File - An April 14, 2009 photo shows Lebanese former information minister Michel Samaha attending the opening of the Syrian-Lebanese Relations Conference in Damascus. AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA
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Former Minister Michel Samaha confessed Monday that he had transported explosives into Lebanon with the aim of targeting Lebanese politicians and religious figures, claiming that he was lured to do so by a police intelligence agent.In a startling confession which shocked relatives, journalists and defense attorneys attending the military tribunal, Samaha detailed a plot which, if successfully implemented, could have pushed Lebanon into a cycle sectarian violence. A former minister who maintained close ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the 66-year-old Samaha was arrested in 2012 and indicted the following year for smuggling explosives into Lebanon to target iftar banquets and gatherings in the northern district of Akkar, with the aim of killing politicians and religious figures.Samaha said that the plot was the product of a three-month dialogue between him and Kfoury.Samaha said former General Security head Jamil al-Sayyed, who accompanied him from Damascus to Beirut, was unaware that the vehicle was carrying explosives. Even Assad did not know about the plot, Samaha claimed. Earlier in the session Samaha openly contradicted himself, saying he didn't know the explosives would be used to target Lebanese officials.
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