Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be free by Thursday due to a legal technicality but he will remain under house arrest under the terms of emergency laws enacted by the military.
The 85-year-old still faces charges related to the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising which led to his downfall, but he has already served the maximum pre-trial detention. Under Egyptian law, detainees cannot be held longer than two years without a conviction.
“This decision is not a final sentence because he is only being released on bail. The judgement does not declare him innocent. There is a big difference between a sentence and what has happened today, which is only a decision to release him on bail which is his right according to the law,” explained legal expert Hoda Nasrallah.
Mubarak will spend his remaining hours behind bars in a Cairo jail, while the month-long state of the emergency declared by the interim government remains in effect. Some fear the situation has overtones of Mubarak’s rule when the state of emergency remained in place for 31 years.