The son-in-law and ex-cabinet minister Gebran Bassil was alleged by US for corruption and the Lebanon’s president has now risen in defence of the allegation by asking for proof.
The US announced the sanction on Friday and it was the first against a senior Christian ally of Hezbollah, a powerful Shiite movement that has been targeted for a long time by US sanctions and blacklisted as a “terrorist” organisation.
President Michel “Aoun has asked his foreign minister to obtain the proof and documents that pushed the US Treasury to direct accusations against lawmaker Gebran Bassil”, his office said on Twitter.
Aoun also stressed “the necessity of handing over the documents to the Lebanese judiciary to take the necessary measures”, it said.
A source at the presidency said the request was made as “Bassil is a Lebanese lawmaker and (former) minister accused of graft”.
“If there were evidence against him, the Lebanese judiciary should follow up on the issue,” the source said.
Bassil, 50, has long been dubbed by a lot of people as the “shadow president.”
He got married to the daughter of the Lebanon president and is currently the head of the Free Patriotic Movement founded by Aoun, that jointly with its allies dominate the parliamentary. He has been a minister in every single cabinet of Lebanon since 2008 to late last year before the cabinet stepped down due to pressure from street protests.
His portfolios included communications, energy and most recently foreign affairs.
The allegation was that he supported many shady state dealings when he head of the energy ministry between 2009 and 2014 most especially.
However, Bassil continues to deny the accusations and allegations by the critics.
The civil between 1975 and 1990 in Lebanon has mired its worst economic crisis, its recovery has also been affected by the continuous deadlocks in their political institutions