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Ex-Syrian VP Is Sentenced To Hard Labor

From the Agence France-Pressee:

Former Syrian VP sentenced to hard labour: lawyer

DAMASCUS (AFP) — A military court in Damascus has sentenced former Syrian vice president turned opposition leader Abdel Halim Khaddam to hard labour for life, a lawyer involved in the case told AFP on Saturday.

“Judge Mohammed Kaddour Assad of the Damascus first military criminal court has handed Abdel Halim Khaddam 13 sentences, including hard labour for life,” lawyer Hossam Eddine al-Habash said.

The court has ordered that Khaddam, in his seventies, be stripped of his civil rights and prevented from residing in Damascus or Tartus, his native town, Habash said.

Khaddam, who resigned as Syria’s vice president in 2005 to join the opposition and now lives in Paris, is accused of “slandering the Syrian leadership and lying before an international tribunal regarding the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri,” according to the charge sheet obtained by AFP.

He is also accused of “conspiracy to unlawfully seize political power” and of having “illegitimate links with the Zionist enemy, undermining the prestige of the state and of national sentiment and worst of all, plotting with a foreign country to launch an aggression against Syria.”

According to Habash, Syrian authorities will ask Interpol to cooperate in a bid to bring Khaddam to face the courts at home.

Contacted by AFP in Paris, Khaddam’s family said they were not aware of the court ruling.

In 2006, Khaddam charged that Syrian agents implicated by a UN probe into the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri could not have acted without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s approval.

The Damascus regime in turn accused Khaddam of treason, with parliament passing a motion calling for him to be brought to justice and tried for high treason.

Life at hard labor — for lying to the UN? (That is, “lying before an international tribunal.”)

For helping the Zionists? For undermining the prestige of Syria?

This is what comes of telling the truth in the Middle East.

According to Habash, Syrian authorities will ask Interpol to cooperate in a bid to bring Khaddam to face the courts at home.

Hopefully Mr. Sarkozy will not let this happen.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 31st, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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