CAIRO - Egypt's public prosecutor said on Saturday he will keep his job, in a blow to President Mohamed Morsi who just two days ago sought to replace the Hosni Mubarak-era official by appointing him as ambassador to the Vatican.

Morsi's effort to remove Abdel Maguid Mahmoud from his post was seen as a response to the acquittal of senior Mubarak-era officials who had been standing trial on charges of organizing violence during the uprising against the deposed leader.

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But the move triggered an outcry from judges who said Morsi had exceeded his powers. Critics attacked the new president for a step they described as an attack on the independence of the judiciary.

Since he came to office as Egypt's first freely elected president, Morsi has removed other Mubarak-era officials including Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's former defense minister, and other top generals.