World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's prosecutor general on Thursday defied his president's order to step down to defuse public anger over acquittals in a case of brutality against protesters during last year's uprising that topped the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
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 Feb. 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.
Many accused Mahmoud as failing, either intentionally or due to incompetence, to present a strong case against the accused, leading to their acquittal.
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.
The acquittals were condemned by Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, which said it would join Friday's protests to demand retrials. When news spread about Morsi's removing Mahmoud, Brotherhood protesters gathering in Tahrir Square chanted, "we love you Morsi," and beating drums.Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Ekim 2012, 12:53