Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be released from custody later this week, as officials said there were no longer any grounds to hold the 85-year-old former autocrat because of the expiration of a two-year legal limit for holding an individual in custody pending a final verdict.
Mubarak has been in detention since April 2011. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in June last year for his failure to stop the killing of some 900 protesters in the 18-day uprising against his rule. His sentence was overturned on appeal and he is now being retried, along with his security chief and six top police commanders.
The judiciary officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media, said a court on Monday ordered Mubarak’s release in a corruption case that alleged he and his two sons embezzled funds for presidential palaces. His sons will remain in custody because they face other cases against them.
Monday’s order, along with the fact that Mubarak had previously been ordered released in two other cases against him – the killing of the protesters and a case related to illegal earnings – opened the possibility of freedom for the former president.
Mubarak is also facing trial for alleged acceptance of presents from state newspapers but has already repaid their value. His defense team has submitted a petition for his release in connection with the presents and a ruling is expected later this week.