Published Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Michael Campbell was convicted in a Lithuanian court in 2011. (© UTV)
Michael Campbell was arrested in 2008 on charges of attempting to buy guns and explosives for the Real IRA.
It was thought his arrest came in an operation involving the British security service MI5 as well as Irish and Lithuanian intelligence agents.
Among the evidence against him was video footage of a weapons deal, including conversations with an associate and with undercover agents posing as arms dealers.
At one point, Campbell was asked what he planned to do with the weapons and who the targets were.
To which he answered: "Brits".
He was also heard answering a question about who he was with, to which he said: "IRA".
At the time Campbell insisted he was a victim of entrapment.
He admitted travelling to the Baltic state to buy weapons, but claimed he did not intend to use them to arm dissident republicans.
In October 2011, Campbell, of Upper Faughart in Dundalk, was convicted of supporting a terrorist group, illegal possession of weapons and attempted smuggling.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a court in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.
However, on Wednesday his counsel, Ingrida Botyriene, said the verdict had been overturned by a higher court.
She said: "He was acquitted because the court found that what he was accused of was a provocation.
"It was just an activity of the state security services."
The lawyer added: "It was unexpected, we thought that this case would reach the European Court of Human Rights, we thought it would go a longer distance.
"Some very serious things are not right in this case but we are happy he has been freed."
Irmantas Mikelionis, chief prosecutor at the Organised Crime and Corruption Investigation Department of the prosecutor's office, confirmed Campbell had been released.
Campbell, 41, is the brother of Liam Campbell who was one of two men held liable for the Omagh bombing in 1998.
© UTV News