The parliamentary defense committee on Monday held calm talks on the abduction of Middle East Airlines engineer Joseph Sader in 2009 but opposition MPs hinted that Interior Minister Marwan Charbel didn’t provide the conferees with enough information on the issue.
Unlike the meetings of the human rights committee that discussed several kidnappings, including the disappearance of Syrian opposition figures in Lebanon, Monday’s deliberations were calm.
Media reports said Tuesday the number of pro-government MPs was limited to five while there were 13 March 14-led opposition lawmakers. MP Ziad al-Qadiri told al-Liwaa daily that March 8 lawmakers shied away from the meeting to diminish the importance of the issue of disappearances.
Parliamentary sources told An Nahar newspaper that Charbel told the committee that Sader was last seen in a white Chevrolet carrying the license plate 228. There are allegedly only 80 such vehicles in Lebanon.
The sources said that Charbel neither confirmed nor denied reports that the occupants of the vehicle which kidnapped Sader on the airport road entered Beirut’s southern suburbs.
The head of the defense committee, MP Samir al-Jisr, told al-Liwaa that Charbel provided answers to several questions but he had preservations on several issues allegedly to keep the investigation secret.
“At the beginning of the meeting, I stressed to Minister Charbel the importance of providing answers to all of the lawmakers’ questions … but the minister didn’t have answers to most of the MPs’ inquiries,” he said.
Al-Qadiri told al-Liwaa that he stirred the issue of the kidnapping of the Syrian Jassem brothers in Lebanon. He said Charbel stressed to him that the investigations of the Internal Security Forces were transparent and professional.
ISF chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi has said a Syrian embassy guard unit led by Lieutenant Salah Hajj had kidnapped the brothers.
The daily said MP Ammar Houri unveiled that some local parties were in the past weeks taking the fingerprints and photographs of Syrian workers in the areas of Beirut’s southern suburbs, Shweifat and the Metn.
But Charbel told him that he knew about the issue only from the media.
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