Lebanon separates Samaha’s terror case from that of Syria’s security chief


michel-samahaState Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr approved the separation of the case of former Minister Michel Samaha from that of the head of the Syrian National Security Bureau Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, National News Agency reported on Monday.

The former minister and two Syrian officials ( Mamlouk and his assistant whose first name was identified as Adnan ) were indicted for transporting explosives from Syria to Lebanon in an attempt to assassinate Lebanese political and religious leaders.

But his trial has been adjourned on several occasions over the failure to summon Mamlouk.

Last February Lebanon Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi confirmed that a plot to kill Samaha, who is on trial on terrorism charges, has been thwarted.

Rifi told al-Liwaa newspaper that he had received information from a highly credible security agency that Samaha would be killed during his transfer to hospital for having information about the Syrian regime.

The minister said he told Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq about the plot as soon as he was informed by the agency.

Saudi newspaper al Watan also reported last February that Damascus had asked Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to liquidate Samaha.

But Hezbollah which is closely allied with the Syrian regime denied the media reports describing them as ‘ baseless accusations’.

According to security sources Samaha has important documents that prove the involvement of Syrian officials inside Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s rejection of the reports was expected according to analysts because Samaha is known for being a staunch ally of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah. 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.”

This is what Bashar wants

“This is what Bashar wants,” Lebanese security sources quoted Samaha as saying in August 2012 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 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 saying that ( Syrian Director of the National Security Bureau Maj. Gen. Ali ) Mamlouk, had handed him the bombs in addition to the $170,000 cash that was meant to be distributed to would-be executors of the attacks in Lebanon.