Beds Police chief constable Jon Boutcher is to lead an investigation into the alleged activities of an Army agent within the IRA, it has been announced.
The agent, known as Stakeknife, has been linked to dozens of murders.
Police Service of Northern Ireland has said that the investigation will focus on:
- Whether there is evidence of criminal offences by the alleged agent known as Stakeknife, including murders, attempted murders and unlawful imprisonments.
- Whether there is evidence of criminal offences by members of the British Army, the Security Services or other Government agencies, in respect of the cases connected to the alleged agent known as Stakeknife.
- Whether there is evidence of criminal offences by any other individual, in respect of the cases connected to the alleged agent
- Whether there is evidence of the commission of criminal offences by any persons in respect of allegations of perjury connected to the alleged agent
Jon Boutcher has said that he is ‘humbled’ to be leading the probe.
He added: “I do not underestimate the huge task of establishing the circumstances behind how and why these murders occurred during those dark days.
“My principle aim in taking responsibility for this investigation is to bring those responsible for these awful crimes, in whatever capacity they were involved, to justice.
“The recruitment process for the investigation team will begin immediately, this will require time and I ask for a degree of patience as I do this.
“As soon as officers and staff are in place the investigation team will begin reaching out to victims, victims’ families and all interested parties to receive information.
“I am committed to doing all I can to find the truth for the victims and their families. It is they who we should be thinking of throughout.”