Thursday, September 18, 2014


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Egypt Prosecutor Rejects Calls For Resignation

In the face of street protests and mounting clashes in Egypt between pro-presidential supporters and his critics, Prosecutor-General Abdel Maguid Mahmud has repeated his vow not to leave office, saying the constitution does not give the president power to fire him.

He vowed to remain in place "unless I am assassinated."

The standoff between the Mahmud and President Muhammad Morsi comes as members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who support Morsi, have accused the prosecutor of presenting weak evidence at a trial of Mubarak-era officials.

That trial, on counts related to the ordering of a camel charge against demonstrators with then-President Hosni Mubarak's regime battling so-called Arab Spring protests in early 2011, resulted in acquittals on October 10. The court said it found insufficient evidence to convict the defendants in the case, including former parliament speaker Fathi Sorur.

"As I said in my statement yesterday, I direct my comments at everyone from the Muslim Brotherhood -- I will not be shaken by any of this and I have said this in front of the president of the Republic, and said this to the speaker of parliament," Mahmud said on October 13. " I occupy this office and I will defend myself, and I will defend my position, and 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... and assassination is something that is common and often takes place. As I told the president of the republic, afterward, everyone will be accountable for their sins, and perhaps they will be allowed into paradise."

On October 12, thousands of supporters and opponents of Egypt's president clashed in Cairo's Tahrir Square in the first such violence since Morsi took office more than three months ago.

More than 100 people were injured in rock throwing as liberal and secular activists accused the Muslim Brotherhood of trying to take over the country.

Some Egyptians are also frustrated that Morsi, a longtime Muslim Brotherhood figure, has not done more to resolve the multiple problems facing the country -- from a faltering economy and fuel shortages to poor security and uncollected piles of garbage in the streets.

Morsi said in a nationally televised speech earlier this week that he had carried out much of what he had promised for his first 100 days.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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