Qatari banker files $80 million lawsuit against Chairman Arafat
Qatari businessman Issam Abu Issa recently filed a lawsuit against Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat, alleging that the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) had unlawfully taken over the Gaza-based Palestine International Bank (PIB) and demoded Abu Issa from his post as the bank’s director general, reported KUNA.
The crisis started in 1999, when the PA accused Abu Issa, a Palestinian holding Qatari citizenship, of offering loans to private companies without guarantees and of stealing up to $20 million during his tenure as PIB’s head. Abu Issa denies the corruption allegations.
Fearing his arrest by the Palestinian Preventive Security Force (PSF), Abu Issa took refuge in the Qatari consulate in late 1999. Shortly after, the PA had reached an agreement with the Government of Qatar to resolve the dispute by hiring an international auditing firm to review the bank’s financials and disclose its findings to a committee formed by Chairman Arafat.
Abu Issa claims that the PA’s failure to move forward with the external probe, a procedure that would have kept the case outside of the courtroom, had led him to press charges. With the court date set for September 22, Abu Issa’s total compensation claims were set at $80 million.
According to Abu Issa, the PA’s false allegations had led customers to withdraw millions of dollars from their PIB accounts, causing significant losses to the bank’s 1,300 shareholders, 60 percent of which are nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, while the rest are Palestinians. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)