CAIRO -- Egypt's president removed the country's prosecutor general Thursday, the day after a court acquitted loyalists of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak for plotting one of the bloodiest attacks against anti-government protesters during last year's uprising.
President Mohamed Morsi then appointed the official, Abdelmeguid Mahmoud, as Egypt's ambassador to the Vatican, Egyptian state-run TV reported late Thursday. The Morsi government did not elaborate on the move.
The decision comes amid outrage over a court ruling Wednesday that found 26 of Mubarak's confidants not guilty of manslaughter charges in what became known as the Camel Battle in which security agents on camels and horses charged at protesters in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of last year's 18-day uprising that eventually toppled the autocrat. It also comes as opposition groups planned demonstrations Friday to protest Morsi's shortcomings in his first 100 days as president.
Thousands of protesters have previously called for Mahmoud's removal for his failures in court.
Mahmoud was defiant Thursday night, telling an Egyptian TV station: "I have not resigned from my position and I will remain in my post, in accordance with judiciary law."
-- Reem Abdellatif
Photo: Former Egyptian prosecutor general Abdelmeguid Mahmoud, center, in February inspecting the gates of Port Said stadium. Credit: Alaa Abd Elbary / EPA