Gerry Adams has left Antrim police station by a rear exit as loyalists protested outside the building following his release from custody after four days of questioning over a notorious IRA murder.
Angry demonstrators waving Union flags staged a sit down protest in front of the heavily fortified station.
But the Sinn Fein president exited the station through another gate while the heated scenes unfolded.
A file will be sent to prosecutors by detectives who have questioned him over the murder of Belfast mother-of-ten Jean McConville.
The move means the ultimate decision whether to charge the 65-year-old politician with any offence will be made by Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) at a later date after reviewing evidence presented by police.
Mr Adams has always vehemently denied allegations levelled by former republican colleagues that he ordered the murder of the 37-year-old widow in 1972.