Judge Ghassan Oweidat has opened an investigation on Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi, after Fahmi indicated during a televised interview with journalist Marcel Ghanem that 95 percent of Lebanese judges are corrupt.
Fahmi also stated that corruption rates in Lebanon are very high, especially among parliament deputies, judges, retired officers, and mayors, adding that most violate the law.
Judge Oweidat opened an investigation with the Supreme Judicial Council, in agreement with the State Council and the Audit Bureau, according to a statement issued Friday evening after a meeting was held.
The meeting decided to request the public prosecutor to take the appropriate legal action against the Interior Minister.
Judge Oweidat told Annahar that he decided to summon Minister Fahmi and media figure Ghanem to listen to their testimonies and decide on the next legal step.
Oweidat also requested the Ministry of Justice to submit all necessary judicial review.
Lebanon’s Supreme Judicial Council has stated that the allegations made by Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi about widespread corruption in the judicial system and among judges are false, confirming that Fahmi’s accusations are “unacceptable, intolerable and untrue.”
The council conveyed in a statement that the allegations made by Interior Minister Fahmi should not come from those upon whom the people rely on to build the state and its institutions.
The statement stressed that the judicial council is performing most of its duties in extremely difficult circumstances and expects to receive support from the authorities and state institutions.
However, after accusing the majority of the judicial authority in Lebanon of “corruption,” caretaker Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi said on Saturday that his criticism has “awakened some in the judiciary.”
“Let the criticism be, and let them prosecute. If my frankness has awakened some in the judiciary, this is required in order to begin with forgotten cases of the people and the oppressed in prisons,” Fahmi stressed.