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.

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.

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