Arafat Confidante Accused of Embezzling Millions of Dollars
The Palestinian Authority’s Anti-Corruption Commission has issued an international arrest warrant for Muhammad Rashid, also known as Khaled Salam, a close adviser and confidante of deceased ‘Palestinian’ leader and infamous terrorist Yasser Arafat.
Rashid, an Iraqi Kurd, is being accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the Palestinian Authority. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Rafik Natche, head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission, said Rashid holds business interests in Jordan, Egypt, Montenegro, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, and that the Palestinian Authority has asked all five countries to freeze his assets and extradite him.
Rashid “came to the Palestinian revolution without a penny in his pocket and became a multimillionaire,” Natche told The Associated Press. “Where did he bring his money from? Of course, this is the money of the Palestinian people.”
Natche said Rashid is suspected of having taken millions of dollars out of the Palestinian Investment Fund and the PLO’s treasury, as well as setting up fake companies in his name and in the names of relatives. “The money and the companies disappeared,” Natche said, citing documents.
Natsheh said the court will rule on his case whether he appears or not, stressing that he was yet to be convicted.
Natsheh's commission was set up by the Palestinian Authority in 2010 in an effort to crack down on rampant corruption within the PA.
In comments posted on Inlightpress, a Jordanian news website, Rashid said he would not respond to the allegations now, but warned that Abbas “made a huge mistake and must suffer the consequences.”
The charges being made against Rashid revive the question of Arafat’s own involvement in embezzlement of ‘Palestinian’ funds. The late Chairman of the PLO had been accused of stealing millions of dollars in donations from Arab states.