Lebanese actress Stephanie Saliba has property assets frozen by judge

The star, who has 2.3 million followers on Instagram, was recently questioned over gifts from central bank governor

Lebanese actress Stephanie Saliba is not permitted to use or sell the properties. Photo: Instagram
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A judge in Lebanon has frozen property assets belonging to prominent Lebanese actress Stephanie Saliba, who was recently questioned in an investigation into alleged corruption by central bank governor Riad Salameh.

The order was issued by Mount Lebanon prosecutor Ghada Aoun, the judge who summoned the actress for questioning after she arrived back in Lebanon earlier this month. Saliba was later released.

This move prevents Saliba from using or selling her properties.

The actress has starred in the series Above the Clouds and Moment of Silence and has 2.3 million followers on Instagram.

Ms Aoun told The National Saliba has two “very expensive apartments” in the fashionable Gemmayze neighbourhood of Beirut, one in Beit Misk in the Metn region, about 20km east of Beirut and another in Ghazir, in Keserwan district, about the same distance north of the capital.

Earlier this month Ms Aoun said investigators were looking into the sources of funds Mr Salameh used to buy the actress expensive gifts — including property.

Mr Salameh and Saliba are seen as being close friends.

Once heralded as the man who kept Lebanon’s banking sector running, Mr Salameh is now being investigated over his financial dealings in at least five European countries. He denies accusations of corruption.

Lebanon has been embroiled in an economic crisis that first became apparent in 2019 and which has been blamed on decades of corruption and financial mismanagement.

As the governor of the Banque du Liban since 1993, Mr Salameh is seen by many as a key figure in the country's financial downturn.

The crisis has plunged most of Lebanon's population into poverty, while the local currency has lost more than 95 per cent of its value against the US dollar. The country faces severe shortages of essentials such as clean water, electricity and medicines.

Updated: December 23, 2022, 11:41 AM