Al-Jadeed TV just launched a petition on Change.org under the title “Restoring The Stolen Funds.” In this petition, they plead the Swiss government to investigate money transfers and corruption in Lebanon.
The petition opens with the sentence: “The policies that the Lebanese government has practiced over the last 30 years have driven the Lebanese population to poverty.”
Al-Jadeed added that the laws in Lebanon have yet to measure up to the standards required to hold politicians accountable, most notably the enrichment law, which they said was “insulting” and “protected the corrupt.”
They also claimed that the judiciary in Lebanon failed in their duty to hold the politicians who stole from the population accountable.
However, investigative journalists, such as Ramez El-Kadi and Riad Kobeissi, were able to expose many cases of corruption that were not dealt with by the people who supposedly presided over these cases, judiciary or otherwise.
They point out that the Lebanese expat community has lost faith in the state and the banking sector as a whole, which resulted in losing a flow of 8 billion dollars. This loss is equivalent to 17% of Lebanon’s GDP.
They are asking the Lebanese population to join them in their fight against corruption and sign this petition so that the Swiss authorities can take the necessary legal steps to seize the stolen funds and return them to Lebanon.
Al-Jadeed has been even more daring than previous times, revealing now files on officials they have been investigating for illicit enrichment and corruption.
Layal Abou Moussa, a reporter in Al-Jadeed, retweeted on Saturday a post “from Al-Jadeed News” twitter account, listing politicians with obscene amounts of real estate properties and companies.
According to the tweet, she has compiled the list from “official records” in Lebanon. The list concludes with: “Other than the properties in the name of the family and the fortunes.”
The tweet lists the following:
Gebran Bassil: 48 properties and 5 companies. Saad el-Hariri: 71 properties and 6 companies. Walid Jumblatt: 505 properties and 36 companies. Nabih Berri: 15 properties and 4 companies.
It is a significant step in the Lebanese revolution when a local media officially takes a stance against the corruption that the Lebanese people have been protesting against for the last 4 months.
This is not the first time an organization has made a request to the Swiss authorities to seize and return the funds stolen from the Lebanese people. The Lebanese Judges association made a similar document in relation to this topic.
However, although petitions have their success stories and the fact that a media organization taking a stand is significant, we need to be aware that there needs to be an official and legal order by the judiciary in order for the Swiss authorities to listen to our demands.