Mursi agrees to keep chief state prosecutor
CAIRO: Egypt's top state prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud and President Muhammad Mursi agreed on Saturday that Mahmoud will stay, ending a crisis over his refusal to quit after being dismissed, officials said.
Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud spoke after a meeting with Mursi and his advisers to defuse a simmering crisis with the judiciary. Vice President Mahmoud Mekki told reporters Mursi agreed to keep Mahmoud in his post following a request from the Supreme Judicial Council.
|A lot of inside baseball follows. Suffice to say that Mursi is looking to remove all roadblocks to his having unlimited power.|
Deputy state prosecutor Adel Said also said on state television that Mursi and Mahmoud met and sealed an agreement under which "the state prosecutor will stay on in his post." Said cited a "misunderstanding over his nomination as ambassador to the Vatican."
Mursi on Thursday fired Mahmoud, appointing him Cairo's envoy to the Vatican, but the state prosecutor refused to stand down, saying: "I remain in my post. According to the law, a judicial body cannot be dismissed by an executive authority."
The Islamist president's bid to remove Mahmoud bypassed checks on presidential control of the prosecutor, enraging judges after Mursi also unsuccessfully tried to reverse a court order disbanding the Islamist-dominated parliament. Mursi tried to remove the veteran prosecutor after this week's acquittals of Hosni Mubarak-era officials on trial for a deadly attack on protesters during the 2011 uprising that led to the long-time strongman standing down.
The verdicts triggered protests which culminated on Friday when supporters of Mursi clashed with his opponents in Cairo's emblematic Tahrir Square. The health ministry said 110 people were injured.
Activists who played a central role in last year's anti-Mubarak protests say that Mahmoud was responsible for "weak evidence" provided by the prosecution in the case and is an old regime loyalist.
Friday's protest was the worst violence over Mursi who emerged from the once banned but powerful Muslim Brotherhood to become Egypt's first Islamist and civilian president in June. Since then, however, he has been the target of much criticism from opponents ranging from Mubarak loyalists to groups which spearheaded the revolt.
Mahmoud on Friday said that he had received direct and indirect threats from a senior judge and an ally of Mursi who told him he could be assaulted if he did not step down.
The row between Mahmoud and Mursi highlights a deep rift between the president and the powerful judiciary, which accuses the Islamist leader of trying to detract from their authority.
Ahmed Al-Zind, head of the Judges' Club, on Friday was quoted as saying in the state-owned Al-Ahram daily that the judiciary was backing Mahmoud to uphold "the sovereignty of the law and the principle of separation of powers."
Posted by: Steve White