Rapper Meek Mill has been granted a new trial on drugs and weapons charges dating back more than ten years.
A three-judge panel in Pennsylvania ruled that there were credibility issues with the officer who testified against him during his original trial in 2008.
While an acquittal could be likely if the case goes to trial again, the district attorney Larry Krasner said his office needed time to decide whether to drop the case.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled that Mill had the “right to be tried before an impartial judge, because the trial judge heard highly prejudicial testimony at the first trial”.
The sole witness in the first trial was a now discredited drugs squad officer who is no longer with the Philadelphia force.
He was sentenced in 2009 to between 11 and 23 months in county prison, but was released on parole after five months and given a 10-year probation.
Mill, whose given name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was jailed in 2017 for a minor probation violation and has been campaigning for criminal justice reform ever since.
While on parole he signed to Rick Ross’s label, Maybach Music Group, and released a string of hugely successful mixtapes that made him a platinum-selling artist.
However, he was arrested in August 2017 for reckless driving as he rode a dirt bike while filming a music video.
Though the charges were dropped, a judge ruled that the arrest itself was a breach of his probation and he was jailed that November for up to four years, prompting an outcry from Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who campaigned for his release.
He was freed five months later after Pennsylvania’s top court granted him bail.
Jay-Z and the owners of the New England Patriots and Philadelphia 76ers, Robert Kraft and Michael Rubin, joined him to create the Reform Alliance, which aims to “dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system, starting with probation and parole”.
“The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I’m ecstatic that justice prevailed”, Mill said in a statement. “Unfortunately, millions of people are dealing with similar issues in our country and don’t have the resources to fight back like I did. We need to continue supporting them”.