Report: Suspect Charged with MP Harb's Assassination Ready to Testify

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Mahmoud Hayek, who is charged with the attempt on MP Butros Harb's life, expressed readiness to appear before the competent judiciary to testify in the case, media reports said on Tuesday.

“If he handed himself voluntary to the judiciary this shouldn't give anyone an excuse to exploit the matter,” sources told As Safir newspaper.

Hayek, who is a Hizbullah member, told several people who contacted him that he is “innocent,” pointing out that he doesn't mind to hand himself over to the judiciary on the condition that a detailed investigation would be prepared, which would include all the evidence, fingerprints, surveillance cameras and witness testimonies.

The March 14 opposition lawmaker escaped the assassination bid after residents of a building in which his office is located in the Beirut district of Badaro discovered individuals trying to booby-trap the elevator.

The sources noted that Hayek, who is charged with the assassination attempt on Harb in July 2012 and with carrying out acts of terror, rejects handing himself into police without evidence, urging the judiciary to issue an arrest warrant against him if he was found guilty or release him, even if conditionally, if he wasn't.

The sources also accused the March 14 alliance of blocking any attempt for the suspect to surrender himself voluntary.

Informed security sources told As Safir that several officials have been exerting efforts lately to resolve Hayek's case away from media spot light.

“The case is delicate and we will not ignore or close it... We refuse holding any settlements over the matter,” the sources stated.

They added that if the suspect handed himself over to the judiciary, several DNA tests will be carried out to make sure of his identity.

March 14 lawmaker Harb lashed out, in several comments published in local newspapers on Tuesday, at General Prosecutor Judge Hatem Madi over his request to strip him from his parliamentary immunity.

He undermined Madi's request, describing it as “ridiculous” and “fabricated.”

Judge Madi filed a request on Monday to Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi to lift immunity off Harb for offending President Michel Suleiman and the judiciary in recent remarks.

Harb said to several media outlets that “the president's intervention in the case helped in settling the matter,” accusing the judiciary of “conspiring with Hizbullah.”

In his remarks to newspapers on Tuesday, Harb accused the general prosecutor of “exploiting his post and inventing the facts” in an attempt to defend the suspect.

The MP pledged to confront Madi's request by holding on to it.

“I will unveil the role played by this judge and his efforts to obstruct investigations over my assassination attempt,” Harb told As Safir daily, pointing out that he urged Speaker Nabih Berri to hold a parliamentary session soon to lift off his immunity.

The MP vowed to file a law suit against Madi according to judicial norms.

Sources close to Berri told As Safir that the speaker hasn't received Madi's request yet, while al-Joumhouria newspaper reported that Suleiman contacted on Monday Madi without disclosing the details of their conversation.

For his part, Judge Madi told al-Joumhouria newspaper that “attacking the president is a red line... I took the appropriate decision in the case.”

“Harb's remarks on the president's intervention damages the image of the presidency... My role ended after I referred the request to (Justice Minister) Shakib Qortbawi, now it's up to him and to the speaker to take their decision,” Madi stated.

He stressed that the general prosecution swiftly acted upon the statements issued by the lawmaker, noting that he has no jurisdiction over the detention of Hayek.

A string of high-level assassinations struck Lebanon between 2004 and 2008, targeting political, media and security figures who vocally opposed the Syrian government, including former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who was killed in a powerful car bomb blast in February 2005.

Comments 3
Missing greatpierro 05 February 2013, 09:20

What a mascarade.

Thumb geha 05 February 2013, 09:50

this guy needs to be investigated the proper way and he should not be allowed to set conditions!
who is he to set conditions?

Missing mancunian 05 February 2013, 11:58

Ashraf el Nass.