Samaha to be indicted for Lebanon "terror plots"

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Saturday, August 11, 2012

A former Lebanese government minister with close ties to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a Syrian security chief will be indicted for involvement in "terror plots," it was confirmed on Saturday.

Judge Sami Sader, the Lebanese deputy commissioner of the Military Tribunal, was expected to indict Michel Samaha for charges including transporting explosives from Syria for use in northern Lebanon.

Syrian security chief Ali Mamluk was also to be indicted on suspicion of "forming a group to provoke sectarian killings and terrorist acts using explosives," a judicial source told AFP.

The men, if found guilty, could face the death penalty.

Samaha's supporters said his detention was political after police arrested him at his house in the town of Metn northeast of Beirut in the early hours of Thursday.

Investigators had confiscated "three or four telephones, a laptop and two or three films," Malek al-Sayyed, a lawyer for Samaha, told al-Manar TV.

Samaha has been an outspoken supporter of Assad during the 17-month-old Syrian uprising, echoing an official Syrian narrative that portrays the anti-Assad opposition as terrorists.

Samaha served as a minister in three Lebanese governments between 1992 and 2004 - a period when Syria dominated politics and security in its smaller neighbor.

Samaha is also a former member of parliament.

(Al-Akhbar, Reuters)

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