The lawyer of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has revealed that the 85-year-old is expected to be released from custody this week. The news comes in the midst of a political crisis which has seen hundreds of deaths in the past week, and continues to destabilize the country.
The release of the former president is the only option for authorities according to Reuters, who spoke to Fareed El-Deeb his lawyer. Mr. Mubarak’s detention is grounded in a corruption case against him, which El-Deeb says is a “simple administrative procedure” away from being resolved. The lawyer expects that resolution to come in the next 48 hours.
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Mr. Mubarak was ousted from the country’s presidency as part of the Arab Spring movement in April 2011. He is still set to face a retrial for the killing of more than 900 people in the uprising that led to his removal from the country’s highest office, according to Fox News.
The former President was convicted of complicity in the killing of those protestors in June 2012, but that verdict was overturned on appeal earlier this year. He is awaiting a retrial on the charges, but a two year limit on detentions, coupled with the removal of the corruption charges against him, means that authorities have no power to hold him in custody.
Egypt’s crisis continues
Egypt is still in the midst of a violent political crisis after the country’s army removed and subsequently imprisoned Mubarak’s successor, Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed Morsi. The release of Mubarak may provide further impetus for the protestors lining up against the country’s military government.
This morning saw a major attack on Egyptian police in the Sinai peninsula. Militants armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades attacked the police as they were returning to their barracks. Twenty-four policemen were killed in the attack, which is the first major armed assault on government personnel.
That attack has stoked fears that Islamists militants may become a driving force in the current wave of instability in the Mediterranean country. If the conflict continues to spiral into extremity, it may be only a matter of time before it becomes a full blown civil war.
Mr. Mubarak’s release is likely to be met with resistance from those already protesting the military government’s actions, but it is difficult to predict the effect it will have on an already unstable situation.