Egypt prosecutor issues media gag order on corruption claims investigation

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Jan 2016

State auditor Hisham Geneina has said that government corruption cost the treasury LE600 billion from 2012 to 2015

 Hesham Genena
File Photo: Hesham Genena, the head of Egypt's April 16, 2014 photo, (AP)

Egypt's top prosecutor issued on Wednesday a media gag order in the investigation of corruption allegations made by the country's top auditor.

Prosecutors are investigating recent claims by Hisham Geneina, the head of the Central Auditing Organisation (CAO), that corruption within government institutions has cost the Egyptian treasury over LE600 billion in four years.

On Wednesday, a statement by the prosecutor-general’s office said the gag order will remain in place until the investigation into the case is complete. 

Geneina’s assertions, which he made last month, have stirred huge controversy, prompting the Egyptian presidency to form an investigative committee which accused him of inflating figures and “defaming the state.”

The parliament has also opened its own investigation into Geneina's figures after a number of MPs accused the state audito of misleading the public.

Since taking office in 2012, Geneina has on more than one occasion said that billions of pounds have been stolen by public officals. He cited some of the state's most powerful institutions, including the police, the judiciary and intelligence agencies, as examples of the existence of corrupt practices.

He has said that many of the cases he has attempted to bring to the attention of prosecutors met with little response.

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