Coimbatore, Oct 15: A court here today will pronounce sentences for 12 persons, who were convicted for their involvement in the 1998 Coimbatore serial bomb blasts.
Earlier, court had pronounced sentences for 35 persons, who were convicted for their involvement in the case. The imprisonment for the 35 convicts varies from nine months to seven years.
Judge K Uthirapathi of the Sessions Court (Bomb Blast cases) set off the term against the period already spent by them as undertrials and ordered their release.
The charges against the 35 accused include attempt to murder, rioting, arson and possession of explosives.
The court had on September 28 sentenced 41 accused to rigorous imprisonment.
The 41 persons sentenced faced charges other than conspiracy, under the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the Tamil Nadu Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act.
In the case, the prosecuting agency registered cases against 168. Of these, one accused died in prison and another turned approver.
Of the 166 accused, a total of 158 have been convicted of various charges, while eight have been acquitted.
Among the eight not found guilty are PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madhani. They were also released.
Seventy accused were found guilty of major charges like criminal conspiracy and murder.
Twelve blasts rocked the city on February 14, 1998 that killed 58 and injured over 200 others.
The blasts were targeted at a venue where senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani was scheduled to address a meeting.
In April 2000, a Special Court was formed to try the cases, and in the same year (October 2000), charges were framed.
The trial started in March 2002, and has till date examined 1,300 witnesses out of a total of 2,345.
The arguments began in June 2006 and ended on April 10, 2007.
The Special Investigation Team of Tamil Nadu Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department, which probed the cases, has argued that "Operation Allahu-Akbar", was part of a conspiracy to eliminate Advani.