| 28 September 2022, Wednesday |

Lebanese Christian politician says judicial decisions against party unlawful

Samir Geagea, a Christian politician in Lebanon, said on Saturday that recent judicial decisions against his party were illegal.

Geagea said at a news conference days after a judge charged him with murder in Beirut in October that the judicial decisions were intended to tarnish the image of his Lebanese Forces (LF) party.

“Attempts to isolate, encircle, intimidate, and eliminate the Lebanese Forces continue… And the most recent attempt in this regard was judicial decisions that were rendered null and void because they violated every law “Without mentioning the charge, he stated.

Seven people, all of them followers of the Iran-backed, heavily armed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah and its Shi’ite ally the Amal Movement, were killed in the Oct. 14 clashes near an old frontline of the 1975-90 civil war.

Geagea, a leading opponent of Hezbollah who has good ties with Saudi Arabia, was summoned to a hearing at military intelligence last October over the violence, but did not attend.

The Oct. 14 violence began as people were gathering for a protest called by Hezbollah against the judge investigating the 2020 Beirut port blast.

Hezbollah accused the LF of mounting an ambush to try to drag the country to a civil war.

Geagea has said the trouble began when supporters of the Shi’ite parties entered the Christian neighborhood of Ain al-Remmaneh where they vandalized cars and four residents were wounded before a shot was fired.

Geagea was speaking at an event to launch the candidacy of an LF candidate who is running in a May parliamentary election.

Hezbollah and groups politically aligned to the movement won a majority of seats in parliament in the last election in 2018.

The Lebanese Forces media officer, Elie Kayrouz, said in a statement on Saturday that the charge is “political prejudice and an apparent slander against the Forces and Samir Geagea” ahead of the parliamentary election.

  • Reuters