Egypt: Former Leader Mubarak Freed From Detention
Egypt’s former leader Hosni Mubarak has been released from a military hospital on Friday where he spent much of the last six years in detention.
The release of the 88-year old who ruled Egypt for three decades would have been unthinkable several years ago, but revolutionary fervor gave way to exhaustion and even nostalgia in the uprising’s chaotic aftermath. Mubarak had been cleared for release earlier this month after a top court finally acquitted him of involvement in protester deaths during a 2011 opposition revolt.
His lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, confirmed that Mubarak had left the hospital on Friday. He added that Mubarak had gone home to a villa in Cairo’s Heliopolis district. Mubarak 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. He was sentenced to life in jail in 2012, but an appeals court ordered a retrial, which dismissed the charges two years later. Egypt’s top appeals court on March 2 acquitted him of involvement in the killings.
Throughout his trial, prosecutors had been unable to provide conclusive evidence of Mubarak’s complicity — a result, lawyers said, of having hastily put together the case against him in 2011 following demonstrations. 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. On Thursday, a court ordered a renewed corruption investigation into Mubarak for allegedly receiving gifts from the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper. He is also banned from travel.
His successor Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist, ruled for only a year after his 2012 election before the military overthrew him, prompted by massive protests against his Muslim Brotherhood group. Morsi’s ouster ushered in a deadly police crackdown that killed hundreds of protesters demanding his reinstatement.
The military chief who headed the coup, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, became President the following year.