Six years after being arrested
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president who was forced out of office at the height of the Arab spring was released from jail Friday after final charges against him were dropped.
Mubarak spent the past six years in detention facilities.
The 88-year-old was cleared of the final murder charges against him this month, after facing trial in a litany of cases ranging from corruption to the killing of protesters whose 18-day revolt stunned the world and ended his 30-year rule.
“Yes, he is now in his home in Heliopolis,” Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid El Deeb told Reuters when asked if Mubarak had left Maadi Military hospital in southern Cairo where he had been detained. Heliopolis is an upscale neighborhood where the main presidential palace from which Mubarak once governed is located.
Mubarak was initially arrested in April 2011, two months after leaving office, and has since been held in prison and in military hospitals under heavy guard.
Many Egyptians who lived through his presidency view it as a period of stagnation, autocracy and crony capitalism. Arabs watched enraptured when the first images of the former air force commander, Egypt’s modern-day Pharaoh, were beamed live on television, showing him bed-bound in his courtroom cage.
The overthrow of Mubarak, one of a series of military men to rule Egypt since the 1952 abolition of the monarchy, embodied the hopes of the Arab Spring uprisings that shook autocrats from Tunisia to the Gulf and briefly raised hopes of a new era of democracy and social justice.
His release takes that journey full circle, marking what his critics say is the return of the old order to Egypt, where authorities have crushed Mubarak’s enemies in the Muslim Brotherhood, killing hundreds and jailing thousands, while his allies regain influence.
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