LEADING republican Sean Hughes was charged last night about an internal IRA investigation alleged to have taken place following the murder of Robert McCartney.
The 51-year-old was charged with two counts of addressing a meeting for the purpose of encouraging a proscribed organisation and one count of membership of a proscribed organisation.
He is due to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court this morning.
He was arrested from his family farm in Jonesborough in south Armagh on Wednesday and taken to Antrim serious crime suite.
He is the second mainstream republican to be held in connection with the case in recent months.
In November west Belfast man Padraic Wilson was charged with membership of the Provisional IRA and holding a meeting in support of the organisation.
Sinn Fein held a protest at PSNI headquarters in east Belfast following the arrest of Mr Wilson.
He is on bail awaiting trial on the charges which he has denied.
Both arrests came after the sisters and partner of Mr McCartney, who campaigned for justice in the aftermath of his death, made fresh statements to police in relation to meetings they held with the IRA following the 2005 murder of the 33-year-old at a Belfast city centre bar.
Mr Hughes is a veteran republican and a long-time sup porter of Sinn Fein.
In 2009 the Serious Organised Crime Agency froze assets belonging to him and five members of his family.
The move was criticised by then Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy who said he was a long-time friend of the "sound republican".
In 2002 Peter Robinson used parliamentary privilege to name Mr Hughes as a member of the IRA army council, an allegation he has denied. ■ ARREST: Sean Hughes ■ VICTIM: Robert McCartney