Lebanon: Security authorities trying to arrest Central Bank Governor
A security patrol raids the headquarters of Lebanon's Central Bank to implement a subpoena against the governor in order to arrest him.
Sources of the Prosecution Committee against Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh told Al Mayadeen Tuesday a security patrol raided two of Salameh's homes in search of him.
The sources pointed out that the security patrol also raided the headquarters of Lebanon's Central Bank to implement the subpoena against the governor, but did not find him.
Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun confirmed to Al Mayadeen that she would continue pursuing Salameh until he is brought to the arc of justice.
If Salameh was innocent, he would have gone to court
Lawyer Hassan Bazzi told Al Mayadeen lawyers were waiting in the Baabda Palace of Justice to know whether the subpoena against the governor has been executed.
Bazzi added that several legal options are on the table in case Salameh was not brought today, revealing that the Director-General of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces will be prosecuted for rebelling against the judiciary if Salameh was not brought in.
Strong Lebanon bloc member Eddy Maalouf said had Salameh been innocent, he would have gone to court, noting that his bloc is skeptical of any political group defending the governor.
He also stressed that Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement, and Prime Minister Najib Mikati do not cover the Central Bank governor.
Lebanon's Central Bank Governor is appointed by foreign powers
Similarly, Development and Liberation Bloc MP Qassem Hashem called on prosecuting everyone who transferred funds from Lebanon to abroad.
Daoud Rammal, journalist and political writer confirmed that Salameh's prosecution case had been on the table since 2019, pointing out that appointing a Central Bank Governor cannot be done without the approval of foreign powers.
Journalist and economic expert Mounir Younes told Al Mayadeen the current political conflicts challenging Lebanon are affecting the exchange rate of the lira against the dollar, revealing that Salameh provided the US with financial information related to Hezbollah.
Multiple local and international measures against Salameh
On Monday, judicial information revealed that the Public Prosecutor in Mount Lebanon, Judge Ghada Aoun, demanded the State Security Service to arrest the governor and bring him to the investigation on Tuesday.
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.
It is noteworthy that on the third of this month, Lebanese judge and Mount Lebanon's State Prosecutor, Ghada Aoun, issued a decision preventing Salameh from disposing of new properties owned by him in Safra, Kfardebian, and Ashrafieh regions.
On January 11, Aoun issued a travel ban against the country's Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh over a lawsuit accusing him of financial misconduct.
Luxembourg judicial authorities also announced that they had opened a criminal inquiry in relation to Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and his companies and assets, according to a judicial spokesperson.