Ali Mamlouk Puts Off Lebanese Court Appearance With Diversionary Request

Syrian intelligence services chief says he will only appear before a tribunal made up of generals, Alsouria Net reports

Ali Mamlouk, head of the National Security Office in the Assad regime, refused to appear before a military court in Lebanon on the charge of attempting to assassinate figures and acquiring explosives, requiring the formation of a court with the rank of general, according to an informed source.

Mamlouk has been charged since 2013 in a case regarding an attempt to kill politicians, religious figures, representatives and citizens, and obtaining explosives with the intent to kill and carry out terrorist acts.

This is the same case in which the former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha was tried and sentenced to 13 years in prison with hard labor after he was arrested while delivering 25 explosive devices to the person who was assigned to carry out the operation and found to be an agent of the intelligence services.

The Lebanese judiciary separated the two cases, as Samaha was arrested by the security services while it has been impossible for years to reach Mamlouk in Syria, which has witnessed a destructive war since 2011.

Many sessions were previously held to try Mamlouk, but they have been held up because he could not be reached according to the rules.

The source said, “It was found during a session held by the military court on Monday that a paper informing Ali Mamlouk was returned [from Damascus] noting that the defendant had been duly notified, but demanding that a court body be formed with the ranks of general for him to agree to appear before it.”

The court postponed the session to Oct. 29 and re-informed him of the need to appear before it.

A Lebanese legal source said that it was impossible to form a court body according to Mamlouk’s demand “because the issue would require issuing a special law, and it is impossible to provide seven officers at the rank of general, because this rank only goes to the heads of the security agencies in Lebanon.”

The Lebanese judiciary issued a warrant for arrest in absentia for Mamlouk, who was indicted along with Samaha in 2013, and requested the death penalty against them.

Samaha confessed when he was arrested in August 2012 in the first court session that he had received $170,000 and a quantity of explosives from Mamlouk’s office in Damascus and transported them to Lebanon.

In 2012, Mamlouk was appointed head of the Syrian National Security Office, which oversees all Syrian security agencies. This occurred after four high-ranking security officers were killed in an explosion in Damascus in July 18, 2012.

Mamlouk is still a member of the close circle around President Bashar al-Assad and his name is included on the European sanctions list imposed on high-ranking regime officers and those cooperating with it. 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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