* Mursi accused of exceeding powers
* Judges' petition keeps Mahmoud in post
CAIRO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Egypt's public prosecutor said on
Saturday he will keep his job, in a blow to President Mohamed
Mursi who just two days ago sought to replace the Hosni
Mubarak-era official by appointing him as ambassador to the
Mursi'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 organising
violence during the uprising against the deposed leader.
But the move triggered an outcry from judges who said Mursi
had exceeded his powers. Critics attacked the new president for
a step they described as an attack on the independence of the
Since he came to office as Egypt's first freely elected
president, Mursi has removed other Mubarak-era officials
including Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's former
defence minister, and other top generals.
In an elaborate resolution of the crisis, the Supreme
Judicial Council presented Mursi with a petition on Saturday
demanding Mahmoud stay in his job. The presidency in turn said
Mursi would halt moves to make him an ambassador.
Al-Ahram, the state-run newspaper, declared it a "victory
for the judiciary over the presidency".
Vice President Mahmoud Mekky, who also serves as Mursi's
justice minister, told journalists that Mursi had appointed
Mahmoud as an ambassador with his consent, denying the president
had ever sacked him. He said the move was legally sound.
But perceptions that Mursi had tried to fire Mahmoud spread
widely, prompting commentators to ask where Mursi gets his legal
advise. "Since when has the president of the republic had the
capacity to sack the prosecutor general?" Suleiman Gouda,
writing in the widely read al-Masry al-Youm daily.
Mekky said the step had been designed to spare Mahmoud the
anger of families of the victims of the violence perpetrated
against demonstrators during the mass uprising against Mubarak.
Mahmoud has said he had faced intimidation to quit.
Arriving for work on Saturday, Mahmoud defiantly told
journalists he would only leave his post "via assassination".
On Wednesday, high profile members of the Mubarak
administration were cleared of any involvement in orchestrating
"The Battle of the Camels" - when men on horses and camels rode
into Tahrir Square in an attempt to dislodge protesters at the
height of the uprising against Mubarak.
The acquittals led to calls for protests on Friday by the
Muslim Brotherhood, the group which propelled Mursi to power.
But instead more than 140 people were injured when the Islamists
clashed with Mursi opponents who had already called for protests
against the president. The streets were calm on Saturday.
(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Jon Hemming)