Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who reluctantly left office in February 2011 amid historic protests, may be released from prison sometime in the next few weeks, according to various reports.
Mubarak, now 85, was ordered to stand trial in May 2011 for the premeditated murder of at least 900 peaceful demonstrators during the revolution. He was found guilty in June 2012, but his life-in-prison sentence was later overturned, and a retrial was ordered.
Under Egyptian law, Mubarak can only stay imprisoned for two years without a final verdict; according to Reuters, the only thing keeping him in custody is a corruption case that will soon be settled.
“All we have left is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours,” Mubarak’s lawyer Fareed el-Deeb told the news wire. “He should be freed by the end of the week.”
Over the last two years, there have been three court orders for Mubarak’s release, according to the Associated Press: first in the protester killings case, then in an illegal earnings case, and the third in an embezzlement case — a decision that came down on Monday.
Mubarak’s defense team believes the government must now defer to the country’s two-year legal holding limit and release Mubarak.
A judicial official told Reuters and The Washington Post that Mubarak will be held at Egypt’s Tora prison for at least another two weeks.
Update — Aug. 21, 8:40 a.m., EDT: A court has ordered Mubarak’s release.
Reuters reports that Mubarak “could leave prison later in the day as there is no longer any legal grounds for his detention.”
But according to CNN, citing a report from state-run newspaper Al-Ahram, Mubarak will remain in custody for 48 more hours to allow prosecutors to appeal, if they wish.