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Former Egyptian President Mubarak to be released

Former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown in the 2011 Arab Spring, will be released from detention this week, prosecutors have said. Egypt's top appeals court last week cleared Mubarak of murder charges.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be released from detention this week, after he was acquitted of involvement in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising.

Mubarak's lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, said that the former president would be allowed to return home to Heliopolis "when the doctors decide he is able to do so." Mubarak, believed to be seriously ill, has been in detention at a Cairo military hospital, where he has spent most of his time since being overthrown and arrested in 2011.

Last week, Mubarak was acquitted of murder charges by Egypt's top appeals court. He was accused of inciting the deaths of protestors during the 18-revolt that ended his 30-year rule. An estimated 850 people died during the 2011 revolt.

He was originally sentenced to life in 2012 for conspiring in the murder of 239 demonstrators; however an appeals court dropped the charges against the former president and his senior officials two years later. An appeal by the public prosecution then led to a final retrial by the Court of Cassation, the highest in the country, which acquitted Mubarak on March 2.

Mubarak and his sons, Alaa and Gamal, were also handed three-year prison sentences for corruption charges after being found guilty of appropriating funds reserved for maintaining presidential palaces. However, the prosecution subtracted time already served. Both his sons have also been freed.

Mubarak's acquittal means that most charges brought against former Mubarak regime members have been dismissed.

Despite inspiring hope for democracy in Egypt, the uprising has effectively sowed years of instability and created a security vacuum. Mubarak's Islamist successor, Mohamed Morsi, only served for a year before the military ousted and detained him in 2013, launching a violent crackdown on his supporters.

Critics say that many of the abuses they fought under Mubarak have returned under current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi - a former army chief who ousted Morsi.

dm/rc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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