BEIRUT — A delegation of European investigators arrived in Lebanon Monday afternoon for the purpose of interrogating Raja Salameh. The trial will start Tuesday and run for two days.
Raja Salameh and his brother, Banque Du Liban Governor Riad Salameh, have been accused of financial embezzlement.
The delegation is composed of French, German and Luxembourg magistrates who will be visiting Lebanon for the third time.
A judicial source told L'Orient-Le Jour that the hearing will last for two days, at the request of the French judge Aude Buresi. Later this week, the delegation is expected to question Riad Salameh's assistant, Marianne Howayek.
According to the same source, the interrogations of the European delegation will continue into next week and involve other BDL officials like Fady Abou Asly, as well as officials from the banking sector. This time the delegation includes a new French prosecutor.
The interrogations come shortly after the return of banker Marwan Kheireddine to Lebanon on Saturday. In late March, Kheireddine, CEO of the private al-Mawarid Bank, was indicted in Paris and placed under judicial supervision. Kheireddine was questioned by the same European delegation in Lebanon in January. Indicted for criminal association, he was accused of embezzling public funds and other corruption charges.
According to the same judicial source, the conditional release of Kheireddine is explained by the fact that French law does not allow him to be held indefinitely. French justice had two choices: lift his travel ban or issue an arrest warrant against him. Either way, the investigation against him will proceed.
Reporting contributed by Claude Assaf