Egypt: Battle of camels; all acquitted, prosecutor removed

But he refuses to step down, thousands demonstrate in Cairo

12 October, 11:03

Demonstration in Cairo against court ruling acquitting all defendants in a trial on the 'battle of camels' Demonstration in Cairo against court ruling acquitting all defendants in a trial on the 'battle of camels'

(ANSAmed) - CAIRO - A criminal court in Cairo has acquitted all defendants in a trial on the 'battle of camels' on February 2, 2011, in Tarhir square, leading thousands to take to the streets yesterday. President Mohamed Morsi has removed the prosecutor general and named him Egypt's ambassador to the Holy See. The Egyptian Constitution does not allow the president to remove a high-level magistrate without appointing him to another office.

Thousands of demonstrators in Tarhir square raised banners demanding that the prosecutor general be removed. The protesters then marched to court and staged a sit in against the ruling by a criminal court chaired by Mustafa Hassan which acquitted 25 people who, riding camels and horses, attacked demonstrators in Tarhir square on February 2, 2011, at the height of protests which led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Among those acquitted are two former presidents of parliament's chambers, Fathi Sorour and Safwat el Sherif. El Sherif has however not been released from jail as he is charged with, among other things, corruption.

Prosecutor general Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, 66, who had been appointed by Mubarak, is accused of not having considered in his enquiry evidence against the defendants and of having failed to bring to justice those who hid the evidence.

Eleven people died and hundreds were wounded on February 2 last year in an incident which further raised resentment against Mubarak.

Abdel Maguid Mahmoud has been removed by president Morsi but refuses to step down and is supported by a number of judges who last night gathered in Cairo to protest against a measure they have slammed as illegitimate. The prosecutor had announced he intends to continue exercising his role: "The law allows me to do it".(ANSAmed).

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