Reuters: Lebanon received a letter from Luxembourg requesting information regarding Riad Salameh’s accounts
A high-ranking Lebanese judicial source confirmed to Reuters that Lebanon received a letter from the Luxembourg authorities requesting information regarding the accounts and assets of Banque du Liban Governor Riad Salameh.
The source did not give further details. A spokesperson for the Luxembourg judiciary and Lebanon’s justice minister did not respond to requests for comment.
On January 18, the Lebanese judiciary issued a decision preventing Salameh from disposing of his real estate and cars, on the background of investigations into corruption cases directed against him.
And the official Lebanese media agency said that the Appeal Public Prosecutor in Mount Lebanon Governorate, Judge Ghada Aoun, issued a decision to place a prohibition sign on all real estate and cars belonging to the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh.
The agency indicated that the decision was notified to the Land Registry Secretariat in the Matn District (where the real estate is located) and the Vehicles and Vehicles Registration Authority, to implement the decision immediately, based on a complaint submitted by the “People want reform of the system” group.
The complaint filed by the aforementioned group against Salama relates to “breach of professional duties, negligence, illicit enrichment, money laundering, and perpetration of fraud.”
The group “The People Want Reform of the System”, which was established during the protests that began in October 2019, includes 12 lawyers who are concerned with issues related to public affairs and money.
On January 11, the same judge issued a decision banning Salameh from traveling from the country in the same case.
However, Salameh responded in a statement calling for Judge Ghada Aoun to be removed from the case, accusing her of bias and leading a campaign to tarnish his image.
Salameh took up his position as central bank governor 28 years ago, but has recently faced increased scrutiny in the wake of the collapse of Lebanon’s financial system.
Popular and political parties (most notably the Free Patriotic Movement, an ally of Hezbollah), blamed Salama for the collapse of the national currency, which recorded an unprecedented decline in light of a severe economic crisis that the country has been experiencing for more than two years.