The army intelligence bureau has arrested another Lebanese Journalist on a charge of involvement in Lebanese Forces Toufic Hindi’s alleged contacts with Israel to agitate against Syria’s dominance in Lebanon.
Milhem Karam, chairman of the Journalist Association, announced that he had been told by the Army’s intelligence service that Journalist Habib Younis was seized as he was preparing to board a Cyprus-Bound jetliner Saturday evening.
Habib, of the London-based Al Hayat newspaper, was about to leave for a meeting in the east Mediterranean island with Oded Zarai, the media advisor to Israel’s Lebanon coordinator Uri Lubrani, the army intelligence told Karam.
Al Hayat denied the army’s charge against Habib, saying he was assigned to man the Beirut offices of the newspaper through the weekend.
Hindi, political advisor to jailed LF leader Samir Geagea, has been accused of having seen Zarai many times in Paris since March, prior to a Hindi face-to-face subsequent meeting with Lubrani in Cyprus.
Intelligence sources have revealed that Zarai was an Iraqi Jew named Karam Zaarour. He had lived in Lebanon and worked for the now defunct Phalange Party newspaper Al Amal in 1983 and 1984, when Israel’s invading army was still in Lebanon.
Younis is the second journalist to be arrested in connection with Hindi’s alleged contacts with the Israelis, a charge punishable by life imprisonment under existing Lebanese laws.
The first was Antoine Bassil, the Lebanon corresponded of the also London-based television network MBC
Prosecutor-General Adnan Addoum on Saturday questioned two other LF officials as witnesses in the Hindi case: Salman Samaha and Elie Keyrouz. They were said to have been aware of Hindi’s contact with the Israelis.
Both were returned to Roumieh prison after the questioning session. They are slated for indictment by a military examining magistrate currently interrogating Hindi and Bassil, judicial sources said.
The sources said Geagea’s wife, Setrida Touk Geagea, was unaware of Hindi’s Israeli contacts and would not consequently be summoned for questioning in his case.