Govt. Decides to Expand Investigations in Abdul Wahed Case, Deploy Army on Northern Borderإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The cabinet on Monday managed to reach a settlement over the case of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed and his companion and approved a plan to deploy the army on Lebanon’s northern border with Syria, during a session that focused on the turbulent security situation in the country and the draft state budget.
The cabinet also tasked a committee headed by Prime Minister Najib Miqati with following up on the issue of providing security agencies with telecom data, after a recent attempt on MP Boutros Harb’s life sparked fears of a return to political assassinations in the country.
Under the settlement reached over the case of Sheikh Abdul Wahed, the cabinet approved a decision by State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr to expand the investigations into the deadly incident under the supervision of State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza who will have to brief the government on the proceedings.
“The cabinet has approved a plan to deploy the army on the northern border with Syria,” al-Jadeed television reported.
Meanwhile, LBCI said “the cabinet has taken notice of Judge Saqr's decision to expand the investigations in Sheikh Abdul Wahed's case.”
At the opening of the session, President Michel Suleiman noted that withholding telecom data from security agencies has raised “suspicion” over the government’s conduct.
According to al-Jadeed, Suleiman also said that officers linked to Sheikh Abdul Wahed's death were released after the duration of their detention on remand expired, adding that they can be called again for interrogation.
In a press conference held after a meeting in Tripoli for the follow-up committee on Sheikh Abdul Wahed’s case, Mustaqbal bloc MP Hadi Hbeish said: “We received word of Saqr's decision to expand the investigation in Abdul Wahed's death and this will soothe his family.”
“The political contacts have started to rectify the situation in this case,” Hbeish added.
Meanwhile, LBCI reported that the residents of al-Bireh, Abdul Wahed’s hometown, deemed Saqr's decision as the beginning of the process to resolve the dispute.
On May 20, Abdul Wahed and his companion were killed at an army checkpoint in the Akkar town of al-Kweikhat.
Protests broke out on Friday in light of a decision to release on bail three army officers and eight soldiers who were detained over the case, while five others remain under arrest.
Mustaqbal bloc MP Khaled al-Daher, who hails from Akkar, on Sunday called on the government to “perform its duties” concerning the case of Sheikh Abdul Wahed and his companion or else face “civil disobedience.”
“The Lebanese must be ready to defend their country. The government must perform its duties or else it will witness something it did not experience before and we might declare civil disobedience,” Daher said during a meeting in al-Bireh.
“We will stage a sit-in outside (Miqati's residence and outside the Grand Serail until we achieve justice,” Daher warned.
A meeting of Akkar officials late on Thursday demanded that Abdul Wahed and Merheb's case be referred to the Judicial Council.