Switzerland has officially frozen the accounts of the Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, following the Swiss judiciary’s request to investigate transfers of $400 million reportedly belonging to him, his brother Raja, and his assistant Marianne Hoayek.
Cooperating with the request of the Swiss judicial authorities, caretaker Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm asked on Tuesday Public Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat to interrogate Salameh.
On Thursday, Salameh said in a statement that he has answered all the questions of the Lebanese Public Prosecutor related to the Swiss judicial authorities’ inquiry into money transfers.
He stressed that he had made no transfers from BDL’s accounts or budgets. “No money transfers were made abroad from the accounts or the budget of the central bank,” he said.
According to a judiciary source, Salameh was willing to answer Swiss authorities’ questions directly but not as a suspect.
Salameh even threatened to legally pursue “those who insist on publishing malicious rumors and offenses that target me personally and tarnish Lebanon’s financial reputation.”
The Central Bank has previously denied claims about financial transfers made by Salameh or his brother, stating that “the governor is committed to Lebanese and international laws, and he’s willing to cooperate with concerned entities.”