Toufic Hindi has retracted his confessions to army intelligence interrogators about alleged contacts with Israel, saying they were made under duress.
Media reports said on Friday the political advisor to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea made retraction as judicial authorities took charge of his case from the military.
Hindi denied any contacts or meetings with Israel’s Lebanon coordinator Uri Lubrani or his media advisor Oded Zarai in Paris or Cyprus, contrary to reports leaked to the local media by he army intelligence bureau.
Nonetheless Hindi was formally charged by magistrate Abdullah Haj with contacting and collaborating with the Israeli enemy, a charge that carries the death penalty in case of a court conviction.
Another star defendant in the case, journalist Habib Younis of AL HAYAT newspaper, also made a similar retraction when he appeared before magistrate Haj Thursday after a weeklong interrogation by army officers at the defense ministry, his newspaper reported.
Haj nevertheless formally charged as well as journalist Antoine Bassil with collaboration, too. Three other Lebanese defectors to Israel were also charged, including Cesar Saqr, who died in 1998.