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Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi said on Thursday that he filed a lawsuit against the General Security for arresting Lebanese citizen Shadi al-Mawlawi at one of his social services centers in Lebanon’s northern capital city of Tripoli.

The statement noted that the lawsuit was referred to the military prosecution in Beirut.

Mawlawi’s controversial arrest Saturday sparked three-day clashes in Tripoli, north Lebanon, between opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad, leaving at least seven dead and 100 wounded.

What outraged Mawlawi’s supporters was the way he was tricked to be arrested… General Security personnel dressed in civilian clothes lured him to a social services center belonging to Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi with promises of medical care to his sister , only to arrest him.

Syrian proxy

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Wednesday charged that “the General Security has become a proxy for the Syrian regime.”

The General Directorate of General Security “has become a proxy for the Syrian regime and it acted in a foolish way, as it could have sent a judicial warrant to Mawlawi instead of luring him into a trap

Mawlawi was arrested on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, but his supporters say he was targeted because of his help for Syrian refugees fleeing to Lebanon.

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim , who is closely associated with Hezbollah, Syria’s main ally in Lebanon, confirmed on Tuesday the arrest of Mawlawi

Jumblat accused Syrian of seeking to end the Lebanese government’s so-called self-disassociation policy towards the crisis in the neighboring country, noting that “they want the government to support the Syrian policy and to make Lebanon a proxy, and the Syrian ambassador proved that by calling for implementing the (Lebanese-Syrian) treaty.”

“They believe that no voice should be higher than that of the Syrian regime,” he added.

Answering a question, Jumblat said: “I will maintain my centrist position as well as my opposition against the violence by the Syrian regime and some of its allies that have started to appear in Lebanon.”

Jumblat stressed that he will throw his support behind president Michel Suleiman in rejecting the proposed administrative appointments, saying they were “worse than the appointments made by Anjar during Rustom Ghazali’s era.”

Jumblat also called on Prime Minister Najib Miqati to maintain his centrist position.

Asked whether he will ask his ministers to resign from government, Jumblat said: “Everything will happen at the right time.”

The PSP leader also criticized the calls for an electoral law based on the proportional representation system by saying it “aimed at electing a submissive parliament and a president who is worse than (former) president (Emile) Lahoud.”

Photo: Abbas Ibrahim

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