March 14 Criticizes Calls to Lift Merehbi’s Immunity as Berri Set to Study Request

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Speaker Nabih Berri revealed that he will study an official request to strip MP Moeen al-Merehbi of his parliamentary immunity as the March 14 opposition alliance lashed out at Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi threatening to resort to article 39 of constitution.

“I will study the matter before sending the request to the parliament's bureau and the administrative committee,” Berri told An Nahar newspaper on Friday.

He said in comment published in As Safir newspaper that the parliament will discuss the issue to take the right decision according to norms.

On July 31, the Army Command announced that it had “launched measures aimed at prosecuting Merehbi” after he “insisted on attacking the military institution and insulting its leadership.”

Earlier that day, Merehbi slammed Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji as an “unsuccessful person,” accusing him of being “responsible for all the mistakes and seditions.”

The lawmaker also said the army commander is “an employee who should do his job,” accusing him of “exploiting the (military) institution in order to become the next president of the republic.”

Merehbi has been locked in a war of words with the military institution ever since the shooting death in May of Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed at an army checkpoint in Akkar.

The March 14 alliance threatened to resort to article 39 of the constitution, which states that “no member of the Chamber may be prosecuted because of ideas and opinions expressed during the period of his mandate.”

However, article 40 states that “no member of the Chamber may, during the sessions, be prosecuted or arrested for a criminal offense without the permission of the Chamber, except when caught in the act.”

March 14 MP Marwan Hamadeh, who is a member of the parliament’s bureau, slammed Qortbawi, describing the request as “unconstitutional.”

He hoped that Berri wouldn’t approve the Justice Minister’s request, stressing that it will not pass through the parliament’s bureau and the administrative committee’s meeting.

For his part, Qortbawi told As Safir daily that he based his request on article 91 of the parliament’s by-laws, noting that he received a memorandum from acting General Prosecutor Samir Hammoud specifying the accusations against Merehbi.

“I am obliged to refer the request and I have no right to interfere in it,” Qortbawi said.

March 14 General Secretariat Fares Soaid also slammed the Justice Minister, arguing that his action is “unacceptable and unconstitutional.”

According to the parliament’s by-laws, the Speaker has to call on the parliament’s bureau and the administrative committee for a joint session if there was a request to lift the immunity off an MP.

Comments 9
Thumb Chupachups 24 August 2012, 12:24

Mate these m8 guys r useless .. Don't bother urself too much

Thumb lebneneh 24 August 2012, 13:49

karim really not everything written in is serious :)

Thumb lebneneh 24 August 2012, 13:52

I wonder when this country of ours will get a chance to have a new start...I'm not sure if it's the politicians problem (that they are all crap) or the people's problem (that they are also crap!)....we need a fresh start with fresh faces and fresh ideas...ideas for a new Lebanon!!

Default-user-icon Mohamad Itani (Guest) 24 August 2012, 13:59

I would rather get rid of the hizb, since that will be its fate anyway. Tictoc people. Hariri left the country due to an amazing road map that was drawn by the Americans and Saudi to keep control to the CORRECT ones in the region. My country my land and we will have it back in due time. There are some details that need to be dealt with first. You guys bicker like no tomorrow. It's amusing how low and scum my country has reached to. I will be laughing as I always do, when I sip champagne and do what I do in Lebanon whenever we come in DROVES. Again my country no one else's

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 24 August 2012, 14:03

what is worrying that all what merhibi said is correct,after general lahoud being appointed by syrian orders and sleiman why not kahwaji?

Default-user-icon Mohammed Itani (Guest) 24 August 2012, 14:05

This new start you are seeking of, is on its way. When the Assad regime falls, the hizb is next. We will have to resort to internal clean up and civil disobedience and harm. But it will prevail. The outside forces will be happy to help and this time we will be happy to watch them help. Hizb made a big mistake stepping foot in Beirut and Lebanon made a big mistake thinking they can do without the Sunna. I tell you people you will remember these days as you wished to align yourselves to those that want control and order in a manner that deems correct living. Long live the US and the Saudis and that stands for the Sunna rule in the region

Missing allouchi 24 August 2012, 20:26

kaka, you are just an old broken record...BORING

Missing allouchi 24 August 2012, 14:33

kaka, you are getting stupider by the minute.

Thumb bigsami 24 August 2012, 17:40

Furthermore go preach your Iranian propaganda elsewhere...your NOT even Lebanese as we all know.