Egypt Independent

Sunday’s papers: Prosecutors general, past and present



The future of a court ruling to annul the appointment of the country's top prosecutor Talaat Abdallah is the main talk of Egypt's newspapers on Sunday, as Abdallah promises to appeal the contentious ruling.

The state owned Al-Ahram reports on its front page that the top prosecutor is still in office as the Supreme Judicial Council is holding a meeting today to study the explanation of the ruling to decide on Abdallah's fate.

The state-owned paper also says that a delegation of young prosecutors and judges will head to the SJC to present a memo that includes their demand to implement the court’s ruling, adding that the Judges Club will also release a statement demanding the ruling’s implementation.

The mouthpiece of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party reports that the top prosecutor is working from the High Court building, while presenting 10 reasons for the attacks against him.

Freedom and Justice says that the top prosecutor is being targeted for successfully containing the anger of young prosecutors, investigating all cases that were "frozen" by the previous prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud and investigating cases of squandering public funds.

The Brotherhood-affiliated newspaper continues to include more from Abdallah's achievements list, including his attempts "to counter street violence," proving corruption allegations against Judges Club head Ahmed al-Zend, his efforts to end tax evasion by Hosni Mubarak-era businessmen, his preventing the Sawiris family from leaving the country and his efforts to return funds smuggled abroad, help Egyptians abroad and develop the prosecution’s work.

The newspaper also says that the top prosecutor is going to appeal the court ruling and present an urgent memo to halt its implementation until a final decision is made regarding a request for appeal.

Privately-owned Al-Shorouk quotes sources inside the Public Prosecution as saying that employees will strike if the SJC declines to implement the court’s order, adding that the strike did not happen until now because the SJC’s decision was anticipated Sunday.

"If the SJC does not decide to take a firm stance towards implementing the court ruling, prosecution members will hold a general assembly meeting to investigate a possible real action to effectively implement the court ruling," the sources say.

The newspaper also quotes unnamed judicial sources anticipating a "new massacre" against the judiciary in the move to reduce the retirement age to 65 years instead of 70, which, according to the paper, means that at least 2,400 judges will be sent to early retirement.

The idea, the paper says, had been discussed in presidential circles since President Mohamed Morsy ascended to power, but former Vice President Mahmoud Mekky had rejected such moves and threatened to resign.

Mekky’s brother, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky, is also said to reject the planned decision, arguing that he does not want another massacre to the judiciary under his watch.

Privately owned newspaper Al-Tahrir publishes the explanation of the contentious court ruling that stipulates that the presidential decision to sack former top prosecutor Mahmoud is invalid.

The court, according to the paper, did not acknowledge the constitutional declaration under which Abdallah was appointed because it was not passed by a public referendum.

The explanation also says that the 22 November constitutional declaration came from an executive authority whose powers are beneath those of the Constitution and that it contained powers that cannot be granted by the Constitution.

The explanation, according to Al-Tahrir, also says that the sacking of Mahmoud was illegal because it was done without consulting the SJC.

The newspaper also said that the presidency and the Justice Ministry are supporting Abdallah in appealing the court’s decision, while young prosecutors are calling upon citizens to urge the SJC to implement the court decision.

Privately-owned Al-Watan covers the story from another angle as it reports on public efforts to implement the court’s order. The newspaper reports on the protests in front of the top prosecutor's office calling for his resignation.

The protesters closed down the gates of the High Court building with iron chains to prevent the top prosecutor from entering.

The newspaper also quotes the head of the Court of Cassation, Chancellor Yousry Abdel Karim, as saying that Abdallah's insistence not to implement the court order could lead him to be sued under Article 123 of the Penal Code for not implementing a court ruling.

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Al-Sabah: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party