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I'm no spy - Scappaticci.

ALLEGED Army agent Freddie Scappaticci came out of hiding last night and again protested his innocence against claims that he spied on the IRA.

The west Belfast man, who has been at the centre of allegations that he was the agent Stakeknife, denied claims that he was involved in any criminal activity or was in police, military or security custody.

In a statement from his solicitor Michael Flanigan, he also threatened legal action over serious allegations that he operated as a spy at the heart of the IRA.

The statement said, ``Mr Scappaticci was present at our office today, May 14, 2003 and the following statement was read on his behalf.

``Mr Scappaticci appears here today to give the lie to continuing media speculation as to his whereabouts. ``He has not been in England and during the course of the past few days has not left Northern Ireland.''

The statement added, ``My client refuses to engage in challenging every statement made by an unnamed and apparently unnameable security source.

``He repeats the contents of his statement released yesterday and in particular confirms that he is not and never has been in any sort of military, security or police custody. He has never been involved in any criminal activity and has a clear record.

``Mr Scappaticci was forced to leave on Sunday morning, not by reason of police or Army activity, nor by involvement of any paramilitary organisation; but solely (because) of the media onslaught upon his character. ''
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 15, 2003
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