One of the main people accused of being responsible for the Lebanese economic crisis, Riad Salameh, is being charged with multiple cases, including illicit enrichment and money laundering.
Five European countries are also investigating him and his brother Raja over the alleged embezzlement of more than $300 million.
Last week, prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat referred Riad Salameh to a Beirut court and ordered judge Ziad Abu Haidar to handle the case. Judge Abu Haidar surprised everyone when he asked to be recused from the case “due to its sensitivity.”
Habib Rizkallah, the first chief Judge in the Beirut Court of Appeals, rejected Abu Haidar’s request. This means that the case will now move forward, and no new judge will be assigned to handle it.
Both Salameh brothers claim all charges against them are false and have already filed lawsuits against Judges Oueidat and Jean Tannous. The latter was the judge tasked with investigating Riad and Raja.
Salameh has been the governor of the Central Bank since 1993, making him one of the oldest Lebanese officials still in power. Many people argue he will not face any punishment, since top officials in Lebanon have never been held responsible for their actions.