Egypt Upholds Sentence for Corruption Auditor

An Egyptian military appeals court on Sunday upheld a five-year sentence for Hisham Genena, the former head of the Egyptian Anti-Corruption Authority, over an interview Genena gave to the Huffington Post in which he spoke of secret documents damaging to Egypt’s army and current regime.

Sami Hafez AnanSami Hafez Anan (CC 2.0)Genena’s lawyer said to AFP that he could still appeal his sentence to the Supreme Court.

Genena was arrested in February 2018, several weeks after opposition politician Sami Anan, who had declared his candidacy for Egypt’s March 2018 presidential elections, was also arrested.

Anan, the former chief of staff of Egypt’s army, was seen as Egypt’s incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s main high-profile challenger. He was arrested for not getting the permission from the army to run for president, and for allegedly forging documents.

In the wake of Anan’s arrest, Genena gave an interview to Huffington Arabi, the American news outlet’s Arabic site, saying that Anan had secret documents that prove that the Egyptian army played a role in social unrest following Egypt’s 2011 revolution.

The documents “revolve around the political events and crises facing Egyptian society,” said Geneina in the interview, adding that they could be released if Anan were harmed in jail.

Genena was then arrested, and in April 2018 was sentenced for “disseminating information aimed at harming the army.”

Genena served as the head of Egypt’s Central Auditing Office from 2012 to 2016. He was removed from the post by Sisi, after saying that government corruption was costing Egypt billions of dollars.

With Anan jailed, Sisi went on to win elections with over 97 percent of the vote. Anan suffered a stroke in the military prison and was moved to the military hospital. He was reported to be in critical condition in July 2018.

Genena’s daughter, Shorouk Genena, told Reuters she thought that Genena’s sentence was being upheld because of Sisi’s current political machinations.

“[Especially] during the time while the constitution is being amended, they don’t want anyone to open his mouth or be outside (prison) during the coming period.”

Egypt’s parliament is right now considering legislation that would enable Sisi to stay in power until 2034.