BEIRUT — Nicolas Mansour, first investigating judge at the Mount Lebanon Court of Appeal, will question Raja Salameh, the detained younger brother of central bank governor Riad Salameh, on Thursday, a judicial source confirmed to L’Orient Today. The questioning relates to illicit enrichment charges connected to real estate assets in Paris.
Here’s what we know:
• Raja Salameh has been in detention since last Thursday after Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun initiated proceedings against him.
• Aoun on Monday brought illicit enrichment charges against Riad Salameh in relation to apartments acquired in France by Banque du Liban chief, as well as real estate offices rented by the BDL from a former companion of the governor on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris. Raja Salameh is also being prosecuted in relation to this case, as is Anna Kosakova, the former companion in question. Three companies are also being pursued by the judiciary in relation to the case: SCI ZEL, Eciffice and BET SA.
• Raja Salameh was originally scheduled to appear before Judge Mansour on Tuesday, but the questioning was postponed because a notary working with the magistrate had contracted COVID-19.
• However, the governor’s brother was questioned on Tuesday at the Beirut Justice Palace by the deputy prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, Jean Tannous, in relation to another case, this one concerning the company Forry Associates Ltd, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands in 2001 and of which Raja is the economic beneficiary.
• A Swiss investigation concluded that Forry Associates was linked with the Lebanese central bank by a brokerage contract through which it had obtained, between 2002 and 2015, $330 million in commissions on the sale of Banque du Liban financial securities (Treasury Bonds and Eurobonds).