BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi court has declared a Hezbollah commander captured last year and accused of killing US solders in Iraq in 2007 not guilty for lack of evidence and ruled that he be set free.

The case of Ali Mussa Daqduq has been a thorn in diplomatic relations between Baghdad and Washington since the American military pullout last December.

US terror experts have described Daqduq as among “the worst of the worst” militants who would remain a severe threat to Americans if freed.

His attorney, Abdul-Mahdi al-Mitairi, says an Iraqi judge on Monday found there wasn’t enough evidence to keep Daqduq in jail. The verdict will be appealed automatically.

Daqduq is a Lebanese commander for Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group linked to numerous deadly attacks.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.