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Egypt's prosecutor-general awaits acceptance of resignation

Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah arrives at office on Tuesday to await Supreme Judicial Council's acceptance of his resignation following weeks of pressure by judges and prosecutors

Ahram Online , Tuesday 18 Dec 2012
Talaat Ibrahim
General Prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim (photo: AP)
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Egypt's Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah arrived at work on Tuesday morning amid a large security presence. He submitted his resignation on Monday and is awaiting its acceptance by the Supreme Judicial Council.

Abdullah's resignation came only weeks after he was appointed by President Mohamed Morsi and was the result of mounting opposition by judges and prosecutors.

Hundreds of judges and prosecutors gathered at Abdullah's office on Monday after marching to protest the way President Morsi had appointed him via his controversial constitutional declaration and to demand his resignation. The declaration gave Morsi the power to sack the former prosecutor-general, Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, which was previously not permitted by law.

The judiciary rejected the declaration, which also made the president's decisions immune from judicial oversight. Despite the declaration's repeal by another one which allowed the president's decisions to be appealed through the courts, the right of Morsi to appoint a new general-prosecutor remained in effect.

On Monday, representatives of judges and prosecutors met with Abdullah's deputy, Adel El-Said, but failed to reach an agreement. Accordingly, a group of judges tried to enter the Abdullah's office to demand a meeting, but security forces prevented them from doing so.

Later in the day, El-Said presented Abdullah's handwritten resignation to the protesters.

Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported that Abdullah left his office shortly afterwards escorted by security forces, and protesters chanted in delight at his resignation.

On 6 December, Mahmoud, who was appointed prosecutor-general by former president Hosni Mubarak in 2006, was appointed head of Egypt’s Court of Appeal.

In October, Morsi attempted to dismiss Mahmoud and appoint him as Egypt's ambassador to the Vatican.

Mahmoud challenged the president’s decision, saying it was illegal, and was able to keep his position temporarily.

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