France issues arrest warrant for Lebanese central bank chief

Riad Salameh, Lebanon's Central Bank governor, smiles during a press conference in Beirut, on November 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
Riad Salameh, Lebanon's Central Bank governor, smiles during a press conference in Beirut, on November 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

A French investigating magistrate today issues an international arrest warrant for Lebanon’s central bank chief Riad Salameh, a source close to the case says.

Salameh earlier failed to appear for questioning by French investigators who want to know how he amassed sizable assets across Europe, his lawyer says.

The investigators suspect Salameh of building his network of real estate and banking assets with the help of a complex fraudulent financial system and extensive misuse of Lebanese public funds during his three decades as central bank boss.

Today’s hearing would have been an opportunity to press charges against him.

His lawyer, Pierre-Olivier Sur, tells AFP that the summons had been sent too close to the day and was therefore “invalid.”

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