Geneina under fire after corruption accusations

Adham Youssef
4 Min Read

Head of the Central Auditing Organisation (CAO) Hisham Geneina  has come under heavy criticism following the presidential committee’s report, which censured Geneina for the press statements he made at the end of 2015 on the value of money lost due to state corruption, in which he reportedly estimated that it exceeded EGP 600bn.

CAO is a governmental entity that is responsible for auditing government finances.

The presidential committee that was formed, on the order of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, accused Geneina of “defamation of state apparatuses”. It also argued that Geneina’s statements misled the public, lacked credibility, and exaggerated the numbers lost due to corruption.

The presidential committee also accused Geneina of misinterpreting the concept of “corruption”, and that the incidents of the report are based upon incidents that date back to the 1920s. It also accused him of having fabricated yearly financial reports and ignored court cases for corruption, which have been resolved by the judiciary.

Another accusation by the committee was that the misrepresentation took no account of the economic misfortunes that Egypt has been going in the past.

State-owned media reported Geneina and other members of the authority are preparing a response to all the accusations. He said the statement in his report, which he publicised in an interview to local newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabea on 23 December, was sent to officials but no response was given. He further hinted that the executive authority took steps against the authority only when he mentioned the findings to the media.

Geneina said he will send a “thorough response” to the parliament.

The presidential committee sent a copy of its report to the parliament Wednesday to be discussed, and it is expected to be examined by the members on Sunday.

Several members however demanded that the parliament refer Geneina to investigation on charges of “publishing flawed statements on corruption”. Parliament member and the vocal supporter of the Egyptian state, police, and army Moustafa Bakry said Wednesday that a petition by 50 members was sent to Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal to pressure the parliament to legally prosecute Geneina.

He said the members demand investigation into how deeply the national security of the country was affected by the statements.

Geneina has previously been condemned by several groups, such as judges, over press statements he made in 2012, in which he made claims regarding major corruption in the justice system and the Judges Club, then headed by current Minister of Justice Ahmed Al-Zind.

Geneina was appointed by ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2012. The head of the organisation serves a term of four years, subject to renewal.

In a related incident, the local observatory for corruption cases, Partners for Transparency (PFT), announced in its monthly report Wednesday that 87 corruption cases have taken place in December 2015.

The cases include corruption incidents that took place at different ministries. The report ranked the Ministry of Supply first with 22 cases, followed by the Ministry of Local Development with nine cases and the Ministry of Health with eight cases. The report also observed corruption incidents at the Ministries of Interior, Water Resources, Agriculture, Tourism, and Social Solidarity.

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