Cairo Jan 20, (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt’s General Prosecutor issued on Wednesday a publication ban on investigations in the case related to the Central Auditing Organisation’s (CAO) accounts of government corruption in Egypt in 2015.
The General Prosecutor sent statements, which Aswat Masriya got hold of, to the Radio and Television Union requesting a publication ban in broadcast, print and online media on the corruption case. He added that ban will be in place until the investigations come to an end, except for statements coming out of the public prosecution office.
CAO director Hisham Geneina had previously told Egyptian media that the size of governmental corruption in the period between 2012 and 2015 was EGP 600 billion (around $75 billion).
Geneina also said that the figure is based on the findings of a detailed study conducted by the CAO.
The CAO monitors financial institutions and government bodies and falls directly under the jurisdiction of the presidency.
After these statements, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi formed a fact-finding committee to investigate the matter. The committee later stated that according to its findings, the CAO statements were “misleading and inflated the size and value of the so-called corruption.”
The committee sent its results to the newly-formed House of Representatives.
In the year 2015, Egyptian authorities imposed 13 publication bans, in which journalists were prohibited from reporting on certain cases until investigations into these cases had been completed.
According to various legal experts, both the office of prosecution and the judges charged with heading these cases hold the right to impose publication bans on the media.
Article 268 in Criminal procedure law No. 150 for the year 1950, and law No. 95 for the year 2003 state that the media is not allowed to publish that which has been deemed “secret” by court.
In addition, the media is prohibited from publishing anything that concerns the armed forces or the intelligence services without prior approval from the two institutions.