Court shown shocking images in case of soldier’s execution
BEIRUT: To the shock of the attendees, images of the decapitated body of 1st Sgt. Ali al-Sayyed were shown to the military court Thursday in the ongoing trial of Bilal Mikati, who is accused of the execution.
As the courtroom recoiled from the graphic images, the 20-year-old Mikati stood still, unmoved by the graphic depiction of the crime he stands accused of.
Shortly after 2 p.m., the Military Court’s head Brig. Gen. Hussein Abdullah called the 17 defendants for questioning in the joint case, including Mikati and his cousin Omar Mikati. The assembled men stand accused of “belonging to terrorist groups and attacking Lebanese Army patrols and positions.”
While Bilal Mikati is believed to have carried out the killing of the young officer, his cousin is believed to have assisted in the killing and filming the execution to be shared online.
Sayyed was of the more than a dozen Lebanese soldiers captured by Daesh on the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal in August 2014.
During prior questioning by an investigative judge ahead of Thursday’s session, Bilal Mikati reportedly admitted coolly to having killed Sayyed upon the request of Daesh (ISIS) commanders.
According to the investigative report, Mikati said that Sayyed had been killed because he was a Sunni and Daesh believed it would hasten negotiations and pressure the Lebanese government to fulfill the militant group’s demands.
The young officer was reportedly taken to a location on the outskirts of Arsal where Mikati, who had reportedly asked to carry out the execution, killed and dumped the body to be found the next day.
“Do you agree with these findings [of the military investigative judge]?” Abdullah asked. “I will not answer,” Mikati replied.
Abdullah showed the appalling photos to the defendant and asked him whether “he remembers.” Mikati simply replied: “I will remain silent.”
Abdullah turned to Omar Mikati to ask whether he had cut off the ear of one of the nine hostage service men. Omar said that he hadn’t been involved in the case of the nine soldiers taken hostage by Daesh.
“I didn’t participate in the battles ... I didn’t get involved at all in the hostage issue,” he said.
The session was adjourned until Oct. 26.