FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, Hisham Genena, then head of Egypt's oversight body, talks at his office in Cairo, Egypt. Security officials say Genena has been injured in a brawl with unidentified men outside his suburban Cairo home, few weeks after he was named top aide to would-be presidential candidate Sami Annan, a former military chief of staff. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Egypt's former top auditor injured in brawl outside his home

January 27, 2018 - 10:15 am

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's former top auditor on Saturday suffered injuries to his face and leg during a brawl with unidentified men outside his suburban Cairo home, according to security officials.

Hisham Genena was earlier this month named as one of two top aides to would-be presidential candidate Sami Annan, a former military chief of staff. Annan was arrested Tuesday by the military, which accused him of inciting against the military and forgery. He has not been heard of or publicly seen since his arrest.

The officials said Saturday's brawl followed a car collision involving Genena's vehicle. They said knives were used in the scuffle and that Genena sustained injuries to his face, head and leg. Genena was treated in hospital and images circulating on social media purportedly show his left eye swollen shut and his left leg wrapped in blood-soaked bandages around the knee.

Genena's lawyer, Ali Taha, was quoted by local news outlets as saying his client was attacked by three "thugs."

Genena, a former judge and police officer, was headed to a court hearing for his appeal against his 2016 removal by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi from his job as head of the Central Auditing Organization.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

In 2015, Genena said corruption was costing the country billions of dollars. A pro-government daily quoted him as saying that Egypt wasted 600 billion pounds or ($67.6 billion) in corruption in 2015 alone. He later said he was misquoted and that his remarks referred to the last four-year period.

El-Sissi dismissed Genena in March 2016, following an investigation that hurriedly concluded the auditor had misled the public on the issue of corruption. The removal capped a series of measures critics say were aimed at sacking the chief auditor after speaking up against corruption.

Pro-government media has linked Genena to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that was outlawed and declared a terrorist organization shortly after el-Sissi led the military's 2013 ouster of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader.

Morsi, a Brotherhood stalwart, named Genena to his post during his one year in office, which proved divisive.

Annan's would-be candidacy in the March 26-28 was widely expected to attract the support of Brotherhood supporters, a prospect that critics of the ex-army general pointed to as evidence of his links to the group. Under el-Sissi's rule even suspected links to the Brotherhood can be a criminal offence.

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