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Rifi vows to refer terrorism cases to Judicial Council

Secretary General of the Tripoli Bar Association Saadi Qalawoun, left, speaks during a joint press conference with Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi in Beirut, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi vowed Wednesday to refer the case of last summer’s twin suicide bombings in Tripoli and other attacks to the Judicial Council, the country’s highest court that oversees cases of terrorism and attacks on state security.

Rifi met a delegation of lawyers representing the families of the victims of the attacks that targeted Tripoli’s Al-Salam and Al-Taqwa mosques in August.

The lawyers presented Rifi with a petition of 70,000 signatures from Tripoli residents demanding the case be referred to the Judicial Council.

“I will refer this petition to the Cabinet and will back the suggestion of referring these two major crimes along with other explosions to the Judicial Council, including the explosions in the southern suburbs, the Iranian Embassy and Hermel,” Rifi responded.

“I am fully convinced that attaining justice can lead to security and stability. Any case, no matter how major it is or how dangerous, must stay preserved in the drawers of the judiciary,” Rifi said.

“When people are lax in dealing with these major cases, we leave room for retaliation and revenge and we give the perpetrators the chance to continue to target society. I will not allow the cases to be kept in the drawers without any follow-up,” he added.

Meanwhile, MP Mohammad Kabbara denounced the deteriorating security in Tripoli and issued an appeal to Rifi and other officials to create a plan to restore stability to the restive city.

Kabbara accused the security forces as well as the Lebanese Army of not taking their responsibilities “seriously” in Tripoli.

“We can’t keep silent about the chaotic security [in Tripoli], the presence of arms on a large scale and the shooting of innocent people. I call on the new Cabinet to shoulder its responsibilities toward Lebanon’s second capital,” a statement from Kabbara’s office said.

“All the parties are sitting at one table now [the new Cabinet], and they all have to make a decision that will protect Tripoli and safeguards its stability and security before it is too late,” Kabbara warned in the statement.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 27, 2014, on page 3.

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Summary

Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi vowed Wednesday to refer the case of last summer's twin suicide bombings in Tripoli and other attacks to the Judicial Council, the country's highest court that oversees cases of terrorism and attacks on state security.

The lawyers presented Rifi with a petition of 70,000 signatures from Tripoli residents demanding the case be referred to the Judicial Council.

MP Mohammad Kabbara denounced the deteriorating security in Tripoli and issued an appeal to Rifi and other officials to create a plan to restore stability to the restive city.


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