Egypt releases Mubarak's chief of staff

2013-02-14 18:51:52 GMT2013-02-15 02:51:52(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CAIRO, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian authorities on Thursday released Zakaria Azmy, former chief of staff of ex-president Hosni Mubarak and one of his closest long-time aides, according to a court order, official news agency MENA reported.

Azmy was released after detectives made sure he did not have any criminal record nor was he wanted in other lawsuits.

Cairo Criminal Court decided Wednesday to release Azmy, who is currently facing profiteering and corruption charges, based on his appeal. Azmy's lawyers demanded his release, as Court of Cassation decided to retry his case and the man had been temporarily detained for about 22 months, although the maximum period of detention without conviction was 18 months.

Similarly, the Court of Cassation has recently accepted the appeals of former prime minister Ahmed Nazif, former interior minister Habib al-Adli, fugitive former finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali and former tourism minister Zuhair Garana and decided to retry them over similar charges.

The court also released former Shura Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Safwat al-Sherif last week for exceeding 18 months in temporary custody over charges of corruption and illicit gains. Al-Sherif was acquitted in October 2012 of involvement in an attack publicly known as "the Battle of the Camel," which killed at least 21 protesters and injured hundreds in Tahrir Square during 2011 upheaval.

Azmy, al-Sherif and other top figures of former regime, including Mubarak himself, were arrested over different charges in the wake of 2011 uprising.

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