7 convicts in 1991 assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi may be freed

An attorney says India's Tamil Nadu state has decided to free seven prisoners serving life sentences for the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Attorney Yug Chaudhry said Wednesday that the state government still needs approval from the federal government before the men can walk free.

The seven convicts were among 26 convicted of playing minor roles in the assassination plot.

Gandhi was killed along with 17 others, including the suicide assassin, while campaigning in May 1991 for a return to the post of prime minister.

The attack was orchestrated by Tamil Tiger rebels in neighboring Sri Lanka.

While the convicts have been reviled across much of India, many ethnic Tamils in the south believe they were duped into taking part in a plot they knew little about.