Hosni Mubarak was acquitted of corruption charges on Monday and could soon see the outside of a jail cell for the first time in two years.
The longtime Egyptian leader was ousted by his country in 2011 during the Arab Spring. But now his lawyer claims Mubarak will likely go free “within 48 hours.”
The corruption charges stem from allegations that Mubarak and his sons embezzled funds meant for work on presidential palaces, reports CBS News.
But despite his lawyer’s prediction, there is no confirmation that the former Egyptian dictator will go free. Along with his corruption charges, Mubarak was also facing charges related to the murder of hundreds of protesters by his security forces.
He was convicted of those charges in June 2012 and ordered to spend life in prison. However, the verdict was challenged and the case has gone to retrial.
The news of Hosni Mubarack’s acquittal will likely send shock waves through the already precarious situation in Egypt. More than 900 people have died in protests across the country since last Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Times notes that the acquittal doesn’t guarantee Mubarak will walk free. Instead, there is the possibility that prosecutors may file new charges against Mubarak. If he is released, it would mean he would be free on bail while he stands trial for the murders.
Mubarak’s release will likely incite a new wave of violence in Egypt, where the military has established an interim government after ousting former President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi was elected democratically after Mubarak’s ouster. However, he and his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, quickly became unpopular as they granted senior positions to fellow Islamist politicians.
But Morsi was removed from power by the military on July 3 after massive protests. He has been held in captivity in an unknown location since then. The ouster resulted in the nation becoming even more divided, as violence has killed thousands of people.
Do you think Hosni Mubarak will be released from jail after his acquittal on corruption charges?