Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh on Monday alleged that there are no offshore oil or gas reserves in Lebanon and launched his fiercest attack ever on his one-time allies the Free Patriotic Movement.
His stances were voiced during a press conference he held to comment on the controversy over the counterfeit fuel file.
The head of the Energy Ministry’s oil facilities department “Sarkis Hleis will appear before the judiciary, but not before the justice of (FPM chief) Jebran Bassil and the judges of Jebran Bassil,” Franjieh said.
Noting that he believes in Hleis’ “innocence,” Franjieh said his movement’s conscience is “very clear.”
“The judiciary will decide whether Sarkis Hleis is guilty or not and we consider the counterfeit fuel file a politicized file, because the side and judges who raised it are known,” Franjieh added.
“In the fuel file, six ministers belong to the FPM. Don’t these ministers bear any responsibility in this file?” Franjieh asked.
Turning to the issue of offshore oil and gas exploration, the Marada chief dropped the bombshell claim that Lebanon “is not an oil country.”
“And there is no trace of gas in it. They are lying to you and I bear the responsibility for my words,” he added.
Addressing the FPM, Franjieh went on to say: “You lied to people in 1989 and you destroyed Lebanon and the Christian regions. You lied to people in 2005 and now you are lying to people. Your strength was based on popular support and today your strength stems from being in power. But when power goes, you will become equivalent to nothing and if the judiciary won’t put you on trial history will.”
“If you want war we are ready and if you want peace we are ready. But you are weak and cowardly and history will not be merciful towards you,” he added.