TODAY

TODAY   |  August 20, 2013

Mubarak lawyer: No reason he should stay in jail

An Egyptian court has ordered Hosni Mubarak to be set free for the first time in more than two years; meanwhile, police arrested a key spiritual leader in the nation. NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, says these two political shifts could mean the new military-backed government wants to impose a Mubarak-like system.

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>>> tense situation in egypt following the violent crack downs. richard engle is in cairo. richard , good morning to you. there is an article on the front page of the new york times, here's the headline, egypt as he's free but the article goes on to say that may not actually ever happen. what are you hearing.

>> we just got off the phone a short while ago with mubarak 's lawyer that is 99% sure his client will get out of jail. there are growing calls in this country for mubarak to be released. he's been in prison since he was overthrown in 2011 . he was charged with crimes from stealing state funds to killing protestors. he has been acquitted of almost all of them but his lawyers say there's no reason to keep him in jail while the legal process continues. this could be resolved tomorrow while a court decides on a petition for release.

>>> a couple of key points also fuelling unrest and uncertainty is the arrest of the spiritual leader of the muslim brotherhood . what are you hearing about that? there's been imagines on tv.

>> look at the contrast here. we're talking about the possible release of hosni mubarak and arrest of the spiritual guide within 12 hours. this is a sign that they don't want to bring mubarak back to power but reimpose a mubarak type system that was stable. they want to settle scores against old enemies like the muslim brotherhood .

>> richard engle, thank you very