EU Team Presses on with Probe of Lebanon Central Bank Chief

A European judicial team pressed on with its corruption probe of Lebanon's embattled Central Bank governor on Thursday, questioning one of his aides and summoning his brother for another hearing next week, the Associated Press reported. The delegation from France, Germany, and Luxembourg is on its third visit to Lebanon to interrogate suspects and witnesses in an ongoing investigation of Gov. Riad Salameh and associates over several financial crimes and the laundering of some $330 million. Salameh’s associate, Marianne Hoayek, was questioned for several hours Thursday, two Lebanese officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the probe. Her questioning was to continue on Friday. The European team also summoned Raja Salameh, the governor's brother, for questioning next Wednesday after he did not show up at a session earlier this week, citing illness. Next week, the team will question Lebanon’s caretaker Finance Minister Youssef Khalil, who was a close associated for Salameh for years. The three European governments in March 2022 froze more than $130 million in assets linked to the investigation. Last month, the European delegation questioned Riad Salameh about the Central Bank’s assets and investments outside Lebanon, a Paris apartment owned by Salameh, and Forry Associates Ltd, a brokerage firm owned by his brother. Raja Salameh is to appear before French prosecutors in mid-May. Read more.