The Swiss government says a “prominent Lebanese politician and a wealthy Syrian businessman” (possibly Khaddam) with close links to the Saudi regime are being investigated by the Swiss and British authorities.
Hariri (or someone close to him) and the Syrian are alleged to have acted as middlemen between Britain’s biggest arms company BAE Systems and the Saudis. It involves a $200 million deal to buy warplanes for Saudi. The deal over the past three years is thought to have been riddled with bribes.
Access to the two men’s Swiss bank accounts is being sought by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and their money is likely to be frozen. The two men have already launched an appeal. Two days ago, Saudi Arabia threatened to break diplomatic ties with Britain unless the investigation is dropped.
It comes at an embarrasing time for the March 14 movement and their Saudi backers. Their government is on the brink of collapse, and the opposition called massive public demonstrations yesterday.