PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
Yasser Arafat’s former financial adviser, Muhammad Rashid, stepped up his
attacks on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over the past few
A PA court recently sentenced Rashid in absentia to 15 years in
prison and a $15 million fine on charges of embezzlement of public funds and
The PA decided to prosecute Rashid after a series of
interviews he gave to the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV station in which he talked
about his experiences as one of Arafat’s most trusted aides.
since launched a scathing attack on Abbas and his two businessmen sons, Tarek
and Yasser, accusing them of financial corruption.
Rashid claimed in an
interview with Al-Arabiya that Abbas was worth $100m. and demanded a probe into
his sources of income.
Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction has reacted by
accusing Rashid, who is an Iraqi Kurd, of being a traitor and part of an
international conspiracy against the PA president.
Earlier this week,
Fatah also issued a warning to Al-Arabiya against giving Rashid a platform to
make his allegations against Abbas.
A Kuwaiti newspaper reported on
Tuesday that Abbas has instructed his General Intelligence Service to track down
Rashid, who is believed to be living in Europe.
The paper claimed that
the PA was seeking to assassinate Rashid to prevent him from exposing cases of
Inlight Press, a news website that is affiliated with Rashid,
claimed on Wednesday that Abbas has paid 250,000 Jordanian dinars (approximately
$350,000) to a Jordanian newspaper to attack Rashid and former Fatah security
chief Muhammad Dahlan, who is a staunch opponent of the PA
Rashid also claimed this week that Fatah was keeping a secret
bank account in Jordan containing nearly $40m.
He said that he had
documents to back up his claim, adding that the US had contributed $13m. to the
account to strengthen Fatah.
The former Arafat aide has also claimed in a
number of articles published on Inlight Press that Abbas had conspired to keep
jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti in Israeli prison.