Lebanon News

Syria to prepare legal file against Saqr via Lebanon judiciary

Saqr said he will speak about the issue in the near future. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Syria’s Parliament said it will prepare a legal case against Lebanese MP Oqab Saqr and others who are involved in arming and funding armed groups via Lebanon’s judiciary.

“The assembly in collaboration with the [Syrian] judiciary will prepare a case to prosecute Saqr and whoever participated with him and provided him with the political cover via the Lebanese judiciary on terrorism charges,” Speaker Mohammad Lahham said as he read the statement from the Syrian Parliament Thursday.

Saqr, a Future Movement lawmaker, verified earlier this week recent audio recordings implicating him in arms transfers to Syrian rebels.

Orange Television and Al-Akhbar newspaper collaborated in broadcasting and printing a three-part series of recordings in which Saqr discusses arrangements to ship arms supply to the opposition.

In one recording, Saqr addresses Louay Meqdad, the spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s Higher Military Council, and says: “Hariri is losing [patience]! He wants to settle [the battle].”

Saqr, however, has denied Hariri’s role in the matter.

In the statement issued Thursday, Syria’s Parliament described Saqr’s action as a violation of national and international laws as well as the bilateral agreements between the two countries.

It also said that arming rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad “contradicts the policy of disassociation that the Lebanese government adopted with regards to the situation in Syria.”

“The audio recordings that were broadcast revealing the involvement of Lebanese MP Oqab Saqr and whoever is behind him, his leader Saad Hariri, in supporting armed terrorist groups in Syria obliges judicial authorities in Lebanon to take action and legal measures against them,” the statement said.

It added: “What Oqab Saqr did, authorized by Saad Hariri, should not be overlooked nor [should we] be permissive and the Syrian judiciary will not stand still with regards to those who shed Syrian blood.”

Earlier this year, Syria’s U.N. Envoy Bashar Jaafari sent a letter to the Security Council listing a dozen incidents of arms smuggling from Lebanon to Syria. The letter accused the Future Movement, Al-Qaeda and Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood of involvement.

Future Movement has repeatedly denied military involvement in Syria and said its support was mainly of humanitarian and moral nature.

In a bid to control the poorly demarcated border with Syria, Lebanon has beefed up the presence of its army in border areas and arrested several people on charges of arms smuggling.





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