On Monday Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek approved the release of ousted president Hosni Mubarak following his acquittal on 2 March on charges of any responsibility for the killing of protesters during the 25 January 2011 uprising against his rule.
Mubarak had been expected to leave South Cairo’s Maadi Military Hospital on Monday and return home to the Cairo district of Heliopolis. Mubarak’s lawyer Farid Al-Deeb, however, said Mubarak would be released on Tuesday owing to medical reasons.
Al-Deeb said the release order was issued by East Cairo’s top prosecutor Ibrahim Saleh.
“I expect that President Mubarak will return to his home in Heliopolis. It is the house he has lived in since becoming president of Egypt in October 1981,” said Al-Deeb.
Al-Deeb dismissed reports that Mubarak will be under house arrest.
“In 2013, under the state of emergency then in effect, Mubarak was not allowed to move freely and was confined to the Maadi hospital,” said Al-Deeb. “This arbitrary order was revoked when the state of emergency was lifted. He is now free.”
After six years of court hearings the Court of Cassation — Egypt’s highest judicial authority — acquitted Mubarak of manslaughter charges on 2 March.
In November 2014 Mubarak was also acquitted of corruption charges relating to the sale of natural gas to Israel.
In his deposition Al-Deeb said Mubarak should be released because he had served more than five years in detention. Mubarak was sentenced to three years in prison on 9 May 2015 after being convicted of embezzling public funds earmarked for the maintenance of presidential palaces.
The 88-year-old Mubarak has been confined to Maadi Military Hospital for treatment since 2012.
Speculation has been rife since Mubarak’s acquittal that he wants to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the hajj, or pilgrimage. But according to legal experts Mubarak will not be able to travel abroad because he is still being investigated by the Ministry of Justice’s Illicit Gains Apparatus (IGA).
On 11 March the Higher Administrative Court decided that Mubarak could appeal an earlier verdict under which he, and others, were fined LE540 million for the damage done to the economy when Internet communications were cut during the 2011 uprising.