Lee Murray, one-time UFC fighter and alleged mastermind behind one of the world's biggest bank heists, has been freed from a Moroccan prison after more than three years behind bars, according to ESPN.com.
Murray was released after judges in the Moroccan Supreme Court upheld his claim that he is a citizen of the North African nation. British prosecutors have been trying to extradite the ex-fighter, claiming he masterminded the largest bank raid in British history in 2006 -- he and six other associates allegedly stole more than $100 million.
He sought refuge from the Moroccan government because of his father being of Moroccan descent.
From Murray's attorney Derek Parker:
"I spoke to him last night and he didn't even know that he was going for a hearing on the extradition. It was a complete surprise. When he arrived to court, they told him, 'You're a Moroccan citizen. You can go. He has every intention of fighting again, but I don't think he'll be going back to the UK in our lifetime. And the U.S. isn't high on his list of vacation destinations either."
Murray defeated Jorge Rivera via first round submission (strikes) at UFC 46, which was his only appearance inside the Octagon. He is perhaps better known in the fight world for his exploits outside the cage, however, brawling with Tito Ortiz in a street fight following UFC 38 in July 2002.
Murray is 8-2 overall in mixed martial arts competition. He last fought in September of 2004 at Cage Rage 8, dropping a unanimous decision to current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
For more on the rise and fall of "Lightning" Lee Murray click here.
UPDATE: MMAFanHouse.com reports that Murray's freedom was short-lived -- he was promptly re-arrested after his release because "the British Authorities did put [in] a formal request to the Moroccan Authorities to have him tried in Morocco for the alleged robbery."