Lebanon’s Satanic Military Court: What about our People In Israel
Elias Bejjani/14.05.15

Why all these Lebanese politicians, particularly from the sovereign and patriotic March 14th coalition are crying fault today against the legitimacy of the military court ? Why only now!!
Why only now when they were cowardly mute with dead consciences for years while this satanic Syrian-Iranian tool of intimidation and terrorism was falsely and unjustly persecuting and sentencing our forgotten Lebanese people, who were forced to take refuge in Israel since year 2000 because of the terrorist Hezbollah dire and bold criminal threats?
In reality and actuality the credibility of all these politicians and clergymen in Lebanon is a big zero and will remain so due to the fact that they are not fair, lack the needed courage, and very selective in their stances.
Sadly their political, patriotic, humane and judicial stances are always tailored to serve only and only their own personal interests, greediness and authority ambitions.
Loudly, we call on all the Lebanese politicians and in particular the so called Christian leaders and parties, and on the clergymen, especially on the derailed and conceited Maronite Patriarch Bchara Al Raei to fear Almighty God and His Judgment Day, witness for truth and to work hard and openly to bring our people back from Israel after abolishing all the unjust verdicts issued against them by the Iranian-Syrian Lebanese Military Court.
In conclusion the real credibility comes with fairness in witnessing for the truth and not via pursuing personal agendas, partiality and selectivity.

*Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
Email phoenicia@hotmail.com
Web sites http://www.eliasbejjaninews.com & http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com
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3 Lebanese transferred from Israel to Lebanon

The Daily Star/May. 14, 2015 /BEIRUT: The Red Cross Thursday transported a Lebanese woman and her two sons from Israel to Lebanon through the Naqoura border crossing, a security source said. Asmahan Alyan, and her two sons, Mohammad, 15, and Ali, 13, were handed over to Lebanese authorities after crossing into the country. Alyan had left Lebanon on the eve of Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000. More than 2,000 Lebanese citizens and their families who sided with Israel during its occupation of Lebanon are residing in border villages in Israel, after fleeing south Lebanon before Israel’s withdrawal

Officials Condemn Samaha Verdict as Jumblat Says it ‘Legalizes Assassinations’
Naharnet/Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat criticized on Thursday the sentence issued by the military court against former Minister Michel Samaha. “The court’s verdict in Samaha’s case legalizes assassinations and explosions,” he said in a statement. “The verdict can only be described as a judicial, military, and political scandal that avoids the implementation of the law and justice against those who oversaw the execution of crimes and terrorist bombings,” he added. “This light verdict contradicts all political and legal factors and leads us to addressing the case of the military judiciary … which has exceeded its privileges,” he continued. The MP noted that Samaha’s verdict demands that the military tribunal’s jurisdiction in tackling crimes be reconsidered and allow normal courts to play their role. “The verdict should therefore be reconsidered in order to avoid allowing this incident to pave the way to legalizing terrorism and murder, which would ignite the internal Lebanese scene for the interests of regional axes in a manner that would ensure their survival at the expense of Lebanon’s stability,” Jumblat remarked. Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi later added: “We will stay in our fight towards the building of the state against the mini-state.” He said he is planning to amend the law of the military court. Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq said after a cabinet session held at the Grand Serail: “We will exert efforts to avoid the repetition of such verdicts in future cases and to ensure that all Lebanese are treated equally.” Meanwhile, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea voiced his support for Rifi’s position on the verdict, saying: “It is time to abolish exceptional trial, starting with military ones.”He added, via Twitter, that there should be a return to civil trials.
The minister had declared in the wake of the verdict on Wednesday that it fell short of his expectations. “I announce to the Lebanese people the death of the Military Court and we will utilize all means to amend the law of military trials,” he said.Geagea added: “The verdict diminishes the Lebanese people’s trust in the state and in the existence of justice.”The tribunal sentenced on Wednesday Samaha to four-and-a-half years in jail over terrorism charges. Samaha, arrested in August 2012, would be released at the end of this year taking into account time served and because the judicial year amounts to nine months in Lebanon. He was found guilty of “having tried to carry out terrorist actions and for belonging to an armed group” and was also stripped of his civic and political rights. The defense team argues that the former minister fell into a trap set by the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch. Samaha, who was also once an adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad, admitted in court last month that he had transported explosives from Syria for use in attacks in Lebanon, but argued he had been the victim of entrapment. The explosives were to be used in blasts on the Lebanese border, intended to force the closure of the frontier and stop the passage of Lebanese fighters joining rebel forces in Syria. The prosecution had charged Samaha and Syrian security services chief Ali Mamlouk with transporting explosives and planning attacks and assassinations of political and religious figures in Lebanon. The trial was postponed multiple times because of the absence of Mamlouk, who remains in Syria, until a judge separated the two cases, allowing Samaha’s trial to open on April 20. Syria maintained a nearly 30-year presence in Lebanon, withdrawing its troops in 2005 after the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
But a series of assassinations of prominent anti-Syrian regime figures in Lebanon followed the withdrawal. Samaha could have faced the death penalty if convicted in the trial. The Lebanese judiciary has issued an arrest warrant for Mamlouk and sent Syria a formal notification of the warrant and charges, but received no response. Samaha’s trial came amid continuing tensions in Lebanon over the Syrian conflict that began in March 2011 with protests against Assad’s regime. Beirut has maintained an official policy of neutrality on the war, but the violence has regularly spilled over its borders and exacerbated existing sectarian tensions.

Assad knew about Samaha plot, video indicates
Nizar Hassan| The Daily Star/May. 14, 2015
BEIRUT: A video broadcast by Lebanese TV channels Thursday showed former minister Michel Samaha and undercover police informant Milad Kfoury discussing plans to carry out explosions, indicating that Syrian President Bashar Assad was aware of the operation.
Both MTV and LBCI broadcast videos showing a conversation between Kfoury and Samaha, during which Samaha talks about the quantities of explosives that he was smuggling, and the targets of the attacks. The footage, taken from a hidden camera that Kfoury was carrying, began with Samaha handing the informant a plastic bag with money. “One hundred and seventy thousand (dollars)?” Kfoury asked, as Samaha nodded yes. Samaha then began to explain how much they were collecting in terms of explosives.
He said the shipment contained a number of packages, each included two bombs weighing 20 kilograms each. Other bombs weighed more than 50 kilograms, he said, adding that all of them were made of TNT.
As Samaha talked about the explosives, Kfoury appeared surprised that the quantity was larger than he expected, saying he should have come in a larger car to collect them. “All the explosives are ready and the detonators have been sent to you as well,” Samaha said, adding that he would return to Syria to get more explosives later. He also said he received pistols.
The video also revealed that targets included militants and any religious or political figures that were present at militant gatherings. “I have prepared the implementation phase,” Kfoury said. “But you know the difficulty of this for me. All I care about is that Maj. Gen. Ali [Mamlouk] and the president (Assad) are the only ones who know about this.” Samaha responded with head and hand gestures, and said: “No one, no one at all… Only two people know, Ali and the president.”In a later part of the video, Samaha told Kfoury that the attacks should target “militant gatherings” and military arsenals, but to not be concerned with collateral damage. Kfoury then clarified that the gatherings will include lawmakers from the area, which is a reference to the northern district of Akkar.
“I have told you that sheikhs will be attending, Sunni sheikhs,” Kfoury emphasized. “So be it… let them stop attending,” Samaha said with a smile. MTV said more footage would be aired during its nighttime newscast. The video was published after the military court sentenced Samaha to four and a half judicial years in jail, with each judicial year equivalent to nine months. Samaha, who has been in custody since August 2012, will be eligible for release in December. Politicians, mainly from the March 14 coalition, lashed out at the tribunal over a verdict that they saw as “scandalously” light, and some of them called for completely scrapping the court. This prompted State Prosecutor Samir Hammoud to call on Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr to challenge the verdict issued against Samaha. On Thursday, media reports said Saqr was studying the case in order to file an appeal before the Military Appeal Court. Among the most notable remarks were those of Justice Ministry Ashraf Rifi, who said the verdict was “shameful,” pledging to “work through all means to amend the law of military verdicts.”A Hezbollah delegation visited the Higher Judiciary Council Thursday in response to Rifi’s comments, according to media reports. The reports said Hezbollah official Wafiq Safa and MP Nawwar Sahili discussed the matter with the council head and several of its members. In a statement Thursday, Lebanon’s Higher Judicial Council said that the judicial system recognizes methods of reviewing any decision that is subject to complaint. It also said that any announcement relating to the referral of a judge to judicial inspection served as a violation of legal protocol.The council said it renews its confidence in Lebanese judges and acknowledged the “magnitude” of the burden placed on the judiciary in light of the country’s difficult circumstances.

Rifi oversaw explosives transfers, Samaha family says, denouncing sentence
The Daily Star/May 14, 2015/BEIRUT: The sentence handed down Wednesday to former minister Michel Samaha over transporting explosives from Syria to Lebanon was unfair considering he fell victim to entrapment in an operation supervised by ex-police chief and current Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, his family said Thursday. The military court Wednesday sentenced Samaha, who was being tried on terror charges, to four-and-a-half judicial years in prison. Given that he had been in custody since August 2012, the ex-minister will be set for release in December. A judicial year is equal to nine months. “We consider the four-and-half-year sentence against Samaha as inappropriate with the act of transferring explosives after being lured [to do so] by the [Internal Security Forces] Information Branch,” the family said in a statement. Samaha had told the court that he transferred the weapons at the request a man who later turned out to be a police informant, accusing the ISF of targeting him. The family also dismissed criticisms by Rifi who on Wednesday described as “shameful” Samaha’s sentence and vowed to amend military court laws. The family argued that Samaha had not been accused of the 2012 assassination of then-head of the ISF Information Branch Maj. Gen. Wissam Hasan for him to receive the four-and-a-half-year prison term, but that the transfer of explosives was carried out upon ISF orders and under the “supervision” of Rifi, who was at the time the head of the ISF.

Protesters Rally near Military Court, Say Samaha Verdict ‘Encourages Terrorism’
Naharnet/14.05.15/A number of protesters staged a sit-in Thursday outside the Military Court in Beirut to denounce what they called “the farce of a verdict” that was issued Wednesday against former minister Michel Samaha. “We call for reconsidering the verdict issued against Michel Samaha because such a verdict encourages terrorism and extremism,” a Mustaqbal movement youth official said at the demo. Another protester meanwhile called for “amending the jurisdiction of the Military Court to limit it to military personnel.””We are against trying civilians before the Military Court,” he added. The tribunal sentenced on Wednesday Samaha to four-and-a-half years in jail over terrorism charges. Samaha, arrested in August 2012, would be released at the end of this year taking into account time served and because the judicial year amounts to nine months in Lebanon. He was found guilty of “having tried to carry out terrorist actions and for belonging to an armed group” and was also stripped of his civic and political rights. The defense team argues that the former minister fell into a trap set by the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch. But the verdict was seen as too soft by many observers and political forces, who took to media outlets and social networking websites to express their dismay over the court’s “unjust” ruling. “The court’s verdict in Samaha’s case legalizes assassinations and explosions,” Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has warned. On Thursday, several TV networks aired videos showing Samaha handing ISF informant Milad Kfouri explosives and fuses he had transported in his car from Syria with the aim of staging bombings and assassinating Lebanese officials and religious figures at the behest of Syrian security services chief Ali Mamluk. Samaha’s lawyer Rana Azoury said the ex-minister, who was once an adviser to Syria’s President Bashar Assad, explained during the April 20 trial session that he had been “harassed” for four months by Kfouri to transport the explosives to be used in blasts on the Lebanese border. Samaha’s trial had been postponed multiple times because of the absence of Ali Mamluk, who remains in Syria, but after a judge separated the cases against the two men, a first trial session began on April 20. The Lebanese judiciary has issued an arrest warrant for Mamluk and sent Syria a formal notification of the warrant and charges, but received no response.