On Tuesday, a court in Egypt overturned the conviction of Hosni Mubarak the former President of Egypt on corruption charges. Another trial was ordered, but the court decision removed the last legal judgment against Mubarak.
Mubarak who is 86, remains in a military hospital for undisclosed reasons. He was moved there from his prison cell during his different trials due to his health.
However, even prior to the new ruling, Mubarak had spent sufficient time in detention to allow his release for his time served.
However, his release could pose a challenge to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the new President of Egypt.
It would represent the first time in the history of Egypt that a former president would be able to live freely and openly speak his opinion.
Presidents previously either left their position in custody of the military or died while in office.
Mubarak could start to defend publicly his tenure as president and criticize the policies of el-Sisi, rallying those who were his loyalists in government and politics, which all could prove quite awkward for the sitting president.
The overturn of Mubarak’s conviction could spare Ibrahim Mehlib, the current prime minister of some embarrassment.
It is Mehlib, who was the chief executive of a construction company run by the state under Mubarak.
The court filings by the prosecution in this case charged that while under Mehlib, the construction company had helped the Mubarak family to embezzle more than $17 million during an eight-year period.
Prosecutors had accused the Mubarak family of illegally billing the Egyptian government for expenses that were personal, including landscaping, utility bills, refrigerators, furnishings, and kitchen supplies. They also accused them of falsely acquiring homes and a public palace.
Many expenses that had been related to five family owned vacation homes close to Sharm el Sheik a seaside resort city and for a farm that was to the east of Cairo, were allegedly paid for by public funds, prosecutors had said.
It is not known when or if Mubarak will leave the military hospital or if prosecutors will retry the former president.