CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has selected long-time judiciary official Hamada al-Sawy as public prosecutor, judicial sources said on Thursday, the first such appointment since the constitution was amended earlier this year.
Egyptians approved constitutional changes in April, giving the president the power to choose head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of senior candidates pre-selected by the judiciary.
Rights activists say Sisi has overseen a crackdown on dissent in Egypt since he was elected president in 2014, a year after the military he then commanded overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule.
At least 60,000 people have been jailed on political grounds, Human Rights Watch estimates. Sisi has denied holding political prisoners and his backers say the security measures were necessary to stabilize Egypt after its 2011 uprising.
Sawy, a long-serving judge and senior prosecutor, was assigned to the technical office of the Cairo Appeals Court in 2015. He later headed the complaints committee of the election commission and investigated corruption cases as a judge.
The public prosecutor had previously been appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council, the governing body that sits on top of the Egyptian judicial ladder, and approved by the presidency.
Outgoing public prosecutor Nabil Sadek’s four-year term was due to end on Sept. 19.
Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Mohamed Hendawy and Omar Fahmy; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Mark Heinrich