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Mountains Case Referred to Lebanon's Military Court

Mountains Case Referred to Lebanon's Military Court

Tuesday, 23 July, 2019 - 06:45
Gharib visited Hariri on Monday (NNA)

The June 30 killing of two aides of State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh al-Gharib in the Druze area of Aley was referred on Monday to the Military Court, which will examine the case and file lawsuits against those implicated in the incident.

The decision embarrasses leader of the Lebanese Democratic Party (LDP), MP Talal Arslan, who insists that the case be referred to the Judicial Council.

Al-Gharib is close to Arslan, a rival of the head of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) Walid Jumblatt.

Sources said that referring the case to the Military Court is a substitute to Arslan’s demand that the Judicial Council handle the case and it should constitute a pass for ending a cabinet crisis that emerged early this month over such demands.

On Monday, Prime Minister Saad Hariri was busy carrying out meetings and contacts to hold a cabinet session this week.

Sources close to the case warned from a “fatwa” that might be issued from the military court to transfer the file to the Judicial Council.

“In case it happens, such step is considered a constitutional heresy,” the sources said.

They also placed question marks on the party backing of the position of Arslan, who continues to reject reaching a compromise proposed by President Michel Aoun.

Aoun does not mind the referring of the Qabr Shamoun case to the Military Court instead of the Justice Council as a middle solution.

“Is Hezbollah the only party supporting Arslan or the matter is more serious than that?” the sources asked.

Judicial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that despite a decision to refer the case to the Military Court, the government could later issue a decree and ask the Judicial Council to handle the case.

“Today, the case has been referred to the military court, which is an important step, but it is not an alternative to the judicial Council,” Gharib said after meeting with Hariri on Monday.

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