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I'VE DONE NOTHING; Scappaticci on TV to deny he was Brit spy.

Byline: JOE GORROD

FREDDIE Scappaticci came out of hiding last night to deny he was Stakeknife - the British spy within the IRA.

The Belfast bricklayer has been missing since newspaper revelations on Sunday but appeared on TV to protest his innocence.

He said: "I am Freddie Scappaticci and I am telling you that I am not guilty of these allegations.

"Nobody had the decency to ask me if any of these allegations were true and why police had not questioned me about them."

He said he had been in the Republican movement 13 years ago, but not since.

His solicitor Michael Flanigan said his appearance was to enable him to get back on with his life.

He said: "Mr Scappaticci appears to give the lie to continuing media speculation as to his whereabouts.

"He was forced to leave on Sunday morning because of the media onslaught upon his character. He has not been in England and has not left Northern Ireland."

The latest twist ends days of speculation about the fate of the burly 59-year-old.

But mystery surrounds who MI5 were holding when they said their double agent, codenamed Stakeknife, was in protective custody in a safe location in England.

Stakenife has been linked to the deaths of up to 40 people since 1978.

CAPTION(S):

I'M HERE: Freddie Scappaticci yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 15, 2003
Words:221
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