RED Hand Commando chief Winston ‘Winky’ Rea has been arrested under the Terrorism Act by detectives probing two murders.
Rea was detained for questioning about the murders of John Devine in West Belfast in 1989 and John O’Hara in the south of the city two years later.
A PSNI spokesman said: “Detectives from Legacy Investigation Branch have arrested a 65-year-old man in relation to two murders and other serious crimes in Belfast in the late 80s and early 90s.”
Detective Inspector Neil NcGuinness, from Legacy Investigation Branch, added: “The 65-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murders of John Benedict Devine in the Fallswater Street area of West Belfast on 23 July, 1989, and the murder of John Joseph Gerard O’Hara in the Dunluce Avenue area of South Belfast on 17 April, 1991.
“He has also been arrested in relation to a number of other serious crimes.
“The man was arrested in Belfast this afternoon and is currently helping police with their enquiries. There are no further details at this stage.”
Last year, police were given access to interviews he gave to a controversial American university project, the Boston College tapes.
Rea was among dozens of loyalists and republicans who provided testimonies to Boston College staff compiling an oral history of the Troubles.
In 1999, he was arrested on the morning of his daughter’s murder by detectives probing the murder of Red Hand Commando hitman Frankie Currie off the Shankill Road.