Samaha admits having moved explosives to Lebanon: Kfoury lured me into doing it

APRIL 20, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) The permanent military court on Monday adjourned a session to look into the case of former minister Michel Samaha, until forthcoming May 13, to hear the testimony of his driver Fares Barakat.

During the session, Samaha has expressly admitted that he had transferred explosives from Syria into Lebanon, explaining that he has been lured into doing it by so-called Milad Kfoury, whom he accused of working for local and foreign intelligence services.

The session started around noon, under the chairmanship of General Khalil Ibrahim.

At first, Ibrahim indicated that after looking into the dossier of the current case between the public opinion on one hand and Samaha and Ali Mamlouk on another, he decided to separate the two cases because it was deemed impossible to bring Mamlouk to court. His trial was scheduled to take place on May 16.

“Samaha and Syrian General Ali Ahmad Mamlouk had formed a gang with a view of committing crimes against people and properties and tamper with the authority of the state, in addition to attempting to kill politicians, lawmakers, clerics and civilians. Samaha also had incited for murder in Akkar, while Mamlouk had handed explosives to Samaha who in turn transferred them with the purpose of perpetrating killing and terror acts,” the representative of the State Prosecution said in his accusation.

During the interrogation, Samaha explained that ever since he was placed on the political blacklist due to his position from the Resistance and Syria, many intelligence services had collaborated to keep tab on him. “An agent was programmed,” he indicated.

Aked about whether he had fallen in the trap set by Milad Kfoury, Samaha said yes he had.

In response to a question about Mamlouk and about his own relation with Kfoury, Samaha answered that Ali Mamlouk was an official in the Syrian security, with whom he had ties that had to do with Syria’s relations with foreign states like France, Spain and Italy.

As to Kfoury, he clarified that he had known him since 1992. “I used to know him as a neighbor from my locality and I got that he was a veteran in the Lebanese Forces, with connections with intelligence services in the country. He also owned a security company that was tasked with the protection of ABC Mall. He used to provide me with insignificant information,” he said.

“Afterwards, he worked as a security man for Maurice Fadel before working for former minister Mohammad Safadi,” he continued.

Samaha also maintained that his former testimonies were given under huge pressure and amid confusion.

He went on to explain that he had been chosen owing to his relations with the West. “Everybody was encouraging arms trafficking to Syria in support for the uprising.”

“I was not worried about Syria but about Lebanon, and this is why I am here in jail. Kfoury was programmed and he is good at convincing. That was when I got entrapped,” he continued.

“I shall never forgive myself,” he underscored, noting that Mamlouk did not speak of targets but that it was Kfoury who broached them.

“Kfoury gave me a printed list of tools, which I have in turn handed to Adnan, an officer working for Mamlouk,” Samaha told the court.

Samaha has been arrested since August 2012, over charges of having transferred explosives from Syria into Lebanon.