First Published: 2012-10-12

 

Egypt's public prosecutor to Mursi: I will not resign

 

Mahmud refuses to resign despite Egyptian President’s decree appointing him as Egypt's envoy to Vatican.

 

Middle East Online

By Mona Salem - CAIRO

Mahmud: According to the law, a judicial body cannot be dismissed by an executive authority

Egypt's public prosecutor refused to resign on Thursday after President Mohamed Morsi ordered his removal to allay public anger over the acquittals of Mubarak-era officials.

"I remain in my post," Abdel Meguid Mahmud told reporters. "According to the law, a judicial body cannot be dismissed by an executive authority."

Earlier, Morsi had issued a presidential decree "appointing prosecutor general Abdel Meguid Mahmud as Egypt's envoy to the Vatican," state television reported.

According to the decree, Mahmud would be temporarily replaced by one of his aides.

Morsi appointed Mahmud to a post abroad because the Egyptian legal system does not give the president the power to dismiss the public prosecutor, judicial sources said.

Mahmud's removal came just a day after a Cairo court acquitted 24 people-- including the former speakers of Egypt's two houses of parliament Safwat al-Sherif and Fathi Surur -- of organising a notorious camel-borne assault on protesters last year.

The acquittals sparked public outrage and prompted calls for protests.

Activists who played a central role in the protests that ousted president Hosni Mubarak blame Mahmud for the "weak evidence" offered by the prosecution in the case. They accuse him of being a loyalist of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's old regime.

Human rights activists expressed disbelief at the court's decision on the charges of incitement to murder which were referred to prosecutors at the recommendation of investigators in July last year.

The infamous "battle of the camel," which took place on one of the most violent days of last year's revolt, was seen as pivotal in drawing more crowds to join the anti-regime rallies.

On February 2, 2011, protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square and Mubarak supporters charged through the crowds on horses and camels, creating mayhem that quickly degenerated into violent clashes which left over 20 people dead.

Mahmud faced criticism even before the uprising following light sentences, in some cases acquittals, handed out to officials in cases of corruption and torture.

Earlier Thursday hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Cairo against the acquittal of the Mubarak-era officials.

They chanted slogans against the verdict, accusing the judges of "complicity" with the leaders of the former regime. "The people want to purify the judiciary," they shouted.

Secular pro-democracy movements had called for demonstrations on Thursday and Friday, demanding that the accused in the "battle of the camel" case be retried.

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi emerged, said it would join the protests.

Various political parties and groups have also called for demonstrations on Friday against the country's Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly that is tasked with drafting the country's new constitution.

Secular activists want a more representative body to be formed and justice to be done for protesters killed or tortured last year.

Almost 850 people were killed in the 18 days of popular protests that led to Mubarak's ouster on February 11 last year.

Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were both jailed for life for their role in ordering the killings but, to the fury of activists, six top security chiefs who stood trial with them were acquitted.

A number of police accused of the murder of protesters have also been acquitted, raising fears of general impunity for the security forces.

 

IS bid to seize Kobane stalls amid air strikes

Six Tunisians killed in police-gunmen standoff

Iraq MPs divide over Kurds deployment to aid Kobane

Suspicious envelopes to consulates in Istanbul prompt alert

Morocco fossils: A rare and vanishing treasure

Germany offers to help Armenia forge peace with Turkey

Libya wakes up from ‘Dubai dream’ to face Somalia-like ‘failed state’

South Yemen separatists vow to intensify secession protests

Relatives of Iraq massacre victims: Blackwater guards should be killed

Ghannouchi makes it clear to Tunisia: It’s either political Islam or Daesh!

Deadly clashes erupt after army raid in northern Lebanon

200 Iraqi Kurd fighters to travel through Turkey to Kobane

Coalition strikes in Syria eliminate more than 500 jihadists in one month

Ahead of elections, new clashes remind Tunisia of need to fight terror

Saudi Arabia jails mothers for preparing sons to wage jihad

Jury finds Blackwater guards guilty of 2007 'massacre' in Iraq

Iraq Kurds approve reinforcements for Kobane

Israel classifies car crash as ‘hit and run terror attack’

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane