defending himself and attacking politicians; This is how the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, appeared in exclusive statements to Al Arabiya.net, after a French judge issued an international arrest warrant against him.
“I am cooperating with the Lebanese and foreign courts, and I will step down if any verdict is issued against me,” Salameh said.
“The notification by the French judge should have been in accordance with legal principles, and I asked her to issue a new notification that respects the law, but she refused.”
On Tuesday, a French judge issued an international arrest warrant for Central Bank of Lebanon Governor Riad Salameh, who missed a hearing in Paris at which French prosecutors were expected to file preliminary charges of fraud and money laundering, two sources familiar with his travel plans said.
In his interview with Al-Arabiya.net, Salameh responded to this step, and said that he would appeal the French judge’s decision to the French authorities. “I am not a slacker,” he said, “but there is a story of dignity.”
On the course of his investigation, Salameh said, “There is a political process, not a judicial one, behind what is happening. I am ready for all the legal path despite my conviction that it is unjust.”
He said, “My conscience is clear, and the charges against me are incorrect, and if a judgment is issued against me proving that I am guilty, I will step down from the governance of the bank.”
Salameh called for the politicians to be prosecuted: “Did they start investigating me just because I don’t have a ‘bully’ in the street?”
Regarding monetary policy and the rise in dollarization in Lebanon, Salameh said, “The Bank of Lebanon will always intervene to prevent an additional rise in the dollar exchange rate and buy all the pounds from the market through an exchange rate, and the “noise” raised today aims to cause chaos in the currency market, because there are those who are disturbed by monetary stability. which generated economic growth.
And he touched on Hezbollah’s loan, “The Hassan loan (Hezbollah Bank) is not licensed by the Banque du Liban, and there are no transactions with it, and I have no authority over it because it is not licensed by the Central Bank.”
On the issue of deposits, Salameh said that there is a possibility of recovering deposits, provided that they move away from populism, adding, “The Banque du Liban institution will remain a cornerstone of stability.”
A senior judicial source said today, Thursday, that Charbel Abu Samra, the first investigating judge in Beirut, who is overseeing a local case against the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, had rejected the defenses presented by the defense lawyers.
Salameh’s lawyers had objected to the presence of another Lebanese judge suing the governor of the Banque du Liban on behalf of the state at a hearing of European investigators in Beirut in March.
Two days ago, French Judge Aude Borosi issued an international arrest warrant against the Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, according to a source familiar with the file, after he refused to appear before the French judiciary in an interrogation session, on charges of money laundering and embezzlement of public funds.