88 FPM, LF DEFENDANTS SPARED MILITARY TRIAL AS AOUN BLASTS STATE September 07, 2001 11:10 AM

Discours et Textes, Samir Geagea

The Penal Court of Appeals has stopped military court proceedings against 88 defendants of Gen. Aoun’s Free Patrioric Front and Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces, ruling that charges against them fell outside the jurisdiction of army tribunals.
The judicial move coincided with a fresh tirade by Gen. Aoun from Paris, saying “state institutions have capitulated to (Syrian) occupation, making the Lebanese people suffer their death throes before their funeral.”

All 88 defendants were bound over to civil courts to try them on minor charges of staging unlicensed demonstrations or holding secret meetings, according to the eight verdicts handed down by the Penal Court of Appeals Monday evening.

The charge of abusing the Syrian and Lebanese armies was upheld by the Appeals Court against Lteif, Deeb, Haddad and 15 other defendants to face trial before a military court, however, An Nahar said on Tuesday.

“We are living the worst era of decadence in our political life,” Aoun said in his Paris statement, “The nation has lost the basic concepts required to stand upon since the state has wrecked the legal principles that should govern its relationship with the People.”

Aoun attacked the Qornet Shahwan coalition of moderate Christian politicians, charging they had succumbed to alleged Lahoud coercion. “They say they are pragmatists and want me to join them. But I am not a pragmatist.”

Turning his propaganda guns against President Lahoud, Aoun said no one contests that constitution right of the president to ‘above-criticism’ respect. But he who holds the post should respect himself in the first place.”

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