Jailed Lebanese ex-minister Samaha released on bail

Beirut military court grants bail to former information minister Michel Samaha, who was convicted for smuggling in 2012.

michel samaha reuters
Michel Samaha has already served the most of his jail sentence [Reuters]

Former Lebanese Information Minister Michel Samaha, who was in jail for smuggling explosives into the country, has been granted bail, sources have told Al Jazeera.

Samaha has been under arrest since August 2012 over allegations that he and Ali Mamluk, the head of the Syrian security services, transported explosives and planned attacks and assassinations of political and religious figures in Lebanon.

His trial has been postponed many times because of the absence of Mamluk, who remains in Syria, but after a judge separated the cases against the two men, a first session in Samaha’s trial began in April 2015.

He was sentenced in a military tribunal to four-and-a-half years in prison, after undercover videos were leaked showing Samaha speaking about smuggling the explosives from Syria.

Samaha, who was once an adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has already served the most of his jail sentence.

Source: Al Jazeera