First Published: 2012-10-12

 

War between Egypt’s Morsi, top prosecutor heats up

 

Egyptian President vows justice to bring to justice Mubarak-era officials after top prosecutor’s flap.

 

Middle East Online

By Samer al-Atrush - CAIRO

Who will win it?

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi pledged on Friday to bring to justice Mubarak-era officials, a day after his bid to sack the top prosecutor infuriated a judiciary wary of its new Islamist leader.

Morsi reopened a rift with the judges on Thursday after trying to remove the state prosecutor following acquittals of ex-regime men accused of organising an attack on protesters during last year's uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

"We will never ignore those who committed crimes against the nation and corrupted it," he said in a speech at a mosque in the coastal city of Alexandria.

"They will be dealt with by the judiciary and legal system," he said in the speech reported by the official news agency MENA.

An influential group of Egyptian judges backed state prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmud's refusal to resign after Morsi ordered his removal, the official Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Morsi's bid to remove Mahmud by appointing him as ambassador to the Vatican tried to bypass checks on presidential control of the prosecutor, further enraging judges after Morsi had unsuccessfully tried to reverse a court order disbanding the Islamist-dominated parliament.

Ahmed al-Zind, head of the Judges' Club, said the judiciary was backing Mahmud in a bid to uphold "the sovereignty of the law and the principle of separation of powers," Al-Ahram reported.

He said the judges would hold an emergency meeting "to confront the current crisis that aims at harming the judiciary."

Zind's group had fiercely opposed the Islamist's election last June, which ended a military-led transition after a popular uprising overthrew Mubarak in February 2011.

Morsi's attempt to sack Mahmud came after his Muslim Brotherhood movement called for protests against the acquittals.

By early afternoon on Friday, hundreds of protesters had gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square raising chants honouring those killed in the anti-Mubarak uprising: "Either we get them their rights, or we die like them."

Brotherhood supporters briefly skirmished with demonstrators attending a rally in the square against the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly which is drafting Egypt's next constitution.

Television images showed a group of Brotherhood supporters tearing down a podium raised by their rivals.

The Supreme Administrative Court is set to rule on the assembly on October 16, after several lawsuits challenged its legality and the mechanism for choosing its members.

Morsi had pledged to retry Mubarak and his senior officials for their roles in the killing of protesters during the revolt, after trials that critics said had been bungled by the state prosecutor's office.

On Wednesday, a court acquitted 24 people -- including the former speakers of Egypt's two houses of parliament, Safwat al-Sherif and Fathi Surur -- of organising the attack on anti-Mubarak protesters during the uprising.

The February 2, 2011, assault by pro-Mubarak supporters -- some riding horses and camels -- on protesters in Tahrir Square came on one of the revolt's bloodiest days, with clashes leaving more than 20 dead.

Around 850 people died during the 18-day uprising.

The Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, which Morsi headed before his election, said the prosecutor must either present new evidence for a retrial or resign.

"The responsibility for achieving justice falls primarily on the state prosecutor," it said in a statement reported by the party newspaper on Friday.

Mubarak and his former interior minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced to life in prison in June for failing to prevent killings of protesters during the revolt, but their police chiefs were all acquitted.

 

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe