Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been acquitted of sodomy charges.
In a surprise ruling, a judge dismissed the charges, which carried a maximum sentence of 20 years, after doubts about whether DNA evidence had become contaminated.
A former deputy prime minister who now heads up the three-party Pakatan coalition, Anwar could make a political comeback if elections take place this year.
“We must focus on the next general election because we want a reformed agenda, we want an independent judiciary with no perceptions. We are concerned with a free media and ridding the country of endemic corruption,” Anwar said, addressing supporters after the case was dropped.
This was the second time Anwar had faced prison for this offence. He was released in 2004 when his previous sodomy conviction was overturned after he served four years behind bars.
At least five people were injured in three separate explosions near the High Court in Kuala Lumpur after the case against Anwar was dismissed. According to a local police chief, the explosives were home-made devices with timers.