Reports: Army Asks Prosecution to Sue MP Merehbi for Inciting Sectarian Strife

Posted on: August 11, 2012 at 01:02
The army is seeking to sue al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Moein al-Merehbi “on charges of inciting sectarian strife,” media reports said on Friday.

MTV said “the army asked the public prosecution to take legal action against MP Moein al-Merehbi on charged of inciting sectarian strife.”

For its part OTV said “the public prosecution has decided to prosecute Merehbi at the request of the Army Command.”

The development comes after the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch arrested former minister Michel Samaha on Thursday ''for security reasons.'' LBCI and MTV reported that the former minister confessed to planning bombings 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 is known for his pro-Syrian regime views and media reports say he served as an advisor to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On July 31 the Army Command announced that it had “launched measures aimed at prosecuting MP Moein al-Merehbi” after he “insisted on attacking the military institution and insulting its leadership,” noting that from now on it “will not comment on the remarks of the aforementioned MP.”

Earlier, Merehbi had slammed Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji as an “unsuccessful person,” accusing him of being “responsible for all the mistakes and seditions.”

The lawmaker also said the army commander is “an employee who should do his job,” accusing him of “exploiting the (military) institution in order to become the next president of the republic.”

In a statement issued by the Army Command in response to Merehbi’s remarks, the military institution said: “Let the lawmaker know that all the officers and soldiers of the army are not his employees, but rather the servants of all the Lebanese people, and they only abide by the decisions of the legitimate authorities and the collective national will.”

Merehbi hit back later, telling the Kuwaiti daily al-Jarida that “the army’s statement is very silly and full of lies as usual.”

“I am willing to resign, together with Army Commander Jean Qahwaji, and let us resort to some trustworthy judges in order to tell who is negligent and who is exploiting his position for personal gains,” Merehbi added.

Merehbi has been locked in a war of words with the military institution ever since the shooting death in May of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed at an army checkpoint in Akkar.
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