Lebanon News

Analysis report of Samaha-Shaaban phone call referred to Lebanon judge: source

A Syrian government envoy praised China and Russia on their stance towards the bloody conflict engulfing her country in an interview published on Thursday during a visit to Beijing that she said would give officials a "real picture" of the crisis. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIRUT: An analysis report of a phone conversation between an aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad and former Lebanese Minister Michel Samaha has been referred to Lebanon’s Military Investigative judge, a judicial source said Saturday.

“Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr referred to Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghaida an analysis report [by the Information Branch] of a mobile phone conversation that reveals Samaha was in direct contact with [Assad advisor Bouthaina] Shaaban,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to the Information Branch report, the source added, the phone call was made while Samaha was in Syria.

Samaha, who is close to the Syrian government, was charged in August with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in the country, as well as assassinate religious and political figures. He was also charged with transporting explosives from Syria into Lebanon. Two other people have been accused in the case, including head of Syria’s Intelligence Gen. Ali Mamlouk.

In a report Friday, MTV quoted senior sources as saying the Information Branch had forwarded a report including Shaaban’s name to the military prosecutor’s office, which would in turn refer it to the military investigative judge after studying it.

The report, the television station said, includes an analysis of data from Samaha’s phone calls in the Syrian capital, adding that it provided evidence that Shaaban was involved and had knowledge, along with Mamlouk, of Samaha’s plans to bring explosives from Syria to detonate them in north Lebanon.





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