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Profile: Hesham Barakat, Egypt's third prosecutor-general after 2011 unrest


08:30, July 12, 2013

CAIRO, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Counselor Hesham Barakat was named Wednesday Egypt's new prosecutor-general to become the third one taking up the position since the 2011 unrest that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

The post was controversial all over the past year between the executive authority, presided by now-ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi backed by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and the judicial authority and liberal forces opposing the Islamic rule.

Barakat is the third person in office after Mubarak-era Prosecutor-General, Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, was forced aside by Morsi's appointee Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah, who was pushed out last week after a court briefly reinstated Mahmoud.

But Mahmoud resigned Tuesday to demand a return to the judiciary institution as a judge, saying Egypt is exposed to the danger of the conspiracy of evil forces that pursue sedition and separation. He said the post of prosecutor-general is in need of cutting the hand of "Brotherhoodization" and intervention.

Barakat took the oath before interim President Adli Mansour who was initially provided by the Supreme Judicial Council with three recommendations.

Amid division between Morsi's supporters and opponents, Barakat has to deal with the uneasiness over a series of investigations and arrest warrants against the previous Islamists' rule.

With no political affiliation, Barakat is well-known for his efforts in defending the judiciary independence.

He was the head of the Technical Bureau of Ismailia Court of Appeal at the time of trial of those suspected of Port Said massacre which killed 72 people, mostly youth football fans, back in early 2012. He also supervised the Natroun Prison case over allegedly Islamists' breaking into the prison in the early days of Egyptian unrest two years ago, when many Islamists escaped from the jail including Morsi and other MB figures.

Barakat, 63, graduated from the Faculty of Law in 1973, and was then appointed directly in the prosecution institution. He has served different judicial posts at preliminary, appeals and criminal courts.

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