Hosni Mubarak, 85, Egypt’s former president was released from jail by a court order. A Judge in Cairo found that the former Autocrat could not be held legally because there were no grounds to keep him imprisoned. The former president faced allegations that he improperly received gifts from a state publishing house while in office. However, Mubarak remains on house arrest and faces trial dates for other criminal allegations.
Mubarak had paid restitution in regards to his allegations which prevented prosecutors from appealing the judge’s decision. The state was repaid several million dollars for gifts such as watches and expensive jewelry accepted by the former head of state. Mubarak had completed this deed as a part of the settlement agreement related to his legal proceedings.
The current protestors on the front lines of Egypt’s turmoil had no public response to the announcement of Mubarak’s release. They had instigated his removal from office which led to investigations into his regime. Political analysts have postulated Mubarak has been replaced as an object of rage in the eye’s of the Egyptian public for government inefficiency.
Islamist backed Mohammed Morsi has garnered the public’s violence and Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak’s release from jail is of no immediate consequence. Egyptian activists have suggested that thousands have died as a result of clashes around the removal of Morsi. Muslim Brotherhood leaders continue to back Morsi and oppose Egypt’s interim government.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders expressed no surprise in the announcement and contend the release is an attempt to resurrect former Mubarak politically. “When the coup happened, there was no longer any revolutionary force to stand in the way of his release,” said Gehad al Haddad, spokesperson for the Freedom and Justice Party.
Leaders of Tamarod, the petition-gathering campaign that organized against Morsi, believed Mubarak should be put on a “popular trail” for his crimes. They feel that Mubarak had gotten away from criminal activities inflicted during the 2011 revolt. The Justice system remains unfulfilled in the charges of corruption allegations and the killing of protesters during the upheaval.
Many major figures in Egypt’s judiciary are of the opinion that the release was largely protocol. However, most were appointed by Mubarak during his administration. “This is an insult to the Egyptian legal system that is just implementing the law, and I completely refuse such allegations,” said Tahani Al Gibali, a former judge in Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court. “Mubarak is being treated just like any other ordinary citizen under criminal law.”
The release of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak from jail will do little to derail containment of the Morsi movement. “We’re fully backing the state in its war against terrorism,” said Shadi Al Ghazali Harb, a secular-leaning activist. “We will not give up or withdraw from this battle against terrorism because of such a verdict.”
By Thomas Barr