Financial Prosecutor Ali Ibrahim has asked Charles Saba, the Coordinator of the Lebanese Corruption Observatory and adviser to Kataeb party leader Samy Gemayel, to appear before him on Wednesday to listen to his testimony regarding the power barges deal.
Saba has been questioning the transparency of the Energy Ministry's plan to rent additional power-producing vessels, casting doubt on the insistence to implement this project despite its exorbitant cost while all the other, less expensive, proposals were rejected for invalid reasons.
“We have already urged the General prosecutor to expand the investigation into the power barges deal so that we would provide him with the files we possess,” Saba told the Kataeb website, assuring that he will hand Financial Prosecutor Ali Ibrahim documents proving the violations enclosed in said project.
As for the timing of the summoning, Saba said that it comes as a result of the campaign launched by the media so as to thwart the approval of this project as President Michel Aoun and Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil announced that this issue should be settled in the next few weeks.
Saba also pointed out that the Shura Council is about to issue its verdict regarding the appeal challenging the tailor-cut tenders which were carried out to award the power barges project.
In another interview with Voice of Lebanon radio station, Saba warned that the files that he has regarding this issue implicate ministers and lawmakers, noting, however, that their prosecution does not fall under the financial prosecutor's jurisdictions.
“I have a file that is ready as I am the Coordinator of the Lebanese Corruption Observatory and adviser to Kataeb party leader Samy Gemayel; I will handed it over to the financial prosecutor as I hope that he will further expand the investigation based on it,” Saba said.
“The Financial prosecutor can act upon this file from a penal angle, but the power barges deal is a political crime whose masterminds will be held to account in the ballot boxes,” Saba added.