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Mubarak could be free “within hours”: source - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak (R) and his son Gamal sit behind bars during a court hearing on November 29, 2014 in the Egyptian capital Cairo. (AFP Photo)

Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak (R) and his son Gamal sit behind bars during a court hearing on November 29, 2014 in the Egyptian capital Cairo. (AFP Photo)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could soon be released, according to a senior judicial source, following an Egyptian court’s decision on Saturday to drop charges against him relating to the killing of protesters during the country’s 2011 revolution.

The source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said he expected “a final decision ordering Mubarak’s release within hours.”

The 86-year-old Mubarak was standing trial on Saturday, along with his former interior minister and top security aides, for ordering the killing of hundreds unarmed protesters during the 18-day uprising in early 2011 which eventually led to his ouster.

However, the judge presiding over the trial decided to drop the charges, citing a technicality over the inadmissibility of the case. He said prosecutors had ignored a previous decision made during a case against Mubarak’s security chief for the killing of protesters during the uprising, which stated that the former president could not face criminal charges over the same case.

Mubarak was also cleared of charges related to the unlawful export of gas to Israel at knockdown prices.

The former president was not released on Saturday, however, as he is still serving a three-year sentence over the misuse of public funds, which he was convicted of last May.

But the judicial source speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat said Mubarak had already been remanded in custody without charge for two years—from April 2011 to April 2013.

He said the judge presiding over the case would take this period into account which, in accordance with Egyptian law, will lead to the former president’s release due to his “good behavior” during incarceration and his already having served three-quarters of his sentence.

Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, will not be released, however, the source said, as they were sentenced to four years in prison, not three.

Mubarak was initially imprisoned in Cairo’s Torah prison in 2011, but was later moved to a military hospital in Cairo’s Maadi suburb due to ill health. He has remained there since then.

Saturday’s verdict resulted in jubilant celebrations among the ex-president’s supporters outside the hospital and the Police Academy in Cairo where he was being tried.

Meanwhile, protests among those angered by the court’s decision broke out in other parts of the capital.

Two people were killed and nine injured following clashes with security forces, according to the Interior Ministry, as hundreds of protesters attempted to enter Tahrir Squre—the iconic epicenter of the revolt which ousted Mubarak—on Saturday evening.