An Egyptian military court on Tuesday sentenced the country’s former anti-corruption chief, Hisham Geneina, to five years imprisonment for allegedly insulting the state and military.
Mr Genena was arrested in February following incendiary comments he made in a television interview in which he claimed that the former chief-of-staff Sami Annan was in possession of documents incriminating the country’s “leadership.”
He said the documents were kept abroad.
A day before Mr Genena’s arrest, the military said it would take action to safeguard its “honor and dignity.’’
Mr Annan himself was arrested in January shortly after he announced his intention to challenge President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sissi in the March presidential election.
He was accused of incitement against the military and forgery.
Mr Al-Sissi ran virtually unopposed, winning the March 26 to March 28 election with 97 per cent of the vote.
Defence lawyer, Hossam Lotfy said the verdict against Mr Genena would be appealed before a higher military tribunal.
Another defence lawyer, Ali Taha, confirmed the verdict in a Facebook posting.
The arrest of both Messrs Genena and Annan were part of a pre-election crackdown that removed potentially serious challengers from the race.
A former prime minister and air force general, Ahmed Shafiq, quit the race just days after he announced his intention to run.
He was the target of an intense defamation campaign in the pro-government media, whose stalwarts hurled unsubstantiated corruption and personal misconduct accusations against him.
Other potentially candidates were intimidated out of the race.
Mr Genena, who was to be one of Mr Annan’s two top campaign aides, led Egypt’s watchdog agency until Mr Al-Sissi fired him in 2016.
On January 27, Mr Genena was assaulted by three men near his home, sustaining serious eye and knee injuries.
He later told The Associated Press in an interview that he suspected the attack was related to an appeal he planned to file the same day, contesting the removal of Mr Annan’s name from the list of presidential hopefuls.
Authorities said at the time that he was injured in a brawl following a car accident he was involved in.
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