Agreement ends standoff in EgyptBy SARAH EL DEEB
THE Associated Press | October 14,2012AP PHOTO
Egyptian Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud speaks Saturday in Cairo, Egypt, to hundreds of supporters in a downtown courthouse defying a presidential decision to remove him from his post.CAIRO — Egypt’s top prosecutor reached an agreement with the country’s president to keep his job on Saturday despite earlier attempts to remove him, ending a standoff that had prompted accusations of interference in judicial affairs.
President Mohammed Morsi had ordered Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud to step down last Thursday in an apparent bid to appease public anger over the acquittals of ex-regime officials accused of orchestrating violence against protesters last year.
Morsi had broad public support for removing Mahmoud, who was appointed under ousted president Hosni Mubarak. But the move created a backlash from angry judges, who saw the decision as infringement on the judiciary.
Egyptian law protects the prosecutor general from being fired by the president. To overcome that constraint, Morsi had asked Mahmoud to become ambassador to the Vatican. But Mahmoud refused to be reappointed.
Vice President Mahmoud Mekki told reporters after meeting the prosecutor that the president agreed to suspend the decision following a request from the country’s Supreme Judicial Council.
After meeting Morsi and his advisers, Mahmoud told The Associated Press that “a misunderstanding” had been resolved.
Earlier Saturday, Mahmoud defied the order by entering his office in a downtown Cairo courthouse flanked by security and hundreds of judicial officials who came in his support.
Mekki said the procedures to reappoint Mahmoud have been stopped after the appeal by the Council. He said the decision was initially to avoid popular anger following the Wednesday acquittal of Mubarak loyalists over their alleged role in a turning point of the 2011 uprising, known as the “Battle of the Camel,” when camels ridden by Mubarak supporters charged into an opposition crowd.
Mekki dismissed accusations that Morsi was interfering in the judiciary. The move, he said, was to “protect the post” against criticism. In defense of the decision, Mekki said the presidency had announced the decision after initially understanding that Mahmoud had agreed to step down.
“There was confusion. The acceptance was not complete, was not clear,” Mekki told reporters.
Mahmoud returned to his office after the meeting with Morsi. At a press conference later, hundreds of judges came out to congratulate him for retaining the job. Mahmoud said he had been threatened, a charge the presidency denies.
An independent daily’s online headline read: “The judges win in the battle of the prosecutor general.”MORE IN Wire NewsNEW YORK — A legend of film, theater and comedy in nearly equal measure, Mike Nichols was an... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, striking Colo. miners attacked with machine guns by state police; 1877, Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph, 1959, Alan Freed fired by WABC 770 AM for accepting payola to promote records.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivers short speech in Gettysburg, Pa.; in 1984, a Pemex LNG facility destroyed by series of gas explosions, 600 people are killed; in 1998, Senate builds fire under Bill Clinton.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1831 – Independent South American super-state, Gran Colombia, dissolved; 1856 - Fort Buchanan built to control Apache warriors; 1970 - William Calley Jr. goes on trial after 1968 massacre at My Lai, Vietnam.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy takes advantage of Cold War jitters and builds a tidy little fiefdom for himself on Capitol Hill. It's all good, but pride goes before you know darn well what. The junior senator is damaged going down.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in control of the Soviet Union; in 1970, Oregon DOT tries to dynamite a dead whale off a beach with a rather shocking result.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Southern Airways Flight 49 is hijacked, the crew and passengers held for ransom. The hijackers want $10 million and passage to Cuba. In 2007, in Santiago, Chile, King Juan Carlos of Spain loses patience with Hugo Chavez.