Egyptian judge Hisham Genena, the former head of Egypt’s Central Auditing Authority, the country’s anti-corruption agency in Cairo in 2016 (AFP)
Egyptian police on Tuesday detained former anti-corruption chief Hisham Genena, who had been helping run the election campaign of a challenger to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, his daughter said.
Nada Genena told Reuters by phone that up to 30 policemen had taken Genena from his home in a Cairo suburb in a vehicle.
She witnessed the incident but did not know where he was being taken and gave no further details.
Genena’s lawyer also confirmed to local media on Tuesday that he was taken from his home but it was unclear where he will be transferred to at this time.
Genena had run the short-lived election campaign of former military chief of staff Sami Anan, who was detained last month and accused by the army of running for office without permission, bringing his presidential bid to a halt. Egypt holds the election at the end of March.
On Monday, the Supreme Committee of the Armed Forces (SCAF) said it would launch an investigation into both the ex-presidential candidate and his campaign manager, over remarks in which Genena claimed Anan held secret “documents and evidence” that would undermine the country and its leadership.
In an interiew with HuffPost Arabic published on Sunday Genena, a former prosecutor and state auditor, said he fears for the ex-general’s life.
Anan had announced his candidacy last month, but mysteriously dropped out of the race along with all other serious challengers to Sisi.
Genena also told HuffPost Arabic that a “sovereign agency” within the Egyptian security apparatus is leading a violent crackdown against dissidents, including an “assassination attempt” against Genena last month.
He said Anan has a “well of secrets and documents and evidence” that would “implicate many people” in the deadly events that have unfolded in Egypt since 2011.
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Genena was fired from his job as auditor in 2016 after making public complaints about corruption.
Anan has been detained over “breach of the laws of military service” because he did not inform the army’s command before announcing his presidential bid, even though he was no longer a part of the military.
Anan was the second-ranking member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which ran the country after a popular uprising toppled president Hosni Mubarak early in 2011.
After president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected in 2012, he announced the retirement of Anan and other top military officials in a move seen as an attempt to loosen the military’s grip on power after the country’s first free election.
Morsi was overthrown by the army the following year, and then-commander Sisi went on to become president in 2014.