La justice décide de libérer sous caution le PDG de Creditbank

Court decides to release Creditbank CEO on bail

Apprehended by the authorities on his arrival Monday at Beirut International Airport as part of a search warrant issued in his name, the CEO of Creditbank Tarek Khalifé was finally to be released on bail on Wednesday, according to three sources contacted, a bank and two judiciary. According to one of them, the banker paid a deposit “of 1.8 billion pounds” paid by bank check (about 60,000 dollars at the exchange rate of the day which gravitates around 30,000 or 31 000 pounds to the dollar) This amount is “higher than the average for this type of procedure”, added the source.

The bank did not respond to our requests.

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The release was ordered by the investigating judge of Mount Lebanon Bassam el-Hajj. The warrant had been issued by the Advocate General at the Mount Lebanon Court of Appeal, Nazek el-Khatib, in the context of a criminal complaint for a case concerning preferential shares issued by the bank, targeted in the same way as its CEO, according to information provided by a third judicial source. The complainant, Nada Abousleiman Etyemezian, also communicated on the subject on her Facebook page.

In a message published Tuesday on the same social network, Creditbank had judged that the procedure was groundless. The third judicial source indicated that Nazek el-Khatib had appealed the release on bail decided by Bassam el-Hajj, but that this appeal was unsuccessful, the complainant not being ultimately opposed to the banker being released. The investigation is not yet closed, she concludes.

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According to one of the sources contacted, who is invested in protecting depositors against the banking restrictions in place since the start of the crisis in 2019, some banks sold preferential shares during the 2010s – which confer on their holders different rights of those attached to ordinary shares – to uninitiated buyers and without clearly presenting the risks associated with this type of instrument considered “sophisticated”. The banking source, for its part, considers that the procedure launched against the CEO of Creditbank is abusive insofar as it was carried out in defiance of many conditions “of substance and form”.

Before the crisis that started in 2019, Creditbank was among the alpha banks, namely the largest institutions in the country in terms of deposits and assets according to the Bankdata classification. The sign is one of those targeted by proceedings launched by the Attorney General at the Court of Appeal of Mount Lebanon, Ghada Aoun, against several signs following another complaint, this time for “breach of trust and fraud ‘regard to the depositor’ issued by a group of lawyers. The other banks were Bank Audi, BLOM Bank, Bank of Beirut, and Bankmed, and Société Générale de Banque au Liban (SGBL). The prosecutor issued a travel ban on Tarek Khalifé in March, and froze all CreditBank assets, amid a standoff between some magistrates and the banking sector in a crisis marked by informal restrictions on the depositors’ access to their foreign currency funds, without capital control laws.

Apprehended by the authorities on his arrival Monday at Beirut International Airport as part of a search warrant issued in his name, the CEO of Creditbank Tarek Khalifé was finally to be released on bail on Wednesday, according to three sources contacted, a bank and two judiciary. According to one of them, the banker paid a deposit “of 1.8…

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