Friday, October 12, 2012

Egypt's Chief Prosecutor Resists President's Effort to Oust Him

CAIRO — President Mohamed Morsi and Egypt’s chief prosecutor clashed Thursday as the prosecutor refused the president’s attempt to remove him.

It was one of the first skirmishes in a long-awaited battle pitting the Islamists who have risen to power since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak against the secular-minded legal establishment left over from the Mubarak era. Mr. Morsi sought to name the prosecutor, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, ambassador to the Vatican. But by the end of the day, state news media had reported that Mr. Mahmoud had publicly refused to leave his job, citing a law barring the president from firing the prosecutor or other judicial officials.

Mr. Mahmoud was among the most unpopular Mubarak-era holdovers, and Mr. Morsi sought to remove him at a moment when the chief prosecutor’s public image had reached a new low. On Wednesday, his prosecutors failed to win a conviction of two dozen Mubarak allies charged with orchestrating an attack by thugs on the protesters who ousted Mr. Mubarak. Some of the thugs were mounted, and the resulting melee became known as the Battle of the Camels. Read More