Beirut- Investigations on the attack on Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Beirut offices are coming to an end with Lebanon security forces arresting seven of the assailants.
Abbass Zahri, gang leader, remains on the loose despite an arrest warrant being issued against him. Zahri is known to be closely affiliated with Hezbollah.
A source supervising the course of investigations told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the incriminating verdict against those arrested remains within the prosecution’s jurisdiction.
Tuesday, April 5th, public prosecution will take punitive proceedings entailed by the crime committed by those arrested, the source added.
What turned around heads, for all the wrong reasons, is that Zahri remained active on social network. Zahri posted on the web an interview he had with the “France 24”channel.
MP Ahmad Fatfat, member of the Future Movement (FM) cabinet party, said that arresting the assailants only hours after them breaking into the newspaper’s office is a positive indicator; however, trialing all those involved remains of upmost importance.
MP Fatfat told Aharq Al-Awsat newspaper that it is not surprising that within a country overruled by an armed faction, a wanted convict would show up for a media interview.
He also considered that the whole assault against Asharq Al-Awsat only tarnishes the image of Lebanon and its institutions.
The seven assailants, now under custody, handed themselves in to security forces.
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces official media office condemned the attack, saying it targeted the freedom of press and attempted to holdback spoken truths.
The Syrian National Coalition media office then issued a statement saying that “Lebanon has long been a vent out for thoughts and a source of hope for those holding free words, despite all systems, tyrant authorities and armed militias trying over past decades to murder the experience and pull out its roots.”
“Oppression founded on anti-freedom of thought and expression, which is being led by militias and tyrannizing regimes fearing diversity, will never succeed and always be doomed to failure,” the statement added.