Death penalty sought for Samaha and 2 Syrian officials


samaha mamloukA Lebanese military court demanded on Wednesday the death penalty for former Information Minister Michel Samaha, a Syrian general and his aide who holds the rank of colonel over a terror plot to destabilize Lebanon.

Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghaida issued the indictment, which seeks the death penalty for Samaha, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, the head of the Syrian National Security Bureau, and his aide, Col. Adnan, whose family name remains unknown.

The indictment charges the three men of holding a meeting under Mamlouk at the National Security office in the Syrian capital Damascus and plotting to assassinate Lebanese figures who are opposed to the Syrian regime .

According to the indictment, the Syrian officers handed Samaha explosives. It also charged Samaha of transporting the bombs in his car from Syria to Lebanon.

The former minister was also charged with summoning Lebanese police informer Milad Kfouri, handing him the explosives and ordering him to blow up Iftar gatherings in Lebanon.

“It’s all right: kill them,” Samaha was quoted as telling the police informer when the latter informed him that religious figures would be attending the Iftar dinners, according to the indictment.

They could face the death penalty if convicted.

Abu Ghida also approved a request made last week by State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr to issue a search warrant to identify the Syrian colonel known only by his first name Adnan.

Saqr requested Tuesday that Samaha and Mamlouk be tried on counts of terrorism.

He also recommended that both suspects be indicted for preparing explosives, and transporting them from Syria to Lebanon to carry out attacks and assassination attempts to provoke sectarian strife at the behest of the Syrian regime.

On August 9, Lebanese security forces arrested former Lebanese minister Samaha, who has close ties with Syria’s regime.

According to Lebanese security sources, when asked why he would do such a thing, the former minister replied, “This is what Bashar wants.” In a possible reference to the embattled Syrian president Bashar al Assad.

Photo: Former Information Minister Michel Samaha ( R) and Syrian National Security Chief General Ali Mamlouk . Judge Riad Abu Ghida issued an arrest warrant in absentia on Monday against Mamlouk