Lebanon crisis

Lebanese central bank governor Salameh hands audit of his accounts to PM Mikati

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Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salameh has handed an audit of his personal accounts to Prime Minister Najib Mikati, according to a series of tweets by the cabinet's official Twitter account on Friday.

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Salameh said on Wednesday that he had ordered an audit of his investments, after increased scrutiny in the media and several judicial probes.

The cabinet's tweets quoted Salameh as saying there was no relation between this move and a separate forensic audit of the central bank itself. International management consultancy Alvarez & Marsal began the audit of the bank in October, a condition for Lebanon to secure foreign aid amid its financial meltdown.

"The forensic audit is moving ahead. What I did was a personal initiative from me ... to refute all we hear and read, all the rumors," Salameh was quoted in the tweets as saying, adding that he will hand over his report to judicial authorities abroad as well.

Salameh, governor for nearly three decades, has faced increased scrutiny of his tenure since the financial system collapsed two years ago, plunging Lebanon into what the World Bank has called one of world history's sharpest depressions.

He is being investigated by authorities in at least three European countries, including a Swiss inquiry over alleged money laundering at the central bank involving $300 million in gains by a company owned by his brother. He denies wrongdoing.

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