Egypt’s Prosecutor General is refusing to step down from his position after new President Mohamed Mursi reassigned him to the role of Vatican envoy.
Abdel Maguid Mahmood says he can’t be dismissed just to defuse public anger over the outcome of a controversial court case involving several Mubarak-era officials.
“The president of the Republic has the right to appoint advisors and put his house in order in a way that suits him. But when it comes to the position of the Prosecutor General then the law and the Constitution have to be respected.
“I will defend myself and my position; I will defend the independence of the Prosecutor General and the independence of the Judges; and I will not leave this office unless I am assassinated,” said Mahmoud.
Last week, a court acquitted officials who were accused of organising a brutal camel-and-horseback charge on protesters during last year’s uprising.
On Friday, more than a hundred people were injured in Cairo’s Tahrir square during the worst violence since Mursi took office.
The clashes erupted as supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood protested the acquittal. Demonstrators said they were also angry at the lack of progress during the new president’s first 100 days in office.
Several judges say Mursi has exceeded his mandate by effectively sacking Mahmoud.