INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF ARTICLE 2 ECHR COMPLIANCE: KENOVA AND RELATED MATTERS Alyson Kilpatrick BL August 23 2021 INTRODUCTION 1. I was asked by the Officer in Overall Command (OIOC) Mr. Jon Boutcher QPM Mst (Cantab) FRSA (then Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police) to conduct an independent review of the investigations, which were known as Operation Kenova investigations. Operation Kenova refers to the initial investigation (announced 2016) concerning an alleged state agent referred to as ‘Stakeknife’. Since then, the team set up to investigate Operation Kenova has incorporated multiple additional operations, each with their own tactical operation names. This is detailed below. The umbrella term ‘Kenova’ is still used to cover the totality of the investigations. 1 Due to the increasing caseload of Kenova, Mr. Boutcher retired from his role as Chief Constable to dedicate his time to Kenova. He continues as OIOC in command of Kenova. 1 Operation Kenova is the investigation into the activities of alleged agent Stakeknife. 1 2. From the outset, Mr. Boutcher was aware of his legal responsibilities to conduct effective official investigations, which complied with the requirements of the Human Rights Act 1998.2 He was acutely aware of the need for public confidence in the investigations and the role he played in protecting peace, democracy and the rule of law. He chose to engage me, an independent barrister in private practice, to conduct a review of Kenova from a human rights perspective. In doing so he impressed upon me his desire for a thorough, independent review, using established legal principles that identified both the positive and negative aspects of Kenova as per Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), as interpreted by the UK courts taking into account the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In the event that I identified any failings I was asked to make recommendations for improvement. 3. In accepting his instructions, we agreed that I would be given unrestricted access to whatever I needed to view. It was also agreed that I would have private access to any person within Kenova with whom I wished to speak. I have also benefitted enormously from speaking with victims and survivors and their families and others who represent them. Because of Mr. Boutcher’s commitment to a timely and efficient resolution of the investigations I thought it helpful to provide interim updates aimed at identifying any issues that needed to be addressed as soon as possible. Both updates were made available on the Kenova website. For ease of reading, I include some material from both updates in this final report, which necessarily means there is some duplication. At no time has Mr. Boutcher or anyone else within Kenova attempted to influence my review. 4. My review is confined to Kenova. It is not and should not be mistaken for a commentary on dealing with cases generally. I can, however, say that Kenova, given its clear compliance with the law, its success in securing a high level of trust and confidence from those most directly affected – victims and survivors and their relatives – demonstrates Article 2 ECHR compliance that is both practical and effective. 2 See further below. 2 5. In conducting this review I have kept in mind that the Article 2 obligation to protect life would be meaningless in the absence of a commensurate procedural obligation to conduct an effective investigation intended to expose any breach and hold the perpetrators to account. 3 Importantly, at the outset, I note that practical effectiveness is not measured by its ultimate outcomes; the number or success of prosecutions is not the test, but 31 files have been placed before the DPP for decision as to prosecution. Those files comprise more than 50,000 pages of evidence relating to a total of 17 murders and 12 abductions. Further files are to be submitted to the DPP by the end of 2021. 6. Kenova is progressing and making announcements regularly. For example, the recent announcement that caused the family of a man allegedly murdered by the IRA 30 years ago to say that they have fresh hope that "the net is closing on those responsible.” 4 Kenova recovered new DNA evidence which, it is suggested, could aid a successful prosecution. 5 Moreover, Mr. Boutcher has said recently “I believe we have already demonstrated that the truth can be uncovered as regards what happened to victims in unsolve


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