Middle East

Lebanon to question central bank chief on Aug. 5 - judicial source

2 minute read

Lebanon's Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh speaks during a news conference at Central Bank in Beirut, Lebanon, November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

BEIRUT, July 19 (Reuters) - A Lebanese prosecutor will question central bank chief Riad Salameh on Aug. 5 on suspicions of embezzelment, money laundering and tax evasion, a senior judicial source told Reuters on Monday.

"He has not been charged until now but things could escalate," the source said.

Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh is already under investigation in Switzerland on charges related to embezzlement and probes are under way or being planned in several other European countries.

Salameh did not immediately respond to a request for comment but he has dismissed previous corruption allegations against him as a smear campaign.

Lebanon's public prosecutor launched an investigation into Salameh in April after a Swiss legal request alleged that more than $300 million had been embezzled from the bank through a company owned by his brother. read more

Lebanon's crippled banking system is at the heart of its financial crisis that erupted in late 2019. Banks have since blocked transfers abroad and cut access to deposits as dollars grew scarce.

Reporting By Laila Bassam, writing By Maha El Dahan, editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters