Egypt sacks chief coroner

Cairo: Egypt`s interim authorities have dismissed chief coroner Sibai Ahmad Sibai blamed for covering up details of the death of a young man in a police beating.

The death of 28-year-old Khaled Said in June last year sparked nationwide protests that eventually toppled President Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

The country`s Justice Ministry has appointed Ihsan Kamil Georgian as the new chief coroner.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and Minister of Justice Mohamed Abdel-Aziz El-Gendy have taken the decision in the wake of the anger stirred by Sibai`s statements concerning the death of Said who died as a consequence of police brutality last summer in Alexandria, the Ahram reported.

Sibai`s involvement in the medical report of Said`s death and the fact that he was also responsible for assessing the ousted president`s health condition raised a lot of criticism.

This only increased after his statements on a TV programme in which he insisted that Said`s death was not due to police brutality. Said died from asphyxia after swallowing a bag of marijuana, Sebai claimed.

According to witnesses and rights groups, Said was sitting in an internet cafe in Alexandria when two plain-clothes policemen tried to search him after he had posted a video that purportedly showed the policemen sharing in the spoils of a drug bust.

When Said refused, he was dragged out into a busy street and beaten to death in plain sight of passersby.

Both Facebook and Twitter carried calls for Sibai`s dismissal, describing him as a "person who cannot be trusted to respond to the prosecutor-general`s inquiry into Mubarak`s health."

The ousted president is still in a hospital in Sharm El-Shiekh as medical reports have so far claimed that transferring him to Cairo for detention will endanger his life.