x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Mubarak 'released' over protester deaths but stays in jail

An Egyptian court has ordered the release of former president Hosni Mubarak over the deaths of protesters but he will remain in custody on new corruption charges.

CAIRO // Egypt's deposed President Hosni Mubarak will remain in custody on new corruption charges, despite a court order yesterday to release him before his retrial over the killing of protesters in the uprising against him.

The order by the Cairo Criminal Court followed Mubarak's request to be released after two years in detention without a final verdict. The court said Mubarak could be released on bail if he was not wanted for any other court cases, Egypt's state news agency said.

Prosecutors then pointed out that Mubarak had three other cases pending, and he will be held on the basis of those charges.

Mubarak, 84, has been in detention since April 2011 for trial in the main case against him – responsibility for the deaths of nearly 900 protesters during the uprising.

He was sentenced to life on June 2 last year for failing to stop the killings, but  won an appeal in January this year. The sentence was cancelled on grounds of shoddy procedures and a retrial was ordered.

The new trial convened on Saturday, but the judge recused himself, forcing a delay. A new date and a new panel of judges have yet to be determined.

Mubarak will remain in custody during investigation into three corruption cases. Prosecutors are looking into accusations that he and his family pocketed state funds designated for upkeep of the presidential palaces; that he received gifts from state media organisations; and that he profited from his public office.