A top loyalist was arrested at a jail in the North today by police investigating the murder of another Protestant paramilitary.
Mark Haddock, aged 40, was detained at Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn, Co Antrim, where he was nearing the end of a 10-year term for attacking a nightclub doorman.
He was taken for questioning about the shooting dead in October 2000 of Tommy English, a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). English was gunned down in north Belfast in front of his wife and children during a bloody loyalist feud.
Haddock was later brought back to his cell after being held at a police detention centre at Antrim.
He is due to be released from prison and is involved in a major High Court action in an attempt to prevent the press identifying him once he is allowed back on the streets.
He was questioned by officers belonging to the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), a special unit set up to investigate unsolved murders in the North.
Haddock, from Mount Vernon in north Belfast, has been named in court as a leading member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), another loyalist grouping.
In January 2007 he was reported to have been a police Special Branch agent following publication of a report by former Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan.
Her investigation found police colluded with the north Belfast UVF group behind more than a dozen murders in the area.
Haddock survived a murder attempt in 2006 but was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and false imprisonment for attacking Trevor Gowdy outside a social club on the outskirts of Belfast in December 2002.
He is seeking a media blackout on his new identity when he is freed from prison as he claims his life is still at risk. He wants to have his name changed by deed poll.