Yasser Arafat 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Interpol has rejected the Palestinian Authority’s request to arrest Muhammad
Rashid, a former adviser to Yasser Arafat, who is wanted for embezzling hundreds
of millions of dollars, PA Attorney-General Ahmed al-Mughni announced over the
Rashid is wanted by the PA in connection with 21 cases of
embezzlement, fraud and money-laundering, Mughni said.
He said that he
had personally contacted Rashid and asked him to hand himself in to the PA
authorities, but to no avail.
“The problem with Interpol is that they are
saying that we are not a sovereign state, and that’s why they won’t comply,”
Mughni told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.
“Had we been members
of the United Nations, it would have been easier to bring suspects to
Palestinian justice. All countries must unite in fighting crime,” he
The attorney-general claimed that Rashid had at least five
passports under different names, including a Palestinian diplomatic passport,
making it even harder to track him down or seek his extradition.
a former journalist who turned into a wealthy businessman thanks to his close
relationship with Arafat, is an Iraqi Kurd who joined the PLO more than two
He played an important role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace
talks and was part of the PLO delegation to the botched Camp David summit in the
summer of 2000.
The PA’s Anti-Corruption Commission in Ramallah last week
issued an arrest warrant against Rashid, who is believed to be living in
Britain, after accusing him of embezzling hundreds of millions of
But the timing of the warrant has raised questions among many
Palestinians regarding the true motives of the PA leadership.
warrant was issued shortly after Rashid gave an interview to the Saudi-owned
Al-Arabiya TV station in which he threatened to reveal many secrets related to
the current PA leadership in the West Bank.
In response to the warrant,
Rashid last week demanded a probe into PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s personal
fortune, which he estimated at more than $100 million.
Rashid said he
would not report for interrogation in Ramallah because he did not trust Abbas’s