BEIRUT: Four Lebanese civil servants, including two police officers, and a contractor were charged Tuesday with corruption related to renovation work they were supposed to have done at Roumieh Prison.
Financial Prosecutor Ali Ibrahim charged two police officers, two employees at the Public Works Ministry and a Lebanese contractor with embezzlement of public funds and negligence of duty.
The case has now been referred to the military prosecutor. Caretaker Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi said in December that he was waiting for permission to be able to prosecute public servants in the case.
Last year, the government allocated $8.5 million to renovate Roumieh – Lebanon’s largest prison – which suffers from chronic overcrowding.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel has expressed outrage at the conditions in Roumieh’s infamous Block D, complaining that renovations had not prioritized basic needs of prisoners and that funds were mismanaged.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 05, 2014, on page 4.