Egyptian Court Orders Hosni Mubarak Freed

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 21 2013 12:39 PM

Egyptian Court Orders Hosni Mubarak Freed

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A protester carries a poster depicting the current Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and ousted president Hosni Mubarak, during a demonstration against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's landmark Tahrir square on June 28, 2013

Photo by Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

I can't imagine this is going to help bring order or peace to the current chaos in Egypt, via the Washington Post:

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could leave prison as early as Wednesday night, government officials and legal experts said, after a Cairo court ordered the release of the deposed autocrat who ruled Egypt for three decades.
Mubarak’s release would constitute a dramatic blow to the broad protest movement that forced his removal from office in February 2011. It would also lend credibility to the Islamist opposition’s claims that the old regime is reasserting itself following a July 3 military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president. Egyptian security services in recent weeks have launched a deadly crackdown against Morsi’s allies.
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The 85-year-old Mubarak was arrested after the popular uprising that overthrew him in 2011. He was later found guilty on a variety of charges last June and sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killing of roughly 900 protesters in the weeks-long uprising against his regime. That sentence, however, was later overturned and he is now being retried. According to the Associated Press, Egyptian officials no longer have any grounds to hold Mubarak thanks to an Egyptian law that sets a two-year limit for holding an individual in custody pending a final verdict.

Morsi, meanwhile, is being held at an undisclosed location on allegations of murder and spying. Earlier this month, a court extended his detention period for an additional 30 days.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.