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Sunday Feb. 21, 2010 9:19 AM (EST+7)
Recriminations continue in Palestinian corruption scandal

Read more: Fahmi Shabaneh, Rafiq Husseini, Mahmoud Abbas, corruption

RAMALLAH Feb 21 (JMCC) - The scandal that has struck the top levels of government in the Palestinian Authority shows no sign of abating.

Angered by statements coming from Palestinian officials, former intelligence officer Fahmi Shabaneh says he will continue revelations that he says prove corruption in the Palestinian government.

Shabaneh on Friday called off a press conference scheduled for this week in which he promised to disclose further documentation of vice and fiscal impropriety among top Palestinian officials. He said he had reached an agreement with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to wait for the outcome of an investigatory commission, expected to return its results in three weeks.

But when waqf minister Mahmoud Habbash responded that there was no agreement with Shabaneh and that his announcement was the result of pressure from his family, Shabaneh said he decided to continue his revelations to the press.

Fatah official Nabil Shaath called Shabaneh a spy and said that any information he has was obtained from other spies in an illegal manner.

Shabaneh plans to hold a press conference at his Beit Hanina home on Monday at 11 am.

The scandal has roiled the Palestinian Authority, with President Abbas forced to release his chief of staff, Rafiq Husseini, from his duties after the airing of video in which Husseini was purportedly using his position to solicit sexual favors.

Shabaneh has waged his war largely in the Israeli press - he says because Arabic media and official channels were closed to him. But the airing of Palestinian dirty laundry in Israeli circles has angered many who accuse Shabaneh of turning sensitive materials over to their enemy.







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