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Monday, August 19, 2013

Egypt’s Former Dictator May Be Released

In this April 13, 2013, photo, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak waves to his supporters from behind bars as he attends a hearing in his retrial on appeal in Cairo, Egypt. (AP)

In this April 13, 2013, photo, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak waves to his supporters from behind bars as he attends a hearing in his retrial on appeal in Cairo, Egypt. (AP)

Officials in Egypt say they have no grounds to hold former President Hosni Mubarak in custody, and he could be released this week.

That notice came with news that Islamic militants killed 25 policemen in the Sinai peninsula this morning, after ambushing their mini-buses.

An Egyptian court has ruled that the government must release the country’s former ruler, Hosni Mubarak, because it had reached the two year limit for holding someone in custody pending a verdict.

Mubarak is being re-tried for the killings of pro-democracy demonstrators during the protests that brought down his rule.

He was found guilty at an initial trial and sentenced to life in prison. That sentence was overturned and he is now being tried again on the same charges.

The news that he might be released adds to the volatility in the country where nearly 1,000 people have been killed since the government conducted violent raids on peaceful Islamist demonstrators and declared a month long state of emergency six days ago.

Over the weekend, the government admitted that security forces had killed 36 prisoners while transporting them.

Tensions have been on the rise since the Egyptian army ousted and arrested the country’s democratically-elected President Mohammed Morsi on July 3.

Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the group has fought back against the government since that coup, with peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins, and now with increasingly violent actions.

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