Yesterday, an unprecedented incident took place in the world of the judiciary. A number of Egyptian prosecutors forced justice Talaat Abdullah, Egypt’s new Public Prosecutor, to resign under threat of physical violence.
In so doing, they threatened all judiciary’s noble principles and core values, like the independence of the judiciary, dignity, immunity and freedom of will. Those values are exactly what judges and prosecutors for long demanded and for which they revolted when President Morsi offered the former Public Prosecutor a transfer to a new job as a prominent diplomat, which he did initially accept of his own free will, then had to deny accepting it under peer pressure.
At that time, judges erupted in indignation and fierce anger claiming that such job transfer detracts from the rule of law, although the removal of that Public Prosecutor was a popular demand of millions in all liberty squares since the start of the revolution, as one of the symbols of the former regime.
The Supreme Judicial Council demanded that President Morsi must cancel the decision to transfer the Public Prosecutor to the job of Ambassador to the Vatican, and that he must keep him in his original position. President Morsi obliged, out of respect for the will of the elders of the judiciary.
The crime of coercing the new Public Prosecutor to resign, committed Monday by a group of prosecutors reportedly armed with licensed weapons, is a reprehensible act that sets a dangerous precedent requiring all judges to stand up against it.
The Supreme Judicial Council must issue a clear statement denouncing this irresponsible act. It must refuse the resignation submitted under such direct and immediate threat. It must also assign honorable judges to investigate this incident and inflict punishment on all those involved.
The Ministry of Interior, too, should protect judges from such aggression, threats or assaults.
It is inconceivable that some judges or prosecutors, whose duty is to act on behalf of the people in addressing crime, can engage in such a crime, which is not different from what street thugs do these days.
Certainly, if such a crime is tolerated, it will surely become a means for each group of individuals to dismiss its boss – to use terror and threats, to force him or her to resign. Then the whole country would descent into total chaos, governed by the law of the jungle.
It is most abhorrent and outrageous that some members of the Judges’ Club welcome this crime and even demand the return of the former Public Prosecutor – rejected by the people – evidently putting themselves in the ranks of enemies of the revolution, enemies of the people.
It is also most deplorable that certain satellite TV channels owned by former regime cronies and loyalists, welcome that criminal act, especially some media chameleons who squander the dignity of the profession and its principles and moral values.
Despite the enormity of the catastrophe, it reveals to all Egyptians the truth about those individuals and unmasks their true faces.