The Ministry of Justice expressed regret over the current turmoil surrounding the country’s judiciary on Monday. “We appeal to media, politicians, judges, and the general public to be careful and maintain the reputation of the judiciary and its men in order to preserve its prestige and respect in the community,” said the ministry in a statement. “They should not attack the judges or others in order to incite discord and confirm the principle of the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.”
Head of the Cairo appeals court, Ezzat Khamis, announced that he would work with the Judges’ Club to address the impasse surrounding the feud about Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah, saying that the first reconciliatory meeting would take place on Tuesday evening.
Khamis also said in his press statement that a commission would consult the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to find a way to unite the judiciary. He said he would hold a meeting with Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki and review the documents Abdallah provided for his resignation and its reversal.
Recent decisions made by President Mohamed Morsy have polarised Egypt’s judges and lawyers, stemming from his 22 November constitutional declaration, which effectively dismissed former President Hosny Mubarak holdover Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud. Morsy then appointed Abdallah, who was refused by many members of the country’s judiciary, including the Judges’ Club. Those opposing the president’s decree claimed that his appointment of the new prosecutor general represented an illegal overreach of power.
Prosecutors staged a sit-in at Abdallah’s office last Monday before he submitted his resignation. However he rescinded his decision on Thursday, citing bad precedent if he were to step down as a result of such pressure.
The group staged a protest in front of the High Court building in downtown Cairo before its chairman Ahmed Al-Zind held a press conference at its nearby headquarters. He was reportedly attacked by approximately a dozen assailants when leaving the Judges’ Club.
Dozens of lawyers and judges supporting Abdallah and Morsy also demonstrated earlier on Sunday outside his downtown office in an expression of support of the president’s decisions and Abdallah’s legitimacy.