BEIRUT: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem is recovering from heart surgery he underwent at a Beirut hospital, a medical source told The Daily Star Monday.
Moallem underwent successful bypass surgery and is in good condition, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
Moallem, 73, was admitted to American University of Beirut Medical Center late Thursday.
Meanwhile, Lebanese lawyer Tareq Shandab requested that the prosecutor's office take action against Moallem, accusing the Syrian official of several crimes including “committing murder” and “establishing terror groups in Lebanon.”
Shandab asked the prosecutor to arrest, interrogate and refer Moallem to an investigative judge after issuing a charge against the Syrian official for “committing murder and terrorism, forming terror groups to kill Lebanese civilians, sending arms and bombs to Lebanese mobs with the aim of inciting strife and killing among the Lebanese.”
"Walid Moallem is one of the main pillars of the Syrian regime which has for three years killed Lebanese citizens through air raids on Arsal [northeast Lebanon] and other northern villages, killing tens of people and destroying dozens of homes,” Shandab wrote in his request.
“Moallem has claimed and justified such attacks, which only means that they were carried out with his knowledge and that makes him an instigator and complicit.”
Shandab, who is currently representing a number of terror suspects in Lebanon, also said Moallem's position in the Syrian government also made him complicit in the twin car bombings outside separate mosques in Tripoli, north Lebanon, as well as in former Minister Michel Samaha’s terror plot.
Consequently, Shandab concluded, Moallem “is punishable under Lebanese law and international law.”
“We cannot take as an excuse diplomatic immunity because international law’s jurisprudence sees that no official or president can enjoy such immunity if they committed crimes against humanity,” he said.