Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas said he did not interfere in the report of the technical committee he formed to study the Interior Ministry’s report on the 2007 US request for information on Lebanon’s communication networks, said a statement issued by his press office Sunday.
The parliament’s Media and Telecommunication commission had requested the creation of a specifically technical committee, which is made up of five qualified engineers, two Telecom Ministry employees and three from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, said the statement. It noted the Interior and Defense Ministries did not include representatives in the committee.
Nahhas’ statement comes in response to Lebanon First bloc MP Okab Sakr, who requested Friday that MP Hassan Fadlallah, who heads the Media and Telecommunications Commission, hold an urgent commission meeting to discuss As-Sharq newspaper’s recent report on Nahhas.
The report said Nahhas formed a new technical committee on March 30 that submitted its report to the parliament’s Media and Telecommunications Commission, because the initial report submitted to Nahhas on March 13 did not please him.
On Wednesday, Sakr also requested Speaker Nabih Berri ask Nahhas how the technical committee’s report was leaked to As-Safir newspaper.
Nahhas responded to both accusations, saying all he did was simplify some technical terms to clarify the report to non-specialists.
There was consensus over the technical committee’s final report and the Media and Telecommunications commission, that represents all of the parliament’s political powers, was well-aware of the process, added the statement.
Zahraman demands accountability
Nahas’ comment also comes after Lebanon First bloc member Khaled Zahraman on Sunday called for the accountability of Telecommunications Minister if he failed to supply a detailed explanation on his alleged manipulation of the Technical Committee’s reports.
“We insist on calling to account Minister Charbel Nahas if he doesn’t supply a details and convincing explanation on the scandal,” Zahraman said.
He pointed to the importance to summon Nahas to the Telecommunications parliamentary Committee “to listen to what he has to say because he hid data from MPs which is tantamount to misleading them.”