Egyptian court orders that deposed president be released from prison

An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the release of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, who has been imprisoned since his ouster in 2011.

Mubarak's lawyer said the 85-year-old former strongman is expected to be freed this week after a court ordered his release, The New York Times reports. Mubarak faces a new trial on charges he was complicit in the deaths of demonstrators protesting his rule in February 2011.

The order adds new uncertainty to the explosive situation in Egypt and to the internal debates within the Obama administration on whether to continue U.S. aid to the country after last week's military crackdown against supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

The clashes between the Egyptian military and protesters left more than 1,000 people dead. 

The military-backed interim government that ordered the raids against pro-Morsi encampments has yet to publicly respond to the court order for Mubarak's release.

President Obama's call for Mubarak to leave office in 2011 helped pave the way for democratic elections that swept Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power. Morsi was himself ousted from power by the military earlier this summer.

Even as the situation in Egypt appeared to calm down on Sunday, the army acknowledged it had killed 36 Islamists who they said had tried to escape custody. Protesters say the prisoners were murdered.

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet:

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHillGlobal and @JPecquetTheHill