Egypt's prime minister has ordered that former president Hosni Mubarak be placed under house arrest when he is released from prison after more than two years, it was reported Wednesday evening.
The country’s interim Prime Minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, reportedly said in a statement that he ordered Mubarak put under house arrest as part of the emergency measures put in place this month.
"In the framework of the emergency law, the deputy military ruler ordered Mubarak to be placed under house arrest," read a news flash on state television quoted by AFP.
Prison officials told the Associated Press that Mubarak may be released as early as Thursday. Mubarak's release order followed an appeal from his lawyers in one of the cases of corruption he is facing.
Even if Mubarak is released, the 85-year-old former president is still on trial on separate charges that could put him back behind bars.
His release is likely to further ratchet-up tensions between the interim, military-run government, and its Muslim Brotherhood opponents, who have been engaged in a violent struggle over the ouster of Mubarak's successor - the Brotherhood-backed Mohammed Morsi - by the army.
Mubarak is being held in a prison south of Cairo, ironically in a facility in which members of the Muslim Brotherhood who were officials in Morsi’s government are also being held. Morsi himself is not being held at the facility, however.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohammed Badie, was arrested late Monday night in an apartment close to Rabia al-Adawiya square, where Islamist supporters of Morsi held sit-ins that were cleared in a bloody crackdown by security forces last week.
Badie’s arrest came several hours after Mubarak’s lawyer said his client will likely be released from prison this week.