Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian military court Tuesday sentenced a former anti-corruption chief, Hisham Geneina, to five years in jail after he said a presidential candidate had secret documents allegedly damaging to the army, his lawyer said.
“The verdict is five years, and we’re doing the appeal (procedure) now,” lawyer Ali Taha said.
The military detained Geneina in February accusing him of “spreading news that harms the armed forces” following an interview he gave to Huffpost Arabi, the Arabic version of the US news site.
Taha said he was convicted on the same charge.
Geneina had been a top campaign aide to General Sami Anan, a former armed forces chief of staff whom the military also detained after he announced he would stand in last month’s presidential election against Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who swept to victory for a second term.
Geneina had said Anan allegedly possessed documents on “political events and crises that Egyptian society has passed through” since the 2011 uprising which toppled veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.
He said the documents were being held at a “secure” location abroad and could be released if Anan was harmed.
Moataz Wadnan, the journalist who conducted the interview, was also arrested.
Geneina, a qualified judge, was sacked by Sisi as head of the Central Auditing Authority in 2016 after he was accused of exaggerating the cost of corruption in Egypt.