BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Judge rejects request to release Meqdad clan members

Maher Meqdad, spokesman for the Meqdad clan, speaks to reporters on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Military Judge Imad Zein rejected Thursday requests for the release of eight members of the al-Meqdad clan who were recently charged with the kidnapping of foreign nationals, judicial sources told The Daily Star. 

The sources said the decision meant the eight would remain under arrest. 
 
They would also be transferred to Roumieh prison, the sources added. 
 
Judge Zein issued last week arrest warrants against eight of the Meqdad clan, including its spokesman Maher Meqdad.
 
The clan members were charged with forming an armed group with the intent to target the prestige of the state; kidnapping citizens and threatening to kill them, among others.
 
Maher Meqdad was arrested last week by Lebanese Army Intelligence during a raid on his house in the Beirut southern suburb of Haret Hreik.
 
The Meqdad clan snatched more than two dozen Syrian nationals in addition to a Turkish businessman following the Aug. 13 kidnapping of kinsman Hassan Meqdad in Damascus.
 
They released most of the hostages soon after, but the clan held onto four Syrians it accused of being members of the rebel Free Syrian Army and the Turkish national.
 
Under pressure from the Lebanese Army, the clan released Turkish businessman Aydin Tufan Tekin on Sept. 11, nearly a month after the spate of abductions.
 
The remaining four Syrian hostages were later released in a Lebanese Army raid two weeks ago.
 

 

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