Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was freed on Friday for the first time in six years after being cleared this month of charges that he conspired to kill protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule.

Advocate Farid el-Dib said the 88-year-old former leader left Cairo's Maadi military Hospital on Friday morning and returned to his home in the northwest of the city, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mubarak will face retrial in the "Ahram's gift" case as he and some of his aides are accused of accepting gifts from the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.

In January 2016, the appeals court upheld a three-year prison sentence for Mubarak and his two sons on corruption charges.

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Activists say Mubarak's acquittal in the deaths of the protesters confirmed long-held suspicions that he and scores of police who faced the same charges would never be brought to justice.

The anti-Mubarak revolt ushered in instability that drove away tourists and investors, taking a heavy toll on the economy and leading to nostalgia for his rule.

Egypt has slowly slipped back into a dictator's grip after experiencing a glimmer of hope and democracy in the immediate aftermath of the Arab Spring.

However, after Mubarek's successor, Muhammad Morsi, won free elections that followed, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled Morsi in 2013 following renewed mass street protests.