Report: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to be freed
Published August 19, 2013
Egyptian judicial officials have ordered former President Hosni Mubarak freed from jail, a stunning turnaround for the 85-year-old strongman who ruled the nation for three decades before being ousted in a popular revolution, and a move that could plunge the unraveling North African nation into further violence..
The announcement, which comes as the North African nation is roiling with new protests following the ouster of Mubarak's successor, stoked fears of even more violent reprisals from the Muslim Brotherhood, whose supporters have clashed with surcurity forces and torched dozens of Coptic churches. Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Egyptians have been killed in the last week in fighting between the Muslim Brotherhood and the nation's more secular Muslims and Christians. On Sunday, some 25 Egyptian police were ambushed and executed in the lawless Sinai Peninsula, where the Muslim Brotherhood appears to have aligned with Al Qaeda fighters.
Mubarak will be released from jail in the next 48 hours after a prosecutor cleared him of a corruption charge, his lawyer Fareed El-Deeb told Reuters. He will still continue to stand retrial for the protesters' killing but cannot be held in custody anymore because of a two-year limit pending a final verdict.
Judicial authorities ordered Mubarak released in one of the remaining corruption cases against him, which alleged he and his town sons embezzled funds for presidential palaces, the Associated Press reports.
According to Deeb, the only legal grounds for the ousted president's detention rest on one other corruption case which is slated to be cleared up this week.
Mubarak has been previously ordered released in two other court cases against him — the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that toppled him and another in case, on illegal earnings.
He is on retrial for the protesters' killing but cannot be held in custody anymore because of a two-year limit pending a final verdict.
Mubarak is also facing trial for alleged acceptance of presents from state newspapers but has already repaid their value.