CAIRO, November 22 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has ordered the retrial of all people accused of attacking demonstrators during the mass protests that led to former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011.
“The decision has been made to re-conduct the investigations and retry those implicated in committing crimes against the revolution: injuring and killing demonstrators in connivance with those that occupied political and executive posts during the previous regime,” presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said in a statement broadcast live on television on Thursday.
The measure is part of the Constitutional Declaration announced by Ali that gives Morsi exclusive power to “defend the revolution.”
The Declaration authorizes the president to take action “if the January 25 revolution, the nation or its unity is in jeopardy, and if obstacles to state structures performing their duties are raised.”
The Constitutional Declaration will serve as the fundamental law of Egypt until a new Constitution is approved.
Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced by a Cairo criminal court in June 2012 to life in prison for ordering security forces to use live rounds to disperse demonstrators in early 2011. But six of Adly’s deputies were acquitted of the same charges and released
Morsi also sacked the man who came to be identified with the failure to secure guilty verdicts, Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud.
Morsi had tried to sack Mahmoud immediately after the trial verdict was announced, but Mahmoud, a Mubarak appointee, defied the order. Morsi has now named Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah to be the new attorney general.
The Declaration includes presidential degrees aimed at protecting the body writing Egypt’s new Constitution from dissolution. They prevent “any authority, including the judiciary” from revoking any decision or law passed since Morsi’s election and from dissolving the upper house of parliament or the constitution-drafting body, which was given a further eight months to complete its work.