Lebanon News

Court releases Lebanese officers arrested in sheikh's killing

Lebanese Army soldiers sit on top of their Armored Personnel Carrier in north Lebanon. (File/AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: The Military Court of Cassation released three Lebanese Army officers on bail Friday, in the case of the killing of a Muslim sheikh and his companion in May.

Judicial sources told The Daily Star that Judge Elias Nayfeh ordered the release of the three officers on LL300,000 bail each.

The sources identified the freed officers as Capt. Elie Kairouz, Capt. Mohammad Ali Ahmad and Lt. Wissam Mahfouz.

They were arrested following an incident on May 20, during which Sheikh Ahmad Abdel-Wahed, a Muslim preacher opposed to the Syrian regime, and his companion Hussein al-Mereb were shot dead at a Lebanese Army checkpoint in the village of Kuwaikhat in Akkar, north Lebanon.

Future MPs in the north and Akkar’s sheikhs have demanded that the Army officers linked to the killing be tried. They have also demanded that the case be referred to the Judicial Council, the country’s highest judicial body, which looks into security cases that threaten to destabilize the country.

The same three officers were released early in July on bail but were re-arrested on July 16.

Their arrests at the time sparked street protests by Army supporters, who demanded their release.





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