Lebanese business tycoon taken in over "impersonation" charges
Prominent businessman Bahij Abu Hamzeh was arrested Monday on charges of impersonating the chairman of the Safa football team, sponsored by Progressive Socialist Leader MP Walid Jumblatt, judicial sources told the Daily star.
Ghassan Oweidat, the first investigative judge of Beirut, ordered the arrest of Abu Hamzeh, the former head of the board of trustees of Safa and one-time Jumblatt aide, after questioning him.
Abu Hamzeh, who was questioned in the presence of his lawyer, Bahij Mujahid, was also charged with breach of trust and mismanaging funds of the Safa football team.
The case was filed by the Safa chairman, Issam Sayegh, representing his team.
The sources said Abu Hamzeh, husband of famed TV presenter Mona Abu Hamzeh, could remain in custody up to two months before his lawyers can get an order for his release on bail.
In December of last year, Jumblatt and Safa football team filed seperate lawsuits against Abu Hamzeh over several cases, but Abu Hamzeh’s lawyers were petitioning for charges against their client to be dropped.
Abu Hamzeh used to run Jumblatt’s real estate endeavors and managed his private properties, but ties between the two soured last year, with the Druze leader relieving Abu Hamzeh of his duties after some 30 years of service.
The PSP leader had earlier said he was the victim of an “organized fraud,” and accused Abu Hamzeh and Bdeir of taking advantage of the fact that he was busy with politics and social obligations in order to dupe him.