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Geagea Slams Judiciary over Summoning Following Beirut Clashes

Geagea Slams Judiciary over Summoning Following Beirut Clashes

Saturday, 23 October, 2021 - 08:45
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai met on Friday Army Commander General Joseph Aoun. (Photo: Maronite Patriarchate)

Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea has criticized the military judiciary and accused it of aligning with Hezbollah.


Earlier this week, Geagea was summoned for questioning over street tension that erupted on Oct. 14 during a rally called for by Amal movement and Hezbollah to demand the removal of Tarek Bitar, the judge investigating last year’s powerful Beirut port explosion.


Seven people were killed and dozens were wounded during the clashes.


Fadi Akiki, a representative of the military court, had “instructed the army intelligence to summon Geagea and take his statement based on information provided by arrested LF members.”


In television remarks on Thursday, Geagea denied being informed of the summons, expressing his readiness to give his statement to Akiki, provided that the latter “listens to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah” before him.


Local media reported on Friday that State Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat has suspended State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Fadi Akiki’s decision to summon Geagea.


However, Oueidat’s office denied the reports, noting that Akiki’s decision is “being followed up by the relevant authorities to determine whether the interrogation should happen at the Intelligence Directorate or before the judge who tasked the Intelligence Directorate with hearing the LF leader’s testimony.”


“No timeframe has been set” for the authorities’ deliberations, the office added.


During his television appearance, Geagea referred to Akiki as “Hezbollah’s commissioner.”


“It appears that the main party in the Ain al-Remmaneh events [referring to Hezbollah] considers itself above the law, and unfortunately the military judiciary has kept up with it so far,” he remarked.


In parallel, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai underlined his support for the independence of the Judiciary and rejected what he described as “discretion” in dealing with the Beirut port explosion and the Tayyouneh events.


Rai received on Friday Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, to whom he affirmed “absolute support for the military institution and the independence of the judiciary, and the necessity of the investigation to include all parties without discretion.”


Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Rai “does not cover any perpetrator, and calls for justice for all,” but also stresses the need to hold all perpetrators accountable.


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