Prosecutor hiding evidence of lies: Lebanese ex-general

14th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The prosecutor of the tribunal set up to try Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri's killers was concealing proof that ex-general Jamil Sayyed was wrongly jailed for four years, his lawyer claimed on Friday.

"The evidence of these offences has been concealed for the last five years by the prosecutor", Daniel Bellemare, Sayyed's advocate Akram Azoury told pre-trial judge Daniel Fransen.

This concealment, he said, may result in "universal impunity" for those Sayyed accuses of having given false testimony that led to his imprisonment without charge between August 2005 and April 2009.

Azoury was arguing in a special hearing in a bid by Sayyed to gain access to his docket, in the possession of the prosecutor.

Sayyed, a former security services director, is one of four generals who claim they were arbitrarily detained for the same period following the deaths of Hariri and 22 others in a car bomb blast on February 14, 2005.

Sayyed, together with the Shiite Hezbollah and its allies, have accused security officials, politicians and judges close to the former premier's son, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, of having "manufactured" evidence to implicate them in the assassination.

The ex-general wants documents in the prosecutor's possession to initiate court proceedings in Lebanon against those responsible for these "libellous contentions".

"The proof that these denunciations were libellous in nature have been in the prosecution's possession since late 2005," Azoury told the court.

A Lebanese judge ordered the general placed in temporary detention in August 2005 on an arrest warrant issued at the request of an international, UN-created commission of inquiry into Hariri's murder.

But in April 2009, the UN tribunal ordered the release of Sayyed and three other generals, all considered pro-Syrian, saying there was not sufficient evidence to keep them.

© 2011 AFP

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