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Mubarak awaits word on fate

CAIRO — An Egyptian court is deciding whether or not ex-President Hosni Mubarak should be released.

The former leader is awaiting a retrial for conspiring to kill protesters during the revolution that toppled him.

Reports that the court had ruled he should remain in custody on other charges have not been confirmed.

Mubarak’s lawyer argues he has spent the maximum time in prison under temporary detention, Egyptian media report.

But he remains in custody on fraud charges.

Last June, Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for killings committed during the 2011 uprising that ended his rule, but in January a retrial was ordered.

There were chaotic scenes on Saturday as the judge presiding over the retrial, Mustafa Hassan Abdullah, withdrew from the case citing his “unease” in overseeing the proceedings.

The case has been referred to a different court, which is expected to appoint a new panel to hear the retrial.

About 850 people were killed in the 2011 crackdown during the 2011 uprising which ended Mubarak’s rule.

He and former interior minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to kill protesters.

But both will be re-tried after they successfully appealed against their convictions, with Egypt’s Court of Cassation citing procedural failings.

Al-Adly will also be re-tried for corruption charges, for which he was sentenced to five and 12 years.

Hosni Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, will also be re-tried for corruption charges, of which they were found not guilty the first time round. (BBC)

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