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Lebanese Prime Minister calls for exoneration of bank governor

Líbano, primer, ministro, gobernador, banco, central, exoneración

Lebanese Prime Minister calls for exoneration of bank governor

Beirut, Feb 22 (Prensa Latina) Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Miqati today called for exonerating the governor of the Central Bank (Banque du Liban), Riad Salameh, from a lawsuit by state prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat.

Miqati thus responded to reports that Oueidat intends to question Salameh, who is accused of money laundering and mismanagement.

According to the online version of the daily Nidaa Al-Watan, the head of government made contacts internally and abroad to stop the persecution against the banker.

This harassment, the publication pointed out, will have dangerous repercussions for the country.

“Expelling Salameh without an agreement on a successor will raise the unofficial exchange rate of the dollar and ruin plans to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund,” the prime minister said.

It could also delay the parliamentary elections scheduled for next May, he anticipated, because of the chaos it will generate in the national socio-economic situation.

The governor of the Banque du Liban for the past 30 years faces charges in Switzerland, Luxembourg and France for allegedly mishandling his office.

Popular perception blames Salameh for the worst Lebanese financial and economic crisis in decades with nearly 80 percent of the population below the poverty line ($3.64 per day) and a foreign debt equivalent to 183 percent of gross domestic product.


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