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Egypt's top judges' council slams president's new powers as an "assault" on the judiciary

Egypt's official news agency says that the country'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 on MENA Saturday, the Supreme Judicial Council says they regret the declarations President Mohammed Morsi issued 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 Saturday, a day after tens of thousands of Egyptians demonstrated to denounce 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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