BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Death penalty sought for Islamist 'prince' over jail murder

Lebanese policemen stand guard at the Roumieh Prison, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr requested the death penalty Monday for a Lebanese prisoner known as “the prince of Islamists” over the killing of a fellow inmate earlier this month, judicial sources told The Daily Star.

Saqr's request comes in accordance with Article 549 of the Penal Code.

A police investigation revealed that Mohammad Youssef, also known as Abu Walid, gave orders to eight prisoners of the militant group Fatah al-Islam to kill Palestinian Ghassan Qindaqli.

Qindaqli, who was found hanging in his cell at the prison’s Bloc B on Jan. 18, was serving a life sentence on multiple counts of murder and other drug-related offences in Roumieh Prison, Lebanon's largest.

Last week, Saqr issued an indictment against eight Islamists for the premeditated murder of Qindaqli. He also charged three Gendarmerie prison guards with “negligence of duty.”

The men turned themselves in on condition that interrogations take place inside the prisoners’ cells, security sources have said.

Police negotiated with the inmates last week via Muslim sheikhs in order to prevent bloodshed after the Army and police were ready to storm Bloc B where Fatah al-Islam detainees are.

Islamist inmates who have gone on hunger strike and carried out several riots throughout the years have imposed somewhat of a de facto rule in Bloc B.

Dozens of Islamists were detained for fighting against the Army in the 2007 battle in the Palestinian Camp of Nahr al-Bared, north of the country.

 

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