An Egyptian court said it would hold a retrail of convicted politician Ayman Nour, a move that could clear his name and give him a second chance to stand for president.
Nour, a founder of the Ghad (Tomorrow) Party, was jailed in 2005 soon after he stood against Hosni Mubarak, who was this year forced out of power by a popular uprising.
Nour, who wants to stand again, said his conviction for forging membership papers was trumped up by the state as part of a harassment campaign against his party, Reuters reports.
Egyptian law does not let convicts run for the presidency until five years after the end of their jail term.
Nour was sentenced to five years in prison. He was released in February 2009 on health grounds after serving more than three years of the sentence.
“Today’s decision is a victory in itself. This decision gave me hope that I will be able to get my life back, practise my job as a lawyer, pursue my political career and run for the presidency,” Nour told Reuters.
Egypt’s state news agency earlier reported an appeal court agreed to hold a retrial for Nour “in the case of forging memberships for his party after he requested that”.
Nour came a distant second to Mubarak in the 2005 election, Egypt’s first and only multi-candidate presidential race.
Rights groups and witnesses said the vote was marred by abuses.