[QODLink]
Archive
Syria to charge former vice-president
The Syrian government says it will try on high treason charges former vice-president Abd al-Halim Khaddam, who has accused Damascus of threatening L
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2006 11:36 GMT
Khaddam (L) made explosive statements during a TV interview
The Syrian government says it will try on high treason charges former vice-president Abd al-Halim Khaddam, who has accused Damascus of threatening Lebanon's former prime minister.

The announcement came on Monday after Khaddam's explosive allegations that Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, had threatened Rafiq al-Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister, before his death. Khaddam made the claim in an interview on Friday on al-Arabiya satellite television.

 

The official daily newspaper Ath-Thawra reported: "The Council of Ministers will take the necessary measures to try Khaddam for high treason and to open an inquiry into corruption in a series of matters which will include seizing his assets." 

 

The newspaper said the government announcement meant it would follow up on demands made by loyalist members of parliament, who called for Khaddam to be tried for treason and corruption.

 

Syria's ruling Baath party said on Sunday that it had expelled the ex-vice president for comments it described as "slander which violates the principles of the nation".

 

Architect

Khaddam, long the architect of Syria's military and political domination of neighbouring Lebanon, accused al-Assad of threatening al-Hariri months before his murder, dealing a fresh blow to the increasingly pressured Syrian government.

 

Khaddam quoted al-Assad as telling al-Hariri during a meeting in Damascus: "I will destroy anyone who tries to hinder our decisions." 

 

Khaddam, speaking from Paris where he and his family now live, said the meeting took place a few months before the 14 February assassination of al-Hariri in a Beirut bomb blast for which a UN inquiry has implicated Syrian intelligence.

 

"We must await the results of the investigation, but no Syrian security service could take such a decision unilaterally," Khaddam said.

 

Meanwhile, the UN commission of inquiry investigating al-Hariri's assassination asked to interview al-Assad, Khaddam and Farouq al-Sharaa, the foreign minister, and was awaiting an answer from Syria, a spokeswoman said.

 

She added that the commission wanted to meet Khaddam as soon as possible.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Featured
Sri Lanka refugees stranded on a boat near Australia's shoreline are in legal limbo and fear torture if sent home.
The death of Hamed Shehab on Wednesday in an Israeli air strike has triggered fear and anger among journalists in Gaza.
Israel's strategy in Gaza remains uncertain, as internal politics are at play for PM Netanyahu.
Greece is holding as many as 6,000 migrants in detention centres, in conditions that have been called appalling.
Long derided for trivialising women, Bollywood is shrugging off its trademark social apathy by upping anti-rape crusade.
join our mailing list