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Oueidat Hears Testimonies of Banks Counsels, Owners, Chairmen

Mar 12

Oueidat Hears Testimonies of Banks Counsels, Owners, Chairmen

State Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat on Tuesday started hearing the testimonies of the legal counsels, owners and chairmen of Lebanon’s banks over the controversial capital flight that coincided with the intensification of Lebanon's financial and monetary crisis.

The National News Agency said a statement will be issued at the end of the hearing sessions.

Oueidat had on Thursday suspended an order freezing the assets of 20 banks and their directors over concerns about its impact on the country's fragile economy.

The order was postponed to allow for the 'study of its impact on the national currency, banking transactions as well as on the money of savers and economic security,' Oueidat said

Lebanon has been gripped by mass protests against the political class and banking sector even as it suffers its worst economic crisis in decades.

Banks have imposed increasingly tight limits on dollar withdrawals and transfers abroad as part of measures to tackle a severe liquidity crisis.

But bankers stand accused of having sent millions of dollars abroad despite those limitations.

The value of the Lebanese pound has plummeted on the black market, prices have risen, and many businesses have been forced to slash salaries, dismiss staff or close.

Lebanon is one of the most indebted countries in the world, with a public debt equivalent to 150 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).