Middle East

Egypt upholds 1-year sentence for former state auditor

A Cairo appeals court has upheld a one-year sentence on charges of "spreading false news" for Egypt's former chief auditor, who alleged massive government corruption.

Hesham Genena, the former head of the state-run Central Auditing Organization, was fired by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in March despite the auditor's constitutional immunity.

Genena had earlier said that corruption siphoned off 600 billion Egyptian pounds in four years. An Egyptian daily misquoted him as saying that the figure only covered 2015, which would place it squarely within el-Sissi's term as president.

A presidential committee probed Genena's reports and accused him of misleading the public before a lower court sentenced him for "spreading false news."

Genena has not been taken into custody. The court said Thursday he could pay a $1,000 fine to avoid prison.