An Egyptian court on Saturday rejected a case against former President Hosni Mubarak for alleged involvement in the killing of protesters during a 2011 uprising against his 30-year rule.
Mubarak, along with his sons Alaa and Gamal, was also cleared on a separate corruption charge related to gas exports to Israel, but will remain in prison on other charges of embezzlement.
The court also acquitted former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his aides on charges of ordering the killings.
Mubarak had been charged with having failed to prevent the killing of hundreds of protesters during the revolt, which ultimately led to his ouster. Eight-hundred Egyptians died during the protests.
Saturday's rulings can be appealed.
In June 2012, a court sentenced Mubarak to life imprisonment on the charges, but this ruling was overturned in early 2013, and a retrial ordered. He is the first-ever Egyptian ruler to be tried and sent to prison.
He is already also serving a three-year sentence on separate embezzlement charges in a case that saw his two sons put behind bars for four years.
The 86-year-old Mubarak has been staying at an army hospital in southern Cairo on grounds of poor health. He was flown by helicopter to the Cairo Criminal Court to hear his verdict and sentencing, state media said.
Another presidential trial
His successor as president, Islamist Mohamed Morsi, is also on trial after being removed from power in July 2013 by then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who has since himself been elected to the post.
Morsi stands accused of having committed acts of violence both during the revolt against Mubarak and during later protests against his own rule that led to his own downfall.
Since Morsi's removal, Egyptian police have waged a crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood followers in which at least 1,400 peole have died.
tj/msh (AFP, dpa, Reuters)