Egypt: Attorney General refuses to step down despite Morsi decision
Egypt again was thrown into a state of political turmoil. The country's Attorney General refused to resign Thursday after President Mohamed Morsi dismissed him I a bid to calm the anger of the Egyptian people after the acquittal of former regime officials. "I remain at my post," said Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, a few hours after being removed from office, adding that "according to the law, a member of the judiciary can not be removed by the executive" .
The Head of State, from the Muslim Brotherhood, has decided to appoint Mr. Mahmoud as the Egyptian ambassador to the Vatican and asked one of his assistants to serve as attorney general, according to Egyptian television .
Mr. Mahmoud served as prosecutor for seven years.
This removal occurred after the acquittal of former regime, suspected of being involved in the death of protesters during the uprising that led to Hosni Mubarak's downfall.
Mahmoud is accused by several activists of the revolt of continuing to support the ousted regime. He is also blamed for the lack of evidence presented by the prosecution in the trial of officials accused of involvement in the death of protesters.
On Wednesday, 24 figures of the Mubarak era, accused of sending thugs riding on camels, to attack protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo during the uprising, were acquitted by the court. This attack occurred during one of the most violent days of the Egyptian revolution, which has left twenty dead. It is considered a pivotal event that led more people to join the anti-regime rallies.
Cairo criminal court found "insufficient" evidence against the 24 accused including two pillars of the former regime, Fathi Sorour and Safwat el-Sherif, as well as the former Minister of Manpower Aisha Abdel Hadi and businessman Mohammed Aboul Einen.
On Thursday night, hundreds of Egyptians protested in Cairo against the acquittal, accusing the judges of "complicity" with the leaders of the former Mubarak regime. "The people want to purify justice," they shouted.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest political force in the country, called for a demonstration in Cairo Friday to demand retrial for those responsible for the deaths of protesters during the revolt.
Many groups and political parties have also called for demonstrations on Friday against the Constituent Assembly dominated by Egyptian Islamists in charge of drafting the new Constitution.
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