(CAIRO) — Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is getting a second chance, which will likely not sit well with millions of his countrymen.
On Sunday, an appeal courts overturned the deposed leader’s life sentence for what prosecutors argued was his direct hand in the killing of about 850 protesters during the 2011 Arab Spring demonstrations.
The decision of the court had been anticipated and the ailing Mubarak, 84, will get another trial. However, he will remain in custody until then.
When the initial verdict was handed down last year, the judge admitted that the evidence against Mubarak was flimsy but approved his conviction based on the principle of presidential responsibility.
Supporters of Mubarak welcomed the decision but those opposed to his three-decade authoritarian reign are not pleased with the appeals ruling that probably had to do with procedural problems found with the conviction.
The timing of the decision is also sensitive because Egypt will be holding its parliamentary elections in April. It is possible that backlash from the ruling could further strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood, the party of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN