BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Lebanese judge reverts decision on Kfouri testimony

Lebanese soldiers stand guard in front of the military court in Beirut, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda said Monday he decided not to listen to the testimony of police informer Milad Kfouri in the terror case involving a former Lebanese minister and Syrian officials.

Abu Ghayda had set Jan. 28 as the hearing date for Kfouri.

Kfouri was to serve as a witness in the case allegedly spearheaded by former Information Minister Michel Samaha.

“After his [Kfouri’s] failure to attend today, I decided to ignore his testimony and stick to his statement available at the [Internal Security Forces] Information Branch and to voice recordings,” Abu Ghayda told The Daily Star.

Judicial sources pointed out that Abu Ghayda only requested Kfouri’s testimony upon a demand made by Samaha’s attorneys.

“Kfouri’s statement is clear and the recordings are sufficient evidence [of the crime],” Abu Ghayda said.

Kfouri, who is reportedly out of the country for security reasons, coordinated with the ISF Information Branch to secretly record Samaha’s remarks about the alleged terror plots he was hatching to carry out in north Lebanon.

A close ally to the Syrian regime, Samaha has been charged with plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in Lebanon, as well as to assassinate religious and political figures.

Similar charges were leveled against head of Syria’s Intelligence Ali Mamlouk.

Samaha, who was arrested at his home last year, was also charged with transporting explosives from Syria into Lebanon.

 

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