Bassil Slams 'Sectarian Protection' for Corrupts, Proposes Anti-Graft Laws

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Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil on Tuesday stressed that no corrupt official should enjoy “sectarian protection,” as he proposed three laws to fight rampant corruption in Lebanon.

“We are not in a battle against anyone and let no one seek protection from their sect,” Bassil said after the weekly meeting of the Strong Lebanon bloc.

“We are not concerned with the ongoing sectarian clash” over the file of corruption, Bassil added.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan, Lebanon's most senior Sunni Muslim cleric, had on Monday thrown his support behind ex-PM Fouad Saniora in the face of corruption accusations.

"Ex-PM Fouad Saniora is a red line, because he is a statesman par excellence," Daryan warned. "We pride ourselves in him and we will defend him against any unjust accusation,” he said.

Bassil meanwhile reminisced the period that preceded the election of President Michel Aoun.

He said: “The 'Impossible Acquittal' battle was not a political battle against a political group, but rather a reform battle that the FPM carried out and led to a law that obliged the Finance Ministry to release financial accounts.”

'Impossible Acquittal' is a book released by the FPM in which the movement argues that public funds were spent by the governments of Rafik Hariri, Fouad Saniora and Saad Hariri without proper auditing.

“There are three essential laws for fighting corruption: lifting parliamentary immunity, lifting bank secrecy and recovering the stolen money,” Bassil added.

“We have decided to start with the issue of lifting bank secrecy and we have drafted a law that has been signed by 10 MPs from the Strong Lebanon bloc,” the FPM chief added.

“The issue of lifting bank secrecy does not involve all people, but is rather confined to those in office starting by the president of the republic, and it can only happen through filing a lawsuit,” Bassil clarified.

He added that the proposed law would apply to all state officials and civil servants during their time in office and for another five years after they leave their posts.

Bassil also revealed that the bloc intends to submit a draft law for combating the spread of “fake news.”

“Rumors are like bullets and can be considered an assassination method,” Bassil added, referring to corruption accusations against political officials and parties.

Comments 8
Thumb canadianleb 05 March 2019, 18:39

If this government was or is serious about corruption it is very simple to do. Invite an independent company from outside of Lebanon such as Ernst & Young and give them free access to all the files at all levels of government going back 25 years and anybody who doesn't comply with any request coming from the auditors they will be jailed until such time as they do cooperate. I bet the money spent on the auditors will be recovered on the first month of the audit.

Thumb galaxy 05 March 2019, 19:05

Bassil also revealed that the bloc intends to submit a draft law for combating the spread of “fake news.”

That's what dictators do to consolidate their grip on power. We're almost there.... thanks to the strong president and his hitler-in law.

Thumb EagleDawn 05 March 2019, 20:23

Ladies and Gentlemen: Today you've just listened to the future president of Lebanon. Learn people, learn."

Thumb roflmfao 05 March 2019, 20:56

Dudes.. this is huuge!!.. I just got a leaked secretly recorded telephone conversation between Gebran Bassil and his bank in Geneva Switzerland.. previous to him suggesting the lifting bank secrecy on officials in Lebanon... transcript to follow..

Thumb roflmfao 05 March 2019, 20:57

Operator: Bank Lombard Odier how may I direct you call..
Gebran Bassil: Bonjour, may I speak to the manager please..
O: Why may I say is calling please?
GB: It's Mr Gebran Bassil foreign minister of Lebanon and perpetual minister of electricity..
O: Ah.. the Midget-in-Law..
GB Mam I am Gebran Bassil holder of ten bachelor degrees, 6 masters degrees, three PHDs..
O: ..and a partridge in a pear tree..
GB: Ok.. OK.. It's the Midget-in-Law..
O: Welcome sir, are you in visiting.. do you need a stepladder to reach the cashier?..
GB: No.. no.. I'm not in Geneva.. could you patch me to the manager please..
Bank Manager: Hallo..
GB.. Hi, this is Gebran Bass.. umm.. Midget-in-Law..
BM: How can I help you Mr Midget..
GB: Is Switzerland planing to lift the bank secrecy anytime withing the next fifty years?..
BM: No.. why do you ask?..
GB: Nothing.. have a good day.. WHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!..

Thumb eagle_eye 06 March 2019, 02:03

Listen to news report

Hezbollah IS NOT Lebanon


No one wants Hezbollah - they are not Lebanese

Israel entered South Lebanon to assist the Maronites against PLO but later realized Lebanon is complicated

Thumb liberty 06 March 2019, 04:27

It is sickening when bassil and co. talk about corruption the same when terrorist hezbollah talks about fighting terrorism.

Thumb chrisrushlau 09 March 2019, 18:41

You guys apparently realize that to fight corruption is the same as fighting Christian privileges, starting with Article 24 of the Constitution: once they open the door, all the crud will come out.