CAIRO - A court ordered the release of Egypt’s imprisoned ex-president Hosni Mubarak over corruption charges on Monday, but he still faces a raft of other cases that could keep him behind bars.
The former authoritarian leader, who was deposed in the 2011 Arab Spring, has already been convicted and sentenced to life in prison in a separate case over the death of protesters. He has secured a retrial over that conviction, but faces other allegations.
“In the next few days, we will be submitting a request for his release on the basis that he is being unjustly held,” said Yousri Abdul Razak, one of Mubarak’s lawyers.
“He will be released very soon, God willing.”
However, another judicial source said that release was unlikely.
Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades, was arrested in the 2011 revolution and is still begin held in a prison outside Cairo.
His first trial, over the death of protesters who were killed by his security forces, was keenly watched across the Arab world.
News of Mubarak’s future came hours after masked gunmen attacked minibuses carrying Egyptian police officers on Monday, fatally shooting 25 of them, according to a security source and the country’s interim government.
“At 9:30 a.m, 28 police conscripts in two civilian minibuses on their way back from vacation were traveling to Rafah and were attacked by masked armed gunmen who ordered them down and opened fire with machine guns, killing 25 and critically wounding three who are now in hospital,” the security source said.
Militants ambushed bus carrying off-duty policemen in Egy’s N.Sinai,killing 25 of them EXECUTION-STYLE.Egypt will hunt and kill terrorists.
— Egyptian Cabinet (@Cabinet_eg) August 19, 2013
The Associated Press reported that the policemen were not in their uniforms when they were killed. The attack occurred near the north Sinai town of Rafah, which is close to the border with Israel.
Attacks by Islamist militants in the lawless north Sinai region have intensified since the army overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3. The military has imposed a state of emergency amid the nationwide unrest that followed Morsi’s ouster and parts of the country have been placed under a nighttime curfew.
Morsi, like Mubarak, is now being held in a prison. The interim government accuses him of colluding with Palestinian militant group, Hamas.
More than 800 people have died since Wednesday, when the army stormed pro-Morsi encampments in the capital Cairo.