Egypt’s top auditor appeals against decision to sack him from office

The former head of Egypt’s Central Auditing Organisation (CAO), who had made allegations of massive corruption in government bodies, filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the president’s decision to remove him from his position.

Lawyers representing Hisham Geneina filed the lawsuit with the administrative court against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, stating that the latter’s decision to dismiss Geneina was unconstitutional and illegal, and requesting that it be suspended.

Sisi issued a presidential decree in March to sack Geneina after the then-head of the CAO told Egyptian media outlets that the size of governmental corruption during the period between 2012 and 2015 was EGP 600 billion (around $67 billion). He said that his statements were based on findings of a detailed study conducted by the CAO.

The CAO monitors financial institutions and government bodies and falls directly under the jurisdiction of the presidency.

The official gazette reported, after the presidential decree was issued, that “the removal is based on a statement from national security prosecution following its investigation into Geniena’s statements about the cost of corruption in Egypt being EGP 600 billion, which carried false data.”

In December 2015, Sisi had ordered that a fact-finding committee be formed to probe the corruption allegations. The committee, which included cabinet ministers, said in conclusion to its investigation that the top auditor’s statements and the CAO’s study were “inaccurate”, “exaggerated” and lacked “credibility”. In January, the public prosecutor issued a gagging order banning media coverage of the investigation.

Until 2014, the head of CAO and other entities with the same legal status  and immunity could not be dismissed, according to the Egyptian constitution.

In July 2015, Sisi issued a law allowing himself to depose the heads of the state’s regulatory and auditing agencies, including CAO and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Source: Aswat Masriya