Egypt's Mubarak to be released, put under house arrest, as authorities detain Islamist leaders
Beijing, Aug. 22 (ANI): An Egyptian court ordered the release of ex-President Hosni Mubarak after his petition on his last corruption case was accepted, and he is set to be put under house arrest, while the authorities continued detaining supporters of his successor Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military in early July.
Mubarak will be freed in the case of Ahram institution, in which he was charged along with his two sons with misusing power and accepting gifts from governmental institutions via his information minister.
For his age and after Mubarak paid 2.61 million U.S. dollars-the value of the gifts, "There is no justification for keeping Mubarak in jail," the court said, Xinhua reports
But Mubarak is still banned from travelling abroad as he still faces a retrial on charges of involvement in the killing of protesters during the 2011 unrest that eventually toppled him. The next hearing is slated for Saturday.
Mubarak's lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, told Xinhua that the former president would be freed Thursday.
"Mubarak will be freed unless he is charged with other crimes," legal expert Aly Mashallah said, adding that the prosecution is the sole authority to determine his final release.
Assistant Interior Minister for Prison Affairs, Mostafa Baz, said Mubarak could not be released from prison on Wednesday as government offices had already closed.
After his release, Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades, will be put under house arrest.
Official MENA news agency reported that "In light of the state of emergency, the deputy military ruler (Interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi) ordered to place Mubarak under house arrest."
A month-long state of emergency was imposed on Egypt's turmoil governorates a week ago due to the deadly clashes after the security forces dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza. The ensuing confrontations between Morsi's loyalists and the security men have killed some 1,000 people around the country, including some 100 policemen.
Analysts say the court's decision adds more perplexity to Egypt 's political instability.
His release is legal, but the time is very critical, as the Egyptian interim authorities, part of which were serving under Mubarak, are detaining members of the Muslim Brotherhood, said Samir Ghatas, chief of Cairo-based Maqdes Center for Political Studies.
While Mubarak may leave Tora prison soon, leading Muslim Brotherhood members are detained in the same prison complex.
Egyptian authorities on Wednesday arrested hardliner Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazi and Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Morad Mohamed Ali, while they were trying to flee to Libya and Rome, respectively. Two days ago, the Muslim Brotherhood's top leader Mohamed Badie was arrested, and was on Tuesday ordered 15 days in custody over charges of killing protesters.
Security forces and Armed forces have tightened travel control near border areas with Libya to prevent wanted extremists involved in recent violence from entering or leaving Egypt.
In response to Mubarak's incoming release, the grassroot Tamarrod movement, which initiated the campaign earlier this year to overthrow Morsi due to his maladministration, urged the interim government to keep Mubarak under detention as his release would pose danger to national security. (ANI)
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