Bassam Abu Sharif, who served as an adviser to Yasser Arafat, called on the
Palestinian Authority on Tuesday to demand the extradition of a former
Palestinian official on suspicion of embezzling public funds.
said the PA should seek Interpol’s help in locating Muhammad Rashid, who served
as Arafat’s economic adviser, and seize his assets.
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“Failing to pursue
this man, who is suspected of embezzlement, would be a crime against our
people,” Abu Sharif said.
He estimated Rashid’s personal fortune at $600
A PA official in Ramallah said Rashid has refused to return to
Ramallah to answer questions about the allegations against him.
Sharif called on the military rulers of Egypt to arrest Rashid, who is believed
to be living in Cairo, and hand him over to the PA.
“Restoring the stolen
money of the Palestinian people is a must – and a national duty,” he
The PA leadership has decided to ask Swiss authorities and other
countries to freeze the bank accounts and assets of a number of former
Palestinian officials suspected of stealing international donations earmarked
for the Palestinians during the Arafat era, Palestinian sources
According to the sources, billions of dollars that allegedly went
missing then are believed to have been invested in various economic projects in
The sources said the PA was hoping that Egyptian authorities
looking into cases of corruption of former government officials and aides to
ousted president Hosni Mubarak would be able to discover what happened to the