Kuwaiti editor cleared of three charges

A criminal court has acquitted the editor-in-chief of a Kuwaiti newspaper of charges of defaming a former Lebanese security chief, the publication's lawyer said.

    An ex-Lebanese security chief was tied to Rafik al-Hariri's death

    Al-Siyassah newspaper had named Major General Jamil Sayyed in reports about the February assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

    Attorney Bader al-Yacoub said Sayyed had filed six defamation lawsuits against Ahmed al-Jarrallah, who also owns the daily newspaper, in recent months.

    "There were three acquittals (last) week," he told reporters on Monday. Three similar cases were still being heard in court.

    Nothing extraordinary

    He said a criminal court ruled that the newspaper did not publish anything the international media didn't and that there was no "personal disagreement" between the publisher and Sayyed.

    Sayyed, a pro-Syrian, resigned as head of Lebanon's general security department in April, just before Syria formally ended its 29-year military deployment in Lebanon.

    In a February report on the death of al-Hariri, who was killed by a massive bomb that destroyed his motorcade in Beirut, Al-Siyassah named Sayyed, Syria's chief of military intelligence, General Asef Shawkat, and another Syrian intelligence official, Major General Bahjat Suleiman.

    Defamation allegation

    Sayyed, who made a brief visit to Kuwait in late February to take legal action, said the report, which has circulated on the Internet, had harmed his reputation.

    Al-Yacoub, the attorney, said whenever the officer was mentioned in the daily after that, he filed a lawsuit.

    Lebanese opposition figures have accused their government and Syria of involvement in the assassination. The two governments denied the charge.

    A United Nations team is investigating the assassination.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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