BEIRUT: The Court of Cassation approved Thursday an indictment which calls for the death penalty against former Minister Michel Samaha, Syrian Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk and Col. Adnan.
Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda issued the indictment last month, requesting the death penalty for the three men. The indictment charged the accused with plotting to assassinate political and religious figures in north Lebanon.
The court ruled that Article 274 of the penal code, which applies to anyone who collaborates with a foreign country to encourage the declaration of war or attack on Lebanon, does not apply to Samaha.
“It turned out ... that Samaha contacted Ali Mamlouk in order to recruit people to carry out the explosions [in order to] reduce the smuggling of arms and gunmen to Syria through the northern border,” the court’s ruling said.
“Investigation didn’t indicate that Samaha contacted [Mamlouk] in order to encourage a foreign aggression against Lebanon,” the ruling added. The court also ruled that Article 308 of the penal code does not apply to Mamlouk because it has been suspended since 1958.
The article punishes any acts that could spark sectarian strife in Lebanon. Samaha, a close ally to the Syrian regime, was arrested at his home in Metn last summer.