Bob Bird, 56, was released from Govan Police Station in Glasgow several hours after his arrest, The Scotsman reported. He denied any wrongdoing.
The charges against Bird are another wrinkle in the legal proceedings involving Tommy Sheridan, former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party. Sheridan won a libel action in 2006 against the News of the World but was convicted of perjury in that case four years later.
The charges against Bird appear to involve the libel suit, the Scotsman said. He denied any wrongdoing as he left the police station.
"I just want to say I'm really sad and disappointed that things have come to this today," he said. "I have always tried to do the right thing throughout my 30, 40-odd years in journalism and I will be denying the charge that has been made against me today."
Two other former News of the World employees have been charged in connection with the Sheridan case, Douglas Wight and Andy Coulson. Coulson, who later served as press secretary to Prime Minister Douglas Cameron, also faces charges in London in connection with the phone hacking scandal.
Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch closed the venerable Sunday tabloid last year.