| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Law to recover stolen money … The state vanishes local monitoring agencies

Former Head of Accountancy Experts Syndicate Elie Abboud spoke to “Voice of Beirut International” Mahasin Mursal about the most prominent aspects of the Law on Recovering Stolen Funds, saying, “There must be a specific time period for the completion of this anatomical examination for everyone who exercised power. Especially or a department emanating from the National Anti-Corruption Commission that was issued in the law of recovering stolen money, but this body was not formed. ”He added,“ The commission was granted independence, as it includes two retired judges who are elected by judges, and the two bar associations are represented by a member, and the Syndicate of Certified Public Accountants in Lebanon represented by a member, it also includes a banking expert and a member of the executive authority through the Minister of Development for Administrative Affairs, and therefore this department performs the tasks of anatomical auditing.

Regarding the application mechanism of the law of recovering the stolen money, Abboud considered that “there is an important loophole in it.” He explained, “The legislator decided that there is corruption and looted funds, so it must specify the period for the completion of the audit, and the audit must be within the principle of inclusiveness and non-discretion, and the burden cannot be thrown on this. The committee, as the law, must include an article stipulating that it includes everyone who exercised the executive authority since the Taif Agreement until the enforcement of this law, meaning all the ministry and funds, and it can also specify public sector employees, general directors, the first, second and third categories, senior security agencies, the judiciary and others. ”He added,“ It is stated in the law that the department must develop strategies and work programs provided that it publishes an annual report. Here, the legislator did not know the scope of this department’s work, as its mission is to track the money generated from corruption crimes for a specific period of time. ”

We have  lots of legislations and laws, but the fate of this law, like its predecessors, is just approval without implementation and without the redemption even for a single penny of the stolen money.