Bob Bird, former boss of the News of the World in Scotland, has been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice in 2006, when Sheridan successfully sued the tabloid over a string of stories about his sex life.
Bird, 56, was taken from his Glasgow home in the early hours of yesterday morning by police, and later arrested and charged. Speaking after his release, Bird said: "I just want to say I'm very sad, very disappointed that things have come to this.
"I have always done my best to do the right thing throughout the 30/40 years of my journalistic career and I will be denying the charge against me."
The tabloid was ordered to pay Sheridan £200,000 following the defamation action, during which it failed to prove that the newspaper's allegations about the former MSP's private life were true.
In 2010, following a lengthy police investigation into evidence presented at the defamation trial at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Sheridan – former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party – was charged with perjury. He was convicted by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow and jailed for three years in January 2011. He was released from prison in January of this year.
Gordon Dangerfield, Sheridan's solicitor, said: "We have always said there was a serious and wide-ranging criminal conspiracy against Tommy Sheridan. We look forward to the whole truth coming out in court at last."
Bird's ex-wife, broadcaster Jackie Bird, reported her former husband's arrest on the BBC's Reporting Scotland yesterday.
If convicted, he faces up to five-years in prison – if tried before a jury in the Sheriff Court – or an unlimited sentence if his case is brought before the High Court.
Bird is the third senior figure at the News of the World to be charged by officers from Operation Rubicon, which is probing allegations of phone hacking, data protection breaches and perjury linked to the News of the World in Scotland.
Earlier this month, Douglas Wight, 39, the tabloid's former Scottish news editor, who led coverage of the original stories of Sheridan's private life, was charged with offences connected to the perjury trial.
In May, Andy Coulson – former editor of the Sunday paper in London and ex-communications adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron – was also charged over evidence he gave at the trial.