- Created on 22 August 2013
Egyptian medics escort former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 85, into an ambulance after he was flown by a helicopter ambulance to the Maadi Military Hospital from Torah prison in, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak has been released from jail and taken to military hospital in Cairo. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, wearing a white shirt and loafers while flashing a smile, was released from prison Thursday and transported to a military hospital in a Cairo suburb where he will be held under house arrest.
Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi had ordered that Mubarak be put under house arrest as part of the emergency measures imposed this month after a wave of violence sparked by the ouster of Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi, who had succeeded Mubarak as Egypt's first freely elected President.
Footage on private TV stations showed the helicopter carrying the 85-year-old Mubarak landing at the pad outside the military hospital, which sits on the banks of the Nile. He was immediately transported to an ambulance and moved across the street to the hospital.
An Associated Press photo shows Mubarak on a gurney being transported onto an ambulance amid tight security. He was wearing sunglasses and dressed in a white shirt, beige pants and white loafers. He flashed a smile and held his arms behind his head while medics pushed his gurney into the ambulance.
As the ambulance drove across the street and into the main gate of the military hospital, guards, some with their handguns drawn, and soldiers ran after the vehicle, possibly for fear that the ex-president could be the target of an attack.
Thursday's move followed a court decision ordering Mubarak's release in relation to charges of receiving gifts from a state-owned newspaper.
The release threatened to stoke the unrest as the Arab nation is already roiled in a crisis over a military coup against Morsi.
But the decision to place him under house arrest instead of letting him go free appeared designed to ease some of the criticism over releasing Mubarak and to ensure that he appears in court next week for a separate trial.
Despite his release, the 85-year-old ousted leader still faces retrial on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising against him, which could put him back behind bars. His court case resumes next week. He also is being investigated in at least two other corruption cases.
State TV said a medically equipped helicopter transported Mubarak to the military hospital in the southern Maadi suburb.
Mubarak was held for several weeks of his two years detention in the same hospital as he underwent medical check-ups. His lawyers had cited bad conditions in the prison facilities. Prison authorities had renovated a ward where he was later kept.
Since his ouster, Mubarak's supporters have released conflicting details about his health, including that he suffered a stroke, a heart attack and at times went into a coma. His critics called these an attempt to gain public sympathy and court leniency.
His wife, Suzanne, has been living in Cairo and keeping a low-profile, occasionally visiting Mubarak and their two sons in prison.
The prospect of Mubarak being freed, even if only temporarily, would feed into the larger crisis bedeviling Egypt: the violent fallout from the July 3 coup that unseated Morsi.
- Created on 21 August 2013
CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court ordered Wednesday the release of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, but it is not yet clear if the ailing ex-leader will walk free after over two years in detention, officials said.
Prosecutors may appeal the order, which comes following a hearing on charges against Mubarak of accepting gifts from a state-owned newspaper, the last case that has kept him in detention. It is not known if they will file they appeal.
The possibility of Mubarak going free is likely to fuel the unrest already roiling the country after the autocratic leader's successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, was removed in a military coup last month.
Top prison official Mostafa Baz told the private CBC TV station that his offices will ask the prosecutors Thursday if Mubarak is wanted in other cases. If not, he would be set free.
The hearing was held in Tora prison, where Mubarak, 85, has been held for most of his detention since April 2011. Officials cited security concerns as the reason for holding it in the sprawling, tightly secured facility.
Mubarak is now on trial for the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising against him and other charges.
He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to stop the killing of some 900 protesters in Egypt's 2011 uprising. His sentence was overturned on appeal and he is now being retried, along with his security chief and six top police commanders. His trial resumes later this month.
He is facing a number of other corruption charges, but no other trial dates have been set.
The court officials spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
Rights lawyer and judicial expert Nasser Amin said procedurally Mubarak should have been released since his sentence was overturned, but that the political circumstances may delay letting him go.
"His release will cause chaos," he said. "It will be used by Islamists as proof of the return of the old regime."
Egyptian authorities have continued their crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, arresting the group's supreme leader and other senior figures and sending them to trial.
- Created on 19 August 2013
Source: ABC World News
- Created on 19 August 2013
Cairo (CNN) -- Egypt remained a powder keg Monday, with 25 soldiers killed in a Sinai ambush and onetime ruler Hosni Mubarak winning acquittal on a corruption charge.
Suspected militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades struck two buses carrying security forces and killed the soldiers in the city of Rafah, on the border between Egypt and Gaza, state-run Nile TV reported.
The Sinai Peninsula is a lawless area that was the site of frequent attacks even before Egypt's latest round of turmoil. In May, for example, seven Egyptian solders were kidnapped and held for six days there, a spokesman for Egypt's armed forces said.
But the attack underscores the persistent tension across the country since the military ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsy in a coup.
Over the past week, about 900 people -- security forces as well as citizens -- have been killed.
Deaths occurred when the military used force to clear two pro-Morsy sit-in sites in Cairo on Wednesday and violence raged after pro-Morsy supporters staged demonstrations Friday.
On Sunday, at least 36 jailed members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement, were killed in what the Interior Ministry called an attempted jailbreak.
Morsy supporters, many of whom are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and those aligned with the military-backed interim government blame each other for stoking the violence.
As for the Sinai ambush, the Brotherhood condemned the attack on Egyptian soldiers.
"Our peaceful protests (are) stronger than any weapon, and we don't accept any violence," said Murad Mohamad Ali, media adviser to the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.
International response called weak, ineffective
The carnage has spurred a call from leading human rights group Amnesty International for a "full, impartial and effective investigation in the shocking loss of life."
"The interim government has already stained its human rights record -- first by breaking its promises to use nonlethal weapons to disperse pro-Morsi sit-ins and allow for the safe exit of wounded, and then by justifying their actions despite the tragic loss of lives," said Salil Shetty, secretary-general of Amnesty International.
"The response of the international community has been weak and ineffective, even as everyone leaps to condemn the horrific loss of life. The international community must act decisively to send a message that no government can behave this way and retain any credibility."
The group documented a rise in civil strife since the July 3 coup and cited "a string of serious human rights abuses, culminating in the wholesale attack by the security forces" on pro-Morsy sit-ins last week.
"These abuses have included an alarming and unprecedented rise in sectarian violence against Coptic Christians across the country, "seemingly in retaliation for their support" for Morsy's ouster.
It cited abuses by pro-Morsy protesters "including beatings, torture and killings.
"In recent days, the scale of violence by some Morsy supporters have manifestly increased, as some attacked government buildings and police stations and personnel. Some protesters have also fired live ammunition on local residents," Amnesty said.
The crackdown also spurred a call from a leading U.S. senator, John McCain, to cut off its $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt. He said the United States has failed to follow its own rule requiring suspending aid to states overtaken by a military coup -- though the U.S. has not officially described the recent regime change in Egypt as a coup.
"We have no credibility. We do have influence, but when you don't use that influence, then you do not have that influence," McCain said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
But Saudi Arabia's foreign minister assured Egyptians that Arab nations will support Egypt if any international aid to the country is cut, the Saudi Press Agency reported Monday.
"The Arab and Islamic nation is rich when it comes to the support of its sons and its potentials and will not shy away from providing a helping hand to Egypt," Saud Al-Faisal said.
Mubarak in court
As the upheaval persists in Egypt, Mubarak's court cases grind on. In Cairo, a criminal court acquitted the former president in a corruption case, Egyptian state TV reported Monday.
The case stemmed from accusations of squandering public money allocated for renovating presidential palaces. He also faces at least one other outstanding corruption claim.
Separately, Mubarak is also facing a more serious accusation: that he was involved in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising.
A Cairo court on Saturday adjourned a retrial in that case to Sunday, August 25.
Mubarak ruled Egypt, the most populous Arab country, for three decades until demonstrators opposing his rule forced his ouster in 2011. He was convicted in 2012 in the deaths of numerous protesters, but was later granted a retrial.
After a lengthy trial, he and his former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison last year on charges that they were complicit in the protesters' killings. After appealing their convictions, they were granted a new trial early this year.
Mubarak has been held since his guilty verdict last year. After months spent in a military hospital, a public prosecutor sent him back to prison in April.
The ousted autocratic leader's health has been a bone of contention during his trial and incarceration. He suffered a heart attack after relinquishing power and had said that he was physically unfit to stand trial.