The deposed former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak could be released from prison imminently, cleared of corruption, engulfing the country in a new crisis just days after some of the bloodiest protests in its recent history.
Mubarak was arrested after a popular uprising overthrew him in February 2011, a big name casualty of the Arab Spring. His elected successor, President Mohamed Mursi, was similarly ousted on July 3 this year after huge protests against him, and an overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood government by the security forces.
Mubarak, along with his interior minister, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to stop the killing of protesters. He still faces a retrial in that case after successful appeals from the prosecution and defence.
The only charge that remains against him is a corruption case that is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours. He should be freed by the end of the week," his lawyer, Fareed el-Deeb told Reuters.
A judicial source told the news agency that Mubarak would spend at least another fortnight behind bars in Tora prison on the southern outskirts of Cairo, before the final decision was made in his case.