Mubarak sits inside a cage in a courtroom
Mubarak sits inside a cage in a courtroom AFP photo

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak arrived at the military International Medical Center after he was freed from prison, the Interior Ministry said.

Al Arabiya reported that earlier Thursday, a medical helicopter landed at Cairo's Tora prison where the deposed president was being held to take him away. State TV reported that he will be placed under house arrest.

Mubarak is under guard at the military's International Medical Center, a hospital in the suburb of Maadi, northeast of Cairo, according to his lawyer, as well as medical and security sources.

Hazem el-Beblawi, the prime minister, said Wednesday night that Mubarak would be placed under house arrest following his release. It was unclear where he would be held - in Cairo, at his villa in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, or elsewhere.

A small crowd of supporters gathered outside the prison and cheered as the helicopter took off.

Meanwhile, the April 6 youth movement has called for protests on Friday against his release.

Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in 2011, and was eventually tried and sentenced to life in jail for his role in the killing of protesters during the uprising against his rule. 

That ruling was overturned on appeal, and the 85 year-old Mubarak is now awaiting a retrial.

But Egyptian courts had ruled he could no longer be held in prison without charges.

His release is being viewed with great suspicion by many Egyptians, who see it as part of a move by the army to "roll back" the 2011 revolution which ousted him, following the removal of his successor Mohammed Morsi.