MOFF’ THE HOOK

EXCLUSIVE 

Bobby’s UVF killers awarded immunity over daylight murder of loyalist gangster 

THE UVF killers of Bobby Moffett have been granted immunity.

One of the most notorious peace-time murders is set to remain unsolved as it has emerged those believed to be responsible have received so-called ‘comfort letters’ telling them they are no longer under investigation. The Sunday World understands those who ordered the murder and those who carried it out have been handed a get-of-jail-free-card. According to sources, UVF chief John ‘Bunter’ Graham is one of a handful of people believed to have been told they will live out their lives without the prospect of prosecution. Moffett, who was a member of the Red Hand Commando, a sister organisation of the UVF, was shot dead in broad daylight on the Shankill Road in North Belfast in May 2010. His funeral was one of the largest seen on the Shankill in living memory and sparked a backlash against the UVF.

BRUTAL 

Moffett’s murder was ordered and sanctioned at the highest level of the terror organisation. The low-level RHC member was murdered in the most brutal manner. Shot in the face twice by two loyalist terrorists using shotguns in broad daylight as he made his way to a meeting, his death sparked outrage in the loyalist heartland. It is now believed the UVF leadership have been assured they do not face police action. The assurances were given in the wake of the killing in an attempt to keep the UVF leadership on board the peace train. The issue of ‘comfort letters’ has been controversial with a number of high-profile IRA members benefiting-but less attention has been paid to loyalist killers. The Sunday World has previously revealed the UVF used immunity from prosecution as a bargaining chip in return for delivering the terror group’s move away from violence. 

The UVF has murdered more than 30 people since the organisation declared its ceasefire a quarter of a century ago. The revelation that British secret service agents have been protected and now afforded immunity will spark outrage. The security services used loyalist terror groups will remain hidden. Graham, who is in poor health, is believed to have worked for MI5 for more than 40 years and is understood to have campaigned for years for protection from prosecution for a raft of murders in return for a cessation of violence. The failure of his organisation to ‘transition’ from violence is known to have caused serious frustration at government level. Moffett’s murder  – among 32 others since their ceasefire – sparked the greatest controversy.

SHOTGUN 

The Sunday World understands that Graham, his second in command and a small clutch of others are in receipt of letters. The shotgun used to kill Moffett was stolen from a farmhouse in Co Antrim. The murder weapon was handed to low-level UVF operative Andy ‘Hard To Kill’ Aiken in the minutes after the shooting. Aiken, who was ostracized from the terror group and descended into a spiral of drug abuse, was found dead at a house in South Belfast 18 months ago. He had been arrested and questioned about the Moffett murder but was released without charge.

Aiken was one of the two killers and it was his contacts in the loyalist village area of South Belfast that helped destroy the gateaway car. Once a trusted UVF member, Aiken had been sidelined by the group as he turned increasingly to drink and drugs. It has been said the organisation became concerned that he could be vulnerable under interrogation due to his addictions. The UVF’s continued involvement in violence has been a major issue in the corridors of power and the revelation that senior figures have been granted state sanctuary is understood to have created friction within the security services. According to sources the issue of comfort letters has ‘clouded the waters’ and has made tackling legacy issues difficult. The failure to press cases against the UVF leadership has raised questions about what the British government and security services have to hide. Loyalist paramilitary sources have told the Sunday World that the Moffett murder was supposed to be a watershed, but became a roadblock because of assurances given to alleged agents such as Graham.

UNSOLVED 

The view has been backed up by security services who claim a raft of unsolved murders will remain ‘on the books’ because of the use of British agents and so-called comfort letters. “If anyone thinks these issues and cases will be resolved then think again. “The [British] government has made promises and they have to stick by them, it works for them and works for the UVF.”

With many thanks to: Richard Sullivan for the EXCLUSIVE original story for the Sunday World –richard.sullivan.sundayworld.com

Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/murder-of-loyalist-bobby-moffet-is-to-show-uvf-wont-be-messed-around-28538782.html

2-: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-30199553

3-: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/jun/04/ireland-troubles-moffett-funeral

Scappaticci named as member of IRA squad

PACEMAKER BELFAST   THE BULLET RIDDLED CAVALIER CAR BELONGING TO SENIOR RUC OFFICERS HARRY BREEN AND BOB BUCHANNON MURDERED IN AN IRA AMBUSH  IN JONESBOROUGH 21/3/89<br /><br /><br />
The British Attorney General has confirmed to RT� News that immunity from prosecution has been granted to any former secret agent or informant who gives evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin.<br /><br /><br />
The Tribunal is investigating whether there was collusion between the IRA and a garda in the murder of the two most senior RUC officers to die in Northern Ireland.<br /><br /><br />
The move will clear the way for former members of the British security forces and those who worked for them in Northern Ireland to give evidence.

PACEMAKER BELFAST THE BULLET RIDDLED CAVALIER CAR BELONGING TO SENIOR RUC OFFICERS HARRY BREEN AND BOB BUCHANNON MURDERED IN AN IRA AMBUSH IN JONESBOROUGH 21/3/89 The British Attorney General has confirmed to RT� News that immunity from prosecution has been granted to any former secret agent or informant who gives evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin. The Tribunal is investigating whether there was collusion between the IRA and a garda in the murder of the two most senior RUC officers to die in Northern Ireland. The move will clear the way for former members of the British security forces and those who worked for them in Northern Ireland to give evidence.

A FORMER RUC Assistant Chief Constable has named Freddie Scappaticci and John Joe Magee as members of the IRA’s infamous “nutting squad”.

Raymond White made the claim yesterday at the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin.

He served as chief of RUC Special Branch in Belfast in the 1980s before going on to head up CID as Assistant Chief Constable in the 1990s.

Yesterday, Mr White concurred with barrister Richard Smith, who is representing former agent Peter Keeley, also known as Kevin Fulton, when asked if, to his knowledge, the two men – Freddie Scappaticci and John Joe Magee – worked in the IRA’s internal security unit.

However, Mr White said he was not prepared to say that Mr Scappaticci was the agent known as Stakeknife.

Mr Scappaticci has consistently denied being a member of the IRA. He has, in the past, been linked to the agent known as Stakeknife who was a member of the IRA’s nutting squad, but Mr Scappaticci denies this.

John Joe Magee, now dead, was a Belfast republican who lived in Dundalk.

Mr Scappaticci is legally represented at the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin, which is probing claims that the IRA team which murdered RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan were assisted by a rogue garda officer.

The two policemen, who were the most senior RUC officers to be murdered by the IRA during the Troubles, died in an ambush on March 20, 1989 as they drove back to Newry following a meeting at Dundalk garda station.

Mr White also revealed to the tribunal yesterday that there were high levels of frustration within the RUC that the spot from which the 1979 Narrow Water bomb was detonated – across Carlingford Lough, in the Republic – was so contaminated that evidence could not be gathered from it.

Eighteen soldiers were killed by two remote controlled bomb explosions close to Warrenpoint on August 27 – it was the Army’s greatest loss of life in a single day in the Troubles.

It is understood that the tribunal will hear more about the Narrow Water atrocity over the course of this month.

Mr White also told the tribunal that he was aware of three cases in which RUC officers had been suspected of colluding with terrorists. He said in dealing with such suspicions the officer would be monitored for change in behaviour. There had been circumstances where covert surveillance was placed upon an officer or his phone monitored.

Even if no evidence of collusion was found, he said, they would be transferred to another posting as a precaution.

Mr White further told the tribunal the IRA funded itself mostly via black taxis and shebeens. He said the IRA had “an annual turnover of £9 million” in the 1970s.

He revealed that, during the 1980s, Special Branch in Belfast had up to 200 registered informers, and each of these had two to three officers handling them.

Meanwhile, the tribunal heard yesterday morning that journalist Toby Harnden, whose book Bandit Country reignited the garda collusion debate when it was published in 2000, has declined to give evidence to the tribunal.

Judge Smithwick was told that Mr Harnden had been scheduled to give evidence for two days this week – Wednesday and Thursday. But counsel for the tribunal Fintan Valentine said this would not happen as Mr Harnden had now said he was unavailable.

Mr Valentine said Mr Harnden’s withdrawal appeared to have been decided after consultation with the journalist’s new employers, Associated Newspapers.

Cover of "Bandit Country: The IRA & South...
Cover of Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh

But in a statement yesterday Mr Harnden rejected this and also said he stands over everything in his book.

He now works as a journalist for the Daily Mail, based in America, and was yesterday covering the US Republican Presidential race.

“The decision not to appear before the Smithwick Tribunal is mine and mine alone,” he said, adding that he believes evidence already heard at the tribunal from former members of the RUC and garda backs up what he wrote in Bandit Country.

With Many Thanks to : News Letter