PA probes Palestinian officials for financial malfeasance

Panel to investigate financial corruption in Palestinian Authority begins studying cases involving 80 senior officials, some in current gov't.

January 17, 2011 04:21
1 minute read.
Palestinian flags atop fishing boats belonging to

Gaza city flag 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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A special commission entrusted with investigating financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority has begun studying cases involving some 80 senior officials, PA Prosecutor-General Ahmed al-Mughni announced.

He said that among those who were being interrogated were ministers serving in the current PA government, as well as very high officials. He did not name any of the suspects.

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Al-Mughni said that some of the cases were very old and had been presented to PA courts in the Gaza Strip before the Hamas takeover of the area in 2007. He said that the cases have since been suspended because the offenses had taken place in the Gaza Strip, where the courts and prosecutors had been dealing with them.

He said that the commission, which is headed by Rafik Natsheh, a former member of the Fatah Central Committee, was facing obstacles because some suspects were abroad. He said another obstacle was the fact that some of those who are under interrogation have dual citizenship, making it impossible to summon them.

He said that one of those who were living abroad is Mohammed Abu Hijleh, formerly a senior official with the PA Interior Ministry, who has fled with his family to Jordan.

Al-Mughni told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the case of former Fatah security commander, Mohammed Dahlan, was being dealt with separately.

Dahlan has been accused by the PA leadership of plotting to stage a coup against PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The Fatah Central Committee has suspended him, and many of his supporters and aides have been detained by PA security forces in the West Bank for questioning.

Dahlan has denied the allegations, attributing the case against him to a personal dispute between him and Abbas’s sons, Tarek and Yasser.

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