of Michel Samaha, Ali Mallah and Fares Barakat, as well as his secretary Gladys
Awada were released in the evening after being arrested in the morning.
In this context, Fares
Barakat denied, in a statement to LBCI, that he had transported explosives in
Samaha’s car from Syria to Lebanon, noting that during the interrogation, he
was asked about Samaha’s movements and what he transported in his car.
Former Minister Michel Samaha was arrested on Thursday over involvement in
explosion plots in several Lebanese regions, sources told LBCI.
confessed to planning terrorist attacks that were expected to be carried out
during Iftar banquets in North Lebanon, particularly in Akkar. He admitted as
well, his involvement in smuggling explosives in his car from Syria to Lebanon.
It was reported that the explosives
were being transported in Samaha’s Mercedes and were to be delivered to a person form the Kfoury family; but were seized by the Internal
Samaha’s confessions came after his
driver reportedly admitted the involvement early in the day. In this context, a security source told LBCI
that the evidence was complete and were collected two weeks ago.
Earlier in the day, the ISF's Information Division raided Samaha's house
in the neighborhood of al-Jwar near Khenchara in northern Metn, taking him to Achrafieh's Information Division branch.
Around noon, the ISF arrested Samaha’s driver Fares Barakat and seized 2 cars, while the search of his house continued.
forces had earlier arrested Samaha’s secretary and two of his companions.
According to information
made available to LBCI, Samaha was arrested upon the request of acting
public attorney, Judge Samir Hammoud.
In details, when Samaha’s
wife, Gladyss, demanded to see the judicial warrant, the officer in charge told her
he could not show it to her, though it was in his possession. Accordingly, Samaha’s
wife considered the arrest to be “illegal”.
In a statement to LBCI, Gladyss said that security
forces found an old Kalashnikov in the closet, confirming that the case
is of political nature since he [Samaha] represents a particular party.
division broke down the door and confiscated 17 items from inside the
house", she added.
Exclusive security sources told LBCI
that several officials had known about the arrest, mainly Interior Minister
Meanwhile, Judge Samir Hammoud rushed
to the information division to follow up in person on the investigation courses.
Hammoud noted that Samaha is
testifying freely and he is in good health after being examined by the forensic
doctor and the doctor of the Internal Security Forces.
Reactions to Samaha’s arrest:
Commenting on Samaha's arrest, Prime Minister
announced, before a delegation from the Lebanese Editors Syndicate, that the arrest is based on security reasons and is not
linked to espionage, adding “we are awaiting judicial investigations”.
Mikati pointed out that a judicial
warrant was issued allowing investigations with Samaha over security issues,
stressing that the STL is not involved in the case.
Earlier, Justice Minister Chakib Kortbawi preferred not to comment on
Samaha’s arrest, pointing out that investigations are still preliminary.
Kortbawi told LBCI that the acting public prosecutor must personally
oversee investigations to make sure all the rights of Samaha are protected.
For his part, acting
public prosecuter, Judge Samir Hammoud told LBCI that investigations with Samaha
must be conducted swiftly in order for the concerned authorities to take the
appropriate judicial measure against him. According to Hammoud, investigations
will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant against Samaha or release
In turn, Future bloc MP Khaled Daher
told LBCI that he had
no information on the reason behind Samaha’s arrest, pointing out no security
or judicial authority contacted him in those regards. Daher stressed that it
falls within the security forces’ responsibility to protect all the Lebanese
and "uncover the truth".
Former General Jamil al-Sayyed described
the way Samaha was arrested as a "violation", adding that a respectable security
apparatus, such as the army intelligence, should have dealt with Samaha.
Following a meeting for the
ministerial committee charged with discussing the pay scale at the Grand
Serail, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel denied the fact that he had known about the arrest earlier,
noting that the judiciary took charge of the case. He stressed that the
judiciary is the only entity authorized to talk about this matter.
For the full LBCI report, please watch the video above