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Egypt’s beleaguered prosecutor-general resigns

Morsi-appointed prosecutor-general Talaat Abdullah steps down following protests by judges; Supreme Judiciary Council has yet to accept resignation

Ahram Online , Monday 17 Dec 2012
General prosecution
Hundreds of judges and prosecution personnel staged a protest in front of the prosecutor-general's office (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Judge Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah has tendered his resignation late Monday as Egypt’s prosecutor-general, succumbing to mounting pressure from judges and prosecutors only weeks after being appointed by President Mohamed Morsi.

Hundreds of judges and prosecutors had gathered at his office earlier in the day after marching from the Judges' Club building, in protest of Morsi's decision to replace Mubarak-era prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud with Abdullah.

Representatives from the protesters met with Abdullah's deputy Adel El-Said but failed to reach a conclusion. Accordingly, a group of protesters attempted to enter the prosecutor-general's office to demand a meeting, but security forces deployed to his office banned them from doing so.

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

Al-Ahram’s Arabic news portal reported that Abdullah left his office shortly afterwards escorted by security forces. Protesters chanted in support of the decision.

Abdullah’s resignation has yet to be accepted by the Supreme Judiciary Council.

The appointment of Abdullah as prosecutor-general was announced after Morsi issued his controversial Constitutional Declaration, which made the president's decisions impervious to judicial challenge in November.

In December, Mahmoud, who had been Egypt’s prosecutor-general since 2006, was appointed as head of Egypt’s Court of Appeal upon his request.

Morsi had previously attempted to dismiss Mahmoud and appoint him as the Egyptian ambassador to the Vatican in October.

The latter, however, challenged the president’s decision saying it was illegal and so was able to temporarily keep his position.

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