The Salameh Papers: Marwan Issa El-Khoury's letter to The National

Mr Issa El-Khoury is a lawyer and the nephew of Riad Salameh

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Dear Ms. Maucourant Atallah,

At the outset, and in response to your question, I would like to emphasize that I have never been approached in any manner whatsoever by the German judiciary.

You state that you are relying on judicial documents you obtained. While the fact of obtaining judicial documents is, to say least, peculiar given that the documents of an ongoing investigation are covered by the secrecy of the investigation, I cannot comment on them since I have no sight of them.

This being said, while reading your questions it has become clear to me that they rely on serious factual mistakes and that it is paramount to set the record straight:

You state that I am “the manager” of BR 209 Invest S.A. This is wrong. I was neither “the” manager nor “a” manager of BR 209 Invest S.A. I was one of the four board members composing the board of directors. These are two very different capacities. What I am stating is public information, so are the company’s articles of association which confirm this fact.

You state that 94% of the shares of the company WBH 51 GmbH were purchased by the company called H-Invest GmbH for 3.9 million euros. Not only the stated purchase price of the shares is utterly wrong, but the description of the transaction surprisingly makes no reference to the leverage (debt) used in this transaction. In short, your description of the transaction is wholly inconsistent with its factual background.

Leaving aside that BR 209 Invest S.A. was a company governed by a board of directors, there was three layers of control exercised by external independent parties. At no point in time during more than 10 years any of these layers signaled the least issue in respect of the transactions you are referring to and, more generally, in respect of the company’s activities or funding. There have been no irregularities.

Finally, and more generally, I am a lawyer and it is not unusual for a lawyer to be requested to sit on a board of directors, especially when this is consistent with his background. In this regard, my academic background, as well as my professional achievements over 26 years with a variety of renowned clients, speak for themselves. This is also why I am surprised to see a question about a personal investment of mine of quite a limited size and amount, which other persons could decide to do. This type of investment is of no interest to the subject (irrespective of its limited size and amount) and, with all due respect, the question is simply astonishing.

The above shows that the factual background against which the questions are asked is incorrect. Conversely, my responses are based on facts which are documented, verifiable and contribute to set the record straight,

There are other factual mistakes that I note from your questions but it does not belong to me to respond to them.

I kindly ask you to publish my responses and comments integrally and without altering the intellectual sequence. It is important for me that they be published as they have been provided to you.

Best regards,

Marwan Issa El-Khoury

Updated: August 02, 2023, 8:39 AM