FORMER PRESIDENT OF EGYPT MUBARAK BACK WITH FAMILY
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.