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Middle East
Lebanon general decries judiciary
Former general Jamil al-Sayyed says he would respond to court summon only if Lebanon's judiciary is 'de-politicised.'
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 13:37 GMT

Lebanon's al-Sayyed says he should not be summoned to court [AFP]

A former Lebanese army general has said he will not respond to a state summons for questioning, after he called the prime minister a liar and allegedly urged people to topple his government.

Jamil al-Sayyed, Lebanon's former General Security chief, was among four pro-Syrian officers jailed without charge for nearly four years during events surrounding the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister.  

Sayyed, who is seen as a political ally of Hezbollah, and the other officers, were freed in 2009 for lack of evidence.

Al Jazeera's Salam Khoder reporting from Beirut reports that Sayyed said "he would not appear before any court unless Saeed Mirza, Lebanon’s general prosecutor, is dismissed."

Speaking at his arrival at the airport in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, on Saturday, Sayyed said he believes the charges against him are part of a political smear campaign, in which Mirza plays a leading role.

Our correspondent said that: "The scene of Sayyed’s return to Beirut was stimulating as political forces and opposition parties received him at the airport".

Sayyed is suing Mirza in a Syrian court and at the UN appointed international tribunal investigating Hariri's killing, for allegedly misleading the investigation.

'Sold father to Syria'

Mirza issued the court summons last Monday, a day after Sayyed held a press conference in which he accused Saad Hariri, the current prime minister, of selling his father's blood to frame Syria for his father's death.

The assassination of Rafiq Hariri set off a wave of turmoil that led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops after a nearly 30 year presence in Lebanon.

"Saad al-Hariri personally admitted [that] false witnesses [were used in gathering evidence for the assassination investigation] and we want to hold them accountable by the law and when you will disturb law (addressing Hariri), we will hold them accountable in the street,"  Sayyed told reports upon his arrival from Paris.

Our correspondent in Beriut said the "Hezbollah party and its allies will not leave SayyedBeirut to be questioned before the Lebanese judiciary, as they also see that it is a politically motivated judiciary."

Al-Sayyed was not taken in for questioning at the airport. It was not immediately clear what measures Lebanese authorities would take if the former general fails to respond to the state summons.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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