Weekly Wrap Up
- U.S. sanctions two Lebanese businessmen and a member of parliament
The US Treasury sanctioned two prominent Lebanese contractors and a politician connected to the Hezbollah organization on Thursday for suspected large-scale corruption that damaged Lebanon’s rule of law.
Jihad al-Arab and Dany Khoury, both businessmen linked to former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Christian politician Gebran Bassil, were sanctioned for alleged corruption in governmental contracts.
According to a Treasury statement, lawmaker Jamil Sayyed was sanctioned for allegedly attempting to “skirt domestic banking norms and procedures” and move $120 million overseas, “probably to benefit himself and his friends.”
- Saudi Arabia Summons its Ambassador in Lebanon over Kordahi’s statement
In response to statements made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi, the Saudi Foreign Ministry summoned its envoy in Beirut on Wednesday and handed him a written protest.
Kordahi has made derogatory remarks about the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen. The Ministry expressed concern for the transgressions committed against the Kingdom and members of the coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, claiming that they are plainly biased towards the terrorist Iran-backed Houthi militias that endanger the region’s security and stability.
According to the Ministry, Kordahi’s words contradict the most fundamental of political rules and are inconsistent with the historic ties that unite the Saudi and Lebanese people.
- Zomato to discontinue its services in Lebanon as financial crisis continues to worsen
Zomato, a food delivery service, has stated that it would cease operations in Lebanon by the end of 2021. On Wednesday, the company issued a message on its social media pages, saying, “We are sad to go… but hey, you can still use our app to explore and find restaurants, like you always did.” The Indian food delivery service, which debuted in Lebanon in 2014, is the most recent in a slew of foreign corporations to abandon the country under a severe financial crisis.
- Judge Tarek Bitar Is determined to continue with the investigation and prosecute involved minister
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According to Justice Minister Henry Khoury’s letter to Parliament on Monday, Judge Tarek Bitar is committed to continue the inquiry and punish past ministers and current MPs.
The letter was written as Judge Tarek Bitar was meeting with the Higher Judicial Council to examine the misunderstanding surrounding the port probes, particularly in light of the Tayouneh occurrences. The Council subsequently published a statement emphasizing the need of “completing the inquiry as quickly as feasible, in accordance with legal principles, in order to attain justice and identify the criminals’ obligations.”
- Abbas Mazloum, latest victim of Beirut blast, dies due to injuries sustained in the Beirut explosion.
Abbas Mazloum (38 years old) died on Wednesday as a result of injuries received in the Beirut Port explosion.
Abbas, a father of five, was hurt at work in the Gemmayzeh neighborhood. He remained paralyzed from the waist down for a year and three months before dying to the injury’s repercussions.
Abbas Mazloum will be laid to rest this afternoon in the Bekaa village of Hortaala. With his death, the total number of casualties of the port explosion has risen to 221.