Spain's Supreme Court has ruled that an Equatorial Guinean opposition leader can remain in the country as a political refugee.

The court overturned a move by the Spanish Cabinet in 2005 to revoke the political asylum status of Severo Moto. Equatorial Guinea's government had asked Madrid to take action against Moto for his alleged involvement in several coup plots in the west African state.

Spain's judiciary suspended the revocation of Moto's asylum status in 2006 while it considered his appeal against the move.

Moto went into exile in Spain in the 1980s as an opponent of Equatorial Guinea's president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Spain is the country's former colonial ruler.

Mr. Obiang's government accuses Moto of sponsoring a failed attempt to overthrow the president in 2004. An Equatorial Guinean court sentenced Moto in absentia to more than 60 years in prison in connection with the case.

Mr. Obiang has ruled Equatorial Guinea since a coup in 1979.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.