Hariri lands in Paris: Watch the money trail to Riyadh and his business partner Prince Fahd
This sensational Middle East episode has, for once, nothing to do with political or religious rivalries involving either Iran or Hizballah. So why did Saad Hariri step down as Lebanese Prime Minister in Riyadh on Nov. 4 and what is at the bottom of French President Emmanuel Macron and his foreign minister Jean Yves Le-Drian’s active involvement in the case? The clue to these riddles is to be found on the floor of the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Riyadh, where Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd sleeps on a mattress. He was detained there by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman,with scores of Saudi Arabia’s rich and powerful in his capacity as Saudi partner in the absconding Lebanese prime minister’s extensive business interests in the kingdom.
DEBKAfile offers an exclusive blow-by-blow account of the events leading up to the Hariri bombshell:
- On Nov, 4, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman had 500 high-ranking princes, officials and ultra-rich businessmen detained on “corruption charges.”
- On the same day, Saad Hariri boarded his private plane and flew to Riyadh, announcing he was stepping down as prime minister after discovering a plot on his life by Iran and Hizballah.
That claim was a cover-up. He had in fact been summoned by the Saudi Crown Prince for Hariri to present himself at once in Riyadh, else the Hariri family’s substantial property and bank accounts would be impounded, along with those of the detained princes and multibillionaires.
- The family has had a long and profitable alliance with the oil kingdom. Rafiq Hariri, Saad’s late father and predecessor as prime minister of Lebanon, who was assassinated in 2005, founded the Saudi branch of the French giant construction firm Oger in 1969. A year later, he set up a Saudi construction company called Saudi Oger Ltd. which grew into one of the biggest and most successful construction company in the kingdom. The firm made sure to maintain business connections with important members of the royal family. The most prominent was Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, scion of a former king. From world-class tycoon, this prince on Nov. 4, found himself reduced to one of hundreds of noble and important detainees.
- According to our sources, the Crown Prince has assessed Hariri’s Saudi business partner as worth some $7 billion, which he has decided that he and their partnership owe to the Saudi state treasury and which they are now being told to surrender without delay. Since the family’s Saudi business empire bankrolls the former Lebanese prime minister’s prominent political standing in Beirut, Hariri could not afford to ignore the Crown Prince’s ultimatum. When his princely partner was arrested, Hariri flew to Riyadh to salvage what he could of their financial concerns.
- Notwithstanding the denials that Hariri was being held against his will, the truth is that he was held in some sort of house arrest. But only his high position as a top Lebanese leader – albeit a holder of dual Saudi nationality – and reluctance to gratify Tehran and Hizballah and justify their allegations – saved him from being locked up with the 500 Saudi high-ups at the Carlton Ritz.
- The French president intervened in the affair to rescue the longstanding French financial stake in the Hariri firms, without jeopardizing French-Saudi trade relations.
- Negotiations between French Foreign Minister Jean Yves le-Drian and Prince Muhammad resulted in permission for the former Lebanese prime minister to travel to Paris under the protection of the French secret service, the while France undertook to quietly negotiate a deal for the Hariri family companies to surrender a substantial sum to the Saudi state.
10 thoughts on “Hariri lands in Paris: Watch the money trail to Riyadh and his business partner Prince Fahd”
The saudi’s must be hurting for money. Salman has already run the country into the ground and will continue full speed ahead. Good bye Saudi Arabia, it was good while it lasted. Salman is a total failure and fool, he is good at one thing, sniffing little boys rear ends.
Or they are going to need additional money to support a war against Iran and others in the region…..
Brilliant Work! As The Chinese Say..A problem that can be solved by money..Is not a Problem at all. 🙂
Looks like the only place to get hard facts is wiki leaks and Debka..Thank You!
Your right may GOD Bless Debka.
Russian ships in Saudi ports in 1, 2, 3…..
Good article for a change!
“Good article for a change!”
Actually, I havn’t seen any “bad articles” on Debka.
The “bad articles” containing major omissions of valuable information are to be found at NBCNEWS, ABCNEWS and CNN, all (far) left-leaning websites.
I would say that you can read an important article on Debka (containing all of the facts) today, then read it when it appears (if at all) 3 days later on one of those other websites, with incomplete facts which, unlike Debka, really don’t provide their readers with complete assessments of what is really going on.
My assessment: keep up the good work, Debka, and thanks for providing the opportunity for your readers to comment on your articles!
BTW, whatever happened to the comments option on NBCNEWS (newsvine): are they now so far to the left that comments are no longer permitted?
Good reporting. Well done Debka.
Is DEBKA a Jewish news organisation ?
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