Published Tuesday, 06 November 2012
Padraic Wilson, pictured at his court appearance on Friday. (© Pacemaker)
Wilson, 53, of Hamill Park, Andersonstown, Belfast, had been remanded in custody on Friday charged with IRA membership and two counts of addressing a meeting to encourage support for the outlawed grouping. He denies the charges.
He was arrested by police investigating the murder of Robert McCartney in 2005.
The 33-year-old father of two, from the Short Strand in east Belfast, is believed to have been in an argument with republicans before he was knifed and beaten outside Magennis's bar in the city centre in January 2005.
Statements from Mr McCartney's sisters alleged Wilson met with them at least twice, and he had claimed to be a member of the Provisional IRA's senior council.
All of the alleged offences were committed within two months of Mr McCartney's death.
The High Court heard on Tuesday from Sinn Féin's South Antrim MLA Mitchel McLaughlin.
He said that Wilson had made a valuable and strategic contribution in changing attitudes within republican circles to policing and the criminal justice system.
Mr Justice Horner agreed that there were no grounds to suggest that Wilson would interfere with witnesses and he released him on bail.
His release comes just one day after hundreds of Sinn Féin members staged a protest against Wilson being charged outside the PSNI headquarters at Knock.
© UTV News