Harb Says Suleiman Upset Over Madi's Request to Lift MP's Immunity

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Opposition lawmaker Butros Harb revealed Thursday that President Michel Suleiman has expressed frustration over the general prosecutor's request to strip the MP of his parliamentary immunity.

In remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper, Harb said: “The president is very upset by General Prosecutor Judge Hatem Madi's request and informed me that he did not know that he would take such a measure.”

Suleiman was “surprised” by the move and “confirmed that he totally rejects it,” Harb added.

Harb visited Suleiman at Baabda palace on Wednesday.

Madi sent a memo to Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi on Monday requesting that the Batroun MP's immunity be lifted, so that he can be tried for offending Suleiman and the judiciary.

But Harb challenged him, saying he would file a lawsuit against the general prosecutor for trying to strike a deal with Hizbullah over a party member accused of involvement in an assassination attempt against him last year.

Harb told al-Joumhouria that he informed Suleiman about his insistence to lift his immunity “to confront Judge Madi in court.”

In remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3), Qortbawi said “the judiciary should remain independent away from political differences.”

“I will study the file away from these differences,” he said after revealing that he hasn't yet read the memo over his busy schedule.

Comments 10
Thumb andre.jabbour 07 February 2013, 09:09

Prosecutor Madi believes Lebanon is north Korea, Iran or Syria. There are rules to follow Mr Madi. Everyone is ashamed of your behavior. You make Lebanon look like iranistan.

Missing rafehh 07 February 2013, 09:33

Karim - I suggest that you read a book or see a documentary about the cultural revolution in China. You remind me so much of these people!!

Thumb geha 07 February 2013, 09:51

Madi is a confirmed liar: Harb never attacked the President as he said.
that says it all about who he is.

Missing samiam 07 February 2013, 12:21

how about your so called change and reform party call for removing ALL immunity from people in parliament? And while they are at it, call for the government to be more transparent so that any conflicts of interest and profits made at the expense of government contracts (you know, like your buddy Bassil) can be brought to the forefront?

Until that happens, ALL politicians are going to be liars and thieves and no party is better than another in this regard.

Missing samiam 07 February 2013, 13:43

You can keep immunity for minor stuff like traffic tickets (LOL) and other minor 'inconveniencing' things, but you can't keep a blanket immunity on lawmakers for almost everything. This causes lawmakers to break all kinds of rules overtly without fearing prosecution. Additionally, removing immunity may force out the really corrupt politicians and bring in better people--can't keep giving the same people in government a blank check to do whatever they want. The cycle of corruption and impunity has to be broken somehow.

Missing samiam 07 February 2013, 13:44

Karim,

the answer is that all sides would be affected almost equally given a transparent process which isn't influenced by political forces.

Missing peace 07 February 2013, 19:36

"aoun btw, said it that if a thorough audit was to be done, he'd be the first to put himself under it."

another joke from FT!!!!
aoun has been promising this audit for years... now that he s in power where are the audits promised? nowhere...
easy cheap talk again from FPM, barking but no action as usual! 3aw 3aw 3aw

Thumb geha 07 February 2013, 13:05

let us start by frangieh as per his latest comments he really aggressed the President. or is he out of reach.
our soldiers lives are important, but so is our MPs lives: what is the army doing to get the perpetrator from hiabushaitan?
this army command needs to show us that it is really acting for Lebanon and not for hizbushaitan.

Thumb mouallek 07 February 2013, 14:05

And you need to be prosecuted for your extreme stupid comments.

Missing abraham 07 February 2013, 16:14

what happened to seperation of executive and judiciary,
oh I forgot, that doesn't exist in Lebanon
wake up people from your loooooooong sleep