[QODLink]
Middle East
Egypt prosecutor-general refuses to resign
Abdel Maguid Mahmoud vows to keep post despite president's attempt to remove him after acquittals in Camel Battle case.
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2012 06:45
On February 2, 2011, pro-Mubarak forces riding camels and horses charged activists in Tahrir Square [GALLO/GETTY]

Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, Egypt's prosecutor-general, has rejected a move by President Mohamed Morsi to remove him from his post, a day after all 24 defendants in the Cairo "Camel Battle" case were acquitted, state media has reported.

Mahmoud told Egyptian state media on Thursday that he would remain in post, saying that Morsi' move to remove him was beyond the mandate of the president's powers.

"I remain in my post," Mahmoud said. "According to the law, a judicial body cannot be dismissed by an executive authority."

Hours earlier, Morsi's office announced that he had removed Mahmoud from his post and reassigned him as the country's ambassador to the Vatican. The state broadcaster said the transfer had been made by presidential decree.

Mahmoud was considered to be a remnant of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's regime.

On February 2, 2011, pro-Mubarak forces riding camels and horses, charged into the crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The "Camel Battle" became a symbol of the revolution and Mubarak's efforts to suppress it.

The ruling on Wednesday sparked anger across the country, and Mahmoud was blamed for presenting a weak case to the court.

A presidential spokesperson told Al Jazeera that the decision to reassign Mahmoud was in direct response to the demands of the Egyptian people.

He also said that a fact-finding commission set up by President Morsi earlier in the year would shortly be releasing "more facts and new evidence" that would lead to new cases against additional defendants and retrials.

Protests in Cairo

Earlier on Thursday, hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Cairo against the acquittal of the Mubarak-era officials.

The protesters chanted slogans against the verdict, accusing the judges of "complicity" with the leaders of the former regime. "The people want to purify justice," they shouted.

The Youth Movement of April 6, which were the first to protest against Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood, had called for demonstrations on Thursday and Friday, demanding that the accused in this case be "retried."

Various political parties and groups also have called for demonstrations on Friday against the country's Constituent Assembly, to demand that a more representative body be formed and justice be done for protesters killed or tortured last year.

Almost 850 people were killed in the 18 days of popular protests that led to Mubarak's ouster on February 11 last year.

Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were both jailed for life for their role in ordering the killings but, to the fury of activists, six top security chiefs who stood trial with them were acquitted.

A number of police accused of the murder of protesters have also been acquitted, raising fears of general impunity for the security forces.

445

Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.