Category: Archive

Criminal persona was ‘cover,’ Rupert says

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Rupert, 51, a former U.S. trucking company boss-turned-informer, is the key witness in the three-judge, no-jury Special Criminal Court trial of McKevitt, 53, of Dundalk, who is the first person to face the so-called godfather charge of directing terrorism.
McKevitt has denied the charges of directing and being a member of the Real IRA dissident group.
The intensive cross-examination by barrister Hugh Hartnett for McKevitt has continually questioned Rupert’s reliability as a witness.
Hartnett has claimed Rupert has a background as a criminal and smuggler, is a fantasist and has lied to the court.
He suggested Rupert was questioned by police in Alabama in 1976 on suspicion of having sex with underage girls after he and another man had picked up two underage girls at Forth Worth, Tx.
Rupert denied an arrest was involved, saying he had only been arrested twice in his life in relation to bad checks.
He said he had scouted the U.S.-Mexican border as a possible way for McKevitt to get into the U.S. but he said this was done with the full knowledge of his FBI paymasters.
However, he denied any involvement in smuggling from Mexico though his brother had been arrested in 1995 and jailed for 18 months for smuggling marijuana.
He had developed the persona of a criminal in association with the FBI so any republicans checking him out would have come across “street evidence” that he apparently knew the criminal underworld.
“If you went to check…you would find by asking around that I was a smuggler, drug dealer, whatever. That wasn’t so, but it was used for developing cover.”
Rupert denied his account of his first meeting with the FBI to the court was different to what he had told Chicago journalists recently. To suggestions he had committed perjury he replied, “Absolutely not.”
In order to remember details of meetings with dissident republicans which he claimed to have infiltrated, Rupert had offered to be hypnotized but this was turned down.
He was having difficulty remembering all the details such as names and telephone numbers of people he had met in Ireland, but MI5 didn’t think hypnosis was necessary.
He had been called a “snitch” by his bosses during his period informing and agreed he may have indicated he was being treated like a “low-life criminal informer.”
Asked about negotiating his FBI contract when he was short of money and if he had picked himself up after another financial disaster, Rupert said, “That’s what America’s all about.”

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