Former Lebanese MP Michel Samaha arrested
Published Thursday, August 9, 2012
Updated 1:30pm: Former Lebanese MP and minister Michel Samaha was arrested on Thursday morning in his home in Beirut, the state's National News Agency confirmed.
Lebanon's Ministry of Information authorized the arrest, with units from the Internal Security Forces storming Samaha's apartment in the Achrafieh district of Beirut early Thursday.
Police also raided Samaha's Mount Lebanon residence in Kenshara, confiscating laptops, files and video tapes, the NNA reported.
Samaha's driver Fares Barakat was also detained in the raid.
Prime Minister Naijb Mikati said the General Prosecutor ordered the arrest, adding the warrant was "for security reasons."
Mikati added that the arrest was "irrelevant to the STL (Special Tribunal for Lebanon)," without elaborating.
A security source, wishing to remain anonymous, told Al-Akhbar that police had earlier discovered a storage facility with explosive devices belonging to an associate of Samaha.
The discovery reportedly prompted the arrest of Samaha.
Islamist MP Khaled Daher said on MTV that Samaha could have been arrested for having knowledge related to an attempted assassination on his life.
"I was surprised to learn about Samaha's arrest for contributing in plotting for my attempted assassination," the Islamist MP said.
Daher added that his name was on a list of intended assassinations, and that "it is the security forces' duty to protect us and the civilians."
Samaha has been taken to the Information Division Branch in Achrafieh for interrogation.
An investigation is ongoing, with the judiciary to make a final decision once it has examined the necessary "facts," Mikati said.
Samaha served as Lebanon's Minister of Information in the 1990s and between 2003-2004.