Egypt court overturns last Mubarak conviction
Updated: 2015-01-14 09:48
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak waves to his supporters from his stretcher as he returns to Maadi military hospital in Cairo Nov 29, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
CAIRO - An appeals court on Tuesday overturned the last remaining conviction against Egypt's deposed leader Hosni Mubarak and ordered his retrial on corruption charges, opening the door for his possible release.
The ruling, just days before the fourth anniversary of the start of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising, pointed to how far Egypt has moved away from its revolutionary fervor to "bring down the regime." The rise to power of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who has vowed stability after four years of turmoil, has encouraged Mubarak supporters and upended the depiction of the revolution in the media, where activists are most often cast as troublemakers of foreign agents.
Another court cleared Mubarak, who will turn 87 in May, in the biggest case against him, dismissing in the end of November charges of responsibility for the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising. Meanwhile, hundreds of the young activists and pro-change leaders from 2011 are either languishing in prison on charges of breaking a law against protests or have left the country.
The next steps for Mubarak are difficult to predict. El-Sissi may be happy to keep Mubarak and his two sons in a state of legal limbo where the ousted leader is neither outright freed or firmly convicted and punished _ thus avoiding alienating either Mubarak's supporters or opponents.
El-Sissi, the former head of the military, has carefully distanced himself from Mubarak. After the court ruling dropping charges against Mubarak in November, el-Sissi lashed out at the former president in a private meeting that was leaked by local reporters. He said that during his nearly 30 year rule, Mubarak "wrecked the nation" and it would need another 30 years to repair. Publicly, he said the country "won't go back to the past" and ordered a review of the law that caused the case to be dismissed on a technicality.