Lebanon’s Central Bank Chief Is Working From Home And Not On The Run Despite Legal Pressure
Lebanon–Lebanon’s central bank governor Riad Salameh is working normally from his office despite legal pressure and a court hearing over misconduct. He chaired a meeting in his office on Wednesday, a day after security services sought him for a court hearing over misconduct. A source from the central bank confirmed the news. According to the sources, Salameh had been staying and working at an apartment in the central bank building.
The security services were reportedly acting on the order of Judge Ghada Aoun. The Judge has issued an open-ended subpoena against the governor after he failed to attend several hearings as a witness in ongoing investigations in several cases alleging financial impropriety.
Salameh has headed the central bank of Lebanon for about three decades. However, he has been accused of fraud and other acts of misconduct in the lead-up to Lebanon’s financial crisis in 2019. Reportedly, the governor has denied any wrongdoing in these cases. He has also sought the dismissal of the judge from investigations against him.
Reportedly, the governor faces several other investigations in European countries. However, he has described accusations against him as politically motivated. Reportedly, State Security, one of Lebanon’s main agencies, sought Salameh at the central bank and two personal residences on Tuesday. However, the security was unable to locate him. Reportedly, an investigative judge on Wednesday sued Lebanon’s police chief, accusing him of preventing security forces from questioning the central bank governor.
Judge Ghada Aoun said that a police force prevented members of State Security from bringing Riad Salameh from his home for questioning. She reportedly sent a formal letter to Internal Security Force (ISF) chief Imad Osman on this matter. She asked the chief to explain why this incident took place. However, the ISF chief denied in a statement that it had prevented the execution of the subpoena.