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The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
04:12 PM Beirut time
22 °C
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Lebanon prosecutor suspends decision over Syria’s Shaaban
Former MP and Cabinet Minister Michel Samaha. (The Daily Star/HO)
Former MP and Cabinet Minister Michel Samaha. (The Daily Star/HO)
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BEIRUT: A Lebanese military prosecutor Friday decided to suspend a decision over whether to charge Syrian President Bashar Assad’s political adviser for involvement in attempted terror attacks in Lebanon.

Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda interrogated former Information Minister Michel Samaha Wednesday over recordings of conversations between him and Assad’s political and media adviser Bouthaina Shaaban.

“Prosecutor Saqr Saqr finished examining the statements made by Samaha Wednesday and chose to be patient before making a decision whether or not to charge Shaaban,” a judicial source told The Daily Star.

The source said Saqr returned the dossier to Abu Ghayda to resume investigation from the point it has reached.

The conversations were obtained from three cellphone recordings that Samaha had downloaded onto his computer, judicial sources previously told The Daily Star.

Samaha, who has maintained close ties with the Syrian regime for decades, was charged in August with transporting explosives from Syria into Lebanon to use them in terrorist attacks aimed at assassinating religious and political figures.

A high-level security source said Monday that the recordings contained evidence incriminating Shaaban in the case.

“The recordings confirm Bouthaina Shaaban had knowledge of Samaha’s security and political activity as well as the tasks that were assigned to him,” the source said.

Shaaban has dismissed accusations of her involvement in the Samaha case.

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