Egyptian judge Hisham Geneina estimates the cost of corruption at about 600 billion Egyptian pounds ($66 billion, 60 billion euros) (AFP)
An Egyptian court has rejected an appeal by the country's former top auditor, Hisham Geneina, against his removal from that position by the president last year.
Geneina was removed from his position by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in March 2016 after accusations that he had mislead the public by exaggerating corruption figures.
The court said there was no point in continuing to hear the case because the "legal position" of Geneina, who headed Egypt's Central Auditing Authority, had changed.
It said the former auditor's term would have ended in September 2016 and thus the "legal interest" required for the case to be heard is not fulfilled.
"The court did not look at whether the decision [to remove him] is constitutional or legal in the first place and thus its ruling is flawed," Ali Taha, one of Geneina's lawyers, told Ahram Online.
"The legal interest aspect was there when the case was first brought months ago but the court kept dragging its feet over the case," Taha added.
He said they will appeal the decision before the High Administrative Court to "defend law, the Central Auditing Agency and other monitoring authority that are being abused by the executive authorities."
In March 2016, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi removed Geneina after a fact-finding committee appointed by El-Sisi said that Geneina's 2015 claims about corruption had misled the public by exaggerating the scale of the problem.
Geneina had said at the time that corruption had cost the country EGP 600 billion (approx. $68 billion at the time) over a four-year period.
He was sentenced to a year in prison in July for “spreading false news with the goal of harming public interest." The sentence was suspended by a Cairo appeals court in December.