Gharib Meets Hariri, Says Open to 'Decent Solutions' for Qabrshmoun Crisis
State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh al-Gharib on Monday met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Grand Serail after which he announced that his party is “open to decent solutions” regarding the crisis sparked by the deadly Qabrshmoun incident.
“We are keen on the country and on activating the work of the Council of Ministers,” Gharib added.
“According to criminal classification, the case of the Qabrshmoun incident should be referred to the Judicial Council,” he said.
“PM Hariri is carrying out a series of contacts to reconcile viewpoints,” Gharib added.
Explaining that his party’s insistence on referring the case to the Judicial Council is not aimed at “political spite,” Gharib said the Council is “a court for carrying out the investigation and not a verdict.”
“An innocent person should not fear anything,” he said.
Gharib had announced while entering the meeting that the Military Court is an “obligatory pathway” and not a substitute to the Judicial Council.
Acting State Prosecutor Imad Qabalan had referred the file to the Military Court earlier on Monday.
Two of Gharib’s bodyguards were killed and a third was wounded in a clash with Progressive Socialist Party supporters in the Aley town of Qabrshmoun on June 30. The minister escaped unharmed as a PSP supporter was wounded.
Gharib and his party described the incident as an ambush and an assassination attempt while the PSP accused the minister’s bodyguards of forcing their way and firing on protesters.
Gharib’s party has insisted that the case should be referred to the Judicial Council, a demand opposed by the PSP and its allies.
The case has forced the suspension of cabinet sessions since July 2.