| 25 May 2024, Saturday |

Lebanese judge keeps brother of central bank governor under arrest, source says

After being accused last week with involvement in unlawful enrichment, a Lebanese judge ordered Raja Salameh, the central bank governor’s brother, to stay under house arrest on Thursday, according to a judicial source acquainted with the case.

Governor Riad Salameh has been accused in absentia with unlawful enrichment in connection with the acquisition and renting of Paris properties, some of which were rented to the central bank.

The claims have been refuted by Riad Salameh.

The charge leveled against Raja Salameh, according to his counsel, is unsubstantiated. On Thursday, Raja Salameh’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Judge Ghada Aoun filed the accusations against the Salameh brothers after referring the matter to investigative Judge Nicolas Mansour earlier this week.

Since Judge Aoun charged Raja Salameh last week, he has been detained.

According to the source, at a hearing on Thursday, Judge Mansour ordered Raja Salameh to remain in custody pending the presentation of paperwork proving the source of cash used to purchase the properties under investigation.

Since the financial system collapsed in 2019, the most destabilizing crisis since Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war, Riad Salameh’s term has been scrutinized more closely.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri are still strong supporters of Riad Salameh in the Lebanese administration.

In an apparent gesture of solidarity, Mikati recommended summoning the governor of the central bank to a next cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

  • Reuters