Outspoken Egyptian auditor attacked over wife's Palestinian origins

Outspoken Egyptian auditor attacked over wife's Palestinian origins
Blog: Egypt's chief auditor, who has investigated and revealed government corruption, is the target of media smears focusing on his wife's Palestinian origins.
2 min read
13 Aug, 2015
Hisham Geniena has attempted to initiate thousands of prosecution cases against corrupt officials [Twitter]
Hisham Geneina is the chief auditor in Egypt, known for his outspoken criticism of government corruption, revealing squandered funds during both the administrations of Mohammad Morsi and Abdel Fatah el-Sisi.

Appointed to head the Central Auditing Committee by Morsi, Geneina has recently been the target of a media campaign accusing him of sympathising with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The latest media campaign focuses on the fact his wife, Wafaa Qadeeh, is Palestinian.

Palestinians have recently been portrayed in certain sections of the Egyptian media as being pro-Hamas, who had close connections to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

"I consider Egypt my country. I do not have as many links and associations with Palestine as I do with this country and its beloved people," Qadeeh told the 10pm TV show in response.

"How do Egyptian officials allow such defamation to continue?"

A number of Egyptian newspapers had reported that Geneina had affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood and that his wife's family had links to Hamas and Islamic Jihad - accusations that Qadeeh strongly denied.
     How do Egyptian officials allow such defamation to continue?
 - Wafaa Qadeeh

"This is public slander," she said, stressing her connections to Fatah, Hamas' rivals, who dominate the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.

"Most of my relatives are working in the Palestinian National Authority and my cousin was a member of the presidential campaign of President Mahmoud Abbas... and my father was a personal friend the late leader Yasser Arafat," she said.

"We are accustomed to attacks on Hisham Geneina as he is a public figure but we noticed that these attacks escalated recently to question his efficiency as head of the Central Auditing Committee."

Geneina told Mada Masr in July that the smears were perpetrated by an extensive clique of businessmen and officials, who form a "network of corruption".

In July a new law in Egypt was passed that allowed the president to remove heads of supervisory bodies if they posed a "threat to national security" or failed to carry out their duties. 

Local Egyptian media speculated that the law was passed in an attempt to oust Geneina from his position. 

The Central Auditing Committee was established in 1942 to monitor state spending. After the Egyptian uprising in 2011 the institution was reformed from within, and led investigations into Mubarak-era corruption.

Many of the cases have since been dropped or settled out of court.