BEIRUT

Lubnan

Obeid attacks alleged smear, defamation campaign

  • File - Former Foreign Minister Jean Obeid speaks in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Former MP and Minister Jean Obeid Tuesday dismissed as utterly fabricated a report claiming he provided the Syrian Embassy in Beirut with information concerning former Minister Michel Samaha, who has been indicted in a terror plot to destabilize Lebanon.

“A defamation and smear campaign has targeted me along with a number of political and spiritual leaders for some time by fabricating an article here and making up a false report there,” Obeid said in a statement released by his office.

“The latest was a report signed by the head of a research center on terrorism. Needless to say, this is entirely a fabricated report both in form and in content and has nothing to do with the truth because I have no links with any of the persons mentioned in it,” he added.

Obeid was referring to the Center for Research on Terrorism, which published a report on the Lebanese presidential election containing what it claimed was a document classified as “very confidential.”

The report alleged that the sensitive document was given to the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali by the Syrian Foreign Intelligence Agency.

The document claimed that Obeid had provided the Syrian Embassy in Beirut with “important information and remarks” concerning the case of Samaha, three days after he was arrested in 2012.

Samaha was arrested by the Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch in August 2012 on suspicion of involvement in a plot to carry out bomb attacks in Lebanon on behalf of the Syrian regime.

Last year, a Lebanese judge demanded the death penalty for Samaha, a Syrian general and another holding the rank of colonel after they were indicted in a terror plot to destabilize Lebanon.

Obeid reiterated that he was not a candidate for the presidency in view of the current fierce competition between the March 8 and March 14 coalitions for the country’s top Christian post. But he vowed to file lawsuits over the report that implicated him in Samaha’s case in both Lebanese and French courts.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 23, 2014, on page 2.
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Summary

Former MP and Minister Jean Obeid Tuesday dismissed as utterly fabricated a report claiming he provided the Syrian Embassy in Beirut with information concerning former Minister Michel Samaha, who has been indicted in a terror plot to destabilize Lebanon.

Obeid was referring to the Center for Research on Terrorism, which published a report on the Lebanese presidential election containing what it claimed was a document classified as "very confidential".

The report alleged that the sensitive document was given to the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali by the Syrian Foreign Intelligence Agency.


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