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Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to walk free in coming days 13-03-2017


Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to walk free in coming days
Public prosecutor orders release of former president as early as tomorrow following court acquittal.

Hosni Mubarak ruled for 30 years until 2011 [File: Mohamed Hossam/EPA]-Hosni Mubarak ruled for 30 years until 2011 [File: Mohamed Hossam/EPA]-
Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown as president of Egypt in an uprising in 2011, will be released from detention in a military hospital after a six-year legal battle over accusations of involvement in the killing protesters.

“He will go to his home in Heliopolis,” Mubarak’s lawyer Farid El Deeb said, adding the ageing former president would likely be released Tuesday or soon after, but would be barred from leaving the country pending an ongoing corruption investigation.

The prosecutor’s decision came on Monday, days after an appeals court acquitted Mubarak on March 2 of involvement in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ousted him.

Egypt’s court acquits former president Hosni Mubarak
The president who ruled for 30 years was accused of inciting the deaths of protesters during the 18-day revolt, in which about 850 people were killed as police clashed with demonstrators.

Mubarak, 88, was sentenced to life in 2012, but an appeals court ordered a retrial, which dismissed the charges two years later.

Amid public anger, prosecutors had levelled various charges against Mubarak following his February 2011 resignation.

In January 2016, the appeals court upheld a three-year prison sentence for Mubarak and his two sons on corruption charges.

But the sentence took into account time served. Both of his sons, Alaa and Gamal, were freed.

Six years after his overthrow, most of the charges brought against his regime members have been dismissed while the country struggles to recovers from the aftermath of the uprising.

The revolt ushered in instability that drove away tourists and investors, taking a heavy toll on the economy.

Mubarak’s elected Muslim Brotherhood successor, Mohamed Morsi, served for only a year before the military toppled and detained him in 2013, before launching a deadly crackdown on those who backed him.

Hundreds of Morsi’s supporters were sentenced to death after speedy trials. Morsi himself has also stood trial in several cases.

Critics say that the abuses they fought under Mubarak have returned with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Morsi.

Sisi’s pardon

Also on Monday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a pardon for 203 youths jailed for taking part in demonstrations against his rule, according to state news agency MENA.

No official list of names was immediately available.

Since seizing power, Sisi has presided over a crackdown on his opponents that has seen hundreds killed and many thousands jailed.

Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein has been detained in Egypt for more than 83 days.

Hussein, an Egyptian based in Qatar, was stopped, questioned and detained by the Egyptian authorities on December 20 after travelling to Cairo for a holiday.
CAIRO — An Egyptian prosecutor ordered on Monday that Hosni Mubarak, who led Egypt for 30 years until he was toppled in 2011, be freed, clearing the way for the former president’s immediate release from the Cairo military hospital where he has spent much of the past six years.

News of Mr. Mubarak’s impending release first came through his longtime lawyer, Farid el-Deeb, who said in a television interview that Mr. Mubarak, 88, was likely to be released Tuesday or Wednesday. Hours later, the state media reported that a Cairo prosecutor had ordered Mr. Mubarak’s release.

While Mr. Mubarak was free to go, he had not yet left Maadi Military Hospital, in southern Cairo. “As far as I am concerned he was in prison until today, and now he is free,” said the Cairo prosecutor, Ibrahim Saleh, in a telephone interview.

Mr. Mubarak’s release has been a prospect since Egypt’s top appeals court cleared him in the last criminal prosecution he faced in early March. Even before that, many Egyptians considered his detention at the hospital to be a political as much as a legal matter.

Still, the prospect of release of one of the Arab world’s most notorious strongman leaders, a longtime American ally accused of corruption and cronyism, is a landmark in Egyptian history and in some respects underscores how little has changed since the tumultuous days of his removal in 2011, when millions of young Egyptians thronged the streets clamoring for a radical new direction.

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While the prosecutor’s decision was not surprising, it was undoubtedly awkward for Egypt’s current leader, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who sometimes praises the revolution.

Mr. Mubarak’s decision to cede power in February 2011 had ripple effects throughout the Arab world, and preceded the overthrow of longtime dictators in Libya and Yemen later that year. But the promise of the Arab Spring soon dissipated as Libya and Yemen plunged into chaos, Syria descended into civil war and the Islamic State feasted on the resulting chaos to pursue its vision of jihadist Armageddon.

The first competitive, democratic presidential election in Egypt’s history brought Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, to power in June 2012. But just 12 months later he was toppled by military officers, who replaced him with a serving general, Mr. Sisi, who later left the military to become a civilian president.

Since then, Egypt’s courts have jailed tens of thousands of Brotherhood members, opposition activists, lawyers, journalists and other critics of Mr. Sisi. The political prisoners include many of the same people who helped topple Mr. Mubarak in 2011 — a paradox that will not be lost on many Egyptians should Mr. Mubarak be released in the coming days.

Face-off at Egypt’s Press Syndicate – The Listening Post
Source: News agencies