Egypt’s Ex-President, Mubarak, Regains Freedom | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Egypt’s Ex-President, Mubarak, Regains Freedom

Posted: May 10, 2015 at 9:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, was declared a free man on Saturday after the Cairo Court of Appeals upheld a three-year sentence against him on corruption charges.

State-owned media reported that the court, taking account of the time he has already served in prison, said that the former leader was free. With prosecutors stating that they would not appeal, Mubarak, 87, could be out of prison as soon as Thursday, although he will not be allowed to leave the country and will be under house arrest, the prime minister’s office said.

Citing a security source, the state news agency said Mubarak would “likely” be taken to one of the state’s vital installations or one of two military hospitals where he will be guarded under heavy security.

The decision comes at a very volatile moment after hundreds of Islamist protesters were killed last week and the military-backed government continues its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mubarak had been in detention in the last two years and could be detained again. He was tried for the deaths of more than 800 protesters during the uprising that led to his ouster. However, after a separate corruption charge was settled this week, the time limit for him to remain in custody had expired.

But his release is loaded with symbolism about the parlous state of Egypt and fading hopes for peaceful political change across the wider region – graphically underlined by the latest carnage in Syria.

Mubarak remains on trial for murder over the deaths of more than 800 protesters during the uprising against him. But after a separate corruption charge was settled this week, the time limit for him to remain in custody had expired.

Egyptian officials have warned that freeing Mubarak in this highly charged atmosphere would fuel tensions. “The government knows that if Mubarak is freed there will be public outrage,” said head of the Egyptian Social Democratic party, Mohamed Abolghar, “But a court decision is a court decision.”