A court in Cairo ordered the release of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday, in a long-pending corruption case. Mubarak, now 85, still faces charges of complicity [BBC report] for the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that forced him from power. Mubarak's lawyer stated that he may be released as early as Thursday, as he has now been detained for the maximum allowable time in his case. This will be the first time he has been free in more than two years. It is unclear exactly how Mubarak's release will affect Egypt, which has been subject to a state of emergency for the last week amid violent clashes [JURIST report] and a murder rate that reached 900 in the past week.
Mubarak and other members of his former administration have been the subject of controversial judicial proceedings since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began in 2011. In February an Egyptian court ordered the release [JURIST report] of Mubarak's former chief of staff. In January an Egyptian appeals judge overturned Mubarak's conviction [JURIST report] and ordered a retrial for the former president on the charge of failure to prevent the killing of more than 800 protesters in 2012. Also in January former culture minister Farouq Hosni was acquitted of charges [JURIST report] of corruption and illegal enrichment. Last August the former secretary for the Mubarak's political party, Safwat El-Sherif, was referred to criminal court [JURIST report] for abusing his position by illegally obtaining $49.2 million and real estates at discounted prices. In July an Egypt court rejected pleas to release [JURIST report] Mubarak's two sons while they await trial, even as their lawyer argued they were detained unlawfully for longer than permissible under Egyptian law. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, along with seven others, were charged [JURIST report] with stock market fraud, using unfair trading practices and illegally manipulating the market.