Tuesday Aug 14, 201207:22 AM GMT
Former Lebanese minister Samaha appears in first court hearing
Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:52AM
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All the media leaks in the case have harmed the investigation. What we need to do now is to let the court take its time. But we stress that there must be enough evidence and that the witnesses must be questioned."

Lebanese lawmaker Michel Samaha's lawyer, Malek Sayyed

A military court in Lebanon has held the first hearing of the case against lawmaker Michel Samaha over charges of 'planning to carry out terrorist attacks' inside the country, Press TV reports.


Samaha, a former minister, is accused of ‘conspiring to commit assassinations against political and religious figures in Lebanon, in addition to planning to spur sectarian fighting through terrorist attacks.’

However, he is believed to have been detained over his views in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The hearing in the military court comes as Samaha’s lawyer, Malek Sayyed, says that the charges against Samaha are not backed by evidence.

He reiterated that the so-called media leak and false reports of local TV channels on the case would hinder the investigation into the issue.

“All the media leaks in the case have harmed the investigation. What we need to do now is to let the court take its time. But we stress that there must be enough evidence and that the witnesses must be questioned,” Sayyed pointed out.

Samaha’s defense team has even sued top officials at Lebanon’s internal security intelligence branch for leaking what they call false information to media outlets.

Samaha was arrested earlier in the capital, Beirut.

He is among the several pro-Syrian Lebanese officials who were subjected to sanctions by the US in 2007.

AO/HJL
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