Report: Egyptian Court Orders Release of Hosni Mubarak

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-08_5e04ab08e2.jpgMaher Iskandar/AFP/Getty Images (CAIRO) -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may walk free soon after a court ordered his release from prison on Wednesday, Egyptian State TV reports. Pending paperwork, the former leader could be out of jail by Thursday.  Prosecutors are not expected to appeal the court’s decision to release him.

However, Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi says Mubarak will still be put under house arrest as part of the emergency measures instituted due to civil unrest.

Earlier this week, Cairo's Criminal Court acquitted Mubarak, 85, of an outstanding corruption charge. The case was related to illegal gifts the deposed president allegedly received while in office, but he recently repaid the monetary value of those gifts in an effort to expedite his release.

Mubarak has been behind bars since April 2011 on a lengthy and growing list of charges. Last summer, he was sentenced to life in prison for his failure to stop the killing of hundreds of civilians during the 18-day revolution of 2011.

The news comes as Egypt descends into chaos after the ouster of its second president in two years, Mohamed Morsi, who was elected last year to replace Mubarak.

After the deadliest week in the country’s modern history, the reappearance of the embattled dictator threatens to inflame political tensions. More than 1,000 people have reportedly been killed since last Wednesday.

During Morsi’s presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood was keen to keep Mubarak locked up. But after the July 3 military takeover that removed the Brotherhood from power, his release will likely bolster the Islamists’ claims that the old regime is making a comeback.

Many of the new government’s leaders also served under Mubarak. Egypt’s army chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, was Mubarak’s head of intelligence and the interim president, Adly Mansour, was initially promoted by Mubarak.

Meanwhile, two more senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders were arrested earlier Wednesday.

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