Egypt fact finding committee refutes top auditor's claims that state bodies embezzled LE600bn

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Jan 2016

Hisham Geneina stood his ground after the committee accused him of defamation, insisting that he can support all his statements with evidence

Hesham Genena
File Photo: Hesham Genena In this Tuesday, April 16, 2014 photo, (AP)

An investigative committee formed on the order of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi accused on Tuesday Central Auditing Organisation (CAO) head Hisham Geneina of deliberately defaming state authorities.

Geneina had claimed that corruption from 2012 to 2015 in Egypt resulted in the loss of up to LE600 billion.

Geneina stood his ground following the committee's accusation, insisting that he can support all his statements with evidence.

The committee, formed in late 2015 shortly after Geneina made his claims, said in its report that the latter's statements were "misleading, exaggerating, and lacking credibility," and that he misused the word "corruption."

The report said that the committee – which consists of a number of officials from the justice, planning, finance and interior ministries – had contacted Genena on 27 December to verify his statements before he sent the study he prepared through CAO based on which he released his statement to the committee.

The study was undated, according to committee's report, although Geneina says it covers the period from 2012 to 2015. However, the committee said his statements were about incidents that took place over the course of 10 years.

The committee said a "number of professors and experts in accounting, finance and statistics who were joined by members of the Central Auditing Organisation" worked together over a fortnight before issuing the report.  

In February 2014, Geneina said financial violations had been committed by the state’s sovereign bodies.

One of the points highlighted by the committee's report was the delay of paying debts in the petrol field by foreign partners, which Geneina considered corruption but which the committee says was the result of the deterioration of the economy.

Geneina told Al-Ahram's Arabic website that he will prepare another detailed report in reply to the committee's allegations and release it publicly after 25 January, the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak.

Geneina's appointment as CAO chair during former president Mohamed Morsi's term came almost one year after the previous CAO head, Gawdat El-Malt, completed his tenure.

The CAO is a governmental body that supervises public finances and after January uprisings in 2011 it was accused of covering up financial crimes carried out by the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

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