The former head of the Central Auditing Organisation (CAO) Hisham Geneina revealed on Monday a plot weaved against him, led by a corruption lobby that has a “network of interests” in all state sectors.
The former top auditor met with a group of lawyers in his house. Together they formed a coalition to defend Geneina, who has faced heavy backlash over statements on a corruption report made by the CAO prior to his dismissal by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 28 March.
A source close to Geneina who attended the meeting told Daily News Egypt, on condition of anonymity, that Geneina said: “The head of the regime and his affiliates are responsible for what happened to me.”
Geneina denied reports that suggested he is being held under house arrest or that his house is under “security watch”.
He also denied being brought in for investigation before the state security prosecution, rather stating that it was simply enquiries and questions on the content of the CAO’s aforementioned report.
In December, Geneina claimed that the value of money lost due to state corruption was estimated to be EGP 600bn in 2015 alone. Following Geneina’s statements, which were first published by news outlets, the Egyptian presidency denied “press reports” and ordered investigations into the claims.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi formed a fact-finding committee headed by the head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) to examine what was communicated to the press. The committee then present its own report to the public.
Later, when the top auditor was sacked, the dismissal decree issued by Al-Sisi stood on the statement of the state security prosecution which said that the amount of money lost due to corruption covered the period from 2008 to 2012, rather than 2015. It added that Geneina’s report was inaccurate and included “repeated count of incidents of corruption over the years”.
The prosecution further accused Geneina of misuse of power by collecting and keeping important information and documents on corruption, and that it was not within the CAO’s authority to investigate corruption. It also said that investigators affiliated with the CAO itself issued a report in favour of accusations against Geneina.
Geneina told the coalition members that the fact-finding committee was asked by the prosecution about the CAO, not him, and that he was not summoned to the prosecution headquarters.
He also responded to the prosecution’s statement, saying that the report included violations from past years, but as long as they have not been addressed or resolved they should be listed in the current year’s report.
He said he is considering whether or not to appeal against his dismissal decree. Geneina was sacked four months before his term at the auditing agency legally ended. The CAO is an independent regulatory body and the president was unable dismiss its head until July 2015, when he passed a law giving himself to the power to do so.
The former CAO head said appealing the dismissal is not an individual decision as he claims officials from the regulatory body are pressuring him into appealing it, to safeguard the independence and autonomy of CAO.
A member of the front to defend Geneina told Daily News Egypt that the decision to dismiss Geneina was against Al-Sisi’s will and that he was pressured by security agencies to sack him without even investigating with him, which the campaign member considers a “scandal” for the presidency.