Politicians React to Verdicts in Bashir Gemayel Case amid Sassine Rally

W460

A number of Lebanese politicians and relatives of slain president-elect Bashir Gemayel on Friday welcomed death sentences issued in absentia for the two suspects convicted of carrying out the assassination – Habib Chartouni and Nabil al-Alam.

More than three decades after Gemayel was killed in Beirut, the case still sharply divides Lebanese some of whom see him as a national hero while others say he was an Israeli agent.

“Today, we all feel that the judiciary has restored the prestige of the state and its institutions, giving hope that justice will be done to the rest of the martyrs of the cause all the way to the martyrs of the Cedar Revolution,” Gemayel's widow, ex-MP Solange Gemayel, said outside the Justice Palace after the verdicts were issued.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea meanwhile welcomed the verdict via Twitter, saying justice was fulfilled and posting a picture of the slain leader.

Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel -- Bashir's nephew – described the verdicts as the “first victory,” posting photos of both Bashir and his slain brother Pierre, who was assassinated in 2006 while serving as industry minister.

Sami Gemayel also described the verdict's day as “the day of accountability” that “fulfilled justice for entire Lebanon.”

Speaking at a rally celebrating the verdicts at Ashrafieh's Sassine Square, MP Nadim Gemayel, Bashir's son, said the Judicial Council's ruling was not issued only against Chartouni and Alam but also against “an entire apparatus that existed for 30 years and committed crimes against our martyrs.”

“Today, there are Iranian apparatuses wearing Lebanese uniforms who are carrying out Iranian schemes on our soil. Today, the verdict was issued against all of those and against anyone who might try to usurp Lebanon's sovereignty,” Gemayel added.

Justice Minister Salim Jreissati meanwhile said “there is an investigation to locate” Chartouni, who has been on the run since escaping from the Roumieh Prison in 1990.

Speaking to reporters at Sassine Square, State Minister for Planning Affairs Michel Pharaon said the death sentences are “a victory for democracy,” adding that “this day represents hope for the Lebanese.”

The Syrian Social National Party, to which Chartouni and Alam belong, meanwhile issued a statement slamming what it called an “unjust ruling.”

“It deprives citizens of their right to resist occupation and represents a stab against thousands of martyrs, victims and resistance fighters who were killed while confronting this (Israeli) occupation,” the SSNP said.

Accusing the Judicial Council of “separating the case from its historic context,” the party noted that Chartouni carried out his “act of resistance” when “Lebanon was under Israeli occupation and when Bashir Gemayel was part of this occupation, supporting it, assisting it and helping it to ensure the victory of its forces.”

Gemayel was a senior member of the Kataeb Party and the supreme commander of the Lebanese Forces militia during the early years of the civil war.

He was elected president on August 23, 1982 while the country was torn by civil war and occupied by both Israel and Syria.

Gemayel was assassinated on September 14, 1982, along with 26 others, when a bomb exploded in Kataeb's headquarters in Ashrafieh.

Chartouni, a member of the SSNP, was later arrested in connection with the assassination. His sister was a resident of the apartment above the room Bachir was in. He had visited her the previous day and planted the bomb in her apartment.

The next day, he called her and told her to get out of the building. Once she was out, he detonated the bomb from a few kilometers away from the building.

Two days later Chartouni was arrested by the Lebanese Forces. At a press conference before being handed over to the Lebanese judiciary by the LF, he called Gemayel a traitor and accused him of “selling the country to Israel.”

He said he was given the explosives and the fancy long-range electronic detonator in West Beirut’s Ras Beirut district by Nabil al-Alam, who was reportedly SSNP's intelligence chief at the time.

Alam reportedly had close ties to the Syrian intelligence services and he swiftly fled to Syria after the assassination.

Chartouni spent eight years in Roumieh Prison without an official trial until he escaped on October 13, 1990 during the Syrian offensive to oust Michel Aoun from the Baabda Palace.

Comments 14
Thumb justin 20 October 2017, 21:27

When the surrogate government of Lebanon framed Geagea for the Church's bombing, they dissolved the Lebanese Forces and disbanded them.

Today, the highest court in Lebanon issued a death sentence verdict against Al-Alam who was reportedly SSNP's intelligence chief at the time. So, does this government have the courage to disband the SSNP?

I doubt it

Thumb Mystic 20 October 2017, 22:19

Kataeb should be dissolved before any other party.

Thumb s.o.s 20 October 2017, 23:29

Kataeb is 100% Lebanese unlike the SSNP created in Damascus or Hizbalot created in Tehran. Did they mess up during the war, sure they did. Was inviting Israel in 1982 a mistake? No, it was justified (and I'm sunni) because these my enemy's enemy can be my ally. And frankly today history is repeating itself with Arabs getting close to israel for the identical reasons. Frankly, I believe we should sign a peace treaty with ismall if they take some of the Palestinians back in exchange of dealing with Iran's proxy in the country.

Thumb Mystic 20 October 2017, 23:54

You call your self Sunni, and that makes you less of a collaborator?
That is the thing about your kind, Saudi dogs.
You are quick to talk about Sunnis in Syria and all other places in the world, but never about the Sunni palestinians.

Because you are McDonalds Arabs, you will give the U.S your sole for a cheeseburger.

Thumb s.o.s 21 October 2017, 00:04

Because I'm not sectarian. Imy not part of any religious organization, and the only reason I abhor Iran is because it exports terrorism and lawlessness to my country and not because they're mites. For the very same reasons I don't care about the Palestinians sunni or catholics. It's their conflict not mine. In the mean time, the most pressing problem is hizbalot, and it should be eradicated.

Thumb thepatriot 20 October 2017, 22:52

lol This was one of the conditions imposed by Geagea to put Aoun in the chair. Aoun needs no thank you for this one! He actually couldn't care less... as you can see his son in outlaw bored to death during the ceremony...

Thumb thepatriot 21 October 2017, 20:22

lol sami baby... great job indeed... they vote a budget with no audit on previous expenses, they did not do anything for the trash issue, so giving some money to the municipalities is just a short term sollution for the trash. This is an acchievement for you? LOL Impressive indeed! You are ridiculous dude. Let's talk about the commissions his step son keeps taking, let's talk about his foreign policy that isolated us even more, let's talk about the debt that keeps growing exponentially, let's talk about the bribery that is still worsening, let's talk about the taxes he increases in an already drowning country... wake up Alice! This is no wonderland...idiot!

Thumb s.o.s 21 October 2017, 00:42

H i l a r i o u s !

Default-user-icon Anounymous (Guest) 21 October 2017, 02:22

happy for you and syria and what is going on there LOL

Missing humble 21 October 2017, 01:07

A party where the members keep saluting with : "Ta7ya Suriya" must be immediately disbanded, dissolved and forbidden. We are fed up with traitors obeing to outside countries.

.

Thumb ado.qawmisuria 21 October 2017, 03:23

سوريا يا حبيبتي
أعدت لي كرامتي أعدت لي هويتي
سوريا يا حبيبتي
أعدت لي كرامتي أعدت لي هويتي

بالحرب والكفاح وشعلة الجراح
تنير درب ثورتي
يا يا يا يا حبيبتي

Missing humble 21 October 2017, 01:10

A party where the members keep saluting with : "Ta7ya Suriya" must be immediately disbanded, dissolved and forbidden. We are fed up with traitors obeing to outside countries.
.

Default-user-icon anonymous (Guest) 21 October 2017, 02:21

أقدس أرض اجوا شعب

Default-user-icon HalWell (Guest) 21 October 2017, 02:24

all bunch of criminals