Ousted Egypt president Mubarak freed from detention after six years

March 25, 2017

Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian autocrat toppled during the 2011 Arab Spring, was freed Friday from the military hospital where he spent much of the past six years in detention.

The release of the 88-year-old who ruled Egypt for three decades would have been unthinkable several years ago, but revolutionary fervour gave way to exhaustion and even nostalgia in the uprising’s chaotic aftermath.

Mubarak had been cleared for release earlier this month after a top court finally acquitted him of involvement in protester deaths during the 2011 revolt that ousted him. His lawyer Farid al-Deeb said the former president had gone home to a villa in Cairo’s Heliopolis district.

Mubarak had reportedly suffered health problems during his detention. He was briefly imprisoned until he slipped in a prison shower and was then transferred to the military hospital.

Mubarak was accused of inciting the deaths of protesters during the 18-day revolt, in which about 850 people were killed as police clashed with demonstrators. He was sentenced in 2012 to life in jail, but an appeals court ordered a retrial which dismissed the charges two years later. Egypt’s top appeals court on March 2 acquitted him of involvement in the killings.

Throughout his trial prosecutors had been unable to provide conclusive evidence of Mubarak’s complicity – a result, lawyers said, of having hastily put together the case against him in 2011 following demonstrations.