Kataeb MP Elias Hankache on Thursday submitted to the Constitutional Council a declaration of his assets, in accordance with the Article 5 of Lebanon's Illicit Enrichment Law.
During his meeting with the Council's President Issam Sleiman, Hankache criticized the hurdles that prevent the implementation of said law, noting that it is illogical to force anyone who wants to question the wealth of any official to present a bank guarantee of LBP 25 million (almost $17,000) and to pay a penalty charge of at least LBP 200 million ($133,000) should his allegations turn out to be false.
According to Article 15 of said law, the "bad-faith" plaintiff can also receive a prison sentence ranging between three months and one year. It shall also force the complainant to compensate for the damages caused by the lawsuit.
Such stipulations disrupt the law and make it inapplicable as it imposes restrictions and constraints on filing a complaint against people who unjustly enrich themselves, Hankache stressed.
The lawmaker pointed out that the Illicit Enrichment Law is supposed to enable citizens to hold their officials accountable, stressing the need for amendments that would render it more flexible and applicable so that it would boost transparency and accountability in Lebanon.