Egypt court frees Mubarak-era senate chief on bail

An Egyptian court on Tuesday freed the former senate leader under ousted president Hosni Mubarak on bail, after spending the maximum permitted 18 months in jail awaiting his corruption trial, the official MENA news agency reported.

Safwat al-Sherif, one of the top-ranking members of Mubarak's National Democrat Party, was allowed out on payment of the equivalent of $8,100.

He is one of several Mubarak-era officials facing charges of corruption and abuse of power.

In October he and other former regime officials were acquitted of charges of ordering horse- and camel-riders to attack protesters in Cairo during the country's uprising.

Mubarak himself is serving a life sentence for the deaths of some of the 850 protesters in the revolution.

He is appealing the conviction, and a court will decide on January 13 whether or not to order a new trial.

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