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Eqypt to Raze Headquarters of Mubarak's Defunct Party

FILE - Army soldiers march in front of the burned-out headquarters of the National Democratic Party in Cairo, Feb. 15, 2011.

Egypt's cabinet on Wednesday ordered the demolition of an abandoned, burned-out building that had housed the headquarters of former President Hosni Mubarak's political party, which was disbanded four years ago.

The National Democratic Party building, which looms over the River Nile in Cairo, was gutted during the uprising against Mubarak's rule in 2011 and served as a potent symbol of the revolt.

Successive governments have discussed plans to knock down the building since the NDP was dissolved. Some activists who took part in protests have said the headquarters should be preserved as a monument to the uprising. Wednesday's cabinet statement did not give any reason or timing for the demolition.

Since a major economic summit last month in the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheik, one side of the building has been covered in a large banner promoting investment in Egypt.

While Egyptian courts have been gradually absolving Mubarak-era figures, they have been handing down lengthy sentences to liberal and Islamist activists in cases ranging from political protests to acts of violence.

Earlier this month, a court began a retrial of Mubarak, 86, for allegedly diverting public funds. He was sentenced to three years in jail last May in the case, but Egypt's high court overturned the verdict in January.

In November, a court dropped charges against Mubarak of conspiring to kill demonstrators during the uprising, raising fears among rights activists that the old guard was making a comeback.

The NDP was dissolved by a court order in April 2011. It had dominated Egyptian politics since it was founded by Mubarak's predecessor, Anwar Sadat, in 1978.