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Assailants Face Prosecution for Attacking Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper Beirut Offices | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55349325

A policeman stands outside the office of Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, after protesters attacked it in Beirut, Lebanon, in this April 1, 2016 file photo. To match SAUDI-LEBANON/ REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/Files

Beirut- Legal prosecution in Lebanon, last Friday, received the lawsuit filed against assailants who attacked Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper Beirut offices. Internal Security Forces (ISF), on Friday, after concluding preliminary interrogations, took seven of those arrested into custody over breaking in and vandalizing the news paper’s offices.

Lebanese appellate District Attorney(D.A.) Judge Zyad abu Haydar brought a claim against : Pierre Hashash, Bilal Fawaz A’lwe, Hussein Ali Naser al Din, Mohammed Mahmoud Hirz, Alaa Jamal Hussein, Hassan Bade’ Qutaish, Jad Nicola abu Daher, and – the still on the loose- Abbass Zahri.

The plaintiff is charging those arrested- in addition to Zahri- for break and enter, vandalism and obstruction of labor based on constitutional articles 572,733, and 343 of the penal statute.

Within hours, specialized trial court will set forth the date for prosecuting assailants, and issuing verdicts against their crimes. Prosecution will be held publicly.

A judiciary source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that prosecution and immediate referral to trial, instead of the investigatory judge, is founded on the assailants committing a witnessed and documented criminal act.

Regardless of justifications used, and allegations on not committing a premeditated act of vandalism, the source confirmed that the aggressors admitted to perpetrating the attack.

Arab Journalists Union expressed deep concerns towards the incident. Condemning the assault, the union emphasized that the attack took place in Lebanon, a country which has long been considered a platform for freedom of expression in the Middle East.

The union demanded Lebanese security forces to ensure both the security of the newspaper and those working in it, in addition to revealing all details of the attack.

On the other hand, Hezbollah continued its media campaign against Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. Ali Bazzi, Hezbollah affiliated lawyer, presented the distinctive department of public prosecution with a complaint against the newspaper based on the satirical cartoon it published the day of its attack.

The lawsuit was referred to the distinctive department of prosecution in Beirut.