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Portugal's best-known revolutionary, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, was greeted by cheering neighbors and friends when he returned home Thursday after spending five years in prison.

It was Saraiva de Carvalho who masterminded the 1974 revolution that toppled almost 50 years right-wing dictatorship in Portugal.The Supreme Court of Justice ordered him freed Wednesday after throwing out his May 1987 conviction on charges of leading a terrorist group in the early 1980s that pledged to seek "a halt to the unbridled advance of capitalism."

The court had accepted Saraiva de Carvalho's appeal that authorities violated the constitution by making him await trial for longer than the three-year maximum stipulated by law.

The one-time chief of Portugal's revolutionary security police had been serving a 15-year sentence.

Saraiva de Carvalho - known throughout Portugal simply as Otelo - was arrested in 1984 on charges of leading the left-wing group Popular Forces of April 25, which was blamed for terrorist attacks and at least 15 killings.