- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2013

Hosni Mubarak, the former longtime leader of Egypt, will be a free man within 48 hours, his attorney predicted, after a court on Monday acquitted him of corruption charges.

The corruption charges stemmed from allegations that the former leader and his sons stole money from Egypt’s coffers in order to work on their presidential palaces. Mr. Mubarak’s attorney, Fareed El-Deeb, said the deposed president would be freed in the face of the court’s acquittal — but not everyone agrees, CBS reported.

Mr. Mubarak still faces charges related to the killing of hundreds of protesters in the lead-up to his ouster from office. He was sentenced to life behind bars for those killings, which went forth at the hands of his own security forces while he reportedly did nothing. Mr. Mubarak has challenged those charges, and a new trial was scheduled. But court officials told The Associated Press that Mr. Mubarak may actually gain his freedom before that retrial is wrapped. That case is hitting up against a two-year deadline, and law requires the verdict to be reached during that time period, else the defendant can go free.

His freeing could complicate matters further in Egypt. The country is in turmoil, and the interim government — the one put in place after the military coup to oust former President Mohammed Morsi — is unable to calm the unrest and curb the violence, stemming mostly from Muslim Brotherhood members.

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