'You Betrayed My Trust': Al-Sayyed Severs Ties with Samahaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Former General Security chief Maj. Gen. Jamil al-Sayyed announced Friday the end of his friendship with ex-minister Michel Samaha, a day after the latter was released from jail under a controversial Military Court ruling.
“My support for ex-minister Michel Samaha's family was an ethical duty and a commitment not to leave them during the time of hardship,” Sayyed said in a tweet.
“Yesterday I responded to some top criminals who occupy posts in the State and in (Lebanese) politics, who shed false tears over the judiciary that released him,” Sayyed added, referring to statements that followed Samaha's release on Thursday.
However, the major general blasted Samaha for “betraying his trust.”
“Michel Samaha betrayed my trust and erred against me when he accompanied me from Damascus with him knowing what he was hiding in his car,” Sayyed said, referring to the explosives that Samaha smuggled in his car's trunk from Syria to Lebanon.
“From now on, let each pursue his own course, our friendship is over,” Sayyed added.
Both men are close to Syrian President Bashar Assad and to the Hizbullah-led March 8 camp in Lebanon.
Samaha, who was information minister from 1992 to 1995, was released in exchange for a bail payment of 150 million Lebanese pounds ($100,000), according the text of the Military Court's judgment.
Under his bail conditions, Samaha, 67, would be barred from leaving the country for at least one year, speaking to the press or using social media.
The ex-minister was arrested in August 2012 and charged with attempting to carry out "terrorist acts" over allegations that he and Syrian security services chief Ali Mamluk transported explosives and planned attacks and assassinations of political and religious figures in Lebanon.
Samaha was sentenced in May 2015 to four-and-half years in prison, but in June Lebanon's Cassation Court nullified the verdict and ordered a retrial.
Samaha, a former adviser to Assad, admitted during his trial that he had transported the explosives from Syria for use in attacks in Lebanon. But he argued he should be acquitted because he was a victim of entrapment by a Lebanese security services informer – Milad Kfoury.