A Malaysian court on Monday acquitted a prominent labor activist who was arrested 12 years ago for claiming that police tortured illegal immigrants in detention. The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled in favor of Irene Fernandez, director of the human rights group Tenaganita, who had appealed a one-year sentence issued in 2003 on charges of maliciously publishing false news. "I'm so happy that finally truth and justice prevailed," Fernandez, 62, told The Associated Press. "I should never have been charged in the first place." She was arrested in 1996 for reporting that illegal immigrants were tortured at detention centers, but remained free on bail while fighting her case. Seven years later, she was sentenced to one year in prison but appealed.