Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat condemned on Monday the assassination attempt against opposition MP Butros Harb, stressing the need for all the details in the crime to be uncovered.
He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine: “The sides behind the crime or others have not learned that assassinations only increase the Lebanese people’s determination and attachment to their freedom and democracy.”
“This was proven by previous assassinations that targeted the best of the men of state and media,” he noted.
Harb escaped an attempt on his life on Thursday when residents of the building where his office is located discovered individuals trying to booby-trap the buildings elevator shaft with explosives.
“The concept of political murders is unacceptable, regardless of who the target is,” Jumblat said.
On this note, he highlighted the “dangers of being lenient in the cases of individuals who have collaborated with Israel and the easing their prison sentences.”
In April, retired Army Brig. Gen. Fayez Karam, who was convicted of collaborating with Israel, was released from jail after the prison year was reduced to nine months.
In September 2011, the permanent military court had sentenced him to three years in jail, but it later reduced it to two years with hard labor with his civil and political rights being stripped.
On the case of the release of officers linked to the deaths of Sheikhs Ahmed Abdul Wahed and Mohammed Merheb, Jumblat asked: “Who benefits from the release of suspects before indictments are issued?”
“How can those linked to the case be released from custody without being held accountable for it?” he wondered.
“Maintaining the army requires clear measures to ease the hard feelings against it caused by the recent development,” said the MP.
In contrast, he stated, Judge Nada Dakroub chose to overrule a court decision to release Wissam Alaeddine, “who was caught red-handed in the attack against al-Jadeed television.”
“This is a sign that there remains among judges some brave ones who do not succumb to pressures and perform what their professional conscience and national duty tell them to do,” added the Druze chief.
“Is it acceptable to request the release of the perpetrator before his trial and punishment?” he asked.
Commenting on the next national dialogue session, set for July 24, the PSP leader hoped that all political powers “would exercise humility” and avoid tense political rhetoric.
Last week, three officers and eight soldiers linked to Abdul Wahed and Merheb’s deaths at an army checkpoint in Kweikhat in the North were released from custody, sparking outrage in the northern region of Akkar.
They were killed on May 20 as they were headed to a festival in the North.
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