Saville rules MI5 agent need not give evidence

 

An MI5 agent who claimed Mr Martin McGuinness fired the first shot on Bloody Sunday will not have to give evidence to the Saville tribunal because he fears for his life.

"Infliction", an IRA informer, alleged Mr McGuinness told him he had fired the first shot on January 30th, 1972, when 13 civilians were killed by Paratroopers in Derry.

Tribunal chairman Lord Saville said today they were satisfied that to call "Infliction" would put his life at risk and would be a breach of his human rights.

The announcement came as the security services made a public interest immunity application to protect the identity of the agent, who the tribunal heard was living abroad. Lawyers representing the security services met the inquiry judges and counsel on Friday to make the application.

In the public section of the application at the inquiry in Derry's Guildhall today, the security services sought tight restrictions on the testimonies of three witness - agents A and B and former MI5 agent Mr David Shayler - who are due to give evidence about "Infliction".

In his statement to the tribunal, Mr Shayler cast doubt on the claim of "Infliction" about Mr McGuinness firing the first shot.

PA