Muhammad Rashid claims Fatah keeping a secret bank account in Jordan containing nearly $40m, US contributed $13m.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Yasser Arafat’s former financial adviser, Muhammad Rashid, stepped up his attacks on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over the past few days.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 money-laundering.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.Rashid has 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 corruption.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 president.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.
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