Public Prosecution referred on Sunday Hesham Genena, head of the Central Auditing Organisation (CAO), to the Cairo Criminal Court for the defamation of Minister of Justice Adel Abdel Hameed.
Genena will stand trial alongside Magdy Sarhan, chief editor of partisan newspaper Al-Wafd, and journalist Tahany Ibrahim.
In a news article written by Ibrahim and published on 29 September, 2013 at Al-Wafd, Genena was cited saying that Abdel Hameed seized the state’s funds while he was a board member of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. According to the news article, Genena accused Abdel Hameed of corruption and of seizing and wasting public money, reported state-run news agency MENA.
Sarhan is accused of failing to meet his job responsibilities by allowing the article to run without “editing it and taking out the defamatory phrases it contained”, reported MENA.
Genena is also facing trial for defaming Judges’ Club head Ahmed Al-Zend during an interview in private-owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. He was referred to the criminal court on 11 November alongside former Chief Editor of Al-Masry Al-Youm Magdy Al-Galad and Editor Mohamed Al-Sanhoury. Al-Zend accused them of “public defamation of the judiciary through publication.”
The incident dates back to 16 January, 2012, where Councilor Genena published a newspaper interview in which he said that the “Judge’s Club election is a farce,” accusing Al-Zend “of distorting the image of the independent judges movement”.
According to the referral order, “Al-Galad is being tried for failing to perform the duty imposed by law, which stipulates that the editor should oversee the interview. Due to Al-Galad not following proper protocol of editing phrases that constitute a violation of the law”, he will be referred to trial.
The Cairo Criminal Court recused itself from the trial in December, 2013.
Genena had served as the previous chairman of the Court of Appeals and was appointed by ousted President Mohamed Morsi as head of the Central Auditing Organisation on 17 September 2012 for four years.