Shaaban Slams Reports of Role in Samaha Case as 'Polemics that Don't Deserve a Response'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Syrian President Bashar Assad's media adviser Buthaina Shaaban has declined to comment on a probe in Lebanon into her possible involvement in a plot by former minister Michel Samaha and Syrian security chief Ali Mamlouk to carry out strife-inciting bombings in Lebanon, sources close to Shaaban told Agence France Presse on Sunday.
The sources said Shaaban has rejected to comment on “the leaks” about her in Lebanon, dismissing them as “part of the polemics and political debates that Lebanon is known for and which do not deserve any response or comment.”
On Friday, MTV quoted high-ranking sources as saying that Shaaban is involved in the Samaha-Mamlouk case.
“The Intelligence Bureau has referred an additional file in Samaha's case that includes the involvement of Buthaina Shaaban,” the sources were quoted as saying.
The file includes the analysis of phone conversations between Shaaban and Samaha made during the latter's presence in Damascus, the report said.
“Samaha called Shaaban and informed her of the steps he intended to make,” the sources clarified.
Lebanese security agencies unveiled the involvement of Shaaban in the case “given the fact that Samaha, who owned three cellphones, used to regularly record all his phone conversations throughout the period of three years, before copying them to the computer that was seized on the day his house was raided by Intelligence Bureau agents,” security sources told al-Mustaqbal newspaper in remarks published Sunday.
“The Bureau has asked the relevant judicial authorities to authorize it to transcribe the recordings found on this computer,” the sources added.
Military Tribunal Judge Saqr Saqr referred to Military Examining Magistrate Riyad Abu Ghida on Saturday the file on the telephone call that allegedly took place between Samaha and Shaaban, state-run National News Agency reported.
“Transcribing the recordings will take some time,” the sources told al-Mustaqbal, noting that “once enough evidence emerged to confirm the presence of (Maj. Gen. Jamil) Sayyed in Samaha's car, the file was referred to the judiciary, and the same thing happened after transcribing some of the phone conversations between Samaha and Shaaban, as she turned out to be aware of his mission – the smuggling of the explosives,” the sources added.
“The details related to Buthaina Shaaban were discovered 10 days ago and referred to the judiciary which only acted yesterday,” the sources revealed.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Anbaa revealed that “after reviewing the recordings made by Samaha's personal cellphones and the tapes found in his car, it was noticed that he made conversations with a woman he referred to as 'My Lady,' but when asked back then whether the lady on the other side of the phone was Dr. Buthaina Shaaban, he denied that.”
“But upon making a comparison between Buthaina's voice during media interviews and the voice recorded on ex-minister Samaha's tapes, IT experts found out that it was actually her voice and that Samaha talked to her before and after receiving the explosives, which suggests that the handing over process was the focal point of their conversation,” al-Anbaa added.