Today, Sunday, Agence France-Presse quoted a judicial source as saying that the French judicial authorities have opened an investigation into the wealth of the governor of the Lebanese Central Bank, Riad Salameh.
This comes, after the Lebanese Public Prosecution opened an investigation against Salameh, after a Swiss legal request alleging the embezzlement of more than 300 million dollars from the bank, through a company owned by his brother, Raja Salameh.
The Swiss Attorney General’s Office had said last January that it had requested legal assistance from Lebanon in connection with an investigation into “serious money laundering” and “possible embezzlement”, linked to the Banque du Liban.
Official Lebanese media confirmed that Judge Ghassan Oueidat, the Lebanese public prosecutor, referred the preliminary results to the Swiss authorities in February.
Also, the Appeal Public Prosecutor in Mount Lebanon, Judge Ghada Aoun, had charged the governor of the Banque du Liban last January with the crime of job negligence and breach of trust, and referred him to the investigating judge for questioning.
This comes in light of an unprecedented stifling financial and economic crisis in Lebanon, where the Lebanese currency lost more than 90% of its value in less than one year, amid tight restrictions on bank withdrawals and talk of the disappearance of depositors’ money in banks.
Source: AFP + agencies