World

Top US prosecutor fired after refusing to quit

WASHINGTON A prominent US prosecutor said the Trump administration fired him after he refused to step down, adding a discordant note to what is normally a routine changing of top attorneys when a new president takes office.

New York's US Attorney Preet Bharara's defiant exit, first announced on Twitter, raised questions about President Donald Trump's ability to fill top jobs throughout his government.

Mr Trump has yet to put forward any candidates to serve as the nation's 93 district attorneys, even as his Justice Department asked the 46 who have yet to quit to hand in their resignations on Friday.

Key positions at agencies like the State Department and the Defence Department also remain unfilled.

As the federal prosecutor for Manhattan and surrounding areas since 2009, Mr Bharara secured insider-trading settlements from Wall Street firms and won criminal convictions in high-profile corruption and terrorism cases.

He said in November that Mr Trump had asked him to stay in his post, and he refused to resign when asked to do so by the Justice Department on Friday.

He said he was fired on Saturday afternoon. Mr Bharara said in a statement: "Serving my country as US Attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honour of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live." 
- REUTERS

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