Former president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak, whose 30 years in power were brought to an end by mass uprisings in 2011, has been acquitted by the country's top appeal court and found not guilty of killing protesters.
The judgment, which followed a day-long hearing, could see the former ruler walk free, Reuters reported. "The court has found the defendant innocent," presiding Judge Ahmed Abdel Qawi was quoted as saying.
The appeals court simultaneously rejected calls by lawyers of the victims of the government crackdown to reopen civil suits. As such there is no remaining opportunity for a retrial or appeal.
Mubarak was swept from power by two weeks of popular protest across Egypt's major cities as revolution erupted across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011 during what came to be known as the Arab Spring.
Hundreds of protesters were killed in clashes between Egypt's security forces and thousands wounded before Mubarak stepped down and an interim military council was put in place to rule the country.
Mubarak initially stood trial in 2011 on charges of murdering protesters. Found guilty in June 2012, he was sentenced to life in prison but amid Egypt's shifting political landscape was later cleared of the charges in November 2014.
In the aftermath of Egypt's 2011 revolution the country has lurched from one crisis to another, decimating the country's economy. A coup in June 2013 reinstated military rule under current president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, after a short-lived experiment with democracy led to the election of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.
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