The Denver Post - - NEWS - The As­so­ci­ated Press

cairo» Far from the cam­eras that fol­lowed him closely over six years of le­gal wran­gling, Egypt’s ousted Pres­i­dent Hosni Mubarak qui­etly re­turned home to his fam­ily on Fri­day af­ter win­ning ac­quit­tals and re­lease from a Cairo hos­pi­tal where he had been de­tained for years. The 88-year-old one­time au­to­cratic ruler now walks free, ac­quit­ted over his role in the killings of hun­dreds of pro­test­ers who de­fied his rule. He cap­tured the world’s at­ten­tion when he stepped down in re­sponse to an 18-day up­ris­ing, and once again when he ap­peared — then jar­ringly — be­hind the bars of the de­fen­dant’s cage in a trial that me­dia dubbed “the trial of the cen­tury.”

With muted street re­ac­tion, his dis­creet re­lease un­der­scored once again the failed as­pi­ra­tions of the Arab up­ris­ings that swept across the re­gion in 2011. The hopes car­ried by Egyp­tian ac­tivists that the for­mer au­to­crat would be more se­verely pun­ished for his abuse of power have been scut­tled.

While Arab Spring up­ris­ings led to the col­lapse of cen­tral gov­ern­ments in coun­tries such as Ye­men, Libya and Syria, Egypt man­aged to avoid a com­plete break­down post Mubarak. But since his ouster, heavy-handed rule has re­turned to the coun­try in full force, and its econ­omy has tanked.

Mubarak left the Armed Forces Hos­pi­tal in Cairo’s south­ern leafy sub­urb of Maadi, where he had spent most of his de­ten­tion since the 2011 re­volt, and was driven in a mo­tor­cade to his home in the up­scale He­liopo­lis district un­der heavy se­cu­rity, ac­cord­ing to an Egyp­tian se­cu­rity of­fi­cial.


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