BEIRUT,(Reuters) – Lebanon has detained a Syrian suspect in the killing of anti-Syrian lawmaker and newspaper magnate Gebran Tueni, judicial sources said on Tuesday.
Military magistrate Rasheed Mizher ordered the arrest of Abdel-Qadir Abdel-Qadir, a scrap dealer, after questioning him and two other Syrians who have since been released, the sources said on condition of anonymity.
The Dec. 12 car bomb killing of Tueni was the third political murder in Lebanon since the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri plunged the country into months of turmoil.
Abdel-Qadir was present near the site of Tueni””s killing in a Christian suburb of Beirut and made mobile phone calls before and after the explosion, which also killed Tueni””s driver and bodyguard, the sources added without elaborating.
An ongoing U.N. investigation has implicated senior Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies in Hariri””s murder, echoing feelings among many Lebanese who also blame Damascus for the other political killings.
Syria denies any role but Hariri””s assassination sparked mass protests in Beirut that forced it to bow to world pressure and withdraw its troops from Lebanon in April after 29 years.
Detlev Mehlis, the outgoing chief of the inquiry, said earlier this month Hariri””s murder was probably linked to other politically-motivated crimes.
The 48-year old Tueni was a fierce critic of Syria””s grip on Lebanon, publishing his biting editorials on the front-page of his an-Nahar newspaper, Lebanon””s leading daily.