BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Lebanon’s financial prosecutor has questioned ex-Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on Thursday over the disappearance of $11 billion during his premiership.
Siniora’s office issued a statement saying the entire amount had been spent on legitimate channels.
This is the first incident in which a former Lebanese Prime Minister has been summoned for such and interrogation, and follows protests against the ruling elite accused of widespread corruption.
Opponents of Siniora, who served as Prime Minister between 2005 and 2008 and also served as Finance Minister for two terms, say there are no documents for the $11 billion dollars of state funds spent during that period.
But Siniora’s office said in a statement that “the former prime minister explained to the Attorney General about how the money was spent and it was spent to meet the needs of the state.”
According to Reuters, a witness said that ” dozens of protesters gathered outside Siniora’s house in Beirut and outside his office in the southern city of Saida, chanting songs and waving the flag of the country.”
“The play is not enough. We want the money, we want the money of our children and we will not leave the street until we get it back,” said a protester in Saida.
Among the allegations against Siniora was that he embezzled almost $2 billion in aid that was given to Lebanon after the 2006 War.