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

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Dear Ms. Maucourant Atallah,

Your letter requesting me to answer certain questions on a personal real estate investment in the US was forwarded to me on July 17, 2023.

As you surely know, since this does not require any specific expertise, there is nothing unusual in the presence of multiple investors to hold a stake in a property through a real estate company. This is actually very standard and the contrary would be surprising as the investment would otherwise be unmanageable. The rationale for having a US real estate company for a property based in the US is hence fully justified for economic and administrative reasons.

There are no multiple intermediaries as mentioned in your question. There is only one holding company incorporated in Jersey which holds the US real estate company. The incorporation of such holding company was based on the advice of professional advisors for planning purposes. This is also a common structure.

As for the question relating to the source of funds of my 10% investment, this question is simply out of line. Nothing, and certainly not its amount, justifies that it be asked. In fact, I believe you already know and have no doubt that the funds originate from my personal savings.

With all due respect, I feel that the sole fact of approaching me with such questions is misguided. As any newspaper, yours has a duty to act in a responsible manner. Should it fail to do so, you will leave me with no choice other than to consider taking the appropriate actions.

Best regards,

Mona Issa El-Khoury

Updated: August 02, 2023, 8:39 AM