Lebanese Justice Minister Accuses Top Officials Of Protecting Riad Salameh

Marie-Claude Najm | Dalati Nohra

During an interview with Al-Hurra News on Monday evening, caretaker Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm discussed the recent investigations by the Swiss judiciary into the Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.

When asked about which political official was protecting Salameh, Najm did not name just one.

The justice minister named top Lebanese officials, such as Nabih Berri, Walid Jumblatt, Saad Hariri, the Hezbollah party, as well as President Michel Aoun.

She even accused Aoun of not pushing for the dismissal of the Central Bank Governor, pointing to the fact that he kept ministers “in the dark about the numbers, losses, and reserves.” 

Minister Najm had received on January 19th the request of the Swiss judiciary investigation regarding the governor’s suspected transfers of some $400 million and alleged money laundering.

She transferred the request to Lebanon’s Public Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat who proceeded in interrogating Salameh. The latter denied the charges.

Minister Najm hinted that there was something suspicious about Riad Salameh, emphasizing that she was and is still in favor of ousting him.

Meanwhile, Switzerland has proceeding in freezing his assets in its banks.

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