The Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch arrested former MP and cabinet minister Michel Samaha on Thursday morning “for security reasons,” the acting general prosecutor said.
Samaha was arrested following raids on his houses in Beirut’s Ashrafiyeh district and the North Metn town of Jwar al-Khensahara.
Samaha’s wife, Gladys, told LBCI TV network that the former minister was still in bed when the security forces dragged him out and forced him into one of four vehicles waiting outside his Jwar al-Khenshara house.
She said her husband was arrested for “political reasons” and urged the Lebanese camp that backs him “to move.”
The security forces seized two of his vehicles, a computer and several items, including CDs and videos, from both houses. They also took his driver Fares Barakat for questioning.
The National News Agency said his secretary and two of his bodyguards were also being interrogated.
The bodyguards, Fares Barakat and Ali Mallah, and the secretary Gladys Awada were later released on bail.
The reasons for Samaha’s arrest were not clear, but MTV later reported that he confessed to planning “terrorist attacks” in Lebanon at Syrian orders.
LBCI later said that he confessed to planning terrorist attacks that would have been carried out during Ramadan iftars in northern Lebanon.
“Samaha confessed to smuggling explosives in his car from Syria to Lebanon,” reported LBCI.
Samaha’s driver also confessed to taking part in preparing terrorist operations that were going to be carried out in the North, the TV network added.
asked me questions related to the minister,” he added.
“I did not meet minister Samaha during the interrogation and they are writing the investigation report the way they want and the minister is the last person who would think about such bombings,” Barakat went on to say.
He also confirmed that Samaha visited Syria at the beginning of this week and that he accompanied him.
Samaha is known for his pro-Syrian regime views. He was among several pro-Syrian Lebanese officials who were sanctioned in 2007 by the United States for “contributing to political and economic instability in Lebanon.” entire article at source
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