Hezbollah MP: Samaha’s arrest targeting Syrian leadership


Hezbollah MP Walid Succariyeh said Sunday that the arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha is aimed at targeting the Syrian leadership.

“The target Michel Samaha’s arrest operation is the Syrian leadership, due his ties with prominent Syrian officials , including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,” National News Agency quoted Succariyeh as saying.

He also said that there could be attempts to blame the Syrian regime for the alleged bombing plot that Samaha is accused of facilitating, but added: “ I do not blame or acquit anyone . We are still waiting for the facts to be revealed.”

His comments come after Judge Sami Sader , the government’s deputy commissioner at the Military Tribunal, indicted on Saturday Samaha and nd Syrian National Security Bureau head Maj.General Ali Mamlouk for setting up an armed group to incite sectarian strife through “terrorist attacks,” National News Agency reported on Saturday.

The indictment also included a second Syrian army officer who was only identified as Brig. Gen. Adnan.

On Thursday, Lebanese security forces arrested Samaha in a case linked to a bombing plan aimed to create a strife in Lebanon

Following his arrest, several reports revealed that Samaha confessed under interrogation that he had transferred “explosives from Syria to Lebanon in order to carry out bombings in North Lebanon, particularly in the area of Akkar, with Syria’s knowledge.”

“This is what Bashar wants,” Lebanese security sources quoted Samaha as saying of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a video shot by a Lebanese undercover agent for the Internal Security Forces Information Branch.

He was referring to the bombing plan that was meant to be carried out in north Lebanon.

The security sources also said that, in the video, Samaha can be seen and heard as saying that Syrian Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk had handed him the bombs in addition to $170,000 cash that was meant to be distributed to would-be executors of the bombing plan in Lebanon.

Samaha is known for being a staunch ally of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah even years before he was appointed a minister in the cabinet. He was among several pro-Syrian Lebanese officials who were sanctioned in 2007 by the United States for “contributing to political and economic instability in Lebanon.”