Abdel Meguid Mahmoud announced he will remain in his post as prosecutor general after meeting with Vice President Mahmoud Mekki on Saturday at the presidential palace. The meeting was an attempt to resolve the crisis between the presidency and the judiciary upon the president’s decision on Thursday to relieve Mahmoud of his post as prosecutor general.
“We discussed all the circumstances that led to the decision, discussed our points of view on the situation and it turned out to be a misunderstanding… I’ll remain in my post as prosecutor general” said Mahmoud in his speech at the High Court Building after his meeting with the presidency.
Meanwhile Vice President Mahmoud Mekki held a press conference to explain the results of the meeting and the circumstances of the president’s decision.
“The whole matter was a misunderstanding that coincided with some bad intentions, the media is responsible for the crisis for saying the president dismissed Mahmoud,” Mekki told journalists.
He explained that the president’s decision came after the acquittals of those accused of killing protestors on 2 February 2011 in what is commonly known as the Battle of the Camel.
“The acquittals were received with public rage and there was information about attempts to attack the prosecutor general or surround his office and house… the decision was made to protect him,” Mekki said.
He went on to say that the decision came after mediators confirmed to the presidency Mahmoud’s willingness to resign and thus procedures were being taken to appoint him as an ambassador to the Vatican. “Mahmoud’s acceptance proves the decision was 100 per cent legal and correct,” said Mekki.
“The decision wasn’t for revenge or any sort of disrespect to Mahmoud… President Morsy is intent on respecting the judiciary and the law and protecting it from the political arena.”
“If the president wanted to dismiss Mahmoud he wouldn’t have waited that long. He already holds the legislative authority,” Mekki said.
He added the presidency was keen on resolving the misunderstanding and that’s why they invited the entire Supreme Council of the Judiciary including Prosecutor General Mahmoud to clarify their stances. Mahmoud asked the Supreme Council of the Judiciary to submit a petition to the president to keep him in his post.
“Abdel Meguid Mahmoud had asked before to be removed from his post due to health problems… President Morsy promised to halt the procedures of his appointment as ambassador out of respect to the demand of the Supreme Council of Judiciary,” Mekki said.
Mahmoud had held a press conference at the High Court Building prior to his meeting with Mekki to disclose the details of the crisis. He announced that he will not resign not for the sake of holding on to his position, but to defend the independence of the judiciary.
He added that he was threatened by the president of the Constituent Assembly, Hussam Al-Gheryani, and Minister of Justice, Ahmed Mekki, who told him there will be protests demanding his removal and protesters could attack him as they did with Abdel Razzak Al-Sanhoury, the former president of the State Council.
The president’s decision was rejected by all judges, prosecutors and administrative prosecutors, who showed up at the High Court Building to support Mahmoud.
Ahmed Al- Zend, president of the Judges’ Club, spoke at the press conference refusing any infringement on the judiciary, adding judges will be waiting on Sunday for Mahmoud on the platform of the general assembly at the Judges’ Club.
“There will be no negotiations over the matter of the prosecutor general, he will remain in office until reaching retirement,” Al-Zend said.
Protests were held in front of the High Court Building on Saturday, some supporting the presidential decision, and some rejecting it and calling for the independence of the judiciary.
On Friday, protesters in Tahrir square demanded the removal of the prosecutor general accusing him of tampering with evidence and complicity with the former regime.