European investigators hear Lebanese bankers in money laundering file

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2023-01-20 | 12:14
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European investigators hear Lebanese bankers in money laundering file
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2min
European investigators hear Lebanese bankers in money laundering file

Out of the 12 people the European judicial delegation from France, Germany, and Luxembourg asked to hear in the money laundering file, nine witnesses were present, while two were absent with excuses, one of them for health reasons and the second because of the death of his mother.

As for the only suspect,  he expressed his willingness to present his statement to the authorities in Luxembourg during a visit he made there on January 8th.

The suspect's name is not mentioned in the Lebanese judicial file because, according to the Lebanese investigation, he played a mediating role in one of the Eurobond sales, which was not found to be essential.

On the fifth and last day of the European delegation in Lebanon, Judges Mirna Kallas and Imad Qablan listened to the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of med Bank, Raya Al-Hassan, as she was a member of the Bank's Board of Directors for years. An accountant in an international auditing firm, Ramzi Akkawi, was also heard.

In the information, all the witnesses were favorable towards the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, during the sessions, and one of them even said that if any bank makes a mistake, whoever bears the responsibility, is the bank itself, not the Governor of the Banque du Liban. The latter added that the campaigns that banks are exposed to today are a blow to the banking sector, noting that the witness above pledged to hand over documents requested from him.

According to the information, the Public Prosecutor of Cassation, Judge Ghassan Oweidat, allowed the German delegation to photocopy documents from the Lebanese judicial file that benefit the German side. According to the same sources, the suspicion of money laundering has strengthened among the European delegation.

On Friday afternoon, the Public Prosecutor of Cassation, Ghassan Oweidat, after his evaluation meeting with the delegations of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, described the mission as positive, as he sensed cooperation from the witnesses.

As for the following visit of the European delegation, a date is expected to be set by the Europeans, noting that the Lebanese judiciary had previously received a list of 30 people, including Riad Salameh. Still, the delegation requested to hear 12 of them in the first stage.

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