Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Sept. 13, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Thursday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Jamil Sayyed to Samaha: Jumblatt must be killed

Hariri meets Hollande: Hezbollah involved in suppressing Syrian revolution

Al-Mustaqbal has learned that the Internal Security Forces Information Branch have found a recording device in former Cabinet Minister Michel Samaha’s car for monitoring and recording all conversations so that he could provide the Syrian Intelligence with detailed reports.

The records show evidence that former Brig. Gen. Jamil Sayyed was in the car that transported explosives from Syria to Lebanon. And along the way, Sayyed talked to Samaha assessing the political situation and strongly criticizing Syria's allies who abandoned Damascus.

Sayyed was recorded as attacking Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and MP Walid Jumblatt. He literally said: "Jumblatt should be killed ... [he] must be killed."

Future Movement parliamentary bloc member Nohad Mashnouq said in an interview with Future TV Wednesday that “Sayyed spoke to Samaha in the car about [the need to] kill Jumblatt.”

Mashnouq said Sayyed suggested that Jumblatt be placed on top of the assassination list.


Hariri meets French President, confirms his return to Lebanon

No major political developments took place in Lebanon [Wednesday]. However, there was a significant meeting in Paris between French President Hollande and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

In an unusual gesture, the French president received Hariri on the steps of the Elysee Palace in the presence of the guard of honor.

Hariri said in an interview published by the French newspaper Le Monde Wednesday that Hollande’s positions on Syria were clear, but added that he expects more from Paris because it is in France’s interest to act and not just take stances.

In response to a question, Hariri said he was coming back to Lebanon.

“I am outside Lebanon for security reasons. In recent months, there were the attempted assassinations of two leaders of the March 14 [coalition] – Samir Geagea and Boutros Harb. But I'll be back, for sure, and I will take part in the next parliamentary elections and I will win, provided that the elections are not rigged. All those who are betting on the end of my political career are mistaken.”

Meanwhile, Cabinet held an ordinary session Wednesday afternoon. Prime Minister Najib Mikati said there is a possibility to reconsider a pay raise for Lebanon’s three top leaders as well as ministers and deputies.


Hariri from Elysee: Hezbollah must stop sending weapons and fighters to Syria

Charbel: We have reached the end of the road in the case of the hostages

Jumblatt listened to recordings between Sayyed and Samaha about his assassination

"We have reached the end of the road.” With these words Interior Minister Marwan Charbel summed up the situation regarding the Lebanese hostages held in Syria.

His remarks came as kidnapped Turkish citizen Tufan Tekin arrived safe and sound at his family home in Turkey.

Charbel, accompanied by head of the General Security, returned empty-handed from Ankara.

However, they said that they have returned with a positive atmosphere after meeting Turkish officials.

On the Samaha case, Al-Liwaa has learned that MP Walid Jumblatt was briefed on the contents of the audio recordings retrieved from Samaha’s car during a recent visit by Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi and Brig. Gen. Wissam Hasan to Mukhtara.

MTV said Wednesday that Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr issued summonses that included for the first time Syrian presidential adviser Bouthaina Shaaban in the Samaha case.


Judicial authorities retrieve Samaha-Mamlouk audio recording

The chapters in the case of former Minister Michel Samaha are not finished yet. After the recordings of phone calls Samaha had conducted, a new recording surfaced of a meeting with a Syrian official. Lebanese judicial authorities believe the man is likely Syrian Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk.

A new surprise emerged in the Samaha case. The ISF Information Branch handed the general prosecutor’s office the transcriptions of all audio recordings, including those made on Samaha’s phone, from 2010 to the day he was arrested.

In addition, they have retrieved audio recordings found on Samaha’s phone made during his latest trip from Damascus to Beirut.

In the recordings, the Syrian official asks Samaha about Sayyed’s whereabouts, which means Sayyed did not attend that meeting.

The Lebanese judge [Riyad Abu Ghayda] said the Syrian official is most likely Ali Mamlouk.





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