Judge Ghada Aoun told The Associated Press that central bank governor Riad Salameh failed to show up for questioning for a fourth time on Tuesday. She alleged that the banker was defying judicial orders because he has political protection.
Many hold Salameh partly responsible for the financial crisis, blaming him for policies that only drove national debt up and caused the currency to tumble. Salameh, 71, has been in the post for nearly three decades and enjoys backing from most politicians, including the country’s prime minister.
Salameh is also being investigated in several countries including Switzerland, Luxembourg and France for potential money laundering and embezzlement. Local media reported in recent months that Salameh, his brother and an aide have been involved in illegal businesses, including money transfers abroad despite the informal capital controls imposed at home.