A Cairo court has ordered the release of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, after he served the maximum two years in temporary detention. He had been granted a retrial for complicity in the deaths of protesters.
Although the Court of Appeals ordered Mubarak's release on Monday, the deposed Egyptian president will remain in custody pending an investigation into corruption charges.
In June 2012, Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent the deaths of more than 800 protesters during Egypt's 18-day uprising in 2011, which ultimately forced his resignation after three decades in power. Habib el-Adly, the interior minister and chief of police during the uprising, was convicted on the same charges as Mubarak.
But an appeals court overturned the convictions last January and granted Mubarak and el-Adly retrials, saying the prosecution had failed to present concrete evidence that police were responsible for the protesters' deaths.
"The investigations took place in just one month, which is not enough time to review all the cases of killing across Egypt," Hoda Nasrallah, a rights lawyer representing 65 of the victims' families, told the Associated Press. "There are reports in the media that there will be new evidence submitted, but we're waiting to see if that's true."
Although the retrial had originally been scheduled to begin over the weekend, the proceeding was postponed after presiding judge Mostafa Hassan recused himself, citing a conflict of interest and referring the case again to an appeals court to select a new judge.
Hassan did not describe the conflict of interest during Saturday's hearing. But in October, he created a public uproar by acquitting 25 Mubarak loyalists accused of organizing an attack on protesters in Tahrir Square on camel-back. Many members of the Egyptian judiciary were appointed during Mubarak's reign.
Mubarak is also being investigated on corruption charges, along with his two sons Alaa and Gamal as well as a longtime business associate, Hussein Salem.
The 84-year-old has suffered health problems since his overthrow and is currently being housed in a military hospital in southern Cairo.
slk/msh (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)