Reports Say Samaha Retracted Confessions as Rifi Lauds al-Hassan, Kfouri

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Former minister and MP Michel Samaha was interrogated at the Military Tribunal on Monday over charges of forming a group to commit crimes in Lebanon.

He was accompanied by his defense attorneys Malek al-Sayyed and Youssef Finianos and interrogated by First Military Investigation Judge Riyad Abou Ghaida.

Sayyed said while taking a break from the nearly four-hour session: “The investigations are taking a serious course despite the media leaks.”

He hoped that journalists would exercise caution in reporting the investigations “because the leaks may harm the case.”

Asked by reporters if his client was pressured to sign his testimony, Sayyed replied: “The course of the investigation is going well.”

The interrogation has since been suspended and will resume at a later date, which has not been disclosed.

OTV had reported earlier on Monday that Samaha had retracted the statements he made during earlier stages of the investigation.

LBCI television had also reported that informer Milad Kfouri may be summoned to the tribunal to make his testimony in the affair.

Al-Manar television for its part said Samaha was “lured by informant Milad Kfouri into a trap set up by the Intelligence Branch.”

The TV network quoted judicial sources as saying that the defendant “gave his statement under psychological pressure.”

The sources quoted Samaha as saying that “the explosives were supposed to be planted on the northern border to prevent the smuggling of gunmen and weapons to Syria.”

The sources also said that Samaha’s lawyers have decided to file a lawsuit against Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi and ISF Intelligence Branch head Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan on charges of “leaking the details of the investigation.”

Later on Monday, Rifi hit back by issuing a statement in which he praised al-Hassan and described him as “an intelligent and brave officer.”

He also lauded what he called “the unveiling of a dangerous plot to plant bombs and carry out assassinations in northern Lebanon, and the arrest of the mastermind and obtaining evidence on his involvement … which spared the country the threat of descending into sectarian strife.”

Al-Hassan’s performance “has reflected a positive and honorable image about the ISF’s missions,” Rifi added.

The ISF chief also extended gratitude and appreciation to “the secret informant who helped and played a key role in unveiling a dangerous scheme.”

Government deputy Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Sami Sader charged on Saturday Samaha and Syrian security Chief Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk with forming a group to commit crimes in Lebanon.

The two were also charged with plotting to assassinate political and religious figures.

Kfouri was behind reporting Samaha to the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch, LBCI said on Sunday.

“Milad Kfouri is the central figure in this case and he was the one who informed against Samaha using his relations with some security agents,” it added.

Comments 30
Thumb Phil 13 August 2012, 15:01

Thumbs up if you never watch Otv : )

Default-user-icon Professeur Alexandre Zheimer (call me Al) (Guest) 13 August 2012, 22:26

teta here's your Exelon you obviously did not take it today, share it with Michel Aoun.

Thumb anonymouslb 14 August 2012, 12:20

Thumbs up if you never watch any Lebanese TV station : ) They're all about propaganda, and none about neutral objective news...

Thumb geha 13 August 2012, 15:32

fpm are desperate for any news that would help their syrian master, but they are doomed and they know it.
they alligned themselves with this falling regime and now they will loose with it.

Default-user-icon hanna (Guest) 13 August 2012, 16:49

Geho.... I think you are wrong...it is actually the syrian regime that is suffering from the fpm kiss of death...
Ask their previous partner, Saddam....

Thumb min-canada 13 August 2012, 17:31

Exactly what can her retract? There is a video of him doing it LOL. The only thing he can retract is the source of the bombs. He can say he did it all alone save his master.

Thumb fadi_albeiruti 13 August 2012, 17:36

I just hope nothing happens to Milad Kfouri, he's very essential to this case kinda like the main ingredient, harming him could be very damaging to this case, may God bless him.

Thumb fadi_albeiruti 13 August 2012, 17:36

I just hope nothing happens to Milad Kfouri, he's very essential to this case kinda like the main ingredient, harming him could be very damaging to this case, may God bless him.

Missing allouchi 13 August 2012, 18:02

isn't Malek al-Sayyed the son of another Syrian agent and traitor Jamil al-Sayyed ??!?...

Default-user-icon Mike (Guest) 13 August 2012, 18:42

Like father like son:)

Default-user-icon Shi bi da7ik (Guest) 13 August 2012, 20:50

Yes he is! Funny in a sad way...sad how people still follow such 'politicians' in this day and age

Default-user-icon minister of silly walks (Guest) 13 August 2012, 20:50

المنار: ميشال سماحة لا ينفي استحواذه على العبوات لكنه يقول ان الهدف وضعها على الحدود اللبنانية السورية لمنع التهريب

when did Al-Manar change to an all comedy format?

Thumb dasphinx 14 August 2012, 13:59

This must be a joke! Planting 24 small explosion devices along the whole Syrian-Lebanese border to halt smuggling! LOL that is too funny. Anyone who believes it, I have aty great investment opportunity just for you.

Default-user-icon Good ridence (Guest) 13 August 2012, 20:53

Is it far Fetched to say that there are many more like this guy in parliament? Thank god we had a decent guy go rat this one out!

Default-user-icon Starsky (Guest) 13 August 2012, 21:04

"A terrible reckoning is due. A wrong will be righted -- you will tremble at the terrible power of Justice untempered by Mercy.....Pray for your oppressor, that his punishment will fit his crime."

Default-user-icon assaad (Guest) 13 August 2012, 22:14

La presence du fils de jamil elsayed aux interrogatoires servent a intimider et a menacer Samaha. de cette facon les syriens sont au courant de tout et menacent samaha et sa famille.

Thumb farres 13 August 2012, 22:16

for once,let us think outside the box for a change...its all a big freaking game being played on lebanese soil...proxy war!! united we stand divided we fall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thumb beiruti 13 August 2012, 22:21

You can almost smell the infiltration of Hezbollah into this process to shut it down. Samaha recants suddenly and the accused, by proxy becomes the accuser against the authorities and intimidation is practiced against Kfouri.

Watch, he will be released within the next 48 hours. In Hezbollistan, any functionary of the Assad Police State is never prosecuted for his alleged crimes, even crimes alleged against the State itself.

Missing people-power 14 August 2012, 03:23

Do you know the definition of a "civil war"? People on all sides died during the civil war. Are you suggesting only Geagea did the killing? You are an idiot, a liar, and a propagandist

Missing people-power 14 August 2012, 06:14

What is your proof that Geagea murdered infants?

Who would you believe killed Dany Chamoun......
1) the kangaroo court under Syrian occupation, or
2) Dany's own brother?

Stop spreading lies you heard from your Syrian masters. BS propaganda and you know it.

I suppose you also believe Samaha's new story as well, shows your intelligence level

Default-user-icon The Truth (Guest) 14 August 2012, 08:39

All the leaders killed thousands in the war they're all free now. And what's your point?

Missing formerlebanese 13 August 2012, 22:36

This *is* the propaganda machine now at work.
First delay (retract statement of guilt)
Second, character and credibility attack (Investigators, and soon against Informant)
Third, Propaganda and alternative theory
Fourth, Counter-offensive

The ISF played it VERY well leaking the evidence and the name of the informant to ensure his safety. They will have real serious difficuilty disputing audio/video evidence.

Regarding OTV/Almanar comment of "He was lurred in by a trap" ofcourse! Thats how FBI/CIA lure terrorists and potential criminals on daily basis here in the US!

Default-user-icon hajj ali hajj ali hajj hassan (Guest) 13 August 2012, 22:59

Even divine Al Manure confirmed that he did bring explosives from Syria.

Missing gabby 13 August 2012, 23:05

It doesn't matter the rumors that "O" or Manar spit out. The video speaks for itself. He will be proven guilty and Aoun and teh hezz will be exposed for helping try to cover it up where they can. As for Manars arrertion that he was lured.......police work is done this way all over the world.

Missing youssefhaddad 14 August 2012, 00:08

Justice needs power and who ever has the power in lebanon will pervert justice despite the evidence.
Samaha was executing a criminal plan prepared by his Syrian masters against lebanon. One would give him the benefit of the doubt if the evidence was not so irrefutable. he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Default-user-icon John (Guest) 14 August 2012, 00:31

Amazing!
Thank you Aboul Mich for guarding our borders and establishing the new equation:
The People-The Army-The Resistance-Michel Samaha

Default-user-icon youssef (Guest) 14 August 2012, 04:04

The explosive to be planting at the border to prevent arms smuggling to Syria... lol...

Missing whyaskwhy 14 August 2012, 08:41

Lol Lebanon is a typical of most thirld world countries when a child is caught with his hand in the cookie jar two will claim he was innocent and the third will claim it was his mothers fault while the 4th will say there was no mother or cookie jar its all a western illusion. I guess were so accostomed to being told what to see that we beleive in conspiracies lay in every shadow. The guys admitted to his guilt and now is changing his story and automaticaly some assume he is innocent becuase they are told what to beleive.

Thumb dasphinx 14 August 2012, 14:01

ghanam

Thumb dasphinx 14 August 2012, 14:00

The next cabinet will have Wissam Hassan as the Interior Minister!