CAIRO — Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could leave prison as early as Wednesday night, government officials and legal experts said, after a Cairo court ordered the release of the deposed autocrat who ruled Egypt for three decades.
Mubarak’s release would constitute another dramatic blow to the Islamists who participated in the broad protest movement that forced his removal from office in February 2011 and who have rallied in recent weeks against the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
The knowledge that Mubarak is no longer behind bars could provoke additional national unrest as this country spirals deeper into civil conflict.
Mubarak’s release would lend credibility to the Islamist opposition’s claims that the old regime is reasserting itself since the military coup that ousted Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president. Egyptian security services in recent weeks have launched a deadly crackdown against Morsi’s allies.
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