Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir attends a demonstration in support of jailed Islamists in Beirut, Friday, April 20, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Firebrand Preacher Sheikh Ahmad Assir told the Military Court Tuesday that prior to his battle with the Army in June 2013, he had ordered singer-turned-salafist Fadel Shaker to leave his neighborhood east of Sidon over the misconduct of his men.Assir denied that the reason behind his decision to ask Shaker to leave was the latter's agreement with the Lebanese Army on clearing the records of his bodyguards who appeared carrying arms during the funeral of one of Assir's supporters in Sidon in November 2012 . The claim was made by Haitham Hankir, one of Shaker's supporters, interrogated during the session. Shaker, who was close to Assir, is also wanted by Lebanese authorities and is residing at the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh on the southern outskirts of Sidon.Hankir denied that he worked as a bodyguard for Shaker at his villa or at his apartment which falls in Sidon's eastern suburb of Abra near the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque where Assir led prayers.Shaker paid each one of them $200 a month during their stay at the house, Hankir said.
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