BEIRUT — Judge Nicholas Mansour, the lead investigating judge at the Mount Lebanon Court of Appeal, issued Thursday an arrest warrant against Raja Salameh, the brother of Bank Du Liban Governor Riad Salameh, a judicial source told L’Orient Today. Rajah Salameh has been in custody for one week.
Here’s what we know:
• Earlier today, Judge Mansour questioned Raja Salameh on suspicion of involvement in illicit real estate transactions, L'Orient Today was able to confirm. The judge banned lawyers from the Pioneers of Justice group, who filed civil suits in this case, from attending the hearing.
• Last Thursday, Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun issued an arrest warrant against Raja Salameh, after he was interrogated at a courthouse east of Beirut. Salameh has been in detention since then.
• He was due to appear before Judge Mansour Tuesday but the interrogation was postponed, as a notary working with the magistrate contracted COVID-19, stalling the process.
• Ghada Aoun charged Riad Salameh Monday for illicit enrichment and ordered the seizure of all his real estate holdings. The accusation concerns apartments Salameh acquired in France, as well as real estate offices BDL rented on the Champs-Elysees from the central bank governor’s former companion, Anna Kosakova.
• Kosakova and Raja Salameh are also being investigated for illicit activities, along with three companies identified as SCI ZEL, Eciffice and BET SA. Jean Tannous, assistant prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, questioned Salameh Tuesday at the Beirut Courthouse in connection with another case concerning Salameh’s company Forry Associates Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands in 2001.