RAMALLAH Feb. 18 (JMCC) - A Palestinian whistle blower said Friday he would stop a campaign waged in the media against alleged corruption in the top levels of the Palestinian government and wait for the results of an internal investigation.
Speaking at a press conference at his Jerusalem home, Fahmi Shabaneh said that he had received assurances from Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that a full investigation would be carried out into charges of corruption.
Two weeks ago, Shabaneh had previewed for Israeli media tapes and documents purporting to show fiscal corruption by top officials and the use of influence to gain sexual favors by Abbas' chief of staff, Rafiq Husseini. He had promised to continue the revelations until the alleged perpetrators were properly dealt with.
I therefore cancel the conference scheduled next Monday and I will hand over the files that I have to the president to deal with them, Shabaneh said.
The former intelligence officer said he had sent missives to the president through two commanding officers.
I discovered that he does not know about the files and the people involved in them. I received assurances from the president that he will punish all those who insulted me and all those who are involved in the corruption.
I still have the files, said Shabaneh, and the president has understood my demands. I found that the people around him didn't convey to him all of the details. Luckily, the envoys explained everything to the president who agreed to rectify matters.
Husseini has denied allegations of impropriety, but has been removed pending an investigation into the affair. A three-member committee is expected to report back on its findings in three weeks.
Shabaneh himself has been the target of anger for airing Palestinian dirty laundry in the Israeli press. He has said that he only went to the Israeli media after all other avenues were closed to him.
After the reports aired, the Palestinian attorney general said that Shabaneh is wanted in the Palestinian areas for collaborating with Israel in a land case dating back several years.