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Lebanon News

Judge hears Bassil testimony in Qobeisi slander case

File - Francois Bassil attends a meeting in Beirut, Monday, May 19, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Judge Charbel Abu Samra Wednesday heard testimony from Francois Bassil, the president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, in the defamation case brought against him by Amal MP Hani Qobeisi.

Qobeisi attended the hearing with his attorneys Joseph Ghazaleh and Ali Rahhal, while Bassil’s lawyers Sakher Hashem and Elie Chamoun sat next to the defendant.

“I defended myself,” Bassil said after the session, adding that he repeated the same remarks as those during an April news conference.

Bassil said the ABL supported the demands of the Union Coordination Committee but stressed that the salary scale should coincide with radical reforms and not be financed by new taxes.

Abu Samra set a hearing for July 9 to respond to Bassil’s testimony.

Qobeisi had filed a lawsuit against Bassil in April for defamation and slander against lawmakers and politicians.

The ABL had criticized lawmakers for making “random decisions” for political purposes, warning that such a step would have negative effects on inflation rates in the country, the stability of the national currency and the purchasing power of the Lebanese.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri had insisted that Bassil publicly apologize for verbally attacking lawmakers and Parliament. Bassil has made a veiled apology to Berri.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 03, 2014, on page 4.

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