Lawsuit against MP Saqr to be filed next week: lawyer

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A suit against MP Oqab Saqr, who is at the center of allegations of arming Syrian rebels, will be finalized next week, a Lebanese lawyer appointed by the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon said Friday.

“I am finalizing the law suit and I will present it on Monday,” Rashad Salameh told The Daily Star, adding that the case relies solely on audio recordings aired by local media outlets of Saqr allegedly discussing supplying Syrian rebels with arms.

Saqr has denied the allegations and said the tapes were doctored.

The Lebanese lawmaker also insists that Prime Minister Saad Hariri had only tasked him with providing humanitarian aid to thousands of Syrian refugees displaced by the fighting there.

Salameh, a former Kataeb official, was appointed by Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali to file the suit against “anyone who participated, incited, funded and sent arms [to Syrian rebels] and were actual accomplices in the bloodshed of Syrians.”

The lawyer also said that he would not file a lawsuit against Hariri given that his voice was not authenticated in any of the recordings.

Damascus issued arrest warrants earlier this week for Hariri, Oqab and rebel Free Syrian Army official Louay Meqdad over charges of providing weapons and funds for “terrorist groups” in Syria.

The warrants came days after Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda was asked by Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr to widen the investigation into former Minister Michel Samaha’s case to interrogate Syrian officials involved in terror plots.

Abu Ghayda was also asked to summon Buthaina Shaaban, adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Such judicial action reflects growing tensions between the two countries as Lebanon’s political spectrum is divided over the 21-month-old crisis in Syria.

The March 14 coalition has voiced its support for the uprising against Assad while their rivals in the Hezbollah-lead March 8 alliance support the regime in Damascus.

 

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