CAIRO: Five of six security chiefs tried with ousted president Hosni Mubarak over the deaths of protesters were to be released on Sunday, as Egypt’s state prosecutor prepares to appeal the sentences.
Thousands of people protested in Cairo for a second day after Saturday’s verdicts handed Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly life in prison over the deaths of protesters but acquitted the police commanders.
The acquittals sparked nationwide outrage and criticism from international rights groups which said the verdict could provide impunity for police violence. Five security chiefs are set to be freed, but the head of the now-dissolved state security apparatus, Hassan Abdel Rahman, will remain in prison pending investigation into another case in which he is accused of destroying state security documents.
A travel ban imposed on the six in February 2011 will remain in place, the state prosecutor said.
Thousands of people were in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square late on Sunday, joining hundreds who spent the night there after a day of protest.
Mubarak — the only autocrat toppled in the Arab Spring to be put in the dock — could have been sent to the gallows as demanded by the prosecution. He was also cleared of graft charges.
He and the security commanders were charged with complicity in the killings of some of the roughly 850 protesters killed during the uprising that overthrew him in February 2011.
On Sunday, the ex-dictator was issued regulation blue prison uniform and guards at the Cairo Tora prison took his official mugshot and gave him his prisoner number, state news agency MENA reported.