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Court orders release of Hosni Mubarak, former Egyptian president

An Egyptian court ordered the release of Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt who was ousted in 2011, but he might be placed under house arrest.

Hosni Mubarak freed Egypt crisis 19 8 2013Enlarge
An image from Egyptian state television Al-Masriya shows ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sitting behind the defendant's cage during his retrial at the Police Academy in Cairo on June 8, 2013. His lawyer said on August 19 that Mubarak would be free within 48 hours. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

An Egyptian court Wednesday ordered the release of Hosni Mubarak, who served as Egypt's president until he was ousted in 2011.

Mubarak, who was facing charges of corruption, may not be released on Wednesday, the BBC reported. Citing reports from Cairo, the BBC said he might be freed on Thursday.

Mubarak's lawyer said on Monday that Mubarak could be free within 48 hours.

Egyptian state television said the former leader would be placed under house arrest following his release, according to the Associated Press.

Interim Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said the house arrest was part of emergency measures put in place this month, according to the AP.

On Monday, an Egyptian court dropped one corruption charge against Mubarak, while another was pending.

His lawyer, Fareed el-Deeb, told Reuters, "All we have left is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours. He should be freed by the end of the week."

Mubarak was Egypt's ruler for 30 years until a popular uprising in 2011 forced him from office. He was convicted last year in connection with the deaths of protesters at the hands of the authorities, and sentenced to life in prison.

The news comes at a time of turmoil in Egypt, with the army ousting a democratically-elected Islamist leader, President Mohamed Morsi, from power on July 3.

Human rights lawyer Nasser Amin said Mubarak's release would cause chaos and be "used by Islamists as proof of the return of the old regime ... and can lead to new alliances between revolutionary groups and political Islam," according to the AP.

Clashes between pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood supporters, the armed forces and pro-democracy protesters have continued since the ouster of Morsi, with last week culminating in anywhere between 800 and 1,000 people being killed.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/130821/court-orders-release-hosni-mubarak-former-egyptian-pr