Public prosecution asks to sue Lebanese Central Bank governor
After completing preliminary investigations, the Discriminatory Public Prosecution in Lebanon requested the prosecution of the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh.
The Discriminatory Public Prosecution in Lebanon requested the prosecution of the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, after the completion of preliminary investigations it had been conducting for over a year regarding his wealth, on the sidelines of investigations conducted by several European countries, led by Switzerland.
A judicial official stated that "the Discriminatory Public Prosecutor in Lebanon, Judge Ghassan Oweidat, concluded the preliminary investigations related to the file of Banque du Liban Governor Riad Salameh and referred it to the Public Prosecution in Beirut," noting that Judge Oweidat "requested the prosecution of Salameh, his brother Raja, his office manager, Marianne Howayek and others."
The official explained that the prosecution's request comes for suspecting crimes of "embezzlement of public funds, forgery, money laundering, smuggling of funds abroad, tax evasion, and illicit enrichment."
This comes after the first investigative judge at the Mount Lebanon Court of Appeal, Nicolas Mansour, decided to adjourn the interrogation session of Salameh on accusations of money laundering and illicit enrichment, until this June.
Last April, the Lebanese judiciary opened a local investigation into Salameh's wealth and its source after he became the subject of an investigation in Switzerland over the suspicion of his and his brother's involvement in embezzlement cases of "more than $300 million to the detriment of the Banque du Liban".
Salameh is also facing judicial complaints in other European countries, including France and Britain.
Last January, the Federal Public Prosecution Office in Switzerland requested legal assistance from the Lebanese authorities for suspecting that Salameh, with the help of his brother, had been involved "in the embezzlement of funds" since 2002.
On March 28, France, Germany, and Luxembourg froze 120 million euros of Lebanese assets following an investigation targeting five people, including the governor of the Banque du Liban, on charges of money laundering and “embezzlement of public funds in Lebanon worth more than $330 million and €5 million, respectively, between 2002 and 2021".
Salameh faces other cases in Lebanon in which he was charged at least five times. Since the collapse of the national currency, which has lost more than 90% of its value since 2019, Salameh has been subjected to sharp criticism of his monetary policies, considering them the reason for the accumulation of debts.