- Middle East/North Africa
Several judges and prosecutors sent a memorandum to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on Thursday, demanding the council officially accept Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah’s resignation. They also demanded the SJC nominate a vice president from the Court of Cassation or a presiding judge from the Court of Appeals to replace him.
“Abdallah submitted a request to SJC President Mohamed Metwally on Thursday to discard his resignation as he has backtracked on it,” SJC Secretary General Mohamed Eid Mahgoub told the state-run news outlet Al-Ahram.
Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted the signatories to the memo as saying that they would stage a sit-in on Sunday if the resignation was not accepted. They also demanded that Abdallah explain why he took back his resignation.
Abdallah told the press on Thursday that he had submitted his resignation under pressure when his office was besieged by protesters, but that he would no longer submit to such pressures.
“I will leave only if the competent authorities decide I should,” he said.
Prosecutors objected to President Mohamed Morsy’s decision to appoint Abdallah to the post, and then accused the prosecutor of pressuring the investigators of the presidential palace clashes to detain protesters without cause. East Cairo prosecutors have released more than 130 suspects for what they said was lack of evidence.
Protesters besieged Abdallah’s office on Monday to urge him to resign.
The memorandum that was issued today also said anyone nominated for the prosecutor general position should have worked for the Public Prosecution for an established duration, not be affiliated to any political party or movement, not have engaged in political battles or represented political parties, not be president or member of any of the judges clubs, not be associated with any authority or ministry and not have held any positions in the executive branch of government.
“We believe that constructive dialogue is the best way to reach the desired goal, and we reject any means that is not commensurate with the sanctity of the judiciary,” the memo said.
Sameh al-Serougy, a board member of the Judges Club, said that Abdallah resigned willingly, and that his opponents thanked him for it.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm