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Palestinian Prez’s office head in sex scandal: Report

Last Updated: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 12:01

Ramallah: A leading Israeli television channel broadcast a tape allegedly showing the head of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas` office trying to receive sexual favours from a Palestinian woman.
The tape was handed to Israel`s Channel 10 by Fahmi Shabaneh, a former member of the Palestinian intelligence from East Jerusalem, who also alleged that PA officials have stolen huge sums of money given as donations to the PA by European and Arab countries.

The tape, broadcast on Wednesday evening, shows a man who Shabaneh identifies as Rafik al-Husseini, Abbas` bureau chief, undressing and getting naked into the woman`s bed where he waits for her - until Shabaneh, who had been on a stake-out, walks in.

The woman had earlier complained to Shabaneh about al-Husseini`s alleged repeated attempts to seduce her and he had advised her to install a hidden camera in her home.

Al-Husseini had allegedly offered the woman jobs in his office in return for her sexual favours.

Channel 10 said Shabaneh gave it the tape after his revelation sparked widespread denials within Palestinian Authority circles. According to the channel, Shabaneh even received death threats over his decision to go public with the sex scandal and corruption allegations.

He also told the channel that if large foreign donors such as Qatar reviewed the documented proof he was holding in his hands - allegedly showing the theft by certain Palestinian officials of huge sums of money donated to the Palestinian Authority - they would no longer pay "not one dinar, not one dollar".

Channel 10 first reported about the alleged sex and corruption scandal on Tuesday, but without showing the tape.

The report sent shock waves and denials through the Palestinian Authority, it said.

Abbas` secretary, Tayyeb Abdul Rahim rejected the allegations as "lies, a "fabrication" and a "lunatic plot”.

He said Shabaneh was dismissed from his post after he was found to have abused his position and blackmailed people. In June, the Palestinian Attorney-General issued an arrest warrant against him.

However, since Shabaneh is from East Jerusalem, where the PA does not have jurisdiction, it is not possible for Palestinian police to arrest him.

"We were not surprised by the campaign organised by the Israeli media in cooperation with certain members of the Israeli government against the President, his staff, the government and all the brothers working against Israeli plans in Jerusalem," Abdul Rahim said.


First Published: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 12:01

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