Lebanon deports Canadian acquitted of spying for Israel
Lebanon deported a Canadian missionary on Wednesday, two days after a military court acquitted him of collaborating with Israel, according to airport officials.
Bruce Balfour boarded a British Airways plane to London on his way to Canada, the officials said, reuqesting anonymity.
Canadian newspapers have reported Balfour was in the Middle East directing an evangelical project to help replant the biblical cedar forests in the northern part of Lebanon.
Balfour was released Wednesday from Roumieh jail and escorted by Public Security officers to Beirut airport. He is barred from returning to Lebanon for a period of five years, according to a military court order.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Embassy in Beirut confirmed Balfour's release and departure for Canada.
Balfour, 52, had been in detention since he was arrested mid-July at Beirut airport on a military court order. He
pleaded innocent when a military prosecutor accused him of visiting Israel and collaborating with the enemy.
During a hearing earlier this week, the military tribunal found Balfour innocent. It convicted him of inciting sectarian sentiments, but said the seven weeks he had spent in detention was sufficient punishment and ordered his release.
At a court appearance last week, Balfour said he was not a spy and that he served God and Jesus.
Last month, Lebanon's Prosecutor General Adnan Addoum said he had received information that Balfour had traveled
between Lebanon and Israel in a manner that raised suspicion. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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