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Lebanon: Prosecutor Ghada Aoun Calls For Lifting Immunities Then Recovering Looted Money

Lebanon: Prosecutor Ghada Aoun Calls For Lifting Immunities Then Recovering Looted Money

Friday, 25 October, 2019 - 09:00
Lebanon's former Prime Minister and a candidate for the parliamentary election Najib Mikati, casts his vote at a polling station in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim

Mount Lebanon Prosecutor, Judge Ghada Aoun, expressed her support for the Lebanese people’s right “to know the truth, and to see certain people being held accountable for their actions.”


“I work within the scope of my powers and I have discretionary authority,” she told reporters in her office at the Baabda Justice Palace.


Aoun emphasized that the people “must demand the lifting of immunities first in case we want to recover the looted funds.”


The Mount Lebanon prosecutor brought charges against former Prime Minister Najib Mikati, as well as Bank Audi on Wednesday for “illicit enrichment.”


The charges brought by Aoun were also against Mikati’s son Maher and his brother Taha and were based on claims that the defendants received subsidized housing loans.


The case was referred to Beirut’s acting First Investigative Judge George Rizk.


Bank Audi denied any involvement in any “illegitimate enrichment”.


Mikati also refuted the charges, according to his communications adviser who claimed the case was politically motivated.


Stressing “sympathy with the citizens”, Aoun said the charges against the former prime minister were not politically driven.


“I did not choose a file randomly. I’ve been investigating this for about a year,” she said.


“I support investigating any such case because it is the right of the people to know and hold their leaders accountable ... and cases related to judicial corruption, I’ve transferred them to the investigative judge,” she emphasized.


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