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Egypt's former top auditor detained, refused to pay bail

June 02, 2016 - 10:36 AM

CAIRO - After refusing to pay bail, Egypt's former top auditor has been detained over allegations he spread false news, his lawyers said Thursday.

Hesham Genana "refused to pay bail because he does not believe he committed a crime. He was only doing his job," his lawyer Ali Taha told The Associated Press.

Genena, who was summoned for questioning last month, will remain in detention until he stands trial on 7 June, rights lawyer Negad El-Borai told AP. He said that Genena's refusal to pay bail was "respectable" and indicated that he did not recognize the allegations against him.

Genena was accused of spreading false news after a newspaper quoted him in December as saying corruption cost the country 600 billion Egyptian pounds ($67.6 billion) in 2015. Genena said he was misquoted, that the figure covered four years and that it was arrived at following an exhaustive study.

Last March, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi dismissed Genena from his position as head of the Central Auditing Organization after a commission investigated his report, concluding that Genena had misled the public.

Critics say the moves intend to silence dissent.

Last week, the head of Egypt's journalists union and two board members also refused to pay bail after they were referred to trial on charges of spreading false news.

The accusations against them came after the head of the union called for the interior ministry to resign and demanded a presidential apology over an alleged police raid to detain two journalists wanted for inciting protests. The reporters had taken refuge inside the union's building in downtown Cairo.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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