BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Lebanon Judge calls for interrogation of pro-Assad figure

The site of a powerful explosion in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli Aug. 23, 2013. (AFP/IBRAHIM CHALHOUB)

BEIRUT: A Lebanese judge issued Thursday a court summons for Ali Eid, the pro-Assad head of the Arab Democratic Party, ordering him to appear in court over his alleged involvement in the Tripoli mosque bombings.

A judicial source told The Daily Star that Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda set Tuesday 10 a.m. as the date for Eid to appear in court for interrogation.

If Eid fails to show up, an arrest warrant will be issued against him, the source added.

Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr charged Eid and his driver, Ahmad Mohammad Ali, earlier this week with aiding Ahmad Merhi – a key suspect in the Tripoli bombings – flee to Syria.

The charges came a week after Eid, a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has the backing of his Alawite community, defied a summons over the Tripoli car bombings which killed at least 47 people wounded scores more.

Security forces also raided Eid’s home Tuesday in the northern village of Hikr Daher near the Syrian border but he was not found.

Abu Ghayda issued Thursday arrest warrants for Eid’s driver and another detainee, Shehadeh Shdoud, after the judge interrogated the two men who are charged with smuggling to Syria suspects involved in the devastating bombings.

While Ali was charged with sneaking Merhi out of Lebanon, Shdoud was accused of transporting Syrian national Sukaina Ismail to Syria.

Ismail is accused of escorting individuals who transported the two booby-trapped cars from Syria to Lebanon.

Abu Ghayda also turned down a request for the release of Sheikh Ahmad Gharib, detained over his role in the Tripoli blasts, according to the judicial source.

Gharib was charged with tasking two Syrians to set up a monitoring and planning cell to carry out terrorist acts in Lebanon including the bombings in the northern city.

 

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