Egypt's prosecutor-general will remain on job

Ahram Online, Saturday 13 Oct 2012

After a meeting with Morsi, Egypt's beleaguered prosecutor-general will continue in his position after turning down an ambassadorial offer from president

Egypt's General Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud (L) speaks to reporters in his office in the High Court in Cairo October 13, 2012 (Photo: AP)

Spokesman of the prosecution general office announced Saturday afternoon that prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, after a meeting with president Morsi Saturday afternoon, will remain in his position, after president Morsi offered him an ambassadorial position Thursday in exchange for his leaving his post.

Morsi had tried to remove Mahmoud from the post of prosecutor general after the Cairo Criminal Court acquitted all defendants accused in the Battle of the Camel attack on Tahrir Square protesters on 2 February. Public anger has brewed for a long time as critics charge the prosecutor general's office has failed to aggressively prosecute those accused of killing protesters throughout the two years since the Egyptian uprising. An overwhelming number of the accused have been acquitted.

Mahmoud, backed by many in the judiciary, argues that Morsi's attempt to replace the prosecutor general was not within his presidential mandate, as it violates judicial independence and the constitutional principle of the separation of powers.

Morsi's move stirred up controversy and legal confusion over Mahmoud's status after he had been offered the position, which he announced on Thursday he has turned down but other reports suggested he had first agreed then changed his mind.

Egyptian judges condemned earlier on Friday President Morsi's attempt to remove the prosecutor general from his post. Judges' Club spokesperson, Mohamed Abdel-Hadi, said that judges and members of the prosecutor's office would protest in support of Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud outside his Cairo office on Saturday.

Tens had gathered at the Supreme Court (where Mahmoud's office is located) demonstrating in support of the general prosecutor as he took off to meet President Morsi.

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