Lebanon News

Lebanon acquits Syrian army defector on terror charges

A general view of Tripoli, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: The Military Tribunal cleared a Syrian army defector of terrorism charges Friday and ordered his release.

Former Col. Mohammad Amer was charged with plotting terrorist acts and recruiting Syrians to join the opposition forces in the fight against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The court, headed by Brig. Gen. Khalil Ibrahim, said the accusations against Amer could not be proven and dropped charges against him, a judicial source told The Daily Star.

The indictment stipulated that Amer defected from the Syrian army and moved to the northern city of Tripoli with his family. While in Tripoli, Amer was allegedly recruiting a number of Syrian refugees and was building training camps.

Amer allegedly traveled to Turkey to meet with leaders from the Syrian opposition and designed a military strategy to train rebel fighters.

The former colonel was arrested in September in the port of Tripoli after arriving from Ankara.

Amer denied the accusations, saying the compact disk that security forces had found in his home contained military strategies that were linked to his former military post with the Syrian army.

A compact disk and a USB device confiscated from the colonel’s home in Tripoli contained information, maps and military strategies.





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