10 Lebanese charged with illegal arms trafficking

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Mawlawi carried on the shoulders following his release in May 2012. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Ten Lebanese individuals were charged Friday with illegal arms trafficking between Lebanon and Syria.

Among those accused was Shadi Mawlawi, an Islamist supporter of the Syrian opposition.

Mawlawi was arrested last May, only to be released 10 days later after his detention triggered deadly clashes in Tripoli, north Lebanon.

At least 11 people were killed in three days of clashes between residents of Tripoli's Bab al-Tabbaneh who support the Syrian revolution and others in nearby Jabal Mohsen who back the Assad regime.

Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr charged all 10 with "belonging to the armed group Nusra Front in order to carry out terrorist acts and transport weapons and explosives between Lebanon and Syria.”

The radical Nusra Front is a Syrian opposition brigade and has been labeled a terrorist group by the United States.

Saqr referred the case to Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda who he is expected to give his recommendations within a few days.

Judicial sources told The Daily Star only one of the 10 accused individuals is in custody.

Commenting on the latest charges against Mawlawi, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said: “We are under the law and we are with implementing the law."

The prime minister stressed that he gives his full support to judicial authorities.

The Daily Star - Lebanon