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    Qassem Says Audit into Central Bank Accounts ‘Must Not be Ignored’

    Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem described as “unacceptable” the reasons that compelled the withdrawal of Alvarez and Marsal from running forensic audits into the central bank’s accounts.

    “The justifications cited to fail forensic audit into the financial statements of the central bank are unacceptable. Ignoring the bank’s reality is only going to bring more deterioration,” said Qassem.

    Qassem emphasized the importance of having the bank’s accounts audited, “the investigation is necessary and a priority, it is not beneficial to accept failure, and it is not beneficial to trade the responsibilities.”

    New York-based Alvarez and Marsal has pulled out from a forensic audit of Lebanon’s central bank after failing to receive data it needed for the mission.

    The International Monetary Fund and France are among creditors demanding the audit as part of urgent reforms to unlock desperately needed financial support.

    The international company contracted for the audit, had extended a November 3 deadline by three months for Lebanese authorities to hand over the necessary information after they failed to submit it on time.

    But “finance minister Ghazi Wazni informed the president that he has received a letter from Alvarez and Marsal, terminating the contract signed with the finance ministry,” the presidency said in a statement.

    “The company did not obtain the information and documents required to start conducting its mission,” the presidency added, explaining the reason for the termination.

    Source: Naharnet

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