Syria Issues Arrest Warrants against Hariri, MP Saqr, Louay Meqdad

Syria issued on Tuesday arrest warrants against former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Mustaqbal MP Oqab Saqr, and Syrian opposition member Louay al-Meqdad.

MTV said the arrest warrants were issued on charges of “arming and financing terrorist groups in Syria.”

According to information obtained by the TV network, the Syrian judiciary sent the warrants to the Damascus-based criminal investigations office of the Arab Interior Ministers Council. The office in turn emailed the warrants to the Interpol office of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces which submitted them to Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.

For his part, the minister informed State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr of the content of the warrants, MTV added.

The development came a day after Judge Saqr requested the questioning of Syrian security chief Ali Mamlouk and a colonel identified only as Adnan as suspects in the case of former Minister Michel Samaha.

He also summoned Buthaina Shaaban, Syrian President Bashar Assad's media adviser, to be questioned as a witness in the case.

Samaha was arrested in August on charges of forming a criminal gang aimed at carrying out attacks in Lebanon at Syria's behest.

Mamlouk and Syrian colonel Adnan have been also charged in the affair.

OTV and al-Akhbar newspaper recently revealed that MP Saqr had been carrying out arms deals with Syrian opposition members, with the television station airing leaked recordings of conversations between the lawmaker and Meqdad.

MP Saqr last week gave a press conference, accusing OTV and al-Akhbar of tampering with the audiotapes and saying that he will file a lawsuit against them.

In October 2010, Syria ordered the arrest of 33 people over alleged false testimonies given in the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is probing the assassination of Lebanese former Premier Rafik Hariri.

The Lebanese defendants include Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi, MP Marwan Hamadeh, former General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza and former Justice Minister Charles Rizk, as well as politicians, journalists and other Lebanese, Arab and foreign officials.

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