A SENIOR member of Bahrain's Shi'ite opposition has been cleared of terrorism charges, a move that could help stalled talks with the government to try to end months of sporadic unrest.
Khalil al-Marzouq from the al-Wefaq party was one of a number of opposition figures and activists detained since majority Shi'ite Muslims led mass protests in 2011 demanding a greater role in running the Sunni-ruled island kingdom.
"My innocence was inevitable from day one," he said outside the court after the verdict.
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"The political process has to develop and become effective for us to lead Bahrain to the shores of safety through negotiations and a comprehensive process that serves the interests of all the citizens of Bahrain," he said.
Protests and clashes continue almost daily in the country that hosts the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.