Egypt court fines former top auditor and 3 journalists for libel, insulting judiciary

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 19 Aug 2017

Hisham Geneina
Former head of Egypt's Central Auditing Agency Hisham Geneina (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A Giza criminal court fined on Saturday former top auditor Hisham Geneina EGP 60,000 over libel charges against former justice minister Ahmed El-Zend as well as “insulting state institutions,” referring to the judiciary.

The charges were filed over Geneina's comments about alleged corruption in the judiciary in a 2015 interview published in the privately-owned Al-Tahrir newspaper.  

Geneina, who headed Egypt's Central Auditing Authority, the state's main corruption watchdog, from 2012 until March 2016, was accused by the former head of the Judges Club of contempt of the judiciary and slandering a senior judge-turned-minister.

In the interview with Al-Tahrir, Geneina said that E-Zend was one of the worst choices for justice minister, and that he interferes in judicial cases and pressures judges to alter verdicts in appeals. 

The court also fined the editor-in-chief of Al-Tahrir EGP 10,000 and two journalists at the same newspaper EGP 25,000 on the same charges as well as publishing false news.

Geneina was removed from his position by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in March 2016 after accusations that he had misled the public by exaggerating corruption figures.

In December 2015, Geneina said that corruption had cost the country EGP 600 billion (approx. $67.6 billion) over a four-year period.

He was sentenced to a year in prison in July 2016 for “spreading false news with the goal of harming public interest." The sentence was suspended by a Cairo appeals court in December.

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