Former prosecutor general referred to disciplinary council for bugging office

Justice Minister Adel Abdel Hamid ordered the referral of former Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah and his assistant Hassan Yassin to a disciplinary council, the Middle East News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The decision follows previous accusations of installing illegal surveillance cameras and bugging devices at the prosecutor general’s office during and after Abdallah’s time in office.

The case papers were presented to the Supreme Judicial Council, according to the privately-owned Masrawy news website.

In early September 2013,  the current Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat filed a complaint against Abdallah and Yassin in the Supreme Judicial Council when he discovered the devices in his office, which used to be occupied by Abdallah.

Allegedly, these devices were used to secretly record meetings without the knowledge of those who came to the office.

However, judge Mohamed Sherin, who was assigned to investigate the case, denied referring Abdallah to the criminal court, adding that investigations are ongoing and a decision has yet to be made.

Abdallah was appointed as prosecutor general by former President Mohamed Morsi through a constitutional declaration, making his decisions immune from judicial review.

The appointment of Abdallah violated the law of the judicial authority, which does not give the president the right to dismiss the former prosecutor general, in this case Mubarak-era Abdel Meguid Mahmoud.

Some of Abdallah’s most prominent decisions included ordering the arrest of “Black Bloc” members.

Abdallah resigned after Morsi’s ouster, and a court ruling reinstated the previous Prosecutor General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, who reversed a number of Abdallah’s decisions, then resigned and returned to the judiciary. The job was assigned to Hesham Barakat in July 2013.

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