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.