Judge demands prosecution of top officials, firms over tainted fuel


Judge Ghada Aoun on Monday demanded the prosecution of top oil officials and several firms and employees in the tainted fuel case.

National News Agency reported that Aoun called for prosecuting the Director General of Oil at the Energy Ministry, Aurore Feghali, and the Director General of Oil Facilities, Sarkis Hleis, on charges of professional negligence, an offense who penalty can reach two years in jail.

Aoun also demanded the prosecution of Algerian oil company Sonatrach and Lebanese firms ZR Energy DMCC and Energy Group Holding on charges of fraud. She also called for prosecuting ZR Energy CEO Ibrahim al-Zouk, the representative of Sonatrach in Lebanon Tarek al-Fawwal and the owner of ZR Energy Teddy Rahme on charges of fraud, forgery and money laundering. Penalties for such offenses can reach seven years in jail.

Aoun also demanded the prosecution of several employees at the oil facilities in Deir Amar and al-Zahrani on charges of falsification and receiving bribes, calling for putting them on trial before the Criminal Court.

The Energy Ministry had accused Sonatrach of delivering a tainted fuel shipment to Electricite du Liban on March 25.


Rahmeh, who is close to Free patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil ( president Michel Aoun’s son- in law) , runs ZR Energy.

ZR Energy SAL Holding (ZR Energy) is 50 percent owned by ZR Group, founded by Teddy and Raymond Rahmeh in Lebanon in 2005, according to the country’s commercial registry.

ZR Energy refused to accept any responsibility for supplying the tainted fuel

“ZR Energy DMCC takes no responsibility for the fuel cargo that was proven to be off specification upon discharge at the Lebanese ports,” a statement statement by the company was read after the product failed the spec test

Sarkis Hleis

Director-General of Lebanon’s oil installations Sarkis Hleis

Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh launched a fierce attack on May 12 against his allies President Aoun and Bassil in defense of Director-General of Lebanon’s oil installations Sarkis Hleis, after he was indicted by the court

The head of the Energy Ministry’s oil facilities department “Sarkis Hleis will appear before the judiciary, but not before the justice of (FPM chief) Gebran Bassil and the judges of Jebran Bassil,” Franjieh said.