A sessions court in Coimbatore on Wednesday acquitted Kerala-based People's Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Mahdhani of all charges in the 1998 serial bomb blasts in which 58 people were killed while it found one of the main accused, Al Umma chief SA Basha, guilty "of criminal conspiracy".
Judge K Uthirapathi pronounced the judgement on the two, who are among 166 accused in the 19 bomb blasts that rocked the city on Feb 14, 1998, during then deputy prime minister LK Advani's election tour in Coimbatore. The blasts also injured 250 people and caused loss of property worth Rs140 million.
Mahdhani, lodged in Coimbatore Jail for the past eight years, had sought bail from Madras High Court on health grounds and was given special facilities when the M Karunanidhi government came to power in Tamil Nadu in May last year.
The Kerala assembly had passed a unanimous resolution seeking the release of Madhani.