BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Lawyer: Terror suspect can’t be prosecuted twice

File - Lebanese soldiers patrol the area in Beirut, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: The lawyer of a terror suspect Monday requested that Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein drop the charges against his client, who is accused of fighting in Syria, arguing that members of Hezbollah were left without prosecution.

Tareq Shandab requested that allegations against defendant Mahmoud Abdel-Qader be revoked, citing double jeopardy and selective treatment of Lebanese citizens.

Abdel-Qader, who was detained two weeks ago, is accused of belonging to armed organizations with the aim of carrying out terrorism acts outside Lebanon against the Syrian regime as well as recruiting, training, funding and transporting people into Syria.

He is also accused of involvement in firing rockets into Israel.

Shandab asked the judge to refrain from pursuing the case “because his client has already been accused and prosecuted of the same charge five years ago and Lebanese law prohibits the prosecution of someone for the same crime twice.”

The attorney, who is also the lawyer of several other terror suspects, also denied the charges and said Hezbollah members were neither prosecuted for fighting in Syria nor resisting Israel. “Acts attributed to the defendant are inaccurate and [even] if they were, they are not punishable by Lebanese law, according to the jurisprudence of Lebanese military prosecution.”

“Many people belonging to Hezbollah and other groups in the March 8 coalition are recruiting individuals to kill Syrian people and they are being trained and funded to [fight there],” Shandab added.

“They are also smuggling weapons into Syria as well as people including the Iraqi Abu Fadl Al-Abbas Brigades via Beirut airport into Syria,” the lawyer said.

He also argued that Hezbollah was carrying out “resistance against Israel” without the scrutiny of the military prosecutor.

The lawyer maintained that the Constitution stipulates equality between citizens, adding that firing rockets into Israel – regardless of the group which claims responsibility – is also a legitimate act of resistance.

“Being selective when it comes to the resistance is now allowed because the ministerial statement stipulates the right of all Lebanese to resist occupation,” he concluded.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 11, 2014, on page 3.

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Summary

The lawyer of a terror suspect Monday requested that Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein drop the charges against his client, who is accused of fighting in Syria, arguing that members of Hezbollah were left without prosecution.

The attorney, who is also the lawyer of several other terror suspects, also denied the charges and said Hezbollah members were neither prosecuted for fighting in Syria nor resisting Israel.

The lawyer maintained that the Constitution stipulates equality between citizens, adding that firing rockets into Israel – regardless of the group which claims responsibility – is also a legitimate act of resistance.


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