Former Egyptian president is free after 6 years

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was ordered to be freed from detention on Monday, ending nearly six years of legal proceedings against the ousted autocrat.

Prosecutor Ibrahim Saleh said he ordered Mubarak’s release after his lawyer petitioned for his freedom on the basis of time already served.

Mubarak, 88, was acquitted by Egypt’s top appeals court on March 2 of charges that he ordered the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 29-year rule. Mr Saleh said the verdict cleared the way Mubarak to be released since he had already served a three-year sentence for embezzling state funds while in detention in connection to the protesters’ case.

“There is not a single reason to keep him in detention and the police must execute the order,” Mr Saleh said. “He is free to go.”

Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal were sentenced to three years in prison in May 2015 for embezzling funds set aside for the maintenance of presidential palaces. An appeals court upheld the sentence in January last year but took into account time already served. Mubarak’s sons have already been freed.

Mubarak was arrested in April 2011 but has spent the nearly six years since in hospitals. He is currently staying at a Nile-side military hospital in Maadi, a leafy suburb just south of Cairo. It was not immediately clear when he would leave for his home in the eastern suburb of Heliopolis.

Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid Al Deeb, said the former president could go home “when the doctors decide he is able to”, but he was banned from leaving the country because of a corruption investigation.

Amid public anger, prosecutors levelled various charges against Mubarak following his February 2011 resignation. But six years after his overthrow, most of the charges brought against him and his regime members have been dismissed.


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