Lebanon News

Military Prosecutor Saqr rejects Samaha bail request

File - Lebanese former information minister Michel Samaha attending the opening of the Syrian-Lebanese Relations Conference, with the participation of 150 prominent intellectuals and researchers from both countries, in Damascus, April 14, 2009.(AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA)

BEIRUT: Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr rejected Wednesday the bail request of jailed former Information Minister Michel Samaha, accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Lebanon. Saqr said Samaha should remain in custody, a judicial source told The Daily Star.

Last week, Samaha’s lawyer Sakhr al-Hashem requested that his client be granted bail.

Hashem had told The Daily Star he was taking this action even though he was certain that his request would be turned down.

Samaha, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, was arrested in August on suspicion of involvement in a terror plot to bring explosives into the country and kill political figures.

The trial of Samaha and two Syrian Army generals – the head of the Syrian National Security Bureau Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk and his aide identified as Col. Adnan – was postponed earlier this year to December.

In March, the Court of Cassation approved an indictment which calls for the death penalty against the three men.

The indictment charged Samaha and the Syrian generals with plotting to assassinate political and religious figures in north Lebanon.

Mamlouk and Col. Adnan are not in custody and are expected to be tried in absentia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 01, 2013, on page 3.




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