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Court order demands asset freeze for former Fatah officials

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

A letter sent to Egyptian businessman Najib Sawirus has revealed that the Palestinian Attorney General has issued a court order demanding that the assets held by former PA officials in Orascom Telecom Holdings should be frozen.

Attorney General Ahmed al-Moghanni asked Sawirus, the manager of Orascom, to freeze all the money and properties of ex-Fatah PLC member Mohammed Dahlan and the fugitive Mohammed Rachid, also known as Khalid Islam, the financial advisor of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. According to the leaked letter, the Attorney General told Mr Sawirus that his request is part of the implementation process of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Court Order which was issued on 7 June, 2012 regarding case number 13/2013.

“I hope that you block and freeze all the money, shares and any other assets of Mohammed Rachid dealt with by your companies until legal procedures are taken to return this money to the PA General Treasury,” Al-Moghani wrote. A similar letter was sent naming Mohammed Dahlan, although the reason given in his case is an “ongoing investigation by the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Court” that Dahlan is involved in.

The Palestinian Anti-Corruption Court sentenced Rachid in absentia to 15 years in prison and a $15m fine, in addition to ordering him to return $34m to the treasury. He is accused of embezzling millions of US dollars from the Palestinian Development Fund and PLO accounts.

Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Moheisin said Dahlan faces many corruption charges. He was dismissed from Fatah and its Central Committee in May 2011 after a fierce propaganda war erupted between him and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.