Egypt’s ex-top auditor injured in knife attack

Genena, first appointed by Mursi, was also senior member in presidential hopeful Sami Annan’s campaign

Cairo: Egypt’s former chief auditor and political dissident, Hesham Genena, on Saturday sustained injuries in an alleged knife attack near Cairo, his lawyer said.

“Three thugs” attacked Genena while he was on his way to a court to attend a hearing on the appeal against his sacking from his post nearly two years ago, lawyer Ali Taha added in a statement.

Genena, 62, survived the attack with injures in the foot and the face, Taha said, adding that the assailants fled. Genena was taken to hospital in Tajmu on the outskirts of Cairo.

A security source disputed the lawyer’s account and said that Genena, a former judge, was injured in a road rage incident.

“Genena’s car hit a young man, an accident that triggered a quarrel between both,” the source said. “He suffered bruises in the fight,” the source added on condition of anonymity.

In March 2016, President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi sacked Genena as head of the anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Auditing Agency (CAA), after State Security prosecution said comments made by Genena on state corruption were “inaccurate”.

Later that year, Genena was given a suspended one-year jail sentence on charges of spreading false news in connection with his earlier remarks about the cost of corruption in the country.

Genena was quoted in an earlier interview with the private newspaper Al Youm Al Saba as saying that corruption cost Egypt around 600 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh125 billion) in 2015.

He later said he was misquoted and that the figure covered four years starting from 2012 when then president Mohammad Mursi appointed him to the post.

The claim brought Genena under sharp criticism from pro-government media, some of which accused him of being loyal to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and seeking to harm the country’s name.

Genena was appointed as head of the CAA in 2012 for a four-year term with a two-tenure cap. The CAA is tasked with monitoring state institutions’

spending of public money.

Genena was a senior member in the campaign of presidential hopeful Sami Annan, an ex-chief of the army staff. Last week, Annan was barred from running in the March presidential elections after the army summoned him for interrogation over announcing his intention to stand for president without permission in violation of military rules and inciting people against the military establishment in an online statement.


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