CAIRO Egypt's president removed the general prosecutor from his post on Thursday, appeasing demonstrators who accused him of presenting weak evidence in a case against 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.
President Mohamed Mursi's decision came after a court acquitted 24 of Mubarak's loyalists 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 sacked. To avoid this legal hurdle, Mursi appointed Maguid as an ambassador abroad, effectively him and removing him from his post through the promotion.
"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".
(Writing by Marwa Awad; Editing by Michael Roddy)