Egypt's Mursi removes legal official seen as Mubarak loyalist

CAIRO Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:44am IST

Protesters shout slogans against general prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud and members of the Mubarak regime at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, in Cairo October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Protesters shout slogans against general prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud and members of the Mubarak regime at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, in Cairo October 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Related Topics

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's president removed the general prosecutor from his post on Thursday in an apparent attempt to appease demonstrators who accused him of offering weak evidence in a trial of Mubarak-era officials accused of planning attacks on protesters last year.

General Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, appointed in July 2006, was among officials who drew the wrath of protesters after the fall of Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.

President Mohamed Mursi's decision came after a Cairo court on Wednesday acquitted 24 of Mubarak's loyalist officials accused of sending men on horseback and camels to attack protesters during last year's uprising.

MENA state news agency later said Maguid had "said he did not resign from his post as General Prosecutor and that he will still carry out the duties according to the law of judicial authority".

Egyptian law protects the general prosecutor from being dismissed. To surmount this hurdle, Mursi appointed Maguid ambassador to the Vatican, effectively removing him from his post.

"President Mohamed Mursi issued a decree appointing Abdel Maguid Mahmoud as ambassador to the Vatican," Ahmed Abdel Atti, Mursi's aide, said in a statement on Thursday.

Another presidential aide told Reuters that an "assistant to the general prosecutor will take up his responsibilities until a new one is appointed".

A judges' club supporting Mahmoud held an emergency meeting late on Thursday during which they denounced Mursi's decision to remove Mahmoud from his post, saying that Egyptian law on judicial authority gives immunity to judges.

The judges demanded that Mursi withdraw his decision to remove Mahmoud.

"Egypt's law on judicial authority offers judges immunity and prevents exiling them from their posts in order to protect their independence from the executive authority," Waleed Shafie, deputy director of the appeals court in Alexandria, told the Internet portal Ahram.

Many Egyptians believe Mahmoud was anything but an independent figure and see him as having done the bidding of Mubarak, who appointed him.

(Writing by Marwa Awad; Editing by Michael Roddy and Eric Walsh)

FILED UNDER:

World Wrap

Reuters Showcase

Indian Healthcare

Indian Healthcare

Exclusive - Payment delays dent India's flagship health, AIDS programmes  Full Article 

India-Pakistan Ties

India-Pakistan Ties

Indian, Pakistani foreign secretaries to meet in Islamabad.  Full Article 

Food Security

Food Security

India will not cut multi-billion dollar food handout programme - PM   Full Article 

Ola's Expansion Drive

Ola's Expansion Drive

Taxi group Ola steps up expansion drive  Full Article 

Controversial Film

Controversial Film

Film on 2012 Delhi gang rape stokes debate on Indian male mindset  Full Article 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Sahara's Grosvenor House hotel in London put up for sale   Full Article 

Beef Trade

Beef Trade

Maharashtra clamps down on beef trade through new act  Full Article 

Environment Concerns

Environment Concerns

Deforestation could shift monsoons, leaving India high and dry.  Full Article 

 'Smart Cities'

'Smart Cities'

India's 'smart cities' would be stupid without disaster strategy  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage