Veteran republican Ivor Bell has been granted bail on a charge of aiding and abetting the murder of Jean McConville in 1972.

The former IRA leader was arrested at his home in west Belfast last week.

The High Court in Belfast heard a claim today that Mr Bell advised Ms McConville should not be spared from murder just because she was a woman.

Prosecutors claimed Mr Bell, 77, told a man involved in abducting the Belfast mother-of-ten for being a suspected informer that he had no problem with the shooting of "touts".

Laganside Magistrates Court heard on Saturday that police moved against Mr Bell on the basis of an interview he had given researchers compiling a Troubles archive at Boston College in America.

A US court has ordered the tapes to be handed over to the PSNI.

Ms McConville, a widow who became known as one of The Disappeared, was taken from her home in West Belfast by the IRA in 1972.

She was later shot dead and secretly buried. Her remains were eventually found on Shelling Hill beach in Co Louth in August 2003.