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Germany Issues Arrest Warrant Against Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor

The German Public Prosecutor on Tuesday informed the Lebanese judiciary of issuing an arrest warrant against Lebanon’s central bank governor Riad Salameh, Beirut-based al-Jadeed TV network reported.

The move came after Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi said Friday that the country had received an arrest warrant from the Interpol against Salameh, and the judiciary authorities had been discussing “attentively” on weather they would grant its execution.

On May 16, Salameh failed to appear before French prosecutors in Paris to be questioned on corruption charges, prompting French investigative judge Aude Buresi to issue an arrest warrant against him.

Salameh is among the top Lebanese officials blamed for the unprecedented financial crisis in Lebanon, and he is being investigated, along with his brother Raja, in Lebanon and abroad over the alleged embezzlement of more than 330 million U.S. dollars from the Lebanese central bank.

Salameh denied the accusations, insisting that his wealth comes from his previous job as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, inherited properties, and investments.

Lebanon is reeling under the worst financial crisis in its history amid the loss of billions of dollars in bank deposits, plunging over 80 percent of the population into poverty.

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