Egypt's justice minister Mekki will not resign: Ministry

Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Mar 2013

Head of Ahmed Mekki's office explains cabinet asked justice minister to continue in his post to maintain stability amid Egypt's political crisis

Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek, head of Egypt's Minister of Justice office, said the Minister Ahmed Mekki continued work on Wednesday despite his request to step down, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

Adel-Khalek explained that the cabinet asked Mekki to maintain his position, after he requested to be relieved of his duties to protest attacks by the public against the judicial system.

"Ahmed Mekki feels a sense of responsibility towards the state and judicial system," Abdel Khalek said.

"He always highlights that he is a judge and not a politician. However, he was falsely criticised by the media for his person and not for his profession."

The situation had driven Mekki into a "state of depression," he added.

Abdel Khalek said that the minister's assistants asked him not to resign in order to maintain stability in the ministry in light of the political crisis the country is facing.

"This is because Mekki is honest and brave; he is a fighter; which is needed in the current phase," he stressed.

In addition, the cabinet promised Mekki to form a judicial police to secure the courts.

"Mekki respects freedom of the press which helps the judicial system achieve its sovereignty and uncovers corruption," Abdel Khalek further explained.

"This is because media freedom is one of the January 25 Revolution objectives."

While revealing his intention to step down, Mekki cited the "inflammatory speech" of national media, saying smear campaigns were being launched with the intention to make the incumbent government fail, although it is "keen to achieve the interests of the nation."

Abdel Khalek also pointed out that it is impossible to work because of all the strikes, protests, and "collapsed rule of law."

Citizens taking justice into their own hands, without referring to the law, creates a state of fear in the streets due to the absence of security, he added.

Earlier on Sunday, Mekki slammed the public lynching of two men accused of kidnapping children in Egypt's Gharbiya governorate, describing the incident as a sign of "the death of the state."

Similar attacks have happened elsewhere in Egypt, though vigilante killings remain an infrequent phenomenon.

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