Attorney General of East Cairo Mostafa Khater says he will step down from his position and return to the bench and end his work “on behalf of the public,” according to state-owned MENA.
The decision came the same day General Prosecutor Tala’at Abdallah issued a decision to transfer Khater to the Court of Appeals in Beni Suef for six months.
Abdallah’s decision came after the release of 137 defendants under Khater in the aftermath of clashes at the Presidential Palace last Wednesday, when the prosecution cited lack of sufficient evidence for trials. Twelve remained in custody for possessing weapons that included firearms and knives.
During his press conference last Saturday, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie said that those released should be rearrested and prosecuted. In his address on 6 December, before the detainees were released, President Mohamed Morsy had called them “hired thugs” who had confessed to committing crimes. Prosecutors released the detainees shortly after the president’s address.
Abdallah was appointed by President Morsy following his 22 November constitutional declaration, dismissing Abdallah’s predecessor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud from his post, a polarising decision across Egypt’s political spectrum.
Khater was involved in a number of major investigations over the past year examining the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising.
He was also involved in the investigation into the killing of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim.
The Judges’ Club called an emergency meeting following Abdallah’s decision to discuss the General Prosecutor’s call to move Khater and decide how to proceed.
Prosecutors have announced that they will demonstrate in front of the High Court building in downtown Cairo on Thursday in support for Khater.