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Auditor placed under investigation for disclosing corruption case

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 26 June 2011 - ANHRI has condemned the Central Auditing Organization (CAO) for placing auditor Ahmed Al Sandawini under investigation, reportedly for disclosing information about a contaminated wheat crop to the media.

Al Sandawini is a member of the "Sensors Against Corruption" group. He recently obtained a degree in technical inspection. He is also a witness in proclamations no. 490, and 491 2011 filed with the Supreme Prosecution of Public Funds. Assem Abdel Moeti filed these proclamations against CAO president Gawdet El Malt. This suggests that the organization's prosecution of Al Sandawini is arbitrary and meant to harass him for his anti-corruption activities.

Al Sandawini was expected to be placed under investigation on 27 June 2011, under Article 3, chapter 6 of a regulation concerning CAO employees. The regulation "forbids employees from disclosing confidential information. The employee's commitment to this article remains in effect even after the individual has left his job". Accordingly, Al Sandawini will be prosecuted for talking to the media about the contaminated wheat. However, ANHRI believes that this case of corruption, if true, should not be seen as confidential.

"Sensors Against Corruption" is an association of employees within the CAO that has been calling for reforms and the removal from the organization of representatives of the toppled regime, which impedes the course of justice and helps to conceal corrupt practices in Egypt.

"Denouncing corruption is not a charge for which a public officer should be placed under investigation. It would be better to encourage each employee to disclose all instances of corruption he has monitored. Moreover, it is not logical for an employee to be blamed for his work within an organization whose main function is uncovering corruption," ANHRI said.

ANHRI urges the Administrative Prosecution to discontinue the investigation of Al Sandawini, investigate his allegations of corruption and identify those responsible, instead of judging the employee for using his legitimate right to express his views in a peaceful way. ANHRI believes that the Egyptian authorities have to modify the internal mechanisms of the CAO in order to allow any employee within the organization to uncover corruption. "The current transformation requires all our efforts to unearth corruption cases that remained hidden for a long time," the organization noted.

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