Palestinian attorney general demands freezing Rashid and Dahlan’s Orascom shares

Palestinian Attorney General Ahmed al-Mughni has called on Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris to freeze all shares in Orascom owned by Mohammed Rashid, Yasser Arafat’s former economic adviser, and former Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan, the state Middle East News Agency reported.

Mughni said his request was based on a 7 June ruling by a Palestinian anti-corruption court against Rashid and Dahlan.

In June, Rashid, also known as Khaled Salam, was found guilty of embezzling from the Palestinian Investment Fund, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a US$15 million fine, in addition to being ordered to return the US$34 million he embezzled. 

A Fatah central committee member announced that charges against Dahlan will soon be reviewed by public prosecutor and the Anti-Corruption Commission.

In mid-June, the Fatah movement announced that its Central Committee had decided to expel Dahlan and terminate any formal relationship with his movement, as well as transferring him to the justice system. AFP reported it was over corruption allegations.

Sawiris said he had never engaged in any financial dealings with the two men, MENA reported. He said in a statement on Monday that he only dealt with Rashid in his capacity as director of the Palestinian Investment Fund.

Sawiris noted that the fund quintupled its investments through dealing with Orascom for two and a half years, but its engagement with the fund ended long ago. 

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