BEIRUT: Judicial Investigative Judge Jean Fahd assigned the counselor of the Criminal Appeals Court Judge Walid Qadi to preside over the case of former Minister Michel Samaha and two Syrian officials Wednesday.
Qadi replaced the head of the Criminal Appeals Court, Judge Joseph Samaha, who decided to recuse himself from the case because he is related to the Lebanese minister.
Earlier this month, Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda issued an indictment against Samaha, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, the head of the Syrian National Security Bureau, and his aide, Col. Adnan, whose family name remains unknown.
Abu Ghayda also requested the death penalty for the accused.
Samaha, a longtime ally of the Syrian leadership, was arrested by the Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch last year on charges of transporting explosives from Syria and plotting terror attacks in Lebanon aimed at killing political and religious figures.
According to the indictment, the Syrian officers handed Samaha the explosives.