21:07 S1: Nick Wilkinson.
21:08 JG: Nick Wilkinson, yeah.
21:10 S1: I used to get a letter from him.
21:12 JG: Yeah.
21:13 S1: And then, I used to say, which is what I’ll tell you, that my book was a attribute to all
those who served in Armagh, whether they were military, or whether they were civilian, or whether
whatever they were.
21:22 JG: Mr. Wilkinson would come from the same skill as you?
21:26 S1: Absolutely. So he did it in it’s entirety. Anyway, then the heat went of it and I took… And
because it took such a long time to produce because of the Bloody Sunday inquiry.
21:39 JG: Yeah.
21:39 S1: Well, that’s another story. The heat went right out of it. And this is my point I’m coming
to, I was very conscious all the way to FRU about the chap we called the “Steak Knife.” And I did
not want to jeopardise him because I’ve grown up to the fact that that was one of our best secret and
our best assets, and our most important secret.
22:05 JG: And presumably, Mr. Jones would never go to camera on matters?

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
22:10 S1: He would never get public, no.
22:11 JG: Okay. Presumably, you would never want to go public on this sort of thing?
22:16 S1: I wouldn’t want to get public on that sort of thing, certainly not.
22:17 JG: No. I can fully understand that. So you just touched on a point before I bid you farewell,
sir, because I don’t want take too much of your time.
22:28 S1: No, it’s fine.
22:29 JG: I know it’s a Saturday.
22:30 S1: I like talking about it, yeah.
22:31 JG: I was curious as to clearly you with GOC, again, at a very, very crucial point when
Steven’s inquiry was at its early days. Stevens comes in to theatre in ’89 and Stevens won. He’s
about to be wound up, isn’t it, during your period?
22:54 S1: Yes. It was. He completed his task. And, of course, his investigation was most
unwelcome to the RUC.
23:07 JG: And to the army?
23:08 S1: Well, it was unwelcome to the army as well but it was unwelcome particularly in the
RUC, and I remember the Chief Council said to me, they’d deal with Stevens direct. He was only
deal with him through me and I was very happy to do that.
23:23 JG: Did Stevens ever meet with you, sir?
23:25 S1: Well, he did, actually. He did come to see me, yes. He came to see me because of a chap
called Gordon Kerr.
23:32 JG: Pardon. Who is he, sir?
23:34 S1: Gordon Kerr, who is a CO of the FRU, I think.
23:37 JG: Okay, sir. And did he come with you?
23:40 S1: No. Stevens came to see me because Gordon Kerr had got an OBE and then he knew he
was on with this, yeah?

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
23:49 JG: Right.
23:50 S1: And Steven deduced that that must indicate that my predecessor–because I wasn’t there
at the time–my predecessor must have been complicit in what the flow would do because otherwise
he wouldn’t have got an OBE.
24:02 JG: I see, yeah.
24:03 S1: And I said to Stevens, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” People get awards for
service going back for years and years and years and years. It’s not for a particular issue or a
particular item.
24:16 JG: So he took that to be an indicator that…
24:18 S1: He took that to be an indication that the army, at the highest level, was complicit in what
he, Stevens, thought was going on.
24:27 JG: I understand, Sir. And did he ever…
24:29 S1: So that was the only time I met him. He had no issues with me in past times.
24:33 JG: Did he ever raise Scappaticci with you, Sir?
24:37 S1: No never did, no. And the next time I saw, anything to do with Stevens, was when he
actually ousted Scappaticci, or whatever you call him.
24:44 JG: Yeah.
24:45 S1: And I was absolutely, completely dumbfounded because a policeman protects his sources
at all times.
24:56 JG: Why do you think that happened, sir?
24:59 S1: Well, I think he obviously thought that the state know he’s guilty of some crime and that
this was his vengeance on that.
25:09 JG: Do you think that he was guilty of any crimes?
25:15 S1: Well, I only heard one side of the story, that he saved hundreds and hundreds of lives.
25:20 JG: But you saw his product presumably, so has GOC.
25:23 S1: Well, I didn’t ever see his product linked to his name.

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
25:25 JG: No, I appreciate that, sir.
25:27 S1: Ever.
25:27 JG: But you would see because of the matters which were being reported in the misers and
the other documents which were generated, that he was working in a very crucial, sensitive unit.
25:41 S1: I knew he was working in a sensitive role and I knew what he was doing and what his job
was, and I knew that that put pressure on him enormously. But I was always told–and of course, I
had nobody to check this out–I was always told that he had saved thousands, hundreds of lives I
think.
26:04 JG: You clearly understand his sensitive role to be within the internal security unit?
26:11 S1: I understood that was his role. That was his final role. I mean he worked his way up
within the IRA, didn’t he?
26:16 JG: He did, sir, but from the very early 1980’s, he was in the internal security.
26:21 S1: Absolutely, so that was his role.
26:24 JG: And clearly I suppose the point that I’m making sir and again, I don’t expect you to ever
go in a public fashion on this point, but in the internal security unit, his job is to interrogate
suspected informers. And he, in the Eamon Collins book, “Killing Rage”, he recounts Mr.
Scappaticci was involved in shooting a suspected informer. Now, clearly, you saw products and
because I’ve seen some of these documents which detail his involvements in these incidents, let’s
not say they are crimes because clearly a crime suggests criminal activity and if you’re doing it on
behalf of the state there’s no crime. That would be the argument advanced.
27:15 S1: Well, the argument is that you balance the good with the bad, didn’t you?
27:18 JG: That’s the point.
27:21 S1: On balance, it comes out that you’re getting more value. The state’s getting more value
because…
27:25 JG: So in essence sir, what I’m saying is that the GOC is the person ultimately responsible in
theatre for the force research unit. You were happy, or not happy that’s the wrong word, but you

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
were confident that the profit and loss account was greater in profit that it was in minus.
27:44 S1: Well, I must correct you on something. You say the GOC was responsible. The Force
Research Unit worked for MI5 and for the RUC, and all the products went to them. So I was
responsible only for feeding them, administering them and promoting them and preparing with
them…
28:02 JG: I understand sir. They were a force unit…
28:04 S1: They were a force unit, and they were not my unit.
28:07 JG: Yes I appreciate that sir, but in theatre, if you look at the… We’ve seen the ORBAT for
the unit. And although, it is funded by direct to special services, Special Forces, and hence, the
reason why they get special force pay, ultimately responsibility for that unit was tagged to GOC
Northern Ireland.
28:30 S1: Only administrative, I can assure you, not operationally.
28:34 JG: No, I’m not saying operation sir, because they wrote to the operational…
28:38 S1: So I had to be satisfied that they were acting legally and within their charter.
28:45 JG: And were you satisfied?
28:47 S1: I was told always that they were.
28:48 JG: Were you satisfied they were acting legally?
28:51 S1: I was, yes, absolutely.
28:53 JG: So as the GOC, if you thought Mr. Scappaticci was involved in the internal security unit
and interrogating a suspect and that person is then murdered, that would be lawful would it?
29:12 S1: No, it wouldn’t have been lawful, and it would have been something which I would have
queried.
29:16 JG: And that’s the point that I’m making. So there was a fire break, was there, to your
knowledge in the sense. You saw the product but you couldn’t be associated with the act?
29:27 S1: That is correct.
29:28 JG: So that act would then… If I’m right in thinking, was that done deliberately to protect the

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
five, sir?
29:36 S1: I don’t think so, no. I think it was for security purposes, for secrecy purposes.
29:39 JG: Yeah, so people…
29:41 S1: The sensitivity was such that intelligence is held at the very, very highest level.
29:46 JG: No, I appreciate that sir, but as you know yourself, there’s always vast amounts of
documentation which is generated to run an agent like Mr. Scappaticci.
29:58 S1: Absolutely.
29:58 JG: And that needs well documented in the most minute of detail, everything from the pickup
route, to the welfare, to the amount he was being paid. And all that is collected over two and a
half decades.
30:14 S1: Yes.
30:14 JG: But the point that I’m making is you would never see that, would you?
30:17 S1: I would never see that.
30:17 JG: No. So indeed, presumably, and you might be able to answer this, would the Secretary of
State be?
30:26 S1: I imagine the Secretary of State probably would but I don’t think either… Besides, I think
the Secretary of State was, as I put in my book, he could never have known who the agent was. He
would have known the code word, Steak Knife, or whatever work.
30:38 JG: Yeah, and that’s to protect…
30:41 S1: And that is to protect him.
30:42 JG: So how is it you came into knowledge about Mr. Scappaticci?
30:46 S1: I made sure to keep my eyes and ears open.
30:50 JG: No, what I mean is, when you met him.
30:53 S1: Oh, because I told you, the Head of Intelligence in Northern Ireland came to say, “We got
a problem.”
30:58 JG: No, what I meant is… That’s what I mean, so the Head of Intelligence comes to you and

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
he says, “We have a problem. Can you help me, sir?”
31:05 S1: Absolutely.
31:06 JG: I need you to have a meeting to reassure Mr. Scappaticci. Did that surprise you that he
would come to in such an open way?
31:15 S1: No, because I said to him when I arrived in the job, I said, “If you ever you need any
help, let me know.” I mean it’s a typical, typical, sort of general type of remark.
[chuckle]
31:22 JG: Absolutely, sir.
31:23 S1: You arrive, and you say, “Hello everybody. I’m John Wilby. I want you to know, I’m here
to help.”
[laughter]
31:32 JG: Sir, I understand exactly where you’re coming from. It’s just…
31:35 S1: And I knew their head of intelligence, they were indeed.
31:39 JG: Who was it at that time, sir?
31:41 S1: Well, I think I better tell you. Well, his name is Colin Powers.
31:46 JG: Yeah, a Northern Irish gentleman?
31:49 S1: He comes from the North, yeah.
31:51 JG: Yeah, I know him, sir. Had he come back to the forgery section in 1993? Because he was
there…
32:00 S1: I think, he has, yes.
32:02 JG: He was there back in the early ’80s because he’s on the…
32:07 S1: What he was one who is very concerned I was writing this book, I know that.
32:11 JG: Colin Powers?
32:12 S1: Yes.
32:13 JG: And to be fair, sir. I suppose we can all understand why he would be concerned.
32:20 S1: Absolutely. No, I have no difficulty with it, but my story was… The subliminal part of

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
my story is the activity is paid to all of us and he has never been paid before.
32:30 JG: Yeah.
32:32 S1: And so, for the greater good, my book tells the story of the greater good rather than the
detailed analysis.
32:39 JG: Did you ever meet the handler, sir, or who was there at the time, when you met with Mr.
Scappaticci, a guy called Mr. Noyles?
32:45 S1: No, I never met him. No.
32:47 JG: You never met him?
32:48 S1: No.
32:49 JG: So when you met with Scappaticci, who was present?
32:52 S1: I think Collin Powers. I think Collin Powers, probably.
32:56 JG: And just you, sir?
32:57 S1: And me, yeah. It may just been the two of us together. I can’t honestly remember.
33:01 JG: And how long did that meeting take place, sir? Just sort of…
33:03 S1: About half an hour.
33:04 JG: And that was it? And you never saw him again afterwards?
33:07 S1: Well, no, I never saw him again in Northern Ireland afterwards.
33:12 JG: But did you see him out of Northern Ireland?
33:15 S1: I’ve seen him since, yes.
33:17 JG: In what side of situation would you…
33:20 S1: Well, he had a problem and again, I said to him, “If you ever have a problem, let me
know.”
33:24 JG: But how would he make contact with you, sir?
33:27 S1: I didn’t know how he made it. Well, I feel the same way as you do, probably.
33:30 JG: [laughter] I hope not, not through the D-notice. And his problem was because he’d been
exposed?

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
33:37 S1: Well, it was a legal difficulty that he had.
33:45 JG: Alright, okay.
33:46 S1: And who was going to pay for it, and so and so. Who’s going to pay for legal advice and
so on?
33:50 JG: Yeah. And Ministry of Defence pick up his legal fees, don’t they?
33:54 S1: Well, absolutely, but only a matter of bearing on whose activity at the time.
34:01 JG: Yeah. I know his civil matters or contingency are paid separately. He asked it from them.
But clearly, matters when he’s dealing with his work, I think he’s actually featuring in the tribunal in
the republic at the moment.
34:22 S1: Sure.
34:23 JG: And he gets from the FRU, doesn’t he? As in…
34:26 S1: Well, I think that was the trouble. I think there were errors and when he wasn’t being
funded and that’s what he wanted help over.
34:34 JG: Did you know anything of this solicitor, sir?
34:37 S1: Not at all. I passed it probably spread onto the right quarter.
34:41 JG: Okay, sir. And they dealt with it?
34:45 S1: Well, I imagined. I never heard from him again.
34:46 JG: So he was satisfied. [chuckle] Alright, can I leave you, sir? You’ve given me plenty to
think about before… Can I come back to you next week and, perhaps, at your convenience, I could
come down and see you, sir, off the record?
34:58 S1: Yeah, go on. Come and see me, by all means do. I’m not taking part in any program or
any of that.
35:02 JG: No sir, I know that. I don’t expect you at all to go to cameras, sir. But it would be
helpful, so we get the story, correct. I mean, clearly, as a five-star general, you would be in a very
privileged position. I don’t expect you to give me any secrets that you aren’t comfortable with, but if
I show you some documentation, then you can put this, either to that it’s a serious matter or it could

Transcript of telephone calls 1. 11 PM, Saturday, 14 April 2012
possibly be used, and we would respect that.
35:36 S1: Okay.
35:37 JG: Is that fine, sir?
35:38 S1: Yeah.
35:39 JG: If I’ve got any questions tomorrow, sir, if I think it over today, would it be possible that I
could give you a ring?
35:44 S1: Yeah, of course. Give us a ring, yeah.
35:46 JG: Alright, sir. Well, I won’t disturb your Saturday afternoon any further and hope…
35:51 S1: No, it’s nice talking to you.
35:52 JG: I hope you pick the winner of the Grand National, sir.
35:54 S1: Thank you very much. Who’s it going to be?
35:57 JG: I am a favourite man, sir, so I think I’ll be going for Ginger McCain at the Ballabriggs…
36:04 S1: Great. Okay. Nice talking to you.
36:05 JG: And you, sir.
36:06 S1: Say again your name?
36:06 JG: Thank you. Bye.
36:08 S1: Bye.
36:08 JG: Bye, Sir.

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