BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Samaha’s attorney asks judge for testimony of police informer Kfouri

  • Former Lebanese Cabinet minister Michel Samaha. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Former Minister Michel Samaha’s attorney has asked Investigative Judge Riyad Abu Ghayda to subpoena the police informer in the case. A judicial source told The Daily Star Friday that Abu Ghayda has not made a decision as to whether to compel Milad Kfouri, who is reportedly out of the country for security reasons, to testify.

Kfouri coordinated with the Internal Security Forces Information Branch to secretly record Samaha’s statements about terror plots he was hatching to carry out in the north.

Samaha, who is close to the Syrian government, has been charged with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in the country, as well as assassinate religious and political figures. The accused also include head of Syria’s Intelligence Gen. Ali Mamlouk and another Syrian army officer. Samaha is also charged with transporting explosives from Syria into Lebanon.

The source said that there was no use in compelling Kfouri to testify, given that all the necessary information had been extracted from Samaha.

Samaha confessed to the ISF shortly after his arrest on Aug. 10 that he had been planning the attacks. He was even quoted by security sources as saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad wanted bomb attacks in Lebanon.

Abu Ghayda interrogated Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed Tuesday, following security services’ acquisition of “incriminating evidence” that the ex-General Security head had accompanied Samaha when he transported explosives from Syria to Lebanon.

DNA tests of samples from the seats of Samaha’s car proved Sayyed had been in the vehicle during the trip.

Sayyed admitted to being in the car with Samaha on the day in question, but denied any link to the case. In a news conference Tuesday, he said his lack of involvement in Samaha’s case had been corroborated by Samaha himself during an interrogation session in August.

“Samaha said that [I] was not informed at any time or place inside or outside [of Lebanon] or in my trips from Syria to Lebanon about the case,” Sayyed said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 22, 2012, on page 2.
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