Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

Lebanese banks suspend strike at PM’s request; pound regains some value

Lebanese banks suspend strike at PM’s request; pound regains some value

Lebanon’s struggling banks on Friday decided to suspend their strike, which started earlier this month, for one week at the request of caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The decision comes as many Lebanese, including civil servants, wait to receive their monthly pay.

Salaries are typically paid toward the end of the month, through bank accounts.

The Association of Banks in Lebanon also said that it realizes the gravity of the economic crisis and the need to secure banking services for citizens at the end of the month.

The announcement came as the Lebanese pound regained some value on the black market, trading at 79,000 pounds to the US dollar. It traded at 81,000 LBP/USD on Thursday.

An economic analyst expected the local currency to regain more value over the weekend.

However, any rise is likely to be temporary since it is not the result of monetary policy, the observer said.

The banks launched the strike on Feb. 7, objecting to judicial prosecutions — led by Mount Lebanon Public Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun — against a number of banks on charges of money laundering.

The association demanded an end to the prosecutions and the passing of the Capital Control Law as conditions for reopening.

The analyst indicated that the Public Prosecution Office of the Court of Cassation was in the process of drafting a judicial circular to define a specific mechanism for bank prosecutions.

The circular, which is expected in the coming days, will being an end to the controversy, the analyst said.

The decision to reopen banks came a day after Mikati told Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi to instruct the security services to ignore Judge Aoun’s judicial orders and avoid making arrests.

This step aroused discontent within the judicial body, which believes that the principle of separation of powers has been violated.

It also alleged that the political authority was interfering with the judicial authority in sensitive cases such as the probe into the Beirut port explosion and the prosecution of banks.

Pro-bank politicians argued that Judge Aoun was making random accusations, based on political motives, which could end up destroying the banking sector in Lebanon.

With the approval of six judges and the objection of one, the Supreme Judicial Council Issued a statement, addressed to Mikati and Mawlawi.

The council said: “Pursuant to the principles of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, which are enshrined in the constitution and the law, we call on you to reverse the decision that violates these two principles.”

Also on Friday, political observers believed that the prosecution of Central Bank Gov. Banque Riad Salameh, and the referral of the investigation to the first investigating judge in Beirut, Charbel Abu Samra, might freeze the investigations of European judges into cases related to Salameh.

They believed that the move was coordinated to localize the investigation and protect Salameh from external allegations.

On Thursday, Beirut Public Prosecutor Judge Raja Hamoush charged Salameh, his brother Raja Salameh, and his assistant Marianne Howayek with forgery, embezzlement of public funds, violation of tax law, money laundering and illegal enrichment.

Judge Hamoush referred the case to Judge Abu Samra, asking him to interrogate the defendants and issue the necessary judicial warrants against them.

A judicial source told Arab News: “When Judge Abu Samra receives the case, the European judicial delegation would have to deal with him and no longer with the Public Prosecution Office.

“The Lebanese investigation may conflict with the European investigation, especially if the same crime is being investigated in Lebanon and abroad.

“The Lebanese judge can reject any request of the European delegation and the Public Prosecution Office would have to ask the European judicial delegation to postpone its visit to Beirut.”

A judicial delegation from Germany, France and Luxembourg in January began its investigations in Beirut in cases related to corruption, forgery, embezzlement, money laundering and transferring money to banks abroad.

During its stay in the Palace of Justice in Beirut for about a week, the delegation listened to 12 banking figures as witnesses, including former Finance Minister Raya Al-Hassan and former MP Marwan Khair El-Din, along with Salameh’s former deputies.

The judicial delegation was scheduled to return to Beirut for a second round of investigations to hear Salameh and several of his relatives.

The source stressed that Lebanon was committed to the UN Convention against Corruption, and is cooperating with the European delegation.

“However, the international agreement gave the Lebanese judiciary the full right to request the postponement of the international investigation in the event that Lebanon initiates an independent internal investigation into the same case.

“This legal outlet would postpone the return of the European judicial delegation to Beirut.”

Related Articles

Arab Press
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
Saray Street in Hatay-Antakya before and after the earthquake
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.
The desk of King Carlos Alberto of Sardinia has many secret compartments
Today's news from Britain - 9th February 2023
The five largest oil companies in the West generated combined profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022, which has led to increased calls for governments to impose tougher windfall taxes
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’