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Lawyer demands lifting of media gag on Hesham Geneina’s case

CAIRO, Jan. 23 (Aswat Masriya) – An Egyptian lawyer filed a lawsuit before the administrative court on Saturday calling for the lifting of the media gag imposed on the case of Central Auditing Organisation (CAO) head Hesham Geneina.

Last month, Geneina told Egyptian media services that the size of governmental corruption during the time period between 2012 and 2015 was EGP 600 billion (around $75 billion). He based his statements on findings from a detailed study conducted by the CAO.

Lawyer Ali Ayoub, who founded an advocacy group to defend Geneina, demanded in the lawsuit the publishing of CAO’s and the fact-finding committee’s reports related to the case. 

The lawsuit presented to the court is based on articles 217 and 218 of the Egyptian constitution where article 217 stipulates “autonomous organizations and control agencies shall notify the competent investigation authorities of any evidence discovered in relation to violations or crimes”.

Article 218 says that the state “shall fight corruption” and that “competent control agencies and organizations shall coordinate their activities in combating corruption, enhancing the values of integrity and transparency in order to ensure the sound performance of public functions and preserve public funds.”

Egypt’s prosecutor general Nabil Sadiq ordered last Wednesday a media gag in the investigation of the corruption allegations made by Geneina.

In response to Geneina’s allegations, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered a committee to be formed to probe the statements made by Geneina. The fact-finding committee is led by the head of the cabinet-affiliated Administrative Control Authority and comprises representatives of various cabinet ministries.

On Jan. 12, the investigative committee released a report challenging Geneina’s claims, saying Geneina’s statements and the CAO’s study are “inaccurate”, “exaggerated” and “lack credibility”.

A version of this article was originally published in Aswat Masriya.


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