Mubarak to be freed from prison
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is to be freed from Cairo’s Tora prison after an Egyptian court ordered his release on bail yesterday.
The Egyptian media reported that the 85-year-old might be freed from jail on Thursday although he would be put under house arrest, his assets would remain frozen and he would not be allowed to leave the country.
Badr Abdellaty, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said: “Under the Egyptian law, suspects cannot be held for more than two years without a conviction. Mubarak has reached the two year-limit, so he can stay at home.”
Mubarak faces charges of complicity in the killing of 800 protesters during the 18 day uprising in 2011, when he was overthrown by the first democratically elected Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in jail last year, but a retrial was later opened in May after his appeal was upheld.
According to a state newspaper, Wednesday’s decision ordered by the court cannot be appealed. Yasir Mohammed Sayyid Ahmad, a lawyer who represents families of the Egyptian killed in 2011 revolution by Mubarak’s forces said: “The prosecution has no legal ground to appeal the decision of his release, as Mubarak paid back the money he took, and has no legal ground for his detention.”
Wednesday’s court’s order has had mixed reactions from the people of Egypt, some Mubarak supporters launched a Facebook page to promote his candidacy for the presidency next year, while others have condemned the decision.
His release comes at a highly volatile moment after hundreds of Islamist protesters were killed and members of the Muslim Brotherhood – the movement supporting Morsi – were detained last week.
Hours after the decision was made, the European Union foreign ministry held urgent talks and decided that EU was suspending the sale of security equipment and arms to Egypt for fear of hurting the already suffering ordinary Egyptians.
Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy head, said: “We strongly condemn all acts of violence and we do believe the recent actions of the military have been disproportionate.”
Earlier, the 28 EU foreign ministers called on the military authorities and the supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement to resume negotiations to avoid further bloodshed.