Egyptian Judges' Club backs 'sacked' prosecutor general

Ahram Online, Friday 12 Oct 2012

Judges' Club spokesman condemns President Morsi's 'dismissal' of prosecutor general as attack on judicial independence, calls for protest on Saturday

Ahmed El Zend
Ahmed El Zend , head of Judges Club (Photo:Reuters)

Egyptian judges have condemned an attempt by President Morsi to remove the prosecutor general from his post.

Judges' Club spokesperson Mohamed Abdel-Hadi said judges and members of the prosecutor's office would protest in support of Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud outside his Cairo office on Saturday.

President Morsi announced on Thursday that Mahmoud had been appointed ambassador to the Vatican.

However, Mahmoud issued a statement on Thursday denying claims that he had left his post, saying he would remain in his position until the end of his legally mandated term of office.

Under Egyptian law the president cannot dismiss the prosecutor general but the latter can ask to be relieved of his duties.

Judges claim the president's decision was infringement on judicial independence.

The Judges' Club will hold an emergency session on Sunday evening to discuss the issue, Abdel-Hadi said.

Speaking to reporters minutes after the president's decision on Thursday, Ahmed Abdel-Ati, director of the presidential office, refused to say whether the president had the power to dismiss the prosecutor general, stating only that Mahmoud had been appointed envoy to the Vatican.

The removal of Mahmoud, who has been in his post since 2006, has been a major demand of pro-revolution forces since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Anger directed at Mahmoud has been growing due to the lack of convictions of police and security forces for killing protesters during and after the 2011 uprising.

The president's move follows public anger over Wednesday's acquittal of 24 prominent Mubarak-era officials charged with orchestrating the Battle of the Camel attack on protesters in Tahrir Square during the revolution. Twenty-one protesters were killed and hundreds injured during the attack.

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