Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudis Fighting with Fatah al-Islam to be Tried Before Extradition | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Informed Lebanese sources have ruled out extraditing Saudi individuals affiliated with Fatah al-Islam before trying them locally and carrying out the sentence against them.

The sources also highlighted that the Criminal Procedure Law in Lebanon stipulates trying any person who commits a crime in the Lebanese territory or against any of those who are living in it before the Lebanese courts and carrying out the sentence in its prisons. The law adds that extraditing the Saudi elements to the local authorities according to the Lebanese law will not happen unless the punishment is fully carried out.

The sources added that the joint security agreement between Riyadh and Beirut does not stipulate extraditing people wanted for security purposes to their country, unless they flee from the Saudi territories after violating the system and the law there. In this case only the Lebanese judiciary will be obliged to extradite those wanted people to the Saudi authorities.

The Saudi elements in Fatah al-Islam movement–whose accurate number has yet to be declared by official authorities, despite confirmations by officials in Naher al Bared refugee camp that they are in dozens–will face serious accusations according to the criminal law, the least of which is three-year imprisonment. If they are proven to have fought the Lebanese Army, killing its people, and booby-trapping cars, then those who are involved in these acts will be sentenced to death–which the Public Prosecutor will insist on, according to these sources.

According to Lebanese judicial sources, no Saudi attorney has come forward to defend the individuals who are involved in the latest incidents, as Saudi attorneys can be appointed, according to Lebanese law, to plead before the Lebanese court, but this should be after submitting a request to the Bar Association.

As for the three Saudis arrested inside the camp, the sources confirmed that one of them was detained earlier in the Al-Biqa for affiliation with one of the Al-Qaeda cells, has advanced combat capabilities, and is an expert in manufacturing explosives. He helped the Lebanese Army to defuse digital explosives installed in three cars in the camp, while the Lebanese Army failed to deal with them. On the other hand, another Saudi individual is a religious mentor for the elements of Fatah al-Islam. He was tasked with religious mobilization and enhancing the jihadist ideology, as he has a direct link with Al-Qaeda.

The same sources confirmed that although there is a group of Saudi fighters in Ayn al-Hilwah refugee camp, the most wanted Saudi for the Lebanese authorities is Abu-Talhah who is in his fifties, and is the leader of the Saudis in the Lebanese territories. He used to move between Iraq and Lebanon through Syria.

Concerning the way the Saudi elements joined Fatah al-Islam, the sources said that some of the Saudi fighters regularly entered Lebanon under the pretext of tourism. Another group came from Iraq, and crossed Syria through illegal channels.

Concerning the return of the dead bodies of the four Saudis who were killed at the beginning of confrontations between Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese Army in a building in Tripoli city, the sources said the bodies of the Saudis will be given to the Saudi embassy after conducting DNA testing to identify them, as their bodies were burnt as a result of the confrontations and the burning of the building.