Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi reiterated on Sunday the “temporary nature” of his decrees, saying he wanted dialogue with political forces.
Mursi made the announcement in a statement released by his office as he sought to contain a simmering crisis triggered by his decisions seen by many as a roadmap to dictatorship.
The presidency said Mursi needed to hold to account those responsible for crimes, corruption of “previous regime” and transitional period.
“This declaration is deemed necessary in order to hold accountable those responsible for the corruption as well as other crimes during the previous regime and the transitional period,” the presidency statement said.
Mursi ordered the reopening of investigations into those deaths, and new prosecutor general Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah said “revolutionary courts” would be set up that could see ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and his top security chiefs retried “should there be new evidence.”
Mubarak and his interior minister were sentenced to life over the killing of protesters in last year’s popular uprising against him, but six security chiefs were acquitted in the same case sparking nationwide outrage.
The presidency statement said “these measures will preserve the rights of martyrs and victims, which is a fundamental issue for the Egyptian public opinion.”
Egyptian Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky, meanwhile, began mediation efforts to try to end a crisis between Egypt’s executive and judicial authorities, state TV reported on Sunday.
It was the first public sign of a government attempt to resolve a crisis ignited by President Mursi’s decision to expand his powers and protect his decisions from judicial review.
Mekky, who has said he has “some reservations” about Mursi’s decree, convened a meeting at the Supreme Court headquarters in Cairo, state TV reported, without giving further details.
The Supreme Judicial Council said Mursi’s decrees must only be applied to decisions or laws relating to “sovereign matters.”
The Supreme Judicial Council in a statement read on state TV also called on judges to keep courts and prosecution offices functioning after the influential Judges’ Club called on Saturday for a countrywide strike in protest at Mursi’s decree.