Hosni Mubarak is expected to be released from prison as early as tomorrow, but he won't exactly be a free man: He'll be under house arrest. That announcement came hours after a court ordered Mubarak be released for the first time since he was first detained in April 2011, a move threatening to further stoke tension in Egypt. Many fear Mubarak's release will amplify Islamist allegations that last month's military coup was a step toward restoring the old regime.
Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said he ordered Mubarak be put under house arrest as part of the emergency measures put in place this month. The decision appeared designed to ease some of the criticism over Mubarak being freed from prison and ensure he appears in court next week for a separate trial. It is not clear where Mubarak will be held under house arrest, whether in one of his residences or in a hospital considering his reportedly frail health. The order for Mubarak's release followed an appeal by his lawyers in one of his corruption cases. He is also on trial on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising against him that could put him back behind bars. He faces investigation into at least two other corruption cases.