Top Egyptian judge lashes out over corruption claims

Ahram Online , Tuesday 18 Feb 2014

Ahmed El-Zend, head of the Judges Club, says that head auditor Hisham Geneina misappropriated state-owned land in 2013

One of Egypt's top judges has hit back over allegations of financial corruption in the judiciary, accusing the country's main auditor of appropriating state-owned land without payment.

On Monday, Central Auditing Organisation (CAO) head Hisham Geneina held a press conference at which he revealed financial violations committed by the state's sovereign bodies, including judicial and state-security authorities, allegations which included property fraud.

Later that night, however, Judge Ahmed El-Zend, head of the Judges Club, an independent body which represents the majority of Egypt's judges, went on private TV channel Al-Tahrir and said that Geneina himself had taken state-owned land in June 2013, and from the area in which Geneina had previously accused state-security officials, including the interior minister, of doing the same.

Geneina's statements on Monday alleged that judicial authorities were responsible for financial violations estimated at LE3 billion.

"Why does Geneina only speak about corruption except after [former president Mohamed] Morsi is ousted?" El-Zend said on the TV interview. "Why would a man like Geneina be appointed as the head of the CAO?"

Geneina's appointment as CAO chair during Morsi's term came almost a year after the last CAO head, Gawdat El-Malt, completed his tenure.

The CAO is a governmental body that supervises public finances. It has consistently been accused of covering up financial crimes carried out by the regime of former president Hosni Mubrak since the latter's deposal in 2011.

El-Zend on Monday added that Geneina would be soon dismissed from his position, although he failed to provide any details.

"[Geneina] tries to turn the state's sovereign bodies against each other," El-Zend said, which is what the Muslim Brotherhood wants, he added.


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