BEIRUT — Depositors' rights groups held a sit-in Tuesday morning in front of Beirut's Justice Palace during a visit by European judges to investigate alleged corruption and money laundering by Banque du Liban governor Riad Salameh, L'Orient Today's correspondent on the scene reported.
On Monday, investigators from France, Germany and Luxembourg held their first day of hearings in Beirut. Depositors' rights collectives Mouttahidoun ("United") and The Depositors' Cry called for the protest the previous day.
Some hundred protesters were seen gathered Tuesday at the Justice Palace amid a peaceful atmosphere.
"Bankers, Salameh! Give us back our dough, scum!" a disgruntled protester shouted. "We have come to make our voice heard by European judges," said another. "Lebanon is stolen by a clique," he added.
"Is it not the minimum level of dignity for the Lebanese to mobilize as a united people, they who have experienced all these evils, in order to overthrow the criminal ruling clique?" the collective Mouttahidoun said in their Sunday statement.
According to the statement, the protest "is related to the presence of the European judges who must investigate cases already raised, which are before the Lebanese justice with irrefutable evidence."
French, German and Luxembourg judges are in Beirut to interview Riad Salameh and his brother Raja, as well as CEOs and other bank officials. Investigators are due to interview other banking officials on Tuesday, but the governor of the BDL is not on the list of those summoned, according to a judicial official who spoke to AFP.