Egyptian Judges Condemn Morsi's 'Pharaoh' DecreeWorld | November 24, 2012, Saturday // 18:45| views
A handout photo released by the Egyptian Presidency shows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi speaking during his visit to an army battalion in Suez, Egypt, 15 October 2012. EPA/BGNES
Egypt's highest body of judges slammed on Saturday President Mohamed Morsi's recent decision to grant to himself extensive new powers that include exempting his decisions from judicial review.
The decree, issued on Thursday, expands Morsi's executive powers and puts him above the judiciary, declaring that the courts are barred from challenging his decisions.
In a statement released Saturday, Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council said Morsi's Thursday presidential-power decree was an "unprecedented assault" on the judiciary.
"The Supreme Judicial Council, which is in charge of all matters related to the judiciary and the judges, expresses its dismay at the issuance of such a decree and is calling on the president of the republic to distance himself from all matters related to the judicial branch and its agencies," state news agency MENA said.
Judges in Alexandria and Damanhour say they are putting all court hearings on hold until further notice, in protest of Morsy's move, CNN informs.
Egypt's democratic opposition rallied on Friday to protest against Morsi's new constitutional declaration. Opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei has accused Morsi of usurping authority and becoming a "new pharaoh."
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