Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian autocrat whose arrest and fall from power in 2011 paved the way for the country's first democratic elections, may walk free: Judicial authorities have apparently ordered that the former general be freed from custody.

Government sources and Mubarak's lawyers have told the New York Times that Mubarak will be freed soon, but the government has not officially confirmed the order, indicating that it may seek other ways to keep Mubarak in jail—especially as the violence of the last few weeks shows no signs of abating. On Sunday, Egyptian security forces admitted that at least 35 Islamists had been killed while in custody; today, the government claimed that militants had killed as many as 24 police officers in Sinai, though reports were conflicting.

Mubarak, initially jailed on charges of corruption and murder, is still widely despised in a country torn between supporters of recently deposed president Mohamed Morsi, a longtime Muslim Brotherhood activist, and his opponents, many of whom supported the military coup that removed Morsi from power.