Wide political and judicial criticisms arose on Thursday after the latest raid conducted by Lebanese investigative judge Ghada Aoun against the country's Central Bank headquarters in Beirut’s Hamra area, in an attempt to arrest its governor, Riad Salameh.
The incident triggered dismay among employees of the Central Bank who went on a general strike in protest at Aoun’s move. They said the incident will not stay without accountability.
Beirut Public Prosecutor Judge Raja Hamoush prepared a detailed report on the raid and the violations it involved. He will submit it to Public Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oweidat.
A senior judicial source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Oweidat “will study Hamoush’s report and determine whether he will take action against Aoun in his capacity as her direct superior, or refer the matter to the High Judicial Council, based on the fact of overstepping her authority, and carrying out raids in the Beirut area, which is outside her jurisdiction.”
Judicial and legal circles unanimously agree that the judge (Ghada Aoun) affiliated with the President of the Republic overstepped her powers. “She committed a sin that requires her to be held accountable. It is unreasonable for the state to raid its own institutions and place them in accusation,” the judicial source said on condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday, Aoun arrived at the Central Bank headquarters in Beirut’s Hamra area with Lebanese state security personnel, apparently trying to find Salameh.
Aoun told the press after leaving the premises that she did not find Salameh. “We immediately received a judicial order (to leave),” she said.
The syndicate of the Central Bank employees announced a three-day strike in protest at Aoun’s move.