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| 13 February, 2018

Egypt police detain former anti-graft chief, family says

Former anti-corruption chief Hisham Genena, who had been helping run the election campaign of a challenger to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

CAIRO- Egyptian police on Tuesday took former anti-corruption chief Hisham Genena, who had been helping run the election campaign of a challenger to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to the military prosecutor's office, his family said.

Genena's daughter Nada Genena told Reuters by phone that up to 30 policemen came to the family home in a Cairo suburb early in the day and took him away by car.

His wife Wada Kedieh, who followed the police convoy, said he was taken to the military prosecution.

An interior ministry official said he had no knowledge of the incident.

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Genena had run the short-lived election campaign of former military chief of staff Sami Anan, who was detained last month and accused by the army of running for office without permission, bringing his presidential bid to a halt. Egypt holds the election at the end of March.

The military in a statement late on Monday said it would pursue all "legal measures" against anyone who tried to harm Egypt's national security.

The statement appeared to refer to an interview Genena gave to the HuffPost Arabi news website, in which he said Anan possessed documents that were damning of senior Egyptian officials, without giving specific details.

It was not immediately clear if Tuesday's incident was linked to the military statement, however.

The military was not immediately available for comment.

Genena was beaten up last month shortly after the detention of Anan and accused the government of being behind his assault. His alleged assailants said his injuries were the result of a fight after a car accident. 

All of Egypt's main challengers to Sisi, who is seeking a second term in the March 26-28 vote, have pulled out of the race citing intimidation of their supporters and other tactics designed to give the incumbent an easy win.

Egypt says the 2018 presidential election will be free and fair.

(Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg) ((+44 207 542 4441))