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Lebanese central bank governor Salameh denies illicit enrichment charge

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Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salameh said on Monday that he ordered an audit which showed that no public funds were a source of his wealth, denying a charge of illicit enrichment made against him by a judge.

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“This audit report was submitted to the relevant authorities in Lebanon and abroad,” Salameh said in response to a question sent by text message from Reuters.

Judge Ghada Aoun charged Salameh with illicit enrichment on Monday, the judge told Reuters, days after she ordered his brother Raja arrested in the same case.

Aoun said Riad Salameh, governor for nearly three decades, had not attended a hearing scheduled for Monday, and she had charged him in absentia.

She said the charge related to the purchase and rental of Paris apartments, including some to the central bank, Aoun told Reuters.

On Friday, Raja Salameh’s lawyer said allegations of illicit enrichment and money laundering against his client were unfounded, calling the evidence “media speculation without any evidence.”

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