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Hosni Mubarak Released from Prison

Maher Iskandar/AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and transported by helicopter to a military hospital Thursday in Cairo, according to Egypt’s interior ministry.

The ministry said the former dictator left Cairo’s Tora prison after the public prosecutor’s office ordered his release.

After Mubarak leaves the hospital, he’ll be placed under house arrest at an unknown location.  In a statement Wednesday night, Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi ordered the house arrest as part of the emergency laws put in place last month.  Mubarak is also barred from leaving the country under a previously issued travel ban and unable to access his foreign assets.

Cairo’s Criminal Court on Monday cleared Mubarak, 85, of an outstanding corruption charge related to illegal gifts he received while in office.

The former dictator has been behind bars since April 2011 on a lengthy list of charges.  Mubarak was sentenced last summer to life in prison for his failure to stop the killing of  hundreds of civilians during the 18-day revolution of 2011.  After appealing the decision in January, Egypt’s highest appeals court ordered a retrial.

Mubarak's release comes as Egypt reels from the ouster of its second president in two years, Mohamed Morsi, who was elected last year to replace Mubarak.

After the deadliest week in the country’s modern history, the reappearance of the embattled dictator threatens to inflame political tensions.  More than 1,000 people have reportedly been killed since last Wednesday.

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