First Published: 2012-12-18

 

Blow to Morsi: prosecutor general steps down

 

President-appointed prosecutor Abdallah resigns under pressure from hundreds of magistrates.

 

Middle East Online

Only appointed last month

CAIRO - Egypt's prosecutor general named by President Mohamed Morsi last month as he temporarily assumed sweeping powers handed in his resignation on Monday, a judicial source said.

"The prosecutor general has submitted his resignation under pressure from protesters," said the source, referring to magistrates who have been clamouring for his immediate departure.

The Supreme Judicial Council will examine prosecutor general Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah's resignation next Sunday, a day after a final round of voting in a referendum on Egypt's draft constitution, the source said.

In his resignation letter, which was published by state news agency MENA, Abdallah said he wished to "return to his work in the judicial system."

Earlier Monday, hundreds of magistrates had organised a sit-in outside his office demanded that he quit.

Egypt's Islamist President Morsi assumed sweeping powers on November 22, sparking accusations of a power grab and raising questions over the gains of last year's uprising which ousted his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

One of Morsi's first decrees was to sack prosecutor general Abdel Meguid Mahmud, whom he failed to oust the previous month amid strong misgivings among the president's supporters about the failure to secure convictions of more members of the old regime.

He appointed Abdallah to replace Mahmud and later the new prosecutor general issued a brief statement on state television, pledging to "work day and night to achieve the goals of the revolution."

Morsi's actions last month triggered a nationwide outcry, with opposition forces calling it a "coup" and the judges saying it was a direct attack on the independence of the judiciary.

Under pressure, the president revoked the decree granting him sweeping powers but kept Abdallah on as his new prosecutor general.

 

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