Hosni Mubarak’s period of house arrest expired with the end of the state of emergency, his lawyer has claimed – something Egypt’s interim authorities dispute.
The former president, who was arrested in April 2011, is being retried for complicity in the killing of protesters during the popular revolt that swept him from power in January 2011.
In August, a court ordered his release because he had served the maximum term of pre-trial detention. He was placed under house arrest at a military hospital as part of the state of emergency, which a court said should end on Tuesday. He is also facing trial in three corruption cases.
“[Mubarak] now has the right to move freely in Egypt,” his lawyer Farid El-Deeb told pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday, but he will remain in hospital to “complete his treatment.”
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi told independent daily Al-Masri Al-Youm last week that Mubarak would return to prison after the state of emergency ends as lawmakers had made amendments to a law regulating pre-trial detention periods.
The changes lifted a maximum a two-year limit on pre-trial detention for defendants in cases punishable by death or a life sentence. El-Beblawi said Mubarak would be subject to the law change because his trial is still ongoing, and the change was not being imposed retroactively.
El-Beblawi’s statement was challenged by legal experts who contend the authorities cannot extend Mubarak’s detention.
A court ruled Egypt’s three-month state of emergency be lifted on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule. But authorities said they were awaiting the text of the ruling before they would implement it.
The measure was implemented on 14 August when police dispersed two protest camps in Cairo set up by loyalists of toppled president Mohamed Morsi, leaving hundreds dead.
Source: Ahram Online