Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who was forced from power in 2011 after a popular uprising broke out against him, could be released as early as this week, according to his lawyer and a legal expert.
In August, Mubarak was released from prison and placed under house arrest by Interim Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawi, using the power granted to him by the state of emergency implemented in August and ruled by a court to be lifted on Tuesday.
“Mubarak is set to be released” once the state of emergency ends, said Hussain Ebrahim, a legal expert, quoted in the Gulf News on Tuesday, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Mubarak’s defense attorney, Farid al-Deeb, echoed the legal experts statement, asserting in a statement to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm al-Sabaa on Monday that the ex-president would be released when the state of emergency ends and that the only restriction that would remain would be his prohibition on travel.
Egypt plans to lift a three-month state of emergency and curfew on Tuesday, two days earlier than expected, two government sources and a security source said.
Egypt's army-backed authorities announced the nightly curfew on Aug. 14, when security forces forcibly ended the two main sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo, prompting waves of violence in which hundreds of people have been killed.
The state of the emergency allowed the authorities to make arrests without warrants and gave security officials the right to search people's homes.
The government's decision, the security source said, came after a court ruling that the state of emergency, that includes the curfew from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., expired on Tuesday.
The cabinet said in a statement it was "committed to execute the court ruling and is waiting to receive a copy of the ruling to execute it".
Technically, that would mean that Mubarak could be free to go as soon as the government implements the ruling, unless any other obstacles are thrown up to prevent his release, which could anger some Egyptians.