Egyptian Court Imprisons Anti-Corruption Czar Hesham Genena for Spreading False News

New Cairo misdemeanors court has ruled in its meeting held on Thursday to punish Hesham Genena, the former head of the Central Auditing Organization (CAO), one-year imprisonment with labor.

The court ruled Genena a fine of  20,000 pounds and a bail of 10,000 pounds for spreading false news on the size of governmental corruption and for distorting the image of the Egyptian regime.

Hesham Genena, the former head of the Central Auditing Organization (CAO), or the “Anti-corruption czar” as called by the New York Times was doing his job when stated how much endemic graft had cost his country, but Genena’s statement” turned out, was itself a criminal offense,’ reported the NYT.

Genena had stated in the Egyptian media that the size of governmental corruption during the period between 2012 and 2015 amounted to EGP 600 billion ($67.7 billion). His statements were based on findings of a detailed study conducted by the CAO.

The state-owned and pro-regime media accused Genena of spreading false news and being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Moreover, Genena and his family have been subject to a campaign of defamation on pro-government television channels in an effort to discredit him, ranging from accusations that he belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood to suggestions that his wife supported Hamas because she is of Palestinian origin.

Genena said that he was misquoted, that the figure covered four years and that it reached following an exhaustive study. A newspaper quoted him in December as saying corruption cost the country 600 billion Egyptian pounds ($67.6 billion) in 2015.

Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi dismissed Genena from his position as head of the Central Auditing Organization last March after a commission, formed by him (Sisi) investigated Genena’s report, concluding that he had misled the public.