I propose to take Questions Nos. 706, 708, 709, 715 and 716 together.
As the Deputies will be aware, former Chief Constable Jon Boutcher heads up a series of ongoing independent UK police investigations or reviews into Northern Ireland legacy cases that are collectively described as the Kenova cases.
‘Operation Kenova’ was the first such investigation and is investigating a range of criminal activities including incidents of murder which are allegedly connected with a British Army Agent known as “Stakeknife”. More recently, ‘Operation Denton’, or the Barnard Review, was established under Kenova. It is an independent Analytical UK Police Review into matters pursuant to the ‘Barnard Judgment’ [Northern Ireland Court of Appeal dated 5th of July, 2019]. This analytical review concerns collusion in what has become known as the Glenanne Gang Series.
The Deputies will appreciate that the manner in which these police investigations and reviews are pursued is entirely a matter for Operation Kenova.
The issue of co-operation by An Garda Síochána with Operation Kenova and Operation Denton is an operational matter and one in which I do not have a role. I can however inform the Deputies that there are arrangements are in place which support the mutual co-operation, assistance and exchange of information between An Garda Síochána and the Operation Kenova Investigation Team and that engagement is ongoing at this time. The Historical Investigation Coordination Unit within An Garda Síochána will continue to support this partnership.
I can advise the Deputies of my continuing commitment to supporting An Garda Síochána in pursuing this work and in providing assistance to the greatest extent possible.
More generally, the Deputies will appreciate that dealing with the legacy of the troubles on this island is a difficult and complex task. The Stormont House Agreement sets out a series of useful measures in this regard to establish effective ways to address the legacy of the troubles. The Government remains fully committed to the implementation of those measures and working in the interests of victims and their families.