Mubarak leaves prison for house arrest

Cairo, Aug 22 (IANS) Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak arrived in a military hospital in Cairo Thursday after being freed from a prison to be put in house arrest even as supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi called for protest rallies.

A military helicopter carrying Mubarak arrived in Maadi Military Hospital in Cairo from Tora prison Thursday, Xinhua reported citing state TV.

Earlier in the day, the Egyptian prosecution had ordered the prison to release Mubarak after he was cleared of the last of his corruption cases.

On Wednesday, the court accepted Mubarak's petition over the corruption case of Ahram institution, and his lawyer paid 18.3 million Egyptian pounds (about $2.61 million)- the value of gifts which Mubarak and his two sons accepted via his information minister.

Then the court referred the case to the prosecution as the sole authority to determine Mubarak's release unless charged with other corruption cases.

In light of the state of emergency in the country, Interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi ordered that Mubarak be placed under home arrest.

According to Egypt's official news agency MENA, Mubarak chose to spend his period of home arrest in Maadi hospital, which is located in Maadi district in Cairo.

"Mubarak was transferred to the Maadi Military Hospital upon his personal request," MENA quoted Moustafa Bazz, assistant to interior minister for the prisons department sector, as saying.

Mubarak is banned from travelling abroad as he still faces a retrial on charges of involvement in the killing of protesters during the 2011 unrest that eventually toppled him.

Meanwhile, supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi called on the Egyptian people to protest against the army Friday.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, consisting of 33 Islamic movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Wednesday asked people to protest after the Friday prayer.

The alliance did not mention the venues for their rallies, according to Xinhua.

Egypt has witnessed unprecedented violent clashes since security forces dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in the country a week ago. Till now, nearly 1,000 people have been killed across the country, including some 100 policemen.

The alliance has failed over the past three days to organise massive marches, while the Egyptian authorities have detained the Muslim Brotherhood's top leader Tuesday over inciting violence and killing anti-Morsi protesters.

Islamist groups in Egypt have been accusing Morsi's ouster in early July as a "military coup".

Egypt has been undergoing a democratic transition since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak two years ago. In July this year, Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected president, was deposed by the armed forces after only one year in office.

The constitution was suspended and an interim government was then installed.

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