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Judges slam President's power grab

Egypt's highest body of judges has called the president's recent decrees an "unprecedented assault on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings".

In a statement carried today on MENA, the country's official news agency, the Supreme Judicial Council said they regret the declarations President Mohammed Morsi issued on Thursday.

The council is packed with judges appointed by former President Hosni Mubarak. It regulates judicial promotions and is chaired by the head of the Court of Cassation.

The judges released their statement following an emergency meeting today, a day after tens of thousands of Egyptians demonstrated to denounce Mr Morsi's decision.

The edicts give him near-absolute power and immunity from appeals in courts for any decisions or laws he declares until a new constitution and parliament is in place.

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