Cairo: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has today been cleared of charges of killing protesters in the 2011 uprising that lead to his removal from power.
After an all-day hearing, Judge Ahmed Abdel Qawi announced: “The court has found the defendant innocent.”
The court also rejected demands by lawyers of the victims to reopen civil suits, leaving no remaining option for appeal or retrial.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 2012, but the case was retried twice. Thursday's verdict could lead to Mubarak being freed.
A report commission by Mubarak’s predecessor Mohamed Morsi said at least 846 protesters were killed during the uprising in early 2011, but Egypt’s interior ministry – which controls the police force – repeatedly denied responsibility.
Police were said to have used live ammunition and arms against those demonstrating to end Mubarak’s rule of almost 30 years.
Mubarak has been confined to a military hospital despite having completed a three-year sentence for embezzlement.
A judge decreed in May 2015 that Mr Mubarak could be released from detention. However, the government of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was reportedly reluctant to free him because of the public backlash that might accompany such a move.
Sisi served as Mr Mubarak's military intelligence chief and led the military's overthrow of his democratically elected successor, Mohammed Morsi, in 2013.
In all, more than 800 people are believed to have been killed as security forces sought to stop protests in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other cities around Egypt during the 18-day uprising that forced Mr Mubarak to resign after 30 years in power.