An Egyptian prosecutor has allowed for former dictator Hosni Mubarak to be released from detention after an appeals court acquitted him of involvement in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 revolution.
Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, confirmed on Monday that the ousted president, who has been in detention at a military hospital in Cairo, was now free to go home.
“He can go home now when the doctors decide he is able to,” al-Deeb said.
The lawyer, however, noted that Mubarak is banned from leaving Egypt pending an ongoing graft investigation.
Egypt’s top appeals court in early March acquitted Mubarak of involvement in the killing of protesters during an 18-day revolution which began in January 2011.
The former president was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder hundreds of demonstrators during the revolt that ended his nearly three-decade reign.
He was also found guilty of sowing chaos and creating a security vacuum.
However, an appeals court later overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial, citing technical flaws in the prosecution.
The retrial resulted in dropping the case two years later, but the public prosecution appealed the decision and ordered another retrial by Egypt’s top appeals court.
The latest ruling, on March 2, by Egypt’s top appeals court – the Court of Cassation – is final.
Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak lies on a stretcher while being transported ahead of his trial in Cairo, Egypt, March 2, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Hundreds of people died when security forces clashed with demonstrators in the weeks before Mubarak was ousted from power in 2011.
Lawyers representing the families of those killed in the 2011 revolution had called for the charges against Mubarak to be upgraded to murder. They had also demanded that the court summon current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was head of military intelligence at the time.
Mubarak-era figures are gradually being cleared of charges and a series of laws limiting freedoms have raised fears among activists that the old regime is back.
In an election after Mubarak’s ouster, Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi was elected president. Morsi was later ousted in a military coup led by Sisi in July 2013.
Since Morsi was toppled, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on any opposition.
The UN Human Rights Council has repeatedly expressed concern over Egyptian security forces’ heavy-handed crackdown and the killing of anti-government protesters.
Rights groups say the army’s crackdown has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.