BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army did not perform its usual role Friday of providing security for sessions of the Higher Judicial Council in Beirut, judicial sources told the Daily Star. The break with tradition came days after a clash between a judge and soldiers at an Army checkpoint.
The Army, which usually provides security for such sessions at the Justice Palace, was replaced by members of the police, the sources said.
“This is the first time since 1994 that the Army has been absent from guarding the sessions,” the sources said.
Judicial sources had told The Daily Star Thursday that Judge Bilal Badr was detained and beaten up at a Lebanese Army checkpoint in the southern Beirut suburb of Shiyah late Monday.
Upon his release, Badr filed a complaint with the military court. The three soldiers allegedly involved in the abuse are being questioned.
The Army issued a statement saying that some media reports had exaggerated the incident and stressed that soldiers must carry out their essential duties.
The Army also said the judiciary is handling Badr's complaint.
For its part, the Higher Judicial Council voiced reservations over the incident and said in a statement that the abuse was the practice of individuals and not a standard policy carried out by the Lebanese Army.
The judicial sources said the council's statement came in response to the Army.