Report: Detained Hacker Framed Retired Serviceman, al-Hajj Tried to Bribe His Wife

New leaks have surfaced in the case of the comedian Ziad Itani and Lt. Col. Suzanne al-Hajj.

Quoting judicial sources, al-Akhbar newspaper reported Tuesday that the wife of E.Gh. -- a hacker allegedly hired by al-Hajj to frame Itani – has claimed that the lieutenant colonel has offered her a hefty bribe aimed at convincing her husband to change his confessions “so that he alone bears the responsibility for the technical forgery that led to fabricating the charges against the actor Ziad Itani.”

“Al-Hajj is still denying all the charges attributed to her. Whenever she's asked about the WhatsApp chats between her and the hacker, she would say that she does not remember or that what is written or recorded is being misinterpreted,” the sources added.

Sources from al-Hajj's family meanwhile denied to al-Akhbar that the officer is involved in framing Itani, claiming that her communication with the detained hacker had been aimed at “establishing a cryptocurrency firm.”

Judicial sources have also told al-Akhbar that the hacker had “fabricated charges of collaboration with the enemy for a person other than Itani – a retired serviceman who was arrested by the Directorate General of State Security months ago before being referred to the judiciary and released.”

The Intelligence Branch of the Internal Security Forces meanwhile summoned Itani's wife and listened to her testimony on their trip to Turkey prior to Itani's arrest.

“Her testimony was identical to his testimony before the military examining magistrate. She said that they stayed together during the entire duration of their presence in Turkey and that they met with a number of their friends, including a Lebanese diplomat who was on a mission at the consulate in Istanbul,” al-Akhbar said.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq has announced that Itani, who has been in detention since November 2017, is innocent.

According to media reports, al-Hajj hired the hacker E.Gh., a State Security informant, to create fake social media accounts with the aim of framing Itani. The hacker used Israeli IPs to carry out the plot.

The reports said al-Hajj sought “revenge” against Itani after he posted a screenshot of a Twitter 'like' placed by her on a post for controversial director Charbel Khalil. Al-Hajj was sacked by the ISF command over the 'like'.

Khalil's tweet contained insults against Saudi Arabia and Saudi women.

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