Egypt: Mubarak Asks for Release, House Arrest

Counselor Khaled Saleem, Head of the Illicit Gains Agency (IGA)'s investigations panel, questioned former president Hosni Mubarak over charges of misuse of power over 30 years for nearly 90 minutes, which ended with renewing his custody at the Tora Prison hospital.

Mubarak's defense, renowned lawyer Fareed al-Deeb, asked for releasing the former president, who spent two years in custody, adding nothing should justify keeping an 85-year-old ailing Mubarak under custody.

Deeb protested with articles in the law that allow aging and sick defendants to be released and placed under house arrest.

The investigator accused Mubarak of misuse of power during his time as president to amass fortunes exceeding LE3 billion, in and outside Egypt, for himself and his sons Alaa and Gamal.

Defending its ruling on April 15 regarding setting former president Hosni Mubarak free, Cairo Criminal Court said the release order was made as per law, which stipulates the maximum temporary custody of defendants be 24 months in cases of committing crimes whose punishment may range from life sentence to death penalty.

Procedural laws have texts which hinder the achievement of genuine justice, the court said.

The court added that the Criminal Procedures Code does not match the revolution in the country.

Any other talks will trigger confrontations between the judiciary and the people and undermine their confidence in it, and thus a complete failure to realize justice is to follow, the court warned.

Legislators are free to amend procedural, criminal texts which are unable to handle the current situation in the country in order to create a mechanism that helps judges achieve aspirations of the nation.

Among the texts that should be amended is Article 143 of the Criminal Procedure Code in order to give the judges the authority to slap temporary custody on defendants.

Mubarak was released pending his retrial in the case of killing demonstrators and committing financial corruption crime.

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