Leader of the Lebanese Forces (LF) movement
Ziad K. Abdelnour
Lebanon's most prominent political prisoner has
spent the last decade of his life in solitary confinement, three stories
beneath the Ministry of Defense in a small, windowless cell. Unlike Nelson
Mandela during his 27 years in prison, he is not permitted to send or
receive mail. He is not allowed to read books or periodicals containing
political information about Lebanon, and cannot watch television or listen
to the radio. He is handcuffed and blindfolded whenever he is taken out of
his cell for exercise or brief visits by relatives and lawyers under the
watchful eye of monitors. His guards are forbidden to converse with him
beyond simple commands.
The conditions of Samir Geagea's imprisonment speak
volumes about his stature as a nationalist leader. The main concern of
Lebanon's Syrian-backed government is not that the former commander of the
Christian community's largest wartime militia will find a way to escape
through tons of reinforced concrete and steel or evade the heavy
concentration of Lebanese and Syrian soldiers at the ministry, but that he
will find a way to communicate with his followers. Geagea's words
are regarded by Syria as an existential threat to its continuing
occupation of Lebanon.
Geagea was born in 1952 in the Ain Roumaneh neighborhood
of Beirut to a family of modest means from the northern Lebanese village
of Bsharri. The son of an adjutant in the Army, Geagea came of age at a
time when the barriers to socio-economic advancement within the Christian
community had begun to weaken and record numbers of students were arriving
at universities on the strength of their intelligence and self-discipline,
rather than wealth or family connections. Geagea was one of them, arriving
at American University of Beirut (AUB) to study medicine in 1972.
AUB, the birthplace of political movements ranging from
the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) to the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was a hotbed of activism in the early
1970s. Although Geagea had been active in the student branch of the
Kata'ib (Phalange) party when he was in high school, it was here that he
found his leadership calling.
After the outbreak of civil war in 1975, Geagea
interrupted his studies to participate in the defense of Christian towns
and villages from Palestinian attack. Although he would later complete his
studies at the University of St. Joseph, Geagea never practiced medicine -
the massacres and dislocations experienced by the Christian community in
the early war years led him to commit his life to the defense of his
homeland and people. As the Lebanese Army splintered and government
authority crumbled, Geagea proved himself to be a fearless soldier and
able leader, quickly rising through the ranks of Bashir Gemayel's Kata'ib
militia and its successor, the Lebanese Forces (LF).
The Palestinian threat to Lebanon had been counteracted to
a certain extent by the end of 1976, but the Christian community faced an
even more powerful threat with the entry of Syrian forces into Lebanon
that year. While the Kata'ib staunchly opposed Syrian intervention, some
Christian leaders who had steadfastly fought (or sent their followers to
fight) the PLO's attempted takeover of the country were perfectly willing
to accommodate Syria's hegemonic ambitions so long as they obtained a
share of the post-war political spoils. Former President Suleiman Franjieh,
whose militiamen fought bravely against Palestinians with whom he had no
financial interests, defected from the Christian alliance because of his
long-standing business ties to Syrian President Hafez Assad. By 1978,
Franjieh's Zghorta-based militia, commanded by his son, Tony, was
coordinating directly with Syrian military intelligence and waging a
relentless wave of terrorism, ambushes, and assassinat! ions against the
Kata'ib throughout north Lebanon. When a local Kata'ib leader, Joud
al-Bayeh, was murdered by a Franjieh assassination squad on June 8,
Gemayel tried to settle the problem through negotiations via Maronite
Patriarch Antonios Khreich. When these negotiations failed, Gemayel
decided to retaliate with a reprisal raid deep into the warlord's domain
and hand-picked a special force to carry it out. One of the units was led
by 26-year old Geagea, whose hometown was traditionally at odds with the
The plan was to arrest Joud al-Bayeh's assassins, who were
seeking protection and refuge in Franjieh's palatial summer residence in
Ehden, a symbol of the family's prestige and a major arsenal and
communications center. On the evening of June 12, Geagea's task force
infiltrated the area at night and began attacking the compound just before
dawn. The defenders refused to surrender and a long gun battle ensued in
which Geagea was seriously injured and fell unconscious on the road
leading to the compound. The operation involved close house to house
combat and was successful from a military standpoint, but when the smoke
cleared and Gemayel's men entered the compound, they unexpectedly
discovered among the dead Tony Franjieh and several members of his family
in one of the guards' hangars (the warlord's unwillingness to surrender in
spite of the imminent danger to his family has remained an enduring
After recuperating at a hospital in France, Geagea
returned to Lebanon and was appointed commander of LF forces in north
Lebanon. Over the next several years, he fortified LF outposts, expanded
recruitment and built new training centers. More importantly, he earned
the unswerving loyalty of roughly 1,500 militiamen under his direct
command. Most, like Geagea, had been dislocated from their villages and
towns in areas of north Lebanon controlled by Syria and its militia allies
- they lived in barracks, unlike LF soldiers in east Beirut, who could
return to their homes each night. Having tasted insecurity so acutely,
Geagea and his followers viewed the security of the Christian community,
not its political share of the post-war spoils, as their top priority.
Lebanon's First Republic had failed to provide this
security. The LF's main function was to fill the security void left by the
breakdown of the army and government administration - a mandate that also
necessitated the development of a highly organized civil infrastructure.
Unlike their counterparts in Syrian-occupied Lebanon, inhabitants of the
LF-ruled enclave enjoyed modern healthcare, affordable public transport,
welfare support, and personal security. What little prosperity the
Lebanese Christian community still enjoys today is largely due to the LF's
success in preserving an environment in which children could still go to
school - in sharp contrast to West Beirut, where the rule of Muslim
militias placed guns, not books, in children's hands.
Bashir Gemayel's election as president following the Israeli invasion
of Lebanon in 1982 briefly revived public hopes that the First Republic
could be fixed. These hopes were shattered after Bashir's assassination
and the ascension of his brother,
Amine, who invited American and European peacekeepers to the
capital to support his government. Geagea and other LF leaders staunchly
backed President Gemayel so long as remained committed to the withdrawal
of Syrian forces, but the withdrawal of American and European peacekeeping
troops in February 1984 led the president to seek rapprochement with
Damascus. Moreover, Gemayel attempted to strengthen his bargaining hand in
negotiations with Syria by asserting control over the LF. In Novem! ber,
the president succeeded in securing the replacement of LF chief Fadi Frem
with his nephew, Fouad Abi Nader. However, a faction of the LF headed by
Geagea and LF intelligence chief
Elie Hobeiqa sidelined Abu Nader and took control over the
Christian enclave in March 1985.
Hobeiqa soon made an astonishing political turnabout of
his own, aligning himself with Damascus in hopes of reaching an accord
with Syrian-backed militias and assuming the presidency in a Syrianized
post-war republic. In spite of widespread Christian opposition, Hobeiqa
signed the December 1985 Tripartite Accord, a Syrian-brokered agreement
that would have legalized the Syrian presence in Lebanon. In response, LF
forces loyal to Geagea swiftly took control over the Christian enclave and
Hobeiqa fled to Syrian-occupied territory, nursing an intense personal
hatred of Geagea.
Geagea's ability to mobilize the LF rank and file twice
against those who sought to accommodate Syria's hegemonic ambitions had
much to do with his incorruptibility. Unlike other "warlords" in Lebanon,
Geagea had "an almost puritanical disdain for material concern," notes
historian Theodor Hanf in his voluminous study of the war.
Even Washington Post correspondent Jonathan C. Randal, who is
scathingly critical of Maronite militia leaders in his best-selling book
on the war, described Geagea as "well-read, thoughtful, and possessed of a
At the time, Geagea's defiance of Damascus appeared risky.
By the mid-1980s, the LF had lost its principal external patron (Israel),
the Christian community's financial strength had been devastated by the
collapse of the Lebanese economy, American interest in supporting Lebanon
had dropped to nil, and Syrian forces or their militia allies had gained
control of most of the country. However, Geagea managed to defend the
Christian enclave by forging an alliance with Iraq and maintaining close
relations with the United States. The logic of the Iraq alliance was pure
and simple - Saddam Hussein had no interests in Lebanon other than to
check Syrian expansion. Iraqi arms enabled the LF to build the Christian
enclave into an impenetrable fortress. As Lebanon's Muslim militias turned
on each other with a ferocity not seen in Lebanon since the height of the
war in 1976, residents of the Christian enclave went about with their
lives as best they could.
The Inter-Christian War
Unfortunately, the hard-won security enjoyed by the
Christian community came undone. In the fall of 1988, a constitutional
crisis unfolded because of the parliament's inability to agree on a
presidential successor to Gemayel. Fifteen minutes before the expiration
of his term, Gemayel appointed the commander of the Army, Gen.
Michel Aoun, interim prime minister until such time as a new
president could be elected. Although Aoun had thousands of well-trained
and equipped soldiers at his command, he exercised little authority
outside of the presidential palace and a small area of east Beirut.
Following an Arab League meeting in Fas and encouragement from the Syrians
to extend his authority to the Christian enclave, in early 1989 General
Aoun demanded that the LF withdraw from a number of strategic areas,
including the capital's main port.
Geagea opposed Aoun's drive to expand his authority and
power at the expense of the LF for several reasons. First, so long as
other militias in the Syrian occupied areas continued to be armed and
trained by Damascus and Tehran, the LF militia served many critical
functions in the defense of the Christian homeland that could not readily
be assumed by the army. A militia, by nature, is premised on the idea that
locally organized units, fighting in defense of their own villages,
outperform army regulars who are away from home. It was this principle
that allowed Lebanese Christians to defend themselves against overwhelming
odds during the war - weakening the militia would leave the community
Moreover, while all the other militias were operating to
defend their own constituents, political considerations prohibited the
army from acting as defender of the Christian community. The Army follows
whichever command it receives - had Aoun been replaced, the same army
could have been used to achieve diametrically opposing goals as an
instrument of Syrian occupation. Even with Aoun at the helm, Geagea feared
the general's ambition to lead all of Lebanon could bring him either to
cut a deal with the Syrians or sacrifice the defense of the Christian
community in pursuit of it - Christian leaders aspiring to public office
had been committing both sins for over a generation. In short, Geagea
insisted that the militia could not be disbanded until a political
settlement dissolving all militias had been reached - until then, homeland
defense came first.
The ensuing violence between the army and the LF,
initiated by Aoun, fatally undermined the Christian community's ability to
defend itself. Dissapointed by Syria's lukewarm response, Aoun declared a
"war of liberation" against Syrian forces in Lebanon. The LF supported him
and put all its potential into this war, but the situation came to a
standstill and the Syrians relentlessly shelled east Beirut, virtually
emptying it of its inhabitants. Areas of the Christian enclave that had
been untouched by violence throughout the entire civil were devastated by
the fighting. After a fierce battle in Souk El Gharb, a ceasefire was
reached and Aoun endorsed a Saudi and American sponsored national
The Taef Accord
In October 1989, surviving members of Lebanon's 1972-1976
parliament met in Taef, Saudi Arabia, and signed a National Reconciliation
Accord. The agreement provided for political reforms that shifted the
sectarian balance of power in government; the disarmament of all illegal
militias; the redeployment of Syrian forces to the Beqaa Valley within two
years, and the withdrawal of all Syrian forces at a future date agreed
upon by both governments. Aoun ultimately opposed the Taef Accord, arguing
that it effectively legalized the occupation indefinitely. However, Geagea
and Maronite Patriarch
Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir both supported
the agreement because they believed it would put an end to the war, and
because they believed American and Saudi assurances that Syria would
withdraw all its forces once civil peace was restored (although the Taef
Accord did not explicitly require Syria to wi! thdraw, Assad was said to
have privately assured Riyadh and Washington that he would do so).
After a long period of polarisation and fighting within
the Christian enclave, and after the assassination of President-elect Rene
Mouawwad in the Syrian-controlled area of West Beirut, the Syrians invaded
Aoun's area in October 1990. LF units went on high alert to defend their
territory in the event that Syrian troops invaded the Christian heartland
(which they did not, owing to American pressure) and offered protection to
both soldiers and refugees fleeing the fighting. However, Geagea's trust
in the Americans was ill placed.
The Second Republic
From its very beginnings, the new republic was dominated
by pro-Syrian militia leaders, such as
Nabih Berri, who assumed to the post of parliament speaker;
Walid Jumblatt, who (ironically) became
minister of the displaced, and Hobeiqa, who held a number of different
cabinet positions. In light of Syria's refusal to fulfill its obligation
under the Taef Accord and redeploy its military forces to the Beqaa and
its attempts to dominate the political process, Geagea twice declined
cabinet positions offered to him.
Nevertheless, Geagea saw to it that the LF fulfilled its
obligations under the accord by completely dismantling its military
apparatus and reorganizing itself as a political party. In spite of
Syria's blatant violations of the Taef Accord, Geagea rejected calls by
some within the LF to take up arms once again, arguing that the
international community's apathy toward the Syrian occupation would doom
any attempt at armed struggle just as surely as it had doomed Aoun's
misadventure. However, Geagea resolved to resist Syria's renewed campaign
to subjugate Lebanon with all peaceful means at his disposal. The LF
refused to participate in the 1992 parliamentary elections, arguing that
Syria's heavy military presence in the country precluded a free and fair
Geagea's defiance was not powerful enough to bring down
the system, but it was powerful enough to shame the governing elite in the
eyes of the population. Assad tolerated this for a time, while Syria
consolidated its control over the institutions of government. Some
outspoken activists, such as Butrous Khawand, a member of the Kata'ib
Party's politburo and a former LF officer who was active in mobilizing
anti-Syrian protests, were simply
abducted by Syrian military intelligence, never to be seen
again. Because of Geagea's public profile (and highly-skilled bodyguards),
however, Assad could not simply make him disappear. The silencing of
Geagea had to wait until Syria had gained control over the judiciary.
While Lebanon's largely Western-trained judiciary had a
long-standing reputation for integrity, it gradually succumbed to Syrian
domination in the early 1990s. Incorruptible judges were forced into
retirement, while those who were willing to dip their hands into the
cookie jar were promoted and became forever subject to extortion by the
pro-Syrian political class. When the head of the Judicial Inspection
Bureau, Abd al-Basit Ghandour, brought disciplinary charges against two
judges linked to Syrian drug trafficking, Syrian troops surrounded his
home. Not surprisingly, the bureau exonerated the two judges in a sharply
divided vote. Ghandour retired the following year and Munif Uwaydat, a
judge who defended his two corrupt colleagues during the hearing, was
subsequently appointed prosecutor-general.
By 1994, Assad was in a position to bring the full force of! the Lebanese
state down on whomever he liked.
On February 27, 1994, a bomb exploded in the Sayyidat
al-Najjat church in the village of Zouk Mikael, deep within the Maronite
heartland, killing nine people and wounding dozens. The bombing, which
followed a string of smaller attacks targeting Christians, caused panic
throughout the Christian community. Afterwards, Geagea accused the
government of failing in its primary responsibility of protecting its
citizens. "It is no more acceptable that our officials are content [with
only] voicing condemnation,'' he told reporters.
The explosion was preceded by warnings of church bombings
relayed to the Patriarch by
Hezbollah intelligence operatives and came a few days after the
killing of 43 Palestinians in a Hebron mosque, leading to public
speculation that it was carried out by Muslims. However, government
officials immediately focused their investigation on so-called "Israeli
collaborators" in the Christian community. Several LF members who were
arrested and tortured in the following weeks were said in media reports to
have implicated Fouad Malek, Geagea's second-in-command, who was himself
arrested. On March 23, the Lebanese cabinet issued a decree dissolving the
Lebanese Forces, suspending the news bulletins of private media outlets,
and lifting the postwar amnesty law's protection of those "who continue to
commit" state security crimes.
The government's strategy had become crystal clear - allegations of LF
involvement in the blast were designed to pave the way for Geagea's arrest
for alleged wartime activities.
Geagea, who went into seclusion following the bombing, was
warned by President Elias Hrawi and other sympathetic Lebanese officials
that he was going to be arrested and was offered safe passage out of the
country. But Geagea decided to stay and fight, and was arrested on April
Syria's move against Geagea was clearly inspired by the
regional climate - it came six months after the Oslo Accords were signed,
at a time when the United States was willing to do anything to persuade
Assad to come on board the peace train. American Ambassador Mark Hambley
initially showed interest in the Geagea case but quickly stopped
mentioning it in public.
Lebanese officials were remarkably candid about the political motivation
behind the government's crackdown. "We enacted the amnesty law so that
everyone could join the state-building project . . . unfortunately, [Geagea]
turned down our offers and persisted in his own project," President Hrawi
remarked just weeks after his arrest.
As expected, the authorities used Geagea's arrest as a
pretext to open investigations into his alleged links to several
assassinations and assassination attempts during the war. It turned out
that the government had no substantial evidence of Geagea's involvement in
the church bombing (of which he was eventually found innocent), so his
trial for that crime was repeatedly adjourned for lengthy periods of time
for no explicable reason other than to allow the other "trials" to
Although Geagea was represented by a top-notch defense
team led by Edmond Naim, one of the country's leading constitutional
lawyers, all of his trials before the five-member Judicial Council were
gross miscarriages of justice. Detainees who were unwilling to implicate
Geagea were subjected to brutal torture and forced to signed confessions,
a practice documented by Amnesty International and other human rights
One detainee, Fawzi al-Racy, died in custody - the government labeled his
cause of death a "heart attack," but refused to permit an independent
autopsy or allow his family to see the body, which was rumored to have
been grossly disfigured. That the five-judge panel categorically refused
to disallow confessions extracted through torture came as a surprise to no
one - it had been handpicked to ensure that Geagea was convicted. Moeen
Osseiran, th! e head of Lebanon's Third Appeal Chamber, declined an offer
to serve on the court, claiming his workload was too heavy, but years
later he told friends that the case was too political for him to render a
Judge George Rizk, an investigating magistrate, recused himself when the
government asked him to indict Geagea.
Lack of supporting evidence and bizarre inconsistencies in
the prosecution claims also went conspicuously unacknowledged by the
judges. At the time of the church bombing, for example, several of the
defendants charged in absentia with perpetrating it were living abroad -
specifically in Cyprus, Canada, Sweden and Australia. According to exit
and reentry records of all four countries, the defendants could not have
been in Lebanon during the period in question. Government prosecutors
claimed that they used fake passports to travel to and from Lebanon but
produced no evidence of this and the claim went unchallenged by the judges.
Interestingly, the Lebanese authorities did not even bother to formally
seek extradition of Geagea's supposed accomplices who lived abroad -
merely the unsubstantiated claim of their involvement provided
sufficient cover fo! r the judges to declare Geagea guilty of ordering the
1990 assassination of Dany Chamoun, the 1989 killing of LF official Elias
Zayek, the 1991 attempted assassination of then-Defense Minister
Michel Murr, and the 1987 killing of then-Prime Minister Rashid
Karami. Geagea received four death sentences, each commuted to life in
prison with hard labor.
Although Lebanese law does not permit appeals of the
Judicial Court's rulings, one of Geagea's trials did receive a judicial
review. One of Geagea's codefendants in the Chamoun murder trial who was
convicted in absentia, Attef al-Habr, later applied for political
asylum in Australia and was turned down. In reviewing Habr's appeal of the
decision in 1999, an Australian federal court closely examined the
proceedings of its Lebanese counterpart and had this to say: "No
Australian Court would ever have convicted the applicant on the basis of
the evidence which appears, from the verdict, to have been put before the
This assessment calls into question the same court's verdicts
The gross miscarriage of justice inflicted by the Syrians
on Geagea was viewed as deeply unsettling even by many of his enemies who
believe he was guilty of some or all of the crimes for which he was tried.
All major militias carried out assassinations during the Lebanese civil
war - Geagea himself survived nearly a dozen of them. The pro-Syrian daily
Al-Safir remarked after the first of his convictions that "the
Lebanese would have preferred a broader judgment, one against the whole
war rather than the conviction of one of its heroes."
In November 2002, the outgoing president of the Judicial
Council, Nasri Lahoud (who received this appointment because he is related
to the President
Emile Lahoud) complained in an interview
that judicial independence in Lebanon was "mere poetry." Lahoud, who also
spearheaded the government campaign against the LF while serving as Chief
Military Prosecutor, said that the courts functioned as an
"administrative" branch of government..
The Politics of Decapitation
In the years that followed Geagea's imprisonment, LF
members were subjected to intense harassment by the government. Hundreds
were detained and an estimated 1,500 fled the country, while the ban on
the movement limited the ability of those who remained to organize
collectively. At the same time, many Lebanese found inspiration in
Geagea's sacrifice - his imprisonment led many intellectual, students and
professionals to join the LF in spite of the government's intimidation and
harrasment. Geagea's closest supporters in Lebanon, led by his wife
Setrida, remained at the core of serious opposition to the regime.
In recent years, the Syrians tried to paralyze the
movement by encouraging a group of former LF officials to sideline Setrida
and organize independently under their own pro-Syrian political platform
(an initiative that paralleled the hostile takeover of the Kata'ib party
Karim Pakradouni). The splitters, led by
Fouad Malek, met publicly with President Lahoud in 2001 and
were reportedly promised a political party license in the name of the LF (which
would allow them to claim an estimated $70 million in LF assets seized by
the government in 1994). Malek called for a general assembly of LF members
to choose a new leadership, but Setrida rejected the obvious ploy to seize
control of the movement. In June, Geagea's lawyers relayed a statement
from their imprisoned client to the media, accusing Malek o! f launching a
"political coup d'etat" aimed at dividing the movement.
In an astonishingly blatent display of coordination with the
authorities, Malek issued a rebuttal questioning the authenticity of
Geagea's statement, while Lebanese Prosecutor-General
Adnan Addoum issued a decree prohibiting the LF leader's
attorneys from visiting him in jail (the decree was revoked after protests
by the Beirut Bar Association). Malek quickly lost what little public
support he had in August by publicly supporting the government's arrest of
some 40 pro-Geagea LF activists, including Geagea's political advisor,
Toufic Hindi. Malek subsequently convened a number of public meetings and
conferences, but they were poorly attended and he has yet to receive the
party license promised to him.
Having failed to co-opt Geagea's mass following, the
authorities intensified their crackdown on the LF. Hindi was forced to
read a televised confession admitting to collaboration with Israel and
served 15 months in prison. In May 2002, a prominent member of the LF
student committee, Ramzi Irani, was abducted in broad daylight and
tortured to death, his body eventually found inside the trunk of his car.
As is always the case when anti-Syrian activists are murdered in
Syrian-occupied Lebanon, the criminal investigation went nowhere. Earlier
this month, the corpse of another LF activist, Pierre Boulos, was found in
the trunk of his car. Syria has made no attempt to disguise its killings
of Geagea's supporters as random acts of violence - it wants to make sure
the pattern of assassinations is blatantly self-evident to anyone who
thinks of organizing grassroots opposition to the occupation.
However, Geagea's activists have responded to this
intimidation campaign by intensifying their cries for justice. In
commemoration of the tenth anniversary of his imprisonment, LF activists
in Lebanon and the Diaspora staged several mass demonstrations and
organized petitions calling for Geagea's release that garnered nearly
160,000 signatures. The LF remains today the fastest growing political
institution amongst the Christian students and professionals of Lebanon.
As a result of this grassroots effort, traditional Christian political
and religious leaders have become much more vocal than ever before in
demanding freedom for Geagea. Last month, Patriarch Sfeir declared that
the release of Geagea "is an imperative precondition" for national
reconciliation in Lebanon.
In early May, the Qornet Shehwan Gathering, a coalition of mainstream
Christian politicians, issued a statement calling for his prompt release.
In light of the Christian community's overwhelming support for Geagea's
release, many in the Muslim political establishment have begun to quietly
express their support for a pardon (e.g. Jumblatt said recently that he
would not necessarily object to it).
According to some reports, this growing domestic consensus
has led American officials to begin pressing for Geagea's release.
This would require either a special presidential pardon or a new general
amnesty by parliament, neither of which can happen without explicit
authorization from Damascus. Leaks to the press by political sources close
to Syria suggest that a special presidential pardon that would restrict
Geagea's political activity has been under consideration for some time.
However, Geagea is rumored to have rejected any restrictions on his
freedom of expression.
See Lewis W. Snider, "The Lebanese Forces: Their Origins and Role in
Lebanon's Politics," The Middle East Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1,
Theodor Hanf, Coexistence in Wartime Lebanon: Decline of a State and Rise
of a Nation (London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 1993), p.301.
Jonathan C. Randal, Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers, and the
War in Lebanon (New York: Vintage Books, 1984), p.122.
Muhamad Mugraby, "Lebanon, a Wholly Owned Subsidiary," Middle East
Quarterly (Vol. 5, No.! 1), March 1998, p.14.
"Lebanon observes mourning day to protest church bombing," United Press
International, 28 February 1994.
United Press International, 23 March 1994.
"Washington tight-lipped on Geagea to avoid jeopardizing its Mideast 'achievements',"
Mideast Mirror, 27 April 1994.
Al-Safir (Beirut), quoted in "Hrawi: Geagea could have redeemed
himself by subscribing to the post-Taef arrangements," Mideast Mirror,
25 April 2004.
Amnesty Interna! tional, "'Lebanese Forces' Trial Seriously Flawed," 24
"Justice holds death in the wings," The Independent, 27 January
Stephen J. Stanton,
Report and Analysis Concerning the Trial and Verdict of Samir Geagea and
the Co-Accused in the Case of the Bombing of the Church of Sayyidat Al
Najjat Zouk Mikayel, 20 November 1996.
The ruling also noted the court's rejection of solid alibis by two
defendants in the church bombing trial. A copy of this ruling can be
format from the Lebane! se Forces web site.
Quoted in Mideast Mirror, 26 June 1995.
Al-Safir (Beirut), 14 November 2002.
Al-Nahar (Beirut), 19 April 2004.
L'Orient Le Jour (Beirut), 12 June 2002, citing report by the
Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyasa.
2004 Middle East
Intelligence Bulletin. All rights reserved.