An Afghan appeals court on Sunday threw out a bribery conviction against a British contractor, citing insufficient evidence.
Bill Shaw was sentenced to two years in prison last April after he was convicted by the newly established anti-corruption court of paying a $25,000 bribe for the release of two vehicles impounded by the authorities.
Appeals court Judge Gul Mohammed ruled that evidence indicated Shaw thought he was paying a legal tax to the government when he agreed to the payment.
Mohammed upheld the conviction of Shaw's Afghan interpreter Maiwand Limar but reduced his sentence from two years to eight months.
"There was not enough evidence for Bill Shaw, a British citizen, to be in prison, but there were evidence that Maiwand, an Afghan citizen, was involved in the case of bribery," Mohammed told The Associated Press.
The anti-corruption court was established to combat corruption, which has turned many Afghans against their government and threatens to undercut international support for President Hamid Karzai's administration.
Karzai has blamed international contractors for much of the corruption and has urged the US and its allies to quit hiring international security companies to protect diplomats and aid workers.