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Geagea: Medic to militia chief
Former Lebanese Christian militia chief Samir Geagea left prison on Tuesday after 11 years in jail for crimes committed during the 1975-1990 civil war.
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2005 07:40 GMT
Geagea was serving four life sentences in prison
Former Lebanese Christian militia chief Samir Geagea left prison on Tuesday after 11 years in jail for crimes committed during the 1975-1990 civil war.

Here are some facts about him:

• Geagea, the only militia chief to be jailed for his role in the civil war, had been serving four life sentences for political murders and other killings during the conflict.

• He was granted amnesty by the newly elected parliament last week.

• He has always said he was a political prisoner victimised for opposing Syria's military role in Lebanon, which ended in April.

• Born on 25 October 1952, the former medical student came to prominence in 1978 when he led a raid on the home of Tony Franjieh, a rival Maronite Christian chieftain who was killed along with his wife, son and others. Geagea was wounded.

• He seized control of the powerful Lebanese Forces (LF) militia in 1986 to stymie a Syrian-negotiated peace pact with Muslim militia chiefs signed by former LF leader Elie Hobeika.
 
• Despite his hostility to Damascus, Geagea agreed to the Syrian-backed 1989 Taif Accord which ended the civil war after Christian rival General Michel Aoun tried to crush the LF in 1990.

• Geagea remains a hero to many Maronites. Even his civil war foes mostly backed his release, setting aside past animosity for a man they once feared for his military adventures and readiness to ally with Israel to maintain Maronite supremacy.

Source:
Reuters
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