Harb Requests Lifting His MP Immunity: I Will Defend Those Accused by Abi Khalil

MP and lawyer Boutros Harb stated on Wednesday that he will request lifting his immunity as an MP in order to defend those accused of “defaming” Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil with regard to a deal to lease power generating ships.

“I will ask the Speaker to lift my immunity as an MP and I hereby announce as a lawyer that I will offer my pro bono services to defend all those who have been accused by Minister Abi Khalil,” LBCI quoted Harb as saying.

Abi Khalil of the Free Patriotic Movement, on Tuesday asked Minister of Justice Salim Jreissati, to initiate legal pursuit of some 400 individuals involved in the campaign leveled against him and his political party, regarding power ships and EMI company.

A tender to lease power generating ships was approved by the Energy Ministry in May, in light of accusations voiced by some political parties dubbing the procedure as an “illegal deal.”

In the wake of the tender, Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel submitted an official request to form a parliamentary panel of inquiry to probe suspected violations in the file of power generation ships.

He said the panel should “probe suspicions and violations against the applicable Lebanese laws and public funds that have marred the awarding of contracts and the work of the power ships since 2013 as well as suspicions and violations related to the ships that will be rented for 2017.”

Abi Khalil's legal pursuit reportedly involves some 400 individuals including Harb, Gemayel, several MPs and a former minister in addition to media and non-media figures.

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