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Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi backs away from row with judge

Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud refuses to step down after controversial ruling tied to Arab Spring.

Abdel meguid mahmoud egypt judgeEnlarge
Egypt's Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmud (C) leaves after speaking to journalists following his inspection of the Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil Museum (background) in Cairo on August 22, 2010. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi backed off his attempts today to remove one of the country’s top judges after violent clashes erupted Friday following a controversial court ruling.

Flanked by supporters, Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud returned to his office today despite the president’s effort to reassign him to a new position, The Associated Press said.

Egypt’s vice president said the announcement that Mahmoud would become ambassador to the Vatican came early, after a “misunderstanding.”

“There was confusion. The acceptance was not complete, was not clear,” Vice President Mahmoud Mekki said, according to the AP.

Judges accused Morsi of trying to subvert the country’s judiciary, but the president was under pressure to react to a decision Wednesday that triggered violent protests.

Demonstrators for and against the president clashed on Friday in Tahrir Square after a court acquitted 25 men accused in the so-called “Battle of the Camel.”

More from GlobalPost: Tahrir trouble: Egypt clashes over President Morsi

The men faced attempted murder and manslaughter charges stemming from a violent incident during 2011 Arab Spring uprisings against ex-president Hosni Mubarak.

Security forces on camels and horses charged a crowd, killing 12 protesters.

Clashes on Friday about the verdict injured more than 100, Reuters reported.

Instead, Mahmoud will remain in his position until retirement age, Al Jazeera reported.

The judge also accused Morsi of threats, according to Al Jazeera reports.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/121013/egypts-president-mohammed-morsi-backs-away-row-judge