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Egypt court overturns last Mubarak conviction

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-01-14 09:48

Nasser Amin, a judicial reform activist who also sits on the National Human Rights council, believes the political authorities in el-Sissi's Egypt will use all means to keep Mubarak and his sons in custody _ if not serving sentences, then facing some sort of litigation.

"Despite all signs that things are going back to the past, letting Mubarak and his sons out is a different story. It means that all what happened in 2011 was a joke, and the current regime can't afford this and it is not in their interest either," Amin said.

Mubarak was ordered released once before, in July 2013, when his time of detention ran out amid ongoing trials. But the government stepped in and used its executive powers to keep Mubarak under house arrest. Only a month earlier, el-Sissi had led the military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, elected after Mubarak's fall, and the government likely didn't want Mubarak's release to create the impression it was bringing back his autocracy.

A Mubarak release could revitalize el-Sissi's Islamist opposition, which has been nearly crushed by a heavy security crackdown the past year and is looking for a way to boost its protests and appeal to other disgruntled groups. Ahead of parliamentary elections set to start in March, the government may be reluctant to raise anger.

Amin said el-Sissi is trying to balance between lingering public sentiment against Mubarak and his regime, and Mubarak loyalists who still pack much of the bureaucracy, the judiciary and the business community.

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