An Egyptian lawyer has filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court on Saturday demanding a media gag order on an investigation of corruption claims by Central Auditing Organisation head Hesham Geneina be lifted.
Last month, Geneina told Egyptian media that the value of governmental corruption between 2012 and 2015 was LE600 billion (around $75 billion). He based his statements on the findings of a detailed study conducted by the CAO.
Lawyer Ali Ayoub, who founded an advocacy group to defend Geneina, demanded in the lawsuit that the Central Auditing Organisation and the fact-finding committee’s reports related to the case be published.
The lawsuit presented to the court is based on Articles 217 and 218 of the Egyptian constitution. Article 217 stipulates that “autonomous organisations and control agencies shall notify the competent investigation authorities of any evidence discovered in relation to violations or crimes,” while according to Article 218, the state “shall fight corruption” and “competent control agencies and organisations 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.”
On Wednesday, Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadiq put in place a media gag order on the investigation of the corruption allegations made by Geneina.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has ordered a committee 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 12 January, the committee released a report challenging Geneina’s claims, saying Geneina’s statements and the CAO’s study are “inaccurate”, “exaggerated” and “lack credibility.”