Bahrain court acquits imprisoned Shiite cleric in spy case - lawyer

A prominent Shiite cleric in Bahrain, who led a now-shuttered opposition party, was acquitted Thursday of spying charges along with two of his colleagues, AP reports. The case of Sheikh Ali Salman, who headed the Al-Wefaq political party, marks a rare victory for activists in the island kingdom amid a clampdown on dissent, AP said. The cleric served as a central figure in Bahrain’s 2011 Arab Spring protests. According to a lawyer previously involved with Salman’s case, Abdulla al-Shamlawi, the cleric would be released after he finished serving some four years in prison in another case widely criticized internationally. Salman, 52, was arrested in 1994, tortured and detained for months without trial before being deported and forced to live in exile for over 15 years, according to the UN.