Imprisoned Bahrain opposition leader acquitted in spy case

A prominent Shiite cleric in Bahrain who led a now-shuttered opposition party has been acquitted of spying charges with two colleagues.

The verdict Thursday in the case against Sheikh Ali Salman marks a rare opposition victory in a yearslong clampdown on all dissent in Bahrain, an island kingdom off Saudi Arabia that’s home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Activists and local media reported the verdict.

Salman had led the Al-Wefaq political party, which has been dissolved by courts in Sunni-ruled Bahrain. He was a central figure in Bahrain’s 2011 Arab Spring protests.

The case against the cleric focused on discussions he had with Qatari officials during the 2011 protests.

Salman already is serving a four-year prison sentence that’s nearing its end.

Source: National News Agency