Aoun: Riad Salameh accused of ignoring financial misconduct probe
Lebanese President Michel Aoun accuses Lebanon Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh of ignoring financial probe into the Central Bank's accounts, and says Salameh is embroiled in money smuggling.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that suspicions are increasing regarding Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh after he neglected to provide management and consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal with documents, noting that his failure to cooperate has cost us $150,000 in penalties.
Speaking to Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper, Aoun said that it is unnatural for the Central Bank to refuse to provide the firm with the documents, stressing that Salameh is now being investigated, and that the matter is no longer one him obstructing political decision-making, rather that he is not complying with it.
He went on to say that more than one country has requested info on Salameh's assets, the first being Switzerland. France followed suit, demanding legal aid in investigations against Salameh, then the UK, then Germany, then Luxembourg and Belgium.
Aoun also added that what's been revealed is that Salameh has assets abroad, declining to say how much. However, he said that they are more than one would expect.
The Lebanese President also discussed internal difficulties, which he called "political protection" for Salameh that prevent his firing from his position, as he is not acting alone, explaining that this is why the cabinet has been unable to do something against him.
Lebanon Central Bank Governor banned from traveling
Lebanese judge and Mount Lebanon's State Prosecutor Ghada Aoun issued on January 11 a travel ban against the country's Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh over a lawsuit accusing him of financial misconduct.
A judicial source told AFP the ban is pursuant to a lawsuit filed by an activist group against Salameh over alleged financial misconduct.
"The decision came after she questioned a number of senior central bank employees," the source added.
Aoun has summoned Salameh for questioning over the case, but the exact date of the session has yet to be publicly disclosed, the source added.