BEIRUT: Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi slammed Saturday al-Jadeed local television over several reports, including one accusing the minister’s wife of confiscating the TV crew’s memory card.
“Al-Jadeed took advantage of what happened at my house following the Tripoli bombings at Al-Taqwa and Al-Salam Mosques,” Rifi said in reference to last year’s twin car blasts in Tripoli.
The report, broadcasted Friday on al-Jadeed, claimed Rifi’s wife confiscated an $800 worth memory card from the television crew because she refused to allow them to film at her house.
The television channel claimed it wants the memory card back.
“My wife and I were amid the ruins of our destroyed house and we were in a crisis; we thought that our two sons may have died in the blasts,” Rifi said.
“I leave it to the public opinion to judge such classy behavior, for which al-Jadeed is known.”
Rifi also responded to a report in which former Minister Salim Jreisati said the justice minister lacks the authority to carry out arrests related to recent summons by the Special Tribunal to Lebanon against editors from al-Jadeed and Al-Akbar newspaper.
Rifi said Jreisati's comments were inaccurate, affirming his intention to continue cooperating with the STL and saying he will not hesitate to carry out the summons.
The STL recently summoned Karma al-Khayyat, deputy head of news at Al-Jadeed TV, and Ibrahim al-Amine, editor-in-chief of the pro-Hezbollah daily Al-Akhbar on charges of contempt for “knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice,” after publishing personal details of individuals said to be witnesses in the former Prime Minister Raik Hariri’s assassination case.