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Egypt's former top auditor Geneina sentenced to 1 year in jail for 'spreading false news'; court sets bail

The court has set bail for Hisham Geneina at EGP 10,000 pending appeal; the former top editor says he would try to prove innoncence

Ahram Online , Thursday 28 Jul 2016
Hisham Geneina (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Former head of Egypt's Central Auditing Agency Hisham Geneina (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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A Cairo misdemeanor court sentenced Thursday afternoon the country's former top auditor Hisham Geneina to one year in jail and an EGP 20,000 fine for “spreading false news” about alleged corruption in the public sector. The court also set EGP 10,000 bail pending an appeal.

After the verdict was announced, Geneina told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that he intends to post the bail and proceed with an appeal to prove his innocence of any wrongdoing.

Geneina, the former head of the Central Auditing Agency, is accused of “spreading false news to disturb public order” over his report claiming that theft by public officials has cost the country’s treasury EGP 600 billion since 2012.

In January, Egypt's prosecutor-general issued a gag order on the publishing of details from Geneina's report.

In March, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi dismissed Geneina from his post and appointed his deputy, Hesham Badawy, as the acting head of the Central Auditing Agency. Shortly after, Egypt's parliament confirmed Badawy as new top editor.

State Security prosecutors charged that Geneina had exaggerated the sums lost to corruption by including violations that took place prior to 2012 in his reports, and that he had abused his position as head auditor in gathering documents to make his case.

Geneina has maintained that his estimation of losses to government accrued due to corrupt practices referred to the three years after 2012.

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