Criminal Justice

Mubarak may soon be freed, his lawyer says

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Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak could be released from prison this week, according to his lawyer.

News stories differ on the reasons for the release, its timing and whether it will actually happen. Lawyer Fareed El-Deeb told CBS News that Mubarak was acquitted on Monday on charges that he stole funds intended for palace construction and he expects Mubarak to be freed in 48 hours. The lawyer also told Reuters and the Washington Post that Mubarak would soon be released; Reuters says the order came after prosecutors cleared Mubarak in a corruption case.

Mubarak was also awaiting a retrial on charges that he was complicit in the killings of hundreds of protesters by security forces in the 2011 uprising, but he should be released because of expiration of the two-year period for holding suspects awaiting trial, the Associated Press reports. The Post says Mubarak was granted bond in the protester deaths case.

Mubarak also faced trial for accepting presents from state newspapers, AP says, but he has repaid the value and his lawyers have filed a petition for his release.

The New York Times points out that there has been no official confirmation from the government that Mubarak would be set free. And the Times quotes Egyptian state media as saying Mubarak would be in prison for another two weeks.

According to the Times, “The development threatened to inject a volatile new element into the standoff between the country’s military and the Islamist supporters of the deposed President Mohamed Morsi, as Egypt entered the sixth day of a state of emergency following a bloody crackdown by the military in which hundreds of people have been killed.”

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