Yasser Arafat 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Muhammad Rashid, who was one of Yasser Arafat’s closest advisers, is wanted by
the Palestinian Authority for embezzlement and fraud.
Rashid, who is
better known by his nickname Khaled Salam, served for many years as Arafat’s top
Rakif Natsheh, head of the PA’s Anti- Corruption
Commission, announced on Tuesday that Rashid was wanted for involvement in
corruption cases and embezzlement of public funds, especially those belonging to
the Palestinian Investment Fund.
Natsheh said that Rashid was also
suspected of having established fictitious companies to lay his hands on public
Despite repeated requests by the PA authorities in the West Bank
to report for questioning, Rashid has refused to comply, prompting the
anti-corruption commission to seek Interpol’s help in arresting him, Natsheh
He said that the PA has already asked a number of countries to
freeze the former adviser’s bank accounts and other assets.
to issue an arrest warrant against Rashid came two days after he appeared on the
Saudi-owned TV station Al-Arabiya and talked about his work with Arafat and the
Rashid said in the TV interview that Arafat appointed him as his
economic adviser in 1994, when the PA was established following the signing of
the Oslo Accords.
Rashid, who was born to a Kurdish family in Iraq, was
the man behind the Oasis Casino project in Jericho. He persuaded Arafat to agree
to the project by arguing that only Israelis would be allowed to gamble there,
since Islam forbids gambling.