International Law

Mubarak released and flown to hospital

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Deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was released from prison Thursday, then flown to a military hospital in Cairo.

The transfer from prison to house arrest comes a day after a court ordered Mubarak freed after more than two years in detention.

Citing state-run news media, the Washington Post reports that Mubarak, 85, was frail as he boarded a medically equipped helicopter headed to his chosen destination, Maadi Military Hospital.

The Post reports that Mubarak’s release was “greeted mostly with indifference here in the Arab world’s largest country—the most stunning sign yet of how outrage over Mubarak’s iron-fisted rule has faded since the Arab Spring revolt that swept him from power.”

A release sooner would have provoked outrage in the aftermath of Egypt’s 2011 uprising, the paper notes. But following the military coup to oust Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, “some met the court decision with nostalgia for Mubarak’s order,” the Post reports.

But ABC News reports that the release “enraged Islamists” and is a blow to supporters of the revolution.

“It’ll cancel everything we did for the past year, the past two years,” an Egyptian man in Cairo is quoted saying. “It’ll cancel everything we’ve been through—all the killing, all the bloodshed—it’s devastating.”

Mubarak’s release was ordered after the former president, who is appealing charges of corruption and killing protesters during the Arab Spring uprising, agreed to return or pay the value of gifts he reportedly received from state news organizations while he was in office. His assets will remain frozen. The Post notes that under Egyptian law, suspects can’t be detained for more than two years without a conviction.

The former president will be required to return to court for further judicial proceedings.

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