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Egypt court orders release of Mubarak

A Cairo Court of Appeals ordered the release of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile; JURIST news archive] on Monday, as he served the maximum two years in temporary detention. However, he will remain in custody [Aljazeera report] until his fraud charges are adjudicated. Mubarak was originally sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] after being found guilty of charges related to the killing of protesters during a 2011 uprising. However in January, an Egyptian appeals judge overturned Mubarak's conviction [JURIST report] and life sentence and ordered a re-trial for the former president. The judge did not state his reasoning for a new trial, however the initial trial judge made it clear during the trial in June that the prosecution lacked hard evidence to support the conviction. The new trial began on Saturday and ended just minutes later when Judge Mostafa Hassan Abdallah recused himself [JURIST report], further delaying the justice process and aggravating citizens who are already suspicious of the justice system.

Mubarak and members of his former government have been the subject of controversial judicial proceedings since the start of the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] 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 life sentence 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 a criminal court [JURIST report] for abusing his office by obtaining real estates at discounted prices and illegally obtaining $49.2 million. In July an Egyptian court rejected pleas to release [JURIST report] Mubarak's two sons while they await trial, although 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.

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