CAIRO — Deposed leader Hosni Mubarak was due to leave jail today by court order after a week of bloody turmoil in which Egypt’s new army-backed rulers cracked down on ousted President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Mubarak’s immediate destination will be the military’s International Medical Centre, a hospital northeast of Cairo, where he will remain under guard, according to his lawyer, as well as medical and security sources.
The prime minister’s office said Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years until he was overthrown in 2011 as uprisings swept the Arab world, would be placed under house arrest.
That decision was made under a month-long state of emergency declared last week when police stormed protest camps set up in Cairo by Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood to demand his reinstatement.
About 900 people, including some 100 soldiers and police, have been killed in violence across Egypt since then, making it the bloodiest bout of internal strife in the republic’s history.
Mubarak’s imminent release dismayed some Egyptians.
“Mubarak is a man who destroyed this country. And now he’s going to walk free?” asked a man who said he was trying to find out if his brother, arrested on Saturday, was in Cairo’s Tora prison, where the 85-year-old former president is held.
“Egypt is on the brink, and God knows where we are going,” said the man with graying hair and a close-trimmed beard.
He would not give his name, describing himself as a Mursi supporter but not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He was among about 75 people queuing at the prison gate in scorching heat to visit family members inside. There were no anti-Mubarak protesters or reporters from Egyptian state media. (Reuters)