Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was on Monday summoned to testify as a “witness” in the case of the Tayyouneh-Ain al-Remmaneh deadly incidents.
“You are required to be present at the Defense Ministry in Yarze – the Intelligence Directorate’s Investigations Branch – at 9am Wednesday to give your testimony as a witness over the case of the Tayyouneh-Shiyyah-Ain al-Remmaneh incidents,” an Intelligence Directorate notice said.
Annahar newspaper said an Intelligence Directorate agent arrived in Maarab to hand Geagea the notice without being able to meet him. The agent then notified the LF leader through posting the notice on a wall at his headquarters.
According to reports, State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Fadi Akiki has recommended that Geagea testify in the case based on “the confessions of LF detainees.”
Geagea has stressed that he will not testify in the case if Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is not also summoned.
Seven people were killed on October 14, mainly Hizbullah and Amal Movement members, during a protest organized by the two groups to demand Tarek Bitar, the judge investigating Beirut’s devastating port blast, be removed.
Hizbullah and Amal accused the LF, which supports the probe, of being responsible for sniper fire against the protesters that ignited street clashes. The LF denies the charges.
Geagea has denied responsibility for the deaths, saying that residents of Ain al-Remmaneh had “defended” themselves against “Hizbullah militiamen who tried to enter their homes.” He also said that a protester fired handgun shots and injured four people in Ain al-Remmaneh before any rounds were fired from the neighborhood.
On Monday, Judge Akiki charged 68 people, including 18 detainees, with murder, attempted murder and the stirring of sectarian strife in connection with the deadly incidents.
Among those charged in absentia were the LF official in charge of Maarab security, Simon Musallem, two Amal Movement members, two Syrians and a Lebanese Army soldier, media reports said.
The rest are residents of Ain al-Remmaneh and LF members and supporters, the reports added.