Court shown shock­ing im­ages in case of sol­dier’s ex­e­cu­tion

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LEBANON - By Youssef Diab

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lebanon

© PressReader. All rights reserved.