Report: Hale, Bassil Discussed 'Prisoner Swap’ Negotiations to ‘Free’ Fakhoury


U.S. diplomat David Hale reportedly discussed during his visit to Lebanon last week with caretaker foreign Minister Jebran Bassil the possibility of a “prisoner swap” to free Lebanese-American ex-Israeli collaborator Amer Fakhoury in return for a Hizbullah "financier", reports said.

Hale and Bassil held a “lengthy meeting” at the latter’s residence in al-Bayyada on Saturday.

Al-Liwaa daily quoted unnamed sources as saying that Hale and Bassil discussed the release of Fakhouri in return for freeing Lebanese businessman Qassem Tajeddine, arrested in the United States of America on charges of financing Hizbullah.

Fakhoury was once a member of the former Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army. He also worked at the Khiam prison during Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon described by human rights groups as a center for torture.

Former Minister Wiaam Wahhab affirmed in televised remarks on LBCI station the reports as “true.” He said that Hale “did discuss” the release of Fakhoury with Bassil in exchange for Tajeddine.

Tajeddine was arrested in 2017 in Morocco. The US says he provided millions of dollars to Hizbullah.

Fakhoury is jailed in Lebanon since September over collaboration with Israel accusations.

Comments 4
Thumb galaxy 23 December 2019, 17:02

The request for exchange came from Bassil and not Hale. This what hezbollah asked Bassil to request.

Missing lebcan 23 December 2019, 23:12

Bassil Taking orders from Hizb Ebola...
Bassil the greatest thief of our time!

Missing lebcan 23 December 2019, 23:14

Hizb ebola IS 99% responsible for fomenting the atmosphere of corruption in all these years.

Thumb gma-bs-artist. 24 December 2019, 16:43

Collaborator and Khiam torturer Fakhoury came to Lebanon only after high ranking FPM members including Gebran Bassil assured him that he's safe. Fakhoury was a regular invitee to many social functions at the Lebanese embassy in Washington hosted by Michel Aoun and Bassil's own ambassador Gaby Issa. When Fakhoury was arrested a photo of him with General Joseph Aoun taken at one these events was leaked by the FPM, over social media, to shift the blame away from Bassil and co. That strategy failed. Credit to Journalist Salem Zahran, and a handful of ex-Khiam detainees, who's persistence in following the story of Fakhoury's crimes led to his arrest. Even Hezballah and it's medias refused to cover the story so not to embarrass their allies Aoun and Bassil. This deal is nothing but Bassil trying to save face by putting away the Fakhoury file and giving Hezbollah a win their medias will exploit. The real losers here are the living ex-Khiam detainees and the families of Fakhoury's victims.